07
August
2017

Cyprus: Panagiotis Koufogiannis released Coldplay cover

Cyprus: Panagiotis Koufogiannis released Coldplay cover

X Factor winner and national finalist, Panagiotis Koufogiannis is still busy. He is working on his first album, looking into the possibility of trying out for Eurovision once again – and now he also released a cover of Coldplay’s Fix You.

Soon Panagiotis will return for a few days to his beloved Cyprus, something he did not yet manage to do after winning X Factor Greece. He wants to meet with his family and his friends.

Panagiotis Koufogiannis who came second in the Cypriot national final for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 could be a candidate for Cyprus 2018. He heard from comments from the judges in X Factor as well as former Greek Eurovision star, Sakis Rouvas, who hosted the talent show, that he would be the ideal person to represent Cyprus at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.

EuroVisionary are being told that both Panagiotis himself and his record company wants the Eurovision Stage to be the next goal for the young artist. However everything depends on the intentions of the broadcaster, CyBC. From the last national final Cyprus held back in 2015, three of the finalists from that final have represented the island of Aphrodite in the last years (Yannis Karagiannis, Minus One and Hovig). Is it Panagiotis’ turn now?

Watch his cover of Coldplay’s Fix You in the video below:

Categories: Eurovisionary

07
August
2017

Innocent broadcasters taken hostage by desperate EBU

Innocent broadcasters taken hostage by desperate EBU

7, 8, 9. The referee was almost knocked out, when he, with a new set of rules, got back on his feet. Despite the combatants having left the ring, he is however not on very solid ground. It appears like the EBU hasn’t thought well enough about the possible impact of these rules.

Do you remember the boxing match between this year’s host country Ukraine and neighbouring Russia in the spring? Most probably you do as it affected the preparations up to the 2017 contest and the actual event to such an extent that Russia was unable to take part in the contest.

After several rounds, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) stepped in as referee. It was a position they didn’t actually want, and, instead of judging in the fight, the referee ended up almost knocking himself out. That was in round four.

Contents

  • 1 Round 5
  • 2 Round 6
  • 3 Potential damaging issues
  • 4 A weaker referee

Round 5

We left the match with both combatants leaving the ring, and the referee down on the floor. As they left, he got back on his feet, but was clearly still affected by the punch he gave himself. He issued a fine of 200,000 euros to the Ukrainian broadcaster – and let the Russian go. After all, according to the rules, it was only Ukraine who had done something wrong.

Despite threats of banning Ukraine from the Eurovision Song Contest – for up to three years – the country can however participate again in 2018, if they want to. The Ukrainian broadcaster however want to be totally cleared of any wrong-doing so they appealed the fine. We are yet to hear the outcome of that.

Round 6

German broadcaster ARD publish a new set of rules for the 2018 contest. Though it isn’t yet made available by the EBU, we take it that the changes they highlight are correct.

The new rules clearly state that the host country must allow the selected participants to take part in the contest. In other words, they can’t behave as Ukraine did – and was fined for.

The Host Broadcaster shall ensure that all the contestants selected by the Participating Broadcasters are able to perform in person live on stage in the Shows (including in all the rehearsals and in the Dress Rehearsals).

But just as you think things are pretty clear, and that Ukraine was solely to blame for this year’s farce as they denied the Russian participant Julia Samojlova entry to the country, the EBU takes a new turn. Now the rules also state that the participating countries must not select an artist or any delegation member that would give grounds for the host broadcaster to deny them entry! With those rules, Russia wouldn’t have been allowed to select Julia, and as such, they are to be blamed, and not Ukraine.

in particular, no selected artist nor any member of the Delegation shall have any antecedents likely to prompt the Host Country’s national authorities to deny them access to the Host Country in accordance with applicable national law.

It seems clear that the EBU, with these rules, would try to give and take a bit from and to each side in ‘the Ukraine – Russia situation’. But what might seem like a fair solution, raises a lot of issues.

See alsoEurovision final on the 12th of May 2018 at the MEO Arena in Lisbon, Portugal

Potential damaging issues

There are several problems with the rule that makes it a broadcaster’s responsibility to make sure that their participant and any other member of their delegation won’t be denied access to the host country. We’ll look at a few of the issues here:

HIV infected

Oikotimes raised the question about HIV infected people. We looked into it, and found two participating countries, Hungary and Russia not allowing people with this infection to enter the country, so that is a valid concern. In many countries, this is a very private matter and not something that one is obliged by law to tell anyone about – in some countries, you must tell your sexual partners, but your employer does not have the right to know.

