Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sweden: Malena's 40.000 euros dress

"I love it" says Malena Erman, the Swedish operadiva in Moscow 2009 about her dress. Designed by Camilla Thulin its estimated to be worth of almost 40.000 euros, filled with sequins from Turkey that alone cost about 1.000 euros. And don't be scared if Malena will spread her wings on stage as well....

Croatia: Oprah sets eyes on Igor

The most famous talk show host in the world Oprah Winfrey has decided to dedicate a show to Croatian singer Igor Cukrov, the Slobodna Dalmacija daily writes. How she has found out about Igor and the Croatian entry is not known as Eurovision is not so very well known in the USA. Her producers have however asked for footage of Igor and an invitation to the show is in the air. This little extra promotion comes very welcome in the Croatian team as the entry is not ranked very high in the various fan polls. I personally love the song and am quite confident it will get to the final - to the horror of many diehard fans!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjiIHmax53Y

Tonight 15 years ago... Rock'n roll kids

On April 30, 1994 Ireland became the first (and only) country to host Eurovision two years in a row, and the first (and only) to win three times in a row! They also scored the highest points and biggest margin to the runner up until then. It was also the first winner without orchestra, oldest performer, first winning male duo... A record breaking night for Ireland for sure. Funny thing is that no one considered the song beforehand and it was said that Ireland had chosen the song on purpose so they wouldn't win again. However, the biggest thing to come out from this edition was Riverdance, that still tours the world. An interval act that stole the show. 1994 was a very special year also for the number of debuting countries: Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia and Slovakia - and for the first time some countries didn't have a right to participate. It was beginning of those mad years of rotating the worst placed countries from the previous year. No further comment on THAT system! The debuting Poland (2nd) and Hungary (4th) scored their best placings up til today while Romania (21st), Estonia (24th) and Lithuania with their null points and last place didn't start so well... Elisabeth Andreasson was there, so was Evridiki, Marie Bergman and Roger Pontare. Sara Tavares from Portugal and Alejandro Abad from Spain have gone to an international fame afterwords...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2ktovpXhDo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5Mc03_rlWo

Tonight 21 years ago... Ne partez pas sans moi

Royal Dublin Society's Simmonscourt Pavillion hosted the 33rd Eurovision on April 30, 1988 and 22 countries joined in. Cyprus was ment to be there, too, but was disqualified: the song had been in the Cypriot final already back in 1984! The facelift started in Brussels a year before was taken further in Dublin and 1988 was very fresh and modern production even if the songs didn't quite follow the trend. Tommy Körberg, Yardena Arazi, Hot Eyes and MFÖ returned to the contest. Körberg had a flu and serious problems with his voice and reached only 12th place despite being one of the favourites. Yardena instead agreed only to participate after a fortuneteller told her song #9 will win, Israel's number before Cyprus was disqualified! Number 9 was then Switzerland who sent 19-year-old Celine Dion and won - only with one point! Eurovision maybe didn't "make" Celine Dion but it surely helped: apparently her career was on the line after being a child star and if she didn't do well in Dublin her recording deal would be history. We all know how this story ended... But Celine wasn't the only one to be noticed from this edition: certain Lara Fabian took Luxembourg to 4th place. It would take her a bit longer to make it big worldwide (and get out of Celine's shadow) but both can be called megastars these days. Besides the very exciting voting finish one must also remember a historic moment: for the first time ever Turkey gave Greece points!
And Scott Fitzgerard, the butcher from Glasgow's market place who lost to Celine only with one point? Indeed, what happened to him? Maybe he's back to cutting meat?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pEYw8PcBas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJTceYc7h1c

Estonia: Rändajad single out

Urban Symphony has released the single Rändajad, the Estonian entry in Moscow 2009. Besides the familiar Eurovision mix is also includes rather groovy Lazy Drumbeat mix that I like a lot! Estonia is doing well in the polls and should finally qualify to the final for the first time since the semifinals were introduced back in 2004. This year's entry has Diamond of night kind of qualities and that one ended up 6th ten years ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U29y5bjJ92c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFK9TU9G4AI

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yohanna & co. becomes the tower of Babel


