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Line-up check 2019: North Macedonia

Line-up check 2019: North Macedonia

North Macedonia: Tamara Todevska – Proud

Felix: If I had the job of giving awards in this Eurovision year of 2019, the first prize for “female ballad of the year” would go to North Macedonia. Talking about the role it occupies this year in relation to the line-up as a whole, it follows on from Sanna Nielsen’s “Undo“, Polina Gagarina’s “A Million Voices“, and more recently “La Forza“.

And the great news about North Macedonia 2019 is it does sound like its own thing. The bad news? Some people don’t see it as a strong candidate to the same extent as me – just ask my teammate Martin. But I say even North Macedonia can do well eventually.

Sure, it’s not a country with a particularly lucky Eurovision history so far, including legendary car crashes like XXL, or crimes against taste like “Make My Day” or “Let Me Love You”, in which Tamara Todevska herself was involved back in 2008. And even when they did have good songs in the running, North Macedonia often failed to stage them well enough.

This makes predictions quite difficult indeed, but I think qualification and the right-hand half of the scoreboard should be within the possibilities for “Proud”. Maybe even more, if things go well for the freshly renamed country.

Prediction: Personal:

↗

Martin: New name, same old story? Felix is right insofar as I’ve even bet against North Macedonia qualifying, simply because they’ve messed things up on stage so many times before that I don’t trust them to get it right. But that’s a “safety bet” and one I would be delighted to lose.

Shi: The Macedonians did screw up several great songs with their staging, but a straightforward female ballad should save them from themselves. It’s also very difficult to have an old school pretty ballad sung prettily by a pretty girl and not qualify, especially from that area of the draw, as history would show.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

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Meet the twelve finalists in SongHunt 2019!

We’re proud to introduce the twelve national finalists that have battled through the heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals for their big chance at SongHunt glory. Read, watch, listen, and vote for your favourite!

read more

Five things to look out for as rehearsals begin

Rehearsals for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest begin on Saturday. But what in particular should the assembled fan media be watching out for as the 41 participating countries take to the stage for the first time? We take a closer look!

read more

Italy wins ChatVote 2019!

“Soldi” by Mahmood is the winner of the 15th annual edition of ChatVote, the traditional event held by escgo! and the #esc chatroom to find our favourite song ahead of each year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Netherlands

Line-up check 2019: Netherlands

Netherlands: Duncan Laurence – Arcade

Martin: The bookmakers’ favourite. The fan hype of the year.

And it’s from the Netherlands.

Whatever happens in Tel Aviv, I suppose this is the logical and pleasing conclusion to the Dutch revival that began with handing the reins to Anouk in 2013. Sure, the Common Linnets finished second the following year, but very few people saw that one coming (although we weren’t far off!). It’s a measure of the confidence that has returned to the Dutch selection process since the dark days of 2005-2012 that it feels completely normal that Duncan Laurence should go into rehearsals as the big favourite to win this year.

And why not? “Arcade” is clearly one of the strongest songs in the 2019 line-up, with a soaring hook that grabs you from the first listen and a simple honesty that goes against the usual ESC flow. We’re familiar enough with the song now that it’s easy to forget what an initial impact it can make.

The word “can” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence, though, because I’m yet to be wholly convinced by Duncan as a performer. “Arcade” may not be a song for hysterical gestures, but I’d like to see some personality from him, and I worry if he has the experience to deliver those tough notes with the ice-cold nerves required.

Even if he doesn’t win, a result like recent pre-rehearsal favourites Aram Mp3 and Francesco Gabbani should be achievable no matter what. I just hope that doesn’t feel like a disappointment for the newly confident Dutch..

Prediction: Personal:

⬆

Shi: My #2 this year and my favorite Dutch entry in ages, but I have similar doubts. While I did emotionally connect with Duncan’s performances so far, he is an introverted sort of artist – and it’s one thing to connect with a performance when it’s the only one you just happened to watch, and quite another thing when it’s part of a full Eurovision line-up.

