Eurovisionary

Eurovisionary
19
September
2017

Ireland: Want an established act, but can’t afford a national final

Ireland: Want an established act, but can’t afford a national final

Brendan Murray (Ireland 2017)

The head of the Irish delegation has admitted that RTÉ can not afford a national final in order to find next year’s representative. However, they want to find an already established act to fly the flag in Lisbon next year.

Cash-strapped RTÉ will not select their representative for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest by national final as they simply can not afford it. The broadcaster, who are currently open for submission have requested that singers and song writers with a ‘proven track record of success in the music industry’ apply.

If we had the money, I would love to see a stand-alone Eurosong final and do it in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, but unfortunately there’s well-published financial difficulties here and we don’t have the money for that,” said Michael Kealy.

Kealy then went on to suggest that the Eurosong segment on The Late Late Show deters a lot of established acts off applying which puts the broadcaster in the difficult position of relying on artists who have very little experience in high level performance. Something that they don’t want to replicate this year, wanting a more established and experience act to lead the way.

The problem with the Late Late is that a lot of professional acts of any calibre are reluctant to come along and engage in that type of competition, which is understandable“.

Speaking to The Herald, Kealy deepened this point “Eurovision really isn’t for people who are looking for their break in the music industry“.

See alsoCyBC reveals further details of 2018 Eurovision entry

The broadcaster is accepting applications up until 5pm on Monday 6th November 2017. Songwriters and composers must only submit one song each for consideration.

Last year Brendan Murray became the fourth Irish act in a row to fail to qualify for the grand final. Can RTÉ avoid another humiliation and find the act that will bring them victory once again?

Do you want to get to know this year’s act better? Watch our video below.

Categories: Eurovisionary

16
September
2017

Portugal throws “all-time” Eurovision party and celebrates victory

Portugal throws “all-time” Eurovision party and celebrates victory

Eurovision Live Concert - Portugal 2017

Portugal’s annual Eurovision Live Concert was held on September 9th in Setúbal’s Auditório José Afonso and, besides bringing Eurovision’s newest stars to the stage, a few nostalgic acts and songs were also part of the lineup. The show was also a celebration of Portugal’s first ever victory in the Eurovision Song Contest.

“Isn’t this truly special, that we are outside tonight with such beautiful weather? (…) It’s not raining like in Denmark, 95% of the time!” While the mostly Portuguese audience truly appreciated Anja Nissen’s words, in reality, the weather wasn’t that pleasant. By the sea, it was mostly a windy and cold night in Setúbal.

Welcomed by the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest soundtrack, an audience started to build in and around Auditório José Afonso at around 9 pm. 45 minutes later – just as Lithuania’s 2014 representative, Vilija Matačiūnaitė, screamed for Attention – the music stopped and the official Welcome to Lisbon video invaded the screen. It was the trigger to start what was also a celebratory party.

Contents

  • 1 Sanja Vučić covered 2009’s Armenian entry, Tan Tan
  • 2 Anabela hopes to end music career
  • 3 Anja glows, Nathan gets a standing ovation and Timebelle perform an ESC 2017 medley
  • 4 A tenth edition is more or less confirmed

Sanja Vučić covered 2009’s Armenian entry, Tan Tan

The strategy of initiating the event with that video was more than enough to understand that Eurovision Live Concert’s ninth edition would also be a celebration of Portugal’s first win. Nonetheless, that idea was reinforced by a cover of Amar Pelos Dois, sung by Carla Ribeiro right after. The Portuguese singer, who last attempted to represent Portugal in 2014, gave it a different approach so it would match her higher vocal pitch. Despite asking the audience to sing along multiple times, they struggled, as her runs were quite different from Salvador’s. Carla would come back to the stage later on to cover for Mirela’s abscence. The Objetivo Eurovisión’s runner-up cancelled at the last minute, openining a slot in the lineup.

