645 Comments

Eurovision 2019: France Confirms Participation!


Eurovision 2019 – In an interview given only a day after the 2018 edition was over, the President of French TV has declared that France will participate in the upcoming contest and that it’ll use Destination Eurovision again!

There definitely was deception in the French team after the contest was over. As dust is only starting to settle down and the fans are going in a frenzy analyzing the results, split results, detailed jury by jury, articles all over the French press have come up to discuss the latest edition of our beloved Eurovision Song Contest. The first good sign is that there wasn’t a bitter approach to it all. France was disappointed after the media talked about the country being 3rd in the bookmakers.

First they turned to the Lisbon team, and Madame Monsieur first of all. You can find the article here. The artists said that they were proud about what they did, especially that a very tough topic for music still got many people moved and that they showed their love for it in Lisbon during the week. Jean-Karl Lucas say “We’ve respected the contest. We gave ourselves 100% to it since we’ve been chosen, with both humility and joy. It was a great opportunity to meet many great artists, great Eurovision fans and that in return many people discovered SOS Mediterranean Sea”, the association that helps migrants lost at sea and that inspired their song. On the other hand, one of the French commentators, Stéphane Bern, admitted being extremely disappointed that France did not get a Top 5 result.

Then, the attention turned to Delphine Ernotte. She was appointed President of French TV under the previous socialist government. She looked at the contest and what France 3 was doing. She was shocked and moved it back to the main channel, France 2, and decided to get more aggressive with it. It turned into Amir, Alma and Madame Monsieur and much better results. With Madame Monsieur, France didn’t do as well as expected but the song was still well received among Eurovision fans (second in OGAE votes) and was third with bookmakers. So Delphine Ernotte actually went to Lisbon for the contest and was interviewed during the Interval act in the commentators’ booth. After the contest, she admitted there were mistakes made with the staging. She issued a statement Saturday during the night, proving her total investment, that the results should not be seen as a disappointment, but a place to work from and to improve. “Destination Eurovision is a good formula, and it will be used again next year.” Even if there might be a few changes, plus the chance that juries might not all stay, or the same delegations invited. She saluted Israel for winning, with a great song and a great message. Our message was not conveyed at all and that’s what she focused on. “We need to make people understand our lyrics more, with a detailed work on choreography, staging, looks. […] France has neglected the contest for far too long and we know it. Our hard work will pay off soon.” She concluded with this: “I want to win it. I love winning, imagine how glorious the party would be here!”

And indeed, all the signs are telling her “keep going” in French press. Not a single article against Netta, against the Lisbon show, or about the acts or music quality. Instead, French media pointed out how much interested the French are in the contest, with a national final, caring for our own entry, curious to check what was in it this year. Stats can be found here. For the first time since 2009, Eurovision was first Saturday night with 5.2 million viewers (Patricia Kaas helped gather around 5.7 million in 2009), which means 25.8% of the market share. More importantly, they beat the final of The Voice which was at the same time on the big TF1 channel, which in return hit its lowest ever. To put things in perspective, Eurovision dropped below 3 million viewers in 2013 and 2014.

As far as results go, a lot of people agree it’s disappointing but on par with what France did last year. Alma got 12th being 19th with juries and 10th in televote, gathering a total of 135pts. Madame Monsieur finished 13th being 8th with juries and 17th in televote, gathering a total of 173pts. It’s basically the same results. France wanted to get the Top 10. In 2016 already, Amir missing the Top 5 felt a bit underachieving. It’s likely France will try a more aggressive approach, but how?

In the end, French media wondered, what if we didn’t underachieve, but got the results we were always meant to get considering the song we have chosen anyway. So they turned to bookmakers and stated that they were the ones who made big mistakes these years: like in this article. It amusingly points out all the mistakes this year: sure it got the Top 2, but as soon as rehearsals kicked it moved Cyprus before Israel. And then it went for Ireland, France and Sweden for the rest of the Top 5 when it should have been Austria, Germany and Italy. And the article has a very touching word for Portugal at the end. “Bookmakers did not see coming the last place of the lovely host Portugal. It had the most subtle song, the best lyrics and a very charismatic singer.” Plus being a host usually helps, they mention. So them being last is definitely something the French should be more mad than our own results. As to why they’re last, bookmakers won’t be asked this as they turn already to more predictions to be made in the rest of the world. The article admits: “it will be one of the mysteries of the Eurovision results, and these are part of why the contest is so captivating.”

