Wednesday, January 31, 2018


As the speculation got wild over the past 24 hour it has now been formied Ryan O'Shaughnessy will be representing Ireland in Lisbon 2018 Eurovision. His song is called Together and will be released later when the production and video clip are finished. Ryan promises Rock'n roll kids kind of moment so it's one more acoustic ballads on stage, people. More emotions, less fireoworks!
Ryan is a 25-year-old singer-songwriter with a lot of experience already. He starred in an Irish soap opera Fair city for nine years, took part in both Britain's got talent and The Voice of Ireland in 2012  at the same time! That caused a bit of a drama apparently. The year after he took part in the Irish reality The Hit.


After YLE prettycancelled the usual UMK2018 and turned into Saara Aalto show it's been quite queit in that front. The final will take place in Metro Arena in Espoo on March 3, 2018 and Saara will perform her three stage shows and apparently there will be several guest stars. The first one has been now confirmed: Spice Girl Melanie C, Saara's childhood hero. They are set to perform also together and Saara says she feels more nervous for that than her own performances. Bless her. 
Saara's three songs will be revealed with respective videos one every week starting on February 9. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


The OT couple Alfred Garcia and Amaia Romero have won the Spanish Eurovision selection with their Tu canción. The couple's blossming love affair during these Operacion Triunfo months may have played a role crowning them Spain's latest lovebirds and winners. Anyways, it's a refreshing step away from the usual overproduced plastic entries Spain has sent way too often, and clearly nods to last year's winner's acoustic intimate mood. Emotions, not fireworks, people!

The superfinalists were:
Alfred y Amaia - Tu canción 43%
Aitana - Arde 31%
Aitana & Ana - Lo Malo 26%

As a bonus here is their City of stars:

Monday, January 29, 2018


After winning the international juries vote the online voting hs been added and there's no doubt it: Mikolas Josef's groovy Lie to me is the winner in Czech Republic and is set to do wonders in Lisbon. Maybe. At least it's their best effort yet: original, catchy, different from the rest with a likable artist and great video. Now it's all up to his live vocals and staging..... Out with the gorille, in with the camel - it's 2018!


Last year Russia tried to send Julia Samoylova and her wheelchair to Kyiv and long story short: she never got there. Now she's given another chance as Russia has confirmed she will be the one indeed for Lisbon. This blogger must admit I never thought this would happen, but hey, life's full of surprises. Wheelchair or not, I hope she has got a better song and learned to sing better during this year.... Just sayin'...
And considering Russia and Ukraine are in the same semi, and apparently the Ukrainian law forbids broadcasting these banned artists even on television....  this isn't over yet, I suppose. And curiously Russia confirmed her as soon as the allocation draw took place.... Hmmm...


Moldova had live auditions to all the eligible 27 (of 31 submissions) and after hearing what they had in offer (likes of Sasha Bognibov, ehm)  dropped the semifinal and chose 16 for the final directly. Some names are at it again: Doinita, Che MD, DoReDos, Felicia.... Apparently it's all settled for DoReDos to win with their Kirkorov penned nonsense anyways. But could it be Doinita's time finally with her latin number penned by those ever trying Persson sisters? If we want an entry in language then it'd be Nicoleta Sava. 

Anna Odobescu – Agony
Anna Timofei – Endlessly
Bella Luna – Moments
Che MD – Inima-n stanga 
Cobilean Constantin – Numai Tu 
Doinita Gherman – Dance In Flames
DoReDos – My Lucky Day
Felicia Dunaf – Alien
Ilia Soroceanu & Dasha DaGro – Minds & Veins
Lavinia Rusu – Altundeva 
Nicoleta Sava – Esencia Del Sur 
Ruslan Tsar – Come To Life
Sandy C & Aaron Sibley – Once Upon A Time
Tolik – Broken Glass
Vera Turcanu – Black Heart
Viorela – The Gates Of Love


Isn't she like brunette Krista Siegfrids??
Finland is back to semifinal one, in the 2nd half for a change
Italy was the only one with a request this year, 
and their wish to vote in the 2nd semifinal was granted
Bye bye Kyiv, welcome Lisbon!


