Saturday, January 31, 2015

ESC 2015 HUNGARY: QUALIFIERS FROM THE SECOND HEAT

Hungarian A Dal's second semi finished moments ago and we have six more qualifiers for the semifinals. As usual five were saved by the jury and televote, and one more from the remaining ones by televote only. For once I have to totally agree with the results. 

Ádám Szabó – Give Me Your Love – 46 
Gergő Oláh – A Tükör Előtt – 41 
Ív – Fire – 38 
Panktastic! – Kicsi A Világ, De Nagy Világ! –  38
Gyula Éliás Jr. ft. Fourtissimo – Run To You – 36
New Level Empire - Homelights - 34 (saved by the televote)

Leader Rising - Löjetek fel - 36
Heni Dér - Ébreztö - 34
Saci & Böbe Szécsi - Our time - 34
Chances - The night - 31

ESC 2015 LITHUANIA: LIEPA AND NERINGA ELIMINATED

Lithuania continued its Eurovizija and two more artists were eliminated tonight: Liepa Mondeikaité and Neringa Šiaudikyté. Earlier this week two songs, Factory heart and Es tut mir leid were eliminated from the race as well. One day this will come to an end....

Vaidas Baumila (02-01-05-06-02
Edgaras Lybus (04-03-02-03-04
Monika Linkyte (09-05-01-05-03
Mia (05-04-07-01-01
Jurgis Bruzga (07-09-09-04-05

06. Liepa Mondeikaite (06-07-03-02-07 eliminated)
07. Neringa Siaudikyte (10-11-08-07-08 eliminated)
08.Tadas Juodsnukis (01-02-04-08-eliminated)
09. Milita Daikeryte (03-08-06- 00 withdraw)*
10. Reda Striskaite (08-06-10 eliminated)
11. Wilma La (12-10-11 eliminated)
12. Rollikai (11-eliminated)

ESC 2015 SWITZERLAND: MÉLANIE RENÉ FOR VIENNA

Melanie Rene has won the Swiss national final moments ago. Time to shine? For me this goes to the same category as the two warriors.... What's it with female singers and these mid-tempo dark songs?

1. Mélanie René – Time to Shine
2. Timebelle – Singing About Love
3. Licia Chery – Fly
4. Andy McSean – Hey Now
5. Tiziana – Only Human
6. Deborah Bough – Take Me Back to 23


Also Conchita was there singing Rise like a Phoenix

#UMK15 PREVIEW SHOW TONIGHT

#UMK15 kicks off officially tonight at 19.40 CET when the two hour long preview megamarathon will be aired. The videos of each song have been showed the past two weeks on YLE2 between here and there, the songs have been played on radio and many of them have been included on various radio stations playlists and some of them have even iCharted. Tonight they will be judged by a panel that is made of Cristal Snow, Toni Wirtanen, Hanna-Riikka Siitonen and Iisa and the whole is hosted by Aino Töllinen. Next Saturday the serious business starts..... (It should be also viewable abroad here)

UPDATE: Here are the results:

Shava - Ostarilla (35 points)
"Original, real joy of doing their thing. Don't turn into a joke!"
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (34 points)
"Autenthic. Real. Touching"
Satin Circus (31 points)
"Works. real pop song. Video helps it"
Pihka ja Myrsky (29 points)
"Very good, but is it for Eurovision?"
Vilikasper Kanth (29 points)
"Lifestyle video. Good guitar and falsetto, but the text...."
Jouni Aslak (29 points)
"Great voice, needs to let the lion out on stage. Wrong video"
Siru (29 points)
"A bit plastic. Drama! But in Finnish?"
Järjestyshäiriö (28 points)
"Badly mixed. Lost potential"
Angelo De Nile (28 points)
"A bit cold. Epic. is this for Eurovision?"
Opera Skaala (26 points)
"She's fantastic. The production and base sucks big time"
Otto Ivar (25 points)
"Cheap video and cheap song. But he's handsome"
Aikuinen (24 points)
"Key change! Finally! Confusing..."
Ida Bois (24 points)
"She's lovely, the song is good but bad bad EDM and out of place"
Heidi Pakarinen (24 points)
"For schlager hipsters. Standard boring production"
Eeverest (23 points)
"Worried for the live performance on stage"
Solju (23 points)
"Where's the Sami in this? Should have had a proper exploding chorus filled with joik!"
Hans on the Bass (22 points)
"Neutral. Not bad, not good"
Norlan El Misionario (21 points)
"Singing in Spanish ok, the rest not. What's with the dancing girls?"

