Eurovision 2016 – Semi-Final 2 *UPDATED*

Welcome to my Preview of Semi-Final 2 of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest which takes place on Thursday May 12th in the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. Eurovision is getting that bit closer and its time to look at the contestants!

*UPDATE* Today April 22nd the European Broadcasting Union has withdrawn membership services to Romanian Broadcaster TVR following non-payment of debts totalling over €14.5m (CHF 16m). This means that only 42 contestants will compete at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest with 18 in each Semi-Final. There is no change to running order.

Semi Final 1 takes place on Tuesday May 10th, check out my preview here.

The new voting system will also apply to the Semi-Finals, but we won’t know the full details of the results until after the Grand Final which takes place on Saturday May 14th. Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom are automatically qualified for the Final.

19 Countries are competing for the 10 places in the Grand Final available and Irish hopes rest on Nicky Byrne. Hopes will be raised as the United Kingdom will be voting and performing tonight along with Germany and Italy.

Semi-Final 2 seems to be the tougher of the two Semi’s with some excellent songs (and some not so great) from countries who normally do well. Getting out of this Semi will be quite the task for many of the entries and will be dependent on good performances for the Juries and Televoting Public!

So on with the show!

All betting odds are from PaddyPower for outright winner and taken on 20/04/16
Continue reading “Eurovision 2016 – Semi-Final 2 *UPDATED*”

Eurovision 2016 – Semi Final 1 Preview

Its that time of year again. Eurovision is less then a month away. Its been some time since I have done a Eurovision Preview so it’s time to get back into it, especially since I got the 2016 Album on Friday and have been listening to it since!

Now I posted about the new voting system already and this will also apply to the Semi Finals, but we wont know the actual result until after the Grand Final. We will only find out the names of the 10 qualifiers who will join Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom in the Grand Final on May 14th.

So on with the show

Semi Final One takes place on Tuesday May 10th in the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm. 18 Countries will be hoping for one of the 10 qualification places for the Grand Final. Voting AND performing in this Semi will be France, Spain and Sweden. So lets look at the participants. Continue reading “Eurovision 2016 – Semi Final 1 Preview”

Eurovision 2016 – Voting

eurovision-2016-logoHello! I haven’t written about the Eurovision Song Contest on this blog in ages! Mainly as I kind of missed last years contest cause of a big Referendum. But anyway we are over a month away from the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 which takes place in the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm. The first Semi-Final is on May 10th, the second and May 12th and the Grand Final takes place on May 14th.

A notable change for this years contest and one that will make the end of the final a lot more exciting is the change of the voting. From this year the 43 professional juries will announce each countries results in the usual way 1-8, 10 and 12 with an announcer appearing. Then after this the televote will be added up from across Europe and announced starting with the country who received the least combined score.

This will mean that the contest will be a lot more exciting! Here is a video to explain more:

While that all looks great in theory, will it change much, well yes! Thanks to TOMMY on Youtube we now know what the 2014 and 2015 results would like under the new voting format! While it doesn’t change the winners, it does change the final position for many countries!

But will it see some memorable moments like these?

With twice as many points now available (1,008!) a ‘nul’ point finish wont be expected by anyone!

Stay-tuned for my Eurovision Previews which will appear once the running order for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 is known! 

Eurovision Debate, 20:00 GMT. #TellEurope

ED_EBUMembers_logosThe Eurovision Debate takes place tonight at 8pm GMT, 9pm CET across Europe tonight. No this is not a debate on the Eurovision Song Contest but a debate organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) between the candidates for the post of European Commission President.

Who’s taking part?

5 candidates are taking part in the debate. They are

  • Ska Keller, European Greens
  • Alexis Tsipras, European Left Party
  • Guy Verhofstadt, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe
  • Jean-Claude Junker, European Peoples Party
  • Martin Schulz, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats

The debate will be for 90 minutes and will be moderated by RAI anchor Monica Maggioni. RTÉ’s Conor McNally will be presenting the Social Media aspect of the debate which will be broadcast across 25 countries.

So where can you watch this debate?

Well you wont find it on RTÉ 1 or BBC 1.

The following are showing the debate on TV in English speaking countries (Full list of broadcasters here (PDF))

  • Cable Public Affairs, Canada
  • RTÉ Now News, Ireland
  • BBC Parliament, UK
  • Euronews, International

It can also be viewed on the Eurovision Debate website and followed online with the hastag #TellEurope

Not exactly expecting rating winners are they? Well whatever the viewer-ship, I for one will be watching, will you?

