Festivali i Këngës: Luiz Ejlli amongst the race to represent Albania in Lisbon

Albania 2017 - First Semi-Final Dress Rehearsal

Albania’s broadcaster has revealed the 22 participants that will compete at this year’s Festivali i Këngës, along with the respective song titles.The national selection will be held in Tirana’s Palace of Congres in December, and will welcome a familiar Eurovision face – Luiz Ejlli – who will compete, this year, as part of a duo.

From 70 entries, RTSH – Albania’s official broadcaster – along with a 5-member jury panel, have chosen only 22 competitors, who will be split into two semifinals. The country’s national selection, Festivali i Këngës, will be the very first one to be held for 2018, and will have a candidate ready by the 23rd of December.

Amongst the candidates, there’s a familiar Eurovision face who represented his country back in 2006, with his song Zjarr e ftohtë. Hoping for a better result, since he failed to qualify back then, Luiz Ejlli will not be performing alone, but with Rezarta Samja. RTSH has also revealed the title of each of the 22 songs. All songs will be sung in Albanian:

1. Inet Neziri – Piedastal
2. Lynx – Vonë
3. Rezarta Smaja & Luiz Ejlli – Ra Nje Yll
4. Orgesa Zaimi – Ngrije Zërin
5. Artemisa Mithi – E dua Botën
6. Tahir Gjoci – Orë e Ndaluar
7. Bojken Lako – Sytë e Shpirtit
8. Manjola Nallbani – Të Pandarë
9. David & Genc Tuqici – Tjetër Jëtë
10. Grupi Na & Festina Mejzini – I Njejti Ciell
11. Mariza Ikonomi – Unë
12. Redon Makashi – Eksistoj
13. Eugent Bushpepa – Mall
14. Lorela Sejdini – Pritën Edhe Pak
15. Elton Deda – Fjalët
16. Ergi Bregu – Bum Bum
17. Denisa Gjezo – Zemër Ku Je
18. Endri & Stefi Prifti – Mesazh
19. Xhesika Polo – Përjetë
20. Evans Rama – Gjurmët
21. Akullthyesit – Divorci
22. Voltan Pordani – Pse të Desha

Festivali i Këngës’ 56th edition will take place in Tirana’s Palace of Congres on the 21, 22 and 23 of December.

Albania have been absent from the final since Elhaida Dani qualified in 2015. Remind yourself of her entry below.

Categories: Eurovisionary


RTP: Salvador Sobral very optimistic about Eurovision 2018 appearance

Salvador and Luísa Sobral at the Eurovision 2017 Winner's Press Conference

According to broadcaster RTP they aren’t working with a back-up plan for Salvador Sobral. He is expected to be present at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. In a press conference, RTP’s creative director revealed that the singer who was admitted to the hospital back in September and is still waiting for a heart transplant, also is very optimistic about Lisbon 2018.

Despite the recent announcement that it was still uncertain if Salvador Sobral would be present in next year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Gonçalo Madaíl – RTP’s creative director – has revealed in a press conference that they are very optimistic that he won’t miss the show: “I am very optimistic and can say that Salvador is even more”, he said. “We are not even considering the option of not having him in next year’s event.”

The Amar Pelos Dois singer was admitted to the hospital earlier this autumn due to his heart condition and has put his career on hold until it gets better: “I guess it’s finally time to deliver my body to science and take a break from my music career”, he announced in a YouTube video where he also announced his farewell concert. Salvador is still at the hospital and still waiting for a heart transplant but it’s expected that by May his recovery will be complete so the singer can return to the Eurovision stage.

See alsoEurovision 2018: Host and stage to be revealed in January – with or without Salvador

“He is part of this narrative. He is the pages of the book we’re about to tell”, concluded Gonçalo.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will be held next year in Lisbon on the 8th, 10th and 12th of May and the first bunch of tickets are expected to go on sale later this month. In the video below you can enjoy Salvador’s 2017 winning entry in a special mix with him and his sister Luisa who filled in for him at the first rehearsals:

Categories: Eurovisionary


Greek selection so far – ERT committed to a 2018 national final against calls for internal selection

Chorostalites (at the back), Duo Fina, Areti Ketime, Tony Vlachos and Yianna Terzi (left to right) are the shortlisted candidates for the 2018 Greek final.

The five songs shortlisted for the Greek final were announced this week – we trace the timeline of events for the country’s Eurovision selection and the broadcaster’s commitment to a national final and entries of “Greek sound” for 2018.

