Sunday, November 30, 2008

Malta's Euro Showbox 3

Third Showbox in Malta brought in a lot 80's discopop and I think the winner is not amongst these...

01. Trilogy - The song in your heart
This plays the ground Biondo did in Romania last year but lacks the instant impact remaining rather unmemorable and plain. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeCdfsDJOFo
02. Dorothy Bezzina - Mozart revives
Why this makes me think of old Dschingis Khan songs? Very 80's, repetive and easily could be from uncle Ralph's work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4YIYsQo4Jg
03. Derrick Schembri & Yanika Fava - For a moment
Is this Jemini all over again? Or just a another gay guy with his fag hag having some karaoke fun? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FroNnIn-QE4
04. Jo Zette - I'm me
First I thought this is Miss Piggy making come back with an old Army of Lovers track. The I realized how good Verka Serduchka really is. Yet, I wouldn't be surprised if this makes the final... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5VSWCk3mOM
05. Evita Magri - Sexy girls
The 80's disco sounds continue with a Sabrina Salerno wannabe with similar vocal capacities minus the booms. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5VSWCk3mOM
06. Christian Arding - This ain't a love song
He's a good singer and the song isn't the worst but what's with the zun zun discobeat? Gets very repetitive very quickly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KvAwTeJyv4
07. Gloriana Arpa Belli - Love was made of clay
More 80's with a song that wouldn't be out of space in some QAF soundtrack. Strong souly vocals with a hint of Gloria Gaynor, Thelma Houston and Lonnie Gordon. Could be a contender if completely rearranged and reworked. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NIPVikcPIc

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Norway wins MGP 2008!

The show has just ended and Norway had a runaway win. Norway won also last year.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ss9qgo11aU

Swedish votes: Denmark 19, Finland 30, Norway 51
Norvegian votes: Finland 23, Sweden 25, Denmark 52
Danish votes: Finland 17, Sweden 30, Norway 53
Finnish votes: Denmark 19, Sweden 21, Norway 60

Next year's contest will be hosted by Sweden.

LIVE REPORT: MGP NORDIC 2008

The live show from Denmark has just started and the first entry is on stage. I may be partial but the quality of songs is much better here than in last week's Junior Eurovision song contest...

01. The Johanssons opened the contest for Denmark with a very catchy song En for alle, alle for en, that mixes a bit rap and technopop.
02. The Battery with Tenke nå! from Norway is on stage next. Also this song is good radio pop with piano lead and good vocalist.
03. Linn and En sång från hjärtat is the first Swedish entrant and oldest one this year. Very shaky vocals in the beginning but getting a bit better when the self penned piano ballad gets going....
04. Footboys and Fotboll are the youngest this year, both are only 10 years old. Finland it is! The song's as hysterical as last week's Junior Eurovision winner and the guys are almost as adorable as the Georgian bees... Let's see what happens.
05. Sandra Monique and Hola chica is the second Danish entry. Oh well, this is the first bad entry in every way, I'm afraid.... Next please... Some fart humour from the female presenter went nicely with this one...
06. The Blacksheeps with Oro jaksa beana from Norway. Strange combination of 50's rock, sami language and story of a sick dog. Either you hate this or love it. As it won in Norway, maybe the kids love this then. I don't know.
07. Jonna and Kommar jag våga from Sweden next. She's a school example what Carolas and Charlottes in Sweden do to most young Swedish singers. A real schlager with a coreography to match!
08. Big Bang with Här är vi from Finland. Save the best for last. Emma, the singer is fantastic and the song's very catchy and full of energy. If you ask me this is the winner!
The voting lines are now open and soon we will find out the four super finalists, one from each country.
The finalists are: The Johanssons for Denmark with their anti-mobbing song, The Blacksheeps for Norway with their sick dog story, football loving Footboys for Finland and soul searching Jonna for Sweden! It's time to hear these four again before revote.

Malta - Semifinal 3

Malta continues its search tonight after a break last week. No songs by Gerard J. Borg in this one but there are 2 by Philip Vella and one by Paul Abela and also Claudia Faniello as a song writer.

01. Trilogy - The song in your heart
02. Dorothy Bezzina - Mozart revives
03. Derrick Schembri & Yanika Fava - For a moment
04. Jo Zette - I'm me
05. Evita Magri - Sexy girls
06. Christian Arding - This ain't a love song
07. Gloriana Arpa Belli - Love was made of clay

Lordi exits the Top-40. Metsäketo enters.

