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02
August
2018

Anna Vissi personally affected by the fires – blames Greek Prime Minister

Anna Vissi personally affected by the fires – blames Greek Prime Minister

Anna Vissi

Anna Vissi’s sister and mother lost their houses as they were completely burnt in the fires in Greece. The Greek Prime Minister is to be blamed, if you ask the popular Greek-Cypriot artist who represented Greece and Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest three times.

The singer who took part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1980, 1982 and again in 2006,  told to “TV ONE” in Cyprus, her first thoughts when she visited Mati who was hit so hard by the fires, revealing what her family lost in the tragedy.

The first day it was a shock. My family felt that they had lost everything and when they realized they had each other the next day, the material loss was forgotten. It is very tough to lose all your fortune because of the fire but it does not compare the pain of losing your own people, especially when we learned later that still many people were missing. All my relatives, my sister, my mom’s house, my sister’s family have suffered from the fire. I went to Mati the next day of the fire, where I saw a strange scenery, it was just a normal house and the other house next door burnt. The air that existed was so animated, so intense to take lives in its passage. Of course, it is fault’s of the man who runs this country. – Anna Vissi to TV One, Cyprus

#StandbyGreece is the name used for a concert held in Cyprus, where the income went to the people who lost their homes. Anna Vissi took part along with other artists supporting the cause.

Our homeland supports our other homeland. A charity concert for the fire victims in Attica, Greece.

Anna Vissi on Instagram

Η μια πατρίδα στηρίζει την Άλλη ….🇨🇾🇬🇷 #StandByGreece Συναυλία και Έρανος για συμπαράσταση και αλληλεγγύη στους πυρόπληκτους της Αττικής. Τρίτη 31 Ιουλίου 2018, από τις 5μ.μ έως και 11μ.μ. Δημοτικός Κήπος Λευκωσίας, δίπλα στη Βουλή των Αντιπροσώπων. Στον χώρο θα συγκεντρώνονται χρήματα, μέσω εισφορών στο περίπτερο του Hope For Children CRC Policy Center, ενώ θα πωλούνται ποτά και τρόφιμα, τα έσοδα των οποίων, ουχί τα καθαρά, θα δοθούν προκειμένου να πραγματοποιηθεί η ανακατασκευή υποδομών δημοσίου συμφέροντος για τα παιδιά που από κοινού με τις τοπικές ελληνικές αρχές, θα επιλεγεί. Η είσοδος στη συναυλία θα είναι δωρεάν. Η εκδήλωση τελείται υπό την αιγίδα του επιτρόπου εθελοντισμού Στη συναυλία θα τραγουδήσουν η Άννα Βίσση, ο Αντώνης Ρέμος καθώς και οι: 17:00- 18:00 Theo & Alex 18:00 – 19:00 OnTour 19:00 – 20:00 Cashiers (Band) 20:00- 21:00 Neon Knights 21:00 – 22:00 The Boots 22:00 – 23:00 Fuse

A post shared by Anna Vissi (@annavissiofficial) on

See alsoEleni Foureira donates concert income to fire victims in Greece

While Anna Vissi blames the Greek Prime Minister, it is different with the Cypriot president. Before the concert, Anna met with Nikos Anastasiades, who thanked her and praised her contribution. 

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01
August
2018

Eurovision X-Factor Malta: Get to know the four judges

Eurovision X-Factor Malta: Get to know the four judges

Ira Losco

Ira Losco, Howard Keith Debono, Ray Mercieca and Alexandra Alden. Those are the four judges in the coming X-Factor Malta where the winner will represent the country at Eurovision. We take a closer look at the four judges in order to find out why they are there.

Earlier this month, it was announced by the Maltese broadcaster, PBC, that the existing format, Malta Eurovision Song Contest, was dropped for 2019. Previously know as Malta Song Festival, this format had been used to select the Maltese entries for Eurovision since 1971. A new era is about to begin, as X-Factor now will be used to find the country’s next participants. The winner will have the chance to wave the Maltese flag at the upcoming contest.

