Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Birgit Õigemeel has released a Spanish version of her Eurovision 2013 entry for Estonia.  Et uus saaks alguse turns into Volver a empezar and it sounds very nice indeed! Dare I say it sounds even better than the original? But what's it with these Estonians and Spanish? Last year also Ott Lepland released Escucha.....
Wait, there's more! Birgit has delivered also a Swedish version, Allting börjar om.And the English one, New way to go. And finally also the Russian one, Светлое начало.


YLE has announced that radio voices from YleX, Aino Töllinen and Juuso "Mäkkäri" Mäkilähde will be commentating all three Eurovision 2013 broadcasts live from Malmö Arena. Before that, on May 11, 2013 they will be also hosting the preview marathon (YLE2 19.30-23.30 local time). 
They promise they will talk their mind, say what they think uncensored and without being polite, and the broadcasts won't be boring for sure if it's up to them. They will also shamelessly support Krista Siegfrids and Team Ding Dong. "For a change Finland has all it takes even to win the whole thing!" says Aino who confesses of being a real Eurovision fan. "I'm a huge fan and Mäkkäri is not so this combination will be a winning one!"
YLE's team on spot will also include Anne Lainto (who also presented UMK 2012-2013) and producer Inari Fernandez who will also provide reports and news with a new fresh touch from Malmö 2013. 
So, it seems UMK has taken over good old Euroviisut, and now YLE will renew Eurovision itself.... Oh, those good old days when Jaana Pelkonen, Asko Murtomäki and Heikki Paasonen were trusted to bring in the hulabaloo.....


Kolikkopelit.com has sponsored Krista Siegfrids wedding in Malmö 2013 with 20.000 euros worth of pyrotechnics, so get ready for some Krista's bombs on stage! You can also win prizes by participating here. Those include personal video greetings from Krista from Malmö, her brand new album Ding dong and giftcards to various shops and more.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Macedonia's saga with Eurovision 2013 continues. After changing song they have now apparently opted for changing the language as well, paying a penalty to EBU as this happens after the deadline. Or so the rumor is. However, the new video for If I could change the world is out, and Lozano sings mostly in English while Esma belts out her lines as they used to be. This song has become a real grower in my books, and even if I liked this better than Imperija to start with, now with English it really has got a hook, and ... my inside my poor head there's a battle between this and "oh oh h oh ding dong" that goes on for days already.... And there's no doubt Lozano has one of the finest voice in Eurovision 2013!


Marco Mengoni has released the second single/video from the #1 album #prontoacorrere. Following the ballad and Eurovision 2013 entry and Sanremo 2013 winner L'Essenziale it's the uptempo title track, Pronto a correre, co-written by Take That's Mark Owen. Enjoy! (There's also the English version Put the light on....) Great stuff!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

WklyVids: Satin Circus, Anggun & Natasha St-Pier, Sandoval, Elokuu

Roll over, One Direction. Just like Isac Elliot will kick some Bieber ass Satin Circus will take over the world with their Emma. Or so the Finnish record bosses seem to think. What do you think? Two French Eurovision veterans, Anggun and Natasha St-Pier have joined forces in Vivre d'amour.  Not bad but one would tthink these two ladies could do better? Sandoval has covered Arisa's fantastic Sanremo song La notte in Spanish as La noche. Somehow quite different from Arisa's fragile and emotional original, isn't it?  Pernilla Karlsson's brother's band Elokuu is having another hit in Finland with Tänään lähtee....


Blue's Duncan James is showing his new polished muscles and inks in the cover and interview in GT. He also talks about Eurovision saying: "It was a good thing for us in Europe but a bad thing for us in the UK. We wanted to mark our tenth anniversary with something special and representing your country in the biggest music show in the world was pretty special but on the back of Eurovision we didn't even have a second single or album. It was like a big whoopie cusion that deflated."
Being GT, he also talks about sex:  “I still enjoy having sex with girls. I find women attractive. Over the years it’s been less and less relationships with girls. So I understand that saying, ‘Bi now, gay later.’ But it’s 2012 and there’s nothing wrong in being open with your sexuality." And yes, he's single again after two year relationship with a guy. Maybe Blue's most recent release Hurt lovers is inspired by that?
Read the full story here. To see the pics where "his man garden is visible" buy the latest issue digitally or in the nearest newstand. There's also other Eurovision stuff in it!
PS. This is not the first time Duncan takes it off for GT. He and the rest of the band did it before Eurovision 2011. Here.


As written already ages ago it is now a deal, it seems: Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be in Eurovision 2013. Apparently he will open the final show by inviting the audience to his hometown Malmö. It seems he won't be there in person and a pre-recorded material will be used. It is believed to be incorporated with the Eurovision anthem performed by ABBA's Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus with Avicii. Christer Björkman has earlier said Zlatan is the biggest thing Malmö has but refuses to comment his part in coming Eurovision 2013 any further. We will see....


Namely, the Finnish fans will send her off to Malmö 2013 Eurovision with big style: a wedding convoy will take place at Senate Square in front of the cathedral in the heart of Helsinki on May 6, 2013 at 2pm. Everyone is welcome to wish her well and see her off to Malmö and wedding theme wardrobe is desirable. Join in the fun here. She will also have her album release gig in Apollo club on June 8, 2013. Join in that fun here.
Yesterday she was performing at the season opening concert in Linnanmäki amusement park in Helsinki and obviously did Marry me. The day before she did an open air concert in honor to Justin Biener and tonight she will be in a live talk show on TV.... Busy Queen bee!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Birgit Õigemeel and her backing singers Lauri Pihlapit, Raimondo Laikret and Kaido Põldmad have presented their Eurovision 2013 look, by Antonio Baltman. Black and white for her, and elegant suits for the guys. Maybe those stripes will also hide Birgit's pregnancy.... For the rest of her Malmö 2013 trip she will be wearing Monton's bright and colorful spring fashion. 
Meanwhile the Estonians seem to mentally prepaire for not making the final this year but Birgit herself is not very worried what the betting odds are at the moment, as the neighbouring Latvia and Lithuania are also not hot on those lists..... Birgit will sing her Et Uus Saaks Alguse as the feared number two spot in the first semifinal, where Finland and Latvia can't vote for them....


Agnetha Fältskog will released her new album A on May 10, 2013. It's her 5th post-ABBA solo album but the first since 2004. The first single When you really loved someone has been out already but now you can listen to snippets of all songs here. It is yet unknown if she will somehow be involved with Malmö 2013 Eurovision as it is rumored. It might be just whistful thinking by the fans but who knows? Agnetha's ex-husband Björn Ulvaeus stated in an interview he personally is more interested in the ABBA museum and it's opening than Eurovision, that he is not a fan of and won't be attending.


Justin Bieber was in Finland and resulted as fainting and screaming fans as everywhere. On Friday afternoon a warm-up concert was held in Kaisaniemi park with some 4.000 fans attending and the list of artists included Robin (not the Swedish one but the Finnish teenage sensation), Diandra, Mikael Gabriel, JVG and most of all Krista Siegfrids! She performed obviously her Marry me as well as the new single Amen. In true wedding tradtion to Krista's surprise a maiden heist was performed, and it was for a moment unclear if it was the beginning of her hen party or not? Later she went to Bieber's concert along with other 12.000 fans in sold out Hartwall Arena as well and commented that he's cute, and if he proposed she'd say yes! And she said she'd keep eye on the show to find possible new ideas...
Today she'll be entertaining the crowds again in the Linnanmäki amusement park's opening party in a free open air affair. Another occasion to catch pheunomia as the weather is still chilly and less springly! (More photos here)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Azerbaijan's Farid Mammadov has been already showing his muscles all over the place but now Ireland's Ryan Dolan strips off his shirt in Twitter and enters the competition of Mr Eurovision 2013.... Who do you prefer in that specific area?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Welcome #213: Sint Maarten!

A big welcome to Sint Maarten, the 213th country/territory to visit Blogilkar! Just when I thought it's pretty much done, three more flags have been collected the past week or so. Fantastic! 32 to go....


Alessandro Capicchioni, the Sammarinese Head of Delegation concludes the round of interviews with San Marino team. What kind of ideas San Marino has for hosting the contest should they win? Who he would like to represent them? Why they don't have a big Italian artists representing them? And who was the one who tried? What do Georgian drivers do with promo material? Read it all here:

Alessandro, back in Eurovision again. With the same team but a completely different response by the fans. How does it feel?
Well, it feels very good indeed.
How scared are you that you will do very well this year?
It's too early for real worries. I mean, if we win our semifinal and during the final we have 100 points more than the second and only three countries left to vote, well, then I would start to worry. But seriously, we're such a small country and everything is twice harder for us than for a regualar one. This success among fans may, and I say may, help us to get to the final.
Are you in the contest to win or would you prefer ”only” 2nd place like Iceland in 2009 in the middle of the economical crisis?
I love second places! We're not in a crisis, it's Italy, and they try to screw us! :)
If San Marino should win, what would happen? That must have crossed your mind, at some point. Would the contest go to Italy instead?
Well, all possibilities are open. We would have a serious problem in terms of infrastructures and number of hotel rooms. And the TV hasn't got enough people to take care of the event, true. But we could think of an open air structure, or hire some of the thousands hotel in Rimini, which is only 15 km far from here. But what about a yacht where all delegations could stay, anchored 200mt from the beach, shuttle boats every 15 mins for all the press and fans that would stay on the shore instead?
In the presentation show you seemed hesitant about Crisalide staying in Italian. Why was that? Don't you think Italian will work better than English? Foreigners love the Italian langauge and fans have been asking for an Italian song for years.....
True, all my doubts slipped away during these weeks.
How important it is to you to have a Sammarinese artist?
Our country is based on a strong feeling of being 'Sammarinese'. That permitted us to stay indipendent from Italy throughout the centuries and this feeling is somehow left in San Marino. We will try to have Sammarinese artists everytime we can.
Would you like to have a fully Sammarinese team next year? Or could there be one? Even Miodio was partly Italian, wasn't it?
The band Miodio was formed by two Sammarinese and three Italian boys, while the management was from Rome. Right now I think it's impossible to have a fully Sammarinese participation because we do not have strong production companies nor managements in the country. This year we have a record: stage made up of Sammarinese artists, video shooted in our TV studios, art direction by a young Sammarinese artist...who could ask more?
In the past the ministates like Monaco and Luxembourg usually ”hired” singers abroad, mostly France, to represent them in the Eurovision. Why hasn't San Marino taken this easy way out taking some big Italian name with fame in Europe, names like Paola & Chiara, Alexia, Giorgia come to mind.....
We had an even bigger Italian name among the proposals we received but the fact is that Italian music industry is quite old fashioned for the ESC and they don't seem to be in tune with the needs of such a big European contest. Things are slowly changing, nevertheless.
If you could get anyone you wanted to sing for San Marino, who would it be? A dream artist?
U2 :)
You are already an Eurovision veteran, so to speak. How demanding is the work as HoD? Do you have time to enjoy your time in the contest or is it run run run all the time?
Most of the time you have no time, yes it's run run run all the time. You have rare moments in which you enjoy what you're doing, meeting some 'old' friends, gaining new European collaborations, recalling same good experiences of the previous years. I will relax a bit in Malmo, probably.
What is your happiest moment in Eurovision as HoD?
The 2011 promo tour in half Europe, 11 countries, and the discovery of the Caucasus countries where I never was before, their cities, their habits, their outstanding hospitality.
And the funniest?
Well, back in 2011 again, Tblisi-Yerevan by car, hired driver who could only Georgian and...Russian, which are languages we are not typically keen of here in southern Europe. We let a bag with all the promo material in the car and when we're back we find that he threw everything away, thinking it was rubbish. Big discussion, first English-Russian then switched into Italian-Russian, considering that the result was the same: total incomprehension. Then silence during the 5 hours of return trip to Tblisi. Once back to the hotel the driver explodes in a 15 mins long apology in Georgian with the reception host. That was funny.
Is there something you would have done differently in the past participations if you could turn back the time?
I would have pushed more the TV for the JESC in 2011.
Back to present. Is everything ready for Malmö 2013?
No, of course, it's never ready but we'll be in Malmo with a very good staging, I think.
Why should my readers vote for San Marino on May 16?
Well, if you like the song and the singer, just vote it!
Thank you Alessandro for the interview. 

