The fifth esctoday.com TOP TEN list starts today with the places 5 and 4 being announced. As announced on Saturday, this week's topic are the TOP TEN longest-running spin-offs and imitations.
The list features shows and contests that are either real spin-offs of the Eurovision Song Contest organised by the EBU or contests that follow a similar idea.
So we continue:
No. 6 – Baltic Song Contest (1987-present)
The Baltic Song Contest is an annual and international song contest held in Karlshamn, Sweden as part of the Östersjöfestival. Although it is especially popular in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, the contest is open for all countries. The most successful country so far is Sweden with six victories followed by Poland, whose representatives have won five times, England, which won three times, Lithuania and Latvia (two victories both). The Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Germany and Switzerland have all won once.
Among the contestants, there were many artists who had (or would have) a connection to the Eurovision Song Contest, especially among the winners. 1995 winner Justyna Steczkowska also represented Poland in Eurovision that year. Brainstorm won the Baltic Song Contest in 1998, two years before they represented Latvia in the Eurovision Song Contest. Ich Troje won in 2001 and they would later represent Poland in Eurovision in 2003 and 2006. National final contestants who won the Baltic Song Contest are David Hanselmann (German NF 1982) in 1991, Peter Jöback (Swedish NF 2010) in 1992, Rosita Civilyte (Lithuanian NF 2007) in 1997 and LaGaylia Frazier (Swedish NF 2004 & 2005, Romanian NF 2008) in 2008. Melodifestivalen songwriter Aleena won the Baltic Song Contest in 2003. Other artists with a Eurovision Song Contest connection who have finished in the top three of the Baltic Song Contest are Kirsten & Søren (a.k.a. Hot Eyes), Lonnie Devantier, Gary Lux, Arnis Mednis, Piasek, Nanne Grönvall, F.LY., Maarja and Jan Johansen.
1995 Swedish Eurovision representative Jan Johansen performing in the Baltic Song Contest 2009:
No. 5 – Grand Prix der Volksmusik (1986-present)
The Grand Prix der Volksmusik is an annual Eurovision show which was first held in 1986, broadcast by the EBU members of the German speaking countries Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Each country sent five songs to the contest and the winner was determined by jury voting in a style similar to the Eurovision Song Contest. The Grand Prix der Volksmusik was supposed to be an alternate version of the Eurovision Song Contest focussing on German folk music rather than Schlager music. The term "Volksmusik" is actually used incorrectly here as the contest is not about actual traditional folk music but rather about a certain style of Schlager-like music with sentimental lyrics, which is popular especially among older people. In 2000, Southern Tyrol, the German speaking region of Italy, joined to contest. Since then, every country has sent four entries to the contest every year raising the total number of contestants to 16. 2000 was also the first year that televoting determined the winner.
The most successful country in the contest so far is Switzerland having won eight times (including five years in a row between 1995 and 1999). Austria has won six times and Southern Tyrol and Germany have both won five times. However, Southern Tyrol's five victories are quite remarkable considering that they have taken part only nine times in total.
Although "Volksmusik" is not a musical style that is common in the Eurovision Song Contest, there were some contestants who have a connection to the big one. The first Grand Prix der Volksmusik winning song was Bella musica, written, composed and performed by Nella Martinetti, who had also written the lyrics to the Swiss entries in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981, 1983 and 1986. Two years later, she would write the lyrics to the winning song Ne partez pas sans moi, performed by Céline Dion. The 1995 contest was won by Géraldine Olivier, who had won the Swiss national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 1992 but was later disqualified. The winner of 1998 was Francine Jordi, who would represent Switzerland in Eurovision in 2002. Petra Frey, Austrian ESC representative in 1994, represented her country in the Grand Prix der Volksmusik in 2002. Lys Assia, winner of the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, took part in the Grand Prix der Volksmusik in 2007 but only finished 11th.
Lys Assia & Beatrice in 2007 with Sag mir, wo wohnen die Engel?:
Tomorrow, no. 3 and 2 on the list will be revealed.