Eurovisionary

Eurovisionary
23
June
2017

Samra brings sexy back in Badminton

Samra brings sexy back in Badminton

Samra during her "Badminton" video

2016 Eurovision participant Samra has just released a new single titled “Badminton”. Along with the song, the Azerbaijani representative premiered the respective music video unleashing all of her sensuality influenced by pop artists such as Ariana Grande or Nicki Minaj.

We all were introduced to Samra due to her Eurovision entry Miracle – an anthem for all the broken-hearted ones – but times have change and she finally made justice to her 2016 entry lyrics… Just in a more personal way as she surely said goodbye to her innocent girly image. “This time, I’m letting you go”, she sang.

Well, she did and her mother approved. In fact, despite of how sexy and sassy the video is, Samra revealed in a press release that her mother was the one “working on the images”. The video contains no storyline, instead it features multiple sets that resemble to Nicki Minaj’s 2014 video for Anaconda or Ariana Grande’s current looks while making obvious visual references to the sport badminton.

While the video and the song have just been released, Samrra admits it has been hanging around for a while: “The song appeared in my repertoire more than six months ago…”, she tells, admitting that this time around she is not focused in quantity but in quality: “I am satisfied with the work done and I am grateful to the whole team working on the project.”

The pretty pop once heard in Miracle has now been replaced by a more mature electropop. The pretty girl image promoted during Eurovision ’16 has also been substituted for the bad girl image represented in the song and respective video. If you’re having a hard time imagining such scenario, go ahead and check it out:

Categories: Eurovisionary

22
June
2017

A temporary conquest – Portugal’s victory put in perspective

A temporary conquest – Portugal’s victory put in perspective

Salvador and Luísa Sobral at the Eurovision 2017 Winner's Press Conference

In Portuguese, there’s a saying that goes like this: “Quem espera, sempre alcança”. Something like “who waits long enough will eventually get there”. Isn’t it just appropriate? After 49 attempts, Portugal did it and was finally crowned as the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest and no one was truly expecting it.

Everyone was hoping for it – making justice to what the green in our flag represents – but never really thought it’d happen.

Well, it did and the nationalism feeling took over the nation. In fact, Salvador Sobral’s win coincided with one of the biggest events of the country – Benfica’s victory party (the biggest football team in Portugal) – and even the festivities stopped to pay homage to Amar Pelos Dois. Now, that’s having an impact!

The day after the victory, Lisbon was filled with billboards congratulating Salvador and Luísa, the airport was invaded by thousands of people welcoming back the winners, every magazine would be covered by Salvador Sobral and every news channel would make the impossible to, at least, say the smallest thing about him. Let’s not talk about how every social media feed was flooded with him! But don’t let yourself be fooled by this Salvador phenomena.

Prior to this year, the last time portuguese people paid attention to Eurovision takes us all back to Vânia Fernandes’ Senhora Do Mar in 2008 – when there was a significant feeling of hope that it’d be our year. Following that, only Suzy managed to be newsworthy for the worst reasons. While most Eurovision fans enjoyed Quero Ser Tua, in Portugal, it only contributed for a greater disdain of the competition reinforcing the idea that the contest was filled with “fast-food music”, using Salvador Sobral’s own words. That’s exactly why I am advising you not to be fooled by all this event surrounding the victory. Not only the attention is more towards Salvador than the contest itself, but it will be ephemeral… Until the end of the next edition of the contest to be more precise.

In reality, Eurovision is no longer what it used to be in Portugal. The older generation (the main age group that watches the show) often remembers the times when the entire country would stop to see the competition. Nowadays, an average of 650,000 people – if RTP is lucky – will turn on to watch the final. On top of that, back then an artist would have a long lasting career after participating in Eurovision. Nowadays, they’ll be lucky to even be on the news after winning Festival da Canção. I’d dare to say that the youngest Portuguese generation had never heard of Eurovision up until this year – hopefully that’s a good sign for the future.

But that’s how everything goes. Everything has a peak, a stable period and a downfall to then rebound. Eurovision in Portugal has just rebounded but the downfall could’ve been avoided or at least could’ve been less deep. Older Eurovision acts agree and have no doubts when they say “Portugal (meaning RTP) never wanted to win”. Nucha (1990) and Carlos Mendes (1972) have both stated that.