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Eurovision 2014: Semi-Final 2 Qualifiers

The 2nd Semi Final has just finished in Copenhagen. Here are those who follow Montenegro, Hungary, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, San Marino, Ukraine, Sweden, Netherlands and Iceland in the final as well as Spain, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Denmark who automatically qualified for Saturday!

Well done to DR on a great show and Australia on an amazing interval!

Joining them are

  1. Switzerland
  2. Slovenia
  3. Poland
  4. Romania
  5. Norway
  6. Greece
  7. Malta
  8. Belarus
  9. Finland
  10. Austria

So I managed 8/10. Ireland and Israel didnt qualify. Surprised at that.

So the final is on Saturday at 8pm on RTÉ1 and BBC 2! See you then!

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Eurovision 2014 Semi-Final 2 Preview

Tonight sees the 2nd Semi-Final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest get under way in Copenhagen. 15 countries are battling it out for 10 places in the final. 10 countries have already qualified from the 1st Semi-Final, including the two favourites (Sweden and Armenia), so it is a bit easier to qualify from tonight’s Semi.

So who is performing tonight? All odds are from PaddyPower. As well as those taking part Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom will be voting, so that will help some countries.

Malta: Malta start us off tonight with this track that would could be mistaken for Mumford and Sons! It is one of my favourites. Very different from anything we have heard so far in the Semi’s. And could do very well, like Malta did last year. One to watch!

Firelight – Coming Home
Odds: 50/1

Israel: Israel will be trying to do what Latvia failed to do and qualify from starting 2nd. This entry is a marked difference from Malta. A good rocky pop song, sung in English and Hebrew. Israel has nearly always managed to Qualify to the final and with this entry, should be no different. I can see Eurovision audiences lapping it up for good reason!

Mei Finegold – Same Heart
Odds: 33/1

Norway: After two fast entries Norway slows us down with this haunting song. Listening to this you get goosebumps. There is no doubt Carl is an amazing singer and this track suits him perfectly. A very strong start to the Semi!

Carl Espen – Silent Storm
Odds: 25/1

Georgia: After those 3 we have Georgia, now this eh different. I am genuinely unsure what to say about it. Suffice to say, I will be extremely surprised to see it Qualify.

The Shin & Mariko – Three Minutes to Earth
Odds: 300/1

Poland: Poland last competed in 2011 and its great to have them back as they are normally a bit different and this year is no different with this Eastern Hip-Hop track. The video is quite suggestive so I can only imagine what they will do on stage!

Donatan & Cleo – My Słowianie – We Are Slavic
Odds: 125/1

Austria: Now we have the only Drag Queen of this year, and a bearded one at that! To be fair to Conchita he has some voice! While some countries may not be happy that he is here, it is one Austria’s best entries in years. This song has a bit of a bond feeling to it. It has perfect placing after Poland and before Lithuania

Conchita Wurst – Rise Like A Phoenix
Odds: 20/1

Lithuania: Are you paying attention? Lithuania speed things up again with this entry. It doesnt have great odds as songs like thos often don’t do well live. So it might be a year with no Baltic finalists

Vilija Matačiūnaitė – Attention
Odds: 250/1

Finland: Finland bring some soft rock to Eurovision. Its a really good song. One to bop away to. Stands out well in this semi, should qualify.

Softengine – Something Better
Odds: 50/1

Ireland: COME ON IRELAND! While it won’t win, it will hopefully qualify as it is a good Eurovision song!

Can-Linn (Feat Kasey Smith) – Heartbeat
Odds: 50/1

Belarus: Our second song about cake this year! But seriously who calls some their cheesecake? An odd song from Belarus, but could struggle to qualify.

Teo – Cheesecake
Odds: 250/1

F.Y.R. Macedonia: While the odds are long on this one, I really like this song! Its catchy and bops along nicely. While this won’t won the contest, could do very well for Macedonia as it is one of their more modern entries in a few years.

Tijana Dapčević – To The Sky
Odds: 250/1

Switzerland: Switzerland have been hit and miss over the past few years and I’m afraid this one is a miss. It has a country lilt to it, but the Netherlands have a better country song so could mean the Swiss dont qualify.

Sebalter – Hunter of Stars
Odds: 150/1

Greece: Another bit of hip-hop here but Balkan this time! This song could catch on. Expect to hear this over the summer at European beeches! But its a toss up here, could make it!

Freaky Fortune feat. Risky Kidd – Rise Up
Odds: 50/1

Slovenia: Slovenia slow it down slightly with this pop track. But it is a good track. Good vocals from Tinkara and an overall nice song.

