Friday, July 31, 2009

ESC 2009: Juries and televoters agreed on top and in bottom of the results. And sometimes in between, too

So here they are. Fans have been demanding them (may I ask why?) and after 2 months of checking and double checking EBU has released the results of both jury voting and televoting. Many countries did publish their own votes already but let's see how it all went, like if it made any difference now...
On top the televoters and juries were rather similar in their voting: Norway won both, Iceland was 2nd by juries and 4th by televoters and 2nd in overall. Azerbaijan was lifted by televoters to third place while juries placed it 8th. Same goes for Turkey when televoters lifted it 4th while juries placed it 7th. Also Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia, Russia and especially Albania has to thank televoters by lifting them higher on the final scoreboard - in Albania's case from 23rd place to 17th when televoters put it 11th.
Then we have those who may take a bow to the direction of the juries: United Kingdom (3rd by juries, 10th by televoters), France (4th and 17th), Denmark (6th and 19th) and especially Israel: 9th by the juries but last in televote and 16th in general. A lot talked Malta didn't set neither juries (13th) nor televoters (24nd) on fire and finished 22nd.
Both televoters and juries also agreed on the bottom three Lithuania, Spain and Finland.
Only in three cases they completely agreed: Norway 1st, Portugal 18th and Lithuania 20th. Estonia was close (5th and 6th) as well as Finland (24th and 22nd)

Michalis Hatzigiannis returns...

.. or was he ever away being busy touring the world? Anyways. he has a new video out and it's very laid back nice song called Parta ola diko sou. Watch it here:

Countdown to Madonna: 4 days

A couple of more singles from American life proving the album is not that bad at all as they seem to think, including maybe my favorite Madonna track of them all and then the song that took Madonna out of the disaster and back to the dancefloor and top of the charts...

Nothing fails***** is just fantastic. I love it. It takes on with the gospel where Like a prayer left us. Loved by the critics it was only released as a B-side to Love profusion in some territories, flopped in the US charts (number 101) and there was no video. What a waste for a masterpiece.... But hey, it was number one in Spain!

Love profusion**** became third single in a row to flop in the US (number 103) but it did much better elsewhere. Number 3 in Greece and Canada, again number one in Spain (!!!) and it missed the top-10 in UK as well at number 11.

Hung up***** took Madonna back to the top of the charts all over the world by storm. Except the US where it stopped at number 7 being number one practically everywhere else, namely in Guinness record breaking 45 countries! Sampling ABBA's Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A man after midnight) boosted ABBA record sales all over the world, too..... Everybody was happy again; fans, critics, ABBA and Madonna!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Songs for summer: Celebration by Madonna

Here it is! It has leaked and you can hear it here before its release next week. And it's fab! I haven't been so excited about a Madonna track since Hung up! This is kind of Madonna music I fell in love with. Very catchy, easy and 80's with a beat that someone in his 40's like me can get... :-) Love it! kaikki

Cristal Snow charmed Lady Gaga

Tasaa kaikkiCristal Snow who came third in Euroviisut 2008 with Can't save me charmed Lady Gaga when she was visiting Finland and giving a concert in Helsinki last Tuesday. "It was magical" he commented the meeting, "like there were only the two of us. We really clicked, we are soul sisters." They talked about New York and how hard it is to break through there. Later Cristal attended Lady Gaga's concert as a VIP guest invited by the lady herself in person.

Countdown to Madonna: 5 days

Next three singles start the troubled American life period plus a collaboration with the princess of pop Britney Spears by the one and only queen of pop....

American life*** didn't go down well with Americans and made it only number 37 in the US while making it number one in Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan and Switzerland and top-10 in many other countries and number 2 in UK. The video also caused trouble, as well as the original cover where Madonna was holding a machine gun. It all became very political mixing Bush, Iraq and all sort of things and in the end she withdraw the video upon its release.

Hollywood**** In aftermath of all that political stuff this failed to make top-100 in the US (number 103) - her first single to do so in over 20 years - which is a shame as this is a great track! Once again it did well elsewhere: yet another number 2 in UK and a top-10 in many other countries.

