Sunday, April 22, 2018


The Finnish Eurovision song conteest 2018 entry Monsters has got some cool remixes: very 80's sounding Initial Talk remix, club anthemic Cutmore remix, Cutmore radio edit and Extended version. Listen to them on Spotify for example. 
In an interview her ex-hubby Teemu Roivainen said Domino was his favorite of her three entries because it has such cool remixes. Now when can we hear those?!



San Marino - Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening - Who we are
Jessika Muscat (29) has the faith of fellow Maltese Christabelle: several national final attemps and now she gets finally to Eurovision with the worst of them. Or almost. She is joined by German Jenifer Brening (21) who took the original rapper Irol's place when he turned down the song stating it's not his cup of tea. He would have given this at least some Sammarinese touch. Anyways, the innotative Sammarinese national final selection promised a lot but in the end gave us this. I would have chosen differently but what we have is a rather anonymous and heard before anthem against bullying, well sung by Jessika with Jenifer's rap as bonus. Sadly unforgettable and the only thing that might get attention and viewers to remember this are the robots. If they travel to Lisbon, too. What's their deal anyways?! 3/10
Macedonia - Eye Cue - Lost and found
Eye Cue is Bojan Trajkovski and Marija Ivanovska (21), with producer and writer Darko Dimitrov. They have been working together for years and for their entry it sounds like if they have smashd up every their song as there are so many genres and changes of beat in these three minutes you are left wondering WTF was that? Some parts of the song I like, some I don't. The mix is confusing but that's what makes it somewhat interesting. Marija does her job well. One can only wonder what the staging will be about and sadly this will be lost in the 1st semi and not found on the finalist list. 5/10
Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer - Light me up
Andrzej Gromala (39) aka Gromee is DJ, producer and songwriter and Swedish Lukas Meijer (29) is his choseen vocalist for this song. I realized I hadn't really ever listened the full song until now when reviewing it - is that a good sign? You get all there is in the first minute or so. Rather anonymous radio song that isn't great but enjoyable and works well. In the aftermath of Avicii's death this might get all nostalgic ones to vote for this tribute to the final - Gromee has said Avicii has had a huge impact to his music and indeed you can hear it -  and even without that this should make it being in the 2nd semi. Who will remember this come June? But for the moment, 6/10
DoReDos - My lucky day
DoReDos or Marina Djundiet (32), Eugeniu Andrianov (25) and Sergiu Mita (25) were third time lucky winning the national final with a little help from Russian Philip Kirkorov. Last year they won also New Wave festival. My lucky day sounds very oldfashioned in production (and I think it's intentional) and without the addiction of the local elements and sounds would be like any Ralph Siegel track. They perform it with such energy and gusto that you can't but look in amaze. This is rubbish but they make it work and propably will do better than anyone thinks now. Not like Moldova last year but top-10 perhaps? Or... they could bomb big time as well but I don't quite think so. Lucky qualifier from 2nd semi. 6/10

Saturday, April 21, 2018


Israel - Netta - Toy
Netta Barzilai (25) is this year's Francesco Gabbani, the one given as a winner before we hit the stage in Lisbon, she has gathered record breaking Youtube views and Spotify streams and is the one everyone's talking about and also dividing opinions to heat up the discussions. I liked this when I heard it the fifrst time for it's craziness, then I put it aside a bit when everyone was screaming this is the Winner and eventually settled to like it a lot. It's refreshing, different, memorable with a gimmick everyone will note. It's fun! Yet I tend to think this is more like Dancing lasha tumbai, a great runner up rather than a winner. To be that it's maybe just a bit too weird and crazy for the great public who seeing/hearing this for the first time might take it as a joke. But who knows? 10/10

Belgium - Sennek - A matter of time
Laura Groeseneken (27) aka Sennek continues the Belgian trend of quality entries and when this came out I may have been one to think for a moment this could be It. But no. The Bondesque melody and arrangement goes well with Sennek's vocals but unless they nail it with staging and vocals, this could be also a shock non-qualifier. The song gets a bit repetitive and she hasn't really delivered live the way she does on record so far. But the again, think about Blanche last year.... 7/10

Malta - Christabelle - Taboo
Christabelle Borg (25) is one of those unfortunate artists who try several times and finally win with not so strong entry. This is her fourth national final entry and in my books her weakest yet. However, she's also one who can breathe life to any song live and somehow just pulls it together and convinces you she's great and likable. I have had a soft spot for her since Lovetricity and of course hope she would make the final. Taboo's problem is it's a bit too dark and never really gets going but repeats the same bits over and over. I hope the staging isn't the same in Lisbon as in national final as it was dark and messy.... Thank heavens she's in the semi-final 2 as in the first one... no way! 7/10

