ETSC 7: New Rules?


ETSC – Every year, the summer is the calm after the storm so it’s the perfect time to resume the highly anticipated the Eurovision Times Song Contest! Each one of you can represent an European country and get to send a song and then vote in a fake Eurovision! Signing up opens soon!

Each summer, a good number of regular readers stay around for different reasons (they don’t get breaks from work or don’t go on holidays…) but there aren’t much news to keep us going. So the last few years we introduced all sort of games. The Eurovision Times Awards (Fridas) and the Douze Points Trivia Quiz kept us going in 2013 and Fridas have made come-backs the past four years. Three years ago, a lot of you asked for a fake Eurovision where each one of us would send songs and get to vote. And that was it: the Eurovision Times Song Contest, from then on known as ETSC.

We’ve therefore had 6 editions of ETSC. In August 2016 however, for the first time the contest was won by a small margin: only 1pt (it was the first time there was less than 12pts difference between the winner and the runner-up). That opened up discussions and a lot was said between members, a lot left to be discusses. Some members do better than others, on a regular basis. Some countries tend to do better and people find unfair the system of first-arrived gets to pick his/her country first. Some people accused others to not play fair. Considering the amount of time I spend on the contest all by myself, it all left a bittersweet taste in my mouth and I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep it up. Also, this year took me to a new place in my life. S I wasn’t sure I would have the time for it. But… I’m pretty sure ET regular readers want to play still and I feel this anchored itself as a summer classic. Let’s check it first:

So the chances are very high we’ll have an ETSC 7. Now, should we get new rules for it? It’s time to discuss things further before we go on.

Once we get results for these and discuss things further, we can open up the signing up for ETSC 7. Don’t hesitate to discuss things before voting on the poll in the comments below.

380 thoughts on “ETSC 7: New Rules?

  1. All of a sudden I realised that after 6 ETSC editions, I’m still waiting for a top 10 placing :P :D
    ETSC1: Israel 14th
    ETSC2: Lebanon 20th
    ETSC3: Greece 35th
    ETSC4: Greece 12th
    ETSC5: Lebanon 17th (?)
    ETSC6: Serbia 36th (?)

  2. If I were to rank my ETSC entries right now, I would probably go for something like this :
    1. To telos sto saloni (GRC – ETSC 2)
    2. Black video (BEL – ETSC 3)
    3. Princes (BEL- ETSC 5)
    4. Evo srcu mome radosti (BIH – ETSC 6)
    5. The brothel (NOR – ETSC 1)
    6. Tango to the hilt (MKD – ETSC 4)

          • “To Telos sto saloni” should’ve been your RUNAWAY winner!!! I can forgive you for the Belgian misses though :P

    • 1st Simona Martausová – V pouličných kaviarňach (SVK – ETSC 3)
      2nd Foltin – Antitelo (MKD – ETSC 2)
      3rd Emel Mathlouthi – Ensen dhaif (TUN – ETSC 5)
      4th 2raumwohnung – Bei Dir bin ich schön (DEU – ETSC 1)
      5th Noisecut – Mairena (SVK – ETSC 4)
      6th Jova Radevska feat. Danny Darko – Time Will Tell (MKD – ETSC 6)

      • I agree with your ranking (slightly different order though). I’ve awarded points to your whole top 4 which is WAY above the rest, still not the “usual” ETSC fare (good thing imo)

        #5 is ok
        #6 could have been much better :P

      • I definately remember voting for Foltin, Emel and Zweiraumwohnung. Not sure about the other three :)

    • “Tango to the Hilt” is still my favourite <3

      Mine:
      1. "Det bedste for mig selv" (DK, 3)
      2. "La mer" (DK, 5)
      3. "R'lah" (RU, 6)
      4. "Tað vakrasta" (DK/FO, 1)
      5. "Burn Burn Burn" (FI, 4)
      6. "Fell Into Place" (DK, 2)

      • It doesn’t come as a surprise but my ranking of your entries is the totally opposite of
        yours :P

        1. “Tað vakrasta”
        2. “Burn Burn Burn”
        3. “Fell Into Place”
        4. “Det bedste for mig selv”
        5. “R’lah”
        6. “La mer”

      • I still love both “Tað vakrasta” and “Burn Burn Burn” despite not having voted for either of them. Both still on my playlist!

