This year’s Eurovision Song Contest, AS YOU OBVIOUSLY ALREADY KNOW, is in Lisbon in Portugal.
It’s not till May though.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a post about it!
Because everyone’s already getting ready, so I thought it might be fun (for me, anyway) to have a look at some of the early runners and riders, and the stories that are already making the Euro headlines.
Firstly, let’s look back at last year’s winner, Salvador Sobral – currently recovering from a heart transplant. Best wishes to him, everyone will be hoping that he is well enough to see the joy he’s brought to his country in May.
Now let’s look at the rumours… Every year we’re told some big name or other who is 100% definitely totally doing Euro. This year is no exception, with none other than John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten touted as the Irish entrant (see below for how this rumour has panned out) Another rumour that has delighted Eurofans is that Ms Eleni Foureira will be representing Cyprus.
Eleni is one of my favourite Greek artists, and it’s no secret that she was keen to represent the motherland. They’ve gone with a random internal selection (to air on 16th February) but now the rumour is that she has been approached by Cyprus to sing for them. The rumours even go as far as naming a song title (‘Fuego’) and a choreographer. I would *love* for this to be true, but I wonder if she won’t hold out for an invite from Greece next year.
Quite a few national selections are in full swing or are about to be. Swedish juggernaut Melodifestivalen kicks off this Saturday; the UK chooses its act on 7th February, and Estonia is not far behind. Exciting times for fans of dance routines and violins, as actual WHIGFIELD (of ‘Saturday Night’ fame, see you back in the 90s) and 2009 winner Alexander Rybak are both giving it a go for their respective nations, Denmark and Norway. This is Rybak’s offering:
And finally, let’s look at the countries which have already confirmed both entrant and/or song. France had a really nice little selection show called Destination Eurovision, which I hope they’ll do again next year. Via a combination of international jury votes and a phone poll of French viewers, they chose this:
I quite wanted the second placed artist to win, but this could place highly, depending on how they choose to stage it.
Ireland announced Ryan O’Shaughnessy as their entrant today; the song will be called ‘Together’. It’s a ballad, which doesn’t seem to have gone down too well with the Irish Euro faithful, who are looking to qualify from the semi-finals for the first time since 2013.
Austria have chosen César Sampson, who’s a singer, but has a lot more history and pedigree as a producer. He’ll be unveiling his song next month too.
Russia is, unsurprisingly, giving Yuliya Samoylova another chance to represent her country, after last year’s Ukraine-related shenanigans (which is a polite way of saying a very nasty little political foul-up)
Australia will be back, and they are upping the ante, bringing Jessica Mauboy over to Portugal. No song title as yet. Keen Eurofans (or just music fans in general) will remember that she was the interval act back in 2014 – she is very very successful and as such I think we can say that whatever the song, she’ll do well.
Spain’s Operación Triunfo finished last weekend, and there was some clever stuff in selection: there were six participants, and the public could either choose their solo song, or one of the duets, or the six all together in a group. The winners, Alfred and Amaia, are singing Tu Canción, and there’s only one real problem with it, in that it sounds almost 100% exactly the same as last year’s winner. But OK:
If I had to have a favourite before it’s even the end of January, though, then the Czech Republic’s entry is it. Their singer is Mikolas Josef, and his song, Lie To Me, is what we in the trade call ‘an absolute banger’:
I’m not too sure about the camel.