No wind machines? No costume reveals? No key changes? As the news finally sinks in that Eurovision 2020 has been cancelled, our thoughts naturally turn to what might have been.
The clutch of 2020 songs were filled with such promise as big ballsy ballads, luscious melancholic odes and dance-floor stompers were all set to battle it out on the Rotterdam stage. And of course, we include our own Montaigne's 'Don't Break Me' in this lineup.
*UPDATE: SBS isn't letting Eurovision go for 2020 - find out about our week-long festival of Eurovision, culminating in 'Eurovision 2020: Big Night In!' and 'Europe: Shine A Light'
Regardless of what the outcome could have been in May, here are six songs that deserve your attention, and are exactly what the the world needs right now.
1. Lithuania: The Roop, 'On Fire'
Having cemented themselves as the bookies’ favourite, three-piece Lithuanian band The Roop appeared set to deliver their Baltic home a first-ever win at the competition. “On Fire” proved a runaway success at the Lithuanian national final ‘Pabandom iš naujo!’, topping both the jury and public vote. This energetic trio promised to deliver something spectacular on stage, eliciting fervour from the fans and justifying their favouritism. Both hypnotising and beguiling. We can only lament what might have been.
2. Iceland: Dadi & Gagnamagnid, 'Think About Things'
Prior to the Icelandic national selection, Söngvakeppnin, the tiny island nation appeared to have a hit on its hands when the video for Daði & Gagnamagnið’s “Think About Things” did what every Eurovision act prays for by going viral. This sweet ode about the unconditional love of a father to a child was all set to be accompanied by quirky staging, deadpan antics and must-have costuming.
3. Bulgaria: Victoria, 'Tears Getting Sober'
After a year’s hiatus Bulgaria promised to return to the competition in 2020 with something special. Enter Bulgarian X Factor alum Victoria and the melodic and entrancing “Tears Getting Sober”. If only we could have seen this realised on the Eurovision stage as Victoria had the potential to capture us all inside three minutes of melancholy.
4. Russia: Little Big, 'Uno'
Odd yet accessible dance moves – check. Catchy repeating chorus – check. Over-the-top camp styling – check! Russia’s Little Big would have undoubtedly provided the ‘party’ moment on the Rotterdam stage. And that party could have taken us all the way to Moscow in 2021… but that’s in a parallel universe now. “Don’t be a dummy dummy” indeed!
5. Azerbaijan: Efendi, 'Cleopatra'
Since joining the competition in 2008, Azerbaijan has only failed to qualify for the grand final once and it appeared that 28-year-old Efendi’s “Cleopatra” was going to do some serious damage on the scoreboard in 2020. It’s a crime that we won’t see this manifested on stage as we know it would have been bathed in gold and scorched by fire.
6. Switzerland: Gjon's Tears, 'Répondez-moi'
One of Eurovision’s most beloved winning entries is Celine Dion’s anthemic “Ne partez pas sans moi”. Sung in French, it secured the top prize for Switzerland in 1988 and made Celine a household name. It’s been a decade since Switzerland has submitted an entry in French and Gjon’s Tears’ haunting “Répondez-moi” was set to remedy that on stage this year. Intense and mesmerising, we can only imagine how glorious this would have been live.
Follow the author on Twitter
SBS statement regarding Eurovision
Like millions of fans across the world, SBS is extremely saddened that the Eurovision Song Contest will not take place in 2020. With the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19, we fully support the difficult decision made by the European Broadcasting Union.
SBS is working through plans for 2020 and 2021 and will provide more information soon.