Monday, May 29, 2017

ITALY: MARCO MENGONI RELEASES ONDE SONDR REMIX

The secret is out. The June 2 international release by Marco Mengoni is a Sondr remix of Onde, from the EP of same name. The physical release date is June 16 while the lyrics video release date is June 9. 
Onde is a track from his multiplatinum selling album Marco Mengoni Live and remixed by London based Sondr, who have previously worked with Lana Del Rey, Meghan Trainor and Ed Sheeran, just to name a few. 
The Onde EP includes remixed by Sondr, Filatov&Karas, Tim Bell and Ndpc, plus the original track that you can hear below:

ESC 2018: SOME ARTISTS ALREADY LINING UP FOR EUROVISION

Besides the possible participation of Julia Samoylova for Russia also some other artists are making themselves available for the contest next year. In Greece Stereo Soul, who were considered also this year but lost to Demy in the last minute are putting themselves forward again asking their fans on social medias to support them. 
In Serbia it was revealed Tijana Bogicevic was only the fourth option for the broadcaster after Aleksandra Radović, Jelena Tomašević and Ivana Peters. Aleksandra claimed she's too busy (and some suggest she asked too much money as well) but she's kinda open for the idea to do it in 2018 while Jelena said she's not for the time being ready for all that hassle again, and Ivana, who already was asked in 2016 still can't be flying due to health problems. She did write the Serbian entry last year and would be willing to do it again in 2018.

It's still only May, this is going to be interesting. And we can't forget Valentina Monetta...... :-)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

ITALY: WHAT IS MARCO MENGONI UP TO? SAVE THE DATE JUNE 2

Marco Mengoni was supposed to have a long break "to clear his ideas", as he announced in February but it seems the ideas are clear already. Last night he promised international news soon in his victory speech as the Best male artist in TimMTV Music awards Italy (he got his 11th and 12th award btw), and today he published in his social medias the date June 2 and "new sounds are coming", hinting from New York where he is now that a new single may be published. 
His international career so far included one album in Spanihs for the Spanish and Latin market, a duet with Grace Capristo for the German edition of his album and of course his latest tour that took him to Frankfurt, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, Luxembourg, Vienna and Warzaw among others.
One thing is sure: his next gigs are international festivals:  July 21 in Zurich, August 13 in Zofingen and August 29 in Bochum. 

ESC 2017: ARTISTS IN SOCIAL MEDIAS - WEEKLY ROUND UP

This week sour grapes comes from Croatian Jacques Houdek. He's been complaining with media the other ex-Yogo juries didn't give him enough points, not being "my friend" and the lack of their support costing him even a better final placement. According him the lack of support is due to the fact are just bitter he was the only one who made it to the final. In one word: jealousy. Ok.....
... but no worries. He has been awarded some trophy somewhere as the Best singer.....
Sunstroke Project caused a media storm at home when they rushed to Moscow first instead of home, and even kissed the hand of sacked Julia Samaylova. It's worth remembering two of the guys are of Moldovan Russian minority and not so well seen in Moldova. Especially when they refer to speak Russian instead of (broken) Romanian/Moldovan....
 Kristian Kostov is "Finally back at home!". Moscow that is. So much for Bulgaria......
.Isaiah's European promo tour contnued to London....
Brendan was attending Baywatch premiere....
Lindita is back at home in Atlanta
... while Naviband was enjoying sunny Minsk
OG3NE had a gig in Greece....
.. and missed Tijana who was in Amsterdam
Joci was spending some quality time with his family
Demy is back in studio for some new music....
... as is JOWST....
... and Nathan....
... and Robin.
... while Imri enjoys the sun & pool.
Oh and this! Tamara wasn't amused Niki Minaj stole her dress..... lol.
That's all for this week's social media affairs. 

ITALY: MARCO MENGONI AND EMMA WIN MTV MUSIC AWARDS WITH MICHELE BRAVI

Eurovision veterans Marco Mengoni and Emma were awarded as the Best male and Best female singer in Italy when Francesco Gabbani presented the Tim MTV Music awards in Rome's Piazza del Popolo. 
Sadly both were absent - Emma in another channel with Amici final and Mengoni still having his holidays and break from the show m´business somewhere in the world, but he promised an international surprise shortly in his video message. Maybe the workaholic is already ready to return?
The final match was won by Michele Bravi as the Best Performance beating Francesco Gabbani himself. 
Benji & Fede was voted the Best band and the Web star award, Marco Mengoni won also Best fan award and Ermal Meta got the Best new artist award... after 12 years in spotlight.....

