segunda-feira, 17 de dezembro de 2007


Hello Europe! The 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and will be organized by Serbian public broadcaster RTS and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

An estimated 43 countries wil take part in two Semi-Finals (on the 20th and 22nd of May), and a spectacular Final on the 24th of May! Host country Serbia, Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom already qualified for the Final on the 24th of May, and participants from 10 countries will qualify in each of the two Semi-Finals. It is the 53rd running of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The event takes place at the Belgrade Arena, one of the largest indoor sports and event venues in Europe. Information about ticket sales, media accreditation and accomodation facilities for delegates, accredited journalists and fans will become available early 2008, so keep an eye on

The official website of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will be launched on the 15th of January. Meanwhile, stay updated about the latest news through the Helsinki 2007 website and the RSS feed.

New on 15th of January

The 2008 edition of the official Eurovision Song Contest website will be launched on the 15th of January, 2008.

The new will be completely redesigned to become the foundation of the new Eurovision Family of websites. In the second half of 2008, the official websites of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and Eurovision Dance Contest will also be integrated into the Eurovision Family of websites, bringing the three Eurovision events closer than ever before.

"Suggestions and requests from fans and the participants are an integral part of this new design. To cover the enormous scope of the Eurovision Song Contest, will emphasise more strongly, the national selections across Europe," Sietse Bakker, Project Manager Internet of the Eurovision Family says.

During the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) cooperated with the presenting partner TeliaSonera, providing daily video updates on the website, through mobile phones in various countries, and on large video screens across Helsinki.

"Our cooperation with TeliaSonera was a great example of a true cross-media buzz. The Eurovision Song Contest has always been on the front lines of technology, and with our cross-medial activities we would like to do the same," says Nicoletta Iacobacci, Head of Interactive TV at the EBU's television department.

After its success earlier this year, will again hold an official karaoke competition for fans of the Eurovision Song Contest.

As the Eurovision Song Contest comes closer, is one of the most popular entertainment websites in Europe.

Do you have exciting ideas for the new website, or would you like to contribute? Send your ideas to and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

'New record number of participants'

The 53rd Eurovision Song Contest might break the record number of participants. In Helsinki, 42 countries took part in the contest.
Svante Stockselius, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), confirmed that to By mid-December, the EBU will unveil the official and final list of participants of the 2008Eurovision Song Contest.

'San Marino to join'

According to our inside sources, one of the countries that might help us to break the record is San Marino. Landlocked by Italy, it is one of the oldest constitutional republics in the world, founded in 301. It's 61 square kilometers and has a population of approximately 30,000. Italian is the official language. After a decade of absense, San Marino's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest would also be a great opportunity for Italy to pick up the vibe of the biggest entertainment event in Europe again.

Azerbaijan revealed participation

Azerbaijan's public broadcaster confirmed their participation in a press release. It is the largest and most populous country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south.

Stay tuned for the final list of participants, to be released in a couple of weeks!

2008 winner goes on Winner's Tour!

The winner of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will again be sent on tour by the European Broadcasting Union!

After the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest, winner Marija Šerifović was offered a pre-arranged and pre-paid promotional tour around Europe. From Finland, Marija travelled home to Serbia, to celebrate her victory. From Serbia, Marija and her entourage travelled from Denmark to Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Greece and Germany, with a private plane. The most impressive appearance was in Sweden, where thousands of people gathered at the Gallerien shopping mall in Stockholm to see Marija performing her winning song, Molitva.

The 2008 winner will again be offered a pan-European Winner's Tour. During the tour, the lucky winner will visit television shows, press conferences, attend signing sessions and perform, all to promote the winning song and the Eurovision Song Contest. The final schedule of the tour will be announced in March or April.

Participating broadcasters must ensure their artist is available for the Winner's Tour. As during the first Winner's Tour, will extensively cover the trip of the lucky winner.

Link: The official 2007 Winner's Tour website, powered by Nobel Biocare

Revamp for Eurovision Song Contest

At its 53rd running, the Eurovision Song Contest is undergoing an important revamp! exclusively presents you the details.

