Y’all, it’s not stopping. The next stage in the ongoing saga of social media back and forth has come from Germany’s Eurovision 2020 act Ben Dolic. He has spoken out against the comments from former Czech HoD Jan Bors, dropping some scorching hot tea in the process.

The saga is getting complicated but we have summarised it below if you need to catch up. Most recently, ex Czech HoD Jan Bors criticised songwriters that are too focused on Eurovision.

Now Germany’s Eurovision 2020 singer Ben Dolic has come out swinging. Dolic was due to sing “Violent Thing” written by the Bulgarian-Austrian songwriter Boris Milanov — who is also involved in the saga. Dolic made a post on his Facebook page, responding to wiwibloggs’ article on Bors’ comments.

I totally disagree with everything that Jan Bors is saying. I personally, like many other artist that I know would love…

Posted by Ben Dolic on Thursday, March 26, 2020

I totally disagree with everything that Jan Bors is saying. I personally, like many other artist that I know would love to perform the current songs on the Eurovision stage! I don’t think the decision of the Reference Group was quite fair. I also remember that Jan Bors called me when we were searching for the right staging concept, saying how much he likes the song and how he would love to do the staging with his team. I guess he would have been talking differently now, if the NDR and Boris gave him the chance 🙂 I personally enjoy working with Boris a lot, as he’s a really professional and talented music producer.

Well… I guess that’s why so many countries want to work with him.

Dolic said he disagreed with Bors’ comments and noted that he didn’t think the EBU’s decision to not allow delegations to reuse their Eurovision 2020 songs was fair.

He also claimed that Bors has contacted him, pitching to do the “Violent Thing” staging. Germany’s singer did not hold back, saying “I guess he would have been talking differently now, if the NDR and Boris gave him the chance.”

Jan Bors bites back

Dolic also left his remarks as a post on Bors’ Facebook post. And this morning, the ex Czech HoD responded.

In the comment, Bors clarified that he had been asked by the German broadcaster to pitch for the “Violent Thing” staging. Among his comments, he also wrote:

“I have nothing against Boris and other songwriters. Like their music kind of, but I don’t like when someone using somebody else or sending kids for self-defence and talking about disrespect when it was the most ridiculous thing to say. Such a violent thing to say and very inappropriate toward the people who are the voice of all delegations and people who bared the responsibility.”

We’re not going to summarise the whole dramatic thing, but you can read it here.

The saga so far

In case you need to catch up, let us summarise the drama so far. It started one week ago when the EBU confirmed that delegations would not be able to reuse their Eurovision 2020 songs at the next edition.

Not everyone was happy with this decision, especially those involved with internally selected songs. Germany’s Thomas Schreiber was among the first to criticise the decision, saying that “huge investments of the 41 participating countries have been destroyed as well as the hopes and dreams of the artists and the Eurovision family.”

Then it was the turn of successful Eurovision songwriter Boris Milanov. He left a comment on a wiwibloggs Facebook post saying that “basically 80% of the songwriters, music producers, labels and publisher are also upset and disappointed” by the decision.

Also chiming in was one of the people behind Azerbaijan’s “Cleopatra”, Greig Watts. In a wiwibloggs comment, he wrote, “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.”

Then former Czech Republic HoD Jan Bors spoke out. He criticised Eurovision-focused songwriters, saying “Some of them [are] comparing songwriters to Olympians. Some of them take reference group decision as completely disrespectful toward songwriters and some more of this nonsense that one could possibly think that it is a songwriter contest.”

Meanwhile, countries around the world continue the fight against Covid-19.

What do you think? Who else would you like to see pipe up in the ongoing saga over 2020 songs? Or are there bigger things to worry about right now? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.

Read more Eurovision news here

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Martin V
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Martin V

I agree. it’s unfair. People have worked hard and put in so much effort into the current songs. To have them cast aside instead of postponed is a really disappointing decision.

