Monday, May 31, 2010

Israel wins all Marcel Bezençon awards


Marcel Bezençon awards, named after the father of the Eurovision song contest have been handed out and Israel gets a consolation price after disappointing result in the contest itself by winning all three of them. Now that's the first. The Press Award is voted by the accredited media and press in Oslo 2010, the Artistic award by the commentators, and the Composer award by the composers of the song in competition. Congratulations Israel!

Satellite hits the iTunes

A quick look at iTunes top-10 chart gives Lena's Satellite in almost all of them already:

#1 in Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland
#2 in Spain
#3 in Netherlands, Ireland
#4 in Belgium

Apparently she is also #45 already in Italy, where the contest was not broadcasted nor advertised in any way.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What happens to Big4 in Germany no 3?

Germany is the first Big4 country to win and this brings us a problem: Will there be only 24 countries in the final next year? Apparently the rule book isn't prepaired for this - if I am wrong someone correct me, please. As it has been 10 + 10 + Big4 + host country = 25. Easy solution would be adding the highest scoring drop out from the semifinals but then all delegations from the first semifinal should stick in town for extra days "just in case". Or will Turkey get a wildcard to the final as it was the runner up? (Not that it would change a thing, Turkey will be in the final anyways so in a way it would be rather fair...)
Germany will host the contest in 2011 for the third time, as they also did in Frankfurt 1957 and Munich 1983, but for the first time as an united country. At least three towns have come forward to host the 2011 edition: Berlin, Hamburg and Hannover.
Nine countries have so far definately confirmed their participation (Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and of course Germany). Andorra has confirmed today it is very unlikely they will be in 2011 and previously Greece has said they may not be there. After this year's yet another top-10 finish I think they will be there after all. Hungary might return with the new broadcaster DunaTV and maybe Austria is ready for a comeback after positive comments about the German success this year? Liechtenstein might also feel at home in Germany for their debut. 
The 56th Eurovision song contest 2011 is most likely on May 17 and 19 for the semifinal, May 21 for the final.

Lena is back to Germany - the party goes on! But the cities battle...

Thousends of fans were waiting for Lena who arrived to Hannover this afternoon with Sfefan Raab and the rest of the team. Later in the city center about 40.000 people met her in the welcoming reception. 
Angela Merkel has also congratulated the 19 year old student saying she's "an example of the new young Germany".  No good wishes nor comment of any kind from the previous and only German winner until last night, Nicole. She was only 17 when she won in 1982. Reporters tried to call her for a comment and only got her husband who hung up on them! 
Mayor of Berlin has already welcomed Eurovision to his town in 2011, let's see how it goes. But they already talk about repeating the talent show that brought them Lena, this time titled Unser Star für Berlin, so... But Hannover and Hamburg won't let it be easy for Berlin - they want Eurovision 2011, too!
Tomorrow night there will be a special broadcast 20.15 CET on Total TV. One thing is for sure: Germany has gone LenaCrazy! And 61,6% share for the final in Germany on TV last night.
Not only Germany. BBC writes Lena brought the Eurovision to the 21st century. The Spanish El Mundo one call her the German Lolita while Le Parisien approves her look: little black dress, open hair, cross in her neck, it's Gothic chick! Kronen Zeitung from Austria thinks it's good Lena ruled over pathetic ballads and didn't need any tricks on stage. Maybe that's something that will bring Austria back in 2011? In Finland in Iltalehti's poll 52% of the voters think the right song won. Indeed Finland also gave Germany 12 points ladt night.

Germany climbs up the medal table

By winning for the second time Germany passes Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and Spain in the medal table and stand now firmly in top-10 amongst the most succesful Eurovision countries of all time with two wins, four runner ups and 5 third places over the years. Turkey passes Greece, Estonia and Latvia having now one of each medals. Romania leaves Azerbaijan and Bosnia-Herzegovina behind with their second third place. A total of 32 countries out of 51 have finished in the top-3 at least once, 25 have won.

Here is the sportive medal table: (1st place - 2nd place - 3rd place)

1. Ireland (7 - 4 - 1)
2. Luxembourg (5 - 0 - 2)
3. United Kingdom (5* - 15 - 2)
4. France (5* - 4 - 7)
5. Sweden (4 - 1 - 4)
6. The Netherlands (4* - 0 - 1)
7. Israel (3 - 2 - 1)
8. Norway (3 - 1 - 1)
9. Germany (2 - 4 - 5)
10. Spain (2* - 4 - 1)
11. Switzerland ( 2 - 3 - 3)
12. Italy (2 - 1 - 4)
13. Denmark (2 - 1 - 3)
14. Russia (1 - 2 - 2)
15. Belgium (1 - 2 - 0)
15.. Ukraine (1 - 2 -0)
17. Monaco (1 - 1 - 3)
18. Turkey (1 - 1 - 1)
19. Greece (1 - 0 - 3)
20. Estonia (1 - 0 - 1)
20. Latvia (1 - 0 - 1)
22. Austria (1 - 0 - 0)
22. Finland (1 - 0 - 0)
22. Serbia (1 - 0 - 0)
22. Yogoslavia (1 - 0 - 0)
26. Malta (0 - 2 - 2)
27. Iceland (0 - 2 - 0)
28. Poland (0 - 1 - 0)
28. Serbia & Montenegro (0 - 1 - 0)
30. Romania (0 - 0 - 2)
31. Azerbaijan (0 - 0 - 1)
31. Bosnia-Herzegovina (0 - 0 - 1)

* shared victory in 1969

Twitter and Eurovision works in Finland

For the first time YLE was trying new ways to involve people in the Eurovision using Twitter. YLE's Twitter and Facebook are already very busy but now people had a chance to comment songs and the rest live on TV through Twitter. Messages were visible on Text-TV and it was a success: 1.100 messages were published in the semifinals and 1.435 in the final. A good way to involve the common mortals but Eurovision freaks surely don't want their screen be filled with extra texts! YLE has EBU's blessing for this experiment.

Kuunkuiskaajat back to Finland

Kuunkuiskaajat are back to Finland after eventful two weeks in Oslo. Even in the Helsinki airport they are hunted down by fans, like this Gabriel from Barcelona! Great job, girls. Shame for the missed final for 3 points but that's the game.

Kuunkuiskaajat+Eläkeläiset=Oslo 2010

Followers of this blog know the story about Eläkeläiset, the big favourite to win Euroviisut 2010 and Kuunkuiskaajat. Now the "Losers Reunited" got together in Oslo before the final and Eläkeläiset gave the girls gifts as consolation and they all seemed to have fun. Good sport girls! Video is here (in Finnish). Longer video here. (Still in Finnish)

Everyone gets 12s. Almost.

If 13 countries out of 17 gets at least one 12 pointer in the second semifinal, 10 out of 17 in the first one and 16 out of 25 in the final... what does it tell us? Was it an extremely good year or is there still something to be fixed in the voting? Especially as it didn't really change the obvious - and I mean obvious, not merited - neighbouring voting like always before or how you explain even Belarus that came seond to last got a 12? Germany also won with the second lowest average ever (only Greece 2005 got less) and even if the top-3 in the final seems to be very clear the rest of the top-10 are within points from each other: 13 points devide places 4-9, 10 points devide 13-16,  and again places 20-23 are within 10 points.
I think it has been very compromising perhaps, meaning the jurors and televotes have been at some points very different from each other causing haöf of the songs ending with almost same points. Let's see if EBU will publish separate votes for both televotes and the jurors later on.... 
But I'm not complaining. The result is what it is and it could have been much worse. 