Vesa-Matti Loiri finally has to give up the #1 spot in the Top-40 as Guns N' Roses enters the chart at #1 and drops him at #2. Ipanapa 2, children's song CD rises one spot to #11 and includes Hanna Pakarinen's Mörkö mainio. Samuli Edelmann's Virsiä 2 drops one place to #12. Tomi Metsäketo's new CD Roma enters the at #14. Celine Dion's My love climbs to #15. Anna Eriksson stays at #19. Dingo tribute drops to #22, including versions by Lordi and Hanna Pakarinen. Also Johanna Kurkela and Kari Tapio are on their way down at #30 and #33. Same faith for Maria Lund at #35 while ABBA - The Albums re-enter at #39. Lordi has already dropped out of Top-40 while Metsäketo enters. As we all remember he lost to Lordi in Euroviisut 2006 with the televotes.... Listen/download the new album here: http://download.mtv3.fi/Album.aspx?id=0304EF41-5A93-46CC-8989-7A74AC6F3B3D . It includes covers of Gigliola Cinquetti/Katri Helena hit Alla porte del sole/Vasten auringon siltaa as well as Ricchi e Poveri/Jose Feliciano hit Che sará as well as Sanremo classics like Io che non vivo senza te and Quando, quando, quando. All but one in italian.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bulgaria - Round 3, Heat 7

Tonight yet another heat in Bulgaria. The first two circles have closed and produced 6 semifinalists. Tonight the start of the third one, wherefrom 3 will move on to next step.... This time all the songs seem to be in English. I will watch and comment if the webcast works, and the Youtubes will be added asap as usual.

01. Vatticana - Sun is shining
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCrttOctAbI
03. Svetozar Hristov - Barrow from the shadow
04. Just Elly - My song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKTeFuSIMiM
05. Teddy Slavcheva - Don't look for me
Well, no webcast no comments. However it seems like a very bad heat judging the comments of those who saw it. Teddy got almost half of the votes and Vatticana was a very clear no 2 as well and they qualified along with Hristov that came third but was jury's choise. Anna and Elly are out.
UPDATE: Now after seeing the Youtubes I confirm this must be the worst ever heat ever anywhere, and Just Elly's performance should be awarded. It's priceless! (But how on earth no one stopped her until now?!?!)

Footboys, Big Bang and the rest

This Saturday we have the MGP Nordic 2008 final, with kids from four Nordic countries taking part and having fun. The Finnish final was a few weeks ago and was won by Footboys, who are also the youngest in this year's competition with their age of ten years. Oldest is Swedish Linn, 15.

01. FINLAND - Big Bang - Här är vi
02. NORWAY - The Battery - Tenke nå!
03. SWEDEN - Linn - En sång från hjärtat
04. DENMARK - The Johanssons - En for alle, alle for en
05. SWEDEN - Jonna - Kommar jag våga
06. DENMARK - Sandra Monique - Hola chica
07. FINLAND - Footboys - Fotboll
08. NORWAY - The Blacksheeps - Oro jaksa beana



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Melodifestivalen wildcards: Malena Ernman


SVT announced the second of four wildcards in Melodifestivalen 2009: Malena Ernman. A Swedish opera diva with an edge. She is mezzo soprano but can sing like a tenor. She seems to be fun, too. The song is called La voix and its written by Fredrik Kempe. Sounds promising!
Check her out yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_ZS9s-3iFg

MGP Nordic is on its way, too...

If Sanremo is the mother of the Eurovision song contest, MGP Nordic is the mother of the Junior Eurovision song contest. It all started in Denmark back in 2000 when the Danish TV organized a song contest for children. 2001 the event was repeated and in 2002 Norway and Sweden joined in. EBU picked up the idea in 2003 and organized the very first Junior Eurovision song contest with 16 countries taking part. However by 2006 many western European countries had jumped off including Denmark and Norway (and in 2008 Sweden also is no longer taking part). Denmark, Norway and Sweden have organized again MGP since 2006, and in 2007 also Finland joined in, represanted by its Swedish speaking TV. This year's MGP Nordic takes place in Aarhus in Denmark this coming Saturday night. Here are the previous winners:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apocalyptica hits #2 in the USA

Apocalyptica's visits to the USA are paying off. Already last year they scored a #6 hit on Billboard and at the moment their I don't care is #1 on BDS and Mediabase Active Rock radio play charts, and climbs to #2 on Billboard's Hot mainstream rock tracks, right after AC/DC. They're also doing better than Metallica. The irony is Apocalyptica started as Metallica cover band! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu9uxGP5nL0
Watch here the fabulous Helsinki 2007 Eurovision interval act with Apocalyptica again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyqLl0XoMTI

