The road to Lisbon
February 8, 2018 7:25 AM   Subscribe

The most important public vote in 2018 is, of course, the Eurovision Song Contest in three months time. 43 countries will participate; ticketing is open. Nations are in the process of deciding their contestant and song; the UK has just chosen theirs, as have Malta, the Czech Republic and a few others. Sadly though, the dancing lobster has already been eliminated after their Swedish qualifier performance. Controversy over last year's contest continue to bubble, while the winner recovers from surgery.

Every country does selection differently; the National Selection Calendar is useful, as is the relevant Wikipedia subsection. So far...

Countries who have determined both contestant and song
* Albania: Eugent Bushpepa will sing Mall
* Austria: Cesár Sampson will sing Nobody But You
* Cyprus: Eleni Foureira will sing Fuego
* Czech Republic: Mikolas Josef will sing Lie To Me
* France: Madame Monsieur will sing Mercy
* Ireland: Ryan O'Shaughnessy will sing Together
* Malta: Christabelle will sing Taboo
* Spain: Alfred and Amaia will sing Tu Canción
* Switzerland: Zibbz will sing Stones
* United Kingdom: SuRie will sing Storm

Countries who have determined contestant only
* Australia: Jessica Mauboy
* Azerbaijan: Aisel
* Belgium: Sennek
* Finland: Saara Aalto
* Georgia: Iriao
* Netherlands: Waylon (singing Foreigner)
* Russia: Yulia Samoylova - Russia's contestant last year before its withdrawal

Of the many countries still to decide, the Swedish qualification competition, Melodifestivalen, is one to keep an eye on.
posted by Wordshore (70 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Between this and the sandwich post, you're doing god's work, Wordshore.
posted by cooker girl at 7:50 AM on February 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

Brilliant, old son. Cheers for keeping us barbaric colonials up to snuff.
posted by Samizdata at 8:00 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I got sent home from work early yesterday because of snow, and so was able to watch Britain's You Decide thing live. Decent songs, pointless nattering from a panel, and really terrible jokes. Great fun!
posted by JanetLand at 8:40 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also, I was interested to see that there will be no LED screens this year.
posted by JanetLand at 8:43 AM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Relatedly, last year's winner, Salvador Sobral, has a new heart.
posted by chavenet at 8:45 AM on February 8, 2018 mentioned in the FPP itself.
posted by chavenet at 8:46 AM on February 8, 2018

Australia is in Europe?
posted by leaper at 10:22 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Just want to say... my wife and I went to Lisbon a few years ago, because we got cheap tickets. Lisbon is fucking amazing, and **relatively** tourist-free. I loved the people we met, the food, the drinks, the sites, the history, the prices. Just a wonderful place all around.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:30 AM on February 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

Australia is in Europe?

Yes. (So is Israel, who have won the Eurovision song contest three times)
posted by Wordshore at 10:37 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I bought a new-build house recently, and my one overriding concern was whether or not it would be ready in time to host this year's Eurovision party there rather than the current place. I have two friends coming in from the States just for the finals. This is my favorite time of year*!

* Applies ever so slightly less in years where Douwe Bob is the Dutch contestant, and way more in years where Sunstroke Project are Moldova's.
posted by sldownard at 10:42 AM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Australia is in Europe?

It ain't like the Olympics -- it's just a bunch of countries' tv stations gettin' together and having a kickass song party. Only with points.
posted by JanetLand at 10:42 AM on February 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

I was in the audience for the UK selection last night, had a bird's eye view of the auto-cue so I can confirm that the majority of terrible jokes were on script, although Mel occasionally veered off-piste.

It is quite odd watching it back on iPlayer as everything looks oddly muted or way more engaged, depending on the song but I guess I had different view to the cameras.
posted by halcyonday at 10:44 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Man, almost a full year later and I’m still salty about how last year went. The only thing worse than Portugal’s entry was how whiny and obnoxious Sobral’s victory speech was.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:47 AM on February 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

The bookmaker odds will undoubtedly change (a lot), but currently the joint favourites are Bulgaria, Estonia and Sweden.

Of the latter, the current favourites to qualify for Sweden are Liamoo, Dotter, Mariette Hansson and Benjamin Ingrosso. Out of these four, only Benjamin has so far qualified for the final qualifier. So, early days yet...
posted by Wordshore at 10:52 AM on February 8, 2018

The only thing worse than Portugal’s entry was how whiny and obnoxious Sobral’s victory speech was.

