It is over. Since January 16, 2018, Lithuania has been broadcasting this year’s Atranka and tonight the esteemed jury and public have chosen a winner. Saturday nights will be so empty for another year.
For now though, congratulations go to Ieva Zasimauskaitė with the song When We’re Old. Ieva will be heading to Lisbon to represent Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. Not only that, but she wins a 3000 euros prize, so she can buy a new dress. Here’s how the show went tonight.
1 The Hosts
2 The Show
3 The Songs
4 The Judges
5 The Results
6 Lithuania At The Eurovision Song Contest
Getting together for the last time this year, our hosts Mantas Stonkus and Ugnė Skonsmanaitė welcomed the Lithuanian audience, with a Labas Vakaras to Kaunas’ Žalgirio Arena. Both were dressed in traditional Lithuanian costumes made of sacks – Mantas, a coat and Ugnė, a dress.
Erica Jennings and past Lithuanian representatives, SKAMP opened the show with the song Laisvė, a song dedicated to Lithuania’s 100th birthday.
Bjelle, in a scarlet red dress, then sang another tribute to Lithuania, Baltas paukštis.
Next up was Ari Olafsson, in a blue velvet suit, with Iceland’s 2018 Eurovision entry Our Choice. Vocals were perfect, and the song went down a storm. Lithuania now knew the standard it needed to reach.
A video montage of the past nine weeks was shown next. There were signs here that all that had gone before was pre-recorded because here were our hosts now in smart evening wear. Let the songs begin.
Heck no – here comes Fusedmarc with Rain Of Revolution – robbed in 2017. How will 2018’s representative follow this? Well follow them, they must.
After song two, Ugne, interviewed Ari and Saara Aalto, yes she’s coming, in the most wonderful American accent ever – what a talent this woman is.
A spectacular hard rock and circus show followed. There was then a touching montage of some wonderful handicapped people, ending in a marriage proposal.
Clips of Lithuania’s Eurovision competitors from semi-final one were shown, from Switzerland to Estonia and everywhere in between.
Lithuanian Monique was next with four dancers and her latest hit.
There then followed a visit to the green room. None of the acts were speaking to each other. Thank goodness they had Sasha Song to bring out to sing the Lithuanian version of his Eurovision classic, Love.
Finally Saara Alto appeared with Finland’s entry Monsters. She sang so much better tonight with the pressure of. Three male and two female monsters stalked her from behind.
Monika Marija – The Truth
The torn little red riding hood dress made an appearance on Monika. Standing on Zlata Ognevich from Ukraine’s rock, Monika gave a vocally perfect performance. This song has just grown to be a welcome Eurovision classic already. Erica Jennings should be proud of what Monika has done to her song. Simply perfect in every way, and indeed The Truth has set us free,
Kotryna Juodzevičiūtė – That Girl
Wearing a white outfit, ready for a workout, with a long grey coat, Kotryna is such a fantastic singer. If this is not her year, she must represent Lithuania someday. Helped by her group who looked like escaped convicts, this is a classy cool dance song. Already it is going to be difficult to choose a winner – and this is Lithuania. At the end, you got a good view of Kotryna’s red sunglasses – not sure if they were hiding a case of pink eye. In a totally non-partisan fashion, Sasha, one of Kotryna’s best friends gave the critique. At this point, it was getting impossible to count the number of Labas Vakaras. If anyone was taking a drink every time it was said, they’d be drunk by now.
The Roop – Yes, I Do
Lead singer Vaidotas Valiukevičius has finally taken off his pajamas. He replaced them with a smart white shirt and black trousers. Still using the box to great effect, this is a typical song from a pop-rock band. Similar to Lovebugs from Switzerland, so a warning look what happened to them in the semis. The audience loved them so there is a great future for them in Lithuania.
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Paula – 1 2 3
Hair up in a bun, Paula has, at her fans request decided to sing the simpler more acoustic version of her song. A frightened white chair stood on the stage knowing in a few minutes it was going to get a good thrashing. As always Paula’s performance was flawless. This lady-girl would be great to see in a full-length concert. If she wins it will be a fine enough entry for Lithuania. Another rising star.
Jurgis Brūzga – 4love
Starting off very dark, Jurgis kept the first showing of his new ten out of ten haircut, hidden for as long as possible. The lights came on and the performance came to life. This is very much a work as a group entry, very well choreographed. Jurgis wore an expensive looking dark blue suit with white squares. At the end not realising the show needs no more distractions to prolong its ending, the audience applauded loudly for a long time. Someone is going to have to order these songs. Other countries were hoping they could have had them as their choice.
Ieva Zasimauskaitė – When We’re Old
The lady with the hardest job of the evening, to end the competition after hearing the great enthusiasm for the songs which came before. Whether this is her lucky dress or not, Ieva wore the same one that she has used in all her performances. What has changed though is the singing is getting more powerful each week. Lithuania hopefully is going to realise we need Ieva at Eurovision before We’re Old. Husband appeared at the end. What an impossible show to judge. Twelve points to everyone.
