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The Eurovision story with Dave Goodman (5th part) A Canadian wins for Switzerland

October 20th, 2022
David Glaser
geneveMonde

The Eurovision Song Contest, often criticized for the so-called low artistic quality of its competitors, attracts 160 million viewers and a very large number of users of digital applications. This audience sees the artists perform in a final round and gets votes from a jury and from the viewers. In 2022, Kalush Orchestra won the competition. They come from a country at war, Ukraine.

As per protocol, the next edition must be organized in the country of origin of the winning band. The war prevents the organization of the competition to place its 2023 edition in Ukraine, it is the United Kingdom, which came second that will host the edition next year.

This year, the Swiss public rushed to see Måneskin, an Italian group winner with the song "Zitti e Buoni" in 2021. Over the past few years, the world continues to see Abba in virtual shows or musicals touring the globe of large halls with "Mamma Mia". It was the song "Waterloo" in 1974 that had won the Eurovision trophy.

There is no doubt that this competition, which was born in Switzerland shortly after the creation of French-speaking television in 1956, and which continues to be conceived and organized from the EBU premises in Geneva (Grand-Saconnex), has a particularity. It unites European nations and others from a little further afield (some are located on the Asian continent).

Eurovision is inspiring other continents with nations that have understood the value of participating in this great celebration of pop music where melody and "soft power" are in unison. But international artistic competition means political and diplomatic decisions, a bit like when the IOC or FIFA have to ask themselves the question of the participation of Russian athletes caught up in a state-led doping policy for the former or the consequences of the choice of a country that does not respect human rights to organize its next World Cup for the latter.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine automatically led to the invalidation of a Russian team's participation in Eurovision 2022. It will be the same for the 2023 edition. The importance of Eurovision as a peacemaking competition that enhances the culture of each of the participating countries is not always well understood.

This is an opportunity to tell the story of the competition with an interview of Dave Goodman, the competition's communications lead, a Mancunian who spent several years in the studios of media groups such as the BBC (BBC Radio Manchester, the city where he grew up), Euronews, the international service of Radio Netherlands in Hilversum or the SSR-SRG. He was notably in charge of the production and presentation of the "Morning Show" of World Radio Switzerland (WRS) in Geneva between 2011 and 2013. With his team of columnists and journalists, he contributed to WRS winning the "national radio of the year" award at the Swiss Radio Days in 2012 and 2013.

In this fifth part, we talk about the choice of Celine Dion for Switzerland en 1988.

To listen to the 6th part, click on this link.

Photo of Celine Dion in 1988 in Dublin (courtesy of RTE)

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