Friday, December 31, 2010

ESC 2011: It's 43!

Slovakia is in after all and therefor there are 43 countries taking part in the Eurovision song contest 2011 in Dusseldorf, equaling the previous record in Belgrad 2008. Austria, Italy, Hungary and San Marino make a welcome return while Andorra, Czech Republic, Monaco, Luxembourg, and Montenegro stay home yet another year... Italy gets a position as one of the Big4 countries that is now Big5.

Albania (RTVSH), Armenia (AMPTV), Austria (ORF), Azerbaijan (Ictimai TV), Belarus (BTRC), Belgium (RTBF), Bosnia & Herzegovina (BHRT), Bulgaria (BNT), Croatia (HRT), Cyprus (CyBC), Denmark (DR), Estonia (ERR), Finland (YLE), France (France TV), FYR Macedonia (MKRTV), Georgia (GEGT), Germany (NDR/ARD) (Host Broadcaster), Greece (ERT), Hungary (MTV), Iceland (RÚV), Ireland (RTÉ), Israel (IBA), Italy (RAI), Latvia (LTV), Lithuania (LRT), Malta (PBS), Moldova (TRM), The Netherlands (TROS), Norway (NRK), Poland (TVP), Portugal (RTP), Romania (TVR), Russia (C1R), San Marino (SMRTV), Serbia (RTS), Slovakia (STV), Slovenia (RTVSLO), Spain (RTVE), Sweden (SVT), Switzerland (SRG/SSR), Turkey (TRT)., Ukraine (NTU) and United Kingdom (BBC)

The allocation draw for the semifinals will take place in Dussledorf on January 17, and the draw for the running order on March 14. Both semifinals will have 19 countries taking part, ten of each joining the Big5 in the final. 

Tonight: Romanian new year's final - UPDATED

If you have no plans tonight you can always get ready for five (5) hours of Romanian final! The fun starts at 8pm CET and well in to the 2011. You can follow it here. If you want to read my review it's here. Thirteen songs. An international jury (Chiara, Johnny Logan and Niamh Kavanagh are amongst the judges) and last year's Paula Selig and Ovi hosting it all. They played with fire last year and scored third place in Oslo 2010, Romania's best to date (along with Let me try in 2005) so the Eurovision fever in the country is high. The voting is 50-50 jury-televoe and the jurors and hosts are also going to give a miniconcert during the night - after all you have five hours to fill, don't you?

Btw, the Finnish viisukuppila's minipoll mostly agrees with me putting Bang bang on top followed by Change, I want u to want me, Dreaming of you, Open your eyes, It's so fine, One by one and Cinema love. It also made me think if Finland had its final tonight - what kind of people are at home televoting? Young people are out to party and those at home might be a bit under influence, too... So who would come out as a winner? Or a ballad that the old folks like, or a novelty/dance act the drunk people like. So, considering this I would say it's going to be Bang bang or I want u to want me but as there is also the jury the latter will win.... Or even Open your eyes. Well, we will see...

UPDATE: After hearing/seeing the songs I would put my money on Change. It's not my favourite but sounds like a winner. As I feared Bang bang was pretty bland live. And why it sounded so different?

Here are the videos from the snow as soon as they appear. Looking sounding great, well done TVR!

Adi Cristescu - One by one  
Dalma - Song for him
Leticia - Dreaming of you 
Silvia Ştefănescu - I can't breathe without you 
Blaxy Girls - It's so fine
Claudia Pavel - I want u to want me
Laurentiu Cazan - We can change the world
Dan Helciug - My Facebook girl
Distinto, Ianna & Anthony Icuagu - Open your eyes
Directia 5 - Cinema love
Rallsa - Take me down
Hotel FM - Change
Mihai Alexandru featuring B-Body & Soul - Bang bang



Finnish chart toppers 2010

The reigning queen of the charts is Jenni Vartiainen. Her Missä muruseni on spend 9 weeks on number one - returning to the top three times! The song has been in charts a total of 18 weeks now, all of it in top-5 with the exception of week 36 when it dropped to #7. Her first single of the year Mä en haluu kuolla tänä yönä, another #1 hit stayed in charts 21 weeks, the second Nettiin 11 weeks peaking at #12 and she has a new one out, Duran Duran entering at #19 last week. A total of 51 weeks in the charts. Well done, Jenni: 51 weeks in the charts! And the album has been there so far 36 weeks and is the most sold album in Finland in 2010 close to sales of 100.000.

