Monday, January 21, 2019


First, most every song sounded better live than on record, and the artists sung reasonably well and the comparasion to last night's French semi-final was striking where most everyone was showcasing shaky vocals, bad mixing and general worse than on studio performances. There were a couple Pastora Soler wannabes and one Alvaro Soler one, and one Famous showcasing Carola-like determination to make it and come across the screen making televoters to vote him out of fear. (They didn't). And a big favorite who didn't want to win and showed it in her performance  bit too clearly.
Last year's Alfred made an appearence but no sight of Amaia. Eleni came instead and showed once again how to make that hair fly....
And in the end Spanish televoters didn't the right choice: Miki's Alvarosoleresque La venda won over overrated and IdontwanttogotoIsrael-Maria's Muerdeme. With a better remix and fixed staging Spain may have a real chance this year! Miki Núñez Pozo is 22 and from Barcelona and vocalist in a Catalan band Dalton Bang. He has also studied business in Los Angeles and London. 
Miki - La Venda  34%
María - Muérdeme 22%
Miki y Natalia - Nadie Se Salva  14%
Noelia - Hoy Vuelvo A Reir Otra Vez  7%
Natalia - La Clave 6%
Marilia - Todo Bien 6%
Famous - No puedo más  5%
Julia - Qué quieres que haga 3%
Sabela - Hoy Soñaré 2%
Carlos Right - Se Te Nota !%

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Georgia is using The Idol this year to select their entrant for Eurovision song contest 2019 in Tel Aviv. The ten finalists have been recently revealed - among them Mariam Kakhelishvili from Jsc 2010 and many names from previous The Voice and X Factor... - and the one is among these names, to be selected on March 2, 2019:

ნინი ცნობილაძე/Nini Tsnobiladze
ლიზა კალანდაძე/Liza Kalandadze
ოთო ნემსაძე/Oto Nemsadze
გიორგი ნაკაშიძე/ Giorgi Nakashidze
იკაკო ალექსიძე/ Ikako Aleksidze
დიმა კობაშავიძე/ Dzima Kobeshavidze
ბესიკ ნემსაძე/ Besik Nemsadze
მარიამ კახელიშვილი/ Mariam Kakhelishvili
გიორგი ფრუიძე/ Giorgi Pruidze
თამარ ლაჭყეპიანი/ Tamar Lachkepiani


A Dal is back with its usual formula. Eurovision veteran Joci Pápai is back as is András Kallay-Saunders in his about 15th incarnation, this time as singer in The Middletonz,  and the semifinalists include many names from previous A Dals from Olivé Berkes to Leander Kills, Gergö Oláh and yesyes among others.
As usual three heats (six songs going through each, fivee by the jurors, the last one by the televoters from the remaining acts), two semifinals (four songs going through each) and final will follow and a lot of variety in the genres and Hungarians are not shy trying something new - remember Viszlát_nyár?

Heat one
Timi Antal ft. Gergő Demko – Álmos Világ **  39
 Olivér Berkes – Lighthouse **/Világitótprony *** 33
Deniz – Ide Várlak Vissza *** 34 (televoters)
Barni Hamar – Wasted *  29
Konyha – Szászor Visszajátszott ***  38
Nomád – A Remény Hídjai 35
Rozina Pátkai – Frida * 31
Gergő Szekér – Madár, Repülj! ***  41
Lászlo Váray – Someone Who Lives Like This (Mondd miért) * 29
Gergő Oláh – Hozzád Bújnék *** 41

Planet – Nyári Zápor ***
Fatal Error – Kulcs *
Dayana – Little Bird **
Gotthy – Csak Egy Perc ****
Klara Hajdu – You’re Gonna Rise *
David Hirtli – Alabama Hotel
Kyra Fedor – Maradj Még *
Leander Kills – Hazavágyom **
Mocsok 1 Kölyök – Egyszer *
Monyó Projekt – Run Baby Run *
Bogi Nagy – Holnap
Joci Pápai – Az Én Apám ****
Petruska – Help Me Out Of Here **
Ruby Harlem – Forró **
Savus – Barát
The Sign – Ő
The Middletonz – Roses ***
USNK – Posztolj *
Bence Vara – Szótlanság
yesyes – Incomplete ****

