"Nobody but You": Unser Song für den Eurovision Song Contest / ?Nobody but You?: Austria?s song for the Eurovision Song Contest
Austria, Cesár Sampson, 3

On March 20, the EBU confirmed that the Eurovision 2020 songs can NOT be held over until the next edition of the song contest.

The Eurovision Reference Group decided that “in accordance with the Rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, this year’s songs will not be eligible to compete when the Contest returns in 2021.”

This news was disappointing to some broadcasters and artists who had hoped to carry over their 2020 entries for the next edition. After all, they had made significant investments into their production, songwriting camps, music videos, staging ideas and more.

Bulgaria’s Eurovision 2020 singer VICTORIA had earlier written on Instagram, “we, the 2020 #Eurovision artists, should be allowed to perform our songs in 2021.” Following the official decision from the EBU, VICTORIA quoted from the song, writing “In time my wound will be a scar”.

Cesar Sampson says exclusion of Eurovision 2020 songs was a “thoughtless” decision

Well now Cesar Sampson — a member of the esteemed songwriting collective The Symphonix — has issued a statement on the matter. Cesar, who wrote Malta’s Eurovision 2020 entry and who famously won the jury vote as a competitor in 2018, didn’t mince his words. He most definitely disapproves. He, along with Austrian, Bulgarian, German, English, Lithuanian and Swiss songwriters, are joining forces to express their dismay with the EBU’s decision.

In a statement on his Facebook page, he wrote:

“Not letting the delegations & artists choose which song they are going to send to ESC2021 was in my opinion a poor decision on behalf of the EBU, a rather thoughtless and careless one.”

“The way this was announced so swiftly and over the heads of so many people involved, shows how we are all still rattled by recent events and the crisis we are in. On every level administrations are only trying to react fast, to present solutions, in an effort to self-stabilise. But all too often this brings a whole other set of problems with it, namely when entire groups of people are being overlooked in the process. And in a format that calls itself “Songcontest”, that was built on the songs and their creators, but nowadays hastily hands out songwriter-awards backstage, it is not surprising that it’s the creatives that will suffer now.”

“Because make no mistake, this is about economic survival just as much as it is about creative freedom. The teams behind each ESC2020 song conceded a large share of their rights to the EBU, the trade-off was supposed to be the international exposure & marketing that Eurovision provides.”

“True, it is not the EBU’s fault they cannot keep their end of the agreement this year. But it will be the EBU’s fault if they deny those songs the chance of a second life in 2021.”

“At this point only a very small percentage of the European viewers/listeners have even heard the songs that would have been performed at ESC2020. It is not too late — let delegations decide how they want to move forward in 2021.”

“The songs that were particularly strong this year will be just as strong next year, and the countries that could have done better will get the chance to do so – and we all win.”

Cesar Sampson
Artist, Songwriter

Borislav Milanov says the decision disrespects songwriters

Borislav Milanov has given Wiwibloggs an extensive interview on the matter, and he reads many of the comments from his colleagues in our interview. Boris believes that — given the unprecedented situation — countries should have the option to reuse their Eurovision 2020 songs. He discusses what that might look like for him. He also discusses the decision-making process at the EBU Reference Group and wonders why delegations weren’t consulted.

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Fatima
Fatima
6 months ago

I agree with Samson. I think we all want to see who would have won from the class of 2020. Now we’ll never know and the songs are consigned to oblivion. After 51 years of watching the contest, my interest is evaporating.

John
John
6 months ago

He is right. A terrible decision and completely unrelated to the virus. Whether songs carryover is irrelavant to the situation. It was in their hands and they followed the money.

Now broadcasters gets to do their cash-cow selection shows again and the artists lose out. Disgusting.

You can’t be fans and argue the contest has artistic merit unless you also accept that 2020 had its own unique artistic consciousness. It existed, as every show does, as an artistic moment. The moment is lost forever now. How cruel for them.

Veta
Veta
6 months ago
Reply to  John

Couldn’t be said better!

