Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Some ESC 2010 releases

As we are hitting April already several Eurovision 2010 CD-singles have been released in a form or another. Some have already peaked as number one in their home charts like Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium and Finland.

France switches from second to first semifinal

France has asked to broadcast and vote in the first semifinal instead of the second one as decided earlier. They will however also broadcast the second one now but not live. EBU is happy for France's "commitment" but the Swiss may disagree while the Portuguese might be jumping with joy.... Anyways, here's Jessy's video pour la France.

Johanna Kurkela is back!

Euroviisut fan favourite Johanna Kurkela (Euroviisut 2007 Olet uneni kaunein) will release her fourth album Hyvästi, Dolores Haze on April 7. It's first promo single Rakkauslaulu is already #1 in RadioSuomi's most played songs chart. It is written by Lauri Ylönen (of The Rasmus) and Paula Vesala (PMMP) and Eicca Toppinen (Apocalyptica) plays cello in it.

Finland: Työlki ellää dancemix!

You didn't expect this did you? But here it is!

Iceland: Je ne sais quoi remixed version!

As expected Iceland has revamped, remixed, recharged their entry Je ne sais quoi - just like they did with This is my life, from this to this - and you can listen to it here.

No Oslo 2010: Czech Republic

Ex-Czechoslovakia was broadcasting Eurovision already back in the 1960´s and 1970´s but when the country was divided Slovakia went for Eurovision already in 1994 but it took until Helsinki 2007 that we had an entry for Czech Republic. They were already ment to debut in 2005 but withdraw for financial reasons, and again in 2006 but 2007 they did finally enter - and came last or 28th in the semifinal with one point. Next year they did a bit better, second to last or 18th and their third attempt in 2009 brought them nul points, last and 18th place. No wonder they lost their will to participate.... Indeed they announced already in early summer 2009 that they would not take part in Oslo 2010. It looks rather unlikely they will ever return. Shame. They tried a bit of everything and here are their three very different entries: 2007, 2008, 2009. I liked especially 2007, very underrated song!

Emma Marrone wins Amici 2010

The Italian talent show that has taken over Sanremo the couple of past years has concluded its season 9 last night with Emma Marrone as a winner. Most likely she also won a ticket to Sanremo 2011, just like Valerio Scanu did, who won Sanremo 2010. Also in 2009 the Sanremo winner Marco Carta came from Amici. Emma (24) comes from Florence and to me who listened her for the very first time this morning she looks and sounds like Irene Grandi - yet another husky rusty voiced female singer from Italy! Judge yourself here. Loredana Errore came second, and the author of the Sanremo 2010 winning song Pierdavide Carone third.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

EBU f*cks up the Finnish preview video

If you have been watching the Finnish preview video on EBU's official eurovisioin.tv site you may have got a bit wrong idea of the song, and if familiar with the song may have been wondering why it sounds so weird. Well, EBU has downloaded it wrongly, instead of 48 megaherz the sound comes out in 44,1 and indeed sounds weird to say the least. EBU has promised to correct the mistake but when writing this it's still wrong.... after 6 days. I have no idea about megaherzes and stuff but those who do, say this is a very amateurish mistake and inexcusable.

Jenni Vartiainen - En haluu kuolla tänä yönä

Jenni Vartiainen, the Finnish OGAESC 2008 entrant with Ihmisten edessä has scored a new #2 hit En haluu kuolla tänä yönä (I don't wanna die tonight) from her second album Seili released tomorrow. Her debut sold platinum and gave her two Emma awards (best album and best song). Here is her MySpace.En haluu kuolla tänä yönä made also history in the Music Control radio play charts debuting at #7, highest debut ever. In the third week it went to #1 and still is. In the same list her debut album celebrates another record: already 132 weeks in the charts! Jenni if off to intensive tour around Finland until August.

No Oslo 2010: Austria

Austria has been now away since Helsinki 2007 blaming the unfair disapora and neighbouring voting but sour grapes, say most non Austrians. They have had an on-off relationship with Eurovision by dropping out in several occasions: 1969-1971, 1973-1975 plus 1998 and 2001 for bad average score relegation system. In 2006 they stayed home as well stating "they would not enter a performer in protest at their poor results in previous years, arguing that the musical talent of the performers was no longer the determining factor in Eurovision succes". Their two last entries failed to make the final and their last entry in the final made it only 21st. Austria has however won in 1966 and has also five other top-5 placings, last one from 1989 but in 2003 they came 6th (so much for the musical talent and success, I say!) At the moment there seems to be no interest to return. Let's see. My favourite Austrian entries include besides 1989  2007, 2002, 1999, 1993, 1992, 1981, 1980 and legendary in its all terribleness 1977.

