Eurovisionary

Eurovisionary
29
September
2017

UK: the BBC open for entry submissions for Eurovision 2018

UK: the BBC open for entry submissions for Eurovision 2018

Lucie Jones performing for the UK in Kyiv.

Do you think you have a winning song for Eurovision? If so, the British broadcaster would like to hear from you. With a post on its official website, the BBC announced it is now open for submissions for its national selection, Eurovision: You Decide. 

2018 will be the third year in a row that the British entry will be selected through the Eurovision: You Decide format. Like in previous years, there will be two routes for sourcing entries.

One route will be the call for public submissions that was announced today (so, if you think you have got what it takes, now is your chance). Publicly submitted entries will be assessed and shortlisted by a panel made up of members of official UK Eurovision Fan Club OGAE UK.

‘The ESC in Lisbon 2018 promises to be yet another fantastic show and I’m determined that we, the UK, are able to build on our excellent showing of 2017 thanks to Lucie Jones’ superlative performance of the powerful ballad, Never Give Up On You.’

Record Industry Executive and Music Consultant for the BBC, Hugh Goldsmith

The second route will be through the British music industry and ‘leading professional songwriters’. This second route will be under the supervision of Record Industry Executive and Music Consultant for the BBC, Hugh Goldsmith, who stated:  ‘the ESC in Lisbon 2018 promises to be yet another fantastic show and I’m determined that we, the UK, are able to build on our excellent showing of 2017 thanks to Lucie Jones’ superlative performance of the powerful ballad, Never Give Up On You. To this end I am, again, looking for songs with emotive lyrics, memorable melodies and brilliant productions. However, success at Eurovision can also be about originality and the element of surprise. So, please also send us your songs if they are creatively fresh, brave and a little bit different!”

So attention to performance, lyrics, memorability, production as well as originality is what the BBC is looking for. As Guy Freeman, Editor for BBC Special Events and Formats, noted, candidates ought to have in mind that they their entry ought to resonate with both millions of television viewers at home as well as the national juries of competing countries.

Do you think you have what it takes? If so, the rules can be found in the BBC’s official post.

This year, the winner of Eurovision: You Decide was Welsh singer Lucie Jones, who went on to achieve fifteenth place and 111 points for the UK in Kyiv. Her entry, Never Give Up On You, was co-written by Eurovision 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest.

You can watch Lucie Jones performing Never Give Up On You as well as answering our Would You Rather? dilemmas in the videos below.

For more exclusive videos, you can subscribe to our official channel on YouTube.

Categories: Eurovisionary

28
September
2017

Ralph Siegel wanted to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina in Lisbon

Ralph Siegel wanted to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina in Lisbon

Ralph Siegel, one of the most notable figures at the Eurovision Song Contest, was very interested in financing the participation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the contest in Lisbon next year. Due to the Bosnian national public broadcaster debt to the EBU, it didn’t happen.

According to the Bosnian daily newspaper Dnevni Avaz, Ralph Siegel was ready to cover the costs of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest under the condition that Hanka Paldum, one of the most famous local folk singers, performed his song on the stage in Lisbon next year. Hanka has confirmed to Dnevni Avaz that the story is true, and that there has been a contact between her, broadcaster BHRT and Ralph Siegel.

The reason why this project failed was the fact that BHRT is facing an extreme financial hardship and sanctions from the EBU as well and as such isn’t able to take part. However Hanka is hoping that her collaboration with the famous German composer and producer will continue and that they will represent Bosnia and Herzegovina in the contest in the very near feature – maybe already 2019, if the financial conditions of the broadcaster improves.

Ralph Siegel participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 25 times so far. He entered the competition for the first time in 1974, and his latest entry, Spirit of the Night, represented San Marino in Kiev this year. Except San Marino, Siegel also composed songs for Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Montenegro. His song Ein bisschen Frieden, which was performed by Nicole, won the competition in 1981.

See alsoEurovision stars send prayers to Salvador Sobral

In recent years, his entries represented San Marino five times. In the video below, take a look at these five Ralph Siegel entries.