“I remember vividly how every country was throwing parties and had billboards of their acts all over the city”, Nucha recalled a few years ago. “We – Portugal – were just there to see and eat. We weren’t there to win because it would cost too much to RTP.” Curiously enough, Carlos Mendes recalled something similar after Salvador’s victory: “In 1972, we didn’t win because RTP didn’t want to. I was called out for promoting my song way too much and was advised that if I won, it would be a major issue for the country due to the lack of conditions”.

This brings us back to the first paragraph of this article: “Portugal (…) was finally crowned as the winner (…) and no one was truly expecting it.” Not even RTP. In fact, after the very first meeting surrounding the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, the possible price breakdown of approximately 50 million euros was all over the news and the main concern was on how to produce a low cost event.

See alsoPhotos: At the Winner's Press Conference: Salvador Sobral with his trophy – and his sister

Either way, this can only mean a better future for Eurovision’s reputation in the country. This victory was more than taking to the trophy home. This made everyone realize that the contest is not only about politics or about the biggest countries. It also isn’t just about pop music or what’s festive. It’s about delivering a good message, a good song, a good feeling and spreading love.

See you in Portugal next year!

Categories: Eurovisionary

22
June
2017

France announces open auditions for Eurovision 2018

France announces open auditions for Eurovision 2018

After two years with internal selections by France 2 for the Eurovision Song Contest, the French broadcaster, in collaboration with ITV Studios France is launching an open casting to select their next representative.

After Amir and Alma, in 2016 and 2017 respectively, France has decided to give the public the choice of who will be selected to represent France at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon.

Not a lot of details have been revealed yet, but the French broadcaster announced an exclusive singing contest open to all. The contest will be produced by ITV Studios France, which is known to produce shows such as The Voice.

The contest is open to song writers, composers and singers.

Some of the rules listed on the application website:

  • The song must be unreleased as of September 1st, 2017
  • No commercial lyrics. It cannot have been published on social media either, however it can be an already registered song with SACEM (The Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music).
  • A maximum of 6 singers (lead or backing vocals)
  • There can only be 4 song-writers/composers
  • The song must be at least 70% with French lyrics
  • The song-writers/composers will need to register or already be registered with SACEM.

A note also mentions that since the song will need to be performed live, the arrangements of the song must keep that aspect in mind.

Keep following EuroVisionary as we’ll reveal more of the details as they become known.

For more info and register follow the link to the French page about it.

And check out the promo for the selection below:

Categories: Eurovisionary

21
June
2017

Eurovision seen through the eyes of children

Eurovision seen through the eyes of children

Måns Zelmerlöw and a children's choir doing the opening act of the First Semi-final in 2016.

Is Eurovision the same through the eyes of young fans? Europe’s favourite song contest enjoys great popularity among a wide demographic but you don’t often hear what its younger fans think. We thought we would ask schoolchildren themselves for a first-hand opinion.

What is Eurovision? Eurovision is a contest that was first made to unite Europe again from war through the power of music. It involves singers from different countries – some with beautiful and powerful ballads, some with energetic pop songs, and others give you the ‘what was that?’ feeling. But is it the same through the eyes of a child? What goes on in their heads when they watch Eurovision? We have interviewed some children from schools in Longford, Ireland, asking them some questions about what they think about the contest.

What do you think about the Eurovision Song Contest?

Emily Bonsu (eleven years old): ‘Well, it is a little strange. It is awesome to watch because it’s fun, but some acts are awkward, but, mostly, the fun kind of awkward. And the costumes! Sometimes the costumes are a bit over the top. But, overall, it’s a really good show.’

Austeja Marcinonyte (twelve years old): ‘It’s so cool! I love watching it. And the songs are so awesome. I think it’s amazing!’

What song is your favourite from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?

Oliwia Sierotnik (thirteen years old): I loved Hungary this year. It’s so catchy, and I love the Hungarian language – and I love the country. I loved the chorus.’

Emily Bonsu (eleven years old): At first, I really liked France’s song, but, after time, Bulgaria became my favourite. Bulgaria is such a good song, I am glad it came second. Well deserved.’

Kitija Vucena (fifteen years old):I have a bunch of favourites. Italy, for example. Oh, he looks like such a fun guy to be with. It looks as if you’d never be bored having him by your side. The song is awesome, I love to sing in Italian. Bulgaria is really good, and he’s so young. He has an amazing voice being only seventeen years old. I love the guy from Montenegro – Slavko Kalezic – he is such a diva. Too bad he didn’t qualify. The song was so fun and exciting on stage – well done, Montenegro.”

