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.
Finally is Nick Deller, with tracks selected from Lithuania, Denmark, The Netherlands and Yugoslavia.
“Made Of Wax”
Back in January we had almost no idea what was about to ensue, and when I made the decision that I’d closely follow the Lithuanian selection process because they were nearly the first to get started, I had no idea what was around the corner. In the very first quarter-final a couple of things caught my ear, and Donata’s insistent number with its delightfully cheap staging gimmick was one of them. It came nearly last and was never heard of again, but I still find it a little ray of sunshine.
“Den Eneste Goth I Vejle”
By the time we hit mid-March, on the other hand, it was terribly clear that things were going badly wrong around the world, and so as DR were suddenly forced at 36 hours’ notice to put their massive arena show on to row after row of empty seats, I spent a Saturday evening with what must be the most eerie, unsettling national final ever. Maja og de Sarte Sjaele’s paean to 80s indie pop looked and felt like it had been written to be performed in that setting, and although it was never a contender to win, it’s an arresting three minutes of television.
When it came to the 41 entries that were going to take their place in Rotterdam, there was just the one that really got under my skin. It’s always the host’s prerogative to spring a surprise, and although I hadn’t checked out Jeangu’s previous work, I wasn’t remotely expecting his minimalist and unusual three minutes of raw emotion. I can’t see how he can possibly match this standard with his 2021 offering, but if it’s even close it’ll be worth looking out for. I’m sad that we never got to see what he had in mind for staging this.
“Hajde Da Ludojemo”
Lockdown came, and we found innovative ways to keep entertained – over at ESC Nation every old contest was rewatched over a 10 week period, and the EBU joined forces with Rob Holley at Eurovision Again on Twitter to unearth some gems from the archive in the best quality we’ve ever seen them, often with the former contestants watching along with the rest of us. 1990 was a remarkable achievement just last month, untangling the rights issues from a broadcaster that no longer exists in a country that no longer exists – and it was a delight to see the former Yugoslavia rewarded by topping the poll on the contest that they maybe should have won at the time.
I’ve also been kept busy over at OnEurope with the regular review podcasts. Don’t tell anybody who Phil’s questionable writing team is, though. It’s a secret! Some of the deep dives into the older national finals while researching these have yielded some really pleasant surprises – none more so for me than the Dutch final of 1983, which turned out to be a time capsule of the Eurovision I fell in love with. I’m ending as I started, on a ray of sunshine – will the world be ready to dance again in 2021? I really do hope so!
Author: Richard Taylor
Source: Eurovision Ireland