Rejoice: The Eurovision 2017 season has officially started!
Although Eurovision never really ends for us, September 1 marks the first day that a song can be released and entered for Eurovision 2017. Between now and the official deadline in March, fans will be on the edge of their seats waiting for the tunes to drop.
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) September 1, 2016
Who will be the first country to reveal their song, either through an internal selection or a national final? And does the country that reveals their song first gain any sort of advantage, or is it better to keep the waiting audience on edge? We thought we’d have a look into the past and judge for ourselves.
2016: Albania — “Përrallë” by Eneda Tarifa (Fairytale at Eurovision)
Every Eurovision fan’s traditional festive watch-along, Albania’s Festivali i Kenges produced the first song of 2016. Eneda Tarifa won FiK in December 2015 with “Përrallë”, giving Albania plenty of time to start their remix work. The song was re-worked as “Fairytale” and released to a less than positive reaction at the time. Things didn’t get much better for Eneda at Eurovision, where she failed to qualify for the final. Albania ultimately finished just 16th in Semi-Final Two. But we still love Eneda (oh, oh)!
2015: FYR Macedonia — “Lisja esenski” by Daniel Kajmakoski (Autumn Leaves at Eurovision)
Macedonia’s Skopje Fest made a welcome return to the national final season in November 2014. X Factor Adria winner Daniel Kajmakoski won the contest with his song “Lisja esenski”. After a rather ugly voting controversy involving the cops, Daniel confirmed the song would be reworked and performed in English in Vienna, resulting in “Autumn Leaves”. Baffling staging and the unnecessary inclusion of ex-Backstreet members ultimately led Daniel to finish 15th in Semi-Final One.
2014: Ukraine — “Tick-Tock” by Mariya Yaremchuk
Finally, a prime example of how to do a revamp right! “Tick-Tock” won the Ukrainian National Final in December 2013. Mariya immediately spent the next three months revamping the song from the ground up. Gone were the odd references to belonging “like a sister to a brother” and in came a much stronger beat. In fact “Tick-Tock” might still be one of the best examples of a revamp in recent Eurovision history. Ukraine easily qualified for the final, where Mariya finished in 6th place.
2013: Switzerland — “You and Me” by Takasa
“You and Me” didn’t really change much after it was selected in December 2012. Instead, the band behind it did: Originally known as the Heilsarmee, they performed in Malmo as Takasa (and Lys Assia claims it was her idea). That’s because their original name is the German word for the Salvation Army, thereby putting them in violation of the rules that forbid acts of a political and religious nature. That particular bit of “controversy” didn’t help Takasa at Eurovision though. The group finished 13th, giving Switzerland a second straight year of non-qualification.
Clearly presenting your song first doesn’t give you any huge advantage.
In 2016 the Dutch team purposefully held back on releasing “Slow Down”, after Trijntje failed to qualify in 2015 with “Walk Along” (released in December 2014). Douwe qualified easily, lending even more credence to the theme of his song.
What are your thoughts on the above songs? And do you think it’s better to wait? Let us know in the comments box below.