Read the other interviews, too. Valentina Monetta is here, lyricist Mauro Balestri here, art director Fabrizio Raggi here. I also interviewed composer and Mr Eurovision himself, Ralph Siegel last year, here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

WklVids:The Parody Guys ft Krista Siegfrids, Senit, Colton Ford, Antti Tuisku

This week we kick off with the parody of the year; the Parody Guys are back and giving an equal marriage message treatment to the Finnish entry this year, Krista Siegfrids' Marry me. Fabulous stuff! Sammarinese Eurovision veteran Senit is back with a groovy track One Stop shop. A total contast to her entry! Ex-pornstar Colton Ford continues with his dance track career and here comes Let me live again. His past is rather visible in his video... And finally the only real Finnish popster Antti Tuisku has made a comeback to the scene with Rakkaus on. The title translates to "Love is" and listening it links nicely to the equal marriage theme, "love has no limits, it's pure and innocent". Enjoy!


Every Eurovision fan knows by now Dekel and Bastien, the Parody Guys! This couple has provided as fun and joy already three years and this year they are back. And the chosen one is the Finnish entry Marry me (again) and the videos has been shot all around the world, from Helsinki to New York, from London to Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Stockholm and all the other places! Are you ready to get married?! Here!

Can you tell us a bit about yourselves. Dekel from Tel Aviv, Bastien French living in Zurich. How do you do it? How do you manage with your international live style?
We both travel a lot, either for business or pleasure, so we are often in each other's city, or meeting somewhere around the world!
Where and how did you meet?
We met in a bar in New York back in 2006. We were both airline crew members on a layover there. Dekel still is one, Bastien has changed his career since.
Aha, we can blame it on Lordi then! How many Eurovisions have you done already? I suppose you will be in Malmö 2013 as well?
Malmo will be our 5th. Looking forward to it!
Why Eurovision?
Dekel has been following the contest since childhood. In 2008 we went together to watch it live in Belgrade and Bastien has fallen in love with the contest too, right away. It has been a mutual hobby of ours since.
Back in 2009 you did a parody, or should I call it a funny holiday video of Les Jardins de Monaco. How did you started with that? Did you think it might be a first step to something bigger and lasting?
That was really just a silly holiday video meant for our friends to watch. We have done it mainly as Les Jardins de Monaco was playing in my head before we went there on vacation. There were no intentions back then to turn this into an annual production.
And then came the video for Kuunkuiskaajat's Työlki ellää in 2010 that went viral and the girls themselves were among your biggest fans. You also met them in Oslo. How that came about? Why that particular song and the idea to make a video?
That song is pure fun and funniness. We never thought this video would go as far as it did either, as it was just us being silly eurovision fans, but the experiences to follow after were amazing. The girls are absolutely adorable and we had a lot of fun together with them in Oslo. We still keep in touch from time to time. After that video went viral and was featured in so many places, we knew we had to turn this into a tradition.
In 2011 you chose the Swedish entry, Popular by Eric Saade. That was pure funniness! Did you ever meet him and do you know if he approved?
We haven't got to meet Eric in Dusseldorf, though we've been told he asked about us before we arrived in the city. He has been interviewed about our video though, and seemed to be very amused by the tribute.
In 2012 you went for more serious stuff doing Russia's Party of everybody celebrating tolerance and acceptance in every sense immaginable. The grannies also approved. When did you realize you could also prmote something more serious with these parodies?
After our videos have reached more than half a million views, we thought why not use them to promote love and tolerance, which apart from being our beliefs, are also the ideas behing Eurovision. We were featured in several gay magazines in Russia, which means a lot, knowing the troublesome situation of homosexuals there.
And now 2013 it's time for Finland again, Marry me by Krista Siegfrids! Turned into a equal marriage support video, something very close to Krista's heart already (Tahdon2013 campaign in Finland) The video includes bits filmed all over the wolrd by fans. Tell us more about the initial idea....
Following last year's concept of promoting love and tolerance, together with the ongoing marriage equality campaign around the world, we have decided to go back to our Finnish parody roots and make a gay version of Finland's awesomely fun entry. The song's title is perfect for the cause, and the main idea consists of taking Krista's love story and turning it gay. Along with that, we have gathered friends in different cities doing the ding dong dance all over the world – just like love and marriage should be equal to all, worldwide.
Will you marry? :-)
Wait and see... :)
Thanks Dekel for the interview! 
Ladies and Gentlemen... 250 video shots, 160 participants, 11 cities around the world, and 2 crazy crazy us.  We give you the biggest and wildest Eurovision parody yet, dedicated this year to marriage equality. Here it is!