          • I thought that they were because you seemed to be totally over the moon back then. I think that I gave 10 pts to you in ETSC 1 but I might be wrong. LOL

            • Think I was over the moon because I had expected a better result for the song before the voting, then the points didn’t come, and then all of a sudden I got a 12…

            • The unexpected is part of the fun. I expected to do very well with Sima but then the points went elsewhere most of the time. I only remember getting 12 from you and Shevek.

            • Might be. I don’t keep records. If he did: <3 <3 <3

              My ETSC 6 entry is another case in point. I was on holiday during the country claim period and had only 1 day to find a song from the 3 or 4 countries left, which were the usual suspects: AND, MCO, MKD … I chose Yova because I love some of her older work but couldn't find an eligible song I really liked. As a result, I felt rather lukewarm about my own entry, and then I got some high points from HoDs that had never voted for my songs before, while those who normally do, ignored 'Time Will Tell'. That felt very good somehow too. :)

              Here is a very simple song I like:

            • It’s the only time I chose a country without having something to send. I originally wanted Spain, but then 4-5 other people wanted it too.

  3. 01. Greece “To Enigma Tou O Anthropos” 12/12
    02. Lebanon “Cliche” 10/12
    03. Lebanon “Icarus” 10/12
    04. Serbia “U Slojevima” 10/12
    05. Israel “Última Canción” 9/12
    06. Greece “Lifeknot” 9/12

  4. my top (only from the 5 and 6, although looking at the rest, I got some I feel would be extremely high, like Ludak Kao Ja – SEB 1, and Spektacl Okochen (?) RUS, 2)

    -Zedd feat. Kesha – True Colors (GER, 6)
    -Benjamin Clementine – London (UK, 6)
    -Arsenal feat. Lydmor – Lie Low (BEL, 6)
    -Hudson Taylor – Battles (IRE, 5)
    -Seinabo Sey – Pistols at Dawn (SWE, 5)

    ETSC 6 was much better than ETSC 5 for me. And oddly enough I gave my 12s so far to Ireland and the UK :P

  5. Also, am I the biggest jumper?
    ETSC 5 – Georgia – Gibberish by Mariam Chachkiani (45th, dead last 10 pts)
    ETSC 6 – Estonia – Ood Nr. 6 by Jana Kask (10th, 80 points)

    I got a country that was never in the top 10 to the top 10! :D

  6. I got two countries I really want… problem is I am sure many would want these too. They are not as much of a fixture as others, but still quite popular..

    …and I am here to be completely off-kilter and bring unorthodox choices. #whatsthepressure

  7. Quite difficult to rank my own entries but I will give it a go:

    1. “Long Walk” by Tango with lions, Greece.
    2. “Queen 👑 of the Underground 🚇” by Flunk, Norway.
    4. “Beautiful Tango” by Hindi Zahra, Morocco.
    3 “Fjara” by Solstafir, Iceland.
    5. “Hunt” by Goldfrapp, UK.

    I only regret sending Hunt, I should have instead searched their latest album before rushing sending what I already had in my playlist. I live the song but I came to realise it wasn’t the right choice for an August edition.

    🇬🇧🇬🇷🇮🇸🇳🇴🇲🇦

    What’s next?

    • I voted for all but “Hunt”.
      My ranking :
      1. Queen of the Underground
      2. Fjara
      3. Beautiful Tango
      4. Long Walk
      5. Hunt

  8. I just re-watched the 1995 contest again, and I have to say it’s a rather sleepy edition overall (which may partly have to do with the stage which was very dark).

    There is a handful of stand-out songs: Poland, Spain, Cyprus, Sweden, Denmark – some of which are in my top 100 – but the majority of them are pretty anonymous (several are downright boring). I remember it took me 6-7 listenings before I could remember anything about them. Plus the orchestra is playing in a too decent and polite way most of the time.

    Also the contest was in desperate need of something lively and energetic, and even the UK rap song doesn’t succeed here.

  9. Ugh, which do I make my #1 choice…
    The one that touches me the most and feels more personally for?
    The one I feel you guys will like the most and would score high?

    (I feel both songs very strongly and would enter them regardless, but ack! deciding a plan A is hard.)

  10. It’s that time of year again! Time for another great ETSC!

    I voted to of course have another edition and no rule changes. Although, the only change I would consider making is that no one can have the same country that they represented last until the next edition. So, I had Spain last edition so I can’t choose Spain again until the August contest.

