News

25th April, 9PM is the Friday you need to mark in your organisers because this will be a huge huge preview Eurovision party, to mark the last month before the Contest in Belgrade. The party will rock will the early hours of Saturday, as the hosts promise to close the event not earlier than 3AM. The venue – Scala, London.

This will be a party, which’ll give all Eurovision fans living on the Island, the change to warm up for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. British, French, German and Dutch, as long as you like Eurovision, will be able to come and join in the hot show.

UK Eurovision Preview Party The main actor: DJ Dave Simmons will be blending in popular historical and trendy contemporary Eurovision sound. Several artists participating in this-year’s event in Belgrade will be special guests, among them Maltese Morena, the charismatic charmer from Ukraine Ani Lorak, American-born Isis Gee representing Poland this year, and the sweet Euroband from Iceland.

Well, this party definitely promises to become something that any Eurovision fan respecting themselves should not miss!

The French Eurovision participant Sébastien Tellier embarks on a long tour round Europe, and as his producers promise, he will be close to everyone’s home. Because the tour goes across the continent and tries to visit all major cities. Sexuality started on 1 March and will continue till 30 September this year, and it will for sure come near your place.

Here is a preliminary schedule of the gigs, and I hope you’ll be able to visit at least one of them. As you already know, Sébastien Tellier is produced by the major French artist Daft Punk. It’s good news big names enter the Contest. Keep it up, lads!

So, here’s the list of gigs:

tomorrow, 29 March: Nancy, France, L’Autre Canal

04 April: Evreux, France, L’Abordage
06 April: Morlaix, France, Festival Panorama
10 April: Ris Orangis, France, Festival Escalator
15 April: Milano, Italy / Italia, Magasini Generalli
18 April: Bourges, France, Printemps de Bourges
24 April: Montpellier, France, Le Rockstore
25 April: Lyon, France, La Plateforme
26 April: Strasbourg, France, La Laiterie
28 April: London, UK, Scala
30 April: Paris, France, La Cigale

02 April: Oslo, Norway / Norge, Bla
03 April: Bergen, Norway/ Norge, Bergenfest
04 April: Göteborg, Sweden / Sverige, Storan
06 April: Malmo, Sweden / Sverige, Jeriko
07 April: Stockholm, Sweden / Sverige, Berns
09 April: Berlin, Germany / Deutschland, Cookies
12 April: Tourcoing, France, Le Grand Mix
13 April: Bruxelles, Belgium / Belgique / België, Le Botanique
14 April: Amsterdam, Netherlands / Nederlanden / Holland, Melkweg
25 April: Istanbul, Turkey / Türkiye, Chill Out Festival
29 April: Massy, France, CC Paul Bailliart

04 June: Bordeaux, France, BT 59
05 June: Nantes, France, L’Olympic
06 June: Hérouville, France, Big Band Café
11 June: Saint Petersbourg, Russia, Stereoleto Festival
12 June: Moscow, Russia, Moscow Book Festival
14 June: Porto, Portugal, Casa Des Artes
28/ June: Toulouse, France, Le Bikini

02 July: Biarritz, France, Le Colisée
04 July: Sète, France, Théâtre de la Mer
05 July: Belfort, France, Les Eurockéennes
10 July: Liège, Belgium, Festival Les Ardentes
15 July: La Rochelle, France, Les Francofolies de La Rochelle
17 July: Spa, Belgium, Les Francofolies de Spa
18 July: Dour, Belgium, Dour Festival
20 July: London, UK, Lovebox Festival

08 August: Pully, Switzerland / Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera / Svizra, For Noise Festival
09 August: Aulnoye Aymerie, France, Les Nuits Secrètes
10 August: Cannes, France, Festival Pantiero
15 August: Brest, France, Astropolis
16 August: Helsinki, Finland, Flow Festival
30 August: Brussels, Belgium, Brussels Summer Festival

07 September: Isle of Wight, UK, Bestival
30 September: Paris, France, L’Olympia

Dima BilanNow this got me extremely excited… Hold your breath because Moscow has decided and sends hugely, massively successful star Dima Bilan to represent Russia again, this time in Belgrade.

