UKRAINE – Ukrainian national broadcaster announced the host of the national selection for the 2018 Lisbon Eurovision Song Contest edition. UA:Pershiy decided that the national selection produced by STB and UA:Pershiy will be hosted by Serhiy Prytula for the second time. Ukrainian broadcaster also announced last summer that a new music producer – Ruslan Kvinta will review the song submissions and have a big say in the songs which will proceed to the live shows. “I think that the choice of presenter does not raise any questions,” says the head of the National Selection Natalya Franchuk (STB). – Serhiy is a favorite of the public and a great professional; To watch how he conducts live broadcasts and communicates with the participants is an incredible pleasure. We are glad that our selections will again be filled with high-quality humor and proprietary irony of Prytula”. There will be two semi finals (February 10 and 17) and a final *February 24).
SAN MARINO – Eurovision fan and host of the international gay channel OUTtv, Jens Geerts, takes part in the preliminary rounds of the Eurovision Song Contest in San Marino. He wants to attend the Eurovision Song Contest with a song about homosexuality. However, opinions about a song that sings about gay love are strongly divided. The city state of San Marino is not known for equal rights for LGBT and transgender people. Jens realizes that his attempt to make the theme of ‘homosexuality’ open to discussion in the music business is not easy. His appeal to Youtube needs at least 100 likes to go on to the jury round in San Marino and for the time being, his idea is accompanied by mixed reactions. Although homosexuality is no longer really punishable in San Marino, the small republic is not an example of LHBT-friendliness and equal rights. In 2017, people of the same sex are still unable to get married. Gay people are likewise not entitled to adopt children. Transgenders may not yet have their sex designation adjusted. The Penal Code contains a legal article that punishes homosexuals who cause a public scandal. But that article has never been applied before. “On social media I get a lot of positive reactions, but just as much hate mail as well. People send me messages with biblical references and indicate that what I am trying to do, namely to integrate homosexuality in the broad aspect of song themes, is dirty and mentally ill,” says Jens. “Some people are tired that the Eurovision’s only about being gay… But, hello?! In 62 editions, there was not one song that dealt with homosexuality!!! Artists has only sung about straight love so far… I just think it would be nice to hear one authentic song about gay love. A song that I (and many others for sure) can relate to as well. I will continue to go for it. We need more love and tolerance. A song about homosexuality can change the world because being gay is still punishable in more than seventy countries “, concludes Jens.
SAN MARINO – Eurovision Head of Delegation, Alessandro Capiccioni, spoke about the progress of the 1in360 selection. He expressed his disappointment for lack of San Marino participants in the selection as only three submitted bids so far: Alibi, Gianluigi Colucci and Fabrizio Valentini. There are 750 submissions so far from 70 countries from all over the world. They already have denied proposals from abroad in order to give a chance to the locals to participate. Joking, Alessandro said that they might re-consider Valentina Monetta. The fee of 4.99 Euros has been implemented in order to avoid joke and multiple submissions. He considers collaboration with Ralph Siegel and Serhat was extremely convenient but with Antonello Carozza things turned different and the state broadcaster considers legal actions. He also explains that Måns Zelmerlöw will not be jury member in the San Marino marathon selection as he is co hosting the BBC national selection but he confirmed Zoë and gave hopes for Francesco Gabbani’s participation in the jury.
ISRAEL – KAN will broadcast the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2017 live to audiences in Israel, despite not taking part in this year’s contest.This is not the first time that the contest will be broadcast in Israel when not participating. The 2008 contest was broadcast by the former Israeli national broadcaster, IBA. (Source: eurovoix.com)
CYPRUS – Cyprus national broadcaster kicks off the auditions for the national selection marathon. Already selected composer Alex Papaconstantinou, choreographer Harris Savva and SVT’s Christer Björkman are in the island of Cyprus to start the auditions. From the overall auditions marathon only 4-5 acts will proceed to the national final which will be televised live. Familiar names are participating in the process. At this phase the auditions will narrow the applicants to 24 for the next phase.
ITALY – The rumour mill for the 2018 Sanremo Festival began. La Rua are rumoured to enter the festival alone with Federica Carta, known from her participation in the talent show Amici. Group The Kolors, popular among teenagers are also rumoured to enter the line up. 2009 Sanremo Festival winner Marco Carta is also considered as one of the participants. More names rumoured are: Giovanni winner Lele, Levante, Giovanni Caccamo, Alexia and rock band Thegiornalisti. Divas are also tipped for the line up: Noemi, Elodie, Arisa, Dolcenera, Nina Zilli.
IRELAND – John Lydon from The Sex Pistols has revealed that he is considering representing Ireland at the Eurovision. The Sex Pistol was chatting with Today FM’s Paul McLoone last night and during the chat, Paul asked John about the rumour surrounding a possible Eurovision performance for Ireland. The star didn’t deny it. His father comes from Galway and his mam was from Cork so it wouldn’t be completely out of the question! Could Johnny Rotten represent Ireland in The Eurovision?