30
January
2018

WATCH LIVE FROM BARCELONA

7 hours ago

Our five finalists, Amaia, Alfred, Aitana, Miriam and Ana Guerra.

Categories: Oiko Times

29
January
2018

Czech Republic choose Mikolas Josef for Lisbon

Czech Republic choose Mikolas Josef for Lisbon

Mikolas Josef won the new national selection in the Czech Republic with his entry Lie To Me. Czech broadcaster Česká televize revealed the winner this evening. Mikolas was the favourite to win so this doesn’t come as a big surprise.

Three weeks ago, Czech Republic announced its 6 finalists for the national selection Eurovision Song CZ. A week ago, the online voting closed, and the international jury members were revealed together with their winner – Mikolas Josef. And today, one week later, the overall winner is announced.

It is, as expected, Mikolas Josef. Split online voting and jury voting results are expected to be published in the following days.

Mikolas Josef will represent the Czech Republic in Lisbon with his song Lie To Me. The song was already published in November prior to the announcement of the finalists, and up to today, the official video on YouTube has already more than 1 million views.

See also2018 Eurovision Song Contest Semi-final Allocation Draw

Who is Mikolas?

Mikolas Josef is 22 years old. In his early youth, he started playing the guitar and received a few prizes for it.

After graduation, he started his career as a model. He was not impressed by the mood in the background of top modeling and he returned to music. Mikolas began singing on the streets all over Europe, only with his guitar, and the money he earned, he spent making his own music.

He released his first single Hands Bloody slowly became a name within music. That escalated with his second single Free. After that, he moved to Vienna from where he in 2016 released the single Believe (Hey Hey).

At that point, Czech Eurovision fans started to put him as one of the favourite new artists to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest. In the national selection for 2017, Mikolas was one of the considered artists, but the song he submitted wasn’t chosen. Mikolas later revealed that he was asked to sing the winning Czech entry My Turn, which he turned down as the song didn’t fit his music style.

Another year went, he submitted Lie To Me and this time Mikolas’ efforts paid off, as he is to represent his country at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal in May.

Czech Republic as potential opener

At the semi-final allocation draw that took place today in Lisbon, Czech Republic was drawn to the first half of the first semifinal. Lie To Me might be picked as opener of the show. It would stick to the formula that usually modern and upbeat tracks are the openers.

Time will tell if Mikolas will bring this central European country into the final of Eurovision – for the second time only. The first time being Gabriela Gunčíková in 2016 with the song I Stand.

Categories: Eurovisionary

29
January
2018

Russia confirms Julia Samoylova for Eurovision 2018 – Is the controversy over?

Russia confirms Julia Samoylova for Eurovision 2018 – Is the controversy over?

Chosen for Eurovision 2017, denied entry to host country Ukraine, and later withdrawn by her own broadcaster. The past year hasn’t been easy for Julia Samoylova, but today, she was once again confirmed as Russia’s participant for the Eurovision Song Contest.

It hasn’t been easy for Julia Samoylova after Russian broadcaster in March last year announced that she would represent them at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in neighbouring Ukraine. That didn’t happen, as after a lot of controversy where Ukraine denied her entry to their country, Russia finally withdrew from the competition.

As she wasn’t taken part in 2017, Russia did announce back in April 2017, that she would be their participant in 2018 instead. Later they changed their mind, and said that nothing was clear, and today – she is now officially their candidate again.

Timeline controversy

  • 12th of March 2017: Julia presented as Russia’s participant for Eurovision 2017.
  • 22nd of March 2017: Ukraine refuse Julia access to their country.
  • 23rd of March 2017: EBU suggests Russia can participate via satelite. Both Russia and Ukraine turns it down.
  • 13th of April 2017: Russia withdraw from the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.
  • 15th of April 2017: Russia says Julia will represent them in 2018.
  • 1st of August 2017: Julia isn’t sure to be selected for 2018.
  • 29th of January 2018: Julia confirmed as Russia’s participant for Eurovision 2018.

We can only hope that things goes better for Julia this time, and that she will indeed get to represent her country at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. The song is expected to be presented within the next few weeks. At today’s Allocation draw, Russia was drawn into the first half of the second semi-final.

