LRT are keeping us guessing this year, as they reveal their contestants for Eurovizijos Atranka 2018, one piece at a time. The thirteen contestants in the first round have been revealed, however, and they include past favourite, Ieva Zasimauskaitė.
Most of the songs are still a secret, but here are the 13 acts competing in Heat 1 on January 6th. At this time, rehearsals have begun in Lithuania. There is no news yet on how many songs will qualify for the next round.
There are some returning favorites, while others are appearing for the first time.
Ieva has gotten so close to representing Lithuania in the past. In 2013 she placed 5th with fellow contestant Gabrielius with the song I Fall In Love. She came 6th in 2014, all that Attention carry on. In 2016, Ieva had the song so beloved by the international juries Life (Not That Beautiful). Last year she just missed the grand final, with You Saved Me.
Ieva told EuroVisionary that this year she is looking forward to everyone hearing her new song. Ieva says she loves it and that it is the most beautiful song she has ever had.
Benas was another favourite from last year. After an impressive performance of his song Rolling. Benas was eliminated after the second heats. This year Benas is back with his new song My Memories, one of the few already published. Benas says that he will try his best to get further in the competition this year.
Last year Monee, performed a great up beat song called Nnnnn. Perhaps the title put people off, as she was surprisingly eliminated in the first heat. This year Monee said her new song is very simple and easy for everyone to sing a long to. This year the song is calmer and hopefully, the Eurovision fans will like it.
After having the unfortunate honour of having to open last years show, Justin3 were immediately eliminated. Their song, Streets Of Vilnius, though has gone on to be a good tourism advert for the city. Justin3 are back this year, with a song that has a totally different vibe from last year.
Evaldas started out strong last year with the song Fire Kisses. Unfortunately, in Heat 6 he finished last, in his memorable red jacket. This year Evaldas will be hoping he can get through to the final.
Acts appearing for the first time
This will be Goda’s first year in the Lithuanian competition. Goda is part of a duo Tillae, with partner, Jokubas Tulaba, of which we will report later. However, Goda will be solo for the show and is hoping her music will be heard outside Lithuania. Goda was on the Voice Lithuania 2013.
Dangė, full name Dangė Samonskiene, will be making her first appearance in the Lithuanian competition. She may be the best-known artist in Lithuania, of the acts in the first heat. This will be her first introduction to foreign countries. H
Germantė was a contestant on the Voice of Lithuania She has quite the pipes having had the bravery to audition with Mariah Carey’s Vision Of Love.
Lukas has been singing in bars, restaurants and other venues building up a fan base. He plays all kinds of music including folk, jazz and blues. You should search for his song Tas Pats on youtube.
Milda was a contestant on the Voice Lithuania 2012. She auditioned with the X-Factor stable, A Moment Like This, originally by Kelly Clarkson, but also a big hit for Leona Lewis. After the Voice, she had some problems with her voice. She spent some time in the theatre but is now back in full voice.
Aušra hails from Kaunas, Lithuania’s second biggest city. She believes in Salvador’s manta in returning REAL music to the world. Describing herself as old school, she likes live sound and true feeling in the music. Aušra’s song is called Someday, and the video will be released just after the New Year.
Natalija is another past contestant on the Voice of Lithuania. She appeared in 2013 singing another Leona Lewis classic, Bleeding Love.
Meda has a lovely low soothing voice which you can hear on youtube on her cover of Lana Del Ray’s Video Games. Meda’s song is called Blood Roses.
So far only Benas has published an official video of his entry. Enjoy MyMemories below.
On the 13th of January, France will kick of its national selection for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. The participants are confirmed one by one. Let’s take a look at the ones confirmed so far.
Who shall represent France at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest? The answer to that we will know during their national final to be held on the 27th of January. Two heats starting on the 13th of January will select the finalists. Contrary to other countries where all the acts in a national selection are published at once, France is keeping the tension high as they confirm one at a time. A video teaser including a little taste of their songs are released together with the confirmation.
Confirmed acts for Destination Eurovision
The list below includes the acts confirmed for the French 2018 selection and their song titles. By clicking the link of the artist, we take you to the official video presentation for that act where you also can hear a bit from their songs.
Mixed French results
France has won the Eurovision Song Contest five times and as such is quite a successful country, although it has to be added that their last victory dates back to Marie Myriam and 1977. In recent years, they haven’t had that much to cheer for with quite mixed results.
If we take a look at their last 10 entries, from 2008 where Sébastien Tellier represented the country to their 2017 entry Requiem by Alma, the country delivered below most expectations. Twice in top 10 isn’t too bad, but four times placed in the bottom of the scoreboard from 22nd place and down isn’t good either. This do put somewhat of a pressure on their 2018 participant to do better. Let’s hope that this new approach from French TV with a big national selection can help to change that.
Below you can refresh your memory of Alma’s 2017 entry. In the video you can see a special Full Stage View where you can see how she used the stage and the graphics to tell her story.
