ESCountdown 2019: #13 – “Heaven” by D Mol, Montenegro

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 12, 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 #13 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Montenegro, “Heaven” by D Mol, written by Dejan Božović and Adis Eminić. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 2nd at the first semi final on May 14th.

This mostly teenage sextet is made up by 21-year-old Rizo Feratovic, 17-year-olds Zeljko Vukcevic and Ivana Obradovic, 16-year-olds Emel Franca and Mirela Ljumic, and 15-year-old Tamara Vujacic.

This is one of those songs I just can’t explain. I honestly don’t know if it has a real shot at making it through the semi-finals…but I don’t care, I love it anyway…the harmonies from this glorious sextet remind me of Pentatonix, but with instruments. The song itself is a fun little love song, the video is shot beautifully, and I want to know who the old guy playing the string instrument is…all kinds of curiosity in this video…heh heh heh

Montenegro’s participation in EuroVision is fairly complicated:  When Yugoslavia, which participated in the contest from 1961-1992, ceased to exist after the breakup of the Soviet Union, most of the regions of the country that subsequently became independent countries entered Eurovision on their own, but Montenegro did not; they remained joined with Serbia and entered the contest for three years as Serbia and Montenegro. It was only after a vote for independence and splitting off from Serbia that the country entered EuroVision on its own, making it’s debut in 2007,  and has participated ten times since, missing 2010 and 2011 for financial reasons. They have qualified for the Grand Final only twice during their participation; their best showing has been 13th place, in 2015.

Check out the video..it’s a lot of fun!

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. I missed a few days due to personal issues, so I’m playing catch-up now, and will have two or three entries per day with my #1 pick being revealed on Sunday May 12.

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: #14 – “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence, The Netherlands

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 #14 on my countdown this year is the official entry from The Netherlands, “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence, written by Ester Duncan de Moor, Joel Sjöö, and Wouter Hardy. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 16th at the second semi final on May 16th.

Duncan Laurence, given last name De Moor, has been singing and writing songs since his teenage days, and was featured on the fifth season of Holland’s “Voice” franchise.

OK, I like this song a lot….BUT…I don’t get the HUGE and utterly RABID fan backing the song has. Yes, it’s a terrific song, and Laurence, with his silky, high tenor Sam Smith-like voice, makes this powerful song about a broken love really stand out. But many longtime ESC fans have it pegged as the likely winner of the 2019 contest, and I just don’t see it making it that far. Top five, possibly, top ten more likely, but winning? My gut tells me no. Also, the video, while stylish and beautiful, doesn’t really fit the song – I assume it’s supposed to be a metaphor of something…but what, I’m not quite sure.  Hey, I could be wrong…and have been before….heh heh…

The Netherlands are one of the founders of EuroVision, although they have missed a few years here and there. They have been a part of the contest 59 times. They’ve landed the Grand Final championship four times, all in the first twenty years of the contest – in 1957 with “Net als toen” by Corry Brokken; in 1959 with “m Beetje” by Teddy Scholten; in 1969 with “De troubadour” by Lenny Kuhr in a four way tie that also included the UK, Spain, and France; and in 1975 with the goofy and irresistable “Ding-A-Dong” by Teach In. Since the semi-finals were introduced in 2004, they have made the Grand Final six times, including last year. They’ve also had their share of last place wins, including two “nul” points years in 1962 and 1963.

Check out the video..and if you can explain how it relates to the song, drop me a line….

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. I missed a few days due to personal issues, so I’m playing catch-up now, and will have two or three entries per day with my #1 pick being revealed on Sunday May 12.

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: #15 – “On A Sunday” by Ester Peony, Romania

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 #15 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Romania, “On A Sunday” by Ester Peony, written by Ester Alexandra Crețu, Alexandru Șerbu, and Ioana Victoria Badea. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 6th at the second semi final on May 16th.

Ester Peony, birthname Ester Alexandra Cretu, first gained a modest amount of fame performing cover songs on YouTube from her home in Montreal, writing songs for other Romanian artists before hitting it big in her birth country in 2017.

I admit it…I can’t explain it…but I love this song, I love Peony’s voice, I love the stylish, if a bit incomprehensible, video (what the HELL do the manta rays have to do with ANYTHING?), I love the horror and mystical elements of the video as well, and the song’s lyrics, which talk of losing a love on a Sunday but that she still pines for them even though they hurt her and she would take them back in a second, are powerful and mysterious, even a bit creepy….it all works for me. Go figure…but I hope this one makes it through….

Romania made their debut in EuroVision in 1994, but due to various reasons, they have only participated 19 times. They have not been able to capture a Grand Final win as yet, but have finished as high as third place, which they have managed twice, in 2005 and 2010. Romania has also managed to make every final each year they’ve participated since the semi-final round was introduced in 2004 until last year, when they just missed the final, finishing their semi-final in 11th place.