Me against the music*** was a favor by Madonna to Britney who got her first Billboard dance number one with this. Madonna added some vocals on a ready version and it became Britney's lead single from her new album In the zone. Yet again snobbed by Americans (number 35) it was a number one in Australia, Denmark and Ireland amongst others, number 2 in Canada, Italy, Norway and UK.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Laura: Divorce. Balcan girls in Golden Stag. New album.

01. Laura is no longer addicted to her husband of 11 years and the couple announced a marital divorce. Their musical and business relationship still goes on and her soon to be ex-husband will still be her manager and take care of her business. They have two sons.
02. She is finishing recording her new album, her 10th, to be out this fall completing the trilogy with her previous two albums Palaa and Kosketa mua.
03. She is repairing to represent Finland in Golden Stag festival in Romania in September. She will sing Tuhlaaja and Romania's ESC 2009 entry The Balkan girls in a new arrangement. Now that will be interesting to hear!!

Welcome number 145: Tonga!

Yet another country joins this block! A warm welcome to Tonga! The pacific islands also known as the Friendly Islands by Captain Cook.

Countdown to Madonna: 6 days

Less than a week to go for the concert, the building for the site has started in Helsinki's port area and here we have a look at the two more singles from Music album, and Madonna's adventures in the world of Bond. James Bond.

Don't tell me**** is written by Madonna's brother-in-law, Joe Henry, originally called Stop and released by him after Madonna's version. The song's release was delayed thanks to Music single's success in charts but eventually stayed there very long time, too, peaking at number 4 in both US and UK. Number one in Canada, Italy and New Zealand amongst others.

What it feels like for a girl*** was the third and final single off Music (yes, only three singles off it!). Her then husband Guy Ritchie directed the video that was banned in many countries and Charlotte Gainsbourg does the spoken part in it. It was also released in Spanish, Lo que siente la mujer. Number 23 in the US and number 7 in UK, top-20 most everywhere else as usual.

Die another day*** was the theme for the James Bond movie with the same title and marks Madonna's 20th anniversary in the spotlight. Mixed critic for this one being nominated for the Grammy as the best and Raspberry for the worst movie song. Number 8 in the US, number 3 in UK and number one in Canada, Israel, Italy, Japan, Romania just to name a few.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lady Gaga in Helsinki tonight

Lady Gaga is in concert tonight in Helsinki's Kulttuuritalo. The reports from the venue tell about long lines of fans hours before the opening of the doors and guess what? She sent them pizza and drinks to ease the waiting! How nice is that? Here's what to expect: and don't forget this:

Songs for summer: La cura by Greg Castiglioni

Greg Castiglioni is an Italian who has made his career in musicals in London and is currently working on Les Miserables in Queen's Theatre in West End. He has recorded this fabulous English version of Franco Battiato's La cura, that was recently voted in Italy the best love song of the past 20 years, and awarded the song of the year in 1996 when it was originally released. As the lyricist of this version Paula Parfitt described to me it's "a beautiful love song where the word love isn't even pronounced". This hasn't been yet released but hopefully it will happen soon, meanwhile we can enjoy this:

Welcome number 144: Turkmenistan

Welcome Turkmenistan, the 144th country visiting this blog!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Countdown to Madonna: 8 days

Next up on Madonna's singles discography two movie singles and the first single from the next, yet mega successful album Music.

Beautiful stranger*** is from the soundtrack Austin Powers: The spy who shagged me. It went to number one in various countries like Finland, Italy, Canada and South Africa, and number 2 in UK. It was never released in the US but air play listed it to number 19 in top-100.

American pie**** is from the soundtrack of The next best thing starring Madonna and Rupert Everett who also sings backing vocals on it. It's a cover of Don McLean's US number one hit in 1972. Once again a number one in many countries including Australia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and UK. It only made it to number 29 in the US however, where it was also voted the worst ever cover!

