Here in the UK we might be braced for the “beast from the East” cold blast, but this weekend it’s a bumper set of national finals from no fewer than seven Eastern countries. Some of these finals contain a lot of songs so I’ve just pulled out my favourites from what I have seen, any particularly unusual ones, and collections of snippets of all the entries.
There has been some controversy/drama with one of the favourites failing to make it past the semi-finals (and the artist has NOT been happy about it) but of those left, the other favourite remains (an uptempo one thank goodness!) and also (amazingly for a country like Armenia), a drag queen. Both of those feature below, plus a summary of all the finalists. The Depi Evratesil final takes place on Sunday 25 February.
Asmik Shiroyan “You & I”
Kamil Show “Puerto Rico”
Recap of all Armenian finalists
Heavy rock and male ballads abound in the Hungarian final of A Dal. I doubt my favourite will win, but it’s a Hungarian-language ethnopop song with a rather attractive man performing it. One of the five national finals on Saturday 24 February.
Horváth Tamás “Meggyfa”
Recap of all Hungarian finalists
Supernova takes place on Saturday and while I haven’t followed this too closely, my heart is supporting the rather lovely Markus Riva, making yet another attempt to represent Latvia at Eurovision.
Markus Riva “This Time”
Recap of all Latvian finalists
Just a single final taking place this Saturday for O melodie pentru Europa after they chose to cancel an earlier planned semi-final. That leaves a marathon 16 songs to get through… I will hold my hand up and say I have had very little time to listen through them. DoReDos are the favourite (and they have Philipp Kirkorov as co-composer and who has penned several successful Eurovision entries previously).
DoReDoS “My Lucky Day”
Selecția Națională 2018 has seemingly rumbled along for an age and visited most parts of Romania, but Sunday sees us reach the final at last, though still with 15 songs to choose from… Like Moldova, I haven’t followed much of this, but of note is the return again of M I H A I, who placed 4th at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Tornero” (and went on to be a Europe-wide hit).
M I H A I “Heaven”
The final of the EMA 2018 takes place on Saturday. For me, there aren’t too many stand outs among the field but I gather that Lea Sirk is the favourite. My personal favourite is an uptempo cheesy party banger – although there is an element of nostalgia about it for me – it does sound like it comes from 2000s Eurovision rather than 2010s!
Nuška Drašček “Ne zapusti me zdaj”
Recap of all Slovenian finalists
Of all 7 national finals taking place this weekend, Ukraine’s Vidbir demonstrates the greatest quality of field. I think it could be between two previous Ukrainian national selection finalists, Tayanna and Mélovin, but also watch out for Vilna’s “Forest Song”
Recap of Ukrainian finalists