Greece - Sakis Rouvas
The first announcement came from Greece, just weeks after the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. Sakis Rouvas (37), who represented Greece in 2004 with Shake It - he finished third! - and hosted the contest in Athens in 2006, would make another come-back to the Eurovision Song Contest stage in 2009. A televised song selection will give viewers the opportunity to pick Sakis' song for Moscow. The singer, originially from Corfu, is active in the Greek and Cypriot music business since 1991, and launched over a dozen successful albums. Over the past 17 years, he sold an estimated two million albums.
The Netherlands - The Toppers
The second country to announce its contestants was the Netherlands. The Toppers, a group made up of three successful Dutch artists, was internally chosen to renew the Dutch Eurovision Song Contest hopes. Initially, the group was made up of three extremely successful singers; Rene Froger, Gordon and Gerard Joling. The latter represented the Netherlands at the contest in 1988 with Shangri La, and was eager to return to the Eurovision stage. However, a public argument between Joling and Gordon made him decide to leave the group. Joling was replaced by Jeroen van der Boom. On the 1st of February, their song for Moscow will be chosen during the Nationaal Songfestival.
Turkey - Hadise
Next, Turkish broadcaster TRT announced that 23-year old Hadise will represent them in Moscow. The award-winning singer and television host is not only popular in Turkey, but also in Belgium, where she was born. When she was 17, she took part in the Flemish edition of Pop Idol. On New Year's Eve, Hadise presented her internally chosen entry for Moscow, Düm Tek Tek (also known as Crazy For You), to the Turkish TV audience. The song was composed by Sinan Akçıl, the lyrics are written by Stefan Fernande and Haside herself. A non-scientific TRT poll showed that an overwhelming percentage of the public believes in a top-3 position for Hadise in Moscow. Time will tell!
Albania - Kejsi Tola
Since a few years, Albania is traditionally the first country to select its representative and song for the Eurovision Song Contest through a televised national final. Kejsi Tola won the 47th Festivali i Këngës Në RTSH with the song Më Merr Në Ëndërr, an up-tempo song with strong national influences. The lyrics were written by Agim Doçi, who also wrote Albania's 2004 Eurovision Song Contest entry Imazhi Yt. The song was finally performed in English. It is rumoured that Kejsi Tola's song will also be re-produced and re-written, to be performed in English in Moscow.
Israel - Noa & Mira Awad
Just days ago, Israeli broadcaster IBA announced Noa & Mira Awad as their hopes for Moscw. They will perform four songs during a television show later this season. A specialized committee will be responsible for 60% of the votes, leaving the rest for the audience who can vote by SMS and on the internet. Noa, whose real name is Achinoam Nini, is Israel's leading international concert and recording artist. She has toured and sung with rock superstar Sting, performed her song Child of Man with Stevie Wonder for a CBS TV special in the United States, and shared the stage and microphone with many well-known artists. Mira Awad is an Israeli-Arab singer and actress currently living in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Bosnia Herzegovina - Regina
Bosnia & Herzegovina sends the rock band Regina to Moscow. They were chosen out of 79 potential candidates who submitted their participation wish to broadcaster BHRT. Out of those a jury chose the successful rockers. Their song is called Bistra Voda (Clear Water) and is written by Aleksandar Čović. The song will be introduced at a special show called BH Eurosong on the 1st of March.
Apart from the six chosen acts, famous song writers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Diane Warren already signed to write the UK entry for Moscow. Patricia Kaas is rumoured to represent France, but no official confirmation has given on that story yet.
What do you think about the participants for Moscow chosen so far? Leave a comment under this article!