Tuesday, January 31, 2012

UMK a flop?

Already the Euroviisut fans have more or less massacrated the new format, especially after the qualifiers were announced last Friday. But have they also deserted the show? The opening show of the new competition gathered only 192.000 viewers. A big drop from last year's 638.000 and 2010's 710.000. usually the first show has been the most watched semifinal but the others have been around 500.000 as well. YLE comments saying their aim is about 400.000 x show. It doesn't promise well for the already troubled show where the qualifiers were leaked too early and even the hardcore fans haven't yet quite understood how it works. One can only wonder if they in YLE have, or will they just go with the flow?
The only positive thing seems to be so far the presenters, especially him, Joona Kortekangas.
Iltalehti has a poll "Is UMK interesting?" and after almost 11.000 votes the result is crushing: 4% yes, 96% no....
Today YLE also announced the final of UMK will start at 9pm local time instead of planned 8pm so it won't fught with MTV3's popular Putous comedy show.... And attempt to secure better viewing figures? Or panic?

UPDATE 7.2.: Last week's second episde did a bit better, 234.000 viewers. Still a very far from the desired 400.000. "The new name confuses people. We've got feedback people don't even know this is Euroviisut. We must better the advertising" comments YLE this time. "We take note of the feedback and make it better in the coming episodes and especially next year!" Sigh.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Azerbaijan: Then they were eight....

The Azeri selection that started ages ago, or November 2011, showed us 72 of the 119 hopefuls to represant their homecountry on home soil has got us the eight heat winners. The show should go on in the same manner and five will go on to the final stage. My favourite is the Azeri tarkan, Orkhan. Anyways, those who are left are:

Orkhan Kerimli (19) - Milim
Maryam Karimova (32) - Wild dances
Khayyam Mustafazade (25) - Molitva
Faqani Safarov (22) - Fairytale
Elton Ibrahimov (17) - Sake it up, shekerim
Adil Bakhishli (23) - Lane moje
Sabina Babayeva (32) - Natural woman
Arzu İsmayılova - Someone like you

Georgia's thirteen

Despite the success of Georgian entries in the Eurovision and the win of neighbouring Azerbaijan, the Georgian musicians and artists seem rather uninspired: only 13 (thirteen) songs were sent in from the open call. I'd love to see that happen in Sweden some time! Anyways, The Georgians are back at it, as is the annual Salome, this time surnamed Simonishvili. Some other names seem to be rather rock oriented, maybe inspired by the 2011 entry. A jury will now have a hard job and pick some of them for the national final some time in February where televoters have a say as well. On the other hand, all you need is one good song. Here they are, all 13 of them:

1. Anri Jokhadze
2. Boris Bedia
3. Davi
4. Edward Tatiani
5. Industrial City
6. Levan Jibladze (Leo Jee) – It’s My Life
7. Lina Asatashvili
8. Mirror Illusion – Whisper
9. REMA – Feel me
10. Salome Simonishvili
11. Shmagi Tagiashvili
12. The Georgians
13. Vanilla Cage

Germany: Is Roman the new Lena?

Last week the elimination continues in Germany's Unser Star für Baku. Leonie Burgmer and Rachel Scharnberg didn't convince the televoters and were kicked out - but you can see it was a very close call as ALL the participants were within 2%.  But it looks like the 21-year-old Roman Lob is attracting the most attention and indeed emerged as the winner of this round after being 2nd in the first show. It is worth mentioning Rachel won her first show and now was left last. Anything can happen! You can watch the performances here. This Thursday another two will leave the show and any hopes of Baku 2012.

11.4% Roman Lob  – Easy
10.3% Céline Huber – How come you don’t call me
10.1% Ornella de Santis – I want you back
10.1% Yana Gercke – Roxanne
09.9% Sebastian Dey – Amnesie
09.8% Shelly Phillips – Fuck you
09.8% Umut Anil – Weitergehen
09.6% Katja Petri – Lego House
09.6% Leonie Burgmer – I love your smile
09.4%  Rachel Scharnberg – Like A Star

Moldova's 20+1. Is there any hope?

First they were 80. Then 60. Now 20. Olus one will be added to the line up chosen by the on line voters (as a jury picked up these 20, just like in Ukraine). Several familiar names amongst the finalist, from previous winners Nelly Ciobanu and Geta Barlacu to Pasha Parfeny and Cristina Croitoru. But. With a quick first listening there isn't much to be excited about. Transbalcania and Doinita Gherman stand out but not that's not necessarily a good thing in both cases. You can listen the songs here.