Saturday, January 19, 2019


Sanremo festival doesn't only have the competing artists and the superguests, but also those who come for the fourth night's duets, when the competing artists perform their song in an alternative version with invited guest artists. Complicated? Not at all. That only just about doubles the number of stars on that stage during the festival! Like last year's winners and Eurovision top-5 finished Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro. Some names rumored to have applied for the festival like Irene Grandi, Syria and Rocco Hunt have a consolation prize when dueting with chosen ones. Some add spice to their entries with actors like Bebbe Fiorello and Neri Marcore, and there's even a dancer involved, Eleanora Abbagnati. The rest of the cast will be revealed in coming days.

Simone Cristicchi & Ermal Meta
Ultimo & Fabrizio Moro
Daniele Silvestri & Manuel Agnelli
Loredana Berté & Irene Grandi
Mahmood & Gué Pequeno
Boombadash & Rocco Hunt
Anna Tatangelo & Syria
Zen Circus & Brunori Sas
Enrico Nigiotti & Paolo Jannacci
Francesco Renga & Bungaro & Eleanor Abbagnati
Paola Turci & Beppe Fiorello
Nek & Neri Marcore

Friday, January 18, 2019


Eva + Manu, the Finnish-French indie duo that were thrown into UMK2019 speculations late last year has released today their In the Woods EP with six new songs: Sins, Grow old, Mamie, Woods, Weightless and I won't let you down. How would have they fit in Tel Aviv? 

Thursday, January 17, 2019


Australia's Gold Coast will host the first ever Australian national final for the Eurovision song contest, as all their previous four entries have been internally selected. SBS has been dropping names since December and now we have all ten of them finally, from RuPaul's drag race finalist Courtney Act to the Voice winner Alfie Arcuri, classically trained Kate Miller-Heidke, Australia's Got Talent winner, tenor Mark Vincent, indie band Sheppard, electronica band Electric Fields among others. Aydan Calafiore is from the most recent the Voice and Leea Nanos from X Factor....

Electric Fields - 2000 and whatever
Kate Miller-Heidke - 
Mark Vincent - This is not the end
Sheppard - 
Courtney Act - Fight for love
Aydan Calafiore - Dust
Leea Nanos - Set me free
Ella Hooper - 
Alfie Arcuri - To myself
Tania Doko - 


Croatia has chosen the 16 finalists out of 150 submissions. Some Eurovision veterans in the line up: Klapa s Mora's Marko Skugor is now fronting 4 Tenora, and Feminnem's Nena Parmac is now with Gelato Sisters. Then there's Luka Nižetić, a familiar face from the national finals. Among songwriters Tonji Huljić, Branimir Mihaljevic, Jacues Houdek and Charlie Mason, all previous entrants.
The final takes place on February 16 and there will be 50/50 televote/jury

Elis Lovrić - All I Really Want
Luka Nižetić - Amorero Brutalero
Gelato Sisters - Back To The Swing
4 Tenora - Brod Bez Imena
Beta Sudar - Don’t Give Up
Bernarda Bruno - I Believe In True Love
Domenica - Indigo
Manntra - In The Shadows
Jure Brkljača - Ne Postojim Kad Nisi Tu
Ema Gagro - Redemption
Lea Mijatović - Tebi Pripadam
Lidija Bačić Lille - Tek Je Počelo
Jelena Bosančić - Tell Me
Lorena Bućan - Tower Of Babylon
Roko Blažević - The Dream
Bojan Jambrošić i Danijela Pintarić - Vrijeme Predaje

