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  • another web source 14:37 on May 24, 2017 2:37 pm Permalink |  

    The Eurovision in Ukraine was an exercise in soft power 

    LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS / UNITED KINGDOM – Eurovision 2017, held in Kyiv, may have lacked overt politicisation when it came to the performances showcased on stage, especially in comparison to previous years. But as Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz argues, the contest nevertheless delivered a carefully constructed ideological message about Ukraine’s European aspirations and its pride in its cultural heritage and traditions, while also signalling comradeship with the Slavic world and Eastern Europe. The net result was a quintessential exercise in Eurovision’s enduring soft power.

    The Eurovision Song Contest is no stranger to political controversy. Envisioned as a means of forging cultural ties between Europe’s nations in the aftermath of World War II, the contest was closely tied to the idea of European integration taking shape in the 1950s. For a brief period, the Warsaw Pact countries hosted a competing Intervision contest, but it was Eurovision, and the idea behind it, that ultimately prevailed. And it wasn’t until the majority of Europe’s states from the continent’s east (and from its near periphery) entered the competition that it became the political playground which it is known as today.

    Time and again it has provided ample data for better understanding European politics and society. In 2014, Conchita Wurst’s “inherently queer and subversive performance” was a sweeping success in the popular vote, but it was shunned by East European juries. As I argued then, this revealed just how complicated the polarisation over LGBTQ+ issues is in the region. Similarly, last year’s victory of Jamala, singing about Stalinist atrocities in Crimea in 1944, was a triumph of cultural soft power that signalled the significance of collective historical consciousness among the European public.

    Culture as soft power

    This year, however, the 200+ million audience of Eurovision was spared outright political messaging in the performances, and the pre-contest squabble over Russia’s participation was largely lost on the public. The political dimension of Eurovision 2017 was, however, noticeable in how Ukraine decided to, yet again, use it as a vehicle of soft power (albeit less overtly than in years past when one of its songs’ lyrics uncannily sounded like “Russia Goodbye”).

    This year was marked by far more discreet efforts. Firstly, the hosts showcased a country with western-democratic aspirations, putting emphasis on freedom, and on being a tolerant and open country that belongs to the European family of liberal democracies. Secondly, it was pride in Ukraine’s cultural heritage that was noticeable, which permeated most vividly from the adjoining performers during the contest’s final and the hosts’ commentaries. Finally, an even more discreet, almost subliminal, message conveyed was that of the regional Eastern European (and Slavic) embeddedness of Ukraine, and its role in the region being markedly different from Russia’s.

    A European Ukraine

    As noted by the Atlantic, Eurovision “serves as a stage for countries to express their national pride and affirm their European affiliation”. This couldn’t be truer of Ukraine, parts of which are currently engulfed in war with Russia. Openness and belonging to Europe were major themes of the three parts of the song contest, as well as its physical surroundings in the nation’s capital. Most notably, one of the last damaged buildings standing on the famous Maidan square where the 2013 protests, followed by violent clashes, took place, was decorated with a larger-than-life banner stating that “Freedom is our religion”.

    The “celebrate diversity” theme of this year’s edition was embodied by altering a Soviet-era monument and trying to put as much daylight as possible between it and a Russia perceived as being intolerant and authoritarian. What once was an arch symbolising Russo-Ukrainian unity, was painted in rainbow colours, much to the dismay of Russia, as well as conservative and nationalist forces within Ukraine who prevented the arch’s rainbow from being completed.

    This western-democratic aspiration is closely linked to the idea and the process of European integration. It derives from a profound sense, shared by a sizeable part of the intellectual elite and decision-making class in the country, that Ukraine is, both historically and politically, at the heart of Europe. After all, it was Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU that the Maidan protests erupted over and which put the country at odds with Russia, plunging it into a proxy-war that still has no end in sight. Ukraine’s insistence on its European credentials, including being able to successfully host such a show, is hence part of a soft power effort focused on its geopolitical reorientation. It is, however, only one part of a concerted effort to showcase the country to the outside world.

    Слава Україні! (Glory to Ukraine!)

    Occidental yearnings among countries of the former Communist East are not a new phenomenon. Almost thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, however, such aspirations can no longer be simply assimilationist. Hence, the sense of a Ukrainian national self was very much present throughout Eurovision. Contemporary Ukrainian pop stars at the show’s grand final – Ruslana, Jamala and Onuka – draw heavily on Ukrainian folk music in their performances. This link between popular and Ukrainian folk music is very much appreciated by the domestic public where references to Ukrainian cultural traditions and use of the Ukrainian language are integral to the civic and identity soul-searching that the country has been going through in the past few years.

    A sense of pride in the success of Eurovision hosted by Kyiv is seen as validation of the skill and ability of the Ukrainian people and plays a crucial role in the process of crystallising its national self-understanding vis-à-vis Europe, rather than just emulating its neighbours to the west. In this instance, Eurovision performed a function which for many countries around the world is carried out by large sporting events. There was, however, yet another dimension to Ukraine’s soft power Eurovision pitch.

