The fun thing about Eurovision is… expect anything. From giant dresses, to vocal screams, outrageous staging and weird props, anything goes at Eurovision. And with that, every Eurovision has its own set of trends. Has anyone forgotten about last year’s highlights: Russia’s mountain, Netta’s cats, Finland’s spinning wheel or Moldova’s fun staging just with a wooden box? But what does 2019 offer?
We won’t know what delegations will be bringing to the stage until rehearsals start in early May. But music video can offer clues as to what we might see on stage at Expo Tel Aviv. We can now present the top 10 trends of ESC 2019. We hereby declare this to be the year of royalty, fish tanks and jellyfish, “Fuego” realness and… Canada!
1. Jellyfish and water ballet
The winners in this category are definitely the Netherlands, Azerbaijan and Romania. The Dutch and Azeri teams seem to have had the same vision in terms of shooting the videoclip. Both “Truth” and “Arcade” included a giant fishtank and a naked guy. The Azeri team also included some jellyfish and Romania also decided that it would be a good idea to include ocean life. Above and behind Ester Peony in the video, we see all sorts of fish, sea life and jellyfish passing by in the water. The rain pouring on Albanian singer Jonida Maliqi’s face, was more than enough to fill up Duncan Laurence‘s fish tank. And Chingiz has one too, we think.
If you pay attention to Jonida’s video clip, there are — similar to the Netherlands and Azerbaijan — also naked people running through water. Oto Nemsadze also decided to stay close to the water, filming the clip of “Sul tsin iare” by the sea. We suspect house No.22 of Sarah McTernan‘s ex-boyfriend is also located close to the water, if the music video location is anything to go by. And in terms of water-related lyrics, Malta’s Michela sings she is “bluer than the ocean”. And honourable mention goes to Israel’s Kobi Marimi, who gets aquatic in his song “Home”, with the line “hug the water when it snows”. He really need to teach us how to do that, once we land in Tel Aviv!
2. Welcome to Eurovision, Canada!
What are you up to, Canada? We see what you are doing there — trying to sneak up into Eurovision without us! Seriously, you can add pancakes with Maple syrup to your list of ESC snacks this year. We have more Canadian blood this year than you might think.
Katerina Duska was born in Canada and moved with her parents to Greece in her teen years. Romania’s Ester Peony went in the opposite direction. She was born in Romania, emigrated to Canada with her parents and after four years came back to Romania.
And then there is songwriter Laurell Barker. The ultimate proof for us that Canada is trying to take over Eurovision. This Canadian songwriter has (co-)written three songs that will compete in Eurovision 2019. Two of them will already be in the final: the UK’s “Bigger Than Us” and Germany’s “Sister”. If Luca Hanni can place for the final with “She Got Me”, we will have three songs in the final written by the same Canadian songwriter. Good morning Australia and good afternoon Canada!
3. Crashing the party a second time
We haven’t been counting, but the party this year seems to have more returning artists than ever. We suspect that Sergey Lazarev and Serhat decided to #ComeTogether again after Eurovision 2016, because both of them are back for Eurovision 2019. Sergey decided to bring a us a “Scream”. San Marino’s Serhat took five minutes to come to the conclusion that saying “Na na na na” is all you need, when life gives you lemons.
Joci Pápai from Hungary is back also, after he #Celebrate(d)Diversity back in Eurovision 2017. Nevena Božović stopped saying #WeAreOne to her band Moje 3 after they failed to qualify for the final of Eurovision 2013. She has returned to Eurovision this year as solo artist. And also back is Tamara Todevska, who tried to create a #ConfluenceOfSound back in 2008 with singer Vrčak and Adrijan Gaxha for Macedonia. Despite failing to qualify in 2008, Tamara has decided to give it another go as a solo artist a decade on. Welcome back to these returning artists!
4. Fuego realness
Yes, we know. This has been discussed before. But we just didn’t want to leave this one out. Last year, Eleni Foureira set us all on fire with her Beyoncé moves in Fuego. This was the biggest surprise in Lisbon and suddenly Cyprus found itself high in the Eurovision odds. Seeing this tune doing really well back then, Cyprus and Switzerland might have taken Eleni’s single home to listen to it again, it seems. Fans have been saying that Cyprus basically has just send Fuego again with Tamta‘s “Replay”. While Switzerland tried to cover it up a bit more with Luca Hänni‘s ‘“She Got Me”. Sending a man instead of a woman isn’t going to help, Switzerland. We see what you did there!
5. Who wears it best: The Eurovision Mask and Headwear That Slays
We have seen a fair share of masks and facial cover in Eurovision history. But this year it seems that carnival came early. Winning the award goes to Hatari‘s “drum-gimp”, obviously. But honourable mentions also go to the masks of Conan Osiris and Chingiz‘s dancer, Katerina Duska‘s and Tamta‘s pink veils and Sbruk‘s female dancers. We are also obsessed with the grapes on the face of one the ladies in the video from Greece.
We don’t mind adding a side catergory to this. A round of applause also for the Headwear That Slays contestants: Luca Hanni and his hat, the beanie and pilot goggles of Joci‘s guy, KEiiNO‘s cute wolf ears, Bilal‘s blond wig, and Tulia‘s flower garlands. And although not headwear, can we just add that Paenda‘s blue hair rules!