Melodifestivalen 2009: the artists 2

SVT announced 7 more names (The Scotts was announced already Saturday night) and if the first group was big names and Melodifestivalen veterans, this group is made of new comers. Or rather new comers in this situation and event, but most of them have already hits and experience. Mikael Rickfors has been doing music since early 1980's and makes his MF debut; he has been backing various artists previously, including Tomas Ledin back in 1980. Molly Sandén did Junior Eurovision in 2006 (3rd) and finally has the age to do the real thing. Also the guys in Next 3 are barely legal, all around 17. Maja Gullstrand grew up in a circus van driving around Sweden! She's also known from Fame factory reality show. Teenage heartthrob Jonathan Fagerlund, hard rock group HEAT and caribian hip hoppers Rico & co. complete the list.

Mikael Rickfors - Du vinner över mig
HEAT - 1000 miles
Molly Sandén - Så vill stjärnorna
Maja Gullstrand - Här för mig själv
Next 3 - Esta noche
Jonathan Fagerlund - Welcome to my life
Rico & The Topaz Sound ft Red Fox - I got you

Patrick Fiori goes to movies


Patrick Fiori, who represanted France in 1993 with Mama Corsica has gone a long way since, both as musical star and recording artist. After 7 albums and a couple of best ofs, several musicals and important collaborations he's releasing an album with music from the movies under title Les choses de la vie, that follows up his Best of album in 2007 and 4 Mots album earlier this year with the valuable collaboration with Jean-Jacques Goldman. Check him out here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTrgv5rVsb8 , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rex54EGM_3Q&feature=channel , and here the fantastic Belle from the musical Notre Dame de Paris that made both Garou and Fiori, amongst others: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUXGVfmrEN4&feature=related

Monday, November 24, 2008

More on Sanremo 2009....

Sanremo becomes more and more like various national finals all around Europe! The 15 Big (or Artisti) will be invited directly and face elimination from the first night: 3 of them will be out. The same happens the second night so there will be 9 left. But hey, there's second chance! Third night the 6 unlucky will perform again and 2 will go back in game. But fourth night one will be dropped out again. Complicated? No, just Italian! Fifth and final night first the 10 remaining songs will be performed and voted and top-3 will have a superfinal! Isn't this sooo Eurovision?

The juries will be present in Teatro Ariston (300 persons each night) for the 2 first night. Third night's second chance is by televote. Fourth night the orchestra will vote 50% and 50% the jury present in Ariston. The final will be 50-50 televote-jury.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

ABBA covered by Il Divo

Sounds like money making heaven, doesn't it? Il Divo has covered ABBA's The winner takes it all in Spanish, titled Va todo al ganador. The song itself is so great no one can ruin it apparently but it's a far cry from Meryl Streep's recent cover, or the way Il Divo itself covered Toni Braxton's Un-break my heart previously... Judge yourself:

One more Melodifestivalen 2009 artist out: The Scotts

SVT revealed one more artist for Melodifestivalen 2009 last night in Dansbandskampen: The Scotts. They will perform Jag tror på oss, a song that was sung by Linda Bengtzing on demo. A little bit of them here, doing Cara mia and stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxMhMOEoRMI&feature=related

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Georgia wins Junior Eurovision 2008!

The adorable busy bees of Georgia Bzzzed themselves to clear victory in the 6th Junior Eurovision. I may have not been so in favor for them beforehand but following these three 10 year olds during the voting and seeing their performance they deserved to win. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eBe1lRbYw8

RESULTS:
1. GEORGIA 154
2. UKRAINE 135
3. LITHUANIA 103
4. MALTA 100
5. FYR MACEDONIA 93
6. BELARUS 86
7. RUSSIA 73
8. ARMENIA 59
9. ROMANIA 58
10. CYPRUS 46
11. BELGIUM 45
12. SERBIA 37
13. THE NETHERLANDS 27
14. GREECE 19
15. BULGARIA 15

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stGqklSoJJ4

LIVE: JUNIOR EUROVISION 2008

The show has strted and the webcast is excellent - at least for now. Looks like a very colorful show in Cyprus.

