Monday, February 28, 2011

Cyprus presents its entry

Cyprus joins the club and presents its song. Christos Mylordos was chosen as the singer already last year and seems like there haven't really been high hopes put on his shoulders and the song? Well, on the positive side it's in Greek which is nice. The rest you have to listen yourself: San aggelos S’agapisa

And here comes the annual let's change the song and singer scandal in Ukraine

Well, I was expecting this. It took a bit longer than I expected but today it has blown all over. The ladies Mika, Jamala and Zlata are in cat fight who really won Satuday night. On top of that Mika wants to change her song that she won with! Only in Ukraine! Let's see if the last year's fiasco will happen all over again! How hard is it to pick a song? And an artist? And how's poor Vasyl Lazarovich doing these days?
You can read all the details elsewhere in the net, I'm too amused to even try to wrap it all up! After the laughing pill Belarus offered today this is a funny day!

UPDATE: A new final will he held on March 3 with the ladies. They are supposed to sing the same songs as before, namely Angely, Smile and The kukushka. There will be televote and only only one vote per phone will be counted.

Israel: Dana & co - here are the songs!

IBA has published today the songs for Kdam 2011, including the long awaited Ding dong by Dana International. The Israeli final will take place on March 8, 2011. Here they are:

Adi Cohen - Al haavah
Knob - Phev et ze
Chen Ahroni - Or
Idit Halevi - It's my time
Hatikva 6 - Hakol sababa
Nikki Goldstein - Amti eifach
Sivan Bahnem - Kach oti
Michael & Shimrit Greilsammer - Tu du du
Dana International - Ding dong
Carmel Ekman - El gagoai

Anastasiya Vinnikova for Belarus

Lol, now this is one of the funniest things I have heard for a long time and I only have one question in mind: Are you serious? Born in Belorussia, the Belarussian entry in 2011. It's a long three minutes. And the lyrics won't help. Even poor Anastasiya seems to be thinking what she's got herself into....

Elvis, Barbra and Carola

Carola's awaited tribute to Barbra Streisand and Elvis Presley will be released shortly but the tracklist and the cover have been already released.  Six songs from both legends: Suspicious Minds, In the Ghetto, Enough is Enough, Woman in Love, Always On My Mind, You've Lost That Loving Feeling, Evergreen, Watch Closely Now, Heartbreak Hotel, Lead Me Guide Me, Guilty,  The Way We Were.
She will be touring Sweden with the material starting from Gävle on March 24 and ending 15 concerts later in Luleå on April 17. This is her 14th studio album and 27th if you count various live albums, compilations, Christmas albums and all sort of styles she has recorded since 1983.  Her next release will be a live gospel CD and DVD. When will be get a new pop album???

Vlatko Ilievski for FYR Macedonia

The Macedonian everlasting final ended at some point last night when I had already given up and went to bed. Vlatko Ilievski's Rusinka was voted the winner by both the jury and televote and indeed was one of the rare songs that stood out somehow, if not for other but Kirka-like vocals. Vlatko already came iqual 1st last year, 6th in 2009 and 18th in 2008 so he was 4th time lucky.

Round up of the Super Weekend!

This is what's been chosen this week: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Turkey, Austria
Saturday's happenings:
Croatia - semifinal 587, info here, results here
Denmark - info here, results here
Estonia - info here, results here
Latvia - info here, results here
Moldova final - info here, results here
Serbia - info here, results here
Sweden - semifinal 4, info here, results here
Ukraine - info here, results here
Sunday's happenings:
Slovenia . info here, results here 
FYR Macedonia - info here, results here


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Maja Keuc for Slovenia!

Slovenia goes all vanilla tonight and Maja Keuc's Vanilija beats April with 28.908 votes against 11.993. These two songs were selected of the superfinal and televote by three women jury: Darja Svajger, Severina and Mojca Mavec. One of the best national finals of the season with its two best songs in the final. Life's good! here's her live performance.

Meet the SuperSaturday's winners

UKRAINE
Mika Newton (25) won an bit surprisingly the Ukrainian final beating Pridhenko, Zlata and Jamala amongst others. She has been singing since she was 9 and released her first album back in 2005 with her band. Her song Angely has been translated into English for the occasion. This didn't convince we with the first impact but it's not bad.

MOLDOVA
Zdob si Zdub returns to Eurovision after 5 years. In 2005 they were the country's first represant and with a little help of their granny took the sixth place with Boonika bate toba. This time their song is So lucky and instead of a granny they have funny hats. They're together since 1994 and have released nine albums so far. In some wicked way I like this a little like I did like the granny songs, too. A little.

SERBIA
Nina Danica Radojicic won in Serbia with Čaroban which translates to Magic. She is fairly unknow 21-year-old lead singer of a group called Legal Sex Department. The song is written by Kristina Kovac. This left me a bit cold with the first impact but further listenings make it better....

DENMARK
A friend in London is the strange name of the Danish band that won their selection. They formed in 2005 in Vostrup. In 2008 they beat some 40.000 bands all over the worls in Battle od the Bands and hit it big in Canada of all places where they have toured ever since. They are going to release their debut album in 2011, with the Eurovision boost. Their entry is called New tomorrow following songs like What a way and Now you're here.Their song owns its hook to Andreas Johnson. I liked this in the snippet but more I hear it less I like it.

ESTONIA
Getter Jaani (18) comes from reality show Eesti etsib superstaari, season 3 in 2009. She came only 4th but got her revenge now. The entry Rockefeller Street will be her third single after Parim päev and Grammofon. She has released an EP last year. A good pop song I guess but leaves me totally indifferent.