Categories: Eurovisionary

29
January
2018

January 29

RUSSIA – Julia Samoylova is officially confirmed by Channel One as the 2018 Russian representative for Lisbon. The national broadcaster explained that its was a promise they had to keep and they strongly support her bid for Lisbon. Julia is currently working on her Eurovision entry. She says she has two songs ready one for Space and one Fairytale and she will do whatever possible to change her stage image with which we got to know her in X-Factor.

GREECE – Tomorrow ERT will have the final meeting with the three participating record labels in the national final. The record labels are asked to submit financial guarantees through legal banking tenders in order to be valid for allowing their entrants participating in Lisbon’s Eurovision Song Contest. The national final is gearing up for February 16th and tomorrow we might get to know the date when the three songs will be released. The record labels will cover all expenses regarding the Greek participation in Lisbon.

CYPRUS – CyBC will make the official announcement on Eleni Foureira on Wednesday. In the meantime it was also decided that the stage presentation of Eleni will be instructed by Sacha Jean Baptiste from Sweden, known for the stage presentations of Georgia 2015, Cyprus, Armenia, Georgia in 2016, Georgia, Australia, Armenia, Bulgaria in 2017. The song of Alex Papaconstantinou is tipped to be titled “Fuego”.

CZECH REPUBLIC – Martina Bárta entered the auditions of German Idol (Deutschland Sucht Den Superstar). Martina, who lives anyway in Berlin, auditioned for the show in Cologne and qualified to the next round convincing the judges. Former Modern Talking star Dieter Bohlen (basically, Germany’s Simon Cowell) was commenting on her performance when Martina suddenly broke down in tears. Comforted by Carolin Niemczyk, singer of Glasperlenspiel, made Martina explaining what was wrong: it’s all about her bad relationship with her father, something which Martina revealed last summer exclusively on Oikotimes.com.

BELGIUM – Sennek will represent Belgium in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest! No it’s not a replacement of the current choice of the Belgian national television but a rename of Laura Groeseneken who decided that this will be her stage name: “For a long time I’m creating music under the stage name Sennek, which I chose because it sounds a tad mysterious. And the name also has a personal touch: it comes from my last name Groeseneken. I think it’s nice that I will now go to Lisbon under this name. Because I am so closely involved in all choices during this Eurovision participation, it was a logical choice to take this adventure with my own stage name.”

SWITZERLAND – SRF Zwei will have a special Eurovision weekend ahead of the national final. The weekend special will include:

  • Céline Dion Story – 30 years on from Céline Dion’s victory, Beni Thurnheer who commentated in 1988 and Stefan Büsser look back at Switzerland’s last winner
  • Conchita – Unstoppable – Follows Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst from her victory in 2014 through the year following her win in Denmark
  • Eurovision Song Contest – Die Doku – Documentary charting the history of the Eurovision Song Contest from 1956
  • Eurovision Song Contest 1988 – SRF has remastered the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, in which Céline Dion brought Switzerland their last victory in the competition

FRANCE – France Televisions must be proud as the national final reached 4th popular program on Saturday with 8,.9% of the share bringing almost 1,8 million viewers to France2. The show made a peak of 3.3 million viewers reaching 24.4% at least for one minute. The Voice of France of course topped the viewing rated with 30.7% TV share reaching 6.3 million viewers. But that was not the end of the story. Le Monde reports that Madame Monsieur had to challenge the accusations for having a political song in the national final saying that: “It’s just the story of a birth, a happy moment, in the midst of misfortune. We do not intend to teach a lesson. The Eurovision is for us the perfect scene to convey this story to the greatest number. It could do good, in a context so tense around migrants.”

Categories: Oiko Times

29
January
2018

2018 Eurovision Song Contest Semi-final Allocation Draw

2018 Eurovision Song Contest Semi-final Allocation Draw

Who will compete in which semi-final? That was settled today as the traditional allocation draw took place. Now that we know how many neighbours each will have with them in the semi-final, it is time to speculate on who will make it to the grand final.

Would Cyprus and Greece be in the same semi-final, and how would the Balkan and the Scandinavian countries be split? That was just some of the questions, that we found an answer to today.

