Tuesday, March 31, 2020

EUROVISION 2020/21: GET TO KNOW NATALIA GORDIENKO (MOLDOVA)

Natalia Gordienko (32) was ment to do his solo debut at the Eurovision 2020 after representing Moldova already in 2006 with Arsenium and Connect-R with Loca.
Natalia, of Ukrainian descent, sung, studied piano and dance at school and at the age 15 started participating in various song and talent competitions. She sung in Millenium band, worked as DJ, released an album and string of singles and videos over the years. And then came the big step back to Eurovision, until it was cancelled. 
So far there has been no news if she will do it in 2021 or if Moldovan television will go for another selection. Somehow, cosidering she got a little help from Kirkorov this year, she might be back in 2021...



Monday, March 30, 2020

EUROVISION 2020: AHOY ROTTERDAM TURNS INTO A COVID-19 VIRUS HOSPITAL - AND IT'S NOT THE ONLY ONE...

In a perfect world without worries the Eurovision 2020 pre-parties would be in full swing from London to Amsterdam last and next weekend while in Rotterdam's Ahoy the construction for the Eurovision 2020 stage would be kicking off as we speak with other building preparations. The fandom would be arguing who's good and who's not, and the betting odds were read every day, several times a day to keep up on what's going on.
Instead all the parties have been cancelled and fans and artists are spending time online in lockdown and Rotterdam's Ahoy is busy with building up a temporary care center and hospital to cure Corona virus patients and we are reading the charts of how many infected people there are in various countires, how many deaths instead.
This said, Rotterdam's Ahoy isn't the only one. Also Helsinki Fair center that was housed the press center during Eurovision 2007  has offered its now empty spaces and staff that has been left without work to build and house a temporary hospital if needed.
And there's yet another one: Stockholmsmässän in Alvsjö, that hosted Eurovision 1975 and several Melodifestivalens has already been turned into a hospital for Covid-19 victims.....

Sunday, March 29, 2020

EUROVISION 2020/21: GET TO KNOW DAðI FREYR (ICELAND)

Daði Freyr Pétursson (27) was born in Reykjavik but grew up in Denmark and now lives in Berlin. He plays bass, drums and guitar, started in bands in early age and already back in 2012 was chosen the electric musician of the year. His band RetRoBot released also one album .
In 2017 he tried for the first time to reach Eurovision with Is this love? (Hvað með það?) and finished second. This year he was back with his band Gagnamagnið and won. Plus became an internet phenomenon before Eurovision 2020 was cancelled. He has then announced he's not interested in taking part in 2021....
He has released one album and one EP plus a string of singles, Think about things being his seventh. He's married to Árný Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir, also in his band and the 2020 winning song is dedicated and about their newborn daughter. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

ITALY: MAHMOOD RELEASES ETERNANTENA ON SOCIAL MEDIAS

Mahmood stays at home like rest of Italians and to thank all his fans for messages and supports has released some joy to enjoy: his first social media gift: Eternantena. The lyrics deal with how it feels like in an eternal quarantene, eterna quarantena. 

EUROVISION 2020/21: GET TO KNOW ATHENA MANOUKIAN (ARMENIA)

Athena (25) was born in Athens. She started her musical career at 11 winning an international talent show and at 12 she tried her luck in the Greek selection for the Junior Eurovision with To fili tis Aphroditis placing 7th. A few years later, at 17, she featured vocals to Party like a freak, a big hit in Greece. A couple of solo singles followed, and then in 2014 followed XO, that went international with Swedish production and winning an award in Armenia.
Since then she's been writing songs for others (including Eurovision winner Helena Paparizou), auditioned for The X Factor UK in search of fame and then finally came Eurovision 2020. There no no news from Armenia yet if she will be the one for 2021 as well, but she sure is eager to do it.



Wednesday, March 25, 2020

FINLAND: UMK RETURNS IN 2021 - NO FREE EUROVISION TICKET FOR AKSEL

Finland joins Sweden and Estonia confirming they will have a new national final in 2021 and this year's winner has no direct access to Eurovision 2021. Where as Estonia offers Uku Suviste a spot in the semi-final line up Finland joins Sweden stating "Aksel can always send in a song and professional jury will pick up the finalists".  Ops! A bit harsh...
The process will be in 2021 like it was in 2020. The song submission opens on September 1, 2020 and a certain number of songs will be chosen for the final. The 2020 season was both viewing and rating success and obviously Yle wishes to continue the good trend creating a state-of-the-art music show. 
This year's big favorite and runner up in the end, Erika, does not rule out a possible return, nor does her record company Mökkitie Records. "We keep on eye on UMK and we are very Eurovision friendly. We couldn't have had a better kick off for Erika's new career path" they say.
A few days ago Aksel commented his possible Eurovision 2021 gig saying he would be very interested in it, possibly with a new song though. He was of course disappointed when Eurovision  2020 was cancelled but says it was expected. He's planning on recording new music and eventually an album of indie pop in English. That was before Yle came out with these UMK news but then again, maybe he will send a new song for 2021 then...

