Eurovision 2017: oikopanel reviews and votes – ranks 22 to 15

EUROPE – The annual oikopanel review and votes for the Eurovision Song Contest participants begins. Today we present you the positions 42 to 33 as voted by the editors and affiliates of oikotimes.com: Fotis Konstantopoulos, Morten Kaiser, Luka Popovic, Jaime Solloso, Victor Cruz Lafuente, Olivier Rocher, Anastasia Bachas, David Hache, Geoff Lozano, Fred Medeiros, Darren Tompsett, Kyirakos Gold and Elias. Let’s see though how our editors feel about the overall participants in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Today we present you the overall review by Anastasis Bachas from Greece and Jaime Solloso from Spain.


I must confess that this year is much more interesting compare to the last year’s contest, at least to my eyes and ears. Last year it was only Sergey Lazarev and then mostly ballads and songs that was hard to listen again unless you don’t see the full of graphics performances…a bad effect that the victory of Mans Zemerlow brought. I have the feeling that the first semifinal this has more interesting songs than the second one, was hard to decide for my 12 point at the second one and at the same time I wanted a couple of 12 points for the first semifinal. The north is pretty week this year. Iceland Norway Denmark I think they won’t even make it to the final and Sweden has a really “only ok” song that is not going/willing to win and I think will not go well at the final.

The surprises this year comes from the south. Portugal and Greece will definitely get the attention at the semifinals and will easily pass to the final. This year we have a Great surprise from Italy. It’s the worth to win song for me ,music lyrics and fun! We could say it’s a pretty obvious that he can make it… but we said that last year for Russia as well so we need to wait a bit more. I also want to mention how much i like the ballad from Georgia and the “definitely radio hit” from Estonia. About the big five thank God that Italy since her come back is almost every year “big” something that the United kingdom seems to forget!!! This year is 20 years since Katrina and the waves brought the trophy back to Great Britain and it seems that they don’t really care to have it back! About Spain I think that, after all ,the song is gone be a nice summer hit. And finally I have a question. Is Valentinna Monetta entering the Eurovision book of records? Fourth participation so far and I believe in her ! I believe she worth to pass to the final this year (as well) and to encourage small countries like San Marino to become big even for a while!


After last year’s questioned victory, this year offers a less glamorous line-up. To me, most songs sound the same. There is a departure from the traditional pop song, with more ballads present this year but they all seem to carry the same melancholy. My clear winner is Italy, for no other reason than from the moment it took Sanremo by storm, it has been a clear hit, a memorable tune with fantastic lyrics, that’s ultimately what we should want from a Song Contest. Croatia, France and Greece take my second place as each of those is unique in it’s own way, yes, they aren’t as classy as Italy but they do have the makings of a good song. I know the criticism of Greece will be, “it’s the same pop style song” but I like those songs.

My losers this year are Serbia, Montenegro, Armenia and United Kingdom. The first three are disappointing, the shock value or need to repeat the formula of previous contests is not lost in these entries however United Kingdom is disappointing for many reasons. Firstly for a country with a rich history, it feels like they’ve removed any talent from their entry. I expect much more than something which would be acceptable for breakfast television.
I think Portugal will do well, he’s a talented singer with good experience but I don’t like the song. It’s too slow and for me, too boring. Germany this year is disappointing, it’s as if they’ve returned to the 90s and chose a bad version of Lena. Australia have also dropped a gear, this year their song is so far removed from last year’s quality song. Same can go for Sweden, who don’t seem to want to win this year. Their song is ok but not, for me at least, a winner.

Special mention to Spain. Apart from the national selection chaos, which should not have happened, the song is something I’d expect from a television theme tune, it’s just not Spanish. Also, surfing is something niche in Spain, not a national activity like it is in other countries, so it seems to be catering to the wrong crowd. There are also far better singers in Spain and even if he has talent, it feels too pushed. Either way, whatever is decided, a lot will depend on the jury and on the political element which should not be present at all in Eurovision. The whole saga of Ukraine and Russia, takes away from their entries. It’s a song contest and the nationalism element is childish, frustrating and annoying. I still expect a good contest and ultimately the fun, the frolics and the magic must live on.


