Eurovision 2016 – Belarus

I’ve been busy for the past month with work, writing and a quick trip to New Orleans. Eurovision has been nudging the edge of my consciousness, but it’s been hard to get back into the groove. Until today.

A friend sent me a text asking if I knew about the guy from Belarus who’s going to perform nude, with a wolf, at Eurovision.

Wut?

Needless to say, that hooked me right back in. The aspiring nudist is Ivan (AKA Alexander Ivanov) and he won the Belarusian national song competition with his song Help You Fly. Let’s take a look and listen. For those concerned, he does perform fully clothed in the official video.


Okay. Decent song. Catchy, even. He’s got a gravelly voice with a good range. His stage presence is all right, though he relies a lot on a cute face and flippy hair. The background effects add some excitement to his performance. Is he a standout performer? Probably not. Unless…

Is Ivan really going to bare it all? Here’s an article stating his intention to do so. However, since Eurovision allows neither nudity nor live animals onstage, it’s highly doubtful. Nonetheless, Ivan has prepared for the possibility. Warning: the following video does contain partial nudity.


This does seem a lot like a publicity stunt, and why not? Ivan needs to build some interest in his song outside Belarus and Russia. This is one way to do it. I’ll be interested to see how he performs at the semi-final.

Help You Fly isn’t a winner, but the extra press and some fun staging could propel it into the finale. Kisses and best wishes to Ivan and Belarus!

You can read more about Ivan here.

Eurovision 2016 will be held 10, 12 and 14 May in Stockholm, Sweden. You can watch the entire contest live on eurovision.tv.

Eurovision 2016 – Russia

Sergey Lazarev was announced as Russia’s Eurovision participant at the the Russian National Music Awards way back in December 2015. He’d just been named Singer of the Year and is a well-known, popular artist in Russia.

On March 5, 2016, he dropped his Eurovision song You are the Only One. In one week, the video has racked up over 3 million views. That’s impressive. That’s a hit. That could be a winner. Let’s see what all the fuss is about.


Ah yeah! This is what I’ve been waiting for: a great, high-energy song. Something memorable that makes you want to move. Sergey Lazarev has a powerful voice and strong, sexy presence. I suspect some auto-tuning in the video, but since he won Singer of the Year, I’m going to believe he can deliver a great live performance. The video itself uses cool special effects, and is gimmicky and fun.

High-energy songs have been lacking at Eurovision the last few years. Last year, all the dramatic ballads bored me to tears and I wasn’t alone. Israel’s Nadav Guedj made the top ten simply because Golden Boy was energetic and fun. In a better year, it would’ve been in the teens at best.

Sergey Lazarev and You are the Only One are in it to win it. This could be Russia’s year. I’m giving this 10 points. They’ve set the bar high and now other participants are going to have to up their game. Hopefully, this makes for a more exciting competition.

On a side note, I’d like to voice my hope that politics can be kept out of this year’s competition. Last year, my favorite performance was A Million Voices by Russia’s Polina Gagarina. Though I favored Italy, I would have been happy if she had won. The geopolitical situation of her country set her up for failure. Let’s not let that happen again to any artist.

Kisses and best wishes to Sergey Lazarev and the Russian people!

You can read more about Sergey Lazarev here.

Eurovision 2016 will be held 10, 12 and 14 May in Stockholm, Sweden. You can watch the entire contest live on eurovision.tv.

Eurovision 2016 – Georgia

Georgia has chosen to use an interesting selection process for their 2016 Eurovision entry. Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz was chosen internally by GPB, the Georgian broadcast network. The band was then given five songs to perform, which were released as music videos. The viewing public and a professional jury voted on which song should be performed in Stockholm.

Midnight Gold was the winning song. Let’s take a look and listen.


I’m a rocker chick at heart and I love me some indie rock. Some. Not all.  Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive hits my sweet spot. This does not. I don’t like all the reverb and the heavy bass, and the strident beat. Which isn’t to say Midnight Gold is bad. If this is your style of music, this could be your 12 points.

One thing I did like is that this is different, meaning it’s not a ballad. If, during the Eurovision semi-final performance, Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz come on after five boring ballads, best believe Midnight Gold will stand out.

As it stands, the song is almost 30 seconds too long. Eurovision songs can be no longer than three minutes. Midnight Gold will be shortened, and potentially tightened and improved. I’ll reserve final judgment for their actual performance.

Kisses and best wishes to Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz and Georgia!

You can read more about Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz here.

Eurovision 2016 will be held 10, 12 and 14 May in Stockholm, Sweden. You can watch the entire contest live on eurovision.tv.

Sweden Wins Eurovision 2015

Måns Zelmerlöw of Sweden has won the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest with his song Heroes.


The show ran 4 hours and featured contestants from 27 countries, including special 60th anniversary guest Australia. The votes were tallied from 40 countries and their professional juries. A representative of each country gave their results live.

