Belarus: Lukashenko goes after Eurovision/Junior Eurovision stars

The Lukashenko regime has been in the news recently for its rapid drift towards authoritarianism.  Belarusian athlete, Kristina Tsimanuskaya was the center of an international scandal during the Tokyo summer Olympics.  The Belarus delegation tried to deport her by force to her country after she criticized the Belarus coaching staff.  Furthermore, Tsimanuskaya stated that she was in danger if she returned to Belarus.

Sadly, the ongoing political situation in Belarus is also affecting musicians in this country.  There is a “blacklist” of athletes, artists and personalities who are labeled as ‘enemies’ of the Lukashenko regime.  This blacklist includes former Eurovision and Junior Eurovision representatives.  In addition, Evgeniy Perlin who host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Minsk is targeted in this list.

The disturbing list of public enemies of the regime include among others:

Volha Satsiuk (4th place JESC 2003)

Ksenia Sitnik (1st place JESC 2005)

Alexey Zhigalkovich (1st place JESC 2007)

Angelica Agurbash (13th place in the ESC 2005 Semifinals)

Polina Smolova (22nd place in the ESC Semifinals 2006)

Dmitriy Koldun (6th place ESC 2007)

Litesound (16th place in the 2nd Semifinal ESC 2012)

Uzari (12th place in the 1st Semifinal ESC 2015)

Naviband (17th place ESC 2017)

VAL (selected representatives in the canceled ESC 2020)

We will continue reporting about any updates on these concerning news developments.

 

Sweden: With a song by Alex P, Darin at Melodifestivalen 2022?

We found an interesting collaboration on social networks. The Greek-born and successful composer and producer Alex P, is in the studio with one of the most commercial artists and a desire of many Swedish eurofans, to represent their country at Eurovision, Darin.

Although Alex P has already successfully represented three countries in the Eurovision Song Contest (Greece, Azerbaijan and Cyprus), with Fuego of course standing out, he has not yet attempted to represent Sweden, the country in which he resides and became initially known. .

With the start date for Melodifestivalen 2022 approaching (August 27) and after the huge commercial success of this year’s Eurovision, it is possible that the song that Alex P and Victor Svensson are preparing for Darin may be a possible participation in Sweden’s national final.

Darin is 34 years old and of Kurdish origin. He started his career at 16, when he took second place in Idol, signing a record deal with Sony BMG. In 2010 she participated in the Melodifestivalen with the ballad You’re Out Of My Life, finishing fourth in the final. He followed a brilliant and successful career, with gold and platinum records, but also with many No. 1 hits. Although he is considered one of the most commercial and successful artists in Sweden, he has not yet attempted to return to the Melodifestivalen, as most of his colleagues are accustomed to. It is considered by many to be Sweden’s golden reserve for the Eurovision Song Contest and not unjustly…

Is Darin the artist Alex P was looking for to compete in the Melodifestivalen?


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Vaccine Hallelujah! Mr. Lordi got fully vaccinated against covid

Mr. Lordi took his second covid-vaccine in Rovaniemi, Finland.  The lead singer of the band Lordi and 2006 Eurovision winner got fully vaccinated in a public event.  The aim of this public event was to encourage more people to get their two doses of the vaccine.

Mr. Lordi was not the only Finnish celebrity participating in this campaign.  Santa Claus also announced that (due to his age) he had taken the second shot of the covid vaccine.  According to Markku Broas, Chief Physician of Infectious Diseases of the Lapland Hospital District (LSHP) the event was a success.  The number of people who attended the event to get their vaccine, in particular young people increased after the event.

They put a big needle in my arm, and that’s exactly why I came here. This was my second vaccine dose

Mr. Lordi also reflected on the effects of the pandemic.  Because of the ongoing pandemic Mr. Lordi “can no longer recall” how many times his band had to postpone or cancel tour dates.  However, he has been productive during this time.

Lordi has been working in Rovaniemi, Finland.  The Eurovision winners have recorded seven albums during the epidemic.

Source: Yle

Ivi Adamou expresses interest in returning to Eurovision!

In a recent interview with real.gr, Ivi Adamou, the Cypriot Eurovision 2012 representative, has expressed her interest to once again take part in the contest!

When asked about whether she would be interested in representing either Greece or Cyprus again in the future, her response was the following:

I would, yes, it was a wonderful experience. They have proposed it to me multiple times. I believe I’ll feel it when the moment is right. I want a really good song and a really strong team. Let’s see, I hope so!

As she stated herself, she had already received multiple proposals from cypriot broadcaster RIK in the past couple of years, however she had to refuse in order to take care of her newborn, then, daughter. This year, however, among general pressure from the public for an actual cypriot artist to represent Cyprus in Eurovision 2022, the cypriot singer decided to finally show her interest.

Ivi is currently on a summer tour with her partner Michalis Kouinelis, member of the hip hop group Stavento. You can listen to their latest single below:

Russia: Dima Bilan recalls his Eurovision past | Is he preparing for his third participation?