Ditto. To put it tactfully he was a disrespectful jerk who slagged off the general ethos of Eurovision (fun, tolerance of the variety) but still hypocritically entered and benefited from it. He's also influenced the design of this year's set i.e. no LED displays and the like.

Most undeserving Eurovision winner ever, and I'll be muting the TV if he appears on it with another sanctimonious ramble.
posted by Wordshore at 10:57 AM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

In Denmark (which decides this Saturday), the 1990s icon Whigfield has risen from the ashes to compete with a song that sounds like a mash-up between Royksopp & Blur: Boys on Girls. She probably won't win, but it's my favourite song so far across all the national finals I've heard so far.

I'm still chuffed about calling Portugal very early last year and I won't hear a word said against Amor Pelos Dois.
posted by kariebookish at 11:02 AM on February 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

Is there a good way to watch Melodifestivalen from the States, particularly on a TV via a Roku or something similar?
posted by clcapps at 12:07 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

...the 1990s icon Whigfield has risen from the ashes to compete with a song that sounds like a mash-up between Royksopp & Blur: Boys on Girls.

Gosh - Whigfield! {listens to new song} this ... is actually really good. Too good. It has no chance.
posted by Wordshore at 12:08 PM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

clcapps, it is streaming live without geo-blocking via EBU prefers if national finals are streamed with geoblocking which is great news for fans - you can find up-to-date links to the various streams on the official ESC site.
posted by kariebookish at 12:17 PM on February 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

> Wordshore:
"...the 1990s icon Whigfield has risen from the ashes to compete with a song that sounds like a mash-up between Royksopp & Blur: Boys on Girls.

Gosh - Whigfield! {listens to new song} this ... is actually really good. Too good. It has no chance."

I would thank you to watch your language, or add NSFW tags, please. (It was a great song, BTW.)
posted by Samizdata at 12:21 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

n.b. expecting this post to be the first of a series of either four or five (near the starts of February, March, April, and May - maybe another between the semi-finals and the final) to cover this Eurovision.

Any good links people throw here into the comments may get incorporated into the next post in the series; thanks. Details (and links) of how to watch Eurovision from outside the Eurovision TV zone especially appreciated, as there's always a bundle of non-European MeFites who roll up here when the final has started, frantically trying to work out how to view it.
posted by Wordshore at 1:03 PM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

There are still nice things in the world?

*weeps joyful tears*
posted by corb at 1:07 PM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Usually the livestream at works in the U.S., but the youtube feed they started a few years ago no longer does. If I get further geoblocked this year I am prepared with a trusty VPN.

Geoblocking in the U.S. is so bad, by the way, that I can't even watch last year's competition, today, without a VPN. I assume it's all because of the stupid cable tv deal they made with the Logo channel.

If anybody knows a way to somehow VPN my Roku box so I can go back to watching via youtube on the bigger better tv screen, clue me in. (Yes, I know I can connect the laptop to the tv, but that means I have to get up when I want to fiddle with the volume, which disturbs the cats.)
posted by JanetLand at 1:30 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

As a (North) American ignorant of this wonderful European tradition, I have a nagging question about the song/artist selection criteria. From what I can tell from the Wikipedia page, there doesn't seem to be anything to have prevented, say, the UK from entering Adele with "Hello" (released in Oct. 2015, is not a cover version, and does not appear to use samples of other music) in the 2016 Eurovision contest. Is it just that Adele wouldn't want to do it? Or is it for other reasons?
posted by mhum at 2:35 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Adele doesn't stand to gain anything from entering Eurovision. It's a crap-ton of work for no money, just exposure, and she (and other big-name international artists) certainly don't need that.
posted by zebra at 2:50 PM on February 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

It also has some potential effect on your general credibility, depending on the sort of genre and culture you operate in.
posted by Dysk at 4:13 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

(I say the above with no disrespect intended, of course. One of my bands entered the open submission when the BBC were doing that a few years back. Sadly they went with some half-baked electroswing duo rather than Deathsex Bloodbath. Nil points.)
posted by Dysk at 4:57 PM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Music music music from every contest at ESC Radio.
posted by JanetLand at 4:57 PM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ok, I think I get it now. I was thinking it would be similar to, say, the 1992 US men's basketball team (Jordan, Bird, Magic, etc...) showing up to the Olympics and just destroying the competition to walk off with the gold. But, it's clearly not the same at all. Plus, there's also the very likely possibility that all the other countries would just gang up and vote against such an obvious ringer who is not really in the earnest spirit of Eurovision.
posted by mhum at 6:16 PM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

If anybody knows a way to somehow VPN my Roku box so I can go back to watching via youtube on the bigger better tv screen, clue me in.
I use a Chromecast. Considering that what it lets me do is push HDMI through the air like some kind of wizard, it's pretty cheap.

