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🇺🇦 Beyond Eurovision: Tina Karol

🇺🇦 Beyond Eurovision: Tina Karol

Over the summer, we are premiering a new series called ‘Beyond Eurovision’. Every week, we look at what happened to Eurovision stars since they took part in the contest. Next up in the series is Tina Karol, who represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 with the song “Show Me Your Love”, placing seventh. Where it all began Tina Karol (birth name Tetyana Liberman) was born in 1985 to a Ukrainian mother and Ukrainian Jewish father in Magadan Oblast, Russia. In interviews, she has spoken about being bullied at school due to her Jewish surname. The discrimination she faced in her childhood, alongside advice from producers, lead to her changing her stage name to ‘Tina Karol’, as to not be associated with being Jewish as she sought to build her career. In a 2006 interview, she claimed that she was glad she changed her name, because she felt like it had “hindered her in her life” up until that point. This did not define her, however. From a young age she engaged in music, performing with the Kiev branch of the Jewish Agency, which eventually lead to her travelling to the US to perform. Having been awarded a music scholarship, …
🇸🇲 Slideback Sunday: Valentina’s ode to social media

🇸🇲 Slideback Sunday: Valentina’s ode to social media

When I was asked to pick an entry from San Marino for this weeks feature, there was only one option: ‘The Social Network Song’. The song formerly known as ‘Facebook Uh, Oh, Oh’. It’s a peculiar three minutes, but unbeknownst to Valentina Monetta and Ralph Siegel this Eurovision entry is arguably one of the most prophetic in the history of the contest. ‘The Social Network Song’ in 2020 For the vast majority of us, we have witnessed a radical overhaul of how we interact with one another. Bars, clubs, schools and places of work have been closed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 edition of our beloved contest was cancelled. Instead of physical interactions – social media platforms and video applications like Zoom and Skype have become the new normal. We have all been forced to become more glued to a screen than before in an effort to stay safe. Given that, it seems striking we have only had the one Eurovision song dedicated to the potential and perils of social media. But, of course, it feels right that one song would be from Valentina. ‘The Social Network Song’ represents the power of communication Valentina Monetta ‘The Social …
Weekend Wrap-up: This week’s Eurovision news headlines

Weekend Wrap-up: This week’s Eurovision news headlines

Welcome to the latest edition of our news round-up series which takes a look back at the Eurovision news headlines from the past seven days. Here you’ll find all the important news. Whether you need to catch-up or to remind yourself what has happened in the Eurovision world, this is the article for you. Want to read more? You can access the full articles by clicking on them. Festivali i Këngës to proceed this year Albanian broadcaster RTSH has confirmed that the annual music festival will go ahead once again later this year. 🇦🇱 Festivali i Këngës to proceed this year
Meet the ESCXTRA team! Maria

Meet the ESCXTRA team! Maria

Maria Chugunova Hi! I’m Maria from Moscow, Russia. My life goes around languages, cultures and getting to know amazing people and places. Eurovision seems to be a perfect match for such lifestyle as well. I joined ESCXTRA in June 2020 and I can’t wait to see how this journey would turn out for me 🙂 Twitter/Instagram: @acoller_amargo (in case you’re interested 🙂 ) Your first Eurovision memory? If you remember Dima Bilan’s epic jump while singing “Never Let You Go” in 2006, so that’s it 😀 My cousin and I were so impressed that we practiced it a little and even made a competition who jumped it better! The moment on 2:35 shows you that 2 little girls didn’t need much to be impressed 😀 Your Eurovision journey? The real passion started in 2009 when Russia held the first and the only for now Eurovision in its history. That year I watched the whole final for the first time and then I discussed it a lot with my friends at school. Our English teacher noticed that spark of interest so we sang along “Fairytale” of Alexander Rybak during several lessons. Since then I find myself more engaged in the Eurovision …
🇵🇱 Beyond Eurovision: Ich Troje

🇵🇱 Beyond Eurovision: Ich Troje

Over this summer, we are premiering a new series called Beyond Eurovision. Every week, we look at what happened to Eurovision stars since they took part in the contest. This week we’re taking a look at two-time Eurovision participants Ich Troje. Ich Troje was formed in 1996. Founders Michał Wiśniewski and Jacek Łągwa have remained constant fixtures in the band’s lineup. Before their Eurovision participations, they released five albums, two of which were certified diamond. Their Eurovision participations TVP held their first national final back in 2003. 14 acts competed for the right to represent Poland at Eurovision but Ich Troje were victorious with a sizeable vote margin. “Keine Grenzen-Żadnych granic” finished in 7th place at Eurovision, which remains their second best result ever. In 2006, Ich Troje returned to the Polish national final. The contest had a photo finish result, with two acts tied for the win. However, Ich Troje won the public vote and went on to represent Poland with the song “Follow My Heart”. Unfortunately, they barely missed out on qualification in the semi-final, falling six points short. More album releases and concert tours Since their Eurovision participations, Ich Troje has released three studio albums; two albums …
REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