Adrian Ursu – Be yourself
Alexandru Manciu – If you leave
Anna Gulko – Ballad of love
Cristina Croitoru – Flight for love
Dara – Open your eyes
Doiniţa Gherman - Welcome to Moldova
Geta Burlacu – Never ever stop
INAYA – Lights
Irina Tarasiuc & MC Gootsa – Save a little sunshine
Ksenya Nikora – You better rush
Leria – A ray of sun
M Studio – Open your eyes
MC Mike & Human Place – Moll girl
Nelly Ciobanu – Turn on the light
Nicoleta Gavrilita – Crazy little thing
Paralela 47 – Arde
Pasha Parfeny – Lăutar
Ruslan Taranu – Blanshe
Transbalcania – Balkan Riders
Univox – Moody Numbers

Ukraine's 20+2. Another success?

Ukraine has chosen the 20 finalists out of the 54 songs sent in. Or a jury has. These 20 will be joined by two wildcard, one of them being the group Nerealnye chosen in reality Show#1, and another one by a public vote on Say.tv's selection. Amongst the 20 some familiar names like Alexey Matias and Eduard Romanyuta. No need to remind Ukraine is maybe the most succesful Eurovision country in the recent history with four top-4 placings in the past 8 years.The Ukrainian final is scheduled for February 18, 2012. The artists are:

1. Shanis 2. Lena Voloshina 3. Igor Tatarenko 4. Bondarchuk 5. Oksana Nesterenko 6. Treeorange 7. Marietta 8. Masha Sazonova & Tikhon Levchenko 9. Vitaliy Galay 10. Olya Polyakova 11. Marta 12. Mihailo Gritskan 13. Renata Shtifel 14. Alexey Matias 15. RAPIRA 16. Gaytana 17. Ulyana Rudakova 18. Eduard Romanyuta 19. Leyogkiy flirt 20. Andriy Bogomolets

Artists support Haavisto for President

If some of you follow daily politics you may know we are in the middle of presidential elections here in Finland. The first round was won by Sauli Niinistö, but Pekka Haavisto, an openly gay represant of the Green Party made the impossible and made his way to the second round as well. Political views aside, as the seat of a republic's president is non-political but the country's cultural life has divided. In short, the artists are on Haavisto's side, the sportsmen and business on Niinistö's side. And even if the artistic support for Haavisto has been widely public since day one tonight an incredible line up will take the stage in Helsinki's Ice hall to support Haavisto. Ultra Bra reunites just for him for this one off, Jenni Vartiainen breaks her holiday to be there, both PMMP girls will be there, so will Lauri of The Rasmus, Paradise Oskar, Anna Puu, Eicca Toppinen of Apocalyptica, Freeman, Jonna Tervomaa, Kaija Kärkinen, Maarit, Maija Vilkkumaa, Värttinä and so on. And surely Pekka Haavisto will be present with his partner Nexar Antonio Flores, originally from Ecuador. The concert sold out in minutes and now you can find tickets in black market for up to ten times higher prices. This is the event of the year. UPDATE: Also Jari Sillanpää was there to support Haavisto.
And the second round of election will take place next Sunday, February 5, 2012. Can Haavisto do the impossible again and become Finland's 12th president following Tarja Halonen. Finland had one of the first female presidents, can we have the very first (I think) openly gay president?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

#1 in Finland this week: Robin - Frontside Ollie

Teen sensation Robin (13) came literally out of nowhere and within days gathered 3 million views on Youtube and rises in its second week to #1 in the singles charts, too, with Frontside Ollie. Che roba da matti, ragazzi!

Et voilà! Anggun presents Echo (You and I)

So today we finally heard the French entry in Eurovision 2012 in Baku by Anggun. Echo (You and I) is rather bizarre mix of many things and just when you think you get it the songs takes a turn to another direction. Whistling all along. Very catchy it is. Call it an earworm if you want. Still I wouldn't scream a winning entry but... we will see. In Patricia Kaas like ending me thinks.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

All is fine in Iceland: Magni Àsgeirsson in final!

To end a very good evening for my guessing and wishing Iceland. I only got the other finalist right, never saw those girls coming I must admit and I find the song rather dull. But all that matters is Magni's fantastic Hugarrò made it.

