ETSC 11: Discover the Winner!

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! And the results are in and we have a winner!

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 sorts 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 five years. Four 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 10 editions of ETSC. Last year, German-speaking countries got their revenge as Switzerland won ETSC 9 and Germany won ETSC 10! The last edition to date was won by Germany’s Elif Demirezer with “Doppelleben. For more information, you can discover our new page dedicated to the contest, with its history, all songs participating and the rankings here. A 10th Anniversary article was also open here. You can also find it by clicking on the “Specials” section of the site, in the top menu in the red box, just under the site’s name.

After a first round open for people to sign up with a country and send a song, we got 41 people in. In the meantime, to keep us busy, I made a random draw. I also made personal postcards for each entry which will be revealed along with the songs. You can click on the picture below to listen to the songs again:

It was ten days ago that we discovered each song individually in a dramatic night reveal-show. And after that, the players cast a vote. These songs were presented by the following HoDs, in alphabetical order: Anders, Arpatilaos, Avat, Bay, Caolán, Cathal, Cyphermusic, Daniel, Dimitris, Dino, Dominik, Donnie, Donnyademaj, Franco, Greg, Gregor, Hjallis, Jerry, Lina, Luke, Martin, 8Mark8, Matthew, Mermaid, Michos, Mylor, Oasisoffear, Ovidarch, Pablo, Patrick P, PJ, Razvan, Ren Robles, Sekhmet Morgan, Sheldon, Shevek, Stommie, Tehoe, Togravus, Trekks, and Zainab!

This eleventh event is officially hosted in Berlin, Germany. The host will be Miss Gayle Tufts! The venue is outside, around the  Brandenburg Gate.

Results lasted for 4h30! 1,487 comments later… Here are the full results (click to see in big):

So the winner is Sweden! The song is “Love” by Junior Brielle It was chosen for this contest by Hjallis, who wins ETSC for the first time! The winner got points from 27 people out of 40 possible (considering we’re now at 41 entrants for ETSC 11) and got a tied-record 7 times the infamous “12pts”! Russia, who got 11th and 9th last summer to finally get a Top 10 result, has no reached as high as 2nd and a silver medal! It’s Bay’s 3rd time in the Top 10 as well! France completes its collection of medals, since this third place means it now stands at 3 golds, 3 silvers and 4 bronzes in 11 editions! Morgan is one silver less, since he let Donnie be France the past edition (9th medal). Congratulations to them, and to all others who scored well, and to everyone for sharing music they love.

Using the pattern used for the 10th anniversary ETSC stats article, we get this:

Rank Country Artist Song HoD Points Draw
1 Sweden (5) Junior Brielle Love Hjallis (2) 219 #28
2 Russia (2) Shortparis Strašno Bay (3) 160 #17
3 France (10) Fishbach Un Autre Que Moi Sekhmet Morgan (10) 123 #8
4 Israel (9) A-WA Mudbira Dino (2) 112 #26
5 Italy (4) Yombe Vulkaan Michos (3) 110 #15
6 Albania (2) Andrra Palinë Lina (1) 104 #9
7 Austria (3) Bilderbuch Om Patrick P (2) 102 #13
8 North Macedonia (2) Lozano Kilometri Arpatilaos (1) 100 #7
9 Estonia (2) Anna Kaneelina Thunder Ovidarch (4) 87 #36
10 Poland (3) Lor Matches Jerry (2) 80 #38
  • Vocals: 6F / 4M
  • The draw seems divided in 6 first half (with three b-2-b at #7-#9 and then #13, #15 and #17), 4 second half (#26, #28, #36, #38) , with the winner going #28 like France when it won the second edition!
  • 2 new HoDs taste their first Top 10 with Lina at her first try and Arpatilaos finally breaking it! Jerry, Patrick P, Dino and Hjallis get their second as well while Michos and Bay their third! Blind editions definitely work wonders to stir things up a bit!
  • As for countries, no new countries, however unpopular Albania, North Macedonia, Estonia and Poland get only third second or third taste of the top 10 and sometimes tie their best ever or close (Albania’s best was 5th and it’s 6th, North Macedonia ties best at 8th, Estonia beats its best ever at 9th when it only had once a 10th place and Poland had two 9th places before this new 10th place).
  • Surprise surprise: songs in English are again in minority in the Top 10!

Now time for the prediction game! It was first started in ETSC 4 “hint” article and back then I wrote this: “We can play a guessing game, people wishing to participate can post a “prediction” top 10 and I’ll award points based on the countries that are in the actual top 10 and predicted in yours accorddingly. I wont reveal the results until after the voting and winner is announced, but we’d get an extra side bet to care about ;)” In the end, it has secured itself has an ETSC standard: former winnets were Donnie (ETSC 4),  Nick P (ETSC 5), Donnie (ETSC 6), Dimitris (ETSC 7), Gregor (ETSC 8), Razvan (ETSC 9), Razvan (ETSC 10).

