Tuesday, June 30, 2015


VAIN ELÄMÄÄ ROUND UP

The series will air on Nelonen next autumn. It was recorded in June 2015 
when the artists spent a week together 24/7. I will then follow it episode by episode right here. 





VAIN ELÄMÄÄ 4: MAIJA VILKKUMAA

Last but not lest in this series: Maija Vilkkumaa. She's been leading Finnish rock stars for years, delivered countless hits and this blogger is a huge fan: Her lyrics are always original, playing with words and double meanings - you can hear she studied Finnish language for sure! Her album sales are over 300.000 and all her albums have sold gold and/or (multi)platinum. She has won 5 Emma awards (aka Finnish Grammy) among others, and she has also written a book and done a lot of television. Her latest album is from 2010 as she has been concentrating on her two kids and marriage but is about to come back this fall.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

VAIN ELÄMÄÄ 4: SANNI

When Sanni's name was announced as one of the artists taking part in Vain elämää 4 it caused quite a social media stir. Because she's kinda new. And young (22). Only two albums, the debut coming out only two years ago. But she has been flirting with stardom for a long time and has scored half a dozen hits already. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

SUMMER SONGS 2015: DOLCENERA - FANTASTICA

I have been following, liking, loving Dolcenera since her debut by winning Sanremo 2003 newcomers with Siamo tutti lá fuori. Careerwise she's been through ups and downs since but her music has stayed great. Amazing voice, memorable personality, talent to match. Fantastic in one word. And Fantastica is her latest release that follows the awesome Niente al mondo and Accendi lo spirito, all from a worthcoming album, her first in four years. And guess what? She's be just perfect for Eurovision. I am not the only one thinking so as there's even a Facebook page for it. Join it and let's make it happen! Dolcenera for Eurovision 2016! 

VAIN ELÄMÄÄ 4: ANTTI TUISKU

Antti Tuisku may have finished only 3rd in Idols (won by Hanna Pakarinen) but since then he has become the one who has sold most. he has been very active in studio and has released already 8 albums and two Christmas albums and the sales are over 250.000 and has scored a string of hits. He is also the one and only real male pop star in Finland if a popstar is one with catchy songs and great stage shows with choreographed acts. Three platinum records and five gold records on his wall he's ready to take on his second tv reality, as he has already won Strickly come dancing in 2010.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

VAIN ELÄMÄÄ 4: VILLEGALLE

Ville-Petteri Galle aka VilleGalle is another half of rap duo JVG. He follows Cheek and Elastinen in the rap genre to make it to a household name in this reality and who knows, he (or JVG) will move on to the next level of notority? He broke through in summer 2011 when Häissä went to number one in all possible charts and was declared the summer hit of 2011. They have released three albums so far and all have went to #1 in the official album chart. He says this is a huge opportunity for him, and hopes he is worth it, and hopes to make some great covers.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

VAIN ELÄMÄÄ 4: ANSSI KELA

Anssi Kela is one of those artists who shot to the fame and success with his debut album, then sales and popularity dropped by each album until he was dropped by his label. A break, new label, still a lot of loyal fans in social medias got him back on top last year. And now he gies his song repertoire to other artists to cover and he sure has a lot to choose from. And it will be interesting to see what he makes of the songs of the others, having quite a personal style. He says he hopes the other artists will make his songs as different as possible, showing also him a new side of them. On the other hand he says sky's the limit in his own versions, as there's no need to think they would fit into any album context or whatever - they can be anything!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SANREMO 2016: CARLO CONTI RETURNS

Carlo Conti, who managed to create the most watched Sanremo festival in the last ten years in 2015 will return next year as the host and the artistic director, and he will be also the artistic director in 2017 with the option of being also the host again. This is good news in my books as he did a grest job and the most enjoyable festival with a high standard of songs also commercially. And he seems also Eurovision friendly so that's a bonus of course.
As there has not been any confirmation Sanremo will be used as the Italian national selection again, nor that Italy will take part I would bet they will continue with the method that scored them 3rd place this year: Italy will be in Sweden 2016 with the Sanremo winner. I would be surprised if it's anything else. 
As for the newcomers section, that Conti finally put in the spotlight making them to open the nights instead of closing them when no one was watching anymore like it was for too many years, there are good news. The pre-selection to access the festival changes format and name: Cantiere Sanremo. It becomes more of a talent show, with a touch of The Voice and Idols with televized programmes, couching and all that. Also, the selected ones will be featured before the festival in a special primetime show on Raiuno. 
But before Sanremo Conti will be once again with Il Volo as he will hosting a special night in September from Arena di Verona from their concert. 

