Eurovisionary

Eurovisionary
19
February
2019

Understand the Greenlandic that might reach the Eurovision stage for the first time

Understand the Greenlandic that might reach the Eurovision stage for the first time

Julie & Nina

Greenlandic, Danish, English, Spanish, German and French. Those are the various languages you will hear in this year’s Danish final. For Greenlandic, it could be first time it will be sung on the Eurovision stage. 

The list of languages used at the Eurovison stage is long, and it’s hard to imagine that we can still add new ones to it. Julie & Nina are currently second in the odds to win the Danish Melodi Grand Prix final. If League Of Light do make it to the Eurovision Song Contest, it will be the first time we’ll hear Greenlandic in the contest.

Greenland is a part of the Danish Kingdom, just like the Faroe Islands. In the Danish final in 1979, Rasmus Lyberth sang Faders Bøn in Greenlandic. That’s the only time, this language has been featured in Melodi Grand Prix – until this year.

Nina Kreutzmann Jørgensen is Greenlandic (With a mother who is half Danish) while Julie Bertelsen is half Greenlandic and half Danish so for both of them, it is natural to include Greenlandic in their song at this year’s Danish final.

Greenlandic and Danish far from each other

Danish is official language on Greenland, just like Greenlandic, and it is widely understood on Greenland, mainly in the cities. Outside the cities however, you can’t count on everyone to understand your Danish, just like the Danes usually can’t understand Greenlandic. The two languages are simply too far apart.

In Greenlandic they use the latin alphabet too, but only with 19 letters whereas Danish has 28. Greenlandic however is a polysynthetic language where several words are put together. An example of this, from the lyrics of League Of Light, is the Greenlandic word ‘Nunagisarput’. In Danish it is ‘Vort land, hvor vi kommer fra’ and in English it would be ‘Our country, where we come from’.

GreenlandicDanishEnglish
UummatittaVores hjerterOur hearts
PuigunngilaaGlemmer aldrigNever forget
NunagisarputVort land hvor vi kommer fraOur country where we come from
ToqqortarivaaDet gemmer på det heleIt contains it all
SiunnissamutSå vi kan møde fremtidenSo we can meet the future
AmmasumutMed åbne arme, med åbent sindWith open arms, with open mind

In the video below, you can listen to Julie & Nina’s League Of Light – which might make it to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest:

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18
February
2019

Romania 2019 – when the jury system does not work

Romania 2019 – when the jury system does not work

Many fans are upset with the result in Romania

Romania’s national final left many fans deeply frustrated. They turned their anger towards an unfair jury system – and in particular towards two specific jury members. The fans are right. The system in Romania isn’t fair.

Let it be said right away, it happens regularly that jury votes overrule the public vote, also at the Eurovision Song Contest. But the jury system is in place to make sure that an unbiased and qualified jury will judge more fairly and make up for televoters voting for something else than the best song. When the jury members are not unbiased and not in any way more qualified than the average TV viewer, we have a problem. When they decide so much that there is no reason for people to vote, we have another problem. All of it seems to apply to the Romania national final, unfortunately.

Ester Peony clearly won the jury voting. The televoters placed her 8th. Bella Santiago was second with the juries and third with the televoters, while Laura Bretan won the hearts of the public and came third with the juries. In most other countries – and in Eurovision – this would give the victory to Bella or Laura as combined, they would archive more points than Ester. But not in Romania, where the jury system simply isn’t working.

  • The most common combination of jury and televoting is 50/50. In Romania it’s 86% jury and 14% televoting. There is basically no real reason to even ask the population to vote as they have no real influence anyway.
  • Two of the six jury members came from one particular Eurovision website. That gives that website 28.6% power, whereas the population of Romania still only had 14%.
  • Those two jury members had beforehand reviewed all the songs – on a widely seen video. This raises two questions: 1. What was it in Ester’s performance which made this their top favourite after not really liking it in the video review, where one of them pretended to fall asleep to it? And 2. How can you even use jury members who have expressed their opinions about the songs?
  • If you really want to let foreigners decide your entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, don’t use fans. Let’s just be honest, many of them will have an interest in your song not doing well as it will increase the chances of their own entry.

Last night and today, a lot of upset fans turned their anger towards the two jury members who changed their opinion. It is possible that they were simply blown away by what they saw as a fantastic live performance from Ester Peony. In the same way, they might have thought that the songs they beforehand preferred, simply didn’t deliver on the night. It can happen – and it might have happened last night. Other scenarios are possible too yes, but without prove of any of that, we need to face them with benefit of the doubt.

