Thursday, January 31, 2013

UMK 2013: IINA SALIN AND RAUTAKOURA OUT

The semifinal of UMK 2013 finished moments ago and with the jury vote and televote combined Iina Salin and Rautakoura didn't make it. Once again the televote changed the result, or rather defined it as you can see from the juryvotes below:

Great Wide North  40 (Toni 10, Aija 10, Tomi 10, Redrama 10)
Elina orkoneva  32 (Toni 6, Aija 8, Tomi 9, Redrama 9)
Last Panda  24 (Toni 6, Aija 6, Tomi 6, Redrama 6)
Rautakoura  24 (Toni 6, Aija 6, Tomi 6, Redrama 6)
Iina Salin  24 (Toni 5, Aija 7, Tomi 6, Redrama 6)
Lucy Was Driving  22 (Toni 5, Aija 6, Tomi 5, Redrama 6)

I wonder how the table would look if the jury had to really put the songs in order and give different votes to everyone?

The grand final next week with Mikael Saari, Diandra Flores, Krista Siegfrids, Arion, Great Wide North, Elina Orkoneva, Last Panda and Lucy Was Driving from barona Arena in Espoo.

TONIGHT: UMK 2013 SEMIFINAL LIVE

I will be once again live blogging the UMK live tonight. It's time for the semifinal and see who will be the two (or apparently it is four!?) lucky ones the jury and televoters send to next week's grand final with Mikael Saari, Diandra Flores, Krista Siegfrids and Arion. Like the previous weeks the show time is on YLE Areena with UMK+ 19.45 CET and the show itself starts at 20.00 CET,  also on YLE's website. Tonight's guest star is Elonkerjuu. Twitter #UMK13

19.45 UMK+ has started online and soon we will move to The Circus nightclub in Helsinki city center. One of the judges, Aija is interviewed and she tells how she has given advice to the vocalists in the early stages of UMK but now they are on their own and the judges only... judge. She also tells she wished there was more indie pop but apparently that's something missing in the Finnish scene at the moment... Next we talk with the hosts, Ile and Anne, and most of all their outfits for tonight. They remind us this is the last night in The Circus and next week we will move to Barona Arena and it's goodbye to the intimacy. Then we talk to the guest stars of the night, Elonkerjuu.
20.00 and here we go.... YLE's website say four acts will qualify for the final while it was understood earlier only two will do so but now Ile confirmed it's four! Ok! After a short introdcution of the jury and the rules here we go....

The Pandas have partially changed their look and Henry sings better than ever tonight! Great! Really much much better than before! Toni likes then and thinks they fill nicely the big stage in Barona. But he thinks they weren't so good as before? I don't agree! Aija also hopes they will go to final and thinks they didn't give it all. Tomi believes they will be big even if they should drop. A band for the future. Redrama thinks they have improved a lot and surely will have a bright future.
Elina Orkoneva - He's not my man (music video)
Elina and her backing group have perfected their choreography and she sung very well. Also the best performance so far by her, in my opinion.  Aija likes this cocktail of r'n'b, Motown and the rest. She thinks they were good. Tomi is stick to his image of the song which apparently is very far from the one Elina has but he thinks this time it was there, finally. Redrama agrees with the other two. Elina was more there, enjoying it and not pretending to perform the song and the whole band looked like they were having fun. Toni thinks she was very good and much better than he espected. :-)
Rautakoura - Ilmalaivalla (music video)
I still think this is rather annoying but I wouldn't be surprised this goes very far. They have changed their look and look like a band now, and they even were a bit alive on stage and looking like they were having a little bit of fun instead looking unconfortable. Huge applause from the audience. Tomi likes the song but is having nightmares they win and go to Malmö 2013. He likes their new look. Redrama thinks they have a chance for a long career with right production and he likes the song but.... Toni also likes the song and likes their change but... A lot of buts here! Aija is pleased they have given up resisting the changes they have asked them to do and thinks this music is good at least for cleaning...
Great Wide North - Flags
Is it me or all singing and performing better than ever? Even this was the best performance yet! Redrama thinks they have improved still from the last week and he's a fan of this song. He thinks they also have a bright future in music. Toni thinks it's a pleasure to watch them perform, the connection and warmth they have. Aija thinks he's one of the best singers, or at least one of the best ones to express feelings and warmth. Tomi is sold, too. Surely max votes from the jury!
Iina Salin - Last night
Iina was sparkling along with her dress and the choreography with the guys was perfected. But was it enough? Mind you, I love the song and her, but.... Toni thinks she sings very well but he thinks she looked a bit lonely on stage, could she handle the big Arena stage? Aija thinks she's more relaxed but still lacks a little bit confidence, like she wouldn't know how good she is really. Tomi says she's so pretty and talented, she should believe more in herself. Redrama praises her voice and looks, but he thinks the song isn't good enough. Hmm.... Not high jury votes to be expected then...
Lucy Was Driving - Dancing around the universe
Last but not least, Lucys. And yes, also they looked and sounded better than ever! Aija thinks they were better last week though. But she likes their attitude and the fact they do their thing. Tomi reminds there were 470 songs in the beginning an now there are only ten left. They have already win in their career. He thinks they shouldn't get any further but if the televoters disagree, vote! Redrama thinks he sings better and better and wished them luck. Toni loves their intro and wonders how committed they are to this (as their bassist seems to be on holiday!)....

20.46 It's time for a recap and voting numbers. Honestly I have no idea who will drop tonight. If it was for me it'd be Rautakoura and... hmm... Lucy Was Driving after all. But I doubt I'm right this time! The programme moves now to online as UMK+ and we will be back after TV-news for the results. Stay tuned!
The artists are being interviewed backstage and they are all visibly nervous and excited! Good, a real open competition! No one knows yet how this end tonight now that all the four big favorites have been sent to the final already...

21.05 Here we go again! Televoters can still vote and here comes the recap before we get the jury votes.Toni gave GWN 10 points, the rest got 6s and 5s! Finally the jury takes sides for real! Also Aija gave GWN 10 points but this is expected as it was their favorite last week, too, but televote dropped them. Elina gets 8 and Iina 7. Tomi gave GWN another 10 and Elina 9.And finally Redrama gave 10 to GWN and 9 to Elina. So the jury would drop Lucy Was Driving and one of these: Iina Salin, Last Panda or Rautakoura. Televote will decide. Another recap and then the televote closes.
 21.19 Time for Elonkerjuu.  This is actually the first time I see and hear their new singer after Lauri Tähkä left last year or when was it? Time for the results after...
And without further ado, Iina Salin and Rautakoura are out!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DOWNSCALING A MUST, SAYS SVT

Christer Björkman and Martin Österdahl  have talked with media how SVT will make Eurovision 2013 a success. SVT's budget is 15,2 million euros, a lot less than in the previous years - Helsinki used some 18 million, Moscow nearly 35 million and Baku we won't even try to count!  SVT also downscale the technical side of the show and focus on artists and creating an intimate atmosphere. "We will make all that the artists will come across well on screen and make people want to vote for them"  he tells. "Also, the list of countries that could not host the show if they won is getting longer every year. We must come down with the costs and set a new trend. We must get back to basics and what this is allabout in the first place,  and having one presenter is a key factor in all this. We chose Petra Mede because she is perfect for the job: she can be funny but she can be serious as well. She can easily switch from one mood to another. She's got experience and can host a long live broadcast." Björkman also tells the work started the night Loreen won and it's been very busy, sometimes stressful but always fun.

LENA PH & CAROLA IN DUET!

SVT is doing big variety shows with different artists (one of them being another Eurovision veteran Jill Johnson) under title "En helkväll med.../Whole evening with...." or 90 minutes of show, talk and some invited guests. Lena Philipsson got her show done earlier this month in Gothenburg's Stora teatern. This is actually the very first time these two schlager queens perform as a duet ever. In public that is. Carola tells in her blog that they did once Barbra Streisand's Enough is enough in a private birthday party in Mallorca. They have also been featured in a same MF number many years ago - and this is THE best interval act ever in any Eurovision related show. But I guess you have to speak Swedish to fully appreciate it - but as a duet, this is a first, after nearly 30 years both have been in the business! Apparently Lena plays piano besides singing and Carola seems very pleased and excited about the experience. And the song? It's this blogger's supermegafavorite, Om igen. Can't wait to see the show on February 22, 2013. Also Darin is there singing her Månsken i augusti
Meanwhile Lena and Orup are discussed as the new juror in Idols!

LENA PHILIPSSON & KRISTIAN LOOK IN MELODIFESTIVALEN 2013

Freshly officially divorced Lena Philipsson and late runner in the Eurovision 2013 presenter run (as we know now the job went to Petra Mede instead) are the guest stars in Karlskrona. Both have previous experience as MF-hosts and Lena of course also as an artist and the winner.
They will provide the interval act number together with the hosts Gina Dirawi and Danny Saucedo. Maybe it will include some acting as Danny has recently announced he will step away from music and concentrare on acting instead. (Good luck on that direction then!) A lot of humor and new sides of both Gina and Danny promised by SVT...

VALENTINA & SIEGEL RETURN TO ESC!

Well, now this was a surprise! San Marino made it again. Valentina Monetta returns to Eurovision and again with a song written by Ralph Siegel! The song is called Crisalide or Chrysalis in English. The lyrics are by Mauro Balestri and indeed there's this Italian version as well. Hopefully they wil use at least the bilingual version in Eurovision!
After last year's Eurovision with Facebook Siegel and Monetta have been working on an album and this song was selected among the songs on it.
And this is Siegel's 21st Eurovision entry :-) And this blogger is just happy he's back, "alla faccia di tutti". I can't understand fans complaining about him and adoring various G:sons, Borgs and others who are there every year, year after year, in every possible national final. Get real!

In the press conference they also talked about the marketing strategy and it looks like they will concentrate on internet again, plus Valentina will visit Amsterdam's Eurovision in concert and/or London. And then it's all about making the performance stand out. Last year the song was not written for her but for someone much younger but she accepted to do it anyways. This time the song is really written especially for her, and she confessed she really wants to sing it in Italian. Or at least in Italian-English version.I think it will be completely different from last year's entry then!

SAN MARINO REVEALS ARTIST

Lys Assia, Stephy Tang & Therese Fu, Albano, Monica Hill.... The gossiping has been running wild in San Marino also this year but today they will reveal the real name. And other details but the song apparently isn't yet ready to be presented so we won't hear it yet. Stay tuned....

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

TOSE PROESKI: A NEW SONG

It's over five years Toše Proeski was killed in the car crash but he is certainly not forgotten in the Balkan area. And even new songs emerge, like this Sve je ovo premalo za kraj, a song apprently found on his laptop and never released before until now.  He has topped the charts already twice after his death, with Jos uvijek sanjam da smo zajedno in 2010 and with The hardest thing in 2008. Recently another Eurovision veteran Fabrizio Faniello recorder The hardest thing as well....

Monday, January 28, 2013

ITALY: IT'S MALIKA, MARCO OR ANNALISA?

Italian website Eurofestival reports that it's pretty certain it's going to be Malika Ayane (29), Marco Mengoni (24) or Annalisa Scarrone (27) for Italy in Eurovision 2013 in Malmö. Behind these three artists are various factors. Malika comes from the same label as Raphael Gualazzi and its boss Caterina Caselli might be ready to do it all again and lead Italy to success first in Eurovision, and then her artist worldwide. She has done also a star from Andrea Bocelli, among others so she's a tough one. Marco Mengoni is backed by Sony and looking for a relaunch for his a bit shaky career at the moment. Then we have Annalisa Scarrone, coming from Maria De Filippi's reality Amici and would benefit from the cross over to RAI's channels as well. De Filippi would surely use also Mediaset's channels to promote her et voilà, Annalisa would be soon in every TV-channel in Italy. A win-win situation for everyone. Even Eurovision itself. 
It's worth remembering each and every artist performs two songs in Sanremo, so there would be also already two to choose for Eurovision. Or then completely different song from the artist's worhcoming new album. Below you can listen their hits. Who is your favorite?This blogger is torn between the ladies... not so convinced about Marco for Eurovision.... but then, it all comes down to the song!

Malika Ayane: Feeling better, Sospesa, Come foglie, Thoughts and clouds, Ricomincio da qui, Tre cose, Il tempo no inganna. She has released three albums and gained 2 gold and 2 platinum discs.

Marco Mengoni:  Credimi ancora, In un giorno qualunqueSolo, Tanto il resto cambia, Dall'inferno. Mengoni has released one album, that sold gold, and three EPs that have sold platinum and multi-platinum. He won X Factor in 2009, came 3rd in Sanremo 2010 and won the Best European Act award in MTV Music Awards.

Annalisa Scarrone: Diamente lei e luce lui, Giorno per giorno, Senza riserva, Tra due minuti è primavera, Pirati. Annalisa has released two albums and has gained one platinum disc plus two gold singles. She came second in the Amici reality show in 2011.

ESC 2013: PETRA MEDE IS THE ONE!

Great to come to home to these wonderful news: Petra Mede! Did anyone ever mention her name? No. Somehow I knew SVT had something in their sleeve so I was pretty sure it wouldn't be Sarah Dawn Finer nor Måns Zelmerlöf or any of the other mentioned. I remember Petra from Melodifestivalen 2009 and I just adored her! She's the lovechild one Lena Philipsson and Christer Lindarw and surely will be having some surprises a la Lill Lindfors! I can't wait to see her in action! :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

ISRAEL: THE 30 NAMES FOR MALMÖ 2013

Israel participated in the Eurovision for the first time 40 years ago. Since then they have collected three wins, two second places and one third place. This year IBA organizes after a break again the national final Kdam and turns it into Melodifestivalen: three semifinals each with ten songs on Fenruary 24, 25 and 26 and top-3 qualifying for the final. The songs that places 4th and 5th will have a 2nd chance on March 3. Out of these six songs one will access the final. The final with ten songs wil take place on March 7. There will be 30/70 jury/televote. This blogger recognizes among the hopefuls Vladi Blayberg but also names Niki Goldstein, Liran Notik and Hila Ben David are known names in Eurovision circuit.

Hila Ben David - Beautiful
Julietta - Fantasia
Lihi Griner & DJ Omri Segal - Just Like Me
Vladi Blayberg - New Day
Eric Forman - Livin' One Time
Kathleen Reiter - Ad Elay
Hen Cohen - Halev Mevakesh
Moran Mazuz - Give Me A Sign
Bezalel Raviv - No War
Ortal Ofek - Tagid Li Lama
Aderet - Victory
Alon Jan - Live My Life
Ran Sandler - Find A Way
Love Is One (Ron Weinreich, Yoad Fekete, Ido Sagir, Yigal Cohen, Yuval Yaron & Elad Kimchi) - Love Is One
Liran Notik - Give Me A Sign
Josh - My Baby
Shani Zamir - Forever
Hadar Ozeri - Ten Ma'awal
The Ultras - Happy Birthday
Yehuda Gavra - We're Beautiful
Michael Harpaz - Michtav Le'ima
Sarit Avitan - Mon Amour
Haia Samir - Am I Happy Or Am I Sad
Adi Cezare - Pagia Ve'shavir
Meital De Razon - Toda La Noche
Laila Malcos - Bo
Adir Getz - Ha'ikar She'ani Shar
Yarden Tzur - Replace You
Niki Goldstein - We Are One
Moran Mazor - Rak Bishvilo

PETER JÖBACK - FIRST EUROPEAN IN BROADWAY!

Namely first European to sing the lead role in The Phantom of the Opera! This weekend Jöback was in New York to sing in the play as a special guest. "This is the musical world's biggest role for a male singer, and an absolute dream" he tells the media. Last spring he sung the role already in West End, London and it must have gone very well as Sir Andrey Lloyd Webber picked himself Jöback for Broadway. He will do it for four months from the end of April until August, eight performances a week. Peter says he's not sure yet if his husband Oskar will also move to New York. Anyways, he says he's going to enjoy the experience and find himself a new dream as his biggest dream ever comes reality at the age of 41....
 The Phantom of the Opera premiered in London 1986 with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. It's the second longest running West End musical ever. Today it's the longest running show in Broadway's history and it hits 25 years there, too. The 10.000th performance came February 11, 2012.

ICELAND SF 2: MORE SURPRISES. AND MAGNI GETS THE WILDCARD!

The Icelandic are full of surprises this year. Another favorite is out of the final, namely Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir!  But we have three more finalists selected by the 50-50 jury-televote and the jury's wild card went to Magni Ásgeirsson, so there is some justice left in Iceland, too. Also the two I wanted made it, namely Jógvan and Haraldur. Here are the qualified ones:

Jógvan Hansen & Stefanía Svavarsdóttir – Til þín
Unnur Eggertsdóttir – Ég syng!
Haraldur Reynisson – Vinátta 
+
Magni Ásgeirsson – Ekki líta undan (wildcard)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

EMMELIE DE FOREST FOR DENMARK

Phew, something good. Emmelie De Forest won the Danish MGP and will go to Malmö 2013 with Only teardrops. A nice step away from Europop with disco beat, following the last year's trend. And beware Denmark, I like your entry so you are doomed! :-) My favorite Albin didn't make the top-3, nor Jack Rowan & Sam Gray or fan favorites Kate Hall and Frederikke.

1. Emmelie De Forest - Only teardrops  - 26 -
2. Mohamed Ali - Unbreakable  - 19 -
3. Simone - Stay awake  - 15 -

NORWAY: WE HAVE 3 MORE FINALISTS

The second semifinal in Norway brought us three more finalists. As expected Annsofi went to the final with Alexander Rybak penned I'm with you. But only as third one, which means Norwegian are not so easily fooled by big name as the song is... well, how to put it? Not so extraordinary? Fjellfolk with Ulvetuva made it as well bringing some folk to the final line up. The surprise for this blogger is Margaret Berger with I feed you my love. Mind you I like it and its noisy arrangement I didn't quite believe it would get through. And win the semi! The Norwegians surely ate her love up and apparently a star was born tonight! It would be like fresh air in Malmö 2013 compared to these other two very traditional efforts. Martin Blomvik didn't make it with his dialect rap, that was rather enoyable in some weird way.

ESC 2013: NORDIC SUPER SATURDAY TONIGHT

The Eurovision 2013 season is really taking off tonight when three events are taking place, and all in Nordic countries. If we also add Thursday's Finnish Heat 2 and Icelandic semifinal 1 yesterday this is a real Nordic weekend. Tonight the shows go on in Iceland and Norway, while Denmark has its grand final and we get another song for Malmö 2013. Here's your guide for tonight:

19.55 CET Norway - semifinal 2. Read more here.
20.30 CET Denmark - final. Read more here.
22.00 CET Iceland - semifinal 2. Read more here.

All events will be streamed live on respective websites. This blogger takes a night out and won't be blogging live any of these events but will be posting the results and comments as soon as possible tonight. Have fun!


TONIGHT: NORWAY - SECOND SEMIFINAL

Besides Iceland also Norway has its second semifinal tonight. Just like last week three songs will qualify for the final and tonight's show comes from Florø. If last weeks semi was rather mediocre but the right songs qualified, let's see how it goes this week? One favorite is above all the rest, Annsofi with a song penned by Alexander Rybak. I haven't heard all the songs I won't even guess who other will qualify, but Martin has something interesting going on in his song.... The fun starts 19.55 CET and you can watch it on NRK's website.

Martin Blomvik - Det vakje mi tid 
Annsofi - I'm with you 
Shackles - On hold 
Hank - No one 
Fjellfolk - Ulvetuva 
Haji - Shine with me 
Margaret Berger - I feed you my love

ICELAND: SEMIFINAL TWO TONIGHT

Just like last night six songs in the running to reach the Febaruary 2, 2013 final. Three songs will qualify based on 50-50 jury-televote, among them Söngvakeppni veteran Jógvan Hansen and an early fan favorite Erna Hrönn Ólafdóttir. Let's see if the results are as crazy as last night. This blogger and Icelandic people really don't agree this year, that's for sure! I won't even try to pick up the qualifiers here... I wouldn't know anyways. Showtime as usual 22.00 CET and you can watch it on RÚV's website.

Klara Ósk Elíasdóttir - Skuggamynd
Jógvan Hansen & Stefanía Svavarsdóttir - Til þín
Sylvía Erla Scheving - Stund með þér
Haraldur Reynisson - Vinátta
Unnur Eggertsdóttir - Ég syng!
Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir - Augnablik

THE REAL PULSE BEAT OF UMK

If you thought it's easy to just go and sing, in UMK or some other national final or something just have a look at Otso Koskelo's pulsemeter. He had it on all night last Thursday, when Lucy Was Driving made its way to the semifinal next Thursday with Dancing all around universe. The graphic clearly shows how his heartbeat went overdrive during the performance and peaked again during the results (tulokset).

Friday, January 25, 2013

ICELAND - WTF?


Iceland started their search tonight with the first semifinal. Only six songs and unfortunately the level of the songs isn't as good as it has been, me thinks. Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir kicked off the night with Þú. It was better than I expected, I have to say. 
Magni Ásgeirsson followed with Ekki líta undan, this blogger's favorite by far. After that followed to completely uninteresting ones Svavar Knútur Kristinsson & Hreindís Ylva Garðarsdóttir Hólm with Lífið snýst and Edda Viðarsdóttir with Sá sem lætur hjartað ráða för even sporting someone doing the sigh language, already very worn off gimmick in thiese circuits. 
Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson and Ég á líf got us back to better things and the night ended with fan favorite Birgitta Haukdal  and her backing group in burqas (or something) and Meðal andanna
Fan favorite or not, this blogger thinks it's boring, uninspired and did I say boring? If it was up to me Magni, Eyþór and after all Jóhanna would go to final but I'm afraid it's Birgitta, Magni and someone else.... Soon the results.

And yes, Birgitta is in final. And so is Svavar Knútur Kristinsson & Hreindís Ylva Garðarsdóttir Hólm! Oh dear... and Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson....  Well, at least him but Magni??!! So, Santa Birgitta & Burqas will win then?

ALEXEY VOROBYOV FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE IN LOS ANGELES

Alexey Vorovyov aka Alex Sparrow, the Russian entrant in Eurovision 2011 was seriously hurt in a car crash in Los Angeles a few days ago. He has recorded numerous fractures and traumatic brain injury. He has now been moved from intense care to neurological department, the Russian media reports suggesting the news about his death in some media are false. 
He had a brain hemorrhage due to severe brain injury. He was hit a large portion of the right lobe of the brain causing partial paralysis of the left side of his body. He can't eat and speak nor move his left hand. Alex has regained consciousness, but he does not remember anything that happened to him. Doctors do not give any guarantee that he will be able to fully recover and return to the profession. But there is hope as he is a young and very healthy in general. 
His family has asked the media to give them space and peace. More information is given at due time. Alex was in Los Angeles recording new material and taking acting lessons dreaming of a Hollywood career. He was expected to perform next in Ulan-Ude, Russia on January 29, 2013. He just turned 25, on January 19. Here he is in Eurovision with Get you.

CAROLA CELEBRATES 30 YEARS IN MELODIFESTIVALEN

Expressen writes that Carola will be the interval act in Melodifestivalen final in Friends Arena in March. She will offer a medley of her hits including her Melodifestivalen and Eurovision entries. The negotiations with SVT have taken months and she seems to be very happy about the outcome. Christer Björkman on the other hand says he can't yet confirm anything, but "Carola is a dream artist for him and always on top of the list of artists to get involved". Let's rerun the MF/ESC career of this lady who brought wind machine to Eurovision:

1983 wins with Främling gaining maximum points from each and every jury. Comes 3rd in ESC
1990 2nd with Mitt i ett äventyr. During her performance half of Sweden (or was it Stockholm?) suffers a black out. A terror attack against her religion is suspected...
1991 wins with Fångad av en stormvind. Wins even ESC beating Amina to 2nd place even if with same points.
2000 Acts as a hostess and causes headlines with her t-shirt flashing "ledig" or "free" after her divorce.
2005 She's the interval act with Genom allt
2006 wins with I evighet. Comes 5th in ESC with Invincible.
2008 Doesn't reach the final with One love, sung together with Andreas Johnson.

CHARLOTTE PERRELLI - PREGNANT!

No, she didn't just eat too much Christmas food or skip champagne on New Year's without a reason. Charlotte Perrelli, born Nilsson is happily pregnant. The baby is due this summer and she's relieved it's just one as they thought first she was with twins. She has just finished with the Evita musical (hmm, Madonna got pregnant while filming Evita...). Charlotte has two sons from her ex-husband Nicola Ingrosso, later changed to Perrelli (whose brother Emilio Ingrosso was married to another songbird, Pernilla Wahlgren!), Angelo and Alessio. Now she's dating Anders Jensen who is, obviously the lucky father. And he has a daughter, Izabella.  Despite her pregnancy she plans to participate in this summer's Diggi-loo tour as usual! And did you know she, too, has her own perfume, The Girl?

HANNA PAKARINEN - EVERY DAY

Hanna Pakarinen has released a new single off her worthcoming, second album in Finnish. Jokapäiväinen that loosely translates to every day or daily, has a stunning video as well. All is done in one shot showing a dramatic and very beautiful Hanna in close up most of the time. Awesome! The single is out digitally already and the new album will follow. Her website has a new look, too. Here. Next you can see Hanna in the UMK 2013 final live.
The video is shot my Ville Juurikkala, who collaborated with Hanna already in her Black Ice video.

ICELAND: SEMIFINAL ONE TONIGHT

Six songs tonight, among them Eurovision veterans Jóhanna and Birgitta, and this blogger's favorites Magni and Eyþór. Three songs will qualify for the final on February 2, 2013 based on 50-50 jury-televote. Show start at 22.00 CET and you can watch it on RÚV's website. The second semifinal takes place tomorrow night.

Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir - Þú
Magni Ásgeirsson – Ekki líta undan
Svavar Knútur Kristinsson & Hreindís Ylva Garðarsdóttir Hólm – Lífið snýst
Edda Viðarsdóttir - Sá sem lætur hjartað ráða för
Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson - Ég á líf
Birgitta Haukdal - Meðal andanna

Thursday, January 24, 2013

UMK 2013: KRISTA AND ARION TO THE FINAL

It looked like the judges would turn the tables but in the end the televote turned them back and all ended as planned: Krista Siegfrids and Arion straight to the final and Atlérico Kumpula was kicked out. Here are the full jury votes (as usual the televotes were not announced):

