Sunday, March 31, 2013

THE ESCLUSIVE UMK INTERVIEWS

WklVids: Luka Nizetic, Gracias, Eros Ramazzotti, Eva & Manu ft Felix Zenger

This week's weekly videos start with an older one, Luka Nizetic's Jugo that shows that once lusty Luka still has it and yes, I still want to see him in Eurovision, too. Fun track full of the spring that you don't see outside your window as you should.... (When will the spring come this year??!!... and why is he shouting in Italian: Io voglio una donna?!) Ever wonderful Eva & Manu join beatboxer Felix Zenger in Zero 7 cover Home. Wonderful things one can do with a talented mouth! Eros Ramazzotti has a second released off his new album called Questa nostra stagione. A classic Ramazzotti song and views of Rio... Gracias is a Finnish rapper who did this tribute to Helsinki already some years ago, but it's still good, HKI. And nice homely views of Helsinki all through....

BLOGILKAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: VALENTINA MONETTA!

Valentina Monetta is doing another Blogilkar exclusive interview! Here is the English one (check out the original Italian here). If last year her song was the laughing stock of the season, this year she's among the hot fan favorites! How things change! Read here how she feels this time around, who her favorites are, what she thinks of Mengoni, how her stage presentation will be.... and all the rest! Enjoy! And listen Crisalide here.

Valentina, back to Eurovision! From Baku to Malmö it seems to most it's been a lifetime in between looking at you now but it's been only a year. How would you describe the change and did you ever think you made a mistake by accepting to sing The social network song?
Yes, in fact last year was like jumping from a plane without a parachute. But it was on opportunity to grow and live the knowledge that I have now after after all.
Honestly, how frustrating all the negative comments and bad words were last year?
It was quite devastating at first, but as they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I'm a very sensitive person but also an adult and I want to take some risks while searching for my serenity before I die. I don't mean one needs to take risky choices but at least take adventage of the opportunities that present themselves. Absolutely.
Do you think you and/or your team made something wrong last year, or is there something you would have done in a different way if possible? You all seem so much better organized and prepared this year.
To jump into a project built for another artist is not a good start. But I did jump into it and enjoyed it a lot. I treid to be as spontaneous as possible and find a way to make the most of the song with my performance. And then came The social network swing....
From scale from 1 to 10 how happy you are to sing Crisalide this year? What do you think about the song? Your first impressions when you heard it?
10... I feel it's spot on. A researched musical harmony.... and this melody is so close to my artistic maturity. Ralph Siegel's mature sound to the poetic lyrics of Mauro Balestri and my interpretation give life to Crisalide, like a breath of life. Being aware of the new awareness of the truth with the courage to face it, a positive message... tearing down all the barriers that don't let us believe in ourselves. The Beatles used to sing Let it be, I sing Vola! Wow...
Do you think it’s also kind of metaphor of your Eurovision adventures?
Absolutely! It's good to get a second chance....
This year everything seems so far so different. From the ”worst ever” to a ”certain qualifier” and one of the favorites this year by the fans. Did you expect such a change of heart? Does it scare you? Make you feel extra pressure and stress?
I expected a revaluation of myself... it happened and we can see the results. I'm so happy... and the responsibility is huge, I try to take this adventure to the end with the full concentration...
Do you think all this will lead to a qualification, even if San Marino does not have emigrant all over Europe to help it, or even Italy that isn’t voting in your semifinal?
I don't want to think, I only want to sing
If San Marino wins this year, what kind of contest would it host, and most importantly where would it be hosted? Have you joked about that I your team? And what’s the spirit among Sammarinese? Do they follow Eurovision and what do they think?
OMG if my dream should come reality! San Marino better to get ready for apocalyptic change! Of course we joke about it, but I also see some worried faces there....
What do you expect from your performance this year compared to Baku 2012?
More truth, more feeling...
You will sing in Italian this year and a song that highlights your vocal capacities much better; do you feel more yourself now?
I'm happy to sing finally a song that I can display my interpretation and artistic maturity
You told us right away you’d prefer to sing in Italian while the broadcaster apparently wanted you to sing the English or bilingual version. Was it had to convince them, and why is it so important to you to sing it in Italian?
Of course I can feel closer to what I sing when I sing in Italian. The English version sounds diferent because of the different way of pronouncing and opening your vocals, maybe it sounds more musical that theatral but it's ok. Crisalide is my prayer and I hope to sing it in every language possible one day...
What can we expect from the staging this year? Will there be athletes or dancers on stage or will you go for “less is more” and have all the focus on yourself?
Me, my light, my wings presented by two Sammarinese dancers, my red dress, my voice, my passion, my music....
How confident are you with this song?
It evokes emotions and I'm sure my message will reach people...
After Malmö 2013, where will artist named Valentina Monetta head to?
Oh God, I will go on and try to do a lot of beautiful things on the way....
Ralph Siegel is also having a big victory with this song after being, how to put it nicely? not so liked by the fans. Instead this year everybody seems to love his song again and he may have another Eurovision success to his credit. Will there be a third time?
Who knows? Never say never but I would think so.....
Last year you released also some remixes. Can we expect some this year, too?
There will be remixes.... also because I'm tormenting Ralph about them!
What do you think of Italy’s song and Marco Mengoni? You are neck to neck in various polls and do you think you can beat him in the final?
I like Mengoni and his lyrics. He has a lot of adventage by being already so popular and having such a following and it helps him.... but my song is like a butterfly that takes a flight, at least in the spiritual meaning....
Last year you named Nina Zilli and Anggun among your favorites in my exclusive interview. How about this year? Have you had time to get to know your competition?
Ukraine is very strong.... I like the sound of France, Austria.... the performance of the Danish, wow! The Netherlands....
You also said that you hope to travel more and speak better English after Baku 2012. How’s it with that?
After Baku few travels, a lot of studies. To speak better English I should live in London for awhile I think :-) … and I'm going there! Let's hope!
What do you dream of in life (not related to music and Eurovision)?
To find my peace. It's not easy....
To end three short questions from Blogilkar’s readers:
Do you really live in San Marino?
I was born and raised in San Marino, living outside with my passions
Do you wanna have cybersex again?
No cybersex for now....
Why on earth did you do it last year?
To shake things up a bit, to get out
Thank you Valentina once again for your time and good luck in Malmö 2013! Famous last words for the readers?
Thank you... and see you soon. Breath with me!

