This weekend, we received a fair bit of news related to Eurovision 2022: backing track announcement, participation announcements, and participants for upcoming national selections. Let’s dive into the juicy information, shall we?

Pre-Recorded backing tracks allowed for 2022

Due to the on-going pandemic, the EBU amended the official rules to formally allow pre-recorded backing vocals at the contest. This amendment does not apply to lead vocals, which are still required to be performed live on the night. This change allows for artists to express themselves and their talents in a variety of ways, especially in the form of choirs. Three countries last year assembled a choir to perform on their backing track for the first time in Eurovision history (Slovenia, North Macedonia, and Iceland), which, under the former rules of only 6 performers on stage, would have been impossible to achieve.

Similar to the 2021 rules, the 2022 contest rule book states that: “The backing track in question shall not contain Lead Vocals, Lead Dubs and/or any other vocals that would have the effect of, or aim at replacing or unduly assisting the Lead Vocal(s) during the live performance on stage.” 

At this point, it is uncertain if this extended rule will become permanent or if it will be reviewed on a year-to-year basis until the pandemic ends. The EBU amended this rule to cut down on the number of people in delegations and to reduce costs for broadcasters.  As an added bonus, it opens up the contest to a previously untouched pool of artists, songwriters, and creative ideas.

More countries announce plan to participate in Eurovision 2022

In the last few days, the list of countries confirmed for 2022 has grown to 28 as Ireland, Iceland, and Greece confirmed their participation in the contest. Despite confirming its participation to ESCToday, broadcaster RTÉ has not determined how it will select its artist for next year. Shortly after its disappointing last place in Rotterdam, the Head of Delegation hinted that he is open to a national selection that would engage the public in the process. Speaking on the issue he said in May: “I feel it’s time we reverted to giving the public their say in what we do but we must find an effective and cost effective way of doing that.” Ireland has selected its artists internally since 2016.

Greece has also been rumored to be interested in a national final for the last two years, and has not yet decided how it will determine its artist. It has, however, announced an open call for songs until October 10th. Its website states that: “Each proposal should be complete: that is, it should include a performer or a group of up to six members, according to the regulations, as well as one to three songs, which have not been released or presented to date either in Greece or abroad in any way, in whole or in part.”

Iceland confirmed the return of Söngvakeppnin to select its artist and it will follow the same format used in the past- ten songs competing in two semi-finals, and a final show to determine the winner. Two songs will qualify for the final through the public voting process, while the jury will send their own favorite forward. In the final, a 50/50 voting structure will decide who moves on to the Superfinal, where the winner of Söngvakeppnin will be decided by a Superfinal televote. The submission window for Söngvakeppnin 2022 closes on October 6th, and competing acts will be announced in January. The show will be broadcast in February 2022.

Melodifestivalen to be hosted by Oscar Zia

Melfest will once again tour Sweden, and veteran Oscar Zia will be hosting the 2022 edition. Oscar was brought in to co-host the second semi-final in 2021, alongside Anis Don Demina, and he has also participated in Melfest three times: once as a backing vocalist for Behrang Miri in 2013 and twice as a solo artist in 2014 and 2016. But he might not be on stage alone this time, as there may be some guest appearances planned for the shows. Oscar mentioned: “It would be absurd if I was completely alone. I will invite friends and people I do not know who I think will do well. But we are very early in the process so I can not say more.”

Melfest 2022 will follow the traditional schedule of four semi-finals, the Andra Chansen show, and the final to determine the Swedish representative for Eurovision 2022. Assuming that the pandemic allows, the selection tour will be:

  • Semi-Final 1: Malmö – Malmö Arena (February 5)
  • Semi-Final 2: Gothenburg – Scandinavium (Feburary 12)
  • Semi-Final 3: Linköping – Saab Arena (February 19)
  • Semi-Final 4: Lidköping – Sparbanken Arena (February 26)
  • Andra Chansen: Örnsköldsvik – Hägglunds Arena (March 5)
  • Final: Stockholm – Friends Arena (March 12)

First participants for X Factor Israel revealed

It looks like the Israeli press have leaked some artists who auditioned for X Factor Israel, which will be used to select itsartist for 2022. Euromix collected the list of names from the Israeli Music industry and reported that the following people participated in the first round:

  • Adi Cohen and Liron Lev (Kdam 2011 national final participant, Kochav Nolad participant and voice-over actor)
  • Amit Ben Zaken (Football player and singer)
  • Ana Spitz (Indie pop musician)
  • Anna RF (Israeli-Indian ethno-folk group)
  • Ataliyah Pierce (The Voice of Israel semi-finalist, vocalist on Eden Alene’s song “Roots”)
  • Dafna Reuveni (Granddaughter of Ehud Manor, writer of A-Ba-Ni-Bi and other Eurovision songs)
  • Gaydaa (Runner up on Eyal Golan Kore Lakh)
  • Ido B Zooki (MTV Award-nominated rap-EDM duo)
  • Inbal Bibi (Semi-finalist from first season of X Factor Israel)
  • Linet Menasi (Kdam 1993 national final participant, award winning fantezi pop singer)
  • Maor Titun (participant on the Voice of Israel)
  • Maya Simantov (singer for Ofer Nissim and songwriter)
  • Or Cohen Akad (Winner of the Band Project, teen actress)
  • Sapir Saban (Winner of The Voice of Israel season four)
  • Shavla Berti (Kdam 1985, 1992, and 1995 participant)
  • Shimi Tavori (Kdam 1991 and 1993 participant)
  • Shira Atias (Participant in The Four in 2018, soul singer)
  • Yiftah Deri (Soul singer)

X Factor Israel will begin to air in October, with the winner being decided in January, 2022. IPBC has already published a class for songs for the final show, and the best compositions will be performed by the remaining artists. It is unclear if these songs will comprise the potential Eurovision entries.

What do #YOU think about this news? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited or on our forum page!

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