Thursday, May 31, 2018

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: EDUARD SANTHA - ME SOM ROMALES

Not only Hungary but also Romania was flirting with gipsy music. Eduard Santha's (or Santa Molina's) Me som romales is exciting and fresh. A lot better than the 13 songs that placed above it in the national final (even if the staging was all wrong in the final). In by books anyway.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

FOUR MILLION THANKS YOUS!


Another milestone reached. Thank you all who have clicked your way to this blog and maybe returned over and over again. Thank you. Kiitos. Grazie. 

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: HORVÁTH TAMÁS - MEGGYFA

Hungary hit success last year in Eurovision with some gypsy music but this year they went for some metal instead. However, this Tamás Horváth's Meggyfa would have continued the theme nicely! Hopefully he comes back to A Dal next year. Great stuff!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

FINLAND/POLAND: KASIA MOS FEAT. NORMA JOHN PRESENT WILD EYES

The beauty of Eurovision is that sometimes the competing artists become friends, start collaborating and performing together at times, and sometimes even end up in a recording studio together. Like last year's Polish Katia Mos and Finland's Norma John. The result is atmospheric Wild eyes. Enjoy!


EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: RICHARD & JOE - SONG FOR DAD

Eurovision has seen all sort of family based acts over the years, mom & daughter duet and eveen this year Swiss brother & sister but the Maltese national final runner ups Richard & Joe Micallef would have been the first ever son & dad duo as far as I know. Song for dad is Eurovision veteran's tributo to his dad and after bringing sister and brothers to the contest, he would have brought the musical clan's dad, too....


Monday, May 28, 2018

NORDIC LATIN - FINNISH ARTISTS HEAT UP: MIKAEL GABRIEL, ABREU, EVELINA, NIKKE ANKARA

In the post-Despacito era also Finnish artists are taking the Latin sounds to their own and we have some surprising hits in the charts. Evelina's Sun vika hit the airways already in winter and despite being labeled as Havana wannabe has found its way to the radiowaves. Abreu goes back to her Portuguese roots and throws in a lot of Latin flavor to her Amor amor while Mikael Gabriel hits gold with his Naapurit kuulee. Another rapper turned into pop singer Nikke Ankara also has his share of Latin vibe in his Rikkinäinen prinsessa
I suspect we will get some more of this stuff in coming weeks and months, thankst to the heatwave we are enjoying in this hottest May ever.... Ay que calor!


EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: VAJÉ - LAURA (WALK WITH ME)

Vajé placed third (after being 2nd entering the top-3 superfinal) with their Laura (walk with me). This is a song that works wonders in studio version, but the staging and live performance in Eesti laul wasn't exactly to my liking....



Sunday, May 27, 2018

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: LIAM TAMNE - ASTRONAUT

Some songs you learn to like, some you fall in love the very first time you hear them. This is one of them for me. Liam Tamne's Astronaut captured my soul and even if I was pretty certain it wouldn't win the UK selection it remains one of my favorites of the whole season....



Saturday, May 26, 2018

EUROVISION BABIES ABOARD: HANNA PAKARINEN AND MÅNS ZELMERLÖW GOT SONS

Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw's baby news have been widely published where he welcomes his perfect little superhero to the world - and to Eurovision 2038. Hanna Pakarinen simply states the pic includes the men of her life, thanking the Jorvi hospital's staff in Espoo. Congrats to both!

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: SAARA AALTO - DOMINO

Saara Aalto's runner up Domino was my favorite out of her UMK 2018 songs. The live performance includes the upside down singing then borrowed to Monsters Lisbon staging, but more than that it's a classy ballad that comes alive when sung live with the audience. The simple yet effective staging would have been so much better than the over choreographed and gimmicky Monsters.
And the song's better, too. 


Friday, May 25, 2018

NEW RELEASES FROM SURIE, SEVAK KHANAGYAN, BLANCHE AND NATHAN TRENT

Eurovision Class of 2017 and 2018 release follow ups to their entries. This year's UK entrant SuRie releases Taking it over and fandom seems to agree it's fab, great and fantastic. How ironic - it's like any album track from Jamala really (which in my book is a positive thing) but how come no one's getting excited about Jamala's songs? I wonder. This year's Armenian Sevak Khanagyan goes up tempo compared to his entry but his voice is very recognisable. Зеркала aka Mirrors is a very Russian sounding pop. Last year's Belgian Blanche continues with Wrong turn the same style but less intensive and less effective. Austrian Nathan Trent teams up with J-Mox for Secrets

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: MUDIMBI - IL MAGO

Mudimbi, even if in Sanremo, wasn't exactly running for Eurovision as he was among the Newcomers where his Il mago came close second to the winner Ultimo. However, had the winners of Big category declined the offer Rai might have considered all songs in the contest for Eurovision, and then this funny song would have been a very suitable choice.....
This blogger loved it all the way from the December selection to the Newcomers final for sure!

