LEBANON – Last summer a horrific explosion took place in Beirut. Israel, the key reason why Lebanon withdraw the last minute from Eurovision 2005, showed support and there are now discussions to negotiate a permanent peace treaty. Lebanon’s return to Eurovision could be an option. Both issues (the Beirut explosion and Eurovision) emerged our wish to talk with Aline Lahoud.
Aline was supposed to represent Lebanon in Eurovision 2005 with an amazing oriental ballad in French. Here’s what happened:
Lebanese broadcaster Télé Liban confirmed Lebanon’s début in the contest and selected the song “Quand tout s’enfuit” performed by Aline Lahoud as their entry. However, the broadcaster announced their withdrawal from the competition on 18 March 2005 after the EBU informed them that the rules of the competition require them to broadcast the Israeli entry during the live show and enable viewers to vote for the nation, which contravened a Lebanese law prohibiting any acknowledgement of Israel. As the withdrawal period for the contest had passed, Télé Liban forfeited the return of their participation fee and potentially faced further fines from the EBU.
We asked Aline how Lebanese people coped not only with the pandemic crisis but also with this horrific incident (the Beirut explosion):
“Lebanese people are known for their courage and their love for life..like the phoenix they will rise as always from the ashes and rebuild their country to provide their beloved ones a better future”
What about her feelings after she was forced to withdraw due to her government’s decision?
Representing my country in 2005 had a fairy tale effect on me. The withdrawal devastated me cause I saw my dream vanishing. I hoped not to leave the competition, but again I respected my country laws and reasons.
If Lebanon returned to Eurovision soon would she agree to represent her country?
“Of course I would be delighted”…
What about new music from Aline?
“I recorded a song last year..it was a risk cos it is a kind of traditional folklore known in our mountains, a gipsy type of songs that we know from our grandparents and old traditions, but I added to it a young spirit mood. I get inspired usually by the subject and the melodies. I run away from clichēs and look for new crazy stuff this is where I get my inspiration”.
Is Aline following the Eurovision Song Contest?
“I follow Eurovision as much as I can but not in a regular way. I am still impressed by Conchita Wurst”.
Back in 2005, she was one of the favourites to win, but ultimately Helena Paparizou won for Greece. What she thinks about “My Number One”?
“My Number One is a hit we all love all over the world and it was a huge success. Yes, I think I could have been the winner cause my song had a strong impact on almost everyone and I keep receiving messages from all over the world until today, saying that they love it and cannot forget it. It was something unexpected and new for me at that time. I would say that Helena had a bright idea back then, mixing the modern and Greek-style…”