Monday, October 31, 2011

Sweden: The webjoker line up completed

With the fourth heat of Melodifestivalen webjoker candidates completed we now have the eight entries that will fight for the one slot in the MF semifinals line up. This webjoker final will be held on November 7, 2011. Here are the entries that you can listen here:

1. Maria BenHajji – I Mina Drömmar
2. David Nestander – Beautiful Love
3. Bowties – Need to Know
4. Caroline Coquard – Ingenting, Ingen
5. Trison – Forever By Your Side
6. Grand Slam – All Day All Night
7. TBA – Heartbeat Away
8. Never Alone – Marilyn Monroe

UMK 2012 entries online. Where's heavy?

When you listen to the 40 songs selected for the UMK that replaces Euroviisut as the Finnish national selection for Eurovision song contest you can only wonder one thing: where is heavy rock? Listening the judges all late summer this blogger was expecting a lot wider variety in musical styles. Or rather fearing too many rap, hip hop, heavy and rock songs to make it through but instead what do we get? Rather middle of the road pop rock songs, a lot of acoustic stuff and ballads. A couple of disco pop songs and at least one real schlager... And a lot of female voices. None of the songs struck as an Eurovision winner with the first hearing - or even an UMK winner but who knows how things turn out before February 2012. And we have to remember in most cases these are just rough demos that will be rearranged and recorded if they proceed further.Nice misture of songs in Finnish and English, nearly half and half with one song in Swedish throuwn in for a good measure. No other languages are heard. There are some interesting songs and I will start presenting the songs on daily basis as of tomorrow.
Listen to the songs here.

Finland 2012: Listen to the UMK entries!

The official presentation will take place today at 2PM but the entries are already online here. At first glance the artists are mainly totally new. Martina made it to top-40. Other familiar names are Freeman, Eveliina Määttä, Petra, Fatima Koroma... So, Korpiklaani didn't make it, nor Tauski and Teuvo Loman which might be a relief in the end. More information coming up....

1Love - International love song
Aili - Mun taivas
Alchemy Road - Burning
Anna Inginmaa  - Meikin alta
Apila - Joenvarren tyttö
ARTo - Roudassa
Aura Pineda - Kunpa vois
Boys Hate Silence - Miracle
Captor - Hooked on Wii
DCX - Erase you
Eveliina Määttä - Perfect
Fatima Koroma - Different coloured socks
Freeman & Uusi Fantasia - Noitanainen
Hans on the bass - Only 7 days
Iconcrash - We are the nigh
tJari & Taika - Aamuyön salaisuus
Jessica Wolff - Better
Judy - Kisscollector
Kaisa Vala - Habits of human beings
KaksKaks & Alisa - Anna aikaa
Kirahvi nimeltä Tuike - Sinisulkien viimeinen
Lasmatic - Yksin yhdessä
Lassi, Tuukka & Jyrki - Huominen ei ole koskaan nyt
Leola - Rytmit rikkoutuu
Malin Kojola - Home
Martina - Checkmate
Mica Ikonen - Antaa mennä
MOOBS - Johnny
Noora - Every day in the sunshine
Pauliina Salonen  - Want my life back
Pernilla Karlsson - När jag blundar
Petra  - Janis Joplin
Raita Ilomäki - Usko rakkauteen
Rita Lovely & the Soultwisters - November touch
Seamus  - Like soldiers go
Selja Sini - Pack up
Stig - Laululeija
The Spyro  -Teleport my heart
Tom Morgan - Melt
Ville Eetvartti - Lasikaupunki 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Austria repeats itself

Austria will be in Baku 2012 as ORF is happy with their result in 2011 when they returned for the first time since 2007. The selection process will be more or less the same as in 2011 as well. There will be a pre-selection on Hitradio Ö3 and then televized live final in February. Besides the winner Nadine Beiler and her The secret is love we also had a goodie like Klimmstein's Paris Paris. Let's see what the Austrians offer us this time around!

Israel does Finland

Israel has revealed a bit how their entry for Baku 2012 will be chosen. Three semifinals and each singer with two songs. Then the most voted song by an artist will reach the final. Sounds very much like Finland in the 2000's that brought us for example Lordi and Hanna Pakarinen. And indeed it all looked good on paper. But even if the first year it kinda worked it was painly evident already the second year that the singers favoured one song and couldn't hide the sour face if the public voted "wrong". Some even purposedly performed badly the song they hoped wouldn't win.... So, good luck Israel! And Dana International should have done so much better! Ding dong, say no more!

