Sunday, May 31, 2015

ESC 2016: SIMON COWELL TO RESCUE UK FROM ANOTHER EUROVISION FLOP?

Yet another failure for the UK in Eurovision hasn't been unnoticed by several big names. Simon Cowell, the music tycoon says he would love to knock the “nul points” habit on the head by choosing the UK song for Europe. Simon says: “One hundred per cent I’d love to take the reins for Eurovision. I have thought about it. The idea of taking it on for one year and trying to get someone to represent the UK, someone new – I’d love that. I don’t think there’d be too much to lose. I think it’d be great fun.”
Great fun? Well, what is he waiting for? Some others are not thinking it as great fun though, like Pop Idol‘s first ever winner Will Young who was asked if he would represent the UK at Eurovision. He didn’t mince his words. “No, I don’t think so because it’s going to be a bit of a poisoned chalice. I don’t want to do it. Please don’t make me do it.” For me that sounds more like a wish to make him do it. He wants it, can't just admit it :-) 
Former X Factor runner-up Olly Murs has been tipped to represent the country, stating he would be ‘perfect’ for the Eurovision Song Contest. However, all hopes were dashed when Murs responded to these suggestions in an interview with Digital Spy: “No, I wouldn’t do Eurovision. Not that I wouldn’t do it, but I think it’s always something I’ve found… new artists normally do it. Not for me Scott, unfortunately.”
Ok, two said no but then we have two who have wondered previously why they haven't been asked by BBC. Is it time to rethink about that? James Blunt wrote on Twitter: You know we’d win the Eurovision Song Contest if you just had the balls to enter me.
And I wonder if Morrissey is still being troubled, with one issue in particular on his mind: "There is one question that I keep on asking: 'why didn't they ask me?' That question keeps going round my head." he said already years ago.
All we can hope is the UK gets its Eurovision act together again. And also remembering a "big" name isn't enough. So, Simon might be the top option to think about it. Maybe. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

AL BANO AND ROMINA POWER - THE COMEBACK

Italy's perfect couple is back together. Last night they celebrated their reunion in Arena di Verona, the Roman amphitheatre built in 1st century. 15.000 people in the arena and millions at home watched the (over run) live spectacle with many guests as the couple relived their career and life  & love story with live orchestra and their music and family.
The couple married in 1970 and separated in 1999. In between numerous hits, victory in Sanremo, two Eurovision song contests, films, solo albums and several kids. The disappearance of their daughter Ylenia in 1994 marked the end of an era. They cancelled all their gigs. One more album was released in 1995 but they didn't perform anymore together. Al Bano went solo in 1996 while Romina left the spotlight, convinced Ylenia was still alive somewhere. Later she moved back to the USA. 
In 2013 they were again on same stage for the first time in Russia, followed by concert in the USA and Canada in 2014 and a mini tournee in Spain, Romania and Russia. This February they performed again in Italy for the first time after 21 years as special guests in Sanremo festival honoring their career. And then the mega concert last night in Verona. The story continues....
Check out some videos after the jump!

Friday, May 29, 2015

MARCO MENGONI RELEASES IO TI ASPETTO VIDEO - WATCH HERE

Marco Mengoni's success continues as ever. Io ti aspetto, released today is the third single off his latest multiplatinum selling album Parole in Circolo and sets us in a party mood. It follows Guerriero and Essere umani, two megasuccesses already in Italy with some 34 million views on VEVO. 

