Today the official sale of tickets for the 55th Eurovision Song Contest kicked off. As many as 90 000 tickets can be purchased through the official Norwegian ticketing service Billettservice, both online and through the company’s call center.

Mind you, if anyone else sells Eurovision tickets, for any of the events, chances are these are fake. The event venue is Telenor Arena in one of Oslo’s neighbourhoods Bærum.

This year, there are no tickets for the Dress Rehearsals of the two semi-finals – only the live shows can be watched in the hall.

First Semi-Final – 25 May – from 75 to 37 Euro
Second Semi-Final – 27 May – from 75 to 37 Euro
• Final (second Dress Rehearsal) – 28 May – from 75 to 37 Euro
• Final (third Dress Rehearsal) – 29 May – from 75 to 37 Euro
• Grand Final – 29 May – from 200 to 100 Euro

not including booking taxes.

As the new rules of the Eurovision postulated a couple of years ago, all the countries should participate in a semi-final. Except for the host country and the Big Four. On Friday, 7 February, the EBU drew the semi-final allocation, the distribution of votes of the big 4 and Norway, and the respective halves (first / second) in which the countries will compete.

By the way, tickets are on sale as of today :-)

Here are the two lists:

Semi-Final 1 – 25 May 2010

First half:
Bosnia & Herzegovina

Second half:
FYR Macedonia

Semi-Final 2 – 27 May 2010

First half:

Second half:
The Netherlands

Here is the allocation of the voting of the Big Four and the host country:

First Semi-Final: Germany and Spain
Second Semi-Final: Norway, UK, France

Norway came up with the theme for the 55th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest, to be held between 25 and 29 May in Oslo: SHARE THE MOMENT!

Eurovision Oslo theme

After the deadline for participation in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest passed, a total of 39 participants have confirmed their participation in the most popular European music event.

There are no surprises but for the come-back of Georgia. Here is the final list of participants in the 55th Eurovision.

Albania —– Armenia —– Azerbaijan —– Belarus —– Belgium —– Bosnia & Herzegovina —– Bulgaria —– Croatia —– Cyprus —– Denmark —– Estonia —– Finland —– France —– FYR Macedonia —– Georgia —– Germany —– Greece —– Iceland —– Ireland —– Israel —– Latvia —– Lithuania —– Malta —– Moldova —– The Netherlands —– Norway —– Poland —– Portugal —– Romania —– Russia —– Serbia —– Slovakia —– Slovenia —– Spain —– Sweden —– Switzerland —– Turkey —– Ukraine —– United Kingdom

You have to know that May is one of the finest and loveliest moments to be in Norway. Make sure to book a ticket to Oslo as soon as possible. Shortly I’ll offer a list of survival tips in one of the most expensive countries in the world.

See you soon :-)

Oslo is already getting started for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. The brand new hall Fornebu Arena in Bærum, Oslo, which is also Northern Europe’s largest indoor stadium, will gather more than 15 000 people in May next year.

Fornebu Arena Norway Oslo

Get ready for an exciting trip to Norway’s capital on:

  • Semi-Final 1 on Tuesday, 25 May 2010
  • Semi-Final 2 on Thursday, 27 May 2010
  • Grand Final on Saturday, 29 May 2010

You will remember that Norway won the Eurovision trophy thanks to Alexander Rybak and his magnificent “Fairytale”, who, with the record 387 points easily brought Eurovision to Oslo.

Norway is the 54th winner of the Eurovision Song Contest. Alexander Rybak performing Fairytale won with 387 points leaving Iceland, Turkey, and Azerbaijan behind.

The top ten is:

  1. Norway
  2. Iceland
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Turkey
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Estonia
  7. Greece
  8. Portugal
  9. France
  10. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Go, Norge, go! Takk skall du ha, Alexander!

A magnificent show is what Russia is offering us tonight. An imposing opening featuring Dima Bilan performing last-year’s winning song. So far we’ve heard 8 songs, most of them deserving to win. Who is going to win tonight? Hang on till after 12.00 CET, when the winner will be announced.

The 2nd semi-final just ended and with its end the 25 positions for the Grand Final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest have been filled in.

