News, rumours, gossip and scandals are flying thick and fast in the run-up to the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. One piece of news that caught my eye is the lamentable decision by Andorra to not return to the Contest. Andorra of course has a special place in the hearts of those in the Eurovision community, after their shocking exit in the epic Semi-Final of the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest with Salvem El Món. The country was forced to withdraw in 2010 and in 2011 due to financial restrictions. It is this same reason that they cannot return in 2012, despite strong local interest in the Contest.
However, RTVA has stated that should they find a suitable sponsor, Andorra would most certainly participate. Now let’s consider the facts. The Eurovision Song Contest is a huge, unique platform with some 125 million viewers plus thousands of journalists and participants come under intense media and national scrutiny. You simply cannot buy the kind of publicity a Eurovision participation can award you. And if your song is exceptional, it will increase hundred fold. So using this as an enticement, who would be the best to court as a sponsor? A sponsor who would benefit, and take advantage of, this exposure and would have no trouble procuring talented singers and songwriters for Andorra? My answer: record companies.
Imagine, if Andorra could get a major record label such as Sony Music France or Universal Spain to sponsor them, it will be very benefical to both parties. The record company now gets access to an exciting, unusual platform upon which it can promote or launch an artist on their roster. It will be economical as well, for the return in the degree of exposure and media attention would far outweigh the costs of procurring the same. And Andorra gets their participation funded, their flag flown as well as be represented by a professional, talented artist. In short, one can almost say that this strategy calls for turning Andorra into this generation’s Luxembourg. Luxembourg was of course notorious for importing their singers from abroad, having done so throughout their participation. So in some way, Andorra will be fulfilling a rather bizarre Eurovision tradition.
Plus, I believe Sony Music France and Universal Spain would be the best two to approach about this possible venture. This is because these record companies are located in two of (well actually all of) Andorra’s neighbors and there is alot of shared culture so Andorra’s representatives would be much closer to home. Furthermore, these two record companies have the most Eurovision-friendly stable of acts. For example, Sony Music France has Lorie, Jonatan Cerrada, Antoine Clamaran, Christophe Willem, Natasha St-Pier, Patrick Fiori, Ricky Martin and even Lordi. Universal Spain’s got David Bustamante, Sergio Dalma, Ainhoa, & Chenoa. And these are just the ones I’m familiar with. I’d imagine there some talented artists amongst their ranks who would benefit enormously from representing Andorra at the Eurovision Song Contest. You just can’t buy this kind of publicity.
All in all, I believe that Operation Luxembourg could very well be a win-win for Andorra and which ever cognizant record company. I’m sure a semblance of this plan was bandied about, but as the name of the endeavor states, Andorra will need to go big and shamelessly take up the mantle left vacant by Luxembourg.