So what do you want for France in 2019? Can the country finally get that extra push to turn their popular entries into contenders?

645 comments on “Eurovision 2019: France Confirms Participation!

  1. Now that ‘Non mi avete fatto niente’, ‘Viszlát nyár’, ‘Toy’, ‘Mercy’, ‘O jardim’ and ‘Lie to Me’ have been added, I have 327 songs in my ESC playlist. :) That makes 16.8 hours … not even a full day. LOL

    • Your exclusion of masterpiece “Fuego”, performed for Cyprus by a Greek citizen (I beleive) of Albanian heritage is sadly racist as it excludes 3 “races”. Or so I infer.

    • Where do you listen to them? Spotify or CD?

      • I am a traditionalis: I download them legally and then put them on my mp3 player because I prefer that small device to my smartphone. I have a spotify account too, but that is mostly for songs I don’t want to buy but listen to now and again.

  2. Charlie McGettigan, winner of ESC1994 is calling Ireland to boycott next year’s Eurovision unless it is hosted somewhere outside Israel in light of the devestating events in the Israel-Gaza border: “It’s a chance for the whole of Europe who are involved in Eurovision to make a statement and sort of say, ‘Look, we don’t agree with this’.”

    https://www.rte.ie/entertainment/2018/0516/963838-charlie-mcgettigan-calls-for-eurovision-boycott/

    In Iceland the calls for a boycott have been joined by Paul Oscar (ICE1997) and Daði Freyr who placed second to Svala in their national final last year.

    • What did I tell you about ISL and IRL yesterday :p ?

      • Ireland has reasons we all understand to be sensitive about this. And Iceland is staying outside the EU for a reason.

        In Greece on the other hand the ruling leftist party issued a scathing anouncement against the bloodshed but the government officially only called for “self-restraint” :-P

    • Turkey announced 3 days of mourning in solidarity for Palestine…Israeli ambassador was told to leave the country…no changes in Israeli Turkish trade deals yet…the opposition parties are criticizing the government for that and they are also asking RTE to give up on his Jewish Medal of Courage presented by Jewish Anti-Defamation League

    • It is so easy to pick sides if you live on islands surrounded by friendly neighbours. The righteous ones are having a ball. :(
      I wonder how Paul Oscar would feel if he had to live under Hamas administration in the Gaza strip. He would probably be dead by now.

      • Apparently Paul Oscar knows very well how it feels to be a refugee and be surrounded by country who refuses to co-operate and only wishes to expand itself in expense of others.

          • Rhetoric question? Perhaps he is aware of the situation? Most of Palestinians living in Gaza a refugees from the 1967 war.

            • There is something to be said about people making comments when they are away from a situation. Of course it also very human to be moved by other people’s misfortunes.

            • Well I come from a country with a similar situation so I can understand why he does so let alone go around criticising him for taking sides.

      • Nobody would like to live under Hamas I am sure. Nobody likes to see dead bodies either.

        • But Hamas is a terror organization …

          • Some people care only about what Hamas is or what it’s doing as if it’s excusing the other side. Some people only care about what Israel is doing as if it is excusing them. In my mind, that is the very definition of an impasse.

            • That is exactly my point. There is no good and/or bad in this, only suffering on both sides. I think that both the Israeli and the Palestinians have done awful things and terrible mistakes. Everyone seems to be so stupid and clumsy. But I wonder, where exactly does ESC come into the equaltion here? The contest has been held in Franco’s Spain, in Putin’s Russia, in Azerbaijan … Where were the emotional reactions of the passionate do-gooders then? Double standards imo.

            • Well I agree with this, even though I think there were reactions on hosting in Franco’ s Spain and I think Russia would get a completely differrent reaction today than in 2009 in ESC circles…Of course the World Cup does not seem to have such problems :-P

            • Exactly. Btw, German AfD, which is anti-semitic, now poses as Israel’s biggest friend in order to target Muslims. It is all so disgusting and dangerous …

            • Very common strategy with far right parties around Europe and in the US as well (eg Trump). Lepen was the one who pioneered it with jews and gays as well. I think she even has a jewish boyfriend.

