Last week, LAUD was disqualified from Vidbir 2022 due to his song being previously published online in 2018. Now, Ukrainian publication Suspilny has offered insight into changes to EBU rules about publication of songs prior to the annual September 1st deadline.
What has Changed about the EBU Publication Rules?
The rules according to the EBU state that no Eurovision song should receive a significant release prior to September 1st. So, for example, songs released prior to September 1st, 2021 will not be eligible to compete in Eurovision 2022. This is the situation that LAUD found himself in this past week.
The EBU previously focused its efforts on songs with commercial releases prior to the deadline, but according to Suspilny, the deadline now encompasses all forms of song releases. This includes live performances as well as Youtube clips, Soundcloud releases, and remixes.
In his petition to have his place in Vidbir reinstated, LAUD mentioned Duncan Laurence and “Arcade”; Duncan had uploaded a performance of the song to YouTube prior to September 1st, 2018. The EBU determined that because the performance had gained almost no traction prior to its selection for Eurovision, it did not constitute an unfair advantage.
With the tougher new EBU publication rules in place, “Arcade” would not have made the cut for 2022. These tougher regulations likely stem from recent industry-wide changes in music consumption, including the rise of streaming services. Songs can now reach peak popularity years after their initial release. Maneskin’s version of “Beggin”, for example, became a hit song in the U.S. nearly four years after they first performed it on X Factor Italy.
Past Exceptions to the September 1st Deadline
Duncan is not the only artist who was given the benefit of the doubt in regards to a previously-released Eurovision song.
In 2017, the EBU allowed Alma to represent France with “Requiem” after a video performance surfaced from January 2015. They again ruled that this did not constitute a competitive advantage, and France also submitted a remix of the song that differed enough from the original version to be allowed.
Alekseev, who represented Belarus in 2018, attracted similar controversy. Alekseev performed a Russian-language version of his song “Forever” at several concerts prior to the deadline. This caused seven other partipants in Belarus’s national final to call for his removal. One artist, Sophia Lapina, withdrew from the national final in protest. Alekseev won anyways and represented Belarus at Eurovision 2018, but still revamped his song significantly from the national final version.
What do you think of this new information? Do you think the EBU is right to tighten rules on song releases? Let us know in the comments or on social media. Be sure to follow ‘THAT Eurovision Site’ on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
News Source: KP.UA; Eurovoix
Photo Source: EBU / Andres Putting