All of sudden out of the blue here we have Yohanna doing the Icelandic song in Russian, Spanish and French! A German version should be coming, too. Yohanna is therefor challenging the Serbian Marko with the most foreign language versions. Also the number of Russian versions is quite remarkable this year: besides Iceland and Serbia also Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine and Bosnia-Herzegovina have released a Russian version - not forgetting Latvia that will actually sing its song in Russian in Moscow. If Tapani Kansa won in Finland he would have joined the group as well... And we can't forget Croatia's entry in Spanish as well. Or Serbia in Finnish! Or...
Iceland in Russian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An1Io0EUEF0
Iceland in Spanish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkwDE1jAxh0
Iceland in French: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21F7GA64izE
Croatia in Spanish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xum5EXX9Zk
Serbia in Russian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQU1bGT3ZQs
Serbia in Finnish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Whs1iqmkKqk
Lithuania in Russian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqVxuTlp0Co
Bosnia-Herzegovina in Russian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKM43rRpqcs

Germany: Burlesque star joins the team

The queen of the new burlesque renaissance, Dita von Teese will be shaking it on stage in Moscow with Alex and Oscar. Her website describes her like this: She is one of a kind. She is the biggest name in Burlesque since Gypsy Rose Lee. She tops international Best Dressed lists. She is a modern day Fashion Icon. She inspires designers from Marc Jacobs and John Galliano to Jean Paul Gaultier and Zac Posen. She is credited for bringing back the glamour and allure of Old Hollywood stars. Self-created. Distinctive. Iconic. Flawless. Often imitated, never duplicated. She is Dita Von Teese. Check her website www.dita.net

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Waldo goes to countryside, needs money and aims for the final

Waldo has been busy the past week meeting the media and finishing the rehearsals for Moscow. Now he will disappear for a week to his countryhome, do some gardening and forget all about Eurovision to recharge his batteries. The Finnish media has been writing a lot about the pyro problem Waldo's People are facing in Moscow. Apparently the Russian TV is not providing great deal of pyros and Waldo should get some extra money to get the pyros they want or the staging will not be what they want it to be... Sounds familiar? Lordi had the same problem back in 2006.
The official aim for Finland in Moscow is the final. If we qualify for the final that's good already. Once in final the goel will be obviosuly set higher. Finns are hungry for another success now that we have been in the final since 2006!
You can watch a video of the rehearsals here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrIipo1Go2U

UPDATE: Waldo has found a sponsor. Himos Festival will pay for the pyros. "We have been collaborating with Waldo in the 90's and now with his come-back so we decided to help the man out when he called us" says promoter Timo Isomäki.

Waldo names his favourites


Waldo is a real Eurovision fan himself and has been searching the songs on Youtube but admits the picture came clear only after the preview shows on TV that also Karoliina has been watching closely. "The level of the songs this year is extremely high. They are like 15-20 perfet pop songs this year" he says in YLE's radio interview. He has no trouble naming these: "Norway, Sweden, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Andorra, Malta... Iceland, Denmark! These are really good songs, really good pop songs!" Besides that he names Patricia Kaas, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ronan Keating as ones he has to battle against. He also says he doesn't believe the juries will not have a big impact to the results and he is very curious to hear who will be the jury in Finland!

Guest review by Peter Clancy


The third Guest review comes from Peter Clancy, an Irish megafan living in Belgium and a member of OGAE Sweden. That sort of cocktail should give us some interesting views.... Here's what he has to say:
"What's another year" in relation to you "making your mind up" between "all kinds of everything" in this years batch of Eurovision entries. This year they are also quite varied with a splash of the new mixed with the familiar "eurovision" song, some are experimental and some just mental!
(Note: The "(f)" indicates I think this song will go through to the final. )