Host country Portugal and the so-called Big 5 countries United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France and Italy are automatically qualified for the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. The remaining countries will need to go via a semi-final first. Whether we like it or not, chances of qualifying depends partly on who else is in that particular semi-final, and also who of the finalist countries will be voting in that semi-final.

Semi-final allocation draw

This is only the draw for which semi-final, and whether or not the country will be in first or second half of the semi-final. The actual running order will be decided by the producers, and approved by the EBU, after all songs have been submitted.

Host country Portugal and Big5 were also drawn into semi-finals in where they will vote, but not participate. These countries are therefore obligated to broadcast live that semi-final they are voting it.

Voting in first semi-final are: United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal.

Voting in second semi-final are: Italy (By special request), France and Germany.

Semi-final 1 – 1st halfSemi-final 1 – 2nd halfSemi-final 2 – 1st halfSemi-final 2 – 2nd half
BelarusSwitzerlandRussiaMontenegro
BulgariaFinlandSerbiaSweden
LithuaniaAustriaDenmarkHungary
AlbaniaIrelandRomaniaMalta
Czech RepublicArmeniaAustraliaLatvia
BelgiumCyprusNorwayGeorgia
IcelandCroatiaMoldovaPoland
AzerbaijanGreeceSan MarinoSlovenia
IsraelFYR MacedoniaThe NetherlandsUkraine
Estonia

The pots for the 2018 draw

As always, the semi-final countries were drawn from a set of pots, which is made partly based on voting pattern in the past. For the 2018 draw, the pots looked like this:

Pot 1Pot 2Pot 3Pot 4Pot 5Pot 6
AlbaniaDenmarkArmeniaBulgariaAustraliaBelgium
CroatiaFinlandAzerbaijanCyprusAustriaEstonia
FYR MacedoniaIcelandBelarusGreeceCzech RepublicLatvia
MontengroIrelandGeorgiaHungaryIsraelLithuania
SerbiaNorwayRussiaMoldovaMaltaThe Netherlands
SloveniaSwedenUkraineRomaniaSan MarinoPoland
Switzerland

Categories: Eurovisionary

29
January
2018

Romania 2018: Results and review of week two Selecția Națională 2018

Romania 2018: Results and review of week two Selecția Națională 2018

Tonight, Romania continued their search to find their representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. This week’s show includes past entrant MIHAI. He finished fourth in 2006 with Tornero. Will he return to Eurovision this year?

The final of the Selecția Națională 2018 for Romania will be held on February 25 in Sala Polivalentă in Bucharest. For now, heat two takes place in Teatrul Național in Timișoara. Three songs from this heat will advance to the final.

Contents

  • 1 The Hosts
  • 2 The Show
  • 3 The Songs
  • 4 The Judges
  • 5 The Results
  • 6 Romania In The Eurovision Song Contest

The Hosts

Our hosts for all six shows will be Diana Dumitrescu and Cezar Ouatu. Cezar, of course, represented Romania in 2013 with It’s My Life, which placed 13th in Malmo, Sweden.

The green room host was Doriana Talpeș.

The Show

Televiziunea Română (TVR) is the Romanian television company responsible for all six shows. Tonight’s show was opened by Ricardo Caria, who sang Portugal’s winning song from last Amar Pelos Dois.

Before each act there are postcards from Romania. It looks like an amazing place.

After all the songs had been performed there was a long showing of Romanian adverts. There then followed a long interval set of performances from Serbian singer Neda Ukraden, Romanian jazz artist, Lavinia Răducanu and jazz band Cargo.

After the results, Ricardo sang again.

The Songs

Pragu’ de Sus – Te voi chema

This is an upbeat pop song, of the type, usually used to open a Eurovision selection show. Sang in Romanian it has the feel of a song from the seventies. The four-piece band performed in front of a back wall filled with a lot of clocks. Nothing out of the ordinary but pleasant enough.

Miruna Diaconescu – Run for You

This an understated dance type song, similar to Natasha Bedingfield. The saxophone adds an extra layer to the song. Miruna performed while two shady dark characters danced around her. The song was a little too screechy towards the end.

