Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Euroviisut 2011 go from party to party?

The Euroviisut 2011 songs have been online now for 12 hours and Jimi Constantine seems to be taking an early lead on various fan polls and comments with his Party to party. Another favourite seems to be Paradise Oskar with Da da dam. What do you think? Listen to the songs here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

MGP Norway 2011: Blacksheeps grew up

Previous MGP Junior winners Blacksheep are amongst the semifinalists in Norway. We can expect rap, punk and metal with some pop from Norway this time around. Here are all the songs and artists:

First semi-final in Ørland:
Carina Dahl – Guns & boys
Use Me – Daisy
Sichelle – Trenger mer
Sie Gubba – Alt du vil ha
Åste & Rikke – Not that easy
Helene Bøksle – Vardlokk
Gatas Parlament – Jobbe litt mindre og tjene litt mer
Second semifinal in Florø:
Mimi Blix – Allergic
Babel Fish – You can depend on me
Pernille & Marius – I’ll be yours
Hanne Sørvaag – You’re like a melody
Isabella – Sand
Endre – Oh, oh (Puppy love)
Marika-  Hungry for you (Gipsydance)
.Third  semi-final 3 in Skien:
Grethe Svensen – Like dreamers do
Girl Happy – SOS
The BlackSheeps – Dance tonight
Noora Noor – Gone with the wind
Susperia – Nothing remains
Stella Mwangi – Haba haba
The Lucky Bullets – Fire below

Melodifestivalen 2011: Saade returns. The full cast.

SVT has revealed all the names for the coming Melodifestivalen 2011. Erik Saade returns, as does Sanna Nielsen, Shirley Clamp, Elisabeth Andreasson, Linda Bengtzig, DannySausedo.....

First semi-final in Luleå on February 5
Desperados - Pernilla Andersson
In the Club – Danny
Me And My Drum – Swingfly
Oh My God – Le Kid
On My Own – Jonas Matsson
Social Butterfly – Rasmus Viberg
Something In Your Eyes – Jenny Silver
Try Again – Dilba
Second semi-final in Göteborg on February 12
Elektrisk - Anniela
Ge mig en spanjor - Babsan
I’m In Love – Sanna Nielsen
Like Suicide – Christian Walz
My Heart Is Refusing Me – Loreen
Oh My God! – The Moniker
7 Days And 7 Nights – Brolle
Vaken i en drom - Elisabeth Andreassen
Third semi-final in Linköping on February 19
Enemy – Sara Lumholdt
I Thought It Was Forever – Shirley´s Angels (Shirley Clamp)
Lucky You – Linda Sundblad
No One Else Could – Sebastian Karlsson
Popular – Eric Saade
Spring för livet – Sara Varga
The King – The Playtones
Tid att andas – Simon Forsberg
Forth semi-final in Malmö on February 26
Alive – Linda Pritchard
Better Or Worse – Julia Alvgard
Don´t Stop – Anders Fernette
E de fel på mig – Linda Bengtzing
I Surrender – Lasse Stefanz
Leaving Home – Nicke Borg
The Hunter – Melody Club
TBA– Love Generation

Euroviisut 2011 on line now

YLE has put the 15 Euroviisut 2011 songs on line this morning 9AM local time here. What do you think? Who's your favourite? Are we possibly heading back to Helsinki in 2012?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tonight: Can Laura beat Antti?

Tonight is the final of the Finnish Tanssii tähtien kanssa, Strickly come dancing. Two singers with their partners made it to the final this time: Antti Tuisku and Laura Voutilainen. Antti has been the superfavourite from early stages and the polls give him the runaway winner, something like 8 to 2. Let's see if Laura can change that tonight like she did last week by qualifying against all odds and getting a full set of 10's for her tango. The show is a very popular one in Finland, reaching over one million viewers regularly.
Singers with Eurovision connection have done very well so far: the first season was won by Tomi Metsäketo, second by Mariko Pajamäki of Kwan, third by Maria Lund - who also danced all the way to Eurovision dance contest. Last season winner was Miss Finland Satu Tuomisto who beat yet another Euroviisut artist Pirkko Mannola to the second place in the final.
To kill some time here is Laura's Rakkauden soturi and Antti's brand new video Hyökyaalto
Update: No she couldn't. Laura was leading by the jurors but the televote turned into Antti's win as expected. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sanremo 2011: Two newcomers chosen