Montenegro (f): This will be a very lively opening to ESC2009 - and I'm sure it will do very well - a typical eurovision type song with a lot of potential. I expect it to go through to the final, and it will probably get into the top half. 7/10
Czech Republic: Unfortunately the Czech Republic hasn't sent it's strongest entry, unless this can come across as a fun song, it won't get many votes. I don't expect it to get to the final. 4/10
Belgium (f): An interesting song that will appeal to Elvis fans all over, fun, pleasant on the ear, I expect a good show and if it is performed well, it should go through to the final, however, I don't expect it to get to the top 10. 7/10
Belarus: This type of rock song has proven popular in the past and I'm sure it will get a lot of votes though I'm not convinced it will get to the final. 6/10
Sweden (f): Malena is Swedens choice this year, a great voice, interesting song, it will have wide appeal, and should get a lot of votes - possibly all the Nordic ones. It should go through to the final and will be one of the favourites to win - though if she gets into the top 5 she will have done very well. 9/10
Armenia: This song starts off in a very mystical way, which gives it a lot of promise, then it just falls flat after the first 30 seconds. A very weak song which won't get many votes. 2/10
Andorra (f): a light cheery song which Susanna sings very well, it should get to the final, but when in the final it will not be in the top 10. 6/10
Switzerland (f): the second rock song of the first semi, this is much better than Belarus, and it will appeal to the Pet Shop Boy fans out there - nostalgic for the thirty somethings out there !! It will probably get to the final, though it won't be in the top 10. 7/10
Turkey (f): Hadise has a song that will have wide appeal, and could be a winner - she is certain to get the Turkish diaspora vote, along with many more. Certain that this will get through to the final, and will be one of the favourites! 8/10
Israel: Israel's entry this year is pleasant but I think they will be in the lower half of the placings - I don't think it will get to the final. 5/10
Bulgaria: Illusion will do very well on the dancefloors in Moscow all during the week, and will be played at Eurovision parties all over. However, I don't think it will appeal to enough people to get to the final. 6/10
Iceland (f): A nice contrast to the various songs so far will give respite to the listener, and will have a positive effect on the voting. A nice song that will get a lot of votes and go to the final - probably also gets into the top 10. 8/10
FYROM: Yet another rock song and will probably do really well given a combination of the "neighbouring country" voting and a considerable Western European vote. They will get to the final, but will probably not be in the top 10 as the song just isn't strong enough. 7/10
Romania: the singing is ok, the song is ok but I don't think it's going to get enough votes to go to the final! 5/10
Finland (f): Waldo's people were chosen to try to recapture that winning feeling from 2006. Though there was some controversy about the melody, the song is catchy and nicely put together. The danger with fast/rap songs is that they are not always performed well on the night. If it is performed well it will go through to the final, and then I would expect a top 10 placing. 9/10
Portuga l (f): Yet another pleasant song from Portugal - trying to capture a prize that has eluded them for so many years, I have no doubt that this will get through to the final, but I don't think it is strong enough to win. The melody is nice. It captures a mediterranean feel, and is sung well. 7/10
Malta (f): Chiara's third attempt. A nice song, though not the best of the three she has performed on the Eurovision stage to date. Still she will get through to the final, and I would expect her to be in the top 5, perhaps one of the favourites. 9/10
Bosnia & Herzegovina: I have listened to this song a number of times, it is not bad, a nice buildup, a bit christmasy - but I don't think it will get sufficient votes in the semi to get to the final. 5/10

Croatia: A pretty boring song, after listening it a number of times the only question popping into my mind was "what were they thinking when they sent this?" - no further comment. 3/10
Ireland (f): My home country has at last broken the Johnny Logan mould, and moved away from the traditional style, producing what is one of the best entries in a number of years. I am sure this will get to the final, and it will appeal to a lot of twenty & thirty somethings - expect it to end half way down in the final - I don't think we'll be in Dublin next year. 7/10
Latvia: I spent some time trying to determine if I missed anything good in this song .. I didn't - sorry Latvia, but please pick something decent next year!! 1/10
Serbia: A disappointing entry for Serbia - not quite easy on the ear, and I don't see them getting many votes except from some old reliables. I don't expect this to get beyond the last 5 in the semi-final (comes under the “mental” type of song). 3/10
Poland: Nice ballady song, and will give a nice contract the Serbia beforehand, but it's not a very strong song. It will get a number of points and might get to the final, but I won't be betting on it. 6/10
Norway (f): An interesting song, and very popular - not always the best way to enter the contest - remember Kate Ryan in 2006 - she didn't even get to the final. Still though I am sure Alexander will get to the final, and will be one of the favourites - but with the voting it's hard to tell if it will be enough! Finland, Sweden & Denmark also have strong entries which will split the Nordic vote, but the song might have broad appeal. 8/10
Cyprus: A nice song which breaks the mould of the stereotypical Eurovision song - and it will be a nice contrast to Norway. I would like to see it get through, though it is a style that may not appeal to enough people. 8/10
Slovakia (f): I found this too slow and actually a bit boring. It just doesn't do anything for me! But my taste aside, the song is well structured technically, and might come across well in the semi-final. 6/10
Denmark (f): Brinck should prove to be very popular, it's a nice song, strong and simple melody, and of course having Ronan Keatings name added will give some extra oomph. As mentioned already the Nordic vote will probably be split this year, though this song should have appeal across the continent. It will get to the final, and should be in the top 10. 9/10
Slovenia: Not particularly strong, quite predictable in the Eurovision sense, but not a vote-puller. 3/10
Hungary (f): Not a bad song, it moves pretty well, though it’s not my style, it could appeal to many people. Easy on the ear - though I don't see it winning. 6/10
Azerbaijan (f): I love the opening of this, and that will attract a lot of attention - if performed well this could prove to be the dark horse of the competition - I predict a top 5 in the final! 9/10
Greece (f): Sakis is back - the stage will have to be cleared for some more acrobatics - not seen since 2003! The song is good, lively, spirited and I expect it will have a polished performance. It will go through to the final, and will be in the top 10, but I don't think it will win. 7/10
Lithuania (f): the piano opening is good, a bit "Queen" in style, but it works pretty well - I expect it to go to the final. 7/10
Moldova: I'm not so sure about whether this will go through. The ethnic opening followed by the cacophonic trumpets could either be loved or hated by the listeners - the important thing is to hit the middle voters - this won't do it!! 4/10
Albania (f): Very catchy, nice build up, and it will get a lot of votes - I have no doubt it will get to the final, if so, I expect it to end in the top 10. 8/10
Ukraine: I don't particularly like this, and I'm not sure it will capture the impagination of the people listening at home. 4/10
Estonia (f): This is an interesting song, a bit of mystery, but not overdone - I think it will get through to the final, but I'm not sure. 6/10
Netherlands (f): Great opening - very Eurovision, and the melody is really nice. The Netherlands has been given lower points in the last years than they deserved, I would really like to see them get to the final - but it will be tight. Score: 7/10