EUROVISION 2020/21: GET TO KNOW EDEN ALENE (ISRAEL)

Eden Alene (19) is one of those already confirmed for Eurovision 2021. Born in Jerusalem of Ethiopian parents, but her dad left when she was two and they haven't been in contact since. Eden did religious schools before serving her army duties. Between school and army she won The X Factor Israel and released her debut single. The Israeli production of Little Shop of Horrors was next for her before doing Rising star and winning it, too, and therefor earning the right to represent her country at the Eurovision 2020. One EP and three singles preluded her four excellent songs for Eurovision, this blogger liked them all. Feker libi was my favorites along with Rakata


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

EUROVISION 2020/21: GET TO KNOW UKU SUVISTE (ESTONIA)

Uku Suviste (37), singer-songwriter, pianist and producer will not a direct pass to Eurovision 2021 according Estonian television but only a free pass to the Eesti laul 2021 semi-finals that he's willing to use. He was third time lucky winning it this year with What love is.
Uku has been around already for almost 20 years. In his early career 2004-2008 he took part multiple times in Uno Naissoo and Kaks takti ette competitions winning awards every time. Numerous television appearances followed, he did Estonian Tour Face sounds Familiar as well as Dancing with the Stars and was a regular on musical stages. He also did New Wave placing third and took part in the Russian The Voice. On top of that in 2010 he was voted The Sexiest Man in Estonia.
What love is his 16th single but he hasn't released an album so far....


 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

EUROVISION 2020/21: GET TO KNOW VAL (BELARUS)

VAL is made of singer Valeria Gribusova (25) and Vlad Paschevich, the multi-instrumentalist sampler and producer. Valeria has experience of The Voice of Ukraine and has also done Slavianski Bazaar while Vlad has produced for example another Eurovision couple Navi Band's entry back in 2017. The two V's work together since 2016 and are also a couple. They have released one album (2017) and Da Vidna is their fifth single. 
They have expressed their will to do Eurovision 2021 but haven't been confirmed yet by the national television ...


Saturday, March 21, 2020

ITALY: MUSIC THAT UNITES AGAINST CORONA VIRUS


Rai 1 has decided to broadcast a fundraiser entirely dedicated to Civil Protection, committed daily
against Coronavirus, with an unprecedented and alternative show, the result of the restrictive measures to be respected in this period. After the 6.00pm flash mobs that unite the Italians every day, Musica che Unisce arrives, live in prime time on Tuesday 31 March; a show that will not have advertising breaks, nor studio and stage.
Each guest will contribute from home, sending their own performance, with Vincenzo Mollica in the role of narrator. Artists will include, among others, Alessandra Amoroso, Andrea Bocelli, Brunori Sas, Calcutta, Cesare Cremonini, Diodato, Elisa, Emma, ​​Ermal Meta, Fedez, Francesca Michielin, Francesco Gabbani, Gazzelle, Gianni Morandi, Gigi D'Alessio, Levante, Ludovico Einaudi, Mahmood, Måneskin, Marco Mengoni, Negramaro, Paola Turci, Riccardo Cocciante, Tiziano Ferro, Tommaso Paradiso and more. 
Music that unites also features dancer Roberto Bolle, actor Luca Zingaretti and comedian/actress Paola Cortellesi. From the sports world for example Andrea Dovizioso, Bebe Vio, Federica Brignone, Federica Pellegrini, Roberta Vinci and Valentino Rossi are expected. There will be an information space, thanks to the Ministry of Health with experts from the scientific world.
The goal of Musica uniting is purely supportive and the participation of all the artists is clearly free of charge.
Watch the show on March 31, 2020 on Raiuno, Raiplay, Radio 2 or in streaming on Youtube, Facebook or HERE

Eurovision song contest was created from the idea of Sanremo festival. Maybe the cancelled Eurovision song contest 2020 replacement show in May EBU is planning could be something similar featuring the cast of 2020? And European wide chance to donate for health authorities in various countries and research for the corona vaccination?

Friday, March 20, 2020

EUROVISION 2020/21: THE BLOG GOES ON.....

