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12
July
2020

Eurovision 1993: Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Fazla in focus

<div>Eurovision 1993: Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Fazla in focus</div>

Fazla at the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Eurovision debut in 1993 was anything but easy. The country was still at war, but a Eurovision debut could bring hope for a better future. Eurovision fans today feel the pain and the suffering the nation went through back then.

Bosnia & Herzegovina got their Eurovision debut in 1993. The country was still at war after they had declared themselves independent just a year earlier.

Contents

  • 1 Sva Bol Svijeta – opinions from fans
  • 2 Fazla – A mini biography

Together with Croatia and Slovenia, they joined Eurovision as independent nations as the first ones after the east European communism and Yugoslavia fell apart. A special competition ‘Kvalifikacija za Millstreet’ was held for Eurovision newcomers. Six countries battled for three places. The ones left out at that time were Hungary, Slovakia and Estonia.

Fazla had been internally selected with the song Sva Bol Svijeta. The title translates to ‘All the pain in the world’ and it’s a patriotic song about defending your country. The chorus says “All the pain in the world is in Bosnia this night. I’m staying here to defy the pain. I’m not afraid to stand up against the wall. I can sing, I can win”.

Sva Bol Svijeta is written by Dino Merlin (Bosnia and Herzegovina 1999 and 2011) and Fahrudin Pecikoza. The latter also wrote Lejla, which in 2006 achieved the country’s best Eurovision result, a 3rd place.

Sva Bol Svijeta – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Bosnia & Herzegovina entry from 1993, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇧🇦 🇩🇰 Elvir P. – Sva Bol Svijeta is a song that will always have a special place in my heart as it’s my home country’s first Eurovision entry as an independent country and because the song refers to the sufferings of the Bosnian War which I also have experienced. So, I consider Sva Bol Svijeta a personal and very emotional song as well. Fazla’s performance in Millstreet was fantastic and this song deserved much more than 16th place in the final.

🇬🇧 🇮🇪 William S. – This is an emotional one. 1993 for me is the strongest year and this is one of the songs why I have come to this conclusion. Bosnia as we all know, were going through the toughest times in their history and this band showed commitment to their country by fleeing to Ireland to sing for their citizens. Their show of strength and determination should be applauded, and their pain can be felt through this rousing ballad. One of the most important entries in Eurovision’s history from a social as well as political stand point. Their placing in that years contest is irrelevant.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – The music is interesting and captivating, and he has a nice voice, which makes me feel comfortable. When reading the translation of the lyrics, I am brought to tears. This is so emotional that I cannot help but shed a tear or two. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for the locals to hear this song – in Bosnian – on that night. It must have been such a touching moment in a very difficult time. These lines sealed it for me: ‘Who will be the guard instead of me, so that another evil doesn’t occur?’ I know I am naive, but let’s hope that what their population went through back then, others won’t have to go through too.

🇦🇺 Vivienne F. – Fazla, with this song, were worthy representatives of B&H at such an awful time in the history of their new country. I enjoyed the intro especially the low whistle sound and strings thanks to the great orchestra. While slightly waiting with baited breath for the singing to begin, I watched incredulously at these brave soldiers/musicians and thought of their risky journey to arrive in Ireland. The beautiful low voice hit me and the beat of the verse transfixed me, I felt like a Bosnian and was proud. (I’m Irish Australian actually). Ah the power of music.

See also12 things they (surprisingly?) got right in ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’

🇬🇧 🇹🇭 John E. – Entitled ‘All the pain in the World’ in English I think, this was a very fitting debut from a war torn nation who were welcomed to Eurovision community. A haunting melody, sung with great sincerity, by a group that risked their lives on the journey to the contest. I remember feeling quite emotional watching the song, which was very relevant and reflected Balkan rhythms and style. An amazing debut followed in later years by many other songs which were not formulaic.

🇪🇸 Alexander S. – In 1993, Bosnia & Herzegovina took part in Eurovision for the first time. Needless to say that this was very special. Fazla is a great singer. I was amazed about the story behind the song and how they arrived to Ireland.
The result was not good, but maybe the political situation influenced on it. In my personal view the song is very pleasant to listen to, with oriental sound in the song. The video clip is worth watching too.

🇬🇧 Michael O. – A pretty good debut, but nowhere near as good as Croatia. Still very heartfelt and no doubt at the time and even to this day, the pain of Bosnia was definitely felt. In that respect an entry sung with passion and meaning.