The allocation draw to determinate in which semifinal the countries will perform took place today in Lisbon City Hall along with the Insignia ceremony wheee Lisbon officially takes over from Kyiv, a tradition started in Helsinki 2007.  You can watch it here at 13 CET.
Below are the pots:
Pot 1:
Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland

Pot 2:
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden

Pot 3:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine

Pot 4:
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Moldova, Romania

Pot 5:
Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Israel, Malta, San Marino

Pot 6:
Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland


Spanish Operacion Triunfo isn't over yet as still five contestants are in the running, but the Eurovision side kick will be finished tonight. Five + plus one finalists singing nine songs, one of them becoming the Spanish entry for Lisbon. The voting will be in two rounds. After the first one top-3 goes for the superfinal and voting will restart from zero.
The songs are a real turn away from the Swedish produced nonsense Spain has sent so often. The only song in that direction is the plastic manyfactued group song and maybe a bit Magia. Al cantar, Tu canción and Arde are soft almost acoustic ballads. Que nos sigan las luces and Lejos de tu piel are pleasant but rather forgettable simple pop rock. El remedio and Lo malo bring in some Latin rhythms. If one of those ballads or one of those Latin songs wins Spain is going to have one of the better quality entries since many years. OT comes once again to save the day, it seems.

Amaia Romero - Al cantar
Aitana Ocaña - Arde
Ana Guerra - El remedio
Miriam Rodriguez- Lejos de tu piel
Alfred Garcia - Que nos sigan las luces
Amaia & Alfred - Tu canción
Ana Guerra & Aitana - Lo malo
Miriam & Agoney - Magia
Amaia, Aitana, Ana, Miriam & Alfred - Camina


UK has also revealed its cards for the season. Once again six hopefuls and pretty much nobodies to the great public with eexperience in talent shows like Britain's Got Talent, The Voice and some musicals. The final will take place on February 7 in the legendary Brighton Dome hoted by Mel Gledroyc with Måns Zelmerlöw. He's not only Swede in the show as Edward af Sillén has been hired to script the show. Oh, and Icelandic Greta Salomé has co-written one of the songs...... and some Danes another....
For this blogger Liam Tamne stands high above the others, followed by SuRie, Raya and Asanda but as said: Liam with no doubt or question. 

Asanda - Legends
Goldstone - I feel the love
Jaz Ellington - You
Liam Tamne . Astronaut
Raya (Clark) - Crazy
SuRie - Storm


"The Scenography, designed as an auditorium, is conceived prospectively to expand into the Teatro Ariston. Wide meshes of steel - almost streets - build a link with the outside through light paths. White triumphs as a symbol of purity of art. The music inside, thanks to these links, comes out of the outside drawing inspiration and reason to exist. The architectural elements give stage volume to represent an urban agglomeration, a city of the future. Through two video spirals that rise and fall in helical twist to help the music rise to new horizons. Acoustic arcs find verticality to help the sounds become universal ".
This is how Emanuela Trixie Zitkowsky, scenographer of the 68th Sanremo Festival, recounts the encounter between light, image and architecture on the stage of the Ariston, to accompany the show of the songs in front of the millions of viewers at home and the 1273 spectators seated in the theater.
"A thousand square meters of video and light  transform the immaculate temple into a multi-colored palette. A curtain designed in four blades descends and preserves the spaces by announcing new visions through its 4,870 teardrop bulbs that recall the past but keep in the core new technologies projected into the future."
n the heart of the scene a structural flower closes the perspective as a symbol of the purity of all the arts and blossoms opening its petals of light revealing its interior: a pulsating heart that becomes an introduction to listening to music (the scale). The luminous flower spreads upwards until it reaches the white stalls occupying the proscenium and dominating the public. A volumetric pentagram where new notes give life to the Year Zero of Italian music as conceived by the Artistic Director.
The black mirror stage is supported as a sheet by helical sculptural elements that rest as if they were sheet music ready to spread infinite sounds.
Two side staircases like open flower petals embrace and introduce the white orchestra arranged on two platforms that spread the notes in this auditorium of the future where music is the protagonist.
As in a modern architecture where the canons are subverted and the horizontal becomes vertical, the scenography interprets the passage, the ways and the infinite of musical variations in search of the absolute "
Emanuela Trixie Zitkowsky, whose father has been doing television scenographies already in the end of the 1960's, has already done one stage for Sanremo, in 2014. Her other works countless works in borh  Rai and Mediaset from Grande fratello to Telerentola and Fiorello Show for Sky. If she goes for the future and steel & light this time, back in 2014 she was inspired by a decadent palace of '700 in Paolo Sorrentino's La grande bellezza style. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018


