Eurovisionary

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25
June
2018

Does Spain actually wants to win Eurovision – or is participation enough?

Does Spain actually wants to win Eurovision – or is participation enough?

Amaia y Alfred (Spain 2018)

Four years in a row in the bottom, and 49 years since their last win. Spain isn’t doing anything to change the bad results, so question is whether or not they are satisfied with just taking part, or actually seriously want to improve.

This year, following the great expectations created for Alfred y Amaia, and the poor result they got, Spanish broadcaster RTVE made a special programme in which autocritic had no presence: “We want to clarify it. We are totally into Spain and the Eurovision Song Contest. We are working every day to be in the best positions and do well at Eurovision”, said Director of Entertainment, Toñi Prieto.

Many Spanish fans disagree. Nothing seems to change – despite one year after the other with bad results. When was the last time that Spain was in Top 5? In 1995 when Anabel Conde sang Vuelve Conmigo and got the second place behind Norway. 

2002 was a revolutionary year in Spain when the Operación Triunfo program was released. It broke all audience records and became the Spanish national selection to appoint its representative for Eurovision in Tallinn. Everyone in the country knows Europe’s Living A Celebration and Rosa’s 7th position was a real disappointment since the Spanish fans thought that she could win. 12.7 million viewers that year, an audience share of 84.5%. Something incredible had happened in Spain.

Next year was similar. Operación Triunfo celebrated its second edition, and Beth was selected to represent Spain with Dime. The song was pre-favorite to win alongside the Russian t.A.t.U. Beth came eight in Eurovision. Ramon, the third “triunfito” to go to Eurovision, finished tenth, but ever since then the country has been outside top 10 – and almost always finish in the last positions.

Fans upset, broadcaster seems lost

Alfred y Amaia who had gained love from everyone in the country already in show three by covering the La La Land song City of Stars, won the entire show this year. Everyone who loved the young duet thought they were would do amazing in Eurovision. But it failed. 

The problem for Spain was not the song, it was not the voice of Alfred and Amaia. The problem is the team behind the Spanish participation. It seems like they lost all interest in winning the contest. The Ketchup brought the stage four office chairs and everyone still remembered that “chiqui chiqui” dance by the invented character Rodolfo Chikilicuatre protrayed by David Fernández. Poorly to say it is one of the best results since 2005.

The magic trick from Soraya behind a horrible fabric, Edurne’s moving cloak to show a Greek warrior wannabe dress, Barei’s fall on the floor or the led surf tables by Manel Navarro. When it comes to Eurovision, the country should have everything under control, but Spain likes to improvise during rehearsal weeks. Just look at Sweden, they have everything planned down to the milimeter since Melodifestivalen and if the stage doesn’t fit with the performance, they ask for a new staging for Eurovision, and they have it.

Ever since technology, fireworks and lots of glitter became standard in Eurovision, Spain has still been stuck in the first 2000s where the song and a catchy chorus was all you needed. LED, the staging and the capability of telling a story is the country’s true achiles heel. 

It’s impossible to obtain a good Eurovision result if you go to your first rehearsal, being the mayor responsible of the performance (as was Tinet Rubira), and tweet “fireworks wasn’t working. Looking for alternatives”. Alternatives? The Grand Final is in five days, and you are looking for alternatives?

Another “amazing” part was showing three different outfits for Amaia and ask fans to select the dress she should wear in Eurovision. The decision has to be made by professionals, caring about the whole staging, the lights and the cameras.

Twitter became a battlefield between Tinet Rubira and Spanish fans following the bad result, a 23rd place for Tu Canción. The General Director of Gestmusic went on to blocking the critical fans. You are the responsible, you are there to listen to them, you shouldn’t tweet “I want this torture to end” or “I don’t understand people who give their life for a simple song contest”. Mr. Rubira, they want their country to win, on the contrary of you and the rest of the team, it seems.

One of the larger media in the country, ABC, explained this year’s failure due to 1. very bland staging, 2. the unfortunate of performing second, 3. that the song wasn’t a typical Eurovision song and 4. no international promotion…. but countries like Germany (4th place), Lithuania (12th) and Ireland (16th) were songs in a similar style and they had better results. Eleni had no promotion, and came second… Everything in Spain is just excuses. 

“Eurovision is all politics”, “always the same ones that win”, “the nordics always in top five”, “they vote between neighbours”. Then how do you explain that Germany, in the bottom three years in a row, suddenly came fourth? And what kind of neighbours secured Portugal to finish with more than 700 points?

In the video below, you can see a clip from one of the Spanish rehearsals at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.

Let’s get back to the words of RTVE’s Director of Entertainment Toñi Prieto: We want to clarify it. We are totally into Spain and the Eurovision Song Contest. We are working every day to be in the best positions and do well at Eurovision”

Are you? Since 1973 Spain never even reach 120 points just once, since 1995 they have been out of top 3, and in the last years they ended in the bottom positions more than 10 times. Are you serious, RTVE, that you want to win Eurovision? Stop the excuses. Every country can win the contest, they just have to want to.

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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25
June
2018

Mikolas Josef and Tamta to perform a duet of “Lie To Me”

Mikolas Josef and Tamta to perform a duet of “Lie To Me”

Mikolas Josef

At the Greek MAD Video Music Awards, Mikolas Josef will be in Athens to perform together with well known former Greek national finalist Tamta. They will be singing Mikolas’ Eurovision entry, which secured Czech Republic their best Eurovision result ever.

A few weeks ago, a Greek journalist shared in a TV programme in Greece, Sti Folia Tou Koukou, information about a possible Eurovision collaboration at the annual Video Music Awards powered by MAD Channel.

Now it’s official. Tamta, who took part in the Greek national final back in 2007, and Mikolas Josef, who enjoyed massive success with his hit Lie To Me a few weeks ago in Lisbon, are going to sing together at the biggest musical event in Greece, the MAD Video Music Awards.

People from the production of the show approached Mikolas right after Eurovision and the singer said yes. Mikolas officially announced his participation in the show on Instagram. According to Infe Greece, Tamta will be his partner for the duet of Lie To Me. The two artists are going to perform it on the 27th of June in Athens in front of an expected big crowd

Tamta is a famous Greek singer with Georgian origin, as she was born in Tsiblisi. She introduced herself to the Greek audience in the talent show Greek Idol, fifteen years ago, where she came second. Four years later, she tried to represent the country in Eurovision with the song With Love. She is now an established well known name in Greece.

At the show, Tamta will also perform her new single Arhes Kalokairiou (Start Of Summer) whereas it is unknown how else Mikolas will entertain.

Mikolas came 6th at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. That was the best result ever achieved for the Czech Republic at the contest whose final they have only reached twice. In the video below you can see him perform his Lie To Me at the 2018 Eurovision In Concert in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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13
June
2018

Minus One signs with Danish rock label Mighty Music

Minus One signs with Danish rock label Mighty Music

Minus One

2016 Cypriot Eurovision participants are tying their knots to Denmark even closer. This afternoon, they announced that they signed with the Danish label Mighty Music, which already have a former Danish participant in their catalogue. 

Denmark didn’t give any points to Cyprus at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, but the Cypriot band Minus One has afterwards spent a lot of time performing and recording in the small Scandinavian country. In the future, they are likely to visit even more as they just signed a record deal with the Danish label Mighty Music.

Mighty Music is a label which specialize in rock, mainly heavy metal. They already have one former Eurovision participant in their catalogue; Mike Tramp. Mike was part of the band Mabel which represented Denmark at the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest. As the band split up, he went to the US and played in bands like White Lion and Freak of Nature. Today, he is a solo artist.

In the video below, remind yourself of Minus One’s Eurovision entry Alter Ego:

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12
June
2018

Colours: Sakis Rouvas release new festival song

Sakis Rouvas ft Xenia Ghali - Colours

Double Eurovision participant Sakis Rouvas is back with a new song titled “Colours”. It’s the official soundtrack for the Greek festival Colour Day, which takes place every year in the capital of Greece, Athens.

Colour Day is an annual summer festival in Greece, where people throw small balloons filled with colour powder at each other. At the end of the night, everyone is covered by this powder. There is one large stage where DJ’s and artists perform for the crowd. This is one of the most famous festivals in Greece with more than 40.000 people attending every year.

This year, Sakis Rouvas (Greece 2004 and 2009) collaborated with famous Greek DJ Xenia Ghali who is featured on the song, but also Tyler James Bellinger for the official anthem for this year’s edition. The song is titled Colours, and Mr. Rouvas invites the Greek people to quickly join the party through the lyrics of the song: “Say that we can paint the sky -we are running out of time”.

