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23
February
2017

Spain 2017: Toñi Prieto to give explanations to the authorities while Manel films his clip in Tenerife

Spain 2017: Toñi Prieto to give explanations to the authorities while Manel films his clip in Tenerife

SPAIN – The situation involving TVE continues to drag on as Manel Navarro films the official video for his song in Tenerife and Toñi Prieto, head of entertainment for the channel, is now being questioned by the auditory committee on events surrounding the Spanish National Final, where Manel Navarro was selected to represent the country in Kiev.

Spanish law with the introduction of the transparency law, requires all actions undertaken by a public body to be scrutinised if there are questions around malpractice and the Auditory Committee are responsible for heading an investigation into what happened at the National Final. The committee meeting will involve 5 politicians chosen by the three main political parties in Parliament. Toñi Prieto will be asked to give her version of events as to what happened in the National final, where two of the jury members have been proven to have previous links to the chosen Spanish candidate for Eurovision. The meeting will be given a preapproved date but rumour has it that the Committee President is likely to delay the appearance of Prieto until March. Any results gathered by the Committee will have to be handed to the Council of Administration, who in turn have the ultimate voice in deciding what happens to those involved.

Questions that are likely to come up are how Toñi Prieto’s daughter happens to work for Sony Music, the same record label behind the promotion of Manel Navarro. How two of the Jury members have worked with Manel Navarro prior to the National Final, with one actively pictured promoting the candidate before the final took place. The production of the final, involving a company in which Toñi Prieto is herself involved and how this has been repeated even though using that company was questioned the previous year. TVE themselves have still refused to release details of expenses for Eurovision 2015, delaying a request by the Council of Administration to do so, by repeatedly appealing the request.

Meanwhile Manel Navarro has began filming the official video for his song “Do it for your lover” in Tenerife. The video involves a surfing and summery background and is being directed by Mauro D. Galiano, who has previously worked with many national Spanish artists. Manel Navarro has confirmed his attendance at the Amsterdam Eurovision Concert on the 8th April and is looking to also attend the London Eurovision Party, with other possible appearances elsewhere highly likely.

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Categories: Oiko Times

23
February
2017

Romania 2017: will Lora be fined if not show up in the semi final?

Romania 2017: will Lora be fined if not show up in the semi final?

ROMANIA – The Romanian national final has caused concern due to the decision of Lora to quit the selection process, a move that could lead to a 100,000 Euro fine.

Lora took the decision to quit the national selection process just after the auditions, a decision based on her disagreements with the Romanian organisers, even though her song “I Know” was considered one of the favourites to be selected for Kiev.

Even with Lora quitting, TVR selected her to take part in the semifinals, although they named her replacement, Zanga, instead. Now, TVR claim a contractual clause whereby Lora and her team must pay 1000.000 Euro fine for breaching an agreement to take part in the selection process.

According to TVR rules, the fine is part of the selection process and must be paid immediately if a withdrawal takes place. Lora’s manager however states that the withdrawal took place before any selection was decided and therefore, no fine should be handed out.

It’s rumoured that the decision could be a ploy by TVR to increase viewing figures for the National Final, which finds itself with a very low audience figure and it’s been rumoured that the fine could be extended to those participants who never took part in the oficial first stage auditions, a further 12 singers in total.

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Categories: Oiko Times

23
February
2017

Christer Björkman leads all new organisation team in Ukraine following resignations

Christer Björkman leads all new organisation team in Ukraine following resignations

Over the past couple of weeks there has been all change in regards to the team responsible for organising the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. The contest will take place in just under three months time.

Resignations of executive producers and core team

On February 13th, the executive producers of the contest both resigned. These were of course Victoria Romanova and Oleksandr Kharebin. In addition, members of the Core Organisation Team also resigned. The EBU released the following statement:

“Victoria Romanova, Oleksandr Kharebin, Iryna Asman, Denys Bloshchynski and his team and Oleksii Karaban informed the EBU on 10th February that they were resigning from their roles for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. The group felt they were not able to continue work on the project owing to staffing matters at UA:PBC, which the EBU cannot fully comment on.”