Although in my case it's for when I'm VPNing to the US: as a Brit, I can watch Eurovision on plain old broadcast television (and spend the whole time mourning Terry Wogan, of course).
posted by avapoet at 9:08 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

The UK always does badly, for reasons to do with internecine European politics. This is why Brexit happened.
posted by Major Tom at 11:47 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the post, Wordshore! I moved to Sweden just in time to see the first of 6 (?) Melodyfestivalen contests. I took pics off the telly of the dancing food for that one wacky contestant. I just love it so much. Well, except for the stupid reality-TV show nonsense where they drag out announcing who is going to the next competition while panning across the tense contestants. I have always hated that nonsense.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:54 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Didn't we have a chat going during the actual Eurovision contest last year? I would love that again. So fun to snark about outfits, songs, etc.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:57 PM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Fanfare Eurovision Club
posted by zinon at 3:51 AM on February 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Didn't we have a chat going during the actual Eurovision contest last year? I would love that again. So fun to snark about outfits, songs, etc.

Fanfare Eurovision Club

Aye; after a mod chat yesterday, that's the direction heading for. Should work happily seamlessly when the (projected) April 8th-ish FPP expires and we can shuffle over to a Live Stream First Semi-Final Fanfare.

Much more sooner than that, one of the semi-finals of the Romanian qualifications takes place this Sunday from the bottom of a salt mine.
posted by Wordshore at 4:35 AM on February 9, 2018

The UK always does badly, for reasons to do with internecine European politics.

I keep hearing this from Brits. It isn't true. You almost always do badly because your entries are almost universally terrible. Sorry.
posted by Dysk at 5:43 AM on February 9, 2018 [6 favorites]

I keep hearing this from Brits. It isn't true. You almost always do badly because your entries are almost universally terrible. Sorry.

This is extremely true. Unsure what the low point for the UK was. Perhaps the 2007 entry, which was about being an airplane steward, or something. Or possibly the 2015 entry, which sounded like an old TV advert for Potato Waffles.

Whenever I think there are no ways left for my birth country to embarrass me, it usually proves me wrong around Eurovision time.
posted by Wordshore at 5:57 AM on February 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

I heard this song on the radio this morning -- it's still in the running for being selected for Hungary and I hope it makes it. Very pretty, plus it's got a violin, you're always supposed to have a violin, right??
posted by JanetLand at 6:27 AM on February 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Listening to what many reckon is the best ever entry for Eurovision - the one from Spain in 1973 (it placed second). The wikipedia page for Amaya Uranga.
posted by Wordshore at 7:09 AM on February 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Awwww, Wordshore, I liked the Electro Velvet 2015 UK entry! It was a lot of fun.

In general though, yeah, UK entries often seem like a thinly disguised attempt to avoid having to host next year.
posted by sldownard at 10:58 AM on February 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Whenever I think there are no ways left for my birth country to embarrass me, it usually proves me wrong around Eurovision time.

This is one of the many reasons I don't ever want the US involved in Eurovision -- we would do the same.
posted by zebra at 11:21 AM on February 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is one of the many reasons I don't ever want the US involved in Eurovision -- we would do the same.

Having the US compete in Eurovision would be very bad, especially when we already have the internal administrative and cultural divisions to make a song contest of our own that would be infinitely more likely to be something people here cared about. Sending Charlie Puth to Lisbon to wail about heartbreak is pretty whatever, but getting George Thorogood to blow the doors off the arena in the name of Delaware would rule.
posted by Copronymus at 12:03 PM on February 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Every now and then a song comes along and folk wonder if it's the USA sneaking in an entry via some kind of proxy country. Most recently this was the Netherlands 2014 entry, which I really liked and was the runner-up.
posted by Wordshore at 12:19 PM on February 9, 2018

That's the guy the NL is sending to compete again this year, yes?
posted by JanetLand at 1:00 PM on February 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

JanetLand, yeah, Waylon (who performed with Ilse DeLange in 2014 as part of the Common Linnets) is the Dutch candidate this year. We don't get to vote on the entry, but he'll be appearing on a talk show from 23rd Feb to debut five songs, one of which will be the entry. So I guess the Dutch entry will be revealed early next month.

