LITHUANIA – Eurovision Afterparty which was set for mid December has been cancelled. Lots of 2018 participants were announced as guests but Ieva Zasimauskaitė announced through the social media that the event unfortunately cancelled.
BELARUS – Belarusian singer Dmitry Koldun today, November 11, will perform in the occupied Donetsk. The concert is carried out in connection with the elections of a new leader of the militants Donbass. The concert will be held in the Central square of the city. Participation will also take the Russian singer Julia Mikhalchik. The celebration will be held under the auspices of the Russian center, and the entrance for those who wish to be free. Occupants are also invited to come to the concert to inhabitants of Ukraine-controlled part of Donetsk region.
ISRAEL – And while KAN is mum on who are the finalists for the job, media reports have offered up some surprising and intriguing names. Among the names circulating are TV host Erez Tal, actress, host and producer Noa Tishby, supermodel Bar Refaeli and actress Ania Bukstein, best known internationally for her role on Game of Thrones. Assi Azar, the co-host of the Kochav Haba TV series – which selects Israel’s Eurovision contestant each year – also showed up for an audition, as did mentalist Lior Suchard, who is a fixture on American late-night television. Sources in KAN are reportedly rooting for news anchor Geula Even-Saar to be considered for the job, though she has limited entertainment experience. And a half dozen other Israeli TV hosts and actors also showed up to audition for the role that will expose them to millions of viewers around the globe.
SWEDEN – Viktor Frisk (know from Melodifestivalen participation with Samir) spoke about his mental health. “There are many young guys who feel bad that they can’t live up to the macho stereotype. I think it’s important to highlight that question and help young people realise that sometimes it’s okay to be crazy, but you must still understand that there is something better and that there is always a light inside the darkness to help you out.” Viktor has published a book about his story.
GERMANY – Aly Ryan, BB Thomaz, Linus Bruhn, Gregor Hägele, lilly among clouds and Makeda are named among the composers for Unser Lied für Israel. But more names (familiar ones) are in the list. Thomas Stengaard, the Danish author of Germany’s 2018 entry, 2013 Danish entry and more. Tim Schou, the former frontman of A Friend in London who participated in the 2011 Eurovision entry. Axel Ehnstrom or Paradise Oskar, the 2011 Finn entrant. Laila Samuelsen, participant in Norway’s MGP I 2016 and Nisse Ingwersen with Nina Müller kwon from the composing team of Germany’s 2018 entry.
SWEDEN – HLina Hedlund of Alcazar is tipped to enter the 2019 Melodifestivalen. If this happens it would bee her 6th participation.
SPAIN – Extension of submission deadline and changes in the Eurovision Gala trouble the Spanish fans as they indicate a scandal. According to Bluper, Toni Prieto’s worry is that an unknown composer might “win it all”, and wants to make sure that the well-known and established composers are given a chance. According to the new rules, all songs submitted by unknown authors will be judged by a five member jury panel, consisting of two OGAE members, one member of RTVE Digital and two music industry professionals, who will then select the best 10 songs. Apart from this, another jury panel of five – consisting of two members from the RTVE Management, one member of RTVE Digital, and two professors of the OT Academy will listen through all the songs submitted by well-known composers, and select additional 10 songs. It is worth noting that this sudden change comes shortly after two composers have been invited as the fourth judge in the previous two Galas – Carlos Jean and Brisa Fenoy (who also co-wrote “Lo Malo”), both of who expressed their interest in submitting songs to the competition.
CROATIA – HRT confirmed that thee DORA Final will take place on February 16. Opatija and Zagreb are the cities possibly hosting the three day event.
IRELAND – Niamh Kavanagh and Ryan O’Shaughnessy star in Ireland’s Junior Eurovision music video.
UNITED KINGDOM – Celebrating 70 years of Israel’s independence and over 70 years of British Airways flights to Eurovision destination Tel Aviv, Eurovision 2018 winner Netta will be taking part in a one-night-only, exclusive British Airways charity event ‘A Night With Netta’ at British Airways HQ!
SPAIN – Ruth Lorenzo has revealed she submitted a song for the Eurovision Gala.
ITAlY – Local media claim that Nek, Paola Turci, Arisa, Giusi Ferreri, Ultimo, Loredana Bertè, Irma and Riki (from Amici di Maria De Filippi) are some of the names to participate in the 2019 Sanremo Festival.
UNITED KINGDOM – Niki French, the 2000 UK entrant, releases new disco album. The 12-track album includes eight original songs written by the likes of Charlie Mason, Peter Wilson, Michael Jay and Gordon Pogoda, and four classic tracks, updated and remade into Nicki’s unique sound.