Great Wide North 36 (Toni 9, Aija 9, Tomi 9, Redrama 9)
Arion 35 (Toni 9, Aija 9, Tomi 9, Redrama 8)
Krista Siegfrids 34 (Toni 8, Aija 8, Tomi 9, Redrama 9)
Atlético Kumpula  28 (Toni 7, Aija 6, Tomi 8, Redrama 7)
Lucy Was Driving 26 (Toni 6, Aija 7, Tomi 7, Redrama 6)
Elina Orkoneva 26 (Toni 6, Aija 7, Tomi 7, Redrama 6)

UMK 2013 - HEAT TWO LIVE

Join me again tonight at 20.00 CET for the second heat of UMK 2013. Two songs will send to the final directly with 50/50 jury/televote. One act will be send home, the others will get another chance next week.
The Circus nightclub in Helsinki is once again sold out venue and you can follow it here. UMK+ will bring you backstage 19.45-20.00 here and during the break before the results part of the show. 
Last week fan favorites Mikael Saari and Diandra made it to the final, this week we have Krista Siegfrids (who just today has signed her first recording deal with Universal, congrats!) and Arion as clear fan favorites and knowing the judges like them, too, anyone else qualifying would be a surprise. But who will be kicked out? That's the question tonight! And tonight's guest star is Jesse Kaikuranta!
Don't forget to read these UMK artists exclusive interviews right here ->

19.45 Here we go again! The backstage UMK+ online has just started.The web presenters are telling what happened last week, and what will happen tonight. Then the real presenters Ile and Anne are interviewed, their hairdos tonight admired and talk about Twitter and tweets follow. Remember it's #umk13 to join in! Some talk with Toni Wirtanen, then we have a talk with guest star Jesse Kaikuranta :-) He explains how he has been spending his long day between rehearsals.... drinking coffee and such. He also reveals his favorite is Diandra. Ok, let's get to the business, shall we....
20.00 And here we are. Ile & Anne are on stage explaining the procedure and yes, The Circus is sold out also tonight. The judges are being presented and they are Toni Wirtanen, Tomi Saarinen, Aija Puurtinen and Redrama as always. The televoting is open and here we go without further delay: first act....

The shortest song has got a long intro now, but the vocals are still very weak me thinks.  Toni thinks they sound very professional and the song is good but he isn't too impressed still. Aija liked the atmosphere and thinks they did better than before but she didn't seems so impressed either. Tomi thinks people like this as the song has already got radioplay but alos he was expecting something more. Redrama likes the song more and more and thinks they were good with the audience, but something was still missing. I agree with them all. Nice, but that's all...
Krista just signed a dream deal with Universal and is one of the favorites. She's got two backing singers and three female dancers and the wedding theme of course. Vocally good, visually memorabile whether you like it or not and that's sometimes all that one needs. And she surely delivers on stage! Aija congratulates Krista for the record deal first. Then she says Krista has always given something about 150% on stage, maybe less would be more? Aija needs some space, not a musical number. Tomi says she divides people, and also he says less would be more but he hopes to see her in final. Redrama continues with the less department but at the same time thinks Finland does have a spot for someone who is so over the top. Toni concludes saying she may not be the best singer or performer here but surely has UMK's best show. This blogger thinks she's the full package and ready for Malmö. But I'm afraid Finns will stop that before we are that far....
Hmm, I'm starting to think this is the one going out tonight. It just don't work for me, and the vocals weren't that good either. Shame! Tomi isn't yet convinced as the song is in a genre that the competition is very tough. Redrama thinks it isn't enough either even if he likes the song. Toni loves the intro and likes the song, but... he thinks the song is better than the band!? Aija is pleased they have practised their vocals and was thinks the harmonies were much better.
The song has been cut to 3 minutes. The heavy-Beaber does a good job with the vocals and it's more like a band performance now on stage. Sure qualifier, as the Ile said, this is Finnish national music.  Redrama was pleased, the song awakes feelings in him and this is fresh. Toni is happy the band is here and ... respect! Aija praises the singer and thinks they are awesome. Tomi thinks the record label bosses are calling them right now. So, I guess it's full points from the jury for them. I have still mixed feelings about this one, I admit.
 New look and dance moves to Elina, her girls and band. Excellent vocals and groove. This has improved so much! Me likes! And yes, she was nastier and sexier rather than sweet and nice. Well done, Elina! Toni thinks she sings well and has matered the miss pageant pose. He thinks she has improved a lot but it isn't enough. Aija agrees it's better and Elina has now attitude but she wants even more erotica in body language. Tomi also would like to have something more, but agrees there was some mystery in it now. Redrama agrees it has improved, but doesn't yet buy her story... Oh, well... Sometimes it's hard to get what the judges really want?
The brothers from the north end the competition tonight. NIce look, anthemic song, a bit shaky vocals in the beginning. Is it enough?  Is it big enough? I'm afraid it is not. But what did the judges say? Aija says this is one of her favorites and she enjoys the way he sings and the melody is great. Aija wants them to win! Tomi thinks they are ladies' wet dream (?) and that they are real. Redrama says he has liked the song since the beginning and he likes them as they are real and believe in it. Toni has learned to like this more and more. Hmm, ok. High jury points then.... if they get all the religious people to back them they are off to Malmö. A bit like Edin-Ådahl.