He is one of the most popular artists in his country and the only winner of Eurovision for Russia (2008 with Believe). We are talking, of course, about Dima Bilan, who at the age of 39 seems to have a strong desire to be on the stage of the contest for the third time.

With Dima Bilan, Russia in Eurovision 2022?

Earlier, through a video he posted on his social networks, Dima Bilan recalls his first entry in the competition in 2006 in Athens, where with Never Let You Go, he took second place. Commenting, Duma Bilan states:

Do you remember how Eurovision brings people together? What a strong spirit of support and integration? Wasn’t it nice? Should we repeat it…?

 

Δείτε αυτή τη δημοσίευση στο Instagram.

 

Η δημοσίευση κοινοποιήθηκε από το χρήστη Dima Bilan (@bilanofficial)

The video has garnered over 50,000 likes in four hours, and the responses to comments on Dima Bilan’s possible return to the Eurovision Song Contest are more than encouraging.

Russia at Eurovision 2022

As usual, Russia surprises us with its decisions for its respective participations in the competition, since little information sees the light of day, before the official announcements.

Responsible for Russia’s entry in Eurovision in 2022 is the Russia 1, with which Philipp Kirkorov has been collaborating with the Dream Team in recent years. Apart from the shocking unexpected, the Russia channel will trust the same team again this year, which has also brought them significant successes. This year’s ninth place of Manizha and Russian Woman, a song that was especially loved by fans, but found itself in relatively low positions for Russia, especially in the public voting, proved that no country alone has a guaranteed place in the top 5…

Although it is still early and the first processes have started in Russia, it is no coincidence that in the summer Dimitris Kontopoulos and Elias Kokotos were in Moscow, where they also had meetings with various artists. The fact is that we are far from any decisions, but the interest of Dima Bilan is also a given.

After this year’s mediocre position for the data of Russia, but also the low numbers in the television viewing, the channel Russia will want a popular artist, who will raise the numbers and the interest, hoping of course to win a very good position. In this equation, Dima Bilan can be the solution…

Below is the first entry of Dima Bilan in the competition:

Would you like to see Dima Bilan again at the Eurovision Song Contest?

Spain 2021: Benidorm Song Festival returns as national final

Spanish broadcaster RTVE announced the revival of the Benidorm Song Festival.  The historical music festival took place in the city of Benidorm from 1959 until its last edition in 2006.  Moreover, the new Benidorm Song Festival will be the Spanish national selection for Eurovision.

The revamped contest will take place in February, 2022.  Three main shows will make the festival: two semi-finals and a grand final.  RTVE will broadcast the show via La 1 and RTVE Play.  More details will be available soon.  However, we already know that a split jury/public vote will decide who will represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.

RTVE president José Manuel Pérez Tornero; the president of the Valencian Government, Ximo Puig; and the mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez announced the news in front of the beach.  In addition to this, Ruth Lorenzo performed for the audience her 2014 entry Dancing In The Rain and Waterloo.

We want Benidorm to be a meeting point for what we need most now: music, Europe and diversity. With the ‘Benidorm Festival’ we intend to achieve an emotional and tourist reactivation of the Valencian Community.’

The Benidorm International Song Festival took place from 1959 to 2006.  The contest was modeled after the Italian Sanremo Music Festival.  The winner of the Benidorm Festival received the Golden Mermaid Trophy.  RTVE used to broadcast the event.  Further, RVTE President José Manuel Pérez Tornero said that the Spanish broadcaster would take their participation “very seriously”.

Spain’s last results on Eurovision have been far from satisfactory, being outside of the top 20 since 2015.  In addition to this, their best achievements in recent times have been two top 10s in 2014 and 2012.  Spain came in the top 5 for the last time in 1995 with Anabel Conde who ended in second place.

Hopefully their new national selection process will help Spain make a turning point on Eurovision.

Source: Eurovision.tv

 

Sietse Bakker: Cyprus did not ask to be first in the running order of the Grand Final!

In their most recent video William Lee Adams from Wiwibloggs stated that the Cyprus delegation asked the organizers to let Elena Tsagrinou open the night of the Grand Final with her song El Diablo.  However, the producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 and one of the members of the Reference Group Mr. Sietse Bakker has denied these rumors.

When asked on Twitter about the alleged request by Cyprus, Sietse Bakker reminded the public that it is up to the public broadcaster who hosts Eurovision to make the running order.  Furthermore, the running order requires the subsequent approval of the EBU.  Thus the participating broadcasters do not suggest which place they would like to be sorted out.  In addition Seitse Bakker mentions that he attended the sorting process of the running order for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021.  According to him, the opinion of the delegations did not play a role in this process.

After this public denial it seems that the information Wiwibloggs had was inaccurate.  Nonetheless, William seemed absolutely sure that Cyprus had in fact made this request.  This may be because many Cypriot fans have echoed the alleged petition by the Cyprus delegation to perform in first place for months.  It is possible that the fans have get these fake news from the same source.