First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 20.05.2008
Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 22.05.2008
Final: Saturday, 24.05.2008
Preliminary date for rehearsals to start is Sunday, 11th of May, which means the preliminary opening date of the press centre and the accreditation desk is Saturday, 10th of May.

Six pots

To determine which country will be represented in which Semi-Final, a draw will take place in late January. Based on research conducted by the EBU’s tele-voting partner Digame, analyzing the voting of the Eurovision Song Contest since 2004, the participating countries will be divided into six pots to avoid returning voting patterns.

Big Four-countries

Each broadcaster will of course have to broadcast the Semi-Final they are taking part in. Broadcast of the other Semi-Final is optional. Host country Serbia and the so-called Big Four-countries Spain, France, the United Kingdom and Germany, are automatically qualified for the Final. It was decided that each of the qualified Finalists will have to broadcast and vote in one of the Semi-Final, along with those countries that are taking part in it. Broadcast of the other Semi-Final is optional. By draw, also late January, it will be decided which two of the Big Four-countries will broadcast and vote in the first Semi-Final, and which two in the second Semi-Final. Finally, a draw will determine in which Semi-Final the host country will be able to vote.

The draw for the running order of the two Semi-Finals and the Final will take place during the Heads of Delegation meeting in mid-March.

Backup jury gets important new role

In each Semi-Final, the top-9 from the public tele-voting results will qualify for the Final. The highest ranked back-up jury participant that did not qualify for the Final at the public tele-voting will also qualify for the Final. This means in each Semi-Final, 10 participants will qualify for the Final, bringing the total number of participants in the Final to 25. The voting in the Final will remain unchanged and all participating countries, including those who did not qualify for the Final, will be able to vote.

Svante Stockselius, the EBU’s Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, said to "We are confident that the approved format revisions will take the Eurovision Song Contest to a higher level, by adding exciting elements and, above all, by making the competition more fair and the results more credible."

Who's in, and who's out for Belgrade?

While exciting news about the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest is about to break, the application term for public broadcasters to take part in the 53rd running of the competition has ended.

Public broadcasters who are Active Member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) all have the right to apply for the ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest. But who's in for Belgrade, and who's out since Helsinki? Following tradition, the complete and final list of countries taking part in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will not be announced before the end of December. However, there is plenty of gossip going around on the internet about who will be sending a participant to Belgrade, and who will not...

Armenia and Israel already announced their singers for the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest. Iceland and Bulgaria started their selection process, to find their candidates for Belgrade. Swedish broadcaster SVT announced the song titles of their four Melodifestivalen semi-finals, while Finnish broadcaster YLE announced the 12 participants for the local selections. Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania already announced more details about their national selections, and so did Malta, Ireland and Belgium. Andorran television announced to support their entrant for the upcoming contest with EUR 31,200 for the official music video. Rumours about who will be representing the Netherlands and Greece might as well keep some of you awake.

Last week, Montenegro was the main topic of discussion within the online fan community of the Eurovision Song Contest. Would they take part in Belgrade, or not? Yesterday, Austrian media reported that broadcaster ORF decided not to send a representative to Serbia. Will Slovakia come back to join the growing Eurovision Song Contest family, since being represented last in 1998? Will the flag of Monaco wave in Belgrade? Will San Marino take part for the first time?

One thing is for sure; Around 40 countries will send in their best, most extravagant or even controversial singers to Belgrade in May 2008, to compete for the grand prix of the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest. Keep an eye on for the latest news, gossip and inside stories about the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest!

[UPD] Israel and Armenia name their 2008 entrants!
While speculations about several possible 2008 Eurovision Song Contest participants keep the most dedicated fans and media busy, both Israel and Armenia have actually announced their singers for Belgrade. Their songs will be chosen during televised selection events, to take place at a later stage.

Israel sends pop idol winner

Israel, the winner of the 1978, 1979 and 1998 editions of the contest, will be represented by Boaz MAUDA who won the latest edition of the local casting show Kochav Nolad. Boaz MAUDA will perform 5 songs in a televised national final in February and televoters and a special jury will decide about the winner. Boaz - who is of Yeminite origin - has always said that it was a lifelong dream of his to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest and he hopes to continue his success with a good placing in Belgrade in May. The odds of this are very good: in 1978 and 1998 Israeli singers with Yeminite roots managed to win the Eurovision Song Contest!

