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!
I agree. Especially with points 1 and 2 It’s the perfect time to go all out and bring evryone back. Most countries withdrew over financial reasons so maybe the ebu can provide some aid so evryone can make a comeback. And I’ve always prefered national finals over internal selections because that way more people from the country get a say on who represents them. I wonder what the ebu would say if a bunch of us fans were to send them a signed letter making many of these sugestions 🙂
I would love to see more countries at Eurovision; I think that it might be a bit expensive tho to host two weeks of semis. But I would love to see it.
Well, I think that under these uncertain circumstances, broadcasters will not risk a return at least for 2021.. We already know that andorra chose to come back in 2022 due to the virus, Slovakia also opened the possibility of a return, but that in the future.. I’d be surprised actually if all 41 countries of 2020 continue their participation as also if Montenegro returns which is the only one possible in my opinion
I love myself a good bop, but #5 is really offensive… 🙁
Wishlist for Eurovision 2021!
Montenegro and Hungary will comeback in Eurovision 2021!
I hope so but Montenegro coming back is 10000000% more likely than Hungary.
Hungary has been in and out a few times, though. They participated in 2005, missed out in 2006, returned for 2007-2009, missed out 2010 again and returned in 2011 and since. I wouldn’t count them out just yet.
you have a point but something just feels different about this time to me and idk why. I guess we’ll see tho 🙂
“Cute guitar entries”…i.e.”me and my guitar” and their like are few and far between. We need two or three good ones a year….at least.
So the ideal Eurovision is a daily broadcast reality TV show filled solely with more than 50 generic pop uptempo bangers that allow the fans to pretend they are “eternally 12”. Right … Guitars are unnecessary … I am sure someone wants to get rid of pianos and live singing as well. How musical does this Eurovision seem to be? Well music is supposed to translate thoughts and emotions when storytelling about something we can all relate to … But in Eurovision we ought to live in a bubble away from reality with thousand of viewers at home watching and… Read more »
6. A new winning country
7. Underdogs doing well
Always in favor of more countries joining the party and more national finals happening (though for 2021, exceptionally, my priority would be to have the artists from 2020’s class reunited as it should have happened if it wasn’t for the damn virus). So, yeah, I would love if the finals were better coordinated thinking about the fandom. And though I think Tibor have a good point about the streaming services, I hope to find all of the songs in Spotify. About the final item, Colin and Tibor wrote some things I would like to say about it. Then I would… Read more »
Why is offensive?
I am a Eurovision fan but I find most of these ideas terrible. I’m in favor of fewer countries, not more, at least in the Grand Final. 20 countries in the final is more than enough, that would allow to spend more time on each entry and bring the orchestra back. Kazakhstan, Tunisia, etc. are not in Europe (“YeS bUt AzerBaIJaN aNd AuStrALiA anD AlSo 10% of kaZAKHstAn iS iN EuROpE AcCoRDiNg tO a RuSsIaN geOPoLiTiCAl dEFiNiTioN of EurOPe fRoM the 18th cEnTUry”… Don’t even waste your time, you won’t convince me: it’s no). National finals are 99% bad songs,… Read more »
I have to waste my time, sorry. The contest is for members of the EBU, not countries located in Europe.
Also, how would having twenty countries in the final help bring the orchestra back? They’d have to be prepared for all countries to get to the final, semi-finalists who may not qualify included. They don’t just turn up on the night.
You’re pretending you don’t understand: there’s no denying than fewer participating countries means more time spent on each country. Also more time on each country means more time for an orchestra to settle in. SF are irrelevant, and yes the orchestra could absolutely “just turn up on the night”. Why not?
You could have Big 5 + host country as automatic qualifiers and then have the top 7 songs from each SF qualifying, and that’s it: you have your 20 finalists. Not having the songs placing 8th-10th in the SF on the final night is not a big loss anyway.