1. ROMANIA: Good start for the show. Vocally good with nice coreography and performance. Avoids being too cheesy and comes across as happy and honest.
2. ARMENIA: She has very dark voice for a girl but the song's like from forgotten Ralph Siegel song book. Not very convincing.
3. BELARUS: Compared to Romania feels artificial and fake. And I'm afraid to what kind of propaganda the lyrics might be, so I won't even read the translation....
4. RUSSIA: Dima Bilan jr. Looks quite forced.
5. GREECE: I kinda like this song but I guess it has no chance in hell to make even top-10.
6. GEORGIA: Absolutely hysterical. Kids seem to like this. Ok on stage but would I listen to this on cd? Never!
7. BELGIUM: Oliver did a good job, maybe a bit nervous but the song is clearly the best one here. But were the 3 Charleston girls necessary? I hope the juries will be on his side as I think the televoters will look somewhere else....
8. BULGARIA: What is this? Outfits from some cheap fetish porno.... shouty vocals that ruined the rest of it. This is why I don't like JESC so much. Children trying to be adults. And adults not stopping them...
9. SERBIA: Nothing special but compared to Bulgaria a great improvement towards JUNIOR Eurovision!
10. MALTA: Well, he's a showman. But who will vote for this?
11. THE NETHERLANDS: Unfortunately for her she looks like a nice aunt of the other kids. The whole thing has a sort of teenage girl pyjama party feeling to it.
12. UKRAINE: Propably this wins as I just hate it. I don't see a girl but a (ex-) Sovjet machine, and isn't the song a bit too familiar, too? Why this makes me think of that Bennett girl?
13. LITHUANIA: She's likable, has strong vocals and deserves to do well!
14. FYR MACEDONIA: He fits with his song, that is insanely catchy. And he's breaking voice is so cute! After Belgium my favourite before Lithuania and Romania.
15. CYPRUS: Ok, with those colors they look like Barbies, or Bratz instead of lolitas which is good. The song's ok, too.

The voting is on now and Evridiki & Korgialas are having some Fun in the sun on stage. A perfect song for those summer nights at disco but.... it's November now, snowing outside! But Evridiki is always fabulous. Period.
Dima Bilan was on stage to end the voting. Errr... what happened to him? Looks like a crazy gipsy. And one question comes to mind: How do those pants stay up? Or will they stay up....?
Well they did. Dima did rather hysterical performance of Believe with a bit of My number one fan in the beginning. And now to the voting.....

Dima Bilan and Evridiki & Korgialas in JESC tonight

The 6th Junior Eurovision song contest will take place tonight in Lemesos, Cyprus and the theme song Fun in the sun will be performed live on stage by Evridiki & Dimitris Korgialas. Also the reigning Eurovision champion Dima Bilan will be there, singing his winning entry Believe as well as My number one fan. The winner will be chosen by 50-50 televote-jury, the most likely solution for the real thing in Moscow 2009 as well. Last year's winner from Belarus, Alexey, will present the award to the winner.
Previous winners are: 2003 Croatia, 2004 Spain, 2005 Belarus, 2006 Russia and 2007 Belarus.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tomorrow: Junior Eurovision song contest

It's here again. The rather schizofrenic Junior Eurovision, coming this time from Cyprus. 15 countries taking part and as everyone who reads this blog knows I'm not a fan. However, Oliver from Belgium IS good and should have waited a year and aim for the main thing instead... Propably Ukraine - the cheesiest of them all - will win ... More information and vid here: http://www.junioreurovion.tv/ And next week we will have the Nordic one, too...

01. Romania - Mădălina & Andrada - Salvaţi Planeta
02. Armenia - Monika Manucharova - Im Ergi Hnchyune
03. Belarus - Dasha, Alina & Karina - Dasha, Alina & Karina
04. Russia - Mihail Puntov - Spit Angel
05. Greece - Niki Yiannouchu - Kapoia Nychta
06. Georgia - Bzikebi - Bzz...
07. Belgium - Oliver - Shut Up
08. Bulgaria - Krestiana Kresteva - Edna Mechta
09. Serbia - Maja Mazić - Uvek Kad U Nebo Pogledam
10. Malta - Daniel Testa - Junior Swing
11. The Netherlands - Marissa - 1 Dag
12. Ukraine - Victoria Petryk - Matrosy
13. Lithuania - Eglė Jurgaitytė - Laiminga Diena
14. F.Y.R Macedonia - Bobi Andonov - Prati Mi SMS
15. Cyprus - Elena Mannouri & Charis Savva - Gioupi Gia!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Junior Eurovision in 5 minutes