Magni Ásgeirsson - Hugarró
Greta Salóme, Heiða and Guðrún Árný - Aldrei sleppir mér

All is fine in Norway: Malin, Plumbo and Tommy in final

I got it all right for Norway this time when Malin, Plumbo and Tommy Fredvang made it to the final from the second semifinal.

Plumbo - Ola Normann - 1st
Tommy Fredvang - Make It Better - 2nd
Malin Reitan - Crush - 3rd

All is fine in Hungary: Compact Disco and Caramel in final

I opted for the Hungarian webcast tonight and I'm pretty pleased I did. Sadly András didn't make it to the final but my all other favourites did, namely Compact Disco, Caramel and Tóth Gabi. With addition of Heincz Gábor, that I didn't quite pay attention until tonight so it was between him and András for me then. And indeed so it was for the jury as well as Gabi came 4th with them and András 5th.

Kökény Attila & Bencsik Tamara - Állítsd Meg Az Időt - (24)
Kállay-Saunders András - I Love You - (32)
Pély Barna, Pál Eszter & Pál István "Szalonna" - Hangok a Szívekért - (29)
Dancs Annamari - Feel - (15)
Heincz Gábor - Learning To Let Go - (38)
Compact Disco - Sound Of Our Hearts - (39)
Krisz Rudi - A Fél Veled Egész - (18)
Gallusz Nikolett & Vizy Márton - Európa, Egy A Szívünk - (3)
Tóth Gabi - Nem Kell Végszó - (34) - televoting choice
Caramel - Vízió - (37)

Norway: Second semifinal tonight

Besides Iceland also Norway continues its national selection tonight, while Hungary starts tonight with first semifinal. I must say I haven't paid much attention to this Norwegian semifinal as the first quick learning sounded very weak. I might be wrong but Malin and Plumbo might qualify. Or Tommy. The rest I don't know.With one quick listening. Anyways tonight we have this start up:
Cocktail Slippers - Keeps on dancing
Isabel Ødegård - I’ve got you
Tommy Fredvang - Make it better
Rikke Lie - Another heartache
Malin - Crush
Plumbo - Ola Nordmann
Minnie-Oh - You and I
Rikke Normann - Shapeshifter

You can watch the show here from 19.55 CET. More about Iceland here and you can watch that here from 21.30. And more about Hungary here. You can watch it live here from 20.15 CET.

Iceland: Semifinal 3 of Söngvakeppni sjónvarpsins tonight

The third and last semifinal in iceland takes place tonight. Again two songs will advance to the final chosen by a jury/televote. Great tries a bis as she already is in the final in duet with Jónsi. Magni tries again to win the national final. Will he be 4th time lucky? My bet's on Magni and Svenni. Listen the songs here.

Greta Salóme, Heiða & Guðrún Árný – Aldrei sleppir mér
Herbert Guðmundsson – Eilíf ást (Eternal love)
Íris Lind Verudóttir – Aldrei segja aldrei
Magni Ásgeirsson – Hugarró
Svenni Þór – Augun þín

Friday, January 27, 2012

UMK: What did we learn in the first programme?

Not much really. The fans are rather outraged as even the most hardcore fans seem to be unsure how the selection continues. If I understood right next Friday six artists will perform and the jury will drop two. And the same the week after making it only eight remaining. However there is now a voting for the fan favourite (The Spyro, Martina, Jessica Wolff). What happens then is anyone's guess. With a quick glance I would go for Kaisa Vala.

Friday February 3
Mica Ikonen - Antaa mennä
Aili - Mun taivas
Jari & Taika - Aamuyön ikuisuus
Stig - Laululeija
Kirahvi nimeltä Tuike - Sinisulkien viimeinen
Pernilla Karlsson - När jag blundar

Friday February 10
Aura Pineda - Kunpa vois
Freeman & Uusi Fantasia - Noitanainen
Iconcrash - We are the night
Kaisa Vala - Habits of human beings
Ville Eetvartti - Lasikaupunki
Leola - Rytmit rikkoutuu

Digital print wildcard. Voting until February 2
The Spyro - Teleport my heart
Martina - Checkmate
Jessica Wolff - Better

