Following the unprecedented cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest this year, SBS is excited to announce a week-long festival of Eurovision from 10-17 May, culminating in a brand new alternative Eurovision 2020 with SBS’s Eurovision 2020: Big Night In! and Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light from The Netherlands.
1. Seeing Double
Forget the Year of the Sheep, 2015 is The Year of the Duo – an unprecedented eight countries have opted to send a twosome to Vienna. The pairings from Slovenia and Belarus break the mould somewhat where the act comprises vocalist and instrumentalist rather than two vocalists like all the other compositions. Two may just be the trick to take the top prize with Estonia (pictured), Norway and Slovenia all sending entries creating serious buzz.
2. Teenage Dream
You may be forgiven for thinking “am I watching Junior Eurovision?” when the telecast commences this year due to the slew of teenagers who’ll be representing their nations in the Wiener Stadthalle. Iceland, San Marino, Belgium and Ireland are all sending teens with the youngest to grace the stage being 16 year old French-Israeli performer Nadav Guedj who’ll take his ditty 'Golden Boy' to the contest for Israel.
3. Don't Bore Us... Get To The Chorus!
If you don’t like “heartfelt” ballads or anthemic entries, 2015 may not be your year. The sheer volume of ballads is overwhelming which makes the odd pop ditty really shine (good news for our Guy). The best from the blokes comes courtesy of Azerbaijan, sure to be riding high in the top 10 come the Grand Final, and from the ladies it’s a tie between Russia and Spain (the winner will probably be determined by the country with better staging).
4. Aussie Invasion
Whether you agree or disagree with Australia’s wildcard inclusion in this year’s contest it’s got everyone talking. There are huge arguments both for and against broadening the competition and much debate around whether you technically have to “be in Europe” to enter Eurovision. Regardless of which side of the argument you fall the move is ground-breaking and already other nations have taken notice. Tunisia, Morocco, Kosovo and Kazakhstan are all sending delegates to this year’s contest to scope the logistics of the event for potential future inclusion.
5. Mad About Måns
He’s undeniably handsome, he’s got a voice to die for, and he’s got one of the most upbeat songs of this year’s contest but can Måns Zelmerlöwtake take home another glittery trophy to Sweden? The bookies currently have him as favourite but the song is not quite the knock-out blow that will ensure a sixth victory for the Swedes. The staging promises to be extraordinary but Måns will need to be on the charm offensive and avoid all questions around his controversial statements in 2014 around same-sex couples for which he has apologised for.
6. Confident or Cocky?
You’ll be hearing a lot about Finland’s PKN (Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät) during this year’s contest. The punk rock outfit, consisting of four men with special needs, has created a buzz amongst the international press struck by their story and journey to Vienna. Yes, their story is extraordinary yet their song is agonisingly (or thankfully for some) short at one minute 30 seconds. During a recent Finnish talk show PKN bassist Sami Helle declared that “after us, I think all the songs were crap”. OK then – think that as “game on!”
7. San Marino Sweethearts
On the other side of the interest coin there’s not a great deal of buzz around the teenage duo from the Republic of San Marino which is a genuine shame. Anita Simoncini and Michele Perniola will be the youngest twosome to ever grace the Eurovision stage with the song 'Chain of Lights' a little pop gem that is pure Eurovision of old. From Michele’s opening “No!” to Anita’s spoken “Yes we should” this entry is as camp as Christmas and Australia should get behind it. Support San Marino in 2015 and get them to the final!
8. Russian Lyrics
Russian singer-model-actress Polina Gagarina will sing, arguably the best ballad of the contest, 'A Million Voices' in Semi Final 1. Unfortunately Ms Gagarina will probably be met with a frosty reception in the Wiener Stadthalle with many unable to reconcile her songs message of peace, tolerance and unity with recent events and stances by her homeland. Let’s hope the message gets through.
9. Lost In Translation
Some of the most beautiful moments on the Eurovision stage often come when performers sing in their native tongue. Albania’s Rona Nishliu wowed us in 2012 with the powerful 'Suus' and in 2007 Serbia’s Marija Šerifović won the entire contest with the beautiful 'Molitva'. This year we’ll be treated to local language entries from, amongst others, Montenegro, Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy. The spunky Italian trio Il Volo could take out the whole shebang with their popera-tastic 'Grande Amore' and provide us another local language winner.
10. Building Bridges
From the moment it was announced as the 2015 and 60th anniversary theme, “Building Bridges” had many of us scratching our heads quizzically thinking “what does it mean?” Not sure that question has been answered yet but you can join in the fun by making your own video bridge which may feature as a part of a montage during one of the telecast shows. Check out how to build your virtual bridge here.
Relive the magic of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 on SBS Monday 11 May at 1:30PM. Available to catch up at SBS On Demand after broadcast.