Nevertheless, the EBU were confident that the issue would be resolved and that Ukraine would be able to continue on their journey to host a successful contest in May.

New core team implemented

On February 20th, Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC announced the replacements for the three Core Team members. These are Larisa Koval, Kirill Voronin and Oleh Zapadnyuk. Deputy head at the broadcaster, Pavlo Hrytsak, explains that this decision was made very quickly. He states this was because there are many highly skilled professionals in the market who have experience in large-scale and international projects.

Today, it was announced that Christer Björkman has also joined the Core Team for Eurovision 2017. Christer was instrumental in producing the 2013 and 2016 Eurovision Song Contests in Malmö and Stockholm respectively. Furthermore, he is the person responsible for Sweden’s extremely popular national selection show Melodifestivalen. In a statement to eurovision.tv, Christer says:

“I’m thrilled to be back, working on what is surely the world’s premier music event.  I look forward to collaborating with the wonderful team at UA:PBC and I’m sure together we will produce the best contest yet!”

“Adding to an already excellent production team”

Following the announcement of the new Core Team members, executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest Jon Ola Sand released the following statement to eurovision.tv:

“It is pleasing to see these positive steps being taken in the staffing of the core team for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. For example, the appointment of Christer Björkman adds to what is already an excellent production team, and his experience producing the Eurovision Song Contest over several years will be invaluable.”

“Now, with many key positions filled, it is important that the EBU and UA:PBC continue to implement the plans already agreed, and work to the timeline and milestones that were established and approved by the Reference Group to ensure a successful Contest in May.”

All systems go in Kyiv!

It’s now full steam ahead for Kyiv with the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest fast approaching. In just a few weeks time, the organisers will begin to build the stage in the International Exhibition Center. The Center is the host venue for this year’s music extravaganza. Florian Wieder is responsible for designing the stage for the 2017 contest. He also designed the stages for the 2011 and 2015 contests in Düsseldorf and Vienna respectively. You can see an artist’s impression of the Kyiv stage below.

Artist’s impression of the 2017 Eurovision stage. (Source: UA:PBC)

What are your thoughts on all of the changes to the Core Team for Eurovision 2017? Furthermore, we will get to see this stage in action in less than three months time. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and via our social media pages @escXtra!

Categories: ESC Xtra

23
February
2017

Internal selection round-up: Several countries announce presentation dates

Internal selection round-up: Several countries announce presentation dates

Over the past couple of days, several broadcasters have announced the presentation dates for their internally selected Eurovision entries. The most recent announcements have come from Australia, Belgium and Croatia. This gives us the perfect opportunity to look at the situations with countries that have internally selected their entries for the 2017 contest. Let’s go through them in chronological order of presentation dates:

Austria (February 28th)

At the end of January, ORF revealed that Nathan Trent would present his entry on February 28th. It is expected that he will perform his song in English.

Cyprus (March 1st)

At the beginning of this month, CyBC announced that Gravity would be presented on March 1st. The song will be performed by Hovig who was the first artist to be chosen for Kyiv back in October. Over the past couple of days, Hovig has been filming the music video for his song composed by Thomas G:son. Of course, Thomas was responsible for 2012 Eurovision winning entry Euphoria.

Croatia (March 2nd)

HRT have revealed lots of information regarding their entry in the past few days. Jacques Houdek will present his entry My Friend on March 2nd. His opera-influenced song is expected to be performed in both English and Italian.

The Netherlands (March 3rd)

O’G3NE were the second act to be selected for Kyiv. The former Junior Eurovision contestants were announced as the 2017 Dutch representatives back in October. Rumour has it their selected song is a ballad, written by the father of the sisters as well as the boyfriend of band member Shelley Vol. In addition, AVROTROS revealed that their song will be presented on March 3rd.

Greece (March 6th)

Demy was finally unveiled as Greece’s 2017 representative last month after many rumours. However, her song will not be internally selected. Demy will present three potential entries in an ERT show on March 6th. Viewers will select their favourite entry which Demy will then take to Kyiv.

Australia (March 7th)

SBS confirmed earlier today that their 2017 entry will be presented on the evening of March 7th, early morning for the Europeans among us. It is currently expected that both the artist and song will be revealed on the same date. In addition, rumours are pointing towards Isaiah Firebrace and The Veronicas being amongst the front-runners to have been chosen. We shall wait and see!