Special thanks to collaborating fans for the questions: Kalevi, Roberto, Ivan, Andreas, Luca, Yucel, Louis, Daniel, Yiorgos, Marco, Robert, Jack, Cristina, David and Timo!

BLOGILKAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: VALENTINA MONETTA!

Valentina Monetta is doing another Blogilkar exclusive interview! Here is the original Italian one (check out the English one here). If last year her song was the laughing stock of the season, this year she's among the hot fan favorites! How things change! Read here how she feels this time around, who her favorites are, what she thinks of Mengoni, how her stage presentation will be.... and all the rest! Enjoy! And listen Crisalide here
Valentina, di nuovo al Eurovision! Da Baku a Malmö,  sembra che è stata una vita in mezzo guardando a te ora, ma è passato solo un anno. Come descriveresti i cambiamento e hai mai pensato che hai fatto un errore accettando di cantare The social network song?

In effetti l'anno scorso è stato come buttarsi da un aereo senza paracadute …ma è stata un opportunità per crescere e vivere la consapevolezza che ho ora dopo tutto.

Onestamente, quanto sei stata stufa di tutte le parole negative e commenti cattivi  l'anno scorso?

All'inizio abbastanza devastante ..ma è tutta palestra dicono ….e io sono molto sensibile ma sono anche adulta e voglio correre tutti i rischi che ci vogliono per trovare la mia serenità …se non muoio prima ..ma morirei comunque. Non voglio dire che bisogna fare scelte allo sbaraglio ma sfruttarne almeno le possibilità con intelligenza assolutamente si.
Pensi che tu e / o la tua squadra ha fatto qualcosa di sbagliato lo scorso anno, o c'è qualcosa che avresti fatto in modo diverso, se possibile? Sembrate tutti molto meglio organizzati e preparati quest'anno.

Semplicemente un progetto costruito per un'altro artista e rimpiazzarlo all'ultimo momento, non è una buona partenza.. Ma io mi sono buttata e mi sono divertita molto. Ho cercato di essere più spontanea possibile e di trovare il modo per far funzionare al meglio la canzone... attraverso la mia interpretazione. E poi è nata The Social network swing.

Da 1 a 10, quanto sei felice di cantare Crisalide quest'anno? Cosa ne pensi della canzone? Le tue prime sensazioni e impressioni quando l'hai sentita?

10… Ho sentito un dito nella piaga... curata dall'armonia musicale. E da questa melodia così vicina al mio percorso artistico maturato negli anni. Il suono maturo di Ralph Siegel le parole di un poeta come Mauro Balestri e la mia interpretazione hanno dato vita a ''Crisalide'' come il respiro di vita, nella presa di coscienza di una nuova consapevolezza di verità con il coraggio di affrontarla, un messaggio positivo nella ripresa di noi stessi... buttando giù tutti i muri che non ci permettono di credere in noi. I Beatles dicevano '' Let it be'', io dico ''Vola”. Wow.
Pensi che è anche un tipo di metafora delle tue avventure Eurovisivi?

Assolutamente si... Avere un'altra occasione è bello!

Questo anno tutto sembra così diverso. Dalla "peggiore mai" ad un "qualificatore certa" e uno dei favoriti del anno tra i fans. Ti aspettavi un tale cambiamento di guidizio? Non ti spaventa un po' tutto questo? Non ti fa sentire un po' extra stress e pressione?

Credevo in una rivalutazione di me.. è successo e i risultati ci sono... sono felicissima... anche se la responsabilità è alta... cercherò di portare fino in fondo questo viaggio, più concentrata possibile.

