Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jessica Wolff the new fan favourite in UMK 2012

Weeks have passed and the 40 songs in the running to become UMK semifinalists have been online, listened and judged by the fans and curious alike and it's time to draw some conclusions. Martina caught the first attention but while she's doing reality-tv in the jungle the field is left open to everybody else and take the spotlight but... Honestly I haven't seen anyone doing any headlines anywhere. Nor have I heard any of the songs on radio (except some Eurovision on line radios)...
But if we put togerher some online fan polls, YLE's own fan barometer we can get the idea Jessica Wolff is the favourite now closely followed by DCX. Then we have Iconcrash, Martina and
Pernilla Karlsson and ARTo neck to neck. And then Malin Kojola, especially liked by the foreigners and Jari & Taika, especially liked by the YLE's own fan barometer voters. Thrown in Fatima and Freeman & Uusi Fantasia and we have the top-10.  Time will tell how many of thee will make the YLE's list of finalists....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

David Civera loves covers, too. And Baku 2012?

Not only Sergio Dalma is having success with covers in Spain but also sparkly smiled David Civera has released an album full of classics, this one also featuring some Italian songs like Umberto Tozzi's Ti amo. Seems like David managed to release it as a single before Sergio. The original by Tozzi sold over 8 million copies worldwide and is surely one of the songs most everyone knows to some degree all over the world. And to keep dear Umberto filled with royalties David also covers Gloria, previosly hit to Tozzi, late Laura Branigan and Carola. Just to name a few. Oh, and the best Ti amo cover comes from before mentioned, sadly underrated Laura Branigan.
And back to David. He has stated he would like to do it again. Eurovision that is. He has a song ready for Baku 2012 and is waiting for an invitation....

Anggun for France!

The 2012 Eurovision is building up very nicely so far. First we have Zeljko making a comeback, Ivi sounds rather competent and now we have Anggun for France! I'm old enough to have enjoyed her Snow on the Sahara to the fullest when it was a worldwide hit. I may have lost track with her since but every other year at least her name has popped up as a possible Eurovision entrant and indeed she was asked already last year but then France2 went for Vassili instead. And now I'm rediscovering her and she's done some great stuff recently so I'm very very pleased!
Anggun (37) was already a child star in native Indonesia with 8 albums to her credit between 1986-1994. Then she left for UK and after some hard times moved to France and long story made short La neige au Sahara was released and became the best selling single in France in 1997. Since then she has released various albums in French and English and the new one Echoes is out right now, both in French and in English versions. Her Eurovision entry will propably be lifted from it. She has had success besides France especially in Belgium and Italy of all places.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sanremo 2012: Marco Mengoni to return?

Sanremo 2012 rumours are running wild and some names are given alredy almost certain. Like Marco Mengoni who was hotly tipped for Eurovision 2011 as well after his X Factor win and 3rd place in Sanremo 2010. The 2005 winner Francesco Renga also should run as well as ladies Noemi and Nina Zilli. Nek and Samuele Bersani should also return and reality Amici star Annalisa should make her debut. And as for one of the apparently five hostesses next to Gianni Morandi there's a rumour about Tamara Ecclestone.... And there's alays the possibility Sanremo will be again used for selecting the Italian Eurovision entry as well, if and when Italy will be present in Baku 2012.

Mixalis Hatzigiannis - brave and true

Mixalis Hatzigiannis releases a new album and here's the latest video S'Agapo. This marks his return to local market after adventures in Germany and Europe with the release of album Mihalis and Everyone dance. This blogger easily understand his popularity in Greece as he manages to sound good always, whether it's a ballad or an uptempo. Great artist! And this puts me in summer mood in a sec!

Sergio Dalma's Italian success... and Per Elisa

Sergio Dalma's Via Dalma has had a sequal Via Dalma II or more Italian hits covered by Sergio. Spanish seem to like them a lot as I heard El mundo all the time when in Spain. He has also released a DeLuxe version of the lot including both albums and extras, like the Italian version of his Eurovision entry, Ballare stretti. There's also cover of Umberto Tozzi's Ti amo but more about that later....
One of the less fortunate versions must be Por Elisa that Alice does so much better I must say... as original and remixed. The best cover remains no doubt Aram Quartet's.

