Friday, March 30, 2018

EUROVISION WINNERS: CÉLINE DION TURNS 50

Today Céline Dion turns 50. How times flies! This blogger has always preferred her French catalogue and picking up favorites from the last four decades isn't easy but here goes. The ones (of many) that havee had a secial meaning to me in some point of my life. In random order:


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

EUROVISION BABIES: JAMALA - IT'S A BOY!

Congratulations to Eurovision 2016 winner Jamala who gave birth to a baby boy yesterday. The little prince is named Emir-Rahman.
But no Eurovision without babies: this year's baby onboard is by German Michael Schulte. His girlfriend is expecting a baby girl. Congratulations as well!
And lets not forget also Eurovision winner 2015 Måns Zelmerlöw is expecting a baby from his girlfriend.

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORT RETURNING? ALEXANDER RYBAK

This one we will only know in about six weeks. The winner of 2009 contest Alexander Rybak is trying a double in Lisbon 2018 Eurovision song contest.
Fairytale holds the record of most votes under the old voting system - 387 vs Iceland's 218 and 16 times 12 points, 10 times 10 and 10 times 8! (He was equally overpoweering in the Norwegian national final btw)
Rybak came to Eurovision through various talent shows, culture prizes for his violin playing and theater. After Eurovision he was busy performing all over Europe incuding the Nobel Prize ceremony, starring and writing music for films in Norway and Russia, dancing in the Swedish Stricty come Dancing, and keeping his career going also in nis native Belarus and in the Russian market, besides dubbing cartoon in Norwegian. All these years he's also been a regular guest in Eurovision related events and happenings.
In 2013 he wrote I'm with you (4th) for Annsofi Pettersen for the Norwegian national final, in 2015 for Franklin Calleja Still here (5th) for the Maltese national final and in 2015 Accent (4th) for Milky for the Belarusian national final.
Now it's 2018 and he won the Norwegian national final with That's how you write a song almost as convincingly as he did with Fairytale. Will history repeat itself? Judging the betting odds and fandom's opinion it's not going to happen, but who knows? He wasn't quite the pre-contest favorite in Norway either.... 2018 is still wide open... no matter what Netta says. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH RETURNING? JOHNNY LOGAN

Johnny Logan, born as Seán Sherrard in Australia, moved back to Ireland at the age of 3 with his Irish born parents. Coming from a musical family he first tried to get to Eurovision in 1979 with Angie, placing 3rd. 
The year after he was back with What's another year and won. Seven times 12 points gave him an easy won obver Germany's Katja Epstein who placed 2nd. (After being twice 3rd, must be frustrating!)
He earned an UK #1 and a big hit all over Europe. Sadly his follow up singles flopped and he was soon considered a one hit wonder..... Meantime he wrote Terminal 3 for Linda Martin, the Eurovision 1984 runner up.
In 1987 he decided to givee Eurovision another go as his career wasn't going anywhere. Hold me now won leaving Germany 2nd again, and he became the first ever double winner. It certaibly was worth returning, as his career also took another turn now and he got it going in Ireland and Germany, and kept it going elsewhere, too, even if those winners remain his only big hits. Hold me now became UK #2 but outsold What's another year.
1992 he wrote the Irish winner for Linda Martin again. Why me? won also Eurovision and made him a triple winner: twice as a singer and writer, one as a performer. 
In recent years he's been rather eager to give harsh comments and advice on the Irish "success" in Eurovision so who knows we haven't seen the last of him yet....

Monday, March 26, 2018

ALBANIA: EUGENT BUSHPEPA RELEASE MALL VIDEO

After being the first to choose their song and the last to reveal the Eurovision version here they have finally the video for Mall.... 
Now who are we still expecting? Portugal and Ukraine? No news on Denmark, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia or The Netherlands videos in the making, are there?

FINLAND: JARI SILLANPÄÄ ARRESTED AGAIN. IS HE PART OF DRUG SMUGGLING CIRCLE?

