25
February
2019

Ukraine 2019: Maruv will NOT go to Tel Aviv

Ukraine 2019: Maruv will NOT go to Tel Aviv

MARUV

Maruv confirmed that she had a 7 hour long meeting with the broadcaster. She couldn’t accept the terms of the agreement set out by UA:PBC and will not represent the nation when the contest arrives in Tel Aviv this year.

It has been announced that Maruv will not represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest when the competition arrives in Tel Aviv in May. After winning the public televote and the second highest score from the jury, Maruv was declared the winner however, after her victory, the broadcaster issued a statement to say that they reserved the right to change the decision suggesting that Maruv would have to comply to their terms and conditions before their decision would be finalised. This caused outrage among Eurovision fans who felt that as Maruv won Vidbir that she had already earned the right to represent the nation at Eurovision.

Maruv’s victory at vidbir was always going to be controversial. As tensions continue to run high between Russia and Ukraine there were concerns that Maruv’s popularity and planned concerts in Russia could cause some problems. And indeed it did as the singer was questioned about this by the judges in both the semi-final and the final of the show. This made for some uncomfortable viewing as Jamala pushed Maruv, real name Anna Korsun, to state whether Crimea was Ukrainian or Russian land.

On Sunday evening Maruv published the rules of the contract on her official facebook page. According to Maruv the contract stated that she is banned from making any improvisation of her performance on the stage without prior approval of the broadcaster, that she must fund her own trip and the trip of her entourage to Tel Aviv and international promo of the song and cancel all of her planned appearances in Russia. It seems that Maruv was not willing to put up with these demanding rules and chose not to sign the contract.

It has not been confirmed which act will replace Maruv and fly to Tel Aviv in her place.

You can remind yourself of what won’t be by watching Maruv’s performance of Siren Song at the vidbir final on Saturday.

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24
February
2019

Danish broadcaster reveals jury and televoting disagreement

Danish broadcaster reveals jury and televoting disagreement

Julie & Nina – League Of Light

Julie & Nina won the televoting in the Danish final, while Leonora was carried through to victory via the jury votes. That was revealed today when the broadcaster published the split result for the super final.

Denmark use the traditional Eurovision combination with 50% televoting and 50% jury. Sometimes the two parts are in agreement and other times they are not. The latter happened last night in the Danish Melodi Grand Prix final.

Leonora won with 42% of the votes. Those 42% came from 24% from the jury and 18% from televoting. When it came to Julie & Nina, it is clear that they were a lot more popular with the TV viewers than from the jury. Their combined 35% came from 23% televoting and only 12% from the jury.

See alsoVideo: Danish finalists in a challenging Finish The Sentence

From the beginning this year’s Danish final looked to be a race between Julie & Nina and Leonora while it was a lot more open who would get the third and last place in the super final with the three most popular acts. With combined 23% Sigmund got that spot. Quite surprisingly however, the split result reveals that the jury awarded him with 14% while he only got 9% from televoting.

ActJuryTelevotingTotal
Leonora24%18%42%
Julie & Nina12%23%35%
Sigmund14%9%23%

The Danish broadcaster has not revealed the split result from first round of voting so we don’t know if there was any disagreement between which three songs should advance to the super final.

In 2015, Denmark had a big disagreement between jury and televoting which resulted in DR changing the rules so that the jury from 2016 and forward would only vote in the first round. After three years with 100% televoting in the super final, the broadcaster this year went back to the old system.

DR’s Head of Entertainment and member of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group Jan Lagermand Lundme says: “This system is best in terms of reaching far in Eurovision. The people and the jury might focus on different things, and that gives a broad focus”.

The jury in the Danish final consisted of fans Peter Bach, Anette Ljunberg Kjeldsen, Kristina Møller Karlsen, Benjamin Holstebro, Jonas Leth-Jensen, Clara Amalie Singerholm Christiansen, Christina Janus, Jonas Jacobsen, Mila Milica Kovaljm and Danish commentator Ole Tøpholm.

See alsoMelodi Grand Prix 2019: Leonora wins Danish Eurovision ticket

In the video below take a look at Leonora performing her winning song Love Is Forever at the Afterparty shortly after her Melodi Grand Prix victory last night:

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24
February
2019

MARUV may represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv

MARUV may represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv

Maruv

One of the most successful countries, Ukraine should be represented by MARUV with the song named Siren Song this year in Tel Aviv. The decision comes after Ukraine held its national final this evening.