ESC 2016: BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA UNLIKELY TO RETURN AFTER EBU WARNING

The national broadcasting network in Bosnia & Herzegovina is close to collapse, states EBU in a statement that you can read here. This network includes BHRT, that has been responsable for the country's Eurovision song contest participations. In this light it's very unlikely we will see Bosnia & Herzegovina in Sweden 2016. Shame. 
The country has been last seen on Eurovision stage back in 2012, when Maya Sar placed 18th. They debuted back in 1993 with the legendary voting call from the war zone and we finally heard "This is Sarajevo calling" to a spontaneous applause in the arena. They also survived every semifinal and were always present in the final scoring six top-10 places and 3rd at best, with Hari Mata Hari's Lejla in 2006. After a shaky start they gave us some great entries the lst few years. You can check them all below...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

ESC 2016: THE HOST ROULETTE HAS BEGUN

As soon as the Vienna 2015 edition of Eurovision song contest was over the new reigning country Sweden started the preparations for the 2016 contest. The venue, most likely Tele2 Arena in Stockholm (but then, SVT surprised us with Malmö on 2013) will be chosen and announced by August. But the namedropping has started for the possible presenters. Last time it was Petra Mede, who did a marvellous job even if some in Europe didn't apparently like her style. I loved it. At least I remember her, I can't say the same about the three ladies this year.... Errr... who were they? What did they do? All I remember is Conchita! Anyways, Petra Mede was dropped by Christer Björkman the day after, along with Sanna Nielsen and Gina Dirawi, both names from Melodifestivalen where they did a good job. 
Another professional host, or the reigning Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw has been put in the list immediately, too. And we can't forget Sarah Dawn Finer, that all of Eurovision Europe already knows and loves, and has been doing a great job Eurovision affairs in Sweden this year next to Björkman with previews and more. And beforementioned Nielsen was in Vienna as commentator... 
I want to throw in another name who has both Eurovision and Melodifestivalen hosting experience, is extremely funny in her way and can hold a big stage: Lena Philipsson whose looks and humour are quite similar to Petra Mede's. Would this duo be a winning team? They could play long lost twins! Björkman: take note!

ESC 2015: ITALIAN TELEVOTES PUBLISHED - DO THEY INSIST VOTING FOR THEMSELVES?

RAI has published the televotes given in the second semifinal and the final in the Eurovison song contest 2015 in Vienna last week. Remarkable is the amount of invalid votes in the final, where Italy was participating. My guess is they are mostly all votes for Italy. Italians still aren't believing the fact they can't vote for their own entry it seems :-) The fact that the invalid votes in the semifinal were ten times less where Italy was not participating only underlines this idea.... And one can't deny the diaspora voting is reigning also in Italy. The biggest immigrant groups or Albanians (nearly a million) and Romanians (over a million) scored over 50% of the votes! In the second semifinal San Marino scores the second highest amount of televotes after Poland (nearly 100.000 Poles living in Italy). Check below the full scores. 

EUROVISION 2015: BEHIND THE SCENES - SPOKESPERSONS LONG WAIT

If you thought only artists and their teams are nervous and excited on the big night, imagine the spokespersons! There were a lot of nervous giggle and laugher, a lot of hairstyling and make up mixing, someone even double checked her nails. Finland's Krista Siegfrids and Dutch Edsilia Rombley were taking care of their noses with a noisy sneezes while waiting. "It's fun but it's nerve wrecking, Jesus Christ!" the latter exploded at one point.
They are there waiting and waiting forever for their 60 seconds or so on screen, and sometimes you don't even get on screen when you are supposed to like happened with Georgia, one of those voting misses in this year's show. Actually there were several connection fails, something that haven't happened for year. Natia Bunturi wasn't amused as you can see below...
Technical difficulties also pushed Portugal and Estonia to vote as the last countires instead of their re-scheduled slots. But Estonia's Tanja felt like a superhero when her job was finally done
If you have 37 minutes to spare, have a look at the video below featuring also scenes from Latvia, Ireland, Australia, Greece, Sweden, Belarus, Slovenia, Serbia, Israel, Denmark and some others....

