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Melodifestivalen 2019: Jon Henrik Fjällgren and Lina Hedlund through to the final from heat 3

Jon Henrik Fjällgren

Melodifestivalen has been unpredictable so far this season, but tonight it was a little easier to predict. Four of the seven acts are, as always, still in the run to represent Sweden this year, while three left the competition at this stage.


  • 1 The songs
  • 2 The result
  • 3 Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest
After two heats with quite some surprises, it was time to kick off for the third out of four regular heats in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. Beforehand, four acts were worth paying extra attention to: 2005 Eurovision participant Martin Stenmarck, the always colourful Dolly Style back for their third national final appearance and 2015 runner up Jon Henrik Fjällgren. Former Alcazar member Lina Hedlund shouldn’t be overlooked either.

The songs

1. The Lovers Of ValdaroSomebody Wants (Written by: Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, Erik Høiby)

This group consists of Erik and Adam (with Erik being the front man). They have four dancers with them on stage in this song clearly inspired by the 1980’s. A special platform on the stage has been created for this performance where they all stand on. All the way in the background of it, you find Adam with a synthesizer. The dancers are around him – and Erik in the front as lead singer. Erik and two of the dancers step off this platform for a short while, but ends the song on it as they started. Erik and Adam are both wearing dark pink laces, while the dancers are all in white.

2. Dolly Style – Habibi (Written by: Jimmy Jansson, Palle Hammarlund, Robert Norberg)

Back with yet a colourful performance, Dolly Style is hard to miss. The three girls in pink, purple and blue – with matching wigs – are all dressed in short tops, short skirts and long boots. They move around switching between two microphone positions and imitate the three alter ego’s cartoon figures of the girls shown in the background. Pyrotechnics are used in the end of the song. They dedicated the song to the ones who feel left out, from school or similar, and in the introduction they also told that they have all felt like that.

3. Martin Stenmarck – Låt Skiten Brinna (Written by: Uno Svenningsson, Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren)

2005 Eurovision participant is this time taking part with a song in Swedish. The title translates to ‘let the shit burn’ and the shit that needs to burn are the depressing and damaging thoughts that are you keeping you down. The lightning has been described as it should visualize a box where he is trapped and breaks free from. In the introduction, he told that in 2005, he was there to entertain, now, he is there to tell the message that we need to slow down, society is going too fast now. The audience in the arena all holds up small lights. A very strong performance where the song is in focus, nothing has been added which can distract from it.

4. Lina HedlundVictorious (Written by: Melanie Wehbe, Richard Edwards, Dino Medanhodzic, Johanna Jansson)

Former Alcazar member Lina stands on the longest stair case ever used in Melodifestivalen – according to broadcaster SVT. In the beginning, she stands all the way at the top and sings from a platform. Later, she gets down, stops half way and then continue to the floor where she is joined by four dancers. It’s a true pop anthem which will attract many fans. Lina is dressed in a sparkling outfit with a deep cleavage. Pyrotechnics are used at the end of the song. Afterwards, it was noticed by fans that the chorus sounds very similar to David Lindgren’s Skyline from 2013.

5. Omar Rudberg – Om Om Och Om Igen (Written by: Omar Rudberg, Johan Lindbrandt, Robin Stjernberg, Jens Hult)

We continue with a song in Swedish and Spanish – that’s quite an unusual combination. Born in Venzuela, Omar is fluent in Spanish. For this song, Omar himself is casually dressed. He is joined on stage by four female dancers. He walks in on stage with a blue light following him with the dancers next to him – two on each side. The stage gives a club enviroment feeling with lights in various colours. Omar is quite charming, and is likely to get a few more teenage girls following him after tonight.

6. Rebecka KarlssonWho I Am (Written by: Rebecka Karlsson, Anderz Wrethov, Henric Pierroff)

The dancers are very much in focus on this song. There are four of them, dressed to match each their profession: A boxer, a ballet dancer, a gymnast and finally a company manager. The song is about being strong, don’t give up on your ambitions, and take control over your life. Rebecka herself is dressed in a short black lace dress. She stands on a little podium and the dancers are around it. In the introduction, Rebecka told about how she was in this to win it – just taking part isn’t enough for her.

