ESCountdown 2019: #27 – “Sebi” by Zala Kralj & Gasper Santi, Slovenia

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #27 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Slovenia, “Sebi” by Zala Kralj & Gasper Santi, written by the artists. The song is performed in Slovene, and will be performed 5th on the first semi-final on May 14.

Kralj & Santi have been performing together as a duo for two years, and sometimes go by the abbreviated name ZalaGasper.

Where to start with this unbelievably beautiful number? This lush Eurobeat ballad is damn near perfect from beginning to end. Kralj’s vocals are spot on, and Santi’s music behind her propels the song comfortably from start to finish. The video for the tune is one of my faves this year, although I wish it had a bit more explanation to it, since the song is in their native language. Translated, the song is titled “To Yourself” and is basically a message from one person to another that says, paraphrasing here, believe in yourself, but if things go wrong, I’ll be there for you. The video uses imagery of airplanes to convey that dreams never die out, as we see first a little boy, and then a teenager, and finally the current man (Santi), playing with a cherished and obviously meticulously cared-for toy airplane, juxtaposed with imagery of woman on board a Lear jet (Kralj) and a drone. It’s start, simple, full of metaphor, and utterly gorgeous to look at. The problem here is that songs like this rarely if ever make it past the semifinals. Every year I’ve been watching Eurovision now – since 2016 – there’s been a great lush ballad like this, often in a language other than English, that has utterly captivated me from the performance, but have failed to make it to the grand final. I fear this song will do the same, but if it makes it through, I’ll be happily surprised and cheering it on, that’s for sure.

Slovenia made their debut in EuroVision in 1993, and have participated 24 times since, missing 1994 and 2000. Their best showing has been seventh place, which they’ve managed twice, in 1995 and 2001.  They have missed the final ten times overall. Last year’s entry, “Hvala Ne!” by Lea Sirk, finished at #22 in the grand final.

Here’s the official music video…hopefully you’ll see what I see in it…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #28 – “22” by Sarah McTernan, Ireland

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #28 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Ireland, “22” by Sarah McTernan, written by Janieck van de Polder, Marcia Sondeijker, and Roel Rats. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 2nd on the second semi-final on May 16.

Originally interested in being a nurse, McTernan went on to study music technology at the Limerick Institute of Technology after finishing high school. She entered the blind auditions for season four of The Voice Of Ireland without any previous performing experience; not only was she chosen to be a part of the show that season – all four judges turned their chairs around – she went on to finish in third place and has been in the public eye ever since. She entered a song, “Eye of the Storm” as part of an online vote to be 2018’s Eurovision song for the tiny enclave of San Marino, but it wasn’t chosen. She was quoted at the time as saying, “Obviously you want to represent your own country but this is a massive opportunity, it would be amazing to be part of the Eurovision.”  Well, this year, she’s made it.

McTernan has a lot to live up to – last year’s entry from Ireland, “Together” by Ryan O’Shaughnessey, slowly grew into a huge fan favorite over time thanks to it’s heartrendingly beautiful video, and took the country back to the grand final for the first time since 2013. This year, this little lost love song has more happy memories going on in it, which is a nice change of pace, and I utterly ADORE McTernan’s voice; her smoky, smouldering sound on this song is perfect – she’s got a lot of Adele in her, and a little Amy Winehouse as well, and it pulls together nicely. The performance video is also playful and fun. But there’s so much that’s good this year that she could get lost in the pack.

