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An Xtra Happy Birthday; July 4th

An Xtra Happy Birthday; July 4th

After having a birthday free day yesterday, we are enjoying a very full July Tuesday; no less than FIVE names on the celebration list today! The youngest turns 25, while the oldest celebrates his 69th birthday! And we’ll start with the oldest; the Swede. Tommy Körberg, 69 Tommy Körberg has represented Sweden in Eurovision twice; in 1969 and 1988. In 1969 he finished 9th out of 16 participating countries with the song “Judy min vän”. Hen he returned 19 years later, in 1988, he finished 12th out of 21 songs, with “Stad i ljus”. Even though he has taken part in the contest twice, he is probably more famous for his brilliant work as Anatolij Sergievskij in both the English and Swedish version of the musical Chess, and his performance of the Christmas classic “O helga natt”. He also tried his luck in Melodifestivalen in 1971 and 2013, without winning. Today he celebrates his 69th birthday! Eirikur Hauksson, 58 Eirikur is one of the artist with the most Eurovision participations under his belt. He has graced the Eurovision stage no less than three times! And not just for his native Iceland. He moved to Norway in 1988, and in 1991 …
An Xtra Happy Birthday; July 2nd

An Xtra Happy Birthday; July 2nd

July really starts out as a very “birthday heavy” month; four birthdays yesterday, another four today! And we are of course here to whish them all the happiest of birthdays! Another little twist; today we’ll present them alphabetically by first name! A very Icelandic way of doing things, I know… Diana Gurtskaya, 39 Diana represented Georgia in the 2008 Eurovision in Belgrade. She performed the song entry “Peace Will Come”, finishing 5th in her semi. In the final she finished 11th, in what was Georgia’s second Eurovision participation. Today Diana celebrates her 39th birthday! Milan Nikolic, 38 Milan is a singer and accordion player who represented Serbia in the 2009 Eurovision in Moscow. Under the name Milaan he performed alongside Marko Kon. Their song “Cipela” failed to qualify to the final due to a jury decission. Finishing 10th in their semi they should have made it to the final. However, the jury decided they’d rather have Croatia go through. Roman Lob, 27 Roman Lob represented Germany in the 2012 Eurovision 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 …
An Xtra Happy Birthday; July 1st

An Xtra Happy Birthday; July 1st

Another month, another birthday! Actually; another FOUR birthdays! Yeah, that’s right! No less than four Eurostars celebrate their birthdays today! And we will of course send Xtra warm birthday greetings to them all! And for a change; let’s do them alphabetically by country today, instead of starting with the oldest! Jüri Pootsmann, 23 Jüri represented Estonia in the 2016 Eurovision in Stockholm. He performed the entry “Play”, in the first semi. Even though he included magic in his performance, he did not make it to the final, finishing in a rather disappointing 18th place. Today he celebrates his 23rd birthday! Hreimur, 39 Hreimur Örn Heimisson represented Iceland in the 2011 Eurovision in Dusseldorf. He was part of the group Sjonni’s Friends, performing the song “Coming Home”. He is the one who sings the first part of the song. Their reaction to being called as the final qualifier from their semi is magical; their joy is massive, and I don’t think anyone can watch it without smiling! In the final they finished in 20th place. Marlayne, 46 Marlayne represented the Netherlands in the 1999 Eurovision in Jerusalem, with the song “One Good Reason”. She finished in a very respectable 8th place, which was …
An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 30th

An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 30th

So, we have arrived at last day of June, which means Christmas is less than half a year away! However, that’s not what we’re here to talk about…rather, let’s talk about BIRTHDAYS! Today we have two (or kind of three…) of those to celebrate! Michael Techl, 46 Michael represented Denmark at the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest in Jerusalem. He was part of a duo, alongside Trine Jepsen. They performed “This Time I Mean It”, finishing in a very respectable 8th place. Michael celebrates his 46th birthday today! Miriam Christine, 39 Miriam Christine was the Maltese representative at the 1996 Eurovision in Oslo. There she performed the song “In a Woman’s Heart”, and finished in shared 10th place. Miriam Christine turns 39 today! That was today’s Eurostar birthdays, but we’re actually not all done with the celebrating. We would not normally do this, but today we will also include a national finalist in the birthday line-up. There are a few reasons why we’ve decided to do this; 1) This Icelandic birthday boy is playing a concert this evening, and we will be at his gig! (Keep an eye on our Instagram tonight; there might be things popping up!) 2) He finished second …
An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 29th

An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 29th

Another day, another two birthdays. These two are quite different from each other in many ways. One is a girl, the other is a boy. One performed in their country’s national language, the other performed in English. One was a solo act, the other was part of a duet. One performed a ballad, the other a mid-tempo song. The list goes on… They both have long hair, though.  Eyþór Ingi, 28 Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson represented Iceland in the 2013 Eurovision in Malmö, with the Icelandic language “Ég á líf”. This was the first, and so far only, time Iceland sent an entry in Icelandic since the language rule was lifted. Finishing 7th in his semi, he ended in “Icelandic territory” (somewhere around 16th…) in the final; 17th. Today he turns 28! Elina Born, 23 Elina Born represented Estonia in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. She did so alongside Stig Rästa. Stig was also the songwriter behind their entry “Goodbye to Yesterday”. They finished third in their semi, and in the grand final they came 7th. All of us here at escXtra send our wishes for an Xtra amazingly wonderful birthday to these two Eurostars!!   The most important …
An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 28th

