Singer Chanel during her performance at Eurovision. / EP

Eurovision renaissance

The continental singing competition has also been a beacon of light during the darkest times of the pandemic

ALEKK M. SAANDERS

This year's Eurovision song contest will definitely go down in history as a revolutionary one, for Spain and the United Kingdom.

Last year's event in Rotterdam was synonymous to "inspiration". After depressive pandemic times, Eurovision 2021 gave us all a wave of joy and hope. This year, at the Eurovision song contest in Turin, inspiration happened again - especially for Spain and the United Kingdom.

Last Saturday, UK and Spain were left in shock after the nations came in second and third place, respectively. Shock? Because these two countries have got accustomed to finishing at the bottom of the table. For example, last year's UK entry, James Newman, scored a total of zero points from each country's panel of judges, as well as in the public vote. It was the second time in a row that the UK came last in the contest.

The explanation of that disaster was the usual one: the British see this event as a farce. Additionally, the UK's tortuous departure from the European Union was partly considered as an act against Europe, and a united Europe paid them back. Anyway... a year later we saw a new UK at Eurovision. Probably, after Brexit and a year of sobriety, the United Kingdom wanted to declare that the country is still with Europe: on an island but closer than the heartily accepted and quite successful continent of Australia. Incidentally, the jury of this 'sister' country (in comparison to plenty of European ones) didn't give any points to the UK representative, Sam Ryder.

Without Australian support, Sam was in the lead after the jury voting. The country usually has offered some nondescript act with apparently no proper selection criteria. This time it seems that TikTok helped the UK to choose its representative. Particularly during Covid lockdowns the 32-year-old singer from Maldon in Essex shot to fame online. His Space Man at the contest was really skyrocketing, and managed to bring Eurovision glory to the UK.

It also appears that Spain finally woke up after a long sleep, thanks to Chanel. The Spanish singer of Cuban origin made true "Chanel" sound, and not just as a fashion brand, managing to impress both the jury and the audience. The Spanish act came in third, the country's best result since Lady, Lady by Bravo in 1984.

As we see, for Spain and the UK, it has taken decades to abandon the status of typical Eurovision failures. This year could be called the Eurovision Renaissance of Britain and Spain. Hopefully, this year's success will be repeated and become a tradition. And who knows, probably, Torremolinos will really host Eurovision 2024, of course, if another "Chanel" wins the contest next year.