Sunday, February 17, 2019

ROMANIA: SELECTIA NATIONALA 2019 TONIGHT

Tonight's Romania's turn to select its entry for Eurovision 2019. Two semi-finals have dropped half the songs voted by a jury (five finalists per semi) and televoters (one of the leftovers per semi). 
The season hasn't been saved of scandals and withdrawels. First Eurovision veteran Dan Bittman decided to withdraw due conflicting schedules and was soon replaced by two wildcards (Bella Santiago and Linda Teodosiu) and that angered the ultimate Eurovision Diva extraordinaire MIHAI who in turn withdraw. Later also Xandra withdraw without giving a reason. MIHAI on the other hand then tried to apply for Moldova and Belarus it seems, but didn't show up in either, and apparently even tried to get a wildcard to Romanian selection again. Or so they say.... And finally Laura Bretan  (of America's Got Talent fame) caused a storm in a glass with her views about gays apparently.
Olivier Kaye, Golden Stag 2018 1st prize from The Voice Belgium has a song written by Ovi aka Ovidiu Jacobsen. But the preannouncd winner seems to be Bella Santiago. My favorite is Claudiu Mirea. 

Linda Teodosiu - Renegades ***
Olivier Kaye - Right now ***
Laura Bretan - Dear father *
Teodora Dinu - Skyscryper **
Claudiu Mirea - We are the ones ****
Aldo Blaga - Your journey *
Ester Peony - On a Sunday **
Letiția Moisescu and Sensibil Balkan - Daina ***
Bella Santiago - Army of love ***
Trooper - Destin ***
Dya and Lucian Colareza - Without you (Sin ti) **
Vaida - Underground *

LATVIA: CAROUSEL WINS WITH THAT NIGHT

All according plan also in Latvia when Carousel wins ahead of Markus Riva who's left second again. Carousel is singer Sabīne Žuga and guitarist Mārcis Vasiļevskis

CROATIA: ROKO BLAZEVIC BRINGS THE DREAM TO EUROVISION 2019

Roko Blažević is yet another male artist for Tel Aviv, have we ever had so many compared to female artists? His song is The Dream and it's written by Eurovision veterans Jacques Houdek and Charlie Mason who has co-written songs like Rise like a Phoenix, Here for you and Beauty never lies.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

SLOVENIA: ZALA KRALJ & GAŠPER ŠANTL FOR EUROVISION 2019

Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl have won the Slovenian national final 2019 for Eurovision with their song Sebi. They beat Raiven in superfinal with 72,9% against 27,1%

ESTONIA: VICTOR CRONE WINS WITH STORM

Once again Estonians chose a Swede, who has no connection to the country nor speaks the language. Well, the song is written by Eurovision veteran Stig Rästa at least.
After the first round of jury and televote Victor, Uku Suviste and Stefan made the superfinal - just like I predicted. However the support from televote at this point must have been already massive as the jury had him only at 9th, Uku 6th and Stefan a clear favorite. 
1. Victor Crone — “Storm”
2. Uku Suviste — “Pretty Little Liar”
3. Stefan — “Without You”
4. Sissi — “Strong”
5. Lumevärv ft. Inga — “Milline päev”
6. Inger — “Coming Home”
7. The Swingers, Tanja & Birgit — “High Heels in the Neighbourhood”
8. Sandra Nurmsalu — “Soovide puu”
9. Kerli Kivilaan — “Cold Love”
10. Kadiah — “Believe”
11. Synne Valtri — “I’ll Do It My Way”
12. xtra basic & Emily J — “Hold Me Close”

LATVIA: SUPERNOVA 2019 FINAL TONIGHT

After two semi-final Latvia has cut the songs in half in number and we have eight songs competing tonight. There's apparently again the jury + televote + internet + spotify voting. Markus Riva is back with his 6th attempt, so is Samanta Tina and Edgars Kreilis. All in all this selection of songs is even more anonymous and forgettable than Eesti laul's for me. I don't really like any of these. Maybe the worst of them for me, Samanta will scream all the way to Tel Aviv, or will Riva get his ticket finally, with the weakest song presented so far? Or will it be Kozmens with their folk song that at least sticks out a bit and we get to hear Latvian as well but would be most likely labelled as a novelty act? Or maybe Carousel that is at least rather pleasant to listen to.... I have no idea, Latvians are rather unpredictable. 

