Albania: Arilena Ara the first name for Festivali i Këngës 2019?

Since May, RTSH, Albanian public broadcaster, had announced that the subscriptions for « Festivali i Këngës 2019 » begin but without confirming the country’s participation in the upcoming ESC.

« Festivali i Këngës » is used as the Albania’s selection method, which the country’s representative at Eurovision come of from.  There have been many of the great names of national artists  and not only, but also this show is the first national final of the year for each annual Eurovision.

In the last few hours, on various news sites and in social media, the news that  a great name of the Albanian scene and a craving for many fans are preparing their song for the upcoming Festivali i Këngës is being circulated.

The reason for Arilena Ara, which is currently enjoying her vacation in the US, while preparing her song with which she will participate in Festivali i Këngës.  If the news is true, it is a participation that surely all the fans are waiting for in anxiety and feeling, while at the same time it is the big favorite who wants to travel to the Netherlands.

Arilena Ara, became known through the children’s song contest “Little Genius”, where she took third place.  Later, she participated in the second version of the music contest, « The X-Factor », in the 2012-2013 season.  From the very beginning, she impressed by the audience and the committee, with Arilena finally managing to be a great winner of the show.  Since then, her career has sprung up.  One success succeeded the other with its reputation spreading to other countries, such as Romania and Russia, where her song « Nëntori » conquered the charts. Finally, she is one of three judges at « The Voice Kids Albania ».

We just wait for this reputation to be confirmed!

Source: CNA City News Albania,, Eurovision Kosovo

Eurovision 2020: Rotterdam and Maastricht to be the official finalists for ESC 2020 hosting

EBU,through its official website for the contest, announced a while ago what the Dutch media, but also what we had written a few days ago.  Rotterdam and Maastricht are the two remaining cities to claim Eurovision 2020 hosting.

This two cities had the most completed nomination bid and thus continue the fight for claiming Eurovision 2020. Next month, a team of the Dutch public broadcaster as well as EBU experts will visit the two cities in order to see and get up-to-date  , everything suggested by Maastricht and Rotterdam to organize the next contest.

« All cities and venues have made a great effort in their candidacies.  They impressed us with all their suggestions and I would like to thank all those involved so far for their positive contribution and commitment.  We are convinced that Maastricht and Rotterdam offer everything that a host city requires.  We hope the other cities will keep their enthusiasm for the song contest.  We would like to discuss the coming months how we can engage them in next year’s Eurovision. »

(Sietse Beker, executive producer of Eurovision 2020).

The cities that were considered inappropriate and had submitted a candidacy bid were Arnhem, Den Bos and Utrecht.

The final decision on the city that will host Eurovision 2020 will be announced at the end of August.

Georgia: the known format of « Georgia’s Star » to be used again

Georgia has made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007, and since then, with only one absence (2009), has been a non-stop member of the institution with its better position to be the ninth (2010 and 2011).

The procedure followed since then for the representative selection has been shifted from a direct assignment to a national final without having resulted in a permanent procedure.  Last year, after years of national finals, GPB,the national broadcaster decided to send Iriao by selecting them internally, and this year, in Israel, they chose the Pop Idol method for choosing its representative, with Oto Nemsadze finally signing “Keep on going”.

About two months after the end of the 64th Eurovision, GPB announced that Georgia’s star, the Georgian version of the Pop Idol, will be again used for representative ‘ selection in the Netherlands, as it did last year.

Applications have already begun and whoever interested can submit applications here.

Norway: 40 songs will participate in the Melodi Grand Prix 2020

Early in March, Norway first confirmed its participation in Eurovision 2020, while announcing significant changes to the Melodi Grand Prix 2020.

In 2020, MGP, Norway’s national final for the selection of the Eurovision country’s representative, will close 60 years of existance, conducting six big shows following the standards of the Swedish Melodifestivalen. The last years that the country made so many shows was 2014.

Today, NRK has announced that 40 songs will compete at MGP 2020, celebrating 60 years of Norway’s presence in the Eurovision family.

Each of the five semi-finals will vary according to the geographical origin of the artists.

The program is as follows:

Show 1: 8 songs will compete in Northern Norway
Show 2: 8 songs will compete in Central Norway
Show 3: 8 songs will compete in Western Norway
Show 4: 8 songs will compete from East Norway
Show 5: 8 songs will compete in South Norway
Show 6: 2 songs selected by each semifinal will compete in the Grand Final of the Melodi Grand Prix 2020

All 6 shows will take place in Oslo, with no dates announced yet.