Hanka Paldum is 61 years-old and live in Sarajevo. She started her career as a singer in 1972. Hanka is regarded as one of the best female performers of the traditional folk music (sevdah) of the 20th century. She is very popular in her home country of Bosnia as well as in the rest of the former Yugoslavia. One of Hanka’s biggest hits from 1985 is Pamtim Još.

Categories: Eurovisionary

27
September
2017

Czech Television reveals some artists for 2018 and calls for songs

Czech Television reveals some artists for 2018 and calls for songs

Martina Bárta (Czech Republic 2017)

The Czech Republic has not only confirmed its participation for next year’s Eurovision, it has also announced an open call for entries similar to the one of 2017. Back in Kyiv, Jan Potměšil, a producer for the Czech Television, had confirmed that he expected his country to be a Eurovision regular in future.

After failing to qualify for the final in Kyiv with Martina Bárta and her song My Turn, the Czech Republic is making some changes in its selection process. The biggest change from last year is the additional rule that the lead singer has to have Czech citizenship. The other Eurovision rules stay without changes – the song can’t be longer than 3 minutes and released or performed before 1st September 2017. The participants have to be at least 16 years old and the maximum number of people on stage will be six. The deadline for submissions is set for 17th November 2017 and composers from all over the world are invited to send their songs to this email address: [email protected]. The format of the national selection is not known yet, but it is expected to be revealed in the following weeks. The official Czech Eurovision website of the broadcaster mentions a ‘national selection’ however there could be an internal selection or some kind of public national final.

Jan Potměšil, the Executive Producer of the Eurovision Project in the Czech Television also mentioned that some Czech artists have already promised their participation in the Eurovision 2018 project. They are Dasha, Thom Artway, Mikolas Josef, Markéta Konvičková, Pavel Callta, Elis Mráz, Yanna, Mariana Prachařová, Annabelle and bands Doctor Victor, Eddie Stoilow and others. The last three Czech participants also encourage others to take part in the selection. Marta Jandová emphasized the professionalism and the organization of such an event and both her and Václav Noid Bárta appreciate the high number of foreign fans interested in them and their music. Gabriela Gunčíková, still the only Czech Eurovision finalist to date, stated that competing in contests between nations is much healthier than being a part of international conflicts. Martina Bárta added that the Eurovision season was the most beautiful three months in her life, that she gained a lot of new friends and that she is still in touch with her Eurovision colleagues.

Jan Potměšil also revealed that the Czech broadcaster plans to participate again in many of the pre-parties all over Europe, at least in six of them. There is already a rising interest from Czech artists and it means that they are beginning to accept Eurovision positively. The chosen artist will have a lot of attention from the broadcaster with the aim to be prepared for the task to represent the Czech Republic in Lisbon. There was also one change in the Czech delegation recently with the Head of Press, Martin Brož, leaving and being replaced by Kryštof Šámal, former assistant of HoD Jan Bors. His position will filled by a new person to the team.

The confirmation of the Czech participation is revealed together with one special gift for all fans. Martina Bárta and JOWST from Norway worked together on a remix of her Eurovision entry My Turn. The idea started already before Eurovision when they became very good friends during the pre-Eurovision events and it was released as a celebration of this happy announcement. You can listen to the new remix below.

Categories: Eurovisionary

23
September
2017

Slavko auditions for X-Factor UK

Slavko auditions for X-Factor UK

Slavko Kalezić (Montenegro 2017)

Montenegrin singer, Slavko Kalezić may have missed out on a place in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, yet that hasn’t put him off achieving his dream of superstardom.

No stranger to the X Factor franchise, Slavko previously auditioned for the Adria version of the show, reaching the Judges Houses stage of the competition. During that edition, he was mentored by former Eurovision Finalist, Zeljko Joksimovic.  While he wasn’t successful in the show, he did release an album the following year and even appeared as a guest singer with his song Krivac.

