Sunday, January 31, 2010

YLE manipulated the vote? Hint of a scandal in Finland...

... or rather yellow press is trying to create one. YLE has invited Marco Bjurström, dancer, coreographer and media person, to comment on the superfinalists after their performances while the voting was still on obviously. Now some people try to claim it may have cost Eläkeläiset their victory as he said they are not funny, musically zero and the overal package is useless, inner joke that even most of the Finns don't get. In short not suitable for Eurovision. He also said Nina Lassander was good but some what boring and the staging was strange and needed work. As for Kuunkuiskaajat he said they were full of joy and happiness, the song is Finnish but the group, especially the guys, needed a new styling and styling that unites them. He also said he'd rather send them to Oslo 2010 - when his favourite Heli Kajo was out of the race.
I totally agreed with everything he said and who know me know also I am not a Marco Bjurström fan. And if someone thinks he may have changed some people's opinion with his comments, the question is not did he, but who are these people who have no taste or opinion of their own? So whoever accuses YLE of manipulating the vote should shut up. Besides I think YLE was aiming at Eläkeläiset anyways. They have been most every YLE programme possible the past few days but it didn't work, did it?

31.1.1976 - Fredi & The Friends - Pump pump

YLE Studios in Helsinki hosted the Finnish final 1976 on January 31. Open contest was held and out of 245 songs YLE's jury chose the final songs, and regional juries the winner. Originally Fredi had planned to sing Pump pump with Marion but she had to say no thanks due to her well going career abroad. He also surprised many with this uptempo number as he was known as a ballad singer. The juries thought it's not maybe the best song but the most suitable for Haag. And indeed it seemed like that as Finland was considered one of the favourites and even a top-5 placing was to be expected. In the end 44 points and 11th place and a big disappointment. We like to blame the catholic countries for that. It was way too risky for them. Was it?

Slovakia: Semifinal 4

STV continues its search for the Eurosong 2010 and four more entries will move on from tonight's fourth semifinal. As usual I will update late with the qualifiers and the videos.

MAYO - Tón  
STEREO - Niekde medzi tým  
BARBORA ŠULÍKOVÁ - Čelný náraz  
ALEK MALO - Zmysel života  
PAVOL KUSÝ - Slzy v daždi  
PALO DRAPÁK BAND - Pocit vášne  
ALONE - Strašne mi chýbaš   

Azeri hopefuls ready for semifinal

Tuesday February 2 Azerbaijan will have its semifinal with six singers and songs, and three of them - chosen by a jury - will go on to the final later in February.All songs in English except Safura who mixes English and Azeri. The selection is mainly to pick up the singer so the song is not necessarily the one they will sent but it could be, like in 2008.

  • Azad Shabanov - Smile
  • Safura & Nero - Promise
  • Ulviya Rahimova - In love
  • Maryam Shabanova & Spider - I've had enough
  • Elli Michiyeva - Up, up
  • Milk & Kisses - I am on fire

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Kuunkuiskaajatbeat Eläkeläiset in the end, phew! Maybe their fans were already too drunk to vote in the second round?
"Even the big stages of the world won't beat this moment" say the happy girls of Kuunkuiskaajat moments after their victory. "A piece of some instrument broken my Eläkeläiset before us cut my feet when going on stage and even the earpiece dropped but hey, through difficulties to victory!" They promise to perform barefeet also in Oslo. Girls have been singing together already 11 years in Värttinä so they are no newcomers in the business. "The freshness and joyness made the trick" they think "and people could see we truly enjoy performing!"

1. Kuunkuiskaajat - Työlki ellää  42%
2. Nina Lassander - Cider hill   37,8%
3. Eläkeläiset - Hulluna humpasta  20,2%

Welcome # 176: Guadaloupe

Yet another flag to add: Guadaloupe, number 176! Right in time to honor Kuunkuiskaajat! Welcome!


Come back 7pm CET for live coverage. No webcast by YLE as usual outside Finland.

YLE is kind enough to treat as 20 minutes of the most memorable moments in Euroviisut history before the show; the best and the worst, the scandals and mistakes and most of all the most controversial jury decisions.... Well now that was fun! But the serious stuff is about to begin....

And it starts with karaoke Te deum conducted by Sami Hintsanen! Jaana and Peltsi take the stage while the greenroom is on the stage, too. Well, next to it connected with a catwalk. The voting has been just opened and we are readyt to start....

Maria Lund – Sydän ymmärtää ***
Maria made it to the final thanks to YLE’s wildcard only, which was maybe a bit surprising. The song basically tells how men are stupid and women just have to understand them. Love forgives and forgets everything and heart understands as long as he remembers to bring you roses…. The 50’s/60’s inspired look match the song perfectly and Maria with her dancers breathe life to this song that sounded a bit boring on record. No changes to the semifinal performance it seems.

Looks like someone has stolen the award, the infamous Viiskuavain or Eurovision Key!

Antti Kleemola – Sun puolella *****
Antti has been suffering from stomach flu and had to skip the rehearsals and sits behind his piano and performs his song based on the semifinals only. He made it to the final surprising many but I think this is maybe the finest song in the offering, a true Eurovision ballad based on a story how his grandfather used to conform him as a kid by “being on his side”. No frills power ballad. A little change to the semifinal performance; he won’t sit down again after the keychange which works much better! Great performance considering he’s ill and had no rehersals.

Jaana and Peltsi are running around Helsinki now in search of the award. Could some bitter ex-winner have stolen it? Fredi perhaps?

Linn – Fatal moment *
I totally disagree this song being here but it seems to have fans. It will be interesting to see how these three songs the Swedish speaking population backed will do in the final now that their vote splits. Fatal moment indeed. Starts of rocky but then gets more into mainstream pop reminding me a bit of Moldova’s Fight in Helsinki 2007 – only that one was much better! And besides Linn seems to be rather off key tonight.

