Eurovision 2017 acts so far

On December 16 Ireland became the sixth country to reveal its Eurovision 2017 act, joining the likes of Cyprus, The Netherlands, Belgium, Macedonia and Azerbaijan. These countries clearly want to start building hype early — and give themselves plenty of time to choose the perfect song.

We know that the song is everything when choosing a winner. But at this stage which act is lighting your fire the most? Who do you think can slay if given a killer song? We’re dying to know so we’re launching a poll right now.

Azerbaijan — Dihaj

Last year she served as a backing vocalist during the Eurovision 2016 rehearsals, helping Samra get ready for her stage show.

But now Diana Hajiyeva — the aspiring pop star better known as DiHaj — is ready for her moment in the spotlight.

The Baku-based beauty definitely beats to her own drum, dropping other-worldly experimental pop. You can see that most clearly in “I Break Again” — her first single, which hit YouTube in December 2014.

Reaction from our readers has been overwhelmingly positive, with the majority saying they hope she’ll get to write her own music and showcase her songwriting ability.

Will Ictimai TV let her go her own way? Or will it draft in help from Swedish songwriters once more? Either way, we hope and expect DiHaj to deliver something magical.

Belgium — Blanche

Wallonian broadcaster RTBF has internally selected Blanche, who appeared on the most recent edition of The Voice Belgique under her real name, Ellie Delvaux.

Ellie is busy finalising her debut album. RTBF was so impressed with one of the singles that they jumped on the chance to send it to Eurovision.

Thus far she’s known primarily for her breathy covers, including her take on “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.

Blanche was coached by French band Cats on Trees during her time on The Voice. She made it through to the live shows, ultimately going out two weeks before the final.

Along the way, she performed songs by the likes of Adele, Radiohead and Beyoncé. With her own YouTube page showing off some more covers as well, it’s clear that there’s a lot of genres Blanche can lend her hand to.

Cyprus — Hovig

The 27-year-old Cypriot of Armenian heritage — who goes by the stage name Hovig — will perform a song written by the Swedish Eurovision maestro Thomas G:Son.

This won’t be the first time G:Son has worked with Cyprus — he co-wrote Minus One’s 2016 entry “Alter Ego”.

Hovig was a contestant on The X Factor Greece in 2009, the same year as Ivi Adamou. Over the series, he demonstrated himself as a versatile performer with strong rock vocals, able to deliver upbeat songs as well as emotional ballads, in both English and in Greek. He eventually placed seventh on the show.

In 2015, Hovig competed in the Cyprus national final The Eurovision Song Project, with his song “Stone in a River”. He eventually placed fourth, but given that runners-up Minus One had their chance at Eurovision the year after, perhaps it’s no surprise that CyBC are drawing on the talent pool of the 2015 national final.

Ireland — Brendan Murray

Broadcaster RTÉ has internally selected Brendan Murray, a former member of the Irish boyband HomeTown. A search is currently on for his song and public submissions will be considered.

Twenty-year-old Brendan is being steered through the process by X Factor judge and Irish music mogul Louis Walsh, who clearly saw Brendan as the standout of the Irish six-piece, who announced their split on December 7.

Brendan has drawn comparisons to two former Eurovision stars from Belgium — Loic Nottet (high-pitched and edgy) and Tom Dice (an acoustic dream).

He recently uploaded a cover of Sia’s “Chandelier” to his Facebook page, showing his ability to serve it up with just a guitar and his unique, easily recognisable voice. If you check out HomeTown’s cover of Adele’s “Hello” you’ll see just how much Brendan’s voice stands out — even among other talented vocalists.

Macedonia — Jana Burceska

Jana came to fame in Macedonia in 2010 when she appeared on the first season of Macedonian Idol. There, she placed 5th, ending up as the highest placing female singer.

Interestingly, one of the judges on that first season was none other than Macedonian legend Kaliopi!

https://youtu.be/z-Z4NjkDfF4

Jana has gone on to participate multiple times at Skopje Fest. The years she has participated in the contest, however, were when it was not the selection process for Eurovision. Jana’s back catalogue includes a number of different styles of song too, from big band to rock to folk.

