08
March
2018

Croatia 2018: Franka releases “Crazy”

Franka’s song Crazy, which will represent Croatia at 2018 Eurovision, has officially been released today. At the same time the video for the song has also been premiered. Croatia will take part in the first semi-final.

This year the Croatian national broadcaster HRT held an internal selection in order to determine their representative in Lisbon. On February 13th, the broadcaster revealed that their choice is Franka and the song titled Crazy. The song is composed by Branimir Mihaljević and penned by Franka herself. Mihaljević was also responsible for Croatia’s entry from 2010, Lako Je Sve by Femminem.

As she tried to describe the process of making her Eurovision entry, Franka said that it almost came out of nowhere:

We came up with the song unexpectedly. We were recording the three songs we were going to propose for Eurovision in the studio and this one just crept up suddenly. Branimir started playing it on the piano, I started humming the lyrics and that’s how Crazy came about. We picked it up right away because it’s unusual and unexpected. It’s powerful, emotional, strong, modern and production is great. I hope the audience will love it.

Branimir Mihaljević describes Crazy as a current, original and surprising song:

Franka has all the qualities of a true world star and we did our best to make a world song, keeping up with the current trends, but at the same time creating a completely new sound and original atmosphere. Young Denis Mevlja had a big role in the making of the song, and mixing was done in London’s Metropolis Studio by the people who had created the sound of Adele, Amy Winehouse, Lana Del Rey and many others. The final processing of the song will be done by London’s legendary Abbey Road Studio. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you hear the song.

Siniša Bevanda, who is Franka’s manager, revealed some details about the concept of her performance:

We want a beautiful and impressive performance, but we won’t be doing anything very spectacular. We have some interesting ideas and this is the most intensive period for us because the whole concept must be worked out. From the video clip and costume design to the performance. We got some valuable advice from recognized professionals and colleagues with whom we had worked in Zagreb when Franka was the opening act for Beyoncé, so that means a lot to us.

The Head of the HRT’s Eurovision Song Contest Team, Tomislav Štengl, has some big expectations to Franka this year as Croatia manages to qualify for the grand final both in 2016 and 2017:

Nina Kraljić made it to the final, and brilliant Jacques Houdek ranked very highly last year according to the audience votes. He was thirteenth in the end, which is a great result among the 42 participating countries. We think Franka can also fulfill our basic goal of making it to the final, and once you get to the final – all is open.

Franka will perform her song Crazy in second half of the first semi-final on 8th of May at the Altice Arena in Lisbon.

In the video below you can listen to this year’s Croatian entry:

Do you like it and do you expect Croatia to qualify for the final third year in a row after they returned to the contest in 2016?

Categories: Eurovisionary

08
March
2018

Will Ukraine actually take part at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest?

With a publication from EBU saying that the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC may have to close down by the end of April this year, it is suddenly unsure whether or not Ukraine can actually take part at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.

According to schedule, Mélovin will represent Ukraine at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with the song Under The Ladder, but now, that might not happen.

Today, the European Broadcasting Union, EBU released a statement saying that the Ukranian broadcaster could be forced to close down by the end of April this year due to financial difficulties. They don’t mention how this could affect the Ukrainian participation, but as it is member broadcasters who take part, it could mean that there is no one present to represent Ukraine this year.

Back in 2016, Romania’s Eurovision participant was disqualified from the contest with just a few weeks to go, as the broadcaster had depth to EBU, which they couldn’t pay. That brought the number of participants down from 43 to 42, just like it happened last year when Russia withdrew from the contest.

