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Throwback Thursday: The youngest winner of Eurovision

This week’s edition of Throwback Thursday takes a look back to 1986. We’re taking you Bergen in Norway and remembering Sandra Kim’s winning performance of “J’aime la vie.” Ah, yes. 1986. The year Iceland debuted and no one got the dreaded nil point. A sigh of relief from our Norwegian friends, I hear! It was the first time that Norway hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, after Bobbysocks! win the year before with “La det swinge“. Sandra Kim and “J’aime la vie” was one of the favourites that year. A popular winner, her victory did not come without controversy. The Belgian won despite being only 13 years old. The song lyrics to her song suggested that she was in fact 15 years old. The Swiss, who came 2nd, appealed for a Belgian disqualification but it was rejected. This meant that 1986 saw the youngest ever Eurovision winner, and a record that is unlikely to ever be beaten. The performance Well, actually, before the performance came one of my favourite Eurovision postcards. We are presented with a scene from Bergen fish market. Superimposed onto this background is Sandra Kim as she walks up to a man selling his goods. Sandra picks up …

Armenia’s Junior Eurovision Journey so far

Next 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 Belarus’s capital. So far, 14 countries have confirmed participation. Therefore, it is the perfect time to look back at the journeys of all of this year’s participating countries in the contest so far. A country where Junior Eurovision is very popular and has been very successful at the contest is Armenia. Let’s take a look at the country’s Junior Eurovision journey so far. Quick facts Country: Armenia Broadcaster: ARMTV Debut appearance: 2007 Number of participations: 12 Highest finish: 1st (2010) Lowest finish: 8th(2008) Back to the very beginning… Armenia made its Junior Eurovision debut back in 2007 when the contest was held in Rotterdam.  Aremik was the first to wave the Armenian flag at the contest with the song “Erazanq”. Unlike last week’s featured country, FYR Macedonia, that made a rather underwhelming start, Armenia’s debut was very successful. In fact, Aremik finished second with 136, only a single point behind that year’s winner Belarus, narrowly missing out on a triumphant debut. Armenia’s Junior Eurovision Journey so far After debuting in 2007, Armenia …

XTRA Debate: Do LED screens belong at the Eurovision Song Contest?

What was gradually becoming a prominent talking point in Eurovision circles had turned into the central subject of many debates this year. RTP, the hosting broadcaster of Eurovision 2018, decided not to use any LED screens on their Lisbon stage. Many fans seemed to like and appreciate the change of pace, while others strongly felt the LEDs’ absence and yearn for their return. Where do some of us at escXtra stand on this hot button issue? Jakob: I think each hosting broadcaster should have the freedom to either utilize or exclude LEDs. Like many others, I was surprised when the LED-less Eurovision 2018 stage was unveiled… but hindsight really is 20/20, isn’t it? Looking back to Kyiv 2017, the writing may have been on the wall, right next to the many, many, many selfies. We saw several delegations become rather complacent as no less than ten countries had images of their acts on the LED backdrops, with most of these being a major part of the stage show and not just a quick, short clip of the artist. I thought it was uninspired and even a bit lazy, and it got old very quickly. At the beginning of the road …

Did you hear? Eurovision tidbits, week 28

In this week’s edition of “Did you hear?”, I’ve taken a look at life’s essentials. Well, at least kinda… Chocolate, football, muscles, new music, a fountain of wisdom, books, semi-naked Swedes…it’s all here, and much more! Enjoy!    Oscar Zia, x3! Oscar Zia has changed his name…or more correctly; added to it. He, and two of his friends decided they needed a middle name. Like Pralin, for instance. I mean; who doesn’t love a praline, right?! Yeah, so they all decided to adopt Pralin as their middle name. Awww; that’s so sweet! Also, he released a new song a while back, which is turning into something of a summer hit in Sweden. Last week he performed it on singalong show “Lotta på Liseberg”. He only recently started singing in Swedish, and it seems the Swedes appreciate that! And, seriously; what’s with these Swedish Eurovision artists celebrating football results with their bums out?! Not that we’re complaining… Oscar Pralin Zia has participated in Melodifestivalen three times already, in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Can we hope for a return in 2019 – in Swedish? With or without clothes? Franka, the football fan! Just like the rest of us, Franka is following the World Cup these days. …

Saturday summary: This week’s Eurovision news headlines

Welcome to our new news round-up series to take 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. Want to read more? You can access the full article by clicking on them! RTCG yet to decide if Montenegro will participate in Eurovision 2019 This week, ESCXTRA contacted RTCG to find out about the broadcaster’s intentions for Israel 2019. As yet, no decision has been made. Eleni Foureira’s “Fuego” certified gold in Spain Our Spanish friends continue to show Eleni Foureira all the love she deserves. News this week that the official charts in Spain has certified her Eurovision banger “Fuego” gold.   Is Tel Aviv now closer to hosting Israel 2019? Israeli broadcaster, KAN, has released the criteria that the 2019 host city will have to adhere to. One specific requirement is that rehearsals must take place during Shabbat – something that Jerusalem is expected to push back on. This may well pave the way for Tel Aviv 2019, especially as the Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa has said that his region take …