Markus Riva - You make me crazy VIDEO **
Edgars Kreilis - Cherry absinthe VIDEO *
Double Faced Eels - Fire VIDEO *
Dziļi Violets feat. Kozmens - Tautasdziesma studio **
Laime Pilnīga - Awe VIDEO *
Samanta Tina - Cutting the wire VIDEO *
Carousel - That night VIDEO **

ESTONIA: EESTI LAUL 2019 FINAL TONIGHT

Estonia had its two semi-finals (here and here) in Tarto and now the show moves to Tallinn and Saku Suurhall with the 12 songs that made the cut. Two round for the voting: first 50-50 jury-televote to get the top-3 that will face another round of voting, this time only televote. 
Among the finalists Eurovision veterans Sandra Nurmsalu, Tanja Mihhailova-Saar and Birgit (Õigemeel) Sarrap, Swedish Victor Crone with a song co-written by Stig Rästa, Eurovision winner Dave Benton's daughter Sissi and last year's runner up Vajé's Stefan, this time solo. 
I have difficulty getting excited by any of these songs. Sandra would be classy but nothing we haven't heard yet, Crone is a bit disappointing, as is Stefan even though both are decent. Maybe it's Uku's year and we get some more testosteroni in Tel Aviv? His staging reminds of Conchita Wurst how it's aimed "let's let them listen first before they see you to avoid prejudgement". I have a soft spot for Synne, but maybe Uku is the best overall this time? And I don't like The Swingers at all, nice interval act but not a competing entry. 

Sissi - Strong VIDEO *
Lumvärv ft.Inga - Milline päev VIDEO **
Victor Crone - Storm VIDEO ***
Kerli Kivilaan - Cold love VIDEO *
xtra Basic & Emily J - Hold me close VIDEO **
Kadiah - Believe VIDEO *
Synne Valtri - I'll do it my way VIDEO ***
Stefan - Without you VIDEO ***
The Swingers, Tanja & Birgit - High heels in the neighbourhood *
Uku Suviste - Pretty little liar VIDEO ***
Inger - Coming home VIDEO **
Sandra Nurmsalu - Soovide puu VIDEO ***


Friday, February 15, 2019

POLAND: TULIA FOR EUROVISION 2019

Poland has internally chosen Tulia for Eurovision song contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel. This blogger welcomes the news with delight as it seems we will get something traditional and original with ethnic flavor instead of some bubble gum pop. Having listened a couple of their covers their sound is very familiar and comforting for my Carelian ears. In short: Polish Kuunkuiskaajat!
The four girls (Joanna Sinkiewicz, Dominika Siepka, Patrycja Nowicka and Tulia Biczak) got together in 2017 and released last year their platinum selling debut album includng both covers and original songs, including Trawnik with Kasia Kowalska. Check out a coupl of their songs below.
Their entry will be.... you guessed it: released later!


FINLAND: LISTEN TO DARUDE'S ENTRIES FOR EUROVISION 2019

Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman will have three songs the Finnish televoters and intrnational jury will vote for in the final of UMK2019 (Uuden musiikin kilpailu) in Logomo, Turku on March 2, 2019. The songs will be revealed on per week..... Here we go:



Next song to be revealed on February 22

Thursday, February 14, 2019

GREECE: KATERINE DUSKA FOR EUROVISION 2019

Just like it has beeen rumored already for weeks tonight it has been confirmed Kateerine Duska will represant Greece in Tel Aviv 2019 Eurovision. She's faily unknown and her style might mark a change in the Greek Eurovision style, we will find out on March 7 when the song she has written herself will be released.
She was born in Montreal, Canada and has released her debut album in 2016.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

ISRAEL: KOBI MARIMI קובי מרימי WINS TICKET TO TEL AVIV EUROVISION

Kobi Marimi (27), one of those you made the biggest impact with their first audition back in November has emerged as the winner of Hakovhav haba Eurovision 2019 after almost 40 episodes with ups and downs . We don't know his song yet but he surely has the voice and personality.
This blogger was blown away already with his first audition with Sweet dreams, and his covers of Mad world, Fuego and Always are all fabulous. His voice and style maybe isn't everyone's cup of tea, but hopefully he is allowed to keep it and take the risk instead of going for too safe in Tel Aviv. His entry will be published later and yes, there might be additional shows aired to choose it. Maybe. 




