ESCountdown 2019: #4 – “Say Na Na Na” by Serhat, San Marino

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!

At this point in time we are now less than ONE WEEK away from the Grand Final for 2018, and only three days from the first semi final. Today, I will wrap up this year’s ESCountdown, bringing you my top five picks. As always, I know the ESC fandom community is a rabid one, and fans are all over the road with their own personal tastes and choices, so as always with my personal picks, your mileage may vary…:-)

In at #4 on my countdown this year is the official entry from San Marino, “Say Na Na Na” by Serhat, written by Serhat and Mary Susan Applegate. The song is performed in English with two lines in Turkish, and will be performed 17th and last, a performance spot that is usually an almost-guaranteed ticket to the grand final, on the first semi-final on May 14th.

Ahmet Serhat Hacıpaşalıoğlu, known by his middle name Serhat, is renowned throughout Europe as a singer, producer, and television host. He was the producer and host of the Turkish adaptation of “Jeopardy“, known as “Riziko!“, which ran for years. He started his singing career around the time he was hosting, and this is the second time the Turkish native has represented the small enclave country-community of San Marino at Eurovision.

Ok, I can’t help myself. I’ve seen it derided all over the ESC Fandom community…and YOU ARE ALL WRONG! NYAAH!  This is just about the coolest song in this year’s contest, and it has MASSIVE potential to become a worldwide smash, with an infectious beat and a memorable – and irresistible – chorus hook; I have passed the video for this song onto a number of friends who all fell hard for it. It’s simple message is that Serhat will be there anytime you need a pick me up when you’re having a bad day – just call him and he’ll tell you so. Really – “Don’t forget my number, call me anytime” – LOL! OK, OK  I KNOW… he means it as a metaphor for knowing you can call a true friend when you need some boost to get through the day. Basically, it’s a jaunty, upbeat cross between “Lean On Me” and “Don’t Worry Be Happy“, the Eurovision editions. And you know what? IT’S AWESOME! This world FUCKIN’ NEEDS that right now – there’s so much craziness going on, no matter where in the world you are living, that knowing you always have a friend by your side can only be good, right? The video is my absolute favorite of all the videos this year – performed on a city street set, with inserts of Serhat singing while clad in his colorful suit jackets, and then actually joining the crowd in the final chorus, the video is just awesome – love the briefcase dance in the street from the guys right after the first chorus, and that little girl in the red and yellow jumpsuit who does the “Say Na Na Na” at the end of the video is just about the cutest kid on the planet right now. I have played this song more than ANY OTHER SONG this year – I absolutely ADORE it, from the admitted cheesiness of the upbeat fun lyrics to Serhat’s usual awesome deep-throated delivery. Say what you want about him, he is fun, he is likable in so many ways, he obviously loves and enjoys performing, and he’s STILL the ONLY Turkish artist to ever hit the Billboard charts in the U.S.; the last song he represented San Marino with at Eurovision, “I Didn’t Know“, rerecorded as a duet with the legendary Martha Wash, hit #25 on Billboard’s Dance Club chart in 2017. Do NOT count this song out – allow me to repeat myself – it’s AWESOME! If it doesn’t get through, I am going to be SOOOOOO pissed off…..and then I’ll have to just listen to the song again to help me get over it…heh heh heh….

San Marino is one of those little European conclaves that tourists flock to – the entire country is only TWENTY FOUR SQUARE MILES, has a population of just over 33,000 people, and is contained entirely within Italy, but they are completely autonomous, currently making them the smallest country represented at EuroVision (in comparison, among the countries of Europe, only Monaco, which hasn’t participated since 2006, and Vatican City, which has never participated, are smaller). They made their debut in 2008, and have made 9 appearances in the contest. They have qualified for the final only once, in 2014, where they finished 24th. They DO hold a EuroVision record, as strange as it seems – Valentina Monetta, who represented the country three years in a row, in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and also in 2017 with Jimmie Wilson, holds the title for the female artist with the most participation in the contest with four appearances…pretty wild…and now Serhat is challenging her and coming after her spot; as noted above, this is his second appearance for the country at the contest.

