Friday, April 30, 2010

Magnus Carlsson covers Erasure

Magnus Carlsson, the Melodifestivalen veteran - 7 times solo or with Barbados or Alcazar - has covered Erasure's A little respect. The youngsters reading may not be familiar with this great track but I certainly remember it well and besides Erasure were generally fab and were the first to make chart topping ABBA covers with their ABBA-esque ep. Here is the original A little respect. Here are some ABBA goodies by them: Lay all your love on me, Take a chance on me, Voulez vous and SOS. and here's their even earlier Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Curiously enough also Magnus has been busy in April 2010 doing ABBA tributes in concert, like Knowing me, knowing you.

Spain: Daniel Diges debuts as recording artist

Daniel Diges, the Spanish entrant in Oslo 2010 has a lot of experience as a stage artists but now thanks to winning the Spanish selection with Algo pequeñito he finally got to record his first album to be released shortly. The producer and arranger for it is five time Grammy winning Oscar Gómez (collaborations with Chayenne, Julio Iglesias, Ana Belen, Roberto Carlos and Miguel Bosé just to name a few) and Daniel has written most of the songs himself with some covers from Michael Bublé, Billy Joel and Robbie Williams. I think Daniel's lovely waltz will the dark horse....

Sweden: This is my video

Also Sweden's Anna Bergendahl has managed to get a video together for her This is my life and you can see it here.

Iceland: The video with a twist

Hera Björk has done a pretty fantastic video for her Je ne sais quoi, the Icelandic entry for Oslo 2010. Not only Safura gets to taste the waters in this year's videos!. The climax comes in the end! Here.

More Swedes in Oslo 2010: Robert Wells

Another Swede joins the about half a zillion ones already in Oslo 2010 as writers, producers and so on as Robert Wells has been added to the 3 + 2 group for Belarus and their song Butterlies. Robert is very well known all over Scandinavia and his website gives ten fast facts about him:

1. Youngest Student at the Royal Academy of Music
2. Wells & RhapsodyIn Rock has sold more than 1.7 million tickets in Scandinavia alone since 1998
3. Created online Piano school: Schoolofrhapsody.com
4. Professor of Music in Hangzhou in China since 2005
5. Composer for the Olympics in Beijing 2008
6. Seven Gold records and two platinums with Rhapsody In Rock
7. Biggest inspiration source: Victor Borge
8. Great variety of audience age range: 5 to 95 years
9. Toured in China Germany, USA, Russia, England, Scandinavia and Australia .
10. Works with international charities and has his own  foundation for Premature Children.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Now dripping full time - Safura's video

Here it is finally. The video that nearly drowned poor Safura. Works pretty fine for the song that sticks into your head like drip drop.... Baku anyone?

Dampa dampa dapa dampa - the video!

Jessy Matador who will represant France in Oslo 2010 has gone all the way to Miami to shoot a video for his Allez! Ola! Olé! Allez ici. And we still haven't had any live performance anywhere of the song it seems....

Kuunkuiskaajat & Kalevala koru

The Finnish jewelry brand Kalevala koru is one of Kuunkuiskaajat sponsors. The girls and their team will be wearing various items from them during their stay in Oslo 2010, and of course in the live shows. Kalevala koru also sponsored Hanna Pakarinen in Helsinki 2007. Later Hanna even designed her own signature item for them, let's see if Kuun kuiskaajat will do the same later....

Finland: Spoke person revealed

YLE has announced Johanna Pirttilahti - a distant relative of mine btw - will announce the Finnish votes in the final in Oslo 2010. She's a familiar face from YLE2 programmes. Many fans were hoping YLE would use again an ex-Eurovision star and who would have been better than Geir Rönning, the Norwegian who sung for Finland in 2005....