Monday, February 11, 2019

ITALY: MAHMOOD HITS #1 EVERYWHERE - AND ALMOST BREAKS A RECORD

Ultimo may say whatever he wants but Mahmood's Soldi hits #1 in Italian Spotify, iTunes, AppleMusic and enters Top40 in Global Spotify. And that's not all, he almost broke an all time Spotify record in Italy with 1.481.036 streams within 24 hours, only 118.217 shy of rappers Sfera Ebbasta and Ghali's record on May 4, 2018. 
Not only Soldi enters the chart but also his previous tracks Gioventù bruciata (#23), Uramaki (#61), Anni '90 (#75), Milano Good vibes (#108), Asia occidentale (#130) and Mai figlio unico (#174), basicly all songs released by him so far. 
Meanwhile Ultimo keeps burning bridges after his explosion and bad behaviour in the press conference post-festival where he basicly sent all the press to hell to fu*ck themselves and called Mahmood "that boy" and continued with insults in social media and didn't show up in Sunday's Domenica In, where most everyone was attented. For the first time ever the paper TV Sorrisi e Canzoni also features in its cover only the winner and third placed Il Volo instead of the top-3, as he didn't show up.  And now it seems he's turning down other appearances in radio and television as well. Have fun digging your own grave. 
He has demanded a change of rules and that has caused a huge discussion in Italy but hey, you signed up with these rules so accept them, no? Besides, the exact same rules made you the winner last year in Newcomers! They didn't trouble you then, did they? Grow up and shut up, ok?
Another big, very sad, thing has been a post-festival wave of racism and homophobic comments on Mahmood, that I'm not going to get into more than this. Luckily Mahmood's been approaching both matters with extreme maturity and dignity really underlining what a spoiled brat Ultimo is behaving like.
In other news Mahmood has taken back his instant Yes! for Eurovision, but that may be just due to the fact he hasn't really had time to concentrate on what it really means now, and he certainly wasn't expecting that when he has an album coming out March 1, and the world tour with the other Sanremo Giovani top-6 coming up as well. I'm sure it all will be re-organized and he will be the One.
PS. He's also in iTunes in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Malta, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Ireland, Brazil.....

Sunday, February 10, 2019

ITALY: MAHMOOD WINS SANREMO 2019 AND GOES TO EUROVISION

Alessandro Mahmoud aka Mahmood (26) has won the 69th Sanremo festival and  represants Italy in the 2019 Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv Israel with his Soldi. Confirmed in the press conference. The song includes also some lyrics in Arabic, as his father is Egyptian (and mother Sardinian).
He got a ticket to the festival by winning Sanremo Giovani aka Newcomers in December. He started in X Factor 2012 but didn't go too far, and then Sanremo Newcomers 2016 but was left 4th behind likes of Francesco Gabbani and Ermal Meta. Since then he has started writing songs to others, including megahit Nero Bali for Michele Bravi and Elodie, and several songs on Marco Mengoni's latest platinum selling album.
Check out his previous music videos:
He has also co-written these great songs:

Mahmoud 2013....
Amazing vocals already then!

MONTENEGRO: D-MOLL WINS MONTEVIZIJA AND BRINGS HEAVEN TO EUROVISION

Montenegro's Montevizija was on last night but I was too busy in Sanremo to care. And I have missed nothing. Montenegro is famous for staging diasters and I can only wonder if D-Moll won only because they do have a prop? They were my least favorite of them all and hearing they have won can only be deescribed with one for: Disaster. The song is old and tired and the staging just lame. Truth to be said the only decent option for me was Ivana.... 