Love, my aim is straight and ture
Cupid's arrow is just for you
I even painted my toenails for you
I did it just the other day




My name is Lena, I'm 19 and I'm from Hannover...

The winner's press conference was delayed but when it started it was a total chaos in the beginning. Champagne erupting in every direction and Lena jumping on table. When the situation settled she asked to speak in German and started (in German): 
Hi! Hello! My name is Lena. I'm 19 from Hannover. Today I have won. The Eurovision song contest
How legendary is that?
And after that she's completely freaking out!
German TV people informed us they have no idea where the next year's contest is going to be held; Berlin, Hannover, Hamburg, Köln....
The German team and Lena are flying home tomorrow and will land in Hannover 3.10pm and then willl meet the fans in the city hall...
Well here's a video moments after winning. 

Eurovision 2010 - the results

And here are the results. Convincing win for Germany. A total of 16 countries got 12 points from someone. Germany won with the second lowest average (that being Greece 2005) points.
Belgium was second for a long time but dropped to 6th place. Romania did surprisngly well, as did France (I thought it might be a surprise) and Ukraine and Russia to the horror of most fans managed to the upper part of the scoreboard. Serbia, Israel, Albania and Ireland failed badly. As did Iceland and host country Norway. Turkey got its second best score ever, and Romania equals its best back in 2005. Azerbaijan, Armenia and Greece stay in top-10 and Georgia also makes its best result ever.

Germany got 9 times 12, 5 times 10 and 4 times 8, and points from all countries but Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Israel. Russia got high marks from all ex-Sovejet countries and Israel plus odd ones from Slovakia and Turkey.

1. Germany:  Lena "Satellite" 248
2. Turkey: maNga "We Could Be The Same" 170
3. Romania: Paula Seling & Ovi "Playing With Fire" 162
4. Denmark: Chanee & N'evergreen "In A Moment Like This" 149
5. Azerbaidzan: Safura "Drip Drop" 145
6. Belgium: Tom Dice "Me And My Guitar" 143
7. Armenia: Eva Rivas "Apricot Stone" 141
8. Greece: Giorgos Alkaios & Friends "OPA" 140
9. Georgia: Sopho Nizharadze "Shine" 136
10. Ukraine: Alyosha "Sweet People" 108
11. Russia: Peter Nalitch "Lost And Forgotten" 90
12. France: Jessy Matador "Allez! Ola! Ole!" 82
13. Serbia: Milan Stankovic "Ovo Je Balkan" 72
14. Israel: Harel Skaat "Milim" 71
15. Spain: Daniel Diges "Algo Pequenito" 68
16. Albania: Juliana Pasha "It's All About You"
17. Bosnia-Herzegovina: Vukasin Brajic "Thunder And Lightning" 51
18. Portugal: Filipa Azevedo "Ha Dias Assim" 43
19. Iceland: Hera Björk "Je Ne Sais Quoi" 41
20. Norway: Didrik Solli-Tangen "My Heart Is Yours" 35
21. Cyprus: Jon Lilygreen & The Islanders "Life Looks Better In Spring" 27
22. Moldova: Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira "Run Away" 27
23. Ireland: Niamh Kavanagh "It's For You" 25
24. Belarus: 3+2 "Butterflies" 18
25. UK: Josh "That Sounds Good To Me" 10

Spain: Something not so tiny on stage

The evening was very polished one and the presenters were funny and nice. The only incident happened when some clown that turned out to be infamous Jimmy Jump jumped on stage while Daniel Diges was performing. Honeslty I was thinking it's the backing singer - I have been here complaining about him stealing the show in the background and thought he was finally into the act and dressed for it, lol - but then I saw the security guys and went Ooh! Something similar happened in Helsinki 2007 during The Ark's performance. Luckily that was not seen on TV and didn't disturb the act.... EBU and Svante then decided Spain can perform again which was fair. Video is here.

UPDATE: Why it took the security to react for so long? They simply thought he was part of the act so I wasn't alone thinking that way first, lol! But then this makes it a bit scandalous, doesn't it? I guess the security close to the stage should know what's going to happen on stage and what is not supposed to happen. Mind you, some delegation might have had a great idea to have an artist jump to the stage from the audience to make an effect but this time they didn't. However, Spain had this backing singer jumping to the stage later in the song and Jimmy indeed blended in nicely. So, in that light it is understandable, but by no means acceptable!

Finland and Sweden the unlucky 11ths

Finland was the 11th and therefor out of the final in the first semifinal only 3 points behind Moldova. The same faith for Sweden in the second one, 5 points behind Cyprus. It is quite shocking Slovakia finished 16th and Switzerland last. Anyways, what comes to disapora voting: if only Sweden and Finland were in the same semifinal propably both would have qualified.... :-)

First Semi-Final (27 May)

01. Belgium (167 points)
02. Greece (133)
03. Iceland (123)
04. Portugal (89)
05. Serbia (79)
06. Albania (76)
07. Russia (74)
08. Bosnia & Herzegovina (59)
09. Belarus (59)
10. Moldova (52)
11. Finland (49)
12. Malta (45)
13. Poland (44)
14. Estonia (39)
15. FYR Macedonia (37)
16. Slovakia (24)
17. Latvia (11) 

Second Semi-Final (25 May)

01. Turkey (118 points)
02. Azerbaijan (113)
03. Georgia (106)
04. Romania (104)
05. Denmark (101)
06. Armenia (83)
07. Ukraine (77)
08. Israel (71)
09. Ireland (67)
10. Cyprus (67)
11. Sweden (62)
12. Lithuania (44)
13. Croatia (33)
14. The Netherlands (29)
15. Bulgaria (19)
16. Slovenia (6)
17. Switzerland (2)

And it is... Germany!

All is good that end well and I think Germany after all is a worthy winner. Good for Eurovision as finally one of the Big4 made it, even France did well and Spain reasonabyly well even if UK finished right there were I said it would end: last. Good for image as Satellite has been already a big hit in certain countries and now propably will chart elsewhere, too, so the winner is again a commercial success. And Germany will surely produce a great show in 2011.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ok, tonight's the night and we will see if we will be off to some exotic location like Yerevan or Baku, just north of Iran! Or shall we stay in the cold north like Antwerp or Berlin. Or maybe to somewhere a bit warmer, Madrid or Athens? Or shall we have a vulcanic exprerience in Reykjavik finally? Tonight I will sit tight on my sofa with drinks and snacks but relaxed as my favourite is out as well as Finland. Enjoy the show and come back for comments and feelings afterwords. Right here.

All is ready.... Have fun!

Last year 130 million people watched the contest and over 10 million televotes were given, let's see if those records will be broken tonight when the competition is fiercer than ever before. There is not a clear winner candidate unlike last year when Norway was won before the voting started really. The juries have already voted last night, tonight it's time for the people in all 39 participating countries to do so. Eurovision 2010 will be also broadcasted live or delayed in Australia, New Zealand, Kosovo, Kazakhstan and also in Hungary and Montenegro giving them a possibility to return next year. The final can be also watched all over the world by various satellites including TVE Internacional, RTP Internacional, HRT Sat, RTS Sat, TVP Polonia and SVT World, and of course on line in eurovision.tv. Have a great time wherever you are watching!

