Eurovisionary

Eurovisionary
11
December
2017

Australia: Jessica Mauboy to go to Lisbon

Australia: Jessica Mauboy to go to Lisbon

Australian’s broadcaster has made their choice for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 official. Jessica Mauboy will be waving the country’s flag in next year’s competition and will certainly have all eyes on her as Australia has never missed a spot within the show’s top 10.

It was announced last week that Australian’s broadcaster, SBS, would be announcing the 2018 representative today and here it is. Jessica Mauboy will be flying to Lisbon next May to attempt to bring Australia its first win ever.

In 2014, Jessica became for first non-European solo artist to perform as an interval act at Eurovision. She made her Eurovision debut in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Mauboy rose to fame in Australia in 2006 when she auditioned for Australian Idol. Despite becoming runner-up, she became one of the countries most successful female artists. As well as performing with some big names she has also performed for the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and former US President Barrack Obama during their visits to Australia.

This will be the fourth time Australia will perform at the Eurovision as part of an invitation but things may change as the reference group is in talks for the country to become permanent in the competition: “Australia has proved itself capable of sending good artists and achieving good results”, Jon Ola Sand said in an interview for ESCDaily. “With that being said, in the reference group’s next meeting, in January, we will discuss that matter (if Australia gets a fixed place in Eurovision).”

While Australia is far away from Europe, the country has followed the competition for longer than 30 years which motivated EBU to formally invite the country to take part in the competition.

Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest

Since their breakthrough in the competition, Australia’s worst result happened last year when Isaiah finished at number 9 with solely two points coming from the televote. The country is the only one in Eurovision that has never placed outside of the top 10.

In 2016, Australia reached their best ranking with Dami Im and her powerhouse ballad Sound of Silence that ended up being the runner up of the year, losing to Jamala’s 1944.

While we wait for more details on the Australian act and entry, take a look at Isaiah’s final performance in the Eurovision stage in Kyiv:

Categories: Eurovisionary

09
December
2017

Eurovision winner Salvador Sobral got a new heart

Eurovision winner Salvador Sobral got a new heart

Salvador at the Eurovision 2017 Winner's Press Conference

Salvador Sobral was finally submitted into surgical intervention to have his heart replaced. According to Portuguese media, the intervention went well and the singer is currently in the intensive care department recovering. A press conference took place this evening.

Good news for Salvador Sobral and for all Eurovision fans who surely wanted his fast recovery. The Portuguese singer has finally had his heart replaced and is currently recovering from the surgery.

The news were advanced by Notícias ao Minuto and rapidly spread to all the other means of social communication. According to the same sources, the surgical intervention took place in Lisbon last night, the 8th of December.

The hospital held a press conference this evening in order to confirm the good news. The doctors also revealed the surgery took four hours and that despite it being successful the recovery process will be long and undetermined.

Back in September, Salvador announced he’d put his music career on hold to deliver his body to science. Through ups and downs, the singer has remained always positive, and promised a fast recovery which now has all the conditions to happen.

Let’s all celebrate Salvador’s successful intervention by rewatching his touching performance of Amar Pelos Dois – this time in a Full Stage View:

Categories: Eurovisionary

09
December
2017

Czech Republic switch to National Selection for 2018 – who is taking part?

Czech Republic switch to National Selection for 2018 – who is taking part?

Martina Bárta representing Czech republic 2017

Only reaching the Eurovision final once, pressure will be high for the one who represents the country in Lisbon, Portugal in May. After three years with internal selections, Czech Television decided to try something new, and they will let the public decide who should represent them.

The national selection will not be televised, but it will be online based. Unlike San Marino’s selection process, Czech broadcaster allowed only songs with Czech singers to be submitted. At the end of the submission period in November, there were approximately 400 songs submitted. The internal team of music supervisors lead by Jan Maxián again, chose the best songs out of the submitted entries. Recently, the broadcaster revealed how the selection process continues.

Czech national selection 2018

Only six lucky ones will have the opportunity to fight for the ticket to Lisbon. Those six are already chosen and they are recording presentation videos for the online national final. On 8th January 2018, Česká Televize will publish the list of artists and also their videos on their website. This will be available worldwide, but only people from the Czech Republic will be able to vote using the official Eurovision app. This voting will last for two weeks, and at the end of January, the broadcaster will reveal the results.

