All posts by Roy van der Merwe


The third song on this anniversary compilation comes from BELARUS and is their 2013 song SOLAYOH performed by Alyona Lankskaya with a backing singer from South Africa, WILLEM BOTHA. Willem had first chance to cover it but turned it down and DUO AFRICA grabbed the opportunity and the song is in Afrikaans and Aruba, a language of Nigeria.


NEW R O W MEMBER – TAMAS of HUNGARY on his countries entries

Tamas Vamos from Hungary has just joined OGAE Rest of the world and he will also come to Vienna. Here is his recollection of his country’s songs in Eurovision.
1994 – Friderika Bayer – Kinek mondjam el vétkeimet? – I was only 9 years old, it was the first entry of Hungary. I really like that song today too: deep and emotional but not a happy one.
1995 – Csaba Szigeti – Új név a régi ház falán – I really don’t remember about this song and singer… I think I missed the event in that year.
1996 – Gjon Delhusa – Fortuna – Delhusa is a kind of Z-list celebrities in Hungary. I cannot remember this song.
1997 – VIP – Miért kell, hogy elmenj? – This was the first ESC which I clearly remember. I didn’t really like the song, but I was sad about the result of Hungary (12th place). I had not known yet that it’s a great result and also didn’t know yet what kind of party/family is the ESC.
1998 – Charlie – A holnap már nem lesz szomorú – Charlie has a great voice. He’s still popular but doesn’t make new songs, so now is kind of retro. The song was forgetable. I’m sure about it, because I don’t remember.
2005 – NOX – Forogj világ – A huge hit! Another 12th place song, even they had a good odds about winning too. This year, I became a fan of ESC
2006 – Hungary missed to catch the flight to Athens, or I don’t know why we did not participate…
2007 – Magdi Rúzsa – Unsubstantial blues – She’s a great singer, now the member of the experts in A Dal, the Hungarian selector show. The song had a good result (9th place), but the next year, there was no automatical qualification to the Final by the last year’s result – bad luck! The song is good, but not my favourite. A little bit slow, a little bit blue… But what else should be a song with “blues” in the title… In this year, I finally understood what is ESC – thanks to the performance of Verka Serduchka and the Lasha tumbai (TANZEN!)
2008 – Csézy – Candlelight – The only last place song by Hungary in ESC. No comment… This song was boring. Afterall, this year was the first, when I realised, that an ESC show can be also boring…
2009 – Zoli Ádok – Dance With Me – He didn’t qualified to the Final, but I love this song. I didn’t hear about Ádok before ESC 2009, and I also have heard nothing since then too… But this song was great. And the show too. This was the first and the last time, when my favourite won the contest.
2010 – Norway is cold and expensive, so Hungary stayed home… :
2011 – Kati Wolf – What about my dreams? – I think I don’t have to introduce this song to OGAE, do I? 🙂 The result was disappointing, the song is still a big hit in Hungary. This was the first year, when I listened the song before the event and catched the favourites. (The Danish New Tomorrow and – shame on me – the Jedwards’ Lipstick)
2012 – Compact Disco – Sound of Our Hearst – A Dal started in this year, so finally we got a national selection show. They was not my favourite. I think they are not original, a bit too dark. It was a miracle that they qualified to the final. This year the ESC show was not really good… But the songs were awesome!!! I think this year had the most great hits.
2013 – ByeAlex – Kedvesem – I was satisfied with the result of A Dal. This song was my very favourite. Everyone in Hungary expected a Nullpoints or last place results – he catched the 10th place with a 12 pts from Germany. I remember I was at a party and we drank at every points was given to Hungary. We didn’t expected to drink so much…
2014 – András Kállay-Saunders – Running – good song, good singer. That’s all…  And a 5th place. It was amazing to enjoy ESC at a party in Berlin with many ESC fans and watching the results with a Swedish guy. And also a big experience to see the first time the Hungarian entry to lead the scoreboard – a while.
2015 – ? – This year, I cannot imagine about the entries of A Dal that can be as good as Kállay-Saunders or ByeAlex. But after good years, has to come a weak one.


Today is the official launch of the big project OGAE Rest of the world has undertaken to celebrate 60 years of Eurovision. A 3 CD set will be made and will be available in Vienna during the Eurovision period. Celebrating 60 years, so the 3 CD set will contain 60 COVERS of EUROVISION songs by artists from South Africa. Each CD will contain 20 songs. Only 60 copies will be printed and handed out in VIENNA during promotions and competitions.

Deciding on which 60 songs took a lot of effort since there were over 400 to consider and only 60 could be chosen.

I have tried to take into account several factors

– countries of the original song (trying to give each country at least one song) but it was not always possible as some like Czech republic has no cover done and others, notable Sweden and Iceland could almost fill 33% of such a project.

– SA artists – trying to use as big a variety as possible, making sure no-one is there twice as solo artist. Some do appear twice but then in duet with someone else.

– New and old songs, classics and hidden gems

– Big hits at EUROVISION but also big hits in South Africa (this does not always correlate)

After selecting the 60 songs, I also consulted with about 10 people who each could add one song and now the final 60 is there.