Say what you will, this video is absolutely AWESOME – If you don’t love it…check your pulse, you’re probably deceased…heh heh…

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.

I will be LIVE BLOGGING during both semi-finals and the finals this week – coverage will start at 3 PM Eastern/12 PM Pacific in the US – I suck at time zones so you’ll have to figure that out if you’re not in the US – where I will comment on each performance, the ongoing spectacle, the hosts, the crowd, the performers, and everything else. Please check it out at http://ecinemaone.com !

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!

ESCountdown 2019: #5 – “Roi” by Bilal Hassani, France

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!

At this point in time we are now less than ONE WEEK away from the Grand Final for 2018, and only three days from the first semi final. Today, I will wrap up this year’s ESCountdown, bringing you my top five picks. As always, I know the ESC fandom community is a rabid one, and fans are all over the road with their own personal tastes and choices, so as always with my personal picks, your mileage may vary…:-)

In at #5 on my countdown this year is the official entry from France, “Roi” by Bilal Hassani, written by Bilal Hassani, Madame Monsieur, and Medeline. The song is performed in English and French, and as France is one of the “Big Five” it has an automatic “Bye” to the grand final on May 18.

19-year-old Bilal Hassani has been making videos on YouTube for a number of years, both music and commentary, and he came to national fame in France when he was a participant in the second season of France’s “The Voice Kids” talent show franchise, getting eliminated in the battle rounds (REALLY?). He came out as gay in 2017 and has frequently had to fight back against bigotry and hatred on social media since that time.

Although I have a different personal favorite, I have known in my gut since I first saw the video for “Roi” that Hassani was the one to beat at this year’s Eurovision contest. This song is so powerful, so beautiful, so commanding in it’s presence that it demands to be taken seriously. His unique “Frencnglish” delivery -alternating lines of English and French – is seamless, and his voice is truly sent from the Gods; the song gives me chills every time I listen to it. I am convinced he was put on this Earth to help defend against bigotry and hatred regarding those who identify as LGBTQ, and he’s going to do it in a big way. “Roi“, English translation “King” (well, duh…even I know that, and I speak ZERO French), sends a message to others struggling with who they are to stand up, accept yourself as who you are, and go for the crown, and, to put it bluntly, FUCK everyone else, you WILL succeed no matter what you have to face. Even if the song doesn’t win the whole shebang at the Grand Finel, Hassani DOES win – because I truly believe with this performance, we are witnessing the birth of someone meant to be a superstar worldwide very, very soon, and i will do whatever I can to help him get there…he is just FUCKIN’ AMAZING….

France made its EuroVision debut in 1956 (the first year), and has appeared 61 times since then. They have won the Grand Championship five times – with “Dors, mon amor” by Andre Claveau in 1958, “Tom Pillibi” by Jacqueline Boyer in 1960, “Un Premier Amor” by Isabelle Aubret in 1962, “Un jour, un enfant” by Frida Boccara in 1969’s one-of-a-kind four way tie (with Spain, The Netherlands, and the UK), and “L’oiseau et l’enfant” by Marie Myriam in 1977. Their luck ran out after that last win, and they’ve made the top five only twice in the 21st century, and finished last for the first ever in 2014.

There are simply NO WORDS for this video, I have watched it over and over again..I can’t get enough of it…or of Hassani..

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.

I will be LIVE BLOGGING during both semi-finals and the finals this week – coverage will start at 3 PM Eastern/12 PM Pacific in the US – I suck at time zones so you’ll have to figure that out if you’re not in the US – where I will comment on each performance, the ongoing spectacle, the hosts, the crowd, the performers, and everything else. Please check it out at http://ecinemaone.com !

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!

ESCountdown 2019: #6 – “Ktheju tokes” by Jonida Maliqi, Albania

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!

