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Eurovision 2022: The Fallen Sun

As a person who loves and writes music, Eurovision is one of the events that I have been closely following for the past few years. I like the Eurovision community, as well as the music discovery aspect. I also enjoy witnessing the whole process of putting up the show each year – obviously, as much as I can, based on what is made available to the public. I have taken part in the organisation of several concerts and I find the complexity associated with it fascinating. As a software engineer, I have to solve problems on a daily basis, so I am curious about how people go about solving problems when they arise, regardless of the industry.

This will be the first out of two articles that I will write this month related to the event. This one will cover my favourite songs for this year (so far), as well as my first impressions from the stage.

Spoiler Alert: The article contains exclusive photos that reveal the stage design and the staging of some of the participating countries. 🎤

Throw Back to Eurovision 2021

I must admit I am quite surprised I did not write an article about Eurovision last year. Furthermore, I have failed to include a section about it in the music-related article that I published back in January. I wanted to pay tribute to last year’s edition, as it is very well-deserved.

Eurovision 2021 – photos by eurovision.tv

Personally, the 2021 Eurovision has been the most exciting one yet. The Netherlands was quite lucky with Covid happening and the 2020’s edition being cancelled — the year gap made the event much more exciting. Furthermore, it was one of the first events of this scale organised after the pandemic started and among the only few positive things that have happened during Covid. The participants also had the opportunity to rethink and change their songs and subsequently, it turned out to be among the strongest years music quality-wise. Last but not least, the general public had time to forget the show that Israel put up in 2019 — which, in my opinion — has been the best one in recent years. The stage and the interval acts (excluding the Madonna’s appearance) were phenomenal. Unfortunately, 2019 was a year with very bad songs overall which ruined the great effort Israel made.

Four songs from Eurovision 2021 ended up in my Top 100 most streamed songs of 2021. According to Apple Music, last year I listened to 1,424 artists (😱) which is enough to show how competitive it was to get into my most listened to songs list. Four Eurovision entries being there is evidence of the quality of the songs presented (based on my personal taste). I want to thank the organisers and the participating countries for the great show and all the emotions related to it before and after the live shows. 🤩

This year, the contest will be held in Turin, Italy, after the Måneskin’s victory.

the experience of CHOOSING FAVOURITEs

The quality of the songs is at least as important as the overall show. Listening to all participants’ songs and choosing favourites is quite of an experience.

There are different factors that play part and some of them might be disadvantageous to some contestants (and advantageous to others).

For example, if it were up to me, all songs would be unveiled at once. Currently, songs are released with a few-month gap in between. Ronela’s “Secret” was released last December, while the last entry to be announced, Nadir's "Fade To Black", was announced in March – much closer to the live shows. In case I like some of the songs released earlier, the chances that I will be biassed towards them are much higher, as I will have listened to them for much longer. Some might argue that releasing all the songs throughout the span of several months allows people to easily digest each one of them, however, for me, it is actually a bit of a hassle to follow when each country announces their entry. Regardless, this is just my opinion and I know that there are reasons why announcing all songs at once does not happen, including the national selection concerts, the Eurovision pre-parties, and more.

Within the community, I feel like there sometimes might be peer pressure that might result in a given entry being more favoured despite it not being strong enough. It is not necessarily a bad thing and such songs are usually related to jokes and memes (and we love them 🤫) within the community, which make following the contest more exciting, but rarely secure a higher placement on the scoreboard.

The staging and the artist are also influential on how a song is perceived. Last year, I listened to “Zitti E Buoni” a few times before the live shows, only because it was the bookmakers’ favourite. I actually started liking the song after the live show — when I saw the performance and how likeable Damiano is. Even if this was not my favourite entry, I was happy for Måneskin and I think the won was well-earned.

Finally, it really depends on what period of life you are in. As it goes about music in general, I have found myself disliking some songs only to like them a few years later.


As it turns out, this year there are more songs that I like than I anticipated initially. As of today, 3rd of May, five songs appear in my Top 100 most listened to songs for this year:
I would be quite happy with any one of them winning (including "SloMo" which, apparently, I do not listen to often, but still enjoy).

I also like "Halo", "That's Rich", "Fulenn", "Llámame", and "Breathe". Other songs that are okay, but probably in the lower tier, are "De Diepte", "saudade, saudade", "Sentimentai", "SPACE MAN", "Lights Off", "I Am What I Am", "Trenulețul", "SNAP", and "Circles".

That said, it seems like I find about half of the songs this year to be listenable, which is quite good. I started liking some of the songs I listed above lately, so I will revisit this section in the next article after the Grand Final.

