As we continue to be buried under snow and freezing temperatures here on the east coast, I’m looking forward to May and the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna even more as the days go on.  We’ve started featuring national selection entries on Meanwhile, in Europe during the past few shows, but now that they’re coming in fast and furious, here’s a look at some of the artists and songs the Eurovision 2015 selection process is providing us with this weekend….

DENMARK

I played Cecilie Alexandra’s Hotel A on January 31st’s show, and while I’ve seen some people mention that as their favourite, it seems like Denmark’s final tomorrow is a bit open.  It feels like a bit of a weak selection in the national final there this year, but along with Hotel A, this song from former Junior Eurovision Song Contest representative for Denmark in 2003 Anne Gadegaard is pleasant. Nevertheless, after being at the shows in 2012 and 2013 live, I can safely say that Denmark will still produce one of the best looking national finals this year.

(Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2015 airs tomorrow at 2pm EST on DR’s website)

SWEDEN

For many in the Eurovision “community”, the Swedish selection, Melodifestivalen, is seen as the “favourite” show leading up to Eurovision.  It’s usually the most viewed show on Swedish television yearly and many fans make their way from around Europe up north this time of year to attend the shows.  Tomorrow we see the first show of the year, and fans clamoured to see 30 second clips from the rehearsal of the show filmed yesterday, which provided us with the first listen of the songs, as well.

Previous Swedish representative Eric Saade (who came third in 2011) will close out the show with his song Sting and is the hot favourite to go through to the final (I’ll spare you the clip of that rehearsal) but Idol alum Molly Petersson Hammar’s I’ll Be Fine is giving me some Ella Henderson vibes and pulled me in right away. Behrang Miri & Victor Crone’s Det rår var inte för has a great beat that I fear will get lost tomorrow night.  Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw has another low-key number after 2010’s Road Salt (which I played on last Saturday’s show) called Pappa, and though the clip doesn’t seem to really have a “spark”, I hope for the best when we see (and hear) the full version tomorrow.

(Melodifestivalen 2015‘s first semi-final is live from Göteborg tomorrow at 2pm EST at SVT’s website)

FINLAND

Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (the “New Music Competition” in English) has quickly become one of my favourite Eurovision selections since Finland started using this process in 2012.  There’s a great mix of music, and it doesn’t take itself as seriously as some of its Nordic brethren in their Eurovision search.  Songs and performances sway from the mildly silly to the seriously good, and this year, UMK seems like it’ll be shaping up to be a good selection.

The first semi-final features my favourite song from the 2015 Eurovision season so far (Crossroads by Satin Circus) and Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, a punk band comprised of musicians with learning difficulties and disabilities, who have gotten early coverage in the media in Finland (and even abroad) before UMK officially kicked off.  I think this semi-final has, ahem, “fallen into place” to see these two cement their places in the UMK final.  Hard to say what will be the third qualifier this week…this song from Hans on the Bass is quite pleasant, though!

(UMK 2015‘s first semi final is live from 2pm EST tomorrow at YLE’s website)

ESTONIA

In the Eurovision world, Estonia are sort of considered the hipsters of the community. Their selection show Eesti Laul is, in many ways, the anti-Melodifestivalen. That doesn’t mean they don’t churn out predictable ballads (2013) and dancepop numbers (2014), but some of the material that doesn’t make it to the actual Eurovision stage from Estonia can end up being so much more interesting.  (2013’s Winny Puhh is the perfect example of this – watch their performance if you haven’t seen it. NOW!)

2015 seems like it might be Stig Rästa & Elina Born’s year – they are in next week’s semi-final and I’ve played their entry Goodbye to Yesterday a few weeks ago. This week there is another duet though, and it comes from Eesti Laul veteran Liis Lemsalu and Egert Milder. Hold On doesn’t pack the same punch that Goodbye to Yesterday does, but in this version from Estonian morning television, I’m starting to like it quite a bit and hope to see them in the final with it.

(Eesti Laul‘s first semi-final airs on ETV at 2:35pm EST on ETV’s website)

ICELAND

Söngvakeppnin‘s second semi-final could really be up in the air.  It’s probably a safe bet to say that Regína Ósk, who represented Iceland in 2008 at Eurovision, will make it to the final, but who knows!  This entry from the duo SUNDAY has a great sound, though I’m a bit worried on how it might translate to stage.  We’ll see tomorrow!

(Söngvakeppnin‘s second semi-final is on tomorrow at 2:45pm EST at RÚV’s site)


Latvia’s Supernova selection is in its second week on Sunday as well, but they’re not at the semi-final stage just yet…

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