The Weekend Round-up, January 8
It’s been a busy week in the world of Eurovision, with preselections, song announcements, and other news from Cyprus, Slovenia, Latvia, and beyond. Let’s take a quick look at the past weekend, shall we?
Cyprus: On Friday, CyBC officially unveiled Ivi Adamou’s three candidate songs for Baku. “Call the Police”, “La La Love”, and “You Don’t Belong Here” have all been pretty well-received by fans, and we’ll find out which song Ivi will perform on January 25th. More information (including the songs themselves) is available here.
Latvia: The first of two semifinals took place on Saturday, January 7th, and ten songs were whittled down to the five that will make up half of February 18th. The qualifying performances are:
- Samanta Tina & Davids Kalandija – I Want You Back
- Paula Dukure – Celebration
- Andris Abelite – We Can Change The World
- Ruta Duduma – My World
- Grupa ‘PeR’ – Disco Superfly
The second semifinal will be held next week, but considering that the only song performed in Latvian was eliminated this week, it’s a pretty safe bet that Latvia will be sending another song in English in 2012. (The only time they’ve dipped into the Latvian language pool was with 2004’s “Dziesma par laimi“, which failed to qualify for the Final. LTV has also sent songs in Italian and Russian, but the vast majority of their submissions have been in English.)
Slovenia: After months of heats aired by the program “Misija Evrovizija”, the final two acts have been confirmed. Eva Boto and sister act Nika & Eva Prusnik will go up against each other on February 26th, when RTVSLO will hold “EMA 2012”. Both Eva and the sisters will perform three songs each, and the winning song will be chosen out of those six performances.
Netherlands: After an open call for songs and performers, TROS has announced their six candidates to represent the Dutch in Baku. As is befitting a production being run by reality-tv tycoon John de Mol (creator of such shows as “Big Brother” and “The Voice”), most of the singers in the running have some connection to televised reality shows. Nationaal Songfestival 2012 will be held on February 26.
- Raffaëla Paton (Season 1 of “The Voice of Holland”, as well as the winner of “Idols” 2006)- “Chocolatte”
- Joan Franka (Season 1 of “The Voice of Holland) – “You and Me”
- Ivan Peroti – “Take Me As I Am”
- Pearl Jozefzoon (runner-up on Season 1 of “The Voice of Holland”) – “We Can Overcome”
- Tim Douwsma (Season 2 of “So You Wanna Be a Popstar”)- “Undercover Lover”
- Kim de Boer (third place on Season 1 of “The Voice of Holland”)- “Children of the World”
Denmark: The ten songs going for the gold at Dansk Melodi Grand Prix have been unveiled:
- Jesper Nohrstedt – “Take Our Hearts”
Valen:Tine – “Nowhere”
- Aya – “Best Thing I Got” (written by Julie Frost and John Gordon, the Danish-American team behind Lena’s “Satellite”)
- Kenneth Potempa – “Reach for the Sky”
- Ditte Marie – “Overflow”
- Philip Halloun & Emilia – “Baby Love Me”
- Suriya – “Forever I B Young”
- Karen Viuff – “Universe”
- Soluna Samay – “Should’ve Known Better”
- Christian Brøns & Patrik Isaksson – “Venter”
The DMGP is not without a bit of scandal, though; supposedly, Valen:Tine’s “Nowhere” was available online as early as July of 2011, making it likely invalid for ESC 2012 under the EBU’s guidelines.
The song has not been officially disqualified as of yet, but investigations are currently ongoing. (UPDATE: “Nowhere” has officially been disqualified from DMGP. The song will not be replaced, and the final will run with nine songs instead of ten.)
Azerbaijan: The Azeri national selection, “Milli seçim turu”, continues to roll on, with weekly heats leading to an eventual semifinal the week of January 23rd. So far, the qualifiers are:
Two more heats are anticipated to occur, but beyond the Semifinals in late January, little more is known about Azerbaijan’s selection process.
In other news from Baku, construction is still ongoing at the Baku Crystal Hall near National Flag Square. It has not been officially confirmed that the new stadium will host the event (backup plans include the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium and the significantly smaller Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex), and the delay is causing a bit of a kerfuffle for those who are trying to plan a trip to Baku. Without a confirmed venue and stage layout, ticket sales cannot proceed, which puts a damper on logistics for those who hope to attend the show in person. Hotel reservations also appear to be on a bit of a lockdown. While construction does appear to be proceeding relatively quickly for a project of its scale (check out a video of the work being done, updated on January 4), will it be done by the time the EBU needs to get its hands on it this spring?
There is a lot to look forward to in the coming days; Iceland is set unveil their first five songs on Monday in preparation for their First Semifinal this Saturday. The first German heat of “Unser Star für Baku” is scheduled for this Wednesday, and Latvia and Bulgaria each have Semis scheduled for the weekend. Furthermore, we are awaiting news on Turkey’s choice for 2012, which is rumored to be announced on the 15th. There are rumors that Romania will also be releasing more information on their participation, as well. If my calculations are correct, there will be events happening every Saturday until Melofestivalen, Festival do Canção, and Moldova’s National Selection all wrap up on March 10. I hope you’ll continue to join me here at the ESC Insider as we bounce from nation to nation, looking for 2012’s winner!