ITALY – RAI official website for Sanremo Festival 2019 released the songs for the Giovani section and you can listen to them here: http://www.rai.it/programmi/sanremo/ContentSet-3fc3ab2e-8c55-4579-8bb2-07d8c5a1c0a2.html
DENMARK – DMGP runner-up Natascha Bessez enters The Voice of HollandNatascha’s audition received rather mixed reactions from the coaches. Lil’ Kleine turned around almost immediately, being impressed by Natascha’s rap skills. He was, however, the only of the four coaches to turn around. Anouk and Waylon told the crowd they were no fans of her performance.
UNITED KINGDOM – Eurovision commentator Rylan Clark-Neal has joined BBC Radio 2. The TV and radio host will take over from Zoe Ball for the Saturday afternoon show, the broadcaster announced.
UNITED KINGDOM – Rachel Ashdown appointed as United Kingdom’s new Head of Delegation! Rachel Ashdown is an experienced Executive Producer, who specializes in studio entertainment, live events, and formatted factual entertainment shows.
THE NETHERLANDS – During a TV interview, Dutch entrant in Eurovision, Douwe Bob he talked about the dark times he faced.
“One moment, you are completely admired. Girls adore you. Everyone wants to have a drink with you. You perform suddenly in front of 80,000 people. Suddenly, you are at Eurovision. In front of 200-something million. I think that that, for a human being, isn’t a healthy thing. You can deal with it, but you have to control the process. Talking about it at least. I have never learnt to talk. I’m not from a family in which people speak. At a later stage that hit me hard. I became an unpleasant person.”
IRELAND – Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, who has died after a long illness at the age of 67, was a musician who showed exceptional gifts as a leader and communicator in a career that encompassed performing, composing, broadcasting, recording (both as performer and producer), ethnomusicology and education.
His success in all of these undertakings was aided by an unusual gift for seeing the positive in the people he encountered and the situations in which he found himself.
When writing about the composer Aloys Fleischmann, under whom he studied at University College Cork, he quoted Václav Havel’s distinction between “optimism as the conviction that something will turn out well, and hope as the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out”.
He saw Fleischmann as someone who had moved from optimism to hope. But his own life and achievements showed how constructively both can co-exist.
He was born in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, and from 1969 to 1973 studied music at UCC, where he also came under the direct influence of Seán Ó Riada. Like Ó Riada, his interests straddled the worlds of classical music and Irish traditional music.
Unlike Ó Riada, he never essayed large-scale work in a purely classical style. But his career path followed that of Ó Riada, as the pull towards the traditional proved much stronger than the magnetism of any other style or form.
Lumen, his work for the interval of the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest featured, among others, Brian Kennedy, the Monks of Glenstal Abbey and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, was issued as a single by Virgin.
GEORGIA – Vaniko Tarkhnishvili, Ruska Makashvili have been announced as the hosts of the show Idol, through which the country will decide the artist and the song for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. The live shows will start of January 5th.
MALTA – With a magnificent performance by Janice Mangion, performing the song “Kewkba”, auditions for Malta’s X-Factor concluded. Janice was runner up of 2017 Maltese selection. Also Anna Faniello (mother of Fabrizio and Claudia) also proceeded to the live shows. Matthew Anthony also participant in 2018 MESC (ranked 7th) participated in the auditions. More than 100 singers participated in the bootcamp and now the biggest fight for Tel Aviv is about to kick off.
ISRAEL – Ania Bukstein is considered by KAN to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest according to local media. Ania Bukstein is a Russian-Israeli actress, singer-songwriter, pianist and voice actress, performing in Hebrew, Russian, French and English. Bukstein married Israeli real estate developer Dotan Weiner, the cousin of Galit Gutmann, in 2013. She is currently at work on a book about coffee tables.
SPAIN – Los40 awards was a huge success last weekend. Alongside Eleni Foureira the following artists also appeared on stage: Dua Lipa, David Guetta, Bebe Rexha, Melendi, Pablo Alborán, Anne-Marie, Dani Martín, Piso 21, Sofía Reyes, Bazzi, David Bisbal, Tom Walker, Malú, Pablo López, Aitana, Ana Guerra. You can watch the full show below.
ISRAEL – Lisbon Mayor, Mr. Fernando Medina will travel to Tel Aviv on January 28 to hand over the Key Insignia. At the same day we will also have the Semi Finals Allocation Draw. The event will take place at Beit Ha’irv.