BlogIlkar Guest Review vol. 4.1

With great pleasure I introduce you a new reviewer John Egan! He has written about the Eurovision for esctoday.com and The Advocate. He lives in Vancouver Canada, and feels a special responsibility to recruit as many Eurovision kweens™ as possible via his legendary annual ESC Final pot luck brunch extravaganza.  

 ESC 2010 Review part 1 – the “Big 5”
While the obvious thing to do would be to start with semi-final one and go in chronological order…that’s rather boring (and overdone). So let’s start with the five songs already qualified for the final: four which have ostensibly bought-and-paid for their spots (the “Big Four”: France, Germany, Spain and the UK), and last year’s winner, Norway.

Spain – Algo pequenito – Daniel Diges
Daniel’s background is musical theatre to a certain extent; it shows in his consistent, solid performances of this retro-schlager song. Don’t like it: too circus music-like, too many “wo wo wo”s, nothing remarkable or memorable. There’s also nothing wrong with it. TVE: whatever you do, please don’t do the “disappearing act” thing like last year: who came up with the utterly stoopid idea of having the singer go off-camera for 10 seconds? Rating 3/5: not bad, not great.

Germany – Satellite – Lena Meyer-Landrut
This is the fourth time Stefan Raab’s driven the German selection—and once again something memorable’s come out of it. The man who brought Guildo hat euch liebt, Wadde hadde dudde da, and Can’t Wait Until Tonight probably tortured his country with a never-ending selection process. But on the big night Germany had two good singers and nothing but good songs. And they picked the right combination: this is instantly memorable, has a great, positive vibe, and Lena’s “unique” accent (I think it’s a put-on of Björk-meets-Lily Allen) all should make it stand out in voters’ minds. Hmm…never been to Berlin myself… Rating: 5/5: top 10 for sure; top 5 likely; possible winner.

France – Allez! Olla! Olé! – Jessy Matador
When I found out France 2 had convinced Patricia Kaas to sing in ’09 I was in eurokween™ heaven. And at our annual ESC brunch (the show’s on at noon Vancouver time), the kweens present agreed: Kaas’ performance was head and shoulders above the rest. 
Hard act to follow. But when the song’s not ever been performed live, the singer’s unknown outside YouTube, and the preview clip is a recycled clip by the same unknown singer…all the World Cup tie-ins in the world probably can’t save it on the night. And it’s not exactly a memorable song to begin with. On the bright side, it couldn’t be as bad as Virginie Pouchain …could it?   shudder. Rating: 1/5: Bottom 5, perhaps last.

Norway – My Heart is Yours – Didrik Solli-Tangen
This is very well performed; in fact, it’s (yet again from Norway) an example of something that can be ported directly from the national final to the Eurovision with only a few camera changes. Didi sings it well, hits all the camera angles, and does a great job with nearly all the notes (great lower range; last chorus a bit shrieky). He’s even kinda cute.
But this is also a total rip-off of: 1.) You raise me up (which should’ve been Ireland’s 8th win, since Secret Garden had already won once for Norway), the Josh Groban version. Rip-off for sure…but an exceedingly good one. Norway won’t be cheering on 30 May, but they’ll still be happy. Excellent for what it is…which is not new or special. Rating: 4/5: top 10.

United Kingdom – That Sounds Good to Me – Josh  
Like France, in ’09 the UK made a serious effort (Andrew Lloyd-Webber, primetime selection series, promotional tour, workshopped the heck out of Jade) and got a top 5 result. This year they…almost did that, screwed it up and ended up with this. Pete Waterman didn’t even give something Kylie- or Rick Astley-ish: this is a pedestrian, generic 80s knock-off. Josh can sing, but he’s not overflowing with charisma. The ESC version was debuted in NL recently: much improved, but not to a standard that will do well. Rating: 2/5: bottom 5…but perhaps 21st rather than 25th!

