ISRAEL – The Kan public broadcaster has warned that Israel was at risk of losing the right to host the Eurovision Song Contest if it failed to pay a €12 million ($14 million) security deposit within five days, Hadashot news reported. The heads of the broadcaster reportedly sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Communications Minister Ayoub Kara warning of the threat after the government said it would not increase the corporation’s budget. Kan warned that if the money was not received within five days it would have to cancel hosting the event, Hadashot reported Wednesday.
SWEDEN – Lidköping who last hosted a Melodifestivalen show in 2014, is approaching the contests producers in hopes of hosting a round in 2019 setting aside 700,000 SEK in funding to assist with the hosting of the competition and the Sparbanken Lidköping Arena which was opened in 2009 and can host up to 12,500 people.
AUSTRALIA – Lee Lin Chin, one of Australia’s most well-known news presenters who was also Australia’s spokesperson at the Eurovision Song Contest between 2015 and 2017, resigned from SBS: “Having spent the bulk of my professional life at SBS, this isn’t by any means an easy decision. I shall be leaving a happy and satisfying role as a newsreader. My friends and colleagues for whom I have fervent respect will be deeply missed. There’s not one big reason, there’s many small to medium-sized reasons, which for the time being I wish to keep to myself but may talk about one day.”
FINLAND – Hanna-Riikka Siitonen died aged 47 from cancer. She was a backing vocalist for Jasmine with “Niin kaunis on taivas” in Oslo 1996, Jari Sillanpää with “Takes two to tango” in Istanbul 2004 and Geir Rönning with “Why?” in Kiev 2005.
SWEDEN – Stiko Per Larsson, Anna Bergendahl and Benjamin Ingrosso will all perform at the event. Anna Bergendahl, who represented Sweden in 2010 said that it is “an honour to perform at the final of P4 Nästa.
HUNGARY – Compact Disco is a Hungarian electronic music band and musical producer trio based in Budapest, founded in 2008 by three musicians of varying musical backgrounds. The band represented Hungary in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Last Monday that Walkó posted the news on his artist page on Facebook stating that after ten years of making music and playing concerts together, Compact Disco and Lotfi will part ways as he is going to concentrate on his solo project. He says that during the years they have shared experiences and successes, and that they are grateful for all the time spent together. The two remaining founding members, himself and Pál, will continue as Compact Disco, and they wish Lotfi much success.
JESC 2018 – The record number of participating countries in the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest including the return of Israel and France and the debut of Kazakhstan and Wales sparkled an interesting discussion as it was Israel which got the 19th spot in the contest. The EBU rules clearly said that the contest is up to 18 participating countries and the fact that the rule was abolished all of the sudden raised questions. The national broadcaster of Belarus states that it and the EBU agreed that the rule could be ignored for the 2018 competition. The national broadcaster of Belarus states that it and the EBU agreed that the rule could be ignored for the 2018 competition. So what was the point of having this rule everyone wonders.
FINLAND – Saara Aalto announced that several more dates were added to her European tour. In doing so, she follows the likes of Eleni Foureira, and Netta who have toured, and shown off their Eurovision success. Saara announced that she will be starting her tour in October, and it will continue well into November. The young singer has announced that she will be performing in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. This is where her popularity has really taken hold.
ITALY – The national broadcaster has revealed that in February’s edition of the show, they intend to remove the “big” and “nuove proposte” categories. These has been around for some years, and encorporated new, and established artists. It is hoped, with the abolition of these two categories, that the festival will be an equal opportunity for all artists. The artistic director for the festival, Claudio Baglioni has been clear on how things should be done, and stressed the importance of finding new Italian talent. In doing so, he has created a new show, “Sanremo Giovani” that will be held in December of this year. The new festival will see young performers under 36 compete for two places for the main Sanremo Festival. The viewers will get to see the artists over two nights, at an earlier time slot, that will allow the Italian public to get to know the young performers better. The two artists are expected to be announced, and chosen on the 20th and 21st December 2018. It is also expected that there will be over 20 artists competing for this honour. These two artists will then become part of the main Sanremo Festival that is expected to air in February 2019, to find Italy’s next Eurovision star.