Cyprus - Eleni Foureira - Fuego
Albanian born Entela Fureraj (31) aka Eleni Foureira has been rumored for years for either Greece or Cyprus and here she is finally - after Helena Paparizou turned down the song and the offer apparently. My first reaction was overproduced 13 in a dozen nonsense with a singer who seems to be notorious for singing false live, and the idea hasn't really changed even if I have learned to like this a bit more. Still, generic pop that also never gets going but stops for some senseless ye ah ye ah everytime you think it'll explode finally. The staging will surely be effective and spot on to cover up the absence of a proper song and this is a real gem for fans who live in the bubble. Is anyone surprised this got the last spot in the semifinal? That might save it from being another shock non-qualifier.  5/10

Friday, April 20, 2018


Ukraine - Mélovin - Under the ladder
Mélovin (21), X Factor Ukraine winner (after three unsuccesful auditions!) and last year's televoting winner in the national final for Eurovision (but placing only 3rd) took revenge this year with self composed Under the ladder. The song is catchy and keeps building towards the burning end, he's got a gimmick in his look that makes him memorable, as is the staging. I don't remember seeing an artist start the perform mid stage ending up by the piano in the end - isn't it always the other way around? He seems also very secure on stage and the end of the performance is on fire. He will be a certain qualifier but how far he will go in the final? Hmmm ... 7/10

Czech Republic - Mikolas Josef - Lie to me
Mikolas (22) is the first Czech with a real possibility. He was asked by the local tv already last year but turned down the song not feeling it suitable for him. Smart choice as now he's back with a jackpot. A sure finalist with a catchy song, fun performance, convincing live, likable personality, easy on the eye  - what else can I say? Maybe a bit too different just like Israel to win but a Top-3 is a possibility.... 10/10
(And I can't but think about this lost opportunity: Vittoria Hyde with Play the trumpet from the Swiss selection 2011 (here). Had it won and been properly recorded and remixed, who knows? )

Austria - César Sampson - Nobody but you
César (34) is no stranger to Eurovision having been the backing singer two last years placing 4th and 2nd and being part of the production team that provides us the Bulgarian entry this year, too. Bulgaria is the big favorite but I certainly prefer this one. Better song, amazing vocals, fantastic gospel choir. Sadly they are both in the same semifinal and even almost back to back but in my books Nobody but you beats Bones by far. I hope this will qualify for the final but must admit I'm not feeling very confident it will.... unfortunately. 8/10

Sweden - Benjamin Ingrosso - Dance you off
The Swedish entry lies once again heavily on staging and indeed it looks great. Let's see how they bring that to Lisbon stage and fill in the pre-recorded vocals as Benjamin (20), as sweet son of Pernilla he is, isn't exactly the strongest vocally.  He tried to get to Eurovision already last year placing 5th but managed to win this year. He's no stranger to Eurovision traditions as his mother Pernilla Wahlgren tried five times already (being runner up in 2003) and Eurovision winner Charlotte Nilsson/Perrelli was married to his uncle. As much as I kinda like him and his effort I find this song a bit dull, as said great staging but songwise... yawn. I'd like to like it a lot more than I actually do really. But this is Sweden and sure finalist. The question is how strong it will be in the final voting and how well they manage this live vocally? 6/10