Next stop in the search: Marika Krook of Edea... but no. She doesn't have it either! Next on stage Pentti Hietanen with Il mondo é chi, if you believe Peltsi's prononciation. Didn't he learn it in 4 weeks?

Pentti Hietanen – Il mondo é qui *
Granny mafia must have voted this one here. Totally useless, boring and dated song. Nothing wrong with Pentti and his family based backing group (with minor changes in line up I hear and dresses), the song is a sugary sleeping pill, not worth of a b-side of some Sanremo artists single, like Albano or Massimo Ranieri. The world is here, as he sings, but his world has stopped turning about 25 years ago…. And the ladies sung a bit too high I suspect....

Jaana and Peltsi visits Marion next, after all she was close twice.... No! But she hints someone who won twice but was never sent but replaced before going to Eurovision could have taken it... Hmmm...

Heli Kajo – Annankadun kulmassa *****
Heli is fresh, happy, joyful, funny, perfect! This would be a nice break in the string of Finnish Eurovision tunes and could attract votes in Oslo for being genuine and not tailor made for Eurovision. For Finns it might be a bit too Helsinki centred with the story of Saturday night at the bar and relationship problems. She has a following in Facebook urging everyone to vote for her to stop Eläkeläiset instead of voting various artists so let’s see… Identical performance to the one in semifinal but maybe just not so spontaneous?

Marjatta Leppänen! And no, she didn't take it either.... Another hint from her: a duo but not CatCat....

Nina Lassander – Cider Hill ***
Nina has to fight the Swedish votes with Linn and the Twisters but her song is clearly the best out of these three. I still don’t like the staging but this princess fairytale is not bad at all, but maybe not strong enough for Oslo 2010? Has she changed the dress and hairdo a bit? Looks younger and fresher somehow now, and the mixing seems to be better and her voice more audible this time. YLE should hire Mikki Kunttu every year to do the lightning as it looks he is the only one who can deal with them…. ladies white dresses get lost in the light in TV, that’s not right.

Jarkko & Laura.... their PR material was found only when they were on plane back from Madrid in 1969 but no, that's not good enough a reason to steal the Award... Who has it?

Amadeus – Anastacia ****
He started off as the favourite with Eläkeläiset but hasn’t featured so well in the polls. However tonight the grannies, gypsies and his fans are watching and voting – they don’t necessarily vote in internet polls, do they? – so we better watch out. He released his debut album this week and tonight will be interesting breaking moment for him: will his fairytale continue or will he flop? In semifinals he managed to avoid camera contact totally, can it do the trick tonight? In that case he will sing in English in Oslo 2010. New look – very tight jeans and white shirt - for him and the dancers tonight plus his useless dancer sister seems to have been replaced, too. The dancers are rather useless after the intro anyways…

Jaana and Peltsi are back on stage explaining the voting once again and no sight of the award... and remimder of things to come: Mikko Leppilampi show and Alexander Rybak (add huge applause)

Sister Twister – Love at the first sight **
A lot of energy and good TV work in this one but can we forget the errors in grammar and the weird pronunciation? The song promises a lot but in the end doesn’t go anywhere while the viewers are lost in their interesting hairdos…. and pyros. Seems like the pyros boom is over as they are the only ones using them.

News about Euroviisut 2011: next year's Tangomarkkinat winner will be in Euroviisut 2011 just like Amadeus this year. Also, the open contest will be even larger next year. More details comes in summer 2010....

Eläkeläiset – Hulluna humpasta *
The ones to beat if you believe the polls. The joke wears off soon and the song’s very boring until the instrumental break. Some Finns might find it amusing for the lyrics but I don’t. Let’s see if they are sober enough to perform and their fans sober enough to vote? Don’t expect an English version if they win – Finnish it is and stays. No raping the keyboard this time, he hammers it down. But the nazi walk is there….Unfortunately the audience explodes, both in boos and cheers.

Kuunkuiskaajat – Työlki ellää ****
The girls have been doing well in both fan polls and the newspaper polls and they could become the compromise winner if the votes slip if and when Eläkeläiset won’t make it. After all this is another kind of humppa song, too. Very Finnish, the girls are charming and chirpy. The guys dance and clap their hands in the background barefeet and audience claps along, too. Great finish for the first round.

After recap and a short walk down the Norwegian Eurovision history, with 10 last places and 4 null points for them we Finns have it pretty good, don't we? And the voting is over!

And now the stage is taken over by Mikko Leppilampi big band show! He is sporting a new look with beard and looks and sounds pretty good! Eurovision 2011? After this delight we have to suffer another chat with the "Norwegian hosts"... Ha ha. Not.

And the superfinalists are: Nina Lassander! And the second one is... Eläkeläiset. And the last one is... Kuunkuiskaajat! I'm a bit shocked. The lines are now opened again....

Nina Lassander is back on stage. Ok, the song's good, she's good but somehow it doesn't touch me in any particular way but I'm perfectly happy if she wins. I guess I just don't like the presentation, umbrellas and all that stuff. On the other hand if she wins I'm afraid this will be A little bit kind of song: no one hates but no one likes enough to vote for it. Not a qualifier from a semifinal in Oslo 2010.
Eläkeläiset now on stage fighting with their keyboards. Ha ha. Not. One can only hope for a miracle. Lots of booing in the audience.
Kuunkuiskaajat next. No I'm in doubt between them and Nina. They should have been my favourites but something tonight... and the fact Nina is in top-3 that I never expected at all. If they win I'll be happy as can be as they'd beat Eläkeläiset and this has the same ingredients but in a good charming way. So... they're my favourites now. Nina will do as well but I rather send these girls. They might bomb completely but with style and just might surprise us all in Oslo 2010. The audience loved this btw.

