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Riik: denmark

#FBLivePoll Round 35. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Montenegro.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)
Round 24 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated O'G3NE (The Netherlands)
Round 25 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Alma (France)
Round 26 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Kasia Mos (Poland)
Round 27 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Brendan Murray (Ireland)
Round 28 winner: IMRI (Israel), relegated Jana Burcheska (Macedonia)
Round 29 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Tijana Bogicevic (Serbia)
Round 30 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated IMRI (Israel)
Round 31 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Fusedmarc (Lithuania)
Round 32 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated JOWST (Norway)
Round 33 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Blanche (Belgium)
Round 34 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson (San Marino)

#Denmark and #SanMarino have spoken out over an increasingly political #Eurovision situation - read more below! #Russia #Ukraine

Denmark and San Marino condemn Russia-Ukraine scandal – escYOUnited

Denmark and San Marino condemn Russia-Ukraine scandal – escYOUnited

Two of the participating broadcasters in this year’s contest have spoken out to condemn the approaches of both Russia and Ukraine regarding the Yulia Samoylova banning situation.

DENMARK - DR Head of Entertainment Mr Jan Lagermand Lundme is satisfied with the way the European Broadcasting Union is handling the whole mess with the political challenges in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest and re affirms his country's participation in the event but he is surely troubled about all this. Speaking to DR he said that Eurovision is practically unbearable when it faces political challenges: … [ 129 more words ]

Jan Lagermand Lundme speaks about political challenges in Eurovision

Jan Lagermand Lundme speaks about political challenges in Eurovision

DENMARK – DR Head of Entertainment Mr Jan Lagermand Lundme is satisfied with the way the European Broadcasting Union is handling the whole mess with the political challenges in the 2017 Eurov…

- There are several Member States that have approached us being concerned about the situation with Russian entrant, says Eurovision Supervisor Jon Ola Sand speaking to DR Grand Prix website.

- It is clear that it is something that we are all concerned with. Because we want to keep the competition free of any political statements. And that ban of the participant is a very strong political signal, he adds.

Jon Ola Sand admits that EBU proposal to broadcast Yulia Samoylova performance by satellite goes against basic principle of the contest:

- Yes, it's not as the Eurovision Song Contest used to be. But here we are in a situation where for the first time in Song Contest history we have a participant who may not get the opportunity to travel to Ukraine. And we must find a solution which means that we can offer an opportunity for the Russian participant and not let politics get in the way, says Sand, who has not given up getting Yulia Samoylova to the Kyiv stage as yet.

- We will follow the situation closely, but we strongly urge the Ukrainian authorities to find a solution, says Jon Ola Sand.

- The decision has been taken by the security authorities, who have to follow the laws, but we will appeal to the Prime Minister and the Government of Ukraine to overturn the decision, so that any travel ban will only come into force after the Eurovision Song Contest. Our main goal remains that the Russian participant comes on stage in Kiev in May. We are working hard for that.

EBU boss rejects thoughts that Russian entry is a deliberate provocation against Ukraine as speculation:

- The song can be put in a political context, but it can be everything. And in the situation that there is now between Russia and Ukraine, it is clear that it is being used politically. But we must deal with the rules that apply, says Jon Ola Sand.

The current conflict doesn't make him regret the decision to keep the controversial song of Jamala last year:

- It is a reference to an actual incident in the Crimea during World War II, and it's a song that we do not see then or today as a political message, said Jon Ola Sand.

At the same time, Jon Ola Sand remains confident that unless there are more external challenges, Ukraine will succeed in creating three good shows in May.

DR entertainment manager Jan Lagermand Lundme is also concerned with the Ukrainian preparations:

"It is clear that I am concerned on behalf of the Danish TV viewers. We must get some decent TV shows", says Jan Lagermand.

"I know how much it takes to prepare a show like that, since I was involved in 2014 organization, and I hear that there still is a long way to go. There certainly will be a show, but we do not know how good it is. It seems that things are a bit out of control. I hope I am wrong, and the beauty of the Grand Prix is ​​of course is different from country to country. But it would be really annoying if the show is characterized by the lack of planning.

Entertainment boss is annoyed that the peaceful music competition has become a major political battleground.

"It is practically unbearable. I know that the EBU takes it very seriously. Denmark takes part in the Eurovision Song Contest as an event where we can meet across borders and differences", says Jan Lagermand.

"I would be really happy if EBU will manage to get Yulia on stage in Ukraine", he adds.

Russia page:

ESCKAZ - ESC 2017 - Yulia Samoylova (Russia) / Юлия Самойлова (Россия)

#FBLivePoll Round 34. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is San Marino.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)
Round 24 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated O'G3NE (The Netherlands)
Round 25 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Alma (France)
Round 26 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Kasia Mos (Poland)
Round 27 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Brendan Murray (Ireland)
Round 28 winner: IMRI (Israel), relegated Jana Burcheska (Macedonia)
Round 29 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Tijana Bogicevic (Serbia)
Round 30 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated IMRI (Israel)
Round 31 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Fusedmarc (Lithuania)
Round 32 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated JOWST (Norway)
Round 33 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Blanche (Belgium)

#FBLivePoll Round 33. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Iceland.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)
Round 24 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated O'G3NE (The Netherlands)
Round 25 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Alma (France)
Round 26 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Kasia Mos (Poland)
Round 27 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Brendan Murray (Ireland)
Round 28 winner: IMRI (Israel), relegated Jana Burcheska (Macedonia)
Round 29 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Tijana Bogicevic (Serbia)
Round 30 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated IMRI (Israel)
Round 31 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Fusedmarc (Lithuania)
Round 32 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated JOWST (Norway)

Instagram post by Mogens Dahl Koncertsal • Mar 23, 2017 at 2:49pm UTC

Instagram post by Mogens Dahl Koncertsal • Mar 23, 2017 at 2:49pm UTC

4 Likes, 1 Comments - Mogens Dahl Koncertsal (@mogensdahlkoncertsal) on Instagram: “Welcome @anjanissen ! Congratulations! 🎼👏🏻🇩🇰 #congratulations #eurovisionsongcontest…”

On this day in 1963, #Denmark won #Eurovision . Françoise Hardy finished 5th for #Monaco, and Nana Mouskouri finished 8th for #Luxembourg

Anonymous asked:

Will you make a top 43 of ESC 2017?