ITALY/CUBA: IL VOLO JOINS GENTE DE ZONA IN NOCHE SIN DIA

Eurovision veterans Il Volo join the incredible string of artists that turn to Cuban Gente de Zona for a collaboration with their new single Noche sin dia for the Latin American market. Love love love....

Thursday, May 24, 2018

FINLAND: LORDI RELEASES SEXORCISM - THEIR 9TH STUDIO ALBUM

Brand new studio album SEXORCISM is released tomorrow, 12 years and 5 days after their monstreous victory in Athens 2006 Eurovision song contest. It is quite possibly the most controversial Lordi album yet and already their 9th stuido album (plus three compilations and one Ep)


EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: ALBIN FREDY - MUSIC FOR THE ROAD

Albin Fredy (or Swedish born Albin Ljungqvist came 3rd in the Danish national final for the Eurovision song contest 2018 with his country influenced Music for the road. He was my favorite there by far and surprise surprise I was a big fan of his Beautiful to me  back in 2013 as well. 
Now waiting for him to become third time lucky!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: AITANA & ANA GUERRA - LO MALO

 
Spain's Operacion Triunfo finalists acted also as Eurovision song contest natonal final finalists, and one of the duet songs was Lo malo by Aitana (eventually 2nd place in OT) and Ana Guerra (5th in OT)  finished only 3rd while another duet went on to Lisbon (by eventual winner Amaia and 4th placed Alfred). This song was just about the only uptempo-ish song riding the current Latino boom and even if I liked the winner Tu cancion a lot this was my favorite and looking at the ESC result now (23rd).... Hmmm...
Lo malo went to #1 in Spain selling double platinum. Just saying. 


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: DIOGO PICARRA - CANCAO DO FIM

Diogo Piçarra's Canção do Fim was one of the finest and most touching songs of the whole Eurovision 2018 national final season. Sadly he withdraw before the final. He has the honor of opening this series of songs that never made it all the way to Lisbon stage. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

EUROVISION: JAMES BLUNT AND ROBBIE WILLIAMS - YEAH YEAH WHATEVER

Funny how James Blunt - who's latest UK Top-10 single as lead artist is from 2013 btw - comes out almost every year after Eurovision telling how he'd like to do it, like this tweet already in 2015:
You have had already three years to actually take your words into action. What have you done about it?
Another one out there indirectly again, Robbie Williams. Would he like to represent Russia? UK? whatever. As much as I would love to see Robbie do Eurovision  and should he win it, host it the year after, or simply host it should UK ever win it again this kind of free publicity is so cheap. And it is so funny how all websites fall for it every year. Oh yes, I'm here with it, too, but as you can see with another kind of approach. 
Honestly I'd rather see Pet Shop Boys rethink and re-enter the game again....


Friday, May 18, 2018

ITALY: FORGET ROMA-BANGKOK, IT'S BOLIVIA-BALI THIS SUMMER

Baby K feat. Giusy Ferreri's Roma-Bangkok might be one of the biggest summer hits in Italy this century but this summer we already had Bolivia by Francesca Michielin and now it's all about Bali with Elodie & Michele Bravi feat Guè Pequeno! Are you ready for summer?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

EUROVISION: THE NORDICS VS. EX-SOVIETS THE MOST SUCCESFUL THE LAST TEN YEARS. THEN THERE'S ITALY

Or depends how you want to count it. if we only count the top-10 placings then Sweden has 7 and Italy 6, and then we have Denmark, Norway, Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan with 5 so it makes it all very Nordics Vs. ex-Sovjets. And the odd one out: Italy.

On the other hand if we look at the placements turned into Eurovision points (12, 10, 8....1) Sweden is still ruling with 56, but Azerbaijan is second with 43 (but we all know what happened, how all of sudden they were no longer in top-5 every year but where they belonged: vote rigging. Before that they managed to collect in five years one of each placements from one to five, with Swedish songs mind you). Russia follows with 38 with Italy close behind with 35. Ukraine completes the top-5 with the Nordics after: Denmark and Norway. Italy has been flirting with the victory already several times, it's time they take trophy home soon. All other countries in Top10 have won (except Turkey, abseent since 2013 but but strong with 3 top placings in four years)

Placements turned into ESC points

1. Sweden 56
2. Azerbaijan 43
3. Russia 38
4. Italy 35
5. Ukraine 33
6. Denmark 29
7. Norway 26
8. Germany 23
9. Turkey 21
10. Austria 20