Spain: I like it, Spain has a chance of doing very well with this - perhaps even winning! It's very catchy. 9/10
UK
: Andrew Lloyd Webber has done his job in producing a nice song, though it is a bit bland - I had expected a little more razzle-dazzle from him. Jade has a great voice which will raise the crowd and the simplicity of the song will gain votes. I hope they will do better than they have done over the last years, and I predict a top 5 placing - though not a winner. 8/10
Russia: It's certainly not the worst song in the competition, but it’s really not very good. They will probably get a lot of votes but I don't expect them to be in the top 5. 5/10
Germany: I'm not impressed with the entry - from my perspective this will end in the lower half of the final. 6/10
France: Patricia Kaas is singing what can only be described as a typical French song. While it is a nice song, I don't think it will appeal sufficiently to a broad enough audience to get many votes. I don't expect this to finish in the top half of the draw. 7/10

Final prediction:
In the final, I expect that the top 5 positions will be between Turkey, Malta, Norway, Azerbaijan and the UK - with Turkey winning

Cyprus: Acoustic Firefly

Christina Metaxa from Cyprus has released an acoustic version of her entry Firefly featuring just a piano and her brother Nikolas who wrote the song. Why I think this should be the version on stage in Moscow? www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ebyK178f8

OGAE votings: Norway, Norway, Norway

Five more OGAE clubs have voted and now when we have the votes from total of 28 clubs Norway is running away in the lead. Here are the votes from Italy, FYR Macedonia, Russia, Ireland and Poland.

01. NORWAY (12 - 10 - 3 - 12 - 10) 278
02. FRANCE (10 - 0 - 6 - 0 - 6) 166
03. SWEDEN (0 - 1 - 0 - 10 - 7) 159
04. BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (1 - 8 - 0 - 5 - 3) 129
05. SPAIN (0 - 6 - 7 - 4 - 0) 101
06. AZERBAIJAN (0 - 7 - 2 - 0 - 0) 96
07. ICELAND (4 - 0 - 4 - 0 - 12) 84
08. GREECE (0 - 0 - 5 - 8 - 0) 82
09. UNITED KINGDOM (7 - 0 - 12 - 1 - 5) 81
10. ESTONIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 8) 74
10. TURKEY (0 - 12 - 8 - 0 - 0) 74
12. FINLAND (3 - 5 - 0 - 6 - 1) 45
13. DENMARK (2 - 0 - 0 - 7 - 0) 37
14. SWITZERLAND (8 - 0 - 0 - 3 - 0) 28
14. LITHUANIA (0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 0) 28
16. PORTUGAL (0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 25
17. MALTA (0 - 0 - 0 - 2 - 0) 21
18. ISRAEL (5 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 20
19. UKRAINE (0 - 0 - 10 - 0 - 4) 18
20. ARMENIA (6 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 11
21. ALBANIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 10
22. RUSSIA (0 - 0 - X - 0 - 2) 9
22. ROMANIA (0 - 4 - 0 - 0 - 0) 9
24. SLOVENIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 7
24. MONTENEGRO (0 - 2 - 0 - 0 - 0) 7
26. GERMANY (0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 5
26. MOLDOVA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 5
28. CROATIA (0 - 3 - 0 - 0 - 0) 4
29. IRELAND (0 - 0 - 0 - X -0) 2
29. CYPRUS (0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 2
31. SLOVAKIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 1

Lordi eats kids and loses a fortune

Lordi has been in the frontpages of tabloids again this week. First of all the concert in Espoo last week ended with kids in tears running away and parents in an angry mood. Why? Because Lordi was doing what they have been doing in concerts since 2003: "killing" people, tearing kids apart, eating their brains and such horror stuff. As said, regular thing in Lordi concerts. Concerts that start like 10pm. I totally agree with Mr Lordi who commented that they were just doing their thing and if parents want to bring little kids at night to a concert of a monster band who loves to play with horror clichees, it's entirely their own responsability. Amen.
Today another bad news. It has been revealed the Lordi movie Dark floors actually made a loss of 1,7 million euros.... Oh well....

