The third heat of Latvia’s Supernova 2018 took place tonight with the final two acts being selected for next week’s final.
Tonight’s Supernova was the most difficult to qualify from, with all seven performances good enough to go to the final. In the end, the choices were made, leaving seven singers and songs in the final. The winner will represent Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in May, in Lisbon.
1 The Hosts
2 The Songs
3 The Results
4 Latvia At The Eurovision Song Contest
As in the last two weeks, Justs Sirmais and model and Latvian TV star, Dagmara Legante hosted the show. The green room was hosted, again by Toms Grēviņš. A quick recap of the five previously qualified finalists opened the show.
Jenny May – Soledad
What better way to start a show than an up-tempo Spanish flavoured song. The comparisons to Despacito can’t be ignored, but Jenny May held her own. The fiesta and party nature of the song would make it a good one to dance to at Euro club. Jenny was all tied up in a rope to begin with, but fought herself free. Two female dancers added to the visuals.
Ed Rallidae – What I Had with You
Since the start of the Supernova, only Aminata songs have sent Latvia into the grand final of Eurovision. Lithuania has already dismissed two Aminata songs, so it’s back to her homeland that she tries again. This has the same electronic backing that we’re used to, but it’s a much darker and different song. Ed’s powerful low vocals give the song a powerful presence. If you were wondering what happened to Sergey’s wings, he has lent them to Ed. Another potential finalist.
See alsoLatvia Supernova 2018: Edgars and Liene through to the final
Katrine Lukins – Running Red Lights
This is the most modern and obviously chart-friendly song in the competition. Katrine has come on a million miles since her last appearance in the Supernova and has her heart set on making the final. Again another great performance that Latvia would be foolish to ignore. Katrine wore a bright red coat and short-ish black dress. She was accompanied by two female dancers.
Lauris Valters – Lovers Bliss
Lauris’s song dedicated to his wife is a happy upbeat number. With a heavy breathing four piece backing group and Lauris clicking on his fingers, this song is a change from love song mush. The catchy feel-good rhythm of the song matched Jenny’s party vibes and again would make a respectable Latvian entry.
MIONIA – You
A slow piano starts the song and the vocals can be compared with last weeks MADARA entry. The cello also draws similar comparisons, but the violins give it a unique style. This is another well-sung heartfelt ballad. Every note is ached out of MIONIA’s performance. MIONIA started the song at the piano, before taking the stage in her red dress. By now choosing two finalists has become an impossible task.
See alsoLatvia Supernova 2018: Two more songs and singers through to the final
Kris & Oz – Morning Flight
This slow-paced dramatic song by the trio, Kris and Oz is another good entry. Kris has a voice at times similar to Amy Winehouse, and is pitch perfect. While this song may be missing that X-Factor moment compared to the other six, it is still a worthy qualifier.
Laura Rizzotto – Funny Girl
Is this going to be a case of leaving the best till last? This highly polished James Bond type song was sung perfectly. Suggestions have been made already that this song is great for a movie soundtrack. Red is Latvia’s colour this year, as Laura wore a blood red long dress. A great way to end the semi-finals.
A mix of jury and Latvian public picked the two artists to go to the final. They picked Lauris Valters and Laura Rizzotto.
Latvia At The Eurovision Song Contest
Despite their excellent debut and win in 2002, Latvia’s history at Eurovision has been a little thorny. Out of eighteen entries, eight of them failed to make the final. The first time they stalled in the semis was in 2004 with Fomins and Kleins and the song Dziesma par laimi. How many of you can remember that one? The years 2009-2014 left Latvia out of the finals for six years. Three times they came last in their respective semis. In 2014 they came closest to qualifying when Cake To Bake placed 13th for Aarzemnieki. Unfortunately, Triana Park and Line returned Latvia to their familiar last place, last year.
During the second Semi-Final of Hungary’s national selection show A Dal 2018 the last four finalists have been determined. Now we are only one step away from finding out who will represent the Central European country in Lisbon. One thing is already for sure: it’s not going to be a female artist. Grand Final next Saturday!
1 The songs
2 The show
3 The results
4 Hungary at the Eurovision Song Contest
The following nine songs have been performed during the second Semi-Final
AWS –Viszlát nyár
Ceasefire X –Satellites
Cintia Horváth & Tomi Balogh – Journey
Tamás Horváth – Meggyfa
Viktor Király – Budapest Girl
Nikoletta Szőke – Attila Kökény – Róbert Szakcsi Lakatos –Életre kel
Tamás Vastag – Ne hagyj reményt
yesyes –I Let You Run Away
Some of the performances saw a couple of changes compared to the heats: Cintia Horváth and Tomi Balogh performed a longer version of their song, Odett was joined by four female vocalists this time on stage, while Tamás Vastag had brand new LED graphics. The band yesyes has made some changes in their music.
