Eurovision Song Contest 2021: Block Voting, Stunning Vocals & Capturing Mood – How To Win The Show?

Eurovision Song Contest 2021: Block Voting, Stunning Vocals & Capturing Mood – How To Win The Show?

Although it is a full blast event, winning Eurovision is still considered a sacred cow by many in the music industry.

Countries and broadcasters buy the best songwriters money can buy, hold public contests to find their number, and then go out of their way to make it the best possible performance – all for three minutes of stage time.

But with the political voting charges still pending, is there a magic formula to winning, or is it just enough to rely on geopolitical friendships?

In my opinion, and in the words of Tom Haverford of Parks And Recreation, “it must be a banger”.

If it lights up the stage, makes me hum the tune, and wows me with the vocals, then it’s safe to say it’s becoming a favorite.

And many of the songs that win are often the favorites – but what makes them the favorites and how are Eurovision songs designed to win?

First of all, before you even get to the songs, it’s worth looking at the voting data.

It seems like every year, as soon as the UK starts sliding down the rankings, we hear the same accusations that countries vote based on their political, military or cultural allies at the time.

This usually targets Eastern and Southern European countries, which all seem to vote for each other.

Barbara Pravi from France is one of the firsts this year. Pic: EBU / Thomas Hanses

It is important to keep in mind that in modern times in competition, voting has been done by a combination of national juries made up of industry experts and public telephone voting, with juries in place for try to end the regional vote.

Using the last five contests as a point of reference – a different country won, with a different song style, from different parts of Europe, sung in a range of languages.


Winner: Netherlands (Arcade, Duncan Laurence)

2ème: Italy (Money, Mahmood)

3e: Russie (Scream, Sergey Lazarev)

Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands won with Arcade in 2019. Pic: AP


Winner: Israel (Toy, Netta)

2nd: Cyprus (Fuego, Eleni Foureira)

3e: Autriche (Nobody But You, Cesar Sampson)

Netta’s Toy won in 2018. Pic: AP


Vainqueur: Portugal (Amar Pelos Dois, Salvador Sobral)

2ème: Bulgarie (Beautiful Mess, Kristian Kostov)

3e: Moldavie (Hey Mamma, Sunstroke Project)

Salvador Sobral from Portugal performs the song "Love for both" after winning the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine on Saturday, May 13, 2017 (AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky)
2017 was the year of the Portuguese Salvador Sobral. Pic: AP


Winner: Ukraine (1944, Jamala)

2ème: Australie (Sound Of Silence, Dami Im)

3rd: Russia (You are the only one, Sergey Lazarev)

Eurovision-winning Ukrainian singer Jamala performs at a concert in Kiev, Ukraine on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 (AP Photo / Sergei Chuzavkov)
Ukraine Jamala won the title in 2016 with 1944. Photo: AP


Winner: Sweden (Heroes, Mans Zelmerlow)

2nd: Russia (A Million Voices, Polina Gagarina)

3ème: Italie (Grande Amore, Il Volo)

FILE - In this photo from Wednesday, May 20, 2015, Swede Mans Zelmerlow performs the song & # 39;  Heroes'  during a dress rehearsal for the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, the Austrian capital.  Zelmerlow won the competition last year with a performance featuring lively dancers.  His victory means Sweden will host this year's event, the final of which is set to take place in the capital Stockholm on Saturday May 14 (AP Photo / Kerstin Joensson, File)
Mans Zelmerlow gave Sweden their sixth victory with Heroes. Pic: AP

Russia (and it is almost always Russia) generally benefits from the bloc vote, with Eastern European countries such as Ukraine, Lithuania and Moldova rallying around the country when it does. is about voting.

You also see other parts of the continent joining forces – Norway, Denmark and Sweden often give each other big points, for example, as well as Ireland and the UK often exchanging niceties as well (thank you guys!)

But with all the accusations of bloc voting and political voting, it remains to be seen if this has a significant impact on the competition itself.

Ireland and the UK, often criticized by modern-day commentators, are two of the most decorated countries in the history of the competition, with seven and five trophies respectively.

Behind Ireland’s record wins is Sweden, with six, followed by countries like France, Luxembourg and Israel.

Ireland and Sweden have won the most Eurovision Song Contest
Ireland and Sweden have won the Eurovision Song Contest

This is a sentiment shared by expert Paul Jordan – rightly called Dr Eurovision.

« I think block voting has always been part of the song contest, that’s nothing new. I would say it’s more cultural than political, ”he told Sky News.

Jordan may know more about Eurovision than anyone on the planet and explains that the bloc vote is something the UK sometimes benefits from.

“If you look at the Balkans, for example, in the former Soviet Union, they vote for each song because quite often they know each of these artists in the music of the other. Certainly the UK and Ireland also vote for each other.

“It’s not a matter of politics – I don’t think Ireland would have voted for the UK like they have in recent years, and indeed the UK gave Jedward 12 points. when he represented Ireland in 2011 and voted strongly for them again the following year – so we vote by our own neighbors in the UK as well.

Jedward during the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 final in Dusseldorf, Germany on Saturday May 14, 2011. (AP Photo / Frank Augstein)
The UK gave Jedward 12 points in 2011 – proving we’re a sucker for the Irish. Pic: AP

“In general, I would say that in the evening, it comes down to music. «

But aside from a tactical vote, Jordan attributes the victory to two things; songwriting and night performance.

« I think performance is the key. Yes, the song too, but there have been a lot of different styles of music… I don’t think there is one genre that really trumps the others.

“And certainly, at least, the last decade has told us it’s really unpredictable, but it’s about captivating audiences, both in the arena and at home, as well as the most important juries. “

So what about from the point of view of the performer and the songwriter? How do they know what could do well and what will fall apart on the big night?

The simple answer is, it doesn’t.

The UK hopes this year will rest on the shoulders of Brit Award-winning James Newman, who will perform the self-written track Embers.

“Every year is different,” he told Sky News.

“I think it’s mostly about writing something that connects with people that feels like capturing a moment, capturing a sense of what’s going on at that moment and something that people can connect one way or another.

“If it’s a soulful song, then it gets them there and if it’s fun and exciting… it might draw people in.”

“I wanted to do something that had a memorable hook that you didn’t need to know the lyrics about because there are 41 countries and not everyone can speak my language, so if this is a time you can just singing without having to know the words, I think that’s really important.

“I don’t think there is a formula. I think it’s just a feeling that you have to try to understand. “

So who wants this year?

Malta & # 39;  s Destiny is also a favorite this year.  Pic: EBU / Andres Putting
Malta’s Destiny is also one of the favorites this year. Pic: EBU / Andres Putting

Well, Dr Eurovision reckons that Lithuania, Iceland, Malta and France could all win the trophy this year, adding that Sweden could be a dark horse.

Unable to vote for himself, James Newman sings the praises of Malta, but believes Ireland and Sweden also have a decent chance.

Bookies tell a slightly similar story, with SkyBet picking Italy as this year’s favorite, followed by France, Malta and Cyprus.

And you’re in luck, because the wait to see who wins this year’s competition is almost over.

You can watch the first semi-final on Tuesday May 18, the second on Thursday May 20, with the highly anticipated final on Saturday May 22 – all broadcast on the BBC (UK member of the Eurovision Broadcasting Union).


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