Stage Design and Issues

The stage is, obviously, the most important aspect of any concert. Even a boring song can be perceived well on an interesting stage with good staging. The design studio Atelier Francesca Montinaro has ben chosen to design the Eurovision 2022 stage. The two most exciting components of the stage this year are a "kinetic sun" and a waterfall. The sun is built of a several arcs that were meant to be able to rotate independently. Each arc holds LED stage lightning.

Preparations of the Eurovision 2022 stage – photos by eurovision.tv

The photos above show the arcs in place, forming the sun component, as well as how they could be individually rotated. Unfortunately, there is a technical fault with the motors and a decision has been taken to have the arcs static during the individual performances. I have read some information that a limited motion might happen during the interval acts only. The issue with the kinetic sun is a very big and very upsetting one. The dynamics and the way the show looks would have been completely different with the motion of the arcs. Moreover, the rotation would have allowed for lighting patterns that will not be possible now. Some countries have relied on the sun as the main element of their performance and now changes have to be made at the last minute. The arcs, when static and in place, also cover the LED screen behind, meaning that the performances which are heavily graphically based are also affected.

As a result, the performances might look more similar to one another. In general, it does not mean the show will be a disaster. After all, last year, there were no moving components of the stage and the show was still very good. With the right camera angles, it will most probably look good enough on screen. However, we know what the original idea was and knowing that what we are seeing is half of what it could have been, is definitely unsettling, especially for fans who have been waiting to see it in action for a few months now. The situation is a very good example of overpromising and underdelivering. How things have turned out and if the team manages to surprise us with a creative solution is something I look forward to finding out and discussing in the upcoming article later this month.

Here are a few photos from the rehearsals where you can see the final design of the stage, as well as the waterfall (which I absolutely love as an idea and execution):

Eurovision 2022 first rehearsals – photos by eurovision.tv

Bulgaria at Eurovision 2022

Bulgaria will be represented by the rock group Intelligent Music Project with the song "Intention". The group was founded by the Bulgarian businessman, philanthropist and arts patron Dr Milen Vrabevski. I wanted to note that the Bulgarian public broadcaster BNT has been using an internal selection process since 2016. Bulgarians have not taken part in the selection of any of the performers in the past years and the majority have definitely not been happy with the selections made.

Bulgaria withdrew from the contest due to financial problems in 2014 (and also could not participate in 2019 for the same reason) and returned in 2016 with the internal selection process introduced. Anyone can represent Bulgaria, as long as they sponsor their participation in the contest. In that sense, it is no surprise that the same people are sent to represent the country every year or that a businessman is behind the group that will represent the country this year. The quoted price for participation is €150,000, which, in a country with an average salary of €7,800 per annum (as of 2019), very few can afford.

Intelligent Music Project does not represent Bulgaria but presents itself instead. Voting for them puts talented artists at disadvantage and supports a model that humiliates the country.


Last year, Ukraine's entry, "SHUM", was my favourite and ended up being my second most listened song for 2021. Despite not winning, I was very happy that it became a fan's favourite and was placed second in the tele-vote. This year, I am not a fan of "Stefania" and Kalush Orchestra. Of course, it comes down to personal taste, but I believe there are better songs that deserve to win. "Stefania" is also not better than "SHUM" in any way. I would say that Eurovision is more about coming first. This can be seen through the friendships that the artists build with one another, the events that they attend together, etc. The same goes for the fans. We all know that personal bias, feelings (such as compassion in 2017) and politics are always part of Eurovision — however, 40 countries work hard, and also pay a lot of money to participate. Europe has been united about Ukraine and has been helping and supporting it in many ways, however, Ukraine winning because of the current situation would be disrespectful to the other participants. Justice and fairness are things I value a lot in life — let's keep politics out of the way as much as possible and vote for what we like and what we think is good, musically. In other words, vote for Ukraine if you like the song, not if you feel sorry for them.

Ukraine had two other options — "Nozzy Bossy" by WELLBOY and "Тіні забутих предків" by Alina Pash. I love both songs and would have loved to see either of them at Eurovision 2022. In fact, Alina Pash was selected to represent Ukraine, however, due to document forgery was disqualified.

stream the songs and watch the shows

The official playlist with all 40 participating songs is available on all streaming services.

The first semi-final will take place on 10th of May, while the second is on the 12th of May. The Grand Final is on 14th of May. All shows start at 8pm BST (21:00 CEST).

Sneak peeks, exclusive content, as well as music videos of all of the participating countries can be found on the official Eurovision YouTube profile. On the day of each show, a live stream should be available (might not be available in some countries, so a VPN might be needed).

You can find more information about how to watch the concerts in your country on the official Eurovision How To Watch page (which is still not updated with the 2022 details, however, the information should be similar).

Article cover image by eurovision.tv

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