Our hosts of the show were once again Krisztina Rátonyi and Gábor Alfréd Fehérvári or, as we all know him from 2016, Freddie. Members of the jury panel were rock musician Károly Frenreisz, actress Judit Schell, the lead singer of the band Magna Cum Laude, Misi Mező, and songwriter Miklós Both. The combination of the scores given by them and the viewers at home have determined the first three qualifiers. The fourth and last finalist has been chosen by only the televoters.
During the show it was been revealed that Odett’s song Aranyhal has won the award for the Best Lyrics of the Year. Hungary’s 1998 Eurovision representative Charlie, and Adrien Szekeres (who finished 2nd behind Csézy at Hungary’s national selection back in 2008) performed a wonderful duet as tonight’s interval act.
Artist / Song
Total / Rank
AWS – Viszlát nyár
46 / 1st
Ceasefire X –Satellites
40 / 4th
Cintia Horváth & Tomi Balogh – Journey
36 / 9th
Tamás Horváth – Meggyfa
38 / 5th
Viktor Király – Budapest Girl
42 / 3rd
37 / 6th
N. Szőke – A. Kökény – R. Szakcsi Lakatos –Életre kel
37 / 7th
Tamás Vastag – Ne hagyj reményt
36 / 8th
yesyes – I Let You Run Away
45 / 2nd
The Top 3 has automatically qualified to the Grand Final, The televoters have saved Tamás Horváth in the second voting round.
That means these acts still have a chance to get the right to represent Hungary at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, alongside with the qualifiers from the first Semi-Final:
Gergely Dánielfy – Azt mondtad
Zsolt Süle – Zöld a május
Gábor Heincz “BIGA” – Good Vibez
Leander Kills – Nem szól harang
Hungary at the Eurovision Song Contest
Hungary debuted at Eurovision in 1994 in Dublin. Friderika Bayer’s 4th position from that year is still the country’s best ever result at the contest. After a longer period of withdrawals and returns, Hungary has participated at the Eurovision Song Contest every year since 2011.
In 2012, broadcaster MTVA launched the new national selection format; A Dal, which has quickly become popular and also successful. Since their 2011 return, Hungary has qualified to the Grand Final every single time – that means a series of seven qualifications in a row. On three occasions (2013, 2014 and 2017), they even finished in the Top 10 of the Grand Final.
This time let’s take a look back at Charlie’s performance at the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest in Birmingham. He finished in 23rd position with his song A holnap már nem lesz szomorú.
Vanja Radovanović won tonight’s revived edition of Montevizija and as such will represent Montenegro at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. This happened after a tight national final with only five acts competing.
Earlier this week, Montenegrin broadcaster RTCG published short snippets of the five lucky finalists that had been chosen from 31 submissions received. As Montenegro already succeeded in Eurovision Song Contest with Balkan ballads, they hope to repeat this success after two years of staying in the semifinals.
The members of the jury who chose those finalists are two singers (Ismeta Dervoz and Vladimir Maraš) and three composers (Kornelije Kovač, Dejan Božović, and Slaven Knezović).
Let’s take a look at the songs and the live performance from Montevizija 2018.
1 The Songs
2 The Results
4 The show
5 Montenegro at the Eurovision Song Contest
Nina Petković – Dišem
Nina is the first one to perform. We may translate its title as I Breathe and it is the winner of our poll here on EuroVisionary. Dišem is a more uptempo song, compared to the other finalists. It is not vocally easy, but still, Nina delivered the song only with a few tones that were out of tune. Nina wears a black glitter coat with a cape. She dropped it off and four male dancers joined her on stage.
Vanja Radovanović – Inje
Vanja is together with Nina one of the two finalists who composed their entry themselves. But unlike Nina, Vanja did it completely alone. Hoarfrost as we can translate the original title Inje is a typical Balkan ballad. String quartet joined Vanja on the stage. We may connect this entry to the songs by Knez or Sergej Ćetković.