      • And for the records Egypt and Jordan are in peace with Israel. Syria and Lebanon might not be but in one but they have not attacked Israel since 1967. They only issue in Lebanon is Hesbollah itself though acting separately from the state of Lebanon.

        • Thanks but I am very well informed about the situation in the Near and Middle East.

          • Not exactly.

            • Perhaps you think so because I am not siding with anyone? There is no right and/or wrong in this conflict. It is just a huge mess where most people on both sides are victims. This mess won’t be sorted out with passion, only with brains and balancing interests.

            • The balance has been lost ages ago though . I only see two outcomes in the future. Israel still expanding eastwards to the extend Palestinians are pushed out to Gaza or to Jordan as refugees. The second and least possible to happen is a change of global politics which might see Israel abandoning its expansionist ideas.

            • But why aren’t people as passionate about the Kurds, the Tibetans, the Rohingya etc?

            • People are becoming more passionate about the kurds though. Apparently a lot of westerners have gone to fight by their side.

            • I think that the Kurds really deserve our support.

            • They receive less coverage maby? One possible reason is because US and the West are involved in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Another reason could be the scale of the problem – it is recurrent.

          • But why aren’t people as passionate about the Kurds, the Tibetans, the Rohingya etc?

            • Because they are not right next door to Europe in the world’s most strategic geopolitical crossroads, the cradle of human civilisation and bedrock of three major religions.

              Also because Israel is supposed to be a democracy and a western outpost and therefore that conflict also involves the western world, unlike what is happening in Tibet for instance. Unless you infer that no-one should really expect anything better from them than they do from Syria, Burma or China?

    • Paul Oscar called for a Eurovision boycott in 2012 as well, together with Eyfi (Iceland 1991). Instead they encouraged all Nordic countries, including the Faroe Islands, to start a Nordic Eurovision instead.

      • I don’t like the idea of boycotts in artistic or athletic events…

      • Oh yes, the Nordics are probably the only righteous nations in the world and their obscene wealth (just like the German one) has absolutely nothing to do with children starving elsewhere. Still, we go on a cruise three times a year to see the poverty live and in colour. Hypocracy at its best. *runs for the sick bucket*

  3. Cesar used to work as social worker and pilates instructor. He is only 4 months younger than me :)

  4. I’m re-watching the final with Swedish commentary. There are quite a few humorous comments along the way. So far:

    After Spain: “Well, we’ve often seen pregnant singers perform at Eurovision. But this is the first time we actually see someone GET pregnant during a performance”.

    Before Estonia: “Her outfit costs 50-60.000 Euros. That’s approximately just as much as a smoothie at Arlanda Airport”.

    • You are in luck then. Everybody here was outraged at how wooden our new commentators were.

      Have you studied swedish or is it that close to danish you understand it anyway?

      • Swedish resembles Danish quite a lot, and we can understand each other reasonably well. I can’t speak Swedish myself, but when in Sweden I would just speak Danish, and they would answer me back in Swedish :)

        Of course there are words that are different, but you get to know them after some time.

        Norwegian is usually closer to Danish than Swedish is, but there are some dialects, especially in western Norway, that are a bit tricky.

      • Peter Urban is still decent but you can tell that he has done ESC for too long now (since 1997). He keeps recycling the same phrases and sentences. :(
        He is probably still better than whoever they would replace him with. At least he upbraided that awful Schöneberger (who has read out our points for some years now) when she said that ESC was lame and not quaffable this year. Mrs. Schöneberger is the worst among NDR’s frumpish yet over the top ESC entourage.

        • Lol still a hate figure here for the time she joked Greece is not a part of Europe. German sense of humour is not everyone’s cup of tea perhaps, but I still think people took that joke way too seriously :-P

  5. When is Fridas?

  6. Sara Claro stand-in for Greece:

    • When do stand in rehearsals take place?Before the rehearsals?I don’t get why they don’t do this during rehearsals?whta is the point of using different singers?

      • Lights and camera angles. :)
        Rehearsals would go on forever if they had to do it with the real artists.

      • They take place before the artists arrive at the host city and are very useful because they help the crews to be sort of ready when the actual singers arrive.

    • Very complicated entry to sing..no wonder why Yianna Terzi didn’t deliver completely live.. :(

  7. SVT after Albania: “For Albania: Eugent Bushpepa – and his band which we’ll call Seargeant Bushpepa’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band.”

