Saturday, January 31, 2009

ELENA GHEORGHE FOR ROMANIA

Elena Gheorghe with The Balcan girls has won the Romanian selection as I predicted.
Actually my favourites Blaxy Girls won the televote followed by Elena and Catalin, my other favourite but the jury ranked the girls so low that Elena won. Shame! Here are the televotes and jury votes:

Blaxy Girls 4861 = 12, jury 6 = 18 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdNsUt-MOv4
Elena Georghe 3503 =10, jury 12 = 22 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcuZt6hi0II
Catalin 2360 = 8, jury 10 = 18 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlnL3gWK_tQ
Tina Geru 2328 = 7, jury 1 = 8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF_NMmlPFxY
Dalma 1834 = 6, jury 5 = 11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMHPkc1KiUs
Zero 1322 = 5, jury 7 = 12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h026NKoR_Hg
Tabasco 1293 = 4, jury 8 = 12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6fK1REfVls
Alin Nica 1178 = 3, jury 0 = 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbCRguavqFw
RedBlonde 878 = 2, jury 2 = 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qADtgMmkwCY
Popas Band 612 = 1, jury 4 = 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erNn_EyAEGo
Costi 528 = 0, jury 3 = 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAQb5618o54
IMBA 463 = 0, jury 0 = 0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RUPr3NWVrY

Slovenia: Semifinal results


Slovenia had a semifinal tonight wherefrom these entries joined the invited finalist for tomorrow night's final:

01. Lea Sirk - Znamenje iz sanj
02. Cuki - Mal 'Naprej Pa Mal' Nazaj
03. Quartissimo - Love Symphony
04. Omar Naber - I Still Carry On
05. Brigita Suler - Druga liga
06. Ne me jugat & Slavko Ivančič - Kaj me briga
07. Eva Cerne - Vse
08. Karmen Stavec - A si želiš
09. Alya & Rudi - Zadnji Dan
10. Bjonde - Blond Power
11. Samuel Lucas - Vse Bi Zate Dal
12. Nexys - Vsaj za en dan
13. Langa & Manca Spik - Zaigraj Muzikant
14. Nuška Drašček - Kako lepo

BRINCK FOR DENMARK!

Niels Brinck has won the Dansk Melodi grand prix 2009 superfinal against Hera Björk with Believe again, a song co-written by Irish Ronan Keating. Also Hera's song has interesting authors: a group of Danish and Swedish Eurofans! Congrats to everyone, especially you guys!
This said, I think Believe again was a better choise. It's very catchy, easy on the ear and memorable. In short it sounds like a hit and might go very far in Moscow....

The Danish televoters first chose 4 songs to be paired and Hera Björk beat Sukkerchok and Brinck beat Johnny Deluxe in this round.

Norway: Semifinal 2 results

Tone Damli Aaberge with Butterflies and Alexander Stenerud with Find my girl qualified directly to the final in Norway. Alexander reached second chance round last year with his band Zuma. Publiners' Te stein and Janni Santillan's (Like you did) yesterday will have a second chance. Eurovision dinosaur Wenche Myhre didn't make it any further....

WALDO'S PEOPLE FOR FINLAND!

Waldo's People wins Euroviisut 2009 and has to cut his hair off, as promised if he wins! So he lost his control after all. The fight with Sígnmark ft Osmo Ikonen was tough:

1. Waldo's People - Lose control 45,1%
2. Signmark ft Osmo Ikonen - Speakerbox 41,2%
3. Passionworks ft Tony Turunen - Surrender 13,7%


Waldo's People won also viisukuppila.fi's Fan Award. Total of 275.000 votes were given tonight.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yym5iP1ptjE

JADE FOR THE UNITED KINGDOM!

Jade Ewen (21) has won the UK talent search Your country needs you and therefor will represant UK in Moscow with My time, a song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Diane Warren. The Twins were second and Mark third. After hearing the song I must say I'm very, VERY disappointed. Standard boring musical ballad. I don't think UK will do any better than recent years. Shame....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dmdZc6kHEc, The Twins version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0PdlCXCfDw and Mark's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95NmuQlaX3Y

LIVE: EUROVIISUT 2009

Jaana Pelkonen and Peltsi Peltola are presenting live from Tampere Fair and Sports Center the Finnish final for Eurovision song contest 2009 in Moscow. Tonight's propably the coldest night of the year with temperatures around -20C in most parts of Finland but in the sold out hall it's hot with 1.800 people! Before the final there will be a second chance round for the songs that didn't qualify directly. The entry chosen tonight will be Finland's 43rd entry. Finland has had a very rocky past in the contest finishing usually in the last places until the monstreous victory of Lordi in 2006. Finland has now been present in the final ever since.

The show has started with Teräsbetoni presenting a new version of their last year's winner Missä miehet ratsastaa.The stage looks pretty fantastic! Jaana looks very glamorous tonight and Peltsi, well... casual as always.