Check out this incredibly avant-garde video…I don’t know what to make of it but I love 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. I missed a few days due to personal issues, so I’m playing catch-up now, and will have two or three entries per day with my #1 pick being revealed on Sunday May 12.

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: #16 – “Storm” by Victor Crone, Estonia

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 #16 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Estonia, “Storm” by Victor Crone, written by Stig Rästa, Vallo Kikas, Victor Crone, Sebastian Lestapier, and Fred Krieger. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 14th at the first semi final on May 14th.

Victor Crone was born and raised in Sweden, and first got into music at the age of 15. He moved to the states when he was 18, and had the opportunity to work at his craft alongside legendary songwriters like Diane Warren and Desmond Child. He began his performing career while in the US in 2014 and has been at it ever since.

OK, as much as I love this song, and have it placed pretty high in my picks, I have a number of problems with it. First, thematically it’s almost identical to a song from the 2018 contest…and that song also had the same title. “Storm” by SuRie, the entry from the UK last year, talks about weathering life’s storms and making it through. Victor Crone‘s “Storm“…has the EXACT same sentiment, and the same outcome. As noted it even shares the title. But Crone does offer a “gender flip” of the song from last year – it’s clearly from a male point of view. He also has grace and charm on stage, the ladies think he’s very handsome, and he has a great voice as well. Plus, it’s more uptempo than the SuRie entry from last year. So that’s why I have it so high. Plus, like I said, I genuinely love the song, because the performance is out of this world.

Estonia made its EuroVision debut in 1994, taking part in 24 contests to date. They have one Grand Final championship under their belt as well, with 2001’s “Everybody” by Tanal Padar, Dave Benton, and 2XL. They failed to qualify for the Grand Final in 2017, but came roaring back in 2018; the operatic “La Forza” by the marvelous Elina Nechayeva, finished in 8th place in the grand final

Check out the stylish performance video from the Estonia finals…it’s pretty damn cool…

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. I missed a few days due to personal issues, so I’m playing catch-up now, and will have two or three entries per day with my #1 pick being revealed on Sunday May 12.

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: #17 – “Stay” by Anna Odobescu, Moldova

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 #17 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Moldova, “Stay” by Anna Odobescu, written by Georgios Kalpakidis, Thomas Reil,Jeppe Reil, and Maria Broberg. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 3rd at the second semi final on May 16th.

Odobescu has been working on a singing career for the past couple of years, and Eurovision is a huge boost to her visibility for sure.

I have to admit – I have a soft spot for Moldova; they have yet to send a song I haven’t liked to Eurovision in the time I have been watching (although “Hey Mamma” by Sunstroke (2017) does annoy me with that damn saxophone…). Odobescu is blessed with a voice from the heavens, with the kind of power Celine Dion has, but with a slight smokiness to her voice, like that found in Pink or Adele. The video depicts a young well to do couple having a quarrel, and splitting up, with the husband driving off like a madman only to realize he can’t stay away from the woman he loves. This is one of my favorite videos this year, it’s story unfolding right before our eyes. I have high hopes for this one, for sure.

Moldova debuted in Eurovision in 2005, participating 14 times since then. Their best showing has been third place, which occurred in 2017, with the (as noted above, more than slightly annoying but still likable) number “Hey Mamma!” by SunStroke. They have three more top ten finishes under their belt as well – last year’s “My Lucky Day” by DoReDos was helped along by the best, funnest, and most creative live performance of the year in the semi-finals, which unexpectedly gave it a shot in the grand final, where it finished in 10th place –  and continue to produce tunes that EuroVision fans seem to love…

Check out the stylish music video…I’ll bet it will become one of your favorites as well…

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. I missed a few days due to personal issues, so I’m playing catch-up now, and will have two or three entries per day with my #1 pick being revealed on Sunday May 12.

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: #18 – “Truth” by Chingiz, Azerbaijan

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 #18 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Azerbaijan, “Truth” by Chingiz, written by Borislav Milanov, Chingiz Mustafayev, Trey Campbell, Pablo Dinero, Hostess, and Joacim Persson. The song is performed in English, and has one of the really coveted final performance spots – it will be performed 18th, the last song of the evening, at the second semi final on May 16th.

Chingz Mustafayev was born in Russia, but has lived in Azerbaijan since he was six. He shot to fame as the winner of Azerbaijan’s Pop Idol franchise in 2007, when he was just sixteen. He’s been performing ever since, with his career really taking off over the past five or so years.