  8. Petah Tikva,5th most populous City in Israel,bids to host Eurovision 2019

  9. Edward av Sillen on Australia: “You can’t see it, but I am actually wearing the exact same outfit as Jessica”.

  10. The german newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung had to apologise for a scetch showing Israel’s prime-minister Netanyahu dressed as Netta Barzilai holding a missile with the caption “Next year in Jerusalem”. In the scetch the V in the word “Eurovision” has been replaced by a star of David.

    The newspaper pulled the scetch from its website after the reactions it caused. A spokesman for the german government said it crossed a red line by “repeating the tropes of antisemitic propaganda”.

    • I used to read Süddeutsche Zeitung on a daily basis for 30 years but cancelled my subscription 3 years ago because they were increasingly going off track.

      • We have an online humor newspaper called Zaytung…it makes fun of daily news and it is hilarious…I can’t get enough of it😁

    • ”antisemitic propaganda”

      LOL

      Is Benjamin the embodiment of Jewishness now?

  11. Fuego cover

  12. And here we go:

    2018
    12/12
    10/12
    9/12 Portugal, Italy
    8/12 Belgium, Slovenia, France, Moldova, Sweden
    7/12 Croatia, Greece, Switzerland, Georgia, Austria, Albania, Czech Republic, Denmark, Israel, Netherlands, Ireland
    6/12 Armenia, Romania, Malta, Latvia, Montenegro, Ukraine, Germany, Bulgaria, Cyprus
    5/12 San Marino, Lithuania, Estonia, Norway, United Kingdom, Australia
    4/12 Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia, Spain, Serbia, Hungary
    3/12 Iceland, Finland
    2/12 Macedonia, Poland
    1/12
    0/12
    Average: 5,88

    • I have 6.28 but miss a 12/12 this year too.

      • Italy, guys??? Makes me cry regularly.

        • It is a 10/12 because my scores are based on live performances. Unfortunately, I found the on-screen lyrics destracting.

          • The live performance is what made me go to 12/12 – I barely noticed the texts (unlike the German graphics) and it was the one moment where I thought “wow, real musicians with passion!” But I accept your 10, knowing your 12 are for #magicmoldova ;-).

            • Moldova has climbed a lot on my list because of the brilliant presentation but I don’t want to post my rankings at this point because we need suspense for Gregor’s Aftermath voting which will take place once we have done the Fridas.

  13. So after all is said and done and the dust has settled, this is how I would rank the final:

    1.ISR
    2.CYP
    3.CZE
    4.EST
    5.ITA
    6.AUT
    7.DEU
    8. MLD
    9. NOR
    10.FRA
    11.UKR
    12. BGR
    13. UK
    14. ALB
    15. SWE
    16. SLO
    17. SRB
    18. POR
    19. ESP
    20. NLD
    21. HUN
    22. IRL
    23. LTU
    24. FIN
    25. AUS
    26. DNK

  14. Netanyahu does chicken dance with Netta, I really don’t thing that is the right time…. https://uk.reuters.com/video/2018/05/17/netanyahu-does-chicken-dance-with-eurovi?videoId=427739266

    • Wholeheartedly agree on Netta immediately (at least appearing to) align w Bibi… does anyone know anything about her background ( I know I could google…)? She doesn’t seem to speak English what I would consider typicval Hebrew accent so maybe if her parents migrated recently it could explain her (misplaced) support….

      • I only know that she lived in Nigeria for some years when she was a girl.

        • Variety of accents there – but I can def not immediately place hers at all.

          • Since we are talking about 2018 participants: Have you heard Ieva talk about her final performance in eurovision.tv’s greenroom reaction clip? She said: “God was on that stage. And if you don’t believe in God, you better start doing so.” Was she referring to her husband? Personally, I don’t think that he is gorgeous enough to merit the attribute ‘God’. ;)
            It is a pity, I really like ‘When We’re Old’ but Ieva totally rubs me the wrong way.

            • Well, without knowing much about her, Ieva seems like one of these “Christian” fundamentalist battered wives so the statement is not entirely surprisng – totally tedious and manipulative song 4 me tho.

            • Those very gentle ones with I find more irritating than the aggressive ones …

            • Ditto – the pseudo-subtle ones are far more insidious (and dangerous) to me than the obvious ones.