**SPOILER ALERT: This article will contain spoilers of the plot of the film** It’s finally here! The initially mysterious ‘Eurovision movie’ is now available to stream on Neflix. We, the ESCXTRA Team, rushed to our devices to watch the film as soon as possible. We’ve watched, we’ve discussed, and now we’re ready to judge… Having been developed for decades, filmed over the past two years and delayed by an additional month, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is finally here! Now, we didn’t know what exactly to expect, but this is undoubtedly a big step for the contest. With Netflix investing in the Eurovision brand, we are perhaps looking at a future with far more interest in the contest outside of Europe (particularly in North America) than ever. OR it’ll have no impact whatsoever and we’ll all seek to forget it. Only time will tell. Early signs are positive, the film has been well-promoted by Netflix upon release and should introduce the contest to some new viewed. Further, the song “Husavik” already gathering some momentum in streaming and iTunes downloads. Irrespective of our views on the film itself, we all [mostly] agreed that we’re happy the film exists. …
Meet the ESCXTRA team! Conor

Meet the ESCXTRA team! Conor

Conor Kelly Hello! My name is Conor Kelly and I am 18 years old. I live in Ireland, in the South-East region not far from Waterford city. At the moment I’m in a bit of ‘transition’ phase of my life as I have just graduated (virtually!) from high school. I’m hoping to study to become a high school teacher in college, my subjects being history and geography. Hopefully I shall receive the equivalent of ‘douze points’ in my exam results! Your first Eurovision memory? Now this takes me back! I first began to take an interest in the Eurovision in 2009 (this seems to be a common year for many of us!). At the time, I was a big fan of shows such as the X Factor and after an episode of The Simpsons (!) I saw an advertisement for the Eurovision semi finals. It looked like my cup of tea so I decided to tune into the 1st semi final. I loved every minute of it and I have been hooked ever since! As an 8 year old I found Belgium’s Elvis wannabe particularly enjoyable! Your Eurovision Journey? So I first began to follow national finals and listen to …
🇵🇱 Slideback Sunday: Poland wanted us to know their sin

🇵🇱 Slideback Sunday: Poland wanted us to know their sin

As many countries in Europe are being lifted from lockdown, we are continuing our weekly slidebacks to look back at a memorable song in Eurovision history! Today, we’re off to Poland and looking at their 1996 entry. Kasia Kowalska was sent to Oslo to fly the represent Poland with the song “Chcę Znać Swój Grzech!” Still new to the whole “Eurovision” thing Being the mid-90s, Poland, like many Eastern European countries at the time, had a short history in the Eurovision Song Contest. Their debut was in 1994, with Edyta Gorniak’s song “To Nie Ja!,” which came 2nd. Their only other song that competed prior to 1996 was “Sama” by Justyna Steczkowska, which had impressive vocals but an unimpressive result, coming only 18th. In 1996, TVP chose 22-year-old Kasia Kowalska to represent Poland at Eurovision with the song “Chcę Znać Swój Grzech” (trans. I Want to Know My Sin). Kasia already had two Polish number one tracks to her name and was ready to take Oslo by storm. She qualified through that weird audio-only preselection round that they thought was a good idea in 1996 easily enough, coming 15th in that round. In the live final in Oslo, she got …
Weekend Wrap-up: This week’s Eurovision news headlines

Weekend Wrap-up: This week’s Eurovision news headlines

Welcome to the latest edition of our news round-up series which takes a look back at the Eurovision news headlines from the past seven days. Here you’ll find all the important news. Whether you need to catch-up or to remind yourself what has happened in the Eurovision world, this is the article for you. Want to read more? You can access the full articles by clicking on them. Netflix releases Eurovision movie “The Story of Fire Saga” It has been a long time coming but finally Netflix has just released the original movie “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”. Starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as fictional Icelandic band “Fire Saga”, it is time to follow their journey from small-town musicians to the world’s biggest musical stage! WATCH NOW: Netflix releases Eurovision movie “The Story of Fire Saga”!
Meet the ESCXTRA team! Justas

Meet the ESCXTRA team! Justas

Justas Buivydas Hi! My name is Justas, I’m from Vilnius, Lithuania and my biggest passion in the world is Eurovision. I love analyzing this contest from every possible side: music, vocals, history, predictions, odds, statistics, politics, etc. and I am trying to invent a new profession for me and it will be called “A reviewer of Eurovision”. In a picture down below you can see me talking in the morning show of our national broadcaster LRT. Damn was I wrong when I predicted that Jurijus will qualify to the final or Ieva AT LEAST will end up in the top 5 😂 Aside from Eurovision, I love history, politics, sports (especially basketball) and If you want to see some pictures of my beloved cat, you can find me on Instagram as @buive. Your first Eurovision memory? I was only 7 years old but I specifically remember my mom being excited because Ruslana won Eurovision in 2004. Ukrainians are like brothers to Lithuanians, so that was actually a big deal and few weeks after winning Eurovision Ruslana came to Lithuania to perform during a charity event which was broadcasted on TV. I tried watching Eurovision in 2005, but since I was …
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