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The EuroWhat? Week of February 5, 2018

February 6, 2018 0

This week, Ben and Mike do a deep dive into the United Kingdom’s Eurovision selection process and take a look at why the country has struggled for so long at the Contest. Plus, a roundup of headlines from the last week. Links Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s US Tour — https://ryanosmusic.com/pages/show-dates Malta’s entry: “Taboo” by Christabelle — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyrC8jJ8eb8 Switzerland’s entry: “Stones” by ZiBBZ — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXOlPGnkZFY The United Kingdom’s contestants: Goldstone – I Feel the Love Jaz Ellington – You Liam Tamne – Astronaut RAYA – Crazy Asanda – Legends SuRie – Storm Gwenno “Tir Ha Mor” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rCeygWexyA CHVRCHES “Get Out” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHUKKrcXfJs [Read more…]

The EuroWhat? Week of January, 29, 2018

January 30, 2018 0

We have songs to talk about! France, Czech Republic, and Spain have selected and boy do we have opinions. Russia and Ukraine continue their Eurovision dramarama. Oh, and the semi-finals have been allocated. Episode Rundown Semi-Final Allocation France selects “Mercy” by Madame Monsieur Czech Republic selects “Lie to Me” by Mikolas Josef Spain selects “Tu canción” by Alfred & Amaia Russia confirms Yuilia Samoylova FYR Macedonia is looking for songs Upcoming selection processes Links Ryan’s Tattoo (Instagram) “Mercy” backstory (ESC Insight) “Lie to Me” official video (YouTube) Tu canción performance (RTVe) FYR Macedonia press release (Eurovision.tv) “Here We Go” by PeR (YouTube) [Read more…]

The EuroWhat? Week of January 22, 2018

January 23, 2018 0

This week is a mini-episode of the EuroWhat with minor updates about what’s happening in Eurovision selection season. We’ll be hopscotching from Armenia to France, Belarus to Serbia, and places in between. Armenia field complete (Playlist) Belarus shenanigans (with news from Eurovoix) Denmark songs  France final set (Finalist Playlist) Hungary (Heat 1) Lithuania  Romania (Heat 1) Serbia What’s on TV this weekend? Spotify Playlist [Read more…]

The EuroWhat? Week of January 15, 2018

January 18, 2018 0

On this week’s episode of the EuroWhat Podcast we discuss what “Europe” is (note the air quotes), get acquainted with this year’s hostesses, get caught up with some of the selection processes and look forward to others.  Show Notes What is Europe? (1:36) Eurovision hosts (6:33) – Announcement from Eurovision.tv Selection Updates (11:30) Lithuania Switzerland Czech Republic Belarus – Shenanigans reported by Wiwiblogs Norway Armenia What selections are we looking forward to? (40:05) [Read more…]

The EuroWhat? Welcome to 2018

January 9, 2018 0

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…]

First Listen: Albania’s Eugent Bushpepa takes “Mall” to Lisbon

December 28, 2017 0

“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’s Festivali i Kenges 56 kicks off selection season 2018

December 20, 2017 0

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…]

Broadway in Boston is “Waiting for This Night”

June 12, 2017 0

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…]

#tbt: “Refrain” (1956)

June 1, 2017 0

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…]

Things to Know When You Go to Eurovision

May 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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