MÅNS ZELMERLÖW: #THEHEROESTOUREUROPE

Mäns Zelmerlöw, the Eurovision song contest 2015 winner with Heroes will have a very busy schedules next months. Besides his on going tour in Sweden and previously booked joint dates with Tomas Ledin he's now been booked to perform in various European countries and cities in Finland, Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Switzerland and Netherlands. Besides that he is doing also appearances in various festivals, like Coca Cola Summer Festival in Rome, Italy. 
Check out the dates and the cities after the jump.....

Sunday, June 21, 2015

VAIN ELÄMÄÄ 4: VIRVE "VICKY" ROSTI

Virve Rosti has been around for 40 years already! Hard to believe but it's true. She scored her first hits in mid 70's (Kun Chicago kuoli, Tuolta saapuu Charlie, Näinkö meille täällä aina käy). More hits followed, mainy covers like Menolippu, Oon voimissain, Soita kelloain and Koputa puuta in the middle of 70's disco fever and the golden era of cover version. Two other good examples are Jolene and Rahaa, rahaa, rahaa. After a decade of hectic tours, hits and show biz she married, had a string of kids and concentrated on family life.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

MARCO MENGONI AWARDED BY THE STATE FOR HIS GOOD JOB

The national Italian Ombudsman for Children and Adolescents, Vincenzo Spadafora awards Marco Mengoni in the presence of the President of the Senate, Pietro Grasso, next Monday, June 22, at 11 am, in Palazzo Madama, the home of the Italian Senate in Rome. Marco Mengoni is honored for his way of communicating with teenagers 
"Mengoni is a symbol and a point of reference for many kids and he uses his popularity in the social networks in a very responsible manner but also professional respect and sympathy, human and social charge of his songs are among the reasons for this award. According an independent study by BlogMeter he is the one who creates most positive feeling, besides being popular and most able to involve his fans online. Thanks to this, his fans follow, trust and believe in him and what he says. He battles against discrimination in any form in his speech and songs, in his work. He gives teenagers dignity, respect and courage. Words are stronger than weapons sometimes. He stands up for bullism, domestic violance, freedom of being who you are, and fighting against racism of any kind."
This is another merit for Mengoni who has managed to unite commercial success and popularity with his beliefs and causes he stands for. Italian teenagers are ready to run with him with the words that circle around us.....  Congratulations Marco, keep up the good work!

Friday, June 19, 2015

EMMA RELEASES OCCHI PROFONDI

Emma has released today her new single and video, Occhi profondi, the first new offering from forthcoming album. And it's just brilliant! This blogger has been listening to it non stop since this morning and it's in the genre of Amore non mi basta, my favorite Emma track. And makes me wonder again the choice of La mia città for Eurovision, as this genre is so much more suitable and enjoyable by her....

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

SOFTENGINE: ALL ABOUT YOU & I - THE NEW SINGLE

Softengine has released the first new single, that's not from the debut album just in time for the summer. All about you & I continues where we were left with the previous singles and the guys have proven they are not one hit wonder as all singles Something better, Yellow houseThe Sirens and What if I? did well with radio play and the album went to #7. Their summer is filled with gigs, including the legendary Provinssirock festival. After this year's Eurovision disaster their 11th place last year feels even better....

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

SUMMER SONGS 2015: ALEXANDER RYBAK - KOTIK/Котик

Alexander Rybak has got some summer kittens in his new song for the Russian speaking markets. Kotik. The video features also some kittens (or are they perhaps Milki :-) ?) The song is clearly one of the best effort he has written for years with a nice retro arrangement. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

FINNISH CHARTS: MÅNS IS NEARLY OUT ALREADY....

