There is no doubt that Tijana was born to perform on big stage. She is well known as a singer, a cellist and an actress. Tijana’s motto is "The sky’s the limit – nothing is impossible."
Tijana Dapcevic was born into a music family in Skopje. Her father is a music professor, her mother was an opera prima donna and her sister Tamara is also a popular singer from F.Y.R Macedonia. Tamara will perform as Tijana’s backing vocalist in Copenhagen.
After Tijana graduated from the Faculty of Music in Skopje, she started playing cello in the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra and earned her first salary... and spent it on boots.
A touch of rock chick glam from the Brigitte Neilsen of Skopje this year. She appears to be an extremely likeable lady, so it was some surprice to see her promo video containing a quality level of filth which fully catered for all denominations. So much so that I doubt they will let it translate to the show itself. The EBU does allows baby oil on stage, but not in such copious quantities someone may slip. So expect Tijana to struggle to project the dirt of the studio version on the massive cube structure of the arena.
Undoubtedly a woman, but a final place a very much under question.
The Shin is a Germany-based band that became famous for their creative ways of interweaving traditional Georgian music with influences from pop and world music. For their performance in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest they are joined by vocalist Mariko Ebralidze. Their Eurovision entry Three Minutes To Earth reflects this idea: "It describes the last three minutes of a long walk back to Earth, back home." Shin also means "home", so the band name is linked to the lyrics.

Good golly in the words of Lloyd Grossman, let's look at the evidence to see if the constituent parts of the "song" make a whole. Native American beat, Mouth music from a place no-one should go, New age folk, Prog rock, and improvisational dance (Mariko dances like she needs Canestan). All told it's 4 crap noises in one. If it wasn't for the Spanish guitar trying to lend some sanity I think listeners would literally crack up. It's sure original, but then again so are socks made of mackerel.
"Shin" is the Georgian for home. Well "The Shin" are going "Shin".


Elaiza - pronounced Ela-i-sa - that's singer-songwriter-pianist Ela, accordionist Yvonne Grünwald and contrabassist Natalie Plöger. The young trio managed an incredible surprise by first gaining a "wildcard" for the German national final out of more than 2200 acts that had applied via Youtube, and then by winning the German ticket to Copenhagen. The band already won the best newcomer award at the Women of the World festival 2013 in Frankfurt.
Their music combines traditional Eastern European folk with a most catching modern sound, sometimes called neo-folklore or roots-pop-crossover. The songs show real emotion and come straight from the heart. Ela's profound understanding of music, rhythm and singing originates back to her early childhood in the Ukraine.
As I reviewed the Finalist songs I found myself in a relatively generous mood. Until this folky circusy dirge came along. It consists of a double bass, a one-key accordion, and our singer who frank(furt)ly can't hold a single note. You may be surprised then that Elaiza is an amateur who inexplicably won through the German NF after beating 10 other "professional" songs. The scenario somewhat reminds me Jemini '03. She also has an awful dog of a song on her hands, and seems to know it as she hops from foot to foot like the Canestan needs another airing. It's the worst song of the contest and I hate it. I defy you to disagree.
Freaky Fortune are Nikolas Raptakis & Theofilos Pouzbouris. Both 23 years old, both studied music since their early years. Theofilos plays the guitar & piano, while Nikolas still takes vocal couching lessons in the National Greek School of Music. RiskyKidd is a 19 years old rapper, born and raised in London, by his Jamaican mother & German father. His actual name is Shane Schuller. Rise Up is filled up the urge to rise up above all difficulties and jump out of what keeps us down, the need to pass all over Europe the Greek spirit of never giving up, is all over this dance song! Everyday stimuli, everyday life, every moment, everyone 's smile and positive feeling is what gave inspiration to these young artists to compose the soundtrack of the most uplifting movement, Rise Up which is spreading across Europe!

In a word, bouncy. This eurodance starts ok with a bit of old fashioned trumpet, then deteriorates with a vaguely shite rap, before the rest of the 3mins is filled with what's best described as 90's euro dance which goes nowehere quickly. Both Mr Fortune and Mr Riskykidd don't tuck their shirts in, which is of course the preserve of the youth and is fine until they clamber onto a trampoline and proceed to bounce and flap whilst trying to keep a note steady. Which they largely fail at. Esteemed by damp fans this will of course qualify with ease, and may stand out for both the pace and the elevation. Remember to start, too.

András Kállay-Saunders finally won the national selection A Dal on his third attempt with "Running". The song has a very strong message and a personal link to Kállay: "I wrote this about a childhood friend of mine. Unfortunately my friend was victim to child abuse, domestic violence. I would like to raise awareness to this topic." András was born on January 28, 1985 in New York City. In 2009, he visited Hungary to reunite with his mother as well as spending quality time with his grandmother. During his visit, he entered the nation’s talent competition Megasztár finishing 4th and gaining a life-changing experience.
"I write most of my songs while walking on the street, or taking a shower. I get inspiration from many things, all the way from a smile, to the tears of a homeless man on the subway.
Our hero Plug from the Bash Street Kids has embraced that thorny topic of domestic abuse on children and translated it to the ESC stage. Now Hungary have been a nation punching above it's weight recently, and this track throws everything at it. The chorus kicks off with a heavy DnB beat, and although it's striking that he drops every "h" in "help", (enough..ed) this is one of the more hotly considered songs of the year. Apart from the elp slip, he sings extremely ably, moves about the stage well, and even breaks up an improvisational fight going on around him. What a guy. Easily into the final, and could be top 10, or even better...

