ETSC 12: 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 11 editions of ETSC! This July, Sweden just won for the first time with Junior Brielle‘s “Love. For more information, you can discover our new page dedicated to the contest, with its history, all songs participating and the rankings here. A specific article for Top 10 stats 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. “ETSC 12 – August 2019” was officially held inthe Dramaten, national theatre of Sweden, in Stockholm. Our hosts were actors Joel Kinnaman, Andreas Wilson and Bill Skärsgård!

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, Brittany, Caolán, Cathal, Coyote, Cyphermusic, Daniel, Dimitris, Dino, Dominik, Donnie, Donnyademaj, Elmar, Franco, Greg, Gregor, Guitar, Hjallis, Jerry, Lina, Luke, Matthew, Michos, Mylor, Nick P, Oasisoffear, Ovidarch, Oxi, Pablo, Patrick P, PJ, Razvan, Ren Robles, Sekhmet Morgan, Sheldon, Shevek, Trekks, Xello and Zainab!

Results lasted for 4h30! 1,675 comments later… Here are the full results (click to see in big):

So the winner is Italy! The song is “Toukassé” by Shanguy and yes, it’s in French, which is a language that is creeping into English as the most used languages by winners! It was chosen for this contest by Dino, who wins ETSC for the first time and gets his third Top 10 results! The winner got points from 23 people out of 41 possible and got 4 times the infamous “12pts”! Both medalists Norway and Belgium got four 12pts as well. They also both get their second medals in ETSC as Norway was already runner-up way back in ETSC 1 and Belgium was already third way back in ETSC 4. Both were HoD by people who had never been in the Top 10 before, Norway by Brittany and Belgium by Ren. Meanwhile, France (11), Israel (10), Finland (8) and Sweden (6) complete a Top 10 where they appear to be fans favorites. On the other hand, Croatia (3), Slovenia (2) and Cyprus (1) are unpredicted success of this edition.

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


Rank Country Artist Song HoD Points Draw
1 italy Italy (3) Shanguy Toukassé Dino (3) 146 #28
2 Norway (4) Nils Bech Waiting Brittany (1) 117 #5
3 Belgium (5) Ibe Table Of Fools Ren Robles (1) 111 #10
4 Sweden (6) Isak Danielson Power Razvan (6) 109 #6
5 Croatia (3) Nipplepeople Frka Donnie (8) 94 #35
6 Slovenia (2) Torul Saviour Of Love Pablo (3) 93 #34
7 Israel (10) Dam Emta Njawzak Yamma Matthew (1) 89 #20
8 France (11) Skip The Use The Story Of Gods & Men Sekhmet Morgan (11) 77 #31
9 Cyprus (1) Eleni Era Not Her Oasisoffear (4) 76 #18
10 Finland (8) Feelswithcaps Drains Luke (2) 74 #21

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) and Donnie (ETSC 11).

1 Norway (2) 1 Italy (6)
2 Lithuania (20) 2 Norway (1)
3 Belgium (3) 3 Belgium (3)
4 France (8) 4 Sweden (10)
5 Estonia (15) 5 Croatia (16)
6 Italy (1) 6 Slovenia (13)
7 Finland (10) 7 Israel (20)
8 United-Kingdom (12) 8 France (4)
9 Denmark (14) 9 Cyprus (21)
10 Sweden (4) 10 Finland (7)

So we got 6 right out of 10! Including two of the Top 3 were rightfully predicted as such! Italy got a late rush in predictions, so people smelled something there! France got its second worst result over but still sneaked in while Israel wasn’t predicted a lot while still maintained its Top 10 status. Big misses are definitely Cyprus, Croatia, Israel and Slovenia! The big shocker was Lithuania, often predicted top 5, a few times as a winner, and it barely made it to the left handside. It was such a tight contest than having predicted high Estonia, Uk, Dk, Switzerland or Iceland is nothing to be ashamed about. A single voter could have pushed them in really. As for players, not a great year. Both Donnie and Razvan, our prediction kings, got 6 HoD right only. And someone sneaked in between them overall: Razvan (349), Gregor (345), Donnie (313), Dimitris (306), Dominik (264), Sheldon (263), Bay (228), Oxi (225), Pablo (208), Dino (206), Guitar (197), Ovidarch (195), Donnyademaj (191), Mermaid (170), Anders (155), Ren (136), Franco (135) and Lina (52) who is so new to this we’ll forgive her! Razvan takes the prediction crown for the third time and ties Donnie for all time best!