LATVIA
Musiqq is Marats Ogleznevs and Emils Balceris. Marats used to be the singer and songwriter for band Device but has now joined forces wih Emils and they have already scored several radiohits in Latvia: Klimata kontrole, Abracadabra, Dzīve Izdodas and Dzimšanas diena. Now the big breakthrough when they won over superfavourite Lauris Reiniks with Angel in disguise. My favourite of these six. I have always had a softspot for electric popduos like Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Disco and so on....

Jenni wins seven Emmas!

Last night was Jenni Vartiaine's as expected. She won a total of seven Emmas: Best Album, Best Song, Best Live artist, Most sold album, Female Artist, Best Pop7Rock album and Best Video. On top of that her producer Jukka Immonen was awaeded as the Producer of the year. Paleface got three Emmas: Etno Album, Hip hop-Electro-Reggae Album and Male Artist. Here's the song of the year, En haluu kuolla tänä yönä. Live with big orchestra! Check out all the winners here.

Tonight: Final in Slovenia - UPDATED LIVE

Get in the mood with this!
Final tonight also in Slovenia where refreshingly there has been no semifinals or semifinals but just straighforward final tonight with ten songs. Listen to the songs here. Ema used to be one of the most plastic and kitch national selection one can imagine - yet with some great songs in there - but they have taken a new approach to it after recent disasters. And a very solid pack it is! It's very interesting to see what Slovenians will pick! One of the best national finals of the season for sure. Partisans are incredibly annoyingly catchy, Feliks makes BeeGees live again, Maja offers Slavic drama, April Gaga Italodisco just like Sylvain & co, Nina some summer pop, Omar classic Eurovision pop in and oldfashioned way just like Time to Time. Leelookamais is a bit more challaneging and Tabu a bit more poprock. The strongest national final of the season for sure. I would be happy with anyone winning but if I have to cut someone out it'd be Tabu. And Leeloojamais and Time to time. Anyone else will do nicely, thank you.

UPDATE: Finally a different stage! Well done Slovenia! The show looks and sounds fine here (the webcast in eurovision.tv isn't working) and I missed the partisans. But Tabu were good and Nina fab! Maja: wow that was boombastic and dramatic. A classic Slovenian explosion - that they usually never send even if they should. But has the time of these songs passed? Anyways, would be a good choice anyways. With so many goodies to choose from I wonder what they will send?!
Feliks is good songwise, too, but lacks the stage presense of the ladies so we can finally eliminate someone from the top :-) Leeloojamais would stand out in any other lineup but this one. Shouty and confusing. The worst so far - yet not bad. April: Slovenian Lady Gaga indeed but it doesn't matter. The song's very catchy, vocally not maybe the best but in the line up for Eurovision at the moment this would stand out like a needle in the eye so... Another very good choice if selected! Sylvain & co: We stay in discotheque. Not as annoyingly catchy as Lady April, still a song many national finals would have needed to spice up things a little! Though this lacks a memorable hook that would make people vote for this one. It's nice but not irritating or annoying that would cause some real reaction.
Time to time: Propably the worst choice Slovenia could make tonight. Simply just not going anywhere and the family trick is already old with two pairs of twins in the line up in Dusseldorf....Last but not least Omar Naber. This song feels a bit fake, like manufactured on board for Eurovision adding all the cliches - musically that is, Omar didn't strip! Sing-a-long chorus, chamber music influences in piano and overal... well, not so impressive if you listen it a bit better. No, the winner must come from the ladies! :-) Or is it time for revolution?
The jurors Darja Svajger, Severina and someone who hasn't sung in Eurovision (?) will rank the songs with 1 to 5 points and the top-2 gets to the televote. ... April is the first superfinalist!!! :-) And the second one is Maja Keuc!! Excellent excellent!!! Now starts the televote. Two very different songs to choose from, both very good! Love the jury! But Maja? Or April? Or Maja? Or April? I'm happy with both but maybe... April?
Oh no, Africa paprika is on stage now! Sporting one of Nina Hagen's old looks.... Followed by Darja Svajger... don't tell me the third lady will sing, too? We already have the presenter belting out these songs....

  1. Rock Partyzani - Time for revolution
  2. Tabu - Moje luči
  3. Nina Pušlar - Bilo lipo bi
  4. Maja Keuc - Vanilija
  5. Feliks Langus - Disco raj
  6. Leeloojamais - Slovenka
  7. April - Ladadidej
  8. Sylvain, Mike Vale feat. Hannah Mancini - Ti si tisti
  9. Time to Time -Pravi čas
  10. Omar Naber - Bistvo skrito je očem

    Tonight: Final in FYR Macedonia

    FYR Macedonia has its traditional Skopje festival tonight and the winner goes to Eurovision. As always there are several familiar names. Listen to snippets here. I have no idea who should win as Macedonians usually always pick up something I had not even considered.... :-)

    1. Rok Agresori – Kukuriku
    2. Boban Mojsovski – Te krade toj
    3. Olivera Gorgovska – Na kraj
    4. Angelina Stojanoska – Znaes li
    5. Skipi & Tajzi – Ostavi politika i pojacaj ton
    6. Amir Ibrahimovski & Art Sound – Posledna pesna
    7. Emilija Gievska feat. Andrej Miske – Paranoja
    8. Riste Tevdovski – Ne se menuva ljubovta
    9. Martin Srbinovski – Ram tam tam
    10. Lidija Kocovska – Bozji pateki
    11. Goran Kargov – Lazes deka ne boli
    12. Zdravka Mircevska – Ludost
    13. Natasa Malinkova – Greshka
    14. Ile Spasov – Tugja si
    15. Filip Jordanovski – Sekogash nekoj poveke vredi
    16. Natalija Slaveva – Ne mi trebas
    17. Ivan Jovanov & Denis Eks – Kockar
    18. Offside – Sekoj den
    19. Vlatko Ilievski – Rusinka
    20. Vodolija – Ne vrakaj se

    Croatia: Daria vs Jacques!

