Internal selection of artists has been commonplace in the contest since its inception. Sandie Shaw won for the UK back in 1969 with “Puppet on A String”, she was internally selected as the UK representative that year. In recent years, we have seen more and more countries take that route with varying degrees of success, yet Conchita won in 2014 as an internally selected artist and song by Austria’s broadcaster ORF. I thought it would be good to look at some of the internal selections for this year’s contest and see who they are and what they have in store for us.
Below are the all the Internally selected artists along with the songs we know as of February 27th:
Australia: all we know is that the artist is due to be announced on March 7th. After two years of successful internal selections, and last year’s runner up placing, Australia are one of the most anticipated countries to reveal their plans.
Austria- Nathan Trent- “Running on Air”: Nathan was in the running to represent Germany before he dropped out after being internally selected by ORF.
Azerbaijan- Dihaj. Not a lot of details have been provided since the artist announcement.
Belgium- Blanche: No other details, although rumours that this is going to be a left field entry.
Bulgaria: No plans have been released, should know in the next 2 weeks.
Cyprus- Hovig- “Gravity”: Hovig previously took part in the 2015 Cypriot national final finishing 4th with his song “Stone in the River”.
Czech Republic- Martina Barta- “My Truth”: A clip of the song was shown on a local news show. The song seems to be a ballad, but still waiting for its release.
France- Alma- “Requiem”: One of the more controversial songs this year, Alma had sang a stripped down version of this song 18 months ago. But doesn’t look like this will affect her participation. This song is written by Amir Haddad’s songwriter for “J’ai Cherche”.
Greece- Demy: Three songs will compete with the public choosing the song to go to Eurovision. This year Greece has brought in the team behind Russia’s entry last year.
Ireland- Brendan Murray: Nothing much has been made public about this. A song submission for the public was closed recently, after allegations that Louis Walsh had already asked 3 time Eurovision winner Johnny Logan to write the song. Brendan is best known as a member of the band Hometown.
Macedonia- Jana Burceska: No details have been confirmed.
Montenegro- Slavko Kalezic- “Space”: nothing else has been confirmed. A snippet of a song eluding to be Slavko’s was leaked on to YouTube recently. If we go by what we have heard from it, it is a mid/up-tempo song which could contrast well in this (so far) ballad heavy year.
Netherlands- O’G3NE: The three sisters no strangers to Eurovision, having competed for The Netherlands at JESC will take on the adult version in May. They have also won The Voice of Holland. What we do know is that the song should be released this week, and it is co-written by their father. He previously co-wrote their most successful domestic hit “Magic”.
Russia: No details have been made public yet, there have been worries that Russia will drop out of the competition. I cannot see this happening.
San Marino: No details yet. Rumours on social media say that Emma from this year’s UMK (Finland’s national final) could go on to represent San Marino at the contest with “Circle of Light”. This wouldn’t be the first time a song has been associated with more than one countries selection process. NAPOLI from Belarus’ national final in 2016 ended up in the Polish selection later that year.
Serbia- Tijana Bogievic: Tijana is the latest artist to be announced, she was a backing singer for Nina in 2011 with “Caroban”. The song writers have been revealed as those behind “Rise Like a Phoenix” Austria 2014 and “If Love Was A Crime” Bulgaria 2016.
There are some promising collaborations and artists in this group and I wouldn’t be surprised if this year’s winner came from an Internal selection. This is because I don’t feel the standard of songs in this year’s national finals are up to the standard they have been over the last few years, except for the few stand outs.
What are your views? Who are you excited to hear and see? Let us know below.