Two names have been selected for Sanremo 2011 newcomers selection: Roberto Amadè and Gabriella Ferrone. They were chosen from ten finalists by a committee including Gianni Morandi.
From Sanremolab selection: Ida Massaro (Portico di Caserta - CE), Lorenzo Vizzini (Ragusa), Roberto Cappella aka Roberto Amadé (Caresanablot  - VC), Erika Mineo  (Prato - PO), Eleonora Crupi  (Basilicanova - PR), Ernesto De Luca (Cosenza), Martino Iacchetti (Luino  -VA) and Gabriella Ferrone  (Capua - CE) and from Sanremo Doc Trenincorsa (Monvalle - VA) and Ilaria Palmieri e Terre del sole (Aversa - CE)
Roberto is 28, from Vercelli and has studied art and painting before concentrating on music. His musical career has taken off with some awards already, including Premio Bindi this summer and recently his debut album Tutti gli incanti della vita was released. Listen his Verde é la pietra and his cover of Franco Battiato's masterpiece La cura.
Gabriella Ferrone (21) comes from Caserta. She has released one single, É mio and has collaborated with Anna Tatangelo previously. Listen to È mio

Azerbaijan: We have the second finalist: Nurlan Növresli

Another week in Azerbaijan has gone by with 11 hopefuls belting out Eurovision songs, foreign hits, Azeri hits and so on. Nurlan covered the German entry Miss Kiss Kiss bang amongst others. 
These didn't make it:: Group East Groove, Fizza Nadirova, Sakine Nasirova, Emin Hasan, Nazrin Zarbaliyeva, Ülvi Rasidov, Günay Alakbarova, Yegana Agayeva, Söla Safaraliyeva and Üliyya Talisinskaya. Chingis Mustafayev qualified last week.

Spanish flavor at Hercules on December 3

Hercules club will host Eurovision Fanclub night on December 3, 2010 in Helsinki. Besides DJ Ohrmeister two Spanish Eurovision stars will join the fun: Anael and Baltánas.
Anael (Ana Luisa Santana) tried in 2007 as part of the duo Ybraem, did not managed to qualify for the 2nd round as artist but the song Una Lágrima which she composed together with his partner made it to the top-5 but was not picked to be performed on the big final. One year later she tried solo with Piénsame finishing 6th on the televoting and did not get the ticket to the Big-Final. She is currently working on her first solo album.
Baltanás also tried first in 2007 but did not qualify neither in the first round as solo nor when he had a second chance performing as duo. One year later he tried again but his song was lost in the televoting competition not being able to achieve the top-20; however the took part in the semifinals as backvocalist from Coral performing Todo está en tu mente, which finished second.
(Thanks to Daniel Motiño Camúñez for information on artists)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tarkan for Turkey 2010... err.. 2011?

Copy-paste from this:
"Today's rumor in all websites is Tarkan has (finally) agreed to do Eurovision and go for Turkey in Oslo 2010  2011. He is one of those artists who seem like made for Eurovision and has been rumored, hoped and wished for most every year since forever so it would be nice if this was true and happening!"
Well, the endless every year rumours came true with Harel Skaat in 2010, maybe this time for Tarkan. Or then not. We will see... meanwhile here is his latest, Sevdanın Son Vuruşu

Jon Ola Sand takes over

Norwegian Jon Ola Sand takes over the post as Executive Supervisor taking over from Swedish Svante Stockselius who turned Eurovision upside down in a good way during his over 8 years in the job. Let's see what kinf od new ideas Sand has... surely he's not stepping into easy boots. Some 40 people from 10 countries applied for this prestigious and unique job. At the same time Sietse Bakker has been appointed as Event Supervisor for the Eurovision song contest, underlining the fact it's not only a TV Show anymore but an Event! Congratulations both and tack för allt, Svante!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sanremo 2011: Franco Battiato in!

Now this is a surprise! Franco Battiato will be in Sanremo 2011, too, and not as a guest but in competition. Well, to say the truth it's going to be Luca Madonia ft Franco Battiato but who cares? It is not the first time they collaborate together. They have dueted for example in Quello che non so di te,  and Moto perpetuo, and Madonia has also recorded Battiato's Summer on a solitary beach, just like Alice.  And with Alice Battiato has won Sanremo in 1981 with Per Elisa. Two years later he wrote Oppio for Sibilla but that didn't go that well...

Anna Oxa returns to Sanremo

The first names are out for Sanremo 2011. Gianmarco Mazzi, artistic director gave these names for sure: Nina Zilli, Max Pezzali, Anna Oxa, Roberto Vecchioni and Emma Marrone.
Nina Zilli, the moral winner of newcomers 2010 where she came 2nd behind Tony Maiello returns for a revenge. She has had a very succesful year. Max Pezzali, ex-883 debuts as soloist but he did Sanremo already in 1995 with 883. Anna Oxa tries a comeback and this will be her 14th Sanremo. Two victories (one with Fausto Leali though), two second places and nine top-10 placings but her latest participation in 2006 didn't go that well... . Roberto Vecchioni returns after 38 years, his one and only previous participation is from 1973. Emma Marrone, yet another star from Amici talent show will be with group Modá as widely speculated or solo. Another Amici, Alessandra Amoroso is also highly tipped to be there.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Welcome #191: Dominica!