Monday, April 27, 2009

OGAE votings: Norway keeps scoring 12s

Four more OGAE clubs have voted bringing the number of clubs to 23, when Norway, Austria, Israel and Finland get things sorted out. No stopping Norway in the lead, and the battle between France and Sweden continues. Here are the votes (from Norway - Austria - Israel - Finland):

01. NORWAY (X - 12 - 10 - 12) 231
02. FRANCE (6 - 10 - 12 - 5) 144
03. SWEDEN (10 - 8 - 8 - 8) 142
04. BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (8 - 7 - 7 - 7) 112
05. AZERBAIJAN (5 - 6 - 0 - 2) 87
06. SPAIN (0 - 5 - 0 - 0) 84
07. GREECE (12 - 1 - 0 - 6) 69
08. ESTONIA (0 - 0 - 6 - 10) 66
09. ICELAND (4 - 0 - 0 - 3) 64
10. UNITED KINGDOM (0 - 0 - 4 - 0) 56
11. TURKEY (0 - 2 - 0 - 0) 54
12. FINLAND (1 - 0 - 0 - X) 30
13. DENMARK (7 - 3 - 0 - 0) 28
14. LITHUANIA (0 - 0 - 3 - 0) 27
15. PORTUGAL (0 - 0 - 2 - 0) 25
16. MALTA (0 -0 -0 -0) 19
17. SWITZERLAND (0 - 0 - 5 - 4) 17
18. ISREAL (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 15
19. ALBANIA (2 - 0 - 0 - 0) 10
20. RUSSIA (3 - 0 - 1 - 0) 7
20. SLOVENIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 7
22. ARMENIA (0 - 4 - 0 - 1) 5
22. ROMANIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 5
22. MONTENEGRO (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 5
22. GERMANY (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 5
22. MOLDOVA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 5
27. UKRAINE (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 4
28. IRELAND (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 2
28. CYPRUS (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 2
30. CROATIA (0 - 0 - 0 -0) 1
30. SLOVAKIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 1

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Ralph Siegel Saga, part 1


Forget Johnny Logan. Forget Rolf Lövland, Philip Vella and the rest. It is Ralph Siegel who has given us the most number of songs and shaped Eurovision a lot in the 1970's. He has had 19 songs to date in the contest, including one winner, 3 runner ups and two third placed ones. He has represanted four countries and has been involved in many other national selections from Malta to Finland, from Austria to Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is the first post of the Ralph Siegel saga leading us to Moscow 2009.

Ralph Siegel was born September 30, 1945 in Munich as a son of famous composer Ralph Maria Siegel and operet singer Ingeborg Döderlein. His grandfather Rudolf was also a musician, opera composer and director of orchestra in Krefeld. Little Ralph was much inspired by him, and composed his very first songs at the age of 5. By then he played already guitar, piano and accordeon. When Ralph Jr was 12, his father wrote the German entry in Eurovision 1957. Margot Hielscher took Telefon, Telefon to 4th place.
In 1958 Ralph Jr wrote his first published songs under pseudonym Peter Elversen: In der heimat bluh’n die letzten Rosen and Wenn eine Geige singt. He forms his first band Peter Elversen-Septett.
He goes on with his studies in Switzerland in Ecole d’Humanité before attending Ecomics School back in Munchen. In 1960 his first song is recorded and published: Du bist kein Fall von Traurigkeit by world champion of accordeon Will Glahe.
In 1963 at the age of 17 he leaves Germany for England and attends European Education Center in Bournemouth and after that works for a year in Paris in a record company. Here he learns everything he needs to know about building a recording empire. He also learns French and Italian. A year later he writes his first big hit It’s a long, long way to Georgia sung by Don Gibson and it makes it to #8 in the US country charts. Ralph moves to the States for a year to study more music business.
In 1965 he is back to Germany and ready to start writing and producing songs and finding new talents while scoring his first hits like Wenn die Rosen bluh’n in Georgia by Gunther Gabriel, Sein wahres Gesicht by Dorthe and Winds of change by Gloomys. He participates in Schlagerfestival with Wir glauben an die Welt von morgen sung by Mary Roos. In the end of the 1960’s he writes and produces an anti-war album Warum by City-Preachers and causes some controversy here and there. But it is the 1970’s that he hits it big.