Jenni Vartiainen - Missä muruseni on (weeks 38, 40-46, 52 total of 18 so far)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Inculto doesn't funk anymore

Inculto who showed us some Eastern European funk in Oslo 2010 all calling it quits in a month. And as a farewell you can download their last album for free. This blogger will miss these crazy guys and wishes them all the best in their separate ways. Here's their farewell letter:

Dear friends,

as some of you probably know by now, InCulto (performers of Lithuania's 2010 ESC entry Eastern European Funk) will call it a day at the end of January 2011.

"It's been a great year for us - we took part in ESC which was an unforgettable experience, played many concert halls, city squares, clubs and even apartments all over Europe and released what we think is our finest album. We all came to a decision it's best for everyone involved to move on to new exciting projects. Massive thank you to everyone who listened and enjoyed our music - it was a great ride", the band's singer Jurgis Didziulis said.

As a parting gift, go and grab a FREE download of the band's latest album Closer Than You Think (released commercially in November 2010) - featuring Eastern European Funk and other sonic delights. To do this - just go to http://www.labas.lt/inculto  (it's in Lithuanian) and press the big black button which says SPAUSK  (you don't need to fill in anything else, the field with numbers in it are for local customers of telecommunications company which sponsored the band's tour and album). Please feel free to post it on your websites/blogs etc. - in fact, we'll be grateful. The free download will expire in several days - so hurry up, enjoy the music and Happy New Year to you all!

All the best

Finnish chart toppers 2010

Edward Maya ft Vika Jigulina's Stereo love topped the charts first in March and returned to the top spot 1,5 months later and stayed that time for five weeks making a total of seven weeks, and a total of 31 weeks in top-20.

Edward Maya fr Vika Jiguline - Stereo love (weeks 10-11, 17-21, total of 31)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The French affair

France has been selecting internally the past three years with three very different entries; Sebastien Tellier, Patricia Kaas and Jessy Matador. Each of them surely made themselves noted and La Kaas even scored the best placing for France in nearly ten years (8th) and Matador made it #1 in charts. But the rumour is France is going back to national final. The last one selected that way was Les Fatals Picards with L'amour à la française for Helsinki 2007. The other French national finals have produced rarely anything worth mentioning so maybe it is better stick to internally selecting someone big or original? On the other hand if they manage to attract good songs and artists because of Matador's chart success...? Well, let's see what they do ...

Paolo Meneguzzi: Yes or no?

Si o no? Questo é il problema (Yes or no? That's the problem) is the title of Paolo Meneguzzi's book. Yes, a book, not a new album. It's a mix between biography and a novel. "I strongly wanted this to happen to celebrate my 15 years in music business with my fans, friends, family and collaborators, and all people who have said yes to be at least once" he says. "It's in style of American comedy. I wanted to leave something that would remain." Inside the book you can also found out how to win a date with him to record a duet to his next album! 
So, this seems very different from the other recent book by a famous singer in Italy, Tiziano Ferro. His Trent'anni e una chiaccherata con papà is rather sad reading about what happens behind the curtains in music business and how hard it can be to deal with own identity and sudden fame when you didn't want to be a singer at first place. (Se non l'hai ancora letto, dovresti secondo me. Ti fa pensare un sacco di cose...)

Romania 2011 - the review

Romania is the next one to choose its entry this Friday, New Year's eve. As usual their national final is one of the best ones around and once again there are many worthy contenders. Romania has the third place in 2010 to defend, can they do the trick again? I gave a quick listen to the songs and here's my short review.