Here's a vid with all the entries of Junior Eurovision 2008 in 5 minutes. Belgium stands out in my opinion but propably won't have any chance as the epicentric of this contest is already very far from that part of Europe... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EBxZgn4h7E
You can hear Oliver's English version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaIuVYuJj9s and the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tidKPAlWVvE

Bulgaria - Quarter final 2


Tonight it's time to wrap up another 3 heats in Bulgaria and the 2 most televoted songs plus the jury's favourite from them will fight over the 3 places in the next step.
01. Antoniya Markova - Don't leave by the day 8.83% (5.)
02. Plamen Penev - Dalechen svyat 14,26% (2.)
03. Bobi Kokera, Bleki & Sunnie - Tozi pat
04. Itso Petroff & Priyateli - Rokendrol izkustvo 3,44% (8.)
05. Lazar Kisyov - You're not alone 4,56% (7.)
06. Gergana Dimova - Yasno slantse 41,42% (1.)
07. Annayah - Az te chakam 8.97% (4.)
08. Fanagoria & Milena Peeva - Love never ends 6,06% (6.)
09. Emiliya Valenti - S teb 12,46% (3.)

LIVE REPORT: Song no 3 has been disqualified it seems as the band didn't show up to the rehearsals today. Only in Bulgaria (and Romania last year me thinks...?). Or the other voice is the singer is ill and the song will be re-entered later? We will see. Anyways, similar performances to the previous ones from most and everyone, and some improved a bit like Lazar. Emiliya is the best by far for me but everyone seems to be in favor of Gergana, that I think is just annoying noise and shouts. But then, I never liked this turbofolk stuff. And Fanagoria is only a very bad imitation of Nightwish. Let's see now who will qualify....

So, as expected Gergana thriumphed and I still wonder why? Ok, she's Idols winner. Also Plamen Penev must be very popular as the song is nothing. Thank heavens Emiliya Valenti qualified, too. The rest is out but can be taken in later as a wildcard.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Melodifestivalen wildcards: Markoolio

The first Melodifestivalen wildcard is a surprise indeed: Markoolio! He's actually a Finn, born in Lahti 33 years ago as Marko Lehtosalo but lives in Stockholm since he has 6 months old. He has released most of his material in Swedish. Seven albums since 1998 and the 8th one coming out in December. His song is titled Kärlekssång från mig (A lovesong from me). His only Melodifestivalen experience to date is hosting. Hear him in Finnish here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAPu_X0T6MY, and making fun of schlager here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pcndal-pk4k&feature=channel

Sanremo: Everything changes

More news about the format of Sanremo 2009 have been made public. News that can be called almost revolutionary. Gone are the different categories used in the past few years and even the main categories "Big" and "Giovani" have been renamed "Artisti" and "Proposte". Also the number of songs has been reduced a lot. Artisti category will have 15 songs, only 10 of them reaching the final after eliminations on first nights. Proposte will feature 8 songs, 2 of them coming from the SanremoLab.
For the first time ever Sanremo will also have songs that have been heard beforehand elsewhere, namely the songs by the Proposte. Their songs will be played on radio a week before the festival.
Also the demoscopic juries have been thrown out of the window. The jury will be in Teatro Ariston and also the "giuria della qualitá" is no more; instead the orchestra will vote on the 4th night! Doesn't this sound like the Eurovision some 35 years ago when the jury was present at the hall and such...?
As the festival fills the TV screen for 5 nights and minimum 3 hours a night, that makes 15 hours of music.... err, music? Only 23 songs and 15 hours? I suspect there is going to be even more bla bla bla than ever before! It will be another year to turn into Youtube to catch the songs only then....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Melodifestivalen 2009: the artists 1

SVT revealed the first eight artists in Melodifestivalen 2009 and started off with some of the most awaited and biggest names. No surprises here though. All names have been circulating already since the day one the songs were made public. The first wild card will be announced tomorrow!

Alcazar - Stay The Night
BWO - You're Not Alone
Caroline af Ugglas - Snällä, Snälla
Emilia - You're My World
Jennifer Brown - Never Been Here Before
Lasse Lindh and Band - Jag Slåss I Dina Kvarter
Måns Zelmerlöw - Hope & Glory
Sarah Dawn Finer - Moving on
Alcazar, BWO and Måns have all placed in Top-3 previously and also Sarah a respectful 4th. Emilia and Jennifer Brown are in for the very first time.

Riki Sorsa back on stage

Riki Sorsa, who went through throat cancer and all the treatments, was on back on stage last Saturday night. It was thought he would never sing again but he did a great job with his biggest hit Muuttohaukka, even though he had some difficulties with the high notes and had to hum through some passages. But the audience welcomed him back very warmly. "It was fantastic" Riki commented afterwords. "I had a lot of problems with the voice but all in all it went fine. I would consider recording again".