Azerbaijan starts selection tonight...

Azerbaijan, the host country sticks to its formula used last year to find its represant on home soil somewhere in Baku - in the Chrystal Hall under construction or somewhere else. Like in 2010-2011 this will be one of the longest selection procedures: for 8 weeks 9 artists every week sing 5 songs in 5 shows. Or Mondays they do worldhits, Tuesdays Azeri songs, Wednesdays Eurovision hits, Thursday is the performance day and Friday they can sing whatever they want to. All this shown also on TV every night starting tonight. There is a televote 50%-jury vote 50%. After all this there will be 8 semifinalists known and the shows start again... In the end there should be only one artists left but we saw this year they matched Eldar and Nigar as a duo in the end with known results. And once they have the artist(s) they can hunt for a suitable song. Like from Sweden or some other place but this blogger surely hopes they should stick to domestic product this time around at least!

Tonight we have Ramin Guliyev, Janana Zeinalova, Orhan Mirzayev, Kenan Gadimov, Anastasiya Bedritskaya, Amil Gojayev, Orhan Kerimli, Elnara Hasanli (pictured) and Samra Rahimli. 19.00 CET here.

Here are the Melodifestivalen artists

The full list is now out and there's no Anna Järvinen, Magnus Carlsson or Martin Rolinski after all but all the other names had been speculated already. And there are quite a few previous Eurovision stars. Charlotte Perrelli, Lotta Engberg, Afro-dite, Andreas Lundstedt and previous fan favourites Timotej, Danny Saucedo, Sonja Aldén, Loreen, Andreas Johnson and Love Generation just to name a few....

Semifinal 1 - February 4th, Växjö:
  1. Loreen - Euphoria
  2. The Moniker - I want to be Chris Isaak
  3. Thorsten Flinck & Revolutionsorkestern - Jag reser mig igen
  4. Dead by April - Mystery
  5. Abalone Dots - På väg (Abalone Dots
  6. Marie Serneholt - Salt & pepper
  7. Sean Banan - Sean den förste banan
  8. Afro-Dite - The boy can dance
Semifinal 2 - February 11th, Göteborg:
  1. Andreas Lundstedt - Aldrig aldrig
  2. Top Cats - Baby doll
  3. Mimi Oh - Det går för långsamt
  4. Thomas Di Leva - Ge aldrig upp
  5. Sonja Aldén - I din himmel
  6. David Lindgren - Shout it out
  7. Ulrik Munther - Soldiers
  8. Timoteij - Stormande hav
Semifinal 3 - February 18th, Leksand:
  1. Mattias Andréasson - Förlåt mig
  2. Maria BenHajji - I mina drömmar
  3. Love Generation - Just a little bit
  4. Andreas Johnson - Lovelight
  5. Björn Ranelid feat. Sara Li - Mirakel
  6. Carolina Wallin Pérez - Sanningen
  7. Molly Sandén - Why am I crying
  8. Youngblood - Youngblood
Semifinal 4 - February 25th, Malmö:
  1. OPA - Allting blir bra igen
  2. Danny Saucedo - Amazing
  3. Lotta Engberg & Christer Sjögren - Don't let me down
  4. Hanna Lindblad - Goosebumps
  5. Axel Algmark - Kyss mig
  6. Dynazty - Land of broken dreams
  7. Charlotte Perrelli - The girl
  8. Lisa Miskovsky - Why start a fire

Listen to Malta's semifinalists

Malta has announced the 24 lucky semifinalists and as expected it's a family affair and even if not most every artist is a familiar name and already participated in the Maltese selections. When this goes on year after year one treats them a bit differently, wishing this or that artist would finally make it and win as it is his/hers about 18th time with no win. Think about Eleanor. Or sinply because they are good. My own personal favourites, the Micallef brothers and Faniello siblings all proved to have a good one this year, too. And if you wonder why Wayne wasn't it the pre-selection where they sung for the judges it's because he was in the States but then he does have merits.... Last year's runner up Richard and 3rd placed Kurt are back with a bang. Claudia has been a runner up in the past, so has Eleanor.

