Ten Things That This Year's Eurovision Has Taught Us?
Whether you love it or hate it. This years television musical extravaganza has come to an end. Israel won the contest for the third time with Netta's entry, "Toy". Exactly 20 years since Dana International won with Diva, it looks like Europe will be heading to Israel next year. Portugal put on a spectacular show, albeit with a few hick up's. The contest was certainly memorable, and will be remembered for years to come. Eurovoxx has made a list of 10 things that we have learnt from this years competition.
1) No-One Messes With The EBU, They Have Gone Tough.
In past years it may have appeared that the European Broadcasting Union had been quite soft in its approach to all things political, and diverse. Certainly in previous years where Russia, and Ukraine had been at loggerheads, the EBU didn't show much in the way off a controlling nature. As a result of last years fiasco, they were forced to change the rules to ensure no more politics enters the competition.
During semi final one, Mango TV in China had decided to blur pictures of the rainbow flag, and decided to censor the tattoo's of Eugent from Albania this year. They also decided not to aire Ireland's entry as it depicted a gay love story. In deeply conserviative China this is the norm, it may appear. The EBU took the step to ban China from showing the second semi final, and the grand final saying, " the censorship was not in line with its values of diversity". Although, many may add that China does not sing at the contest, and it is not a big loss to the EBU to do this, it can be argued that it is. With AsiaVision looking likely to happen in the near future, and a large demography to expand, and move the contest forward. It is certainly a brave move for the EBU.
With recent tensions in Jerusalem, and that city being proposed as the host for the 2019 contest, the European Broadcasting Union is also taking an active role here, and declaring to fans that plans to travel to the countries capital should not be made until an official decision is made.
2) One Countries Gain, Is Another Countries Loss.
As the title suggests, this seems to be another thing that we learnt from the competition this year. The perfect example of this being Cyprus, and Greece. This year, Cyprus chose internally with Eleni Foureira. Her song "Fuego" stormed the contest, and gave the country its best ever result coming second. However, the stunning singer is Greek, and tried to represent her native country on three occasions back in 2010, 2016, and 2017 with no success. Greece failed to qualify for the second time in its history. Cyprus clearly gained from Greece's loss this year.
Another example of how the above can be shown, is through Cezar Sampson's song, "Nobody But You". The Austrian song was initially offered to the United Kingdom. As it turns out the BBC had rejected it, for other songs. On the big night itself, Austria won the jury vote with 278 votes, and gained 71 from the public. The country came third over all. Where as the United Kingdom came 24th with their entry, "Storm". If the United Kingdom had that song, could they have been in the top half of the leader board.
3) You Don't Need LED's To Put On A Good Show.
This years competition was a lot different from the ones in the past few years. The contest went more economical, and the producers at RTP decided to ditch the LED's, and go with an impressive stage, and lighting. It was the first time since Norway hosted back in 2010, that a host country had opted not to use them for the show. Although, one or two countries did bring LED panels, Portugal kept it simple, and decided not to use them. It was effective, and worked.
The power of props also worked well in the contest. From Melovin 's burning piano/coffin, Estonia's light up dress, and Moldova's ever changing doors. This year contest showed that the prop was king.
4) Girl Power, And The Power Of Four.
Although it is quite common to see a plethora of hosts at the contests , this year was different with Portugal doing one better, and having four. The previous year saw Ukraine, had three male hosts, whilst the 2015 contest saw three female hosts. 2018 was the year that Portugal brought girl power back, and saw four female hosts, which was the first time in any contest. This year Filomena Cautela, Sílvia Alberto, Daniela Ruah, and Catarina Furtado showed that girls just wanna have fun. The professional foursome did a fantastic show, and proved that strength comes in numbers.
5) Impartiality In, And Diaspora Out.
This years contest was very interesting indeed. After many years where it had been argued that diaspora voting had been spoiling the contest, this year marked a clear shift where the public, and juries were beginning to be impartial. Although, it had not been eradicated completely from the contest. The big hitters such as Russia, Romania and Azerbaijan, who always qualify for the grand final, did not this year. Even Greece who almost qualify every year did not. The final, saw quite a diverse set of nations from all parts of Europe, and Australia qualify for the final. Countries voted for ones that they had traditionally voted for in the past. Even the strong Scandinavian block saw this.
6) It Ain't Over, Till Netta Sings.
The Eurovision 2018 had to be one of the strongest, and perhaps closest contests in recent years. Most years, there tends to be a clear favourite, or a couple that stand out. However, this year saw a plethora of strong entries that surged with the bookies. Estonia, France, Denmark, and Norway were all classed as strong contenders. Even the winning entry jumped straight to the top spot when it was revealed. However, as rehearsals progressed, and the semi's were well underway, it was Cyprus that gained all the attention, and went straight to be bookies favourite. Although, a tight finish at the end it Netta showed that diversity still stood strong in Europe, and she won the crown. The competition wasn't over until Netta sang.