New flags are coming quickly these days! It's time to welcome #191: Dominica! Welcome!

Chisu - Aleksanterin teatteri, Helsinki 24.11.2010

She didn't disappoint. Great concert. All the hits. All the rest. I guess she did all the songs from her two albums, some with a rockier arrangement, some like Mun koti ei oo täällä with totally different one. Sometimes it is a good thing rearranging, sometimes it isn't but in this case it was very good indeed. Maybe some sound problems in the first part of the show but the second half was perfection. 
The most stunning moment was no doubt Yksinäisen keijun tarina that she sung alone on stage with her grand piano.... She was visibly moved herself at times during the night and even so as this was the last concert of tour that has had over 150 gigs so far. Oh hang on, she will have an extra concert tomorrow night in the same place due to huge demand of tickets so it was second to last.... Now she deserves a break... or is she heading for studio to record her third album? 
I have always thought she is the Finnish Myléne Farmer and indeed these two have a lot of in common. But tonight seeing her on stage she made me think of Cyndi Lauper, too. (Both are huge compliments, btw) Chisu, if you ever do a cover how about True colors or Time after time? They would fit you like a glove!

Tonight: Chisu!

Tonight I'm going to see Chisu live in Alexander's Theater in Helsinki. This was supposed to be her last show on her tour that has been going on since forever now all around Finland but due to high demand on tickets she will have another one tomorrow. Anyways, this woman has won the Emma for the best song the last two years in a row, last year also the best album Emma and the best producer one.  She writes and produces all her material herself. She has generously lend her talent to others like Crystal Snow and Antti Tuisku as well and most of all has been very fan friendly all these past 2-3 years she has been around with hits like Mun koti ei oo täällä, Muut, Tämä rakkaus, Baden-Baden, Sama nainen, Miehistä viis, Saaliit and Yksinäisen keijun tarina. Chisu is fa-bu-lous! And I'm ex-ci-ted! Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

X Factor Italia: The final - LIVE -

The final of X Factor Italia has just started on Raidue. Still no confirmation if the winner will go to Eurovision or was it just talk. Take That and Elisa are guests of the show and we can expect duets with Skunk Anasie, Francesco Renga and Federico Zampaglione with the three remaining singers Davide Mogevero, Nathalie Giannitrapani and Nevruz Joku. Davide seems to be the favourite for victory....
*In the press conference during the show the director Liofredi said nothing about Eurovision nor Sanremo so it's looking bad. The first duet, Nevruz & Zambaglione with Per me é importante on stage now.
*Natahalie & Skunk Anansie on stage next with Follow me down. Followed by Davide & Francesco Renga with Renga's Sanremo winner Angelo.
*Ok, as usual for any Italian show, it's been on hour one hour and we have heard the singers only once so far. It's going to be a long night.... and remembering Davide is under 18 he cannot perform after midnight (yes, some Italian law!) ... I hope they wrap this up before midnight or poor guy may miss the moment of his life by watching it on TV on prerecorded video instead of being on stage and celebrating! (It has already happened in Sanremo with some underage singers.....)
*As usual I'm happily stealing most of this info from Dove c'é musica. Great blog in Italian about Eurovision, Sanremo and music in general.Grazie Emanuele! :-)
*Nathalie starts the round of original songs. This year X Factor songs haven't really set the iTunes on fire like last year and since these new songs were presented last year none of them even made top-100. Last year the singers got in to the charts even with covers.... Nevruz follows so Davide is again the last one to perform.
* Take That with The flood next. Or is it Robbie Williams ft. Take That?
*Televoting has closed.
*Nathalie and Davide go on, Nevruz is out as expected. He started the show as unemployed worker and may end up as unemployed singer. Nathalie, an original singer-songwriter or teenage heartdrop Davide? We will know (hoping Davide makes it in time to sing before midnight...)
*Premio della critica is handed out next, it could go to any of the singers that took part in the series. Decided by the press. Oh? No, ok. Later. Meanwhile fabulous Elisa with her new song Nostalgia.
*Back on track. Davide starts with his medley: Some Negramano, Ligabue and Aerosmith.
*Nathalie does Gianna Nannni, Rita Pavone and Let the sunshine in from Hair.
*Now on stage piano and the two voices belting out Imagine. And midnight is almost here. If Davide wins he cannot sing anymore...... Isn't it time to change the rules/law? Or find new scriptwriters and producers who can keep the time table? I just wonder...
*Time is ticking but Davide has just barely time for his accapella, a song by Zucchero while Nathalie will do Janis Jplin after him.
*It's midnight. Davide (17) is escorted off stage so he can't ask people to vote for him, get his award if he wins and can't perform his song as the winner! Ridiculous! He can only watch it from TV screen backstage or in his hotel or wherever like any viewers. How does it feel to be absent from the party that is made for you? In case he wins? Only in Italy....
*Francesco Renga on stage with Un giorno bellissimo. Let's see if it will be for him a most beautiful day as the writer for Davide's original song.... that Davide can't re-perform in case he wins....
*During the whole show nothing about the nearly promised Eurovision trip for the winner is said - on the other hand it has not been refused either. But at this point I think it's not going to happen, even if I was and wanted to be an optimist.
*Nathalie wins Premio della critica.
*Three hours and 45 minutes..... in time that we easily run full Eurovision final with 25 songs Italy manages to have a show with 3 singers, a dozen songs and one winner: Nathalia Giannitrapani, 31, from Rome. 
Buona notte mondo.