Felix: An average song in 2019, and an average song for the Netherlands, and everybody thinks it will win? Just because he’s naked in the video? It’s decent, he’s decent, but nothing about it is outstanding or obviously winning for me. I preferred the Common Linnets. Or Joan Franka.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

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Visit our Eurovision Chat!

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Meet the twelve finalists in SongHunt 2019!

We’re proud to introduce the twelve national finalists that have battled through the heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals for their big chance at SongHunt glory. Read, watch, listen, and vote for your favourite!

read more

Five things to look out for as rehearsals begin

Rehearsals for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest begin on Saturday. But what in particular should the assembled fan media be watching out for as the 41 participating countries take to the stage for the first time? We take a closer look!

read more

Italy wins ChatVote 2019!

“Soldi” by Mahmood is the winner of the 15th annual edition of ChatVote, the traditional event held by escgo! and the #esc chatroom to find our favourite song ahead of each year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Norway

Line-up check 2019: Norway

Norway: KEiiNO – Spirit In The Sky

Felix: I like non-aggressive pop. I like joiking. I like groups in Eurovision. I like the chorus of Finland 2018. I like all the ingredients that make up Norway 2019. I just don’t like the dish that is created as a result. What happened here?

Maybe, first of all, Saara Aalto should never have taken “Monsters” to Eurovision. Not because I wanted Saara with a better song. Nope, I would have wanted “Monsters” with a different artist. Now we kinda get that, and the idea behind the chorus, which I really really like, gets ruined for me a second time.

But back to the matter of ingredients.

Before I woke up this morning, I dreamt I blended cucumber, apple syrup and honey in a wok – for breakfast. I must have had Norway on my mind already while dreaming this! Again, I love joik. Do I like this particular joik, by this particular… joiker? No, ugh. That’s the cucumber. Do I like female-sung, positive Europop hooks? I tend to do so, but there are exceptions. This is a very poor example, and I don’t like apples if they’re bad apples. Do I like Tom Hugo? Absolutely – his MGP song “Det er du” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard in a national final. But honey, you don’t fit here. Honey just doesn’t go well with some other ingredients.

So cucumber, apple syrup and honey all meet in that Norway 2019 wok. And when you eat it, Saara Aalto’s face appears at the bottom of the pan. What’s not to dislike? Still, there are many worse entries at Eurovision this year – but I’m not a friend of “Spirit In The Sky”, and I think it could even do a “Vampires Are Alive” and struggle with qualification.

Prediction: Personal:

➡

Martin: I’m torn on this one. It’s not really my thing, the MGP performance gave me worrying “Verona” vibes (minimal energy + zero chemistry) and – with all respect to the culture – the joiking comes across like a silly parody here. And yet: if it all clicks in Tel Aviv, there’s always a market for obvious trash (hi, Rasmussen!). So who knows…

Shi: It’s a mishmash of elements which essentially sounds like a tribute to some of the Nordics’ trashiest entries, which means I should hate it. And yet I don’t, because they are adorable and it’s a catchy guilty pleasure sort of thing. Which also means it can end up anywhere between a NQ and a top ten. Not helpful, Norway.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

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Visit our Eurovision Chat!

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Meet the twelve finalists in SongHunt 2019!

We’re proud to introduce the twelve national finalists that have battled through the heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals for their big chance at SongHunt glory. Read, watch, listen, and vote for your favourite!

read more

Five things to look out for as rehearsals begin

Rehearsals for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest begin on Saturday. But what in particular should the assembled fan media be watching out for as the 41 participating countries take to the stage for the first time? We take a closer look!

read more

Italy wins ChatVote 2019!

“Soldi” by Mahmood is the winner of the 15th annual edition of ChatVote, the traditional event held by escgo! and the #esc chatroom to find our favourite song ahead of each year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Albania

Line-up check 2019: Albania

Albania: Jonida Maliqi – Ktheju tokës

Shi: Every year I have that one entry I’m really not sure what to do with. This year, it’s Albania. Don’t get me wrong: I like it a lot. But it also sounds like something that would have been my favorite in the last Eurovision I attended, which was a whopping 14 years ago.

