Let’s face it, most of us didn’t know for sure this meeting was even happening. We put it on our calendar and when no other sites did the same, I started to wonder if we’d second-guessed badly. But no, it seems the meeting happened and there is news.
First up, host nation Italy now knows when Mahmood & Blanco get to sing. They’ll perform as the ninth song in the Grand Final on May 14. The position was randomly selected by Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Martin Österdahl. If you recall, The UK sang in ninth place last year – and look how well that turned out.
The running orders of the first and second semi-finals will be determined at a later date. Today was the official deadline to submit songs. We’ll get to hear entries from Armenia on March 19 and Azerbaijan ‘soon’ (anyone interested in a wager on it being the day after Armenia?). Any revamps or three-minute edits should also surface soon enough – certainly in plenty of time to make the official album – which this year is also available on vinyl and cassette (it’s the future).
We may already have a slogan (Sound of Beauty), but the meeting agreed that the theme for the 2022 Contest will be ‘peace’. The Executive Producer – RAI’s Claudio Fasulo – noted: “We have a moral obligation to bring to the Eurovision stage content that, given the context in which we find ourselves, speaks of peace.”
The Ukrainian delegation has confirmed it will take part and yesterday delivered details of their song ahead of the final deadline for submission today. They hope to be able to record a ‘live on tape’ performance in Lviv in the coming days to be used if they are unable to travel to Turin. This is subject to confirmation.
Over at the PalaOlimpico stadium, 3500 people were hard at work from today building the stage along with areas for the press and delegations. There will be two large areas connected by a 50m bridge.
The stage design for this year is described as a kinetic sun – meaning it’ll move. Read more about that here.
This year, the first rehearsals will not be accessible to bloggers, so the first run-through won’t be subject to us picking apart their every fluff and flutter.
There’s still nothing to report, although it is expected that sale will begin very soon. At the moment, the PalaOlimpico is configured to accommodate a 65% capacity due to Coronavirus restrictions. If these change, it may be possible to let more people into the event.
I’ll end this reportette by sharing a rumour I heard that as things stand, when you take out sponsor seats, delegation holds and fan club allocations, there will be fewer than 500 seats on sale for each of the live shows.
That £300 a night Air B&B in Turin isn’t so attractive now, eh?