Norway reveals half of the names for 2011

Pop, punk, rap, danceband, ballads... that's what NRK is offering this year. Here are the names revealed so far:

  • Carina Dahl - Guns & Boys
  • Use Me - Daisy
  • Sichelle - Trenger Mer
  • Sie Gubba - Alt Du Vil Ha
  • Åste & Rikke - Not That Easy
  • Helene Bøksle - Vardlokk
  • Gatas Parlament - Jobbe Litt Mindre Og Tjene Litt Mer
  • Mimi Blix - Allergic
  • Babel Fish - You Can Depend On Me

Switzerland: Barbie doll replaces the trumpet

My early favourite in Switzerland Vittoria Hyde has been disqualified. Her song Play the trumpet has been partly released already before the deadline, revealed by the German part of the Swiss TV. She will be replaced by Scilla Siekman and Barbie doll. Sigh, what a shame! Actually Vittoria replaced Orpheline who withdraw and now Scilla replace Vittoria who was disqualified......

Anna Eriksson - too good for Finland?

Anna Eriksson has been around over 10 years in Finland, all her albums have sold gold, platinum or multiplatinum, she has won two Emmas and countless other awards. She has shown her versality singing pop, rock, classics from TV studios to stadiums and rock festivals. And that's where she's at her best: on stage. Mikko Räsänen writes today in Ilta-Sanomat she's at least as good as world stars Katie Melua and Amy McDonald. So far the Finnish export music has been metal, rock or heavy - will Anna break the spell and be the first female poprock artist to do so? Next Monday she will perform in Stockholm and if everything goes right it is a start of an international career. "Of course I'm quite excited about it" she says. "The sold out tour in Finland this fall has made me feel very good, the act is working and solid. The idea of concert(s) in Sweden came last spring when my record company's Nordic boss saw me in Helsinki live. I'm glad this opportunity comes now when I have already years of practise behind me and my self confidence has grown. I'm also it happens with this Garden of love album that I jave written and produced myself. Writing my own material has made a whole, giving a new meaning to my singing and work." Anna has it all: charisma, looks, stage presense and voice that made her latest tour yet another success.The tours have been a bit in crisis the past two years in Finland with even big names cancelling dates or tours altogether. "It's not good to tour too much. Finland is too small to tour long twice a year. Besides I need break to be able to stay in this career for long. I rather do one succesful tour every now and then than be on the road all the time." Her latest tour hit 14 cities, was almost sold out and over 10.000 people saw her live.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Welcome #190: Martinique!

Yuhuu, another new flag! This time it's Martinique and we have reached #190. Welcome!

Melodifestivalen 2011: Charlotte dumped!

SVT has just released the names in the first two Melodifestivalen semifinals:

Luleå - February 5, 2011 Pernilla Andersson – Desperados
Danny – In the Club
Swingfly – Me and my drum
Le Kid – Oh my god
Jonas Matsson – On my own
Rasmus Viberg – Social butterfly
Jenny Silver – Something In Your Eyes
Dilba – Try again

Gothenburg - February 12, 2011
Anniela – Elektrisk
Babsan – Ge mig en spanjor
Sanna Nielsen – I’m in love
Christian Walz – Like suicide
Loreen – My Heart Is Refusing Me
The Moniker (Daniel Karlsson) – Oh my god!
Brolle – Seven Days And Seven Nights
Elisabeth Andreassen – Vaken i en dröm

And yes, there seem to be two songs with the same title, Oh my God! And SVT dumped Charlotte Perrelli for Jenny Silver who gets the chance to belt out Something in your eyes instead of her, despite Jenny's flop last year but maybe that's less harmful as Charlotte's flop? Also totally unknown Anniela gets a chance instead of Linda Bengtzig and Magnus Carlsson who were ment to sing that song originally.
In the last two semifinals we have already Linda Bengtzing, Lasse Stefanz, Simon Forsberg, Julia Alvgard, Melody Club, Nicke Borg and Sara Lumhold. Malena Lazslo, Sebastian Karlsson and Sara Varga are rumoured to be in as well but even so still six names are missing.