THE SECOND CHANCE ROUND:
01. Passionworks fr. Tony Turunen - Surrender
Passionworks is the big fan favourite and its elimination from qualifying directly was quite a shocker to many. Now she is trying to get to the final with high fever and against doctor's orders who forbid her singing for 8 days. Harriet sounds like Bonnie Tyler at times with the cold but the soul and the one that carry the song anyways is Tony. She has the snowflake in her back again and the performance is very similar to the semifinal one. Everybody says this will qualify for the final but I'm not sure...
02. Tiara - Manala
Another rocksong with female vocals follows. Like Harriet Tiara has a voice that I personally don't like and in my opinion this is the worst song this year. But she performed better than in semifinals, did she? Same performance and same dress otherwise.
03. Riikka - Meren
Riikka is also a fan favourite and it will be interesting if she can make it to the final. Or are her fans only foreign Eurofans? She sings very well tonight and provides the same choreography as before with her backing groups in all blue stage. Riikka herself is such a darling! She really took the points home in the after-performance interview that comes from the greenroom situated just off stage!
04. Vink - The greatest plan
Also Vink was given almost certain to make the final but here they are trying to reach it with a very energetic performance that is not so hysterical as the semifinal one = better. But is it enough? It's the lead singer's 21st birthday today so he is in good spirits!
05. Janita - Martian
If Janita makes the final that would be a big surprise. Not because she's not worth it, she is. I like the song and she is fab vocally and looks like a real glamour star from the past tonight with her black dress and feathers. The song is just very un-Eurovision somehow and not something that will set the televoters on fire. I would love this in Moscow but.... not a chance.Correction: no feathers but horse tail???
06. Sani - Doctor doctor
If you ask me Sani should be already in final so I keep my fingers crossed she would get there now. The 60's girls in psychedelic dresses are on her again and so is the ballchair. The song's catchy and poppy and Sani & girls perform and sing well. This would be good enough for Moscow....
Time for the recap. Considering performances and feelings they gave me tonight I would put Sani and Riikka to the final, but.... well, we will see in a bit! Meanwhile we have Scandinavian Hunks, Beatwarriors and Jouni Viitanen, world champion in aerobics, on stage for some interval entertainment.
Ok, all the ladies are out: Janita, Tiara, Sani and Riikka didn't make it so Vink and Passionworks ft Tony Turunen join the finalists and still have a chance for Moscow! And we go on with the final right away....

THE FINAL:
01. Kwan - 10.000 light years
Kwan gives a good solid performance of their song that was a pre-contest favourite but has been losing ground since and has not been considered a possible winner anymore for some time, but I think they still might have a chance! Pyros add to this otherwise very unchoreographed performance. There's also a "jury" commenting on the entries and they all agreed Kwan has a good song but may miss something in the performance.
02. Jari Sillanpää - Kirkas kipinä
Next on stage one of the favourites, in good and in bad. I personally think his song, a slavic ballad, misses something I can't quite put my finger on.In an interview today he confessed he has lost some faith in the song after he lost to Signmark in semifinal. Let's see what happens when grannies have to choose between him and Tapani Kansa! He performed very well, no doubt about that and got a big applause but who dressed the backing singers?? The jury love Jari but judged the song oldfashioned and staging boring.
03. Signmark ft Osmo Ikonen - Speakerbox
I may be partial but I want this to win. I love the Motown vibe in this song. It's rap and hip hop, a genre I don't usually care for but it's melodic and there's enough singing and vocals to get it. Plus the deaf rapper would surely create some media buzz in Moscow. The staging is what it is: a rap act jumping here and there in baggy jeans but this time Signmark himself takes more centre stage as in semi he got a bit lost in the middle. The audience seems to love it!
The jury agrees with me and loves it and wants it to Moscow as it is different & positive.
04. Tapani Kansa - Rakkautta on, rauhaa ei
The shocker winner of the first semifinal with his "Stop the music!" comes next. Let's see what he manages to do tonight.... If this wins, I will have very hard times to support Finland from tonight to Moscow... The song itself isn't bad, just dated and ... well. I think the package just is wrong in 2009. Overdramatic and depressing. Hmmm, the jury seems to agree with me again! Too tragic and sad for Moscow in May!
05. Waldo's People - Lose control
The superfavourite. Let's see if they can make it all the way. The song is already hit in Finland, the band has international experience and minor hits here and there and could appeal to those 30-40somethings in 90's nostalgia.Stage act is the same as in semifinal: fire acrobats, pyros in right places, rapping Waldo and shouty vocals by the ladies and it rocks! If this wins I'm happy.... The jury agrees. They said for example if this wins it will play non stop in EuroClub for two weeks, and we will show Swiss (DJ BoBo in Helsinki anymone?) how to make this kind of music! To Moscow!
06. Remu - Planeetta
Remu caused quite a controvery with his stage performance in semis, let's see if he has changed something.... Well no. He still avoid any eye contact with TV and the audience. All three backing ladies have now face paint and almost steal the show while Remu seems to be hard time remembering the lyrics he wrote himself! Shame, bacause I kinda like this one.The jury wasn't sure the Europe would get it. True.
07. Passionworks ft Tony Turunen - Surrender
So they did it. Let's see how Harriet's voice stands the second (and eventually third? and fourth?) performance.Actually I think Harriet sounds better with this Bonnie Tyler sound even if Tony is the real star. And I think why I don't like this so much: it's aggressive in a negative way. And that never works in Eurovision, just think Hanna Pakarinen, she would have done so much better if the song was a bit more happier in 2007. The jury isn't so sure about this either, and are not so sure Finns or Europeans will want to have hard rock again.... Ditto.
08. Vink - The greatest plan
I would have been perfectly happy not to hear this one again but here it is, and more I hear it less I like it. It was kinda nice for 1-2 times, more is just noise. The jury liked it though, more or less. For their energy and positivity.


Recap is on now and who do I want for superfinal? Signmark and Waldo's People for sure but the third one? It used to without doubt Kwan but.... Kwan or Remu? Tonight's performances changed the pack quite a lot I must admit. Northern Kings take the stage now with their symphonic heavy metal version of a-ha's Take on me, which sounds pretty fabulous! Here come the superfinalists:

SUPERFINAL:
01. Signmark ft Osmo Ikonen - Speakerbox
02. Waldo's People - Lose control
03. Passionworks ft Tony Turunen - Surrender
The superfinalists are now reperforming their songs and the voting is on. If this running order will be also the final ordder I will be very happy! :-) We have now a break and the voting goes on until 21 CET when the results programme starts.