The lucky 10 are as follows:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Croatia
  • Ukraine
  • Lithuania
  • Albania
  • Moldova
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Norway
  • Greece

The battle seems to be between Greece and Norway. Are we going to see Greece hosting the European extravaganza for a second time in 5 years? We’ll see on Saturday.

10 out of 18 counties performing at the First Eurovision Semi-final made it to the Final on Saturday later this week. The happy artists who managed to win their way to the top are as follows:

  • Turkey: Hadise — Düm Tek Tek
  • Sweden: Malena Ernman — La Voix
  • Israel: Noa & Mira Awad — Noa & Mira Awad
  • Portugal: Flor-de-lis — Todas As Ruas Do Amor
  • Malta: Chiara — What If We
  • Finland: Waldo’s People — Lose Control
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina: Regina — Bistra Voda
  • Romania: Elena — The Balkan Girls
  • Armenia: Inga & Anush — Jan Jan
  • Iceland: Yohanna — Is It True?

These guys can have a rest of two days and enjoy Moscow. They will join the UK, Spain, France, Germany and Russia at the Final on Saturday.

19 other countries compete on Thursday.

Do I need to say that most of the songs performed tonight were terrible? Perhaps the most fascinating thing on stage was the performance of the Russian military choir accompanied by a balalaika player and t.A.T.u appearing a bit later with their hit “Nas ne Dogonyat” (“They’re Not Gonna Get Us”).

Especially terrible was Krassimir and his Illusion, or as some commentators said “it was the most kitsch performance tonight”. Hadise from Turkey had the b est voice not being able to sing a single note correctly, but she was the first to qualify. Armenia was quite a disgrace too, but the two sisters made it to the top ten too. Of course I hope to see more quality music in a couple of days.

natalya-vodyanova-and-andrey-malakhov The second dress rehearsal for the Eurovision Song Contest starts just minutes ago. A spectacular hall welcomes the viewer, but the hosts Natalya Vodyanova and Andrey Malakhov seem to be a bit embarrased. Hopefully the two following rehearsals will give them some self-confidence.

The show opens with Montenegro – an upbeat dance song. For a change, the singer feels at ease with her English and at least we can understand something. It might well be because the text is timple enough… Get Out of My Life and Andrea Demirovic.

Get a fancy dress costume for your party. It’s fun.

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.

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.

Best fancy dress online shop. Get a costume for you and your friends! :)

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).



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.

Do you remember the celebration of kids’ music in Lemesos last year? And the well-deserved winner Bzikebi from Georgia? JESC 2008 seems to have been successful for organisers and participants alike (at least for most of the participants). Some countries keep on participating, others have decided to give it up, so the number of participants for JESC 2009 is 15.

The 7th Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be held in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Singers from 10 to 15 years of age will compete for the chance to be called Winner of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. As long as you fall in this age group, you have written and can perform your song, go for it and apply in your country’s selection.

43 is the number of the countries participating in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Moscow. It seems like the show is just as popular as it was last year, so much so that Slovakia has decided to come back to the Eurovision family. Here is the final list of the participating countries, after the deadline for withdraw has passed:

  1. Albania
  2. Andorra
  3. Armenia
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Belarus
  6. Belgium
  7. Bosnia & Herzegovina
  8. Bulgaria
  9. Croatia
  10. Cyprus
  11. Czech Republic
  12. Denmark
  13. Estonia
  14. Finland
  15. France
  16. FYR Macedonia
  17. Georgia
  18. Germany
  19. Greece
  20. Hungary
  21. Iceland
  22. Ireland
  23. Israel
  24. Latvia
  25. Lithuania
  26. Malta
  27. Moldova
  28. Montenegro
  29. The Netherlands
  30. Norway
  31. Poland
  32. Portugal
  33. Romania
  34. Russia
  35. Serbia
  36. Slovakia
  37. Slovenia
  38. Spain
  39. Sweden
  40. Switzerland
  41. Turkey
  42. Ukraine
  43. United Kingdom

The rules stay the same and the Semi-Finals will contain 19 performances each. 20 altogether (10 from each Semi-Final) qualify for the Grand Final (16 May), where the Big 4 are already waiting. France, Germany, Spain and the UK plus the host Russia have a secure place at the Final. It’s good news that none of the Big 4 have decided not to invest money in Eurovision this year, as this would have robbed the contest of its flavour.