    A surprise twist in the end of the Croatian lenghty selection process. Daria Kinzer got the most televotes and flew to the final together with Jacques Houdek dropping the favourite Ziga out of the race. Next week the two lucky ones will each sing three songs in the Croatian final and the winner goes to Dusseldorf.

    Musiqq for Latvia!

    What? Reiniks didn't win? Well, good! Musiqq with Angel in disguise goes to Dusseldorf. Reiniks came second and Pieninu Vins third. This could just be my favourite of the songs selected tonight :-) Here is the live performance.

    Saturday, February 26, 2011

    Mika Newton for Ukraine!

    Mika Newton has won the Ukrainian final. She won all the three votings: jury, televote, internet voting. Well, I don't know how? It's not that special, in fact it's quite a bore. Yawn. Angel wings and all. Here's the original Ukrainian version Angely. And here's the English final version.
    Now as the results are out we can see cuccuu-Zlata came second and Jamala third:
    (draw/artists/internet votes=points/televotes=points/jury votes=points: as Newton won all she got 3 x 21 = average 21.00 if that makes sense...)

    13 Mika Newton 37384 21 29064 21 21 21.00
    1 Zlata Ognevich 14349 13 19900 19 19 18.40
    6 Jamala 37232 19 10800 17 17 17.20
    2 Darya Medova 32587 16 2980 16 13 14.65
    16 Ivan Berezovsky 1289 5 2502 14 16 14.00
    5 Alexey Matias 24924 15 2539 15 11 13.20
    14 Eduard Romanyuta 5902 12 2472 13 13 12.90
    19 Anastasiya Prikhodko 14821 14 1119 12 12 12.20
    8 Alyona Korneyeva 1208 4 879 11 14 11.65
    7 Mila Nitich 181 1 560 9 15 10.90
    10 EL Kravchuk 34488 17 676 10 8 9.80
    18 Vladislav Levitskiy 1494 6 450 8 12 9.60
    4 Group Bahroma 2836 9 295 7 10 8.55
    9 Denis Povaliy 2498 8 286 6 9 7.55
    17 Group Zaklopky 2320 7 181 4 10 7.00
    3 Zhemchug 509 2 270 5 7 5.60
    11 Shanis 3184 10 91 1 8 5.05
    12 Vitaliy Galay 3378 11 122 2 DQ
    15 Tatyana Vorzheva 1098 3 124 3 DQ

    A Friend in London for Denmark!

    A Friend in London has won the Danish final with New tomorrow. Here is the live performance. It's kind of refreshing Denmark didn't fall to the plastic trap again!
    I kinda like it even if I would have preferred the runner up Anna Noa's Sleepless.

    Nina for Serbia!

    Nina has just won the Serbian selection with Čaroban Sorry, but I'm usually a friend of Serbian entries but... no. Not yet at least. :-(
    She won with 14.900 votes against Aleksandra's 5.990 cotes and The Breeze was last with 1.490.

    Zdob si Zdub for Moldova!

    Zdob si Zdub return to Eurovision! With So lucky. Without the granny. Not really my cup of tea but there's something about this I must admit. Something annoying enough to make it stand out....The jury totally dropped Karzma! Here is Zdob's live performance with Leningard Coyboys inspired hats.

    RESULTS: (televote + juryvote)
    Zdob si Zdub – So lucky  10 + 10 = 20
    Natalia Barbu – Let’s Jazz  7 + 12 = 19
    Pasha Parfeny – Dorule  8 + 8 = 16
    KARIZMA – When Life is Grey  12 + 1 = 13
    MILENIUM – In memoriam  6 + 7 = 13
    Boris Covali & Cristina Croitoru – Break it up  5 + 6 = 11
    Valeria Tarasova – This is my life  2 + 5 = 7
    Mariana Mihaila – Mi rey  4 + 0 = 4
    Aurel Chistoaca  0 + 4 = 4
    Dumitru Socican – Ma pierd când o văd  3 + 0 = 3
    M-Studio  0 + 3 = 3
    Cristina Scariat 0 + 2 = 2
    Corina Cuniuc – Şi tac  1 + 0 = 1

    Getter Jaani for Estonia!

    Getter Jaani wins the Estonian national final with 62% of the votes in the superfinal against Outloundz. Her song is Rockfeller Street.

    Welcome #197 Niger!

    We are nearing 200 when Niger enters the world of Blogilkar and gets number 197! Welcome!

    Tonight: Final in Denmark - UPDATED

    The Danish have their say tonight hoping to find something that would repeat last year's success. Jenny of Ace of Base fame is amongst the participants and other artists and writers also come a bit here and there instead of Denmark. In snippets they all seem to be the same: or uptempo happy pop or a r'n'b ballads. I have no favourite and I better not pick up one as I never get it so wrong as in Denmark where my favourite never wins. But even so I would pick up Anne Noa or A friend in London. Based on snippets that you can hear here.

    UPDATE: The four songs made it to the superfinal and Anne beat Stine and is in final 2.
    A friend in London beats Le Freak so the supersuperfinal is Anne vs A friend in London.

