Sunday, April 29, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

Eurovision Countdown

What a nice name for a show :-) Anyways, it started last Sunday here in Finland and has been apparently aired in some other countries, too, like Norway and Croatia. Jani and Ulrika are nice but somewhat boring hosts but the show itself is rather fast moving and dynamic. Songs and artists are presented in a fast manner and there was a funny cartoon made history of the Eurovision. "Useless like Paris Hilton" they said when Eurovision was invented, until 1955 that is when the idea of a song contest came up. And Evridiki reveals the real reason to participate again: her son wants to meet Lordi!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stage building goes on....

Armenia ***

This is a nice enough ballad performed by a pretty good singer. However while watching the preview video one's eye drops to places it should not and makes it kinda hard to concentrate on the song. Me and some unnamed ones will wait with curiosity what how he will be bulging on stage...

United Kingdom ****

I'm tempted to give this 5 stars and announce this as the surprise winner, but I hold my horses. This is very pop, very gay and very Eurovision and perfect schlager that is somewhat missing this year. If this was, say Sweden's entry all fans would go crazy for this one. But it is UK and no one likes UK so ... Well, I fly the flag for them!

Romania ****

This is a good example of a humour act that works (unlike Ukraine). The mix of languages that on paper sounds so stupid works splendidly here and the only problem is France has a bit of the same song. I know they're not but somehow this coming later in running order might harm it. Romania has sent great entries for years now and like Russia I predict them to win very very soon. But not this year.

Ukraine *

Call me humourless, call me whatever you want to but I protest here. We have had drag acts before, we have had humour acts before. This is bad in both. Along with Sweden I hope this will do very very bad. If this wins it really makes Eurovision look ridiculous! (Ok, after a few drinks I might singalong to this, but as I said otherwise I PROTEST!)

Germany ****

This is a refreshing sound in the contest and I hope he will do very well. I don't mind the German in it, it makes it special. There are already so many doing this stuff in English so it's nice to hear something different. He is good, the song's good... now let's get some votes! (Could this be the surprise winner?)

Russia ****

Russia has been year after year one of my favourites and even if this year I am not so crazy for their song I must admit it is a very strong one again. I said last year that Russia will win within a year or two and it was quite close last year. And it could happen this year...

France *****

This is wonderful and my tip for a surprise winner. Or maybe not, but one can dream, no? Absolutely charming and cute with the play of English and French, catchy little summer pop tune that could have a life outside Eurovision as well.

Sweden **

Ok, I don't like this much. No matter how it is a superfavourite and everyone seems to like it. I think it is boring and stupid and not even very catchy. This is the one I hope will bomb on May 12th, hihi.

Greece *****

I liked this when I heard it for the first time, and I just like it more and more. It plays often in my head and remixes work as well. Much better than Sakis Rouvas and Shake it (sorry Stellina!) so if that made it to third place, how far will Sarbel go if there is any justice in this world?

Lithuania ****

I like this simple quiet little song. I love it when I hear it but the problem is it is forgotten the moment the last note is sung. However, I wish them all the best as it is the first ever Lithuanian entry I like a lot :-)

Finland *****

I don't need to be partial here because I really do like Hanna and her song. I think (and hope) it will do much better than the polls and betting odds predict. She can do a wonderful performance and deserves a good placing! And forget the corny lyrics...

Ireland *

I thought I kinda liked this one, but further listenings proved it is rather boring piece of music. A better singer could have lifted it up but she sounds even weaker on record than live. However, maybe a good performance will make this sound better? Don't know, we will see.

Spain ***

This is a bit like Bosnia-Herz. I should love this but I don't. It is nice enough but ... what to say? The original version by Rebeca sounded much stronger, and that's what this song needs, strenght. These guys just aren't delivering as much as they promise...

Bosnia-Herzegovina ***

Well, my all means I should love this but something's missing. It is pleasant enough when I hear it but the problem is when it finished nothing is left. Shame. Another Marija (Serbia) beats her 10-0.

More stage pics

The work is progressing well and ahead of schedule they say.... Good, tomorrow the first rehealses on it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This is how it will look....

Please note the pike's jaw bone and fish skin hanging from the walls....

Antti J. Jokinen will direct the opening video

Another scoop for YLE! Antti J. Jokinen will direct the opening video for the final. This three minute long video was filmed in Rovaniemi and Lapland and will feature Lordi and others. Antti has directed music videos for Anna Vissi, Wyclef Jean, Missy Elliot, Anastacia, Tiziano Ferro and Westlife, amongst others.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The work has begun

... inside Hartwall Areena and it's progressing very well and ahead of schedule. Outside the fences are being set up and isolate both Hartwall Areena and the Fair center. Airport cedutiry will kick in shortly at site. And the first delegations arrive next week... EEEK! It's almost here!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Press photo of the year

Lordi or rather photographer Sami Kero has been chosen as the best press photo of the eyar 2006 in Finland. This photo taken in Athens after Lordi's thriumph. According the jury this photo "reaches deep into Finnish identity" whatever that means. Sami told his collegues laughed at him when he told he was off to Athens to do some Eurovision pics. I bet they aren't laughing now...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hard rock hallelujah goes mambo!

Nat Newborn Big Time has just released their latest album On the rocks that includes also a wonderful mambo version of Lordi's Hard rock hallelujah. And like that wasnät enough there's also Sata salamaa in a swing version featuring "Vicky Rusty" herself! This is not the first time Nat & Co flirts with Eurovision: their gig hit is none other than Swingis Khan! Move over Roger Cicero! Oh, and this album reached number 4 in the Finnish charts on its release date... until the copies were sold out!

