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!

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!