    If I had to rank my ETSC songs it would go like this:

    1) Spain – Diana Navarro – El Perdon
    2) United-Kingdom – Rhodes – Close Your Eyes
    3) Italy – Michele Bravi – La Vita E La Felicità
    4) Azerbaijan – Latifa Soyuoz – Hedef
    5) Germany – Oonagh – Gäa

  11. I have spent the last 3 or 4 hours listening to the 6 previous ETSC editions, to get in the mood ;) (actually, I am at ETSC4 right now). We are talking about some extremely fantastic songs!!! <3
    Thank you for the music once again, guys <3

    I'll take a break to go out for a beer with some friends and resume listening once I get back home :)

  12. Ok, so 96% want a new ETSC (4% NA / 0% no etsc)… that’s clear

    the rest is VERY split: 14 on “no changes”, 13 “new country picking”, 9 “blind edition” (the rest gets much less vote)… So what do you guys think of this? I’m just trying to find ideas, nothing is of course decided: what if the picking country gets open for 24h with no real time except IN that 24h and no “first arrived picks first” but everyone gets to post a top 5 of countries again (with a limit of no more than 2 per region if regions are, say north, west, south, central, east): now after the 24h I get to use math to decide: if someone picks a country no one else really wants (either 4th, 5th or not at all), he/she gets it, if two people have the same country, then it’s down to whoever wants it more, whoever hasnt played that country before, whoever didn’t have their first picks before etc. Now in that way, I get to even the field more to please most people. Whoever HAS to get to lower to second pick gets a priority the following edition. Now that can be “a bit more fair” to some extend but IMO it opens a big can of worms against me, as anyone not happy with the result could blame me as I’d be the one making the last call, whereas “whoever comes first” I can simply print screen to prove the order in which hotmail has ranked all of you guys… would something like that “work”? what do you guys think? I really wnat us to come together to a conclusion that could satisfy most.

          • it’s less nail biting “be there on time”, but then it means the dreaded “three people want germany first” for me to possibly face… :/ (i took germany randomly as an example btw lol)

            • If you feel like doing it, we can try it. As I said before it’s the fairest suggestion of all and everyone will be happy (even the HoDs who do “mind” trying for different countries in a pool of 40 !!! +)

    • I was one of the 13 who voted for ‘new country picking’ option, but what you suggest is too complicated and likely to cause problems for you and for all of us who love ETSC. It may be wiser to keep thing as they are; if people want to keep representing the same country/area, let them; that’s their way of doing things in the contest, I guess. Personally, I want to represent as many countries as I possibly can, but I am not going to mind terribly, if I am not able to grab this or that country, because someone keeps choosing it. :)

    • I recommend not to change anything at this point. 13 and 9 is not a strong vote for change imo. Thanks a lot for letting us have a say. :)

    • Relying on the first-sends-first-picks rule is definitely more impartial than having you decide but it’s up to you.

      • I agree, I’m very afraid it’ll land back on me. Of course we could look for programmes online to make it less “human-deciding”, but not sure it exists. I can’t think of anything about “limiting people” in their picking songs/entries/countries that could actually be “fun” for those people though.

    • I voted for NA because you are doing a lot of work and I’m not sure if you had fun the last edition. I don’t like to see people working hard and doing their best without getting any recognition (well, I think we all appreciated your work but after all the fight it didn’t get the good feedback it deserved). If you want to continue with ETSC, I’ll be in :) And just do whatever you want, we should follow the rules :P

    • I appreciate the thought behind this idea but in the end, I think it would backfire on you. It would be so easy for one player to claim favoritism against another, and so forth. The first come, first served method isn’t perfect but I think it’s the fairest.

    • Ι find what you are suggesting complicated and convoluted. It will lead to endless negotiations and inevitably more rather than less friction between people who participate and a poisonous climate (who is going to determine who wants one country “more” etc). Having to claim countries from multiple regions will discourage rather than encourage people and nobody should be expected to be a musical encyclopedia and know artists from everywhere (for example, I mostly focus on the south. Should I suddenly and with no prior warning search for music in Scandinavia?). Also as I understand it, if someone claims a less popular country and gets it, they will be penalised if they want a more popular country in the following edition because they already got “first pick”. Not fair.