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Claudia Baglioni has announced there will be only Italian superguests in Sanremo 2019 so forget likes of Lady Gaga, Madonna, Sting, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran... whoever could have been on that stage. Instead he will invite only Italian superstars from Eros Ramazzotti to Giorgia and Marco Mengoni, from Elisa to Ligabue and Andrea Bocelli with his son. Add Fedez and already Sanremo regular Laura Pausini with Biagio Antonacci (they will be touring Italy later this year together) and a couple of more like Fiorella Mannoia perhaps as there's supposed to be two of them each night. All names will be confirmed later once the contracts have been signed.
There's one exception to the cast though: Luis Despacito Fonsi, but only because he duets in Ramazzotti's new single Per le strade una canzone...
It's great he favours Italian over international stars but then again, the gap of getting these real big stars to participate in the contest is getting slimmer every year. 


The betting odds are hinting last year's Newcomrs winner Ultimo could do the trick managed only by Francesco Gabbani so far: to win the Big category only a year later. His name has been mentioned as the most possible winner since the artists were revealed - and even before that - and is now topping most every betting odds. 
Almost as clear is Il Volo's second place while the next ones are different depending on betting agencis including names like Federica Carta & Shade, Nek, Irama, Arisa and Francesco Renga in different order. All this may however change once the media is let to hear the songs and comment on them in their reviews and articles. We common mortals will hear them of course only when they will be performed on stage in Teatro Ariston for the first time come February 5....
Will Ultimo (translats to The Last) be first again? Will he be going to Tel Aviv 2019 Eurovision as well? Just in case let's get to know him a bit better:
Born in Rome as Niccolò Moriconi in 1996 he studied piano and composition in Accademia nazionale di Santa Cecilia and wrote his first songs at the age of 14. In 2016 he wins a hip hop contest and gets a record deal. He released his debut single Chiave, followed by Ovunque tu sia and Sabbia, and his debut album Pianeti that reaches #12 in official charts. Two more singles were released: Sogni appesi and Pianeti. He has already millions of Youtube views and a serious following. He also opens Fabrizio Moro's concerts before heading to Sanremo 2018 where he wins Newcomers with Il ballo delle incertezze (while Fabrizio Moro wins with Ermal Meta the Big category):
He releases his second album Peter Pan (#4) and heads for a sold out tour all over Italy. Three more singles have been released: Poesia senza veli, Cascare nei tuoi occhi and Ti dedico il silenzio
In all he has won several awards. His albums have sold and double platinum, and his singles one double platinum, four platinum and one gold disc. 
He also was featured in Fabrizio Moro's gold selling L'eternità (il mio quartiere), and Sercho's Tenebre and Mostro's E fumo ancora. A lot of work and success in only two years and he's already filling stadiums!
In Sanremo 2019 he will sing I tuoi particolari and release right after his third album Colpa delle favole. He has announcd a stadium tour in Italy in May of some dates that should bee postboned so it looks a bit unlikely he might be heading to Eurovision should he win, but then.... who knows?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


As much as I would like the countries hosting Eurovision song contest showcase their own musical heritage and culture - best done in recent years by the underdogs Finland in 2007 and Portugal last year - the rumor of Madonna being in negotiations for performing in the Eurovision 2019 final is just too juicy to let go by. And wasn't she rumored also for Lisbon at some point, after all she lives there now and seems to be somewhat familiar with the event. If that becomes reality I hope it's done better than Justin Timberlake's somewhat out of the place performance in 2016 of Can't stop the feeling, did he even know where he was? After all the Kabbalah loving queen of pop already has done a very fitting performance on her Confessions Tour, including Im nin'alu and all.... Let's get unconscious honey, get into the groove and I'm gonna party (It's a celebration) etc. You know.
And there's still plenty of room for Netta, Dana International and Idan Raichel.... or could we get an Idan Raichel feat. Madonna collaboration? I dare to dream...

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