Sanja Vučić was next and one could only feel sorry for whoever came after because she delivered three amazing and unexpected performances. Besides singing her Eurovision entry – Goodbye (Shelter) – the Serbian singer covered the iconic Molitva with impressive and impecable vocals and showed everyone she is not just about singing. Don’t be fooled by the dramatic ballad she presented in 2016, Sanja can throw a party on her own… In fact, she doesn’t even need to know the words to a song to achieve that.

“I didn’t even know until today that I was going to sing this song. I just decided half an hour ago. I want to apologize in advance because this song is half in the Armenian language that I don’t know”, she confessed. Naming it as her ultimate favorite Eurovision song, Sanja covered Armenia’s 2009 entry Tan Tan and left the stage with a cheerful audience who obviously wouldn’t mind more.

The 2009 nostalgia continued with the following act. Ana Luísa Silva – a singing expert – stepped on stage to perform Sweden’s La Voix and was able to keep the momentum due to her high pitch that no one expected to hear during the night.

Anabela hopes to end music career

If by now you’re feeling nostalgic remembering Molitva, Tan Tan or La Voix, expect it to get worse. Covering for Celia Lawson (1997) who must have cancelled as well, Marco Quelhas – Portugal’s representative in 2001 – took the stage with obvious discomfort. The Portuguese singer performed his entry, Só Sei Ser Feliz Assim, and confessed it had been a while since he last performed it. Despite being nervous, Marco was competent and always in key.

It is probably safe to say that one of the highlights of the night was when a very pregnant Anabela (1993) took to the stage to perform the classic A Cidade (Até Ser Dia). It was the first time everyone raised their voices and sang along to each word of the song. Back then, participating in Eurovision was the synonym to having a successful career in the country and Anabela was one of the lucky ones. Nonetheless, it seems like she’ll focus 100% on motherhood from now. Before singing her Eurovision classic, the singer confessed she hoped this would be the last time she would have to perform live. Despite that being definitive or not, Anabela’s vocals are just like they were back in the day.

Anja glows, Nathan gets a standing ovation and Timebelle perform an ESC 2017 medley

After a ten minute break, it was time to leave the nostalgia behind… Even though, during the break, there was a recap of all Portuguese entries nevertheless. Anja Nissen was in charge of opening this second part. Unlike the previous acts, the Danish singer performed four songs, including two covers, Never Alone (her first attempt to represent Denmark in 2016) and, obviously, Where I Am. Despite impressing everyone with her amazing vocals and melting Portuguese people’s heart with her kind words, Nathan Trent ended up winning the crowd by performing a (better than Carla’s) cover of Amar Pelos Dois. The audience was so impressed that, for the first time that night, they stood up and gave him a standing ovation.

Austria’s representative – also known for his covers – performed an acoustic version of Heroes (2015) and Lena’s Satellite (he even showed his underwear and they were blue!). Running On Air wasn’t forgotten.

There were two acts left to perform. Sasha Son (Lithuania, 2009) and Timebelle, both in difficult positions. It’s safe to say that Sasha was the least known international star in the event as it has been a few years since he represented his country in Eurovision. Despite all that, the singer enjoyed himself and made sure he encouraged the audience to stand up and sing along to his cover of Hit The Road Jack.

Timebelle were chosen to close the event and, honestly, they delivered in a very creative way by singing a mashup of most of 2017 Eurovision entries. To the instrumental of Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You, Miruna Mănescu adapted most of the Eurovision 2017 entries, from their own Apollo to I Can’t Go On, Do It For Your Lover, Requiem, Occidentali’s Karma and many more. If there was an award for best effort and most original, Timebelle would have won.

A tenth edition is more or less confirmed

With Eurovision Song Contest 2018 taking place in Lisbon, it’s obvious that the show’s popularity will rise even more in Portugal. So, there’s no reason for Eurovision Live Concert not to be held next year. The organiser of the event – Guilherme Nunes dos Santos – mentioned it himself during his time on stage. Therefore, if you can’t make it to the main Eurovision event in May, Portugal will open its doors again for Eurovision fans in September.

