Stockholm 2016

For all the news about the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest taking place in the Swedish capital city of Stockholm.

Interview: What Elly V does when technology fails

Interview: What Elly V does when technology fails

It’s less than an hour before Austria starts their show to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. We spoke to one of the youngest singers of the group, Elly V. Here’s how she replied to our questions. escXtra.com: Hey Elly! Why did you apply to be part of Wer singt für Österreich?  E: To be quite honest, I didn’t apply. I was asked by an ORF employee, who ‘discovered’ me, to compete. I did need a night of sleep to make my decision, because it’s quite a big occasion and I wasn’t sure if the occasion might even be too big for me. In the end I decided to participate, because I’m very curious and I didn’t want to ask myself the question ‘What if I would’ve competed?’ X: What can you tell us about I’ll Be Around (Bounce)? E: It’s a very modern mix of mid- and uptempo. My song is about a situation, which never leaves your life. It always accompanies you and you’ll need to learn how to deal with it. That’s why I hope my song can help people, because I often look for songs that speak to me from the soul and make …
Interview: Lia panicking about coffee stains

Interview: Lia panicking about coffee stains

Austria is getting ready to chose their candidate for Stockholm – time for us to have a little chat with some of the participants of tonight’s national final „Wer singt für Österreich?“. Here are Lia‘s answers to our questions. escXtra.com: Why do you want to be part of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016? Lia: The ESC is the biggest music event in the world. To perform on that enormous stage and have the honor to represent your home country is not only a very beautiful thing to do but also one of my childhood dreams coming true. X: Where did you get your inspiration for the song “Runaway“? L: “Runaway“ was the result of a jam session. The basic structure of the song came very easily. It was finished by using our combined experience. The song contains a message of love to not ever give up on your dream. It’s about reconciliation and new beginnings. We wanted to keep the message a positive one. X: Moments before your performance at the ESC you notice a huge coffee stain on your dress. What are you gonna do? L: As I will be wearing a white dress, I would have a bit …
Predictions for Melodifestivalen’s Second Semifinal.

Predictions for Melodifestivalen’s Second Semifinal.

The bestest guide you’ll ever find on Melodifestivalen is baaaack. Matteo will take you through the next 7 songs in Melodifestivalen 2016. 1. David Lindgren – We Are Your Tomorrow – Anderz Wrethov, Sharon Vaughn, Gustav Efraimsson The artist: Johan David Stellan Lindgren is a 33 year old singer from up north. He has that face of a nice guy that makes it impossible to hate him. He became quite famous in Sweden doing musicals before appearing on TV shows and ending up in Melodifestivalen 2012 with Danny Saucedo’s rejected song. Which was quite good luck as he came 4th with 88 points (with Ulrik Munther coming 3rd with 88 points. But Ulrik had 3 points more from televoting, so…). He got back on the Melodifestivalen stage in 2013 with “Skyline” – but he came 8th. And now he is back back back to Melodifestivalen! The composers: We have already talked about Anderz Wrethov. He’s the one behind Samir&Viktor and whatever that was. Sharon Vaughn is an american songwriter that composed “Release me” by Agnes (that went international a few years ago) and used to write a lot of songs with Anders Hansson, the hitmaker. Efraimsson has worked with (as Wikipedia says – …
Xtra Review: We listen to Romania’s line-up

Xtra Review: We listen to Romania’s line-up

Yesterday, the 12 semi-finalists participating in Romania’s Selecția Națională competition were unveiled. Six of them will progress to the final being held on Sunday 6 March with the winner getting to represent Romania at Eurovision 2016 in Stockholm. As expected, 2006 representative Mihai Trăistariu (now known as M I H A I) is among the line-up, along with some less known names. Peter and Nick have had a listen to what’s on offer. Andra Olteanu – Nai Nai Peter: The talltale whistle starts this song off leading us into a summery R’n’B-flavoured ethnostomper. There’s much more synth than one would expect in this kind of song but the traditional flavour is still there and the song being in Romanian helps. I don’t think this will get too far though – it’s got a catchy chorus but it’s very ten years ago, and the production is a bit too tinny for my liking. Good effort though, always nice for this genre to be represented. Nick: The start of this song is quite excellent; the flute makes it nice and ethnic. The rest of the song throws you back to 2009, the highlight years of ethnic pop. It feels as if I’ve heard this so …
Interview: AzRaH about getting goose bumps

Interview: AzRaH about getting goose bumps

Austria is getting ready to chose their candidate for Stockholm – time for us to have a little chat with some of the participants of tonight’s national final „Wer singt für Österreich?“. Here are AzRaH’s answers to our questions. escXtra.com: Why do you want to be part of the Eurovision Song Contest? AzRaH: I have had the dream to sing at the ESC since I was a little kid. I love the Eurovision theme melody and the feeling of all the countries being peacefully united. Millions of people all over the world share this one moment in front of the TV and root for their favorite acts in peace and harmony. I get goose bumps every time that I hear the EBU’s ”peace anthem” and I consider it an honor and a priviledge to be part of such a beautiful project as Eurovison. X: Where did you get your inspiration for the song ”The One“? A: My songs are always inspired by love or life. ”The One” is about the unconditional love between two people who cannot be together because of their living situation. Yet they can still feel, help, and be there for each other despite the distance. X: …
Elísabet; on her mom (guess who!) and a possible Eurovision first…

