The first rehearsals of the day were met with a few technical issues but that didn’t stop Eye Cue from offering a sexy and ambitious performance that easily recreates “Lost and Found” music video.
FYR Macedonia is competing in the first semi-final as start number 11. The country is represented by the band Eye Cue and their song Lost And Found, which is written by Bojan Trajkovski and Darko Dimitrov.
1 First rehearsal
2 How Eye Cue was selected
3 FYR Macedonia at the Eurovision Song Contest
Technical issues marked today’s first rehearsal as Eye Cue had to restart their performance more than five times. Just like in the music video for Lost and Found, Marija Ivanovska was waring a short pink dress that certainly will catch the viewers’ attention at home.
It all started with a focused Marija and a blurred Bojan Trajkovski – a possible metaphor for the song’s meaning. Overall, the performance did justice to the Eurovision stage as four other elements were on it, besides the main duo: the drums guy and three back vocalists. While Bojan Trajkovski – the guitarist – stood in the same place during most of the performance, Marija walked through the entire main stage and even offered a nice and cute choreography after the song’s first chorus.
By the end, the duo – along with the back vocalists – walked to the stage’s bridge and appeared to have found eachother.
Vocally speaking, Marija was on key and surely looked confident on stage. Will that be enough for FYR Macedonia?
How Eye Cue was selected
Back in January 2017, broadcaster MRT asked for songs to be submitted for a quick international selection. They received nearly 400 of which a jury then selected Eye Cue and the entry Lost And Found.
In mid February, the band was announced, and a month later, the song saw its release.
See alsoIt’s Eye Cue with 'Lost And Found' for FYR Macedonia in Lisbon
FYR Macedonia at the Eurovision Song Contest
A pre-selection kept FYR Macedonia away from their intended debut in 1996. As they withdrew for the 97′ contest, it wasn’t until 1998 we saw Vlado Janevski as the first representative for an independent FYR Macedonia. Up until 2014, the country would take part ever second year only.
Late Toše Proeski represented FYR Macedonia at the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, he came 14th in the final and since that, the country has been a regular participant, despite quite poor results recently.
In 2006, Elena Risteska ended 12th with the song Ninanajna. That is to date the country’s best result at the Eurovision Song Contest.
From 2008 and up, FYR Macedonia only reached the final once, that was by Kaliopi and her song Crno I Belo in 2012.
Simple, yet effective. That seems to be the recipe Croatia is aiming for this year. Today’s first rehearsal revealed what we can expect from Franka on stage.
Croatia is competing in the first semi-final as start number 12. The country is represented by Franka and the song Crazy, which is written Franka herself in collaboration with Branimir Mihaljević. The song has a very sixties vibe going on, but still belonging very much to today’s sound.
1 First Rehearsal
2 How Franka was selected
3 Croatia at the Eurovision Song Contest
After long delay due to technical problems with FYROM’s entry, Franka appeared in a long brown dress, but it may be a black lacy number, Franka’s voice is out of this world. She stands at the microphone alone and she is a powerhouse even by herself. White smoke bellows out from the stage at appropriate moments. As the song progresses Franka removes the microphone from its stand and walks around the stage for a while, Basically the lady needs no gimmicks to sell her song.
How Franka was selected
Initial plans to bring back Dora as national final was dropped, and broadcaster HRT instead presented Franka as chosen internally. Her participation was announced in February 2017, and a few weeks later, the song was revealed, first with a short teaser and then later with the full version.
Franka mentioned that she had written three possible songs for the Eurovision Song Contest, but in the end she felt that Crazy was the right one.
See alsoCroatia 2018: Franka releases “Crazy”
Croatia at the Eurovision Song Contest
As part of Yugoslavia, Croatia took part in the Eurovision Song Contest ten times, and was also behind the Yugoslavian victory in 1989 with Rock Me by Riva. A few years later, Yugoslavia fell apart, and Croatia was one of the new independent countries to quickly join the Eurovision Song Contest.
They debuted in 1993 with the song Don’t Ever Cry, which reached a 15th place. Croatia has yet to win as an independent country, but they do have two fourth places from 1996 and 1999 to look back at.
Since the introduction of semi-finals in 2004, Croatia failed to reach the final 5 times, which included four of them in a row. After that, the broadcaster pulled out for a two year break before they returned to the contest again in 2016.