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Krista follows her path with determination. After Marry me her next single will be called Amen! The video shoot has been finished and one can only hope she didn't catch pneumonia by walking the chilly streets wearing THAT (the pic above, from her Twitter). If you don't know, the spring is really delayed up here this year, still below zero at night and some snow in the ground, too.... You can hear a bit of the song in her Marry me, Europe reality.


To his/her loved one that is. Krista Siegfrids, the Queen bee of the season gave a great interview to Viisukuppila's lovely Anna Muurinen, where she tells how two of her big dreams could come reality this spring. Here's the English edition of it. While at it, support also Tahdon2013 campaign for equal marriage.

Why do you want to marry so bad?
it's been a dream of mine since childhood. I want to be marred like my parents were. Somehow being married just seems like something more than just being together (and we know Krista's motto is More is more! Ed.note)
You must really be of marrying kind as you have publicly also supported equal marriage right?
Yes! I think it's wrong that all people can't marry.  Commitment brings security, love and the feeling of not being alone in this world. Each and everyone must have a right to feel that. I really hope that everyone could sing Marry me to her/his loved one...
You are also a huge Eurovision fan.How one writes a good Eurovision song?
I have always followed Eurovision, and Melodifestivalen in particular. Yeah, I love Eurovision! Eurovision song must be catchy, with some hook that sticks to your head. The  you must have some cool choreography for it, and some theme that people will instantly understand what it is about. And it must bring joy to the people! I have always thought that WHEN I go to Eurovision the song must be a happy, up tempo show number and it must have some catchy theme. And then I realized Marry me is exactly like that!
What are your all time favorites?
Carola was my first idol! I was 5 when she won with Fångad av en stormvind. I have always liked show numbers, for example Ruslana's Wild dances was fab, Verka Serduchka in Helsinki was megafun, Helena Paparizou's My number one wonderful... and Sertab Erener's Everyway that I can is also fantastic. Obviously also Lordi's win is a fond memory. I was living in Vaasa back then and the whole town was partying like crazy all night. I'm sure it was the same all over Finland that night.
But weren't you upset Carola didn't win?
Ha ha, that's a tricky one! Carola was wonderful also that time, Invincible is re-al-ly good song! But Finland's win was something really spectacular. Carola came 5th after all, that's really good after all! The Swedish songs have been very important for me as I have been following the Swedish selections so closely.  When Charlotte Perrelli won in 1999 that was so fabulous, too. It's been great to follow the Swedish success, it feels kinda close. In our household the Eurovision night was always something special; we had snacks and drinks and whole family was watching it together. We gave points and voted. Later I have always watched the final with friends, sometimes even from some big screen, it's still a special occasion.
The tradition will break this year with this different experience....
Indeed! But it's SO great. I have always dreamed about this! Carola told me, as did Geir Rönning: "remember to enjoy the moment because it's such an awesome experience!" And I plan to do just that. I have dreamed of this since I was little and now I'm gonna milk it all it's worth. I want the whole of Europe join Team Ding Dong! It's fantastic big stars like Bonnie Tyler, Cascada and Anouk are taking part but also a bit dangerous as they already have a lot of fans. But hey, Bonnie is also my big idol, I don't even want to tell how many times I have been listening I need a hero and singing along until my throat ached. It's crazy we are now in the same competition!
You know the Eurovision world already so what special effects will you have on stage?
Wind machine! Ha ha ha! I want definately that because Carola had it, too! And we are practising some wardrobe tricks, we try to make them work but nothing has been decided yet but there will be some nice surprise for sure. It all must come together though.
Are you aware the Finnish fans are prepairing for the Eurovision by dressing up in wedding dresses and veils? 
No kidding??!! Fantastic! Absolutely crazy! We will be launching shortly also Team Ding Dong t-shirts so you can also support us with them if you don't want to wear a wedding dress. But it doesn't matter what you wear, everyone is welcome in Team Ding Dong! I have wanted to be an artist ever since I was a kid and my goal is to make people forget for a moment all their daily worries with my music. I hope everyone enjoys our Marry me and sings, dances and laughs with us. Let's party!