Easy does it? Obviously Dima Bilan can wait and came back aiming to conquer the Eurovision peak again. His song Believe simply blew the rest 26 competitors away, although it was a tight victory! A dynamic, yet soft song, with strong catchy rhythm that keeps your attention. But it’s not the rhythm that is the most notable in this track. The romantic lyrics make you listen again and again. Bilan’s vocal skills are indisputable. Lots of thinking has been put into this project and I’m so very curious to find out what the Russian team keep in store for the hungry audience this May. Dima’s performances and compositions are text-book examples of how to gain success not only at Eurovision, but in the severe music industry.

Let me briefly remind you that it was Dima who was the runner-up at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, as the Finnish monsters Lordi did not let him go first with his Never Let You Go.

Well done, so, young man!

It was the international women’s day yesterday, and I’m still a bit elated by the wine. What made me even happier though, was the news that more and more winners were picked last week, something I missed noting for lack of time. Anyway, forgive me the small spell of silence and have a look at the most recent winners.

Georgia will compete with Diana Gurtskaya and her song Peace will come. The track is pretty good, though nothing spectacular or surprising. What’s more important in this case, however, is that Ms. Gurtskaya is blind and she sings with power that we cannot witness every day on Eurovision. Still, nothing we haven’t seen on the world’s stage, and I do hope that this will not sway people into voting for this song, unless they like it.

One of the Big 4 also got their winner tonight – Rodolfo Chikilicuatre with his nice song Baila El Chiki Chiki. A guy that first strikes you as Elvis Presley, but when you get to listen to the song… well, I come to think that TVE are not particularly interested in this contest any more. So, baila, amigos! Hasta la vista!

Last weekend, more European countries selected their entries for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. The list is almost concluded, some more are missing, among them the Big Four.

Here’s a list of the finalists and my humble commentary.

  1. Bulgaria: Deep Zone & Balthazar – DJ Take Me Away
  2. A pop disco track that could easily get you jumping. Yoanna (the vocal) could have done better with the singing, and the dress.. Yet, Bulgaria surprised us with a nice show, the side programme featuring Ukrainian star Ruslana, was much more fascinating than the 12 competing participants.

  3. Croatia: Kraljevi Ulice & 75 Cents – Romanca
  4. Did they call this type of song “old urban songs” (starogradska pesen)?? Well, perhaps there are still people who might well like them, but I doubt it. However, I have to note the high quality of the band and the concept behind the track. Good luck, guys, you might win the “worst song” on Eurovision award!

  5. Greece: Kalomira Saranti – Secret Combination
  6. A truly Eurovision song that can shake up Europe and get it dancing. Ethnic elements combined with disco sound – that’s a universal formula for success. The thing I enjoy most – the ballet ;)

  7. Iceland: Eurobandid – Fulkomid lif (This is My Life)
  8. It’s a cool Eurovision song. A typical Eurovision song, if you ask me. Hope more people vote for Iceland, ‘coz they deserve it simply for travelling on such a long distance from the this northern island.

  9. Ireland: Dustin The Turkey – Irelande Douze Pointe
  10. And that’s the cherry of the cake, the top of the top. A fantastic burlesque, a parody that mocks the original idea of Eurovision. Seems like the ancestors of Saint Patrick are fed up with finishing at final position. This morning, I listened to a French radio, where they had a special 10-minute comment on this song. The French are impressed and are very much looking forward to the result. Just like we all are.

  11. Macedonia: Tamara ft. Vrcak & Adrian – Vo ime na ljubovta (In The Name of Love)
  12. The Macedonian entrant will again go for the local language. An up-tempo track telling about love and passion, perhaps.

  13. Poland: Isis Gee – For Life
  14. Do we need to comment on this song again? A powerful solo female vocal, a touching ballad, a catchy and familiar rhythm. And so very professional! For Life definitely stands every chance to win the 2008 ESC. What do you reckon?

  15. Romania: Nico & Vlad Mirita – Pe-o Margine De Lume
  16. Oh, it sounds so Italian! It’s cool and romantic, and above all, well-measured.

  17. Ukraine: Ani Lorak – Shady Lady
  18. This song is a huge step beyond what we are used to see representing Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest. The good news is that Ukraine and Greece are not participating in the same semi-final, which will save us from watching the same (secret) combination twice.

