Around the Continent 2023: Week 11

As we continue our weekly series Around The Continent, we will discuss the news and tell the story of each country’s preparation for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.


EBU, together with the reference group, has decided on changes to the voting system of the contest.
The main changes are:

  1. The professional jury won’t be part of the vote in the semi-finals. This means that viewers will be the ones to determine the qualifying countries for the final.
  2. Online voting will be added for some of the non-participating countries. This decision was made due to the virality of the contest all over the world.
  3. The grand final results will still be determined by a combination of a professional jury and televoting
  4. Voters from the rest of the world will be considered as one additional country (by weight of the vote).
  5. Audiences in all participating countries will still be able to vote by SMS, phone or via the Eurovision Song Contest app.  Those watching in the rest of the world can vote via a secure online platform using a credit card from their country.

As we have reported before, it has been officially confirmed that the songs won’t be released before the live shows of Festivali i Këngës 61”.

The news was shared by festival host, Arbana Osmani, during a Q&A session on Instagram:

In addition, 2 of the musicians behind the “2 Farm” group have been revealed: Kastro Zizo (who has participated in the festival many times in the past) and Redi Mazi

Since the submission window for “Dora 2023” closed on the 20th of November, it has been revealed that 196 songs were submitted to the selection.
This is the largest number of entries since the return of “Dora” in 2019.

Among the artists that have submitted entries, we can find several former Eurovision participants who represented Croatia or Yoguslavia, as well as “Dora” participants from the past:

“Dora 2023” – What’s Next?

  1. HRT will shortlist a maximum of 28 songs to participate in “Dora 2023”
  2. The songs will be chosen by a combination of HRT employees, professional jury and Eurovision fans.
  3. The exact format will be determined by January 2023.
  4. Dora 2023” will be held in February 2023, in the city of Opatija.
  5. HRT’s intention is to hold 2 semi-finals and a final.
  6. The number of acts that will qualify for the final will be between 10 and 16.
  7. The winner of “Dora 2023” will be determined by a combination of national jury and public vote.

 Andrew Lambrou, who will represent Cyprus, took a flight to Sweden in order to record his song for Eurovision 2023.
Behind the songs are songwriters and producers from Sweden, like Jimmy Jansson, Thomas Stengaard, Marcus Winther John and Jimmy Joker.
The song will probably be a mid-tempo pop.

The songs of “Eesti Laul 2023” will be released on Friday, the 2nd of December 2022.

You can read our extended review of the 20 artists in our article here:

In addition, the lead singer of Ultima Thule, Riho Sibul passed away at the age of 64.
Therefore, Wiiralt will perform on their own in “Eesti Laul 2023” (initially they planned to collaborate).

The submission window for “Unser Lied für Liverpool” will close on the 28th of November 2022.
So far, 250 songs have been submitted on the regular path and dozens of songs have been submitted through the Tik-Tok path.

Between 7 and 12 songs will be shortlisted to participate in the national selection, and 1 more song will be selected via the Tik-Tok path.

As we reported last week, Greek broadcaster ERT has a delay in the round of shortlisting the submitted songs. ERT is considering involving the public in the choice of songs.

The 22 established artists in “Festival Di Sanremo 2023” will be revealed on the 4th of December 2022, at 13:30 CET during the TG1.

Amadeus wants to emphasize Ukraine in “Sanremo” this year.
This is why Kalush Orchestra will probably be special guests in the festival.

In addition, you can listen to 8 of the songs in the final of “Sanremo Giovani 2022″.
A total of 12 songs will compete in the final of “Sanremo Giovani 2022“.

  • gIANMARIA – La città che odi
  • Giuse The Lizia – Sincera
  • Maninni – Mille Porte
  • Mida – Malditè
  • OLLY – L’anima bella
  • Sethu – Sottoterra
  • Shari – Sotto voce
  • Will – Le cose più importanti

The playlist is available on different digital platforms:

Official Site
Apple Music

Singer Monika Marija, who participated in the national selection for Eurovision 2019 (2nd place) and 2020 (3rd place), has submitted a song for “Pabandom iš naujo! 2023“.
She has probably submitted a country pop song.

