Features

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KEiiNO : “It’s OK to feel like an alien.” [Interview]

KEiiNO : “It’s OK to feel like an alien.” [Interview]

Between the gigantic Eurovsion in Concert and the madness of the London Eurovision Party, the Norwegian entry for Eurovision 2019, KEiiNO, had time for the Riga Pre-Party in Latvia. We met them there for an interview yesterday. Melodi Grand Prix veterans on their way to Tel-Aviv In our chat, KEiiNO told us how they came to be as a supergroup, and what was the genesis and the history behind their song “Spirit in the Sky”. Did you know it was the last one to be selected for the final? They also talked about their past experience in Melodi Grand Prix (Alexandra Rotan and Tom Hugo having taken part in MGP 2018, Alexandra with Stella Mwangwi and Tom as a solo artist), and how nerve-wracking the 2019 final was, especially with the juries only announcing their 12 points, and KEiiNO being only announced once. Make sure you check our interview with Alexandra, Fred and Tom in Riga!
Saturday Summary – This week’s Eurovision news headlines

Saturday Summary – 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. Madonna set to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019? Israeli newspaper Haaretz have confirmed that American super star Madonna will perform during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest next month. Madonna set to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019?
The Xtra Files 2019: We review Poland’s ‘Fire of Love (Pali się)’ by Tulia

The Xtra Files 2019: We review Poland’s ‘Fire of Love (Pali się)’ by Tulia

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at ESCXTRA think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review Poland. Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start on 5 May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries! The series continues today, with reviews of the Polish entry, ‘Fire of Love (Pali się)’ by Dominik, Hlynur, Rodrigo, Sara, Simon and Wiv. Let’s get started! The Reviews Dominik Okay, I really needed some time for that song. It’s unique and something different and I totally respect trying that. Over the time I began to like the song more and more and seeing it live at EiC was really something that made it grow for me. It’s still not 100% my cup of tea, but I see the quality and the vocals here are on point. Think this is such a good song for Eurovision and I can’t wait to see …
The Xtra Files 2019: We review Belarus’ ‘Like It’ by ZENA

The Xtra Files 2019: We review Belarus’ ‘Like It’ by ZENA

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at ESCXTRA think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review Belarus. Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start on 5 May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries! The series continues today, with reviews of the Belarusian entry, ‘Like It’ by Dominik, Matt, Miki, Nathan W, Riccardo and Vincent. Let’s get started! The Reviews Dominik You gotta love a good dance/pop song in Eurovision. This year this is from Belarus. Of course it’s nothing unique or something new, but it has a lot of energy and it’s a sweet feel-good song. Unless they bring something super unexpected on stage I don’t know where they might end up. I would not be surprised if they come to the final or stay in the semi-final. Probably all comes down to the performance, but I enjoy listening to the song. Matt As …
The Xtra Files 2019: We review North Macedonia’s ‘Proud’ by Tamara Todevska

The Xtra Files 2019: We review North Macedonia’s ‘Proud’ by Tamara Todevska

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at ESCXTRA think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review North Macedonia. Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start on 5 May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries! The series continues today, with reviews of the North Macedonian entry, ‘Proud’ by Emanuel, Lisa, Luke, Nick, Simon and Tom O. Let’s get started! The Reviews Emanuel I’m glad Tamara is back, and I hope she can “take revenge” for 2008, even though I know it will be hard, especially in that semi-final. She brings us one of the best messages this year, and honestly it gives me goosebumps. This is the kind of song that gets even better when performed live and we all know she will do it flawlessly. I just hope they don’t mess up with an awful staging just like every year. I mean, this don’t …
The Xtra Files 2019: We review Israel’s ‘Home’ by Kobi Marimi