Elísabet; on her mom (guess who!) and a possible Eurovision first…

Our next Söngvakeppnin semifinalist interview is with the wonderful Elísabet Ormslev. She has a voice most people can only dream of (and we do!), an attitude that’s larger than life (can totally see her in Euroclub; a match made in heaven!), a Eurovision “family secret” (watch the interview to find out), and a really good song! And she does a rather spontaneous version of her favorite 2015 entry… No instrument? No problem; We have the YouTube karaoke version to sing along to! Here you can hear her entry in Icelandic.  
Xtra Review: Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix

Xtra Review: Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix

Norway is a country of great highs and horrible lows in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. Lately, they seem to have picked up a good run of form. They revealed the entries for MGP 2016 a while ago, so we got three editors to review them: Our Norwegian Wivian (who, for the first time ever had Norway as her favourite in 2015) was obviously on board, as well as Katarina and Nick. Read what they thought below! Agnete – Icebreaker Wivian: Anyone who knows me will already know what I‘m gonna say about this song…at least the verse. That horribly annoying „canned drum“ drives me mad, and guarantees that I won‘t listen to Icebreaker more than I absolutely have to. Which is a shame, in a way, since the chorus is quite cool! It really sounds like they‘ve made a mistake in the studio and combined the wrong verse+chorus… Katarina: This song clearly is one of the favourites, but it’s not ranked high on my list. The chorus is so different from the verses, it makes it sound as if it was two good songs mashed into one big mess. The tempo change really is annoying. One positive thing about …
Xtra Review: Iceland’s second semi-final

Xtra Review: Iceland’s second semi-final

Iceland kicked off its national selection on Saturday, sending through three songs to the final including the extremely fancied Raddirnar by the returning Greta Salome. This week they will be joined by three more from this batch of songs, which Peter has been listening to. Listen along to the songs yourself at the selection’s official site. Alda Dís Arnardóttir – Augnablik Yet another song called Augnablik in the Icelandic selection! This one is quite cute, with a gentle acoustic guitar accompanying Alda’s sweet voice. Then the chorus introduces a choir into the equation, which makes the whole thing quite anthemic, but without over-egging the pudding. I can imagine this being played on adult-contemporary radio in the 1990s which maybe isn’t a good thing but it is very nice. I’m not sure whether it’s a vote winner, but what do I know? Elísabet Ormslev – Á ný Quite a brooding start to this song, with just piano, and I’m not totally sure where it’s going. Then the chorus starts and the dramatic Eurovision percussion comes in. It sounds like it’s going to launch into a dramatic ballad, and dramatic it is, but not in the overblown way it threatens to for …
Argo to Eurovision – What’s behind the name?

Argo to Eurovision – What’s behind the name?

Rumours had been circulating for a while and now ERT have confirmed the news: Argo will represent Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. The six member band have been selected by ERT internally. I hear you thinking: Wasn’t Europond the rumour going around the mill for Greece? Yes, they were, but they’ve changed their name to Argo. It’s the same band and a reason for the change in their name has not been given yet. The six members of the band are Christina Lahana, Maria Venetikidou, Vladimiros Sophianidis, Kostas Topouzis, Alekos Papadopoulos and Ilias Kesidis. They’re known for a traditional Greek sound, mixed with ska and folk elements. Those styles fit with the comments ERT President Dionisis Tsaknis made a while ago: The song has strong ethnic and Balkan sounds, but not in a traditional way. It’s an exciting song in Greek, bringing the country’s own identity to the contest. The lyrics will refer to the refugee crisis and the financial difficulties we are facing, but the song is really happy and upbeat. The name Argo is quite interesting, as there’s quite the mythological background to it. Argo means ‘Fast’ or ‘Swift’ and was the name of the ship …
A Dal semis revealed – A look on the favourites

A Dal semis revealed – A look on the favourites

Last weekend,the three heats in Hungary came to an end.Out of the thirty songs which originally entered the competition,eighteen have progressed to the semi-finals,where they’ve been split in two semis of nine. The semi-finals will look like this: Semi-final 1 (13th February): Benji – ‘Kötéltánc’ B The First – ‘You Told Me You Loved Me’ Gergő Oláh – ‘Győz A Jó’ Kállay Saunders Band – ‘Who We Are’ Karmapolis & Böbe Szécsi – ‘Hold On To’ Mushu – ‘Uncle Tom’ Petruska – ‘Trouble In My Mind’ Reni Tolvai – ‘Fire’ Szilvia Agárdi – ‘It Is Love’ Semi-final 2 (20th February): André Vásáry – ‘Why’ ByTheWay – ‘Free To Fly’ Egy Másik Zenekar – ‘Kéne Közös Kép’ Freddie – ‘Pioneer’ Laci Gáspár – ‘Love and Bass’ Nika – ‘Emlékkép’ Olivér Berkes & Andi Tóth – ‘Seven Seas’ Parno Graszt – ‘Már Nem Szédülök’ Passed – ‘Driftin’ Four songs will qualify from each semi-final. Three qualifiers will be determined by the jury, combined with the app. Each song will be scored out of 10 by the jury and the app voters. The top three will qualify for the final. The additional, fourth qualifiers, will come from 100% televote. Seven songs achieved a score of …
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