Cyprus 2018: Eleni Foureira
Photo: Andres Putting/EBU

Eurovision 2018: The revenge of Pop music

"Music is not fireworks" - Salvador Sobral's winning speech in 2017 is something that will go down on history. Despite his wake up call against Pop music, it looks like no one really shared his thoughts as this year's top 3 was packed with Pop songs that featured multiple fireworks and stage props

After "Amar Pelos Dois" was crowned the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, Salvador Sobral stepped on the big Kyiv stage and delivered a somewhat controversial speech: "We live in a world of disposable music, fast food music without any content. (...) Music is not fireworks. Music is feeling, so let's try to change this and bring music back."

While many supported the Portuguese singer speech, many others, including Sweden's very own Robin Bengtsson found it disrepectful and unnecessary: "I think your speech after winning the Eurovision Song Contest was below the level of a true winner. (...) There is room for everyone", the Swedish singer stated on his social media.

Music is not fireworks. Music is feeling, so let's try to change this and bring music backSalvador Sobral

And there is indeed. In fact, this year's competition went the complete opposite direction when compared to Salvador's words in 2017 as Israel, Cyprus and Austria completed the show's top 3 with great Pop productions featuring multiple fireworks, leaving behind Estonia's Opera production, Hungary's hard rock entry and even Georgia's non-qualifier Jazz song, "For You". There was enough diversity but Pop music prevailed.

Celebrating diversity?

Out of 43 songs, it is safe to say that, at least, 30 could be included within the Pop genre. Funny enough, not all Pop songs did well at this year's competition. Not only many didn't make the cut even with many fireworks - take for instances the massive Pop production "X My Heart" by Aisel, San Marino's "Who We Are" or even Christabelle revamped version of "Taboo" - but many did very poorly at the competition's Grand Final... Hello Saara Aalto and Jessica Mauboy...!

On the other hand, joining the competition's top 10, Czech Republic's "Lie To Me", Moldova's "My Lucky Day" and Sweden's "Dance You Off" proved that Eurovision is certainly not done with Pop music nor fireworks.

2018 certainly celebrated diversity. Besides the already mentioned Pop, Opera, Hard Rock and Jazz genres, we could easily add another handful of music styles: Trap (Slovenia), Folktronica (Serbia), Country (Netherlands), Soul (Belgium) or Electronic (Poland). Not to mention all the traditional elements countries like Greece or Montenegro brought into the game.

About the author: Pedro Santos (Portugal)

authorPedro comes from Lisbon, Portugal. He's 30 years old and graduated in journalism. He has attended Eurovision Song Contest three times live - 2018, 2019 and 2022 - and covered the show twice more (2021, 2023) but his first Eurovision memory takes him back to 2007 when Sarbel delivered his catchy "Yassou Maria" performance. Pedro's favorite Eurovision song is Albania's 2015 "I'm Alive" by Elhaida Dani which is also his favorite Eurovision edition.

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