No Oslo 2010: Andorra

Andorra is one of the countries who decided not to go to Oslo 2010 due to economical reasons or the local broadcaster RTVA non finding a sponsor even if last year's entrant Susanne Georgi was leading her own personal campaign to keep Andorra in. They were also flashing the idea they would take part every two years in the future so let's see if we get them back in 2011.  The tiny country made its debut in 2004 but Eurovision was well known as people used to watch it on Spanish and French TV. The debut didn't go that well (18th in semifinal) and the future years didn't change that as with its six entries Andorra never managed to qualify for the final. The songs haven't been that bad but the staging has been often rather catastrophic if you believe the critic. In Helsinki 2007 the place in final was given as a certain thing for Anonymous but they reached only 12th place in the semifinal and thus no final. I have personally liked most their entries and at least the past three were good enough for a final spot. Here they are: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 or all of them in less than 3 minutes here

Monday, March 29, 2010

Alice: I treni di Tozeur - Milano 2010

Here is Alice singing I treni di Tozeur last Saturday in Magazzini Generali di Milano.

BlogIlkar Guest Review vol. 1


Rafael De Alba once again shares his thoughts and comments with you and judges this year's entries. He is also going to oslo 2010 so maybe you will have a chance to have a chat with him! He treid his luck in the Spanish selection this year with Chelsea Boy, last year with One more chance and even covered one of the songs in the Finnish final, De tu lado
I look forward to this year’s contest. For starters, there is a great variety of genres:  musical theatre style from Spain, Poland, Norway, Belarus; folk entries from Finland, Serbia or Greece; contemporary numbers from Sweden, Germany or Estonia; good old-fashioned pop from Cyprus, Denmark or Armenia, plus a couple of decent dance numbers. Some complain about the proliferation of ballads this year, but it is likely that the voting in the semi finals will filter some of them out and will deliver a well-balanced final. However, I do think we saw better quality songs in Moscow overall.
I have done my best to sum up each song in one word:
Albania = Quality. Could this be their year? Watch Juliana - a great performer, and the English version sounds fab. 5/5
Armenia = Overproduced. Eva is beautiful, but the song does not quite get where it should. Added to a patchy performance on stage, I give it 3/5
Azerbaijan = Safe. Mmm not sure… Not offensive, but it does not grab me. I’ve heard it all before, there is something missing here… 2/5
Belarus = Elegance. The orchestration sounds superb, the singing is spotless; but the song is a bit dated, I almost preferred their first choice. 2/5
Belgium = Plagiarism? I cannot like a song that sounds like another song. The verse’ structure is too close to the beginning of ‘Walking in Memphis’. 1/5
Bosnia Herzegovina = Weak. Nothing offensive either, but compared to the other songs, I am afraid this one gets lost… 1/5
Bulgaria = Catchy. A few years old, but I would not mind this getting through, if only just to inject a bit of rhythm amongst all those ballads. 2/5
Croatia = Class. If this wins I will be very pleased for Croatia. A much better song than Feminnem’s previous entry was, and their singing is great. 5/5
Cyprus = Charm. I love this song from beginning to end, and Jon’s voice is superb. Even the bridge is cool. Ronan Keating could have sung this. 5/5
Denmark = Pleasant. But it doesn’t do it for me despite their excellent performance. The verse is too close to Sting’s ‘Every Breath You Take” 3/5
Estonia = Experimental. A very brave entry, I love its originality. Sadly it will not appeal to a broader audience, and it is also a bit repetitive. 3/5
Finland = Folk. Well, what can I say? I like its happy feel and will probably do well, but where is Antti Kleemola? I loved his ballad, that is not fair! 3/5
France = Ethnic. Well, well, well… You’ve got to love the rhythm. Though a bit repetitive, this could do well with the right choreography. 2/5
FYROM = Balkan rock. Pleasant, mid tempo number. I think it will struggle to get through, and if it does it will not go beyond. Might grow on me. 2/5