Ireland is truly the Grand Champion of EuroVision over the years. They first competed in 1965, and have been involved 51 times since. They have won the Grand Final a whopping SEVEN times – with “All Kinds Of Everything” by Dana, 1970;  “What’s Another Year” by Johnny Logan, 1980; “Hold Me Now” by Johnny Logan, 1987; “Why Me?” by Linda Martin, 1992; “In Your Eyes” by Niamh Kavanaugh, 1993; “Rock And Roll Kids” by Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan, 1994; and “The Voice” by Eimear Quinn, 1996.  They are the only country to win the contest three years in a row, grabbing the championship in 1992, 1993, and 1994. Singer/Songwriter Johnny Logan is the only performer to win the competition twice (he’s actually won three times overall, as he was also the songwriter on Linda Martin‘s “Why Me?” in 1992). However, recently the country has fallen on hard EuroVision times; their best showing thus far in the 21st century was in 2011, when the twins pop act known as Jedward (for the love of all that’s musically holy, WHY????) managed an eighth place finish with their (utterly horrible) song “Lipstick“. Even the aforementioned O’Shaughnessy could only manage 16th place even with the song’s huge fan following….so time will tell if this is Ireland’s year to return to the top ten…

Here’s the official music video…enjoy!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #29 – “Like It” by ZINA, Belarus

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #29 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Belarus, “Like It” by ZINA, written by Yulia Kireeva, Viktor Drobysh, and Zinaida Kupriyanovich (the full name of the artist). The song is performed in English, and will be performed 8th on the first semi-final on May 14.

At just 16, ZINA is the youngest of this year’s Eurovision competitors, but she’s no novice to show business; she’s twice competed for the chance to represent her nation at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, but missed out on the win both times. She’s also a veteran of Russia’s Star Academy franchise series Fabrika Zvyozd, where she finished third during the tenth season, and an accomplished voice actress, providing the Russian voiceover for the title character in Disney’s Moana and also the character’s appearance in Ralph Breaks The Internet as well.

This is a good little dance ditty, coupled with a bit of acoustic guitar, almost in a flamenco-style, which adds a little off-kilter flair to an otherwise typical Eurovision-style dance entry. Zina is a very likeable performer, and her look in the Belarusian competition reminds me of early Britney Spears. All in all, it’s not a bad little song, and if the fan community gets behind it, it could do far better than most think.

Belarus debuted in the EuroVision contest in 2004, making it one of the more recent participants; they have participated fifteen times thus far. Their best finish to date was sixth place, with “Work Your Magic” by Dimitry Koldun in 2007. They have qualified for the final only four times since the semi-final round was introduced in 2004, including last year, when their top notch entry, “Forever” by Alekseev, was scuttled first by an outlandishly creepy, serial-killer-weird music video and then by a poor live performance at the semi-finals.

Here’s the official music video…enjoy!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #30 – “Too Late For Love” by John Lundvik, Sweden

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #30 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Sweden, “Too Late For Love” by John Lundvik, written by Lundvik, Anderz Wrethov, and Andreas “Stone” Johansson. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 8th on the second semi-final on May 16.

Born in the UK and adopted at one week old by his Swedish parents, Lundvik grew up in London until age six, when his family moved back to Sweden. He’s had a successful music career which launched in 2010. In addition to singing and songwriting pop and R&B style tunes, he’s also scored for film and television, including the film Easy Money and the hit US television series Empire.

Ok, I know all the rabid ESC fans are going to be screaming at me about this one, but I feel the same way about this song that I felt about Cesar Sampson and his entry from Austria,Nobody But You“, in 2018. Yes, it’s a terrific song, has a great dance hook, some great lyrics, and a good performance by Lundvik. But while I think it does have hit written all over it, I also don’t think it’s the be-all-end-all that many fans do, as many have it in their top three picks this year. That’s fine, to each his own. Besides, Lundvik has a double jeopardy clause this year – in addition to his own entry, he’s also the composer of this year’s entry from the UK, “Bigger Than Us”, being performed by Michael Rice (and yet to come on my ESCountdown…). So he has two chances to win at this year’s contest…and I’m not sure anyone’s ever done that before, if anyone knows for sure, drop me a line! 🙂  And, Oh yeah…one other thing…it’s way way WAY better than the piece of crap Sweden offered up last year, the gawdawful “Dance You Off” by Benjamin Ingrosso and his oh-so-smarmy, “Isaac The Bartender From The Love Boat“-inspired dance moves…that song was SWILL…never have figured out the huge following it has…and the eight countries that gave the song their prized “12 points” top score and pushed it to seventh place overall should have to forfeit their voting rights for at least five years…yuck…

