Category Archives: Slovakia
Picking up where we left off (way too long ago…pardon the delay!), here’s another look at a handful of National Final stalwarts who really deserve their big break at Eurovision.
From Malta, the land that brought us Chiara, Glen Vella, and Kurt Calleja, brothers Wayne Micallef and Richard Edwards have each submitted a handful of strong entries to the National Final. First appearing in a trio with their sister Michelle as “The Mics” in 2003 and 2005, the siblings came in 14th with “Take Me Back Again“, and came in a disappointing 21st place with their disco-fied entry “It’s Up To You”. It was Wayne who first struck out on his own, with his 2009 submission “Where You Belong“. He improved upon his 7th-place finish that year with his 2010 follow-up, “Save a Life“, and came in 8th place in 2011 with the more upbeat “Everybody Sing“. His 2012 entry, “Time“, with its Wisconsin-filmed video, brought him a 12th-place finish, and he is showing no signs of stopping. Read the rest of this entry
Like I said a few days ago, now that most of the 2012 Eurovision entries have been released to the public, their official preview videos tend to follow nipping at their heels. Now that the official Eurovision YouTube channel is getting in gear, we’re beginning to see tons of these new promotional clips from all over the continent, with many more to follow. Let’s take a little audiovisual jaunt through Europe, shall we? Read the rest of this entry
So it looks like Slovakia has confirmed what they seem to have announced back in November, but with a twist! Months ago, broadcaster STV proclaimed that “Česko Slovenská Superstar” runner-up Miroslav Šmajda (aka Miro Šmajda, aka My.RO, aka the lead singer of RoseMaid) would go to Baku, but only days later, withdrawing the comment, stating that it was nearly a done deal, but that contract negotiations were still ongoing. It then appeared that those negotiations fell apart, and no more was heard from Bratislava. Read the rest of this entry
Unlike last year, when we had to wait until February for Slovakia to announce their representative at Eurovision (after months of hemming and hawing about coming to the party at all), today ESC fans got word that RTVS would not only definitely be participating in next year’s event, but that they’ve decided to send Miroslav “Miro” Šmajda and his band My.RO (also known as “Rosemaid”) to Baku (according to ESCXtra.com, however, a contract has not officially been signed yet, but the Slovak Head of Press is still confident enough to confirm the news).
In order to save the network money, Miro, the runner-up from 2009’s edition of Česko Slovenská Superstar (the Czech and Slovak version of the “Idols” franchise), will be a largely self-funded participant, much like the TWiiNS were last year. There will be no National Final to decide what we’ll hear from My.RO; more details on the song will be released soon. Here’s one of his more recent singles, “Baby”, to hold us over in the meantime:
If “Baby” and his Superstar performances are anything to go by, I’m predicting that My.RO will give us something along the lines of Vukašin Brajić, Vlatko Ilievski, and Next Time…mid-tempo rock with a bit of an early-’90s vibe. Brajić made it into the finals in 2010, but Vlatko and Next Time both fell at the Semifinal level. It’s tough to predict at this point without a song in hand (or information on any other participants aside from Cyprus’s Ivi Adamou), but being a rocker at heart, I’m looking forward to Miro and My.RO.
(On another side note, similarly-named ventures have had irregular results…Bonaparti.lv made it out of the semifinals and eventually to a 16th place in Helsinki, but Gipsy.cz was Eurovision’s last nul-pointer…)
This weekend, the representatives from Slovakia, TWiiNS, finally revealed their entry. And, surprisingly, it’s not half bad!
Unlike the tarted-up pop numbers that we had seen from the Nízlová sisters in their earlier singles, “I’m Still Alive” is a pleasant, harmony-laden, and (dare I say) pretty tune that surpassed my expectations. (Granted, in all fairness, my expectations were somewhat low, considering that the TWiiNS were an internal selection from a country that may or may not have wanted to participate in Eurovision this year in the first place…minor details!) This will be Slovakia’s first ESC entry sung in English, and Veronika and Daniela seem to have no trouble with the language. However, after a few listens, the song does become a bit repetitive, and tends to blend into the background pretty easily. Furthermore, the only time we’ve seen the song performed, it was lip-synched during the Miss Slovakia pageant, so I have no idea how the sisters actually sound live.
So, in our TWiiNS vs. Jedward battle, who takes the crown at this point?
Entertainment: The Slovaks have a nice tune, but it’s just that. Nice. The Irish, however, have taken two ferrets, dressed them in red suits, and injected them with Speed. Advantage: Ireland
Physical Appeal: Not taking gender into consideration, if you’re under fourteen, Jedward takes it. Post-puberty, you’ve got to hand it to the Nízlovás. Then again, considering the propensity for tweens to power-dial for their favorites… Advantage: Ireland
Annoyance Factor: Slovakia’s song can get a bit repetitive, but Jedward’s Jedward. ‘Nuff said. Advantage: Slovakia
So, will the simply pleasant win out over the love-it-or-hate it? It’s a close one, but my money’s on Jedward for the qualification, with Slovakia on the fence, depending on how their live performance stacks up. What are your thoughts?