Alexander Rybak on stage now with world premiere of his new song Europe's skies and Fairytale. with three female violinists and Frikar Dance company. The audience is in delirium! After that he has to suffer a videoclip of Jaana killing Fairytale but hey, he gets an award for his suffering: a gold disc for his album! He has sold gold! Congrats! And the voting is now over.'s fan award next. The fans have voted and it goes to Heli Kajo!

Hey, superhero Mikko Leppilampi runs in and brings the Award! Stolen by Sami Hintsanen because he didn't win in 1996.... Oh well. Ok, time for real results.

Third place goes to.... ELÄKELÄISET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hallulujah! Amen! The winner is then..... KUUNKUISKAAJAT!!!!!

1. Kuunkuiskaajat 42,0%
2. Nina Lassander 37,8%
3. Eläkeläiset 20,2%

Euroviisut 2010: What the polls say? UPDATED

The polls are quite different, mainly because of Eläkeläiset that general public seems to favor and fans loathe. It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow night, I start to think they may not win after all? On the other hand I have said since the beginning they will be in the superfinal but Finns will have sense not to vote them to Oslo 2010 after all.... We will see!

Viisukuppila's fan poll looks like this at less than 24 hrs before the final:

1. Heli Kajo   33%
2. Kuunkuiskaajat   18%
3. Antti Kleemola   13%
4. Amadeus   11%
5. Sister Twister   7%
6. Eläkeläiset   7%
7. Nina Lassander   5%
8. Maria Lund   1%
9. Linn   0%
9. Pentti Hietanen   0%

And Ilta-Sanomat's poll (nearly 20.000 votes):

1. Eläkeläiset   33%
2. Maria Lund   19%
3. Kuunkuiskaajat   12%
4. Nina Lassander   10%
5. Sister Twister   7%
6. Heli Kajo   7%
7. Amadeus   5%
8. Pentti Hietanen   3%
9. Antti Kleemola   2%
10. Linn   1%

Iltalehti's poll gives the biggest win for Eläkeläiset:

1. Eläkeläiset   50%
2. Kuunkuiskaajat   10,7%
3. Heli Kajo   8,6%
4. Maria Lund   7,7%
5. Amadeus   7,6%
6. Pentti Hietanen   4,6%
7. Sister Twister   3,8%
8. Nina Lassander   3,0%
9. Antti Kleemola   2,6%
10. Linn   1,3%

And if we turn these polls into Eurovision 1-12 points it would look like this:
1. Eläkeläiset 29  2. Kuunkuiskaajat  28  3. Heli Kajo  25  4. Maria Lund  20  5. Amadeus  17 6. Sister Twister 16  7. Nina Lassander 14  8. Antti Kleemola 12  9. Pentti Hietanen 9  10. Linn 4
But of course it won't go like this. Sister Twister and Linn have the Swedish speakers to count on, Amadeus the gypsies, Pentti the ladies... Maria has her share of fans, too.

In my poll here in the blog Amadeus and Heli ruled leaving all the others far behind.

Scandinavian delight - the CDs!

Funny how similar the CD sleeves look this year - with the exception of Finland that goes its own way once again.... :-) Order here.

Norway: The last chance round tonight

Besides the Finnish final we are treated to the Norwegian last chance round tonight. Two more songs will join the line up of the final next Saturday. The songs have been coupled in duels and the winners progress ahead in the table in true football style:

Skanksters vs. Bjørn Johan Muri
Gaute Ormåsen vs. Heine Totland
Mira Craig vs. Johnny Hide
Karoline Garfjell vs. Venke Knutson
Bjorn Johan Muri vs Gaute Ormåsen
Mira Graig vs. Venke Knutson 

So, Muri and Knutson join in the other finalists. Go Venke!

Tonight: Final in Finland

Jaana Pelkonen and Peltsi Peltola will host the final in Tampere's Fair centre. Guest stars are Alexander Rybak and Mikko Leppilampi band so Jaana and Mikko will be reunited again after their great hosting in Helsinki 2007. Recently they were voted the best hosts in the 2000's by a website. Two rounds of televoting will give us the winner. Polls indicate Eläkeläiset as a clear winner unfortunately but both Heli Kajo's and Nina Lassander's fans have been activated in Facebook and also Amadeus, Kuunkuiskaajat and Maria Lund might have a chance. The televoters tonight could be a bit different than in the semifinals. My dream superfinalists would be Heli Kajo, Antti Kleemola and Amadeus/Kuunkuiskaajat.

Amadeus - Anastacia
Nina Lassander - Cider Hill
Pentti Hietanen - Il mondo é qui
Antti Kleemola - Sun puolella
Heli Kajo - Annankadun kulmassa
Sister Twister - Love at the first sight
Maria Lund - Sydän ymmärtää
Kuunkuiskaajat - Työlki ellää
Linn - Fatal moment
Eläkeläiset - Hulluna humpasta

Friday, January 29, 2010

Stomach flu hits Antti Kleemola - skips rehearsals

Tampere's Fair center has been hit by something causing gastric problems and stomach flu over the week . The venue and its kitchen has been disinfected and all the food and drinks for the Euroviisut people has been brought in from elsewhere just to be on the sure side but despite that several members of YLE staff have caught the bug. Today the worst news come when Antti Kleemola is reported to be ill as well. He has to skip the rehearsals today but will perform tomorrow and hope for the best. Hopefully there won't be further problems. Good luck Antti, we are on your side! The Finnish Euroviisut 2010 final takes place tomorrow and BlogIlkar will provide a live coverage as always!

