Earlier this month, Alma was confirmed as France’s act for Kyiv and her song “Requiem” fast became a fan favourite. But now a video clip has emerged of a 2015 live performance of the song. This potentially makes the song in breach of the 1 September 2016 deadline, and could lead to the EBU disqualifying it.

The performance was recorded in January 2015, taking at a Paris show where Alma performed an early version of “Requiem”. The gig took place at the Bellevilloise venue, an intimate club setting.

But things might not be all that bad for Alma. For a start, while the video was recorded in January 2015, the clip wasn’t uploaded to YouTube until December last year — well within the 1 September 2016 deadline.

While the song Alma is performing is her Eurovision entry “Requiem”, it’s a very different version. The 2015 version is an acoustic arrangement, with Alma accompanied only by a guitarist and percussionist. The electronic and string sounds of the Eurovision version is nowhere to be heard.

And the live version clocks in at nearly four minutes, well above the shorter version released this year.

The official Eurovision rules specify that songs “must not have been commercially released before 1 September 2016.”

It’s clear that Alma’s 2015 performance of “Requiem” was not a commercial release. “Requiem” was not released as a single until January this year.

The Eurovision rules make provision for songs to have emerged in various forms before the deadline. The EBU can disqualify such songs if the early performance is deemed to have given the song an advantage at Eurovision.

Update 11:54 CET: The video in question has been made unavailable on YouTube.

It’s happened before

In this modern world where everyone has a camera, it’s now commonplace for early versions of Eurovision songs to show up on social media.

Last year footage emerged of an early version of Jamala’s “1944”, filmed in 2015. EBU considered the situation and made the decision to allow “1944” in Eurovision. They issued a statement, where they noted that “the video of a small concert had only been viewed by a few hundred people before it was discovered in the past few days.” They did not consider that this gave “1944” an advantage at Eurovision.

And last year “Never Alone” — Anja Nissen’s entry in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix — was discovered to have similarly and an early debut. The song had been performed live by its co-writer Emmelie de Forest in 2014.

Broadcaster DR referred the matter to the EBU who confirmed there would be no problem. Essentially, not enough people had been at Emmelie’s concerts for it to have been a concern. Oh, the shade!

While fans are concerned about the “Requiem” video, it’s unlikely that this will be a problem for Alma. However, broadcaster France 2 and the EBU are yet to comment on the situation.

What do you think? Should “Requiem” be disqualified from Eurovision 2017? Or is the fuss over nothing? Sound off below!

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Terence Scott
Guest
Terence Scott

Alma hasn’t broken the rules. If there is any ambiguity with the rules, then those who make those rules need to sort it out

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

Nope. Wasn’t Poland’s 2014 comeback entry, My Slowanie, released on late 2013? Cleo even peformed it at the Poland MTV awards on December before it was even announced as an entry and that Poland was finally returning to ESC. Move along ppl…

Maxime from France
Guest

I think I saw the video and honestly the song is very different and it didn’t have a lot of views so i don’t think it will affect on Eurovision. And don’t forget, “Requiem” will be revamped for Eurovision!

Stephanie
Guest

According to another ESC news site, France 2 said that they complied with all the rules and the song is eligible (according to the date stamp on my copy from iTunes, the song was released on January 13, which is within the eligibility rule). As for the video in question, it has since been deleted. I really don’t think there’s a reason to worry and that Alma will still go to Kiev with “Requiem” as planned

JL
Guest
JL

Here’s a lesson on what “shade” is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg900dQQhss

Search for “Shade comes from READING” on YouTube.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

No, not again. Why does it have to happen with good songs?
I hope it’s not disqualified! It’s such a good song!