An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 28th

Just like yesterday, we have two birthdays to celebrate today! Unlike yesterday, though, today we have two birthday boys! In addition to being male and celebrating their birthdays today they also have another thing in common. They both wrote the song they performed! As we always do, we’ll start with the oldest of the two. Harun, 40 Harun Tekin is the lead singer, guitarist and one of the founding members of the Turkish rock band Mor ve ötesi. They represented Turkey at the 2008 Eurovision in Belgrade with the brilliant “Deli”. After finishing 2nd in their semi, they went on to claim the same spot in the grand final. “Deli” was the last Turkish entry in Turkish, at least for now. Harun is celebreating the big 4-0 today! Marats, 34 Marats Ogleznevs represented Latvia in the 2011 Eurovision in Dusseldorf. As part of the male duo Musiqq he performed his own song “Angel in Disguise”. They finished 17th out of 19th in their semi, thus not making it to the final. We here at escXtra hope that Harun and Marats both have Xtra super birthdays today!! 
An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 27th

An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 27th

Today’s Xtra happy birthday wishes go out to two very different singers. However, they do have two things in common.  1) They both represented their countries at Eurovision when Sweden played host to  the contest, though not in the same year. 2) They’re both celebrating their birthdays today. (Sorry; I just had to!) Lozano, 32 Lozano (Vlatko Lozanoski) performed the  Macedonian entry in the 2013 Eurovision when it was hosted in Malmö. He performed the duet “Pred da se razdeni” with the “queen of the Gypsies”, Esma. By sending these two singers, both famous and popular throughout the Balkans, qualification to the final should be garanteed. However, they only managed to get enough points to reach 16th place in the second semi. Lozano turns 32 today, and we wish him an Xtra super birthday! Gabriela, 23 Today’s birthday girl is Gabriela Guncikova. Gabriela is the first (and so far also the only) Czech artist to have qualified to the Eurovision final. She did so at the 2016 Eurovision in Stockholm, due to her 9th place in the first semi. In the final, however, she only managed to finish 25th out of 26 participants. In spite of the bad result, her …
An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 26th

An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 26th

On this lovely (at least in some places :P ) summer Monday, we have three Nordic Eurovision birthday boys; one from Iceland, one from Finland and one Norwegian. One of them is a “repeat offender”, while the other two have, at least for now, only taken part in the contest once. Let’s not waste any more time and instead get right down to it. Stefán Hilmarsson, 51 Stefán Hilmarsson, household name and national treasure of Iceland, celebrates his 51st birthday today! He has participated in Eurovision no less than SIX times; twice as backing vocalist (1995, 1999), twice as songwriter (1992, 1994) and twice as singer (1988, 1991). In 1988 he performed “Þú og Þeir (Sokrates)” as part of Beathoven, finishing 16th. Three years later he represented Iceland again, this time alongside Eyfi (Eyjólfur Kristjánsson, who also wrote their song), this time finishing 15th with the masterpiece “Draumur um Nínu”. Amen, 45 Amen (Jussi Antero Sydänmaa) turns 45 today! He is the guitarist and one of the founding members of Lordi, Finland’s only Eurovision winners to date. The monster rockers surprised quite a few, both fans and casual viewers, when they took to the Eurovision stage as their monster personae! …
An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 25th

An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 25th

On this lovely midsummer Sunday we are celebrating two Eurostars, and today I think it’s only suitable if we do this with a glass of port, a piece of chocolate and some butter… The port and chocolate is beacuse of our birthday boy, Nuno Resende! He is Portuguese (hence the wine…), but represented Belgium (chocolate <3 ) in the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. Being a lover of the French chanson it was only natural that he would perform…you guessed it; a French chanson; Le Grand Soir! He did however never make it to the grand soir, since he finished 22nd in the semi. Today is his day, though, as he celebrates his 44th birthday! Congratulations, Nuno! Nuno doesn’t get to keep his big day to himself, however. He has to share it with Cleo, who celebrates her 34th! Cleo, along with Donatan and a handful of Polish milkmaids, represented Poland in the 2014 Eurovision in Copenhagen with the song “My Slowainie – We Are Slavic”. They might be remembered more for the performance than for the song itself, but it worked; they finished 8th in their semi final, flying through to the final , where they finished 14th. …
An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 24th

An Xtra Happy Birthday; June 24th

Some days there are no Eurovision birthdays, but today is definitely not one of those days! No less than three Eurostars celebrate their birthdays today, and two of them were even born in the same year. Can we perhaps call them Eurovision twins?  We will not change the tradition of “age before beauty” (cuz beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, while someone’s age is pretty  much not up for discussion…). And first out today is a Spaniard like no other; Rodolfo Chiquilicuatre! Rodolfo represented Spain in 2008, with the song Baila el Chiki-chiki. He finished in 16th place, to many a Eurovision fan’s despair, but this song has also brought much joy to the Eurovers. Like the somg or not; it is very hard not to smile and dance along when it comes on! Rodolfo was born in 1972, which means he’s celebrating his 45 birthday today!! Our “Eurovision birthday twins”, who are both turning 31 today, are Vilja Mataciunaite and Bojana Stamenov, and since they’re the exact same age we’ll use Eurovision year to decide who gets to go first. And that would be Vilja, who represented Lithuania in the 2014 Eurovision in Copenhagen. She *just* failed to qualify when …
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