Very competent vocally but nothing to add apart from that. Cesár’s first rehearsal was marked by a big platform that elevated the singer throughout the majority of the performance. Special effects or any sort of choreography were left behind.
Austria is competing in the first semi-final as start number 13. They are represented by Cesár Sampson and the song Nobody But You, which is written by Boris Milanov, Sebastian Arman, Joacim Persson and Johan Alkenäs.
1 First rehearsal
2 How Cesár Sampson was selected
3 Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest
On a huge platform, that’s where Cesár Sampson stays for almost his entire performance. Before the song’s bridge, the Austrian singer dressed in a rather casual way featuring a latex t-shirt, gets off that big lift and runs through the stage’s bow to just finish his performance back where he started.
Besides the platform that elevates the singer through Nobody But You, Cesár’s performance features no special effects but a lot of smoke and an image of himself on the back.
Overall, it was a very simplistic performance with no choreography despite him using a face microphone. With this being said, it’s not shocking that his vocals were impeccable as the performance featured very little moves.
How Cesár Sampson was selected
For the second year in a row, Austrian broadcaster ORF internally selected their Eurovision Song Contest participant. Cesár Sampson was presented back in December 2017 together with Boris Milanov and Sebastian Arman as the songwriters.
In March 2018, the song Nobody But You was released.
See alsoAustrian entry released – Cesár Sampson presents Nobody But You
Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest
The Eurovision Song Contest started in 1956, and in it’s second year, Austria joined the fun. Over the years their results have been quite mixed.
Two victories, in 1966 and again in 2014, but also eight times finishing last, that’s the overall stats for Austria’s Eurovision journey. As the semi-finals were introduced in 2004, the country failed to reach the final four times. The last time that happened dates back to 2013 where Natália Kelly didn’t Shine as much as the song title indicated. Her poor result was however quickly forfotten as she was followed by Conchita Wurst who secured the country their second win.
in 2015, The Makemakes represented Austria on home-field, and unfortunately scored the worst ever for a host country. Together with neighbouring Germany, they failed to get one single point.
With an even stronger performance and a staircase to remember, Saara Aalto’s Monsters now stands out clearer than it did in the National Final. It’s been fine tuned and now looking like a monster of a contender.
Finland is competing in the first semi-final with start number 15. The country is represented by Saara Aalto and the song Monsters, which is written by Saara herself in collaboration with Joy Deb, Linnea Deb and Ki Fitzgerald.
1 First Rehearsal
2 How Saara Aalto was selected
3 Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest
Poor Saara Aalto, at the moment has every Eurovision fan’s eye on every move she makes. So it is with high expectations that she took to the stage to begin rehearsals. Standing on a blue laser mountain, Saara gets a trick she used with Domino out of the way first, by getting spun upside down. That’s how to re-use a gimmick. Two sets of lighted stairs are on either side of the mountain, for Saara to descend.
With all the singing she’s been doing lately her voice is still in fine enough form. Maybe she just missed a few notes but nothing to be concerned about. She has two dancing men and two dancing ladies, in blue or grey, who we can assume are her Monsters.
The stage is again the light blue and lavender that a few of the acts are using this year. Saara performed with a confidence and an attitude that she is out to win this year for Finland. Not to mention a pair of knee length sparkly boots, in which she struts around the stage, with her dancers following behind her. At the end she jumps from her mountain in a stage dive moment and is caught by her stage monsters.
On the final rehearsal, perhaps with a nod to Finland’s only winner by Lordi, fireworks explode on stage, to much cheering from the audience. Saara doesn’t waste a moment of her time on stage.
How Saara Aalto was selected
Back in November 2017, Finnish broadcaster YLE presented a new format of their national selection UMK (Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu). One artists would sing three songs, and a combination of public voting and an international jury representing eight countries, would select which song will represent the country at Eurovision.
Saara Aalto who twice finished second at their national selection, and also ended up as runner up in X-Factor UK 2016, was the artist chosen by the broadcaster. Three songs were, ahead of the national final, released one by one: Monsters, Domino and Queens.
The national final took place on the 3rd of March, and with a score of 183 (159 for Domino in second place), Monsters was chosen as the Finnish entry for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.
