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The lives of the Eurovision 2017 finalists since May – Part two

The lives of the Eurovision 2017 finalists since May – Part two

Jacques Houdek, Nathan Trent, Demy, Dihaj

We check up on what the this year’s finalists have been doing since they returned home from Kiev, Ukraine. In this part two of three we look at the participants from Croatia, Azerbaijan, United Kingdom, Austria, Belarus, Armenia and Greece.

It is now end of July, and it has been more than two months since the Eurovision weeks back in May in Kyiv, Ukraine. Only twenty-six out of forty-two countries managed to qualify for the final, which was won by Portugal.

But how about the rest of the candidates that were competing in the final, what have they been up to? In this, the second of three articles, we are going to take a look at the qualifiers’ lives since May. What have they done so far? Any new music? Let’s start!


  • 1 Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
  • 2 Dihaj (Azerbaijan)
  • 3 Lucie Jones (United Kingdom)
  • 4 Nathan Trent (Austria)
  • 5 NaviBand (Belarus)
  • 6 Artsvik (Armenia)
  • 7 Demy (Greece)

Jacques Houdek (Croatia)

Jacques Houdek (Croatia 2017)

Jacques Houdek represented his country at the Eurovision Song Contest this year with the song My Friend. He gave Croatia their best result since 2006, as he ended 13th on the scoreboard in the Grand Final. However, the singer was not too happy about the support that the Croatian government gave him.

Shortly after returning home, he spoke about how he was not satisfied with the level of support Croatia provided him. He pointed out that he was not happy with the way the Croatian President apparently was too busy to meet him before he went to Kyiv to participate in the contest.

Also, he added that he was especially unhappy that no former Yugoslav Republic countries gave him any points – apart from Montenegro. Jacques states that this occurred because Croatia was the only country from that region that qualified for the final.

Other than acoustic versions or remixes, Jacques has not released any new music this year.

Dihaj (Azerbaijan)

Dihaj (Azerbaijan 2017)

28-year-old Azerbaijani singer and songwriter Diana Hajiyeva (Dihaj) finished 14th in the final in Kyiv with the song Skeletons. The song tells the story of a brave and strong girl who loves a bad boy.

Dihaj gave a solo concert in Baku’s Green Theatre in mid July. The concert was named The End Of Sunrise, and also featured the winner of the international jazz festival in Montreux, Isfar Sarabski, and the winner of the Turkish vocal TV show O Ses Türkiye, Elnur Huseynov (The latter has also previously represented Azerbaijan in 2008 and in 2016).

Also, at the concert, Dihaj and her band promoted their debut album, named TEOS.

Lucie Jones (United Kingdom)

Lucie Jones (United Kingdom 2017)

Lucie Bethan Jones is a Welsh singer and actress. She first appeared in the show business when she sang at the X Factor UK in 2009, where she finished eighth. This year, she decided to take a step further and represented the United Kingdom at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest.

But now, Lucie is getting married to her fiance Ethan Boroian, who is a chef. Lucie revealed to the world in what way her boyfriend had proposed to her: it took Ethan eighteen months to film a video, in which he romantically asks Lucie to marry him by holding up sheets of paper, on each of them written one of the words from the phrase: ‘Will you marry me?’

From the first few weeks, they began dating, and Ethan knew straight away that Lucie was the one for him, and began filming the video from that moment on. The video was taken in every location Ethan went to in those eighteen months of their relationship, and, finally, the time had come after those eighteen months of their romance when Ethan decided it was time to ask Lucie to marry him showing her this video, and she said ‘yes’!

When the engagement was officially announced, Lucie couldn’t stop posting pictures on every social media of her fabulous wedding ring, and,- there’s more to it – there is a special history behind the ring!

‘It’s got a diamond that his dad gave his mum for their 10th wedding anniversary and that just means so much’, said Lucie shortly after she accepted his proposal.

Nathan Trent (Austria)

Nathan Trent
(Austria 2017)

Nathan Trent (Nathanaele Koll) is an Austrian singer. He represented his home country at the Eurovision Song Contest this year, with his song Running On Air.

He is one of the artists from this year’s Eurovision that has been most active since May – for instance, he released two new versions of Running On Air, one in Italian, and one in Spanish.