    1. Anne Noa - Sleepless -> top-4
    2. Jenny Berggren - Let your heart be mine 
    3. Jeffrey - Drømmen 
    4. Le Freak - 25 hours a day -> top-4
    5. Sine Vig - You'll get me through 
    6. Stine Kinck - Hvad hjertet lever af -> top-4
    7. Lee Hutton - Hollywood
    8. Christopher Brandt - Emma
    9. Kat & Justin Hopkins - Black and blue 
    10. A Friend in London - New tomorrow -> top-4

    Tonight: Final in Ukraine - UPDATED

    Ukraine, one of the most succesful Eurovision countries in the recent years has its final tonight. And about the time, too! It feels like this selection has been dragging on since last summer! I have two firm favourites: Zlata and Armiya, but Jamala seems to be the favourite along with dreadful Anastasiya. I mean Anastasiya is not dreadful, mind you I liked Mama a lot but her song this time is!

    UPDATE: Incredible chaos in Ukraine in this year, too. Have you ever heard a song has been cancelled during the show for using autotune and bacing vocals? or having seven persons on stage? Don't they rehearse? Set rules? See the performances beforehand? Jeez... But that's what's going on in Ukraine right now. This very moment... Let's see how it goes on...AND WHERE IS ARMIYA???

    1. Alexey Matias - Myself
    2. Zlata Ognevich - The Kukushka
    3. Mika Newton - Angely
    4. Jamala - Smile
    5. Neksi - Sever-jug
    6. El Kravchuck - Moja nadejda
    7. Eduard Romanyuta - Berega
    8. Darya Medova - Infinity
    9. Armyia - Alo, alo . ????
    10. Vitalj Galaj - My expression -> disqualified during the show
    11. Anastasiya Prikhodko - Action
    12. Bahroma - Cernoe more
    13. Vladislav Levitsky - Love
    14. Denys Povaly - Aces high
    15. Shanis - Ya tvoja
    16. Jemchug - Hero
    17. Ivan Berezovskiy - Ave Maria
    18. Tanya Vorzeva - Vsyo reseno -> disqualified during the show
    19. Elena Korneeva - Why did I say goodbye
    20. Zaklyopki - Superhero (Uh-la-la)
    21. Mila Nitich - Goodbye

    Tonight: Final in Moldova

    Two previous Eurovision stars - both did even well - are in tonight's final, Natalia and Zdob si Zdub. Also many other familiar names in the list. But this is a good example of a national final where there are way too many songs. Cut it to 10-12 and it would be a very good selection (of course if they picked the right songs!).
    Amongst the writer Rafael Artesero (no, it's not Mi rey!)and Ralph Siegel. I really don't have a favourite but if I have to name someone I say Boris & Cristina, Karzma, Millenium, Natan and Zdob si Zdub.You can listen all the entries here

    1. Natan - Dacă dragoste mai e
    2. Natalia Barbu - Let's jazz
    3. Formaţia "Ion Krasnopolski" - Cu fanfara până dimineaţa
    4. Anişoara Balmuş - You and I
    5. Denis Latişev - It’s my first dance with you
    6. Pasha Parfeny - Dorule
    7. Doiniţa Gherman - Viaţa
    8. Corina Cuniuc - Şi tac
    9. Cristina Scarlat - Every day will be your day
    10. Diana Staver - Love song
    11. Dumitru Socican - Ma pierd când o văd
    12. Nicoleta Gavriliţa - Just your friend
    13. Adriana Voloşenco - I can win the game
    14. Boris Covali & Cristina Croitoru - Break it up
    15. Ruslan Taranu - Lumina mea
    16. Milenium - In memoriam
    17. Odry - Doina, dor nemărginit
    18. Karizma - When life is grey
    19. Vadim Luchin & Tamaz Djgarcava - Always
    20. Mariana Mihaila - Mi rey
    21. Valeria Tarasova - This is my life
    22. Aurel Chirtoacă - Încă îndrăgostit
    23. M-Studio - Night reflection
    24. Zdob si Zdub - So lucky
    25. Dana Marchitan - Lucky you, lucky me

    Tonight: Melodifestivalen - semifinal 4 - UPDATED

    Sweden's Melodifestivalen circus has moved to Malmö for the fourth and last semifinal. As usual televote will bring one entry directly to the final and the four next songs will be revoted and once again the winner goes to the final, second and third placed to second chance and fourth is out as are the bottom three entries of the first round. I haven't listened the songs so no predictions either :-)

    UPDATE:  Very mediocre semi i Sweden.  And Bengtzing as the winner? That song would never work in Eurovision! And Love Generation os Afro-Dite all over again.Great show and choreographies and such but where are the good songs? The real music?

    Melody Club - The hunter -> 7th
    Julia Alvgard - Better or worse -> 6th
    Lasse Stefanz - En blick och någonting händer-> 5th
    Linda Pritchard - Alive - > Second chance
    Anders Fernette - Run -> 8th
    Linda Bengtzing - E de fel på mig? -> WINNER -> FINAL
    Nicke Borg - Leaving home -> FINAL
    Love Generation - Dance alone -> Second chance

    Tonight: Final in Latvia - UPDATED

    After two semifinals and a second chance round we have the 12 finalists in Latvia. Trianas Park withdraw earlier this week with their Upside down due illness. Listen the songs here. This is a prime example of a national selection were all songs are uninteresting or just "nice" - if even that. But then all you need is one good song. Is it Banjo Laura? In this line up I guess he will win hands down. The only other song that raised some interest in me to listen more than 30 secs were Janis Stibelis, Musiqq and D-Family.

    UPDATE: The superfinalists are Lauris Reiniks, Pienenu vins and Musiqq.

