Eurovision 2014 Reviews & Predictions: Semifinal 1

Howdy ya'll! It's been a long, very long time since I've written something on my blog. But hey, I'm back with fresh reviews about the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest. It's finally that time of the year when I'll be reviewing all the entries and hopefully give a good prediction about their qualification chances in the Grand Final. Let's start with Semifinal 1! 
  1. Armenia - a country that usually does good in Eurovision but sadly, this year, Armenia is EXTREMELY overrated. Don't get me wrong, the song is nice but if it was for me, I would say that the qualification chances should be minimal. The Armenian song has a very boring start and it becomes interesting only after two minutes and, that's it. My prediction is YES, Armenia will qualify, but only because of the overrating on the betting odds. Definitely not a winner! 
  2. Latvia - oh I remember when the Latvian broadcaster released their national final songs. They had PURE golden songs and they've chosen a silly Cake to represent them. The song is decent, Ok, but nothing more. My prediction for Latvia is NO, not a qualifier. Better luck next year! 
  3. Estonia - the Estonian entry is a true masterpiece! Love it! Thanks God, Sandra Nurmsallu didn't won with that dull song. "Amazing" is definitely not a copy of "Euphoria" as many amateurs said and I actually think it will do just fine. I mean not everyone can move and sing like Tanja, not even Loreen. My prediction is 100% YES, fingers crossed for Tallinn next year! 
  4. Sweden - Oh well, a cheesy, crying song but hey, Sanna had to win one day eventually, and she finally did it (even though Ace Wilder was way better). Don't get me wrong, I love it but it has that Svenska music taste in it, something that we hear every year. My prediction is YES, Sweden will qualify! 
  5. Iceland - This song has a great message but totally not for Eurovision. Iceland always does well in Eurovision but this year maybe it's time to stay out of the Final. Not sure what to predict, the song is just ok and the fans don't brag about it that much. Prediction YES, it will qualify, 65% sure. 
  6. Albania - oh dear, what have you done Albania? I'm not a fan of non-english songs, but somehow converting the Albanian song in English simply ruined it. Sounds like a cheap song from the 90's that we accidentally hear at the radio. Nothing special. My prediction: NO, Albania will stay out of the Final this year. 
  7. Russia - I have to say that Russia disappointed me this year. After promising a spectacular National Final in December they ended up sending two girls with a junior eurovision song. The song is Ok, sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. Probably depends on the mood. My prediction is: YES, Russia will qualify. We're talking about Russia here, just to point that out. 
  8. Azerbaijan - Damn! I was expecting something huge from Azerbaijan this year but they ended up sending a plat ballad that simply doesn't emanate any feelings at all. No, this song totally doesn't deserve to qualify but as I said before about Russia, it's Azerbaijan! It will qualify but definitely not win, unless they will buy votes again (which I'm sure they will). My prediction is: YES. 
  9. Ukraine - yeah! Ukraine was in my top since their National Final ended. That girl really knows what she's doing on stage and the song is a pure masterpiece. I loved all three versions of it, somehow the 2nd one is still stuck in my head but I love it anyhow. Definitely YES, Ukraine will qualify! 
  10. Belgium - oh mother! This guy has stunning vocals and the song has that weird sadness feeling or maybe I'm far to separated from my mother. Anyway, the judges will love it but not sure if the public will do the same. I can't see it through though. My prediction is NO, though I might be wrong here! 
  11. Moldova - Hell Yeah baby! The drama lady with a marvelous song. Absolutely love it. The show will be spectacular, I'm sure! So there's no reason to believe that this song won't qualify. My prediction is totally YES, we have a finalist here! Moldova never disappoints! 
  12. San Marino - I made a joke on twitter yesterday: imagine a crazy world where the doctor, priest, lawyer and the ESC artist are in fact one person only: Valentina Monetta, that crazy, must visit place, is San Marino. Sending Valentina once again is probably viewed by everyone as a joke. Maybe the judges will have pity and we'll see Valetina in the Final or Maybe she will make another comeback next year. Who knows... "Maybe" is an average song, something from the 70's. Definitely not a qualifier. Prediction: NO! 
  13. Portugal - Dios mio! She's a naughty kitty, don't know why I said that (go away, dirty thoughts). Quero Ser Tua is a typical lambada song which unfairly won over Catarina's Mea Culpa, something that I won't easily forget. The girl can barely sing and let's be honest, the song doesn't stand a chance in qualifying. My prediction is: NO, pick Catarina internally next year, Portugal! 
  14. Netherlands - My first impression (which always seems to be the correct one) was not good. After a few more listenings, the dutch song grew on me a lot. Totally not a song for Eurovision but I love the country feeling. It's a great song and I wouldn't mind see it in the Final this year. The judges will surely vote for it but the public will barely notice it. My prediction is YES, 25% sure. Fingers crossed! 
  15. Montenegro - Finally a DECENT song from Montenegro. Finally the desire to qualify appeared! The song sounds great in English, sadly it will be perform in Montenegrin. My prediction is NO, but anything can happen! 
  16. Hungary - One word for this song, actually two: Brilliant Masterpiece! We might deal with the actual winner of the event here. Great vocals, great song, great message and great show - it has all the ingredients to be a potential winner. My prediction, with no doubt, is totally YES, a qualifier! 
Well that was it! Thank you for reading my review of the 1st Semifinal. I strongly believe that Estonia, Hungary, Sweden, Russia and Azerbaijan will qualify but I usually get two or three wrong, so I can't wait for the actual event to arrive.  Only two weeks left until Semifinal 1! Follow me on Facebook here and on Twitter here. Don't miss my review of the 2nd Semifinal, coming up next weekend!
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André Vermeulen dropped as VRT Commentator