Also, Nathan Trent made an appearance at the Vienna Life Ball this year and sang Higher Love.

He made a lot of covers during the Eurovision week, and, after May, songs like J’ai Cherche by Amir (France 2016), L’essenziale by Marco Mengoni (Italy 2013), I’m Alive by Elhaida Dani (Albania 2015), Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw (Sweden 2015) and, of course, he had to make his own cover of the winning song this year – Amar Pelos Dois by Salvador Sobral.

NaviBand (Belarus)

(Belarus 2017)

Naviband is a Belarusian duo that represented their country this year at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Historyja Majho Zyccia, and finished 17th in the final in Kyiv with 83 points.

On the 25th of June, it was the 20th anniversary of the first bottle of Coca-Cola produced in the first Coca-Cola factory in Belarus, and, for that special occasion, Naviband composed a song for the company with the theme music Taste The Feeling in Belarusian.

‘We are incredibly proud to have the opportunity to give people Belarusian culture through advertising. We sang this song in our style – the way we feel it,’ said Artem Lukyanenko. ‘We are very pleased that the Coca-Cola company is interested in us and trusts us – two young performers,’ Kseniya Zhuk added.

For shooting the video for the song Pasprabuy … Adchuy, NaviBand travelled across the country to capture their favourite places in Minsk, Vitebsk, Brest, Mogilev, Grodno and Gomel.

Listen to the Belarusian version of Taste The Feeling by NaviBand.

Artsvik (Armenia)

Artsvik (Armenia 2017)

Artsvik Harutyunyan is an Armenian singer. She represented Armenia at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing 18th with 79 points for the song Fly With Me.

So far, Artsvik has attended many photo shoots, one of them to sponsor make-up. Just as she has appeared in different Armenian TV shows, but no new music has yet been released.

See alsoThe lives of the Eurovision 2017 finalists since May – Part one

Demy (Greece)

(Greece 2017)

Dimitra Papadea (Demy) is a Greek singer who represented her country Greece this year at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine. She finished 19th on the scoreboard, receiving 77 points. However, she is one of the first participants of the Eurovision Song Contest this year that released a single straight after May.

She came back to Greece right after her Eurovision experience and recorded new songs and took part in many photo shoots. And, finally, on June 19th, her new single was released, named M’Ekdikeisai, (You’re Taking Revenge On Me).

Check out Demy’s new song.

Categories: Eurovisionary


Eurovision 2017 views decrease by 49% on YouTube

Eurovision 2017 views decrease by 49% on YouTube

SunStroke Project (Moldova 2017)

The overall views of the grand final performances from the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest on YouTube represents a decrease of 49% in comparison to the 2016 edition and 51% compared to 2015. This major decrease raises two possibilities: is Eurovision losing its popularity or was this year’s competition just not good enough?

A total of 45 million views to this year’s finalists on the official Eurovision YouTube channel. A number hard to relate to, but compared to the previous two years, it is a decrease on 49% and 51%.

It had already been announced by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) that the viewing figures for 2017 had decreased from 204 million viewers in 2016 to a total of 182,000,000. This decrease was easily explained by Russia’s withdrawal of the competition which can also justify the fact that the online streaming grew up to six million hits on the official channel.

Nonetheless, this good online presence didn’t last long. Two months after this year’s competition, the views of the Grand Final performances in YouTube have already stalled. Last week we saw that SunStroke Project’s Hey Mama performance overtook Salvador Sobral’s and became the most watched performance from the final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.

This accounts for a simple figure of almost nine million views, a very small number compared to last year’s most watched performance on the platform which has over 20 million views. The title belongs to Russias entry You Are The Only One. If we talk about the winners, Salvador Sobral’s numbers struggle to match Jamala’s even if duplicated.

On the bright side for this year’s winner, according to Google Trends, “Salvador Sobral” beat last year’s winner “Jamala” in terms of trends.

Obviously, this trend and comparisons are not extremely fair for this year’s competitors as they’ve been online for solely two months but we ask you: Will that change much after one or two years? Let’s take a look and compare the YouTube views of the last three Eurovision Song Contests – 2015, 2016 and 2017.