Music***** shot to the charts all over the world when it was released and became her 12th US number one and number one also in UK, Australia, Canada, Italy, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Spain and Switzerland, just to name a few. Ali G appears in the video that was filmed when Madonna was heavily pregnant with Rocco.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Venice Music Awards: Alice awarded

The 4th annual Venice Music Awards, awarded by Italian music experts were held in PalaGalileo, Lido di Venezia's music hall. Here are the winners in various categories: Albano (SIAE Award), Marco Carta (Male singer of the year), Audio 2 (Musical production of the year), Arisa (New comer from Sanremo), Michele Zarrillo (Social awareness), Dolcenera (Female artist of the year, RTL 12.5 radio award), Lelio Luttazzi (for the career) Alice (Province of Venice award), Donatella Rettore (Veneto region award), Marco Masini (Singer-songwriter).
Some of the awards are rather strange but never mind, it's always nice when someone worthy gets any award, like Alice!

Songs for Summer: Giornata diversa by Manuel Rinaldi

Giornata diversa (Different day) may have a rather shaky start but once the chorus kicks in it's great. And the video directed by Maurizio Montoni is very beautiful in its imaginary. Maybe this will be the "it" for Manuel? Check it out here

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Countdown to Madonna: 10 days

Next three Madonna singles feature the last three singles from multiawarded Ray of light, with mixed success in charts, and maybe my favorite Madonna track of them all...

Drowned world/Substitute for love**** was released only in Europe, Australia and Asia and became yet another top-10 hit for her in UK and number one in Spain. The video caused a little controversy as it portrayed a bit too faithful scenery of paparazzis hunting celebrities, soon after Princess Diana's death....

The power of good-bye***** is probably my favorite Madonna track (with Nothing fails). It charted well all over the world being number 11 in the US, number 6 in UK and number one in Mexico. It boosted the Ray of light album's sales pushing it to top-10 here and there seven month after its release.

Nothing really matters***** became Madonna's lowest peaking single in the US at number 93 but did better elsewhere, like number 7 in UK and yet another number one in Billboards Dance/Club play chart. It also made top-10 in various countries.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Songs for summer: On a night like this by Kylie/Anna

Apparently Anna Vissi's version was released before Kylie Minogue's but it didn't go anywhere while Kylie had a big hit with it and took the first step to make a real grand come back with Can't get you out of my head a bit later. And indeed, Kylie has something in her version La Vissi can only dream of, lifting the song to a new level of a dance classic... and

Laura, Urban Symphony & co tour Estonia

Urban Symphony has been busy recording their debut album and the second single Päikese poole is out and sounding mighty fabulous. In August they will be on the road with my favorite Estonian singer Laura Põldvere and other folks (see the poster). I think I'm gonna check my possibilities to go and see them....

Franco Battiato: A new film and opera production

Franco Battiato is starting to film a new film based on life of Friedrich Händel. "I have been working on this the past two years. I have read over 70 books on him and searched for an actor to play him. I have found him in Germany. He speaks three languages and plays the piano" the Sicilian artist tells. This will be his fourth film as director/producer. He debuted as a director in 2003 with Perdutoamor that he also wrote. Musikanten, a film based on life of Ludwig van Beethoven was released in 2005 in Venice Film Festival and his third film Niente é come sembra in 2006. He won Nastro d'Argento award for the best new director for Perdutoamor.
Meanwhile another production will debut next month in Castello Aragonese in Otranto. A popular opera Ottocento with the music by Francesco Libetta based on Maria Corti's novel L'Ora di tutti. Battiato is the artistic supervisor of the production.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Madonna - Celebration

Here it is. The cover art of Madonna's Celebration, a 2-cd of her greatest hits from the past 27 years released September 28/29, 2009. I'm not quite sure what to think about it....
Will the single Celebration out August 3 be her 13th US number one? 14th UK number one? 40th Billboard Dance/Club play number one?

Carola and Alexander Rybak together on stage

Better late than never. Carola performed together with Alexander Rybak in Allsang på Gränsen a couple of weeks ago breaking the previous record when over 10.000 people squeezed in to see them. After an intro mixing very nicely together Främling and Fairytale they sung I'll be there by Michael Jackson.