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294 comments on “ETSC 12: Discover the Winner!

  1. This was my favourite edition so far with lots of new artists that caught my attention. Here are some thoughts on the songs I awarded points to:

    Spain – 1p: Sofi was already known to me, but I didn’t keep track of her career lately. So it was nice having this déjá vu moment. What made me like it so much was the song’s laid-back atmosphere and its confident lyrics.

    Cyprus – 2p: The song’s fragility stood out from the crowd. The lyrics to “Not her” are very relatable and Eleni’s voice transports them well to the audience. Congratulations, Cyprus to its 1st top 10 result!

    Lithuania – 3p: Latvian neighbour-voting! I didn’t understand a word, but I feel the pain in the words. Visually and sonically captivating!

    Slovenia – 4p: I’m always surprised by the Slovenian music scene – a country full of wonders :) “Saviour of Love” has a cool 1980s feel to it. My favourite begins at around 2:00. This is suspense building music! Maj Valerij, Torul’s new singer, is known from last year’s EMA entry “Vesna” by Indigo.

    Finland – 5p: This is a heavy earworm. Moody, but refreshing at the same time. The final 20 seconds are very funky. Also nice use of that classic Chevy!

    UK – 6p: Simple yet effective nu disco sound. Gbenga has a unique voice and you gotta love the monster playing the gigantic xylophone.

    Italy – 7p: This has to be one of my favourite ETSC winners next to Crimer and Christine and the Queens. A summer tune par excellence! Congrats, Dino!

    Croatia – 8p: Booming bass and a seductive voice and video. Very reminiscent of late 80s synthpop or early house music. I’m a big fan of it. Well deserved 5th place for Donnie and Hrvatska!

    Belarus – 10p: What’s cooler than cold? Ice cold! Such a shame they couldn’t take a spot in the top 10. This song grew on me as time passed surpassing Croatia, Italy, the UK and Finland during my third and final listen.

    Ireland – 12p: I am obsessed with this song. This is my favourite discovery so far. I am intrigued to buy their album, because I like their style. Indie yet very catchy. That figures they are a supporting act for Garbage, one of my all time favourite bands.

    So again big thanks to everyone who voted for Latvia! Whether it’s “Raganu nakts” or another song, I’m glad there are people around who enjoy their music as much as I do!

  2. Fun fact: Italy’s the third country to win a Grand Slam of the three online contests we have been in, next to Denmark and Sweden. All have also been in different host cities

    Sweden: Amanda Jenssen, Junior Brielle and Flora Cash/Smith & Thell. (Jonkoping, Stockholm, Uppsala/Gothenburg)
    Denmark: Eivor, Blau Blume, Kwamie Liv (Nuuk, Copenhagen, Aarhus)
    Italy: Milva, Maneskin and Shanguy (Palermo, Padua, Turin)

    As I told Morgan, I expected a new Nordic or Benelux to win this time (and ended up 2nd and 3rd), but Italy was also due

  3. Also, the unsung heroine of Italy: Milan-born Shady Cherkaoui.

  4. Would any etsc 12 song feature in our all time top 20?

  5. Congrats to Italy and Dino. And actually to everyone who took part. A pity I missed ETSC 2012. I enjoyed my first one (edition 11) very much. Is it an idea to organize an extra one in september? Haha, I guess not.