Answer:

I want to keep listening to the songs for some time more, before making a definitive top 43… But I can already divide the tracks like this:

Great: Italy, Sweden, Ireland, Finland

Very good: Portugal, Israel, Iceland, Norway, France

Good: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Slovenia, Australia, Hungary, Estonia, Cyprus, Montenegro

Average: Uk, Albania, Denmark, Czechia, Austria, The Netherlands, Croatia, Switzerland

Overrated: Romania, Greece, Belgium, Serbia, Belarus

Bad: Ukraine, Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, Spain, Germany, Latvia, Malta, San Marino, Georgia

Really bad: Russia, Lithuania

#eurovision #esc #esc2017 #top43 #italy #italia #francescogabbani #sweden #sverige #robinbengtsson #ireland #finland #lassepiirainen #normajohn #portugal #salvadorsobral #israel #imriziv #iceland #norway #aleksanderwalmann #france #armenia #azerbaijan #fyrmacedonia #fyrom #slovenia #omarnaber #australia #isaiahfirebrace

#FBLivePoll Round 32. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Norway.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)
Round 24 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated O'G3NE (The Netherlands)
Round 25 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Alma (France)
Round 26 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Kasia Mos (Poland)
Round 27 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Brendan Murray (Ireland)
Round 28 winner: IMRI (Israel), relegated Jana Burcheska (Macedonia)
Round 29 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Tijana Bogićević (Serbia)
Round 30 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated IMRI (Israel)
Round 31 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Fusedmarc (Lithuania)

Denmark's @anjanissen is giving us face, showing the @wiwibloggs team and the world why she should be a contender for Eurovision's Next Top Model. 🔥🔥
Будет ли Аня Ниссен из Дании следующей Eurovision's Next Top Model? 😉 #eurovision #entm #anjanissen #celebratediversity #eurovision2017 #denmark #whereiam

#FBLivePoll Round 31. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Lithuania.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)
Round 24 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated O'G3NE (The Netherlands)
Round 25 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Alma (France)
Round 26 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Kasia Mos (Poland)
Round 27 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Brendan Murray (Ireland)
Round 28 winner: IMRI (Israel), relegated Jana Burcheska (Macedonia)
Round 29 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Tijana Bogićević (Serbia)
Round 30 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated IMRI (Israel)

Three of the five Nordic countries — Denmark, Finland and Iceland — have failed to qualify for the Eurovision final over the past two years. Last year only one of the Nordic countries (powerhouse and Eurovision 2016 host nation Sweden) appeared in the final. Needless to say all five countries are hungry for a win and will try their best to reach the final.

As in recent years, all five of the countries chose their acts through intense national selection processes. Finland, Iceland and Sweden will battle each other in the first semi-final while Denmark and Norway will compete in the second.

But which of the five Nordic entries 🇳🇴🇫🇮🇩🇰🇮🇸🇸🇪is your favourite? And who stands the best chance of slaying a path to the final and on to victory? Vote in our poll below. You can vote for as many of your favourites as you would like, but you can only vote ONE time. Be sure to click the box next to each act you want to support before pressing submit. #eurovisionsongcontest #eurovision #eurovision2017

#ESCCovers
EUROVISION 2010 - OSLO, NORWAY
This looking back is especially for Morten Thomassen - thank you for one of the best Eurovisions I had.

Norway won in Moscow and so it was time to return to Oslo for Eurovision 2010. Norway is a very expensive country but since I always share a hotel room with Morten at Eurovision, this time Eurovision was in his home city, no hotel was needed as I would stay at his house. Of course it was not so special for Morten for several reasons - a lot of work as president of the host OGAE club and also Morten wants Eurovision to be somewhere so he can go away and have a real holiday.

I decided to fly with Turkish airways via Istanbul. It seemed the best route, time wise and cost wise.

Norway is also a Schengen country and it was fairly easy to get the visa having had Schengen visas from Greece and Finland in recent years and also having had 5 previous Norwegian visas.
I also got my accreditation fairly quickly, so most of the preparations went well.

This was the first time OGAE R O W members bought ticket packages. I cannot remember how many R O W bought but it was over 10. For the first time there were some Australians coming with tickets through R O W and I remember Rodrigo from Mexico. Also no less than 4 South African came to Oslo and had tickets - Nelius Ferreira was coming for his 4th Eurovision in a row, and Carl-Piet van Eden enjoyed Moscow so much so he decided to come for his second Eurovision. With them they had Lee Scott and Rene van Reenen, two South African singers who Nelius manages. Both have covered 2009 Eurovision songs in Afrikaans. Lee did Norway, Iceland and Malta and Rene did France and Switzerland.

Morten asked me months prior to Eurovision to help him with the fanstand in Oslo. He had secured a prime spot in the press center and we had lots of plans for a fantastic fan stand. I decided to make no less than 5 compilation CD's which we would hand out at the fan stand in competitions daily. They are volume 1 and 2 of EUROVISION - ONS SING JOU LIEDJIES 2010, volume 1 and 2 of NORDIC MAGIC and one compilation of COMPOSERS CHOICE.

As South Africa was hosting the 2010 world cup soccer, several companies like SONY and SPAR gave me t-shirts to wear during the two weeks they had designed for the soccer tournament.
A near tragedy almost ruined Eurovision - some weeks before Eurovision a volcano in Iceland erupted and sent tons of lawa into the air, seriously effecting flights in many parts of Europe. I was happy I had decided to fly via Turkey so out of the way of the lawa. I remember the Irish delegation was unable to fly into Oslo and had to come by boat and they arrived one day late.

The day before the press center opened, Morten and his team worked there to set up the fan stand. Kato Hansen, the president of OGAE Norway before Morten, brought a lot of his personal stuff to decorate the fan stand. Morten was also able to get himself pigeonhole number one that day. Morten was also able to get a TV which would display the results of the OGAE voting and a voting form was designed with the flags of the participating countries - all so professional. The shifts at the fan stand was also well organised to ensure always someone from Norway teaming up with someone from another OGAE club. I spent a lot of time there, more than at any other fan stand before or after. It was so centrally located, we were able to see everything and interact with many.

Vonk records from SOUTH AFRICA also gave me two I-pods to hand as gifts to the two people who correctly guessed the most countries to qualify in each semi final. Nobody predicted all 10 for any semi final and I think in semi final 1 the best was 8 while someone had 9 in semi final 2.

The pigeonhole area was just across from the fan stand with the press working area behind us and next door was the press conference room - everything so central and within easy access of everything. Also some of the sponsors were around the area with things like sweets and candy.

The canteen was on the other side of the pigeonholes but it was quite expensive. I ate just one night there and for 150 krone I could have eaten 6 times back home - the food was nice but I thought not a big enough meal for when you are really hungry.

Transport was not free with accreditation badges - you had to go and collect a transport card which was valid for the entire two weeks and also allowed you transport on the Monday after the final for those still having to depart.

During the two weeks, some Norwegian singers came to the fan stand, among them Maria from 2008 and she promoted her new CD there. We also had a book on Eurovision written by Jostein Pedersen (a previous commentator for Norway) and Kato Martin Hansen (a previous OGAE Norway president) and we sold it there. One person stole one of the copies - it was dreadful as we had no ideas who it was and get either the book back or the money.

The fan stand was really central in my life in 2010 and many incidents happened there.