Lena Philipsson & Orup on the road again

Lena Philipsson's collaboration with Orup continues after three albums, a tour and a stage show with another summer tour. And the critic's been very favorable and it is another success story for the couple. The Swedish tour started July 3 in Sundsvall and will go on until August 14 for the final performance in Eskilstuna after 14 shows. Måns Zelmerlöv is a special guest on a couple of nights! They already performed also in Mariehamn's (Finland) Rock-Off festival on July 18. Stockholm will have a chance to see the show on August 7.Tasaa kaikki

Countdown to Madonna: 12 days

One final single from succesful Evita soundtrack before hitting it real big again with Ray of light.

Another suitcase in another hall**** was only released in UK, New Zealand and a few European countries. In Australia it was released and withdrawn almost immediately thus not making it to the charts. In UK this shot to number 7 and vanished right after.

Frozen***** is undoubtedly one of the finest Madonna records. It was a huge success all over the world, making number one in countries like UK (where it went straight to number one), Finland and Italy but stopping at number 2 most everywhere being stopped by Celine Dion's My heart will go on at number one for forever. In Belgium there was some ridiculous plagiarism controversy that you read more in Wikipedia by certain nobody Salvatore Acquaviva...

Ray of light**** was another mega success for her topping the charts here and there and generally being a top-5 hit all over the world (US number 5, UK number 2), winning several MTV Music awards and other awards. This time Italian director Stefano Salvati accused the video of plagiarism of Biagio Antonacci's 1994 video Non é mai stato subito.

Czecks give up?

The rumor has it Czech Republic has thrown in the towel and will not come to Oslo 2010 "due to lack of interest of the Czech public." How about lack of success? In three years of participation they have managed to get together only a total of 10 points, two last places, one second to last place and even one dreadful nil points! Now that must be an Eurovision all time record in any standards! It's a shame as they have sent 3 respectable entries in 3 different styles and by no means the worst of each year!
They debuted in Helsinki 2007 with rock band Kábat with Mála dáma. Excellent song but it managed to score only 1 point from Estonia and came last in semifinal. In Belgrade 2008 they tried with happy pop song with a pretty - yet vocally challenged - Tereza Kerndlová asking us to Have some fun. Voters in Turkey (1), Croatia (2), Malta (1) and Macedonia (5) did worth of 9 points and second to last place in its semifinal leaving only Hungary behind. And this year in Moscow's Aven Romale was overlooked by everyone and it scored a big flat zero. I kinda enjoyed that one, too!
If the rumor turns out right Armenia will miss Czechs the most: they have received a staggering 34 points from them in 3 years! Ukraine (25), Russia (21) and Azerbaijan (20) might feel some longing, too....

Yohanna releases debut album

The runner up in ESC Moscow, Iceland's lovely Yohanna has released her debut album Butterflies and Elvis in Scandinavia. More international releases will follow shortly. Yohanna's Is it true charted in several countries after Eurovision.

Mr Lordi's debut art exhibition

Tomi Putaansuu alias Mr Lordi debuts as an artist in an exhibition in Helsinki's Kulmagalleria (Porthaninkatu 17). He presents his paintings and album cover art, visual images of band's wardrobe and graphics, all of them he designs himself. The exhibition stays open from August 8 to August 30. More information here

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Songs for summer: Your loving arms by Billie Ray Martin

Whatever happened to her? The whole world was dancing to this one for months and then ... nothing. A true classic. Sooner or later someone will sample or remix this one....

Welcome number 143: Yemen

We have a new country in the visitors list today: Yemen. Welcome! So it becomes the 143rd country! :-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I heard a rumor...

Summer is slow season in Eurovision world and all sort of rumors are running wild. Most will turn out to be absolutely untrue, some might have a hint of truth in them. Some are just made up by who-knows-who. Here are some of the latest floating around, with some other useless information:
James Fox will be back for UK in 2010, maybe with Lucia Silvas. Ok, we will see about that. Johnny Logan will write the French entry next year. Yeah right.
Stefan Raab will have his fingers in the German selection. True.
Georgia will participate again. True, too. Apparently.
Liechtenstein will debut. Yes, if EBU changes the rules!
Cindy Sander will sing for France. Ok, and Johnny Logan will write the song?
The Pirates of the sea will return. God no!
And today main websites are talking about the Italian version of the Irish entry Et cetera this year. Not a rumour but true. And besides, it IS the original version of the song, submitted already last year to San Marino... Only that my readers heard that version already in May! About the time the others woke up.... :-) Summer sure is short of news...

