Slovakia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Slovakia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest seven times, debuting in 1994. It did not pass through the qualifying round. In the first three finals that Slovakia participated in, it placed no better than 18th, which it achieved in 1996; because of its poor results, it was forced to miss a year after each contest and the country opted not to return for a number of years. It did return to the Contest eleven years in 2009, although they withdrew again within 4 years, having failed to qualify to the final every year since their return. Slovakia had planned on entering the contest at the 1993 contest, but with the introduction of many new countries, a preliminary round was held to trim down the number of new entries. Kvalifikacija za Millstreet featured seven countries competing for only three places in the final. Slovakia came fourth in the contest, represented by Elán with "Amnestia na neveru", therefore had to wait another year before entering again. Slovakia's Eurovision entries in the 1990s weren't successful, finishing 19th, 18th and 21st.
After the 1998 contest, STV decided not to enter again for a number of years. From 1994 to 1998, STV used an internal selection to select the Slovak entry for the contest. In 2009, Slovakia organised a televised national final for the first time. A number of heats preceded a grand final, held on March 8, 2009 and Kamil Mikulčík and Nela Pocisková were chosen with their song "Leť tmou", they finished on 18th place out of 19 in semi-final. Slovakia tried again in 2010 contest with "Horehronie" by Kristina with similar result, despite being a fan and bookmakers favourite. Though STV stated that Slovakia would not take part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011, it did appear in Düsseldorf represented by the new national public broadcaster RTVS, created on 1 January 2011. On 18 February 2011, RTVS revealed their choice for Slovakia's Eurovision 2011 entry; the song was "I'm Still Alive" and was performed by twin sisters Daniela and Veronika Nízlová better known as the pop duo TWiiNS. They had some experience at Eurovision before as backing singers and dancers for Tereza Kerndlová, the Czech entry in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest.
The 2011 entry was the first Slovak entry performed in English. TWiiNS finished 12th in their Semi Final, which meant they did not qualify for the Grand Final, due to the televote that counterbalanced the good jury rehearsal, they provided the best result for their country in many years. RTVS sent an artist once again to the Contest in 2012, with a song, selected internally by RTVS. At a press conference on 7 March 2012, the Slovak entry for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest was announced: Max Jason Mai with a song called "Don't Close Your Eyes", he performed in the second semi final, held on Thursday, May 24, 2012. The song did not qualify in the finals, it was revealed that the song finished in last place with 22 points. On 4 December 2012, RTVS announced its withdrawal from Eurovision Song Contest 2013, on 9 September 2013 it announced that it wouldn't return at Eurovision Song Contest 2014, it had been announced that Slovakia would not return at Eurovision Song Contest 2015, citing financial constraints and an incompatibility between the contest and the programming goals of RTVS.
However RTVS returned to the Eurovision Young Dancers in 2015, with RTVS explaining that the return of Slovakia to EYD supported domestic production and promoted national culture at a European level. RTVS announced on 28 September 2015. RTVS' PR manager, Juraj Kadáš, explained on 12 April 2016 that Slovakia's absence from the contest since 2012 was not due to poor results, but rather the cost associated with participation. On 24 October 2016, RTVS confirmed that they would not return to the contest in 2017. On 2 June 2018, RTVS confirmed that they would not return to the contest in 2019. Table key NOTES: A. ^ Slovakia unsuccessfully attempted to participate in 1993, when there was a pre-qualifying round for seven countries hoping to make their debut in the contest. The official Eurovision site does not count 1993 in Slovakia's list of appearances. B. If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition from 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year.
If, for example and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries As of 2012, Slovakia's voting history is as follows: Radio FM, the fourth channel of the Slovak Radio, has provided talk radio coverage of the contest since 2010 with Daniel Baláž, Pavol Hubinák and invited guests. Vladimír Valovič Juraj Burian Points to and from Slovakia eurovisioncovers.co.uk
Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest
Romania has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 19 times after making its debut in the 1994 contest and has since placed six times within the top ten. Its best results were achieved by Luminița Anghel and Sistem in 2005, Paula Seling and Ovi in 2010, with both finishing third; the Selecția Națională, a song contest which takes place every year in Romania, is used to select the country's entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest. Its voting system and format have changed over the years; the year before its first appearance, Romania attempted to debut in the contest, but came last in the pre-qualifying round. After joining the next year, poor placements followed until 2002, resulting in several relegations; this changed with the introduction of semi-finals to the contest in 2004, after which Romania only failed to qualify for the Grand Final in 2018. In 2016, the European Broadcasting Union suspended broadcaster Televiziunea Română from all EBU member services due to repeated non-payment of debts, which in turn disqualified its entry from participating in the contest.
