Why these years? Well, while there have been many great contests, this era saw some real competition grow. No longer was Eurovision between a couple of songs that would appeal to juries now it was in the hands of the public. There were many surprise winners during this era, and it also was one where high quality performances began to score well, not just the song. This era is unqiue also as it was just before the introduction of the semi-finals and we still could have many surprises "on the night".
John Kennedy O'Connor (2009) noted that 2002 was a year where relatively new reality TV talent shows began to make an impact on Eurovision. Singers like Jessica Garlick from the UK came to Eurovision via a television show, this was also the case for some of the other contestants.
The songs were a fairly diverse range when compared with previous years. Obviously by today's standards they are fairly bland though. The show itself was a big event in Estonia and helped to contribute to the young states national image, follow the break up of communism in 1989 (Jordan, 2011). Music is also hugely important in Estonia many protests of singing were held against communism before 1989.
The show was presented by Annly Peebo and Marko Matvere. The show's opening act was simple the winning song from last year, "Everybody". The show was opened by Cyprus with a strong performance of the song "Gimme" by One, a boyband. Jessica Garlick from UK was second with a powerful performance of her song "Come Back", eventually coming a very respectable 3rd place. Greece definitely sent the oddest song of the night, with men dressed as robots. Personally I feel that it was the worst song ever to go to Eurovision, but that is only my opinion.
Spain's high energy song was extremely popular in Spain but failed to really impress even though it was one of the pre-contest favourites. Sahlene, the Swedish singer represented Estonia and was sang a very competent performance which eventually led to a high leader board placing for the host nation. Sweden's high energy performance probably hurt Spain's chances of winning, with their infectious and catchy song "Never Let It Go", dressed in silver boots and dresses eighth place was surprisingly low in my opinion. Sweden's neighbour Denmark were one of the pre-contest favourites but ultimately ended up in last place after a subdued performance.
Of course the 01 and 02 were the two outstanding years for France in Eurovision. In my view this should have been the winner of the contest by a mile. Sandrine Francois's performance was faultless and one of the best we've seen at Eurovision. Malta sent the wonderful Ira Losco with her fantastic song "7th Wonder" her extremely strong performance was well received. But Latvia's performance was stronger and they were eventual winner. Personally this is a result that really throws me.I don't think that Marie N's win was great for the contest. Failing to enter the Top 20 in any country it can widely be seen as a poor winner. My personal Top 10 would have been:
- 12 - France
- 10 - Estonia
- 8 - Malta
- 7 - Sweden
- 6 - Spain
- 5 - Austria
- 4 - Bosnia and Herzegovina
- 3 - UK
- 2 - Finland
- 1 - Switzerland