After years of frivolous attitude to the Eurovision Song Contest, the UK are bringing out the heavy artillery. It was high time that the cradle of modern culture and music, where pop artists from all over the world teem and find inspiration, found the right direction in Eurovision. It was high time that London thought of showing the rest of Europe that they know a thing or two.

Six pop stars are taking part in this-year’s UK national preselection. All of them young, perky, and bold, terribly familiar faces to everyone in the UK, and many others oversees.

BBC’s show will be held on March 1st. The official website of the British Eurovision will be updated with the songs tomorrow, 22 February.

Rob McVeighI Owe It All To You: Ex Joseph, he sings a (lyrical) ballad.
Simona ArmstrongChanges: Quite in her style, Simona performs an ardent song.
Michelle GayleWoo (U Make Me): former EastEnder, sexy diva of popular stage Michelle Gayle promises a hot show.
Andy AbrahamEven if : Once an X-Factor participant Andy goes for Eurovision with fresh ideas.
LoveShyMr Gorgeous: Aimee and Emma aim to revive our loved British pop
The RevelationsIt’s You: Annika, Sarah, and Louise enter Eurovision with great expectations.

Eurovision journalist Georgios Kalpakidis, aka Gorgi, whom the Eurovision community know as a highly influential, pushy, capable, and charming member of the OGAE Greek club, has decided to compete as composer at the Spanish national preselection with his song Destiny (Nuestro Destino). Teh song is performed by popular Spanish star Crystina Maez. Destiny is an uptempo track with lively charge and atmosphere. Sounds like a successful attempt.

Here is what Gorgi has to say about the new venture:

Right after Lithuania, I am giving it another shot for Eurovision 2008, this time for Spain! My song “Destiny” with lyrics written by José J.Santana and Miguel Loredo is taking part in the spanish preselection [...] We hope it will find a way to your hearts and finally a place in the country’s final to come! Keep your fingers crossed for us guys! The battle starts once more!
Besos a todos
Gorgi

Spain – one of the Big Four in Eurovision – participates in the Eurovision Song Contest every year by rule. Whatever they decide to do, however famous stars the Spanish broadcaster invites, Spain has rarely managed to achieve any serious success on the Contest.

Baku ready to rock: Eurovision debutant Azerbaijan prepares a grand bombastic show for the selection of the first Azerbaijani ESC entrant in history.

On 2 February, one of the novices in Eurovision, Azerbaijan, will hold its National final – part of a huge campaign celebrating the first ever participation of the country in the Eurovision Song Contest. The event will be webcast live on the official ESC website at 17.30 CET.

The two-hour show will be followed by a press-conference, webcast at 19.45 CET, when journalists and fans will have the chance to ask the first Azerbaijani Eurovision entrant questions. The presser will feature three more former Eurovision participants – playful Sertab, who represented Turkey in 2003 with Everyway that I can, Ruslana, who brought the victory to Ukraine in 2004 with the song Wild Dance, and last-year’s Serbian entrant – Maria Serifovic, who bewitched Europe with her Molitva.

Azerbaijan Eurovision 2008 Three contestants will compete in the first edition of the National Selection in Azerbaijan: Elnur Gusseinov with If You Never Back – a pop song in English, with amazing opera solos and some traditional elements, Aynur Iskenderli with Don’t Forget My Love, an up-tempo pop song with traditional elements and music instruments, and the rock band Unformal with The End. I like the third one best – an experimental rock track, performed by a fascinating female vocal.

It all comes in a moment, when Azerbaijan music industry faces hardships: post-Soviet influence, severe piracy, and little appearance opportunities. That’s why the Eurovision Song Contest is seen a life-saving measure. Anyway, the country is full of talents, as experts say, and hopes.

ESC Belgrade 2008
Have you already bought your ticket for the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade? No?! Just an hour ago internet sales opened up. So, brace yourself up and click your way to the ticket point.

Do you remember the long wait? It seems to have been worth it. This time the organisers have said ‘no’ to individual tickets, and up until mid-Match you will be able to only buy a ticket package for a number of events. That would come in very handy.

So, waste no time and get your package. See you there!

The Draw for the Semi-Finals in Belgrade has decided.

The Draw today allocated the positions of each country participating in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in one of the two Semi-Finals. 19 countries will participate on 20 May, and the rest will follow on 22 May. Only 20 of the 38 semifinalists will survive till the Final, to be held on 24 May, where the Big 4 and the Host Broadcaster will join them.