Countdown to Madonna: 14 days

Next three Madonna singles have the alternative release from Something to remember and the first two singles off Evita.

Love don't live here anymore** is one of the rare Madonna covers, originally by Rose Royce in 1978. It was released as a single in by Madonna in Japan 1986, and re-issued in the US market ten years later with a new video. It went to number 4 in Japan in 1986 but managed only 78 in the US in 1996.

You must love me***** is the only new song added to the Evita movie, and reunited Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice writing together after 13 years. It brought them an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and Madonna a lot of credibility. Number 10 in UK and number 18 in the US.

Don't cry for me Argentina**** was released as a dance version on single and topped the charts all over the world. In the US it made number 8 and in UK number 3 while number ones include France, Spain, Italy, Canada and Eurochart top-100.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Songs for summer: I'm not scared by Eight Wonder

Pet Shop Boys wrote this masterpiece of a pop song to Patsy Kensit's Eight Wonder. Re-hearing it now makes it sound as fantastic as it did back then, 20 years ago. Pure 80's orgasm! And there's also the French version! and

New single for Jalisse

Tasaa kaikkiNon voglio lavorare or I don't want to work is the title of Jalisse's new single released both in Italian and Spanish. For some reason it makes me think of Adriano Celentano & Claudia Mori's Sanremo winner Chi non lavora non fa l'amore... In September they will released a new album. You can listen Non voglio lavorare in their MySpace Jalisseduo and here's the recent performance of classic Rios de palabras

Countdown to Madonna: 16 days

Next three singles feature the last one from Bedtime stories and two new tracks from the ballads compilation released pre-Evita to show she's got it what it takes to perform also ballads...

Human nature**** was a direct answer to all people were saying about the Sex book and Erotica album. It failed to make the top-40 stopping at 46 in the US (second one in a row to do so) but was a big hit in clubs and dance charts. It made top-10 in UK and Canada and charted in top-20 most everywhere else.

You'll see***** launched the Something to remember ballads compilation album and was a smash hit all over the world, and a kind of sequel to Take a bow both as a song and video. It was also released in Spanish in the Latin market. Number 2 in the US, number 5 in UK, top-3 in Canada, Finland, South Africa, Italy, Spain and Japan for example...

One more chance*** was released in Europe and Japan instead of Love don't live here anymore and it made it to number 11 in UK, number 12 in Finland and nunber 7 in Italy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Welcome Tajikistan & Bahamas

We have two new countries joining this blog bringing the total to 142 these past few hours from different parts of the world: Tajikistan and Bahamas! Welcome both!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Songs for summer: I kissed a girl by Ivri Lider

Ivri Lider has turned this Kate Perry's bubble gum pop into pure melancholy and it's fantastic in some weird way. It's not the first time he makes covers, just check out The man I love and Boys just wanna have fun below. He also covered Rita's Bo for the touching Yossi & Jagger movie. Ivri would be a great choice for Israel next yearin Oslo...
All Youtubes here:,,,,

Countdown to Madonna: 17 days

Next three Madonna singles are the first three from more fortunate Bedtime stories album. The tune was more mainstream and clean, and she managed to polish up her image and credibility.

Secret***** is one of my favorite Madonna tracks. Fantastic lyrics, great melody, perfect hit. It made it to number one in many countries including Switzerland and Canada. In the US it was number 3 and in UK number 5. Later the video was re-released with the dance mix of the song.
Once again I didn't find the original video so here's the live one:

Take a bow**** became Madonna's 11th number one in the US and the longest running one: seven weeks and the highest selling single of 1995. In UK it however failed to make top-10 and broke her ten year run of 35 consecutive top-10 hits! It was also number one in Canada but failed to make top-10 elsewhere in the world. Clearly north American appeal in this one!

