Also in this week’s newsletter, a frontrunner emerges in France, one of Eurovision’s biggest breakout stars of recent years returns to the Contest and Czech Republic set their national selection into motion. You can read the newsletter in full here, or subscribe for a regular dose of Eurovision insight and analysis delivered direct to your email inbox.
ESC Insight National Selection Playlist
One of the clear standouts in the Czech selection is this instantly hummable number from alternative-pop collective Lake Malawi. The heavily accented spoken-word sections sit right on the line between charming and irritating, but the chorus is a total earworm. With a confident stage show, this could really stand out from the crowd in Tel Aviv.
‘Roi‘ (King) by Bilal Hassani (France)
Easily topping the leaderboard in the first semi final of Destination Eurovision and clocking up 3 million views of the lyric video in lass than two weeks, Bilal Hassani’s Roi can now be considered the clear frontrunner to represent France in Tel Aviv. A genderqueer YouTube sensation with a massive following in his home country, Bilal seems primed to be one of the big media stories of this year’s Contest – which rarely hurts when it comes to the scoreboard…
‘Cherry Absinthe’ by Edgars Kreilis (Latvia)
You can always count on the Latvians to throw up a quirky gem or two in their national selection. With its oddball lyrics recounting a night out on the hard stuff, Cherry Absinthe could inspire drinking games across the continent if Edgars Kreilis wins the ticket to Tel Aviv. Please drink responsibly!
‘Blind Bird’ by MaNNaz (Lithuania)
Lithuania’s epic national selection „Eurovizijos“ dainų konkurso nacionalinė atranka 2019 kicked off last week. It’s a long, long road until they finally decide on a winner, but this atmospheric electro mid-tempo topped the scoreboard in the first heat, so it should be considered a contender. It’s no Get Frighten, but then again, what is?
‘Army of Love’ by Bella Santiago (Romania)
Since finishing fourth in Romania’s national selection for 2018, Bella Santiago’s career has gone from strength to strength – including victory in X Factor Romania just last month. So it’s little surprise to see her granted a Wildcard spot for this year’s selection. Army of Love is a powerful ethnic pop number that pays tribute to the singers Filipino roots with a section in Tagalog – a possible Eurovision first should she win.