Wow, what can I say about this song? The song is GREAT…but then again, it also seems like I’ve heard it before. It’s very similar to a lot of songs out there beatwise. The powerful lyrics help separate it from it’s rather mundane typical Eurodance rhythms, as Chingiz tells the story of the one love he’d rather forget about – obviously, the relationship in the song didn’t end well. But the video for the song….yikes…we’re off the rails here again; weird visuals, a lot with an S&M flavor (a recurring factor in many ESC videos this year), some strikingly weird coloring, and a Helen Mirren lookalike who gives off a vibe that she’s performing in a truly drag edition of Victor Victoria….I’m not sure what the hell to make of this…it’s just…um…out there…we’ll leave it at that. But I have to say, Chingiz’ vocal performance is one of the strongest this year, and he should make the finals easily. From that point, i don’t know where it might end up….

Azerbaijan is relatively new to EuroVision, having debuted in 2008,  and have participated each year since, sending eleven songs to the contest. For a relative newcomer, they have done quite well also, winning their first Grand Champion title in 2011, with “Running Scared” by Eli and Nikki, who became the first mixed gender duo since 1963 to win the contest, and have more often than not made it to the Grand Final, also achieving a runner up and a third place victory in their eleven years of participation.

Here’s the insane music video…the song is great, but i’m not sure about this video at all…

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. I missed a few days due to personal issues, so I’m playing catch-up now, and will have two or three entries per day with my #1 pick being revealed on Sunday May 12.

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: #19 – “Bigger Than Us” by Michael Rice, United Kingdom

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 #19 on my countdown this year is the official entry from the United Kingdom, “Bigger Than Us” by Michael Rice, written by Laurell Barker, Anna-Khara Folin, Jonas Thander, and John Lundvik (who is himself a competitor this season, see my #30 song). The song is performed in English. As one of the “Big Five”, the UK has an automatic ‘bye’ to the Grand Final on May 18.

21-year-old Rice first came to the attention of the UK during season 11 of “The X Factor” where he got cut in the “boot camp” round (more proof that some people have no taste whatsoever – I’m talking to YOU, UK X Factor judges…). He bounced back in 2018 where he won the first season of BBC One‘s new singing competition “All Together Now“.

Without a doubt, this is the BEST song the UK has sent to EuroVision in damn near a DECADE, hands down. Although “Storm” by SuRie, their 2018 entry, was nice enough, it lacked punch in so many ways, most notably it’s bland music video. This song is FULL of punch in it’s lyrics, which basically says that you have no control over who you love, that it just happens and takes over. It has even more punch in the exquisitely done video, centered around a boy and girl in what looks to be junior high – they want to be friends, and maybe more, but can’t because the boy’s arrogant, bigoted asshole of a dad can’t get past the fact that the girl isn’t completely Caucasian (she looks as if she may have Asian or Pacific Islander heritage somewhere), and that she’s got a same-sex couple as (presumably) adoptive parents. Seriously, haven’t we MOVED ON from this kind of crap yet? It’s damn near TWO DECADES into the 21st century – it’s time to let go of these ridiculous hangups, don’t you think?

The UK have been one of the stalwarts of EuroVision almost since it’s inception. They debuted during the competition’s second year in 1957, and have been in 61 contests thus far, winning five times: with “Puppet On A String” by Sandie Shaw, 1967; “Boom Bang-A-Bang” by Lulu , 1969 (part of a four way winner’s tie also including Spain, The Netherlands, and France..and boy does EuroVision love its nonsense titles over the years); “Save Your Kisses For Me“, by The Brotherhood Of Man, 1976 (and one of only a handful of entries since 1975 to make the US charts in a major way, hitting #27 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the AC chart); “Making Your Mind Up” by Bucks Fizz, 1981 (one of those winners I just can’t figure out…); and “Love Shine A Light” by Katrina And The Waves, 1997. They have also finished in the runner-up position a whopping fifteen times over the years, more than double any other countries’ second place finishes. However, the UK’s EuroVision fortunes have had a serious downturn since 1999, which was the year that a rule was dropped requiring that songs had to be sung in each country’s predominate language (a rule that had been relaxed briefly before in 1974 and 1975, which is how ABBA and Teach In were able to perform in English those two years, and thus winning the competition; ABBA would have probably won anyway, Teach-In probably not). As most songs are now performed in English, the UK’s edge has slipped away a bit, finishing in the top ten only twice in the 21st century, in 2002 and 2009. It also hasn’t helped that the UK has fielded some truly inexplicable entries over the past 19 years, the weirdest of which was 2007’s entry, “Flying The Flag (For You)” by musical comedy act Scootch, a satirical swipe at the airline industry (?). Many of the songs this decade have been filler at best, but Rice might give them their best shot in ages for a top ten finish.

Here’s the awesome 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. I missed a few days due to personal issues, so I’m playing catch-up now, and will have two or three entries per day with my #1 pick being revealed on Sunday May 12.

