Feb, 2009

A fairytale country like Norway cannot but select a fairytale song for the 2009 Eurovision. The actor, singer and composer Alexander Rybak won exactly with such a fairy song — Fairytale. This is one of the best entries I’ve heard so far, and it is definitely worth listening again and again:

Alexander has such a professional and confident yet playful poise about himself, which is sure to bring Norge one of the top positions in Moscow. The lyrics is so simple yet down-to-earth and genuine, telling a lovely story of love. Not to mention the amazing violin performance, which took my breath away. All this seems to have been enough to beat the other seven competing Norwegian entries.

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Tonight Sofia saw a two-hour show, produced by the Bulgarian National TV, which selected the country’s winner for the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow this year. After 12 performances, the winner was chosen by audience voting – so finally, Krassimir Avramov with Illusion will represent the Balkan country in May 2009. Krasi took over the competition with 55.52%. Krassi Avramov a.k.a. The Voice, who lives and successfully works in the US, came up with a grand show. His voice reaching extremely high octaves, the impressive dancers and the folklore elements did win him the trophy.

Three of the 12 participating songs were produced by the Bulgarian media:
Poli GenovaOne Lifetime is not is not Enough — Poli is a former BonBon (remember that they were the first Bulgarian participants in the Junior Eurovision in Rotterdam, 2007)
Mariana PopovaCrazy – who took part in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens but with little success. The only noticeable thing of the 2006 Bulgarian entry was the participation of the scandalous transsexual pop-folk star Azis. Today, Mariana’s techno solo was nothing to remember, really.
Grafa Vrag (Enemy) – one of the kids of the Bulgarian pop music, who took of his music career, when he was 8 or so, and now, in his early thirties, has already celebrated 20 years on stage.

The rest of the other noticeable entries at the Final were the following:

Nora - a former Music Idol participant closed the competition. Her powerful voice, however, was not enough to win her the ticket to Moscow.

Lyubo Savov – the father of Dian Savov, one of last-year’s DJs flying the Bulgarian flag in Belgrade last year, also decided to challenge the first place in the national selection tonight.

Moscow came to Sofia in the face of the winner of various European prizes, and Ani Lorak’s producer Phillipp Kirkorov, who came specially for the show. He performed several hits, one of them the Russian version of Brotherhood of Man’s hit “Save your kisses for Me”. The happiest were my mum’s generation though.

Among those attending the contest in the hall were Stoyan and Elitsa (Bulgarian reps in ESC 2007) and Joanna (the charming vocal, ESC 2008). Deep Zone came out to announce the winner and wish them good luck.

I couldn’t help but noticing that most of the finalist songs were ballads, most were sung in English, and 90% of them had no idea what Eurovision means. All this resulting in an attitude of eternal satisfaction that I did not watch the national final live but stayed at home and viewed it from my cosy sofa. The only entry I felt sorry for not seeing live was the winning entry indeed. So, go for it, Krassi!

Bulgaria will participate in the first Semi-Final on 12 May 2009. So far the countries best result has been in its third year in 2007, when Stoyan Yankoulov and Elitsa Todorova reached top 5.

My personal favourite is Right On Time, but most of the members of the Facebook group Eurovision Song Contest 2009 – Greek Entry would rather support This is our night. Or you might take a fancy to Out of control, with its up-beat tempo, which changes several times during the song. Make sure to check out the discussions, even if your Greek is not good enough.

And the aim – the aim is clear – to bring Greece to the top of 54th Eurovision. As ERT online reported, Sakis said that “Every day I wake up and go to bed with this thought.” Who else can do it but Sakis, who has so many years of experience at the Eurovision stage?!

Here is some more detail on the entries: sakis-rouvas1

Out of control
Composer: Dimitris Kontopoulos
Lyrics: Alexandra Zakka

Right on time
Composer: Dimitris Kontopoulos
Lyrics: Craig Porteils and Cameron Giles-Webb

This is our night
Composer: Dimitris Kontopoulos
Lyrics: Craig Porteils and Cameron Giles-Webb

Whichever of the three entries you prefer, the Greeks know how do throw a party and to make the best of a show. On 18 February a grand (as always) spectacle, will be held in Athens Arena in the Greek capital, when one of the three songs will receive the ticket to Moscow. It will be selected by a 50-50 jury-audience blend voting. Special guests of the show will be the representatives of Cyprus, Montenegro, Belarus and perhaps Malta.

