Less than 5 months to go before the Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark. By this point in the year preparations are usually well under way from the national delegations, and indeed the first national final is being held on Saturday. Makes it a bit more exciting to think the first song is nearly here, but there’s still a long way to go.
We haven’t even got the final list of countries yet, and while the application deadline last month threw up a few surprises, there are still changes afoot. The final roster isn’t due until January, but for now it looks like we say a sad farewell to Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria & Cyprus, all for financial reasons. However we are welcoming back Poland and Portugal so it’s not all bad news. Bosnia & Herzegovina was coming back too but today it seems they’ve not secured funding and have pulled out. Also in the balance is Greece, keen to stay in but are currently without an EBU broadcaster. It seems the EBU are also keen to keep as many countries in, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see a few more unexpected appearances in January.
We’ve got theme art too! DR unveiled the “#JoinUs” slogan earlier this year, but now we have a diamond logo. I wasn’t convinced by Malmö’s butterfly idea but that turned out to be fabulous, I can only imagine how versatile the diamond could me in motion, so I’m all for it.
Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
I’ll try to do my best to cover the national finals again this year, hopefully not quite as many nations will have them (for my sanity more than anything). Ukraine are kicking things off on Saturday, while Albania also want to get it sorted before 2013 is out, deciding on Saturday 28 December.
Some other nations have already decided their artists internally. Austria’s sending drag artist Conchita Wurst after a few unsuccessful attempts in recent years. Fresh from their joyous outing with Anouk in Malmö, The Netherlands are sending another big artist, country-pop star Ilse DeLange who teams up with lesser-known Waylon to form The Common Linnets. Successful Balkan singer Tijana Dapčević has been chosen for FYR Macedonia.
Popular singer Sergej Ćetković is hoping to take Montenegro to its first Eurovision final, while San Marino has similar hopes, pinning them on the fantastic Valentina Monetta for the third consecutive year. IT MUST HAPPEN!
Other names have been thrown around for other national selections, including Urban Symphony’s Sandra Nurmsalu looking to represent Estonia again after her 2009 debut. Paula & Ovi are throwing their hats into the Romanian ring after their star turn in Oslo four years ago, 2001 & 2006 Maltese entry Fabrizio Faniello is still trying to get picked too.
As for Sweden, Melodifestivalen is looking so schlager-star-studded I can barely breathe, I think that deserves its own post one day soon, but amongst the returning stars is our first sighting of a former winner – 2005 Greek winner Helena Paparizou (who is half Swedish).
The Eurovision world is abuzz with plenty of excitement now, not just rumours and speculation, and I’m so excited to see how it will play out over the next few months. #JoinMe for as many write-ups as I can manage!