Who participates in which Semi-Final will be decided in Moscow on 30 January. Heated debate is expected from you after this draw. This draw will also decide the Semi-Final of the Big-Four and the host country – three in one Semi-Final and three in the other. The running order will be determined as usual after a draw at the regular HoD Meeting in mid-March. There will be three wildcards, who can luckily decide their starting position.

Meanwhile, yesterday the EBU launched their new dedicated website: Eurovision Song Contest – Moscow 2009. The general sponsor is again Raiffeisen Bank. The website for years in a row offers streaming of the ESCTV, mobile services, and downloads.

So, are you getting started for Moscow? I’ll soon try to offer the top list of how to survive financially in the Russian capital – one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Hera (but no Zeus) will fight hard to represent Denmark in Moscow in May this year. Ms. Hera Björk will sing the song “Someday” – a strong solo. “It is a great song with a catchy melody, fun to sing…,” says Hera herself in an interview for DR Denmark” There’s been so much information and campaigning about the Iclandic diva, that the rest of the competition seem to fade away, though not quite.

The young singer was born in Iceland, but has moved to the Danish capital four years ago. In fact the lot behind the song also come from all over Scandinavia and are well known for their fervent Eurovision activity: the composers Christina Schilling and Jonas Gladnikoff from Sweden, and the Swedish authors Henrik Szabo and Daniel Nilsson.

As you might remember from previous posts on Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, Ms. Björk will be competing with nine other artists in a new-style Danish domestic show – a single national final will select Denmark’s favourite.

The ten artists competing in Copenhagen on 31 January are: Christina Undhjem, Claus Christensen, Jeppe Laursen, Jimmy Jørgensen, SUKKERCHOK, Brinck, Hera Björk, Johnny Deluxe, Marie Carmen Koppel and Trine Jepsen.

Here is a short list with some notes for you to keep an eye on the Danish Melodi Grand Prix:

Brinck Believe Again — His earlier hit I don’t Wanna Love Her is a truly mild ballad with inspiring lyrics and genuine sound. Pop star Ronan Keating himself stands behind the project Believe Again.

Claus ChristensenBig Bang Baby — Yet another pop singer with substantial experience in Eurovision who can cry at the top of his voice “vote for me”.

Christina UndhjemUnderneath My Skin — Born in Norway, Christina has a taste for lyrical mystical music and she can do it well.

Hera BjörkSomeday
SUGAR shocksDet’ det
Trine JepsenI Never Fall In Love Again
Wildcard: Jeppe LaursenLucky Boy — and indeed he is…
Wildcard: Jimmy JørgensenAlice In The Wonderland — if music can be nostalgic, that’s his music
Wildcard: Johnny DeluxeCrazy
Wildcard: Marie Carmen KoppelCrying Out Your Name

Have you ever thought that Eurovision artists can be or become popular in the US? It is possible only if the music is universal, which electronic music, and the music of DJ Balthazar specifically, is.

So, here he is, the charming and talented DJ Balthazar, a.k.a. in his country DJ Baltazvyar (DJ Balta-beast), going on a long tour across the USA. At the very start of the new year Balthazar is getting ready for his next tour – in mid-January he embarks on a journey to the various US cities, which will be his first tour in North America. His hectic schedule features 6 gigs in some of the hottest night clubs in Chicago, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Mmm, are you thinking of getting the plane to Hollywood?

In 2008, DJ Balthazar has eventually become one of the most popular Bulgarian DJs, thus one of the missionaries of Eurovision across the Atlantic. He managed to export the Bulgarian electronic music industry to countries such as Egypt, the UK, Portugal, Malta, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and Macedonia.

Yesterday, at a special ceremony in Moscow’s GUM shopping mall, the mayor of Belgrade Dragan Dilas handed over the symbolic keys to the «Eurovision» Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov. “Heavy burden!”, Mr. Luzhkov said assessing the weight of the Eurovision symbol. “But, we will keep it!

The mayor of the Serbian capital, Dragan Dilas handed Moscow’s mayor the symbolic key emphasising that he was pleased to bring the key to a congenial city, which Moscow is. The ceremony of handing over the key first took place in Belgrade, and was initiated by Helsinki, the 2007 host city.