MIHAI –  Heaven

Another epic from MIHAI co-written by serial Eurovision songwriter Michael James Down. This is a bit slower than previous entries, with a bit of an electro instrumentation after the choruses. MIHIA was all in white tonight, sporting a man bun. Towards the end of the end of the song, MIHAI sprouted two white angels wings.

Othello – Noi suntem pădure

A very old school type song opening with a violin. The six-piece ensemble consists of four men and two ladies. They were all dressed in traditional costumes and worked well together. The instruments made this song stand out from the others. Shades of Mocedades and Eres Tu.

Alessandro Dănescu – Breaking Up

Starting by singing at a saloon table, things don’t look good for Alessandro and his girl. Sure enough, they are over, so Alessandro consoles himself with his two male dancers. There are a lot of high notes in this song. Sadly Alessandro missed quite a few, Perhaps he was meaning to, as his girl felt sorry for him, and returned to him. All’s well that ends well.

Jessie Baneș – Lightning Strikes

Jessie looks extremely glamorous in her white gown. The song starts of as a bit of a non-event, not helped by the electric drum pounding away in the background. However at the chorus things come to life, and Jessie is joined by two enthusiastic dancers. Shame the song wasn’t just the choruses.

See alsoRomania 2018: Results and review of week one Selecția Națională 2018

Romeo Zaharia – Maybe This Time

Three dancers in white costumes and two backing singers helped Romeo through his song. It looked like one of the singers was dressed in a swimming costume. This is another song that sort of died in the seventies, but here’s Romeo trying to revive it. Nice enough but not a standout.

Rafael & Friends – We Are One

This is even too old fashioned to be old-fashioned. An anthem of sorts about all joining together, but there was little in the performance to encourage such behaviour. A big step backward should this go to Eurovision.

Serena – Safari

Jungle rhythms for Serena and her Safari. She was surrounded by four female dancers. She was accompanied by an un-named chanter mid-song. The tempo is a bit disappointing as there is a great dance mix available for this song. The performance here was actually a little flat.

Endless feat. Maria Grosu – Thinking About You

Maria is the highlight here. Endless starts of singing a little below key to a pulsing dance pace. When Maria comes in, the song comes to life. One for dancing around to, as Maria brings three backing dancers. Before long though, Endless is soon dancing around too.

Meriem –  End the Battle

A bit of a Turkish delight flavour here from Meriem. She was dressed in a long white dress accompanied by two female singers. Two male dancers pranced around to the sound of the guitar. Probably the most upbeat number of the evening.

Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago – Auzi cum bate

This is the most dramatic of all the entries tonight. The song had more impact with a pounding piano. Bella added to the drama, and the song was sung in Romanian. Bella did some aggressive stomping while standing at the same point of the stage in her long white dress.

The Judges

Liliana Ștefan who wrote the 1998 Romanian entry Eu cred by the late Mălina Olinescu.
Viorel Gavril a famous composer and conductor.
Ilinca Băcilă the Yodel It Romanian singer from last year.
Nicu Patoi who accompanied Mălina Olinescu on the guitar at the Eurovision 1998.
Marian Ionescu member of the band Direcția 5.

The Results

ilincaMarianLilianaNicuViorelTotalPosition
Pragu’ de Sus2524619 7
Miruna Diaconescu 66415 225
MIHAI 10451010 39 3
Othello7154 178
Alessandro Dănescu4371 1511
Jessie Baneș8873264
Romeo Zaharia11681610
Rafael & Friends 3121087 40 2
Serena 72332179
Endless feat. Maria Grosu 5862216
Meriem 012
Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago121012121258 1

Romania In The Eurovision Song Contest

As was mentioned last week, this year will be the 20th appearance for Romania at a Eurovision Song Contest final.

Since the introduction of the semi-finals, Romania has qualified to the final every year. Mihai Trăistariu, who represented the country in 2006 finished fourth. This continued an excellent result from the previous year when Romania had finished third.

However, despite reaching every final, after Paula Seling and Ovi in 2010, Romania had to wait until 2017 to get a top ten placing again. This they did with Yodel It by this year’s judge Ilinca, feat. Alex Florea.

Enjoy tonight’s winning song below.

Categories: Eurovisionary

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