It was also the location of a near tragedy. One day Morten went to fetch the OGAE tickets from the safe at his work and brought it to the fan stand. He was able to hand out the tickets for the other clubs and kept the tickets for the Norwegian members at the fan stand until we could take it home. That evening we went home and only once we were home, Morten discovered he had left the tickets there at the fan stand underneath the counter - thousands of Norwegian krone worth of tickets - all the ticket packages for the 500 or so Norwegian fans. We could not return to fetch it as the press center had closed. Morten was unable to sleep that night and first thing the next morning we rushed to the press center and luckily found the tickets still there.

One day Per Sundnes came to vote at the fan stand. We had decided to give a gift to the 100th person who voted and this man came to vote - I had no idea who he was but J P of Radio International came running to me at the fan stand to tell me it was Per who was in charge of the Norwegian selection. I gave him his prize and then asked him what was his favourite Eurovision song. He said to me "Fairytale" by Alexander Rybak and then I said, would you like a copy of this song covered in Afrikaans and he said yes. He was so excited about it and then I said, I have even more good news. The singer of this cover LEE SCOTT is in Oslo and would you like to meet him. He was delighted and arranged for me and Lee to meet him and then he took us to a special by invitation only gathering of NRK where they would introduce the 4 special stamps issued for Eurovision - the three previous winners (Bobbysocks, Secret Garden and Alexander Rybak) and Jahn Teigen. At this event Lee was able to sing his cover to this select audience and also met up with Alexander, Maria from 2008 and Didrik Solli Tangen of 2010.

Serbia had Milan Stankovic at Eurovision. If I remember correctly, he had won the Serbian Idols and he was extremely popular with fans (mostly female). This song was called "Ovo je Balkan ". I do not like it, but the promo single caused a storm. They came to hand it out at the fan stand and people went mad getting a copy. Although I do not like this song, what I did like was the fact that it contains another language version - namely the song in Spanish as "Balcaneros ". I also heard that fans were paying a fortune for this promo single. They also gave some radio journalists a full CD of Milan called SOLO.

Greece was there with a song called "Opa" by Giorgos Alkaios & friends - quite a lively song. The delegation had tons of Opa scarfs for us to hand out to fans, and they brought literally TONS of promo CD's for us to hand out as well. One day while I was at the fan stand a school group came to look at the venue and press center and they were like 40 or 50 people age around 17 and I handed each and everyone a copy of Greece and still had plenty to spare.

Talking of handing out things, unfortunately Slovenia brought us a box of like 2000 postcards on the Saturday of the final, impossible to get rid of that with just one day. I had the feeling they forgot about the box of postcards and stumbled across it on the last day.

Many countries brought little things for us at the fan stand, postcards, promo CD's, pens, etc. This was really the ONLY year the fan stand worked well and it was such a good feeling to be part of it. Many delegations brought their artists to the fan stand to look at it, have photo's taken there and to watch the results on the big screen. I was quite hysterical when the Lithuanian delegation came around. They were a group of people called InCulto and had a song called "Eastern European funk". Not many liked the song and it was showing last place on the prediction board, but the members were smiling and joking and singing and had a fun time at the fan stand even though they were last on the prediction board.

We also handed our Lena t-shirts at the fan stand for German press. I can't even remember how the t-shirt looked like, I was not interested and actually cross that Germany did not bring any promo CD's.

On Norway's national day, OGAE Norway board brought flowers to the fan stand and also chocolates and traditional Norwegian cake - Lefse. It really made the fan stand a central point for the delegations and I saw more of them than any previous year or any of the years to follow.

During a photo session with a certain country at the fan stand, one person went crazy and said he asked us at the fan stand to look after his Eurovision bag so he could take a photo of this artist but he never brought the bag to us. Luckily after 10 or so minutes of searching, we found the bag, he had left it somewhere against a wall.

I also went a few times to the EURO CAFE located at the bar royal in the Clarion Hotel Royal Christiania which also was decorated with interesting stuff on the walls from previous Eurovisions and Norwegian selections. There was also an Australian gathering one day which I also attended.

OGAE Norway was able to get a certain food shop to give OGAE Card holders a 10% discount on food they bought. I went with Graham and some others one day to buy food there. I think it was the first time showing your OGAE card, you could get discount (it happened again in 2016 in Stockholm).

The Euroclub at Smuget was on the small side and was packed night after night. I attended just one evening, the OGAE party where OGAE Norway was able to get many of the singers to perform there. I remember even Kuunkuiskaajat from Finland came even although they were eliminated the previous night at semi final 1. It was also the first time OGAE Rest of the world was able to have a singer - this honour went to Lee Scott who had covered the Norwegian winner "Fairytale" in Afrikaans. I was asked to introduce him and he caused quite a stir among the crowd with his cover.

This resulted in a journalist from Reuters coming to me and ask if he could interview Lee. I said yes, no problem. The interview was arranged for the Friday before the final at the fan stand. I had Lee there but the journalist was running late and Lee said he was hungry, he went to MacDonalds to meet up with the other South Africans. 20 minutes later the Reuters journalist arrived and no Lee and so he interviewed me instead. The next day I heard from people in countries like Canada, Australia, Netherlands, all seeing the Reuters interview with me. This could have been a big break for Lee.

Ukraine had a song at Eurovision called "Sweet people" sung by Alyosha. The promo single was sort of made to look like a soccer ball - this was done because Ukraine was hoping to qualify for the world cup soccer in South Africa and then did not make it, so their whole campaign revolved around a soccer theme and they chatted regularly with me about the upcoming soccer in South Africa. Of course soccer is not a well known sport among especially white Afrikaans speaking people and they were surprised - I gather people think soccer is the number one sport in every country.

I attended with Morten a party inside a certain hotel - I think it was the Greek party. I was quite tired and went to sit down and the guy next to me started talking to me. He asked: "Do you recognize me?" I said sorry, but I see every year so many people at Eurovision, it is impossible to recognize them all. He then said "This is my problem, many people do not recognize me". It turned out he was the singer for Cyprus - Jon Lilygreen. Of course I felt awful but I must admit, he looked like tons of guys I see all over Europe. His song " Life looks better in Spring" is quite a catchy song.

Someone I did recognize instantly was the singer from Switzerland, Michael von der Heide. I of course know the German language singers much better as Schlager music is my favourite genre and Michael is easy to recognize, although seeing him in real life, he was quite short. He came to the fan stand with a camera crew to thank OGAE Norway - they had voted his song as their favourite in the OGAE poll.

I later saw him again at the welcome party where he as probably the shorter artist and then walked close to the probably the tallest artist, Eva Rivas from Armenia.

The welcome party was strictly by invitation only as the venue, Oslo City hall, was quite small and not all accredited people automatically had a right to attend like had been the case in places such as Istanbul, Kyiv and Belgrade. Morten was even more popular as he got something like 26 invites from NRK to hand out to people. It was a great red carpet affair, a short carpet and the artists walked in quickly. I was inside before the artists arrived and I could see them as they came into the hall. A woman came to speak to me, she works in the office of the Oslo mayor who was hosting the welcome party. She told me she had heard of me, the journalist from South Africa. She and her husband had been to South Africa a month or so ago and they loved every moment of it. While we were talking, something like 8 people stormed at us and took photo's. I was surprised and thought this woman must be a huge celebrity. Meanwhile she was equally surprised and thought I was the big celebrity. It turned out these people were from the Spanish press and thought this woman was Angela Merkel, the German chancellor and that is why they were talking photo's of us. They just ran away when this came to light that she was not the German chancellor but someone from Norway. We stood there laughing about this as afterwards, as we both could see that maybe she does look like Angela if you see her for the first time.

