The biggest question this week after the UK National Final is which Swede is the bigger fan of The Wombles, Zelmerlöw or Af Sillén? We can’t help you with that one, so ask us about National Final results, new songs, upcoming releases, the mysteries of Sanremo or the inevitable ‘Saturday Night’ puns at Dansk MGP…
Eurovision Insight Podcast: One Of Us
Seven days of Eurovision squeezed into just one podcast, hosted by Ewan Spence. This week, three new songs to love, a bad Whigfield pun, and trying to understand Sanremo; plus music from The Kolors.
As the 2018 season builds up momentum, 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.
The search has officially begun in San Marino’s unprecedented national selection, 1in360. The eleven finalists have all taken the 1in360 stage in Bratislava, Slovakia and performed an acoustic version of one of their songs.
While being pleased with all the candidates, there was an obvious preference towards Sara de Blue and San Marino’s Irol.
The journey for San Marino begun in October of last year when the broadcaster – SMRTV – announced a national selection hoping to bring better results for the microstate who has only been to a Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final once, in 2014.
Even though it can be seen as something amazing and glorious, 1in360 has faced a few challenges. Not only many accused the event of being fraudulent but more recently, its official YouTube channel was closed after two former competitors reported it due to copyrights.
Through ups and downs, the production finally reunited the eleven best and most popular contestants and took them on a journey including a trip to Austria to write and record the competing songs. A second trip was made to Slovakia, where the first two shows were recorded.
Tonight, 1in360 officially uploaded the show’s first episode to its YouTube channel where the eleven competitors took the small stage to sing one of the two songs they were given. All of them performed an acoustic version of it in front of the judges and no one was eliminated as 1in360 will not have eliminatory rounds.
1 The Show
2 The Songs
3 Coming Next
4 San Marino At The Eurovision Song Contest
Nick Earles – the show’s main host – was joined by Kristin Stein who was in charge of the backstage moments. Onboard with the two hosts were a four piece jury panel composed by Austria’s Zoë Straub, English songwriter Neon Hitch, the entrepeneur Ladislav Kossár and San Marino’s head of delegation Alessandro Capicchioni.
Without much interruptions, the songs started being presented one by one. After each performance, the judges would critique each act and song. A backstage moment was followed where the contestants would reflect on the criticism.
It’s worth mentioning that the contestants did the backing vocals for each other.
1. Emma Sandström – Diamonds
Emma had the huge responsibility to introduce the audience to this revolutionary competition by opening the show. The Finnish singer ended up not delivering her best performance yet and the judges accused her of lack of emotion despite her Pop song being all about empowerment and to shine bright like a diamond.
2. Irol – Stuck Without Me (feat. Jessika Muscat)
Irol is the only singer from San Marino and that ended up influencing the country’s head of delegation who clearly focused on the fact that he knew Irol. His collaboration with Jessika was surely a highlight that scored positive comments from every judge due to its energy and feel good vibe.
3. Giovanni Montalbano – Per Quello Che Me Dai
Giovanni was the only singer that performed a song completely written in Italian. Zoë had no negative comments to say about his performance that was quite flawless yet pointed out his need to learn English. Per Quello Che Me Dai is a powerful ballad that is very well complemented by Giovanni’s pleasant vocals.
4. Sebastian Schmidt– In The Moonlight
This German boy took the stage to perform a very happy Pop love song. Despite coming off as a bit generic, the judges agreed that Sebastian is one of the acts with the biggest commercial appeal.
5. Judah Gavra – Stay
When it comes to powerhouse ballads, it was Judah who brought it to the game. The judges had mixed feelings about his performance. Ladislav Kossár went as far as naming it “boring”.
6. Tinashe Makura – We Are One
He is the only act coming from outside Europe. Tinashe performed a love song dedicated to his wife back in Zimbabwe that could easily be confused with a lullaby – at least in its acoustic form. He called it a very personal song and the jury did appreciate his effort.
7. Jessika Muscat – Who We Are (feat. Irol)
Maybe for being her song, Jessika delivered amazing vocals during her second performance and had Irol joining her again. It is perhaps one of the most evident Pop songs that has a good balance with Rap despite Alessandro mentioning he wanted to listen more Rap parts in it.
8. Sara De Blue – Until the Morning Light
Neon Hitch rightfully said: “You set the bar high”. Sara brought in vocals, emotions and one of the best productions to the 1in360 stage. The juries were very impressed overall and praised Sara’s vocals and dedication. On the other hand, Alessandro Capicchioni had the need of saying that something was lacking.
9. Jenifer Besky – I’m Sorry
While being an amazing vocalist, Jenifer’s song was quite generic and surely not a wow factor for the competition. The judges noticed that and had mixed feelings about her performance blaming the song choice for it. Zoë is sure, nonetheless, that she’ll bring a better number next week.
10. Franklin Calleja – Best Years of Our Lives
Franklin’s register is out of this world. His song was the English version of Giovanni’s song and, just like the Italian singer, Franklin really impressed the jury who had nothing but good comments for him.
11. Camilla North – Free Yourself
The groove was saved for last. Camilla took the stage and performed the grooviest tune out of the bunch. Not all judges were impressed but she surely made them shake their feet to the rhythm of her song.
In a week’s time, 1in360 will broadcast its second episode where the 11 contestants will perform an acoustic version of their second song. At the end of the show, Zoë and the remaining judges will decide which song each contestant will take to the final round that, for the first time, will be broadcast live and will feature each song in its original form.
If you haven’t watched the show yet, go ahead and check it in the video below. If you prefer to watch the performances individually then click here.
