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Dare to Dream: The Race to Eurovision 2019 (Part XI: Albania, Norway, Netherlands, North Macedonia, and Azerbaijan)

Eurovision is underway! The first round of the semi-finals was on Tuesday and the results were shocking. I will talk about those results on Saturday along with my final predictions. This post features artists and songs from these three countries: Albania, Norway, Netherlands, North Macedonia, and Azerbaijan.

If you haven’t check it out already, please check out Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, and Part X of the series. Those three blog posts feature songs from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Serbia, Poland, Slovenia, Australia, Belgium, Estonia, and Iceland, Georgia, Portugal, Greece, San Marino, Armenia, Ireland, Moldova, Switzerland, Latvia, Romania, Denmark, Croatia, Sweden, Austria, Malta, Lithuania, and Russia.

Albania: Jonida Maliqi – “Ktheju tokës”

Jonida Maliqi is one of the most well-known singers in her home country due to her voice. As you can hear why in the song “Ktheju tokës” Return to your land, it’s strong, full of emotions, and has a distinct tone that is both warm and full. Although the lyrics deal about the issue of the Albanian emigration during the Kosovo War, “Ktheju tokës” will advance to the finals due to Maliqi’s amazing vocals.

Norway: KEiiNO – “Spirit in the Sky”

“Spirits in the Sky” is about the struggles for equal rights regardless of ethnicity, gender identity, and sexuality, given their long struggle in pursuit of equal rights.[1] One of the most interesting features in this song is the joik by Fred Buljo, who is a Sami who has faced discrimination for many centuries. If you don’t know about the Sami nation, as I did, they are indigenous people who live in Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Russia. You can find more information about these people here.

With the perfect combination of three wonderful musicians, inspiring lyrics, and a unique feature of Buljo’ joik, “Spirits in the Sky” will make the finals for sure.

Netherlands: Duncan Laurence – “Arcade”

Duncan Laurence has been slowly building his artistry as “Arcade” is his first single. He actually co-wrote his first song last year for the Kpop band TVXQ/Tohoshinki. He also participated in the Voice of Holland.

The beginning of “Arcade” is very pretty. I like this song as the melody is haunting beautiful. Even though the lyrics are very basic, “Arcade” will make to the finals due to the melody and maybe the tender, delicate tone of Laurence’s vocals.

North Macedonia: Tamara Todevska – “Proud”

“Proud” has a really inspiring message for women across the world: “Stand up proud and raise your voice”. The song is very basic as there the melody is more dictated by Todevska’s vocals part and it only features a string instrument and piano. But, because of Todevska’s powerful vocals packed with a lot of lovely vibrato and the strong message, this song will resonate to many across the world. “Proud” will most certainly make to the finals.

Azerbaijan: Chingiz – “Truth”

“Truth” is not my cup of the tea. The music video might be visually stunning, but I feel like the song is basic and something that has been heard before. There is no uniqueness, maybe only in the beginning instrumental break, and that is trying to imitate other Western songs. Chingiz has a great voice but this song is too bland to be considered for the finals.

So what do you think, which song is your favorite? Comment below!

And, since I have a lot of travel bloggers and readers from the world who visit this blog, what are your favorite memories or sites in these countries? Let me know in the comments below.

Since this is an ongoing series, I am going to share my prediction scorecard at the end of each post. It is a way for me to keep track of my predictions and see if they came true in May.

Semi-Finals First Round

Standings at the Finals

BelarusPOWER PLAY SAVE – Finals
Czech RepublicEliminated
HungaryFinals – MAY WIN
PolandFinals – MAY WIN
AustraliaFinals – MAY WIN
San MarinoFinals

I have edited the first half’s chart to add Belarus into the finals pool. The reason is that there should be at least 10 finalist in each half of the semi-finals in order to have 20 winners from the semi-finals and 6 pre-qualified contestants to make 26 entries in the finals.