            • Yeah I think she’s my least favorite participant to be honnest

            • Run for cover in case Alex reads this. ;)

  15. I have just noticed Netta was apparently picked up from the ground while she was celebrating after the announcement of the result. Also it is funny how she covers her mouth throughout her initial celebration! She is a character. Knowing she as well slide the stairs after SF1…:)

  16. LOL

  17. Leaving me conflicted as I absolutely love Batman.

    • I love Batman too but don’t feel any conflict because, as much as I love Salvador’s voice and ‘Amar pelos dois’, Salvador deserves a good slap now and then …

  18. A couple of notes on the televote rankings in the Semis:

    – Iceland finished last in the Armenian vote lol, not Azerbaijan

    – Switzerland and Latvia were the country in each semi that finished 11th-12th in a lot of countries’ televote. So generally liked but not enough to squeeze them through.

    – Hungary’s qualification was hugely benefitted by San Marino’s 8 points in their “televote”, which is made up of random countries’ own televotes. So the lottery balls go another way and there’s a good chance Hungary doesn’t qualify!

    • Ιn the end, many people started overestimating Hungary (the press pool for instance) but they only managed to qualify 10th in the least appealing semi ever recorded. In any proper semi they would have been out for good.

      As for the total scandal with San Marino’s fake televote I can’t believe this is still going on. What if other micto states loke Andorra start participating? Will we have more fake points handed out?

      • Stop hating, start loving … ;)
        What does ‘proper’ mean btw??? I found sf quite proper. :)

        • Properly competitive. Since the double semis were introduced, no other semi managed to have no song above 7th place in the final.

          Hungary made a bad choice eliminating the most popular act they had and giving the opportunity to a niche act to take over. The collapse of hungarian viewership numbers in the final even though they qualified (about 60% down from last year) says it all. With “Meggyfa” they could have had the only succesful ethnic entry this year (after Greece/Armenia/Montenegro did not make it and Serbia went as far as their professionalism could take them with a weak song). Denmark and Moldova don’t really count as “ethnic” as far as I am concerned.

      • The San Marino Televote is an unsolveable problem since their phone network – understandably – is part of Telecom Italia’s. Counting the juryvote twice wouldn’t really work since the SMA jury often votes oddly. While not ideal, I’d assume mirroring the ITalian televote (but with 12 points for Italy) would be the option most reflecting the SMA televote.

        • They could have a representative pool of say, 100 citizens giving their votes like the demoscopic jury in San Remo. They don’t even publish the pool of countries they are using for their simulation or why they chose those particular countries.

          • The ppol idea, I agree, is totally idiotic – a panel might be a good idea. Will strongly mirror the Italian results but that’d be natural – generally there’s a discussion to be had if e.g. the jury should include members of the public.

            • I don’t think juries should include members of the public, but in this case it would be a good idea to have two juries: an professional one and a popular one. Needless to say this absolutely needs to be resolved before more microstates are admitted back to the contest!

          • @Michos – sorry, having probs w the comment system – if anyone has the functioning wordpress url please share… the jury composition is an endless issue of course (personally I’m glad it’s there) – I think key is it needs to be more people. German jury was more diverse this jury (not just 18-28-year-olds making whiny music) but somehow they managed to come up with the same fave (Sweden?!?) yet again.

            • I agree that it should be at least 10 people in each country, all professionals and from different age groups. However I doubt the results would be significantly different in any case. Professionals are much more likely to be biased in favour of more “globalised” and less localised sounds and regard them as “appropriate” for an international contest. The general public is more open-minded in this regard. For example I posted here the annual Eurovision review of a very well-respected greek music journalist. He mostly does it for laughs and he has never been a Eurovision juror. But from his review it was clear that he really liked Sweden (even though he admitted Benjamin is no singer) and disliked Italy (he wrote that you can’t take an italian song about heavy topics seriously because once you here that language you immediately think of summertime hits). So very much in line with how the professionals in the juries voted!

