Introducing: Sweden 2013

Robin will be representing Sweden on home ground.

Robin will be representing Sweden on home ground.

Today, we will be taking a look at this year’s Swedish entry to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Sweden has decided that Robin Stjernberg will represent them on home ground with his song “You” in sixteenth position in the final. As Sweden is the host country, they are automatically qualified to the Grand Final along with the Big Five. Sweden is also the only country to have a starting position for the final too!

Sweden stuck with its ever so famous Melodifestivalen, which produced songs such as “Popular” and of course “Euphoria”, which won the actual Contest and brought it to Malmö. 32 songs competed in four semi-finals to try and advance to the grand final in Stockholm. Eight songs took part in each semi-final and the songs with the top two scores automatically qualified for the final, while the third and forth best scoring songs were allocated into the second chance round (The Andra Chansen), where two songs would emerge as the final two songs competing in the final. Once in the final, ten songs competed and a 50/50 combination of the Swedish televoting and the points from juries all over Europe would decided who would represent the country on home soil. This was Robin’s fate, even though he had to go through the Andra Chansen round to get to the final and win. Robin has an advantage over the other acts, as the semi-final he was in was held in the Malmö Arena! Also, Danish entrant Emmelie de Forest was in the arena for that semi-final, so she has the upper hand aswell!

The song has received mixed views, but most are positive.

The song has received mixed views, but most are positive.

“You” is a pop ballad that is sung with Robin’s full vocal range. The lyrics talk about someone who is remembering the good times with a friend of theirs, and now is thanking him or her for all the good things that have happened to him since. Robin opens up the song saying: “Hey, do you remember/How we would stay up all night/Talking about our destiny”. He then goes goes onto say that he/she is reason why everything good came to him and he “owes it to you”. Then as the chorus begins, Robin lets out his vocal range and goes high in the line It’s all because of you, oh. In the second chorus, he says that when he’s down and “got days of doubt”, he closes his eyes and he sees him/her there to comfort him. The chorus is repeated and the build up to the final repetition of the chorus sees Stjernberg release his voice and goes as high as he possibly can. The chorus is repeated and the song is completed by a strum on a guitar. Here’s fans’ opinions:

Can’t stand it! I do not see the appeal with this! 1/10 – Jack from UK

 It’s the best song this year by far! People and especially the ESC Fans haven’t even taken the time to listen to it, and because of that it’s one of the most underrated song in the competition. It will definitely score very high. It’s a song that will surprise the whole Europe and I wouldn’t be surprised if we will go back to Sweden again in 2014. I’m one of the people that will vote for it. 10/10 – Rinor from Albania

I dont like it. He annoys me with his “Its all because of YOUUUUUU”. Simply don’t like it. It might grow on me,know knows!? 4/10 – Mirjeta from Kosovo

Love it! 10/10 – Connor from the UK

 Hate it, his high notes make me cringe and his performance is really weak. A sure attempt not to win Eurovision twice in a row… 0/10 – Nick from the Netherlands

It’s nice! Nothing special, but it’s nice… 5/10 – Stefan from Macedonia

It’s the best entry from Sweden for years… Love it. 10/10 – Perry from the UK

It’s okay. 6/10 – Janne from Sweden itself

First of all: Sweden absolutely selected the right winner. “You” was absolutely the best entry, and Robin definitely can sing. I like it!  7/10  – Tim from Norway

It’s ok but nothing more for me. Robin seems like a nice chap though, 5/10 – Tommy from Sweden itself

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Introducing: Spain 2013

Today, we shall take a look at the fourth entry of the Big Six, the countries that contribute the most money to the Contest; Spain! Spain is sending the band El Sueño de Morfeo to sing their song “Contigo hasta el final” in the final on the 18th of May in an unknown position, but it will be drawn when the band have their first press

ESDM will represent Spain in Sweden.

ESDM will represent Spain in Sweden.

conference.