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Alvaro S. – Although I like the flute of the intro the song falls flat. I cannot feel any emotions from the singer the guitar players or the drummers until the very last part of the song. At some point the backing vocals are doing a better job than main singer.

See alsoEurovision 2015: North Macedonia's Daniel Kajmakoski in focus

🇸🇪 Sara T. – This Bosnian debut entry is not one of my favourites, mostly due to the song’s slow start. The chorus is good though, and the ending is much stronger than the beginning. The singer has a good voice, and I am very fond of Balkan ballads, so I would give this song a solid 7 points.

🇬🇧 Ashleigh K. – This is a new song for me. It wasn’t one that I knew previously and I had to look up the lyrics due to it being in Bosnian. I’m sure this song was very emotive at the time due to the situation in Bosnia. I’m lucky that I can only imagine what it was like to be there during that time. I wonder what the reaction was to this at the time as Jamala did something very similar in 2017 and got slated for being too political. A very moving song from Bosnia.

🇷🇸 Milosav T. – Congrats to Bosnia for sending a song to Eurovision in those dreadful times. Unfortunately, other than that, there isn’t much I like about this song, which is no wonder since I think Dino Merlin is the most overrated musician from the Balkans. Fazla can sing, but the song is confusing and those back vocals super annoying. Add to it a haphazard choreography and you get a very mediocre performance. Also, I personally don’t like songs with political messages at Eurovision. Bosnia had some awesome performances over the years, but their first effort should best be forgotten.

🇨🇿 Josef Š – I usually like Balkan songs and I like a lot from this region from the 1990’s. Sva Boj Svijeta is my cup of tea because its music keeps the message from the lyrics – All pain in the world. These powerful though emotional songs, I always love about songs from Bosnia & Herzegovina and other Balkan countries.

Enjoy Fazla’s performance from the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest in this embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about Fazla.

Fazla – A mini biography

Muhamed Fazlagić, better known as Fazla, was born in Sarajevo 17th of April 1967. In 1993, the same year as his Eurovision participation, he released his first album Sva Bol Svijeta. His second album Zelena Rijeka, Fazla released back in 2007. In addition to his music talent, Fazla has successfully developed his sporting talent. He played many years for the local football team FK Sarajevo.

After the war, Fazla moved to USA. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2000 from Sullivan University and a Master’s Degree in 2003 from Kentucky State University. Furthermore, Fazla graduated in applied sociology at the University of Louisville. He also founded the United Soccer Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

In 2008, Fazla was contacted about making a film about his participation at 1993 Eurovision. The film “Sarajevo Calling” is currently in production. The aim is to have it premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. In 2018 Fazla decided to move back to his hometown Sarajevo, where he is politically active.

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Categories: Eurovisionary

11
July
2020

Eurovision 1965: Germany’s Ulla Wiesner in focus

Eurovision 1965: Germany’s Ulla Wiesner in focus

Ulla Wiesner

Naples 1965 is seen as a milestone contest in regards to many countries attempts to modernise the contest in the music produced. This is best exemplified by the winning entry from Luxembourg which became a major international hit. Although Germany decided to play a little safe with their entry, opting for a more traditional sound that unfortunately didn’t help their chances.

Other than winning a contest, there is one result that is remembered with great admiration, if a little sarcastically, and that is coming last with zero points or ‘nil points’ as it has come to be affectionately known. Between 1956 and 1974, twenty entries received this feat,. In the 45 years since the new points system was introduced in 1975, only 14 entries have received ‘nil points’ in the final, showing that it is increasingly difficult in the current iterations of voting (1-12 points). Sixteen of the twenty early entries that received zero points was during a period of four consecutive contests (1962-1965).

Contents

  • 1 Paradies, wo bist du? – opinions from fans
  • 2 Ulla Wiesner – mini biography

Within those four years one country that experienced two consecutive zero points, was that of Germany in 1964 and Ulla Wiesner’s 1965 entry Paradies, wo bist du? A mid-tempo ballad about finding paradise after falling in love, the song was written by Barbara Kist and Hans Blum.  Blum came to prominence in German speaking countries over a decade later when he released the novelty song Im Wagen vor mir, under the pseudonym Henry Valentino.  Originally a minor hit, it was covered by many artists including punk band Die Toten Hosen.

Paradies, wo bist du? – opinions from fans

To get an idea of what contest fans think of this forgotten German entry we asked some of our team as well as our dedicate fan panel for their opinions below:

Michael B.