          • @Michos – lol on the Greek “journalist’s” comments – you’re right that the jury is essentially another subjective opinion – one that sometimes “saves”, sometimes “destroys” the competition depending on one’s viewpoint. On the whole the mix works well for me – I think either televote or jury winner would have been acceptable since the start of the televote era (possible exception Dima Bilan, but as I remember that whole year was rather dreadful)… AZE 2011 was a poor winner but the alternatives were clearly not there; “Popular” was a poor song w a bad singer while “Follia d’amore” clearly was not designed to appeal to more than the (wannabe) intellectual crowd. Now if RUS, ARM, GRE and TUR had been in this year’s final, the debate would be about abolishing the televote ;-).

    • And if it wasn’t for San Marino’s fake 8, Romania could have qualified instead, since they were only 4p behind….

      • Yeah they need to fix that issue with the San Marino televote. I’d be pissed if I was the Romanian delegation – this along with the televote problems in Italy and Germany did them in (although they could have picked a better song lol).

        On Hungary: I feel like it wasn’t just the press that started pumping the AWS tires. Lots of blogs/forums warmed to the entry and a good share of people here (including myself) thought it could finish really well in the televote. Alas, it did not, and althoughI haven’t done my rewatch yet, I think the song/performance becomes too niche in the final third, and loses its’ accessibility it has earlier to a more general voter base (which is what I guess happened with NLD too).

      • The Romanian song was just totally forgettable with zero distinct characteristics – the fact that they blamed their poor result on THREE countries (SMA; GER; ITA) says everything. Also I find the broadcaster’s argument that “the diaspora ought to have given us 12 points” appalling.

  19. Recapping semi 1 once again.
    Outraged over some of the results.

    Btw, love the postcards. Among the best ever!
    Portugal is a VERY beautiful country.

    • I am only a tiny bit outraged about Armenia not qualifying. I don’t like the Finnish song f. e. but I totally understand why it qualified over Belgium and Greece, which I like a lot more.
      Agree on the postcards. :)
      It is a lovely day and I will go for a walk now.

      • Armenia, Belgium, Greece, Switzerland.

        I just came back home from a walk in the sun myself ;)

  20. One more candidate who could bring some fresh air to ESC from Armenia as composer or singer-composer. Artem Valter (my former ETSC entrant) is bombing YouTube recently uploading local hits non stop. He also composed Ukrainian winning JESC song and Armenia’s latest JESC entry.

  21. Analysing misfortune this year I underlined key factors for his fail:
    1. He was forgotten by diaspora because of political events.
    2. Unlike Sirusho, Aram, Iveta …. He is less famous artist in western diaspora (stronger in post soviet area) and in semi 1 he wasn’t lucky.
    3. His brutal male performer again is less demanded in West unlike Post Soviet area.
    4. Azerbaijanian and Armenia failed each other because of political reasons – as always.
    5. For a song in Armenian – long developing ballad was quite risky as usually people may lose interest in the song before climax starts. Song somehow was close to Aram’s “not alone ” with its construction but it wasn’t English to catch attention and had more poor instrumental arrangement. After all Lilit Navasardyan (composer-responsible of instrumental for Armenian entries of 2014, 2016, 2017 could make instrumental part of the song stronger but she avoided from this year’s ESC project ).
    What happened to Sevak it is clear. But I can’t understand how Greece could have such poor results this year 😯 Pity.

    • Makes sense. :(

    • Thanks for the analyis first of all – some interesting points I wasn’t aware
      of! The “brutal male performer” image, while I found him kinda hot, was certainly an issue – the beard length, absurd as it sounds both aesthetically and ethnically, did indeed bring up – absurd – islamic fundamentalist associations that prob prompted some viewers to tune out. To me it was the best Armenian entry ever.
      Greece – I liked as well but the problem was clearly in the presentation; had they used a dancer to represent the connection w the Earth like in the video it would have scored much better on both message and, let’s face it, the sexy factor associated with Greece. As presented, at our party the perception by many was “a witch catering to diaspora”, further emphasized by the white and blue background. Bizarre staging choice, esp. considering that this is often one of Greece’s strengths.

      • Well, I don’t know if Qami is my most favourite Armenian entry ever, but definately among my most favourites.
        On the other hand, I’m afraid I disagree totally regarding Greece.

