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Current Eurovision Acts + Nostalgia!

It's that's time of year again- Eurovision time! This year the 61st Eurovision Song Contestwill be held in Stockholm, Sweden, since they were the 2015 winners with the song Heroes sung by Måns Zelmerlöw. (They last hosted the contest in 2013, after Loreen won the previous year with Euphoria). Måns is a co-presenter this year, along with Petra Mede  who was a 2013 co-host.

American singer Justin Timberlake will be performing in the interval and the contest will be shown on American TV for the first time ever. Australia are also taking part for the second time after launching a campaign to compete in 2013. Singer Jessica Mauboy was the interval act in 2014 and Guy Sebastian represented Australia last year with the song Tonight Again. A new voting system has also been introduced for the first time since 1975, in a bid to make the voting fairer. (Countries are often accused of voting politically). Each country will award two sets of points, from both a professional jury and televoting.

The UK's entry is Joe and Jake who were chosen in Making Your Mind Up in February. I didn't vote for them but I can't remember who I actually did vote for now! lol. I think the song is alright but not what I would have chosen. I wish them luck though! :)

The Semi-Finals were shown on Tuesday and Thursday. I voted yesterday for Australia. Below I'll share my favourite acts from this year's Semi-Finals (all made it through to the final) and also one nostalgic act!


Current


Sound of Silence- Dami Im (Australia)

My favourite this year was Sound of Silence by Dami Im. Dami is Korean Australian; she was born in South Korea and moved to Australia aged 9. Last night on the semi finals, presenter Mel Giedroyc said that Dami learnt to speak English by listening to the Spice Girls!

Dami started playing the piano when she was 5 and taught herself to sing. She released her debut studio album Dream in 2010 and re-released it a year later with 2 extra songs. In 2013 Dami won TV talent show the X Factor Australia and  was signed to Sony Music Australia. She released her 2nd album Dami Im in November that year and her 3rd album Heart Beats in October 2014. Dami's singles include Alive (an Australian No 1), Super Love, Gladiator, Smile and her Eurovision entry. She has also released two EPs in Korea, Snow & Carol (2011) and Intimacy (2012. Her latest album is Classic Carpenters, covers of songs by the popular musical siblings The Carpenters.

I think Dami has one of the strongest voices in the competition.







For more on Dami visit her official website: www.damiim.com



Made of Stars- Hovi Star (Israel)

Another song I liked was Israel's entry, Made of Stars by Hovi Star.  Although not in Europe, Israel are able to enter because the Israeli Broadcasting Authority is a member of the European Broadcasting Union which produces Eurovision. You might remember that they won in 1998 with Diva sung by Dana International. She might have been the first ever transgender winner but I'd have to check on that! :)

Hovi (real name Hovav Sekulets) has been singing since he was 14. He was a contestant on Kokhav Nolad (A Star Is Born) the Israel version of the British series Pop Idol, in 2009. He has released 5 singles to date, Playing with Fire, Boyfriend, Something That I Want with Alon Sharr and his Eurovision entry Made of Stars. He also does voices for the Hebrew versions of Disney and Pixar films, such as Frozen, Cinderella and Inside Out.




For more on Hovi visit his Eurovision profile: http://www.eurovision.tv/page/history/year/participant-profile/?song=33483



1944- Jamala (Ukraine)

The final song I liked was 1944 by Jamala, competing for Ukraine.

Jamala (real name Susana Jamaladynova) has a Crimean Tatar dad and an Armenian mum and grew up in Ukraine. She attended the Simferopol Music College and the National Music Academy. Jamala studied opera singing and plays the piano. She recorded songs as a child and started entering singing contests aged 15. Her career really took off after she won the 2009 New Wave singing contest.

Jamala has released 4 albums, For Every Heart (2011), All or Nothing (2013), Thank You (2014) and her latest Poykh (Breath) which came out last year. She also has a Live Concert DVD, Live At Arena Concert Plaza which was released in 2012. I think 1944 is her only single so far.

Jamala also acts.

I thought the song was a bit strange at first but I like it! Jamala uses a vocal technique called mugham and plays the duduk (a type of flute).The song is dedicated to her great grandmother.


                                           



For more Jamala visit these links:

Official site: http://jamalamusic.com/en/

 
 Official FB:  https://www.facebook.com/jamalaofficial



1996

Gina G- Ooh Aah...Just a Little Bit (UK)


And now for the nostalgia! One of my Eurovision memories is from 1996 when I was 12. That year the UK was represented by Australian singer Gina G with Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit. It came 8th in the contest and was a UK No 1.

Gina (full name Gina Mary Gardiner) started out as a DJ and a member of Australian dance music group Bass Culture. After Eurovision she went on to release several singles in the mid to late 90s, including I Belong To You, Fresh and Ti Amo (I Love You) and an album called Fresh. I used to have it on cassette tape, lol. Good pop album of the time!

In 2005 Gina entered Making Your Mind Up to represent us again at Eurovision but lost to Javine. (This was the same year Jordan aka Katie Price entered!). She released her second album Get Up & Dance the same year. Since then she brought out the single Next 2 U and planned to bring out another one called Set The Night on Fire but according to Wikipedia it was never released due to personal problems.

Funnily enough, I'd planned to use this song in the post and then I read an interview with Joe and Jake where Jake said this was his earliest Eurovision memory! But he was 1 in 1996 and remembers it being played at school discos. Makes me feel old! lol.



                           


Here's a link to the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiLw45oAuD0


Gina has a Facebook page but it hasn't been updated since December 2014: https://www.facebook.com/gina.g.music


I might not see all of Eurovision this year because my belly dance group BD4U's show is tomorrow. Couldn't believe that, I haven't missed Eurovision in years! lol. I'm planning to watch some of it though.


The Grand Final is tomorrow night, Saturday 14th May at 8pm UK time/9pm CEST. It's showing on BBC1 here.

Visit the official site to keep up with all the news: http://www.eurovision.tv/


If you're a Eurovision fan check out my past posts:

http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/3-singers-i-discovered-through.html

http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/eurovision-songs-i-like.html

 http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/eurovision-past-and-present.html

http://starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/eurovision-update.html



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