Festivali i Këngës: Luiz Ejlli amongst the race to represent Albania in Lisbon

Festivali i Këngës: Luiz Ejlli amongst the race to represent Albania in Lisbon

Albania 2017 - First Semi-Final Dress Rehearsal

Albania’s broadcaster has revealed the 22 participants that will compete at this year’s Festivali i Këngës, along with the respective song titles.The national selection will be held in Tirana’s Palace of Congres in December, and will welcome a familiar Eurovision face – Luiz Ejlli – who will compete, this year, as part of a duo.

From 70 entries, RTSH – Albania’s official broadcaster – along with a 5-member jury panel, have chosen only 22 competitors, who will be split into two semifinals. The country’s national selection, Festivali i Këngës, will be the very first one to be held for 2018, and will have a candidate ready by the 23rd of December.

Amongst the candidates, there’s a familiar Eurovision face who represented his country back in 2006, with his song Zjarr e ftohtë. Hoping for a better result, since he failed to qualify back then, Luiz Ejlli will not be performing alone, but with Rezarta Samja. RTSH has also revealed the title of each of the 22 songs. All songs will be sung in Albanian:

1. Inet Neziri – Piedastal
2. Lynx – Vonë
3. Rezarta Smaja & Luiz Ejlli – Ra Nje Yll
4. Orgesa Zaimi – Ngrije Zërin
5. Artemisa Mithi – E dua Botën
6. Tahir Gjoci – Orë e Ndaluar
7. Bojken Lako – Sytë e Shpirtit
8. Manjola Nallbani – Të Pandarë
9. David & Genc Tuqici – Tjetër Jëtë
10. Grupi Na & Festina Mejzini – I Njejti Ciell
11. Mariza Ikonomi – Unë
12. Redon Makashi – Eksistoj
13. Eugent Bushpepa – Mall
14. Lorela Sejdini – Pritën Edhe Pak
15. Elton Deda – Fjalët
16. Ergi Bregu – Bum Bum
17. Denisa Gjezo – Zemër Ku Je
18. Endri & Stefi Prifti – Mesazh
19. Xhesika Polo – Përjetë
20. Evans Rama – Gjurmët
21. Akullthyesit – Divorci
22. Voltan Pordani – Pse të Desha

Festivali i Këngës’ 56th edition will take place in Tirana’s Palace of Congres on the 21, 22 and 23 of December.

Albania have been absent from the final since Elhaida Dani qualified in 2015. Remind yourself of her entry below.

Categories: Eurovisionary


Junior Eurovision: Everything you need to know about Tbilisi 2017

Junior Eurovision: Everything you need to know about Tbilisi 2017

The Georgian capital Tbilisi is getting ready to host the 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest after a record breaking 3rd win, courtesy of Miriam Mamadashvili. Here is a preview of all the entries, with some background information on them.

Georgia won the contest twice previously, in 2008 and 2011, but in those years, the winner of the contest was not automatically the host the following year. In 2009 Ukraine won the bid to host the contest and in 2012 Amsterdam hosted it on behalf of The Netherlands. However, this time, the Georgian Broadcaster GPB has decided they will take on the hosting duties for the show on Sunday 26th November 2017.

There are 16 countries taking part this years contest, which will take place at the Olympic Palace in Tbilisi. Portugal (former participant in 2006 and 2007) returns to the Junior Song Contest after winning the adult Eurovision Song Contest in May 2017. There are 2 countries withdrawing from the 2017 contest, these are Bulgaria and Israel.

Check out the official playlist with all the entries, from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest YouTube channel!

Junior Eurovision Hosts

The 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest will take place on the 26th of November, 16:00 CET. Location is The Olympic Palace in Tbilisi. Helen Kalandadze will host the 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest alongside Lizi Japaridze, also known as Lizi Pop! It is the first time that Junior Eurovision will feature a host under the age of 16. Helen previously participated in the Eurovision Song Contest whilst Lizi represented Georgia in Junior Eurovision in 2014.

