Friday, March 23, 2012

Eurovision 2012: A Forward

Now that the Heads of Delegations meeting is over, we finally have all of the songs and we now know the running order. We now enter the period when Eurovision fans have nothing to do other than speculate about entries. Happily this will only last for another 60 days when the first semi-final takes place. This is often an interesting period but before we enter into it is time to take look at the contest this year on a Macro level.
Personally, I don’t have a favourite contest of the last five or six years. Personally I thought that 2010 was probably the strongest year of late. I really didn’t love many of the songs last year (except maybe Denmark, Italy and Ireland) and for me it was a poor contest that was won by having a good position in the running order rather than an amazing song.
I think that this year has quite a lot to offer, particularly semi-final 1 which has a large number of very different songs and performers, everything from Finland to Iceland to Austria. Semi-final 2 is a bit more traditional with a great variety of ballads, for those of you enjoy them. Never fear though ballad haters Loreen, Tooji and Can Bonomo are there for you enjoyment.
Semi-final 1 has rather interesting songs and it should be watched closely how this is voted on. Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Belgium seem the most jury friendly while songs such as Austria and Russia may not have been seen in the contest before but might still score well. Semi-final 1 certainly looks to have the better variety of songs and in my view should have more entertainment value for ordinary viewers. Denmark seems like the most likely to win I think that the broad appeal to public and juries will lift this one. Denmark should also be helped by jury and public support.
I have many Jedward fans that follow the blog and many have looked for my reaction to how is Ireland going to do. I will write up a separate piece on Jedward later this week when I know the running order but to generalise, I think Jedward will qualify for the final.
Semi-final 2 should be a far more unpredictable affair. I suspect like semi-final 1 last year it will appear to be just a formality and then go surprisingly on the night.
Finally a word of caution……… Every year fans make huge mistakes about the contest. Sometimes there is a surprise performance on the night of the final or sometimes we just didn’t read the music right. Either way I believe that approaching predictions with an open, inquiring mind and a bit of radical scepticism is needed to accurately make predictions. Don’t believe all the fan polls or every commentator. Very few will get it exactly right.
Also just to say now (while I’m on this rant) that there is a tendency of fans to use these two months to allow songs to be built up over time until a general consensus is reached. This then flops on the night. Songs like Sweden 2008, Israel 2010 and France 2011 all flopped from being early favourites to midtable results because fans shut out all the outside noises and didn’t listen to the signs enough.
I think that this year is definitely an improvement on last year and without a doubt I love a Eurovision with lots of genres. Really this is the fairest way to have it. This ensures that the music will not be rejected as all being Eastern European or Schlager.
But regardless of your taste I hope you find the same enjoyment, from the best eight hours of television a year, that you do every year.
“Love and hate are strong words but at Eurovision they sometimes can be necessary ones”
 – Seán, Editor, The Best Eurovision Blog.

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