Norway drops the artists one by one....

... and so far we have four acts ready for the 2012 MGP. First a girlband Irresistible of X Factor fame. Then we have Malin. She already represanted Norway in Junior Eurovision 2005 (third) and released six albums and won a Norwegian grammy. Not bad for a 16-year-old?! Next we have Isabel Ødegård with a song written by Thom Hell, a popular Norwegian songwriter. The latest addition is Nora Foss Al-Jabri, 15, of Norway's Got Talent fame....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jari Sillanpää wins Syksyn Sävel 2011!

Yes, Finns still do love him. Or at least the televoting people who sit at home on Saturday night. En se olla saa is his winning song in Syksyn Sävel 2011. A perfect follow up to winners of 2000 and 2001. Nothing has changed in 10 years...
In a post-victory interview he stated he didn't believe he would win but someone younger. His own favourites were Kaija Koo and Stina Girs. He was also supposed to host the show but he wanted to sing instead and here we are. During his winning performance he got tears in his eyes....
You can watch the show here.

Syksyn Sävel 2011 - live...

The show has kicked off. Well, show? It's like in the good old days. Simply stage in Finlandia Hall and after a very short introduction we are off to Kaija Koo's videoclip where she tells about the song Kaunis, rietas, onnellinen and soon she's on stage giving an energetic performance. The song is already a big radiohit and her compilation double album is #3 in the charts this week. She has also a big fanbase so she is a sure contender for the victory.
She is followed by another megastar, Juha Tapio. He released his new album recently and it went to #1 at release and is at #4 this week after selling already double platinum. His Sitkeä sydän is also a radio hit and he gives a very solid performance. A real contender.
After him two previous Syksyn Sävel hitmakers Matti Esko and Kake Randelin are interviewed. They are answering the cals for donations. As we know every vote donates money for cancer research and cure.
Next on stage is Kristiina Brask with her F32. The song is a nice pop song and two violinists on stage give a nice touch to the performance, She came to the scene from Idols some years ago.
Kari Vepsä, a Syksyn Sävel 1996 winner is telling about his fight against prostate cancer.
After this rather touching interlude it's back to music and next is Tommi Läntinen. He has been around for 30 years, even participated in Euroviisut and performs Kaksi sanaa. It's a typical rock ballad. Also he has recently released an album that is yet to enter the Top-40....
Off to a break we go but after that from a veteran to a youngster, only 12-year-old rapper Puhuva Kone (Talking Machine) who will release his second album shortly. He writes all his lyrics (or should I say rapping?) himself and I must give him credit, the lyrics are much better than for example ... err... Läntinen's box of clichèes.... His song is Hyvä kiertää. And actually it's pretty good and catchy. Could this be the surprise winner following the footsteps of 12-year-old Jonna who won the contest back in 1983? With him on stage Finnish rap's superstar Elastinen who is behind the musical part of the song.
Next we have on screen Marita Taavitsainen, Tango Queen 1995 and Syksyn Sävel 1998 winner. And yes she did also Euroviisut. And we chat also with double winner Rainer Friman (1990, 1992).
In contest we have next jazz singer Emma Salokoski with her Kuiva maa. This piano driven ballad is pretty indeed. Pretty but not instant enough perhaps? It's off her album released this fall. Her addition to the line up fills nicely the artsy part, always present in Syksyn Sävel final. Just think about Anki, Irina Milan and Ritva Oksanen those old days... At this point it is worth mentioning Samuli Edelmann and Johanna Kurkela were invited to take part in the original line up but in the end declined the offer. Shame.
But next is Mikki Kauste of Egotrippi fame. His Tie is his first solo effort but he says the band is not fallen apart, he just had songs that didn't fit their repertoire and so he did a solo album due to be released shortly. Indeed the song is way poppier than most Egotrippi songs. Quite catchy, radio friendly. And solo he goes being alone on stage despite rather heavy backing vocals coming from nowhere.... not the best looking solution on a live TV-show.
Suvi Isotalo takes the stage after break with her Kaikki sanat. She must the most unknown singer tonight but has gained a lot of popularity amongst the Eurovision fan. A Heli Kajo in the making? Her song is original yet catchy. She sits by her grand piano and gives a somewhat dramatic performance. Not bad at all. Very Finnish somehow. If this was Eurovision this would be a fan favourite for sure!
Ooh, next we have a short interview with Lea Laven, the only female double winner (1979, 1999). This blogger misses her but looks like she's just about retired from singing :-( And from that we go for an insert about a 3-year-old girl with cancer.... Sad. The presenter of the show is btw Mikko Alatalo, winner of 1978, 1980,1981, 1986 and today a MP.
The latest Idols winner Martti Saarinen is next on stage with Laula minulle. He surely needs a boost for his debut album sales that have been close to zero so far. No doubt he has a good voice and this song is beautiful for a piano sucker like this blogger. But maybe something is missing after all. Like in his career that seems unable to take off as a career of an Idols winner should... His performance is a good and solid one, like most everyone tonight. There seems to be no competition feeling in the air, more like a charity concert.
Another break and then Janne Raappana makes his solo debut in Syksyn Sävel as he did already 2000 with his ex-band Taikakuu. One of the favourites by this blogger this flute driven ballad Turhaa ja tärkeää with important text. Raappana is a charismatic singer and despite several radiohits still hasn't quite made it to the main league. But why is he wearing a heavy scarf around his neck making him look like he just walked in from the outside?
Back to reality. Every third Finn will have some form of cancer. Every day 100 Finns are diagnosed with cancer and each and everyone has the same life stopping moment when life changes for good. And not only them but their families and loved ones, too.  And this blogger has had such a moment.
Second to last is Stina Girs. She was dropped out from the last Idols way too soon and it could have been the biggest mistake televoters ever did in Idols. She is ready to release her debut album after she secured a record deal instead of the runner up for example. Anna mun mennä is a catchy pop song. Maybe not very original or round breaking but ok. Stina's got personality, look and voice. I just hope the material she has recorded is at the same level...
The voting started on-line three weeks ago and therefor the voting tonight end shortly after the last act has performed andit is none other than Jari Sillanpää. Interestingly enough he has stated in most interviews about Syksyn Sävel that he really wants to win Eurovision. I hope he knows this is not Euroviisut! He has just released a new album including also this dull and bland old fashioned song En se olla saa. If he wins, nothing has changed in Syksyn Sävel and this could have been the winner of Syksyn Sävel 2002 that never was.
After recap we have Erkki Liikanen in interview. He won twice (1975, 1976) and came 2nd four times! And then Saku Koivu, a Finnish NHL ice-hockey hero is interviewed about his cancer. He survived and was back in ice ring 7 months after diagnosis despite heavy treatment and agressive kind of cancer.
Over 200.000 euros were collected and the winner is..... Jari Sillanpää! With over 42% votes.... Oh dear...