Tinkara Kovač – Round And Round
Odds: 200/1

Romania: Their back! They last represented Romania in 2010 and hope to do better this year. And they have a good chance. This song is brilliant! Go listen to it now! Great song to end the night on a high note.

Paula Seling & Ovi – Miracle
Odds: 40/1

Thats it. The 2nd Semi, but who will qualify? As only 5 countries won’t make it, its hard to call!

  • Austria
  • Ireland
  • Romania
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Greece
  • Malta
  • Israel
  • Poland
  • Slovenia

The Second Semi-Final will be live tonight at 8pm on RTÉ2 and BBC3

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Eurovision 2014: Semi-Final 1 Qualifiers

The First Semi-Final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest has just finished and congratulations to all the acts and to DR  for a great show.

Here are the countries that have qualified for the Final on Saturday.

  1. Montenegro
  2. Hungary
  3. Russia
  4. Armenia
  5. Azerbaijan
  6. San Marino
  7. Ukraine
  8. Sweden
  9. Netherlands
  10. Iceland

I managed to predict 9/10 only getting San Marion wrong and picking Belgium instead!

The next Semi-Final is on Thursday at 8pm which will see Ireland take part! It can be seen on RTÉ2 and BBC3

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Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Semi-Final 1 Preview


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Tomorrow see’s the First Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 get under way. As I type this the Jury Final is currently taking place, but as with previous years my preview will be based on the Youtube videos of the Artists. I have also included the betting odds for outright winners for the entries from PaddyPower as at 5/5/2014.

This Semi-Final sees 16 countries battling it out for 10 places in Saturdays final. As well as the 16 participating countries Spain, France and Denmark will be voting in this Semi-Final.

Semi-Final 1 will air on Tuesday May 6th at 8pm on RTÉ2 and BBC3.

 1. Armenia: Armenia are this years favourite and it is easy to see why. This is fantastic track from Aram MP3. Its very easy listening, catchy and certainly one with an excellent chance of winning. Not Alone is not your typical pop song. It has guts it has feeing and even through it is first, I think the juries and the voters will remember it. If this wins expect to hear it on the radio a lot!

Aram MP3 – Not Alone
Odds: 13/8

2.Latvia: Latvia this time have drawn the “unlucky” 2nd spot. This is a different number. Aarzemnieki certainly has a lot of fun with this song! The chorus is very catchy so expect to be singing about asking your mother how bake a cake! It could be one to surprise us and qualify.

Aarzemnieki – Cake to Bake
Odds: 200/1

3. Estonia: Estonia bring is the first up-tempo song of the night. As watchers will know, songs like this live and die by their live performance. I certainly enjoy this song, but I expect some great choreography or show on stage to get it through to the final. Will be interesting to see what they have planned for tomorrow night.

Tanja – Amazing
Odds: 80/1

4. Sweden: Looking at the betting odds this is certainly the tougher semi-final as Sweden are 2nd favourites with Sanna. Could Undo see us heading back over the bridge to Sweden? It certainly is a possibility with this song. Like Armenia it is easy to listen to and Sanna is an amazing singer and should qualify easily. Will be a top 3 finisher, no doubt about it!

Sanna Nielson – Undo
Odds: 11/4

5. Iceland: Iceland bring a bit of soft rock music to Eurovision and while this song certainly has a message, is it one most Eurovision audiences are already aware of! I expect a fun performance from this band with lots of rainbows, and depending how receptive the voters and juries are, it may sneak in.

Pollapönk – No Prejudice
Odds: 200/1

6. Albania: This is a nice song from Albania, unfortunately I cannot make out most of what Hersi is actually singing. It can be lost in the background with the music over powering the singing at times. I don’t see it progressing very far.

Hersi – One Night’s Anger
Odds: 200/1

7. Russia: The Tolmachevy Sisters are no strangers to representing Russia at Eurovision. They won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for Russia back in 2006 and are now attempting the double! This song could certainly end up in the top 5 on Saturday and should easily sail through this semi-final as it is a good song and the sisters are great singers.

Tolmachevy Sisters – Shine
Odds: 40/1

8. Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan are chasing their second Eurovision win with this entry, and with this Ballad they could do it. Its the first ballad (or as my Mother puts “proper Eurovision” song). Dilara has the voice that perfectly suits this song with its eastern backing music, blending perfectly into this modern song. A top 5 finisher here!