Matt
Matt
6 months ago

I know there’s a saying you can’t please everyone. But you try to please as many as possible. And the best way of doing so is to give countries the option to do so. That way those who are in favour and those who aren’t could be made happy. And Borislav came up with some great ideas in the Wiwibloggs interview that could prevent the songs being carried over having a commercial advantage. This is a man who has thought through all the potential consequences and ramifications of carrying over the songs and how they can be combated, unlike the… Read more »

Veta
Veta
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Wait.. what?? The decision was made without the delegations??? It’s outrageous. I thought The Reference Group discussed it together with the heads of delegations and reached this “compromise”, bcs some delegations didn’t want to keep the songs so the rest had to agree to give up on theirs.
At least that’s what was written in an official statement immediately after the cancellation: “This is to be discussed with the Reference Group AND THE PARTICIPATING BROADCASTERS and a decision will be communicated later.”

EmmelieDarlineFrancescoFan
EmmelieDarlineFrancescoFan
6 months ago

Agree with everything he says!

leopard
leopard
6 months ago

Oh my god, get over it finally. We’ll have new artists next year so it’s nonsense to have new and old song.

It’s cancelled due to virus epidemy, it’s not that they cancelled it for fun. Get over it. Life is not always fair.
And what’s funny, almost no one is complaining and everyone understand decision… besides few countries and somehow, they’re all linked to Milanov.

After all, these artists have their career aside ESC. No one will steal their songs, they’re still there as a part of their careers… they just won’t perform it on ESC.

Reverb
Reverb
6 months ago

Ok I absolutely agree with Cesar but please let it die already. Its over. It is frustrating and painful as it is! Everyone should just move on. It is a long time since May 2021 to spend in this divisive and overall aggressive tone.

Mark
Mark
6 months ago
Reply to  Reverb

I don’t think Cesar even thought about how the EBU Headquarters had an outbreak of CoronaVirus. These people who cancelled the show were themselves directly effected by the Pandemic. I’m sure they have little time for song writers who have been in the contest before, might I add, complaining that they haven’t had their 100th song sung at Eurovision.

Tom Clift
Tom Clift
6 months ago

I understand how horrible it is for the artists to not show off their work this year, but let’s face it, having no preselection season next year and lots of songs that would be over a year old would make for a less exciting contest. And I’m pretty sure more people would complain about that.

1998
1998
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom Clift

I started to believe that most of the ESC fans are totally delusional.

Tom Clift
Tom Clift
6 months ago
Reply to  1998

right! in my eyes it just doesn’t make logistical sense to have this years entries compete next year.

1998
1998
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom Clift

It’s completely nonsensical and stupid. Also most of the ESC fans are starting to go on my nerves now because of this.

1998
1998
6 months ago

For God’s sake stop complaining about 2020 songs being dumped. For 2021 there will be completely new songs, accept it and that’s just the way it is.

Mark
Mark
6 months ago
Reply to  1998

All these people complaining didn’t even consider how the EBU Headquarters was ground at the centre of a Corona Virus outbreak. They have no sympathy for the people who were directly effected by the Pandemic . I’m sure that experience was a great influence on their decision.

Polliu
Polliu
6 months ago

Yawn…People are pissed ‘cuz they’re the composers this year. If they were not, don’t think they would say anything to support others.

Sal
Sal
6 months ago
Reply to  Polliu

Uhhh, obviously??? I don’t see any non-2020 artists saying anything on the matter for the same reason.

1998
1998
6 months ago
Reply to  Sal

Most of the 2020 planned artists say that they are just dissapointed with the desicion for the contest to be cancelled. Nothing else.

Veta
Veta
6 months ago
Reply to  Polliu

This guy Cesar calls himself “advocate for musicians’ rights” for a long time already so no, I’m pretty sure he would say smth even if he wasn’t involved.
P.S.: Strangely enough, elsewhere I saw somebody who thought Cesar isn’t involved this year, using this as contra-argument to his statement, like “who daf even asked u, it isn’t affecting u personally so why do u speak?”.
So guys, decide already the problem is that he has personal interest or that he doesn’t have one.