1 Sweden (1) 1 Sweden (1)
2 Poland (10) 2 Russia (11)
3 France (3) 3 France (3)
4 Italy (5) 4 Israel (7)
5 Luxembourg (12) 5 Italy (4)
6 Austria (7) 6 Albania (28)
7 Israel (4) 7 Austria (6)
8 Iceland.jpg Iceland (13) 8 North Macedonia (24)
9 Ireland (21) 9 Estonia (14)
10 United-Kingdom (27) 10 Poland (2)

So we got 6 right out of 10! Sweden was rightfully called: the big favorite was also the big winner! France, Italy and Austria were well called, Israel a bit underrated and Poland a bit overrated. Big misses are definitely North Macedonia and Albania, while Russia and Estonia were sometimes considered! The big name of the United-Kingdom was the biggest shocker. As for players, let’s only talk about Donnie, who smashes the competition, with 10 correct HoD and manages to take the crown back from Razvan, who fought well since he got 8/10 in Top 10! He only got 3 HoD right, when he got 11 last time! Dimitris, the only one who spotted North Macedonia (and also had Estonia), completes the podium. Congrats!

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922 comments on “ETSC 11: Discover the Winner!

  1. Currently having 4 countries under consideration with songs chosen for 3 of them and still trying to decide from a selection for the 4th country.

  2. Looking on as Hjallis and Donnie have a civilised discussion on who gets to keep the crown:

  3. Then suddenly, things take a nasty turn:

  4. Ontopic: I made my bf go through ETSC 11 and his two stand-outs were Sweden and… Azerbaijan!

    Offtopic: RIP Toni Morrison. I discovered her work with “Jazz”, which really shook me back then. I still had the nickname “Jazz” on the second esc forum, after esctoday’s was close, because of it (and not because of the music genre, how ironic on a music contest forum after all)…

  5. Interesting video seeing jury trends over the years. It’s clear they like jazz, retro (like in ETSC lol), gospel, and simple pop. Yet a lot of genres popular now-a-days like pop rap (which they hated until Soldi) and country (except CATS) aren’t represented as well here.

    And then a huge common theme; they love their American-esque talent show emotional ballads, seen in their Top 5 every year, capped off by NMAC 19. They may be well sung, there’s a reason most talent show winners/songs go nowhere; it’s simply not a popular genre among the public. So why does the ESC jury insist on rewarding these entries so highly? That’s one of their current major flaws imo.

    • Well it’s the vocals. While people often say it’s even a vocal fetish, I think it’s simpler than that. The juries rank their favorites, right? Once they run out of favorites (we can’t pretend we like all esc songs every year, we like something around 10 then the rest is ok and we rank them based on other criteria, often personal bias, or NF we saw etc) Well the juries do the same, except, as they’re “invited to” by the EBU for musical credibility (over televote gimmicks), they tend to over vote for vocals as an objective way to rank the entries they don’t like. If you throw in that most juries would objectively reward the same good vocals, and you add that some of them do like that genre, it ends up being a genre way up high regardless of the year, of the country that sends it, etc. It’s not really a fetish, nor a genre they love, it’s the common ground boring but objectively decent entry that most juries would rank “best of the rest” after their own favorites. Besides the big faves most juries will agree on, we find right next to them “that” entry!

      • I think that’s a fair explanation, especially in years where for example the 5th place of the jury has a low amount of points, which I imagine are compilation of 1-4 points from all juries and very few big points (eg Belgium 2016).

        Vocals are an objective thing they for sure should take in consideration, but when you’re separating your top entries, I imagine you’d have to look further than vocals, which it seems wasn’t a priority with this year’s jury vote as “Proud” as a song itself is, well at least in my opinion, nowhere near the quality of some of the other songs we had this year. If you look way back too, what other than vocals and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s support does “It’s My Life” fill in the juries’ criteria? I don’t even see why “Walk on Water” saw such strong jury support, but Malta is a discussion for another day.

        Overall as I always say, there’s problems with the juries, there’s problems with the televote, but all in all we always get a good winner so I can’t complain too much.

      • I haven’t looked at the jury composition too much over the years, so this may be wrong, but could it also have to do with an overrepresentation of pop singers as jurors? Charlotte Perrelli was one of the Swedish commentators this year, and she absolutely loved the North Macedonian entry above everything else this year, so I got thinking if the love for the song may also have to do with these jurors believing they would have fun peforming that song themselves, or maybe they pay more attention to vocals because that is the part of music that they associate with the most.