Semi-Final 1: Tuesday, May 20
Participants:

  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Slovenia

Semi-Final 2: Thursday, May 22
Participants:

  • Albania
  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • F.Y.R. Macedonia
  • Georgia
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Portugal
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

Mind you, this is not the running order during the Semi-Finals. It will be drawn only on the HoD Meeting, mid-March.

A feel of the Apennines in the Eurovision Song Contest: the original host of the ESC sends an Italian-speaking singer to the event in Belgrade.

The 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will again celebrate a little piece of Italy through this-year’s Swiss entry. A song that opens up as a ballad and develops into a dynamic, why not, dance track. 31-year-old Paolo surprises us with a powerful performance, immaculate vocal skills, and (does it sound frivolous?) a cute face. Era Stupendo (It Was Great) stands every chance for a decent final position in one of the Semi-Finals in Serbia.

[Just for the record, last year, DJ Bobo entered the competition with a flying start - everyone believed that his Vampires are Alive will bring the early age of techno back and revive it in the ESC. Unfortunately, he finished twentieth and did not make it to the Final in Helsinki.]

Again in Helsinki last year, it was Bonaparte from Latvia who acknowledged the Italian language with the canzonetta Questa Notte. Seems like the interest for the Italian culture is not yet forgotten in the ESC.

The Ukrainian star Ruslana, who won the 2004 ESC, held in Istanbul, Turkey, is releasing her new album “Wild Energy” later this year. The album will be sold in most European countries, Middle East and China, Yuriy Melnyk at International Communications, Agency of Ruslana said in a press release. “Wild Energy” will also be distributed all over the world on the Internet.

As a significant part of the album’s promotion, Ruslana is planning a world premiere of her Wild Energy show, a mystical and magnificent performance. Ruslana’s visit of some European countries has been scheduled for not later than next months. “Among other things, the album and show, based on an elaborate and philosophical fantasy plot, promote a new philosophy of energy production and consumption and a gradual shift towards more renewable energy,” Melnyk said.

Ruslana is a typical example of a successful Eurovision artist, just like ABBA, Johnny Logan, Keti Garbi, Helena Paparisou, t.A.T.u., and Dana International, to name but a few.

Kalomoira Saranti, Kostas Martakis and Chryspa will fight for this year’s ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest. All of them are young and sexy and yearn to go to Belgrade. The Greek audience must choose among three very charming and above all talented artists, which is never an easy choice.

Chryspa’s (aka XRISPA) most popular song last year was “Mou Kanei Plaka O Theos” (God Must be Kidding Me). She’s only 22 and has already gained the notable experience of releasing three albums. She performs mainly traditional and popular Greek songs.

Kalomoira has the same prominent number of albums – already three for her 22 years. She often sings traditional Greek music, although she experiments with popular world hits as well.

23-year-old Kostas comes from the catwalk. He started his artistic career as a fashion model, but was soon tempted by the music stage. He’s released one album so far. A true lyrical artist, for sure appealing to ladies of all ages.

The National Final is scheduled for Wednesday, February 27, a bit earlier than last year, and will be held at the Athinon Arena. This is exactly where last year Sarbel came, said “Yassou, Maria” and won himself the chance to represent Greece in Helsinki last spring.

Macedonian 2007 ESC participant Karolina (Karolina Goceva) took part in the Bulgarian national selection EuroBGvision for the Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Belgrade in 2008. She performed three songs: Sladka Gorchina, Se Lazam Sebe and the 2007 ESC entry: My World. Karolina’s next stop was Zagreb, where she participated in other concerts to promote her songs further on the Balkans.

EuroBGvision is the Bulgarian show, whose aim is to select a representative of the Eastern-European country in the 2008 ESC. The show took off autumn this year and has already led to the selection of 9 songs, which will compete at a national semifinal with 9 other songs, selected this Saturday by a professional jury. Three wildcards will joint them only then. During the final, the audiences shall selected the winner out of 12 competitors.

Karolina

A year of debuts and love: Sweden takes off with a massive national selection for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade.