Last year when Ukraine hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, things were problematic and not just in relation to Russian withdrawing. Money did play a big part in the Ukrainian preparations. Check our timeline below:

Timeline of events

    • 14th May 2016 – Jamala was crowned the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Her song 1944 placed second in both the jury and the televote. However, combining these scores together it scored more points than Dami Im’s Sound of Silence  and was declared the winner of the competition.
    • 22nd July 2016 – Out of the six cities that had expressed an interest to host the contest, just three were shortlisted. These were Kyiv, Dnipro and Odessa.
    • 27th July 2016 – The date when the host city was to be confirmed. However, this was delayed due to concerns about suitable venues.
    • 9th September 2016 – After three sets of delays and a war of words between officials from Kyiv and Odessa, Kyiv was finally selected to host Eurovision in 2017.
    •  1st November 2016 – Things were thrown into even more dispute in October when Zurab Alasania, Director General of the NTU resigned over budget concerns.
    • 4th November 2016– Following Albania’s resignation just days before, it was expected that his deputy and head of delegation Victoria Romanova would step into his shoes. However Yevhen Nyschuk, Ukraine’s Minister of Culture stepped in and took over the responsibility of organizing the contest.
    • 14th November 2016 – A key press conference with the EBU was cancelled. The cause of cancellation was due to severe and unexpected snow fall in the capital. Some felt this was a tactic delay as even though there were some cancelled flights, public transport was back up and running within a couple of hours. The press conference took place the following day.
    • 27th November 2016 – Oleksandr Kherabin, Acting Director General at NTU announced that the EBU may decide to take the 2017 contest away from Ukraine.
    • 1st December 2016 – The executive producers of the contest were announced by the EBU. These were confirmed to be Victoria Romanova, Aleksandr Kherabin, Stuart Barlow. Denis Bloschinskiy was announced as the local event manager.
    • 4th December 2016 –  An anonymous member of the reference group spoke to German newspaper Bild. It was reported that the contest could be moved to Russia if Ukraine can not handle the preparations.
    • 5th December 2016 – The 2004 Eurovision winner Ruslana and Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman hit back at the ‘propaganda’ and stated that Ukraine are ready to host Eurovision.
    • 7th December 2016 – It was reported that the EBU were in negotiations with Ukraine to reverse the decision to ‘black list’ certain Russian artists to enter Ukraine.
    • 8th December 2016 – The European Broadcasting Union announced that Ukraine will host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2017.
    • 30th of December 2016 – NTU signed contract with Eurovision host venue.
    • 10th of February 2017– NTU Eurovision Core Team informs EBU about their decision to resign.
    • 13th of February 2017– The decision from the NTU Eurovision Core Team is publicly announced.
    • 22nd of March 2017 – Ukraine refuse to give Russian participant Julia access to Ukraine.
    • 13th of April 2017 – After a drama back and forward, where EBU tried to negotiate a compromise, Russia withdrew from the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.
    • 12th of June 2017 – the interval acts such as former winner Ukraine had not yet received payment for their interval act performances.
    • 29th of June 2017 – EBU sanctions Ukraine with a heavy fine. No sanctions towards Russia.
    • 30th of June 2017 – Ruslana and the other interval acts finally recieve their payments.

Statement from UA:PBC

Ukrainian broadcaster says on Twitter that they continue their preparations, but they acknowledge the difficulties they face by stating that their future depends on the government being able to finance them. In a later statement they add that the current situation isn’t related to their participation. We’ll wait and see what will happen.

UA:PBC is continuing all the preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest. The latest news aren’t related with our participation in the contest.

— UA:Eurovision 🇺🇦 (@uapbc) March 6, 2018

We are continuing all the preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest. And we’re not going to withdraw! ☝🏻
But the entire future of UA:PBC depends on the government's financing of the broadcaster.

— UA:Eurovision 🇺🇦 (@uapbc) March 6, 2018

Categories: Eurovisionary

08
March
2018

Trumps: Biggest gay club in Lisbon to host Eurovision themed parties

The biggest gay club in Lisbon, Trumps, is getting ready to host Eurovision themed parties starting next week. EuroVisionary caught up with the club’s director to check up on what fans can expect from visiting these parties.

While the EuroClub will be held this year at Lust In Rio in Cais do Sodré (Lisbon), and become a space exclusively for delegations, officials, artists, journalists and a few fans, another venue will open its doors to everyone who wants to celebrate the Eurovision feel at a big party. That will take place a few kilometers from Cais do Sodré at Trumps in Rato (Lisbon).

