Eurovision 2020

Songwatch #1: Eurovision 2020 acts record entries for Rotterdam

Songwatch launches with three artists hitting the studio and one song due next week!

Welcome to Songwatch, the new feature where we monitor where our confirmed artists are with recording their entries and revamps from Rotterdam! In this edition, we have updates for Albania, Belgium and Cyprus. Meanwhile, Spain will release their entry next week.

With 10 artists confirmed for the contest, the season is steaming forward. As national finals start to release their contenders, our existing line-up are starting to finalise their entries for the contest. This week, Arilena Ara, Hooverphonic and Sandro Nicholas confirmed that they had hit the studio. In addition, Blas Cantó released the title of his entry: “Universo”.

NOTE: Only confirmed artists will be featured in these updates.

Speaking of confirmed artists, Nathan, Tim, Julian and myself reacted to the internally-selected artists we have so far:

Here are the #songwatch updates from the last seven days:

🇦🇱 Albania: Arilena Ara – “Shaj”

Announced: December 22nd

Status: Recording revamp

Release date: Unknown, assume March

Our first national final winner has been hard at work since winning Festivali i Këngës, having flown to Los Angeles this week to record the revamp. She cleverly blurred out the lyrics, but it has been confirmed that the Eurovision version will be sang in English. Before you despair, note that the song was actually written in English to begin with. Whether “Shaj” is kept as the title remains to be seen.

We don’t know when the revamp will be released, but for the last two years Albania have released their music video in March. Since we have nothing to counteract this currently, let’s say this will be out in March…

🇧🇪 Belgium: Hooverphonic – TBA

Announced: October 1st

Status: Recording complete

Release date: February TBA

Being the first act announced, Hooverphonic have had a lot of time to get their entry together. With the song due to be released next month, the band shared an exciting update to At the New Year’s reception of OGAE Belgium, they announced that their as-yet-unnamed song is complete!

🇨🇾 Cyprus: Sandro – TBA

Announced: November 29th

Status: Shortlisted songs being recorded

Release date: TBA

Another artist who was announced a good while ago now was Sandro. He was announced back in November. Since then, CyBC have had the fun job of whittling down a whopping 170 song submissions (120 being submitted before their artist was announced). This was then reduced to ‘5 to 6’ by late December. Now, Eurovision Fun have reported that Sandro is in the process of recording the final candidates. According to the site, Sandro flew to Berlin this week to record the final of the two prospective entries for Rotterdam, having already recorded the first one.

Surprise surprise, an exact release date has yet to be confirmed, but Cyprus in recent years have tended to drop their entries in March. So, let’s say ‘March TBA’ for now…

🇪🇸 Spain: Blas Cantó – “Universo”

Announced: October 5th


Release date: January 30th

REJOICE! We have some concrete information about a song, and it’s coming out NEXT WEEK! Can you tell that I’m excited? Spain have decided to buck the trend by not making us wait until March to drop their song. This means that next week’s Song Watch will have an actual song, hallelujah!

The others: what we know

🇦🇹 Austria: Vincent Bueno – “Alive”

Announced: December 12th

Status: Assumed to be recorded.

Release date: TBA

Since we got the confirmation of Vincent’s participation, we have heard very little about Austria’s entry. Last year, “Limits” was selected by the broadcaster along with PÆNDA as the artist – a package deal. We can take this as an indication that the song is pretty much there…especially considering the fact that the song title and hints about the song were part of the announcement. We also got the delightfully vague ‘later next year’ as a hint for the release date, so there’s that.

🇧🇬 Bulgaria: VICTORIA – TBA

Announced: 25th November

Status: Song selection and recording ongoing

Released date: March TBA

Unlike Austria, the Bulgarian team went for an artist-first approach for their comeback entry. Just last week, VICTORIA came to London for a showcase event, which we covered in depth. The date and specific behind-the-scenes details of the entry are yet to be announced. However, the team have confirmed to that the song will be released in March.

🇫🇷 France: Tom Leeb – TBA

Announced: 14th January

Status: Song selected, recording in the works

Release date: TBA

Last week, France 2 confirmed that the rumours were true, and Tom Leeb would be their first internally-selected artist since 2017. Shortly after, Head of Delegation Alexandra Redde-Amiel revealed that the song has already been selected from over 100 submissions. She also revealed that Tom is currently putting the finishing touches on the track in the studio. Redde-Amiel believes the song is “universal” and capable of “bringing together” international audiences… (read: likely in English). Of course, we do not know when the song will be released. However, they’re already putting together the staging concept in-house.

🇬🇪 Georgia: Tornike Kipiani – TBA

Announced: 31st December

Status: Song in the works

Release date: TBA

As we know, Tornike won Georgian Idol 2019 and so will be their artist for Rotterdam. That’s about it, folks. Unlike last year, the artists’ Eurovision entries weren’t performed on the show, so we can only assume that Tornike is cooking up his entry as we speak…

🇲🇰 North Macedonia: Vasil – TBA

Announced: 15th January

Status: Song in the works

Release date: TBA

The most recent confirmed artist selection was Vasil Garvanliev for North Macedonia. It is not known if the song itself exists yet, but it appears to be an artist-first approach, much like “Proud” was. If their entry last year is any indication, Vasil’s song will drop at some point in March…

🇳🇱 the Netherlands: Jeangu Macrooy – TBA

Announced: 10th January

Status: Song selected

Release date: TBA

As we know, Jeangu Macrooy will present the host entry for Rotterdam. We also know, judging from a statement by Eric van Stade, that his selection was based on a song he submitted to the broadcaster. Note: this was the case with Duncan last year. What we don’t know… is everything else. Hell, it’ll probably be out in March.

What do you think of the first instalment of Songwatch 2020? Did we miss anything? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our reactions to the news in the run up to Rotterdam!

Costa Christou

Ever since I saw Helena Paparizou's triumph at Eurovision in 2005 (at the tender age of 6), I have been crazy about Eurovision. From the regional native language bops and shrieky female-led balladry to the sophisticated avant garde pop songs and chart-friendly EDM, I love everything about this cultural phenomenon. I'm currently working as a Delivery Manager in a software development team.

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