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JESC 2016: Alexander Minyonok wins Belarusian national final

BELARUS – It was an exciting national selection in Belarus as two kids tied for winning the ticket to Malta’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Olga Konovalova and Alexander Minyonok ended up in a tie after jury and public voting while they were competing in a ten bidders line up. Although Olga Konovalova won the public voting, due to jury voting there was a tie with Alexander and the jury resolved it in favour of the later. Therefore “Muzyka Tvoikh Pobed” will be the song that will represent Belarus in the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest on November 20th.

Categories: Oiko Times


Stockholm Revisited Part Thirteen: Focus on Poli Genova (Bulgaria)

Stockholm Revisited Part Thirteen: Focus on Poli Genova (Bulgaria)

Stockholm, Sweden

In the penultimate part of our Stockholm Revisited series we focus on Poli Genova who represented Bulgaria in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest with her song If Love Was A Crime. Poli finished fourth in the contest in Stockholm, achieving the best ever placing for Bulgaria.

Bulgaria made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005 and has only qualified twice; in 2007 and 2016. After a two year break Bulgaria returned to the contest and selected Poli Genova to represent the country. Poli had hosted the 2015 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Sofia and was the natural choice to fly the flag for her country.

Poli is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest having represented her country in the 2011 contest with the song Na inat, narrowly missing out on a place in the Grand Final after finishing 12th in the Second Semi Final in Dusseldorf.

"It's a big thing for me. I have kind of a déjà vu, but then again not exactly because everything is different - I am different. I am more grown up of course - five years is a long time. I have changed a lot, I am wiser now, more confident, and I am so happy to be here, from the bottom of my heart. It's the opportunity of a lifetime to get a second chance here. I have never dreamed about that - it's kind of an unreal thing"

Poli qualified easily from the Semi Finals in Stockholm and reached fourth place in the Grand Final, the best ever placing for Bulgaria at the Eurovision Song Contest. Poli's delight was obvious to see:

The Bulgarian delegation were given a hero's welcome when they arrived home from Stockholm. The Bulgarian Head of Delegation Joana Levieva-Sawyer stressed the importance of the Eurovision Song Contest and the opportunities it offers for all the participating artists:

"It's the biggest stage in Europe and the only one that could be compared with the biggest concerts in America. And this is one of the main responsibilities of the public broadcasters - to create opportunities for the people of art. The main benefit is that it is a platform that allows the Bulgarian musicians not only to compete with musicians across Europe, but also to join their efforts and team up. One of the main reasons behind our success this year is the cooperation between Bulgarian and international composers, and the appropriate choice of an artist and song".

A formal announcement regarding Bulgaria's participation in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest is expected in the coming weeks.

Categories: Eurovision TV


2016 contestants go their separate ways

2016 contestants go their separate ways

Lighthouse X, who represented Denmark in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, have written an open letter to their fans to announce that they are “ending [their] four-year adventure” following their final performance together last week at Copenhagen Pride.

In the emotional open letter, band members Martin, Johannes & Søren recalled how their journey together began:

“What started out as an idea and a vision four years ago evolved into a fantastic project, which has shown completely new ways of how the worlds of culture and business can collaborate and take on an active role in society as ambassadors of positive change.”

The key driving force behind the formation of Lighthouse X back in 2012 was to help those facing challenges in their lives, with all three members working as ambassadors and donating profits to various charities that they worked with.

“The last four years have been an incredibly amazing journey for us, during which we have performed in front of a countless number of people, listened to their stories and done everything we could to make a positive change in the world.”

Discussing their decision to end the Lighthouse X project at Copenhagen Pride, they say:

“Lighthouse X has always been a project with a limited lifespan, and all three of us agree that Copenhagen Pride, with its focus on diversity and freedom of speech, is the ideal occasion for shutting down Lighthouse X for now. So we are going to stop while the going is good – really good, even! – and we are looking forward to saying ‘until next time’ to all of you, our supporters, who have followed us and supported us.”