      I say leave the picking system as it is, like Dimi says. Post the screen-shot with the order the mails were received if you want (even though nobody is doubting you). And if we are so determined to change something, perhaps don’t permit people to claim the same country they represented in the recent past (eg the last couple of editions). Honestly, I have no idea how this claiming business suddenly became a huge issue since I distinctly remember that the objections people were raising last year had little to do with that.

    • Please can we just try allowing to vote for more songs? pretty please? please with jam on top? This will give people more changes to garner points. Only 10 songs being given points out of 40 something is really difficult and doesn’t suit this contest imo.
      I wish it could be given a chance. Every time at the end of voting many people end up saying they wish they could give more points or they feel bad for leaving some other songs out so why don’t we just try it. I’m more interested in this aspect than any other tbh.

    • Well I voted for no change in the first place and also added blind edition because I saw some would be more comfortable this way and I wouldn’t mind it but I didn’t mean it as a change.
      As for the new picking system you suggested I also think it could bring you more trouble than it’s worth. I think we should stay with the current system and as others said we could add the rule that we can’t choose the same country 2 times in a row (so the country we chose last edition). So far in the 3 editions that I participated I chose 3 different countries and I plan to participate with a new country this edition as well.

      • I’ve never participated in ETSC, but I totally agree with you. To tell you the truth, initially I thought all editions were blind.

  13. I have just read that Emil Ramsauer (Takasa/Heilsarmee) is still alive and making music every day. He is 99 years old now. Will we get the first ESC centenarian? GOOOO Emil

  14. But one thing. What is most important to me, is that the song I send is 100% me, and if I have to choose between a mediocre song from a country I have never had before, and a masterpiece from a country I have had several times, I will clearly prefer the latter one.

    • Exactly! When I decide my picks for an edition I always select the songs that I like the most at that moment and not consider where they are from, they could be from any country, that’s not so important imo. I was very close to send a song from Malta for example some editions ago and that song is still in my options for future editions.

  15. First of all my total respect to Morgan for the effort he puts in saving our beloved ETSC.

    Just a thought:
    Why don’t we all post a top5 of our country choices, see who wants which country the most and then sort it out discussing it. F.i. let’s say that Greece is my first choice for ETSC7; if anyone else wants it (either because he has a song in mind he/she considers awesome, or he/she doesn’t have many other country options), he/she can take it.

    Important note: all the above are useful for ETSC8 and after that, because we are already running late for ETSC7.

    Bottomline: Keep things as they are (at least for the July edition).

    • Ι agree. The important thing is to get on with it right now. The only thing that can be arranged tout de suite is a blind edition which seems quite fair to me.

      An online discussion group where 40-plus people try to agree on which country each one will get seems pretty chaotic to me and the whole thing lacks procedural clarity (which are the rules of order during the discussion, who gets the last word etc).

        • I don’t agree it is very simple. Somehow you suggested that once somebody gets a country they should never get it again. I find this a little extreme and I don’t see how it raises the musical level of the contest. Some people do know some music scenes better than others. Why should we be forever deprived of their knowledge?

          In the end, if the whole speed of internet connections is such an important issue, let everyone send Morgan five country choices in random order and the result be determined by draw like Patrick did in FdlC17.

          • I’m pretty sure everyone has or will be able to find a song from the remaining 40+ countries… I mean it’s not as if we exclude 15-20 countries for each participant. It will be maximum 6 inelligible countries out of every one’s pool.
            I don’t agree with the random draw either. As we witnessed from FdlC people struggled to form a top 5 of countries they had songs for and in some cases they just added a 5th one just to fill the gap. Then troubles started when the specific 5th country got drawn by Patrick. What you suggest means people should find 5 songs from different countries they feel comfortable with. With my suggestion, they just have to search for one country’s music scene the haven’t tried before

            • The premise that everything should be the product of specific research intot his or that country makes it sound too much like a chore to me (for example I did the research thing for the FdlC World Music edition and happened to win but I was too bored to do it again for the Live Music edition – restrictions can get too much after a while). If the problem is whether people will be banned from the same countries for one year or three years, I am sure we can split the difference as long as people know the rule well in advance so they can prepare (which pretty much rules out this edition). I still think it is unnecessary. For example I am sure a lot of people would like to represent France, but no-one can really argue that France or the contest will be better served by someone other than Morgan choosing the french song. The same happens with a lot of people who are more into this or that particular region.

