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these Eurovision contests that you (probably) do not know

Saturday, you will be able to follow live on Culturebox and on France Musique the 20th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest… of young musicians. Nothing to do with the pop tunes of the evening which brings together hundreds of millions of viewers around the world each year: we are talking here about classical musicians, aged between 12 and 21 years old. And it is France that is hosting this year, for the first time, this competition: it will take place at the Corum in Montpellier, during the Radio France Occitanie Festival.

The French candidate for this 2022 edition (the first since 2018, and France’s first participation since 1994) is called Maxime Grizard, he is 16 years old and plays the cello. The general French public knows him for having won the program Prodiges de France 2 in 2017. He will face eight other young candidates: in total, only nine countries participate in the Eurovision for Young Musicians.

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Not much of similar, however, between this competition born in 1982 and its equivalent “song”: in addition to the fact that there are only nine participating countries, neither the public nor the other countries vote. A jury is responsible for deciding between the competitors. Exit therefore the “12 points” and the suspense of each show. But… there are many other “Eurovision” which are much more like the evening that we know.

For children and for choirs

In reality, Eurovision is the name of the cooperation network between the television channels that are members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). All music competitions organized under this brand therefore bear the Eurovision name. And if you like what makes bim, bam, boom, pschitt and vroom, you probably know the Eurovision Junior. Organized since 2003, it is reserved for candidates aged 9 to 14 and works exactly like the Eurovision of the “big ones”: each little star defends the colors of his country with a song, at the end a jury and the public vote, and points are awarded.

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Notable difference with the rules of the Eurovision song contest: each candidate must sing in his native language (at the “classic” Eurovision, there were several rules, and the current one in force since 1998 allows singing in any language). If the singer Carla made a big splash in 2019 with her title “Bim, Bam, You”it was the following year that France won its first Junior Eurovision with “J’imagine”, by the young Valentina – in 2021, the country therefore hosted its first Junior Eurovision.

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In 2017, the European Choral Games gave birth to another competition: the Eurovision Choir, a variation of the competition entirely dedicated to amateur choirs. There have only been two editions of this biennial competition (the third, scheduled for 2021, has been cancelled), but this competition is very similar to its big brother, except that the groups that apply must sing a cappella, without musical accompaniment.

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Eurovision even for dance

Alternating with the Eurovision for young musicians, every other year, there is also the Eurovision for young dancers. But in this case, it is not limited to classical dance, candidates, solo or in duo, aged between 16 and 21, can also do modern or contemporary dance. Born in 1985, and organized twice in France, this one has not taken place since 2017.

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And there was the other dance Eurovision… The Dance Eurovision, an astonishing mix of “Dancing with the Stars” and the song contest. This only took place in 2007 and 2008 in the United Kingdom, but still brought together a little more than a dozen participating countries. Each country was represented by a duo composed of a dancer or a pro dancer and a personality known for something other than dance (remind you of something?). On the form – and, let’s say it, on the kitsch – it is certainly what comes closest to the Eurovision that we know well.

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Eurovision in the Americas

Projects to adapt Eurovision to the United States, there have been many. The contest was broadcast several times across the Atlantic without huge audience successes… until Netflix added its two cents. The film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga starring Will Ferrell and Rachel MacAdams brought Eurovision to real popularity in 2020, and definitely started the American adaptation machine. It therefore saw the light of day in early 2022 in the form of a television program broadcast over several months, with numerous rounds of play during which each of the 50 states represented its candidate.

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At the end of the show, hosted by singer Kelly Clarkson and rapper Snoop Dogg, a jury and public vote determined the points awarded to each state. And it was the K-Pop singer AleXa, representative of Olkahoma, who won this first edition, with the title Wonderland.

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And that’s not all: last week, the EBU announced that a new contest was in preparation: Eurovision Latin America. More very Euro, therefore, but which promises new series of songs and television shows.

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