Is it just because I am Danish, I end up thinking about Anja Nissen’s Where I Am from 2017?

7. Jon Henrik Fjällgren – Norrsken (Written by: Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Niklas Carson Mattsson, Jon Henrik Fjällgren)

In Melodifestivalen you can be eight on stage, and Jon Henrik takes full use of that with three backing singers and four dancers. He also takes advantage of pre-recorded video clips among others including a reindeer in order to bring the audience out in the snow in the mountains. The performance uses smoke on stage along with a line of fire at the front of the stage. The Sami inspired sound and the visually strong act, ends tonight’s line-up. This has got to be a strong contender to win Melodifestivalen this year!

The result

Is it best to come 5th or 7th? In Sweden that pretty much depends on your nerves. The sixth and seventh places leaves the competition after the first round of voting. After that, the remaining five are through to another round – of which just the fifth place is out of the competition. First and second are directly through to the final, while third and fourth will get another chance via the Second Chance heat.

  • Direct qualifiers: Jon Henrik Fjällgren and Lina Hedlund
  • Second Chance heat: Martin Stenmarck and Rebecka Karlsson.
  • Fifth place: Dolly Style
  • Contrary to the previous two weeks, it wasn’t shown who finished 6th and who finished 7th. But out after first round of voting were The Lovers Of Valdaro and Omar Rudberg.

Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest

It has been a joy being a Swedish fan lately. The country is one of the most successful countries in the contest with six wins of which two are within the past seven years.

When Anna Bergendahl missed the final in 2010 with the song This Is My Life, she was the first Swedish participant to do so – and so far still the only one. The past five entries from Sweden all reached top 10 – in fact just one of them, last year’s 7th place didn’t go top 5.

The amazing results of course puts extra pressure on whoever wins the 2019 Melodifestivalen. In Sweden they are well aware of that they are only one victory away from a tie with Ireland’s seven wins, which today is still the Eurovision record. In the video below, enjoy Måns Zelmerlöw’s Heroes from 2015:

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Freedom Jazz, Anna Maria and Kazka qualify for Ukrainian Vidbir final

Freedom Jazz, Anna Maria and Kazka qualify for Ukrainian Vidbir final


Big favourite Kazka are still in the run to represent Ukraine in Tel Aviv, Israel in May, although they weren’t without problems tonight. In the second semi-final, they qualified for the final together with Freedom Jazz and Anna Maria.

After TAYANNA surprisingly withdrew from the Ukrainian selection this year, the band Kazka took over the role as favourite. Although they need to share it with Maruv, that have surprised many. They weren’t initially selected, but got the empty place after the withdrawal. Their performance in the first semi-final shocked many, but also attracted so many votes that they qualified for the final.

Tonight, eight acts competed for the last three spots in this year’s Vidbir final, which will take place next Saturday, the 23rd of February. During the show, a bit of drama went on as a little advert was shown for the final – including Kazka before they even performed in tonight’s semi-final. The band were naturally not glad if people were to think that they were already qualified so no need to vote for them.

The participants

  1. Ivan Navi – All For The Love
  2. Anna Maria – My Road
  3. Kazka – Apart
  4. Kira Mazur – Dykhaty
  5. Laud – 2 dni 
  6. Khayat – Ever
  7. Braii – Maybe
  8. Freedom Jazz – Cupidon

Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest

When we went into last year’s Eurovision, five countries had a so-called ‘Perfect strike’, which means that they never failed to qualify for the final. After the two semi-finals, only two countries were left, Australia and Ukraine.

Two victories and 9 times in top 10, and that on just 15 participations. Yes, Ukraine is one of the most successful countries at the Eurovision Song Contest. After Jamala’s victory with the controversial 1944 three years ago, things have been a little tougher though. On homefield in 2017, O.Torvald finished 24th and last year, a burning ladder with a piano at the top wasn’t enough to earn Mélovin more than a 17th place.

In the video below, take a look at a clip from Mélovin rehearsing his Under The Ladder in Lisbon, Portugal last May.

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A Dal 2019: Final line-up complete after tonight’s semi-final

A Dal 2019: Final line-up complete after tonight’s semi-final

Joci Pápai

Eight acts – including two former Eurovision participants will battle it out next Saturday. The final line-up was decided tonight after Hungary went through three preliminary heats and two semi-finals.