These discussions always go the same: you have to let in Tunisia in Eurovision cause they’re EBU members, let in Kazakhstan cause a tiny bit of their land is supposedly in Europe, let in Algeria cause they’re a former European colony, let in Mexico cause they speak Spanish, let in Canada cause Australia’s already in, let in Mozambique cause they speak Portuguese, then let in Papua New Guinea because why not. That’s how you’ll end up with a big nothing. The soul of this contest is European. It was created to unite Europe through entertainment, based on the Italian San… Read more »
On what possible grounds could you keep out Tunisia? They’re members of the EBU and have as much right to participate as France or Germany or any other member. They don’t need your permission or approval.
Also, this story about the contest being created to bring Europe together is partly true, often repeated – the goal being to create peace, which excluding people is the opposite of. The main reason was actually to use the new technology, which allowed the countries to link their broadcasts. This is a broadcasting union after all.
They don’t need my permission, just like they don’t need yours. By making my (lack of) permission irrelevant, you’re making yours as well. And why do you think it is that Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, etc. were never invited to participate despite being EBU members? Hint: look at a map. 😉 Also you’re literally deflecting and not answering my comment: where do you put the line? If we listen to people like you there’s a reason to invite every single country on the planet. And it’s not “party true”: bringing Europe together through entertainment was word for word the intent… Read more »
I draw the line at a rational and fair place : full membership of the EBU.
Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Jordan and any other EBU member all have equal rights. They don’t need an invitation.
I won’t keep arguing since you refuse to factor in basic facts: yes they’re EBU members and not only have they never participated, but there’s also not the slightest chance on the horizon that they will. That’s for obvious reasons and somehow you’re completely ignoring that.
Also btw, ALL countries need to be invited somehow. They can’t just show up on the night and show their EBU membership card or whatever. Again that’s for obvious reasons that you’re also choosing to ignore.
I personally wouldn’t mind seeing PNG at Eurovision ….
It would be nice if EBU could put all songs on Spotify, like they do with CD and DVD. Instead you have to add all songs individually, that is if the record company decides to release them at all.
I am just thinking out loud… Maybe one other ‘hope’ could be that more songs are presented and participate in their final ‘ready-for-Eurovision’ format at the actual national selections, as opposed to the recent trend in which many national final winning songs are subsequently revamped (For example, in 2020, I think there were something like five national final winning songs that were, thereafter, revamped for Eurovision), which can result in a very different, and sometimes almost unrecognizable, final product, which can either be a hit or a miss. A classic example of this was Miki’s ‘la venda’, which was so… Read more »
Ha ha ? In a Woman’s Heart and Believe In Peace (Malta 1996 and 1999) were barely recognisable at the finals!
The most dramatic example of this would have to be Malta 2016.
They even changed the name of the song!
I thought “La venda” had one of the most consistent revamps that year. While its polished and all, it still was the same song. The initial version heard in the national selection was fun but it still sounded rough around the edges.
Considering how convoluted Spain’s selection process was that year and the year before, I expected the songs entered to be half-baked.
Now Alekseev’s “Forever”, that one was just re-done to death and ended up being a beaten down version of the grandeur it once was.
As I wrote on Twitter too, having all the entries on streaming platforms will never happen. We can see the most recent ESC-edition, 2019 , having as much as 2 entries missing (Malta and Armenia). It’s either because some countries didn’t get into the 21st century, or because there are many interests behind for not having the songs on streaming, especially economical. Or it can be also because of pure incompetence on behalf of the artists’ managements.
Yeah but I still prefer Aksel over Erika. There’s a whole level between safe ballads and circus performances.
Points 1 and 5 didn’t hit with me, but points 2-4 were spot on. Personally, I have virtually zero inclination to see micro-countries like Monaco, Andorra or Luxembourg in the contest. I prefer quality and authenticity, I don’t think countries of that size can achieve this. I realise every country has the right to enter if they so wish and I would never stop someone from entering, I just wouldn’t necessarily be encouraging it. As for point 5, a great ballad can fill me with the most intense of emotions, we need a mix of entries to keep it interesting… Read more »
You’re underestimating Luxembourg. They have more power than you realize. Would you say the same about Iceland or Malta, both of which have lower populations than Luxembourg?
Don’t underestimate Luxembourg. Would you say the same about Iceland or Malta, who have smaller populations?