 

Spain, like last year, chose the artist internally, and on the 17th of December 2012, El Sueño de Morfeo, or more commonly, ESDM, were chosen by RTVE to represent Spain in Eurovision in May. There was still the problem of the song they would in Sweden left to sort out, and on the 26th of February, a national final was held as to which song the band would sing. Three songs took part, one of which had won an internet poll to take part in the contest. The winning song would be chosen by a 50/50 combination of a three member jury and the Spanish public’s televoting. After the voting results were announced, “Contigo hasta el final” was officially selected as Spain’s Eurovision entry, after winning the maximum amount of points from all three jury members and the maximum amount of points from the public. “Contigo hasta el final” will represent Spain on the 18th of May in Malmö.

 

The song has received mixed views

The song has received mixed views.

“Contigo hasta el final”, or “Together until the end” in English, is a ballad in Spanish with Celtic influences, a genre the band are experts at. The lyrics talk about the positive things of love as two people are ready to go on a journey of passion and love. Raquel, the band’s singer, opens up the song describing her lover as a blue sky clearing a storm that was threatening her heart, and helping her discover herself. The chorus begins and she sings that he’s the light that goes across the universe and he motivates her to spread her wings and go with him together until they part. The song’s second verse talks about them running away together and living a life without fear and they’ll live together forever. The chorus is repeated twice more and the song is over. Here’s fans’ opinions:

A totally forgettable song, 5/10 – Seth from the Netherlands

 

It’s like something you’d hear at the ending credits of a soap opera 4/10 – Rigmo from Estonia

 

The best I can say really is that it is ‘pleasant’. It’s not instant enough for Eurovision and not that memorable. 3/10 – Daniel from the UK

 

Very nice Spanish song, I really love the atmosphere from the song. 8/10 – Honza from the Czech Republic

 

Introducing: Slovenia 2013

Today, we shall take a look at the Slovenian entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Slovenia is sending Hannah Mancini to sing her song “Straight Into Love” in third position in the first semi-final on the 14th of May, following Estonia and preceding Croatia.

Hannah Mancini is representing Slovenia in Malmö.

Hannah Mancini is representing Slovenia in Malmö.

Slovenia decided to select their artist internally this year due to time constraints and funding issues, so the normal national final system, the EMA, was scrapped this year. Hannah Mancini was internally selected by RTVSLO on the 1st of February, with five composers sending potential entries for her, but on Valentine’s Day, her song was officially presented to the public. The song she is singing was composed by her and she wrote the lyrics herself, suggesting that all five potential entries weren’t up to standard for the broadcaster. The American singer will sing “Straight Into Love” in the first semi-final on the 14th of May.

Reaction to the song has been mostly positive.

Reaction to the song has been mostly positive.

“Straight Into Love” is a dance track that has some acid-house and dupstep influences. The lyrics talk about crazy love between a couple and are very metaphoric. Hannah opens up the song saying that night has arrived and now it’s time to let loose. She goes on to say that they (Hannah and her partner) are going to go higher and higher and not come down. Then the chorus drops in and she sings that the two will “light up the sky when we collide”. The second verse tells us that there’s no going back, but they’re gonna have to finish what they’ve started. The chorus is repeated again, then Hannah sings that she’s found her paradise and she’s never gonna look back; in other words, she’s not moving. The song’s title is repeated thrice and the song ends. Here’s fans’ opinions:

This is the kinda music I like!!! Plus Hannah is an awesome singer, looking forward to seeing this live in Malmo!  8/10 – Jack from the UK

It’s a nice dance tune, well sung! I quite like it, 7/10 – Marco from Germany

I haven’t heard it fully but from what I’ve heard, it’s a good song! 6/10 – Wim from the Netherlands

I actually really like it, it’s a bit similar to Montenegro’s song in it’s style, but somehow I’m really enjoying listening to it, it sticks in my head easily, 9/10

Introducing: Serbia 2013

Today, we shall take a look at the Serbian entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Serbia is sending the group Moje 3 to sing their

Moje 3 will represent Serbia in Sweden. Courtesy: RTS.

Moje 3 will represent Serbia in Sweden. Courtesy: RTS.

song “Ljubav je svuda” in the first semi-final on the 14th of May. Serbia will be closing the show on the Tuesday night, following Roberto Bellarosa from Belgium.