15. LATVIA78477177312525810
16. PORTUGAL742121012167584421
17. ICELAND69443115648671010
18. MONTENEGRO6911010110331163812
19. BELARUS6710351885782361
20. IRELAND675487264476365
21. ROMANIA67636268221010246
22. DENMARK6644313763548810

Categories: Oiko Times


The Shortlist (11) Italy

The Shortlist (11) Italy

Who are the big favorites for Kiev? In the next couple of weeks we will highlight some interesting participants, based on the odds they have been given by the bookmakers. This week we are providing a shortlist of countries that lead the board in the grand final. Today’s report is about Italy.

Francesco Gabbani

Francesco Gabbani rose to fame in the 2016 Sanremo Music Festival where he won the newcomers’ section with his song “Amen”. The track was the lead single off of his Eternamente ora album, which was certified platinum. Since 2016’s Sanremo he has composed an album for an Italian comedy film. This year RAI revealed that the winner of the champions’ section of Sanremo would represent Italy in Eurovision. Francesco Gabbani achieved that with his song “Occidentali’s Karma”.

“Occidentali’s Karma”

“Occidentali’s Karma” is a fun, upbeat pop tune that pokes fun at westerners and their idea that they can “westernize” Eastern cultures. It references not only William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but also the Indian religions Buddhism and Hinduism. It incorporates multiple languages into the song although the primary language is Italian. The song’s major selling point besides its seemingly fun lyrics and danceable melody is the “naked gorilla” that graces the stage, often played by Gabbani’s choreographer.

Explaining the odds

Italy’s decent success in recent years is definitely set to be continued with their song this year. “Occidentali’s Karma” has consistently been the bookmaker’s favorite to win ever since it’s release and YouTube success; it now has over 80 million YouTube views on Gabbani’s Vevo channel.

Categories: ESC Daily


Eurovision Meets Jazz – Martina performed jazz version of “My Turn”

Eurovision Meets Jazz – Martina performed jazz version of “My Turn”

Eurovision Meets Jazz - Martina Bárta

Jazz Dock in Prague hosted their Eurovision Meets Jazz event last Thursday. At this concert, Czech Eurovision 2017 contestant Martina Bárta performed a jazz version of My Turn, along with her favourite jazz songs.

The event started at 18:00 with a press conference for the Czech journalists followed by the concert from 21:00 until 23:00. Martina invited some of her Czech friends and singers just as Petr Kutheil or Felix Slováček Jr., but the biggest guest star was Kasia Moś from Poland.

Eurovision Meets Jazz

At 21:00 the Eurovision Meets Jazz concert begun and Martina performed some of her favourite jazz songs with her sister Kristina Bárta and her Jazz Trio. Kasia sang two popular songs and also her Eurovision entry. Martina also did the jazz version of My Turn, which you can hear in the video below. The other guests were singers Petr Kutheil and Felix Slováček jr., as well as few other jazz musicians. From the most interesting songs, Petr and Martina sang Czech version of popular jazz/swing song Baby It’s Cold Outside. It was funny as the weather was actually really cold. After the concert, both Kasia and Martina were available to signing and photo shooting with Czech fans.

Video courtesy of ESCportal.cz

Press conference

The press conference was hosted by one of the most famous Czech hosts Libor Bouček. He was also the commentator of Eurovision Song Contest in the Czech Television last year and will continue also in 2017. Libor is not only a host and commentator but also a well-known voice-over and dubbing actor and a big Eurovision Song Contes fan. His experience from Stockholm assured him in this position. He always tries to get as much relevant information as possible and doesn’t hesitate to ask Czech Eurovision fans.

