It's Official: 42 Countries Will Compete in Tel Aviv!

It's Official: 42 Countries Will Compete in Tel Aviv!

42! The EBU confirmed today, that 42 countries would be making their way to Tel Aviv next May for the 64th Eurovision Song Contest. Though many were hoping that 2019 would bring a new record number of participants (with rumors of Kazakhstan potentially joining the contest), 42 is still a beautiful number, it is after all, according to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, “the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”.

Eurovision winner "Toy" accused of plagiarism

Writers of the summer hit and Eurovision winner "Toy" have received a warning letter from Universal Music Group over the alleged similarity between the hit song and White Stripes' "Deven Nation Army." Accordion to a report by Israeli Keshet TV, Doron Medalie and Stav Beger, the writers and composers of the song, received a letter two weeks ago from Universal claiming copyright infringement.

We couldn’t really find any resemblance, but what do you think? Check out the video below with audio examples of both songs.

Ofer Menahem, Barzilai’s manager, said in response: “No legal claim was received, only a preliminary clarification letter on the matter.” Doron Medalie told Israeli paper, Haaretz that he cannot respond because of the legal nature of the matter.

According to Eurovision rules defined by the EBU, participating songs need to be original and if the claim turns to be ruled against Barzilai, it could theoretically disqualify "Toy" from the contest and therefore also disqualify Israel from hosting the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.

Having said that, the EBU responded to the alleged accusation saying it is paying no heed to these reports of copyright accusations. The EBU told Israeli The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that it considers the plagiarism accusations "baseless rumors."

Universal is one of four world's largest music contributions. "Toy" was distributed in the United States in late May after the musical label Sony BMB signed a contract with the Israeli company Teddy Production. Only time will tell if this warning will lead to an official legal claim.

It’s official: ISRAEL 2019 !

It’s official: ISRAEL 2019 !

After several weeks of rumors, “breaking news”, as well as some fake news and sensationalized reports, the EBU, the European Broadcasting Union, has officially confirmed today that Israel would host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. The official planning of the event under KAN, the Israeli host broadcaster, kicked off today during the KAN visit to the EBU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Netflix comedy and Will Ferrell taking on Eurovision

Netflix announces a new Will Ferrell movie "Eurovision", which will star the SNL actor in a Eurovision-inspired comedy script. Ferrell's first original work for Netflix will be centered around the annual Eurovision Song Contest and will be co-written by Ferrell and Andrew Steele, his long-time collaborator, Funny or Die creative director, and former head writer on "Saturday Night Live". What do you think of this collaboration and are you excited to check out an upcoming comedy show inspired by the contest?

 Will Ferrell posing with this year's Latvian representative singer Laura Rizzotto

Will Ferrell posing with this year's Latvian representative singer Laura Rizzotto

Eurovision 2018: Public vs. Jury Votes

The Eurovision Broadcast Union has revealed the full split results of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. As the rule goes, full detailed voting results for the semi-finals will not be revealed until after the Grand Final due to potential influence on people's voting patterns. Now the EBU has revealed both the complete details for the semi-final voting and slipt count of grand final scores.

Voting in the Grand Final

As usual, this year the contest continued using the 50/50 system jury votes and televotes collected in each participating country. Viewers were able to vote or any entry except their own based on their location.

Combined Results:

  1. Israel: 529 points
  2. Cyprus: 436 points
  3. Austria: 342 points
  4. Germany: 340 points
  5. Italy: 308 points
  6. Czech Republic: 281 points
  7. Sweden: 274 points
  8. Estonia: 245 points
  9. Denmark: 226 points
  10. Moldova: 209 points
  11. Albania: 184 points
  12. Lithuania: 181 points
  13. France: 173 points
  14. Bulgaria: 166 points
  15. Norway: 144 points
  16. Ireland: 136 points
  17. Ukraine: 130 points
  18. The Netherlands: 121 points
  19. Serbia: 113 points
  20. Australia: 99 points
  21. Hungary: 93 points
  22. Slovenia: 64 points
  23. Spain: 61 points
  24. United Kingdom: 48 points
  25. Finland: 46 points
  26. Portugal: 39 points

Jury Votes:

  1. Austria: 271 points
  2. Sweden: 253 points
  3. Israel: 212 points
  4. Germany: 204 points
  5. Cyprus: 183 points
  6. Estonia: 143 points
  7. Albania: 126 points
  8. France: 114 points
  9. Bulgaria: 100 points
  10. Moldova: 94 points
  11. Lithuania: 90 points
  12. Australia: 90 points
  13. The Netherlands: 89 points
  14. Ireland: 74 points
  15. Czech Republic: 66 points
  16. Norway: 60 points
  17. Italy: 59 points
  18. Spain: 43 points
  19. Slovenia: 41 points
  20. Serbia: 38 points
  21. Denmark: 38 points
  22. Hungary: 28 points
  23. United Kingdom: 23 points
  24. Finland: 23 points
  25. Portugal: 21 points
  26. Ukraine: 11 points