Let's see now if his devoted fans will forgive him this, too. Jari Sillanpää was arrested at the Helsinki airport yesterday when returning from a long holiday in Thailand, where he has a holiday house. According Iltalehti he is still jailed by the police who will decide on arresting him on Wednesday. Police goes for "No comment" policy for the matter at this point but it is rumored it's part of the earlier arrest and investigation on the drug smuggling circle they now suspect him being part of.
Last September he was arrested when driving in Helsinki under the effect of chrystal or methamphetamine. He didn't deny at any point and in the end was fined 23.790 euros. One can read in the report he admits having used chrystal for three years but not any other drugs and has showed no regret at any point. It is rumored he had also now drugs on him when arrested.....
Update: It's confirmed he had drugs on him when arrested. He can only be very happy he wasn't arresteed in Thailand or Qatar.... That would have ment years in prison.
His fans took the news in September with disbelief and with the attitude "sh*t happens, poor Jari" and his concert tour that followed was the usual sold out success, but now things might turn out sour... He's supposed to hit the road in April again... He stated in Facebook the drugs were only for personal use and he's not part of any circle. He says he has no idea where that 1 g of chrystal found in his luggage is from. In total he confessed having bought 110 g of chrystal over the past three years...
Update 2: Some of his summer concerts have been already cancelled by the organizers. His friend and singing legend Katri Helena has publicly asked him to seek help. 

Jari Sillanpää is one of the most succesful Finnish artists ever. He's the second most sold Finnish solo artist, and his debut album is the most sold album ever. He represented Finland in the Eurovision song contest 2004 with Takes 2 to tango.

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH RETURNING? GIGLIOLA CINQUETTI

Just 16-year-old Gigliola Cinquetti charmed first Italy by winning the talent contest Castrocaro 1963 and then Sanremo 1964 with her Non ho l'etá, and went on to charm the rest of Europe as well by winning the Eurovision song contest a few weeks later in Copenhagen. 
She beat UK to second place by scoring 47 points vs. their 17, when over half the juries gave her full marks. The song sold over 4 million singles worldwide and launched her international career. She has had singles released in 120 countries!
In Italy she enjoys fame and success participating in various festivals and Sanremo. She almost got back to the contest already in 1966 when she won Sanremo with Domenico Modugno and Dio come ti amo. Modugno decided to go himself back to the contest and came last....  (Such a shame as it is one of the best Italia entries ever, if you ask me! And Gigliola's version is much bettr anyways)
In 1974 she was chosen to represent Italy again and the song is Si. Italy is in the middle of divorce law referendum and therefor the contest is broadcasted in Italy only in mid May as Rai was afraid the song could influence the vote.... She came second four points short of ABBA's Waterloo. The song is another international success for her. She tours South America and Japan and continues to record songs in various languages and scoring hits.
In late 1970's she dedicates more time for journalism, television, films, theater and other projects and when Italy hosted the Eurovision song contest 1991 she presented it with Toto Cutugno. 
She released her first album in 20 years in 2015.




Sunday, March 25, 2018

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH RETURNING? LYS ASSIA

Lys Assia, the first ever Eurovision song contest winner took part in the first three editions representing her native Switzerland (just like Corry Brokken did for the Netherlands). 
However Lys holds the record of four entries as she sung both songs in 1956.  Das alte Karussell wasn't a hit, but Refrain won the whole thing.
The year after she was back with L'enfant que j'étais finishing 8th and finally in 1958, third year in a row and she took Giorgio to the second place losing closely to France's Andre Claveau 27-24. Those two were real runaway favorites, as third placed Italy's Domenico Modugno's Volare only got 13 points.... Giorgio became a hit also in Italy and is played still today in its various cover versions and ... other things. Had it won, it could have changed Eurovision already before 1965 for more uptempo songs..... Maybe...
Lys started her career as a dancer but switched to singing in early 1940's. In 1950's and 1960's she also starred in about a dozen films, and continued to record music all the way to the late 2000´s. 
Over the past two decades she became an Eurovision icon by being present in the contest most every year as an eager fan not shy telling the world who her favorites were, and she also attended various fan meetings and events over the years.
She also did two tries to come back to the contest with the help of Ralph Siegel in 2012 and 2013. C'était ma vie sounds like a testament, but the year after she was cool and hip with some rapping youngsters with All in your head.
We thought she would live forever but sadly she passed away yesterday and we never know what she thought about the 2018 songs.... Hello, how's the flow up there?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

SWITZERLAND: R.I.P. LYS ASSIA

I was to publish Lys Assia today in the series of Eurovision winners - was it worth returning? but instead today we have the sad news of her passing away in the age of 94. Tonight we remember her with her winning song .... She was a true Eurovision fan til the end and one real Diva, in a positive way. Rest in peace, the legend lives on....