Pensi che tutto questo porterà ad una qualificazione, anche se San Marino non ha emigrati in tutta Europa ad aiutarti, o anche l'Italia che non vota nella tua semifinale?

Non voglio pensarne,voglio pensare solo a cantare

Se San Marino vince quest'anno, che tipo di festival organizzerebbe, e, soprattutto, dove sarebbe ospitato? Avete scherzato su con la tua squadra di questo? E qual è lo spirito tra i sammarinesi? Seguono Eurovisione e cosa pensano?

Mio dio se succede quello che io sogno... sarà meglio che San Marino si prepari a un cambiamento epocale..hahah. E si scherza ma ci sono anche delle facce preoccupate..
Che cosa si aspetta dal tuo performance di quest'anno rispetto a Baku 2012?

Più verità e sentimento

Canterai in italiano quest'anno e una canzone che mette in evidenza le tue capacità vocali molto meglio, ti senti più te stesso ora?

Sono contenta di cantare una canzone dove alla fine posso usare la mia musicalità e la mia capacità interpretativa maturata nel tempo..

Ci hai detto subito che preferisci cantare in italiano, mentre la TV ha voluto che canteresti  la versione inglese o bilingue. Dovevi convincerli o com'é andata, e perché è così importante per te cantare in italiano questo brano?

Sento naturalmente più vicino l'italiano nell'interpretazione della storia che veramente vivo quando la canto... anche se la versione in inglese forse ha più suono perché la voce si apre diversamente con la pronuncia e diventa forse più musicale che teatrale ma va bene lo stesso ..Crisalide è la mia preghiera e spero di cantarla in tutte le lingue un giorno.

Che cosa possiamo aspettarci dalla messa in scena di quest'anno? Ci saranno atleti o ballerini sul palco o si va per "less is more", e tutto l'attenzione su di te?

Io, la mia luce le mie ali rappresentate da due giovani ballerine di San Marino, il rosso del mio vestito, la mia voce, la mia passione, la Musica.

Quanto ti senti sicura di questa canzone?

Emoziona e sono sicura che arriverà il mio messaggio.

Dopo Malmö 2013, quale direzione prenderá l'artista di nome Valentina Monetta?

Mio Dio… vado avanti e cercherò di fare più belle cose possibili. 
Anche Ralph Siegel ha una grande vittoria con questa canzone dopo essere stato, come dire bene? non così apprezzato dai fan. Invece questo anno sembrano tutti di amare la sua canzone di nuovo e può avere un altro successo Eurovision nelle sue mani. Ci sarà una terza volta? :-)
Chissà..mai dire mai ma penso proprio di si.

L'anno scorso hai pubblicato anche alcuni remix. Possiamo aspettare qualcuna anche quest'anno?

Ci saranno remix di Crisalide... anche perché a Ralph stò scuotendo l'anima ..

Cosa ne pensi della canzone italiana e Marco Mengoni? Siete testa a testa nei sondaggi vari e pensi di poterlo battere in finale?

Mi piace Mengoni e le sue parole… Io ci provo, ma lui ha un ritorno di immagine già affermatissimo e questo aiuta nel confronto. Lui è un grande ma la mia canzone ha una farfalla come me che non vede l'ora di spiccare il volo in senso almeno spirituale.

L'anno scorso hai nominato Nina Zilli e Anggun tra i tuoi preferiti nella mia intervista esclusiva (here and here). Che  dici questo anno? Hai avuto il tempo di conoscere la tua concorrenza?

Forte l'Ucraina... mi piace il sound della Francia, Austria, l'interpretazione della Danimarca, Wow l'Olanda……

Hai anche detto che si speri di viaggiare di più e parlare meglio l'inglese dopo Baku 2012. Come siamo messi con queste cosette?

Dopo Baku ho viaggiato poco e studiato molto... il mio inglese va meglio ma dovrei vivere a Londra ..:) e ci stò andando ..speriamo bene.

Di che cosa sogni nella vita (non nella musica o Eurovision)?

Di trovare la mia pace ma sarà dura visto il soggetto.

Per terminare tre brevi domande da parte dei lettori Blogilkar di:

Abiti davvero a San Marino?

Sono nata e cresciuta a San Marino... vivendo fuori con le mie passioni

Vuoi avere cybersex di nuovo?

Per ora niente cybersex

Come mai hai fatto l'anno scorso?

Per scuotermi, avevo anche bisogno di conoscere e andare via.

Grazie ancora una volta per il tuo tempo, Valentina e in bocca al lupo a Malmö 2013. Hai qualche cosa a dire ai miei lettori?
Grazie a voi... a presto. Respirate con me!

Special thanks to collaborating fans for the questions: Kalevi, Roberto, Ivan, Andreas, Luca, Yucel, Louis, Daniel, Yiorgos, Marco, Robert, Jack, Cristina, David and Timo!