Iceland: Hera's cake bazaar

Hera Björk, running for victory tonight for Iceland tells on eurovision.tv that she had to have a cake bazaar to collect funds for her trip: “We actually held a cake bazaar! We needed some more money than we had to do this like we wanted it to be, so we went to the biggest shopping mall, and everyone baked – all the mummys, grannys and fathers. And we sold cakes for a lot of money and sang,” Hera says. I just have to love that woman! And here's a lovely interview with her.

Kuunkuiskaajat reveal their favourites tonight!

Even if Kuunkuiskaajat didn't make the final the girls have stayed in Oslo doing PR and having fun. Tonight they will be in Telenor arena watching the show in the audience. "We don't know who's gonna win but we have our favourites!" they say and here they are:

1. Serbia: Just so full of good humour. We like Balkan horn music. And Milan is so sweet!
2. Spain: Great spund. Daniel is very charismatic, with a twinkle in the eye - we could eat him!
3. Israel: Harel has amazing voice and charisma. He doesn't flirt with the camera, he goes into the music. The song has power, it's not a sugary ballad.
4. Iceland: Winner! Hera's singing is so effortless, amazing peronality. We will meet with Hera as soon as possible in Finland or in iceland.
5. Greece: Party song. Great choreography. The whole performance is filled with manly sweat! Heavenly testerone!
6. Georgia: Sofia is even better singer than Hera but Hera has more personality.
7. Belgium: Tom will be in top-3. Fabulous alone with his guitar.

Sweden: SVT in crisis meeting. MF will change

Moments after Anna Bergendahl's This is my life didn't qualify for the final in this year's Eurovision song contest final - a first for Sweden - SVT bosses were called in for a crisis meeting "How to make sure Sweden will make the final in 2011". In short that means Europe will get more power is choosing the song. Swedes have been particularly harsh on Christer Björkman, the man in charge for Melodifestivalen asking him to resign.
"That's bullshit. I don't choose the songs or vote out the winner" he says. "I'm in charge for making an entertaining Saturday night program and not picking up the winner. We have to change the system. We know what works in the Swedish market as a program and music but we need to get more international feel to it now. The main problem seem to be the jury that picks up the songs for Melodifestivalen. They try to find a bit everything in it, a little Sweden. Politically correct. Maybe we should get a little Europe in it instead. People will have their say of course. Televoting stays but people must understand what they are doing, finding an Eurovision winner and not a song that works in Sweden." In Norway NRK and in Finland YLE have a last word on everything concerning their national finals.
Poor Anna left Oslo the day after by car with her parents to go home in Norrköping, Sweden. "This is not a personal disaster but it is a diaster for Sweden" she said.

Sweden: What the veterans and writers say. And Bert Karlsson might have a solution?

Comments have been flying in Sweden after Thursday night's fiasco and the media throws accusation here and there but what do the Eurovision veterans and the Swedish songwriters say?
Thomas G:son, the Swedish writer for the Danish entry In a moment like this that was originally rejected from Melodifestivalen shouts out for Anna Bergendahl: "She was absolutely great. Outstanding. I was sure she's going to win!"  Also many other Eurovision veterans have commented the fiasco: 
Nanne Grönvall says she was in shock. She thinks that singing just before Azerbaijan may have reduced Anna's chances. Charlotte Perrelli is under shock, too. She wonders now what should the Sweden send now? What does Europe want from them? She believed in Anna's chances. 
Ola Salo from The Ark urges Anna not to get depressed over the result. He says Eurovision is only a spin off of Melodifestivalen that is the only contest that matters. (Err...??) A Finn can only comment here: Sour loser! After all they said all Helsinki 2007 was shit after the results were out and blamed Finns for their unsuccess... Oh well. Long story.  
Bert Karlsson, famous record company boss who dominated Melodifestivalen in the 1980's and good part of 1990's says the jury should go and Björkman choose the songs himself. "He picked up 6 out of 10 songs in the final this year: the wildcards plus Pernilla Wahlgren's and Jessica Andersson's songs that he fought to be included in the line up. The jury picks popsongs, Björkman hits. Jessica Andersson's song was sent in last year sung by Molly Sanden in Swedish and wasn't picked up. Jana Vähämäki sung In a moment like this and it didn't even get to the top 200 in Sweden, then it was sent to Denmark, won and is now in the final. That tells it all about the jury! Bobby Ljungren's best song didn't get to the semifinals either. Now it is topping the charts for Sanna Nielsen. So my suggestion is let Björkman choose the songs himself. If he fails he may go. Now his only fault is letting the jury do the job!"
And finally Anders Bagge, who is one of the writers of the Azerbeijan song, is not as happy as he should be. "I'm sad Anna didn't qualify. I don't get it."

STAR Channel kicked out? Finally!

EBU just announced that Greek TV channel, STAR channel, is banned from three Eurovision future events. This afternoon, STAR Channel aired live the NRK feed of the first dress rehearsal at least from Cyprus to Greece. EBU was notified immediately and called the police to remove the live link and the STAR journalists while they took them their accreditations. The NRK and EBU as they have the rights, asked from the STAR Channel journalists, Katerine Souliotis and Yannis Poulopoulos to leave the country immediately not attending the show or any place near the arena. Up to this moment there are negotiations for which the crew asks permission to stay at least to the hotel, reports Oikotimes.

It's about the time, too. I remember them from Helsinki 2007 and they were really annoying, hysterical and far from professional in my opinion. Also freegossip.gre, whatever that is, was showing the rehearsals on their website live. I'm not sure if that is allowed either. As I have stated before I often like the Greek songs, this year included but I want them to fail miserably and not to win because of the Greek fans and these hysterical "journalists". They are annoying and putting the Greece in general in disgrace.

Oslo 2010: The final - who's going to win?

