Hungary: Two A Dal Semi-Finals, Eight A Dal Finalists

February 13, 2017 0

A Dal 2017 held two semi-finals this weekend to determine the eight finalists who will compete for Hungary’s slot at the Eurovision Song Contest. From 30 acts at the beginning of this process, we are down to 18 competing in the semi-finals of Hungary’s A Dal 2017. Each semi-final has nine acts performing their entries for the panel of judges and viewer votes. This time around, the three acts with the most points automatically move on to the finals and the remaining six are subjected to another round of audience voting for a wildcard slot. In the end, four acts from each semi-final will advance to this Saturday’s final. Here are the eight acts that will compete for Hungary’s ticket to Kyiv. First Semi-Final 1st Place (Tie) – Gina Kanizsa “Fall Like Rain” – 45 points This song will be going into Saturday’s final as the judges’ favorite, earning a perfect score of 40 from the panel. The song will not be going into Saturday’s final as the audience favorite, as Friday’s performance earned only 5 points from the televote. I LOL’d at that reveal. 1st Place (Tie) – Joci Pápai “Origo” – 45 points Friday’s performance of this track landed better for me […] [Read more…]

Can Timebelle Get Switzerland to the Eurovision Final?

February 9, 2017 0

Switzerland has been stymied by what makes an entry successful at Eurovision. Timebelle’s “Apollo” could be the best shot for the Swiss in the last several years. Switzerland needs some rejuvenation in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2015, Melanie Rene’s “Time to Shine” finished in absolute last place among all the semi-finalists. Last year, Rykka’s “The Last of Our Kind” was the last of its semi-final. On the whole, Switzerland has only qualified for the final four times since semi-finals were introduced in 2004. This past Sunday, the selection process Die Entscheidungsshow featured six acts competing for a ticket to Kyiv. The winner, decided by 100% public vote, was Bern-based band Timebelle with the song “Apollo.” Here’s the performance from the show: This song was by far the best entry of the six in the competition. Lyrically, the song is 95% of the way there–I would like it to get one more editing pass to clear up some clunkiness in the metaphors. The vocals are fine, though this video isn’t the best example. All of the performances in the national final seemed a bit off1, and this video was the victory lap performance. My issue with the song has to […] [Read more…]

Hungary: A Dal 2017 Finishes Preliminary Heats

February 6, 2017 0

A Dal 2017 finished the preliminary rounds Saturday, with six more acts advancing to this weekend’s semi-finals. Thirty acts entered Hungary’s A Dal 20171, but only 18 will move on to the semi-finals. The last six acts to make it to the semi-finals were decided by jury and public vote on Saturday’s edition of the competition. A new frontrunner may have emerged as well as an underdog brought through by the wildcard vote. Here are the six acts that advanced following this week’s show: 1st Place – Gigi Radics “See it Through” – 43 points Shocking. That’s the only way to describe my reaction to how well this song did. This is by far the most Eurovision-iest song in Hungary’s competition, hitting every single power ballad cliche with gusto. I am not a fan, but apparently I’m in the minority. This song earned the highest score in all three heats, so maybe Hungary is picking up on something that I’m missing. 2nd Place (Tie) – Zävodi + Olivér Berkes “#háttérzaj” – 41 points This song had one of the most solid male vocals I’ve heard in this year’s competition, though that high note toward the end needs a little more air if the singer […] [Read more…]

This Week in Eurovision: Switzerland, Italy, and Germany Choose

February 5, 2017 0

It’s the first full week of February, which means that Eurovision Selection Season is full speed ahead. Here’s what’s happening the week of February 5, 2017. National Finals Switzerland: The six finalists for Die Entscheidungsshow(Which I keep reading as “Entschuldigung”) will take the stage to become the Swiss representative in Kyiv. The winner will be determined by 100% public vote. The show starts at 20.05 CET / 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific and should be viewable on the SRF Zwei webstream. Italy: The 67th edition of the Sanremo Music Festival begins Tuesday evening, with the final taking place Saturday. 22 acts will perform in the Big Artist category, with the winner of the festival receiving the opportunity to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest. It is possible that the winner will not compete in Kyiv (last year’s Sanremo winner didn’t compete in Stockholm) or that a different song could be chosen (like in 2012), but this process has produced fantastic results for Italy. The festival airs on RAI at 21.00 CET / 3pm Eastern / 12pm Pacific each night. Germany: Deutschland has adopted a somewhat convoluted format for Unser Song fur Kyiv. In the first round, the five contestants will do […] [Read more…]