Omg, this an editorial that starts with I and my. It’s his opinion and he is entitled to have one. I like a mix of fun, crazy, emotional and modern songs too, but with the pandemic it would not be strange for artists to reflect with a ballad: just sad emotional songs would probably not make for a very entertaining fun show, Which is something we all need. I think that Luis wanted to get message across. For now, I just hope we get a (as) normal (as possible) contest and I get to use my tickets after hoping since… Read more »
I love ballads. My recent viewing of Eurovision 1995 showed how you can make a very competitive show filled with mostly ballads. And no ballad is the same.
“Century..The 21st is coming!”
the entitlement rly shone thru on this one
TBH having a Contest that vaguely resembles the ones we all know and love would be my wish for 2021 – all the other points above are bonuses. I would be surprised if we get any other nations joining in next year, even Hungary and Montenegro are likely to sit it out for another year. We will get the status quo as far as NFs are concerned – those who regularly do will, those who don’t won’t. We might be lucky to get some shows like last year’s Selec?ia Na?ional? 2020 from other nations but the longer the pandemic continues,… Read more »
Points 1 to 4 are excellent. If the point 1 is happenning (wishful thinking, but no withdrawals and Andorra back would still be fantastic), then 3 semis should too. Too many good songs have been lost in overcrowded single semis between 2004 and 2007.
As for point 5, it’s coming from a good place, but it’s highly subjective. Personally, I love a good “belting diva ballad”, but the key word here is good. I’d wish for more diversity. In language, style, ideas. ?
Point 3 would be especially cool for us fans.
I second that.
Yeah, I was lost at no.5.
A better wish would be fewer national finals where the winner of the public vote ends up not going to Eurovision. Finland and Portugal were the obvious examples. That is something that makes sense rather than a subjective, “my favourites didn’t get picked, I want more bops” complaint.
True that. Finland and Portugal coincidentally picked songs I really liked, especially Finland, but I’d be equally happy with public winners too. Putting my personal preferences aside, hoping for a more televote friendly selection process is a good wish. Power to the people! Last year, I complained a lot (as most of my NF winners didn’t win) and still ended-up loving many songs. For example, I voted for Albania and Estonia with the same passion as if they picked my initial favorites. So, I decided to stop acting moany and just enjoy the process. They don’t owe us anything apart… Read more »
I’m the same. I know that my favourites aren’t always going to win and that’s fine but when the song chosen isn’t what the actual people in that country want to represent them, that always leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
It’s very rare that a song that the juries put through at the expense of the public favourite is actually any good (although Portugal 2017 will always be the argument clincher in that regard, I suspect!).
In general, I am leaning towards the public vote, even if sometimes juries have more sense (For example, Belarus 2017 was saved by the jury’s choice (the public would’ve sent PROvokatsya’s song) and I was with the Franch jury in 2019. Still, I respect people’s support of Bilal.)
I think the worst example of public vote being denied is in Spain 2017. It felt calculated and mean. It also involved only 3 people jury panel, which is insufficient.
Ofc that my biggest hope for 2021 is that the pandemic will be over and eurovision 2021 will be celebrated as normal with no restrictions. I also hope to swe more partipicating countries in 2021 than in 2020 and 2019 (hopefully all of the 41 2020 participaticants will confirm partipication and montenegro will return and maybe even bosnia&herzegovina. About the national finals this year we will have lessthan always but I could see it happening in 2022 when a lot of national finals will return.
Oh, so you’re entitled to tell countries what to send and they should all comply with your personal taste and send tacky bops. Maybe becoming fan favourites would actually mean something if those entitled fans stopped worshipping every single trashy dancing pink diva and actually realized that it most often does not work in real world? Remind me again, where were “Say Yay”, “Glorious”, “La La Love” and “Monsters” supposed to finish and where did they actually end up when they were judged outside of the delusional bop stanning bubble? 🙂 And by the way, this is the exact main… Read more »
This is quite possibly the most entitled article I’ve ever read. All music is welcome. Not just the music you like.
I just hope we will see the Contest in next year under good circumstances <3