Thursday, August 25, 2016

ESC 2017: THE ANNOUNCEMENT CANCELLED AGAIN. DNIPRO OUT?

Odessa beach
Today the announcement of the host city got cancelled and postponed again. The fourth time I suppose, but who's counting? Anyways, until the fat lady aka EBU sings there's no official date or whatever but after today's failure to provide the news has angered the mayor of Dnipro first, and Kiev next. Odessa stays silent so far...
Anyways, the time is running out. That has been said loud and clear by both mayors in the past 24 hours to prepare and make it work as they want it. Later today we also found out that Dnipro shouldn't worry about that as apparently they are out of the race that is now between Kiev and Odessa alone. NTU director Alasania has stated it takes another week to value the bids of Odessa and Kiev and then we will have the final decision. 
This makes me think my initial idea from long ago that EBU wants it in Odessa, and now they are trying to make it work despite the missing roof and the tent city solution. Kiev came up with a better venue in later in the run, but the overall plan with that suitable venue in a wrong place in the city doesn't convince anyone so.... Jon Ola Sand (or someone) is feeling very much like Tim Gunn: "Make it work!"

As the decision is dragging on this blogger will just leave it and go on holidays. Automatic posts will give you company all through my holidays with some great music from somewhere I'm going to.... Have a great time whatever you do - I know I will! and see you live and on spot again sometime in September!

ITALY SHOWCASES NEW TALENTS IN CASTROCARO

The 59th Castrocaro festival for the new voices and talents will be aired on Raiuno this Friday and Saturday. Once again it's a mix of total newcomers and some more seasoned artists trying their big breakthrough. Below you can have a taste of their voices with official videos, live performances or whatever they have on offer in Youtube. Enjoy!

Tomas Ray Tai (27)
Luce (Maria Luce Gamboni, 21)

Do you recognize the stars at their first steps to stardom?
Past winners include Gigliola Cinquetti (1963), Giusy Romeo aka Giuni Russo (1967), Carla Bissi aka Alice (1971), Michele Zarrillo (1979), Luca Barbarossa (1980), Zucchero Fornaciari (1981), Fiordaliso (1981), Donatella Milani (1982), Lena Biolcati (1984), Rosario Di Bella (1987), and more recently Davide Papasidero (2013). Winning Castrocaro pretty much opens the door to Sanremo and many artists have later triumphed or made a success there as well and launched their careers big time. Sometimes you get noticed without winning, like Iva Zanicchi (1962), Caterina Caselli (1963), Fiorella Mannoia (1968), Eros Ramazzotti (1981), Paolo Vallesi (1989) and Laura Pausini (1991) just to name a few.....
In the 2000's Castrocaro may have lost a bit of its charm and importance when various reality and talent shows have taken over television and music industry in general producing products, sorry I mean artists, whose best before date in most cases hits the moment the successor is selected,  but it's still here, and still having an importance. And sometimes artists move from talent to Castrocaro underlining the importance. Like Christian Riccetti and Luce who have already done Ti lascio una canzone, and Luce also did already The Voice. Rose Chiodo on the other hand has already won the prestigious Premio Mia Martini award....

Last year's winner Dalise went on to win also Festival della canzone Italiana in New York, and works a lot in Switzerland besides Italy these days. She also released a book of poems and a CD earlier this year.