This was just a little appetizer, more to come so stay tuned, John will be back with the rest. He can be reached at john dot egan at gmail

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Swedish countdown with Lena Philipsson

Lena Kärleken är evig-Dansa i neon-Om igen-Tänd ett ljus-Tvillingsjäl-Det svär jag på-Det gör ont Philipsson will host the Countdown to Eurovision song contest 2010 on Saturday night May 29 with Niklas 
Imorgon är en annan dag Strömstedt. The show starts an hour before the grand final and will feature all sort of things that has been happening in Oslo 2010 during the two weeks leading to the final.

Shalalie not original?!

And he comes the first official plagiarism effort of the year, like every year. This year it is the Dutch entry. A songwriter has officially filed a complaint at the organization that protects the rights of a songwriter. He claims he tried through several months to get Pierre Kartner to change some things in his song, but with no reply to follow. The song is said to sound too much like the song Angelien by Arne Jansen. A Dutch judge will decide on this claim only in July so it appears that Sieneke can go to Oslo but if the plagiarism claim is honoured she will be disqualified after the contest. You judge yourself: Angelien = Shalalie? I think this is pretty much as plagiarism as Waldo's People's Lose control and Nik Kershaw's Wouldn't it be good last year...

Oslo 2010: The stage...

... is round. Made of glas. And no sight of LED walls. At least for now.... Follow the building process here.

Finland vs. Sweden: the annual Eurovision war!


It's spring time! It's Eurovision time for sure as here it starts again, the annual media war with the Finnish and the Swedish Eurovision acts. Ever since Lordi scared and buried Carola it has been pretty amusing past time this time of the year. Aftonbladet started it yesterday when their critic came out and they totally killed the Finnish song and claiming the girls are just Linda Lampenius (a Finnish violinist who has made a career in Sweden rather than in Finland where she is only sadly remembered by most for Playboy  Fame LA and Baywatch even though now she is gaining respect again as one of the judges in X-Factor) clones. Ilta-Sanomat answers today by asking if the Swedish boredom is any better, with a picture of Anna looking very... ehm... Kuunkuiskaajat-like.

Oslo 2010: Eurovision schedules published

Here they are finally, the rehearsal schedules. It all kicks off on May 16 at 9.30 when Moldova will take the stage for the first time. As always a press conference will follow. Finland will have its first rehearsal also on May 16 at 13.10-13.50 followed by press conference at 14.30-15.10. Next time Kuunkuiskaajat will be on stage May 20 at 14.00-14.30 and after that press conference at 15.10-15.40. The Big4 will start their rehearsals on May 22 at 14.30 so all have rehearsed before the Welcome Party on May 23. Next day, May 24 the first dress rehearsal for the first semifinal at 15.00-17.00 followed by second dress at 21.00-23.00. On May 25 the third and final dress rehearsal at 15.00-17.00 before the live first semifinal at 21.00-23.30.  The second semifinal will have the same schedules on May 26 and 27. On May 28 the first dress rehearsal for the final at 14.30-17.00 followed by the second one at 21.00-00.30. On the final day May 29 the third and final dress at 13.00-16.30 before the live show at 21.00-00.30.

Drip drop, drip drop... it's coming....

Drip here.

Armenia: Eva's Apricots remixed

Eva Rivas will represant Armenia in the Oslo 2010 edition of Eurovision song contest and hopes to follow the Armenian success story in the contest - and I believe she will. The song Apricot stone, especially its lyrics seem to have been misunderstood by most but it is worth mentioning apricot has a special meaning to the Armenians, starting from its latin name prunus armeniaca, aka Armenian plum. It has been cultivated in the region for so long it is believed it originates from there and later spread all over. Well, so the legend dear to Armenians go, but propably apricots come from China, or maybe India where it was cultivated already 3000 BC. But who cares? The story is great, the song is catchy, Eva is pretty (and tall!) and the remix works fine, too. Listen and download here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Still walking away... with Motown

