The longest running national selection of the year came from none other than the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia with a total of four and a half hours of music. The terrible production of the show made it quite unwatchable and in fact, we tuned in relatively late following the amazing Slovenian national selection. In the meantime, the final couple of minutes, saw one man emerge from the pack as the winner.
The show featured a number of guest appearances including Feminnem who represented Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2005 and then Croatia last year as well as Elena Risteka who represented the country at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, Greece. At the end of the extremely long production, the winner was none other than Vlatko Illievski who managed to top both the ranks of the jury and the televote. The song that he will be perforiming is entitled 'Rusinka'. Hear it below.
This evening we have been witnessing the Slovenian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest and despite mentioning it a couple of times, I think that one should commend all of the acts for putting up an amazing show in terms of song quality and then also to RTV SLO who put up a very great show with regards to production. In the end, though there had to be one winner and this was none other than Maja Keuc.
The winning entry for the evening is actually a balkan type of pop/rock ballad entitled 'Vanilija'. This is a song which the people have been asking for this year noting that it was still missing at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. In the super-final it beat out the Slovene version of popular American singer/songwriter Lady Gaga. The voting results were quite interesting actually and the two acts were chosen by the jury released way before the show. A great choice in my opinion. She won with a huge margin obtaining 28,908 to 11,993 for the runner-up.
The Slovenian pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest is always quite the spectacle in my opinion although in recent years, despite the high quality in their finals, the public has gone for something utterly wrong which not only made Europeans grimace but made also nationals look away at times. Hopefully that will change this evening as a new crop of artists take to the stage with their entries.
All of the entries are in Slovenian and will most probably stay that way unless something extraordinaty happens. The show is set to be broadcasted on RTV SLO 1 with a webcast being transmitted through the official Eurovision Song Contest website. The top two of the evening will go into a super-final and will be chosen through a Jury made up of Darja Svajger (1995/1999), Severina (Croatia 2006) and celebrity Mojca Mavec. Following this stage the decision is in the hands of the public through televoting.
Rock Partyzani - Time for revolution (Aleš Klinar)
Tabu - Moje luči (Tomaž Trup, Iztok Melanšek)
Nina Pušlar - Bilo lepi bi (Martin Štibernik, Dejan Radičevič)
Maja Keuc - Vanilija (Matjaž Vlašič, Urša Vlašič)
Feliks Langus - Disco raj (Matej Mršnik, Anže Langus, Alen Steržaj)
Leeloojamais - Slovenka (Leeloojamais , Sašo Pipič)
April - Ladadidej (Raay, Erika Mager,Franci Tepina)
Sylvain, Mike Vale feat. Hannah Mancini - Ti si tisti (Hannah Mancini, Mike Vale, Anze Palka)
Time to time - Pravi čas (Time to Time)
Omar Naber - Bistvo skrito je očem (Omar Naber, Jure Golobič, Eva Breznikar)
The Show (Part 1)
The male host dressed in a smart black suit is currently within quite the venue here in Slovenia. He is currently introducing the three judges, all of whom are experts within the industry, two of which have been to the Eurovision Song Contest with the other one being a media personality. They will be commenting after each song as well so it will be quite interesting for people who understand the language.
01. Rock Partyzani - Time for revolution (Aleš Klinar)
Well, here we go and this has become one my favourites for the evening due to the fact that it is really kitsch looking as if something coming out of the movie Anastasia. The language even sounds like Russian. The act on stage are all clad in Military attire giving the song more meaning. The vocals are good and the extremely funny choreography is doing wonders for me. The female voice midway through the song is really strong and it adds that extra flavour the song needed. The added flags are also a nice touch and I must say that this is a contender for victory this evening. Well done, great start.
02. Tabu - Moje luči (Tomaž Trup, Iztok Melanšek)
The comments are actually quite quick and the fact that the postcards are missing also works well. The main singer is on stage now and looks as if something coming out of hell, with all due respect that is because she is portraying an image. She is joined on stage by a band, the whole setting actually reminds me of the performance that Claudia Faniello gave in Malta during the 2011 Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Movie In My Mind'. The vocals are strong and this is completely different. The performance is strong but I just cannot imagine this song in the Eurovision Song Contest.