Tonight’s show featured contestants with some of the biggest names in the Ukrainian music industry. The final six acts who fought for the chance to represent Ukraine in Tel Aviv, Israel this May had qualified via two semi-finals.

Eurovision.tv have received this message from UA:PBC :

Statement from UA:PBC
We received the following statement from Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC:
UA:PBC provides MARUV as the winner of the national selection with an agreement for consideration, specifying the terms of participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. The official announcement of the representative of Ukraine at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will take place after signing the participation agreement.

Contents

  • 1 The Songs
  • 2 The Show
  • 3 The Results
  • 4 Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest

The Songs

Freedom Jazz – Cupidon

First up, the winner of the second semi-final, a group of three Freedom Jazz appears in a helicopter in colorful dresses with knotted bows on the front. Their outfits and retro styled performance match the fun & upbeat jazz song about a cupid’s love. Towards the end, the performance is accompanied by 3 backing vocalists playing trumpet. Danylko noted that the performance was not exactly what the song seems to be about.

Yuko – Galyna Guliala (Galyna Walked)

One of the stand-outs of this evening, Ukrainian electro-folk band YUKO sing a song about a girl named Galyna and how she mesmerizes everyone with her beauty. The song is performed fully in Ukrainian with ethnic elements showcasing YUKO’s consistency in vocal abilities. The performance features the singer dancing across the stage, little cartoons dancing in the red backdrop and 3 backing vocalists dressed in Ukrainian national costumes. Jamala praised the freedom of the performance. FIlatov also gave positive review of the performance.

MARUV – Siren Song

MARUV’s performance of her Siren Song was of the main highlights of the evening. As the winner of the first semi-final, her performance was the most anticipated among the fandom. Siren Song is a club banger with a catchy hook, fierce instrumental and an attitude. Compared to the semi-final performance, MARUV slightly changed the song by adding more singing in the beginning and guitar instrumental at the end. The performance involved a lot of dancing & wrapped it up with MARUV and the dancers playing the guitar. Based on the judges critiques, MARUV’s performance lacked vocals but had a great instrumental.

Brunettes Shoot Blondes – Houston

This is the fourth attempt of the band to represent Ukraine. The band appears behind a piano performing a song about an argument between the two with the hope to start over again. The song references the famous quote Houston, We Have a Problem used to describe an unforeseen problem. Throughout the performance, the stage is lit and, at some points is shown from different camera angles to give the performance a spacial vibe. The band received mostly positive reviews and was praised for showing something new and different.

KAZKA – Apart

Going into semi-final 2, the band was one of the main favorites to win it. However, the band did not live up to the expectations and came 3rd with the juries and televoting combined. Their song is about love and bond between a couple and has ethnic elements mixed with the modern sound accompanied by one of the members playing flute. The performance is ethereal and, towards the end we see a person’s shadow and birds flying in the backdrop. Jamala was mixed about the band’s performance noting the singer’s shaky vocals but liking the style. Danylko praised Ukrainian authenticity of the band.

Anna Maria – My Road

The band of twin sisters Anna Maria delivers a power mid-tempo ballad about letting go of problems and carrying on with life. Their voices are strong and in sync and there’s an evident connection between sisters on stage. Overall, the performance was strong and engaging.

The Show

Just like last year, the winner of the national final was chosen by a 50/50 voting system. Half of the votes were given by the general public and the other half by the expert jury.

The expert jury consisted of 2016 Eurovision winner Jamala, singer and producer Yevhen Filatov and singer Andriy Danylko, who represented the country in Eurovision 2007 under his stage persona Verka Serduchka.

The interval acts were Jamala with her new song Solo and this year’s French representative Bilal Hassani with his song Roi. 

The Results

The results of the Ukrainian national final were as follows:

DrawArtistSongJuryTelevoteResultsRanking
1Freedom JazzCupidon64102nd
2YukoGalyna Guliala4155th
3MaruvSiren Song56111st
4Brunettes Shoot BlondesHouston2354th
5KAZKAApart3583rd
6Anna MariaMy Road1236th

Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest

Since making its debut in 2003, Ukraine has had an excellent reputation at Eurovision. It has never failed to qualify for the grand final and has had a total of nine top 10 placements. Six of these have been in the top 5.