To be honest; although I‘m Eurovision Fan for more than 40 years, I had to look up for our german entry in 1965, the year I was born. I remember, when I heard this song for the very first time, I was shocked, that such a song could be chosen in a broadcast german final. An uptempo song with depressive lyrics. I was not surprised that poor Ulla Wiesner received zero points. Nobody in Germany, beside the german Eurovision fans, remember this song.

Alvaro S.

I like the rhythm of this song. It makes me think about the soundtracks of the TV series from the 60’s. When I watched Ulla Weisner performance however, there is something that does not make me connect with the song. Was she nervous? There is something in her facial expressions that makes her look uncomfortable. Like if she did not want to be there.  Or was it intentional?

Michael O.

Now for its time this was an upbeat enough entry and arguably Ulla may have had a better voice than France Gall, but its hard to think that had Germany won, the song would have been so well loved as Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son.

Josef S.

Even though I usually love oldies and music from 50’s until today in all decades, Paradies, Wo Bist Du? is not my cup of tea. But I have to admit, that Ulla Wiesner is a good singer, only the song and its style is not something I would love. I think that Eurovision in 60’s had better songs than this one.

Ashleigh K.

Ulla Weisner gave a nice performance of Paradies, Wo bist du? Her voice was very typical of the time and I give points for singing in German. I can’t remember the last time I heard a German language song at Eurovision. I’d like to hear more of that. The song does fall a bit flat for me though. I think it’s the melody, it doesn’t catch me.

See alsoGermany opt for 2021 national selection – Ben Dolic intends to take part

William S.

When writing this article and receiving opinions, I was shocked that Alvaro pointed out so many of the aspects I have always thought about this entry. For me, my love of Paradies, wo bist du?, comes largely from the studio version. The song reminds me of a song from the soundtrack of a 50’s Sci-fi b-movie, and her vocals compliment the song well, even live. Although in Naples, Ulla seemed to be very nervous and somewhat vacant from her performance and it is not hard to see that. I feel that this is mainly the reason for the zero point result. As a song it is possibly my favourite last place entry ever, it is a forgotten gem. A big statement I know!

Grace W.

The song has all the characteristics of a sixties song, kind of reminiscent of the beach movies popular around the world during the middle part of the decade. To me, the arrangement in the verses is kind of messy, and the performance is kind of boring, but the song overall is fairly good. It didn’t deserve last place, but it’s understandable considering the year. Maybe it’s just my soft spot for sixties music, but on a scale of 1-10, I give it an 8.

Paul G.

Oh dear a nul points for Germany from the Juries and a nul points from me too. The lyrics just seem out of step with the beat of the music or maybe that’s just me!

Paul K.

It has to be said, there is a level of respect that I have for the classics, as it was all about the music and used as a way to unite all of Europe! While the modern contests are well known and absolutely entertaining, it is also riddled with too much politics and that kind of kills the point of eurovision. In terms of the song, I think it is a good classic! It is a lovely, melodic song that definitely focuses on music alone, which is what makes classic eurovision the purest form of eurovision. I give it a 7/10.

Find out more about Ulla’s career under this video of her live Eurovision performance.

Ulla Wiesner – mini biography

Wiesner was only starting out in her singing career, when she took part in Eurovision. While her result hindered her solo career, she became known throughout Germany in the decades to come for her singing.  Most famously she was a chorister for the Botho-Lucas-Chorus, known for their association with German TV show Musik ist Trumpf.

In later years she went on to record numerous singles and released a solo album in 1970, Twilight Mood, with very little chart success.  She became one of the most experienced session singers, providing backing vocals for bands such as Triumvirait. She retired from singing in 2002.

She is a mother to two sons who she had with late husband, German TV producer, Alexander Arnz.

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Categories: Eurovisionary

11
July
2020

Eurovision 1986: Norway’s Ketil Stokkan in focus

Eurovision 1986: Norway’s Ketil Stokkan in focus

Ketil Stokkan at the 1986 Eurovision Song Contest

This song represents the 1980’s very well. A catchy up-tempo colourful performance with a sleek dance routine. Ketil Stokkan was on home field when he for the first time in the history of Eurovision brought a drag act on stage.

In March 1986, Ketil Stokkan won a clear victory in the national Melodi Grand Prix final. The result was decided by a mix of regional juries, press and studio audience.

Contents

  • 1 Romeo – opinions from fans
  • 2 Ketil Stokkan – a mini biography
  • 3 Join the Fan Panel

Following Bobbysocks victory the year before, Norway was on homefield at the 1986 Eurovision Song Contest. The city of Bergen hosted the contest, in which Ketil Stokkan and his own-composed Romeo finished in 12th place.

