Every morning between now and the grand final in May, the team from wiwibloggs will be rounding up the latest titbits from the world of Eurovision 2019. We’ve trawled through Instagram, Twitter and elsewhere so that y’all don’t have to. Whether you’re commuting to work, sitting on the school bus or still tucked under the covers, this is the Daily Digest for Tuesday 26 March.
Luca Hänni hits the charts
Last week he became the best-charting Swiss act in years. Landing at 11, Luca Hänni secured the highest chart position, pre-contest, since DJ Bobo debuted at number 3 in 2007. However, this week he tumbled to 45. That’s still a strong showing compared to other recent Eurovision peaks — Mélanie Réne (73), Rykka (did not chart), Timebelle (37) and Zibbz (62). A bounce closer to Tel Aviv remains a strong possibility — Anna Rossinelli and Sebalter reached highs of 3 and 6 after they qualified for the grand final in 2011 and 2014 respectively. In other news, y’all may recall that Luca sat on the Swiss professional jury in 2016. Fans have resurrected his scorecard, and it’s been doing the rounds on social media. Do you agree with his rankings? (Padraig)
[Curiosidad] Así votó ??Luca Hänni como miembro del Jurado suizo en la Final de #Eurovision 2016.
— ?Eurovisionario (@Eurovisionario) March 25, 2019
Serhat meets with his creative director
San Marino’s Turkish crooner Serhat was in Athens to meet with his creative director Nick Marianos. The Greek has plenty of experience putting on glitzy shows, having worked with starlets such as Eleni Foureira, Kalomira and Eleftheria Eleftheriou on TV productions like MAD VMA and Rising Star. He promises “something fresh something special something seductive”. (Padraig)
Tamta wraps up her rehearsals
Serhat wasn’t the only Eurovision 2019 star to grace the Nick Marianos dance studios recently. Cyprus’ Tamta was based there for several days while she trained with her own creative director Sacha Jean-Baptiste. Take a look at what she has in store. (Padraig)
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THANK YOU SWEETY? @officialtamta for great days and rehearsals in Athens! Thank you @chalijennings for joining our team! Let’s get it!?? • • • • • • • • • #creativedirector #artisticdirector #choreographer #performance #dancer #dance #music #tv #production #live #eurovision #esc #creative #visualconcept #stage #design #jeanbaptistegroup #creativeproduction #teamteam #choreography #replay #tamta #cyprus
Tamara hangs with past Eurovision stars
If one happened to be searching for a North Macedonian Eurovision star last Saturday, Skopje’s Boris Trajkovski Sports Center was the place to be. Lozano — one half of the country’s Eurovision 2013 act — was in concert. And in the audience were three more song contest alums — Elena Risteska from 2006, Karolina Goceva from 2007 and Tamara Todevska from 2008 and this year. Barely 24 hours later, Tamara was on board a plane for Tel Aviv. Today, she’ll begin work on her postcard for May’s contest. (Padraig)
Doctor, is it in my head?
On his song for Eurovision, Sebastian Rejman wonders “is it in my head?”. One man who might know the answer, or at least offer a referral, is Dr Jesper Adlercreutzia. Played by Sebastian, he’s a new character in the popular Finnish medical drama Syke, which returned for its fifth season last night. His “Look Away” collaborator Darude wished him luck, comparing him to George Clooney who famously rose to fame on the hospital-based drama ER. (Padraig)
Roko catches up with Vanna
Recently, Roko attended a Zagreb showing of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. There he caught up with singer Vanna, known for representing Croatia at Eurovision 2001 with the song “Strings of My Heart”. This year, Vanna was one of the jury members involved with shortlisting the sixteen Dora songs. (Antony)
Miki recounts a weird fan encounter
Spain’s Miki was interviewed on Yu:No te pierdas nada, a popular talk show, yesterday. He recounted a strange fan experience. The “La Venda” singer was taking a nap on the train to Madrid when he suddenly woke up and found a mobile phone just centimetres away from his face. A young girl was trying to take a picture of him from very very close, and it made him feel all kinds of uneasy. Remember, just like the rest of us, Eurovision stars like their privacy. Respect that! (Luis)
Jonida Maliqi is set for a The Voice comeback
After three years away, Jonida Maliqi is returning to The Voice Albania. However, she won’t be picking up where she left off in season five. Instead of resuming her role as a coach, she’s just making a passing visit to the Kids series to perform the revamped “Ktheju tokës” for the first time. This is becoming something of a tradition for Albanian acts, with Eugent Bushpepa doing similar last year. (Padraig)
“Arcade” in sign language
We came across a video of a Dutch sign lanuage interpretation of Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade”. Our sign language may be a bit rusty, but if you ask us, this Dutch lady surely brings the emotion to screen. She is Mirjam Stolk, a certified Dutch sign language translator and interpreter. She is part of a Dutch group that sign translates music for deaf and hearing impaired people. She has done similar videos for Waylon’s “Outlaw In Em”, OG3NE’s “Lights and Shadows“, Douwe Bob’s “Slown Down” and The Common Linnets’ “Calm After The Storm”. (Jacintha)
— Mirjam Stolk (@MirjamSTolkNGT) March 8, 2019
Michela pulls out of Eurovision in Concert
After she withdrew from the London Eurovision Party, there was some uncertainty as to whether Malta’s Michela would come to Eurovision in Concert or not. Yesterday, that came to an end when organisers explained that the “Chameleon” songstress will not be there due to scheduled rehearsals. She’ll be missed. (Jacintha)
We were informed by Television Malta that Michela Pace won’t be able to make it to Amsterdam after all – due to scheduled Eurovision rehearsals. Sorry guys (and girls)..
— EurovisionInConcert (@ESCinConcert) March 25, 2019
Kate Miller-Heidke is coming to Europe
For the third time since its 2015 debut, Australia will be represented on the preview circuit. Just hours after confirming the Maltese pull-out, the EiC team announced that Kate will be bringing “Zero Gravity” to AFAS Live. Meanwhile in down under, she appeared on this morning’s ABC News Breakfast. She has a feeling that she won’t be able to prepare for the Eurovision craziness in advance and will just have to go with the flow. She’s not thinking of results and is instead focusing on delivering the best performance possible (Jacintha).
"I have a feeling that I'm not going to be able to prepare myself!" pic.twitter.com/efdLO2Ci0Z
— News Breakfast (@BreakfastNews) March 25, 2019
Zena’s “Like it” is now available to steam. There are no major changes to the track, but it’s accompanied by cute art work. It’s a relief to hear a polished sounding studio version without all the background noise from the national final. (Luis).
Alessandro Safina will be voting for Russia
Italian tenor Alessandro Safina, who finished 13th in Sanremo 2002, has praised Sergey Lazarev and his Eurovision entry “Scream”. “It is memorable” he says. “Sergey has something to offer everyone, not just Russian listeners and viewers”. According to Safina, presenting a song that appeals internationally, rather than exclusively to listeners in the singer’s home country, is the key to racking up the 12 points at Eurovision. He says that Italy does badly because they enter songs about social issues that are not interesting to the rest of Europe, while Scandi countries do better because they enter international pop. (Katie)
Additional contributions from Jacintha, Luis, Antony and Katie.
Are you excited for Serhat’s stage show? Are you disappointed about Michelea’s EiC news? Let us know in the comments.