  6. ETSC 2020 left a rather bitter aftertaste for me. It was by far my worst showing in any edition i’ve participated in terms of ranking. I submitted 2 low-key and gloomy( i feel people attach a negative undertone to the term here) songs that, i guess,failed to make people connect with them. Anyway,what’s done is done. I stand by my choices even if they proved to be wrong results-wise. What was also a bit awkward is that i felt totally out of sync with the majority opinion in ETSC 12. Only 3 songs out of my top-10 made it to the actual top-10 and those were my 6, 2 and 1 point. That’s history now, Let’s move on to a-hopefully-better-VFoS season.

    • I really liked your contributions in ETSC 11 and 12. Especially your recent entry from Germany was one of the lightpoints for me in what was probably my least favourite edition of them all.

      But I guess your entries would have done a lot better in some of the early editions. The dominating taste has changed quite a lot I think, and the tendency has clearly become more pop’ish. I believe many of the songs that scored highly in ETSC 1-4 would not do well today.

      • Thank you, Anders. i liked your ETSC 11 entry more than your ETSC 12 one. I guess you’re right about the more mainstream pop turn the contest has taken but it’s fine. Besides, the only constant in life is change. More work for me to find first songs i really like and also maybe do well in ETSC.

    • I only voted for two out of 10 and that’s after going for 7 out of 10 (plus my own song) in the previous edition. I think it was just THAT kind of an edition for everybody. I had 21 songs (!) in contention for my points (that’s a huge number for me, it means I liked a lot of stuff but not much that wowed me enough to be clear contenders from the start) and the top3 were not even among those (even though I am enjoying Toukassé more now than I did before – I still think the chorus is quite repetitive though)

      As for choice of song, I do wonder why you and Avat didn’t keep the songs you had in the previous VFoS edition for the more competitive ETSC. Both countries that are easy to get and haven’t done very well here for a long time. Of course that’s with the hindsight of knowing what the results were.

      • In the last VFoS edition i missed the reservation time so, i had to find a song for a country that hadn’t been claimed. That’s how i got Portugal. Plus, i thought my ETSC songs would do better. lol

    • I loved your German entry and I was very surprised it ended so low! It did not start in my top 5 though, it’s a song it grew on me with each listening until it got to my #1. I would say the fact that it doesn’t really have a chorus is maybe the main reason why many didn’t vote for it, but the build up is very good imo and the ending delivers big time! :) It needs a few listenings though to get into it.

      • <3 Thanks again for the 12 pts. It really makes things better when you get at least 1 perfect score by someone and congrats on your 4th place

    • 2019! A lot of people say they’re out of sync; truth is, it’s just that the more you ask for diverse players the more the votes will spread and nothing stands out as this person’s or that one’s taste. The way we voted massively for the same song in etsc11 proves we can agree anyway as well. You did chose two gloomy songs and to me it felt very you who insist summer has to be nostalgic and slow. Obviously with Italy winning that’s not what people wanted this Summer I guess but that’s nothing to worry about! I still dont get why Camille got 26th but as you said it’s history all we can is stand by what we send and trust it’ll get better

    • Dim, you got my season -18 this time around. I know exactly how you feel at the moment. We both know that tables are turned, fortunes lost and found in these competitions in a whim. And that’s why we love them!

  7. I hear a lot of cynicism in “find a song that’ll do well” like there’s a pattern and stuff that has to do well: whereas we’ve always had, sadly, songs predicted top 3 doing poorly and surprises; moreover, I don’t think the etsc winners sound like each other at all?

    Anyway, when I heard Skip The Use reformed this year I heard their new stuff, which I liked and made me want to send them to etsc as they’re pretty unfairly unknown to the rest of Europe (Mat Bastard is an amazing singer): their biggest hit is “Ghost”

    But none of their new stuff was as good as, imo, “The Story of Gods and Men” which has anamazing clip, and since it’s from 2014 I had to send it! On the other hand, for a twist I looked for songs in Bosnia, Estonia, Finland (three countries I love in esc and think they should do better in etsc!) and I was even helped by Razvan for it! But I didn’t find anything I liked however I ended up having Youtube recommendations for Agnes Obel which I discovered, loved and decided to send. Before ETSC started Dino sent me a link to VFoS entries and that made me look in there and FdlC and saw Agnes was sent there! :o Out of idea I only sent Fishbach because I LOVE “Un Autre Que Moi” but didn’t get to send it two years ago when I went for Juliette and Camille. So I thought I’d do better with Skip The Use than Fishbach but sent twice a song I just loved, in different genres that I didn’t think would necessarily connect to a majority. A medal with Fishbach was icing on the cake. Don’t “play the game”, sure there are stuff I adore I think would NEVER do well in ETSC and that I decided not to send. Here are my two most famous examples, two songs I’ve loved before, and never sent to ETSC because I know they’ll do poorly:

    Maybe I’m wrong, we’ll never know. And I did get killed with Camille’s “Seeds” when I thought its composition would strike perfectly with ETSC crowd! Just send what you love and you *think* will do well, then it’s out of your hands: there are other players with their own taste, a specific edition with its quirks and its bias, so the competition makes you or breaks you. Most etsc winners are born like that!

    I still love finding new songs. Most people may have known these artists before but I discovered Nils, Isak and others! I have no idea how you guys find them (and my first time trying to do it made me realize just how hard it is as I have no connection to European music at all except NF), but I’m glad you find them for me ahah The competition is just acknowledging that dark side of ourselves and our dedication to a contest that never gets that competitive, that is way more one-sided musicwise than ETSC and that forgot to have a suspenseful voting sequence when all juries think the same (and before that, all televote in Europe agreed for the same stuff too): ETSC is the true Eurovision, once Oxi told me that, and that’s still the best compliment ETSC can get! And seriously guys, did you see how Ren, who had to quit ETSC after a very disappointing Summer, has been since his medal? It can happen to anyone, but as I’ve always said, knowing that’s how it’ll turn out keeps me going every Summer!

    • and now I’m in a “Canopée” loop, how amazing is that song?!

      • Most amazing! I have been in regular Canopée loops ever since it’s release. Last just before country selection for ETSC 12 LOL

      • Why would you not send “Canopée” as an entry?!?!?!?! It’s such a laid-back and wonderful tune!

        I agree wholeheartedly othewise. We need to ask ourselves why we participate here. Is it really just to get a good result? Or is to share music we love and have some fun? I believe it to be the latter. I’ve found music I love this summer, and I have encountered music I otherwise never would have thought of seeking out. Some songs have even expanded the way in which I listen to music. Sure, not everything is to my taste nor should it be. We all have different tastes and musical backgrounds.

        Of course, I do not know what it feels like to time and time again be at or near the bottom of the scoreboard, though I can imagine it to be disheartening. I also see no problem with people wanting or needing to take a break here and there. That being said, there is no one way or other that the contest “should” be – it is what we make of it through the entries we send. Yes, it’s nice to receive points, but simply sharing music is a reward in and of itself. The competition is simply a means through which we do so and to add another layer of entertainment. Choosing to opt out simply because of possibly “not doing well” would lessen the contest in my opinion, as it shouldn’t be a meta of what others may like – it should be what we actually like and listen to.

        Thank you to everyone who shared the music they loved. It’s what the spirit of the contest is about. :)

      • It’s such a perfect mix of French 60’s pop and French electro, it actually could be a remix of some long lost summer hit from the Brigitte Bardot era Saint Tropez 😃

    • Wise words! From both you and Oxi!

    • Yes, Canopée is in my list of songs that I would submit under France and I would give it big points if you had sent it :)
      Not fan of St. Germain, tho…

    • These two songs by Polo & Pan and St. Germain would have scored points from me for sure. I like them much better than your most recent entries, and they would have added to the musical diversity. You should have kept them for ETSC if you ask me.

    • As for how to find the entries: Most of the Danish entries I have sent are from artists I already knew in advance, my early entries were usually songs I have on CD. It includes a few contestants from other countries too, f.e. I once participated with a song by Einstürzende Neubauten which I already had on CD.

      Apart from that there are basically two ways I have found entries. 1: I regularly go through album or concert reviews on the Danish music site Gaffa, I see what they write and then check out the ones that look interesting based on the reviews, f.e. by listening to them on Spotify. This is how I found f.e. Burning Hearts, CTM, Baba Zula and Sista Bossen, as well as several FdlC/VFoS contestants.

      2: At other times I have gone to Wikipedia. F.e. in ETSC 6 I reserved Russia without actually having a song (which I only do rarely). I had not found anything Russian through Gaffa. I then went through Wikipedia’s list of artists tagged as ‘rock bands from Russia’ and checked those out who had released music after 2011. I don’t know why they were tagged as rock, because I clearly wouldn’t describe Dvar as rock music.

      I also once spent a lot of time going through similar Wikipedia lists to find possible future entries. Some of these include ‘List of folktronica artists’ (I found the FdlC/VFoS contestants Shugo Tokumaru and Clue to Kalo that way) and ‘List of art rock music groups’ (I found Jarboli, Koenjihyakkei, and some bands I haven’t sent yet). To make it easier for myself, I excluded acts from English speaking countries, which make up the vast majority of these lists. Otherwise it would have taken me days.

    • I totally agree, there isn’t really a pattern for the songs that do well as there have been songs in many different styles that have done very well. A good example is my ETSC 7 entry, “The Addict”, it’s a song in a style that we didn’t hear before in ETSC (and I think not since, either?) yet it almost won. I didn’t know for sure how well it will do, I thought it will be risky, but as I loved it and it was different from anything that was sent before, I hoped it would stand out and it did! It’s still among my favourite entries!

      I always send the songs that I like the most because these are the ones that I trust the most to do well, in the end I can’t trust more a song that I like less even if I think it’s maybe “easier to be liked” as in an edition there are many songs that are easy to like, but not that many that stand out. So far that paid off for me as I can say that only one song that I’ve sent hasn’t done well and that’s “Voices” in ETSC 11. I knew it would be risky but as I loved it I thought it had potential to do well even if it’s not catchy and it has a more unusual melody, I thought it could stand out more (especially that voice!) and bring more to the contest than my 3rd, 4th or 5th options that were definitely catchier and less risky.

      In the end the only pattern that I’ve seen so far is that most of the songs that did well are really great and ofc that is subjective and I guess I was lucky as most songs that I considered to be great have done well, but I think most people would agree too?

      “Canopée” is amazing btw! :D It’s the first time I hear it (I’m on the 3rd listening now actually), but if I knew it before I would’ve definitely considered it for ETSC! And I like “Real Blues” too, very interesting sound, I think it would’ve gotten some pts from me.

  8. Is it provocative to play Toukasse, whilst in Norway? 😊

  9. Okay, hands up, I never made it to the party. Having one myself is enough to be contending with right now.
    From what I have read and seen it has been an interesting edition with all sorts of shenanigans going on.
    So, a massive congratulations to Dino on winning with Italy. I like the winning song and I haven’t listened to any others yet, so I will see how it fares once I do.
    Brittany, well done on a wonderful silver and Ren, the Bronze, nice one mista!
    Of course a.huge well done to Morgan for all his effort and hard work it keeping this show alive and kicking. Long may it continue. Kudos chéri.
    Sorry, I wasn’t able to take part, I was too late and had no time to even think about looking. Sadly my artist has been used and not for the first time but elsewhere also. Hey how. Perhaps I will hold it on the back burner. I think it is a nicer song than those already submitted, well I love it, still.
    Okay, so other news.
    Some of you may know already from the old email grapevine but I shall announce it all the same ,
    I have become engaged to my beauti

  10. While doing well feels amazing, my priority at my core is always sending something I enjoy and hoping you do too. I like browsing for songs and maybe send a surprise (Romansh for Switzerland or something from San Marino) or something I just got to show you all. BUT, being here has sort of expanded my own tastes, which permits me to send more different things recently. Like this year I had male electropop preceded by a female ballad, so to keep you guys guessing. If I do well, woohoo, if not, I’ll pick myself up. What matters is la musique :)

    Here are my definite rankings of all ETSCs position wise Next mission, a medal :P

  11. Congrats to Italy&Dino

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