Thursday, October 30, 2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!




Happy Halloween to all readers!


Miro (Миро) totally stole the show

Miro was performing in the Bulgarian heat 4 as a guest but totally stole the show. I have no idea who he is but apparently big in Bulgaria. I didn't understand one word they were talking but he came across with one with balls, determination and ego big enough to win Eurovision. Why isn't he participating? (Update. Well, he has tried with KariZma....)

Bulgaria, round two, heat 4

Bulgaria closed the chapter for the first 3 heats and first quarter final last week. Tonight another circle starts from clean table with heat 4. Tonight on stage:

01. Lorado - More ot mechti
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-C8tMhhgK0
02. Fanagora & Milena Peeva - Love never ends
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l86jmbXi8k
03. Itso Petroff & Priyateli - Rokendrol izkustvo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5AtBcURfnU
04. Gergana Dimova - Yasno slantse
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF3iz_iSwoU
05. Sahara - Don't kiss for money
I missed the first one for webcast problems but got the end of no 2 that sounded rather Nightwish-esque - in good and bad. No 3 follows with some shouty rock. I hope it's a joke and not serious. If they're serious... I don't know what to say! Something totally different next. Song no 4 has etno written all over it, mixed with Ruslana's type of Eurovision, "Hey!" shouts and enough of Slavic-Russian feeling to make it a mess. Totally rearranged with more co ordinated circus on stage it might work.... People seemed to like it though. For some reason song no 5 was not performed. Apparently it has been postboned?
Apparently I didn't miss out much as songs 2,3 and 4 qualified:

Gergana Dimova - 51.94 % (also jury's choice)
Fanagora & Milena Peeva - 28.61 %
Itso Petroff & Priyateli - 16.67 %
Lorado - 2.78 %

Carramba che fortuna! Ani Lorak

Raffaella Carrá continues with Eurovision 2008 in her Carramba, che fortuna! show exposing italians to more Eurovision. What I hear it's working and the people are warming up to it. I bet half the italian male population did heat up last night when Ani Lorak was shaking it live on stage finally. Raffaella already presented her on tape weeks ago. Way to go, Raffa!

Mikko Leppilampi signs a Hollywood deal

Mikko Leppilampi (30), the loved host of Eurovision song contest 2007 in Helsinki with Jaana Pelkonen left for Hollywood soon after the experience to study. Now he has an agent and has landed an excellent managerial contract with Brillstein Entertainment Partners. His "team mates" include names like Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow. Let's home we will see him on silverscreen soon with some of them.... "It's a big risk but it would be foolish to leave now" he says in today's Ilta-Sanomat "but we decided with my wife that we live only once, so...".

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Carola hits the road

Carola will bring her megasuccessful Jul i Betlehem (Christmas in Betlehem) concept on tour again. The tour will start from Faroe Islands on November 29 and continues to Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland before ending in Stockholm on December 20. The Danish date is yet to be announced.
She first released Jul i Betlehem back in 1999. Recorded in Betlehem with Swedish, Norwegian and Israeli musicians and Palestine children choir it has proved to be her best work ever. She's realy made to sing this kind of material, the arrangements are fresh and good and everything works wonderfully. Total sales are already 600.000 in the world (and 350.000 in Sweden alone). The album hit #1 in Sweden and has charted every Christmas ever since. Follow up I denna natt blir världen ny - Jul i Betlehem II was released last year along with a DVD. Both albums are expected to sell thousends again this Christmas time....
Watch her self penned masterpiece Himlen i din famn here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZESd8bkvuQ&feature=related

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Petri Laaksonen back in Euroviisut?

Schlagerboys reveal in one of their fabulous blog interviews that Jari Sillanpää will sing a song composed by Petri Laaksonen in Euroviisut 2009! Now that is good news and if I was saying before Kwan will walk it this might put it all into new perspective and make Jari a very dangerous contender after all. Petri Laaksonen must be the most loved Finnish Eurovision writer (check the list below) and many have wondered why he hasn't sent more songs any more... His first break from the contest provided us an OGAE Second chance winner and a megahit, now it's been another 9 years.... I can't wait to hear it! And it's his first entry for a male singer. Poptastic megaschlager is back! (If it's true.... of course!)

1985 Sonja Lumme: Eläköön elämä (1./9.)
1987 Vicky Rosti: Sata salamaa (1./15.)
1988 Ami Aspelund: Amor amor (3.)
1989 Anneli Saaristo: Oi äiti maa (3.)
1990 Arja Saijonmaa: Gabriela (3.)
2000 Anna Eriksson: Oot voimani mun (2.)
2009 Jari Sillanpää: ???

