Throughout the month of November, the Eurofan community sent in their ballots for the ESC250, an annual survey of which song is their overall favorite of all-time. By the end of the first week, Songfestival.be, who hosts this annual countdown, announced 4000 ballots already counted—which eventually broke the record of 6,345 from 2020 by a thousand votes.
The month in which everyone was sharing their 250 entries brewed a bunch of excitement, from the range of different eras people picked their songs, along with why they would pick them. Campaigns arose across the internet for obscure or fan-favorite songs to get pushed up further on the list; even outside fan-groups of artists have taken notice.
In addition, because of Maneskin’s commercial success with Zitti e Buoni, another question emerged before the poll opened—would Zitti e Buoni finally end Euphoria’s nine-year reign atop Eurovision’s year-end poll? Zitti e Buoni’s popularity, combined with the fandom’s fatigue about Loreen’s continued winning-streak, could see it happen soon enough.
No Time Like the Present:
Because of the 2020 Contest got canceled, it impacted how many songs would make the top 250. Without live versions to hook the casual audience in and to see which songs came to life, In the end, twenty did—which was less than half of the forty-one songs set to compete. In contrast, twenty-five songs from the class of 2019 debuted on that year’s top 250.
As a result, I predict that 2021 will see between 27-30 songs debuting on the ESC250. The hype about Eurovision’s return cannot be diminished—183 million people watched this year, including a marked increase in from the 15-25 year old range, up by 7% from the last contest. Success wasn’t restricted to the winner, though—Voila charted in multiple countries, notably going #3 in the Netherlands, and Shum became the first Ukrainian-language song to chart in Spotify’s Global Rankings. Together, they convey a new interest in Eurovision and a willingness to embrace new genres and the contest as a whole.
Eurovision Again, the online phenomenon which guided Eurovision throughout the pandemic, returned this summer, albeit only once a month and with a more muted presence. In 2020, the impact of Eurovision-viewing saw noted gains for more vintage songs—Hajde da Ludujemo bounced from #234 in 2019 to #101 in 2020, Sufi arose from only having six points in 2019 to placing #184 in 2020 thanks to placing 2nd in Eurovision Again’s 1988 voting, and even a number of songs from the 1994 contest (We Will Be Free, Kinek Mondjvam el vetkimet?) returning to the list for example despite the contest not being amongst the rewatches
With the lessened engagement for 2021, because of a new contest, I predict most of these gains will be lost.
Which songs from the 20th century do you hope to see in the contest?
Either way, 2021’s ESC Top 250 is bound to be the most exciting yet.