The one to blame, first of all, is the Romanian broadcaster. They delivered a system, which simply isn’t fair. I prefer national finals to internal selections because I believe that the song representing a country should be picked by its population. This shouldn’t be taken to mean 100% televoting as it’s perfectly fine to include a jury, but I am confident that one can find an unbiased jury in Romania. Once you have that settled, then make it fair. 14% televoting and 86% jury is simply not that. Why Romanian’s even bothered to vote, I don’t know.

Romania, your system simply didn’t work and we can only hope, you will improve it for next year’s selection. For Ester, we hope that this fuss will settle and that the Romanian population will get behind her as their representative for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. She’s human like you and me, and she needs to feel her country backs her up in order for her to do her best in Tel Aviv. At the moment, it doesn’t feel like Romanians see her as their representative.

How much influence should a jury have in a national selection? Vote in the poll below, to let us know which selection method would be your preferred one.

Which system do you prefer for a national selection?

This reflection article is based on the author's ownpersonal experience. Views expressed belongs to him or her, and are to be seen as unrelated to EuroVisionary.com.

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17
February
2019

Ester Peony has won Selecția Națională and will represent Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019

Ester Peony has won Selecția Națională and will represent Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019

Ester Peony

Tonight, after last night’s Eurovision marathon, it was Romania’s evening to choose their representative for this years Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in May in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Twelve acts presented their songs in the Sala Polivalentă in the countries capital, Bucharest with Ester Peony and On A Sunday eventually being chosen as the winner. Romania will perform in the first half of the second semi final on May 16th.

Contents

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

The Hosts

In a black suit and tie, singer and presenter Aurelian Temişan hosted along with television host Ilinca Avram, in an expensive looking purple dress.

The Jury

The jury was made up of  Emmelie de Forest, Danish winner of Eurovision 2013, Tali Eshkoli, Deban Aderemi, William Lee Adams, Serban Cazan and Alex Calancea. If you don’t like the winner then you know who to blame.

The Show

Netta opened the show with a performance of last years winning song Toy before a whole load of unnecessary nattering took place in the Green Room. Eventually the show got on its way and it has to be said, no time was wasted between all the songs, so congratulations to the stage crew on a job well done.

The interval act, while we awaited the voting was Albanian singer, Inis Nerizi. She passionately performed Piedestal and It’s A Man’s World while the audience waited with baited breath on the results.

Next up was the pride of Denmark, still trying to find a  successful follow up to her Eurovision winner, judge Emmelie De Forest. Tonight she gave us her latest song Sanctuary, which she sang while playing along to her guitar. Of course we were also treated to Only Teardrops.

Netta then returned to add some life to the show with her latest classic Bassa Sababa, which took a little while to get started due to some technical hitch. Still she got there in the end.

The Songs

Linda TeodosiuRenegades

A beautiful piano introduction opened tonight’s first song, with Linda in a white crop top and pants. This was a great opening to the show. A very anthemic song, Linda owned the stage by herself, with two female singers standing way in the back, helping in the chorus. Excellent.

Olivier KayeRight Now

Wasting no time, on to song two, three backing singers all in black were oohing away before Olivier appeared in jacket and pink shirt. This is an uptempo pop song, again benefitting from the excellent backing singers. Two ladies danced around the stage. A strong performance but not enough of a stand out song to win, probably.

Laura BretanDear Father

A huge cheer greeted Laura and her very strong voice. Laura wore a long white dress with smoke billowing around her. The first verse passed uneventfully before she bursts into her operatics, obviously learned from Cezar. The strings and especially the violin and guitar add to the music and just when you think it can’t get any better, a huge choir comes in to take the song to its completion. Must be in with a good chance.

Teodora Dinu Skyscraper

Teodora was all in black tonight and using the smoke remaining from Laura’s performance. Unfortunately the vocals were a little shaky in places. Four backing singers helped Teodora along with this stomping type of song, with quite verses but a pounding chorus. Maybe not quite so good as the previous three songs.

Claudiu MireaWe Are the Ones

Claudiu is the first act tonight playing an instrument – the guitar being his piece if choice. In a black vest-waistcoat, Claudiu led four backing singers, also all dressed in black. The stage changed colours a lot, with the song changing from acoustic to an electronic keyboard backing. A jolly old song but not a stand out either.