Albania has kicked off the livestream portion of the National Final season with Festivali i Kegnes, and we have our first song (albeit before the three-minute edit arrives). Add in more dates for the other National Finals, more performers confirming their songs, and some old favourites returning, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for the Contest.
Eurovision Insight Podcast: Albania Starts The Selections In Style
It’s your post Christmas round up of Eurovision news from Ewan Spence and ESC Insight. Listen to the latest names going to Lisbon, the excited entrants to the National Finals, what tickets are available, and some German stompy-folk-rock from voXXclub.
Keep listening to the ESC Insight podcast over the winter for more Eurovision news, fun, and chat. You’ll find the show in iTunes, and a direct RSS feed is also available. We also have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here.
And if you want to support ESC Insight as we cover the Song Contest, please visit our Patreon page, patreon.com/escinsight.
Today, France 2, the TV company responsible for France’s Eurovision participation, confirmed Malo, as the first participant in Destination Eurovision. Destination Eurovision is the show France will use to choose their Eurovision 2018 entry.
The official Destination Eurovision site, asks on its page Who Is Malo? Unfortunately they give no further details about the singer. Instead they urge you to tune in on January 13th to find out more.
One thing we do know is that Malo’s song will be called Ciao.
To add to the mystery, a list of names have also appeared on Social Media as possible contenders, but so far the names have been denied by France TV.
In case they prove to be confirmed later, the names are Louka, Lisandro Cuxi, Igit, Sweem, Enea, June The Girl, Luc Arbogast, Jane Constance, Emmy Liyana, Nassi and Manon Palmer.
See alsoFrance will use Destination Eurovision TV show to find 2018 entry
If these twelve names prove to be correct, then we await confirmation of the final six acts, taking the number of entries to 18.
Garou will host the Destination Eurovision contest, which kicks of on the 13th of January. There will be two heats in successive weeks, with the final held on the 27th of January. As reported previously, Amir, France’s 2015 entrant will be one of the judges.
France in the Eurovision Song Contest
France have appeared in the Eurovision Song Contest 60 times and remain one of the most successful countries. However, they have not won the contest since 1977. Marie Myriam with L’oiseau et l’enfant was the last winning song. This song has become a staple in French schools ever since.
In 1990 and 1991 France came so close to winning again, especially when Amina tied for first place with Sweden’s’ Carola. Carola won as she received more ten points. Since then France had seen a general decline in their fortunes. However the relative success of Amir and Alma, in the last two years, may have prompted France to take the show more seriously. Indeed this year they may well be thriving to win.
In the video below you can remind yourself of their 2017 entry Requiem:
Ukraine’s national selection is becoming as diverse as ever as punk rock band Yurcash have announced their participation in the contest. They join last year’s hopeful TAYANNA in their dream of representing their home country in the competition.
Yurko (Yuri Yurchenko) and his band Юркеш (Yurcash) have announced at a press conference that they are taking part in the national selection. They are currently competing in the eighth series of X Factor. They are hoping for a double whammy by winning the show and also winning the chance to represent their country in Lisbon next Spring. Ukraine opted for a rock band earlier this year when O.Torvald earned Ukraine their worst score to date. Their entry Time came in 24th place.
Yurcash are not complete strangers to national selection. They attempted to represent their home country in 2005 when Ukraine hosted Eurovision for the first time. They were unlucky as it was Greenjolly who took to the stage with their rap Разом нас багато (Together we are many). Yurcash came in 3rd position with their song Patriot behind the victors and the hot favourite Ani Lorak.
Front man of the band Yurko is a successful performer in his own right. He has the prestos title of honoured artist of Ukraine and has also wrote songs performed by Andriy Danylko (Verka Serduchka), Mariya Yaremchuk, Lolita and Philip Kirkorov amongst others.
Yurcash describe themselves as “intellectual and intelligent punk rock with elements of humour and satire”. By complete accident every single member of the band is called Yuri.
Ukraine’s national selection line up
Last year’s hopeful TAYANNA win return to the National Selection once again with her song Kvitka. The song was selected by a snap public vote taking place online.
It was looking like famous solo artist Alekseev was going to join TAYANNA in the national selection line up. The former Voice of Ukraine Winner submitted an application, but swiftly removed it. It is believed that Alekseev may be applying to represent Belarus instead.
Ukraine’s national selection will take place on three consecutive weekends with the semi finals being aired on 10th and 17th February. Followed by the final on 24th February.
You can see Yurcash competing in this year’s X Factor Ukraine below.
TVR has unveiled the 60 songs that will compete to represent Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. The list is long and not all are great. We made your job easier by selecting 20 tracks worth listening to.
Romania’s road to Lisbon started with a total amount of 72 songs that were cut down to 60 by Selectia Nationala’s juries – composed by five members including last year’s participant Ilinca Bacila.