Online Voting

In a brand new change to the voting system of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, audience online voting will be available this year and will initially open from Friday the 24th of November to Sunday the 26th of November, the day of the final in Tbilisi. Viewers who would like to vote will be required to watch a recap of all songs, before entering the voting platform on the JESC official website. After this, voters will also have the option to watch longer 1-minute clips from each participant’s rehearsal. This first round of voting will stop on Sunday the 26th of November at 15:59 CET, one minute before the broadcast of the show.

The article continues below the video, with information on all the participants!

Albania – Ana Kodra – Don’t Touch My Tree (Mos Mav Prekni Premen)

At 10 years old, Ana already has plenty of experience on the stage. She began performing at 8 years old when she participated in the TV show Tu Si Che Vales. She went on to join the TV show Little Genius and won second place at the National Children’s Festival. This will not be the first time Ana has represented Albania internationally. In June of this year, she won prizes for Best Vocal and Best Song at the International Children’s Festival in Shkodra. She will sing the song Don’t Touch My Tree (Mos Mav Prekni Premen).

Armenia – Misha – Boomerang

He may only be 9 years old but Misha is already a seasoned performer. He has been singing since the age of 4, as a member of the group Voices of Artsakh. In 2016, he represented Armenia at the New Wave Junior competition where he was the runner up. He is also musically talented outside of singing, as he also plays the violin, drums and piano. He will sing the song Boomerang in Tbilisi.

Australia – Isabella Clarke – Speak Up

Isabella has spent the last four years singing after switching her focus from dancing. Since focusing on her singing, she has participated in many other singing competitions before stepping up as Australia’s Junior Eurovision representative. She has also held a role as the principal vocalist in The Victorian State Schools Spectacular. Unlike the previous two Australian representatives, Isabella did not take part in The Voice Kids. Isabella will take the stage with the anthemic song Speak Up.

Belarus – Helena Meraai – I Am the One

Helena is 14 years old and is a member of Igor Krytoy’s Academy of Popular Music. She has already taken part in numerous competitions such as Young Talents of Belarus and The Voice Kids. Helena was also a member of the Russian pop group Ey’wa, which won the New Wave Junior competition in 2016. She will represent Belarus with the song I Am The One; a modern, electronical down-tempo song.

Cyprus – Nicole Nicolaou – I Wanna Be A Star

In addition to singing, 13 year old Nicole is also an artist who creates canvas drawings. Her skills also include playing the piano which she has done for the past two years. In 2016, she won the Limassol Theatre Art School’s 6th Annual Talent Show. She hopes to win for Cyprus with the half-English and half-Greek song I Wanna Be A Star; a potential future summer hit.

Georgia – Grigol Kipshidze – Voice Of The Heart

At 12 years old, Grigol has already graduated from both the National School of Folklore and the Tbilisi Art School. Since 2014, he has been a student at the Vocal Academy School in Tbilisi. In 2017 he was a finalist in The X Factor Georgia. The song he will perform for Georgia is Voice Of The Heart; a musical themed ballad.

Ireland – Muireann McDonnell – Súile Glasa (Green Eyes)

The Irish representative will be officially announced on November 19, when the national selection final airs. However, the Junior Eurovision playlist on music streaming service Spotify has named the winner as Muireann McDonnell’s Irish language song Súile Glasa (Green Eyes).

Italy – Maria Iside Fiore – Scelgo (My Choice)

Maria began her performing career as a dancer in Danzabilmente, a group that works to promotes the integration of disabilities into dance. In 2015, she turned her focus to singing through the encouragement of a teacher. She was a 2016 finalist in the juniors section of the national singing contest Cantagiro. This year, she competed in Cantagiro once again, where she qualified for the semi-final. She will take the stage in Tbilisi with the song Scelgo (My Choice) which she partially sings in English.

FYR Macedonia –Mina Blažev – Dancing Through Life

Mina is a 14 year old female soloist from the Macedonian capital of Skopje. The composer of her song is Aleksandar Masevski. He was the same composer for the 2016 Macedonian entry. Mina has competed on a programme called Pinkove Zvezde, but it is unknown where she placed. It is a kids version of the voice, so she has had live performance experience prior to being selected as the Macedonian representative for the 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. She will sing the song Dancing Through Life, which has powerful upbeat choruses.

