Monday 30 September 2013

Switzerland: First few songs already online!

Switzerland have officially kicked of the NF season of 2014! Why? Well my friends, the first few songs, willing to represent the landlocked country, have been released on SRF's online video-portal.

Take a look here to view the website and a few songs have already been uploaded. The deadline for anyone interested is 28th October. Switzerland selects their entry on 1st February - although before that there will be heats, heats and more heats before that! I wonder if we will see Lys Assia this year.......

Saturday 28 September 2013

France: Participation for 2014 confirmed!

France 3, the French broadcaster, has announced that they will be sending an entry to Copenhagen next May...

However it hasn't been announced how their entry will be selected. Amandine Bourgeois flew the French flag in Malmo and came a pretty disappointing 23rd, which was totally undeserved. In other news, it seems that Bosnia aren't going to return as they're joining Turkeyvision - more on all that another time! Who will represent France next year? My dream would be Zaz or Nolwenn Leroy!

Friday 27 September 2013

Denmark: Emmelie de Forest postpones her tour!

Emmelie has decided to postpone her tour. Apparently her schedule is too busy, although maybe low ticket sales also play a part in this decision.

She was meant to perform in 14 different cities including Copenhagen, Horsens, Berlin, Dresden... but that's not happening now. This years ESC winner released a statement on her Facebook page, saying:
It is with my deepest regret that I have postpone my tour in Germany and Denmark. I was really looking forward to getting out and perform for all of you! I had to make this decision, as I am a perfectionist and whatever I do, it has to be done 100%. With my very hectic schedule at the moment, it is impossible for me to do that. I hope for your understanding and look forward to performing for you as soon as possible Lots of LOVE from E 
No further dates have been given. Lena had to cancel a tour in 2011 due to low interest...

Thursday 26 September 2013

Spain: Participation for 2014 confirmed!

Yipee! Spain have confirmed they will send an entry to Copenhagen next May... I'm delighted! I love Spain!!! <3

TVE, the Spanish broadcaster, announced that they haven't decided how they will select their entry and we should expect more news soon. In recent years, Spain have gone internal - maybe this trend will continue? Or maybe they'll opt for a national final? Italy have also said that they plan on participating but haven't fully confirmed yet.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Denmark: National final on 8th March, in Odense!

It's been revealed that Denmark will pick their entry on 8th March. The Danish broadcaster, DR, confirmed that event will be held in Odense - the third largest city in Denmark and in the Arena Fyn.

10 acts are expected to take part in the final, and like every other year, they'll be no semi finals. But why did DR choose Odense? This is what Rasmus Ladefoged, Director of Entertainment, said:
“The eyes of the world will be on Denmark as we will host the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. As such the Danish national final, Melodi Grand Prix, is going to be something quite special this time. We know that Odense can pull off this huge task and provide the setting for a super amazing show and a massive party for everyone”
Who will represent their country on home territory? Sweden also selects their representative on 8th March, and it's likely other countries will too! :)

Montenegro: RTCG confirm participation for 2014!

The Montenegrin broadcaster has confirmed that they will indeed be sending a Copenhagen next year. Fantastico!

I love Montenegro - they always send interesting stuff but have never been awarded for their efforts. Igranka was so awesome, but unfortunately didn't qualify - maybe the rap put people off. Montenegro will go internal once again and apparently RTCG are in talks with Sergey Cetkovic. He's very popular in Montenegro and all over the Balkans so could be a great choice if selected...

Tuesday 24 September 2013

NuVidz: Andrius Pojavis, Mandinga, Emmelie de Forest, Leanne Mitchell!

Every Tuesday, or so, I'll post some new and random videos that I've discovered throughout the week. This will include Eurovision artists but also non-Eurovision artists... just anything I feel like really lol!