It took 14 Labas Vakaras and about half an hour to introduce tonight’s esteemed judges. They were
Ramūnas Zilnys -grey haired silver fox who no doubt will be at a loose end next week
Dalia Ibelhauptaitė – opera singer and playwright
Sasha Song – 2009 Eurovision participant who we Loved
Milda Adomaitiene -music teacher and local business woman
Vytautas Rumšas – Lithuanian actor
Leonas Somovas – musician
Dovilė Filmanavičiūtė – the singing sheep (sort of)
Lithuania At The Eurovision Song Contest
Here is the list of past Lithuanian entries. Head to YouTube and check them out, and see how this years entry will fare compared to the past. You can print the list out, and keep it in your wallet, in case you need it for any forthcoming Eurovision pub quiz. That’s it then folks, one more Labas Vakaras, till next year.
1994 Ovidijus Vyšniauskas – Lopšinė mylimai 1999 Aistė Samogitian – Strazdas 2001 SKAMP – You Got Style 2002 Aivaras – Happy You 2004 Linas and Simona – What’s Happened to Your Love? 2005 Laura & The Lovers – Little by Little 2006 LT United – We Are the Winners 2007 4Fun – Love or Leave 2008 Jeronimas Milius – Nomads in the Night 2009 Sasha Son – Love 2010 InCulto – Eastern European Funk 2011 Evelina Sašenko – C’est ma vie 2012 Donny Montell – Love Is Blind 2013 Andrius Pojavis – Something 2014 Vilija – Attention 2015 Monika Linkytė & Vaidas Baumila – This Time 2016 Donny Montell – I’ve Been Waiting for This Night 2017 Fusedmarc – Rain of Revolution
“This is a song about me”, that’s what Julia Samoylova wants the Eurovision fans to know about her entry “I Won’t Break” that just got released after being leaked ahead of its time.
Russia’s Channel One has just officially released Julia Samoylova’s entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Lisbon. It has been a long wait for Julia after all the controversy last year when the contest was held in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Russia announced their song and artist late last year and it just so happened to be Julia Samoylova with the song Flame Is Burning. As we soon discovered, Julia was quickly denied entry to Ukraine, due to her previous performance in Crimea. The Ukranian law says that to enter Crimea you must enter via a Ukrainian border point, whereas Julia entered via Russia.
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Hopefully, though, no such controversy should arise this year. The singer will be the second Eurovision act confined to a wheelchair, following Poland’s 2015 entrant Monika Kuszyńska.
I Won’t Break sounds nothing alike Julia’s Flame Is Burning. As the singer herself claims “it’s not so much a tender ballad as the song is about strenght”. Yuri Aksyuta, Head of the Russian delegation, is quite happy with the song and admits she has high ambitions for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest: “We expect a lot from the contest that is very popular in our country. Russia is back!”
The song was again written by Leonid Gutkin, Netta Nimrodi and Arie Burshtein who also did the lyrics for Flame Is Burning. As for the video, Alexey Golubev directed it. He was also in charge of Polina Gagarina’s A Million Voices music video and performance at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.
Judge for yourself below whether Julia will be able to continue Russia’s excellent track record of making the finals every year since they have participated and help us know if it’s a better submission than last year’s:
Russia At The Eurovision Song Contest
This will be Russia’s 21st entry at Eurovision, starting with their debut in 1994 with Youddiph and Vechni Stranik which placed a respectable 9th place.
So far their only win was in 2008 with the song Believe, sung by Dima Bilan, who had placed 2nd in 2006.
Russia has placed 2nd on 4 occasions with Dima Bilan, and then Alsou with Solo in 2000, Buranovskiye Babushki with Party For Everybody in 2012 and Polina Gagarina with A Million Voices in 2015. Their last entry You Are The Only One by Sergey Lazarev in 2016 placed third, so Julia has a lot to live up to.
Since Netta Barzilai back in February won the right to represent Israel this year, we have been curious to hear the song. Today, “Toy” was officially released after the song leaked last night. Can Israel reach the final for the fourth year in a row?
25 year old Netta won the Talent Show HaKokhav HaBa (Next Star) in February this year. With that followed the honour of representing Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest. She accepted, and today her entry for the contest held in Lisbon, Portugal was released.
The song is called Toy and is written by Doron Medalie and Stav Beger. Doron knows how to write a Eurovision hit as he wrote Nadav Guedj’s Golden Boy from 2015, which finished 9th in the final, and also Made Of Stars to Hovi Star, a song that came 14th in the Eurovision final in 2016.
Has Doron Medalie created another hit song, which Netta Barzilai can use to secure herself success in May in Lisbon? The video has been directed by top producer Keren Hochma.
Check out the video below:
Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest
Not many countries have won twice in row, but Israel is one of the few. They joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973, won for the first time in 1978 with Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta’s A-Ba-Ni-Bi, and again in ’79 where everyone sang along to Hallelujah. The latter has since become a Eurovision classic.
In 1998, Israel created headlines internationally with Dana International. The transgender singer won Eurovision with the song simply titled Diva.
