06
December
2017

The dark history behind Portugal’s 2018 Eurovision stage design

The dark history behind Portugal’s 2018 Eurovision stage design

"Slavers Revenging their Losses," shows a coffle of men, women, and children".(J. E. Chambliss, "The Life and Labors of David Livingstone" Philadelphia, 1875)

Is there a sinister story behind the Portuguese stage design?  Portugal wants to celebrate their history of one of the earliest world nautical super powers. But, there is another side to their history…

This year Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in history. Salvador Sorbal’s victory in Kyiv ended the longest winless run by a country in the Eurovision history – a staggering 53 years. His song Amar pelos dois which was written and composed by his sister Luisa, was highly praised for its simplistic charm and allowed Portugal the honour to host the event in 2018.

Last month the Portuguese broadcaster announced that next year’s contest will be nautical themed with the slogan All Aboard! and earlier this week we were given a sneak peak of the stage design.  Stage designer Florian Weider described how the stage was designed to look like the hull of a ship. He explained that this was “mainly due to the Portuguese sailor men, who traveled the seas with courage and outstanding skills of navigation.” He added that “The rich history of the Portuguese as a maritime nation reflects, without any boundaries, all of the values that make the Eurovision Song Contest unique today. Portugal and especially Lisbon are historic melting pots enriched by the impressions of newly discovered cultures that were brought back to the home port.”

Portugal’s black history

However there were a few eyebrows raised when the announcement was made this week. As there is a somewhat more sinister history behind the Portuguese stage design.

In the 15th century, Portugal had one of the largest empires in the world including the first colonial empire. They were pioneers of the sea, using and developing the best navigational and cartography tools. Which fits in well with the four inspiration points behind the stage design: Navigation; Sea; Ships & Maps.

But during this they were also pioneers of the transatlantic slave trade, where it has been documented that Portuguese sailors began to kidnap people from the west coast of Africa taking those that they enslaved back to Europe by ship. Later, instead of kidnapping, the Portuguese traded guns and ammunition for slaves.

Lisbon, next year’s host city, was the major port involved in the Portuguese slave trade. From here, ships went to West Africa and took enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the Portugese-owned colony of Brazil. It is estimated that by the early 16th century as much as 10% of Lisbon’s population was of African descent. Of course, Portugal were not the only country to engage in the slave trade. They were subsequently followed by fellow European countries including the British, French, Spanish and Dutch empires.

Historians still debate exactly how many Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic during the next four centuries. A comprehensive database compiled in the late 1990s puts the figure at just over 11 million people. Portugal abolished slavery fully in 1896.

See alsoLisbon reveals their stage design for 2018

Similar controversies in themes

Portugal are not the first country to have a controversial theme. Last year, Ukraine used the slogan Celebrate Diversity as their theme when they hosted the competition for the second time. Usually such an empowering slogan would be welcomed with open arms. However, it seemed to many extremely contradictory when the country had such an unwelcomed attitude towards LGBT and ethnic minorities.

One could argue that there is no correlation because Portugal abolished slavery over 100 years ago and have become a well respected country and considered one of the most peaceful in the world, but we shouldn’t forget the past.

Categories: Eurovisionary

06
December
2017

Hungary: Viktor Király and Leander Kills return to A Dal

Hungary: Viktor Király and Leander Kills return to A Dal

Hungary has released the list of participants for A Dal 2018, the competition which will be used once again to select the act for the Eurovision Song Contest. There are a lot of debuting acts in the show, but also some familiar names like Viktor Király, Peet Project, Reni Tolvai and Leander Kills.

Viktor Király back in A Dal

American trained singer Viktor Király is the biggest name in the line-up. He won talent show Megasztár in Hungary in 2008, and reached the last 24 in The Voice of America in 2015. In between, he had scored four number-1-hits in Hungarian charts.

Király made his A Dal debut in 2012 when he performed with his twin brother Benjamin and their sister Linda. Their song “Untried” placed fourth in the final. Viktor went solo in 2014 and reached the superfinal with his song “Running out of Time”.

Rock groups return

The rock group Leander Kills made it to the final this year with their song “Élet”. Peet Project was also a contender in 2017, reaching the semi final with “Kill Your Monster”. Reni Tolvai, a previous winner of the talent show Megasztár, had her best attempt in 2016 when her song “Fire” got eliminated in the semi finals.