After the second semi-final tonight, there is now just one show left of A Dal 2019. The final will include the four acts from last Saturday’s first semi-final and the four from tonight.

Tonight’s participants

Last week, we saw band The Middletonz, including 2014 Eurovision representative András Kállay-Saunders, reach the final. As Joci Pápai (Hungary 2017) did the same tonight, the final of A Dal 2019 will include two former Eurovision participants.

  • Timi Antal feat. Gergő Demko – Kedves Világ!  
  • Fatal Error – Kulcs (Qualifed from televote – 40 points)
  • Mocsok 1 Kölykök – Egyszer 
  • Nomad – A Remény Hídjai
  • Gergő Oláh – Hozzád Bújnék
  • Joci Pápai – Az én Apám (Qualified 45 points)
  • Bogi Nagy – Holnap (Qualified 42 points)
  • Ruby Harlem – Forró
  • Gergő Szekér – Madár, Repülj! (Qualified 43 points)

Hungary at the Eurovision Song Contest

In 1994, Friderika Bayer was the first to take the Eurovision stage representing Hungary. She finished in a great 4th place with 122 points. That is today still the best result the country has achieved. They have five times in finished in top 10, and since the introduction of televised semi-finals, Hungary only failed to reach the final twice.

Coincidently, the two who didn’t reach the final came two years in a row, in 2008 and 2009.

Over the years, it has been quite mixed what Hungary has sent to the contest. They have chosen almost everything from ballads to heavy rock songs, some in English and others in their native Hungarian. Last year, it was rock band AWS who won their national A Dal final and went to Eurovision with the song Viszlát Nyár. In the video below, enjoy their performance from last year’s Eurovision In Concert:

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Victor Crone will represent Estonia at The Eurovision Song Contest with the song Storm

Victor Crone will represent Estonia at The Eurovision Song Contest with the song Storm

Victor Crone

Estonia held its annual Eesti Laul tonight to choose who will represent them at this years Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Tel Aviv on May 18. Twelve acts performed tonight with Victor Crone being the ultimate winner.

The country has drawn the second half of the first semi final, which means Victor will sing the song xxxxx on May 14.


  • 1 The Hosts And Show
  • 2 The Songs
  • 3 The Results
  • 4 Estonia In The Eurovision Song Contest

The Hosts And Show

The Eesti Laul 209 final was held in Tallinn at the Saku Suurhall, where so many finals have been held before. The hosts were the same pair from the semi finals, Ott Sepp and Piret Krum. Ott made a name for himself in the 2002 movie Names In Marble. Piret can be seen in the 2017 classic trilogy Mehetapja/Süütu/Vari playing the part of Lilith. Piret wore a purple silk dress.

The show was opened by Karl-Eric Tauker singing his Estonian hit Need Read. There then followed a parade of the competing acts down the middle of the audience. And with that Eesti Laul 2019 began. At regular intervals during the show, the acts were interviewed in the Estonian green room. Lack of knowledge of Estonian prevents one from knowing what they are chatting about, but they all seem to be having a great time.

After the first reprise of the songs, Estonia’s entrant from 1996 treated everyone to a song. After the international jury had voted Elina Nechayeva came back to sing last years Estonian entry La Forza with a full size choir. Getter Jaani, Estonia’s 2011 entrant then sang a new song, while the public re-voted between the top 3.

Next up was Elina Born with her new song Tagasi Me. She was then joined by Juri Pootsman for a duet.

The Songs


This is, to quote the name of the song, a really strong entry. Sissi can sing really well. Obviously she’s learnt from her father, Dave Benton, part of Estonia’s only winner and everyone’s all time favourite duo from Eurovision 2001. The backing singers, two males, one male are competent and professional too, so it may be the case of first song on, ends up in first place. Sissi wore the same blue suit she wore in the semi final and was joined mid song by two female dancers. Mid temp dance with a bit of a choral finale.

