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29
December
2017

From 60 to 20: The best songs from Romania’s Selectia Nationala

Ilinca ft Alex Florea (Romania 2017)

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.

Contents

  • 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.

Categories: Eurovisionary

29
December
2017

Unser Lied für Lissabon: Six German finalists ready to fight

Levina (Germany 2017)

On the 22nd of February, Germany will select its 2018 Eurovision participant. The six national finalists were announced this morning. A song-writing camp will now together with the acts come up with the best song for each of them.

4.000 were cut down to 211, then to 17 and now finally Germany are left with just six acts who will compete in their national final Unser Lied für Lissabon (Our song for Lisbon). The final will take place Thursday the 22nd of February 2018.

German broadcaster NDR sent out a press release this morning announcing the six finalists. Which songs will sing are not yet known, as a special song-writing camp consisting of the six acts and up to 15 composers and lyricists will now take place. The goal on that camp is to produce the best song for each of the participants.

The six finalists are:

  • Xavier Darcy. 22 years old.
  • Ryk (Rick Jurthe). 28 years old.
  • Ivy Quainoo. 25 years old.
  • Michael Schulte. 27 years old.
  • Natia Todua. 21 years old.
  • voXXclub. A band from Munich.

Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest

61 appearances and two victories, that’s the hard facts for Germany. The country won in 1982 with Nicole’s song for peace Ein bißchen Frieden, and in 2010 by Lena’s Satelite.

Lately things haven’t been good as the country finished at the bottom of the scoreboard the past three years. As one of the so-called Big5 countries, Germany is automatically granted a spot in the final.

In the video below, take a look at their 2017 entry Perfect Life performed by Levina – this time in a special Full Stage View video:

Categories: Eurovisionary

27
December
2017

Depi Evratesil: 20 participants are ready for national selection

Artsvik (Armenia 2017)

Who will represent Armenia at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest? That’s the question the local broadcaster asked when they today issued a press release with the 20 participants taking part in their national selection Depi Evratesil.

20 participants will compete in next year’s edition of Depi Evratesil, the Armenian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. They will compete in live shows to reach first the semi-final and after that the final, from which a winner will be found. A combination of an international jury and the viewers at home will be used in the shows.

The participants are: Robert Koloyan, Sevak Khanaghyan, Suren Poghosyan, Mger Armenia, Tyom, Zhanna Davtyan, Hayk Kasparov, Gevorg Harutyunyan, Maria’s Secret, Hasmik Shiroyan, Angel, Amaliya Margaryan, Tamar Kaprelian, Lusine Mardanyan, Arman Mesropyan, Mariam, Kamil, “Nemra”, “Alternative” and “Gata” bands.

In January the songs will be made available to listen to, while the first live show won’t start until the 3rd of February.

Armenia at the Eurovision Song Contest

With 11 appearances, and only once failed to reach the final, Armenia is a very successful Eurovision country. Out of their 10 times in the final, they 7 times ended in top 10! a 4th place which they managed twice, in 2008 and 2014, is their best result.

At the 2017 contest, Armenia was represented by Artsvik who however finished 18th in the final, and as such scored quite below the country’s average, though she still reached the final. Take a look at her entry Fly With Me in the video below in a special Full Stage View video:

Categories: Eurovisionary

27
December
2017

Spain refuses to bring an English song to Lisbon

Edurne representing Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Spain’s broadcaster has agreed along with Operación Triunfo’s production that an English song should not represent the country in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. The program’s director has also confirmed that the audience will not only select the act, but also the best song to take to Lisbon.

No English songs for Spain in 2018. Tinet Rubira, Gestmusic Endemol Shine’s director (in charge of Operación Triunfo’s production), has confirmed via Twitter that only Spanish songs will be featured in the country’s national selection.

As we wrote a few weeks ago, Spain will rely on their biggest talent show, Operación Triunfo, to select their Eurovision representative. The show has been delivering amazing ratings for TVE and has even given Spain their best result back in 2001, when it was the selection method for the event.

Any great song in English stops being one when the singer doesn’t speak the language fluently.

Tinet Rubira, Gestmusic Endemol

During the Question & Answer on Twitter, Tinet also revealed that TVE will be announcing more details of the selection soon, but made it clear that the Spanish audience will not only be selecting the winner of Operación Triunfo, but also the song to be sung in the event: “We will gather the best songs and the public will vote for the best one”.

This will be the first time Spain will sing in their native language since 2015 when Edurne represented the country. Despite being sung in Spanish, Amanecer failed to cause an impact finishing at 21st in the Grand Final. 

Categories: Eurovisionary

27
December
2017

First look: What is RTP’s new Eurovision documentary about?

Salvador Sobral Portugal 2017)

EuroVisionary were invited to watch a new two-episodes documentary made about Salvador Sobral’s Eurovision victory, before, during and after. 53 years after their Eurovision debut, Portugal finally won the contest for the first time in 2017. Watch the first episode of the documentary tonight.