Les jours s'en sont allés 
Et nous avons grandi
L'amour nous a blessés
Le temps nous a guéris

Mais seule et sans printemps
Je cours en vain les bois, les champs
Dis, souviens-toi 
Nos amours d'autrefois?


Friday, March 23, 2018

ISRAEL: NETTA RELEASES TOY REMIX

It's Friday and what's better to get into the weekend mood but Netta's Toy remix? Enjoy!

EUROVISION WINNERS: WAS IT WORTH RETURNING? ANNE-MARIE DAVID

Anne-Marie David started with Eurovision in 1972 when she participated in the French selection with Un peu romantique, after doing a succesful Maria Magdalena in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. 
She didn't win but the year after Luxembourg chose her and Tu te reconnaitrais and she took a close second victory in the row for the Grand Dutchy beating pre-contest favorites UK's Cliff Richard and Spain's Mocedades; they are finished within six points when David scored 129 points and Richard placed third with 123.
Anne-Marie Davis became international star and toured the world and participated in various festivals from Tokyo to Vina del Mar, and ended up in Turkey of all places where she released songs even in Turkish and enjoyed fame and popularity. 
In 1979 she was back, this time for France and her Je suis l'enfant soleil placed third. Again the top-3 was way ahead of the others but in the end she was 19 points behind the Israeli winners, a second win in a row for Israel! And Spain placed again second. Funny coincidences. 
After the contest she concentrated more on the French market, with a career side kick to Norway in early 1980's and eventually retired from music in 1987.
She's been back on and off to the spotlight since early 2000's, and have graced various Eurovision related events with her presence from the 50th anniversary show in Copenhagen to the 60th Anniversary in London and many minor events all oveer Europe.
She tried to represent France again in 2013 with Je manque de toi, but wasn't chosen. The rumor is her single International was ment for Eurovision 2016 comeback, but under which flag? Submitted to Austria, Germany and San Marino? None was interested. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH RETURNING? ISABELLE AUBRET

Isabelle Aubret was a regular in the French Eurovision song contest selections. She first took part in 1961 with Le gars n'importe óu finishing second. The year after she was back with Un premiere amour , won and went on to win also Eurovision song contest 1962.
The ex-gymnastic had a great star for her career and all was going fine and she had hits and was also offered the leading role in the film Les parapluies de Cherbourg (that then went to Catherine Deneuve) but a car accident ended that. She had several operations and it took awhile before she was able to come back to business. 

She made her comeback in the French selection 1968 with La source and won again, and finished 3rd in Eurovision behind Massiel and Cliff Richard. The song was a very daring one at the tme, dealing with rape.....
But she didn't stop there and tried to get back to contest a few times: Oliver, Olivia in 1970 (2nd), Je te conneis déjà (6th in semifinal) in 1976 and finally France, France in 1983 (3rd).
Her career became international and she toured the world so the second Eurovision only did good to her. Until she was hit by another accident in 1981 when doing a flying trapeze number. She breaks both her legs and remains disabled for a long time. 
Since 1986 she's been active again, and released her latest and 39th studio album in 2016. 
At the moment she's touring France with her last tour titled Age tendre at the tender age of 79 (she'll be 80 this summer). A true Eurovision legend, maybe a little forgotten and negletted by the fandom....

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

ARMENIA: SEVAK KHANAGYAN RELEASE QAMI VIDEO

Better late than never, here comes Armenia's video for Sevak Khanagyan's Qami, one of the finest songs this yeear if you ask this blogger. And the video fits perfectly with the mood of the song.... The last shot alone makes me want to visit Armenia....