Sweden has been active in EuroVision since 1958, sending 58 songs to the contest. They have topped the Grand Final six times, first in 1974 with the song that was voted EuroVision’s all time Grand Champion on the occasion of the contest’s 50th anniversary, ABBA‘s career launching “Waterloo“; and also with “Digga-Loo Diggi-Ley” by Herries, 1984 ); “Fangad av en stormvind” by Carola, 1991; “Take Me To Your Heaven” by Charlotte Nilsson, 1999; “Euphoria” by Loreen, 2012; and “Heroes” by Mans Zelmerlow in 2015. They have made almost every final in the last decade, missing only in 2010.

Here’s the official music video…what is so over the top special about this song? Please tell me!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #31 – “Friend Of A Friend” by Lake Malawi, Czech Republic

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #31 on my countdown this year is the official entry from the Czech Republic, “Friend Of A Friend” by Lake Malawi, written by Jan Steinsdoerfer ,Maciej Mikolaj Trybulec, and Albert Černý. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 6th on the first semi-final on May 14.

Formed by lead singer Albert Cerny after the breakup of his previous band Charlie Straight, Lake Malawi’s name was inspired by the Bon Iver song “Calgary“. The trio classes themselves as indie pop, but personally, I think most of their fans consider them to be a more evolved version of a boy band…they DO play their own instruments after all..:-)

Ok, I kinda like this one…kinda. It doesn’t overwhelm me, nor does it overwhelm much of the ESC fan community, who have it placed squarely in the center of this year’s pack of songs. It’s a nice, fun little ditty, it has a great beat, a fun story, and the video is pleasing as well, and if they can carry over that vibe to a decent live performance at the semi-finals, it could have a shot at making the grand finals. Let’s face facts here though…last year, the country produced one of – if not THE – worse Eurovision entry EVER, the absolutely stupefyingly AWFUL “Lie to Me” by Mikolas Josef, which inexplicably BRAINWASHED everyone out there, fans and judges alike, into thinking it was actually a decent song (read the lyrics, It’s most definitely NOT…and remember, this is a SONGWRITING contest), and finished the contest in SIXTH PLACE. So at least it’s better – WAAAAAAY better – than that whopping turd of a song…”Don’t mince words, TC, what do you REALLY think?”  LOL…

Czech Republic debuted in Eurovision in 2006, but have only participated seven times since then; they withdrew for several years after failing to place a single song in the Grand Final. In fact, they have made the final just twice, with “I Stand” by Gabriela Guncikova, which finished 25th out of 26 songs in 2016, and the aforementioned abomination “Lie To Me” by Mikolas Josef, which finished sixth (SIXTH? ARRRRRGGGGGHHH!) in 2018.

Here’s the official music video…it is what it is, folks…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #32 – “Zero Gravity” by Kate Miller-Heidke, Australia

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #32 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Australia, “Zero Gravity” by Kate Miller-Heidke, written by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 12th on the first semi-final on May 14.

Kate Miller-Heidke is a classically trained operatic singer hailing from Brisbane. Since graduating, she has followed the same career paths as that of UK singer Sarah Brightman, doing classical music and opera as well as alternative rock, with a number of hits on Australia’s ARIA music charts over the years.

This is such a stylishly staged tune, I wish I was more of an opera fan, but I’m not. Although it’s not personally my cup of tea, the song has a pretty large fan following and is probably going to do well. I predict it will make to the grand final, and then it’s anybody’s guess; I think it will score well with both judges and on the televote, but I honestly don’t see it bringing Australia back to the top ten.