Now the broadcaster has made the audios for the songs available on their official website. As listening to 60 songs isn’t an easy task, I selected the 20 main entries you should pay attention to the most – taking into consideration the song’s sound, lyrics, singer or meaning despite the low quality of TVR’s stream service.
1 Alex Florea presents solo entry
2 Space for newer sounds
3 Selectia Nationala’s top five
Alex Florea presents solo entry
It’s impossible not to start this opinion article with Alex Florea’s submission for Selectia Nationala 2018. While Nobody Told Me It Would Hurt ends up being an extremely generic and weak song, we’re pretty sure a Eurovision fan wouldn’t want to miss out the opportunity of hearing Alex going solo. Despite my opinion about the song, it wouldn’t be surprising if Florea ended up competing in the finals next 25th of February.
If you’re already feeling nostalgic with Alex Florea, something common and quite curious about Romania’s national selection is the amount of songs that sonically remind the listener of older Eurovision times. Waleska’s Reborn is the most obvious one that could do wonders for Romania if we were in 2005, followed by the generic Pop tune sung by Jessie Banes (Lightning Strikes) that can still make it for the Eurovision fans that love a good electropop tune. While the violins make it sound fresher, Zavera’s Come Back To Me ends up taking the same route.
While some acts decided to go with nostalgic Eurovision sounds, others such as Aurel Dinca decided to take on an old rock sound. Fire In The Sky easily reminds us of an older Bon Jovi classic. Also within the rock department we find Lion’s Roar Rekindle The Flame. It’s impossible not to think of Lordi’s Eurovision winner Hard Rock Hallelujah during its chorus.
Space for newer sounds
Just like there are some old sounds among Romania’s national selection, it’s quite easy to find some more modern tunes. Alessandro Dănescu (Breaking Up) and Manuel Chivari (Somebody To Love) both attempt to bring into the competition the New Pop genre popularized by Justin Bieber. While I wouldn’t pay attention to it for a second time, after Lithuania’s unexpected high rank at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, one has to start being careful with words.
Pop productions are definitely not lacking during this year’s Selectia Nationala. Besides the two just mentioned, Teodora Dinu’s Fly is another great addition to the list along with M I H A I’s Heaven, which is surely one of the main productions of the event. I Won’t Lie sung by Iliana is another good Pop song that while sounding good and modern may not be the best fit for Eurovision.
Slower songs were not forgetten as well. Even though most of the ballads presented fail to create an impact, I would highlight a couple: Denisa Trofin’s Tears and Xandra’s Try. While Denisa’s song takes in a sadder route that ends up reminding us of a good Disney soundtrack, Xandra brings back the flavour and fierceness Maja Keuc brought to the 2011 Eurovision stage with No One.
Hard to define, on the other hand, are the entries from Jukebox that teamed up with Bella Santiago for Auzi Cumb Bate, a very out of the box song that delivers an interesting and original instrumental that surely could fit within the Electronic music genre. Bringing similarities to Moby’s music genre we also have a quite unique song coming from Zoltan.
Selectia Nationala’s top five
Out of the 60 entries, I have presented 15 that I believe are within the competition’s most unique sounds. From Pop to Rock, Romania is making sure there’s space for everyone but I have yet to present the five best songs that caused the best impression to my ears.
Back in 2012, Mandiga represented Romania with a Spanish song. In this year’s Selectia Nationala, Feli is going to attempt the same with her song Buna De Iubit that besides bringing the latin flavour to the stage will also include a few Arabic sounds – they always elevate a song, right?
Too Busy For My Heart, sung by Bernice Chiţiul, brings a completely new sound to the competition by exploring a sort of Gothic Metal that has yet to cause an impact in Eurovision. It surely is a highlight and considering that Romania likes to take risks (Yodel It!), this wouldn’t be bad choice for Lisbon.
While we have already discussed good Pop productions with modern sounds, nothing beats Alexia & Matei’s WalkingOn Water that besides exploring such sounds do bring Paula & Ovi back to our minds. We love Romanian duos, don’t we?
Leaving the best for last, Serena and Mariem take the cake. Both of the singers are ready to bring into the stage good Pop Dance productions with catchy choruses that tend to do good in the competition. Mariem’s End of Game is quite a breath of fresh air among so many entries as it sounds fierce, fresh and – again – brings the Arabic flavour into the mix during the song’s break. On the other hand, Serena’s Safari sounds more gentle and less traditional which make it lose points as it becomes less unique.
Overall, there will be five semi-finals where the jury will select three from each show to advance into the main final on the 25th of February. In the final, these 15 acts will compete to conquer the public’s heart and win the televote. If you still want to take a listen to the remaining 40 songs, you can find them on TVR’s Eurovision site.
While waiting, remind yourself of Romania’s 2017 entry Yodel It! which finished 7th in the Eurovision final. in the video below you find it in a special Full Stage View where you can see how they used the stage and the graphics to accomplish the song.
This article includes the personal opinion of the writer, and does not necessarily reflects EuroVisionary.com.