Քամի, քամի
Այդ ո՞ւր ես տարել տաք իմ հուշերը,
Քամի, քամի
Դու տո՛ւր ինձ թևեր, որ հետևեմ քեզ
ՔամիԵս փակում եմ իմ աչքերը,
Ու թվում է, թե տեսնում եմ
Այն ուղին, որ դեպի քեզ է բերում

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH RETURNING? CAROLA

Now what can I say? Carola is one of my favorite artists, an ultimate Eurovision Diva and we go back a long time. Flashback summer 1983: I was spending summer at my aunt's in Sweden. And Sweden was all about Carola after her Melodifestivalen win (full marks from each and every jury - for the first and last time ever) and 3rd place in Eurovision (6,1 million Swedes watched her there!!!) with Främling (fate is I was also in Sweden when the Mello took place and saw it live on tv. However then I was all for runner up Kikki Danielsson's Varför är kärleken röd...) Her album was the best selling album in Sweden ever (over 1.000.000 copies). She was everywhere, including a Folketspark near Fagersta where I saw her live. The tour broke all previous records in 24 out of 25 parks. The year after I saw her live in Finland. And again in the years to come. But then Carola, a controversial figure retired after 3-4 years of success and even an album with the BeeGees in the USA to study bible, so when she was back to Melodifestivalen in 1990 with Mitt i ett äventyr some people were afraid she would start to preaching in live television. Yeah, for real! Strangely the tv-screens went black in parts of Sweden just when she was on.... Sabotage? Coincidence? Edin-Ådahl won only to bomb in Eurovision (for Swedish standards at least) and she ended 2nd. 
The year after she was back with "a little ballad" as she described  Fångad av en stormvind before anyone heard it and stormed to victory (78 vs runner ups 45). She struggled then in Rome by finishing with a tie with France's Amina. An Eurovision first since 1969 chaos ending but this time EBU was prepaired and there were rules. Both had four times 12 but Carola had five times 10 versus Amina's only two so she was declared the winner.... Her legend blossomed and continued....
She almost returned to contest in 2003 with När löven faller, that she co-wrote but pulled out the last minute as she didn't want to perform the song herself (as in the demo that qualified) and it was disqualified. But she got to perform as interval act, and has done that several times over the years, besides co-hosting the show. 
In 2006 she made her comeback with Evighet that became Invincible for Athens Eurovision. Invicible she wasn't as the scary Finnish monsters ate her as breakfast and she finished respectable 5th. 
Her last try to date is One love from 2008 with Andreas Johnnson that became a real disaster. First it failed to qualify directly to the final and in the second chance it failed to qualify for the final at all.... But that is forgotten. She's a legend and nothing seems to hurt her career. Not even her controversial ideas of homosexuality and other nonsense she talks time to time, all flavored with strong beliefs based on religion.... Lately she's been helping refugees in the southern shores of Mediterranean, hosting them at home, adopting a daughter from South Africa and doing other charity work....
This said, I wouldn't bee surprised we'd see her in Eurovision again. After all she is Eurovision.



Tuesday, March 20, 2018

ITALY: FRANCESCA MICHIELIN RELEASES BOLIVIA VIDEO

Francesca Michielin has released Bolivia, already a third single off her latest album 2640 following Vulcano and Io non abito al mare. Great song and very inteeresting video.... your guess is as good as mine what it is all about...?!

