10,000 and onwards!

Six on Stage has reached a big milestone with 10,000 people connected to the Eurovision Song Contest now listed on the site!

That includes 5,632 people who have performed on the Constest stage at in some capacity as part of a country’s entry, 2,880 songwriters (some of whom performed as well), 833 national spokespeople and 1,765 jurors. There are also 339 conductors – the only number that’s not going to increase any time soon.

With national final season for 2023 now underway, more people will be added to the site in the coming weeks. The 9,999th person I added was Sidorela Kelmendi, one of the newly-selected family group representing Albania alongside Albina Kelmendi in Liverpool.

But the 10,000th person was a juror from 1974. Lawyer Basil Herwald was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme by guest editor Björn Ulvaeus. They discussed Basil’s contribution to the 1974 Contest as one of the UK jurors – none of whom gave their one vote to ABBA. And if anyone knows who the other 9 jurors were, please get in touch!


2022 and all that

Rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 are in full swing at the PalaOlimpico in Turin (aka the Pala Alpitour with its sponsorship removed). Thanks to the official Eurovision channels’ photos and video clips, that’s provided lots of opportunity to spot and identify dancers and backing singers and so the 2022 page has been filling up with new information.

I’ve recently added a new “other” role to the site to capture delegation members who’ve been helping behind the scenes, such as creative directors and choreographers. This is particularly of interest where they have been performers themselves – for example, Austria’s vocal coach Monika Ballwein was a backing singer for the country four times between 1997 and 2013, while Sam Ryder’s vocal coach Annabel Williams did backing for James Newman last year.

This information is much more hit and miss which it partly why it has its own category. I’m aiming to add more over time but hopefully what’s already there will be of interest.

Back to this year’s performers, though, and I’m happy to say that the data is pretty complete. I’ve got numbers of performers for every country but it’s possible that some could have extra people that didn’t appear in the official media. Please let me know if you spot an omission.

There are four countries where I know I’m missing credits, so I’d love you to get in touch if you can help fill in the gaps:

  • Czech Republic: We Are Domi are supported by one unidentified backing singer.
  • Denmark: Reddi have an unidentified backing singer off stage. Sorted!
  • Norway: The three masked dancers are unidentified. (Perhaps one day I will be able to update the names of Jim, Keith and DJ Astronaut too.)
  • United Kingdom: Outside Sam Ryder’s massive light cage are a keyboardist, guitarist and drummer. (As far as I know the people moving the rig are stage hands from the host broadcaster and not part of the permitted six.) Sorted!

Typical that my own country is one of the ones for which I’m lacking information!

Once again, if you know any of the missing names, please drop me an email (ideally with a link to a source) to [email protected]. I will continue to add any new info but I might be slow correcting errors over the next week because I too will be in Turin!


Knowing who is missing

One of the challenges when it comes to tracking down missing people for Six on Stage is knowing who’s missing. Are there four people listed against a song because two are unidentified for were there really just four people on stage?

Today I’ve added a new feature to highlight where I know there are people whose names are as yet uncovered. Thanks to recent Eurovision Again re-watches of the 1997 Contest and the 2007 Grand Final, the first pages to benefit are 1997 and 2007. I’ve also added this feature to the 1957 Contest but you wouldn’t be able to tell as there is no-one missing!

This data relies on literally counting the number of people on stage, so it will be tricky to produce for the more recent Eurovisions now that backing singers can be in the wings. But for most years, I’ll gradually be able to signpost who still needs tracking down – and if you know who one of these mysterious people is, please let me know!

Speaking of gradual work, I’m continuing to manually check all of the data on the site. I’m mostly working alphabetically and am currently on the letter M, with around 1,500 people still to go…


What do we do with a cancelled Contest?

For understandable reasons, the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest has been cancelled. That’s sad and disappointing for fans but all the more so for the artists, writers and delegations who’ve been working hard towards it.

With the acts and songs all announced, I’d loaded all the artist information into Six on Stage already. So how to handle the unprecedented situation of a Eurovision Song Contest that’s no longer happening?

There are two changes to the site to reflect this. The first is that all the 2020 data will stay but it will be marked out on the relevant pages to clarify that the Contest didn’t happen. That’s only fair on the people who got this far and remains a useful reference source.

The second is that all the statistics shown on the site now only go up to 2019 and in future will only reflect the Contest once it’s broadcast. This also allows for last-minute changes to announced personnel (backing dancers have been known to retire injured!) while still enabling information for the upcoming year to be included and displayed.

On which note, the 2021 page is now live