Serbia created a new national final to select their song for this year’s Eurovision, called Beosong. The contest would consist of a semi-final where fifteen songs would compete to qualify for the final, where the top five would progress to the next stage of the competition. The final would take place the day after the semi-final, where the Serbian public had the complete choice of sending which song would represent Serbia in Malmö. Apparently, the Serbian public liked Moje 3, as the group topped both the semi-final results and the final results, coming in first place. Moje 3, a trio consisting of Mirna, Sara and Nevena, who already has experience in Eurovision as she represented Serbia in the Junior contest in 2007, will represent Serbia now with “Ljubav je svuda”, closing the first semi-final.

Reaction to the song is mixed, but mostly positive.

Reaction to the song is mixed, but mostly positive.

“Ljubav je svuda”, or “Love is Everywhere” in English, is a pop song that combines both classical and pop music. The lyrics are portrayed as “angel vs devil”, and this was proven when the group performed the song; one of the members was an angel, another was the devil and the other member as the woman who is confused. The lyrics talk about both the benefits and the doubts of love. Mirna starts off the song saying that some people don’t believe that love exists, but they lie, as love is there forever and even there during your afterlife. Then, Sara sings that your heart will become food, when you believe that your lover is cheating on you. Then, in the chorus, Nevena admits she doesn’t know what to do, but Mirna consoles her, saying that love is everywhere. The second verse gets more intense with the angel and the devil, as Mirna says that you dream of nice things because he is yours, but Sara contradicts that, saying that you must go away when he kisses you, then the chorus is repeated. The last verse is a battle between the two women, trying to get Nevena to side with them. The chorus is repeated again and the song is over. Here’s the fans’ opinions:

Pretty catchy! 8/10 – Anthony from Slovenia

 

A guilty pleasure of mine! 8/10 – Jack from the UK

 

A poor teen pop song, 0/10 – Mirjeta from Kosovo

 

Somehow this is scary, 0/10 – Vesa from Finland

 

Better luck next year Serbia, we know you can do better than this! 2/10 – Tonje from Norway

 

This has gone way up in my estimation with repeated listening, 8/10 – John from Ireland

 

Last year, Serbia was so great, but this is good also! 8/10 – Marco from Romania

 

I hope Serbia will make it to the final! Go Srbija! 10/10 – Kübra from Turkey

 

Introducing: San Marino 2013

In the thirty-second episode of the ‘Introducing’ series, we shall take a look at the Sammarinese entry in this year’s Eurovision Song

Valentina will return for San Marino this year to Eurovision.

Valentina will return for San Marino this year to Eurovision.

Contest. San Marino is sending Valentina Monetta to sing her song “Crisalide (Vola)” in second position in the second semi-final on the 16th of May, following Latvia and preceding F.Y.R. Macedonia.

 

San Marino, like every year, chose their artist internally and, on the 30th of January, San Marino officially revealed that Valentina would represent the country again, after she represented the country the year before and scored the country’s best position, but still not qualifying for the final. On the same day, her song’s title was also revealed as “Crisalide”. It was a long wait for Eurovision fans, though, as the song wasn’t officially revealed in a special television show dedicated to the song’s revelation. The song will now represent San Marino in Eurovision.

 

Reaction to the song is mostly positive compared to her previous song.

Reaction to the song is mostly positive compared to her previous song.

“Crisalide (Vola)”, which means “Chrysalis (Fly)” in English, is a ballad that turns into a pop ballad about 2 minutes into the song. Valentina has described the song’s lyrics of someone becoming a new person and shedding their old persona. The song’s lyrics stick around the title of the song and talk about a butterfly emerging from their cocoon and starting anew. Valentina opens the song talking about a little voice in her soul telling her to believe in the truth and she will see the bridges of immensity. Then, as the chorus begins, she tells us that the strength will come and we should start breaking free from our chrysalis, like a butterfly. The second verse talks about how the wind will free us from our encasement and the chorus is repeated. Just before the last verse, a beat is added, thus making the ballad a pop-ballad. In the last verse, Valentina admits that she never realised how much life there was in the universe and in the last repetition  of the chorus, Valentina asks us to fly with her (Vola insieme a me) and she sings that last line with a long note at the end. Here’s the fans’ opinions:

Such an improvement over last year and it just shows that they wanted something to serve Valentina well. Brilliant song, brilliant singer. 9.5/10 – Nick from the Netherlands

 

Quite nice song,but nothing more. It’s very overrated , and will not do so well in Malmö. She’s not so good live. It’s very difficult to go ti final,but if it goes it will finish between places 15-25. 5/10 – Mirjeta from Kosovo

 

 Breathtakingly beautiful! Ralph Siegel has FINALLY hit the jackpot this year! 10/10 – Anthony from Slovenia

 

Very nice song! Didn’t expect such a great song from a guy called Ralph Siegel! My number 8 at the moment. 8.5/10 – Christian from Germany

 

Its overrated among fans, the song itself is not bad, but she wasn’t perfect in Amsterdam, but still good, 7.5/10 – Jacob from Denmark

 

I don’t get why everybody loves this. It’s boring and doesn’t stand out at all. 1/10 – Mette from Norway

 

I think it’s a decent song, she is better in Italian, but the only reason everyone thinks it’s so amazing is because they’re comparing it to 2012. 6/10 – James from England

 

Introducing: Russia 2013

Dina will represent Russia in Sweden.

Dina will represent Russia in Sweden.

Today, we will take a look at the Russian entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Russia is sending Dina Garipova to sing her song “What If” in sixth position in the first semi-final, following Denmark and preceding Ukraine.

 

Russia initially decided to let artists send their songs to them through the internet, but in early 2013, it was revealed the C1R would scrap this method and would select the artist internally. The song’s title and the artist were revealed as Russia’s entry on the 19th of February, but the song wasn’t officially revealed until the 23rd of February during a newscast of the news show Vremya. A few days after the song was revealed, however, there were calls to withdraw the song, as some people were claiming that the song was plagiarised from other songs, but these claims were dismissed and the song was officially selected as Russia’s song to this year’s Eurovision.

 

“What If” is a ballad that has a strong message of peace and hope, a theme carried by a couple of other competitors in this year’s Contest. Dina opens up the first verse asking:

Reaction to the song is positive!

Reaction to the song is positive!

“What if I could change the path of time?/ What if I could make us unified?” calling those at war to stop the bloodshed. Then, as the song’s chorus begins, Garipova questions what if we “opened our arms” and “came together as one”, that would make us unified. In the second verse, Dina sings that we can create peace when we “have the power to decide”. The chorus is then repeated and then the build up to the last repetition of the chorus, Dina gives us the motivation and all the good we can do if we reach out to those. Then as the last repetition is played a key change occurs and the song is finished on a long note, bringing the song to the climax. Here’s the fans’ opinions:

It’s really nice, bit of a typical ballad but it’s still good, there are better songs in this year’s contest but this is still really good, the video though is horrendous and cheesy, 8/10 – Luke from the UK

 

Very nice and smart song, great singer and probably at least TOP 5 for Russia this year. 8/10 – Honza from the Czech Republic

 

I liked it at first, but I’m not so keen anymore. Pretty generic and forgettable, there are better ballads this year. 5/10 – James from England

 

I like it! 8/10 – Davíð from Iceland

 

Introducing: Romania 2013

Today, we shall take a look at the Romanian entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Romania is sending Cezar to sing his song “It’s My Life” in the second semi-final on

Cezar will represent Romania with "It's My Life"

Cezar will represent Romania with “It’s My Life”

the 16th of May. Romania is going to close the show on the night, following Takasa from Switzerland.

 

Romania decided to stay with their normal national final system of Selecția Națională, opening the song submission period from the 14th of January to the 3rd of February. Originally, 24-28 songs were to be chosen by a jury, but instead, on the 14th of February, 32 songs were chosen by the jury. These 32 songs were allocated into two semi-finals (16 songs per semi), where, once in the final, six songs from each semi-final would proceed to the grand final on the 9th of March. In the final, a 50/50 combination of televoting by the Romanian public and a judging panel would determine which song would go to Malmö. In the end, this was the fate of Cezar who received the top points from the public and came third in the jury points. He won by the skin of his teeth though, because there was a margin of just one point! But Cezar will represent Romania in Malmö.