(Thanks to Anna Muurinen for permission to publish this interview. The original is here)

Friday, April 19, 2013


Carola recently had a huge success in Eurovision in concert in Amsterdam and will be performing in a gay club, soon, namey Wonk in Malmö during Eurovision 2013 (other artists include Charlotte Perrelli and Loreen). She has always had a lot of gay fans but the things turned sour back in 2001 when she said in QX's interview homosexuality is unnatural. "Now the time has come we can but all that aside" she says "I felt such a love and support from my gay fans in Amsterdam. A new era has begun and I feel such unity." But the QX magazine hasn't yet forgotten. They say they should sit down with her and have another interview and talk about things before she could be invited to perform in Gaygalan or Pride. Even then part of the audience might be booing at her while most would cheer her. She will start from Wonk, maybe those two will follow..... and she can belt out her hits to gay crowd, like this. Or this. And even this.

Carola's gay career:
1993 Carola told the Norwegian Aftenposten that society must give help and support for gay people to get rid of their abnormal orientation
2001 In QX Carola told that she could not read the text in Aftenposten before it was published and that she had been misquoted. "I have absolutely no homophobia and my gay fans love is reciprocated, Sure, I have become more open-minded in my attitude towards homosexuals, but for me, homosexuality will always be unnatural. I do not believe that homosexuality is a disease. But I know people who have become straight after intercession"
2002 Three months after the interview she wrote an open letter and apologized to all gays the pain she may have caused
2006 At a press conference in Gothenburg, when Carola competed in Melodifestivalen, Stockholm's Gayradio reporter Stian Armstad asked her views on homosexuality and why she is criticized in gay community. Carola made it clear that she did not want to continue the interview and asked for help from her press staff. 
A week later, after victory in the contest, Carola addressed a special thanks to her gay fans from the stage at the official afterparty. 
Later that year she was made fun in the official Pride song by Christer Lindarw. "There are a lot of gays who do not like her," he said. "I have only one comment on this, and that is that I forgive them," said Carola in a statement through her contacts.
2008 Ahead of Eurovision Song Contest 2008, Carola  was questions about her views on homosexuality by Nöjesbladet Web TV: "I love all people. I love gays. I mean that I'm definitely not homophobic in any way. We are here for the music and I have no quirky opinions. I feel the love from so many gay too, "
2013 Carola is welcomed open arms to Amsterdam's Eurovision in concert as guest star.

Welcome #212: Guinea!

Only hours after Curacao made its debut here's another one: Guinea! We are now up to 212! I don't know if it was a visit by a Fula, Mandingo, Susu or someone else but... bienvenue!


Cyprus - Despina Olympiou - An Me Thimáse
First thunbs up for Cyprus for singing in Greek (especially when the English version sounds very bland, just like San Marino btw). The problem with this song for me is that I like it when I'm listening to it, but otherwise I don't remember it or rank it very high, unfortunately. I think Cyprus may have a hard struggle to get past the semifinal, and it's a shame considering they have an artist with a real career, a beautiful song and even sing it in original language. But the sparkle is missing....
Hungary - ByeAlex- Kedvesem
A little bit the same goes for Hungary that has changed their original version to Zoohacker remix for Eurovision, even if there is even better remix yet around, namely  Lotfi Begi's Deep In The Forest Mix. I like it everytime I hear it, but tend to forget otherwise. The song has something irresistible about it though and even if I must admit I was very surprised it won in Hungary and I was wondering what the Hungarians heard in it, it is slowly opening to me. I suspect this could be one of the big surprises this year if he gives a good performance and doesn't come across a bit too distant, or even scared as it may look like. Maybe in the final he gets to perform the last refrain in Swedish?
Switzerland - Takasa - You and me
The first song to be elected for Eurovision 2013 will end up this my run down of the entries. When I heard this for the first time I thought this is a possible winner. And I still do, even if the fans aren't so thrilled. I think this has all that makes a winner. Their Salvation Army thingy may have put off some fans off but I thought it was just a nice Lordi-like gimmick or addition. The  came the clever name and image change resulting as no label wardrobe and The Artist Known As Salvation Army band name for the Eurovision (even if the CD-single sleeve has only "you and me" and "Switzerland" written on it with the Salvation Army logo...) And they had to redo the video as well and gained a lot of sympathy points with the funny car drive instead of the Salvation Army filled original one. They lose a bit of the power on stage, but no one expects 95-year-old Emil to jump around and dance to the beat, right? Still one of the front runners for me.... if they get the arena shouting along!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Welcome #211: Curacao!

One more flag, another country. Caribian Curacao makes a visit to Blogilkar and gets the number 211. Welkom! (And now only 7% of the world missing!)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Loreen is still the reigning Eurovision winner but her fame and fortune in Sweden seems to be fading. She was to perform in a concert in Lidköping but it has been now cancelled. The capacity of the arena is around 3.000 but only 221 tickets were sold beforehand... not very euphoric, is it? She can have a tatste of that in a month in Malmö 2013 instead..... maybe.