Leading female singer for Armenia

Armenian television hopes to charm the European audience with the popular SIRUSHO who's seen as the leading female singer in her home country. Just like the Israeli singer Baoz MAUDA, Sirusho HARUTYUNYAN will have her own national final in January or February on Armenian television. She will perform several songs there which will be selected at a later stage. The 20-year-old singer released her first album in 1999 and her second one Sheram was published in 2005. For this, she managed to win the categories Best Album and Best Female Singer in the Armenian National Music Awards. Sirusho HARUTYUNYAN also had the opportunity to present her music outside of Armenia as she gave concerts in eg. the USA, Canada, Russia and Greece. Armenia finished 8th in the 2006 and 2007 Eurovision Song Contests - will Sirusho even top these great results?

Reference Group concludes Belgrade visit

This weekend, the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest concluded their second visit to Belgrade, host city of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. Host Broadcaster RTS hosted the meeting at the Belgrade Continental Hotel, also the main official hotel for the upcoming contest.

"This might be the most important Reference Group meeting since 2003, when the new format featuring one Semi-Final was accepted," Svante STOCKSELIUS, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said. The Reference Group is the governing body of the song contest, representing the Members of the EBU.

Belgrade 2008 theme artDuring the two-day meeting, Host Broadcaster RTS updated the Reference Group about their progress, recent developments and plans for the upcoming contest. One of the topics discussed was the theme art for Belgrade 2008. Executive Producer of the upcoming contest, Ms. Sandra SUSA, presented a restyled version of their initial proposal, which won the local design competition RTS organized. The Reference Group gave RTS new feedback and a final decision is expected to made before the end of the year.

Official websiteThe official website of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will be launched on the 15th of January. The website is a production of the Interactive Unit of Eurovision TV, the TV department of the EBU. Host Broadcaster RTS and the EBU will cooperate on the production of the website. As in previous years, the Eurovision Song Contest as well as its Semi-Finals will be streamed live on the web.

Further format changes proposedDuring the meetings, the Reference Group discussed a proposal to hold the first part of the draw late January, to decide which country takes part in which Semi-Final. The countries would be drawn from pots. Traditionally, the actual running order would then be drawn in March at the Heads of Delegation meeting in Belgrade. The group also proposed to hold the two Semi-Finals of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest on separate days, respectively Tuesday 20th and Thursday 22nd of May. This Friday, the Reference Group will forward its plans to the EBU’s TV Committee in Geneva for final approval.

As soon as approved by the TV Committee, will update you on all details regarding changes in the format of the Eurovision Song Contest. is the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest

Hind for the Netherlands, Gisela for Andorra''Hind for the Netherlands, Gisela for Andorra. What would the Eurovision Song Contest be without a good piece of gossip each now and then? updates you on the latest rumours...

According to Spanish and Andorran media, the Catalan singer Gisela will represent the mini-state at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade. While her management claims that a deal with the Andorran public broadcaster is due, the television station stays quiet.

In the Netherlands, showbizz watcher Albert VERLINDE decided to call the top producers and song writers of the country, asking how it's going with the preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest. One of them revealed that former Dutch Pop Idol participant Hind will represent the country in Belgrade. Broadcaster NOS did not make any official comments yet.

What we also picked up...

While rumours about the 2008 participants are slowly making their way through the Eurovision Song Contest fan scene, picked up some interesting information in Belgrade. Whereas it was already known that as from 2008, two Semi-Finals will take place, we have strong indications that the draw for the running order is subject to a revamp! Stay with us for the latest news, as more detailed and officially confirmed information will be announced by the Reference Group of the contest next week.

Europe prepares for Belgrade
Nov 06, 2007 at 08:34 PM
With still more than five months on the count down counter towards the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, Europe is looking ahead with the following question in mind: Who do we send to Belgrade?
In Iceland and Bulgaria, the respective national public broadcasters already kicked off with their national selections. After numerous semi-finals, national finals should then dedice who will represent Iceland and Bulgaria in Belgrade.

