Thursday 26 June 2014

UK: Sinitta wants to do Eurovision next year!

Whaaaat? Sinitta is willing to represent the United Kingdom in Eurovision - Metro reports. This blogger thinks she would be perfect! But who is she? Sinitta is a well-known face here in Britain. She was in a relationship with Simon Cowell and they have worked together ever since So Macho was released, in the 1980's. Simon and Sinnita split up years ago but have remained good friends. In recent years, Sinitta has appeared on a number of TV programs - including Dancing On Ice, Loose Women, Wife Swap and I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here. She is also a regular face on The X Factor as Cowell's righthand woman at the judges' houses stage. Back in 1984, Sinitta attempted to represent the United Kingdom with Imagination - but only placed 4th in the national final. 

Maybe this is just a publicity stunt? As she is trying to kick-start her music career again, apparently.. Sinitta was interviewed on This Morning, a British chat-show, although didn't mention Eurovision. This blogger wouldn't mind, if the song was strong enough. Maybe a collaboration with Cowell is on the cards? He has previously said that he would be willing to help the BBC find a decent entry for Eurovision. No news regarding the UK's selection process has been announced but it's probable the BBC will go internal... again! 

Sweden: Melodifestivalen 2015 rules announced!

Melodifestivalen is one of the most popular national selections - and SVT, the Swedish national broadcaster, has already announced some rules regarding next years edition. A call for songs will be made from 1st September to 16th September. The Swedish broadcaster wants to see more female involvement and they also want to see more songs in the Swedish language. Swedish is a beautiful language so why are there so few Melodifestivalen songs in Swedish?

Executive Producer of Melodifestivalen and Sweden’s Head of Delegation, Christer Björkman, said:
We are so proud and happy about the bronze in the Eurovision Song Contest (2014). That feeling we take with us in our work with the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. As usual, we call for songs in different languages, in different genres and in different styles. Diversity and variety is an important part of Melodifestivalen 
For more details, click here

Wednesday 25 June 2014

NuVidz: Coldplay, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Brequette, Getter Jaani & Koit Toome!

 A Sky Full Of Stars is Coldplay's latest anthem. They have achieved almost five million hits on YouTube in seven days. #Impressive! The lovely Sophie Ellis-Bextor has recently released Love Is A Camera. The video-clip is very Gothic and it also features the singer as a eerie temptress. Sophie is dressed in a black lace-trimmed gown. It's the third single from Sophie's most recent album, Wanderlust. Brequette didn't quite get to represent Spain in Eurovision but she has been working on her debut album. Puzzle Together is the first single from this upcoming album. A funky tune. I like it. Getter Jaani, the 2011 Estonian representative, and Koit Toome have teamed up to create Rannamaja. This blogger loves this song. I can't understand a word yet it's one of my favourite songs at the moment! Getter Janna has recently hinted in an interview that she might consider returning to Eurovision again..

Missed Opportunities 2014: Iceland!

Pollapönk won the Icelandic national final back in February, and it's safe to say that I wasn't thrilled with the outcome. However Iceland still managed 15th place in the final - which isn't to shabby at all! Söngvakeppnin 2014 did offer a few gems:

Ásdís María Viðarsdóttir - Amor
I remember watching the Icelandic national final, and I was gutted when Ásdís failed to win the ticket to Copenhagen. Amor is a strange song - there's no denying it, but for some reason it's great. Her voice is unique and it completely suits the song. The Icelandic people didn't approve though... Predicted result in Copenhagen: 11th to 15th place in the semi-final. I don't think it would have appealed the average Eurovision viewer, unfortunately.

Sigríður Eyrún Friðriksdóttir - Lífið kviknar á ný
Sigríður Eyrún Friðriksdóttir came 2nd with Lífið kviknar á ný. Sigríður gave a great performance in the national final. Very burlesque. And a very happy little song! Me gusta!

Sunday 22 June 2014

Austria 2015: Three cities still in the running to host Eurovision 2015...

OFR, the Austrian national broadcaster, has confirmed three cities are still in the running to hold next years contest. These cities are Vienna, Innsbruck and Graz. The Austrian broadcaster released this statement:
After careful consideration of all applications, the ORF has decided to conduct further discussions with the City of Vienna and the operators of the Wiener Stadthalle, the city of Graz and the operators of the Stadthalle Graz and Innsbruck and the operators of the OlympiaWorld
Therefore, the bids from Klagenfurt, Oberwart, Vienna International Airport, Vienna Schonbrunn Palace and Wels were rejected. Vienna seems to be the main contender. A decision will made within the next couple of months!