Ukraine has won the contest twice. Ruslana was the first artist to bring the Eurovision crown to Ukraine in 2004 with her song Wild Dances. Jamala won the contest with 1944 in 2016when the competition was in Stockholm. Jamala came second in both the jury and the public vote, but came in first place overall.

Last year, Ukraine was represented in Lisbon by Melovin who brought Ukraine 17th place.

You can watch MARUV’s performance of Siren Song in the following video.

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24
February
2019

Festival da Canção 2019: 2nd semi final completes Portugal’s finalists list

Festival da Canção 2019: 2nd semi final completes Portugal’s finalists list

Isaura was one of the judges for the Festival Da Cançao 2019 semi finals.

The second semi final of Portuguese selection Festival da Canção took place tonight. Four more hopefuls have made it through to the country’s Eurovision 2019 national final next week.

This year marks the 51st edition of Festival da Canção, Portugal’s customary national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest.

There were eight hopefuls competing tonight for the four remaining places in next week’s Festival da Cançao 2019 final. They will be joining Ana Cláudia, Calema, Conan Osíris and Matay, who got the ticket to the final during last Saturday’s first semi final.

Contents

    • 0.1 The show
    • 0.2 The song performances
    • 0.3 The 2nd semi final results
    • 0.4 The Festival da Cançao 2019 final lineup
    • 0.5 Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest
  • 1 In my view

The show

Tonight’s show came from the Lisbon studios of Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP). It was  hosted by two male presenters, José Carlos Malato and Jorge Gabriel, in contrast to last week’s two female hosts. A live audience surrounded the stage on all sides within a medium-sized RTP studio.

In the first hour of the show, the eight contestants got to perform their songs. The entries were introduced by postcard videos showing each act visiting places of interest in and around Portimão, the Southern Portuguese town that will host next Saturday’s final.

There were links to the greenroom, where actress/presenter Inês Lopes Gonçalves interviewed the contestants and the creators of the entries.

After all songs had been performed, there were comments by the jury. One of the jury members was Isaura, creator and co-singer of last year’s winning song O Jardem that went on to represent the country on home ground in Eurovision 2018.

The interval act was folk band Kumpania Algazarra, whose musical influences include Portuguese, gypsy, Arabic, Ska, Latina, Reggae and Balkan sounds. A pleasant surprise was when past Eurovision participant Manuela Bravo joined the band to sing her 1979 entry Sobe, Sobe, Balão Sobe.

The jury votes were subsequently announced by the head judge, TV presenter and entertainer Júlio Isidro. There followed the two presenters announcing the televoting results. The show ended with a recap of the four qualifiers and all participants joining onstage.

The song performances

Lara Laquiz – O Lugar

This was a quirky, mid-tempo electronic pop song. Lara appeared centre-stage with a female and male dancer, all dressed in black, with Lara herself wearing a wide brimmed hat and a strapless frock that hinted to folk Portuguese dress. As the performance progressed, it appeared as if the singer was standing on a raised podium hidden under her dress.

There is a beautifully understated, contemporary feel to O Lugar. Catchy backing vocals during the chorus and the characteristic staging add some memorability but it would have to step up its game to be a Eurovision contender.

Dan Riverman – Lava

One is instantly hit by Dan’s husky voice in what starts as a piano-based ballad. In his brown waistcoat, the singer is joined onstage by a pianist, an electric guitarist and a keyboards player.

Electronic fillers are introduced later on and the overall effect, though agreeable, might be a little subdued.

Mariana Bragada – Mar Doce

The presentation started with Mariana centre-stage and dramatically sub-lit in blue. The proper lights came on to reveal she was barefoot in her white and yellow striped dress and matching hair band. Three female vocalists dressed in black stood behind her.

This is an atmospheric, stark song based on guitar and vocals. Indeed, there are beautiful harmonies and the overall effect is quite sweet but the melody line, though distinctly Portuguese, might be found to be lacking flow by a wider Eurovision audience.

João Couto – O Jantar

João was wearing his characteristic round glasses, a smart casual blue suit, striped top and white trainers. He was joined by a male and two female backing vocalists.

