Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ticket info on November 27

YLE will have a press conference on November 27, where they will deliver the details on ticket sales and hopefully some other info as well.

Monday, October 30, 2006

YLE ahead of schedule

YLE is about one month ahead of schedule in the planning of Eurovision 2007, says YLE's Olli-Pekka Heinonen. "The ticket prices haven't been set yet. In Athens they were between 10 and 250 euros and surely ours will fit in between those numbers" he says. "We are at the moment trying to figure out how to minimize the black market and are in negotiations with the eventual ticket seller on this." The presenters haven't been chosen yet. That will only happen next year and one of them could be a foreigner...

Lordi wins radio award

Private radio stations have given out their annual awards in RadioGaala in Tampere. Lordi won the award for the best Finnish act, Juanes for the best foreign act and Sunrise Avenue (pictured) the award for the best newcomer. Sunrise Avenue has also been widely tipped for Euroviisut 2007 and their single "Fairytale gone bad" was a number one hit in Finland and has been released in several European countries so far.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lordi at MTV Europe Music Awards!

Lordi will perform in MTV Europe Music Awards in Copenhagen November 2, revealed accidentally by Sony BMG's Kimmo Valtanen in Tampere today while lecturing music business professionals on how they handled the promoting of Athens - with results we all know! Lordi is only the second Finnish act in the show. Bomfunk MC's were performing in the Awards in 2000.
Lordi was supposed to the surprise of the night. The other confirmed performers include Snoop Dogg, Rihanna and Nelly Furtado, while Justin Timberlake will host the show.


Lordi closed the show with "Hard Rock Hallelujah" and it surely was the first time an Eurovision winner was seen and heard in the MTV Music Awards. Some 1,4 billion people also saw Mr Lordi give away the award for the best rock band, The Killers.

The Eurovision connection didn't end here as Dima Bilan picked up the award as best Russian act and Brainstorm as the best Baltic act. The best MTV Finland act was The Poets of the Fall.

Italy a bit closer....

Italy seems to be closer returning to the Eurovision than it has never been since 1997 when they participated the first time, claims OGAE Italia. They have been bombarding RAI with letters, requests and newspapers all these years but now it looks like they have found a friend inside RAI, signora Nicoletta Iacobacci who is doing all she can to convince her bosses. A lot has changed since their last participation and most importantly now ESC does have two slots for advertising inside the 3 hour show. Also apparently EBU, who seems to be very willing to have Italy back, has promised Italy a place in BIG5 along with France, Germany, Spain and UK and therefor automatical place in the final. So it seems there is hope we will see Italy in Helsinki 2007. If Italy returns it will be interesting to see how EBU deals with the increasing number of countries as they have set the maximum to 40. Now that Austria has already confirmed they will return, Czech Republic and Georgia want to debut, Serbia AND Montenegro should be squeezed in... then there propably Hungary returning... Armienia must be happy they secured their place in the final so they can't be dropped out!
If and when Italy returns the question how to choose the song and/or the artist remains. Traditionally it has been linked to Sanremo Festival but not always. However times have changed, so has Eurovision when Sanremo hasn't. Personally I think Italy - if and when it returns - should choose internally someone up and coming or already more or less internationally known name like Giorgia, Elisa or Tiziano Ferro. (Besides, Giorgia and Elisa should have been there already and with songs that were top-3 material for sure!)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Tickets available before Christmas

The tickets for May's Eurovision will be made available around mid-December. The exact date will be announced well ahead, informs YLE's website www.yle.fi/eurovision Tickets will be available for 8 different shows including final, semifinal and dress rehearsals. Ticket sales will start once the number of seats is confirmed, depending on stage size, etc. Sales will arranged so that as many Finns as possible will be able to purchase tickets. About one third of the tickets will be sold abroad. The ticket prices will be in line with the prices in Athens 2005, which was also the EBU's wish.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

We want HIM

Iltalehti readers had a poll of their favourite to follow Lordi on homeground next May. More or less the same names come out everywhere and HIM leads this poll with 32,5% of votes followed by Tarja Turunen 26,9% and Apocalyptica 19,1%. Next come also fan favourites PMMP, Hanna Pakarinen, Anna Eriksson and Antti Tuisku. None of the managers of these artists is willing to comment. Anna and Tarja share the same managers who refuses to comment if his artists are interested at all in Euroviisut. "Hanna is in studio recording a new album and I cannot comment" says Pakarinen's manager Mikko Tukiainen. (Wait! In studio?? Now that sounds promising....!!) Ville Valo nor their manager Ville Vesterinen was nowhere to be found for a comment while Antti Tuisku comments himself: "Eurovision stage is not for me yet. I'm planning a career abroad eventually one day but for now my place is in Finland and a career abroad needs a lot more work. I don't want to go unprepaired!". 4249 people voted on this poll.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

German media names Euroviisut artists

Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish), HIM and Apocalyptica are in, claims German Chart-King.de. The same names are featured on British Braveworld.com but YLE will not divulge the names before November 8, nor are the artists allowed to do so or they might be disqualified. YLE's Timo Suomi just comments briefly with a smile : "sounds good".