Nelson is pushing back

Velvety voiced Nelson Morais, who should have won in Belgium this year instead of that dreadful Ishtar nonsense, is back with a new single Pushed me too far. While waiting for it's video let's enjoy the Eurovision wannabe When I can't find love here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXSPfZeGuWU

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chiara, Ludwig, Miriam Christine.....

... Malta's previous Eurovision entrants hope to make it again. Chiara obviously wants to make it 3-2-1 for her and if she does that would be historic moment. Usually there is no third time lucky in Eurovision... Miriam Christine and Ludwig are hoping another go as well while Claudia Faniello, Klinsmann and Natasha & Charlene are still trying to make it for the first time. And many other familiar names and faces a s well... Ralph Siegel's song promises night at the opera but as we have both Ludwig and Trilogy returning we might be in for some high notes here!

Here is the rest of the songs in Malta:

Midas Touch - Claudia Faniello - (Sean Vella, Philip Vella)
Blue Sonata - Claudia Faniello - (Ray Agius, Ray Agius)
Someday - Eleanor Cassar - (Paul Giordimaina, Fleur Balzan)
Rhythm of the night - Justine ft. Siconix - (Renato Briffa, Doris Chetcuti)
Love was made of clay - Gloriana Arpa Belli - (Renato Briffa, Doris Chetcuti)
Avalon - Georgina & Ruth Casingena - (Paul Abela, Joe Julian Farrugia)
Carry Me - Rebecca Bonnici - (Renato Briffa, Rita Pace)
The song in your heart - Trilogy - (Paul Abela, Joe Julian Farrugia)
To be myself - Georgina - (Rafael Artesero, Joe Julian Farrugia)
What if we – Chiara - (Marc Paelinck, Gregory Bilsen)
Mozart Revives - Dorothy Bezzina - (Chan Vella, Alexia Schembri)
Promises - Vittorio & Dorothy - (Chan Vella, Alexia Schembri)
Let it shine - Kylie Coleiro - Andrew Zahra, Joe Julian Farrugia)
Where was I? - Jamie Tonna - (Jason Paul Cassar, Mario J. Farrugia)
Falling in love - Francesca Borg - (Jason Paul Cassar, Mario J. Farrugia)
Mama - Miriam Christine - (Miriam Christine Warner, Miriam Christine Warner)
Shades of memories - Julie Pomorski - (Johann Schembri, Johann Schembri)
I'm in heaven - Dominic Cini - (Elton Zarb, Rita Pace)
Circus - Josmar - (Josmar, Josmar)
Hey you - Jessica Muscat - (Rafael Artesero, Rafael Artesero)
King - Natasha & Charlene - (Charlene Grech, John A. Agius)
Alchemy - Natasha & Charlene - (Charlene Grech, John A. Agius)
This is our life - Eleanor Cassar - (Paul Giordimaina, Fleur Balzan)
Before you walk away - Q - (Paul Giordimaina, Fleur Balzan)
Live for today - Q - (Paul Giordimaina, Fleur Balzan)
Butterfly Sky - Klinsmann - (Klinsmann Coleiro, Joe Julian Farrugia)
One million ways - Rosman Pace - (Rosman Pace, Rosman Pace)
Life is an opera - Christine Barbara - (Rita Pace, Rita Pace)
I'm me - Jo Zette - (Steve Compagno, Noel Zammit)
Love in the sahara - Maria Mallia - (Charlene Grech, Clinton Paul)
Ha Hi Hu - The Elements - (Carm Fenech, Carm Fenech)
Where you belong - Wayne Micallef - (Wayne Micallef, Luke Ambrogio)
Lament - Ludwig Galea ft. Fidela tal-Bambinu - (Philip Vella, Philip Vella)
Soulmate - Daniela Vella - (Ray Agius, Alfred C. Sant)
Choose your number - J. Anvil - (Augusto Cardinali, Giovann Attard)
Harmony - Claire Caruana - (Augusto Cardinali, Giovann Attard)

Philip Vella takes over Malta

The 56 songs in the Maltese selection have been made public and the list is filled with the usual familiar names: Ray Agius, Paul Giordimaina, Paul Abela, Rita Pace and so on and it's nice to see even Claudia Faniello has got two songs in as a writer! Also Eurovision veteran, Mr Schlager from Germany, uncle Ralph Siegel is in the running with three entries at this point. Then the usual, multi winning couple Gerard James Borg-Philip Vella: Gerard with 9 entries and Philip.... 16 entries!! That's 28,6% folks!