03. Nina Pušlar - Bilo lepi bi (Martin Štibernik, Dejan Radičevič)
Last years' runner-up returns to the stage for some more fun actually. I adored last years' entry 'Dez' and I must also note that this is one of the strongest songs this evening. She is joined on stage by two backing singers, one on each side as well as two drum-kits. The pop/rock feel is more influenced by the former and that is why, the song is much more pleasant than the one before it. She is looking very well at the camera as she managed to get the attention of the viewers. The climax is catchy and powerful and works very well within the typical Eurovision sphere. A strong performance from Nina and a possible winner this evening.
04. Maja Keuc - Vanilija (Matjaž Vlašič, Urša Vlašič)
Many fans have rated this entry as their favourite this evening and I must say that she wins the wardrobe department. She is joined on stage by two backing singers and two backing dancers. The music starts out in the genre of a typical ballad but it quickly develops differently. The people are enjoying this because in the minor instrumental in the beginning they shouted like crazy. The choreography is very interesting and works well. The singer is singing very well, had some minor issues but tweaked them instantly. During the middle refrain, the wind machine is in full speed and she belts out the song in a perfect, melancholic type of way. The singer oozes sex appeal, can it live up to it's expectations? The best thus far.
05. Feliks Langus - Disco raj (Matej Mršnik, Anže Langus, Alen Steržaj)
Well, as the title suggests, there is a lot of disco within this song and that is what makes it special actually. The song has a Bee Gees type of feel and that is definitely not a bad thing because it adds some retro. The main singer is joined on stage by a drummer, a bassist and also two backing vocals. Oh, I quite like this again and I guess this years' final is strong once more. The choreography in the middle of the song with the guitar players jumping forward doing the same steps looks incredible and then when the backing come forward to sing with the main singer, it all looks very Mika and very Austin Powers like. A dark horse? Maybe!
06. Leeloojamais - Slovenka (Leeloojamais , Sašo Pipič)
Somewhat of a nationalistic type of feel to this song at least in the lyrics. Ohh, I am impressed that this song is actually very current mixing the typical vision that Rihanna has been trying to transmit with Rude Boy, in fact, it might be a rip-off at certain points. The band on stage is doing a good job but what is particularly impressive is the voice of the backing vocal actually and this is because it is impressive acting as the perfect second voice. The vocals of the main singer are strong and work well. I do not know what Europe will make of this, but I am growing to like it as it goes along. Some r'n'b with slight touches of pop would not be out of place in my opinion.
07. April - Ladadidej (Raay, Erika Mager,Franci Tepina)
Every country has to have their own local version of Lady Gaga because otherwise the world would get boring. She did show herself as such during the preview show and she is doing so this evening whilst wearing a golden type of dress with brown leggings. The song which features three genres in the form of Pop, Dance and Techno works well but I believe that it would only do so within this language. She is joined on stage by two dancers mid-way through the song. This woman definitely knows how to impress and uses her voice to the max as more people come onto the stage. A pulsating bass line and a great beat to get it going. A definite contender for victory.
08. Sylvain, Mike feat. Mancini - Ti si tisti (Hannah Mancini, Mike Vale, Anze Palka)
Sex appeal fail at it's very best. One of the three performers, most presumably Sylvain takes centre stage in an impressive blue dress with hints of black but fails to note her make-up but anyways. The song itself is good but nothing too impressive not too mention that it is not amazing because it is copied from somewhere yet I cannot remember. It is probably a track taken up from a popular group from the late eighties (80's). The vocals are strong but this is a 'song' contest at the end of the day and therefore, nothing too impressive.
09. Time to time - Pravi čas (Time to Time)
A swank feeling to this entry with it's main protagonists all clad in a black suits. People doing main vocals, others playing the piano and also backing vocals give the song a lot of character and charm. Many people have been arguing that they are missing the typical Balkan ballad feel and I believe that they have found it here. This song is well performed by two young chaps and another older type of man. The feel of the countries' traditional music is felt very strong and I just cannot move this out of the way because it could also be a dark horse. The crowd which has been very supportive are loving this entry and I must say that it might just top my list as well or just very close to it. Very well performed!