The Xtra Files 2019: We review Israel’s ‘Home’ by Kobi Marimi

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at ESCXTRA think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review Israel. Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start on 5 May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries! The series continues today, with reviews of the Israeli entry, ‘Home’ by Costa, Dimitris, Hlynur, Lisa, Oliver and Rigmo. Let’s get started! The Reviews Costa I’m usually a fan of host country entries, even when the vast majority of Eurovision audiences don’t tend to agree. I mean, Taken By A Stranger, When the Music Dies and O Jardim were all firmly in my top 10 for each of their respective years. Mind you, I knew I wouldn’t feel the same this year from the moment I saw that Kobi had been selected. Since Next Star 2019 ended, I had been bracing myself for a dull, uninspiring and dated ballad – which …
Serhat: “I didn’t finish my mission yet!” [Interview]

Serhat: “I didn’t finish my mission yet!” [Interview]

It is hard to deny that the Eurovision fandom has a thing for Serhat. The Turkish singer is going for his second Eurovision adventure, so we caught up with him in Amsterdam at Eurovision in Concert! Unfinished business – and not a picnic! At his second Eurovision Song Contest attempt for San Marino, we spoke to the 54 year old about his plans, hopes and previous work. Obviously, we had to discuss the reception to “Say Na Na Na”. Apart from that, we spoke about his 2018 single “Total Disguise” with Eurovision winner Helena Paparizou. Serhat also told us he had unfinished business at the Eurovision Song Contest and that that is why he is now back to try and bring San Marino their best result, because Eurovision is a competition, he says! The interview with Serhat is below. Check it out!
Jonida Maliqi: “This month was so intense!” [Interview]

Jonida Maliqi: “This month was so intense!” [Interview]

After already speaking to both Luca Hänni and Miki, we now bring you our third interview from Eurovision in Concert last weekend. Right at the end of the interview session, we quickly caught up with Albania’s very own Jonida Maliqi! An intense month At the event in Amsterdam, we spoke to Jonida Maliqi about these past few months. Having won Fesivali i Këngës back in December, having to wait half a year for the actual Eurovision Song Contest to arrive – how did she handle that time? The Albanian star also made sure she knew exactly how to spell our website’s name and she had a good reference point for it as well… Make sure you check out our short chat with Jonida Maliqi below!
Miki: “We have to take out our blindfold…” [Interview]

Miki: “We have to take out our blindfold…” [Interview]

It was a crazy afternoon last Saturday in Amsterdam! During the press event before Eurovision in Concert, we had the opportunity to speak with Spain’s entrant for this year’s contest: Miki! Making sure the message is understood In our little chat, Spain’s hopeful for Tel Aviv highlighted that it will be important for people to understand what “La Venda” is all about and it is fair to say that he is confident they’ll manage to do exactly that when they arrive in Tel Aviv. Now, Miki is surely surrounding himself with Eurovision knowledge… One of his backing vocals went to Eurovision before! Of course, he also shares his goal for the upcoming contest. Last but not least, the Spanish singer says he’d be killed by RTVE if he’d share some details… Make sure you check out our interview with Miki below!
XTRA Debate: Reading performance from the semi running order?

XTRA Debate: Reading performance from the semi running order?

Last week, the EBU announced running order for the Eurovision 2019 semi-finals. Like almost every Eurovision fan, after listening to the songs in order you can establish which song may stand out or is dampened by its musical neighbour. However, it’s a much trickier job to work out potential performance ideas. Of course, this early on every act is tight-lipped about the visual spectacle of their respective 3 minutes. None of us can fully predict what we will see in Tel Aviv… but is that truly the case? Rather than a comparative approach on the known element of the song itself, can we read into what isn’t quite there: the performance? Knowing the unknown? Now, obvious disclaimer. All Eurovision events are live. There is always the opportunity for the unforeseen to occur: a bum note, staging/pyro not quite working etc. In Eurovision there are seldom occasions where, this far in advance, we can guarantee anything. However, there is a distinction between a guarantee and a very strong guesstimate. It seems to me, there are many more ‘known’ facts we may take for granted. Assumptions can be made from the nature of the act, national conventions and type of song submitted …
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