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Ballads Don’t Always Win

It is a common misconception that Eurovision is overrun with ballads and that ballads attract more recognition from the juries than any other genre. The truth is that any genre can win Eurovision, provided it meets certain criteria and can appeal to a wide demographic of voters.

The factors that dictate a song’s likability are equally relevant to the both the TV audience and the professional juries. The professional juries however, are for the most part, not clouded by political and nationalistic tendencies, which is why the 50/50 split vote is key to maintaining fairness in the modern Eurovision format.

There are tacit rules that determine how a song will fair against the scrutiny of the professional juries, but sometimes a song can surprise even the most experienced of Eurovision viewers. These rules will be explored further in other bite-size articles.

Returning to the analysis of successful musical genres, the following chart illustrates the placed song genres over the last four years since the reintroduction of the juries and beginning of the 50/50 vote share.

song placings

Whilst you could argue that there are several ballads present, only one could have been considered an outright ballad prior to 2012. The other songs possess rock and pop elements that create a more current sound, making them appeal to a younger market. The pop genre is what really stands out and adds more importance to the term ‘current’. When we use the term current, we mean a song that we could comfortably listen to on the radio, a song in the charts, or a sound that is in harmony with present musical trends.

2012 was a strange year for genres.  There were both loads of ballads and dance tracks with very few songs claiming the middle ground or giving us one of those rhythmical ethnic stompers.  The top-10 was made of five ballads; six if you wish to count Germany’s pop-ballad.  In that case, it’s hardly surprising to see so many performing at the sharp end of the leader board.

By referring to our Strategy articles, a current sounding song with a well-produced stage show should resonate with both the voting public and the juries. Sometimes, just the sound alone can infect the masses, as we witnessed in 2010, when Lena won for Germany with a less than spectacular and somewhat uncoordinated stage show.

There are exceptions that sometimes sneak past even the most beady eyed of Eurovision observers. However, buy applying some of the information found in the strategy section, it shouldn’t be too difficult to muster up some profit.


About Gavster

Owner & Chief Editor   I’m a qualified designer and the official geek in the crew, dedicating most of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.

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