We could be kept guessing about just what kind of performance we’ll be seeing from Macedonia this year!

The Netherlands — O’G3NE

O’G3NE is a girl group consisting of three sisters — Lisa, Amy and Shelley — who competed at Junior Eurovision in 2007. The O in their name stands for their mother’s blood group, while G3ne represents the genes that bind the the three sisters.

Most recently the girls appeared on The Best Singers of The Netherlands. In the first episode they sang their own version of Emeli Sandé’s ‘Clown’. It immediately went to number one on the iTunes charts. You can buy it here.

AVROTROS have not revealed when the group’s song will be released, but we know the girls are not worried about delivering something big or staying true to themselves.

In September they spoke with 100%NL Magazine, revealing that if they did get the chance to compete, they’d do so on their terms and with their own style in mind. They are definitely in it to win it. They added:

“If we go, we go our way. And we certainly have an idea of how we could win….It’s all about the big picture. Everything has to be right. You are not going there to promote an album or get an international career. Only a win would count for us.”

Eurovision 2017: Who is your favourite act so far?

Those are your candidates so far. Who has what it takes? Let us know your favourites in our poll below. You can vote for as many acts as you’d like, but you can only vote one time. Be sure to click the box next to each act you want to support before pressing submit.

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Erel
Guest
Erel

please everyone get behind the UK ,Lucie really has a chance, don’t forget one of the best voices this year, she could win and do amazing.
London2018

nelson02051
Guest

I’m excited for DiHaj from Azerbaijan… I expect a good song from her… I hope the Dutch girls bring something cool, and electropop, and upbeat. My playlist is always full of Dutch artists, but when it comes to ESC, they’re never in my top10. I hope I can enjoy the Dutch eurovision entry in 2017 🙂

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

To all commenters who have been disappointed with the songs given to acts in the recent past: fine; write something better and submit it. Then stop moaning. 🙂

I would write and send sonething to Ireland for Brendan myself if I wasn’t so busy over this period. He has a beautiful voice, and that should suit any beautiful song.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Dutchie: Read my comment below, and you’ll understand why Charles made his comment. I’m pretty sure there are people here who have been very excited for one entry or another, only to hear what they’ve sent to the EBU, and have a facepalm reaction.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

I’m most excited about Hovig and DiHaj. I think they both have a lot of potential. Blanche sounds promising too.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Blanche, because she has the same name as my favorite Golden Girl.

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

@charles
While I agree that it’s a song contest and it should be about the songs, Blanche actually has performed only covers so far and her song isn’t self-written, so exactly why was that comment spot-on?

Charles
Guest
Charles

I’m gonna quote a parody YouTube Mariah Carey (The Legends Panel) about this whole thing saying “F******* nobody” and why? Can anyone tell me where the ACTUAL SONGS are, the ones that are in for the competition? Exactly nowhere yet … What should we be excited about really? The colour of these people’s eyes? The clothes’ brand they’re wearing? Their older songs which are in the competition? The number of tweets or likes on instagram? Their sextapes if there happens to be one? What really? For the 62nd time .. it’s a SONG contest and not Victoria’s Secret, not MTV’s… Read more »

bella
Guest
bella

Blanche and Jana Burceska.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Mark: Better to wait for the songs before casting a vote, because if you don’t like the songs, you’ll be very disappointed.

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

@marc
Blanche writes songs? Which ones, can we hear them? Most of these artists have songwriting credits to their name, but most of the time it’s just a few words here and there and the bulk is written by professional songwriters.

As I understand it, Blanche’s song has been written by her producer as well.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

O’G3NE by far! Jana is underrated though.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

What excites me the most is the hope to hear artists singing in their language, epic songs, maybe don’t try to be so modern, I can’t wait for Moldova, Germany, Russia, Greece … I miss songs like Croatia 2009.

Marc
Guest
Marc

Belgium in a miles here.

The only real artist here who write songs and she has been selected with her song.
The rest are still waiting for songs.
I’m still so disappointed with Netherlands this year.