This week's chart action is down for everything Eurovision related in Finland. The only exception being radio play that always lives a life of its own anyways. There Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw continues to climb slowly, this week from 38. to 31.
In the single's list he's down to 11. from last week's 5, and in the downloads down to 7. from last week's number one. In the albums Perfectly damaged drops out top-50 from last week's 45.
The Eurovision 2015 compilation is in its way out as well at 43.

EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2016: ÖRNSKÖLDSVIK ANYONE?

Örnsköldsvik enters the race for the Eurovision song contest 2016 hosting alongside with Stockholm (with Globen area), Gothenburg, Sandviken and Linköping. The northern town of less than 30.000 (or less than 60.000 with the surrounding areas without counting the elk and foxes) souls would be the most northern host city ever. The city's name, very easy for foreigners to pronounce, translates to Eagle shield's bay. The arena they are offering is Fjällräven Arena with it's less than 10.000 seats and that translates to (besides being a wellknown cloathing brand) to Arctic fox. How suitable for a town that consists mostly of forests..... and a very ugly "skyscryper". SVT surprised us last time with Malmö (that has now withdrawn its bid for 2016), maybe they will surprise again? 

SUMMER SONGS 2015: SATIN CIRCUS - COME BACK

Satin Circus may have taken the wrong turn in Crossroads for Vienna 2015 Eurovision but they also have apparently lost a girl in the same crossroads and are now urging her to Come back. Another goodie by this band that could have been so much better in Vienna for us than the one we sent there..... Another wasted opportunity....

Saturday, June 13, 2015

KRISTA SIEGFRIDS BROUGHT THE SUN & SUMMER FINALLY TO HELSINKI

Helsinki has been suffering the worst summer in over 50 years with mild temperatures, endless rain and chilly winds. All was forgotten today when it was finally warm and sunny and Krista Siegfrids almost outshone the sun in Helsinki's Senate Square in a concert. And what a great one it was. Move over Antti Tuisku or anyone else: the one and only real pop star in the country is the one and only Queen Bee Krista Siegfrids! 
She sung all the hits, a couple of new songs and a few covers, too. All vocally flawless. Dancing. Intercting with the public and being lovely and all the songs came alive on stage in an outstanding way from Amen to Cinderella, from the latest hit On &off and a great new track Best bad girldfriend. But the real show stopper was Can you see me? A touching tribute to her late father that she introduced in a heartfelt way telling the song still makes her cry. And yes, she was visibly moved after it..... But then party continues under the sun, people danced and sung along and like in real life, when life goes on andd reaches the final climax with Marry me. There was a stag party couple, two cute girls in the audience and Krista invited them on stage and they all went ding dong together....
I don't think I could right now imagine a better way to spend a sunny afternoon in the city center! This force of nature needs to do Eurovision again! Immediately!

Friday, June 12, 2015

SUMMER SONGS 2015: NINA ZILLI - #RLL

Riprenditi le lacrime or Take back your tears is the second release from Nina Zilli's latest album with a very funny girly video and the 60's vibe song that we are used to expect from La Zilli. Perfect summer music!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

SUMMER SONGS 2015: SEREBRO/Серебро - KISS

The Russian trio of Song #1 fame from Helsinki 2007 Eurovision have released their summer hit for 2015: Kiss. It follows Mi mi mi and Mama lover to European charts, or at least Italian ones were they seem to have already a steady place....  And indeed they have a good thing going on, these songs are insanely catchy, even if Kiss is a bit more melancholy with a lovely lazy lounge atmosphere.....  but surely there will be remixes for every hour of the day.  Who would have thought this trio put together for Eurovision would be still here scoring hits eight years later - even if only one original member is left and there are already three ex-Serebros around... but that's only a minor detail. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

SUMMER SONGS 2015: ANNA TATANGELO - INAFFERRABILE

Anna Tatangelo is back with her kitchiest video to date, I guess. Inafferabile has a video that surely gets your attention but the song.... well, it's summer! Libera this is not for sure. Enjoy the scenery!