Austeja Marcinonyte (twelve years old): ‘I love Bulgaria – it’s so good – it’s slow, yet has an awesome beat. Bulgaria could have easily won.’

Do you like this year’s winner?

Emily Bonsu (eleven years old): Yes, I do. It wasn’t the country I was voting for, but I guess it wasn’t too bad. And the song is nice. Well done, Portugal.’

Oliwia Sierotnik (thirteen years old):‘Well … I guess someone else could have won. Portugal’s song is a very slow ballad, and I don’t really go for those songs … but it’s nice. I’m happy for Portugal.’

Kitija Vucena (fifteen years old):‘It is a very moving song with a moving message, but I think a more energetic song would be more ideal for Eurovision. I’d like to see what Portugal puts up next year.’

What would you change if you could?

Kitija Vucena (fifteen years old): I would like to change the new voting system, and get the old one back. I love the eight, ten and twelve points, I prefer it than giving a big amount of points all at once to each country, because, if we use the new voting system, then anyone can win.’

Emily Bonsu (eleven years old): ‘I would make it less political. For example, why does Albania always have to give their twelve points to Italy? I know it’s to do with neighbouring countries, but I would make it so that everybody would vote for the countries they actually like.’

Why does Ireland keep getting it wrong at Eurovision?

Emily Bonsu (eleven years old):‘Well, I wouldn’t say they get it all wrong. Some songs are good, and they’re not completely terrible. This year’s entry wasn’t my cup of tea – but it wasn’t too bad either. But it didn’t qualify anyways, so that doesn’t matter. Well, Ireland hasn’t won Eurovision since twenty years or so, but I guess it’s because they don’t pick the right people. I think a pop song could make Ireland win the contest again. Something that sounds like the songs that hit the top charts nowadays. Something that sounds like Justin Bieber’s songs. So, if they enter such a song at Eurovision in 2018, I am sure they will get their eighth victory.’

Oliwia Sierotnik (thirteen years old): Maybe they’re tired of winning? I mean, they won seven times, right? Or maybe they don’t know where they would host it if the show took place in Ireland? I don’t know, honestly. I guess a strong pop song would do it. Maybe like Bulgaria’s entry this year. Or maybe Hungary’s. A song like that will do!’

Alanna Foley (twelve years old): Ireland does very badly at Eurovision, and I almost never really like the song they send to Eurovision, but I did like Jedward’s entries. But why does Ireland never win Eurovision anymore? I guess Ireland doesn’t want to win? Or maybe they want to let someone else win? Or maybe they’re focusing on something else? Well, I think, if Jedward represented Ireland again, I think they could win.’

What is your favourite Eurovision winner?

Kitija Vucena (fifteen years old): ‘Definitely Mans Zelmerlow, who represented Sweden in 2015. He is so handsome and talented. And I love the song. “Heroes” is such an amazing song with an amazing message.’

Emily Bonsu (eleven years old): ‘I love the winner in 2004 – Ruslana with her song Wild Dances – it’s so fun to sing.’

Alanna Foley (twelve years old): I don’t really have a favourite – each winner is really good. But I have many favourite entries that unfortunately did not win. Like. for example, I like Dum Tek Tek (Turkey 2009), and, of course, I love Jedward.’

Thank you for reading this article! Do you agree with what these students are saying about Eurovision? Leave your comments down below!

Categories: Eurovisionary

20
June
2017

Helena Paparizou and Tamta goes Sanremo on new duet

Helena Paparizou and Tamta goes Sanremo on new duet

Helena Paparizou and Tamta in a collaboration. That is a dream coming true for many Greek fans, and now it happens. On Helena’s new album is a duet of an Italian Sanremo entry. The Greek cover is called Tora I Pote (Now or Never).

Helena Paparizou is the only winner for Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest, while Tamta is a very popular artist that almost every year is speculated as a candidate to represent the country. In 2007, she participated in the Greek national final and in 2015 she missed the deadline to submit an entry, Unloved, which she then released a few days later.

The two popular ladies are joining forces for the first time in a duet which will be released in the next few days on Helena’s new digital album. The song is a cover of Dolcenera’s entry in Sanremo 2016, Ora O Mai Piu. Stavros Stavrou wrote the Greek lyrics to the Greek version Tora I Pote. The album is expected to be released in the following days.