The preparations already started and the four judges are now known. Let’s take a closer look at the them.

Contents

  • 1 Howard Keith Debono
  • 2 Ray Mercieca
  • 3 Alexandra Alden
  • 4 Ira Losco

Howard Keith Debono

Mr. Debono is a music producer. He has already offered a lot to the Maltese music industry, as for over twenty years he has been pushing local artists internationally. He is now working with Ira Losco, former Eurovision participant, as he is her manager. The Maltese producer also collaborated with Chiara( Malta 1998, 2005, 2009). One of the biggest achievements in his career is working with a Lord of the Rings production. So, it’s a big chance for the new artists to gain experience from a person like Howard Keith Debono.

Ray Mercieca

Ray is a well-known singer and songwriter in his country. He achieved a lot of success back in the eighties and inspired a lot of people, especially younger musicians, through his songs. He is frontman of the music band named The Riffs. Mr. Mercieca is also known as the lead vocalist of the former band The Characters. Having enormous experience and good knowledge about how the music industry has evolved, him being in his team it’s a very good pick.

Alexandra Alden

24-year old Alexandra is a singer,songwriter, guitarist and tutor. She is currently living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands where she managed to graduate as Bachelor of Music. Alden started recording her first songs in the age of 16. Many of her songs climbed in the peak of Maltese charts. Also, she’s just released her first album Wild Honey in collaboration with the international label MARS Worldwide. Alexandra promises to do her best to help the rising stars to build their career. So, Alexandra is the right person who can guarantee the youngsters a chance for an international career.

Ira Losco

Double Eurovision participant Ira Losco is a well-known singer in Malta and abroad. She first tried her luck in the contest back in 2002, when she achieved the best ever placing for Malta until now. Performing the song 7th Wonder, she came  second. Fourteen years later, in 2016, she represented again the nation with Walk On Water. In the big stage of Stockholm, she finished 12th out of 26. With the winner of the show having the chance to follow her footsteps in the contest, working with her it’s a great opportunity for those who want Eurovision success.

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31
July
2018

Eurovision seen through the eyes of young teenagers

Eurovision seen through the eyes of young teenagers

Ryan O'Shaughnessy

The Eurovision Song Contest is a family show. It attracts children, their parents and grandparents. We caught up with teenagers in Ireland to hear their thoughts on this year’s contest.

Contents

  • 1 What did you think of the way this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was set up?
  • 2 Which was your favourite entry this year?
  • 3 What did you think of Ireland’s placing on the scoreboard (16th) in the final?
  • 4 What do you think about this year’s winner?
As a follow-up to the article, ‘Eurovision seen through the eyes of children‘, we made a second part and ask school-going teenagers what they thought about this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

We asked students from a second-level education school in County Longford, Ireland, to get to know these teenagers’ opinions about the Eurovision Song Contest this year.

What did you think of the way this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was set up?

Emily (thirteen years old): I didn’t really like the hosts – their humour just wasn’t for me. The stage was so beautiful. I think Lisbon did a really good job.

Nikola (thirteen years old): I absolutely loved the stage. It was amazing. Lisbon did a pretty good job, however I think that the show was a bit political, with the countries giving the maximum points to neighbour countries. I find that a bit unfair – a country should give points to a song that they actually like. The hosts – I didn’t really mind them. If I have to be honest, their accents made what they were saying a bit hard to understand, but if I had to choose my favourite host, well then, It would definitely be Filomena Cautela.

Miška (thirteen years old): I found the way this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was set up was way better than last year’s. However, I feel like the show was politically-biased this year.

Kitija (fifteen years old): Well, in my opinion there are both negatives and positives when talking about how the show was set up. The stage, like every year, was absolutely mesmerizing. However I believe that there could have been better and possibly more diverse hosts. Also, in my opinion the hosts were making unsuccessful and rather cringy jokes. The interval acts during the shows were mediocre and quite non-entertaining. The performances during the show were good, especially with the use of laser lights and other special effects.

Which was your favourite entry this year?