Here is a list of artists and towns, hosting the two semifinals, the second-chance show, and the grand final of the Swedish Eurosong:

Göteborg, 9 February 2008
Face-84 — Alla gamla x
Velvet — Deja vû
Christer Sjögren — I Love Europe
E-type and the Poodles — Line Of Fire
Brandur — Lullaby
Michael Michailoff — That’s Love
Suzzie Tapper — Visst finns mirakel

Face-84 are four girls, all born in 1984, hence the name of the band. Velvet is not new to the Eurovision stage. She participated in 2006 Melodifestival with “Mi amore” with little success. Hope that this year she won’t have a “deja-vu”.Christer is famous Swedish dance and rock singer. He is mostly known as lead vocal singer in the Swedish dance-band Vikingarna, where he sang between 1978-2004. E-type and the Poodles can safely be called the Swedish DJ Bobbo, and Michael Michailoff is famous for recording an acoustic version of ABBA’s Lay All Your Love On Me

Västerås, den 16 februari 2008
Alexander Schöld — Den första svalan
Lasse Lindh — Du behöver aldrig mer vara rädd
Sanna Nielsen — Empty Room
Rongedal — Just A Minute
Andra Generationen — Kebabpizza Slivovitza
Ola — Love In Stereo
The Nicole — Razborka

Had it not been for the stars Christer Sjögren and E-type & the Poodles, the 2008 would have been the year of debuts. Of the 28 candidates, there are 17 new artists, which is an exceptionally high figure. Also, this seems to be the year of bands – more than half of the candidates participating for the trophy are bands. The artist who fits in both the categories is the debutant band Andra Generationen that participate with the song “Kebabpizza Slivovitza”. They mix Swedish lyrics with typically Balkan music – a fascinating combination to listen to.

There are some other artists with previous experience at the Eurovision. One of them is Sanna Nielsen with the song “Empty room” – a ballad that, according to the singer, goes straightly into the heart.. She participated with the song Vågar du, vågar jag at last-year’s Melodiafestival.

Linköping, den 23 februari 2008
Mickey Huskic — Izdajice
Ainbusk — Jag saknar dig ibland
BWO — Lay Your Love On Me
Caracola — Smiling In Love
Patrik Isaksson — Under mitt tunna skinn
Frida — Upp o hoppa
Thérèse Andersson — When You Need Me

Karlskrona, den 1 mars 2008
Charlotte Perrelli — Hero
Linda Bengtzing — Hur svårt kan d va
Nordman — I lågornas sken
Calaisa — If I Could
Fronda — Ingen mår så bra som jag
Daniel Mitsogiannis — Pame
Sibel — That Is Where I’ll Go

Here are the dates, when you need to watch SVT closely:

Semifinal: 23 February, 2008 in Cloetta Center, Linköping
Semifinal: 1 March, 2008 in Telenor Arena, Karlskrona
Second Chance: 8 March, 2008 in Arena Arctica, Kiruna
Final: 15 March, 2008 in Globen, Stockholm

Eurovision Sweden Selection

Melodifestival is a four-part competition. The final will be held in the early spring of 2008. Two of the stages will be held in Kiruna and Vasteras – two towns that had not hosted the competition before. The towns of Linköping and Karlskrona are not so fresh in the Contest, but for Gothenburg it will be the sixth time to host the show. Stockholm, is naturally the most experienced: it will be the final city of Melodiafestival for a seventh time.

It’s so great to be part of the show, and to be in Sweden during the Melodiafestival. The atmosphere in the town in party-like, and it gives glitter to the streets and entertainment to the inhabitants and guests of the Scandinavian country. Enjoy it!

It takes a lot of time to think all over the events that poured on me during the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, held in Rotterdam at the beginning of December. In a cliché – a magnificent show that takes your breath away. Clichés aside, when you’re part of this dreamy getaway, the excitement is all the more serious.

Upon arrival, I enter a hotel full of mad kids – a wave of colours and joy floating from corner to corner, no rest. The week starts with make-up, shooting of postcards, recording of a joint song “One World”, and interviews for the co-producer UNICEF. The kids are excited, sing running up and down the corridors of the hotel, pose for the cameras patiently, and enjoy every moment of their stay.

All 17 delegations have worked hard get to Rotterdam. Everybody is very friendly despite the tension. Every child has been trained to smile, sing, give interviews and behave. Kids who are more adults than I am. And still you can see their infantile psychology in their lovely childish smiles, in their failure to hide envy or suppress irritation with people trying to cajole them.

Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2007 I can’t wait to see the hall. Ahoy Arena doesn’t strike me as an amazingly beautiful building from the outside, but it has a surprise for me inside. The kids love it from first sight, and they start walking around it as if they were born on the stage and there is nothing intimidating in it. During the rehearsals, the cameras work hard to capture all their movements and happiness and it’s so much fun to see how the juniors flirt with them. Everybody is pleased with the results. Wherever problems there are, you have to solve them immediately and move on as the concert night is knocking on the door.

Tens of rehearsals, hours of dancing and singing… the ice is already broken, also after a day at the ice rink that the organizers have prepared for the young artists. It’s amazing how all children sing the songs of their ‘competitors’. I meet the kids from Romania, who ‘breath in, breath out’ the Dutch song, Lithuanian juniors who mumble the romantic rhymes of the Portuguese song, the charming representative of Cyprus, who sings refrains of the joint song “One World”, the girls from Bulgaria, singing the Swedish song “Nu eller aldrig”. It’s the ultimate non-competition.

But it is a contest after all. During the Dress Rehearsal on Friday, all kids are mega excited, you can see their hearts beating wild, but still there is nothing like tense silence hanging in the air. Some of them channel the tension playing at PlayStation, others lie round the floor on colourful cushions, others hug the presents they’ve received from other participants, still others exchange emails, clutching at their precious notebooks containing tens of contacts, some ever cry with thrill.

The Dress Rehearsal itself goes smoothly. The kids are already tired after a week of rehearsals, and they’re quick to go to bed. No disco tonight.

But the Contest itself is much more entertaining for the audience, and much more stressful for the participants and their delegations. No technical problems cast a gloom on the event – all 17 songs are performed with zest and energy. All kids are dressed in their Sunday bests, they smile and take pictures and again I have to note how calm and cheerful they are. No trace of competition. The Green Room is a sea of flags and smiling faces. It’s next to the stage and it’s made of the benches the children painted earlier during the week. They give a huge applause for their favourite songs – and it seems like not a single song is out of the “Favourite List”. It’s fascinating how the kids know the lyrics of all the songs, all of them in a foreign language, and they sing along with infinite artistic commotion no matter if the lyrics are correct or not. The mood is hyper cheerful. And everyone is happy when Alexey Zhigalkovich from Belarus with the song S Druzyami (With Friends) wins the 2007 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. No one thinks there is anything unfair or corrupt in the competition. They take it as grown-ups, but in a better way.

You can leave everything behind after you’ve seen 17 teams joining together in such a show. Noble is not a good word to describe their attitude. It’s just so very natural, lacking in posture. I bet the kids miss a lot from their childhood – we can argue on this issue day in day out. But we can’t disregard the facts that they enjoy it, and that the JESC is a grand chance for their future; nor can we ignore the fun, the incessant medley of various languages, the bubble of friendship and sympathy, and the precious memories dressed in glamour and gloss the event in Rotterdam must have left in everyone.

Meet you next year in Lemasos!

Do you remember Silvia Night? The bold carnival-like girl representing Iceland with a noisy show at the ESC held in Greece last year… So, Silvia has her own mega show on the Swedish channel TV 400, which has been a grand success in Scandinavia. But it has finally come to an end. The last episode features Silvia at last getting over her failure to go to the Final of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, as she is getting more and more successful in LA.

Miss Night competed with the song “Congratulations”, which, unlike Cliff Richard’s song of the same name performed in 1968, didn’t enjoy the same fame. But for sure, the Icelandic beauty provoked the audiences in Athens with her behaviour and outfit.

17 countries will compete for the trophy at the fifth anniversary Junior Eurovision Song Contest, to be held on 8 December in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Here is the final running order:

  1. Georgia – Mari Romelashvili – Odelia Ranuni
  2. Belgium – TRUST – Anders (Differently)
  3. Armenia – AREVIK – Erazanq (A Dream)
  4. Cyprus – Yiorgos Ioannides – I Musiki Dini Ftera (Music Gives You Wings)
  5. Portugal – Jorge Leiria – Só Quero É Cantar (I Only Want To Sing)
  6. Russia – Alexandra Golovchenko – Otlichnitsa (An Excellent Pupil)
  7. Romania – 4KIDS – Sha-la-la
  8. Bulgaria – BON-BON – BonBolandia (Land Of Candy)
  9. Serbia – Nevena Božovi? – Piši Mi (Write To Me)
  10. Netherlands – Lisa, Amy & Shelley – Adem In, Adem Uit (Breath In, Breath Out)
  11. FYR Macedonia – Rosica & Dimitar – Ding Ding Dong
  12. Ukraine – Ilona Galitska – Urok Glamuru (Lesson Of Glamour)
  13. Sweden – Frida Sandén – Nu Eller Aldrig (Now Or Never)
  14. Malta – CUTE – Music
  15. Greece – MADE IN GREECE – Kapou Mperdeftika (Confused)
  16. Lithuania – Lina Joy – Kai Miestas Snaudžia (When The Town Is Asleep)
  17. Belarus – Alexey Zhigalkovich – S Druzyami (With Friends)

JESCThe hosts from Holland have come up with an environmental topic, which involves everyone on the Planet. The song of the Belgium band tells about the stormy life of teenagers and how they manage through the difficult emotions the teenage age brings. The Cypriot, Maltese, and Portugal songs are inspired by the artists’ desire to sing and how important music is in their lives. Some of the songs are about friendship, loved ones, or school. The elder kids, naturally, sing about love, such as the Serbian, the Swedish, and the Greek songs.

One cannot but notice the hard core of the Contest: Belgium, Cyprus, Romania, the Netherlands, Sweden, Malta, Belarus, FYR Macedonia, and Greece are among the loyal participants in the “Kids’ Eurovision”, who have been on the JESC stage since the very beginning. Others like Armenia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Lithuania have just joined the show.

Still others, such as Croatia, Latvia, Poland, Norway, Switzerland, France, Denmark, the UK and Spain have given up participating in the JESC for various reasons. We hope they are coming back. Obviously, the ebb of participation on the part of these countries has not affected the popularity of the Contest, as this year we have 17 countries again. Has it not been for the last-minute withdrawal of Spain, the number would have been 18.

All children at the 2007 JESC are professionals: they go to piano, dance, singing, etc classes, study at music schools and their lives are fully focused on a future music career. Up till last year the kids couldn’t be professionally involved in a music career, but this year, the EBU has decided the other way round, which in my mind, makes the Contests all the more interesting.

The EBU finally announced that because of the huge number of countries (by preliminary information, already breaking the record of 42) there will be 2 Semi-Finals. The fresh piece of news is that the Semi-Finals won’t be held in the same day, but in two different days – on 20 and 22 May respectively. The Final is planned for 24 May.

A draw held at the end of January will determine the Semi-Final every country will be participating in. Your local broadcaster will have to air at least one of them, but depending on the local management, you might be able to enjoy both Semi-Finals.

Apart from this, again we’ll be able to view a couple of Countdown shows, which warm up the audience for the Grand Final. Again – it’s up to national decisions.

Seems like it’ll be a huge Eurovision week in May.

Busy as he might be, Dmitry Koldun will next go to Sofia, Bulgaria as a special guest in the national selection show EuroBGvision. Koldun will have a mini-gig as he’ll be singing for like a quarter of an hour, presenting the best of his musical art.

EuroBGvision show is the Bulgarian national broadcaster’s attempt to draw more fans to the Eurovision idea, explaining the basis of the Contest, providing some history, starting up furious discussions between the commentators, and giving the floor to the crowds. The stage is given to singers from all over the country and Bulgarians living abroad, who want to try their luck to qualify for the grand stage in Belgrade. Most of them are way below the average, but this doesn’t seem to bother those with no ear for music.

Koldun is the best qualifying artist for Belarus, since the country’s first participation in 2004. After his grand success in Helsinki this spring, he’s been quite busy, filming videos all over the place, mostly in Moscow. Seems like Russia’s enjoying the miracle from Minsk more than anyone else.

The beginning of this week saw the opening of the Belarusian national selection. State TV of Belarus, along with most broadcasters whose artists finished in the top 10 in this-year’s ESC, protested against the introduction of the new format. Still, the country will continue participating in the Contest with a fresh artist. Who will they be? We’ll know in a couple of months.