A graphic that compares the cumulative views of the Grand Final performances from 2015, 2016 and 2017 on the official Eurovision channel on YouTube

It’s obvious that we are facing a negative trend. As explained before, we saw a decrease of 49% compared to last year. In fact, the cumulative views of 2016’s top 3 is enough to match 2017’s overall, but if you look closer, there was a decrease of just 4% when comparing 2015 and 2016 that can keep on decreasing throughout the time. This makes us scrap the possibility that Eurovision may be losing its popularity and makes us jump into another: Was 2017 just not good enough?

It’s possible. It will never be unanimous as it is quite subjective, but the viewers speak and deliver their opinions and it’s quite consensual that 2017 wasn’t able to match the two previous shows.

Note: The numbers in this article is based only on the videos from the final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. We haven’t looked at the views from the two semi-finals, nor the rehearsal videos which the official channel this year published straight from the camera feed.

Categories: Eurovisionary


Portugal: National final to be held on 4th March

Portugal: National final to be held on 4th March

RTP, the Portuguese national broadcaster have announced the dates and venue for their national final, Festival da Canção. The final will take place on the 4th March at the Multiusos de Guimarães.

The semi final dates are both on Sundays. These will take place on the 18th of February and the 25th of February with the final on 4th of March. Portugal won the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, so the winner of Festival da Canção will represent them on home soil.


Multiusos de Guimarães is a multi purpose arena in Guimarães. It is primarly used for Basketball but can also be used for other things. In recent years, Festival da Canção always took place in Portugal’s capital city Lisbon. However, with the Eurovision final weeks taking place in Lisbon this year, RTP moved their national selection to another city.

With this move, RTP have certainly upped their game in terms of venue size for the national final. Last years venue, Coliseu dos Recreios in Lisbon only seated between 2486 and 4000 at a push. This years venue seats above 5000 people.

Guimarães is located in the district of Braga. The area is served by Porto international airport, and lies on the Porto to Guimarães line on the train. Guimarães is one of the most cultural places in the district.

Four more years

RTP will organize the next 4 editions of Festival da Canção all in different cities. This statement suggests that they will stay in the Eurovision Song Contest for at least another 4 years.

Categories: ESC Daily


Ten things you should know about Lisbon

PORTUGAL – Lisbon, the capital of Portugal is proclaimed the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest host city and for the very first time we will attend an event in this beautiful city. Here are some factoids about the city you should know.

  • Lisbon is the oldest city in Western Europe, even predating capitals such as Rome, Paris and London
  • The raven is the symbol of Lisbon. According to legend this is because two ravens are said to have accompanied the relics of the patron saint of Lisbon, Saint Vincent of Saragossa, on the journey from Cape Saint Vincent to Lisbon
  • Like Rome, Lisbon was built on seven hills, and is known as cidade das sete colinas – the city of seven hills
  • The Vasco da Gama bridge is the longest bridge in Europe, measuring 17 kilometres from end to end
  • The Church of Santa Engrácia in Lisbon has entered the Guinness World Records as having the longest construction time of any church. Work began in the 17th century and was only completed in 1966
  • Lisbon has a great deal of street art, with walls, floors and buildings demanding your attention. The city even has tours dedicated to street art and graffiti – take a tour and there’s a good chance it could lead you to the unexpected
  • In 1755 a huge earthquake – known as the Great Lisbon earthquake – struck the capital. It destroyed many ancient buildings and triggered a tsunami which engulfed the harbour and downtown area of Lisbon
  • Lisbon’s oceanarium is one of the world’s largest aquariums. It has 8,000 different sea creatures, separated inside the main tank into four habitats by transparent acrylic walls, giving the impression that they are all swimming in the same water – all seven million litres of it
  • Baixa in downtown Lisbon is the city’s main shopping and banking district. The ornate city centre is flagged by tiled art deco shop fronts, pastry shops and tailors. The baroque streets are named according to the shopkeepers and craftsman who traded in the area
  • Pasteis de nata is a Lisbon delicacy. The sweet custard tart is reproduced throughout the city, but according to locals there is only one place to get them: Casa Pastéis de Belém was the very first bakery to sell the pastry and is still open today

Categories: Oiko Times


ERT is getting ridiculed all over the world

GREECE – After the incident with the ERT president shouting “shut up” to former parliamentarian demonstrating at the anniversary of ERT re opening, the ERT president is ridiculing the national broadcaster once again.