Saturday, May 27, 2017

SWEDEN: FRANS IS SORRY AND PRESENTS LIAR

It's been quiet since Eurovision 2016 and Frans despite winning Melodifestivalen and scoring another top-5 for Sweden. He has now released a new song Liar but we have to wait for his album still some time. Being the young schoolboy he is he has been trying to balance between school and music and says his focus is now in summer holidays from school to record his album and then next fall and winter study hard to graduate next June. After that he will fully focus on his blossoming career. Wise kid. And wise parents and team. Well done.
Meanwhile here is Liar. A simple song showcasing his voice and emotions. But why am I thinking of Bette Davis eyes...?

ITALY: FRANCESCO GABBANI HOSTS TIM MTV MUSIC AWARDS FROM ROME TONIGHT

Tonight's the night of Francesco Gabbani's debut as a show host as he presents the Tim MTV Music Awards 2017 live from Piazza del Popolo in Rome. He will also perform with another Eurovision veteran Nina Zilli who has just made a comeback with a new single, Sanremo 2017 revelations Michele Bravi and Paola Turci, Fabri Fibra, Samuel, Levante, Sanremo newcomers winner Lele, Elodie and Gabry Ponte feat. Danti.  Manchester is in everyone's mind but he has stated:

"Manchester has been so sad and an absolutely unjustifiable situation, but the fact that we will be out in the square on May 27 is the demonstration that we will continue to have the sense of freedom to share the joy and emotions of music!"

Besides hosting and performing Gabbani is also nominated as the Best Male artist along with another Eurovision veteran Marco Mengoni, Tiziano Ferro and Michele Bravi. Two more Eurovision stars are nominated for the Best Female artist; Emma and Francesca Michielin along with Alessandra Amoroso and Levante. Some awards are already known: Paola Turci gets MTV History award, Fabri Fibra gets MTV Rap Icon award and the rest will be known after tonight.



UK: BUCKS FIZZ RETURNS AS THE FIZZ - NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY

The Eurovision song contest 1981 winner Bucks Fizz who may not call themselves Bucks Fizz for legal reasons anymore even if everyone does so anyways, are reunited and in the studio recording new material with producer Mike Stock  of Stock-Aitken-Waterman fame and the new album will be released in September as The Fizz.  Read more here. Can't wait!

And below are some of this blogger's favorite Bucks Fizz hits.....

Friday, May 26, 2017

ITALY: NINA ZILLI RELEASES MI HAI FATTO FARE TARDI

Also Nina Zilli is feeling the summer as her new single is very summery reggae inspired tune. This is her first release since 2015 and anticipated a new album. Hooray!

FINLAND: WHAT IF HANNA PAKARINEN SUNG SUNRISE AVENUE'S FOREVER YOURS IN EUROVISION 2007?

A curious details was revealed by Sunrise Avenue's Samu Haber in the popular Vain elämää show, where artists spend a week together and every night cover each others songs between stories of their career and life. On Samu's night Laura Voutilainen had picked Forever yours to cover and Samu told:

"After Lordi won Eurovision in 2006, we were writing a song to Hanna Pakarinen for Eurovision and the demo sounded pretty much like Forever yours. When I played it to the record company people telling this would be on our second album's first single they insisted we record it and it was added to the debut album's special Gold version instead."

So, if the record label didn't like the song so much it could have been one of the two Hanna Pakarinen songs in Euroviisut 2007 and propably Finland's entry as well at home in Helsinki 2007. Hanna never recorded it, of course, but Laura Voutilainen gave an outstanding performance of it in the show first solo, and then as a duet with Samu as he picked it as his favorite out of the six covers of his songs. Check them out here (hopefully available abroad.....)

Curiously Sunrise Avenue has been nominated by many after yet another non-qualification in Eurovision as a suitable Eurovision entrant for Finland..... but we have UMK2018 coming up, so no way....


RUSSIA: DIMA BILAN RELEASES LABYRINTH

Eurovision song contest 2008 winner Dima Bilan keeps on releasing new songs and here comes the latest, Labyrinth (Лабиринты). It's another highly enjoyable Bilan track and his 36th official single already but the first one of 2017. 

NORWAY: ALEXANDER RYBAK IS LOOKING YOUR WAY WITH PHILIP CECIL

Alexander Rybak is having a very productive perios! After the quite wonderful covers of both 1944 and Amar pelos dois he has released Looking my way with Norwegian EDM artist Philip Cecil and while his violin is there it's a bit different sounding affair and his singing is new and fresh. And extremely catchy! Well done!