His dream is not over and this weekend saw him reaching another milestone in his career, auditioning for the original X Factor in the UK. Auditioning with Beyoncé’s End of Time, the same song that brought him to the attention of The X Factor Adria judges but with one noticeable difference – Slavko’s now infamous style (for which he won the Barbara Dex Award) and his trademark hair braid.

Slavko gave an impressionable performance with his dance moves and flicking his hair to and fro. After the initial shock of seeing this flamboyant performer, Nicole Scherzinger and the Montenegrin singer were on the same linguistic wavelength as she found her ‘inner diva’ in Slavko. Simon Cowell was speechless, while we discovered Louis Walsh (Brendan Murray’s manager)  met Slavko at Eurovision and was his inspiration to travel to the UK for the audition. The X Factor is always known for its novel acts, and, over the years, we have seen many, such as Chico, Same Difference, Wagner and Jedward, all of whom have gone on to have varying degrees of success. The latter also competed at Eurovision in 2011 and 2012; on both occasions, they qualified to the final for their homeland of Ireland and, in 2011, even reached the top ten with their song Lipstick.

Confusion and dazed faces from Simon aside, Slavko was successful in tonight’s X Factor audition getting three out of four judges to say ‘yes’ and prompting Simon to admit ‘he had never seen anything like that’. Slavko moves on to the following stage of the competition. We will see him next at Bootcamp, where he will sing alongside all the successful auditionees for a place at the dreaded 6 Chair Challenge.

How well will he do?  Stay up to date with all the latest on Slavko’s X Factor journey with us here at Eurovisionary!

Categories: Eurovisionary

23
September
2017

Eurovision stars send prayers to Salvador Sobral (updated)

Eurovision stars send prayers to Salvador Sobral (updated)

Salvador Sobral during Festival da Canção 2017.

Jamala, Manel Navarro, Martina Bárta and Alexander Rybak are amongst the Eurovision stars who have sent positive messages to Salvador Sobral. The 2017 winner was allegedly moved into intensive care after his heart condition worsened.

It has been a rough month for the 2017 Eurovision winner, Salvador Sobral. In a video uploaded to YouTube earlier this month, the singer announced a break in his musical career to focus on getting better, In the same video, the singer also announced a special farewell concert in Estoril. Since then, the singer has been admitted to hospital and has recently been rushed to the intensive care unit as his condition has worsened.

Responding to this unfortunate situation, Salvador’s Eurovision colleagues have been nothing but supportive of him and shared some love with the singer. Manel Navarro – Spain’s 2017 representative – was the first one to write him a public message. The two singers have become great friends since Salvador visited Spain in order to promote his Amar Pelos Dois entry.

Manel touched everyone’s heart with his kind and deep words through social media: “When your heart is tired, use mine. You will always have mine for both of us”.

Not as deep but as kind, Martina Bárta (Czech Republic, 2017), who has always expressed her huge love for Salvador and Amar Pelos Dois, took also some time to write a couple of words to her friend: “Dear Salvador, I’m thinking of you and believe in your quick recovery”, she said. “Be strong, my friend.”

Jamala – the 2016 Eurovision winner – also posted a picture with this year’s winner on social media along with a full Portuguese message that translated says: “Salvador, we are all with you! Ukraine is with you! We’re praying for you! Be strong! Everything will be ok.”

Update – shortly after this article was initially published, another Eurovision winner, Norway’s Alexander Rybak (2009) also posted a Facebook message of support, which can be seen below: 

We hope Salvador pulls through and is able to beat this situation. In the meantime, we should take some time to appreciate this demonstration of companionship by these Eurovision stars. After all, that’s what the competition stands for. Do you remember these slogans? “We are one” (2013), “Building Bridges” (2015), “Come Together” (2016).

Singer’s condition has deteriorated

While earlier reports claimed Salvador’s hospitalization was just for control purposes and that “all vital functions were under control”, new reports say otherwise.

Portuguese magazine Flash! is reporting that the Amar Pelos Dois singer is now being treated by leading experts in their field and that his life is at great risk. They go further, saying that, even if they find a compatible heart for Salvador, he may not be well enough to receive it.