Malta – Gianluca Cilia – Dawra Tond

Gianluca is one of the youngest contestants in this years contest at the age of 9. Although he is young, he is a seasoned professional when it comes to competing and performing in international competitions. Two years ago he took part in Oltroceano, which took place on the Italian island of Sicily. He won the entire festival, then a year later he represented Malta at a bigger international festival in Romania for juniors, placing third. In the same year he took part in the inaugural Arpeggio in Malta, placing first. Gianluca will sing the song Dawra Tond, sung partly in English and Maltese. The song is energetic, upbeat and features big accordeon influences.

The Netherlands – Fource – Love Me

After the success of an all girl group last year, The Netherlands have gone with another group this, but this time it is all boys. Right after their semi final, after they advanced, they called on their fans to help them pick a name. They were inundated with suggestions and eventually they picked Fource. The name refers to the number and the force of their strength as a boyband. They will perform the song they won the Junior SongFestival; the upbeat tune Love Me.

Poland – Alicja Rega – Moj Dom

Alicja has been studying music since 2010 in Rzeszow, and outside of her studies she undertakes regular vocal and piano lessons. She also competed in the first ever edition of the Polish children’s talent show The Little Giants. In this season she was selected as the best vocalist. She won the Polish Junior National final in October with her traditional ballad Moj Dom. The song will be entirely sung in Polish.

Portugal – Mariana Venancio – Youtuber

After winning the main competition back in May, Portugal decided to return to the Junior edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Mariana Vanancio won a junior edition of Festival de Cancao, with her 100% Portugese song Youtuber. After winning the main contest and returning after a long period of absence there is a lot of expectation that Portugal will do well. All finalists sung this song. However, only Mariana was picked to sing the song entirely in Portuguese.

Russia – Polina Bogusevich – Wings

Polina has previously had live performing experience, having competed on The Voice Kids in Russia. She was a part of Dima Bilan’s team, but was unfortunately knocked out in the battle rounds. In her national she swept the board getting top votes in the jury and the televotes. The song Wings in Russian translates to Krylya (Крылья). It is an edgy power ballad with almost rockish influences and a stunning videoclip.

Serbia – Irina Brodic and Jana Paunovic – Ceo Svet Je Naš

Irina is the older of the 2 in this duet. Jana is no stranger to performing, as she performed in the 2015 edition of Pinkove Zvezdice alongside the 2015 Serbian representative Lena Stamenkovic. Irina has also won awards for her vocal and piano skills, and has won top awards in the Junior sections of the Berlin International Music festival. Their song Ceo svet je naš, which was performed entirely in Serbian, won the Serbian Junior national final with 56 points.

Ukraine – Anastasiya Baginska – Don’t Stop

Like many other competitors, Anastasiya is no stranger to performing. Since the age of 5, she has been studying at the Belotserkovsky school of arts. In 2013 she took part in the Junior New wave competition, but she did not make it to the selection stage. Her big break came in 2014 when she competed in the Children’s Slavianski Bazaar, and won it, and to date she is the only Ukrainian singer to win the contest at Junior level. Following her victory, she decided to take part on the children’s version of The Voice Kids in Ukraine, where she came joint runner up. She narrowly missed out on representing Ukraine last year, finishing 3 points behind Sofia Rol, but this year she takes the stage with Don’t Stop for Ukraine.

ESC Daily @Junior Eurovision in Georgia!

These are all the sixteen participants in JESC 2017. Just like in other recent editions of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, team ESC Daily will be at the scene in the host city. We will cover the rehearsals, give you the latest news and in-depth analysis of the contest. With of course, our usual special focus on the Australian performances at the contest. So stay tuned to this website and our Social Media accounts!

Categories: ESC Daily


RTP: Salvador Sobral very optimistic about Eurovision 2018 appearance

RTP: Salvador Sobral very optimistic about Eurovision 2018 appearance

Salvador and Luísa Sobral at the Eurovision 2017 Winner's Press Conference

According to broadcaster RTP they aren’t working with a back-up plan for Salvador Sobral. He is expected to be present at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. In a press conference, RTP’s creative director revealed that the singer who was admitted to the hospital back in September and is still waiting for a heart transplant, also is very optimistic about Lisbon 2018.