Maltese broadcaster TVM has announced the 40 quarter-finalists in “MESC 2023“:

  1. Aidan – Regina [participated in MESC 2018 and 2022]
  2. Andre – Broken hill
  3. Bradley Debono – Blackout
  4. Brooke – Checkmate [participated in MESC 2018]
  5. Clintess – Lura Qatt
  6. Cheryl Balzan – La La Land [“X Factor Malta” Finalist]
  7. Chris Grech – Indescribable [participated in MESC 2013, 2014]
  8. Christian Arding – Eku Car
  9. Dan – It’ll Be Ok
  10. Dario – Pawn in a game
  11. Dario Bezzina – Bridle Road
  12. Dominic and Anna – Whatever the Wind May Blow
  13. Eliana Gomez Blanco – Guess what [represerted Malta at JESC 2019]
  14. Fabizio Faniello – Try To Be Better [represented Malta at Eurovision 2001 and 2006]
  15. Francesca Sciberras – Masquerade [represented Malta at JEC 2009, participated in 2022]
  16. Geo Debono – The Mirror
  17. Giada – I depend on You [participated in MESC 2022]
  18. Greta Tude – Sound of my stilettos
  19. Haley – Tik Tok
  20. Ian On My Own [participated in MESC 2014]
  21. Jake – Love you like that
  22. James Louis – Dream
  23. Jason Scerri – Anything can happen
  24. Jessika – Unapologetic [represented San Marino at Eurovision 2018, participated in MESC 2008 – 2017 and 2012]
  25. John Galea – Trailblazer
  26. Klinsmann – Piranah [participated in MESC 2013 and 2017]
  27. Kirstie – Girls Get Down
  28. Lyndsay – Haunted [participated in MESC 2015]
  29. Maria Christina – Our Flame
  30. Maxine Pace – Alone [participated in MESC 2017]
  31. Mark Anthony Bartolo – Tears [participated in MESC 2022]
  32. Maria Debono – X’allegrija
  33. Marie Claire – Thankful
  34. Matt Blxck – UP. [participated in MESC 2022]
  35. Mike – Lehen Fic-Cpar [participated in MESC 2018]
  36. Nathan – Creeping Walls [participated in X Factor Malta]
  37. Ryan Hili – In the Silence [X Factor Malta winnwe]
  38. Stefan – Heartbreaker [participated in MESC 2016]
  39. Stefan – What do you Want? participated in MESC 2016]
  40. The Busker – Dance (Our Own Party)

About “MESC 2023”

  1. The selection process will include 4 quarter-finals, 1 semi-final, and a final.
  2. 10 artists will participate in each quarter-final, and 6 of them will qualify for the semi-final
  3. 24 artists will compete in the semi-finals, and 16 of them will qualify for the final
  4. 16 artists will compete in the final and the winner will represent Malta at Eurovision 2023
  5. The results of each show will be determined by a combination of a national jury and a public vote
  6. The qualifiers from the quarter-finals will be announced at the end of the 4th quarter-final
  7. The draw for the quarter-finals will take place in November.
  8. The deadline for remastering will be the 1st of December 2022.
  9. The dates of selection are:
  • Quarter-Final 1 – 13th of January 2023
  • Quarter-Final 2 – 20th of January 2023
  • Quarter-Final 3 – 27th of January 2023
  • Quarter-Final 4 – 3rd of February 2023
  • Semi-Final – 9th of February 2023
  • Grand Final – 11th of February 2023

Enisa continued to claim she should have represented Montenegro at Eurovision 2023.
This week, she gave a snippet of her intended song for Eurovision 2023 – “Ole”:

21 artists will compete in “Melodi Grand Prix 2023”. The final list of songs has just been approved.
The artists and their songs will be revealed at the beginning of January 2023.
There’s a possibility that jury will be part of the final vote as well.

