When I started to google more about the European Solidarity Corps I realised that the name of the volunteering project and the Eurovision Song Contest have the same shortcut, which was a bit confusing at the beginning. So, this was already a slow start of the relationship between me and the Eurovision Song Contest. But back in that time I could not know, that we will expand our relationship even more and I will watch my first Eurovision Song Contest during my ESC abroad. “Watching ESC during my ESC.”
Before I came here, I was never really interested in the Eurovision Song contest. I knew that it takes place every year around early summertime, but that was all the information I had. But this year it is a bit different for me. In Germany, no one of the people which I am surrounded by have any clue who will sing for Germany, what the song is about and when this event will take place. We just know that most of the times, the singers don´t perform well enough to be on one of the first places. Reality looks like we are most of the time one of the last places. Whereas in Lithuania most of the people are well educated about the current Eurovision Songs.
The band who will perform this years Lithuanian Song, is called “the roop”. They have been also chosen to perform the last years song, which didn´t take place at the end due to Covid. The last years song, is called “on fire” and this year’s song is called “discoteque”. To integrate good in Lithuanian culture, we needed to gain some knowledge about this topic! Now we are so much into the topic that we are even capable to dance the songs, what we basically did it every time we met during lockdown. After 6 months we are literally pros in it, especially the dance moves from the song “on fire”.
The first Eurovision Song Contest took place in Switzerland in 1956. Every year the ESC takes place in the country of the singer, who has won the previous ESC. This year it will be in Rotterdam with a small audience of approximately 3.000 people. The semi finals are going to take place on the 18.05.21 and on the 20.05.21. The final on the upcoming weekend on the 22.05.21. Lithuania will open the semi- final on the 18.05.21, what is great because if I should get tired during the performance, I saw at least the song from the country where I am currently living in.
The main idea why I wanted to write a report about this topic was, that there are also a lot of critics about the ESC, which I didn´t know before, because I have never paid attention to this topic. Nevertheless, the Eurovision song contest should be a political free event, which it is not. Even though the paragraph 2.7 says: “The ESC is a non-political event. All Participating Broadcasters, including the Host Broadcaster, shall ensure that all necessary steps are undertaken within in their respective Delegations and teams in order to make sure that the ESC shall in no case be politicized and/or instrumentalized (…). The lyrics and/or performance of the songs shall not bring the Shows, the ESC as such or the EBU into disrepute. No lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political, commercial or similar nature shall be permitted during the ESC. No swearing or other unacceptable language shall be allowed in the lyrics or in the performances of the songs” (source: https://eurovision.tv/about/rules).
When the first Eurovision song contest took place, it wasn´t because of the music or new festivities, the main idea was to look how public service broadcaster can cooperate which each other. However, during the years a lot of political songs were performed by different countries, which try to illustrate their history, their current political issues or society topics. One example which is really famous is the song “Toy” which has been staged by Netta, the singer from Israel. This song refers to the #Metoo debate, which was a present topic that time. This year the singer Macrooy, presenting the Netherlands, sings about the colonialism of the Netherlands. Another really famous example is the Eurovision song contest winner of the year 2012 Benezco, who criticised the oppression of humanity in certain countries. Even though political songs are most of the time less voted by the experts of the countries, the audience likes them and votes for them. Each year the every country has their own experts who will give points for other songs, not for their own country song, obviously, and the audience at home also has the possibility to vote, as well.
I will vote for Lithuania and hope this year they will finally make it and win the first time in their history. This would be another first time!