Tuesday, January 31, 2017

FINLAND: EMMA GOT THE COWS MILKING

Oh, I almost forgot the milk-o-meter! But guess what? The cows agreed with the fans - does this mean the euroboys are really cows?! - and predicitions and got their udders flowing and produced a record breaking 34,3 liters of milk when Emma's Circle of light was playing!
Skål for that!

FINLAND: #UMK17 WAS A VIEWING SUCCESS

Dropping the semifinals and concentrating only to produce a big final with added active social medias buss seems to have worked well for YLE and #UMK17. The show was the 2nd most watched of the week with 1.397.000 viewers, beated only by Putous, a commercial tv's entertainement and comedy character show that is enjoying immense success, it scored last week 1.721.000, which is though less than its previous and season's opening show. 

ESC 2017: HERE'S THE STAGE AND THE SEMIFINAL ALLOCATIONS

Fans were complaining before about everyhting but NTU has come up with the logo, slogan, stage and allocation draw in January. Just as promised. :-) And even the ticket sales will start in a week or so...
The stage (on top) looks very much inspired by Vienna and Helsinki with the Baku backdrop. But then again it's the same designer. Except for Helsinki of course! Looks promising.
The semifinal allocation is sorted out as well today with the Host City insignia ceremony, passing the contest officially from Stockholm to Kyiv. A nice tradition started after Helsinki 2007 from the initiative of the Helsinki city people. 
Italy, Spain and United Kingdom will vote in the first semifinal which is bad news for San Marino.
Germany. Ukraine and France will vote in the second semifinal which is good news for San Marino if they send Serhat again.....
And Finland? AGAIN first semifinal and AGAIN first half!
This is 8th semifinal one in ten years, and the starting numbers have been 1, 5, 9, 10, 5, 15 and 16. In those two times in second semifinal were 5 and 8 but both times we qualified. The qualifications from semifinal one have come with 10 (2011), 15 (2009) and 16 (2008). It's not looking good in that light.....
OMG. The  S I L E N C E  when Russia was drawn..... (48'35). That was spooky.....

Monday, January 30, 2017

EUROVISION 2017: CELEBRATE DIVERSITY!

The slogan and the logo are out: Celebrate diversity! At first this blogger was like "Meh, it's already such a celebration of diversity, do we have to underline it?!" but then again.... maybe it works. Not so convinced yet. However this is what EBU has to say about it:

Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand said: "The notion of celebrating diversity builds on last year’s theme of ‘Come Together’ and is at the heart of Eurovision values: it is all-inclusive and all about countries around Europe, and beyond, joining together to celebrate both our common ground and our unique differences, as well as some great music. Incorporating this beautiful and meaningful logo based on a traditional amulet gives not only a sense of history and heritage but also a modern look and feel. As the production grows from these themes, we are very much looking forward to seeing what is sure to be a fantastic event in May".

The creative logo design is based around a traditional Ukrainian bead necklace known as Namysto. More than just a piece of jewellery, it is a protective amulet and a symbol of beauty and health. It is made up of many different beads, each with its own design and celebrates both diversity and individuality. Two of Ukraine’s best creative agencies, Republique and Banda, united to produce this year’s slogan and design".



FINLAND: YLE IS ALREADY LOOKING FOR 2018 EUROVISION

The blackbird didn't have time to finish her last note when YLE already announced some plans for the 2018 Eurovision song contest. 
First, we are taking part in Eurovision (like there ever was a doubt) but also they are creating a sort of Tinder/Grinder for songwriters and performers at this first phase.
In short you can now only send a song even if you don't have an artist for it, or you can propose yourself as a singer or your band as a performer even if you don't have a song. YLE will then do the match and magic is created. Hopefully. So all in all this is a bit Lithuanian inspired, isn't it?
This matching game is on only until the end of February so be quick. The normal and usual song+performer submission period will be opened later in normal schedule.....

Sunday, January 29, 2017

FINLAND: DID EMMA HAVE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS - OR NOT?