1. D-Moll - Heaven (radio 5+international 5+expert 2+televote 5 ) 17
2. Ivana Popović-Martinović - Nevinost (1+3+5+3) 12
3.Andrea Demirović - Ja sam ti san (3+1+3+0) 9
4. Nina Petković - Uzmili ili ostavi (2+0+0+2) 4
5. Monika Knezović - Nepogrješivo (0+2+1+1) 4

Saturday, February 09, 2019

SANREMO 2019 - FINALE

Tonight's the final of 69th Festival della Canzone Italiana aka Sanremo. Who's going to win? The race is still very open and the revealed partial votings per night haven't but confused the matters even more. If we go for standing ovations Loredana Bertè should be the winner but she's been unlucky in Sanremo before even though this year it seems like she might do it, there's strange - but well deseerved - let's support Loredana thing going on. While the various groups may have very different preferences the winner is a compromise that must be liked by all of them, unless someone really dominates the televotes, like Ultimo or Il Volo, while press votes for Cristicchi and Mahmood... The top contenders to make the top-10 I suppose are in no particlar order Bertè, Silvestri, Ultimo, Cristicchi, Irama, Il Volo, Nek and Renga not forgetting Arisa, Mahmood, Turci and Carta/Shade. My favorites are Bertè, Mahmood and Irama.
Tonight all 24 for sing again and after the first round the top 3 will be revoted and then we will have the winner. Eurovision has been miraculously mentioned every night (except the 2nd?) and last night they told we will know the Italian represant tonight as well so one wonders has Rai made a decision already in case the winner turns it down?
Tonight's super guests are Eros Ramazzotti with Luis Fonsi and Elisa. Ramazzotti's career started right here, 35 years ago!
Meanwhile the festival continues with solid success: 9,6 million and 46,1% share for the fourth night.

Daniele Silvestri – Argentovivo ***
This one is losing impact with each performance. First one was a slap in face, now it's the same old. Still strong and effective though.
Anna Tatangelo – Le nostre anime di notte ***+
Anna did a good job tonight, as always, and I start to like the song more and more.
Ghemon – Rose viola ** 1/2
This remains rather pleasant and indeed gets better more you hear it.
Negrita – I ragazzi stanno bene *
Yawn, I'm so over this one already...
Ultimo – I tuoi particolari ***1/2
In Irama Vs. Ultimo Irama wins for me. This is pleasant, classic, well performed. And a bit too safe and heard before. Well, hee was giving it all tonight, let's see how far it goes.... Huge applause.
Nek – Mi farò trovare pronto ***
In general I like Nek, but I don't think this is one of his very best songs. I don't like the arrangement that is a bit too confusional is maybe the main reason.
I feel like Bisio often....
Enter Eros Ramazzotti. He has won Newcomers, Big and again Big as composer. Here to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the first win. His new album was released in 100 countries, the incoming tour has 100 dates in 35 countries in 5 continents. I'll be there, too.
Obligatory duet with Baglioni in Adesso tu, his 1986 winning song. And no, Baglioni dosn't fit this one either.... sigh. But W Roma!
Then enters Luis Fonsi for a very chaotic duet, everybody on their feet dancing el ritmo latino!

Loredana Bertè – Cosa ti aspetti da me *****
I have been singing this song the past two days. Enough said.
Another standing ovation. Knowing her story I get almost emotional in front of such adoration for her. She deserves it all and more.
Francesco Renga – Aspetto che torni ***
I'm liking this. Even if generally I'm not his fan. This one has something.
Mahmood – Soldi *****
False start for him, he didn't hear anything in his ear.
What can I say I haven't said already. Love this. Modern, different, original. Yet catchy. I'd love to see this in Eurovision if I can't have Loredana....
Ex-Otago – Solo una canzone **-
Nothing to add. 
Il Volo – Musica che resta ****
Still not their best but passable. They perform it all it's worth.
Virginia Raffaele gets standing ovation for her imitation of most every female artist in Italy.

