DR debate: Is the Eurovision Song Contest too big and too Eastern oriented?

Has the Eurovision Song Contest become too big and are the Eastern countries stealing the spotlight? That was up for discussion when Danish commentator Ole Tøpholm met with his former colleague veteran Jørgen De Mylius and former multiple songwriter participant Keld Heick.

Let it be said right away; all three debaters declared the myth about the Eastern European Mafia for dead. Keld Heick, who has participated a total of ten times as songwriter on the Danish entry, simply explained that it is a matter of having the same taste. As he said it then it is only natural that countries that used to be so connected, several of them as one country, will share the same taste and therefore cast their votes in the same way.

He was backed up by current Danish commentator Ole Tøpholm who explained how Denmark gave zero points to Dima Bilan‘s Believe from 2008 and the Azeri winner from 2011 Running Scared, while Loreen from Sweden and Alexander Rybak from Norway scored many maximum points in the Eastern countries. He concluded that it is us who is afraid of them, not the other way around. 

Jørgen De Mylius, who has been commentator at the Eurovision Song Contest a legendary 24 times and hosted the Danish national final, Melodi Grand Prix, 11 times, however added that it is not a matter of us being scared: "The Danes just don’t like these songs". He is still travelling the country as a DJ on various events playing Eurovision music – and he told how everyone, even the very youngest, fill the dance floor to evergreens like ABBA‘s Waterloo and Bucks Fizz‘s Making Your Mind Up, while people can’t relate to the Estonian 2001 winner Everybody and Latvia’s I Wanna from the year after – and also not to Dima Bilan.

To Jørgen it is not a matter of Eastern or Western Eurovision songs, but about whether or not the song will become an evergreen – and here he pointed out that the contest has simply become too big. People get confused about 40 songs, who will be trying to steal the spotlight from each other, which then results in none of them actually getting it.

All three agreed on that the Nordic countries haven’t been doing any worse since the Eastern countries joined the contest. As Ole Tøpholm said: "Norway won in 2009, Sweden in 2012 and in 2013 Denmark probably wins. Three Nordic victories in 5 years". He also added that he thinks Denmark this year in Emmelie de Forest and Only Teardrops comes with their best entry in 18 years. Meaning, it is better than Olsen Brothers‘ victory from 2000; Fly On The Wings Of Love.

The debate, which really wasn’t much of a debate as they all pretty much agreed, also came to the conclusion that it is all about which songs are placed near each other. If you are lucky and clearly are the best of the songs around you then you will do better than if you are unlucky and ends up among the best ones. If that is the case, Denmark might however face problems in the semi-final, where they are placed in starting position nr. 5 with three of the other countries in with a good chance to win it; Russia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, following right after.

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Source: DR, EuroVisionary
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