His use of a drag queen is referred to as the first time ever a sexual minority was visible on the Eurovision stage. The lyrics tells about his struggles to get the person he desires. Every time, he thinks he might be close, he is pushed away with words comparing him to a well known Shakespeare figure: “God knows that you will never be a Romeo”.

Romeo – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Norwegian entry from 1986, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇬🇧 Ashleigh K. – Everything about this performance screams 1980’s… the sound, the clothes, the hair, the choreography. I’m usually quite a lover on 80’s music, but unfortunately this doesn’t do it for me and the drag queen dancers are a bit off putting.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – I must admit that I feel a bit naive. It wasn’t until the research for this article, that I realised Ketil Stokkan had a drag with him on stage! It had simply never crossed my mind before. I remember this from the 1986 contest. Back then, I was 10 years old, and I totally loved it: I loved the lyrics, the music, the dance routine and the customs. And yes, to this 10 year old me, Ketil looked handsome in his red suit too. This was the perfect Eurovision cocktail for me in 1986.

Today, I still listen to it, and if I am woken up in the middle of the night asked to sing it, it probably won’t take me more than 10 seconds to remember the entire lyrics. As I have loved the song since 1986, it’s too late for the ‘drag discovery’ to influence anything, for me 😁

🇳🇴 Robert I. – Although maybe not among the highest quality songs from Norway, it is catchy and brings me in a good mood. I still find myself humming to it now and then. Apparently this was the first drag act in the Eurovision Song Contest. I like the choreography and the performance from Olav Klingen and Jonny Nymoen from the drag group Great Garlic Girls together with the vocalist Ketil Stokkan.

🇨🇿 Josef Š. – I had never heard this entry before, and I am very positively surprised. I love 80’s and that’s what I love in Romeo. Also the performance is very theatrical which is another thing I love. And on top of that, it has catchy melody and a small dance. I can imagine myself partying to this song from now on. Ketil Stokkan is a pleasant surprise for me.

See also25 things they got wrong in 'Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga'

🇸🇪 Jill R. I only remember three songs from 1986 – the winner J’aime La Vie from Belgium (which was my favourite), the Swedish entry (which doesn’t count since I’m Swedish) and Romeo from Norway. I don´t remember what I thought of the song when I heard it then, but now I think that Romeo is likeable and catchy. But it is not the kind of music I normally listen to and I haven´t listened to it intentionally since 1986. It is far from fantastic, but since I haven´t forgotten it after all these years, it must have something rememberable.

🇧🇦 🇩🇰 Elvir P. – I am ambivalent about Norway’s entry from 1986. Although the song sounds sweet and pleasant, accompanied by a quite interesting and different staging, I find the whole performance a bit cheesy and monotonous.

🇬🇧 🇮🇪 William S. – If in right, the first attempt at drag in Eurovision (although that could be debated with a few previous entries, haha). This is such a fun number and Ketil definitely knows how to perform. I love the simple, but effective choreography, it is a little repetitive but not enough to make it annoying.

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Alvaro S. – This is very 80s in every aspect: the song, the dresses, even the cheerful choreography. I am conflicted. I am not sure if I have to laugh with this act because there is something silly about the theatrical dresses or just find this whole performance cute.

See alsoEurovision 2007: Iceland's Eiríkur Hauksson in focus

🇬🇧 Michael O. – Norway generally is one of my fave countries, but their winner the year before and this one are very disappointing. Nowhere near as good as say Luxembourg and Yugoslavia this year. This was a very non descript entry for the home team.

🇫🇷 Bernard D. – Ketil Stokkan with Romeo offers us a pleasant and joyful entry. In the average of 1986 but not enough to enter my top 10. 5/10.

🇳🇴 Steinar M. – He has better songs I think. I find this song too simple and cheesy. I get bored of it quickly. It does have some clever lyrics about getting the attention of a certain Mrs. X though. I don’t like the dancing, which looks too tacky. And I don’t like the drag performance either, as usual when it comes to Eurovision. Outside Eurovision, I can enjoy drag though. The music is the main thing of course, and in this case I don’t like the song. A simple pop song can work well, but I find this too “plain”. I hope I can be more positive (as up to now) in my next review 🙂.

🇭🇺 Vangelis M. – I find it really funny Norway’s entry in 1986. I had never heard it before, but I have seen the “dance” before. The costumes are funny and the whole act appear more like a parody to me than a competing act. Again not one of my favorites, but at least you can remember it.