Part of Czech Eurovision delegation - Jan Potměšil, Viktor Průša and Martina Bárta

Jan Potměšil, Viktor Průša and Martina Bárta

At the press conference, there were six people. The biggest stars were Martina Bárta and Kasia Moś. Head of Czech delegation Jan Bors, the Executive producer for Czech Eurovision team Jan Potměšil and Viktor Průša, the Manager of the Musical center from the Czech Television took part in the press conference. The biggest surprise was Czech model and host Radka Rosická. She is a new member of the delegation and she will be the new Czech spokesperson in the Grand Final on 13th May. She will replace Czech news host Daniela Písařovicová who was in this position during the last two years.

Jan Potměšil

Jan Potměšil shortly introduced Eurovision and Libor also add his point of view as the Czech Republic and its journalists still have a lot to learn about Eurovision and Czech Television tries very hard to change this in the last years. Some new information about the selection process were mentioned. Czech Television wanted famous singer Dasha to take part in the internal selection, but Martin Kumžák, the bandleader of Moondance Orchestra where Dasha sings, didn’t let her do it and proposed Martina instead. Martin was also one of the jurors in the internal selection. The Czech team continues the collaboration with Slovenian director Uroš Trefalt, who made both videos for last year’s I Stand and this year’s My Turn. New members of the production team are Lukáš Veverka and Marek Opatrný, who are graphic and editor. Both of them were awarded by the movie awards Czech Lion in March 2017. The costume designer is Zoltán Tóth and according to Czech delegation, we have a lot to be looking for in Kyiv.

Martina Bárta and Radka Rosická

Eurovision Meets Jazz - press conference - Radka Rosická

Czech spokesperson for Eurovision Song Contest 2017 – Radka Rosická

Libor made us laugh when he told that their goal is to be the runner-ups. Martina was a little bit more realistic and expressed her wish to qualify. She has a great team behind her and they do thei best. Martina also hopes that the image of Eurovision in the Czech Republic will become better. She knows how positively her German fans reacted to her participation. She got positive messages from all over the world and it is Martina’s mom who is watching the reactions on social media more than Martina herself. Radka Rosická is the wife of Tomáš Rosický who is a famous Czech football player. She was celebrating her birthday on the day of the press conference. Radka doesn’t think about those millions of viewers who will see her in the Grand Final. She thinks instead that there is only a few people watching. Radka didn’t know Martina before and she heard My Turn in a random YouTube playlist. She was attracted by the song and listened to it repeatedly and afterwards the offer from Czech Television came.

Jan Bors and Kasia Moś

Polish 2017 representative Kasia Moś at Eurovision Meets Jazz

Eurovision Meets Jazz – Kasia Moś

Jan Bors shared his positive emotions about the Swedish-Ukrainian production team behind Eurovision 2017. When asked for some details about the staging in Kyiv, he couldn’t reveal much. He told that it should be effective and soft, without dancers, but some people will be there present in some form. We should expect similar theme as the one in the official video. Kasia Moś told that she has a close connection with Martina because they both have the same songwriter – Pete Barringer. She already participated twice in Polish national final before she won this year for the third time. Her song Flashlight is dedicated to human and animal freedom. Kasia is also a vegetarian and she uses animals in her song presentation. In the national final, she had birds, but there will be more species in Kyiv. Her brother who is a violinist will join her again on the stage in Kyiv. Kasia also hopes she will qualify but expressed her worries as both Czech Republic and Poland is in a very difficult semifinal.

Below you can watch Martina Bárta answer 5 Would You Rather questions, and sing a good part of her song – acoustically.

Categories: Eurovisionary


Jana Burčeska’s long sexy legs to steal the focus in Kyiv

Jana Burčeska’s long sexy legs to steal the focus in Kyiv

Well known choreographer Ambra Succi will be responsible for Jana Burčeska stage performance in Kyiv. She wants to highlight the long sexy legs of Jana in the presentation. Jana herself feels confident she will reach the final.

