When the EBU announced that Eurovision 2020 would be cancelled, it felt like a dark, gloomy storm cloud had drifted over the Eurovision fandom. But every cloud has a silver lining, and as the Eurovision 2020 season continued, we came to realise that there was plenty to enjoy about the season. Here are 11 reasons why the Eurovision 2020 season wasn’t so bad after all.

1. The national selections slayed

2020 really was an exceptional year for national selections. This year we saw multiple countries showcasing more of their talented Eurovision hopefuls, with Armenia, Poland and San Marino all reverting back from previous internal selections, and Israel and Norway extending their previous national finals. Such was the overall quality that some outstanding acts didn’t even make it to Eurovision, including fan favourites like Elvana Gjata, Erika Vikman, Raylee and Dotter – many of which we expect to return for vengeance in the years to come.

2. Daði Freyr’s UK chart success

Going into Eurovision 2020, Daði og Gagnamagnið’s song “Think About Things” seemed like Iceland’s great hope to finally take home the crystal microphone. But while that could never be a possibility in 2020, the cancellation of Eurovision 2020 certainly wasn’t the end of the road for the song. “Think About Things” went on to be a bona fide hit in the UK, spending nine weeks in the chart, peaking at No.34. The popularity of the song has been enough to warrant a UK tour for Daði in April 2021.

3. The Eurovision movie gave us something to obsess over

Even in a regular year, things are pretty quiet over the summer. Thankfully this year, we had something to keep us occupied — the Netflix movie, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. The film was the work of the American comedian Will Ferrell — a self-confessed Eurovision fan. He had spent years researching Eurovision and the end result was a film that captured the essence of Eurovision, as well as making audiences laugh and cry. It also came with plenty of Easter eggs for fans, from that hamster wheel to a cameo from our own William. And a bonus is the film soundtrack, full of songs that could easily work at real Eurovision entries. PLAY JAJA DING DONG!

4. National final veterans were finally selected

2020 was a year where perseverance paid off for many artists. Lithuania’s The Roop, Iceland’s Daði Freyr, Georgia’s Tornike Kipiani and Italy’s Diodato all won their respective national selections on their second attempt, as did Estonia’s Uku Suviste on his third. Then there’s Azerbaijan’s Efendi who was selected on her fifth attempt, and Samanta Tīna who finally won her ticket to Eurovision after a whopping seven attempts for both Latvia and Lithuania. Now that is what you call dedication!

5. We had something to dance to

Some of the most loved songs of 2020 came complete with memorable dance routines. The Roop, Little Big, Daði og Gagnamagnið, Samanta Tīna and VAL all introduced their songs with simple dance-along moves. Daði Freyr’s “Think About Things” even inspired its own choreography, with fans using the song as the soundtrack for their quirky TikTok videos.

6. Some 2020 artists were given another shot

The 2020 national final season introduced us to a lot of compelling new artists that we were looking forward to seeing perform live. But while Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, for a lot of these artists their Eurovision dream hasn’t ended. Some broadcasters have given their acts a return ticket to Rotterdam, ensuring they’ll have another chance to slay on the Eurovision stage.

7. American Song Contest announcement

All going well, we’ll be getting another song contest next year. After much speculation, the producers of the American Song Contest announced that the show was due to launch sometime in the holiday season of 2021. While a broadcaster hasn’t been confirmed, the show will reportedly use a similar format to Eurovision. In the meantime, it’s given fans plenty to speculate about.

8. Eurovision stars treated us to at-home performances

In the spring, many countries used some form of lockdown in order to keep Covid-19 under control. So while it meant that artists couldn’t perform gigs at live venues, they could still deliver performances from home. The EBU organised the weekly Eurovision Home Concerts series, and even the Wiwi Jam stayed at home. Many Eurovision stars generously contributed performances and let fans enjoy the Wiwi Jam magic from their sofas. A shout-out also to the #EurovisionAgain team — letting fans experience classic Eurovision editions while tweeting along at home.

9. Little Big smashed a YouTube record

The music video for Little Big’s Eurovision entry “Uno” was released only a few days before the EBU announced that Eurovision 2020 would be cancelled. But there was something about the video that captivated viewers, perhaps the alluring retro flared-jumpsuit dance moves. The video went on to clock up over 147 million views, making it the most viewed video on the official Eurovision account.

10. The year of the underdogs

At the time of cancellation, the top three favourites to win were Bulgaria, Lithuania and Iceland – none of which have ever won the contest. It was both heartwarming and exciting to see the hype surrounding these acts in their proud native countries, as well as in the international media. And now that the underdogs have had a whiff of victory, they are sure to come back fighting even harder in 2021.

11. Eurovision united us in times of serious need

When dark events struck the world, for many of us, stuck at home with minimal human contact, music was one of our only escapes. During lockdown in an Italy devastated by coronavirus, households gathered on their balcony to sing their Eurovision entry “Fai Rumore” in solidarity. In a year where age-old struggles with racism were brought to light in the Black Lives Matter movement, we had a record seven out of 41 countries represented by black artists, displaying a message of visibility and inclusion to Europe. In a time of international crisis and mass grief, Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light brought together not only all 2020 acts, but households from all over Europe, giving us some much needed Eurovision spirit but in a sensitive and touching way.