    Eastern Partnership

    Ukraine cannot defy geography, especially its proximity to Russia and its client states. Therefore, the final message communicated in Kivy was how much Ukraine cherishes its Slavic ‘cousins’ and how it maintains positive relations with its neighbours in the East European region, while highlighting how different it is from Russia. Paired with an emphasis on the country’s western-democratic and European credentials, it was a conscious attempt to demonstrate the distinctions between Ukraine (positioned as pro-Western, liberal, democratic, and tolerant) and Russia (presented as anti-Western, illiberal, autocratic, and intolerant).

    This message follows Ukraine’s current diplomatic efforts. The above was communicated side-by-side with a less explicit signalling of Slavic/regional brotherhood. During the final show’s last stage, where points are collected from Europe’s capitals, almost all Slavic-speaking countries were greeted with the Ukrainian добрий вечір (dobryy vechir), which can be largely understood in the region, while niceties and other linguistic innuendos were also exchanged.

    Most importantly, however, 12 points from the Ukrainian jury (representing the country’s elite voice) went to Belarus, which can be seen as a proxy for Russia, absent from the competition. In underlining its Slavic and East European credentials, Ukraine exercised a fine balancing act between Europe and Russia (which claims ownership of the idea of pan-Slavism). It was a deliberate attempt to prove the country’s western-democratic credentials while stressing its regional embeddedness, and its shared cultural and historical heritage.

    Despite lacking overt politicisation, this year’s Eurovision was a quintessential exercise in soft power for Ukraine, a country fighting for the right of self-determination on the world stage. The contest delivered a carefully constructed ideological message about what kind of country Ukraine wants to be: a western-democratic and a European state, which takes pride in its cultural heritage and traditions, and which at the same time is rooted in the Slavic world and supports liberal change in the region of Eastern Europe.

    SOURCE: LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS

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  • another web source 14:33 on May 24, 2017 2:33 pm Permalink |  

    One more Ukrainian failure: Milla Jovovich was suppose to host Eurovision 2017 

    UKRAINE – Popular Hollywood actress of Ukrainian origin Milla Jovovich was not against to Eurovision song contest 2017. May 13, Kyiv hosted the Eurovision 2017. Leading the competition were Timur Miroshnychenko, Oleksandr skychko and Vladimir Ostapchuk. According to producer Oleg Bodnarchuk, one of the leading competition really wanted to be 41-year-old American actress Milla Jovovich. The star had agreed to a minimum fee.

    “You’re not sleeping and you’re not dreaming. Our choosing a headliner for the Eurovision song contest, refused Lady Gaga chose him. It’s time to reveal the card. Here’s another secret. One of the leading contest for a nominal fee really wanted to be Milla Jovovich. Her Manager wrote me a letter, because I knew that I was doing this and asked for negotiations. I am sure that Milla denied for the same reason that Lady Gaga,“ wrote Bodnarchuk are on their sistance.

    Recall that Lady Gaga was supposed to perform in the final of the Eurovision song contest 2017 in Kiev. According to the producer Jamala Igor Tarnopolsky, Lady Gaga refused, because the budget of 30 million euros (about 870 000 000 UAH.) for it was not 200 thousand dollars (about 5 200 000 UAH.).

     
  • another web source 15:13 on May 23, 2017 3:13 pm Permalink |  

    Eurovision 2017 semi finals and final watched by over 180 million viewers 

    EBU.CH REPORTS / GENEVA – The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), the world’s longest running annual TV music competition, was seen by over 180 million viewers in 2017. (waiting for Australia to tip it over) The 3 live shows from Kyiv, Ukraine on 9, 11 and 13 May reached around 182 million people across 42 markets*. The figure is lower year on year as Russia did not air any of the shows following their withdrawal from the competition.

    The 2017 Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest achieved, on average, the same audience share as 2016 of 36.2% – more than double the average prime-time viewing share for the same group of channels (15.8%). The number of people watching the Eurovision Song Contest online more than doubled from 2016. There were 6 million live streaming sessions in 233 territories across the 3 shows on the official ESC YouTube channel and a total of 8.5 million on-demand requests.

    Winning country Portugal delivered its largest audience since 2008, an average 1.4 million viewers watched the Grand Final, accounting for 32.5% of Portuguese TV viewing. 2nd placed Bulgaria had its highest audience on record (since 2003), with 650 thousand viewers accounting for 39.4% of Bulgarian TV viewing. Italy delivered its best audience since re-joining the ESC in 2011 – 3.6 million viewers, up 15% on 2016. Germany saw the highest average viewing figures for the 8th consecutive year (7.8m)

    Host country Ukraine delivered its highest viewing share for the ESC Grand Final since 2009 with 1.5 million watching, accounting for 18.8% of Ukrainian TV viewing that night. Iceland once again delivered the largest viewing share of all 42 countries (98%), despite its entry not making it to the final for a third consecutive year. Viewing was even up 16% on 2016 to reach 150 thousand viewers, making it the biggest audience since 2014 when they last made it to the Grand Final.

