Russia superstar, celebrity and performer Philipp Kirkorov celebrated his birthday in style last night at the exclusive club SUD Lisboa
ESCKAZ.com were invited as one of the few selected media to be on the gold dust guest list. Obviously this was always going to be a party that was not to be missed. Straight from the press centre to the club, we arrived to be greeted and welcomed by Philipp Kirkorov himself, resplendent a one of design by Dolce and Gabbana - looked great and not his age at all….but after all he is only 25 obviously
Attending the party were the delegations from Iceland, Bulgaria, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Greece, Cyprus, Moldova, San Marino, Norway and special guest Sergey Lazarev. We chatted with several of them and got got some some intimate moments in the beautiful surroundings overlooking the waterfront - an amazing spot in Lisbon
Philipp Kirkorov treated us all to complementary drinks as we arrived and gave several interviews to press and welcomed each of his guests in turn - cameras were flashing all the time, TV crews were tripping over each other to all get the most amazing shots.
Finally we were invited inside to listen to some heartfelt comments from Philipp, Alexander Ryback and Sergey Lazarev as well as Alexander performing with his violin. After this the whole party were treated to an amazing array of Portuguese Tapas - again complimentary from Philipp Kirkorov.
During the food and drink there were performances from Rui Drummond, Eurovision 2005, and we wish that one day he will appear on the Eurovision stage again. Afterwards EQUINOX (Bulgaria) performed, as did Aisel (Azerbaijan) and Sergey Lazarev (Russia 2016)
Once again and amazing party and all the ESCKAZ.com team would like to thank Philipp Kirkorov and his team for the outstanding party…
All footage and photography maybe found at this playlist and on this flickr album
The outcome of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest will be decided bythe public, alongside a group of expert juries in each of the 43 participating countries. Today EBU has announced the names of the 215 music industry professions who will cast their votes in the Semi-Finals and Grand Final of this year's contest.
⬇️ Download the full list of jury members (.pdf)
Each national jury is made up of five music industry professionals who will evaluate each entry. The jury members are asked to judge the vocal capacity of the singer, the performance on stage, the composition and originality of the song and the overall impression of the act. Jurors rank all entries, except their own country's contribution.
There are strict admission rules in order to become a member of the jury.
Members of the jury must not have been part of the jury in the previous two years;
Members of the jury must be at least 16 years old on the day they vote;
Members of the jury must not be employees of Participating Broadcasters;
Members of the jury must pursue a profession in or related to the music industry;
Members of the jury shall be citizens of the country they represent;
No member of a jury shall be connected in any way with any of the participating songs entered and/or artists performing in the contest in such a way that they cannot vote in complete independence and impartiality.
Juries are selected by the Participating Broadcaster that represents each country. For example; the Belgian jury is appointed by VRT, while the Greek jury is appointed by the ERT, and so on.
A total of 215 jurors — five in each of the 43 participating countries — will vote. Each broadcaster also appoints a backup juror, in case one of the five jury members becomes unavailable (not listed).
The youngest juror, aged 16, comes from Estonia. The oldest, at 74, is part of the Croatian jury;
The average age of the jurors is 40.8 years old, just a few months older than last year's average;
102 jurors are female, 113 are male;
Georgia, Lithuania and Montenegro all invited professors to their jury.
Several of this year's jurors have previously participated in the Eurovision Song Contest.
The list includes two winners; Emmelie de Forest won the contest 2013 for Denmark and Niamh Kavanagh won the 1993 contest for Ireland;
Bob Savenberg, who represented Belgium as part of the group Clouseau in 1991;
Hanne Haugsand, who represented Norway as part of the group Charmed in 2000;
Tom Dice, who represented Belgium in 2010;
Cristina Scarlat, who sang for Moldova in 2014;
Bojana Stamenov, who represented Serbia in 2015;
Aminata Savadogo, who represented Latvia in 2015;
Amber, who represented Malta in 2015;
Laura Tesoro, who represented Belgium in 2016.
As there are new rules this year, and a total of 2 minutes of rehearsals may be used in any one day why not check out some of the artists who performed on the promo tour in these playlists
Day one is always a little difficult - we know this from years of attending - but we were really surprised at just how taxing some of the issues could be. First the terrible weather when queuing this morning was a real let down, and they would not open the security tent area even 10 minutes early so that the 60+ press people could at least shelter
Eventually when it was opened there were issues with all the "P" accreditation passes not functioning, which meant manually checking the whole queue and their passes. Not a great start.
That aside we entered the press centre with an open mind and first task of the day was preparing the interview lists. Always a huge drama for us to deal with - and this year was no different. Several hours - or at least it felt like it - later the first lists started to appear....oh well
The press centre itself is a story in itself - the working area, the press conference area and the interview rooms are all separated by some distance....we will see how this plays out later today. Additionally the press working area is probably the smallest I have seen ever. There will be a shortage of desks much later this week. It's already pretty full on day one
On positive notes the on screen rehearsals started on time, we had sound, and we had wifi!!!
More news coming up later when we settle in a little
The English side of the ESCKAZ.com team reviewed all the songs last night in a two part podcast. In a slightly different version from the Russian speakers the team, joined by Andrew Webster from Slovenia and one colleague from the Russian side, Sergej, the team listened to all the songs, with accompanying alcohol, and gave their honest opinions on each in turn.
Clip is split into two parts, there are some things there we know fans will hate, and some we know that fans will love - it's a personal taste thing really. Hope you enjoy and fell free to comment