“Sem Fazer Planos Do que Virá Depois”, one of Amar Pelos Dois verses, is the name of the 2 episodes documentary. It tells all the secrets behind the last participation of Portugal in the contest, with exclusive interviews with Salvador Sobral, Luísa Sobral (his sister and the composer of his song), some members of this year’s Portuguese delegation, historical singers of Festival da Canção and, obviously, some Portuguese fans who traveled to Kyiv in order to support Salvador, last May.

The first episode, which will air tonight on RTP, at 9pm local time (22:00 CET), shows the private side of the preparation of the last edition of Festival da Canção, after the 2016 withdrawal from Eurovision, in order to rethink their participation in the international contest. It tells us how RTP planned their returning, how composers were invited, what method Luísa Sobral used to compose her song and it also shows how Amar pelos Dois emerged from all the other competing songs, with exclusive images of the rehearsals and of the reactions from the other artists to the winning song.

Finally, the second and last episode, airing tomorrow on RTP at 9pm too (local time), shows exclusive videos and interviews about the two weeks in Kyiv. Some secrets of what happened behind the curtain are revealed, as well as all the impressions felt by the Portuguese delegation, while watching their country finally winning the contest for the first time ever.

Made by Nuno Galopim and Miguel Pimenta, this documentary will truly pleasure all the Portuguese Eurovision fans and all the worldwide supporters of Salvador, as this documentary is planned to be released abroad soon, in an English version. Therefore, this storytelling already promises to be a thing to watch again, again and again… as it represents a mark on both RTP and Portuguese music histories.

Below you can watch the trailer of the documentary, as it has been presented on Portuguese television.

Categories: Eurovisionary

26
December
2017

Eleven acts are asking the question: Is This The Way To San Marino

While our team hibernated over the Christmas holidays, San Marino announced the eleven acts vying for a chance to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.

Casting aside the likes of British talent Karl William Lund and Cypriot, Nearxos Evangelou, at least ten of the acts, now find themselves wondering how they are going to travel to San Marino, to compete in the final.

The only native finalist is IROL, real name Lorenzo Salvatori.He was announced by San Marino royalty, Valentina Monetta, last week as the third wild card, from the 1 in 360 competition. San Marino has been using this selection method to find their 2018 act. Below is the full list of the chosen ones.

Jenifer Besky

German Jenifer submitted a cover version of Sia’s Chandelier to the 1 in 360 competition. She is also a successful actress in her native country.

Franklin Calleja

Franklin placed 5th in MaltaSong 2015, with the Alexander Rybak penned Still Here.This was the song he used to apply for 1 in 360. He then placed third behind Ira Losco and Brooke in Malta’s Eurosong 2016 with the songLittle Love. He then came 5th last year with the song Follow Me. This year the Arkansas born, Msida native gives his home country a miss.

Sara de Blue

With her hair, a natural blue colour, Austrian Sara wailed her way to the San Marino final, accompanied by her trusted keyboard. Sara’s Sex wasn’t quite on Fire, in the Voice of Germany 2013, when she was eliminated against Katharina Schoofs in the Showdown rounds. However, Sara has continued to perform, having a big hit in Austria with Walking On Water in 2014.

Judah Gavra

Judah is often cited as a potential candidate for his home country, Israel. In 2013 he placed 4th with the song Hayom and has often been expected as a contender every year. However, this has not happened despite successful releases Falling and Stay.

IROL

24 year old rapper IROL has released 2 EP’s Perso nel tempo and Distanze, along with one album Stato mentale. Born in San Marino he began rapping professionally at the age of 14.

Tinashe Makura

Tinashe is the only non European native chosen for the final. Tinashe comes from Zimbabwe but is often based in Malaysia, so he will have quite the flight getting to San Marino. Tinashe released the 7 track album, Hello in 2017. He auditioned with the summery title track.

Giovanni Montalbano

Italian Giovanni won the second wild card with a massive 388,712 votes. This means that if he is chosen as San Marinos entry and everyone who voted for him tries to buy a ticket for Eurovision, not only will they crash blueticket.pt’ site – they will crash the internet. Giobanni auditioned with the song Between The Clouds.

Jessika Muscat

The second Malteser chosen for the finals. Jessika is another regular from the Malta Song contests, appearing in 2009 with the song Smoke Screen. In 2014 she came 8th with the song Hypnotica, and then she placed 9th with Fandango.

Camilla North

Norwegian Camilla released her own self-titled album back in 2008.She runs her own music school. She also is a model back home in Norway. Add to this list that she is a successful songwriter and has released several singles. Auditioning with Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, being chosen as one of San Marino’s top11 must be a career highlight.

Emma Sandström

Everyone’s favourite third placer from Finland’s UMK 2017 when she sang Circle of Light, here’s Emma in San Marino as the first chosen wild card.

Sebastian Schmidt

The final contestant, Sebastian hails from Germany. He auditioned with Sara Bareilles song Gravity.

The dates for the final have yet to be determined. However, San Marino are out to beat Sweden and Lithuania, with eight shows, where the acts will battle it out. The top 3 contestants will compete against each other in the final. Nick Earles will host this final, where each of the three best will perform a cover and an original song.

Zoë Straub, Austrian representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and choreographer Vince Bugg have been confirmed as two of the four judges of the 1 in 360 shows. They will take place in January and February 2018.

Categories: Eurovisionary

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