In the semifinals, the result will be judged by both the television audience and the jury, while in the final, the final decision on who will travel to the Netherlands will be made by the TV audience.

This year Norway was  represented by KEiiNo, with the song “Spirit In The Sky”, winning the 6th place with 331 points, scoring 1 in the televoting.

Israel: Two shows for the next country’s national selection

The Israeli broadcaster, KAN, has confirmed the country’s participation in Eurovision 2020, making Israel the 25th country that announces its participation.

Together with confirmation of participation, KAN also announced how it will choose its  representative but also the song.

Initially, the selection of the artist will be made another year through the talent show « HaKokhan HaBa L’Eurovizion », which makes sense since,using this option after 2015, the country has not lost the qualification to the final – including of course Netta ´ s victory  in 2018.

But the selection of the song is the detail that will be changed. Until this year, the song was chosen by a team of experts.  However, for 2020, KAN will organize an additional show for the selection of the song which will be determined this time by the television audience.

KAN  is expected to invite artists to participate in HaKokhan HaBa next week, but the dates of the talent show have not yet been announced.

After Netta’s victory, Israel’s next representative was Kobi Marimi with the song « Home ».  Kobi won 23rd place.

Source :

Greece: Watch Antique singing “Die For You” 18 years later

The favorite of all Greeks, Elena Paparizou, and Nikos Panagiotidis, who formed the Antique, reunited, for the  anniversary of the formation of their band, 20 years later, and interpreted all their great successes, at a great concert, yesterday in Gothenburg .

In the “Vi som älskar 90 talet” festival (“Who Love’s The90’s”), Elena Paparizou and Nikos Panagiotides, who in the late 90’s started their carrer timidly and two years later,in 2001, brought Greece for the first time on the top3, in the Eurovision Song Contest, made a unique performance as Antique in their hometown, Gothenburg.

Of course, among their hits,they could not leave “Die For You” out, their greatest success, which was the forerunner of what Greece would live in the 2000s in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Watch their performance in the videos below:

2 Dutch cities fight for hosting the Eurovision Song Contest!

Despite the fact that 5 Dutch cities have submitted for hosting the contest next year, it is said that only two of them are considered to be the most suitable ones! The Eurovision 2020 Core Team will visit only these two cities in order to decide which of them can fulfil their plans the best.

Firstly, it was 9 cities that expressed their interest to host the show. But, after receiving the requirements they have to accomplish, only 5 of them have officially submitted their bid books to the Dutch national broadcaster (Find out more here).

It’s not clear which are these two cities, but, according to Dutch media, Maastricht and Rotterdam meet the criteria for hosting the event.

Sietse Bakker, Executive producer Event, claims:

You produce perhaps the most complex TV show worldwide, It is important that you have a location where you have the space to do that. And then the city itself: do you have the hotel rooms and can you handle the logistics so that not only the visitors, but also all kinds of other people attracted to it can stay in the city centre?


Ireland: Eurovision 2019 exceeded €300,000

In a yesterday’s article in Irish Mirror, the cost of the Irish participation in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was listed.

Specifically, RTE spent more than 300,000 euros to participate in this year’s event. The total cost of € 336,617 was increased by 10% from last year’s € 304,088. RTE said the cost increase can be attributed to a number of factors, such as the journey distance, 5,500 km from Dublin to Tel Aviv, compared to 2,800 km for Lisbon in 2018.

RTE sent a delegation of 19 people to Tel Aviv, while flights to Tel Aviv reached close to 22,000 euros. In addition, they spent 50,000 euros for 2-week accommodation. Finally, 43,000 euros were spent on design, construction, props and lighting.

Of course, the public broadcaster had to pay also a subscription fee of  EUR 85,000 to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for its participation in Eurovision 2019.

An RTE’s spokesman stated that the costs did not include RTE’s workforce charges and that all flights were economy class while Eurovision representatives should stay only in designated hotels.

The cost of Eurovision 2019 may have been high, but the final result was disappointing. The queen of Eurovision, represented by Sarah McTernan and the song “22“, failed to qualify for the big Finals, finishing in the 18th (last) of the second semifinal with 16 points.

