Eurovision 2020 – as close as we can get, according to SVT

Eurovision Song Contest 2020 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 situation around the world. The annual TV show that unites a whole continent, yeah now even Australia, will be replaced by an alternative show, “Europe Shine a light”. Old songs will be performed by the performers of 2020, so it’s far from an ordinary show. This is sad for all Eurovision fans out there, that had looked forward to visiting Rotterdam in May 2020 or watch it on TV. But we actually have GOOD NEWS for you. There will be a contest – and a winner – as close as we can get.

Alternative Eurovision 2020? Made by Sweden

Sweden has taken action! Sweden is known to be very enthusiastic when it comes to Eurovision, and every year they have 5 semifinals and one big final before they pick the winner. Swedish people love Eurovision, and that’s why Swedish TV (SVT) decided to make their own competition “Sweden’s 12 points” (or “Sveriges tolva”) where the viewers can pick their favorite performer of Eurovision 2020 – almost like normal. This is to honor all the people that have worked hard around the continent.

Dotter performing in Eurovision 12
The Swedish singer Dotter was performing Arcade and Bulletproof in the beginning of the Eurovision show 2020 on SVT which is the Swedish Public TV channel.

The show was 140 minutes long (without any commercials). All the songs were played in full version -either music video or concert version. The results are just officially ready now! And the winner is… Read on for the results of Eurovision 2020.

hosts of eurovision 2020
The hosts of Eurovision 2020, Christer Bjorkman, and Sarah Dawn Finer are welcoming the viewers to a different TV show. Since the normal Eurovision show is canceled, SVT decided to create their own version to honor the 25 most popular songs. Already last week the TV channel presented the 41 participants and invited all the Swedish viewers to vote for their favorite song. Today 41 songs became 25.

What happened in Europe Shine A Light?

What will happen with the 41 Eurovision songs that should have been performed in Rotterdam?

Since there will be no official contest in the Netherlands, will there be no use for the songs? Well, Sweden thinks this is too sad, and decided to make their own TV show at least. The show is named “Sweden’s 12 points”. They are going to invite the winner to perform in the extremely popular TV show Melodifestivalen next year and sing live for the audience in Tele2 Arena with more than 30,000 in the audience. Every year the TV show is watched by more than 2.5 million viewers. The winner will also get this beautiful trophy in Swedish colors.

A beautiful trophy is the prize in Eurovision 2020
A beautiful trophy is given to the winner of Eurovision “Sweden’s 12 points”

The 25 Eurovision performers of 2020

25 countries in eurovision 2020
Eurovision 2020 Top 21: Here are the top 25 countries that participated in Eurovision Song Contest “Sweden’s 12 points”. Most of the countries sent their version as music videos, while others sent a recorded studio performance.

Nostalgic postcard presentation of each country

postcards eurovision 2020
Just like we are used to, a postcard from the current performing country is being shown before the song is starting. This year, SVT has chosen their favorite post cards from previous years. Here you see Azerbajdzjan. They are sending dancing mumies and texts songs like “Cleopatra, gay or straight or in between. This postcard is from 2012. I would also give nice credits to Edward af Silléns that did an excellent job introducing each country with exciting facts about the participants.

Azerbadjzan was honored to begin the show

Azerbadjan Eurovision 2020
The 28-year old singer Efendi sings Cleopatra for Azerbadjan. She delivers ethncal pop with nice rhytms. A well produced music video recorded in the desert.
Here is the official Eurovision music video for Azerbadjan 2020

A tribute to the Netherlands

“It’s time for the expected host country of 2020, the Netherlands to perform their song. This historic year where they had to cancel the entire Eurovision event… They supposed to arrange the event in Rotterdam this week. We feel so extremely sorry for the Dutch TV-team there that had planned this event for almost one year and were almost finished with all preparations. And not, at last, the booking agent that had to cancel more than 3000 hotel rooms… Hopefully next year Rotterdam will be able to be the host of Eurovision, and that can be something to look forward to for sure. We are showing the postcard for the Netherlands in 1992 when they performed in Malmo, Sweden… This year the Netherlands had chosen Jeangu Macrooy which found his purpose of life when he was 13 years old and got a guitar as a birthday gift. His song “High on you” is already very popular in the Netherlands.

Netherlands Eurovision 2020
Grow by Jeangu Macroody, “Thank you The Netherlands. This is not only a Eurovision potential winner. This is true music.” From the comments on Youtube.