When the semi-finals were introduced in 2004, Israel started out missing the final, and in the years to come the country would achieve quite mixed results. They have failed to reach the final six times, and made it eight times.
Netta Barzilai can however find comfort in that Israel has made it to the final three years in a row now. Two of those three songs are as previously mentioned written by Doron Medalie, who also co-wrote her entry. We are yet to see how she will perform it on the stage in Lisbon, but let’s remind ourselves how it looked when IMRI last year performed I Feel Alive:
Mélovin promised to bring victory back to Ukraine, but all is not what it seems. His song Under The Ladder which won the public televote in Ukraine has undergone a subtle revamp after it mysteriously disappeared from media. It has now returned with a video. Having slipped down in the betting odds, can the song inspire a win at Lisbon?
The Ukrainian entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest has undergone an update following it’s victory at the selection show, Vidbir. The revamped version has very minor changes that one might not hear if you don’t listen closely. Mélovin has taken some of his earlier criticism on board and has improved his English pronunciation.
Mélovin who doesn’t have a producer has released his video for Under The Ladder. Disappointingly, the video is a repost of Mélovin performing his song at the Ukrainian National Final. In the video Mélovin starts the performance at the front of the stage with his backing singers far behind him. As the song builds up momentum so does Mélovin. The highlight of the performance is him playing the piano on an elevated stage which is on fire. Could this be something that we see in Lisbon?
Despite dropping the songs make over, Mélovin, real name Kostyantyn Bocharov, is keeping his fans guessing as to what his performance in Lisbon will look like. In a press conference he said “I don’t tell anyone what will change in my performance. Yes somethings will be different…. I know for sure that there will be flames and my eye.” He continued to say “First, we want the performance in Lisbon to be real, not ‘plastic’. It should be done properly. But I don’t want to say what will be changed. I love intrigue”.
Mélovin is trying everything he can to bring Ukraine another victory at the Eurovision Song Contest. However, Mélovin doesn’t define a victory as winning the contest but as something else. The former X Factor Ukraine winner said “The victory could be very different. Another thing is important.. It is important that Europe remember me, and my song would be sung there afterwards….Sometimes the second place can be greater than the one ahead.”
Mélovin will compete in semi final 2 on 10th May. He will be up against tough competition with the likes of Jessica Mouboy from Australia and Waylon from The Netherlands. You can listen to the new version of the Ukrainian entry for this year’s contest below.
This morning, Bulgaria released their 2018 entry, and after two really good years, question is now, did they do it again? Does “Bones” also have what it takes to reach top 5 at the Eurovision Song Contest?
In 2016, Bulgaria returned to the Eurovision Song Contest after two year’s of absence. Two two years really did the country good, as they had miserable results until then. Six years in a row, missing out on the final, but the country came back extremely strong.
Poli Genova came back for a second attempt when Bulgaria re-joined the contest. With the song If Love Was A Crime she finished 4th. The year after, it was young Kristian Kostov taking part, and his Beautiful Mess did even better and came second.
This year Bulgaria will be represented by the group Equinox and the entry Bones. Can this dark and mysterious song with a strong and catchy chorus bring Bulgaria another top 5 result?
Let us know how you think this song will do at the Eurovision Song Contest this year?
As singer on this project, we find Zhana Bergendorff. Zhana won X-Factor Bulgaria in 2013, but has also taken part in X-Factor Denmark as she lives in Denmark. The group also consists of Vlado Mihailov, backing vocalist for Kristian Kostov, Georgi Simeonov, Johnny Manuel and Trey Campbell.
43 songs, and we’re now complete for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. The last one revealed is “For You”. It will be performed by the group Iriao representing Georgia, who will compete in the second semi-final in Lisbon in May.
The national selection season for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest is now over. This afternoon, Georgia revealed their entry for the up-coming contest in Lisbon, Portugal. With that one, we are now at 43 entries, and it’s time for the last preparations before the rehearsals starts at the end of April.
Iriao was revealed on the last day of the previous year. On the 31st of December their broadcaster surprisingly presented the group as being internally chosen. Most were expecting Georgia to have a national final.
Since then things have been rather quiet around the group, but today, as the last song for this year’s contest, the song was finally aired. It’s titled For You and written by Davit Malazonia and Irina Sanikidze. Despite the English title, the song is in Georgian.
Update: The first video was removed for break of copyright. We were unfortunately not aware of it not being an official released. Half an hour later, it was released in an official version, which you can see below:
Georgia at the Eurovision Song Contest
It was at the 2007 contest that we first saw Georgia on the Eurovision stage. With the song Visionary Dream, Sopho Khalvashi took the country to a 12th place in the final. The following year, Diana Gurtskaya finished 11th. Those results are quite typical for Georgia.
The country failed to reach the final on three occations, but the seven years where they did, they ended between 9th and 15th – aside from 2016 where the entry Midnight Gold came in 20th in the final.
Last year, Georgia was represented by Tamara Gachechiladze. With the song Keep The Faith, she unfortunately missed out on the final. Remind yourself of that one in the video below: