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JOWST Grabs The Moment for Norway

July 20, 2017 0

Can Norway “Grab The Moment” with JOWST’s Eurovision entry, or will they be completely off base with the judges? Norway smashed Eurovision records when they won with Alexander Rybak’s “Fairytale” back in 2009, and rightly so. But they also have a history as one of the nations that’s had the most last place entries. I think they’re usually good about sending entries that are in touch with what’s going on in pop music, but that doesn’t always translate to Eurovision success. Case in point: 2011’s entry, Stella Mwangi’s “Haba Haba”.  I thought this had a lot of potential to go far as an entry – it pulled in from some tropical stuff that was going on in pop at the time, and brought an infectious island flavor to the contest. It seemed to be received well by the crowd inside the stadium during the semi-final, then it finished in 17th place out of 19 and didn’t get through to the final.  All this has me trying to hedge my bets before I talk about this year’s track, JOWST’s “Grab The Moment”. Tropical House and other clubby sounds like it are having a Big Moment in pop right now, so it’s understandable […] [Read more…]

Hungary Chooses “Origo” by Joci Pápai for Kyiv

July 20, 2017 0

Hungary’s A Dal 2017 wrapped up Saturday with the jury narrowing eight entries to four and the home audience making the final decision. The finale of Hungary’s A Dal 2017 changed up the format we’ve gotten used to these last few weeks. After the final eight acts performed, each jury member selected their four favorites, awarding 10-8-6-4 points to their selections. The four acts with the most points would move on to the superfinal, where the winner of the home vote gets a ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. Here’s how things shook out on Saturday’s show: Gabi Toth opened the show with “Hosszú idők”. Although she ranked on three of the four judges’ lists, her 12 points were not enough to move on to the superfinal. With no help available from the home audience, the surprise run of “Kalendor” by Soulwave came to an end. No points were awarded by the judges. “See it Through” by Gigi Radics managed to pull an upset, sneaking into the superfinal with 14 points. Somewhat surprising, Eurovision veteran Kallay Saunders Band received zero points from the judges for “17.” Leander Kills, the only survivor from the first heat, received eight points from one […] [Read more…]

Eurovision 2017 YouTube Week #6: Standings

July 20, 2017 0

Now that the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest is down to 42 participants, what countries are the top ten for YouTube views? We’re in the homestretch of wild speculation season April, which means we can pretty much lock in what the YouTube favorites are for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. With rehearsals beginning a week from Sunday, what can we glean from which videos are at the top of the list? The Favorites Sweden — “I Can’t Go On” — Robin Bengtsson 3 million views Belgium — “City Lights” — Blanche 2.7 million views Bulgaria — “Beautiful Mess” — Kristian Kostov 2.1 million views San Marino — “Spirit of the Night” — Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson 2 million views FYR Macedonia — “Dance Alone” — Jana Burcesca 1.87 million views France — “Requiem” — ALMA 1.74 million views Serbia — “In Too Deep” — Tijana Bogicevic 1.69 million views Australia — “Don’t Come Easy” — Isaiah Firebrace 1.51 million views Armenia — “Fly With Me” — Artsvik 1.39 million views Azerbaijan — “Skeletons” — Dihaj 1.32 million views Now, there are some caveats to this list. First, Italy’s Francesco Gabbani’s Vevo video for “Occidentali’s Karma” (which has been available since February 9) is approaching 100 million views. The abridged Eurovision version […] [Read more…]

Eurovision 2017 Entry: Lithuania — Fusedmarc — Rain of Revolution

July 19, 2017 0

Not a bathroom break entry, but not gonna make it to Saturday’s Grand Final either. Country: Lithuania Song Title: “Rain of Revolution” Artist: Fusedmarc Second Semi-Final: Position #17 Last year’s entry: “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night” — Donny Montell (9th Place) Over the last decade, Lithuania has been good at earning themselves a Saturday performance — they’re seven for ten on that front — but not good at finishing strong. Even taking last year’s top-ten finish into account, their average result over that same span is 18th place. Donny Martell has done his part for his country, twice being responsible not only for Grand Final appearances, but also for the two best results (9th and 14th) since 2006. Can Fusedmarc take their country to a third straight Grand Final, or will they just end up raining on Lithuania’s parade? Bring your galoshes, folks. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot about this entry I appreciate, including the presentation that Ben (not wrongly) characterized as seven different ideas happening at once. It’s songs like this that made me fall in love with ESC, and it’s song like this that keep me coming back year after year. In this case, though, […] [Read more…]

Eurovision 2017 Entry: Sweden — Robin Bengtsson — I Can’t Go On

July 18, 2017 0

We think Robin Bengtsson can “Go On” to the Eurovision finals, but will Sweden get their third win in five years? Country: Sweden Song Title: “I Can’t Go On” Artist: Robin Bengtsson First Semi-Final: Position 1 Last year’s entry: “If I Were Sorry”  – Frans (5th Place) Sweden’s been having a powerhouse few years at the Eurovision Song Contest.  After winning in 2012 and 2015 1, they took what I thought was a standard “thanks for letting us host but we have no intention of winning two years in a row” song (Frans’ “If I Were Sorry”) and got it all the way to 5th place with the combined vote.  Sweden is a powerhouse of pop songwriting and production, so it’s no surprise their entries always feel polished and ready for mass consumption.  Will Robin Bengtsson continue their pattern of winning the contest every few years? I’m not getting as much of a Robin Thicke vibe from this as Ryan did 2, but I do miss the original f-bomb in the hook of the song.  I know there are Eurovision standards, but neutering this down to “freakin’” feels like when “Forget You” was a big summer hit – it’s a little awkward, and any punch […] [Read more…]