But it won’t be completely up to the Czech audience. There will be also an international jury involved for the very first time in the Czech selection process. The jury will make up 50 % of the results, while the other half will belong to the online voters. In the case of a tie, it is the people’s choice who decides the winner. The logo and name for the national selection should be revealed in the following weeks. Czech delegation plans to keep the logo and name for the future when the selection process may advance to a televised national final.

Who is taking part?

As EuroVisionary informed sooner in November, some artists already confirmed their participation in the selection, but it is top secret, who are the six lucky ones. Jakub Ondra revealed in one of the interviews that he is one of those who passed to the next phase of the selection and Mikolas Josef shared his excitement on his Instagram account with a comment “shooting time”. The executive producer Jan Potměšil also added few shoots of Mikolas from the session. Is Mikolas another finalist then?

We still have to wait until the 8th January to find out if it is true. Still, the end of January will be the soonest date when the Czech Republic know their representative and also their song for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. Usually, it was the beginning of March when Czech television published more information and the song though in 2015, the duo Marta Jandová & Václav Noid Bárta were revealed at the end of the January. Their song was then released in March again.

The lucky representative next year will try to improve the score of the Czech Republic at Eurovision Song Contest. Last year, Martina Bárta finished 13th in the semifinal and failed to qualify for the Grand Final. Still, Gabriela Gunčíková is the only Czech representative to make it through.

In the video below you can enjoy their 2017 entry in a special Multicam edition.

Categories: Eurovisionary

08
December
2017

Slovenia: Participants for EMA 2018 revealed – ManuElla and Tanja Ribič are back

Slovenia: Participants for EMA 2018 revealed – ManuElla and Tanja Ribič are back

ManuElla representing Slovenia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016

RTVSLO, Slovenia’s national broadcaster, revealed today the 16 participants, who will take part in EMA 2018, the country’s national final. The line-up brings to former Eurovision participants in for a chance of a comeback.

The artist, who will compete to represent Slovenia in Lisbon were revealed today. Two of the contestants have represented Slovenia before at the Eurovision Song Contest: Tanja Ribič with Zbudi se in 1997, when she finished 10th, and ManuElla with Red and Blue in 2016, when she didn’t manage to qualify for the big final.

Furthermore there is a bunch of names, who participated in EMA before, such as BQL, Nika Zorjan, Ina Shai, Lea Sirk, KiNG FOO and Nuška Drašček.

EMA 2018 participants

Anabel – Pozitiva
BQL – Ptica
Gregor Ravnik – Zdaj je čas
Ina Shai – V nebo
Indigo – V nebo
KiNG FOO – Žive sanje
Lara Kadis – Zdaj sem tu
Lea Sirk – Cirque
ManuElla – Dan potem
Marina Martensson – Blizu
MILA – Svoboda
Nika Zorjan – Uspavanka
Nuška Drašček – Ne zapusti me zdaj
Orter – Tisoč let
Proper – Ukraden cvet
Tanja Ribič – Ljudje

The songs for EMA 2018 have been chosen by a jury, consisting of Maja Keuc, who represented Slovenia at 2011 Eurovision, Eva Hren, musician and the professor of guitar, Jernej Vene, music editor at “Radio Val 202” and Tadej Košir, guitarist and composer.

All the 16 contestants are going to participate in the semi-final show in February next year. Here 8 artists will qualify for the final – 4 finalists will be chosen by televote and 4 finalists will be chosen by the jury.

Last night RTVSLO also announced some more details about the voting procedure in EMA 2018. The winner in the final show will be chosen by televote and 6 juries. It will be a 50/50 televote and jury vote split. Unlike the last year, where the juries were geographically defined, this year the 6 juries are representing the following groups:

(1) singers

(2) composers

(3) the radio industry

(4) the television industry

(5) OGAE Slovenia

(6) the international panel

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:

Categories: Eurovisionary

06
December
2017

The dark history behind Portugal’s 2018 Eurovision stage design

The dark history behind Portugal’s 2018 Eurovision stage design

"Slavers Revenging their Losses," shows a coffle of men, women, and children".(J. E. Chambliss, "The Life and Labors of David Livingstone" Philadelphia, 1875)

Is there a sinister story behind the Portuguese stage design?  Portugal wants to celebrate their history of one of the earliest world nautical super powers. But, there is another side to their history…

This year Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in history. Salvador Sorbal’s victory in Kyiv ended the longest winless run by a country in the Eurovision history – a staggering 53 years. His song Amar pelos dois which was written and composed by his sister Luisa, was highly praised for its simplistic charm and allowed Portugal the honour to host the event in 2018.