FRANCE: AMIR HAS NO VACANCY WITH ONEREPUBLIC

Amir has teamed up with American OneRepubic for their French version of No vacancy, who already have released the Spanish one with Colombian singer Sebastian Yatra. Amir fits in like a glove and there's no reason to believe this wouldn't become a huge summer hit...... Dansons!

FINLAND: WANT TO HAVE A TASTE OF CATCAT IN A BOTTLE?

We all know the girls of CatCat are bubbly and sweet but now they are that literally: they have launched their very own dry apple cider with strawberry flavour! Perfect for those endless white summer nights when sun never sets and music never stops and you just don't want to say bye bye baby, baby goodbye.....
If in Helsinki, get yours from a lovely special shop Pien in the heart of Helsinki by Tuomas and Erkki in Ateneuminkuja between Stockmann and the railway station. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

EUROVISION: THE ONES THAT SHOULD HAVE QUALIFIED FOR THE FINAL BUT DIDN'T, BECAUSE.....

 
... because there has been some different system for qualification in use.....

If the Eurovision song contest semi-final qualifiers were very straight forward with top-10 qualifying from 2010 onwards, before it was a different story.
In 2009 only the Top-9 qualified while the 10th qualifier was chosen by a jury, to a criteria only known to themselves. And they surely used their power with variable success.....
In the first semifinal the qualifier would have been Macedonia's Next Time (10th) with Nešto što kje ostane. The jury decided to skip also the 11th one, Montenegro's Andrea Demirović's Just get out of my life and lifted to the final instead Finland's Waldo's People (12th) and Lose control, that then placed second to last, 24th, in the final. Of course as a Finn I was happy for the sudden turn of the things :-)
In the second semifinal it was ever more cruel: the jury chose Croatia's Igor Cukrov feat. Andrea with Lijepa tena that only placed 13th in the semifinal thus surpassing Serbian Marko Kon and Milaan with Cipela (10th), Ireland's Sinéad Mulvay & Black Daisy with Et cetera (11th) and Poland's Lidia Kopania (12th) with I don't wanna leave. Igor placed 18th in the final.  This blogger was quite happy here, too, as I liked Croatia a lot, a bit less Serbia and especially Ireland.....
In 2008 the jury actually did pick up as their joker the song that came 10th in the first semi-final. Poland's Isis Gee with Life. In final it finished second to last, 24th, just like Finland the year before. The 11th was Slovenia's Rebeka Dremelj with Vrag naj vzame, I would have sent into the final San Marino's very much underrated Miodio with fantastic Complice
In the second semi-final  10th was Macedonia (again!) with Tamara, Vrčak & Adrian and Let me love you. 11th was Bulgaria's Deep Zone & Balthazar with DJ take me away. However the jury picked up 12th placed Eurovision song contest 1999 winner Sweden's Charlotte Perrelli with Hero. A very understandable decision for many reasons. It went on to finish 18th in the final and avoiding the very first Swedish non qualification..... And it's still a great and remembered song - hands up who remembers either Macedonia or Bulgaria? Thought so....
Last but least we have 2007.  The current top-10 qualifies system was in use BUT there was only one semifinal and 28 songs in it. A. Total. Massacre. Poor Portugal placed 11th with Sabrina's Danca comigo, 3 points short of the final. Andorra's Salvem el mon by Anonymous was 12th, 11 points short and Iceland's Eurovision veteran Eirikur Haukson was 13th with Valentine lost. 


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

EUROVISION: THE CLOSEST SEMI-FINAL NON QUALIFIERS 2010-2017

 
This year it  happened to Georgia and Serbia. The dreadful 11th place in the semi-final. As for Georgia it was pretty clear with 16 points missing but Serbia lost only with 3 points, and Switzerland was only 4 points away from a possible qualification. Let's have a look at the closest miss outs over the past years. The 2011 edition was very close with three songs one point shy of qualification, while in 2016 the qualifiers were more than clear with a huge margin to the 11th ones in the semi-finals.

