Oct, 2008

Yet another pleasant surprise from EBU in its aim to curb competition on the part of commercial TVs. This time – the biennial Eurovision Young Dancers contest, which promises an exciting comeback. The 12th edition of the contest will take place on Friday, 19 June 2009 in Oslo’s newly refurbished Dance House, a venue specially designed for modern dance shows.

The event is aimed at young dancers aged between 15 and 21, competing in modern dances, be it sole or in couples, as long as they are not professionally engaged. Seems like freestyle will rule the show :-) Professional international jury headed by the prominent British choreographer, dancer and director Wayne McGregor, will have its say and will try to persuade the audience into selecting the winners.

Broadcasters, which have already showed interest in participating in the contest are: ARD (Germany), BBC (UK), BNT (Bulgaria), CT (Czech Republic), ERR/ETV (Estonia), ERT (Greece), LTV (Latvia), MTV (Hungary), NPO/NPS (The Netherlands), ORF (Austria), SF (Switzerland), SVT (Sweden), TVP (Poland), VRT (Belgium), YLE (Finland).

The final running order for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest to be held on 22 November in Lemasos, Cyprus became known last week. The hosts Sophia Paraskeva and Alex Michael will lead you into the miracle of the kid’s show, appealing to children and adults alike.

Here is the list:

  1. Romania
  2. Madalina & Andrada
    Salvati Planeta

  3. Armenia
  4. Monika Manucharova
    Im Ergi Hnchyune

  5. Belarus
  6. Daria Nadina, Alina Molosh, Karina Zhukovich
    Sertse Belarusi

  7. Russia
  8. Mihail Puntov
    Spit Angel

  9. Greece
  10. Niki Yiannouchu
    A Night

  11. Georgia
  12. Bzikebi

  13. Belgium
  14. Oliver
    Shut Up

  15. Bulgaria
  16. Krestiana Kresteva
    Edna Mechta

  17. Serbia
  18. Maja Mazic
    Uvek Kad U Nebo Pobledam

  19. Malta
  20. Daniel Testa
    Junior Swing

  21. The Netherlands
  22. Marissa
    1 Dag

  23. Ukraine
  24. Victoria Petryk

  25. Lithuania
  26. Egle Jurgaityte
    Laiminga Diena

  27. FYR Macedonia
  28. Bobi Andonov
    Prati Mi SMS

  29. Cyprus
  30. Elena Mannouri & Charis Savva
    Gioypi Gia

The more I experience Eurovision, the more fascinating it gets. With the advance of the Eurovision season, the continent seems to get swept by a wave of local shows, each one more attractive, curious, and colourful than the other. The name holds true for Britain too.

The prominent British composer of musical theatre, author of the scores to “Evita”, “Cats”, “Sunset Boulevard”, and many others Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber offered to help Britain out of the perennial Eurovision predicament on the Island by writing the music for this year’s UK Eurovision entry.

Sir Webber managed a semi-joking tone by addressing the Brits on the BBC in search for the best 2009 British Eurovision representative: “People of Britain: I’m here to speak to you about a subject of considerable gravity, a subject that affects each and every one of us. I refer, of course, to our great nation’s continued failure in the Eurovision Song Contest.

With the typical British sense of humour, the famous composer appealed to the nation as if it were a quest the country is about to embark on, a prompt about his attitude towards the contest, or perhaps not.

Twelve years Britain has been waiting for a success in Eurovision. I haven’t seen any such party as they have it in the UK to celebrate Eurovision. Even if they do it to mock the participants, the atmosphere that you can feel in the country is simply beyond description. I hope we’ll have the same party this year again.

Who do you think will the 2009 host broadcaster for the junior Eurovision be? Whatever you thought, it is Ukraine and nowhere else that the little sister of Eurovision heads next year. Kyiv and the Ukrainian national broadcaster NTU won the opportunity to host and produce the huge TV show at the HoD meeting in Lemasos yesterday.

Just a quick reminder, in order to become host of the JESC you don’t need to win the contest, but only apply for the opportunity. The country winning the chance to host the show has to have a proper hall holding at least 10 000 people, the broadcaster should be experienced enough in big events, and the EBU need to decide if the political, economic, and touristic situation in the respective place is appropriate for the contest.

This year the small contestants are lucky to travel to Cyprus, where the organizers promise 25 degrees Celsius in November. Good luck to CyBC and to all participants. We’ll let you know the running order for the show shortly.

The Finnish public broadcaster YLE has invited 12 local artists to take part in the national selection for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. The artists invited in September are as follows: Janita, Tapani Nations, Kwan, Passion Works, Remu, Riikka, Sani, Signmark, Jari Sillanpää, Tiara, Vink, and Waldo’s People. This time the broadcaster seems to be looking more closely on its candidates: there is a preference to professional artists who work with record companies.

The competition songs will be announced in the beginning of December and the actual qualifications start on 9 January. The grand final will be held in Tampere Fair and Leonardo sports hall, on 31 January next year. The Finnish audience will choose its favourite song during three national semi-finals held every Friday in January. We’ll keep you updated about the progression of the national selection in Finland.

Indeed Malta is a small country and as people on the island joke, there is at least one person in every family, who has joined Eurovision as least once.

So, it’s small wonder there are gossips and rumours around the Eurosong in Malta, especially about former Maltese Eurovision artists.

Some say that Natalie Gauci, winner of Music Idol 2007, Australia shows interest in the European contest. Ms. Gauci seems to be looking for a winning song for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.

Bulgaria saw the start of its national television selection for 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow. The show “Be a Star” (“Badi zvezda”) was launched last week. It will be aired every Thursday, and it aims at selecting three contestants every week. One of the participants will be selected by a professional jury, the other two will be the favourites of the viewers.

The jury features world renowned folklore singer Yanka Roupkina, the prominent Bulgarian jazz singer Vassil Petrov, and the notorious rap and hip-hop artist Misho Shamara (in the photo). The first selected performers are IVELINA with her song “Ready for love”, “I PROMISE” by PERFECT STRANGER and “Let’s try singing” by Venelina Milanova.

The Bulgarian broadcaster are obviously trying to make the best of Eurovision, by trying to make the pre-selection an event of national interest. We wish them good luck!

The Belarussian Eurovision Selection, aka EuroFest starts at 5 October. Until 20 November, the Belarussian Eurovision team will be accepting submissions for the contest. After this-year’s ESC, when Ruslan Alekhno did not make it to the Final, the aim of the “EuroFest” project is to choose the best song and singer to represent Belarus in Moscow 2009.

“EuroFest” will be divided for 4 parts. There will be a professional jury, who will choose 15 participants of the semifinal from all the requests. During a live TV show a jury and the spectators will further select finalists. The third part is a preparation for the final proper, which promises to be a grand show, according to the organizers. The winner, who will represent Belarus at the 2009 ESC will finally be selected by a jury

The best position achieved by Belarus so far is Koldun’s performance of his song “Work your magic” (6th place in the Final of ESC 2007).