Good evening, Europe! Crikey – this was a blast from the past. The 19th Eurovision Song Contest hosted by the UK because Luxembourg couldn’t afford to host twice in a row.
For the first time in over 45 years, the BBC allowed the first full broadcast of 1974 – a real treat for those of us Eurovision fans who aren’t able to visit Brighton as we’d normally be doing around this time of the year. The full show, Wombles and all, was available for a week.
So much to talk about with this one, not least the #PolyesterFiesta that is the carpeted set, Germany’s costumes and the ridiculous gigantic scoreboard!
Not to mention an iconic winner in ABBA, great tracks from Italy and The Netherlands (and pretty much all 17 countries!), and a Portuguese track that almost began a revolution.
For the first time the #EurovisionAgain Top 4 matches the original Top 4 from 1974!
And by sheer fluke, our poll also resulted in a joint last place. This time Belgium and Germany share the wooden spoon, originally it was a tie between Germany, Norway, Switzerland and Portugal.
Good evening, Europe! 1998… long time ago, was it?
The Netherland’s Edsilia Rombley introduced #Eurovision – 1998 participant for her country and one of the 2020 hosts, nearly 22 years later.
The BBC very kindly agreed to allow the EBU to stream this show from the official Eurovision YouTube channel for one week. It was incredible to see it in high quality for the first time in so many years.
Catherine gave us a bit of a context of the contest, which would see televoting dominate proceedings, and a nail biting finish which saw Dana International snatch the crown, becoming the first openly trans person to both participate in and win the Eurovision Song Contest. An icon.
Our online poll ended like this:
There was some justice for Germany and Netherlands creeping up the table, while Malta dropped down on reflection. Hungary bombed.
Wow – Sweden really know how to throw a party. But is it any wonder? This was their second contest in the space of 4 years, and with the experience and confidence that Malmö 2013 gave him, Edward af Sillén wrote and directed what many regard as one of the best Eurovision Song Contests to date.
Amazingly, Edward filmed an introduction for #EurovisionAgain and roped in his good friend (and 2016 host) Petra Meda. Thank you! You can watch this below.
Our hosts that evening were Petra Meda and Måns Zelmerlöw, both guiding us through proceedings with warmth and impeccable comic timing.
The show itself was fascinating; reflecting European society at the time. As Catherine Baker explains in this video, the 2016 contest was broadcast at the peak of the still on-going migrant crisis, as well as the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the annexed Crimea. This head-to-head played out in the results.
With regards to our #EurovisionAgain vote, well, for the second week running our winner is discordant from the actual results.
Australia’s Dami Im snatches Jamala’s crown (and to be fair, Ukraine pinched Serbia’s win last week) with Bulgaria rising to claim the runner-up spot. Spain leaps ahead 15 places, while Poland tumbles 11.
Curiously, all the places in this week’s #EurovisionAgain are different from the actual 2016 results… all bar one. Russia’s Sergey Lazarev finished our poll in third – which seems to be his own particular curse.
Dami Im, Joe (of Joe and Jake), Sarah Woodruff all tweeted too.
It took Finland 46 years to win their first Eurovision Song Contest and so we were expecting big things in Helsinki 2007 for the 52nd edition of the world’s favourite music competition.
We were delighted that Marija Šerifović (the 2007 winner with Molitva) introduced #EurovisionAgain (see video below).
Here’s Catherine Baker with a bit of contest context:
This was the first year that a semi-final was introduced, meaning that along with the biggest financial contributors, the ten best placing countries from the previous year would be joined in the final by ten songs that scored highest in the semi. Along with this, a wacky new rule meant five wild-card countries from the semi-final and three countries from the final got to choose their starting position. Whether this made for a great final, well… be your own judge of that.
For the second time in #EurovisionAgain history, the original contest winner has been usurped by the twitter vote! Congratulations to Verka Serduchka on snatching the crown from Serbia, and joining Carola as a brand new #EurovisionAgain champion.
Host countries traditionally fare badly, whatever the quality of their entry, so a little justice has been served for Finland’s Hanna Pakarinen who, along with Scooch, jumped 14 (!) places to 3rd and 8th respectively. Aremenia plummets 8 places to last. Oh dear.
This evening we visited The Point Theatre, Dublin, for the 42nd Eurovision Song Contest. It was the 7th time Ireland hosted the contest, and the 4th in 5 years – so of course we got a slick production, given all the practise the RTÉ have had. No wonder RTÉ relaxed the rules and allowed the EBU to stream this magnificent show on the Eurovision YouTube channel.
This week #EurovisionAgain was introduced by Icelandic act Paul Oscar, who performed after Katrina & The Waves in the running order.
Paul’s always been a firm fan favourite but didn’t score too well in the original contest, so the #EurovisionAgain voting proved very interesting. Dublin 1997 was the first Eurovision to trial the use of “televoting”, tweely explained by Carrie Crowley.
The five countries trialling the voting technology were Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. A total of 89% of Paul Oscar’s points came from the televoting countries, which would suggest that the fusty old juries were out of kilter with what the voters at home were enjoying.
Twenty-three years later and those suspicions were confirmed by the 2,516 voters in our #EurovisionAgain poll. Paul rocketed from 20th in 1997 to 4th in 2020.
Of course the evening belongs to Katrina and The Waves, but it’s great to see justice for both Iceland and Netherlands. See you next week!
Guten Abend, Europa! Greetings from what was a very rainy Vienna; hosts of the 60th Eurovision Song Contest in 2015.
This show had everything… electro swing, anti-booing technology, a smoke machine malfunction, plenty of Conchita and, of course, a burning fake piano.
This week #EurovisionAgain launched our first fundraiser, and as of the morning after, we raised a magnificent £3,679 for Mermaids – a huge thank you to all of you who donated. Eurovision fans are the best kind of fans.
The show itself was looong, clocking in at just over 4 hours with at least 3 potential winners in mix. Spoils went to Måns Zelmerlöw back in 2015, as they did with our #EurovisionAgain poll:
Sweden and Italy maintained their podium places, while Belgium switched with Russia. Latvia and Estonia inched up the table, while the biggest mover was Germany – from last place and nil points (the first for the Germans in 50 years) up to a respectable 15th. Austria and the United Kingdom also improved on their original showing.
We’ll be back next Saturday for more #EurovisionAgain.
This week we travelled to the Russian capital of Moscow for a lavish affair featuring Cirque de Soleil, some iffy skits, and one of the most memorable winners to date.
Eurovision legend Alexander Rybak introduced #EurovisionAgain this week, showing off his trophy in the process:
It was also the week that the EBU got in touch to tell us that they were supportive of this fan project and so helped by putting the contest on their YouTube channel and creating a countdown so that everyone could truly watch in sync!
The full show is available to watch on the official YouTube channel:
After all acts had performed we ran an online poll in which THOUSANDS of you voted. Once again Alexander Rybak triumphed but it was a much closed race than in 2009, and for much of the voting Yohanna led with her Icelandic ballad Is It True?
Curiously, the top 6 is very similar to original results.
Here are the results of the #EurovisionAgain twitter jury: