Due to visa issues, Moldova’s DoReDos have had to cancel part of their promotion tour. The sad news came this evening from the organisers of London’s Eurovision party. With the song “My Lucky Day”, the band will represent Moldova at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
DoReDos have not yet commented on the situation, but this evening London Eurovision Party broke the sad news on their Facebook page: “It is with regret that the London Eurovision Party has to announce that due to issues obtaining visas, DoReDoS from Moldova have had to withdraw from our event.”
They followed it up with the good news that Stella Mwangi (Norway 2011) will join the party together with her partner from this year’s Norwegian final Alexandra, and also Swedish Benjamin Ingrosso. They have previously already added this year’s acts from Romania, Lithuania, Australia, Poland, Denmark, Switzerland, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Austria, Ireland, Albania, France and of course United Kingdom, so there will still be plenty of 2018 acts to enjoy.
DoReDos is also scheduled to perform at the Latvian pre-party in Riga on the 24th of March, which seems unaffected from the visa issues in relation to the band travelling to the United Kingdom.
In the video below take a look at this year’s Moldova entry My Lucky Day by DoReDos:
Saara Aalto felt the Finnish people held her down. Now she hopes for 12 points from the UK. When we caught up with her for a little chat, she wondered if someone within EBU revealed her name to the Irish delegation, and she talked about the Monsters she is still fighting. Watch our video interview with this year’s Finnish participant.
The months from an artist is selected and until the start rehearsing on the Eurovision stage is full of preparations of their stage design, outfit, postcard shooting and also promotional tours. We caught up with Saara Aalto a few days ago in this year’s host city Lisbon.
See alsoTrumps makes its Eurovision debut: What to expect from the Eurovision parties?
Saara is representing Finland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but due to her appearance on X-Factor UK, she is a well known name outside of her native country. It was a relaxed woman we met though she is quite busy preparing for Eurovision. In the video below you can watch our interview with her mixed in with clips from a performance of Monsters at the Trumps Eurovision party from Friday evening.
ESC Insight bring you the highlights of a flipping freezing weekend in Oslo to enjoy Melodi Grand Prix 2018, featuring a happy Kyiv reunion, pre-results analysis and joy in the post-results press scrum. Ellie Chalkley, Lisa-Jayne Lewis and Ewan Spence give us their views, and see their resistance to the insistent poppiness of That’s How You Write A Song weaken with every passing moment.
Eurovision Insight Podcast: Dr Scandilove, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love That’s How You Write A Song
The ESC Insight team travel to Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix with quite a lot of Rybak-related emotional baggage in tow. We speak to Ida Maria about rock stagecraft, JOWST and Aleksander Walmann about where they’re going on holiday and Alexander Rybak about aiming for that second win.
As the 2018 National Finals Season ends and thoughts turn to Lisbon, keep listening to the ESC Insight podcast for more Eurovision news, fun, and chat. You’ll find the show in iTunes, and a direct RSS feed is also available. We also have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here.
Hello Melanie, Thank you so much for agreeing to an exclusive interview with us at escSocial.
Tell me, what have you been to since we saw you on the Eurovision Stage in 2015?
Well, during the first year following the contest, I took part in various Eurovision events in both Switzerland, and around Europe. But after a while it became important to me to work on a more personal and authentic musical project.
If my memory serves me correctly, we last met up in 2017 and had a good catch up over some milkshakes.
Ah yes, we had a lot fun didn’t we? You probably remember me telling you that I had met a cool guy called Phil Braithwaite and together we wrote a couple of songs including “Dancefloor”. When I came back to Switzerland I met up with two great producers, Eric Anderson and Stephane Chapelle. They were just brilliant, helping me to define my music style with much more precision, and gave it a more modern and current feel. It’s a “Pop Electro” vibe, in the style of MØ, Dua Lipa or Tove Lo.
It then dawned on me that I needed a catchier stage name, to match the new music style. So beginning of this year I launch this new concept under the name Melyz, which is a combination of my name and the name of my sister Charlyse.
How do you think your Eurovision Fans will react to this?
At first I was really concern and worried that people might feel like I’m changing my name because I don’t want to carry the “Eurovision name”.
Eurovision has brought me so much in my debuting career, and I will forever cherish this incredible experience! It has giving me a lot of opportunities, opened quite a few doors for me, and has given me the chance to meet so many amazing people. Thanks to ESC, I was able to travel whilst doing what I love: singing and performing!
I like to think that Eurovision is like a big family, and so my goal now is to bring everyone who has supported since the very beginning on this new adventure with me :)
Mélanie René to Melyz, does not mean going back to square one in order to start over; it is more of an evolution process, growing and developing as an artist.
So tell me about Dancefloor
Dancefloor was written in a time of my life where big changes were happening.
I guess the song can have different meanings: it can be about relationship games, when we always want what we can’t have, and we don’t often care about what we already have (seducing but never committing) and we end up losing ourselves in these love games.
But it can also represents change in general; how we are often scared of looking deeper in ourselves to find what we are, and what we stand for, because it often makes us feel vulnerable…
So when we can hope to hear this publicly?
The song is scheduled to be released on Friday 23rd March, my debut single under the name MELYZ.
There will be a music video that will be released soon after. I did not want to release it at the same time as the single.
Because I am launching this new concept “Melyz” with a new musical direction, I wanted people to focus on the music first. So thy could listen to it without being influenced by the visuals of the music video.
I am actually very excited to share all this with you guys!
And I want to thank you guys so much for your continuing support! It means the world to me.
Thank YOU Melanie, for giving us an insight into what is coming up so soon, we are very excited for you, and hope all goes amazingly well.
For all the songs that entered the National Final season; for all the introductions, sketches, and interval acts; one performance has absolutely stuck in my mind. It stopped me dead on the night, and it continues to do so.
Lurking inside the marathon that was Sanremo was a moment of perfection, as Pierfrancesco Favino narrated ‘La Notte‘ with a hint of the orchestra and an epilogue from Fiorella Mannoia and Claudio Baglioni.
For me this was the performance of the National Final season. It captures the elements of why I love the Song Contest, how it can transcend borders, and how we can communicate with each other without barriers.
Favino had spent the previous nights playing the role of court jester to Michelle Hunziker’s confident grace and the avuncular guidance of artistic director Claudio Baglioni. And then he steps up with noting more than a spotlight and his not inconsiderable acting skills. There is no choice, you have to watch him, you have to feel the emotion with him, you have to channel his anger. And you don’t even need to speak Italian.
As I later discovered, this was a soliloquy adapted from Kotles ‘The Night Before in the Forest‘ but there’s no need to look for the reference material.
You know what this performance is.
Last year was the first time I had ever been to a National Final anywhere. After all, I only started watching the selection shows thee years ago so attending one never even occurred to me. Then quite out of the blue in 2017 Ellie suggested I should join her in going to Eesti Laul and I thought ‘why not?’.
This year Ellie and Ewan had already booked to go to Oslo for Melodi Grand Priz, so I figured I’d tag along again…
What a show! I had never seen Melodi Grand Prix before, it wasn’t one that had come across my radar, but what a show it turned out to be. Every time I go to any Eurovision related event I get goosebumps and very often have to stop myself from shedding a little tear (I’m very emotional about things now I’m a bit older) yet here I was in yet another venue in Europe and as the sound of ‘Te deum’ introduced the rehearsals for MGP, there I was sat right by the stage ready to ‘Grab the Moment’, really nothing beats those ‘magical moments’ because I still can’t quite believe that I actually get to do this!
The French Connection
I was not expecting anything less than a car crash when France2 announced the return of a National Final… this is the country whose public selected ‘Moustache‘.
Yet the panel they recruited gave me a bit of hope: a current pop star, the man who brought France back to the top 10, and one of Canada’s best singers; all of whom understood the Eurovision, the music industry and music as a creative act. But with a televote in the final, with the current ‘La Voix‘ title holder participating with a decent song, it seemed like a fait accompli. That Lisandro Cruxi was born in Portugal only added to the narrative: a current reality TV star with roots in Portugal representing France in Lisbon.
The jury rankings in the final round were unsurprising: it seemed like Cruxi had received a perfect set-up with his clear lead over Emmy Liyanna and Madame Monsieur. Except Cruxi’s ‘Eva’ finished second in the Melfest format televote: Madame Monsieur massively won the televote, sending ‘Mercy’ to Lisbon. No one saw that coming – not even Madame Merci themselves. That week’s official singles chart in France told the story: Mercy entered at #3 and the rest of the Destination Eurovision were way down the list.
