The Eurovision season 2022 has ended about four weeks ago, so we had enough time to reflect and to have a look at all the news updates that followed, and which evoked what seemed to be an endless stream of criticism, backlash, and gossip, but hey, that is also Eurovision!
Keep in mind
Keep in mind that there are multiple sides to the article below, since there are several parties which all have different stakes at every year’s show, i.e. the press saw different situations, which were either positive or negative, than the audience at home. It is good to differentiate all these parties involved, because the experience is different for all these parties, and they always somehow influence each other. For the Eurovision artists of this year the malfunctioning stage was a bigger issue than for the people at home or the audience in the venue, or the press for that matter. The thing that we saw a lot, while reading many articles, coming from different types of news outlets, was that Eurovision 2022 was bad, period, but was it really?
- Although we start off with what might be a strange thing to mention is that because of the many things that somehow went wrong in Turin, the press that was there got closer together than ever. Reporters and journalists could actually bond, because they could complain about all sorts of things to each other. The press centre this year “seemed” to have WiFi connections set-up for 50 people, although there were hundreds of people in the press centre at some point, which already made sending a simple e-mail feel like a huge task, let alone stream all day, like some fan media do. The most simple things became funny, because of malfunctions, and we all had a laugh because of it. This is also one of those things one does not experience while at home, but for the reporters, and other types of press, it could lead to the most hilarious moments, because everybody knew what the other was going through.
- The live shows did not suffer a whole lot from all the malfunctions in especially the organization of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy. Ok, we admit, there are some things that one person might have liked and another one disliked, but that is always the case; it is very hard to please everybody, and Eurovision fans are not easy fans to please, because they are used to a high standard of live shows. The stage with the water, and the green room with actual plants was an original feature that we did not see a whole lot of times before, so that is a good thing. In this regard, we also have to differentiate again between the audience at home and the people on-site; for some of the artists the stage was a huge problem, because they had invested in an act that included the kinetic sun on-stage, but they never got to perform their original act; for the people at home, of which a whole lot do not follow the news concerning the contest like many fans do; the sun was just a stage element with lights on it to most, and they did not know that the rings of the sun were supposed to move. So, always keep in account the same situation, but from different perspectives.
- The venue for this year’s Turquoise Carpet was so incredibly mesmerizing and inviting. The Veneria Reale Palace, which is like a mini Versailles, was everything. The setting in the gardens of the palace, the fashion that was on-point because of the backdrop of the venue, the time people had to actually ask questions and to take pictures, it was all great. Sure, because everyone took their time, the event seemed to go on forever, but for the journalists there, it was fantastic, because we had a lot of time to take great pictures, create and post content, and so on. Wonderful.
- Yes, the organization of this year’s contest was a hot mess. From situations in which nobody talked a word of English up to the grand stage that did not work as intended. It is so strange that when one has about a year to organize a huge event, with all the knowledge there is to get from countries that have already organized the same event in the past, so many things went still wrong. We believe that especially Italy, because they organized the event at the beginning of the ‘90’s for the last time, and because they went out of the competition for years, returned, and did really well all the years after, that they would come up with a practically flawless event, but sadly that was absolutely not the case. The organization, whether it was the EBU or RAI, left many plot holes in the way they organized the event backstage and, for the eye of the attentive beholder, during the live shows.
- The presenters started too late with rehearsing, because of what probably were personal and professional endeavours, i.e. Mika was touring in the US, while all on-site preparations for this year’s contest were already in full swing. Mika and Laura Pausini had a little bit of chemistry, and Alessandro Cattelan was just there. Because of the very flawed rehearsals things did not go as planned during the live shows, which was very obvious to see for the press present, because we saw the wonky rehearsals, but sometimes also for the people at home during the live shows. It was clear that Laura Pausini is most definitely not a presenter, which is fine, to each its own, but RAI should have checked this beforehand, because the multi-talented Mika as the main presenter and the kind of funny Allesandro Cattelan in the green room, would have worked too (or maybe even better).
- We cannot get over how the shows did not match the level of previous shows, and how the focus lay so much on the “past” during the shows, that we actually thought that there is nothing remotely “modern” anymore about Italy. The postcards, for example, were all about everything that was going on in the past, and although Italy is a huge museum on itself with a rich culture in many regards, we did want to see Italy breaking out of that mould, even if it was just a little bit. Not to talk of the weird projections of the artists on sometimes random buldings in the postcards, this feature basically felt like amateur hour. There seemed to be no inclusion of this year’s slogan “The Sound of Beauty”, which was already a bit of an iffy slogan, if you ask us. There was this short interval video about what the sound of beauty might entail, but apart from that, we did not see the slogan incorporated in anything but the online and offline marketing, which is strange, and let’s just be honest here, it felt like somebody formulated the slogan “The Beauty of Sound” the wrong way…
As you can read, this year’s contest was a mix of hit and miss, and we have to be honest and say that miss was more present than hit, which is a shame, because Italy has all the elements to come up with a great show, the Italian San Remo Festival is not for nothing the base on which the Eurovision Song Contest was built, but somewhere along the way the EBU did not monitor their Eurovision franchise all too well, and then, somehow, the whole organization seems to have derailed. A shame, because it could have been way better if there had been more monitoring (by the EBU?) or simply better professionals who would have taken the wheel. Very curious to see if things will change for the better next year.