In the upcoming days, we take a look at the aftermath of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. This episode is about the countries of former Yugoslavia, that almost all missed out on a place in the final. Except Croatia’s Jacques Houdek.
What happened to the countries from former Yugoslavia, that used to be real forces in Eurovision about ten years ago. In 2017, only Croatia’s song ‘My Friend’ was in the final. And that entry also failed to make it to the top 10, to much disappointment for Jacques Houdek.
In a post on his Facebook page, Houdek elaborated on his theory that the juries from the former Yugoslavia were bitter about Croatia being the only nation to qualify for the Grand Final. “The success could have been bigger. The lack of support of the ‘expert’ judges of neighbouring countries is really shameful. Unfortunately there was bitterness I suppose because Croatia was the only one from the region in the grand final.”
The good news is that this story debunks a solid Eurovision myth. Block voting or neighbour voting… It does not exist, especially not with the juries. Out of the televoting block, only Slovenia and Montenegro gave “My Friend” 12 points, F.Y.R Macedonia’s televoters gave it 10.
Slovenia, FYR Macedonia (again) and Montenegro did not make the final by far. Serbia got really close, missing out on a couple of points to Denmark. Still, broadcaster RTS are no sore losers and already confirmed to take part again in Lisbon!
And once again, Sweden has booked a clear top 10 result at the Eurovision Song Contest. Therefore, episode 8 of our lookback at the aftermath of the contest in Kiev we talk about Robin Bengtsson and his fifth placed song ‘I can’t go on’.
Before the contest, Robin Bengtsson was already considered a candidate to finish above top favourite Francesco Gabbani in the end result of the contest in Kiev. By doing so, he was an outsider for victory. And even though Sweden indeed finished above Italy, it was not enough to win the contest.
But beware. Sweden is still hunting the all time victory record from Ireland, but is definitely not disappointed with the result in Kiev.
“A fifth place! We can not be anything but overjoyed. Robin and the guys did a great job and held the Swedish fan high, and thought we beat Italy’s great favorite, absolutely amazing,” said Mari Ryberger, head of the Swedish delegation after the contest in Ukraine.
The only critism came from Bengtsson himself, talking about the victory speech of winner Salvador Sobral from Portugal. He said that his victory was a win for “real music against fastfood music”. Apparantly, Bengtsson felt offended and defended his style of music. Furthermore, he had nothing but nice words for the whole experience in Kiev.
Perhaps the only man that is really disappointed by the Swedish result in 2017, is Christer Björkman. He will have two remaining attempts to take away the all-time record from Ireland. After the victory of Mans Zelmerlöw in 2015, he already said that we would do Melodifestivalen for another four years, before quiting the job as a producer for the biggest preselection show in Europe.
In these weeks, we take a look at the aftermath of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. In this episode we talk about Italy, the expected winning country of the contest in Kiev that only got a sixth place with Francesco Gabbani and his song ‘Occidentali’s Karma’.
At some point, according to professional gambler Daniel Gould, the bookmakers placed Italy so high as a favourite in their odds, that we never seen it in the past in such matter. When the end result was just a mere sixth place, we wonder… What went wrong for Italy?
Francesco Gabbani – Occidentali’s Karma Live @Eurovision
Of course we had the bad draw, being with many other candidates for the win in the first half, on starting slot 9. And the song, that had to be shortened down for Eurovision. But still, with a 6th place we have to agree on this: ‘Occidentali’s Karma’ and its chances to win in Kiev, were highly overrated.
Despite the disappointing result, Italy still has high ambitions when it comes to Sanremo ánd the Eurovision Song Contest. Andrea Fabiano the Head of RAI 1 has revealed that he not only wants to see Italy host the Eurovision Song Contest, but to have Sanremo reach the technological standard of Eurovision. Mr Fabiano stated over the weekend that over the past two years RAI has begun to heavily push the Eurovision Song Contest, with the broadcaster recognising the potential of the event.
Looking forward the Head of RAI 1 wants to see Sanremo expand in both scale and the technology it uses. Within the next few years he wishes to see Sanremo approach the level of performances seen at the Eurovision Song Contest. In addition the broadcaster is in discussions with the city of Sanremo to move to a larger venue.
Mr Fabiano explained that in recent years Italian artists have recognised the value of participating in the Eurovision Song Contest and the opportunity of bringing the contest to Italy. In the run up to this years contest Francesco Gabbani was the favourite to win the contest, which lead to a number of cities provisionally expressing an interest in hosting.
One such city that approached RAI to host the contest in the event of victory was Bologna. We will have to wait and see if we can go to Italy in one of the upcoming years after all.
Eva Boto, Greta Salome, Norma John. The list of shocking non-qualying songs at the Eurovision Song Contest has a new name on it. Today we take a look at the aftermath of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Finland.
The bookmakers, the fans and the polls were clear: Finland was sailing into the final of the Eurovision Song Contest with the dark ballad ‘Blackbird’. Perhaps it could even reach the top 10 for the first time in many years? Anyway, for the first time since 2014 Finland would be there in the grand final on Saturday.
Things turned out a bit different for the duo Norma John, who came up after a break behind Slavko’s kitsch for Montenegro. Surprisingly, they were not completely forgotten by televoters, who gave Finland a tenth place. It were the juries that voted Finland down and out of the competition. But why?
The Norma John duo Leena Tirronen and Lasse Piirainen were surprisingly calm after the first semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Even though the finals were missed and both were of course annoyed, they were able to give several interviews with professional grips. Leena said: “We were pleased with our appeal. This is how it happened. There were very hard countries and songs.”
Her piano partner in crime thinks it is important to “remember that music is really difficult to compete. This is a bad idea. People hear the song from the first heard and vote on it. We still think that Blackbird is an extremely tough song. Eurovision is a wild roller coaster. As has been seen in previous years, just how can it be,” continues Piirainen.
Many fans are still wondering why Finland did not make it to the final again. The two musicians think it is pointless to speculate too much about why Finland did not even get into the finals this time.
The new state broadcaster in Israel, IBPC, has applied for full EBU-membership. If the EBU accepts their application, there is still hope for Israel to be able to compete in Lisbon, Portugal next year for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
The EBU can also allow Israel to take part, if they decline the application for IBPC. The current broadcaster IBA is no longer on air, as was confirmed by Ofer Nachshon, the Israeli spokesperson’s, before he gave the votes. This does not have to mean that Israel will no longer be able to take part, however.
Still hope for Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest
It was known that the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, IPBC in short, would take over the public broadcast but concerns were raised by the Eurovision Broadcasting Union they saw too much government interference and the channel would reportedly have no news broadcasts, a requirement to enjoy full EBU membership.
Since there is always room for exceptions, the EBU and host broadcaster RTP can always find a solution for Israel. In recent years, the country made an end to their bad streak of results and made it to the final three years in a row at the Eurovision Song Contest.
We take a look at the aftermath of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. Today we take a look at Romania, that returned to Eurovision with a 7th place in the grand final with their typical song ‘Yodel It!’.
A combination of yodeling and rap. Only in the Eurovision Song Contest you can see and hear such a unique combination! Especially the televoters loved the Romanian entry, giving Ilinca and Alex a result in the top 10 of the contest in Kiev, with a seventh place!
Right after the national final in Romania, there were some speculations that ‘Yodel It’ might go really high at the contest in Kiev. But, with the jury vote introduced a couple of years ago, these kind of gimmick songs get voted down, so a win was never a possibility this year for Romania. Still, Ilinca is proud of her result, as she looks back in the Adevarul newspaper.”I feel proud to have entered the top ten countries at Eurovision 2017. That was my goal set at home. In the semifinal we put on a bet that we are out in this top 10 and we have won! Others gave us the first five. Juries were envious. The judges had other criteria of classification and I do not think they appreciated the songs that invited you to dance, as it is ours. I think they appreciated the ballads more.”
Alex tries to correct her, by saying that juries did go for Moldova’s uptempo fun-song. “But what we enjoy is that we have won the hearts of the fans, we have reached the 5th place in the public preferences. If the jury was more generous, we also had the second or third place!”
About the winner Salvador Sobral he was not so generous in his comments: “The winner used the marketing. His story worked and caught on to the audience. But from my point of view Salvador has no problems with the heart, but with his head. The Portuguese made the theater, so I felt. I’ve seen him in many ways and I did not think he’s in trouble. His song is excellent, on the other hand, he has never written one like that. But it takes me out of cheap theater. There are many people who have problems. But do not count on this to win. If you want to win something you have to go strictly on what you do professionally, on the voice, on the show. That’s the win!”
The – more than a friendly – kiss that Alex tried to give his “partner” Ilinca right after their performance was also mentioned in the interview… “That kiss from the end was a spontaneous gesture. It was like a release. It was a kind of thanks!,” says Alex. Ilinca has no hard feelings. “Now all the jokes are with and about us! But it does not bother us. I’m also laughing at my face!”