Aldo BlagaYour Journey

From one male singer with an upbeat song to another, this time with an inspirational power ballad. Two waltzers accompanied Aldo on stage as he emoted about how much you can face anything – even the Romanian final 2019. What a pick me up. Aldo had a dark purple suit on that fitted the nature of the song, but it was still a little plodding.

See alsoVictor Crone will represent Estonia at The Eurovision Song Contest with the song Storm

Ester PeonyOn a Sunday

After a prolonged break, a fire image on the stage introduced Ester. An acoustic guitar opened the song, before we see Ester in her long flowing red dress seated on a comfy old fashioned chair. Two drummers stood to Ester’s left while two black dressed females added extra backing vocals. This is another one that’s fine when on but forgotten by the end. The jury loved it though. They might even cause it to win.

Letiția Moisescu and Sensibil BalkanDaina

So saxophone-keyboard starts the song, as a standard ballad. More instruments come in, a drum, coronet, saxaphone and the group sway in a sea sick type of motion, But then the song kicks in and you’re at a feel good party. Sadly the tune change back to standard fare again, but after some thought the party rhythm starts again, and you hope the Sensibil’s are heading to Tel Aviv.

Bella SantiagoArmy of Love

Tribal rhythms tonight for Bella with war paint over her eyes. Four jungle men accompany Bella on the stage. Of course this is a drum led dance song, an early favourite of the Eurovision fan-dom, but will it be enough tonight. Bella raps mid song and then its dance away till the song reaches its end. Fuego. The audience are chanting Bella’s name at the end. If this doesn’t win, will there be a riot?

TrooperDestin

This is the only real band in the show tonight, if you discount the Sensibil’s. This is the type of song you raise a beer glass to in the pub. The guitar pounds all the way through the song, with the drums competing for who can be the loudest. A rousing memorable chorus could well work in its favour.

Dya and Lucian Colareza Without You (Sin ti)

Classy pan pipes open this heart felt ballad. Unfortunately it is spoiled by the old two dancers in the background trick. Dya is determined to out sing Lucian and the song. However as a love ballad this is as good as it gets. Lucian has just the right voice for this type of thing and with the pipes closing out the song, leaves a lasting impression.

VaidaUnderground

The last song on is a trip back to the yonder days of Eurovision, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Vaida’s dress maker ran out of material, but made as much of her powder blue dress that she could manage. A simple old fashioned but pretty melody to end the competition.  Four dancers had the last waltz and one backing singer sang along in the background. All that’s left is to see if our jury and the Romanian public can find a winner.

The Results

The winner was chosen by 6/7 jury vote and 1/7 Romanian public tele-vote.

JuryPublicTotalPosition
Linda Teodosiu366424
Olivier Kaye 271288
Laura Bretan4812602
Teodora Dinu70712
Claudiu Mirea190199
Aldo Blaga 1041410
Ester Peony 653681
Letiția Moisescu and Sensibil Balkan 355405
Bella Santiago508583
Trooper1910297
Dya and Lucian Colareza 821011
Vaida287356

Romania At The Eurovision Song Contest

This will be Romania’s 20th appearance at the contest. They made their debut with Dan Bittman with Dincolo De Nori, placing in 21st position.

Their second entry wasn’t until 1998 with the late Mălina Olinescu  finishing one place lower than Dan with the song Eu Cred.

Things started to look up for Romania, when in 2002 they received their first top 10 placing with Tell Me Why by Monica Anghel and Marcel Pavel, with Nicola also making the top 10 the following year with Don’t Break My Heart.

Romania scored back to back top 10 entries only once more, when Luminița Anghel and Sistem with Let Me Try and Mihai Trăistariu with Tornero did it in 2005 and 2006.

Last year Romania failed to qualify to the final for the first time ever when The Humans and Goodbye just missed out.

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Categories: Eurovisionary

17
February
2019

Festival da Cançao: First four finalists selected

Festival da Cançao: First four finalists selected

Conan Osiri

Last year’s host country, Portugal kicked off their 2019 selection tonight. Eight acts battled for four spots in the final, which will take place on the 2nd of March.

After their 2017 win, and a disappointing last place last year, Portugal is searching for the song, which can bring them a good result in Tel Aviv, Israel in May.

Tonight, eight acts battled in the first of two semi-finals. Four from each will make it to the final to be held on the 2nd of March.