10. Omar Naber - Bistvo skrito je očem (Omar Naber, Jure Golobič, Eva Breznikar)
He is introduced to the crowd as the veteran and by far he is actually. Having represented the country at the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Stop', he is trying to represent his nation for a second time following in the steps of Darja Svajger who is in the panel this evening. The song is very poppish featuring a rock feel at times within the chorus. An impressive vocal performance and the lighting works well with the overall well it transmits on camera. The band that joins him is doing a great job with regards to vocals. The bridge is the most beautiful part and he shows how much he would like to do this again. He does stand a very good chance and the people would not mind especially him being one of the bigger stars in the industry. WOW at the end note which he transmits! I can see the people in Dusseldorf, jumping along to this one.
The Show (Part 2)
The entries for the evening have just finished and therefore we are now set for some interval acts. It seems like there has been an error made and the host is doing his best to hide it and move on actually. Darja is shocked as Mojca and Severina laugh hard. All are giving individual general comments now.
A recap of this evenings' songs is now on as the Jury will be making their respective choices. Well last years' song is currently being played to a choreography prepared by this dance school. Females follow the males and then the males and the females interact with each other. WOW, this is polished!
The recap stopped in the middle last time so this time, they are continuing it from where it left off.Hearing the songs once more, I have to say that this national selection is one of the best this year. Many thanks to the production team with the host thanking them team. Darja holds the result and they give it to each other, many of the dancers transport it like they did at a part Eurovision and the super-finalists are:
- Maja Keuc
There is a second performance but the voting numbers are now up. People will have two different styles to vote for. They were two of the best songs this evening but this was quite a difficult choice in my opinion. First to take to the stage is April.
01. April - Ladadidej (Raay, Erika Mager,Franci Tepina)
In the first round, the song was performed at position number seven. Lady Gaga had a very good influence on the jury it seems because according to the host they also pointed this out within their comments. The song which features three different genres including pop, dance and techno. The overall performance works well on television and the singer seems to be favourite with the fact that she has made it to this stage. The jury does not have a say in this phase but still giving their option.
02. Maja Keuc - Vanilija (Matjaž Vlašič, Urša Vlašič)
The second super-finalist is none other than the fan-favourite Maja Keuc who sings a traditional type of ballad which does work very well because of it's rock influences. The main singer is dressed in a stunning black gown yet again and is joined by two backing dancers and two backing singers. I do not know what the people are likely to go for although the Balkan pop/rock song is very much missing from the competition this year. An impressive second try this evening and the song is much stronger this time round.
The Show (Part 3)
When you have an international guest judge, make sure that you ask him to perform and in fact that is what Severina is doing. She is performing the song 'Moja Stickla' which she represented Croatia with back in 2006 achieving a mid-table placing. Quite an interesting look for her actually. The host is now performing a funny version of her entry. He called Darja Svajger to the stage kicking of her 1995 entry but then she starts performing herself. What an amazing artist, a great song and all of this live. The host is now singing some funny tracks and he is a really funny man even though I am not understanding the language. Now he is seriously performing. Both entrants are now on the stage ready o receive the verdict.
Malta's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest has a huge fan base amongst the crowds even including those who state that they do not follow it yet end up commenting on certain aspects at the end of the day, but there is another side to the Maltese music scene and that is the one of radio airplay on Bay 98.7FM which is the radio station which entices the best of modern local music. One of their latest additions to the play-list is none other than the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest representative.
Earlier this week, Thea Garrett was interviewed by Disc Jockey Nathan D who was also a part of our Expert Opinion panel for the 2011 Malta Eurovision Song Contest here on ESCflashmalta. What is even more surprising is the fact that one of the song which she premiered at this years' local selection entitled 'Frontline' has managed to do what many others just dream of doing and that is to enter the charts on this station as presented by the same aforementioned Disc Jockey last night during the show 'Malta's Top 10 with Nathan D'.
The song has managed to enter the charts at position number eight (8) and this actually makes Thea Garrett one of the few artists to have represented the country at the Eurovision Song Contest and also make such charts. We have good intel that she is the third following Chris & Moira (1994) and Ira Losco (2002). In an interview which Thea gave to the Malta's biggest and most popular newspaper, The Times of Malta, she stated that "“Eurovision is a very big part of me, and I’m still interested in being part of it. Of course, when I do participate again, I’ll know what to watch out for.”