The final of one of the oldest European music contests will take place from 12 to 16 May in the capital’s Olimpiyskiy Sports Complex. The Russian government already assured the city of Moscow that it will make sure to fix the potholes on the roads in the capital till May next year. Twenty-two hotels in Russia’s main city have already been booked for the Eurovision week.

Just a week ago the Macedonian Radio Television announced the start of its national Eurovision campaign, called Festival “Skopje 2009”. The festival will be held on 19, 20 and 21 February 2009 in the Universal Hall in Skopje, Macedonia.

Fresh changes have been introduced this year: two Semifinal and a Great Final shows will decide the fate of the Macedonian song, which will participate in the 54th ESC, in May 2009. A professional jury will pick up 32 songs to compete in the two Semifinals (16 in each). Only 8 entries from each Semifinal will survive to see the Great Final on 21 February 2009. The winner will be decided by a blend of jury/televoting procedure.

It’s fascinating how the rules of the local selection suggest that all the songs have to be performed in the Macedonian language. Over Christmas, to be precise 25 December, is the deadline for submission of entries. The 32 songs to compete for the ticket to Moscow will be announced in January next year.

Special thanks to Gordana Andrasevska, MKRTV HOD ESC 2009 for this piece of news

After the great show on Saturday, get down to Planet Earth and start thinking about the next JESC.

As you might already know, but lets remind you again, next year the Junior ESC 2009 will take place in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, or Kiev. The month when the contest will be held is November, 2009, and the exact date will be announced pretty soon. The exact place will become clear next year, perhaps some time after the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.

Lets go Ukraine! but before this, we are going to Moscow, right ;)

Here are the complete results from the 2008 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which took place on Saturday, 22 November in Lemesos, Cyprus. A unique multimedia event, bringing together kids from across Europe.

Congratulations, Georgia!

  1. Georgia — Bzikebi, Bzz… 154 points
  2. Ukraine — Victoria Petryk, Matrosy 135 p.
  3. Lithuania — Egle Jurgaityte, Laiminga diena 103 p.
  4. Malta — Daniel Testa, Junior swing 100 p.
  5. FYR Macedonia — Bobi Andonov, Prati mi SMS 93 p.
  6. Belarus — Alina & Karina, Sertse Belarusi 86 p.
  7. Russia — Mihail Puntov, Spit angel 73 p.
  8. Armenia — Monika Manucharova, Im ergi hnchyune 59 p.
  9. Romania — Madalina & Andrada, Salvati planeta 58 p.
  10. Cyprus — Elena Mannouri & Charis Savva, Gioupi gia! 46 p.
  11. Belgium — Oliver, Shut up 45 p.
  12. Serbia — Maja Mazic, Uvek kad u nebo pogledam 37 p.
  13. Netherlands — Marissa, Een dag 27 p.
  14. Greece — Niki Yiannouchu, Kapoia nychta 19 p.
  15. Bulgaria — Krestiana Kresteva, Edna mechta 15 p.

The Georgian bee trio Bzikebi (The Wasps) won the sixth Junior Eurovision Song Contest minutes ago. With 154 points they bzzzed the competition away. The bees were magnificent on stage, in yellow and black, they performed a lovely typically childish yet very complex song. And the lyrics consists of a single word only – “bzzz”, performed with immaculate mixture of tones and melodies.

Congratulations, Georgia!

A quarter of an hour before the show in Lemesos you can cut the air with a knife – the hall is almost full, the performers are already backstage, with their make-up and stage constumes on, eager to start.

Who are you going to vote for? And who do you think will the winner be? I love the Georgian track, and Oliver from Belgium has a lovely song too! Ukraine has a great lively, pically children’s song, combined with a nice kids’ show… Well, I keep my fingers crossed for all the kids to be happy with what they will have done tonight!

One of the strongholds of Eurovision, Sweden, has already hit the pace of the contest. Eight artists out of 32 to compete for the ticket to Moscow have already been announced by the Swedish broadcaster SVT. This year the competition is dominated by many popular names, such as BWO, who participate for the fourth time. The complete list is as follows: Jennifer Brown, Alcazar, Emilia, Lasse Lindh, Caroline af Ugglas, BWO, Måns Zelmerlöw and Sarah Dawn Finer.