According to the new rules, this could mean that anyone who wishes to take part in a national selection, or to be involved with the contest in other ways like, for example, as commentator or press, has to inform the broadcaster about their HIV status. This goes directly against the law in many of the participating countries.

The way is furthermore open for several law suits for being forced to give out personal information, which is protected by law. What happens then? Can the EBU eventually be sued, or only the broadcaster? We don’t know as the rules didn’t take that situation into consideration.

Internal selection instead of national final

It will be a heavy burden for the broadcasters to check if all participants who submit an entry for a national final are clear of anything that could lead to the host country to deny them entry. Imagine being a broadcaster who gets more than 2,500 potential entries, of which you need to select maybe 10, 20 or even 50 artists for the various qualification heats – and, having already enough to deal with, just to make sure your own staff is clear.

Smaller countries with fewer resources might see themselves forced to go for an internal selection rather than a national selection with various heats. You can’t blame them as clearing one act is a lot easier than clearing 51 acts like in the case of Lithuania’s 2017 selection.

Extra resources usually mean an extra expense for the broadcasters. In particular, for the countries with a rather large selection, it can be quite expensive to clear all potential candidates every year.

Host broadcaster can influence the charts in participating countries

Another issue that can be raised is the potential influence the laws in the host country can have on the charts and radio airplay in various participating countries.

Take a country like Sweden. In the months around their national selection, Melodifestivalen, their national charts are very much dominated by the 28 acts (2017 selection format) who take part in the national selection. Is it fair that laws in another country can have such a big influence on who makes it to the charts in, for example, Sweden?

A shorter national selection might be required

It is not defined in the rules whether each broadcaster is obligated to check up on the rules of the host country themselves or if EBU might provide them with that and a form of black list of certain individuals. No matter what, time could be another issue.

Many broadcasters have already started their search for the 2018 selection. They did so, probably not knowing of any Portuguese law that might influence who can take part in the national selection with the intent to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest if they win.

For the broadcasters to have enough time to check up on these things, or wait for a set of rules to be provided, they might need to postpone certain things in their selection. We have before seen shows already starting in Autumn. That might not be possible in the future if it takes too much time to look into the laws of the host country.

No fixed date and no consistency

One of the main things that makes it rather easy for the broadcasters to commit to the Eurovision Song Contest is a set of rules that rarely change significantly. Now, it will potentially change a lot every year as rules in the host country change – and a list of people forbidden to enter the country can be updated from day-to-day – and the EBU has not even set a date for at what time you need to be allowed to enter.

Imagine the situation where the Netherlands selects an artist internally, screen him or her to match the law of next year’s host country Portugal and present their choice to the public in November 2017. Everything might be fine at that point, but, if Portugal changes their law we might see that the Dutch artist from April 2018, can’t enter the host country anymore. What happens then?

As the participating countries officially submit their entries on the HoD meeting in late March or early April, the EBU might set this date as to when people need to be cleared in relation to any restrictions from the host broadcaster. Will they then force the host broadcaster not to have any new laws come into effect from then until after Eurovision? Can they even do that as they can’t exactly threaten to take their hosting rights away just a few weeks before it all starts?

We don’t know as the rules didn’t take that situation into consideration either.

There will be no longer any consistency as the rules of the up to 46 participating countries are very different, and there is no fixed date you can relate to.

A weaker referee

The power of the host broadcaster has been increased with these new rules, whereas the EBU decreases its own strength.  At first, it might seem like they are getting stronger from this, but you usually don’t get stronger by running away from the problems. That’s exactly what the EBU is doing here – run away, try to hide in a corner hoping to be invisible.

Can they, as referee, stand another round in the boxing ring? Probably not unfortunately.

With the potential issues raised above, this set of rules could cause even more problems. Yes, it might, more or less, indicate that, if the 2017 ‘Ukraine – Russia case’ were to appear under these rules, Russia would be the bad guy for selecting Julia, and not Ukraine. However, the potential new cases this could lead to might be worse.

It was a weak referee who almost knocked himself out in an attempt to convince Ukraine to accept Julia Samojlova representing Russia this year. With even less power in the future, what is he supposed to do? Yes, something needs to be done to avoid a conflict like the one this year, but why open up for a lot more?

Under pressure, we can all jump to conclusions and actions we wouldn’t make when thinking clearly. As the EBU was down on the floor, it might seem understandable that they come with this. We can only hope that they soon realise that the new rules, as presented by ARD, need some improvement.