James
Guest
James

Postponing would have been a logistical nightmare at this point. Even if it’s gonna satisfy some songrwriters and artists, and probably even you, it wouldn’t be the case for those who have to adjust everything despite the uncertainty, such as hotels, venues, et al.

CagardiB
Guest
CagardiB

I’m obviously against Jan’s comment. I don’t think comparing the esc to the Olympics is fair because you create something for esc, is not your stamina that’s evaluated through a series of competitions. But I also believe every song (even if not my cup of tea) is art and therefore should be preserved. Obviously a song is a piece of art, some more abstract than others, but they don’t have an expiration date, just like a painting has no “best consumed by” date. Is mental to believe a song from 2012 has no impact in the current contest. Let’s take… Read more »

CagardiB
Guest
CagardiB

Also, if the argument is that song would lose momentum, so what? Time will tell, not they (the committee behind this bad decisions). You don’t get to decide what we find relevant or not, not you. If a song isn’t shiny anymore, it doesn’t mean it has lost its luster, but that after polishing it could be greatly revised. That luster is up to the artist and PR, again, not dependant on you.

Denis
Guest
Denis

But isn’t th point of artistry to create new, to be creative, to test your limit, not getting stuck in past? Don’t understand why some ESC artists and fans are striving for that one song, and only that song. Is that what artistry is? These songs are still out there and can be enjoined by everyone. Nothing can take away that from them. If people like them enough they will be big and have a life outside ESC. This way they have more than a year to come up with something maybe even better than what they had in 2020,… Read more »

CagardiB
Guest
CagardiB

I see your point and it’s totally valid, an artist should be able to deliver and not be encapsulated in a certain song, that is what ultimately defines a good composer from a bad one. There’s a catch. That should be a decision the artist should make, not an imposed one, so that’s why I make a distinction this cannot be a tailored thing. The reason why the comment is insulting is because it doesn’t allow the artist to decide, but assume that everyone should be able to deliver something good, even if the OG artist is to represent the… Read more »

SVW
Guest
SVW

Meanwhile, countries around the world continue the fight against Covid-19.

Haha! Maybe that’s a bit more important than this useless fight…

CagardiB
Guest
CagardiB

Oh don’t you dare go that way. Who the hell do you think you are to tell them what they should cover? Is this your creation? No, right! So then, stop pushing your agenda, and weighting what you think is more “relevant”. You don’t deem the relevance of other’s work.

Ela
Guest
Ela

The Ebu’s decision is pathetic. You can’t just tell someone to sing in front of Europe and then suddenly go “nah changed my mind”
They should just let the exact same entries participate next year

James
Guest
James

They would be in a disadvantage against newer entries that sound fresher to listeners’ ears.

Charles
Guest
Charles

None of this bs drama would be trying this centre stage so desperately if these particular entries like Violent Things and the annoying child playground Rihanna-reject Cleopatrrrra weren’t so highly tipped by fans …
The human ego is really fascinating when it comes to the inability to focus on seriously far more important things …
I am still waiting for Mrs Kirkorov-gurl to complaint a thing or two as usual…

Alex
Guest
Alex

The EBU has the option to revert decisions right?

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

all this unnecessary drama…

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

I am getting bored of Eurodrama as well. Every single time it’s the same xD

CagardiB
Guest
CagardiB

Unnecessary? I believe drama is up to the beholder to follow it or not, so judging a media outlet on your own bias is trash. Second, unnecessary? Not, you see when you are selfish you don’t allow to put yourself in the place of a composer. A song isn’t just a work you deliver monthly to satisfy your boss, so saying this is unnecessary is truly an insult. If you would be more empathic you’d know what it takes to write a song, even if the end result isn’t want your wanted or expected to be. So creating a song… Read more »

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

ok

Fresh Prince
Guest
Fresh Prince

Songwriters >>>>>>>>> Heads of delegations / Reference group members

conortje
Guest
conortje

There is no reason why they shouldn’t allow this years songs. It’s incredibly mean spirited in a time when we need just the opposite. Let each country choose. Whyever not? It’s just adding needless negativity into the world.

xohxoh
Guest
xohxoh

EBU should’ve had conversation with fans, artists, composers and broadcasters and only then made decisions, period.

