Ok, quick progress report from the national finals season. Six countries have announced their entries: Albania, Belarus, Belgium, Lithuania, Switzerland and Ukraine. Yet another seven have announced their artists, but have yet to release the details of the song. Those countries are France and Spain from the big five, Montenegro and the Netherlands from semifinal one, and Armenia, FYR Macedonia, and Georgia from semi two. Let’s take a look at those artists and what we might expect from them.
Armenia have chosen 25-year-old male solo artist Gor Sujyan, the lead singer for popular rock band Dorians. In 2010 he was chosen best male singer by the Armenian Music Awards. Here Gor performs an acoustic cover of Queen’s “Love of My Life”. Although far more laid back than we would expect his Eurovision entry, this clip shows the stage presence and soaring tenor voice that should bring Armenia back to ESC with a strong entry in 2013.
France this week announced that pop singer Amandine Bourgeois will represent them in Malmö, with a so-far-unreleased song titled “La Enfer et Moi” (Hell and Me). Amandine gained fame with French audiences in 2008 when she competed in “Nouvelle Star”, the French version of “Idol”. This single from last year shows a bluesy rock style that sounds like it could be in keeping with the title of her entry.
FYR Macedonia’s entry continues in their string of unique offerings to ESC. They have chosen a young male pop artist, Lozano, who will perform as a duo act with an older, established ethnic musician, Esma. This news report shows and talks about the two artists, but doesn’t provide any clues as to what they may do together:
Georgia has chosen a duo as well, of young attractive singers Nodi Tatishvili and Sophie Gelovani. The clip shows nothing about their music styles, but Georgia’s announcement that Thomas G:son, Swedish composer of last year’s triumphant “Euphoria” as well as a handful of other strong Eurovision entries since 2001, leads us to hope for something memorable!
Montenegro have again chosen an interesting style for their official artist. Who See are a popular local band whose most celebrated single is in the reggaeton style. We will see if they come up with a song that connects with ESC viewers better than last year’s “Euro Neuro”.
We talked about Anouk, the artist for the Netherlands, when she became the first to be revealed for 2013. She is one of the top Dutch stars and brings years of experience on stage to Eurovision. The locals think she could be the one to end the years their country has spent mired in the semis.
Spain’s entry is a departure from their several years of grand ballads and summer holiday party songs. El Sueño De Morfeo are a very popular Spanish folky pop band fronted by an attractive female singer. Their song has not yet been revealed, but their video of “Depende de Ti” gives a flavor of what we can expect to hear from them in ESC.
On an unrelated note, this is the weekend that national finals kick into high gear in the Nordic countries. Finland is well underway in their semifinals, and Norway and Iceland have started their choice in the last week (both have semifinals tonight). Meanwhile the first really big national final show airs tonight from Herning, DK, as Denmark Melodi Grand Prix chooses a national entry from ten very strong contenders. (Next weekend superheavyweight Sweden begins its six week Melodifestivalen contest…)