Adrian Cristescu - One by one 
When this one starts it makes me think of Michael Jackson but that soon fades away. Nice song but is it catchy enough? The verses are better than the chorus. A very good starter for the show. ***
Dalma - Song for him
This starts of quite interestingly but that's soon gone when the annoying chorus kicks in. Not my cup of tea. ** 
Laeticia - Dreaming of you
Very nice start. Then  enters her funny voice. Simple but very effective! Catchy as hell. Me likes more and more... even if it does get a bit repetitive after awhile. ****  
Silvia Stefanescu - I can't breath without you
The standard ballad with a nice atmosphere with harp. Sweet and dreamy. Depending on songs in Dusseldorf could go either way if chosen. But, misses a definitive hook, just like the song before it I'm afraid. ***
Blaxy Girls - It's so fine
These girls are already veterans here and once again offer a good solid song. It's annoyingly catchy and one of my favourites. Will they be third time lucky? Maybe not but if so I'm quite happy with this one! ****  
Claudia Pavel - I want u to want me
Isn't this Drip drop all over again? Foxy looking lady belting out an overproduced powerballad made in Sweden? This is more the US than Romania but it works. Most likely a fan favourite but not an Eurovision winner I guess - unless she makes wonders on stage. And first wins this national selection... **** 
Laurentiu Cazan - We can change the world
This would have been fresh and exciting back in 1984. Now it's just... well... beyond bad. *  
Dan Helciug - My Facebook girl
I know there's an audience for this kind of music which I very rarely find interesting or good (sometimes it's the lyrics that make it, sometimes the artist) and this one says nothing to me. *  
Distinto, Ianna & Anthony Icuagu - Open your eyes
The ever present pop opera in the Romanian final. Not as good as Shine for example but I guess this is a kind of song that is strikingly good live or just dies, and I'm not sure if these singers are really as good as one might think. Hmm.... Must see and hear live before final judgement! ***  
Directia 5 - Cinema love
This may have come on top in the preselection but I think this promises a lot but gives very little. Very long and boring three minutes in the end as the song goes nowhere. **  
Rallsa - Take me down
And of course we need one fake artistic entry here, too. That turns out to be just another dance track. Propably a disaster live. I don't get it. ** 
Hotel FM - Change
This shared the first place in the preselection with Directia 5 and here also I ask why? This is better than Cinema love but still nothing special. Both vocalists are very good, I can say that. On the other hand this might work as an entry? Hmm... or could it? Is the time for these kind of songs over? Or has it come back?***  

Mihai Alexandru featuring B-Body & Soul - Bang bang
This sounds like the worldhits we have got from that corner of the world the past few years. Not an Eurovision winner but could do really well if chosen. The only handicap might be Mihai's looks superficial as it seems, after all this is Eurovision. But isn't he Nicola's ex-husband?**** 

So if the winner is Mihai & co or Blaxy girls I'm very happy. Claudia will do and even if Directia 5, Distinto & co, Adrian or Laeticia wins I'm not too unhappy. Which only means I don't have a super favourite and it's kinda open field. I will be pissed if Rallsa, Cazan or Helcing will win though. 
Listen the entries yourself here.

Welcome #194: Eritrea!

Yet another flag to be added: Eritrea making it a total of 194 :-) Welcome!

Finnish chart toppers 2010

Lady Gaga's Bad romance is the only one chart topper for five weeks - but Hevisaurus might leave Alejandro behind and join Bad romance this week though - and with this we started the 2010. It stayed at number one the weeks 1-4 and reclaimed the post at week 7, staying a total of 31 weeks in top-20 in 2009/2010.

Lady Gaga - Bad romance (weeks 1-4,7, total of 23 weeks in 2010)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Surprise: Marco Mengoni for Italy 2011?

Since the list of participants for Sanremo 2011 came out featuring X Factor 2010 winner Nathalie amongst them it has cast a cloud over her Eurovision trip, and fans and speculators have started talking about the previous X Factor winner Marco Mengoni (22) instead. As much I love In punta di piedi and think it would be a great song for Italy's return Mengoni would surely attract more Italians to watch Eurovision, a show they hardly remember after absense of 13 years. 
Already a megastar at home he is now aiming abroad and his record company is finalizing the marketing and promotional plan - what would be better than Eurovision to make him a household name all over Europe and beyond? Besides winning X Factor he can boast a third place and Premio della critica in Sanremo 2010 with Credimi ancora, two platinum selling EP albums, several hits and as icing on the cake MTV Music award as the Best European Act 2010 (Then we would also have two of these winner in a row in Eurovision as maNga did Turkey this year). He has released four singles so far: Dove si vola (#1), Credimi ancora (#3), Stanco (Deeper inside) (-) and In un giorno qualunque (#5). Here's also L'amore si odia. Here is his story so far. Next step, Dusseldorf?

Finnish chart toppers 2010

The countdown continues with two songs that made it to #1 for four weeks. Lady Gaga's Alejandro had to claim the crown three times as well and Hevisaurus did this year's Christmas success. If it stays at number one in this week it will jump to the next category with 5 weeks on top! At week 50 it dropped down to #17 as the copies were sold out....

Lady Gaga - Alejandro (weeks 25-25, 28, 30, total of 19 weeks)
Hevisaurus - Hirmuliskojen pikkujoululevy (weeks 47-49, 51, total of 5 weeks... so far)

Monday, December 27, 2010

ESC 2011: Hungary is back!

