It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for since Duncan reprised “Arcade” at the grand final in Tel Aviv. Today, September 1st, marks the first day that any song competing at Eurovision 2020 can officially be released. Eurovision 2020 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.

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 six contests to see who came out on top.

Eurovision 2014

First to reveal: Ukraine – Mariya Yaremchuk with “Tick Tock”
6th place in the grand final with 113 points

Last to reveal: Russia – Tolmachevy Sisters with “Shine”
7th place in the grand final with 89 points

International focus was already well and truly on Ukraine and Russia at Eurovision 2014. Hype for the Copenhagen contest ran simultaneously 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 sixth place, just ahead of “Shine”.

The penultimate song released? It was none other than Conchita’s “Rise Like a Phoenix” that went on to slay.

Eurovision 2015

First to reveal: FYR Macedonia – Daniel Kajmakoski with “Autumn Leaves”
15th place in semi-final one with 28 points

Last to reveal: Montenegro – Knez with “Adio”
13th place in the the grand final with 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 Heads of Delegation meeting, however, meaning it was fine for entry. There would be no time for any revamps, though.

Not that the transformation 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, placing 13th in the grand final.

Eurovision 2016

First to reveal: Albania – Eneda Tarifa with “Fairytale”
16th place in semi-final two with 45 points

Last to reveal: Bulgaria – Poli Genova with “If Love Was a Crime”
4th place in the grand final with 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 was the trend in the mid 2010s, the Festivali i Kenges winning song (“Përrallë”) was heavily changed between December and the contest.

At the contest, Poli stormed to Bulgaria’s best ever result at the time, finishing fourth. “Fairytale”, meanwhile, finished a lowly 16th in its semi-final.

Eurovision 2017

First to reveal: Albania – Lindita with “World”
14th place in semi-final one with 76 points

Last to reveal: Armenia – Artsvik with “Fly With Me”
18th place in the grand final with 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 ethno-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.

Eurovision 2018

First to reveal: Albania – Eugent Bushpepa with “Mall”
11th place in the grand final with 184 points

Last to reveal: Georgia – Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao with “For You”
18th place in semi-final two with 24 points

Third time lucky! Whilst we knew names of other competing acts from other countries, 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.

Eurovision 2019

First to reveal: Albania – Jonida Maliqi with “Ktheju tokës”
17th place in the grand final with 90 points

Last to reveal: Israel – Kobi Marimi with “Home”
23rd place in the grand final with 35 points

For the fourth year in a row, no one got in before Albania’s Festivali i Këngës in December. This meant that Jonida Maliqi was the first to reveal her song for Tel Aviv, with “Ktheju tokës”.

At the other end, three countries waited until the very last day to reveal their song. But it was host country Israel who was the last to get their song out, when Kobi Marimi’s “Home” was heard for the first time. The song had a slight revamp before Eurovision, adding orchestral flourishes.

Jonida continued the Albanian Eurovision renaissance and made it into the grand final where she earned a respectable 17th place finish. Kobi, however, didn’t do so well. In a case of the “host country curse”, “Home” finished 23rd with just 35 points, all of which came from televoters.

Six years — and six very different sets of results! Will the Festivali i Këngës winner be the first confirmed Eurovision 2020 act we’ll hear? Or will another country get in even earlier this year? We’ll find out soon… and before you know it, we’ll be arriving in Rotterdam!

Which country are you most excited to see for this year’s contest? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below!

Follow all of our Eurovision 2020 coverage here

Original post by Chris Halpin

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Liam
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Liam

I NEED to see these artists in Eurovision next year or sometimes in the future:

Davina Michelle – The Netherlands
Inis Neziri – Albania
Bobi Andonov – North Macedonia
Polina Bogusevich – Russia
Sara de Blue – Austria, San Marino

Lars
Guest
Lars

Ahh, Eurovision new year: where people wishing for a country to win, to qualify, or be in top 10 or 5 in the grand final the next year is equivalent to the “new year, new me” messages.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Here’s something that makes me excited: Sara de Blue, fresh off a high finish at the Golden Stag with “Out of the Twilight,” said on Instagram that she’s accepting songs for Eurovision! If she actually went on behalf of Austria or San Marino or something I’d die of joy.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Hopefully San Marino, she would give them the best placing they’ve ever had!

Una
Guest
Una

Yaaaaaaaasss! Austria or San Marino. Go Sara!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Apparently she wants something like Evanescence or Sia (so not too far off from “Out of the Twilight”). I also see that one of the longtime delegation members is tight with Inis Neziri and was with her when she won the Golden Stag last year and New Wave this year, so maybe she could be on the cards too. People also are saying Valentina Monetta is interested in going for round 5 and making history after the disappointment of 2017. I’d be down for any of them, if the song is right. Keep Siegel AWAY.

Una
Guest
Una

No dying of joy, please!!!! I would burst with happiness if Sara went to Eurovision.

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

I reaaaally hope that Albania doesnt revamp their winner entry next year, their last two entries have been incredible! Besides that, Albania is the only country to survive BOTH semi- finals of death in 2018 and 2019 and is the only country to do so. I hope they can continue their streak.

Olivia Mac Arthur
Guest
Olivia Mac Arthur

They did have to revamp 2018 to shave the length to 3 minutes, but they did a far better job than their other attempts. I hope their successes will keep the songs in Albanian, which is what they belong in and obviously are better suited for.