To be continued...

Belarus: Video and remixes released

Finnish DJ Yankee has remixed Petr Elfimov's Eyes that never lie and these are the official remixed of the song, 4 of them. The mixes vary from Bond themes to house, disco and trance and they are very good! In all this song has much more potential than polls and fans suggest. The Russian version is also out, called Vzglyad Lubvi. The original remix and rearrangement as well as the production was also made in Finland earlier this year. The video instead is shot in Ukraine. Watch the video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPO5aQWWaOE

Finland: Niko and Kasmir will set the stage on fire

Waldo's People have finished their home rehearsals for Moscow and the act is ready. Once on stage in Olympiysky Arena they will set the last details fitting them to the stage. They have packed with them amongst other an industrial wheel of diameter 2,5 meters and 15 liters of burning oil. Pyros will be used but fire acrobats Niko and Kasmir will do their own fire show as well. The uniting color in their dresses will be gold. "This is the highlight of my life after the births of my children. My dad would have been so proud!" Waldo tells and Katariina adds that Waldo is such a daddy. The Finnish team is clearly ready to go. They will arrive in Moscow on May 3.

Moscow: Stage construction behind schedule

The reports from Moscow tell the stage construction is falling a bit behind schedule, and the first rehearsals on stage should start next Tuesday. Let's see if everything will be ready by then. Also, Russians are apparently putting new asphalt and repainting everything in 5 kms radius from the venue. Talk about showing the good side to the guests! Maybe that's were the extra 25 million euros is going? If Athens, Helsinki and Belgrad managed with 12-15 million euros and Moscow is using 40, one can only wonder.... The show's better be good!

Finland wins Ourvision

Well, sort of. Gipsy singing group from Finland Suoralähetys took the first prize of 7.000 euros and recording contract, followed by Grupo Kaney from Cuba and Luca Cannavó from Italy.
Suoralähetys has been singing together since 2002 and they aim at Eurovision 2010. Let's wait and see... In 2007 they were still 5 and  took part in Talent Suomi with some dreadful religious stuff. They qualified for the second round. And here are the Ourvision 2009 semifinalists.

OGAE votings: Sweden and France battle the 2nd place

Four more OGAE Clubs have voted bringing the clubs to 19 so far. No stopping Norway in the lead even if they get the lowest votes so far: only 2 from Portugal - but Belgium and Germany give them full 12 points. Sweden passed France for a moment but thanks to Portuguese and German 10 points took the 2nd place again. (Votes from Cyprus - Belgium - Portugal - Germany)

01. NORWAY (10 - 12 - 2 - 12) 197
02. FRANCE (6 - 7 - 10 - 10) 111
03. SWEDEN (12 - 10 - 6 - 8) 107
04. BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (1 - 8 - 3 - 7) 83
05. SPAIN (7 - 4 - 0 - 1) 79
06. AZERBAIJAN (8 - 0 - 7 - 6) 74
07. ICELAND (5 - 0 - 5 - 0) 57
08. TURKEY (0 - 5 - 0 - 0) 52
08. UNITED KINGDOM (0 - 6 - 8 - 0) 52
10. GREECE (4 - 2- 0 - 2) 50
10. ESTONIA (1 - 0 - 12 - 0) 50
12. FINLAND (0 - 0 - 1 - 0) 29
13. LITHUANIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 24
14. PORTUGAL (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 23
15. MALTA (0 - 3 - 0 - 3) 19
16. DENMARK (0 - 0 - 0 - 5) 18
17. ISRAEL (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 15
18. ALBANIA (3- 0 - 0 - 0) 8
18. SWITZERLAND (0 - 0 - 0 - 4) 8
20. SLOVENIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 7
21. ROMANIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 5
21. MONTENEGRO (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 5
21. GERMANY (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 5
21. MOLDOVA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 5
25. UKRAINE (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 4
26. RUSSIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 3
27. IRELAND (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 2
27. CYPRUS (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 2
29. CROATIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 1
29. SLOVAKIA (0 - 0 - 0 - 0) 1

