The Free European Song Contest

By | May 14, 2020

If Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light! sounds too unbearably naff to watch on Saturday night, there is a (more difficult to watch) alternative!

Stefan Raab is putting on the Free European Song Contest on Pro 7 hosted by Stephen Gatjen and Conchita Wurst, where fifteen countries will battle it out in a live song contest using Eurovision rules but with a socially distant twist. The UK is being represented by Call Me Home hitmaker Kelvin Jones and Mel C will be the person awarding the UK’s scores. Ireland are being represented by Sion Hill, a few countries’ acts haven’t been announced yet (it sounds very much like “who’s local who we can get?”). Raab has form here, having produced the Bundesvision Song Contest for many years.

I have no idea how it will all work out – there’s going to be live voting but it’s not being shown outside of Pro7 on Germany, Austria and Switzerland as far as I can tell, but if you want an alternative to several hour interval act the EBU are putting out on Saturday, you can use the Dark Arts and tune into Pro7 from 7:15pm UK.

10 thoughts on “The Free European Song Contest

  1. Holgermat

    Germany, Austria & Switzerland will vote via telephone & SMS. The other 12 countries will have a jury.

  2. Brig Bother Post author

    I was rather hoping that, with only fifteen countries, this would be like ESC without the bloat. But it’s down for almost four hours!

  3. Brig Bother Post author

    This was good fun and well staged in the end – quite enjoyed Conchita and Stephen’s commitment to the plastic screen gag all evening, and there were some quite good national stereotype gags in each country’s “postcard”. When I saw that it was down for almost four hours I pondered how they were going to drag it out with 15 countries (although it turned out there was a 16th) but actually it felt reasonably well paced – slightly more time between acts, but thankfully nothing like a 60 minute voting interval. That we got an exciting finish was quite good luck.

    The overall quality of the songs wasn’t massively high to be honest, but it was a decent winner (which I won’t spoil here in case you want to see for yourself). The UK entry was probably one of our best staged Euro entries for a while – we finished a creditable twelfth (out of 16) – I have no idea how it was come up with and how long it had been knocking about.

    Enjoyed the special surprise participant from The Moon, apparently this is a Masked Singer reference. Intrigued to know how the jury was made up for it. Ditto for all the countries really, although I suspect we won’t find out and it will just have been “whatever Mel C fancied” as the UK vote.

    I was watching it with my usual Eurovision chums in a Hangout with me streaming it all to them. After some initial wobbliness of not being sure they could watch something not in English, it turned out alright once the songs started.

  4. James

    This averaged 2.54m (9.6%) in total audience, with 1.54m (19.2%) in the 14-49 demo. Solid on both fronts, beaten by ARD’s German ESC final overall but won in the demo. Reached a rather impressive 10.3 million people over the course of the show.

    I agree with pretty much everything above and it had a decent pace to it. It was pretty reminiscent of Raab’s Bundesvision Song Contest, some good songs and some ok. The Moon’s entry was more of an ironic reference to the non-European countries that take part in the normal ESC. A sort of ‘well if Australia and Azerbaijan can take part, then why can’t The Moon?’ The Astronaut won season 1 of Masked Singer and was the 2004 Eurovision entrant for Germany Max Mutzke, who was discovered by Stefan Raab.

    When it returns, the voting will need changing. The rather ‘all over the place’ jury votes were quite funny. The public votes from Germany, Austria and Switzerland all gave ‘The Moon’ douze points who would’ve probably won it had there been a wider public vote. I imagine it will be similar to Bundesvision in that it will go out in the Autumn to avoid a direct clash with the other ESC.

    Oh, and the other highlight was the trailer for Netflix’s Eurovision film starring Will Ferrell. Looks well worth a watch.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.