This year’s Eurovision concert has now come and gone. Some people got angry, others threatened to boycott it, while some simply resigned with an I-thought-so.
But what went wrong? And why shouldn’t we have expected better?
Every May comes with a message that hope has not yet left us. We wait in anticipation as the semi-final Malta is taking part in brings with it renewed hope that we may still win; that we may still, one day, be crowned as the winners of the Eurovision. Unfortunately, that never happens.
Why though? Did we really think our performance this year deserved to win?
The Song: I think we often forget to judge our own song from the point of view of someone who has never heard it before. We listen to our chosen song so many times in the lead up to the actual concert that we start to think it’s the only one that’s any good. This year’s song was catchy, but not as catchy as this year’s Swedish entry, or even Denmark’s 2013 entry Only Tear Drops. For someone who had never heard it before, it was a fun ‘filler’ song in between those that actually stood out.
The Performance: Amber seems super sweet and she looks quite comfortable on stage, but by God, she needs to learn to enunciate her words. Again, we know the lyrics by heart, but 99% of those watching don’t. Those are the people we need to win over. And we could have! The lyrics of Russia’s entry this year were absolute crap. I mean, ‘your heart is like a beating drum/burning brighter than the sun’? It’s so 1982, it hurts. But she enunciated with passion, and thus, she came second.
The Staging: Russia’s entry also had very good staging, as did Sweden’s song, which consequently won. Their show looked bright and they made use of the entire stage. We had no backing vocalists or instruments and the projector behind Amber basically recycled the same two graphics over and over again. If we want to win, we’re either going to try and give the Europeans a good show, or we can just give up now.
The Impact: When you think of Ira’s performance at the Eurovision, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Her blowing on a fistful of confetti, of course. And what about when Chiara came second in 2005? Her opening up her arms as she sang the line ‘To me’ with such force and determination she could have taken on the world. It was iconic and it won us a lot of points – 192 in total, the most Malta’s ever got. This year? I can’t remember …
The Shock-Factor: No one thinks Lordi won the 2009 Eurovision because they had a good song; and Ruslana won the 2004 Eurovision with a song that no one understood. But there was something new and shocking about them. Same with Conchita last year and Måns this year. So, yes, we need to start shocking people with more than just a massive dress with Olivia Lewis stuffed inside it.
Ultimately, unless we up our game and send a song with a bit more oomph and pleasantly shocking, then we will never do well – no matter who we send.
Then again, it’s very easy to sit here and tell Malta’s delegation what they could have done better. Our budgets are what they are, so maybe it’s time to revise them? Or should we just give up for good?
Do you agree with James? What do you think went wrong this year?
Let us know in the comments section below.