Georgia = Gorgeous. Lovely ballad. The problem is, there are so many of them! But at least this one does not feel out of date. 3/5
Iceland = Je ne sais quoi dire! Nice disco tune, but I still miss Euroband! 2/5
Germany = Contemporary. This might get the highest placing of the Big 4 countries, and will possibly break through the European market. 4/5
Greece = Greek! Like Serbia, this is local pure folk. I do prefer this one though. However, it does not have the X factor that Paparizou had. 3/5
Ireland = Brave. Old winners always welcome, but this is almost too similar to Didrik’s ballad. And, let’s face it: Ireland has won too many times… 4/5
Israel = Style. Pleasantly surprised with Harel’s performance. I would even compare its quality with that of our great Patricia Kaas. A true winner! 5/5
Latvia = Simple. Not too keen, but apart from the hideous “Mr God” bit, I think this entry is a serious contender - almost as catchy as the Spanish one. 3/5
Lithuania = Fresh. Lithuania goes eccentric again! I think it might get through. I like the political message as well. Problem: a bit repetitive. 3/5
Malta = Mellow. For this song to get through, they will have to work incredibly hard to improve the overall concept. On stage, she looks scared. 2/5
Moldova = Confused. That’s how I feel when I listen to it. I first thought: toilet break, but they open the show! Why a saxophone solo on first verse? 1/5
Netherlands = Embarrassing. It brings me back to childhood, and that was some years ago! Almost as bad as Chiki-Chiki (well, maybe not so bad). 0/5
Norway = Hymn. Well executed love anthem. A strong contender even though it sounds a bit Disney. Didrik’s timbre is similar to Ewan McGregor’s! 5/5
Poland = Risky. I like risk-taking songs. This one also falls into the musical theatre genre, but has a strange progression.  Memorable though! 3/5
Portugal = Lyrical. A more complex song than the runner up, but I do think Catarina was robbed! Still, I cannot help but love my neighbours’ music! 4/5
Romania = Magnetic. The tension between the vocalists works for me on stage – of all the songs, this gets me quickest onto the dance floor! 5/5
Russia = Shock. There is something very beautiful and melancholic about this tune. But the live singing is shambles. Second verse lyrics are terrible! 2/5
Serbia = Serbia! Folk songs usually get my vote, but I fear this one is too local and will not get voted beyond the Balkans (which means, it’ll get through). 2/5
Slovakia = Nox meets Ruslana. I know many like this one, but it just does not grab my attention. I miss Forogj Vilag! 2/5
Slovenia = Mistake. Forgive me, but I do not see the point of mixing four different genres in such an incoherent manner within a 3-minute slot. 1/5
Spain = Secure. Best choice from NF, but I worry about its appeal to younger audiences. Still, the guy is charming and the overall number is magic. 4/5
Sweden = Superb. I sincerely hope this hits the UK charts. Anna is a young Dido. No, even better! Great choice, excellent runner up too! MF Forever. 5/5
Switzerland = Classic. I fear televote will not do this song justice. Shame, because this sounds much more contemporary and French than it looks. 4/5
Turkey = Tame. This is the first time a Turkish entry might struggle to get to the final. I do like the chorus, but the choice of chords is too predictable. 2/5
United Kingdom = Tacky. No comment… Josh’ voice is good, but we all expected better from Waterman. I cannot see this working. 1/5
Ukraine = Moving. Third time lucky! Cool rock ballad. I miss Vasyl’s deep macho tone and flawless vocals, but I must admit this works better. 4/5
Thank you, patient readers! I have been a bit harsh with some scores simply in order to secure a range of placements, but I know I will listen to all songs for hours on end (with the exception of the Netherlands). My forecast below is based purely on personal taste. I know the real voting will be totally different! Happy Eurovision!
Here are the results of the Spanish jury:
10th place – Georgia
 9th place – Spain
 8th place – Germany
 7th place – Albania
 6th place – Romania
 5th place – Norway
 4th place – Croatia
 3rd place – Cyprus
 2nd place – Israel
and the winner is… SWEDEN!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Laura Voutilainen nominated for Iskelmä-Finlandia

Iskelmä-Finlandia (or Schlager-Finlandia) is an annual lifetime award for an artist who has achieved a lot in a career in music. Previous winners include Marion Rung, Kari Tapio, Jari Sillanpää, Paula Koivuniemi,  and many others connected to Euroviisut or Eurovision have been nominated from Anna Eriksson to Annika Eklund. This year the nominees include Laura Voutilainen. She has to battle it against Mikko Alatalo, Jussi Raittinen, Juha Tapio and Jean S. The award will be given out July 22, 2010.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Baseballs cover Nylon Beat

The überpopular The Baseballs have covered Nylon Beat's Viimeinen  for the special edition of their album.and it is also featured in a TV-ad for a cider.  Listen it here.  The girls also recorded it in English as Last in line. Viimeinen was a number one hit for Nylon Beat in 1999. Seven of their albums sold platinum making them the most succesful duo in the Finnish music history. They also have two Euroviisut participations in their CV (1998 and 2000) and Jonna the blond one solo in 2004.

Kuunkuiskaajat: No time to worry or stress!

Kuunkuiskaajat or Susan and Johanna have been so busy since they won the Finnish ticket to Oslo 2010 they haven't had time to get excited about the actual event. "So we got number 5. Ok, no time to get too excited then!" they comment with their usual humour and laugh about it. "Besides we don't think the number counts that much. A good song and memorable performance is what matters, not the number you sing at. We have a wonderful sponsor for our stagewear, Noolan, who will besides doing our stage wear provide us with a full wardrobe for Oslo! Also thanks to Eurovision our calendar is filled with gigs, photo shoots, TV, promotion, rehearsals and other related stuff. We are also going to the Netherlands for the big Eurovision in concert event, the first ever Finnish act in it, it'll be great! Besides promotion we get to know some of our competitors before Oslo 2010 which is always good! We haven't had time to check them yet, just occasionally some video on Facebook or so, so we don't really know yet what we are up against to" Susan concludes.  "But it has been very nice that many companies have approached us to become sponsors for Oslo 2010, we didn't expect that! And so many Finnish fans will be in Oslo 2010 to cheer us, can't wait!". Kuunkuiskaajat will have in Oslo 2010 on stage with them violinist Maria Baric and backing singer Aki Eronen (who is also the lead singer of Disco) who were with them also in Euroviisut final. Dancer/singer Jukka Tarvainen  will join them and Reetta Kaisa Iles will choreograph it all. She is known from Tsuumi dance company that was also involved in Helsinki 2007 Eurovision.

Finnish music export: Husky Rescue and the others

Everybody knows HIM, The Rasmus, Nightwish and Lordi but how about Husky Rescue, Turisas, Tracedown, Murmansk, Manna, Joensuu 1685, Jori Hulkkonen, Finntroll, Disco Ensemble, Free Spirit, Le corps mince de Francois (LCMDF), Lapko, Stalingrad Cowgrils, 22-pistepirkko, Swallow the sun, Villa Nah, TV Off  or Shogun Kunitoki? Ok, I don't know them either but they are the biggest Finnish bands abroad claiming praise from the critics - Husky Rescue's laters album got 5 stars from Daily Telegraph and Times featured it as the album of the week in Britain where almost 2.000 new albums are released weekly - and are doing the clubs and festivals. The Finnish music export was in 2008 over 23 million euros when in 2007 it was around 19 million. Very indie rock and heavy metal oriented. Let the Swedes do the pop! :-)

Gipsy.cz in Helsinki

Gipsy.cz, the band that represanted Czech Republic in Moscow 2009 with Aven Romale will be performing in Helsinki in Savoy Theatre on April 9 in "Forgotten Genocide: Barvalo Drom - International Roma Music Concert" along with Finnish Drom orchetra. Tickets 23/21 euros. More info here. Gypsy.cz managed to score the famous null points in its semifinal.

Anna goes gold. So does Lena

Anna Bergendahl from Sweden and Lena Meyer-Landrut from Germany are enjoying great success with their entries in homesoil. Anna is still number one in the singles chart with This is my life and has just certified gold. Her debut album Sincerely yours... will be released April 14. Meanwhile the Swedish charts are dominated by the Melodifestivalen entries as usual, they took home 14 places in top-20.
In Germany Lena's Satellite has hit the number one in the official charts after topping the download charts, and has also sold gold with sales of 150.000 singles. Her other entries Bee and Love me have also reached places 3 and 4 and therefor Lena becomes the first ever artist to have 3 songs in top-5. Although we must remember with digital downloading this is much easier than with physical singles. How times change!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More videos, more previews...

The songs have been presented to EBU and eurovision.tv has already most of the preview videos on line. Check out for example Turkey, Albania, Ireland and France here.

Ukraine: Act 3: Sweet people

Here it is, the third Ukrainian entry this year. After Vasyl Lazarevich's I love you, Alyosha's To be free here is Alyosha's Sweet people. And in my opinion they have been downhill all the time, each new entry worse than the other. Listen here. Let's see if this time it's for real....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

... more Swedish songwriters in Oslo 2010!

I wrote about the Swedish songwriters in Eurovision 2010 here and in the back of my mind I was thinking I must be missing something and indeed, I was. Two more have emerged. Georgia's Shine is co-written by Harry Sommerdahl and Ireland's It's for you by Jonas Gladnikoff amongst other Swedes (Sorry Jonas! How could I have forgotten you?). Jonas already co-wrote the Irish entry Et cetera last year and the Danish runner up Someday. Thank you all for corrections and comments and ... are there more?? We already have six....

Alice live in Magazzini Generali di Milano

Alice will be giving a concert in famous Magazzini Generali in Milan on March 27 with Alberto Tafuri who plays piano, keyboards and programs the computers. Alice will also play piano and keyboards.The repertoire is mainly from her latest album Lungo la strada undertitled Music and Poems. On March 12 she performed in Auditorium Parco della musica in Rome and you can see and hear a bit here. She has also collaborated again with German singer Stefan Waggershausen, with whom she had a big hit Zu nah am Feuer in 1984. This time the song is called Was soll ich dir sagen from his recently released So ist das Spiel album.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yohan . The trailer

Here's the new trailer of the Norwegian movie Yohan - The child wanderer featuring Alexander Rybak and Carola. You can hear her singing a bit in the end of the trailer with Kris Kristofferson.