Here are the Vella-Borg-Faniello-Siegel entries - 22 in total:

Smoke-screen - Jessica Muscat - (Philip Vella, Gerard J. Borg)
Midas Touch - Claudia Faniello - (Sean Vella, Philip Vella)
For a moment - Derrick Schembri & Yanika Fava - (Philip Vella, Rita Pace)
Crossroads - Raquela - (Philip Vella, Gerard J. Borg)
Typical Me - Alison Ellul - (Philip Vella, Gerard J. Borg)
Earth & Sky - Talitha Dimech - (Philip Vella, Gerard J. Borg)
Another side of me - Corazon Mizzi - (Philip Vella, Philip Vella)
Kamikaze Lover - Baklava - (Philip Vella, Gerard J. Borg)
Rock & Rise - Klinsmann - (Philip Vella, Gerard J. Borg)
Inferno - Ludwig Galea - (Philip Vella, Gerard J. Borg)
Something about you - Laura Bruno - (Philip Vella, Gerard J. Borg)
Sexy Girls - Evita Magri - (Philip Vella, Melchiore Magri)
Visions of you - Christine Barbara - (Philip Vella, Philip Vella)
Fjamma tas-Sliem - Dario & Grecia Bezzina - (Philip Vella, Philip Vella)
Lament - Ludwig Galea ft. Fidela tal-Bambinu - (Philip Vella, Philip Vella)
Castaway - Marija Galdes - (Philip Vella, Rita Pace)
Innocent Heart - Ruth Portelli - (Ralph Siegel, John O'Flynn)
This ain't a love song - Christian Arding - (Trevor Fenech, Claudia Faniello)
Army of Lovers - Annabelle Debono - (Sean Vella, Gerard J. Borg)
Love me or leave me - J. Anvil - (Trevor Fenech, Claudia Faniello)
Tonight at the opera - Classic Rebels - (Ralph Siegel, John O'Flynn)
Blame it on your heart - Ruth Portelli - (Ralph Siegel, John O'Flynn)




Sunday, October 26, 2008

Croatia wins OGAES 2008

Croatia was leading all the way but UK was catching up until Italy nailed the win giving Croatia 12. As icing on the cake also UK gave Croatia 12 points. Greece was trying to catch up UK and the following 4 countries Russia, France, Spain and Israel were all within 4 points so there was enough excitement for those places in the voting. This is Croatia's first win. Watch Franka Batelic's winning entry Rusa a kamenu here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHK2nb8YKrs

Results:

01. CROATIA 164
02. UNITED KINGDOM 137
03. GREECE 130
04. RUSSIA 108
05. FRANCE 107
06. SPAIN 105
07. ISRAEL 104
08. ITALY 83
09. SERBIA 75
10. AUSTRIA 70
11. TURKEY 58
12. IRELAND 53
13. LEBANON 51
14. SWEDEN 43
15. FINLAND 37
16. ESTONIA 34
17. THE NETHERLANDS 32
18. REST OF THE WORLD 28
19. GERMANY 28
20. DENMARK 25
21. AZERBAIJAN 19
22. PORTUGAL 18
23. BELGIUM 14
24. NORWAY 12
25. POLAND 12
26. LITHUANIA 11
27. ANDORRA 7

Jaana Pelkonen wins in municipal elections


Jaana Pelkonen is a success story in her very first political elections. The municipal elections have been held in Finland today and when 33% of votes in Helsinki have been counted it's clear she is through! She's the 11th highest voted when 85 people will get into Helsinki city council. Congratulations Jaana!

OGAESC 2008 - the results


The results are out and you can follow the voting here: http://blip.tv/file/1397964/

I will post the full results tonight midnight so if you want to live all the excitement check it now!


More information on the history and previous winners here: http://ilkar.blogspot.com/2008/07/what-is-ogae-song-contest.html

Anna Eriksson wraps up the story so far on CD and DVD

Anna Eriksson's latest album Ihode has sold platinum like her previous albums. Next month she will release a best of album Annan vuodet 1997- and live DVD from her latest concert tour she has just completed with back stage material. She has sold so far over 350.000 albums which in Finland is A LOT! The new compilation will include 20 of her biggest hits, including Euroviisut 2000 entry and OGAE's second chance winner Oot voimani mun, cover of Lena Philipsson penned Juliet and Jonatan from Melodifestivalen and classics like Kaikista kasvoista and Kun katsoit minuun.

Her albums: 1997 Anna Eriksson (24 weeks in Top-40/highest position 15.), 1999 Odota mua (11w/6.), 2001 Kun katsoit minuun (20w/3.), 2003 Kaikista kasvoista (18w/7.), 2003 Parhaat - seuraa johtajaa (compilation) (16w/6.), 2005 Sinusta sinuun (30w/4.), 2007 Ihode (21w/7.), 2008 Anna vuodet 1997- (compilation)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A song for Sunday: Celine & Garou

This is old but still fabulously fantastic track: Celine Dion & Garou's Sous le vent. Why doesn't France send something like this?? Ok, maybe they can't get performers with this caliber to participate but the song itself is great and their voices just make it even better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQtttLfaO8U Garou, Eurovision needs you!