Friday, March 29, 2013

MARCO MENGONI AND HANNAH MANCINI JOIN EUROVISION IN CONCERT LINE UP

Two more acts joins the (nearly) sold out Eurovision in Concert in Amsterdam: Italian Marco Mengoni and Slovenian Hannah Mancini. That brings the amount to 22 out of 39, or well over the half of them :-) The concert takes place in Amsterdam's Melkweg on April 13, 2013 and will be presented by two Eurovision veterans Marlayne and Linda Wagenmakers and the line up will also feature as a supermega guest star Carola! And PeR, Cezar, Valentina Monetta, Nodi & Sophie, Elitsa & Stoyan, Klapa s Mora, Koza Mostra & Agathonas Iakovidis, Dina Garipova, Ryan Dolan, Zlata Ognevich, Natália Kelly, Gianluca Bezzina, Andrius Pojavis, Roberto Bellarosa, Krista Siegfrids, Adraijan & Bledar, Amandine Bourgeois, Takasa, Esma & Vlatko and Alyona Lanskaya. More info here.

RAI AND SMTV GIVE US NAMES

Italian RAI has confirmed that it will broadcast the first semifinal on Rai5 channel just like last year, and the final itself stays on Rai2 where it will be broadcasted on HD this time. Fan favorite Federica Gentile will again comment the semifinal and in the final we have the duo Marco Ardemagni and Filippo Solibello again. This time they have time to prepaire themselves unlike last year when they replaced the kicked out commentators only a week before the event. 
SMTV will broadcast as always both semifinals and the grand final with the commentary of Lia Fiorio and Gigi Restivo again. Both broadcasters don't send their commentators on the spot but will comment from the studios in San Marino and in Rome instead of Malmö Arena's tiny little boxes...
Now only one question remains about both teams: Who will the spokespersons beand follow the foorsteps of Raffaella Carrá, Ivan Bacchi, Roberto Moretti, Nico Della Valle and Monica Fabbri?

FINNHITS TOUR CANCELLED

If Diggiloo is going strong in Sweden, in Finland the second leg of popular Finnhits tour has been cancelled, apparently because of money (the exact fate of Vain elämää further gigs....) The artists counted that their cut was less than 12% of the turnover divided by the five of them! The tour was a success last fall and was ment to continue this spring but was first postboned to autumn, and now cancelled altogether. The cast was Vicky Rosti, Eini, Frederik, Danny and Tapani Kansa, all of them Euroviisut veterans and having countless hits of the 70's to their catalogue. Finnhits was a hugely popular compilation LP series that originally had 14 albums released in the 1970's and early 1980's packed with hits of the moment, most of them covers. With the nostalgy and retro schlager being popular again even the younger generation of today are listening classics like Menolippu, Kun Chicago kuoli, Yes sir, alkaa polttaa, Volga, R-A-K-A-S, Seikkailija ....again. Nothing beats a good old hit from the childhood!

CHARLOTTE GIVING BIRTH WHILE TOURING

Charlotte Perrelli ex-Nilsson ex-Ingrosso is taking part again in the Swedish summer institution, the Diggiloo tour. The problem is she's pregnant and due to have the baby in early August, while the tour end on August 17. What to do? Nothing. She plans to go on and hopes the delivery should happen on a day off and she'd be back on stage the after or maybe two. No subsitution for her.  Maybe the other starts like Lotta Engberg and David LIngdren will have to act as midwives for her this summer?
"It's a popular show. I don't need to wear tank tops and shorts anyways" she comments, "I will take time in the fall and rest!" She's The Girl!
Currently she is also working on a pregnancy training book....

ROBIN STJERNBERG: CHANGES AND CHEST HAIR

Swedish Robin Stjernberg has to do changes to his performance of You to fit the Eurovision rules. No surprise as in Melodifestivalen he had five dancers plus two backing singers hidden backstage. He was also himself actively involved in the choreography. All will change for Malmö 2013. He will be standing in a special podium concentrating on singing separated from the rest and wearing also new clothing, something light. His singing dancers will be wearing darker colors instead.
And did you know he has a natural Batman shaped chest hair ?! And there's a remix of the song? And the acoustic version?

WHAT DOES MICHAEL JACKSON GOT TO DO WITH EUROVISION 2013 STAGE?

"We want to make the wildest Eurovision Song Contest ever", says Ola Melzig. One of the things that separates this year's scene from previous years is that production is done deliberately to create depth. The scene is built up in several layers and is also located further out in the arena than before. "Scene edge is approximately at the blue line. It would have never worked if we were not at an early stage have chosen to have standing audiences." Another important difference is the video screens in the background. They are both set very far back and also the techincal quality is far superior to be able to also show details in better quality on screen. The stage will be built in five days. In Moscow that took three weeks to cobble together. The stage will be assembled in the stadium's far end and then rolled into place. It is extremely short time for such a sophisticated stage set building. The Tait Technologies, responsable for construction have been doing stages since 1978 and have built them for example to the Rolling Stones, U2, Madonna and Lady Gaga. Everything is built from components that already exist. Scene's maple doors come from late Michael Jackson's main scene for the shows ment to be in London that never happened. "It is difficult to invent something new when it comes to technology, now we need to find a way to use something that already exists, but put it together in a way that is not been done before", says Ola Melzig. During the next six weeks six people will be working on programming the lighting and video. "We want to reach a visual wow", says Ola.  And he should know. He is something of a veteran in the Eurovision. He was techical officer already at the Eurovision Song Contest in the Globen in 2000. Since then, it has been another eleven shows. The spectacle now going to Malmö is a little extra special for him. "I grew up in Limhamn but has never done a gig in Malmö. It will be really cool!"

