SAN MARINO – Recently Tony Maiello claimed there was a Facebook chat where San Marino state television asked him to represent the country in Eurovision 2017 and asked for 500,000 Euros. Head of delegation Alessandro Capicchioni commented: “We have not had any contact with Mr. Maiello, or authorised anyone to contact him on our behalf. We do not exclude the false pretenses – because our names are public and are easily found on the web”. The secure oikotimes.com sources though know for sure that there is another singer already approached so the story seems of a hoax.

HUNGARY – There is a replacement in the line up for the Hungarian national selection two weeks before the show kicks off. Jetlag Band were initially intending to compete with their entry “Keresem a bajt”. However, they have now been replaced with the singer Chase, who will sing “Dust In the Wind”. There is no explanation why this happened although internal relations between the band and the broadcaster rumoured to be the one. It has also been announced that this year’s competition will introduce two new awards to the show – the Best Lyrics award, and the A Dal Discovery award – to be awarded to competing artists. A Dal 2017 begins on Saturday 14th January, and will run until 18th February.

ISRAEL – The first show of Rising Star took place in Israel. Diana Golbi (95%), Imri Ziv (93%), Beatbox Element (91%), Judy Layne (81%), Lee Sabach (79%), Hallelujah (Halli) Lewis (77%) and Ta-La-Te (75%) qualified. Tonight the second show will take place and you can watch it live at 20:00 CET. A webstream of Channel 2 is available worldwide by Isramedia. Click on מקור 1 or מקור 2 (Source 1/Source 2) in order to watch.