Lordi and Hanna tribute to Dingo

Dingo, the biggest thing in music in the 1980's - or ever - gets a tribute album next week. Lordi, Hanna Pakarinen, Jenni Vartiainen and Nylon Beat's Jonna Kosonen are amongst the artists who cover Dingo songs. Listen Lordi's version of Autiotalo (The house) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNHvevkQSTI and the original smash hit here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEl_AG16IrI .
Dingo's period was rather short (1984-1986) but very intense. It were compared to Beatlemania in the 60's by the hysteria they created and will be always remembered also as the band who forced YLE's very conservative TV-news to change: When Dingo slipt up in Ocotber 1986 it was featured as their main news - something very unusual for the channel! The band was formed in 1982 and got their first TV appearance in popular Levyraati programme in January 1984 with Sinä ja minä. Debut album followed in April and stayed in Top-40 for over a year. Autiotalo was released as a single later that year and still remains the most sold Finnish single ever. Second album was released in March 1985 and sold over 125.000 copies in a week! Today the sales are over 200.000 and it remains the 4th most sold album ever. The rest of the 1985 was lived in hysteria. Even bus tours were arranged to go and see Dingo member's houses in true Hollywood style. They recorded Autiotalo in English and the single The house without a name/Tell me (now covered by Hanna Pakarinen) single become a minor hit in Sweden and Denmark. In 1986 the third album was released and the media screamed fiasco as it sold "only" 80.000 copies, a number today's big stars still dream of. The stress got too much and the band split up after breaking every possible audience and selling record at the time. All their albums remain amongst top selling albums in Finland ever. However the band changed the music scene, generated a generations of girls (and not only) wearing neoncolor scarfs and sporting big hairs and a lot of collective memories for the whole nation.

In 1993 the band made a short come back with a compilation album and Pave Maijanen was in it in keyboards. Another compilation album was released before Christmas including one new song, Perjantai, that become a new Dingo hit. In 1994 they released an album with new material but slipt up again ahortly after.

In 1998 they were on the road again and their yet another compilation album sold platinum. Since then the members have been arguing about the use of the name Dingo, being performing in various compinations on and off, releasing new material and hanging around....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Do they have X-Factor?

Have you noticed Hadise from Turkey and Sakis Rouvas from Greece have more in common that just going to Moscow 2009 for their countries next May? Both are X-Factor hosts! Sakis of course in Greece and Hadise in Belgium where she was raised and lives. Let's see in May if they have the x-factor to win Eurovision song contest....

OGAE song contest 2008 - Spain

Tomorrow is the night. OGAE Spain will host the annual Ogae Song Contest. Now I can confirm my favourite's Italy's Sonohra and Sweden's Peter Jöback. More information on entries and the videos here: http://www.ogaesongcontestspain2008.com/banderas.html

01. CROATIA Franka Batelic - Ruža u kamenu
02. FRANCE Zazie - Je suis un homme
03. RUSSIA Serebro - Opium
04. BELGIUM K3 - Kusjesdans
05. NORWAY Geir Rönning - Bare du som bet
06. IRELAND Westlife - You must have had a broken heart
07. ISRAEL Shiri Maymon - Kshe'Halachta
08. SERBIA Seka Aleksić - Aspirin
09. ANDORRA Lexu's - La vida perfecta
10. POLAND Blue Café - Czas nie będzie czekał
11. SWEDEN Peter Jöback - Stockholm i natt
12. ESTONIA Rolf Junior - Ingel
13. SPAIN Mónica Naranjo - Europa
14. GERMANY Ich+Ich - So soll es bleiben
15. THE NETHERLANDS Nich & Simon - Kijk omhoog
16. LEBANON Elissa - Ayami beek
17. GREECE Sakis Rouvas - Stous 31 dromous
18. FYR MACEDONIA Toše Proeski - Creša (disqualified)
19. MALTA Miriam Christine - Alone today
20. FINLAND Jenni Vartiainen - Ihmisten edessä
21. PORTUGAL Xaile - Ai linda, ai linda
22. AUSTRIA Petra Frey - Ich mach die Ausnahme mit dir
23. AZERBAIJAN Kerim - Oyuncaginam senin
24. LITHUANIA Aiste - Leisk sau
25. DENMARK Lizzie - Ramt i natten
26. TURKEY Zeynep Dizdar -Sana Guenmiyorum
27. ITALY Sonohra - L'amore
28. REST OF THE WORLD - Brian Melo - All I ever wanted
29. UNITED KINGDOM Take That - Rule the world