Earlier this year, Lighthouse X represented Denmark at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest following their surprise victory at Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. When the potential entries were revealed, Simone was hot favourite to take the win with Heart Shaped Hole only to be reeled in by Anja Nissen and Never Alone as rehearsals got underway. Lighthouse X weren’t considered contenders until they won the dress rehearsal audience poll, but still caused a surprise when they beat Anja and Simone in the superfinal.

Unfortunately for Lighthouse X, they failed to qualify for the Eurovision final with Soldiers Of Love after finishing in 17th place in the second semi-final. Nevertheless, they were pleased that the message of their song was delivered to an international audience and they reference this in the closing paragraph of their letter:

“As we are writing these words, deep love and gratitude are flowing through us. The many messages and mails we have received from you over the years, and all the conversations we have had with several of you around the country, tell us that there is, indeed, an army of soldiers of love out there. We are proud to have walked side by side with you. THANK YOU for everything we have experienced together. You have given us memories for life!”

How do you feel about Lighthouse X’s decision? Let us know below, as well as your memories of a dramatic 2016 Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, or even who you wish to see in the 2017 edition of the popular national selection.

Categories: ESC Xtra


Sweden: Måns Zelmerlöw is Hanging On To Nothing

Sweden: Måns Zelmerlöw is Hanging On To Nothing

Eurovision’s 2015 winner and 2016 co-host Måns Zelmerlöw is back once more with his latest single, Hanging on to nothing.

Released as his third single of the year following the releases of the French version of Should’ve gone home (Je ne suis qu’un homme) and Fire in the rain, Hanging on to nothing was written and produced by Arvid Ångström and Isac Herdegård and is the second single to be released from Måns Zelmerlöw’s upcoming album, set to be released later this year in November.

Hanging on to nothing is now available for download across a number of music and streaming platforms. You can listen to Zelmerlöw’s latest single below!

Last Saturday, Hanging on to nothing made its premiere on television screens around the nation during TV4’s Sommarkrysset, in which Zelmerlöw went on to perform a number of his newly released singles. If you missed it, check out Zelmerlöw’s live performance of Hanging on to nothing!

Following his Eurovision victory in 2015 with his winning hit Heroes, Zelmerlöw’s musical success continued with the release of his sixth studio album Perfectly damaged, followed by a European tour in the month of September 2015.  The same year, Zelmerlöw was announced as one half of the hosting duo chosen to present the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in the host city of Stockholm.

Earlier this month, Zelmerlöw was confirmed as one of the nominees in the 2016 Kristallen TV Awards in the category of Best Male Host, nominated for his presenting work in the Eurovision 2016 alongside Petra Mede. The ceremony will take place next month on the 4 September where the winners will be decided.

Categories: ESC Today


EBU: Jon Ola Sand sheds more light on ESC 2017 host city deliberation

EBU: Jon Ola Sand sheds more light on ESC 2017 host city deliberation

Following the cancellation of the 2017 Eurovision host city announcement yesterday, Mr. Jon Ola Sand (EBU’s Executive Supervisor) has shed more light on the host city selection and spoken about the complexity involved in the procedure.

NTU, the Ukrainian national broadcaster has confirmed that yesterday’s announcement was postponed due to further verification and evaluation of the final details concerning the bidding cities.

The selection of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will be one of the key factors of next year’s competition, thus being the most critical decision of the forthcoming event. Hence this requires both the necessary time and evaluation before taking the final decision, and selecting the right Host City.

Mr. Jon Ola Sand (EBU’s Executive Supervisor) in an interview to the Eurovision Song Contest’s official website has said that the Eurovision host city requires to have an airport with international connections, good infrastructure, a proper transport system, a press centre for 1,500 journalists next to the venue, a suitable venue that can accommodate at least 10,000 spectators, good infrastructure, facilities for the participating delegations and sufficient hotel rooms with different price ranges.

Mr. Sand commented that there were no ready venues in Ukraine to host the Eurovision Song Contest, therefore a lot of time was spent in discussing the proposals with the 3 finalist cities in order to find the best solution.