Listen snippets of the songs here, here and here. This bloggers early favourites are Claudia Faniello, Danica Muscat, Eleanor Cassar, Fabrizio Faniello, Kaya, Kurt Calleja, Richard Edwards and Wayne Micallef.  Generally it seems like a very good year and I disliked only two performances right away, and they both are Zammits...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Eurovision Top-250 2011 - start voting!

It's time again. The year is ending sooner than we realize and it's time to vote in the annual Eurovision poll of the best songs ever, once again organized with Blogilkar's partner site 12points.tv along with several other websites, blogs and OGAE Netherlands. And Escradio.com will broadcast it all as usual on New Year's.  There's also the Facebook so like it. And vote. Here. Or simply click the icon on right hand side :-) !

Kaliopi for FYR Macedonia!

Another country has chosen internally its represant for Baku 2012 and finally we get the Macedonian Diva for Eurovision. She was going already back in 1996 but didn't pass the pre-selection for the new countries. Since then the diva has matured and celebrates already her 35th anniversary in business. Here are some of her recent songs/videos: Ljubi me, Ti, Порака, Novinost and Ne sum kako ti. I hope this strong voiced woman will have some great slightly ethnic song to perform in Baku! Very promising I'd say!

Hande Yener - is it going to happen this time?

While we are at the rumour mill here's another from Turkey. Hande Yener might have said yes this time to TRT's offer to go to Baku 2012. She apparently was already going for 2008 but negotiations didn't go anywhere in the end. Just like Chenoa in Spain she has been in many fan wishlists and polls for years now, but on the other hand Turkey is always full of rumours and speculations and then we get something totally different in the end. Has no one started the Tarkan for 2012 rumour yet? But for Hande it's different this time: now she's going to the UK to record an English language album (apparently) so the timing would be perfect right? Time will tell but here's her latest single Bana anlat.

Is it finally Chenoa's time?

Chenoa, who has been many Spanish - and not only - Eurovision fan's wish list for many years seems to be closer for represanting her country than ever. Next week she will release a new album and there's a rumour Spain will go internal selection this year and send her off to Baku. This blogger thinks that is what they should have done already a few years ago - going internal selection I mean -  considering all the great music done in that country! Not sure if Chenoa would be the best choise but if she is able and willing, why not? Here's her latest single Como un fantasma.

Jedward adventures in Lapland

Jedward boys have been in Lapland for a busy schedule of filming material for ... err, something that will surely absolutely fabulous or at least wow oh wow like their new video that features way warmer climates than their Lapland visit. But as you can see from the pic even the reindeers were laughing in the company of Jedward! I wonder if Santa thought they have been good enough this year?

Back in business....

While I was away all sort of Eurovision related things have happened. FYR Macedonia has announced Kaliopi as their entrant; Jedward goes wow in their new video and visit Santa Claus in Lapland, Finland; Melodifestivalen artists were partly announced and didn't we already know all of them? Iceland, Germany, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Malta and Iceland announce further details on their selections and the funny rumour of Rome hosting the Eurovision 2012 instead of Baku circulated... and more. Like the rumour of Monaco's possible return. While I was sunbathing (well, some cloudier times there were, too, but that was good enough excuse to go hiking in a vulcano or go shopping in Las Palmas) or sipping caipirinhas at Zaza's or Wunderbar - who by the way have on Monday night's Eurovision special - or enjoying some Ricky's Cabaret.... But more of all these news and more a bit later.... Let me get over this shocky darkness, rain and cold first.... Waar is de zon?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Having a break....

... I'll be back November 26, 2011. Until then check the news at 12points .