For a change, this is a rhythmic mid-tempo song. There is an acoustic, live session feel about it. On occasion, the backing vocals  and drum beats give this a 1960s feel.

Madrepaz – Mundo A Mudar

Six people were onstage. The two main vocalists sit in the middle playing their guitars. There are a drummer and a keyboard player providing additional vocals as well as two female vocalists at the back, against backdrop impressions of trees.

Quirkiness is back with another guitar-based mid-tempo entry. The vocals and beautiful, tranquil harmonies take centre-stage in a combination of folk and more contemporary elements.

The group were still sporting paint around their eyes and the concept of their makeup hinted to a colourful take on the makeup popularly associated with attendees of the Mexican Day of The Dead celebrations.

Somehow, the music and the visual came together nicely.

Surma – Pugna

The act opens with the stage dramatically sub-lit, with spotlights creating white shafts of light. This is a really quirky number with atmospheric electronic echoes reverberating all along.

The singer herself takes quirkiness to a new level both with her vocal style, which turns almost into a whisper on occasion, as well as her look of short blonde hair, dark makeup and black hooded top, which she combines with trainers. She is joined by two backing vocalists. The characteristic element of the staging however were two dancers who move ghost-like in what looks like an interpretative choreography. The performance ends with everyone onstage slowly falling to the floor.

Mila Dores – Debaixo Do Luar

Mila, in a white evening gown, is at her piano. Two backing vocalists are also onstage.

This is a slow ballad with some atmospheric electronic backing. The sound gets more jazzy as the performance progresses and Mila leaves the piano to carry on her performance centre-stage.

NBC – Igual A Ti

The singer appears walking towards the centre of the stage lit in red light from behind. He is wearing a chequered suit and is very confident and animated during his performance.

This is yet another ballad, though more intense than anything else so far, conceptually reminiscent of Cesár Sampson’s Nobody But You, the Austrian entry last year.

The 2nd semi final results

There was a tie for fourth place between Mariana Bragada and Dan Riverman. In the end, it was the jury who decided to give Mariana the ticket to next Saturday’s Portugues final. The full results were as follows:

ArtistSongJuryTelevoteTotalPlaceResult
1Lara LaquizO Lugar3368th
2Dan RivermanLava7815=4th
3Mariana BragadaMar Doce8715=4thQUALIFIED
4João CoutoO Jantar55106th
5MadrepazMundo A Mudar610163rdQUALIFIED
6SurmaPugna126182ndQUALIFIED
7Mila DoresDebaixo Do Luar4487th
8NBCIgual A Ti1012221stQUALIFIED

The Festival da Cançao 2019 final lineup

The full lineup for the Portuguese final on 2nd March has now been determined as follows:

ArtistSong
Ana CláudiaInércia
CalemaA Dois
Conan OsírisTelemóveis
MatayPerfeito
Mariana BragadaMar Doce
MadrepazMundo A Mudar
SurmaPugna
NBCIgual A Ti
See alsoFestival da Cançao: First four finalists selected

Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest

2019 will mark Portugal’s 51st participation in the Eurovision Song Contest.

To date, the country has won only once, in 2017, with Salvador Sobral and Amar Pelos Dois, which resulted in Portugal hosting the Eurovision Song Contest last year.

The country has also attained some top ten positions: in 1971 (9th place), 1972 (7th place), 1979 (9th place), 1980 (7th place), 1991 (8th place), 1994 (8th place) and 1996 (6th place).

Being the host country, Portugal automatically qualified for the Grand Final last year, though only ended in 26th (and last) place.

In my view

This was a well-rehearsed, well-lit and well-directed show. The music, too, was pleasant in the alternative, understated way that one has normally comes to expect from Portugal over the years. Given that this was a Eurovision selection heat however, some more stand out numbers would not have gone amiss. At two hours long, this type of event could have benefited perhaps from being a little shorter, too.

The opinion expressed in "In my view" are those of the author and are not necessarily the one of EuroVisionary.com.

