We’ve been here in the Press Centre for two days now, with the first rough rehearsals coming across our screen. Before the Semifinals next week, let’s take a quick look at who we’ll all see on stage this year and how they got there! Read the rest of this entry
Some National Finals are a single-day affair, while others slowly curate their list of finalists over sets of semis and heats. France, however, in their first public selection since 2007, decided to go a bit unorthodox. Three entries were performed on the show Les chansons d’abord, hosted by 2001 Eurovision 4th-place finisher Natasha St-Pier, and the phone lines were opened. And they were kept open for nearly a month. Read the rest of this entry
Emotions ran high at RTÉ Studios on Friday night as the Irish public made their choice for Copenhagen. Of course, the participating singers all had their hearts in throats waiting for their turn to charm the public, but there was just as much drama amongst the panel on “The Late Late Show” as there was for the performers.
Just as there has been since 2011, a mentorship system has been used for the Irish selection. Mentors select the song, the singer, and help mold the performance at the National Final level. Of course, as “LLS” is a talk show at heart, a panel of Eurovision pundits were on hand to discuss the entries as they were presented. Putting those two entities together gave viewers more than they had bargained for… Read the rest of this entry
As anticipated, Estonia’s Eesti Laul was a competitive affair, with ten quality entries spanning the breadth of the country’s musical tastes. From Kõrsikud’s slow, folksy waltz to ballads from Maiken and Lenna to Traffic’s alt-rock and Sandra Nurmsalu’s worldly pop, there was something for everybody. But even though most fans’ eyes were trained on Eurovision alums Sandra and Lenna, the champion and runner-up both flew more or less under the radar. Read the rest of this entry
Some national finals are relatively straightforward. One night, a handful of acts, a jury, a televote, maybe a superfinal, and you’ve got an act, ready to go to Eurovision. Bing bang boom, you’re done.
Well, Lithuania doesn’t play by your rules, man.
This year’s “Eurovizijos” was a twelve-week long affair, incorporating two competitions in one. Rather than having each singer take a song to the National Selection, a pool of twenty singers was slowly whittled down while a separate pool of sixteen songs was also winnowed into one winner. By the time the Final rolled around, three singers had to perform the same song, “Attention“, whether it was suited to their vocals and personal style or not. Read the rest of this entry
There’s been a conspicuous hole in the Eurovision participation map since Poland withdrew following the 2011 Contest, when Magdalena Tul (undeservingly) took home the wooden spoon for “Jestem“. Fans pined for the country that gave us Edyta Górniak, Anna Maria Jopek, and Ich Troje…and were thrilled in December when news of the country’s return arrived. But who would carry the white and red for the nation in Copenhagen? Read the rest of this entry
Also decided on Saturday was the winner of “A Dal”, the Hungarian National Final. From the original 30 songs, a series of heats and semifinals winnowed the selection down to eight finalists, all vying for the chance to follow ByeAlex’s “Kedvesem” into the ESC history books, and hopefully surpass his impressive Top 10 finish. There were quite a few A Dal alums and fresh faces reaching for the title, but, of course, only one could win. Read the rest of this entry
This weekend saw the finale of 2014’s Dziesma, the Latvian national final for Copenhagen. Held once again in the Baltic coastal town of Ventspils, this year’s theme was “Made in Latvia”, with the stipulation that only residents of the country were permitted to send songs to the contest. A dozen songs duked it out for the chance to go to Denmark, and hopefully bring the country its first ticket to the Finals since “Wolves of the Sea” in 2008. Read the rest of this entry
It was an emotional National Final in Spain on Saturday, as five singers went to bat in Barcelona for the chance to represent the country in Copenhagen. After each performance, interviews with the artists and their families brought most contestants to tears, especially after each one opened a sentimental gift from home. A picture, a necklace, a vinyl of the Little Mermaid…it was “The X-Factor” meets “This Is Your Life”.
But, let’s face it, we were really there for the music. Read the rest of this entry
On Saturday, after months of anticipation, Macedonian entrant Tijana Dapčević finally released her song for Copenhagen. On a special edition of MRT’s music program Hit na mesecot featuring performances by Eurovision alumnas Elena Risteska and Karolina Gočeva, Tijana gave us both versions of her entry: “To the Sky” in English, and “Tamu kaj što pripagjam (There where I belong)”. Read the rest of this entry