The road to Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam is long and there are many uncertainties ahead due to the ongoing pandemic. But in the spirit of optimism I’m putting 2020 to the side and imagining how an ideal Eurovision cycle might look. Here are five of my personal hopes for the year ahead.
1. More participating countries
Fifty-two countries have participated at Eurovision over the years. What would be a better symbol for the year after the pandemic than having all of them come back? (Except for Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro, for obvious reasons).
Morocco, Luxembourg, Monaco, Andorra, Turkey, Slovakia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Hungary and Montenegro have all left the competition over the years. Kazakhstan has been eager to debut for quite some time. And other countries like Tunisia and Lebanon almost took part on one occasion…only to withdraw before their debut.
Having them back would extend the family to more than 50 countries, which would mean semi-finals with 25 entries, or even another show. It seems difficult, but who would have thought in the early 2000s that there would be 43 countries participating some years later?
Bonus: You’d get a wiwibloggs poll for who was the best returning country or even a video, as in 2016, when two returning countries placed inside the Top 4.
2. National finals everywhere
In recent years, some countries have consistently decided to select their entries internally, and it’s proven to be a very effective choice. In fact, our last winner, Duncan Laurence, was picked by the broadcaster. Some others, like Bulgaria, have mastered the art of building hype around their choices.
But, let’s be honest, there’s nothing like a good national selection. You get loads of new artists, lots of great songs and a lot of trainwrecks and assorted disasters. “Colourful” Belarusian castings, classy Sanremo marathons, Melodifestivalen pop-perfection — all of them are highlights of the year, but we definitely need more.
'GIVE US THE WINNER! GIVE US THE NAME!! GIVE US THE SOoOoONG!!!' – all of us watching Sanremo 2020 at 2AM CET #EurovisionAgain
— Bruno ? (@euro_bruno) June 20, 2020
por favor no permitáis que esto se olvide pic.twitter.com/Q9vbVukxFo
— bollerón (@ChouBisnes) November 4, 2018
3. Broadcasters coordinating their shows
Basically we need the shows spread out because the national final season is so short. It’s basically six weeks, from early February to mid-March, during which, in my ideal scenario, we’d have around 50 shows.
It’s too intense. Multi-tasking may be fine for a while, but it’s about time that broadcasters coordinate their timetables. You can’t expect us to have all of our family’s devices switched on to other countries’ public TVs for six Saturdays in a row.
ESC Fans during super saturday night https://t.co/8CRrjZ0Z63
— Hope Nook (vive la thune) ? ?????? (@N_Monchauzou) April 1, 2020
We’re one of the most dedicated fandoms in the world, and we deserve to have a decent programme in which we could have one show after the other to spend our Winter nights listening to new music and bashing them on Twitter. EBU, take notes.
4. Having all songs on streaming platforms
Yes Malta, I’m looking at you. It’s 2021, for God’s sake — let’s have all entries on the streaming platforms. Having to listen to some potential Eurovision entries with the lowest quality Youtube video with a static picture of the singer from three years ago is archaic.
In recent years, some entries have not been uploaded to streaming platforms until April. It’s exhausting for fans.
destiny put it on spotify pic.twitter.com/MtlcvwmyXq
— matt?? (@dripdropesc) April 19, 2020
And, to be fair, if a medieval cover of “Hips don’t lie” has been able to enter all platforms, why can’t a potential Eurovision entry?
5. Moving past “pleasant”
Countries with national finals tend to choose safe ballads over edgier, funnier or brighter entries which quickly become fan favourites. No more Erika Vikmans coming second; enough Elvana Gjatas beaten by power ballads.
Eurovision is usually filled with dying screaming ladies, and we could spare some of them for some true bops. Also, cute guitar entries have already had their slice of cake at the contest. We can live without them for a while.
We’re talking big bangers, out of the box performances, fun entries… just something eye and ear-catching! Nobody needs a thousand ballads about how dramatic 2020 has been, nor happy clappy entries about being all in this together. Europe, stop doing what you’ve done from the first year this contest started. It’s 2021 and we’re overcoming a pandemic.
What does YOUR ideal Eurovision season look like? What are your hopes for 2021? Share your ideas in the comment section below!