The 2020 Eurovision season may not have lived up to our hopes. In fact, it may not have even come close to it. However, we’ve still had some nail-biting thrills, got to know many wonderful new artists, and heard some jolly good music. The Eurovision community is now closer than ever before, and the things we have learnt this challenging year can only make us, and the contest, stronger and stronger. Now, let’s raise a glass to the class of 2020!

And let the season of Eurovision 2021… begin!

What were your favourite moments of the 2020 season? Share your thoughts below!

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Stian F
Stian F
3 months ago

I will agree on: #1: Yes NF season was great and many countries had one of their best finals ever including Norway, Finland, Denmark, Albania, Italy and Israel. #2: It is always amazing when acts enjoy chart success. So happy for Iceland and Dadi Freyr this year. #4: It is amazing that so many finally got the chance to represent their country… But even so much worse that the contest was cancelled. So happy most get the chance to return next year at least. #5: 2020 definitely is the year with the most memorable dance routines ever. The live show… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Stian F
ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
3 months ago

Hopefully we get some new Eurovision 2021 news soon! (Announcement of a new artist would be fantastic for example!)

Esc addict
Esc addict
3 months ago

Ok good article but very excluding for the non mentionned countries here, Germany Ukraine Spain Croatia France Uk exist too for example, not only the fan favorites or the bookmakers favorites.The eurovision 2020 was not so bad after all because 41 COUNTRIES was on the point to compete with so much diversity.

Last edited 3 months ago by Esc addict
Joe
Joe
3 months ago

It was sad to see a year come and go with no contest to show for it, but I think it made us fans more united than ever. I’ll never not be at least a little sad that “On Fire” never got its moment of glory onstage in Rotterdam, but it’ll always live on in my heart.

Chris
Chris
3 months ago

I think the best part was the underdogs. So sad for Lithuania they would have been a great winner! Oh well maybe next year?

Leo
Leo
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris

I don’t think it would have won, but I think it would have equaled or just about bettered We Are The winners’ best for the country. I think it would have been 2nd to Iceland for many who vote for lithuania but it is still one of their best, and its result would have reflected that.

Carlos Deus
Carlos Deus
3 months ago

Every time I watch Diodato”s performance at Verona Arena I get the chills and this is, for me the image that will stay of ESC 2020 – a great song, a great artist and a message to remember us thar, even in the darkest moments music and songs can get us through!! A great ESC 2021 season for everyone!!

Una
Una
3 months ago

Just to add to Edd’s list, in my opinion of course: (12). Furry friends – dogs – featured in different videos: Aksel and his dog, Senhit with Buddy, Kateryna (Go_A) with her dog, Katrina with her dog. We would not got to see them if Eurovision took place as before. (13). Unlike previous years with the standard media tour, this season we got to know most of artists from their homes under more relaxed circumstances albeit the sadness because of the situation. It felt more close and relaxed like kind of getting to know the person and not the artist… Read more »

eef
eef
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

Not that there wouldn’t be no animal content – there’d be plenty if you followed the artists on social media 😉

Thanos
Thanos
3 months ago

Maybe 2020 didn’t go as we all expected in many ways, but as far as Eurovision is concerned we got to know new artists and hear new songs. It’s sad we will never find out who would have won (my best guess would be Switzerland) but at least we had Europe Shine A Light and we bonded as a community even more. Happy Eurovision 2021 Season everyone!!!

Leo
Leo
3 months ago
Reply to  Thanos

For me, Iceland was the likeliest And would have been excellent, but in an ideal world, Armenia would have been the winner, even though that may seem strange as we have never had a rap-centred winner before, and I think it would have had a massive effect when put into practise. I have been strongly addicted to it since first hearing it 3 days before ESAL, and have introduced various Arianators/Mixers/Normani fans/Lovatics to it with some successes. Switzerland was haunting, but I don’t think people would have wanted the same song to win twice in a row, likewise Bulgaria. ESAL… Read more »

Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  Thanos

What a nice comment. Happy Eurovision 2021 Season!!!

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
3 months ago
Reply to  Thanos

It was a wonderful year and I really think we would have had a new country winning the contest, while my guess is Lithuania
Looking forward to the 2021 contest!
Stronger than ever!

Una
Una
3 months ago

Very nice article! My most favourite moment of the season was the broadcast of Love Shine a Light in the night of the GF. I can’t even describe how moved I was and how much I liked it. Then I liked the Wiwi Jams a lot, also the Eurovision in Concert. And Eurovision Again once I got onto it. This season has given me a few remarkable songs including one that I discovered after the national selections were over. I loved it how some broadcasters improved significantly as compared to last year. I will manage my expectations for next year… Read more »

KESC
KESC
3 months ago

As much as I love Bulgaria this year, I don’t think that it would have won in the end.

