It’s the ongoing drama that has replaced the Eurovision pre-party season as the thing to occupy the later weeks of March. The issue of songs from Eurovision 2020 not being allowed to be reused for the next edition of the song contest has flared up again.
This time former Czech Republic Head of Delegation Jan Bors has had his say on the matter, weighing in with a differing opinion.
Following the wiwibloggs article on prolific Eurovision songwriter Borislav Milanov’s recent comments on the 2020 songs issue, Jan Bors expressed his thoughts with a long Facebook post.
WTF WE HAVE HERE?We have some problem here with songwriters in Eurovision. Curiously looking into that situation which…
Bors takes a different stance to Milanov, saying that “We have some problem here with songwriters in Eurovision.”
He criticises the attacks on the Eurovision Reference Group’s decision to not allow delegations to reuse their Eurovision 2020 songs.
Bors explained, “This happens when you write universal songs literally for everyone. Some of their songs could represent more different countries. I know that well as I was [on] juries for few of them and that made me laugh.”
But the former Czech HoD didn’t hold back when criticising the songwriters themselves. He wrote:
“There are some songwriters [who] feel bitter right now – of course, it is their business and they do music mostly for business. [They s]ee Eurovision as a chance and don’t see for some reason that such a song is already alive and if it’s great, it will work even without Eurovision. Nothing against but that attitude then makes them look silly in my eyes.
“And this is what is the shady part of the contest. It became song business for some and that is why you sometimes feel the lack of originality, generic music and just-for-Eurovision made songs.”
Eurovision vs the Olympics
Also joining the debate is “Cleopatra” songwriter Greig Watts. In a comment on wiwibloggs, the UK songwriter compared Eurovision’s cancellation with the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games. He explained,
“Everyone understands that the competition can’t take place in May, no one is arguing that, but the Olympics are postponed and everyone will be allowed to compete again. If this decision stands, these songs are just cast aside, songwriters dreams shattered.”
Jan Bors also addressed this, saying that like Olympians, Eurovision singers will also be allowed to compete again next year. (Though it should be noted that at this stage, the IOC has not confirmed if athletes will need to requalify for next year’s Games.)
Bors wrote that singers can compete again with a new song, saying “That makes sense on so many levels. It is not about disrespect, it is about following what is Eurovision. Always not so old songs, new ones.”
Long-time Eurovision production manager Ola Melzig also replied to Bors’ Facebook post. He wrote:
“Well……. it IS a song contest. It IS the song that competes. Not the artist. And that is simply why this years songs are not allowed to compete next year, since they have all been published now. Sure, it sucks for everyone involved. But as you say, it feels like we have a bit bigger problems to deal with right now. Stay safe!”
And, indeed, Bors ended his post with a call for perspective. He concluded:
“There are much bigger concerns right now than you can’t use the old song again. I am curious if some of them would complain last year if this happens. Who knows. Only what matters now is to stay safe and stay positive (not on Covid pls :))”
Jan Bors served as the Czech Republic’s Head of Delegation from 2016, guiding his country through its Eurovision renaissance. He stepped down as HoD in October last year, but offered supportive words for the acts comepting in the 2020 edition of the Czech national final.
What do you think? Has this conversation gone on for too long? Or are there things still left to be said? If you have more to say, tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.