CATCAT ARE BACK AS PRETTY FLOWERS

Kukat kauniit or Pretty flowers is the name of a new CatCat album to be releaed later this spring. It's a move away from their uptempo songs, like their unforgettable Bye bye baby in Eurovision 1994. The sisters have continued their career all these years and this is their fifth studio album. They have also released a couple of official compilations and one Christmas album. Listen to their new single off the album here: Kukat kauniit
Did you know Katja was one of the originally chosen members of Six4One?

ESC 2015 FINLAND: #UMK15 REVIEW, vo. 18 - SOLJU AND HOLD YOUR COLOURS

Solju comes way up North and is a mother and daughter duo, Ulla and Hilda and they started this Solju project only last year, but Ulla has a long career already. She was also a member of famous group Angelin tytöt. Hilda has been involved in many projects. They both work to save and give joik a new breath of life. They both like culture and art in general, and for example make their scene wardrobe, with a clear Sami inspiration of course. Their entry Hold your colours also talks about that and united traditional joik and modern urban music. The song may not have been written for them (read the story here) but they certainly have made it their now.

An indigenous musical duo that consists of mother and daughter
Jack: Stunning. Hold Your Colours has a beautiful message and I personally would like to see Solju represent Finland.. but I don't think it will happen. If they perform it well, they might make the top three. You never really know what will happen until the songs are performed live. Some songs will become a hot mess and others will blossom. Solju's entry is within my top five and I really hope they perform it beautifully, because it's a excellent song. 4/5 

Timo: The last one out ... Is this all there was? I do not know whether any of these rises above the others. This last one is again the same mass production among all the other mediocre ones. I have listened all of them now, once, and the reactions and scores are given based on that. First hearing is what it is, It may be that with the second, third or more listenings will give me some real favorites but I have some doubts on that 2/5

Michele: Predictable and calculated and slightly boring. Does not emerge from the crowd really. 2/5

Blogilkar: I love the idea. A little bit Sami exotism mixed with modern music, interesting performers, fancy look and styling, absolutely stunning art work... The mother-daughter combination representing the old traditional joik and modern music. It has all the ingredients yet fails a little. Maybe it'd need a key change? More underlined joik? Something. All this said, in the end this is one of my top-3 favorites, right up there with a bold techno opera and sugary boybandpop. I can only hope those three would be in top-3 in the end, too...  4/5
Agree or disagree? Vote in the poll ->

ESC 2015 HUNGARY: A DAL SEMIFINAL TWO TONIGHT

Hungarian A Dal continues with the second semifinal. Once again five entries will be sent to the semifinal by the jury and one of the remaining ones will be sent by the televoters. Some familiar names in this heat, too, trying their luck for the Eurovision glory. And again very hard to predict who will make it; no real standouts but solid good ones one after another.....

Adam Szabo – Give Me Your Love
Chances – The Night
Oláh Gergő - A Tükör előtt
Gyula Elias feat. Fourtissimo – Run To You
Dér Heni - Ébresztő
Iv – Fire
Leander Rising - Lőjetek fel
New Level Empire – Homelight
Pankastic! - Kicsi a világ, de nagy világ
Szécsi Saci & Szécsi Böbe - Our Time

Friday, January 30, 2015

ESC 2015 FINLAND: #UMK15 REVIEWS, vol.17 - HEIDI PAKARINEN AND BON VOYAGE


Heidi started singing at the age of 3 and broke through by winning the title of Tango Queen in 2013 in Tangomarkkinat, Finland's biggest music festival that has given us several national final participants in the past from Jari Sillanpää to Arja Koriseva, Amadeus, Marko Maunuksela and Heidi Kyrö, just to name a few. Many have tried to cross over from tango to pop, but so far only Sillanpää has really succeed in that. Heidi loves sports, feeling good mentally and physically and loving besides music. Bon voyage is a different kind of love song, about letting go and still loving, full of good energy and positivity. 
Jack: Bon voyage somehow reminds me of Norway's entry in 2007 and we all know what happened there. A non qualification in Eurovision. I fear Finland would have the same fate if they sent this song to Vienna. 2/5 

Timo: And now we go into the Finnish schlager music world. That's something we haven't yet heard in this contest and Heidi seems to be familiar from the Tango Royals contest. It may well be that I have heard this type of music in my life so much that I cannot not like this at least a little. But I don't believe that this type of music would hit well with Europeans ... and indeed, we have seen before this type of music has no success in Eurovision 3/5