Bulgaria 2012 - Sofi Marinova - Love unlimited
The only tie so far with Norway that qualified having been voted by 11 countries, while Bulgaria only by ten. So Norway qualified for the final and Bulgaria was left out....
Malta 2011 -  Glen Vella - One life
-1 point (placing 11th in the first semi-final)
Armenia 2011 - Emmy - Boom boom 
-1 point (placing 12th in the first semi-final, tie with points with Glen Vella)
Belgium 2011 - Withloof Bay - With love baby
-1 point (placing 11th in the second semifinal)

Croatia 2012 - Nina Badric - Nebo
-3 points (placed  12th in the second semifinal)

Serbia 2017 - Tijana Bogicevic - In too deep
-3 points (placing 11th in the semi-final two)
Switzerland 2017 - Timebelle - Apollo
-4 points (placing 12th in the second semi-final)
Finland 2010 -  Kuunkuiskaajat - Työlki ellää
-3 points (placing 11th in the first semi-final)
Portugal 2014 - Suzy - Quero ser tua
-1 point (placing 11th in the semifinal one point behind Valentina Monetta)
Estonia 2014 - Tanja - Amazing
-4 points (placing 12th in semi-final behind Portugal)

(Please note the semifinals in 2011 had 19 countries, in 2012 and 2017 18 countries, 
in 2010 17 countries and in 2014 only 16)
Sweden - Anna Bergendahl - This is my life
Honorable mention for Sweden 2010 that lost the final with 5 points, being the only Swedish entry to do so (but then we have 2008 to look into later.....)

ESC 2017: MILLA JOVOVICH WAS MENT TO HOST EUROVISION?

Milla Jovovich apparently was in negotiations to host the Eurovision song contest 2017 - just like Lady Gaga to perform as interval act - but the deal wasn't made in the end. Money. It's always about the money, isn't it?
Milla, a worldfamous model and actress was born in Kyiv in 1975, then Soviet Union as daughter of a Russian actress and a Serbian father. She however spent her childhood in Moscow and the family immigrated to London for political reasons in 1980, and moved on to Los Angeles soon after.
Milla has declared she feels more Russian than Ukrainian, having only born there but spending her early years in Moscow, so in this light it seems a bit unlikely Ukrainians would have chosen her at this time and place of the world so I label this "only rumors"....
Wasn't she rumored also in 2008 as a host for the Belgrade Eurovision?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

EUROVISION 2017: 182 MILLION VIEWERS (DESPITE RUSSIA)

EBU has released today data of the viewing figures for the Eurovision song contest 2017 held in Kyiv, Ukraine earlier this month. A drop was expected as Russia decided not to broadcast it but the drop is less than this blogger expected so who needs Russia anyways?
The audience share remained the same as last year, 36,2% in the 42 markets of the competing countries. That's more than a double of the usual Saturday night prime-time share in these countries.
The online viewers more than doubled from 2016. Over six million viewers in 233 territories watched the shows on official Youtube channel and a total of 8,5 million on-demand. (Does that make it 196.500.000 viewers?)
The viewing figures broke records in both winner Portugal and runner up Bulgaria. Italy also did its best result since rejoining the contest in 2011. Host country Ukraine also did the highest figures in eight years. The highest share was once again registered in Iceland: 98%!
In general the Eurovision song contest once again attracted about four times more children and young adults  (4-15, 15-24, 25-34) years old) in front of the television than usually.
I guess we can call it a success despite or because of Russia after all..... and the UEFA Champions eague matches during the semifinals

ESC 2017: ITALY DECLARED WAR ON SAN MARINO ONCE AGAIN FOR MISSING POINTS

The thing happened again this year. Like every year. Italians outrage for the neighbouring vote from Greece to Cyprus and vice versa for example, but at the same time they expect and demand votes from San Marino for Italy and yet themselves usually forget to vote San Marino (when they can). This year this war was taken to another level. San Marino's wikipedia page was altered right after for example, social medias were filled with hate and dislike towards the microstate and its jury was crucified. San Marino's vote was found nauseating, someone wished Italy cut their power supply for 48 hours to make all their food go rotten, someone wanted to tear the country down and make it a parking lot, someone didn't want to share his oxygen with Sammarinese, they wanted to build a wall around it, flush them down the toilet, move the country to Portugal.... have a military invasion to occupy them.... the list is endless. 
So much that Sammarinese couldn't take it as humor anymore but reacted. 
The Head of delegation Alessandro Capicchioni wrote about it on SMTV's webpage, and President of the Sammarinese jury, Fabrizio Raggi defended himself and the jury fiercily in Facebook after the attacks towards them and him in person were reaching ridiculous dimensions. Corriere Romagna newspaper even went speculating Raggi, as President of the jury used it as his personal revenge for missing points from Italy for Valentina Monetta in 2013 and 2014, when he was the Artistic director for the act - and Valentina's close personal friend. One can check the votes, they are public and indeed he gave the max points to Gabbani, and any journalist should check his facts first. 
It worth remembering San Marino gave Italy 3 points, Portugal 12. Perfectly in line with the other countries and it wouldn't have made any difference even if they gave Italy 12 and Portugal 0. 
Capicchioni points his finger on today's "people on web" and the newspapers that are ready to accuse without knowledge, throwing ideas based on false facts etc. He found the threats of militar invasion, forbidding access to the sea and other stuff rather amusing at first and then continues writing about all the things the "people of the web" got wrong and even shameful, taking a full stand on the Sammarinese jury and its professionalism. Setting the facts right in short. Listing all the years in ESC and JESC that Italy and San Marino have been able to vote each other. Take a guess who's been more generous? And voting very much in line with the rest of Europe and final results?
And who hasn't? The one time San Marino was in the final (2014) and finished in midtable in most countries ... which country's jury placed it 26th?