Scandinavian hunks and Northern kings

In four hours the Finnish second chance show will start followed directly by the final and around 21.10 CET we will know if it's Signmark, Waldo's People, Tapani Kansa ... or someone else! Live commentary here coming up as always. The interval acts will be provided by Scandinavian Hunks, a show dance group in Chippendales genre, and Northern Kings, a group made of heavy metal singers including Teräsbetoni's J.Ahola and Nightwish's Marco Hietala.

One out of 1.000 songs in Russia

Russian TV has claims to have received over 1.000 songs for their selection, to be held in early March. Not many artists have however publicly admitted to have sent in songs. Zhenya Rasskazova from last year's selection is one though. She has sent in Neskulko slov. Also names of Sergey Agayan, Olga Fomicheva and Oksana Feldsherova have been circolating. Romeo, or Roman Bereshed has sent in a song called Another day that you can listen here: http://musicdepo.ru/users/ROMEO/

This weekend on TV

One of the busiest weekends this spring is here. Today we got the semifinals sorted out and the news from Czech Republic. Tomorrow, Saturday we will have 4 semifinals (Lithuania, Slovenia, Iceland and Norway) as well as four finals! UK, Finland, Denmark and Romania will choose their entry, and on Sunday the Netherlands and Slovenia will follow suit making it six new entries at one weekend! No need to ask "Is there anything on telly tonight?"

FINLAND Euroviisut 2009 final at 19.00-21.20 CET
ROMANIA Selecţia naţională final at 19:15-22:25 CET
UK Your country needs you final at 19:40-20:50 CET
NORWAY MGP 2009 2nd semifinal at 19:55-21:05 CET
SLOVENIA EMA 2009 semifinal at 19:55-21:40 CET
DENMARK Dansk Melodi grand prix 2009 final at 20:00-21:50 CET
LITHUANIA Dainų daina 2009 1st semifinal at 20:00-22:00 CET
ICELAND Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 4th semifinal at 21:05-22:10 CET

Friday, January 30, 2009

Serbia: The Beauty Queens & co

Serbia has announced the songs and artists in its national selection. The Beauty Queen are back, as well as Zemlja gruva and Lejla Hot. Also a band made of Operacija Trijumf member and local media superstar Natasha Bekvalac. And a perfect addition to silly Eurovision titles: Ha ha ha. Ten out of these will proceed to the final on March 8.

01. Aleksandra Jankovic -Nauci me
02. Andrej Ilic- Nemam te
03. Vanja Mijatovic - Led i zar
04. Danijel and Milica - H8ER
05. Dusan Zrnic - Tvoje drugo ime je greh
06. Etar - Sanjaj me
07. Zbogom Brus Li -Ha ha ha
08. Zemlja gruva - Svejedno je
09. Ivana Selakov - Moje odbrane
10. Lejla Hot - Cekajuci prince
11. Marko Kon – Cipela
12.Minja Samardzic - Petak uvece
13. Natasa Bekvalac - Bili smo najlepsi
14. Oscar & Beauty Queens ft DjorDje Marjanovic - Superstar
15. OT Band - Blagoslov za kraj
16. Pozitivan haos – Gloria
17. SevdahBABY and Miki Element - Previse reci
18. Sonja Bakic - Nista novo
19. Tijana Bogicevic - Pazi sta radis
20. Trio Pasaz and Katarina Sotirovic – Zauvek

GIPSY.CZ FOR CZECH REPUBLIC!

The gipsy hip hoppers Gipsy.cz have been internally chosen to represant Czech Republic in Moscow. The band is third time lucky in Eurovision. They were the runner ups in 2007 when Czech Republic entered the Eurovision family (and finished last in semifinal with only 1 point!) with Muloland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffUcGCF5hlY. Last year they presented Benga beating: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDUdHl4C3Lk

My poll results

I have had a poll on this blog to see who your favourites are in Euroviisut 2009. In line with the other polls Kwan, Passionworks and Waldo's People are the close top-3. Signmark - who I think at this point looks very likely to go to Moscow - and Tapani Kansa, Jari Sillanpää and Remu are not amongst your favourites.... Thank you for all voters!!

01. Kwan - 10.000 light years (60) finalist
02. Passionworks ft Tony Turunen - Surrender (59) 2nd chance
03. Waldo's People - Lose control (56) finalist
04. Vink - The greatest plan (34) 2nd chance
05. Riikka - Meren (23) 2nd chance
06. Janita - Martian (22) 2nd chance
07. Signmark ft Osmo Ikonen - Speakerbox (14) finalist
07. Sani - Doctor, doctor (14) 2nd chance
09. Jari Sillanpää - Kirkas kipinä (12) finalist
10. Remu - Planeetta (11) finalist
11. Tiara - Manala (7) 2nd chance
12. Tapani Kansa - Rakkautta on, rauhaa ei (3) finalist

Europe's been divided - with a new look

The allocation draw took place today in Moscow and a lot of other info was given there about the coming Eurovision song contest 2009, including the presentation of the sublogo, a fantasy bird. I like it! But... is there no slogan? What happened to True Fantasy, Awakening, Feel the rhythm and Under the same sky? I thought Russians would come up with something....

Anyways the countries in semifinal 1 are:
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Sweden, Israel, Belgium, Andorra, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Iceland, Georgia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Switzerland, FYR Macedonia, Finland, Belarus, Turkey, Romania, Malta and Armenia.