Preuss
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Preuss

I don’t mind early information about songs or artists really, makes me more hyped. Took me a while to remember that Jessica Mauboy had performed in Copenhagen when she was announced late 2017, Sea of Flags was for a period on my Spotify list after she performed it in Denmark and gives me nostalgia. Having a “the hype is real” moment so early in the season made it all go pretty fast actually. I mean, if Aurora, Sigrid or Astrid S were announced to represent us (or participate in MGP), I would be hyped. And more bitter/mad if the result… Read more »

Balkan.Bias
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Balkan.Bias

I’d love for aurora to go to esc but I fear she’s slightly too big. theres always hope though

Katariina
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Katariina

It doesn’t matter, 90% of viewers are hearing all the songs for the first time on finals night anyways.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

As we already know,…it doesn’t matter.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Indeed. 🙂
I feel sorry for Robyn though. She did all that research for nothing. 😛

Music World
Guest
Music World

So excited to hear Albania’s entry in December!!

Music World
Guest
Music World

And I will be at festivali kenges this year too!! I was last year as well.

Kredential
Guest
Kredential

I think the release date only really matters if the song gets any success prior to the contest or the artist is well known. In these cases it’s best to release later to keep the song in people’s minds without going stale because so much time has passed by + to take advantage of any promo opportunities. Apart from that, it really does not matter. The average Eurovision watcher/voter who does not pay attention to the contest beforehand is not going to know nor care whether the song was released 2 or 5 months before the contest. It only really… Read more »

KESC
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KESC

Nah, the date of release doesn’t play any role at all. If the song is good, it’s good, if not it’s not.

I hope that this year we’ll have more varieties in the release of the songs, since in the last edition, they were nearly all published in March.
Some delegations don’t understand that they make unnecessary hype by releasing their songs last.

Una
Guest
Una

I could believe the date of the release has something to do with the success in what regards the public’s anticipation for the song. But not to a large extent, no. The winning formula becomes more complicated every year. Artist, entry, staging for each country PLUS the rest of the contenders. About 5 for each year that go for the win seriously.

Rasmus Bording Irlind
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Rasmus Bording Irlind

kinda interesting how the past three winners (netherlands, israel, portugal) all released their songs in march, i’m seeing a pattern here

joecrook96
Guest
joecrook96

If I were a head of delegation, I would reveal the entry in the last week of February (and on a day that no other national final was taking place) – it’s later in the selection period but still gives enough time for fans to become familiar with the song before the pre-parties and rehearsals.

Eurovision Online Contest
Guest

I think France, Hungary or Iceland deserve a win so I am pulling for them to choose a good song.
But I think you never know, which is the beauty of Eurovision 😉

Eurovision fan
Guest
Eurovision fan

I hope United Kingdom, Iceland or France will win and I hope United Kingdom will be represented by pop-hip hop song. I have a strong feeling France will win next year but we’ll see, it’s too early to predict anything

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

y’all had a strong feeling france would win in 2016, 2018 n 2019 n then we all saw how it went. i think there’ll be many contemporary r&b entries after mahmood’s success

Eurovision fan
Guest
Eurovision fan

They have great national final and they have done decently last years with ok songs. The thing is they never pick the best possible song in their national final. French are pretty naive when it comes to deciding which song will represent them, especially this year

Jowst Nej
Guest
Jowst Nej

Hopefully my broadcaster will learn big time after their last place. If it’s another cock up, I can officially say I give up being a British Eurovision fan!

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I hope the UK will win, but I don’t think they will in my lifetime. That takes us to 2049, I estimate.

Ahoy
Guest
Ahoy

Albania usually does poorly because they send bad songs. Period

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

They’ve got a 50% qualification rate. That’s not bad compared to many other countries.

Kredential
Guest
Kredential

To you.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

They are now in a quality streak

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

If you just consider the winning versions of FiK songs, it’s actually been many years since Albania have had a bad song. It really is a great national final (that is usually followed by questionable revamps).

pepe
Guest
pepe

Wasn’t Armenia last to reveal this year? If I remember right “Home” was leaked before the official release of “Walking out”.

Ziv
Guest
Ziv

Which is the earliest song confirmation in recent years? If I remember correctly, FYR Macedonia 2015 was confirmed as the Eurovision entry in November. Was there another one even earlier than that?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Mrs Easterhouse from The Netherlands was very early, I think. Probably like ‘let’s get this over with and leave me alone til I have to sing this in Vienna.’ lol

Tijs
Guest
Tijs

Took me a while to figure it out, but you mean Trijntje Oosterhuis

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

And I actually still enjoy the studio version. I got so used to its repetitiveness that I still like it. But the early release back then left many hoping they’d still improve the song, including myself.

pepe
Guest
pepe

I wonder how it would have sounded had Anouk released it. Because I have a feeling what we heard from Trijntje was a very unfinished demo. I am sure Anouk would have put an edge in it.
Her sidekick in the MV was very hot btw.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

I totally thought ‘Nice demo, that’s a solid foundation they can work on.’

Motzkie
Guest
Motzkie

Anybody knows the name of the man from Dutch music video 2015??? Nobody can answer it. Is he still alive???

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

i adore mrs. easterhouse, i even bought her walk along album when i visited holland in 2015

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I bought Vlieg Me Me Mee (Het Avontuur) in 1999. I hope their 2020 entry sings in Dutch.