ESC 2017: WAS RUSLANA LADY GAGA'S REPLACEMENT ONLY?

Now this is just a rumor that got out now nd most likely untrue, but it's a fun one. Last year Stockholm got Justin Timberlake to perform for free apparently in exchange of the television audience of 200 miliion at the Eurovision song contest final. The purists didn't like it, and indeed what does he have to do with Eurovision, especially as he didn't even know what it was prior taking the stage really? Like as if Sweden didn't have world stars of their own to show..... But that aside, this year it could maybe have been Lady Gaga.
To claim that is Jamala's manager Igor Tarnapolsky who gossips he heard it from Eurovision 2017 producer Stuart Barlow himself... 
Anyways, it fall down to Lady Gaga's "free" performance as she demanded a rider of 100.000-200.000 dollars to make her spectacular performance. One can only wonder what she would have given us with that money....  certainly she would have fitted Eurovision a bit better than Mr Timberlake for sure being propably the most Eurovisionary performing artists in the USA there is.....
Instead we got a bit uninspired Ruslana.... It's always nice to see previous winners but.... well.... wasn't it a bit unspectacular?


Monday, May 22, 2017

NEW RELEASES: JIMMIE WILSON - SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL

So damn beautiful, that's what oh so many said when they first laid eyes on Jimmie when he was announced as Valentina Monetta's partner in crime for Eurovision song contest 2017 adventure. The spirits of the night may have failed to qualify, but their spirits kept on high and now it's time for Jimmie to release his solo album. Titled So damn beautiful. in fact. A total of 13 songs (incl. Viva forever, Model of the world and The color red) to showcase his voice, including one featuring also Marcin Patrzalek. 


AMAR PELOS DOIS BY SALVADOR SOBRAL HITS #1 IN FINNISH CHARTS

Well, not in the official singles chart but in the official Download chart, week 20/2017.
But he's not the only Eurovision song contest act as also Blanche's City lights from Belgium enter the Top-10 at #10 and Italy's Francesco Gabbani's Occidentali's Karma appear at #17. 
The downoad chart is the fastest moving chart so one can expect there's no trace of any of them next week..... sadly. 

In Radio play chart Amar pelos dois enters at #55 and no sign of any other Eurovison songs in the Top-100..... 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

ESC 2017: NEW MUSIC FROM THE ARTISTS - FRANCESCO GABBANI, MANEL NAVARRO, ILINCA & LEVINA

Eurovision 2017 is over and the artists come out with their follow ups....
Manel Navarro - Keep on falling
Ilinca - Amici
Francesco Gabbani - Tra le granite e le granate
Levina - Stop right there

ESC 2017: WHAT THE ARTISTS HAVE BEEN UP TO IN SOCIAL MEDIAS? ACCUSATIONS AND RELAX

While Lucie Jones has been enjoying a lovely relaxing bath....
.. and Alma has been on holidays enjoying the sun and the pool as well....
... Isaiah has visited both Paris....
... and Sweden where he picked up among other things a platinum disco for his debut single.....
... and Slavko relaxed by the lake - maybe dreaming of winning something eventually (and he did, the Barbara Dex award!)
... and Salvador and Luisa Sobral were invited to the Portuguese parliament for a standing ovation and congratulations....
.... while Alex Florea fired some accusations that Salvador used false technics to win Eurovision having problems with his head rather than his heart causing quite a stir among fans.....
... but he only followed Robin's example, who first voiced what most of us thought anyways: Salvador's winning speech about disposable fast-food music wasn't quite necessary and polite at that very moment and was easily understood wrong.....
.... as was Kristian's outburst right after the final when he in tears apologized Bulgarians for not winning and repeating he should have won and he was the best and then in the same breath saying Salvador was great and deserved to win. Quite confusing really....
But all is good in the end so let's change the page: Ilinca has cut her hair. Nothing else matters!
Except maybe this throw back photo of Norma John pre-Lordi days in Finland aka when Finland was still never won Eurovision. 2005 to be exact. 

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