Eurovision nearly hat tricks

Many artists have represanted their country in Eurovision twice. Some even three or four times or maybe even more in various duos, trios or groups and we don't even want to talk about backing singers and so on. Only Johnny Logan has won twice as a singer but we have four artists that nearly made it as well: Lys Assia, Gigliola Cinquetti, Linda Martin and Dima Bilan. On the other hand one can wonder if Linda and Diman ever came back if they won the first time? Lys and Gigliola made it to second after being a winner already before. Then we have Anne-Marie David who came third the second time around and Carola who won after being already third previously. For example. On the other hand we have recent examples from Charlotte Perrelli, Niamh Kavanagh and Dana International that previous winners are not treated with due respect anymore (in this blogger's opinion each deserved better) and it might even be more difficult for them to impress voters these days. Or what do you think? Will we ever have another double winner or someone to join even this group?
Interestingly enough Lys Assia is trying to represant Switzerland again in 2012 and Linda Martin is rumoured to be mentoring Jedward for a bis for Ireland in 2012 as well. And there's the annual rumour Dima Bilan would return as well... Can we have La Cinquetti, too?

Lys Assia - Refrain (1./1956), Giorgio (2./1958) - Switzerland
Gigliola Cinquetti - Non ho l'età (1./1964), Si (2./1974) - Italy
Linda Martin - Terminal 3 (2./1984), Why me? (1./1992) - Ireland
Dima Bilan - Never let you go (2./2006), Believe (1./2008) - Russia

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kati Wolf waits for tomorrow

Eurovision fan favourite Kati Wolf has released a new video and single Vár a holnap with a great looking video and the song itself sticks like a glue after a few listenings.... It does have a lot commom with Szerelem, miért múlsz, her Eurovision entry but with a rockier sounds.

Spain calling! Everybody to Córdoba

AEV is organizing something fabulously fantastic again. Such a shame I can't go there but I will be in Spain as of tomorrow night anyways. Just boringly a la playa while Córdoba sounds so fine. If you can, go! Here's the invitation:

The Spanish Eurovision Association (Asociación Cultural de Eurovisivos de España, AEV) will be holding its annual congress in Córdoba. This will be an special one since it is the 20th. The invitation it is not only for club members but for every Eurovision Song Contest fan.

From the 8th to the 11th of December the Spanish Eurofan community will meet to take part in special Eurovision Festival activities that will include several days filled with music, friendship and fun. The members' reception will be on Friday, December 9 from 20:00, followed by a Eurovision party with plenty of surprises.

The congress will begin on Saturday, December 9th, at 11:00. Numerous activities are scheduled, including a round table on hottest Eurovision 2012 topics, the latest results of the Spanish participants and the challenges of the incoming Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Baku. There will be also time for other activities such as contests, video presentations and interview with special guests. The traditional association gala dinner will also be held this night around 21:30. That will be followed with a party featuring Eurovision's greatest dance hits.

And added value of the event is the host city itself; Córdoba located in the heart of Andalucia is one of the pearls of Spanish Mozarab architecture with its old mosque, which is today a World Heritage Site and the cathedral of the Diocese of Córdoba. Another highlights of the city are its arabic-baths, traditional Andalusian architecture and the scent and flavours this gorgeous Andalusian city, definetely not to be missed.

For those how are interested AEV also offers budget accomodation including breakfast and meals, just contact the club @ olevision@gmail.con for detailed information.

AEV invites all Spanish and European Eurofans to get to know their cultural association and to live the magic of Eurovision in Córdoba!

More info at the association webpage: http://www.aeveurovision.com/

# 1 in Finland this week: Nightwish - Storytime

Nightwish returns ang goes straight to #1 with their comeback single Storytime.

Zeljko Joksimovic for Serbia!

