Saturday, 31 March 2012

ESC 2012, semi-final 1 - Latvia

Anmary (born as Linda Amantova on March 3 1980) is a Latvian singer. She studied music at Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. In 2003 she made her debut on television by participating in the Latvian talentshow Taluntu Fabrika 2 where she came 2nd.

In 2012 she took part in Eirodziesma, the Latvian pre-selection for the ESC which she won with her song Beautiful Song. Her victory gives her the right to represent Lativa at the ESC 2012 in Baku.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

ESC 2012, semi-final 1 - Greece

Eleftheria Eleftheriou (born 12 May 1989) is a Greek-Cypriot singer who came to prominence in Greece and Cyprus after her participation in the second season of Greece's version of the singing competition The X Factor. Her early elimination from the show was considered a shock to many. Shortly after her elimination, Sony Music Greece signed Eleftheria and submitted her as a candidate to represent Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 with the song Tables Are Turning. Later, she was disqualified from the national final, following the leak of her song onto the internet.

Eleftheria had previously participated in the Cypriot national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 with the song Play That Melody To Me, finishing seventh in the final. Eleftheria will represent Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, with the song Aphrodisiac which won the Greek pre-selection for the ESC in Baku.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

ESC 2012, semi-final 1 - Iceland

Greta Salóme Stefánsdóttir (November 11, 1986) is an Icelandic singer who will represent Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan in a duet with singer Jónsi.

Jón Jósep Snæbjörnsson or Jónsi (June 1, 1977) is an Icelandic singer and member of the band Í Svörtum Fötum. He participated on behalf of Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 and finished 19th with the song Heaven. He has also competed at Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2007, which is a television show to pick Iceland's song for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Segðu Mér.

In 2012 Jónsi and Greta won the Icelandic pre-selection for the ESC in Baku with the song Mundu Eftir Mér. In Baku they will sing the English version of the song, Never Forget.

Monday, 26 March 2012

ESC 2012, semi-final 1 - Montenegro

Rambo Amadeus, born June 14, 1963, is the stage name of the Belgrade-based Montenegrin singer-songwriter Antonije Pušić, who is a self-titled musician, poet, and media manipulator. He is a popular phenomenon on the music scenes of the former Yugoslavia since the late 80s.

His songs combine satirical lyrics on the nature of common people and silliness of local politics. He uses a mixture of musical styles including jazz and rock, and self-conscious ironic wit. His stage name itself is made from John Rambo and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Known also as a charming king of jovial pop, his concerts are never mere repetitions of recorded songs, but a mixture of musical improvisation and humor exploiting all aspects of human nature in a crude manner. Some fans compare his style and career path with those of Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart.

Rambo Amadeus will represent Montenegro in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan with the song Euro Neuro.

ESC 2012

The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 will be the 57th annual Eurovision Song Contest. It will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, following Azerbaijan's win in the 2011 Contest with Eldar & Nigar's song Running Scared. The two semi-finals will be held on 22 May and 24 May 2012, and the final on 26 May 2012. Ten countries from each semi-final will qualify for the final and will be joined by Azerbaijan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Forty-two countries have announced their participation in the contest, with Montenegro returning, having last taken part in 2009, with Poland and Armenia withdrawing.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 1959

Teddy Scholten

Date: March 11, 1959
Venue: Palais des Festivals et des Congrès Cannes, France
Presenter: Jacqueline Joubert
Orchestra: Frank Pourcel Orchestra
Conductor: Frank Pourcel
Director: Marcel Cravenne
Scruteneer: -
Host broadcaster: RTF
Price presenter: Jean D'Arcy
Interval act: -
Duration: 1 hour, 13 minutes
Number of entries: 11
Debuting countries: Monaco
Returning countries: UK
Withdrawing countries: Luxembourg
Winning Song: Een Beetje - Teddy Scholten , the Netherlands
Voting system: Each country had 10 jury members who each awarded 1 point to their favourite song

01. France: Jean Philippe - Oui, Oui, Oui, Oui (3rd place, 15 points)
02. Denmark: Birthe Wilke - Uh, Jeg Ville ønske Jeg Var Dig (5th place, 12 points)
03. Italy: Domenico Modugno - Piove (Ciao, Ciao Bambina) (6th place, 9 points)
04. Monaco: Jacques Pills - Mon Ami Pierrot (11th place , 1 point)
05. Netherlands: Teddy Scholten - Een Beetje (1st place, 21 points)
06. Germany: Alice & Ellen Kessler - Heute Abend Wollen Wir Tanzen Geh'n) (8th place, 5 points)
07. Sweden: Brita Borg - Augustin (9th place, 4 points)
08. Switzerland: Christa Williams - Irgendwoher (4th place, 14 points)
09. Austria: Ferry Graf - Der K Und K Kalypso Aus Wien (9th place, 4 points)
10. United Kingdom: Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson - Sing, Little Birdie (2nd place, 16 points)
11. Belgium: Bob Benny - Hou Toch Van Mij (6th place, 9 points)

Teddy Scholten

The Eurovision Song Contest 1959 was the fourth Eurovision Song Contest. It was held in Cannes, following the French victory the previous year.