I suspect I was not the only person screaming in shocked delight at the exciting conclusion to Destination Eurovision back in January. Having survived the three-minute chop without being denuded, combined with an excellent official preview video, I have great hopes for ‘Mercy’ in Lisbon.
Monty Moncrieff (OnEurope)
Like A Scandinavian…
I decided to go on holiday smack in the middle of the National Final season this year (and I’m still playing catch up) but some things have stood out.
My highlight has, like Ewan, been my sole live National Final – Norway – which I attended with the ESC Insight team. It was a treat to see the rehearsal of a show with big ambition. As nine of the ten acts will never make it to Eurovision, the Norwegians have decided that departing from the strict rules regarding the number of performers on stage is worth the deviation for a bigger, bolder show at home.
Step up Ida Maria.
I’ve confessed my love for this song (my favourite of the season) whilst exploring some of the factors behind why I suspected it wouldn’t win for ESC Insight last week. Ida backed her presentation with a troupe of sixteen (!) cheerleaders, displaying their acrobatic ability as they formed human pyramids, and flipped one another high into the air. This led into some formation dancing as potty-mouthed Ida delivered her x-rated lines about the temperature of the Scandinavian sea. Having started singing standing amongst the audience before being hoisted onto the stage, Ida once again sought their participation to bounce a couple of dozen candy-striped beach balls above their heads. The whole thing was a hot mess, but so much fun, the scale of which you can never repeat at Eurovision. An absolute treat for the senses; except maybe the ears…
Back To The Future
With Beovizija, Serbia gave us a perfect evocation of Eurovision in the late noughties and an unbeatable interval act. What better way to spend a Tuesday night in February than enjoying a wildly uneven, creatively spectacular and diverse selection of modern Serbian pop? The songs, staging and general look and feel of the show took me back to when I fell in love with the Eurovision Song Contest, the era before the hyper-polished, hyper-professional Swedish-style festival, when we had something a little bit wonky.
Beovizija had everything. It had a returning artist in Rambo Amadeus, who turned up to do some jazz talking over a lady called Beti who didn’t seem happy about it. It had a pink haired female solo artist (this year’s National Final must have) in Saska Janx, it had traditional vocal troupes with contemporary dancers wafting about, it had a guy singing with someone who might have been his dad, Maja Nikolic as an alien queen, a lead singer who remained hidden under a bed for most of the song, and a bunch of opera goths.
But what got everyone talking was the interval act. While the votes were gathered and counted, RTS gave us a seemingly never ending parade of Eurovision acts from around the former Yugoslavian region, covering everything from ‘Adio’ to ‘Ove je Balkan’, from Bistra Voda to Bojana. They even got Moje 3 to reform especially. The only thing that was missing for me was Igranka. Fabulous.
Now do it again!
Against The Odds
Sweden’s 2018 edition of Melodifestivalen was a decidedly mixed bag. While the quality of songs was generally strong, the focus on introducing fresh blood to SVT’s Contest led to many of the better songs being paired to performers who just didn’t have the presence or experience to fully deliver them.
This was certainly the case in Heat Three, where odds-on favourite Dotter delivered a vocally shaky and poorly staged performance of her ballad ‘Cry’ – which was incidentally also far too derivative of the recent Julia Michaels hit ‘Issues’ – and found herself unexpectedly crashing out in the first round of voting.
Enter Jessica Andersson, one of the last of the class of 2003-2009 so-called ‘Schlager Divas’ who has demonstrated an ability to continue to connect with viewers long after many of her contemporaries have fallen out of favour. Andersson went for an arguably valedictory full-throttle fan service entry, a joyous slice of disco-pop that could just as easily have served as a comeback vehicle for Alcazar (If Alcazar hadn;t already released what they had hoped their comeback vehicle at MF2018 would have been had they got the nod from the selection panel).
The expectation was that Andersson would probably get knocked out in fifth place, or perhaps limp through to AC where she could easily be paired against a more app-friendly entry (presumably pitching her against Felix Sandman would have been a very easy way to end her journey before the Friends Arena). But the joy of Melfest – arguably the joy of the Song Contest and the National Finals – remains that no matter how stage managed certain aspects become, on the night there’s no substitute for performance.
Years of treading the boards onstage and on TV gave Andersson the tools to turn out a show-stopping performance when it counts, and alongside Swedish Idol winner Martin Almgren, she delivered the most polished and engaging performance of the night. Sweden voted accordingly, and the much-ballyhooed death of Schlager was delayed for another year.
Kylie Wilson (ESC Pulse)
This National Final season was a big change for me now I’m living in New Zealand, which meant having to get up a couple hours earlier than my normal wake up time to watch whatever Final I was free to watch. I remember after one bout of insomnia I thought it would be a good idea to switch on the final of Ukraine’s Vidbir at 5am… only to be inundated by angry men shouting at each other and singers getting humiliated by certain judges. That is not recommended.
But my highlight was probably the final of Eesti Laul. There was a debate over whether it was going to turn out to be a coronation or a competition. Would the big favourite Elina walk away with the crown or would we get one of the biggest shock results of this national final season? As it turned out, it was very much a coronation as she wiped the floor with her crystal-clear soprano vocals and her light-up dress, all wrapped up in a striking yet elegant package.
Not that her competitors weren’t worth checking out either. We had the weird and wonderful in the form of Evestus; Frankie Animal offering us the kind of effortlessly cool indie pop that should be on the playlists of BBC 6Music as soon as possible, former National Final veterans Iiris and Stig Rästa making well-received comebacks, and ‘Taevas‘ being a welcome reminder of Estonia’s late-90s golden age.
This also happened to be the tenth edition of the competition, may the Laul live on for another wonderfully eclectic ten years!
Over To You
This weekend is the quiet pause of the season, as we gather strength for the run up to Lisbon. What National Final moments from the last few months stick in your mind? Let us know in the comments.
Laura Rizzotto, Elina Nechayeva and Ieva Zasimauskaitė. Those are the names of the three female singers who will each represent their Baltic country at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. Who will bring home the best result to their country?
The three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, have all chosen a female singer to represent them at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. We take a closer look at the entries, and then we ask, which of them will do best in Lisbon, Portugal in May.
On the third of March, Estonia selected their Eurovision participant. Through two semi-finals, a total of ten entries had made it to the final of Eesti Laul 2018. With 70% of the votes, Elina Nechayeva won a landslide victory with 2015 Eurovision participant Stig Rästa as runner up.
26 year old Elina is a soprano singer from Tallinn, Estonia. She has a master degree from 2016 in classical singing from Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. Where many after winning a national selection goes on to hosting it, she went the other way being one of the hosts of the 2017 edition of Eesti Laul.
Elina’s winning entry La Forza is written by Ksenia Kuchukova, Elina Nechayeva, Mihkel Mattisen and Timo Vendt. The last two have previous Eurovision experience as Mattisen also wrote Et Uus Saaks Alguse (Estonia 2013) while Vendt wrote Amazing for Tanay (Estonia 2014).
See alsoEstonia: Fan favorite Elina Nechayeva wins Eesti Laul 2018
For the fourth time, Latvia used Supernova as their method for choosing their Eurovision participant. After three preliminary heats, they had reached the final on the 24th of February. A jury of music professionals and public voting crowned Laura Rizzotto as winner.
Laura Rizzotto is 23 years old is quite international being born in Brazil, grown up in the US by a father who is Latvian and Brazillian, and a Brazillian mother of Portuguese descent. Laura has a degree in Musical Art from California, and last year, she earned a master degree in music from Columbia University in New York.
The title of Laura’s Eurovision entry is Funny Girl, and she wrote the song herself.
See alsoLaura Rizzotto wins Supernova 2018 and will represent Latvia at Eurovision 2018
After six heats, an online wildcard rounds and two semi-finals, Lithuania reached the end of a long selection process on the 11th of March where the final took place. The jury points placed Jurgis Brūzga ahead of Ieva Zasimauskaitė, but as tele voting placed Ieva first and Jurgis only fourth, it will be Ieva representing Lithuania at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.
Ieva is 24 years old, and for her five is now the magic number, as it wasn’t until her fifth attempt she finally won the Eurovision ticket. She also tried out in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Though music has always been a part of her life, she has a bachelor degree in Hotel Management from International School of Law and Business in Vilnius.
When We’re Old, that’s the title of Ieva’s entry. It is written by Vytautas Bikus.
See alsoIeva Zasimauskaitė wins Eurovizijos Atranka 2018 and heads to Lisbon to represent Lithuania
Estonia and Lithuania will both compete in the first semi-final, while Latvia has been allocated a place in the second semi-final. All three countries naturally hope to win a spot for the final on the 12th of May. But which of the three entries do you think will do best?