The second big surprise of the day is Zeljko Joksimovic for Serbia. He's been around Eurovision in so many ways since 2004 that one would have thought he's got it all but apparently he really wants to win it. One could also think he has no artistic life outside Eurovision but as we know, he does.  This blogger is very happy as I have really liked all his entries and Eurovision experiences so far. And they are rather impressive and varied:

2004 wrote and sung the Serbia & Montenegro's entry Lane moje (2nd)
2005 wrote Jutro for Jelena Tomacevic, 2nd in national final of Serbia
2006 wrote Lejla for Hari Mata Hari that represanted Bosnia-Herzegovina (3rd)
2008 wrote Oro for Jelena Tomasevic that represanted Serbia (6th).
He also co-hosted Eurovision in  Serbia that year.
2010 he remixed the Azerbaijani entry Drip drop
2012 he will write and sing the Serbian entry. Something tells me it will be fabulous!

In 2005 he also dueted with Dino Merlin, Bosnia-herzegovina's entrant of 1999 and 2011 in Supermen.

Iris for Belgium!

The first surprise of this eventful day was the announcement of practically unknown 16-year-old Iris as the Belgian entrant for Baku 2012. Fans were waiting for Kate Ryan or someone at least a little bit known.  She's backed by the same people who made Tom Dice a success. Listen her here and here. Her eventual entry will be revealed later.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Antti Tuisku - Rukous

Antti Tuisku has released a new Christmas album Minun jouluni 2 including this Rukous (Prayer) with rather fab looking video. He also performed the song on live TV the other night. Great stuff.

Martina in the jungle

Martina did a promo gig on live TV that stirred the air a bit and tested the rules of Euroviisut aka UMK with her Checkmate but now for a month at least she won't be doing any. She left for jungle (well, some sources say Tahiti) for a Finnish version of Celebrity jungle or something. Martina along with current Miss Finland and bunch of reality stars and gossip rags favourites and such will catfight their way through a month for a lot of money. The series will air in spring 2012. How will they manage without their make up and hairdos and holy crap, a broken nail!!??
Anyways, Martina is no stranger to reality shows. She was in the Big Brother house a few seasons ago, and did first a reality show with her ex-husband about her pregnancy, and then another season when they went for a visit to Colombia, her ex-husband's mother's home country where they apparently did also some child charity things with their newborn baby... And this Saturday she will co-host Saturday night's Lauantai projekti comedy show on YLE2.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Raphael Gualazzi back to Sanremo? And other names...

The rumours of possible Sanremo artists for 2012 edition have started. The 2011 newcomer's winner and Eurovision runner up Raphael Gualazzi might try his luck in the main category, as well as another previous newcomers winner Syria. Other strong ladies are Loredana Errore, Malika Ayane, 77-year-old evergreen Ornella Vanoni and even Giorgia's name is mentioned. Alessandra Amoroso is also a possibility along with two recent winners, Marco Carta and Valerio Scanu. And Matia Bazar who has again Silvia Mezzanotte in lead vocals, Massimo Ranieri, Simona Molinari, Avion Travel, Pacifico & Manuel Agnelli, Edoardo Bennato, L'Aura, Michele Zarrillo, Silvia Salemi, Annalisa, Giuliano Palma, Nina Zilli.... And how about Alice? And yes, Italy should be in Eurovision and yes, the song should come from Sanremo again... Could it be we will get the winner to Baku 2012?

Bulgaria's 33

Bulgaria has got the number of the songs to 33 and next Wednesday November 23, 2011 another cut will be made to narrow down the lucky finalists. There are several familiar names and some names have several songs in the running. Desislava won this first round of voting and the qualifiers are:

Dess – Love is alive
Teni Omede – Without you
Tsvetelin Atanasov-Elvisa ft. DZ – Love goes around
Todor Gadzhalov – Still love you
Rene Ranev – Alone
Ivaylo Kolev – Searching for the words
Steliyana Hristova – Putyat
Stoyan Petrov – Winner
Sonya Ivanova – Finalna lyubov
Petr Nikolaev – With you
Ivaylo Kolev – Ima li put
Simona Sivanio – Come with me
Alex & 4Give – Dream
Niki Manolov – That girl
Vyara Pantaleeva – Byara
Group ‘Bee in the bonnet’ – Don’t keep me waiting
Sunnie – Love is the meaning
Group ‘Bee in the bonnet’ – Still on my mind
Sofi Marinova – Prosto lyubov
Group ‘Better than grey’ – Dream
Simona Sivanio – Eternal
Viktoriya Dimitrova – Novo nebe
Ognyan Zelenkov – Show me love
Sunnie – Shut your mouth and do it
Georgi Vurbanov – This is my green wave
Group ‘Rolling Over’ – Side by side
Svetozan Hristov – Keep me down
Ivaylo Kolev – Contigo puedo volar
Group ‘Bee in the bonnet’ – Ne se obrishay
Monika Kirovska – You are my angel
Group ‘Random Fact’ – Love
Margarita Hranova – Proshka
John Steel – Reason to believe

Miro Smajda for Slovakia!

When we were pretty certain Slovakian TV would skip Eurovision again out of the blue they come out and announce they have internally chosen Miro Smajda (or his band Mi.RO) to rock Baku 2012.
Miro shot to the fame in a talent show in 2009 and was concidered also for 2011 until the Twiins were selected instead.  Watch his Loneliness and Baby. There's no information on possible Eurovision entry yet....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New videos from Sirusho, Sarbel, Harel and André

Eurovision stars Sirusho and André from Armenia, Harel Skaat from Israel and Sarbel from Greece have released recently new videoclips.
Sirusho goes with self-penned I like it and apparently is sponsored by Air Armenia. She will also be the guest star in Yerevan's Junior Eurovision song contest on December 3, 2011. André has teamed up by Georgian Nini Shermandini, also familiar name from national selections. Ov shirun, shirun recalls Argentinian tango and Buenos Aires more than Yerevan I think. Great track anyways, almost Gotan Project-esque, isn't it? And a very stylish video, too.
Sarbel of Helsinki 2007 fame is making a comeback to the scene with Pou na girnas, a very Greek sounding song indeed. Very simple video but the song's nice. Last but not least Harel Skaat. His 21st century also features a very low budget video displaying the virtual life we lead these days.... But a very catchy nice song that grows with a couple of listenings. And Hebrew sounds great!

Saara Aalto goes Chinese

Saara Aalto's Euroviisut 2011 runner up Blessed with love turns into Chinese when she belts it out as Ai de Zhu fu as part of the Santa Claus promotion in China. She's one of the Finnish artists (the others being Negative and Semmarit) that will promote Finland and the one and only real Santa Claus in 22 Chinese cities and their shopping malls. She has studied Chinese since this spring but she has studied Japanese for 8 years and says it was a big help. You can see the English/Chinese video here but the full Chinese video will be out next week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dima Bilan for Russia 2012?

Ok, I couldn't resist the annual headline, could I? The early rumours from Russia suggest Dima Bilan is again thinking about Eurovision. Like every year. So is Sergey Lazarev. Like every year. And Alexander Panatoyov. Like every year. And even comedian and showman Timur Rodriguez. The other names include bands Quest Pistols, 4Post, Zveri and Kitai plus a few ladies like Karina Koks, Nastya Zadorozhnaya and Polina Gagarina.
Well, it's very unlikely Bilan will do it again, me thinks, but Lazarev might give it some thought concidering his recent start of international career launch. Panatoyov will propably try again somewhere and I have no clue who the others are so.... and we don't know yet if Russia will choose internally or have a national final again.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Laura Pausini's Inedito is out

11.11.11 saw a lot of things happening all around the world and about a zillion weddings, too. Laura Pausini released her 10th studio album Inedito. The first single of the album was Benvenuto and the day before the release the flash mob-esque video for the second one, a very pausian mega ballad Non ho mai smesso. No doubt the world success continues. She has sold already over 20 million albums and earned gold and platinum discs in Italy, Argentina, Brazil, France, Switzerland, Spain, Chile, Columbia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, United States, Finland, Mexico.... She has been honoured by the state of Italy and won several Grammys and dueted with most everyone. Isn't she wonderful?

More Melodifestivalen speculation....