Ok, this is old news but worth a mention anyways. I adore Craig David. He's got one of the best voices ever. Period. And a string of very good songs to match, like and Walking away. Seven days, Rise & fall, Rendez vous, You don't miss your water, Insomnia and Rewind. For his Greatest Hits he recorded a new version with the old trick: guest singers from different markets like Nek for Italy and Alex Ubago for Spain. And for the German market he hired Monrose - and this gives me the Eurovision connection :-) - who took part in the German selection 2007 with Even heaven cries.  As I said this is old news as Craig is back already with a new album filled with fantastic Motown samples! And I adore Motown even more than I do Craig so it sounds like heaven. (Well, Janet Jackson did that already with her Janet album in 1993) Like in One more lie and All alone tonight. Why can't BBC just drop these talent shows and ask Craig next year?

Monday, April 26, 2010

More OGAE votings, Denmark still in the lead

Six more national clubs have voted bringing the total to 14. Denmark still in the lead but Spain and Norway jump to the top-5. You can see the previous votes here.

Here are the votes from OGAE Serbia:
1 Azerbaijan, 2 Denmark, 3 Iceland, 4 Croatia, 5 Romania, 6 Germany, 7 Armenia, 8 Spain, 10 Israel and 12 Slovakia
Here are the votes from OGAE Italy:
1 Romania, 2 Spain, 3 Armenia, 4 Bulgaria, 5 Switzerland, 6 Ireland, 7 Israel, 8 Croatia, 10 Denmark and 12 Norway
Here are the votes from OGAE Netherlands:
1 Belgium, 2 Finland, 3 Denmark, 4 Iceland, 5 Germany, 6 Armenia, 7 Israel, 8 Spain, 10 Slovakia and 12 Croatia
Here are the votes from OGAE Germany:
1 Croatia, 2 Switzerland, 3 Slovakia, 4 Israel, 5 Iceland, 6 Spain, 7 Ireland, 8 Armenia, 10 Denmark and 12 Norway
Here are the votes from  OGAE Switzerland:
1 Iceland, 2 Croatia, 3 Serbia, 4 Sweden, 5 Israel, 6 Denmark, 7 Germany, 8 Norway, 10 Ireland and 12 Spain
Here are the votes from OGAE Ireland:
1 Slovakia, 2 Belarus, 3 Sweden, 4 Azerbaijan, 5 Iceland, 6 Croatia, 7 Norway, 8 Germany, 10 Belgium and 12 Denmark

And the current standings are:
1.Denmark 91 2.Spain 69 3.Croatia 68 4.Norway 66 5.Ireland 62 6.Germany 59 7.Israel 59 8.Iceland 57 9.Armenia 55 10.Slovakia 39 11.Azerbaijan 23 12.Belgium 22 13.Sweden 22 14.Albania 21 15.Switzerland 21 16.Greece 15 17.Turkey 11 18.Lithuania 10 19.France 7 20.Romania 7 21.Serbia 5 22.The Netherlands 4 23.Bulgaria 4 24.Moldova 3 25.Ukraine 3 26.Belarus 2 27.Finland 2

Olsen Brothers do Non so che darei

Non so che? Non so che darei, one of the maybe forgotten Italian entries by Alan Sorrenti, anno 1980. The Olsen Brothers are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their win with Fly on the wings of love with a new album made of Eurovision covers titled Wings of Eurovision including of course their own updated to 2010. The other songs are Congratulations, Waterloo, Ein bisschen Frieden, Främling, Save all your kisses for me, Hallelujah, Boom bang a bang, Volare, La det swinge, Love shine a light and Rock'n roll kids. Some choices sound very suited for the gentleman, the others... well, we just have to wait til late May to hear how they manage with them!