The biggest fan favorite and the winner of the pre-voting - based on audio and video - and also the Finnish Eurovision fan club's fan award, Emma didn't deliver Saturday night in her live show that turned out a mess. The backing vocals were all over the place while Emma was nowhere at times missing a line or two and sounding very confused. To add to the mess her fire torch didn't burn and she was just showing smoke all over the place. Not good. 
She told already in the UMK after show that the audience clapping to the wrong beat in the chorus got her confused. Then the speculation of not working ear monitor started on social medias.....
And later she tweeted this:

Congratulations to the beautiful Duo Norma John Flawless performance and amazing vocals! I'm so proud of Finland! 💖
And thank you all for your love and support! 💖 Last night I had unfortunately a lot of technical issues with my performance but despite that I ended my song the best way I could! And remember, this is not the end! God only wants another path for me! And I really hope you'll be there with me as well! Rakas, WE are safe in the Circle Of Light! ❤💫

The UMK17 producer Anssi Autio denies there has been any techical problems, with ear monitors or something else. Or no one has reported such. All went as planned and as in rehearsals. He also is very pleased with the show. It was a success. The submissions for the UMK18 is already open. 
And Emma finished third with both international juries and televoters, as well as in the final ranking. 



FINLAND: HOW MANY OUTFITS DID KRISTA SIEGFRIDS WEAR IN #UMK17?

Did you lose track? Can there ever be too much feather, glitter and wigs? No.
In my books she topped Club La Persé. 
Which one was your favorite?
She also knows how to pick up the accessories.....
Next stop: Melodifestivalen. Are you ready?

ISRAEL: HERE ARE THE EIGHT CHOSEN ONES - ONE OF THEM TO EUROVISION

Israel's long search for The Next Star is reaching the final stages. Out of the 21 acts that made it through the blind auditons (here) a jury has now picked up eight for the next step. Eventually they will become 6, then 4 for the final. Some artists who scored much better than the selected ones have been dropped out like Yosef Gal (91%), Helen Kalandadze (90%). David Vanesian (85%) and Yonit Zaidenberg (85%). They must have their reasons....
Diana Goldi is the Idol 2010 winner, Imri Ziv already twice a backing singer in ESC (2015, 2016) and Julieta has Kdam 2013 experience.

Diana Golbi (95%)
Imri Ziv (93%)
Beatbox Element (91%)
Trio Ta-La-Te (75%)
Hally Lewis 7(7%)
Yona Shavin (79%)
Sapir Nahon (88%)
Julieta (72%)

FINLAND: HOW DID MEDIA REACT TO #UMK17?

Now, writing this annual post isn't easy this year. It seems there isn't any reaction really. Just short articles "Norma John won" and that's it. Some try to make it look like a surprise win even if they have been one of the top favorites from the day one. On top of that Finland's biggest newspaper published an article about UMK in general, a very critical and negative one. One can only wonder what its purpose is.... 
It was great to hear last night on tv in the after show all the other artists seemed sincerely happy for their win and no hard feelings from anyone. Emma, when asked, said she's not disappointed in 3rd place but she's sad and disappointed her performance didn't work out: She says she lost the rhythm when people started clapping their hands, then to make it even worse she missed a line and on top of that her fire torch died. Lauri and Anni were very happy, especially for their 12 points from Sweden and Israel respectively, and for them this is just a start of something else. Just like for Zuhlke.
My First Band were first to congratulate Norma John and didn't seem at all disappointed, even if they were tipped for victory in media. 
And now the comments on social media. As usual they are either way. Those who say it's sh*t and depressing and we will be last again and should drop out completely. The usual nonsense. The other shout for the victory of real music. Classy act we can be proud of. Indeed. 
And now Leena and Lasse has to sit down and start clearing off their calendar as they both have a zillion projects and things to do already planned. 
They say their staging in Kyiv will be similar but bigger yet "music first". They seemed rather surprised and overwhelmed for their victory they didn't expect.

