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Event Review: Eurovision Gala Night Luxembourg, douze points!

It is a small country, but it is a small world after all… Luxembourg has not pleased the Eurovision fans with a participation even since the withdrawal of RTL in 1994 but the Eurovision passion still burns in the Grand Duchy. The 9th Eurovision Gala Night that OGAE Luxembourg held last Saturday will stand as proof. A charity event with 14 competing amateur singers performing past Eurovision entries and three guest Eurovision past participants, the Gala was basically a recreation of the Eurovision Song Contest in a smaller scale. But still done with good taste and an immense effort by the organizers. The postcards presenting the participants, the quality of the live sound in the auditorium of the Conservatoire de Luxembourg and the graphics of the scoreboard did achieve the goal of bringing a feeling of déjà vu. Even the voting sequence had the tension that builds up at home while trying to guess who will be getting the next 12 points.

The participants - Picture: ESC Bubble

The participants – Picture: Bruno Jousse

Yes, it felt like a Petit Concours de la Chanson de l’Eurovision. The participating artists delivered and they had the cheer of the public in return. The audience was enthusiastic and made the show even livelier and yet more enjoyable.

And the hosts… Eric Lehmann and Mireille Meyer stood on the stage like they were at home. Elegantly, warmly and professionally they guided the audience through the gala until the very end.

Mireille Meyer and Eric Lehmann - Picture by Fernando Méndez

Mireille Meyer and Eric Lehmann – Picture by Fernando Méndez

After a formal and professional (not uptight) competition part came the interval act with the guest Eurovision stars Dana International, Conchita Wurst and Verka Serduchka. How the organizers managed to gather that trio I don’t know, but sure they were committed to offering a top-level show. Dana and Conchita served the glam… And with Verka Serduchka and her Mama served the party on stage, with the participation of the public, confetti and champagne…

The juries gave their votes and so did the public. After Sonia Gomes announced the verdict of the audience Maryse De Donato was proclaimed winner for her rendering of Si la vie est cadeau (Luxembourg 1983).

Verka Serduchka with her band - Pic by Fernando Méndez

Verka Serduchka with her band – Pic by Fernando Méndez

What a Saturday Night that was…! I was there, I enjoyed it. I celebrated the Eurovision joy and felt part of it. And as I drove back home the following morning I had this feeling of Post-Eurovision Depression. Not much, but it was just enough to bring this taste of after-party tiredness and a twinge of nostalgia. Maybe it was the Eurovision tunes. Maybe it was the scoreboard. Maybe it was the passionate performances that the participants delivered. Or maybe they all got together to bring the Eurovision passion alive in October. I would have never imagined that I could feel like this a second time during the year. My home country Spain was not represented and yet I felt a bit sad that the Gala was over. Such feat was the realized by the works of OGAE Luxembourg, Eurovision followers whose country is not represented in the Eurovision Song Contest but who still love and respect the event so much that they are capable of bringing some of its spirit to live with their own hands. I can only thank them for the sensations I experienced last Saturday and congratulate them for their accomplishment. I believe that the preparation must have been time- and power consuming. And it’s over now… Until next year.

The winner Maryse de Donato - Eurovision Gala Night

Maryse de Donato – Eurovision Gala Night

RTL may not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, but the show is still alive and present in the country. The Luxembourgish fans are certainly devoted. They do deserve the 12 points. If some broadcasters were half as much dedicated to the Eurovision tasks…

Dana International called out after her performance last Saturday for Luxembourg to return to the Eurovision Song Contest. I join to that call out. May we see it happen some day.

In the meantime, let’s treat ourselves to a Luxembourgish Eurovision jewel.

Have a good week!

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