    The Eurovision Song Contest was hugely popular with younger audiences. On average, 42.9% of 15-24 year olds watching TV in 42 countries enjoyed the Grand Final which is 4 times higher than the broadcast channels average of 11.0%. Viewing share is also around 4 times higher than the broadcast channels average among children (4-15 years olds; 34.8% / 8.7%) and Young Adults (25-34 year olds; 38.3% / 10.4%).

    The Grand Final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest was also broadcast by 19 EBU Radio Members. Next year’s competition will be held in Portugal for the very first time after the country’s first win in 53 years of participation.

    *Source: Results produced by EBU and based on Eurodata TV’s and relevant partners’ data

     
  • another web source 08:16 on May 22, 2017 8:16 am Permalink |  

    Eurovision 2017: great investment with little returns 

    UKRAINE – From May 9 to May 14, Ukraine hosted the 2017 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Large numbers of guests were expected in the country’s capital Kiev and many arrived. According to preliminary calculations, from May 1 to 14, 60,000 tourists arrived to attend the song contest. 20,000 of these were foreigners, while 40,000 were domestic tourists. Revenues from ticket sales for Eurovision 2017 are expected to reach more than $35 million.

    At first sight these numbers are fantastic. However, when uncovering the broader picture, the less rosy reality is revealed. Ukraine spent a staggering €30 million on the Eurovision 2017 Contest. To put it into perspective, last year Sweden spent €9 million for the organization of the same contest. Before that, Russia and Estonia had both organized the song contest for approximately €12 million. Thus, with the money spent in Ukraine, other European countries could roughly organize three song contests of such capacity.

    Ukrainians are amazed by the money spent on the event, taking into account that the country is currently in a terrible economic situation and technically at war. For example, Jamala, the winner of Eurovision 2016, received €34,000 for her performance. The same artist received just €25,000 for her New Year’s performance. Other than artists, substantial sums of the budget were invested into marketing and the creation of a positive image of Ukraine.

    According to experts, Ukrainian hotels and restaurants were left with minimal earnings during the Eurovision 2017 in Kiev. The reason for this are so called “budget guests” in the Ukrainian capital. Foreigners reportedly ate kebabs and baked vegetables in the fan zones, did not drink much, nor use public transport and excursions.

    Overall, foreign guests preferred to refresh themselves on the streets rather than in restaurants. Moreover, cafes in the city center registered an outflow of visitors by 20-25% compared to the usual period. The average meal check of those attending the Eurovision in Kiev accounted to a maximum of $10.

    Eurovision 2017 managed to attract many visitors with low profit: The Association of Small Hotels and Apartments confirmed the numbers, saying that guests attending Eurovision 2017 arrived “with not much money” and settled mainly in hostels in the city center. The occupancy in such facilities increased by 25% in May compared to the previous years. However, the earnings of hoteliers were not in any way jaw-dropping.

    Experts also claim that the budget of the Eurovision Song Contest was divided between people close to the authorities.

    Thus, despite high figures in terms of guests, Ukraine definitely will not be happy about the outcome of the contest in terms of financial gains. Even more so considering the economic situation of the country and its political instability as well as obscure safety situation.

     
  • another web source 00:38 on May 22, 2017 12:38 am Permalink |  

    UK biz needs to take a ‘fresh look at Eurovision’ says Guy Freeman 

    UNITED KINGDOM – Saturday night sees the 62nd edition of Eurovision head to Ukraine, as audiences around the globe ready themselves for the biggest and glitziest song competition of the year. And, while there will no doubt be madcap performances, kitsch costumes and wry commentary aplenty, many believe there is still serious business to made from what is currently the most watched live non-sporting event on the planet. Music Week spoke to Guy Freeman, editor, special events and formats at the BBC to find out why the UK music industry is missing a major opportunity by not embracing the annual pop extravaganza…

    How big a draw is Eurovision these days? Does it still generate the same kind of audiences as in previous years?
    The Eurovision Song Contest is the most watched, live non-sporting event in the world. Both in the UK and across Europe, it hasn’t just continued to rate on par with the biggest TV shows of the year but has impressively grown its share of 16-34 viewers to well over 40%. The show also performs incredibly well with under-served and diverse viewers.

    What were the viewing figures for last year, and do you think you can top that figure this year?
    The average audience across the show was a very healthy 7.2million/38% share, with a peak audience of 8.8million/63% share. It would be folly to predict any viewing figure for this year but there’s absolutely no reason to suggest it won’t perform well again. At this time of year, factors beyond our control, such as weather, can make a difference to how many people are inside with the TV on or out and about. However, as the evening progresses, more and more people get drawn in and the viewing peak is always in the final hour, as the voting unfolds.