Paola Turci – L’ultimo ostacolo ****1/2
Paola shows some skin without losing her elegance. The song sounds better with each performance. Another classic in the slow making?
The Zen Circus – L’amore è una dittatura *
I'm bored of this one already, too. Nothingness.
Patty Pravo con Briga – Un po’ come la vita **
This just isn't working, at least live.
Elisa started her singing in Italian career in Sanremo 2001 after recording only in English. She won with Luce, one of the best winneers ever. She's been a top name since.... in both languages. That winner back then was another misseed opportunity to take home the trophy....
Obligatory duet with Baglioni to honor late Luigi Tenco, who committed suicide during the festival 1967 when his song didn't make the final.....
Arisa – Mi sento bene ****
It has taken awhile but I'm slowly finally warming up to this. On record. It's still chaotic and weird. She's out of breath and I don't think she expresses joy and happiness but desperation live, that was tonight a total disaster in every seense possible. Shame.
Irama – La ragazza con il cuore di latta *****
I'm liking this more and more. Some has dismissed this as GemelliDiversi's Mary, but hey I loved that one! He, like Arisa, Il Volo and Nek, has expressed his dream to do Eurovision. I wouldn't mind.
Achille Lauro – Rolls Royce**
Ok, I admit. I hated this with first hearing but now I find it somewhat entertaining in all it's moree is more.
Nino D’Angelo e Livio Cori – Un’altra luce ***+
I still like the atmosphere. It makes me se like a film, and this would be great music for some movie or such, for some long shot, travelling or sitting on a mountain top looking down to the sea, walking in beach..... Such effect this has on me.
Federica Carta con Shade – Senza farlo apposta **
The best part is still the piano intro. The chorus is catchy but otherwise this says nothing to me.
Simone Cristicchi – Abbi cura di me ****
Anothr song that would fit into a movie. Majestic, divane, beautiful arrangement. Even if spoken it's good and you wouldn't even want singing in this one more than there is.
Enrico Nigiotti – Nonno Hollywood **
Nah, I don't warm up this in any particular way. Just a song among others. Singing about taking a pee and "cazzi" though.... with tears in his eyes.
Boomdabash – Per un milione ****
This is like fresh air, a summer wind that blows into Ariston. Feel good. Summer. Gente De Zona light. 
Einar – Parole nuove ***
From Boombadash's reggaeton to Cuban born Einar. If only he had a song like that instead of the typical Sanremo ballad aimed for teenage girls....
Motta – Dov’è l’Italia ***1/2
I think the song is good, but not so sure about him. Well, he wrote it.... what can I say?

Oh wow, what a booing for the results! The audience was chanting Loredana! Loredana! Loredana!
The top 3 is Ultimo, Il Volo and Mahmood and they will be revoted.
I'm very happy for Mahmood but would have changed Il Volo with La Bertè.
And the show won't really go on as people keep chanting Loredana.....
13. Ex-Otago
14. Motta
15. Francesco Renga
16. Paola Turci
17. Zen Circus
18. Federica Carta e Shade
19. Nek
20. Negrita
21. Parry Pravo e Briga
22. Anna Tatangelo
23. Einar
24. Nino D'Angelo e Livio Cori

Daniele Silvestri wins both special awards, Mia Martini and Lucio Dalla,
Simone Cristicchi wins the award for the best performance
Best lyrics award to Daniele Silvestri
Best music award to Simone Cristicchi
The most streamed song award to Ultimo

3. Il Volo  25,5% (only televote 39,4%)
2. Ultimo 35,6% (only televote 46,5%)
winner is Mahmood!!!! 38,9% (only televote 14,1%, so expert jury and press center secured his win)

Below is my ranking according the points (1-5) 
given after each performance this week:


Mahmood 20
Loredana Berté 20
Irama 17
Paola Turci 16,5
Il Volo 15,5
S Cristicchi 15
Boomdabash 14,5
Francesco Renga 13,5
Ultimo 13,5
D'Angelo/Cori 13+
Nek 13
Motta 12,5
Arisa 12
Ghemon 10,5
Anna Tatangelo 10+
Daniele Silvestri 10
Einar 10
Enrico Nigiotti 8
Negrita 7
F Carta/Shade 7
Ex-Otago 7-
Pravo/Briga 7
Achille Lauro 6
Zen Circus 4

And here are the official votings:
superfinal
final night
.... and the rest is available here for example

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