Lumevärv ft. IngaMilline päev

Ginger Inga comes next with a typical Euro dance song that has, deservedly so, picked up its share of pre Eesti fans. The Lumevärv stay well hidden, letting Inga run around the stage on her own, selling the song. Very Eurovision friendly and also must be in with a chance. Inga has her name on her braces and around her waist with whatever she was wearing – a mix of shorts and leggings. Christmas bell type sounds coming from the keyboards lifted the entry higher. 

Victor Crone Storm

Storms don’t last forever, yet here is Victor, hoping to make it last a little longer with this sing a long song, written by Stig Rästa. A kind of lightweight version of Denmark’s Higher Ground from last year. This is one of Stig’s premium songs and Swedish singers have done very well representing Estonia before.  Victor had his leather jacket on to sing this anthem making it three good songs in a row.

Kerli KivilaanCold Love

With a song she co-wrote herself, Kerli starts on a stool with an intimate start. This is a classic pop song with no frills. It turns out to be a pleasant listen . Her boy band backing band seem competent players and so far it looks like being a difficult choice for Estonia to make, Very nice.

xtra basic & Emily JHold Me Close

The sound in their semi can’t have been the best because this is a vast improvement. Emily’s vocals seemed to have more power which is needed for this, the second dance song of the night. Emily was in a blue and black blouse with black trousers. The xtra basics played their instruments in the back ground while two dancers danced around. Emily joined them in some hot footin’ before the song ended. Great for the clubs.


Bringing the first half to an end, is this gentle and sad ballad from Kadiah. The cello weeps along with her and suddenly the song becomes a joyous celebration, yet sung in a fragile manner. This has a really nice melody even adding a hip hop rhythm as it progresses. Understated.

See alsoFrom Poland to Tel Aviv – Tulia books the Eurovision ticket

Synne ValtriI’ll Do It My Way

This is so old fashioned but the backing track is so addictive that who cares. A simple verse bursts into an irresistible chorus that is so commercial, Monaco or Luxembourg would surely have sent this in their hey days. If a no-nonsense simple bop is required this is the one.

StefanWithout You

Stefan is another great singer who starts his song playing his piano. There are hints of Rag N Bone man in the chorus when the drum kicks in. The cell phones are swaying away in the audience and if Estonia want to send an easy listening number this will be the one. Towards the end Stefan gets up of his stool and moves over to a box handily waiting for him on the stage. Very popular with the audience.

The Swingers, Tanja & BirgitHigh Heels in the Neighbourhood

Tanja (2014) and Birgit (2013) are looking and sounding mighty fine tonight in their black dresses. This has everything in it including the kitchen sink.  A saxophone, white double bass,  drums and a white keyboard make up the musical accompaniment. A rousing crowd pleasing dance piece for sure, but will it translate over to the full Eurovision arena.

Uku SuvistePretty Little Liar

Uku seems to be suffering from a touch of stage fright during the first verse, allowing  a dancer to take the stage alone. Either that or he didn’t have his make up on time. This is another powerful pop song that’ going down well with the audience. Another favourite going into tonight’s show, this also would be a good entry for Estonia. The rousing chorus comes in at the right places and it appears a choir is singing along, but there is no sight of them. The golden shower effect shows Uku is ready to head to Tel Aviv,

IngerComing Home

This is a great little country number and Inger’s little guitar just seems right. The audience have the flashlights out again guiding Inger home. A simple piece also instantly likeable. Inger has a weird vocal tone when singing the Home refrain but this would also go down well in the actual Eurovision.

Sandra NurmsaluSoovide puu

Closing out tonight with her haunting entry this year, Estonia’s 2009 favourite is now without her Urban Symphony. This is the second song tonight sung in Estonian and it sounds so much fresher for it. A dreamy little number that the fans sent to this final.  A flashy dress lit up at the right moments, while another old Eurovision favourite – the growing tree effect was used to enhance the song. A nice closing number in tonight’s competition.

The Results

The international jury gave their votes. This was then followed by the public vote. Both results were added together to send the top 3 to the super final. They were Victor Crone, Stefan and Uku Suviste.

After the second vote, Victor Crone was announced as the winner. Uku was second and Stefan came third.

