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Eurovision 2021 - Netherlands - NPO/AVROTROS/NOS

Ahoy Arena - Rotterdam - 18/20/22 May 2021 (May 2019)

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DI
digipal
Ratings were good for week 1 though - up on 2020, I believe. I thought it was a shame they cut the songs from 8 to 7. But I tend to zap through the show on catchup in the semis - made really easy by their online player, which has markers for where all the songs are!

I used this for the first time this week and it's excellent. Definitely better than sitting through all the filler.

It's amazing how much the audience is important to the show, you really realise that watching it. They could do with cranking the fake applause and cheering up a little bit more, it's been really devoid of atmosphere so far, more so than other entertainment shows during Covid, including the Norwegian MGP. Also weirdly I actually think the show could have benefitted from being in a large arena, even if it was empty, to give it a bit more scale. The set feels so cramped compared to usual that they might as well be in a TV studio.


I've seen some updates that they're tweaking the set design for the shows at the Ahoy in Rotterdam and the green room will be expanded and now take up most of the arena floor
Last edited by digipal on 19 February 2021 6:58pm
GO
gottago
Ratings were good for week 1 though - up on 2020, I believe. I thought it was a shame they cut the songs from 8 to 7. But I tend to zap through the show on catchup in the semis - made really easy by their online player, which has markers for where all the songs are!

I used this for the first time this week and it's excellent. Definitely better than sitting through all the filler.

It's amazing how much the audience is important to the show, you really realise that watching it. They could do with cranking the fake applause and cheering up a little bit more, it's been really devoid of atmosphere so far, more so than other entertainment shows during Covid, including the Norwegian MGP. Also weirdly I actually think the show could have benefitted from being in a large arena, even if it was empty, to give it a bit more scale. The set feels so cramped compared to usual that they might as well be in a TV studio.


I've seen some updates that they're tweaking the set design for the shows at the Ahoy in Rotterdam and the green room will be expanded and now take up most of the arena floor

Yes, they're doing this because they can no longer have a standing audience so this is how they're filling the gap. Should be fun having some of the acts dancing along in shot during the other performances, although hopefully it won't be empty for the first few songs like The Green Room normally is as they're all backstage before their own performances.
TI
tightrope78
Ratings were good for week 1 though - up on 2020, I believe. I thought it was a shame they cut the songs from 8 to 7. But I tend to zap through the show on catchup in the semis - made really easy by their online player, which has markers for where all the songs are!

I used this for the first time this week and it's excellent. Definitely better than sitting through all the filler.

It's amazing how much the audience is important to the show, you really realise that watching it. They could do with cranking the fake applause and cheering up a little bit more, it's been really devoid of atmosphere so far, more so than other entertainment shows during Covid, including the Norwegian MGP. Also weirdly I actually think the show could have benefitted from being in a large arena, even if it was empty, to give it a bit more scale. The set feels so cramped compared to usual that they might as well be in a TV studio.

Totally agree with you here. There's been a certain majesty seeing shows come from empty vast arenas this past year. In Sweden the perfect example is the Zara Larson concert from Gröna Lund. Visually it looked stunning. Using a large arena might have allowed them to have socially distant household bubbles in attendance (like the Masked Singer) and created a bit of atmosphere.

One of the general criticisms of Mello over the past few years has been how devoid of atmosphere the performances have been, what with the audience noise basically turned down to zero. This year, add in the very deep and dark stage and it's been generally much less fun to watch.
TI
tightrope78
I had hoped for a younger sound and performer(s) but heyho.

He deserves his chance to perform at the Contest. A genuinely nice guy who was dealt a bad hand last year and had a serious enough bout of COVID himself.

Well played by the BBC!
FL
Flux
Surprised it’s not been mentioned but James Newman has been confirmed for the UK again. Song being unveiled next month but we’re promised something upbeat.


Shame. He deserves a chance, yes, but I was honestly hoping they'd lean on Drag Race and the popularity of the performances from the recent RuRuVision Song Content challenge. Not send the song from that episode of course, but at least build something fun and original around the girl group of queens (The United Kingdolls) which was created for the spoof competition and who subsequently charted with their version of UK HUN?

They'd be marmite in general, but it would have been a very smart move to jump on the bandwagon with the popularity of the Drag Race franchise internationally, especially when the association with the Eurovision Song Contest and the setup of the group is already in place this year - and in a show the BBC themselves air. It also could have worked from a cross promotion perspective, and would have had guaranteed support and recognition. Ah well.
AN
all new Phil
Flux posted:
Surprised it’s not been mentioned but James Newman has been confirmed for the UK again. Song being unveiled next month but we’re promised something upbeat.