MiaKhalif
Guest
MiaKhalif

@JaRule
‘Oh the shade’ means pointing out that someone trying to subtly insult you.Shading like Robyn said is to throw a covert insult. Like here the EBU ruled ‘Never Alone’ to be valid entry for 2016 beacause it didn’t get unfair advantage due to its performance by Emmelie in her concerts. If you directly tell Emmelie that you are not popular enough for any significant number of people to attend your concert, it will become an overt insult. Instead the EBU implied the same thing but using different words.That’s shading.Implied insult not explicit.

azaad
Guest
azaad

@Purple Mask

Everyone (those who professionally deal with Eurovision) knows about Apollo being written for the Azeri internal selection. It was never commercially released however.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

In my opinion, ”shade” means : to overshadow, to make an innuendo, allusion.

fikri
Guest
fikri

why is it always good songs getting these kinds of controversy?

finger crossed this year “perfect life” will be disqualified so that germany can get a better song.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Shouldn’t be a problem. She just sang a version of it at an intimate gig, it wasn’t the final version nor was it commercially released. It’s okay with me, I hope it’s okay with the EBU too as I like the song a lot.

JaRule
Guest
JaRule

@ MiaKhalif
If you understood what does ‘oh the shade’ mean can you explain it to me as well? Is it something like
‘to look somebody like you are disgusted’?

Stephanie
Guest

It should not be disqualified. It was not commercially released yet as many others have said, and the video does not give it an unfair advantage against the other entries this year – not many people viewed it in the first place. So I think it should be allowed to stay in the contest as people have made it such a favorite already

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I don’t suppose this is a good time to point out that for Spain, Manel’s “Do it for your lover” was accidentally made available on YouTube in 2016 just before the deadline, was viewed by 1 outside viewer and was then hastily removed. Well, allegedly. 🙂 Another interesting (and more credible) allegation is that Switzerland’s “Apollo” song was a demo song for the Azerbaijan entry many years ago, and was even performed to a private audience. However, neither of these examples are actual “commercial releases,” and nor was Alma’s example – I would be very surprised if the French song… Read more »

MianKhalif
Guest
MianKhalif

Thanks Robyn and Purple Masks

nn
Guest
nn

EBU gave permission for 1944, only because to provocate Russia with political song . EBU broke rules of contest twice with 1944, they allow song who are presented before deadline on concert, and gave permision to have song with political lyricks.

Mark
Guest
Mark

LEAVE ALMA ALONE!!!

Marcus (Day One)
Guest
Marcus (Day One)

Stuff like this always happens and unless the concert was attended by thousands of people then It isn’t a problem at all.

It always makes me wonder when you hear that a song is a lot older than people think.

I always wonder why they decide to use a song from a few years ago.

Robyn Gallagher
Guest
Robyn Gallagher

Shade is a subtle insult. If you want to know more about the art of shade, watch the legendary 1991 film “Paris Is Burning”, about New York’s drag ball scene. It’s on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hedJer7I1vI

The New York Times also has a good history of shade here:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/magazine/the-underground-art-of-the-insult.html

Jocelyn
Guest

It wasn’t a comercial version, so disqualifying it wouldn’t be justified.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

@MiaKhalif: A “turn of phrase” is: “An expression which is worded in a distinctive way, especially one which is particularly memorable or artful.”
Link to Wiktionary definition here: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/turn_of_phrase

“Oh the shade” is not something I hear in everyday language – it is idiomatic. I don’t even know where it comes from, but to me it sounds Carribean? I like it as a turn of phrase, that’s all; it’s new to me.

MiaKhalif
Guest
MiaKhalif

What means ‘loved that turn of phrase’? I read that same line on YouTube comments.

Racal
Guest
Racal

No worries, the EBU has no balls and lets countries do whatever they like: Azerbaijan has been cheating since the very beginning, Russia forbade gay flags, … The EBU never moved a finger. Unless you owe them money, in that case they will disqualify you 10 days before the contest.

Umer
Guest
Umer

I agree with Purple Mask, the song wasnt officially released until early this year so

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Haha: “Oh the shade!” – I love that turn of phrase in the article. 🙂
The short answer is NO, it shouldn’t be disqualified based on this. It wasn’t a “commercial release,” end of. That YouTube video has since appeared to have been taken down, for obvious reasons… but still it’s a ‘NO’ from me.