JuryConverted PointsPublicTotalPosition
Lumevärv ft. Inga46102125
Victor Crone2521214Top 3
Kerli Kivilaan437079
xtra basic & Emily J2100012
Synne Valtri404411
Stefan7012719Top 3
The Swingers264597
Uku Suviste3651015Top 3
Sandra Nurmsalu 406178

Estonia In The Eurovision Song Contest

This will be Estonia’s 25th appearance at The Eurovision Song Contest. One thing that can be said for Estonia is that they have sent a wide selection of different kinds of music.

The commercial sound of Ines in 2000 with Once In A Lifetime and Sahlene with Runaway in 2002 both brought top 5 results.

However since the introduction of the semi finals Estonia have failed to qualify for the final, nine out of fifteen times. Not such a good record.

Two sixth places have been their best results in the semi final years with Urban Symphony with Randajad in 2009 and Ott Lepland and Kuula in 2012.

Estonia won the contest in 2001 with Everybody by Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL.

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Dora 2019: Roko Blažević wins Croatian Eurovision ticket

Roko Blažević

Dora returned with a spectacular and interesting final this year. Eventually, Roko Blažević was crowned the winner. His dream will come true, as he’ll represent Croatia in in Tel Aviv.

Back in October 2018, Croatian broadcaster HRT revealed their plans to brush of the dust and re-introduce their well respected Dora format.


  • 1 The songs
  • 2 The Show
  • 3 The voting
  • 4 Several well known names
  • 5 Croatia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Dora was used from Croatia’s Eurovision debut in 1993 and up until 2011. Poor results let the broadcaster to start internally selecting their entries. This change didn’t have the desired effect on the scoreboard, and it’s now time to bring back Dora, which used to be loved by a lot of fans, both in Croatia and abroad.

The songs

Bojan Jambrošić & Danijela Pintarić – Vrijeme Predaje

Introduced by a postcard of the pair dancing at a Croatian touristic site, this powerful love ballad really gets the show started. Without knowing the language, one gets a sense if the couple’s struggle to be together which they – for reasons unknown – can’t seem to be.

The stage is covered by white smoke, they are joined on stage by four backing vocals and the end of the song includes a waterfall of fire.

Jelena Bosančić – Tell Me

The postcards continue to show off true Croatian beauty. We see Jelena walking a path, reading handwritten notes. The song starts off a soft nostalgic ballad, but continues on slightly more up-beat jazz inspired notes.

In the routine we see her four dancers/backing vocals holding out a newspaper, in a literal reference to the song’s lyrics.

Kim Verson – Nisam To Što Žele

We see Kim near a fountain for her postcard. In her performance, she dances along to her honest Croatian ballad in a short dress and high boots. The presence if her three backing sings can easily be forgotten. This strong performance is really one for fans of true Croatian music.

Jure Brkljača – Ne Postojim Kad Nisi Tu

In his postcard, Jure seems to be reading his journal while looking out over the sea. He delivers his ballad apparently alone on stage, though joined by four backing vocals rather faded away in the background. It’s a sensitive, seemingly personal ballad. It’s easy to get the impression that whatever he sings really means something to him.

Beta Sudar – Don’t Give Us

Suddenly the postcard music changed to something a lot more upbeat and happy, we see Beta walking through a garden. On rather the same faster beat, we then meet her on stage wearing a sexy, golden dress. Her two dancers start off, for reasons unknown, wearing VR glasses. At some point, those are for equally unknown reasons removed and we later see them dancing with what can only be described as golden wings.

Her happy popsong is a nice alteration to the ethnic tunes we’ve heard so far.

Lea Mijatović – Tebi Pripadam

We now return back to music closer to what we expect to hear from Croatia. Lea delivers her ballad all alone on stage, in a large white and soft pink dress. I feel obliged to mention that her performance doesn’t include the strongest vocals.

Gelato Sisters – Back To The Swing

The sisters dance around in a bandstand in the postcard, before we meet them on stage sometime in the 30s or 40s. Or so it seems. The girls are dressed in dark long dresses, complimented by red shoes and gloves. They are joined on stage by a couple at a café table enjoying a drink, and later standing up for some swing dance.

To nobody’s surprise, they’re performing a swing-style song, about longing back to the time when that was all the hype.