Emily (thirteen years old): It would have to be between Albania’s song Mall and Cyprus’ entry Fuego.

Miška  (thirteen years old): I loved Czech Republic’s song, Lie To Me.

Nikola  (thirteen years old): Oh, I cannot choose! There were so many good songs, but my favourites this year were Austria, “Nobody But You” by Cesár Sampson, Estonia, “La Forza” by Elina Nechayeva, and I have to say, our Ryan O’Shaughnessy was very good.

Kitija Olga Vucena (fifteen years old): My favourite entry most definitely is Denmark! I loved the song and the power it emitted, which of course, was primarily conveyed by the performers themselves. The performance on stage was just right, not too much bling and not boring either. I believe it was absolutely perfect and very enjoyable.

What did you think of Ireland’s placing on the scoreboard (16th) in the final?

Emily  (thirteen years old): I think for the message and delivery of the song it should have been placed a bit higher, like maybe 10th, but I don’t think it was a winning song.

Kitija  (fifteen years old): Ireland’s placing on the scoreboard was actually a great achievement compared to the luck they’ve been having these past years. I personally didn’t think they’d even get that high on the scoreboard, but I’m happy for them.

Nikola (thirteen years old): I found that it was a bit harsh…of course, it’s a good result for Ireland, if  you look at the results for Ireland from the past few years…but I feel like Ryan should have got much higher! The song was very good.

What do you think about this year’s winner?

Claire (thirteen years old): I wasn’t fond of the winner. I’m happy for her, but in my opinion, there were songs that were much better.

Emily (thirteen years old): I think her act was mediocre at best. There was a nice message to the song, but there were so many better songs that could have won.

Kitija (fifteen years old): This year’s winner was unique. I don’t particularly like the song but I admire her confidence on stage. Although I wasn’t thrilled when Israel won, I’m happy for her. This year’s winner is still better than the few past year’s ones . Well done and congratulations Israel.

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26
July
2018

Eleni Foureira donates concert income to fire victims in Greece

Eleni Foureira donates concert income to fire victims in Greece

Pray For Greece

More than 80 people (till now) have died from the massive fires that hit Greece the past few days. Eleni Foureira is now donating money from her last three concerts to help the victims and their families.

Everyone talk for an “unspeakable” tragedy that is happening now in Greece. At the moment of writing, 85 people lost their lives in flames, while more than 150 are still missing. Greece is mourning and everyone who can help in this disaster, offers what is possible.

Eleni Foureira started a pan-European tour, performing in many countries. Yesterday through her Instagram account, she announced that along with her partners they offer the proceeds from their last three concerts to the victims of the fires in Greece.

The toughest moments of Greece find me on a tour abroad. My mind and my heart, however, are next to all the people, who are going through such a crucial test. The minimum I can do is pray for these people and offer with my partners to them, the proceeds of our last three concerts. –  Eleni Foureira

Eleni Foureira, who tonight is in Tirana, Albania to perform, finished second with the song Fuego at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. In the video below, remind yourself of that entry.

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25
July
2018

Time travel back to Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 1981

Time travel back to Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 1981

Tommy Seebach & Debbie Cameron

A poor low budget Danish final, songs about Mae West and Louis Armstrong that was clearly beaten by curly hair. Only one year away from finding its right format, Danish broadcaster saved a lot of money on the 1981 national final. So much that it became depressing to watch.

Contents

  • 1 The poor 1980’s
  • 2 Singing about famous people
  • 3 No hugs to Seebach
  • 4 Watch the highlights
  • 5 Did Denmark made the right choice?
  • 6 Voting
  • 7 In this series
Imagine that you can travel back in time. What will you do? And what will you tell the people you meet about the future? As the curious Eurovision fan I am, I will go back to previous national finals. I want to see why my parents’ and grand parents’ generations voted as they did. I want to talk to the participants from back then, and I also want to follow the big developments happening within music and TV production.