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hanna's new jewel



Hanna Pakarinen has a new love in her life even if she refuses to comment it. She has also stepped out of music world for a moment and designed a jewel for Kalevala koru that was launched in Helsinki yesterday. She's been the face of Kalevala koru since Eurovision 2006. It can be worn on your neck, finger or for example in your bag. You can see Hanna wear it on the cover of her new single (scroll down this blog..... and see more here http://ilkar.blogspot.com/2007/09/hanna-does-lapponia.html for Kalevala koru)

Krassimir - the first Bulgarian wildcard

Bulgarian TV will add wildcards to the final and the first of them has been made public: Krassimir Avramov (38), a famous mime artist and male soprano with 4 octave range voice.
He started his career at tender age of 9 as a mime. The first album Silent voices followed in 1998, that was a top-10 hit in Bulgaria. In 1999 he moved to the States and started all over from nothing and claims having supported himself as a pizzaboy and a waiter. His second album Popera was released in 2005.

Bulgaria - quarter final 1


Tonight after three semifinals Bulgaria has its first quarter final wherefrom three acts will go to the final.

01. Prima Vista - Let's spread love 19,66% (2.)
02. Perfect Stranger - I promise 12,98% (4.)
03. Tereza Kolarova - Samo endo more 9,10% (6.)
04. Ruth - Sometimes 2,23% (9.)
05. Deyan Dzhenkov - Imam tvoeto ime 24,14% (1.)
06. I Velina - Ready for love 10,43% (5.)
07. Iliyan Tsvetanov - Tozi Ritam 2,55% (8.)
08. Iskra & Misha Iliev - Dokosni me 13,46 (3.)
09. Venelina Milanova - Neka s pesen 5,45% (7.)

Deyan, Prima Vista and Iskra & Misha Iliev made it to the final. Next week another round of 3 heats will start finishing in quarter final 2 where another 3 songs will qualify to the final.


The big ones in OGAESC 2008

This years OGAESC sees also a battle between the ultimate boybands: 40 million albums worldwide sold Westlife for Ireland with 14 UK #1's Vs. Take That for UK, 30 million albums sold and 10 UK #1's. Also France and Spain send their megadivas: Zazie Vs. Monica Naranjo. Both have also tasted success over the borders of their native countries. And Italy throws in Sonohra, ready to conquer Europe in coming months with their release of the debut album's version in English.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

HADISE FOR TURKEY

After Sakis Rouvas for Greece and De Toppers for the Netherlands, Hadise becomes the third confirmed artist for Moscow 2009. As widely speculated Hadise will represant Turkey.
Check her out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVcl6z-AyzQ , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypDRTQpK9w0&feature=related , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipgU1mFrhdk&feature=related

Pop Idols and others in OGAESC 2008

Many singers in this year's OGAE song contest got their careers kick started in various reality shows like Pop Idols - just like many in Eurovision these past few years.
Croatia's Franka Batelic won the musical reality show Showtime 2008.
Dutch duo Nick & Simon got their career started by being a regular guest in Jan Smit's reality-soap while Libanese Elissa debuted in a televised talent show back in 1992.
Finland's Jenni Vartiainen competed in Popstars 2002 and was one of the girls chosen to form girlband Gimmel. After three very succesful albums the band split up and Jenni went solo. The represant of the Rest of the world, Canadese Brian Melo is the Canadian Idol 2007.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More familiar faces in OGAESC 2008

Belgium's K3, Sweden's Peter Jöback, Estonia's Rolf Junior and Lithuania's Aiste all have one thing in common: they have all participated in their countries national fnals for Eurovision.
Aiste has the record with six tries. She has been getting closer and closer (1999 unknown, 2004 11th, 2005 9th, 2006 6th, 2007 3rd and 2008 2nd) so will she give it another try in 2009? Estonia's Rolf Junior also tried his luck in Eurovision after Estonian Idols with a very respectable 4th place. He has also gained a lot of experience in musicals.
Sweden's Peter Jöback came 2nd to last in Melodifestivalen 1990 but has then built up a very creditable career in musicals besides being a pop star.
K3 didn't reach the final in Belgium's 1999 selection.

Lordi goes to Conan O'Brien and on tour

November 6 Lordi will make history being the very first Finnish guest in Late night with Conan O'Brien. Conan is a big fan of Finland and visited here back in 2006. The visit gave him material for several nights on his show and the Finnish things have been on going feature in his show.... and it all started as someone noticed him being the lookalike of president of Finland, Tarja Halonen.... Lordi's new album Deadache is out this week! And on October 31 they will be performing in Helsinki's Tavastia club.