PORTUGAL – Luísa Sobral, sister of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest winner, revealed in a recent interview she was invited by RAI to perform at Sanremo Festival, an imitation she declined.
BELARUS – EBU / BTRC announced that the 2018 JESC edition will feature the same as last year voting system: In the first round of voting, the voting window will be open on Friday 23rd and will stay open until Sunday 25th when the show starts, at 15.59 CET. People will have to watch a preview of all the 20 performances before entering the voting platform that will be available on the JESC official website. Then, they will be able to vote for 3, 4 or 5 of the competing countries. The Second round of voting, will begin once all the songs have been performed at the live final show, and will be open for 15 minutes. Last year, the voting website crashed during this phase of the voting, making it imposibble for people to cast their votes after watching the full final performances. The two rounds of votes will be added up and equal the 50% share of the voting to decide the final outcome, while the other half will be decided by a professional jury panel, formed by adults and kids, in each country.
SAN MARINO – SMRTV conformed to be one fo the 42 participating countries but they will λnot use 1in360 as their selection process.
MTV EMA 2018 – It’s been a successful night at the MTV European Music Awards for some well known Eurovision national final faces. Three of them won their regional awards: Annalisa (Italy), Margaret (Poland) and Diogo Piçarra (Portugal).
MONTENEGRO – RTCG is already accepting submissions for their national final, due on 30/11. RTCG revealed that there will be five finalists. Head of Delegation also cleared things up with Vanja Radovanovic racist joke in Lisbon, saying that EBU never fined the delegation. She also denied any efforts of the country to get neighbour voting support.
FINLAND – Saara Aalto will be competing in ITV’s reality competition Dancing On Ice in early 2019, this morning she revealed to her fans who she will be skating with on national TV. The man who will be teaching and looking after the self proclaimed “Snow Fairy from Finland” is Hamish Gaman, the 35 year-old recently retired from professional skating in 2015 and is a two time British national champion.
IRELAND – Irish X Factor contestant Brendan Murray has said he is “absolutely over the moon” after making it through to the fourth weekend of live shows. The Galway singer went straight through to this weekend after the results of the public vote were announced on Sunday.
GREECE – Following the once again turmoil on ERT with the resignation of their top executives, it was revealed that after the parliament hired the new executives, the broadcaster will deal with the 2019 Eurovision planning.
GREECE – We stay in Greece as Elpida, the 1979 Greek entrant revealed that along “Sokratis” (The Greek entry) she submitted the following song which is somehow quite a hit up to today in the country.
SPAIN – Fuego certified platinum in Spain. Eleni & the CEO of Panik Entertainment Group, George Arsenakos, received the platinum plaque from the CEO of Sony Music Iberia, José María Barbat and the company’s team.
UNITED KINGDOM – Popular TV presenter and comedian, Mel Gieldroyc has been announced as the hostess of the national final in the UK.
CZECH REPUBLIC – Czech broadcaster, CT, has revealed that they have received almost 300 submissions for their national final next year.
CYPRUS – Eleni Foureira is reported to have been booked as guest act in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
IRELAND – THE LABOUR PARTY has called on RTÉ to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019 if Israel hosts it in Jerusalem. However, it has already been confirmed by the European Broadcasting Union that the event will take place in Tel Aviv. The motion, tabled by LabourYouth, was passed by a majority at today’s Labour Party conference.
PORTUGAL – 1984 Portugal’s entrant in Eurovision, Maria Guinot, died aged 73. Born in Barreiro, Portugal, Guinot released two EPs, “La mère sans enfant” and “Balada do negro só” in the late 1960s, then took a long break from the music industry. She returned in 1981 performing a song, “Um adeus, um recomeço”, in the Portuguese Eurovision selection, Festival da Canção, where she finished third.
Her second attempt in Festival da Cançao came in 1984, when her song “Silêncio e tanta gente” (“Silence and So Many People”) emerged the winner. Guinot went forward as the Portuguese representative in the 29th Eurovision Song Contest, held in Luxembourg City on 5 May. “Silêncio e tanta gente”, a reflective ballad with Guinot accompanying herself on piano, was performed last in the running order, and provided a low-key ending to the contest. It finished in 11th place of the 19 entries.
Following her Eurovision appearance, Guinot continued performing and composing. She has released three albums, and has often collaborated on projects with other musicians.
AUSTRALIA – Blink TV and SBS have revealed a wish list of candidates, including Delta Goodrem, Ricki-Lee and Peking Duk. Songwriters and composers were given three weeks to prepare songs for the inaugural national final.
RUSSIA – Russian national broadcaster to launch Eurovision 2019 preparations after new year’s program is settled.