Public Votes:

  1. Israel: 317 points
  2. Cyprus: 253 points
  3. Italy: 249 points
  4. Czech Republic: 215 points
  5. Denmark: 188 points
  6. Germany: 136 points
  7. Ukraine: 119 points
  8. Moldova: 115 points
  9. Estonia: 102 points
  10. Lithuania: 91 points
  11. Norway: 84 points
  12. Serbia: 75 points
  13. Austria: 71 points
  14. Bulgaria: 66 points
  15. Hungary: 65 points
  16. Ireland: 62 points
  17. France: 59 points
  18. Albania: 58 points
  19. The Netherlands: 32 points
  20. United Kingdom: 25 points
  21. Finland: 23 points
  22. Slovenia: 23 points
  23. Sweden: 21 points
  24. Spain: 18 points
  25. Portugal: 18 points
  26. Australia: 9 points

Top Interval Acts, Attempts to Live Up to Riverdance

Interval acts are little performances performed by the hosting county's famous musicians, the masters of ceremony, or by previous year's winner. Here's a selection of fun interval acts from the past 10 years.

2009: Fuerza Bruta performs in Russia

While not Russian, or actually little to do with the hosting country, Russia presented us Fuerza Bruta. A worldwide famous postmodern theatre show originating from Buenos Aires was featured in 2009. It was around the time when the show was performed in Moscow, which wasn't necessarily unique since it's been touring around the world since 2003 and an off-Broadway certified version of it has been permanently in New York City since 2007, it was nonetheless a glorious spectacle.

2016: Justin Timberlake's first televised performance of "Can't Stop the Feeling!"

Europeans got their first exclusive preview of this new number 1 hit a few days before the rest of the world. Timberlake gave his first televised performance of "Can't Stop the Feeling!" during the interval act of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 grand final.

2012: Eurovision Medley Performance by Past Winners

It's quite a tradition for Eurovision hosting countries to pay tribute to the most successful Eurovision winners, in 2012, the organizers decided to bring together five former winners to performer their songs by using the accompaniment of local traditional instruments.

2016: No, Still, This is How You Write a Song

In 2016 we learned what's the secret to winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Bare with us, dress to impress and don't look back!

2016: Choreography Illustrating the Journey to Europe

In 2016, the organizers weren't only praised for an excellent choice of MCs, but in addition to overly entertaining interval acts they also brought focus to the importance of immigrant lives and the ongoing European refugee crisis.

2015: Conchita Wurst brings Eurovision back to Classics

The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest brought back some classical elements to Eurovision while still embracing modern elements in terms of design. The orchestra returned for the opening, as well as beautiful gowns and dresses, while also being forwarding thinking by building a fully recyclable stage and using four women as MCs, including the last year's winner Conchita Wurst. The opening truly brought us to tears.

1994: You can try, but you will never beat the Riverdance

Ah, that's the classic, the best of the best of interval acts. The one that we will always fail to live up to, the good old Riverdance. Our inspiration and muse of interval acts.

FYR Macedonia wins the Barbara Dex Award 2018

In addition to the overall Eurovision vistory, and Marcel Bezençon Awards, another award is handed out to one contestant each year. Since 1997, a fan-voted accolade is handed out to the "worst dessed" artists. The award was founded by Dutch Eurovision fansite The House of Eurovision and has continue to be a popular topic for fans to talk about. The award is given based on the contestant's live performance and has been controversial among fans for being superficial and demeaning, while it continues to make headlines across the community.

From 43 artists, viewers were asked to vote for who they believed was the worst dressed artist of the 2018 song competition via Songfestival.be. The top five included Netta (Israel), Vanja Radovanovic (Montenegro), Sennek (Belgium), and Jassica Mauboy (Australia), but the worst of the worst according to fans was this year's entry from FYR Macedonia.

The lead singer Marija Ivanovska wore a pink jacket back-to-front, with a pair of silver shorts being visible underneath the stand-out pink. Mid-performance the jacket was removed to reveal a silver sparkly top, with a knitted pattern to top it off.

Top 5 Songs That Won Marcel Bezençon Awards

Marcel Bezençon Awards, named after the founder of the Eurovision Song Contest, are special awards given to outstanding acts based on press, artistic and compositional success. Awards were first handed out in 2002 in Tallinn. Initiated by Christer Björkman (Sweden's representative in Eurovision, 1992) and Richard Herrey (member of the Herreys, 1984 Eurovision winner from Sweden), awards are granted in three categories - the Press Award, Artistic Award, and Composer Award. Awards are traditionally handed out backstage, shortly before the Grand Final. These are the top 5 songs ever to receive one or multiple awards.