Sunday, August 21, 2016

FINLAND: JARI SILLANPÄÄ BARES IT ALL IN A NEW BIOGRAPHY

Jari Sillanpää, one of the most popular Finnish artists of all time, Tango King 1995 and Eurovision 2004 entrant has revealed literally it all in a new biography that hit the stores earlier this month. He describes in detail his first time with a man, his newfound love to dress up in drag as his alter ego Rosa and all sort of things from his father's violence to alcoholism. And if you are into such things, maybe you have seen him on some videochat as Rosa having fun with his boyfriend?!
Not all fans have been pleased to know too intimate details about his past life but he wanted to bare it all. Read more after the jump.
Jari, who celebrated his 50th birthday in small scale and intimate at the Helsinki Olympic stadium last summer with full house, will be on TV-screen this fall-winter season as one of the Talent judges. 
Meanwhile his success has no end. His Sinä ansaitset kultaa has been in the Radioplay Top-100 already 93 consecutive weeks, at no.65 this week, after topping the charts during Christmas 2014! The song's an autobiographical story about his previous relationship and translates to "you deserve gold". He's left and after realizing the ex deserves so much better lets him go and wishes him all the good and begging him to never again let anyone treat him like he did. Very true and touching lyric there that surely is one of the reasons the song remains so popular week after week.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

ESC 2017: EBU APPROVES ALL THREE BIDS

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Culture in Ukraine, Yulia Datsenko, confirmed to Interfax-Ukraine that EBU has approved all the three bids in the running; Kiev, Dnipro and Odessa. She also noted the representatives of EBU were pleased with the high level of the organisations preparing for the contest in each city. So, now we just have to wait NTU's decision alone - due next Wednesday according plans -  as EBU is happy with any of them, as long as the contest does take place in Ukraine as planned. Read more about the Ukraine-Russia situation here.
In an interview with Podrobnosti director general of NTU Zurab Alasania spoke about the 15 million fee that has been spoken about in the media and the budget. "The budget of the upcoming contest is not yet calculated. The figure of 15 million Euro did not come from the budget. This is the financial guarantee. The European Broadcasting Union admits that in our country can happen something (and we know this can happen), that may change our plans for the contest. In this case, the European Broadcasting Union will have to move the contest to another country, and for that it needs money. They felt that in such a case, it could cost them 15 million euros."

Sunday, August 14, 2016

EVENT: EUROSTARZ IN CONCERT IN LONDON


Maybe it's a miracle or a legenda, even a crisalide still in love with you but 
oh oh, uh, oh oh don't play that song again!

What's another year? Too long for the organizers of Eurostarz in Concert event in London's The Star of Kings, in King's Cross in London on August 25, 2016 as they are bringing some Eurovision stars together for some fun and entertaining evening. Nikki French will be hosting and performing with Valentina Monetta, Alex Larke of Electro Velvet, Karl William Lund and Martin Fitch aka Marcin Mrozinsky as guest star. 
It's a bit of a London affair as both Valentina and Martin these days have made London their home. Various ticket sets are available with VIP package including meet and greet with the stars, photos taken and some CDs as a bonus. More information here


Saturday, August 13, 2016

FINLAND: SOFTENGINE RELEASES FREE RIDER

Softengine has released the first single off the forthcoming EP, Free rider. And once again it's a very catchy rock-pop affair, that would make an awesome dance mix, too (hint, hint!).  Topi Latukka tells there was a rather mystic coincidence with this song: the very day they finished the demo for this song Prince died. The song includes the line "party like it's 1999"....

Friday, August 12, 2016

ESC 2017: UKRAINE-RUSSIA CONFLICT: CHAOS IN KIEV

Ukrainian troops are in high alert again following the events of the past few days when Russia accused Ukraine is carrying out armed incursions into Crimea, that was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014. The spice up the soup is the 25th anniversary of Independence of Ukraine on August 24, and Russia's parliamentary elections on September 18. 
Meanwhile Russia has announced they are moving new air defence missiles to Crimea, that are designed to hit airborne target at the range up to 400 kms, and ballistic missiles at the range of 60 kms. Ukraine also claims some 40.000 Russian troops are massed on the Crimea-Ukraine border. 
On the other hand Russian UN representative Vitaly Churkin said “There is chaos in Kiev. They don’t know what to do with Donetsk. The Minsk agreements are quite clear, but they have no political will to implement them. Instead of doing this, Kiev “distracts attention to other things,” he added.
"Events in Donbass in 2014-15 showed that the Kremlin tactic is to raise the stakes before negotiations. The main political question now is what will happen to the Minsk process. Will Russia break away from it or will it demand new concessions?" the Russian Vedomosti newspaper wrote. "Putin in his rhetoric has returned to the start of 2014. Once again, he does not deem the Ukrainian authorities legitimate." Volodymyr Fesenko, a political analyst in Ukraine, said he thought the Kremlin had its own revised peace plan for eastern Ukraine up its sleeve. "Putin will scare the West with the prospect of full-scale conflict with Ukraine," he said. "He is trying to increase pressure on Kiev to force Ukraine to accept a Russian plan to resolve the conflict in the east."
Ukraine has called the UN to gather in a crisis meeting to deal with the matter. 
More than 9.500 people have been killed in the conflict in eastern Ukraine according UN figures.
Without taking sides - war sucks. Always. Make love, not war people! - nor even trying to understand all this political nonsense, this blogger wonders how all this effects the forthcoming Eurovision song contest hosting and what must be happening behind closed doors both in Kiev and Geneve and EBU's headquarters, and if all this has something to do with the delays in the choosing the host city and venue. Propably not. If 2005 was a mess and almost drove EBU nuts it seems we are in a good way again..... back then it was only Ukrainian themselves involved though, now there's also Russia. 
Russia that has apparently confirmed its intention to participate in the 2017 Eurovision..... They may need Sergey indeed to stop the booing starting again....

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

ESC 2017: THE HOST CITY KNOWN ON AUGUST 24

First it was late July, then August 1.... there were supposed to be two final cities to choose from but we still have three, each with their strong points and some weaknesses and none being the ideal host. NTU and the cities are working on to better their bids and the final decision will be made next week, and announced to the people of Ukraine (and the rest of us) on their Independence Day on August 24. Symbolism anyone? 
It is also now known the Ukrainian government is ready with 15 million euro of financial guarantee demanded by EBU. EBU has learned their lesson from Kiev 2005 preparations and this sum will be returned to state treasury afterwards and not used for the preparations. Each bidding city has also guaranteed 5 million euros for the contest's budget in case they are chosen, the rest coming from sponsors, advertising and the participating countries. On top of that the government is to budget additional 5-10 million euros for the contest. 
It will be interesting to see what they will pick up in the end. Kiev's Sports Arena is their bid's weakest point, but they have also International Exhibition Center in the running, too.
Update August 10: According NTU' s general director Zurab Alasania "outdated" Sport Palace bid has been rejected and Kiev is only running with IEC that can be easily remodelled to anyway they want it as it's empty space, and also privately owned making it easier to work on that prospect. 
Dnipro is ready to pour in 18 million euro to renovate Meteor Arena so money's there but their weak point is the accommodation. Their solution: cruise ships. 
Odessa would be a perfect location what comes to the nature, sea and beauty and infrastructure, but their proposed venue lacks the ceiling. They are however ready to invest 5,5 million euros for that.
This blogger has lost the track who is leading and who's losing. I will just sit back and wait for the announcement in due time now....

Friday, August 05, 2016

FRANCE: AMIR LOOKS LIKE AN ANGEL IN ON DIRAIT

Amir has released a follow up single On dirait to follow the huge success of his fortunate Eurovision entry J'ai cherché... 
On dirait qu'on à tous un ange
On dirait, on dirait bien que c'est toi
On dirait que dans ce monde étrange
On dirait que t'as toujours été là

Monday, August 01, 2016

LENA WITH FINNS NIILA AND SAMU HABER CELEBRATE BMW 100

German car giant BMW will celebrate its 100th anniversary in the Olympic stadium in Munich next September 9-10. German Eurovision winner Lena will be performing along with Simply Red and the most loved Finns in Germany: Sunrise Avenue's frontman Samu Haber and new risig star Niila. They have recorded together the theme song for the BMW Centennial show, A hundreds years. 

Gadget

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