OK, so Andrius Pojavis is back with quite a weird song entitled Play your game - this guy is crazy but awesome at the same time. It's a charming song. Romanian 2012 representatives Mandinga have a new song too called La vita e bella which is very nice. I could imagine hearing this on the beach somewhere in Spain... it's great! The ever so beautiful Emmelie de Forest releases the official video-clip of Hunter and Prey. Love it! Leanne Mitchell also debuts with Pride - it's only sold about 800 copies here in the UK, very sad indeed as she's a fab singer. She won The Voice in 2012.

Finland: UMK final on 1st February, 420 demos received!

The ball is rolling in Finland... YLE have received about 420 demos for next years national selection and the final has been set for 1st February.

Latvia and Switzerland have already said they'll be holding their NF's on 1st February, so that'll be a busy but great night! A special jury will listen to all 420 songs and select the best 12 for the live shows, these live shows kick off on 28th December with quarter finals and semi finals every Saturday leading up to the final. Apparently there are some "known-faces" in this years UMK, and some total newcomers too.

UMK 2013 was great. Some fantastic songs - this bloggers favourite was...

Italy: Sanremo 2014 details announced!

Everyone's favourite Italian music festival is back next year - as RAI have revealed some details surrounding the event. The grand final will take place on 22nd February.

The format will be exactly the same as this years Sanremo. Each participant will have two songs - and the better song will advance to the final. There will also be the newcomers night on 21st February. Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzett will return as hosts. The festival will begin on 18th February... it'll be awesome! Sanremo is always awesome! Italy haven't confirmed for ESC yet, but they'll be there - RAI are asking fans who they would like to see represent Italy in Denmark and Emma is leading. Cast your votes here.

Monday 23 September 2013

Latvia: National final set for 1st February!

It's been revealed that the Latvians will choose their entry through "Dziesma" on 1st February! There will be two semi finals, same story as last year it'll just a few weeks earlier.

These semis are going to be held on 18th and 19th January. This bloggers hoping that the standard will be high AND that they'll select the best song. This years Latvian final was awesome - but the worst song by far won. Latvia was my least favourite this year, at-least Romania and Albania were entertaining! Good-luck Latvia... More information to be revealed soon. :)

Oh, I've realised that's the same day as Switzerland. Best make sure I've got no plans that night..... lol

Copenhagen 2014: DR applies for more funding...

Danish national broadcaster, DR, have applied for more funding to put towards next years Eurovision - it's been revealed they've applied to the Ministry of Culture in Denmark.

Hosting Eurovision is a massive task and it doesn't come cheap. SVT invested a total of 14 million euros for this years edition! Maria Rørbye Rønn, DR general director, said:
 It is correct that DR has written a letter to the Ministry of Culture with a request to be considered when the relevant parties meet to discuss how to spend the surplus funds from licence fees.
Croatia withdrew last week due to economic strains, it's also looking very likely that Serbia will follow in their footsteps...

Saturday 21 September 2013

Serbia: Decision regarding 2014 participation expected next week?

With Croatia withdrawing, Greece and Cyprus on the edge of withdrawing, it looks like Serbia is now also having trouble and thus may leave the contest...

Due to financial problems RTS, the Serbian broadcaster, are currently on the edge of liquidation and 8 million Euros is outstanding to suppliers and staff salaries - and even with advertisements and license fees from citizens there still may not be enough money to support the broadcaster fully, hence there will be several cuts... Their financial situation is terrible. An RTS spokesmen, Duška Vučinić, said:
“more information on Serbia’s participation at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest will be known at the end of next week”.
Plus is doesn't help they didn't qualify in Malmo, and viewing figures are dropping every year... Could another Balkan country be about to withdraw?

Friday 20 September 2013

The Netherlands: Anouk backs Shirma Rouse!

It's been reported that Anouk has been asked to write the Dutch entry for next year, and she's apparently planning on producing a song for Shirma Rouse and Eurovision. Shirma was one of Anouk's backing vocalists in Malmo and is currently a contestant on The Voice of Holland.