Mark
Mark
6 months ago
Reply to  Veta

Either way, he’s done Eurovision before. He’s just coming across as greedy now.

Africavision
Africavision
6 months ago

I’m going to be brutally honest, and this is just my opinion, so don’t take it personally (don’t be offended, don’t mind my mood… Lol). I am actually really glad that the 2020 songs aren’t returning in 2021. It’s just the 1st of April, and I am still listening to only 3 of the 41 songs from this year (i.e., the songs from Latvia, Sweden, and Switzerland). For me, the majority of the songs selected this year were extremely underwhelming, disposable, and dire, especially in comparison to previous years. This is the first Eurovision Song Contest that I’ve followed were… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
6 months ago
Reply to  Africavision

Yes please.

Tom Clift
Tom Clift
6 months ago
Reply to  Africavision

You are so right! I started following in 2006 and if any year was going to be cancelled since then, I would’ve picked this year to be honest.

Malo
Malo
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom Clift

@Tom Clift
I would have picked 2011. Hate that year.

Marionette
Marionette
6 months ago
Reply to  Africavision

I agree with your general notion but not on the 3 songs lol. I am thirsting for Bulgaria, Georgia, France and Russia. The rest, bye!

Lulu
6 months ago

Yes totally agree. I think it would be up to the national broadcaster and artists to decide. I think the EBU should rethink about this situation again

JONAS
JONAS
6 months ago

I’ve said it before – and will say it again. I totally AGREE. Talk about OPENING UP? What kind of opening up did EBU have in mind? The handling of the 2020/2021 entries has been a total disgrace!

Kim
Kim
6 months ago

Although I hate to say it, we need to understand that a decision has been made and we need to move on. It doesn’t matter how many times we complain, the decision is not going to be reversed. 2020 has started and so far it has been a horrific year. Let’s concentrate our efforts and energy to a great contest in 2021.

Teddie
Teddie
6 months ago
Reply to  Kim

History shows that public backlash is what makes decisions turn around. That’s why those who are against it should voice their disagreement over and over again. Nothing good ever came out of behaving like a helpless and conforming slug.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  Teddie

An actual backlash would be people going to EBU HQ in Switzerland with matching pitch forks and torches.

Whisker
Whisker
6 months ago
Reply to  Teddie

Public backlash for THIS? FFS, let’s see such reactions to wars, social injustice, violence, etc. Writers, write another song.

Teddie
Teddie
6 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

Oh, Mr. Whatabout, we’ve been expecting you

Matt
Matt
6 months ago
Reply to  Teddie

And Borislav is heading a backstage movement not just to get the decision overturned, but also for songwriters to have more of a say in future decisions and already a lot of songwriters outside people connected to him are agreeing.

Deuxmilles
Deuxmilles
6 months ago

I think that the decision to have people sing a new song is only fair. Artists evolve within a year and I’m pretty sure that many artists wouldn’t want to sing a song that’s already outdated. I feel like they should feel lucky enough to have gotten the exposure that they already got from Eurovision and not complain all the time. I’m so sick of everyone complaining about this situation. And I feel like songwriters are a bit too much the point of attention nowadays. For me it’s about the artist and THEIR song.

TD303
TD303
6 months ago
Reply to  Deuxmilles

The problem is that in most of the cases, it’s not the artists’s song but the one from the songwriters. There’s no attention going to the songwriters, what are you even saying? Like Borislav said, songwriters literally only get a quick award backstage fifteen minutes before the live broadcast of the final (cfr. Marcel Bezençon Awards). In the presentation banner right before the performance, their names are in a smaller font than the name of the song and the artist. Although I don’t want to go back to the times before the 1990s where songwriters got all of the attention,… Read more »

Timi
Timi
6 months ago

When this horrendous virus disappears, EBU will be able to think again. And when that time comes (soon I hope, but for the virus, not for ESC), they need to consider what lots of people are telling them.

Absolutely agree with Cesar.