A new rule was created for this Eurovision, ensuring that no professional publishers or composers were allowed in the national juries.

The Netherlands' win was their second and the first time a country had won the contest twice. The song was composed by Dick Schallies and lyricist Willy van Hemert who was also the lyricist of Net Als Toen, which won the Eurovision Song Contest 1957. Willy Van Hemert was the first person to win the Eurovision Song Contest twice.

Participating countries

Luxembourg withdrew from the contest for the first time. The United Kingdom returned after missing the previous contest (appearing on the scoreboard as "Grande Bretagne") and finished second for the first time. The UK would have 15 second-place finishes in the country's history in the contest. Monaco made its debut in the contest, but came last.

Returning artists

Domenico Modugno also participated at the ESC 1958 and Birthe Wilke also represented Denmark in 1957. The Swedish broadcaster decided that Brita Borg would represent Sweden instead of the winner of the Swedish national final Siw Malmkwist. Corry Brokken, who participated in 1956, 1957 and 1958, took part in the Dutch national final but didn't win.


Each country had 10 jury members who each awarded 1 point to their favourite song.

In the press it was suggested that Italy and France gave more points to the Netherlands because neither of those two countries wanted the other to win. This has never been verified.

Italy gave one point to France, no points to the UK and seven points to the Netherlands placing them just three points ahead of the UK. Later on France gave only three points to Italy and four points to the Netherlands giving them a five point lead over the UK, who were only one point ahead of France, leaving Italy behind in sixth position, behind Denmark, on nine points.

Something that occurred this year, but never again, was that more than the winning entry was performed once again. The second and third placed songs, United Kingdom and France, were allowed to sing again at the end of the show, together with eventual winner, the Netherlands.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 1958

André Claveau

Date: March 12, 1958
Venue: AVRO Studios Hilversum, Netherlands
Presenter: Hannie LipsOrchestra: Metropole orkest
Conductor: Dolf van der Linden
Director: Piet te Nuyl
Scruteneer: -
Host broadcaster: NTS
Price presenter: J.V. Rengeling
Interval act: Metropole orkest
Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Number of entries: 10
Debuting countries: Sweden
Withdrawing countries: UK
Winning Song: Dors Mon Amour - André Claveau, France
Voting system: Each country had 10 jury members who each awarded 1 point  to their favourite song

01. Italy: Domenico Modugno - Nel Blu Diplnto Di Blu (3rd place, 13 points)
02. Netherlands: Corry Brokken - Heel De Wereld (9th place, 1 point)
03. France: André Claveau - Dors, Mon Amour (1st place, 27 points)
04. Luxembourg: Solange Berry - Un Grand Amour (9th place, 1 point)
05. Sweden: Alice Babs - Lilla Stjärna (4th place, 10 points)
06. Denmark: Raquel Rastenni - Jeg Rev Et Blad Ud Af Min Dagbog (8th place, 3 points)
07. Belgium: Fud Leclerc - Ma Petite Chatte (5th place, 8 points)
08. Germany: Margot Hielscher - Für Zwei Groschen Musik (7th place, 5 points)
09. Austria: Liane Augustin - Die Ganze Welt Braucht Liebe (5 th place, 8 points)
10. Switzerland: Lys Assia - Giorgio (2nd place, 24 points)

Corry Brokken

The Eurovision Song Contest 1958 was the third Eurovision Song Contest and was held on March 12 1958 in Hilversum. The convention that the winning country from a year hosted the following year's contest was introduced in this year. France's win was their first. André Claveau sang Dors, Mon Amour which was written by  Hubert Giraud and Pierre Delanoë. It was the last time to date that the United Kingdom did not enter the contest. Unlike the competition in 1956, 1957 limited one song per country, they were still limited to entering a single song in 1958, which has remained the policy to date. Together with 1956, it is the only contest that has not featured a single song in the English language.

Sweden, a country that would later be one of the most successful in the contest, debuted this year.


