With the end of 2022 approaching, for many of us, it will feel like this year has just flown by and in the Eurovision World, this is no exception ! The adult Eurovision contest which took place in Turin in May now seems like a lifetime ago and it’s even harder to believe that just two weeks ago, the Junior contest took place in Yereven , Armenia !
Before we move on into 2023 ,when the National selections to choose the acts that will be making the journey to the 2023 contest in Liverpool,will start to get going ,we at Eurovision Ireland thought we would take a look back at some of the highlights of the Eurovision 2022 year .
At the start of the year, we were full into coverage of the year’s National Finals. From Norway choosing Subwoolfer with yellow wolf masks , talking about a wolf eating Grandma,Moldova putting their faith again in Zdob și Zdub , this time singing a jolly ,uplifting song about a train journey between Romania and Moldova , to Serbia choosing Konstrakta, who gave us all a lesson in the importance of handwashing and health , it was all shaping up to be a very interesting year indeed ……….
Ukraine held their usual Vidbir National Selection and Alina Pash won the contest with her song “Shadows of Forgotten ancestors”. However , as happened with Maruv in 2019 , following her win, the Ukranian broadcaster UA: PBC queried her participation because of investigations into a trip made into Crimea in 2015, which was under Russian control. The runners up, Kalush Orchestra with their song “Stefania ” were selected to go to Turin instead. However, no-one could have predicted that weeks later, Ukraine’s ability to participate in the contest altogether would be placed in severe doubt ……..
The War in Ukraine
On 24th February 2022 Russian troops started their invasion of Ukraine .This led to many Ukrainian citizens fleeing the country, including some of Ukraine’s past Eurovision acts . Men were obliged to remain in the country to fight against the enemy . Russia’s actions led to the decision being taken by the EBU that both Russia and Belarus would not be allowed to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the foreseeable future.As members of Kalush orchestra were fighting for their homeland, there were initially some doubts as to whether Ukraine would be able to participate , but the band were given a special concession to go to Turin as it was felt that Ukraine’s participation would boost morale for the country’s citizens who had fled to various countries throughout Europe. This inevitably raised the question that with most of Europe allying with Ukraine and the plight of the Ukrainians being seen on the media every day, could this bring another win for Ukraine by means of an overwhelming vote of support for Ukraine in the public vote in Turin ?
Kalush orchestra were successful in getting out of their semi final in Turin and performed in the Grand final on 14th May . While the juries did not select them as their winner, they still gave enough votes to ensure that when Ukraine got a record breaking 439 public votes , they easily took victory , beating UK’s Sam Ryder into second place .Ukraine’s victory received a mixed response throughout Europe, while many congratulated them on their win, there were some who felt that the victory was a political one and that had it been a “normal” year , they would not have been amongst the favourites to win in Turin .Whatever our various views may be , well done Ukraine !
THE UK ARE BACK !!!
After many years languishing on the bottom end of the score board and last year having the unwelcome honour of getting nil points in both the jury and televoting in the 2021 contest in Rotterdam, The N etherlands , the BBC changed the format for choosing the UK entry in 2022 by collaborating with record label TaP music . Through this , Sam Ryder, who had already acquired a fanbase through Tik Tok , was selected to sing his song “Spaceman “. For the first time in many years, there was a feeling in the UK that they could do well this year . Sam promoted the song by travelling around the UK and Europe and this paid dividends when in the Grand Final on 14th May ,after a surreal evening where we heard “douze points to the UK ” more times in one evening than we had heard since the beginning of this millenium, he won the Jury vote with 286 points but unfortunately with Ukraine’s record score in the public vote , he was not able to take victory outright. However finishing second was a great result for a country that had not done too well over recent years, the last top three having been in 2002 ! The BBC have announced their intention to use the same format for selecting the entry for 2023 , to be held on home soil. The UK , as runners up and Jury vote winners, are hosting the 2023 contest on behalf of Ukraine, who are unable to host due to the ongoing war with Russia.
The Other Talking points of 2022
Eurovision always has its share of shocks and surprises , producing many a talking point and 2022 was no exception.