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23
February
2019

Jurijus wins Eurovizijos Atranka 2019 and will represent Lithuania at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest

Jurijus wins Eurovizijos Atranka 2019 and will represent Lithuania at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest

Jurijus

After seven weeks of intense competition, scandals and withdrawals, Lithuania’s Eurovizijos Atranka 2019 final took place tonight with Jurijus being chosen to represent the country at this years Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Tel Aviv, Israel on May 18. He will sing Run With The Lions.

Lithuania have drawn well this year in the second half of the second semi final so Jurijus will perform on May 16.

Contents

  • 1 The Hosts
  • 2 The Jury
  • 3 The Show
  • 4 The Songs
  • 5 The Results
  • 6 Lithuania In The Eurovision Song Contest

The Hosts

For the last seven weeks Giedrius Masalskis and Gabrielė Martirosianaitė have hosted the Atranka and it will be time for them to say goodbye after tonight.

Giedrius is a 47 year old presenter on Lithuanian television and will most likely return to this after tonight. Amongst the shows he has hosted are Aquarium, Aquarium 2 and Woman Of The Year. He is married to fellow TV presenter Asta Stašaitytę and they have two sons Emilio and Danieliaus. Giedrius had his tuxedo on for this prestigious event.

Gabrielė is a 28 year old native of Kaunus, also the birth place of last years Lithuanian entrant. At the age of  seventeen, Gabrielė was crowned Miss Lithuania 2008. She presented the Eurovizijos Atranka in 2016.Gabrielė wore a metallic bodice, ready for the gladiators.

The Jury

Seven panel members sat there ready to send the contestants to their fate. Heading the panel was smug regular Ramūnas Zilnys, who has yet to identify a winning Eurovision entry. He was joined by Vytautas Bikus, writer of last year’s Lithuanian entry When We’re Old.

Next up was musician Leonas Somovas who has also been a judge on the voice, but his acts usually get beaten by Donny Montell’s. Simona Albavičiūtė-Bandita was next and incase you are interested recently vacationed in The Maldives.

The fifth judge was Eurovision commentator Darius Užkuraitis making a welcome return. DJ Jonas Nainys wanted to get in on the action too, so he took the sixth judges chair, leaving Mykolas Katkus as the last executor.

The Show

So eight songs made the grand final tonight. Monika Marija should have been singing two songs, but withdrew Criminal. Sasha Song could have been in the final, but he withdrew both his appearance and song, gaining a 1000 euro fine. Poor Gabrielė Rybko didn’t get the chance to make the final, after her parents offered discount toys to anyone who voted for her. Yes it all happens in a Lithuanian final.

The TV broadcast began with a recap of last years Eurovision and this years Atranka, showing various clips of highlights and low lights. There then followed a parade of this years entrants.

After all the songs had been performed the interval act began with The Roop with one of last years potential entries Yes I Do.

Neighbours Latvia were next and Carousel gave a run through of their entry That Night, similar to when they won Supernova 2019 last week. Monique and Mantas, supposed Lithuania favourites followed with a vocal performance.

Finally we said goodbye to last years entrant Ieva Zasimauskaité who gave a reprise of When We’re Old.

The Songs

Alen ChiccoYour Cure

Opening tonight’s show was Alen Chicco who participated in Lithuania’s X-Factor in 2017. Alen came fifth in the second semi final last week, but due to the withdrawal of Monika Marija’s song Criminal he was asked to return to the final. You can certainly say that Alen is an extremely talented and original performer. However Your Cure is not the greatest of songs. It is only Alen’s fascinating stage presence and voice that draws you in.

Tonight Alen had jewels all over his head and was accompanied by three dancers dressed sort of in traditional Lithuanian costumes. Two babooshkas stood to the side presumably providing backing vocals. Good performance and would definitely be worth seeing in a full concert.

Justina Budaitė-JunàStrength of a Woman

Justina won series 3 of the Voice of Lithuania and sang backing vocals for Donny Montell at Eurovision 2016. In fact Donny is one of the co-writers of this song. The only thing wrong with this, is the song, which is not quite up to par, which is a real shame as the whole team involved with this are really talented. It’s obvious why Justina won The Voice and with a better song she must represent Lithuania at Eurovision one day.

Tonight’s performance belonged more in a gym than the stage, with her three slithery dancers, but Justina sold the song as best she could. Vocally perfect in her long silver boots, this is one hidden Lithuanian talent.