Haute Galore
Haute Galore
6 months ago

Well, finally someone with common sense.

Donkey
Donkey
6 months ago

Woah chill out people he’s probably just new no need to bash him for it. He is the Austrian representative of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 and came 3rd with the song Ain’t nobody but you.

Mark
Mark
6 months ago

He’s one of those people who have no gratitude for the people who gave him his success.

Mark
Mark
6 months ago

What privileged! People are losing their jobs, failing to pay rent and mortgage, Hungary has become a dictatorship, people are getting sick and dying. And this is what Cesar chooses to put his energy into. Give me a break.

It’s a privilege to participate in Eurovision, not a right. No one owns you anything, especially not the EBU. Some of these Artists need to see some perspective.

It’s going to be a long year if the music industry people keep acting in this selfish manner.

Lily
Lily
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark

You sound just like dictator btw.

Mark
Mark
6 months ago
Reply to  Lily

Thank you.

The Roop is On Fire
The Roop is On Fire
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark

What whataboutism!

Nudiecrudi
Nudiecrudi
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Totally agree.
Are those so called song writers such talented?
Please enlight us with new songs.
So the various Cesar, Borislav would have the possibility to generate generic songs again.
Si for Cesar was right to present the Albanian song selected n 2019 and sang in 2021?????
Such a nonsense

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark

What a straw argument. I can use this in like every situation where people aren’t happy for a legitimate reason and name something a lot worse happening in some other third world country.

Mark
Mark
6 months ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

But it’s not happening in a Third World Country. I’m pretty sure it’s happening in his own hometown.

Alex
Alex
6 months ago

Have you been living under a rock?

Audrey Chienne
Audrey Chienne
6 months ago

It’s a pity the song submission deadline came days earlier than the cancellation of ESC. Now the EBU owns the songs for nothing. 🙁

Tom
Tom
6 months ago

His statement is very well thought out and worded. Respect to him

Mark
Mark
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Yes, but nothing in there about the people dying. No thoughts given to the reason why the contest was cancelled. He’s only thinking of himself.

Tom
Tom
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark

People havent just started dying in the last month. People have been dying all around the world from preventable causes since time began. With your logic, nobody could ever complain about anything ever again, as there is always someone worse off in the world.

The Roop is On Fire
The Roop is On Fire
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Ok Mark but can you find what’s really wrong with Cesar’s statements other than resorting to whataboutism? Because you haven’t pointed it based on your reply.

Marionette
Marionette
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom

I hope you retire from this forum asap

Kredential
Kredential
6 months ago

The decision was made because although ESC is a cultural festival about music, at the end of the day it is a business too. Keeping the songs would mean less revenue – fewer national selections as they serve no purpose would generate lesser interest in these countries. Year old songs that are currently hits at the moment would not be cared about a year from now and would not generate the same streaming stats/CD sales/purchases as usual. All the coverage the acts have already received this year would translate to less coverage next year, all which results in less interest… Read more »

Veta
Veta
6 months ago

Totally expected from someone like him. Keep in mind that he also advocates for no music in the future to be left for free, that everybody will must pay to hear music, exactly because of the same reason (artists’ and songwriters’ hard work and money they invested to make music). Personally, I think this topic is debatable, but I understand the reasons behind this position, so regarding EBU’s decision I completely agree with him.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
6 months ago

My joke got filtered. Typical.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
6 months ago

I just travelled to the future.
The winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will be…
Happy April Fools. 😛

Donkey
Donkey
6 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Aha ha h….

Fernando
Fernando
6 months ago

I Totally agree with César, I copy and paste! There were strong comments about the songs being “too old”if used again in 2021. However, it’ll be for us Eurofans who run to youtube everytime a country announces its entry. For most of the audience in the 3 shows (80% of the public vote), they only get to know the songs through the performances on stage. I bet you there are still a grand ammount of people who didn’t listen to the songs this year. Also, it is clear that the Reference group decision benefits the countries who hosts NF annualy… Read more »

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
6 months ago

I can’t imagine that they put much thought and care into ‘All of my Love’, either. It would not magically become a good song in May 2021. Get someone else, Malta, for your own good and success.