  • Alcazar — Stay The Night
  • BWO — You’re Not Alone
  • Caroline af Ugglas — Snällä, Snälla
  • Emilia — You’re My World
  • Jennifer Brown — Never Been Here Before
  • Lasse Lindh and Band — Jag Slåss I Dina Kvarter
  • Måns Zelmerlöw — Hope and Glory
  • Sarah Dawn Finer — Moving on

In an interview for the official website of SVT, Martin Rolinski from BWO say: “We saw Dima Bilan winning and thought hell, we can make it so much better. And we will certainly do much better with this song.” Caroline af Ugglas participated in last-year’s Melodifestivalen with her song “Think for yourself.” In 2009, she embarks on a long journey with “Please, please.” Alcazar has already been part of the big Swedish Eurovision show twice. Lasse Lindh made his debut in Melodifestivalen in 2007 with a sad ballad “Du behöver aldrig mer vara rädd” (“You needn’t be afraid ever again”). Unlike last year, Lasse will try his luck with an up-beat punk track this time.

You must have noticed that the Swedish people know how to make Eurovision. They always send songs that stand every chance to win the Eurovision trophy. But before that, six weeks will see a grand Melodifestivalen show – six weeks of competitions, second chances, tears and entertainment.

As I’ve already informed you, the dates for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest to take place in Many 2009 in the Russian capital Moscow are as follows:

Semi-Final 1: 12 May 2009
Semi-Final 2: 14 May 2009
Grand Final: 16 May 2009

As EBU tells us, they decided to introduce the mix of televoting and jury voting for the 2009 Final. The organisers will keep the voting system for the Semi-Finals of the Eurovision Song Contest. The final decisions will be announced after 28 November. So, keep you fingers crossed that they arrive at a decision that is favourable for the show and not only for the telephone operators and the pan-European operator.

Apart from this, we are about to have many new services introduced to the ESC, such as a mobile distribution platform, iPhone trial, possibly Android and many more. But with news on this, you’ll have to wait till next year.

But hey, before this, have you already booked your hotel in Moscow? :) Be quick and at lest ask you boss for a two-week leave in May. See you there!

The final running order for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest to be held on 22 November in Lemasos, Cyprus became known last week. The hosts Sophia Paraskeva and Alex Michael will lead you into the miracle of the kid’s show, appealing to children and adults alike.

Here is the list:

  1. Romania
  2. Madalina & Andrada
    Salvati Planeta

  3. Armenia
  4. Monika Manucharova
    Im Ergi Hnchyune

  5. Belarus
  6. Daria Nadina, Alina Molosh, Karina Zhukovich
    Sertse Belarusi

  7. Russia
  8. Mihail Puntov
    Spit Angel

  9. Greece
  10. Niki Yiannouchu
    A Night

  11. Georgia
  12. Bzikebi

  13. Belgium
  14. Oliver
    Shut Up

  15. Bulgaria
  16. Krestiana Kresteva
    Edna Mechta

  17. Serbia
  18. Maja Mazic
    Uvek Kad U Nebo Pobledam

  19. Malta
  20. Daniel Testa
    Junior Swing

  21. The Netherlands
  22. Marissa
    1 Dag

  23. Ukraine
  24. Victoria Petryk

  25. Lithuania
  26. Egle Jurgaityte
    Laiminga Diena

  27. FYR Macedonia
  28. Bobi Andonov
    Prati Mi SMS

  29. Cyprus
  30. Elena Mannouri & Charis Savva
    Gioypi Gia

The more I experience Eurovision, the more fascinating it gets. With the advance of the Eurovision season, the continent seems to get swept by a wave of local shows, each one more attractive, curious, and colourful than the other. The name holds true for Britain too.

The prominent British composer of musical theatre, author of the scores to “Evita”, “Cats”, “Sunset Boulevard”, and many others Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber offered to help Britain out of the perennial Eurovision predicament on the Island by writing the music for this year’s UK Eurovision entry.

Sir Webber managed a semi-joking tone by addressing the Brits on the BBC in search for the best 2009 British Eurovision representative: “People of Britain: I’m here to speak to you about a subject of considerable gravity, a subject that affects each and every one of us. I refer, of course, to our great nation’s continued failure in the Eurovision Song Contest.

With the typical British sense of humour, the famous composer appealed to the nation as if it were a quest the country is about to embark on, a prompt about his attitude towards the contest, or perhaps not.