By using many traditional elements from Eurovision, we got a feeling this was almost a normal Eurovision show! The traditional postcards were shown before song, good comments and introductions with a professional presenter, and also some replays of old waiting numbers from when Sweden hosted Eurovision in 2013 and 2016. We were impressed with how much work SVT has made to create a “real” Eurovision spirit!


Lots of international Eurovision fans

Uku Suviste represented Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 on SVT with the song What Love Is. We like the refrain of this song.

Since Sweden probably is the only country making the Eurovision Song Contest as close as we can get in 2020, SVT expected many international viewers to follow their live show, and the host Sarah Dawn Finer also welcomed them: The competition has started! I also want to say that we have many International Eurovision fans watching tonight, something that we are thrilled about. I’m also a little sorry that we are mostly speaking Swedish and you can’t vote outside of Sweden. But you are welcome to the show!

First time for Eurovision to be canceled

It’s the first time in the history of 65 years for Eurovision to be canceled. This loved competition that was created to unite a continent that had been through tough times during the war. How much do we know about Eurovision history? In 2013, the TV host Petra Mede brought up some cool facts about Eurovision Song Contest:

History of Eurovision

One of the previos hosts, Petra Mede, presented the historic events of Eurovision – a look at some funny moments:

  • A group of wise people shared a dream, that they could unite a continent by the power of music. They created Eurovision Song Contest. The expectations were huge and the show became a huge success.
  • Already in 1957 we got our first juicy Eurovision scandal. The sexually liberated Danish people sent a couple that in the end of the song… kissed! Get a room!
The first kiss in Eurovision
Danish duo Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler shocked the audience with their passionate on-screen kiss, the longest in the history of the contest. Germany’s entry, performed by Margot Hielscher featured a telephone during the performance, the first gimmick to appear at the Eurovision Song Contest, according to
  • Today we have Justin Bieber, but in 1958 we had the Italian heart frog Domenico Modugno. When he song “Volare”, the contest got its first massive hit! And they kept coming:
  • France Gall performed “Poupée de cire, poupée de son” in 1965
  • Vicky Leandro’s song “L’amour est bleu”, which became a worldwide hit. She further established her career by winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972 with the song “Après Toi”, again representing Luxembourg.
  • And the handsome Udo Jurgens performed “Warum nur, Warum?”
  • In 1968 the contest went from black and white to color.
  • According to Cliff Richard, that was definitely something worth celebrating. He performed “Congratulations“.
Cliff Richard Eurovision
British singer Cliff Richard celebrated color TV in Eurovision in 1968 singing “Congratulations”. The song was written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter. It is best known as the British entry at the Eurovision Song Contest 1968, held in London, according to Wikipedia.
  • In the 70’s the attitude to the competition changed. Especially in Sweden where people were protesting and they said the competition was too commercial. But the show became powerful and more glamorous than ever.
  • The Eurovision was here to stay. Thanks to the slightly over choreographed the 70s ended with a bang. Djengis Khan.
Retro experience with Dschinghis Khan, Germany 1979.

Some of the best songs of Eurovision 2020

Schweitz Eurovision 2020: Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 with the song Répondez-moi. He is very popular and has reached 2 million views on YouTube.
Lesley Roy represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 on SVT with the song Story Of My Life. She has a modern song,but it reminds very much of Taylor Swift in my opinion.
Eurovision 2020 Malta: Destiny represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 on SVT with the song All Of My Love.
Eurovision 2020 España: Blas Canto sings Universo
Russia Eurovision 2020
Little Big represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 on SVT with the song Uno.
Eurovision 2020 Russia: Russia’s contribution to Eurovision Song Contest 2020, They are named “Little Big”, and they are very popular. Many ESC fans thought they would be Top Eurovision 2020.
France Eurovision 2020: Destiny song “All of My Love” and got lots of votes from the viewers, she was very close to win the entire competition!

Bulgaria Eurovision 2020: Victoria – Tears Getting Sober, this video has been watched by more than 2.3 million viewers on YouTube.

The best interval act ever?

How to create a perfect Eurovision song? What kind of song is the perfect recipe to win a show like Eurovision song contest? SVT was showing a replay of this old amazing performance by Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlov from 2016. This is one of the funniest interval acts in the competition ever!
judges eurovision 2020 jury
The judge group had famous Eurovision names like song writer Fredrik Kempe, Lina Hedlund, Charlotte Perrelli and Erik Saade. Also Dotter which was live performing in the beginning of the show, Their votes had 50% significance for the results while the people voting in the app had the remaining 50%.