Hopefully Anouk will get her wish and Shirma will fly the Dutch flag in 2014 as she is utterly amazing. This is what Anouk had to say:
“She is fantastic. It is not normal to be so good. She has a very good presence, she’s really a sweetheart and very likeable."
If this does happen, the song is possibly going to be R&B... something like that would be awesome. But with Anouk anything is possible!!! ^^

Thursday 19 September 2013

Croatia: HRT withdraw from Eurovision 2014!!!

HRT have confirmed that Croatia will NOT be participating in next years Eurovision Song Contest as the country is really struggling financially...

This blogger is always sad when a country decides to withdraw although I do understand this decision - times are hard and Croatia have more important things to deal with. However all is not lost, the broadcaster did state that they only plan on taking one year out hence hoping to return for 2015 but that's a long way off yet! This is what the broadcaster stated in a press release...
“HRT, as a national broadcaster, needs to plan funds very carefully, and due to the financial crisis as well as public critics regarding the participation costs. Even though many viewers will be disappointed with the decision, HRT decided to take a year break as the main goal is always to find a great performer with a song that will reach a high position, and due to the series of bad results in the past couple of years. “
It also doesn't help that Croatia haven't qualified in four years... I'll miss them!!!

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Monaco: No return for 2014!

This isn't really news but I thought it's worth sharing. Monaco have confirmed that they won't be sending an entry to Denmark next year...

Ah well. Now Monaco join Czech Republic, Slovakia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Andorra which have all announced they won't participate in Copenhagen. Their last representation was in 2006 with La Coco-Dance - and it's frankly one of the worst songs ever! Although I did like their 2005 effort, with Tout De Moi. Will they ever return? Never say never but it doesn't look very likely at the minute...

Sunday 15 September 2013

Austria: Facebook page set up against Conchita Wurst's participation!

ORF, the Austrian broadcaster, announced that Conchita Wurst would represent the country in Copenhagen and this has already caused anger among Austrians and ESC fans. A facebook page has been set up against the broadcasters choice.

"NEIN zu Conchita Wurst beim Song Contest" has already clocked up over 35,000 "likes" in just five days. The description states that the people don't accept ORF's decision - they believe that the public should have a say. I kinda agree with that - maybe they'll be a national final where the Austrian public selects the song? That could work. The bearded lady has reacted saying she'll go her own way and that she's used to these kind of insults. The group is particularly mean towards Conchita herself...

Whether you love her or hate her, Austria are making one heck of statement. I applaud them for that.

Turkey: Participation remains unlikely...

The Turkish national broadcaster, TRT, have said that they won't be returning to Eurovision next year unless there are drastic changes to the voting system and the "Big 5" is abandoned.

Ibrahim Sahin, TRT’s general director, said...
“Five countries directly entering the grand final in this competition is unfair. If this system countinues, we will not take part”.
I can understand where they are coming from. But I don't think the EBU will abandon the "Big Five" unless more countries complain, then they might look into properly. But why are Turkey so annoyed with this? They've only missed the final once...

Let's remember they could still return as the EBU deadline isn't until the end of the year. Take a look here for more information. Soon we should get a final decision.

The Netherlands: Armin van Buuren says no, but has Anouk been asked?

Armin van Buuren did announce his interest in representing The Netherlands in Eurovision a few months ago although now it seems he's not up for it. He gave a radio interview where he confirmed that he's not going to by flying the Dutch flag next year or any year.

It's disappointing. Although all is not lost - he confirmed that Anouk has been asked to write the Dutch entry for next year. Now that would be awesome!!! She did a fantastic job this year... but there's no way she'll be the singer. This does also rule out  Ilse De Lange though - her an Anouk have a known rivalry. Anouk was on a TV show a few days ago where she didn't confirm nor deny her involvement in the 2014 Dutch representation. It's clear The Netherlands are going internal though now... We'll find out more soon.

Estonia: Representative to be chosen 1st March!

The Estonian broadcaster have confirmed that the final of Eesti Laul will take place on 1st March. There will be an additional two semi finals on 14th and 21st February - this method has been used for years now.

More information regarding the Estonian selection will be announced by EER soon. Birgit came 20th in Malmo, a sweet song and I feel it deserved more. Anyway, good luck Estonia! :-)

Friday 13 September 2013

The Netherlands: Anouk releases a controversial new song!

