After the recent announcement that Australia will be participating in the next Junior Eurovision Song Context (to be held in Tbilisi, Georgia), the focus is now on the selection of a young artist to represent the nation. Our Australian team member Joshua Mayne tells you who the main candidates are.
Bella Paige (2015) and Alexa Curtis (2016) received top 10 results with their two respective entries, so the Australian delegation – who are now working together with ABC ME to broadcast the junior version of the contest – will be keen to replicate and hopefully improve on previous results.
Contestants must be between the ages of 9 and 14, which rules out the popular young ‘The Voice Australia’ Grand Finalist, Lucy Sugerman. Still it is quite likely that the Australian representative will – again – be a former The Voice Kids participant.
Abigail was only 9 years old when she competed in the inaugural (and so far, the only) ‘The Voice Kids Australia’ in 2014. She blew the judges away in her audition with a strong rendition of Alicia Key’s ‘Empire State of Mind’.
With a powerful voice similar to last year’s Junior Eurovision winner Mariam Mamadashvili, there’s no doubt that she’s capable of producing a captivating performance, particularly seeing that she will have matured since her time on the Voice Kids.
Katie and Emilie
Also contestants from ‘The Voice Kids Australia’ in 2014, now both 14, Katie and Emilie are identical twins from Perth, Western Australia. Although none of the judges turned for them in their audition, the sisters have persevered.
In April this year, they released their second single called ‘Bloodlines’. This experience in the industry, along with their unique stage presence, makes them strong contenders to represent Australia in Tbilisi.
Musical Theatre Actors and Singers
With a myriad of young talent available in the Australian musical theatre industry, there’s no reason why an Australian entrant for Junior Eurovision couldn’t be a singer sourced from a musical.
Although theatre actors/singers don’t usually sing songs that tend to be performed on the Eurovision stage, the ability is already within them. With a bit of tweaking, a Junior Eurovision contestant could be created.
Options include Harriet Turnbull (1984), Nicholas Cradock (Les Miserables) and Madison Russo (The Sound of Music).
Callum The Heavy Metal Kid
To say the least, it would be a very left of centre entry if ‘Callum The Heavy Metal Kid’ is selected, but after all, Eurovision always expects the unexpected. He made such a positive impression on the 2016 edition of ‘Australia’s Got Talent’, that even rock legend Ozzy Osbourne was impressed after being shown Callum’s audition.
There’s no doubting that Callum has a natural talent and strong passion for this style of music, but the question will be whether or not the Australian delegation will select an act that could be quite divisive. It might be an unlikely choice, but it’s an option nevertheless…
The 2017 Eurovision winner Salvador Sobral will have a role to play in the Portuguese national final. RTP announced in the regulations for the 2018 edition of Festival da Canção that the composers will remain the focus point of the search for the new Portuguese entry.
The Portuguese national broadcaster, RTP, will decide on 17 of the composers. However, there will be 3 slots open. These will be selected by the following people:
The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest winner Salvador Sobral
The winner of a competition held by Portuguese radio station Antenna 1
An Open Call for submissions. RTP will select the jury deciding the open call winner.
As before, Festival da Canção will have a 50/50 voting system in the semi final. This will be a combination of a single jury and the televote to determine which of the semi finalists will progress to the finals. In the grand final, it will be a televote with a combination of 7 regional juries. Should a tiebreaker situation occur, the act with the most televotes will fly the Portuguese flag on home soil.
Dates for the semi finals are February 18th and 25th and the Grand Final on March 4th will take place in Guimarães.
Russian broadcaster quickly pledged to send Julia Samoylova for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest after she was denied entry to Ukraine and this year’s contest. Yet several other artists have their eyes set on the event. What is Russia up to these days and is it living up to its promise?
The contest has been broadcast on two different Russian state channels VGTRK and Channel 1, taking turns in broadcasting each year. Shortly after Julia’s ban from Ukraine for illegal border crossing on the territory of the Crimea and withdrawal from the contest, this year’s Russian broadcaster Channel 1 confirmed that it had spoken to the head director of VGTRK. Both channels came to agreement that Julia would be representing Russia in the following year.
On July 26th, Julia Samoylova’s press-secretary reported that Julia is still waiting for the official confirmation of her Eurovision 2018 participation to take place in Lisbon, Portugal. She added that Julia has dreams to represent Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest. But also that she hasn’t yet started preparing due to no official confirmation from Russia-1 (VGTRK), next year’s broadcaster. The singer is currently working in the studio recording her new song Vdrug Ryadom Drug (Suddenly A Friend is Near) to be released in the near future.
The fact that Julia still hasn’t received an official confirmation from VGTRK puts her in an awkward situation. Unless there is an official statement from a broadcaster regarding a contestant, nothing is set in stone. Therefore, the promise of Julia made by VGTRK can’t be valid. Will Julia be going to Lisbon after all?
Earlier this month, The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) gave Channel 1 a warning for not broadcasting the contest while Ukraine received a heavy fine of 200,000 euros for not letting the Russian representative into the country.
Considering that the decision appear to be made for Julia to represent Russia again in 2018, hints that Russia would again be making an internal choice.
Last December, The Tolmachevy Twins have expressed their interest to return to Eurovision again in 2018. The sisters won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Bucharest, Romania scoring 154 points. In 2014 the sisters entered, yet again, the contest though, this time the adult Eurovision. They came 7th with 89 points. If the sisters do make a comeback in 2018, it will mark their 3rd participation in the contest. This could set the Tolmachevy Twins the record as the only Russian artists to enter the contest 3 times. At this time, the Tolmachevy Twins share the title with Dima Bilan both entering a Eurovision twice.