Dilara Kazimova – Start a Fire
Odds: 20/1

9. Ukraine: This could be a contentious semi considering recent events involving Ukraine and Russia. Interestingly DR and EBU have had to clarify that those voting in the Crimea will have their votes counted as Ukrainian votes. The Ukraine have again sent a great uptempo number to Eurovision. Its always an entry I look forward to as it always entertains. This should qualify easily and be in contention.

Maria Yaremchuk – Tick-Tock
Odds: 11/1

10. Belgium: Well I wasnt expecting that voice! The second ballad of the night and it is just wow! I really enjoyed it. It could be Belgium’s 3rd appearance in the Final since the introduction of the Semi-Finals and could be up there with their 2006 result of 6th!

Axel Hirsoux – Mother
Odds: 33/1

11. Moldova: This is a bit if bland entry from Moldova. While Cristina certainly has talent, the song is what lets her down. I didnt feel anything for it and its easily forgotten.

Cristina Scarlat – Wild Soul
Odds: 200/1

12. San Marino: Valentina is back hoping to be 3rd time lucky! She has represented San Marino for the last 2 years and why change now? This is her best entry yet. A modern ballad. Could see her into the final, but will it be lost there? More then likely but will be the best result for San Marino since they first entered in 2008

Valentina Monetta – Maybe (Forse)
Odds: 200/1

13. Portugal: Portugal are back following a break from the contest last year. This is a bit of a fun summer song with major Mediterranean influences.  Lots of  “oh oh ohs”, but not one that

Suzy – Quero Ser Tua (I want to be Yours)
Odds: 200/1

14. Netherlands: Now this is the type of music I have gotten into recently. A nice country song here from the Netherlands. Simple, enjoyable and one you will be tapping your feet to! I hope this gets through.

Th Common Linnets – Calm After the Storm
Odd: 66/1

15. Montenegro: This is a fantastic entry from Montenegro. A song you should just close your eyes and enjoy, but dont! The video is lovely! A beautiful song and Sergej does it justice. The song is haunting and could do better then the bookies think.

Sergej Ćetković – Moj Svijet (My World)
Odds: 100/1

16. Hungary: The last song of the night and one to watch! This is the perfect song to end the show on a high note. While the subject of the song is a tough one, the song is very different from what precedes and will will certainly stand out to the voters and juries. I expect a fast paced performance also.

Kállay-Saunders – Running
Odds: 14/1

Thats it. The 16 acts for semi-final one. But who will qualify? Here is my prediction, in no particular order:

  1. Armenia
  2. Sweden
  3. Hungary
  4. Belgium
  5. Netherlands
  6. Ukraine
  7. Russia
  8. Iceland
  9. Azarbaijan
  10. Montenegro

What do you think? Put your predictions in the comments!

All in all, tomorrow night will be a good show!


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36 Countries to take part in Eurovision 2014

At least 36 countries will be taking to the stage in Copenhagen, Denmark for the 59th Eurovision Song Contest this may. Slovenia have been given a few extra days to decide. This is down on the 39 countries who took part last year. The contest Semi-Finals are on May 6th and 8th while the final will take places on May 10th.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Serbia have all decided to stay home this year, while Portugal and Poland have decided to return have their absences.

The full list of those taking part:

  • Albania (RTSH),
  • Armenia (AMPTV),
  • Austria (ORF),
  • Azerbaijan (Ictimai TV),
  • Belarus (BTRC),
  • Belgium (VRT),
  • Denmark (DR),
  • Estonia (ERR),
  • Finland (YLE),
  • France (France 3),
  • Georgia (GPB),
  • Germany (NDR),
  • Greece (NERIT),
  • Hungary (MTV),
  • Iceland (RÚV),
  • Ireland (RTÉ),
  • Israel (IBA),
  • Italy (RAI),
  • Latvia (LTV),
  • Lithuania (LRT),
  • FYR Macedonia (MKRTV),
  • Malta (PBS),
  • Moldova (TRM),
  • Montenegro (RTCG),
  • The Netherlands (AvroTros),
  • Norway (NRK),
  • Poland (TVP),
  • Portugal (RTP),
  • Romania (TVR),
  • Russia (RTR),
  • San Marino (SRMTV),
  • Spain (TVE),
  • Sweden (SVT),
  • Switzerland (SRG SSR),
  • United Kingdom (BBC),
  • Ukraine (NTU)

As 6 countries are automatically qualified for the final (Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) there will be 15 acts in each semi-final, with 10 of these qualifying for the final. With only 5 countries not going through from each semi-final, it certainly gives everyone a better chance of getting into the final.

The voting shall be as in previous years and be a mix of Jury and Public vote, which has certainly been welcomed by most countries and fans.

