What does it take to succeed at the Eurovision Song Contest? That was one of two key topics discussed at the third annual workshop dedicated to the world's longest running musical TV competition which took place in Berlin on Monday (14 September).
The event, part of the EUROVISION Creative Forum, brought together TV producers and executives from 20 EBU Members to delve deeper into the Contest which is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Welcoming delegates, the Contest’s Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand said he was proud of the standard of songs at this year’s Contest: “The quality of the acts has increased a lot in recent years,” he told the audience. “It’s important for the EBU and the participating broadcasters that we have a high standard of entries. It’s also important for the audience’s perception of the show.”
The discussion “How to get on the left hand side of the scoreboard” looked at the best practice and creative vision involved in doing well at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Leslie Cable from French Belgian Member RTBF said choosing their singer from talent show The Voice has led to huge success for Belgium, with a 12th place for Roberto Bellarosa in 2013 and a 4th position for Loic Nottet in 2015: “The host of The Voice is also our Eurovision commentator and by tying the shows together and working with big record labels we’ve found a formula that works,” she argued. “Loic Nottet went to Number 1 in 20 countries. And the good results now mean we now have a whole country behind us and the audience say it’s not old fashioned, we’ll come back and watch next year.”
Nicola Caligiore from Italian Member RAI was instrumental in bringing Italy back to the Contest in 2011. The country has had 4 Top Ten placings since their return using songs and artists which have taken part in Italy’s iconic San Remo Music Festival, which was the inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest itself back in 1956: “Sanremo is the biggest music brand in Italy with a 50 percent audience share. There’s a huge hype with 15 million viewers every night,” he said. “The winning song has partly been chosen by the public so has a mainstream appeal – in a way it’s very suited to a show like the Eurovision Song Contest. We can travel to Eurovision with the support of the Italian public. Every year we’ve taken a bigger artist than the year before. Record companies now see going to Eurovision as a proud place to be.”
This is a contribution from Dave Goodman, Communications Officer at the EBU.