Eurovision 2022: The Fallen Sun
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
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
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.
MY FAVOURITE 2022 ENTRIES
- Andromache — Ela (Cyprus)
- Ronela Hajati — Sekret (Albania)
- Konstrakta — In corpore sano (Serbia)
- Subwoolfer — Give That Wolf A Banana (Norway)
- Mahmood & BLANCO — Brividi (Italy)
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 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.
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):
Bulgaria at Eurovision 2022
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.
UKRAINE AT EUROVISION 2022
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 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).
Article cover image by eurovision.tv