Monday, June 08, 2015

FINNISH CHARTS: HEROES CLIMBS TO #5, MÅNS ZELMERLÖW ENTERS THE ALBUM CHARTS

The Eurovision song contest 2015 winner Måns Zelmerlöw climbs to #5 (from last week's #16) in the official Finnish singles Top-20 with Heroes being the only Eurovision song making it.
Meanwhile the song stays at #1 in the Download charts for the second week. In the same chart Estonia's entry Goodbye to yeaterday by Stig Rästa & Elina Born drops to #21 (from last week's #2).
In the radio playlist top-100 Heroes climbs to #38 (from last week's #57)
In the album chart the Eurovision 2015 compilation drops to #21 (from last weeks #11) and Pertti Kurikan iImipäivät 's compilation "hits" album drops to #29 from last week's #13. This is its fourth week in Top-50 where it peaked at #4 in its release week. Måns Zelmerlöw's Perfectly damaged enters the album charts at #45. 

TOOJI COMES OUT WITH THE FATHER PROJECT

We all knew already Norwegian of Iranian roots Tooji had been fighting against racism and discrimination among other things, been helping children and refugees (being one himself) and doing a lot of good. What we didn't know, but maybe guessed, was his own personal fight. "I have always thought that my sexuality is "nobody's business but mine." No heterosexual need to share what they have preferences, so why should I? Therefore, I have never responded to questions from the press about it", he says to Gaysir. "I have probably not made a secret of who I am, although I have not stood out as gay in public earlier. One thing is to be open in the media, another thing to be private". 
He says coming out is the most important thing he has done in his life. "After Eurovision they just wanted me to become a TV celebrity who participated in all the programs but I didn't feel it's right, that's not me. Therefore, last winter I thought that "now I can't be bothered no more, I can not live this way. I sold all my  belongings, rented out the apartment and went to Stockholm" 
Now he's back to Oslo, living his life openly and pointing his finger at the church with his new song and video. "The song and the video is about running from himself, denying himself, and yes, if God is in everyone and everything, denying God. With the project I want to express that love between two of the same sex has been tainted by religion for too long. And that religion has imposed too many people unnecessary shame and anguish throughout the years", says Tooji.
This blogger thinks the video speaks louder than the song, but it's always good when someone underlines the hypocrisy of the chursch, especially Catholic.... on the other hand it's always something that gets attention, Madonna makes school. But anyway: Go Tooji!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

BARBARA DEX AWARD 2015 GOES TO.... TRIJNTJE OOSTERHUIS

Trijntje Oosterhuis caused media attention with her first dress (pictured below), ending up in front pages all over Europe and we were all asking why-ay-ay? Then she changed it to a pyjama pants (pictured above) and we all wished she would have had the original dress after all. And now she is the clear winner of Barbara Dex Award for the worst dress in the 2015 edition of Eurovision song contest. I suppose it didn't quite go for her the way she had planned.... 
But then, not even the first dress could have saved her from 14th place in the semifnal (out of 16) - and she may have won the award anyways! More on Barbara Dex awards here

The top ten from 2015
Netherlands - 1324 votes
Serbia - 605 votes
United Kingdom - 397 votes
Albania - 263 votes
Moldova - 237 votes
Georgia - 195 votes
Iceland - 148 votes
Latvia - 135 votes
Finland - 125 votes
Armenia - 97 votes 

Saturday, June 06, 2015

SUMMER SONGS 2015: ALVARO SOLER - EL MISMO SOL

What would be a summer without a Spanish flavored summer hit? Nothing! This summer's one could well be Alvaro Soler's El mismo sol. It's exactly sounding like a huge summer hit and indeed it's already a hit in Italy at least. Alvaro, 24, was born in Barcelona, lived in Tokyo and now is based in Berlin - a nice cocktail. Baila baila!

Friday, June 05, 2015

MÅNS ZELMERLÖW IS PERFECTLY DAMAGED

Eurovision song contest 2015 winner Måns Zelmerlöw releases his new album Perfectly damaged today. It's his fourth pop album and obviously includes the winning track Heroes, plus 11 other songs, one of them featuring Tilde Vinther. The album has been recorded mostly between Copenhagen and London, and Måns has worked with several producers to make it sound versatile. 
You can buy yours for example here

Thursday, June 04, 2015

EUROVISION 2015 IN VIENNA IN NUMBERS

It has been another succesful Eurovision hosting. Vienna came out as an excellent host, judging the comments by most fans, delegates, journalists and Viennese themselves. It was also a green event. Instead of using disposable cups and avoiding a waste of 500.000 cups or 4,5 tons of waste. Also the water served was normal tub water, saving us from the waste of 30.000 water bottles. Even for the electric back up was taken care by batteries, saving us 440.000 litres of diesel.... But now to the numbers:

197.000.000 viewers worldwide
10.000.000 euro was the municipal budget by Vienna
8.090.000 used for renovation of Wiener Stadthalle
1.000.000 used for marketing by Wien Stadt marketing
800.000 euros less than predicted the Wiener Stadthalle renovation cost
120.000 people visited Eurovision Village in Rathaus Platz
100.000 people enjoyed the shows and rehearsals in Wiener Stadthalle
25.000 people visited Eurovision Village on the final night
7.200 people visited EuroClub in Ottakringer Brauerei in the second week
3.500 delegates, journalists and fans attended the Eurovision nights
the first week
3.000 people from ORF, volunteers etc worked together
for the final broadcast alone
1.600 applications for volunteer jobs
1.565 accreditated journalists
1.269 delegates from 40 countries
800 volunteers
140 event partners for ORF
140 people worked for the publisc transport alone
100 % of the energy used was renewable
85 % of the people coming for Wiener Stadthalle used public transport
77 age of the oldest volunteer
50 number of the languages the 800 volunteers spoke
49 public viewings were organized around Vienna
41 number of countries where the 800 volunteers came from
26 event supplies collaborated
18 the age of the youngest volunteer
15 public viewings were organized by ORF around Vienna
13 Austrian sponsors for the event
5 international partners for ORF
1,6 the average satisfaction grade of OTF & Vienna city's poll
(from 1 to 5, 1 being max)

These facts from Eurofestival NEWS

VAIN ELÄMÄÄ 4: PAVE MAIJANEN

We all remember Pave Maijanen for unfortunate Yamma yamma and his last place in the Eurovision song contest 1992. But he is so much more: He's been in the business for 45 years. He's singer, songwriter, basist, keyboard player, drummer, guitarist, producer. He has done a lot of backing singing, including multiple Eurovisions. Before his solo career he was in several succesful and popular bands (Pepe & Paradise, Royals, WigWam, Pave's Mistakes just to name a few). He's the surprise name in Vain Elämää 4, and already maybe the most interesting one.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

ESC 2015: 197.000.000 VIEWERS

The numbers are out, nearly 200 million watched the Eurovision song contest 2015 from Vienna, EBU's exact number being 197 million in 40 countries. The final also more than doubled the usual Saturday night share (16,4%) considering all countries with 39,6% share. Compared to the 2014 edition it's 6% increase and 2 million extra people. 
The statistic also reveal an 8% increase in young viewers (15-24) with 44,8% share. Usually the Saturday night prime time share in the age group is only 11,1%!
Iceland as usual scored the highest share with 95,5%, while Sweden was second when 85,6% of Swedes turned to watch Måns Z bring the victory for Sweden for the sixth time. 
The host country Austria scored 59,9% share. May sound little but it's the highest in the last decade for any TV audience in the country!
In short: A success!

SUMMER SONGS 2015: ERIC SAADE - GIRL FROM SWEDEN

He didn't quite sting in Melodifestivalen but now he's back with all the Swedish girls. Sweden is hot in pop circuit right now even more than usual, thanks to Heroes by Måns Z so why not beat it while it's hot? The song has the brassy arrangement that was the best part of Sting, some whistling, a lot of Swedish girls, a moose, some fika, every possible vehicle to reach that one girl... yet it's not as catchy or uplifting as it's propably ment to be. Witthout the brass section also this one would be rather forgettable and boring. But hey, it's summer, anything goes!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

ESC 2016: SANDVIKEN OR LINKÖPING ANYONE?

