Eurovisionary

Eurovisionary
18
June
2017

Kristian Kostov apologises for not winning Eurovision 2017

Kristian Kostov apologises for not winning Eurovision 2017

Kristian Kostov (Bulgaria 2017)

Despite bringing his country to their best Eurovision result so far, placing second in the overall vote, Kristian Kostov broke down in tears during an interview for a local TV station. This year’s youngest Eurovision contestant heartily apologised to Bulgaria for not making it victorious.

It has been a month since the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 has proclaimed its winner, and this time has been marked by both joy and tears for the Bulgarian representative Kristian Kostov. He brought his country to their best result so far – a second place – but he apologised for not bringing home the absolute victory. “I apologise for not bringing Eurovision to Bulgaria”, heartily said Kristian in an interview with local TV station TMSAND ITV.

“Indeed, we are the winners” – nevertheless claimed Kostov during the interview, and he might be right. For Bulgaria who have been falling in and out of Eurovision, the journey has begun again. At the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Poli Genova sang her way to the fourth place bringing Bulgaria back on track after a two-year absence, which Kristian now backed up with a second place.

Kristian Kostov has multiple times shared that he finds inspiration in the works of the Russian 2007 runner-up and 2009 Eurovision winner Dima Bilan. If so, could we possibly see Kostov, similarly to his model, return to the Eurovision stage as an entrant and reaching the absolute top? We will have to wait for the national selections again to see, but for now let’s continue enjoying the Beautiful Mess Kristian Kostov created in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Categories: Eurovisionary

17
June
2017

Does the United Kingdom favour a specific constituent country?

Does the United Kingdom favour a specific constituent country?

Lucie Jones (United Kingdom 2017)

Do England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all get their fair share? Unlike in sporting events such as Football and Rugby, the countries are all represented as the United Kingdom by the BBC at Eurovision. So, what are the statistics for the UK constituent countries when it comes to being represented at the contest?

The United Kingdom is one of the most populous countries in Europe, with a population of over 65 million. It is made up of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These countries have contributed to the success of the UK’s ever-expanding music business and has made it the second largest exporter of music (per capita) in the world.

Consequently, it is no surprise that the United Kingdom has had a very successful relationship with the Eurovision Song Contest, in which they have finished in the Top 3 on no less than twenty three occasions.

The Island Nation was always a force to be reckoned with when it came to sending big artists and/or chart worthy music. Now, in recent years, we may wonder if this is the same country, as they have not been able to emulate their success from the 60’s to the late 90’s. But does it matter if you were born in a specific UK country? Would that help you achieve a better result on the Eurovision stage, and does the United Kingdom favour one nationality over the others?

To make this an accurate report, population is set at 60.35 million (the average of 1971 and 2011 populations according to census data).

1971 population (Millions)2016 population (Millions)Average (Millions)Percentage of UK population
United Kingdom55.86560.4100
England46.454.750.5583.7
Scotland5.25.45.38.77
Wales2.73.12.94.8
Northern Ireland1.51.81.652.73

In a perfect world, we would expect that each country’s population percentage would correspond with it representation in Eurovision. But further analysis of this suggests that it is not as straightforward as that, and not all participants were even born or raised in the UK with singers from Australia, USA and Germany representing the country over the years.

To those mathematicians out there, it may seem as if the chart doesn’t add up to 100%, and you would be right. This is because many of the acts that have represented the United Kingdom have been duets or groups, consisting of more than one Nationality, for example New Seekers in 1972 and Joe & Jake in 2016. Therefore we have had to accommodate for that.

There are many noteworthy conclusions we can make from this chart. England as a country is under represented at Eurovision when it comes to singers. While both Wales and Northern Ireland have sent more than their fair share of performers to the contest. Scotland is slightly under-represented in the contest, but in comparison to that of England, they are more evenly represented.

What is interesting is that most of UK’s victories come from English and Scottish singers, the two countries under represented. No Northern Irish representative has ever reached the top three, yet, both Ronnie Carroll and Clodagh Rogers finished fourth on all three occasions.