Jana Burčeska is a confident girl. Without putting too much pressure on herself, she is sure she will make it to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest this year.

I am sure that we will go to the final. I can promise that. I don’t want to go to Kyiv with the big expectations though as it will put a pressure on me. After all I am very happy that I’ve received a unanimous support from my country men – the most important for my is that they like my song.

Told to Večer

Furthermore Jana also told to “Večer” that the Swedish dancer and choreographer Ambra Succi will choreograph her stage performance in Kyiv. Ambra also choreographed and performed in the video for FYR Macedonia’s Eurovision entry Dance Alone. Ambra revealed that Jana’s legs will get a central part in the performance.

“Jana is young and very sophisticated. I want to present her in the best way. She has long sexy legs and I need to use that in the staging. She is a self-confident and independent woman.”

Ambra told Text.mk

Ambra Succi has a long experience in working with Eurovision artists. In 2012 she choreographed Loreen’s winning stage performance and a year later she was responsible for Robin’s choreography. Last year in Stockholm she was working with Poli Genova from Bulgaria.

No details about the FYR Macedonian stage performance in Kyiv have been revealed yet, but Jana told to Večer, that it will be a very sensitive performance

Whether Jana’s prophecy will come true or not we have to wait and see until the 11th of May. In the meantime you can watch Jana Burčeska show off her bubbling personality in our Would You Rather video:

Categories: Eurovisionary


Montenegro 2017: Negative comments only motivate me, says Slavko

Montenegro 2017: Negative comments only motivate me, says Slavko

BALKANINSIGHT.COM REPORTS / MONTENEGRO – Slavko Kalezic, Montenegro’s entry for the Eurovision song contest, may have wowed some international audiences with his provocative appearance – but it has appalled many people at home who deem it an insult to traditional values.

Montenegro hopes this year’s striking representative for the Eurovision song contest, Slavko Kalezic, will make it through to the final, on Saturday May 13, in Kiev, Ukraine.

remember to support Montenegro at oikotimes.com’s Europrediction

The singer and actor is scheduled to perform in the semi-final on May 9 with the song “Space”, which has been praised in some international media for challenging “stereotypes about masculine and feminine beauty”.

But in conservative, homophobic Montenegro, the provocative performance and words of this self-styled “queen” have drawn torrents of criticism for apparently trampling on traditional values. Some have even called Kalezic a symbol of “Western decadence”.

Wearing a billowing blue dress [at one point] as well as braided hair extensions in his Eurovision video, he has inevitably been compared to bearded Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst, who some in Montenegro saw as a gay propagandist.

Kalezic’s reference to himself as a “queen” after he was chosen to represent Montenegro at Eurovision last December added more fuel to the critics. “I am born to win, I am your queen!” he said.

When his video for Eurovision was released in March, Kalezic warned that “everything that people expect, they won’t get”.

In an open letter posted on Facebook on March 14, he said he was not interesting in winning the favour of “primitive people drowning in their own ignorance and inability”, adding: “Negative comments only motivate me”.

He also said that, “If he was alive, Njegos would truly support me,” referring to claims that if the 19th-century prince bishop and poet, widely considered the father of the nation, were alive now, he would be ashamed of him.

Kalezic was already a known figure in Montenegro, as a member of the Montenegrin National Theatre, CNP, as well as having appeared on X Factor Adria, the Serbian version of the X Factor show, in 2013.

As Montenegro’s candidate, he was chosen in December following weeks of behind-the-scenes deliberations in the public broadcaster RTCG.

Unlike the domestic public, some international media outlets have praised Kalezic’s song and according to the bookmakers it stands a good chance of making it to the Eurosong finale.

One Eurovision website called Kalezic one of the most “original and outré performers of the year”, while the London daily paper Metro said: “Montenegro’s 2017 Eurovision entry, Space, is kind of incredible”.


Categories: Oiko Times

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