First of all I have to say I have no clue anymore. I would have stuck to Sweden but as it is out, my second choice was Azerbaijan but now it is performed first and have not really been very convincing on stage, I must say. I don't like Denmark at all and was hoping it wouldn't even make the final but now it's there. As the last one. Another favourite of mine Croatia is also out. What to think?
So, Azerbaijan starts and is followed by Spain that is followed by Norway and Moldova. Four very different songs to start with which is good, gives good variety. But it also makes them all stand out. My least favourite out fo these is Moldova but it really stands out now between Norway and Cyprus.
Cyprus. I never thought it would make the final but it did look and sound pretty good in the semi. My concern now is that being close to Belgium now separated only by Bosnia-Herzegovina it means trouble. Three guys in a row with guitars. I think that might end Belgium's winning dreams. Maybe.
We move on to totally different world with Serbia next that really stands out now when it is followed by two ballads. Where Belarus is all kitchy and sugar sweet Ireland is pure class. If only Niamh delivers as we know she can (and didn't in the semifinal) until the last note. Greece really got a good slot here after these two ballads that might eat each other out.
United Kingdom really has no chance after Greece. The arena is still filled with testerone and people going "uh! opa!" and will hardly notice him and then it's already time for Georgia. She will stand out for her vocal capacity but will people be too busy watching her acrobatics to pick up their phone and vote?
Turkey will stand out in any slot they are as they look and sound very different from anything else in their black and white. Albania on the other hand right after it has one of the most effective stages in the contest and totally Turkey's opposite with its colorfullnes so she'll be fine but will Iceland struggle coming right after them? This said, the beginning of Iceland is one of the most effective moments of the evening when Hera walks in the cloud towards the camera. Majestic. Massive. Heavenly. Or should I say vulcanic?
Ukraine follows and she surely captures one's eye whether you like the song or not. She's not shadowed by Hera and will be propably very dangerous in the end. France comes and goes and it will be interesting to see how it goes. Anything can happen. Romania and Russia next create a good contrast making way to yet totally different Armenia. Especially when it is followed by Germany. We really move on from one atmosphere to another this year! Unfortunately two ballads follow then, Portugal and Israel. They might harm each other but luckily it's a girl vs a boy before the final duo from Denmark that also seems to be (accidently) girl vs boy. The dullest song of the evening will be last and benefits greatly from that.
So, except very few odd couples Cyprus/Belgium, Belarus/Ireland, Albania/Iceland and Portugal/Israel it is a very balanced running order I think. But who is going to win? I have about a dozen possibilities in my head, the race is very open this year. I think the main contenders are Armenia, Belgium, Turkey, Greece and Serbia. But Azerbaijan, Spain, Norway, Ireland, Germany, Israel and Denmark (sigh) also have a chance. I believe so or the polls do. Or are we in for a surprise like Iceland , Cyprus or Romania? Ok, that's 15. Must I slim down? Ok, at this very moment: Armenia. Belgium. Greece. Turkey. Serbia or Spain the fifth one.

PS. I have been so wrong all season this time so I don't really care anymore at this point.... as long as it's not Denmark!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Welcome #182: Capo Verde

After a long break a new flag entry: Capo Verde making it 182 on Flagcounter. Welcome!

A dream job: Eurovision translator!

Finland is the only country where the Eurovision songs are subtitled with their translations. Sounds odd? Well, it's YLE's nostalgia from the past - they used to subtitle even the rock concerts as late as 1990's.... In a way it's kinda sweet and if you are not an Eurovision freak who reads the lyrics online or somewhere how on earth regular Finns would know what this and that artists is singing about? (Truth to be said, sometimes it would be better not to know...) Some absolutely hilarious translations have passed in the screen over the years proving nonsense oh baby baby shanana lyrics are written in every language!
Kalle Niemi has been in charge of that part in YLE for years now and tells: "We used to be several translators for Eurovision but for a few years now I have done it alone. I have done this since early 1990's with a couple of exceptions along the way. I get the original lyrics and the English translation about a month ago. In 1990's I also got the French translation which was very good, as sometimes the English one isn't the translation but the English version of the song and they are completely different. With the French one I was able to double check."
Kalle makes the translations about a month before and these go also to the Finnish (back up) jury. "Later I see the dress rehearsals to see if how it all goes and if the translation still fits. Sometimes countries make changes still even in the rehearsals and once they changed back to the original version when I was prepaired for the new one and it was a bit chaotic. Also, as Eurovision is broadcasted live the subtitles cannot be added to the film but I must be there doing that live. Once something went wrong and I didn't find the text so that song went on air without subtitles. I also have to take account the space on screen and rhymes."
The best about this job is finding the rhymes, he says. The worst is the songs keep playing in his head weeks after the contest. "I'm not sure how much I would follow Eurovision if it wasn't part of my job. My favourites are however Le dernier qui a parle and Molitva. Generally I like the songs from Eastern Europe, Serbia has been good usually. I also like Israel as you hear Hebrew so rarely. This year I like Satellite. I have no clue who's gonna win this year but I hope it's Germany!"

How is commentator's life in the box? Jaana tells you

Jaana Pelkonen, the hostess of Helsinkim 2007 and YLE's commentator for the 5th time and of course the Finnish Euroviisut hostess since forever has given a very nice interview to eurovision.tv about the job as a hostess and a commentator. Here.

Eurovision 2010 trends

Five trends have been pretty evident in this year's rather recession market contest. First of all these shower curtain trailed dresses sported by Serbia, Croatia and Azerbaijan at least. Secondly violins (or similar) maybe influenced by Alexander Rybak's example last year. Mark Moldova, Albania, Finland and Greece. Thirdly barefoot. Finland, Croatia, Poland, Armenia, Georgia.... Then we have wings of some kind in Malta, Bulgaria and Belarus. And Sweden, the most dominant one even if Sweden is out herself. Denmark, Ireland, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Norway, Belarus - all of them have a touch of Swedish. 

Outgoing trends seems to be pyros, which is a relief. They were used a lot less than before and now it is nearly good = used where they fit and not only used because they can, no matter if they fit the staging and the song or not. Also gone are huge drops on stage á la Ukraine 2009 or Greece 2008. Another outgoing trend, or a sign of recession? is the lack of promotion material. All those fancy promo CDs and wierd stuff to go with them. (Correct me if I am wrong you who are in Oslo but I haven't found any mention about them this year in blogs or websites unlike last year when for example the Dutch one was talked a lot. And the Turkish one. And many others...)

Sweden: Anna gets crisis help - and Björkman the blame

Missing the Eurovision final for the first time since 1958 (when they have wanted to take part) and after 49 entries the 50th turns out a fiasco. Sweden is under shock and apparently people don't know to handle this and take it all too seriously. Ask Finns for help. After all we are experts, after missing every other year in 1990's and many finals have been stopped in semifinals, too. 
But last night, after the last envelope that didn't say Sweden but Denmark (a song written by Swedes and rejected from melodifestivale one might like to point out) a silence fell to the Swedish delegation.  
Fast forward: Anna locked in a room crying and getting crisis help from SVT. (How very Swedish!) 
Fast forward: teary eyed Anna meeting the press with a weak smile. 
Meanwhile in Sweden the headlines of tabloids are crying out a fiasco asking should Swedes stop participating? Close down Melodifestivalen? Do Italy and keep Melodifestivalen but stop Eurovision? Fire Christer Björkman and everyone involved? Björkman seems to be getting the most of it. Thankfully. It would have been so easy to blame Anna but it's not her fault. She was great and chosen by the Swedish people. 
Meanwhile Sweden missing the final is headline news in both Norway and Finland - maybe with a little hidden pleasure in them? :-)
And after all there are still four Swedish written/produced songs in the final: Azerbaijan, Denmark,  Norway, Georgia and Ireland. Oh and Robert Wells for Belarus. Isn't that enough?

ESC 2010 Kate Ryans - sadly missed in the final

Kate Ryan was a big favourite to win back in 2006 with Je t'adore but failed to make the final. Such a shock for fans similar surprises have been named after her ever since. This year it's not easy to pick up just one as both semifinals provided surprises, both personal and predicted ones. In the first one Slovakia was topping many polls and was in most everyone's list of the qualifiers. It didn't. Finland became a huge favourite at the spot and was also given as a certain qualifier. It didn't. In the second one last night both Croatia and Sweden were given as sure qualifiers, I personally thought both of them could win it all, especially Sweden. I have never in my Eurovision career been so wrong, since 1976. That is also the year Sweden last time was not in the final btw. So, like in Eurovision 1969 there are four winners this year for me. And mind you, there are more countries I would have gladly seen in the final.....

Sweden: It's a fiasco!