San Marino brought an act to the contest that did just that . Achille Lauro , an Italian singer, songwriter and rapper , won the National selection to represent San Marino in Turin with the song “Stripper”. His performance in the Semi Final in Turin caused quite a stir with both fans and media alike ,with the singer scantily dressed , some suggestive movements on stage and the last parts of the song sung with Achille Lauro, mounted on top of a mechanical bull ! Unfortunately, the performance may have been a little too steamy for the more conservative Eurovision voters as Achille Lauro failed to make the Grand Final, finishing in 14th position with 50 points
Spain , like the UK had spent many years since the start of the millenium, with mixed fortunes on the scoreboard.This year, they completely revamped their national selection producing a very slick and polished national final called “Benidorm Fest “, which was an upgrade of the International Benidorm festival. Chanel with her song “SloMo ” won the golden ticket to Turin . In the run up to the contest, Chanel was tipped as a possible winner,having become a fan favourite and on the night of the Grand Final, with very slick choreography , she managed to achieve third place for Spain, their first time in the top 5 since 1995 . Spain are building on that success in Turin by using the same Benidorm Fest format for selecting their 2023 entry .
Portugal produced another surprise of 2022 , albeit a pleasant one . When MARO won Festival da Cançao the Portugese national selection with her gentle song, “Saudade,Saudade”, there were probably many who were sceptical of her chances.However, as we know, these types of songs can often stand out on the night against the uptempo performances and MARO made it out of the Semi Final to the Grand Final,having come 4th in her semi final . By steadily picking up points in the jury voting and achieving 36 public votes MARO was able to achieve a credible 9th place for Portugal .
Serbia selected Konstrakta with her song In Corpore Sano , with a message about the importance of health care . The gospel like performance of the backing singers , along with Konstrakta sat on stage washing her hands , made us sit up and take notice but there were fears that the song being sung in a language few would understand , would damage its chances as the audience would not be able to relate to the song’s message. However, the catchy tune along with English lyrics being subtitled for those watching the contest on screen , got the audience clapping along and Europe clearly got the message when Serbia achieved 225 public votes , along with 87 Jury votes and achieved their best result ever of 5th place!
Moldova have never failed to disappoint over the years as they have sent some rather unique entries and this year was no exception. Zdob și Zdub had already brought fun to the show with their entries “Boonika bate Doba” in 2005 , finishing 6th , “So Lucky ” in 2011, finishing 12th and their 2022 entry Trenulețul” was no exception being a fun filled, catchy, get up and dance song .It gave them a very respectable 7th place, coming second to Ukraine in the Televote with 239 points .
Armenia brought Rosa Linn to Turin with her song “Snap”.Although she qualified for the Grand Final, she was only able to achieve 20th place after coming 5th in her semi final. Who could therefore have imagined that post Eurovision 2022, the song would go viral on Tik Tok and climb the music charts throughout Europe and the USA ? Rosa- Linn’s success post contest proves that you don’t have to do well in the contest to achieve success outside it .
Ireland pinned all their hopes on Brooke Scullion with her song “That’s Rich” to get them to the Grand Final in Turin ,not having reached the Final since 2018.Sadly, despite a great performance from Brooke, she failed to make it out of her Semi Final.She finished 15th with 47 points in Semi Final 2 .
We couldn’t really write this review without giving Junior Eurovision a mention. The contest this year was held in Yerevan, Armenia, following Malena’s victory in 2021 with her song “Qami , Qami “. The contest saw the return to the contest of the UK , who last appeared in the contest in 2005, with Freya Skye with her song “Lose my head”. Despite having experienced ill health during rehearsals week, Freya managed to achieve a very respectable 5th place, winning the televote in the process.
France took victory with Lissandro singing his song “Oh Maman!”, which will take Junior Eurovision back to France next year ,This is France’s 2nd victory in two years in Junior Eurovision.
AND ON TO LIVERPOOL 2023 ………..
With Ukraine as winners being unable to host Eurovision 2023, The UK, as runners up,were asked to take on hosting responsibilities .Several cities in the UK put forward a bid to become the host city for 2023, including the 1998 host city,Birmingham.However, it was Liverpool that won the bid and the right to host the contest in 2023.
So that’s just a few of our memories of the Eurovision year 2022 . You may have others which we haven’t mentioned here. What do you think? What are your memories of the Eurovision year 2022? What are your hopes for Eurovision 2023 ? Let us know what you think by dropping us a line in our comments box.
We at Eurovision Ireland would like to wish all our readers and Eurovision fans everywhere, a very happy and peaceful New Year and keep a look out for our coverage of National Final Season, where we will be bringing you live blogs of the National Finals throughout Europe , news of Internal selections by those countries not opting for a National Final and , of course, the organisation in Liverpool !
Author: Sarah Rudman
Source & Visual Sources : Eurovision.TV BBC You Tube