Twelve years Britain has been waiting for a success in Eurovision. I haven’t seen any such party as they have it in the UK to celebrate Eurovision. Even if they do it to mock the participants, the atmosphere that you can feel in the country is simply beyond description. I hope we’ll have the same party this year again.

Who do you think will the 2009 host broadcaster for the junior Eurovision be? Whatever you thought, it is Ukraine and nowhere else that the little sister of Eurovision heads next year. Kyiv and the Ukrainian national broadcaster NTU won the opportunity to host and produce the huge TV show at the HoD meeting in Lemasos yesterday.

Just a quick reminder, in order to become host of the JESC you don’t need to win the contest, but only apply for the opportunity. The country winning the chance to host the show has to have a proper hall holding at least 10 000 people, the broadcaster should be experienced enough in big events, and the EBU need to decide if the political, economic, and touristic situation in the respective place is appropriate for the contest.

This year the small contestants are lucky to travel to Cyprus, where the organizers promise 25 degrees Celsius in November. Good luck to CyBC and to all participants. We’ll let you know the running order for the show shortly.

Indeed Malta is a small country and as people on the island joke, there is at least one person in every family, who has joined Eurovision as least once.

So, it’s small wonder there are gossips and rumours around the Eurosong in Malta, especially about former Maltese Eurovision artists.

Some say that Natalie Gauci, winner of Music Idol 2007, Australia shows interest in the European contest. Ms. Gauci seems to be looking for a winning song for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.

Bulgaria saw the start of its national television selection for 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow. The show “Be a Star” (“Badi zvezda”) was launched last week. It will be aired every Thursday, and it aims at selecting three contestants every week. One of the participants will be selected by a professional jury, the other two will be the favourites of the viewers.

The jury features world renowned folklore singer Yanka Roupkina, the prominent Bulgarian jazz singer Vassil Petrov, and the notorious rap and hip-hop artist Misho Shamara (in the photo). The first selected performers are IVELINA with her song “Ready for love”, “I PROMISE” by PERFECT STRANGER and “Let’s try singing” by Venelina Milanova.

The Bulgarian broadcaster are obviously trying to make the best of Eurovision, by trying to make the pre-selection an event of national interest. We wish them good luck!

Are you having some time off Eurovision? Yes? Shocking! Some people are working hard for us to be able to enjoy the party again and again. Me being among them, I’ll let you know what’s cooking about the up-coming Eurovision Song Contest ;-)

So, above all, Mr. Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia, announced that the contest will be held in Moscow and not in the Northern capital of the country Saint Petersburg as speculated earlier.

Channel One Russia will have the pleasure to host the 2009 Eurovision Song contest, to be held in May next year. The exact dates, announced recently by the EBU are as follows:

Semi-Final 1: Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Semi-Final 2: Thursday, 14 May 2009
Grand Final: Saturday, 16 May 2009

Probably, though not yet confirmed, the Olimpiisky indoor arena in Moscow will be the venue of the event.

As some Russian online newspapers have already suggested, just the repair works of the venue will cost some 10 million Euros. Russia as well as the municipality of Moscow have started drafting an action plan for getting ready for the event with keeping the expenses as low as possible. Complex reconstruction works of the venue will start pretty soon. Since its opening back in 1980 Sports Complex Olimpiisky has been hosting more than 600 events annually.

So, be quick to look for hotels, check out your friends living in Moscow, and book a flight to the Russian capital for mid-May. And don’t forget that this city is one of the most expensive places in the world. So, you have 8 months to work hard and earn enough money for this memorable week. Good luck.

The European audience has just chosen its favourite 2008 Eurovision song – Belive!
He comes from Russia and this is his second participation in the Eurovision Song Contest.


Here is the top ten ranking:

  1. Russia
  2. Ukraine
  3. Greece
  4. Armenia
  5. Norway
  6. Serbia
  7. Turkey
  8. Azerbaijan
  9. Israel
  10. Bosnia & Herzegovina

Here is the list of the 10 qulifiers from the Second Semi-Final.




  • Ukraine
  • Croatia
  • Albania
  • Iceland
  • Georgia
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Latvia
  • Turkey
  • Portugal

Tonight we enjoyed a magnificent show. The First Semi-Final was a blend of wonderful songs and performances. Only 10 survived out of the 19 participants.