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH RETURNING? IZHAR COHEN

Israel took a surprise and easy win in the Eurovision song contest 1978 (no matter what Jordanian television think) with their sixth participation, with Izhar Cohen & The Alphabeta group and their groovy and catchy A-ba-ni-bi. (However that nearly didn't happen as in the national final there was a tie with Belev echad by Chedva Amrani & Pilpel Lavan. Hmmm, who knows if they had sent that one instead...?)
Six times 12 out of 19 possible, and 32 points lead on runner up Belgium. They also set the trend for the Israeli entries that continued well into the 1990's: lead singer and highly choreographed group with a catchy up tempo tune. Between 1978-1985 with six participation they scored two wins, two runner ups and 5th and 7th place. Not bad. 
Incidently Izhar started this run and also ended it in 1985 when he returned with Olé, Olé! placing 5th. Again in white and white a vry energetic backing group. Today the participation is propably best remembered for the backing singer's vocals... :-)
He has tried to get to Eurovision also in 1982 with El ha'or (7th), in 1987 with his sister Vardina with Musika hi neshika la'netzach (5th) and finally in 1996 with Alon Jan and Alpa'im (10th) ) but has since late 1990's  concentrated on jewellery desing and has a jewellery store in Tel Aviv these days.

This blogger has a little bit soft spot to this. The 1978 contest is the first one I remember clearly watching, loving and getting hooked to the contest. I loved A-ba-ni-bi (even if my parents thought it was nonsense) and come 1985, I loved Olé, olé! as well. Among many others. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

ITALY: NINA ZILLI RELEASES 1XUNATTIMO VIDEO

The winter is dragging on and spring is delayed, but Nina Zilli brings us some summer moods with her latest single 1xUnAttimo, that translates to One for a moment, with a very colorful video. I'd love to be one with summer's heat for a moment....

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH RETURNING? CORRY BROKKEN

Eurovision song contests 1956-58 have two artists in common, Swiss Lys Assia and Dutch Corry Brokken. Lys managed to win in 1956 but Corry only placed 7th (apparently) with Voorgoed voorbij
But she was back the year after and won with Net als toen. She was a runaway winner with her 31 points vs runner up's 17. (Lys only scored 5 and placed 8th out of 10). 
But Corry didn't stop there. She was back again for the third time in a row in 1958 as previous winner with Heel de wereld and got only one point and shared last place. This didn't have any effect in her succesful career in the 1950's and 1960's. She stopped her musical career and started studying law and became an attorney in late 1970's, after having presented the Eurovision song contest 1976 in The Hague. She was also the Dutch spokesperson in 1997 after a brief comeback to music business with an album Nooit geedacht in 1996 and performing live again.
She died in 2016 at the age of 83. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH COMING BACK? LENA

Every now and then Eurovision song contest winners come back to the contest and looking back quite often it hasn't been such a good idea. A total of 14 previous winners have managed to return (and even more have tried but failed to win the national final. Latest of them is Swedish Loreen last year). In this series I have a brief look at them and how did it go.....
19 years old Lena Meyer-Landrut came from nowhere and after winning the German national final in 2010 went on to win the Eurovision song contest as well with her Satellite. She wasn't quite a favorite but once the votes started rolling in she took a convincing surprise win over Turkey's maNga (246 vs 170) scoring top-3 from 18 countries including nine 12s. 
Her album went to #1 in Germany and Satellite charted all over Europe making it one of the most succesful Eurovision winners of recent years. Her momemtum carried all the way to the next year's contest when it was announced she would do the 50's, aka defend her crown in 2011 as internally choseen artist.
Taken by a stranger was chosen for her and eventually it finished 10th  in the international final with 107 points scoting only once 10, and four times 8 points. However it was a decent placement for Germany and her success continues even today. Her latest single If I wasn't your daughter

Saturday, March 17, 2018

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH COMING BACK? JEAN-CLAUDE PASCAL


Every now and then Eurovision song contest winners come back to the contest and looking back quite often it hasn't been such a good idea. A total of 14 previous winners have managed to return (and even more have tried but failed to win the national final. Latest of them is Swedish Loreen last year). In this series I have a brief look at them and how did it go.....

French theater, television and movie actor, comedian, imitator, author, singer and fashion designer for Dior, Jean-Claude Pascal (1927-1992) won the Eurovision song contest 1961 for Luxembourg with Nous les amoureux. The Croix de guerre awarded war hero was a popular star at the time, and later was awarded also Commendeur des Arts et des Lettres medal. He took an easy win beating UK to the second place with 31 points vs 24. 
He released 17 albums between 1960-84, several tv-movie and tv-series, nearly 40 movies between 1949-73.  He was voted the most elegent man of France several times.
In 1981 he was back in the contest with C'est peut-être pas l'Amérique, a song he co-write. It placed a disappointing 11th place with 47 points. He would die of cancer 11 years later at the age of 64. His ashes were placed in Mont Saint-Michel and Hammamet in Tunis. 
Was a comeback worth it? I remember his comments after the contest. He had hoped better as a farewell for his career and was not very happy how it ended. He started writing books instead and managed to release 8 of them between 1986-1991....