Hungary returns to Eurovision 2011 after all! MTV's press office confirmed that today to eschungary.hu. They skipped last year and the participation for 2011 was uncertain until now..... Great news! We are up to 42 countries now :-)

Agnetha: ABBA reunion possible

Every now and then regularly the rumours about ABBA getting together arise in some media. And as often the band members Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Frida have commented something like "there isn't enough money in the world to bring us together" or "who wants to see us old on stage when remembering us as we were?" but this time it's Agnetha Fältskog, the main reason for ABBA's retirement "for a break" in 1982 (she was afraid of flying and tired of touring and has lived almost like a hermit ever since) wherefrom they never returned yet. She tells in an interview with M-magazin that she would like to meet with the other members, talk about the old days and maybe get together for a good cause for one time only. "I'm open for collaboration" she says and points out she hasn't been talking to the other members. 
Last year when Benny and Björn visited Finland they told there's no new musical projects for ABBA in the making, but "there have been talk about doing maybe something for the kids"... And in May 2010 Benny told The Times a comeback is possible. Is it going to happen finally in some form or the other?

Finnish chart toppers 2010

In this third part it's time to look back the songs that stayed three weeks on top. Both of them didn't resist three weeks in a row but reclaimed the top spot, Shakira even twice!

Shakira - Waka waka (weeks 24, 29, 31, total 25 weeks)
Eminem ft. Rihanna - Love the way you lie (weeks 34-35, 37, total 18 weeks)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Finnish chart toppers 2010

The look into the Finnish chart toppers in 2010 continues, this time with the songs that resisted two weeks at number one. They are only three, amongst them the Eurovision 2010 winner Lena! And Raptori. The song Oi beibi was first released back in 1989 and the band makes a comeback every ten years with the same song....

Fintelligens - Mikä boogie (weeks 5, 8, total 24 weeks)
Raptori - Oi beibi 16 (weeks 15-16, total 8 weeks)
Lena - Satellite (weeks 22-23, total 7 weeks)

Aurela Gaçe for Albania!

Aurela Gaçe (36) has won the 49th Festivali i Këngës and therefor will represant the country in Eurovision 2011. This is her third win but in 1999 and 2001 Albania didn't yet participate in Eurovision. Her song is Kënga ime.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tonight: Albanian final

Albanian has been selecting its song for Eurovision 2011 and winner of the 49th Festivali i Këngës the past two nights (more info here and here). Tonight is the grand final and we will also know the second song for Dusseldorf after the Swiss entry, Anna Rossinelli's In love for awhile.
• Besa Kokëdhima - E bukura dhe bisha• Saimir Braho - Shtegëtar i jetës time• Enkelejda Arifi - Një dashuri• Denis Hasa - Mbi xhaketën time• Goldi Halili - Në krahët tua• Françesk Radi - Kemi dasëm' o• Xhejsi Jorgaqi - Rastësi• Aurela Gaçe - Kënga ime• Albi Xhepa & Sam Jaupaj – Dritë (newcomer) 

Bonus: Kejsi Tola - Pranë (non qualified but surely deserved it!) and Ilir Kazaferi - Nuk je ketu  

 

 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my readers, collaborators, friends and admirers! 
Only one thing seems fitting this year: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!

Nathalie - In punta di piedi

Nathalie Giannitrapani has released a video for her fantastic In punta di piedi, a possible Italian entry for the Eurovision 2011.... Maybe....

Azerbaijan: Two more qualifiers

Ilqarә İbrahimova and Eldar Quasimov have qualified in Azerbaijan for the national final. Watch and hear them belting out some familiar Eurovision tunes here and here 
They surely are better than this hopeful.... And what about this? (Grazie Marcello x tips!)

Finnish chart toppers 2010

They are 21 the songs that made it to #1 in the official Finnish charts in 2010. The change in the top position was constant, as only two songs made a good long run in the number one position but even both of them had to drop down and re-enter to the spot. Eleven songs resisted only one week. Only Jenni Vartiainen and Lady Gaga scored two #1's. In albums Chisu's Vapaa ja yksin made it to #1 only one week but is still in the top-40 after 65 weeks.... They were:

Jenni Vartiainen - En haluu kuolla tänä yönä (week 6, total 21 weeks)
Jippu & Samuli Edelmann - Jos sä tahdot niin (week 9, total 31 weeks)
The Giant Leap - The best time of your life (week 12, total 4 weeks)
Viikate - Linna Espanjassa (week 13, total 5 weeks)
Before the Dawn - Decade of dark (week 14, total 1 week)
Kymppilinja ft. Mariska - Minä (week 27, total 5 weeks)
Yolanda B Cool Vs. D Cup - We no speak Americano (week 32, total 12 weeks)
Cheek - Jippikayjei (week 33, total 13 weeks)
Mokoma - Juurta jaksain  (week 36, total 4 weeks)
Kaija Koo - Vapaa (week 39, total 22 weeks)
Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand (week 50, total 8 weeks)

Senit for San Marino?