Eurovision 2017 Entry: Azerbaijan — Dihaj — Skeletons

July 17, 2017 0

Dihaj’s “Skeletons” has good bones, but will it be dynamic enough to ensure Azerbaijan a place in the ESC finals? Country: Azerbaijan Song Title: “Skeletons” Artist: Dihaj First Semi-Final: Position 8 Last year’s entry: “Miracle” – Samra (17th Place) After coming out of the gate strong with their first appearance in 2008, Azerbaijan’s been having some wilderness years.  They haven’t ever missed the finals since debuting, but in the past 3 years, they haven’t cracked the top 10 after consistently placing in the top 5.  Azerbaijan always feels closest to Sweden in the way they practically manufacture Eurovision entries for maximum points, so this has to sting.  Does Dihaj’s “Skeletons” have what it takes to get them back near the top of the competition? I didn’t have as much of an instant “love” of this song as Ryan did in his initial listen, but it’s certainly grown on me as the field has filled out and the competition has moved along.  I definitely love the way this feels like S U R V I V E’s work for Stranger Things, and there’s a dark edge to this song that feels fresh in this semi-final of the competition.  But if there was any year Azerbaijan needed a non-packed […] [Read more…]

Eurovision 2017 Entry: FYR Macedonia — Jana Burčeska — Dance Alone

July 17, 2017 0

Let’s hope that, wherever she goes, the rhythm follows. Country: FYR Macedonia Song Title: “Dance Alone” Artist: Jana Burčeska Second Semi-Final: Position #4 Last year’s entry: “Dona” — Kaliopi (DNQ – 11th Place, SF2) The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has the distinction of being a historically unsuccessful country at Eurovision, but not for lack of trying. In seventeen attempts, the Macedonians have notched nine DNQs, with the remaining eight performances netting an average Grand Final placement of 15th and a best finish of 12th. They’ve been particularly bad since 2008, with eight DNQs in the last nine years, including four in a row entering this year’s contest. Can Jana Burčeska help her floundering country get back to the Grand Final stage? “Dance Alone” is a great song to sing in the car on road trips, as my listening statistics would prove. I’m having a very hard time imagining how this song will succeed visually on the Eurovision stage, though. This is a cool music video, but as Ben pointed out, that’s not the point of the contest. The entire purpose of this song is that the singer is isolated. In terms of staging, either you’re forced to put her onstage […] [Read more…]

Hungary: A Dal 2017 Kicks Off

July 16, 2017 0

Hungary’s Eurovision selection process A Dal 2017 began Saturday with 10 songs competing. Which six songs advanced to the semi-finals? Hungary has had an impressive run at Eurovision in recent years, qualifying for the final every year since returning in 2011. Part of this success could be attributed to the country’s selection process called A Dal, which has been used since 2012. A Dal 2017 began this past Saturday with the first set of 10 songs out of thirty performing for judges and the Hungarian public. After each performance, the panel of four judges offers critiques and each judge gives a score of one to 10 points. The judges are Both Miklos, Zseda, Frenreisz Karoly, and Caramel. The home audience also gets to rate the performance via the A Dal app and SMS, adding another one to 10 points to the final score. The five acts with the most points automatically move on to the semi-finals. Another round of app/SMS voting opens for the other five acts, with the winner of that vote added to the semi-finals as a wildcard. Here are the six acts that advanced following this week’s show. 1st Place (Tie) – Leander Kills “Élet” (“Life”) – […]

The post Hungary: A Dal 2017 Kicks Off appeared first on What Else is On: telESCope.

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Hungary: A Dal 2017 Kicks Off

July 16, 2017 0

Hungary’s Eurovision selection process A Dal 2017 began Saturday with 10 songs competing. Which six songs advanced to the semi-finals? Hungary has had an impressive run at Eurovision in recent years, qualifying for the final every year since returning in 2011. Part of this success could be attributed to the country’s selection process called A Dal, which has been used since 2012. A Dal 2017 began this past Saturday with the first set of 10 songs out of thirty performing for judges and the Hungarian public. After each performance, the panel of four judges offers critiques and each judge gives a score of one to 10 points. The judges are Both Miklos, Zseda, Frenreisz Karoly, and Caramel. The home audience also gets to rate the performance via the A Dal app and SMS, adding another one to 10 points to the final score. The five acts with the most points automatically move on to the semi-finals. Another round of app/SMS voting opens for the other five acts, with the winner of that vote added to the semi-finals as a wildcard. Here are the six acts that advanced following this week’s show. 1st Place (Tie) – Leander Kills “Élet” (“Life”) – […]

The post Hungary: A Dal 2017 Kicks Off appeared first on What Else is On: telESCope.

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Things to Know When You Go to Eurovision

July 16, 2017 0

Are you thinking about going to Eurovision 2018? Here are some tips to maximize your ESC experience. I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine. Kyiv proved to be a capable host, but it’s understandable how Americans interested in going might have been intimidated by the prospect — there’s no real direct way to get to Kyiv and current foreign policy with Russia added a layer of excitement that had me bookmark the most direct route to the embassy. Now that we know Eurovision 2018 will be in Portugal, here are some tips you can use to prepare for your first Eurovision experience. 1. Figure out your itinerary My trip to Kyiv doubled as my honeymoon, so we decided to make it a European adventure. We flew into Budapest and spent a couple days there. We took the train up to Vienna, Austria, stayed there for the weekend, then took the train to Bratislava, Slovakia. We took a short flight from Bratislava to Kyiv in time for the first semi-final and stayed through the end of Eurovision weekend. Not only did we get to experience four European countries in a single go, we saved […] [Read more…]

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