11
June
2018

Bosnia and Herzegovina is not definitely out of 2019 Eurovision Song Contest

Bosnia and Herzegovina is not definitely out of 2019 Eurovision Song Contest

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Several Eurovision media recently reported that, Bosnia and Herzegovina won’t be able to come back next year. Lejla A. Babović, responsible for the Eurovision project within BHRT (Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Radio and Television) explains why it however is too soon to conclude anything.

According to Babović, nothing has been decided yet although she is pessimistic about Bosnia and Herzegovina’s chances to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest next year: “I cannot confirmed anything right now. But I have to make you aware of that the EBU has sanctioned BHRT which means that we are not allowed to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest“.

The sanctions, Babović is talking about here, has been imposed in december 2016 as BHRT’s debt to the EBU is over 3 million euros.

We also asked Lejla A. Babović if BHRT would consider to make comeback to the contest, if the sanctions are lifted. She explains that the current situation makes them unable to decide such things yet. Next month’s Football World Cup is used as an example of something they want to broadcast, but currently haven’t secured yet.

It is still too early for BHRT to make any decision about participation in the Eurovision Song Contest even if we weren’t sanctioned. Why? Because for many years, the financial situation and working conditions on BHRT didn’t make it possible for us to make plans in good time. Especially when it comes to such a demanding project as the Eurovision Song Contest is. The present model of collecting the licence fee (through electricity bills) provides the minimum level of existence for BHRT. At the current moment we are struggling to acquire the broadcasting rights for FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer, so people in Bosnia and Herzegovina can follow this prestigious event on the public broadcaster. Nobody knows what will happen after that. 

Lejla A. Babović (BHRT)

Financial difficulties have been a serious issue for the national broadcaster for a very long time threatening them to shut down in the worst-case scenario. A year ago, EBU, BHRT, the Bosnia and Herzegovina Journalist Association, the Council of Europe, the Office of the OSCE Representative of Freedom of the Media, the European Federation of Journalists and the South East Europe Media Organisation held an international conference in Sarajevo, where they concluded that the collapse of public service media (PSM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina is unacceptable. Back then, Marko Filli, who is EBU Board Member, said that BHRT’s debt towards the EBU is the slightest problem, and that is very easy to make an agreement regarding the repayment. 

It seems that there is a lot of goodwill to help BHRT, but we still need the decisive mesaures to be taken by the broadcaster and the EBU, so that Bosnia and Herzegovina again can become a full member of Eurovision family. The country last took part in 2016. In the video below, remind yourself of their entry Ljubav Je.

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11
June
2018

Do you feel like dancing? Learn Eleni’s “Fuego” dance moves

Do you feel like dancing? Learn Eleni’s “Fuego” dance moves

Eleni Foureira (Cyprus 2018)

Did you ever dream of rehearsing the choreography of “Fuego” with Eleni Foureira herself? Now you can begin practicing the moves from this year’s Eurovision runner-up.

Eleni Foureira has been one of this year’s Eurovision acts that has mostly benefited from the show’s exposure. Not only did she get exposure for her Cypriot entry Fuego in many European and South American countries, she is now travelling Europe for promotional purposes. Her first stop is Spain. The Greek singer has been invited to perform her Eurovision hit at Fama a Bailar – a dancing talent show similar to So You Think You Can Dance – but not alone.

See alsoEurovision 2018 songs fairly successful in the Swedish charts

Instead, Eleni took the stage with the TV show’s cast and, because of that, she spent some time rehearsing with the team. The program has a live YouTube channel that airs 24 hours a day. An hour of rehearsal is available online. In the video, Eleni performs the song more than three times with several breaks for specific moves, making it easier for everyone to learn and practice the routine.

With this being said, if you haven’t had the chance of learning the choreography just yet, here’s your chance. You can also take a look at the final performance of Fuego that aired in last night’s live show.

Eleni Foureira is Greek, but represented Cyprus at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. She came second, only losing out to Israel’s Netta in the final.

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11
June
2018

Isaura sings about lesbian love in new single “Closer”

Isaura sings about lesbian love in new single “Closer”

Isaura in "Closer"

A girl singing about another girl is not something we usually hear, but Isaura is making that change in her new single “Closer”. Portugal’s 2018 representative has just put out a new single and will soon release her breakthrough album.

People can be cruel and quite judgemental when they see a woman dressed in a certain way or rocking a specific hairdo but that has never bothered Isaura, who featured on this year’s Portuguese act. Another thing that certainly didn’t shake her off was the Eurovision last place with O Jardim as she seems ready to move on.

In between Eurovision rehearsals, interviews and even parties, Isaura has never forgotten about her own career outside of the bubble. Therefore, she had many things prepared by then and is now sharing a little bit of it with her audience. The most recent one being her brand new English single Closer where the Portuguese singer talks about a girl, a brave move taking in consideration all of the prejudice that still goes around the world. “She always says what she’s thinking (…). She always makes me feel like I am winning”, she sings during the first verses of this alternative Pop song that resembles American popstar Halsey’s music style.

See alsoLast year victory, this year last place – how did Portugal receive that?

Closer was written by Isaura and produced by Diogo Piçarra, who withdrew of this year’s Festival da Canção after being accused of plagiarism. As for the music video – where Isaura’s loved one dances with a man in the middle of the street – it was directed by Liliana Ramires.