I find Jonida incredibly captivating as a performer and she’s a great vocalist too, but I also feel like very little actually ever happens in this track, and I don’t know if there’s enough in it for her to be able to hold the audience’s attention for three minutes.

And then there’s the little issue of her position in the line-up. Right after Sergey, right before the Norwegian joiking and two songs before a certain Dutch entry that is currently leading the betting odds – and it’s not even that far from Azerbaijan, which might be a different type of song but also brings a bit of that Eastern ethno into the mix.

My main concern is that, with not much going in the song and so much else to get the attention of the audience and the juries in the vicinity, “Ktheju tokës” is going to become more of a pleasant soundtrack in between other entries than something that stands out on its own merits.

Prediction: Personal:

➡

Felix: Everyone who knows me knows that Albania is my #1 pet country in Eurovision. I anticipate Festivali i Këngës more than I anticipate Melodifestivalen, but as so often, the most recent edition didn’t exactly end with a great choice for Eurovision. Nevertheless, I still have a few points for “Ktheju tokës”.

Martin: Maybe I’m the most optimistic of all of us, then – not only do I actively like this, I even think it could do all right in the voting if the winds are fair. It’s certainly less hopeless than a lot of the “angry Albanian woman sings dark song” entries they’ve tried.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Meet the twelve finalists in SongHunt 2019!

We’re proud to introduce the twelve national finalists that have battled through the heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals for their big chance at SongHunt glory. Read, watch, listen, and vote for your favourite!

read more

Five things to look out for as rehearsals begin

Rehearsals for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest begin on Saturday. But what in particular should the assembled fan media be watching out for as the 41 participating countries take to the stage for the first time? We take a closer look!

read more

Italy wins ChatVote 2019!

“Soldi” by Mahmood is the winner of the 15th annual edition of ChatVote, the traditional event held by escgo! and the #esc chatroom to find our favourite song ahead of each year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Russia

Line-up check 2019: Russia

Russia: Sergey Lazarev – Scream

Martin: Lightning and static, it’s getting dramatic! With memories of the Samoylova Interlude (#EestiLaulBandName) swiftly fading as we collectively agree to ignore just how bizarre it all was, Russia are back with a vengeance – and what better way to make a splash than with the man who led the betting and won the televote in 2016, only to be denied by those evil juries?

Sergey Lazarev isn’t one for doing the same thing twice, though, so this time he’s foregoing the triplet-time pop banger in favour of a dark and brooding triplet-time ballad. (OK, so some things don’t change.)

And you know what? I actually like it rather more than his 2016 effort. “Scream” is old-fashioned but not outdated, with a vein of ice-cold (melo)drama running through it like only the eastern side of the continent seems to be able to deliver with conviction. Plus it has probably my favourite preview video of the year.

That isn’t to say it’s a better choice than “You Are The Only One” for ESC, though. If “Scream” ends up in the mix at the very top of the scoreboard, it’ll be less because of the song and more due to a combination of the other contenders messing up, the inevitable diaspora factors, and Sergey’s sheer effortlessness in front of the camera.

You wouldn’t necessarily bet against it, though, would you?

Prediction: Personal:

⬆

Shi: I actively hated his 2016 entry. I actively love this, so it is bound to do considerably less well. I don’t care, though, and I’m glad he’s doing something that is not only different from his previous attempt, but also something that he seems to be more comfortable with.

Felix: This, while not instant, is a well thought-through musical piece with a nicely executed dramatic arc. I definitely prefer this over Sergey’s first Eurovision song, though “Scream” is surely less of a crowd-pleaser, and hence I doubt it will be a contender for the winner’s podium.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Meet the twelve finalists in SongHunt 2019!