One can easily understand the reactions in Sweden. The country will miss the Eurovision final for the first time since 1976 - and back then they were boycotting the contest by they own will. The papers are asking Christer Björkman to leave his job and that Anna's career is over. Anna herself has been gracious even if a bit of tears in her eyes. One can onw only hope the Swedish media won't really massacre her and blame her for the disaster as she did a fantastic job. We should also remember the international jury in Melodifestivalen didn't care at all for This is my life giving their top marks to other songs. Despite that the Swedish people voted her as the winner. Besides the Melodifestivalen organisation, the jury that picks up the songs is better target to accuse. After all they dropped In a moment like this and now it's in the final but for Denmark instead. And to end with Anna's comment to stupid journalist asking her "Are you disappointed?": "Of course! Aren't YOU?" Then she continues: "I can't be blamed alone. We did this together, the Swedish people. Now we must stick together. I was represanting Sweden and I'm still very pround of myself!"
Sweden's non qualification made headlines also in Norway and Finland. The Finnish papers maybe a bit too gladly welcomed Sweden to the club with "now you know how it feels!"

Eurovision free Europe next Saturday....

ESC 2010: The running order for the final

01. AZERBAIJAN
02. SPAIN
03. NORWAY
04. MOLDOVA
05. CYPRUS
06. BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
07. BELGIUM
08. SERBIA
09. BELARUS
10. IRELAND
11. GREECE
12. UNITED KINBGDOM
13. GEORGIA
14. TURKEY
15. ALBANIA
16. ICELAND
17. UKRAINE
18. FRANCE
19. ROMANIA
20. RUSSIA
21. ARMENIA
22. GERMANY
23. PORTUGAL
24. ISRAEL
25. DENMARK

OMG! OMG! OMG!

I'm not sure if I like Eurovision anymore. I have been all these years saying friends who complain it isn't so, but now... I am tired of standing up for Eurovision. I have never predicted so bad as this year. Where is Croatia? Sweden? Lithuania? I kinda predicted Ukraine would do it after all and kinda agree after seeing it tonight but.... This is not fun anymore....

Lithuania did a good job, so did Armenia even if the dancer is totally useless and just distraction. Israel was kinda nervous or why else was he smiling like an idiot when singing such drama? Denmark sounded and looked plauback to me, especially compared to the rehearsals. Switzerland was good even if some flat notes. Sweden was fantastic as always, why people can't see that? I don't get it. I just don't.
Azerbaijan was a real mess and even if I have been supporting the song the past couple of months with this performance it didn't deserve the final place. Ukraine, even if I loathed the way it was selected and don't like the song still deserved to be in the final with that performance. The Netherlands was fun and I was kinda hoping it would be the shocker qualifier but instead we got Cyprus! Romania wasn't playing with fire, it left me completely cold and Paula should sach her hairdressed sasp. Slovenia did 100% whith what they had.
I'm a bit shocked Niamh song so bad. She deserves the final but I was afraid she wouldn't make it after that slaughter. Bulgaria came across just angry. Croatia was good and deserved to be in the final, even with that horrendous ending. Georgia deserves the final because of the voice and the song, and also dancing but a mixture of them all not. Turkey will always be in the final but this time they also deserved it. Now I hope they also win the whole thing....

So the qualifiers are Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Ireland, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Romania, Armenia and Denmark.

Summa summarum: A much better show than the first semifinal in every sense until the end. If only Sweden and Croatia would have been in and Cyprus and Denmark or even Ukraine out I would be happy as a bee. It may be only 2 out of 10 but they mean a lot more than 1/10 each.  I'm very curious to see the scoreboard after the final. If the jurys have voted Denmark and Cyprus in I wonder what kind of criteria they have had! I even understand if they voted Russia in in the first one, but this no. No way. No fucking way.

Well, a bit happier last note: Blogilkar's facebook has now 1.000 friends! 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Second semifinal tonight at 9pm CET. I will be here right after to comment and blog. Scroll down for my review and thoughts. And have a great night! Let the best ones qualify - well, one can only hope after the first semifinal.... :-) Here's a little taste of things to come tonight.

Bulgaria wins Facebook voting in Finland

YLE's Eurovision Facebook group got 8/10 right in the first semifinal (here), how will it be for the second one? In the second one the winner Slovakia and no 4 Latvia didn't make the final. Will Bulgaria have a similar fate?

1. Bulgaria (8,64)
2. Armenia (8,57)
3. Croatia (8,3)
4. Ireland (8,21)
5. Denmark (8,17)
6. Turkey (8,0)
7. Azerbaijan (7,9)
8. Romania (7,6)
9. Israel (7,5)
10. Switzerland (7,4)
11. Sweden (7,1)
12. Cyprus (7,0)
13. The Netherlands (6,58)
14. Georgia (6,56)
15. Lithuania (6,1)
16. Ukraine (5,1)
17.  Slovenia (4,7)

Heli Kajo one of the Finnish jurors

One of the five Finnish jurors for the Eurovision 2010 is Heli Kajo. She was the big fan favourite in Euroviisut 2010 with Annankadun kulmassa. She's currently writing her debut album to be released later this year and next week, June 4, she will be performing again in Baker's in Helsinki city center. Hopefully she will sing some new songs, too! YLE is also using her song along with selected previous winners in the ads for the open selection for Euroviisut 2011 that have been aired these days on YLE's channels. Amonst the jurors is also singer/writer Pekka Ruuska, Elina Orma from Live Nation and Alex Fager from Svenska YLE's X3M.

Oslo 2010: Thea and Marcin dance the night away while others complain

Apparently Maltese didn't take their missed qualification as gracefully Finns. She first complained the neighbouring voting with tears in her eyes but all was soon forgotten and later that night she was dancing the night away with Polish Marcin who also didn't pass to the final, as you can see in the pic (source: Times of Malta)
Well, the media in Finland did their "told you so" and so did 70% of the nation. It seems that Finns have forgotten the years we never did make the final or had to skip every other year. We have been in the final 2006-2009, it's just a skip year no so what's the big deal. (Sad it is though). I wonder what the reaction in Slovakia has been? Anyone know? Slovakian reading, let us know!
Also, the organisation has been only praised until now. First we got the harsh critic from fans and delegations for the empty arena for the dress rehearsals. Then I started hearing complaints for the Euroclub being too small. And of course things being too expensive in Norway. The limited number of invitations to the Welcome reception caused some outcry. But now I heard that the journalists aren't very happy with the press center, the trasnportation, information and such things. In overall everything seems like perfection but in little things the fine tuning has left a lot to be desired. Oh well. Oh and I have been complaining about the stage being too dark and so. It did look pretty ok in telly after all. It's just all these youtubes and photos seem to be rather dark....

Italy in Eurovision 2010

Italy is not participating, we all know that but like most every year some Italians have sneaked in anyways. Or artists with Italian connections at least. Thea Garrett from Malta basicly started her career in Italy two years ago with Gigi D'Alessio. The Albanian violinist Olen Cesari also got his big breakthrough in Italy back in 1993 by winning Partita doppia TV-show. Since then he has worked with most Italian big stars and lives and works in Italy. He has even arranged the strings for one Sanremo winner, Ti regaleró una rosa in 2007. Georgia has a lot of Italy in it. One of the writers, Christian Leuzzi, one of the dancers Francesca Lavecchia and the dress, by Dolce & Gabbana. Croatia's Feminnem recorded an Italian version of their song. And on top of that there are two (2) Italian accredited journalists! Two! (Eddy, is that you?)

Portugal and Romania - is that fair?

Did you know that while Portugal's Filipa was on stage Tuesday night in the first semifinal RTP International run a text in screen inviting all Portuguese all around Europe to vote for it? With the numbers in different countries. So I have been told. Isn't that a bit partiar and against fair play? Can these TV station really run their own stuff on screen in the live broadcast? Can they?
Same goes for Romania. A mega advertising just before the show started to alert all Romanians all over the continent to vote for Paula & Ovi today. I'm sure the ad will be there even tonight. I just wonder....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No boundaries for Alexander Rybak

Still reigning Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak will release his second album in 3 weeks. After Fairytales we get No boundaries (wasn't that the title of the first album after winning for Sertab Erener, too?) and it has a tribute to Finland amongst the songs, Suomi. Last summer Rybak was overwhelmed about his popularity and hsyteria she caused in Finland stating it was "biggeer than in Norway right after my winning" so it sure was something! The first single of the album is Oah.

Blogilkar reviews Eurovision 2010

Here comes my thoughts and ideas about the second semifinal. After the first semifinal it is pretty clear the 50-50 juries-televote doesn't seem to change a thing so I am not going to adjust any my remarks written here before that. But I must press the fact that I have not seen the final screen shots, camera runs and the overal show the TV viewers will see. It made me change my mind about a few things during the show yesterday (dropping Slovakia and adding Bosnia-Herzegovina for example) but I can't help that now.

Lithuania - InCulto - Eastern European funk
Like the first semi we have an opener that will surely get viewers attention. When this won I wasn't very pleased but I started liking this very soon and I find it still funny and entertaining. It's all about their attitude I guess. They have fun themselves and don't take this too seriously, yet being totally serious about it. This isn't stupid silly like We are the winners or other similar acts in the past. With only televoting I would be sure this qualifies, but the jurys might keep it down from reaching the final. The staging is energetic and they will also enter the Eurovision history with their glitter shorts.
First impression: **
Performer: ****
Song: **
Staging: ****
Qualification: 50-50

Armenia - Eva Rivas - Apricot stone
This wasn't doing so well in the polls until the rehearsals started but I liked this since it won. Catchy tune with ethnic influences. Nice story if you get it (the apricot stone symbolism in Armenia that is) and Eva is quite stunning on stage. There's a lot of going in the performance but it still works, just like the simple studio based preview video. The remix of this is my favourite of all the dance versions I have heard this year so it makes me like this even more. In a year when the votes will split in every direction this one will be scoring medium high points from all corners of Europe and maybe end up winning?
First impression: *****
Performer: ****
Song: *****
Staging: ****
Qualification: Sure.

Israel - Harel Skaat - Milim
Harel had a lot of fans before he entered the contest, me included. Then he performed a few songs, all a bit the same but this oen one. Comparisons to Patricia Kaas were voiced. No doubt great voice and cute guy but something's been missing in the rehearsals. Maybe this one needs also the live audience in arena to push some life to this, or it might just come across a bit dull and tired. A lot of emotions for sure, but not the right kind to make you vote for it. If Patricia Kaas with her superstar status and better song and understandable language to half of Europe couldn't do better than 8th....
First impression: ****
Song: ***
Performer: ****
Staging: ***
Qualification: Most likely

Denmark - Chanée & N'evergreen - In a moment like this
I hate to admit but I have been very pleased this has been a disaster on stage. Bad singing, no chemistry. The song is plain bad I have repeat that about a zillion times by now. Unless they make the magic happen when it counts they won't even qualify. So much for the pre-contest favourites! I still don't understand how this became the favourite in the first place?!
First impression: *
Song: *
Performer: **
Staging: ***
Qualification: I pray not

Switzerland - Michael von der Heide - Il pleut de l'or
If I have been happy - naughty me - for Denmark's failure to deliver I have been equally happy for Switzerland doing it. It's rather kitchy presentation but fits the song. The ladies are great and Michael is clearly enjoying himself on stage. One of my favourite songs this year and wouldn't it be great if Switzerland qualified this time when fans don't think so after many times been "sure qualifier" and then missing out?
First impression: ****
Song: ****
Performer: ****
Staging: ****
Qualification: I pray 

Sweden - Anna Bergendahl - This is my life
I have been writing this will win since it won Melodifestivalen, against all odds and fans' opinions. Most of the fans have now woken up and talk about the possibility but if it does I am the one who can say "I said so!". On the other hand if she doesn't I have made me a bit of a fool of myself but I don't care. I love the song. She performs it with true feelings and is fantastic, why they can't see that? (I know, because they were voting for Manboy or some other nonsense that would have done the end of Hero or La voix and can't get over it...) I also think Svante and EBU would be happier if we were off to Stockholm in 2011 instead of, say, Baku or Yerevan....
First impression: *****
Song: *****
Performer: *****
Staging: ****
Qualification: Oh yes!

Azerbaijan - Safura - Drip drop
This is Anna's worst enemy. For awhile I was nearly switching from Sweden to Azerbaijan as the one I think will win but when I saw the staging I went back to Sweden. The song is very catchy and sticks to your head and it's in the same league with Believe. It can win still. With only televote it would I guess. This is like Armenia; picking medium high votes from all over the place. Only time will tell how this ends and if Safura manages to walk down the stairs in her high heals, if the lights in her dress will light up, if she will make it in time back to the main stage from the catwalk... A simplier staging would have been maybe a better idea?
First impression: ****
Song: ****
Performer: ****
Staging: ***
Qualification: Sure

Ukraine - Alyosha - Sweet people
Well, I'm not a fan of this song. Partly because of the mess they had with the selection(s), partly because listening to this one feels like a torture. Seeing it changes things a bit though. She's rather captivating on stage. Her voice is if not great at least noticeable. I have no idea how this will do.
First impression: *
Song: **
Performer: ***
Staging: **
Qualification: I have no idea.

The Netherlands - Sieneke - Ik ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie)
I think this will benefit greatly being performed after the Ukrainian drama, making people forget all about it and either clap their hands with delight or just stare with their mouth open. A real divider of opinions. I must say I have switched teams and like this now. Sieneke performs it well and if you get over your annoyance it's actually a lot of fun. For some reason I now after Finland's failure I think this will have similar fate, except this was never going to the final and here's the beauty: I hope she takes revenge in the name of Kuunkuiskaajat and qualifies to the horror of the fans and who remembers Russian qualification after that?
First impression: *
Song: **
Performer: ****
Staging: ***
Qualification: No, but I still hope.

Romania - Paula Seling & Ovi - Playing with fire
This is a dangerous one, the way Fly on the wings of love. But all depends on their performance as if they lack the chemistry it all easily comes across as too plastic and steril, and Paula's silver catsuit doesn't help if that's what she is wearing tomorrow night. Catchy and bouncy, with gimmicks like the high notes and of course pyros.
First impression: ***
Song: ***
Performer: ***
Staging: *
Qualification: Maybe

Slovenia - Ansambel Zlindra & Kalamari - Narodnozabavni rock
Where else would you hear a song like this but Eurovision? Sometimes it's a blessing, sometimes... well, never mind. The vocalists are good, they seem to enjoy what they do but I still wonder who would vote for this? Not even as a protest? The staging is also very static.
First impression: *
Song: *
Performer: ***
Staging: *
Qualification: Never

Ireland - Niamh Kavanagh - It's for you
Niamh is fantastic. She's done this before and it shows. She glows warmth and likebility. The song has been heard before but it's still a good one. The staging, too. It's like time stood still but so seems to be the whole contest this year from staging to songs, so I wouldn't be surprised if she won again. On the other hand she might be punished by the jurors for being "seen it, heard it" which would be a shame. One of the best songs this year despite all. And she's maybe the best singer. Despite all.
First impression: ****
Song: *****
Performer: *****
Staging: ****
Qualification: Yes. 