At this point in time we are ONE WEEK away from the Grand Final for 2018, and only four days from the first semi final. Today and tomorrow, I will bring you my top ten picks. As always, I know the ESC fandom community is a rabid one, and fans are all over the road, so as always with my personal picks, your mileage may vary…:-)

In at #6 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Albania, “Ktheju tokes” by Jonida Maliqi, written by Eriona Rushiti. The song is performed in Albanian, and will be performed 14th at the second semi final on May 16.

Maliqi has been a star in her native Albania for well over a decade now. Considered one of the most popular singers in her country, she’s also judged a number of talent shows over the years, and even served as co-host on the Albanian “Dancing With The Stars” franchise for a while. She’s considered a role model, a fashionista, and a devoted patriot of her land

There is….something…about this song that grabbed me from the first second I heard it. Although it takes the video about 20 seconds to get going – there’s black at the beginning – when it does unfold, it is a purely surreal experience, artful, and visually stunning. The song is one of the most politically charged entries this year; two entries last year, “Mercy” from Madame Monsieur, France, and “Our Choice” by Ari Olafsson, Iceland, highlighted the European immigration crisis in their offerings, but didn’t really come close to doing the topic justice, although they gave it a shot. Here, the lyrics of Maliqi’s song are similar but much much more specific, singing of the Albanian emigration issues, especially as related to the recent war with Kosovo, and the sheer power of the song is absolutely undeniable. The song’s title translates in English to “Return To Your Land“, and the song serves to beseech the people who have left to return home.  I have a feeling some of the European community is going to reject this incredible tune outright for it’s message, but man, if they do…they’re nuts. We also got a cliffhanger on the video, with the words “To Be Continued, Eurovision Song Contest” at the end, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with…

Albania made their debut in EuroVision in 2004, and have participated fifteen times since. Their best showing has been fifth place, which happened in 2005 with “Suus” by Rona Nishliu. Their entry last year, the also unbelievably stylish “Mall” by Eugent Bushpepa, was widely discounted as having no chance to make it into the grand final last year – but it stunned everyone (well, not me…heh heh), not only making the finals but it blew past the competition to land in 9th place overall in the finals. Time will tell if this year’s entry will be another upset…

We hit TOP FIVE territory tomorrow, with my most favorite songs of the year…which ones are they? Take a peek at what’s been done so far, and you’ll be able to pick the five countries yet to come…but not the order, I’ll bet…heh heh heh….

Love this avant-garde (there’s that word again) video…although it takes a few seconds to get off the ground, it’s worth waiting for…

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: #7 – “Walking Out” by Srbuk, Armenia

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!

At this point in time we are ONE WEEK away from the Grand Final for 2018, and only four days from the first semi final. Today and tomorrow, I will bring you my top ten picks. As always, I know the ESC fandom community is a rabid one, and fans are all over the road, so as always with my personal picks, your mileage may vary…:-)

In at #7 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Armenia, “Walking Out” by Srbuk, written by Garik Papoyan, Lost Capital, and tokionine. The song is performed in English, and will be performed FIRST (usually a fatal performance slot, but not always) at the second semi final on May 16.

Like most (but as we shall see in the next couple of days, not all) Eurovision stars these days, Srbuhi Sargsyan, who uses the nickname Srbuk professionally, got her start on recent or fairly recent talent shows – she was the runner up on the debut season of Armenia’s “X Factor” franchise, way back in 2010, then followed that up with a fourth-place finish on the Ukranian “Voice” franchise last year.

I’m going to say it now – if this year’s contest has one song that could surprise, sneak up on everyone else, and suddenly and unexpectedly grab the Grand Final championship, this is it. Focusing on a woman empowered to leave her lover after years of issues, the powerful lyrics are stunning, Srbuk‘s delivery is SPOT ON, and the stylish dance video is amazing when you consider that there’s lots of either neon or florescence involved and you can’t see any color because the video is in black-and-white and it’s utterly stunning. She rocks the house live as well, can match the recording word for word, and is drop dead gorgeous in a kind of waify way; without a doubt this has been one of my big favorites from the very beginning…

Armenia has participated in EuroVision twelve times since debuting in 2006, and has yet to land a win in the contest; they have finished as high as fourth, which has happened twice, in 2008 and 2014. Could this be their year? Hmmmmm…could be….

