With the lineup of 43 countries confirmed (subject to late withdrawals), Betfair has fired the starting gun on seven months of hard graft by opening the Eurovision exchange outright. Nearly £300 has already been matched at the time of writing – a few quid of it is mine. The strategy at this point is getting matched at high prices, while laying odds that appear too low given the lack of solid data.
Over the last two weeks the first two artists were presented for next year’s Contest: Cyprus presented Hovig (read about Hovig here) and the Netherlands unveiled The Voice winners, O’G3NE (pronounced O-Gene).
O’G3NE were rumoured to be taking part back in the summer and their selection is largely seen as a positive. However, female groups have endured a poor record in the Contest in recent years with Las Ketchup finishing 21st in 2006, No Angels ending up in a 3-way tie for last place in 2008 and Feminem failing to qualify in 2010. O’G3NE are much stronger vocally than those aforementioned groups, and if they enter a contemporary song, they could do extremely well.
The rumoured artists taking part in Melodifestivalen 2017 have started leak ahead of the official press launch due end of November/early December – we’ll have our Melodifestivalen artist rumour thread open shortly. SVT also presented David Lindgren, Hasse Andersson and Clara Henry as next year’s hosts.
Danmarks Radio (DR) have apparently decided against allowing groups and duets from taking part in Melodi Grand Prix 2017, which signals how disappointed DR were with Anti-Social Media and Lighthouse X; both groups beat the broadcaster’s favoured acts. There are also rumours suggesting a return to international juries, which can only benefit Denmark in the long run.
Finland’s Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu will get under way on November 23rd when YLE plans to unveil the list of competing artists. YLE will be hoping for a return to Softengine’s 2014 success following two horrific years at Eurovision.
Spain’s national broadcaster, RTVE, has announced it will allow the public to decide their national final artists from a list of 30. Spain and public vote are three words one should never see in the same sentence unless joined by will not. The only positive will be that established, well-known artists should be favoured. Though far be it from me to suggest that the most good looking guy might also do well.
Latvia will incorporate Spotify data into their Supernova national final selection process, rather than 100% televote, which nearly saw goth rock band, Catalepsia, beat Justs in the final. This is a wise move, as Spotify offers objective analysis of music consumption which will ultimately reward the most popular song.
Over in Malta, PBS has scrapped jury voting, which has always been accused of awarding points to achieve the broadcaster’s desired outcome. There’s nothing wrong with that though. However, such a move will open the door to shady SMS power voting and mirror the esteemed national finals of Belarus and Moldova.
Malta’s broadcaster has also turned down a freedom of information request from The Times Malta into PBS’s spending at Eurovision. Leaked documents show expenses of at least €200,000, though the figure is understood to be much higher. Read here to see how some of that money may have been spent.
The Albanian public will now have a say in the outcome of Festivali i Këngës, which has previously been decided by jury vote alone. In the semis, a professional jury will select eight of the finalists, with three selected by the press and three by public jury. The final will be split 60% jury and 40% public.
The UK will retain its national final format with songs selected from both the OGAE UK membership and the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA). Hugh Goldsmith is leading the search for songs “that have the capacity to make a true impact on the 200 million people that will watch Eurovision live in May 2017. Good is not enough…. Great is required!” Add that to the reported writing camp involving Emmelie de Forest and the BBC could be a step closer to sending a credible act to Eurovision.
That’s it for October, but do keep adding your gossip in the comments section below.