All aboard – entering ESC 2018

Netta (Israel) Semi Final Dress Rehearsal | Photo: Andres Putting (EBU)

Netta (Israel) Semi Final Dress Rehearsal | Photo: Andres Putting (EBU)

The trends of ESC are often hard to predict, but one of the unwritten rules are that last year’s winning song will influence the participating acts of the upcoming year. After Ukraine’s victory in Stockholm in 2016 we found ourselves practically drowning in ballads last year in Kyiv and so, not surprisingly, many feared another year of countless ballads after Salvador Sobral’s humble ballad in Portuguese. Thankfully, this particular prediction didn’t come true. However, what Amar Pelos Dois did start seems to be a ground-breaking trend of singing in other languages than English. Among last year’s 43 entries, all but 7 songs were performed in English. In Lisbon, this figure has almost doubled when 13 songs are performed in non-English languages.

Maybe this is also the reason fewer songs than usual are, fully or partially, written by Swedish composers and/or lyricists. More participating countries seems to try to steer away from the generic well-produced radio music in favour of national and ethnical uniqueness. However, this trend is not as dramatic; there’s still 10 “Swedish” songs in the competition this year, in relation to 12 in 2017. And, if we’re talking Swedish statistics we must also mention that 2 of this year’s competing songs are performed by Swedish singers, Sweden’s Dance You Off and Poland’s Light Me Up – both found in the second semi-final on Thursday.

But ESC is not only about the music; the costumes and the props are also important parts of the performance. Last year I asked you to count your white dresses – this year I urge you to count wide-brimmed hats instead. I don’t know where they all suddenly came from… Also, you should look out for the Estonian dress, the Russian mountain, the Korean waving lucky cats from Israel, Ukraine’s pyrotechnics and the cute robots from San Marino.

So, what’s in store for this crazy week of Eurovision frenzy from Lisbon? Well, let´s find out, shall we?

Semi Final 1 – Tuesday May 8th >
Semi Final 2 – Thursday May 10th >


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