Anouk is fantastic. Her new song is fantastic although it has hit headlines over in The Netherlands for being quite controversial - it's entitled "Wigger". Some Dutch columnists are very annoyed with her choice of words in this song. 

A wigger is "white person who is inspired by black culture" and it doesn't take a genius to work out what it rhymes with. It may not be politically correct but Anouk has defended it on her Facebook page. Anouk has four children and three of them have "brown sugar skin" - she was married to Remon Stotijn for nine years, a Dutch singer born in Suriname - although they have divorced now. Anouk's proud to be a wigger and hence she's wrote a song about it! Whether you like Anouk or not, you have to admire her. 

She's uploaded a lyric video to her YouTube account and it's clocked over 70,000 hits in just three days. Enjoy it here....

UK: British press reports the "vote rigging scandal"!

These allegations, and they are still allegations at the moment, have been rife for some time and now the British press are even reporting it. This blogger actually feels pretty sad at the moment - our contest is becoming more and more of a sham and a joke.

The Mirror reports that an anonymous executive (who worked behind the scenes in Malmo) was contacted by several broadcasters as they were keen to do "dodgy deals". Bonnie Tyler, who came 19th respectably, gave an interview to a French newspaper where she is supposed to of overheard a Russian delegation ask why they didn't get the votes they paid for. Another "insider" has said that the Macedonian delegation wanted to do a deal a week before the contest was even held. Meanwhile, the DailyMail have reported the Azerbaijani delegate offered 'enough money to live for a year' in an exchange for points... Maybe I'm being a bit sensitive here but I'm really quite upset. It also looks like Macedonia and Azerbaijan aren't the only countries who payed for votes, according to the Mail another four countries also wanted to use underhand tactics. I'm guessing Malta is one of these - they've awarded Azerbaijan 12 points since 2010 although this has been denied by the Maltese delegation..

In an opinion column in the Daily Mirror, Cheryl Baker (one quarter of Bucks Fizz) said:
You'll always get people voting for their neighbour, but taking money, I think that's shocking, a travesty. It's turning a really joyous occasion into something really sordid and nasty.
It does look like members of the Azerbaijani delegation paid some Lithuanian students (and gave them free SIM cards) to vote for Azerbaijan - a video surfaced ages ago. The EBU are keen to get to the bottom of these allegations though, as Sietse Bakker informed...
Our investigation into the allegations towards Azerbaijan is still ongoing. We have a very clear policy on such ­speculations. First of all, we always look into the story. If necessary, we investigate further. And if we would find actual proof that the rules have been breached, we will impose firm sanctions and do everything we can to avoid it in the future.  
I remind you that nothing has been proven. Innocent until proven guilty, huh?

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Morocco: No return for 2014!

It's been confirmed that Morocco WON'T be returning to Eurovision next year! :-(

The only Moroccan representation was in 1980, when they debuted with Samira Said - she only managed a disappointing 18th place (second to last). And because of this, the president (apparently) called for the country to withdraw... Plus I don't think it helped that Israel returned a year later - Morocco saw on reason to return and just haven't bothered since. SNRT have said that they still may return one year - so there's still hope although that does look unlikely. SNRT are the only broadcaster in Morocco which are part of the EBU, and hence the only broadcaster that can send an entry to Eurovision.

Take a look at the only Moroccan entry ever to grace the Eurovision stage...

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Liechtenstein: No debut for 2014!

I guess they're not ready to debut yet. Financial problems are rife everywhere and therefore Lichtenstein won't make their debut to the Eurovision stage, in Copenhagen next year...

1FLTV have decided not to apply for EBU membership again. This blogger is kinda sad as the landlocked principality were really interested in entering a few years ago. The national broadcaster was only formed in 2008, and applied for EBU membership in 2010 - however their bid was rejected. Maybe they'll debut one year... It just won't be this year.

Here's hoping Kosovo or Kazakhstan debut now!