Well, let's see. Tarja Turunen? Hmm, she is launching her solo career after Nightwish and said earlier she is planning an album with the same kind of music she did in Nightwish after her recent classical concerts in Savonlinna Opera festival and Christmas songs in churches in her post-Nightwish career. So, in theory.... ? HIM would just be too big a name in it, but the frontman Ville Valo recently said he has been in Lapland for a few weeks, just relaxing after finishing their world tour and picking up the first ever gold record in the USA for a Finnish artist... and writing new songs... And he is a bit crazy in a positive way, dueting with Kari Tapio recently and so on... Could it be? Apocalyptica was a fan favourite right after Lordi's victory to represent Finland, especially if having Tarja Turunen as their vocalist. They have been rather quiet recently but they did say in May they're not interested....
However, these are the names regularly featured in all fan polls so maybe they just picked them up from there....

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

YLE says "No" to many big names...

... if you believe Ilkka Talasranta, one of the team that chooses the artists. Half of the chosen 12 artists are soloists and half are bands offering rock, pop and schlager, says Timo Suomi from YLE. The names of the chosen ones will be made public on November 8 and at the moment they are looking for two suitable songs to present in the semifinals. And then we can also see what YLE considers "Big name", as in Finland it can be a very flexible description....

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kita speaks out

Kita has been getting better the past week in his new home in Kallio, Helsinki. "Our tour will continue this weekend in Belgium and we will do those missed gigs in Spain next spring. Then we are off to Amsterdam and finally to the UK. That is very important as all record business people will be there as well as media. Then it's our final show in Finland for the Halloween in Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki. The rest of the year is dedicated to videos and probably the movie if it becomes a reality. Christmas and New Year will be complete holidays for us. And no, we are not millionaires. However I did get enough money to buy an apartment finally even if I still had to borrow some more money to have enough. We Lordi members created Lordi Enterprises earlier this year and all money is now going through it. This money is some royalties from the sales, later the royalties for radio play etc will come in" he tells.

Lordi in President's Independence Day Reception?

Just a few days after the Athens victory the media was already speculating how Lordi will dress for the eventual Independence Day reception in the president's castle. This is the annual ball on December 6 where the president invited besides the members of parliament, all diplomats, those Finns who have done or achieved something important during the year, like being elected Miss Universe, won an Olympic medal or world championship etc. Of course Lordi MUST be invited! The members of Lordi answered right away they wouldn't go there unmasked. However, they cannot arrive in full masks due to security reasons so how could all this work out? In today's Iltalehti Kita says that probably they could have a dressing room, change into their masks, greet the president and leave... which resulted in a screaming first page headline: "LORDI DEMANDS A DRESSING ROOM" or special treatment.... sigh. The President's castle just comments "we are only working on the guest list. Lordi has not received an invitation yet like everyone else". This reception that goes on for all evening is broadcasted live on tv and is every year the most watched programme. Lordi in it - most likely but how? - will just make the ratings even higher!

Jaana and Heikki are back!

Jaana Pelkonen and Heikki Paasonen who have hosted together Euroviisut 2005 and 2006 will be back also in 2007. Both years they have also done the commentary for the ESC for tv from Kiev and Athens also daily updates the week leading up to the grand final. They also hosted the welcome party in Helsinki Market Square for Lordi in May 2006. Now the only remaining question is: will they also host Eurovision 2007???

Thursday, October 19, 2006

PMMP fan favourite for 2007

Viisukuppila chat room has had its own voting since this summer who the fans would like to see in the Finnish final 2007. In the first round each fan could name their 12 favourites and now in the second round they have revoted amongst the top names their 12 favourites and the list of the 12 finalist would look like this after 85 people have voted:

PMMP (34), Hanna Pakarinen (29), Anna Eriksson (28), Antti Tuisku (26), HIM (21), Apocalyptica (21), Sunrise Avenue (20), Tarja Turunen (20), Don Johnson Big Band (19), Annika Eklund (18), Tik Tak (17), Indica (17).