Despite the recent announcement that it was still uncertain if Salvador Sobral would be present in next year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Gonçalo Madaíl – RTP’s creative director – has revealed in a press conference that they are very optimistic that he won’t miss the show: “I am very optimistic and can say that Salvador is even more”, he said. “We are not even considering the option of not having him in next year’s event.”

The Amar Pelos Dois singer was admitted to the hospital earlier this autumn due to his heart condition and has put his career on hold until it gets better: “I guess it’s finally time to deliver my body to science and take a break from my music career”, he announced in a YouTube video where he also announced his farewell concert. Salvador is still at the hospital and still waiting for a heart transplant but it’s expected that by May his recovery will be complete so the singer can return to the Eurovision stage.

See alsoEurovision 2018: Host and stage to be revealed in January – with or without Salvador

“He is part of this narrative. He is the pages of the book we’re about to tell”, concluded Gonçalo.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will be held next year in Lisbon on the 8th, 10th and 12th of May and the first bunch of tickets are expected to go on sale later this month. In the video below you can enjoy Salvador’s 2017 winning entry in a special mix with him and his sister Luisa who filled in for him at the first rehearsals:

Categories: Eurovisionary


Greek selection so far – ERT committed to a 2018 national final against calls for internal selection

Greek selection so far – ERT committed to a 2018 national final against calls for internal selection

Chorostalites (at the back), Duo Fina, Areti Ketime, Tony Vlachos and Yianna Terzi (left to right) are the shortlisted candidates for the 2018 Greek final.

The five songs shortlisted for the Greek final were announced this week – we trace the timeline of events for the country’s Eurovision selection and the broadcaster’s commitment to a national final and entries of “Greek sound” for 2018.

It was back in late September when it was first reported that Greek broadcaster ERT intended to contact a number of record labels regarding the prospect of putting together a national final. At that stage, a national final would go ahead provided that there was a sufficient number of decent entries.

ERT’s letter to record companies made clear that the broadcaster wished that entries had a “Greek sound” and used Greek lyrics. As news of artists submitting entries started coming in, it was becoming clear that some of the songs were not “exclusively” in Greek as originally suggested but that the requirement for the lyrics to be predominantly in the native language remained nevertheless.

Smaller labels also showed interest in taking part in the selection and, as a result, the original deadline for submitting entries (20th October) was extended by one week so that a greater number of record companies could be given the chance to come up with proposals.

By 27th October, ERT had received entries from 20 acts. These were Decho from label Minos Emi, Christina Salti and Yianna Terzi from Panik Records, Giannis Moraitis and Dimitris Kiklis from Vinilio Music, Areti Ketime from Spicy Music, Kyriaki Derempei feat. Lava from Final Touch, Stereo Soul & DJ Koncept and Ink from Heaven Music, Giannis Dimitras (Greece 1981, 8th place) from Kathreftis, Nikos Baibos and Dimitris Liolios from Satellite, Chorostalites and Tony Vlachos from Spider Music, Vaggelis Panatos from E-Music, Vasiliki Stefanou from Polymusic, Duo Fina from Records on Top, Tania Breazou and Panagiotis Tsakalakos from Feelgood and Fotini Vassilaki from Music Art Lab.

During a first meeting on 2nd November, a special jury assessed that most entries satisfied the stipulation for native sound elements and Greek lyrics. Last Tuesday (7th November), five entries were shortlisted. These five acts that got the coveted ticket to the Greek final 2018 are as follows:

artistsong titlerecord label
Areti KetimeDon’t Forget The SunSpicy Music
Yianna TerziT’ Oneiro Mou (My Dream)Panik Records
ChorostalitesApo Ti Thraki Os Tin Kriti (From Thrace to Crete)Spider Music
Duo FinaIdio Tempo (Same Tempo)Records on Top
Tony VlachosBaila JazzSpider Music

In the meantime, it transpired that commercially established artists had also expressed an interest in case the ERT was prepared to select them directly for Lisbon. Eleni Foureira in particular, a very successful pop singer, revealed that, for a second year in a row, had come forward with a proposal.