Sweden: Melodifestivalen final on 8th March, cities announced!

SVT have confirmed the dates for next years Melodifestivalen - the final is set for 8th March, and the circus will kick off on 1st February. Here are the cities:

  • 1st semifinal: Malmö (1st February)
  • 2nd semifinal: Linköping (8th February)
  • 3rd semifinal: Göteborg (15th February)
  • 4th Semifinal: Örnsköldsvik (22nd February)
  • Second chance: Lidköping (1st March)
  • Final: Stockholm (8th March)

Like every year, the final is going to be in Stockholm - and in Friends Arena. I hope the Swedes come up with something better than they did this year... Submissions close 18th September.

Austria: Conchita Wurst selected internally!

Austria have balls!!! Conchita Wurst has been chosen to represent Austria in Copenhagen... Not my ideal Austrian representative but it's an interesting choice nevertheless. OFR, the national broadcaster, hinted about an internal selection a few weeks ago.

Apparently the broadcasters aim is to qualify and maybe they could actually do it with her.. Conchita tried to represent Austria in 2012, although she came 2nd with That's What I Am. She's actually very popular in Austria, apparently. The bearded woman does have a fantastic voice, no one can deny that - just take a look at her cover of My Heart Will Go On Amazing...

I fear Europe will see this as a "gimmick". There's been no information regarding the song yet although I doubt Russia will gave them many points... ^^

Friday 6 September 2013

Andorra: No return for 2014!

Damn! RTVA, the Andorran broadcast, have confirmed that they don't intend on returning next year. This is due to financial difficulties within the broadcaster... Not surprising, is it?

The country withdrew back in 2009, it seems the broadcaster still haven't sorted these problems and hence Andorra having to miss out next years ESC. Oh well... On another sad note, it looks like Turkey won't be returning either but we need to wait for an official statement but things don't look good. It's also become apparent that Slovenia will decide in November... Stay tuned as things are starting to really get interesting now!

We miss you, Andorra!

Germany: "Unser Song für Dänemark" set for 13th March!

The German broadcaster confirmed their participation a few days ago - and now they've also announced that "Unser Song für Dänemark" will be the concept which will select their representative for Denmark. I remember watching their national final this year - and every song was great, even LaBrassaBanda! I hope the quality will be just as good next year.

The venue for the final will be in Lanxess Arena, in Cologne. NRD, the national broadcaster, revealed that the final will be held on 13th March. No information regarding how many acts there will be yet but... Take a look here for more information. To be honest, I'm still quite disappointed that Cascada only came 21st in Malmo...

Glück Deutschland!!!

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Iceland: RÚV have opened submissions!

Icelandic broadcaster, RÚV, have made an open call for songs to compete in next years Söngvakeppni. The deadline for interested artists to summit their offerings is 7th October...

The Icelandic broadcaster will award a staggering 1 million Icelandic kroner to the winner - as well as having the opportunity of representing Iceland in Copenhagen. I'm hoping that Magni Ásgeirsson will decide to compete, I even featured him in my wishlist series - I'm sorry I only got round to doing a few, but it has been a hectic summer. I hope to do more in the coming weeks! No information has been released regarding when or how many shows there will be. All songs must be in Icelandic..... YAY!

Can Iceland finally be crowned the winner next year? They're the only Scandinavian country who haven't won the contest, yet...

Monday 2 September 2013

Copenhagen 2014: More details revealed!

A press conference was held earlier today where DR informed us fans why Copenhagen was chosen. It appears that the broadcaster wants a more personal approach to the contest, as the postcards will feature the artists of each participating country and not Danish scenery - it should be a similar story to Malmo 2013...

DR are following in the footsteps of SVT. The venue, B&W Hallerne, will seat a total of 10,000 people - doesn't sound much but Malmo Arena only held 11,000 people and that worked fine. I think it's a good idea to have a more intimate feeling, Malmo 2013 was great and I'm sure Copenhagen 2014 will have a similar feel to it. It's not known when we'll find out the host (or hosts) - I guess early 2014 like normal. A large amount of hotels are already booked - no date for when the tickets will be announced yet. "Join Us" is a simple yet effective slogan, although folk don't seem to like it... Denmark are inviting the whole of Europe to join them next May, even though the Czech Republic and Luxembourg have announced they won't return. Oh, it's going to be fun...