Denmark has been suffering the past few years and is eager to change back to the success they enjoyed in early 2010's. This year's cast includes a couple of familiar previous wannabes, Ditte Marie and Albin, and a familiar name to all us old folks, dee dee na na na, Whigfield! After 25 years using her real name Sannie she's now after Eurovision stardom and another hit single. 
The songs will be released only on the week of the final.

Ditte Marie - Riot
Anna Ritsmar - Starlight
Rasmussen - Higher ground
Sannie - Boys on girls
Sandra - Angels to my battlefield
Lasse Meling - Unfound
Carlsen - Standing up for love
Karui - Signals
Rikke Ganer-Tolsøe - Holder fast i ingenting
Albin Fredy - Music for the road


Iceland has revealed its songs for Söngvakeppning 2018 as well, and just like last year there are both Icelandic and English versions of them out already (with exception of one, maybe it's ment to stay in Icelandic?). All songs will be erformed in Icelandic in semifinals, but for the final they can change into English if they intend to sing it in it in Lisbon in case of a victory. 
For the first time in many years I didn't get excited about any of the entries, but the last song I listened Brosa/With you saved the day eventually. Maybe. 
Aron Hannes and Rakel are back from last year, and Stefania hopes to be third time lucky (2013, 2015) and finally win. Two semifinals (February 10 and 17), three songs qualifying for the final from each.

Aron Hannes – Golddigger/Gold Digger
Áttan – Hér með þér/Here for you
Ari Ólafsson – Heim/Our Choice
Fókus hópurinn – Aldrei gefast upp/Battleline
Dagur Sigurðarson – Í stormi/Saviour
Heimilistónar – Kúst og fæjó
Stefanía Svavarsdottir, Agnes Marinósdóttir, Regína Lilja Magnúsdóttir 
– Svaka stuð/Heart Attack
Þórunn Antonía – Ég mun skína/Shine
Guðmundur Þórarinsson – Litir/Colours
Þórir Geir Guðmundsson, Gyða Margrét Kristjánsdóttir – Brosa/With You
Tómas Helgi Wehmeier, Sólborg Guðbrandsdóttir – Ég og þú/Think It Through
Rakel Pálsdóttir – Óskin mín/My Wish


Ukraine will have two semifinals (February 10 and 17) before the final and the line up features quite a few familiar names looking for a revenge: for example last year's runner up Tayanna and televoting winner and 3rd placed Melovin are in, as is 4th placed Illaria. Kadnay also tried last year but missed the final while Pur:Pur placed 4th two years ago.

Serhii Babkin
The Vyo
Kozak System
Pur: Pur
The Erised

Ingret Kostenko
Mountain Breeze


Serbia is one of the countries returning to the national final format, a very welcome move! After nine years Beovizija is back and out of 75 submissions 17 have been selected for the final sometime in February. Eurovision veteran Rambo Amadeus is back at it, as is Vladimir Graic, winning composer with Molitva from 2007. He has written now to Ana Nikolic.
In the list given by Serbian tv the songs are in English and the original titles in brackets. I suppose it's simply misunderstanding and the songs are in Serbian and the English translation should be in brackets? Didn't they demand songs in Serbian and other official languages?

“Neither Sun, Nor Moon” (Ni sunca, ni meseca) – Ivan Kurtic
“You’re Gone” – Rambo Amadeus and Beti Dordevic
“Fairy” (Vila) – Boris Režak
“The Rose of Destiny” (Ruža sudbine) – Danijel Pavlovic
“Our Children” (Naša deca) – Sanja Ilic and Balkanika
“If Only I knew” (Bar da znam) – Srdan Marijanovic
“Wake Up” (Probudi se) – Osmi Vazduh and Friends
“Under the Locust Tree” (Pod krošnjom bagrema) – Dušan Svilar
“Song for You” (Pesma za tebe) – Saška Jankovic
“This Morning (Wedding Guests)” (Jutros (Svatovi)) – Biber and DJ Niko Bravo
“Because” (Zato) – Koktel Balkan
“Tired” (Umoran) – BASS
“The Strongest of All” (Jaca sam od svih) – Lana and Aldo
“Let’s Dance Now” (Hajde da igramo sada) – SevdahBABY
“Wonderland” (Zemlja cuda) – Maja Nikolic
“Just Let It Turn” (Samo nek se okrece) – Lord
“Get Away From Me” (Beži od mene) – Igor Lazarevic