Anyways, the US should not be invited to join Eurovision. I mean, the last group that got invited to join got invited on the basis of their love for it, but like 90% of non-LOGO-watching America would probably assume "Eurovision" is basically C-SPAN for the European Parliament. And as a USian, I know darn well that every entry we sent would have a chorus that goes "USA! USA! USA!" and everybody would be dressed in a flag even though it's technically not allowed by the Flag Code and the American Legion would protest with voiceless disapproval, and we would be very, very boring while simultaneously very, very fighty about it (although we would probably use lots of pyrotechnics which is always a plus). As a group, we have not yet mastered the art of enjoying being silly. Until we do, our entry would just be a scheduled bathroom/drinks refill break.
posted by sldownard at 12:29 AM on February 10, 2018

Big weekend for Eurovision progression. National selection heats took place in San Marino yesterday. Today, heats take place in Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Ukraine. Tomorrow there's heats in Romania.

Two countries decide their selection tonight.

Denmark have ten finalists in their Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. Finding it a bit tricky to read bookmaker language in Danish, but the two favourites appear to be Sannie (Whigfield! Yes!) and Rasmussen. Which probably means neither will win. Paging kariebookish for better information.

Italy, who were early favourites last year but faded (the weird/dull stage act did not help), also hold the culmination of their final today (it sprawls over several days). Festival della Canzone Italiana di Sanremo is apparently the oldest qualification final. Of startling notes is that one of the contestants is... Midge Ure of Ultravox fame.

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh Vienna! {pounds synthesizer}
posted by Wordshore at 3:24 AM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

One day we'll have a Eurovision thread without a "everybody hates the UK" comment. One day. Each year around 42 countries participate - some of which send their best songwriters and high-profile acts - and a result like 2017's contestant Lucie Jones's 15th place is incredibly respectable. Portugal went something like 45 contests without a win until they pulled out a cracker of a songwriter/singer team last year with the Sobral siblings. You cannot just expect to show up and win without having something special in the bag. Those years are long gone.

Anyway, Danish Melodi Grand Prix is tonight along with the Ukrainian result and a tonne of heats. I won't even pretend to understand the Danish taste in music (even though I'm an expat Dane) but I fully expect them to go middle-of-the-road as per usual. The Estonian contest - Esti Laul - is always worth a watch as it tends towards edgier and unusual engtries. This year Iceland is woefully bland.

Right now everybody's looking towards Finland who is fielding Saara Aalto who was the runner-up in the UK X-Factor (and yet did not get snapped by the UK ESC delegation - sigh). Aalto's pre-selected and will be releasing 3 different songs. The first one is called Monsters and it's quite early Gaga meets Nicki Minaj. She's going to be a big deal in Lisbon and already has a huge following across Europe.

I recommend following ESC Insight on Twitter (disclosure: I am on their podcast very infrequently - like once three years). They tend to have smart commentary and have a team on the ground at every contest.
posted by kariebookish at 8:49 AM on February 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

I've just had my first bet on Eurovision for this year. I often have a few deliberately small bets; more for fun so when they usually lose the financial hit doesn't sting.

This bet was for me a first, as it's the first time I've bet on ... the UK. Ladbrokes were offering 40/1 so I've had an each-way bet. If the UK finish 2nd, 3rd or 4th, that's a tidy sum back; if they win, then that pays for a short trip to Stockholm.

Though not hugely confident, the UK entry this year, after playing it several times, does seem a lot more Eurovision-compatible than entries in several recent years. The singer knows Eurovision well and seems professional at this. And an ex-colleague who is seriously hardcore Eurovision (he's been to I think it's eight finals so far and lives for this), and who has a good track record in predicting winners (one year his winnings paid for the deposit on his apartment), reckons the UK are "Unlikely to win but have a good shot this year at a top six placing".

I'll take that; I'd have only spent the money on cheese at the deli this afternoon so overall I've probably done the healthier option.

Curiously, the bookmaker said that the only bets they had taken so far this year - early days yet - were on Finland to win. And the latest odds (stressing: early days and the odds will and do change massively during and after the semi-finals) do indeed indicate Finland are currently a joint-favourite.