The venue chosen to host the third contest, was the broadcasting studios AVRO (Algemene Vereniging Radio Omroep or "General Association of Radio Broadcasting"). The studios belong to the Dutch public broadcasting association operating within the framework of the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep system.

The Netherlands, where the contest was broadcast from, means flowers, and the organizers did not disappoint. The stage was decked out with flowers to such an extent that they outnumbered the small audience.


Once the songs had all been sung, juries sent their results via telephone. The Italian entry was not picked up properly in some of the other countries, which meant that after all the other songs had been presented, Domenico Modugno had to sing it again. Later on, it became very successful in the United States, where it has become commonly known as Volare, and got two Grammy Awards. It is one of few Eurovision songs that has reached no.1 in the US singles charts. At the 50th anniversary show Congratulations in 2005, it was elected the 2nd best Eurovision entry ever.

The interval acts was music by the Metropole Orkest, under the lead of conductor Dolf van der Linden. This year, there were two interval acts; one in the middle, one after all the songs were played.


The juries were not in the studio as in 1956. As in 1957, this year they stayed in their own countries, listening to the event. Each country had 10 jury members who each awarded 1 point to their favourite song.

It was  the only year that the host country came last, and the first time more than one country came last.

Returning artists

Corry Brokken and Lys Assia also participated at the ESC 1956 and 1957. Margot Hielscher also represented Germany in 1957.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 1957

Corry Brokken and Sem Nijveen

Date: March 3, 1957
Venue: Großer Sendesaal des Hessisches Rundfunks, Frankfurt am Main,    Germany Presenter: Anaid Iplicjian
Orchestra: Tanzorchester des Hessischen Rundfunks
Conductor: Willy Berking
Director: Michael Kehlmann
Scruteneer: -
Host broadcaster: HR ARD
Price presenter: Ederhard Beckmann
Interval act: -
Duration: 1 hour, 9 minutes
Number of entries: 10
Debuting countries: Denmark, Austria and the UK.
Winning Song:  Net Als Toen - Corry Brokken, The Netherlands
Voting system: Each country had 10 jury members who each awarded 1 point to their favourite song.

01. Belgium: Bobbejaan Schoepen - Straatdeuntje (8th place, 5 points)
02. Luxembourg: Danièle Dupré - Amours Mortes (tant de peine) (4th place, 8 points)
03. United Kingdom: Patricia Bredin - All (7th place, 6 points)
04. Italy: Nunzio Gallo - Corde Della Mia Chitarra (6th place, 7 points)
05. Austria: Bob Martin - Wohin, Kleines Pony? (10th place, 3 points)
06. Netherlands: Corry Brokken - Net Als Toen (1st, 31 points)
07. Germany: Margot Hielscher - Telefon, Telefon (4th, 8 points)
08. France: Paule Desjardins - La Belle Amour (2nd place, 17 points)
09. Denmark: Birthe Wilke & Gustav Winckler - Skibet Skal Sejle I Nat (3rd, 10 points)
10. Switzerland: Lys Assia - L'enfant Que J'étais (8th place, 5 points)

Corry Brokken

The Eurovision Song Contest 1957 was the 2nd Eurovision Song Contest and was held on March 3 1957 in Frankfurt am Main. Like the first contest, this one was still mainly a radio programme, but there was a noticeable increase in the number of people with televisions. It was won by the Netherlands with Net Als Toen, performed by Corry Brokken and written by Guus Jansen and Willy van Hemert.

For some time, a rumour has existed that the German entry Im Wartesaal Zum Großen Glück by Walter Andreas Schwarz came 2nd at the 1956 contest and that is why Germany hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 1957. In fact, the rule stating that the winning nation hosted the next year's Eurovision had not yet been conceived, and it was planned at the time that each participating country would take it in turns to host the event. However, as more countries wished to participate, this became impractical.


The venue chosen to host the second contest was the Großer Sendesaal des hessischen Rundfunks, a building, music hall and former television studio based in Frankfurt am Main. It was the former headquarters for the Hessischer Rundfunk broadcast. Today it is used as a music hall.


In this year's contest the Italian entry lasted for 5:09 minutes, whilst the UK's entry lasted for only 1:52 minutes. It was because of songs like the Italian that a rule was eventually introduced restricting each song to a maximum of 3 minutes; this rule still applies today.

Gustav Winckler & Birthe Wilke

Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler at the end of their song exchanged the longest kiss that has ever occurred in the contest. This was due to a member of the production staff forgetting to give a pre-arranged sign that the kiss should end.

The German Margot Hielscher can be considered as the first artist in the contest history who made use of attributes. During her song Telefon Telefon she held, very appropriate, a telephone in her hand.

This was the first year where the juries were contacted by telephone.

Returning artists

Corry Brokken and Lys Assia also participated at the ESC in Lugano in 1956.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 1956

Lys Assia

Date: May 24, 1956
Venue: Teatro Kursaal Lugano, Switzerland
Presenter: Lohengrin Filipello
Orchestra: Orchestra Radiosa
Conductor: Fernando Paggi
Director: Franco Marazzi
Scruteneer: Rolf Liebermann
Host broadcaster: SSR SRG
Price presenter: Rolf Liebermann
Interval act: Les Joyeux Rossignols & Les Trois Ménestrel
Number of entries: 7 countries,14 songs
Debuting countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Switzerland.
Disqualified: UK: Ev’rybody falls in love with someone - Denis Lotis & The Keynotes, UK: Little ship - Shirley Abicair, Denmark and Austria.
Winning Song: Refrain - Lys Assia, Switzerland
Voting system: 2 jury members from each participating country 
The winning song was written by Géo Voumard and Émile Gardaz.


01. Netherlands: Jetty Paerl - De Vogels Van Holland
02. Switzerland: Lys Assia - Das Alte Karussell l
03. Belgium: Fud Leclerc - Messieurs Les Noyés De La Seine
04. Germany: Walter Andreas Schwarz - Im Wartesaal 'Zum Großen Glück
05. France: Mathé Altéry - Le Temps Perdu
06. Luxembourg: Michèle Arnaud - Ne Crois Pas
07. Italy: Franca Raimondi - Aprite Le Finestre
08. Netherlands: Corry Brokken - Voorgoed Voorbij (1 st place)
09. Switzerland: Lys Assia - Refrain
10. Belgium: Mony Marc - Le Plus Beau Jour De Ma Vie
11. Germany: Freddy Quinn - So Geht Das Jede Nacht
12. France: Dany Dauberson - Il Est Là
13. Luxembourg: Michèle Arnaud - Les Amants De Minuit
14. Italy: Tonina Torrielli - Amami Se Vuoi

Jetty Pearl


Inspired by the Italian Sanremo Festival, the idea to organise an European competition for light music was born at a meeting of the European Broadcasting Union in Monaco, back in 1955. It was decided that the first ever Eurovision Song Contest would be hosted the following year in the Swiss resort of Lugano.


Lohengrin Filipello was hosting the programme, which lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes. The seven participating countries were represented with two songs each. The songs of the contest were not to exceed three and a half minutes, and the performers were accompanied by an orchestra of 24 musicians, led by Fernando Paggi. The interval act, whistling by the Joyeux Rossignols, had to be extended due to a delay in the voting procedure.

This first contest was mainly a radio programme, though there were cameras in the studio for the benefit of the few Europeans who had television. The backdrops behind the singers were, perhaps understandably, not very lavish.

No video recording of the entire event is known to have survived, although an audio recording does exist (although 20 minutes is missing from the end of the first part of the interval act till the start of the announcement of the winner). Newsreel footage of Lys Assia's encore performance of Refrain appears to be the only known video from the contest.

Only solo artists were allowed to enter the contest. Groups were banned, a rule which would only be abolished in the 1970s. Most of the performers were women, although Germany used two men.  Luxembourg television was in a financial crisis at the time. As well as being unable to afford two singers, it decided against the expense of sending two jurors to Lugano.

One rule of this contest is that every country had to have a national final, this rule was dropped in future years and some countries chose to choose a song internally. It had been strongly recommended that each participating country have a preliminary national song contest. Austria, Denmark and the United Kingdom were disqualified from the final contest, however, as all of them registered after the official deadline. The BBC's Festival of British Popular Song, which had been intended to choose the United Kingdom entry, was in the end not held until after the Eurovision contest.

Voting controversy

All participating countries sent two jury members to Lugano to vote secretly for the songs, except for Luxembourg whose jury members could not make it to Lugano. The voting system at this Contest allowed juries to vote for any competing song, including those of their own country. Additionally, the Swiss jury was allowed by the EBU to vote on behalf of the Luxembourg delegation. This is a system which was not repeated, and is believed by some to have tipped the result in Lys Assia's favour. There was no scoreboard and the voting was kept secret.

Except for the winning song, the results have never been published. Simon Barclay's book The Complete and Independent Guide to the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 includes a table with what appears to be the results, but the author doesn't give a source and under the chart he writes that "the votes awarded have never been disclosed".