This has been a very different year thanks to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, however we have had plenty of Eurovision related music to enjoy. Here at Eurovision Ireland and our friends from the around the Eurovision Community, we have chosen just five tracks that have summed up our year – coming from the Eurovision National Finals, the cancelled 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, Eurovision: The Story Of Fire Saga, the Junior Song Contest 2020 and the Turkvision Song Contest 2020.
Next up is Lisa-Jayne Lewis, with tracks selected from Norway, Italy, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and Tuva.
Well 2020 has been a…year, hasn’t it? But one thing’s for sure, the music wasn’t cancelled. Ok, it wasn’t exactly as we’d planned it to be, but even stuck at home with no contest to go to we still had music. Here are the five tracks that have made me smile and cry in equal measure during this year (well, there’s been more than five, but those are the rules!)…
Everybodies favourite Sami/Pop fusion group hit the new year with a BANGER of a track way back in February. Now everyone who knows me knows how much I love Keiino, and you probably also know how hard it is to keep the Eurovision magic going in a career long after the faint strains of Te Duem have died off, but with hard work, loyalty to the fans who loved and voted for you and great tunes, it can be done. Keiino have done it, and the release of Black Leather was a triumph, really it was. Collabing with Charlotte Qamaniq, throat singer and Queen of Canada as far as I am concerned, was a stroke of genius, whilst sticking true to Keiino’s pop passion. Fred’s joiking is notably different to the other Keiino songs, this one is deeper, darker, more sensual maybe with even a hint of the forbidden about it. I will always love Spirit in the Sky and be forever annoyed with the juries for tanking it in Tel Aviv, but Black Leather is in a whole other league. And then there’s ‘that’ video…
I was lucky enough to go to Estonia for Eesti Laul then, back in March when we were young innocent kids who thought nothing of hopping on a Ryanair to wherever we fancied and to be honest I would have picked Uks Kord Veel, but John already chose it, so I’m celebrating an non-winner in Italy’s Sanremo instead. Now this is, to me at least, perfect. It’s such a cracking tune and Elodie performed everything so brilliantly at the festival itself. The one I love in Sanremo never wins, it’s just how the order of the universe is set out! When this rolls around on my iTunes Eurovision playlist, I crank the volume, flip my roof down (because I can) an pretend I am driving along the Amalfi coast, even if in reality I am overtaking a lorry on a rainy M50!
My tip-top number one for this year’s contest would have been The Roop, I most likely would have trailed them round Rotterdam for two weeks and they’d have been glad to see the back of me at the end of it all. I love the song, the staging, the performance, I love Vaidotas, Robertas & Mantas. I love the message behind this song and I love that it comes from Lithuania, a nation that is generally written off before the contest has even started, for the first time ever Lithuania was being talked about, positively, people were actually wondering if this would give them their first win, could it possibly be… and then came Iceland and Russia to the party and in reality no I don’t think The Roop would have done it, but we’ll never know and even without the contest, we still have The Roop, we still have On Fire and we will see them again in the Pabandom iš naujo 2021 in just a few weeks. If only we were allowed to travel again, I would be on the first budget airliner to Vilnius!
“Love Shine A Light (Instrumental)”
I know, some people hated this show, I was most definitely NOT one of them. What the Dutch broadcaster and the EBU managed to produce whilst all working from home in a record time was nothing short of miraculous and I salute each and every person who worked on this show, going above and beyond to make sure we had something to celebrate in the early days of lockdowns, restriction and anxiety about what this pandemic was. There were two stand out moments for me, one was Marija Šerifović performing Molitva on the deserted streets of Belgrade and the other was the landmarks of Europe (and the Sydney Opera House) being lit up to the music of Katrina’s 1997 winning song Love, Shine a Light. I think this was the musical moment that touched me most this year and even now I can’t watch it without crying. It was a beautiful reminder that we are a continent of people going through the same pandemic, that nowhere was untouched by the virus, every Eurovision nation was standing in solidarity with each other. It was great seeing cities that Eurovision has taken me to, venues of previous contests, and places still on my ‘to visit’ list. For me I think this was the best thing I watched on all TV in 2020.
“Bayla la Talgam (Байла ла Талгам)”
Turkvision was back, yay! Just a couple of weeks ago we watched a really rather naff version of Turkvision, but like everyone doing the best they could in the circumstances in which we all find ourselves. The first few songs were ok, it’s fair to say, nothing special, nothing to write home about. And then came the Tuva Republic. Tuva sits on Russia’s border with Mongolia and therefore this was already interesting from the get-go. Tuvan’s are known for their throat singing, it’s a different style than I celebrated further up this page with Charlotte Qamaniq, and I think the conversation in the planning meeting in Kyzyl went something like this;
Person A: “hey, shall we do some of our amazing overtone throat singing for Turkvision this year?”
Person B: “yes, great idea, but how about we make it a bit more disco”.
Person A: “Fab, I’ll call Oorzhak, see what he can come up with”
I feel like Tuva are very much in the underdog class when it comes to Turkvision, they’ve failed to qualify twice and withdrew from the 2015 contest altogether. 2020 marked their return and boy am I glad they are back. Now I along with all of you long to see Turkvision return to a stage, rather than a virtual contest, because Turkvision, friends if you’ve not seen it before, is BRILLIANT!
Author: Richard Taylor
Source: Eurovision Ireland