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

FINLAND: NEARLY 2 MILLION VIEWERS FOR THE EUROVISION FINAL - WHILE 2019 IS STILL UNCERTAIN

YLE declares satisfied with the Eurovision 2018 adventures, despite the disappointing 25th place or second to last, in the final. 1,9 million viewers were registered for the final on Saturday night while 1,5 million watched the first semi-final, and in Yle Areena, the web portal Eurovision content was viewed over 800.000 times, and Yle's Eurovision website had over 1,2 million visits. 
Meanwhile there has been a lot of talk about this year's selecting process, media demanding to know how much money was spent - aka tax payers money - in promoting Saara Aalto's career. Yle has refused to give any numbers saying Eurovision is an all year round project and it's not possible to give exact sums. Hmm...  People are not happy. 
They are also yet undecided what to do next year; open call or internal selection of the artist. The later might be a better choice at this point when they have angered the songwriters in the country (when changing the selection process all of sudden and throwing the 400 received submission out of the window saying they're not good enough and jumping on Saara Aalto instead), and propably many an artist, too. But who would be willing to take on the task? I mean someone big enough, talented enough and experienced enough to fit the criteria? 
Yle has also opened an idea box for next year's UMK; so if you have ideas, comments or whatsoever you can write it down here

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

PORTUGAL: SARA TAVARES IN EUROVISION - THEN AND NOW

That Sara Tavares appearance went totally unnoticed and ignored by most and every fan website/blog tells volumes how limited their general knowledge about the contest and it's history and past is.... 
Just sayin'...
Still one of the finest voices around.... and one of Portugal's finest entries. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

FINLAND: SAARA'S RUN OF SECOND PLACES CONTINUES - SORT OF. CHECK OUT ALL THE FINNISH VOTES

And no, UK didn't us the "sure" 12 points. Finland also nearly missed the final being only 10th in the semi-final so the final result respects that totally. On the other hand she had a nice 14 points lead to Azerbaijan that was 11th.
In the final only four countries televoted Finland enough to receive points: neighbours Estonia and Sweden, ever so kind Iceland and oddly Australia. No "sure 12 points" from UK nowhere in sight, however they gave us 4 jury points..... It's also remarkable Finland didn't give any televoting points to Sweden or Norway!
Second (to last) again. 

Here are the points received by Finland in the final (televote / jury vote)

12
-
10
Estonia
8
-
7
-
6
Sweden / Israel
5
Macedonia
4
Australia / United Kingdom
3
Iceland / Sweden, Czech Republic
2
Estonia
1

And Finland gave

12
Estonia / Israel
10
Denmark / Bulgaria
8
Hungary / Sweden
7
Israel / Austria
6
Italy / Cyprus
5
Czch Republic / France
4
France / Italy
3
Austria / Denmark
2
The Netherlands / Ireland
1
Cyprus / Germany

Here are the points received by Finland in the semi-final (televote jury vote):

12
Estonia
10
Iceland
8
Albania
7
United Kingdom / Israel
6
Ireland, Spain, Israel
5
Switzerland / Ireland, Estonia
4
Portugal / Iceland
3
Lithuania / United Kingdom, Belarus
2
Belgium, Macedonia / Switzerland, Cyprus, Lithuania
1
Bulgaria, Czech Republic / Spain, Bulgaria
0
Azerbaijan, Croatia, Austria, Greece, Armenia, Cyprus, Belarus /
Albania, Portugal, BelgiumMacedonia, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Austria, Greece

and Finland gave:

12 
Estonia / Israel
10
Israel / Bulgaria
8
Austria / Austria
7
Czech Republic / Cyprus
6
Ireland / Albania
5
Cyprus / Belgium
4
Switzerland / Ireland
3
Belarus / Armenia
2
Lithuania / Lithuania
1
Albania / Switzerland


EUROVISION 2018: HERE ARE THE MARCEL BEZENCON AWARD WINNERS

As usual these awards were handed out just before the final show and we have three winners.
The Marcel Bezençon Award, named after the founder of the Eurovision Song Contest, was first handed out in 2002. The Awards are divided into three categories – the Composer Award, the Press Award and the Artistic Award.

Composer Award: Rewarded for the best composition with special consideration given to originality and national identity in music and lyrics: Bulgaria's EQUINOX with Bones.

Press Award: Given to the best song according to the collective vote of the accredited press: France's Madame Monsieur with Mercy.

Artistic Award: Presented to the best artistic performance and voted by the commentators from all countres: Eleni Foureira from Cyprus with Fuego.

I totlaly agree with the two of them, but Composer award and "national identity" to Bulgaria that is pure America? really?