What are the judges looking for when listening to Eurovision songs?

Erik Saade thinks there are several of the participants this year that can be a potential radio hit afterward. The other judges said they were also looking for a radio hit. A song that could become popular also afterward and be played on the mainstream radio channels, just like Loreen’s song from 2013. Lina Hedlund was looking for something that touched her and was standing out.

Sweden’s performer Loreen song “Euphoria”, winner of Eurovision 2013
Lynda Woodruff Eurovision
Lynda Woodruff, the comical character played by Sarah Dawn Finer, was also participating in the live show on SVT.
The Mamas Eurovision 2020
The Mamas won the Swedish competition 2020 and supposed to be sent to Rotterdam in May. At least they were able to perform live in the SVT studio during the alternative “Sweden’s 12 points”
The Mamas supposed to represent Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam with the song Move. Since SVT decided to make a special version of the competition, “Sweden’s 12 points”, The Mamas could not participate – they would definitely have won if the Swedish audience could make the decision. At least they were able to deliver an oustanding live performance at the end of the show! If the competition in Rotterdam had been going on as planned, The Mamas would have been the first group since Family 4 (1971 and 1972) to stand on the stage two years in row.
Dotter presented results eurovision 2020
Singer Dotter delivered the results on behalf of the Swedish judge group. They gave 10 points to Malta and 12 points to Iceland. Still, the results of the audience (those that had voted in the app had not been revealed)

The Eurovision results for 2020

Just before the results from the audience were revealed, the host Christer Bjorkman, was joking and said that they were going to check with Eurovision’s executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand that the results were controlled and in order. This is a typical tradition before the final results are revealed every year. Here are the final Eurovision 2020 results:

Iceland24 points
Malta20 points
Switzerland10 points
Lithuania9 points
Russia9 points
Great Britain8 points
Iceland got 12 points rom the professional judges and 12 points from the viewers in Eurovision 2020 – “Sweden’s 12 points”.
Eurovision 2020
Iceland’s “Think about things” got 24 points and won Eurovision 2020 “Sweden’s 12 points” – the closest we get to Eurovision Song Contest 2020. Immediately after the results were ready, SVT was live calling to the winner, Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið that song Think About Things.

Happy winner revealed that lyrics were written for his daughter

He was interviewed by the hosts in the live show. It was easy to see he was a bit shocked and he had not expected to win. He told them that the performance he made ready before he wrote the song, with the equipment he had at home. The lyrics were actually about his daughter that is one year old and that was sleeping right now (the result was officially ready around 23:15 Swedish time).

Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið performed Think About Things on SVT’s alternative Eurovision where 25 countries were joining. Iceland won the entire competition on May 14th 2020.

Iceland’s winner will join Melodifestivalen next year

Sarah Dawn Finer invited him to come to Sweden and perform “Think About Things” next year in Melodifestivalen, which he was excited about. He told them he has watched the Swedish finals: -Melodifestivalen seems to be a big party, he said, and looked excited! Sarah asked him to send love to his daughter and take care. More than 1.4 million people have voted in the app, and the audience and the judges agreed that Iceland had the best song for 2020!


Europe Shine a light – an alternative Eurovision 2020

On Saturday May 16, the Netherlands will show an alternative Eurovision show named “Shine a light” where this year’s participants will honor old Eurovision songs.

In addition to spotlighting the 41 songs of 2020, the unique production will include special performances from popular artists from Eurovision’s past. 2020’s artists will also join together, from their locations across Europe, in a unifying performance of 1997’s Eurovision winner Love Shine A Light by Katrina And The Waves.

See more details on
Eurovision 2020 representatives
Eurovision 2020 representatives

“We want to make a show that puts a spotlight not only on the 41 artists that were due to appear in Rotterdam but also inspire those at home and connect people from across Europe and beyond in these difficult times. Of course, we will also honour those who are affected by the coronavirus crisis and those who work so hard to fight it. Let’s make this an unforgettable moment in Eurovision history!”

Europe Shine a light presentation.