It is fair to say that some fans would be very enthusiastic at the prospect of Eleni Foureira representing Greece though, in the end, record label proposals outside the context of a national final were turned down by the Greek broadcaster.

I made again a submission for Eurovision and it got rejected (…) I sincerely wish to whoever goes (to Eurovision) ‘good luck’. The people there (i.e. in the ERT) want to do a national final with Greek lyrics, they want specific things and our project was not right for them, it was as simple as that. No, I will not send (a song) again…”

Eleni Foureira talking to journalists (excerpts broadcast by morning TV show Ftiakse Kafe Na Sta Po on 31st October 2017)

This morning, a statement by Panagiotis Kalfagiannis, the president of POSPERT, the trade union of ERT and television employees, was reported by Sunday newspaper To Choni. In it, Mr. Kalfagiannis addressed the issue of the broadcaster sticking to the original concept of holding a national final with a Greek musical style and lyrics. He affirmed that Eurovision “interests a great part of the Greek people” and that “POSPERT and the employees want clear procedures and transparency to be in place” regarding the project.

The ERT concept for its 2018 national selection was generally received positively by fans as far as reactions on social media are concerned. It now remains to be seen whether the shortlisted songs for the national final, expected to take place in February 2018, will meet fans’ expectations.

See alsoGreece: ERT receives entry sung by Areti Ketime

In any case, the Greek national final, expected to take place in February 2018, will mark a change after two years of consecutive internal selections in 2016 and 2017. Indeed, this year, Greece was represented by internally selected Demy, a pop sensation in the country.

In the following videos, you can watch Demy in Kyiv last May, performing her entry This Is Love as well as answering to our Would You Rather questions.

For more videos like these, subscribe to our official channel on YouTube.

Categories: Eurovisionary


Depi Evratesil: Could former Genealogy member be more succesful for 2018?

Depi Evratesil: Could former Genealogy member be more succesful for 2018?

Genealogy representing Armenia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Armenia’s official broadcaster is selecting their Eurovision 2018 entry through a new version of Depi Evratesil. In its new method, AMPTV is opening submissions for original songs until December of this year and since it’s an open competition, Tamar Kaprelian – former Genealogy act – has already revealed she is trying her luck solo.

One more country is readying things for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, that is Armenia. Its broadcaster, AMPTV, has announced their own national selection – Depi Evratesil – and decided to shake things up a little hoping for a better result next year. This time, Depi Evratesil will open its doors to original songs from the artists and composed specially for the contest.

Despite the announcement, and the national selection’s slogan being “It’s Your Turn”, the winning song may not be the one that Armenia will present in Lisbon next year.

Nonetheless, and while things are being prepared, one known Eurovision act has already announced she will be attempting her luck in next year’s national selection: Tamar Kaprelian. The Armenian singer has already stepped on the Eurovision stage back in 2015 as a member of Genealogy finishing at number 16 in the grand final with a total amount of 36 points.

See alsoWaylon returns to the Eurovision Song Contest

Rules of Depi Evratsil

Submissions to the national selection are open until December 15. With this being said, you can always try your luck here and under the following requirements:

    • You must be a citizen of the Republic of Armenia or be of Armenian descent;
    • You must be at least 16 years old by the 8th of May 2018;
    • If you’re applying with a group, the group cannot have more than 6 members;
    • The song submitted will have to be an original piece never published or performed before 30th of September 2017;
    • The song cannot be longer than 3 minutes.

Remind yourself of Genealogy’s Face The Shadow performed at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 final below:

Categories: Eurovisionary


In brief: the latest from Sweden, Norway and what happens inside the Reference Group

NORWAY – Will we see Marcus & Martinus and in the line up for the 2018 edition of Melodi Grand Prix (MGP)? Well we don’t know the answer yet (but we surely would love to) but we know what NRK is planning to do with NRK this year. No more snippets! Finally! NRK announced that unlike previous years’ this time there will be directly full version release of the songs for MGP 2018 and actually two months in advance. This is set to happen on January 15th Melodi Grand Prix producer Stig Karlsen says that this happens in order “to see if any of the submitted songs stand out in and have a greater impact than the others.” NRK has received 1200 songs for MGP 2018. Regarding the song Stig Karlsen sounded says, “There are very many talented people engaged in next year’s MGP. It’s going to hurt to pick only ten songs and ten artists to fight to represent Norway in Lisbon!”.