Saturday, April 25, 2009

OurVision is here again - EBU is interested

OurVisison, the singing contest for immigrants in Finland - born as a sidekick to Eurovision 2007 in Helsinki - is here again for the third time, getting bigger every year. Ten finalists have made it to the final in Finlandiatalo tonight at 8pm after preselections and semifinals divided by 5 continents wherefrom 5 best ones moved on to semifinals. "We have been contacted by singers from Philippines and the USA for example. They wanted to take part but of course this is only for people living in Finland" tells OurVision producer Kitari Mayale. "Also organisations in Germany and Spain have contacted us to help them organize similar contests. Even EBU has been interested and has contacted as for information". 139 singers took part this year and the winner gets 7.000 euros and a recording deal.
This year's finalists are Anusha Ayer (India), Didi Blanco (Morocco), Luca Cannavó (Italia), Grupo Kaney (Cuba), Noah Kin (Nigeria), Ebunolova Kivinen (Nigeria), McXstin (India), Hassan Moudden (Morocoo), Papagaio (Brazil) and Suoralähetys (rom)
Read more here..

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tina Turner - 50th Anniversary Tour - Helsinki Hartwall Areena 23.4.2009


I have now added some pics from Thursday night's concert on my photoblog here on right. Or just click here..

FlagCounter: Andorra joins in as 92nd country!

Already 92 countries have visited my blog since April 13 when I added FlagCounter and with Andorra the Eurovision family is now complete. :-)

Guest review by Rafael de Alba

The second Guest Review comes from Rafael de Alba from Spain. You all must remember him from the Spanish selection this year with One more chance,. He is a big fan himself and will be in Moscow. Read more about him here..Here is what he has to say about ESC 2009:


Greetings to all eurofans in Finland and abroad! Here is my modest opinion of what promises to be a great show this year!
MONTENEGRO - A great song with a brilliant bridge just before the final chorus. Incidentally, the lyricist is Spanish, and co-ordinates OGAE Spain. Good luck, Jose! > 7
CZECH REPUBLIC - Very entertaining. It could well be part of a musical. Perhaps too exotic/specific for the general public > 5
BELGIUM - A charming story, and different to the rest. Might look attractive on stage, especially if they bring the cartoon character in! Shame that Belgium never receives points lately > 7
BELARUS - Great verse, not sure about the chorus. Vocally sound, I predict a mid ranking, but I love the presence of rock in the ESC. > 6.5
SWEDEN - I must admit I much prefer Alenka Gotar if I could choose, and the staging of La Voix was unimpressive > 5
ARMENIA - Too ethnic to appeal to the west, but will get into the final because Armenia always does > 5
ANDORRA -A pleasant number, if a bit dated, but still a very fresh song if it's staged properly. Will Andorra rise to the challenge? They only got it right once...> 6
SWITZERLAND - Simply a masterpiece, and very contemporary. It would be a shame not to see this one in the final > 10
TURKEY - The new version is much improved, but I find something missing in this song. > 7.5
ISRAEL - Mmm.. I keep thinking Noa could have done better, but all preselection songs were too similar. Still, it's an elegant alternative to the rest. I have the feeling it won't get through > 7
BULGARIA - I saw him live in London and unfortunately this singer does not communicate much on stage. But the backing vocals are very promising > 6
ICELAND - What a beautiful song (and singer!). This song is this year's Maria Haukaas > 9
MACEDONIA - FYROM keeps sending rhythms to which the western countries are not so accustomed > 4
ROMANIA - A stunning girl singing a mediocre song. However, her live performance will be spotless > 5
FINLAND - I love it, and it sticks in your head after the first listening > 9
PORTUGAL - Genuine and beautiful instrumentation and a very Portuguese number, which I love. I wish they tried harder with the stage performance and costumes > 8
MALTA - I wish Chiara had tried something different this time round. Deja Vu, with a hint of Disney. How about a bit of Vodka? > 6
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA -I love this one! Great video too, not sure they will be able to replicate its effect live. Luckily for them, they sing last > 9
CROATIA - Similar to 2004 entry, which I prefer >3
IRELAND - I know many like this one, but I find it very dated and I don't think Ireland will qualify > 4
LATVIA - Oh my God! I forgot who is going for Latvia! Which cannot be a good sign>? >4
SERBIA - Growing on me, although personally I prefer to listen to this one rather than watch it on stage > 5
POLAND - A very well constructed ballad and beautifully sung. Pretty commercial too > 7
NORWAY - A winner from the start. It has all the ingredients: easy tune, excellent performance. I have no doubt this will win > 9
CYPRUS - The song is pleasant but repetitive. I don't think the singer will deliver the required vocal qualities > 5
SLOVAKIA - Another exotic contribution. I know she sings well (she knows that too) but I much prefer his voice > 6
DENMARK - A good quality mid tempo. Personally I think he sounds too much like Ronan Keating, even his accent is Irish! And his vocals might turn out a bit forced, but i still love this one > 8
SLOVENIA - Slovenia's worst entry ever, sorry. This song is doomed > 1
HUNGARY - A very impressive singer, dancer and performer. I predict that this will be the surprise of the night, and could actually complicate things for Ryback >9
AZERBAIJAN - A sweet number, personally i don't think this will make a top 10 > 6
GREECE - I cannot help thinking this song would have gone further three years ago > 7
LITHUANIA - The English version comes across like a tongue twister, but the original version sounds great > 7
MOLDOVA - I am impressed by this one, and I think people underestimate its potential on stage. I predict a top 10 because of the televoting > 8
ALBANIA - Well done Albania, another great entry with folk elements and faithful to the country's roots! The verse a bit flat > 7
UKRAINE -By far the best video, and the song is great, but I find the performance rather vulgar. I am not impressed by this one but I fear it could even win, which would be a shame > 4
ESTONIA - Definitely in the final but I find this song too similar to that one of the sixties... > 5
NETHERLANDS - It's so dated and camp it's great! I hope they qualify. I love dancing to this one on a saturday morning in my shorts while I do the cleaning > 8
FRANCE - What can I say about Kaas? She won't win but it doesn't matter. She will take the ESC to a new level > 10
RUSSIA - Russia clearly doesn't want a consecutive victory. Still, I quite like the song, but I am not too sure about the singer's ability to perform live > 6
GERMANY - I am very impressed with this one. Much better than Cicero in my opinion. But it deserves a proper choreography > 8
UK - Wow, what an amazing singer! By far the best balad of the contest. I predict a top 3 > 9
SPAIN - After last year's fiasco all eurofans in Spain are thrilled with Soraya's attitude. She is a true fan of the ESC and really wants to win. I predict sixth place for her, given that we don't have as many neighbours, although naturally I would love Spain to win! I cannot wait to hear her new version on the night! Go, Soraya! > 9.5 (I can't help it ;-)