EUROVISION 2018: ISRAEL HAS WON! SAARA SECOND (TO LAST)

1978, 1979.... 1998... 2018! Israel has taken its 4th Eurovision win with Netta Barzilai's Toy. The voting was full of drama when jury favorites Austria and Sweden failed badly in televotes and in the end there were Italy, Cyprus and Israel left. The juries didn't like Italy so it was between Israel and Cyprus....
The show was good and had added drama with someone running on stage and taking Uk's SuRie's microphone, after a few seconds chaos she got it back and continued with even more girlpower. They were offered to re-perform the song but declined the offer. 
Finland's Saara continued her string of second places... only this time its from the bottom.....
Portugal did Austria, aka came last at home. The love affair with Aussies and Europeans seems to be definately over, the first signs were in the air already last year and now Jessica came last in televotes...
 Below the jury votes
Below are the televotes (and the jury vote)

1. Israel  317 (jury's n.o 3)
2. Cyprus  253 (jury's n.o 5)
3. Italy  249 (jury's n.o 17)
4. Czech Republic  215 (jury's n.o 15)
5. Denmark  188 (jury's n.o 20)
6. Germany  136 (jury's n.o 4)
7. Ukraine  130 (jury's n.o 26)
8. Moldova  115 (jury's n.o 10)
9. Estonia  102 (jury's n.o 6)
10. Lithuania  91 (jury's n.o 11)
11. Norway  81 (jury's n.o 16)
12. Serbia  75 (jury's n.o 21)
13. Austria  71 (jury's winner)
14. Bulgaria  66 (jury's n.o 9)
15. Hungary  65 (jury's n.o 22)
16. Ireland  62 (jury's n.o 14)
17. France  59 (jury's n.o 8)
18. Albania  58 (jury's n.o 7)
19. Netherlands  32 (jury's n.o 13)
20. United Kingdom  25 (jury's n.o 23)
21. Finland  24 (jury's n.o 24)
22. Slovenia  23 (jury's n.o 19)
23. Sweden  21 (jury's n.o 2)
24. Spain  18 (jury's n.o 18)
25. Portugal  18 (jury's n.o 25)
26. Australia  9 (jury's n.o 12)


To be updatd....

Saturday, May 12, 2018

EUROVISION 2018: TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT!

Here we go again. The day has arrived. Tonight we know if the gang in the bubble is packing their summer gear again and will have sunny beach Eurovision in Cyprus or maybe Israel, or will they be in rainy Ireland or shores of Baltic in Lithuania or Germany, in the busy city beat of Paris or having some slow food in Torino? Or maybe somewhere else no one even thinks about just now? I for one don't have a clue! I don't think I havee been this clueless ever. (I say that every year I know and in the end it's all clear and as I thought but at this point it's hard to believe...) I have my favorites of course but are they the ones I think will win? Maybe not. 
This might be the last Eurovision I am blogging, so I'm taking it easy. Go get some pastel de nata from Helsinki's Portuguese bakery and some vinho verde, sit back and enjoy the show.
Below are the odds at the moment writing this (Saturday morning 9.30 CET). Let's see how write they are this time....



It's also worth remembering always someone flops, and someone surprises....

Friday, May 11, 2018

EUROVISION 2018: FINNISH MONSTERS FINALLY MEET

Finland is all about monsters at the moment. The original ones, and Eurovision song contest 2006 winners are in Lisbon to promote their new album Sexorcism "because our German label wants so". It's of course also an excuse to meet up this year's monster and have a short dive into the bubble again, as Lordi is used to do every other year or so.
In a lenghty interview with Helsingin Sanomat Mr Lordi also tells what the victory brought them: shame. Finns were ashamed before they won, and a year after the victory again and it continues still. No gigs at home while abroad they tour all the time. Finnish radios won't play their music. Media interest comes only once a year, in May. Common people don't even know they are still active and ask him "when did you split?". Yet he doesn't regret participating as now everybody even outside heavy music circles know them. Would he do it again like Rybak this year? No. Would he consider doing it now for the first time? Maybe. 
He also told how he meets occasionally other winners, like Sandra Kim earlier this week in Brussels, and they don't believe their ears when he tells how Finns threat them....
Sad but true. 

EUROVISION 2018 ARTISTS SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND UP - BIG5+1

The Big5 arrived in town last but have been around a week already as well. What have they been up to lately?
Wish me fuck? Ok....
 Posers
 Claudia's new tattoo
 Albanians 1
 Albanians 2
 Ermal the poser
 Fabrizio the poser
Italian coolness
 Obligatory meme
 First lady in red is out
 So much fuego

Posers in red
 Michael takes it easy....
... very, veery easy
Lovebirds seem to hiding from social media
 Yet another lady in red
 Russian rescue dog?
 SuRie the make up girl
Oh, Eurovision winner among these Big5+1
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