FABIO CURTO WINS THE VOICE OF ITALY 2015

After Albanian Elhaida Dani - who represent her country in the Eurovision song contest this year -and Sicilian nun Sister Cristina we have a 27-year-old street musicians claiming the price: Fabio Curto. Born in deep south, Calabria, he now lives in Bologna. He's an all around musicians playing several instruments but he has also graduated in Political sciences, in crimionology. But music is his life and he's also involved as violin player in a Balcan music band. Here is his blind audition

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

EUROVISION 2015 A RATING SUCCESS IN FINLAND. SORT OF...

The numbers are out and it has been a rather good year for YLE what comes to Eurovision song contest 2015 in Vienna. The first semifinal where Finland was, and not qualified, has a peak at 1.621.000 viewers and average of 871.000. The second semifinal peaked at 667.000 (with average of 330.000) as there was no Finland. The die hard PKN fans were not interested anymore in it, as the final peaked at 1.332.000 losing nearly 300.000 viewers (with the average of 632.000).
All in all the first semifinal was the most watched tv-programme in any Finnish channel that week, while the final was 16th - on the other hand ahead of it are only tv-news and two episodes of a popular Finnish daily soap  opera Salatut elämät. The semifinal two is at no. 100....

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ESC 2015: POLINA GAGARINA THEN AND NOW

28-year-old Polina started her career in a tv-talent show (just like Måns and Il Volo). After winning it she though joined a girlband before going solo. She managed to release her debut album before marrying and having a child and gaining 20 kilos (to those extra 20 kilos she claims she had back then). The marriage failed, she started her career again, released another album, lost her 40 kilos, dyed her hair blond and had a string of hits and even had time to remarry and show off her new naked body in a men's magazine before she heard a million voices. Now that's a trasformation!

ESC 2015: MÅNS ZELMERLÖW THEN AND NOW

Shy and lean 19-year-old Måns Zelmerlöw made his first steps in the spotlight ten years ago when entering Idols 2005. Eventually he would finish only 5th but his talent was noted and in the years to come he has been participating (and winning) Let's dance and hosted some major entertainment shows, including Melodifestivalen and Allsång på Skansen, a Swedish institution. He has starred in several musicals and scored a few hits from his three albums. However he needed to take part in Melodifestivalen three times before winning it. But the third try made him a hero as he also won Eurovision. Not only because of his song and voice, but he's handsome habitus. He surely has gotten some muscles and more hair over the years...... and has grown into a allround entertainer. 

ESC 2015: IL VOLO THEN AND NOW

Il Volo came to be back in 2009 in a tv talent show for young voices. They entered separately, Gianluca won but Il Volo (after a few name changes) was born. The three guys, aged 14-16 went on to an international fame, recorded four albums, toured the world seven times before coming home to Sanremo 2015 festival, winning it and doing Eurovision. They won the European wide televote my landslide, but finished third altogether.
Over the past six years they have grown from teenage boys to men, lost a few (or in Ignazio's case quite a many!) kilos and babyfat, developed a fashion sense and today they look just like Italian popopera teenage heartdrops should. Perfect transformation!