The draw for semi-final allocation will take place next Monday, but Israel, Sweden and Norway have already been allocated their Semi Finals. Sweden will compete in Semi-Final One and Israel and Norway in Semi-Final Two.

Four Counties have already picked their entry, Albania, Belarus, Macedonia and Ukraine . Another 5 countries have picked their artist but not their song, these are Armenia (Aram Mp3), Austria (Conchita Wurst), Montenegro (Sergej Ćetković), The Netherland (The Common Linnets) and San Marino (Valentina Monetta).

Ireland will pick its entry February 28th in a Late Late Show Eurosong Special and will again follow the mentor system from the last number of years. More on that closer to the date.

All eyes of course are on the National Selections now, but I hope it will be a good year for Eurovision.

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Eurovision 2013 – Congratulations Denmark

Well done Emmelie De Forest representing Denmark who won the 58th Eurovision Song Contest last night. She was a very deserving winner and while the voting was close, many people will be happy to travel to Denmark for the 59th Eurovision Song Contest.

The Voting

As mentioned the voting last night was close. The top 5 were as follows:

  1. Denmark 281 points
  2. Azerbaijan 234 points
  3. Ukraine 214 points
  4. Norway 191 points
  5. Russia 174 points

The closeness of the result really shows the high standard on show last night. Interesting Azerbaijan got more 12 points then Denmark did. Azerbaijan got 12 points from 10 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro and Russia) and Denmark got 12 points from 8 countries (France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom). Meanwhile Ukraine got 12 points from 5 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia and Moldova), Norway 3 countries (Denmark, Finland and Sweden) and Russia 2 (Estonia and Latvia).

The reason why Denmark did win despite getting less 12 votes is that it received votes from 38 of the 39 entries with San Marino being the only country to not award it any points. Azerbaijan on the other hand got no points from 9 countries (Finland, Estonia, Armenia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Norway and FYR Macedonia), so it does show that you do need to win the votes from more countries to win!

Coming last

Unfortunately Ireland came last with 5 points, 1 from United Kingdom and 2 from Cyprus and Sweden. While we did come 8th in Semi-Final 1, we only got 54 points meaning the only countries that had less points then us were Lithuania (53) and Estonia (52) meaning we never really stood a chance of winning. RTÉ and Ryan Dolan can be proud of their entry as it was popular but sadly finishing the show after a 2nd half that was filled with favourites it was always going to be a hard ask for Ireland to win. RTÉ do need to continue to do what they are doing and work with new and established acts to get them interested in representing Ireland next year!

What DR can learn from SVT

Sveriges Television (SVT) proved yet again that they can put on a show and anyone who watches Melodifestivalen is very aware of this. The overall presentation of the show was brilliant, the staging, lighting, interval acts and segments were all brilliant. Also having one presenter made everything a lot better and easier! Petra Mede was amazing and her interval act performance was fantastic. Good luck matching that Danmarks Radio (DR)!

Things that didnt work well was stopping the voting to announce the winner just to change the colour of her dress. It interrupted the flow to make an obvious announcement. With votes still to come in, it just didn’t work. Also if it had been a runaway winner, most of us are more interested in the runner place/where our own country or favourite entry comes as we already can see who will win!

The green room, Eric Saade was not a great presenter. He didnt interview anyone and talked mostly about himself!! Can we get a proper presenter next year DR?

The running order – fix? This one isnt going away. A lot of fans think that giving SVT the power to set the running order was a step too far. It certainly took a lot of the excitement of the draw out it. I hope next year DR will bring back the draw.

Bloc Voting

Bloc voting, neighbourly voting, political voting, call it what you want, this year it was very obvious. Belgium giving 12 points to the Netherlands, Netherlands giving 12 back could you be more obvious? While I do normally defend the voting system this year will make it harder. Western Europe is as bad as Eastern Europe for it! Bringing back the Juries hasnt made a difference, but it will be interesting to see what the difference in the jury voting was and if it made a difference.

Eurovision 2014

There is already chatter about where the 59th Eurovision Song Contest will be held. Early interest has been shown in Parken Stadion in Copenhagen which hosted the contest in 2001 which held 35,000 fans that year is in the running as is the Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning. This opened in 2010 and held the final of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2013.

9 countries have confirmed their participation next year. They are:

  • Belgium
  • Denmark (Host)
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Norway

It will be interesting to see if any of the countries who did not take part this year will return.

After this year and the class of finalist that was competing should mean that there should be a good class of entry in 2014 (I hope!)

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