We’re proud to introduce the twelve national finalists that have battled through the heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals for their big chance at SongHunt glory. Read, watch, listen, and vote for your favourite!

read more

Five things to look out for as rehearsals begin

Rehearsals for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest begin on Saturday. But what in particular should the assembled fan media be watching out for as the 41 participating countries take to the stage for the first time? We take a closer look!

read more

Italy wins ChatVote 2019!

“Soldi” by Mahmood is the winner of the 15th annual edition of ChatVote, the traditional event held by escgo! and the #esc chatroom to find our favourite song ahead of each year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Lithuania

Line-up check 2019: Lithuania

Lithuania: Jurij Veklenko – Run With The Lions

Shi: If you needed something to demonstrate my feelings towards the Lithuanian entry this year (or having to write about it), it’s that I wanted to put off work at the office by writing reviews, realized the next one on my list was Lithuania, and decided work was a better option after all.

Honestly, though, I don’t even know what to say about it. It sounds like it’s supposed to be a nice song, really. One that could even belong to 2019 and not be made specifically for Eurovision. Yet, despite the title conjuring up visions of an exciting safari adventure, it manages to be three minutes of nothing happening. It’s not even that the song makes me cringe or makes me angry, and I’m actually capable of remembering how some of it goes. But can you imagine someone saying, “Ooh! I totally feel like listening to Lithuania 2019 right now”? Yeah, me neither.

I know that Lithuanian national finals don’t tend to be overflowing with possibilities, but they did have options with a much higher qualifying chance this year. Not that countries need to always take the safest option, of course – but if you’re going to turn that down, do it for an interesting and risky entry. And no, a metaphorical encounter with some big cats doesn’t count.

Prediction: Personal:

↘

Martin: Unlike Shi, the sheer pointlessness of this entry does make me angry. Lithuania have qualified with well-polished averageness before, though, so I wouldn’t rule it out this year either.

Felix: In this 2019, which I am not friends with Eurovision-wise, I really like Lithuania. Not enough to make my personal top ten, but it’s a pleasantly normal and memorable radio pop thing. What a welcome and much-needed relief from the negativity and boredom of its competitors. Anything but pointless!

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Meet the twelve finalists in SongHunt 2019!

We’re proud to introduce the twelve national finalists that have battled through the heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals for their big chance at SongHunt glory. Read, watch, listen, and vote for your favourite!

read more

Five things to look out for as rehearsals begin

Rehearsals for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest begin on Saturday. But what in particular should the assembled fan media be watching out for as the 41 participating countries take to the stage for the first time? We take a closer look!

read more

Italy wins ChatVote 2019!

“Soldi” by Mahmood is the winner of the 15th annual edition of ChatVote, the traditional event held by escgo! and the #esc chatroom to find our favourite song ahead of each year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Malta

Line-up check 2019: Malta

Malta: Michela – Chameleon

Martin: You can always tell when Malta want to do well. Adverts for “Chameleon” have been popping up in everyone’s timelines and YouTube queues for some time now, and it seems clear that those involved are determined to whip up the kind of fan buzz that last surrounded the island nation in 2016 (when, in a little twist of irony, Ira Losco opted to ditch a song called… “Chameleon”).

Trouble is, we all know the hype around “Walk On Water” was artificial. The show producers may have played along, giving Ira the pimp slot in the semi-final and the “golden envelope” at the end of that show – but when it came to the grand final, the European viewers proved to be far less compliant than their jury counterparts or the fan-site enablers of the 2016 season, sending Malta on their way with a pitiful 16 televoting points.

So there are two questions surrounding the 2019 version of “Chameleon”: Just how far can marketing and friendly juries get you in this competition – and how much genuine love will Michela get from the televoters on top of that?

In theory, the answer to the latter question could be “quite a lot”. Malta 2019 is a reasonably on-trend slice of girl pop with attitude, the kind of thing that has the potential to be staged very effectively indeed. It’s hooky, too, although the “karma chameleon” (ahem) section verges on parody and will need to be handled carefully.