For the second year running, my favourite song came from the Netherlands. This time it was Sieneke and her song "Ik ben verliefd - sha-la-lie". The promo single looks like a Dutch tile (so original). The song is composed by veteran Dutch composer Pierre Kartner who is also very well known in South Africa - at least 20 of his songs have been covered in Afrikaans. He was also Vader Abraham who did "The Smurf song" which was a huge hit in many countries. I was happy this song was in the Dutch language. Several covers of this song was done, both in South Africa and elsewhere. It was pure horror it did not qualify for the final.

The whole promotion was so special, Sieneke arriving at the press center in a special car, Marianne Weber a top Dutch singer in her own right, being her vocal coach and the stage production with the DRAAI ORREL - this to me was Eurovision at its absolute best.

Song wise 2010 was a great year with no less than 3 more songs who also got 10 out of 10 from me. There was the fantastic local entry "My heart is yours" by Didrik Solli-Tangen which became my top Norwegian entry ever and also one of the most special voices to me ever at Eurovision, and I also think he is the best looking male singer in the last 15 years at Eurovision. Another absolute tragedy that it did so badly in the final. I know many said he did not perform it well - I did not experience it as such, this song just was such a classic and also covered in South Africa by a variety of artists in English, Afrikaans and Italian.

Also 10 out of 10 for me is Denmark's "In a moment like this" sung by Chanee and N'evergreen. This song was a reject from Sweden's selection and did so well for Denmark. I regard this as one of the best songs composed by Thomas Gson. I think had N'evergreen come across as more friendly, this could have won the Eurovision. The song was covered in South Africa by various artists and in English by Jay and Lianie May and this went on to become the biggest euro cover ever in South Africa - even several Euro fans recon this cover is better than the original. The song was also covered in Swedish.

The last song to get 10 out of 10 is Belarus and their "Butterflies" by 3 + 2. I just love this song and the way it was presented on stage with the dresses of the 3 females looking like butterflies. Many fans did not expect this to qualify but I have been over the moon. They were with me inside the green room but sat on the other side of the room away from me. Belarus as usual had a wide variety of souvenirs for the press, including the most beautiful BAG I had ever gotten at Eurovision.

I spent quite a lot of time with the Bulgarian delegation and Miroslav because we had decided one of his songs in the selection, composed by Danne Attlerud from Sweden, would be the OGAE Rest of the world entry in that years Second chance contest.

I was probably one of the few that liked the Russian entry "Lost and forgotten" by Peter Nalitch & friends.

Morten could get 4 people to be in the green room during semi final 1. He asked me and two Greek OGAE members, Costas Tzisis (who was at that time the president of OGAE Greece) and Tasos Denesidis (who always brings Morten and me the Greek promo single). We got special accreditation badges for this day and was escorted into the venue and to the green room. That year the green room was out of sight of the general public. The 4 of us sat at our own table but the delegations of 4 countries sat around us - Malta, Latvia, Slovakia and Finland. In the beginning it was quite exciting to be in the green room but once none of the artists of the four countries sitting around us qualified, it became one of the most horrible experiences I have ever had at Eurovision. It was so sad, especially seeing the Malta singer crying and the head of delegation using the HUGE Malta flag they had to dry her tears. Of course it was also excited to see the joy of those delegations who did qualify.

During one of the semi finals, NRK paid tribute to fans from across the world and they focused on Rest of the world fans who came a long way. During the show they spoke with Nelius from South Africa as well as 2 of the Australians/New Zealanders who got tickets via OGAE Rest of the world, but were allocated special seats so the cameras could get easily to them. You can see this on the DVD recordings of the show.

There was high drama with Sweden not qualifying for the final with their song " This is my life" sung by Anna Bergendahl. We were in a bus travelling to the after party and this was the only topic of discussion. The transport was fantastic, tons of buses were ready once the shows finished to take people to the after parties. One of the best logistical operations I have ever experienced and 12 points to the Norwegian organisation for that.

Before semi final 1, I helped Morten to hand out tickets to the Norwegian members. An airline also made t-shirts for the members with their logo etc. We were gathering close to the venue and the members arrived to get their tickets and t-shirts.

I was in the green room for semi final 1 live but semi final 2 live and the final live show, I spent at the fan stand, making sure the last people voted. Just before the final, Sietse came to me and said he has a spare ticket for the final and want to give it to me. I said rather give it to someone who really wanted to see the show, it is good enough for me to sit at the fan stand and watch it on the big screen.

The final brought us JIMMY JUMP, who jumped on stage during the performance of the Spanish entry "Algo pequenito (Something tiny)". I did not think anything was wrong and thought this was all part of the performance. Spain was allowed to sing their song again. A few months later Jimmy jumped onto the field at a soccer match during the World cup - so I was one of a few people who saw him "jumped" twice.

Even in a first world country like Norway, we had a one hour power cut in the press center. It was in the afternoon on a fairly quiet day, so it did not matter too much.

I think Oslo was the only year I attended all 3 the after parties because obviously unlike other Eurovisions, I was staying with Morten in his house and went home with him after events. The after party of the final was quite crowded and there was a lot of food but as expected not much I eat.

Another super party was that of Georgia which took place in the opera house and must have cost a fortune - this was so special in so many ways. I have several friends in Oslo and I was meeting up with Oeystein who had visited me in South Africa three or so years previously. I took him with me to the Georgia party. They handed big bags to the people attending - packed with goodies. I had lost touch with everything inside, but there was a memory stick, a promo CD, a note pad, something you use to read at night with, a light that moves over the book so it lights up the lines - after all their entry was called "Shine". The most emotional item for me was a light blanket you put over your legs when watching TV. I took it for my mother and she loved it and used it every night while watching TV. When she died, I had the blanket put in her coffin. She always said this was the most special item I had ever brought her from Eurovision and for that, Georgia will always have a special place in my heart. Of course the food and drinks at the party was out of this world - for 99% of the people. Unfortunately I do not eat sea food,neither drink alcohol, so I was unable to eat or drink anything.

Ian Fowell and I also met up with Trond Inge Skara who is Norwegian but he lives close to the airport. He had tickets for the show and we met up with him before the show. Trond and I exchanged CD's - he likes several South African artists and he gave me the selection CD's from Norway and Sweden that year. We also ran into the Slovak delegation - they gave me a t-shirt of "Horehronie". This was quite a fan favourite but I found the staging too dark to really see it as a potential winner.