Bulgaria - Miro - Angel si ti
I like Miro. I like this song. Yet I think this won't make the final. I will be overjoyed if it does but I think it won't. Something is just missing and I don't know what it is. Singing a bit in English in the middle doesn't improve it at all, almost the contrary. The show is very Eurovision and maybe a bit too much for the jurors. I guess this will be too easy a target for the jurors to punish it with very low votes and make it miss the final even if televoters would like it. Shame.
First impression: ****
Song: ****
Performer: ****
Staging: ****
Qualification: No.

Cyprus - Jon Lilygreen & The Islanders - Life looks better in spring
This isn't exactly a fan favourite either despite having a few eager fans. I don't get this. I find it just plain boring and canä't see why televoters would vote for this. They did vote Tom Dice in but that was just one guy, this is a messy group of random people on stage with a lead singer that isn't that convincing. I might be totally wrong but I don't think this one makes the cut either.
First impression: *
Song: **
Performer: **
Staging: *
Qualification: I doubt it

Croatia - Feminnem - Lako je sve
One of the fan favourites and it is easy to see why: already familiar group, catchy song that's not quite ballad but yet not uptempo with just enough drama to make it memorable. Indeed it is a good one. I have been singing the song in my head since I heard it and as we can expect a lot of ex-Yogoslavian votes this is a sure qualifier. And it deserves to be. With a very mixed and even voting this might be right up there fighting for the trophy until the very end - and maybe bringing it to Croatia.
First impression: ****
Song: *****
Performer: ****
Staging: ****
Qualification: Sure.

Georgia - Sofia Nizharadze - Shine
Another song that could easily be a surprise and a bit shocker winner - unless they mae such a mess on stage and she looks pretty desperate most of the time. Well, it may once again look all so different on TV screen. She's got no doubt some mighty vocal cords and the song is a well written (Swedish-Norwegian-Italian collaboration) power ballad. And now I want to know why Ireland is blamed for being too old fashioned and tired? How about this? Or Norway? However, we will see...
First impression: ****
Song: ****
Performer: *****
Staging: *
Qualification: Err... yes?

Turkey - maNga - We could be the same
When I heard this for the first time I thought this could be it. I lost faith a bit over the weeks but now we are hear and yes, I wouldn't be surprised this won. Turkey can count on doing well with a decent song and this is that. The staging is impressive and totally different from anything else. I can imagine even the juries go for this. Another top-5 for Turkey for sure.
First impression: *****
Song: ****
Performer: ***
Staging: *****
Qualification: Sure.

So, a wild guess for the qualifiers: Armenia, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Ireland and Croatia for sure. Then Lithuania, Israel, Georgia and.... and.... oh dear... Romania? Netherlands? Bulgaria? or Denmark after all? All this said, the contender for Kate Ryan award from this semi is Israel, don't you think?

Kuunkuiskaajat: The day after - and the beat goes on!

The Finnish fans and performers were very disappointend and a bit shocked when the promised final place didn't happen. The other big loser last night was Slovakia but at least from the first semifinal the Kate Ryan award goes to Kuunkuiskaajat for sure, let's see what will happen in the second one! 
Susan and Johanna were good humoured after initial shock: "Of course we are disappointed. Not because of the result but the fact that this fun ended here! We were so wanting to repeat this on Saturday and the rehearsals in between. But now we have all the time until Sunday to meet fans, make contacts and have fun. We have decided to stay here as planned!" Good news for the fans who surrounded the girls last night at the hotel, at the Euroclub and everywhere were they went. "At hotel the other delegations came up to us one after another telling how sorry they are we didn't make. They said we brought fun and smiles back to the contest!" The add they have gotten what they wanted from this contest: a lot of new fans and contacts, and invitations all over the world to come and perform.
Today the girls had a day in the Vikeland park (pictured here with Anna Muurinen's fabulous book Euroviisut - kisastudion käsikirja or Eurovision - handbook to home studio) and tonight they will perform at the Euroclub! Be there!

Kuunkuiskaajat stole the evening at Euroclub

My sources tell Kuunkuiskaajat was the hit of the evening in the afterparty at Euroclub. 1,5 hours of adoration, concolences, hugs and photos. The other artists just sneaked in and felt sorry. Tié!

Oslo 2010: The draw

So, we have filled up a bit the running order for the final  Looks pretty good so far with different music styles meck to neck, except the Albania, iceland, France lot building up with uptempo ones, hopefully we will get Ireland or something in no. 17. And Luckily Sweden cannot be drawn next to Belgium!

01.
02. SPAIN
03. NORWAY
04. MOLDOVA
05.
06. BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
07. BELGIUM
08. SERBIA
09. BELARUS
10.
11. GREECE
12. UNITED KINGDOM
13.
14.
15. ALBANIA
16. ICELAND
17.
18. FRANCE
19.
20. RUSSIA
21.
22. GERMANY
23. PORTUGAL
24.
25.

Ok, I'm off to bed. To have some disappointed sleep. And tomorrow my blogging's a bit slim, I'll have day of off Eurovision before Thursday! This is my life, my friend...See ya all! Nah, I'll be back in the evening and will report how the Finnish media will treat this, will there be a lot of "told you so"'s....

Kuunkuiskaajat: No comment! But yes!

Kuunkuiskaajat were full of positive energy right after their performance: "Absolutely fantastic! Great energy! It all went well and we had such fun on stage! Greetings to Finland! Coolest thing ever!" but after the results were out the girls were not to be found for comments. YLE's head of press was also one big "No comment". Well, the disappointment is huge. Let them get over it. On Monday they where laughing they have a Plan B in case they don't reach the final: "Maybe we will go and see Eläkeläiset's gig in Oslo!"

UPDATE: The girls are alive and well on their Facebook: We are still having a blast. We didn't loose! Thanks everyone for your support!


Random facts: Poland's Marcin had to pay himself the trip to Oslo. A bank loan. Shame it was wasted. And Estonia's Malcolm or rather Robin speaks perfect Finnish. He learned it when he was picking strawberries in Suonenjoki for living.....

Oslo 2010: Semifinal 1 results

Well, what can I say? Obviosuly I'm disappointed for Finland not making the final after all. Now I am very curious to see the full scoreboards afterwords! But checking the top tens of most everyone who has published them in blogs and sites no one made 10/10 and very few 9/10 (Escadaily's Luke, AKOE's Keith and Andrew and Esckatz's Mike) I made 7/10 which seems to be the most common score. However it is evident how seeing the rehearsals on spot in screen helps. I changed by list when seeing them finally on TV and scored 8/10 tonight based on the live show instead. I still didn't believe in Russia and Moldova and had Finland and Malta qualifying instead. Tonight I dropped Slovakia and Russia (!) and replaced them with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belarus.