            • I’m pretty sure that most people planning to participate in ETSC the whole year have more than one options for the summer editions already. Unless they only have songs from countries they’ve already played with, I really don’t see big problem. For example and to be more specific : Are you planning to represent any of GRC or AUT in ETSC 7? Do you have only one song in store?

            • Good. I don’t plan to represent neither Belgium, nor Greece, FYROM or BiH. I do have songs from North to South :)

            • You know me. I still haven’t represented a country twice in 8 editions. But that doesn’t mean I want to be forever excluded from the ones I already got.

            • I never said for ever. What I suggested is a 2 to max 6 editions exclusion. Plus the “first sends-first served” formula will still apply

          • I don’t support this idea.

            This how I would it

            1. First-comes-first-picks.

            2. You can’t take the same country back-to-back.

            3. Don’t include ONLY popular countries ALL the time. Same goes to those picking unpopular countries but yet complain about those who do the opposite…

            4. If random draw determines what country we get I will withdraw. I am planning to debut Jordan, a country that has never been in any online contest and I don’t wish to be a victim of unnecessary restrictions.

            5. The majority of people voted for no change therefore we have a verdict. Shall we move on?

            Roll on ETSC7.

            • Back to back exclusion won’t change a thing imo. HoDs will continue picking the same countries one edition after (ETSC 8 f.e). Either eliminate the last 4 to 6 editions’ countries picked by a HoD or keep the previous claiming formula (first comes – first served)

            • That’s almost what I suggested. Let’s not get the same country we have represented at any point this or the previous year. But of course it means that apart from that restriction it will still be first-come, first served.

            • If this is so important to you -besides these people are taking part only in ETSC nowadays – you may ignore them. It sounds harsh but it is the only solution. The other one is to bring the contest to an end. I do not see any other realistic solution atm, without annoying other players.

            • I agree with you and I want to go for a not so popular country as well, so a random draw is not what I would want. But Morgan says the majority voted for change (even though they were split on what kind of change) so I am trying to think of things that are not completely outlandish. The only thing I would really support in the interests of fairness is a blind edition.

  16. Hopefully, the GREAT love ETSC is getting will be motivating enough for Morgan to sort things out !

  17. For Morgan who I know is into this stuff. Guess what I’ve started playing a couple of weeks ago :

      • Dunno, yet! I’ve only started playing it. I’ve played almost all titles so far. My favourites are Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time.
        I also like Majora’s Mask for the gloomy feeling but the whole game sucks (Too soon released after Ocarina of Time, same characters with different roles -that saved them time from designing new, only few dungeons)

      • I don’t think I have ever played one in my life. Once I tried Pacman (:-P) and I quit after a couple of minutes. Anything that demands reflex co-ordination bores me to death.

        • One of the most… humiliating experiences of my life was a couple of years ago when I had to face my 11 year old nephew on a fifa pro-evolution game :P :D

  18. How about a system with 2 semi-finals with (+/-) 20 songs (depending on the number of participations) before the final? Has this been discussed in previous editions? It seems quite hard to make a Top 10 out of 40+ songs…

    • We used semifinals for a couple of editions in FdlC and it didn’t turn out well. Eliminated HoDs lost interest during the Final

    • Even gentle me became rather bitchy when I was left behind in the semi-final with Botswana, in particular because the song is very dear to me, addressing the issue of violence against AIDS orphans in Africa.
      I felt totally deflated and did not listen to the finalists again. I simply cobbled together a set of votes based on my semi-final excel sheet, sent my votes and went on with my life. Others felt and did the same.

  19. We have 55 EBU members, right?

    Those 55 include almost 10 “unwanted” countries like Vatican City, San Marino, Monaco, Malta, Luxembourg, Lybia or Andorra, for example.
    That means there are +/- 45 countries to fight for.
    ETSC6 had 45 players…

    Houston, we’re having a problem…

    • Malta is quite popular and hasn’t missed an ETSC edition if I remember correctly. William picks Malta in every edition, and Oxi has HoD’d the country in FdlC. I think about picking Malta too if William agrees to HoD a different country for one edition. :)

    • We almost always reach around 40-45 participants and there are HoDs who love to play with Malta. We’ve never had Vatican City or Libya before but everything else from the ones you mentioned has been HoDed in every edition

    • I would say that the harder the country the funnier the game :-)

      As for me, I think I’ll never choose my own country again, unless I’m left with no choice…

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