Henry & Tommy ModricNeverpart

There is just no excuse for this being in a Eurovision National final. While better songs and acts have fallen by the way side, this joke jazz piece is one example tonight why Lithuania have never reached the Top 5. This is a fine song for a couple of drunks late at a party. Tommy is Tom Sinickis who is better known as lead singer and guitarist with the group, Gravel. Henrikas Piktuižis is better known as a bassist.

The good thing about this song is it lasts for less than two minutes. The duo sat on stools tonight to sing the song, which had a totally different acoustic arrangement than it had in the semis, which actually improved it a bit. The judges will no doubt love it.

Jurgis BrūzgaCTRL ALT DELETE

There is no question that Jurgis is a very soulful jazz singer and as was proved last year, with a good song he is tapping at Eurovision’s door. This song though is nothing special yet Jurgis sings the hell out  of it. Lounging on a bench in his pyjama suit again, Jurgis mixed up his two prior performances by having the dancing bank robbers return. Jurgis really has to be admired for managing to sing the whole song because as soon as it finishes it is hard to remember even one bit of the refrain. An excellent staging for sure but hard to see a wider appeal.

See alsoCarousel will represent Latvia at The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 with the song That Night

Jurgis DID & Erica JenningsSing!

If Jurgis is looking for forgiveness for Eastern European Funk he isn’t going to find it here. This is a well-intentioned sort of novelty number but it went out of fashion with the afore-mentioned Funk. However where this number shines is the exceptionally great voice of  Irish maiden Erica Jennings, who last year potentially missed out when she withdrew the excellent The Truth, leaving Monika Marija to take over.

At the time of this performance this was leading the public vote by double the votes of the second song. Be afraid.. be very afraid. Please Erica  come back with a great song next year.

Monika Marija Light On

So this is it. If you are not reading that Monika won this show in the title, then Lithuania can’t be serious about winning Eurovision. This is world-class, well sung, classy and an internationally appealing performance. This year with this song, Lithuania has the chance to win Eurovision. If they don’t send this, well that would be a huge mistake.

Tonight Monika gave a similar performance to the one she gave in the semi where she was awarded maximum points. Her stylish backing singers just added even more class to the performance. Faultless.

Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio Dantys Mažulė

This is the kind of dangerous nonsense that Lithuania has been prone to send in the past to no great success. Certainly entertaining enough as part of a bigger concert but equally grating by the same measure. If you are interested the members of the Antique Teeth are Martynas Enčius, Juozis Vytautas Baužys, Daniel Juodis, Karolis Steponavičius, Antanas Ruzgas and Tautvydas Jurkša.

Another colourful performance was given tonight for sure. The group wiggled and jiggled around the stage with a song no better than Twosome or the Modrics. Other than that there’s nothing else really to say.

Jurijus – Run with the Lions

This is the only song in the final running that should be any competition for Monika, This is a really good song but it is not quite a Eurovision winner. Therefore it would make a fair enough entry for Lithuania, but would struggle to make the top 10. Jurijus was one of the backing dancers with Lolita Zero’s Gravity in 2017, which may be the reason for his popularity.

The performance for the third time was all in black, and the video wall was full of the colours of fire. A good song to listen to let’s see what happens.

The Results

JuryPublicTotalPosition
Alen Chicco66125
Justina Budaitė-Junà3368
Henry & Tommy Modric55106
Jurgis Brūzga4487
Jurgis DID & Erica Jennings77144
Monika Marija1010202
Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio Dantys88163
Jurijus1212241

Lithuania In The Eurovision Song Contest

This will be Lithuania’s 20th appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest, and despite having the longest lasting National finals, they have yet to impress at a Eurovision final.

Time after time Lithuania have failed to send anything that leaves a lasting impression with either juries or fans. Some of the songs receive diaspora votes regularly from the United Kingdom and Ireland, but generally Europe has not been impressed with their entries.

Lithuania have finished in the Top 10 only twice, We Are The Winners by LT United in 2006 and I’ve Been Waiting For This Night by Donny Montell in 2016.

Ieva Zasimauskaité finished 12th last year with When We’re Old which was the countries third best placing.