Now that Eurovision 2020 is cancelled, one starts to wonder if there's any point of going on with the coverage. Should I just drop it and move on to other things?  But then I have matured the idea that Yes, of course! The artists needs your streams and views more than ever. They have lost a huge platform, a lot of work and money. Even more so when basicly the whole Europe is in lockdown and they have no way to make their usual living: gigs and performances, tours etc. So, do your part: Stream, buy, support your favorites and not only! Stream every act so we can do our part. They need it. We need it. 
Meanwhile I will continue as planned with those Get to know posts, and later reviews and whatever was planned and coming in normal circumstances. 
Did I already say:

STREAM! BUY! VIEW! SUPPORT!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

EUROVISION 2020/21: GET TO KNOW DAMIR KEDZO (CROATIA)

Eurovision 2020 might be cancelled, but there's hope the artists get a rightful chance in 2021. Croatia's Damir Kedžo (32) is one of those who has apparently been already confirmed for next year, too.
Damir has tried to get to Eurovision before (2005, 2011) and finally got the ticket. He's been around since 2003 and has talent show, musical and boyband past. His final breakthrough came in 2016 when participating and winning the Croatian version of Your Face Sounds Familiar. Since then he has been delivering hit singles, Divlji vjetre being his 9th and 4th number one. Three of his songs in period 2018-2019 have also earned The Song of the Year nomination in Croatia. So a big star we hopefully get to see next year as he's one of this blogger's favorites this year. 









Wednesday, March 18, 2020

EUROVISION 2020 CANCELLED

Hopefully back in Rotterdam 2021. Hopefully with the same artists with new songs?

Update 20.3: EBU has informed the 2020 songs won't be able to take part in 2021, whereas the artist selection is up to various broadcasters. Some of them have already confirmed their artists for 2021 as well (Updated as they happen): Vincent Bueno (Austria), Efendi (Azerbaijan), Hooverphonic (Belgium), Victoria (Bulgaria), Tornike Kipiani (Georgia), Stefania (Greece), Eden Alene (Israel), Jeangu Macrooy (the Netherlands), Roxen (Romania), Blas Cantò (Spain), Gjon's Tears (Switzerland) and Go_A (Ukraine). 
On the other hand Sweden has announced the Melodifestivalen 2021 winner gets to go and not The Mamas (unless they participate and win again), and Estonia is willing to give Uku Suviste only a freepass to the semifinals of Eesti laul 2021 as will Norway for Ulrikke but she has refused the offer for now at least. Cold shower also for Finland's Aksel who is only invited to send a new song for UMK 2021 if he wants to. 

EBU answered some frequently asked questions:

Why are you cancelling the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam?
With the escalating spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities - it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned.

Why not postpone the event?
The current situation across Europe is likely to remain uncertain for the coming months and at this stage we cannot guarantee we would be able to stage an event of this size with this many stakeholders later this year. A Contest later in the year would also reduce the amount of time the winning broadcaster would have to prepare for the following year’s competition.

Could you not have held the contest without an audience?
We are carefully following the advice of the relevant authorities to protect the health and wellbeing of all citizens. Dutch restrictions on gatherings of large numbers of people and international travel restrictions mean that holding the event, even without an audience, is impossible at this time.

Why couldn’t you have held the show remotely?
It’s in the DNA of the Eurovision Song Contest to bring delegations, artists and fans together in one place and provide an equal platform for all artists to compete together on the same stage and the same opportunity to shine. We felt that under the extreme circumstances we face this year, organizing the Eurovision Song Contest in another way would not be in keeping with our values and the tradition of the event. The unique format of the Song Contest as an international live event means that it is not possible to identify any realistic alternative. We therefore have no choice other than to cancel the show.

Will the selected artists be able to perform their songs next year?
This is to be discussed with the Reference Group and the participating broadcasters and a decision will be communicated later.

What will happen to my ticket?
You will be informed about this as soon as possible. Among other things, we will look at whether the buyers will get their money back or whether the tickets will remain valid until next year. As soon as there is more clarity, ticket buyers will receive an email with their various options at the email address from which they purchased their tickets.

Can I get a refund now?
At the moment we are looking into the various options. As soon as we have more information, this will be communicated on songfestival.nl.

What happens to my tickets that I bought on Ticketswap, via AVROTROS, or via the fan club (OGAE)?
The same applies here as for "regular" ticket buyers. As soon as we have more information, this will be communicated on songfestival.nl and you will receive an email at the email address from which you booked the tickets.

Do we have a date for next year’s Contest?
The EBU, NPO, NOS, AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam are continuing their conversation regarding the potential hosting of the Contest in 2021. It is currently too early to discuss any specifics regarding the event next year.

EUROVISION 2020: GET TO KNOW EFENDI (AZERBAIJAN)

Samira Efendi (28) is one of those artists who finally made it to Eurovision, having been in the national finals and/or internal selection short lists for four times before. As many others she has a past in various talent shows like The Voice, and has represented her country in various international festivals with success, too. Her recordind career started however only last year with three released singles, and Cleopatra is her fourth, and first in English. She's been however involved in many other projects in variety of languages of the region.







