Eurovision season was building steam throughout December and January. With national finals season now in full swing, we’ve decided to pause and gather the most important news, the juiciest bits of gossip and information on the songs which have already been selected to represent their country in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. Let’s review.
During December and January, six entries were chosen or introduced to the public. One of them was chosen through an internal selection, while another five had to fight for their place at Eurovision via a national selection.
Albania chose their entry in December through the 52nd edition of Festivali i Këngës. Hersiana Matmuja won with the song Zemërimi i një nate (One Night’s Anger). Our Albanian-Australian correspondent Ramadan had a chance to interview Hersi after her win. You can read the highlights here.
After recovering from all those New Year’s parties, Belarus started the Eurovision year 2014 by choosing their representative from a field of 14 songs. The winner was selected by combining points of a professional jury (including 2013 Belarusian entrant Alyona Lanskaya) and votes cast by the public. The jury’s favourite TEO (“Cheesecake“) ended up in a tie with the public’s favourite Max Lorens and DiDyuLya (“Now You’re Gone”). But based on the jury’s vote TEO was crowned the winner. The lyrics are comical.
Italy chose their artist and song internally once again, but this time the artist wasn’t competing in Italy’s own annual song festival San Remo. This year 29-year-old Emma Marrone will be waving the Italian flag in Copenhagen. Emma already has experience at song festivals, since she won the San Remo music festival back in 2012. She will be singing “La mia città” in the final on 10th of May.
Last Saturday two new entries won the right to #joinus. Finland chose their entry by Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2014 and after two (first & second) preliminary heats and a semifinal, the final took place in Barona Arena on 1st of February. Eight artists competed. After combining votes from jury and the Finnish public, Softengine won with “Something Better“.
Switzerland also chose their entry after a very long selection process between four broadcasters. Once again SRF and RTR launched their internet voting platform for anyone who wanted to submit a song. They narrowed that list to over 150 entries, while RTS, received only 34 songs in their submission. However, only nine entries from SRF/RTS and six entries from RTS, together with three, internally chosen entries from the Italian-language broadcaster RSI, qualified for the “Expert Check”.
From the Expert Check six songs (3 from SRF/RTS, 2 from RTS and 1 from RSI) were selected for the grand final, which took place in Bodensee Arena, Kreuzlingen. The winner was RSI’s entrant and the favourite of the Wiwi Jury, Sebalter with the song “Hunter of Stars“.
On 9th of January it was announced that at least 36 countries will #joinus in Copenhagen, including returnees Poland and Portugal. Later that month Slovenia confirmed its participation, becoming the 37th country to compete in Eurovision 2014.
On January 20 DR conducted the semi-final allocation draw, which took place in Copenhagen City Hall. You can see the full results of the draw here.
Most popular news
December and January were busy months for wiwibloggs too. The most read article was about Rose Fostanes, a Filipina caregiver who rose to the fame by winning the first season of X Factor Israel, guided by Israel’s 2005 representative Shiri Maimon.
Other popular articles included an item on Lebanon’s almost-Eurovision singer Aline Lahoud auditioning for The Voice of France, Armenia choosing singer-songwriter, comedian, showman and actor Aram MP3 as their front man in the upcoming contest and an item revealing, or at least speculating about, which artists BBC might be considering for Eurovision 2014.