In any case, the answer to the former question is that, under the current voting system, a big enough jury score will get you to the final no matter what. (Just ask Anja Nissen or Isaiah Firebrace.) Since Malta are clearly here to play this year, we can therefore expect them to be still playing on Saturday night. Once they get there, though, it remains to be seen whether this “Chameleon” stands out from the crowd or simply blends into the background.

Prediction: Personal:

➡

Shi: Malta is actually in my top ten this year, something which has otherwise only happened back in 1996 and 1997. It’s also one of precious few entries this year we’re yet to see performed in any way, so I have no clue what to make of its chances.

Felix: Malta often leave me uninterested, but this year I actually enjoy what they are sending. It paled a bit compared to my first listen, but it’s still colourful and fun. It’s not quite in my personal top ten, but it should make the real one if staging and performance play along.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Meet the twelve finalists in SongHunt 2019!

We’re proud to introduce the twelve national finalists that have battled through the heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals for their big chance at SongHunt glory. Read, watch, listen, and vote for your favourite!

read more

Five things to look out for as rehearsals begin

Rehearsals for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest begin on Saturday. But what in particular should the assembled fan media be watching out for as the 41 participating countries take to the stage for the first time? We take a closer look!

read more

Italy wins ChatVote 2019!

“Soldi” by Mahmood is the winner of the 15th annual edition of ChatVote, the traditional event held by escgo! and the #esc chatroom to find our favourite song ahead of each year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Croatia

Line-up check 2019: Croatia

Croatia: Roko – The Dream

Felix: Depending on your beliefs, “angel” might be a way of describing a wonderful and kind person, or it might mean an actual ethereal being. Taking the latter a step further, you might think that angels remain angels until the end of time, or maybe you believe they can decide to be (re)incarnated at some point.

And if we follow that notion, musical compositions could be considered to be angels too. Some of them never make it out of the realm of the ethereal, some incarnate into actual songs just in time – and some way too late. “The Dream” could have become flesh and bone 15 years ago already. And with a different singer, in a different style, it might have become quite a nice incarnation, even if still rather simple and unexciting.

But it wasn’t to be. The gods of incarnation were obviously drunk that night, so the poor little angel ended up inside a Croatian guy called Roko. The wings somehow also came along where they shouldn’t have, as it’s fucking uncomfortable to move around with those on your back down here on Planet Earth. And on top of that, unlike a heavenly choir of angels, the aforementioned Roko fails to keep any of the high notes he reaches for. Again and again. Or is that a style choice? Icarus on a bungee rope?

My God, this is absolutely bad, painful and annoying – and belief systems do not come into it.

Prediction: Personal:

↘

Martin: My #41 this year – and we’re talking about a year with Kobi Marimi in it, so go figure. What it does share with the Israeli entry is a singer with not-bad inherent vocal capacity, wasted on absolutely the wrong song and style of singing.

Shi: What Martin said. Including the #41 bit.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Meet the twelve finalists in SongHunt 2019!

We’re proud to introduce the twelve national finalists that have battled through the heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals for their big chance at SongHunt glory. Read, watch, listen, and vote for your favourite!

read more

Five things to look out for as rehearsals begin

Rehearsals for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest begin on Saturday. But what in particular should the assembled fan media be watching out for as the 41 participating countries take to the stage for the first time? We take a closer look!

read more

Italy wins ChatVote 2019!

“Soldi” by Mahmood is the winner of the 15th annual edition of ChatVote, the traditional event held by escgo! and the #esc chatroom to find our favourite song ahead of each year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

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After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

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 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Austria

Line-up check 2019: Austria

Austria: PÆNDA – Limits

Shi: I’ll confess that I’d only heard Austria twice before writing this review, and all I could remember from it was “you-ou-ou-ou-ou” – except every time I tried to sing it, it came out as Sweden 2013 instead.

Other things I do remember about it, actually: it’s very mellow; I thought she sounded very good live at the Netherlands pre-party; and she has blue hair.