Tuesday, March 17, 2020

EUROVISION 2020: GET TO KNOW LESLEY ROY (IRELAND)

Lesley Roy (33) is a singer-songwriter who got her first recording deal at the age of 20 and two years later released her debut (and so far only) album. Her first singles charted in the US where she also toured and especially the title single Unbeautiful charted also in various European countries. That period lasted 2008-09, and then she went on to write songs for others until 2012. Three singles followed in 2016 and then again nothing mentionable until now. Eurovision is calling and Lesley is ready to tell the story of her life. 







Monday, March 16, 2020

EUROVISION 2020: GET TO KNOW LITTLE BIG (RUSSIA)

Rave band Little Big was founded in 2013 in St.Petersburg and has gained  a global following thanks to their Skibidi that became quite a phenomenon in winter 2018-19. They have toured besides Russia Europe and Northern America, won awards for their trashy videos. They also tend to mock various stereotypes about Russia, and their Eurovision entry Uno is no exception: Isn't that dancing man in the video Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov, the man behind concentration camps for gays and other horrors? And what about Lollybomb's message?
They have released four albums, one live album, three EPs and Uno is their 16th official single. The current line up is Ilya Ilich Prusikin, Sergey Gokk Makarov, Sonya Tayurskaya, and Anton Boo Lissov after Olympia Ivleva left the band in 2018. 


Sunday, March 15, 2020

EUROVISION 2020: GET TO KNOW SENHIT (SAN MARINO)

Senhit Zadik Zadik (40) is one of this year's returning artists, as she represented San Marino already back in 2011 as Senit with Stand by. Born and raised in Bologna by Eritrean parents she started her career abroad starring in musicals in Switzerland and in Germany. Then she started her career as a recording artist  in Italy releasing two albums in Italian and one in English before Eurovision 2011. She also collaborated with Sanremo winners Stadio. After Eurovision she's been releasing singles and got to become an Italian television regular in shows like Domenica live and All together now. Freaky is her 20th single and continues her collaboration with Luca Tommassini as video director and choreographer.
San Marino wouldn't be San Marino if they didn't invent something new every year. This year Senhit's song was chosen by a flash internet voting out of two songs and less than 48 hours to vote for your favorite. Freaky took a slight lead on Obsessed


Saturday, March 14, 2020

EUROVISION 2020: GET TO KNOW VINCENT BUENO (AUSTRIA)

Vincent Bueno (34), an Austrian-Philippino singer was internally chosen by Austria for Eurovision song contest 2020 in Rotterdam. He's graduated from Vienna Conversatory of Music and has tried to get to Eurovision already in 2016 with All we need is that love, and has served also as a backing singer for Nathan Trent. Vincent also produced the remixed Spanish version of Running on air
His professional career started, you guess it, with reality talent shows over ten years ago on Musikal! Die show and Idols. He has also tried to break through in Philippines.
Three albums to his credit and a string of singles, Alive being his 8th he has also released a lot of Youtube videos, also with his wife and singing family.

Friday, March 13, 2020

EUROVISION 2020: GET TO KNOW STEFANIA (GREECE)

Stefania Liberakakis (17) was internally chosen by Greece to represent them at the Eurovision 2020 in her other home country the Netherlands. She's a singer, actress, voice actress and ex-child star and Junior Eurovision veteran having represented the Netherlands as a member of girlgroup Kisses in 2016 with Kisses and dancin'. She also did The Voice Kids and joined a child choir Kinderen voor kinderen. In 2018 she launched her solo career and the year after also her career in Greece. Is she their next superg!rl?

RUSSIA: LITTLE BIG PRESENTS UNO FOR EUROVISION 2020


Last but least, the 41st song for the Eurovision song contest 2020 in Rotterdam was released last night, even if it had leaked already before. Little Big will present Uno
To be the band was rather unknown before knowing (and hating) Skibidi beforehand and that's about it. Now in the past weeks I have got to know more of their material and in this light Uno is rather weak and unoriginal, sadly. Whereas Lasha tumbai for example still today sounds fresh and fun, Uno wore off in a couple of hearings and the only thing left seems to be the rather simple yet brilliant choreography. On the other hand general voting public will see and hear it only a couple of times so I suppose this could end up as a runner up heights. But it doesn't deserve it really.....

Thursday, March 12, 2020

EUROVISION 2020: GET TO KNOW JEANGU MACROOY (THE NETHERLANDS)

Jeangu Macrooy (26), born in Suriname, will be flying the host country's flag in Rotterdam 2020 Eurovision. This singer-songwriter has been living in the Netherlands since 2014 and has made already a name as a modern soul singer-songwriter. In his native Suriname he formed a band Between Towers that released one album before he moved to Enschede to study songwriting and music. Soon he was playing in clubs, being a support act for many concerts and his songs made it to HBO advert and as theme song of a Dutch movie, and he's been a regular musical guest in a talk show. In Easter 2018 he played Judas in the tv-production of The Passion with 3,5 million viewers. Last year he released his second album and Grow is already his 12th single. 


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