See alsoABBA honoured for BBC's Music Day

Does United Kingdom favour a specific country? Yes! Wales has been better represented in the contest in comparison to the other three countries. Is this a surprise for many living in the UK? Not really. For many years, Welsh people have been known for their amazing singing ability, with fantastic local talent, such as Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones cementing this belief. Even 2013 representative, Bonnie Tyler, became an international sensation in the early 1980s with her power ballad Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Although it isn’t a sure-fire guarantee that a Welsh performer will provide United Kingdom with a good result, and Wales can only lay claim to one victory in 1976 (Nicky Stevens providing vocals as part of Brotherhood of May), it does seem that UK like to provide more opportunity for this principality to show their musical credentials. How apt it is then, that this year’s contest saw Cardiff, the Welsh capital, born Lucie Jones perform her emotive ballad, Never Give Up On You in Kyiv, giving United Kingdom its best placing in 6 years.

Is their next winner going to be a Welsh singer? Who knows, but the odds are in their favour.

Categories: Eurovisionary

17
June
2017

Plan on how to save public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina moving closer

Plan on how to save public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina moving closer

The collapse of public service media (PSM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina is unacceptable. This is the conclusion of an international conference on PSM in the country, whose national public broadcaster, BHRT, has been facing huge financial problems throughout many years.

The conference took place in Sarajevo on the 13th and 14th of June. It was organised by the EBU, BHRT, the Bosnia and Herzegovina Journalist Association, the Council of Europe, the Office of the OSCE Representative of Freedom of the Media, the European Federation of Journalists and the South East Europe Media Organisation. The participants in the conference were discussing the financial, the judicial, the ethical and many other problems, that PMS in Bosnia and Herzegovina is facing. The result of the conference is 23 recommendations, which will be sent to all relevant authorities in the country and international partners in a few days, on the 19th of June 2017.

These are some of the most important recommendations:
• The need for urgent financial help for BHRT to ensure the continuation of its operation and prevent the threat of closure.
• The need for political will and political leadership to recognise the problems and identify workable solutions.
• The need for reform to PSM, in the mid-term, to ensure independent, professional and credible broadcasting.
• The need for reform to ensure stable and adequate funding for PSM and an appropriate mechanism for collecting and enforcing the broadcasting fee.
• The role of civil society in mobilizing citizens, engaging them in a dialogue about PSM and campaigning for the appropriate legal and institutional framework to allow them to fulfil their remit in accordance with European standards.
• The need to consolidate forces to overcome the current crisis.
• The need for the three PSM organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina to reinforce a common dialogue, cooperating more and using all potential synergies to produce and distribute their content.

Some of the main reasons why PSM in Bosnia and Herzegovina suffers from poor conditions are insufficient and unsustainable funding and the luck of will among the politicians to make the necessary reforms to the media law. One of the consequences hereby is that the broadcaster has accumulated substantial debts of around 20 million Euro over a long period. EBU Board Member Marko Filli said though, that BHRT’s debt towards the EBU is the slightest problem and that is very easy to make an agreement regarding the repayment.

The other consequence is that if PSM collapses, Bosnia and Herzegovina will become the only country in Europe without a national public service broadcaster. Filli said, that it must not happen, as PSM is a fundamental of democracy as it facilitates the open debates, which can lead to the reforms in the society.

The crisis of PSM is the reason why the country participated only once in the Eurovision Song Contest since 2012. As we are waiting and hoping for that the broadcaster soon will solve their problems and return to Eurovision, you can watch Bosnia and Herzegovina 2011 entry. Here is Dino Merlin and his Love In Rewind.

Categories: Eurovisionary

15
June
2017

ABBA honoured for BBC’s Music Day

ABBA honoured for BBC’s Music Day

ABBA have been awarded a blue plaque by the local BBC Radio station in the county of Sussex in the United Kingdom. In total 47 blue plaques were today awarded as part of BBC’s Music Day.

Today, ABBA have been awarded one of the 47 blue plaques awarded by BBC Sussex for BBC’s Music Day. The blue plaques have been awarded to people and places that have influenced the music industry. This is an unusual event as usually only one or two plaques are awarded each year.