Slovakia: Semifinal 3

Slovakia continues its semifinals and we have reached number 3 tonight. Meanwhile the winner of the first one Hrdza has been disqualified (October 1, 2009 rule) and replaced by Hortská Chata (5th in the semifinal). Tonight's songs: (Qualified)

ROBO ŠIMKO & MASS RIOT - Podľa vlastnej hlavy
REVERZ PARK - Po kvapkách  
LEKRA - Dolina, dolina  
FREE VOICES - Z osnov  
HUDBA Z MARSU - Final Song  
ROBO OPATOVSKÝ - Niečo máš  

The wrongest choice: Niin kaunis on taivas!

People have voted and the 1996 entry Niin kaunis on taivas was voted the wrongest choice beating Kojo's Nuku pommiin that is generally considered the worst ever. Nina Åström's A little bit came third. It beat back in 2000 both Nightwish and Anna Eriksson without being anyone's favourite due to the jury system. Here's the full list as voted in YLE's website:

1. Jasmine: Niin kaunis on taivas (1996)
2. Kojo: Nuku pommiin (1982)
3. Nina Åström: A little bit (2000)
4. Pave: Yamma Yamma (1992)
5. Jari Sillanpää: Takes 2 To Tango (2004)
6. Vesa-Matti Loiri: Huilumies (1980) ja
6. Waldo´s People: Lose Control (2009)
8. Edea: Aava (1998)
9. Viktor Klimenko: Aurinko laskee länteen (1965)
10. Beat: Fri? (1990)
10. Fredi ja ystävät: Pump-pump (1976)
12. CatCat: Bye Bye Baby (1994)
13. Boulevard: Nauravat silmät muistetaan (1988)
14. Riki Sorsa: Reggae OK (1981)
15. Laila Halme: Muistojeni laulu (1963)
16. Päivi Paunu ja Kim Floor: Muistathan (1972)

Spain: Coral drops to number 2

The ridiculous Spanish voting goes on for days still but Coral has been dropped to number two by El Pezón Rojo and John Cobra has risen third. WTF? I might be ashamed for Finns for voting Eläkeläiset but even more for so for the Spanish people.... What is RTVE thinking? Songs like that of John Cobro should have been eliminated before the voting started..... People, vote for real songs like Daniel Diges and Ainhoa who still have the chance to be in the top-10 and then kick ass in the live TV!

UPDATE It's just getting more ridiculous: Antonio Gonzales El Gato has reached the 5th place.... No comment.

Pete Waterman of PWL to write the UK entry

Pete Waterman, the man behind the countless hits of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Sinitta, Hazell Dean, Bananarama, Cliff Richard, Sonia, Mel & Kim, Rick Astley, Steps.... the list is endless. His PWL ruled the British charts - and not only - in the late 80's-early 90's. His first chart topper was John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John's You're the one that I want in 1978 and the latest Six's Let me be the one in 2002. In total he has written/producer/promoted 40 UK number ones and over 300 top-40 songs. PWL was considered a sort of modern day Motown, a real Hit Factory where several singers sung the same song and the most potential one was released and sometimes others, too. Like Turn it into love by Hazell and Kylie.  Or once again Hazell and Liza Minnelli in Love pains. With the 80's revival going on, has BBC got it right this time?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Deep Zone returns... in Cyprus!

Deep Zone that represanted their native Bulgaria in 2008 make a return in Cyprus! The final list for the finalist's artists has been announced and includes also 3 time Eurovision veteran Constantinos.

Constantinos Christoforou  - Angel
John Lilygreen & The Islanders - Life looks better in spring
Evagoras Evagorou - I'm gonna be
Hovig Demirjian - Goodbye
Vivian Douglas - Rhapsody
Anthi Pashi - You gotta go
Constantinos Kotzozis & Soul Throw - Island of love
Deep Zone - Play
Andread Economides - Waiting
Nicole Paparistodemou - Like a woman

Marcin Mrozinski is the last wildcard in Poland

Eurowizja Krajowe Eliminacje 2010 line is now complete when TVP announced a fan favourite Marcin Mrozinski has been accepted with his Legenda. He is already rather well known in Poland hand as experience in various TV-shows and musicals as well as theatre. The Polish final may not have the Eurovision 2010 winner in it but rather interesting selection of songs out of the typical Eurovision format instead.

  1. Leszcze -Weekend
  2. Dziewczyny - Cash box
  3. Iwona Wegrowska - Uwieziona
  4. Marcin Mrozinski - Legenda
  5. Aneta Figiel - Mysl o tobie
  6. Nefer - Chcialem zostac sam
  7. ZoSia - To, co czuje (Jak ptak)
  8. Anna Cyzon - Love me
  9. Sonic Lake - There is a way
  10. Vir- Sunrise

Portugal: Filipa Azevedo wins the first phase

The internet voting in Portugal is over and we have now the 24 semifinalists. Filipa Azevedo won this first phase followed by Nuno & Fabia and Nina Pinto. These 24 will be divided into 2 semifinals on March 2 and 4, and the final will be on March 6. Listen to the songs here.

  1. Filipa Azevedo - Há dias assim: 2,990 votes
  2. Nuno & Fábia - Amar (Vieste para me salvar): 2,905 votes
  3. Nina Pinto - Meu coração não é meu: 2,385 votes
  4. Nucha - Chuva: 2,361 votes
  5. Banda Trocopasso - O mundo de pernas para o ar: 2,130 votes
  6. Filipa Galvão Telles - O amor não sabe: 2,118 votes
  7. Catarina Pereira - Canta por mim: 2,036 votes
  8. Caludisabel - Contra tudo e todos: 1,974 votes
  9. Evelyne Filipe - A tua voz: 1,834 votes
  10. Seis po' meia dúzia - Pássaro saudade: 1,701 votes
  11. Filipe Delgado - Serei eu: 1,473 votes
  12. Gonçalo Tavares - Rios: 1,380 votes
  13. Nuno Pinto - Fogo lento: 1,345 votes
  14. Ouro - Arco-íris dentro de mim: 1,336 votes
  15. Jorge Guerreiro - Ai Lisboa: 1,276 votes
  16. David Navarro - Quem é que será?: 1,233 votes
  17. Rui Nova - Uma canção à Cid (O sol e as estrelas): 1,226 votes
  18. Gonçalo Madruga - Cores de um mundo: 1,225 votes
  19. Denissa - Meu mundo de sonhos: 1,219 votes
  20. The Agency - É assim que as coisas são: 1,178 votes
  21. Terra d'Água - Amanhã no mar: 1,161 votes
  22. V-Boy - Quando eu penso em ti: 1,156 votes
  23. Ricardo Martins - Caminheiro de mim: 1,143 votes
  24. Vanessa - Alvorada: 1,142 votes

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The wrongest choice?