The countries in semifinal 2 are:
Slovenia, Denmark, Azerbaijan, Netherlands, Latvia, Hungary, Serbia, Norway, Ukraine, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Croatia, Estonia, Moldova, Cyprus, Ireland, Slovakia and Albania.



Thursday, January 29, 2009

Romania: Semifinal 2 results

The people in Romania as well as the jury have spoken and here are the finalists for Saturday's final from the 2nd semifinal. This time I got 4-5 out of 6 right and am not at all surprised by IMBA's and Red Blonde's qualification, shame for Irina Popa though. Is it too early to say Elena might get the ticket to Moscow?

Costi Ionita - Can you forgive
Red Blonde - Nu am cu cine
Elena Gheorghe - The Balkan Girls
Catalin - Stop
Alin Nica - Don't leave
IMBA - Round & round

Patricia Kaas still undecided - NOT

UPDATE: Today, January 30 the French TV confirmed Patricia Kaas will be their represant. Yippee!

The question whether Patricia Kaas will represant la France in Moscow or not is still unconfirmed and Patricia herself finally comments the news: "I will decide after my Parisian concerts, after January 31st. I'm tempted but on the other hand... I used to like Eurovision before, then I lost interest but the past a couple of years it's been getting interesting again, so... We will see."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro6Ujd4PvcY, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP_a_jjsgUQ

The pots!

Here are the pots for the semifinal allocation draw. Equal number of countries from each pot will be drawn into the two semifinal based on geography and previous voting history. Both semifinals on May 12 and 14 will have 19 songs. The Big 4 and host country Russia will be also divided in semifinals for the voting rights. The draw happens tomorrow in Moscow at 13 CET.

POT 1: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
POT 2: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Netherlands, Turkey
POT 3: Andorra, Latvia, Ireland, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania
POT 4: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia
POT 5: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Israel, Moldova, Ukraine
POT 6: Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Andorra: Lluís Cartes - Exhaust

And here it comes, the third and last song for Andorra performed by Lluís Cartes. Here is the video for his song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKcURAfwnGE. Unfortunately for Cartes I think Susanne Giorgi will win this without difficulty...
Next week on february 4 the national final will be held and we will know if Susanne will be Andorra's sixth entrant in the Eurovision and who knows the first one to bring the tiny country in the final? So far the best placement is by Anonymous in Helsinki 2007 when they finished 12th in the toughest semifinal in history with 28 countries. Any other year they would have sailed to the final....

Iceland: Semifinal 4 songs

The Icelandic semifinals are coming to an end it's time for the 4th one this Saturday. As always you can listen to the songs here: http://www.ruv.is/songvakeppni/ and I think my faves are Elektra and Halla.... or Unnur?

Unnur Birna Björnsdóttir - Cobwebs
Elektra - Got no love
Jógvan Hansen - I think the world of you
Halla Vilhjálmsdóttir - Roses

Romania - Semifinal 2 pre-review

Ok, it's time to have a look at the songs in the second semifinal of Romanian selecţia naţională tomorrow. Six of these will qualify for the Saturday's final.

Besa opens this one. She makes me think of Celine Dion for some reason, maybe the color of her voice or the way she pronounces as the song is not up for la Dion's standards, I'm afraid. Red Blond follows with some girlpower I suspect but the only thing that comes across is "Sex! Sex!" or I might be even wrong about that.... Things get a bit better with Adrian Molnar. He's in the same genre with first semis Zero and Tabassco. Pleasant but I guess it will all come down to the performance again. Catalin is one of the favourites I hear and he is mine for sure. I was a bit surprised for the performance though! I hope he won't ruin it all with that. Song's great but the performance is not! Soundcheck provides with their jazzy nightclub number the first candidate for null points in Moscow if selected. I don't think even juries would save this. Etnic starts their song very slow but when the chorus kicks in you think of Melodifestival but then in comes a violin solo... Hmmm.... The girls however seem so absent minded it's almost comic! This can go anywhere I guess. Then comes in Irina Popa and I get the shivers; she sounds so much like late Laura Branigan in the verses it's scary! The song is rocky in chorus and she seems to be really into it. Alexa comes in after her in a completely different mood to her first semi's offering. In an evening gown she delivers a standard ballad. Then we have a song that almost sounds like a Backstreet Boys song by Alin Nica. I like it, he is very convincing, the song is easy to the ear and catchy enough. After him we go round and round with IMBA not concluding much in my opinion. I guess this could appeal to televoters though. Costi comes in next and sings his own song, written together by one of the Blaxy Girls. They also wrote their song and if I liked that one, I also like this one. He needs a stylist though! Elena Gheorge wraps it up with a song that could easily be a summerhit and an anthem to all Balcan partygirls. Give me a caipirinha or two with this one and I will love it!

So, predicting the finalists from this one feels much tougher than from the first semi but I would say Catalin, Alin Nica, Costi, Elena Gheorge and two out of Etnic, IMBA and Irina Popa.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Romania: Semifinal 1 results

Oh well, I got 3 out of 6 right. Well, almost 4. Anyways my 3 top favourites Blaxy Girls, Popas Band and Zero made it so all's good that ends good. Second Romanian semifinal on Thursday and the final on Saturday.

To the final:

Ralph Siegel is back - 19th time!