Enjoy Ketil Stokkan’s performance from the 1986 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about Ketil Stokkan.

Ketil Stokkan – a mini biography

He is born in 1956 in Harstad in the North of Norway. His career started mid 1970’s with a couple of years in the band Nexus. The public success came after 1977 when he joined the band ZOO. With first two albums in English, and then four in Norwegian – with Ketil as front vocalist and main songwriter, this band became a household name in Norway.

In 1983, the ZOO members went each their way, and Ketil Stokkan began his solo career. First stop on that career was the Norwegian national final. He finished second in 1983. Later he would take part two more times; in 1986 and 1990 – and win the Eurovision ticket on both of those occasions.

Nexus got back together again in 1989, and shortly after changed name to Stokkan Band. Zoo got back together again in 1999, and Ketil Stokkan got busy. He was now working as a school teacher and performing with Zoo and Stokkan Band. In recent years, he has been performing with the band Funky Ducks.

Three Melodi Grand Prix and Eurovision participations from Ketil Stokkan

  • 1983: Samme Charmeur finished second in the Norwegian national final
  • 1986: Romeo won the Norwegian final, and finished in 12th place at the Eurovision Song Contest
  • 1990: Brandenburger Tor won the Norwegianl final, and unfortunately finished in tied last position (21st) with Finland

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Categories: Eurovisionary

10
July
2020

Eurovision 2013: Estonia’s Birgit in focus

Eurovision 2013: Estonia’s Birgit in focus

Birgit at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest

It was third time lucky for Birgit Õigemeel when she finally was given the chance to represent Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest. The 58th edition of the contest delivered a strong final where Estonia finished in a rather disappointing 20th place.

Birgit Õigemeel entered the Estonian selection show Eesti Laul with her ballad Et Uus Saaks Alguse (So there can be a new beginning). Performing in the second semi final Birgit advanced to the final followed the superfinal where she competed with Eesti Laul’s second place participant in a final vote to determine the winner. The results were close but Birgit clinched the win with 51.1% of the vote.

Contents

  • 1 Et Uus Saaks Alguse – Opinions from fans
  • 2 A mini biography of Birgit Õigemeel
  • 3 Join the Fan Panel

At the Eurovision Song Contest held in Malmö Birgit was the 7th participant to perform. The first part of her performance was delivered in black and white breaking into colour further into the song, Birgit wore an elegant floaty white dress which disguised her baby bump. Despite giving a solid vocal performance Birgit only received 19 points which placed her in 20th place

Et Uus Saaks Alguse – Opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Estonian entry from 2013, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

William S. – Sweet Birgit, heavily pregnant and still giving a great vocal performance all while walking about the stage and even taking the catwalk to the satellite stage for the end. I applaud her for her commitment. The song is a sleep, lullaby ballad and sometimes when done right they can really capture my heart. Estonia, you done that to me this year. It’s one of my favourite entries of the decade.

🇪🇸 Mária P. – This is one of my favourite Estonian entries, a lovely and sweet melody, nicely sung by the also sweet Birgit. And it’s always a pleasure to hear Estonian entries sung in their beautiful language. It was a joy to see this entry qualifying for the final, just I think it deserved a better final placing.

Charlotte J.- I usually don’t like ballads. I usually don’t like hearing the Estonian language sung either. But I completely forget what is usual here. This is sweet, well performed and the language has never sounded more beautiful than this. Finishing in 20th place is too low. I would place it somewhere 5th – 10th.

Ashleigh K. – I’m not usually a lover of ballads and though I overlooked this song when I first watched the contest due to the high quality of songs it has since become one of my favourites from that year. Birgit seems sweet and her performance was very charming and endearing. Eet Uus Saak Alguse isn’t what I would consider a winning song but I would have liked to have seen it scored much better perhaps somewhere mid-table.

🇦🇺 Michael R. – This is such a pleasant song. It’s soothing to listen to and Birgit delivers a flawless performance including nailing the key change.

See also25 things they got wrong in 'Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga'

Liza P. – This is one of those songs that I find very sweet and innocent – but also one that I have forgotten 5 minutes after I heard it.

Birgit looks very sweet on stage and her voice is good and strong and I like that it is song in Estonian.
I also like the start in black and white. However, the dress looks like the easiest sewing job in the world and probably still costs more than my food budget in a year.

