Friday, July 28, 2006

Russia's 3rd richest

Who would have thought Dima Bilan is SO big? Apparently he in no 3 in the Russian list of "Rich and famous" after tennis player Maria Sharapova and the grand old lady Alla Pugatcheva, and followed by basketball player Andrey Kirilenko, a creature called Philip Kirkorow and fake lesbian duo t.A.T.u. Dima made over 3,1m USD last year...
And this year it seems he can't do any worse: his new album in Russian is out, with an English version for the international market coming up and charting with his "Never let you go" and the follow up and "the other song" for Eurovision, "Lady Flame" high up in the charts. Needless to say, Dima probably hasn't got time to spend more than he earns...

Week number 10 as number 1

Lordi's album has now been number one for ten consecutive weeks in the official Finnish charts.
The all time record is 12 weeks by Crash Test Dummies, and the overall record of weeks at number one is 16, held by Anssi Kela. Will Lordi also break these records?

4 million euros...

... is the amount the Finnish state has budgeted for the Eurovision Song Contest arrangements next year. It is as yet unknown how much the EBU and its member states and sponsors will give and how much YLE must find alone to cover the predicted cost of 13 million euros.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Paula wins Iskelmä Finlandia!

Paula Koivuniemi won Iskelmä Finlandia 2006 (a sort of Schlager Nobel). She is celebrating her 40th year in business this year and is more popular than ever besides being Finland's gay icon number one. She has taken part in many Euroviisut and I'd love to see her in Helsinki 2007... She was also the TV-audience's favourite, winning the televote with 46%.
The other nominees were Fredi (ESC 67, 74, 79), Tapani Kansa (most participations in Euroviisut by an artist who's never won), Arja Saijonmaa (several Euroviisut and Melodifestival) and Jukka Kuoppamäki (several songs in Euroviisut).
Last year's winner was Jari Sillanpää (ESC 04) and Marion (ESC 62, 73) won this award in 2002.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Postcards: Divine Finnish Oddity meets Four Seasons?

It looks like Finns will go for the odd things. Enough of Santa Claus, snow, Moomin characters, reindeers and lakes! In the postcards Finland will show its less known habits and oddities, all from Wife's carrying to Air guitar, swamp football to sitting in ants' nests, sauna endurance to cellphone throwing, winter fishing through a hole in the ice... Europe, be ready - you haven't seen anything like this before! On the softer side the other red line in the postcard should be the four seasons: winter with snow and polar lights, spring and the awakening of nature, the midnight sun for summer and the colorful "ruska" for autumn, just to name a few. This is just a rumour and speculation but so far so good! :-)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Good evening, Sverige!

UPDATE: Not only on spot but also on TV Lordi broke this summer's audience record: over 2,1 million Swedes watched the show!

Lordi took Skansen by storm last night, making a new audience record: over 28.000 people squeezed into the Folketspark to see the hottest thing of this summer. The popular tv-program where people sing along with the artists in open air shows has been in trouble this summer and Lordi may just have saved their season, as the host Anders Lundin commented, giving it the boost it needed. If last summer's most memorable moment was Carola throwing a flower pot into the audience where it hit a poor girl in a nice, white summer dress, her stunt this summer (diving into the audience, not once but twice) fades away the moment Lordi takes the stage and gets everybody singing along, from thousands of kids present to 70-something proper ladies in flower printed dresses and nice summer hats. The beasts have eaten the beauty alive once again!

Life on Mars soon?

Well, we used to always say: hell freezes over, cows will fly and we will find life on Mars before Finland wins Eurovision. Well, we did win. In June I saw a flying cow (see pic), this summer we have had unusually hot weather ( breaking the magical +25 already 18 times since mid-June) - is it hell giving us the last blast before cooling down? So, NASA guys, what's up there? Any news?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A sausage can make one so happy!

Lordi spoke to Iltasanomat about their busy summer. "I haven't had time to enjoy a good ice cream, or go to Linnamäki (amusement park) yet" says Mr Lordi. "Luckily I managed to spend a few days in my cottage in Lapland between festival gigs. You must take advantage of little things when you can, like the other night when I was finally at home and found a piece of sausage in the freezer, grilled it at night on the balcony and ate it"
Meanwhile, Lordi is busy doing festivals while preparing for the European tour this fall: Sweden, Germany, Spain and UK will get their share of monsterhood for sure.

Mr Lordi is angry, very angry

Tomi Putaansuu, better known as Mr Lordi, was walking the streets of Tallinn this weekend when he spotted a shop selling Lordi merchandise. "What I saw made me very angry" he says, "badly photocopied CD covers, low quality t-shirt and the salesperson even had the courage to come and try to make me buy some! I was so angry I just had to walk away....". Oh dear, if the poor guy only knew it was Mr Lordi himself! Did you know "Lordi" is a registered trademark?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Lasse Holm vs. Lordi

Looks like Sweden is under Lordimania. Eurovision veteran Lasse Holm (composer of Sweden 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1993) plays the Lordi card in his summer tour singing his version of "Hard Rock Hallelujah" to sold out audiences. At the same time it looks like Carola is struggling to sell tickets to her shows.... Hmm....

More chart action

Lordi moves up to no 2 in Austrian single charts, staying at no 8 in Germany and no 3 in Belgium. In Greece the single moves up to no 6! And this weekend they perform in Skansen, Sweden in oh so popular Allsång. Can you imagine a park full of proper, nicely dressed Swedes of a certain age singing karaoke with Lordi? A must see...

Friday, July 14, 2006

More charting Lordi

Lordi's album has reached no 3 in Greece and no 26 in Belgium where they are doing some live promotion. In France the live tv-shows have got them so far to no 114 in the album chart... The single is doing well in many countries, being still no 3 in Austria and no 9 in Switzerland for example.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Viva Italia!

Wow, what a night! Or two actually as the party continued on Monday when the team returned and Rome was total chaos while Circus Maximus was filled with 250.000 people again.... Now if we only could get Italy back to ESC. EBU seems to have renewed their offer of making it Big5 if Italy wants to join again....

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Finns want techno!

The list of participants for Euroviisut 2007 will be made public in November. A recent poll on the popular Viisukuppila website makes it clear what Finns want: Techno (22%), etno (17%) or pop rock (16%). Heavy rock, rock, pop, r&b, schlager and hip hop are not wanted.
Techno would be something new to ESC and Euroviisut as well. The closest thing to techno we have had so far is Firevision's "Stars are on our side" in 2005. It survived the semifinal, easily being second only to Geir Rönning's "Why" but in the final the expert jury dropped it from the superfinal. It is generally thought it would have done very well in the televoting. Darude anyone?
Etno has been a more familiar feature in Euroviisut, most recently by Riikka's "Toarie" and Wäinötär's "Kihlaus", not forgetting Edea's "Aava" in 1998.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Honeymoon is over

Looks like Lordi adoration and the honeymoon with the press is over. When Lordi cancelled their gig in Tangomarkkinat it passed with little comment other than "well, an important gig abroad is of course very important". Now they have had to cancel the Tammerfest Rock Festival in Tampere in favour of a concert in Moscow.
There is a funny line in the Finnish contracts between promoters and artists: "The artist may cancel his performance even 24 hrs before if an important gig abroad comes along". Jussi Santalahti, promoter for Tammerfest says: "It's an old thing from days when it was very difficult for a Finnish artist to get gigs abroad. Things have changed and that must go!" From now on he plans to rewrite the line: Promoter may cancel the artist if he gets a foreign act instead....
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