EuroVisionary caught up with Marco Mercier – Trumps’ director – to find out more about the dates, respective prices and what fans can expect from the parties. Starting from 9th of March, Trumps will, every Friday, be hosting Eurovision themed parties that will bring guests such as Festival da Canção’s veterans Rui Andrade, Catarina Pereira or Ricardo Soler. Anabela and Dora, former Portugal’s representatives, are also on the wishlist.

“We’re trying to give fans an alternative to the EuroClub”, that’s what Marco Mercier wants the Eurovision fans to know. The club promises to be this year’s biggest unofficial EuroClub for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.

Besides the special guests, the famous drag queens of the venue will also entertain the audience with their outrageous costumes and lipsyncing.

Catarina Pereira to cover Euphoria

Trumps is divided in two dancefloors. A smaller one where House music remixed with Pop plays all night and a main one Pop prevails every Friday. Nonetheless, Marco tells us that with the Eurovision party things will change: “For the first time, we will have Pop music in both dancefloors. The main one will be a mix of Pop music and Eurovision songs while the smaller will focus mostly in acts such as Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and other Pop acts.”

The first Eurovision party will take place next Friday, 9th of March, and the first guest will be Catarina Pereira who has attempted to represent Portugal in Eurovision twice now. The Portuguese singer will cover Euphoria and sing her own Canta Por Mim. The admission for an Eurovision party in Trumps will be of 10€ and will include a drink.

Take a look at the event’s promotional video below:

Categories: Eurovisionary

08
March
2018

United Kingdom 2018: BBC release revamped song with video

The BBC has dropped the video for the revamped version of “Storm”,  which has received mixed reviews from fans. Does the new version of the song have what it takes to better last year’s result?

Today the BBC have released the official video for the United Kingdom’s entry for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. The song Storm which will be performed by SuRie has undergone a revamp in preparation for the contest. The new video has been released on the online streaming service BBC iPlayer and on youtube.

In what appears to be a low budget video, it shows SuRie performing her song in a variety of different outfits in front of a dark screen with psychedelic shapes and lights. The camera goes between close ups of SuRie to clips of her passionately performing her song.

SuRie was announced as the British act for the 2018 contest on 7 February 2018, after being selected to represent the United Kingdom on Eurovision: You Decide. As a member of the Big 5, the United Kingdom go straight through to the grand final which will take place on 13th May. SuRie is no stranger to Eurovision, she provided the backing vocals for Loic Nottet in 2015 and Blanche in 2016.

You can listen to the revamp of Storm below. Does the psychedelic video show us what we should expect from the performance in Lisbon?

Categories: Eurovisionary

02
March
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: One Or Two Guitars For Lisbon

http://archive.org/download/escinsight_20180302_535/escinsight_20180302_535.mp3

Two weekends of National Finals to go, internal selections waiting for the right time to release a song, and the 2018 Song Contest is slowly coming into focus. It’s an exciting time to be a Eurovision fan.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: A Song For Sheeran

Culling the Despacito clones, paying tribute to Lars Ulrich, and Waylon might have a new album out. Ewan Spence and ESC insight and another week of Eurovision Song Contest news; plus music from One More Time.

As the 2018 National Finals Season enters the final straight, keep listening to the ESC Insight podcast for more Eurovision news, fun, and chat. You’ll find the show in iTunes, and a direct RSS feed is also available. We also have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here.

Categories: ESC Insight

02
March
2018

Waylon decided – it’s Outlaw In ‘Em for the Netherlands in Lisbon

After five songs presented to the Dutch public, Waylon today revealed that he will compete with Outlaw In ‘Em at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. If he is to improve his second place from 2014, we are in for a Dutch victory.

Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS was among the very first countries to announce their representative for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, when they announced Waylon already in early November last year. This will be Waylon’s second participation, as he also took part in 2014 as one half of The Common Linnets. Together with Ilse DeLange they came second at the competition in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Five songs were presented to the Dutch public in the popular TV talkshow De Wereld Draait Door (The world keeps spinning). It was only revealed that one of those songs will be his entry, and that all five would be included on his coming album.

Out of those five, it has been Waylon himself to make the final decision. As he described, all members of the selection committee got their two minutes to have their say and in the end he picked the song.

Tonight, he revealed his choice for Outlaw In ‘Em, with which he will participate at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.

The songs

Text and music for four out of the five songs are written by Waylon himself. Only song nr 4, That’s How She Goes, isn’t his own work. That was performed back in 2015 by Nashville, Tennessee country singer Mitchell Tenpenny. Waylon himself explained that he understands EBU’s rules as if a song hasn’t been released on CD, it is clear to participate. Tenpenny’s song appears to only be available on YouTube as such it would be right, according to Waylon. Those with more knowledge of the rules know that this isn’t entirely correct, and that this song could still face disqualification had he chosen that one.

It wasn’t my first choice.

– Cornald Maas, Dutch Eurovision expert, about Outlaw In ‘Em

Let’s take a closer look at the five songs.

Back Together

A country ballad featuring rather a rather typical Eurovision melody line. Former Eurovision commentator, well known singer, presenter and comedian Paul de Leeuw immediately responded: “No, it won’t be this one. I’m sure we’ll hear a better one later, but don’t pick this one”.

Outlaw In ‘Em

Song number two has a lot more edge, and has a sound that’s further away from what you would typically find in a Eurovision song. It’s rock meets country, with a hint of Elvis and rockabilly. He accompanied himself on guitar, though that’s most likely mime. He previously stated that he would play all the songs with backing track and no live music, just as he will have to do it on the Eurovision stage.

Was received very well by the audience, who were already in a good mood after having celebrated the Dutch olympic medalists for a whole episode.

With this song, we can win or lose – but either way we can say we did our best. This music hasn’t been done at Eurovision before.

– Waylon

The World Can Wait

Easy going, country inspired balled. Sounds alright as very enjoyable track 4 on an album, but doesn’t seem to hit home at a first listen. This song’s title is also the name of his upcoming tour, starting in April and ending well after the Eurovision Song Contest, in September.

That’s How She Goes

One can still clearly recognize Waylon’s country sound, but this fast paced song seems more inspired by pop music than the others. Very catchy, and easy to sing along to, if you can keep up that is.

Thanks But No Thanks

Clearly the most advanced track of them all. It starts out as another calm, and easy going and very accessible country ballad. Think Tom Waits, but without the whiskey voice. As the song progresses, it gets more and more rough in the edges. An electric guitar on the bridge turns this song into full-on rock near the end. Among the five songs, this is by far the easiest to sing a long to.

Guests in the studio, among them 1988 Dutch participant Gerard Joling, all agree that Waylon should pick this as his entry. They also acknowledge him as rather stubborn, and thus are sure he’ll follow his own mind.

In the video below, take a look at the Dutch entry for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.

De Wereld Draait Door consistently gets approximately 1.5 million viewers at a marketshare of 25%, ranking typically between second and fourth most watched program of the day.

The Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest

In recent years, the country did rather well, after struggling quite a bit in the years before that. The Netherlands failed to reach the final from 2005 to 2012. Fans were really frustrated, but the announcement of Anouk as their hopeful for 2013 changed the public sentiment around. She marked in many ways the beginning of a new era where the Dutch broadcaster took their participation a little more serious, and went for bigger well known names. The results improved, and the Netherlands once again look like a serious contender to soon take the trophy home.

The country joined the Eurovision Song Contest in its first year, 1956. They have won the contest four times, although the last one dates back to 1975. Could Waylon improve his second place from the contest in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2014? We have to wait and see, but expectations surely are high.

The Common Linnets reached a second place with 238 points, 52 points less then 2014 winner Conchita Wurst.

Categories: Eurovisionary

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