Listen it here:

Heikki and Ellen will comment the ESC2007

... for the Finnish TV audiences with the help of Asko Murtomäki. Heikki Paasonen is in the job for the third year in a row and will watch and comment her ex-partner Jaana Pelkonen on stage doing her thing with Mikko Leppilampi. Heikki will have Ellen Jokikunnas as her partner this time. They already did two seasons of Idols together and besides, Ellen is Hanna's best friend. They will comment all this....

... Lordi will open the final....

... Sirpa and Jukka will dance some hot tango...

... to the music of Johanna Juhola...

... Apocalyptica will perform in interval...

... and then some folkdancing by Tsuumi...

...and Clubforfive will warm up the audiences...

before both semi final and the final. Expect a lot of Eurovision tunes in accapella!

... and finally Laura gives the votes!

Laura Voutilainen didn't get to sing in the Eurovision in Hartwall but at least she will have the honour of giving out the Finnish votes, live from the huge party in Senate's square in the heart of Helsinki. "... and finally.... our 12 points go to...

This is a little round up what to expect in those two shows besides of course the 42 combiting acts and the presenters Jaana and Mikko and the crazy audience flying their flags!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Stage!

Here is the first image of the stage. There will me 300 m2 of led videoscreen, see though panels, fog screen, starry skies in the background, total of 100 000 kgs of stuff hanging from the ceiling, 12 meters catwalk and so on.... Sounds promising!

Latvia *

Oh dear, one of these weird things: a Swedish song sung in Italian for Latvia. Ok, that aside it is a bad song that wouldn't even pass the first round of selections to Sanremo. I know Il Divo and Helmut Lotti are big, but at least they can sing. Why do I have a feeling this was initially a joke that went a bit too far and now they have to take it seriously? This said this propably goes to the final and wins the whole thing. Can all those millions who have bought Il Divo & co albums be wrong?

Austria **

Austrians are promising a huge chrystal orgy on stage with half naked dancers and 70 meter red boa... Will it help this Anastacia drop out rocky piece of a song squeeze into the final? I don't think so.

Turkey ****

Turkey left me a bit disappointed with first hearing but then it's been growing on me. Kenan will surely do his best, the big star he is, and give a great performance. This should go to the final easily and then we will see how far it goes, preferably not getting a slot anywhere near Greece! Too much shaking is no good.

Slovenia ***

Oh dear, what to make of this? I have been a fan of Slovenian entries most years. This isn't bad either, but is it already too much? Would I love this if sung by Nusa Derenda for example? I don't know. This will either do very well or stay in semis... if other people have same problems with it, lol.

Belgium ***

Now this is a tricly one. When I hear it I kinda like it. When it's over I just don't remember it exists... Will televoters pick this up? It is a groovy jolly number and if they perform it with twist and party feeling... who knows?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Estonia ****

I am surprised no one seems to like this one. I loved it from the beginning and hope Gerli will prove everyone wrong and take Estonia back to final after a few years. This is a catchy pop tune with a hint of the 80's, she's vocally good and everything is right. Another good solid entry from Estonia!

Hungary *

Well, I am happy to have Hungary back but I just don't like this song.I know it is not bad in its genre but it's just not my cup pf coffee. And I don't think it will qualify for the final. Why do I think Czech Republic and Andorra fit into Eurovision but this one doesn't? Anyone with an answer please let me know...

Andorra ***

This was the one I feared the most before hearing it but it proved out to be rather good. I think these teenage punkwannabes will take Andorra to the final for the first time and rightly so. But I don't think they will go as far as Athena, that is maybe the closest thing to this one in the Eurovision universe so far?

Malta *****

This is rather hysterical, or should I say vertiginous? but I like it. It takes you up, and then down, rolls over you and sends you spinning breathless somewhere.... I hope Olivia spins her way to the final with this song that always makes me think of Zorro for some reason?!

Norway **

Denmark and Portugal and even Spain play in the same field here, and unfortunately Norway loses the battle big way resulting calculated, made of plastic and uninteresting. I am sure Guri is a lovely lady and the dancers are cute but Denmark has more feathers, Portugal is cuter and Spain more guys. Boring and somewhat annoying with the Spanish title. Bring us back Alvadansen, Nocturne and I evighet!

FYR of Macedonia ***

I really liked her in her Eurovision debut but this time the song is just ok. Last time she also had some typical Eurovision wardrobe functions on stage but this time she hasn't got much to take off judging the pic... Being Macedonia this will go to the final and bomb there like every year. Or so they say....

Portugal ****

This seems to be in the lowest places in all polls but I like it. Simple happy song that could follow Lambada's success in charts if people pick it up. I hope they do and the hardcore fans wil learn a lesson, lol. Now that Greece and Finland have won it's Portugal's turn. Well, maybe not this year but soon I hope.

Czech Republic ****

A great contrast to Serbia's song. This is maybe closest to Lordi's winning song last year, a good melody hidden under rather heavy arrangements and raspy vocals. I think this could be one of the surprises of the evening qualifying to the final and after that... we will see.

Serbia *****

This is my number one. It has it all and somehow the fact it is not performed by some breathtaking Balcan beauty makes it even better. Great melody that just keeps growing, adding drama on the way, wonderful vocals... Wow. Serbia has done it again. A sure qualifier and top-3 in the final, I hope. And they even didn't need Zeljko this time!

Poland **

This is a far cry from times when songs still had at least some national elements. They mix a bit of Chicago, a bit of coreography I would imagine Christina Aguilera do and a lot of annoying noises. I know some like this but I don't. And I don't believe this go very far but then again: what do I know?
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