Michele: Heidi Pakarinen: Finnish tango aboard a cruising boat between Helsinki-Stockholm. Perfect video... but not in a positive way. No.... it's 2015 after all! 1/5

Blogilkar: Like Timo said, also I have been exposed to this style of music all my life. As a youngster I used to hate it, now as a bit older and less critical I kinda like it in the right place and at the right time. And this song in its genre is perfect, very catchy and full of good mood, sung well. I just don't think Eurovision is the right place for it. I wish her a big local hit with this that will be played all summer all over Finland, but Vienna? No. Therefor only 3/5
Agree or disagree? Vote in the poll ->

CONCHITA WURST IN SANREMO. AND SWITZERLAND. AND SWEDEN. AND...

It's going to be busy for Conchita Wurst with the national final season in full swing all over Europe for the Vienna 2015 Eurovision song contest. She will be performing in the Swiss final next Saturday and recently it was also confirmed she will be in the Swedish final on March 14. Today the much awaited news came she's been confirmed for Sanremo festival as well on its second night on February 11. To finalize this may have been helped also my her visit to Massimo Giletti's talkshow L'Arena on January 4 and a Twitter initiative with hashtag #ConchitaSanremo2015. She will be most likely performing Heroes in Sanremo.
Update: You can also add now Germany in the list. She will be performing in the national final on March 5 - and we can't forget she already did Malta last November!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

EUROVISION AND SANREMO 2015: WE HAVE STAGES

Last week ago ORF revealed the stage design for Vienna 2015 Eurovision (here
but now several other stage designs are out in the open. On top you can see that of Sanremo 2015. 
Then we have that of Swedish Melodifestivalen
and that of Latvian Supernova
and an interesting looking one for the Danish DMGP. 
Which one is your favorite?

ESC 2015 FINLAND: #UMK15 REVIEW, vol.16 - ANGELO DE NILE AND ALL FOR VICTORY

Angelo De Nile travels throuth time and space and was born in Ninive 2768 years ago. Right. Actually it's a project by Kimmo Blom, currently also in the Voice of Finland, and already in national Eurovision selection as a member of Boys of the Band in 2010. He's a history freak and as Angelo promises to bring the big names from the past alive again, so get ready! Behind his song are guys from some hardrock bands like Leverage and Urban Tale. His incarnation as significant men from the past will provide us a spectacular soundtrack in the future, should he have success with this. Maybe. His hero is Marcus Aurelius and if he could do whatever he'd sneek into Vatican museums at night and spend the night with the masterpieces. All for victory then? Being an emperor in a real world isn't always easy.... 
Jack: Angelo de Nile's song is rather dramatic but boring at the same time, if that's possible. It wouldn't sound out of place in a theatre production but this isn't the theatre.. I don't think the song is good enough to win the Finnish ticket to Eurovision however he could squeeze through to the final, if he performs it amazingly. 2/5 

Timo: First I was thinking this could be something, interesting beginning. Then he started yelling and volume went up... but was that all there is??? It was like 800 meters run where you only run about 200 and walked the rest. When will skies open and hell get loose?! 2/5

Michele: Angelo de Nile, between rock musical and Disney soundtrack. Not among the most original and innotative things I've heard. No, it doesn't convince me. At all. 2/5

Blogilkar: With the first hearing I was still kinda excited, he sings (or shouts) well, there's a melody, even if heard a zillion times before. But like other reviewers have already mentioned it's not going anywhere. It's not hardrock enough, it's not pop enough but a not working compromise = dull. Then I also made the mistake of checking his videos on his youtube and his attemps being funny (I suppose) are just a bit pathetic and not funny. If you have created this mysterious alias, stick to it in a proper way. Don't be an unfunny joke. This is a wasted opportunity 2/5
Agree or disagree? Vote in the poll ->

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

ESC 2015 SWITZERLAND: A LITTLE REVIEW OF SATURDAY'S FINALISTS

Switzerland chooses its entry for neighbouring Vienna 2015 Eurovision this Saturday. Six songs are left in the race after the usual lenghty 3-way selection process. Conchita Wurst will be there. But how are the songs? My favourites are Timebelle and Andy. Licia is in with a chance, too, I think. If any of those three wins I'm pretty satisfied, even if none of them is really great unfortunately....