Those wonderful Parody Guys are at it again and this year (again) the Finnish entry will have their treatment and make over. Interested? Watch the trailer here.


Israel- Moran Mazor - Rak bishvilo
I have a problem with Israel. being a fan of Israeli ballads this should have all it takes. She's fine, the song's beautiful but the intensivity of the song kind of falls apart about half way of the song, and towards the end it turns into a mess. But I hope they can sort that out before Malmö 2013 and also find her a bit more flattering dress. I want to like this, but quite can't that much as it deserves as yet.... I'm not very confident about Israel making it to the final this time.
El sueño de morfeo quite cleverly changed their name to ESDM for Eurovision so if they fail no one will remember it was them in a year or two.... This is a bit like the Israeli entry; I should like it but I don't quite do that much. It promises a lot but quite never delivers I'm afraid. Shame.
Estonia - Birgit Õigemeel - Et Uus Saaks Alguse
And the third song in this lot continues the trend; the song isn't bad, it's quite wonderful in all it's old fashioness and Birgit is a fine singer and looks pretty and it all comes together nicely. Still, it isn't anywhere as effective as last year's Kuula, that somehow had all the right things going and enough drama to make it memorable. I'm afraid Estonia will miss the final this year.... But it's always positive they kept this in Estonian as in English it would be even more bland.


Krista Siegfrids and her Team Ding Dong were in last Saturday's Eurovision in Concert in Amsterdam and surely wasn't left as wall flowers. She rocked the stage and got the audience wild, and shocked some, but pleased most with a Saphic kiss in the end of her performance with Reetta Korhonen. "It was all planned and yes, it was a statement for equal marriage right!" she says. "Everyone should have the right to marry whether it is two men or two women. If I can help with it great!" In Finland Tahdon2013 campaign has gathered already 148.000 signs this past few weeks and Krista is among the public supporters. "Audience went really wild in Amsterdam and in social medias I have only got positive comments about it. Some have been wondering how I dare as there are also conservative countries in Eurovision who won't understand it, but one needs to do something to make things happen. We plan to shook up Europe a little, and this was only a start!"
Besides this Krista met in Amsterdam her childhood idol Carola and had even chance to interview her. Later they spent the night together over a dinner and Carola invited Krista to Sweden and promised to give her advice and help......  Next she's off to London's Eurovision party and to do some promotion in Tallinn, too....

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


After the Sanmarine lyricist Mauro Balestri and the singer Valentina Monetta it's time to have a little chat with the art director Fabrizio Raggi. Read here what he had to say about the whole affair, how he was selected and what he thinks of Valentina and what he plans to do after Eurovision! Also, don't forget the Ralph Siegel interview from Baku 2012 here. This is the edited English one, read the original Italian one here.

Fabrizio, first of all thanks for the interview. Tell us a little how did you get to the Sammarinese Eurovision team?
Hello, thank you for the interview. I joined the team thanks to my professionalism and especially becouse Valentina wanted me. She proposed my name to San Marino RTV, and Alessandro Capicchioni and Ralf Siegel accepted.
Before this you have done so many different things, television series, soap operas, theater, film ... actor, director .... What is the role that inspires you the most?
When a man is born an actor you'll stay an actor for your lifetime. Acting is and will always be my first love, directing is sensual, acting on the set is sensual.
Make also acting teacher, vocal coach …
Acting coach. Teaching is a mission: you need to support one's vulnerability on one side, and on the other to arouse the sense of urgency and the risk for an artist is really a mission, to teach the technique and convey love for what you do. I teach in San Marino with other professionals, we opened a school of singing and acting, Voice Academy del canto e del teatro (here) and in Rome I'm with Francesca Viscardi Leonetti art director in the school of acting Free Mistake Project (here)
But back to the present and Eurovision. Art director. How much are you a dictator :-) from dress by Valentina to her hair and the rest? Or you limit yourself to the performance?
I give advise in terms of image, give ideas, then together with the whole production team we try to make these ideas reality. I would like to mention our designer for Valentina's dress for this Eurovision, Marilia Reffi, a precious mind and a woman of great culture and taste.
Can you tell us how you work? I guess the host TV provides you with information in advance of the stage, what it's like, measures, props .... Or how does it go?
First of all, we create ideas for a choreography, images, colors and so on, then we ask if we can do them, how the host broadcaster is setting the whole thing up and what it offers us, then we act according to their feedback.
And if in case you have any special requests .... like four dancers hanging down from the ceiling .... or they tell you immediately what is possible or not?
If they give us a positive response to our requests good, otherwise we work in another direction, obstacles do not scare me, I know my team, I know the protagonist and I know that together we are very strong.
And you, have you had any special request? I know that some delegations in previous years have asked for everything imaginable!
Each request is evaluated and, if possible, is achieved otherwise not.
What can you tell us the performance of Valentina without revealing too much? :-)
What can I say? Valentina has a very important tool: her voice, her beauty. She has everything she needs to be a star. On stage you do not need so much when you have this characteristics.
How was everything with this performance? Was it immediately clear and easy how it should be or did you have different ideas and then you have chosen this we will see later in May ....
As any fruit needs time to ripen, so a draft idea needs time to become a masterpiece!
I know you know already Eurovision. You follow it every year and you have some performance that impressed you in the past? Not the song nor the singer but just how it was made and the performance on stage – as we have seen all the colors on Eurovision stage over the years!
While watching old Eurovision videos, I cannot help but admiring the joy and spontaneity in the eyes of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, the two ABBA female singers in '74 edition (the year I was born).
What awaits you after Eurovision?
I hope to go on a Greek island to relax!


