‘Eurovision’s Greatest Hits’ – The Missed Opportunities to further our beloved contest!
I will start this article by saying “I LOVE EUROVISION” and thoroughly enjoyed the walk down memory lane tonight with the retrospective show that the BBC hosted in London. ‘Eurovision’s Greatest Hits’ showed us why we love the contest however I feel the EBU and the BBC missed some opportunities.
As a fan, special songs have a place in your memory. For me my first thought is of an Irish man in a white suit, a saxophone and those now magical words “12 Points”. Yes 1980 was the first Eurovision Contest that got me hooked.
It was a show that was like nothing else. It had an orchestra, it had songs in languages I didn’t understand and it had drama! So tonight my expectations were high as I was hoping that the show would inspire and recruit many new fans of the contest like me ALL those years ago!
Could do better?
“Could do better” is what I was told by my teachers in school for many years and possibly some advice I could pass on today. The EBU and the BBC had a GOLDEN opportunity to reinvent the Eurovision Contest that us die-hard fans love, and open it up to the wider audience who only dip into the contest for one night of the year.
So what opportunities could have been explored?
1 – While I revelled in watching the past winners take to the stage I couldn’t help but think what teenagers must have been thinking watching the show on prime time tv. “Who is this? What are they singing? Here let me listen to my latest iTunes downloads”. What the EBU and BBC could have done was align the last 60 years of Eurovision hits into the music charts of today. How?
This was the chance to get current chart singers dueting with the Eurovision Stars on their winning songs. We see it all the time at events. Lady Gaga rejuvenated ‘The Sound of Music’ at the Oscars this year and that got so many new and young faces to look at the classic musical. Couldn’t the EBU and BBC have done the same?
James Blunt publicly said he wants to do Eurovision. Lord only knows that Madonna would have jumped at the chance to rectify ‘Cape Fear’ and she has already remixed Abba music before! What about the global DJ’s like David Guetta and Calvin Harris remixing some of the Eurovision songs ‘on display’. Could you have imagined how amazing that could have been?
That is the key word here ‘On Display’. Did the show engage other people beside us fans that adore the contest?
2 – We are in the year 2015 and like it or loath it we live our lives on Social Media! Where was the live interactive social media last night? Well it was earlier on in the week as the show was pre recorded. That is the joy of modern live entertainment – YOU CAN BE AND SHOULD BE PART OF IT!
On the one night where we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of The Eurovision Song Contest there was no avenue for the public to get involved in the show. There was a flash of a Hashtag for Twitter but that was not passed on to the live show and get the public interacting with our Eurovision ‘Heroes’? Where were the questions for the winners from the new audience out there waiting to be courted? We got a brief glimpse when the hosts spoke with Conchita – we wanted more of that!
How often do you get a chance to have so many Eurovision stars in one place at the same time? Not that often is the answer. So when you do, share them with everyone. Don’t just have them there for 3 minutes on stage and then jump into another act. Let Europe and the World talk to them on Social Media. The BBC has championed ‘The Red Button’ and at this stage even my 5-year-old nieces know what Twitter and Facebook are. So why didn’t the EBU and the BBC use this to maximum impact? We should be #BuildingBridges between the Past, Present and Future of Eurovision. Tonight we got the past – though entertaining! But this was like Herreys boots – Golden – opportunity missed to bring in new fans.
3 – Eurovision without the voting? Am I missing something? Songs and Voting is what makes this a Eurovision Song CONTEST. Back in the 50th celebrations we had a contest to find Europe’s favourite Eurovision song of all time. Are we saying that over the past 10 years we have not had any wonderful songs worthy of that accolade?
Imagine if you were asked to vote for your favourite Eurovision song tonight that was a reinvention of our classic songs – WOW that would have gotten people talking who never tune into Eurovision. Look at the social media communities on Facebook and it is exploding with people showing us their favourite songs, their current rankings and their 12 points. Why oh why did the EBU and the BBC neglect this? Why did they take the contest out of the contest tonight? Why did they not take the founding principles of the contest and celebrate that to Europe tonight?
4 – We all like a good laugh but just how far is too far? I’m not sure what it is about Irish presenters, The Eurovision and the BBC. Terry Wogan and now Graham Norton – both of whom I adore on their respective shows but when they come out with – granted funny comments – they need to realise that poking fun at the contest and the diversity of the contest, they will probably make an impressionable potential audience viewer and potential fan of the Eurovision Song Contest, see the show as that musical pinata where you are supposed to take swipes at it. The person with the biggest punch is rewarded with treasures – or in this case laughter.
Belittle the contest you lessen the chances of big singers entering the contest – a problem that the BBC have had. Remember Paloma Faith’s comments on the rumours of her entering last year? Joke about the contest at your peril!
5 – Did you know? That was missing from tonight. Can you imagine the amazing statistics that the EBU and BBC could have shown the world. How many records Eurovision songs and singers have sold over the years. How many hours of live broadcasting the EBU has produced. How many people have televoted in the contest since it first started in 1997. Don’t be afraid to celebrate all your achievements Eurovision. You had the chance to blow competitions like Idol, X-Factor and The Voice out of the water and show that Eurovision is the original contest and still is the best!
So before you come after me like a bull to a red flag – just remember that I LOVED tonight’s show and the BBC presentation but it had the opportunity to introduce and engaged so many new viewers to the contest and gone some way to increasing the viewing figures of the contest back to the dizzy heights of the 1980’s and 90’s. I want my beloved Eurovision Contest to grow, to have hits and be around for another 60 years!
What did you make of ‘Eurovision’s Greatest Hits’ show tonight?
Author/Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall
Source : Eurovision Ireland