The Weekend Preview, 2/10
We’ve got another busy weekend ahead of us, so let’s dive right into what we can expect from all over the Eurovision world over the next few days!
On Friday, Azerbaijan will finally make their decision on who they’ll send to Germany this year. Their preselection process started back in mid-November with 77 candidates, and they’ve finally been narrowed down to five final performers: Aynishan Qulieva, Ilgara Ibrahimova, Eldar Gasimov, Ilhama Gasimova, and Nigar Camal. It’s still a bit unclear how the song will be selected; last year, the top three candidates sang three different songs, and while the winning performer was selected the night of the finals, the winning song wasn’t confirmed until over two weeks later. Considering Azerbaijan’s penchant for flexibility on their preselection processes (their dates have been moved around many times, for example), who knows what answers we may find tomorrow night, or what questions will remain!
Also on Friday, Ireland will pick the artist and song that they hope will bring the nation to the top of the Eurovision heap for an eight year. Brief snippets of the songs were released last week, but they were heard in their entirety for the first time just today.
Don Mescall – Talking with Jennifer (written by Ronan Hardiman, Don Mescall)
Nikki Kavanaugh – Falling (written by Christina Schilling, Camilla Gottschalck, Jonas Gladnikoff, and Hanif Sabzevari)
Bling – Shine On (written by Patrick Mahoney)
The Vard Sisters – Send Me an Angel (written by Liam Lawton)
Jedward – Lipstick (written by Dan Priddy, Lars Jensen, and Martin Larson)
Ironically, “Lipstick” is the only song that has been removed from YouTube for copyright reasons. Why ironically? Well, first, as its considered the frontrunner in tomorrow’s competition, and second, as a portion of the song was “accidentally” released on Amazon.com too early, prompting RTÉ to make the decision only one third in the hands of the audience’s vote, rather than fifty percent. The remaining part of the decision will be in the hands of regional juries throughout Ireland.
Malta will hold their semifinal on Friday and their final on Saturday. On Friday, the 24 candidate songs will be trimmed down to 16 by a 75/25 jury/audience vote decision. On Saturday, those remaining songs will compete, and the winner will be decided by a 60/40 jury/audience split. All the songs can be previewed, in their entirety, here. For Malta fans, there are many familiar faces competing this weekend: Fabrizio Faniello made it to Eurovision in 2001 and 2006, and his younger sister Claudia has tried many times to make it to the event, but often falling just short of the ESC goal. We also see the return of Wayne Micallef, who presented one of my favorite preselection songs from last year, “Save a Life“. In fact, out of the twenty-three singers in this weekend’s competition, eighteen have attempted, at some point, to represent Malta in either Eurovision or Junior Eurovision in past years! Will the victory go to a veteran, or to a new talent? We shall see…
On Saturday, we’ll see what Belgium has to offer the growing Eurovision field. In light of the difficult economic times, Walloon broadcaster RTBF came up with an interesting twist on an open call for songs. Belgians were allowed to submit their songs (in French or English), and the public would be able to pledge money to the entries of their choice. When a song received €20,000, they would be qualified to go on to the next round (all money donated to non-qualifying songs would be reimbursed). That money would then go to the further production and refinement of their entry. Thirty songs ended up making the monetary benchmark, and that was later pared down to fourteen final entries. A 50/50 jury/televote split will decide the eventual winner.
We will also see Finals in Iceland, Norway, and Finland, continued semifinals in Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, and Sweden, and the first semifinal in Estonia‘s Eestilaul. Of course, I’ll try to bring you updates as often as I can!
Have a great weekend, Eurofans!