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Italy - Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro - 
Non mi avete fatto niente
Italy sends again the Sanremo winner and their platinum selling #1 manifest against terrorism Non mi avete fatto niente. Albanian born Ermal Meta (37) and Fabrizio Moro (43) both have very succesful and flourishing career already and both have been busy touring and promoting their respective albums after Sanremo skipping all Eurovision related pre-parties - so did Loreen, too, didn't she? I prefer the studio version to the live performance to be honest, when especially Moro goes a bit too shouty for my liking. Despite this one of the strongest songs by far this year with an interesting half spoken verses that turn into light folk rock a la Hop hop somerello, another song with apparent lightness with heavy lyrics. Italy will score another top-10 easily this year. If not, it'd be as unfair as Russia making the final again. Italy could also be fighting for victory in case the jury and televotes spread and differ to other entries, who knows? 10/10
Switzerland - ZiBBZ - Stones
If Italy sings against terrorism, the Swiss siblings Corinne (32) and Stee (31) Gfeller sing against bullying. The pulsing beat keeps the track together and it's energetic and strong, but we have the problem of an angry female singer. They never seem to work in Eurovision. Ask Hanna Pakarinen for example. Nothing wrong with her, it's just... well, we will see. Borderline qualifier for me, but I think Swiss might miss the final once again being in the 1st one.... 6/10
France - Madame Monsieur - Mercy
After terrorism and bullying here's another hot topic: emigration. Madame Emilie Satt (33) and Monsieur Jean-Karl Lucas met in 2008 and have been writing music ever since, from 2013 under the current name.  Mercy has a backstory (and all the specualtions of the song being political are long forgotten), the arrangement is airy and modern, Emilie's vocals perfect and the song has maybe the catchiest refrain of all entries this year - at least it plays in my head day and night since weeks. I had a bit of a roller coaster start with this song; liking it, then a bit dismissing it and then slowly it climbed back to the top favorites while other songs were selected. The English and Spanish versions or the various remixes add nothing to the original French one that is perfect just the way it is. Their look in black is cool and it's all very French somehow. In a good way. Perfection. This should better Amir's 6th place and cement France's position as a Big one for real.  10/10
Spain - Amaia y Alfred - Tú cancion
Spain leaves the heavy themes to others and goes for the eternal one: Love. And in this case for a real life sweethearts and talent reality show finalists with a touch of Disney and La la landish atmosphere. And it works. Amaia Romero (19) won the show while Alfred Garcia (21) came 4th, but together they won the national selection. Both have previous less fortunate reality talent show experience. The song itself with me has the same story as France's. First I liked it, then I kinda forgot about it but sneakily it returned to my mind, played in my head and is now among my favorites. There's a danger it all gets too sugary and gets ruined on stage live, but if they keep it sweet and innocent celebrating the young love and they hold it together vocally and transmit real emotions this could go very far... sealed with a kiss.. 9/10

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Waylon it getting ready for his second Eurovision song contest by releasing an official music video for his entry Outlaw in 'em - better late than never! But that's not all as his new album The world can wait is out, too. This blogger is loving both of them. 


Latvia - Laura Rizzotto - Funny girl
Latvian-Brazilian Laura Rizzotto (23) has lived her life so far between Minnesota, Rio de Janeiro, New York and Latvia. She has studied in Berklee (Boston), California and Columbia Universities so she certainly knows music. And no doubt she's talented singer and songwriter. That doesn't however hide the fact her Funny girl needs some what acquired taste for this kind of music. Generally this could be my cup of tea so to speak, but no. This is dull and uninteresting. Live it works a bit better but about one minute mark my attention drifts elsewhere and I find myself checking the contents of my fridge while she's still singing her song. Very long three minutes. 2/10

Lithuania - Ieva Zasimauskaitè - When we're old
I managed to ignore this song all those eternal weeks the Lithuanian selection was going on - maybe because I didn't follow it live and just checked the videos later, if even that. I did watch the final, and all of sudden I fell in love with this song. So fragile, simple. I checked the Lithuanian version and was under a spell. Even the remix fits and ads something to the mix. The best Lithuanian entry to date by far!
Ieva (24) was 5th time lucky in the national selection and while being somewhat ignored by the fandom in the bubble could become a real surprise in Lisbon. This is touching, real with a message and if she performs it well when it matters, who knows? This deserves the final more than most. What else can I say? I love all the versions of this little pearl. 9/10

Russia - Julia Samoylova - I won't break
Julia Samoylova (29) should have been there already last year. Or really she shouldn't be here this time either. Last year used as a propaganda weapon between Russia and Ukraine her presence this year feels even more out of place than last year. Her first live performance underlines the whole madness of this affair. Russia would have so much better to offer if they played by the cards to win or do well with music alone. Not propaganda. This put aside, judging only her voice and presence, and the song's quality this has no place in the final, but sadly will steal some other better one's place because this is Russia. One can only hope for justice and Russia staying in the semi as with this package they don't deserve anything else. The song has zero originality no matter how deep you dig. 2/10

Croatia - Franka - Crazy
Last lady in her twenties in this post is Franka Batelić (25). Her career started in a talent show in 2007 with a win. She also tried to get to Eurovision already in 2009 without luck but went on to win local Dancing with Stars before retiring from the business. Now she's back as internally chosen artist. Crazy has somewhat disappointed the expectations and no wonder. Great production values and video for sure but... what about the song? Echoes of Sam Brown's Stop come to mind immediately and that's just about it. Long and rather boring quite depressing three minutes that can of course be hidden by a stellar staging and performance but I doubt it's enough to make this qualify. Which is a shame as it seems Croatian tv really tried this time. Sometimes too much trying leads nowhere but sterility... 4/10