Ok, overal a bit boring show wasn't it? I didn't get the feeling of the audience or was it empty there? Presenters were good. Not exceptionally good but good in a lowkey way. Postcards were something new but I think the idea was better than the final look. For that microsecond they travelled all over Europe to film the crowds? Graphics were very clear and ... proper, bordering boring again. Besides, the screen went balck at least here three times; during Estonia, Finland and Serbia - what was all that? But I have to admit the moment when the fans assaulted the Japanese tourist bus was priceless! I also liked the Human Voice thingy. 

What else? Estonia still had the Russian snow falling down. Slovakia and Finland got big applause but did it help? No. But it was nice to see Haddy amongst all those Finnish fans! Vukasin really has piercing eyes, he almost made me unconfortable in my sofa, no wonder he was voted in! The Polish act was very confusing indeed, and they even used that weirdest part in the recap! Also poor Aisha who murdered her song got the part in recap where she really wasn't at her finest. On the other hand Belarus's recap is the part when the guy no 2 sings, the only one with a Voice. Albania had the best backing group, those ladies were rocking! The worst was FYR Macedonian girls, they totally ruined any chances they had to qualify! And in the end Hera got the place really heated up.

Oh the qualifiers?  Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova, Russia, Greece, Portugal, Belarus, Serbia, Belgium, Albania and Iceland. Makes one wonder what effedct did the jurys have? I have a feeling this time it was the jurys that got Russia and Belarus in. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oslo 2010: 4,5 hours to go...

The third and last dress rehearsal for the first semifinal of Eurovision song contest 2010 has just finished in Oslo's Telenor Arena and now all is said and done. Juries have already voted and it's a shame for Malta and Slovakia who did better now than last night. They will have to make it right tonight by catching the televotes. Apparently biggest applauses from the journalists and fans present in the arena and in the press center went to Greece and Finland... I will be back tonight after the show to comment the results and the show so please come back then. Around midnight CET.
H A VE   A   G R E A T    S H O W !

Wake up, sweet people

One must give credit to Alyosha and the Ukrainian team at least in something. Like this cartoon.

Slovakia wins Facebook voting in Finland

YLE's Eurovision Facebook group has been giving votes for the Eurovision songs the past couple of months and the voting is finally over. Members were to give from 4 to 10 points to each song and the average is the criteria. The top ten and the finalists in the first semifinal are with their average:

1. Slovakia (8,8)
2. Albania (8,4)
3. Iceland (8,3)
4. Latvia (7,8)
5. Serbia (7,5)
6. Finland (7,3)
7. Moldova (7,2)
8. Belgium (7,1)
9. Greece (7,0)
10. Belarus (6,9)

Oslo 2010: Finland goes to the final

At least if you believe most everyone in town and also Dagbladet! :-)

Eurovision 2010: The voting

125 million viewers, 10 million votes. It will be something like that, the world's biggest televoting adventure. For the first time the lines will be opened already in the beginning of the show and will remain open until 15 minutes since the last song has been performed. You can vote up to 20 times. And of course not for your own country, that hasn't changed. In case of a tie the televote runs over the jury vote. 
Yes, the jurys are there and this time already in the semifinals weighing 50% of the actual vote. Five jury members in each country "who have been asked to judge the vocals, the quality and originality of the songs, the acts and the overall impression of the performance." Amongst them a previous winner and several previous contestants. Who they are we will find out only during the show when the commentators will reveal their names in each country. The jury has already voted from the second dress rehearsal last night. The combined result will give us the top ten and the usual 12, 10, 8, 7...1 points are given. In semifinals only the ten finalists will be announced in random order. The full voting sheets will be published only moments after the final has ended.

Oslo 2010: Finns very happy

Did you know how the NRK has prepaired itself for the rehearsals? Norwegian musical students have rehearsed all the songs on stage, including camera runs and choreographies before the delegations arrived. All based on the videos handed out in the March meeting. Therefor they had ready packages to present. The Finnish delegations has had very few changes, mainly camera shots, to the original camera runs and lights presented. Finns are saying this has been the best organized Eurovision todate and the only concern is the lack of audience in the dress finals. "We are just a bit worried about the sound level in the ear monitors. How noisy the audience will be?" the girls worry for a second. The Finnish media has also arrived to town this week and since yesterday the main papers have been featuring Eurovision articles, yesterday the main news were the "parodyboys" Dekel and Bastien. Also the overal feeling has changed now that Finland WILL make the final tonight in Oslo but Finns still doubt that, 70% in an online poll think they won't. The media wasn't very kind to them after they won the Finnish final.... Fans are saying but what will the jurors and televoters say? Tonight around midnight CET we will know! Here's a video.
 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oslo 2010: Mama Niamh gives advice to the girls

Eurovision queen and apaprently everybody's darling Niamh Kavanagh managed to meet Kuunkuiskaajat ja they talked about everything between accordeon and king craps. And they also met Harel Skaat who thanks Finns for sending them to show everybody how Eurovision should be done: having fun.. And Bobbysocks.They say "three minutes can change your life". So true.  Here.

Oslo 2010: Semifinal 1 - Dress 1 LIVE

I have been watching the first dress via a live stream and it all seemed to went pretty well. I missed the opening but the interval act is noisy and crowded! Overall feeling is that it's all very dark in the hall. Propably it will look better on TV! The whole show. Recaps come twice in the end, the first one being longer than the second one. And curisouly there was not much public present, even the press and fans were kept far away from the stage. Why? Anyways, I hope tom catch the second dress tonight 9pm as well and then it'll be full house I suppose. That's also the one the juries will vote for. They will also watch the last and third dress tomorrow and deliver their votes right after that to Oslo.
The fake qualifiers were Greece, Moldova, Portugal, Latvia, Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russia, Finland - causing the only applause - Belgium and FYR Macedonia.

Oh they are showing it again? So... I still have no idea what's the opening is but it's fast. In six minutes Moldova is on stage! Nothing to add here. Pretty good performance. Good solid performance also from Russia.Estonia's most memorable moments are his rubbery legs. I hope they show them good on telly.Maybe a little shaky vocals at times for Slovakia. 21 minutes to the show it's Finland's turn. Yet another good performance by the girls.After Finland one of the presenters on stage for a break and we learn that only Germany has participated in all 55 editions so far. Ireland has won the most, seven times and Norway has come last 10 times, another record. After that we move on to Latvia. And Aisha really murders her song. Goodbye final. Serbia next and going on like it is we must add Serbia to the possible winners.... Also Bosnia-Herzegovina works much better in this context and Vukasin has changed to a red jacket that adds to the presentation, too. It has the Turkey vibe now.... Oh well, the stream is gone now. I saw the ending of Malta with the pyros and it looked very good!

Finland: No more "shirtgate"

Last year Jari Sillanpää caused a scandal with his shirt when announcing the votes (read the full story here ) so this year's announcer Johanna Pirttilahti has decided to make sure that if her dress is talked about it's not because it's hideous but gorgeous. Therefor she has asked designer Mert Otsamo to style her for the occasion. Mert, only 19, came 3rd in the Finnish version of Project Runway and has been doing a lot of things since. and is soon ready with his first collection. Talented as he is, he was also my favourite in the show. Can't wait to see this collaboration! 

Gadget

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