The same source claims that visits are extremely restricted and that Salvador is being watched 24 hours a day. Salvador’s representatives haven’t said a word about this as yet.

Salvador broke down in tears during farewell concert

On September 8th, Salvador Sobral took to the stage for the last time before his hospitalization to perform in front of roughly 3,000 people who showed up to support the Portuguese hero before his brief departure.

The singer had promised a “special and beautiful” performance and he kept the promise. During Amar Pelos Dois, Salvador was joined by his sister, Luísa Sobral, and the emotion took over. The audience also joined in, cheering and singing the words, with Salvador breaking down in tears and struggling to finish the song. A hug between him and Luísa during the performance was heartbreaking.

Eurovision’s YouTube official channel uploaded a video of the performance with images provided by RTP that can be watched below.

Categories: Eurovisionary

22
September
2017

Eurovision stars send prayers to Salvador Sobral

Eurovision stars send prayers to Salvador Sobral

Salvador Sobral during Festival da Canção 2017.

Jamala, Manel Navarro and Martina Bárta are amongst the Eurovision stars who have sent positive messages to Salvador Sobral, after the 2017 winner was allegedly moved into intensive care. Salvador had checked into hospital as a precaution due to his health condition, yet new reports claim his condition has worsened.

It has been a rough month for the 2017 Eurovision winner, Salvador Sobral. In a video uploaded to YouTube earlier this month, the singer announced a break in his musical career to focus on getting better, In the same video, the singer also announced a special farewell concert in Estoril. Since then, the singer has been admitted to hospital and has recently been rushed to the intensive care unit as his condition has worsened.

Responding to this unfortunate situation, Salvador’s Eurovision colleagues have been nothing but supportive of him and shared some love with the singer. Manel Navarro – Spain’s 2017 representative – was the first one to write him a public message. The two singers have become great friends since Salvador visited Spain in order to promote his Amar Pelos Dois entry.

Manel touched everyone’s heart with his kind and deep words through social media: “When your heart is tired, use mine. You will always have mine for both of us”.

Not as deep but as kind, Martina Bárta (Czech Republic, 2017), who has always expressed her huge love for Salvador and Amar Pelos Dois, took also some time to write a couple of words to her friend: “Dear Salvador, I’m thinking of you and believe in your quick recovery”, she said. “Be strong, my friend.”

Last but not least, Jamala – the 2016 Eurovision winner – posted a picture with this year’s winner on social media along with a full Portuguese message that translated says: “Salvador, we are all with you! Ukraine is with you! We’re praying for you! Be strong! Everything will be ok.”

We can only hope Salvador pulls through and is able to beat this situation. In the meantime, we should take some time to appreciate this demonstration of companionship by these Eurovision stars. After all, that’s what the competition stands for. Do you remember these slogans? “We are one” (2013), “Building Bridges” (2015), “Come Together” (2016).

Singer’s condition has deteriorated

While earlier reports claimed Salvador’s hospitalization was just for control purposes and that “all vital functions were under control”, new reports say otherwise.

Portuguese magazine Flash! is reporting that the Amar Pelos Dois singer is now being treated by leading experts in their field and that his life is at great risk. They go further, saying that, even if they find a compatible heart for Salvador, he may not be well enough to receive it.

The same source claims that visits are extremely restricted and that Salvador is being watched 24 hours a day. Salvador’s representatives haven’t said a word about this as yet.

Salvador broke down in tears during farewell concert

On September 8th, Salvador Sobral took to the stage for the last time before his hospitalization to perform in front of roughly 3,000 people who showed up to support the Portuguese hero before his brief departure.

The singer had promised a “special and beautiful” performance and he kept the promise. During Amar Pelos Dois, Salvador was joined by his sister, Luísa Sobral, and the emotion took over. The audience also joined in, cheering and singing the words, with Salvador breaking down in tears and struggling to finish the song. A hug between him and Luísa during the performance was heartbreaking.

Eurovision’s YouTube official channel uploaded a video of the performance with images provided by RTP that can be watched below.

Categories: Eurovisionary

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