SAN MARINO – The 9th participation of San Marino in the Eurovision Song Contest will be decided through an international marathon selection for the first time ever. Over 600 singers submitted their songs so far but the thing is that none of them is from San Marino! Alessandro Capicchioni, Head of Delegation says: “It is a competition also designed for home artists… and for which we have developed a system that enhances them. We can not wait to prove that even our artists have something to say”. Submissions due on November 30th. Those gathering more than 100 likes or shapes, or pay 4,99 Euros will be considered by the San Marino jury. Ten songs will be announced in early December, three of them will be wildcards. A series of live shows will determine the winner eventually with voting by jury and public. Eurovision songs will be decided internally and for the three finalists these songs will be available in the final (late February).

SWEDEN – Kikki Danielsson and Martin Almgren are the two new names in the rumour mill of Aftobladet for the 2018 Melodifestivalen edition. Danielsson was born in Osby, Sweden, and resides in Gävleborg. In total, she has participated nine times at the Swedish Melodifestivalen and one time at the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix. She has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest twice, in 1982 (as a part of the Swedish pop and country group Chips with the song “Dag efter dag”, finishing 8th) and in the 1985 (solo) with the song “Bra vibrationer”, finishing 3rd. Karl Martin Ingemar Almgren is a Swedish singer and winner of Idol 2015 which was broadcast on TV4. Almgren was born in Lindesberg. He released his debut single Can’t Hold Me Down after winning the Globen finale.

IRELAND – Louis Walsh has confirmed that Westlife will get back together. Does this ring a Eurovision alarm? Westlife split in 2012 after selling over 50 million records worldwide. But five years on, it looks like the foursome of Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan are already gearing up for a return. Speaking in Dublin tonight, Louis told RSVP: “A Westlife reunion is definitely going to happen… but I have no idea when. “I’m still really good friends with all of the lads. I think the reunion will be great, but its up to them to decide when they will do it.” Louis, who also managed rival Irish band Boyzone, revealed he has been in contact Westlife member Mark. He added: “I was chatting to Mark Feehily last night about the Christmas album he’s bringing out, and its amazing. I’d forgotten how talented he is.” Meanwhile, Walsh has ruled out being on TV for another 10 years as he ‘doesn’t want to be like Bruce Forsyth.’

THE NETHERLANDS – 1988 Dutch representative in the Eurovision Song Contest, Gerard Joling says he had a song ready for Eurovision 2018 but he was too late submitting his song to AVROTROS. The revelation took place at the RTL Late Night. His song is titled I Can Count On You, written by Bram Koning and Kees Koek. The artist said: “It was a damn good song. I might even send it in for Waylon, he would be perfect for it. There are gorgeous changes of tempo, it’s a colossal song.” He will have to remain satisfied with his Shangri-La entry in 1988 and his 9th position in the scoreboard.

EBU – The Reference Group is the committee overseeing the development and future of the Eurovision Song Contest. Their task is to modernise the contest and oversee the annual preparations by the host. Furthermore, they keep an eye on the financial side of the Eurovision Song Contest. Earlier this autumn EBU added DR’s Head of Entertainment Jan Lagermand Lundme in the EBU’s Reference Group. In the latest update of its formation, EBU announced French Head of Delegation Edoardo Grassi although it should have been Paul Hrytsak as he is the latest Executive Producer of a Eurovision event. The currently elected Heads of Delegation are Aleksandar Radic (RTVSLO), Nicola Caligiore (RAI) and Emilie Sickinghe (Avrotros). The group is completed by DR’s Head of Entertainment Jan Lagermand Lundme. He is also joining this year after being invited by Jon Ola Sand personally to fullfil and advising role. Interestingly, neither Edgar Böhm (ORF) nor Pavlo Hrytsak (UA:PBC) have a place in the EBU Reference Group. João Nuno Nogueira (RTP) is joining the board as next year’s Executive Producer. SVT’s Martin Österdahl produced the 2016 contest and is also in the group.

Categories: Oiko Times

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