Features

You’ll find all of our regular feature articles right here as well as other unique content.

Throwback Thursday: Walters & Kazha – “The War Is Not Over”

Oh, man, I can’t believe that this song was performed almost 19 years ago (back in 2005)! At that time I was only 9 years old and I still remember this entry. Do you also remember these cute guys from Latvia? It was the 50th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Kiev (Ukraine) following Ruslana’s win back in 2004 in Istanbul (Turkey) with her glorious “Wild Dances”.  Meantime, the winner of ESC 2005 was Greece with the song “My Number One” performed by Helena Paparizou, the duo Walters & Kazha ending up on the 5th position with their charming ballad-like song, which was a good result for Latvia at that time, but definitely not the best, as just 3 years before Latvia won Eurovision in 2002 with the song «I wanna» by Marie N and took the 3rd place in the final of 2000 with Brainstorm’s «My Star». However, the next strong result for Latvia came only 10 years (!!!) after Walters & Kazha and it was the spectacular Aminata with her «Love Injected» . You may call me crazy, but I still love «TheWar Is Not Over» so much more than «Love Injected» (such an unconditional love at first sight). What …

Wales’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest Journey so far

On November 25th, Minsk Arena will host the sixteenth Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It will be the second time that the event takes place in the venue in the capital city of Belarus. With Ukraine’s late inclusion into the line-up, a record-breaking 20 countries will participate. Therefore, it is the perfect time to look back at the journeys of all of this year’s participating countries in the contest. Today, let’s continue our journey and travel to the last of two debuting nations this year, Wales! Quick facts Country: WalesBroadcaster: S4CDebut appearance: N/A (debut 2018)Number of appearances: N/A (debut 2018)Highest finish: N/A (debut 2018)Lowest finish: N/A (debut 2018) Back to the very beginning Just like Kazakhstan last week, we don’t need to travel much back in time as Wales will debut in Minsk. The announcement came somewhat as a surprise in the midst of the Eurovision madness on May 9th. However, unlike Kazakhstan, Wales has taken part to Junior Eurovision before but as part of the United Kingdom between 2003 and 2005. The United Kingdom started off strong finishing 3rd and 2nd in the first two editions of the contest. However, following the 14th place out of 16 in 2005, the UK decided to withdraw and …

XTRA Debate: Does size matter?

Looking at the fifty-two countries that have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest, they all come in different shapes and sizes. Is there an unspoken connection between small size (both geographic and population) and consistent performance? What is a ‘small state’? Several small nations have graced the Eurovision stage. Geographically this would include Andorra, Malta, Monaco and San Marino. If we were to stretch it, one could include Luxembourg. An obvious link to a smaller land mass is population. Insofar as population we could probably add Iceland to the above list. With a population of less than 500,000 each respectively, there is an implied statistical disadvantage. San Marino for example has an estimated population of 33,000… but how many of these will be musicians?   Before you answer, Valentina Monetta only counts once! Finding a singer For broadcasters, finding a singer each year can be difficult. For smaller broadcasters, there can be added challenges to find acts.   Looking at this list of countries and attaching their Eurovision entries, there is a catalogue of hits and flops. Fan favourites and obscure, forgotten songs. In this sense, there is very little difference than significantly larger nations such as Russia, France, Germany etc. Size …

Saturday Summary: This weeks biggest Eurovision news!

Another week passed and many news happened in the Eurovision world. If you did not had the time to catch up with all the news or re-check if you did not miss any news… here is your weekly summary of the biggest news in the Eurovision world. 42 countries confirmed for Tel Aviv! On Wednesday the EBU broke the news, that we will have 42 countries competing next year in Tel Aviv. Following the withdraw from Bulgaria we’ll have the same countries as this year.  42 countries will participate in Eurovision 2019

Throwback Thursday: Ich Troje follow their heart

In 2006 Poland failed to qualify with the  catchy and diverse ‘Follow My Heart’. Let’s remind ourselves of this intriguing ‘kitchen sink’ entry. It’s not always about the huge successes. Sometimes we should remember those times that ended in less of a victory parade back to their home country and more of a disappointing attempt to improve upon a previous result while trying to flash not one but two pieces of name power. And one entry from Poland has always interested me in that regard. While in recent years, Poland have tended to do fairly well, with talk of a disaporic base that propels them to success… some of the time, it was not like that in 2006. ‘Follow My Heart’ was entered in the midst of Poland’s dark period at Eurovision where they qualified once between 2005 and 2011 before leaving for two years. In 2006, after experiencing failure the previous year, they turned to what are relatively big guns for Eurovision. Not only did they bring back the act responsible for their most recent top 10 result in Ich Troje, they added in German Eurodance band Real McCoy, famous then for at least 90s dance anthem ‘Another Night’, …

Kazakhstan’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest journey so far…