Listening to “Limits” again now, I’m realizing that, while I generally actually like this quite a bit because it puts me in a relaxed and calm mood, my inability to remember any of it afterwards will be its main problem. It’s always tough doing a quiet and atmospheric song at Eurovision – the combination of all the elements needs to work extremely well so as not to disappear in the line-up between all the songs that have something more immediate about them, whether visually or musically. And more often than not, that doesn’t happen.

I do appreciate the risk-taking though, and the fact that Austria is sending something very different from what they did last year instead of trying to replay it. But let’s just say that they won’t be featuring in the split screen during the last part of the voting this time.

Prediction: Personal:

↘

Felix: My addition to this review was pænding for a while. But I like this! Austria expænds its Eurovision bouquet with an angelic, meditative song that, with the right staging, could surprise some. What other entry would fans of this kind of music spænd their euros on? What’s the Æ though…?

Martin: I’m very fond of this one too, and I’m a little surprised the producers haven’t thrown it to the wolves with an early spot in the running order. Maybe they know something we don’t about how it’s going to come across live, though qualification still feels like a stretch.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Meet the twelve finalists in SongHunt 2019!

We’re proud to introduce the twelve national finalists that have battled through the heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals for their big chance at SongHunt glory. Read, watch, listen, and vote for your favourite!

read more

Five things to look out for as rehearsals begin

Rehearsals for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest begin on Saturday. But what in particular should the assembled fan media be watching out for as the 41 participating countries take to the stage for the first time? We take a closer look!

read more

Italy wins ChatVote 2019!

“Soldi” by Mahmood is the winner of the 15th annual edition of ChatVote, the traditional event held by escgo! and the #esc chatroom to find our favourite song ahead of each year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Sweden

Line-up check 2019: Sweden

Sweden: John Lundvik – Too Late For Love

Felix: Now this is not an easy one to write about. This time, my problem isn’t a lack of words, but finding a way to express my thoughts precisely enough.

Let’s begin with the positive aspects: John Lundvik is a very charismatic, talented artist. He oozes joy, and you get the feeling he lives in the moment, loves doing what he’s doing, and is thankful for every second he can be on stage and sing. The backing singers are another highlight, and it surely wouldn’t do them justice to just attest them the radiance of Sister Act vibes. So far so good.

All that dismantled from Sweden 2019, though, what remains is a quite poor song. The chorus would make for a good bridge, and it could well be that it was meant as a bridge, but then a suitable strong chorus couldn’t be found. Oops. Whatever the truth of the matter, the song isn’t strong enough to make me really like it. I do “like” it just about, and the positives mentioned above do help, but I just find Sweden very overrated.

But well, many people do like it. And at Eurovision, it’s the points scored that matter, not the reasons why people award them to a specific entry. And dismantling the song from Sweden 2019, we have a potential points monster.

If only John would sing “Bigger Than Us“.

Prediction: Personal:

↗

Shi: Some Eurovision performers have this secret magic superpower which helps them to convince you that their song is way better than what it actually is. John Lundvik is definitely using that particular superpower to the max this year.

Martin: Exactly that – John lifts this to something far better than it actually is, though I actually do like the underlying song too. I see no reason this shouldn’t get what has almost become (with no apologies to Mary Kennedy) the annual really good Eurovision result for Sweden.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Meet the twelve finalists in SongHunt 2019!

We’re proud to introduce the twelve national finalists that have battled through the heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals for their big chance at SongHunt glory. Read, watch, listen, and vote for your favourite!

read more

Five things to look out for as rehearsals begin

Rehearsals for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest begin on Saturday. But what in particular should the assembled fan media be watching out for as the 41 participating countries take to the stage for the first time? We take a closer look!

read more

Italy wins ChatVote 2019!

“Soldi” by Mahmood is the winner of the 15th annual edition of ChatVote, the traditional event held by escgo! and the #esc chatroom to find our favourite song ahead of each year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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