Saturday, January 25, 2014

#UMK2014 - THE SEMIFINAL - LIVE

This is it. The crucial semifinal. The remaining eight acts and songs are battling it out with televote only for the six places in the final. So far we have only known the jury votes and the result of 50-50 televote-jury vote. Tonight we might be in for some surprises.... We are back in Peacock Theater in Helsinki, for the last time, and Anne Lainto and Ile Uusivuori have been styled by the winner of an online contest (Helena Pirhonen) instead of the usual YLE's stylist, will they look different? 
UMK+ will start online already 19.30 CET while the live show starts at 20 CET. Brädi will be the guest star performing together with UMK judge Toni Wirtanen. It will be also interesting to see if this semifinal manages to attract more viewers in front of TV as the previous shows have all got less than about 250.000, none of them entering the Top-20 most viewed programmes of the week iin YLE2.
As always, I'll be here blogging it live for you so join in and enjoy the ride!

20.25 Here we go again.  First we have a chat with one of the judges, Redrama. About the fact UMK goes against some very heavy competition on tv, and his own musical career. Then we talk with another judge, Toni Wirtanen and Brädi who perform tonight as guest stars. And let me remind you tonight the judges have no power, but they will comment anyways....
Olavi Uusivirta analizes the lyrics of the semifinalists. He likes lyrics where something goes wrong or weird or turns it all upside down. One good example is Mikko Pohjola's song. And indeed it has a great lyrics, thinks this blogger! He also likes Hukka ja Mama's lyrics and out of those in English, and in Eurovision where one must be remembered instantly he thinks MIAU has what it takes. And he thinks Loreen's Euphoria is one of the best pop songs of the last ten years or so.... even if the yrics aren't that original. The  we go to Jasmine sporting a red lacy dress and a lot of skin..... Hukka ja Mama's Mama tells she had terrible nightmares last night. I rather not describe them here..... But now she's feeling goood! Next MIAU also having new outfits. Self-made. Hmmm... And now Josh and Clarissa telling Clarissa kicked Josh out because he's too messy! Josh is looking for a rental flat. Anyone? And he's got golden Hammer pants, it looks. Mikko Pohjola is working with Jannika B, who happens to be Toni Wirtanen's newly wed wife and she has apologised for Toni's behaviour. She's a fan! MadCraft is apparently having some acrobatics in their performance, including black eye and stuff... Lauri Mikkola spoke "Danish" - not. Then we try to find out what Dennis is like really. The mystery reminds. Or he's a nerd that likes monsters.
Then we talk with Helena Pirhonen; the winner of "Style Anne and Ile for the semifinal" contest. And they look like that...
20.55 We move on the live TV-broadcast and we have a look like the media has handled UMK this week. Almost 10.000 tweets so far and MadCraft is the most tweeted, followed by Mikko Pohjola. He has surpassed Clarissa.  MadCraft's website also crashed during their performance last week.... too many visits at the same time!
21.00 Showtime! Anne and Ile welcome the audience and tell who are performing tonight and remind the jury has no power tonight, only televote and the voting that has been going online since Monday. The jury will comment but give no points. Toni says tonight's the night to take sides, so get ready for some harsh comments and shameless praising!