Saturday 21 June 2014

Missed Opportunities 2014: Malta!

The Maltese national selection consisted of twenty participants - all battling for the ticket to Copenhagen. Firelight won, which wasn't a popular decision among Eurovision fans, and Malta only placed 23rd in the final. So, who should Malta have sent instead?

De Bee - Pin The Middle
De Bee's Pin The Middle was the runner-up, and this blogger reckons it would have made an awesome Maltese representation! The performance in the national final was very good and the song itself has a nice country vibe. Juries would have loved this and I think she would have done slightly better than Firelight...

Jessika - Hypnotica
Jessika should have represented Malta in Copenhagen! Hypnotica was fantastic. Yeah, some people have compared it to Loreen's "My Heart is Refusing Me" but I disagree with that. Jessika's performance was great - and her vocals were surprisingly good, too. This blogger often listens to this song.. a shame Jessika never got the opportunty to fly the Maltese flag. Maybe she'll try again next year?

Monaco: No return in 2015...

Despite initial rumours, it appears Monaco have already decided not to participate in Eurovision next year. TMC, the Monegasque national broadcaster, have announced they have plans to return in the future. This blogger isn't surprised.

Source - ESCToday 

Thursday 19 June 2014

NuVidz: Softengine, Samira Said, Tanja, Nicole Scherzinger!

Yellow House is Softengine's latest single. A fantastic song - it's very similar to their Eurovision entry, which is noticeably Finland's best placing since 2006. This song could become a massive hit. Morocco have only entered Eurovision once, and that was in 1980 with Samira Said. She came 2nd to last, but this never affected her career. Samira has become a leading recording star of the Arab world. Her most recent song is Elly Benna. Despite being dubbed the dark horse of the competition, Tanja only managed to achieve 12th position in the semi-final. She released an acoustic and this blogger adores it. Amazing! Finally, we have a new song from the lovely Nicole Scherzinger! Your Love is slightly different from her usual style but very enjoyable nevertheless. It was filmed in Malibu!

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Wishlist #7: Giorgia!

I was absolutely thrilled When Emma Marrone was selected to represent Italy in Copenhagen as I featured her in my Wishlist series back in July 2013. I'm now going to look at another amazing Italian artist and pray RAI choose her for Eurovision next year ! 

Giorgia (Giorgia Todrani) is one of Italy's most iconic and well-respected singers, as she's had countless domestic hits and a massive fanbase. She has released a number of albums - most recently Senza Paura which was certificated platinum. My favourite songs from her include Dove SeiQuando una stella muoreE' L'Amore Che Conta and Tu Mi Porti Su. Meanwhile, Giorgia's repertory includes duets with artists such as Eros RamazzottiOlly MursAlicia KeysRonan Keating and Andrea Bocelli! The 43 year old would be perfect for Eurovision. Her live vocal abilities are fantastic. Giorgia is world class! Emma's result was disappointing, there's no doubt about it, so RAI need to up their game and send Giorgia! Pregherò! Enjoy her latest single below...

Monday 16 June 2014

Finland: UMK will return in 2015!

Finland's national broadcaster, YLE, has recently announced some details regarding their 2015 selection process. UMK, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, will once again be used to select the Finnish representation for Austria! There will be some major changes, though. All shows will be live, and there will be no jurors. Submissions will open September 1st and 9th. More details will be revealed later...

Sunday 15 June 2014

Austria 2015: Twelve venues in the running to host!

The Austrian broadcaster, ORF, has announced that twelve venues are in the running to host next years contest. Vienna have six venues in the running - so they clearly want to host. We have a horse racetrack, an airport and an old cemetery park. So, where is the 60th Eurovision Song Contest going to be held?