Shame. He deserves a chance, yes, but I was honestly hoping they'd lean on Drag Race and the popularity of the performances from the recent RuRuVision Song Content challenge. Not send the song from that episode of course, but at least build something fun and original around the girl group of queens (The United Kingdolls) which was created for the spoof competition and who subsequently charted with their version of UK HUN?

They'd be marmite in general, but it would have been a very smart move to jump on the bandwagon with the popularity of the Drag Race franchise internationally, especially when the association with the Eurovision Song Contest and the setup of the group is already in place this year - and in a show the BBC themselves air. It also could have worked from a cross promotion perspective, and would have had guaranteed support and recognition. Ah well.

Oh god no.
GO
gottago
Yeah... I'm a fan of Drag Race UK but that's definitely not the right direction to be going in for Eurovision.
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TG
TG
Yes, it worked for Conchita - but it also failed miserably for DQ and Sestre who came before her. Every time I hear anyone suggest we send drag, or Steps, or anything else that people want to think is typically Eurovision - but couldn't actually be much further FROM the current contest style - I do just cringe.....
Jamesypoo, tightrope78 and all new Phil gave kudos
FL
Flux
I'm not an advocate of just sending drag for drag's sake, and I agree we shouldn't be sending something traditionally "Eurovision", but surely there's a strength in leaning on a franchise which is popular globally and queens who subsequently have an international following - especially when a show like this is massively popular right now but obviously has a shelf life. Equally, just because they're drag artists doesn't mean the final product would need to be camp, pink, in your face crass. With a good song and a strong producer, you could really elevate the act.

I just think that if we're ever going to get on the left side of the scoreboard again it needs something brave and different which stands out - and at least there'd be some safety in leaning on the association with Drag Race, even if the act itself is outside the usual BBC box. And I guarantee you that sending the winning Drag Race girl group from the most recent series would get more discussion and airtime across Europe than sending James Newman, irrelevant of the song.
NG
noggin Founding member
Ratings were good for week 1 though - up on 2020, I believe. I thought it was a shame they cut the songs from 8 to 7. But I tend to zap through the show on catchup in the semis - made really easy by their online player, which has markers for where all the songs are!


The 8 to 7 change happened a good few years ago - I think 2014 was the last year with 32 songs competing in 4 heats, from 2015 onwards it's been 7 songs. (Or were their rumours they were returning to 8 songs per heat this year?)
NG
noggin Founding member

It's amazing how much the audience is important to the show, you really realise that watching it. They could do with cranking the fake applause and cheering up a little bit more, it's been really devoid of atmosphere so far, more so than other entertainment shows during Covid, including the Norwegian MGP. Also weirdly I actually think the show could have benefitted from being in a large arena, even if it was empty, to give it a bit more scale. The set feels so cramped compared to usual that they might as well be in a TV studio.


Yes - since the long-serving sound supervisor who did Melodifestivalen for many years (and gave it a real 'live' feel and sense of location) stood down, the sound has been far less nvolving and feels far less like a concert or event. The performances now feel clinical and a bit like listening to a studio recording. The level of ambience in the 5.1 mix is a lot lower (and that also impacts the stereo)

Del 1 this year had a very un-certain use of audience effects and felt very hesitant.
Del 2 had louder effects, but still felt as if they were just fading up and down some pretty average audience effect samples, rather than having a bunch of different versions that allowed you to start and stop applause more naturally.

There may also be questions to be asked - as there were in Austria a few years ago - about boosting pre-recorded cheers and reaction effects for some performers at key moments, and not others...

I agree with the comments about the staging this year - whilst the performances have their usual technically slick coverage - the presentation feels very lacking in geography and you don't really get an event feel. NRK have nailed that so much better - and their integration of their virtual audience feels a lot more inclusive and 'eventy'. The low ceiling doesn't help Melodifestivalen - even if they've made a virtue of it.

Also if you are watching via a broadcast route - you'll have noticed they are shooting it in 25psf (i.e. film look - though with a 1/25th instead of 1/50th shutter - so it's really smeary) which also removes all sense of 'live' from the show. (If you are watching on SVT Play - then everything on that platform is still 25p as they haven't got 50p streaming like NRK, BBC iPlayer etc)
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GO
gottago


I agree with the comments about the staging this year - whilst the performances have their usual technically slick coverage - the presentation feels very lacking in geography and you don't really get an event feel. NRK have nailed that so much better - and their integration of their virtual audience feels a lot more inclusive and 'eventy'. The low ceiling doesn't help Melodifestivalen - even if they've made a virtue of it.

You're right about the ceiling, that's the biggest problem I think. Worth watching the Finnish final, very similar staging but it looks fantastic, really effective scaling. You can kind of believe there's an audience there as well sometimes, they trigger the SFX so well.

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