I love the Eurovision song contest! It’s a force for good in the world, and perhaps the ultimate expression of unbridled joy, arrived at through the promotion of diversity, collaboration and positivity.
Of the 26 acts competing in the final on Saturday, one will impress judges and the voting public enough to be crowned the winner, cementing their place in history, changing their life forever and handing the country they represent the honour of hosting the contest next year.
One of the best aspects of the contest is the unpredictability of who will win. Sure, going into the contest there are always the favourites. Commentators ‘in the know’ can always nod to certain song writing and performing tropes that tend to go down well with audiences, and there’s no doubt that politics of one sort or another play a role, but ultimately any one of those acts has enough of what it takes to win.
So what could anyone say to a contestant at this stage, just a few days out, that could potentially spur them on to victory?
Well, there’s clearly no guarantees here. The best anyone can do is to pull off a great performance then keep everything crossed! This is all about what they’ve done leading up to this moment to build their reputation and prepare themselves for their date with destiny, and what they’ll do in that moment to shine brightest.
The following are the key factors any contestant can focus on which are in their sphere of influence, unique to them, and which provide the seeds of success. Through doing so, they’ll be on the right track at the very least:
Firstly, they’ll need to show up as the best version of themselves at the right moment. In order to make that more likely, they’ll need to have a clear picture in their mind of what that’ll look like. Not just how it’ll look though, also how it’ll sound, how it’ll feel. The detail is crucial here. Exactly the sort of thing they’ll feel in specific areas of their body that’ll tell them they’re at their very best. How the stage will feel underfoot, for example. How the microphone will feel in their hand, the look on the faces of the people in the front row in response to the energy they’re projecting, the movement of the people in the back row in response to the notes they’re hitting, which feel just right in their throat as they mix with the passion bursting from their chest. The more detail that can be imagined about this, the more visceral the process of imagining it becomes, the closer it’ll come to being within their grasp.
Next, they’ll need to work backwards from that point. What might they notice themselves doing today which would be an encouraging sign of being on track? What would be noticeably different about the way that the future winner of Eurovision stirs their tea during a break in rehearsals with three days to go? What is the sort of thing they’ll recognise as pivotal when people ask them, after the event, what their secret was? What specific evidence have they already noticed during their preparations, that they are capable of winning this thing?
Finally, they’ll need to have fun! Whatever fun they can find to be had during their journey will help. In amidst the chaos, inevitable technical issues, unexpected developments and emotional highs and lows, there will always be even the briefest of fleeting opportunities to savour the joy of a moment spent doing something they love.
Ultimately, all the contestants are doing something extraordinary for important and wonderful reasons. The underlying message of Eurovision is always clear, never in doubt – acceptance, love, unity, hope.
Whoever wins, this is humanity at it’s best and brightest, so I’m enjoying it already and I can’t wait for Saturday!