Open call roundup, 8/30/11 update

More countries have announced their call for submitting for Eurovision songs.

Albania. Esctoday is reporting that Albania has released an open call for entries to Festivali i Këngës 50. [UPDATED 11 SEPTEMBER 2011: Albanian magazine Telegrafi has reported that entries will be accepted until October 5. However, reports are conflicting, and I have not been able to locate contest rules online.] Their participation in ESC2012 has not yet been confirmed.

Bulgaria is accepting entries September 9 through November 11, 2011.  The songwriter or lyricist has to be a Bulgarian citizen.  Potential entrants, take note: “We expect strong, modern, beautiful and vibrant works.” Be sure to include “at least 6 photographs of photoshoots or stage performances and the lyrics in Bulgarian and English.” (At first this seemed like a strange request to me, but upon further reflection I think it’s actually quite a smart way to make sure you’re getting submissions from professionals).  Semifinal selections will be made by an “Academy” of 20-35 experts. Thirty songs will compete over two semifinals.  Full rules, including a painfully detailed description of the Academy’s selection process, are here.

Denmark.  The Danes are currently accepting entries.  A jury will select 6 entries from the open competition and there will also be 3-4 invited entries.  Denmark’s rules specify that “either the composer, lyricist – and the leading artist must be Danish citizens or have an equally strong ties to Denmark (Residence in Denmark for many years, married or in relationships with a Dane or similar).”  They also require that the text include an “optional language” and say that the language of the song will be selected “jointly with DR.”   So English only lyrics aren’t good enough, you have to have thought through a translation. Entries are due by noon on September 26th.

Latvia says they are revamping their selection process this year, taking what seems to be a more hands-on approach.  Interested parties can submit entries online starting September 1 through October 14th, 2011.  The complete set of rules will be available on September 1 are available here. UPDATED 4 SEPTEMBER 2011: According to the rules, the contest is limited to Latvians and “Latvian non-citizens.” (I’m not exactly sure what Google translate means by this — perhaps non-citizens living in Latvia?). ] In the two weeks that follow (October 20-November 1), the demos will be available for public vote and comment at www.eirovizija.lv.  Latvian officials emphasize that the song is what is being reviewed, not the performer (a dig at Pirates of the Sea, perhaps?).   They also note that the final product will probably evolve during the course of the selection process.  The semifinalist songs will be announced on November 8th and their performers on December 1. Twenty artists will compete over two semifinals. When submitting your entry, don’t forget to include a copy of the first page of your passport (!).

While I applaud the Latvians for engaging the public in their selection process, I question their approach.  It doesn’t make sense to me to have widespread review of a pop song separate of the performer. A successful song is a synergy of effective composition and artistic interpretation.  The public is the best judge of the final product, but it seems unfair to the artists to ask the public to do their work for them.

Malta.  The Maltese will only be accepting entries for 2 days–October 20-21, 2011.  For the full rules, you have to request them by emailing mesc2012@pbs.com.mt.  (I have no idea why they simply can’t publish them on their website.) Esctoday observed that the main change from previous years is that they extended the blackout dates for previous artists from 3 years to 5 years (perhaps an attempt to hold off Chiara’s alleged interest in a 4th try?), and Esckaz noted that there is a 150 Euro entry fee.