    1. Evija Sloka - Don't stop the dance -> top-5
    2. Elina Krastina - Grence - Look back at me again
    3. Ivo Grisnins - Grislis - Cinderella
    4. Trianas Parks - Upside Down -> withdrawn
    5. The Secretz - Summer night
    6.
    Pienenu vins - You are -> top-5
    7. Janis Stibelis - Let it be me
    8. Oksana Lepska - Live on!
    9. Musiqq - Angel in disguise -> top-5
    10. Blitze - Hop -> top-5
    11. D-Family - Daylight
    12. Lauris Reiniks - Banjo Laura -> top-5

    Tonight: Final in Estonia - UPDATED

    After two semifinals we have the Estonian finalists battling it out tonight for Dusseldorg. Once again a very alternative selection of songs out of the Eurovision box. Getter Jaani is the big favourite amongst fans but Estonians know how to surprise even themselves at times so let's wait and see! I have one favourite: Ithaka Maria! 

    UPDATE: The superfinalists are Getter Jaani and Outloudz! Orelipoiss came 3rd followed by Jana Kask, Ithaka Maria, Viktoria, MID, Rolf, Noorkuu and Mimicry last.

    1. Ithaka Maria - Hopa'pa rei!
    2. Rolf Roosalu - All & now
    3. Orelipoiss - Valss
    4. Getter Jaani - Rockefeller Street
    5. Jana Kask - Don't want anything
    6. MID - Smile
    7. Outloudz - I wanna meet Bob Dylan
    8. Mimicry - The storm 
    9. Noorkuu - Be my Saturday night
    10. Victoria - Baby had you

    Nadine Beiler for Austria!

    Good heavens that umpa umpa umpa didn't win! I was calling out for a powerballad yesterday and Lithuania surely didn't convince me but this Austrian one could become one.... The secret is love. The song grows rather wonderfully and the gospel choir in all its Disney like majesty is rather impressive. Me likes after all!

    1. Nadine Beiler - The Secret Is Love
    2. Trackshittaz/Lukas Plöchl - Oida Taunz!
    3. Klimmstein feat. Joe Sumner - Paris, Paris

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Turkey lives it up

    Well now, that headline was cheap wasn't it? Yüksek Sadakat presented their entry for Turkey 2011 titled Live it up. It shounds pretty much exactly as I imagined it would be. Turkish rock. Quite simple and catchy. I guess a top placing is sure for Turkey again, and not because of the Turks all over Europe for this. It is a solid good Eurovision rock song. Life is beautiful, my friend!

    Tonight: Final in Austria - UPDATED

    Austria returns to the contest after a break since Helsinki 2007. Internet selection was held earlier. The jury had its say and now we have ten songs left. There will be only televote in the final. After first round we will have a superfinal with top-3 and new televote. You can watch it on eurovision.tv
    I guess it's pretty open final, with Leo & Paticia being sort of favourites along with Trackshittaz and Klimmstein but we can't rule out Oliver and Nadine either. And will Alkbottle have its fans ready and voting? And what about Richard? My favourites are Klimmstein and Eva. If that umbaumba taunz wins it will go straight to last place in my chart. Painfully boring and not at all annoyingly good as Verka for example.

    UPDATE: And I never realized before Joe Sumner is actually Sting's son! Oh well, maybe that will bring them some more points?And yes, they didn't overdo it on stage and it was fun and fresh. A bit France 2007 but I don't think that was intentional. Ja ja ja I want them for Dusseldorf!
    Have you noticed how many round and circular stages there are in national finals this year? It's a round year!

    01: Band WG- 10 Sekunden Glück
    02: Leo Aberer & Patricia Kaiser- There Will Never Be Another You
    03: Oliver Wimmer- Let Love Kick In
    04: Alkbottle- Wir san do net zum Spaß
    05: Eva K. Anderson- I Will Be Here
    06: Trackshittaz:- Oida Taunz!  SUPERFINAL
    07: Charlee- Good to Be Bad
    08: Klimmstein feat. Joe Summer- Paris, Paris SUPERFINAL
    09: Nadine Beiler- The Secret Is Love SUPERFINAL
    10: Richard Klein- Bigger Better Best

    Emma 2011 - the Finnish Grammys

    Tomorrow night it's a very busy Eurovision night but also the cream of the Finnish pop-rock will be celebrating in annual Emma Gaala, the 25th anniversary edition in Espoo's Barona Arena. The Finnish Grammys in short. Most nominated artists will also perform in the gala. I only wish one day we would have such a list for the Euroviisut final as well.....: On top of that Jenni Vartiainen will have a concert with a 30 piece orchestra after the show!

    Here are some nominees you might know:
     Jenni Vartiainen - Album, Song, Live, Female artist, Pop-rock album
    Suvi Teräsniska - Album, Schlageralbum, Female artistKaija koo - Song
    Lauri Tähkä & Elonkerjuu - Live, Band
    HIM -Metal, Band
    Anna Puu - Female artist, Pop-rock album
    Johanna Kurkela - Schlageralbum
    PMMP - Live
    Apocalyptics - Metal

    And here are the nominess for the Song of the year:
    Jenni Vartiainen - En haluu kuolla tänä yönä
    Fintelligens - Mikä boogie
    Happoradio - Pelastaja
    Pariisin Kevät - Tämän kylän poikii
    Tuure Kilpeläinen ja Kaihon Karavaani - Valon pisaroita
    Kaija Koo - Vapaa
    Antti Yuisku - Male artist
    Maija Vilkkumaa - Female artist
    Laura Närhi - Newcomer
    Reckless Love - Newcomer

    Evelina Sašenko For Lithuania

    Evelina Sašenko's C'est ma vie has won the Lithuanian final last night. I was caling out for a powerballad for Eurovision 2011 and here we have it. Just that isn't that good. Actually it's a snore. She can sing for sure but the song's just not good enough. And her horrid dress doesn't help either...