UMK starts tonight. The leak via Sweden

The UMK aka Uuden musiikin kilpailu will start tonight, or rather move on to the next format: television. The leak is true but the show will go on as planned. The producer Antti Autio commented it's such a shame some online record store (Swedish cdon.com) published the CD with the list of the artists by accident, thus making tonight's suspence none. Vallu Vaipio, one of the judges, also said that the final outcome is not to please everyone as "this is Finland 2012" and indeed there has been an outrage amongst the fans by the selected artists and songs. However there will be a wildcard selected by common people so maybe fans will get their favourite in after all? Wouldn't it just be ironic it won in the end?
Meanwhile you can enjoy this video that features the varied music styles amongst the 540 songs sent it. Can you spot some familiar faces and voices?
You can watch the programme online from 20.00 CET here.

Estonia: Listen to all Eestilaul entries

You can now listen to all the Estonian entries online here. There will be two semifinals in February followed by a final on March 3, 2012. Once again a very alternative stuff there. Interesting yes, but not exactly my cup of tea and I have no idea what the Estonians will prefer. I have two early favourites, though, both in the first semifinal: MIA and August Hunt with their rather hilarious video.

Semifinal 1: February 18, 2012
1. Janne Saar – Fight for love
2. Erasmus Rotterdamist – Kuu pääle
3. MIA – Bon voyage
4. Milky Whip – My love
5. POP Maniacs – I don’t know
6. Ott Lepland - Kuula
7. August Hunt – Tantsulõvi
8. Soundclear – A Little Soldier
9. Liis Lemsalu – Made Up My Mind
10. Loss Paranoias – Valedetektor

Semifinal 2: February 25, 2012
1. Traffic  – NASA
2. Lenna  – Mina Jään
3. Malcolm Lincoln  – Bye
4. Tenfold Rabbit  – Oblivion
5. Birgit Õigemeel  – You’re Not Alone
6. Soul Militia – The Future is Now
7. Mimicry  - The Destination
8. Orelipoiss – Zombi
9. Teele Viira  – City Nights
10. Cat Eye  – Ride

Thursday, January 26, 2012

UMK qualifiers leaked?

First they were 540, then 40. And tomorrow YLE is to announce the 12 qualifiers for the next step in UMK aka Uuden musiikin kilpailu. But already now there is online a compilation CD with 12 songs that are supposed to be the 12 qualified entries. Here they are:
Ville Eetvartti, Mica Ikonen, Pernilla Karlsson, Stig, Freeman ja Uusi Fantasia, Leola, Kaisa Vala, Iconcrash, Aura Pineda, Aili, Kirahvi nimeltä Tuike and Jari & Taika.
If the 12 are those I guess there will be a riot even if some of them are ones that I personally would like to have amongst them.... As they are in fan barometer in positions 1, 8, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 27, 31, 34 and 37. It doesn't sound like the fan voice has been heard that much....

Hungary: The first semifinal songs for Saturday

Hungary came back to Eurovision last year when they chose internally Kati Wolf and made a stunning comeback. Maybe not on the scoreboard but in most every fans heart. This year they had an open call for songs and now we will have two semifinals and a grand final. Three finalists will be picked by a jury and a fourth one by televote in each of two semifinals, making it a 8 songs final. Here are the songs in the first semifinal this Saturday, January 28. My favourites are András Kállay-Saunders, Compact Disco and Caramel. Then Gabi Tóth or Annamari Dancs.

Rudi Krisz - A fél veled egész
Attila Kökény & Tamara Bencsik - Állítsd meg ad idöt
Niki Gallusz & Márton Vizy - Európa, egy a szívunk
Annamari Dancs - Feel
Barna Pély, Eszter Pál & István Pál "Szalonna" - Hangok a szívekért
András Kállay-Saunders - I love you
Gábor Heincz - Learning to let go
Gabi Tóth - Nem kell végszó
Compact Disco - Sound of our hearts
Caramel - Vízió

Here is Anggun's Echo

You can hear a snippet of Anggun's Echo (You and I), the French entry in the Eurovision song contest in Baku 2012 here. I would lie if I said I'm thrilled.... Maybe 2,5 more minutes will make it better?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

La la love for Cyprus

No surprise in Cyprus when La la love is picked for Baku 2012. Most fans seem to be over excited about the song. Am I the only one who finds it rather boring (nothing that a proper remix can't fix though). And I was rather suprised how bland a performer Ivi actually is, even in play-back. If I was a Cypriot I would be a bit worried. It all looked so fine on paper.... It got full marks both from the jury and the televote and so we have the first Swedish song of the season....