After the Sanmarine lyricist Mauro Balestri and the singer Valentina Monetta it's time to have a little chat with the art director Fabrizio Raggi. Read here what he had to say about the whole affair, how he was selected and what he thinks of Valentina and what he plans to do after Eurovision! Also, don't forget the Ralph Siegel interview from Baku 2012 here. This is the original Italian interview, read the edited English one here.

Fabrizio, anzitutto grazie per l'intervista. Raccontaci un po' come sei finito nel team Sammarinese eurovisivo?
Ciao, grazie a te per l’intervista. Sono entrato nel team grazie al mio professionismo e soprattutto a Valentina che mi ha voluto e proposto, grazie poi a SMRTV, Alessandro Capicchioni, e a Ralf Siegel per avere accettato.
Prima di questo hai fatto tante cose diverse; telefilm, soap opera, teatro, film... attore, regista.... Quale é il ruolo che ti inspira di più?
Quando un uomo nasce attore lo sarà per tutta la vita, quindi recitare resta e resterà sempre il mio primo amore; dirigere a teatro è sensuale, recitare sul set è sensuale.
Fai anche docente di recitazione, vocal coach...
Actor coach. Insegnare è una missione, sostenere da una parte la vulnerabilità, e dall’altra suscitare il senso d’urgenza e il rischio di un artista è davvero una missione, insegnare la tecnica e trasmettere un amore. Insegno a San Marino assieme ad altri professionisti abbiamo aperto una scuola di canto e recitazione Voice Academy del Canto e del Teatro (here) e a Roma sono assieme a Francesca Viscardi Leonetti direttore artistico della scuola di recitazione alla Free Mistake Project (here)
Ma torniamo al presente ed Eurovision. Art director. Quanto sei dittatore di tutto :-) dal vestito di Valentina ai capelli e il resto? O ti limiti per il performance?
Mi limito semplicemente a consigliare un immagine, poi assieme ad altri professionisti e alla produzione cerchiamo di realizzare il tutto. Vorrei citare se permettete la stilista degli abiti di Valentina per questo Eurovision, Marilia Reffi, preziosa mente e donna di grande cultura e gusto.
Ci puoi raccontare come lavorate? Immagino che il TV ospitante vi fornisce in anticipo le informazioni per il palco, cioè com'é, le misure, attrezzi.... O come va avanti la cosa?
Innanzi tutto creiamo idee di possibili messe in scene , immagini, colori etc etc..etc, poi chiediamo che tipo di disponibilità abbiamo, come il paese ospitante organizza e cosa ci offre, poi agiamo di conseguenza.
E se caso mai avete delle richieste speciali.... tipo volete quattro ballerini che scendono dal alto.... o loro vi dicono subito quello che è possibile oppure no?
Se danno una risposta positiva alle nostre richieste bene, altrimenti lavoriamo in un'altra direzione, non mi spaventano gli ostacoli, conosco il team, conosco la protagonista e so che assieme creiamo una forza molto forte.
E voi, avete avuto qualche richiesta speciale? So che alcuni delegazioni negli anni precedenti hanno chiesto di tutto immaginabile!
Ogni richiesta viene valutata e se possibile la si realizza altrimenti no.
Cosa ci puoi raccontare del performance di Valentina senza rivelare troppo? :-)
Che dire? Valentina ha uno strumento molto importante: la sua voce, la sua bellezza. Ha tutto quello che serve a una star. In scena non serve tanto quando hai qualità.
Com'é nata tutto? Era facile e subito chiaro come deve essere oppure avevi idee diversi e poi hai scelto quello che vedremo poi a Maggio....
Come per ogni frutto deve avere il suo tempo di maturazione, così da un bozzetto disegnato siamo in attesa di vedere il capolavoro!
So che conosci Eurovision giá da prima. Lo segui ogni anno e hai qualche performance che ricordi che ti ha fatto un colpo? Non la canzone ne la cantante ma proprio il performance e come era fatta sul palco – visto che sul palco d'Eurovision ne abbiamo giá visti tutti i colori!
Riguardando vecchi filmati di Eurovision non posso che non citare la gioia e la spontaneità che avevano gli occhi di Agnetha Fältskog e Anni-Frid Lyngstad, le due donne degli ABBA nel 1974 (quando sono nato)
Cosa ti aspetta dopo Eurovision?
Spero di andare su un isola Greca a rilassarmi!


It was big news when Emmelie De Forest claimed to be descendant of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) and having family tree filled with Austrian princesses and British princes and only herself knows what. As you can read here by someone who knows the facts (Marlene Eilers Koenig, author of the book Queen Victoria's descendants, it's not true. In fact she has Swedish and Finnish (!!!) ancestry and her great-grandparents were Americans! And her family name was changed from Engström to Forest as late as the 1990's. So we can say all that is left of Emmelie's bubble of royal past is.... only teardrops! But she can still dream of winning Eurovision next month.... let's see how that ends!