 

Reaction to the song has been mostly negative.

Reaction to the song has been mostly negative.

“It’s My Life” is a pop song sung by Cezar. Cezar is an opera singer and so, he sings this song in an opera voice. This is ‘popera’, a genre covered once before by Malerna Ernman, when she represent Sweden in 2009 with “La Voix”. The lyrics talk about someone who is in love with someone and saying that it’s their choice who they can love. The song uses contrasts such as “Love is so deep[…] Love is high, so high”. Then the build up from the first verse is where Ceezar changes voices and turns into an opera singer. The chorus shows that it is indeed Cezar’s life and he’ll share his love with everyone. The second verse is like the first, using contrasts and builds up to the chorus again, where it repeated twice. Before the last repetition of the chorus, a key change occurs too! Here’s the fans’ opinions:

It’s horrible! Worst entry ever in ESC! 0/10 – Jack from the UK

 

Oh Cezar, Cezar, Cezar, with a facial expression that can only be described as “I am taking a MASSIVE crap right now” It’s a guilty pleasure 6/10 – Rigmo from Estonia

 

I hate it so much! 1.5/10 – Mateusz from Poland

 

It’s horrible, stupid and comic, 0/10 – Syoma from Armenia

 

Introducing: Norway 2013

Today, we shall take a look at the Norwegian entry to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Norway is sending Margaret Berger to sing her song “I Feed You My Love” in

Margaret is going to represent Norway in Sweden.

Margaret is going to represent Norway in Sweden.

thirteenth position in the second semi-final on the 16th of May, following Hungary and preceding Albania.

 

This year, Norway stuck with their normal national final system; the Melodi Grand Prix. NRK opened the song submission until the first of September. Then, a jury made up of officials at NRK and at Melodi Grand Prix would choose which 21 songs would proceed to the next stage of the competition. These 21 songs were allocated into three semi-finals (Seven per semi), and three songs would each qualify from the semi-finals to the grand final, with a fourth winning song would be picked in the third semi-final, so there would be ten songs in the grand final. In the final, the top four songs would be announced and in the second part of the final, the televoting and the jury points would be revealed, therefore, revealing the song that would go to Eurovision. This was Margaret’s case; even though she was one of the last singers to picked from the top four, she received the top points from both the jury and the public and will represent Norway in Eurovision.

 

Even though the song is a fan favourite, reactions below have been mostly negative.

Even though the song is a fan favourite, reactions below have been mostly negative.

“I Feed You My Love” is an alternative, synth-based track. There is a strong electro-beat that runs throughout the song, along with the drums; the only other instrument involved. The lyrics talk about someone in a relationship who gets a thrill of being taken advantage of, and she is happy with this choice she has made, saying that “The whole world is mine”. Here’s the fans’ opinions:

Norway is a poor copy of last year …. however, it is in my top 10, 7/10 – Filipe from Portugal

 

The song is a total ‘fan song’ and one which wouldn’t shock if it failed to get them to the final. 2/10 – Padraic from Northern Ireland

 

It is a very “cold” song ; it doesn’t leave you any emotion when you hear it. It will make it to the final,but I think in the final it’ll end up between 16-24 position. However,I give it a 4/10 – Adelina from Kosovo

 

 Don’t like it, I find if like a bad copy of any Bjork Song… but of course it will qualify, they need to sell all the tickets to the final! 2/10 – Rafael from Venezuela

 

Introducing: Netherlands 2013

Today, we shall take a look at the Dutch entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The Netherlands are sending Anouk to sing her song “Birds” in eighth position in the first semi-final on the 14th of May, following Ukraine and preceding Montenegro.

Anouk will sing "Birds" in Eurovision!

Anouk will sing “Birds” in Eurovision!

