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Newsletter: Let National Selection Silly Season Commence! Written by on January 10, 2020

With Norway and Lithuania kicking off their televised national selections for 2020, we’re about to spend the next few months bombarded with potential Eurovision winners. John Lucas rounds up the latest developments and looks ahead to this weekend’s activities in the latest edition of the ESC Insight newsletter…

As well as keeping you to date with the major news announcements, the ESC Insight Newsletter will be previewing the National Finals each weekend until we have our song for Rotterdam. There’ll also be a playlist of tracks from the week… and let’s have a preview of that part of the newsletter now.

ESC Insight Weekly Playlist

As another National Selection season prepares to kick into high gear, Eurovision fans are about to be bombarded with so many potential entries, it may be difficult to keep track. Fortunately, we’ll be on hand with a weekly playlist to guide you through the best of the bunch…

Merilin Mälk – Miljon sammu (Estonia)

Estonia’s Eesti Laul selection doesn’t start airing until mid-February, but the competing songs have been available since last November. 18 year old Merilin Mälk has taken an early lead on YouTube and Spotify with Miljon sammu (A Million Steps).

An instantly radio-friendly midtempo pop number with a distinct feel of Swedish pop starlet Zara Larsson, this is a youthful and competitive effort that could perform very well for Estonia if chosen.

Samanta Tina – Still Breathing (Latvia)

Latvia’s 2015 heroine Aminata has penned a couple of songs for her home country’s national selection this year, including one for perennial runner-up Markus Riva.

However, her most striking effort has been reserved for Riga Diva Samanta Tina, who could easily return the Baltic nation to the finals with Still Breathing. The chorus hits hard, and the quirkily choreographed music video suggests plenty of scope for an interesting stage show in Rotterdam.

Gabrielius Vagelis – Tave Čia Randu (Lithuania)

Lithuania haven’t performed in their native tongue on the Eurovision stage since 2001, but that could be set to change in 2020 thanks to local star Gabrielius Vagelis, who has already amassed over half a million YouTube views for his heartfelt ballad Tave Čia Randu (trans: Here I Find You). 

Vagelis has not yet confirmed whether an English version is in the works, but Tave Čia Randu is already easily strong enough to stand on its own should it get through his home country’s famously idiosyncratic national selection.

Kim André Rysstad – Rainbow (Norway)

Fans of classic Eurovision power-balladry have their first anthem of 2020 thanks to Norway’s folk-rock veteran Kim André Rysstad. With crunching guitars, soaring vocals and only slightly baffling lyrics, this should be a big crowd pleaser to kick off Norway’s revamped national selection on Saturday.

Conan Osiris, Ana Moura & Branko – Vinte, Vinte (Portugal)

He may have failed to reach the finals in Tel Aviv, but Portugal’s 2019 representative Conan Osiris continues to forge his own musical path to great success, as evidenced by this beautiful collaboration with two of his country’s most popular stars, fado icon Ana Moura and DJ/Producer Branko – both of whom took centre stage at the Lisbon Contest back in 2018.

You can read and subscribe to the full newsletter here. Stay up to date with all of the latest Eurovision news and analysis right here on ESC Insight. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About The Author: John Lucas

A writer and content marketing professional with a passion for getting lost in strange cities and a strange fascination with micro states, John has been with ESC Insight since 2015 and has also had his writing featured in publications including The Guardian, Popjustice and So So Gay. Tweetable @JLucas86.

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