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: #20 – “Run With The Lions” by Jurij Veklenko, Lithuania

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 #20 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Lithuania, “Run With The Lions” by Jurij Veklenko, written by Ashley Hicklin, Eric Lumiere, and Pele Loriano. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 12th on the second semi final on May 14.

Veklenko has performed at Eurovision before; he was a background vocalist for Lithuania’s 2015 entry, and also got in on the stage act as one half of a same sex kiss as part of the song’s live performance.

I love the passion in this song’s lyrics, which in my interpretation are telling you not to be afraid of love, to explore every boundary, don’t be scared to be seen and do what you need to do for your love. It’s a wonderful sentiment. Where I’m not sure about the song is in its live performance – while it was good enough to make it through the national finals, I worry that Veklenko may not have the power to hold up to some of the other more powerful performers this year. But I hope the song gets through.

Lithuania had a rocky start in EuroVision, debuting in 1994 and receiving one of the rare “nul points” scores; they were incensed and pulled out for five years before returning in 1999. Although they have yet to win their first Grand Final – the last remaining Baltic state that has never won the contest – they have finished as high as 6th place, which happened in 2006, with what many EuroVision watchers consider a “troll” or novelty entry,  We Are The Winners, performed by LT United, the lyrics and presentation of which in fact made a complete mockery of the entire EuroVision contest, which is pretty ironic, all things considered. Although it only finished in ninth place in 2016, Donny Montell’s “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night” remains a recent favorite among EuroVision fans in the US (and yours truly as well…). And last year’s entry, “When We’re Old” by Ieva Zasimauskaite, wasn’t expected to even have a shot at the grand final, but an exquisite, passionate, and beautiful live performance propelled it with both fans and judges and pushed it into the Grand Final, where it finished 12th overall, and remains one of my favorite songs from the 2018 contest.

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. I missed a few days due to personal issues, so i’m playing catch-up now, and will have two or three entries per day with my #1 pick being revealed on Sunday May 12.

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: #21 – “Chameleon” by Michela, Malta

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 #21 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Malta, “Chameleon” by Michela, written by Joacim Persson, Paula Winger, Borislav Milanov, and Johan Alkenäs. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 11th on the second semi final on May 14.

18-year-old Michela Pace won the first edition of Malta’s new “X Factor” franchise and in doing so, earned the right to represent her country at Eurovision. Her debut album with Sony Italy is due out later this year.

I haven’t quite pinpointed the reasons yet, but I LOVE this song – it easily has the best and most colorful music video of all the entries in the contest this year, combining a lyric video with some incredible dance moves, explosive colors, near continuous costume changes on the part of the dancers, and of course, real chameleons. I love Michela’s wonderful smoky voice, and the message behind the song – being able to be ready to handle ANYTHING – is a positive and fun one to hear. It’s just a really fun, really great, and hella empowering song all the way around. So I guess I sorta HAVE figured out why I love it, eh? 🙂

Malta first participated in Eurovision in 1971, then after a few competitions withdrew for a 16 year period before returning to the competition in 1991, and have participated each year since. Although they have yet to win their first Grand Final, they have been in the runner-up slot twice since returning, in 2002 and 2005.

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: #22 – “Home” by Kobi Marimi, Israel

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 #22 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Israel, “Home” by Kobi Marimi, written by Ohad Shargai and Inbar Weitzman. The song is performed in English. Because Israel won last year’s contest, the song gets an automatic bye to the Grand Final on May 18.

Marimi has been working his way up as an actor and singer for the last several years and won the most recent edition of HaKokhav HaBa, the parent series of the worldwide “Rising Star” or “Next Star” franchise, to earn the right to represent his country at EuroVision; the winner of the series has had that opportunity since season two. He has been acting for several years, and last year also made his debut with the Israeli Opera.

Wow, talk about a 180 degree turn in genres from last year. This broad, bordering on operatic ballad is the complete opposite of Netta‘s 2018 winner “Toy” in terms of style. When it comes to content, however, once again the lyrics are about empowerment; this year, it’s about how finding things in life shape who you become, with the songs biggest declaration, “I Am Someone” being the central theme; now that I have found who I am, I can be comfortable with it. At least that’s what I get out of it. And it’s a terrific song, but it might be a little too formal for voters out there…and the video is a bit hokey in places with it’s multiple Kobi’s that remind me a lot of (I am SO sorry) William Shatner‘s utterly terrible “Rocket Man” video…

Israel has had great luck at EuroVision over the years; they have participated 41 times and have now won the Grand Championship four times – in 1978 with “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” by Itzar Cohen, in 1979 with “Hallelujah” by Gail Atari and Milk And Honey, in 1999 with “Diva” by Dana International, and in 2018 with “Toy” by Netta.

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!