The announcement of the EBU and the Dutch organizers for the live on tape video that will be made by the 41 participants of Eurovision 2021, although it ensures that the contest will take place even in the worst case scenario regarding the course of the pandemic, but leaves many questions in the part of justice and equal conditions that should govern the competition.
What exactly is live on tape video?
According to what was announced, all participating broadcasters were asked to record a live performance of their entry in their country. This recording will be delivered before the contest and will take place in a studio. The recording will take place in real time (as it would in the Contest) without making changes to the vocals or any part of the show itself after the recording.
There will be freedom in the delegations, to present as they consider their entries better, but instructions will be given which will ensure the fairness and integrity of the competition. There will be no audience and the recording should be unique and not be published before the event in May.
Delegations are allowed to use similar technical capabilities and dimensions that would be available on stage in Rotterdam, but are also free to choose a more limited production facility. Video recordings must not contain augmented or virtual reality, overlays, confetti, drone shots, water, color use or green screen.
How to ensure meritocracy and fairness in the contest?
In addition to the above, the EBU also announced a series of safety valves, which will ensure that the 41 live video tapes will have been made under the same conditions. Indicatively, we mention that those present in the video recording will be a representative of the Dutch public broadcaster, while the shooting will be watched by the executive supervisor of the contest, as well as a representative from an independent voting observer (E&Y). The duration of the shooting will be one hour and at this time the participants will be able to videotape up to three times their appearance. The selection of the shot will be made by the Head of Delegation and another authorized representative.
Our doubts about live on tape video
First of all, let’s say that even under normal conditions, not everyone competes on equal terms. What do we mean by that? We see in recent years on the eurovision stage, impressive appearances, with the help of the use of technology. Technology that not all broadcasters can use. Fro example Serbian public broadcaster cannot spend the money that Swedish public broadcaster spends. Albanian television cannot spend the money spent by Russian or Azerbaijani television and so on.
So, many times the countries participating in the contest can start from different points of view, but what mitigates the above a bit is that they share the same stage and it is ensured that everyone sings live. With the advancement of technology, and given that each country can use any studio it wants, even that is in question.
We read that Russia uses virtual reality in its appearance for Junior Eurovision 2020, where the contest will take place via live on tape video. An effect that other countries probably will not have at their disposal, for economic and technical reasons.
Of course for the live on tape videos of Eurovision 2021 the EBU has banned such special effects. However, LEDs are not prohibited and it is possible for different sized scenes, something that, as you understand, will differentiate the final result.
What we all hope is that everything you read remains on a theoretical level only. The situation with the pandemic to improve and to have a Eurovision as close to normal as possible, with the 41 artists performing their songs on the stage of the Ahoy Arena!
What is your opinion about the live on tape video? Are equal conditions guaranteed for all?