6. Your Royal Highness, ruler of planet Eurovision
In both lyrics and clips we see quite some references to kings, queens and royal highnesses! The most obvious one is, of course, down-under empress Kate Miller-Heidke, with her giant somewhat princess dress, sparkly crown and royal voice. She slays this royalty realness. Bilal Hassani is the king (Roi) of this category, singing he can already see his kingdom now and that nobody will take his crown.
Let’s also not forget Serbia’s Nevena Božovic. Her song “Kruna” (meaning crown) is a metaphor: the man who gets her love, wears the crown. And recently, she married her king! Going further, in Armenia’s song we hear Srbuk singing ‘You’re no more a king ’cause I was your crown’. Srbuk would make one fierce queen, if you ask us! Russia has also jumped on the royal bandwagon. Sergey Lazarev‘s clip tells a story of a knight saving a queen from a fierce dragon. It’s so sweet. And to finish off, we might add Madonna in this as well. After all, she is called the Queen of Pop.
7. Messages for the world
It’s typical for Eurovision to have songs with deep messages, often saying to create a better world. Love, Love, Peace Peace, you know what we mean? This year also has quite the high number of songs that are about wanting a better world or having a thought-provoking message in general. We must say, it’s a good contrast to the many love songs, which is also very typical Eurovision. Like Finland’s Sebastian Reyman intones: “I can’t sing a love song anymore”.
In this field, we find Belgium’s Eliot who wants the young generation to “Wake Up” to face the world’s problems. In that same category, Darude and Sebastian are telling us we have to stop looking away, including melting icecaps in their video. Leonora from Denmark, has decided we need to stop being political and just embrace that love is forever. Miki from Spain brings us a very danceable tune, but it has a deeper message also: leave prejudice behind, and embrace the beautiful life that comes after that.
Croatia’s Roko is also dreaming of a better world, while Hatari reminds us of the dystopian future that may lie ahead if hate is allowed to prevail. And Hungary’s Joci Papai is reminding us once again, how important family is to us all. Mahmood gives us an insight on what it’s like to grow up without a father figure. Oto Nemsadze has a message for the people of Georgia — to keep on going and stay strong. Albani’s Jonida Maliqi calls on her compatriots to not leave Albania. And we throw in Germany as well, where S!sters advise the female population to stop stealing each others’ shine. Tell it like it is, sisters! But if all of the problems got a bit too much for you, San Marino’s Serhat has some good advice. Just “Say na na na”.
8. Fear the females
Eurovision doesn’t roll without her fierce ladies (everyone say hi to Mei Feingold). And this year is no different, with proud woman who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is and have an empowering message, and men who sing about being captured by a fierce female.
The S!sters of Germany are referring in their song to the habit of woman trying to steal each other’s thunder. While Switzerland’s Luca Hanni pays tribute to a self-assured woman, who leaves him no other option than to go “dirty dancing”. Cyprus’ Tamta has a man totally addicted, saying “them sheets need my body tonight” and “you’re stuck on me, darling”. While Lake Malawi find themselves caught in the love for a lady. In this case it’s a friend, of a friend, of a friend.
Tamara Todevska delivers a song for women and girls, telling every them to be proud and show it. Sbruk is telling us in “Walking Out”, that whatever she built, she will burn it down and walk out. This ain’t no kitten to mess around with, people. Belarus’ ZENA is slaying that confidence, saying whatever she will do, you are going to like it! Yes, ma’am!
9. White feathers and wings
The feathers are also popular this year. Perhaps Netta’s chicken sounds got people inspired? Tamta finds herself covered with falling pink and white feathers in her music video. Conan Osíris and his dancer wore a matching coat and pants, made from a feathery fabric. In the video of Ester Peony, one of the dancers is wearing a full white feather miniskirt. But Croatia’s Roko has decided feathers alone aren’t doing the trick. To be sure he would dominate this category, he just went full in, slaying with his human-size wings. We will see Roko fly in Tel Aviv, people, fly!
10. “How much paint and colour do you want this to have? “Yes.”
We love a bit of colour in Eurovision (and especially rainbow-coloured unicorns). And some countries have decided this year to go for an explosion of paint and colours. Yes, Azerbaijan and Malta, we are looking at you. We are sure that Malta has actually invented new types of colours for the shooting of Michela‘s “Chameleon” video. Azerbaijan decided to use colourful body paint on Chingiz‘s dancers. Also Cyprus likes to play around with paint and colours, with Tamta‘s “Replay” video including coloured smoke and throwing paint on the dancers. Greece’ Katerina Duska goes all in on pink (and yes, we love that colour for some reason). Spain’s Miki isn’t afraid to go all in on the graffiti in the “La venda” video. Perhaps Miki can take his graffiti with him and add some colour to the grey concrete walls of Tel Aviv Expo? We volunteer to help!
Have you also spotted a trend in Eurovision 2019? You think think list is not complete? Let us know in the comment section below. We will be doing a Top 10 Trends Wiwi readers edition soon and your suggestion can be in it!