Tonight in Latvia, the Supernova 2018 began, with the first seven songs performed. After months of waiting the action is finally happening in Riga with two performers through to the final on February 24.
The winner of Supernova 2018 will represent Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal in May.
1 The Hosts
2 The Show
3 The Songs
4 The Results
5 Latvia In The Eurovision Song Contest
Back to let you hear his heartbeat, Justs Sirmais hosted the show along with model and Latvian TV star, Dagmara Legante. The green room was hosted by Toms Grēviņš. Justs, of course, represented Latvia at the 2016 contest in Stockholm, Sweden. To remind us of this he reprised the song, Heartbeat at the start of the show.
Triana Park returned next to give a performance of Line. Judging by the audience response they have been forgiven for their poor results last year. Agnese was even one of the judges. The queen of Latvia, Aminita, then gave a rousing performance of Love Injected, dressed in a very nice red suit. As there are only seven songs in this show tonight, and it lasts two hours, there was a lot of needless time filling talking. Everyone is on edge in case that beaver appears.
Katrīna Gupalo and The Black Birds – Intoxicating Caramel
Opening this years competition was Katrīna and her blackbirds. Described to EuroVisionary by Katrīna herself, the song is a form of art pop style, which can break down boundaries. The song is a mix of jazz and circus. Katrīna’s vocals were on point, both singing and shrieking and the burlesque nature of the song made it the perfect opener.
Rahu The Fool – Oh Longriver
From the circus, we head to a Tennessee old-time honky tonk bar next. This acoustic driven song was perhaps a joke, to begin with. However now that the song has made the TV show, things start to get a bit more serious. With its fiddle playing all the way through to the finish, it’s a song to be danced to after a good nights drinking.The six-piece folk band had a blast and invite you all out for a drink should they make it to Lisbon.
DVINES – More Than Meets the Eye
The twins have a more subtle song than the previous two entries. The song was described to EuroVisionary by the twins, as a mid-tempo classic song with harmonies and background vocals. The song lived up to its expectations with the ladies performing some pretty complex harmonies. The title was perhaps repeated a few too many times, but already only three songs into the show, it is easy to see the diversity in Latvia’s choices this year. The twins sang perfectly.
Agnese Stengrevics – You Are My World
Next up Agnese, whose song of obsessive love seemed like it would be difficult to perform live. Instead, Agnese breezed through the song, drawing you in, as she became more involved with the man who is her world. A reasonable song to dance to, although it does have quite a few tempo changes. This is begging for a 12-inch version, the song is over too soon. Agnese had a pair of boots to compete with Lithuania’s Kotryna. Her two hoodie-clad backing dancers did just fine too.
Sudden Lights – Just Fine
The first pop-rock group in the competition. This featured a guitar playing the same refrain all the way through. The group performed as competently as any chart making group, with the song building as it progressed. This is a little Radiohead, a bit Brainstorm. The group hasn’t done as much promotion as some of the other acts, so this might be its downfall or its blessing.
Edgars Kreilis – Younger Days
Edgars has a powerfully strong voice. The upbeat song which tells the story of a young life living with arguing parents was performed with conviction. Edgars sang the song with no frills trying to project the story. He succeeded despite tonight’s first appearance of a pair of red shoes.
See alsoLatvia 2018: Edgars Kreilis – the serious story behind Younger Days
Liene Greifāne – Walk the Talk
With an already impossible task of picking only two acts, Liene makes the choice even harder. Closing the competition with another strong song and possible finalist, she performs the song with the attitude it deserves. The vocals were faultless.
The Latvian public and the panel of jurists chose the two artists going to the final. They are Liene Greifāne and Edgars Kreilis.
Latvia In The Eurovision Song Contest
This year will be the nineteenth appearance for Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest. Debuting in 2000, only Denmark and Russia stopped Latvia from winning in its first year with My Star by Brainstorm.
The following year Arnis Mednis was a little Too Much for the judges and it finished in 18th place, meaning Latvia would have to miss the 2002 competition.
However, this year’s hosts, Portugal didn’t fancy appearing in the 2002 show, so the organizers had a slot to fill. Promising not to send another song like the previous year, Latvia was allowed to fill the vacant slot.
To the chagrin of Malta, Marie N performed second to last and won the European public over. Latvia won Eurovision on its third time lucky attempt with I Wanna.
The last six spots for the semi-finals have been taken this evening during the third live show of Hungary’s A Dal 2018. Next week, the 18 remaining acts still in the running will now fight for the Golden Ticket to Eurovision in Lisbon. It’s getting exciting!
Just like the previous weeks, Hungary’s 2016 Eurovision participant Freddie hosted the show alongside with Krisztina Rátonyi. The jury consisted of the same four members: Károly Frenreisz (rock musician), Judit Schell (actress), Misi Mező (singer) and Miklós Both (songwriter).
As interval act we saw A Dal 2013 singer Veca Janicsák and Fecó Balázs.
1 The songs
2 The results
3 Hungary at the Eurovision Song Contest
Tonight the following ten songs have been performed:
#yeahla feat. Viki Eszes –1 Szó Mint 100: It’s Viki’s second attempt at A Dal, last year she performed in the duo called The Couple, and made it to the semi-final. Her 2018 entry, in co-operation with musician Péter Jelasity (#yeahla), is a more uptempo electro-pop song, which should be played a lot by radio stations next summer. The jury thinks Viki should sing with more power
Andy Roll – Turn the Lights On: András Dutka (Andy Roll) is not only a singer, but an all-around musician, composer and producer too. At this very first attempt in A Dal, he is performing an anthemic mid-tempo pop song that has some nice 90’s vibes. Jury members are criticizing Andy’s outfit.
Roland Gulyás – H Y P N O T I Z E D: Roland Gulyás finished in third place at X-Factor Hungary last November. One of the show’s mentors was Hungary’s 2013 Eurovision singer ByeAlex, who composed this song for him. If you except a similar song like Kedvesem, you’re gonna be surprised, it’s a very modern acoustic pop entry which is fitting to Roland’s raspy voice. He performs on stage with the band London Kids, his fellow X-Factor contestants. However the jury thinks the song is too average and Roland needs to improve his stage presence.
Ham Ko Ham – Bármerre jársz: Following Joci Pápai’s footsteps four-member boyband Ham ko Ham is bringing us some authentic gypsy music on stage. Their performance is however completely different, it’s a feel-good uptempo song easy to sing or even dance along. Jury members are missing some lines in Romani language.
Cintia Horváth & Tomi Balogh – Journey (Break Your Chains): Singer Cintia Horváth and composer-jazz pianist Tomi Balogh appear on A Dal’s stage for the very first time. Their entry is a radio-friendly pop song with some smooth jazzy elements. Jury members are highlighting Cintia’s excellent vocals.
Tamás Horváth – Meggyfa: The recent winner of Sztárban Sztár (Hungarian version of Your Face Sounds Familiar) Tamás Horváth is a talented singer and guitar player. In his A Dal entry he can show off both of these skills, the song is excellently mixing up electronic, acoustic and Hungarian folk music. Without any doubt this will be a hit in Hungary, but will it be in Europe too? The jury thinks it was a very professional performance overall.
Maszkura és a Tücsökraj – Nagybetűs szavak: After A Dal 2016, the band is participating at the Hungarian Eurovision selection for the second time. The song is – representing their usual style of music played – an alternative acoustic ballad with some influences of hiphop music. Maszkura was very charismatic on stage according to the jury.
Nova Prospect – Vigyázó: No A Dal 2018 heat without some quality rock music. This time the Kecskemét-based band Nova Prospect is on stage with their emotional rock ballad Vigyázó. The female lead singer Gabriella Besnyő is adding some extra flavour to the song. The jury is not sure the song’s lyrics makes much sense.
Nikoletta Szőke, Attila Kökény & Róbert Szakcsi Lakatos – Életre kel: One of the singers, Attila Kökény has already participated at A Dal in 2012, for Nikoletta and Róbert it’s the very first time. The trio is performing a nice jazz ballad full of emotions and deliver some excellent vocals. Jury members are very happy about the performance
Reni Tolvai – Crack My Code: Talent show winner Reni Tolvai is already taking part in A Dal for the third time. The long-term girlfriend of András Kállay Saunders, who represented Hungary at Eurovision in 2014, is delivering some real American vibes on stage. In her Nicki Minaj-style song she can show us her rapping skills too. The staging was too chaotic according to the jury.
In the first round each jury member awarded scores from 1 to 10 points to the songs. The televoters were the “fifth member of the jury”, the average score of their votes from 1 to 10 points have been added to the jury points. The five songs with the highest number of points in this round have directly qualified to the semi-finals, In the second round the remaining five acts were fighting for one last ticket in the semis, awarded by only the televoters.
1. Nikoletta Szőke, Attila Kökény & Róbert Szakcsi Lakatos – 44 points
2. Tamás Horváth – 42 pts.
3. Ham Ko Ham – 38 pts.
4. Maszkura és a Tücsökraj – 38 pts.
5. Cintia Horváth & Tomi Balogh – 37 pts.
6. Reni Tolvai – 37 pts.
7. Nova Prospect – 37 pts.
8. Roland Gulyás – 35 pts.
9. #yeahla feat. Viki Eszes – 35 pts.
10. Andy Roll – 34 pts.
The Top 5 automatically qualified to the semi-finals. In the second televoting round Roland Gulyás has been saved by the viewers at home.
Next week, nine of the eighteen remaining acts will appear on stage in the first Semi-Final, and four of them will make it to the Grand Final to be held at the 24th of February. The winner of A Dal will perform representing Hungary in the second half of Semi Final 2 at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon on the 10th of May.
Hungary at the Eurovision Song Contest
Hungary debuted at Eurovision in 1994 in Dublin. Friderika Bayer’s 4th position from that year is still the country’s best ever result at the contest. After a longer period of withdrawals and returns, Hungary has participated at the Eurovision Song Contest every year since 2011.
In 2012 broadcaster MTVA launched the new national selection format; A Dal, which has become quickly popular and also successful. Since their 2011 return, Hungary has qualified to the Grand Final every single time, that means a series of seven qualifications in a row, three times (2013, 2014 and 2017) they even finished in the Top 10 of the Grand Final.
Last year, Joci Pápai got the honour to fly the Hungarian flag in Kyiv. He finished in 8th position with 200 points in the Grand Final. You can watch his performance of Origo right below!
It was hard to predict the result in first heat of Melodifestivalen where the voters did what Christer Björkman wouldn’t do, reject Kamferdrops. At the end, four of tonight’s songs are still in the run to represent Sweden in Lisbon.
Two direct spots in the final of Melodifestivalen 2018 and two second chances. That’s what is on stake in each of the four preliminary heats. Tonight, the first one took place. It offered a good variety of songs, a mix of well known established names and those hoping for this to be their big break-through – and some songwriters who have tried it all before.
Straight to the final went John Lundvik and Benjamin Ingrosso.
Up for a second chance are Rainada and Sigrid Bernson.
1 Kamferdrops faced disqualification
2 The songs
3 The show
4 The result
5 Impressive recent success
Kamferdrops faced disqualification
Today, the news hit that the song Solen Lever Kvar Hos Dig performed in tonight’s heat by Norwegian Kamferdrops actually broke the rules about it not having been performed or published before EBU’s September 2017 deadline. Swedish media wrote how the song, although performed by another artist, had been available at MySpace and YouTube for eight years, and on several occasions been performed at various events.
It’s a clear break of SVT’s rules, and should it win Melodifestivalen and be submitted to the Eurovision Song Contest, also of EBU’s rules. Christer Björkman first talked about that the song might be in a greyzone, if it was a third part like the record company who gave it to the other artist eight years ago, and that the songwriters and Kamferdrops were unaware of it, and as such didn’t intend to break the rules.
After looking into it, SVT came to the conclusion that the first singer was a demo singer and that he alone was responsible for spreading the song. As nor the current singer nor the songwriter took part in spreading the song, it will not be disqualified.
Anna Book was in 2016 disqualified as another artist had taken part with it, in another language, in the Moldovan selection two years prior. Without reaching the TV shows, the song was only available online.
In 2011, Anders Fernette was disqualified as the songwriter had previously made the song available on MySpace.
This time, Swedish broadcaster SVT, is extremely proud to have Kamferdrops taking part. Whether or not that played a part in the decision not to disqualify her, we can only speculate about. It seems quite obvious that Eurovision Song Contest’s Reference Group would have disqualified the song as they don’t bend the rules nearly as much as Christer does. Did the Swedes really dislike her performance that much, or did they perhaps also protest against Christer’s decision?
Anyway, let’s take a closer look at tonight’s first heat of Melodifestivalen 2018:
First up was Sigrid Bernson who was first joined by one male dancer, then eventually by four dancers on this up-tempo pop song; two male and two female. Sigrid is casually in short denim shorts, a short white top and a yellow jacket, the dancers are in black and yellow. If you are in doubt, she looks like your neighbour’s high school daughter.
2. John Lundvik – My Turn (Anna-Klara Folin, John Lundvik, Jonas Thander)
We continue with John Lundvik who sings a ballad how he ain’t gonna miss that it is his turn now. He is all alone on a dark stage, with rather discreet lightning. Dressed in a white suit, and a spotlight shining like a sun directly on him, he certainly can be seen though. He starts out at a piano, and gets up during the song. A curtain of pyrotechnics are added at the end of the song similar to what the likes of both Emmelie de Forest and Anja have used at the Eurovision Song Contest.
3. Renaida – All The Feels (Laurell Barker, Jon Hällgren, Peter Barringer, Lukas Hällgren)
Partly alone on stage, and partly joined by six male dancers, this energetic song certainly is a contrast to John’s ballad. Ranaida is dressed in black and orange, which are also the two colours in her hair, while her dancers are all in orange. Orange is the new black, or what? Even her songwriters are dressed in orange.
4. Edward Blom – Livet På En Pinne (Edward Blom, Thomas G:son, Stefan Brunzell, Kent Olsson)
And now to something completely different. Edward starts alone on stage, but is eventually joined by four dancers dressed up as grapevines, cheese, cake and a lobster! It is quirky, colourful and it leaves the viewers wondering whether to laugh or cry, but one thing is sure, it stands out – and it makes you realise that Edward doesn’t take everything too serious. Pictures of champagne and a sour cake is shown on screen while Edward himself dance around with a gigantic fork. At the end of the show, the dancers transformed to four tables with waitresses serving champagne.
Previous Eurovision winner Kikki is back. Forget Norway’s La’ Det Swinge as now she takes you on a trip to the States on this country ballad. She is joined by a band of six, and a nice, comfortable atmosphere is set with Kikki is wearing a white “cowboy” jacket to further set the mood of the song. She starts out “alone”, with the band hidden, until she joins them and sit on a chair in front of them. At the end of the song she gets up again turning the back to the audience.
6. Kamferdrops – Solen Lever Kvar Hos Dig (Herbert Trus, Danne Attlerud, Martin Klaman, Krstoffer Tømmerbakke, Erik Smaaland, Kamferdrops)
Get ready for a pink show! She is wearing her colourful unicorn mask, which has become her signature thing. She starts out laying down on the stage, gets up and we see four pink trees. A non-epic saxophone player and a dancer joined her on stage. Later we see an illusionist show where her legs are separated from her torso, while the saxophone is on fire. Suddenly there are five of her at the end of the song, and she found herself among the audience! An LSD trip gone wrong?
7. Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off (Benjamin Ingrosso, MAG, Louis Schoorl, K Nita)
If you miss some disco, this is the entry for you. Benjamin is dressed in black trousers, and a black sparkling jacket. Several times, it appears like he wants to take off the jacket, but for some reason it stays on during the entire show. Hang on, Michael Jackson just called, he wants his moves back. Several elements appear to be highly inspired by Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.
Melodifestivalen’s first heat kicked off at 20:00 and lasted one and a half hour. Host of the show was David Lindgren. He has taken part three times in the competition so he knows what it is like to be one of the nervous participants waiting to find out if their song was good enough.
The show kicked off with a group of dancers in black and white sports clothes with the text Mello (slang for Melodifestivalen, EDT.) on it. After a while, the host comes out, surrounded by the dancers he sings the song One Together.
Fan Freddy was introduced in the beginning of the show. A fan dressed in a glitter jacket. We saw him later on in green room, and later he tried to take over the host role with his “Puss cam”. We’ll probably see him again in future episodes.
Ebbot was interval act interpreting the well known schlager song Sånt är Livet from 1961.
In usual Melodifestivalen style two rounds of voting took place. After first round, two songs were eliminated as they finished 6th and 7th. After the second round, it was time to find the two direct spots to the final and the two who gets a second chance, and who ended up on the sad 5th place just outside the fun.
Straight to the final
Straight to the final
To Second Chance round
To Second Chance round
Impressive recent success
With a total of six victories, Sweden is moving in on record holding Ireland’s seven wins. With Sweden’s success in recent years, and Ireland’s lack there of, it seems just a matter of time before the two countries will be equal.
In the past four years, the country has not finished worst than a 5th place. That’s impressive, and it just gets better if you look aside Robin Stjernberg’s 14th position in 2013. The two years before that, the country came 1st and 3rd. Yep, pressure is on for whoever wins the 2018 Melodifestivalen final, which will be held on the 10th of March.
While waiting for their 2018 entry to be selected, let’s take a look at Robin Bengtsson’s I Can’t Go On from last year. This time you get it in a special Full Stage View where you can see how the backdrop, the colours, and the lights complimented the song.
Yesterday RTS – Serbian National Public Broadcaster – held the running draw for Serbia’s national selection “Beovizija”. They also announced that the competition will take place on February 20th. As interval acts, several former representatives will perform.
The draw was held during RTS’ popular afternoon tv-show “Beogradska Hronika” with participation of Serbia’s 2008 Eurovision representative, Jelena Tomašević, and Serbian HoD Anja Rogljić.
Beovizija 2018 running order
1. SevdahBABY – Hajde da igramo sada 2. Rambo Amadeus i Beti Đorđević – Nema te 3. Maja Nikolić – Zemlja čuda 4. Srđan Marjanović i Emil – Bar da znam 5. Ivan Kurtić – Ni sunca ni meseca 6. Sanja Ilić i „Balkanika” – Nova deca 7. Koktel Balkan – Zato 8. Boris Režak – Vila 9. Lana i Aldo – Jača sam od svih 10. Dušan Svilar – Pod krošnjom bagrema 11. Igor Lazarević – Beži od mene 12. Saška Janković – Pesma za tebe 13. Lord – Samo nek se okreće 14. Danijel Pavlović – Ruža sudbine 15. BASS – Umoran 16. Osmi vazduh i drugari – Probudi se 17. Biber i DJ Niko Bravo – Jutros (Svatovi)
Anja Rogljić explained that several Serbian artists, who previously represented their country at Eurovision, will perform during the voting break. They will sing some of the biggest Eurovision hits accompanied by the live orchestra.
She added that the songs from this year’s national final will be revealed starting from February 6th on RTS morning TV-show. Rogljić also said that all 17 songs will be released on a YouTube channel, but she didn’t explained when and whether all the song will be released all together at once.
The winner will be chosen by a 50-50 mixture of televote and jury vote. The jury consists of five members.
Beovizija 2018 will take place on February 20th in the Sava Centar in Belgrade. The venue is traditionally the place where the Serbian national final use to be held and many Eurovision fans probably still remember that Sava Centar previously was used as the press centre for the Eurovision Song Contest 2008. This year’s competetion is the first edition of Beovizija to be held since 2009.
While waiting for their 2018 entry, let’s take a look at last year’s In Too Deep by Tijana Bogićević.
The Cypriot broadcaster consider it their strongest entry ever, while Greek media reports that their broadcaster turned down that exact same song. The case bring back memories to when Denmark did very well with an SVT rejected song, although that didn’t include the same drama we now see in Greece.