André Vermeulen
André Vermeulen, learnt yesterday that he would not be returning to commentate for VRT at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. The Het Journaal reporter who has covered the Eurovision Song Contest for the Dutch speaking region of Belgium, was reportedly disappointed but not surprised.

Vermeulen first commentated on the Contest back in 1991, when it was held in Rome, he would continue this role for another 22 years, only missing one contest in 1996 for unknown reasons.  He has since gained the name in Belgium as "Professor Eurosong".  Since 2010, he has commentated on the contest live from Brussels due a cut back VRT made.

However it is not the end of the road for Vermeulen and Eurovision, he will report news coverage from the Contest during the weeks leading up to Eurovision. His replacement were announced yesterday: Peter Van de Veire and Eva Daeleman who also hosted the Eurosong final this year. 

Written by: Luke Davies (United Kingdom)
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Exclusive interview with Carl Espen (Norway)

Carl Espen
Carl Espen Thorbjørnsen was born in Bergen, Norway, in 1982. In English he simply calls himself Carl Espen. He is the oldest of three siblings, and grew up in a family full of a love for music. Now he will represent Norway at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen with the song Silent Storm. 

Music has always played big role in Carl’s life, and he has carried this dream with him all along. The steps onto the Eurovision Song Contest stage on the 8th of May will not be many, but for Carl they will be crucial. The time has come for him to show the world that he has a dream, and he feels that it is now or never. I had the honor to ask Carl a few questions about his song and the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest. Check out the full interview below:

1. First of all, congratulations for winning the Norwegian National Final. How did you feel when you heard the news?

Thank you so much! I felt so happy, proud, humbled, shocked and excited at the same time. It was the biggest experience of my life.

2. What made you decide to take part at Eurovision this year?

In a way it's a long story. My cousin Josefin Winther, who is an established songwriter and artist, knew that I was carrying a dream inside. And that this dream was to sing for people. She also saw that I was carrying feelings inside, that should be expressed. She sat down and wrote "silent storm", where she tried to put my inner life of feelings into words. She showed the song to me, but didn't tell me it was for me. I felt that this song was "mine" right away. Then she suggested that I sing it, and to send it to Eurovision. I said yes immediately. 

3. What do you know about Eurovision? Do you have any favorite songs from past editions?

I think I'm like the average guy when it comes to Eurovision knowledge. Except for everything I've learned the last months. I think there have been many good songs in Eurovision up through the years, but I must say that Waterloo by ABBA, is one incredibly good songs. I know it's stating the obvious, but it's such a masterpiece in pop melody making and great lyrics. 

4. What do you think about Norway's achievements at Eurovision? Who were your favorites and why?

I am proud to be in the company of Norwegian artists that have represented Norway. It feels natural to mention the more recent acts, but I think Margaret Berger had a very strong act. 

5. What is the message behind your song “Silent Storm”?

Silent Storm is a song written for me by my cousin. She feels that I carry difficult feelings inside. That I am quiet on the outside, but that a lot is going on right underneath the surface. I think Silent Storm has a universal message, but for me it is about not having found one's place in the world, and this notion of have unsettled feelings inside of me. Also it carries a growing hope that someday I'll be calm. 

6. What can we expect from the staging when you perform in Copenhagen?

For me it is important to keep the focus on the song and it's message. The atmosphere is fragile, intense, personal and powerful, and the art is to stay true to the song and what I am expressing. We are all excited about the new possibilities that come with a new stage, and will definitely seek to utilize them. At the same time, the most important thing in the stage show, is to keep the focus on being present in the lyrics, and in contact with myself throughout the performance. 

7. Do you have a favorite song/s from another country this year?

Yes, I really like Finland's song and also I have grown fond of the Netherlands. The country feel to it, is so nice. 

8. What’s your dream placing at Eurovision? 

I don't think so much about placing, votes, bookies and all that stuff. I am just happy and grateful to be a part of this adventure, and try to remain the person I am, and not forget why I am doing this. My dream for Eurovision is to manage to sing the song, and move people with the words and my voice. If I can do that, I am very very happy. 

9. Why people should vote for you and for your song?

They should vote for me and "Silent Storm" if they feel that I have touched them, and the message is important to them. 

10. Do you have a message for your fans on florinesc.com?

I would like to send out a warm and loving greeting to the readers of florinesc.com. Thank you so much for reading my interview and taking interest in my music and my career. I am extremely thankful for being in this competition, and I wouldn't be here without the support from all my fans. Kind regards from Carl Espen. 

Follow Carl's official Facebook Page here.


Description source: eurovision.tv 
Photo source: Carl Espen Official 
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Eurovision Song Contest 2014 stage revealed!

Today, in Amsterdam at the Eurovision in Concert, the stage of the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest was revealed. The stage seems to be a combination of MGP 2013 & Athens 2006 stage. The Green Room will be constructed in front of the stage and the postcards for each country will feature every contestant  who will re-create the flag of his country by using traditional elements that defines his homeland.  

The Official Stage design 
The stage currently in construction

Yesterday, the rehearsal schedule of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 was published here. Coming soon: the complete review of the Eurovision 2014 songs. Stay tuned!

Written by: Florin M. Suciu
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UK: Pointless to host Eurovision special

The BBC announced yesterday that the day time quiz show Pointless will air a Eurovision special on Saturday, April 12th. The quiz show which airs on BBC One every week day afternoon from 5:15 is hosted by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osmond, will see Bucks Fizz‘s Cheryl Baker and Mike Nolan trying to prove their wits against Martin Lee (from Brotherhood of Man) and Sonia Evans, Dana and Johnny Logan, and Jemini‘s Chris Cromby and Gemma Abbey.

Written by: Luke Davies (United Kingdom)
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Download the Eurovision 2014 Official Scorecards

Good evening Europe!

This year's scorecards are now available to be downloaded exclusively from FlorinESC.com and hosted by the official website of the Eurovision Memories Song Contest.  The official scorecards can be found by clicking HERE.

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Eurovision singer Jean Vallée passes away

Jean Vallée
Jean Vallée who represented Belgium twice at the Eurovision Song Contest, has died today in Clermont, at the age of 72. Vallée was born Paul Goeders in 1971, he represented Belgium at the 1967 Festival of Rio. It was in 1970 that he began his Eurovision journey, when he represented Belgium at the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest in Amsterdam, with the song "Viens l'oublier" which finished eighth in the Contest. 
He returned to the contest in 1978, when the Contest was held in Paris, his entry "L'amour ça fait chanter la vie" finished second in the Contest giving Belgium their best placing, until their victory in 1986. He remaind associated with the Contest in 1980, when he hosted the Belgian National Final. In 1999, Vallée was awarded  Knight in the Order of the Crown by HM Albert II.



 Written by: Luke Davies (United Kingdom)
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SN 2014 poll voting: Official results revealed!

It seems that this year, the Romanian National final wasn't that strong, only 3 or 4 songs deserved to compete for the honor to represent Romania at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest. It was quite difficult for me to make a top 12 so that's the reason why I opened a poll on florinesc.com for you to help me decide. I also asked a few friends from different countries with different tastes to help me by making their personal top 12. I ended up by making my mini-National Final with over 400 people who voted in my poll. 
Special thanks for my international jury this year: 
  • Josef Staif from Czech Republic 
  • Jan Van Cappel from Belgium 
  • Brittany Ashworth from United Kingdom 
  • David Koleszar from Hungary 
  • Dimitris Ioannou from Cyprus 
  • Mihai from Moldova  
The jury results: 

The public voting results combined with jury points:



Don't miss Selecția Națională LIVE from Brașov tomorrow at 19:30 CET. You can watch it here

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Exclusive: UK Act to be announced on March 3rd

Scott Mills will host the show
After months of speculation, the act who will represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen has been announced, well not exactly. But it shall be on March 3rd 2014 at 7.25 PM on the BBC red button. The show will be hosted by UK Eurovision Semi-final commentator Scott Mills and is set to feature the act and the song that will represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen on May 10, 2014.
The UK has had a fantastic record in the Contest, winning five contests and finishing second in 15 Contests, however in recent years, they have performed poorly and only reaching the top 10 twice in the last decade.

Written by: Luke Davies (United Kingdom) 

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Nicolle Stănese to host the Romanian Grand Final

It was revealed earlier today that the beautiful Nicolle Stanese will have the honor to host the Romanian Grand Final on March 1st. Nicolle was born in Sibiu on 11 July 1990. She graduated law school and  started her career by working in local TV shows as a presenter. 

"I accepted with great confidence to join TVR, where I am confident I can do things that both I and the people will be proud of. Eurovision is one of the most watched programs and for a presenter it is an honor to be part once in a lifetime in this project" says Nicolle Stănese.

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