Uncle Ralph is back it looks. He has apparently written the Montenegrin entry revealed last week! This would be his 19st Eurovision entry and Montenegro joins Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland as a country that his songs have been sung for. You can also add Malta as he revamped their 2004 entry On again... off again. Here's a little reminder of his doings in Eurovision .... so far:

1974: Bye, Bye I Love You - Ireen Sheer (Luxemburg) (4.)
1976: Sing Sang Song - Les Humphries Singers (15.)
1979: Dschinghis Khan - Dschinghis Khan(4.)
1980: Papa Pingouin - Sophie & Magaly (Luxemburg) (9.)
1980: Theater - Katja Ebstein (2.)
1981: Johnny Blue - Lena Valaitis (2.)
1982: Ein bißchen Frieden - Nicole(1.)
1985: Children, Kinder, Enfants - Margo, Ireen Sheer, Chris Roberts, Malcolm Roberts, Franck Olivier & Diane Solomon (Luxemburg) (13.)
1987: Laß die Sonne in Dein Herz - Wind (2.)
1988: Lied für einen Freund - Maxi & Chris Garden (14.)
1990: Frei zu leben - Chris Kempers & Daniel Kovac (9.)
1992: Träume sind für alle - Wind (16.)
1994: Wir geben 'ne Party - Mekado (3.)
1997: Zeit - Bianca Shomburg (18.)
1999: Reise nach Jerusalem - Sürpriz (3.)
2002: I Can't Live Without Music - Corinna May (21.)
2003: Let's Get Happy - Lou (12.)
2006: If We All Give A Little - six4one (Switzerland) (17.)
2009: Just get out of my life - Andrea (Montenegro)

Slovenia is ready

Slovenia will have its EMA 2009 this weekend. Eight songs from the Saturday's semifinal will join the six invited songs in Sunday's final. Amogst the semifinalists previous winner Karmen Stavec.

01. Nexys - Vsaj za en dan
02. Petra Slapar - Skrivnost
03. Lea Sirk - Znamenje iz sanj
04. Brigita Suler - Druga liga
05. Ne me jugat & Slavko Ivancic - Kaj me briga
06. Gianni Rijavec - Gloria
07. Aynee - Zdaj vem
08. Krema - Ob meni si
09. Quartissimo - Love symphony
10. Tadeja Molan & RetroBeat - Sanje
11. Bjonde - Blond power
12. Karmen Stavec - A si zelis
13. Nuska Drascek - Kako lepo
14. Mitja - Mission These songs/artists have been already invited directly to the final, including previous winner Omar Naber:

02. Cuki - Mal naprej pa mal nazaj
04. Omar Naber - I still carry on
07. Eva Cerne - Vse
09. Alya & Rudi - Zadnji dan
11. Samuel Lucas - Vse bi zate dal
13. Langa & Manca Spik - Zaigraj muzikant

Running order for Euroviisut 2009

YLE has announced the running orders for the second chance and the final for the next Saturday's show. Two songs from the second chance will join the finalists after being performed and televoted. Then the real final starts right way. After televote the top-3 will be reperformed and televoted again to find the winner and the song that will represant Finland in Moscow 2009. SECOND CHANCE:
01. Passionworks ft Tony Turunen - Surrender
02. Tiara - Manala
03. Riikka - Meren
04. Vink - The greatest plan
05. Janita - Martian
06. Sani - Doctor doctor

THE FINAL:
01. Kwan - 10.000 light years
02. Jari Sillanpää - Kirkas kipinä
03. Signmark ft Osmo Ikonen - Speakerbox
04. Tapani Kansa - Rakkautta on, rauhaa ei
05. Waldo's People - Lose control
06. Remu - Planeetta
07. from second chance
08. from second chance




Monday, January 26, 2009

FYR Macedonia: Here are the semifinalists

FYR Macedonia has also made public the list of songs and singer taking part in the 3 day national selection with 2 semifinals and the final between February 19-21. There have a been a few changes since the first list of the songs and artists was published earlier this month.

Treta Dimenzija - Isto sto I ti
Aleksandar Belov - Zastani Solzi Izbrisi
Ana Simonovska - Dobar kraj
Emilija Gievska- Patuvam niz vremeto
Bravo band - Ne igraj si devojko
Andrijana Janevska - Drvo bez koren
Kristijan - Nema da zboram
Venera - Povtorno ljubena
Proekt Makedonija/Pere, Franc, Tuna , Igor - Pomalku naivno
Dejan Trifunovski - Ljubovta doaga
Risto Samardjiev - Samo son ke ni ostane
Verce Pandilovska - Severno od mene, juzno od tebe
Vlatko Lozanovski - Blisku do mene
Amir Ibraimovski - Otvori go srceto
Zarmena - Igra so nas
Filip Jordanovski - Volsebnik
Rock Agresori - Ding Dong
Stefan Cvetkovski - Zemi se
Vodolija - Mojot TV
Kostadin Papa - Za nea postojam
Ohrid rules - Gengsta oro
Pampersi - Zboguvanje
Lili - Za kraj
Patnici - Nasmej se
Dimitar Andonovski - Me pronajde ti
Jasmina Dimitrovska - Na moe mesto
Naum Petreski - Rum dum dum
Jane Dunimaglovski - Gledas ne sum sam
Vlatko Ilievski - Sakam da ti kazam ostani
Daniel - Sila na ljubovta
Next Time - Nesto sto ke ostane
Nade Talevska - Dali mislis na nas

Romania - semifinal 1 pre-review

Romania's selecţia naţională kicks off tomorrow and you can see the preview vids here: http://www2.tvr.ro/eurovision/. I had a go and watched the vids and here are some comments. Unlike last year I don't have an instant favourite and it will be interesting to see what the Romanians like!

