Author: Fotis Konstantopoulos (Greece)
UNITED KINGDOM – Greek descent representative of the United Kingdom in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest expressed his wish to represent Greece in the Lisbon Eurovision edition. We are absolutely sure the old blond lady at ERT is laughing right now (she needs a joke to sparkle her empty life anyway).
During an interview to Greek fan site he expressed his wish to represent Greece in Eurovision despite his 2015 venture didn’t end up quit well and he is totally unknown to the Greek audience / viewers. Of course when you are interviewed by a Greek Eurovision fan club it’s one of the natural things to say and Alex is anyway keeping ties with Greece by visiting many times a year.
Of course such a scenario wouldn’t get Greece in Lisbon with a vintage tune as the singer is going into sounds of the 60s and 70s which are quite fashionable to Europeans (not really to Greeks, which you need them as supporters in the very end, you know).
Alex Larke is a British singer/songwriter that represented the United Kingdom with duo, Electro Velvet, in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song “Still in Love with You”. For the majority of his career, Alex has been a solo artist, although some of his other musical endeavours have been varied, working with British rock bands, X and Manimal, before later collaborating with electronica act, Teflon Child and Big Beat pioneer, Cut La Roc. Larke has released two solo singles, Shine On, and Belladonna.
Born in Welwyn Garden City, Larke was raised, with his sister Anna, by father Jerry, a motorcycle racer, and his Athens, Greece born mother Penelope, a seamstress. Living in a council house, Larke had a very modest, but happy working-class upbringing in a home that forever had music playing on the stereo. Bands such as The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Police and Elvis Presley, would provide him with the basis of his musical influences that would endure through his career.
SPAIN – The issue of the October 1st Referendum for Independence which was declared illegal by the Spanish Prime Minister is turning seriously into a hilarious situation. There were reports that tonight Spanish army appeared in Barcelona. More over national press ABC.es reports that Spain would block any Catalonian effort to join the Eurovision Song Contest if the region turns independent.
Aquest any #Eurovision està molt igualat oi? L'any que ve comptarà amb un Estat participant més, Catalunya! 😀💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻
— Marta Pascal (@martapascal) May 13, 2017
This actually not something new as the controversy began right after Portugal won the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest and the nationalist party leader went on Twitter using Eurovision in pro independence arguments for the region’s independence.
It’s not a matter of who is right or who is wrong but the thing is that the issue of a region going away after so many years from a state is a serious issue and using Eurovision at this moment has absolutely no meaning to anyone.
We would like to wish for safety to all of our friends and editors in the region and we pray for calm reactions and above all prioritise peace in your actions.
As a chief editor of the website I have decided not to allow any of my Spanish editors to write the story as there are deriving from the two different sides of the story. We respect them both and their political ideas but Eurovision and this website will be used only to unite those two communities instead of separating them. In the very end we are all friends!
It was EBU back in 2016 prohibiting any flags of separatist regions to be used by the fans that year. We all remember though what happened with Iveta Mukuchyan when she raised the Nagorno Karabakh flag in the Green Room. It was honorary for them, to see the Catalonian fans from Spain to respect the EBU decision and not raise the flags in the arena.
Am I the only one feeling uncomfortable writing this story?
Factoid: The regional Government of Catalonia has set a referendum on Catalan independence for 1 October 2017. The call for referendum was announced in June 2017 and approved by the Catalan parliament in a session the 6th September 2017 which was boycotted by all opposition parties but Catalunya Sí que es Pot–which choose to abstain in the vote–, and by a subsequent decree by the Catalan government. The decree mandates a binding referendum based on a simple majority without requiring a minimum turnout. The referendum is illegal according to the Spanish Constitution. With the exception of Podemos, Catalonia’s major opposition parties have called on their voters not to participate. The referendum was immediately suspended by the Constitutional Court on 7 September 2017, with the Catalan government stating the court order was not valid for Catalonia and proceeding to gather the support of 750 of 948 municipalities of Catalonia, including a partial support by Barcelona. This led to a constitutional crisis in Spain.
ESTONIA – Estonia’s biggest music contest – Eesti Laul celebrates its Tin Jubilee! For the tenth time Estonia’s best authors and musicians have the opportunity to make history and show off their talent to Estonia, Europe and beyond!
Song submission is now open with a deadline of 3pm sharp on November 1st.
