Author: Casey Koutris

Miki for Spain 2019

Miki for Spain 2019

🇪🇸 Spain 2019 / “La Venda” (English: The Blindfold)

Photograph by José Irún

Grand Final | 22nd Place | 54 points | Prequalification

Miguel Núñez Pozo, who goes by the mononym Miki, competed in the Spain‘s reality music competition Operación Triunfo, where he finished sixth, and was then one of ten contestants to then compete at the post-show national selection Gala Eurovisión, where he won the right to represent his country at Tel Aviv 2019 with his song, “La Venda”. Like many Eurovision singers, Miki is only just entering the commercial music business following his foray into Operación Triunfo. He previously performed with his cover band  Dalton Bang before going solo.

“La Venda” addresses our own blindness to what pain and torture we put ourselves through, encouraging us to take off the titular blindfold to see and live in the world before us. The blindfold falling also symbolizes letting go of our prejudices and ignorances and fully embracing the the diversity of the world.

Miki was born in Teressas, and though his family did not have much musical talent in their blood they kept him supplied with instruments. He is mainly self taught, and though he formed a cover band with his high school friends to tour through Catalan with, Miki has a degree in primary school education from the University of Barcelona. Auditioning for Operación Triunfo, he was ultimately accepted on to the show and finished six, permitting him entry to the Eurovision Gala, where he ultimately won with “La Venda”.

Follow Miki on Instagram and Twitter. Listen to his discography on Spotify.

Oto Nemsadze for Georgia 2019

Oto Nemsadze for Georgia 2019

🇬🇪 Georgia 2019 / “Keep Going On”

Photograph by Georgi Tsaava

Semi Final 1 | 14th Place | 62 points | Did Not Qualify

Oto Nemsadze will represent Georgia at Tel Aviv 2019 after reaching the final of Georgian Idol and winning the final round of the show with the song “Sul Tsun Iare”, which will be known by its English translated title “Keep Going On” at the contest while still retaining its Georgian lyrics. His first big break was in 2010 were he won Geostar, later renamed Georgian Idol, and released his debut album afterwards. Growing up in eastern Georgia, his mother taught him how to sing at a young age.

“Keep Going On” is a Georgian rock ballad that forcefully beckons its listener to keep pushing forward, even in dark times. It is only the second song in Georgian that has been sent to Eurovision since Georgia’s entry into the contest.

Nemsadze learned to sing at the age of 3, and reached national stardom after he won Geostar in 2010. His debut album came shortly after, but he didn’t keep away from reality competitions for long. He competed in the the Voice of Ukraine in 2016 and returned to Georgian Idol in 2019 and thus has led to his Eurovision participation.

Watch “Keep Going On” below, and follow Oto Nemsadze on Instagram and Facebook. Listen to “Keep Going On” on Spotify.

Sarah McTernan for Ireland 2019

Sarah McTernan for Ireland 2019

🇮🇪 Ireland 2019 / “22”

Photograph by RTÉ and Lili Forberg

Semi Final 2 | 18th Place | 16 points | Qualified

Singer-songwriter Sarah McTernan was chosen internally by the Ireland‘s public broadcaster RTÉ to represent her country at Tel Aviv 2019 with the song “22”. Born in Scariff, McTernan led her way into the public on the Voice of Ireland and in 2018 attempted to represent San Marino through their 1-in-360 contest.

“22” is largely about the little things we associate with a lingering past love. McTernan laments how the number 22 causes her to recall the person she longs for, specifically citing kissing them in front of their house which was 22nd on its street.

McTernan briefly studied nursing before going to get a degree in music technology at the Limerick Institute of Technology. She auditioned for the Voice of Ireland in 2013, ultimately coming in third. In 2018, she submitted “Eye of the Storm” in an attempt to represent San Marino at Lisbon 2018, but failed to qualify to the final of the selection process.

Follow Sarah McTernan on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Listen to both “22” and “Eye of the Storm” on Spotify.

Kobi Marimi for Israel 2019

Kobi Marimi for Israel 2019

🇮🇱 Israel 2019 / “Home”

Photograph by Ronen Akerman

Grand Final | 23rd Place | 35 points | Prequalification

Kobi Marimi will represent Israel after winning the reality music competition and national selection process HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion and will defend the country’s winning title with the song “Home”. His foray into music began when he took singing lessons as a teenager and his talent has driven him ever since.

“Home” is highly symbolic both for both Marimi and Israel. For Marimi the song is based around how singing brought him “home”, how he gained confidence in himself through music. For Israel, the “home” lyric is poignant for bringing Eurovision back to the often embattled and serially endangered nation.

Though he largely trained to become an actor, performing in several musicals and productions, Marimi hadn’t had a true professional start until HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion.

Follow Kobi Marimi on Instagram and Facebook. Listen to “Home” on Spotify.

