Eurovision 2019 national final season is beginning to take shape! This page will serve through the whole of the national final season, from end of December through to mid/end of March when all the songs for Tel Aviv will have been selected and released. I’ll be bringing together all the information and links relating to each country’s progress towards selecting their artist and song for Eurovision 2019 here. This page will be regularly updated (especially between January to March) so please do bookmark and check back often!
First in the Eurovision alphabet, Albania also traditionally provide the first national selection of the new Eurovision season (and normally the first complete song and artist we know – though they often get a bit of a rework). The winner of Albania’s annual song festival, Festivali i Këngës, is once again providing their Eurovision entry. The semi-finals took place on 20 and 21 December, with 14 songs from 22 qualifying for the final on 22 December. It’s a female solo artist once again representing Albania, after a brief male solo interlude. Jonida also happens to be a TV host as well as singer. Albanian songs often undergo a bit of revamp prior to the March deadline (or have to be cut to 3 minutes) so don’t expect this to necessarily be the final Eurovision version.
Last year Armenia ran a public national selection show, Depi Evratesi, but have reverted to an internal selection this year (maybe because of Kamil Show?!) , and were the first country to announce their artist (on 1 December). Srbuk is a veteran of the Armenian X Factor and Ukraine’s The Voice. The song was released on 10 March.
Five years in the contest and Australia held their first ever national selection, Eurovision: Australia Decides, on 9 February in the Gold Coast.
Austria have had some success with internal selections of late and are keeping to that format for 2019.
Azerbaijan favours internal selections and that has been the case this year. The Azerbaijani broadcaster shortlisted four artists and received around 350 song submissions.
Belarus will be holding a national final, with ten acts shortlisted from submissions. That final took place on 7 March and was decided by 100% jury rather than televote.
It’s the French-speaking national broadcaster’s turn this year to oversee Belgium’s Eurovision plans – and generally they have had better results than their Flemish counterparts in recent years. 18-year-old Eliot Vassamillet has been internally selected and the song has been written by the composer of Belgium’s top 5 2017 entry, “City Lights” and released on 28 February.
For the first time in 8 years, Croatia will have a public national selection, Dora 2019. The 16 shortlisted acts competed in the final on 16 February.
After the stunning success of their 2018 effort, there is a lot of excitement around what Cyprus will be doing in 2019. It’s an internal selection and with Fuego’s songwriter (Alex Papaconstantinou) and stage choreographer (Sacha Jean-Baptiste) in the team again, Georgian-born Tamta is in good hands. A sneak preview of the song has been released already but the full song will be revealed on 5 March.
The Czechs scored their best result to date in 2018 with a public national selection (a mix of jury and online public vote) and will be repeating that format, though with 8 acts in the mix this time. A public online vote closed on 21 January. The online vote was added to the votes of an international jury (mostly recent participants of Eurovision) and the final result announced on 28 January.
The Danish national final, Melodi Grand Prix 2019, took place in Herning on 23 February. As usual, the final consisted of 10 participants.
The Estonian national selection, Eesti Laul, returned with 24 hopefuls split into two semi-finals. Several past Eurovision entrants were among the acts, both as performers and songwriters. Semi-finals took place on 31 January and 2 February with the final taking place on 16 February.
The Finnish national final, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, will follow a similar format to 2018 with a invited artist performing a choice of three songs. The final took place on 2 March. The invited artist this year is Darude, most famous for his 1999 platinum selling hit “Sandstorm“. Vocals on all three final songs are provided by Sebastian Rejman.
Destination Eurovision returns for its second year. Two semi-finals of nine songs determine the finalists, with 4 artists from each semi-final qualifying to the final. The semi-finals took place on 12 and 19 January with the final on 26 January.
Georgia mixed up their selection route again after national finals and internal selections. This year the winner of Georgia’s upcoming Georgian Idol series will represent Georgia in Tel Aviv. The final took place on 3 March.
Seven acts competed to represent big 5 country Germany in Unser Lied für Israel. A mixture of public vote, jury and Eurovision panel chose the winner in the final on 22 February
2018’s selection turned out to be something of a Greek drama and this year has provided yet more drama. The Greek broadcaster is opting for an internal selection but the two record companies who have previously provided recent Greek entries have declined to take part this year. The song announcement was all set to take place at end of January but then got pulled at the last minute… Finally in mid-February, the artist was confirmed. The song will be revealed on 6 March.
The well established Hungarian national selection, A Dal 2019 returns with 30 artists, including two former Eurovision participants (who both achieved top 10 placings). There were six shows in total: 3 heats from 19 January to 2 February; semi-finals on 9 and 16 February; and final on 23 February. Hungary’s 2017 entry was victorious and Joci Pápai will go to Eurovision for a second time in three years.