Timebelle - Singing about love / live
Quite nice, she's got a memorable voice. This song is somehow Swiss, which is a bonus in this case. Rather catchy. Maybe I will wake up singing my love, I mean this tomorrow, who knows? 
Mélanie René - Time to shine / live
Sounds like a demo, need a remix badly. This will be eaten alive by the various warriors if selected. Similar in style but only worse and without energy.
Tiziana - Only human / live
She sounds actually better in the live version. The song's nice, she's got a good voice. But that's all. Not very memorable or original. The song lacks a hook. 
Licia Chery - Fly / live
She's got style and look to remember and well thought act. She may have the strongest act on stage. But is the song strong enough? Would this style of music work in Vienna? Hard to tell. Propably not.
Deborah Bough - Take me back to 23 / live
Sound slike some 70's nightclub song. In a bad way. I don't think there's anything I like about this. 
Andy McSean - Hey now / live
I kinda liked this already in the preselection the first time I heard this. Yet I was a bit surprised it did make the final. If elected he would bring the oh so fashionable lumbersexual to the contest. The live is still a bit bland in the preselection but this could come alive and win. And even do well in Vienna. Maybe.

ESC 2015 FINLAND: #UMK15 REVIEWS, vol. 15 - JÄRJESTYSHÄIRIÖ AND SÄRKYNEIDEN SYDÄNTEN KULMILLA

#umk15 is not letting the foreign fans easy with names and songtitles and this must be the worst of them. Now all you try to pronounce or even spell it right. Ok, anyways. The band has been more or less formed already in the highschool, first as a punkband and for fun, but from 2003 a bit more seriously. The current line up has been together since 2012. They got the record companies interested in them from the start but since have moved from one to another and finally landing on Warner. They have only released three albums so far and without really breaking it big after all. They describe their music as modern, romantic and Finnish suitable for late nights and early mornings after. If they should win the song stays in Finnish and indeed they say at least they would have a name and song's name (not) to remember or Särkyneiden sydänten kulmilla (translates to Around broken hearts neighbourhoods).... Their fourth album will be released in February. Btw, remember Hukka and Mama from last year's UMK? Here's their take on this song!
Jack: Järjestyshäiriö's entry is good but it isn't amazing. Hmm.. I do personally like the song however it isn't a winner. I just cannot see people picking up the phone to vote for this. The problem is that the song doesn't stick in you head after listening to it, and if the Finnish people have the same problem.. they won't vote. A borderline qualifier. But it isn't a bad song at all, just not very memorable. 3/5 

Timo: Basically, this type of Eurovision song has always hit home with me in the end. In this version, however, I would have liked it a bit more rockier touch so that it would really kick your ass. Now this stayed  in its category unfinished and this won't get to Vienna - I can't believe in a miracle in a miracle like that. 3/5

Michele: Jäeriewhateva: Same speech as for Ida Bois but the piece has a more appealing melody. It could be much stronger if sung in English. 3/5

Blogilkar: With first hearing I kinda liked this, the second and third left me cold. Not bad at all, but not really good either. Indeed something that would sound nice while driving a car but hitting it home in Eurovision in Vienna? I don't think so. Just a bit boring, isn't it? 2/5

Agree or disagree? Vote in the poll ->



LORDI: SCARE FORCE ONE HITS THE ROAD IN EUROPE

Lordi released their latest album Scare Force One for Halloween 2014 and now they will hit the road again in Europe. But not in Finland. Their tour manager tells there are no suitable venues in Finland for them; they can't do small  rock clubs and are just too expensive with their stage show and pyros. They were supposed to kick off the tour in Jyväskylä's BeatCon fair but the fair's sponsors withdraw the last minute and its music part had to be cancelled altogether. In Europe Lordi is still selling well and filling clubs - and paid what they are worth. 
As for the record sales their latest three albums Scare Force One (2014), To Beast or not to Beast (2013) and Babez for Breakfast (2010) have features equal. "Of course the sales don't match the sales of Hard Rock Hallelujah times" says Sony's Sami Rikala in today's Metro, "but it would be very unrealistic to think they would be." The figures are good enough to keep releasing new Lordi albums though. Babez for Breakfast and To Beast or not to Beast both still made the top-10 but Scare Force One stopped just outside at #13 in Finnish album charts. Their latest single is Nailed by the hammer of Frankenstein.

