You might have seen them on the couches in the Green Room during the Eurovision Song Contest: the delegations of our participating broadcasters. We asked 3 Heads of Delegation how they look back on Tel Aviv 2019 and how they are preparing for Rotterdam 2020.
Fond memories of 2019
Talking about the 64th Eurovision Song Contest, Norway's Head of Delegation Stig Karlsen says: "It was fantastic. It was great being in Tel Aviv, celebrating music and people. That is [...] so great about Eurovision: people coming together from all around the world. What a party!"
Ana Bordas, Head of Delegation for Spain, agrees: "It was really great. Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv was amazing because the entire city was in a Eurovision mood. You could feel it, a lot of young people together enjoying this amazing music festival."
Qualifying for the Grand Final
Sometimes Eurovision history is made. This was the case for the Czech Republic in 2016, when Gabriela Gunčíková represented the country with her song I Stand.
Czech Head of Delegation Jan Bors remembers how Gabriela's achievement in Stockholm turned the tables for his country: "The first time we qualified for the Grand Final was amazing. We started this process of selecting our songs and artists and each year we receive more and more songs from artists and composers. 5 years ago, I would have laughed because it was impossible to get songs, but now we receive a lot."
Preparations for 2020
Norway will celebrate their 60th Eurovision anniversary
Before the 2019 Grand Final even took place, Norway was already preparing for 2020. Stig: "We started preparations a long time ago. We already have 25 songs and artists ready, they will be part of the 60th anniversary of Norway's participation during our national selection show Melodi Grand Prix. The show will start on 11 January and will last for 6 weeks, we will have a big final on 15 February."
Spain is changing it up for 2020
The Spanish delegation started their preparations just after Tel Aviv. Ana says: "After the Eurovision Song Contest, we let some days pass and normally in June, the entire team gathers for a first meeting. That is when we begin to think about the next edition. We try to establish the basis before the summer holidays."
Earlier in September 2019, the Spanish delegation confirmed an internal selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. Previously, the Spanish act would win a ticket to the Contest via the popular TV show Operación Triunfo.
The Czech Republic will do it live
Over the summer, Czech broadcaster Česká Televize revealed a change in their selection process as well: they will select their artist via a live TV show. Jan says the decision was made in January 2019: "We already chose the artists, they had a deadline until the end of July. We did this because we want to practice a lot with them, teach them what they can expect from the Eurovision Song Contest. We want to give them time to prepare."
Jan explains that - just like in previous years - the public will have a say in the outcome: "We are still working on the details, but we want everyone to be able to vote, not just the Czech people."