Bubbling under are Beats & Styles (16), The Rasmus (16), Agnes (15), Arja Saijonmaa (15), Dallas Superstars (14), FireVision (14), Katri Ylander (14), Kwan (14), Lauri Tähkä & Elonkorjuu (14) and Paula Koivuniemi (14)

As we can see it's very close and some names can be ruled out. Would HIM for example do Eurovision right after earning the first ever gold record in the US for a Finnish band/artist? I don't think so! Or The Rasmus? Ex-Nightwish Tarja Turunen? Anna Eriksson who has said several times she won't participate again? Hanna Pakarinen who was stopped last year by her label? Antti Tuisku who just a week ago made Finnish history by releasing two albums at the same time and going straight to no 1 and no 2 in the charts? Hopefully at least one of the three top girl groups will be there: PMMP, Indica or Tik Tak!

Out of these my favourite 12 in pink :-)

Lordi the Candyman

Now you can watch your Lordi DVD, listen to Lordi CD, read Lordi books and comics drinking Lordi Cola and eating Lordi sweets besides wearing Lordi shirts and other merchandise while waiting for the stamps and coins. And if in Rovaniemi, you can do all that in Lordi's Square and start the feast with Lordi Kebab as the Lordi restaurant isn't open yet! (Did I forget something?!)

More domestic and international releases 2

The re-edtion of "Arockalypse" was released a couple of weeks ago in Finland and will now be released in Germany. Also a separate DVD is released under title "Market Square Massacre" (also as bonus DVD on the special edition CD) that features the welcome concert plus Lordi's performances in the Finnish semifinal and final and the YLE daily updates from Athens.

More domestic and international releases

Lordi's official book will be released next week titled "Alkuperä" (Origins). This is the book in which Mr Lordi and other members collaborated, unlike the previously published book that caused a little storm in the media with accusations on both sides.

"I hated my song"

Nolla-Kojo or Zero-Kojo confesses he didn't like his song that took him to Harrogate in 1982. "It's a nothing melody. Nothing to remember. Lyrics are pretty nice though" he says. "Maybe I also called Nicole an "ugly German virgin". Can't remember but sounds like me" he laughs. "ESC was a big thing for the record company but we just went to have a laugh and we sure did!"

Kojo is still the only Finnish entry to score 0 points since this voting system has been used but he didn't let it ruin his career. He's pretty much out of the music business today, running a country club and having a normal family life with three teenage sons and a wife of 25 years. Kojo is one of the 14 null-pointers interviewed in Tim Moore's book "Nul points", out now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

May I have a booking, please?

Lordi's restaurant hasn't even been opened but people are already calling for reservations, including from abroad. A Greek tour operator wanted to make a booking for 250 people in November and wanted to eat "Lordi's reindeer"! "We don't even have that many seats!" says Monsterica Oy's CEO Arto Koivuharju, "and we haven't got a menu yet either".

A British business wants to franchise Lordi's restaurant in the UK as well. He will come to the opening party. A two floor restaurant will be furnished in style. Upstairs is all family castle like space while downstairs is a prison cell theme and more for adults only.

The great interest for the restaurant has surprised all people involved. "We are also looking for a suitable location for a night club" Koivuharju concludes.

Chemical Girl

Greenpeace tested several celebrities to see what kind of chemicals and poisons they carry in their blood. Out of 46 searched chemicals 26 were found. Each person had 12-18 different chemicals. Each of them, including the youngest one 24 year old PMMP's Paula Vesala, had DDT even if it was forbidden in Finland already in the 1970's!

Lordi's Awa had a double amount compared to others flalats in her blood. "I don't know if it's because of the masks or because in Porvoo where I grew up there's a lot of chemical industry" she says. Flalats are generally found in plastics.

"If we all tested ones carry these chemicals and poisons in our veins it means all Finns have them" says A.W.Yrjänä.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Lordi cancels Spain

Nasty flu has taken over Mr Lordi and Awa and they have to cancel their four gigs in Spain: Murcia, Madrid, Barcelona and Bergara. Lordi toured Spain already last year. Wednesday night the band still performed in Vienna but had to see a doctor afterwards who told them to rest and put them on antibiotics. They should be back on stage on 22nd in Antwerp. So far their European tour has been very successful and they are very sorry about this turn of events. Lordi is known as a very fan friendly band and has never before cancelled any of its foreign gigs.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Marion goes on

Despite losing her companion Thursday last week, Marion (1962, 1974) was on stage again as early as Saturday night, entertaining her audience for two hours, not once mentioning the tragedy she was living with. "Life must go on and work is the best therapy" she says. Her manager says she is a true professional; work is work and must be done no matter what. Marion, who has spent most of her time the past 1,5 months next to her companion in hospital hasn't so far cancelled any of her gigs and will be singing live again this weekend.