Now, I’ll repeat this from last year –  those of you who are not familiar with EuroVision are probably asking the question, “Australia? Exactly HOW are they considered European? How the hell did they get into EuroVision?” Well, as a reward for carrying the contest for years down under, the European Broadcast Union, who runs Eurovision, asked Australia to participate for the 60th anniversary show in 2015. Their showing in the contest thus far has secured them an invite every year since. So although technically NOT a member of the EBU, which is normally a requirement for participation, they HAVE been doing extremely well since debuting, landing top ten finishes each of the first three years it’s participated  – a fifth place showing for Guy Sebastian‘s “Tonight Again“, 2015; a damn near topper in runner up “The Sound Of Silence” by Dami Em, 2016, and a ninth place showing for “Don’t Come Easy” by Isaiah in 2017. They stumbled a bit last year, falling out of the top ten with “We’ve Got Love” by Jessica Mauboy, which finished in 20th place.

Here’s the official music video…love the stylish vibe…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #33 – “That Night” by Carousel, Latvia

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #33 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Latvia, “That Night” by Carousel, written by Aleksandrs Volks, Mārcis Vasiļevskis, and Sabīne Žuga. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 5th on the second semi-final on May 16.

Mārcis Vasiļevskis and Sabīne Žuga have been performing as Carousel since 2015.

This is a nice, pleasant little story song, reminding me of classic national folk styles…but that’s about it. The vocals are very pleasing and the song is very “minstral”-like, telling a story and they hit the mark they intended to hit. It’s not bad, not great, it just is. That’s about the best I can say about it, unfortunately, it really doesn’t do much for me, although  I do really enjoy it’s stark difference from other Eurovision entries this year…

Latvia made their debut in EuroVision on the cusp of the 21st century in 2000, and have participated 19 times since They have captured the Grand Final championship once, in 2002 with “I Wanna” by Marie N. Their 2017 and 2018 entries failed to make the Grand Final and they are looking for a return…but I don’t think it’s really in the cards…

Here’s the official music video…enjoy…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #34 – “Better Love” by Katerine Duska, Greece

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #34 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Greece, “Better Love” by Katerine Duska, written by Duska, David Sneddon, and Leon Of Athens. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 16th on the first semi-final on May 14.

Greek-Canadian singer/songwriter Duska has been performing around her native Canada for many years, and shot to fame with the release of her debut album in 2015.

Ok, I have so many conflicting issues with this one. On the one hand, I really DO love the song, and Duska’s somewhat-husky vocals are amazing. The video is an unusual if masterful presentation of the song. But despite the song’s powerful lyric, I think the video, as visually interesting as it is, also undermines the song’s message of “unconditional and unapologetic love”; rather, I think the video is a teeny tiny bit exploitative, almost objectifying women in the ways most women hate – by putting them on display as if to say “Wow, don’t you think I’m beautiful?” while at the same time projecting the women in the video as somewhat cold and indifferent. Maybe as a man I’m misreading what they’re going for here, I don’t know. But I do love the song, and it has a HUGE fan following, with many fans ranking the song in their top ten picks this year, so it could do pretty well and could make it through to the grand final. However, last years’ entry from Greece, “Oneiro Mou” from Gianna Terzi, was also a huge fan favorite and it failed to make the cut, so it’s hard to tell how this one will do…

Greece made their debut in EuroVision in 1974, and have participated 37 times since, missing five years here and there. They have captured the Grand Final championship once, in 2005 wiht “My Number One” by Elena Paparizou. They are also one of the few countries who have never finished in last place, and have had top ten finishes ten times in the 21st century.

Here’s the official music video…I’m curious about what people think about this one, because I can’t get a handle on it…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #35 – “Look Away” by Darude featuring Sebastian Rejman, Finland

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #35 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Finland, “Look Away” by Darude featuring Sebastian Rejman, written by the artists. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 3rd on the first semi-final on May 14.