ESC 2013 stage in figures: 210 speakers, 800 computer controlled lamps, 1243 headlights, 200 ton rig equipment in the ceiling, 40 km power cable, 24 km signal cable,  12 lightbox which 6 acts as a backup table. About 200 people with televisions, lighting, sound and video working while live broadcast.

 (Source: Expressen)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

MARCO MENGONI HITS DOUBLE #1

Italy will have a real local success representing it in Eurovision 2013 as Marco Mengoni's new album #prontoacorrere hits straight the #1 spot in the official charts, while his single L'Essenziale still remains as #1 and has sold already over 50.000 downloads. The single also made it #1 in iTunes while the video has been viewed almost 10 million times! Besides that his tour is selling out fast, and the first date (May 8 in Milan) is already sold out.  On top of that he's (again) in the cover of Italian Vanity Fair... Will the success continue in Malmö 2013?

ESC 2013 SEMIFINALS RUNNING ORDER DECIDED

No lottery this time as always before but the producers of the show in Sweden and the EBU's Reference group have sealed the running orders for the two semifinals. Finland and Krista Siegfrids gets number five slot sandwiched between Azerbaijan and Malta where it should stand out nicely. San Marino gets the feared number two, after Latvia and Macedonia. Now it's time to listen the songs in right order and see if it makes any difference in likes and dislikes ... :-)

Semifinal one
  1. Austria
  2. Estonia
  3. Slovenia
  4. Croatia
  5. Denmark
  6. Russia
  7. Ukraine
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Montenegro
  10. Lithuania
  11. Belarus
  12. Moldova
  13. Ireland
  14. Cyprus
  15. Belgium
  16. Serbia
Semifinal two
  1. Latvia
  2. San Marino
  3. F.Y.R. Macedonia
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Finland
  6. Malta
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Iceland
  9. Greece
  10. Israel
  11. Armenia
  12. Hungary
  13. Norway
  14. Albania
  15. Georgia
  16. Switzerland
  17. Romania

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

KRISTA SIEGFRIDS RELEASES DING DONG ON MAY 10 (AND WANTS TO BECOME A GAY ICON!)

Krista Siegfrids was on live chat with Ilta-Sanomat's Poppipoliisit today and some facts were revealed along the chat with the hosts and questions by the followers.
She's very un-Finnish artists as she started with a bang with her More os more theme and wasn't asking apologies from anyone for breaking through, and she has managed to avoid being labeled both Voice-Krista or UMK-Krista - maybe because she's so different and has been around for such a long time working her butt off....
She will on stage in Malmö in all female company; five girls and herself (three dancers, two backing singers)
She will be doing promo in Amsterdam's Eurovision in Concert as well as London Eurovision, and Stockholm, too
Her album will be released on May 10, 2013 and is called Ding Dong! She describes it as a mix between the styles of Kesha and Joan Jett! She told that she feels completely confortable alterning from rock to pop. With a hint of dance thrown in!
She also told she's living on a minute by minute timetable being so busy she hardly has time to sleep, so life isn't so glamorous as it may look like. But she loves it all, and it's fun and makes her have the strenght to go on and avoid burn out.
She admits aiming for international career and whatever happens in Malmö 2013, she has already a lot of gigs booked after Eurovision, she will be one of the judges in The Voice Kids... she'll be busy!
And how did she react to the Swedish (mostly) feminists getting angry for her song? She laughed. She wrote the song with humor and if someone can't see it, she can only laugh about it....
And no, her boyfriend hasn't yet proposed...
When asked if she wanted to take part in The Voice and UMK to get some publicity and air time, but not to win to avoid labels, she answered she always wants to win! And yes, you can compete in music, too!
She also told how Marry me was born: First of all she wants to get married, and then she wanted to do Eurovision. Next step was uniting these to things or themes, she went to studio with her team playing with some idea she had, one of them being "oh-oh-o ding dong!" that had to be included no matter what. rest is history!
She's also asked with whom she'd like to do a duet and surprisingly it could be a rapper, like Redrama for example. And she wants to rap herself and will also do some on her new album.... 
And she's pretty excited Bonnie Tyler will be in Malmö 2013 as well. Target: photo together!
She's not worried at all about Eurovision label and is very pleased people, especially gays like her song. She's love to be a gay icon (if she isn't already...) She's very pleased the song is already playing a lot in gaydiscos all over Europe as she has been informed....





Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ESC 2013: THE ITALIAN CONNECTION

Over the past years we have been talking about the Swedish influence in the Eurovision but another one has been floating around maybe a bit unnoticed, Italy! We have had songs sung in Italian, songs produced in Italy, sung by artists like Paolo Meneguzzi who is associated as Italian despite having a Swiss passport, or Roberto Meloni... not to mention all the song in Italian in various national finals! All this when Italy itself was absent.
And this 2013 is no exception with Italian touch. The Croatian song was recorded in Italy by Italians, the Lithuanian artist lives in Italy,  the Romanian one has done his vocals studies in Italy, the Belgian singer has clear Italian roots (once again), as has the Slovenian one. The Spanish lead singer's claim to international fame is she was singing in Sanremo a couple of years ago...
On top of that both Italy and San Marino will sing their songs in Italian this year (finally!) and both are in top-10 in most every poll. And we can't forget that the Italian HoD Nicola Caligiore was selected to the Reference Group for the next two years.
Is all this esseential to have Italy hosting the contest sometime very soon? Like in 2014?

Monday, March 25, 2013

CRITICS LIKE LORDI AGAIN

Lordi seems to be getting finally some good words from critics with their new album To beast or not to beast (listen a sampler). For example Sue magazine gives it 9/10 and also features a long interview with Mr Lordi.  It's more metal than the previous ones and makes a clear difference to the precedent partyheavy album Babez for breakfast in 2010. The band may finally be able to brush off the Eurovision clowns image they have been suffering ever since 2006 by some critics and fans. But they seem to have made a peace with that, too, as they performed in the Irish antional selection 2013 and di Hard rock hallelujah instead of the new The riff. I kinda like Candy for the cannibal and 

The year 2012 was ment to be band's jubilee year but it all changed when the drummer Otus died in February. ”The news reached me before I was told about it” he recalls. ”it wasn't surprising, the timing was. It was a fact he wouldn't live to 60, but that he didn't even make it to 40 was a surprise.” The band immediately postboned the new album and cancelled their tour. ”We decided to go on. We did a couple of summer gigs with Jimmy Hammer from Ironcross as the drummer. For me and Ox it was a big deal to play with him!” But it wasn't over yet, Awa decided to leave the band in the fall. ”She didn't leave us in trouble, the time of her leaving was well planned, and we are still good friends. She lives in Italy now and of course it would have been too difficult in the future for rehearsals and gigs. Her replacement Hella was already selected when Awa played her last gig, finding a new drummer was more difficult!” In the end Mana was found and joined the band shortly before the recording of this new album started. And he is NOT Jimmy Hammer. The band is ready to rock Europe with their coming tour again.

Mr Lordi himself is living again in Rovaniemi, he says he never felt home in Helsinki and in the crowds, even if he still can walk the streets like any heavy rocker as no one knows how he looks like – so next time you see a rocker in leather pants, a black ”Hotter than hell” hoodie smoking a pipe in a cafe's terrace, look twice!

Meanwhile the documentary film of Mr Lordi's life is in the making, directed by Antti Haase. ”The cameras are always placed so that our faces aren't visible, otherwise the whole thing would loose its meaning” tells Mr Lordi. ”I believe this film is interesting, a car mechanic or a supermarket cashier has no idea what it is to be a in a rock band and run this monster opera!”. He has studied film making himself so he's heavily involved with this project. The premiere is planned for spring 2014.

REBORN VALENTINA MONETTA

Have you already checked Valentina Monetta's new website? There you'll see the video to Crisalide, learn how to buy the song from iTunes or Amazon.de among others, and also watch again the presentation show earlier this month. Valentina will bring San Marino to the Eurovision final for the first time from the second semifinal on May 16, 2013 (most likely!).


Certe volte dentro me, Ho sentito un vuoto che, Mi chiamava dentro di sé
Vieni ora a vedere la verità, C’è un ponte sull’immensità, 
Cosa sono, in fondo io? Sogno fragile di Dio, Con un corpo fatto così, 
Grandi occhi, colore, vivendo si muore
Rinnovati per l’eternità
Vola, vola, che la forza arriverà, Sempre sola verso un’altra libertà
La farfalla nuova lascia sempre giù, La crisalide che eri tu, 

Vuota senza me, Dalle nuvole si sa, Poi la pioggia scenderà, 
D’improvviso succederà, Le ali bagnate di lacrime che non si asciugano, 
Poi vento verrà 
E tu vola, vola, vola via da te
Sempre sola fino che un riflesso apparirà, 

Nello specchio che ruba l’immagine
In mille pezzi di vertigine, E luce scintillerà


Quanta vita c’è, Non me n’ero accorta mai, E se ancora non lo sai
L’universo siamo noi

Vola, che la forza arriverà, Mai più sola nella vera libertà
La farfalla nuova lascia giù, La crisalide e di più
Vuota senza me

