THE NETHERLANDS – After abolishing the live orchestra, EBU makes one more destructive move towards the contest itself and the fans. In a surprise move, EBU announced today that they will allow for Eurovision 2021 edition only, pre-recorded backing vocals as an option for any country delegation that wishes to. The ESC Reference Group agreed to trial the rule change for one year. As with all the rules for the Eurovision Song Contest, it will be reviewed following next year’s event.
The rules of the Eurovision Song Contest have been amended to ensure that there WILL be a Eurovision Song Contest on 18, 20 and 22 May 2021, and for many years to come, whatever the global circumstances.
Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s new Executive Supervisor, is starting his career in the EBU by implementing the Melodifestivalen rules and the fans are not excited. So are we. Twitter got on fire with the insane decision of the new EBU boss for Eurovision, especially with the mention of “optional” in the rules, as if there will be a country with live backing vocals! Yeah, right!
In the name of Eurovision sustainability, the EBU surely screws things up. The decision was agreed by the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group, the Contest’s governing board and was approved by the EBU Television Committee. Both bodies are comprised of representatives of participating EBU Member broadcasters.
Will a delegation still be able to use live backing singers? Yes. The use of recorded backing vocals is entirely optional. Each delegation can choose to use backing singers, whether on or off stage. A combination of live and recorded backing vocals is also allowed. In the event of contingency measures restricting the numbers of participants travelling and or performing on stage, backing tracks may have to be amended to include all backing vocals required, and that’s the only point in which we could possibly agree.
The backing track cannot contain Lead Vocals, Lead Dubs and/or any other vocals that would have the effect of, or aim at, replacing or unduly assisting the Lead Vocals during the live performance on stage. A song can be performed with a combination of live and recorded backing vocals if preferred. The eventual combination of backing vocals on track and stage shall be mixed together by the sound technicians at the event.
“We have to adapt,” Martin emphasized in his first act as EUROVISION BOSS and he managed to get heavily criticized, “even if, as preferred, we are able to come back with our A-scenario; a Contest as we know and love it, in a packed arena with fans and delegations. It is my mission, as I step into the big shoes left by Jon Ola Sand, to ensure the Eurovision Song Contest remains agile but true to its traditions, its values, and its history. When we bring the Contest back in 2021, we are bringing it back for good.”
Do you agree with the decision?