The return of Syksyn Sävel tonight

After ten years, The Other Finnish music competition makes a comeback. When Euroviisut was serious and Finns were trying to find a song to please the Europeans jurors - and failed badly most of the times - Syksyn Sävel aka Autumn Melody was shamelessly commercial. (And even created a sister competition Kevään Sävel aka Spring Melody in the early 1980's) Everyone wanted to take part. Big names participated to score a new hit and sell a lot of records. Most of the big singers careers started or got a new boost from the contest. A sort of thing that Melodifestivalen is in Sweden today in Finland of the late 1960's-early 1980's.
When Metsämökin tonttu by Jussi Raittinen & The Boys won in 1974 the contest took a turn into humour music and many several followed when Mikko Alatalo and Erkki Liikanen took home the victories in 1975-76, 1978, 1980-81. But, many evergreens were born at the same time with "real" songs. Those songs may have reached the final, or simply were sent in and with the boost of "Syksyn Sävel reject" made it big in the charts. Some personal favourites are Katri Helena's Syysunelma and Mun sydämeni tänne jää. Both evergreens that failed to win. Scandals, accusation of plagiations and TV favouring certain artists were the norm of the day. Finnish music scene would have such a bore without Syksyn Sävel at the time when we only had two TV-channels and only two contests.
Come 1990's, changes in rules, changes in music business changed it all and slowly the contest died away until the last one was held in 2001. Tonight with an excelent line up it makes a welcome return. But as in the good old days there are the big pre-contest favourites and if Juha Tapio don't win tonight this blogger is mighty surprised.... (Or Kaija Koo?)
And like in the good old days there's a compilation CD released as well!