01.02.15 POL-Warsaw/Progresja
02.02.15 D-Berlin/K17
03.02.15 D-Hamburg/Markthalle
05.02.15 D-Frankfurt/Batschkapp
06.02.15 D-Leipzig/Hellraiser
07.02.15 D-Nuernberg/Hirsch
08.02.15 D-Stuttgart/LKA
11.02.15 D-Muenchen/Backstage
13.02.14 D-Burgengenfeld/VAZ
14.02.15 D-Memmingen/Kaminwerk
15.02.15 CH-Pratteln/Z7
18.02.15 D-Koeln/Essigfabrik
19.02.15 D-Bochum/Matrix
21.02.15 A-Dornbirn/Conrad Sohm
24.02.15 HU-Budapest/Barba Negra Club
25.02.15 SVK-Bratislave/MMC
27.02.15 CZ-Zlin/Masters of Rock Cafe
28.02.15 CZ-Prague/Meet Factory
01.03.15 D-Bremen/Aladin
04.03.15 ITA-Milan/Alcatraz
05.03.15 ITA-Rome/Orion
06.03.15 ITA-Pordenone/Deposito Giordani
10.03.15 NED-Eindhoven/Dynamo 
11.03.15 BE-Kortrijk/De Kreun
15.03.15 F-Lyon/Ninkasi
17.03.15 F-Paris/Trabendo
19.03.15 ES-Madrid/Sala Penelope
20.03.15 ES-Bilbao/Sala Santana 27
21.03.15 ES-Aviles/Sala Quattro
22.03.15 ES-Zaragoza/C.C.Delicias
24.03.15 UK-Exeter/Lemon Grove
25.03.15 UK-Wakefield/Warehouse 23
26.03.15 UK-Manchester/O2 Academy Club
27.03.15 UK-Glasgow/Classic Grand
29.03.15 UK-Southampton/Mo Club
01.04.15 UK-Reading/Sub 89 Club
03.04.15 UK-Chester/The Live Room
04.04.15 UK-Bristol/Marnle Factory
05.04.15 UK-London/O2 Academy
06.04.15 UK-Brighton/Concorde 2

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SANREMO: ITALIAN GREAT LOVE TAKES FLIGHT FOR VIENNA?

Grande amore (Great love) is the title of the song that Il Volo (The Flight) takes to Sanremo. The trio of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble emerged in 2009 from Ti lascio una canzone, the very same kids singing contest that has given us also Junior Eurovision stars Michele Perniola and Anita Simoncini who will be representing San Marino in Eurovision 2015, as well as Maltese and Italian Junior Eurovision winners 2013-2014 Gaia Gauchi and Vincenzo Cantiello, and this year's Federica Falzon for Malta.
Il Volo were in Sanremo for the first time in 2010 but only as guests. Since then they have made it big abroad, especially in Americas. Sanremo is their attempt to make themselves known again in their home country. "We are not anymore the three little tenors, in fact only Piero is a tenor. Gianluca is bariton and Ignazio has a more pop voice. Our genre is opera pop, something that only Andrea Bocelli does these days" they tell. "We will release a new album on February 25, Sanremo grande amore including of course our entry Grande amore and Ancora, that we will also sing in Sanremo, plus other covers from Sanremo: L'Immensità, Canzone per te, Piove (aka Ciao ciao bambina) /ESC 1959), Romantica (ESC 1960) and Vacanze Romane. In summer we will tour Italy."
They say their entry is a modern version of a classic Italian melody that showcases their voices. If that worked for Vincenzo Cantiello in Junior Eurovision, why wouldn't it work for them in Eurovision 2015? First they have to win though. Or hope the eventual winner says "No, grazie" for Vienna and they are send instead. Surely they would fit the part, isn't this exactly what we expect from Italy anyways? Something like this

ESC 2015 FINLAND: #UMK15 REVIEWS, vol. 14 - IDA BOIS AND KUMBAYA

Ida Bois presents self written Kumbaya. She's 26-year-old mother of three and has released already three albums (but this blogger is afraid no one has ever heard of them) and she's also a master skateboarder (in fact they have already a skateboarding match planned with Vilikasper) and church goer. She likes to read historic novels and just can't stop writing music. Her musical style is very flexible, in fact she says she's being influenced always of the music around her and in charts. Only one thing remain solid: her piano. And pop. She may have been more rock or basic pop but now she's getting more EDM/folktronika vibe in hernew songs. She also has always cloathes in freezer. She always freezes new cloathing. And should she win, Kumbaya will stay in Finnish in Vienna. 
Jack: I think this song is fabulous. It has a great beat and I really hope she will do well. Ida deserves to qualify for the final - I'm looking forward to seeing her perform it live. Loving the EDM vibe as well. I don't think she will win but she will make the final. I hope! 4/5 

