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Finland: Saara Aalto to Lisbon

Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2018 kicked off today from Hotel Kamp in Helsinki. Departing from the recent multi-artist format, YLE has internally selected UK X-Factor 2016 runner-up, Saara Aalto, to fly the flag in Lisbon. The public will choose from 3-songs. …

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Eurovision 2017: Semi-Final 1 Preview

Last night’s jury rehearsal cleared the fog for most of us, yet there are still one or two frustrating ambers on my list. I suspect it will be incredibly close at the bottom end of the qualification threshold. So in no particular …

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Eurovision 2017 Rehearsals: Day 5 Review

Having seen all of this year’s semi-finalists, we now get to judge any minor changes or tightening up of camera angles and choreography. The EBU will be publishing excerpts of the official TV feed for each country on their YouTube …

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Eurovision 2017 Rehearsals: Day 1 Review

Welcome to a sunny Kyiv where the press centre security carry batons and guns, and where the perimeter fence is patrolled by police with angry looking Alsatians and mirrors to check for concealed car bombs. Kicking off this semi-final, Sweden’s Robin …

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Eurovision 2017: PIGS Might Fly

In under a week’s time, Eurovision 2017 rehearsals will be underway in Kyiv and months of research will be tested as we see most nations’ staging for the first time. Previous assumptions will change, favourites might fall and underdogs could emerge. Eurovision is a marathon, not …

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Podcast: Eurovision 2017 Part 1

It’s that time of year again: we’re back the first of three Eurovision 2017 preview podcasts! We’re joined by Ewan Spence from @ESCinsight and Roy Delaney of @ESCApocalypse to discuss the finer details of semi-final 1. Make sure you follow the ESCtips FaceBook …

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Finland: Norma John – Blackbird

Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2017, complete with Melfest-style international jury, has delivered a sensible result! As highlighted here, Norma John were the class act, and their melancholic ballad, Blackbird, will represent Finland in Kiev this May. We've had several recent examples of this genre with …

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Eurovision 2017: November Update

The most important news of the month is that ESCtips podcasts will be available on iTunes, as well as our usual location on YouTube. The second most important news of November came from Sweden with the unveiling of next year’s all-star Melodifestivalen …

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