DJ, songwriter, and producer Darude (real name Ville Virtanen) shot to  fame in 1999 with his instrumental dance club smash “Sandstorm“, which hit the charts around the world, including here in the U.S., and although he’s continued to work non-stop in the nearly (OMG really?) TWENTY years that have passed since that song took the world by storm, he’s released projects only occasionally, preferring to produce rather than perform. Singer Sebastian Rejman has been a star in his native Finland for decades, both as a musician and as a television host and occasional actor.

I have to be honest here – I absolutely ADORE “Sandstorm”, it’s one of my all time favorite instrumental hits. So I was expecting a LOT when I heard that Darude was representing Finland this year. And what we got…is a total letdown. This bland social justice ditty about how the world looks away and ignores the potentially devastating problems it faces could have been SOOOOO much more. Instead, it just sits there, flat, dull, yawn-inducing. It has a decent enough beat, but the lyrics are pedestrian, and could have had much more impact than they do. It’s like they set out to do a song as powerful as 2018’s “Non mi avete fatto neinte” from Italy’s Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro, and in the end couldn’t deliver anything better than “Our Choice” from Iceland’s Ari Olafsson…and I’m truly sorry, because I wanted to see this team SOAR…and I just can’t get into it…

Finland made its EuroVision debut in 1961, and has appeared 52 times over the years. They got their first and only Grand Championship finish in 2006 with one of the most popular EuroVision winners of all time, Lordi’s Hard Rock Hallelujah. But it also should be noted for historical accuracy that they are also part of EuroVision’s equivalent of Dancing With The Stars‘ Kenny Mayne Club, having finished dead last ten times, actually receiving “nul” (zero) points for their song entries in 1963, 1965, and 1982. They finished in the middle of the pack with the fan favorite “Monsters” by Saara Aalto last year…and i’ll be bringing this song up again later on in the countdown for a completely different reason, heh heh….

Here’s the official music video…meh…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #36 – “Limits” by Paenda, Austria

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

We don’t stop til we get to the top (with a nod to the late great Casey Kasem)!  In at #36, it’s the official entry from Austria, “Limits” by Paenda, written by the artist (under her real name, Gabriela Horn). The song is performed in English, and will be performed 9th on the second semi-final on May 16.

Born in 1988, Paenda has studied pop and jazz music for many years, with much of her education coming at the Vienna Music Institute. She writes, produces, and performs all her own music.

I’m trying to figure out where to start with this one, because I happen to like the song. It’s not a HUGE contender in my book, unlike a lot of the rabid ESC fandom, who are split between love and loathing for the song, but it’s certainly pretty and deep enough to be a pretty big hit. Again using a lost love as the seeming catalyst for the story of the lyrics, her performance in the video is touching…and yet the static video – just Paenda and her blue hair standing in front of a green screen with images floating behind her – is deadly dull, much like SuRie’s “Storm” last year; decent song, lousy video. I hate it when a lousy video dooms a good song – see 2018’s “Forever” by Alekseev, which was totally RUINED by an incredibly creepy video and doomed to miss the grand final by a lousy live performance. She’s got a shot at making the finals for sure, which will be even stronger if as I suspect she can pull off a terrific live performance, but I don’t think the placement will be as huge as some fans think it will be.

Austria made its EuroVision debut on the contests’ first birthday in 1957 and has been around fifty-one times since then, missing years here and there for various reasons. They have two Grand Final championships that were a whopping 38 years apart – 1966’s “Merci, Cherie” by Udo Jurgens and 2014’s instant EuroVision Classic “Rise Like A Phoenix” by Conchita Wurst. But every good side has its bad side too…they have finished dead last in the contest a whopping EIGHT times, with four of those times with the dreaded “nul” points – 1962, 1988, 1991 and 2015,  a most “nul” points record they share with Norway. 2018 was their best showing in years, with Cesar Sampson‘s “Nobody But You” finishing third overall.

Here’s the official music video…see if you agree with my assessment of it…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!