Richard C. – Birgit looks absolutely stunning in white and fills the stage with her light and airy vocals. The beauty of the Estonian language and heartfelt lyrics are on show for the audience to enjoy. The whole performance somewhat lacks impact and it’s quite linear on first listen. Mediocre at best. To summarise its a nice pleasant song.

Frank S. – Yes, this is one of those middle of road songs at Eurovision that are neither too boring nor exciting, however, bring a smile to your face when you listen to it. It only came 10th in the semi-final and I was surprised to see it qualify. Not my favourite, but as said, one of the more middle of the road songs.

🇬🇧 Michael O. – I was quite pleased this qualified but was nowhere near as good as the previous or following years entry. In the end in fact was quite dreary.

Alvaro S. – I remember I did not like this song when I first listened to it, but the performance of Birgit in Malmö got to me. This and Anouk’s Birds are two performances from this year that demonstrates that less can be more and that you don’t need kitsch to entertain. Extra bonus points for singing in Estonian and the feeling she puts into it.

You can relive Birgit’s performance at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest by watching this embedded video. Below it you can read more about Birgit.

A mini biography of Birgit Õigemeel

Birgit Õigemeel known simply as Birgit was born in Kohila, Estonia in 1988. Growing up she was a member of a children’s choir as well as learning to play the violin. But it wasn’t until 2007 when she got her first big break. She competed and won Eesti Stsib Superstaari (Estonia is Searching for a Superstar) and the same year performed in Italy’s Golden Olive culture festival becoming the first non-Italian artist to receive the Golden Olive Branch Award, her first album was released the following year.

Prior to being selected to represent Estonia in Sweden, Birgit had attempted to enter the contest twice (2008 & 2012) and was a part of the interval performance as a choir member during the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest which was held in Tallinn. After participating at the contest in Malmö, Sweden in 2013, while pregnant Birgit gave birth to her son that same year with a daughter following a few years later. In addition to making music, Birgit also played several theatre roles including Maria Von Trapp in ‘The Sound Of Music’ and Sophie in the Estonian production of Mama Mia.

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10
July
2020

12 things they (surprisingly?) got right in ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’

12 things they (surprisingly?) got right in ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’

Fire Saga at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest Semi Final

It’s a fun and enjoyable film and while, it is far from giving an accurate picture of the Eurovision Song Contest, they do however get some things very right, which are worth paying attention to.

We already brought you a list with 25 things they got wrong in the new Netflix movie ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’. What most of those points had in common was that they neglected the immense work and preparations that goes into organising a Eurovision Song Contest.

But, the film does address several things well known to followers of ‘Europe’s Favourite TV show’; Eurovision Song Contest.

SPOILER ALERT
The article below discusses events happening in Eurovision Song Contest: The story of Fire Saga.

The facts about Eurovision they got right

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is filled with unlikely events and plot holes, that can annoy many Eurovision followers. But, we do want to bring attention to some of the things, we are pleased to see they actually managed to get correct, sort of.

1. ABBA did win on the 6th of April 1974

With the many wrong facts, of which some could easily have been fixed without destroying the story, we were actually quite pleased to see that they opened well. We saw how it would have looked when Lars, Sigrit and their families watch ABBA win the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Waterloo. That happened on the 6th of April 1974 – and the film got that right. They were watching the BBC broadcast of the show, which isn’t unrealistic either. Iceland joined the Eurovision Song Contest themselves in 1986 with the local broadcaster showing the show from 1983. On Iceland people would have to tune in to a foreign channel in 1974 to watch it.

2. Lars Erickssong’s dream of a Eurovision participation

It’s not unheard of that artists grow up with one big career dream: to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest. They have seen how Eurovision can give a big career boost, and they dream of that international attention too. To perform on TV in approximately 50 countries around the world can make a difference. The film portrays this well in the shape of Lars Erickssong.

3. Iceland was almost ruined during the financial crises

The Icelandic Eurovision delegation have heard one question over and over again, year after year: ‘Will Iceland be able to host the Eurovision Song Contest?’. Iceland do seem to get this question more than other countries. The film brings this up in combination with the financial crises that hit Iceland (and the rest of the world) around 2008. It lasted a couple of years, which matches with it being mentioned in the film as ‘Iceland was almost ruined 10 years ago’.

It is expensive to host the Eurovision Song Contest, and in the film we see Iceland’s central bank director Victor Karlosson being so focused on preventing his country from winning the Eurovision Song Contest, that he is ready to become Iceland’s worst mass murderer.