Below, you can see a compilation of the event’s various moments:

Categories: Eurovisionary

16
September
2017

Malta shortlists 30 songs for Eurovision 2018

Malta shortlists 30 songs for Eurovision 2018

Claudia Faniello representing Malta in Kyiv 2017.

Maltese broadcaster TVM has published a list of thirty songs that have made it through to the next phase of the preliminaries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Could 2018 see the island nation back in the grand final?

Like last year, the island will be selecting its artist and entry through the Malta Eurovision Song Contest (MESC). On its official webpage, TVM, Malta’s public broadcaster, confirmed that they have shortlisted the 129 entries received down to 30. From these, 16 finalists will be selected to compete in its MESC national final, which will take place in February.

The list published is as follows:

The 30 shortlisted entries as seen on tvm.com.mt.

This year, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was won by Claudia Faniello and the song Breathlessly. Malta competed in the second semi final but failed to qualify to the grand final of 13th May. Could one of the candidates above see the country’s fortunes restored?

In the video below, you can watch Claudia singing her classic ballad Breathlessly in Kyiv last May.

Categories: Eurovisionary

15
September
2017

CyBC reveals further details of 2018 Eurovision entry

CyBC reveals further details of 2018 Eurovision entry

Hovig performing for Cyprus in Kyiv 2017.

Cypriot broadcaster CyBC revealed details in regard to the country’s 2018 Eurovision entry and its composer. Exactly what is the country doing in order to keep Cyprus in the final for next year’s contest as well?

After a teaser yesterday, there is now official news from Cyprus.

As we reported earlier, the Cypriot selection for 2018 will involve a televised competition to find an act who will then go on to sing an internally selected entry song. It is believed that, in regard to the singers, the emphasis will be on fresh talent

The competition itself will consist of three phases. Those interested in participating will be initially called to submit a video showcasing their vocal ability and, one would assume, overall presence – this video should be submitted to the broadcaster latest on the 20th of October 2017. The first phase will be about selecting the best of these video entrants. The qualifiers to the second phase will then have to audition in person for a chance to make it to the ‘final’, third phase.

It is understood that the final for the search of the Cypriot entrant will be televised live some time in January and will consist of a maximum of four to five qualifiers from the second phase. The winner will be decided jointly by televote and a professional jury consisting of Swede ‘Mr Eurovision’ Christer Björkman, Alex Papaconstantinou, the composer of the Cypriot entry for 2018, and Charis Savvas, who is expected to return as the stage director and choreographer for Cyprus for a second year in a row.

Judging by Alex Papaconstantinou’s previous Eurovision offerings Yassou Maria (Greece 2007), Always (Azerbaijan 2009) and La La Love (Cyprus 2012) – which the songwriter and producer co-wrote – perhaps we should expect an uptempo number for Cyprus 2018. In any case, it is though that the Cypriot entry will be presented to the public some time in March.

As mentioned previously, in Swedish-Greek Papaconstantinou (also known as Alex P) and returning juror Christer Björkman, CyBC seem to continue a tradition of collaborating with experts who have a link to the Scandinavian country – Gravity, the 2017 Cypriot entry, was created by Swedish composer Thomas G:son.

In the following video, you can watch Hovig performing Gravity on the Eurovision stage. Pay special attention to the intricate presentation as Charis Savvas, mentioned above, was also Cyprus’ stage director/choreographer in Kyiv.

Don’t miss our video from Kyiv with Hovig answering our Would You Rather questions further below, too.

Categories: Eurovisionary

15
September
2017

Emmelie de Forest and Selma delight Eurobash 2017 (photo gallery and video)

Emmelie de Forest and Selma delight Eurobash 2017 (photo gallery and video)

2013 winner Emmelie de Forest, BBC vocal coach Yvie Burnett and 1999 runner up Selma were the star guests of Eurobash 2017.

Emmelie De Forest and Selma Björnsdóttir were the star guests of OGAE UK’s Eurobash 2017. Live performances included an English version of Amar Pelos Dois and their group interview proved quite revealing – in other words, it was a night of pure Eurovision delight!