CagardiB
Guest
CagardiB

Agree, this is very one sided, and no consulting group has been called for. This isn’t a dictatorship, and all opinions matter (except for the censorship ones).

Eurofangr
Guest
Eurofangr

This just makes you feel and think as if these artists are not talented. Like dude, ok the odds have you high, but you’ve got the opportunity to show the world that you are a lot more talented than they think. You should think that “if the odds have me this high with this song, then they should see next year’s song” it makes you feel as if those artists’ talent just stops there, as if they cant anything better. And you can downvote me as much as you want, if they think that a song which will be 1… Read more »

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

I think you are fooling yourself if you think the song age will make so much of a difference… Close to all casual viewers at home will hear the songs for the first time and decide who to vote for during eurovision. It has nothing to do with being a one hit wonder. Netta released songs like bassa sababa, and nana banana after her win. Those songs sounded 100% authentic to netta’s style but would they have made the same impact as toy? Definitely not. Songs like repondez moi and on fire have that same winner impact this year. You… Read more »

Dtesc
Guest
Dtesc

Think of Alexander Rybak, from Fairytale to THYWAS. There’s no winning formula since everyone has different music taste. Win or not it’s not matter to most of them (I think so for Ben), the case is that all teams had contributed so much to the songs and they want to perform it on eurovision, regardless of the result. They love their songs so much. Yes it will be one year old but that doesn’t justify why can’t it be used for esc2021. There’s no right or wrong about whether keeping the songs for 2021 when putting the rules aside. Let’s… Read more »

James
Guest
James

Songs have a shell life once they are released, especially if they are the only thing the artist will be promoting. It’s already tough to get people excited for one entry upon release, let alone keep them hyped up for 2-4 months leading to the contest. Now you got an entire year and then face the possibility of bing pitted against newer songs that may sound fresher to listener’s ears.

It’s a lose-lose situation.

JONAS
Guest
JONAS

Totally AGREE with DOLIC. EBU (who is ultimately responsible for the decion despite reference groups and what have it) has made a real dog’s dinner of this – creating discussions, disagreement, upset – when they really should have OPENED UP and shown respect and generosity in every sense!

Teddie
Guest
Teddie

Just stop disrespecting the artists and allow anyone to use their current songs. There must be a choice and it’s the only viable option. EBU’s decision is a PR disaster but it’s not too late to make things right. Hopefully reason prevails.

CagardiB
Guest
CagardiB

I agree, if the EBU decides to pursue this way, I’d call for a sabotage. It isn’t fair to anyone who has been denied the right to perform a song they’ve created.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Sooo my first comment just dissapeared and i don’t understand why? It took quite long to write all that …

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

I’m more worried about avrotros and npo having to organize the contest all over again. This will cost them a lot of extra money, they’ll have to book ahoy for an additonal 6 weeks, will they be able to secure the same interval acts and hosts or do they need to plan those from scratch. Will they get the same permit for eurovillage and everything and then there is always the risk of having the corona virus flare up again…

Denis
Guest
Denis

Think it’s previous obvious it will have to be from scratch..

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Yeah, i think that’s a shame. I just feel like the enthusiasm into the preparations and everything could be a less lot than this year since they’ve put so much effort into everything just to see it get knocked down.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

Buuurn. I like them both. They know how to fire shots. I do have a crystal clear opinion here, though: New year, new songs. However, I also believe the broadcasters could have been given the right to choose. Probably only a few would have opted to keep their entry. Those high in the odds come to mind. Most entries will not age well. I’d be thrilled to get the chance to improve if I didn’t have something incredible this time around.

marrecar
Guest
marrecar

Exactly. There should’ve been an option to choose. Either keep the song or make a new one. And the broadcasters should really be fair, they should ask the chosen artists whether they want to represent next year or not. I find it really disrespectful towards them when they have to participate in a festival/national final again.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

This has to be a time for coming together whilst we are staying apart. Let’s spread love and understanding guys – I really don’t think a September rule is that important in the grand scheme of things – if artists want to return with their songs next year, just let them!