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23
February
2019

John Lundvik and Bishara Qualify directly to Melodifestivalen Final: Semi Final 4

John Lundvik and Bishara Qualify directly to Melodifestivalen Final: Semi Final 4

John Lundvik

Tonight seen the fourth and last Semi Final of Melodifestivalen 2019. This week the show came from Sparbanken Arena in Lidkoping. Seven songs battled it out with John Lundvik and Bishara qualifying direct to the final on March 9th in Stockholm.

Lidköping hosted the fourth show tonight and it was an exciting night, after 3 weeks of semi finals the last brought some electrifying performances and one or two surprises. We are joined by our hosts once again Eric Saade, Sarah Dawn Finer and Marika Carlsson.  Kodjo seems to be enjoying a party at home with friends while watching the show, and we got to see him and all those friends enjoying the show after each performance.

This week seen the return of a previous Swedish ESC act in the form of Arvingarna, who represented the Scandinavian country in Millstreet, Ireland at the 1993 contest with the song Eloise.  We also seen the return of Melodifestivalen favourites such as Anton Hagman (2017), Lisa Ajax (2016, 2017) and John Lundvik (2018). Yet none hold a light to the undisputed champion of Melodifestivalen entries that Ann-Louise Hanson have, a grand total of 13.  But will this year be the year she eventually wins at the contest?

The Songs

Pagan Fury – Stormbringer

Dressed all in black with feathers the lead singer, Arven Latour navigates around LED columns as she belts out this pop rock anthem to the crowd.  It is a great start to the show and she is an accomplished performer. This is a song well suited to being performed live, yet it also would work in a video game which is what the band is known for.  They are the official band for game Crusader Kings II. Interesting to see how this would do on a Eurovision stage.

Anton Hagman – Kanner Dig

Anton is back after his successful stint on Melodifestivalen 2017. This time he comes back with a more poppy sound and brighter staging. He seems to be enjoying himself on stage and is a more competent performer.  This for me personally just flew by and didn’t have much of an impact. He has a fan base so when the results come in it may not surprise many if he qualifies in someway, but not a winner I fear.

Lisa Ajax – Torn

Another Melodifestivalen alum is back, this is Lisa’s third time in the competition and it really shows that experience is such an important factor in succeeding. She comes back with a fantastic song, performed impeccably and her voice in particular is so much stronger and resonating. This is now one to look out for.

Arvingarna – I Do

Ahh Sweden loves bringing back older and more established acts for a great nostalgic feel to their competition and this gives me all those feels. This is just a great hark back to the great show band sounds that we remember from the 80’s and 90’s.  It is exactly what I thought we would hear from this act. They also haven’t changed much (although they have got rid of those hideous suits). The crowd gave the biggest reaction of all performances up to that point and rightly so.  This could do really well, but I feel as though this is not a song that wold garner many votes from the international jury.

Bishara – On My Own

What a cute performer, his voice is good and the song is pleasant if a little dated. He may just look and act a little too young on stage, and by this I mean he is nervous and a little unaware of the stage. This will all come with time, and while he may do well in the competition I don’t feel this will be his time. The song is a nice ballad, co-written by Benjamin Ingrosso, last years Swedish participant at Eurovision.

Ann-Louise Hanson- Karleken Finns Kvar

Well isn’t this just charming, Ann-Louise looks stunning and sings this beautiful melody on a stage set up like her dressing room. Her backing singers and her are just enjoying a chilled vibe on stage and the crowd obviously appreciate the performance. I just feel that out of the two nostalgic acts on display tonight Arvingarna has the best chance of advancing.  Still well done to Ann-Louise.

John Lundvik – Too late for Love

John is back, and no sign of a piano as well. Who knew he could move us in a completely different way. This is such an uplifting soulful song and his backing singers give so much energy to the performance. John performs this so well, and that is no surprise as he has such amazing experience in live performing. He has already won one national final this year (UK’s Songwriter) wouldn’t it be interesting to see him go up against one of his own compositions at the main contest.

Results

Direct to Final: Bishara, John Lundvik

Second Chance: Lisa Ajax, Arvingarna

5-7 Place: Ann-Louise Hanson (5), Pagan Fury (6/7), Anton Hagman (6/7)

Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest

In honour of one of tonight’s acts, here is Arvingarna’s 1993 ESC performance in Millstreet, Ireland.

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Categories: Eurovisionary

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