Switzerland: Directly assign for the Eurovision 2020

Following Luca Hänni’s successful tour at Tel Aviv, Switzerland’s broadcaster SRF confirmed the country’s presence in the upcoming event in May 2020 in the Netherlands.

After this year’s great result that brought Switzerland to 4th place, the best that has been achieved since 2005, SRF,  decided to follow the same recipe, choosing internally, for the second consecutive year, both its representative and and the song as well.

For this choice, the broadcaster will nominate a panel of experts, composed of 100 members and a twenty-member international committee, to decide who will fly the Swiss flag in the Netherlands.

Interested composers, producers and songwriters can send their entries until September 2. More information about the participation is here.

5 Dutch cities trying to become Eurovision 2020 host city!

The “Host City” contest has officially stared! 5 Dutch cities have submitted their bid book to Dutch national broadcast in order to host Eurovision 2020. The 10th of July was the deadline and despite the fact that 9 cities had expressed their desire to host the contest, finally only 5 of them officially submitted for their nomination. These are Rotterdam, Maastricht, Arnhem, Utrecht and Den Bosh. We can already say that Rotterdam and Maastricht are the favorites to earn the title of the “Host City”, but let’s see precisely what each city had to present!



Wethouder Kasmi, the Deputy Mayor of the city brought a suitcase, obviously referring to tourism, while the whole delegation showed its enthusiasm by wearing tourist scarfs! According to Dutch media, Rotterdam has a full-package nomination. Today it was also released the promo video and the slogan of the city: “Rotterdam for real. Rotterdam make it happen!”

The venue that city proposes is the “Ahoy Rotterdam”, which has a capacity of 16.500 people. This city has to offer not only a big budget for the show, but also a good number of hotels to host whoever comes for the Contest! It seems like a good combination for a host city!


Councilor of culture Said Kasmi presented the bid book: “The Eurovision Song Contest is about being yourself, diversity, inclusivity and those are words which describe our city as well with our inhabitants of 175 different nationalities. The Eurovision Song Contest also stands for talent, development and giving that talent a stage. We do the same in Rotterdam. We want to give the viewers an unforgettable memory.”


The Mayor of the city, Annemarie Penn-te Strake, presented the bid book accompanied by a Limburgian band showing their great desire to bring the Contest to the north of this country. Maastricht proposes as venue the “MESC Maastricht” with a capacity of 20.000 people and their slogan is: “Come closer”. Furthermore it is planned more cultural events to be held at the same time in the 44 neighborhoods of the city during the Eurovision. It’s about a very important city due to its significance and its history, not to mention the rumors of Maastricht being EBU’s favorite!


Mayor Ahmed Marcouch presented the bid book, which was wrapped in the same fabric as Duncan Laurence’s clothes which he wore during the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. The big delegation arrived in a bus advertising city’s nomination. Arnhem has to offer concerts in various roofs and the Vitesse’s stadium “GelreDome”, contemporary stadium which is about to host many games for the “Euro 2020”. The football team claimed that is willing to give the stadium in order Eurovision to be held.


This city may not have many possibilities to host the contest, but they surely found the most impressive way to show their bid book: by a bicycle-courrier! The proposed venue is “Jaarbeurs”, whose capacity is only 11.000 people.

“Utrecht wanted to be playful and different, two words which describe Utrecht perfectly. But also because it is healthy, quirky and sustainable. It suits the city,” said Karen Poot who cycled over 20 kilometers from Utrecht to Hilversum.



Den Bosh

The delegation of this city presented their bid book while offering some traditional treats. The expo centre “Brabanthallen” (capacity 11.000 people) is proposed to host the event, but since city’s budget is only 3 million euros, the lowest of all, it seems like Den Bosh has the least chances for winning over all!

Ms. Shula Rijxman (CEO NPO) says:

“It is fantastic to see the enthusiasm and attention these five cities have put on their bid books. A huge job that shows how the Netherlands is embracing the Eurovision Song Contest. This is fantastic because we hope that the whole of the Netherlands will experience the Eurovision Song Contest. Regardless of which city will be ultimately chosen: I thank all the cities for the work they have done and I look forward to all the wonderful proposals that are already here for this wonderful event.”


What’s next?

The Eurovision 2020 Core Team, composed by members of the EBU and the Dutch national broadcaster, will evaluate the bid books each city has submitted. During August, this team will visit the five cities in order to see closely what they have to offer. In the end of August is expected to be announced the host city of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.


Which city is your favorite?