Light your fire, Europe!

The allocation draw has taken place in Buta Palace in Baku. And they are really dragging on "the show". And I sincerely hope these two aren't the hosts for the main events come May! And for sure we did hear Running scared a few times... on the other hand, who has heard it since last May? The Azeris seem to have also major problems with certain flags! Strangely Armenian one is ok though. :-)
But the touristic spots of Azerbaijan are beautiful, maybe they are showing it all now as in May the available slots are rather limited these days. And the comments by the youngters on twitter make an old fart like me laugh aloud. How limited the youth of today is? Really??!! I'm ashamed of you.... Total ignorance, zero pantience and respect for other cultures.... And for your information: there's no "audience"; they are the delegations from the 43 countries having a meeting...
But now we are having Ruslana on stage (2 hrs to the show). And Aysel. And Alexander Rybak. And Safura. And Lena. His surname is Meyer-Landrut if you believe the hostess. And then of course Ell/Nikki. In conclusion, after 2,5 hrs of show more or less, I've come to the conclusion the female hostess doesn't speak English. She just read the lines from a paper. With a lot of mistakes. Sigh. And now we hear Running scared again. Badly sung once again. I'm off... running scared! (Sorry, bad jokes but couldn't resist!)

Anyways, the countries in the first semifinal are:
First half: Montenegro, Iceland, Romania, Albania, Belgium, Latvia, Switzerland, Finland and Greece
Second half: Ireland, Israel, San Marino, Russia, Denmark, Austria, Cyprus, Moldova and Hungary
Italy, Azerbaijan and Spain will vote in this one.

The countries in the second semifinal are:
First half: Serbia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Macedonia, Belarus, Malta, Ukraine, Armenia and Bulgaria
Second half: Slovakia, Turkey, Estonia, Slovenia, Georgia, Sweden, Croatia, Norway, Lithuania and Bosnia-Herzegovina
United Kingdom, France and Germany will vote in this one

And the theme is Light your fire! Quel surprise!

Ann Christine Vs. Timo Pieni Huijaus - Playboy Vs Pleiboi

The Finnish Eurovision entry Playboy from 1966 lives again. Timo Pieni Huijaushas sampled it to his new album's lead single. Here. No comment.

ESC 2012: Baku Crystal Hall it is!

EBU has accepted the Baku Crystal Hall as the venue for the coming Eurovision song contest 2012. The hall is still under contraction. The building started in August 2011 and it should be ready by the end of March 2012. The hall can host up to 23.000 spectators but for the Eurovision around 16.000 due to the big stage contraction and the rest.

ESC 2012: Here we go!

Tonight, or this afternoon depending where you are, the Eurovision 2012 kicks off officially and all the doubts if it's going to be in Baku after all or not are swept away. The host city insegnia exchange will take place when the mayor of Düsseldorf hand over the Eurovison key to the mayor of Baku. And after that the semifinal allocation draw to determinate in which one the countries will perform in, and where the Big5 and Azerbajan itself will vote in. And it's going to be a real entertainment show in Buta Palace and previous winners Ruslana, Lena, Alexander Rybak, Ell/Nikki will perform and Aysel will be thrown in for a good measure as well. And there will be maybe more artists. On top of that the slogan and theme will be revealed as well.
Anyways, you can watch it live on internet or on your local TV if you are lucky. From 17.00 CET

Cyprus: A song for Ivi tonight

Cyprus will pick the song for Baku 2012 tonight. Ivi Adamou was internally selected already ages ago and the tree songs have been online to listen also for weeks now. The big favourite is La la love but who knows? 50/50 televote and jury will choose the song. There's a webcast here from 20.00 CET.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Alexander Rybak's take on Eurovision classics

One of the highlights of last night's Danish final was Alexander Rybak's violin medley of some Eurovision winning songs, from Fly on the wings of love to Hold me now to Hard rock hallelujah, from A-ba-ni-bi to Satellite, Fängad av en stormvind to his very own Fairytale. Great stuff! Watch it here.

Magnus Uggla wants Carola: Jag vill ha dig baby

The Voice of Sverige judges Carola and Magnus Uggla have joined forces with producer Niklas Kings to turn Uggla's rather bland original into a very radio friendly dancepop, listen here. The original female voice Edith Backlund has to just stand aside and listen. Here.