For a second year in a row, Eurobash took place at Manchester’s Park Inn Hotel. The annual event gives the chance for fans to socialize and celebrate all things Eurovision. On the menu there are quizzes and fun contests such as Eurostars, where contestants perform as their favourite Eurovision acts for a chance to win the night’s trophy. A great attraction for those attending however is the chance to meet Eurovision participants, too. With 2013 Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest and 1999 runner-up Selma being star guests, this year’s line up was truly exciting!

Emmelie’s link to UK Eurovision fans is very fresh indeed, as the Danish artist co-wrote the 2017 British entry, Never Give Up On You (sung by Lucie Jones). During the guest stars group interview, Emmelie confirmed that the creation of songs for this year’s UK national final included a songwriting bootcamp, where each creator could work within more than one different groups of songwriters.  When asked, the singer revealed that she could see herself taking part in Eurovision again, though as a songwriter and not as a singer, feeling that there was no point in trying to top her 2013 winning performance with Only Teardrops.

A third star guest was vocal coach Yvie Burnett. With an operatic background, Burnett has strong Eurovision connections that include collaborating with Andrew Lloyd Webber in his search for an entrant singer in 2009 as well as coaching 2016 UK entrants Joe and Jake. Of her experience as a UK jury member for Eurovision 2015, the artist described how strictly were jury members prevented from talking to each other before and during the contest. She confessed that, as a result of knowing that everyone’s votes would be published after the announcement of the winner, she was worried that hers might be at odds with everyone else’s. It turned out that her worry was somewhat justified – when other juros went for eventual winner, Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw, Burnett’s favourite was Israel’s Nadav Guedj, who eventually finished ninth in that year’s grand final. With her charismatic personality and great sense of humour, many of those present in the audience thought that Yvie Burnett ought to be used in front of as well as behind the cameras in regard to the UK national finals by the BBC.

Selma, too, had a lot of backstage information to disclose. The singer described the moment of landing in Jerusalem for the 1999 contest and finding out from the journalists who immediately surrounded her that she was the favourite to win. Of her 1999 experience, Selma also described how the constant interviews and performances in unforgiving high temperatures took their toll on her in the end – she apparently fell asleep on the airport floor right after the contest and while waiting to board the flight back home. It sounded as if Selma recuperated in good time though, as she described how, during a transit stop to Copenhagen, she and her team had a wonderful closure of their Eurovision experience spending time in Tivoli Gardens before returning to Iceland.

Recounting her experience as a director and choreographer for Iceland’s 2006 Eurovision entrant, Silvia Night, Selma wittily described how Silvia’s eccentric antics in Athens had the audience present during rehearsals misunderstand her and, annoyed, start booing – apparently, an exasperated Svante Stockselius, the then executive supervisor for the event, asked Selma to calm Silvia down or else!

Multi-talented Selma recently acted in Undir Trénu (Under The Tree), a comedy drama that was screened at this year’s Venice Biennale and the Toronto International Film Festival. Soon to be released, the film’s trailer was shown during the interview and indeed looked witty in a Nordic, dark kind of way.

In the following photo gallery, we try to bring you highlights and something of the ambience of Eurobash 2017.

  • Eurobash 2017, guest star performances - Selma
  • Eurobash 2017 - Eurostars
  • Eurobash 2017 - Eurostars
  • Eurobash 2017 - Battle Of The Bash results board
  • Eurobash 2017, guest star performances - Emmelie de Forest
  • Eurobash 2017, photo session - Emmelie de Forest, Yvie Burnett and Selma
  • Eurobash 2017 - Selma Björnsdóttir
  • Eurobash 2017 - Selma Björnsdóttir
  • Eurobash 2017, guest stars interview - Emmelie de Forest, Yvie Burnett and Selma
  • Eurobash 2017 - Emmelie de Forest
  • Eurobash 2017 - Eurostars winner announcement by Selma
  • Eurobash 2017, photo session - Emmelie de Forest, Yvie Burnett and Selma

In the video below, we have also singled out for you Selma’s rendition of current Eurovision winner Amar Pelos Dois. We thought that her English version really works – what is your view?