Helsinki: Lady Gaga sold out in 20 mins

Nothing to do with Eurovision (I wish!) but Lady Gaga's Bad romance is maybe the best hit song last year so she's worth a mention. Signorina Germanotta is coming to Helsinki's Hartwall Areena, the venue of Eurovision 2007 in October and the tickets sold out in 20 minutes today but hey, no worries: she will do an extra concert the night after and tickets for that will be available tomorrow... Ra ra rara! A lot has changed since she was in Helsinki last year, in Kulttuuritalo and offering free pizza for fans waiting outside to get in.... Inside it looked then like this

Kuunkuiskaajat in NL: Bubbly energy from Finland

Escdaily.com did a very bubbly interview with the girls in Zaandam last Saturday. Giggle and laugh with Kuunkuiskaajat here.

Kenan Doğulu's latest


Kenan Doğulu has released a second video from his latest album Patron, Aşkkolik. It is very different from his Helsinki 2007 effort Shake it up, shekerim. I like it. A lot. He has had time to collaborate also with Bora Uzer in Bundan Sonra Böyle.

Cristal Snow is Killing me!

From Scarred to Killing me. Cristal Snow who charmed us in Euroviisut with Can't save me (3rd) is ready to release his second album God made me wicked in the end of May, and the first single is already out. The first album The Prophecy went to #10.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

One day in Zaandam with 3minutes.me

Here are some photos gladly taken from 3minutes.me . Check out the site for more photos, interviews and all things that happened yesterday in the Netherlands!

Kuunkuiskaajat in Zaandam

Kuunkuiskaajat were one of the many artists performing in last night's Eurovision in concert event in Zaandam near Amsterdam. Watch them in action here. And here.

OGAE clubs are voting again

The national OGAE club votings are on again and 8 clubs have already cast and published their votes. But before we go to see the 2010 votes let's see how it all went last year, shall we? 
Norway was a runaway winner in OGAE as in the contest itself but the clubs put France second (ended 8th) and Sweden third (ended 21st). Eventual runner up Iceland was 8th and the third placed Azerbaijan 6th in the clubs. In total the club got only one, Norway, right in the top-5 but if we look at top-10 the number is already 8! And 11 right in top-15. Not bad. The clubs believed firmly on beforementioned Sweden but also Spain (5th but ended 23rd) and Finland (12th but ended 25th). On the other hand Armenia (10th, with clubs 17th), Russia (11th, with clubs 24th) and Moldova (14th, with clubs 26th) did much better than fans expected. So, judging this way the clubs can pick up mostly the successes and the losers, with some exceptions and surprises, as always. And that's what makes Eurovision... Eurovision!

Here are the votes from OGAE UK:
1 Spain, 2 Germany, 3 Belgium, 4 Sweden, 5 Albania, 6 Croatia, 7 Norway, 8 Denmark, 10 Iceland and 12 Ireland
Here are the votes from OGAE Turkey:
1 Ireland, 2 Switzerland, 3 Ukraine, 4 Albania, 5 Israel, 6 Sweden, 7 Denmark, 8 Armenia, 10 Azerbaijan and 12 Germany
Here are the votes from OGAE FYR Macedonia:
1 Sweden, 2 Denmark, 3 Moldova, 4 Azerbaijan, 5 Slovakia, 6 Armenia, 7 France, 8 Albania, 10 Turkey and 12 Croatia
Here are the votes from OGAE Luxembourg:
1 Iceland, 2 Croatia, 3 Sweden, 4 Denamrk, 5 Spain, 6 Ireland, 7 Norway, 8 Belgium, 10 Lithuania and 12 Germany
Here are the votes from OGAE France:
1 Romania, 2 Ireland, 3 Norway, 4 Armenia, 5 Spain, 6 Greece, 7 Slovakia, 8 Iceland, 10 Israel and 12 Denmark
Here are the votes from OGAE Greece:
1 Turkey, 2 Azerbaijan, 3 Ireland, 4 Albania, 5 Israel, 6 Iceland, 7 Germany, 8 Armenia, 10 Croatia and 12 Spain
Here are the votes from OGAE Slovenia::
1 Slovakia, 2 Serbia, 3 Greece, 4 Sweden, 5 Croatia, 6 Israel, 7 Iceland, 8 Denmark, 10 Borway and 12 Ireland
Here are the votes from OGAE Norway:
1 Sweden, 2 Azerbaijan, 3 Ireland, 4 the Netherlands, 5 Armenia, 6 Greece, 7 Iceland, 8 Denmark, 10 Spain and 12 Switzerland