The other day, Cyprus presented Eleni Foureira as their 2018 Eurovision participant. She is Greek, and quite a big name in Greece. Her song Fuego, is set to be released in February, but we know that it is written by Swedish born with Greek origin Alex Papaconstantinou, who has written Eurovision entries for both Greece, Cyprus and Azerbaijan in the past.
Did Alex first approach Greek broadcaster ERT with the song, that is now set to represent Cyprus, and did they turn him down? That’s what Greek media STAR TV claim in their Sti Folia Ton Kou Kou daytime show.
Aside from mentioning that things appear to be rather chaotic in relation to the upcoming Greek national final, reporter Giannis Poulopoulos mentioned that ERT turned down the song Fuego performed by Eleni Foureira, and written by Alex Papaconstantinou – the same song that Cyprus now has high expectations for.
Did ERT reject Eleni – with or without Fuego?
Cyprus made an early agreement with songwriter Alex Papaconstantinou, but did that agreement include Fuego? That’s a bit unclear at the moment. After he signed with CyBC, Greek broadcaster asked record labels to submit entries for a Greek national selection. Eleni Foureira’s name was mentioned to ERT, that she confirmed herself.
Eurovision is a painful story for me, all right … whoever represents us, I hope will get a great result … it really does not make sense because it’s all done for some reason! ERT might have a reason for not choosing me this year. Does not matter for me anymore.
Eleni Foureira to Macedonian TV
The question is now, why did the broadcaster turn her down, and did they also reject the song, which will now be the Cypriot entry? Cyprus first opted for a national selection, but later changed to an international selection. ERT says that Eleni’s label PANIK proposed an internal selection for Greece as well, and that they heard no song.
If the Greek broadcaster is right, Eleni was probably rejected because she only wanted to be internally selected for Eurovision, and not take part in any national final. Maybe she has bad memories of 2010 where she came second in the Greek national final? No matter where the truth is hidden, the parts are drifting further and further apart as they are now bashing each other in public, and the last chapter in the story clearly hasn’t been written yet.
SVT rejected Danish top entry
It wouldn’t be the first time a broadcaster reject entries, which then ends up representing another country instead. Do you remember the Danish entry from 2010 In A Moment Like This performed by Chanée og N’evergreen? It won the Danish national selection Melodi Grand Prix, and later finished 4th at the Eurovision Song Contest. At the same contest, Sweden was represented by Anna Bergendahl who failed to bring her country into the final of contest, for the first and only time.
The Danish entry In A Moment Like This, written by the three Swedes Eurovision veteran Thomas G:son, Henrik Sethsson and Erik Bernholm. While it was strong enough to win the Danish final, and finish 4th at the Eurovision Song Contest, it wasn’t strong enough to even take part in the Swedish national selection, Melodifestivalen. The Swedish broadcaster SVT simply rejected it.
While waiting for the Cypriot entry, whether it was rejected by ERT or not, let’s remind ourselves of the 2010 Danish entry and wonder why it wasn’t good enough for Melodifestivalen? Below you find a short video clip from an acoustic version performed at a Eurovision press conference.
On Saturday, many fans will tune in to SVT as Sweden kicks off its national final season. The Swedish broadcaster released today snippets of the songs competing in the first heat. Do they have a potential winner among them?
It is always a big thing when the first clips of songs are released in Sweden. Will Sweden conquer the national final season right from their beginning, or will we get a dull start, which will make some of us look elsewhere for the hidden gems?
On Saturday, the first heat of Melodifestivalen kicks off. Seven songs will compete for two direct spots to the final, and two who will get a second chance in an extra heat.
It will be a song about Patrick Swayze, which opens, and the heat also offers a return from former Eurovision winner Kikki Danielsson, and what about Benjamin Ingrosso, who represented Sweden at the Nordic Junior Eurovision in 2006, and came 5th in last year’s Swedish final. Is 2018 going to be his year? Or will it be Norwegian Kamferdrops, who will run away with the Swedish Eurovision ticket?
There is so much to look forward to on Saturday, and you can start preparing yourself by listening to the snippets released today.