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Eurovision Song Contest 2020: in deep water

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Paula Sánchez
Content Manager at iAgua and Smart Water Magazine Sometimes I write.

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  • Eurovision Song Contest 2020: in deep water
    Frame from the Gjon's Tears video clip: "Répondez-moi".

It is the month of May and with it the time to celebrate the Eurovision Song Contest, on this occasion a bit differently: from home.

The coronavirus health crisis has had an impact on all sectors, and a particularly strong impact on the music and entertainment sector, given its specific characteristics. The Eurovision Song Contest was going to be held last weekend in Rotterdam, after Duncan Laurence won the contest in 2019 with the theme "Arcade". However, the 41 songs that had been selected to go to the Netherlands did not make it to the contest.

The same as last year we highlighted five water songs that have passed through the festival, to honour the event not held this year, I would like to draw your attention to other songs that are also related to water. Thus, although there are also references to water in the video clip of "Arcade", in this list we will review all those 2020 songs that are somehow related to water, whether because of the song lyrics or the video clip.

James Newman: "My Last Breath" (United Kingdom 2020)

Whether by chance or planned, the song that was to represent the United Kingdom in 2020 could not be more fitting. Diving in icy pools in a snowy forest landscape, James Newman knows that "we are in trouble but we will survive". The same as the main character in the song's video clip does not mind to walk barefoot on the snow or to dive into icy waters, James does not mind either to "give his last breath" if we were deep sea divers and no one came to find us.

Ana Soklič: "Voda" (Slovenia 2020)

Slovenia's message cannot be clearer: “Voda, which in Slovenian means water”, is both the beginning and the end. Ana Soklič interprets this ballad with a cryptic message about forging ahead and a force that can overpower anything, except love: "Water! During the storm, I lie in you till the end. The water gushes…But cannot reach us inside".

Victoria: "Tears Getting Sober" (Bulgaria 2020)

Bulgaria chose the song representing it at Eurovision 2020 internally, one of the favourite ones for the 2020 edition. During the song, Victoria lets her tears cleanse her soul and heal her heart, so that in time her "wound will be a scar". The healing aspect of water (well represented in music throughout time) becomes especially important in this song, whereas (physical) tears are not the focus of the song. 

The aesthetics of the video clip represent the core of the song, with the singer sitting on a bench while rain is falling and her tears are "getting sober". Would the tears have made Victoria victorious (pun intended) in Rotterdam?

Gjon's Tears: "Répondez-moi" (Switzerland 2020)

Melancholy is a recurrent feeling in the songs selected for this year's contest. This is the case of Gjon's Tears, with the often-featured rainfall and tears, where he asks for answers (Répondez-moi) to questions that do not have an answer, such as why we pray, why there is rainfall and clouds, or why death comes after life.

But I am afraid, my dear Gjon, that, as you can imagine, water does not have answers for many things.

Destiny: "All Of My Love" (Malta 2020) 

Besides melancholy, references to water are also useful to illustrate stages of love. Destiny, representing Malta, recalls in “All of my love” that, before she found her love, nothing seemed to make any sense. Surrounded by arid landscapes, the locations change throughout the song, and at the end she arrives to the sea, when her love is "like a river running wild".

Alicja: "Empires" (Poland 2020)

This year's songs were not just about love and melancholy. In the video clip of “Empires”, the song of Alicja, representing Poland in 2020, images of natural disasters, like fires and floods, as well as frames of mass-producing factories, are shown to illustrate the "fall of empires".

It could have been a decaffeinated song for the contest, but after listening to it a first time, it becomes a song in defence of the environment and against the demands of "empires".

Would these participants have put on performances similar to the ones in their video clips on the Eurovision stage? Would they have used recycled water fountains as in the song by Ireland in 2012Could this have been the most water related contest of all time?

These questions will remain unanswered, but maybe the singer representing Switzerland can ask them again in his next song for Eurovision 2021.

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