Let's take a look:

  • Graz. Stadthalle Graz has a capacity of 11,000 and it opened in 2002. Meanwhile, it was also one of the venues that hosted the 2010 Men’s Handball Championships.
  • Graz. Schwarzl Freizeit Zentrum has a capacity of around 5,000 and it has hosted the Tennis Davis Cup matches. Other cultural events have also been held here during the past. 
  • Innsbruck. Olympiahalle was actually built in 1963 and has a capacity of 10,000 spectators. If Vienna don't host the contest, this is where Eurovision is likely to be held. It played host to both figure skating and ice hockey events in the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.
  • Klagenfurt. Wörthersee Stadion is a football stadium with a capacity of approx. 32,000 spectators. It was built in 2006 and is actually the largest venue in the running. Will OFR choose to hold Eurovision in Klagenfurt? 
  • Oberwart. Messezentum is a small stadium, located in the small village of Oberwart. It's very unlikely that Oberwart will be chosen but maybe it will happen. 
  • Wels. Messehalle has a very low capacity and the Austrian broadcaster are unlikely to select it. 
  • Vienna. Wiener Stadthalle is defiantly the front runner. It has a total capacity of 16,000 people and many famous artists have played here - including Celine Dion, Sting, Maroon 5, Whitney Houston, Muse, Rhianna, Lady Gaga, Laura Pausini and Robbie Williams. 
  • Vienna. Schönbrunn Palace seems fairly unlikely to be chosen as the venue would have to be built outside at the foot of the Imperial Palace.
  • Vienna. Heldenplatz is an open square so a temporary venue would have to be built. It would be located infront of the Hofburg Palace - which was where Eurovision 1967 was held. However, it is also known for Adolf Hitler's ceremonial announcement of the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany. Maybe not the best option?  
  • Vienna. Trabrennbahn Krieau was built in 1878 and is a horse racing track. Therefore, the construction of an outside venue would be required. The Austrian broadcaster probably won't pick it. 
  • Vienna. Marx hall is a former market and a lot of work would have to be done to convert it into a suitable arena for Eurovision. It's also an old cemetery park...
  • Vienna. Vienna International Airport. A temporary venue would probably have to be used. It would sure be interesting if an airport played host to Eurovision! 

Salzburg, Linz and Vorarlberg have therefore all ruled out hosting Eurovision 2015. Realistically, it's going to be Vienna. Or maybe Innsbruck? But time will tell....

Missed Opportunities 2014: Finland!

Softengine placed 11th in Copenhagen, which is Finland's best result since Lordi. UMK, the national selection in Finland, provides us Eurovision fans with a number of great songs. It was one of the stronger selections. Softengine were probably the best choice, but it's worth remembering these awesome songs! :-)

Mikko Pohjola - Sängyn reunalla
Mikko Pohjola was one of the favourites to fly the Finnish flag - and he was so close. Mikko came 2nd with Sängyn reunalla. A stunning ballad. Black and white effects were used in the live performance, until the last chorus. The juries would have appreciated this, however it would not have made top ten.

MIAU - God/Drug
MIAU achieved 3rd place with God/Drug. A wacky yet wonderful song! It's insane. Their live performance was memorable, to say the least. It is very catchy though and I sometimes find myself singing "Are you a god?, Are you a drug?, You must be god!, You must be drug!" 

Hukka ja Mama - Selja
Hukka ja Mama are a duo made of two childhood friends and I believe they should have represented Finland. Selja contains folk elements and it's really a sweet little number. A cute song. I just feel so relaxed when listening to this. Finnish is a beautiful language and I would love to hear it more in the contest. However, I fear Hukka ja Mama's effort would have gone unnoticed in Copenhagen.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Missed Opportunities 2014: Switzerland!

Sebalter achieved a fantastic and very respectable 13th place for Switzerland this year. Switzerland are often very underrated although they were rewarded for their effort this year. The Swiss national final took place on 1st February, but before that there was an "expert check" in November and an online platform with 100's of artists showcasing their songs, in the hope they would make the national final. Here are a few of my favourite offerings from Switzerland this year:

Christian Tschanz - Au Paradis
Au Paradis was probably my favourite song in the Swiss selection. Christian Tschanz's performance in the national final was great however only came 4th, in a field of 6 acts. A beautiful ballad sung in French, his voice is unique. I don't know how this would have fared in Eurovision. Maybe Switzerland wouldn't have made the final? Hmmm. But it would have been once of my favourites in Copenhagen anyway. I really love this song!

Paula Marengo - J'ai envie de toi
Paula Marengo entered the Swiss national selection with a very quirky little tune. Her song was entitled J'ai envie de toi. She's a Spanish multidisciplinary artist and was one of the finalists in the 2011 Spanish national final. Paula moved to Switzerland and writes songs in Spanish, English and French. A true artist!