Love this avant-garde and stylish B&W video – it’s AWESOME…and electrifying 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: #8 – “La venda” by Miki, Spain

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!

At this point in time we are ONE WEEK away from the Grand Final for 2018, and only four days from the first semi final. Today and tomorrow, I will bring you my top ten picks. As always, I know the ESC fandom community is a rabid one, and fans are all over the road, so as always with my personal picks, your mileage may vary…:-)

In at #8 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Spain, “La venda” by Miki, written by Adria Salas. The song is performed in Spanish, and as Spain is one of the “Big Five”, it has an automatic “bye” to the Grand Final on May 18th.

23-year-old Miguel “Miki” Nunez Poco is getting his first real big taste of future stardom right now. He was a contestant last year on the long-running Spanish competition series Operación Triunfo, where he finished in 6th place. Most of the contestants on that show since it returned from a long multi-year hiatus are also given songs to compete in the national final for Eurovision, and Miki took the top spot on that show.

The title in English is “The Blindfold“, and the song is a fun romp about taking your blinders off, seeing the world as it is, and forgetting prejudices and having fun with all you find. In English, the first line of the chorus says “The blindfold falls down and joy is the only thing left”; wouldn’t it be wonderful if the world could find that middle point among peoples and cultures so easily? I have been HOOKED on this song from day one – I have noted time and time again, particularly on “The Kirkham Report“, that I love Latin music, even though I don’t speak the language. Miki and his crew in the video seem to be having so much fun, and Miki himself is so bubbly and full of life that you can’t help but love him – his voice is awesome, the ladies love his looks – I know this because my wife called him cute and she knows these things, heh heh – and the style, which I would personally term as maybe “pseudo-mariachi” but I might be wrong in a technical sense, is just a blast. It’s a shame the ESC fandom community don’t seem to like this tune much – I think they’ve got a real fun number here…and it stands head and shoulders over last year’s entry, the snoozy “Tu cancion” by Amaia y Alfred….snore…..

Surprisingly, SpaIn didn’t debut in the EuroVision contest until 1961. Since their debut, they have never missed a contest, so they’ve appeared fifty eight times. Both of their Grand Final championships occurred in the 1960s, and they were back to back, winning in 1968 with “La la la” by Massiel , and in 1969 with “Viva cantando” by Salome, which was part of the infamous four way tie that year with the UK, France, and the Netherlands.  They have also finished second four times, with one of those second-place finishers, 1973’s “Eres Tu” by Mocedades, considered to be a EuroVision classic and becoming a worldwide hit, even in the US, where it hit #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became my ten-year-old self’s introduction to Latin music, which I have loved ever since. They’ve also finished with “nul’ points three times – in 1962. 1965, and 1983, and have managed a top ten finish only twice since 2005; even with massively huge fan support, they only managed a 23rd place finish last year with the aforementioned “Tu cancion“…

I challenge anyone watching the video to not want to get up and dance…it’s THAT 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: #9 – “Soldi” by Mahmood, Italy

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!

At this point in time we are ONE WEEK away from the Grand Final for 2018, and only four days from the first semi final. Today and tomorrow, I will bring you my top ten picks. As always, I know the ESC fandom community is a rabid one, and fans are all over the road, so as always with my personal picks, your mileage may vary…:-)

In at #9 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Italy, “Soldi” by Mahmood, written by Charlie Charles, Dario “Dardust” Faini, and Alessandro Mahmoud. The song is performed in Italian with two lines of Arabic, and as Italy is one of the “Big Five”, it has an automatic “bye” to the Grand Final on May 18th.

Alessandro Mahmood first tasted stardom as a contest on the sixth season of Italy’s “X Factor” franchise, and although he was eliminated fairly early, it was enough to convince him to continue with his music career. His first single came out in 2013 and he’s been growing in popularity ever since.