After a game of hot-and-cold that would make Katy Perry’s head spin, Slovakia decided to participate in Eurovision 2011 (as opposed to paying a hefty fine imposed by the EBU for a late withdrawal). In order to save money and resources, the Slovak broadcaster decided to go with an internal selection this year, as opposed to the full preselections that we’ve seen from them in 2009 and 2010. After a few weeks of rumors that last year’s runner-up Mista or the local “Idol” winner would represent the country in Germany, it was officially announced today that 24-year-old sisters Daniela and Veronika Nízlová, better known to the world as “TWiiNS” would represent their homeland with the song “I’m Still Alive”. (Sadly, my favorite, Tomáš Bezdeda, wasn’t on the shortlist this year.) Daniela and Veronika are no strangers to the Eurovision experience; they were backup singers for the Czech Republic’s 2008 entry, “Have Some Fun” by Tereza Kerndlová. (Then again, knowing that “Have Some Fun” came in second-to-last place in its semifinal, I’m not sure if the Nízlovás would willingly admit their prior participation…)
The song will be premiered on March 5th, when the girls will perform during the Miss Slovakia Universe Pageant.
To hold us over until then, here’s another single from the TWiiNS:
So, it looks like we’re up for an epic battle between the TWiiNS and Jedward: which pair of genetic doubles will reign supreme?!
Seriously? You’re toying with our emotions here! First you say you’re out, then you’re back in, then you’re out again…and this morning, you shock Eurovision fans by having your name appear in the Semifinal Draw in Düsseldorf. The officials at Eurovision didn’t say very much one way or another, leaving us all bewildered and more than a little confused. Now you say that it’s just easier to send a performer to Germany than it would have been to pay the fine that the EBU would impose on you for a late withdrawal.
So, that’s settled, then? You’re in? Not going anywhere? We’re at 43 nations again? We’re all cool?
(PS: If you end up doing an internal selection, please consider sending Tomáš Bezdeda…his songs for the 2009 and 2010 Slovak Preselections were quite good…you’ve nearly sent him to the ESC twice already, and if you’re going to continue playing with my heart the way you have been, sending a cutie like Tomas would make me feel at least a little better.)
Ok, Slovakia…make up your mind! After months of will-they-or-won’t-they, the Central European nation proclaimed at the end of the year that they would be present in Düsseldorf, delighting Eurovision fans worldwide and making ESC 2011 the largest competition since 2008. Even though their results in Eurovision have been less than stellar over the years, the competition still has an approval rating of 87.5% among Slovak viewers. Suddenly, however, broadcaster RTVS announced that due to the after-effects of a major merger, Slovakia would be unable to afford their Eurovision participation without the help of a major sponsor. Despite the EBU’s decision to grant the broadcaster extra time to cobble together the dough, a fairy godmother failed to appear, leaving Bratislava high and dry, and leaving a depressing, Czechoslovakia-shaped hole in the 2011 Eurovision Participation Map:
Well, Slovakia, the other 42 competing nations and I will miss you in Germany, and we hope you can get your ducks in a row for 2012. (And while we’re at it, convince your neighbors in Prague to come back, too!)
…And the good news continues to come in! Adding to a string of nations returning to the ESC stage, today brought news of Hungarian broadcaster MTV (no, not that MTV…we’re talking Magyar Televízió!) confirming that they will, in fact, be represented in Düsseldorf! That makes the 4th nation returning to the competition (including Austria, Italy, and San Marino). Hungary’s last participation was back in 2009, with stage performer Zoltan “Zoli” Ádok’s disco-pop number “Dance with Me“, which didn’t qualify for the finals. (Zoli’s performance did, however, win the infamous “Barbara Dex Award”, a dubious honor presented to the evening’s worst-dressed performer.)
The jury is still out on Slovakia, so to speak. They had said back in early December that 2011 was a no-go, but rumors of their participation still hovered around them. Supposedly, they had applied to be on the provisional list of participants, with the option of withdrawing their names by Christmastime. We haven’t heard any confirmations one way or the other, so we’ll have to wait for the EBU’s official verdict on who’s in and who’s out, which should come any day now. If Slovakia rejoins the competition, that means that the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest will be tied with 2008 for the record as the biggest event ever, with 43 participating nations! Unfortunately, applications from Liechtenstein and Qatar to join the EBU were rejected for the time being, so we won’t see any debuts from them (or any other nation) at the moment. But there’s always 2012!
Ok, after the long, in-depth entries on Russia and Serbia, I hate to say this, but my piece on Slovakia will be disturbingly short. They send three entries to the ESC back in the mid-to-late nineties, but never scored higher than 18th place. None of these songs really even stick out in my mind. After a disappointing result in the 1998 contest, they withdrew and didn’t come back until last year, when they sent Kamil Mikulčík and Nela Pocisková to sing “Let’ Tmou (Fly Through the Darkness)“, a dramatic ballad that failed to leave any impression on voters.
This year, Slovakia has gone from perpetual underdog to one of the most talked-about entries of the year. Kristína Peláková will be representing her homeland with “Horehronie”, a song about the eponymous region in Slovakia.
I know that many people liked “Let’ Tmou”, but to me, this feels like more of a homecoming song than Kamil and Nela gave us last year. It’s danceable, has regional flair, Kristína’s adorable, and the song as a whole paints Slovakia in a fantastic light. It’s being performed in the first semifinal, and I would be shocked to not see this qualify. I predict that Slovakia will not only beat its own personal best placement of 18th, but it might crack the Top 5 or 10, if she performs as well on the ESC stage as she did in her National Final a few months ago.
And, if all else fails, the Slovak Tourism Board now has its new ad campaign in the bag!