Gosia - I'm Not Afraid
Finally, we have the lovely Gosia! Gosia Andrzejewicz is a Polish born singer who tried to represent Switzerland with I'm not afraid. Her song was awesome and it's a shame Gosia never qualified to the final. She was eliminated in the "expert check", probably because of her underwhelming vocals... The Polish singer was among the favourites to fly the Swiss flag in Copenhagen.

Monday 9 June 2014

Missed Opportunities 2014: Belarus!

Fourteen acts competed in the Belorussian national final on 10th January. It was a pretty weak selection and I only really liked a couple of songs. Teo achieved 16th place in Copenhagen, 3 points ahead of Molly. So, who would have been better Belorussian representatives?

Nuteki - Fly Away

Nuteki have tried to represent Belarus a few times before but I think their effort this year was their best. Nuteki are a popular Belorussian rock band that was formed in Moscow in 2007. Fly Away was a brilliant tune and I believe it would have been a FANTASTIC entry for Belarus. The live performance was pretty weak. I think this is the main reason they didn't win. A real shame.

Sunday 8 June 2014

NuVidz: Catarina Pereira, Edyta Gorniak, Giusy Ferreri, Céline Dion feat. Ne-Yo!

Catarina Pereira controversially came 2nd in the Portuguese national final with "Mea Culpa" and she's recently released an official video-clip. It's a shame she never got to represent Portugal in Copenhagen - I loved Suzy but I think Catarina would've qualified. Your High is Edyta Gorniak's latest single. It's a pleasant song with R&B elements. Edyta's fantastic and this is just another great song from the Polish singer! Giusy Ferreri is one of my favourite Italian artists. She only came 9th in Sanremo but this hasn't stopped the lovely Giusy! She's recently released La bevanda ha un retrogusto amaro. It has a strong rock vibe - the video-clip itself was directed by Luca Tartaglia. I'd love to see her represent Italy next year! Céline Dion has teamed up with rapper Ne-Yo to create Incredible. It's a feel-good pop song, which was written by Ne-Yo. The official video has only been on YouTube for 4 days yet it has almost 1 million views. Very impressive!

Saturday 7 June 2014

Missed Opportunities 2014: Albania!

The Albanian entrant was once again chosen through Festivali i Këngës - the final took place on 28th December. Hersi Matmuja won the Albanian selection although failed to make the final in Copenhagen. She only came 15th out of 16 participants. A disappointing result. Would any of the other acts who competed in Festivali i Këngës had done better? I think so.

Rezarta Smaja - Në zemër
Firstly, I think the beautiful Rezarta should have represented Albania with Në zemer. With some work and English lyrics, this could have been absolutely fantastic! She also tried to represent Albania in 2013 with Ti. I really hope she won't give up... an amazing voice!

Klodian Kaçani - Me ty
Klodian Kaçani was the favourite to represent Albania in Copenhagen before the final, and he came so close. Klodian came 2nd - but I can't understand why some juries members awarded him zero points? I loved Hersi but Me ty would have made a fantastic Albanian representation.

Friday 6 June 2014

Italy: Sister Cristina Scuccia wins The Voice of Italy!

Sister Cristina Scuccia, a 25-year-old Sicilian nun, won The Voice of Italy last night. The singing nun has naturally received a lot of attention and her audition has clocked over 51 million hits on YouTube. She won the public vote with a truly overwhelming 62%. Following her victory, the talented nun stated:
"The last word of thanks, the most important, goes of course to him in heaven," she said, moments before. "And my dream is to recite a Padre Nostro together… I want Jesus to enter into this."
Unfortunately, she didn't win over all Italians. Emma Marrone said Cristina Scuccia's win was an insult to showbusiness as she isn't talented enough. Harsh! J-Ax, Cristina’s coach, tweeted this photograph.

View image on Twitter

The caption says Look, this is how you do showmusiness. Some people say she could go on to represent Italy in Eurovision. So, maybe we'll see the nun fly the Italian flag in Austria? I guess it's unlikely but it would be awesome if it was to happen. (:

FYR Macedonia: MRT launches poll on 2015 participation!

FYR Macedonia has only qualified once since 2008. Therefore, the Macedonian broadcaster has decided to ask the public how they should choose their their 2015 representative - or whether they should just withdraw. The results make grim reading. These are the results (as of 20:30 CET on 6th June 2014):
  • Macedonia should not participate at Eurovision at all - 4163 VOTES: 
  • The entry should be the winning song from Skopje Fest - 2747 VOTES 
  • The entry should be chosen through an internal selection from MRT - 868 VOTES
Y'all can vote here. Everyone can vote in the poll (not just Macedonians), so please vote for either option one or option two. Let's keep FYR Macedonia in Eurovision. The Macedonians broadcaster, MRT, has stated they will take this poll into account when making their decision for next year. I hope they don't withdraw. Tijana Dapčević failed to qualify in Copenhagen - and came only 13th out of 15th. 

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Italy: Emma Marrone and Marco Mengoni win music awards!

In 2001, the Italian Music Awards were introduced to recognise achievements in the Italian music business - both by domestic and international artists. This years edition was held a couple of days ago where Emma and Marco Mengoni both received awards. They are two of Italy's biggest starts and represented their country in 2013 and 2014, respectively. This proves a bad result (in Emma's case) does not come with any stigma, like in other countries... Marco also won MTV Best Italian Act last November. Other artists that were awarded include the amazing Giorgia and Laura Pausini.

Missed Opportunities 2014: Ukraine!

As there is hardly any Eurovision related news at the moment, I've decided to launch a new series. I will be looking into every national selection and selecting a song I think would have been a better representative. Or in some cases, the right act was chosen but I'll look into each national final anyway.

The Ukrainians were the first to select their entry for Copenhagen this year. Their national final took place on 21st December and 20 acts participated! There was some controversy after Mariya Yaremchuk won. Complaints were subsequently launched by Viktoria Petryk and the duo neAngely. Ukraine achieved 6th in Copenhagen, which is great - but would any of the other acts have done better? I don't think so... but there were a couple of songs I preferred.

Victoria Petryk - Love is Lord
Victoria Petryk came 2nd with Love is Lord. Her performance was very strong but I feel the song itself didn't do her justice. It was a nice song, very pleasant indeed, but nothing special or different. I would love to see her represent Ukraine in the near future though with a much stronger song.

ULI RUD - Flower
Many people won't agree with me here, but I really had a soft spot for Flower. The performance was pretty weird, but I really like the song. However, the rest of Ukraine disagreed with me as they place her last - she only received 76 televotes.

neAngely - Courageous
Ahhh! I absolutely love neAngely! Courageous was brilliant. The female duo were the big favourites to win before the selection. They came joint 5th. neAngely have very deep and unique voices. Their song was composed by Alexander Bard, Andreas Öhrn, Christian Wahlberg, Per Ljungqvist and Henrik Wikström.

Monday 2 June 2014

NuVidz: Mei Finegold, Nabiha, Hanna Sky, Claudia Faniello!

Mei Finegold has recorded Sweet Harmony - which was originally made famous in 1993 by The Beloved’s. The song is Evita’s Pride Anthem and Mei recorded it along with Shlomi Levi and Shai Rokach. Great stuff! I have only recently discovered Nabiha and her songs are awesome! I absolutely love Ask Yourself! Meanwhile, Hanna Sky has released Softer Rain. She's said: "You can be inspired by so many things, but the most powerful source of inspiration should be you yourself. Whatever it is you want to do or be, remember this." One Fine Day is Claudia Faniello's latest single. This song has a lovely summer vibe.. and Claudia has such a lovely voice! Hope to see her represent Malta next year!

Sunday 1 June 2014

Spain: Ruth Lorenzo wants to return by 2017!

Ruth Lorenzo has given an interview to about her Eurovision experience. Ruth said she's very happy with finishing 10th, and that she was very satisfied with her performance! Conchita and Ruth have built up a strong friendship, so naturally Ruth congratulated Conchita on her win. Meanwhile, she also said that she's sorry she couldn't bring the trophy home for Spain and she would like to try again - within the next three years! Although, next time she wouldn't sing a ballad. The amazing Ruth plans to record a new album very soon.. it'll be entitled "Planeta Azul". Ruth's said this album has deep personal meaning and it will contain songs in both Spanish and English.

Cyprus: Return very likely in 2015!

It isn't official yet, but reliable sources close to the Cypriot broadcaster say that Cyprus are planning on entering the 2015 contest. It's supposed to be officially confirmed within the next couple of weeks... Apparently, there is going to be a national final to select the Cypriot entry for Austria. I must stress this news isn't official but it does look like Cyprus are planning a return. Excellent!
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