  1. Melodi Grand Prix 2023” will include 3 semi-finals and a grand final. They will be broadcastered each Saturday:
    • Semi-Final 1 – 14th of January 2023
    • Semi-Final 2 – 21st of January 2023
    • Semi-Final 3 – 28th of January 2023
    • Final – 4th of February 2023
  2. Among the rumored artists, we will be able to find Ulrikke (“MGP 2020” winner) and KEiiNO (“MGP 2019” winners).
  3. Trondheim Spektrum is rumored to be the arena for the shows

Since the submission window for “Una Voce Per San Marino 2023” is still open, the number of submissions has surpassed 700 songs.
The submissions were received from the following countries:

  • Italy
  • San Marino
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Following the new rules for voting, where viewers from the rest of the world will be able to vote, San Marino‘s broadcaster wished to hold the country’s televote via this channel.
Currently, San Marino‘s phone network is linked to the Italian one.
That’s why San Marino can’t have a well defined televote for Eurovision.

Local media have suggested several hints regarding the artists and/or song writers that have applied for the Serian selection:

  • 2 Junior Eurovision who represented Serbia (applied to the national selection as performers)
  • 2 former Eurovision participants (applied to the national selection as performers)
  • a Eurovision former participant submitted a song as a songwriter.

In addition, the following 3 artists revealed they submitted a song for the national selection:

#1. Luke Black

The singer was recommended by us to represent Serbia in our Eurovision wishlist project (“The Looker“).
Luka Ivanović (better known as Luke Black) is a 30 year old Serbian singer-songwriter and producer. His musical style can be described as a new age of pop with alternative elements.

You can listen to one of his songs here:

#2. Filip Baloš

Filip is a 21 year-old Serbian singer-songwriter, producer and painter.

You can listen to his cover of the song “Mekano“, originally performed by Konstrakta (Serbia, Eurovision 2022)

#3. Savo Perović

Savo Perović is a 31 year old Serbian-Montengrin singer.
He gained popularity, after participating in “Zvezde Granda” (music reality show it Serbia).
He mostly created pop-folk songs.

You can listen to one of his songs:

The duo BQL joins the list of rumors for “EMA 2023“.
They have already participated in “EMA” in the years 2017, 2018 and 2022.

According to Spanish broadcaster RTVE, the 18 songs in the “Benidorm Fest 2023” line-up will be released on Monday, the 19th of December 2022.

18 artists and their song titles are:

  1. Agoney – “Quiero arder” (I want to burn)
  2. Alice Wonder – “Yo quisiera” (I would like)
  3. Alfred García – “Desde que tú estás” (Since you are)
  4. Aritz Arén – “Flamenco”
  5. Blanca Paloma – “Eaea”
  6. E’Femme – “Uff!”
  7. Famous – “La Lola”
  8. Fusa Nocta – “Mi familia” (My family)
  9. José Otero – “Invierno en Marte” (Winter on Mars).
  10. Karmento – “Quiero y duelo” (I want to and I hurt)
  11. Megara – “Arcadia” (Arcade)
  12. Meler – “No nos moverán” (They won’t move us)
  13. Rakky – “Tracción” (Betrayal)
  14. Siderland – “Que esclati tot” (Let everything explode).
  15. Sharonne – “Aire” (Air)
  16. Sofía Martín – “Tuki”
  17. Twin Melody – “Sayonara” (Goodbye)
  18. Vicco – “Nochentera” (The Entire Night)

Swedish broadcaster SVT has changed the format of the semi-final round.

  1. 3rd and 4th place from each heat, will qualify for the semi-final
  2. The top 4 semi-finalists will qualify for the final.
  3. The results will be determined by the viewers only.
  4. Halfway into the vote, viewers will get to know who the 4 leading artists are (in random order).
  5. After presenting the 4 leading artists at a specific point, viewers will get additional votes in the app.
  6. The votes will be disturbed by the different age groups alongside the televoters:
    •  3-9 years
    • 10-15 years
    • 16-29 years
    • 30-44 years
    • 45-59 years
    • 60-74 years
    • 75+ years
    • Televoters
  7. Each age group of voters will grant points to their top 4 only: 12, 10,8, and 5 points accordingly.
  8. The points will be presented based on age aggregation, so the viewers will be able to follow which entry is most popular within each age group.