Teddie
Guest
Teddie

Yes. And right now they only make a dire situation even worse with this stupid decision.

Cesar Sampson
Guest
Cesar Sampson

Did Jan Bors really just say “… that’s such a violent thing to say…“ – is this a joke to him? I’m baffled, where are the level-headed grown up people. Let’s talk this through with a bit of class. Because it’s actually an important topic. There are not just creative but also economic realities behind this petition. This is no joking matter.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

it’s relieving to see the majority of eurovision fans are on god’s side. imagine being so rhadamanthine on the ~rules~ in a situation like this. ben is right.

Motzkie
Guest
Motzkie

Why would be an ex-HoD be allowed to do staging? Is he stage designer or what? Many professionals have studied or learned it as dancers, but he workedbas HoD and now he can do staging like Sascha Babtiste or Fokas…? Seriously somebody has a huge ego here.

James
Guest
James

Perhaps he actually has the expertise for him to be considered by a broadcaster to offer staging proposals. Most Eurovision delegation heads are in their positions now because they have the experience of being in the music industry or have done live entertainment, among others.

Ixuxu
Guest
Ixuxu

He staged Czech republic’s entries in 2018 and 2019.

Tom
Guest
Tom

And in 2017

Motzkie
Guest
Motzkie

Doesn’t have EBU a Backup plan? Many things could have happened terrorists attack, artists get ill or die before contest, Enschende in the Netherlands 2000, war like in 1990s… don’t they have backup plans?

Noah
Guest
Noah

Germany pls choose Ben for 2021

First row at ESC & JESC
Guest
First row at ESC & JESC

Noah – for me Ben get’s a “YES” – because I like him and he is such a smart singer. I want to see him perform for Germany or Slovenia in 2021.

Alex
Guest
Alex

This situation is so complicated as all countries/artists/songs are in different positions.
Some of them for being favourites in 2020 or having a high bar. You never know if you can come up with something better or genuine again or whatever. But 14 months is a lot. Maybe it’s time to move on even tho I have a weird feeling for 2021 and that 2020’s shadow might not be good for the songs and the contest and everything. I have a lot of mixed feeling

First row at ESC & JESC
Guest
First row at ESC & JESC

Alex – the EBU should let the countries decide if they want to send the same song / artist for 2021. There are countries with “not so good songs” – these countries could bring better songs for 2021 …..so we would maybe have a contest in 2021 with only amazing songs.

Esc1234
Guest
Esc1234

Indeed, if Dotter was selected you would be the angry one Rasmus

Robert
Guest
Robert

In these strange times, I think broadcasters, performers should at least be able to make the decision themselves.. I do get the EBU but some countries finally found the right groove, if they want to present the same song a year later than let them.. Up to the countries and all involved.. If not bring on another National final or artist..

Can’t imagine this happening last year with a Dutch song finally being a favorite, I would be devastated.. As I imagine fans and artists from Iceland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Switzerland and so on are now..

Anna
Guest
Anna

Ben puts the PERIOD there I guess after the disclosure of his hypocrisy I guess Jan should stop trashing everywhere now

Xoxoxo
Guest
Xoxoxo

Czechs are problematic. They have their own opinions, they will tell you only their thruth and they will never respect your opinions. My personal experience.

Malmklang
Guest
Malmklang

You couldn’t be a little more generalizing?