Väärin viisu or the wrongest choice? The song that was never ment to win but did so anyways and people were all saying the day after "Wrong song won!". The song that won the wrong year. Or was sent to a wrong place. Or was chosen the wrong way. Or the jury was wrong. Or the artist was wrong. Or absolutely everything was wrong wrong wrong... That's what YLE wants to know in this poll and the results will be revealed next Saturday and you can vote until January 29 15.00 CET. Check out the nominees and videos here. My vote goes to 1988....

Euroviisut veterans will be guest commentators

Euroviisut 2010 live broadcast on radio will have high profile commentators when Riki Sorsa (1981), Fredi (1967, 1974), Katja Kätkä (1994), Ami Aspelund (1983), Anneli Saaristo (1989), Markku Aro (1971), Laura Antikainen (1969), Katri Helena (1979, 1993) and Tomi Putaansuu aka Mr Lordi (2006) will comment the final songs and predict how they would do in Oslo 2010. Euroviisut legend Sanna Kojo will present the show with Jorma Hietamäki. Euroviisut 2010 will start at 19.00 CET from Tampere live on YLE2 and Radio Suomi.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Akord withdraws in Moldova

Akord has withdrawn from the Moldovan final with their Lady Gaga. They were amongst the favourites but now claim they have gotten a "more interesting offer" from the States. In addition they say "Eurovision is not a contest for professional musicians". Really? Once someone calls from the US they become professional musicians? Tsk tsk! One shouldn't bite the hand that feeds. Good luck with conquering America!

Armenia: Laura Voutilainen's cousin as a wildcard?

Surprising news from Armenia. Maria Kizirian, a Finnish singer married to an Armenian and on top of that Laura Voutilainen's cousin is a possible wildcard to the Armenian final with her song Little red riding hood. She tells today to MTV3 she has been contected by the Armenian TV and they asked her to join the national final as they like the song so much. She was starting her musical career in Finland in 1999 but then Paul Kirizian came to her life and they went for the USA where she has released one album so far. You can listen to the song here.

26.1.2002 - Laura Voutilainen - Addicted to you

Tampere hosted the Euroviisut final on 26.1.2002 when YLE2 took over from YLE1 the organisation after 40 years. They took example from Sweden and Estonia and received a record number of songs: 476. In the final first the juries gave their votes and then televoters and Laura Voutilainen's Addicted to you was a clear winner by both. She was a popular winner and the expectations were high in May when she took the stage in Tallinn, Helsinki's bars and clubs were ready to party afterwords but once again the parties died in astonished silence when she got only 24 points and 20th place.... Later she said she was shocked and the look was blamed. Indeed, the styling was much better in Tampere than in Tallinn.

Katri Helena, Jari Sillanpää & co. for Haiti

The Finnish stars joined forced for Haiti last weekend in the Cathedral of Helsinki. at the presence of  Tarja Halonen, president of Finland. Katri Helena, Jari Sillanpää, Samuli Edelmann, Kari Tapio and Mikko Kuustonen were amongst the very emotional concert broadcasted live also my YLE. Over 800.000 euros were collected. Watch here and here (jump to 59' for Katri Helena's absolutely fantastic Kuudenikäinen or Six years old)

Carola to and for Haiti - with Charlotte Perrelli and Lena Ph?

Carola has recorded a charity single, witten by Natasha Bedingfield, for Haiti. She's also organizing a charity concert for the same course in Filadelfia church in Stockholm on February 25. Charlotte Perrelli, LaGaylia Frazier and Kristin Kaspersen are the first other artists included to the set and Carola wished to do a duet with Charlotte or Lena Philipsson as well. Carola has been doing charity for Haiti already for many years and has even a godchild, 14 year old Edens Dorelus living outside Port-au-Prince. Just a couple of days ago she found out he is ok. Carola is off to Haiti for a visit on February 1.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Euroviisut 2010 from Maria to moonwhisperers

The running order for Euroviisut 2010 has been announced. I don't know if this was drawn or if someone in YLE made it up. If so this person lacks sense of drama completely! The only positive thing I can think of is that maybe voters will realize how bad Eläkeläiset is when Kuunkuiskaajat comes in after them and show how humppa rhythm is done in a good way! The winner is chosen by televoters only. The top-3 will go to a second round of voting before the winner is chosen.

1. Maria Lund - Sydän ymmärtää
2. Antti Kleemola - Sun puolella
3. Linn - Fatal moment
4. Pentti Hietanen - Il mondo è quì
5. Heli Kajo - Annankadun kulmassa
6. Nina Lassander - Cider hill
7. Amadeus - Anastacia
8. Sister Twister - Love at the first sight
9. Eläkeläiset - Hulluna humpasta
10. Kuunkuiskaajat - Työlki ellää

Luminita tries again in Romania

TVR has announced the finalist in Selectia Nationala 2010 and amongst the names we have several familiar names even if some songs still miss the artist. Paula Seling tries once again, this time with two different duets, one of them with Ovi who participated in the Norwegian final last year. Catalin Josan is back, too, as is Zero. Blaxy Girls are unfortunately missing from the list but the most fuss have been around the entry by Luminita Anghel & co. Luminita scored a third place in 2005 after winning the semifinal with excellent Let me try.