Romania's most recent Grand Final appearance in 2017 saw Alex Florea reach seventh place. Romania unsuccessfully attempted to debut in the 1993 contest, selecting Dida Drăgan and her song "Nu pleca" for the pre-qualifying round Kvalifikacija za Millstreet; the country's first official participation occurred one year when Dan Bittman's "Dincolo de nori" placed 21st in the contest's Grand Final, resulting in Romania's relegation for the next edition. The following years saw further relegations. In 2002 and 2003, Monica Anghel and Marcel Pavel, Nicola scored Romania's first top ten results, placing ninth and tenth, respectively; the country placed within the top 20 every year from 2004 to 2015. In 2005 and 2006, they claimed third and fourth position with Luminița Anghel and Sistem, Mihai Trăistariu, respectively; the third place finish remains Romania's best result in the contest alongside Paula Seling and Ovi's 2010 entry "Playing with Fire". The country returned to the top ten in 2017 when represented by Ilinca and Alex Florea, who reached seventh place.
Romania has participated in the contest 19 times, having qualified for the final every year since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004 except for 2018. In 2016 the European Broadcasting Union suspended broadcaster Televiziunea Română from all EBU member services due to the repeated non-payment of debts and the threat of insolvency; this in turn disqualified their 2016 entry, "Moment of Silence" sung by Ovidiu Anton from participating in the contest. In 2008, Nico and Vlad won Romania's first and only Marcel Bezençon award for "Pe-o margine de lume", in the Composer Award category; the Selecția Națională is a song contest which takes place every year in Romania, selecting the Romanian entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest. Its first edition was held in 1993, with the winner chosen by 1100 households in Romania and Moldova. In 1994 and 1996, regional jury panels were introduced. Televoting data was added to their scores in 1998. In 2000, Romania's entrant was selected by televoting. From 2001 to 2015, the votes of a jury panel and televoting were used to determine the winner, while from 2016 to 2018, the public could choose from songs selected by the jury.
In 2019, for the first time, a seven-piece international jury was assembled for the final, with the audience's votes counting as one juror. The format of Selecția Națională has continuously changed throughout the years, with the winner being selected during one single show, or through multiple semi-finals; the following lists Romania's entries for the Eurovision Song Contest along with their result. Romania unsuccessfully attempted to participate in 1993 when there was a pre-qualifying round for seven countries hoping to make their debut in the contest, as well as in 1996 when there was an audio-only pre-qualifier for all countries excluding hosts Norway; the official Eurovision site does not count either year in Romania's list of appearances. The country did not take part in the contest in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001. Romania intended to enter in 2016, however due to the non-payment of debts, TVR was disqualified by the EBU from competing at the Eurovision Song Contest. Table key Romania in the Eurovision Young Dancers Romania in the Eurovision Young Musicians Romania in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest Romania in the Bala Türkvizyon Song Contest Romania in the Türkvizyon Song Contest
Nocturne (Secret Garden song)
"Nocturne" was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1995, performed in Norwegian by Secret Garden representing Norway. It was the second time Norway won the contest, after it had won in 1985 with Bobbysocks! Song "La det swinge". For their performance at the Contest the Secret Garden duo of Fionnuala Sherry and Rolf Løvland featured three guest musicians; the song was performed fifth on the night, following Bosnia and Herzegovina's Davorin Popović with "Dvadeset prvi vijek" and preceding Russia's Philip Kirkorov with "Kolibelnaya dlya vulkana". At the close of voting, it had received 148 points, placing 1st in a field of 23; the victory represented the second for composer Rolf Løvland, who had written "La det swinge". Additionally, it represented the first time in four years that Ireland had not won the Contest, thus bringing to an end the only hat-trick of victories in Eurovision history. Ireland would go on achieving the feat of four victories in five years; as Norway had won the Contest in 1985 with "La det swinge", the second victory allowed the tongue-in-cheek tradition to emerge that Norway could only win in years ending with a 5, a joke referred to by the members of Bobbysocks at the Congratulations special in late 2005, Norway having entered "In My Dreams" that year and not achieved victory.
The song was succeeded as winner in 1996 by Eimear Quinn representing Ireland with "The Voice". It was succeeded as Norwegian representative at the 1996 Contest by Elisabeth Andreassen with "I evighet". Norway won again in 2009, but that year's entry was sung in English; the song is noted for its complete absence of lyrics — with only 24 words being sung in the original Norwegian version and much of the rest of the song being given over to a violin intermezzo performed by Irish musician Fionnuala Sherry. While no other winning song in the contest has featured so few words, Finland would go on to place 15th in the 1998 Contest with "Aava", which contains only six words repeated throughout the song; the previous holder of the record of shortest lyrics in Eurovision history was Belgium and their 1983 entry "Rendez-vous", with a total of 11 words. "Nocturne" was not released as a single in Norway itself. The song was however released as a single by Secret Garden in the rest of Europe and Scandinavia in its English language version, reached #1 in Israel, #26 in Sweden, #6 in Belgium, #24 in Belgium and #20 in the Netherlands."Nocturne" is included in Secret Garden's first album, Songs from a Secret Garden.
The album "Inside I'm Singing" includes a new version. The song was covered comedic and first released as a single by the country-inspired novelty band Dusty Cowshit, reaching #16 on the Norwegian singles chart in 1996. "Nocturne" was featured on Celtic Woman: Believe, the seventh studio album by the group Celtic Woman released on 25 May 2011. "Nocturne" was sung by Chloë Agnew. Agnew performed "Nocturne" live on both the Believe and Emerald concerts. "Nocturne" was used of several episodes of TVN soap opera Oro Verde. Diggiloo Thrush. "1995 Norway". Retrieved 2007-02-22. Diggiloo Thrush. "1998 Finland". Retrieved 2007-02-22. Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Estonia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 24 times since making its debut in 1994. Its first appearance would have taken place in 1993, however a qualification round was installed for seven former Eastern bloc countries hoping to make their debut in the contest, with Estonia failing to qualify. Estonia has won the contest once, in 2001. Estonia's first participation in 1994 was unsuccessful. Estonia went on to finish in the top eight in six out of seven contests, with Maarja-Liis Ilus and Ivo Linna fifth, Maarja-Liis Ilus returning to finish eighth, Evelin Samuel and Camille sixth and Ines fourth, before Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL gave Estonia its first victory in 2001; this made Estonia the first former Soviet country to win the contest and the second eastern European country to win, after Yugoslavia in 1989. Sahlene finished third for the hosts in Tallinn in 2002. Since the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004, Estonia has failed to reach the final on nine occasions and has reached the top ten four times, with Urban Symphony sixth, Ott Lepland sixth, Elina Born and Stig Rästa seventh and Elina Nechayeva eighth.
Estonia's total of ten top ten results, is more than any other Baltic country. Estonia was relegated from the following years contest. Estonia's record at the contest was a successful one from 1996 to 2002, only failing once to make the top 10. Maarja-Liis Ilus and Ivo Linna's fifth-place in 1996 was the first top five ranking for a former Soviet country. Ilus returned to finish eighth in 1997; the country's first win came in 2001, when Tanel Padar and Dave Benton, along with 2XL, sang "Everybody" and received 198 points, therefore making Estonia the first former USSR country to win the Contest and the second country of eastern Europe after Yugoslavia. The 2002 contest was held in Estonia, in the capital city Tallinn, where Sahlene finished third for the hosts. From 2004 to 2008 Estonia failed to qualify to the finals receiving poor results – during that period its best entry was 11th place in the 2004 semi-final by Neiokõsõ with the "Tii", sung in the Võro language, a southern-Estonian dialect.
Despite news that Estonia might withdraw from the 2009 contest, set to be held in Moscow, due to the war in South Ossetia, Eesti Rahvusringhääling confirmed that, due to public demand, Estonia would send an entry to Moscow. After a new national final, Eesti Laul, was introduced to select the Estonian entry, the winner was Urban Symphony with "Rändajad", which had beaten the televoting favourite, Laura, by the votes of a jury. At the second semi-final of the 2009 contest, Urban Symphony qualified Estonia to the final of the contest for the first time since 2003, receiving 115 points and placing 3rd; the group performed 15th in the final, where it received 129 points, placing 6th of 25 competing entries as well as being the highest placing non-English language song at the 2009 competition. In 2010, Estonia failed to qualify to the final, with the song "Siren" by Malcolm Lincoln. In 2011, Estonia was represented by Getter Jaani with the song "Rockefeller Street", she was the bookmakers' pre-contest favorite for victory along with France.
She qualified to the final but placed 24th of 25 entries- tying Silvi Vrait's 1994 result for Estonia's worst placing in the contest final. Since 2012, Estonia has achieved three more top ten results. Ott Lepland qualified Estonia to the final of the 2012 contest, with his song "Kuula", ending up 4th in the second semi-final. In the final, he equalled Estonia's result of 2009, placing 6th. Elina Born and Stig Rästa finished seventh in 2015 and Elina Nechayeva finished eighth in 2018. Table key NOTES a. ^ Estonia unsuccessfully attempted to participate in 1993, when there was a pre-qualifying round for seven countries hoping to make their debut in the contest. The official Eurovision site does not count 1993 in Estonia's list of appearances; as of 2018, Estonia's voting history is as follows: Peeter Lilje Urmas Lattikas Tarmo Leinatamm Heiki Vahar "Points to and from ESTONIA". Eurovisioncovers.co.uk
Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest
Belgium has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 60 times since making its debut as one of the seven countries at the first contest in 1956. The only countries with more appearances are Germany and the United Kingdom. Belgium have been absent only three times in total, in 1994, 1997 and 2001, due to low scores in the previous contests that relegated them from the contest. Belgium has won the contest once, in 1986. In the first 20 years of the contest, Belgium's best result was Tonia's fourth place in 1966. In 1978, Jean Vallée achieved Belgium's first top three placement. Sandra Kim became the first and to date only winner for Belgium in 1986, when she won as a 13-year-old in Bergen, performing the song "J'aime la Vie". Belgium's only other top three result came in 2003, when the group Urban Trad finished second in Riga, losing out by only two points. Belgium have finished last in the contest eight times, most in 2000, have twice received "nul points". After the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004, Belgium failed to reach the final for five consecutive years.
Since 2010, Belgium have become more successful, qualifying for the final in five out of nine contests and placing in the top 10 four times, with Tom Dice sixth, Loïc Nottet fourth, Laura Tesoro tenth, Blanche fourth. Belgium has two national broadcasters of the contest, Flemish broadcaster Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroep and French-speaking broadcaster Radio télévision belge de la communauté française; the two broadcasters rotate selection for the Eurovision Song Contest each year. While VRT hosts a national final, when selecting their entries for Eurovision, it has been normal for RTBF to hold an internal selection process. Tonia's fourth-place at the 1966 contest remained Belgium's best result until Jean Vallée finished second in 1978. By 1980, Belgium had finished last in the contest five times, in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1973 and 1979. Following good results for Stella and Jacques Zegers, Belgium finished last for the sixth time in 1985; this was followed by Belgium's first Eurovision victory in 1986, when Sandra Kim won with her song "J'aime la vie" in Bergen, Norway.
Although she claimed she was 15 years old, she was only 13, but was allowed to keep her victory. The minimum age for participation is 16 and thus Sandra Kim will remain the youngest winner unless the age limit is lowered. By winning in 1986, Belgium became the last of the French-speaking countries to win the contest, as France, Luxembourg and Switzerland all had won at least once before. Belgium scored an absolute record at the time, with Sandra Kim earning a never seen before amount of 176 points, an average of 9.26 points per voting nation. Kim received 77.2% of the maximum possible score, which, as of 2017, still ranks eighth among all Eurovision winners. Belgium finished last for the seventh time at the 1993 contest, before achieving its only top ten result of the decade at the 1998 contest in Birmingham, where Mélanie Cohl finished sixth. Belgium finished last in the contest for the eighth and final time at the 2000 contest in Stockholm, before achieving its best result of the 21st century in 2003, where Urban Trad sang in an invented language and earned second place with 165 points, losing out to Turkey's Sertab Erener by just two points.
Ishtar did the same in 2008, but finished 17th in the first semi-final, failing to qualify for the final. In the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, Belgium participated in the first semi-final on 12 May 2009, however they received just one point which came from Armenia and left them in second-last position; the 2010 entry for Belgium was Tom Dice, runner-up of the Belgian Flemish version of The X Factor in 2008. Dice was internally selected and announced by VRT on 25 November 2009. Tom Dice finished 1st in the first semi-final, allowing Belgium to participate to the final for the first time since the introduction of the semi-finals, he finished 6th, Belgium's best result since 2003, along with 1959, the best result for a Flemish entrant, since Belgum's all top 5 placings have been achieved by the representantives of the French-language broadcaster RTBF. In 2011, the entry for Belgium was Witloof Bay, they didn't qualify for the finals, finishing 11th only one point behind Moldova, thus 1 point behind the qualification.
Due to the good results and the Flemish population's choice, the VRT cancelled'Eurosong' selection procedure and chose internally for 2012. For the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, they choose 17-year-old singer Iris but decided to let the public choose what song she would sing to represent Belgium. However, she didn't qualify after finishing 17th of 18 entrants in the first semi-final, scoring just 16 points, the second lowest total of all the 36 semi-final entrants. In 2013, Roberto Bellarosa, winner of The Voice Belgique, was chosen to represent Belgium for the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö, Sweden. Bellarosa finished in 12th place. In 2014, VRT organized a national final again and 30 participants were selected to enter the castings. Axel Hirsoux won the national final, with more than 50 percent of the televotes and four times the ma
The Point Theatre was a concert and events venue in Dublin, that operated from 1988 to 2007, enjoyed by in excess of 2 million people. It was located amongst the Dublin Docklands; the Point was closed in the summer of 2007 for a major redevelopment and underwent a rebranding as The O2 in July 2008. Prior to the redevelopment the seated capacity was 8,500. Following the acquisition of O2 Ireland by 3 Ireland, it was renamed in September 2014 as the 3Arena; the Point was noted for its flexible seating configurations – over the years it served not only as a music venue, but had been turned into an ice rink, a boxing arena, a conference hall, an exhibition centre, a wrestling ring, a theatre, an opera house and a three ring circus. It hosted the Eurovision Song Contest on three separate occasions in the 1990s and the 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards; the building was constructed in 1878 as a train depot to serve the nearby busy port. Among railwaymen it was always known as "The Point Store". In the late 1980s, after many years of neglect and disuse, it was bought by local developer, Harry Crosbie along with Apollo Leisure fitted out the venue with balconies and backstage facilities.
Before it was renovated, U2 recorded the second track of their 1988 album and Hum, "Van Diemen's Land" there, footage of performances of this song and "Desire" from the building appear in the accompanying Rattle and Hum movie. The Point opened in 1988. Melissa Etheridge being the support act for Huey Lewis and the News was the first to play there. U2 played four nights at the venue near the end of their Lovetown Tour from 26–31 December 1989, their 31 December concert was broadcast live on radio stations around the world and would receive an official online release via iTunes. In the 1990s, the Point was seen by millions of European television viewers, as it was the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest on three separate occasions over four years, in 1994, 1995, 1997, becoming the only venue to have hosted the final three times. Riverdance was first performed in the Point Depot, as the interval act during the Eurovision Song Contest 1994. Tragedy struck the Point on 11 May 1996, when a 17-year-old fan, Bernadette O'Brien was crushed to death during a Smashing Pumpkins concert.
Singer Billy Corgan warned the crowd that people were getting hurt, while at one point, bassist D'arcy Wretzky announced: "There's a girl dying backstage, do you care?" The show was abandoned, a show in Belfast the following night was cancelled out of respect. Gardaí were said to be investigating why the bars in the Point remained open for the teen-packed show; the 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards were held in the Point Depot on 11 November. Hosted by Ronan Keating, there were performances from Mariah Carey, The Corrs, Whitney Houston, Iggy Pop, Marilyn Manson and Britney Spears on the night. Award presenters included Alicia Silverstone, Mick Jagger, Pierce Brosnan, Carmen Electra, LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Iggy Pop, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Des'ree, Christina Aguilera, Damon Albarn, Geri Halliwell and Gary Barlow; the largest winner was Britney Spears. Boyzone won two awards; the final event to take place before closure and rebranding was a boxing card featuring local boxer, Bernard Dunne on 25 August 2007.
Promoter Brian Peters had moved his European title defence against Kiko Martinez from Dublin's boxing-specific National Stadium across the Liffey to the Point Depot where Dunne shattered former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis's previous attendance record for the venue. Frank Sinatra performed at the venue on 9, 10 and 11 October 1991. Kylie Minogue performed at the venue in November 1991, on her Let's Get To It European tour, filmed for a VHS release the following year, she returned to the Point in May 2005 with her Showgirl Tour. She played six nights at the Dublin venue. Irish band Westlife performed at the venue for a record breaking 13 consecutive nights at year 2001 on their Where Dreams Come True Tour from 19 March to 31 March. On 19 June 1992, Def Leppard began their Seven Day Weekend Tour of Europe in the Point Depot; the show was the first time Def Leppard had brought their "in the round" stage show outside the United States and Canada. The stage was set in the middle of the arena and featured a revolving drum kit which could move to any point around the stage and a lighting rig which would move out over the audience during "Rocket".
It was the first time any band had brought an "in the round" stage show on an international concert tour and was the first full show the band played with their new guitarist, Vivian Campbell. Nirvana began their summer 1992 European tour in support of Nevermind, at The Point on 21 June 1992 playing to a sell out crowd. On 30 November 1992, Faith No More played a gig at The Point, having supported Guns N' Roses at Slane in May of that year. L7 provided support for the night; the Point was the venue. Oasis played three sold-out shows at The Point as part of t