Last edited 3 months ago by KESC
Esc lebanese fan
Esc lebanese fan
3 months ago
Reply to  KESC

Yes, totally agree. Would have been difficult for bulgaria to compete with lithuania, russia, and iceland for televote( especially with the lithuanian and russian diaspora as well as the nordic bloc). On the other hand, the juries would have likely prefered sweden and malta over bulgaria.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

I reckon it would’ve been a similar situation to Netherlands 2019, as in it doesn’t win in jury or televote but ends up winning because the jury/televote winners were way lower in the opposite.

Leo
Leo
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I think Bulgaria would have held up well on both sides, and it is a very beautiful song, but the same song doesn’t win twice in a row, save perhaps for 2003-05, and every winner since than is radically different (Switzerland’s wouldn’t have won for the same reason). Iceland, Armenia and Malta, however, provided massive contrast to Arcade, and provided the upbeat, standout songs needed – they have plenty of potential to appeal to both sides of the vote, and far more importantly, those 3 songs are perfect for surroundings outside Eurovision, and even those who don’t know ESC would… Read more »

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  Leo

as much as I like chains on you i just KNOW that juries would have slaughtered it. as in finishing 9th/10th/11th/12th in semi and finishing below 20th in the final. same situation with latvia

Leo
Leo
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

It was thanks to juries that it got the role in the first place, and they rate stuff in tow with today’s music and with high artistic value. All but one in depi gave it maximum points. Whilst I find Latvia nightmarish, trippy And incoherent (but a certain finalist, 3rd slot and 18th place finish), I find Armenia engrossing, racy, absorbing, and at home with the female acts that get the stans today (I am a mixer for example). I think 3rd with the public and 7th with the Jury for Armenia, and 14th with the public 24th with the… Read more »

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  Leo

that’s so so so specific omg, but perhaps

Leo
Leo
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I did a simulator prediction of how every country would vote, giving one point to a song if I knew it would get 1-10 and 2 if it would get 12 (eg UK and Ireland for Iceland, France and Greece for Armenia, Albania for Switzerland), and adding it to fansite and bookmaker opinions. I also did my own by-hand draw for my simulated final lineup (which included 8 male soloists in my first half, and 9 upbeat songs in my second half). In my simulator, in the final, I predicted 30-33 countries would vote for iceland, Armenia and Russia, but… Read more »

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  Leo

look, all I know is that every song similar to Armenia has always either failed to qualify or been bottom 10. there’s no way it would have won, even tho I like it

Leo
Leo
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

All 4 ESC entries Chains reminds me of (which are all male, interestingly) all placed top 10, though Origo (unexpected rapping) and Lie To Me (alternating rapping and singing, with rapping at the 2nd verse faster than elsewhere) had more mixed fortunes with the jury, but enough televote for the top 10, And were just 1-2 places below their televote place when it was added, whilst Rhythm Inside and Soldi (in terms of musicality and beat) both were very high on both sides of the vote. Also, don’t forget it was a jury clean sweep (nearly) as to why it… Read more »

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  Leo

um sis even DARING to compare origo, soldi, and rhyhtm inside to chains on you is the definition of delusion. I’ll say it once again, Armenia would not have won and probably barely qualified. If you think Armenia would have come above Bulgaria and Switzerland and Malta and Lithuania and Germany and Iceland and Russia, then idk how to help u but it was NOT going to happen. and this is coming from someone who actually really likes chains on you.

Lebanese esc fan
Lebanese esc fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I would be perfectly content with that scenario as I do really enjoy “Tears getting sober” and generally think that Bulgaria deserves to be rewarded for their recent efforts. My only concern is that Russia and Iceland have been doing much better than expected with the juries in the eurovision replacement shows which is fine but I don’t understand how some juries placed Russia in particular above the likes of Bulgaria and Switzerland.

Leo
Leo
3 months ago

I think Iceland would have fared well with the juries (Oz 2015, Belgium 2016, Sweden 2018, Czech 2019) but not Russia, which would have been seen as dated. Also, contrary to these shows, but consistent with How it got there in the first place, I think Armenia, my personal fave, would have been faring well with many jurors as they want something that represents today’s music styles and want artistry as well (the production)

Marc
Marc
3 months ago

Jurors are just random. We never know.
They might have placed Russia quite high like they did with Israel and Cyprus in 2018. I wouldn’t be shocked tbh.
Jurors are also biased by pre-hype and pre-favourites recently.
Anyway impossible to know for 2020 sadly.

Last edited 3 months ago by Marc
Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

An scenario like that, I could see it with either Malta or Switzerland getting the win.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

for me it was always between Bulgaria, Malta, and Switzerland so I wouldn’t mind any of them

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
3 months ago

Russia wouldn’t have won eurovision 2020, Maybe it would’ve won the televoting but juries would’ve put it very low, like Norway 2019. I think Sweden or Switzerland would’ve won the juries. About winning I think bulgaria, Iceland, Lithuania or Switzerland would’ve taken the 2020 thropy.