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The Finnish hard-rock nation decided to take a considerable turn in their Eurovision taste: this time round they are sending to Moscow a pop band – the famous Waldo’s People. Tampere saw a huge party last Saturday, when the song Lose Control got almost half of the votes of the audience and won the ticket to ESC 2009.

Waldo’s People got really popular across Europe in the late 90s. You will probably remember them with the hits of the time Feel So Good, It’s About Time and Move Your Body, as the band split 8 years ago, to come back together last year. They have four albums under their belt and enough confidence to challenge Eurovision.

Finland’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest dates back to 1961. For the 48 years of its participation it possessed the trophy only once, in 2006, when Lordi simply smashed the competition with their Hard Rock Hallelujah. These are moments that history remembers well.

After a nervous evening, when RTV Andorra organised the national selection for Moscow Passport To Moscow (Passaport a Moscou), the citizens of the mountain country of banks chose their 2009 Eurovision representative – Susanna Georgi. The pop entry La teva decisió was selected by a blend jury-audience vote, who were all unanimous in their choice. Ms. Georgi overtook her competitors gaining a smashing 56% of the total votes.

A fan group on Facebook is gaining serious speed in support of the charming artist.

Andorra will have to participate in a semi-final first and then possibly make it to the Final on 16 May. This will be the sixth participation of the country in Eurovision. So far, no one from Andorra has managed to qualify for the Grand Final.

In the heyday of the Eurovision season, Romania selected its 2009 Eurovision representative – this time a girl. Elena Gheorghe will sing the song The Balkan Girls – an upbeat pop song.

Romania has long traditions in Eurovision, and is constantly seducing its former entrants. For this reason, among the jurors who selected the song was also the old Eurovision acquaintance Mihai Traistariu.

Although in recent years, Romania has relied on songs performed in Romanian or Italian, this time the solo artist will sing in English. This is a serious turn, which in the combination of the pop style and with the even better dances of Elena, might bring success to the Balkan country.

Romania has participated in the European music event since 1994. For its ten participations, it made it to the third place thanks to Luminita Anghel and Sistem and their song Let Me Try

How can you never give up participating in Eurovision?! There are people, who are always back in the game, willing to do their best and bring the trophy to their country.

There is such a person (we know he’s not the only one), who cannot leave Eurovision and keeps on producing songs for it. This is the beautiful and well… talented Sakis Rouvas, who will represent Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow. The song to be composed specially for the show in Moscow, will be written by the prominent composer Dimitris Kontopoulos, who’s also behind Sakis’s hot summer hit Kai se thelo (I want You).

sakis-rouvas

sakis-body

You will remember that Mr. Rouvas participated in the 2004 Eurovision, when he finished in the top 3, and came back on stage as a host during the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens. Now, let’s see what’s going to happen in Moscow this spring.

By the way, Greece was the first country to select its entrant this season. Perhaps hoping that the early bird will catch the worm…

Are you ready for a brand new start? At least that’s how the lyrics of the 2009 Dutch entry go. The Dutch boy band De Toppers will try to make it to the top in Moscow with their song Shine. A jolly, typically Eurovision entry, which has nothing to surprise us with, but still, keep an eye on the trio from the Netherlands.

De Toppers consists of Gerard Joling, who’ve already gained some experience with the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988, Gordon, a popular TV presenter and scriptwriter, who took part in the Dutch national selection from Eurovision in Dutch in 1990 and 2003 and Rene Froger. The guys got together in May 2004 and since then have been holding many concerts, including the one i mid-June this year.

The Netherlands joined the show in 1956 with Corry Brokken’s song Voorgoed Voorbij (“Over Forever”), which scored second. The same lady won the contest just two years later with Net Als Toen (“Just Like Then”).

The British made a great choice this year for their traditional participation in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. The result took the commitment of the great composer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, who wrote the song It’s My Time – performed by the talented and beautiful British star Jade Ewen.

The 2009 UK Entry for Eurovision Song Contest 2009 is a powerful solo ballad, bathing in the splendid and tender atmosphere created by Jade. The song is already popular throughout the UK, Malta, Greece, and in other Eurovision countries.

The Brits hope for a position in top ten and it will be well-deserved indeed. Indeed, many people think that the song is not strong enough to win the trophy. Others are fast to say that it’s a great voice and the songs well deserves a top position, but won’t get it as it’s not a typical Eurovision song.

The UK has won the contest 4 times (’67, ’76, ’81, and ’97) and joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957 with Patricia Bredin’s song “All”, who finished 7th.