Launched on the 5th of May 2020 as “a fun lockdown project”, YouTube’s thereorderboard published its final video this week. Creator David Hughes codes his scoreboards to compliment edits of the Eurovision Song Contests from before 2003. Hughes’ scoreboards are animated, and move just like the modern editions of Eurovision.
Beginning with Eurovision 1980, Hughes continued coding his modernised scoreboards all the way to 2002, then went back to 1957, working his way to the publication of thereorderboard’s final scoreboard of 1979 this week.
In doing so, the channel uploaded its 46th scoreboard, encompassing Eurovision 1957 all the way to the 2002 Contest. That’s a total of 877 songs from 37 countries. In that span, he’s also had to deal with huge leaps in technology, missing footage from certain years, and changing voting systems and rules.
And so there it is. 877 #Eurovision songs edited and 46 scoreboards recreated. Going for a lie down.
Eurovision 1979: A double, jeopardy https://t.co/jhpvJvpWh3
— thereorderboard:Eurovision (@thereorderboard) October 18, 2022
Each scoreboard brings an old Eurovision back to life. Hughes’ attention to detail comes across in every video. He takes stylistic elements from the edition he’s editing, and finds ways of incorporating them into his videos. For instance, in his Paris 1978 edit, he used the font from the actual 1978 logo. However, certain Turkish characters were not supported in that font, so Hughes created them himself to use in the video. The scoreboards even incorporate the language of the host country into their designs!
Along with each video, Hughes delivers a detailed history of the Contest in the comments section. Each Eurovision is thoroughly researched to give his viewers some valuable context, with a bit of humour thrown in. This makes the channel ideal for anyone looking to brush up on their Eurovision history, or for casual viewers to learn a bit more about the Contest itself.
Perhaps the reason the channel is so popular is because Hughes makes his scoreboards so accessible. The EBU’s intention of having the real scoreboards reorder themselves in 2003 was so viewers could understand immediately who was in the lead, and in what order the other countries were ranked. Hughes has now filled in the gap, and put some new life to the older boards.
In doing so, he has made some voting sequences much more exciting than they were in their original ‘static’ format (1959, 1979, 1983, 1988, and 1998 come to mind).
Even the EBU has taken note of the work Hughes has done. They contacted him in 2021, and used some of his scoreboards in their releases of Eurovision Again last summer.
I reached out to David to congratulate him on this remarkable achievement, and he had this to say:
I knew delving into the early years of the Contest would be a challenge, but it’s been really rewarding to uncover the pre-1980 period and give them a bit of a polish. I’ve had lots of really encouraging messages saying that these rather geeky videos have helped clarify our history for those who felt the grainy, warbling videos found on YouTube weren’t interesting enough!
Making the scoring sequences accessible to modern eyes, and just keeping the very best of the action has proved invaluable to some – I’m really pleased about that – it makes the sacrifice of many weekends chained to my desk worth it!
There’s plenty of interesting highlights from the years when the Contest was a straight-laced affair – really a televised get-together of European conductors, but also watching it transform firstly into an influential pop music event and then into a television spectacle full of high camp has been amazing.
You can also check out the interview I did with David last October, as he was preparing his final scoreboards of the 1970s.