You can watch William mentioning this rumour in the embedded video, at 44.30:

Historical Benidorm Festival returns as the Spanish national selection

Spain has made an important announcement about their selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.  In July 16, the president of RTVE stated there will be an official announcement on July 22.  Further, the announcement will take place in the city of Benidorm, Alicante (Spain).  The big 5 country last results have been far from satisfactory, being outside of the top 20 since 2015.  In addition to this, their best achievements in recent times have been two top 10s in 2014 and 2012.  Spain came in the top 5 for the last time in 1995 with Anabel Conde who ended in second place.

 

However, the Spanish broadcaster is looking forward to reverse the current trend with a new format.  The news came as a surprise for many fans because it is not usual that Spain starts her Eurovision plans so early.  The first speculations pointed to the possibility of bringing back the Benidorm International Song Festival as a national final.

“We are going to take the Eurovision Song Contest very seriously.  (…) (RTV) is the only Spanish public broadcaster that is part of the EBU.  We are interested in the contest and its contact with the youth in a European context”. José Pérez Tornero, RTVE president

 

Moreover, the president of the Valencian government announced that he is working with RTVE on a big musical event.

“We are working together with RTVE to make Benidorm a meeting place for what we need more than ever: music, Europe and diversity.  We will communicate all the details on thurday”.  Ximo Puig, president of the Valencian government

What was the Benidorm International Song Festival

The Benidorm International Song Festival took place from 1959 to 2006.  The contest was modeled after the Italian Sanremo Music Festival.  The winner of the Benidorm Festival received the Golden Mermaid Trophy.  RTVE used to broadcast the event.  However, the public broadcaster withdrew their support due to a lack of interest from the public.

Among the winners of the Benidorm Festival we have Raphael (Spain 1966, 1967) and La Década (Spain 1988).

Source: ABC

Stay tuned to Eurovisionfun for more news about the Spanish national selection for Eurovision 2022.

Turkish chances to return to Eurovision got slimmer as TRT Chairman steps down

Hopes to see Turkey  returning to Eurovision seem to have reduced as Ibrahim Eren, the former chairman and general manager of Turkish public broadcaster stepped down as director.  Eren recently made public that TRT was in contact with the EBU to discuss the potential return of the country to the pan-European competition.  However, president Erdogan decided to replace him.

A few weeks ago Erenrevealed that the public broadcaster was seriously discussing a potential comeback.

Our Board of Directors still continues with the same decision, but meanwhile, we are also in talks with ‘Eurovision’. A very good person came to ‘Eurovision’ from Northern Europe. I think this year was very successful. After a long time, they had a nice competition. Our friends started meeting with the newcomer. I don’t know what will happen?

Furthermore, the EBU itself  confirmed that they were in direct with TRT, in order for Turkey to return to the Eurovision Song Contest.  The EBU made the following statement on eurovision.tv:

Turkey hasn’t participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 2012, pressing pause on a rich history within the competition that includes 34 entries and a 2003 victory thanks to Sertab Erener’s Every Way That I Can.

Despite the break in participation, the Contest remains popular in the ‘land of four seasons’ and speculation about a potential return has been fueled by İbrahim Eren, Chairman and Director General at national broadcaster TRT, after commenting on the prospect of Turkey returning to the Eurovision Song Contest.

 

However, Ibrahim Eren’s departure from his position, reduces the possibilities of seeing Turkey in Eurovision for 2022.  Ibrahim Erem publicly thanked Erdogan via Twitter for the opportunity he gave him in his previous role.

Ahmet Albayrak will take office as the  new President of TRT .  At the same time, Mehmet Zahid Sobacı will take the role of new General Manager . Both Albayrak and Sobacı are political allies of Erdogan and members of the Islamist AKP party.  Therefore, their profiles do not seem to reconcile with the spirit of the Eurovision Song Contest.’

Nevertheless, fans can keep their hope of a future Turkish return to the competition.  This however, will depend of a political decision by Erdogan who may be interested to demonstrate that Turkey remains a European country and to improve his international reputation.

Do you think that Turkey will finally return to the Eurovision Song Contest?

17 cities competing to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2022

The race to host the Eurovision Song Contest has officially started.  17 cities submitted their candidacies to host the song festival in 2022.  The candidate cities submitted the official documentation to get the honor of hosting next year’s competition.  For next year we will have a large number of potential candidates representing the various regions of Italy.

Candidate host cities

The following cities aspire to welcome the Eurovision Song Contest next year:

  • Acireale (Catania)
  • Alessandria
  • Bertinoro di Romagna (Forlì – Cesena)
  • Bologna
  • Florence
  • Genoa
  • Jesolo (Venice)
  • Matera
  • Milan
  • Palazzolo Acreide (Syracuse)
  • Pesaro
  • Rimini
  • Rome
  • Sanremo (Imperia)
  • Turin
  • Trieste
  • Viterbo

What comes next?

On July 14, 2021 the cities will receive the BID Book from broadcaster RAI and the EBU.  The candidates must submit their bid books and proposals up after August 4th, 2021.  After deliberation RAI and the EBU will decide which city will host next Eurovision Song Contest.  We will know the name of the next host city by late August.

 

Are you excited about the bidding process?  Which city should host the Eurovision Song Contest 2022?

Source: RAI