The Roop is On Fire
Guest
The Roop is On Fire

Maybe you are the actual problem in the first place

Aviap
Guest
Aviap

It is true, though. Look at all the useless drama with their country name.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Gosh get a life

Denis
Guest
Denis

Ben might b saying that now but will he still say it in May 2021? Don’t get this attitude with some ESC acts and fans who wants the artist to just be defined with that one ESC song most people outside ESC bubble has forgotten, and they want to sing only that song. Artistry is about being creative, trying new things, testing yourself.
Ben, other artist and fans should realise this is opportunity to create new songs and sounds instead of clinging on the that 2020 song

TiredAF
Guest
TiredAF

Do you really think that Germany will choose him again as their act for 2021? I doubt it, because they choose the whole package (artist + song). Do you realize that maybe Ben will never have the opportunity to perform at the Eurovision stage? Please try to put yourself in his position and maybe you’ll understand.

Duncan
Guest

So? He’s already got far more exposure then he would get on his own. Of course it’s unfortunate but it’s not like he’s owed anything.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Is appearing on ESC stage the only thing that matters for these artists? Is that what their career is all about, to have that one song they return to?
Ben already has exposure and people will hear his song. He can use this time to create something better than Violent Thing, something that might reach beyond ESC

Meh
Guest
Meh

Of course Ben Dolic is saying he agrees with Boris Milanov, who was making “Violent Thing” with his own team. Ben didn’t do anything than sang it

Hi243
Guest
Hi243

It’s a difficult situation. On one hand, some artist / songwriters have put forward a song they’ve worked on for months or even years, expecting to present it on the biggest music stage in the world. Yes, it still exists without ESC, but it can be quit a disappointment if that moment is taken away from you. On the other hand, I also understand the decision to require new songs. I mean, what would happen if the same songs were allowed, and some of the countries decided to run ads all year long to promote the song? This would present… Read more »

Polliu
Guest
Polliu

Both sides have their own reasonable reasons if you’re in their shoes. If I were Ben, I would be upset as well judging from the effort put on the song and the performance.

Ada
Guest
Ada

Of course it’s a songwriters’ competition at the end of the day. Even if the artists are the ones who get feted, it’s a *song* contest. The song is the most important thing in all of this.

Timi
Guest
Timi

T H I S !

Hellohi
Guest
Hellohi

Any singer songwriter involved in this year has the perfect opportunity right now to come back stronger next year .. I hope that the 2021 selection is much stronger than 2020, it wouldn’t be too hard as the selection this year is mediocre

Sanscemo
Guest
Sanscemo

Obviously the kids are defending their dad, nothing weird. I think that insisting on songs that will be outdated next year defines more them who continue to support this thesis and not who is against it. Singers, we can say artists in general, always want and need to create new things, there’s a fire that does not go out, there is always the desire to improve and create new projects. Then we have some Eurovision acts, who on the other hand, are always striving for a single song. And they want to sing just that one. It’s clear that most… Read more »

Esc1234
Guest
Esc1234

Jan Bors has left the chat. Ben is so right, if he got the staging he would be furious

Malo
Guest
Malo

Cause it would be impossible to get the staging next year right?

James
Guest
James

Ben Dolic may be wanting to still perform “Violent Thing” now on the Eurovision stage in 2021 but let’s see if he is still up to it a year later.

Hellohi
Guest
Hellohi

Some sense finally .. these artists should want to release new material and now this gives them extra time to work on stronger entries for next year …
I don’t understand how many of you on here can’t see this..

Sale
Guest
Sale

The way The Refrence group treated the artist, songs and music in general is quite disrespectful and I guess worthy for many people to stop watchin ESC unforunately..

Hellohi
Guest
Hellohi

How so .. it’s a competition .. this is the selection for 2020 .. wether the 2020 contest takes places or not … honestly are people soo delicate ..