“Everybody is welcome! It doesn’t matter if you’re an established artist or a complete newcomer – the most important thing is that your song gives us something unique in 180 seconds,” said Eesti Laul producer, Mart Normet. “Eesti Laul is a celebration of Estonian music and has grown into an Estonian institution. It is our aim that we showcase a wide variety of Estonian artists that are bravely representing themselves and their music.”
SPAIN – Bertín Osborne revealed in a recent TV show that he declined participation in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1982. He admits that Eurovision is an institution which is equal to Sanremo when it comes to music, promotion and possibilities but he was never interested in competitions. Instead, in 1983 he participated in Sanremo Festival with the song “Eterna Malattia” where he received the Best Performer award by the jury.
Norberto Juan Ortiz Osborne, better known as Bertín Osborne, is a Spanish vocalist, actor and TV personality. He was born in Madrid, but his life and his childhood are related to his maternal origins in Puerto de Santa María and later in Jerez de la Frontera. He is also a businessman known for his entrepreneurships, and a restaurateur.
SLOVENIA – For the very first time since its independence Slovenian basketball team got the golden medal at the 2017 edition of Eurobasket last night in Istanbul. Eurovision stars of course immediately celebrated the triumph in the social media as you can see below. Congratulations to Slovenia and now the next triumph is to get your first ever Eurovision cup!
INFORMATION ABOUT THE GAME
Slovenia became the EuroBasket champion for the first time after holding off Serbia 93-85. Slovenia outscored Serbia 13-3 over the final 3:30 despite the fact that its two biggest stars, Goran Dragic and Real Madrid sensation Luka Doncic were on the bench with injuries. Dragic scored all of his 35 points in the first three quarters before Levallois Metropolitans swingman Klemen Prepelic and Real Madrid big man Anthony Randolph led Slovenia down the stretch.
Prepelic finished with 21 points and Randolph tallied 11 points and blocked 3 shots. Bogdan Bogdanovic, who helped Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul win the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague crown on the same floor back in May, led Serbia with 22 points and FC Bayern Munich big man Milan Macvan added 18. The game was close from the start and Serbia led 20-22 after 10 minutes. Slovenia made its move when Dragic scored the last 6 points in an 11-0 run to make it 38-28.
Serbia wiped away half of its deficit through a three-point play by FC Bayern Munich forward Vladimir Lucic and a triple by Fenerbahce’s Marko Guduric. Back-to-back threes by Dragic restored a double-digit Slovenia lead, but Bogdanovic cut the margin to 56-47 at halftime. Dragic opened the second half with a three that gave Slovenia its largest lead, 12. Doncic left with an apparent ankle injury midway through the third quarter as Bogdanovic helped power Serbia back.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul center Vladimir Stimac finished inside to make it 63-61. Slovenia scored the next 6 points and managed to keep a 71-67 edge entering the fourth quarter. MoraBanc Andorra guard Jaka Blazic extended the Slovenia lead to 75-67, but Serbia would not be denied. Macvan capped a 0-8 Serbia charge for his team’s first lead of the second half, 77-78. Prepelic put Slovenia back on top with a triple as a tense finish started to brew.
The game was tied at 80-80 and 82-82 before Prepelic came through with another big shot and Randolph scored in the paint. Prepelic, who was fouled attempting a three-pointer with 1:05 remaining, made 2 of the resulting shots and Brose Bamberg guard Aleksej Nikolic all but iced the game with 2 free throws with 35 seconds left that capped a 10-0 surge.
CYPRUS – Cyprus national broadcaster confirmed the exclusive oikotimes.com news about Alex Papaconstantinou who will be the composer of the 2018 Eurovision entry and announced more information about their national selection which will take place around January.
Alex Papaconstantinou will participate for 4th time in Eurovision after Azerbaijan and Cyprus.
Submissions to CyBC for artists due on October 20th and should be in video format which can include up to three songs of his/her choice. Then a preliminary jury will choose the qualifiers through an audition and then there will be five finalists. Besides the national artist selection, none of the preliminary phases will be aired on TV.
Jury and public voting will apply during the final show. The finalists will sing songs given by the production and none of them will be a Eurovision entry potential. Jury members will include Christer Björkman, Harris Savvas and Alex Papaconstantinou (for the time being).