Conclusion after watching the Swedish alternative show

We really enjoyed the Swedish attempt to create a full Eurovision evening on their own initiative. SVT has really worked hard to make this possible ! They have really stribed. Everything from finding nostalgic postcards, make exciting introductions for each country and all the details that actually made it feel like a “real Eurovision” show. After watching this show, we wonder: Why could not this show have been broadcasted to all the countries – not only in Sweden? It was really a high class production, and we are sure that many Eurovision fans really miss this year’s big highlight – the Eurovision Song Contest. The Swedish TV channel has proved that it is possible to make an entertaining show even without having live performances. The music videos worked surprisingly fine, and we really had a great evening – almost 2 and a half hours – watching the entire show – and no commercials or breaks! A good alternative Eurovision Song Contest that must be considered for future events in case next year also will be canceled.

Photo sources:

“Norway decides” one day after Sweden

NRK, Norway’s public TV channel, is having their own alternative contest one day after Sweden. Their show is named “Norway decides” (or “Norge bestemmer”). The Norwegian show was very different from the Swedish version:

  • The first 18 minutes are complete without any music or song. It reminds me more of a news show. A longer video clip where they focus on the Norwegian final in February this year, where the voting system completely collapsed. It feels like they have completely forgotten the international contest. Afterward, they have interviews with NRK hosts.
  • NRK has already decided which 12 countries that they want the viewers to vote for. In comparison, Sweden had 2 TV shows: The first one where the viewers get the chance to vote for their favorite among the 41 contributions. Then, in the next TV show, the viewers’ top 25 will be 1.
  • Lots of talk between each of the 12 songs
  • NRK’s postcards: 1 fan of the current country talks about the song. No comments or facts are given
  • After the 12 songs are presented, they spend almost 20 minutes on the Norwegian winner, Ulrikke Brandstorp than supposed to be in Rotterdam this week.
  • Recorded version of a “live performance with “Attention”, Norway’s contribution (acoustic version)
  • 3 votes were accepted per person
  • Only the top 3 was decided. No points from the professional judges, only votin
  • Iceland won also in Norway. But no details about how many that voted.
  • There was no video call with the winner afterward, and no prize given to the winner.
  • NRK stated that their voting system actually worked tonight – and they sounded almost surprised…

Voting didn’t work for everyone

Error messages for Norwegian voters: The fact is that NRK actually had problems tonight as well. I have spoken with several people that were not able to log in on NRK’s voting system, and they gave up after several attempts. I also got errors after I had given my first vote. After that, I was not able to log in and give the 2 remaining votes.

NRK voting system had problems during Eurovision 2020 broadcast on Friday (15.May 2020)
Users of the NRK website report that the login function was unstable. The website where NRK allows people showed this message: “Sorry. Something went wrong during login. Please contact Audience Service if the problem continues.”

The Norwegian version was very far from a typical Eurovision night, at least for me, and I was a bit dissapointed, but that’s my opinion.

Sweden’s TV production was simply very impressive and they prove again that they are the best Eurovision country! We see that every year when they arrange Melodifestivalen, and the years they have been the official host of Eurovision Song Contest.

Eurovision reaction after the show

I don’t seem to be completely alone in this boat. The Swedish newspaper Expressen’s journalist Maria Brander wrote an interesting comment today. She thinks that what SVT did is exactly what EBU should have done. It’s not more complicated than this. Everyone is forced to be on social distancing, while a TV show that can unify so many nations should not be canceled. It actually works well with music videos and video calls.

ESC 2020 canceled just when we really needed it

After watching, it becomes annoyingly clear that this is exactly what we could have done remotely to create a real ESC 2020 in the middle of the devastating pandemic. It had, of course, been very well-tuned with the origins of the entire competition: it was actually invented as a way to unify war-ravaged Europe with the help of light entertainment. From the beginning, Eurovision was meant as a cure for a crisis, and also posed a real technical challenge. In fact, an equally large live broadcast had never been performed and satellite television did not yet exist in 1956. But they fixed it anyway. Today, a whole world is connected and longing for one another. Technology is, in principle, the only thing that is not understood by us, and yet the EBU claims that this could not be solved.(…)

All artists would probably have been happiest if they had actually had to compete, and the need for a Eurovision is obvious: It is far from only Sweden that has arranged a compensation program this week. Going to ESC blogs lists an almost overwhelming amount of different broadcasts from all over the Eurovision world. Forces that should have been joined instead. To something nice.

Why did you cancel Eurovision, EBU? asks the Swedish Newspaper
Eurovision Norway 2020
Watch the cool viking Rein Alexander perfoming live in the Norwegian Eurovision 2020 final!