If the contest takes place in 2021 it’s viewing figures won’t be affected by this .. the majority of people in many countries would have no clue or remember who their entry was from 2020

James
Guest
James

What would you do when you are facing a pandemic threatening thousands of lives? What choice would you have make that would satisfy everyone, from the host broadcaster to all the artists, songwriters, and everyone else? If it were to postpone within the year, what is the guarantee that the situation would have been resolved by then? If it were set-up in their respective countries’s broadcast studios, how would you make it an even playing field if some broadcasters don’t have the same technical capabilities as their peers? If the option of keeping the songs for the following contest is… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Exactly, the point about the local music industry is key. Melodifestivalen defines the charts in Sweden every year, Eesti Laul has become a central part of the Estonian broadcaster’s yearly schedule (the tickets go on sale like a year in advance). The national selections are as part of eurovision as the final itself.

Eurovisionfan12
Guest
Eurovisionfan12

Also the viewing figures of some national finals like Melfest have even higher ratings than Eurovision itself. It would be a huge hit for broadcasters if some of the national selections are cancelled/undergo big format changes just to cater the “inhumanity of music”.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’ve said this before, but the world is going to be a very different place in 14 months. The sort of songs that were a good fit when being selected in late 2019-early 2020 could feel really out of place in a post-corona 2021. Another thing about national finals – some broadcasters have mandates to produce a certain amount of local content that might have language or cultural requirements. So even if a country scraps its NF for one year (or switches to a NF that only chooses the song) the broadcaster would still need to produce some sort of… Read more »

Esc1234
Guest
Esc1234

Give them the chance to choose then. The power of choice is a democratic right 🙂

James
Guest
James

They did. Broadcasters were given the go signal to either keep or scrap their artists.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Really? People will stop watching eurovision? The vast majority of the audience won’t have a clue about any of this drama come May 2021. I’ll tell you what, though. If the reference group had gone the other way, I bet anything we would all be moaning that the selections for 2021 were cancelled, that we had no new Eurovision material for over a year, that we were waiting over a year for a competition that (let’s face it) we can all pretty much guess the potential winners of already. Do you really want ALL of these songs to be hanging… Read more »

Lawrence Gibb
Guest
Lawrence Gibb

Totally agree.

Eurovisionfan12
Guest
Eurovisionfan12

In the end I’m sure you, the fans or even locals would still keep watching Eurovision 2021 2022 2023 and so on even without keeping the songs this year for the next. Keep complaining, that’s the spirit 🙂

Aviap
Guest
Aviap

Rules also said that Australia could not join ESC before 2015, yet the rules were changed.

James
Guest
James

Australia takes part on an invitation-basis only, courtesy of their association membership and history of broadcasting the contest for over 30 years.

Aviap
Guest
Aviap

Sure but the rules were altered in order to let them in as “special guest”. That means that rules CAN be changed whenever necessary.

James
Guest
James

It was never altered. Australia still has to wait every year to be invited. Right now, that invitation has been extended to several years and subject to renewal if the interest is still there by then from both parties. There was no fundamental change to the rules.

The EBU did the same in the case of Kazakhstan for JESC recently, and Canada forEurovision Young Dancers more than 3 decades ago. Both countries have associate membership so their participation became possible because of similar gestures done at the discretion of the EBU.

Aviap
Guest
Aviap

Prior to 2015, only OFFICIAL members could enter, never associated members. It was unthinkable for such a thing to happen, even to the EBU. I remember Stockselius saying it was a nonsense for Australia to join in 2009 or 2010. Why has it changed then? Because people in charge decided it can happen, therefore, changes were made. Basic stuff.

James
Guest
James

The EBU has precedence as they have had associate EBU member before more than 30 years ago. Now that issue regarding participating is different from what we have because of one thing: COVID-19. With so many events scheduled in the next few months canceled, including ESC, what other option would have been viable for the EBU that would make all stakeholders happy? Allowing broadcaster the option to keep their artists sounds fair enough. With the songs, it’s much more complicated as they would have by then be published as part of the official album still slated for this year. Keeping… Read more »