Swedish songwriters all over the place

We all know Sweden is big on exporting music and their effect in Eurovision is increasing year by year it seems. Songs written or co-written by Swedes in various national finals are no exception and this year besides Sweden itself Azerbaijan, Norway and Denmark have a song co-written by Swedes. 
The Swedish entry This is my life is written by Bobby Ljunggren, a real veteran with 37 Melodifestivalen entries under his belt, including four previous winners: Se på mig (1995), Kärleken är (1998), Evighet (2006) and Hero (2008) and also four runner ups: Om igen (1988), Ett liv med dig (1991), Min kärlek (2004) and Empty room (2008) - actually he took home the whole top-3 in 2008 as Lay your love on me came 3rd and was also co-written by him!
Fredrik Kempe has co-written the Norwegian entry My heart is yours. He has written 13 songs for the Melodifestivalen the past few years and even two winners, Hero (2008) and La voix (2009). Cara mia was the runner up in 2007 and Manboy in 2010. In 2009 he co-wrote also You're not alone, Hope & Glory, Movin on  and this year besides Manboy Hollow, another big favourite.
Thomas G:son has written 25 Melodifestivalen entries as well as songs for national finals in Norway (5), Finland (4), Spain (9), Latvia (1), Romania (1), Poland (2), Belgium (1) and Denmark (1) - a total of 49 songs. He has won 5 times: 2001 Listen to your heartbeat and 2006 Invincible for Sweden, 2007 Ven a bailar comigo for Norway and I love you mi vida for Spain, and 2010 In a moment like this for Denmark. Other songs worth mentioning from him are Världen utanför, Show me heaven, Absolutely fabulous, Nada es comparable a ti, En una vida, Viva la musica and Addicted to you.
Anders Bagge has written songs and collaborated with Lara Fabian, Celine Dion, Madonna, Enrique Iglesias and Ace of Base. He is one of the judges in the Swedish idols.He has co-written Drip drop, the entry chosen for Azerbaijan.
In Oslo 2010 three Swedish songs will be in the second semifinal almost one after another: Denmark at number 4, Sweden 6 and Azerbaijan 7. Let's see if they all will reach the final and go against Norway!

ESC 2010: From Moldova to Iceland, from Lithuania to Turkey

Semifinal 1 on May 25, 2010

1. MOLDOVA
2. RUSSIA
3. ESTONIA
4. SLOVAKIA
5. FINLAND
6. LATVIA
7. SERBIA
8. BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
9. POLAND
10. BELGIUM
11. MALTA
12. ALBANIA
13. GREECE
14. PORTUGAL
15. FYR MACEDONIA
16. BELARUS
17. ICELAND

Semifinal 1 on May 27, 2010

1. LITHUANIA
2. ARMENIA
3. ISRAEL
4. DENMARK
5. SWITZERLAND
6. SWEDEN
7. AZERBAIJAN
8. UKRAINE
9. NETHERLANDS
10. ROMANIA
11. SLOVENIA
12. IRELAND
13. BULGARIA
14. CYPRUS
15. CROATIA
16. GEORGIA
17. TURKEY

Final on May 29, 2010:

2. SPAIN
3. NORWAY
12. UNITED KINGDOM
18. FRANCE
22. GERMANY

The voting order has been drawn as well despite the rumours NRK would use a help of a computer to determinate the order to create a thriller. Well, in a year like 2009 or 2006 with a runaway winner even that would not have made it exciting....
VOTING ORDER
1 Romania 2 Ireland 3 Germany 4 Serbia 5 Albania 6 Turkey 7 Croatia 8 Poland 9 Bosnia & Herzegovina 10 Finland 11 Slovenia 12 Estonia 13 Russia 14 Portugal 15 Azerbaijan 16 Greece 17 Iceland 18 Denmark 19 France 20 Spain 21 Slovakia 22 Bulgaria 23 Ukraine 24 Latvia 25 Malta 26 Norway 27 Cyprus 28 Lithuania 29 Belarus 30 Switzerland 31 Belgium 32 United Kingdom 33 The Netherlands 34 Israel 35 FYR Macedonia 36 Moldova 37 Georgia 38 Sweden 39 Armenia.

Today: The draw!