The OGAE president's meeting was held in a room at a certain hotel. I think Morten got the room for free but had to pay a fortune for the fruit platter that was available. With me I had two females from Iceland who were interested in starting OGAE Iceland and I brought them with me. I think the meeting went relatively peaceful compared to other president's meetings.

Due to the fact that Morten had to return to work early on the Monday and my flight was only the Monday afternoon, I decided to move into a hotel for the Sunday evening so that I can sleep late and have direct access from the hotel to the airport. Morten helped me taking my luggage over to the hotel. Once I was booked in, I had to meet up with a friend of mine from Oslo I know even before I got to know Morten, Tor-Olav Fidjeland. I had visited him and his Polish wife Maria in 1991. We were to meet me in the lobby of the hotel where the after party was held. Maria could not make it and Tor-Olav came alone. I was there first as it was close to the hotel I had booked for the night and while waiting I ate something and spilled chocolate on my shirt. I went to the bathroom to clean it and took off my money belt. Well, I forgot to put the money belt back and once I met up with Tor-Olav, we went to a restaurant to drink something. When the bill came and we had to pay, I discovered to my shock and horror, I did not have my money belt on - I was in a state as inside the money belt was my money and credit cards (luckily not my passport as that was in the hotel) but also the keys to my hotel. I ran the distance from the restaurant we were to the hotel and into the bathroom and of course the money belt was gone. I went to lost and found and they started phoning - one hour later they came back with the news that someone found the money belt and they will have it soon. I had to identify what was inside and it was mine and everything was there - to the last krone. I was so thankful and said had this happened in South Africa, I may have gotten the money belt back but all the cash at least would have been gone. Then the head of security said to me, THIS IS NORWAY. I was so relieved, I ran back to the hotel and fell on the bed to recover from all of this.

The Monday morning I got up late, ate breakfast and then finished packing and got ready to depart for the airport. The rest of the fight back home went smoothly.

As I have already said, 2010 brought no less than 4 10 out of 10 songs
Netherlands - Ik ven verliefd - sha la lie - Sieneke
Norway - My heart is yours - Didrik Solli-Tangen
Denmark - In a moment like this - Chanee & N'evergreen
Belarus - Butterflies - 3 + 2
The biggest horrors all came from the Baltic countries and if I remember correctly, none qualified.
Lithuania - Eastern European funk
Latvia - What for - Aisha
Estonia - Siren - Malcolm Lincoln

Photos from ESCKAZ.com / ESCCovers / OGAE Rest of the World / Eurovision South Africa's post

We have a winner - Salvador Sobral wins today's vote, with IMRI from Israel relegated. Thanks for the voting and see you tomorrow.

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#FBLivePoll Round 30. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Sweden.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)
Round 24 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated O'G3NE (The Netherlands)
Round 25 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Alma (France)
Round 26 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Kasia Mos (Poland)
Round 27 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Brendan Murray (Ireland)
Round 28 winner: IMRI (Israel), relegated Jana Burcheska (Macedonia)
Round 29 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Tijana Bogićević (Serbia)

#FBLivePoll Round 29. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Serbia.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)
Round 24 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated O'G3NE (The Netherlands)
Round 25 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Alma (France)
Round 26 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Kasia Mos (Poland)
Round 27 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Brendan Murray (Ireland)
Round 28 winner: IMRI (Israel), relegated Jana Burcheska (Macedonia)

We have the result. IMRI from Israel managed to top the poll for the 1st time with Jana Burcheska from Macedonia relegated. Thanks for the voting and see you tomorrow.

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#FBLivePoll Round 28. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Azerbaijan.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)
Round 24 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated O'G3NE (The Netherlands)
Round 25 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Alma (France)
Round 26 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Kasia Mos (Poland)
Round 27 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Brendan Murray (Ireland)

We have a result with Salvador Sobral winning again and Brendan Murray relegated on his 2nd day in the list. Thanks for the voting and see you tomorrow.

#FBLivePoll Round 27. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Macedonia.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)
Round 24 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated O'G3NE (The Netherlands)
Round 25 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Alma (France)
Round 26 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Kasia Mos (Poland)

On March 7 we knew 27 #eurovision2017 acts. We asked our readers to vote for their favourites and Italy won the day, followed by Romania and France. Francesco Gabbani, “Occidentali’s Karma” — 11.37% (3,073 votes)
Romania: Ilinca feat. Alex Florea, “Yodel It!” — 10.95% (2,958 votes)
France: Alma, “Requiem” — 8.38% (2,264 votes)
Portugal: Salvador Sobral, “Amar Pelos Dois” — 7.65% (2,067 votes)
Greece: Demy, “This is Love” — 5.07% (1,370 votes)
Estonia: Koit Toome & Laura, “Verona” — 4.51% (1,219 votes)
Denmark: Anja Nissen, “Where I Am” — 4.5% (1,215 votes)
Moldova: SunStroke Project, “Hey, Mamma!” — 4.41% (1,192 votes)
Finland: Norma John, “Blackbird” — 4.27% (1,155 votes)
United Kingdom: Lucie Jones, “Never Give Up on You” — 3.99% (1,077 votes)
Poland: Kasia Mos, “Flashlight” — 3.96% (1,069 votes)
Latvia: Triana Park, “Line” — 3.19% (863 votes)
The Netherlands: O’G3NE, “Lights and Shadows” — 2.83% (765 votes)
Switzerland: Timebelle, “Apollo” — 2.75% (744 votes)
Georgia: Tako Gachechiladze, “Keep the Faith” — 2.75% (742 votes)
Cyprus: Hovig, “Gravity” — 2.51% (677 votes)
Hungary: Joci Papai, “Origo” — 2.25% (608 votes)
Australia: Isaiah Firebrace, “Don’t Come Easy” — 2.12% (574 votes)
Belarus: NAVIBAND, “Historyja majho zyccia” — 1.93% (521 votes)
Albania: Lindita, “Botë” (World) — 1.76% (475 votes)
Austria: Nathan Trent, “Running On Air” — 1.7% (458 votes)
Ukraine: O.Torvald, “Time” — 1.48% (400 votes)
Spain: Manel Navarro, “Do It For Your Lover” — 1.25% (337 votes)
Croatia: Jacques Houdek, “My Friend” — 1.21% (327 votes)
Slovenia: Omar Naber, “On My Way” — 1.08% (293 votes)
Malta: Claudia Faniello, “Breathlessly” — 1.08% (292 votes)
Germany: Levina, “Perfect Life” — 1.05% (285 votes) #eurovision #celebratediversity

We have a result: Winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated Kasia Mos (Poland). See you tomorrow!