It’s been a while since I travelled back in time. My machine had been broken, but now it is fixed – and I was ready to visit  the 1981 Danish final. I must admit that it wasn’t with high expectations though. I knew the Danish broadcaster really had cut down this year compared to the year before. The number of songs went from 12 to 5. In 1980, half of the songs came via an open selection. Now the songwriters to all five songs had been asked to write a song for the show. Low expectations, yet, I was disappointed.

The poor 1980’s

I was five years old in 1981, so I can’t really remember how it was. But after the boom in the 1960’s and the oil crises in the 70’s, a bill was now to be paid. Denmark experienced the same as many other countries in the early 1980’s: If you wanted to keep the country’s Balance of International Payments in a healthy shape, the unemployment rate would go up, which meant that the households would have less income and as such needed to cut down on their expenses.

The show opened with host Jørgen de Mylius breaking through a box with a message written on it: “Poor, but pretty Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 81”. Poor was definitely correct. The show was put in kind of like a break in another programme. There was no open selection. Broadcaster DR had asked five acts to perform play back with a song, and the qualify of those weren’t high. Yes, Tommy Seebach delivered what was expected of him, but to be honest, did he really have any competition? As Jørgen de Mylius often says, “we’ll get back to that”.

Several times during this national final, Jørgen de Mylius made references to the economic situation like “Even though we are in the poor 1980’s….”. He was probably trying to make the TV viewers see this low-budget show in a greater light, but I think he instead made them depressed. The jury members in the audience didn’t pay much attention either to what was going on. Some of them walked around (or was it the ones collecting the points?), during the songs, sometimes blocking the TV cameras!

As soon as the last song was performed, they went back to the original show, which had the national final put in, in a very abrupt way. An interval act was introduced, this turned out to be the host of the other show who after his performance, continued his programme like nothing happened, like time was standing still while Dansk Melodi Grand Prix was on.

Singing about famous people

Two of the songs in the Danish final were about famous deceased. One of them, Sikken Dejlig Dame (What a lovely lady) was about the American actress Mae West. Admitted, I had to Google’ her to find out she passed away in November 1980 – just a few months before this Danish final. That fact shows that the songs, at least this one, were written shortly before the announcement of the songs, which then can explain the low quality of them.

Most of us grow up learning that Louis Armstrong is one of the greatest jazz musicians the world has ever seen. He passed away in 1971, ten years before this Danish final, and as such you probably shouldn’t do a tribute song to him, unless you can do it well. Satchmo didn’t come across as a song they spent a lot of time on getting right. Unfortunately.

No hugs to Seebach

As the final ended, I quickly rushed to my time machine to get back to 2018. I didn’t feel like talking to any of the participants this time, and unlike in 1979, I couldn’t even give Tommy Seebach a hug. Back then I left him with tears in my eyes as I didn’t dare to tell him what was waiting for him in the future. This time, I was simply afraid that if I once again held on to him a little tighter and started crying, he would ask questions. And what should I answer? No, I couldn’t risk that.

Watch the highlights

I was disappointed about the quality of the songs, but taste differs. In the video below, you can enjoy the highlights from Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 1981. It includes clips from the opening of this “poor” final, all five songs and the announcement of the result.

We have provided you with English subtitles directly on the video.

Did Denmark made the right choice?

As previously mentioned, I didn’t find the qualify of the songs here in 1981 particular good. Yes, Tommy Seebach delivered what was expected of him, but the average wasn’t good. Allan Mortensen and his band Hans Mosters Vovse failed miserable to live up to their potential.

I was surprised to realise that the song En Tragisk Komedie, which finished second to last, was written by Kasper Winding. He was one of my idols in the last half of the 1980’s. Did he really put his name to something like this? As he appeared as backing singer as well, he obviously did. I can understand why I ignored that, if I have paid attention to it before. This song is significantly below the material he later came up with.

So did Denmark made the right choice here in 1981? No doubt they did. In Dublin, Krøller Eller Ej, finished 11th out of 20 songs. Should we have picked another song though, it should probably have been Anniqa’s May West song Sikken Dejlig Dame (What a lovely lady). It is catchy, but I don’t think it would have scored any better than what Tommy Seebach and Debbie Cameron did.