4. Delegations meet at nightclub – EuroClub

Everyone who attends Eurovision with some kind of accreditation is likely to have visited EuroClub at least once. This is where artists, delegation members, press and some fans meet (and party!) in the evenings during Eurovision Song Contest. Though not called EuroClub in the film, this is most likely the nightclub it’s referred to that a group of artists wants to attend.

5. Eurovision branding in the host city

This is a big part of the Eurovision Song Contest. For those who attend a Eurovision Song Contest, it’s difficult to avoid seeing Eurovision branding in terms of banners, big posters etc all around the city. No one in the city should be in doubt about that the Eurovision Song Contest takes place there. The film shows how host city Edinburgh is covered in this too.

6. Technical rehearsals prior to live shows

A lot of rehearsals take place for each act during the two Eurovision weeks, though it has to be added that they aren’t as chaotic as we see in the film. There are also many more of them than the film address. It’s a plus though that they do show a bit of this world. Every country has two sessions of technical rehearsals, with a duration of 30 minutes for the first and 20 minutes for the second. After that, there’s three dress rehearsals of the full show – before each of the three live shows.

7. The artists are identified as their country

‘You are Iceland, right?’. The Icelandic duo is in the film met with this question. And yes, it is correct that the artists taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest often are identified as the country they are representing. Whenever a new act is to rehearse, they will be mentioned as the country name. This also brings us to the many flags at a Eurovision Song Contest. Artists are often seen with their flag at official press events, and fans will be waving the flag of their own country – or the one of the entry they support.

8. British commentator talking through the songs

In this film, we see the British commentator Graham Norton talk through the songs. To be fair, he has never done that. But the film isn’t totally wrong here though as late former British commentator through many years Terry Wogan was known for doing exactly that.

On a side note, both commentators for the United Kingdom are actually Irish.

9. Camera movements and on-screen graphics looks pretty accurate

When shooting the film ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ the film crew were present at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. This explains how they got the camera movements of the fictive Eurovision performances to be so true to reality. Another thing which looks quite accurate is the on-screen graphics used for performances and voting. It’s a big plus to get such things right in a film that it is otherwise full of impossibilities and shows an incorrect picture of the Eurovision Song Contest.

10. Eurovision props

At this fictive 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, the Icelandic duo wants to use a big hamster wheel on stage. That’s a prop we have seen before at Eurovision. Mariya Yaremchuk used that in her 2014 performance of the song Tick-Tock. As always at the Eurovision Song Contest, these props are very well rehearsed and therefore we don’t see the big disasters as it happens in this film.

Eurovision is full of props we remember, and another one used in the film brings back memories to Eurovision 2010. The rollers on the floor reminds us of the Danish performance of In A Moment Like This by Chanée & N’evergreen.

11. The Russian act is very convincing

In general, the acts we see taking part in this fictive 2020 Eurovision Song Contest are quite realistic as Eurovision acts. In particular Alexander Lemtov representing Russia comes across as such. He is extravagant in his attitude, and in his performance, but that’s all a part of the Eurovision Song Contest we love. Russia is furthermore known to hosts at least one big party during Eurovision – just like we see happening in the film too.

12. Everyone hates UK

Ok, this statement from the film is actually not true. It is correct however that the United Kingdom have scored quite low in recent years. It’s also correct that many in the UK have drawn the conclusion that their low points are related to the country being disliked by people in other countries. But maybe it’s just easier blaming it on others instead of looking at whether or not you actually chose the right song?

Through many years, it appeared like Germany was just as hated. Just like United Kingdom, they ended at the bottom of the scoreboard year after year – until they sent Michael Schulte in 2018. With the song You Let Me Walk Alone they finished 4th – and suddenly everyone loved Germany.

Conclusion

We love the film. But one shouldn’t take it as an image of what goes on at the Eurovision Song Contest. They do get some things right, which we focused on in this article, but they got so many things wrong too. We previously highlighted 25 things they got wrong.

If one put aside what they already know about the Eurovision Song Contest for a couple of hours, ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ is a fun and enjoyable film, which we recommend. Just don’t take it too serious 😀.

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08
July
2020

Eurovision 2007: Cyprus’ Evridiki in focus

Evridiki at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest

The Eurovision Song Contest 2007 is probably one of the years with the highest number of rock entries. Cyprus was no exception to this trend. Evridiki was chosen to represent Cyprus for the third time. For her 2007 attempt she chose a rock song with a French touch.