10 entries were shortlisted for Söngvakeppnin 2019 with semi-finals on 9 and 16 February and final on 2 March.
Submissions were open to singers and composers, with the Irish broadcaster looking for proven track record of music industry success. An internal selection has followed and the artist and song were announced on 8 March.
The host country have used their talent show, HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion (The Next Star for the Eurovision). Now in its fifth year, it has brought Israel considerable success. The song was revealed on 10 March.
The long running Sanremo Music Festival has provided the Italian entry – the winner of that contest is offered a place at Eurovision (although they do not always take the offer).
The 16 artists in Latvia’s selection, Supernova 2019 included Markus Riva (yet again!). The semi-finals took place on 26 January and 2 February with the final on 16 February.
Lithuania once again provided one of the longest of all national selections: Eurovizija 2019 began on 5 January with no fewer than 49 contestants and stretched over 4 heats, 2 semi-finals before finally reaching the grand final on 23 February.
North Macedonia have internally selected again with an artist who represented them in 2008 (and missed out on the final by a whisker). The song will be released on 8 March to coincide with International Women’s Day.
The Maltese national final has been dropped in favour of selecting Malta’s entry via this season’s X Factor Malta. The final took place on 26 January. The song was released on 10 March.
The final of national selection, O melodie pentru Europa 2019 took place on 2 March with 10 shortlisted artists.
Montenegro’s national selection returned for 2018 and they kept it for 2019. 5 artists participated in Montevizija 2019 on 9 February.
As expected, the Dutch have opted for an internal entry, announced on 21 January. The song will be released on 7 March.
Melodi Grand Prix 2019, the 57th edition of the Norwegian national final, took place on 2 March. They included returning artist Mørland who finished in the top 10 in 2015 as part of a duet.
Poland have held a national selection for the last couple of years but reverted to an internal selection this year. The song will be released on 8 March.
Festival da Canção 2019 returned once again to determine the Portuguese entry. Semi-finals took place on 16 and 23 February and the grand final on 2 March.
Selecţia Naţională 2019 took place through January and February, with the final on 17 February.
So after lots of speculation and rumour, the fandom were put out of their misery when it was confirmed that former 3rd place contestant (and televote winner), Sergey Lazarev was to return to Eurovision as Russia’s representative. Make no mistake, Russia are after that second win after Sergey lost out to Ukraine in 2016, their non-participation in 2017 and their failure to qualify for the final 2018. The song was released on 9 March.
After a truly bonkers national selection format last year, we awaited with suspense for what will happen this year… In the end, after rumours of some truly bizarre people being put forward, San Marino RTV introduced former participant, the iconic Serhat, on 21 January, to be the Sammarinese entry this year. Serhat is well-known (and popular in the fandom) and his disco-fied 2016 entry was San Marino’s second best result in their 10 years in the contest.
Beovizija returned for 2019 with 24 shortlisted acts. Semi-finals took place on 27 and 28 February with the final on 3 March.
EMA 2019 saw 10 shortlisted acts compete in a final on 16 February, with a three-person super jury voting and the top two going to a superfinal which was decided by 100% televote.
Spain’s 2019 national selection was a little convoluted so bear with me…
Seventeen songs were shortlisted and assigned to participants in Operación Triunfo (OT) 2018 (the Spanish reality TV music/singing contest). Having been recorded by the OT artists, the song snippets were released online for a public vote. The poll closed at the start of January with the top 3 going forward to the Spanish national final. In addition, a further seven songs from the seventeen were selected by a special committee.
Those ten songs competed in the national final, Gala Eurovisión, on 20 January and selected by 100% televote.
It’s Sweden, it’s Melodifestivalen, now in its 59th year. The 28 acts for this year have been announced and allocated to a semi-final. The semi-finals took place on 2, 9, 16 and 23 February, a second chance round on 2 March and then the biggest national final of them all on 9 March.
No televised national final this year for Switzerland but the selection process wasn’t pure internal selection – there has been a mix of jury votes/surveys and audience panels taking place.
Ukraine The Ukrainian national selection format of the last two years returned again in Vidbir 2019 with two semi-finals and a final. The semis took place on 9 and 16 February and the final on 23 February. We’re currently waiting confirmation that the winner will actually be going to Eurovision – the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict casts a shadow over everything.
Update 27 February 2019: Ukraine announced their withdrawal from Eurovision. It almost felt inevitable after the winning act felt they could not sign the contract with the Ukrainian broadcaster. Nor could the acts who finished in second or third. It’s a sad state of affairs but perhaps almost inevitable given both the financial situation the broadcaster is in and overshadowing geopolitical situation.
Måns and Mel returned to present another Eurovision: You Decide, this time hosted in Salford, the northern home of the BBC. A change in format this year meant there were three rather than six songs, but each performed by two different artists.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Eurovision (season)….