Such a statement is quite bold in my opinion and everyone should await Thea Garrett's return to the Eurovision stage because she will be presenting herself in a different manner if the single 'Frontline' is anything to go by actually. The U-Turn she has made regarding a possible return is quite amazing and I must say that with the love that the Maltese have shown this true artist, she will surely win the festival once more and go back to redeem what should have been a positive result.
Source: Bay Radio, TImes of Malta
Latvia has decided. After quite a good final with a number of very nice guest performances at the end apart from a good crop of songs, the group Musiqq won the national final with 'Angel in disguise' before favourite Lauris Reiniks with 'Banjo Laura'.
After hearing all 11 songs 3 songs were selected and it was pretty clear the battle would be made between Musiqq and Lauris. In the end Musiqq won the battle with their uptempo song 'Angel in disguise' which is not bad but it's still to wait if this tune will be strong enough to go the finals of the Eurovison Songcontest. Latvia will perform in the second semifinal of the Eurovision songcontest on thurday 12th May,
Unfortunately, the national final which we could not cover this evening came in the form of Denmark actually with no web-cast available from any corner of Europe but the broadcaster, DR, promised that this will change as from next year. Anyways, the level of the production and the songs was quite high according to our sources which saw the group 'A Friend In London' win the selection with the song "New Tomorrow".
The group was the second favourite with the bookmakers but it was the main favourite with the people with many predicting that it would end up as the winner. We have no clue on the official results except the fact that the runner-up was the seventeen (17) year old lady Anne Noa with the song "Sleepless" co-written by John Gordon who also co-wrote the song Satellite for Lena Meyer-Landrut in last years' Eurovision Song Contest.
One of the final which we could not cover this evening took place within the nation of Moldova where two former representatives were actually fighting for that ticket to represent their country in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. One of them managed to end up successful, not my favourite but not a bad song at all. I am speaking abotu Zdob Si Zdub and their song "So Lucky".
The voting was quite interesting to say the least but in the end neither the peoples' nor the jurys' song got the ticket to Dusseldorf with Karizma claiming the full points of public and Natalia Barbu, the 2008 representative managing the tele-voting maximum points. The winning group finished second in both as Karizma only got one point from the jury and Natalia getting seven points from the public.
Top Five (Public + Jury)
- Zdob si Zdub -- So Lucky: 10 + 10 = 20
- Natalia Barbu -- Let’s Jazz: 07 + 12 = 19
- Pasha Parfeny -- Dorule: 08 + 08 = 16
- Karizma -- When Life Is Grey: 12 + 01 = 13
- MILENIUM -- In memoriam: 06 + 07 = 13
Mika Newton won the Ukrainian national selection after a really interesting show. She placed first with all three juries (public, internet and professional jury). ‘Angels’is a beautiful ballad which I think will surely pass to the final and give a good result in Düsseldorf. Zlata Ognevich placed second with her song ‘The Kukushka’ before favourite number one Jamala, she sung her ‘Smile’ into a third place. The other favourite of the evening Anastasia Prikhodko got an average result. She sung ‘Action’ to an 8th place.
It is quite important to note that the favourites did lose out in the long run gaining spots which were yes quite respectable but nothing impressive. Alas, the third day in which a ballad has been chosen to represent the country. This is the first modern ballad at this years' Eurovision Song Contest with one of the three dealing with musical like qualities and the other being just a pure classic. We hope the best for Ukraine. Tell us what you think about the song below.
Many fans of the selection season of the Eurovision Song Contest have praised the quality of the Estonian final and in my opinion, they have just made of the best possible choices for the overall result that they will achieve abroad. The song that will be taking centre stage in Dusseldorf, Germany is entitled "Rockefeller Street" and will be sung by Getter Jaani. The song won an astounding majority in the final round of voting.