EUROVISION 2015 WINNER MÅNS ZELMERLÖW - THE STORY

Måns was born in June 13 (a Friday!) 1986 in Lund, south of Sweden. His first experience in the show business was being part of the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcot at Malmö's Slagthuset. 
December 26, 2004 he and his family survived the tsunami in Khao Lak, Thailand.
His first step to real notoriety was Idols 2005 where he placed fifth after Agnes Carlson, Sebastian Karlsson, Sibel (all of them tried their luck in Melodifestivalen later) and Jens Pääjärvi who seems to have disappeared from the spotlight years ago already. Curiously his audition song was Hero
Next year he was dancing in Let's dance partnered with Maria Bild and made himself even more popular and won the whole show.  
That lead to the role of Danny Zuko in musical Grease in Malmö and he signed his first record deal.
His lucky break comes in 2007 when he enters Melodifestivalen with Cara mia, after two songs had been disqualified and his was one of the two replacements. He wins his semifinal and in the end places third in the final (being second in the televoting). The song hits #1 and charts top5 also in Finland. His debut album sells platinum and hitting #1 as well. 
Later that year he presented Lilla melodifestivalen, the Sweden's answer to Junior Eurovision, and starred in Footloose musical.
2008 he took part in the Diggiloo tour with another Melodifestivalen/Eurovision stars. 
2009 he entered Melodifestivalen again with Hope & Glory
It wasn't ment to be yet, he finished fourth but the song made it to #2 in charts. His second album sells gold and hits #1 again. Later he hosted Sommarkrysset tv-show. 
2010 He hosted the Melodifestivalen with Dolph Lundgren and Christine Meltzer.
Then another musical followed, Romeo & Julia in Stockholm, him being Romeo, of course. He also released his first Christmas album.
The hosted the seasons 2011-2013 of hugely popular summer show Allsång på Skansen mastering his presentation skills. For Christmas 2011 he released another Christmas album.
2013 he starred in a new Swedish musical Spök! alongside fellow artists Lena Philipsson, Loa Falkman and Sussie Eriksson. Same year he took part in Melodifestivalen as songwriter when Hello goodbye was sung by Erik Segerstedt and Tone Damli. Sadly they made only the second chance round.
2014 he released his third studio album and several singles were released of it but none made the charts. He also got himself in a trouble with his comments on homosexuality - later all cleared. Same year he hosted QX Galan, the biggest gay award gala in Sweden. 
2015 He wins Melodifestivalen with #1 hit Heroes, and later Eurovision song contest in Vienna and releases his fourth studio album Perfectly damaged. The story continues.....
Måns is also doing charity and is co-founder of Zelmerlöw & Björkman Foundation, read more here

Monday, May 25, 2015

ESC 2015: MÅNS TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO HOME

Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw returned home to Lund near Malmö today with a big welcome party at town's central square creating a happy chaos. The public demand for him to take over the hosting job next year is growing every minute and he has promised to think about it if he gets offered the job. SVT and local medias were streaming the event on websites just like his return home to Arlanda airport yesterday. Check out these photos from Expressen. Watch some here

ESC 2016: UKRAINE RETURNS, TURKEY THINKS....

The lights have hardly been turned off in Wiener Stadthalle and here we have news for the next edition in Sweden, most likely Stockholm. Ukraine is ready for a comeback after this year's absense, according General Diretor of NTU.  Wouldn't it be great to have one of those spectacular unforgettabe stagings again? 
Turkey has stayed away already three years but rumours from Ankara tell they may have had a change of heart and return. Hopefully! And who knows we will have Australia competing again, and what about China?
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands and of course Sweden have so far confirmed their participation in 2016.

ESC 2015 ITALY: RECORD BREAKING RATINGS IN ITALY

If Australia did its best ratings so far, so did Italy. The country has had a rocky restart what comes to viewings since its comeback but it's been steadily growing and this year breaks all the previous records. The final has been followed in average by 3.292.000 viewers with a peak at 4.786.000 making it the third most watched programme of the evening right after major channels Rai1 and Canale5. 
The first semifinal that was ment to be showed live for the first time but then cancelled and showed on Wednesday night at 11pm gathered anyway 212.000 with the peak at 314.000. The second semifinal where Italy voted got 792.000 and 1.092.000 peak. 
Eurovision has been also a success on Twitter. 
We didn't get to Torino 2016 but maybe 2017? Italy and RAI are ready. And meanwhile Il Volo will fly to European success..... 