Emma awards: Silkkii is the song of the year

The Emma awards were give out last Friday again and I wrote about them here . But let's now take a look at the category of The Song of the Year. I was surprised Chisu wasn't even nominated in this one, but then she has won it already twice. The award went to Jukka Poika's Silkkii, and I totally agree.
In this category the awards have been given out since 1996 under this name, before it there was The Schlager of the year or The composition of the year. And in 1988-1990 there was nothing for some weird reason! It is good to see now that the awards usually have gone to the right address as the songs are still here and alive.  And when the songs turn into English they are usually worldhits. Here are the winners in all three differently named categories:

1983 Avaa hakas - Kake Randelin, 1984 Levoton Tuhkimo - Dingo, 1985 Autiotalo - Dingo, 1986 Kaksoielämää - Juice Leskinen, 1987 Marraskuu - Miljoonasade, 1991 Taivas varjele - Mikko Kuustonen, 1992 Mies, jolle ei koskaan tapahdu mitään - J.Karjalainen, 1993 Kuka keksi rakkauden? - Kaija Koo, 1994 Ihana ilta - Samuli Edelmann (here is a cover), 1995 Tuhat yötä - Samuli Edelmann & Sani, 1996 Missä se Väinö on? - J.Karjalainen, 1997 Riidankylväjä - Don Huonot, 1998 Suljettu sydän - Jonna Tervomaa, 1999 Freestyler - Bomfunk MC's, 2000 Sandstorm - Darude, 2001 F-f-f-falling - The Rasmus, 2002 Surupuku - Timo Rautiainen & Niskalaukaus, 2003 One DJ, one delay - Don Johnson Big Band, 2004 Matkustaja - Egotrippi, 2005 Wings of a butterfly - HIM, 2006 Hard rock hallelujah - Lordi, 2007 Ihmisten edessä - Jenni Vartiainen, 2008 Mun koti ei oo täällä - Chisu, 2009 Baden-Baden - Chisu, 2010 Mä en haluu kuolla tänä yönä - Jenni Vartiainen, 2011 Silkkii - Jukka Poika

Mr Lordi: Eurovision ended with burn out

Mr Lordi recently listed his career top moments in Ilta-Sanomat so far and confessed the Eurovision circus caused him a severe burn out. "The first thing that comes to mind about the life after the win is being busy. I didn't have a whole day off for two years. By the end of 2007 I had burn out. First I lost the hearing from the left ear, then the sense of smell and then almost the ability to talk. At that point my wife took my cellphone away and didn't let me work at all and kept me in the summer cottage until I was ok." One should remember Lordi already went through hell before Athens when the whole of Finland was divided. People were quoted of saying they would emigrate if they are sent to Athens and put the country in shame and others promised they would eat a hat full of shit if they don't come last. And after the victory they all loved them of course. In 2012 Lordi celebrates in many ways: it's 20 years since Tomi Putaansuu created Mr Lordi and ten years since their debut album Get heavy. They will release their album Bend over and pray the Lord in spring that was left unreleased back in 1997, with original artwork.

And here are Mr Lordi's career highlights:

1998 The first Lordi photoshoot. They got the record deal thanks to the photos

2003 After the released of their debut album they rocked Finland in Emma Gala in early 2003. Extra attention was given to them as there was a fire on stage during the live TV-show! They surely made the headlines and the name was on everyone's lips the day after. They also won Emma for the best hard rock album. (And five more in 2007)

2006 Eurovision in Athens

2006 The welcoming party in Helsinki's Market square with over 90.000 people

2006 The Lordi's Rocktaurant restaurant that was in Rovaniemi until spring 2011. "We closed the restaurant in Rovaniemi as it's problematic. During the high season in summer and Christmas time it did well with tourists but the rest of the year ate the profit. We will soon reopen elsewhere but where, that's still a secret."

2007 Cannes film festival and our movie Dark Floors. "People talk bad about the movie, especially those who haven't even seen it, but I'm proud of it!"

2011 Mr Lordi's second art exhibition in Helsinki. "I had my first one in 2009. The most flattering comments are those who don't believe I did these. The paintings have sold well but it's funny that those I think won't sell go first while the ones I most like are left unsold."