Categories: Eurovisionary

07
August
2017

How Guy Sebastian Went From Soft To Six-Pack In 8 Weeks

AUSTRALIA – How Guy Sebastian Went From Soft To Six-Pack In 8 Weeks
Looking in from the outside, you’d have thought Guy Sebastian had it all. The winner of the first Australian Idol back in 2003 had become, by sound criteria, our most successful male artist of all time. Judging roles on The X Factor showed him to be exactly the kind of man everyone guessed he was: smart, kind and impossible to dislike. Married to his childhood sweetheart and living comfortably in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, he and Jules have two robust and highly photogenic boys. On top of the world, yeah?

Pretty much. Well, sort of. But like you, Sebastian had his issues.

“I was in an unhealthy cycle,” says Sebastian, toweling off after a workout in his garage. “I was drinking too much. I wasn’t eating well. And everything I thought I was doing right wasn’t working.”

Earlier this year, aged 35, he resolved to get serious about his fitness. Had he embarked on this quest alone his chances of success – of looking and feeling anything like the way he does now – would have been slimmer than his new waist. Wisely, he teamed up with Transformation Coach’s crack husband-and-wife training duo of Chief Brabon and Em Brabon-Hames, who specialise in orchestrating life-altering transformations. Sebastian allocated eight weeks to the task, with the lovely Jules training right alongside him.

And the results? Well, judge for yourself. But here in the MH office we doff our caps to our September cover guy.

Juggling the recording of his ninth album, Conscious, while being a dad to Hudson, 5, and Archer, 3, Sebastian added 8cm to his chest, cut 7cm from his waist and slashed his body-fat percentage from 19.1 per cent to 7.7 per cent.

Want to enact a similar transformation? Sebastian did four workouts per week, each focussing on a particular body part (chest, back, arms, shoulders – core and legs were a constant focus). Here’s one of the workouts the Brabon duo prescribed

Categories: Oiko Times

04
August
2017

Dino Merlin releases new video for Sve Dok Te Bude Imalo

Dino Merlin releases new video for Sve Dok Te Bude Imalo

Dino Merlin, who represented Bosnia and Herzegovina twice in the Eurovision Song Contest, has released a new video for the song “Sve Dok Te Bude Imalo” (As Long As You Exist). The song goes all the way back to his latest album “Hotel Nacional” from 2014.

Hotel Nacional is an important milestone in history of music in the former Yugoslavia, as it is the first and only album from the region, that managed to enter the famous Billboard World Albums top list.

The filming of the video for Sve Dok Te Bude Imalo took about one year. Many different locations have been used in the video, including Sarajevo City Hall (Vijećnica), where Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 2016 entry Ljubav Je was presented in a live transmission. The video is directed by the famous Swiss music and commercial video director with Bosnian roots Haris Dubica.

Haris was, this year, awarded the Best Swiss Video Award for the music video of the year in Switzerland for the third consecutive time. Haris and Dino are not strangers to each other as Haris already has directed a bunch of Dino’s music videos such as Deset Mlađa, Individualizam and Rane. Beside Dino, the two young Bosnian actors, Armin Omerović and Aida Bukva, appear in the video.

Dino Merlin represented his country at the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions. In 1999 in Jerusalem he came 7th in the grand final with the song Putnici. In 2011 in Düsseldorf he finished 6th in the grand final with Love In Rewind, which is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second best result in history of the contest. Actually Dino debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest already back in 1993, when he wrote and composed Sva Bol Svijeta – Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first entry as an independent country.

A translation of the lyrics to Sve Dok Te Bude Imalo are provided below the video.

Translation of the lyrics

As Long As You Exist

May your hands bring anything
Just don’t that be a flower
That ain’t have the scent

May anything lie on your lips
Just don’t that be a word
That could inspire me

May your chest carry anything
Just don’t that be a breath (sigh)
For someone else

May your eyes reflect anything
Just not glow
When I’m not around

As long as you exist
I’m not afraid at all
I fear no one, except everyone

May your thoughts bear anything
Just know that words ring stronger
When told silently

May your dreams carry anything
Just don’t that be a lie
We deserve more

As long as you exist
I’m not afraid at all
I fear no one, except everyone
Let the bird of the heart take off
There’s always a cause to die

Categories: Eurovisionary

04
August
2017

Is Salvador Sobral already tired of Eurovision?

Is Salvador Sobral already tired of Eurovision?

Salvador Sobral Portugal 2017)

He will play a role in next year’s Portuguese national selection, Festival Da Canção. As this year’s winner, he is also expected to appear at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. However, currently it looks like Salvador Sobral wants nothing to do with it. 

RTP is bringing some unprecedented new changes to Portugal’s national selection this year, as Salvador Sobral will be in charge of selecting one of the 20 songs that will be competing to represent the country in next year’s Eurovision.