The draw of the running order for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Oslo will take place today at 15:00 CET. The event will be streamed live through eurovision.tv. 
It has been previously decided in which semifinal and in which part of it a country will be, like Finland that will be in the first semifinal and in its first half, lots from 1 to 8. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

And those videos keep coming!

Preview videos that is. The past few days there have been already many from Spain to Estonia, from Bulgaria to Switzerland, from Moldova to Cyprus, Greece, Georgia.... I'm adding and updating them as they come to my semifinals posts here and here, and you can also access them by clicking the icons on the right hand side of this front page.

Ukraine: Alyosha has 5 days

EBU has granted NTU 5 days to find a new song for Alyosha in the Ukrainian soap opera called "A song for Oslo 2010". By Friday 26 they must have a song, video and all the rest ready - and preferably one that fills the rules in its every sense. Well, it's not the first time a song has been changed but never this late I believe. This has most commonly happened in the past few years and usually in the Eastern parts of Europe. This year Belarus had a similar drama: first they had a selection already in December which was ment to give them the artists and song for Oslo 2010 but it was then changed midway. Then they chose the group 3+2 who just last week changed their already announced song to another. But back in 1983 Italy changed its song in the last minute, too. Sanremo winner Tiziana Rivale with Sará quel che sará was ment to go to Eurovision and was already shortlisted for the previews etc but then in the last minute Riccardo Fogli replaced her with Per Lucia. La Rivale was caught in some corruption accusations, later found untrue and Fogli was already in Munich recording his album and had missed ESC 1982 as RAI chose not to participate, so...

Heads of delegations are in Oslo 2010

The 39 heads of delegations or familiarly known as HoDs are in Oslo for a couple of days discussing the main event that will take place in 7 weeks. Last night a welcome drink, and this morning they are handing out officially their entries - I wonder what Ukraine puts on the table? - before heading to Telenor Arena to check out the venue. NRK will also present all the info needed from stage design to rehearsal schedules to the HoDs. Tomorrow it's EBU's turn to inform the participants about all sort of things, and for the first time a special effort is made to inform the Heads of Press. Finally at 13.30 CET the live broadcast from Oslo City hall will take place and the running order will be drawn. It will be live on Eurovision.tv.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lordi in studio and on tour

The monsters are ready to hit the road and have already announced participation in two major heavyrock festivals next summer: Gods of Metal in Italy June 26 and Masters of Rock in Czech Republic on July 18. Those two gigs might be the last ones to see the band wearing their current masks as a new album is in the making and as usual when a new album comes, a new image comes. Meanwhile here's an oldie but a goodie, Would you love a monsterman?

Finest 3 minutes of my life, says Hanna Pakarinen

Hanna Pakarinen, who represented Finland in Eurovision 2007 at home in Helsinki, the mascot of this blog has given an interview recently where she talked about Idols, Eurovision, her future plans and life in general. "Idols and Eurovision are very different. But without Idols I wouldn't be here today and there wouldn't have been Eurovision either. Idols kickstarted it all for me. Eurovision was huge, very confusing. I didn't quite know where I was going. Unique opportunity, Eurovision in Finland! When will that happen again? Represanting Finland in Finland, those three minutes on stage in Hartwall Areena were maybe the finest three minutes of my life!" she tells. For her future plans she tells: "Well, of course I hope I can fo this work for the next 20-30 years. Paula Koivuniemi is my idol and rolemodel, if I can stay in business as long she has it would be really cool. That would be a huge accomplishment. This music is so unpredictable you never know! Singing is the coolest thing I know, I love it " Relive Hanna's finest here. And the piano version here. And the video here.

Ukrainian second entry released in 2008?

The Ukrainian joke is going on after all. It is now discovered the song they chose last night has been available for purchase online already since April 2008! Also he runner up Masha Sobko who tied with her in the first round. breaks the October 1, 2009 rule. Can we get Vasyl back? When will they learn to read the rules and stop mixing Eurovision with politics? The Heads of delegations are travelling to Oslo 2010 today and will meet on Monday and Tuesday and the entry must be ready by then. Unless EBU bends its own rules. Once again.
Update 1.
Now it has come clear the song doesn't only break the October 1 rule it also is pretty clear copy of Linda Perry's Knock me out. There you go....
Update 2:
The song's been disqualified and no one seems to know what the HoD of Ukraine will present to organizers and EBU in Oslo 2010 tomorrow...  
Update 3:
EBU has decided to give Ukraine 5 days to sort things out in the HoD meeting in Oslo 2010 on Monday. To be continued....

Listen to all songs in the second semifinal

And here are the song in the second semifinal. The draw will take place in Oslo on Monday 22nd. This seems to be the better semifinal and I like in no particular order Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Gerogia, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey!