7) Gasps And Shocks As The Public Really Disagreed With Juries When It Came To Voting.
Love or hate the new system of voting at the Eurovision, there is no doubt that it certainly causes suspension and a lot of tense moments. This year, saw a really broad difference on how the general public voted to the juries, and introduced a lot of gasps, and applause from the fans and press alike. Here are a few exceptions.
Sweden- the main power house of the contest, winning three times since 1999, and one of the countries, that can pretty much guarantee a top ten finish. Although, this year was no exception, it is the votes given by the juries, and public that show a massive gulf in difference. Sweden were placed 2nd by the juries scoring 253 points, whilst the public penalised Benjamin heavily, he scored only 21 points coming 23rd with them. This caused the biggest reaction of the night.
Australia- although not in Europe, Eurovision has welcomed them with open arms. This year marked the second year where the country scored heavily with the juries, but penalised with the public vote. A respectable 9th place was given to Jessica Mauboy with 90 points, however the public had different ideas. With them she scored 9 points coming last with that section of voting. Ultimately coming 20th place, the nations worst ever result.
Austria too were penalised by the public vote. They won with the juries receiving 271 points, but that did not stop the public awarding them only 13th place and 81 points. Cesar may have won if he scored higher. A third place is a very good result for the country.
Denmark on the flip side did a lot better with the public vote, than the juries. They scored only 38 points, and a 20th place with the juries, whereas the public scored them a massive 188 points, and a fifth place. Ultimately they went from 20th place, to tenth overall.
So did Italy benefit from the public vote. Although the juries scored them 59 points, and 17th position. The public vote ensured them another overall finish within the top 5. Despite performing last that did not stop the public vote putting them third with 249 points.
Another notable example where the public and jury clearly differed was the Ukraine. The juries did not get Melovin' at all. They scored him last with eleven points. The public were his saviour that gave him 119 points, placing him 7th. Ultimately he came 17th.
8) Ukraine And Australia Stand Alone.
Apart from the big 5 who automatically qualify. This edition of the Eurovision showed that Ukraine and Australia now stand alone as the only countries to qualify for each grand final. For Ukraine, Melovin' secured this, and has probably now added extra pressure for the artist that will represent the eastern country next year.
Australia too have managed this feat too. However, the fact they have done this is not as impressive as Ukraine. They automatically qualified back in 2015, and thus so far have only managed to do this via the semi finals, and have only done it on three occasions.
In a very unpredictable contest, the big countries such as Russia, Azerbaijan, and Romania who had proudly held this record fell at the first hurdle, leaving Ukraine, and Australia being the only countries to qualify from every semi final. Quite an impressive feat indeed.
9) Ladders, Golf Balls, Trollies And Adhesive Tape Are All Dangerous Items
Previous years has seen specific flags, and items deemed offensive, or too political at the contest being prohibited. Although, when it came to the Grand Final, these rules were relaxed. However, this year Portugal came under fire (if you could get any items that may deem a fire risk past security), when the hosts released a list of 42 items that were prohibited from being brought into the Altice arena. This indeed caused some fun with fans, and other countries who seemed to poke fun at the country for implementing such a strict policy. No longer could fans bring their golf balls, ladders, robe, adhesive tape to the contest. For those wishing to leave in a hurry suitcases were also banned, and for those fans loving a bit of DIY, hammers, and screwdrivers were also prevented, which begs the question what did the organisers have in mind when it comes to Eurovision and the loyal fans. It is Israel's chance to shine next year, will they follow Portugal's suit and ban even more items?
10) The Show Must Go On- All Hail Queen SuRie.
There was never any doubt that when SuRie was chosen to represent the United Kingdom this year, that she would be fantastic ambassador for the island nation. She won many fans with her tour of Europe, and the song went down well with many at the pre-parties. Unfortunately for her, when the singers time came to shine, she was rudely interrupted and had her microphone snatched from her, during her live performance. All the world bore witness to SuRie having her moment ruined by a fool. However, this selfish act led to SuRie getting the loudest applause of the night. She regained her composure, and showed that the show must go on. 'The storm didn't last forever'. She finished her performance with grit, and determination, proving that Eurovision had found a new Queen. SuRie certainly gained more fans on the night, and give one hell of a memorable performance. Eurovision Loves SuRie.
Did the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 teach you that this years show was very different? What was your favourite moment? Please tell us your opinions in the comments below.
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