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Newsletter: Sweden Fires the Starting Pistol for Melodifestivalen 2020 Written by on February 1, 2020

Ever a highlight of Eurovision national selection season, Melodifestivalen 2020 will kick off tonight, with the usual mix of familiar faces and emerging artists battling for a place in the finals. John Lucas rounds up the latest developments and looks ahead to the rest of this week’s activities in the latest edition of the ESC Insight newsletter…

The Week Ahead…

Sweden may grab the headlines this weekend, but several other countries will also be continuing their Eurovision journeys over the coming days. Here’s what to look out for…

Czech Republic will announce their entrant for 2020 on Monday, when the results of the combined public and jury votes are revealed in a special online presentation.

Current frontrunners include actress and folk singer Olga Lounova, who has amassed over 600,000 YouTube views to date for her Aleena Gibson-penned ballad ‘Dark Water. Locally popular RnB artist Benny Cristo takes the lead on Spotify with his uptempo number ‘Kemama‘. 

Italy‘s highly esteemed San Remo competition will also begin airing on Tuesday night, with events every evening leading to the Grand Final next Saturday, where their Eurovision entry is likely to be revealed. Participants will include Francesco Gabbani and Raphael Gualazzi, both of whom have represented Italy at Eurovision in recent years. Legendary performer Rita Pavone and regular fan favourite Elodie will also be in contention.

Global viewers can tune in via RAI online.

Lithuania will present the first Semi Final of Pabandom iš naujo! tonight, with nine artists set to be whittled down to just four qualifiers for the Grand Final, set to take place on Saturday 15th February.

The hopefuls include Heat 3 champions The Roop with their dramatic electro-dance confection On Firenational selection staple Aistė Pilvelytė with her G:son penned schlager Unbreakable and Gabrielius Vagelis with Lithuanian-language ballad Tave čia randu.

The show airs at 20.00 CET on LRT 1.

Norway will broadcast the penultimate semi final of Melodi Grand Prix tonight, with another four artists competing for a single ticket to the final.

The contenders include ‘Over The Sea‘, a songwriting collaboration between Alexander Rybak and JOWST, performed by Magnus Bokn. Also hoping to make the cut are opera trio Nordic Tenors, electro-pop diva Oda Loves You and singer-songwriter Hege Bjerk.

Auto-finalist Ulrikke Brandstorp will also present her song ‘Attention‘, co-penned by Kjetil Mørland and Christian Ingebrigtsen of the boyband A1. You can tune in from 18.50CET at NRK.no.

You can read more about this week’s news by signing up to the ESC Insight NewsletterRead this week’s edition online here.

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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