He mentions that hosting the Eurovision Song Contest is a great opportunity for the city to showcase itself on the world scene, thus attracting much exposure and attention globally.

Mr Sand also said that the EBU plays an essential role in the selection of the ESC Host City and that the final decision regarding the selection of the Host City  lies in the hands of the EBU.

Mr. Jon Ola Sand says:

Everything has to be scrutinised. It’s not a case of talking to the city once or twice. You need to sit down and negotiate down to the smallest detail. This year the key challenge has been to find a city that can meet all the expectations that the EBU and  Host Broadcaster have. That is why we are having detailed discussions and are on top of this so that these expectations are met.

A total of 6 cities submitted their respective bids in order to host the forthcoming 2017 Eurovision Song Contest: Kherson, Dnipro, Odessa, Kyiv, Lviv and Kharkiv. The Ukrainian broadcaster shortlisted them to the final 3 (Kyiv, Odessa and Dnipro). Hereafter the EBU along with the Eurovision 2017 Committee and NTU visited all 3 cities and in order to inspect their respective bids and infrastructure. Now we await the final deliberation

The announcement of the 2017 Eurovision Host City is expected to take place next week.

Ukraine will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest for the 2nd time thanks to Jamala’s Eurovision victory in Stockholm with her entry 1944.

The preliminary dates for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest have been set on 9, 11 and 13 May.

Categories: ESC Today


The Netherlands: Dark Days are a new start for Sieneke

The Netherlands: Dark Days are a new start for Sieneke

Sieneke, who represented the Netherlands at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo, Norway, released her new single Donkere dagen today.

Donkere dagen (Dark days) is the new single by Dutch singer Sieneke Peeters. The song was written by Dutch artist Marianne Weber, who was also Sieneke’s coach during her Eurovision-adventure in 2010. Donkere dagen is a melancholic love song, with a somewhat slower pace than Sieneke’s usual songs. The singer will release her latest album on Friday 9 September 2016. The album will feature new songs by Sieneke, including one dedicated to her little daughter, Rosalie.

Sieneke is of course very proud of her new song, as she shared on her official Facebook-page:

Good morning everyone! Here it is… my new single Donkere dagen. Written by Marianne Weber. I am so proud of this! Please share!!!

Enjoy the official videoclip for Donkere dagen:

Sieneke (full name: Sieneke Ashley Kristel Baum-Peeters, born in Nijmegen, 1992) started singing from an early age and frequently sang at parties and local festivals throughout the Netherlands. During one of her performances the young artist was discovered by Marianne Weber. Sieneke released her first album, featuring covers, in 2007.

Her national breakthrough came when she participated in the Dutch selection for Eurovision 2010, the Nationaal Songfestival, again with Marianne Weber as coach. Sieneke eventually won the selection, gaining the opportunity to interpret the song Ik ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie), written by musician and composer Pierre Kartner (better known as Vader Abraham, Father Abraham, throughout Europe), at the 2010 ESC in Oslo, Norway. Sieneke performed Ik ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie) in semi-final 2, yet failed to qualify for the Grand Final, reaching the 14th place out of 17 contestants, earning 29 points.

Although there was (inter)national criticism on Sieneke’s song and performance, claiming that it was too simplistic and unfit for the Eurovision-stage, Sieneke remained confident in the folkloric Dutch setting that they wanted to create, including the typical Dutch barrel-organ seen on stage. Despite the criticism, Sieneke managed to win the Dutch audience with her charm and good-natured character.

The young singer has been releasing albums and singles since her Eurovision-participation, she is sometimes referred to as “de kroonprinses van het Levenslied” (“crown princess of the Life Song”, a genre of popular Dutch-language music), and she is one of the main younger interpreters of the Volksmuziek (Folk Music, populistic Dutch-language music, not to be confused with folkloristic or traditional music).

Please enjoy Sieneke performing Ik ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie) during semi-final 2 of the ESC 2010 once again:

Categories: ESC Today

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