Jo.
Jo.
6 months ago

networking

Andreu
Andreu
6 months ago

I understand what people are commenting about National Finals still being held regardless of decision. But I wouldn’t be too sure about that because Norway waited until EBU said they could not reuse songs to say they would keep NF. And their remarks made it seems that they would have kept Attention if EBU would have allowed them to keep it. So I wouldn’t say every country would still keep NF because I actually think that wouldn’t entirely be the case. In the case of ESC community getting bored of the same songs if reuse, remember that our community makes… Read more »

Robbert
Robbert
6 months ago
Reply to  Andreu

Could you make a short resume of your story?

Ethan1994
Ethan1994
6 months ago

I disagree. I think it would have been thoughtless and careless to just carry the 2020 songs over to 2021. Mainly because lots of countries have national finals which are just as big a part of the Eurovision culture as the actual contest itself, and many broadcasters would be unwilling to give those up, even for just one year. Living in Norway, when everyone initially started asking about potential carryovers to next year’s show, the first thing I thought was, “well if they keep all the songs for next year, what happens to next year’s Melodi Grand Prix, then? In… Read more »

Joshua
Joshua
6 months ago
Reply to  Ethan1994

Wow, so there’s still people with some brains. I’ve only seen crybabies so far that don’t realise how unwise would have been to carry all the songs over… It’s unfair for songwriters, sure, but in the end, as you say, it wasn’t an easy decision and it just wasn’t possible to please everyone.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  Ethan1994

As much as it sucks for songwriters like Boris, this seems like the fairest way to go since this decision also takes into account songwriters who still want to represent their country via national selections.

Serafina
Serafina
6 months ago

A lot of these countries don’t even want to keep the same artists so… Even if EBU had permited them to use the same songs, I’m pretty sure some wouldn’t want to, and then, by 2021, it’d be kinda unfair for the old songs to compete against the new songs, as much as we like this year’s songs now, there’s a whole year for us to listen to them over and over again, we’ll grow tired of them.

Joe
Joe
6 months ago
Reply to  Serafina

Exactly! Even before they were confirmed to be returning or the EBU had disallowed old songs from competing, Hooverphonic were already saying that they’d prefer to send a new song if they came back. It would’ve been weird if they sent a new song and other countries kept their old ones.

Joe
Joe
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe

(It also might’ve been an unfair advantage for the old songs. Would they just not be allowed to revamp them anymore? And if a song was switched out completely, wouldn’t that imply a lack of faith in the artist?)

Mark
Mark
6 months ago
Reply to  Serafina

No to mention the possibility for countries like Hungary and Montenegro returning in 2021.

1998
1998
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark

This is like actually Bulgaria and Ukraine didn’t return and Hungary and Montenegro didn’t withdrew. Because basically, all 41 countries “forcefully withdrawn”.

1998
1998
6 months ago
Reply to  Serafina

You are completely right.

Joe
Joe
6 months ago

You notice that it’s pretty much entirely Symphonix or Symphonix-aligned artists and songwriters who’ve expressed the most vocal dissatisfaction with this decision? Just me?

tiktak
tiktak
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe

yeah its just financially for them…

Joe
Joe
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I mean, yeah, I wish we could see some of these songs on the big Eurovision stage. Yeah, I feel sorry for the artists who either have been denied or delayed their big chance, and for those sticking around who now have to come up with something new. None of this is fun. But it’s also unprecedented. The EBU has never had to deal with something like this before, and god willing they never will again. It’s one thing if this happens to one or two songs, which seems to happen almost every year. It’s another if it affects all… Read more »

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Tbh i think there is a really simple solution to statisfy everybody: give the broadcasters free choice in what to do.

Koen
Koen
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Thank you, Joe. Finally some sense! I’m a big fan of some songs that now will never be featured on the Eurovison stage, that’s a pity. But it’s the only right decision when you take into account all the stakeholders.