Yesterday the new CEO was approved by the Greek parliament. Mr Kostopoulos, the new ERT CEO, was suppose to take over his new duties today but as we read in Greek press and fan sites, ERT President Mr Tsaknis has locked his office and asked the security not to allow Mr Kostopoulos in the premises.

The two men have a rivalry from the past as there was legal dispute between the Mr Kostopoulos and ERT plus the latest statements of Mr Kostopoulos that ERT must be renovated and take more initiatives, open up to the market and public.

ERT’s President tried to stop the Parliament’s decision by filing restraining orders for Mr Kostopoulos something which was rejected by the court.

While Mr Tsaknis is one of the government’s favourite child, there is no reaction by the Prime minister yet and the crisis escalates.

Let’s not forget that Mr Tsaknis according to the Greek press has asked the government to take over also as ERT CEO. This man is also responsible for the two messy choices of Greece in Eurovision: in 2016 with his direct selection of his personal friends, Argo group and in 2017 with an entry which never supported.

What a Greek mess!

Categories: Oiko Times


Eurovision 2018: Lisbon hosts the contest on week of the 12th of May

Eurovision 2018: Lisbon hosts the contest on week of the 12th of May

The European Broadcasting Union has officially decided to confirm Lisbon, the Portuguese capital as the 2018 Eurovision host city. The dates of the contest will be 8th, 10th, 12th of May.

Lisbon has emerged victorious and will host the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. Earlier, RTP did confirm Lisbon as the host city but now the EBU confirmed the news as well. It had soon become clear that Portugal’s capital city was the only one providing a viable bid, with both the infrastructure and the hotel capacity meeting the EBU’s requirements to host this huge event.

Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of The Eurovision Song Contest said the following:

We are very pleased to announce that RTP will be hosting the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. Both the City and the venue have presented exemplary proposals, and we look forward to working together to make Portugal’s first ever Eurovision the most exciting one yet. We would like to congratulate RTP on their professional and detailed assessments of all the bids.

Gonçalo Reis, the CEO of RTP gave the following statement:

Hosting the Eurovision 2018 is a great opportunity for Portugal, Lisbon, the entertainment industry, and RTP. We look forward to organizing an event that will show our creative capabilities.

Lisbon as a city

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and has a population of around 2.7 million people. It has a twin city connection with 17 different cities including Madrid, Budapest and Zagreb. Lisbon is the wealthiest region in Portugal, producing 45% of the Portuguese GDP, which makes it well above the European per capita average. Two UNESCO World heritage sites are located in Lisbon: Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery. Average temperatures for May are between 18 and 23, with a record high of 37.8 degrees centigrade.

MEO Arena

The contest will be held in the MEO Arena. It is the joint third largest indoor arena in Europe and the largest in Portugal. The arena already hosted many concerts, from several big superstars including Beyonce and Ariana Grande.

The MEO Arena has a capacity of 20.000 people, though its normal capacity may be slightly reduced for a big stage and camera positions. According to ESC Insight the other venues are likely to be close to the arena. The arena itself is well suitable for public transport, due to the nearby Oriente metro and train station. The Park of Nations area which surrounds the venue has plenty of options for support facilities such as a press centre, Euroclub and Eurovillage as well as many bars and cafes. RTP will not be short of eager sponsors. Lots of companies will want to be associated with this long overdue hosting of Eurovision.


Dates are the 8th, 10th and 12th of May. This means that the contest, as opposed to last year, will now not clash with big international football matches. Last year’s viewing figures took a small hit due to the clash with Champions League semi finals.

The contest in 2018 will be Portugal’s first hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest, after Salvador Sobral’s runaway victory in Kiev. Portugal have been in the contest since 1964, and have had 49 appearances in that time. Of those, 41 entries got to the finals.

Categories: ESC Daily

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@EdwardoGrassi Don't fall victim 2 the language trap next year! dropping English in = very wrong, Portugal did not need to, nor does France

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