This blogger thinks this season is going to be a good one .... :-)

ITALY: SANREMO RETURNS WITH SOME VINYL SINGLES

The vinyl albums have been making a comeback for some years now, and I read somewhere they sold globally more than in past 20 years in 2016. Mostly collector's stuff, and those who feel nostalgic for the sound. Oh, those were the days when you played your favorite albums so much they got scratched and jumped here and there and you just knew after awhile where and when and how. That made it your very own version of the song.....
Anyways, recently one has seen some 45 tours, aka 7" singles reappear here and there, once again for collectors and included in special editions.....
And now Sanremo is right at the top of things, hip as one could say. Sony/Warner is making an experiment with their artists in Sanremo and four entries will be released as a limited edition vinyl single, too: Paola Turci, Francesco Gabbana, Alessio Bernabei and Raige ft. Luzi.
How cool is that?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

FINLAND: NORMA JOHN WINS WITH BLACKBIRD

Norma John has won the Finnish selection for the Eurovision song contest 2017 with Blackbird.

1. Norma John - Blackbird (juries 94+ televotes 88) 182
2. Zuhlke - Perfect villain (74+71) 145
3. Emma - Circle of light (53+53) 106
4. My First Band - Paradise (45+52) 97
5. Gunther & D'Sanz - Love yourself (37+45) 82
6. Alva - Arrows (15+48) 63
7. Anni Saikku - Reach out for the sun (43+16) 59
8. Lauri Yrjölä - Helppo elämä (43+15) 58
9. Club La Persé - My little world (21+29) 50
10. Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies - Caveman (5+13) 18

It's quite remarkable how the international juries and Finns agreed. The top-4 was a total agreement, as was the last place. International juries favored Lauri and Anni, Finns Alva. Gunther the foreigner didn't convince Finns, as the history once again proved. And it's good to see the novelty acts finished last. A good year, and a great show from most..... Emma messed up hers though. She said she missed the rhythm because people started clapping their hands, and she lost her lines and even the torch's fire went out..... Oh well....

It's almost time. You can follow #UMK17 final here. I decided to sit back on sofa and enjoy the show without live blogging. You do the same and come back after the show for results and comments. Enjoy!

FINLAND: EMMA WINS MY #UMK17 POLL

Thank you for everyone who voted. This is the final results:

EMMA (37%)
NORMA JOHN (20%)
ANNI SAIKKU (18%)
MY FIRST BAND (10%)
LAURI YRJÖLÄ (9%)
ZUHLKE (8%)
CLUB LA PERSE (4%)
ALVA (4%)
GUNTHER & D'SANZ (3%)
KNUCKLEBONE (2%)
Have you voted in my #umk17 poll yet? --------->

FINLAND: #UMK17 FINAL TONIGHT

Finland has its national final #UMK17 tonight in Metro Arena, Espoo. Ten songs participating with guest performances by Norwegian teenage twin sensation Marcus & Martinus, and local megastar Jenni Vartiainen doing a comeback after a little break. Eurovision veteran and Melodifestivalen participant (again) Krista Siegfrids is hosting the show with the help of Mikko Silvennoinen.
For the first time Finland is using the international juries as well, and there are ten of them giving the 50% of the final result: Spain, Iceland, United Kingdom, Israel, Latvia, Norway, France, Sweden, Ukraine and Estonia. Each jury has four members, each using the votes 1,2,4,6,8,10,12 thus leaving three entries with a flat zero. Then the votes are transformed into country's votes the same way (so they divide 43 points. That means the 10 juries will hand out 430 points. 
The same amount will be given using the percentage of the televotes. The final televotes include the pre-votes given online between the end of December and last Thursday. During the show there will be mobile/SMS/online voting as well. Last year that gave seven times more votes than the pre-votes so even if Emma scored well above the others in those, nothing is set yet.... Below is the pre-votes chart.
The show starts 8pm CET, with a pre-show half an hour earlier, and after show right after, making it a 3 hours of fun :-) 


1. Emma: Circle Of Light 30,4
2. My First Band: Paradise 15,0
3. Zühlke: Perfect Villain 12,5
4. Günther & D'Sanz: Love Yourself 8,4
5. Norma John: Blackbird 8,3
6. Club La Persé: My Little World 6,9
7. Alva: Arrows 5,9
8. Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: Caveman 4,7
9. Lauri Yrjölä: Helppo elämä 4,1
10. Anni Saikku: Reach Out For The Sun 3,8