Anyway, it will depend on the songs and things might change. Who knows.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I voted Ireland just because I have a good hunch on this. Louis Walsh handpicked Brendan and he usually knows what he’s doing. I hope the song is really good and Ireland returns to the finals.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

None of them really.
They are not countries that traditionally excite me and the artists themselves are underwhelming. Much more interested in what is going to come from Spain, Finland and Estonia. There are some really good songs to choose from!

Augusto
Guest
Augusto

O’G3NE for the winnnnn!!!! So excited to see what the Dutch will bring this year to the table.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Azerbaijan, definitely. But is it DiHaj (Diana + 2 collaborators), or is it just Diana Hac?yeva?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Can I say all of them? 🙂
This will be a very good year if this high calibre of artists continues, and with good songs. I have been looking forward to Dihaj for some time (Diana is amazing), but I also really love Brendan’s voice.

I have to say I’m rather lost in “Verona” at the moment (thanks Eesti Laul)! I sang for over two hours today for a concert, and all I used for a warm-up in the green room was “that Verona song” and some basic octave exercises. 😀 And it worked!

Bastian
Guest
Bastian

Time for a special girlgroup to win esc: Og3ne 😀

ayla
Guest
ayla

OG3NE!

Amor Amankwah
Guest
Amor Amankwah

DiHaj! Why is everyone saying O’G3ne?

Marymary
Guest
Marymary

DiHaj and Hovig!!

Josh
Guest
Josh

Jana Burceska, since I’ll submit a song. XD

Colin
Guest
Colin

We can only talk about highest expectations at this point. Only based on usual quality of performers’ work. We have no idea what actual songs will sound like or which will be most memorable or have the best lyrics.

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

blanche and dihajjjjjjj
give me something alternative guys

beccaboo1212
Guest

Blanche and O’G3NE! #GirlPower 😀

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’m interpreting this poll question as being “Who would you most like party at Euroclub with”. Those O’G3NE girls and Dihaj look like they’d be a blast.

Bonjour
Guest
Bonjour

@williamleeadams that’s cool. SUBSCRIBE TO WIWIMAIL GUYS!!!

Lex
Guest
Lex

None

MarioMario
Guest

I don’t mind the choices so far. It will really depend on the song they end up choosing.

Ayten Jamo
Guest
Ayten Jamo

DiHaj honeyyyy

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

O’g3ne without a doubt.
The rest is cool, but I kind of miss these Iveta/Samra vibes amongst the confirmed participants.

But only 6 are chosen, 37 more to come. Plenty to look forward to.

Lesire
Guest
Lesire

Well since I am belgian I am looking forward to Blanche because I really want my country to get top 10 for the 3th time in a row.

Normally I also really root for The Netherlands but O’G3NE is really not my cup of tea but I do hope them the best anyway.

Really looking forward for DiHaj’s song aswell since I love experimental pop.

I couldn’t care less for the Irish singer tho. Ireland in the last couple of years sank down to one of my least favorite countries of the contest.

Xoxoo
Guest
Xoxoo

DiHaj is band – Diana and two men. And this song is their, not her! This is not her nick name. If she sings solo, she sings as Diana Hajiyeva.

D
Guest
D

Definitely Dihaj and Blanche. Jana could be good, and O’GENE and Hovig have promise. Really not excited for Brendan.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I can’t help but think the results of this poll are based purely on superficial reasons.

EF0912
Guest
EF0912

DiHaj for me

Frifri
Guest
Frifri

Blanche and Dihaj so far.

Calum Macleod
Guest
Calum Macleod

O’G3NE! I hope for them to have a great winner material song!

AntonESC
Guest
AntonESC

O’g3ne for the win!! Amsterdam 2018!!

Kylie
Guest
Kylie

Most excited – O’G3NE
least excited – Jana Burceska

Krzysztof Poland
Guest
Krzysztof Poland

What’s the point with this poll, it will as always be manipulated by Irish fans. Anyway, ALL listed performers seem to be boring and without personality, no one is as good as my waifu Nina.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Blanche and Dihaj

Anabela SakamTe
Guest
Anabela SakamTe

DiHaj.

Leo Valdez
Guest
Leo Valdez

Blanche,Dihaj and of course OG3NE!
I just hope they won’t let down

Bonjour
Guest
Bonjour

What’s wiwimail