Belgium (March 8th)

Similarly to Australia, Belgium’s RTBF also revealed today that their entry would be presented. Blanche will reveal her song a day later than the Aussies on March 8th. Blanche was the fourth artist to be selected for Kyiv. The announcement came in late November.

Other presentations confirmed for March

Armenia (AMPTV), Bulgaria (BNT), Czech Republic (ČT), Montenegro (RTCG) and Serbia (RTS) have all confirmed that their entries will be presented sometime in March. We already know that Artsvik, Martina Bárta and Slavko Kalezić will represent Armenia, Czech Republic and Montenegro respectively. Martina’s entry will be titled My Turn while Slavko will be singing Space. It was recently revealed that Space was being produced by a Swedish team. The team includes Stefan Örn who has produced several previous Azerbaijani entries including 2011 Eurovision winner Running Scared.

Countries that will also be internally selecting

Azerbaijan (İctimai), F.Y.R. Macedonia (MKRTV), Ireland (RTÉ), Israel (IBA), Russia (C1R) and San Marino (SMRTV) will also be internally selecting their entries. However, none of these have revealed any sort of timeframe as to when to expect their entry presentations. Nevertheless, we already know that Diana HajiyevaJana Burčeska, Brendan Murray and Imri Ziv will represent Azerbaijan, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Ireland and Israel respectively.

Rounding up the rest

That takes care of the 18 countries that are yet to reveal their internally selected entries this year. With 13 entries revealed so far and 43 participants in total, that leaves 12 countries who will be selecting their entries through national finals that have yet to conclude.

This weekend (February 24th-26th), DenmarkLatvia, MoldovaSlovenia and Ukraine will complete their national selection processes. The following weekend (March 4th-5th), EstoniaPortugal and Romania will select their entries.

Lastly, on the final Saturday (March 11th) prior to the head of delegations meeting where all delegations must submit their entries, IcelandLithuaniaNorway and Sweden will choose their entries for Kyiv. That will complete the 12 national selections that have yet to finish.

Which national finals and song presentations are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments section below and via our social media pages @escXtra! Remember you can click the embedded links in the article above to find out more about each artist selection.

Categories: ESC Xtra

22
February
2017

Belgium 2017: song presentation on March 8

Belgium 2017: song presentation on March 8

BELGIUM – It is now officially announce that RTBF and the record label of Blanche will present the song for Kyiv during a press conference on March 8th. During the press conference Blanche will present her song. In the press conference we will also see the composer Pierre Dumoulin, the Eurovision commentators for RTBF Maureen Louys and Jean-Louis Lahaye and the production team at PIAS, the record label of the singer.

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Categories: Oiko Times

22
February
2017

Malta 2017: PM meets Claudia and congratulates her

Malta 2017: PM meets Claudia and congratulates her

TVM.COM.MT REPORTS / MALTA – Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has congratulated singer Claudia Faniello for her success in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest last weekend, and also congratulated the organising team for their success with this year’s Festival.

Faniello_PM2The Prime Minister was speaking during his first meeting with the Festival’s winning team, singer Claudia Faniello, author Gerald James Borg and composers Sean and Philip Vella. This followed their success in the 30th edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday with the song ‘Breathlessly’. During the same meeting the Prime Minister also met with representatives of the PBS organising team for the Festival, among them Chief Executive John Bundy, producer Gordon Bonello and Doreen Cortis.

PBS Chief Executive John Bundy stated during the meeting that he was satisfied with the outcome of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which he said had been a success. Mr Bundy added that the team was now looking forward to the experience in Kiev, Ukraine.

Singer Claudia Faniello said she was very happy to be representing Malta, and was looking forward to being an ambassador for her country. Faniello added that she would do her utmost to obtain a positive result.

The Prime Minister congratulated PBS and the Chief Executive for the success of this edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and for the way it had been organised. Dr Muscat remarked that it was an interesting fact that the choice of the song had been left to the people, adding that he was certain Caludia Faniello would give her best performance when representing Malta.

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Categories: Oiko Times

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