See alsoFinland decides – Saara will sing 'Monsters' at Eurovision 2018
Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest
It is quite mixed results, we have seen Finland get over the years. The country came last not less than 10 times, in three cases even scoring the dreaded nil points. Since the introduction of semi-finals in 2004, the country failed to reach the final seven times – in average every second year. In recent years though, the country weren’t in the final in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Did Saara Aalto feel this pressure on her when she accepted the challenge of representing the country in 2018?
But all is not bad for Finland. In 2006, the rock band Lordi secured the country their very first win – and what a win. The iconic performance of Hard Rock Hallelujah will forever stand out in the Eurovision history books. Through the years, Finland have earned several 6th and 7th places as well, but their victory is the only time the country reached top 5.
Temptations and reviving from the ashes were the thoughts behind the new video for Melovin’s Under The Ladder. The arty video sees Melovin burn in the fire, to be revived as a new person. Does the new video give us a glimpse into what Melovin’s performance might look like in the semi final?
Melovin has released the new video for Under The Ladder, the song which he hopes, will bring victory once again to Ukraine. Fire is the re-occurring theme with this track. Melovin used fire in his national final performance and it has been used again with this video, keeping inline with his lyrics “Fire lasts forever”. This video replaces the live performance at vidbir as the official video.
The new video took 20 hours to shoot and intense for the entire crew. The fire used in the video was stronger than anticipated and there was a lot of dust which made recording it difficult. The video shows Melovin battling with the elements, trying to survive. He is being lured by the temptress who is played by Julia Gershun (Top Model 2017 winner). The video ends with Melovin playing at a burning piano, Melovin himself catches fire and is eventually reborn.
The director Taras Holubkov is a well known director in his native Ukraine. He has worked with the likes of MONTIAK, Skryabin and Artem Pivovarov as well as producing TV commercials for large companies such as MasterCard.
Yianna Terzi came on to rehearse her song Onerio Mou and if there’s on thing that can be said, it is this entry couldn’t be anything else but Greece – with all the elements that usually go into the Greek entry
Greece is competing in the first semi-final as start number 14. The country is represented by Yianna Terzi and her song Oneiro Mou (My dream), which is written by Terzi herself along with Aris Kalimeris, Dimitris Stamatiou and Mihalis Papathanasiou.
1 First Rehearsal
2 How Yianna Terzi was chosen
3 Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest
Yianna is dressed in a long draping Greek style white dress, with a flowing scarf like feature around her arms. Vocally she is totally in tune producing very effortless powerful notes. She doesn’t move around much as the spotlight beams down from above her head. The pan pipe and drum introduction is very strong, as is the unseen backing vocalists. Yianna appears to prefer to be alone on stage. This is very reminiscent of Greece 1992.
The stage is awash with blue and spotlights shine of and on in the background. There is very little movement but after the instrumental break, Yianna raises her hand to show of the scarf like accessory and then drops to her knees without touching the ground, for a last chorus. She should be happy with these rehearsals. Oh and the wind machine was put to good use.
The last rehearsal saw the used of more yellow lights in the back ground before the screen changed to the press conference of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, so any other effects that she uses were not seen.
How Yianna Terzi was chosen
Greece had everything lined up for a national final. Five record companies had submitted each their entry, the songs were released and the broadcaster was putting the final touches on the final… but then followed a scandal where first two entries were removed from the line-up as they didn’t provide the ethnic Greek sound broadcaster ERT were looking for. Later, two more entries were officially disqualified for not being able to provide the financial guarantee that they were able to pay for the Eurovision participation. It didn’t help that the record companies behind those entries claimed that they were never informed about the money.
With Yianni Terzi as the only act left for the national final, she was chosen with no competition.
See alsoA Greek tragedy or comedy? Yianna Terzi to represent Greece in Lisbon
Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest
One victory, and ten times in top 10 after the country returned to the contest in 2001 following a three years absence. In newer years things have overall been good for Greece, which had a perfect strike in terms of qualifying for the final – up until 2016. Argo’s Utopian Land finished 16th in its semi-final and as thus, weren’t near making it.
The bad placement from Argo is however not the only thing which indicates that Greece are in need to improve. Their last top 10 result came in 2013 where they claimed Alcohol Is Free. Since that time, the best result earned is a 19th place in the final.