Here is the full list after the eight first clubs:
1.Denmark 49 2.Ireland 39 3.Iceland 39 4. Croatia 35 5.Germany 33 6.Spain 33 7.Armenia 31 8.Norway 27 9.Israel 26 10.Albania 21 11.Sweden 19 12.Azerbaijan 18 13.Greece 15 14.Slovakia 13 15.Switzerland 12 16.Belgium 11 17.Turkey 11 18.Lithuania 10 19.France 7 20.Netherlands 4 21.Moldova 3 22.Ukraine 3 23.Serbia 2 24.Romania 1

The biggest moneymakers abroad

Teosto ry has published the songs that have made the most money abroad in 2008 based on radioplay, TV, recordings or other public performances. Truth to be said, the top-10 includes only pieces by Sibelius with  only The Rasmus's In the shadows at #3, so they have published also a Sibelius-free top-10 and it is:

1. The Rasmus - In the shadows
2. Arn - Tempelriddaren (soundtrack)
3. Darude - Sandstorm
4. Arn2 - Riket på vägen's slut (soundtrack)
5. Einojuhani Rautavaara - Cantus Arcticus
6. Him - Join me in death
7. Bomfunk MC's - Freestyler
8. The Rasmus - Living in a world without you
9. Kwan - Tainted love
10. Mongol (soundtrack)

Worth noting is the presence of Tuomas Kantelinen who has written the music to three movies in top-10: the Swedish saga Arn 1+2, and the Russian Mongol. Besides Sibelius another classical music composer gets in, Einojuhani Rautavaara.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Anna Bergendahl: I could date girls

Anna Bergendahl, the Swedish hope in Oslo 2010, says she could date girls. "At the moment I am single and I have been in love with only boys so far but I don't know how it's going to be in the future. I'm only 18 and have the whole life ahead of me and why should I put some limits? People categorize things so easily. Feelings are feelings and I could absolutely think of dating girls! I don't see any reason to hide that." After all, it is her life. And this summer in tour all over Sweden.

Album and baby for The Ark

Helsinki 2007 Swedish entrants The Ark are back with a new album In full regalia. The new CD comes out as a magazine!  The new single is Superstar. The frontman Ola Salo also became father for the first time a few days ago and is now a proud father a daughter, Judith. He got married last year to Anneli Pekula - both their names give out their Finnish origin btw.

Sweden: Carlsson & Perrelli to perform the wedding song

Eurovision and Melodifestivalen veterans Charlotte Perrelli and Magnus Carlsson have been selected to record the special single title Mitt livs gemål  for the crown princess Victoria's wedding in June 19. The single will be released a couple of weeks before and it is not sure yet if they will be part some of the official celebrations. In 1976 when king Carl XVI Gustaf wed Silvia - also on June 19 - ABBA's Dancing queen became unofficial wedding anthem. It was first performed in the party the night before the wedding.

Vote Sietse!

In short: a 16 year old Sietse Bakker founded esctoday.com back in 2000. In six years it had become the Eurovision site, source of information and meeting place for the fans. Even EBU noted it and asked him to go and develop Eurovision.tv. So at 22 he went on to make a real makeover and facelift to that official site. And now at 26 he is nominated in his native the Netherlands for the Communication talent of the year award.
"I think you can only be successful if you do what you most like. To me, that has proven to be a valuable goal, both when developing myself as well as while working with an amazing team of volunteers from all over Europe," Sietse Bakker said in the interview with the award organisers, adding that he is "grateful to take part in this election because honestly, I rather let others judge if I am good at what I do than spreading the word myself."  Vote for him here.