(Usual disclaimer: only gamble what you can comfortably afford to lose. The bookies always win in the long run.)
posted by Wordshore at 10:03 AM on February 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

During the first of the Icelandic heats, the best song was unquestionably "Amar pelos dois", or as the Icelandic version has it, Ást fyrir tvo (Icelandic lyrics by Hallgrímur Helgason).
posted by Kattullus at 1:59 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Something happened in Estonia's semi-final 1 tonight.
posted by kariebookish at 2:04 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


The first stage of tonight's Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2018 final resulted in the elimination of seven artists - sadly, Whigfield/Sannie was one of them. This left just three contestants for the superfinal:

- Anna Ritsmar singing Starlight
- Rasmussen singing Higher Ground
- Albin Fredy singing Music for the Road

And the winner ... to go to Portugal in May:

* Denmark: Rasmussen will sing Higher Ground

Godnat fra Aalborg.
posted by Wordshore at 3:20 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


Italy held the culmination of its Sanremo Music Festival a few hours ago. As with Denmark, a larger group of acts were whittled down to three:

- Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro singing Non mi avete fatto niente
- Lo Stato Sociale singing Una vita in vacanza
- Annalisa singing Il mondo prima di te

And the winner ... to go to Portugal in May:

* Italy: Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro will sing Non mi avete fatto niente

(Inevitably, there was controversy)

Buonanotte da Sanremo.
posted by Wordshore at 6:54 PM on February 10, 2018

I was initially not sold on Estonia's theatrical skirt, but by the end of the song I was. If that's this year's costume trend I am tentatively on board.
posted by sldownard at 11:16 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Watching the Icelandic performers in Söngvakeppnin 2018. Am particularly taken by Þórunn Antonía singing Ég mun skína. And, as someone who spends time in the gym but it's not going great, I am deeply envious of the fitness and abs of the singer. I want abs like those.

The missing rungs on the ladder are going to make me nervous in future viewings, though.
posted by Wordshore at 5:45 AM on February 11, 2018

I liked Estonia's skirt, but at the same time it made me think, especially at the end, of a toilet flushing.
posted by JanetLand at 5:49 AM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I watched Mello (Melodifestivalen) on Saturday afternoon (on the SVT Play app, which works great). No matter what happens, Samir & Victor's song "Shuffla" (audio) is going to be lighting up the summer parties... Not as catchy-albeit-vapid as their 2015 entry, but almost. Semi-final 4 on Feb 24 is being filmed in my hometown, so that's exciting! It's always fun to follow via the local paper.

I just linked this thread to my friend, so we are talking about planning a Eurovision party. It's the best time of the year!
posted by gemmy at 3:51 PM on February 11, 2018

Denmark: Rasmussen will sing Higher Ground the Game of Thrones theme.
posted by dnash at 2:07 PM on February 16, 2018

A bit of a quiet weekend this time around, with just Belarus having decided a few hours ago, and Montenegro tomorrow. In midweek, Serbia decide on Tuesday, Germany on Thursday, and then the storm comes with a large number of national finals over the next two weekends.

But back to tonight's action, and Belarus have decided. The song, Forever, is okay as is the voice of the singer, Alekseev. The official video is not good though. He just lounges in various slightly ridiculous clothes - kariebookish could design for him a far better cardigan than the somewhat preposterous one he stands around in. Not that keen on the pen stabbing/writing thing either.


* Belarus: Alekseev will sing Forever

Спакойная ноч з Мінска
posted by Wordshore at 4:20 PM on February 16, 2018

Montenegro held their final last night, and decided on who to send to Lisbon. In a bit of an upset, the vote went against the Eurovision-friendly song of Dišem, sung by Nina Petković. Instead, and keeping with a theme of "earnest and simple" quite possibly influenced by last years winner, they decided otherwise:

* Montenegro: Vanja Radovanović will sing Inje
posted by Wordshore at 2:23 AM on February 18, 2018

Two more countries have decided on their candidates and song:

* Serbia: Sanja Ilić & Balkanika will sing Nova Deca (New children)
* Germany: Michael Schulte will sing You Let Me Walk Alone

My Eurovision fanantical expert friends inform me to keep a close eye on the Germany entry as, with a polished stage performance, it could be in with a decent shout.

We now enter a period of Peak Eurovision Selection. This Saturday, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Slovenia and Ukraine choose their selection. On Sunday, Armenia and Romania pick theirs.