The running order is:
1. Emma - Circle of light
2. Alva - Arrows
3. Günther & D'Sanz: Love Yourself
4. Anni Saikku - Reach out for the sun
5. Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: Caveman
6. Norma John - Blackbird
7. Lauri Yrjölä - Helppo elämä
8. Club La Persé - My little world
9. Zühlke: Perfect Villain
10. My First Band - Paradise

LITHUANIA: EUROVIZIJA HEAT FOUR TONIGHT

Lithuania's Eurovizija reaches the fourth heat tonight. Once again about half the songs will make it to the next step voted by the jury and the televoters together. Among the artists tonight Neringa and most of all Aiste. This is her at least 9th time she tries to win it and has got Latvian Aminata writing her the song. Let's see if this combination can do the trick! Two last minute withdrawels in this heat as Solaris withdraw just before taping the show, and Ruslanas Kirilkinas just days ago for not better known "personal reasons". Hopefully not again this old story.... 
I will update the results here later so stay tuned....

1. ALANAS - 7 Days  
2. Valerija Iljinaitė - You made me glow 
3. Ruslanas Kirilkinas - When the night falls in - withdrawn
4. Vlad Max - I'll Never Let You Down 
5. Queens of Roses - Fisherman
6. Evaldas Vaikasas - Fire kisses
7. Elvina Milkauskaitė - Try
8. Aistė Pilvelytė  - I'm like woolf
9. Julija Jegorova - Higher
10. Audrius Janonis - Run
11. Soliaris - Undefeatable - withdrawn
12. Rasa Vaštakaitė (Shiny Raia) - All you  
13. Neringa Šiaudikytė - Running out of time

HUNGARY: A DAL HEAT THREE TONIGHT

Hungary was supposed to have its last elimination heat tonight but instead - after postboning the last week's heat due to the tragic bus accident - this 3rd now is the 2nd one, and the acts of the 2nd one will be having their heat next week, and the semifinals will be both next weekend, Friday & Saturday.
Once again the jury will send their top-5 to the semifinals, and then televoters can save an additional entry from the drop outs. Among the participants tonight András Kállay Saunders, who's holding the best Hungarian result (5th in 2014) in the modern times (Friderika Bayer was 4th in 1994. Different times, different contest).
Some other familiar names tonight: Adám Szabó is once again very strong, Andi Tóth is not joking either and Zoltan delivers again. I hope this foursome makes it tonight, as we have some not so good ones in this heat...

Ádám Szabó – Together (38) saved by televote
Andi Tóth – I’ve Got A Fire (34)
AnnaElza feat. Juli Kása – Jártam (34)
Chase – Dust In The Wind (39)
Gina Kanizsa – Fall Like Rain (42)
Kállay Saunders Band – 17 (42)
Mrs. Columbo – Frozen King (38)
Peet Project – Kill Your Monster (40)
Péter Kőváry & The Royal Rebels – It’s A Riot (36)
Zoltán Mujahid – On My Own (36)

Friday, January 27, 2017

UK: LUCIE JONES FOR EUROVISION 2017

Lucie Jones won the Eurovision - You decide 2017 aka United Kingdom's national final tonight. A simple classy performance, her alone in a spotlight in a red dress and strong vocals. The song is even co-written by Eurovision winner Emmelie De Forest. Not sure how it will do in Kyiv but it's an elegant choice and so far by far the best entry chosen. Then again, they are only four (4). :-)
Lucie (26) came to attention in X Factor but was voted out as the fifth act in live, knocked out by none other than Jedward. That even included a minor voting scandal. Danyl Johnson was in the same show as well and was the first to jump in and congratulate her on stage. Since then she's been doing major musicals. And now she will sing for the UK in Kyiv Never give up on you

UK: EUROVISION - YOU DECIDE FINAL TONIGHT

Tonight's the night UK will select its entry for the Eurovision song contest 2017 in Kyiv. Six ex-X Factor artists in the running. Lucie is apparently the favorite followed by Olivia. This blogger goes for Olivia and Nate followed by Salena.... Let's see what the British and jury think..... and how they do live!






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