Bedtime story**** is completely different from the previous single and if she collaborated with Dallas Austin in Secret, Babyface in Take a bow this one was written by Björk. After mega success of Take a pow in the US this one failed to make the top-40 - her first single to do so since Burning up in 1983 but in UK this was a number 4 and number 5 in Australia.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Amadeus Lundberg: Album for Christmas

The reigning Tango King and Euroviisut 2010 participant Amadeus Lundberg will release his debut album for the Christmas market, meaning his Euroviisut song won't be on it - unless they re-release it with the track included. He says they are looking for songs for it and most likely there will be also covers and different music styles but if tenor pop will be one of them remains to be seen or rather heard....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Boaz Mauda releases debut album

It's been a long wait but here it is finally: Boaz Mauda's self titled debut album. It includes obviously his ESC 2008 track Fire in your eyes, the collaboration with fellow Eurovision stars Jelena and Sirusho Time to pray and Journey of my life from the 2008 Israeli selection (but not the other 3 songs...). Eleven tracks in total and they all sound great if you like his voice. And I do!, kaikki

Countdown to Madonna: 19 days

Next three singles are the 5th and 6th single off Erotica and yet another movie song....

Rain***** did a bit better than previous single Bad girl peaking at number 7 in UK and number 14 in the US. The video got a lot of praise and won two MTV Video Music awards.

Bye bye baby** was only released in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Japan. It made number 15 in both Australia and Japan. No video was made for this one.

I'll remember**** is from With honors movie and took Madonna back to top of the charts making number 2 in the US and number 7 in UK, number one in Canada. Once again I didn't find the video so here's something else:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nudity and Eurovision: What's the deal?

I got an email complaining about the idea of this "naked singers" in this blog as it has nothing to do with Eurovision. Well, I must admit it was not my original intention but to present some songs for summer I like or felt are fitting. Then I discovered one naked singer after another and the series took a little turn to that direction. But to say it has nothing to do with Eurovision is not right. Above we have pictures of Ruslanas Kirilkinas, Azis, Gary Revel Jr and Marco Banderas, all international and national Eurovision veterans or wannabes. Ruslanas was to take part in Lithuanian selection this year but withdraw (and he has been in the Finnish Idols). He's done some gayporn in the past. Azis backed Mariana Popova in ESC 2006 and has proudly displayed his enlargement results of his privates in photos besides many other controversial photos and videos. Gary Revel Jr's participation in Euroviisut 2005 was in danger after someone published some old porno photos of his. And finally Banderas took part in the Spanish selection this year and is an award winning straight porn star. So, in my opinion it's just a matter of time EBU has to deal with something bigger in this field... if people still care and get scandalized for a little bit of nudity or a stiff cock!
And we can't forget Croatian national finalist Luka Nizetic and Slovenian Sebastian, both have done some artistic nudes and calendars in the past, Greek Sakis Rouvas hasn't really kept his clothes on so much either during his career and even the Spanish boys D'Nash has posed in the nude - all of them though covering their privates. But the reigning queen until now is Croatian Severina whose homevideo was leaked into internet just before her ESC 2006 participation causing quite a scandal.... That's what comes to mind without much thinking, I'm sure there are others. So, in short nudity - soft or hard - has made its way to Eurovision like it or not. Sooner or later we will have an artist with an "interesting" past as often Eurovision attracts kind of "artists" who want to speedrace their way to the stardom and 15 minutes of fame.
What do you think?
And as for the naked pics of Colton Ford, Quentin Elias, Jay Brannan and Joel Evan: you all know how to google, don't you? Just turn off your safesearch....

And it's 140: Welcome Benin

Benin joins in this blog as 140th country! Welcome!

Songs for summer: It's my life (Finally) by Sean Ensign

An American who does Eurodance? Yes, there is at least one: Sean Ensign. From hospital intensive care nurse to male model to openly gay disco star, that's his career in short. This It's my life (Finally) is his debut since from 2006, and he has just re-released the debut album including all six singles released so far, 4 of them have made the UK dance charts top-20. This debut single made it to number 21 in Dance single charts and number 35 in US Club/Dance charts. Here's the video in all its pure eurodisco: (Gotta love the lady with big hair!)
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