Welcome to my wrap-up post, so happy you could join me. Today, we’ll be giving out some awards as well as taking a step back to look at this year’s Contest as a whole. As I’ve noted before, this is one of my favorite winners and am happy with many of the results from this year. Come join me as we honor some of the best and worst from Tel Aviv! Please note, I do not own any photos/videos used here – all rights reserved to the EBU unless otherwise noted.
Tears won’t fall While pride stands tall Maybe they can’t be heard or seen But tears aren’t quiet things –
A powerful ballad of heartbreak working against the machismo. Just because you are a man does not mean you shouldn’t show emotion. I love how, even though this is a song about a relationship ending, it is really a deeper look at the power of feeling one’s feelings.
The stars are not always visible Stay true to yourself Don’t tell me to forgive you
I realize that this song is predominantly meant to capture the feeling of unconditional love between a young couple; but the lyrics make little sense. Perhaps these are common Slovenian phrases and ideas that just don’t translate well into English.
I dream of love You dream of love Angels of God We all dream of love
So, one element of songs that do well in this award is lazy or unimaginative song writing. This one takes the cake in that regard. It is a standard, trite song hoping for a better tomorrow. Not saying that the message is bad, the lyrics are just poor.
A beautiful black dress, stunning silver accessories including a dynamic necklace, flowing blonde hair, and make-up that turns up the contrast. Everything about Nevena Božović’s outfit is amazing and worn with elegance.
Another black dress. Jonida Maliqi outfit perfectly blends traditional elements with contemporary design, just like the song Ktheju Tokës. It even had the added bonus of making the staging reminiscent of the Albanian flag when the stage was lit in red.
The outfit, in addition to looking awful, poorly fit Eliot; so, he looked even more mousy and small than he is. It was just a very poor outfit situation all-around. I’m not quite sure what happened here, but I hope Belgium gets their act together moving forward.
Look at that shirt! It’s red and gold and it’s shiny. It does not seem to fit the song at all. I do not understand this outfit choice at all.
Honorable Mentions: Croatia, Cyprus, Portugal, Romania
Made to look like a hot music video, She Got Me had a stunning, contemporary, hot staging. From the narrow perspective to open, to the constant use of red throughout, to the dance routine, to even having Luca Hanni wear a mesh shirt. Switzerland went all out and it paid off with the country’s first Top Ten placing since 2005.
The winner for the Marcel Bezençon Award for Artistry, Australia’s staging was magically, whimsical, and impressive. The interplay of the backing screen, her outfit, and their motions created this awesome floating effect. I didn’t have this one win because, unlike Switzerland, which got even sharper from the semi-final to the grand final, the Australian performance took a (small) step backwards.
Angel wings equals an automatic zero in the staging department from me. Yes, even though angels are explicitly mentioned in the song. Not to mention there was just so much going on during Croatia’s three minutes. It was all just too much.
When you have a song with the potential to inspire confidence in men, of all sexualities, who do not live up to masculinity ideals – you should capitalize on that and have a broad array of men on stage with you. France did not take this perspective. Aside from my general unease with the laying claim to the experiences of women to serve gay men’s purpose, when the song is literally called “King” shouldn’t that be the emphasis? Otherwise they should have titled the song “Moi” – no other lyric would have to change and the staging would have made more sense and felt more genuine.
The twang in Victor Crone’s voice, the vaguely inspirational message of the lyrics, the basic composition – this all screams contemporary Christian music (which I’ve said before). This would be right at home on any generic Christian station in the US.
Just like Storm is a generic contemporary Christian song, Too Late for Love is a generic R&B song – though, not quite as contemporary. John Lundvik actually hit the American sound twice, both with his own song and the one he co-wrote and co-composed for the United Kingdom.
The “Spirit of ABBA” Award: Given to the most stereotypical and/or traditional ESC entry
So, an under-appreciated, yet very common ESC genre, is the children’s song. And what lyric can be more childish than “love is forever” when sung with such a saccharine smile. A cute song with a bubbly message and catchy hook. Love is Forever is clearly the most ESC entry this year at ESC.
Runner-Up: San Marino
Additionally, few things represent ESC as nonsense lyrics. Say Na Na Na fits this to a T. It’s so simple and fun, a perfect example of schlager.
In 2005, a true work of art was entered into the ESC; Israel was represented by Shiri Maimon with the song Hasheket Shinish’Ar. Not only did this song not win, but the winning song that year was not even worthy to be performed on the same stage as the Israeli entry. For me, that was the biggest travesty in Eurovision history. Each year, I hand out this award to the biggest disappointment of the Contest.
Winner: Madonna’s performance
There were simply too many interval acts this year. This was, by far, the weakest of them all. Madonna is a legend who revolutionized culture and deeply impacted pop music. It may be time for her to ride off into that beautiful sunset. I know the retirement age in the US is 65, but I think she’s earned the ability to head home five years early.
Runner-Up: EBU bungling the Belorussian automated jury vote
Human error is to be expected from a human-run event. But still, for all of eternity, when watching this Contest back, this error will need to be pointed out and corrected for folks watching. It also shines a light on the still mysterious and needlessly clandestine algorithm used to calculate votes for missing juries and televotes. Show your work, EBU, we’re curious!
Honorable Mentions: Too many interval acts. UK coming last, Germany’s poor showing, Ireland’s poor performance
Again, one of my favorite years and favorite winners ever. I am so happy to have been able to bring the Eurovision Obsession Awards back after missing last year. What are your favorites and least favorites from this year. Be sure to check-out my Final Thoughts if you have not already; they’ve been updated with the correct scoreboard and with links to the various media outlets I appeared on following ESC in May. Stay tuned for further posts as we celebrate Ten Years of Eurovision Obsession! As always, you can find @escobsession on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Sporcle.
As a part of the OGAE ROW points race for tickets for ESC 2020, I am keeping tabs on San Marino’s selection process. Unfortunately, this year, SMRTV has decided to revert to an internal selection as opposed to doing another national selection like their collaboration with 1in360 from last year. Anywho, this is my first post for their blog. Enjoy!
San Marino’s Entry is Slowly Becoming Clearer
San Marino after the swirling of rumors and anticipation on social networks, the microstate’s participating broadcaster, Radiotelevisione della Repubblica di San Marino (SMRTV), made an unexpected announcement shortly before we all flipped our calendars into the new year. Not only would SMRTV not be working with 1in360 this year, but they have reached an agreement with an “international artist” who will be announced soon along with their song; we must only stand by for the official press conference in a few weeks. Head of Delegation Alessandro Capicchioni and the SMRTV team are optimistic that this will entry will bring about a change in fortune for San Marino, who has qualified for the Final only once.
The Sammarinese delegation noted they considered a variety of proposals (maybe that including holding a national final again) and that this was the best option. I didn’t know, nor did most of the Eurovision community, that San Marino had so many options available to them. SMRTV General Director Carlo Romeo had this to say in an official press release,
This year we have worked hard on several proposals, as the Israeli edition is important to us for many reasons. Eventually we chose the best project, fully supported and approved with a wonderful International artist. Fingers crossed, but I think we will have a very good entry. Good luck to all our friends and colleagues involved in the organisation of such an important TV event, a world-wide event based on a joyous combination of music and dialogue, spectacle and friendship.
While I am disappointed in the lack of a semi-final, let’s hope the right choices are being made as post-production of the entry wraps up. SMRTV hopes that this song, their tenth in the Contest, will be the chain of light leading San Marino out of the depths of the ESC scoreboard.