More than 3,000 entries in Sweden
Several other countries already announced details about their selection methods for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. In Sweden, more than 3,000 songs were submitted to broadcaster SVT, out of which a selection committee hand-picked the 28 songs for Melodifestivalen 2008. After four semi-finals, a second-chance heat and a grand final at Stockholm's Globen Arena, Europe will know Sweden's representative for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. For those who can't wait to find out, we have disappointing news; The Swedish final takes place on 15th March, which leaves plenty of time to speculate about the performers of the songs and the potential finalists.

On the 14th and 15th of December, the national semi-finals in Albania take place. On the 16th, we will know who will succeed Frederik NDOCI and his wife Aida. They represented Albania at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki, Finland.

Selections underway across Europe

Several other broadcasters announced how and when they will pick their country's representative for Belgrade. From Finland to Malta and from Estonia to Denmark, preparations for the national selections are underway. The Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, Flanders, is looking forward to the Eurosong 2008 semi-finals, while Dutch broadcaster NOS has announced that the artist representing the Netherlands will be picked internally.

What to expect will keep you posted about the national selections on a regular basis. In January, will unveil the website for Belgrade 2008. Between January and mid-March, we will extensively cover the national heats and the preparations in Belgrade. The second half of March and April are completely dedicated to the upcoming contest and the preparations of the participating singers.

The 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Belgrade, Serbia, on 22nd and 24th of May.

Toše PROESKI died in car crash

Oct 16, 2007 at 12:31 PM
Tuesday morning, Macedonian singer Toše PROESKI tragically died in a car accident on the Zagreb-Lipovac highway near Nova Gradiška, Croatia.

The singer and songwriter was only 26 years old. Toše represented FYR Macedonia at the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Life.

PROESKI, born on 25 January 1981, rose to stardom across the Balkan and was widely respected for his music, as well as for his humanitarian work. He was awarded with the Mother Theresa Humanitarian Award and in 2003 he became a Regional UNICEF Ambassador.

The organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest would like to express their condolences to the relatives of Toše PROESKI and the deepest sympathy to his many dedicated fans from across Europe. •

Eurovision Song Contest 2004 - FYR Macedonia - Toše PROESKI - Life

You Tube - Live:

Executive Supervisor explains revised format
Oct 01, 2007 at 02:45 PM
Svante STOCKSELIUS, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), gives more details about the revised format. Before the weekend, announced that two Semi-Finals will take place to find the Finalists of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest.

You might ask yourself, when are those two Semi-Finals taking place? "The details are yet to be decided upon, but the proposal is based on the idea that the two Semi-Finals of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will be aired simultaneously on Thursday, 22nd of May from Belgrade, Serbia. If the two Semi-Finals will both be recorded, whereas only the results will be broadcast live, or if one of the Semi-Finals will be aired live and the other one recorded, is unknown yet," Svante STOCKSELIUS explains.

"Each Semi-Final is only being aired in the countries that are taking part, and only viewers from countries that take part in each respective Semi-Final can vote," he adds. All participating broadcasters can broadcast the Semi-Final(s) they are not taking part in later as well, and the Semi-Finals will be webcasted live through To serve the fans, both Semi-Finals will also be made available on-demand the next day.

"To produce the two Semi-Finals live on different nights will result in high extra costs for both the Host Broadcaster and the participating Members," STOCKSELIUS explained.

To qualify for the Final

Another possible change that is currently being considered is that From each Semi-Final, the top-9 ranked countries of the tele-voting qualify for the Final, to be aired live from Belgrade on the 24th of May. In each Semi-Final, the highest ranked country of the back-up juries that it not in the top-9 yet will receive a wildcard to the Final as well. In total, 10 countries per Semi-Final qualify for the Final, bringing the total amount of Finalists to 25. "Usually, the results from the tele-voters and the back-up juries are not very different. However, this procedure, if it should be decided upon, adds extra excitement to the show and gives the back-up jury a more prominent meaning. It is also an answer to the many requests we received to use a mixed tele-voting/jury system," STOCKSELIUS says.