The rumour of the day on internet is Senit has been chosen for San Marino and just waiting for official announcement. Let's wait and see if it is true! Senit (31) was born and raised in Bologna of Eritrean origins. Her career started abroad with musical: Fame in Switzerland (1999/2000), Lion King in Germany (2001/2002), Hair in Switzerland again (2002). She works with Massimo Ranieri in Italy (2001-2002) and slowly breaks into Italian music business releasing her debut album 2006 and follow up Un tesoro é necessariamente nascosto in 2007 with singles La mia cittá é cambiata, La cosa giusta, La faccia che ho. In 2009 she released her third album So high, all in English with singles Work hard and Party on the dancefloor. Here's also No more.  And here she is at Amiche per l'Abruzzo.

Sanremo rejects Paola & Chiara. Again.

The rumours about Paola & Chiara were true. They did send a song to Sanremo but were rejected AGAIN. Paola tells: "We are very disappointed. The news came just before Christmas that we were rejected. We sent a very beautiful song written by a great author and believed in it. A huge let down for us. On the other hand also Vamos a bailar was rejected from Sanremo and it became an enourmous success all over Europe, so we can only believe they made a mistake this time, too. Time will tell. We are very sad also because this happens now when we are making a sort of comeback with the hits Pioggia d'estate and Milleluci, and we have been to Sanremo only three times, last time in 2005 when we were eliminated right away with A modo mio, that has now became one of our most beloved tracks. We never tried to enter ever since. Now the timing, the song, everything was right but they didn't want us. The new album and the new songs were created after a long period when we were questioning if we still have something to tell musically, if we still want to sing together, if Paola & Chiara exist anymore so this really is a new beginning to us. Sanremo would have ment the world to us, as we were born in Sanremo by winning the Newcomers in 1997"
Shame, says this blogger. Sanremo would have needed something like Paola & Chiara in the list.  Vamos a bailar in its various versions (Italian, Spanish, English, remix, German release) was the biggest hit of summer 2000 in Italy and in 2009 was voted the most loved summerhit by Italians of the last 20 years by readers of TV sorrisi e canzoni. It won awards in both Festivalbar and Un disco per l'estate. #1 in Italy and it charted also in Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands. Maybe Italy or San Marino should just send the girls to Germany as consolation?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Albania continues with the second semifinal tonight

You can check who qualified last night from the first semifinal in the previous artcile here. Tonight the same system with new singers; 16 big and 3 newcomers and 8+1 will move on tomorrow's final. Amongst them Kejsi Tola tonight.

BIG
1.     Adhurim Demiri – 24 orët
2.     Besa Kokëdhima – E bukura dhe bisha
3.     Emi Bogdo – Letër për ty
4.     Denis Hasa – Mbi xhaketën time
5.     Kujtim Prodani – Ti ishe kreyvepër
6.     Goldi Halili – Në krahët e tua
7.     Marjeta Billo – Përjetësi
8.     Françesk Radi – Kemi dasëm’o
9.     Aurela Gaçe – Kënga ime
10.   Heldi Kraja – E diela pa ty
11.   Sonila Mara – Egoist
12.   Mateus Frroku – Dimër në shprit
13.   Xhejsi Jorgaqi – Rastësi
14.   Enkelejda Arifi – Një dashuri
15.   Kejsi Tola – Pranë
16.   Saimir Braho – Shtegëtar i jetës time

NEWCOMERS
1.    Albi Xhepa & Semi Jaupaj – Dritë
2.    Bledi Polena – Të jemi të dy
3.    Rudina Delia – Tek ti gjeta dashurinë

UPDATE: These qualified for the final.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

ESC 2011: Montenegro out, San Marino in

While waiting for the confirmed list of participating countries for Eurovision song contest 2011 in Dusseldorf just to find out if we will have some surprise withdrawels - everyone cross your fingers for Italy still being in now, please - or surprise returns, some broadcasters have also put an end to the guessing by confirming they are in like San Marino and Austria and some that they're out like Montenegro and Slovakia. What about Hungary? It seems we are at 41 countries now, two up from last year's Oslo edition but two short from the record 43 in Belgrade.