Armenia (video), Azerbaijan (video), Bulgaria (video), Croatia (video), Cyprus (video), Denmark (video), Georgia (video), Ireland (video), Israel, Lithuania (video), Netherlands, Romania (video) Slovenia, Sweden (video), Switzerland, (video) Turkey (video), Ukraine (video) + France (video), Norway , United Kingdom (video)

Listen to all songs in the first semifinal

Now that we have also heard France we have all the 39 entries for the Eurovision song contest 2010 in Oslo ready. I don't think it is such a bad year after all. What do you think? My favourites are in no particular order Belgium, Iceland, Malta, Slovakia and Spain!

Albania (video), Belarus (video), Belgium (video), Bosnia-Herzegovina (video), Estonia (video), Finland (video), Greece (video), Iceland, Latvia (video). FYR Macedonia (video), Malta (video), Moldova (video), Poland (video), Portugal (video), Russia, Serbia, Slovakia + Spain (video), Germany (video)

ALYOSHA FOR UKRAINE

The ridiculous Ukrainian game has been completed and Alyosha with To be free is the winner. Annoying little number with a singer with a questionable fashion sense who is a challange in itself to listen and twatch. IIonly wish we would have been free from seeing this happen. I still stand with Vasyl. He came apparently 7th in this simil-final.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Allez! Ola! here it is

The French entry by Jessy Matador will be officially presented only tomorrow but here it is already. I'd like to say isn't this 13 in a dozen kind of song of this genre? Nice in the summer with a drink in hand and mind on holidays? Da-ba-dam-da-ba-dam! They couldn't get any longer from La Kaas, could they?

Eurovision goes flash mob

Share the moment? Yes indeed. The interval act in Oslo 2010 will feature one of the latest trends, Flash mob event! Sounds good on paper at least. Here's the video for the moves, so start learning! One of the most famous Flash mob events took place in Stockholm to honor Michael Jackson last year, and in Finland Signmark did one for their video, too. One of the best ever is the Frozen Grand Central in New York, happening when all this was still so new no one knew what is was all about!

Listen to the Ukrainian round 2 finalists

The new Ukrainian final will be held tomorrow night and here are the songs. I don't know why they bother.... The songs are mainly really bad, the singers worse. Vasyl in this group shines like a real professional with a voice and the song isn't bad either. There's no Verka, Ani or Svetlana, no no no.....

Belarus changes its song, too

The ex-Sovjet countries are known to have their own rules and now also belarus besides Ukraine has changed its song. 3+2 will perform in Oslo 2010 Butterflies instead of Far away. A strange twist in the year of ballads as Belarus had one of the very few uptempo songs with its pop-rock entry. Oh well... whatever makes them happy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vasyl in the new Ukrainian final after all

NTU has announced today the 20 names in the Saturdays national final, act 2. Vasyl Lazarevich is included in the line up but with which song? Wouldn't it be funny if it was I love you and he won again? :-) A total of 67 hopefuls turned up for the audition. The names are:
Zaklyopki, Iris, Alesha, Zlata Ognevich, Vitaliy Kozlovskyi, Brats, Natalia Valevska, Vasyl Lazarovich, Dazzle Dreams, Maria Sopho, EL Kravchuk, Matias, Mia, Ivan, STEREO, Yulia Voice, Vladislav Levchenko, Iryna Rosenfeld, Maks Barskih & Mira Gogol'.

Drip drop for Azerbaijan

It has been confirmed today Safura will perform Drip drop in Oslo 2010 for Azerbaijan, one of the three songs she presented in the pre-selection. It was in my opinion the best of the lot and I like it, even if I would hope Azeris would wring in something more exotic....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thunder and lightning for Bosnia-Herzegovina after all

As speculated before Vukasin Brajic will sing Munja i grom in English in Oslo 2010, Thunder and lightning. That is a shame in a trend that various countries have decided to use their own languages again, even if English beats the others clearly 23-14 (+ two mixed English/Polish/Ukrainian). At the moment it sounds like we will hear Bulgarian, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Macedonian, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovenian, Slovakian, Spanish, Ukrainian and some Polish and Ukrainian in Oslo.

Ukrainian melodrama continues....

The new selection process is apparently going on in Ukraine. On Thursday anyone interested can go for a live hearing with a CD, photos and passport and 30 will be selected and their names and songs will be made public Thursday night. All Friday the selection process will go on several channels in Ukraine with a SMS voting to go with it, and then on Saturday the grand final ... Isn't it all a bit insane?
Vasyl Lazarovich is not taking any of it claiming he has a video and promotour ready. He will also not take part in the new selection and intends to go to Eurovision 2010 in Oslo at any price. I'm with Vasyl in this! Let's see how all this ends...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Milim for Israel

Israel has chosen the song Milim for Harel Skaat to bring to Oslo 2010. Yep, another ballad for you folks! (Funny how a ballad is ok for some people if they like the singer....) Beautiful three minutes.
The jury groups were: Members of the Israeli parliament, OGAE Israel, Members of the Harel Skaat fan club, Mira Awad, Tzvika Pik and Moshe Datz IBA jury, televote. They all gave Milim full marks.
   
