- Iveta Mukuchyan, the 2016 Eurovision entrant for Armenia published her video performance for Loveware which took place in Los Angeles’ Pan Armenian Entertainment Awards back in November.
- Frank-Dieter Freiling the Chairman of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group spoke recently about the system of big 5 going directly to the final: “The big five members have a special arrangement for a long time that they will perform directly together with the host country in the final. The origin here is the necessity of re-financing the contest. The five major Western European countries are disproportionately the largest participators in televoting and the resulting proportionate remuneration by national telecom operators. Certainly, this aspect has to be checked again and again for its timeliness and justification, but at the moment, this regulation makes sense, also from the point of view of the other participants, and finds agreement.”
- Regarding the participation of Australia he said: “Australia has been artistically immensely enriching on the ESC. The high quality of the Australian singers was an incentive to all other nations to continue their artistic development. It was also clear how much Australia stands for the ESC’s value code and how much the Australians’ interest in the ESC is. What we have already said last year as a justification applies. For decades, Australia has been linked to the live performance of the ESC in early morning sunshine and, although located at the other end of the world, sees itself as a part of European history and culture through the diverse ethnic groups of the Australians.”
- Will new countries outside Europe participate? He states that: “There are a lot of countries outside Europe that are very interested in participating. Until now, however, no interested party could prove that it is a sustainable interest in the ESC and not just a jump on the biggest European entertainment show. There is also a need for a common catalog of values for diversity, as is already the case for all members of the ESC.”
- Regarding the Russian / Ukrainian conflict Mr Freiling says: “We still have no official notification to the Ukrainian government on this matter. President or Prime Minister could override the decision of the security apparatus by decree. Of course, in this question the EBU has to respect Ukrainian laws. However, from the outset, we had made it very clear that we expect all participants to take part. Let us wait, as Ukraine finally decides in this matter. Then Russia will have to discuss what further action is appropriate. However, we were also very well aware that the Russian delegation had not yet taken part in the mandatory pre-viewing dates before the Ukrainian decision and had not reserved any accommodation, as opposed to all other delegations. Russia, on the other hand, must make it clear that participation, if possible, is also perceived.”
- In the meantime Ruslana attacks Russia blaming them choosing Yulia Samoilova for Eurovision 2017: “I answered frankly and honestly. Those who chose the artist of Russia, know about the laws of Ukraine, but it is uniquely provocation. Therefore, Ukraine has reacted. Security (Ukrainian Security Service) could not in this situation act differently …. in Ukraine every day people continue to die I hope that propaganda has not mangled my words. I am very actively inviting all those present to Ukraine, shattering all the stereotypes created around the Ukraine …. I said that it will be a mix of new and original ideas.”
Claudia Faniello, this year’s artist for Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest, will perform at the 6th Eurovision Weekend in Berlin (14-16 July), which is organised by the Berlin Eurovision fan group together with OGAE Malta. Since 2012, the Eurovision Weekend takes place once a year, together with an OGAE fanclub from abroad (2012: Finland, 2013: Israel, 2014: UK, 2015: Denmark, 2016: Netherlands). We are happily looking forward to seeing Claudia Faniello, Glen Vella and Kurt Calleja live on stage at the Grand Gala. Furthermore we will have the 2nd edition of the OGAEvision Song Contest, our new annual competition between the fan clubs. The sale of the limited tickets has already started!