While waiting for the Greek version, you can watch Dolcenera’s Ora O Mai Piu in the video below:

Categories: Eurovisionary

19
June
2017

Belgium 2018: Broadcaster searching for Eurovision artist – who is up for it?

Belgium 2018: Broadcaster searching for Eurovision artist – who is up for it?

Several well known names have already expressed an interest in representing Belgium at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. We take a closer look at some of those who might be in the spotlight when broadcaster VRT now goes for an internal selection.

Since 2010 Belgium has achieved impressive results at the Eurovision Song Contest. In the past three years the country managed to proceed to the Grand final, with Loïc Nottet in 2015 (4th), Laura Tesoro in 2016 (10th) and Blanche this year (4th). Furthermore Roberto Bellarosa earned 12th position in 2013 and Tom Dice a 6th place in 2010.

Four of these entries were chosen internally by the broadcaster for the French speaking part of the country, RTBF. Maybe that’s why VRT, the Flemish broadcaster, has revealed they will go for an internal selection for a suitable artist and song for 2018.

Several Flemish artists have already shown their interest in participating for Belgium. Let’s take a closer look at these candidates.

1. Natalia

Natalia Druyts (36) immediately said that she would be interested in defending the Belgian flag, but only if she would be chosen internally and with a proper song. Natalia is one of the most successful singers in the Flemish part of Belgium. She came second in Idols 2003 and already participated in the Belgian selection for Eurovision in 2004 where she came second with the song Higher Than The Sun.

She also sang duets with international stars like Anastacia.

2. Kate Ryan

Kate Ryan (36) is not an unfamiliar name in Eurovision, since she already defended Belgium in 2006 with Je t’adore. Despite being a hot favourite to do well in the competition, she stranded in the semi-final with a 12th position.

Over the years, she has several times said that she said she would be interested in participating in Eurovision again.

Kate sang a duet with Swedish Eurovision winner Charlotte Perrelli, Little Braveheart, for her album Electroshock back in 2012.

3. Belle Perez

Belle Perez (41) has also showed interest in representing Belgium in 2018. She’s born in Belgium, but has Spanish nationality, since both her parents are Spanish.
She is best known for her passionate Latino singing style and enjoys big success in Flanders, The Netherlands and Germany.

Belle participated in the Flemish national selection two times. In 1999 she stranded in the semi finals with the song Hello World, and in 2006 she achieved a 3rd place with the song El Mundo Bailando, sung in Spanish.

4. Isabelle A

Isabelle A (42) had some great hits in Flanders in the nineties as a teen idol. Back in 1999, the Belgian broadcaster asked her to participate in Eurosong 99 with her band Natural High. They managed to reach the national final with the song Finally, but ended up second last that night.

Today she also has stated an interest in an internal Eurosong procedure.

5. Ozark Henry

Ozark Henry (47) has no Eurovision connection yet, but has stated that he would be interested if chosen internally for it. His music style is alternative, avant-garde, pop & rock.

He is best known for his songs Rescue and Sweet Instigator.

6. De Romeo’s

De Romeo’s consists of 3 male singers: Chris Van Tongelen (49), Davy Gilles (41) and Gunther Levi (41).

They have already mentioned their interest in representing Belgium at the Eurovision earlier this year. Back in April they stated: “We are very interested in participating and taking this project seriously. The only condition is that we don’t want to compete in a selection. If we are chosen internally, we will produce several songs, from which the public can choose our entry.”

Besides these artists, some others have also shown their interest in representing Belgium in 2018, such as Tom Helsen (40) and Gene Thomas (44).

Above-mentioned names are all established values and have achieved many hits in Belgium and beyond. However, it could very well be that the VRT will be going to the other side, and choose a beginning artist.

Belgium’s latest successful Eurovision artists Tom Dice, Roberto Bellarosa, Loïc Nottet, Laura Tesoro and Blanche were all 20 years old, or younger, when they sang at the Eurovision Song Contest. Furthermore, all of them have participated in a “The Voice” or “X-factor” edition in Belgium. Therefore, it could well be that this tradition will be continued.

Tell us your opinion, what is your preference? One thing is certain: Belgium is definitely trying hard to maintain its success at Eurovision.

In Belgium, Flemish broadcaster VRT and Walloon broadcaster RTBF take turns at competing in Eurovision. This year’s Blanche represented RTBF, so in 2018 it’s VRT’s turn.

In the video below you can check out Blanche at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest – here in a special Full Stage View in 4K:

Categories: Eurovisionary

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