Melfest 2017 Kicks Off in Gothenburg

February 4, 2017 0

Selection season for Sweden started Saturday with the first heat of the annual Melodifestivalen competition. Let the pop music battle royale begin! Sweden’s Melodifestivalen (aka Melfest) began Saturday with the first of four preliminary heats. Round one took place in Gothenburg with the following seven acts performing: Boris Rene – “Her Kiss” Adrijana – “Amare” Dinah Nah – “One More Night” De Vet Du – “Road Trip” Charlotte Perrelli – “Mitt Liv” Ace Wilder – “Wild Child” Nano – “Hold On” After the seven acts performed, the first two eliminated based on public voting were Adrijana and Charlotte Perrelli. “Amare” could be a good club hit, but it might trend too close to Iggy Azalea’s style to be attractive to a wider audience. Despite representing Sweden at Eurovision twice (and winning the first of those two times), Perrelli’s ballad got lost in the power pop shuffle of Saturday’s show. In the second round of voting, Nano earned the first slot in the Melfest finals with “Hold On.” While the vocals fall into the white blues/soul category, the instrumentation has electronic dance patterns. The camerawork uses a lot of tricks from last year’s entry “Human” from Oscar Zia, which might not […] [Read more…]

Norma John Brings The Drama for Finland

February 3, 2017 0

Is Finland doing okay, y’all? Finland tends to be the wildcard of the Nordic nations at Eurovision – I’ve jokingly referred to them as being the most hipster of the Scandi-bloc (given the more ridiculous outfits their judges panel tends to show off), but their taste is actually pretty eclectic – we’ve had everything from Softengine’s alt-rock “Something Better” (which placed 11th, their best since 2006) to last year’s more disco-inflected “Sing It Away” from Sandja…which didn’t make the finals.  I’m starting to get concerned that it’s getting to Finland, since they eschewed some lighter entries for a more dramatic entry this year, Norma John’s “Blackbird”: There were other entries I liked better in their final (“Helppo Elämä” from Lauri Yrjola stood out, in particular, and would have been my pick), but on re-listening, it’s easy to see why this one. Leena Tirronen’s vocals throughout are strong, and there’s a nice moment for pianist Lasse Piirainen to show off his skills as well.  There’s a dark drama to the full performance, and I’d love to see them find a way to make the staging bigger in Kyiv – at least get some more fog in there! [Read more…]

Lucie Jones Will Never Give Up on the UK

February 2, 2017 0

No word yet on whether she’ll let you down, run around, or desert you. The United Kingdom has had a … rocky? … relationship with Eurovision the last two decades, mostly sending entries that probably wouldn’t have qualified if required to compete in the semifinals. After a short run of internal selections in the early 2010s, they’ve returned to a public voting process. This year’s “Eurovision: You Decide” television special has resulted in the selection of X Factor alumna Lucie Jones and her song, “Never Give Up On You.” My first thought, never having heard of Jones, was to wonder whether she had theater experience. Sure enough, after she was booted from X Factor early in the 2009 season (the same one that spawned personal Eurovision favorite Jedward), she played Cosette in Les Miz, Molly in Ghost the Musical, Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, and Maureen Johnson in Rent. That is a ridiculous / amazing lineup, and explains my instant affinity for her voice quality. In case that wasn’t enough, this song was written by 2013 Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest, with whom I share a birthday. And so I’m in the strange position of liking — nay, loving — […] [Read more…]

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