In the next 6 weeks, I will introduce these 60 songs ONE by ONE in the order they will appear on the compilation set.

Once all 60 songs have been unveiled, I will do a post as to how people can get a copy – keeping in mind there are just 60 copies. Because it is a promotion, the CD’s are not for sale.

I hope by the time we do the cover around beginning APRIL, we will have a logo for the club which will be on the compilation.

The original idea was to hand the first set to UDO JURGENS in VIENNA, but unfortunately that is no longer possible since his death in December.


A report from LUIS MALDONADO from Argentina who will be joining the OGAE Rest of the world reporting team in Vienna 2015


We can all be sure of one thing by now, next May the ESC community will be focusing on the outcome of the most unprecedented plot twist the EBU has made in recent years, Australia’s participation as a one-off entry under the same rules and rights as a Big 5 regular contestant. But, while we lay our eyes in the much talked about Aussie debut, we might be ignoring other significant accomplishments taking part in Vienna this year, like the celebrated return of Czech Republic, after participating for only three consecutive years, and then declining to take part since Oslo 2010.

Long time has passed since Kabát, the trash metal band from Teplice, stepped on the Finnish stage in 2007 carrying the Czech flag (at least symbolically, since the hair was the only waving flag), with Malá Dáma, a heavy rock song that despite winning their national selection and raising a lot of expectations for being the first song to ever represent the landlocked country, failed to catch the European audience. The fact that it was a very powerful year with strong entries, and perhaps due to lack of foreign publicity and interest, ended up granting the Czechs only one point from Armenia and a semifinal elimination.
After that, the Ceska Televize (CT) tried again with Eurosong ‘08, the national selection event where the audience probably realized a change or a completely different path was needed to try to seduce more public, and that’s how Tereza Kerndlová, a 22 years old singer from Brno, ended up winning the big golden ticket to Belgrade. “Have some Fun” was the title of the catchy tune presented, and despite an excess of silver glitter, and a level of corniness a bit unnecessary for the kind of entry, Tereza’s 2008 entry ended up getting 8 point more than 2007, making it, as of 2014, the most successful entry in the history of Czech Republic, but not successful enough to flight her to that year’s Final Show.

For 2009, things got a little more serious for fans in the country, since rumors stating CT was planning on withdrawing due to poor ratings and results started making the rounds, but by the end of the previous year, the country was already planning on an internal selection to provide Europe with their next Final Show entry. Gypsy.Cz, a romani hip hop group was Czech Republic’s big leap of faith, and with their eccentric music, colorful outfits, and lack of reason in a live entry that could only be described as “all over the place”, ended up receiving the country’s dreaded Null Points in the first semifinal. After that result, it was only to be expected for a subsequent withdrawal.

But, time has passed, things have changed, and Eurovision keeps reinventing itself, and so plans to do the Czech Republic, by returning for 2015 with the dynamic rock duo formed by Marta Jandová (a successful singer in the European metal scene) and the well-known singer and actor Václav Noid Bárta, with a song in English which title is determined to reflect Czech common feel while in Vienna, “Hope never Dies”. Our hopes, in the other hand, go for a well-thought stage show, and, apart from a powerful music and meaningful lyrics that bring out the best of both singers, a creative staging using streams of light and a wall-divider breaking between the two comes to mind, in the style of Demi Lovato and Olly Murs’ videoclip for Up, as a simple yet effective way of mixing the couple and concept together, giving interaction and beauty, without losing the rock core of the artists.
If Czech Republic finally receive a fast-pass to the Grand Final, should do so because of the chemistry and interaction between the artists, leaving out the kitsch staging in favor of well-tailored outfits, on point camera movements, and outstand with a well thought background and lighting that reflect the elegance and class of a glorious comeback.

Time to prove you deserve that spot, Czech Republic, and make Europe feel you never should have left. See you in Vienna!


1. Earlier this year Roy published on the ESC Covers website the cover images of two compilation CDs he had made for Ralph Siegel of Ralph Siegel’s songs in Afrikaans. Name one of Ralph Siegel’s Eurovision entries that have been covered in Afrikaans.
2. A Czech singer sang for Austria in 1968 with a song composed by Udo Jurgens called Tausend Fenster. What was the name of the singer?
3. Tor Endresen is one of the contestants in this year’s Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix. Name the title of the song that Tor performed at an earlier Eurovision Song Contest. It is a famous city in the USA.
4. Name the title of the only song composed by Ralph Siegel that has been performed at Eurovision by Montenegro.
5. San Marino was represented by Valentina Monetta three times at Eurovision. Which of these three songs took San Marino into the Final?
6. What is the first name of one of the three Herrey brothers.
7. Jonsi represented Iceland in a duet at Eurovision in 2012. Name the song he sang.
8. How many entries in 2014 had just one word in their song title?
9. Name one of the two countries that have two artists in the 60th anniversary show hosted by the BBC on 31 March.
10. Who sang ‘High’ for Norway in 2004?
11. Switzerland hosted the first contest. Peter, Sue & Marc have represented them 4 times, each time in a different language. Name one of the 4 Eurovision songs by Peter, Sue & Marc.
12. In what year did Croatia debut as an independent country at Eurovision?