Katri Helena gets Negative

Katri Helena, often named the most positive person in Finland gets Negative. The band that is. Glam rockers have joined forces with her last night in concert in Tampere. "This is my first time on stage in a rock concert" she commented. Their duet, a Tehosekoitin cover Hetken tie on kevyt. In reality it's all about promo campaign for Aino and Reino shoes. Here is the video from the press meeting of Reinos/Ainos.
It might be Katri's first time but another grand old lady Paula Koivuniemi is already a regular on rock concerts and has even recorded recently an album of Finnish rock classics. Will Katri follow her footsteps...?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Poland: A new legenda

Marcin Mrozinski finally releases the new version of Legenda, his entry for Oslo 2010 for Poland. The release has been delayed due to the recent tragic events in Poland. The backing vocals and the orchestration are less challenging this time, especially in the intro. The song has its charm, like Spain has its and I like both. Let's see which one scores better or shall they eat each others votes? Listen and watch here.

Eurovision in concert, vol 2 tomorrow!

Last year the first Eurovision in concert was held and this year the succesful event takes place again in Zaandam. At least 17 of this years artists will be there - Malta's Thea Garrett has had to cancel due Icelandic ash affairs, and Poland's Marcin Mrozinski for the tragic air crash - and for the first time the Finnish entrant will be featured as well as Kuunkuiskaajat will share the stage with Harel Skaat (Israel), Alyosha (Ukraine), Juliana Pasha (Albania), Tom Dice (Belgium), Milan Stankovic (Serbia), Miro (Bulgaria), Aisha (Latvia), Filipa Azevedo (Portugal), maNga (Turkey, Jon Lilygeen & The Islanders (Cyprus), Michael von der Heide (Switzerland), Anzanbel Roka Zlindere & Kalamari (Slovenia), Sofia Nizharazde (Georgia), InCulto (Lituania), Josh (UK) and of course Sieneke (Netherlands). More info here.

Telenor Arena taken over by NRK

NRK and EBU have started preparations in the Telenor Arena yesterday. It may look empty now but the work started by laying a new floor over the grass in the field and the preparations and building of the stage and the rest can take a full swing as of today. In the picture Jan Ola Sand, executive producer of Eurovision song contest 2010.

Portugal: One of those Filipa days

Portugal's Filipa Azevedo got a chance to live one of those Madonna like star days when her video for Há dias assim was filmed in Lisbon's Hotel Pestana Palace's Presidental Suite where Madonna amongst others have stayed. Watch it here.

Romania: Playing with remix

Paula Seling and Ovi for Romania have also released a remix for their entry Playing with fire. Listen here. They also have a fancy video now, here. For me Romania is a dark horse this year. When I'm listening to it I like it a lot but when I'm not I don't even remember it exists... Televoters will surely fly it to the final though.

UK: It doesn't sound good to me

What an earth happened in the UK? When Josh Dubovie was selected to perform the Stock-Waterman penned That sounds good to me everyone kinda accepted it as a quickly made demo and were expecting something great when the final mix comes out. And here it is. Slower and duller than ever. And it's not Josh's fault. What were you thinking, who you finalized the track? I wonder if UK can make it out from the Bottom4 with this...? Yawn.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sweden: This is my remix

Niclas Kings has remixed the Swedish entry This is my life by Anna Bergendahl. Listen to the Niclas Kings Radio remix here and the extended version here. And here's a lovely acoustic live version.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BWO no more

BWO is no more for the time being. Martin Rolinski will go and try a solo career, while Alexander Bard continues his musical journey with Gravitonas with singer Andreas Öhrn. BWO lived from 2004 to 2010 and was born after Vacuum where Bard and Marina Schitjenko already worked together. Bard had even before that Army of Lovers. BWO of Bodies Without Organs took part in Melodifestivalen 4 times: Gone in 2005, Temple of love in 2006 (2nd), 2008 Lay your love on me (3rd) and You're not alone in 2009. Over the years they were also rumoured to be considering entering the national finals in Poland and UK but eventually never did. The band was also very popular in Finland, Ukraine and Russia.