Amadeus has flu....

Amadeus has had to cancel his gigs today. Hopefully he gets better for his debut album launch party on Thursday in Apollo in Helsinki and then off to Tampere and Euroviisut 2010 final on Saturday.... He is along with Heli Kajo and Kuunkuiskaajat the only one who can beat Eläkeläiset....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Slovakia: Semifinal 2

Slovakia will have its s econd semifinal tonight. Again ten songs in the list: Qualifiers.

1.Matka Guráž - Listobranie
2.Dominika Mirgová - Cesta snov
3.Get Explode - Blue sun
4.Mista - Emotions
5.Matej Koreň - Kocka pána Rubika
6.Pavol Remenár, Klára & Liquid Error - Figaro
7.Peter Bažík - Paradise vs. Babylon
8.Viki Matušovová - Uhol pohľadu
9.Metalinda - Keď strácam dych
10.Funny Fellows - Obrázok

All is good in Iceland, too - semifinal 3

Also in Iceland the fabourites (and the best ones) Hera Björk and Sjónni Brink made it to the final while Steinarr Logi Nesheim, Árnar Jónsson and Anna Hlin say goodbye to Oslo. Next week iceland will have a sort of recap with the six finalists and present them properly before the final. And guess what? I'm very happy with this result, too! Maybe I should be not able to watch live and just see the results later and things go my way?

All is good in Norway - semifinal 3

Favourites A1 and Didrik Solli-Tangen made it to the final in Norway from the third and last semifinal. Mira Craig and Karoline Garfjell have the last chance next week in the Last Chance round. Fred Endresen, Belinda Braza and The Diamond are out. I'm happy with this result!

24.1.2004 - Jari Sillanpää - Takes 2 to tango

The Euroviisut final 2004 was held in January 24th in Tohloppi studios in Tampere. Jari Sillanpää at height of his popularity easily won the first (out of two) semifinals with Takes 2 to tango but was only sixth in the jury voting in the final and the last one to qualify. However when the televotes were counted he emerged as the winner. In Istanbul it didn't go that well: 14th place in the semifinal with 51 points after a performance that suffered from sound problems and the running order, first. It was still a revenge for him after 1998's 2nd place with Valkeaa unelmaa. (English version Come to me) He would return also in 2009 with Kirkas kipinä without success. He has not recorded this entry in Finnish but several covers exist, like this one.

Eläkeläiset to win?

Iltalehti had a poll after last night's third and last semifinal who will win Euroviisut 2010 and the result is sad reading: Eläkeläiset got 53,1% of the votes, followed by Kuunkuiskaajat 13,8%, Maria Lund 9,4%, Heli Kajo 6,4% and Amadeus 5,1%.
In Ilta-Sanomat's poll Eläkeläiset are the winners as well: 34%, followed by Maria Lund 21%, Kuunkuiskaajat 12%, Nina Lassander 11%, Heli Kajo 6% and Amadeus 5%.
Fans totally disagree. Heli Kajo leads the's poll with 29% followed by Amadeus 15%, Kuunkuiskaajat 9%. Eläkeläiset has risen to 6% just before Antti Kleemola and Nina Lassander at 5%.
It looks like there's no way stopping Eläkeläiset - unfortunately....

Welcome #175: Isle of Man

Yet another flag to the flagcounter today: Isle of Man, making it to number 175! Welcome!

Welcome # 174: Guam

Back to the tropics with Guam, flag number 174. Welcome!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

22.1.1977 - Monica Aspelund - Lapponia

January 22, 1977 the Euroviisut final was won clearly by Monica Aspelund's Lapponia. She already tried the Lapland exotic the year before with Joiku without success. The voting started well in Wembley, too, when the first, Irish, jury gave her 12 points! Until then it was the first ever time Finland was leading alone and sadly the last 12 we ever got until Lordi.... In the end she got 50 points and 10th place. She recorded the song in various languages and the instrumental version by Paul Mauriat was a minor hit, too. French. Multilingual 2003.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kuunkuiskaajat made it - the Finnish final line up

Kuunkuiskaajat along with superfavourite Eläkeläiset and Linn with the votes from the Swedish speakers made it to the final from the third and last Euroviisut 2010 semifinal. YLE's secret jury also granted one wild card and that went to Maria Lund, also from this last semifinal. So the line up for the final next Saturday is ready:

Amadeus - Anastacia

Nina Lassander - Cider hill
Pentti Hietanen - Il mondo é qui
Antti Kleemola - Sun puolella
Heli Kajo - Annankadun kulmassa
Sister Twister - Love at the first sight
Kuunkuiskaajat - Työlki ellää
Eläkeläiset - Hulluna humpasta
Linn - Fatal moment
Maria Lund - Sydän ymmärtää

So we have six songs in Finnish, 3 in English and one in Italian. Amadeus and Maria Lund most likely will sing in English if they win, and Antti Kleemola has a Spanish text ready for the song...

Euroviisut 2010 semifinal 3 live tonight

The third and last semifinal in Finland takes place tonight. Another 3 songs will qualify for next week's final and YLE will also announce the chosen wildcard amongst Bääbs, Boys of the band, Monday, Veeti Kallio and the two unlucky tonight. Superfavourite - unfortunately - Eläkeläiset is expected to qualify but after then the competition is quite open... The Swedish speaking population will propably vote Linn to the final just like they did with Twisted Sister last week. Fans seem to go for Osmo Ikonen while Maria Lund is also rather popular amongst the elderly generations. My vote goes for Kuunkuiskaajat, they could also be the black horse in Euroviisut 2010 and if not qualifying directly might be the wildcard?

The show has started but Jaana seems to be still sleeping......