Pollapönk were founded in 2006 by guitarists & teachers Haraldur Freyr Gislason and Heidar Orn Kristjansson. They created Pollapönk when graduating as Bachelors of Education – in fact the first Pollapönk album was made as part of their final work. Pollapönk have had a few big hits, including Leyniskapurinn (Secret Closet), Thor og Jon eru hjon (Thor and John are a couple) and 113 vaelubillinn (113 Wailing Car), which has had many thousands of hits on Youtube. Pollapönk’s serious aim is to help eradicate prejudice and bullying through the medium of music. It is all about a young person who has a speech impediment and is afraid of being teased or bullied because of it. The first Icelanidc Member of Parliament Óttar Proppé of rock band Dr. Spock will be a backing singer in Copenhagen.

Do you see what they're doing? Very clever. What they're doing is bringing our attention to the wrongs done to a group of society they feel have been sidelined, namely those suffering from speech impediments. The way of showing this is bright suits and lyrics with a stutter. P p p p patronising, it ain't. The group is basically ska, think a cross between The Beat and B'52's but less good. It's got a solid chorus but it doesn't grab as particularly wacky enough. It could do with added Tourettes. That said Iceland do well, and the viewers are a funny bunch, so a Final spot is more likely than not.
Kasey Smith is 23 years old and hails from the northside of Dublin. She is from a known family of singers going back to her grandfather who was a showband singer. She rose to fame with the BT Music Award nominated girlband Wonderland in 2010 under the tutelage of Louis Walsh and Westlife’s Kian Egan. After Wonderland, Kasey travelled to Nashville, Tennessee where she focused on her solo career, writing songs and getting as much on-stage experience as possible in the city’s vibrant music scene.
Heartbeat is a passionate song ‘that shows why we are recognised globally as makers of fine music’ says Kasey’s mentor Hazel Kaneswaran.

The Irish singer Kasey is a cross between Corrie's Tina and Carla (basically not a unappealing sight), and allies the look with a rather sultry tone which adds to the overall picture. Can-linn do the usual Oirish instrument scthick, no further comment needed. All good so far then, but then we come to the song, a run-o-the mill anthemic pop folk pap. However I increasingly appear to be in the minority by discarding it's chances, and pouring scorn on the campest backing dancer of the year. Some fans find it all rather endearing. They're wrong.


At the age of just 8 months old, Mei Finegold was whistling melodies in her crib. It was only a matter of time before she became one of the most unique singers on the Israeli musical scene. She struggled on her rise to the top, from local singing choirs to low budget musical productions and taking lessons. Mei has been working with human rights organisations, volunteering and empowering the fight against violence.
In 2011, Mei "started working" on what she refers to as "the most meaningful project of her life". She gave birth to her baby daughter, Emily, and became a mother. During her pregnancy, Mei joined the electronic pop rock group, Limozina Express as their lead singer. An evening where Mei started on stage ended with her in the delivery room giving birth.

Along with Austria, Ms Feingold wins the fan w'#nk of the year, and somewhat confuses the bookies in the process. Putting the song aside for a moment my main isue is that Mei's voice has the overall range of a mole's eyesight. Add to that Hebrew as a singing medium (like clearing your throat at a funeral) and you have a handicap. So far all of Mei's attitude, anger, and knickers, the overall effect is pants. Watch out for: thigh birthmark. Oh and the shocking ending won't help, so the more I think about it, the more I feel my prediction is too generous. Avoid.
Music has always been an immediate need in Emma’s life. "Like drinking, sleeping, eating, I can’t help it," she wrote in her essay for high school final examination. She’s been dedicating herself to the music since the beginning, until she became Italy's top female vocalist.
Her latest album Sarò libera clearly showed her vocal and artistic growth: in the album she talked about sensitive topics ranging from the modern plague of anorexia, self-affirmation, stories of love and life experiences. The single Cercavo Amore became one of 2012 summer hits and the tour, started in July and ended in December, always sold out with gigs attended by over 160,000 spectators.

Ms Marrone, is in Euro parlance, "cool". She has attitude in spades and bestrides the stage, informing us all in no uncertain terms about her love for her city. In fact her legs are barely together in the promo video which may suggest a lack of corrective calipers in earlier age (or it may suggest something else). The song is in a pop rock styley and further cements Italy's place at the top table of ESC. Questions do remain over her live singing, however if she can get it bang on then a strong showing on the leaderboard should be guaranteed. Good stuff.

In the summer of 2013, Joran Steinhauer, whilst in his home in Bochum, Germany wrote a farewell song to the Lat currency, Paldies Latinam! (Thank You, Lat). which became a Youtube sensation with more than 100,000 views in one week. Joran decided to pack his bags and make his way to Latvia with one thing in mind; “let’s see what happens next!”
Aarzemnieki (Foreigners) complicated pronunciation reflects each foreigner’s struggle to integrate into the local society. In 2013, the group added violinist and vocalist Katrina Dimanta, drummer Raitis Vilumovs and Guntis Veilands, pianist and songwriter. Cake To Bake sends the message to live life without fear,don’t be afraid to not know something, don’t be too proud to ask for help or to admit to mistakes, this is what makes us human.

Aah, here's the Eurosong in action. Aarzemnieki, a group that look (and sound) like a student union rehearsal, triumphed in the Latvian NF televote with a song about cake, beating superior efforts in the process. Admittedly I was tipsy when I watched that show, but I was thrilled for the Latvians who always choose the wrong song. On this occasion they chose perfectly. Sure the song is nonsense, amateurish, and performed through his nose, but they are all so pleased with themselves I somehow got carried along. It has split opinion in only a way ESC can, and I am in the thumbs up camp.