Kuunkuiskaajat here and there and everywhere

Kuunkuiskaajat's bubbly energy was tonight in MTV3's news programme 45 minuuttia (It's quite interesting these post-Lordi days MTV3, YLE's competitor, gives Eurovision quite a lot attention...) telling about their preparations for Oslo 2010 and confirming they have been booked to tour Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Russia after Eurovision. Today the girls are in Russia and tomorrow they will have a press meeting at YLE's head quarters in Helsinki. You can follow it live here at noon CET.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kuunkuiskaajat in Russia

Kuunkuiskaajat will perform tomorrow in St.Petersburg in the opening ceremony of a new ferry line from St.Petersburg to Helsinki and on its maiden voyage. Prime minister Vladimir Putin will also have a chance to admire the girls in the occasion. On Thursday they will perform on the other end of the line, in Helsinki. The girls have been keeping very busy and their main concern at the moment seems to be wheter they will be able to attent the Eurovision in concert in the Netherlands on Saturday!

Belgium: Me and my video

Tom Dice went all the way to the US to film a video for his entry for Belgium, Me and my guitar. Well, it kinda fits the mood of the song, doesn't it? Watch here.

Turkey: It could be the same

Manga has released a new version of their entry for Oslo 2010, We could be the same. I don't know what's new about it as it sounds the same to me as the previous one. That is: very good! Listen here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Presenting the 2010 stars: Filipa Azevedo - Portugal

Portugal's 44th entry to the Eurovision song contest is Há dias assim sung by Filipa Azevedo. Finland won with its 40th attempt so Portugal breaks the record by now easily. Next in line are Iceland and Malta who are entering for the 23rd time in 2010. Over the years Portugal has reached the top-10 only 8 times and never the top-5. Lucia Moniz came 6th in 1996. After 4 failed attempts to reach the final the last two years Portugal has made it to the final gaining 13th and 15th place.
But back to Portugal and Filipa. She's only 18 and currently lives in London where she studies music tehcnology and music production after studies in the Music conversatory in Porto. She kick started her career by winning a TV talent show Familia Super Star at the age of 16 in 2008 and released her debut album shortly after. The song was written by a 42 year old journalist Augusto Madureira, who already debuted in the Portuguese national final as an author last year reaching the 4th place with O teu lugar, performed by another Filipa, Baptista. It was also sent to the OGAE Second chance contest and gained 10th place.
Here's the English version of Há dias assim.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Johanna Kurkela hits #1

Johanna Kurkela's fourth album Hyvästi, Dolores Haze went straight to number one in the official Finnish album chart! It includes the first single Rakkauslaulu and the new Tuo se mulle. There's also a Vuokko Hovatta cover, Kosketusta vailla vapiseva mies. Vuokko herself climbs from #34 to #19 herself. Here is her original. 
Another new entry at number 3: Paula Koivuniemi. The album Rakkaudesta includes several covers from Finnish pop-rock classics tastefully done like Rakkautta ja piikkilankaa and Rakkauden haudalla, Anna Eriksson drops to #28 and Meiju Suvas to #30. 
Meiju's double 30th anniversary celebration greatest hits includes her covers of songs like Volare, Dag efter dag, Främling and Diggi-loo diggi-ley amongst others. 
In the singles also a new entry at number one. Raptori's remake of their 80's hit Oi beibi makes it to number one again!

The Finnish postcard filmed

NRK was in Helsinki to film the Finnish postcard for Oslo 2010 in a sunny weather. The location was also changed from Kiasma to Senate's square - familiar place for all viewers of Helsinki 2007. Check out the photos here.

Gadget

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