In pure pop terms, this was a remarkably good Eurovision Song Contest, but the staging still, well… upstaged nearly everyone. It was nothing short of phenomenal. A huge tip of the hat to the Danes and the European Broadcasting Union for an excellent show, thanks in part to the most versatile video venue yet.
Now, I’m a techie, so I love the dazzle, and pop music is in my blood, so ESC is a double helping, but early on it became apparent that there’s a burnout factor with too much flash in a row. An order determined by random draw can put a string of acts that really use the video wall back to back. The Common Linnets performance was a heartfelt, intimate performance of a great song, and by the time it came to their performance, third song from the end, the mostly static, black and white staging was beautifully simple by contrast. It made them stand out even more.
The video above is the complete playlist of the Finals performances from Eurovision’s YouTube channel. It starts with the best, the Common Linnets (despite what the voting said), so dropping the whole playlist here serves to also let you check out the performances (and the stage), if you missed it.
Oh, Conchita Wurst (the winner) won in total diva style by nailing her performance of The Best Bond Song Never Recorded, “Rise Like a Phoenix.” (Thx to Jon Steele for that perfect summation.) The novelty past, it is plummeting down the charts. The Linnets’ song “Calm after the Storm” peaked at #14, but is still in the top quarter of the charts.
Oh, in case you’d like to watch the entire telecast start to end to see how it ran, you can do that on the Eurovision Site.
This station is an experiment in world hit radio. When you’re dealing with “The Hits” you have a fairly rigid palette, but within that, an entire world of past and present hits offers a huge range of musical colors. Mixing them together is the domain of formatics, the core of radio programming.
There are so many ways to mix such a large palette that there’s no ‘right way’ to do it, so while we mix it up looking for a format that works consistently, discussion is welcome.
This is the place for it.
It’s always interesting to see how the winners in pop song competitions do in the “real world” and Eurovision is no different. All in all, there’s no magic bullet in it, and winning doesn’t change national music tastes enough to make the winner a sure Euro-wide hit.
That said, Emmelie’s “Only Teardrops” has Major Hit written all over it, coming as it does from the same musical vein as other hot worldwide hits like Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters and Men.
September 1 update:
As of this date, “Only Teardrops” has spent 211 days on the European charts, spread over 17 different charts.
Long before the drawn-out voting reveal was finished in Malmö, Sweden, Denmark’s Emmelie de Forest had relegated the rest of the vote count to a decision on the runners-up, Ukrainian artist Zlata Ognevich and Azerbaijan’s Farid Mammadov, thanks to a buoyant performance of “Only Teardrops,” her upbeat and catchy winning song, which we’ve moved into our top rotation. It was perhaps given an unfair advantage by the luck of the draw—it fell in the midst of a long stretch of ballads, making it sparkle all the more—but the song really didn’t need the help. Without the usual bloc voting by the Eastern Europeans, it would have been a rout.
We’ve been running non-stop for a week now, checking the play frequency of the songs in the airplay format. It’s really eight different three-hour format blocks, the clock’s “hour hand” moving into a new Earth Region block to coincide with that region’s peak personal internet hours, from 6-9pm. Approximately three-quarters of the format is the same mix whatever the block, for station consistency. The remaining three or four songs per hour are made up of extra new and classic tracks from the focus region.