More videos of Emmelie de Forest and Selma from Eurobash 2017 will be coming soon! Expect performances of Eurovision favourites such as Only Teardrops, Rainmaker, Euphoria, Wild Dances, Non Ho L’Eta and If I Had Your Love. For notifications about these and similar Eurovision related videos, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Categories: Eurovisionary

08
September
2017

The lives of the Eurovision 2017 finalists since May – Part three

The lives of the Eurovision 2017 finalists since May – Part three

Curious to find out what this year’s finalists have been doing after returning home from Kyiv? In this part three we take a look at the participants from Denmark, Cyprus, Poland, Israel, Ukraine, Germany and Spain.

We already went through most of the finalists in chapter one and two, and now it is time to close this series by the last seven finalists. These include O. Torvald who were on homefield, but also poor Manel Navarro who went through so much to get to Kyiv – and finished last.

Contents

  • 1 Anja Nissen (Denmark)
  • 2 Hovig (Cyprus)
  • 3 Kasia Moś (Poland)
  • 4 IMRI (Israel)
  • 5 O.Torvald (Ukraine)
  • 6 Levina (Germany)
  • 7 Manel Navarro (Spain)

Anja Nissen (Denmark)

Anja Nissen (Denmark 2017)

Anja Nissen, Australian born to Danish parents is a singer-songwriter, dancer and actress. She won the third series of The Voice Australia 2014 and represented Denmark at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, with the song Where I Am. Anja Nissen finished 20th, after the year before coming second in the Danish final.

On 30th May, Anja released a new song named Empire.

Hovig (Cyprus)

Hovig (Cyprus 2017)

Hovig Demirjian is a Cypriot singer of Armenian descent. He represented Cyprus at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest and finished twenty-first.

He has recently toured around some of Europe, and on the 15th of September, he will release an acoustic version of his Eurovision entry Gravity.

Kasia Moś (Poland)

Kasia Moś (Poland 2017)

Katarzyna “Kasia” Moś is a Polish singer, songwriter, and dancer. She was a member of The Pussycat Dolls Burlesque Revue in 2011, and, in 2012, she came third in the third series of the Polish version of the show “Must Be The Music”. She represented her country, Poland, in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, with the song Flashlight, and came twenty-second on the scoreboard.

After returning home from kyiv, Kasia has performed a lot of concerts in her home country, Poland, but not yet released any new music.

IMRI (Israel)

IMRI (Israel 2017)

Imri Ziv (known as IMRI) is a singer and voice actor. He represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest this year in Ukraine, with the song I Feel Alive, finishing in twenty-third place. He won Israel’s pre-selection HaKokhav HaBa.

He has been singing at many concerts throughout Israel, singing covers or his own songs, but no new songs have been released.

O.Torvald (Ukraine)

Yevhen Halych (lead singer of O.Torvald, Ukraine 2017)

O.Torvald is a Ukrainian rock band, formed in 2005 in Poltava, Ukraine. They represented Ukraine on homefield at this year at the Eurovision Song Contest and finished twenty-fourth.

The band have not released any new music since the contest.

Levina (Germany)

Levina (Germany 2017)

Isabella Levina Lueen, better known as Levina, represented Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest this year and finished second to last, twenty-fifth, with the song Perfect Life.

She recently has released a new single Stop Right There.

Manel Navarro (Spain)

Manel Navarro (Spain 2017)

Manel Navarro Quesada is a Spanish singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He represented Spain this year at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine. He was one of the Top 5 automatic qualifiers for the final. Do It For Your Lover finished twenty-sixth (last).

Despite getting such a low score at the contest, he is touring around Spain.

On a radio station – Radio Tubers he sang a solo version of Despacito as he played his guitar.

In July, he released another song titled Candle. 

Others in this series

If you haven’t done so, please check out chapter one and chapter two in this series.

Categories: Eurovisionary

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