 

For years, many fans have wanted Anouk to represent the Netherlands, but this was always never the case, until this year. Fans finally got their wish and Anouk was internally selected by Dutch broadcaster TROS to represent the Netherlands in October of last year. However, we had to wait five months before we could hear the song that would represent the country. In early February, there were reports that the song would be called “Birds Falling Down”, but Anouk denied these claims, stating that her song would be called “Birds” only. On the 11th of March, the song was presented to the public in a special program broadcast on the Netherlands main radio show dedicated to the revelation of the song. The song will now represent the Netherlands in Eurovision on the 14th of May.

 

Reaction to the song is mostly positive.

Reaction to the song is mostly positive.

“Birds” is a ballad with lush strings and a spectacular key change before the last repetition of the chorus. The lyrics talk about a woman who has lost her lover (whether he left her or died, we don’t know), and the “bird” is actually a metaphor, as she is without love as a bird is without air. Anouk cannot live without love, as a bird cannot live without air. Anouk also uses metaphors that the light is gone from her life (Clouds have taken all the light) and that she can’t fly on her own (And with my/ One wing, I can’t fly). Here are fan’s opinions:

Probably my favorite this year, it’s mysterious and haunting and it’s almost TOO good for ESC! 9/10 – Rigmo from Estonia

 

Boring and too overrated, 4/10 – Xabier from Mexico

 

I think that it’s a fan fave of the same level as France 2011… I think most viewers will say “Huh?” rather than “Wow!” – IF it qualifies for the final I don’t think it will do very well, 4/10 – Padraic from the UK

 

Amazing song with a lot of mysterious power. 9/10 – Honza from the Czech Republic

 

Introducing: Montenegro 2013

Today, it’s the turn of the Montenegrin entry to be ‘introduced’. Montenegro is sending the duo Who See, who have enlisted the help of

Who See and Nina are going to represent Montenegro in Eurovision this year.

Who See and Nina are going to represent Montenegro in Eurovision this year.

fellow Montenegrin Nina Žižić to sing their song “Igranka” in ninth position in the first semi-final, following the Netherlands and preceding Lithuania.

Montenegro, along with every year after 2009, decided to internally select their artist and six days after confirming participation for Eurovision 2013 in December of last year, they announced the duo would represent Montenegro. Žižić joined the team in February of this year, when it was officially confirmed by the country. On the 12th of that month, it was revealed that the title of the song would be “Igranka”, or “The Party” in English. The song was presented to the press and public in a special program dedicated to the presentation of the song on the 14th of March.

The song has received  views

The song has received views

“Igranka”, or “The Party” in English, is not a typical Eurovision-style song. The song is a dubstep song and is mostly rapped by the band, though Nina sings the lyrics in the chorus. The lyrics talk about a party and what someone is feeling at one. One of the duo raps the first four verses, talking about how a party relaxes you and “freeing you from the stress and paranoia” and that at a party, you’ll never leave with money. Then as the chorus begin, Nina sings that the party will go on forever, and it will get better as the night goes on. The other rapper starts to rap the next four verses, and these verses talk about how you lose your mind on the dancefloor, watching the hot women shake their butts. Also, he talks about binge eating in the second verse of his rap. Nina sings the chorus twice more and the song ends. Here’s the fans opinions:

I like it a lot! 7/10 – Mateusz from Poland

 

I have trouble calling that a song, I really hate it, 0/10 – Nick from the Netherlands

 

Truly abysmal song, if that’s what you can call it! 0/10 – Gary from England

 

A really cool song! A bit messy but it is definitely an original song, plus the lead singer can sing live, so, a qualifier from me!  8.5/10 – Seth from the Netherlands

 

A messy rocky song, it may be cool but I don’t like it that much at the moment. 3/10 – Siw from Norway

 

It sounds like Montenegro 2012 with female support, but it doesn’t make it better. 1/10 – Christian from Germany

 

Strange song. Very modern, I like the music, but not the male singer 6/10 – Angelique from the Netherlands

 

It’s sorta nice, I like dubstep! 6/10 – Martin from Bulgaria

 

 I love it, the female singer is brilliant! 8/10 – Connor from the UK