    Why do so many people continue to tune in when the chances of a UK act winning seem so slim, due to the nature of the voting system?
    People tune in to watch a fascinating, spectacular and often surprising entertainment event that they know millions of others across Europe are all watching at the same time. The sense of occasion, ritual and shared experience is a big draw in itself and people love reacting to every moment of it with friends, family and on social media, where it creates massive spikes of activity. A previous high, of 50,000 Tweets per minute when Conchita won in 2014, was surpassed last year by Ukraine’s win which triggered 73,000 Tweets per minute, totalling over 7 million. We know too from audience research that people love Graham Norton’s perfectly judged commentary. The combination of his genuine affection for the contest and his razor sharp wit make his well-chosen words an unmissable part of the night for many.

    Is Brexit likely to make the UK entry even less popular than usual?
    The voting is a 50:50 split of music professional juries – watching the Friday night dress run – and the viewing public on the Saturday night. They will react to what they see and hear on screen and I would never underestimate the emotional power of a great live performance to win people over and motivate them to vote. It’s an entertainment show.

    Will you be bringing anything new to coverage of the show this year, such as red button or app/social media features?
    Every year we like to evolve elements of our TV, radio and online/social coverage of the two two-hour semi finals and the three and a half hour Grand Final. The rate of change is of course fastest in social media, which means, for example, that our brilliant digital team are likely to do more with Facebook Live this year and also create more video content over the 10-day rehearsal period in Kyiv to share across a variety of platforms. Fans are always hungry for additional material and we aim to provide that. The area in which we can really innovate, and have done over the last couple of years, is in the way we find our UK entry. Thanks to the involvement and dedication of Hugh Goldsmith, working with our producer Helen Riddell, we are reconnecting with those in the music industry who are open to the opportunity that Eurovision presents. As a result, we had six bespoke songs performed live at Hammersmith Apollo, on BBC Two in January, with viewers and a professional jury voting for their favourite.

    Despite the rankings of the songs on the night, how big an opportunity is Eurovision for British artists to introduce themselves to a significant international audience?
    Justin Timberlake was no fool when he launched Can’t Stop The Feeling! in last year’s final and I’d argue that for any great singer with a great song, a chance to reach 200 million people is not to be sneezed at. But beyond that three-minute moment in the final, there is intense interest in all of the entries from the moment they are revealed in February/March through to the Final in May. The media pick-up on the UK entry is enormous; there are invaluable opportunities for a performer to make their mark.

    Should the music industry get more involved in Eurovision due to its vast international platform? Is the music industry missing a trick?
    Yes please. I think it’s very easy to misunderstand Eurovision or to cling on to old perceptions. I’d urge anyone who hasn’t done so to take a fresh look at how ambitious and slick it has become in recent years. Our entry needs to stand out on that stage for all the right reasons, and whilst we continue to do everything we can to support the process of creating songs, matching them with outstanding live performers and staging them as creatively as possible….we can’t do it without the music industry backing the writers and performers who they know are up to the job.

    Could Eurovision be an effective way of breaking new UK acts?
    It certainly can be a way of breaking either new writers or performers, because there is everything to gain. The only caveat I’d add is that the demands of performing perfectly every time in a massive venue, on live TV and handling the immense media and fan interest, over a period of time, means that it is definitely more suited to artists with some TV or live performance experience to draw upon.

    What can be done to change the perception of Eurovision as a novelty?
    I think it’s more a question of getting people to accept what it is and to embrace it. Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, you can’t deny its huge popularity and enduring success. Sweden, for example, is passionate about the contest and its series of selection shows – Melodifestivalen – is both big on TV and within their music industry. Most importantly though, Eurovision has music at the heart of it and that is something we should definitely take seriously and celebrate in equal measure.

     
  • another web source 00:13 on May 19, 2017 12:13 am Permalink |  

    Could X Factor’s Saara Aalto represent the UK at Eurovision next? 

    United Kingdom – In the latest Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night, the UK ranked 15th out of the 26 finalists. Although a generally poor result, it was actually out best outcome since 2011 with another X Factor singer, Lucie Jones, representing us.

    But could Saara do better at Eurovision next year? The Finnish singer, who was runner up on last year’s X Factor, has tried three times to enter the competition already. But much like on The X Factor – and when she was on The Voice of Finland – Saara ended up finishing as second best.

    “I tried to get in three times in Finland. Two times I have been second in the competition. It’s my dream,” she admitted this month.

    So could Saara one day sing for the UK instead?

    Saara wouldn’t rule it out but did say it wasn’t on the cards right now – what with her newly signed record deal with Sony Music following The X Factor.

    “At this moment though I don’t think it’s the best move to do. Who knows one day I might represent the UK,” she teased.

    Meanwhile, speaking to BANG Showbiz, Saara revealed she remains in touch with her fellow X Factor finalists after last year’s series.