Such fun!!!

Denmark 2014: Host city confirmed - it's Copenhagen!

The wait is now over! Copenhagen wins - and the venue has also been confirmed, it's B&W Hallerne at the Refshaleøen. I'm delighted it's not Herning, but kinda disappointed it won't be Horsens...

DR and the EBU intend to create a "Eurovision Island" - sounds cool, huh? And the slogan has also been announced - it's "Join Us" although we're have to wait some time for an official logo... It's a former shipyard but the EBU and DR will give it a major renovation. I'm so pleased that Copenhagen will play host - it won't be great, it'll be fantastic! Pernille Gaardbo, Executive Producer of Eurovision at DR, informed...
We are looking forward to welcoming Europe in Copenhagen, which is full of cultural diversity, has an excellent infrastructure and a variety of hotels. At the chosen venue we have the opportunity to realise our creative ambitions. The entire area around the B&W Hallerne will be transformed into Eurovision Island, where delegates, press and fans will come together- 
So, join us in Copenhagen next May!

Sunday 1 September 2013

Slovakia: No return for 2014...

RTVS, the Slovakian broadcaster, were asked about their Eurovision plans on Twitter this morning and it appears that they won't return. It's no surprise is it? Although I'm still quite disappointed...

Slovakia decided to withdraw last year after poor results and financial difficulties within the broadcaster - a shame. A real shame. I reckon they'll follow suit with their neighbours, the Czech Republic, and will be absent from the contest for some years. Hopefully I'll be proved wrong. And remember, Slovakia can still change their minds.

Since returning in 2009, Slovakia haven't made the finals - and they did send some rather decent songs...

Israel: Chen Ahroni tries his luck on The X Factor!

Like millions, I was watching The Xtra Factor (The X Factor's sister show on ITV2) last night were a guy appeared and said he was a star in Israel. He introduced himself as Chen Ahroni and I though that this was the guy who came 4th in KDAM, back in 2011 with Or.

Then I checked it on YouTube to see if it was him and it was. I couldn't believe it. He managed to get through to the next round however did face criticism from Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow. Louis said the performance just wasn't amazing then Gary told the Israeli star "there are 10 to 15 singers who sing just like you sing and they’re in the charts right now". Not massive criticism but it doesn't look great.... He needs to stand out.

Check him out auditioning...

Russia: National final set for 31st December!

I love Russian NF's - they are normally jammed packed full with great songs, with a few crazy songs chucked into the mix too (remember the Grannies in 2010 and 2012 of-course). Anyway, this years Russian final will take place on New Year's Eve.

I guess the Russian broadcaster will have lots on their plate in February and March with the Winter
Olympics, in Sochi, so that's the reason behind the early date. 25 songs will compete for the Russian ticket and interested artists can now apply now. Rossiya, the Russian broadcaster, are looking for modern pop songs and less ballads... I welcome that move totally! I'm so damn excited for this NF season already even though we only have two confirmed dates, the other being from Switzerland on 1st February.

Good luck Russia! Although I doubt Moscow 2015 is something most fans are hoping for...

Denmark 2014: Eurovision 2014 officially kicks off today!

We already have two confirmed artists, in the form of Valentina Monetta and Tijana Dapčević, but Eurovision 2014 technically kicks of today. Why? Songs can be performed and played publicly and still be eligible for next years Eurovision - we should soon hear tracks coming from Switzerland...

The national final season is likely to kick of in December with Albania choosing their representative through Festival i Këngës unless another country intends to pick early. Anyway, things really start moving now and hopefully we will get more confirmations soon. Poland have announced their interest in returning - so expect them to announce something in a couple of weeks...

The road to Denmark starts today.... YAY! ^^
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