Friday, October 28, 2011

# 1 in Finland this week: Rihanna - We found love

Rihanna's We found love climbs to #1 in Finland this week.
In albums Chisu keeps her #1 spot for the third week and has sold double platinum. Kaija Koo drops to #3 from last weeks #2, Juha Tapio is at #4, Samuli Edelmann is at #9, Johanna Kurkela at #10, Jari Sillanpää stays at #13 while Laura Voutilainen enters at #20.

Kuorosota kicked off... Lordi takes the lead

The Kuorosota season took off tonight in Helsinki's Peacock Theater and for this blogger it was the best start so far. Or if you have Mr Lordi, Hanna Pakarinen, Kaija Koo and Ressu Redford in same programme topped with Chisu presenting her new single Kohtalon oma, what else can you ask? The voting is on and Mr Lordi led Rovaniemi choir took the early lead while Jonsu's Espoo choir was at the last place and in danger to drop put next week. Check the videos and stuff here.

Man Meadow gets eaten alive

Man Meadow, the Swedish duo that has graced the Polish Eurovision stage twice, in 2008 with Viva la musica and the year after with Love is gonna get you has managed to record a cover of Diana Ross's 1985 album's title track Eaten alive written and produced by Michael Jackson. Jackson also sings Diana's backing vocals. But here's Man Meadow Eaten alive. Not bad even if totally missing the urgency of Diana's and Michael's vocals.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sergey Lazarev's Electric touch

Another Russian star is looking beying the ex-Sovjet Union's borders in search for the new markets. Sergey Lazarev's production team is investing heavily in his international career and here comes rather fab video for Electric touch off his latest album. In the Lady Gaga league, I'd say. Will he be luckier than Dima Bilan? Will we see him Eurovision anytime soon?

Kayahan and 365 days of his life

Kayahan Acar's Gözlerininm hapsindeyim was the Turkish entry in Eurovision 1990. It reached 17th place being reasonably well for Turkey those days. Kayahan has ever since been a top selling artist in Turkey and that song happens to be one of my Turkish favourites. I heard it accidently a few days ago and since then it's been playing in my head... lai, la, la, la.... Anyways, as I said Kayahan is still going strong and his latest is 365 Gün Hayatımın Tamamısınthat translates to 365 days of my life. And I like that one, too!

Sarah Dawn Finer back in Melodifestivalen

But not as a singer. :-( She will be one of the hostesses that seem to be several this year. She should be the funny one if you believe the rumours in Swedish tabloids. I'm sure she will be fabulous but I'd also love to see her back as a singer and make better her score of 4th (I remember love, 2007) and 6th (Moving on, 2009).

MTV EMA 2012 - Let's all vote Lena!

Lena's success story continues as she is the European nominee for the MTV Europe's Wordwide act. The others besides Lena are Britney Spears (North America), BIGBANG (Asia Pacific), Abdelfattah Grini (Africa/India/Middle East) and Restart (Latin America). The Finnish act is Lauri this year. And like every year I can only wonder why they bother with these awards if some 90% of the acts are non-European? So, let's all unite and vote for Lena who is both European and Eurovision! Ok? Here. One click is enough.
This year the awards are givenin Belfast on November 8, 2011 hosted by very European Selena Gomes. Not. Helsinki has applied for the 2012 edition btw.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Azerbaijan - getting ready for ESC 2012

Some news from Azerbaijan, the future host of Eurovision song contest 2012. First of all they have received 119 songs for their selection. Who will be the host nation's represant on the stage of Baku? We will know in due time. Wouldn't it be nice of they had a song written and produced by Azeris for a change? Talking about the stage. There are images floating around internet that might be the already famus Chrystal Hall that should host the event and also the first image how it would look like outside... Time will tell if any of those a for real? And last but not least we have an official partner, an Azeri brewery, Baltika-Baku.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And more qualifiers in Switzerland, too!

The confusing selection procedure in Switzerland goes on. The two last qualifiers for the RSI final to be held on November 8, 2011 are Chiara Dubey with Anima nuova and Laetitia with The big picture.  Two songs from this sort of a semifinal will qualify in the end for the Swiss final. The others are Vittoria Hyde, Scilla, Gianluca Solci, Rossella and Sinplus.
The French broadcaster RTS has also selected its finalists out of which three national finalists will be chosen with 50-50 online vote-jury vote. They are ADN 2.0, Katherine St-Laurent, Marie-Eleine and Etienne, Romanz, Sinplus (yes, here, too!), Sosofluo, The Kompozit, Valentine de Rham, Varloch'et les Alies and Ze Flying Zézettes Orchestra
The German speaking radio station DRS 3 has already chosen its three entries for the national final. They are Guillermo Sorya, Patrci Scott ft Fabienne Louves and Atomic Angels.
The German speaking SF is having its open internet selection going on with voting until October 30. The internet vote and jury vote will choose six songs amongst 215.
Listen to the songs here. And here. And here.