All the participants for A Dal 2018:

#yeahla feat.Viki Eszes – “Egy szó, mint száz”
Andy Roll – “Turn The Lights On”
AWS – “Viszlát nyár”
Ceasefire X – “Satellites”
Cintia Horváth – “Journey”
Fourtissimo – “Kisnyuszi a kalapban”
Gabi Knoll – “Nobody to die for”
Gábor Heincz ”BIGA” – “Good vibez”
Gergely Dánielfy – “Azt mondtad”
Ham ko Ham – “Bármerre jársz”
Leander Kills – “Nem szól harang”
Living Room – “Kirakat élet”
Maszkura és a Tücsökraj – “Nagybetus szavak”
Maya ‘n’ Peti – “Nekem te”
Nemzenekar – “Waiting”
Nene zenekar – “Mese a királyról”
Nikoletta Szoke, Attila Kökény, Róbert Szakcsi Lakatos – “Életre kel”
Noémo – “Levegot”
Nova Prospect – “Vigyázó”
Peet Project – “Runaround”
Odett Polgár – “Aranyhal”
Reni Tolvai – “Everest”
Roland Gulyás – “Hypnotized”
SativuS – “Lusta lány”
Tamás Horváth – “Meggyfa”
Tamás Vastag – “Ne hagyj reményt”
The Matter – “Broken Palms”
Viktor Király – “Budapest Girl”
Yesyes – “I let you run away”
Zsolt Süle – “Zöld a május”

Categories: ESC Daily

06
December
2017

Latvia announces finalists for Supernova 2018

Latvia announces finalists for Supernova 2018

Today, the Latvian broadcaster, LTV, announced the acts, who will perform in the Supernova 2018 final, with the hopes of representing their country, this year in Lisbon, Portugal.

Supernova has been the selection show from Latvia, since 2015. A string of poor results were reversed in 2015, after the introduction of the show, when Aminata took the song Love Injected into the top 10. The following year, she composed the song Heartbeat, for the singer Justs, which also gave Latvia, a place in the final.

However , last years Latvian choice, Triana Park, placed last in their semi final with the song, Line. It remains to be seen, whether Supernova, can produce a successful entry, without the help of Aminata. This year she has written Ed Rallidae’s song.

Below is the list of the 2018 hopefuls. Markus Riva is the best known name, as he returns again, this year, with the song This Time.

Agnese Stengrevics – You Are My World
DVINES – More Than Meets the Eye
Ed Rallidae – What I Had with You
Edgars Kreilis – Younger Days
Hypnotic – Pray
In My Head – Sunset
Jenny May – Soledad (Loneliness)
Katrīna Gupalo and The Black Birds – Intoxicating Caramel
Katrine Lukins – Running Red Lights
Kris & Oz – Morning Flight
Laura Rizzotto – Funny Girl
Lauris Valter- Esamība
Liene Greifāne – Walk the Talk
MADARA – Esamība (Existence)
Markus Riva – This Time
MIONIA – You
Monta – 1000 Roses
Rahu the Fool – Oh Longriver
Riga Reggae – Stop the War U2
Ritvars – Who’s Counting?
Sudden Lights – Just Fine

The Supernova final will be held in February 2018. You can enjoy Markus’s lyric video below, and judge if this will finally be his year.

Categories: Eurovisionary

06
December
2017

What we know so far about Austria’s Cesár Sampson

What we know so far about Austria’s Cesár Sampson

Cesár Sampson

Austria’s broadcaster, yesterday officially announced Cesár Sampson will be the country’s representative at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Cesár is not a stranger to the Eurovision stage, as this will mark his third time in a row stepping on it.

The singer has been part of the Bulgarian team twice helping them to achieve the country’s best results so far.

He helped Bulgaria rank #4 at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest giving the country its best result until when in 2017, he elevated the standards by helping Kristian Kostov achieve the second place in the competition. If this is indeed a trend, Austria may end up as the winner of next year’s Eurovision.

Cesár is not only expected to bring a phenomenal song to the Eurovision stage as he has worked countless times as a producer, but he will certainly bring in the looks as well, as modelling is just another talent. Leaving the arts world behind, Sampson has also worked as a physical therapist where he supported people with disabilities and handicaps.

Being internally selected by Austria’s broadcaster – ORF – and working mostly in the background of productions, there’s not a lot of material from Cesár available but that should change as Eurovision comes closer. In fact, his entry should be released by the beginning of 2018 according to Eurovision.tv.

Despite the lack of published material, one shouldn’t have to worry if Cesár is good enough or not, according to Kathrin Zechkner, ORF’s Television Director: “Cesár is rhythm, he is a child of humanity, he is a voice! Cesár lives and breathes music and is an empathic artist! He understands how to use his voice, as a singer and as a human being. (…) He is equally authentic and unique, just an outstanding Austrian artist, who is sure to make our country proud in Lisbon.”

Nathan Trent – Austria’s 2017 representative – is also sure Cesár is a good choice: “You‘re gonna do great bro!”, he posted on his social media.

Austria finished at number 16 in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest grabbing null points from the public. Enjoy Nathan’s performance of Running On Air, below.