Some blogs and websites, not mentioning tabloids are pretty certain they already have the definitive list for the artists in Melodifestivalen 2012 but who knows? I guess there will be some changes still as looking at it now there are quite a few girl groups for example...
As it is now we have some quite interesting coules. First of all Christer Sjögren with Lotta Engberg. Apparently they had a flirt about a zillion years ago while he was still married or something. It seems like another lifetime now. Last year's winner Eric Saade better half Molly Sandén is again trying for the spotlight herself, while Eric's runner up Danny Saucedo has to deal with his ex-EMD member Mattias Andréasson. Another ex-lovers/band members facing each other are Andreas Lundstedt and Magnus Carlsson. Ex-Eurovision winner Charlotte Perrelli is back at it while Carola opted to stay home being busy with The Voice so Sonja Aldén gets to sing the song herself. (Partly) Finns Anna Järvinen and Lisa Miskovsky are supposed to be as well as Timotej, Eurovision veterans Afro-Dite and Abalone Dots, OPA, Top Cats, Love Generation and Thorsten Flinck with his Revolution Orchestra. Then we have The Moniker and Di Leva, Dead by April who must have gotten the MF bug when performing with Lena Philipsson (but why no one mentions Lena Philipsson as a candidate?) this year and Fredrik Kempe's new boyband Youngblood, Ulrik Munther coming from the Junior one to the big league, the obligatory joke entry by Sean Banan, last year's host Marie Serneholt, Andreas Johnson despite all, some random names like Axel Algmark, Björn Ranelid and Sara Li whoever they are, schlager rock with Dynaszty, the webjoker Maria ben Hajji, Minnie Oh and maybe Loreen or Martin Rolinski thrown in. Sounds like fun!

More Finns in Melodifestivalen: Lisa Miskovsky

Well, half Finn at least. Her mother is a Finn and father comes from Czech Republic. She released her first album in 2001 and has since become a very productive as a songwriter, producer and singer. Her three soloalbums have sold over 200.000 copies in Sweden and won five Rockbjörn awards. Her fourth solo album Violet sky will be released in the end of November 2012 following the release of a Greatest hits in 2008. Here are some of her videos: Still alive, Mary, Sweet misery, What if and Lady Stardust.

# 1 in Finland this week: Apulanta - Pihtiote

Rock band Apulanta went straight to #1 this week while Chisu's Kohtalon oma climbs to #5 while Sabotage is still at #8 and the album climbs back to #2 where on top is late-Topi Sorsakoski's  post-mortem album.

Anna Järvinen in Melodifestivalen?

The Finnish born Anna Järvinen is rumoured to be the artists for Porslin, one of the songs selected for Melodifestivalen 2012. She was born in Helsinki and moved to Sweden when she was 6. She has released three solo albums that have been loved both the critics and record buying people both in Sweden and Finland. In Finland she has scored a megahit in 2011 with Olavi Uusivirta and Nuori ja kaunis. One of her favourites is a missing to her native Helsinki, sung in both Swedish and Finnish.

Latvia cuts it down to 20

These days also Latvian TV has announced the 20 semifinal songs selected from the 69 songs online earlier. People all around the world were able to vote for their favourites and the jury took those results in consideration as well. I did listen through all the 69, more or less at least, but didn't quite pick up any favourites yet but the few songs that I can remember after that for a reason or another are in so... or Beautiful song, She's a queen, Music thief. Artists for these songs will be published December 1, 2011. You can listen to the songs here.