Namely the opening act of the final in Eurovision 2013 is a track called We write the story, composed by ABBA's Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and arranged by Avicii. This unision of the best selling Swedish musical exports of the past and present was on top of the wish list of SVT and all interested accepted the task immediately. Meanwhile Agnetha is rumored to participate this summer's Allsång, but concidering her last public performance was in 1987 it seems rather unlikely, as is her appearance in Eurovision 2013 as well, at least as a performer!
Anyways, We write the story for the final, Northern light by Kleerup for the first semifinal. What will we have for the second one?


Latvia - PeR - Here we go
These guys should sent some flowers to SVT as the opening act is clearly the best slot they could ever be. A perfect opener that will get the audience wild while waiting for their favorites, I think this would result a bit annoying placed anywhere else. And otherwise it works better as a video than straight live performance. A tricky one this is. It has some nice things, but it sounds a bit too familiar and rapping has never worked in Eurovision so far. Unfortunately this isn't my cup of tea but Latvia has done well, even won, when I haven't liked them at all, so.... But, a non qualifier for me but this said, I wouldn't be so surprised if it qualified after all.... but I doubt it!
Serbia -Moje 3 - Ljubav je svuda
I must admit being a big fan of Serbian Eurovision but it took me awhile to warm up to this. Maybe I was (like many others it seems now) too stuck on the Serbian ballad formula? Anyways, this is one of the songs that has been playing in my head for weeks already and Serbian language always sounds so good. All 3 girls have good voices and actually this song is better when only heard! Strange as the girls are also pretty! Maybe it's a sign they need to polish their act and not make it too complicated and distracting. This said I suspect they will sail to the final without difficulties and what happens there remains to be seen.... la la la la la!
Montenegro -Who See ft. Nina Zizic - Igranka
Montenegro once again is doing something completely different from the others. We kind of continue first with last year's entry but then the beat comes, Nina joins in and we move on. And I like this more and more and hope they will qualify! Only thing is we haven't yet seen it performed live, what will they do? Will it be a solid performance of will it all fall apart? The video may or may not give us some clues but I'm afraid it might be a bit confusing in the end and play against them....

Monday, April 15, 2013


Italy gets to participate again in OGAE's Second Chance as the Italian entry comes from Sanremo this year. OGAE Italy run the voting in two phases; first picking up one song to each artist, and then the chosen ones were voted. You can see the results below with the videos of the songs. If nothing else an excellent excuse to wtach some great ones and listen again the pretty great songs from Sanremo 2013. Malika Ayane will do the honors with her very classy and beautiful E se poi.... And yes, she's following Krista's wedding theme in the video!

1 MALIKA AYANE E se poi 386
2 ILARIA PORCEDDU In equilibrio 341
3 RAPHAEL GUALAZZI Sai (ci basta un sogno) 333
4 ANTONIO MAGGIO Mi servirebbe sapere 330

5 MAX GAZZE’ Sotto casa 327
6 RENZO RUBINO Il postino (amami uomo) 322
8 MARCO MENGONI Bellissimo 298
9 CHIARA Il futuro che sarà 291
10 ANNALISA Non so ballare 278
11 DANIELE SILVESTRI A bocca chiusa 252
12 MARIA NAZIONALE È colpa mia 226
13 SIMONE CRISTICCHI Mi manchi 221
14 MODA’ Se si potesse non morire 202
15 IL CILE Le parole non servono più 185
16 ALMAMEGRETTA Onda che vai 180
17 BLASTEMA Dietro l'intima ragione 171
18 MARTA SUI TUBI Vorrei 161
19 IRENE GHIOTTO Baciami? 138
20 ANDREA NARDINOCCHI Storia impossibile 125
21 ELIO E LE STORIE TESE Dannati forever 124
22 PAOLO SIMONI Le parole 118


You can win this promopack of Robin Stjernberg's You including a CD-single fabulously packed like the good olf 7" vinyl singles and a fan postcard! 
Just look at the photo below and tell me what's going on in it.....  or the story and occasion behind it. 
Answers to the comments box below (only I can see the answers). Don't forget to include your contact email address, please! The winner will be drawn among those with the right story/answer. By midnight April 14, 2013 CET.
(Special thanks to Lionheart International AM for the prize)

UPD:  Thank you for all of you who participated! Most answers were correct; namely this photo is taken when both Robin Stjernbeg and Eric Saade were in boyband What's Up, and more specificly when they wete doing the My Camp Rock soundtrack Här är jag (This is me) with Vendela Palmgren. 
The winner of this promopack is Branko from Slovenia! Congratulations and keep eye on your mailbox! :-)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

WklVids: Anna Bergendahl, Anna Puu, Anna Tatangelo, Bryan Rice

This week we have first very popular Finnish Anna, namely Puu and her Säännör rakkaudelle. She's selling a lot and one of those artists that have managed to drop the Idols label. Anotherr Anna comes Italy, Tatangelo. Some Eurovision fans had hopes for her when she was in Sanremo but she's back now with Occhio x occhio. Next a third Anna, Swedish Bergendahl who is currently making career in the States. Live and let go is quite wonderful. Last but not least no more Annas but Danish Bryan Rice and his latest These arms.
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