While this is an obvious homage to the singer for bringing Portugal’s first Eurovision trophy home, it may not exactly be what Salvador wanted as parts of his future plans as he already looks sick and tired of all this Eurovision phenomena around him. Even though, the event is to blame for the relaunching of his commercial career, the Portuguese Pop Idol is now refusing to sing Amar Pelos Dois at his concerts.

That happened last July, 26th during one of his gigs. While everyone was aware that it was a joint concert with another singer, the entire audience expected the little treat at the end, but it didn’t happen. After waiting about 15 minutes, it was obvious Luísa’s brother wasn’t returning to sing the Eurovision winning entry. The crowd ended up booing him before leaving the venue.

See alsoEurovision final on the 12th of May 2018 at the MEO Arena in Lisbon, Portugal

But that’s not the only situation. A month ago, during the benefit concert in wake of Pedrógrão Grande’s fire victims, the Portuguese singer headlined every news titles for a quite inappropriate comment that raised suspicions that, not only he isn’t enjoying this sudden success but he never really wanted to breakthrough in the first place: “I feel like I can do anything and you’ll applaud me. What if I fart right now? I want to see your reaction!

Well, thankfully, he didn’t put that into practice and apologised a few days later for the comment.

Though those two events caused headlines and a lot of buzz, Salvador Sobral’s lack of interest in the song and in Eurovision was already obvious even before the competition took place. Besides his common comments that he had never watched a single edition of the show, during rehearsals, the Eurovision winner attempted to make a few changes to the song.

One can only hope that by March – when Festival da Canção will take place – people’s hype for Salvador won’t bother him anymore and will allow him to take a back seat and experience Eurovision in a completely different way… Maybe even being responsible for the winning song if his selected composer wins – a similar scenario to what happened to Luísa Sobral this year.

Portuguese composers will submit songs to Portugal’s national selection

Next year will mark the 50th edition of Portugal’s national selection for Eurovision – Festival Da Canção – and will have 20 songs competing. The program will be divided into three shows: two semifinals and one final. The first two will take place in RTP’s studios and each will present ten songs.

The grand final, which will take place in Multiusos Guimarães next March, 4th as part of RTP’s promise to promote other cities, will then gather the five finalists of each semifinal and select the winner that will represent Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 next May, 12th.

Due to the success – and the unexpected final result – of last year’s Festival da Canção that ended up being the country’s first victory, RTP will maintain its decision on inviting certain composers but not at 100% as mentioned before. Out of the 20 entries, 17 will be invited by the broadcaster to write a song, produce it and select a singer. The three remaining spots will be decided in a completely unprecedented way.

Besides Salvador’s choice, the two remaining spots will be open to Portuguese composers: one selected through a radio channel program – “Master Class” – and the other being submitted through RTP’s website by anyone whose nationality is Portuguese or is currently living in the country.

Categories: Eurovisionary

04
August
2017

Sergey Lazarev releases new single Tak Krasivo

Sergey Lazarev releases new single Tak Krasivo

Sergey Lazarev at Stockholm's red carpet event in 2016.

Today, the Russian representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sergey Lazarev, released new single Tak Krasivo (So beautiful) from his upcoming album.

The Russian popstar knows no rest. Following the huge success in Stockholm, where he came 3rd behind Ukraine and Australia, Sergey has been very active with his musical career. He released several singles – Breaking Away, the Russian version of his Eurovision entry Pust’ Ves’ Mir Podojdyot (Let the World Wait), Idealny Mir (Ideal World), and, Lucky Stranger (both in English and Russian).

He has taken part in numerous music awards in Russia. He’s been awarded The Artist of the Year, The Breakthrough of the Year, and, twice, The Best Singer.

Along with many Eurovision contestants from Ukraine, Russia and Azerbaijan such as Ani Lorak, LOBODA, Nikki and Polina Gagarina, Sergey performed at the Russian sponsored song festival Zhara (Heat) that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan on July 27th to 30th.

Now, Sergey is set to surprise his fans. The surprise is that, starting today, August 4th, every 3-4 weeks, Sergey will be releasing a new single from the upcoming album, that way fans can remain engaged for a longer period of time.

The new single Tak Krasivo is a song about love and how beautiful it is. It’s a slow tempo and mellow track. Towards the end of the song, Sergey shows the power of his voice and aims at high notes.

The singer noted that, in today’s music world, it’s not necessarily exciting to release a full album without previously sparking interest for it, and, for that reason, he does not want to take away the opportunity from the fans to enjoy every song. The album will exclusively contain new songs and no remixes or remakes of previous songs. Sergey has promised a December release of the album.

You can can listen to Sergey’s new single following this iTunes link.

Categories: Eurovisionary

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