Magdalena Tul

Magdalena Tul returns with a new album release

Magdalena Tul ©  www.eska.pl

Magdalena Tul represented Poland at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest with the song, Jestem. She has just released her brand new album entitled Brave. There are 10 tracks on the album and they are mostly composed by Magdalena herself.

Pole position for Poland with Slavic Girls?

Donotan & Cleo © Facebook.com

Poland hasn't been represented on a Eurovision stage for two years, the last time ending in major disappointment for Magdalena Tul with her entry Jestem. Broadcaster TVP suprised and delighted many with the announcement of their return this year, and what a return!

Significant drop in Swiss interest for 2013

Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow 2012 ©  SF

The deadline for submissions for the Swiss national selections came to a close yesterday, with a sizeable downturn in entries registered compared to last year. The list of submitted entries includes some suprising names and shows considerable overseas interest.

2011 - 1st Semi-Final

2011 logo ©  EBU
Basic information
Date: 
10 May 2011
Contest type: 
Semi-Final 1
Venue: 
Fortuna Düsseldorf Arena (Espirit Arena)
Broadcaster: 
NDR
Presenter(s): 
Anke Engelke, Judith Rakers, Stefan Raab
Other shows this year: 
About the contest: 

Germany hosted the contest for the first time in 28 years. Last time, in 1983, the most memorable aspect of the contest was the thrice repetition of everything that was said (in German, English and French), making the contest seem a lot longer than the three hours, 20 minutes in actually lasted. This time round, the presentation was much less formal, much more relaxed and one of the more entertaining presentations in recent years. Actress Judith Rakers brought an air of professionalism to proceedings, while comedian Anke Engelke and Stefan Raab, already known to fans as a bit of a joker, brought some slapstick to the show. It was a welcome break from the straight-laced approach usually adopted by Executive Producers.

The arena chosen by NDR is usually associated with football matches, being the home of Bundesliga team, Fortuna Dusseldorf. However, it was built as a multi-purpose stadium and so was easily converted into an arena fit for the world’s biggest musical event. The Green Room, where the singers hung out when they were not on stage, was hidden at the back of the stage and revealed in spectacular fashion at the start of the voting.

Just when you thought the contest was shredding its image as home of the daft song title, along came the 2011 version to relight the unjustified reputation. There was a Haba, Haba, Boom Boom, Da Da Dam and a Ding Dong.

The biggest story of the contest was a very tragic one. The Icelandic song, Coming Home, was written by Sjonni Brink. He was also due to perform the song himself in the Icelandic semi-finals, but died before they took place. Instead of withdrawing the song, six of his friends came together to perform the song in his memory. They proved to be an unstoppable force as they won the right to represent Iceland in Dusseldorf. Sentiment can be a powerful emotion which some felt could have given Iceland its first victory. In the end, despite a strong and professional performance which would have made Sjonni proud, reaching the final was as good as it got. 

Every contest usually sees accusations of plagiarism, and 2011 was no different. The band representing Denmark, A Friend In London, had no sooner won the Danish final than videos were being posted on contest related sites which showed more than a passing similarity between their song, New Tomorrow, and three or four other songs. As is not uncommon, no official complaint was received by the EBU so the fuss soon died down.

While Denmark managed to have no problems where there may have been some, the Belarusians were not so lucky. They selected Anastasiya Vinnikova to sing a very patriotic song called Born in Byelorussia. However, the lyrics didn’t pass the political content test and so Anastasiya was sent to Dusseldorf with the equally patriotic but less political I Love Belarus.

For the first time since the very early days of the Eurovision Song Contest, the winner of the previous year came back to defend her title. Lena made it known soon after Satellite had given her and Germany victory that she would welcome the opportunity to participate again in Dusseldorf. This was an offer that NDR didn’t turn down, and so songs were commissioned for the German public to choose for her.

After many years of campaigning by fans, Italian broadcaster, RAI, submitted an entry for the first time since 1997. A continuation of the return of one of the favourite Eurovision countries may be in doubt due to the low viewing figures in Italy, especially in the second semi-final in which they voted. Italy was not the only nation to enter the contest after an absence, San Marino entered for the second time, Hungary also came back into the fold and Austria also entered again having dropped out after the 2007 contest. All in all, this brought a field of 43 delegations to Germany to fight it out.

The winner of the 1998 contest, Dana International came back to try again. Other returning acts were Dino Merlin and Zdob și Zdub. Some of the acts were already known to the viewers. Blue put their credibility on the line for the United Kingdom, while Jedwood tried to gain some by ‘singing’ for Ireland.

And Then There Were Ten!

Image1.jpg

Months of hard work and preparation for 19 countries all came down to this, the first semi-final of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. By the end of the evening, ten would be celebrating a place in the final, and nine would be licking their wounds.

Second rehearsal of the 1st semi final

Second dress rehearsal 2nd semi final ©  Tommy Engström, EuroVisionary

At 21.00 it was time for the second dress rehearsal of the first semi final. It was another opportunity for the artists to tweak their performances and the organizers to get all the technical bits into place. Here are some reflections from this rehearsal.

First dress rehearsal of the 1st semi final

1st dress rehearsal 1st semi final (c) Eurovisionary

This afternoon we saw the first dress rehearsal for the first semi final. It was the first opportunity for the artists to present themselves in front of a smaller audience. The rehearsal started with a delay of 20 minutes.

Day 5 - Press Conferences

Georgia Press Conference ©  eurovision.tv

The first round of rehearsals finished, today, it was time for the first 13 acts of the first semi-final to rehearse for the final time before the first run through of the semi-final itself on Monday. After each performer had come off stage, they held another press conference.

Day 1 - Press Conferences

Turkey Press Conference ©  Eurovisionary

Today saw the opening rehearsals and press conferences in Dusseldorf, beginning two weeks of an intense schedule for the organisers, singers and delgations, not to mention the media covering the event.

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