    She said: “Some of them came to my birthday party. We are all still quite close. I do have the judges phone numbers as well but I haven’t seen them since leaving the show. When I release my music I will text Sharon Osborne and ask her about my songs.”

     
  • another web source 18:53 on May 18, 2017 6:53 pm Permalink |  

    Samantha Mumba interested to represent Ireland in 2018 

    IRELAND – Samantha Mumba has offered to represent Ireland in the Eurovision next year. It’s been a tough few years for Ireland in the Eurovision. We go into it each year with so much hope, only to get knocked back again. After failing to qualify for the fourth year in a row, there has been much plotting and scheming on how to restore Ireland to Eurovision glory – and there may just be an answer.

    In a piece for The Irish Times, writer Jenn Gannon reflected on Ireland’s current place in the Eurovision, and suggested that maybe it’s time to hand over the reins to a more capable pair of hands. Someone who knows the pop game. Someone who can recognise an actual tune when they see one. Someone like… Samantha Mumba.

    The intro to Body 2 Body just started playing in your head, didn’t it? As it happens, we are in luck, because Samantha Mumba herself agrees.

    Samantha Mumba is an Irish singer and actress. She shot to fame in 2000 with the release of her debut single “Gotta Tell You”, which reached the Top 10 in Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States. After a relatively short music career, she starred in numerous films, most notably in the 2002 film The Time Machine. She has also appeared in a number of Irish independent films. She returned to public attention when she appeared in the 2008 series of Dancing on Ice. In 2011 Mumba confirmed her retirement from music and to focus mainly on her acting career. However, in 2013, Mumba revealed via Twitter that she was back in the studio working on new material. In early 2017, she participated in a Celebrity Version of MasterChef Ireland and went on to fill in as co-host on The 6 O’Clock Show, while Lucy Kennedy took maternity leave.

     
  • another web source 12:06 on May 17, 2017 12:06 pm Permalink |  

    Conservative councillor suspended over racist Eurovision tweet 

    UNITED KINGDOM – A Conservative councillor has been suspended for tweeting offensive comments about Irish people during the Eurovision Song Contest. Nick Harrington, who also sits as a magistrate, was clearly moved to anger after the Irish judges failed to vote for UK entry Lucie Jones.

    In his ire, he tweeted: “#Eurovision2017 thanks Ireland. You can keep your f****** gypsies! Hard border coming folks!” Unsurprisingly his comments drew angry calls to the police and Warwick District Council – as well as a slew of remarks on his Twitter feed.

    His Twitter account was deleted after the post, but not before it had been screen grabbed and shared across social media. Warwick District Council leader Andrew Mobbs suspended Mr Warrington for six months pending a full investigation.

    In a statement the council said: “We apologise unreservedly for the offence and upset that his comments have caused.” Police are also investigating the tweet sent from the councillor’s account after complaints from members of the public.

    SOURCE: THE MIRROR

     
    • beccaboo1212 17:31 on May 17, 2017 5:31 pm Permalink

      How could he call the Irish people gypsies? That’s mean! 🙁

  • another web source 12:47 on May 16, 2017 12:47 pm Permalink |  

    Russian President has no regrets for his country absence from Eurovision 2017 

    RUSSIA – Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the decision not to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest was correct and that he has no regrets about it. “As for Eurovision, those who wanted to watch it could do so online. I believe that our agencies involved in that process did the right thing when they refused to take part in it, because, from my point of view, the current authorities in Kiev are unable to host events of this kind,” the president told a news conference on Monday.

     
  • another web source 01:12 on May 16, 2017 1:12 am Permalink |  

    Preliminary reports on TV ratings across Europe 

    GERMANY – 7.76 million people watched as Germany narrowly avoided it’s third last place finish in a row last night in Kyiv, Ukraine. Last night an average of 7.76 million viewers watched in Germany as Levina finished 25th with her song “Perfect life”. The viewing figures in Germany peaked at 9.3 million viewers. The average viewing figures for this years contest in Germany represent a fall of 1.57 million viewers over last years contest when Jamie-Lee represented her country with “Ghost”.

    PORTUGAL – 57% of the country watched last night as Portugal were announced as the winners of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Around 2.5 million viewers were watching last night as Portugal won their first ever Eurovision Song Contest represented by Salvador Sobral and the song “Amar Pelos Dois”. As the trophy was handed over to Salvador Sobral 57% of the viewing audience in Portugal were watching. Over the course of the final an average of 1.4 million viewers across Portugal were watching, as Salvador ended a 53 years wait for Eurovision victory. A total of 1.8 million viewers were watching at 20:55 local time when Salvador Sobral took to the stage to perform.

    SWEDEN – The number of viewers watching the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, fell by over 800,000 viewers compared to 2016.

    CROATIA – In Croatia over 666,000 viewers watched the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 as Jacques Houdek performed “My Friend”.