Timo: First of all, what does it mean, Kumbaya? I googled: "spiritual song" sung around a campfire song ... Music sounded pretty nice ten seconds somewhere in between, but is it enough even for two points? I can't expect this being very popular and having success either.... bleah.... 2/5

Michele: Well produced but not very original. Might work in English... in Finnish it is only half way there.... 3/5

Blogilkar: In theory this could be great. Nice voice, good sound and arrangement. Pop at its best. But everytime the song gets going and gears up the beat it stops after awhile and nothing really comes out of it. Like the EDM vibe was only there to tease us a bit.... Annoying. I would take the pieces, tear them apart and rebuild the whole song.... 3/5

Agree or disagree? Vote in the poll ->

Monday, January 26, 2015

ESC 2015 FINLAND: #UMK15 REVIEWS vol.13 - AIKUINEN AND KYYNELTEN LAHTI

Aikuinen (or Pekka Eronen) may not be a household name but he has written lyrics to other artists (Haloo Helsinki and Irina just to name a couple) so far and then he "had songs that were unsuitable for anyone else so I had to sing myself" as he puts it. He is also known as a movie critic. Writing music is a way of living for him, he would go nuts without it. His debut single Partajaana (liberally translates to Bearded Jane) got minor attention and he plans to go on with this kind of music that is melancholy but nice to dance to. If he wins he will bring that bearded single of his to Conchita Wurst, she'd propably appreciate it. But for #umk15 he offers us a drink called Kyynelten lahti (Bay of tears)
Jack: Now I can completely understand that some people won't like this but I think it's cute. The video-clip is hilarious, weird and intriguing. I can't understand word and I know the song sounds rather dated although I do like it. I can't help myself but like it. I don't expect him to qualify, sadly. 4/5 

Timo: Sounds like some comedy series jingle – this doesn't feel like any serious composition for a music contest. Somehow old-fashioned ... 80's maybe? You won't get very far with this kind of a song, especially when you don't even want to listen to it until the end except when forced. Like now. 1/5

Michele:I don't get this. Certainly understanding the text would help to get a clearer idea ... but as a foreigner I find this really difficult and not very engaging. The only way (for me) would be a very special performance, with the risk of turning everything into a circus. 1/5

Blogilkar: In some weird way I like this. The lyrics are funny and the song itself so idiotic (in a good way) I can't but listen and smile and hum along. This said, this could become a local hit but would propably never work in Eurovision. "This drink is called bay of tears and it is to be enjoued alone....." as the lyrics go.... 4/5

Agree or disagree? Vote in the poll ->

ESC 2015: HERE IS THE LINE UP FOR THE SEMIFINALS

Vienna city hall hosted the allocation draw (you can rewatch it here) and now we know who's where and which part. The final running order will be decided later on. 
Also the Big5 and Austria were drawn into semifinals they will broadcast and vote in. Except Germany that had asked and granted to do so in semifinal two.
We also got to know Herr Niedermeyer from Digame, aka The Cheeky Frozen man.....

Sunday, January 25, 2015

ESC 2015: THE ALLOCATION DRAW TOMORROW

Tomorrow the Vienna edition 2015 kicks off officially when the Host city insignia exchange takes place in Vienna with the Mayors of Vienna and Copenhagen. This tradition started from Helsinki 2007 actually. But another thing takes more attention and is more interesting: the allocation draw!
The first semifinal will have 16 countries and the second 17. Besides that the countries will be drawn into first or second half of the semifinal. The final running order will be determinated with this draw later when all the songs have been selected and presented to delegations in mid March in Vienna.
Andi Knoll and Kati Bellowitsch will host the ceremony.

