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Eurovision 2014: Semi-Final 1 Preview

Wow, it’s come quickly hasn’t it? Only one day from now, the first 16 will take to the stage of the B&W Hallerne in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. But only ten will make it to next Saturday’s Grand Final – who is going to make it?

For reviews of ALL the competing entries in the 2014 contest, as well as coverage of all the national finals and all sorts of other news, please visit my Copenhagen 2014 Hub by clicking the link, or the “Copenhagen 2014″ menu on the top banner, or the “#Joinus” crystal on the left-hand bar.

Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Logo Header Continue reading

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Road to Copenhagen 2014: Basim – “Cliché Love Song” (Denmark)

At last!! The final entry on the road to Copenhagen, and which one could I finish on – why, the host of course!

DenmarkDenmark debuted in the second contest right back in 1957, making it one of the longest-competing nations in Eurovision. After their first victory in 1963, they took and 11-year hiatus over the 1970s, but have been a regular competitor since, picking up another victory in 1999. Their qualification record is good too, reaching 7 finals of the 9 contest where they were requested to qualify.

This year though, they get a free pass to the final, as Emmelie de Forest won the 2013 Malmö contest with “Only Teardrops“. It was a bit of history repeating, following their 1999 win when the contest was last in Sweden. On home turf at Copenhagen’s 2000 contest they came 2nd – could they challenge for the win again this year? Continue reading

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Road to Copenhagen 2014: Sergej Ćetković – “Moj svijet” (Montenegro)

With only one more entry to review for this year’s contest, let’s first finish off Semi-final 1 with a small Balkan nation that’s still waiting for its big breakthrough.

MontenegroMontenegro first debuted at Eurovision back in 2005, when the union of Serbia & Montenegro finished allowing both nations to enter independently. While Montenegrin boyband No Name finished 7th as part of Serbia & Montenegro, Montenegro’s solo efforts haven’t faired anywhere near as well as Serbia’s.

While Serbia notched up several big hits including a victory in 2007, Montenegro have yet to qualify for a final, after six attempts. Admittedly some of those attempts haven’t exactly been mainstream, but still there is a lot of hope that – along with fellow non-qualifiers San Marino – this might finally be their year. Continue reading

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Road to Copenhagen 2014: Pollapönk – “No Prejudice” (Iceland)

Oh Iceland, what are we going to do with you? Easily the country I most with would win the contest – but a lot of the time they refuse to sell out, and Icelandic entries are typically eccentric, or simply too amazing to be appreciated by the whole of Europe (poor Euroband).

IcelandNot to say they haven’t come close – in 1999 and 2009 they finished in 2nd place, and with the current pro-Nordic trend of wins (hell, even Finland won) I have to hope it’s only a matter of time before this remote island nation welcomes Eurovision to its shores. And it would be amazing too, Iceland is one of my favourite places in Europe.

Last year I didn’t expect qualification, but old Eyþór still pulled it off, with an adorably Icelandic song celebrating life. A mid-table finish was the result, as it becoming increasingly common for Iceland, but they seem a decent bet to qualify. Two-thirds of the 9 entries that needed qualification made it to the final, with all of the last six entries making it through. Continue reading

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Road to Copenhagen 2014: Aram MP3 – “Not alone” (Armenia)

Have we really been through nearly all the entries this year without talking about the favourite to win? Yes, the favourite to WIN – I’m not 100% convinced if you ask me, and it’s certainly not from a nation I was expecting to grasp for victory quite yet.

ArmeniaArmenia debuted in 2006 and have had a far stronger performance record than I gave them credit for – in the seven contests they’ve participated in, five out of six entries that needed to qualify made it to the final. Not too shabby! Only sitting out the 2012 contest in neighbouring Azerbaijan due to security concerns, they have nonetheless notched up an impressive 5 top 10 finishes.

Their high watermark remains 4th place 2008 entry Qele Qele, but in order to try and bring their first victory back from Copenhagen, the national broadcaster AMPTV opted for the internal selection of popular host & comedian Aram MP3. So-nicknamed due to his reputation for comedy covers of popular songs, it was nonetheless a little surprising for him to enter Eurovision with such a weighty and dark song, apparently dealing with themes of domestic violence. Continue reading

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