Laura and Antti in the dance final

Tanssii tähtien kanssa, or the Finnish Strickly come dancing has reached the final stage. Last night Laura Voutilainen with her pair Marko Keränen did the jackpot by dancing full marks tango, 4 x 10 and danced their way to the final against all odds and will meet another singer, Antti Tuisku and his pair Ansku Bergström. Antti has been the superfavourite to win since early episodes. Can Laura turn also this into a victory in her megasuccess year?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Septermber says no to Melodifestivalen

Tomorrow we should know all the artists in the first two Melodifestivalen 2011 semifinals and next Monday the rest but apparently it's not all yet clear in Christer Björkman's camp. One of the names he desperately wanted in was September who after initial yes decided to say no instead and concentrates on her international career and launch of her new single. While Björkman is still hunting for big names apparently Jenny Silver and Daniel Karlsson have been accepted just a few days ago. "Since Peter Jöback's flop last year many serious artists have lost their interest in Melodifestivalen and wish to have nothing to do with it" commented an insider. We already know 18 names and Erik Saade, Linda Bengtzig, Elisabeth Andreasson, Danny and Sanna Nielsen could remain the biggest names along side with various Mr Gay Sweden's, dragqueens and Idols drop outs?

Juliana Pasha & Luis Eljji win Kënga Magjike 2010

Albanian Eurovision stars win this year's edition of Kënga Magjike. A what? That's what I said, too, and made a research. Here's copy-paste from its Facebook page:
Kënga Magjike was created by famous singer, composer, host and organizer Ardit Gjebrea and began airing in 1999. It usually airs on the November of each year, with a few exceptions. In 2005, a new format of presenting the songs was introduced. Each song was broadcast one month prior to the semi finals and the final in a special edition called "Duke Pritur Kënga Magjike..."; "(Awaiting Kënga Magjike...)", giving the viewers a chance to vote for the songs that would pass on to the semi finals through phone, text or online in the official website: http://www.kengamagjike.com. A jury is also used when determining which song makes it to the next stage.
While the contest is criticised for the use of playback in the delivery of each song in the competition, it has been praised for the diversity of music it has brought to the public. The biggest achievement of Kënga Magjike is the great mixture of singers and bands from Albania with those in neighboring countries, a large portion coming from Kosovo as well as other areas. KM has also been the stage for many comebacks of famous Albanian singers who reside in other countries, as well as artists which have contributed to the music industry in the past. Songs from this contest have resulted in many hits for Albanians throughout the world.
Olta Boka was there, too. Congratulations Juliana and Luis, and the quite pleasant and catchy song is here.  More about the festival here and here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Armenia wins Junior Eurovision 2010

Vladimir Arzumanyan (12) from Armenia wins this year's Junior Eurovision song contest in a close run with his Mama. Here are the full results:

  1. Armenia - Vladimir Arzumanyan - Mama - 120 points
  2. Russia - Liza Drozd & Sasha Lazin - Boy And Girl - 119 points
  3. Serbia - Sonja Skoric - Carobna Noc / Magical Night - 113 points
  4. Georgia - Mariam Kakhelishvili - Mari Dari - 109 points
  5. Belarus - Daniil Kozlov - Muzyki Svet - 85 points
  6. Lithuania - Bartas - Oki-doki - 67 points
  7. Belgium - Jill & Lauren - Get Up! - 61 points
  8. Moldova - Stefan Roscovan - Ali Baba - 54 points
  9. The Netherlands - Anna & Senna - My Family - 52 points
  10. Latvia - Sarlote & Sea Stones - Viva La Dance - 51 points
  11. Sweden - Josefine Ridell - Allt Jag Vill Ha - 48 points
  12. FYR Macedonia - Anja Veterova - Eooo, Eooo - 38 points
  13. Malta - Nicole - Knock Knock!….Boom! Boom! - 35 points
  14. Ukraine - Yuliya Gurska - Mii Litak - 28 points

Goodbye to 75 Cent

Ironically on the day of Junior Eurovision song contest the news reach us the oldest ever Eurovision entrant, Ladislav Demeterffy - Laci aka 75 Cent passed away yesterday. He would have been 78 in January. He represanted Croatia in Eurovision 2008 with Krajlevi Ulice and song Romanca that I loved back then and still do. Many fans labeled that then a novelty act or a joke failing to see it was serious and a great song. Here. Rest in peace, Laci. You'll be missed.