Two more qualify for the Melodifestivalen webjoker

Another week has passed and two more songs qualified for the Melodifestivalen webjoker final. Ingenting, ingen by Caroline Coquart and Marilyn Monroe by Never Alone are the lucky ones. The last eight songs are here to listen and vote.

Monday, October 24, 2011

UMK 2012 wannabes. Will they make the cut?

Several artists have publicly announced they have sent in a song to the UMK 2012. First of them was glamour celebrity showgirl Martina Aitolehti, followed by designer singerwannabe Teuvo Loman, popstar turned tabloid celebrity Tauski, 1980's teenage popstar Anja Niskanen, 1990's Eurodance act Movetron and heavyrockers Korpiklaani. I wouldn't be surprised if none of them made the cut. Most likely to do so is propably Korpiklaani while Martina might be included for the PR and visibility she would give the contest in media. The one I hope will make it is Anja Niskanen... But then we haven't heard the songs and who knows what kind of surprises we have in store? Next Monday we will know!

Helsinki Ice Hall will host UMK 2012

YLE has revealed the venue for the ex-Euroviisut, now named Uuden musiikin kilpailu aka UMK. Helsinki's Ice Hall will do the honors and so YLE is keeping its promise as it is the biggest venue to host the national final since Turku's Typhoon in early 1990's with its 10.200 capacity. Next Monday the hosts for the show will be revealed and also the songs that made the first cut that should be 40-50. The songs can be heard on UMK's website as well as be played on YLE Radio Suomi on January Sundays. The jury will first select 12 of them and through various club gigs and things eventually only six of them will make it to the final on February 25, 2012. Janaury Friday's will feature shows with the selected songs and their preparations.

Nikos Ganas - Eurovision wannabe

Greek Nikos Ganas (or Nicko) has been telling everyone and every possible situation he wants to go to Eurovision and one can only ask Why not? This blogger would be quite pleased most likely. He has just released a new single This love is killing me following Break me and Last summer. He easily dances and sings certains Sakises and Erics to oblivion....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

New releases: Laura and Katri Helena

Katri Helena will release her 32nd studio album next month titled Valon maa. It is her first for the new record company managed by her suspected toyboy. On a live TV-show she joked he will propose her to marry him if the album sells 100.000 copies...  The first single of the album is Raja. That would be her 14th gold album, 4th platinum and second multiplatinum album. Her most sold album to date is Anna mulle tähtitaivas from 1992 (over 100.000 copies sold).
Another blond blue eyed Eurovision star Laura Voutilainen has released Ihmeitä, her 11th studioalbum. The album was recorded in Iceland and features winter inspired songs. The first single is Winter song/Rakkaudesta. Laura has sold six gold albums so far and two multiplatinums, namely her first two albums in 1994 and 1996.

You know who you are again

Anne-Marie David has released a new version of her Eurovision winning classic Tu te reconnaitras in both French and German with some help of Mave O'Rick. You can listen their joint efforts here. This being one of my all time Eurovision favourites it's hard to ruin it completely but the remix isn't giving the song much of a refresh or particularly groundbreaking treatment. A standard remix that could have been anytime over the past 20 years. The original has pure magic....

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Alex Sparrow's on one

Where did Alexey Vorobyov disappear after Eurovision where he finished 16th, Russia's worst since 1995 with RedOne penned Get you? Los Angeles, that's where he went and into the studio with the same RedOne. He will start conquering America as Alex Sparrow in 2012 and here comes a little teaser, a cover of DJ Khaled ft Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne's  I'm on one. The vid's made for fun in one day by Alex himself using one camera only. Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lena Philipsson's album delayed. Is she going to MF?

Lena Philipsson's new album that was ment to be released November 30, 2011 has been postponed to 2012 once again. She might be just too busy with her success show Min drömshow i Cirkus running night after night in Stockholm, or is she aiming for Melodifestivalen and Eurovision again? Now that is a good reason to delay the release until February 2012. Meanwhile her latest single Nästa säsong climbs to #6 in Topplistan.

ESC 2012: What's up with Greece?