 Linda Bengtzing  will be hosting the Melodifestivalen Pre-party and Afterparty

Swedish maganize Aftonbladet, gives us 6 additional names of rumored artists for “Melodifestivalen 2023”

#1.Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos

The duo, Eva Rydberg (79 years old) and Ewa Roos (73 years old) will make a “Melodifestivalen” return.
They participated in “Melodifestivalen 2021″ with an entertaining song “Rena rama ding dong”

#2. Axel Schylström

The 29 year-old singer will make a “Melodifestivalen” comeback.
Axel became known after his participation in “Swedish Idol” in 2015, where he finished in 4th place.
His debut was in 2017 with the song “När ingen ser”, when he was eliminated in the “Second chance” round.

Last year, he was one of the songwriters of Theoz’s song, that qualified for the final after getting a second chance in the semi-final.

#3. Laurell Barker

Laurell Barker is a 43 year-old Candanian singer-songwriter.
In the recent years, she has lived in Malmö.
Laurell is likely to make her debut in “Melodifestivalen” as a performer, but this isn’t her first time as a songwriter. So fat, she has written 10 songs for “Melodifestivalen”.
One of her latest contributions was the song “Freedom“, performed by Faith Kakembo

In 2019, she made history as the first female songwriter with 3 different songs in the grand final of Eurovision 2019: Switzerland (“She Got Me”) , Germany(“Sister”), United Kingdom(“Bigger Than Us”).

#4. Tone Sekelius

Tone participated in “Melodifestivalen 2022″ for the first time.
Tone qualified for the final, after getting a second chance in the semi-final.
In the end, the song “My Way” ended in 5th place in the final:

The singer would like to retrive to success in 2023 as well

#5. Kiana Blanckert

Young singer Kiana will be 16 years old in February 2023, and therefore is aligned with the age restrictions of Eurovision and “Melodifstivalen“.
She made her debut via the reality shoe “Talang 2021” where she finished in 2nd place.
You can listen to one of her performances:

#6. Rejhan Bellani

16 years old Rejhan Bellani will also make his “Melodifestivalen” debut.
Like Kiana, he made his first public appearance in the “Talang 2021“.
According to Aftonbladet, he is mentored by Albin Johnsén and Mattias Andréasson, who might be the songwriters as well.

You can listen to one of his covers:

They are joining the former names:

  1. Wiktoria Johansson
  2. Nordman
  3. Loulou LaMotte (The Mamas)
  4. Anders Bagge – not confirmed
  5. Emil Henrohn
  6. Theoz
  7. Marcus & Martinus
  8. Melanie Wehbe
  9. Smash Into Pieces
  10. Panetoz
  11. Loreen
  12. Paul Ray
  13. Victor Crone
  14. Elov & Beny
  15. Tennessee Tears
  16. Ida-Lova Lind
  17. Maria Sur

On the 1st of December 2022, Ukrainian broadcaster Suspline will hold a draw to determine the running order in “Vidbir 2023″.
On the same date, 10 songs will be released:

  1. 2TONE – Квітка
  2. Angelina – Stronger
  3. DEMCHUK – Alive
  4. FIINKA – Довбуш
  5. Jerry Heil – WHEN GOD SHUT THE DOOR
  6. KRUTЬ – Колискова
  7. Moisei – I’m Not Alone
  8. OY Sound System – Ой, тужу
  9. Tember Blanche – Я вдома
  10. TVORCHI – Heart Of Steel

Singer Casey Lowry has expressed his willingness to represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2023:

Doron Lahav is 30-year-old, who lives in Israel. Doron has been watching the Eurovision Song Contest since early 2000s. Doron works as a Data Scientist and shows interest in singing and writing.

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