Friday, March 16, 2018

ALBANIA: THE FIRST BECOMES LAST - HERE'S THE FINAL VERSION OF MALL

Les derniers seront les premiers, as Céline Dion sings and it's quite incredible that Albania releases their entry only now. The revamped and shortened Eurovision version I mean. Eugent Bushpepa won the national final already December 23 last year, and we haven't heard of Mall since. Today, as the very last Eurovision entry it was officially released. 

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH COMING BACK? NIAMH KAVANAGH


Every now and then Eurovision song contest winners come back to the contest and looking back quite often it hasn't been such a good idea. A total of 14 previous winners have managed to return (and even more have tried but failed to win the national final. Latest of them is Swedish Loreen last year). In this series I have a brief look at them and how did it go.....

Niamh Kavanagh first came to Eurovision in 1993 giving Ireland the second of its third consegutive wins with In your eyes. Niamh was rather unknown back then even if she had already sung in The Commitments soundtrack but no doubt it one of the finest vocalists in the contest ever. She battled it with UK's Sonia until the end but secured a 23 point lead with seven 12s and votes from each and every country.
In 2010 she was back with It's for you. Placing 9th in her semifinal (12 points from Switzerland and 10 from UK clearly saved her) she qualified for the final where she collected 25 points and 23rd place. However it was Ireland's best showing after two failures to reach the final, and the last place in final the year before. 
Was it worth it? Considering she seeems to rather spend family life and walk her dog, and is not a recording artist really, this seems not to have any impact in her career. Her winner's crown shines bright still. In my book In your eyes is the finest Irish winner ever. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH COMING BACK? CHARLOTTE NILSSON/PERRELLI


Every now and then Eurovision song contest winners come back to the contest and looking back quite often it hasn't been such a good idea. A total of 14 previous winners have managed to return (and even more have tried but failed to win the national final. Latest of them is Swedish Loreen last year). In this series I have a brief look at them and how did it go.....


If Dana International became the first Eurovision winner not to make the final again, it was a close call for Charlotte Perrelli. To her luck in 2008-2009 there was the jury wildcard rule or only the top-9 of the semifinalists qualified for the final and the jury chose the 10th one.
In 1999 Charlotte Nilsson won Melodifestivalen with Tusen och en natt, and thanks to the new rule of free language it became Take me to your heaven in Jerusalem and she beat Iceland's Selma with 17 points taking a somewhat surprise win. Conflicts with SVT caused her to stay out of Eurovision song contest in 2000, breaking the tradition of previous winner performing in the show. 
In 2008 she was back with Hero and surname Perrelli and being a real fan favorite her 12th place in the semifinal - with a shortage of 10 points from the final - was a real shocker. Of course we didn't find out about that until the final was over and the results revealed. But the semifnal voters were right: she only placed 18th in final with only Malta giving her 12 (and in semifinal Denmark doing the same) while the others gave her nothing or generally 1-3 points. To her credit it must be said she did a good job while being in the middle of a very nasty divorce*, cheating drama and make up and styling disaster plus doing a worse show on TV thanks to Serbian tv's incapacity or will to deliver the tricks used in Mello...
She made another modest try of comeback in Melodifestivalen and Eurovision in  2012 but That girl didn't make the final placing 5th in her semifinal.... Last year she was back with Mitt liv and placed last in her semi... Everything has a beginning, everything comes to an end indeed.

Funfact: She should be Ingrosso instead of Perrelli as she was married to Nicola Ingrosso, Benjamin's uncle and Pernilla's ex. However, at some point they had a disagreement with the Ingrosso family and changed their name to Perrelli. But Nicola* also is history, the name stays. Oh drama!