    ROMANIA – Almost 800,000 Romanians watched Saturday night at TVR 1 when Ilinca and Alex Florea were singing their song on stage Eurovision Song Contest 2017, TVR announced. The Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 was watched on average by 561,000 viewers (rating 3.1%, share 11%), placing TVR 1 on the second place In the national audience rankings. The show ranked first place in urban audience, with an average of 414,000 viewers (average rating 4.2%, average share 14.5 %). The Eurovision Grand Final ranked second on the commercial target (188,000 viewers, average rating of 4.1% and average market share of 15.5%). The most watched moment of Finale was recorded during when Romania was on stage (23.40), when no less than 807.000 Romanians watched the show of the two artists (rating 4.5%, share 15% nationwide).

    GREECE – The Eurovision 2017 Grand Final reached 51,2% in the general audience in Greece, reaching up to 62.7% during the voting. In the aged 15-44 the rates were 54,8% reaching 66,3% during the voting. Last year the ratings were 31,3% in the general audience and 39,8% in the ages 15-44.

    to be continued

     
  • another web source 01:07 on May 16, 2017 1:07 am Permalink |  

    The aftermath of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in brief 

    PORTUGAL – Lisbon will host the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, the 63rd edition of the contest. RTP confirmed the host city and the official suggestion is MEO Arena, something that must be verified by the EBU’s Reference Group.

    GOOGLE – Did you know that Google tried to estimate the winner based on various algorithms? France was the country to win according to that estimation, which naturally proven false.

    ANDORRA – Andorran state television was asked immediately after the Portuguese entry if they will return to the contest. RTVA responded that they are not coming back. So far 10 countries are confirmed to participate in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest: Portugal, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Norway, Russia and Spain.

    JUNIOR EUROVISION 2017 – Prior to this year’s contest, up to 25% of Junior Eurovision songs were allowed to be performed in a language that isn’t one of the country’s official languages. Now, this percentage is being increased to 40%. In another minor rule change, backing tracks may now contain the recording of six backing vocalists onto the track. This is an increase on the five that were allowed in previous years. Nevertheless, as always, the lead vocalist must perform live on stage. So far only 7 countries have confirmed participation in Tbilisi’s edition.

    DENMARK – DR’s Entertainment Chief, Jan Lagermand Lundme, has expressed his opinions on the results of this years Eurovision Song Contest. “I accept defeat. But I think it is important to remember that Anja has been fantastic.”

    MOLDOVA – Sunstroke Project are to receive state honours after getting third place at this years Eurovision Song Contest, Moldova’s highest result to date. Sunstroke Project were welcomed home with open arms after they received Moldova’s highest result to date. The trio, who entered the contest with their song “Hey Mamma”, received 374 points overall which meant they finished third overall. The President of Moldova Igor Dodon has promised high state honours for the band members.

    AZERBAIJAN – EBU responded to Aftonbladet’s question regarding the poor placing of Cyprus in the jury voting, since the artist is of Armenian descent:  The winner of the Eurovision Song Contest is decided by televoters and juries (comprised of music industry professionals), who each have a 50% stake in the outcome. Each juror signs a declaration, stating they will judge the songs independently, based on a number of criteria, such as the song, the lyrics, the performance and hit potential. They understand that their judging also excludes any personal views pro or against a performers personal background. We expect them to, and are happy that they do, respect these rules in order to keep the contest clear from (geo) political influences. Neither the Armenian or Azerbaijani juries have ever been sanctioned by the EBU for consistently ranking each others entries last in the jury vote. However in 2009 the national broadcaster of Azerbaijan was fined after the Government questioned citizens who voted for the Armenian entry.

    ESTONIA – Issues with the televote have been reported in Estonia, with viewers calls not going through correctly during the final. Mobile phone operators in Estonia have confirmed that some customers had issues when attempting to vote during the final of Eurovision 2017. Finnish telecommunications company, Elisa confirmed that some of its customers were unable to vote during the final. Viewers reported that when they attempted to vote they were unable to be connected and could not vote for the country they wished to vote for. There were no issues however with the SMS vote. The Chairman of the Board of ERR, Margus Allikmaa apologised to viewers for the issues that occurred, but reiterated that the issue was out of the hands of the Estonian national broadcaster.  Mr Allikmaa added that damage has been done to the reputation of the broadcaster as a result of the issues on Saturday night. (source: http://www.eurovoix.com)

    BULGARIA – The Director General of BNT and the Head of Delegation for Bulgaria have praised the singer for what he has been able to do for Bulgaria. For the Director General of BNT, Eurovision has become a chance for Bulgaria to showcase the talent it posses and to build the image of the country. She added, Television has its mission and to be able to display the entire talent of Bulgaria to the who world – now with Eurovision talent Kristian, talent Poli Genova and all future representatives who will sing. The singer was also congratulated by the Bulgarian Minister of Culture who in his statement thanked Kristian for proving, to everyone that the power of the gift of Bulgarian artists occurs regardless of where in the world create or perform their works. In addition the Culture Minister stated that he has made Bulgaria extraordinarily proud of themselves and wishes him the greatest success in his career.