The participants

  • Ana Claudia – Inercia (qualified)
  • Joao Campos – É o que é
  • Soraia Tavares – O Meu Sonho
  • Calema – A Dois (qualified)
  • Conan Isiris – Telemoveis (qualified)
  • Ela Limao – Mais Brilhante Que Mil Sóis
  • Filipe Keil – Hoje
  • Matay – Perfeito (qualified)

Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest

This year will mark the 51st participation of Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest. Having participated this amount of times, their first ever and so far only victory came in 2017, with Salvador Sobral and his Amar Pelos Dois. Last year, on home soil, they finished last.

Up until their victory two years ago, their best results were a 6th place in 1996 and 7th places both in 1972 and 1980.

In the video below you can watch a live performance of O Jardim, their entry from 2018, recorded at EuroClub.

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16
February
2019

Melodifestivalen 2019: Jon Henrik Fjällgren and Lina Hedlund through to the final from heat 3

Jon Henrik Fjällgren

Melodifestivalen has been unpredictable so far this season, but tonight it was a little easier to predict. Four of the seven acts are, as always, still in the run to represent Sweden this year, while three left the competition at this stage.

Contents

  • 1 The songs
  • 2 The result
  • 3 Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest
After two heats with quite some surprises, it was time to kick off for the third out of four regular heats in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. Beforehand, four acts were worth paying extra attention to: 2005 Eurovision participant Martin Stenmarck, the always colourful Dolly Style back for their third national final appearance and 2015 runner up Jon Henrik Fjällgren. Former Alcazar member Lina Hedlund shouldn’t be overlooked either.

The songs

1. The Lovers Of ValdaroSomebody Wants (Written by: Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, Erik Høiby)

This group consists of Erik and Adam (with Erik being the front man). They have four dancers with them on stage in this song clearly inspired by the 1980’s. A special platform on the stage has been created for this performance where they all stand on. All the way in the background of it, you find Adam with a synthesizer. The dancers are around him – and Erik in the front as lead singer. Erik and two of the dancers step off this platform for a short while, but ends the song on it as they started. Erik and Adam are both wearing dark pink laces, while the dancers are all in white.

2. Dolly Style – Habibi (Written by: Jimmy Jansson, Palle Hammarlund, Robert Norberg)

Back with yet a colourful performance, Dolly Style is hard to miss. The three girls in pink, purple and blue – with matching wigs – are all dressed in short tops, short skirts and long boots. They move around switching between two microphone positions and imitate the three alter ego’s cartoon figures of the girls shown in the background. Pyrotechnics are used in the end of the song. They dedicated the song to the ones who feel left out, from school or similar, and in the introduction they also told that they have all felt like that.

3. Martin Stenmarck – Låt Skiten Brinna (Written by: Uno Svenningsson, Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren)

2005 Eurovision participant is this time taking part with a song in Swedish. The title translates to ‘let the shit burn’ and the shit that needs to burn are the depressing and damaging thoughts that are you keeping you down. The lightning has been described as it should visualize a box where he is trapped and breaks free from. In the introduction, he told that in 2005, he was there to entertain, now, he is there to tell the message that we need to slow down, society is going too fast now. The audience in the arena all holds up small lights. A very strong performance where the song is in focus, nothing has been added which can distract from it.

4. Lina HedlundVictorious (Written by: Melanie Wehbe, Richard Edwards, Dino Medanhodzic, Johanna Jansson)

Former Alcazar member Lina stands on the longest stair case ever used in Melodifestivalen – according to broadcaster SVT. In the beginning, she stands all the way at the top and sings from a platform. Later, she gets down, stops half way and then continue to the floor where she is joined by four dancers. It’s a true pop anthem which will attract many fans. Lina is dressed in a sparkling outfit with a deep cleavage. Pyrotechnics are used at the end of the song. Afterwards, it was noticed by fans that the chorus sounds very similar to David Lindgren’s Skyline from 2013.

5. Omar Rudberg – Om Om Och Om Igen (Written by: Omar Rudberg, Johan Lindbrandt, Robin Stjernberg, Jens Hult)

We continue with a song in Swedish and Spanish – that’s quite an unusual combination. Born in Venzuela, Omar is fluent in Spanish. For this song, Omar himself is casually dressed. He is joined on stage by four female dancers. He walks in on stage with a blue light following him with the dancers next to him – two on each side. The stage gives a club enviroment feeling with lights in various colours. Omar is quite charming, and is likely to get a few more teenage girls following him after tonight.