Isaura’s breakthrough album – Human – is also now available for pre-ordering in all digital platforms. In the meantime and while we wait for it, take a look and a listen to Closer:

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11
June
2018

Eleni Foureira meets Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiadis in Presidential Hall

Eleni Foureira meets Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiadis in Presidential Hall

Eleni and Nikos Anastasiadis

After her recent Eurovision success, Eleni Foureira today met with the Cypriot president. Invited to the meeting was also “Fuego” songwriter Alex Papaconstantinou and the rest of the team behind this year’s runner-up entry.

Today, at the Presidential Hall in Cyprus, Eleni Foureira met with the Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiadis. He expressed his interest to meet the woman who made his country proud. He congratulated her with the second place that she brought home for Cyprus.

I’m very glad to welcome Eleni Foureira, Alex Papaconstantinoy and the whole team who represented us at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. We would like to thank them for their work. They became very good ambassadors for Cyprus abroad.

Nikos Anastasiadis, President of Cyprus, on Twitter.

Moments after her meeting with the president, Eleni said that it was so beautiful to be there, that she was honored and thrilled to meet Mr. Anastasiadis. The Greek singer took the opportunity to also reveal that she is going on a summer tour, starting her journey from Cyprus.

In the video below, you can hear Fuego performed live at this year’s Eurovision Village in Lisbon, Portugal:

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11
June
2018

Not participated since 2012 – how did the fan culture in Turkey survive?

Not participated since 2012 – how did the fan culture in Turkey survive?

Turkish Fans

They have been out of the game since Can Bonomo’s highly appreciated entry “Love Me Back” from 2012. He left the Turkish fans proud with a respectable 7th place. Unfortunately Turkey has not participated since then, but the fans are still there.

Out of the Eurovision Song Contest doesn’t mean that there are no Turkish Eurovision fans anymore, nor that they are sleeping. In Turkey, there are several fan clubs, with OGAE Turkey being most active. Eurovision has been highly popular among Turkish people even before it’s debut in 1975. The contest used to be like a national holiday until the 90’s. You would hardly see any people in the streets on the Grand Final night.

It was like a love and hate relationship although Turkey did not have much of a success in the 70’s and 80’s. In the 90’s, people started to lose the excitement, and Eurovision began to lose its popularity among the general Turkish population. It came as a big surprise when Sebnem Paker gained the respectable 3rd place with Dinle in 1997. But it wasn’t enough to get back to its glory days – until 2003. Sertab wrote history and brought the contest to Turkey. Sertab and her team were welcomed like heroes.

Although the Eurovision Song Contest is not broadcast today, most Turkish people still know about it, and many miss the days their country used to participate. However there is also a big number of people who think Eurovision voting is all political, where neighbors always vote for each other. For that part, participation or not, is not an issue they worry about. In general, people have little hope in participating again, but still they can’t keep themselves from checking up on the latest entries, especially the winner of the current year. If Turkish broadcaster TRT would only broadcast the shows, we’ll probably see a population still tuning in, no matter if their country took part or not.

Fan club in contact with TRT

OGAE Turkey currently has 190 active members. Back in 2012 when Turkey last participated, they had 120 members. So Eurovision is still fresh, and even growing in Turkey despite not participating.

The fanclub is frequently in touch with TRT, they keep repeating their request to go back to the good old days where Turkey used to take stage in the most popular TV show of Europe. Due to the government’s policies, the Turkish broadcaster unfortunately keeps turning down the request of fans – with explanations like complaints about the Big 5 countries’ direct qualification, neighbour voting, political voting etc.

OGAE Turkey members with Serhat (San Marino 2016)

Through their Facebook pages, Instagram account, YouTube channel, and a chatroom in which club members socialize and discuss Eurovision, the fans try to keep the excitement fresh, sharing news, their comments and their thoughts about the Eurovision Song Contest. They also organize and play online games through their website. The club members get together for Eurovision themed parties and meetings in Istanbul every year. Fans also get together on occasions like concerts, meeting with artists etc. These moments are shared with fans all over the world via social media, which is used effectively. OGAE Turkey, can just like other clubs in other countries, help fans with Eurovision tickets.

Return?

For now, there is no sign of Turkey returning to the Eurovision Song Contest, but Turkish fans are looking forward to a change of government on the 24th of June. Can that bring Turkey closer to Europe, and back to the contest? Only time will tell.

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11
June
2018

Laura Rizzotto in Brazilian love tribute

Laura Rizzotto in Brazilian love tribute

Laura Rizzotto (Latvia 2018)

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Laura Rizotto knows the language, the coulture and the music of Brazil. She has just released a cover version of an icon local love song – to celebrate the Brazilian Valentine’s Day.

To many music lovers, “The King” refers to Elvis Presley. That is, if you are not Brazilian. To them, “The King” is Roberto Carlos, not to be confused with the, also Brazilian, football player by the same name.

Roberto Carlos, now in his late 70’s, has been the role model of many artists in Brazil since the 1960’s, and many of his songs has forever burned itself into the memory of many people – one of those being this year’s Latvian Eurovision representatives Laura Rizzotto.

“It’s very special to me”. With those words, Laura published an English cover version of Como É Grande O Meu Amor Por Você, a well known love song by Roberto Carlos. She presented the song as being in relation Dia dos Namorados, which is the Brazilian Valentine’s Day. That day is on Tuesday the 12th of June, so with the publication last night, she is a bit ahead of time.

In the video below, you can hear Laura Rizzotto’s English version of Como É Grande O Meu Amor Por Você:

At the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, Laura Rizzotto represented Latvia with the self-written song Funny Girl. The song finished 12th with 106 points. She was just five points away from reaching the final.

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