    SAN MARINO – The Director General of San Marino RTV has reiterated that he feels that Eurovision favours the Big Five and not smaller nations. Dr Carlo Romeo, has reiterated that San Marino will be rethinking whether they will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018. In an interview with San Marino RTV, the Director General has stated that the organisers of the contest favours the Big Five and larger nations, while it overlooks smaller nations such as San Marino.

    UKRAINE – Ukraine’s interior minister says police have detained a notorious prankster who jumped onto the stage during the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv and bared his buttocks as a Ukrainian singer was performing. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a May 14 Facebook post that police had detained Vitaliy Sedyuk, who performed the stunt on live television as Ukrainian singer Jamala was performing during the previous night’s Eurovision final. Avakov said that Sedyuk had been detained by event security and police, and that he resisted the detaining officers. The minister added that Sedyuk had been placed in custody for 72 hours, and that he faced “hooliganism” charges punishable by up to five years in prison.

    PORTUGAL – Eurovision winner Salvador Sobral has claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo is Portugal’s hero despite receiving national acclaim after leading the country to their first ever victory in the song contest. Portugal followed up their European Championship triumph last summer with another win, but on a different stage, as Sobral’s ‘Amar Pelos Dios’ finished top of the leaderboard at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.

    AUSTRALIA – Broadcaster SBS, which backs Australia’s Eurovision bid, says the invite has not yet been extended but they are keen to return. “At this stage, Australia’s participation in Eurovision is on a year-by-year basis and we must be invited by the host broadcaster in the hosting country,” an SBS spokesperson told AAP.

    GERMANY – Eurovision fans and voters were less than impressed with Germany’s performance during tonight’s last final, blasting it for sounding like a massive number one hit single from 2011. Levina took to the stage in Kiev, Ukraine, to compete for Germany with her entry, Perfect Life. However, Eurovision Song Contest viewers thought it sounded suspiciously like David Guetta’s Titanium, and flooded to social media to criticise her for ripping off the song. “Germany might have heard Titanium before. Could be wrong,” one sarcastic fan commented, while another blasted: “Titanium minus the great chorus #Germany.”

    UNITED KINGDOM – Eurovision entrant Lucie Jones blames Brexit after UK finishes in woeful 15th place. In an exclusive interview just hours after the result, Lucie said to THE SUN: “I had no idea how Brexit was going to affect the vote until I was there. I did notice lots of Brexit comments. “I mean the Aussies were the only ones to give us 12 points out of everyone — now that was pretty awkward.”

     

     
  • another web source 18:39 on May 15, 2017 6:39 pm Permalink |  

    Jon Ola Sand happy with the Ukrainian organisers 

    UKRAINE – Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest highly appreciated the organization and staging of the international song contest in Ukraine. He shared his impressions with Petro Poroshenko on the president’s meeting of the organizers and hosts. On the 14th of May, the president’s public affairs office reports.

    “That work we saw of the last week with a three TV shows was absolutely on the top what Eurovision song contest should be. And I have only good feedback from delegations and that’s very rare. Every year there are complaints about certain things could be transportation, could be security related issues; it could be issues with a performing stage. We have not none of these issues, really, from my heart I can tell you, these been arranged superb from Ukrainian organizational side. To transform this conference center into very efficient press-center, very efficient delegation area with absolutely high facilities for the delegations. And the venue itself which became in the internet and still ground venue was achieved on the highest level. We are very proud of cooperation that we have had. With both of authorities and local team of UA:PBC”

    President Poroshenko informed, that due to Russian aggression on the East of Ukraine, it was not easy to hold the contest, but Ukrainian team did their best. “Congratulations to all of you. Eurovision 2017 was organized on the highest level. This is a result of effective cooperation of our teams.” – says Poroshenko.

    The executive producer of the Eurovision, Pavlo Hrytsak, thanked the President for his support in the preparation of the contest. “Great job was done, in order to make the journalists, contestants, and fans feel the hospitality of Kyiv and to make them feel comfortable. I am grateful to the Ukrainian government and you, Mr.President, fro your support” – he said.

     
  • another web source 13:33 on May 9, 2017 1:33 pm Permalink |  

    Eurovision May 09: Per Sundnes replaced as jury member as breached the rules 

    NORWAY – A Norwegian juror for the Eurovision Song Contest has been replaced allegedly due to “a breach in juror rules” following comments he made about Ireland’s entry. A statement from Eurovision this evening reads: “Per Sundnes, who was part of the Norwegian jury, has been placed with Erland Bakke due to a breach in juror rules.”

    Speaking on the official countdown show to the Eurovision ahead of the first semi final of the contest on Tuesday night, Mr Sundnes made comments that suggested he had negative preconceptions about Ireland’s entry, allegedly saying that Ireland have “lost it completely” when it comes to the Eurovision. When ranking all of the songs at this year’s Eurovision during a segment, he gave Ireland’s entry Dying to Try by Brendan Murray the lowest rank of one point – the only country to receive such a low rating.

