A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Sunday, May 15, 2016

ESC 2016: How do you solve a problem like Germany?

I got many things wrong in my prediction yesterday but I did foresee that Germany would end in last place for the second consecutive year. Jamie-Lee didn't deserve it, but it was understandable.

The German song was designed to live a long life in the charts, not to break through to people in three short minutes. It lacked intensity and was anything but instant. It won the German final because the audience was already familiar with it after several weeks of airplay.

Had Jamie-Lee been forced to enter the national final with a new song instead - one that would have had to impress people on a first listening - she would have had every chance to hit home better in Stockholm as well. This is something for ARD to ponder for years to come.

The UK had a pretty similar problem as they had selected a song that felt more fresh and likeable than what the audience expected. It was a good and energetic song and it was really good for being a recent UK entry. That's also the problem with it.

When you get 26 songs at once, you vote for the one that stands out and speaks to you. You don't give kind bonus points to any country just because they happen to be better than you'd expect them to be. You vote for your winner. And while the UK was good it was in no way a winner.

The UK has ended up in the well-known territory of Finland - you find a song you really believe in and think will impress people, but in the end they find it to be OK but average and nobody votes for you. "You're Not Alone" was the best song on offer in the UK final but all songs participating were very safe and inoffensive. Next year they would need to find some edge.

And then Spain. I must say the low placing of Barei was a great injustice. She gave a good and spirited performance but probably got overshadowed by Russia in the eye of the average viewer.

According to people in my Twitter feed there was a real good outcry on social media against TVE and their ESC attitude last night. I can understand that anger.

Spain is one of those countries that should be able to make top ten every year if they wanted to. There is so much quality music being made there, of every form and shape imaginable. If TVE would tap into the large pool of established professionals instead of using the people willing to go into an unestablished national final formula, maybe the results would improve?


  1. And there is the problem with too many songs in the final. With whopping 26 songs there us just too much for the general audience to digest. For juries, who are chosen to listen to and judge every song it is OK, but for the audience among 26 too many good songs (particularly with low starting number) get lost and forgotten in the sea of effects and other gimmicks. Back to 22-23, please EBU.

  2. Very bad result for the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, Spain and Germany of course.
    According to Betty MacDonald fan club ESC fans from 40 countries: that's our TOP 5

  3. We got many messages from Switzerland, Spain, Austria and Germany that they are no longer interested in watching ESC and their countries should leave ESC.