Lordi will be touring Northern America:

November 7: Houston, TX
November 8: Dallas, TX
November 9: San Antonio, TX
November 12: Las Vegas, NV
November 13: San Diego, CA
November 16: Pomona, CA
November 17: West Hollywood, CA
November 20: Englewood, CO
November 22: Chicago, IL
November 23: Cleveland, OH
November 24: New York, NY

November 29 Lordi will be in Winter Masters of Rock, Zlin, Czech Republic

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hanna Pakarinen is Make believe

Hanna Pakarinen's new single Make believe off her 4th album to be released in 2009 is digitally available today. Check it out on her MySpace! She's at the studio finishing the new yet untitled album and promises "feel good music. Light and beautiful pop music. More happiness, less angst!" she promises.
Meanwhile listen & watch some angst with Apocalyptica & Hanna here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhRuhDEUEas

Albania will be first again?

Albania as usual will have it's national final way before the end of the year, on December 18-19. The rumour is all three major ladies will make a come back: fabulously fantastic Anjeza Shahini, the country's first ever entrant in Istanbul who sailed to the final and took excellent 7th place, last year's entrant, cute as pie Olta Boka and Elsa Lila who has won the contest twice, but before it was the step to go to Eurovision as well...

Many Eurovision stars return - in OGAESC 2008

In five days it's the annual OGAE Song contest again happening in Spain, last year's winner. As usual there are many Eurovision stars involved: Russia sends Serebro, Israel Shiri Maymon, Greece Sakis Rouvas, Malta Miriam Christine and Austria Petra Frey. Geir Rönning represants his native Norway for a change and Poland Blue Cafe but with a new leading singer. Macedonia was ment to be represanted by late Tose Proieski, but was later disqualified as the song was released before the deadline. More information and videos of the songs here: http://www.ogaesongcontestspain2008.com/banderas.html

Sunday, October 19, 2008

OGAESC 2008 coming up next!

The annual OGAE song contest is here again. As always there are many familiar names from Eurovision or national finals involved, as well as names from various reality shows like Idols, and even some internationally known big names. And some of them don't seem to fall into any of those categories and I will start with them.
Seka Aleksić from Serbia might be the biggest name here having enjoyed success across the borders. Andorra sends again a band called Lexu's. The membres come from Spain and Andorra. Germany sets their hopes on the duo Ich+Ich, or Annette Humpe+Adel Tawil. Tawel is Egyptian-Tunisian of origin. They started working together 4 years ago and easily won the German selection.
Portugal's entry is performed by 3 girls under name Xaile: Lilia, Marie and Bia. Azerbaijan sends Kerim, a male singer. Both Portugal and Azerbaijan trust in their own ethnic musical heritage spiced up with modern beats. The same goes for Turkey. Zeynep has been scoring a #1 hit from her each and every album since 2000.
The Danish-Faroese-Icelandic singer Lizzie flies the flag for Denmark this time.
More info here: http://www.ogaesongcontestspain2008.com/

Şebnem Ferah or Hadise for Turkey?

The rumours from Turkey tell TRT is torn between Şebnem Ferah and Hadise, two rather different female artists.

Şebnem Ferah (36) started her career in all female hardrock band Volvox back in 1994 but has also provided the voice of Ariel in Disney's The little mermaid. She went solo in 1996 and has since released 5 albums and become one of the leading rock figures in Turkey. In 2001 she collaborated with Apocalyptica. Listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG3GihFVfTI

Hadise Açıkgöz (23) was born in Belgium and participated there at 17 in Pop Idols. She didn't even make it to the semifinals but has since built up a career as a r&b singer, songwriter and tv-presenter. She sings mainly in English but has recently also been trying to hit the Turkish market where she has received criticism for being too erotic. Judge yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNd7akhxHcM

Your country needs you! Or BBC does....

Why that makes Kylie's Your disco needs you playing in my head instantly? Anyways, it's happening: Andrew Lloyd Webber will compose the song for the winner of Your country needs you, a series of elimination shows to find out the most suitable one. The winner(s) get to perform the song in Moscow for the United Kingdom. How fancy! And Graham Norton will host the shows. What can you ask for more?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's ok for Miodio

Miodio has been busy since Eurovision both in Italy and abroad despite scoring the dreadful last place in their semi and well undeservedly so, if you ask me! Their first hit It's ok that has been playing a lot in the Italian radiowaves for months has got finally a video featuring Italian soubrette Valeria Marini, Renato Zero's car, singer's real life girlfriend behind the wheel and sammarinese shopping center. Enjoy it here: http://www.miodio.org/

Johanna Kurkela is back!