Kwan vs. Dimitris Korgialas

Kwan has re-recorded their summer hit Tainted love in Greece and places with the Greek lyrics by Dimitris Korgialas. Dimitris has already Finnish affairs in his CV as he represanted Cyprus in Helsinki 2007 with Evridiki - and what a lovely couple they are! Anyways, it's not a first time a Finnish Eurovision related artists hits it big in Greece. 20 years ago Kirka did it with Sadness in your eyes.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muiZrcKRRwo, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbx13cFVH_Q

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Malta's Euro Showbox 2

So, the webcast from Malta failed last night so here they are finally. Much better songs than in the first one I would say but nothing extraordinary yet.

Rather disappointing with fake happiness written all over it. Total waste of good singers.
Quite interesting song. Paul Oscar meet Fabrizio Faniello.
03. Jessica Muscat - Smoke-screen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LCfrKpDr-4
I liked her song last year and this year... well, this is the best thing I've heard so far!
04. Georgina - To be myself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dgXjkj8Q-w
And time stood still in 1991-1993... But she's good singer, no doubt.
05. Laura Bruno - Something about you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7_lUU4xeoY
Catchy track but she doesn't seem to fit in. Shame.
06. Marija Galdes - Castaway http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0jHEHI2WYU
Not bad. Not good. Rather uninteresting but "nice".
07. Vittorio & Dorothy - Promises http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCjLnfl6RzM
Sugary cute little duet that would feature nicely as some South American soap opera's theme

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Maltese Q

I was wondering where are Glen Vella and Pamela, two Maltese regulars in their national finals and how come they're not participating again. Well, they are. They form Q together with Fiona, Leontina and Luca. All of them have been participating solo before. Glen has represanted Malta already in several international festivals from Bulgaria to Kazakhstan. Here are some of their previous entries: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HnxH6s9ssk, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPqHp6za0cc, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7n-JicNQcE, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf7ymV-wg00

Bonolis will host the 59th Sanremo

The city of Sanremo and RAI have negotiated another 3 years contract, so the festival of Italian song, better known simply as Sanremo will stay in the city and on RAIUNO. The 59th edition will be hosted by Paolo Bonolis who did the job already in 2005. He's one of the most popular Italian media persons, host and creator of many very succesful shows and game shows. Ironic, with a witty sense of humour he will guide us through the usual 5 nights and endless hours of bla bla bla with a couple of dozen songs in between. He's rumoured to get 1.000.000 euros for the job and RAI's budget is 9 million euros. Last year's winner was Gió di Tonno & Lola Ponce with Gianna Nannini penned Colpo di fulmine, that didn't set the charts or airways on fire. The new comers final was won by Sonohra, who have gone a long way, even across the borders....

Eurovision 2009 mascott and logo?



Well, it looks like the good old Eurovision mascott might make a welcome return in Moscow, and what is better than a bear? A big Russian bear. We all remember Misha from Moscow Olympics, don't we?

Malta - semifinal 2

Malta continues its search tonight. Let's hope the televoting works tonight as there seem to have been some "scandalous" problems with it last week. Nothing new under the sun there then. Three Philip Vella songs in this heat, 2 of them with Gerard J. Borg, one with Rita Pace. Also Eurovision veteran Paul Giordimaina is in as a composer and his duet partner Georgina from 1991 as a singer, for someone else's song though. And Claudia Faniello's boyfriend, Josmar making his debut.

1. Q - Live For Today
2. Josmar - Circus
3. Jessica Muscat - Smoke-Screen
4. Georgina - To Be Myself
5. Laura Bruno - Something About You
6. Marija Galdes - Castaway
7. Vittorio & Dorothy - Promises

Friday, November 14, 2008

One billion ruble for Moscow 2009

There hasn't been much to report of the preparations for next year's event in Moscow but now Russia's vice prime minister Alexander Zhukov has announced that one billion ruble (29 million euros) has been laid aside in the federal budget. Zhukov is the head of the organization committee. That's more than double the budget in Helsinki 2007! The city of Moscow will add some extra money to the event. "Interesting and beautiful" is all he says how the event will be stating the details are secret.

