Are you watching Orphan Black? You should be watching Orphan Black. You can get caught up on Orphan Black this weekend before Saturday’s season 3 premiere. Orphan Black.
Amazon will celebrate its first two Golden Globes by making all ten episodes of Transparent available for free this Saturday.
We’re podcasting, y’all! Welcome to the EuroWhat? In our opening episode of The EuroWhat? podcast, our Eurovision News and Entertainment Research Division Specialists introduce themselves to our listening audience before sharing their first impressions of Albania’s entry. Then the crew hopscotches around Europe (and Australia) to chat about the seven artists already announced from internal selections. Who do we like? Who are we concerned about? Will there be jazz? Listen below and share your thoughts in the comments! Intro 0:00 Who are you? What are you doing here? 3:02 Albania First Impressions 11:02 Internally Selected Artists 23:02 Australia Austria Azerbaijan Belgium Finland Georgia Netherlands Links Meet the Eurovision News and Entertainment Research Division Specialists Albania First Listen 2018 Calendar page [Read more…]
“Mall” by Eugent Bushpepa has started the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest selection season on a good note, with an entry that could bring Albania some success in Portugal. Albania’s Eurovision Song Contest selection process Festivali i Këngës took place in the lead up to Christmas, with Eugent Bushpepa’s song “Mall” claiming top honors at the competition. This year’s process featured 22 contestants competing across two semi-finals, with 14 advancing to a grand final on Saturday, December 23. Unlike last year, the audience had no vote and the winner was determined by a five-person jury. After much, much, much deliberation1, Bushpepa earned the right to represent Albania in Lisbon next May. Although there was no audience vote, the process did seem to correlate with YouTube views of the entries. Of the eight entries that advanced from the first semi-final, the top seven entries based on views advanced (though the eighth spot went to the least-watched video of the entire field). The second semi-final had similar results, with five of the six qualifiers ranked at the top of the YouTube field. “Divorci” was the only one to miss the cut, with seventh-place “Zemër ku je” by Denisa Gjezo taking the sixth spot. […] [Read more…]
Albania once again knows what we want for Christmas: the 56th edition of the Festivali i Këngës song competition which starts the Eurovision 2018 national final season. What does this year’s festival have in store? Albania’s Festivali i Këngës, now in its 56th year, has been the country’s Eurovision Song Contest selection process since entering the competition in 2004. On the one hand, it makes sense that a national song competition that already exists would be an efficient way to select for Eurovision. However, there are some drawbacks: FiK happens at a time of year that doesn’t correlate to success at Eurovision. Albania is generally the first to select for the following year’s Eurovision Song Contest, not by strategy but because that’s when the song festival happens. The song qualifications for FiK are not as strict as Eurovision’s. Songs can be up to four minutes long, political content is not outright discouraged, and there will be more than six people on stage because the songs are performed by a live orchestra. This forces rewrites and re-arrangements every year, which could compromise the original quality of the song.1 How a winner is determined isn’t great. Prior to 2017, the winner was […] [Read more…]
Kevin Hart leads an uneven season of SNL into its midwinter break.
James Franco giggles his way through his fourth time as SNL host
Saoirse Ronan proves more than capable at bringing the funny in her first SNL hosting gig.
Larry David’s second appearance on SNL leaves a lot to be desired
Gal Godot brings Wonder Woman to studio 8H as she hosts SNL with musical guest Sam Smith.
Something sounds familiar in a recent Broadway in Boston ad… Hat tip to Ben for spotting this one during Sunday’s broadcast of the The Tony Awards: That’s a pretty impressive lineup hitting Beantown next year. Oh, and did you catch the song in the background? That would be a cover of Lithuania’s 2016 entry “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night” by Donny Montell. Kinda random, kinda awesome. [Read more…]
As we look forward to the next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, let’s take a look back at how all the craziness began. Background Song Title: “Refrain” Artist: Lys Assia Country: Switzerland Year: 1956 Back in the mid-1950s, the European Broadcasting Union wanted to test out the live capabilities of television and radio across Europe. Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival, which began in 1951, was instantly popular and had a format that seemed adaptable for an international audience. This led to the first iteration of what became known as the Eurovision Song Contest. In 1956, representatives from seven countries gathered in Lugano, Switzerland to present a total of 14 songs. The first Eurovision winner was Lys Assia of Switzerland with her song “Refrain”: Legacy This edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was like no other, and not just because it was the first edition. Each country submitted two songs for consideration, making this the only Contest with multiple entries from a single country. Of the seven countries, Switzerland and Luxembourg were the only ones to have both of their entries performed by the same singer—Lys Assia and Michèle Arnaud, respectively. That’s not the only thing Switzerland and Luxembourg had in common […] [Read more…]