Johanna, who made many fans in Euroviisut 2007 with Olet uneni kaunein has just released her third album Kauriinsilmät. She has been very busy and succesful since Euroviisut. She's been performing all over Finland, scored several radiohits - her Sun särkyä anna mä en was the 8th most played song in the Finnish radios in 2007 - and got a gold record. The new album follows the trend of the previous two with added something. Johanna's fragile dreamlike vocals fit in with pop, folk, Irish and acoustic music but Johanna is also rock. To prove that she will be performing in Helsinki's legendary Tavastia club on November 27! A very unusual place for a singer like her.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Radio Rock Finlandia award nominees

Radio Rock Finlandia award was given for the first time last year and was won by Hanoi Rocks, the first real Finnish rockband that gained success abroad. The voting has already started on http://www.radiorock.fi/kilpailut/rrf08_aanestys.html and goes on until November 28. The big gala will be held on December 5 in Helsinki's Ice Hall. The nominees are:

Apocalyptica, Apulanta, Children of Bodom, CMX, Diablo, HIM, Kotiteollisuus, Mokoma, Negative, Nightwish, The Rasmus and Teräsbetoni.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bulgarian saga continues - heat 3

The third heat in Bulgaria completes the first round of many things to come. Next week this week's qualifiers will battle it against the qualifiers from the first two heats. The lucky winners from that will move on to semifinals... or something... The webcast failed me so ... No comments!

01. Iliyan Tsvetanov - Tozi Ritam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUknLiRd2r8
02. Teodora Kutsarova - Droga
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuXz8D78qlI
04. Deyan Dzhenkov - Imam tvoeto ime
Televoters voted Deyan Dzhenkov's ballad and Iliyan Tsvetanov's disco tune to go further, while the jury picked up Ruth's orchestral ballad that actually came last in the televote. So, Teodora's rap and Moto's folkrock are out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

50.000 pageloads since May!

Today the counter hit 50.000!
A big thank you to each and every one of you (you are around 300 a day) who keep following my nonsense here! Critic, comments and loveletters welcome! Just hit comments below....

Non winner from the past: Gabriela

This is one of Finland's "What if..." songs. A scandal when juries left it third - placing two songs in Swedish before it - gaining only 89 points against the winner's 95. Even more of a scandal when the actual winner Beat scored yet another last place for Finland, only a year after Anneli Saaristo's fantastic 7th place with another latin flavoured song La dolce vita!

Melodifestivalen artists revealed.... maybe!

The Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet didn't waste time, as usual, in picking up the singers for the songs announced yesterday. The list will have many changes before SVT will make it public but this is what they came up for now and it looks pretty good. However, it may be good to keep in mind this is what they/we wish the artist list would look like. But where is Sanna Nielsen?

Agnes Carlson - Love love love
Alcazar - Stay the night
Susanne Alfvengren - Männskobarn
Johan Becker ft Star Pilotz - Higher
Linda Bengtzing - Jag tror på oss
Sofia Berntson - Alla
Jennifer Brown - Never been here before
BWO - You're not alone
Shirley Clamp - Med hjärtat fyllt av ljus
Cookies and beans - What if
Sarah Dawn Finer - Moving on
Amy Diamond - It's my life
Emilia - You're my world
Jonathan Fagerlund - Welcome to my life
Maja Gullstrand - Här för mig själv
Lili & Susie - Show me heaven
Lasse Lindh - Jag ska slåss i dina kvarter
Rigo or Topaz SoundSystem - I got you
Ola Svensson - The queen
Lasse Stefanz - Den första kyssen
Mikael Rickfors - Du vinner över mig
Molly Sanden - Så vill stjärnorna
Martin Stenmark or Poodles - 1000 miles
Nina Söderqvist - Tick tock
Carolina af Ugglas - Snälla snälla
Måns Zelmerlöv - Hope and glory
Jimmy Almgren & Adam Soliman - Esta noche
Elin Lanto - Killing me tenderly


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Familiar names in Melodifestivalen

The jury has listened through the 3440 entries and picked up the semifinalists. Wildcards will be added later but we are ready to start the speculation. Alcazar, BWO and Måns Zelmerlöf might be safe bets for artists, and Ace of Base for wildcards. The jury had 17 members including Bruno Berberes, the head of Eurovision delegation of France; Tomas Lundin, the Swedish speaking commentator for the Finnish TV and Barry Viniker, managing director for esctoday.com.

