LITHUANIA – Greta Zazza and Paula Valentaite are returning to the national selection. In a recent interview to Zmones newspaper Great said: “If before, it can be said, I was only warming my legs, then this time I will go to the stage completely confident in my strength, knowing everything and anything, and with a piece of work with which I have a very strong emotional connection.” Speaking about her bidding entry “Broken Shadows” she said: “I really believe in the song,” she says. “A small ‘chemical reaction’ has taken place between me and the music, which can be the key to success in both the national selection and, I believe, in the great Eurovision.” Paula on the other hand hasn’t released her song but she said to the newspaper: “Participation in the Eurovision selection was the biggest experience of my life, and helped me to make a firm decision not only to connect the future with music, but also to try to win this competition. This time I go into the competition feeling calm — I’ll be a hundred percent.”
FRANCE – The latest news from France say that the semi finals will be recorded on January 8th and 9th but there is no date fo their broadcast announced yet. It is also announced that OGAE France will have special invitations for the show. The recording will take place at Studios de France – Bât 217, 50 Avenue du Président Wilson, 93210 La Plaine – Saint-Denis. Interested persons may register for the attendance here.
AZSRBAIJAN – Aisel Mammadov attended the music awards in Moscow, where Philip Kirkorov was awarded (once again) the annual award. The meeting of Aisel and the famous Russian pop star who by coincident had alongside his best friends from Greece, the Greek Dream Team sparkled rumours for collaboration with her on the Azeri Eurovision project.
ALBANIA – Riccardo Cocciante has been announced as the Guest of Honour at Festivali i Kenges 56 next week in Albania. Cocciante began achieving success as a musician around 1972. In 1976, he covered the Beatles song “Michelle” for the musical documentary All This and World War II. That same year, he released his sole English album in the US, with the single “When Love Has Gone Away” peaking at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1991, he won the Sanremo Festival with the song “Se stiamo insieme”, and for Christmas 1997 legendary Spanish operatic tenor and friend Plácido Domingo invited him to sing at Domingo’s annual Christmas in Vienna concert, together with Sarah Brightman and Helmut Lotti. As of 2008, Cocciante has three musicals running, with Notre-Dame de Paris being the most known. His oeuvre includes recordings in Italian, French, English, and Spanish; he has recorded some of his songs in all four languages, including “Pour Elle” recorded as “Per Lei” in Italian, “Para Ella” in Spanish, and “I’d Fly” in English. Kozeta Kurti a Spokesperson for Festivali i Kenges says: “His presence is not a way to attract the public to the festival, but it’s a reward for the Albanian audience who is passionate about Italian music”.