Reigning Eurovision winner Portugal has revealed all details about their national final Festival da Canção 2018. Two semifinals (February 19 and 25) before the final, seven out of each will move on to the final. In the semis there will be 50-50 televote-jury, and in the final 50-50 regional juries-jury. And yes, this bloggers superfavorite Diogo Picarra will sing his own song :-) Besides we have Anabela (ESC 1993) and José Cid (ESC 1980) in the list. There was a freedom of language but apparently only two songs are in English :-)

Joana Espadinha – “Zero a Zero” (Benjamim)
Peu Madureira – “Só Por Ela” (Diogo Clemente)
Anabela “Para Te Dar Abrigo” (Fernando Tordo)
Janeiro – “(sem título)” (Janeiro)
Rui David – “Sem Medo” (Jorge Palma)
José Cid & Gonçalo Tavares – “O Som da Guitarra É a Alma de Um Povo” (José Cid)
JP Simões – “Alvoroço” (JP Simões)
Catarina Miranda – “Para Sorrir Eu Não Preciso de Nada” (Júlio Resende)
Beatriz Pessoa – “Eu Te Amo” (Mallu Magalhães)
Joana Barra Vaz – “Anda Estragar-me os Planos” (Francisca Cortesão)
Bruno Vasconcelos – “Austrália” (Nuno Rafael)
Maria Amaral – “A Mesma Canção”(Paulo Praça)
Rita Dias – “Com Gosto Amigo” (Rita Dias)

Susana Travassos – “Mensageira” (Aline Frazão)
Lili – “O Voo das Cegonhas” (Armando Teixeira)
Sequin – “All Over Again” (Bruno Cardoso)
Tamin – “Sobre Nós” (Capicua)
Daniela Onís – “Pra Lá Do Rio” (Daniela Onís)
Diogo Piçarra – “Canção do Fim” (Diogo Piçarra)
David Pessoa – “Amor Veloz” (Francisco Rebelo)
Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim” (Isaura)
Rita Ruivo – “Anda Daí” (João Afonso)
Dora Fidalgo – “Arco-Íris (Assim cantou Zaratustra)” (Miguel Angelo)
Minnie & Rhayra – “Patati Patata” (Paulo Flores)
Peter Serrado – “Sunset” (Peter Serrado)
Maria Inês Paris – “Bandeira Azul”(Tito Paris)


Montenegro is having a national final again and this time there will be only five acts competing for the ticket to Lisbon 2018 Eurovision. These have been picked out of 31 submissions aka applications for the job. The final will take place in Podgorica's Hilton hotel on February 17.

Lorena Jankovic - Dusu mi daj
Nina Petkovic - Disem
Katarina Bogicevic - Nezeljena
Ivana Popovic Martinovic - Poljupci
Vanja Radovanovic - Inje

Update 13.2. - Snippets of the songs:


NRK released the names and songs of MGP 2018 on January 15 and among them we have Alexander Rybak (Eurovision 2009 winner), last year's JOWST is back at it, credited as the singer Alexander Walmann this time, Roxette's Per Gessle has co-written Charla K's song. Kjetil Mørland (ESC 2015) hs written Rebecca's song. Stella Mwangi (ESC 2011) is another veteran re-trying. Only one song in Norwegian this time. 
This blogger loves Chilean Alejandro Fuente's Spanish language entry Tengo otra with it's beat - must be the recent Cuban influence and the beat is pure Gente De Zona. Love it! But maybe it's not the way to go, even if Norway has sent some Latin stuff before. Other ones to look out Walmann, Rybak (but I doubt this groovy number would set European wide audiences to voting frenzy.... or would it? Hmm...), Charla K and Vidar Villa
All in all a good selection of songs a quite many potential winners :-)

