GREECE – It is reported that ERT’s artistic jury met again to discuss possible problems with songs which didn’t meet the criteria originally set by the Greek national broadcaster. There seems to be two songs that didn’t meet the criteria of Greek sound as requested therefore the broadcaster decides now that three songs will only proceed to the national final.
ERT decided to disqualify Duo Finalists, which is actually a duet which works at ERT and raised a lot of questions with their qualification to the final. But due to the fact that their song didn’t meet the ERT music criteria, the duet is disqualified. It seems that ERT doesn’t want another scandal. Also the song of Tony Vlachos is disqualified for the same reasons. Therefore the three finalists are:
MIN KSEHNAS TO ELIO
TO ONEIRO MOU
Greek national broadcaster has given the three bidders time to finalise their demos and present their official production to ERT and by December 5th we will know the details for the national final including the date and venue of it.
RTSH, the Albanian broadcaster, have this evening revealed the names of 22 people who will be competing in the 56th edition of Festivali i Këngës. The Grand final is due to take place on Saturday 23rd December.
Albania is traditionally the first of the national finals to take place in the calendar, and it takes place during the Christmas holidays. Semi final 1 is on Thursday 21st December and Semi final 2 is on Friday 22nd December.
In total, over 70 singers applied for this years edition of the show, and this format has been used to select Albania’s participant for Eurovision since 2003.
The participants for Festivali i Këngës 56 are as follows (please note, songs to be revealed at a later date by RTSH):
David & Genc Tukiqi
NA & Festina Mezini
Rezarta Smaja & Luis Ejlli
Stefi dhe Endri Prifti
There are 2 returning entries in this 22 strong line up. LYNX competed in the 2014 edition of Festivali i Këngës with the song Princesha. They came 15th in the national final. The other returning act is Rezarta Smaja. In 2015 she competed in Festivali i Këngës with the song Më rrëmbe and placed 7th in the national final for that year.
Bulgarian broadcaster BNT has provided more details towards their strategy to be successful again at the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2018, they are looking for “a delicate mixture of а very good performer, interesting voice, the right song and an attractive visual presentation.”
And yes, the Bulgarians know that “sounds way easier than it is in the reality.” In fact, their strategy seems to be a copy from our series of The Key to Success at the Eurovision Song Contest. In that series we highlighted the most important factors a broadcaster should have in mind when it comes to picking their act for Eurovision.
Official statement by the Bulgarian delegation
“Once again we are looking for a charismatic artist, captivating song and effective stage concepts. We would like to be working together with the best professionals. So that we prove once again that Bulgaria is worthy part of the music landscape in Europe. With this kind of approach we had very good achievements in the last two years. The second place by Kristian Kostov and the fourth by Poli Genova“, said the Bulgarian Head of Delegation Joana Levieva-Sawyer.
BNT set the deadline for submission of songs for the selection on the 20th of December. In March, all songs will be handed over to the EBU.
This would not be the first time Bulgaria pays extra attention to stage presentation. Last year, renowned staging director Sascha Jean-Baptiste orchastrated the act for Kristian Kostov’s “Beautiful Mess“.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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: