Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ukraine: The first semifinal aired

After several false starts the first semifinal in Ukraine was aired and three acts qualified: Kristina Kim, Elena Korneeva and Dariya Medovaya while Yakov Smyrnov, Zaklyopli, El Kravchuk and Inna Vornova didn't make it.

Swiss selection with international Eurovision names

As expected there was a rush to send in the entries for the Swiss selection and in the end there are over 300 songs. Many previous Eurovision stars have entered from DQ (Denmark 2007) to Miodio (San Marino 2008), from local stars Mariella Farré (1983 and 1985) to Piero Esteriore (2004) and Todomondo (Romania 2007). Also names from the various national selections like Rosman Pace (Malta) and Ville Laaksonen (Finland, as composer), and names from Idols here and there like Sarah Burgess (USA) and Vittoria Hyde (Italy). Many (too many if you ask me) foreign artists from all over the world have entered with many from countries like Italy, Malta, Poland, Finland, Ireland, South Africa and so on singing in various languages. And far too many "artists" lacking any self critic and totally without singing voice with totally forgettable songs. But that's what you get when you want to have a totally open internet selection. Swiss TV has apparently learned nothing from Spain for example. Also as writers we see familiar names from Paula Seling to Carlos Coelho-Andrej Babic. Anyways, all entries are here. Don't forget this blog's favourite Marco Olivieri who's interview you can read here.
I could start lecturing how I would like to have some national sense in all this today's Eurovision but I guess that's already a lost battle and so sad. I firmly believe the artists and the writers should come from the country they represant - especially when most of the songs have lost already completely any hint wherefrom they come from being all the same musically and in most cases also lyrically.

Melodifestivalen jokers cut to ten - and Adam Sandahl sneaks in!

Namely, the duo Fredrik & Magnus will be featuring Adam Sandahl group on stage with them if and when their Get out gets to the final five. Jolly little happy number. You know what to do: Vote! Vote! Vote!
The other songs still in the game here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEN WITH LOVEKILLER!

BlogIlkar wishes happy Halloween to all readers with this fabulous new video from Darin, Lovekiller! Be scared!

Albums that have shaped my music taste 3: Mango - Sirtaki

Pino Mango (54) is one of my favourite singers and I have followed him since Australia in 1985 and liked each album since (and I later discovered the earlier ones, too) but Sirtaki from 1990 is the first one that I think is a great album. Previously he did wrote great songs but there were always fillers on albums. And the albums that followed Come l'acqua (1992) and Mango (1994) are equally fantastic creating the Mango sound I love and continue to like even with his newer productions. He's got a unique voice and very mediterranean melodies and sound. This Sirtaki album is the prime example of all that. Album kicks off with fantastic Nella mia cittá, a daydream put to music, follows with I giochi del vento sul lago salatoMa com'é rossa la ciliegia, Tu...si..., Sirtaki, Come Monna Lisa, with less remembered songs Terra bianca, Preludio incantevole, Cosi viaggando, L'io, and Ma che musica c'é plus alternative version of Nella mia cittá. All songs are written by Mango, his brother Armando and Mogol and produced by Geoff Westley and Mauro Paoluzzi. The album was a great success in Italy delivering several hist and Mango evergreens.
Mango has released 20 albums so far between 1976 and 2009.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Silvia returns to Matia Bazar

Silvia Mezzanotte returns to Matia Bazar with a new album and a tour in 2011. She was Matia's third lead singer (after Antonella Ruggiero and Laura Valente) and replaces again Roberta Faccani who stayed with the band from 2005 to 2010. "We met casually in TV and realized she's what we need for the songs we have been prepairing" told the guys of the band. "We never had a break-up in personal level, just professionally" comments Silvia. This is the formation that won Sanremo 2002 with Messaggio d'amore and scored other hits like Questa nostra grande storia d'amore and Brivido caldo. My guess they are aiming for Sanremo 2011....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hanna Pakarinen hits the charts again!

After rather disappointing chart action with her previous album Love in a million shades (#32 and only one week in top-40) her new Paperimiehen tytär debutes in the charts at #9! And not only, two of the songs have entered the Radio Suomi's most played songs chart: Maailman ihanin mies debuts at #6 and Miehet at #26 following the success of the title track Paperimiehen tytär. Switch of language and style seems to be working well for her! Listen a sampler of the album here.

Pave Maijanen doesn't yamma anymore

Pave Maijanen has released this fall a greatest hits 2-cd Kaikki nämä vuodet 1969-2010 and despite it including 32 tracks his Eurovision 1992 winner Yamma yamma is not included. How about the 4-cd+dvd box? Yep, not there either. Looks like Mr Maijanen wants us forget that unlucky incident....  Instead we get hits like Lähtisitkö, Ikävä and Jano.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jenni Vartiainen - success continues....

She was just selected by Elle Finland readers the Female dresser of the year and her album Seili has sold already triple platinum outselling the second most sold album (Anna Puu's Sahara) by half. Three hit singles En haluu kuolla tänä yönä #1 and  21 weeks in top-20, Nettiin #12 and 11 weeks in top-20 and now Missä muruseni on #1 and 8 weeks in top-20 so far. The album Seili has been in top-40 already 27 weeks, all of them in top-10, debuting at #1, then returning to #1 last week! 2010 has been really dominated by ladies in the Finnish music scene: Jenni, Chisu, Anna Puu, Johanna Kurkela and Maija Vilkkumaa with Kaija Koo have showed chicks rock! Shame none of them is in Euroviisut 2011. (I know I'm repeating myself, sorry!)

Melodifestivalen 2011 webjokers cut to 20

The countdown has started for Melodifestivalen webjokers. Only 20 entries are left and on Friday five more will leave the race. Unfortunately Adam Sandahl group didn't make this time but SVT is saying it has been very close at places 11 to 50 while apparently the top-10 seems to be pretty clear.... Listen the entries here.

BlogIlkar Exclusive: Marco Olivieri speaks

Velvety voiced Marco Olivieri is trying his luck in the Swiss selection for the Eurovision 2011 with soulful Losing you. In this exclusive BlogIlkar interview he tells a bit more about himself.

First of all: Who is Marco Olivieri?
Mark Oliver is a songwriter born in a small and quiet Italian town near Milano called Vigevano, where I found the ideal conditions to inspire my music
Why Eurovision. Are you a Eurovision fan? Do you follow it every year? Do you have some favourite songs or performances?
To participate in the Eurovision song contest would be a dream for me. I followed it ever since I was little. My favourite songs are Vuelve Conmigo (Spain 1995 )and Keelatud Maa (Estonia 1997.) I recently enjoyed the Urban Symphony’s Rändajad (Estonia) in 2009 Eurovision
What don you think of Italy’s absence and do you think Italy will return in 2011 as RaiDue has let us believe?
I hope so. A country rich in musical culture like Italy can not miss an appointment like that. It would be a welcome return
You are not new to festivals: San Marino 2003, Saint Vincent 2004 (2nd with Cerco te, voglio te), Castrocaro 2004 (3rd) and Sanremo Giovani 2009 … and now Eurovision. Are you a competitive person? Can you tell us a bit more about these festivals?
I'm not competitive at all. At the beginning festivals were like a game. Then the many positive opinions of the public encouraged me, so I started to take the more difficult road. The highest point reached so far? I sang at the Festival of Castrocaro Terme live on RaiUno in 2004. I also tried the Sanremo Festival in 2009, but unfortunately I was eliminated in the semifinals with the song Al di la del Mare.
You have been singing with various groups or choirs, accapella and gospel. Tell us more.
I sang for five years in a vocal group called "4 In Harmony" with a few minor television appearance, then I sang for many years in two gospel choirs called "Inner Spirit" and "To the beat of the Spirit" as a tenor soloist and doing concerts all over Italy.
You have released as Mark Soul Urban attitudes album that has gospel, r’n’b, two step and a lot of soul, and as Marco Olivieri you debut album Al di la del mare. You have also worked with some DJ’s providing vocals to some techno stuff. Which one is style you prefer yourself and which direction you plan to go?
I do not have a particular direction for my music. when I write and arrange the songs I let myself be guided by instinct and emotions that the song tells me at that moment ... also I am very emotional when I sing I try to give as much as possible my own feelings
You sing in Italian, English and French. If you win is there a chance we will hear Losing you in those languages, too?
Sure, why not! I can tell you that I have already written the text in Italian. For text in French, instead, you gave me a good idea :)
Have you thought what to do and how if (and when) you get to the Swiss final and beyond?
Honestly, I didn't even think. I hope this adventure will last as long as possible ...
You have also provided backing vocals to some other singers and even opened Tiziano Ferro’s concert. I know you are a big fan of Brian McKnight and Boyz II Men. Can you name some others? Do you know any Eurovision singers?
Yes, I opened the Tiziano Ferro concert in Novara, a great experience. Brian McKnight is my favourite singer, no doubt about it! I have all his CDs- Then I also like Boyz II Men, Jagged Edge, Javier Colon, Johnny Gill. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to meet any Eurovision  singers, I hope this is the right time!
Thank you Marco for the interview and good luck with the Swiss selection! 
The voting starts on Monday so if you want to support Marco please remember to vote for him! Here.
More about Marco here

X Factor Italia: Damiano out

X Factor Italia is hitting the bottom. Both by the viewing figures (share drops to under 10%, all time low) and if you believe critics the quality of singers, especially when Nevruz and Stefano Filipponi stay in while the better singers drop put week after week. This week the duel was between Damiano Sardi and Davide Mogevero and Damiano lost and is out. Enters Marika Lermani.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Armenia goes internal - Azerbaijan goes long

Armenia will choose internally its represant for Dusseldorf 2011. The council of arts in ARMTV will pick up the artist and then a song. Whoever it is will have a though job to keep up the excellent Armenian record in Eurovision since their debut in 2006 when André took Without your love to 8th place, Hayko followed suit with Anytime you need, Sirusho did better with Qele qele reaching 4th. Inga and Anush stayed in top-10 with Jan Jan and Eva Rivas scored 7th place with Apricot stone in Oslo 2010. Nothing less would be good enough and the last two years their rival Azerbaijan has beaten them in the scoreboard....
In beforementioned Azerbaijan things are going to the opposite direction. A lenghty selection process has already kicked off and out of 120 hopefuls 90 have been picked up for the televised weekly heats - 12 artists in each - and the winners will move on to the next stage. Eliminations and heat go on until February 2 when we should know the Azeri artists for Dusseldorf 2011. Here's reminder of the Azeri entries: Elnur & Samir in 2008 came 8th with Day after day, in 2009 Aysel & Arash 3rd with Always and this year Safura 5th with Drip drop.

Peter Jöback back in Finland

Peter Jöback did Melodifestivalen earlier this year with Hollow, got married and has been touring Sweden and Norway this fall. Now the tour is about to reach Finland. En kväll med Peter Jöback will be in Stockholm tonight, then Mariehamn in Åland islands on November 2, the day after in Turku, then Helsinki and Pietarsaari before ending the tour in Oslo on November 13. He is touring with a trio only and the concert will be released on CD shortly. The first digital single is Inte redo än.

Otus joins Lordi

Lordi is about to hit the road in Europe and they have a new drummer, Otus (translates to something like Animal/Creature) who replaces Kita who left Lordi after his own band Stala & So got invited to take part in Euroviisut 2010. The tour kicks of November 5 from St.Petersburg in Russia and continues to Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, Austria and back to Germany. Total of 32 gigs until December 19.

Laila Kinnunen 1939-2000

Laila Kinnunen died ten years ago today. A true legend with a tragic life.
Her career started in 1955 when she participated in a singing contest in secret to her parents and won. The year after she got a contract to tour with Lasse Pihlajamaa's ochestra, she was only 16. The year after her first single Lazzarella was released and became a huge hit followed by other hits like Illalla, illalla (1958), Marina (1959) and Romantica (1960). In 1961 she became the first Finnish entrant in Eurovision with Valoa ikkunassa. Hits followed with Pojat (1962), Lauantai (1962) and Rinnakkain (1963) - all performed with her sister Ritva. She also starred in several movies, did a lot of television until mid-1970's when she was already stuggling with alcohol and personal life. 
Also her love life was very dramatic and closely followed by the Finnish press. Her first engagement was in 1959 with a medical student but soon she met and fell in love with an Italian  musician Armando Fugazza. The love story lasted seven years until Laila found out he was married and had a son in Italy. He was followed by actor Ville-Veikko Salminen who she married in 1967. While married she met Milan Misic and got pregnant while still married. Divorced she married him and Milana was born but the marriage lasted only a bit over a year. Laila then  met German Walter and she almost got over alcoholism but Laila's both brothers - both violent and alcoholic - died separately in 1984. Walter died in 1989 in heart attack and Laila got deeper than ever before with Keijo, her next boyfriend who was another alcoholic and also violent and beat her up. She didn't want to leave him though and the couple was evicted from their Helsinki apartment. The journey that took them deeper and deeper started. At some point there were living in a camper in some forest. In 1999 some scandal rags found them and in result a "Save Laila" charity concert was planned and held against her will and her family's. "She just wanted to be left alone" tells her daughter Milana who met her the last time on Mother's day in 1996. "She didn't want the papers writing about her and reporters knocking at her door. It was sad but she wanted to be left alone. The organizers managed to get grandmother, in wheelchair and already senile in the concert and in the frontpage of the papers the day after. It was so sad. People didn't know what they were doing. My mother wrote to Helsingin Sanomat an open letter telling she didn't need or want help. She just wanted to be left alone. It was her will but it was not respected."
Ilta-Sanomat recently featured a never before released interview with her done in 1999, less than a year before her death. She tells about her youth as a warchild in Sweden and difficulties to fit in after she was returned to her family, start of her career and refusal to sing in Finnish at first. In her career she recorded some 200 songs in eight different languages. Musically talented she also played accordeon, guitar and piano and preferred jazz to humppa she hated. "It was around 1975 when I was forced to take in my gig playlist some odd humppa song. I dispiced it with all my heart!" She was also strong willed and had a temper. "The conductors and musicians were a bit afraid of me even if I was only 18 when we were recording the songs. I couldn't sing same song over and over  again. I would lose the feeling. So I insisted on one run through with the orchestra to practise, the second one was to be recorded. The orchestra couldn't make mistakes or I would go mad! I was sure about my singing, they were a bit afraid" she recalls. Her first hit was Lazzarella, an Italian cover but she names her favourite Mandshurian kummut, in Russian. "There's something about the Slavic melancholy! Even the gigs east of Helsinki were always better. I hated to sing in Turku or the west coast, people were so stiff!"
She also recalls her Eurovision experience: "I hated Valoa ikkunassa at first but later on I grew fond of it... I was thinking "so this kind of crap", the composer was an amateur. I got a couple of points from Italy. And Norway."
She also talks about today's (1999) singers. "Laura Voutilainen has become so good, she's really good. Paula Koivuniemi, who was also my good friend, and Katri Helena, they're in their league. Katri Helena worked so much for her career. But Laura Voutilainen is also a cellist, so she is also a musician. She has a great voice!"
Laura Annikki Kinnunen aka Laila Kinnunen was born November 8, 1939 and died October 26, 2000. Her recording career lasted from 1957 to 1967 with an expection of Kohtalon lapsi/Toiset meistä single in 1980.  She released only one album Laila in 1965 but some twenty official compilation albums have been released, many including unreleased tracks and doubles or boxes until recent years, including the 8 cd box A la Laila with book in 2009.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Welcome #188: Djibouti

Yet another new flag to add: Djibouti! Welcome! The total is now 188 and 62 to go.... :-)

Lena Ph's new album "sometime" in 2011

Lena Philipsson's new album will be released "sometime next year" instead of earlier mentioned December 2010. She promises not a synth album as speculated somewhere but it's music you can dance to anyways. At the moment the newlywed Lena is busy prepairing her concerts in Berwaldhallen on October 28,29 and 30. "It's very exciting to perform with a symphony orchestra" she says. "I will perform some covers and my own songs, some of them that I have not performed for a very long time. It's very exciting. It's going to be very naked and intim in a way, much more than in my usual shows. Next to the symphonic orchestra we will have a lot of synths. Techno meet philharmonics. It's going to be a full chaos propably! We have only 2,5 days to rehearse!" 
A couple of days ago she was on TV talk show and they speculated her possible Melodifestivalen 2011 participation. She didn't say no but answered the question whether she will be or not with several questions including: Does she need it? Is she motivated enough to do it again? Does she want it? (I hope she does, is and wants!)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fashion icons of 2010: Jenni Vartiainen and Mikko Leppilampi

It is a magical year for Jenni Vartiainen. She's topping both the single and album charts, her album is the most sold album of 2010 so far and now readers of Elle Finland have chosen her as the Female Dresser of the year. She has been a fashion icon ever since she came to public eye so it comes as no surprise. A bit more surprising the choice of the Male Dresser of the year, Mikko Leppilampi. Eurovision 2007 host, actor, singer and at the moment the presenter of the Finnish Strickly come dancing must have convinced the voters with his casual style.

Laura does Euroviisut medley

This is old (2008) but part of the Laura Voutilainen's recently released greatest hits CD+DVD. She performs some Eurovision classics  Katson sineen taivaan, Lapponia, Eläköön elämä and Sata salamaa here. In the interview on same DVD she admits being a real Eurovision fan and that she had been asked to take part several times before 2002's Addicted to you but she wasn't either ready or the song wasn't right until then.

Friday, October 22, 2010

End of the world according Marko Maunuksela

Euroviisut 2011 participant and Tango King 2010 Marko Maunuksela has released a new single Maailman loppu (End of the world). Sounds very typical Finnish schlagerpop aimed for tango folks. Let's see if this is what he will offer in Euroviisut or is that going to be poppier? His debut album Uuteen valoon will be released on November 11 so it also must include his Euroviisut entry! Track list is here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lordi vs Stala & So - what really happened?

A few weeks ago the news that Kita was kicked out of Lordi because his other band Stala & So were to take part in Euroviisut 2011 made headlines. Now for the first time Kita or Sampsa Astala tells what it was really about in today's Iltalehti: "It all happened very fast. I knew I should leave Lordi if I accepted the invitation for Euroviisut. I spent some sleepless nights.It wasn't easy. After the decision I was sad and a bit down. Over ten years in that band were over. But it wasn't any angry breakup. I have been helping Lordi to get organized for their European tour and we rehearse in the same place with Stala & So. There are no hard feelings" he concludes. Lordi is starting their 30 gig European tour in early November and apparently they have a new drummer already. "Winning Eurovision 2007 was a real newsbomb in Finland but it didn't effect us as persons. We were no teenagers at the time anymore" he says. "We didn't become millionaires either. The band has a lot of stuff and it's expensive to run it all."

Céline Dion writes for Marc Dupré

Céline Dion has not only been pregnant of her twins to be born in a month or so but she has also had time to write a song to a popular Canadian singer Marc Dupré, her long time collaborator. Entre deux mondes is already a hit in Canada. This is though not the first time Céline writes for him. Already back in 2005 she wrote  for his debut album Tout prés de bonheur. And Marc wrote On s'est aimé à cause for Céline's D'Elles album. And guess what? Céline is Marc's step-mother-in-law. Keep it in the family.

X Factor Italia: Cassandra out

The girls keep dropping out of X Factor Italia, the possible selection for the possible return of Italy in Eurovision. This time Cassandra Raffaele end in duel with Ruggero Pasquarelli and loses. Four guys under 25, two Over 25s and one group stay in competition....

Going to Düsseldorf 2011? Pack your tent!

Apparently Düsseldorf promised 23.000 hotel beds but now it looks like the huge packaging fair with 180.000 visitors will be held at the same time as Eurovision in town. Most hotels are full already and if you find a room it may cost you 1.000 euros per night. What's the solution offered? Fans can still sleep in one of the neighbouring cities of Düsseldorf: Mönchengladbach, Duisburg, Oberhausen, Krefeld, Dormagen, Leverkusen, Köln or Mönchengladbach all reacable by train (25-45 minutes). But how much fun is that?? The Düsseldorf camping site is though open. It might be a bit chilly still in mid-May.... :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ville Laaksonen in the Swiss selection

A Finn enters the Swiss selection, too. He's no stranger to Eurovision and Jurmala Festival Ville Laaksonen with Hunt for love. He has penned for example Riikka's Meren for Euroviisut previously....  You can read more about him here.

Two more acts qualify in Belgium

Two more acts have collected the necessary 20.000 euros in Belgium. Steve Linden's lovely C'est la musique and Hélène with Our home. We have now four songs cleared for the next step.

Listen Hanna Pakarinen's new album for free

Hanna Pakarinen's 4th album Paperimiehen tytär and her first in Finnish is out today and you can listen it all here for free until October 26. In the same place you can also order it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Melodifestivalen 2011 acts revealed

The Swedish selection will feature a mixed group of artists from veterans, A*Teens, Idols and Fame factory participants, totally new names and even reigning Mr Gay Sweden 2010. And Like in Finland with Lordi/Stala & So also in Sweden a band member leaves the badn because they take part in Melodifestivalen, namely Melody Club's drummer Andy A.

Danny - In the club
Loreen - My heart is refusing me
Sanna Nielsen - I'm in love
Rasmus Viberg - Social butterfly
Melody Club - The hunter
Simon Forsberg - Tid att andas
Dilda - Try again
Sara Lumholt - Enemy.

Melodifestivalen webjokers cut to 100

People keep voting and Melodifestivalen webjokers have had their first cut. Only 100 songs remain in the race, amongst them Adam Sandahl. I quickly listened the songs previouslym and picked up 39 songs that I liked for a reason or another and 26 of them are still in the race.... Here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Albums that have shaped my music taste 2: Cyndi Lauper - She's so unusual

Cyndi Lauper really rocked my world back in 1984 and she was the first of some crazy Italo-American female stars to shake up the charts (Madonna and Lady Gaga would follow). Later she accused Madonna stealing her trashy image and indeed there's something similar about both early Cindy and early Madonna. Anyways, this album sold 16 million copies around the world and Cyndi became the first female artist to score four consecutive Billboard top-5 hits  one album: Girls just want to have fun (#), Time after time (#1), She bop (#3) and All through the night (#5). Also Money changes everything or When you were mine were released as single in various markets. The album stayed in the US Top-200 65 weeks and earned her four Grammy nominations and she won one of them: Best new artist. Cyndi continued her success with the next album True colors and is still releasing albums and performing both on stage, in films and TV but for me this is the Album. Time after time has been covered by over 100 artists (and to think it was just a last minute filler for the album when one more track was needed!) and Cyndi has released remixes of Girls just want to have fun several times over the years.
She bop--he bop--a--we bop
I bop--you bop--a--they bop
Be bop--be bop--a--lu--she bop,
I hope He will understand
Ps. A couple of years ago she returned to the club scene with fabulous Into the nightlife

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Italians rule the Swiss selection

Well, that's just my opinion as the two favourites of mine both are Italians! Namely ADZ from Sanremo with Tornerai, a very intense rock ballad and Marco Olivieri from Vigevano with r'n'b Losing you. Then we also have Davide Buzzi & Alex Cambisi from L'Aquila and Devil Chic Riot from Campobasso (also very good, btw). In all there are now seven songs in Italian but artists from various countries have sent in songs (mostly unfortunately very forgettable ones): Belarus, Romania, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Israel, Malta, Poland, Russia, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Some singers have sent up to eight songs (when zero was enough). My guess is the serious contenders will send in their songs just before the voting starts but those previously mentioned Italians are very good, so is this. And then there's of course Mariella Farré and Todomondo..... here.  And in the radio selection (or something, I'm a bit lost with this Swiss selection I admit) there are more, like Sesto Senso, Domenique Borriello and Pleroma (Vaffanculo is pretty good but EBU wouldn't like the title...)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Euroviisut 2011: Cardiant, Father McKenzie and Saara Aalto qualified

So we did get some heavymetal in Euroviisut once again when Cardiant qualified. Some pop with Father McKenzie and a ballad by Saara Aalto. Fair enough.
Another rather secret internet selection is over. I don't understand why YLE doesn't promote this in any way. If I wasn't fan I wouldn't even know it was on. Again. I never saw any promo on TV, the papers were not writing about it one word as far as I have seen and tonight's "Results show" tops it all: full five minutes at odd hour 6.45 PM where they played maybe 20 secs of each selected song. Even Jaana didn't bother to come by.... 

Mashed up Eurovision

What do you get if you breed Britney Spears and Alexander Rybak? This! And there's this classic Charlotte Perrelli meets Lady Gaga I have already posted previously. Sometimes it works and these two are good examples of it...  Here are the originals: Circus, Fairytale, Poker face, Hero

Kosketa mua - what a missed chance!

I got the Laura's double greatest hits and she's really great. Or rather she's become great. One can skip her early songs (and style) and concentrate on the 2000's stuff and she's fab. One real jewel is still her Euroviisut 2007 song Kosketa mua that didn't even make the final :-( What a waste! Fantastic track indeed!

New releases in Finland

October 20 sees the release of a new Hanna Pakarinen album, Paperimiehen tytär. It's her first in Finnish and she describes it as a sort of a debut album, being so personal and result of a hard work. She has written most of the lyrics herself. The reviews and critic has been very favourable for the album so far and the title track was the first single and now comes Se yksi ainoa.
The same day Jonna "ex-Nylon Beat" Geagea releases her first debut album Katso mua and its debut single was Taasko se alkaa while the title track is the new single and video.
A week later is a real rush for the charts as several propably top selling albums are released. Antti Tuisku releases his Kaunis kaaos. The first single was Atlantti. And now comes Hyökyaalto.
1990's stars Ressu Redford and Jussi Rainio of Neon2 have re-recorded their hits they have been performing live with success recently in tour. Klassikot includes songs like Prinsessa.
Tomi Metsäketo releases a Christmas album. Besides his own Euroviisut connection there's another: he does a cover of Carola's self penned Himlen i din famn. In Swedish. Katri Helena has already recorded the song in Finnish as Taivas sylissäin.
The Finnish X Factor finalists pretty much disappeared from the media the moment the cameras went off but now the winner and runner up all of sudden both come out with their debuts. The winner Elias Hämäläinen releases Rakkaudesta ja pelosta with single Mies vailla virkaa while runner up Leena releases Leena Ihmemaassa with single Piru.
Then November 10 comes Jippu's and Samuli Edelmann's duet album Pimeä onni. Like the highly succesful Jos sä tahdot niin it's covers. This album also postboned the recording and release of Jippu's coming solo album.
Vesa-Matti Loiri has already released his new album written for him by top new generation writers like Paula Vesala from PMMP and Chisu (Aina tulee jotain) who also sing on the album.

OGAESC 2010 is here!

The voting has started for the 2010 edition of OGAE song contest. As always there are some familiar names from Eurovision from David Bustamante to Serebro and Flor de Lis, from Glennis Grace to Miro, Elena Risteska, Marija Serifovic and Laura Voutilainen and so on. You can find all the Youtubes here. Clubs are now voting and we should know the winner in early December.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Euroviisut 2011: Confusing results!

