Editorial: The era of simplicity is over

Eurovision fans like you and me have always been highly convinced that professional juries will always choose quality while televoters choose for rubbish. Roughly that is the prejudice that has led to reintroducing the juries. And for those who wish to state it even more controversial: juries will always support ballads while televoters vote for upbeat songs.

Of course the facts show us the controversy of these statements. They are simply unlikely to be true. Professional juries may want to vote for quality and hit potential, but they just as well do that with upbeat music as well as with ballads. As far as televoters are concerned: they don’t always vote for the same style of songs. They are susceptible to hypes and trends. And juries are obliged to follow them, as their task is to judge what is going to be a hit after the song contest.

Trends of course may shift over the period of time- that is part of the deal. In 2006 for example we have seen televoters getting completely fed up with the ethnopop songs from the previous years. Rigorously they commuted to Lordi. In 2010 there was another trend shift: Lena and Tom Dice showed us the power of simplicity and purity. Many of us believe that this is still the era the Eurovision Song Contest is currently in.

Pop music motivates that. Not so long ago singer Ed Sheeran got his breakthrough with a Tom Dice alike guitar song, and he has not been the only one over the years. Still it is my conviction that this year we are on the edge of another trend shift. Spectacular songs are getting trendy again, but of course not in the gradation we know from the 100% televoting period. Spectacle is okay, as far as it is presented with quality and consequence.

People do not want a ballad to be put on stage with a trampoline act. Coherence is the key word. Eric Saade made sure the complete picture of his performance was coherent and because of that he reached a high position. It is my belief that Tooji this year might even be able to win the contest with a better song in that same genre. Together with Loreen he represents the ‘new’ trend at this song contest. Their music might have been done before, even at the Eurovision, yet they belong to a generation I believe might take all credit for it.

So what about Serbia? Germany? Italy or Denmark? Those countries belong to the favourites because they fit into the ‘old’ simplicity trend. The Eurovision Song Contest of 2010 and 2011 could have been won by songs like this- but right now I don’t believe in it anymore. They might all four be presented wonderfully, still a top 3 rank is the highest any of them can get. Because the trend of quality spectacle will take over the contest this year. Who’s coming to Stockholm with me next year?