    Here are the results of the first round (televote + jury), Evelina won both.
    1. Evelina Sašenko — C‘est ma vie  24
    2. Linas Adomaitis — Floating to You  18
    3. Rūta Ščiogolevaitė — I will break free  14
    4. Monika — Days go by  12
    5. Donatas Montvydas — Let me  10
    6. Liepa — Laukiu  9
    7. Urtė Šilagalytė — Candy Baby  6
    8. Sasha Song — The Slogan of Our Nation  6
    9. The Independent — 7th bus  5
    10. VIG Roses — Freedom of mind  4
    11. Donatas Montvydas and Sasha Song — Best Friends  3
    12. Martynas Beinaris — Tomorrow and after  3
    13. Viktorija Ivaškevičiūtė — Be my Baby  2

    In superfinal there was only televote:
    1. Evelina Sašenko — C‘est ma vie  168
    2. Linas Adomaitis — Floating to You  134
    3. Rūta Ščiogolevaitė — I will break free  118


    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Lena's Taken by a stranger video

    Lena's Taken by a stranger's video was previewed in German TV tonight. Will it do the trick?  I never was a fan of this song. Until now. Somehow I got it now. Or my idea of it. And it's fabulous! Watch it here.

    Tonight: Final in Lithuania

    After three semifinals we have the Lithuanian finalists ready and tonight it's the final time. Let's send Vigroses so we have three twins in Dusseldorf (or wannabes at least). With one listening it might be also my real favourite along with Ruta. As long as Sasha Song won't win and distroy the memory of the wonderful Love.
    Update: Witnthe addition of the wildcards the things change and turn interesting. Once again there's rather horrid Sasha Song song dragging poor Donny along whose solo effort it way better and also Urte and Martynas bring some soice to the soup.... 

    Monika - Days go by 
    The Independent - 7th bus 
    Evelina Sasenko - C'est ma vie 
    Liepa - Laukiu 
    Linas Adomaitis - Floating to you 
    Ruta Sciogolevaite - Break free 
    Viktorija Ivaskeviciute - Be my baby
    wildcards:
    Martynas Beinaris - Tomorrow and after
    Urte Silagalyte - Candy baby
    Donny Montell - Let me 
    Donny Montell & Sasha Song - Best friends

    Poli Genova for Bulgaria

    So, Poli took her revenge and won both televote and the jury vote and will do honor to the Bulgarian colors in Dusseldorf. Na inat is not bad  but I would have preferred something else but who knows? The 2011 edition misses the powerballad - who will promide it?

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Tonight: Final in Bulgaria - UPDATE

    Bulgaria will choose its entrant tonight with 50-50 televote-jury. Some familiar names amongst the participants like Poli and Lazar. There's a little bit of everything from sumowrestlers to playmates, from teenage angst to ethno-granny and angry male rock. My favourite is Lazar but he would propably have the faith of Mirò anyways but then, there isn't anything that good either! Poli Genova and Emilka Valente are quite nice and then worth listening are Plamena, Vlad and Jakob as well as 032 and 5-te Sezona - if they only learn English first. You can watch snippets of all entries here. Four songs have withdrawn or disqualified from the original line up. Marked in red. The fun starts 19.30 CET at eurovision.tv 

    UPDATE: I'm watching the show and there isn't much to tell home about except they have a lovely pre-recorded applause going on all the time! :-) Lazar did a great job and what I have seen so far in blogs and chats I'm not alone liking him. Poli Genova got a big applause before and after but I think live singing isn't for her. She ruined One lifetime isn't enough live and pretty much did the same for Na inat. Rather screamy! 
    If Bulgaria wants to have Eurovision Show contest instead of a Song contest they will send Milena's freak show. And mystery revealed Jakob is actually Swedish and has been sporting a questionable look in the his Swedish past as well.But why should Bulgarians choose a foreign nobody? Who doesn't even speak one word Bulgarians.We know how the Swedish composed songs were treated in the Finnish finals ... mind you a singer! Last but not least Emilia Valente killed her beautiful song with very bad vocals so Poli or Lazar it is I hope. Or the freak show. Let's see what the people and jury think.
    22.12 So Poli Genova won, the freak show second and the teen life third.Looks like Poli got consolation for her runner up place last time. The song was way better that time around....

    1. 032 - On air
    2. Poli Genova – Na Inat
    3. Bohan Mihajlov - Nestinari
    4. Sunrise feat All the Access project – Boogie Man
    5. Vesela Boneva (Vessy)- Believe
    6. Lazar Kission – Zamestitel
    7. Vlad Dimov – Sjanka
    8. Svetelina Chendova – Luxury hotel
    9. Rut Koleva – Fever
    10. Wickeda – Blue cotton Levi’s
    11. Milena Slavova – Fire in my hair
    12. Mona – Teen life
    13. Simona Sivanio & Spirit - The new earth
    14. 5-te Sezona – Take my hand
    15. Emilka Valente – Plenjavash me
    16. Zhan Shejtanov- Like a fairy tale
    17. Jerihon – Smile
    18. Stanny Brown feat. NASO – I know
    19. Svetozar Hristov – Wolf’s song
    20. Elmira Kostova – Mome Hubava
    21. Jakob - Wicked way of love
    22. Plamena Petrova – Bez teb