Spanish fans prefer girl power

The Spanish fans launched a poll to see who they would prefer to represant their country in the 2011 Eurovision song contest and Chenoa is narrowly their favourite, almost head to head with Mirela, 2.243 votes against 2.232. Soraya despite her flop in Eurovision came third with 1.995 votes.
The top trio is followed by Natalia Jiménez (1.974), ex-vocalist of La 5. Estacion, Marta Sánchez (1.923), Malú (1.917), La Oreja de Van Gogh (1.888), Mónica Naranjo (1.865), Edurne (1.847) and another ex-Eurovision star Rosa (1.836). Other familiar names include Enrique Iglesias (12th), Coral (14th), Hevia (15th), Anabel Conde (17th), Venus (19th), Maria Isabel (20th), David Bisbal (28th), Ana Torroja (33rd), Ainhoa (34th) and Amaia Montero (44th).
The Spanish TV has launched an open call for both singers and songs this time around. Let's wait and see if any of these artists will apply.... Mirela has said she'll be there and will finally release her debut album in spring 2011 while Soraya might be just too busy with her newfound success abroad. I personally would love to see Mirela, Malú and Ana Torroja giving it a try!

Azerbaijan: We have the first finalist: Chingiz Mustafayev

Azerbaijan has been having its lenghty first semifinal this week. The 11 hopefuls performed a foreign song on Monday, an Azerbaijani song on Tuesday, an old Eurovision entry on Wednesday, a song of their choice on Thursday and Friday the winner was selected and it is Chingiz Mustafayev. Here's his Milim , Hero and Duy duy. Next week another 11 will try their luck. In total this will last for seven weeks until all 77 artists have performed and seven semifinal winners selected..
These singers took part this week:
1.Nurana Alesgerova 2.Tarik Yigit 3.Gulchohre Babaeva 4.Ulviyya Abbasova 5.Chingiz Mustafaev 6.Tofig Hajiev 7.”Next” 8.Aygun Ismayilova 9.Adil Bakhishli 10.Zulfunaz Rejebova 11.Xana Hasanova

Reckless Love said No to Euroviisut

Reckless Love, one of my tips for Euroviisut 2011 indeed was asked. Olli Herman, band's frontman said in recent interview after he has been in cooking program on TV and is leading his choir in Kuorosota (Battle of choirs) this winter on TV amongst other things; "It has been so busy and I have been everywhere! I have been asked to do so many things and the only thing I have said no is actually Euroviisut!" Here is Beautiful bomb and Romance. Shame. They would have been a great act in the line up and most likely a pre-contest favourite....

Tonight: Junior Eurovision song contest in Minsk

Tonight the troubled Junior Eurovision song contest takes place for the 8th time. If someone wonders why I haven't written about it before it's by precise decision. Frankly, I don't care about kids singing, even if I have to admit the past couple of years after they changed the age limits and older kids have been a majority it has been a bit better and last year's winner from the Netherlands was very good, and in 2008 Belgium's Oliver, too, just to name some names. This year I haven't yet heard one single song so tonight I will watch it online and get the average European viewer's approach to Eurovision: hear the songs once only! More information here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Albanian finalists known - Kejsi tries again

Albania will be most likely the second country to select its entry for 2011 beaten only by Switzerland. The Festivali i Këngës 2010 will take place over Christmas with semifinals on 24th and 25th December, each with 16 big names and 3 newcomers. Eight big plus one newcomer will move to the final on December 26th. Amongst the hopefuls is Kejsi Tola, the winner of 2008 with Me merr ne enderr that turned into Carry me in your dreams in Eurovision 2009. Last year she tried again with beautiful Ndonjehere but came only 15th.