It was back in late September when it was first reported that Greek broadcaster ERT intended to contact a number of record labels regarding the prospect of putting together a national final. At that stage, a national final would go ahead provided that there was a sufficient number of decent entries.

ERT’s letter to record companies made clear that the broadcaster wished that entries had a “Greek sound” and used Greek lyrics. As news of artists submitting entries started coming in, it was becoming clear that some of the songs were not “exclusively” in Greek as originally suggested but that the requirement for the lyrics to be predominantly in the native language remained nevertheless.

Smaller labels also showed interest in taking part in the selection and, as a result, the original deadline for submitting entries (20th October) was extended by one week so that a greater number of record companies could be given the chance to come up with proposals.

By 27th October, ERT had received entries from 20 acts. These were Decho from label Minos Emi, Christina Salti and Yianna Terzi from Panik Records, Giannis Moraitis and Dimitris Kiklis from Vinilio Music, Areti Ketime from Spicy Music, Kyriaki Derempei feat. Lava from Final Touch, Stereo Soul & DJ Koncept and Ink from Heaven Music, Giannis Dimitras (Greece 1981, 8th place) from Kathreftis, Nikos Baibos and Dimitris Liolios from Satellite, Chorostalites and Tony Vlachos from Spider Music, Vaggelis Panatos from E-Music, Vasiliki Stefanou from Polymusic, Duo Fina from Records on Top, Tania Breazou and Panagiotis Tsakalakos from Feelgood and Fotini Vassilaki from Music Art Lab.

During a first meeting on 2nd November, a special jury assessed that most entries satisfied the stipulation for native sound elements and Greek lyrics. Last Tuesday (7th November), five entries were shortlisted. These five acts that got the coveted ticket to the Greek final 2018 are as follows:

artistsong titlerecord label
Areti KetimeDon’t Forget The SunSpicy Music
Yianna TerziT’ Oneiro Mou (My Dream)Panik Records
ChorostalitesApo Ti Thraki Os Tin Kriti (From Thrace to Crete)Spider Music
Duo FinaIdio Tempo (Same Tempo)Records on Top
Tony VlachosBaila JazzSpider Music

In the meantime, it transpired that commercially established artists had also expressed an interest in case the ERT was prepared to select them directly for Lisbon. Eleni Foureira in particular, a very successful pop singer, revealed that, for a second year in a row, had come forward with a proposal.

It is fair to say that some fans would be very enthusiastic at the prospect of Eleni Foureira representing Greece though, in the end, record label proposals outside the context of a national final were turned down by the Greek broadcaster.

I made again a submission for Eurovision and it got rejected (…) I sincerely wish to whoever goes (to Eurovision) ‘good luck’. The people there (i.e. in the ERT) want to do a national final with Greek lyrics, they want specific things and our project was not right for them, it was as simple as that. No, I will not send (a song) again…”

Eleni Foureira talking to journalists (excerpts broadcast by morning TV show Ftiakse Kafe Na Sta Po on 31st October 2017)

This morning, a statement by Panagiotis Kalfagiannis, the president of POSPERT, the trade union of ERT and television employees, was reported by Sunday newspaper To Choni. In it, Mr. Kalfagiannis addressed the issue of the broadcaster sticking to the original concept of holding a national final with a Greek musical style and lyrics. He affirmed that Eurovision “interests a great part of the Greek people” and that “POSPERT and the employees want clear procedures and transparency to be in place” regarding the project.

The ERT concept for its 2018 national selection was generally received positively by fans as far as reactions on social media are concerned. It now remains to be seen whether the shortlisted songs for the national final, expected to take place in February 2018, will meet fans’ expectations.

See alsoGreece: ERT receives entry sung by Areti Ketime

In any case, the Greek national final, expected to take place in February 2018, will mark a change after two years of consecutive internal selections in 2016 and 2017. Indeed, this year, Greece was represented by internally selected Demy, a pop sensation in the country.

In the following videos, you can watch Demy in Kyiv last May, performing her entry This Is Love as well as answering to our Would You Rather questions.

For more videos like these, subscribe to our official channel on YouTube.

Categories: Eurovisionary


Depi Evratesil: Could former Genealogy member be more succesful for 2018?

Genealogy representing Armenia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Armenia’s official broadcaster is selecting their Eurovision 2018 entry through a new version of Depi Evratesil. In its new method, AMPTV is opening submissions for original songs until December of this year and since it’s an open competition, Tamar Kaprelian – former Genealogy act – has already revealed she is trying her luck solo.