More details about the final decisions of new format and the draw for the running order of each Semi-Final will be revealed later.
Two Semi-Finals to qualify for 2008 Final in Belgrade
Sep 28, 2007 at 03:33 PM
At the 50th meeting of the TV Committee of the European Broadcasting Union, today in Verona, it was decided to approve the proposal of hosting two Semi-Finals for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest.

The proposal was forwarded by the Reference Group of the contest. Only the Host Country, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom are automatically qualified for the Final. All other participants will be grouped into two Semi-Finals.

Stable future

"We are convinced that the introduction of a second Semi-Final contributes to a more stable future for the Eurovision Song Contest," Executive Supervisor Svante STOCKSELIUS says to from Verona. "We carefully listened to the suggestions of Members and fans and we took notice of the critical remarks in the press. After evaluating several scenarios, it was decided to introduce a second Semi-Final already in 2008. This increases the fairness of the competition, opens doors to a more interesting Final and production-wise, it is the most flexible solution," he underlined.

Details later this year

The Reference Group and the producers of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest are currently finalizing the details of the revised format. Details on when the two Semi-Finals will take place, the draw procedure and the conditions for qualification to the Final will be announced later this year.

Helsinki hands over to Belgrade!
Sep 13, 2007 at 07:36 PM
The City of Helsinki will hand the Host City honours of the Eurovision Song Contest over to Belgrade on Friday, 14th of September. On the same occasion, Belgrade will be presented with the symbolic Helsinki Insignia, which in the future will be circulated from a host city to the next.

The ceremony and Helsinki Insignia have been developed in co-operation between the City of Helsinki, the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The initiative came from the Event Manager of the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest, Kjell EKHOLM, at YLE. The Host City Handover ceremony will take place in Belgrade, and Lord Mayor Jussi PAJUNEN will act for Helsinki. He will be accompanied by Cultural Director Pekka TIMONEN.

Helsinki Insignia has been created through Helsinkian efforts. It was designed by Anteeksi Group and manufactured by jewellery designer Taru TONDER. The symbol is a key ring of sorts, with the following texts engraved by hand:

Eurovision Song Contest Host City
A list of all host cities with dates up to 2006
Manufacturing marks: Helsinki 2007 and the manufacturers' initials
Furthermore, the key ring is garnished by a plaque with a photo of Senate Square during the Song Contest on one side and the following text on the other: "The future host cities can attach their own town gate key and symbols to the key ring."

The Host City Exchange will take place in the City Hall of Belgrade on 14 September at 14:00–14:30. Lord Mayor of Helsinki Mr Jussi PAJUNEN, assisted by the Head of the Culture Department Mr Pekka TIMONEN, will hand over a ring of keys to the Deputy of the Lord of Belgrade Ms Radmila HRUSTANOVIC. Before the hand over, Mr Jussi PAJUNEN will say a few words and wish the City of Belgrade the best of luck and big success with the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. After this, Mr PAJUNEN will open the key ring and put the Helsinki city key in the ring and then hand it over to the Deputy of the Lord of Belgrade.

Next year, the representatives of the City of Belgrade will go to the Host City for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest and do the same procedure.

Saturday, the first ever Eurovision Dance Contest takes place in London! Visit the official website of the competition for more information.

The show is a two-hour and 15 minutes programme developed by two UK companies, Splash Media Productions and Sunset + Vine. Splash Media Productions is managed by the two main creators of the internationally renowned and highly successful format Strictly Come Dancing, while Sunset + Vine is the UK’s biggest sports producer, well connected to the International DanceSport Federation (IDSF).

Along with millions of other Europeans, you will get a chance to cast in your vote and show your ballroom expertise by televote and SMS voting on the two dance pieces performed by each couple. The first is a ballroom or Latin dance, while the second is a freestyle dance, incorporating a national flavour.

The first Eurovision Dance Contest edition will bring together skilled and professional dancing couples from 16 European countries and kicks off at 21:00 CET this Saturday.

Visit the event's official website at

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