Ivana Popović Martinović – Poljupci
Ivana brings a classy black dress with a little bit of extravaganza on the stage. Kisses would maybe deserve more stylish dress though. But even though, the love ballad is very likable and well sung. Nothing else distracts us from Ivana’s performance so we can focus on her vocals on point.
Katarina Bogićević – Neželjena
Neželjena is translated as The Unwanted. But it is definitely not the song that’s unwanted, because it sounds modern even though it is also a ballad. It has a nice beat to the song and Montenegrin language suits the song really well. Katarina is flawless and also very beautiful. She wears a simple pink dress. Maybe this is the song that may win Montevizija 2018?
Lorena Janković – Dušu mi daj
Lorena looks like a princess in her light blue dress. That also counts for the song. It is a romantic ballad that could be easily taken from a Disney fairytale. On the LED background we see a lot of stars throughout the performance. The title is translated as Give Me Soul. After this performance, we wouldn’t complain about giving it to Lorena.
In Montenegro, a jury had been responsible for picking the five finalists. The members of the jury are two singers (Ismeta Dervoz and Vladimir Maraš) and three composers (Kornelije Kovač, Dejan Božović, and Slaven Knezović).
In the final, it was however 100% televoting who decided the winner. First, TOP 3 of the televoting was announced for the superfinal. The winner was Vanja.
Ivana Popović Martinović
Do you think Montenegro picked the right song? Vote in the poll to let us know who your favorite was.
In the beginning, we saw a video of the jury in the process of choosing the TOP 5. They also played a short recap of the previous Montenegrin participants. An interesting fact was the calculation of an average Montenegrin candidate, in the rules of height, weight, age, and sex. A fun fact was a photo collage of all previous representatives together.
After all the participants performed their entries, the hosts opened the televoting and Slavko Kalezić brought us into Space in his 2017 Eurovision entry. In the middle, he continued by another of his songs. The voting countdown opened after Slavko’s performance for another 13 minutes. It sounded like there is no audience as nobody applauded during the show. The string quartet from Vanja’s song played their string versions of past Eurovision songs.
After the TOP 3 was revealed for the superfinal, all three entries – Vanja, Katarina, and Lorena – performed their entries for the second time. During these second performances, the voting was already opened. After them, the string quartet continued with the cover versions of other Eurovision songs. Sergej Ćetković sent a video greeting and sung a refrain of his Eurovision entry Moj Svijet. The countdown opened again for the same time window as during the first round of voting.
Before the voting closed, also Knez performed his entry from Vienna – Adio. Then we saw a fake report from the final voting from May in Lisbon where Montenegro topped the voting and won. The scenes from the possible future after the Eurovision victory continued. A dream or a prophecy? Who knows, but let’s be honest, seeing that could be at least interesting.
Montenegro at the Eurovision Song Contest
Since their debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007, Montenegro managed to qualify for the final only twice. With Sergej Ćetković in 2014, and also in 2015 with Knez. Both of those two qualifying entries were sung in Montenegrin and maybe that is the reason why this year, all five finalists were performed in their native language.
With no final two years in a row, the pressure is on tonight’s winner. Last year, Slavko Kalezić finished 16th in his semi-final, third to last. In the video below, remind yourself of his performance.
Martin Almgren and Jessica Andersson are still very much in the run to represent Sweden at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. In a semi-final whose outcome it was hard to predict, they went direct to the final of Melodifestivalen.
Do you remember Siw Malmkvist who represented Sweden at the 1960 Eurovision Song Contest, and Germany at the 1969 contest? A special tribute was paid to her during tonight’s heat, which included a beautiful performance from Linnea Henriksson.
First heat in Sweden gave John Lundvik and Benjamin Ingrosso each a place in the Swedish final to be held on the 10th of March. They will be joined by Samir & Viktor and LIAMOO who earned their final spots in the second heat.
Tonight, 7 more acts were fighting to join these four, or at least to get a second chance. It was hard to predict who would be the lucky ones, but in the end we got the following result:
Straight to the final: Martin Almgren and Jessica Andersson.
To Second Chance heat: Moncho and Mendez.
In 5th place came Kalle Moraeus & Orsa Spelmän.
Despite her song and performance having quite a big similarity to Loreen’s Eurphoria Dotter finished 6th, while Barbi Escobar failed to impress the viewers even less and ended last.
Most well known name tonight, in Eurovision circles, were Jessica Andersson, who represented Sweden at the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest as a part of the duo Fame.
