How does Eurovision make Europe attractive again?

  • The final of the 66th European Song Contest will take place on Saturday 14 May. 25 artists will compete to win
  • Eurovision is experiencing its renaissance, particularly in the category of younger audiences. A year ago, 200 million viewers watched the finals in front of televisions. 50 million watched the competition online
  • “There is no other cultural project that unites Europeans like Eurovision,” said Dean Voltik, a Eurovision historian at the University of Vienna.
  • You can find more of these stories on the Onet homepage
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After 66 years, the Eurovision Song Contest has suddenly become a magnet for young people. Despite – and because of – “ridiculous” songs, extravagant costumes and “rich” performances.

The mega-annual TV show has become a huge hit for the troubled European Broadcasting Union (EBU) youth and public service broadcasters as their main audience gets older. If voters are lukewarm about the EU’s political project, Eurovision’s success is curious evidence that a European audience enjoys complex voting and emotional pronouncements in dozens of languages. Perhaps, to the jealousy of the leaders in Brussels, the contest did not see Brexit, and the United Kingdom continues to participate in it. There is also no problem in expanding eastward through the countries of the former Soviet Union and all the way to Australia.

Said Dean Foltek, Eurovision historian at the University of Vienna, who has devoted the last ten years of his career to researching this musical show.

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Last year, nearly 200 million viewers sat in front of TV sets, which in the era of Netflix is ​​a huge audience for live TV. More than half of 15-24-year-olds watching TV at broadcast time in 2021 turned on public media to watch the final, four times as much as BBC or France TV. Eurovision also attracts audiences online – about 50 million people watched the official YouTube channel last year. Online viewers are young people. Approximately. 70 percent of the live viewers are between the ages of 18 and 34.

Voltik notes that in recent years the program has become “more linguistically diverse” with more and more artists singing in their mother tongue.

“Last year, Måneskin’s cool character in fast-paced Italian won the popular vote, becoming»The most successful product in Eurovision since Céline Dion in 1988 «” – He said.

Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images/Getty Images


Eurovision is also a progressive crusade The songs call for action on climate change, criticize unrealistic beauty standards, and stand up for LGBT rights.

“This year (…) a lot of songs that play very creatively with gender and sexuality. I think this highlights the new fluidity of gender and sexuality in the content,” Vuletic said.

Photo: PAP/EPA/Alessandro Di Marco

Sheldon Riley, Australian international player

For Europeans watching the show in 16 languages ​​from 40 countries, the visual setting is of great importance. Artists place great importance on appearance and pose during the show, perhaps more than music that most listeners will not understand. Contestants follow with concern the Eurovision fan community.

This visual focus and huge fan base make the show a good fit for the TikTok short video platform. This Chinese social network received 1.4 billion views of #Eurovision clips last year and was so impressed with the show that it became a special media sponsor this year. Sam Ryder, the British participant in this year’s competition, started singing on TikTok during the pandemic and now has 12.4 million followers there.

As in any major Eurovision event, there has to be an official conclusion. Voting for Eurovision in individual countries has always been a competition governed by politics. Friends and allies usually award double points to each other.

However, the introduction of universal suffrage helped disqualify some of these stereotypes. Last year, before television viewers began broadcasting scores via phones and apps, the Swiss and French teams opted for more traditional tracks. The winner turned out to be a real voice for a pan-European audience, putting Italian rock ahead of Francophone poetry. Måneskin used this fact to gain publicity on the radio and sold concerts outside Italy.

This year, how can Ukraine fail to win? People have already voted, and the song has over 6 million views on YouTube. Twelve points from the European Jury.


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