Yesterday, I saw a Dutch film on a Middle-Eastern country, featuring the way people there organise music and entertainment contests. The only thing that participants are allowed to do by way of choreography, is to snap their fingers. Any form of outspoken excitement is banned. Women are not allowed to the stage at all.

Never mind what this image might make you think – the cultural difference is fascinating and definitely worth seeing.

In this sense, I was interested to read that Abulfas Garayev, Azerbaijan’s Culture and Tourism Minister, said that they are working more and more on the country’s joining the Eurovision Song Contest not later than 2008. For more information, visit http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=36706

Wonder where the boundaries of European music can be posed? Are we facing here the phenomenon of music that has no borders..? If Israel, Georgia, Moldova, and now Azerbaijan participate in a European music forum, shall we expect the US joining in shortly? Or Australia, where indeed Eurovision enjoys huge popularity. And why not? For one thing, last year Georgia’s ESC entrant Sopho with her Visionary Dream was amazing with the combination of ethnic and European, a blend between national folk and world-wide house music.

The ESC is not necessarily reserved for European countries only. The only thing that worries me is that in a couple of years, we’ll end up with 10 instead of 2 Semi-Finals.

The popular Irish folk band Dervish, also Ireland’s entrant at the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, will release their tenth album on October 26. Travelling Show promises to reach record peaks in sales. It will come out during the Sligo Live festival, running from 25 to 29 October, a long Bank Holiday Weekend…
Keeping up with the Celtic tradition, Dervish enjoy huge popularity across Europe and in the United States. This year Dervish did not manage to defend the fame of all-time winner Ireland (Ireland has won the ESC trophy the record seven times). Even so, the band have continued their successful carrier, especially on the folk music front.

Among the popular names at the Sligo Fest are Buena Vista Social Club, Alabama 3, Duke Special, At First Light and others. I can only envy those who’ll go to the the gig! Check out the official website: http://www.sligolive.ie/

This-year’s ESC winner Marija Serifovic visited the Serbian Parliament, first thing in the morning after she came back to the country with the Eurovision trophy. The MPs of the Serbian Skupstina applauded the singer hugely for her great success in Helsinki two days ago.

“I repeat what I already said in Helsinki – I hope that this award will open new doors to new Serbia,” Serifovic said.

The news of Molitva’s triumph on 2007 Eurosong Extravaganza in Hartwall Areena was met with great enthusiasm all over the country.

Source: Eurovision Srbija

  1. Bulgaria - Elitsa TODOROVA & Stoyan YANKOULOV
    Water
  2. Israel – TEAPACKS
    Push The Button
  3. Cyprus - Evridiki
    Comme Ci, Comme Ca
  4. Belarus – Koldun
    Work Your Magic
  5. Iceland Eiri’kur – HAUKSSON
    Valentine Lost
  6. Georgia - Sopho
    Visionary Dream
  7. Montenegro - Stevan FADDY
    Ajde Kroci
  8. Switzerland - DJ Bobo
    Vampires Are Alive
  9. Moldova - Natalia BARBU
    Fight
  10. The Netherlands - Edsilia ROMBLEY
    On Top Of The World
  11. Albania - Frederik NDOCI
    Hear My Plea
  12. Denmark – DQ
    Drama Queen
  13. Croatia - DRAGONFLY feat. Dado TOPIC
    Vjerujem U Ljubav
  14. Poland THE JET SET
    Time To Party
  15. Serbia - Marija SERIFOVIC
    Molitva
  16. Czech Republic - KABAT
    Mala Dama
  17. Portugal - Sabrina
    Danca Comigo
  18. FYR Macedonia - Karolina
    Mojot Svet
  19. Norway - Guri SCHANKE
    Ven A Bailar Conmigo
  20. Malta - Olivia LEWIS
    Vertigo
  21. Andorra – ANONYMOUS
    Salvem El Mon
  22. Hungary – Magdi RUZSA
    Unsubstantial Blues
  23. Estonia – Gerli PADAR
    Partners In Crime
  24. Belgium – The KMG’s
    LovePower
  25. Slovenia – Alenka GOTAR
    Cvet Z Juga
  26. Turkey – Kenan DOGULU
    Shake It Up Shekerim
  27. Austria – Eric PAPILAYA
    Get A Life – Get Alive
  28. Latvia – BONAPARTI.LV
    Questa Notte

Learn more: eurovision.tv