Russia pulled ahead early and about half-way through, it seemed as though Eurovision would be crowning a new queen, Polina Gagarina. However, Måns Zelmerlöw began slowly pulling ahead until the latter votes steamrolled him into a decisive victory. Russia came in second and Italy came in third.

Congratulations to Måns Zelmerlöw, the new hero of Sweden and Eurovision! And congratulations to all the artists who performed in the semi-finals and the finale. Great job! See you next year in Sweden!

 

Eurovision 2015 Finale Line-up

The 2015 Eurovision Finale will begin soon! Artists from 27 countries will perform their songs. Voters in all 40 participating countries, along with a professional jury, will vote to decide the winner.

Recap of how to watch in the U.S. and any country that doesn’t broadcast Eurovision.

The 2015 Eurovision finale will be held on Saturday, May 23, at 21:00 CEST. That’s 3:00 p.m. EDT and Noon PDT in the U.S. You can watch the live show for free on YouTube and the Eurovision website.

Eurovision WebTV

Eurovision YouTube Channel

2015 Eurovision Finale Line-up in order of appearance:

  1. Slovenia
  2. France
  3. Israel
  4. Estonia
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Armenia
  7. Lithuania
  8. Serbia
  9. Norway
  10. Sweden
  11. Cyprus
  12. Australia
  13. Belgium
  14. Austria
  15. Greece
  16. Montenegro
  17. Germany
  18. Poland
  19. Latvia
  20. Romania
  21. Spain
  22. Hungary
  23. Georgia
  24. Azerbaijan
  25. Russia
  26. Albania
  27. Italy

The favored contestant to win is Sweden, but I’m rooting for Italy. Anything can happen. Best of luck to all the artists.

Enjoy the show!

Eurovision 2015 Semi-Final 2 Results

Artists from 17 countries took to the stage for the second semi-final of Eurovision 2015 song contest, but only 10 will continue on to the finale. They are, in the order they were announced:

  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Montenegro
  • Cyprus
  • Azerbaijan
  • Latvia
  • Israel

To be honest, this wasn’t a real exciting show. Too many ballads and the level of artists between countries was markedly uneven. San Marino, we know you’re a tiny nation, but come on. Those kids belong in the junior competition and you know it. We’d all rather see Valentina again than that. And Ireland, please. You know we want Jedward back. Just do it.

Best performance of the night goes to: Sweden!

There’s a reason Måns Zelmerlöw and Heroes is favored to win. It’s a great song and he’s a savvy performer who knows how to work the crowd and the camera. Well done!

Divalicious award of the night goes to: Latvia!

The dress, the hand gestures, the confidence, but most of all, that voice. Aminata has the full diva package and jazzy Love Injected is just right kind of quirky to make her stand out.

Who brought the fun back to the show? Israel!

Nadav Guedj and Golden Boy turned the biggest party in Europe back into a party rather than a ballad-fest.

Best duet of the night goes to Norway!

Smolder. Those two were smokin’ hot! Mørland’s falsetto and Debrah Scarlett’s smoky vocals turned A Monster Like Me into the sexiest duet of the evening.

The 2015 Eurovision finale will be held on Saturday, May 23, at 21:00 CEST. That’s 3:00 p.m. EDT and Noon PDT in the U.S. You can watch the live show for free on YouTube and the Eurovision website.

Eurovision WebTV

Eurovision YouTube Channel

Eurovision 2015 – Semi-Final 2 Lineup

The second semi-final in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest is hours away. The artists and their nations are posted below, but first, a how-to recap.

Recap: How to Watch Eurovision in the USA

Eurovision has two options for watching online, completely free, either from their website or their YouTube channel.

Eurovision WebTV

Eurovision YouTube Channel

The official start time is 21:00 CEST or 9:00 p.m. Central European Summer Time. That translates to 3:00 p.m. EDT and Noon PDT in the U.S.

Here’s the lineup for the Semi-Final 2.

In order of appearance:

  1. Lithuania: This Time, Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila
  2. Ireland: Playing With Numbers, Molly Sterling
  3. San Marino: Chain Of Lights, Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola
  4. Montenegro: Adio, Knez
  5. Malta: Warrior, Amber
  6. Norway: A Monster Like Me, Mørland & Debrah Scarlett
  7. Portugal: Há Um Mar Que Nos Separa, Leonor Andrade
  8. Czech Republic: Hope Never Dies, Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta
  9. Israel: Golden Boy, Nadav Guedj
  10. Latvia: Love Injected, Aminata
  11. Azebaijan: Hour Of The Wolf, Elnur Huseynov
  12. Iceland: Unbroken, Maria Olafs
  13. Sweden: Heroes, Måns Zelmerlöw
  14. Switzerland: Time To Shine, Mélanie René
  15. Cyprus: One Thing I Should Have Done, John Karayiannis
  16. Slovenia: Here For You, Maraaya
  17. Poland: In The Name Of Love, Monika Kuszyńska

Good luck to all the countries and their artists. Enjoy the show!