6. Rebecka KarlssonWho I Am (Written by: Rebecka Karlsson, Anderz Wrethov, Henric Pierroff)

The dancers are very much in focus on this song. There are four of them, dressed to match each their profession: A boxer, a ballet dancer, a gymnast and finally a company manager. The song is about being strong, don’t give up on your ambitions, and take control over your life. Rebecka herself is dressed in a short black lace dress. She stands on a little podium and the dancers are around it. In the introduction, Rebecka told about how she was in this to win it – just taking part isn’t enough for her.

Is it just because I am Danish, I end up thinking about Anja Nissen’s Where I Am from 2017?

7. Jon Henrik Fjällgren – Norrsken (Written by: Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Niklas Carson Mattsson, Jon Henrik Fjällgren)

In Melodifestivalen you can be eight on stage, and Jon Henrik takes full use of that with three backing singers and four dancers. He also takes advantage of pre-recorded video clips among others including a reindeer in order to bring the audience out in the snow in the mountains. The performance uses smoke on stage along with a line of fire at the front of the stage. The Sami inspired sound and the visually strong act, ends tonight’s line-up. This has got to be a strong contender to win Melodifestivalen this year!

The result

Is it best to come 5th or 7th? In Sweden that pretty much depends on your nerves. The sixth and seventh places leaves the competition after the first round of voting. After that, the remaining five are through to another round – of which just the fifth place is out of the competition. First and second are directly through to the final, while third and fourth will get another chance via the Second Chance heat.

  • Direct qualifiers: Jon Henrik Fjällgren and Lina Hedlund
  • Second Chance heat: Martin Stenmarck and Rebecka Karlsson.
  • Fifth place: Dolly Style
  • Contrary to the previous two weeks, it wasn’t shown who finished 6th and who finished 7th. But out after first round of voting were The Lovers Of Valdaro and Omar Rudberg.

Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest

It has been a joy being a Swedish fan lately. The country is one of the most successful countries in the contest with six wins of which two are within the past seven years.

When Anna Bergendahl missed the final in 2010 with the song This Is My Life, she was the first Swedish participant to do so – and so far still the only one. The past five entries from Sweden all reached top 10 – in fact just one of them, last year’s 7th place didn’t go top 5.

The amazing results of course puts extra pressure on whoever wins the 2019 Melodifestivalen. In Sweden they are well aware of that they are only one victory away from a tie with Ireland’s seven wins, which today is still the Eurovision record. In the video below, enjoy Måns Zelmerlöw’s Heroes from 2015:

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Categories: Eurovisionary

16
February
2019

Freedom Jazz, Anna Maria and Kazka qualify for Ukrainian Vidbir final

Freedom Jazz, Anna Maria and Kazka qualify for Ukrainian Vidbir final

Kazka

Big favourite Kazka are still in the run to represent Ukraine in Tel Aviv, Israel in May, although they weren’t without problems tonight. In the second semi-final, they qualified for the final together with Freedom Jazz and Anna Maria.

After TAYANNA surprisingly withdrew from the Ukrainian selection this year, the band Kazka took over the role as favourite. Although they need to share it with Maruv, that have surprised many. They weren’t initially selected, but got the empty place after the withdrawal. Their performance in the first semi-final shocked many, but also attracted so many votes that they qualified for the final.

Tonight, eight acts competed for the last three spots in this year’s Vidbir final, which will take place next Saturday, the 23rd of February. During the show, a bit of drama went on as a little advert was shown for the final – including Kazka before they even performed in tonight’s semi-final. The band were naturally not glad if people were to think that they were already qualified so no need to vote for them.

The participants

  1. Ivan Navi – All For The Love
  2. Anna Maria – My Road
  3. Kazka – Apart
  4. Kira Mazur – Dykhaty
  5. Laud – 2 dni 
  6. Khayat – Ever
  7. Braii – Maybe
  8. Freedom Jazz – Cupidon

Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest

When we went into last year’s Eurovision, five countries had a so-called ‘Perfect strike’, which means that they never failed to qualify for the final. After the two semi-finals, only two countries were left, Australia and Ukraine.

Two victories and 9 times in top 10, and that on just 15 participations. Yes, Ukraine is one of the most successful countries at the Eurovision Song Contest. After Jamala’s victory with the controversial 1944 three years ago, things have been a little tougher though. On homefield in 2017, O.Torvald finished 24th and last year, a burning ladder with a piano at the top wasn’t enough to earn Mélovin more than a 17th place.

In the video below, take a look at a clip from Mélovin rehearsing his Under The Ladder in Lisbon, Portugal last May.

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