Sakis and other famous artists, such as Tamta and Josephine (Greek NF 2014), are waiting for the people to join them on the 30th of June and the 1st of July in OAKA Stadium. In the video below you can listen to the song:

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11
June
2018

Neighbour calls police upon national final entry obsession

Neighbour calls police upon national final entry obsession

Jahn Teigen

Speakers on loud, and one particular Norwegian national final entry on repeat for at least 100 times. That was one of the tasks, Norwegian police was called out for this weekend. 

In 1989, Britt Synnøve won the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix final and represented the country at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Venners Nærhet. In Kristiansund, the western part of Norway, at least one person probably disagrees with that choice however.

Triple Eurovision participant Jahn Teigen (Norway 1978, 1982 and 1983) also took part in the 1989 national final. His entry Optimist finished outside top 3, but is today one of his most songs. But listening to it 100 times in a row – for high volume – can be too much for some.

Norwegian Tidens Krav tells how the Police in Kristiansund Saturday evening got a call from a citizen who could not handle anymore of Jahn Teigen’s Optimist. According to Operation leader at the Police John Bratland, the neighbour should have been playing the same song on and on again, and after at least 100 times, it was time for the police to step in.

At 23:16, Police were at the address for the first time. At that time things had apparently settled down, but at 00:30 they were back again and told the host to turn down the volume.

In the video below, you can take a look at Jahn Teigen’s performance of Optimist in the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix final in 1989:

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11
June
2018

Last year victory, this year last place – how did Portugal receive that?

Last year victory, this year last place – how did Portugal receive that?

At the 2018 Eurovision Blue Carpet

From zero to hero, and quickly back to zero. Portugal wins Eurovision after 49 attempts, but slumps to dead last in Lisbon as hosts of the contest. Not great but that didn’t seem to rain on the Portuguese parade.

It seems that last year’s victory galvanized the Portuguese to not only watch the show in record numbers, but also reignited some of the patriotism that sometimes seems to be forgotten.

Being a country of 11 million on the Southwestern corner of Europe doesn’t help, as the only border is with their Spanish brothers, or hermanos. For many years Portugal stayed true to its heritage and always sent songs with Portuguese lyrics which produced lackluster results.

But last year’s win changed everything and the celebration of the now immortalized Salvador (which appropriately means saviour) lasted until 2018. Claudia’s poor result was overshadowed by a revived sense of national pride for a country that history seemed to condemn as a perpetual Eurovision loser.

Contents

  • 1 What’s another year?
  • 2 Pink fandom
  • 3 Reactions from the press

What’s another year?

What a difference a year makes. In 2017 Salvador Sobral carried the first Portuguese win in the Eurovision history (in 49 years of participation!), but in 2018 there wasn’t much love for the hosts as Portugal placed 26th out of 26 in the final. Even though the result was the worst outcome possible – other than the infamous nil points – fans were too proud of Claudia’s performance on stage to let the last place break their spirits.

Parabéns Israel! ✨ Estes dias de Eurovisão foram uma experiência única e nunca nos esqueceremos!! Obrigada Portugal! 🇵🇹 Estaremos sempre juntos!!! 💚💚💚 #eurovision2018 #ojardim #teamisaudia

A post shared by Cláudia Pascoal (@claudiapascoal_) on

Pink fandom

It’s fair to say that local fans will root for their country’s act, and there were many of them as expected for the country that hosts the competition.

And one could easily recognise them!

Whether it was on the Altice Arena or the Eurovision Village, there were fans wearing pink wigs in support of Claudia, the vocalist of O Jardim.

In the end, even though local fans were disappointed with the last place, the sheer happiness of having had the opportunity to host Eurovision and its fans from across the world more than compensated.

And why wouldn’t they be happy? After all Portugal loves foreign visitors – it was named the World’s friendliest country.

See alsoAfter Austria's zero points: Other failures when hosting Eurovision

Reactions from the press

Some news outlets highlighted that despite placing last in the aggregate vote, O Jardim was not last for either the jury or the televote. Little comfort but still, not zero points. This was also Portugal’s 4th “wooden spoon” (Last place) in the Eurovision Song Contest, still far from Norway’s record 11.

According to online newspaper Observador, “Winning Eurovision with a Portuguese ballad is kind of a miracle, using the same formula to win the second looks pretty risky.”

In the video below, enjoy a performance of O Jardim at this year’s EuroClub.

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