Throwback Thursday: Fly through darkness to Slovakia

For this week’s Eurovision throwback, we’re going to revisit an entry from a country with a short history in the contest – let’s see what Slovakia has in store for us. Last week we checked whether our team loved Belarus, this time it’s more about flying and darkness; Let ‘tmou.  Slovakia’s comeback entry; Let ‘tmou Debuting in 1994, Slovakia has only sent 7 entries to the contest, and none of them have been particular successful. Overall, the Slovakian entries have only managed to accumulate a combined score of 144, with their most successful attempt being in 2011 with their penultimate entry “I’m Alive”. After three attempts in the 90s, Slovakia didn’t return to the contest until 2009. Kamil Mikulčík and Nela Pocisková had the honor to represent their country in its Eurovision comeback. Out of 50 entries, their song “Let ‘tmou” was voted the winner in a national final. The song has received mixed reviews amongst Eurovision fans, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a dramatic ballad that climaxes into Kamil and Nela trying to drown each other out to see who can sing the loudest, which will be right up some people’s alley and a horror to …

FYR Macedonia’s Junior Eurovision 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 Belarus’s capital. So far, 14 countries have confirmed participation. Therefore, it is the perfect time to look back at the journeys of all of this year’s participating countries in the contest so far. Just a few days ago, FYR Macedonia became the latest country to confirm participation in this year’s edition of the show. Let’s take a look at the country’s Junior Eurovision journey so far. Quick facts Country: FYR Macedonia Broadcaster: MKRTV Debut appearance: 2003 Number of participations: 14 Highest finish: 5th (2007, 2008) Lowest finish: Last (2006, 2013, 2015) Back to the very beginning… FYR Macedonia was one of the 16 countries that competed in the very first edition of the show in Copenhagen back in 2003. Marija and Viktorija were the first to fly the country’s flag at the contest with their entry “Ti ne me poznavas”. The start of the journey wasn’t overly successful as they finished 12th with a total of 19 points. FYR Macedonia’s Junior Eurovision Journey so far FYR Macedonia is one of the countries …

XTRA Debate: Is Eurovision ready for app voting?

Welcome to our new feature here at ESCXTRA.com! Every Monday, we will be offering you a debate from the world of the Eurovision Song Contest. Our first topic is one plenty of people have spoken about, but where do we stand? Today, we will be discussing the pros and cons of app voting in the Eurovision Song Contest. App voting: A history In recent years, app voting has become more and more popular. Many competitions have chosen to opt for a way to let fans express their opinions through an app. It is often a cheap and simple way of making sure your audience is involved. All good, one would say. There are however plenty of arguments why we shouldn’t be working with app voting in the Eurovision Song Contest. Nick and Oliver have given the matter some thought. Read below what they think! Nick: Why I do not want app voting… yet I am not a fan of app voting. Yet. The way we’ve seen it being used so far is not encouraging for the future. I would like to explain why in three points: Fraud, possible results and technical difficulties. An increase of fraud Over the past few …

Did you hear? Eurovision tidbits! Week 27

There is no doubt that, in addition to music (especially Eurovision music, of course), the most important things in life are football and love. So that’s what I’m giving you in this week’s column! With only European teams left in the World Cup, a lot of Eurovision alumni are showing support for their team, and some also show a bit of talent with the ball themselves! Like Dima Bilan in the clip below!  Not on the Russian national team, but still… Dima Bilan is as into football as the rest of us, and even wearing a suit, he manages to show off some of his abilities! He posted this video on his Instagram yesterday, probably to support his team before last night’s quarterfinal against Croatia. It didn’t halp, though. Heja Sverige! Even though Sweden just got knocked out of the World Cup by England, we feel the desire to share Sanna Nielsen’s joy of her team having gotten all the way to the quarter finals! LOVE the way she accessorizes her Sweden national team kit with yellow, high heeled sandals! The picture was posted on her Instagram, and was taken by @photographerkarintornblom during “Allsång på Skansen“. Love blooming in Estonia! Tanel Padar …

Saturday summary: This week’s Eurovision news headlines

Welcome to our new news round-up series to take 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. Want to read more? You can access the full article by clicking on them! Vlatko Ilievski unexpectedly passes away, aged just 33 Very sad news reached us this morning from F.Y.R. Macedonia. Vlatko, who represented his country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011, sadly passed away aged only 33. This awful news comes just five days after his birthday.  The entire team here at ESCXTRA.com wishes Vlatko Ilievski’s friends and family a lot of strength in these difficult times. Is the Eurovision 2018 winner a copy? Israeli media outlets have reported that the record label Universal is threatening a lawsuit against the composers of “Toy”. They claim that the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 winning song contains some elements of “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. The composer of “Toy”, Doron Medalie, commented that he will “take care of it”. Kosovo’s RTK might get full membership The subject of Kosovo acquiring full EBU membership was brought up …