                                             
1 Milim 12 12 12 24 60 120 - 240
2 Le'an 10 8 0 20 50 100 - 188
3 Elayich 80 8 16 40 80 - 152
4 Le'hitkarev       0 10 10 0 0 0 - 20  



Monday, March 15, 2010

No more I love yous for Ukraine?

Something strange is happening in Ukraine. The head of Ukrainian broadcaster NTU has resigned and along with him many other bosses. And for some weird reason that should put end to Vasyl Lazarovich trip to Oslo 2010 as well. Maybe because they are friends? So, now they are apparently organising in a hurry a new national final for the weekend, where Lazarovich is also invited to take part. But the EBU rule says the broadcaster must publish the rules for its national selection by January 31... Well, nobody seems to like I love you but I do. And there's more: actually the French TV has never officially said Jessy Matador will be the one so are we in for a surprise on Saturday after all? :-)
Update: Looks like this is the usual Ukrainian drama again, remember last year? Go Vasyl!

Tonight: Final in Israel

Harel Skaat was chosen internally - finally - to represant Israel in Oslo 2010. he will sing tonight four songs and one will go to Eurovision. The hopes are high and the songs are indeed pretty good. I mean I like them but not sure how they will work in Eurovision? I would pick up Le'an or Ela'yich. When? 20.00 CET. Where? Here.

1. Le'an (Away)
2. Millim (Words)
3. Ela'yich (Towards you)
4. Le'hitkarev (Closer)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bosnian song revealed

Munja i krom, or Thunder and lightning by Vukasin Brajic was finally heard tonight. Midtempo pop rock. Hmm... I think it's a grower. Maybe I was waiting more thunder? In the same show Alexander Rybak and the artists from Poland, Ireland, Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia performed their entries. He also performed the English version, Thunder and lightning, and apparently that's the version we will here in Oslo 2010.

Monica Aspelund - a comeback?

We all know Monica Aspelund and Lapponia. But not much of her is heard since early 1980's when she moved to Florida with her son after divorce. She did return for the musical Cats in Helsinki in 1986, and 1997 she performed with her sister Ami. She's been singing on Caribian cruise ships and doing jazz and evergreen gigs in Florida. But guess what? She has moved back to Finland and is slowly starting her career here again. She has already some projects - again with Ami - and is looking at her options. She also rethinks about her past: "If I had stayed in Finland after Cats I may have gotten other musical roles. Also I should have maybe invest more on the Swedish market when I was younger. But my music is more jazz-oriented than pop. But it's in the past, can't think about it now. In a way I feel like I'm in the starting point again, it's very exciting! Luckily my voice is still good, actually better than ever"
And you may not know that we have had only one hijacked aeroplane in Finland. In 1978 a Finnair plane from Oulu to Helsinki was hijacked with Monica onboard. She was terrified to fly in the first place, especially the landing part. Over the next 11 hours the plane landed three times. "It was so unreal I just didn't feel any fear anymore. Once it was over I took a plane to Italy. I was in a bubble that burst only days after in a hotel's breakfast table."
Monica has released 20 singles and 7 albums between 1960-1979. She recorded and released Lapponia in Finnish, Swedish, English, French and German and has performed it even in Japan and in Africa. Here is her debut single, children's song  Katso kenguru loikkaa (1960).

Sweden: Anna who?

Well, the Swedish people voted Anna Bergendahl to Eurovision and now the same Swedish people say in Aftonbladet's poll it's not going to work in Oslo 2010. So why did they vote for it? Ok, happens in every country every year anyways so.... But the international juries didn't vote for her - truth to be said, they didn't agree really on any songs; Darin, Ola and Salem each got 2 x 12 points but each also got zeros - and the head of the French one, Bruno Berberes is particularly critical: "Anna who? Wait a minute... Oh the girl with the guitar. Sad. Anything can happen in Eurovision but I don't think her chances are big." The Norwegian commentator Jostein Pedersen thinks more or less the same: "There's a big risk she will just disappear amongst all the ballads. Nothing special.". Christer Björkman says next year the international juries might get even more influence, this time they didn't change the result jus like last year. Both Malena and Anna were overlooked by them. But she believes in her chances herself: after recovering from the chock of winning "It's time for Sweden again! We will do it again!". And I believe Anna.

Gadget

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