Earlier today, Russia’s representative in 2016 Sergey Lazarev posted pictures together with Dima Bilan from traveling to Portugal on his Instagram. The artist revealed the purpose of the travel as shooting a video, as part of the collaboration project, for the song Prosti Menya (Forgive Me). Surprisingly, the artist chose Portugal as a shooting spot, meaning there might be more than just a shooting involved. Potentially, some future Eurovision plans. Sergey came 3rd in 2016 with 491 points.
Who will represent Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest in Portugal is still unclear. After a series of huge successes, Russia has its bar set high. Will Russia venture to send Julia and keep the promise of making her wish to represent the country come true? Or will it decide for the Tolmachevy Twins, Sergey Lazarev, or perhaps somebody else? We shall hopefully soon find out.
This week Australia announced that they would once again take part at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The 2017-edition will mark the third time that the Land Down Under will be present at the contest. And so will ESCDaily.com!
Let’s look back at the brief history of Australia at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and what we can expect from them in Tblisi this year.
Debut in Sofia in 2015
The participation of Australia in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest first began in Sofia, Bulgaria, at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015. SBS previously broadcast every edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest on a broadcast delay, before getting the opportunity to actually take part.
The first representative to participate for the nation at the 2015 contest was Bella Paige with the song “My Girls”. After the first round of rehearsals, enthusiasm took over the press center in Bulgaria, with people stating that Bella’s song might be “too good for Junior Eurovision”.
After two days of rehearsals, the young participants of tcontest in Sofia finally got the Opening Ceremony they deserved. All of the 17 artists arrived in their best attire, including Bella Paige! ESCDaily weas on the scene to cover the event.
In the end, Bella finished in eighth place out of seventeen participating entries, achieving a score of sixty-four points. A slightly disappointing result…
Alexa makes it to the top-5 in Valletta
Australia continued their participation at the 2016 contest, having internally selected Alexa Curtis with her song “We Are”. Another former star from The Voice Australia, as was Bella Paige. And another young artist that knew very clear what she wanted to do with her performance…
In the press center, there was a lot of debate whether or not Alexa needed additional help from backing dancers, or not.
But “We Are” finished in fifth place, scoring 202 points; Australia’s best result to date. It is safe to say that Alexa did a fair job in Malta.
Three the lucky number for Australia at Junior Eurovision?
Will Australia go all the way in Tblisi and win a Eurovision event for the first time in history? Paul Clarke, Australia’s Head of Delegation at Eurovision and Director of Blink TV, said. “Eurovision and Junior Eurovision always showcase our Australian singers and songwriters in the most impactful way, and to a huge European audience. This is a very exciting new step in our Eurovision story and we welcome ABC ME and their viewers! We really look forward to working with ABC ME”. Clarke also confirmed that the adult contest will remain at SBS Australia.
Chances are that Australia will once again go for a young artist that has some experience already on a big stage. It is very likely they will once again end us with someone that took part in The Voice Kids Australia. We will cover a couple of possible names for Georgia 2017 later this week.
Bucks Fizz are rebranding and releasing their first new album in three decades. Now known as simply The Fizz, their new single has been premiered on BBC’s Radio 2 this morning.
After 35 years, Bucks Fizz are back with a new name, a new single and a new album. Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston have returned to the music industry alongside former Sweet Dreams member Bobby McVey is replaced Bobby G. Together they go by the name The Fizz. Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine show the group also announced their new tour which is scheduled to take place in September along with their new album entitled The F-Z of Pop.
The group had to re-brand as it was alleged that original member Bobby G owns the copyright to the name Bucks Fizz and subsequently tours with this name performing with three other members. In 2011 Bobby G attended a court hearing against Cheryl, Mike and Jay for using the name The Original Bucks Fizz. The Judge agreed with Bobby G that the name was an impediment on their trademark name and thereafter the group renamed themselves The Fizz.
The new single Dancing In The Rain was premiered on BBC’s Radio 2 this morning and will be released with a new album which has been produced by Mike Stock who was part of the dynamic Stock, Aitken and Waterman writing trio of the 1980’s.
Speaking about the new project, Original member Cheryl Baker said “I cannot tell you how happy I am to have been back in the studio, my favourite place”.
Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom in 1981 with their catchy song Making Your Mind Up. They narrowly beat the German entry with just 4 points separating them. Following their victory, Bucks Fizz went on to sell over 50 million records with several number one hits. The Bucks Fizz line up has changed dramatically over the years with no less than 16 members performing in the group at one point or another.
You can remind yourself of the original line up, their victory and their iconic performance in the video below.
GERMANY – It was 1976 when Tony Marshall won the national selection and was ready to represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest but he disqualified as his entry was discovered to be previously performed by an Israeli singer.
Local press report that 41 years after his disqualification Tony Marshall wants to represent his country in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest edition in Lisbon stating: In the last years we have only been humiliated.
“In recent years we have only been humiliated,” the singer told a German publication, “Twelve points do not know what … Eurovision is about music! We should think about it.” Regarding the fact that NDR has not yet revealed its plans for the 2018 competition, Tony Marshall says he is ready for the various scenarios: “I am ready, whatever the process. I want to compete with a German song” he reiterated, despite being 80 next May. Asked about the controversy that put him out of the Eurovision Song Contest of 1976, the singer expressed great regret: “It was a great disappointment for me, so I’m going to start preparing for next year’s participation.”