As Salvador disappears even further up his own posterior, the preparations for Eurovision 2018 are underway with the host city expectedly named as Lisbon and the Grand Final set for May 12th. Portugal will be selecting their song on March 4th.
Meanwhile, trouble has been brewing at EBU HQ over its Kyiv problem. It’s safe to say that relations between the EBU and Ukraine couldn’t be worse after Eurovision’s governing body hit the host broadcaster with a €200,000 fine for organisational delays, as well as the circumstances that led to Russian entrant, Julia Samoylova, being barred from participating.
The EBU were played like a cheap violin by Russia’s political machine, and in selecting wheelchair-bound Samoylova, Russia knew they would win the PR battle. Host broadcaster, UA:PBC, was simply following Ukrainian law, and the EBU were far too naive in believing their singing Contest would supersede national security and pride.
Rubbing salt into an already deep wound, the EBU has frozen Ukraine’s €15-million guarantee funds. Ukraine argues these are public funds and should be released due to the successful hosting of the Contest in May. The EBU has so far declined to comment.
Controversially, however, EurovisionFanHouse, the EBU’s very own answer to WIWIbloggs published a sneering and tactless blog post earlier this month making light of the whole situation. It’s all very well trying to mimic WIWIbloggs’ fun approach to content, but an official EBU website should not be producing this sort of content. Their naivety is unbelievable at times.
As we await next year’s order of fast-food music, here’s what we do know:
Switzerland was the second country to nail a date to next year’s selection calendar (Estonia has already confirmed March 3rd). Broadcaster SRF confirmed February 4th for the Swiss national final where Melodifestivalen’s Executive Producer, Christer Björkman, will help organise their selection process. He’ll also be joined by former Melfest Executive Producer, Martin Österdahl, so it’s highly likely that Switzerland’s final will feature some Melfest rejects. It’s also reported that artists will be matched to songs, rather than average artists turning up with good songs and vice versa. This is how the Scandie nations run their selections.
Moreover, Christer is reported to be helping Australia’s Head of Delegation, Paul Clarke, in the search for next year’s song. Despite scraping into the top-10 in Kyiv, Isaiah’s Don’t Come Easy was a noticeable step backwards from Guy Sebastian’s Tonight Again and Dami Im’s Sound of Silence. Other artists were rumoured for Kyiv and I’m reliably informed that the decision to send Isaiah was taken after Paul Clarke watched the Sanremo final and wrote off pushing for the win. We’ll never know if he made the right decision. 🤔
It’s as you were for Austria, Sweden and Malta. Having racked up their lowest position since the semi-finals were introduced, Malta was expected to bring the jury back into their selection process.
Mads Enggaard has been announced as the new Contributions Producer for Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. He wants an equal focus on song, artist and stage production going forward which is strange because Denmark, like Norway and Sweden, has always afforded great attention to detail in this area. Another prerequisite for DMGP 2018 is that submissions should aim to be in studio quality before the September 15th deadline. It’s hard to see this having any significant impact on Denmark’s chances going forward, and like most years, it’ll be down to just a few countries to stumble upon the perfect combination.
France will be running a “Mission Eurovision!” national selection as Head of Delegation, Edoardo Grassi, furthers his ambitions to seal the nation’s first win since 1977. He’ll also be eager to fire up his renowned Grindr account in Lisbon! Anyway, France still requires at least 70% of the song’s lyrics to be performed French. Salvador ripped up the rule book in Kyiv and became the first non-English winner since Molitva, when the winner was entirely decided by televote.
Even though we’ve heard nothing from the Netherlands yet, Eurovision In Concert has already been confirmed for April 14th. ESCtips won’t be visiting this year, but there are plans to visit Israel Calling.