Zero opens the show with a middle of the road radio friendly pop-rock. The singer is very good and they come across good. Not bad at all. Last year's entrant Nico has teamed up with another national final veteran Moni-K and they offer a very dated, rather boring italodisco number. This might qualify, or then not. In the later case fans will propably shout for a scandal. It is much much better than the next one though. D.D offers a boring rock ballad from the 80's. Romeo Zaharia follows with self penned song that sounds suspiciously familiar? However it's very Melodifestival in all. His strong accent is the main negative thing about it. Next we have Floriana Pachia with a song from the American power ballad song book. She sings well and comes across very sweet but one can only wonder what Whitney, Mariah or Christina would make out if this? Alexa comes next with a bouncy girlpop with a catchy hook. This should do well I guess. She is followed by a very weird group of characters on stage with a very intense performance. This rock ballad by Popas band is very beautiful and easy to ear if you get over the sight on stage. However, one of the best songs here! If they looked weird next we have a real boy next door on stage. Juan Xavier looks like he just went to office but he sings very well (on record) and the song is quite beautiful and catchy. If he delivers live this Spanish ballad might get to the final. Tabassco comes across very much like Zero, another rock band doing a rock-pop ballad that isn't bad but is it good enough? It is pleasant but somehow I think Zero will be more convincing on stage with a better singer, too. Tina brings on stage some Balcan and ethnic sounds but ends up in a lot of noise, I'm afraid. I guess some people might go crazy for this, I don't. Another midtempo pop thingy follows with Dalma but it gives me nothing. Nice in a bad way. And I didn't like the staging. And here they come, the Blaxy Girls. Save the best for last. I really like this song and they have found a quite nice way to present it, too. Beautiful song that really fits her/them. I just hope she sings as well live as she sounds on record!

Six of these will go to Saturday's final and if it was up to me they would be Zero, Floriana Pachia, Alexa, Popas band, Juan Xavier and Blaxy Girls. But what do I know?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Square and album for Toše Proeski

Today Toše Proeski would have been 28 years old had he not died in a car crash in October 2007. He was putting finishing touches to his first English album at the time and it finally is published tomorrow. The hardest thing is both the title of the album and the first single from it, released already last year and the first Balcan hit from it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKRrADJ7j3E

In his home town Skopje a square will be named after him. Four large pillars will represant his band members and a fountain in the middle will represant Tose himself.

Battle of the choirs debuts in Finland tonight

The Swedish born TV-format of the battle of the choirs, or Kuorosota in Finnish debuts tonight. Six choirs will battle it out with their choir leaders, one of them dropping out every week. One of the choir leaders is Marion Rung in the biggest music TV production Finland after Euroviisut. This is a welcome return to Marion on TV screens after a long absense. Watch the promotrailer here: http://www.nelonen.fi/kuorosota/

Lithuania: Semifinal 3 results

Lithuania's third Dainų daina semifinal brought us 6 more finalists - it seems to have been the night of the ballads - and they are:

Donatas Montvydas - From the distance 106
Fuego - Žvaigždžių milijonai 90
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmsZ-l65qcE
Ruta Lukoševiciute - Window of life 77
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-N2xE2I_q4
Asta Pilypaite & Onsa - Labas 75
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qP-FhD03co
Aurelija Slavinskaite - Part of me 59
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s10iWF_d4TE
Milanno & Karina Krysko - Kelias pas tave 55

Iceland: Semifinal 3 results

Iceland had its third semifinal tonight and two more songs went to the final offering us Icelandic cowboys with countrymusic (that is actually quite good!) and some modern weird stuff (that is actually quite good, too!)

Kaja Halldorsdottir - Lygin ein
Arnar, Edgar, Sverrir and Olafur - Easy to fool

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bulgaria: The final 12 - finally!

Bulgaria held its semifinal tonight where half of the songs had to go. At this point I guess it's time to pick up some favourites. Mine are in no particular order Stefan Ilchev, Krassimir ( update: I just saw his live performance from last night and ... what an earth happened? it was beyond bad!), Grafa and Poli Genova. One can only ask why they bothered all those heats since October 2008 when only one of those original songs made it this far all the rest being some sort of wildcards or additional songs and god only knows how they got in... These 9 made it to the final:

Nora - It's not right
Dani Milev - Njma vreme
Jury Tone feat. Lady B - Chance to love you
Ivelina - Ready for love
Stefan Ilchev - Get up
Sahara - Don't kiss for money
Stefan Dobrev - Everlasting love
Krassimir Avramov - Illusion
Moto - Razstonija

They will be joined by these three wildcards:

Mariana Popova - Crazy
Grafa - Vrag
Poli Genova - One lifetime is not enough

UK doesn't need The Emperors of Soul

The soulful Motown inspired group ended up in Danger zone again along with Jade, that seemed to be rather shocking surprise to many. Lloyd Webber did't waste time to save Jade so she will meet Mark and The Twins in next week's final.

Norway: Semifinal 1 - live & results

The Norvegian selection is getting bigger and a better show every year it seems. This year Surferosa opened it with a bang! What an earth was she wearing? There was a lot of 80's Cyndi Lauper and Toyah with a good amount of Pink thrown in.
Next followed two housewifes or Chicas del coro from the 50's all dressed up doing a nice karaoke number. High entertainment value for a national final. Right after the welcome return of the wind machine and an elderly lady with high notes followed by some shouty rap by two youngsters Ke Sera. Nice intro but that's all there was for me I'm afraid.... Espen Hana, a certain kind of gentleman - the kind stuck in the 70's with challenging sideburns and open shirt to show some chesthair - followed with a song so familiar I thought it was an interval act. Next to more Eurovision friendly stuff: Charite. And as the song isn't much to talk about one question rises: what was she wearing as shoes??? And that wardrobe disaster in general? Was it designed and put together by Lena Philipsson circa 1988? Thomas Brøndbo was next with a song that was as bland as his choise of color. Like a storm? Hardly.... To finish off it was the Norvegian Pussycat Dolls or Spice Girls also known as Velvet with a song that wasn't tricky at all but very catchy and very Britney Spears in a good way. I think I like it...
I think Surferosa and Velvet should make it...

Now let's wait for the results.... Ok, Surferosa and Espen Hana (!!) to the second chance round and Velvet to the final! Yes! And the other one is... Thomas Brøndbo !!?? Oh dear...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xXeowHpgi8, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zpxUcRkV7I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JET6Ne5xMSY, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAhWW659dWA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j4dMrIURP4, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc-8QORK44M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGwb3VcI9DM

Lordi's Dark floors up for a Jussi Award

The Finnish Oscars, or Jussi awards will be given out on February 1, 2009. Lordi's horror movie Dark floors is up for people's choise award and you can vote for it here http://www.nelonen.fi/jussi/aanestys.html until January 30.

Tonight live in Europe!

Five happenings tonight in all corners of Europe, all of them still semifinals (next weekend we will have 6 new entries!!), some countries going on with their selections while others just starting. All will be live on webcast.

UK - Your country needs you CET 19.30
- UK will drop out the last artist before last week's final. Each of 4 artists will perform 2 songs

BULGARIA - Blgarska pesen na Evrovizija 2009 CET 19.50
- Bulgaria returns to business after a break with their semifinal. 18 acts will be cut to 9 that will be joined by 3 wildcard in the final

NORWAY - MGP 2009 CET 19.55
- Norway kicks off with its first semifinal. Only 2 out of 7 will qualify directly for the final. The songs placed 3rd and 4th will get a second chance later

LITHUANIA - Dainu Daina 2009 CET 20.00
- Third semifinal in Lithuania. Again 6 out of 12 will qualify

ICELAND - Söngvakeppni sjónvarpsins 2009 CET 21.05
- Third semifinal also in Iceland. 2 out of 4 will qualify.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Signmark wins the 3rd semifinal!

Signmark has won with 46,5% the third semifinal, and it is actually the highest score this year! Also Jari Sillanpää qualified with 34,0%.

The finalists in Euroviisut 2009:

Signmark ft Osmo Ikonen - Speakerbox 46,5%
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhB7DLdJWPU, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghdojpRrOTY
Jari Sillanpää - Kirkas kipinä 34,0%
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gu8b9p3Gxw

Waldo's People - Lose control 44,3%
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji1qCTYSxAg, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybbNQnSPseA
Remu - Planeetta 28,6%
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im-EQkI5g-I, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE6QPkGxKhY

Tapani Kansa - Rakkautta on, rauhaa ei 37,4%
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqRfpVvLPuM
Kwan - 10.000 light years 31,9%
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5qDcKrppN0

Second chance:

Two of these songs will join the finalists. The second chance round will be held at the beginning of the final next Saturday, January 31.

Riikka - Meren http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwfIlRpWYp8
Tiara - Manala http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d71KHuxU1Pg
Sani - Doctor, doctor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKjBwBqGVjk
Passionworks ft Tony Turunen - Surrender http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UhHVV9Cslo
Vink - The greatest plan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79CylCIh7Nk
Janita - Martian http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEylziGQKvE

LIVE REPORT: Euroviisut 2009 - semifinal 3


The show is about to start live from Tohloppi TV-studios in Tampere.

Jaana and Peltsi are now on stage and here we go. First a recap of what's happened so far and some Moscow info about the semifinals etc.

First one tonight is Signmark & co. He has previously told this song is written specially for Euroviisut, not to promote them or their new album but to write a good Eurovision track. The song is performed in English and American signlanguage. They also tell they stand for all minorities.

Signmark ft Osmo Ikonen - Speakerbox
The band is on stage, rapping is good and clear, Osmo's vocals are great and Signmark's signs flawless. Well I can only guess about that obviously. This would be a very interesting choise for Moscow. If Lordi got all the heavyrockers in Europe to vote for them, could Signmark get all the deaf people vote for them? And they are millions....

Next is Janita, who is seeking revenge for her 3rd place back in 1994. The song is from her worthcoming album and she also had other songs to present in Euroviisut, but they had been already performed live before the deadline so she settled to this Martian.

Janita - Martian
She is wearing a simple brown dress and long boots with three musicians on stage. The performance is very jazz-rock club one and her voice strong and sensual. At the era of the "professional" juries this might have gone far but will televoters fall for her again, like they did when she was 14 and became a star in one night?

Next one of the favourites, a new band from Lohja. They're joyful, energetic and happy and clearly excited about the Eurovision experience! The song is mixture of madness, fun, pop and rock.

Vink - The greatest plan
The band on stage is wearing mostly black with some glitter and pink thrown in, and one member even in a skirt. A sort of fashion punk mix. They're giving it their all in a pop rock band fashion. Not one of my personal favourites but I can see why so many people like this one.

And it's time for the biggest name tonight: Jari Sillanpää. He won in 2004 and came 2nd in 1998. Composer Petri Laaksonen has won twice, 1985 and 1987, besides scoring one 2nd place and 3 third places so far... He seems to be happy to be back and says he has been waiting for the invitation every year.... He had a lot of songs but once he heard this one it felt right.

Jari Sillanpää - Kirkas kipinä
He is wearing a dark suit and the stage is all in blue light while performing this Slavic ballad. His choir includudes Jennie from previous Euroviisut and dancer Marleena Saresvirta who is actually a Finnish champion in gymnastics. I don't warm up much to this song or performance, I expected much more from this team.

All four songs have now been performed and it's time to see what's going on in greenroom before the recap. Sighnmark is happy with their performance and the ball is now in the hands of the televoters. Matti, the singer of Vink is also very, very satisfied for their energetic performance.