        I bring this up because I took flute lessons for 10 years and still play, though not as much I’d like to, and when I listen to symphonic music or small wind ensembles, I always pay the most attention to the flute parts on the initial listeningens. It’s something I do automatically without thinking about it, probably becuase that’s what I can relate to the most, as it is the position I would be in if I were playing that music. Maybe the jurors react in a similar way when ranking the Eurovision entries?

        I also agree with your analysis that they look for something objective about the entries to rank them after they run out of their favorites. However, none of them seem to look at the creativity of the composition in a way that Anders does here, for instance, so I figured there may be something else at play, which led to my theory above.

    • is country really a big popular genre right now, except in the US where it’s always been popular anyway? There aren’t any in France that’s for sure

    • And then there are the countries that always do well with the juries no matter what, but that is another story and another busy day beckons.

      • We’ll never resolve the jury vs voxpop issue: This year e.g. juries overrated SWE
        (again), NMAC and the satellite states juries showered their usual points on Russian entry On the other hand they were 100% right on ITA, NL and POR.
        Arguably the jury vote is less required as a corrective with Turkey gone; the main problem now is the Russosphere afraid of being invaded or at least not wanting their ambassador called in.

        • Which lead to the amazing Belarus “vote” without Russia in it rofl

          • THAT really was the first giveaway LOL.

            • Btw after the whole Belarus producer threatening to sue because they didnt vote for Russia it’s interesting to note that the “correct” fake Belarus vote only has ONE point for Russia… so the satellites arent doing their job that well (or it’s harder to pretend plus countries like Ukraine, Moldova or Georgia arent big on mother Russia anyway)

            • Satellites still got Supergay Laserboy to third anyway … I don’t count Georgia due to invasion and apparantly – unlike Ukraine – small diaspora.

            • Yeah satellites are all televote blindness. Because you cannot vote DOWN in televote so the fanatics will assure Russia’s 12pts regardless of regular folks whose votes would split among other favorites of theirs (this year Ita Nl and Nor)… it’s like France and Benelux 12 to Armenia during televote era. The diaspora would ONLY vote for home when other televote split too much and was outnumbered (in Benelux esc got popular enough so it does outnumber the diaspora votes but NOT in France where our televote 12 can only go to Portugal, Armenia or Israel and sometimes Spain when thèse are all missing like esc 2011 final)

            • LOl yes our televote inevitably went to Turkey, Poland (or in nightmare version) Russia – I do think 50_50 is fair balance. No matter people’s preference I don’t think anyone can really complain about winner ín 50-50 era… Italy for some reason before this year was disadvantaged but overall winners were always fair since. S!sterz should have won but unfortunately juries and esp. televoters were sabotaged.

        • There will always be problems. What is irritating is the lack of change, something that could be introduced fairly easily by the EBU.

  6. And some belated promotion of the italian entry:

    Yombe is made up of singer-songwriter Cyen and producer Alfreddo Maddaluno, a real-life couple as well as a professional collaboration. They are based in Milan but both originate from Naples, so their song might be seen as a reference to mount Vesuvius. The name of the band was inspired by an ebony maternity figurine created by Congo’s Yombe cutlure that impressed them during an exhibition. This is how they describe their song and video “Vulkaan”:

    “The idea of the video is inspired from the lyrics, even if it’s not immediately obvious.
    The song is a desperate cry addressed to someone who is gone. A real eruption of emotions like the lava of a volcano, finding the courage to come out into the open. In general we like to tell stories by pictures, whether it is in a song or a video, so it would be difficult to attribute a symbolic value to each scene. Cyen appears in two different “garments”, one representing the more constructed and superficial side of a person and the other the deeper and more vulnerable side.”

  7. Jehova’s witness is very active in Ukraine.. Almost in every square they have stands.. They even give info in Turkish.. I am impressed 😜

  8. 🇸🇪 It’s time to go bananas on our count down. It’s Danny Saucedo! I dedicate this chest to M*x, who’s probably very busy plotting no deal Brexit as nowhere to be seen and with whom I shared great banter about Danny and Sergey when I started over here 2016. Also it was M*x or D2 who invited me to join FDLC. I can’t remember, those two can’t agree.

    He’s got whole ET in his hand! Yeah, my bad, I know, half of it.

  9. 🇸🇪 You may wonder what Danny’s up to lately! Don’t, I tell you. This year he’s been very busy doing sold out one month stints of dinner shows in Stockholm and Gothenburg. These dinner shows are very Swedish thing and Hamburger Börs is the classiest venue with capacity of 600. It’s kind of strange relic, a scripted and directed music show, that survived from the 60’s and 70’s in Sweden but not in Finland, where they used to be very popular too. Hamburger Börs stage has seen all long list of Swedish big stars, including ET familiar names like Monica Zetterlund, Lena Ph, After Dark, Ola Salo, Sanna Nielsen etc. Danny’s show was also huge critical success, of course it was. It’s our Danny!

