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Weekend round-up: Seven more countries select for Tel Aviv

by | Mar 4, 2019

Weekend round-up: Seven more countries select for Tel Aviv

by | Mar 4, 2019 | Eurovision, Featured |

We made it! The last Super Saturday of the 2019 national final season passed without too much stream-juggling stress, and we’re now in the home straight as far as the ESC 2019 selection process is concerned.

Saturday night began with Finland, where DJ Darude and vocalist Sebastian Rejman offered up three songs. The combined jury and televote opted overwhelmingly for “Look Away”, which is co-written by the two performers.

Iceland was one of the most eagerly anticipated shows of the week, as fans waited to see if the usual superfinal of two songs would lead to anti-voting against controversial band Hatari. While their opponent in that head-to-head duel, Friðrik Ómar, did make up a lot of ground compared with his showing in the first round, it wasn’t enough to overcome the might of “Hatrið mun sigra” (“Hate Will Prevail”), which promises to be the kind of thing to feature on Eurovision clip shows for decades to come.

Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix kicked off with a slight delay as local hero Jakob Ingebrigtsen was in action in the European Athletics Indoor Championships. He won the 3,000 metres as expected, and the Norwegian final was no less of a procession, as bookmakers’ favourites KEiiNO scored a comfortable televoting victory in each of the superfinal rounds – the only obstacle coming when the international juries appeared to be less keen. Once they were out of the way, though, there was no stopping “Spirit In The Sky”.

The final in Moldova ticked away in the background with a useful YouTube stream helping those of us who were trying to juggle all the shows. Despite being comprehensively beaten in the televote, jury support means that Anna Odobescu will fly the Moldovan flag in Tel Aviv with the dramatic “Stay”.

And as always, Portugal brought up the rear, keeping us entertained into the small hours of the morning with the 2019 edition of Festival da Canção. It was another triumph for the pre-favourite, as Conan Osíris won over the juries this time having failed to do so in the semi-final. Together with a televote victory, that was easily enough to give “Telemóveis” (“Mobile Phones”) the ticket to represent last year’s host nation.

Georgia gave us a pleasant surprise on Sunday evening when it transpired that the final of Georgian Idol would also include the songs in contention to be the Eurovision entry. Oto Nemsadze will seek to return the Caucasian nation to the ESC grand final for the first time since 2016 with his version of “Sul tsin tare” (“Go Ahead”).

And Serbia completed another busy weekend with the final of Beovizija 2019. Although Nevena Božović only placed third with the public vote, she had already built up a sufficient lead with the juries that her “Kruna” (“Crown”) could no longer be caught. Having narrowly failed to reach the ESC grand final in 2013 as a member of Moje 3, Božović will be hoping her luck is considerably better in Tel Aviv this May.

Alongside the raft of internal selection reveals still awaiting us, there are just two national finals left this year: the jury-only show in Belarus on Thursday night and, of course, the final of Melodifestivalen on Saturday. Stay tuned to our social media where we’ll be sharing a few highlights from the Stockholm experience – and don’t forget to join us in the #esc chat to enjoy the shows together and vote on the songs!

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