01 Adhurim Demiri - 24 Oret
02 Alban Skenderaj & Miriam Cami - Ende ka shprese 
03 Besa Kokedhima - E bukura dhe bisha
04 Blerina Shalari - Lutjes apo dashurise
05 Denis Hasa -Mbi xhaketen time
06 Dorian Nini - Mire se vini ne Shqiperi
07 Dorina Garuci - Mirembrema engjelli im
08 Emi Bogdo - Leter per ty
09 Enkeleda Arifi  - Nje dashuri
10 Entela Zhula - Loje ne dashuri
11 Ernis Cili & Onanta Spahiu - FAM
12 Etmond Mancaku - Dashuri pas emrit
13 Francesk Radi - Kemi dasem`o
14 Goldi Halili - Ne krahet e tua
15 Heldi Kraja - E diela pa ty
16 Herci Matmuja - Me cilin rri ti dashuri
17 Kamela Islamaj - Jetova per ty
18 Kejsi Tola - Prane
19 Klajdi Musabelliu - Vetem ti
20 Kujtim Prodani - Ti Ishe Kryeveper
21 Linda Halimi - Nuk e kam pritur
22 Marjeta Billo - Perjetesi
23 Marsida Saraci - Vetem s`jemi ne bote
24 Mateus Froku - Dimer ne shpirt
25 NRG Band - Mina-Mina
26 Orges Toce - Mari
27 Selami Kolonja - Marmara
28 Sajmir Braho - Shtegetar i jetes time
29 Aurela Gace - Te kam prane
30 Sonila Mara - Egoist
31 Xhejsi Jorgaqi -  Rastesi
32 Humus - S`ka

Welcome #189: Burkina Faso

The number of countries or territories that have not visited BlogIlkar is reduced once again by one: Burkina Faso gets the #189. Welcome!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

X Factor Italia: Kymera out

Well, it didn't quite go as planned and Kymera is out this week leaving the three finalists to battle out the victory and the possible Eurovision 2011: Davide Mogevero, Nathalie Giannitrapani and Nevruz Joku. Davide (17) comes from Salice Salentino (LE) in south of Italy. He's still at school. Nathalie (30) comes from Rome and besides writing her own songs is also a music teacher. Nevruz (26)is half Turkish and jobless. Next week we will know who is the 4th Italian X Factor winner....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Swiss have chosen: here are the finalists

A quick listen through the Swiss finalists leaves me a bit confused: generally pretty good songs but on the other hand not much variety. Very disappointing is eight songs are in English. Only one song in Swiss dialect (?) got in as well as one song in Italian (and by means not the best one in offer). And then thee's Vittoria Hyde...The French part still has to announce its wildcard so maybe in the end there will be one in French,too. Yet, in terms of languages very disappointing. On the other hand most of the artists are Swiss so that's good. Swiss or not, I'm partial to Vittoria Hyde at this point! Here are the finalists after Orphelinen decided to withdraw giving way to Vittoria, who was second in RSI's selection:
Sarah Burgess - Just me
Andrina - Drop of drizzle
Anna Rossinelli - In love for awhile
Bernarda Brunovic - Confidence
CH - Gib nid uf
Duke - Waiting for you
Polly Duster - Up to you
The Glue - Come what may
Vittoria Hyde - Play the trumpet
Dominique Borriello - Il ritmo dentro di noi
The Colors and Ilira - Home

Albums that have shaped my music taste 4: Pet Shop Boys - Actually

I already liked their debut Please but the second album Actually totally won me over and made me follow them until this day. It's a sin (UK #1) , What have I done to deserve this (UK #2) with fabulous late Dusty Springfield,  one of my all time favourites Rent UK #8), originally offered for Madonna Heart (UK #1) and in between released Elvis tribute Always on my mind (UK #1) made me go crazy for them. It couldn't happen here , also a title of the movie they did at the time and King's Cross are also worth mentioning off the album. One more chance was released as a single in some markets as well. These are hits that have stayed on my playlist for over 20 years by now, sometimes helped by remixes and covers, like Liza Minnelli's fantastic Rent or Tracey Horn's King's Cross from 2007.
This is one of Pet Shop Boys's most succesful albums selling triple platinum in the UK 4xplatinum in the US. In Finland it has also sold over 65.000 copies, platinum.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Euroviisut 2011: Stala & So.

Last but not least in Euroviisut 2011 Stala & So. will take the stage. Stala is of course Lordi's drummer Kita or Sampsa Astala who got himself fired from the band by accepting YLE's invitation. But for once Finland can boast having an Eurovision winner in its national final line up! So. has been playing together since 1997 and today known as Stala & So. it features Stala (vocals), Nick Gore (bass, backing vocals), Sami J (solo guitar, backing vocals), Pate Vaughn (rhythm guitar, backing vocals) and Hank (drums). After several independent singles and EPs their first real album is ready and the first single off it is Everything is money but here's Shout & Bye bye and Spring romance.
Stala & So. will end the Finnish semifinals on January 28, 2011 and their entry will be made public on November 29, 2010.