1. Wanna be with you (Music - Kaspars Pudniks, Lyrics - Paul Swan)
2. Freakin' out (Music and lyrics - Laura Bicāne)
3. You are a star (Music - Atis Auzāns, Lyrics - Kārlis Streips)
4. Rollin' up (Music - Jevgeņijs Ustinskovs, Lyrics - Alisa May)
5. Celebration (Music - Edijs Dukurs, Lyrics - Miks Dukurs)
6. Sweet for me (Music - Miks Dukurs, Lyrics - Miks Dukurs, Georgijs Girbu)
7. Disco superfly (Music - Ralfs Eilands, Edmunds Rasmanis, Lyrics - Ralfs Eilands)
8. Dancer (Music and lyrics - Artūrs Mangulis)
9. My world (Music and lyrics - Rūta Dūduma)
10. Beautiful song (Music - Ivars Makstnieks, Lyrics - Rolandiņš)

11. No limits to dream (Music - Edgars Beļickis, Edgars Jass, Raitis Aukšmuksts, Lyrics - Maia)
12. For father (Music - Elmārs Orols, Lyrics - Samanta Tīna)
13. Get it started (Music - BuGaGa Project, Lyrics - Sandris Vestmanis)
14. I want you back (Music - Mārtiņš Grunte, Lyrics - Oskars Maizītis)
15. Mīlestības nevar būt par daudz (Music - Artūrs Palkevičs, Lyrics - Guntars Račs)
16. She's a queen (Music - Austris Rietums, Lyrics - Līga Markova)
17. Better world (Music - Valters Gleške, Māris Orehovs, Lyrics - Valters Gleške)
18. Stars are my family (Music - Aivars Rakovskis, Lyrics - Agnese Rakovska)
19. Music thief (Music and lyrics - Garijs Poļskis)
20. We can change the world (Music and lyrics - Andris Ābelīte)

UMK 2012: Leola - Rytmit rikkoutuu

Leola is a bit Jenni Vartiainenis a band thing with their Rytmit rikkoutuu. They started as an indieband singing in English but now take a turn to pop in Finnish and it sounds fresh and catchy. Needs a bigger production and it all maybe falls on singer Tuuli Okkonen's pretty shoulders and as I haven't seen them live I have no idea does it work but... very nice to listen to and they look pretty, too. Me likes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Switzerland is ready for 2012

The Swiss line up is now ready when SF also revealed its chosen ones. And there really is a little bit everything for everyone, including the very first Eurovision winner Lys Assia who will be 86 in Baku if chosen. And there is a risk she might be chosen and then also giving songwriter Ralph Siegel his 20th Eurovision entry! This blogger is only worried who the grand old lady will survive the two weeks of rehearsals, PR and the infamous Eurovision holabaloo... But let's not go that far yet. I would have rather seen Vittoria Hyde in her place but....

Atomic Angels - Black symphony (DRS 3)
Chiara Dubey - Anima nuova (RSI)
Emel - She (SF)
Guillermo Sorya - Baby baby baby (DRS 3)
I Quattro - Fragile (SF)
Ivo - Peace & freedom (SF)
Katherine St-Laurent - Wrong to let you go (RTS)
Lys Assia - C'était ma vie (SF)
Macy - Shining (SF)
Patric Scott feat. Fabienne Louves - Real love (DRS 3)
Raphael Jeger - The song in my head (SF)
Sinplus - Unbreakable (RSI)
Sosofluo - Quand je ferme les yeux (RTS)
Ze Flying Zézettes Orchestra - L'autre (RTS

And Norway keeps dropping the artists....

Norway has been dropping the names the past few days and we have now six more to add to those four previously posted also here (Irresistibel, Malin Reitan, Isabel Ødegård and Nora Foss Al-Jabri): rock group Plumbo, Monica Johansen aka Miss Harmonica aka Minnie Oh, Marthe Valle of X Factor fame, folk musician Kim André Rysstad, popular singer Rudi Myntevik and Reidun Sæther with a song written by Thomas G:son and Ovi.

UMK 2012: ARTo - Roudassa

ARTo is a 29-year-old singer-songwriter from Vantaa, who has been singing first ten years in boy choir, then in various bands including Voimalaitos. Since 2007 he's been writing his own music. Besides doing gigs on weekends he works in a kindergarten. His Roudassa could turn into a real Eurovision megablaster with proper production (we should remember these songs we hear at this stage of UMK are demos) and  a real treat to those who like 90's sound. On the other hand this would be a perfext follow up to songs like Främling, Eläköön elämä and such.

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