Author: A. Alexandrovic (Swiss)
PORTUGAL – Portuguese national broadcaster not only revealed the Eurovision 2018 host city, venue and dates but also revealed information bout their national selection, Festival da Canção 2018.
The Portuguese broadcaster revealed that Festival da Canção 2018 final will take place on March 4th in the city of Guimarães as already announced by oikotimes.com. Guimarães is a city in the North serving as the capital of Portugal in the past.
There will be two semi finals on February 18th and 25th respectively.
The organisers though have bigger plans for Festival da Canção: in the next four years the national festival of the country will tour around four different cities of the country in order for the entire population to be part of it. The last time the national selection took place outside of Lisbon was in 2001, at Europarque in Santa Maria da Feira.
It was also revealed that the Mayor of Guimarães gave Multiusos de Guimarães free of charge for the national final.
SAN MARINO – Every Thursday up to August 31st, San Marino is celebrating summer with festivities around gastronomy, music and culture. Piazza della Libertà is the place to be in San Marino, the Italian micro state and Eurovision allure has covered the area: this week Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson performed. After representing San Marino in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 the two artists returned to San Marino performing popular American music of the 60s and the 70s. You can watch the video report here.
BELGIUM – Loïc Nottet is a Belgian singer, who finished second in the third season of The Voice Belgique in 2014 and represented Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 which was held in Vienna, Austria, where he placed fourth with 217 points. On 3 November 2014, Belgium’s French language state broadcaster, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF), announced Nottet as the Belgian representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 to be held in Vienna, Austria. On 10 March 2015, “Rhythm Inside”, his entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, was presented (co-written by his Voice mentor). The song went to number one on both the Flanders and Wallonia Ultratop charts. Performing in the first semi final of the competition, Nottet was successful in progressing to the final, coming second in his semi final with 149 points. During the Jury Final (following Australia), he could be barely seen on stage due to heavy use of smoke machines and pyrotechnics from the Australian Act. His delegation was rumoured to have lodged a complaint about this, saying that it would affect part of their final score. While they requested to perform again, this was apparently denied, instead telling juries to disregard the smoke. In the Grand Final, the Belgian entry scored a total of 217 points leaving “Rhythm Inside” in fourth position overall, giving Belgium its first top five placement since 2003. It received the maximum 12 points from three countries; Netherlands, France and Hungary. The song was certified Platinum for selling 30,000 copies in Belgium. Nottet has released three different music videos for Rhythm Inside (including one called the “Alice in Wonderland” version). After the contest, “Rhythm Inside” reached the top ten in the Austrian, Lithuanian and Russian Music Charts, achieving top 20 in Finland, Iceland and Sweden and also charting in Australia, UK, France, Switzerland and many more European countries.
UKRAINE – The Hardkiss is a Ukrainian progressive-pop band. They are known for their original sound and unique fashion style. The Hardkiss participated in the Ukrainian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song “Helpless”. The band placed 2nd in the national final. The Hardkiss were formed in 2011 by lead singer Yulia Sanina and guitarist Valeriy Bebko. In September the band presented their debut video “Babylon”. They were the opening act for Hurts on October 20 and Solange Knowles on November 18 in Kyiv.
In 2012, The Hardkiss were nominated for the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Ukrainian Act. The band performed at MIDEM festival on January 29. In 2013, The Hardkiss won two awards – “Best New Act” and “Best Music Video” (to producer Valeriy Bebko for clip Make-Up) – of the national music award YUNA. On May 18 the band presented their first show in the Green Theatre in Kyiv. They opened the Muz-TV Music Awards on June 7. That year The Hardkiss became “voice and face” of the Pepsi in Ukraine. The band took part in a tour Pepsi Stars of Now (16 cities).
In 2014 The Hardkiss performed at Park Live Festival, and shared the stage with The Prodigy, Deftones, and Skillet. In 2015, the band was nominated for the music award YUNA again, having won in two nominations — “The best music album” (album Stones and Honey) and “The best song” (single Stones). In 2016, they took part in the Ukrainian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Yulia Sanina is one of four judges on the current seventh series of The X Factor Ukraine.