Finnish comic relief night...

or Nenäpäivä (Red nose day) is live on TV right now and the phonelines to donate money and the show is going on well til tomorrow. Hanna Pakarinen, Jari Sillanpää, Paula Koivuniemi, Maria Lund, Johanna Kurkela and Remu are amogst the celebrities who will be answering the phones and/or performing during the night.
The money will be donated through Red Cross, UNICEF and other organisations to suffering children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Honduras. Some will be also used by Comic Relief to AIDS work in Africa.
Also Jippu was there, back to Nairobi following the last year's project's developments. And Jari Sillanpää did a Finnish cover of Nirvana's Smells like teen spirit in rather unusual way (but it was pretty fantastic!). Johanna Kurkela followed with fantastic version of Nothing else matters. We must get Johanna back to Euroviisut asap!
Over 1.137.500 euros donated during the show.

Cris Owen regrets sex change

Cris Owen (48) who was the runner up in Euroviisut 1989 with Vad finns kvar and wrote Arja Koriseva's Huomiseen in 1992, speaks about the sex change operation from female to male he had 3 years ago. "If I knew how my life would change I would never have done it. My whole world collapsed. I stared at the mirror and wondered who the hell is that? I felt like 20 year old boy in a body of 50 years old" he tells in today's Ilta-Sanomat.
Cris has had quite colorful life as manager: the Miisa project ended up in Milli Vanilli like scandal when Miisa herself announced she didn't sing on records but was just the pretty cover. Janina Frostell, the #1 Finnish top model Cris produced and managed sued him for spreading nude pictures of Janina on the internet. There were also rumours of them being an item.
And he even sold the sex change operation to scandal magazines with pictures of his new penis he claimed was "too big". A couple of years ago an internet rumour had him dead and he had to appear in public to state he was very much alive.

Lordi drops, Maria enters... the Finnish Top-40 this week

It's not looking good for Lordi, or any other Eurovision related artists this week as all of them are going down: Lordi drops from #5 to #20, Celine Dion drops one place to #21, Johanna Kurkela 4 places to #23, Jari Sillanpää from #27 to #32. Both ABBA related entries also drop: Mamma mia! soundtrack to #34 and ABBA - The albums box to #40. Vesa-Matti Loiri however stays at #1 for the second week running.
The only Eurovision related new entry is Maria Lund's Ajan sävel that enters at #25. She has made jazzy swing versions of Finnish pop-rock classics including Nightwish's Sleeping sun in Finnish! Hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5UWNzw-eyk and the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9s0U7u70CE
Maria Alexandra Aspasia Lund-Ionitza (25) represanted Finland in this year's Eurovision dance contest with Mikko Ahti.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bulgaria - Round 2, Heat 6

The Bulgarian saga goes on tonight and previously featured You're not alone by Lazar will be in. As always I try to watch and comment, and the YouTubes will be added in a day or two so check in again over the weekend.
UPDATE: Well. No webcast. No comments. Here are the results anyways:

01. Annayah - Az te chakam 36,99% (1st)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6H6KL14NFU
02. Georgi Varbanov - Europe is my home! 5,02% (5th)
03. Lazar Kisyov - You're not alone 13,83% (3rd + jury's choice)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuaf4I53kEs
04. Antoniya Markova - Don't leave by the day 35,84% (2nd)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQxgf2EV0uo
05. Mario Denev - Lipsvash mi tatko 8,22% (4th)
So, Mario and Georgi are out. The others go on with the adventure.

Anna's years 1997-2008

Here they are. Anna Eriksson's compilation with her biggest hits from 1997 to date, and a DVD filmed during her latest tour. She has announced she will have a break now and wants to have kid(s) so good luck Anna!

Magnus' vocals re.collected

Magnus Carlsson solo. Magnus Carlsson ex-Barbados. Magnus Carlsson ex-Alcazar. Se mig (2nd in 2000), Allt som jag ser (2nd in 2001) and Världen utanför (4th in 2002) by Barbados. Not a sinner nor a saint (3rd in 2003) and Alcastar (3rd in 2007) by Alcazar plus Magnus less fortunate solo efforts Lev livet! (2006) and Live forever (2007) are all included with 2 CDs full of goodies from all periods of his career from 1993 until today.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6MGN1qYJBo, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTo3W_ynqdI, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBijb8FMyxQ, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRMqoMYkzMY, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY97NJAHPFU&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYBtoShZS9k, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swDkSEbZWoA&feature=related

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New De Toppers confirmed

So, it's true. Jeroen van der Boom will replace Gerard Joling and the new De Toppers is made of Jeroen (36), Gordon (40) and René Froger (48). For some reason De Toppers all of sudden became much more likeble. Jeroen seems to have the voice and the looks, and besides if one's surname is Boom how cannot you like him at least a little? (Or what do you say, Grgrgirl?)