Vola, nella gioia sarai, Mai più sola nell’immensità di noi
In un attimo l’amore, Come nuovo sole
Tutto cambierà

Vola, vola, vola insieme a me

Sunday, March 24, 2013

WklVids: Arash ft Sean Paul, Regina, Agnetha Fältskog, Saara Aalto

Regina has released a very beautiful song Na balkanu. From the category "I don't understand a word but believe it all"....  Saara Aalto (Talent, Euroviisut and The Voice runner up) has released her new single and video You had my heart. She's really aiming for the Asian market and both Japanese and Chinese versions will follow in due time. Arash features Sean Paul in his new She makes me go that could have been released some 20 years ago really. Finns must feel nostalgic as it has hit the charts here...  Ramdadamdamdigidigi! ABBA's Agnetha Fältskog has made a comeback and the first single When you really loved someone is really a nice tune..... relaxing, sad and wonderfully old fashioned at the same time. And on top of that oh so familiar voice of Agnetha :-)

THE VOICES AND IDOLS OF EUROVISION, DO THEY HAVE X FACTOR?

The various reality shows are a way to make it into music business but it doesn't mean you can stay on top after the winning exposure fades away. Some make it a bit further and this year's Eurovision isn't immune to that either.
We have the winners of The Voice of Russia, Belgium and Serbia among us, and even Finland's Krista Siegfrids may have to thank The Voice for her being here now even if she didn't reach the final in it last year. Very unfairly, as most Finns agreed and awarded her an UMK victory instead.
We have also a French Idol, a Swedish Idols runner up (with the smallest winning margin in the history as Robin, the runner up got 48% of the votes, one might add), and a Norwegian Idols finalist.
Then we have also an Italian X Factor winner.
We have even a Junior Eurovision participant, Serbia's Nevana Bozovic!
Other artists that have started their career that had lead them to Malmö 2013 in various reality shows are at least Vlatko Lozanovski from Macedonia, both Nodiko Tatishvili and Sopho Gelovani from Georgia, Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson from Iceland...
As an Eurovision fan one can only say: there's no contest like Eurovision. You can do several realitys and such but even winner sof those want to do Eurovision in the end, the ultimate contest!  That is also proven by the TV viewing figures all over the world, Eurovision is the number one entertainment show and made the most watched programmes annual top-10 in 23 countries, followed by The Voice with 16 mentions...
One thing is for sure: Those reality formats have their momentum of few years and come and go and are replaced with something else when people get bored. But Eurovision stays....

Saturday, March 23, 2013

MARCO MENGONI DOES ESSENTIAL ACOUSTIC VERSION

Marco mengoni visited popular Italian talk show Che tempo che fa and presented a rather fabulous acoustic arrangement of his Sanremo winner and Eurovision entry, multiplatinum Italian number one, L'essenziale.

READY FOR THE ESC 2013 PARTY SEASON?

The national final season is over and this weekend we are orphans of various Eurovision related happenings.... are you finding yourself wondering what to do and surf the net for some exciting news in vain like I do? Anyways, out with that season, in with another: the parties!
The biggest and best and most important is no doubt Eurovision in concert, getting bigger every year. This year once again in Amsterdam on April 13, read all about it here. This event has also great pre and after parties organized by 12points.tv, that this blog is proundly collaborating since forever. Read more about those parties here and here.
And if that's not enough, 12points.tv is also organizing on April 26 in Leuven, Belgium another fabulus Eurovision party, Colours of Eurovision. Read more about that here.  
But before that there's also the London Eurovision party on April 21, organized by escXtra.com. More information here

And all this fun before Malmö 2013 itself and all it's nighty parties and several parties at the same time on some nights! You can also find the latest on these events by clicking the pisters on the right hand side..... ->

Friday, March 22, 2013

FROM KRISSE TO LYNDA

The Princess of the Republic, Krisse amused and annoyed the European audiences in Helsinki 2007 Eurovision, and Malmö 2013 is going the same route with Lynda Woodruff. Where as Krisse was unknown to other than Finns and played by... err, Krisse, who was "a nobody and is now everybody!", Lynda is already a wellknown creature for the fans of Eurovision, played by Sarah Dawn Finer. It's going to be a fun ride all through Sweden in May!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

CAROLA JOINS EUROVISION IN CONCERT CAST

Eurovision in concert is proving to be a huge success also this year. The latest addition to the line up is none other than Carola! She will be celebrating 30 years of Främling with international fans and the artists of the 2013 Eurovision song contest. Good news for Krista Siegfrids who as a little girl sung Fångad av en stormvind in front of a mirror dreaming she could do Eurovision one day... And now she's there! Dreams do come true at times!
The list of artists so far includes Nodi & Sophie (Georgia), Elitsa & Stoyan (Bulgaria), Klapa s Mora (Croatia), Koza Mostra & Agathonas Iakovidis (Greece), Dina Garipova (Russia), Ryan Dolan (Ireland), Zlata Ognevich (Ukraine), Natália Kelly (Austria), Gianluca Bezzina (Malta), Andrius Pojavis (Lithuania), Roberto Bellarosa (Belgium), Krista Siegfrids (Finland), Adraijan & Bledar (Albania), Amandine Bourgeois (France), Takasa (Switzerland), Esma & Vlatko (Macedonia), Alyona Lanskaya (Belarus). Valentina Monetta (San Marino) should be there, too, at least if you aske her :-) Read more here. And stay tuned for more information about the event and the parties linked to it! The main event is on April 13, 2013 in Melkweg, Amsterdam.