Ok…obviously I love this song, but I know it’s not going to be nearly high enough for most of the sometimes-rabid ESC fan community or for the bookies throughout Europe, who have pegged this hard-driving, bitter ‘daddy issues’ song from a very personal point of view (English translation is “Money“) as the champion this year. I disagree; let me explain why – it has to do with the odds. Since this decade began, not one of the “Big Five” – France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the UK – have managed a championship, and in fact, only on rare occasions have any of them made the top ten. The last championship for one of them was at the end of the last decade, when Germany’s Lena took home the grand prize in 2010 for “Satellite“. Italy DOES has the best track record of the five this decade, placing in the top ten a whopping SIX times, including a runner up in 2011’s “Follia d’amore” by Raphael Guilazzi, and a 3rd place finish in 2015 with “Grande amor” by Il Volo.  But they’ve also MISSED the top ten completely a couple of times this decade as well.  Their fandom is always rabid, both from within Italy itself as well as the rest of the ESC fan community throughout the continent. But it hasn’t been enough to push Italy to the top – and again going with the odds, and from various charts I’ve been able to look over, only TWICE this decade has the TRUE top fan favorite going into the finals – which I define as a song that has been steady in popularity throughout Eurovision season and doesn’t suddenly get a huge artificial push from almost out of nowhere from the fandom at the last minute for one reason or another –  topped the contest – in 2012,  Sweden’s “Euphoria” by Loreen, and 2018, Israel’s “Toy” by Netta. The rest of the decade, the song that topped fans’ true favorites lists have been relegated to 2nd or 3rd place, with other songs making huge moves with the judges (and in some cases, the above mentioned fan-led surge) most years to push the fan choices down a bit. And I think the same may be destined to happen to “Soldi” as well.  Sorry folks. I won’t be disappointed if I’m wrong – it’s a great song, and although there are a couple of songs I really want to win more than this one, it’s definitely a worthy would-be champion…fingers crossed…

Italy was a EuroVision founder from the first contest in 1956, but they have withdrawn from time to time over the years, and have participated 44 times. They left the contest for a long stretch from 1998 to 2010. They have won the contest twice, with “Non ho l’eta” by Gigliola Cinquetti in 1964 and with “Insieme: 1992” by Toto Cutugno in 1990. Three of their non-winners have also gone on to become EuroVision classics over the years: “Nel blu dipinto id blu (Volare)” by Dominco Modugno, 1958, third place (and also likely the most covered EuroVision song in history, with dozens of versions in dozens of languages); “Madness Of Love” by Raphael Gulazzi, 2011, runner-up; and most recently  “Occidentali’s Karma” by Francesco Gabbini, 2017, sixth place.

Check out the utterly intense video for this song…

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: #10 – “She Got Me” by Luca Hanni, Switzerland

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!

At this point in time we are ONE WEEK away from the Grand Final for 2018, and only four days from the first semi final. Today and tomorrow, I will bring you my top ten picks. As always, I know the ESC fandom community is a rabid one, and fans are all over the road, so as always with my personal picks, your mileage may vary…:-)

In at #10 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Switzerland, “You Got Me” by Luca Hanni, written by Laurell Barker, Frazer Mac, Luca Hänni, Jon Hällgren, and Lukas Hällgren. The song is performed in English and will be performed 4th in the second semi-final on May 16th.

Hanni shot to fame in 2012 as the only non-German winner of Deutschland sucht den Superstar, Germany’s “Idol” franchise series; he’s been burning up the charts throughout Germany, Switzerland, and Austria ever since; he’s the first Swiss artist in fifty twq years to hit #1 on the German pop charts.

