We look back at 2012 by having a look at out twelve most popular articles this year. This was what made your and our Eurovision year special.
1 | Drop-outs
Things are not going too well economically in Europe, this had it's effect on Eurovision too. Quite some countries had their doubts about taking part in 2013 for financial reasons. Countries like Greece, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and even Spain seemed to be in doubt for quite some time, but eventually all decided to be heading for Malmö anyway. Unfortunately this was not the case for all countries. After negative signals from Portugal, Poland and Slovakia there was Black Friday, on 14 December Turkey and Bosnia & Hercegovina announced their withdrawal.
2 | Europe has gone Euphoric!
Hardly ever before, Eurovision produced such a big hit all over the continent like this year. Euphoria, the winning Swedish entry this year was a big hit all over Europe, it reached the first place in the charts of more than a dozen countries. In fact it still is doing well in some countries right now, more than a half a year after the contest.
3 | Israeli embassy warned Malmö
Malmö doesn't have a very good record when it comes to anti semitism. The Israeli embassy in Sweden at least thought there was enough reason to warn the city that is hosting the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest to take very good care of the protection of the Israeli delegation in May.
4 | Anouk
The Netherlands were the first country to announce their artist for 2013. Local rock legend Anouk announced it herself through the social media on 17 October: She was going to do it. But that didn't just happen as easy as that. Anouk apparently already was interested in representing the country in 2009, when TROS chose the Toppers in stead. This year she had announced that she had a perfect song ready for Eurovision. TROS however seemed reluctant again to be making a deal with her. They had their own plans: a talent scout show where Anouk of course was welcome to participate as well. This lead to quite some protest in the country. A number of Dutch previous Eurovision artists expressed their concern. Anouk herself did not seem to be too interested to be going through a selection proces like that either. This all lead to TROS starting the discussions again, and well, now we all know how that ended. Anouk will be waving the Dutch flag in Malmö.
5 | The Junior Eurovision Song Contest
We never really cared too much about the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, but this year, as it was organised just around the corner, we decided to give it a go. And we loved it! We won't get as high on the JESC as we are on the ESC, but we'll keep a closer eye to it anyway. Russia was the gay man's favourit this year, but Ukraine won in stead. Deserved, I guess, allthough it was way to grown up for a 10 year old, for my taste. Strangely enough our most watched content this year, was Junior-related too: we never really understood why either
6 | Morfeo's dream
At first it seemed Spain was going to be one of the countries to say farewell to Eurovision. Then a month of rumours followed with dozens of potential candidates to represent the country but at last the announcement came: ESDF aka El Sueño De Morfeo will travel to Sweden on behalf of Spain.
7 | Dame Assia
The first Eurovision winner did her best to return to Eurovision after 57 years. Like last year she submitted a song written by Ralph Siegel to the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2011 a rather classical ballad, this year taking a more contemporary road: a rap song. Contemporary seems to have a different meaning in mr. Siegel's and mrs. Assia's book than in ours though, but we must admit we like the song. Last year the final was easily reached, but the ticket to Baku went to Sinplus, not very much to her liking. This year the grand dame didn't even make it to the final. But she doesn't seem to have given up just yet. It seems there is a change All in your head will be representing San Marino in stead, a country that was happy to service Ralph Siegel this year too. To be continued.
8 | Everything changes
Swedish SVT decided to change quite some things with regards to the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. Not all of these changes were welcomed by the fans (they will have to be standing in front of the stage, as seating will not be available on the floor) and the participating countries. The fact that the producers are going to plan the running order during the show met a lot of critisism, and in fact is one of the reasons why a classic Eurovision country like Turkey decided to withdraw. We checked if this draw issue actually is fair to the participating countries, and found out it isn't! But, let's wait and see how it turns out.
9 | Schlager Pride Our Way
The Schlager evening at Stockholm's Gay Pride has always been a true gem for any Eurovision fan and especially for those who are fan of the Swedish selection too. I've been attending the Schlager evening at Stockholm Pride almost every year since 2006. And this year was the least interesting one of them all I must say. The organisers themselves were more positive though, calling it the best one in the history of Stockholm Pride.
I guess it is all a matter of personal taste, but let me for now just speak for myself. If you want to share your opinion too, please do so by commenting down below. Wether you attended the so called popschlager night last Thursday or in previous years, or not, what would your perfect schlager night look like? Read more....
10 | The shows!
Being a Eurovision fan is actually all about this three shows a year, isn't it? Azerbaijan did a great job staging three great shows! This is what we thought about the semi finals and the final. SF 1 (Tuesday, first semi final), SF 2 (Thursday, second semi final), the final (Saturday).
11 | And then there was politics
Even though the EBU is trying hard to deny it, Eurovision is full of politics. Voting politics and real life politics which ioften seem to be going had in hand. Azerbaijan was quite a controversial Eurovision host as the political situation in the country is far from ideal according to human right organizations around the world. The good thing about the country organizing the Eurovision Song Contest was the fact that it lead to quite some spotlights being pointed at the country hardly anyone had ever heard about before. This lead the way for local human rights groups to be presenting themselves to the world as well. Here you find some of the press attention the contest received in May, and it is not all that positive. But positive we were to see that there was some hope for Baku's gays, if maybe only for a very short time. Although we were quite critical about quite a lot of things happening in Azerbaijan, we did see some more positive sites too, quite some actually!
12 | The fabulous artists
In Baku we spoke all artists we really wanted to sprak, and find out more about: we talked with Rona Nishiu from Albania about her hair and about Jazz. We did push-ups with Gretha and Jonsi from Iceland. With Maltese Kurt about Swedish royalty. With Eleftheria from Greece about shoes. And shoe extremism was actually what we talked with beautiful Ivi from Cyprus about too. And did you known even Loreen would never want to be seen without high heels? We had quite a laugh with her actually! In March we already had a chance to have a long and in depth talk with Anggun from France. Oh, we actually already spoke to Loreen in Sweden, before she even got selected. As well as with the wonderful Charlotter Perrelli!