Luka Nižetić – Brutalero

One of Luka Nižetić dancers

For his postcard, Luka dances around in a park along a grafitti painted portraits on a wall. He performs his Latin inspired song on a very, very bright yellow suit, wearing yellow ear pieces. The performance is very much inspired by comics and superheroes. It features a cardboard superhero-stand and various props with text balloons with words describing sounds, not unlike the ones you might remember from the old Batman TV series.

Two dancers in neon-coloured outfits dance frantically along to his song, and we see a DJ wearing an equally colourful outfit further back

Ećlis Lovri – All I Really Want

Back at the beach, Ećlis plays guitar and sets a bird free in her postcard. She has the guitar with her on stage for her slow, lyrical country song. Key words from her song fill up the screens behind and around her on stage. She performs in a large red dress.

Domenica – Indigo

We first meet Demenica swinging a ribbon, and hopping from stone to stone. On stage, she wears a very short white and pink tutu skirt. Her two side-vocals wear outfits identical to hers. The show producers seem to be following a rule against abandoning the Croatian music style for more than one song at a time; as that’s where we’re back at.

Despite Veloluška Domenica being credited as a solo artist, the performance as a bit of a girlband vibe to it; with the three performers delivering pleasant harmonies.

Roko Blažević – The Dream

That was new! In his postcard, we see Roko on a pastry shop rather than the Croatian scenery that has been in focus so far.

He wears a white suit, and enormous white angel wings. He delivers his rock ballad with loads of confidence, which doesn’t help against my impression that there’s something slightly off. Maybe he agrees, as we first see him adjusting his earpiece and later it’s entirely removed. That did seem to help.

After his performance, he received the largest applause from the audience so far.

Ema Gagro – Redemption

The suitcase Ema carries in her postcard seems heavy, but when opened it revealed to contain a small paper heart.

She delivers her soulful popsong in a long silver skirt and sexy silver top. Her three backing vocals blend away in the background, as we’ve seen a few times before tonight. Stage light changes between blue, red, orange and green.

A very strong performance indeed.

Lidija Bačić  – Tek Je Počelo

Her fishnet outfit covers nothing, revealing black lingerie. Similar to Lidija, the four female backing dancers are dressed in very revealing outfits, their faces though covered by something that resembles futuristic prison bars.

The song is a confusing mix of pop, Croatian sounds and a lot of bells and whistles.

Lorena Bućan – Tower Of Babylon

We first see Lorena near the beach, carrying a picture frame – on which she later pretends to play violin. Her performance starts with a top view of the stage, showing the tower of Babylon projected on the floor. She’s dressed in a silver grey dress, with very high boots.

A song that could be taken right out of the beginning of the third act of a musical. Without having seen the rest of the musical though, it’s hard to understand what happened to her at the tower of Babylon. Or do I just fail to understand the Biblical reference?

Bonus points for the Wonder Woman bracelets.

Bernarda Bruno – I Believe In True Love

White and red rose peddles for her postcard, of course – it’s about true love. Her long white dress wouldn’t look odd if it were used as wedding dress. Her powerful ballad is, indeed, about love and missing the one she loves.

Four backing vocals blend away in the background.

Manntra – In The Shadows

The five-person band is introduced with them having fun near the beach. If anybody had fallen asleep, for one reason or another, it’s impossible not to wake up. In The Shadows is a true rock storytelling rock song, with all the elements a rock song needs; strong vocals, guitar and drum solos, and loads of fireworks.

The Show

In the intro sequence, we saw participants entering the venue over a red carpet to a soft melodious tune. The tune stayed, but the picture changed to children dancing like angels among beautiful Croatian scenery. Then the show kicked off with a percussion performance, using LED drumsticks and oil barrals. Quite a treat!

The camera panned over to the audience, revealing Franka (Croatia 2018) performing an updated rendition of Crazy, followed by a medley of her other material.

As is customary for most music competition shows, we see the hosts chatting with a few participants after every three or four songs.

For the interval act, we are treated to a Croatian Eurovision medley. After ceremonial closing of the voting lines, we again meet the percussionists from before, this time with more common instruments including xylophones and chimes, and joined by keyboard and guitar.

The voting

To get to a final result, first regional juries delivered their set of 1-8, 10 and 12 points on true Eurovision tradition. The televote also had their set of points, which got added to the jury to make up the result.