Occidentali's Karma

Press Award - Italy 2017

Italy's entry to Eurovision 2017 needs little introduction. With over 200 million views on Youtube this song became a mega-hit across Europe. The catchy melody, humorous lyrics, and naked ape dancing made us all scream "La scimmia nuda balla Occidentali's Karma" Panta rei, and taking you Francesco Gabbani for enlightening us with youre pure joy and genuine energy.


Rise like a Phoenix

Press Award - Austria 2014

Another song that the world simply couldn't ignore. Little known, but in addition to the overall victory of Eurovision 2014, the Austrian singer Conchita Wurst was also granted the press award making her the diva of the night and bring an important message of tolerance and acceptance to millions of viewers.


Calm After the Storm

Artistic Award | Composer Award - The Netherlands 2014

As if landing a second place at the Eurovision Song Contest isn't good enough, The Common Linnets representing the Netherlands was praised for it's artistic quality and excellent composition. Despite a mellow and soothing melody, it reached number 9 in the UK singles chart, and first in many other countries, like Belgium, Iceland, and the Netherlands.


Euphoria

Artistic Award | Composer Award - Sweden 2012

Without a doubt the most successful recent song to come out of the contest Euphoria was also praised for it's artistic quality. After winning the whole contest by a landslide of votes, it received two Marcel Bezençon Awards - Artistic, and Composer Awards. The song was received positively across the world ranking high not only across the European market, but also in Australia. The song peaked at the top spot in several countries including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland. It spent 15 consecutive weeks in the UK Top 100, making it the most successful Eurovision song in history, ahead of "Waterloo" by ABBA, and "I Can" by Blue. The single sold over 2 million copies worldwide.


Milim

Press Award | Artistic Award | Composer Award - Israel 2010

While the Israel's entry didn't reach top 10 in the grand final, it managed to attract attention from pretty much everyone else involved winning the press, artistic and composer award in 2010. The song was welcomed by polarizing opinions from people calling it dramatic and beautiful, or up front boring. That did not stop the powerful ballad to reaching everyone's hearts. In an interview the singer Harel Skaat described it as a song about "separation, of any kind. Separation of lovers, of a family. In Hewbre, 'Milim" means words. The words are the most memorable thing we have after a separation, words are very powerful and the are engraved in our minds and hearts". This song will definitely stay in our hearts for a long time.


Let us know what do you think of our selection by sharing online and letting us know your favorites.

This Year's Marcel Bezençon Awards Go to France, Cyprus, and Bulgaria

In addition to the overall and most well known victory price of the Eurovision Song Contest decided by the viewers at home and music industry professional from each participating country, three more awards are officially awarded to outstanding musical acts. The Marcel Bezençon Awards, named after the founder of the contest, was first handed out in 2002 in Tallinn. Initiated by Christer Björkman (Sweden's representative in Eurovision, 1992) and Richard Herrey (member of the Herreys, 1984 Eurovision winner from Sweden), awards are granted in three categories - the Press Award, Artistic Award, and Composer Award. Awards are traditionally handed out backstage, shortly before the Grand Final. Here are this year's winners.

Press Award

The press award is give to the best entry voted for by the accredited media. This year it was awarded to France with Madame Monsieur and their entry Mercy. The song explored a story about a girl named Mercy who was born to Nigerian refugees on a boat, travelling across the Mediterranean Sea in the midst of the European migrant crisis. Overall the act finished on the 13th position at the Grand Final.

Artistic Award

The artistic award is presented to the best artist voted for by the commentators. This year's award went to Cyprus's representative Eleni Foureira, and her entry Fuego. The catchy song and flawless performance earned 2nd position as part of the Grand Final.

Composer Award

Composer award is granted by a jury consisting of the participating composers who vote for the most original composition. This year the award went to Bulgaria's entry Bones, performed by Equinox.


Don't forget to check out a list of former winners at Eurovision.TV

Cyprus' first ever 2nd place at Eurovision

Last night’s voting board was in flames when Cyprus’ entry Fuego and Israeli’s Toy were head to head fighting for the top spot. As surprise to many, first time in history, Cyprus managed to achieve second place at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.

Cyprus made its debut at Eurovision in 1981 finishing sixth. While managing to reach the top 10 a number of times, Cyprus has never managed to gain a top 3 position. This was changed this year when Eleni Foureira with a song “Fuego” achieved an honorable second place and a Marcel Bezençon Artistic Award.