Semi-Finals Second Round

Country Standings at the Finals
MaltaFinals – MAY WIN
AlbaniaFinals – MIGHT WIN
NorwayFinals – MIGHT WIN
North MacedoniaFinals – MIGHT WIN


[1] Johannessen, NTB-Gitte, and Ntb. “Gamle Helter Og Nye Stjerneskudd i Melodi Grand Prix-Feltet.”, 25 Jan. 2019,

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This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Sarah

    I don’t follow but I know people who do. Great info!

  2. Danielle

    I’ve never heard of these songs. Thanks for expanding my music background!

  3. Stephanie

    These are all new to me as I only listen to American music most of the time. But after listening, I think I like the Norway song. I may be a little biased, though, since my family is Norwegian.

  4. Nikki Hall

    These are such amazing videos!! I love listening to new music and watching the story with it.

  5. Angela Tolsma

    These competitions are so interesting. Hope it turns out the way you want it to.

  6. Lisa

    I’m European, so we always make it a night of watching the Eurovision Song Contest. I’m excited to see who will win this year!

  7. Anagha

    I generally see the music you share which I never heard before. So, I have something new to hear here always 🙂

  8. Junell DuBois

    All new music to me. I’ve never heard of it. Very interesting

  9. Luna S

    This whole music competition is completely new to me! It looks like a great show, and I will have to look more into these songs.

  10. Marjie Mare

    I am a music lover and like all the genres. I will be sure to add your selection to my playlist.

  11. Neil Alvin Nicerio

    Amazing! I do hope they give the Filipinos a taste of their music live.

  12. pooja Malkani

    This is all new to me. I hardly follow such events but this looks quite interesting. It is great to listen to something new,

  13. Crystal Carder

    I’ve never heard of Eurovision, it’s all new to me, but it’s interesting to hear some new music.

  14. Crystal Carder

    I’ve never heard of Eurovision, it’s all new to me, but it’s interesting to hear some new music. I’m excited to hear the winner.

  15. Angela

    I love learning about new music! I can’t wait to check all these songs out, sounds very unique!!

  16. Nati

    I did not follow the contest this year! but I’ve hear Netherlands won!! So congratulations to the winners!

  17. Marjie Mare

    I always learn about new music whenever I visit your website. Those are awesome videos.

  18. Christa

    Eurovision is so much fun. I’m hoping for Norway at this point.

  19. Mehr Ali

    I love all the music you share. thank you for sharing.

  20. Anshika Juneja

    All this music is new to me but after listening to this i’m loving it.

  21. Dinka

    I followed Eurovision every year except for the last two years. So far I’ve only managed to listen to a few songs and the ones you shared in this article. Each video has its own message and they’re all special in their own way. But it’s not something I would repeatedly listen to. I liked Slovenian song this year although it wasn’t a typical competition song. I’m so happy they weren’t eliminated.

  22. Snehal

    I do not follow Eurovision but it sounds fun so I will check it out! And I liked the song proud too. 🙂

  23. Neely

    I hadn’t heard of any of these but I enjoyed them a lot! So fun!

  24. Blake Ancell

    This is all new to me. Thanks for expanding my musical knowledge.

  25. Puja

    This is new to me. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Holly

    How fun. I’m not familiar with this music at all, so I love finding out new sounds and bands.

  27. Ashley

    I love finding new music! Thanks for sharing these artist!

  28. Ben C

    Well I am not really fan, but I like your point of view.

  29. Tushar

    I didn’t have any idea about this but seems like it’s worth the hype!

  30. blair villanueva

    I haven’t heard these songs, and thanks for sharing these. Wow music is truly a very wide industry!

  31. christiana acha

    I haven’t heard about tis competition but it sounds like a great experience. I wish all of the contestants a lot of luck.

  32. Elizabeth O

    I find this quite entertaining especially because it is not music I typically listen to. Also most are not dance music either but best wishes to all the artists.

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