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Yesterday's news was YLE was unable to "pay everybody" to Lisbon 2018 Eurovision song contest and thus leaving the entry's writers home, read more here. That caused quite a social media stir and for the reason. After all this is a SONG contest and without the song and who wrote it there was no entry (even if sometimes one wonders if there's a song at all in some performances...) 
Today YLE announces it was all a misunderstanding and Linnea Deb, Joy Deb and Ki Fitzgerard all are travelling to Lisbon and will be in the Green room with the artists as well. One wonders who had the guts and common sense to stay away and give room to those you really deserve it.... 
Well done YLE, whether it was due to the negative flashback or just commom sense. Still I have to press it's more of the first as in the statement they still insist "usually YLE hasn't paid the songwriters to the spot due to the delegation limits set by EBU". So you do mean you have madee the songwriters present on the spot pay their trips from their own pocket all these years? 


Norway - Alexander Rybak - That's how you write a song
Eurovision 2009 winner Alexander Rybak (31) returns with a self written That's how you write a song. that will also be the 1500th Eurovsion song when he opens the 2nd semifinal with it. He won the Norwegian selection as a minor surprise but very convincingly. The fans really didn't believe in his chances but when masses vote... what do fans know? This blogger liked the song from the start and it was one of my three favorites and his live performance took away any doubts. The song itself isn't anything special really, true, but he makes it work and it's very enjoyable and entertaining three minutes. Not a winner in Lisbon but I wouldn't be surprised if he does very well in the final, to the left side of the scoreboard for sure. 8/10
Albania - Eugent Bushpepa - Mall
Albania was the first to choose and now it feels already soooo long time ago when we first heard Mall. To compensate Eugent Bushpepa (33) released the Eurovision short version of the song as the last one making it a hot topic again in mid-March. Well done! I kinda liked the song in December, but soon forgot about it. Now I kinda like it when I hear it that is very rarely. Eugent sure can sing, but the song itself is rather mainstream standard pop rock without anything that would make it stand out. Thankfully they have kept it in Albanian, so an extra point for that. A borderline qualifier but I suspect he will watch the final, not participate in it. 3/10
Denmark - Rasmussen - Higher ground
Danish Rasmussen (33) has a concept song, a bit like Lordi, Verka, and it's always good to have something that people remember you for. The Vikings. I grew tired with Higher ground rather fast and after the initial wow effect it's gone to yawn. However it's worth remembering about 99% of the voters will hear and see the song for the first time and vote based on that. If he and his warriors nail it when it matters this sails to the final. They could also suffer a shipwreck just when they see the shore....That is if they stick to the national final performance theme - while he's been performing alone in his hoodie like any random hipster in various promo events it's been like looking a totally different thing.  6/10
The Netherlands - Waylon - Outlaw in'em

Waylon, another Eurovision returnee and 30something guy in this foursome (37). He already came 2nd with The Common Linnets so he surely wants to better it. But no, we aren't off to Amsterdam next year. I really liked the song the first time I heard it, and still do. A real energy booster and something else for the Eurovision. I believe he rocks himself to the final, and then... I have no idea! Hopefully to the left side of the scoreboard. Outlaw in'em is not a song I listen to a lot, but everytime I hear it I'm hooked. and jamming along. This sticks out in the line up wherever they place it in the final. A piece of America in Eurovision. In a good way. 8/10

Monday, April 16, 2018


If you thought it's Eurovision SONG contest now it's clear what YLE thinks about it. The SONGwriters, who are quite much responsable for the outcome and the entry are not worth paying the ticket to Lisbon and their accomodation. All sort of managers, PR people, make up artists, hair artists, choreographers and assistants are, including of course various YLE people having not so much to do at the spot in reality. "We can't just pay everyone" comments YLE while in any sense of the world the artist and the backing group AND the SONGwriters should be the first ones in the list. But no. Not for YLE.
This blogger had a bit hard swallowing they went abroad and bought the songs abroad like any Azerbaijans do (as that is what they did when especially inviting Eurovision winning team (Heroes 2015) to write a song for Saara and Eurovision) but I softened a little when I discovered Linnea and Joy Deb actually do have some Finnish roots. And if YLE had money to bring them over for the UMK final, this is just ridiculous and bad PR. And most of all shameful. No wonder the Debs state they have no will to work with YLE again in the future, so this year has been a great year for UMK team: first they angered the Finnish songwriters, and now even the foreign ones..... Season 2019 will be interesting.....
I feel shamed. Phyi YLE!


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