GERMANY – Sebastian Schub withdraws from Germany’s national selection stating: “Shortly after the ESC workshop in Cologne, I was occupied with other projects, so unfortunately there is no time left to compete in the German national final. It would surely be an honour representing Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv next year. I wish the best of luck to all of the remaining candidates!”
The national broadcaster replied: “We regret Sebastian’s decision, but also understand he is currently receiving job offers, which he cannot refuse. There will certainly be collaborations with Sebastian. In the past few weeks we were able to meet with a very talented and sympathetic person.”
SPAIN – Watch one more slang performance of Eleni Foureira in Barcelona. The past few days Eleni was in London, Barcelona and Madrid.
GREECE – Greek national broadcaster reported 70 million Euros in profit (!) although its TV ratings are below even 10%. 50 million returned to the central government budget. Weirdly, despite those profits ERT still demands sponsorships for Eurovision.
SPAIN – Carlos Jean presents his initiative ‘La Canción Perfecta’ in order to find the winning song for Eurovision: “I think we all agree that we have to find some formula that can help us to place higher in Eurovision. After all these years trying to do a good job, we forgot about something. Castings, tests…have shown that we can discover anonymous artists that can perform very well. But we haven’t done that with something that important — or even more important — as it’s the song composition. After all these years in the music industry, I might have found the formula to create the perfect song. And it will be perfect because you will compose it.”
UNITED KINGDOM – The UK Parliament rejects petition to make the date of the Eurovision final a national holiday.
GEORGIA – Georgia will use Georgia Idol will be its method to select its entrant. In an interview, Georgia’s Head of Delegation, Natia Mshvenieradze has confirmed that it will also use the contest to pick its entry for next year.
IRELAND – Galway singer Brendan Murray has sailed through his first X Factor live show, impressing with his rendition of the Ariana Grande hit Break Free on Saturday night. However, while mentor Louis Tomlinson and judges Robbie Williams and Ayda Field were thrilled by his performance, Simon Cowell wasn’t as easy to impress. Simon was booed when he said he thought the start of Bredan’s song was “boring”. Brendan didn’t appear to be put out though as he took to Twitter afterwards to say he was happy with how the night went. He wrote: “I’m happy with the performance I gave! Thank you so much for all your support it means the world to me.” Brendan faced a nerve-wracking wait on Sunday night as he waited for the results of the public vote but he had nothing to worry about as his fans’ votes saved him.
KAZAKHSTAN – Khabar Agency is not satisfied with their first participation in Junior Eurovision and they want to get permission to enter the senior edition. The CEO of Kazakh broadcaster Khabar Agency, Mr Alan Azhibayev recently stated that his country wants badly to enter the Eurovision Song Contest and promises to bring fresh air to the contest: “Eurovision is all about diversity of cultures and music genres. Kazakhstan’s music industry is diverse as well. I think our artists could broaden the contest’s program and introduce their unique music to viewers around the world.”
ISRAEL – Israeli national broadcaster launched a tender for the production of the post cards with an estimated cost of around 715,000 Euros. The tender specifies that there must be thorough research on the locations, there should be pilot versions presented to KAN and EBU, the producer and creative director must have experience with at least ten similar productions and must have handled at least three productions in the last three years with a minimum budget of 1,2 million Euros. KAN also plans to produce a 5-minute clip with all the the performing artists which might man that the nations parade could be recorded.
ITALY – Sanremo Festival received 677 songs, 5% more submissions this year in the Giovani category. 19 of those having submitted a song are out of Italy. In a change to the format of the festival, the newcomers will compete in a separate show in December. Two of them will proceed to the February live shows.
ISRAEL – Lior Suchard reportedly among final four candidates to host song contest. Shiri Maimon, and well-known TV hosts Erez Tal and Lucy Ayub are also tipped by the press for the hosting job. After completing three years of military service as a Patriot fighter in the Israeli Air Force, Suchard began to increase his appearances in Israel. His first national television exposure was on various morning shows.
In 2005 he was invited to appear on The Successor (also known as The Next Uri Geller), Uri Geller’s Israeli TV show, which was aired in late 2006. Suchard beat eight other candidates and won the competition to be Geller’s successor. This was an international breakthrough for Suchard because the program was sold to and broadcast in several countries, including Germany, Poland and Italy.
GERMANY – Indie artist Drangsal is not happy he wasn’t selected for the next phase of German selection. “My performance would have been monumental in nature is self-evident.” Was text in his social media while he criticises Germany’s Eurovision selection for being full of “unqualified” singing show contestants.