Martin Almgren – A Bitter Lullaby
Barbi Escobar – Stark
Moncho – Cuba Libre
Jessica Andersson – Party Voice
Kalle Moraeus & Orsa Spelmän – Min Dröm (My dream)
Dotter – Cry
Mendez – Everyday
Veteran songwriter Thomas G:son, with 11 Eurovision entries on his CV, had written both Dotter’s entry, and song five performed by Kalle Moraeus & Orsa Spelmän. Singer and songwriter Fredrik Kempe, who we find on five former Eurovision entries, were behind Jessica’s Party Voice.
2017 Danish final’s third place Johanna Beijbom has been encouraging her followers on Instagram to vote for her friend Jessica.
Sweden’s six Eurovision victories
With seven wins, Ireland is still the most winning country, but since they last won in 1996, Sweden have won three times, and with a total of six victories, they are catching up.
It was ABBA who with their Waterloo in 1974 gave Sweden their first victory. Ten years, later the three Herreys brothers repeated it, and from that on, Sweden become a country which often scored great results, and only rarely did bad.
Carola won a close competition in 1991, and Charlotte Nilsson (Now Perrelli) secured Sweden’s 4th victory eight years later.
Only once, after the 2004 introduction of semi-finals, have Sweden failed to reach the final. That was in 2010. After that, the country scored one success after the other. Since 2011, they only ended outside top 5 once!
Robin Bengtsson represented Sweden last year. He came 5th with the song I Can’t Go On. In the video below you can take a look at our special multicam edition from rehearsals of that entry:
After Norway set the precedent last year for vocals not appearing on the backing track (but sounding lke they appear in a Eurovision song), Israel is set to find the limits of that rule if Netta brings her looping machine to the Lisbon stage. That little complication, the fun in San Marino, why we still have Markus Rivas (hint, it’s Excel), and a subtle mention of Val Parnell all turn in this week’s Insight News podcast.
Eurovision Insight Podcast: One Of Us
Another week of Eurovision news in one bite-sized podcast from Ewan Spence and ESC Insight. This week, horny vikings, Israeli rules lawyers, and Excel breaks in Latvia; plus music from The Experiment.
As the 2018 National Finals come at us thick and fast, 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.
Belarus has chosen fan favourite Alekseev as the overall winner out of their 10 finalists and he will fly to Lisbon in May. Originally, 11 acts were set to perform in the national final but one withdrew. Time will tell if the song will actually be accepted by the EBU.
Out of 95 submitted songs to the Belarusian broadcaster BTRC, they chose 11 finalists. After the accusations of Alekseev that his entry was performed before 1st September 2017, Sofi Lapina decided to withdraw her entry Gravity from the competition. Some of the other participants reportedly signed a petition to disqualify Alekseev, but they did not withdraw in the end. So we now have 10 songs in the final that will fight for the one and only ticket to Lisbon to represent Belarus in the first semifinal.
1 The Songs
2 The Show
3 The Results
4 Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest
Adagio – Ty i ja
Adagio is a pop-opera project that tries to continue in the Eurovision tradition of pop-opera entries. The last one being Italy in 2015 with Il Volo and their song Grande Amore. The leader of the group has really big voice range and the song tries to use it to its maximum. Ty i ja means You andI in English and therefore it is a love ballad. Mixed with opera, it is a good combination. The 4 piece male group was joined on stage by two female vocalists just as during the live auditions. Being it a very vocally demanding entry, Adagio delivered it with a grace the opera deserves.
Alekseev – Forever
The biggest favourite in Belarus this is actually not a Belarusian act, but a neighbor from Ukraine. Alekseev originally planned to submit Forever to Vidbir 2018 in Ukraine, but after some complications with the jury, he decided to try his luck in Belarus. He is not known only in Ukraine but also in Russia and other Russian speaking countries. Alekseev chose a very special and futuristic outfit full of small lights used throughout his performance in the same style as the LED background. It is questionable how this costume may work in Lisbon where there will be no LED displays to use on the stage. During his performance, Alekseev was sometimes out of tune. Maybe because of a few changes in the melody he was forced to make after those accusations.
Shuma – Chmarki
Chmarki marks one of the two entries this year sung in the Belarusian language. Maybe after the success of Naviband singing in Belarusian, the duo Shuma wants to use this as their advantage. The song is quite dark… well what to expect from the song with the title, that translates to English as Clouds? The song was unfortunately accused of breaking the rules because it uses parts of the traditional lyrics and therefore this needs to be changed. This electropop song was joined by the black, white and red graphics on the background. In some moment, this seemed too chaotic.
