Also in this fortnight’s newsletter, a look at the recent internally selected artist announcements from Finland, Azerbaijan and The Netherlands, plus some big news from Estonia’s national final Eesti Laul. You can read the newsletter in full here, or subscribe for a bi-weekly dose of Eurovision insight and analysis delivered direct to your email inbox.
Ask the ESC Insight Team…
Finally, in our monthly round-table question, the ESC Insight editorial team weighs in on their favourite – and least favourite – Eurovision themes and slogans from Contests past…
I liked Eurovision 2008’s Confluence of Sound, as it reflected the geography of Belgrade on the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers and as a geography nerd it really pleased me that’s they had merged their geography into the theme. I don’t really have a least favourite, ‘All Aboard’ is going to have to grow on me between and now and then, at the moment I think it’s twee and naff, but I like the graphics so I’m hoping I’ll warm to it.
I quite liked 2015’s ‘Building Bridges’ because they had an actual bridge. Themes which invoke specific imagery are always my preference over generic statements of values.
I really appreciate when the culture of a country is somehow infused into the theme, so “Confluence of Sound” was always a nice one in my book, as it reflected Belgrade’s’s geography, and “Light Your Fire!”, as it not only depicted Azerbaijan’s “land of fire” image, but also brought in that feel-good aspect that many of these slogans try to introduce.
Least favorite? 2014’s #JoinUs. It just felt monolithic and vaguely intimidating, while still being very generic…heaven help you if you don’t “join us”…
I’m also a big fan of ‘Confluence of Sound’. Not only was it a smart way to incorporate Serbia’s national culture, the paint effects in the postcards looked really cool and distinctive.
I also have a big soft spot for the deeply silly 2002 theme ‘A Modern Fairytale’ – particularly for how the Estonian hosts really doubled down on it with the postcards that portrayed slightly baffling recreations of classic fairytales. Ah, simpler times…
Least favourites? #JoinUs was a little basic, and like much of the 2007 contest, that year’s theme of ‘A True Fantasy‘ felt a little undercooked.
Kyiv 2005 (‘Awakening‘) captured perfectly where Ukraine was politically at the time. Combined with that year’s entry I was moved by it: shame their road to democracy continues to be a meandering one. Riga 2003 is my least favourite: always struck me as a lazy copy of Tallinn 2002, but executed poorly…like most of 2003 (the hosts being an exception).
Whilst I found the images rather naff, the concept of ‘Share the Moment‘ wasn’t lost on me in Oslo 2010. That was the first time Eurovision had a proper public village and atmosphere where fans and artists could mingle (and not just a club for some), and a lot of great moments were made – which is why it remains probably my favourite year of attendance as well.
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