One more country is readying things for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, that is Armenia. Its broadcaster, AMPTV, has announced their own national selection – Depi Evratesil – and decided to shake things up a little hoping for a better result next year. This time, Depi Evratesil will open its doors to original songs from the artists and composed specially for the contest.

Despite the announcement, and the national selection’s slogan being “It’s Your Turn”, the winning song may not be the one that Armenia will present in Lisbon next year.

Nonetheless, and while things are being prepared, one known Eurovision act has already announced she will be attempting her luck in next year’s national selection: Tamar Kaprelian. The Armenian singer has already stepped on the Eurovision stage back in 2015 as a member of Genealogy finishing at number 16 in the grand final with a total amount of 36 points.

See alsoWaylon returns to the Eurovision Song Contest

Rules of Depi Evratsil

Submissions to the national selection are open until December 15. With this being said, you can always try your luck here and under the following requirements:

    • You must be a citizen of the Republic of Armenia or be of Armenian descent;
    • You must be at least 16 years old by the 8th of May 2018;
    • If you’re applying with a group, the group cannot have more than 6 members;
    • The song submitted will have to be an original piece never published or performed before 30th of September 2017;
    • The song cannot be longer than 3 minutes.

Remind yourself of Genealogy’s Face The Shadow performed at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 final below:

Categories: Eurovisionary


Eurovision 2018: Host and stage to be revealed in January – with or without Salvador

The 12 extra logos for ESC 2018

RTP has just announced that the presenters for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest will be announced by the beginning of next year, along with a sneak peak of what the stage will look like. It however still is uncertain if Salvador Sobral will make it to the main stage in Lisbon.

Earlier this week, RTP held a press conference to reveal a few details of next year’s competition. Besides revealing the official logo for the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest, the slogan – All Aboard – was also announced along with the official statement that 42 countries will take place in next year’s competition.

Now, Portugal’s national broadcaster RTP announced that in January more details will be known as they will announce the hosts along with a sneak peek of the stage – inspired by the shelve presented in the logo.

See alsoWaylon returns to the Eurovision Song Contest

With or without Salvador

Even though we are surrounding ourselves with so many good news, there’s also space for some not so greater ones. In the same report, RTP also told the uncertainty of having Salvador Sobral performing, or even showing up, at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. A few months ago, Salvador Sobral announced he would take a break from his music career to dedicate himself solely to his health condition and, as for now, he is still waiting for a compatible heart.

In the video below you find the reason we’re heading to Lisbon for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest as Salvador won this year’s edition quite convincingly. Enjoy his performance in this special Full Stage view:

Categories: Eurovisionary


Estonia 2018: Stig Rästa to make another bid in Eesti Laul

The second rehearsal of Elina Born & Stig Rästa representing Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Tonight in Estonia, the twenty finalists for Eesti Laul 2018, were announced and old perennial Stig Rästa, will be making another bid to represent his home country – this time with the song Home.

Stig is not the only past Estonian representative trying again, as Gerli Padar, who missed the finals in 2007 with PartnersIn Crime, is also returning, with the duet Sky, alongside Eliis Pärna. The full list of the songs can be found below.

The two semi finals will be held on February 10 and 17 2018, with the final taking place on March 3, 2018.

Stig Rästa – Home
Metsakutsu – Koplifornia
Elina Netšajeva – La forza
Aden Ray – Everybody’s dressed
Frankie Animal – (Can’t keep calling) Misty
Nika – Knock knock
Iiris & Agoh – Drop that boogie
Etnopatsy – Külm
Vajé – Laura (Walk with me)
Miljardid – Pseudoprobleem
Tiiu x Okym x Semy – Näita oma energiat
Desiree – On my mind
Rolf Roosalu – Show a little love
Eliis Pärna & Gerli Padar – Sky
Girls In Pearls – Spellbound
Marju Lanik – Täna otsuseid ei tee – co-written by Paradise Oscar 2011 representative
Indrek Ventmann – Tempel
Sibyl Vane – Thousand words
Evestus – Welcome to my world
Karl Kristjan & Karl Killing (feat. Wateva) – Young

The only time that Stig managed to win the Eesti Laul, as a performer was in duet with Elina Born, with fan favourite Goodbye To Yesterday, which placed 7th in 2015. Enjoy the perfomance below, while we await to see if he can finally make the actual Eurovision Song Contest as a solo act.

Categories: Eurovisionary

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