    Sanremo hits the charts. And so does Raphael Gualazzi

    As expected and as always Sanremo takes over the Italian charts. While waiting for the physical charts we already have news from the iTunes. In singles Arriverá by Modà and Emma beats the winner Roberto Vecchioni as they enter the top-2 places. The surprise of the editon, Davide Van De Sfroos hits #3 followed by Luca Barbarossa & Raquel del Rosario, Raphael Gualazzi, Nathalie, La Crus, Giusy Ferreri and Anna Tatangelo at #9 so Sanremo takes the top-9 this week. (Some have released music videos so click the names to find out who!)
    In Albums Sanremo takes over 9 out of top-10 places (only Jovanotti resisting the attack at #9): Modá #1 followed by Raphael Gualazzi, Roberto Vecchioni and then Nathalie at #7, Max Pezzali at #8 and Giusy Ferreri at #10. The places 4-6 are taken over by the Sanremo 2011 compilations. 
    A real thriuph for Raphael Gualazzi in Jazz Song Downloads where he takes over nine out of ten places in top-10 (only Norah Jones at #9), Follia d'amore obviously at #1 followed by Lady 'O, Reality and fantasy, Calda estate, Don't stop, Behind the sunrise, A three seconds breath, Saró sarai and Tuesday.

    Lucía Pérez - Galician pride

    Daniel Motiño Camúñez reports:
     TVE has officially presented Que me quiten lo bailao in a press conference held yesterday in Madrid. The Spanish broadcaster is proud and happy with the outcome of Destino Eurovisión Lola Molina stated -We have found a great singer and a great song that will help us going back to the top in Düsseldorf (was she high?). Lucía also expressed her happiness with the result - Que me quiten lo bailao is a positive song that help us forget all bad things around and invite us to dance. She expressed her hopes for the song -I wish this song will be a hit in Spain- (yeah keep on wishing...we might look for a genie in a bottle) and said she was quite surprised with the 68% of the votes as she knew she could win but not for a landmile (well, have you seen your concurrence sweetheart? The intensive work for Lucía starts now, first with recording of the video clip and also the new version of the song that will be made in Barcelona. Chema Purón, composer of Vuelve Conmigo and Colgado de un Sueño the Spanish entried from 1995 and 2000 will work with Rafael Artesero in the new version of the song. He has lead Lucía's career from the beginning and he would like to give the song an ethnic touch (???? this scares me) and they might introduce some Galician sentenes on it. The song will be recorded as well in Galician, French and English. TVE is working also on a promotion tour all around Europe, specially in the numerous Galician centers through all the continent. Galicians are really nationalistic people, much alike the Irish emigrants, from Spain and there are numerous groups all Europe, specially in France, Switzerland, Belgium, United Kingdom and Germany. Lucía is 25 years old, but she already has 4 albums released and represented Spain twice in the Chilean Viña del Mar Song Contest. She is ready to embark her biggest challenge ever. Eurovision Song Contest.

    Senit: To dance or not to dance?

    The rumour from San Marino is that Senit has it down to two songs. One, apparently called Il silenzio dell'amore is a powerballad and the other Passione movimento an up beat dance track. Both songs are a mix of Italian and English. The song xhould be revealed on March 11, 2011.
    She did a gig in Bologna some time ago and you can read about that here. (I'd die to hear that Sará perche ti amo! The song that made me learn Italian some 30 years ago!) And guess what? She is really getting into the Eurovision mood following closely the happening in other countries and blogging about it in her website. I wish the the other artists where more like that!

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Lena Ph dances in the neon lights

    Dansa i neon is Lena Philipsson's real classic from Melodifestivalen 1987. Reaching only 5th it is propably the biggest hit from that year and has since been covered several times, including Magnus Carlsson's Barbados. But Lena herself never recorded in in English but now here it is, together with Dead by April having a metal treatment. Already #2 in iTunes. And here's the live version from Melodifestivalen 2011. Lena is in the charts also with her come back single Idiot at the moment at #12 and the new album is the making. Can't wait!

    Bosnian love in rewind

    Thank you Dino! Thank you Bosnia-Herzegovina! You have restored my faith in Eurovision for today at least. Adter 15 rather mediocre entries chosen this year so far here comes Love in rewind that I cannot help but listen and rewind all over again. Great track! At this point I say Sarajevo 2012 but let's wait and see....  We have songs from Bulgaria coming up tomorrow, Lithuania on Thursday, Austria and Turkey on Friday and then Moldova, Serbia, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Ukraine on Saturday, Slovenia and FYR Macedonia on Sunday!
    You can click the ESC 2011 logo on right hand side on top to listen to all selected songs so far. 

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Tonight: Dino presents his song: Love in rewind!

    Tonight the Bosnia-Herzegovina's entry will be presented in a show that besides Dino features last year's Vukasin Brajic and Italy's "no-longer-the-last-Italian-entry" Jalisse. Dino will also sing other songs and duets, one of the with Beatrice and their 1999 entry I putnici. The show starts at 21.00 CET. If the show goes like last year the Bosnian version will be first heard and then the English version.

    UPDATE: Love in rewind it is. And I like it! 

    Spain: The day after - did Auryn cheat?

    Daniel Motiño Camúñez reports:
    The last show from Destino Eurovisión ended up with 1.6 million viewers and a share of 9%, it was the 4th option in a country with no more than 7 decents channels. 12 monhts ago 2.6 million viewers with a 15.2% of share watched Daniel Digés getting his ticket to Oslo. I seriously think TVE need to re-think (again) the format as nor the result neither the viewers seem satisfying. (Considering RAI got an average share of nearly 50% for the 5 Sanremo nights with the peak of over 19 million.... Ed.note)

    Leaving behing the flop, Lucía came back to her house in O Inco, Galicia seized with emotions and wordless. She was received by hundreds of people, with fireworks and the Mayor screaming "We are going to Germany". Lucía is the first singer coming from Galicia representing Spain in Eurovision, but she wont be the first singing "Uouououo", aren't the opening lyrics of Que me quiten lo bailao exactly  the ones of  Algo Pequeñito?