Carola's business with Christmas

Carola is making good use of Christmas. First of all she has released three Christmas albums starting with Jul i Betlehem in 1999. It sold over 300.000 copies in Sweden alone in a month and became the most sold album of the year and regularly charts every year again. In 2007 followed I denna natt blir världen ny - Juli i Betlehem 2, another chart topper in Sweden and it made to #12 in Norway as well. Last but not least last year's English version of the two previous, Christmas in Betlehem. On top of that the Christmas tours. She just finished this year's one last night: 18 concerts in 13 cities in 15 days - 10 of them in Norway. Most of them sold out and 20.000 people saw her. 34 people worked on tour and only the ticket sales were nearly 10 million crowns. Well, the fact is Carola is at her best with Christmas songs, isn't she? Like O helga natt, I wonder as I wander, Mitt hjerte alltid vanker, Hej mitt vinterland, Stilla natt or Himlen i min famn.

Tonight: Albania starts its selection 2011

After Switzerland it's time for Albania. Three days of  Festivali i Këngës 49 over Christmas and we will have our second entry for Dusseldorf 2011 - unless some other country comes out of the blue to announce its song. It could also be third if Italy sends Nathalie with In punta di piedi as suspected earlier but as she is also participating in Sanremo who knows if we get her after all and with that song? Anyways, in Albania tonight 20.30 CET the fun starts. 16 big and 3 newcomers will perform and only 8 of the big and one newcomer will go to the final on Christmas day. The winner will then be remixed, translated and transformed for Eurovision. Here are the artists and songs, including the pre-contest favourite Alban & Miriam:


BIG
01. Selami Kolonja - Marmara
02. Miriam Cani & Alban Skenderaj - Ende ka shpresë
03. Orges Toçe - Mari
04. Kamela Islami - Jetova per ty
05. Blerina Shalari - Lutjes apo dashurise
06. Ernis Cili & Onanta Spahiu - Fam
07. Dorian Nini - Mirësevini ne Shqipëri
08. Etmond Mancaku - Dashuri pas emrit
09. Ardita Tusha - Dikur Besoja
10. Klajdi Musabelli - Vetëm ti
11. Evans Rama - Sonte
12. Dorina Garuci - Mirëmbrëma ëngjëlli im
13. Hersi Matmuja - Me cilin rri ti dashuri
14. Agim Poshka - Bota.com.vetmi
15. Marsida Saraci - Vetëm s’jemi në botë
16. Entela Zhula - Stuhi dhe diell

NEWCOMERS
01. Ilir Karaferi - Nuk ke ketu
02. Maria Prifti - Pasuri e pasurive
03. Megi Laska - Endrat ekzostojne

UPDATED: Qualifiers

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Here are the Spanish hopes for 2011

Spain is also ready with their candidates for Dusseldorf 2011. These 30 artists, some of them known from previous selections, have made the cut. No big names in the list so will TVE add wildcards later on or are we supposed to do with these only? Time will tell...

Here they are: Alazán, Alba Lucía., Auryn, Baltanás, Da Igual, Dani Alemán, David Sancho, Divas, Don Johnson’s, Esmeralda Grao, Fernando Hidalgo, Guadiana, Las Miranda, Lorena Rosales, Lucía Pérez, Lussi Bon, María López, Melissa, Monica Guech, Paula, Pau Quero, Rocío Jiménez, Sebas, Sergi Albert, Sergio Bermejo, Sometimes, Sonia y Selena, Sunami, Valeria Antonella and We.

Kaija Koo equals Katri Helena and Marion

Kaija Koo's latest album made the top-10 and it is her 10th top-10 album since 1993. Her each and every album has made it and she's about to break Katri Helena's and Marion's record in the number of top-10 albums with her next one it seems, making her the most succesful Finnish female artist ever. The queen of the charts is however Madonna who can claim 18 top-10 album since 1985. Katri Helena has ten as mentioned before between 1968 and 2006, while Marion scored them in a very short time in the 1970's, or between 1972 and 1980. Celine Dion and Swedish Eva Dahlgren have 8 albums both while Björk, Anna Eriksson and Maija Vilkkumaa have so far seven each. All have very good possibilities to add new albums to their list in the future. At six top-10 albums we have Laura Voutilainen who will surely score other ones in the future while it might be very unlikely for Whitney Houston, Donna Summer and Tina Turner who also have six along with Anne Mattila. Hanna Pakarinen is the most likely to get more from those ladies who have 5 so far: Kate Bush, Maarit, Diana Ross, Sade, Jonna Tervomaa and Bonnie Tyler.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More national line ups: Croatia

Yet another country lets us know its hopefuls, this time Croatia. They have changed their Dora 2011 system and this time it's a series of eliminations: first two heats with 12 each and six will be out in both. Then in the next heat these 12 qualified ones will compete and only six will move on. In the next heat these six will compete and two will be eliminated leaving us with top-4. These will become 3 in the next programme, 2 in the next until we have the final two left and the eventual winner who gets the ticket to Dusseldorf. With the change of system we have mostly newcomers but some previous participants and rather wll known names put themselves to the game, too: Houdek, Vukov, Loncar and Lozar just to name a few. 