    It was absolutely brilliant!
    Danny hits bulls eye!

    Hamburger Börs ready and set for Danny!

    On personal front, Danny is single again. He broke up with his long time girl friend Molly Sanden this spring. Heart broken, Danny is now seeking inner peace. Danny, why not fly to Helsinki, you know there are flights leaving practically every hour. I’m more than happy to help you in your search.

  10. 🇸🇪 Still amazing, MF as it’s very and most brashy best. Still a bit gob smacked like when I saw this first time in semi’s. Those awful vocals might have something to do with it too 😃

    Danny in MF final, all fixed now

  11. Since both country and sexiness has been brought up on some occasions, this was my 12 points in VFoS 12. I admit I find this vocal performance very sexy. And this comes from someone who is not otherwise very fond of country:

    • Most likely this would have gotten my 12 too. This is good. Do you remember how it fared?

      • 19th out of 27 entries. It also got 12 points from Mermaid. Andy sent it.

        • Country never does well in these competitions.
          Talking of which, I have totally forgot to ask you. How do you find Bruce Springsteen’s new album?

          • I haven’t heard it. Bruce Springsteen is not what I listen to the most tbh.

            • I’m not a fan either. This is the first album of his I ever liked. It’s orchestrated cinemascope Americana and also influenced by early 70’s smooth country like Glenn Campbell. It’s So good I don’t even mind his vocals this time around, and that’s a lot 😃

            • Not that I don’t like hin, but I mostly know him for his E-street band recordings. I think he has had a tendency of writing ‘authenticity’ with so big letters that it actually becones artificial.

              I really like a song like “Hungry Heart” though.

            • Also, it must be said that americana is usually not so much me.

            • I have big issues with his ”authencity” too and the fact that it sounds to me that he has been writing the same song for almost fifty years. This time around he has new compositions and orchestra. Some of his fans are fuming.
              However, it defo not for you 😃

            • “it sounds to me that he has been writing the same song for almost fifty years”

              As have AC/DC btw. I once heard about an interview where the interviewer had said: “You have been accued of writing the same 9 songs on every album, what do you say to that?”. The answer: “Well that’s totally wrong. It’s the same 10 songs!”.

            • TBH I’m divided on Bruce, like you it’s not the kind of music I’m a fan of, but I also understand he has written (supposedly?) songs which have a global meaning and from the heart. Here in Spain, well maybe more here in Catalonia, he is considered the absolute boss and his songs still resonate a lot here today, I have so many friends here who love him and remember his concerts here in Barcelona ,about Denmark, when I speak with my cousin, we don’t talk about 1990 song, she was 18 then, and like me, when I was 18, I did many things I would probably later regret :-)

            • Tbh. I do think that a lot of his stuff is so much connected to American history and culture that it can be a bit difficult for me as a European to truly get it.

              But he definitely has his fans in Denmark. I guess you know Michael Falch. I once read a story about him and C.V. Jørgensen some time in the early 80’s. Falch woshipped Bruce Springsteen as a god, and his band Malurt – which was indeed very Springsteen influenced – was warming up at a Springsteen concert. Bruce had invited Falch to the stage at his concert, and Michael Falch was bragging endlessly about it to C.V. Jørgensen, finally asking him: “So shouldn’t the two of us find a day and listen to Bruce Springsteen together?”. C.V.’s answer: “That’s a brilliant idea Michael, but I don’t think I can on that day”.

          • LOL. Have you watched latest Pose episode?

          • anders, understand you 100%, ! :-)

        • I do like Malurt though, even if Michael Falch’s vocals are too over-the-top and theatrical for my taste. Here their probably most famous song:

  12. Completely off-topic, but if anyone thinks modern classical music is boring:

  13. my Danish cousin and her friends were in that crowd! :-) det lige det

  14. i got so lost without u here to be honest!

  15. Since the talk was about Classic music, here’s a video of Franz Liszt’s great-great- grandson playing “La Campannela”. Impressive:

  16. Very very late to the party but congrats Hjallis!! An amazing win and seriously deserved – great song. I really loved it and Russia a lot, sad to not see Luxembourg in the top 10 though.

    Big thanks to everyone who voted for Belgium, especially Stommie for giving me his 12 (I have a feeling that Stommie has given me it a couple of times before too so huge thank you!!).

    And thank you Morgan for putting on a great show as always. Let’s do it all again come Friday (I’m always impressed how everyone has songs picked already…I tend to see which country I get then roll with it but that may explain why I haven’t been top 10 since ETSC1!).

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