Alejandro Fuentes - Tengo otra
Alexander Walmann - Talk to the hand
Alexander Rybak - That's how you write a song
Charla K - Stop the music
Ida Maria - Scandilove
Nicoline - Light me up
Rebecca - Who we are
Stella & Alexandra - You got me
Vidar Villa - Moren din


The Friday night in Sanremo festival is dedicated to duets again after a few years pause (in recent  years the artists have covered Italian classics) and the list of Big artists duet partners is out. Alice is back to Sanremo for the 4th time (1972 Il mio cuore se ne va, 1981 Per Elisa - winner, 2000 Il giorno dell'indipendenza) and duets with Ron, with a song co-written by late lagend Lucio Dalla, Almeno pensami, and described by the media who has already heard the songs as one of the front runners for the victory. 
Also many other returns to Teatro Ariston stage by names like Michele Bravi, Giusy Ferreri, Simone Cristichhi, Neri per Caso, Arisa, Sergio Cammariere and Marco Masini, and some big names elsewhere, like Midge Ure.

Annalisa with Michele Bravi
Avitabile and Servillo with Avion Travel and Daby Touré
Decibel with Midge Ure
Diodato and Roy Paci with Ghemon
Elio e le Storie Tese with Neri per Caso
Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro with Simone Cristicchi
Giovanni Caccamo with Arisa
Le Vibrazioni with Skin
Lo Stato Sociale with Piccolo Coro dell’Antoniano and Paolo Rossi
Luca Barbarossa with Anna Foglietta
Mario Biondi with Ana Carolina and Daniel Jobim
Max Gazzè with Rita Marcotulli and Roberto Gatto
Nina Zilli with Sergio Cammariere
Noemi with Paola Turci
Ornella Vanoni, Bungaro and Pacifico with Alessandro Preziosi
Roby Facchinetti and Riccardo Fogli with Giusy Ferreri
Red Canzian with Marco Masini
Renzo Rubino with Serena Rossi
Ron with Alice
The Kolors with Tullio De Piscopo and Enrico Nigiotti

Also some of the guest have been also confirmed: Laura Pausini, Biagio Antonacci, Gianni Morandi, Gianna Nannini, Negramaro, Sting with Shaggy and James Taylor


What is the best way to overcome jetlag but watch some Eurovision? The French final took place last night and took quite a long time but was rather entertaining show anyways as far as I can recall while dozing off a few times ;-p 
Each of the finalists performed twice, first with a guest star and then their entry. In the end the international jurors gave out their points before the televoters votes were added, and the voting did keeep up the drama til the end. The international jurors votes went all over the place but in the end Madame Monsieur scored big with the televoters and jumped from the juries 3rd place to a win. Worth noting is Eurovision General Christer Björkman gave them only 2 points underlining what I was thinking myself: Mercy is a lovely atmospheric song, very chich and elegant, very French and I do like it a lot but.... will European televoters get it or will it be lost in the crowd? My guess is it will do a lot poorer than it desers in Lisbon. Sadly.
The international juries favorite was Lisandro Cuxi and his Eva. It would have been a good choice for Lisbon, but lacks a bit of Frenchness, me thinks. All in all an excellent (and clearly one of the best national finals of the whole season, no doubt) selection of songs. In fact, I would have been quite happy with each and every song really. Some stagings were though quite bad, Nassi and Louka especially. Both songs arre great but died on stage. Televoters and jurors disagreed most on Emmy and Maló shaking up the scoreboard.
Marie <3 b="">
One last note: Maybe there should have been ten songs in the final after all; adding Sweem and Noée ... oh and Masoe.... and what about Sarah Caillibot? Too many good songs!

Here are the full results:

1. Madame Monsieur - Mercy (jury 68 + televoters 118) 186
2. Lisandro Cuxi - Eva (90 + 72) 162
3. Maló - Ciao (28 + 89) 117
4. Emmy Liyana  - OK ou KO (82 + 30) 112
5. Igit - Lisboa Jérusalem (60 + 50) 110
6. Max Cinnamon - Ailleurs (54 + 36) 90
7. Nassi - Réves de gamin (30 + 18) 48
8. Louka - Mamma mia (8 + 7) 15

Happened before:
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