With even more sun than Lisbon, a late-May Contest in Israel is going to be scorchio!
Let Me Show You…
…Tel Aviv? If you believe ‘Golden Boy’ we’ll have a host city decision in three minutes. Tel Aviv is the obvious and likely option, although consideration will have to be made for Jerusalem following its previous hosting in 1999, and Haifa may pop up in the negotiations just to remind the world there’s more to Israel than the two major cities. Even though Netta and Benjamin Netanyahu have both said ‘Next year in Jerusalem’, remember that L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim is the last line of the Seder ceremony.
More ‘Modern’ Music
Eurovision 2018 was won by a joyously daft experimental K-pop influenced floor-filler, followed by hair-flicking sunscreen-scented Med-pop and the smoothest modern anthemic soul you can imagine. In fourth place, we even had a song which Ed Sheeran would happily take to number one. The time for dated tracks is over. Expect delegations to look up, look forwards, and prepare to exploit all sorts of emerging musical trends.
I guess JOWST was a few years too early. But maybe he’ll be back? He’s already offered to write the UK a song.
Goodbye To The Swedish Sound
For years the dominant sound in the Song Contest could be best described as ‘slick and Swedish’. While that may be enough for the juries, it’s clear that something about Benjamin Ingrosso’s ‘Dance you Off‘ failed to connect to the audiences across Europe in the way it did with the Melodifestivalen audience. Is it time for SVT and those who follow its approach to move on?
That said, Abba have a new single out in December 2018…
How Many Delegations?
A trip to Israel may prove problematic for the delegations of a number of countries,. This year’s record-equalling 43-strong entry list is certainly an ambition, but one that may be harder to achieve. Looking back at the 1999 Contest, the seven withdrawing countries may make you think the number will be higher – but that was in the period before Semi Finals and low scoring countries had to sit out the following year to give everyone a chance to enter.
Will The Community Join Us?
As well as a potentially smaller entry list, the trip to Israel may not to be as attractive to the press and community as Lisbon. This year’s Contest saw record levels of interest in the world’s media – potentially in part due to the attractiveness of the destination. I expect that to change next year.
Australia, Australia, Australia
Then there’s the question of Australia. As with every year it enters, it will need to be invited by the EBU, but with one of their biggest singers in Jessica Mauboy finishing in 20th place, the highly competitive nation may push back on the Contest that is seen to be ‘ignoring’ their top talent.
Can Israel Change The Show?
For all of the innovation on the staging and the use of social media, this year’s Song Contest spent twenty minutes before reaching the first competitive entry and nearly an hour between the end of the 26 songs and the start of the voting sequence – and while the presentation of the public voting leads to tension at the end of the show it is still difficult to follow. There is scope to look at the structure of the show to create more ‘competitive’ elements and reduce the saggy parts. Can the new broadcaster in Israel bring new ideas to the table with a blank sheet of paper, or are we locked into this rhythm of presentation for the foreseeable future.
What I am looking forward to will be Netta’s reprise of ‘Toy’ just before the obligatory follow-up single gets played. As she will be out of competition, will we finally get to hear her at Eurovision with an active and fully-operational looping machine?
What are you looking forward to for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest? Have you hopes and dreams, or are you at all worried? Let us know in the comments.