Maria Lund - Sydän ymmärtää
Maria  has a very 50's look as does her backing group, dancers. White and blue are the colors. Maria dances along with her dancers proving she hasn't forgot all from Eurovision Dance Contest... She gives a very lively and humourous performance with the 50's nasal vocals included.
Jaana waked up after Peltsi shows a clip of 12 points Finland has got over the years...

Osmo Ikonen - Heaven and hell
Osmo starts the song behind keyboards and on stage he has three sisters and various cousins proving the family dynasty in music business is strong as ever. They are all dressed in white and black. Osmo's vocals are flawless as always but the song might be just a bit boring?

Kuunkuiskaajat - Työlki ellää
The girls are in white in the dark stage with a full moon at first, then we are treated to their backing group of two male backing singers and a female violinist. The guys get into some folksy dance in the background and it all comes across very happy and summery, like a midsummer festivities or something...  handclapping included! Would this do the trick? At least the audience love it!
After that we are treated to big names who have taken part from Nana Mouskouri to Julio Iglesias, from Cliff Richard to Olivia Newton-John, t.A.T.u, Alla Pugatsova and Patricia Kaas....

Linn - Fatal moment
Linn looks like Grace Adler from Will & Grace dressed in black leather. The start of the song's staging is dramatic but it falls flat soon after and Linn, Seb and the backing singers can't lift the song. This can't qualify - can it? If it does I blame the west coast! They already made her get this far from the internet selection, that should be more than enough!

Eläkeläiset - Hulluna humpasta
I would like to just write No comment here and ignore this bullshit but I guess I can't. The guys all are seated and dressed in a humourous way - I suppose - except the accordeon player that runs around. A big smoking crazy clock completes the act (Why?). I suppose also raping a keyboard on stage during the instrumental part is funny?
Interviews with the artists follow with the recap and now we just wait for the qualifiers and the wildcard! But before that we have to suffer yet another humour act: connection to Oslo.... :-(
Thank heavens it was shorter than before and we go on to watch some sexy, risky performances from Eurovision... Keti Garbi, Helena Paparizou, Kalomoira, Sakis Rouvas, Mando.... oh well...

The first qualifier is.... Kuunkuiskaajat!!!!  The second one is... Eläkeläiset... and the third one is... Linn.... :-(
And the YLE's wildcard goes to.... Maria Lund!

Netherlands: Here are the artists

TROS has announced the brave artists who try to make wonders with the Sha-la-lie. Good luck to them and their coaches.... widely rumoured Edsilia Rombley is not amongst them. I guess she heard the song and run away.... well done girl!

Sieneke (coached by Marianne Weber)
Vinzzent (coach: Grad Damen)
Peggy Mays (coach: Albert West)
Marlous (coach: Corry Konings)
LOEKZ (coach: Frans Bauer)

Latvian finalists: Listen on line!

LTV has announced the ten finalist for Eurodziesma 2010. Lauris Reiniks (ESC 2003 with FLY), last year's runner up who took part also in Ireland, Kristina Zaharova, Eurodziesma veteran Aisha and groupd h2o and PeR return. Listen to the songs online here.The Latvian final will be held on February 27. With a very quick listening I liked Ivo's Because I love you most surprising even myself.... :-)

1. Lauris Reiniks – Your Morning Lullaby
2. Grupa “PeR” – Like A Mouse
3. Grupa “h2o” – When I Close My Eyes
4. Dons (Artūrs Šingirejs) – My Religion is Freedom
5. Projekts Konike – Digi digi dong
6. Aisha (Aija Andrejeva) – What For? (Only Mr.God Knows Why)
7. Kristīne Kārkla-Purina  – Rišti rašti
8. Ivo Grīsniņš-Grīslis – Because I Love You
9. Kristīna Zaharova – Snow in July
10. Triānas parks – Lullaby For My Dreammate (Diamond Lullaby)

Rafael De Alba enters Top-40!

Rafael De Alba's Chelsea boy has reached already the Top-40 in the Spanish voting. Vote for him HERE.

Tonight: Kuunkuiskaajat vs. Eläkeläiset

One of the acts tonight in Euroviisut 2010 third semifinal is Kuunkuiskaajat duo Susan Aho and Johanna Virtanen. Both have a long career behind them in Värttinä, and even as Kuunkuiskaajat they have already toured Germany and new tours have been booked already in Russia, Germany and Japan. "We are fighting against many famous names in Finland, Tango Kings and such but they are completely unknown abroad. We have made a little name abroad already. Especially Värttinä fans all over the world have welcomed us with open arms" they say. "Lordi was different and we are different, too. Our goel is Oslo 2010 but we are satisfied with a place in the final." The duo doesn't promise half naked dancer boys dancing ripaska on stage but believe in their song's power. "We are the anti-Eläkeläiset!" Tonight.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spain: Pop Star Queen is out out out!!!

Yuhuu, Pop Star Queen along with Chimo Bayo, Kejio and Juan Losada are out of the race in Spain.

Warner Finland said "No" to Eurovision

Warner Music Finland is missing from Euroviisut 2010 for the second year running. Their act Teräsbetoni won the Finnish final in 2008 and made its way to the final in Belgrade. Pekka Nieminen from Warner comments today in Helsingin Sanomat: "We try to maintain a high level. Euroviisut as it is today with all sort of acts does not interest us. No artist aiming for a serious career is interested in it" he says. "There is always a big hype before the final and when you return home with a disappointment it is not something a serious artist wants." Wemppa Koivumäki from EMI Finland adds "especially before Eurovision had a bad karma and if unssuccesful it could kill your career, like happened to Pave Maijanen in 1992". EMI's Janne Raappana was running in the open internet selection this year with a song written by Jussi Hakulinen. Olli Lindholm from Yö was ment to be the singer for the song but he refused to go for Eurovision. "We participate if we happen to have a suitable artist at the moment" he says. "On the other hand we don't have many good occasions in the Finnish TV to do some big promotion" he adds "so in that way Eurovision is useful." Despite the opinions of the major labels people do want to participate: 267 songs were received for the open call and YLE picked 30 of them for the internet selection and top-3 joined the inivted artists in the semifinal rounds.
DJ Ingis comments in the forum: "Big record labels were very willingly changing the concept with YLE a few years ago cutting away the open competition. Now after several years being the only ones involved they should now look at the mirror and see what they have done instead of blaming others."
Worth mentioning is that this new era started in 2006 and brought us Lordi and the first victory after 40 years of trying. In the following 3 years Finland has always reached the final - something we didn't manage to do the years before.... 