EUROVISION 2018 IN YOUTUBE: ITALY IN LEAD - AGAIN

Eurovision.tv has uploaded the official videos of the Eurovision song contest 2018 entries on their channel on Youtube, and most of the entries also have had the live performance from the national final uploaded earlier as well. But what about the videos of the entries in the national broadcaster's and the artist's own channels? If we start summing up it gives a better picture, even if rather unfair to be honest: some entries, like Georgia, have only the Eurovision.tv one while others have been published here and there and everywhere in various official forms. This said, let's have a look anyways.
Italy may not be doing so great on Eurovision.tv's channel but the official MetaMoroVEVO has nearly 14 million views and makes it the most watched entry this year by far. 
Same goes for France's Madame Monsier and Spain's Alfred & Amaia; poor performance on Eurovision.tv but the videos have been watched in various other sites for over 7 and nearly 6 million times. There are many others like that: Greece, PolandCzech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Finland.... (Check the list at the bottom of this post)
Israel is the exception of this: over 2,5 million views on Eurovision.tv alone, and the counter is ticking all the time! She'll be within the top views in days no doubt. This year's Occidentali's  Karma (over 200 million views by now). 

In the bottom we have San Marino with less than 100.000 views, along with freshly released Montenegro and Georgia. Iceland, Moldova and Ireland aren't either setting the video channels on fire, and Albania is yet to release the official video while the national final performance counts 376.000 views, still more than Ireland and Azerbaijan....

Check out the full ranking below 
(*Numbers collected around midnight March 14)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

EUROVISION WINNERS - WAS IT WORTH COMING BACK? DANA INTERNATIONAL

Every now and then Eurovision song contest winners come back to the contest and looking back quite often it hasn't been such a good idea. A total of 14 previous winners have managed to return (and even more have tried but failed to win the national final. Latest of them is Swedish Loreen last year). In this series I have a brief look at them and how did it go.....

Back in 1998 in Birmingham Israeli Dana International was the hot topic of the contest being the first ever transsexual and having angered the priests in her home country. She had tried to enter already in 1995 with Layla tov Eropa but then placed second in the national final, but in 1998 she was internally chosen. It was a close run and she won only with six points (172 vs UK's 166 and Malta's 165) but she became the winner of the first televoting era contest. If you look at the scoreboard those countries still using jury didn't quite support her.
In 2008 she was back in contest, but as an author for Boaz Mauda's Ke'ilu kan, that placed 9th in the final, after having performed Diva again in the 2005 Eurovision 50th anniversary show in Copenhagen. 
2011 was her great comeback to the contest when she won the Israeli selection with Ding dong. But she didn't go to history books as the returning winner but the very first - and so far only - winner  not qualifying for the final: only 15th in the semifinal out of 19. Only nine countries awarded her some minor points while 12 left her with none. Was it worth coming back? Certainly not... 
But despite that, she remains one of the contest's most icoic winners! And she was back in the Eurovision's 60th anniversary party in London being the Diva we know again. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

LISBON 2018: PORTUGAL GOES FADO IN THE FINAL WITH MARIZA AND ANA MOURA

I'm liking the sound of it. If Finns went all for heavy rock in Helsinki 2007 - that being the most succesful Finnish music genre abroad and besides, Finland has the most heavyrock bands per capita in the world - Portuguese are doing the same with their very own music genre: fado. Besides the reigning Eurovision winner Salvador Sobral also fado megastars Ana Moura and Mariza will perform in the final, and even together. For the first time. Ever. 
Ana Moura (38) has beeen around for 15 years already. She has sung with The Rolling Stomes and late Prince travelled to Lisbon to work with her. Five albums to date (two #1's and 4 top-5). She has also collaborated with Italian Pacifico in Pioggio sul mio alfabeto
Mariza (44) has sold over a million albums globally and continues to tour the world. After legendary Amália Rodrigues death Mariza explodes as her musical heiress and soon became the queen of new fado. She sung with Sting in the Athens Olympic games  Her albums have collected top-10s in various European and African countries along with Canada and Australia. She's been noninated to Grammy and Latin Grammy, as well as countless other international awards. 
Salvador Sobral will there, too, singing his winning entry Amar pelos dois and some new songs, and will surely be warmly welcomed by the Eurovision community after his succesful heart transplant.
Other musical guests are Beatbombers, IDA 2016 show category world champions and Dj Branko

PS. Portugal was drawn to perform at #8 in the Grand final.....