      • Oh that beard issue :). Some jocks about that beard were inside Armenia as well. Meanwhile beard is a trend in Yerevan and nearly every 4th has a beard: mainly IT specialists, barmen and glamour youth. But there are some hidden psychological issues why people non stop talked about his beard even in Armenia. The problem wasn’t just in the beard but in the allagarm of maneers-style. Like I said in my post Sevak was too Post Soviet artist. It’s bit regional but I will try to explain. For a long time the image of a man with no emotions, with serious face -strict facial expressions and the image of a man who follows standard styling (doesn’t follow modern stylish trends) was wanked by women. But unlike Northern Caucasus muslim nations , in Armenia beard wasn’t welcomed because of lifestyle and religious differences. Passed years, a lot of things changed especiially in big cities (Sevak’s especially is adored by the girls outside big cities). Sevak is very polite guy but on the stage and in the public he has some maneers of “caucasian macho” and beard makes him look less “Armenian one” and more “Northern Caucasus” macho. Here is why unlike many glamour local artists who have beards he faced a lot of jocks about his look’s confradiction to his style and dtage maneers. I have noticed that Mermaid quite often complained that Sevak doesn’t smile, that during performance he looks angry (Some maneers that could be understood in Ukraine, Russia,Armenia, Georgia)… People notice that contradiction without understanding exact reasons…

        • Ι don’t think the macho image hurt him nor the beard. Let’s not forget that thick hipster beards like that are all the rage. But the whole staging and styling was another thing – that terrible outfit, the stage set and his forbidding expressions made the whole thing very dour. It was like watching a biblical prophet in the desert.

          A lot of people made fun of the medieval breastplate he wore at the national final but itit would have helped bring a more sexy and playful image. Of course the song was a marginal qualifier at best. There have been better ethnic ballads in the contest but he had a big selling point with his voice.

    • Well I don’t think the song was strong enough tbh. It is difficult to rembember, and I have to admit I got rather bored. “Not Alone” sounded much more focused to me, not because it was in English.

      • It is very personal thing to judge which song was better! I do preffer Not Alone to Qami. Songs had similarity with their contruction but they are quite different with their “feelings” and messages. Note Alone was released earlier, had more bombastic intrumentals, more universal lyrics while Qami was more “anonimous-personal” and had more modest instrumental arrangement.
        Not Alone had more mainstream message mean while Qami was more personal – maybe I understand both lyrics here is why I could understand the difference of emotions provided by these songs! I underline once again I preffer “Not Alone” to Qami aswell!

        • Thx for those cultural insights, avatarmenia! From my – limited – perspective in Germany, the “unsmiling Caucasus macho” image played well w a certai type of ghay man but, unlike in Erewan, turned off women (not that it mattered as we voted in semi 2.
          Personally I far preferred the song to “”I’m not alone”, which to me was monotonous ( like many German songs lol) and seemed like it was performed by a desperate heroin addict. Seeing it live on stage did not help… by contrast Sevak should have qualified over the Finnish monstrosity – but that’s ESC, right?

    • Some interesting points there, Avat.

    • On the other hand I think Greece should have made it, because that is a good song which is the most important thing. As for the staging, I don’t really have any opinion about it. It didn’t do anything bad :)

  22. Quiz of the day (Anders is out of competition for this I guess :P ): https://www.sporcle.com/games/NO_r_WAY/yes-they-actually-exist?sc=generalknowledge

    I only got 4/15!!! I could have gotten 8/15 if I knew how to spell some Norwegian surnames correctly :D

  23. Well I didn’t get the sport stars tbh.

  24. All of you out there interested in stats, this is the official top 10 of all the means placements in ESC:

    1. Serbia & Montenegro
    2. Italy
    3. Sweden
    4. United Kingdom
    5. Australia
    6. Ukraine
    7. Luxembourg
    8. Russia
    9. France
    10. Yugoslavia

    But as some of you know I have a weighted average of some basic rules when it comes to the statistics of the Means placement that I deem fair to use and that top 10 looks something like this:

    1. Italy
    2. Sweden
    3. Ukraine
    4. Luxembourg (Have been absent for a long time, but their placements are still valid as they were a part of ESC for the majority of its 63 editions!
    5. Russia
    6. United Kingdom
    7. France
    8. Azerbaijan
    9. Germany
    10. Ireland

    Here is the full result of how I rank all the countries and the rules that I applied:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NbSlnDXr_dWAH1Jsv8BPYaraT98cQ_wP53vl9irrWcw/edit?usp=sharing

    Later I will release the full weighted average ranking!

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