Portugal - listen and vote the songs!

RTP has put the songs on line now and you can listen and vote them here. Ballads, and more ballads in offer, acoustic and ethnic, as if the synths were banned in Portugal this year which is quite refreshing in a way. Annoying Homens de luta have taken an early lead followed by Andrej Babic penned Canta por mim, which may be the winner. It's pop and uptempo and by far the catchiest and easist song in the list, which doesn't mean it is great. Vanessa is also doing well at this point.... Let's see how this develops!

UPDATE 22.1.: Homens de luta that were leading the poll have had the same fate as the leader in Spain, Popstar Queen: disqualified! And hooray to that!

Alice live in Verona tonight

Alice will be singing live tonight in Verona's Auditorium Nuovo Montemezzi 9pm CET. She will be singing songs from her own repertoire and from Luigi Tenco's songbook. The event is to celebrate the release a double-CD of Tenco's unreleased songs. Inediti. Alice sings Se sapessi come fai on the album. Luigi Tenco (1938-1967) was a very important Italian singer-songwriter who committed suicide during the 1967 Sanremo festival.

Spain hits one million votes in 3 days!

The voting is hot in Spain. In 3 days the mark of one million votes has been passed and Facebook, blogs and forums are filled with anti-Pop Star Queen groups and topics but she is still leading with nearly 100.000 votes while Coral is catching up again about 20.000 votes behind. El pezón rojo has less than half the votes of Coral in third place while Chimo Bayo ft CodeName follows 20.000 votes behind El pezón. Then it gets more even: Samuel y Patricia, Lorena, Venus, Daniel Diges, Anabel Conde and Ainhoa are all very close to each other and complete the top-10. Out of this top-10 I would personally only save Coral Ainhoa and Daniel Diges. Rafael De Alba is slowly climbing up and reaching the Top-50. Vote him here!

Carola sings for Yohan the child wanderer

Carola in in Hollywood filming the opening scene for the same film Alexander Rybak is in, Yohan - Barnvandrarna (The child wanderer). The international premiere for the film is scheduled this spring - it premiered in Norway for Christmas - and it seems the English version has some differences. Kris Kristofferson, famous country singer and actor is playing the leading role as an adult and with him Carola will sing in the opening scene.... and the main song of the movie!

Slovakia: Semifinal 1

The first Slovakian semifinal will take place this Friday. Ten acts will be taking part.  Four most voted songs by televoters will qualify for the semifinals in February. And they are Tomas Bezdeda, Michaella, Hrdza and Richard Canaky.

1. Tomáš Bezdeda - Na strechách domov

2. Dreamtouch - Je to ok
3. Horská Chata - Myslíš, že vieš kto som
4. Michaella - O nás
5. Hrdza - Taká sa mi páči
6. Six and Kristy - Priestor pre dvoch
7. Richard Čanaky & FBI - Zlomené krídla
8. Margot - Tak ma hrej
9. Michal Chrenko - Kto vlastne som
10. Lucia Olešová - Rok a pol

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Portugal: Here are the 30 hopefuls

RTP has also published the 30 hopefuls that will be put online tomorrow to be voted. 24 will proceed to the televized semifinals in early March. Andrej Babic is back as a composer (song #26) and Nucha as a singer.

  1. Nina Pinto - "Meu Coração Não É Meu"
  2. Nucha - "Chuva"
  3. Jorge Guerreiro - "Ai Lisboa"
  4. Banda Trocopasso - "O Mundo de Pernas Para O Ar"
  5. Terra D'Água - "Amanhã no Mar"
  6. Seis Po' Meia Dúzia - "Pássaro Saudade"
  7. Nuno & Fábia - "Amar (Vieste Para Me Salvar)"
  8. Filipa Azevedo - "Há Dias Assim"
  9. Homens da Luta - "Luta Assim Não Dá"
  10. David Navarro - "Quem É Que Será?"
  11. Dennisa - "Meu Mundo de Sonhos"
  12. Paulo João Sousa - "Pintado A Carvão"
  13. Nuno Pinto - "Fogo Lento"
  14. Ricardo Levi - "Minha Alma Lusitana"
  15. Filipe Delgado - "Serei Eu"
  16. Rui Nova - "Uma Canção À Cid (O Sol E As Estrelas)"
  17. Vanessa - "Alvorada"
  18. Filipa Galvão Telles - "O Amor Não Sabe"
  19. Ricardo Martins - "Caminheiro de Mim"
  20. João Pedreira - "Destino Qualquer"
  21. Gonçalo Tavares - "Rios"
  22. Gonçalo Madruga - "Cores de Um Mundo"
  23. V-Bo - "Quando Eu Penso Em Ti"
  24. Ouro - "Arco-íris Dentro De Mim"
  25. Evelyne Filipe - "A Tua Voz" - letra: Evelyne Filipe
  26. Catarina Pereira - "Canta Por Mim"
  27. Claudisabel - "Contra Tudo E Todos"
  28. The Agency - "É Assim Que As Coisas São"
  29. Davi Duarte - "Serei Alguém P'ra Ti?"
  30. Joana Lobo Anta - "Há Dias" 
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