2011 The war of the choirs TV-shows with the choir from Rovaniemi. "That was great fun! I'm still in contact with the choir and we are planning something togerher sooner or later. It was great to be able to help the elderly with charity. It feels good."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Regina and Simbi did it in Iceland

Just like I predicted Regina Òsk and Simbi & co sailed to the Icelandic final in tonight's second semifinal. :-)

First three finalists in Norway chosen

Norway had its first semifinal and even if I had only an half eye on it while watching the Danish final I could pick up my favourites. Or the favourite. And it made the final, namely Reidun with High on love, a mix of Sarah Dawn Finer and Charlotte's Hero, and look who's behind it? Yes, G:son. I was also pretty certain The Carburators would make it and had my ear on Rudi Myntevik, Lisa Stokke or maybe Kim André Rysstad on the third place but no, it went to Nora Foss Al-Jabri. Actually she was the winner tonight. Beautiful song indeed but I didn't find it that interesting, has to relisten to it I think.

Soluna Samay for Denmark!

Should've known better. I had this song as a reserve, a kinda liked it but still it wasn't amongst my favourites. Until I say it live. I ranked it as a finalist while watching and once it made the superfinal I was all for it. And the unthinkable happened: my favourite won in Denmark! I hope it's not a bad omen for them. But anyways. A great show. Fantastic stage. Alexander Rybak rocked with his Eurovision winner medley but what was Howie D doing with A Friend in London? Especially when his microphone was closed...

But let's start from the beginning. Jesper came, sung and went. The song still didn't go anywhere if you ask me. Aya was ok and the song got more life on stage but it still wasn't a contender. Kenneth was vocally good but did he forget to visit the loo before going on stage as he looked most of the time like he needed to take a leak desperately! Ditte Marie looked stunning and delivered. Still one of my favourites. Emilia and Philip didn't quite live up to expectations. The studio version is lovely but live... and wasn't the double piano thing already a bit old? Oh, a gimmick, look-a-likes took their places when they took off to stage. Now that was kinda nice. Suriya. Noise pollution. Karen was sweet and the song is good but it didn't quite work live. Shame. Soluna did own the stage and the song came alive. All of sudden a real contender. Christian and Patrik... no. Rather bland and boring I must say... and why I started humming U2's I still haven't found what I'm looking for?
What was the purpose of the international juries as televote overrun them anyways? However, only Azeris agreed with the Danish while all the other (Norway, Russia and Germany) favored Jesper. I can predict a lot of talk about that, especially amongst the fans.

1. Soluna Samay - Should've known better  110 (42+12+56) (int. juries+Danish jury+televote)
2. Jesper Nohrstedt - Take our hearts           102 (46+10+56)
3. Christer Brøns & Patrik Isaksson - Venter 88 (32+ 8+40)

Zeljko and Jovana married in Maldives

It seems that the love story that was born on the stage of Belgrade 2008 Eurovision has had a happy end when it is reported that the hosts Zeljko Joksimovic and Jovana Jankovic have gotten married in Maldives in a civil ceremony. Apparently they found the witnesses on spot but so much preparation there has been that Jovana brought a wedding dress from Belgrade with her. They are to have a church wedding later in Belgrade. Zeljko is of course also busy with his preparations for Baku 2012 but it looks like we will have Jovana in town as well. And are we to expect a love song? I guess this is a first for Eurovision hosts! Congratulations!

Tonight: Final in Denmark

Besides the Icelandic and Norwegian semifinal tonight's the Danish final completing the Nordic Eurovision fever night. And Nordic the Danish final is, with Swedish Patrick isaksson and Finnish Emilia in the line up. You can read my review here, and watch the show live here from 20.00 CET.
I'm pretty curious to see how it goes as I never get the Danish right, and the first polls give Jesper and beforementioned Patrik as favourites for the win and yes, they are not amongst my favourites.... Sigh.
But what I like Denmark is that they do one off show like the good old days. One night affair with a great show and that's it. Aren't all these zillions semifinals and qualification rounds and such getting a bit tiresome already?