Eleni Foureira is an Albanian-born Greek singer, actress, dancer, and fashion designer. Her music career dates back to 2007 when she was a member of a Greek girl group Mystique. In 2009, she signed a solo contract with Universal Music Greece and in 2010 released her self-titled debut album, which received a platinum certification in Greece. Currently she is a successful performer in Grreece and Cyprus, with four studio albums all which were well-received in both countries.

Fuego by Eleni Foureira was the smashing hit to place second at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 grand-final. The song was composed by Greek-Swedish producer and songwriter Alex P, and the music video premiered on 2 March 2018. The melody employs the millennial whoop pattern. Prior to the official announcement of Foureira representing Cyprus, there were various rumors of other artists, including the two-time singer of Greece and one-time Eurovision winner Helena Paparizou. A demo of Papariziou singing Fuego leaked prior to the announcement, which was soon after removed but reuploaded by fans after the official announcement.

Fuego has been a commercial success reaching top 10 in four countries and top 100 in numerous others. Foureira has continued promoting the single across Europe, performing it as part of Mad VMA 2018 award show, Super Music Awards 2018, Barcelona Pride, Madrid Pride, and many others.

#Shook, Eurovision Week's Shocking Moments

The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 was filled with various shocking moments, some intended by its organizers, some spontaneous and unexpected. The hosting country definitely had some entertaining moments up their sleeves such as various interval acts showcasing the merge of traditional music and dance combined with modern interpretation and technology, or the pre-recorded sequence giving a humorous looking into the life of the Portuguese. Here are some of the most shocking moments from this year's show.


Russia failed to qualify to the Grand Final

Within the past two years, Russia has been making headlines. Last year due to the withdrawal from the contest and this year failing to qualify to the grand final. In 2017, Julia Samoylova was selected to represent Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine but later the national delegation withdrew from the contest. The singer was banned from entering the hosting country, Ukraine, but was allowed to perform through various digital and live broadcasted forms. The national delegation decided to withdraw and instead send begin preparing for a new entry next year. This year the Russian delegation sent last year's winner to the Eurovision with a new song "I Won't Break", but surprising to everyone failed to gain enough points. This was the first time since the introduction of semi-finals in 2004, that Russia failed to qualify.

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Funny and odd gimmicks

Due to the hosting country's decision to not use LED screens as part of the stage design, many countries began to creatively approach their performances. This resulted in various props being used and unseen choreography. Some countries handled it well, others received a more critical response, but one of the most memorable moments included San Marino's little robots, Moldova's Punch-and-Judy-style modular background wall, Ukraine's staircase in flames, and Slovenia's intentional technical glitch.


Chinese broadcaster censors Eurovision

Blurring LGBT flags from the audience, and modifying transmissions in two performances to hide tattoos and LGBT dancers.

In 2014, officially for the first time, the Eurovision Song Contest was brought to the Chinese viewers. The same year an Austrian recording artist and drag queen Conchita Wurst won the contest, speaking out for the LGBT rights, and becoming the most Googled person of the year.

This year marked a much more controversial year due to censorship imposed by the Chinese broadcaster Mango TV. During the first semi-final the China's top TV operator, a member of the Hunan Television group, edited the transmission of the semi-final to remove gay elements. Ireland's performance was transmissions were modified in order to hide the two men dancing. A similar tactic was used during the Albanian performance, to hide body tattoos. Finally, the broadcaster also blurred out rainbow flags, symbols of LGBT pride, and other images of performers with tattoos.

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European Broadcasting Union canceled the contract with China’s Mango TV

After various censorship during the broadcasting of the first semi-final, the European Broadcast Union released a statement canceling the contract to screen the grand final of Eurovision Song Contest 2018. According to the EBU, the decision to censor content was taken by Mango TV and wasn't in line with values "of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music."

It is with regret that we will therefore immediately be terminating our partnership with the broadcaster and they will not be permitted to broadcast the second semifinal or the Grand Final.
— European Broadcast Union

UK's SuRie was interrupted by a stage invader

In the middle of the UK's entry a man, dressed in a black and red bandana and slogan t-short promoting a book on Amazon, ran on stage and grabbed the microphone from SuRie's hands. The stage invader is known as Dr. ACactivism who has previously interrupted the National Television Awards, and The Voice.

For the Nazis of the UK media, we demand freedom.
— Dr. ACactivism, stage invader, at Eurovision Song Contest 2018 Grand Final
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SuRie was given an opportunity to repeat her performance which she later declined. The singer recovered quickly and went on performing her song "Storm" with an astonishing support from the crowd.


Israel brings home a grand victory

While not a surprise to numerous fans, the early bookies favorite had some fierce from initially unexpected entries from Cyprus and Austria. Up until the final seconds viewers were kept on their toes due to very close voting results. Finally the feminist anthem "Toy" won the overall voting and came first in public vote.