Last month the Portuguese broadcaster announced that next year’s contest will be nautical themed with the slogan All Aboard! and earlier this week we were given a sneak peak of the stage design.  Stage designer Florian Weider described how the stage was designed to look like the hull of a ship. He explained that this was “mainly due to the Portuguese sailor men, who traveled the seas with courage and outstanding skills of navigation.” He added that “The rich history of the Portuguese as a maritime nation reflects, without any boundaries, all of the values that make the Eurovision Song Contest unique today. Portugal and especially Lisbon are historic melting pots enriched by the impressions of newly discovered cultures that were brought back to the home port.”

Portugal’s black history

However there were a few eyebrows raised when the announcement was made this week. As there is a somewhat more sinister history behind the Portuguese stage design.

In the 15th century, Portugal had one of the largest empires in the world including the first colonial empire. They were pioneers of the sea, using and developing the best navigational and cartography tools. Which fits in well with the four inspiration points behind the stage design: Navigation; Sea; Ships & Maps.

But during this they were also pioneers of the transatlantic slave trade, where it has been documented that Portuguese sailors began to kidnap people from the west coast of Africa taking those that they enslaved back to Europe by ship. Later, instead of kidnapping, the Portuguese traded guns and ammunition for slaves.

Lisbon, next year’s host city, was the major port involved in the Portuguese slave trade. From here, ships went to West Africa and took enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the Portugese-owned colony of Brazil. It is estimated that by the early 16th century as much as 10% of Lisbon’s population was of African descent. Of course, Portugal were not the only country to engage in the slave trade. They were subsequently followed by fellow European countries including the British, French, Spanish and Dutch empires.

Historians still debate exactly how many Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic during the next four centuries. A comprehensive database compiled in the late 1990s puts the figure at just over 11 million people. Portugal abolished slavery fully in 1896.

See alsoLisbon reveals their stage design for 2018

Similar controversies in themes

Portugal are not the first country to have a controversial theme. Last year, Ukraine used the slogan Celebrate Diversity as their theme when they hosted the competition for the second time. Usually such an empowering slogan would be welcomed with open arms. However, it seemed to many extremely contradictory when the country had such an unwelcomed attitude towards LGBT and ethnic minorities.

One could argue that there is no correlation because Portugal abolished slavery over 100 years ago and have become a well respected country and considered one of the most peaceful in the world, but we shouldn’t forget the past.

Categories: Eurovisionary

06
December
2017

Latvia announces finalists for Supernova 2018

Latvia announces finalists for Supernova 2018

Today, the Latvian broadcaster, LTV, announced the acts, who will perform in the Supernova 2018 final, with the hopes of representing their country, this year in Lisbon, Portugal.

Supernova has been the selection show from Latvia, since 2015. A string of poor results were reversed in 2015, after the introduction of the show, when Aminata took the song Love Injected into the top 10. The following year, she composed the song Heartbeat, for the singer Justs, which also gave Latvia, a place in the final.

However , last years Latvian choice, Triana Park, placed last in their semi final with the song, Line. It remains to be seen, whether Supernova, can produce a successful entry, without the help of Aminata. This year she has written Ed Rallidae’s song.

Below is the list of the 2018 hopefuls. Markus Riva is the best known name, as he returns again, this year, with the song This Time.

Agnese Stengrevics – You Are My World
DVINES – More Than Meets the Eye
Ed Rallidae – What I Had with You
Edgars Kreilis – Younger Days
Hypnotic – Pray
In My Head – Sunset
Jenny May – Soledad (Loneliness)
Katrīna Gupalo and The Black Birds – Intoxicating Caramel
Katrine Lukins – Running Red Lights
Kris & Oz – Morning Flight
Laura Rizzotto – Funny Girl
Lauris Valter- Esamība
Liene Greifāne – Walk the Talk
MADARA – Esamība (Existence)
Markus Riva – This Time
MIONIA – You
Monta – 1000 Roses
Rahu the Fool – Oh Longriver
Riga Reggae – Stop the War U2
Ritvars – Who’s Counting?
Sudden Lights – Just Fine

The Supernova final will be held in February 2018. You can enjoy Markus’s lyric video below, and judge if this will finally be his year.

Categories: Eurovisionary

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