Riki Sorsa has sung his songs

Riki Sorsa (1981) was diagnosed with throat cancer this spring. It was serious and an operation was out of question, so he had to go through several series of extensive treatment, causing hair and weight loss but recently he announced he has been cured and that the cancer is in remission. He will never sing again though.

When he went public with his illness it caused a huge wave of sympathy and he got a lot of support from colleagues and fans. He also kept a blog read by thousands and in which he talks about his feelings, the treatments and their effects.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sad Marion

Marion (1962, 1974) lost her companion Tapani to cancer a few days ago. His cancer was found in August and just a month ago in early September they gave an interview, being positive and confident he would win it with Marion's help. They were together for ten years, five of them engaged. Marriage plans are now buried forever.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Elena's Billboard Business

As Lordi is set to hit the States next year let's see how the others have done.

Esctoday.com reports Elena being in the Billboard charts, more than a year after her win. "My number one" is at number 19 in "Hot dance music/club play" charts this week. Esctoday claims it being at number 11, not specifying the chart so it seems she hasn't done better than Gina G who hit no. 4 in this chart and no. 11 in "Billboard Top 100", the mother of all charts. Worth noting is that it happened in 1997, a year later as well so is this a trend here? Domenico Modugno topped this chart in 1958 and ABBA climbed to number 6.

With all respect let's hope Elena continues to climb despite it being her 8th week in this chart with the new Josh Harris remixed version and bringing us another Eurovision US hit!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Kirka looks back his career

Kirka (1984) has released a 2-cd including 40 of his biggest hits. It is his 35th album. He has also collected 5 gold discs and 14 platinum discs over the years, and of course the record number of songs sung in Euroviisut! Besides these albums he has released countless other unofficial combilations and collaborations with other artists starting from 1967 when his first single was released. More info on www.kirka.com.

He has also been in the headlines recently for his son's drug problem, demanding a more serious hospitalisation for drug addicts. Kirka has 5 children and his oldest son, Boris, has been an addict since he was 14. He has been in jail 3 times and now at 28 the relationship with the famous father is non-existent. Kirka hasn't been able to see his grandchild or doesn't even know his/her name.

Mr Lordi writes a song

Mr Lordi has written a song "Danger in love" for Agnes Pihlava, of Pop Idols fame. Agnes is a true 80's hard rocker at heart and her album is just that, too. Besides Mr Lordi, Europe's Joey Tempest has also written her a song.

Miss Pop 2006

Stara.fi web pages have had their annual "Miss Pop" voting to find out who's the prettiest popper in the country. Lordi's lovely Awa was leading the voting until the finishing lines but was beaten by Pop Idols runner up Katri Ylander at the last moment, 23,8% vs 22,9%. Katri has been far more successful than the winner (who was it anyway?) and has voiced out her interest in Euroviisut, too.... PMMP's Paula Vesala came third this year. Also PMMP has been widely tipped for Euroviisut 2007.... Miss Pop 2005 is Hanna Pakarinen (Pop Idols 2004 winner) who I would love to see in Euroviisut 2007. She was on the list for 2006 til the last moment but then pulled out for reasons known only to her record company....

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The annual ESC politics

Arabikansojen ystävyysseura ry (Arab nations friendship association) in Finland has asked both YLE and EBU not to invite Israel to Helsinki 2007 due to the Lebanon incident. "Participation would be read in Israel as approval by participating countries for Israeli politics" they say in their statement. "Israel has no right to be part of this event that unites people and stands for freedom and peace in harmony between nations".
Don't we get this every year? And how is the situation in IBA anyways? Does it even exist anymore?

Finnish lucky 12 made public November 8

YLE will announce the names of 12 artists/groups participating in the Finnish selection on November 8. It will be interesting to see if traditional schlager artists and various tango queens and kings have been thrown out and replaced with rockier sounds, rappers and techno beats in the hope of repeating Lordi's success. Whether Lordi has opened the doors to a new musical scene in Euroviisut remains to be seen, but their outstanding commercial success surely will attract well known names, both has-beens and up and coming ones to claim their free marketing slot. We must remember it is not only Lordi who got a hit this year. They may have taken it all, but Euroviisut gave birth to 5-6 other radio hits - and now that's remarkable considering Euroviisut in the past when most of the songs were forgotten the next day, many of them even never recorded or released afterwards.

Golden Lordi

Now Lordi can add in addition to their gold and platinum discs from Finland (the album has sold so far 62.000 copies, being the best selling album of 2006) a Swedish gold disc for the album with over 30.000 copies sold, and a German gold disc for a single. "Hard Rock Hallelujah" has sold over 150.000 copies in Germany!
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