Eventually, Roko Blažević was crowned the winner of the return of Dora, and will head to Tel Aviv for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. He came out with most points from both the viewers at home and the juries.

Several well known names

The Croatian line-up included many well known participants – both among the acts themselves, but also their songwriters:

  • As part of Gelato Sisters we find Neda Parmać, former member of Feminnem (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2005 and Croatia 2010).
  • Bernarda Bruno came second in the Swiss national final in 2011. She also took part in The Voice Germany in 2018.
  • Lea Mijatović has previously participated in national finals in Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2003 and 2005. In 2010, she took part in Dora as lead singer in the band Teška industrija.
  • Luka Nižetić takes part in Dora for the 4th time with previous participations in 2003, 2005 and 2007. He has quite a good career in Croatia.
  • Kim Verson participated in the Croatian selections for Junior Eurovision in 2005 and 2006. In 2010, she won the Croatian talent show ‘Hrvatska traži zvijezdu’ (Croatia search for the star)
  • Domenica’s song is written by Tonči og Vjekoslava Huljić who also wrote the Croatian Eurovision entries in 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2010.
  • Roko Blažević is known from several talent shows in Croatia. His song is written by Jacques Houdek (Croatia 2017) and Charlie Mason who wrote Austria’s 2014 winner entry Rise Like A Phoenix.
  • Luka Nižetić’s song is written by the two Mihaljević brothers. Mario Mihaljevic wrote the Yugoslavian entry Džuli from 1983 and Branimir Mihaljević the Croatian 2010 entry.

Croatia in the Eurovision Song Contest

Since Croatia’s debut in 1993, they have six times finished in top 10 – and have two fourth places from 1996 and 1999 as their best results.

After failing to reach the final four years in a row from 2010 to 2013, the country went for a little break for two years. In 2016, they returned with Nina Kraljić’s Lighthouse. She did reach the final, but unfortunately finished 23rd. The following year, the selected Jacques Houdek who also reach the final – and came 13th with the song My Friend after an unusual alter ego performance where he demonstrated fantastic vocals. Just as you thought Croatia was on the right track again, Franka failed to qualify for the final last year.

In the video below, take a look at Jacques Houdek’s My Friend from 2017:

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Söngvakeppnin 2019: Two more acts move to next week’s grand final

Friðrik Ómar

Tonight was the second semi-final for Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin, their national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. Five more acts competed and two of them will join Hatari and Hera Björk to next week’s grand final.

After last week’s first semi final where two acts made it to Iceland’s national selection grand final, we saw 5 more acts tonight compete for a spot next week.

Tonight’s semi-final had another returning Eurovision contestant. Friðrik Ómar represented Iceland as part of the group Euroband in 2008 with the song This Is My Life. First timer Tara Mobee will be presenting her song tonight Betri án þín. Another fist timer is Ívar Daníels, who’s song was co-written by 2014 Eurovision artist from Malta, Richard Micallef. Heiðrún Anna is a singer-song writer who’ll be presenting her own song called Helgi. And finally the collaboration of Elli Grill, Skaði Þórðardóttir and Glymur who are also all new to the competition.

The second semi-final tonight was held at Laugardalshöll in Reykjavík. Just like last week, votes were a mix of the public voting as well as an expert panel of judges. During the semi-finals, artists will all sing in Icelandic. For the grand final, they’ll have the opportunity to sing their song in English if they chose.

The participants

Elli Grill, Skaði og Glymur – Jeijó, keyrum alla leið

Ívar Daníels – Þú bætir mig / Make me whole

Heiðrún Anna BjörnsdóttirHelgi / Sunday boy

Tara Mobee – Betri án þín / Fighting For Love (Qualified)

Friðrik Ómar – Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað? / What If I Can’t Have Love? (Qualified)

Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest

Since their first entry back in 1986, Iceland has taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest 31 times but have yet to win it. Twice have their achieved a 2nd place. The first time in 1999 with Selma’s All Out Of Luck, and 10 years later in 2009 with Yohanna’s Is It True?. Unfortunately Iceland hasn’t managed to qualify since 2014. Will this year change their bad luck? We will find out next May!

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