ESC 2015 AUSTRALIA: GREAT SUCCESS DOWN UNDER

We all knew Aussies were crazy for Eurovision and now that they were able to take part and scored a great 5th place with Guy Sebastian's Tonight again even more so. Hundreds of them gathered together at 5am in the fresh Australian fall to watch the show together on megascreen provided by SBS in Melbourne. 263.000 even watched it live on television at that hour, and nearly 600.000 the replay at 7.30pm later that day. All in all the semifinals and the final gathered 2,1 million vievers with a peak over 4,2 million. Not bad at all!
The burning queston now is of course will EBU let them back next year again, despite the original plan of one year only. I would say Yip!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

EUROVISION 2015: STRANGE YEAR IN POINTS, THE TOP-3 ENTERS ALL TIME TOP-10

The votes were taken by a very few countries this year and Italy's Il Volo managed only third even if almost in any other year they would have won just like Russian Polina. Indeed, they scored the same monstruous points as Lordi did when they broke the records back in 2006 and won. Basicly they would have won every year but 2015, 2012 or 2009. Here's the all time top-10 what comes to amount of points gathered:


1. Norway - Alexander Rybak - Fairytale - Winner 2009 (387)
2. Sweden - Loreen - Euphoria - Winner 2012 (372)
3. Sweden - Måns Zelmerlöw - Heroes - Winner 2015 (365)
4. Russia - Polina Gagarina - A million voices - 2nd in 2015 (303)
5. Italy - Il Volo - Grande amore - 3rd in 2014 (292 - 9 x 12 points)
6. Finland - Lordi - Hard rock hallelujah - Winner 2006 (292 - 6 x 12 points)
7. Austria - Conchita Wurst - Rise like a Phoenix - Winner 2014 (290)
8. Denmark - Emmelie De Forest- Only teardrops - Winner 2013 (281)
9. Russia - Dima Bilan - Believe - Winner 2008 (272)
10. Serbia - Marija Serifovic - Molitva - Winner 2007 (268)

ESC 2015: RUSSIA CENSORED CONCHITA FROM SCREEN?

News from Russia tell in the Finnish media that Russia pretty much censored Conchita Wurst from the screen in the Eurovision final! Not an easy task as she was hosting the green room, performing several times and interviewing people and even flying in the show. She was everywhere (and I am not complaining! I want a Conchita Show on TV asap!) 
How to do it? Easy, you switch on to Andrei Malahov's talk show when she sings, put on adds when she interviews people including their own Polina Gagarina and if nothing else helps you can always show the audience in the talk show studio instead..... Now, EBU, what are you going to do for that? Isn't it the rule one must broascast the show as it is (Itay got a special permission for doing it their way when they returned in 2011)
Let's wait and see....

ESC 2015: SWEDEN WINS EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2015!

The final is over, the votes are in and Sweden has won! Beating Russia and Italy who battled it out for the first part of the voting....

Stay tuned for full results and other stuff.... in a moment!

ESC 2015: JURIES FAVOUR SWEDEN RIDICULOUSLY

If Italy wins the televoting record breakingly the same hapens in the jury votes but with Sweden. Sweden gains 9,1 votes from every jury in average and 104 points more than the second one, Latvia. Russia managed third but Italy is snobbed and left distant six with average 4,4 points. The Finnish jury is a good example: Italy was third most televoted but the jury placed it only 19th. What happened to voting for vocals and hit potential? 
Anyways, I repeat now what I have said and thought already before: The juries are good and there must be juries but they are way too small. There needs to be more people. Five people is way too limited and small. There should be at least ten, or preferably 15 like the good old days when they were 16 for years. One's individual dislikes wouldn't count that much, and one can't over talk the other four to not to like a certain entry so easily and make all vote against it. 

ESC 2015: ITALY WINS THE EUROPEAN WIDE TELEVOTING EASILY - WITH 366 VOTES!!!

So, Italy took 80 points more than second placed Russia in televotes and Sweden managed only third. The came Belgium and Estonia, Australia and Israel before jury's favorite Latvia. Il Volo suffered the same fate as in Sanremo: common people love then, the juries snob them. In Sanremo's different way of counting and mixing the various votes gave them a victory in the end despite all, in Eurovision they were left third. I have nothing against the jury, mind you. There must be a jury but maybe the one currenty in use is a bit too limited? More about that in the jury vote post.... Oh, and Austria scored a flat zero, what do you think they scored with the juries? ;-) As they put it: "We are the zeroes of our time..."
And did you realize? 366 votes, that's 9,4 average from every country! That must be a record of all time! Correct me if I am wrong....