Here is the list of the songs qualifying for the Final on 24 May:


  • Greece
  • Romania
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Finland
  • Russia
  • Israel
  • Azerbaijan
  • Armenia
  • Poland
  • Norway

Four amazing hours of Ukrainian party, and so many other participants performing during it: last night saw a massive Eurovision show at Euroclub, Sava Centre, Belgrade.

A show that we don’t get every day in Eurovision – this was last-night’s Ukrainian party within Eurovision 2008. Most delegations had come to the event marking it as one of the most significant nights withing the Contest.

Ani Lorak had invited the entrants of more than 10 other countries. On stage, we saw Sirusho (Armenia), Dima Bilan (Russia), Kalomira (Greece), Deep Zone (Bulgaria), Pirates of the Sea (Latvia), Boaz (Israel), Geta Burlacu (Moldova), Miodio (San Marino), Charlotte Perrelli (Sweden), Ruslan Alehno (Belarus), Morena (Malta), Diana Gurtskaya (Georgia), all coming out with mighty performances.

Special focuses of the night were Dana International, who wished good luck to Boaz, and most impressive last-year’s Ukrainina entrant Verka Serduchka. Verka gave a fantastic show singing 3 tracks, among them last-year’s cult hit “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” which reached position number 2 in the Final ranking, and two fresh hits. The new tracks follow the old path of her magesty Eurovision Queen’s art.

Ani sang her own interpretations of many world evergreens, such as Tina Turner’s “The Best”, Bon Jovi’s “My Life” to name but a few. The author of the lyrics of Shady Lady, the imminent composer Fillip Kirkorov attended the event, and supported on stage his newly-found hope, wishing her the best of luck.

Another fascinating moment was the presentation of a prototype instrument, which will be used by the Bulgarian entrants Deep Zone and DJ Balthazar. The Bulgarian band uses a Japanese Vesatax DJ guitar, which will be available on the market in not less than two years and promises to change the DJ image completely.

Seems like we are in for a terribly curious Eurovision year.

Now, I really have to add this after hours of fight: the net connection in my hotel is, unlike anything else in Belgrade, so impossibly bad, that you will have photo coverage of the event a bit later.

Europe has already gone crazy with the Eurovision fever. Whereever you live in Europe, especially if it is the capital city, you’re most likely to have a Eurovision star visiting your place sooner or later. Because most Eurovision participants as as busy as bees promoting their entries.

Let’s see where we can get to see them these days:

The Turkish participants Mor ve ötesi, or “the Turkish ambassadors of rock music” as they call themselves in their blog, are embarking on a long long promo tour to make Europe sing along crazily their alternative rock track Deli (Crazy). Athens, Tbilisi and are on their PR map, to name but a few. Till mid-May they will have visited Skopje, Lisbon, Kyiv, and Baku.

The Russian hope Dima Bilan is going to Belgium and the Netherland. The Armenian singer Sirusho, who’s been discussed around massively, and has got the support of so many fans so far, and the Belgian band Ishtar are all going to Holland to promote their tracks. Amsterdam will also host promo gigs of Swedish Charlotte Perrelli and Boaz Mauda from Israel.

The Bulgarian guys Deep Zone & Balthazar are on a promo tour in Eurovision’s stronghold Malta, planning more trips to Lisbon, London, Bucharest, and Athens. Another artist planning to visit Malta pretty soon to present her track Have Some Fun is the Czech charmer Tereza Kerndlová. The Portuguese entrant, on the other hand, will be returning the visit to Bulgaria, where she’ll perform a duet with 2006 Bulgarian Eurovision participant Mariana Popova.

Belgium seems to be a hot spot for Eurovision stars this season: the Romanian representatives Nico & Vlad, the Ukrainian beauty Ani Lorak (born Karolina), Rebeka Dremelj from Slovenia, Dima Bilan, Laka from Bosnia & Herzegovina, and the representatives of this-year’s host Serbia – Jelena Tomasevic will attend a grand Eurovision party in Brussels:

After launching her own perfume, Diana Gurtskaya from Georgia is ready to kick off a promo tour staring from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Sweden.

I’ll do my best to keep you all updated, but it’s hard work with all this traffic going on throughout Europe. But we all enjoy it, right :)