National selection heats also take place in Lithuania and Sweden this Saturday. The progress of the latter is up to the stage of the fourth and last semi-final.
posted by Wordshore at 4:58 PM on February 22, 2018

The fourth semifinal in Sweden will take place in my hometown of Örnsköldsvik. It’s been fun watching the local paper cover the surrounding stories, and photos from family of the advertising put up in town. It’s a huge party. Wish the town had been a host of Mello when I lived there as a teen!!
posted by gemmy at 5:30 AM on February 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Five countries chose their finalists yesterday. Here's four of them:

* Latvia: Laura Rizzotto will sing Funny Girl
* Moldova: DoReDos will sing My Lucky Day
* Slovenia: Lea Sirk will sing Hvala, ne!
* Ukraine: Mélovin will sing Under the Ladder

The fifth one is ... interesting ... as it's a genre not often seen or heard at Eurovision. Turn up your volume to 11:

* Hungary: AWS will scream Viszlát nyár
posted by Wordshore at 10:08 AM on February 25, 2018

The betting markets continue to be a bit ... odd ... for Eurovision this year. Across the bookmakers, there's a pack of five countries attracting the most bets. These include Estonia (not yet picked finalist), Sweden (ditto), Finland (singer chosen but not the song) and the Czech Republic.

But the shortest odds are for Bulgaria. They have picked their singer and song, but are not announcing it for a while yet. They've done it a perhaps unusual way, using mainly focus groups to winnow down the entries. There may be a factor in people last year thinking their song, which was runner-up, should have won and Bulgaria was robbed, or something. I don't know.

Anyway, one stand-out performance in the semi-finals can change all the odds in a few minutes, as happened with Conchita. Everything to play for, a game of two halves etc.
posted by Wordshore at 10:24 AM on February 25, 2018

Two more selections to go to Lisbon were decided yesterday:

* Romania: The Humans will sing Goodbye
* Armenia: Sevak Khanagyan will sing Qami (Wind)
posted by Wordshore at 4:30 AM on February 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Some news from the Netherlands, and a bit of scandal (but very mild, doe maar): It seems that, while contestant Waylon (who previously performed at Eurovision 2014 as half of The Common Linnets; their entry, "Calm After the Storm" eventually came in second to Conchita Wurst's "Rise Like a Phoenix") was performing his five final selections, one per night in a run-up to the announcement, a host asked him if he'd written them all and he answered "yes." But! One of the songs was not Waylon's. "That's How She Goes" was written by Mitchell Tenpenny and appeared on YouTube three years ago. It's still never been commercially released, so it's eligible to be Waylon's entry by the rules, but it's not his own. As Waylon professed a preference on the show for performing one of his own songs, so it may have been a red herring all along.

The Dutch entry, selected from the five sample songs, will be "Outlaw In 'Em," an entry which should please country music fans.
posted by sldownard at 8:38 AM on March 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

As expected, Finland chose Monsters as the song that Saara Aalto will take to Lisbon. It feints convincingly towards ridiculousness, but doesn’t quite go all the way, in the manner of many past winners. Unlike, say, Euphoria, it’s not one of those songs that announces itself as a winner from first listen, but in a year of entries striving for sincerity in the same way Krassimir Avramov strove for epic it could do it in good stead to go Eurovision traditionalist.

Iceland’s choice was Our Choice sung by Ari Ólafsson and, well, I’ll just say it wasn’t my choice and leave it at that.
posted by Kattullus at 11:32 PM on March 3, 2018

Four more decided from national finals last night:

* Estonia: Elina Nechayeva will, while her dress flows, sing La Forza
* Finland: Saara Aalto will sing Monsters
* Iceland: Ari Ólafsson will sing Our Choice
* Poland: Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer will sing Light Me Up
posted by Wordshore at 6:11 AM on March 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

San Marino have decided (in the most contorted way possible):

* San Marino: Jessika featuring Jenifer Brening will sing Who We Are

I quite like this one, but the method of selection ... c'mon ...
posted by Wordshore at 6:30 AM on March 4, 2018

I see your "c'mon" and raise you a "that is weird" in re: San Marino's selection competition, Wordshore.

Although at least they got a (frankly confusing and maybe kinda corruptible?) competition, unlike certain countries where I currently live that I could name, ahem.
posted by sldownard at 10:36 PM on March 4, 2018

This thread is shortly to expire, so there is a new Eurovision thread - focused mainly on Sweden's Melodifestivalen - over on the blue.
posted by Wordshore at 6:00 AM on March 7, 2018

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