20.45 The show continues now online in UMK+. The Krista Siegfrieds fans are going totally ding dong in the audience and Lucy was driving fans are there, too, with their banners. And even Atletico Kumpula's fan is there, with watercolor written banner. How sweet. And let's have some tweets ... oh, there's one from Alejandro, in Spanish and the presenter is completely lost. Ay que dolor! Then Atlético and Elina are interviewed, and then Arion and Lucys. All talk how the atmosphere backstage is good and all support the others and there's no competition. Then off to Krista and congrats for her record deal! And she stick to her motto More is more! Agreed! And then off to the guys of Great Wide North.... and yes, they're over excited over their performance, everything's so cool! And then talk about the ir looks, that is mostly cured by stylist Tommi Kilponen. And indeed, the looks have caused quite a stirr this year in media... And then we are back to the real thing on TV.....

21.05 Back on air with the recap. The voting is still on for a moment. The judges are giving their votes now. Toni's top votes went to Arion and Great Wide North, and Aija does the same. And Tomi continues but adds Krista in the game. Let's see if Redrama agrees.... more or less.

The jury votes: Great Wide North 36, Arion 35, Krista Siegfrids 34, Atletico Kumpula 28, Elina Orkoneva 26, Lucy Was Driving 26. The televote will be crucial here!

21.26 Guest star  Jesse Kaikuranta performs his Syksyn Sävel 2012 winner Järjetön rakkaus.The televote is closed now. Jess told the press today that he's not interested in Eurovision as he sings in Finnish and there's no use going to Eurovision in Finnish. Sigh. Well... who knows, maybe one day he will have a change of heart?

Now to the results.... Great Wide North and Elina Orkoneva to the semifinal! Straight to the final goes... Krista Siegfrids! The last semifinal place goes to... Lucy was driving! So, Atletico Kumpula is out and Arion is in final! Next week we have the semifinal with Iina Salin, Last Panda, Rautakoura, Great Wide North, Lucy Was Driving and Elina Orkoneva and two more will qualify for the final.


HEILSARMEE DROPS THE UNIFORMS

Heilsarmee, including 94-year-old Emil who was strongly against it, have agreed to accept the changes EBU demands before their participation for Switzerland in the Eurovision 2013 in Malmö tells Martin Künzi of Swiss Salvation Army. They will drop their Salvation Army uniforms and have come up with three different solutions that are being considered and decided upon at the moment. Also the name will change. They haven't yet decided the name for the band (that actually really had no name before!) and are toying with six different ones. One thing seems to be certain though: it will be in English. They have a meeting with SFR next week and will present their solution for both problems, that are then proposed to EBU. Then it is in EBU's hands, Heilsarmee won't agree to any other compromises, says Künzi. If not found suitable they just have to disqualify us. One thing remains unchanged, the song You and me

KRISTA SIEGFRIDS GOT A DREAM DEAL

Today's news is Krista Siegfrids got a record deal with Universal just before she hits the stage in UMK's second heat tonight and hopes to take one of those two places in the final. But know Universal gave out an announcement saying it's a dream deal for her. The UMK participation and Marry me weren't the reason as they have had their eye on her for some time now. The label is ready to invest fully on her and make her a star not only in Finland but abroad as well. They say there hasn't been an artist like her in Finland and both parties are very happy about the deal. The biggest names in business have been gathered behind her and her debut album will be released in 2013, maybe even within months (especially if she wins UMK and goes to Eurovision) and it will be pop-rock in English, a genre were competition is very hard internationally. 
Overjoyed Krista comments: "I have been waiting for this day for 27 years and been working very hard for it, now it finally pays off. But this is only the beginning! I believe and hope my music will be a hit in Finland and abroad and people will go Ding Dong, and I'm ready to give all for it!"
Blogilkar congratulates Krista! Ding dong!

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