On November 25th, Minsk Arena will host the sixteenth Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It will be the second time that the event takes place in the venue in the capital city of Belarus. With Ukraine’s late inclusion into the line-up, a record-breaking 20 countries will participate. Therefore, it is the perfect time to look back at the journeys of all of this year’s participating countries in the contest. Today, let’s continue our journey and travel to one of two debuting nations this year, Kazakhstan! Quick facts Country: KazakhstanBroadcaster: Khabar AgencyDebut appearance: N/A (debut 2018)Number of appearances: N/A (debut 2018)Highest finish: N/A (debut 2018)Lowest finish: N/A (debut 2018) Back to the very beginning… We only have to go back a matter of months to see the beginning of Kazakhstan’s Junior Eurovision journey come to life. On July 25th, Kazakhstan and Wales were announced as two debuting nations amongst a 19-country participant list for the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Ukraine later joined the party to make the numbers up to twenty. Kazakhstan’s Khabar Agency had shown an interest in joining the Eurovision Family of Events for several years, but not being a full European Broadcasting Union member broadcaster resulted in a big barrier to participation. Either …

XTRA Debate: Dare to dream? The slogan nightmare

Most Eurofans have greeted the Tel Aviv slogan with a torrent of indifference, but it’s perfectly decent and harmless, no? Our team set to on the matter of Eurovision’s slogans, which have added a new dimension to the contest since 2002. We asked our editors some questions about Eurovision slogans, and here are the results: For the last question : % of Xtra editors who answered they liked the slogan Tom Ryan “Personally, I think Dare to Dream is a great slogan as Eurovision should be about dreaming to reach a final goal. It is maybe better suited to a Junior Eurovision contest, but I think it is perfectly fine and quite a nice slogan for Tel Aviv next year.” Nick van Lith “A slogan should say something about the upcoming contest and the host country. Serbia did that perfectly, as did Portugal. Israel have failed miserably with a slogan made up at the coffee machine five minutes before Jon Ola Sand came to discuss the final plans for next year’s Eurovision. It says absolutely nothing – everybody dreams, so what’s so special about daring to dream? I’d have liked some (read: a whole lot) more creativity.” Not all slogans …

Did you hear? Eurovision tidbits, week 44

Love is really flourishing in the Euroverse these days! There appears to be no end to the Eurovision wisdom! And Christmas and touring go hand in hand. Also; the Xtra good goodiebag is still not empty.  Babies all around!  Gromee becomes a dad!  View this post on Instagram Królu mój mały, dziś drugi dzień Twojego życia. A każdy Twój oddech dodaje mi sił Dziś jesteś mały jak muszelka Kiedyś będziesz miał spodnie na szelkach Pamiętaj że jedno nie zmieni się nigdy. Zostanie na zawsze. Ja, Mama i Ty. A post shared by GROMEE (@gromeeofficial) on Oct 29, 2018 at 7:08am PDT Charlotte gave birth to her baby boy!  View this post on Instagram Han är här! ❤️❤️❤️ Kan inte med ord beskriva den tacksamhet vi känner nu! #bebismys #kärlek A post shared by Charlotte Perrelli (@laperrelli) on Nov 3, 2018 at 3:08am PDT Barei is still waiting!  View this post on Instagram Empiezan los #los40musicawards 🤟 ¡Vaya fiestón hay aquí montado! Collar de @elmitodegea A post shared by Barei (@bareimusic) on Nov 2, 2018 at 12:49pm PDT Winners of MGPjr 2018 Even though Norway doesn’t participate in Junior Eurovision, NRK still organizes a Junior contest, called MGPjr. The final took …

Saturday summary: This week’s Eurovision news headlines

Welcome to the latest edition of our news round-up series which takes a look back at the Eurovision news headlines from the past seven days. Here you’ll find all the important news! Whether you need to catch-up or to remind yourself what has happened in the Eurovision world, this is the article for you. Want to read more? You can access the full articles by clicking on them! Eurovision Asia back on? Reports claim date set for 7 December 2019 According to 9 News Gold Coast in Australia, the first ever Eurovision Asia Song Contest will take place in the city of Gold Coast on 7th December 2019 with sixteen participating nations. This surprising news follows remarks from the manager of SBS that all but confirmed that the contest had been put on hold due to the region being “too geo-politically difficult”. While the EBU itself says that the contest is still in its early development stages, 9 News claims that China, Singapore, India, Indonesia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates are all in negotiations to be amongst the sixteen taking to the Gold Coast stage next December… Eurovision Asia to be held on Gold Coast in December 2019? Eurovision …

Throwback Thursday: Hope didn’t die; it was restored.

The Czech Republic’s 2015 entry… First and foremost, do you remember it? To be quite honest, I totally forgot about the Czech entry for Vienna 2015 until it popped up on my Eurovision playlist whilst it was in shuffle mode. My first thought? “Right, the woman threw her shoes across the stage!” I remember finding it insanely bizarre yet I was totally and completely living for it. But, the Czech Republic’s 2015 package deserves to be known for many more reasons than an odd — yet fierce — stage maneuver. Back in the contest after five years without competing, the Czech Republic’s entry for the 2015 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was “Hope Never Dies,” performed by Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta, and composed by the latter. The song was certainly a departure from the country’s previous Eurovision entries, as the sound of “Hope Never Dies” seemed to blend aspects of Václav’s musical theatre background with his and Marta’s powerful, rock-friendly voices. Armed with this hybrid of a song, an all-black wardrobe, a backdrop of mirrors, and the aforementioned shoe stunt (which I still insist is awesome), the Czech Republic placed 13th in the second semifinal and therefore …