Oops, things are not shaping up for Eurovision song contest 2016 in Sweden as most fans - and maybe organizers, too - were hoping for. Two major venues in Stockholm have said No, thanks after all, namely Tele2 Arena (apparently SVT's dream venue) and Friends Arena. The only option in Stockholm now remains Globen.... already host back in 2000 but Stockholm's chances are now getting slimmer and slimmer it seems. 
Gothenburg, a previous host with Skandinavium is still in the running it seems and getting more determined to get it after Malmö has apparently said No as well. But then we have two newcomers: Saab Arena (ex-Cloetta) in Linköping and Göranssons Arena in Sandviken with the support of City of Gävle - both smaller but around 10.000. 
SVT has sent these candidates its list od demands, which is of course mostly done by EBU, concerning all sort of obvious practical matters from number of hotel rooms to travel connections bu air, and the locations of press center etc etc. 
Meanwhile the presenter roulette keeps going. Gina Dirawi is willing and Dolph Lundgren has emerged as a major possibility, next to Måns Zelmerlöw, too.... And Sanna Nielsen isn't out of the picture either. 

ESC 2016: UMK 2016 TO SELECT FINLAND'S 50TH ENTRY

YLE confirmed right after Vienna 2015 final again that Finland will be present in the Eurovision song contest 2016 in Sweden, and also that it will be a jubilee year: Finland will take part for the 50th time! 
Finland joined Eurovision back in 1961 and has stayed away only in 1970 willingly. We had to skip the 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003 editions due to the rather insane regulations to be able to participate before the semifinal was finally introduced in 2004. Since then one victory in 2006, nine last places in the final, one more in the semifinal but also two third places in the semifinal and even three nul points Hard rock, punk, folk, reggae... who knows what we will send this time! Hopefully forget all the stupid ideas of being too alternative and progressive by sending something because of a cause instead of a good song. That seems to be the think common people also want, judging the comment son various chatrooms and talking with people. 
I hope we will have a good solid artist with a good song, after all it is still a song contest and without a good song you won't get far, no matter what tricks you use to get attention or in the staging.

UMK 2016 applications start on September 1, 2015. Get ready!

VAIN ELÄMÄÄ 4 - WITH EUROVISION STARS (AGAIN!)

The artists for fourth season of megapopular Vain Elämää (originally Dutch De beste zangers van Nederland, Så mycket bättre in Sweden etc) have been released today and once again it's a mixed lot but Eurovision veterans are in again: Vicky Rosti and Pave Maijanen. Maijanen's presence is quite surprising but maybe this will be his revenge? More about that later....
The season four singers are: Anssi Kela (six albums to date), VilleGalle (part of Jare & JVG rapper duo, three albums to date), Antti Tuisku (10 albums, including Christmas ones), Pave Maijanen (11 solo albums between 1983-2010, in various bands and combinations since 1964), Sanni (hottest female pop star of the moment (?), with two albums), Maija Vilkkumaa (8 solo albums) and Virve "Vicky" Rosti (10 solo albums between 1975-2014).

Monday, June 01, 2015

SUMMER SONGS 2015: DOLLY STYLE - CHERRY GUM

What would be better than kick off the summer songs series with some bubble gum pop? Literally! Dolly Style was saying hello, hi in Melodifestivalen. Then someone left the trio after failing to make the final but here they are fighting back with a new girl and a song so simple and catchy it takes some talent to come up with something like that. In a true Aqua tradition. The video is colorful and girly and very bubble gum indeed. And boy what a big pencil they have! And if you give thema chance you will be singing along when the chorus hits for the third time.... You will here me when I come, when I pop by cherry gum....

ESC 2015: SIX SONGS MAKE THE FINNISH TOP-30

Download chart that is, these modern days. The only one bothering the official singles chart is the winner, Måns Zelmerlöw with Heroes entering at #16. He also is the only one entering the radio play chart so far, shyly at #57. In the album charts the Eurovision song contest 2015 compilation climbs to #11.
In the beforementioned download charts Måns re-enters straight at number one (after charting already a couple of weeks after his Melodifestivalen win and peaking then at number 11). Estonia's Stig Rästa and Elina Born enter at #2 with Goodbye to yesterday.
Belgium's Loic Nottet enters at #13, followed by Slovenia's Maraaya at #18, Russia's Polina Gagarina at #23 and finally Italy's Il Volo at #25. Let's see next week who resists another week...

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