The song which did not place amongst the top three of the judges finishing in a respectable fourth place had finished in the top two of the people and therefore competed in the super-final with the song "I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan" by the Outloudz which had been placed second by the Jury. The song though lost out by a 30% mark which is quite high actually and therefore this showed that it was clearly the choice of the people. A very good choice, a definite qualifier and a very good chance to place well in the Eurovision Song Contest.
This year Serbia has gone to the Kovac family to help select its entry as Kornelije Kovac and his two daughters Aleksandra and Kristina were each asked by Serbian Broadcaster RTS to write a song for the Eurovision Song Contest. All 3 are famous musicians in homeland Serbia, but its Kornelije Kovas himself who is no stranger to the eurovision circles. He himself represented Yugoslavia in 1974 as part of the group Korni Grupa. They came in 12th place and lost out the Abba from Sweden.
Tonight “Pesma za Evropu - Dizeldorf 2011” will take place. It will be our first opputunity to hear the Serbian songs in the running for eurovision. Kornelije has drafted in the group “The Breeze” to perform his entry Ring Ring Ring. Nina (Danica Radojčić) will perform the song Caroban composed by Kristina Kovac, and Aleksandra Kovac herself will perform her composition Idemo Dalje. It will then be up to SMS voting in Serbia to decide the winner. Nina Badric, Dado Topic(Croatia 2007), Aleksandra Radovic, Jelena Tomasevic (Serbia 2008), Karolina Goceva (FYR Macedonia 2002,2007), Boris Novkovic (Croatia 2005), Tanja Banjanin, and Ana Stanic.
The Show (Part 1):
This evenings' show is being hosted by none other than the charming Maja Nikolić who introduces the way that the songs are set to be performed this evening but quickly after her presentation, former Eurovision Song Contest winner Marija Serifovic takes to the stage to perform the song 'Molitva' which brought the contest to the nation of Serbia.
01. The Breeze - Ring Ring Ring
Well this first song is somewhat boring actually. The group are doing the best possible work with it but it surely does not sound current and therefore sounds old and outdated. I hope things will only get better because at the moment, we are looking at a possible snooze-fest. The song would probably go down well in these region of countries but it won't appeal to a wider Eurovision Song Contest audience. Well being honest, hearing the song for the third time made me like it but it should be instant.
02. Aleksandra - Idemo Dalje
Now this is more like a proper performance actually. The song is very beautiful and I must say that if this song is chosen then it would easily be the best ballad in the competition. Similarly to last nights' Austrian winner, the song oozes charm and emotion and cannot help but remain amazed at the amount of talent that the singer emits on the stage. A very good performance and possible Serbian representative.
03. Nina - Caroban
This song is completely different form the one performed just before it because it is a typical cabaret-ish type of song actually featuring a partial big band. The vocals are strong and it will be quite interesting what the people will be making of this one. The international acclaim seems to be mixed but I think that she sells the song well. It will also be quite interesting to see whether the act could develop further. Going back to this one, I am reminded just a tad of the song by Michelle Gayle, "You Make Me Woo" which finished as the runner-up in 2009.
Well that is it for the songs this evening with regards to possible winners that is because an array of guests will take to stage now but before, we have a behind the scenes look at the choices of the artists and the recording process of the songs which have been just presented. The people have an hour to make up their mind so make sure to cast your vote wisely if you live in Serbia. The acts will now perform once more the entries that might go to the Eurovision Song Contest. The show continues with the live orchestra present doing some beautiful instrumentals for those present.
The three members of the Kovac family are now on stage and being interviewed by the presenter. Former Croatian representative Dado Topic makes an appearance performing one of the ladies' tracks. Another singer in the form of Tanja Banjanin is now on stage. Well yet again, more guests, more talking as me move into the final ten minutes of the voting. The guest performances keep on accumulating and I must say that Jelena Tomasevic was inspiring and could try for the contest another time in my opinion. A clip from the orchestra playing 'The Nutcracker' is currently going on.
I cannot say that it was the best final this evening with regards to song quality but I must say that that two of the three songs were right up my street and would work quite well on a bigger stage at the annual Eurovision Song Contest. In the end though, quite surprisingly, the winner is none other than Nina who will be performing the song "Caroban" composed and penned by Kristina Kovac. The other sister had been the favourite but an upset was caused once more.