    Following Mr Sundnes’ replacement, Irish Head of Delegation Michael Kealy said: “I’m glad that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have reacted swiftly to this situation and that all jury members are impartial. “It’s only fair that each song in the Eurovision Song Contest is judged on its individual merits on the night.”

     
  • another web source 00:52 on May 2, 2017 12:52 am Permalink |  

    Eurovision May 01: highlights, gossip, odds of the day 

    Tijana Bogicevic has released the Serbian version of her Eurovision entry “In Too Deep”. The premiere of “Tvoja” has taken place a few minutes ago on YouTube, where the singer has uploaded a special clip containing the Serbian version with a different arrangement.

    New Zealand has made it to most popular European music event in the world – in the form of wine. Invivo Wines has announced it is the official wine of Eurovision 2017, a singing contest to be held over three days in the Ukraine. This marks New Zealand’s first involvement with the event, which attracts more than 200 million people.

    During an interview after her rehearsal today, Martina said that the director of Czech television told her, “Martina, you must not win, we are not ready to host yet”, she went on to say that she replied, “We are ready, so next year in Prague will be great”

    Ruslana entered the press area in the most funny way. She didn’t bother a lot with the fans and media representatives and continued to have fun inside the press centre.

    @ruslana.lyzhychko and her scooter! Welcome to #ukraine #eurovision #celebratingdiversity #bloopers #oops

    A post shared by OIKOTIMES EUROVISION (@oikotimes) on

    BNT 1 presenter, Boryana Gramatikova has been revealed as the spokesperson for Bulgaria at this years Eurovision Song Contest. Boryana studied journalism at the University of Westminster in London, United Kingdom before going on to work in online and television media in Bulgaria.

    Today was day two of rehearsals for the First Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, which saw the second half of the show rehearse for the first time on the Eurovision stage in Kyiv. Each artist would use this time to get a feel for the stage and its surroundings whilst performing their song and practising their choreography. The rehearsals of both Armenia and Greece have been leaked online just hours later.

    http://dai.ly/x5kemo7

    http://dai.ly/x5kentk

    Armenia, Moldova and Cyprus are the press centre favourites today, second day of rehearsals for the first semi final. In the betting odds today we have several countries improving their standings such as Italy, Bulgaria, Armenia and Finland while things are not looking nice for Sweden, Australia, Belgium while Poland was the only country with the best change. Greece remains stable despite some betting offices increasing the odds as well as France.

    Brendan Murray has touched down to a warm welcome in Kiev ahead of his semi-final bout in two weeks’ time. Doing the nation proud, the young Galway singer was greeted in the Ukrainian capital by one of the nation’s most popular singers, Svetlana Tarabarova. Staging an impromptu gig in the bagging area, 20-year-old Murray was caught on camera belting out the tunes following his earlier flight from Dublin this morning.

    Eurovision Fan House has gone live today creating a new space for fans, including a shop, vlogs, blogs and games. Eurovision Fan House has been launched today as a new platform for fans of the Eurovision Song Contest. Currently the website only features a shop featuring new merchandise aimed at fans of the Eurovision Song Contest, t-shirts, hoodies, infant clothes are now all available to purchase. While new clothing focused on trends and countrymemes are now on sale.

    Lee Lin Chin will once again have the honour the give Australia’s 12 points at the Eurovision Song Contest. The fashionista and SBS news reader also did this job in the last two years. SBS Australia confirmed this news on Monday through their own Twitter account.

     
  • another web source 22:51 on April 28, 2017 10:51 pm Permalink |  

    Eurovision 2017: giant rainbow construction in Kyiv 

    NEWNEXTNOW.COM REPORTS / UKRAINE – Next month, the Eurovision Song Contest comes to Kiev, Ukraine, a region not exactly known for being a gay paradise. Maybe that’s why Eurovision producers are redecorating the People’s Friendship Arch in Cross Park with rainbow colors and renaming it “the Arch of Diversity.”

    “[I’m] proud that slowly the country is changing,’ said Gennady Kurochka, who runs a publicity company working with European Song Contest in Kiev. “[The arch is] filled with new meaning, a new sense of belonging to a free people—free in thoughts, free in spirit!”

    When it’s done, the 200-foot installation will be the biggest manmade rainbow in the world, underscoring Eurovision 2017’s theme of “Celebrate Diversity.” Liza Kuzemko, an organizer of Kiev Pride, called the installation “a miracle.” In 2015, Kiev Pride had to be disbanded, when violent neo-Nazis violently attacked participants. The 2016 Pride, dubbed the Equality March, went on without incident.

    Dedicated to the unification of Russia and Ukraine under the Soviet Union, the monument will go back to its drab, gray appearance after the competition is over. But it will still sport two semi-naked male statues underneath holding hands. Which, if you ask us, is still pretty gay.

     
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