Categories: Eurovisionary

06
December
2017

A Dal 2018: Thirty participants revealed for Hungary

A Dal 2018: Thirty participants revealed for Hungary

Today, during a press conference held in Budapest’s Akvárium Klub Hungarian broadcaster MTVA has presented the 30 participating acts in the country’s Eurovision national selection show A Dal.

More than 350 songs had been submitted to A Dal 2018 (just slightly falling short of last year’s more than 370). From them, a pre-jury consisting of music and television professionals have finally determined the thirty lucky acts, who can perform during the live shows, and have a chance to get the Eurovision ticket to Lisbon.

Among the participants we can find some familiar names from previous editions of A Dal like Viktor Király, Leander Kills, Reni Tolvai or Tamás Vastag, but we will see many newcomers performing too. Another interesting fact is that Roland Gulyás’s song “Hypnotized” has been written by Hungary’s 2013 Eurovision entrant Alex Márta, or as we all know him, ByeAlex.

Here is the full list of the thirty acts:

01. Andy Road – Turn the Lights On
02. AWS – Viszlát nyár
03. Ceasefire X – Satellite
04. Gergely Dánielfy – Azt mondtad
05. Fourtissimo – Kisnyuszi a kalapban
06. Roland Gulyás – Hypnotized
07. Ham ko Ham – Bármerre jársz
08. Gábor Heincz “Biga” – Good Vibez
09. Cintia Horváth – Journey
10. Tamás Horváth – Meggyfa
11. Viktor Király – Budapest Girl
12. Gabi Knoll – Nobody to Die For
13. Leander Kills – Nem szól harang
14. Living Room – Kirakat élet
15. Maszkura és a Tücsökraj – Nagybetűs szavak
16. Mayalina – Nekem te
17. Nemzenekar – Waiting
18. Nene zenekar – Mese a királyról
19. Noémo – Levegőt
20. Nova Prospect – Vigyázó
21. Peet Project – Run Around
22. Odett Polgár– Aranyhal
23. SativuS – Lusta lány
24. Zsolt Süle– Zőld a május
25. Nikoletta Szőke, Attila Kökény, and Róbert Szakcsi Lakatos – Életre kel
26. #yeahla feat. Viki Eszes – Yellow Feet
27. The Matter – Broken Palms
28. Reni Tolvai– Everest
29. Tamás Vastag – Ne hagyj reményt
30. YesYes – I Let You Run Away

During the press conference the jury members for the live shows were also announced: Károly Frenreisz (rock musician), Miklós Both (songwriter), Judit Schell (actress) and Misi Mező (singer-guitarist) will judge the songs.

It was also revealed that Krisztina Rátonyi and Freddie will be this year’s hosts of the show, after commentating on Eurovision in Kyiv last May.

A Dal 2018 will once again consist of six live shows:

1st Heat – 20 January

2nd Heat – 27 January

3rd Heat – 3 February

Semi Final 1 – 10 February

Semi Final 2 – 17 February

Grand Final – 24 February

Who would you like to see representing Hungary at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon? Let us know in the comments!

Meanwhile enjoy the performance of Origo, last year’s Hungarian entry.

Categories: Eurovisionary

06
December
2017

Latvia: Markus Riva makes fourth attempt at Supernova

Latvia: Markus Riva makes fourth attempt at Supernova

For the fourth year in a row, Markus Riva makes an attempt to represent Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest. He has taken part in all the editions of the Supernova shows thus far.

In previous years, Supernova consisted of four shows, with two heats, a semi final and the grand final. This year, the 21 contestants are being devided in three semi finals. Two qualifiers from each will then move straight in to the grand final.

The line-up for Supernova 2018

Check out the list of 21 acts in the Latvian preselection below. The songs can be heard by clicking on the song title.

  • Agnese Stengrevics — “You Are My World”
  • Liene Greifaune — “Walk the Talk”
  • MIONIA — “You”
  • Laura Rizzotto — “Funny Girl”
  • MADARA — “Esamiba”
  • Katrine Lukins — “Running Red Lights”
  • Monta — “1000 Roses”
  • Jenny May — “Soledad”
  • Markus Riva — “This Time”
  • Edgars Kreilis — “Younger Days”
  • Ritvars — “Who’s Counting“
  • Lauris Valters — “Lovers Bliss“
  • Ed Rallidae — “What I Had With You”
  • In My Head — “Sunset“
  • DVINES — “More Than Meets The Eye“
  • Hypnotic — “Pray“
  • Sudden Lights — “Just Fine“
  • Rahu the Fool — “Oh, Longriver“
  • Riga Reggae — “STOP THE WAR U2“
  • Katrina Gupalo & The Black Birds — “Intoxicating Caramel“</

Categories: ESC Daily

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