Spain starts the search today for ESC 2011

Blogilkar guest writer Daniel Motiño Camúñez reports:
Spain RTVE starts the search today November 15 for Eurovision 2011. After Roberto's Chikilicuatre bad joke and the live on air  John Cobra scandal, Spain is finally changing the rules in order to select the artist
and the song for Eurovision Song Contest. RTVE will not be hosting an open internet selection like in the past years; the artist will have to go through a jury filter before appearing in the Galas. In addition the song and the artist will be choosen separately like in the Spanish national selection in 2007, when D'Nash were chosen and performed I love you mi vida composed by Rebecca who did not qualifiy to the big final. (Quite frankly I prefer Rebeca's version! BlogIlkar)

In order to access the galas candidates have to submit a video performing a song which has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest and can be performed in any language. Here is the biggest innovation of the selection since RTVE intends from the begining to create a link between the artist and the contest; together with the video candidates have to submit a short presentation video explaining why the want to represent Spain in Eurovision and a photograph.

Additionally RTVE will be hosting a live casting in Madrid on November 25 and in Barcelona on November  29. The pre-selected performers from online and live auditions will go through a final casting to be hosted on the week starting December 13. The organisers recommend to bring pre-recorded music for the live castings. Artist with bass, drums and keyboards are allowed to submit their songs only online while the rest can either submit their videos, perform live or even both. RTVE also mentions the possibility to select some already known artist although it is not clear if they have to submit their proposals or if they will be invited by the organisation.

Songwriters and composers will need to submit their songs from tomorrow till the December 12 by sending an mp3 or wav file. RTVE will select internally the songs that will be performed in the Big Final,a lthough it has not been told how many songs will be picked.

Seems like Spain keeps on trying to improve the poor results of the last years. Daniel Diges obtained the best results since 2005 reaching 15th. The last Top-10 for Spain was Ramón in 2004 and to see Spain in the Top-5 we have to go back 16 years when Anabel Conde finished 2nd in Oslo. Spain's only performance in a contest organized in Germany ended up with 0 points (so unfair!!! BlogIlkar) , since Remedios Amaya did not receive any single point in Munich 1983. I hope we will do mcuh better this time!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Italy: X Factor, ESC, Kymera?

The fans in Italy are seeing signs in the air as next Tuesday one of the remaining acts in Italian X Factor Kymera will perform Gianni Morandi's Eurovision entry Occhi di ragazza, Eurovision winner ABBA's Winner takes it all and previously unreleased song Atlantide by Eurovision entrant Enrico Ruggeri. Only a coincidence or are they hinting something? Also, Sanremo 2011 host Gianni Morandi will be the guest of the show... 
Kymera are Davide and Simone, a real life gay couple since 2004 who have previously sung Frozen, Polvere, Shock the monkey, and Maria. Undoubtly a very interesting act that might cook up something very sclassy and uitable for Eurovision stage.... But there are still three other acts in the game and Italy's return to Eurovision is not have been confirmed yet officially.

Miro's back with Power

Miro who has done a triple in all Eurovision related contests this year; Eurovision with Angel si ti, OGAE Song contest with Ubiva me s ljubov and Second chance contest with Twist and tango  has a new single out, Power.

Swedish Idols: Elin out

The other Finn Elin Blom is out from the Swedish Idol 2010. "It's very sad to leave but this is not the last you've heard of me. I'll be back, you'll see! This was the best I have ever done!" In Finnish media she was critizising the Finnish Idol when asked why she did the Swedish one saying the Swedish is so much better. Well, true... I guess. Anyways the Finnish one has given us Hanna Pakarinen, Antti Tuisku, Jani Wickholm, Katri Ylander, Agnes, Kristiina Brask, Anna Abreu, Kristian Meurman, Koop Arponen and Pete Parkkonen. After a break the 5th season will start next year in Finland while in Sweden there is the top-5 left...

Euroviisut 2011: Tommi Soidinmäki

Another Tango King in the race. Tommi (27) won the contest in 2004 and since then released three albums. After a little break he came back this year with his 4th album and aiming now for a pop career more on the Robbie Williams style than tangos. Which suits this blogger fine as he's got the voice and the looks for it. He also declared already earlier this year he wants to do Euroviisut and indeed YLE invited him. Music has been in his life since he was 4 when he started singing to anyone who would listen to him. At school came the choirs and plays, piano and later guitar. During high school he started taking part in various contests and won Lavatähti in 2000 and Ponnahdus pinnalle in 2001. Then finally the title of Tango King at the age of 21 and since then he has been touring all over Finland but also finished his studies as music teacher..He has four different teams writing the song for him and as he has two ballads and two up tempo ones to choose from the entry can be either of them. "It will be the one touches me, the one that suits me the best" he says. Meanwhile here are some of his songs.
Tommi will be in the third semifinal on January 28, 2011 and his entry will be made public on November 29, 2010.

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