GEORGIA: IRIAO - FOR YOU, THE SONG N.O 43 FOR EUROVISION

 
Last but not least here comes Georgia's Iriao and their For you (Sheni gulitvis). And it certainly is something else. Judge yourself by watching and listening the video below .-)

Monday, March 12, 2018

MOLDOVA: DOREDOS RELEASE THE VIDEO OF THEIR LUCKY DAY


These are the lucky days of Eurovision fans as the videos and new versions drop like rain when the delegations are meeting in Lisbon and presenting their entries. Today we also have Moldova's entry, My lucky day by DoReDos in its video form. Enjoy!

FRANCE: MADAME MONSIEUR RELEASE 3 MINUTES OF MERCY

 
The French entry's video has been out there for already some time but now they have presented the three minutes Eurovision version and it works wonders. This song was one of the first selected but it has resisted against the competition nicely....


SWITZERLAND: ZIBBZ RELEASE STONES VIDEO

 
Swiss entrant Zibbz have released the official video for their entry Stones. It seems to have been revamped, too? Quite interesting concept for the video....Have a look and listen:

BULGARIA: IT'S EQUINOX WITH BONES

 
Bulgaria's Eurovision social media team is one of the most active, and they have been teasing us with the release until boredom and now when the song and artist is out it's like a little let down. This said, the song is produced by the same Symphonix team that is behind Austria's entry (and Bulgaria's 2nd and 4th placed entries last year and in 2016) and it production values and sound are better than any standard Eurovison entries from the Swedish factory. The song itself, well... hard to say yet. Makes me think of Vikings soundtrack... and sounds more like a cool interval act performance on the mysterious depressive side - and depressive (and angry) don't usually do so well... 
Written by Bulgarian Borislav Milanov, American Trey Campbell with  Swedish Joachim Persson and Dag Lundberg, while the band is made of Bulgarian X Factor 2013 winner Xhana Bergendorff, Bulgarian singer/songwriter and frontman of two bands and even an actor Vlado "Vladdi" Milailov, Georgi "JJ" Simeonov, a Bulgarian singer, songwriter and vocal producer. Add two Americans: Johnny Manuel from America's Got Talent fame and Trey Campbell.
You may have guessed it: I don't tend to feel good about these artificial groups made especially for Eurovision....

LITHUANIA: IEVA ZASIMAUSKAITÈ WINS WITH WHEN WE' RE OLD

 
Lithuania has chosen favorite Ieva Zasimauskaité with her ballad When we're old for Lisbon 2018 Eurovision song contest. She surpriseed the audience in her winning reprise by singing in Lithuanian, but so did also guest star Saara Aalto in her Monsters.
However Lithuania should go for the Lithuanian version as it sounded fab!
Televotes:
Jury votes:
Final result:

1. Ieva Zasimauskaitè - When we're old (jury 10 + televote 12) 22
2. Jurgis Bruzga - 4love (12 + 7) 19
3. The Roop - Yes, I do (7 + 10) 17
4. Monika Marija - The truth (8 + 8) 16
5. Kotryna - That girl (6 + 6) 12
6. Paula - 1 2 3 (5 + 5) 10

Sunday, March 11, 2018

MONTENEGRO: INJE VIDEO AND REVAMPED VERSION IS OUT

 
Montenegro's Vanja Radovanovic has re-recorded his Inje and releeased the video as well. Enjoy!

MACEDONIA: EYE CUE RELEASE LOST AND FOUND

 
Another new one for today, this time Macedonia's internally chosen Eye Cue and their Lost and found. Well, reggae rhythm was something still missing from Lisbon 2018 Eurovision song contest but the song features several other rhythms... Not sure if they lost the right one and did they found it after all....



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