There are five pots:

Pot 1: Albania, Macedonia, Montenegrro, Slovenia, Switzerland, Serbia, Malta
Pot 2: Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Latvia
Pot 3: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Israel, Russia, Armenia, Lithuania
Pot 4: Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, San Marino
Pot 5: Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic

It is also drawn where the Big5 and Austria will vote, except for Germany that has asked to air and vote in the second semifinal and that has been granted. You can watch all this live from 13.25 CET on eurovision.tv

ESC 2015 FINLAND: #UMK15 REVIEWS vol.12 - SIRU AND MUSTELMAT

Siru Airistola is the latest The Voice of Finland winner last April. Since then she has released two singles (Sä et kulu pois and Kaksi naista)and is currently working on her debut album. She has done also musicals and operas and studies musical theater. She is yet to breakthrough though so let's see if UMK will finish what The Voice started. She says her music is soul influenced pop with big emotions, and her entry Mustelmat (Bruises) is about being imperfect and accepting it. Or is it about domestic violance? Three songs that have made her are Lara Fabian's Adagio (in Italian), Alicia Keys' Fallin' and Eva Cassidy's Over the rainbow. Without them she wouldn't be here now. 
Timo: Siru has a strong voice that makes me listen to her. She even made me think about the lyrics and what they are all about and I'm not so sure I really got the point but then that's nothing new for me. I kinda liked this even if the main thing or the melody remained a bit as a background music  3/5

Jack: Siru seems to be one of the big favourites to win the whole thing and I certainly wouldn't mind if she did. I love her song and she's beautiful.. and as mentioned, she won The Voice of Finland so we know she'll be great live. Yeah, a definite finalists and a potential winner for sure. Good luck, Siru! 5/5 

Michele: There is a drama and intensity in this particular song, and the suggestive arrangement helps. All this without understanding a word. I like it, so .... and I would be happy to see her in Vienna. 5/5

Blogilkar: Interesting how foreign reviewers like this song so much (and Eurofans apparently all over Europe). We Finns are maybe more taken by the lyrics and their effect on us. If her goal was to make us think, she really manages in that and we don't pay attention to the rest; the melody, arrangement, her voice... This is a bit like Mikko Pohjola's Sängyn reunalla last year that finished second. A song with a very interesting and important text. I'm not yet totally won over by this, but if this won I wouldn't be sad. 4/5
Agree or disagree? Vote in the poll ->

Saturday, January 24, 2015

ESC 2015 HUNGARY: WE HAVE THE FIRST A DAL QUALIFIERS

The first Hungarian heat was presented tonight and once again the level of the songs is very high. Hungary is so going to win Eurovision very time soon. Tonight the jury and voters had hard time to pick up the qualifiers and as you can see in the points it was very even. The jury had to pick up two of the three songs with 37 points for the next step and unfortunately Balazs Farkas Jenser was left out and didn't survive the televote for the remaining act as Timi Antak emerged as viewers' favorite from there. This blogger doesn't entirely agree with the result but then there were just too many god ones!

Passed - Mesmerize   43
Vera Toth - Gyemant   39
Bogi - World Of Violence   38
Balazs Farkas Jenser - Liar   37
Gabi Szucs - Ugysem felejtesz el   37
Karmapolis - The Time Is Now   37
Gergo Szakacs – Ösz utca   33
Timi Antak - Woke Up This Way   33
MDC - Maniac   31
Bori Magyar - Lead Me To Heaven   29
*qualifiers for the semifinals

ESC 2015 LITHUANIA: TADAS JUODSNUKIS ELIMINATED

Tonight Lithuania showed nothing is for sure and taken granted in Eurovision. Tadas, who won the first heat and was onsidered a possible winner along with Vaidas Baumila got eliminated already. And looking at the scoreboard the past two weeks it's not going so great for Vaidas either. Milita Daikeryte withdraw from the race earlier this week due illness. There's no telling how this will end....

Vaidas Baumila (02-01-05-06
Edgaras Lybus (04-03-02-03
Monika Linkyte (09-05-01-05
Mia (05-04-07-01
Liepa Mondeikaite (06-07-03-02
Jurgis Bruzga (07-09-09-04
Neringa Siaudikyte (10-11-08-07

08.Tadas Juodsnukis (01-02-04-08-eliminated)
09. Milita Daikeryte (03-08-06- 00 withdraw)*
10. Reda Striskaite (08-06-10 eliminated)
11. Wilma La (12-10-11 eliminated)
12. Rollikai (11-eliminated)


ESC 2015 DENMARK: HERE ARE THE FINALISTS

DR was supposed to reveal the artists and songs only next Monday but they have leaked from a CD-release - just like in Finland #umk15 songs. Familiar names among the songwriters, like Thomas G:son, Marcos Ubeda and Lise Cabble. Among the artists we have two backing singers for Basim, Andy and Marcel, and Anne G from Junior Eurovision 2003. All this will be confirmed on Monday, with audios. I've heard them and there's some very interesting ones.....