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It was all a dream… Die 20 Kandidaten für den deutschen ESC-Vorentscheid stehen fest und euer Freund Dr. Angsal ist keiner von ebenjenen Auserwählten, trotz (oder eben gerade wegen) aller Bemühungen meiner- und unsererseits, des beachtlichen Songwriting-Teams inklusive Hit „Love Is Love“, der öffentlich zur Schau gestellten Bereitschaft und zahllosen fruchtbaren Aufrufen in den sozialen Netzwerken. Ohne zu sehr in Mutmaßung abzudriften (und den trollenden musikalischen Wutbürgern zu viel Futter zu geben), war mir klar, dass ich als eigenständig-denkender und -agierender Künstler, gar mit eigenem Song (unverzeihliche Unverschämtheit) und eigenen Ideen samt lautstarker Fanbase den Lemmingen des Grand Prix und „Experten“ ihrer Jury von Anfang an ein Dorn im Äuglein war. Viel Erfolg mit den verformbaren Ja-Sagern und Castingshow-Viertplatzierten, die keiner ernst nimmt und die nicht mal wissen, was ein Akkord ist — macht nix, denn dafür habt ihr ja euren „Kandidaten-Workshop“, in dem ihr gediegen den/die „Künstler/in“ erkiesen könnt, der/die am wenigsten Grüze im Kopf hat und ihm/ihr dann direkt den passenden drögen Song auf den Leib schneidert. Dass meine Performance monumentaler Natur gewesen wäre, ist selbstredend. Lasst @eurovision_de gerne ein letztes Mal wissen, wie wir diesen Fehltritt finden und habt aus tiefstem Herzen endlos Dank für eure Unterstützung. Schäm dich, Deutschland und trau dich in Zukunft doch auch mal was! PS: Ich bin nicht böse, nur enttäuscht, lol. PPS: Wir haben nicht mal eine Absage bekommen, wir mussten explizit nachfragen. PPPS: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ #DRANGSAL4ESC2019 will never die!
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IRELAND – Brendan Murray has revealed how he was affected by his experience representing Ireland at Eurovision last year.
The Galway singer, who had previously been a member of boyband Hometown, failed to make it to the final of the high profile song competition with the song Dying to Try.
“I have had a few knocks in the past with Eurovison and other opportunities,” he told Eoghan McDermott on his 2FM show on Tuesday. It wasn’t a happy time for me if I’m honest as lot of people thought my music career was over at such a young age so that affected me I suppose. I went back to pub gigging and took up an apprenticeship plumbing for a year. That was my life for a year. It was a very big change for me.”
BULGARIA – Responding to the withdrawal of BNT from the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, EBU wishes to see them back soon.
GREECE – Following her new single release, Helena Paparizou, the 2005 Eurovision winner for Greece, stated that “Eurovision isn’t over for me and a third participation in the future is still in my mind.”
Speaking on the leak of Fuego demo with her voice, she stated: “It was bad that the demo leaked. It wasn’t right. Everybody does a lot of demos which would then be performed by other artists. It’s not nice neither for me or Eleni. She was brilliant and should have won this year’s Eurovision.”
GREECE – Speaking of the devil, it seems that a special show is set on January 12th in Israel as a tribute to the 40 years since the country’s first hosting of the event and also Netta’s victory. The revelation (but without further details about the event), took place by Elpida, the 1979 Greek entrant who’s invited to the event. Stay tuned for more info…
SWEDEN – Marika Carlsson is tipped by Aftonbladet as the #melfest 2019 hostess. Carlsson was born in Ethiopia and was adopted by a Swedish couple at age two. She grew up in the town of Lund in Sweden’s Skåne province. Carlsson studied theatre and acting in Gothenburg before moving to Stockholm to break into the standup comedy circuit. In 2006 she was awarded the prize for best female standup comedian at the annual Swedish comedy awards. She is probably best known from the popular panel game show Parlamentet on TV4, which parodies Swedish political debate. Carlsson has also featured in other TV shows such as, Stockholm Live, 100%, Carin 21.30, Grillad, Comedy fight Club Roast på Berns, Kvällsöppet, and as the host for SVT’s televised coverage of the 2010 National Day of Sweden.
LATVIA – There was very sad news October 17 with confirmation that popular singer and television presenter Valters Frīdenbergs has died aged just 30.
Frīdenbergs was part of a former Latvian Eurovision entry in 2005 and in recent years had been presenting the children’s quiz show Gudrs vēl gudrāks on LTV.
News of his death was confirmed by LTV and comes a year after he underwent treatment for cancer after members of the public donated money to send him to Germany for care.