Agree? Disgaree? Feel free to comment. Marcello's Guest Review is here..

Tonight 27 years ago... Ein bißchen Frieden

Harrogate in North Yorkshire hosted the 27th Eurovision on April 24, 1982. The opening of the contest was used to tell people where Harrogate is as no one ever heard of the town before (or after for that matter). Only 18 countries took part when France, Italy and Greece decided to stay home. Two songs of peace are remembered from this contest; Finland's Nuku pommiin and the winner, Germany's Ein bisschen Frieden. Finland scored a flat zero while Germany took the most convincing win ever at that point. It got 1,61 times the votes the runner up Israel got. Ralph Siegel finally won after Dschingis Khan (4th in 1979), Theater (2nd in 1980) and Johnny Blue (2nd in 1981) and Nicole started a very succesful career as the ultimate German schlager queen that continues even today. The song charted all over Europe selling over 3 million copies in various languages Nicole recorded (German, English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Russian...) and is the last Eurovision winner to make it Number One in the UK.Anna Vissi, Stella, Jahn Teigen and Anita Skorgan were there, too.

Tina Turner - 50th Anniversary Tour - Helsinki Hartwall Areena 23.4.2009

One word: Stunning. Three hours of hits and so much energy. If I will have 1/4 of her energy when 69 I will be very happy! Vocally fantastic. She will repeat the treat in sold out Hartwall Areena again tomorrow. More exclusive photos here tomorrow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Waiting for Tina Turner....

Just after 4 days after Patricia Kaas I will have an opportunity to see Tina Turner (69) live. After she announced she would retire back in 2000 I thought I had missed my chance to see her but here she is. Stunning as always and kicking her legs like her granddaughters would.... Can't wait to be back in Hartwall Areena and Tina! Tour promo Pround Mary Opening night What's love got to with it?

Tonight 26 years ago... Si la vie est cadeau

What is the first thing you remember from Munich 1983? Propably the insane presenter Marlene Charrell! She presented the Eurovision that she thought was the Marlene Charrell show on April 23, 1983 in Munich in the ugliest setting ever and most of the time it seemed the songs and voting were only on her way. Many familiar names returned to the contest or did their first appearance: Carola, Guy Bonnet, Jahn Teigen, Mariella Farré and Gary Lux in Westend. Some songs are still remembered well today and some become big hits: Carola's Främling, Ofra Haza's Hi and Daniel's Dzuli. Turkey's song is remembered as being the most horrible Eurovision song ever, and Remedios Amaya for scoring a flat zero. Propably Quien maneja mi barca was too much ahead of its time and too different. But also Turkey got a null points! But Corinne Hermes won with Si la vie est cadeau and history would prove with this song that the era of French ballads and also Luxembourgish succeses was over.

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