EUROVISION 2013 PRODUCTS!

The new series of Eurovision products are available at eurovisionshop.tv here. Get your scarf and bag, covers for your iProducts, mousepad, layard... And of course the Program Book and CD. And that's not all, of course you need to have your morning coffee in the butterfly mug and rest your head on a We are one-pillow! Under the ESC 2013 poster of course!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ESC 2013: THE STAGE!

The first impressions of the stage have been revelaed by SVT for the Malmö 2013 Eurovision. This blogger's first thought was Oslo 2010 but that's not a bad thing. The scene designers are Viktor Brattström and Frida Arvidsson: "We work with no moving parts linking stage and arena, but a solid traditional set design" says Frida. Scene elements have been inspired by the form of everything from style studies of butterfly wings and images of moths photographed with a slow shutter speed, the architecturally and technologically advanced modern haute couture. The idea is to bring the audience closer to the performers, while leaving space for modern projection technology. The duo has been working on the stage design since the beginning of November and knew early on what they were after.  
To unite audience and artists has been the goal of the team behind the Eurovision in Malmö. As early as last fall the project's executive producer, Martin Österdahl, told about the vision they had: "We will invite the audience on a show of the highest caliber, with a stage design that allows the performers and the audience be very close. It should feel intimate and spectacular and at the same time something that you have not experienced before", he said then.
 

Monday, March 18, 2013

DELEGATIONS MEET IN MALMÖ - WHAT'S UP?

The delegations are meeting in Malmö and news are coming little by little so I will add them here.

First of all the previsional dates for the next contest, Eurovision 2014, wherever that will take place ware May 13, 15 and 17 so it's the same week as now.

Rehearsal schedule has been published and indeed it does look very different from previous years.  From Monday May 6 until Thursday May 9 all the semifinalists will rehearse behind closed doors so to speak, between 10am and 5pm. From Friday 10 the open dress rehearsals start. First on friday the whole first semifinal between midday and 10.30pm. On Saturday it's time for the second semifinalist from midday to 11pm. On Saturday between 10am and 5pm the BIG5+1 rehearses.
On Monday and Tuesday it's all about the first semifinalist in late afternoon/evening. On Wednesday between 11am and 4pm the BIG5+1 rehearse again, followed by two run throughs of the second semifinal. Thursday its last dress and the live broadcast obviously. 
On Friday starting 2.30pm the two dress rehearsals of the final way past midnight. On Saturday 1pm the last dress rehearsal before the grand final at usual time. 

This year the running order will be decided by the producers for the first time but not completely. The qualifying acts will still draw their position: in the first half of the show, or in the second half of the show after their semifinals. Producers will propose the running order and the EBU Executive Producer will approve it. For the Semi-Finals the running order will be done the latest by the 29th of March and for the Final on the 17th of May 3 am. The BIG5 will be drawn also to the first of the second half of the show in their first press conferences (May 12) BUT Sweden has been already drawn: 16th.

The new reference group was also voted and Aleksander Radic (RTVSLO), Nicola Caligiore (RAI) and Christer Björkman (SVT) to join the group. Congratulations especially to Nicola! Well done!

The official CD will be published April 29, 2013 on eurovision.tv. Local release dates may vary.

MARCO MENGONI TELLS WHY L'ESSENZIALE

Marco Mengoni is releasing his new album #PRONTOACORRERE that will no doubt shot to #1 in Italy immediately. He's been meeting the press and is practically all over, and this also includes Eurovision websites as Italy finally this morning confirmed his Sanremo winning song L'essenziale as its entry in Malmö 2013. He also speaks for Eurofestival Italia website: "I chose these two songs for Sanremo as they are very different from each other and represant well the album. L'essenziale reflects my deepest roots and it's been very important for me to pick up that song that represents the real and new me." he also declares he is very honored to represent Italy in Eurovision and knows it well, he has been following both Gualazzi's and Zilli's adventures: "I'm watching everything now to study and learn. It's unique, international and incredbile show! Now that the album is finished I will start getting into it seriously. I hope to learn a lot from this experience and launch my international career". Finally he tells he chose L'essenziale as it represents him best and he will sing it in Italian so he can get into the emotions best. And how will the staging be? Of course essential...
In another interview with TG24 he says he chose L'essenziale also because "it's also right for the fans who have shown such love for this song".

Gadget

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