The voting has ended and tomorrow 6.45PM local time we will know the three qualifiers for the Euroviisut 2011 semifinals from the open internet selection. There is no favourite this year and the various polls give very different restuls. YLE announced a couple of days ago the Top-5 is (in no particular order) Chorale, Father McKenzie, Joel Främling, Sara Sayed and Saara Aalto. In my blog Tony Green won with 12 votes, followed by Chorale, Cardiant and Blackbird 8 each, and Saara Aalto completes the Top-5 with six votes. But if we look at the results of viisukuppila.fi and escstats.fi things get tricky. 
Tony Green wins by the Finnish voters (78 voters) and comes... last by the foreigners (16 voters). Chorale comes 2nd by Finns, 6th by foreigners. Father McKenzie is quite agreed on coming 3rd by Finns and winning by foreigners. Paul Oxley comes 4th by Finns but only third last by foreigners. Blackbird is 5th by Finns, second by foreigners so they're doing fine. Saara Aalto is only 9th by Finns but third by foreigners. Sonja Bishop does more or less equally well or bad, 7th by Finns and 4th by foreigners. So does Anfisa, 8th and 5th. 
My guess is Saara Aalto, Father McKenzie and Chorale made it.

Belgium: Two acts collected the money

Syla K and Léa Clément have collected the necessary 20.000 euros with their songs Simple love and Où s'en vont nos rêves and have qualified for the next step in the Belgian selection. In total there are already 98 songs listed and Steve Linden is propably the next one to reach that amount. He has almost 15.000 collected by now. Both qualified songs are nice enough. You can see the current situation here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Düsseldorf 2011 - what to expect?

Now that we finally have the host city for the Eurovision song contest 2011 let's see what to expect.  
"We want to beat Moscow and Oslo!" say the organizers. They also promise to showcase the legendary German precision. And show that Germans like to be entertained and know how to party. "The arena is big but the audience can sit in comfortable chairs and relatively close to the stage and singers while enjoying a real stadium like feeling. People will feel closeness to the stage at the same time being totally involved in the show." Hmm, sounds a bit Copenhagen to me, expect it was far from feeling the stadium feeling. Or indeed, in a negative way. What else?
"We are in north of Germany, close to Belgium and the Netherlands where we have a lot of enthuastic fans coming over. We are close to city center with 24.000 hotel rooms. We want the whole city to feel the show's in town and get the city heavily involved. And also Hamburg and Hannover with megascreens" Ok, now that sounds like Helsinki where the whole city was indeed out in the streets to enjoy the happening the big weekend!
"We want to make the biggest ever Eurovision, even better than Moscow. Oslo also set the level in organizing but we will top them, too." Ok, but what's this megalomania? I never really liked the Moscow stage and stuff. Sometimes less is more and smaller is bigger. Sometimes. 
"We want fans to be even more involved in all happenings, starting from rehearsals." Good! what I heard from Oslo the rehearsals were a misery without public! If only a big part of fans and "journalists" would also learn some manners and how to behave. And most of all the show's made for them, but not only, and they're not the stars.
"We will make sure the tickets are affordable for everyone, starting from 19 euro. We want everyone can afford to attend the rehearsals or the finals." Good. And now let's wait and see how they manage the ticket selling (in November?).
Seven months to go. I'm curious to see the shows in May. In my books Munich 1983 has the worst ever stage and propably the worst hostess ever, too. Two records to break, I hope they don't do it! :-)

X Factor Italia: Dorina out

It looks like the Italian X Factor is not going well this year. Televote kicks out the real singers while those who might be likable for other reasons, or simply strange personalities instead of having creditable vocal capacities. This time in duel Dorina loses to duo Kymera. Also with the exit of Dorina there's no singers left in Female under 24 category! Also Kymera is the last group in the race. 
Some fans are worried that if Italy really will return to Eurovision and with the X Factor winner they will end up sending something "horrible" that will score very badly in Europe and Italy will be out again for a decade or two...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Euroviisut 2011: The top-5 right now

Just when I said YLE's keeping it quiet what's going on in Euroviisut 2011 webjokers voting here come the current top-5:

Sara Sayed "Shallow Waters"
Joel Främling "Man in Squalor"
Chorale "Share Your Life"
Saara Aalto "Blessed with Love"
Father McKenzie "Good Enough

I would say once again the artists with the strongest Facebook/Twitter activity are at it. Which makes me ask what's the point?  Three will make it to the Euroviisut 2011 semifinals.

Gadget

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