Abba’s victory in 1974 at the Eurovision Song Contest at the Brighton Dome launched their career and changed the face of music. We are proud to celebrate Brighton’s connection with these international superstars whose music continues to inspire and bring joy to millions of people around the world.

BBC Sussex assistant editor Mark Carter

The plaque will be placed at the Brighton Dome which was the venue for the 19th Eurovision Song Contest where ABBA famously won the 1974 contest with Waterloo. It will be unveiled tonight live on BBC Sussex between 18:30-19:00 GMT. Popular ABBA tribute act Bjorn Again will be giving a special performance at the event at the Pavilion Gardens.

Further sites to receive a blue plaque include the Soho studio where David Bowie recorded Ziggy Stardust and Hounds pub in Caversham, Berkshire, where John Lennon and Paul McCartney played their only gig as The Nerk Twins.

Categories: Eurovisionary

15
June
2017

Nathan Trent treats fans with Italian version

Nathan Trent treats fans with Italian version

Nathan Trent (Austria 2017)

Do you want to hear “Running On Air” in Italian? Now is your opportunity as Nathan Trent recorded his Eurovision entry in Italian. Raised bilingually with Italian and German, it is a language this year’s Austrian representative is familiar with. 

Already before this year’s contest, Nathan Trent became our cover darling as he made covers of four former Eurovision entries: The Swedish 2015 Eurovision winning song Heroes, the 2013 Italian entry L’essenzialeJ’ai Cherché which was the French entry from 2016 and finally Albania’s I’m Alive from 2015.

See alsoThree acoustic Eurovision covers from Nathan Trent

Nathan has now thrown himself into an Italian version from his own Eurovision entry Running On Air, and based on the comments he received on his Facebook post, the fans want more. They are asking for Spanish, Portuguese and even Armenian versions.

Below, you can listen to his upload of the Italian version:

At this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Nathan made it to the final where he finished 16th with 93 points.

Categories: Eurovisionary

13
June
2017

International community offering a helping hand to Bosnia and Herzegovina

International community offering a helping hand to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Since 2012 Bosnia and Herzegovina participated only once in the Eurovision Song Contest due to the national public broadcaster’s (BHRT) heavy financial problems. Various international organisations will meet in Sarajevo today in order to try to solve the complex problems, that public service media (PSM) is facing in the country.

Today’s conference in the Bosnian capital is being organised by the EBU, BHRT, the Bosnia and Herzegovina Journalist Association, the Council of Europe, the Office of the OSCE Representative of Freedom of the Media, the European Federation of Journalists and the South East Europe Media Organisation. It is an opportunity for authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet with representatives of the media, international organizations, civil society and other experts to discuss possible solutions for the crisis and ensure proper implementation of Council of Europe and European Union standards.

In the past BHRT has accumulated substantial debts of around 20 million Euros mainly because of a very ineffective collection system of the licence fee. Until one year ago the fee was collected through telephone bills. Since then the Bosnian government failed to agree on a long-term solution for funding PSM. If PSM in Bosnia and Herzegovina collapses it would not only have a huge negative effect on the media system – it would also contribute to a further fragmentation of the country along the ethnic lines.

For many years EBU have tried to find a solution for the broadcaster’s problems. For instance in June last year, EBU chose to extend the deadline for BHRT to pay part of their debt to the EBU. As it didn’t happen, EBU decided to impose sanctions against the Bosnian and Herzegovinian broadcaster in December last year denying them access to the Eurovision News Exchange.

Strong PSM is the bedrock of democratic societies. We urge authorities in BiH to take urgent action to safeguard the future of PSM so it can play an active role in promoting and reinforcing democracy, fostering ethnic tolerance and ensuring social cohesion.

Ingrid Deltenre, EBU Director General

Last time Bosnia and Herzegovina took part in the Eurovision Song Contest was in Stockholm last year, only because BHRT managed to secure sponsorship to cover both the participation fee and all costs related to the participation. The country didn’t return to the contest this year due to the financial problems as it was the case in the period 2013-2015. We hope that today’s conference will offer some sustainable and long-term solutions for BHRT making it possible for Bosnia and Herzegovina to return to the contest already next year.

Refresh your memory of their 2015 entry in the video below:

Categories: Eurovisionary

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