The Eurovision entry will be ready on time for the selection winner to record it and be ready up to the Heads of Delegations meeting in mid March.
Alexander “Alex” Papaconstantinou, is a Swedish songwriter and music producer of Greek origin. He has worked with a number of artists including Antique, Elena Paparizou, Arash, Anna Vissi, Cameron Cartio and Sarbel.
In 2011, Papaconstantinou adopted the production pseudonym Alex P and started collaborating with record producer RedOne, co-writing and co-producing the Enrique Iglesias hit song “I Like How It Feels”. He has since joined RedOne’s production and 2101 songs writing team and co-wrote and co-produced the Khaled album C’est la vie,.
Along with Adam Baptiste, he has also been credited as a featured artist under the name “The WAV.s”.
RUSSIA – Sochi hosted the 16th edition of the most prestigious music festival in Europe, The New Wave Festival which ended up with three winners last night. Uzbekistan, Moldova and Armenia won the festival for the first time.
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Does this mean something for Eurovision 2018? Well the festival is known to be a breeder of Eurovision participants. After all all in 2002 Sergey Lazarev and in 2009 Jamala won the festival, later on participating and winning the contest. The same happened with Natalia Gordienko.
Moldova this year seems to have impressed everyone with the band DoReDos praised even but the Moldovan president.
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In the meantime we have the issue of the Russian participation in Lisbon. Yulia Samoilova as promised after the crisis with Ukraine last April? or Sergey Lazarev as promised by Kirkorov when Lazarev lost the trophy although winning the tele voting in 2016.
Philip Kikrkorov though spoke out last night and when Philip speaks, it always means news! “It’s not over yet, We’re yet to take revenge. I promise you, I believe you will make it.”
How will this work and eventually which of the Russian national broadcasters will finally take place in Lisbon after the withdrawal in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.
The festival also included once again another hint (maybe). Dimitris Kontopoulos (producer/songwriter Belarus 2007, Ukraine 2008, Greece 2009, Azerbaijan 2013, Russia 2014 & 2016, Greece 2017) participated again in the jury (not to mention he sang for the very first time in his life).
The winner(s) of the festival always decided by the juries although there is also an online voting for people’s choice award.
Kontopoulos’ participation surely is an acknowledgement of his contribution to the Russian success in Eurovision Song Contest the recent years but also his close ties with Kirkorov and Lazarev could mean planning ahead for Lisbon(?).
New Wave Festival included a tribute night to Philip Kirkorov. But is Kirkorov that important to Russia? Well actually not only in Russia but in all CIS countries Philip is the ultimate superstar and if I am not mistaken has been categorised as one of the top ten powerful and influential people in Russia. It’s no secret that he has close ties and contacts with the government. During the tribute night, the top of the tops of artists and his family performed his songs during an exquisite and sentimental evening, marking the highlight of the event this year.
Sergey of course wasn’t out of this. He performed his Eurovision entry in Russian and played the stage once again.
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BELARUS – They played in festivals all summer, Xenia and Artem are simply amazing and they are making history with their performances as all Belarusians seem to love them. Now they are back to the international scene releasing their brand new video for the song Biažy. The song combines guitar tunes with ethnic sounds and it’s simply Ama`ing just like them. Lovely personalities, full of energy and many times around them they proven to me that music is their life style, the way they can express and the way they can enjoy life. Simply, amazing. Congrats guys
Naviband (also called NAVI) is a Belarusian married indie pop duo. The group is led by Arciom Lukjanienka (vocals, guitar) and Ksienija Žuk (vocals, keyboards). In-studio members also include Uladzislaŭ Čaščavik (bass), Aliaksandr Taboĺski (production), and Uladzimir Biehier (drums). They represented Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, with the song “Historyja majho žyccia” finishing in 17th place.
Naviband were confirmed to have submitted an application for Belarus’s national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, on 26 November 2016. On 30 November, they were confirmed to be one of the thirteen finalists with the song “Historyja majho žyccia”. During the final, held on 20 January 2017, Naviband went on to win, placing first with juries and fifth with televoters.
They represented Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. “Historyja majho žyccia” is the first ever Belarusian Eurovision entry to be sung in the Belarusian language, as the language had only previously been heard at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Belarus competed in the second half of the second semi-final at the Eurovision Song Contest and came 17th in the final. (source: wikipedia.org)