It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for since Netta reprised “Toy” at the grand final in Lisbon. Today, September 1st, marks the first day that any song competing at Eurovision 2019 can officially be released. Eurovision 2019 season is underway!
As we’ve already covered, a song doesn’t have to be even announced for Eurovision to later be confirmed as an entry. And of course — as we’ve seen in the past — the EBU might even allow a song that’s technically been heard before anyway…
But is it better to show your hand early, rather than leave it late? Do countries that reveal their song first have an advantage over the last country to reveal? We’ve taken a (totally unscientific) look at the last five contests to see who came out on top.
First to Reveal: Ukraine — “Tick Tock”, Mariya Yaremchuk
6th place in Grand Final, 113 points
Last to Reveal: Russia — “Shine”, Tolmachevy Sisters
7th place in Grand Final, 89 points
International focus was already well and truly on Ukraine and Russia at Eurovision 2014. Hype for the Copenhagen contest ran simultaneous to the mounting crisis in Crimea and along Ukraine’s eastern front.
“Tick Tock” was the first song revealed for the contest, winning the Ukrainian national final in December 2013. The Tolmachevy’s “Shine” was released (in audio form only) at the last possible opportunity in March.
Heavily revamped before the contest, “Tick Tock” opened the show and still managed a remarkable 6th place, just ahead of “Shine”.
The penultimate song released? It was none other than Conchita’s “Rise Like a Phoenix”…
First to Reveal: FYR Macedonia — “Autumn Leaves”, Daniel Kajmakoski
15th place in Semi-Final One, 28 points
Last to Reveal: Montenegro — “Adio”, Knez
13th place in Grand Final, 44 points
Daniel Kajmakoski’s Skopje Fest victory with “Lisja esenski” in November 2014 puts him as the earliest reveal on this list.
Compare that to Knez, who publicly revealed “Adio” after the song deadline. The song was presented on time to the Head of Delegation meeting, however, meaning it was fine for entry. There would be no time for any revamps, though.
Not that the revamp of “Lisja esenski” to “Autumn Leaves” did Macedonia any favours. With three ex-Blackstreet members on stage with him, Kajmakoski dropped out in the Semi-Finals. Knez, meanwhile, went on to score Montenegro’s best-ever result, with 13th in the Grand Final.
First to Reveal: Albania — “Fairytale”, Eneda Tarifa
16th place in Semi-Final Two, 45 points
Last to Reveal: Bulgaria — “If Love Was a Crime”, Poli Genova
4th place in Grand Final, 307 points
The adage of “save the best until last” could be applied for a second straight year in 2016. Bulgaria’s on again/off again return to Eurovision was capped off by a late reveal of Poli Genova’s “If Love Was a Crime” — and to great reception from fans.
Contrast that with the frankly abysmal reaction to the revamp of Eneda Tarifa’s “Fairytale”. As ever, the Festivali i Kenges winning song was heavily changed between December and the contest.
At the contest, Poli stormed to Bulgaria’s best ever result at the time, finishing 4th. “Fairytale”, meanwhile, finished a lowly 16th in its Semi-Final.
First to Reveal: Albania — “World”, Lindita
14th place in Semi-Final One, 76 points
Last to Reveal: Armenia — “Fly With Me”, Artsvik
18th place in Grand Final, 79 points
A second year running with a poor reaction to an Albanian revamp. Lindita’s “World” won Festivali i Kenges in December as the Albanian language “Bote”. Many fans wanted the song to remain in its native tongue, but the change was made for Kyiv.
Several countries left it late in 2017 — Bulgaria’s Kristian Kostov a notable name amongst them — but Armenia were last on the list. Artsvik’s experimental “Fly With Me” was a slice of folk-pop the 2017 contest had perhaps been lacking to that point.
Though Artsvik faltered to a remarkably low (for Armenia) 18th place, Lindita failed to make it out of the semi-final once again for Albania.
First to Reveal: Albania — “Mall”, Eugent Bushpepa
11th place in Grand Final, 184 points
Last to Reveal: Georgia — “For You”, Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao
18th place in Semi-Final Two, 24 points
Third time lucky! Whilst we knew the names of other acts, Albania’s Festivali i Kenges once again graced us with the first song of the year for Eurovision 2018.
With only some trimming done to the original “Mall” — even keeping it in Albanian — Eugent Bushpepa got to show off his incredible vocals and storm to one of Albania’s best ever results at Eurovision, just finishing outside the top ten.
The same could not be said for Georgia, however. Whilst other late arrivals like Equinox and Ieva Zasimauskaite posted some respectable results, Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao did not do the same. Whilst they showed off some great ethnic sounds, they finished dead last in their semi-final…
Five years – and five very different sets of results! After Albania’s success this year, will another country opt for an earlier-than-usual reveal? We’ll be finding out soon…and before you know it, we’ll be landing in Israel!
Which country are you most excited to see for this year’s contest? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below!