Hey Luca….Bruno Mars is calling, he wants his schtick back…LOL!  In all seriousness, though, Hanni’s got a very Mars-like vibe about him, a powerful, engaging sound, a sweet, well-honed voice, and an all around package. But on the other hand, the video looks like a set piece that was pulled right out of one of the “Mamma Mia” films, with funny and engaging action, lots of intense if a bit goofy choreography, and a color scheme that would make a cinematographer cringe. This is NOT to say I don’t like it – in fact, it’s one of my favorites – but it does come off kind of hokey. Overall, the fan support for this song is there, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to take it all the way, but look for it to finish somewhere in the top ten for sure…

Switzerland has been around since day one of the EuroVision contest, and has won the Grand Final twice – the very first edition of EuroVision in 1956 saw the country on top with “Refrain” by Lys Assia (who would also finish second the following year as well), then had to wait 32 years for their second win, with “Ne partez pas sans moi“, in 1988, performed for the country by then-unknown French-Canadian singer Celine Dion; her win at EuroVision set her on the path of international superstardom (and deservedly so).  Switzerland’s track record has been spotty since the introduction of the semi-final round, failing to qualify for the final eleven times since then, and have made the top ten only once in the 21st century, in 2005. Me thinks their long finals drought is over…in a HUGE way….

Check out the video..see if you agree with me about the “Mamma Mia” issue…

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: #11 – “Sister” by Sisters, Germany

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 #11 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Germany, “Sister” by Sisters, written by Laurell Barker, Marine Kaltenbacher, Tom Oehler, and Thomas Stengaard. The song is performed in English and as Germany is one of the “Big Five”, gets an automatc “bye” to the Grand Final on May 18th.

Singers Laurita Spinelli and Carlotta Truman teamed up specifically to perform this song for the German national final, and that teaming has rewarded them with a shot at glory at Eurovision.

So….any “Guardians Of The Galaxy” fans out there? I present to you Nebula’s song to Gamora…seriously, though, it DOES fit that relationship, doesn’t it? This powerful, anger and angst filled number about sisters who hold each other down trying to get on top also brings to mind Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” as well. The vitriol that is in the voices of the singers seems so real you almost expect them to start pulling out weaponry and using it on each other right in front of the live audience.  What a stupendous performance – easy to see why they won the National Final in Germany this year…fantastic song as well…

Germany’s history in the EuroVision contest is storied indeed; they have participated more times than any other country, present EVERY YEAR but one since the contest began in 1956, missing out only in 1996, when they were eliminated in a pre-show elimination round, which means they have appeared SIXTY TWO times – WOW!; They have won the Grand Championship twice – in 1982 with “Ein bißchen Frieden” performed by Nicole, and in 2010 with “Satellite“, performed by Lena.

My Top ten favorites coming on Saturday and Sunday – be there!

Check out the video..what a fantastic performance…

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: #12 – “The Dream” by Roko, Croatia

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 #12 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Croatia, “The Dream” by Roko, written by Jacques Houdek, Andrea Čubrić, and Charlie Mason. The song is performed in English and Croatian, and will be performed 10th at the second semi final on May 16th.

19-year-old Roko Blazevic won Serbian talent show Pinkove Zvezdice in July 2017, and followed that up with a second place finish on the Croatian reality competition series Zvigezde last December. Both is parents are singers as well, and many fans have called him the Croatian Michael Buble, the Canadian singer, who happens to be of Croatian descent.

Wow. Wow. WOW! I LOVE THIS SONG!  And the performance therein. Roko has a glorious voice, and in some ways reminds me personally not of Michael Buble as noted above but of 2016 Eurovision competitor Michel Szpak of Poland; he has the same kind of amazing power behind his vocals that defy anyone not to sit up and pay attention. The beautifully abstract video features a performance from Roko interspersed with disasters and social issues; where as he as a performer is speaking of a love between two people who have weathered a lot, the overall video gives the impression that love should be spread around to anyone who needs it. Utterly fantastic from beginning to end.

Croatia has participated in EuroVision off and on since making their debut in 1993, and has yet to land a win in the contest; they have finished as high as fourth, which has happened twice, in 1996 and 1999. Roko could be a real contender this year, and could give them a top ten finish if the cards are played right…

Check out the video..it’s one of the best of this year’s entries for sure….

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: #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!