We started the new month off with five birthdays yesterday, and continue with seven today. Yes, that’s SEVEN! As always we are here to wish them all an Xtra Happy Birthday! And for a change; today we’ll present them alphabetically by first name! A very Icelandic way of doing things <3 Second in the order we find amazing rocker Eugent Bushpepa!
Diana Gurtskaya, 40
Diana represented Georgia at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade. She performed the entry “Peace Will Come”, finishing 5th in her semi, thus qualifying for the grand final. There she finished 11th, in what was Georgia’s second Eurovision participation.
Eugent Bushpepa, 34
Eugent represented Albania at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. He competed in the in the first semi-final with his song “Mall”. There he finished eighth, thus qualifying for the grand final. On the Saturday night he finished 11th, which is Albania’s third best result in the history of the contest.
Ieva Zasimauskaite, 25
Ieva represented Lithuania at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. She performed her own song, the intensely beautiful “When We’re Old”, in the first semi-final. There she finished in ninth place, thus just qualifying for the grand final. During Saturday night’s show, Ieva gave a wonderful performance of “When We’re Old”, and her not finishing top 3 is one of the great injustices in the history of the contest. (No, not sharing a personal opinion this time, simply stating a fact.) Ieva is a great Eurovision fan, and this was her fifth attempt at representing her country at the contest. She also participated in the Lithuanian pre-selections in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017. Perhaps (hopefully!) we’ll see her back with another song?
Marcha, or Margaretha Hendrika Maria Groeneveld, represented the Netherlands at the 1987 Eurovision Song Contest in Brussels. She competed with the song “Rechtop in de wind”, finishing in a very respectable fifth place.
Milan Nikolic, 39
Milan Nikolic represented Serbia at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow. Under the name Milaan he performed the song “Cipela” alongside Marko Kon. Finishing 10th in their semi-final, they should have made it to the final. However, the jury decided they’d rather have Croatia go through.
Roman Lob, 28
Roman Lob represented Germany at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku. His song, “Standing Still” was among the pre-contest favorites. He managed to reach an 8th place in the final, which, not counting Lena’s victory two years earlier, gave Germany it’s best result since 2004.
Vlatko Ilievski, 33
Vlatko Ilievski represented Macedonia at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf. His entry, “Rusinka”, was the fourth consecutive Macedonian entry to fail to qualify for the grand final. Vlatko tried his luck in Skopje Fest again in 2015, however that didn’t go as well as last time. He finished last in the pre-selection with his song Sever-Jug.
All of us here at escXtra send Xtra warm greetings to Diana, Eugent, Ieva, Marcha, Milan, Roman and Vlatko on their birthdays!!