Jurij Veklenko for Lithuania 2019

Jurij Veklenko for Lithuania 2019

🇱🇹 Lithuania 2019 / “Run with the Lions”

Photograph by Lukas Gricius

Semi Final 2 | 11th Place | 93 points | Qualified

Jurijus Veklenko, who will go by Jurij Veklenko and is occaisonally known just as Jurijus, will be Lithuania‘s representative at Tel Aviv 2019 after winning Eurovizijos dainų konkurso nacionalinė atranka 2019 with the song “Run with the Lions”. Coming to prominence on reality competitions, he has a broad range of appearances in Lithuanian television. He previously participated as a background dancer and backing singer for Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila (Lithuania 2015) and was a vocalist supporting drag queen Lolita Zero in her attempt to represent Lithuania in 2017.

Run with the Lions” embodies the idea of letting go and being yourself in a dangerous world. It is a soft anthem encouraging that you shouldn’t cage yourself up and shouldn’t try to, instead letting your emotions run wild.

Born in the port town of Klaipėda, Veklenko was always surrounded by music, participating in a number of concerts and being a part of a band at one point. In addition to being a supporting singer of Lithuania’s 2015 entry, he was also the vocalist supporting Lolita Zero in her attempt to represent Lithuania in 2017. Besides music, Veklenko also works at an IT company.

Watch “Run with the Lions” below, and follow Veklenko on Instagram and Facebook. Listen to his discography on Spotify.

Carousel for Latvia 2019

Carousel for Latvia 2019

🇱🇻 Latvia 2019 / “That Night”

Photograph by Aiga Redmane

Semi Final 2 | 15th Place | 50 points | Did Not Qualify

Carousel, a indie pop band consisting of Sabine Žuga, Maris Vasilievsky, Staņislavs Judins, and Mareks Logins, have won Latvia‘s national selection process Supernova with the song “That Night” and thus will represent their country at Tel Aviv 2019.

Watch “That Night” below, and follow Carousel on Facebook. Listen to “That Night” on Spotify.

Michela for Malta 2019

Michela for Malta 2019

🇲🇹 Malta 2019 / “Chameleon”

Photograph by Jonathan Brincat

Grand Final | 14th Place | 107 points

Semi Final 1 | 8th Place | 157 points | Qualified

Michela Pace, who will go by just Michela at Tel Aviv 2019, will represent Malta with the song “Chameleon” after winning the inaugural season of the X Factor Malta. She is only eighteen, but she has competed in several music competitions across Europe. “Chameleon” is her first original song in her arsenal. 

“Chameleon” is a contemporary pop song about adapting to life as it comes at you, no matter what you may face. The music video exemplifies Michela’s Mediterranean upbringing by bringing a bright, vibrant, and tropical aesthetic.

Michele was born and raised on the Maltese island of Gozo, but she’s traveled across Europe and competed in several music competitions. Her accolades include winning the Lithuanian Music Talent League and finishing as a finalist in the Baltic Voices. She has also taken apart in an artist development program in London.

After qualifying and coming 14th in the final, Michela has returned home to Malta where she continues to perform and work on new material.

Watch “Chameleon” below, and follow Michela on Instragram, and Twitter. Stream “Chameleon” on Spotify.

Anna Odobescu for Moldova 2019

Anna Odobescu for Moldova 2019

🇲🇩 Moldova 2019 / “Stay”

Photograph by Margarita Cernei

Semi Final 2 |12th Place | 85 points | Did Not Qualify

Anna Odobescu will represent Moldova with her song “Stay” at Tel Aviv 2019 after winning the Moldovan national selection process O melodie pentru Europa 2019.

Watch “Stay” below, and follow Anna Odobescu on Instagram and Facebook. Listen to “Stay” on Spotify.

D mol for Montenegro 2019

D mol for Montenegro 2019

🇲🇪 Montenegro 2019 / “Heaven”

Photograph by Miodrag Marković and Isidora Mijanović

Semi Final 1 | 16th Place | 46 points | Did Not Qualify

D mol, also written as D-moll, is a vocal group consisting of Željko Vukčević, Emel Franca, Tamara Vujačić, Ivana Obradović, Mirela Ljumić, and Rizo Feratović. They won Montenegro’s national selection process, Montevizija, where they won with their song “Heaven” which they will represent their country with at Tel Aviv 2019.

Watch “Heaven”, below and follow the group on Facebook. Listen to “Heaven” on Spotify.

Tamara Todeveska for North Macedonia 2019

Tamara Todeveska for North Macedonia 2019

🇲🇰 North Macedonia 2019 / “Proud”

Photograph by Cedomir Popovski

Grand Final | 7th Place | 105 points

Semi Final 1 | 6th Place | 165 points | Qualified

Tamara Todeveska, occaisonally just referred to as Tamara, has been chosen internally to represent North Macedonia for the second time, after competing previously as apart of the trio Tamara, Vrčak, and Adrian at Belgrade 2008, at Tel Aviv 2019 with the empowerment anthem “Proud”.

Watch “Proud” below and follow Tamara Todeveska on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Listen to her extended discography on Spotify.