Adrian Kavanagh, 3rd January 2017
At the start of 2017, it has been confirmed that 43 countries will take part in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place in Kyiv in early May – the Final will take place on Saturday 13th May, with the two semi-finals to take place on Tuesday 9th May and Thursday 11th May. The line up of countries is very similar to that for the 2016 contest, which involved 42 countries. Bosnia and Herzegovina, after a brief return to the contest in 2016, have to withdraw from the contest again in 2017 due to financial difficulties, but Portugal will return to the contest after a one-year absence. Romania were controversially disqualified from the 2016 Eurovision only a few weeks before the contest was held in Stockholm due to debts owed to the EBU by Romanian TV, but these issues have now been resolved and Romania will return to the contest this year.
As of this point in time, we know the acts that will be representing twenty three countries (just over a half of all the 2017 Eurovision participants), but only ten songs have been released/performed as of this point in time. Twelve (52.2% of the) Eurovision acts selected to date were selected “internally”. The remaining selections will take place, or be announced, during the latter half of February 2017 and early March 2017. Most of the acts, which were selected before the end of 2016, are internal selections, including the acts for Belgium, The Netherlands, FYR Macedonia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Austria and Azerbaijan, as well as Ireland (Bredan Murray). However, there was a selection contest in Armenia, with Artsvik winning through this Depi Evratesil contest on 24th December 2016, after a number of weeks of selection shows. The song that she will perform in Kyiv has not yet been announced/performed.
Lindita Halimi won the Albanian selection (Festivali i Këngës) on 23rd December 2016 with Botë, which is the only song that we have heard to date, although Botë be reworked over the coming weeks (and may also be performed in the English language).
While we know that Slavko Kalezic will represent Montenegro with Space, this song has yet to be performed.
A number of selection contests took place in January 2017, including those for Finland, the United Kingdom, Belarus and Georgia. Tako Gachechiladze won the Georgian selection on 20th January with Keep The Faith. The Navi Band won the national selection in Belarus on that same night with Historyja majho žyccia. On Friday 27th January Lucie Jones won Eurovision You Decide and will represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest Final with Never Give Up On You.
On the following night Norma Jean’s Blackbird won the Finnish Eurovision selection contest, Uuden Musikin Kilpailu.
Updates: On Friday 13th January it was announced that Demy would represent Greece at Eurovision in Kyiv, as reported on the Wiwibloggs website.
On 5th February Timebelle won the Die Entscheidungsshow selection contest in Switzerland with Apollo.
On 9th February it was announced, as reported on the official Eurovision website, that Alma would represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest with Requiem. On that night, Germany held its Unser Song 2017 selection contest, at which Levina, with Perfect Life, was selected to be the Germac act at the Eurovision contest. Both Alma and Levina will perform in the Final as France and Germany, as members of the “Big 5”, qualify directly for the Final.
Despite the fact that Mirela’s Contigo won the public vote at Spain’s Ojetivo Eurovision selection on Saturday 11th February, a win in the jury vote saw Manel Navarro’s Do It For Your Lover go forward to win the contest to represent Spain at this year’s Eurovision. As reported by the ESCXtra website (14 February 2017), the results of this vote has resulted in a high level of controversy in Spain, which has even involved intervention from some politicians in that state. The ESC Bubble website (15 February 2017) reports that Navarro’s Eurovision participation “is in question”, with questions now being raised by the Congress of Deputies and a number of political parties.
On the same night, Francesco Gabbani won the 2017 San Remo Song Contest with Occidentali’s Karma and it was subsequently confirmed that this would be the song to represent Italy at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv.
On February 13th, Imri Ziv won “The Next Star for Eurovision 2017” selection contest in Israel. No decision has yet been made on what song he will perform in Kyiv.
On February 15th, as reported on the Wiwibloggs website (15 February 2017), it was reported that the Czech Republic would be represented by Martina Barta at Kyiv.
On 17th February, it was announced that Croatia’s Eurovision act would be Jacques Houdek, as reported on the Wiwibloggs website (17 February 2017).
A number of national selection contest are scheduled to conclude during the rest of February, including Malta, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova and Latvia.
The list of artists/songs confirmed to date are listed in the table below:
|FRANCE||Alma||Requiem||Big 5; qualify for Final|
|GERMANY||Levina||Perfect Life||Big 5; qualify for Final|
|ITALY||Francesco Gabbani||Occidentali’s Karma||Big 5; qualify for Final|
|SPAIN||Manel Navarro||Do It For Your Lover||Big 5; qualify for Final|
|UNITED KINGDOM||Lucie Jones||Never Give Up On You||Big 5; qualify for Final|
|UKRAINE||Hosts; qualify for Final|
|Semi Final 1|
|ALBANIA||Lindita Halimi||Botë||Semi Final 1, First Half|
|AUSTRALIA||Semi Final 1, First Half|
|AZERBAIJAN||Dihaj||Semi Final 1, First Half|
|BELGIUM||Blanche||Semi Final 1, First Half|
|FINLAND||Norma Jean||Blackbird||Semi Final 1, First Half|
|GEORGIA||Tako Gachechiladze||Keep The Faith||Semi Final 1, First Half|
|MONTENEGRO||Slavko Kalezić||Space||Semi Final 1, First Half|
|PORTUGAL||Semi Final 1, First Half|
|SWEDEN||Semi Final 1, First Half|
|ARMENIA||Artsvik||Semi Final 1, Second Half|
|CYPRUS||Hovig||Gravity||Semi Final 1, Second Half|
|CZECH REPUBLIC||Martina Barta||Semi Final 1, Second Half|
|GREECE||Demy||Semi Final 1, Second Half|
|ICELAND||Semi Final 1, Second Half|
|LATVIA||Semi Final 1, Second Half|
|MOLDOVA||Semi Final 1, Second Half|
|POLAND||Semi Final 1, Second Half|
|SLOVENIA||Semi Final 1, Second Half|
|Semi Final 2|
|AUSTRIA||Nathan Trent||Semi Final 2, First Half|
|DENMARK||Semi Final 2, First Half|
|FYR MACEDONIA||Jana Burčeska||Semi Final 2, First Half|
|HUNGARY||Semi Final 2, First Half|
|IRELAND||Brendan Murray||Semi Final 2, First Half|
|MALTA||Semi Final 2, First Half|
|NETHERLANDS||O’G3NE||Semi Final 2, First Half|
|ROMANIA||Semi Final 2, First Half|
|RUSSIA||Semi Final 2, First Half|
|SERBIA||Semi Final 2, First Half|
|BELARUS||Navi Band||Historyja majho žyccia||Semi Final 2, Second Half|
|BULGARIA||Semi Final 2, Second Half|
|CROATIA||Jacques Houdek||Semi Final 2, Second Half|
|ESTONIA||Semi Final 2, Second Half|
|ISRAEL||Imri Ziv||Semi Final 2, Second Half|
|LITHUANIA||Semi Final 2, Second Half|
|NORWAY||Semi Final 2, Second Half|
|SAN MARINO||Semi Final 2, Second Half|
|SWITZERLAND||Timebelle||Apollo||Semi Final 2, Second Half|
Details on which semi-finals the 37 countries, who do not directly qualify for the Final, will be taking part in have now been added to this list, as you will noted. As of now, “The Big 5” countries have all selected their acts and their songs, meaning that we now know five of the acts/songs that will be performing in the Final. We know seven of the acts that will be performing in Semi Final 1 and two of the songs that will be performed in this have already been released/published.