NAPOLI – Chasing Rushes
After trying it four times before, Chasing Rushes is NAPOLI’s fifth attempt. The song has nice and modern beat and Olga Shimanskaya serves it with quality. She and the two female dancers wear red leather clothes and a black mask. Vocally, she was flawless, but her pronunciation was just ok. Sometimes the word “rushes” in the refrain sounded like “Russias”.
See alsoA Greek tragedy or comedy? Yianna Terzi to represent Greece in Lisbon
Anastasiya Malashkevich – World on Fire
World on Fire was composed by the sisters Ylva and Linda Persson from Sweden and marks one of the many final appearances in this year’s national finals over Europe. Anastasiya Malashkevich is not a newbie in the national final as she already took part in the past. She was unfortunately ill during the live audiences earlier in January, but that was a different performance from today. Anastasiya serves the song with a rock-queen realness which makes the song stand out in the lineup. She was joined by one male and one female vocalist on stage. Just as NAPOLI, also Anastasiya wears red clothes. In the end, the vocalists waved the black and red flags.
Gunesh – I Won’t Cry
Also, Gunesh is a regular participant in the national final and, as we know from some other European countries, trying on and on again may eventually pay off. Maybe this year is the year when Gunesh finally wins? This upbeat pop song is accompanied by a colourful background LED projection. Gunesh was very good vocally during her live performance.
Radiovolna – Subway Lines
Group Radiovolna brings another ballad on the stage. After finishing on 9th place in 2016 national final, they now hope for a better result. Subway Lines start with a soft whispery verse but continue and rise to bigger refrain in the end. The guys wore jeans and white shirts. In the last part of the song, there are also famous Eurovision style drums, just as Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw taught us during their Love Love Peace Peace.
Alen Hit – I Don’t Care
Alen has a dance song and therefore we see him joined on stage by two male dancers. They both together with Alen wear black and white clothes. There are also some female backing vocals hidden in the backstage. Before the end of his performance, we may be pretty sure that Allen really doesn’t care.
Lexy – I Ain’t You
A former Belarusian national finalist Aleksandra Tkach is the author of Lexy’s entry. A male dancer in a role of her lover joins Lexy on stage, as I Ain’t You is a love ballad. In the background, we see a video projection of Lexy. Together with Alekseev, Lexy is probably one of the youngest participants this evening.
Kirill Good – Deja Vu
Yet under his real name Kiril Yermakov, he already took part in the national final before, but now he tries it again. This time he uses the stage name Kirill Good and he brings a modern dance song. This one is quite similar to Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling which he performed during the Eurovision 2016 final.
The show has begun right away with a powerful performance of Naviband who took us back to Kyiv with their entry Historyja majho žyccia. The hosts were again Belarusian representative from Copenhagen – TEO – and Olga Ryzhikova. After they hosted the show already few times together they just got used to each other a lot. After the opening act, winter Olympics athlete Hanna Huskovova, who just won the Belarusian gold medal in the acrobatic skiing got her attention and honours from the hosts. We saw the recapitulation of Belarusian past finalists in the Eurovision Song Contest finals. Shortly after that, Olga and TEO presented the members of the professional jury together with the voting system.
Just as everytime in the past few years, there are postcards that presented the artists. This time they were in a sort of a cube with a chair and table in a different colour light. The performances continued one after the other quite quickly so there were no bigger delays and only two commercials in the half of the entries and then after the last one. The hosts opened the voting for a window of only 10 minutes. TEO and Olga closed the televoting and announced its results and we saw a total of 7 guest performers as the interval act. One of them being the unsuccessful national final entrant Angelika Pushnova with her entry Fighting for Love penned by Vladimir Graić, the composer of Molitva. In the end, last year’s winners – Naviband – performed again.
The finals results come from the votes of a professional jury (50 %) and televoting (50 %). In the case of a tie, the jury voting had higher priority.
In the end, after combining the votes from televoting and the jury, the hosts announced Alekseev as the winner of the national final for 2018 and rewarded him with the trophy. You can check the official video to his entry Forever below.
Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest
In the recent years, Belarus has had no bigger success. Until last year when Naviband with their song Historyja majho žyccia sung in the Belarusian language qualified for the final and there finished on 17th place. That rounded up the number of Belarus’ appearances in the final to five. Maybe Alekseev will be their sixth one? In the meantime, you can watch Naviband performing their entry in Kyiv in a special multicam version.