One can only wonder if Greece and ERT can and will make it to Eurovision 2012. The economical crisis is already beyond control - and you can ask what we Finns think about the way they are dealing with it :-) - and today there's a rumour indeed ERT would skip it. On the other hand they can go internal and pick an artist and singer. Is it time for Kostas Martakis finally?
But I believe and hope they will be there as after all Greece has provided some very memorable Eurovision moments and even some great musical moments. Here are some of them: 2010, 2007, 2001, 1995, 1993, 1992, 1981, 1979 and 1977.

Faniellos back at it in Malta?

Malta has revealed its Eurovision 2012 plans and interested had two days to send in their entries it seems. And as soon as that was over the names of interested artists started circulating, amongst them also the singing Faniellos, Fabrizio and Claudia. Claudia's international career may have not started the way she and her management wished for with the release of her first album but Fabrizio is doing fine. Last weekend he was in Latvia's Pop Idol and has also sung a theme song for the big German show celebrating 50 years pop, The sound of life is pop. And there's also a great remix of Know me better. Things are cooking well for him the time being so a trip to Baku would be the icing on the cake?

Junior Eurovision 2012 - listen to the songs

The 9th Junior Eurovision song contest will take place in Yerevan, Armenia on December 3, 2011. All the entries have now been selected and you can listen to them by clicking the song's title. Last year Armenia's Vladimir Arzumamyan won with Mama but it's a pure coincidence the contest is in Yerevan. The 2012 contest has already been given to the Netherlands to host. The Russian artist Katya Ryabova makes history by being the first Junior artist to make a comeback. She already came 2nd in 2009 with Malenkiy prints.

1. RUSSIA -: Katya Ryabova – Romeo And Juliet

2. LATVIA - Amanda Bashmakova - Menes suns
3. MOLDOVA -  Lerika – No, No
4. ARMENIA -:Dalita – Welcome To Armenia
5. BULGARIA - Ivan Ivanov – Superhero
6. LITHUANIA - Paulina Skrabytė – Debesys
7. UKRAINE - Kristall – Europe
8. MACEDONIA - Dorijan Dlaka – Zimi Ovoj Frak
9. THE NETHERLANDS - Rachel – Teenager
10. BELARUS - Lidiya Zablotskaya – Angely Dobra
11. SWEDEN - Erik Rapp – Faller
12. GEORGIA - Candy -  Candy Music
13. BELGIUM -  Femke – Een Kusje Meer

Shame Finland is not taking part in this as we might have sent this fantastic entry; Petter with En framtid. He will go to the Nordic MGP instead. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

#1 in Finland this week: Chisu - Sabotage

With its 8th week in charts Chisu's Sabotage reclaims the top spot, most likely helped by the amazing video and the release of the album Kun valaistun that shot to #1 last week and stays there this week, too.

Under the starry sky of Seebachs

Rasmus Seebach, the very succesful son of Danish Eurovision star Tommy Seebach (1979, 1981, 1993) has recorded his dad's last Eurovision entry Under stjernerne på himlen. And quite frankly he does better than his late father who was very succesful the first two times but ended up a total flop the last time reflecting his own private life and career. But son Rasmus started his career back in 2009 with a #1 single Engel and three more top-3 singles followed. His latest two efforts are Natteravn and another #1, I mine øjne. He is also ready to conquer the rest of Europe with English versions of his songs like Angel and Calling (nighthawk). He's one to watch but unfortunately seems uninterested in Eurovision....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Raphael Gualazzi's madness of love remixed

The special edition of Raphael Gualazzi's success album Reality and fantasy is now out (cd+dvd) and it contains a brand new remix of his Eurovision runner up, Madness of love. Remixed by Gilles Peterson and sung in English. And it's very fresh sounding indeed! Listen here.

Listen to the Eirodziesma 2012 entries

Tired of the Swiss entries already? Nothing interesting in the Swedish Melodifestivalen webbjoker thing? Try Lativan entries here. You can vote till the end of month by clicking "balsot" and a validiation email will follow. One vote per pc is allowed. Latvia has had a mixed fortunes in Eurovision with early successes to non-qualification already three times in a row. This blogger still thinks Musiqq should have qualified though... And Aisha's remix is rather fab, too.

Lordi - for the elderly

Lordi is the leader of Rovaniemi choir and has revealed his target for the money should he win it for his town: the elderly. He is worried about the old people living alone with no friends and relatives nearby. Especially in Lapland the distances can be very long and the nearest neighbour even 20 kms away, His money would go to so called Friend service where people go and visit elderly people living alone. And one thing is for sure: even the grannies love Mr Lordi. Judge yourself in this video (in Finnish). And yes, Mr Lordi finally speaks Finnish in public!

Star Academy Italy - the singers left the show

Now we can easily declare Star Academy Italy was the biggest flop of any reality or talent show in television history. Not only did the producers cut the series short and set the final already on 4th episode that was ment to go on air on Saturday October 22, 2011 - in the afternoon, mind you! But hey, there's some justice and courage left: the singers refused the fake final in common agreement and left the show so Star Academy is no longer. No final. No winner. Nothing. Way to go, all you singers! This blogger stands with you. Or you are treated like you should be and the show will go on, no matter what the viewing figures say. You can't just build up hopes and burn talents like that and treat them like trash.
And think this was rumoured to be the Italian selection for Eurovision 2012....

Monday, October 17, 2011

Anja Niskanen in UMK!

Another name has emerged from the demos sent into Uuden musiikin kilpailu, or the ex-Euroviisut. That is Anja Niskanen who's making a comeback to the scene. She won Syksyn Sävel 1984 with Ollaan hiljaa vaan, a real classic. She released her debut album that sold gold but things turned sour after that and as she was tied to a contract with CBS until 1990's when she finally was able to record songs she wanted to. In 1991 she released her seocnd album Ikkuna and in 1994 followed a minor hit single Sydämeesi pesän rakennan. And now she's coming back with new material and doing gigs, too. And trying to get to Eurovision - I suspect she tried back in 1991 but YLE didn't ant her... Just about the time, too, as this blogger has always been a fan!

Two more qualifies for Melodifestivalen web joker

Second week of voting is over and two songs made it to the next step: A heartbeat away and Beautiful love. Eight more hopefuls are here to vote.  nd no, there's still nothing to write home about...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wow, Ruslana goes Sha la la

One could argue Ruslana hasn't changed a bit since 2004 when she Wild danced to Eurovision win in Istanbul, or what do you think about her latest efforts Wow! and Sha la la. Or is she just true to her style? Anyways, the dance crew is there and the choreography is still there... but Wild dances is still above them in my books. (Or is it just golden memories as I was there to cheer her to victory jumping on my seat to the beat?)

ESC 2012: Song, songs, songs!

The Eurovision 2012 season has started and in full swing. Some countries have already chosen their songs for national finals and selections, some are accepting songs still, some are just getting their act together but one thing seems sure: Eurovision is as popular as ever. The Nordic countries seem to be the Eurovision royalty what comes to the number of songs sent in. Sweden is in league of its own with 3.485 songs received this time but Norway (800), Denmark (678), Finland (540) and Iceland (150) also give the juries that pick up the songs some days of work. Also The Netherlands (over 450) is living an Eurovision renaissance while Switzerland (259) and Latvia (71) follow their average number of songs sent in.  That's already almost 6.500 songs from 8 countries only. How many songs we will have once all 40+ countries have selected their songs?
And you can already vote songs online in Sweden and Switzerland, and Switzerland is also the first one to have its national final in early December. And come 2012, there are national finals most every weekend across Europe....

UPDATE 21.10.11: With 161 songs in Malta  we have 6.600 songs so far.
UPDATE 26.10.11: 119 songs in Azerbaijan, bringing the total to over 6.700.

Switzerland: Let's vote!

The German speaking Switzerland has over 200 songs in the running for the six slots in the Swiss final in December. You can vote, too. First register here and and then go here and vote for Vittoria Hyde and Steve Leuenberger for example! :-) You can give 1-4 votes for each song.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Star Academy Italy - a total flop

Not all reality and talent shows gain audience and make stars. Star Academy in Italy promised a lot but will now fade away and close next week in a hurry. The third episode this week all of sudden turned into a semifinal and five singers were sent home. Next Thursday the final with ten singers and definitive closing of the show, also named as the saddest talent show in TV-history... Italian Eurovision fans are a bit worried this might put in danger the Italian Eurovision as well as its also on RaiDue channel and this flop might make the bosses think music contest just isn't the way to go after all....