#FBLivePoll Round 26. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Ireland.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)
Round 24 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated O'G3NE (The Netherlands)
Round 25 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Alma (France)

#ESCCovers
On Saturday 11 March, 2017 guest journalist of ESC Covers, Chris Zeiher from Australia interviewed Danne Attlerud, from Sweden taking part in the Norwegian selection.
Swedish lyricst Danne Attlerud was kind enough to spend a half hour with me in between rehearsals for Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix in which his song “Nothing Ever Knocked Us Over” is competing for a chance to represent Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

Danne Attlerud is no stranger to the workings of the competitive National selection competitions for the Eurovision Song Contest with a career that started in 2000 with a song he co-wrote for Barbados as it participated in what is often referred to as the “template” for selecting a national song Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. And with this Attlerud has witnessed first-hand the evolution of the contest.
“I’ve written 26 entries for competition,” Attlerud confesses. “For a total of 8 or 9 countries…I can’t remember (quick check and it’s 8)…Countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Armenia and on and on.”
“Each one has been so different. And I’ve had my songs in the Eurovision twice (2004 and 2006)”.
The Swede admits that the National selection competitions are a fantastic chance for the competitors to analyse the contest. “We were talking earlier (at Breakfast with other composers and songwriters) and we all agreed that there’s now three elements to a winning Eurovision song. The performer, the staging…you know, the visuals …and then the song.” Attlerud muses.
“It’s not just about the song anymore. All three elements compete equally,” he goes on.
“I’ve been involved for over 15 years in Eurovision and it’s changed. It’s all about who is performing, what you hear and what you see on the screen.”

And what of his chance this year? That lies with In Fusion, a collective of three female vocalists of distinct musical backgrounds, who are taking Attlerud’s co-penned effort “Nothing Ever Knocked Us Over” onto the stage at the Oslo Spektrum for a shot at representing Norway in the 2017 content. And Attlerud is nervous.
“We’ve had technical difficulties,” he admits. “The girls have a vision for their entry and it’s coming together. Vocally, they sound great but there’s some issues with the staging that’s not coming together.”
“We’re one of the favourites at this point but who knows how the Norwegian public will vote,” he admits realistically. “I’m proud of our group. You know…you never know,” he says with a shrug of his shoulders.
Sadly, In Fusion did not make it through the first round of the competition of Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix 2017 and missed their chance to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, Ukraine.

When asked about the process of songwriting the trepidation of the rehearsals bleeds away and Attlerud gushes about his passion.
“I need to find the story,” he says of a song. “I need to find the hook. Once I have the hook I can then build the story.”
“The hook is part of the chorus,” he continues. “I need to think and feel something. I need to love the lyrics and that’s when the story comes.”
“Sometimes it happens in the first 3 minutes of listening to a piece (of music),” he reveals. “I can then find the core, the essence, the heart (of the song).”

And is there anyone Attlerud would like to write for?
“Sting!” he announces without hesitation. “I don’t get star-struck – but he’s the best musician I can think of.”
“He can sing and play perfectly. He’s really impressive.”

And as for collaborations he admits that to work with Benny Anderson would be a dream. “…but he already has a pretty good lyricst,” he jokes.
“No really – Benny is so good at making really complex songs sound simple.”
“He meshes (melody and bass) into something sophisticated and beautiful,” he confesses.

“I love it,” he says of songwriting. “It’s a constant process and I’m always working on new project.”
And of his favourite effort in an attempt to get onto the main Eurovision stage. “Jan Johansen’s “Sista Andetaget,” he freely admits. “It was a really special song. We wrote it a couple of days after (the tragedy) of September 11. It really has impact that year. That one was really special for me.”

Photos from ESCKAZ.com / ESCCovers / OGAE Rest of the World / Eurovision South Africa's post

#FBLivePoll Round 25. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Israel.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)
Round 24 winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), relegated O'G3NE (The Netherlands)

Results: Winner: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), Relegated OG'3NE (The Netherlands). Thanks for the voting and see you tomorrow!

#FBLivePoll Round 24. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Belgium.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)
Round 23 winner: Alma, O'G3NE, Salvador Sobral, relegated Martina Barta (Czech Republic)

@robcastell100 honestly it started on rock you! I went to the dentist in Denmark (truthful alliteration) and ever since. Mingin.

#FBLivePoll Round 23. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Czech Republi.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)
Round 22 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Demy (Greece)

#FBLivePoll Round 22. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Greece.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)
Round 21 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Koit Toome and Laura (Estonia)

Francesco Gabbani wins again with Estonian duet Koit & Laura eliminated. We hope to run one more round today, so stay tuned!

----

#FBLivePoll Round 21. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Portugal.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry.

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)
Round 20 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania)