Voting has ended now and it's time to have a break with Step Up dancers who perform again a song from the musical Hair....

Ok, it's time for the envelopes.... Janita is out! Jari Sillanpää is in. Vink is out and Signmakr gets to the final!

ANDREA FOR MONTENEGRO

Andrea Demirović has been internally chosen for Montenegro with song Just get out of my life.
First listening judgement is it's the best Montenegrin entry so far....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ1s8ymScT8

Poland announces finalists

Poland has also chosen its finalists for Piosenka dla Europy 2009 of the songs sent in, and there will be propably wildcards added later. Amogst the finalists we have Italian Marco Bocchino, Norvegian Det Betales and Swedish Man Meadow again after their fan success last year with Viva la musica.

Marco Bocchino & Ola Szwed - All my life
Kasia Skrzynecka - Amazing
Ira - Dobry czas
Dali - Everyday
Lidia Kopania - I don't wanna leave
Renton - I'm not sure
Stachursky - I nie mów nic
Det Betales - Jacqueline
Micromusic - Kardamon i pieprz
Artur Chamski - Kilka slów
Man Meadow - Love is gonna get you
Tigrita Project - Mon chocolat

Tonight: Signmark ft Osmo Ikonen

Tonight in the third Finnish semifinal we make history: the first ever deaf artist is taking part. Signmark ft Osmo Ikonen's Speakerbox is really groovy song with a fantastic Motown vibe. I'm not a rap fan but I can listen to this! Several times a day! Their chances to get to Moscow are propably rather slim but you never know... All I know is this would be an entry I could be very proud of and support it 100%. Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJD_4bQxIoM

Live report from the semifinal right here at 20.00 CET.

Danish songs online

Denmark has also leaked their songs online. My instant favourite is Trine Jepsen with her fantastically dated song! Hera Björk is good, too. Brinck sounds more Ronan Keating than Ronan himself and Jimmy Jørgensen has the best opening line: I used to write songs with my guitar, usually about love and bla bla bla.... Listen here:

Estonian songs online

Estonia has puts its songs online, too. Quite a modern group of songs it is, maybe even too much so. My favourites are in no particluar order Laura, Rolf Junior, Lawry and Traffic. Hear the songs here http://etv.err.ee/index.php?0551251 by clicking "kuula laule!"

Tonight: Finland semifinal 3

Finland reaches its last semifinal that features four rather different songs and if last week was quite predictable in unpredictable way it's very open race in this one, too. Vink and Jari Sillanpää seem to be the most probable qualifiers but I wouldn't be surprised if they would be the two left in the second chance actually. Get ready for some unexpected results! Live report will follow as usual!

Signmark feat. Osmo Ikonen - Speakerbox
Janita - Martian
Vink - The greatest plan
Jari Sillanpää - Kirkas kipinä

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Andorra: Mar Capdevila - Passió obsessiva

Andorra made public the second of their three finalists and for some reason Mar Capdevila has replaced Marc Durandeau... Her song Passió obsessiva isn't passionate nor obsessive, just nice, and not going anywhere I'm afraid. Shame. Judge yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw7aIX9xFkA

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The meaning of life according Hanna Pakarinen. And lots more...

Hanna Pakarinen released her fourth album Love in a million shades last week and it entered the chart at #7. It can be describes a mix of Pink, Avril Lavigne and Shania Twain with a lot of Roxette in it. Rock pop from the 80's and 90's. The critics have noted Hanna sings better than ever and has a new sound, she's not afraid to play with her voice. Especially the ballad When we hear hallelujah has been described by the critics a masterpiece, nearly perfect interpretation. "The new album is much more poppier and happier than the previous ones. Like my hair that is now much lighter! I had a black hair for 15 years but I got enough of that angst and darkness!" she tells. The yellow press has reported she has a new boyfriend, Risto Niinikoski, who plays drums in her band and they have just moved together. Does 1+1 make 2?
Hanna is a woman of interesting questions. "Yes, I'm the one who sends into magazines all the questions; ike they say it takes two days for a glass of water to go through your body, your system. Well, then explain me why if I drink a lot water I'm at the loo right away? Explain that!"It is known Hanna didn't quite study a lot at school but she has turned lately a real bookworm. "I'd love to study more geography and history! Actually I did go and by the high school study books and read them recently" she tells. She loves maps and can draw the worldmap in a flash. "I subscribe to science magazine and when it arrives every month it's my moment of pleasure; lie down on sofa and read it! My friends joke I should be careful or Wikipedia might get jealous! I'm addicted to Wikipedia!" On her break she has had time to just think. "I have been wondering all sort of things. Like the meaning of life? What is it? I think it's simply to stay here 60-80 years, have babies and die. It's useless to take it too seriously...." After that she gets into a monology of good ten minutes why we are here on this planet at all. "We are the most useless animal. We are no use to anyone! We just destroy everything. Planet earth is now having a fever and it's our fault. We are like cancer. We are the cancer of the planet" she mummbles.... "... but that thought is not quite refined and finished yet, is it?"
Interview from HS, photos Jere Hietala

Slovakia returns the big way

Ten years have passed since Slovakia last participated and many things have changed but they seem to be very updated anyways: three semifinals will lead to the final like in so many other countries. Three acts from each will qualify with an added wildcard. Many big names in Slovakia's music scene have sent in a song, or are rumoured to take part; amongst them Desmod, Peter Cmorik, Andrea Zimanyova, Robo Opatovsky, Robo Papp and Jana Kirschner. Official list will be made public soon. This will be Slovakia's 5th participation (including 1993's "semifinal") and their best placement is 18th, worst 21st....

Gadget

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