1. Tina & René – Mi Amore
2. Anne Garegaard – Suitcase
3. Babou – Manjama
4. Cecilie Alexandra – Hotel A
5. Anti Social Media – The Way You Are
6. Julie Bjerre – Tæt På Mine Drømme
7. Andy Roda – Love Is Love
8. Sara Sukurani – Love Me Love Me
9. Marcel & Soulman Group – Når Veje Krydses
10. World Of Girls – Summer Without You

MARCO MENGONI HITS GOLD. AGAIN

Marco Mengoni's new album Parole in circolo was released a bit over a week ago but it has already sold gold in Italy. The first single Guerriero meanwhile has been certified double platinum and its video has been viewed over 11 million times. His success hasn't but grown since his Sanremo 2013 win and Eurovision song contest later that spring. At the moment his already recording the follow up album, the second part of this project to be released later this year. He will be also touring Italy in May, starting from Mantova May 5 and ending in Conegliano on May 23 for now. The tour is selling well and selling out, he already had to add an extra concert in Milan!
His new album has been playing non-stop in this household for a few days now and it's very good. Not one bad song, any of them could stand out as a single. The production and sound is very similar to the latest Giorgia album, which is only a good thing. :-)

SANREMO 2015: WE HAVE FAVORITES... BUT WHO GOES TO EUROVISION?

Selected media has had a chance to listen to the songs in Sanremo 2015 and we have some reports. Some are gaining pre-favorite status, and some information on songs have been released. Like all but three are about love. One talks about a person trapped in a body of wrong sex (Grazia di Michele & Mauro Coruzzi). Most are typically songs for/from Sanremo, only one rapper being different (Moreno). Some say Il Volo will win, go to Eurovision and win in Vienna, too, while some give them very little hopeto break through, their song being way too traditional (What about Vincenzo Cantiello in Junior Eurovision then?). Apparently they also sing in more pop style than opera this time on verge of being banal and kitchy. Also Lara Fabian seems to bring something very traditional but no one seems to believe in her chances.
The Italian OGAE voted Malika their favorite artist for Eurovision out of these and it seems she's delivering something good as she's mentioned as one to watch out in most reports. The catchiest and easiest for radio seem to be Lorenzo Fragola, Dear Jack and Nek, and their songs seem to be also the most rock oriented and uptempo among the songs. Nina Zilli follows her r'n'b style. Anna Tatangelo also comes back with a traditional ballad, leaving the Bitch-pop for awhile at least. Raf, Irene Grandi and Chiara are also praised but described more difficult and not so instant. 
This blogger keeps eye on Lorenzo Fragola and Il Volo for Eurovision as their precense in the list is rather suspicious to start with. In a good way. Also we can't forget Dear Jack who have already declared should they win, they're off to Vienna for sure. Meanwhile, here's Lorenzo's latest video The reason why.

I will be live blogging all five nights of Sanremo with news, gossip
and everything in between so stay tuned!

ESC 2015 FINLAND: #UMK15 REVIEWS, vol. 11 - SHAVA AND OSTARILLA

Shava takes us to a mall with Ostarilla.  The group has been together since 2004 but only a few years ago they have moved from private settings to public when they realized the world needs bhangra music in Finnish. Since then they have been spreading the bhangra virus besides Finland also abroad, from Iceland to Vancouver and New York. They love to eat and confess being addicted to coffee and chai. Their aim is to spread some happiness and show that bhangra is something that unites suburbian nomads from Bombay to East-Helsinki. They are also the only bhangra group in the world singing in Finnish. 
Timo: Ok, now we go to Bollywood. I have to say they have selected very different songs this year. All in all this isn't so special, could have been better but it's interesting anyhow 2/5

Jack: Shava are bringing Bollywood to Finland's Eurovision selection it seems. I do actually really like their song because it's different. However I don't think it's good enough to win the whole thing. Will they make the UMK final? Probably and that isn't a bad thing at all. 3/5 

Michele: Although I'm not at all a fan of rap I like this. How to explain it? First, I find the pairing of oriental sound and Finnish language very effective ... and I like the production. Brings a breath of freshness and it is catchy 4/5

Blogilkar: This is much better than I expected beforehand. The rather tragic love at first sight happening in the mall and Finnish melodrama meeting Bollywood. It is catchy, memorable, fun and colorful. But would I like to see this in Vienna for us? No. Call me a stubborn old fart but I want a proper song and not something that would be labelled as a joke entry. This can become a summer hit and UMK should serve also for that, but for Vienna I want something else. 3/5
Agree or disagree? Vote in the poll ->

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