Gianni Morandi hosts Sanremo 2012

Ex-Eurovision star Gianni Morandi will do a bis and host also Sanremo 2012 as he did with success in 2011. Not else is known about next year's edition so far as only recently RAI and the city of Sanremo managed to make a deal hosting the contest once again in the beforementioned city. An argument that seems to go on every year... Could you have Sanremo somewhere else but Sanremo really? Perche Sanremo è Sanremo!
Sanremo 2011 was won by veteran Roberto Vecchioni followed by Modà with Emma and another veteran and Eurovision veteran as well, Albano.

La differenza tra me e Tiziano Ferro

Tiziano Ferro has released today his comeback single La differenza tra me e te, off his new album L'amore è una cosa semplice out next month. And it's great! After a couple of listenings....

Switzerland: three qualifies for the final!

DRS-3 channels has selected its three entries for the Swiss national final and this blogger is very happy! Two of them I have featured here as Swiss goodies and the third one would have been next in line if I would have continued with the series. So, Fabienne Louves & Patric Scott with Real love, Guillermo Sorya with Baby, baby, baby and Atomic Angels with Black symphony are already in the final line up on December 10, 2011. Sounds very promising!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chisu goes #1 and gets awarded

As expected Chisu's new album Kun valaistun went straight to #1 while her single Sabotage climbs again to #2. And last night she was elected and awarded as the most stylish female in Elle Fashion awards. The male award went to another pop star, Antti Tuisku.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BlogIlkar exclusive: VITTORIA HYDE INTERVIEW


Vittoria Hyde, a self proclaimed European alien, who has already secured her place in the Swiss Italian semifinal next month with It's your love. She's also in the running in the German part. In this exclusive interview she tells us the story behind last year's Play the trumpet. Why she was eliminated from X Factor? And she talks about Matia Bazar and Celine Dion. And what would take her to the Sanremo festival?

Bella, bionda, alta e magra – what else is Vittoria Hyde?
An alien! Hahaha. A singer, a fashion blogger and shortly a Dj and VJ. I'm hungry and foolish.
Last year your Play the trumpet was my favourite song of all national finals of the season. The all of sudden you were disqualified, what happened? Were you incazzata?
I was very very sad and incazzata of course. To present myself I have uploaded 30 seconds of the idea of the song, it was only lalala, to the Benetton website "It's my time". This short video was also on my Facebook page and I never thought it could be against the rules. I apologize to all the ones who believed in me and I'm sorry for the issue I've caused to RSI
This year you are back with another trumpet song, It’s your love and it’s fab, too. Tell us a bit about it!
One day Carlo Marrale, my producer Franco Cristaldi and I were doing a jam in our studio and BOOM Carlo came out with this beautiful melody on his guitar.
There’s a bit of Matia Bazar in it, right?
Of course, Carlo Marrale was one of the founders of the group and wrote the most successful songs, like Vacanze Romane, Ti sento, Solo tu etc.
Two years in a row in Eurovision circuit. Are you a fan?
I feel very European, I was born in Italy I grew up in Germany, now I'm again living in Milan. I have a lot of friends around Europe. Yes, I think the Eurovision is the perfect stage for myself.
What is your most memorable Eurovision moment? And your favourite song? Or a song that you wish you had performed first?
2009 when Lena won. Waterloo is my favorite song and Ne partez sans moi I wish I would have performed first.
You are trying in Switzerland but would you rather do it for Italy if you could choose?
No way……only Switzerland, copying the world success of Celine Dion
You started in Italian X Factor but it didn’t go that well, did it? But you have stayed in the spotlight ever since with Giusy Ferreri, Aram Quartet and Tony Maiello who also were there but made it to top-4. Sum up your artistic life.
They kicked me out with the verdict that I'm too international for the Italian market. After that experience I felt stronger than before. I published with my little independent record label three singles and we are preparing an album.
You have released some great tracks like Un sogno qualunque, Cuore and Sunny people. When can we expect an album?
Mmmh I think after Christmas. For sure after Baku
;-)
What’s it with burlesque?
A hobby
And Rita Pavone?
An Icon
Back to Eurovision. If you win and go to Baku, what can we expect? A huge stage show?
A crazy one!
What’s your view on stage shows anyway? Is it more important than actual singing and the song?
A great show has to have also great music
Will be see you on stage of Teatro Ariston in Sanremo some time soon?
Yes. As a guest star!
So she will make it to the final, make a crazy show in Baku, release an album and go to Sanremo 2013 as a worldstar! But it's your love that can make that happen so vote for her! BlogIlkar thanks Vittoria for the interview and... in bocca al lupo!

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