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How did the contest become popular ? Dave Goodman answers

March 21st, 2023
David Glaser
geneveMonde

Who has never sung Abba's "Waterloo" or Celine Dion's "Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi" thinking that these songs were great popsongs that also made two small nations of the European continent proud, Sweden and Switzerland? What they have in common is that they were winning songs at the Eurovision Song Contest. Dave Goodman in 2022, as head of communications, has seen the evolution of "his" Eurovision, which he has followed with passion since he was a young boy. With scores of 18 million on YouTube and 7 million on TikTok in 2022, the show is no longer just an event made for television even though it is a TV show with sets, pyrotechnics. It is now much more than that.

Even if more than 200 million viewers are counted across the continents, with convincing results in the United States or in several African countries, Eurovision (born in Switzerland in 1954 and created by the director of the Swiss Broadcasting Company Marcel Bezençon has become a 360° event on all platforms and a year of celebration). The recipe of his show format has not changed much in fact in its core structure. It is still a competition with points scored, but there are more participating countries and not only Europeans with a bigger scoreboard, that's it. That scoring system is something that adds to the enthusiasm of the crowds.

Dave Goodman offers us in this conversation an entry into the arcana of a show that has finally presented amazing artistic and political situations year after year to encourage cultural aspects of the participating countries, diversity and inclusiveness even in countries where homosexuality is rejected at the highest level of power (as in Russia). Ukraine won in 2022 and will not be able to host the show on May 13, 2023 because of the Russian invasion and the war that followed. Liverpool, for the UK came second with Sam Ryder last year will be the venue for the festivities for the occasion.

Click here to listen to our interview (in French) with Swiss-French commentator of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Radio Télévision Suisse Jean-Marc Richard.

Photo of Dave Goodman at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, courtesy of EBU.

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