Here's the full list: Diana Heraković, Mirko Svenda-Žiga, Jelena Vanjek, Mijo Lešina, Marija Rubčić, Valentina Briški, Damir Kedžo, Doris Teur, Dora Benc, Artemija Stanić, Ivana Brkašić, Katica Marinović, Miro Tomić, Renata Holi, Saša Lozar, Ana Eškinja, Jacques Houdek, Daria Kinzer, Tina Vukov, Mila Soldatić, Mario Sambrailo, Filip Dizdar, Manuela Švorcan and Sabrina Hebiri.
As always in Dora we also have a couple of reserves in case something comes up: Maksim Hožić and Marina Đurović

Monday, December 20, 2010

Anna Oxa - Sanremo x 14

Anna Oxa turns 50 in 2011 and participates in Sanremo for the 14th time. With that she joins Toto Cutugno and ahead of her are only Milva and Peppino Di Capri who have participated 15 times. Anna, real surname Hoxha, of Albanian origin and relative of dictator Enver Hoxha debuted at the age of 16 in 1978 with an image that didn't pass without notice. Over the years she has changed her look and image in Madonna-like speed, changed husbands nearly as often but left behind several classics of Italian modern light music like Un'emozione da poco, È tutto un attimo and Quando nasce un amore. In 2000's she seems to have been a bit lost musically and in her personal life but maybe she has found the right way again? 

Here's her Sanremo parade:
1978 Un'emozione da poco (nd.)
1982 Io no (finalist)
1984 Non scendo (7th)
1985 A lei (7th)
1986 È tutto un attimo (5th)
1988 Quando nasce un amore (7th)
1989 Ti lasceró con Fausto Leali (Winner)
1990 Donna con te (finalist)
1994 hostess with Pippo Baudo
1997 Storie (2nd)
1999 Senza pietá (Winner)
2001 L'eterno movimento (10th)
2003 Cambieró (14th)
2006 Processo a me stessa (non finalist)
2011 La mia anima d'uomo

Sanremo 2011: The names!

The names of the BIG in Sanremo 2011 have just been announced. Amongst them also Nathalie Giannitrapani, who should be the Italian entrant in Eurovision 2011. Or will she? Also Franco Battiato, Anna Oxa, Al Bano and Luca Barbarossa have had their taste of Eurovision in the past. And here they are:

Patty Pravo (her 7th time)- Il vento e le rose 
Emma Marrone & Modà - Arriverá 
Luca Madonia & Franco Battiato (Luca's first solo, Battiato's first as singer) - L'Alieno 
Giusy Ferreri  - Il mare immenso 
La Crus - Io confesso 
Anna Oxa (her 14th time) - La mia anima d'uomo 
Tricarico (2nd time) - 3 colori 
Al Bano (13th time, 8th solo) - Amanda é libera 
Nathalie Giannitrapani - Vivo sospesa 
Luca Barbarossa & Raquel Del Rosario (Luca's 8th time) - Fino in fondo 
Anna Tatangelo (6th time) - Bastardo 
Davide Van De Sfroos - Yanez 
Max Pezzali (first solo) - Il mio secondo tempo 
Roberto Vecchioni (2nd time) - Chiamami ancora amore

Sanremo 2011 newcomers - the videos

While waiting for the official list of the BIG in Sanremo 2011 to be published tonight it seems - and Luca Barbarossa should be the latest addition - why not spend some time and watch the videos of the nine newcomers hopefuls? Six of them will make it to the stage of Teatro Ariston. Here. I have a soft spot for Serena.

Welcome #193: French Guiana

Once again another territory visit my little world, this time French Guiana making it 193 Bienvenue!