Let me just add that this was the very first time Debbie Cameron sang publicly in Danish. She is daughter of the American jazz and gospel singer Etta Cameron, who already moved to Denmark in the early 1970’s and lived here until her death in 2010. Debbie moved to Denmark to live with her mum, in 1976 at the age of 17.

Voting

Once again, DR had changed the jury system. This year, it consisted of 100 people, who was the only audience in the studio. The 100 jury members had been selected after they applied to a radio advert. Each of them gave each song points between 1 and 5 allowing 500 as the maximum of points one song could get. With 441 points, Tommy Seebach and Debbie Cameron as the only ones scored above 400.

We didn’t see any voting this year. Host Jørgen de Mylius announced Tommy Seebach and Debbie Cameron as winners. After a short winner interview the placements for the remaining four songs were quickly announced.

ArtistTitlePlacementPoints
 Hans Mosters VovseKing Kong Boogie2nd375
 AnniqaSikken Dejlig Dame3rd359
Tommy Seebach & Debbie CameronKrøller Eller Ej1st441
Theis JensenSatchmo5th210
 Carsten Elmer & Jørgen KlubienEn Tragisk Komedie4th238

In this series

When I had built my time travel machine, I started travelling back to the Danish finals as the country returned to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1978. In the articles below you can follow my recent journeys, while waiting for 1982.

1978 – Mabel getting tough competition from Olsen Brothers who were to win Eurovision 22 years later.

1979 – Tommy Seebach’s first of the three Danish final victories, and Kim Larsen looking for a free trip to Israel.

1980 – Former Eurovision winner Grethe Ingmann taking part in the Danish final for the last time, Birthe Kjær for the first time. Both beaten by a fat man in overalls. (No offense!).

This reflection article is based on the author's ownpersonal experience. Views expressed belongs to him or her, and are to be seen as unrelated to EuroVisionary.com.

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23
July
2018

Sinn Féin calls for Irish boycott of Eurovision in Israel

Sinn Féin calls for Irish boycott of Eurovision in Israel

Netta

“Israel’s ongoing and grievous violations of international law” is among the reasons Irish party Sinn Féin is asking  broadcaster RTÉ not to take part in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest which will be held in Israel.

In May this year, Netta won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest for Israel with the song Toy. With that, the country is now set to host the 2019 edition. If things were to fit the Irish republican party Sinn Féin, it will be a contest without Ireland.

Pearce Doherty, member of parliament for Sinn Féin stated that he expects his party to ask broadcaster RTÉ  and the Irish goverment to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel. The reasons are listed as “Israel’s ongoing and grievous violations of international law and international humanitarian law” and the “apartheid policies being applied to the Palestinian people”.

The delegates of Sinn Féin are very clear – there is a role for the arts, music and indeed sport, in sending a very strong message internationally. As it happens, Israel is hosting the Eurovision and just like the Olympic Games in Germany or the Rugby World Cup during the apartheid era, there is a time to stand on the right side of history here.
This is an opportune moment to shine the spotlight on the slaughter of the Palestinian people. While the government are refusing to expel the Israeli ambassador, there is an opportunity for others to take a stand so I think this campaign will gain momentum.

Pearce Doherty, Sinn Féin to TheJournal.ie

To get international attention, Sinn Féin also brought up the issue in the European Parliament yesterday.

It promotes the construction of Jewish-only settlements. It revokes the status of Arabic and makes Hebrew the country’s official language. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government can now expand the state’s takeover of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. There was no mention of equality or minority rights in any part of the bill. As members of the European Broadcasting Union that organises the Eurovision song contest, RTÉ need to take a firm stand against this sectarian bill and commit to boycotting the Eurovision in 2019.

Lynn Boylan, MEP

It’s not just in Ireland, the Israeli situation is being discussed. In Iceland, more than 25,000 people signed a petition which wants the national broadcaster RUV to also withdraw from the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. In countries like Sweden and the United Kingdom, the topic has been raised as well.

To remind yourself of how Israel won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, take a look at this video from Netta’s rehearsal of Toy

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