ESC 2015: SEMIFINAL TWO RESULTS, SWEDEN WINS EASILY, SWITZERLAND LAST

Semifinal two was won by Sweden with a huge margin while Latvia and Israel battled it out for the second place. Azerbaijan nearly missed out the final and San Marino avoided the last place by beating Switzerland with 7 points.  Full results here

01. Sweden  217
02. Latvia  155
03. Israel  151
04. Norway  123
05.  Slovenia  92
06. Cyprus  87
07. Lithuania  67
08. Poland  57
09. Montenegro  57
10. Azerbaijan  53

11. Malta  43
12. Ireland  35
13. Czech Republic  33
14. Portugal  19
15. Iceland  14
16. San Marino  11
17. Switzerland  4


ESC 2015: SEMIFINAL ONE RESULTS: RUSSIA WINS, FINLAND LAST!

Now it's time to say it again: What did I say? Finland came last in the first semifinal, that was won by Russia. Here are the results (and full results here)

01. Russia 182
02. Belgium  149
03. Estonia  105
04. Gerogia  98
05. Romania  89
06. Greece  81
07. Armenia 77
08. Hungary  67
09. Serbia  63
10. Albania  62

11. Moldova  41
12. Belarus  39
13. Denmark  33
14. Netherlands  33
15. Macedonia  28
16. Finland  13

ESC 2015: MY PREDICTION AND THE OUTCOME

I did the my usual place the country in a slot prediction just minutes before the show and here's the outcome: 18/27 right, not bad. The top was fine, the bottom very fine but in the middle it was so and so, but then so was the voting, too.... 

Will place 1-5
Australia Estonia Italy Russia Sweden 

Will place 6-10
Azerbaijan Hungary Montenegro Norway Romania

Will place 11-15
Belgium Georgia Israel Latvia Slovenia

Will place 16-20
Albania Armenia Greece Lithuania  Serbia 

Will place 21-27
Austria Cyprus France  Germany Poland Spain UK

ESC 2015: SWEDEN IS THE HERO, FOLLOWED BY RUSSIA AND ITALY

There it is. Very weirdly spread votes as the top-3 is way ahead of the three next than way ahead of the next three and then comes a huge drop for the rest. Once again Italy is the only Big5 doing any success as the other four ended up in bottom 7......
I'm happy for Belgium and Australia, also Latvia but I had Estonia in my top-5 (as I predicted the other four right). Norway, Israel, Serbia... I expected Azerbaijan and Slovenia doing better, and France of course but otherwise it's pretty much as I predicted at large.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

ESC 2015: TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT AGAIN!

Here we are. Again. Tonight's the night and by the end of it we will have a new Eurovision hero and know where to book our spring break trip next year. Maybe. 
Join me after for comments and results and all the rest. 
And most of all: Enjoy the show, may the bes tone win and have fun!

ESC 2015: ITALY, NORWAY AND SWEDEN WIN MARCEL BEZENCON AWARDS

The annual Marcel Bezençon awards have been voted once again and here are the winners:
The Composer award goes to Norway and Kjetil Mørland.
The Press award goes to Italy's Il Volo and
The Artistic award, voted by the commentators in Vienna goes to Sweden and Måns Zelmerlöw
Here's a video

ESC 2015 SWEDEN: MÅNS ZELMERLÖW AND SANNA NIELSEN SEND GREETINGS TO YOU ALL

My Flying reporter Robert caught last year's bronze medalist Sanna Nielsen on camera and she sends wishes to you all and hopes, no she knows Måns Zelmerlöw will make Sweden proud tonight. What do you think? Is Måns the man tonight?





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