#ESCCovers

EUROVISION 2009 - MOSCOW - RUSSIA

Finally Russia won and we could go to Moscow. I was quite excited about that, however I had some financial problems in 2009 - due to the global financial crisis. As I have indicated in my 2000 looking back, I stopped working that year and so my only income was interest from investments which took a horrible dip as the money was invested in the stock exchange and so I was unable to go for the entire two weeks. Also the hotel in Moscow was quite expensive. I arranged with Morten that I would be there just the first week and then go home and he then got someone from Norway to share the room with him the second week. This worked out perfectly because Per Michael was coming just for the second week and so he replaced me in the hotel room.
Two South Africans also decided to go to Moscow, Nelius Ferreira for his third Eurovision in a row and Carl-Piet van Eden for his first time. They decided to stay until the end.
I flew with Qatar airways via Doha which seemed the most direct route to Moscow.
The Russian visa was quite interesting cost wise - if you wanted it instantly, it was like say 100 euro, and then there was a drop of like 10 euro for each day you were prepared to wait until like 50 euro if you waited a week. I decided on the first one otherwise it would mean going to the embassy again to collect and traveling to Pretoria a second time. So for the first time ever I had my visa on the day of application.
For the first time I would also not arrive at the same airport as Morten. With Moscow being so big, there are several airports and Morten coming from the west would arrive at the Western airport and I coming from the South would arrive at the Domodedovo airport. Luckily Andy coming from Kazakhstan would also arrive at this airport and his flight was like an hour behind me. So we arranged that I wait at the airport for his arrival and then he has arranged with Alexey Tcharykov to pick us up and we pay him instead of a taxi.
We first went to the accreditation center and there was a long queue but Andy knew someone who came to fetch us and took us pass all these 100 of so people waiting and we ended up right in front of the queue to get our accreditation.
I was then taken to my hotel. Alexey had to leave immediately to go and get Morten at his airport as his flight was about to land at that time. I really liked our hotel, a big hotel with many floors and something like 23 of the delegations stayed there as well.
The hotel also had a foreign exchange counter where I could get ruble for my euro (again it was impossible to get any Russian money in South Africa).
Once Morten arrived and we had settled in properly, we walked around for some sightseeing, but the wind was blowing quite heavily. Near our hotel was some important tourist attraction with statues and stuff - I am not really a tourist so I sort of just tagged along and got to see the Russian people.
My highlight of Moscow was the underground - I love going down the escalator almost 1 kilometer and up and just to see the faces of people coming in the opposite direction - these escalators were always crowded, no matter what time we traveled. Our hotel was fairly close to the venue and the press center, like 3 metro stops.
The lay out of the press center was quite interesting and the pigeonholes - they were allocated alphabetical by COUNTRY and mine was under S - SOUTH AFRICA so almost like 1000 or so before me. The interesting thing is that you got a key for your pigeonhole and so you could go and unlock it any time you feel and see if there was something in.
Ralph Siegel returned and this time he wrote the song for Montenegro, "Just get out of my life" for Andrea Demirovic. I had a gift for Ralph as well as a certificate saying his 100th song had been covered in South Africa. The moderator made a mistake and said South Africa offered Ralph citizenship, when it was just that due to him having written so many songs that were covered in South Africa and sold well, the idea was that if ever he was tired of Germany, he could come to South Africa anytime and get citizenship. Meanwhile his partner Bernd Meinunger had already bought property in Cape Town as well as Nicole, so they already had South Africa as sort of a summer destination. They also have a music publishing company called CAPE TOWN songs.
Interesting in the press center was the fact that they had translators and so you could get the press conference in French, English and Russian - so nobody sat in front and translate . It was done automatic by translators in the back and you got it on your earphones.
The actual venue was just a few steps away from the press center. Everything was so well centered and easy to get to.
Remembering me from Belgrade, some people of the Belarus delegation showered me in gifts each time they saw me, especially one woman who was not very good in English, but each time she saw me, said "Here's another gift". I cannot even recall all the stuff, many of the items I gave to Morten to take to his OGAE members - I know there were crystal glasses and Vodka and chocolates. The interesting thing also was I often got a little note saying DEAR GUEST - there is a souvenir for your from a delegation. You can pick it up at the Equipment storage - this is because it was too big to fit into the pigeonholes. 90% of the time when I got this notice, it was something from Belarus.
A funny thing also happened with Belarus. While sitting in the press conference room someone came in with something we thought was CD's. I took three, one for me, one for Morten and one for Andreas in Austria. Imagine my shock after a while when this CD's started melting and then I realized this was not CD's in a box, it was ice cream. I think quite a lot of people discovered this as well. Belarus had so much ice cream, you could feed an entire army on that.
With Sakis returning to Eurovision for Greece, I decided to do a project with a South African singer Izak Davel - he is sort of the South African Sakis. He was doing a new CD and I thought it would be nice if he covered Sakis 2004 song "Shake it" and we also presented it in a denim pocket since Izak also had a denim company as a sponsor. His record company told me I would not get on the plane to Moscow without it. Well, it is 8 years later and I am still waiting for it. This was really the worst thing for me, especially as Sakis knew about this. But he was so cool, in Moscow he said to me, "It's not your fault, if they did not see the opportunity, it is their loss". His 2009 song "This is the night" had been covered since by several singers but he has not returned to Eurovision so I could give him a copy.
Miss World 2008 Ksenia Sukhinova, who was filmed in image of girls of all participating countries, was decorating the venue and other parts of the city - It was interesting to see how she represented each different country.
Breakfast in our hotel was such a treat. Besides a lot of food and some very interesting and delicious, with 23 delegations staying there, I had breakfast every day with someone from another delegation - Albania, Romania, Iceland, Belgium, etc. This was the closest I had ever interacted with the artists.
Even more closer interaction came from Albania. The delegation was staying on the same floor as me and Morten and their singer Kejsi Tole practiced their song and dance routine in the lobby in front of our room. Albania also had a twin as backing dancers and these two guys decided to give me and Morten a personal show inside out bedroom just before the rehearsals so we could tell them where they could improve.
One day Morten and I visited the RED SQUARE - well, I had seen pictures of this square so many times on TV and filled with soldiers, it looked huge. I was quite disappointed in real life - it was actually fairly small. Around it was a huge new shopping center but so expensive, I did not even bought a postcard. This is surely the shopping paradise for the Russian millionaires.
Slovakia returned to the contest after quite some years with "Let' tmou" by Nela Pociskova & Kamil Mikulcik. They had a big selection that year with several interesting songs. OGAE rest of the world was able to convince the other clubs that we should also take part in the OGAE Second chance contest and we would enter a song from a country without an own club. We decided on a song from Slovakia for our first entry. So I did spend a lot of time with the Slovak delegation to try and see which song we could enter - one with a video.
The Czech republic was also there with a song I still think it is one of the worst ever entered, "Aven romale" by Gipsy.cz. We were told at the press conference that they were quite successful in China. The song did badly and that was the end of the Czech participation for quite a few years.
Chiara was back for Malta for a third time, this time she was singing "What if we".
Lidia Kopania was there for Poland with an interesting song "I don't wanna leave".
Israel had an interesting song "There must be another way" sung by Noa & Mira Awad - I however expected more from the song - it promised so much but did not deliver in the end.
The 5 Nordic countries all have entries that are worth mentioning. We have also covered all 5 in South Africa - the first time ever that all 5 Nordic entries have been covered and three of them turned platinum here but it was the three that did not do as well as the ones of Norway and Iceland which came first and second. I think these two covers were not as well promoted as the ones from Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Interesting is that these three all had 5 or more SA artists covering them. The Finnish cover is so far the biggest seller of a Finnish song in South Africa and it is even played by Eurovision DJ's at events - I heard Louis Klomp played in it Copenhagen - besides the Afrikaans cover, it was also done in English and Spanish here.
2009 also seemed to be the year with the most covers in South Africa - almost 75% of the songs have been covered. The most interesting cover was that of the German entry "Miss kiss kiss bang" - it was done in a duet between Patricia Lewis (who had covered both Charlotte's entries -1999 and 2008 successfully) and David Hasselhoff from Knight rider fame. David even sings part of the song in Afrikaans.
Some years later Greece entered Eurovision with a song called "Alcohol is free" but this is exactly what happened in Moscow. Each member of the press got a lot of free coupons for free drinks - I think at least 5 a day and we got these coupons in advance. The coupons had different colours like green for Monday and red for Tuesday. Because I was not in Moscow for the second week, I gave out all my coupons to others.
The best promo CD ever (for me) came in the form of "Shine" from De Toppers of the Netherlands. This promo single must have cost a fortune. They also spent a lot of money and the three guys drove into the press center on bicycles. One of De Toppers actually left before Moscow, namely Gerard Joling who represented the Netherlands in 1988 at Eurovision. He was replaced by Jeroen van der Boom, who went on to cover the Danish entry of this year successfully in Dutch. Another Topper is Gordon who is really famous and had number 1 hits before. The third Topper is Rene Froger who also had a lot of chart success prior to De Toppers.
Some guy called Mesjieu Maurice covered Shine in Dutch as "Schijn" and also in the dialect of Limburg as "Sjien". The proceeds of this single went to the Toon Hermans Huis for people with cancer.
Actually 2009 was the year of really special promo singles. Another stunning one came in the form of Yohanna from Iceland with "Is it true". She also recorded several language versions, among them German and Russian.
Another out of this world promo pack came from Armenia - the song "Jan-Jan" by Inga and Anush. They also had the most beautiful t-shirts.
Serbia had a horror song but again a fantastic promo package with the CD having versions of the song in Serbian, English, Russian, French, Greek, Hebrew and Finnish.
Yet another stunning promo single came from Turkey in the form of "Dum tek tek" by Hadise.
I ran into Philip Kirkorov in the press center and was able to hand him a promo single we had done - a cover by Lee Scott of his song "Shady lady" which Lee calls "Los my alleen". Philip was really surprised by it.
Arash was there for Azerbaijan - he was in duet with AySel and their song is "Always".He had a big hit called "Temptation" and it was covered by the boy band Hi 5 as "Versoeking" and I was able to hand Arash this CD - he too was extremely surprised that one of his songs traveled all the way to South Africa.
Romania had a song called "The Balkan girls" which I thought was really interesting and we covered it with Cole van Dais as "Suid-Afrikaanse meisies".
Even Slovenia had a small promo single but it was cut in the form of a music instrument - really eye catching. The song "Love symphony" by Quartissimo featuring Martina was just too much of an instrumental track to really catch the attention of the fans.
A highlight for many was the visit to Vladimir Putin to the venue where he saw part of the Azerbaijan rehearsal and then came into the press conference room. I hardly recognized him as he was much shorter than I had expected. It was really nice of him to come and say "hello". He had a lot of security guards with him. I think some of them left with Belarus ice cream.
One evening Jakob and Karina came to our hotel room to fetch their show tickets. It was the first time I met these two members of OGAE Norway.
I spoke to Malena Ernman as she mentioned the feathers from her dress was from South Africa. I really like "La voix".
"Believe again" from Brinck was not really featuring on the radar but for some reason this song was in such demand that I had no less than 12 SA singers who wanted to cover it. At least six did with the biggest hit coming the way of Heinz Winckler who was the first Idols winner in South Africa. The first SA artist to cover "Believe again" was Henry Alant and we had the promo single in Moscow to hand personally to Brinck.
Alexander Rybak from Norway was the overwhelming favourite to win with "Fairytale" and it did win. I like it but it was not a wow song to me.
Spain brought Soraya with a catchy song "La noche es para mi (the night is for me)". I was able to also get a full CD by her.
Patricia Kaas was one of the big names, singing for France "Et s'il falliat fe fIaire". I did not know of her until Eurovision as she surely is not well known among the average music lover in South Africa.
The United Kingdom has Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber writing their entry "It's my time" sung by Jade, but it was to me one of his weaker compositions. Interesting is that a Russian teenage magazine had the promo single attached to the magazine and so many of us bought this magazine just for the single. I cannot even recall the name of the magazine, I knew once I took the CD single off, I gave it to the first young Russian female I came across in the street.
As usual I bought the double Eurovision CD and like Ukraine and Serbia, this was also special with the names of the countries written in Russian.
I also brought for the second year a special competition CD called EUROVISION ONS SING JOU LIEDJIES with covers of Euro songs in Afrikaans.
Well, as usual, there was some drama, this time on my departure. As the Russian ruble is worthless in South Africa and I cannot even exchange back home, I decided to workout exactly how much my taxi will cost to the airport. I ordered the taxi from the hotel reception and was told the fair will be x amount of ruble. I added like 10 rouble for a tip and made sure I spent the rest on sweets and things. The taxi came and Morten and me had a slight problem finding it - instead o being infront of the hotel, the taxi went into the parking lot. We finally located it and off I went. The driver was nice and friendly and asked me about my experience in Moscow. The streets were fairly empty - it was after all a Sunday morning. Imagine my shock when we got to the airport and the fair was 10 ruble more than I had. I explained to the driver that I was told the amount and added 10 ruble and now it is a further 10 ruble more - he said we went through a tollgate which was 10 ruble. I said I have no more Russian money so he will have to wait until I get to a foreign exchange counter at the airport to get 10 ruble, but he said it was okay - he understood. I gave him some souvenirs I got at Eurovision, like the cup and he was very happy.
The flight home was fairly uneventful and I was home in Johannesburg at the start of the rehearsals for semi final 1. Luckily with internet, I was able to follow what was happening back in Moscow. Although I was home in South Africa, I sort of figured in Moscow as well. Morten was unable to convince the reception staff at the hotel that I had left and Per Michael was the new person in the room, so poor Per Michael was the entire time "Roy".
Nelius, who was the board member for Africa at the time, attended the OGAE meeting on behalf of R O W and I gave my pigeonhole key to Morten so whatever came in their, he could take for his members. There were 42 entries in Moscow and I had gotten 40 promo singles before I departed, missing just two - DENMARK and PORTUGAL and they gave into my pigeonhole after my departure and Morten posted those two off to me once he was back in Oslo - so I had a full house.
My favourites from Moscow are
Netherlands - Shine - De Toppers
Sweden - La voix - Malena Ernman
Bosnia & Herzegovina - Bistra voda - Regina
Iceland - Is it true - Yohanna
Montenegro - Just get out of my live - Andrea Demirovic
Horrors came in the form of
Czech republic - Aven romale - Gipsy.cz
Ukraine - Be my valentine (anti-crises girl) - Svetlana Loboda
Russia - Mamo - Anastasia Prikhodko
Serbia - Cipela - Marko Kon & Milaan
Latvia - Probka - Intars Busulis

