Voting for the annual ESC 250 celebration closed on the 4th of December 2022, and now we have a nervous wait to find out the results! The event is hosted by songfestival.be, with the results revealed from 11:00CET on 31st December 2022 on ESC Radio to close out the year. Find out more about it here!
While we wait to find out the official results, members of the TES team will be sharing their votes for this year and explaining the reason for their picks. This time it’s Angus’ turn to reveal how he voted.
1 point: “So Lucky” – Zdob și Zdub (Moldova, 2011)
Before I can explain my votes, it is important to understand why I voted the way I did. To help me pick songs, celebrate the diversity of the contest, and avoid recency bias, I gave myself the following rules: Only one song per country and per year. No songs currently in the ESC250 (with one exception). I also had to include one song from each 10 years of the contest (so ’56-’65, ’66-75, and so on). Now, with that out of the way:
Utter. Chaos. Zdob și Zdub have delivered every single time they have stood on the Eurovision stage, and 2011 is no different. So Lucky is the burst of energy we often need in a Eurovision final, while the staging is mesmerizing. And, of course, the stage presence of our favourite Moldovans is absolutely undeniable. This song comes out of a time where the contest wasn’t at it’s best, but the songs that did work? They were and are great.
2 points: – “Ne Pali Svetla U Sumrak” – Lola Novaković (Yugoslavia, 1962)
Yugoslavia had a number of stellar entries. And ‘Ne Pali Svetla U Sumrak’ (Don’t turn on the lights at dusk)? That probably is not just one of my favourite entries they’ve sent in, but my favourite song of the entire first 10 years of Eurovision. It’s a soft, gentle song. An excellent composition and lyrics that you can feel even when you don’t understand the language (like me), the real star is Lola Novaković and her beautiful voice.
3 points: “Birth Of A New Age” – Jeangu Macrooy (Netherlands, 2021)
I don’t know if I can say much more about this song than Isabelle already did in their excellent top 10, but I will sure try! Jeangu delivered a song that is powerful, meaningful, and, also important: absolutely amazing. Add to that an absolute powerhouse of a performance on the Eurovision stage and you have a magical entry. Many words should, have been, and will be written on how and why this is a entry that deserved a much better result than it got. But I think and hope this song has a different legacy. I hope its message is remembered, and that it is seen as the kind of important and beautiful music many will only hear thanks to the Eurovision Song Contest.
4 points: “Theater” – Katja Ebstein (Germany, 1980)
Theater narrowly missed out on my top 10 last year, but it is here now. What a song! Definitive proof that I do not hate *all* schlager, despite my frequent claims to the contrary. I have already extensively discussed this song in the 1980 episode of the TEP podcast, so I will just keep it short here. Siegel and Meinunger’s best lyrical work (honestly, go read them or a translation) and a rare quality composition from them is elevated even further by Katja Ebstein’s absolutely perfect performance.
5 points: “Je suis un vrai garçon” – Nina Morato (France, 1994)
90s alt-rock has always been a big part of the music I listen to. So it can’t be any surprise then that I love this entry. This song is perhaps the most current thing the contest had seen in decades, and it still holds up today. Reminiscent of the 4 Non Blondes to me and The Cranberries to some friends I showed this to, it is an amazing entry and Nina Morato owns the entire stage while singing. There is one thing that elevates this song even further: the live orchestra. It makes the song even bigger, louder, and engrossing than it already would be. Also, bonus points for getting away with a swear (“putain” is sung at the 2:25 mark of the vid, for those wondering).
6 points: “Sva bol svijeta” – Fazla (Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1993)
What can you say about a song like this? It is a heartbreaking song performed to perfection. Much ink has been spilled over this song already, usually in discussions of where the EBU draws the line when it comes to political entries.This song cannot be removed from its context, which makes it more impactful than it already is. At this point, the Bosnian War had been raging for just over a year, and the horrific conflict would last until December ’95. So I’ll just leave you with a small piece of the powerful, powerful lyrics: “When the tears freeze on my face tonight / I will not let fear take me with me / Who will keep watch in my place / That evil never happens again?”
7 points: “Toi, la musique et moi” – Mary Christy (Monaco, 1976)
One of only two songs to stay in my top 10, and of course it would be fro the smallest nation to ever compete in the contest. Last year I described this song as making me feel like I am driving a classic car along the French Riviera on a nice summer day. This year, the song has made me feel like dancing and having a good time. Up three places from last year, too!
8 points: “Intet er nytt under solen” – Åse Kleveland (Norway, 1966)
And this is the second entry that I saw a voting campaign for! Åse Kleveland is pure magic. Soothing, rich, deep, and powerful enough to stand up against the orchestra while soft enough to still sound mesmerizing during the quieter moments. Musically, this song does a whole lot of different things. There are more twists and turns in this short song than in most spy thrillers, and I love every single direction this song goes in equally.
10 points: “Beşinci Mevsim” – Şebnem Paker (Turkey, 1996)
This song transports me to a café. Reading something (knowing me, probably a pretentious book) while sipping on my coffee and sometimes looking up at the people walking past. The lyrics are stunning poetry, the music beautifully accentuates the sadness while also creating a glimmer of hope, which depending on how you take the song is either uplifting or makes it even more heartbreaking.
Before I reveal my 12 points, I would like to give a special shout-out to some entries that came so close to making my top ten. First up all 8 songs I voted for last year and my honourable mentions from then, which you can find here. Beyond that, I want to call out, well, pretty much any Georgian entry, but especially non-ESC 250 entries 2014 and 2022. Also deserving of a massive shout-out and almost making this top 10 is Andorra 2007. Salvem El Món was massively robbed and remains underrated.
And Angus’ 12 points go to… “O jardim” – Cláudia Pascoal (Portugal, 2018)
Was there ever any doubt? Yes, yes, this song is in the ESC 250. But, in my opinion, it is by far the best song to ever grace the Eurovision stage. Tanxugueiras’ ‘Terra’ could have given ‘O Jardim’ a run for its money this year, but it sadly never made it out of Benidorm. Isaura and Cláudia Pascoal keep the number one spot for me, and will likely hold it for a long time. I am obviously very, very excited that Cláudia will write a song for the 2023 Portuguese national final, and am manifesting and hoping against hope that she will give the song to Isaura and they go on to win the contest. They both deserve that revenge. O Jardim never, ever should have finished last, and that it did is absolutely unforgiveable.
Listen to our collective ESC 250 playlist on Spotify
Enjoy our collective ESC 250 playlist on YouTube
Now that Angus has revealed his votes for ESC 250 this year, what do you think of their picks? Who received your 12 points this year? As always, please let us know what you think by commenting below. Be sure to follow ‘THAT Eurovision Site’ on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for all of the latest Eurovision news.
News Source: That Eurovision Site
Photo Credit: EBU / Thomas Hanses