    Rafael Artesero, composer of the song, will finally be on a Eurovision Final after his flops with Andorra in 2005 and 2006. Rafael understands that Lucía prefered to sing a ballad but he said that she shined on stage with Que me quiten lo bailao. He fell for Lucía when he saw her singing Boom bang-a-bang due to her power and presence in scene. He would imagine the performance in Düsseldorf colorfull and fresh and he recoginized she shined on stage only with Que me dicen...

    The polemic about the attempt to change the rules in order to select Abrázame keeps on. Apparetly Reyes del Amor has been accused of giving only one point to the winning song in order to left it without chances against Abrázame - but who wouldn't have done the same?

    Another suspicion arising comes about Auryn. Looks like they did not perform the way they should have their first two songs since they wanted to perform Volver, but it has been also discovered that they requested not to be voted on their social networks, just like Venus last year, since they have a coming album soon and the Eurovision participation will have a conflict with their current record company. All they were looking for is promotion.

    Not that much about the outsider Melissa, although the Spanish eurofans would have prefered her singing EOS.

    Let's see the evolution of Lucía Perez and Que me quiten lo bailao

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    Sweden: Erik Saade breaks glass

    Erik Saade's pre-contest pressure has been such that nothing but victory in his semi would do and that's what he did - straight to the final. Last year with Manboy he took a shower on stage, now we breaks free from a glass cage in Popular, a song that makes me sing this right away. I was rather sceptical about the song at first but considering what else Melodifestivalen has offered us this year so far this might just be the best so far. But will he and Danny divide the votes in the final and something like The Playtones ending victorious instead? One more semifinal to go and there's Love Generation, the other entry that has high expectations.

    Eurovision 2011 - the round-up so far!

    We are in mid-February and we have already 15 selected songs from Albania, Finland, Georgia, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Iceland, Malta, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Romania, Germany, Italy and Spain.
    and we know the singers from Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, San Marino, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Slovakia, France, UK - that's nine so we have facts from 24 countries. Click on the countries the hear the selected ones so far.
    FYR Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Denmark, Estonia, Moldova, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria and Bulgaria will have their national final by the end of the month so by then we should have 11 other winners. 
    In early March Croatia, Sweden, Israel, Greece and Portugal will have their finals so that leaves us only with three question marks: Russia, Hungary and Belarus. About Russia we know so far only that they will be participating. There have been some artist rumours from Hungary, internal selection most likely and a lot of rumours from Belarus, with the possible date of March 1 for the national final or internal selection.
    What do you think about the 2011 edition shaping up?

    Raphael Gualazzi for Italy!

    Even if it was in the air for days it was still a surprise - a bad surprise for most fans it seems judging the comments on various chats and blogs. But Italy will return to Eurovision with a fusion of jazz and blues written and performed by no doubt talented Raphael Gualazzi, a fresh winner of Sanremo 2011 newcomers category. In Sanremo he also won critic's Mia Martini award and the radio award but apparently not the televote even if Gianni Morandi, the host, insisted so in a couple of occasions?!
    Raphael (29) first got famous for his version of Fleetwood Mac's Don't stop made for a TV ad. But before that he started taking part in various festivals making himself known. In 2008 he gets his version of Georgia on my mind to a compilation album in France along names like Norah Jones, Nina Simone, Duke Ellington, Jamie Cullum, Ray Charles and Diana Krall. That takes him to New Hampshire for the The history and the mystery of jazz festival. In 2010 is signed by Caterina Caselli and does Heikeken jammin' festival amongst other. he starts recording his debut album and the track Reality and fantasy remixed by Gilles Peterson becomes a download hit all over the world and a hit in some French radios. Here's the original version and video
    Caselli - who has discovered amongst other Andrea Bocelli and Elisa bringing them to Sanremo, too - took him to Sanremo 2011 with Follie d'amore winning the newcomers category and ending in Eurovision as well selected by a special jury. 
    He released his debut album Love outside the window in 2006 and a self titled EP in 2011. His new album came out with Sanremo and is titled Reality and fantasy.
    The unfortunate rumour is he would perform Follie d'amore in English in Germany.... :-(

    Roberto Vecchioni wins Sanremo 2011

    Roberto Vecchioni aka Il Professore (67) or the poet wins the 61st Sanremo festival with his beautiful Chiamami ancora amore. Quite a change after the last two editions won by reality-TV stars Marco Carta (26) and Valerio Scanu (21) - a needed change to restore the credibility of the contest. He also won the critic's Mia Martini award
    Roberto Vecchioni released his first album in 1971 and his latest, 31st this week. He has also released 8 books so far and written songs for other artists since the 1960's. He is of Napoletan origin but grew up in Milan. He hit it big in mid 1970's with Samarcanda. In Sanremo he participated only once before as an artist, in 1973 with L'uomo che si gioca il cielo a dadi (7th) but he has written two other entries: in 1968 Sera for Gigliola Cinqueti (8th) and in 1985 A lei for Anna Oxa (7th)
    He won with 48% of the televotes against 40% of Arriverá by Modá and Emma. Albano came third with 12% for his Amanda è libera.
    The final night scored over 52,12% share or 12.136.000 viewers. A success!

    Gadget

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