The songs and writers are:


I got you (M: Tobias Karlsson L: Rodrigo Pencheff)
Stay the night (M&L Anders Hansson, Mårten Sanden, Andreas Lundsted, Lina Hedlund, Therese Merkel)
Love, love, love (L & M Anders Hansson)
Show me heaven (L: Susie Päivärinta, Calle Kindbom, Thomas G: son)
Med hjärtat fyllt av ljus (L: Pling Forsman M: Henrik Wikström, Bobby Ljungren)
Alla (M&L:Dimitri Stassos , Henrik Wikström , Irini Michas , Nina Karolidou)
What If (M&L: Robin Abrahamsson, Amir Aly, Maciel Numhauser)
Så vill stjärnorna (L: Pling Forsman M: Bobby Ljunggren, Marcos Ubeda)
Männskobarn (L: Pling Forsman M: Bobby Ljunggren, Henrik Wikström)
Never been here before (M&L: Jennifer Brown, Peter Kvint)
Tick Tock (M&L: Johan Lyander, Matti Alfonzetti)
Killing me tenderly
(M&L: Amir Alu, Henrik Wikström, Tobbe Pettersen)
It's my life (M&L: Alexander Bard, Bobby Ljungren, Oscar Holter)
Moving on (M&L: Sarah Dawn Finer, Fredrik Kempe)
Hope and glory (M&L: Fredrik Kempe, Måns Zelmerlöv, M: Henrik Wikström)
Higher (M: Johan Fjellström, Joakim Udd, M&L: Johan Becker)
You are not alone (M&L: Fredrik Kempe, Alexander Bard, Anders Hansson)
Snälla, snälla (M&L Caroline af Ugglas, Heinz Liljedahl)
Här för mig själv (M&L: Thomas G:sson, Marcos Ubeda)
Jag ska slåss I dina kvarter (M&L: Lasse Lindh)
Du vinner över mig (M&L : Thomas G:sson)
Jag tror på oss (M: Lars ”Dille” Diedrison, Martin Hedström, L:Ingela ”Pling” Forsman)
Esta noche (M&L: Michael Xavier Barrazza, Jimmy Almgren, Adam Soleiman)
1000 miles (M&L: Jarl Niklas , David Stenmark)
You are my world (M&L: Emilia Rydberg, Fredrik Figge Bodström)
The Queen (M&L Tony Nilsson, Henrik Jansson)
Welcome to my life (M&L: Samuel Waermö, Didrik Thott)
Den första kyssen (M&L: Lina Eriksson, Målgan B-son)


The writers include a lot of familar names. We have the usual group of writers in various combinations involved in 26 songs! Henrik Wikström has 5, Bobby Ljungren and Pling Frosman 4, Fredrik Kempe, Anders Hanson and Thomas G:son 3, Marcos Ubeda and Alexander Bard 2 songs in the running. Also Måns Zelmerlöv and Susie Päivärinta got a song in.

Viktor Klimenko in a horror movie!

Viktor Klimenko returns to silver screen after 40 years. "I didn't accept the role right away. I was worried what my fellow believers will think" he admits. Klimenko has made a name as a religious singer after he found God in 1980. "I was close to commiting suicide. No one talked about burn out back then, I just thought I was crazy. And alone. I had a gun. I decided to check out if God exists and kneeled down to the floor to pray... and found him" he tells now.
The new horrow movie Sauna is a story about sin, guilt, regret and forgiveness. Klimenko plays a Russian officer.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Are you ready for Deadache?

In two weeks in stores....

Luxembourg still alive

Luxembourg has not been participating in the Eurovision since forever despite being with their five victories right after Ireland the most succesful country. The fan club however is hanging on and very active and we all hope those TRL bosses will have a change of heart and bring Luxembourg back one day.... Next weekend the local fan club organizes its second EuroGala, a two day affair that includes performances by Corinne Hermes, Vania Fernandez and Marion Welter. There's also a song contest for fans with great prizes!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kate Ryan at TMF Awards 2008

Kate Ryan performed her European megahit Ella elle l'a (cover of France Gall's European megahit in the late 80's) along with her new single I surrender in the annual TMF Awards. She was nominated for three awards but went hope emptyhanded. Belgian national finalists Natalia and Brahim got awards instead. Watch the performance here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iks6qdgUZFk and I surrender's video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUAUdYJe4I4

A night with Haddaway

Nothing to do with Eurovision, I'm afraid - or was he rumoured to take part in the German selection a few years ago? - but I saw Haddaway last night in a party and he's still fabulously living in the glory of the old hits. What is love got everybody wild from young to old and was a real dancefloor filler. Enjoy!
What is love http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=aOGflCsfefo ,
Life http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=GtVHGLxlvbM ,
Rock my heart http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=wV4ZJ8ByPsY&feature=related
and I miss you http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=Plf-pxBXZH4

Gadget

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