Photos from ESCKAZ.com / ESCCovers / OGAE Rest of the World / Eurovision South Africa's post

Kasia Mos wins our poll for 2nd time in a row with Ilinca and Alex Florea eliminated on their first run. Thanks for the voting and see you tomorrow!

#FBLivePoll Round 20. Poll will run for 30 minutes and will be extended in case of a tie until it is broken.
Vote with Facebook likes for your preferable entry of 6 selected songs that will be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. New entry today is Romania.
Song with the least number of votes is relegated, and replaced in the next round by new entry (Portugal).

Round 1 winner: Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 2 winner: Norma John (Finland), relegated: Lindita (Albania)
Round 3 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Timebelle (Switzerland)
Round 4 winner: Alma (France), relegated: Levina (Germany)
Round 5 winner: Alma (France), relegated Manel Navarro (Spain)
Round 6 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Tako Gachechiladze (Georgia)
Round 7 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy, relegated Norma John (Finland)
Second Chance Round 1 winner: Norma John
Round 8 winners: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Lucie Jones (UK)
Round 9 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Claudia Faniello (Malta)
Round 10 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated NAVIBAND (Belarus)
Round 11 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), Alma (France), relegated Omar Naber (Slovenia)
Round 12 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated SunStroke Project (Moldova)
Round 13 winner: Alma (France), relegated Anja (Denmark)
Round 14 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated O.Torvald (Ukraine)
Round 15 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Nathan Trent (Austria)
Round 16 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Hovig (Cyprus)
Round 17 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
Round 18 winner: Francesco Gabbani (Italy), relegated Triana Park (Latvia)
Round 19 winner: Kasia Mos (Poland), relegated Joci Papai (Hungary)

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