Tonight: First semifinal in Norway

Norway's MGP starts tonight with the first semifinal. The past few years MGP has been better than Melodifestibalen if you ask me for staging and songs so this blogger's expectations are high. And indeed it's a very solid selection of songs. I don't hate any of them. My least favourites are maybe Nora and The Carburetors and I'm not sure about United and Irresistible but the rest is fine. The easy early favourite is Reidun. NRK is also putting an extra effort this year by a pre-show that shows the host city, rehearsals and the preparations with the artist presentation as a warm up to the night's main event. Great idea! The first show comes from Ørland. And there's no more last chance round. You can watch the show here from 19.55 CET.
Irresistable - Elevator
Kim André Rysstad - Så vidunderlig
Reidun Sæther - High on love
Rudi Myntevik - You break it, you own it
Lisa Stokke - With love
United - Little Bobbi
Nora Foss Al-Jabri - Somewhere beautiful
The Carburetors - Don’t touch the flame

Tonight: Second semifinal in Iceland

Iceland search for their entry in tonight's second semifinal of Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2012. Again five songs trying to conquer the hearts of the icelandic and secure one of two places in the final. Amongst them Regina Òsk, a familiar name from the Icelandic national selections. This blogger's wild guess is she wil make it (even if her song sounds suspiciously familiar but can't quite put my finger on what it is...) with Simbi. Or will it be Rósa? You can follow the webcast here from 21.30 CET.

Guðrún Árný Karlsdóttir - Minningar
Ellert Jóhannsson – Ég kem með
Regína Ósk Óskarsdóttir - Hjartað brennur 
Simbi og Hrútspungarnir - Hey 
Rósa Birgitta Ísfeld - Stund með þér

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chisu wins five Emmas!

The Emma awards aka the Finnish Grammy's were given out tonight in a live TV-show from Barona Arena in Espoo. The queen of the night was as expected Chisu. She won five awards to add to those four she has won in 2008 and 2009. She has now Emmas for the best song (twice), best album, producer (twice), video, female artist, pop album, a special one by critics and e-Emma. I don't know if anyone else has 9+1 Emmas and in so many many different categoris, have to check on that, but she got the awards for the producer, video (Sabotage), Female artist, Pop Album and the Album of the year, that was given out by the last year's queen Jenni Vartiainen.

Germany continues with the search

The second heat took place in Germany last night of Unser Star für Baku 2012. Again five names were in, five names were out. You can check their performances here, and the results are here:

13.3% (06) Rachel Scharnberg (22, Cologne) – My baby left me (Rox)
13.0% (09) Yana Gercke (19, Biedenkopf) – Price Tag (Jessie J)
12.7% (03) Sebastian Dey (32, Oberhausen) – This Love (Maroon 5)
12.5% (08) Umut Anil (21, Werther) – Straight up (Paula Abdul)
12.3% (05) Ornella de Santis (27, Offenburg) – Slow Motion (Karina Pasian)

12.3% (10) Vera Reissmüller (26, Spraitbach) – Fooled me again (Lady GaGa)
09.4% (01) Ander Fischer (20, Hechingen) – Tears in heaven (Eric Clapton)
07.1% (07) Tina Sander (19, Hamburg) – Geronimo (Aura Dione)
04.0% (04) Jörg Müller-Lornsen (28, Kiel) – Maybe Tomorrow (Stereophonics)
03.4% (02) Polly (Anna) Zeiler (19, Pfullingen) – Grenade (Bruno Mars)

This blogger liked especially the Paula Abdul cover Straight up. Who would have thought it would turn into such a nice version?! Hand up who remembers Paula once was the hottest pop act there was on globe?

Blogilkar's Best in Finland 2011 - Top-5 - Lauri - Heavy

Surprised? This must be the song I have listened the most in 2011. Lauri Ylönen of The Rasmus fame did a solo album and the first single was Heavy, a very pop oriented song in very much the Pet Shop Boys style in all it's poppy melancholy. The PSB influence comes rather evident in the remix . Love it! It was first premiered live on TV in February and then charted for 12 weeks peaking at #2. The story continues in the follow up, In the city. And now The Rasmus will make a comeback in the UMK final in February.

I will feature in this series the five songs that have marked my year 2011, the ones that made me go ooh when they started playing on radio, the songs that I sung to myself the most in my head during the year and that still I like to listen and like the most. Simple as that.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

#1 in Finland this week: Adele - Rolling in the deep

Now this must be a rather historic affair in the chart history: Adele keeps the top-2 but now Rolling in the deep moves to #1 - in its 41st week! - and Someone like you drops to #2. She's still #1 in the albums and Set fire to the rain is at #11. And right behind her Chisu in both singles and albums.
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