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.
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.
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.
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.
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 avante-garde 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 – 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.
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!
Original post by Chris Halpin