In February 2007, the Cyprus local broadcaster announced that Evridiki would represent the country at that year’s Eurovision Song Contest. She had been internally selected. At the contest in Helsinki, Finland she took partk with the song Comme Ci, Come Ça. This was the first time that Cyprus sent a song entirely in French.

Contents

  • 1 Comme Ci, Come Ça – opinions from fans
  • 2 A mini Biography to Evridiki

Evridiki performed Comme Ci, Come Ça in the semi-final with her band. This was Evridiki’s third time representing Cyprus in Eurovision. The song got extra attention for its French lyrics, however it wasn’t enough to qualify for the final. Comme Ci, Come Ça only received 65 points, and ended in 15th place in the semi-final. Evridiki later released an English and Greek version of the song.

Comme Ci, Come Ça is written by Posidonas Giannopoulos.

Comme Ci, Come Ça – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Cypriot entry from 2007, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇬🇧 🇮🇪 William S. – Ah, Evridiki back for another chance at the win. This is definitely my favourite of her three entries (at least in the studio version). By 2007 she was a seasoned performer and that was apparent in her stage presence, yet the vocals are somewhat screechy and too breathy. Still it was a good pop/rock song and while I wasn’t overly surprised at its failure in the semi-final, if it had qualified it would have been a worthy entry in the final.

🇨🇾 Elena T. – One of my favourite artists, Evridiki, was absolutely amazing! I loved the song at the time (now it feels a bit dated listening to it again) and I feel that it was unfair they didn’t make it to the finals. Perhaps, if they sang in English instead of French they would have got more votes. However, isn’t Eurovision supposed to celebrate diversity? This is something that I feel got lost throughout the years. This was Evridiki’s third participation in the Eurovision and I remember her singing beautifully in Greek in 1994, the very first Eurovision contest I ever watched and fell in love with!

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Alvaro S. – For me this song is very enjoyable, and the French lyrics actually make me compare Evridki with Alizée. This pop-rock sound is easy to listen to and I like the dance bridge of the song. Evridiki deserved a pass to the final.

🇬🇧 Michael O. – After two perfectly good entries this was just bad beyond words. The french was ridiculous and the attempt to look cool, which she succeeded with in 1992 and 1994, failed miserably here. Her legacy tarnished.

See also25 things they got wrong in 'Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga'

🇫🇮 Martti I. – Evridiki is one of my favourite artists from Eurovision and needless to say that I do have all her albums. I adore her entries Teriazoume and Anthropos Ki Ego hugely, but this 2007 is functional on the album, but in Eurovision it was lacking the power. Evridiki is great, but the song could be a bit catchier. I would have changed the stage performance and the language to Greek. Good entry, but others that year, were slightly better. Sorry.

🇬🇧 Ashleigh K. – I only used to watch the grand finals up until 2 years ago when I started watching the semis so I hadn’t heard this song before now. I feel a bit indifferent towards it. It’s not a bad song but it’s not amazing either… perhaps others felt the same and that’s why it didn’t qualify in 2007.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. I imagine that I might be a minority here, but I honestly don’t like this song. It’s not directly bad, but it just doesn’t do anything for me, and about half way into it the song, I am thinking it has already lasted too long.
That year my eyes (and ears) were on Iceland’s Eiríkur Hauksson only – up until he was kicked out of the semi-final. After that, I looked south and supported Germany instead.

🇳🇱 Eric O. – Oh, this was a wonderful song, very catchy! And I actually have very positive memories about this song, when I was dancing to the remix in a club in Helsinki that summer! I wish it scored better than it did, at least it deserved it.

Enjoy Evridiki’s performance from the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about Evridiki.

A mini Biography to Evridiki

Evridiki is a Greek Cypriot rock, pop and electropop singer. Born in Limassol, Cyprus in 1968 she has represented her country in Eurovision in 1992, 1994 and 13 years later in 2007. She has a very prolific career. To date, she has released 16 studio albums.

Her music career started in 1991. She released her last album in 2017. Throughout her career she has combined pop, rock and electropop with Greek folklore and alternative music. She is active on social media. According to her feed, new music is on the way.  On June 4th, 2020 she made a publication with a picture of her on the music studio using hashtags such as #newstudio, #newdreams  and #newmusic.

Evridiki’s three Eurovision participations

  • In 1992, Evridiki finished 11th in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Teriazoume.
  • In 1994, Evridiki also finished 11th in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Eimai Anthropos Ki Ego.
  • In 2007, Evridiki finished 15th in the semi-final with song Comme Ci, Comme ÇA. This wasn’t enough to qualify for the final.

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