Listen to the Austrian hopefuls

Austria returns after 3 years of sulking and will send an entry to Dusseldorf 2011. With the weird system anyone who has minimum 33 supporter was able to send in an entry and folks, here they are: click. Amogst the hopefuls The story by Mave O'Rick & Patryk Smolarek, already sent to Switzerland. My quick listening favourite might be Klimmstein

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yet another qualifier in Azerbaijan: Aynishan Guliyeva

The lenghty selection in Azerbaijan goes on and we have our sixth qualifier: Aynishan Guliyeva. She will be joined by Chingiz Mustafayev, Nurlan Növresli, Günay Ibrahimli, Nikola Barkley and Arzum Xelilova in the final next year while these unfortunate ones didn't make it: Emin Nasirli, Jamila Hashimova, Rovshan Jivishov, Orkhan Israfilov, Altun Zeynalov, Gulnar Nabi-Chingiz, Empathy, Elmar Asgarov, Janana Zeynalova and Dinara Jafarova. Watch Aynishan in action here.

Kuunkuiskaajat the most played in 2010 in RadioSuomi

YLE's "schlager channel" has just announced Kuunkuiskaajat has been the most played act in 2010. Despite not making the final in Oslo 2010 the band has been very popular and they have a very solid fan base. Työlki ellää and Loputon tie have been played all year.... and the remix is rather popular, too. Congrats girls!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tommi Soidinmäki: Realizing a childhood dream

Tommi Soidinmäki, one of the semifinalists in Euroviisut 2011 tells in a recent Viisukuppila.fi interview he has been dreaming about entering Euroviisut for many years now. "I was thrilled when I got an invitation from YLE. I don't care if I don't get to the final, just being part of all this is great. A childhood dream!" he says. "Petri Laaksonen contacted me and asked if I already had a song. We had been thinking about an uptempo song with producer Ilkka Vainio since the beginning and when he heard his entry we knew we had it. A power song with a touching story." Kyösti Salokorpi has written the lyrics dealing with the inequality in the world. Many have read it in local context, or the Romanian gipsies begging in the streets of Helsinki and the lyrics seem to divide the fan opinion. (This blogger isn't so thrilled about the lyrics I must confess.) If he wins the song will be performed in English in Dusseldorf. "So many times I have thought that unfortunately we cannot succeed in Finnish. The story will remain similar in the English version" he says. His backing group will include Jenna Bågeberg (Tango Queen 2007, Euroviisut 2008), Marika Tuhkala and Hannu Lepola (from Rajaton). He will have also two dancers, both known from the reality TV-serie Dance Minttu Sinkkonen and Henri Sarajärvi. At the moment his Seis! is in the second place in the Viisukuppila.fi and escstats.com's joint poll. As a fan of Euroviisut Tommi has of course many memories about Eurovision, one of the dearest being the night when Lordi won. "I was having a gig and someone from audience yelled Lordi has won Eurovision! I sung right away a bit of Hard rock hallelujah and was so excited even afterwords that when driving home at night still being so high on happiness missed my road and did an extra 100 kms to get home!"
Tommi Soidinmäki will be singing Seis! in the third semifinal on January 28, 2011.

Giorgia + Tiziano Ferro + Sanremo = true?

The latest rumour coming from snow covered Italy is that Tiziano Ferro has written a song for Giorgia for Sanremo 2011. If true that would be quite a scoop and would put Giorgia firmly on the spot of super favourite. No stranger to Sanremo she first took part in Newcomers 1994 (won by Andrea Bocelli btw) with E poi... She only came 7th but her outstanding vocals skills were noticed later and that song might be the most remembered song from that edition. Don't believe? Just say alound in Italy "e poi" and see how whoever it is infront of you burst out singing "e poi, e poi, e poi é come morire...."...  The year later she was back and won the whole thing with Come saprei, co-written by Eros Ramazzotti.  And in 1996 she was back again, finishing third with self-co-penned Strano il mio destino. She finished of her triple of podiums with second place in 2001 with Di sole e d'azzurro, co-written by Zucchero this time. (She entered the festival as the clear winner but lost to Elisa's outstanding Luce). So, will she hit the top-3 again with yet another superstar penned song? I hope so!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spain: 1142 songs, 477 artists, one winner

The first phase of the Spanish selection has ended. Now RTVE will pick up the best songs and best artists - having the option to invite also famous artists directly to the race - for the four galas in January-February. One of the songs sent in is this blog's friend's Rafael De Alba's offer this year, The sun will shine.

Luxuriously worthless and the rest in the Netherlands

More song titles, this time from the Netherlands. The "boy"band 3JS will perform all the songs in the national song festival and televoting will pick up the winner to sent to cross the border. The final takes place in Hilversum on January 30, 2011. The songs are: 

De stroom (The stream) 
Nooit alleen (Never alone) 
Toen ik jou vergat (When I forgot you) 
Ga dan niet (Don' go then) 
Weelderig waardeloos (Luxuriously worthless)

Gadget

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