1.MadCraft: Shining Bright
MadCraft was very confident in the postcard about their fan base power. The show's energetic and genereic to this kind of bands and music. They do get the audience waving their hands along though and most likely will be strong with televote. Toni liked, nothing bad to say, he says it's wonderful to see them in final. Aija thinks they have worked, it shouws. More relaxed with added details and she wonders if it's enough to take them to final. Tomi talks about their injuries, there was blood on stage in dress rehearsals. He wonders if their fans will vote for them now, or are they only chatting in SoMe. Redrama thinks they have even more energy now but he's afraid it won't take them to final....
2. Hukka ja Mama: Selja    
Hukka ja Mama were really pleased with their previous performance and wee very happy to see smiley faces in the audience and people screaming for them. They were touched. They have kept their staging the same as before starting from a flower print sofa. Martina sings very well, audience is screaming at times. Fantastic stuff. One of this bloggers main favorites. They're adorable. And the song is very soothing, great lyrics, catchy. Love it. They have also signed a recording deal. Huge applause from the audience. Looking good! A domestic hit for sure but UMK14 winner? We'll see. Aija thinks they're wonderful, more relaxed performance and sure finalist. Tomi thinks they have grown so much since six months ago, they don't apologize their existance anymore, they're great and he wishes they go to final. Redrama confirms once again this is one of this favorites, he fell in love the first time he heard the song. he can see they enjoy performing and their song. Toni confirms all the others have said. He says Mama has really blossomed. Fantastic!
3. Lauri Mikkola: Going Down
Lauri thinks his performances so far have been maybe a little static and too calculated. He hopes to be more relaxed and spontaneus and as only the televotes count tonight he wants to win over tonight. He wants to win! He has dropped the red jacket and performs in a white t-shirt instead and the most famous chesthair of the winter 2013-2014 makes a welcome return to the screen. He gives a hint of the stage animal we have seen in the Voice and moves more. Vocally great as always. The song is good and the choir fantastic. Must be in the final. Tomi thinks he hypnotized the ladies in the audience. He sung much better than a week ago, there was feeling finally! Redrama thinks he did amazingly, much better than before. The singing was effortless and with more emotion. Much better than before. Toni says Lauri finally found the dynamite, finally he touched him. If he goes to final this is the right way to go. Aija is also pleased with the improvement. Thank you, Lauri!
4. Jasmin Michaela: Kertakäyttösydän
Jasmine said the last performance was the first time she was singing and dancing at the same time and she will take back a little now. Less dancing, more vocal control but always a lot of sensuality! And indeed she looks stunning in her little red dress. And pretty as can be. Singing well, but is this song losing its charm? Redrama thinks it was great. He thinks this UMK has already been good for her. He's afraid she might lose the fun of it by new styling and choreography every week. She's an artist with a future, work for it. Toni thinks he is already a bit tired of it, and if this goes to the final there's a danger it gets even more boring. Aija thinks she has gone from something great to ordinary and downhill. She's not impressed with her dress either... Tomi more or less agrees with the others, she is losing her personality..... Hmmm.... But hey, so it seemed to this blogger, too. 
5. Dennis Fagerström: My Little Honey Bee 
Dennis said he will bring more of his personality to the performance, accused by many being a bit bland, without taste and smell (hey, a bit like The Herrey's but did it stop them from winning?) Well, I have never got a taste for this little number. Dennis is ok, but ok is not enough if the song isn't a killer and this is more like an elevator music. Besides this must have the worse camera work ever, and it's not all Dennis fault. Totally wasted on TV. Toni thinks this is 1990's boyband stuff and in tis genre ok, but nothing special. He thinks Dennis sung better than ever but ... it may not be enough. Aija agrees and thinks Dennis did very well tonight. Tomi is pleased he is in UMK but Dennis is not one of his favorites at this point anymore. Redrama thinks this was the first time it looked like Dennis was enjoying performing this song, but he still doesn't get it.... 
6. MIAU: God/Drug
MIAU says they will rethink their outfits and staging mainly. The fact that this is televote only is very interesting to see, as they have known only the jury votes so far. They do have new outfis that are rather fabulous, and the two Dead or Alive meets Marilyn Manson lookalike dancers are there, too. I kinda enjoyed this :-) Crazy, different, original. And they get better with each performance. Aija likes them and thinks the Finnish music business and this UMK needs bands like this. They must be in final. Only beware of not overdoing it and she's got an idea but she will tell in private... Tomi says this could be like Stig a couple of years ago; the social medias are on fire but the fans don't vote when it matters... Redrama thinks they were good but the song's just not good enough still... Toni on the other hand thinks the song is good, and he hopes they will win the whole damn thing! 
7. Mikko Pohjola: Sängyn reunalla
Mikko says he has been on many occasion and stage but nothing compares to this UMK experience. He also says it's great how supportive the artists are to each other, and the audience's reaction. He only wants to do his best, be present and hope people will vote him to the final. Identical staging with black and white start before the colors turn on. Very well song, more relaxed that fits the sng better. Great! My favorite! Tomi thinks he almost has tears in his eyes, Mikko managed to silent the whole theater to listen. The song's "kotii-ii-iin" has become already a slogan. A good sign. Redrama thinks this is perfection; his vocals, lyrics, music, presence. A song that gives you cold shivers. Toni thinks the song just gets better and bettr, and as we know he's really taken by the lyrics. A killer song! He thinks he may not win UMK but this is going to be a domestic megahit. Aija says a song like this is very difficult to sing live and in a contest under pressure but she is sure we will see him in the final. 

8. Clarissa feat. Josh Standing: Top Of The World
Clarissa says they have practised mainly the singing, and says she's living a very stressful times and has tried to relax and get away from the song and UMK when possible. And Josh has finally learned two words of Finnish: Rakastan Suomea. Yeah right. This is wrong in so many ways; Clarissa's outfit, and Josh's. The staging, camera work.... a mess. Redrama thinks they have progressed but it's still not there, they sing badly all through the song and he hopes they won't make the final. Studio version is good, but it doesn't work live. Toni thinks it's entertaining and sounds like Eurovision, in good and bad. It'd be nice to have it in final, but it's up to people to vote. Aija sees they have worked hard but somethings can't me bettered. Unfortunately she's not goo enough. Yet. Tomi says all the judges picked this up in a very early stage but live singing is crucial in TV. It's a shame as the rest is ok. Not working on TV and live, simple as that. 
After voting instructions and recap we enjoy some guest musicians, Brädi rapping and featuring  Toni Wirtanen.... 
22.19 Televoting is closed. Last words by the judges. Toni thinks Hukka ja Mama, Mikko, MIAU and MadCraft ....
Aija thinks tonight was a real competition and all did better than before, but.... MIAU, Lauri, Mikko are her top-3. Tomi is happy with the progress of all artists but Mikko, Hukka ja Mama and Lauri, who has done a great job in a week. Redrama says he rather thinks about the song, and not yet Eurovision even if it's already lurking there behind.
First finalist is Mikko Pohjola! Then MIAU! MadCraft! And then ... Hukka ja Mama! Lauri or Jasmine? Lauri Mikkola! Jasmin is out! Then Dennis or Clarissa ft Josh! Dennis is out....

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