San Marino At The Eurovision Song Contest
This year, San Marino is really making an effort to try to improve their past results. So far they have only made the final once in eight attempts. From these attempts, it was one of four Valentina Monetta entries, which saw them into the final of 2014.
The country was really unsure if they would take part in the competition this year as they feared there’s no space for small countries in the show. With this unexpected national selection, they certainly hope things will change.
Slovenian radio station Val 202 has now released snippets for all the 16 hopeful songs to be performed at this year’s EMA 2018. The show’s semi final will take place in a week’s time.
Slovenia is getting ready for this year’s Eurovision. Throughout this week, Val 202 – Slovenian radio station – had been releasing snippets of four songs per day coming to a full circle today with the release of the final ones. Those are now available in Val 202’s YouTube channel.
Update: Shortly after this article was published, EMA’s official YouTube channel uploaded a video with a recap featuring each snippet released and the respective running order for the actual show. That can be seen here.
Before the end of 2017, the country’s official broadcaster – RTVSLO – announced a semi final for its national selection where only the eight best acts would qualify for the show’s Grand Finale. Amongst the contestants, one can find a couple of familiar faces such as Tanja Ribič (1997) and ManuElla (2016).
See alsoPoland reveals its national finalists
EMA 2018’s only semi final will be held next 17th of February where 4 finalists will be chosen by televote and the other 4 by the jury that will feature Slovenia’s 2011 representative Maja Keuk among others.
Now that you know a bit of each song, which one do you see as representing Slovenia this year in the Eurovision Song Contest?
Slovenia at the Eurovision Song Contest
Slovenia’s first appearance in the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Ireland’s Millstreet in 1993. Back then, 1XBand finished 22nd with only 9 points. Slovenia had previously been represented at the contest as part of Yugoslavia between 1961 and 1991. Four of these 27 entries were from Slovene artists.
Since 1993, Slovenia has participated in the grand final 13 times. Their best results were seventh places in 1995 and 2001, and their worst result came in 2013, when Hannah Mancini finished last in her semi-final.
This year Omar Naber failed to qualify Slovenia for the grand final as he finished 17th in his semi-final with the song On My Way. You can watch Omar’s perform this song at the 2017 edition of Eurovision In Concert in the video below:
Hours before it’s release, Saara Aalto’s first national final entry Monsters was leaked on YouTube. But this evening, it is now officially released, and it is time to judge whether or not Finland will once again bring “Monsters” to Lisbon.
The first of Saara Aalto’s competing songs was meant to be unveiled to the public at midnight. All has not gone to plan as somehow the track leaked on YouTube, spoiling the surprise for fans across Europe. Saara and her crew, probably the record company, got busy issuing a take down on the videos various users had illegally uploaded.
This evening, it is now out – via official channels.
Monsters is a great song, which starts of lightly with the beat kicking in 25 seconds into the intro. The song is a typical floor filler with a nice beat which carries through the rest of the song. In the song Saara sings about banishing all of the monsters and demons from her past now that she is stronger and no longer afraid.
See alsoMelodi Grand Prix 2018 – Get to know the Danish finalists
Earlier this week, we learned Saara will be reunited with choreographer to the stars Brian Friedman and Lukas McFarlane whom she worked with during her time on The X Factor UK. Friedman and McFarlane will be the creative directors and choreographers, in charge of creating a fresh and exciting performance for Lisbon.
Two days ago Krista Siegfrids and Mikko Silvennoinen teased fans as they gave their first reactions to hearing the song. Krista could already imagine how fans would be dancing to the song at Euro Club.
More than 200 entries received, that was more than the Polish broadcaster TVP expected, and as such they delayed the presentation of the acts competing in their national final. Two former Eurovision participants are mentioned to have submitted songs, but not included in the line-up.
Four years in a row qualifying for the final, and even a top 10 placement. Polish acts spots the opportunity to convert Eurovision success into hits, in both the homeland and abroad.
With rumours saying that former Polish Eurovision participants like Lidia Kopania (2009) and Magdalena Tul were among the submitted ones, attention was high. And it only raised when the name Saszan was added to the rumours. She is a young artist with a quite a few hits in her baggage, and a rather big fan base.
Today it was time to see if those acts would be among the ones competing to represent Poland at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. The two former participants are not to be found in the line-up published by TVP, but Saszan is indeed.
See alsoMelodi Grand Prix 2018 – Get to know the Danish finalists
Line-up for 2018 Polish national final
1. Saszan – Nie chcę ciebie mniej 2. Monika Urlik – Momentum 3. Isabel Otrebus – Delirium 4. Ifi Ude – Love is stronger 5. Future Folk – Krakowiacy i górale 6. Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer – Light me up 7. Marta Gałuszewska – Why don’t we go 8. Pablosson – Sunflower 9. Maja Hyży – Skin 10. Happy Prince – Don’t let go
Some of the songs are already available on YouTube, but not all of them.
The 2018 Polish national final will be held on the 3rd of March at 21:30 local time.
Poland at the Eurovision Song Contest
Not every country starts out as successful as Poland did when they joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994. Edyta Górniak’s To Ni Ja finished second. To date, that is still their best result as the country is yet to win.
Over the years, Poland has had a few years out, and are now at 20 appearances. They have six times failed to qualify for the final, but the thing about Poland is that their misses comes in three; 2005 – 2007 and again from 2009 to 2011, all years included.
Poland’s best result in recent years has been an 8th place to Michał Szpak and his Color Of Your Life. Last year, Kasia Moś represented the country, and finished 22nd with the song Flashlight. Remind yourself of that song in the video below.