Some Christmas releases in Sweden

The Swedish ladies seem to have joined forces to attack Carola being yet another Christmas the queen what comes to selling Christmas albums. Sanna Nielsen, Shirley Clamp and Sonja Aldén release Our Christmas, continuing their collaboration that started last summer touring together. Charlotte Perrelli also gets into business with RimfrostJul . And don't forget Magnus Carlsson's Spår i snö from 2006...

Jeroen replaces Gerard?

It looks like Jeroen van der Boom will replace Gerard Joling in De Toppers, according his website this morning, and the group will go to Moscow after all. Oh well.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gMNwT6kmS8, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDCQtHygN1A&feature=related

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy 50th birthday Vicky!

Vicky Rosti turns 50 today!

Vicky shot to the fame at the age of 16 in 1975 and was one of the most succesful singers in Finland in the late 1970's. In early 1980's she retired from the business, had a string of children and made an accidental come back in Euroviisut 1987 when she won with Sata Salamaa.
After a couple of solo albums she has been singing in Menneisyyden Vangit (Prisoners of the past) since 1991 and shares the lead vocals with another big name from the 1970's, Freeman. Also Kari "Never the end" Kuivalainen was in the group previously. Band has been very popular live act singing their old hits with some new material, covers and standards. After three studio albums and one live album they've now released a compilation album and have been on a big concert hall tour (instead of the usual club and restaurant gigs) to celebrate also Vicky Rosti's 50th birthday this year.
How did Sata salamaa happen? Vicky tells: "I was a stay home mother with 3 kids back in 1987, the youngest being 3 months old, when Petri Laaksonen called me asking: Are you under 30? I was 28. He had decided his song must be sung by a woman under 30. However I had no intention going to Eurovision! Petri promised the song won't win but will come 2nd. So I agreed. Few weeks later I was cooking soup to my kids when the doorbell rung. Petri was there with flowers with a stupid grin on his face. I slammed the door at his face and I was so pissed!" (*Back in 1987 the winner the voting happened with postcards so the writers/singers knew the result beforehand.)

From De Toppers to The Splitters?

It looks there will be no De Toppers for the Netherlands in Moscow 2009 after all. Gerard Joling and Gordon have ended up in a real cat fight so there will be no more concerts, no docu soap and no Eurovision? Well, as I never was happy with the choise anyways I would welcome open arms someone else! As it seems there will be no De Toppers without Joling. Let's see how this ends...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Malta's Euro Showbox 1

So, last night we heard and saw the first 7 of the Maltese hopefuls. I thought there would be voting and elimination and such, but apparently not. Can someone wiser enlighten me in that matter?
Anyways, I think we didn't hear the winner here yet. Ludwig & granny offered a musical theme with propriate title. The granny didn't ad much to the performance, almost on the contrary and all in all it just wasn't very memorable, was it? Dominic followed with some cheesy swing. If it didn't work so well for Roger Cicero who did everything like 1000 times better, how on earth it would work for Dominic? Classic Rebels were a poor man's Il Divo. And very poor indeed. However the song in all it's 70's europop beat is quite uplifting and catchy... I think televoters just might go for it... Klinsmann offered radio friendly pop rock but the 3 minutes felt very long. Talitha came from the Nightwish/Within Temptation wannabe school. The verses were quite nice but the chorus a mess. Rosman, true to himself, sung a song that's heard in one million ways before, in good and in bad, but it wasn't all that wasted and he sings well. Francesca ended the show with a nice power ballad that could go a long way. At least in Malta.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The best Swedish entry ever?

Escsweden.com is running a poll to find out the best Swedish entry ever so go and vote here: http://www.webvoter.net/se/vote.cgi?id=75664&language=2. Carola is ruling there as all her 3 entries are in Top-4, only ABBA has managed to squeeze in. You can change all that if you want.... Refresh your memory here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gFFnegPsg4&feature=related and vote!

Something to your Christmas wish list...

Four previous Eurovision winners have recently released new cds. ABBA (1974) release is a box including all their 8 studio albums + 9th cd with bonus tracks. Celine Dion (1988) also releases yet another 2-cd compilation while Ruslana (2004) and Lordi (2006) release brand new albums. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCiNhsqOTDo , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT_0eKcXv8Q , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7YOp7eLX9o , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQVa0WnDfOM

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