Sep 30, 2011

Two Eurovision legends come together with a bid for Baku 2012

Although it's only September- it's never to early to put in bids to be in Eurovision 2012 in Baku. However normally we have only the ole rumour mills of scandinavia to bring us hope at this early stage of the proceedings- among the promised returns to Eurovision or Melodi Grand Prix is Alexander Rybak as a songwriter only -with Maria Haukaas Storeng on vocals. Maria is a firm favourite of mine since her performance of 'Hold on be strong' for Norway in 2008 this coupling could be a winning combination in Norsk Melodi Grand Prix.
Over in stockholm there is so much confusion of 'who will or won't' take part in Melodifestivalen 2012 contest- we expect songs from pop-master Fredrik Kempe -of course and according to the press -Kempe has been making plans for Charlotte Perrelli's comeback with one of his new tunes- We are not too confident this will become true -for our schlager 'Hero' (but fingers crossed)- As we recall just last year Charlotte Perrelli was said to have turned down performing the great tune 'Something in your eyes' that Jenny Silver made her own in Melodifestivalen 2011. So we know our Charlotte is rather picky with her Melo'song choices - and it's hard to follow up 'Take me to your heaven' or even 'Hero'

But wait there is more.. in the words of Iceland's Yohanna- 'is it true!' Yes, this one is true Take a listen here to

a tune called 'C'etait ma vie'

This is the 'wildcard' for Switzerland 2012 -who have there Pre-Selection TV show coming up shortly. This has to be the hottest contender to win as it will be the return to the competition for Lys Assia who won the very first Eurovision Song contest of 1957 with 'Refain' She is in her eighties now and Lys is known as Le grandmother of Eurovision. She is a very smart lady as she has comeback with two amazing songwriters in Ralph Siegel & Jean-Paul Cara- Ralph is called Mr Melodi Grand Prix in Germany -and wrote 19 past eurovision entries no less - the most famous being Germany's winner 'Ein Bisschen Freiden' by Nicole in 1982. While Jean-Paul wrote 'L'oiseau et l'enfant' the french winner of 1977 - so we can expect a more traditional french chanson from this terrific songwriting team. What a start for the new Eurovision season.
It seems Lys Assia needed not much convincing that a comeback after 57 years away from Eurovision was a good idea- it was back in June- at a birthday pary Ralph Siegel asked Lys if she would participate her reply was 'This would be my most greatest dream'
So Herr Ralph Siegel set about making the Eurovision dream become a reality- and this month a fine song has been recorded and ready for the Swiss early deadline- Lys has said to sing in Baku would be most certainly her crowning achievement of her career.

Sep 17, 2011

Netherlands will have a SongFestival Final 2012- with the help of this man-

The Dutch Nationaal Songfestival 2012: will take place in February 2012- this will be made up of 6 - 7 acts and songs
that will compete for a ticket to Baku- the host is rumoured to be...

Hans Klok is a household name in Holland- as well as being know in USA for his magic tricks as a magician- like a dutch David Coopperfield. He has worked before with Pamela Anderson, this time he will host the first Song Festival Final that Netherlands have staged in many years- how exciting is that - we cannot wait and hope this new format will work as well for the dutch- as it has for most of the scandinavian countries in Eurovision and Euro fans have come to expect a certain standard of excellent 'pop' acts in the National competition. The latest news from broatcaster TROS is they have well over 100 songs submitted- to date.

Well this time Hans really needs to pull something out of a Eurovision-Hat to save Netherlands at Baku 2012.
Certainly some kind of 'magic' is needed as the last time Netherlands made the Grand Final was in 2004. For the past 7 years we have had no dutch act in the Eurovision final-It certainly worked for Switzerland this year- they broke a
semi-final elimination run of 4 years missing out.
The Swiss did the same and began to hold a National Final - as previously they had just a internal selection. Next year will see the first year when EBU have a new ruling for Eurovision that each country is required to have somekind of open public National selection to choose a song to go forward for Eurovision.
This new rule seems very fair as any TV company can invite their biggest national artist to go forward and promote
a new single/song at Eurovision.

As for the man producing the New Song Festival show that task has gone to John deMol
- who may turn out to be Holland's very own Christer Bjorkman?
Lets wait n see..

Sep 14, 2011

schlager Pop: 4- Marie Myriam - Le France winner of 1977

This year at Eurovision saw the return of France as a top favourite to win in Dusseldorf - with 'Sognu' by Amaury Vassili - It has now been 30 years since France won Eurovision Song Contest. Amaury Vassili finished in a disappointing 15th place. This tune could well have topped the list 10-15 years ago, so this does raise the question is Eurovision still all about a good new song! or has the size and all those para-technics all taken this european song contest somewhere else.

With this in mind- we are placing the spot-light on 'Marie Myriam' a wonderful french singer who seems to have frozen in time- the past traditional chanson-melody with her excellent winner of 1977 'L'oiseau Et L'enfant' (the bird and the child)
France have the track record of being winners five times. Yet they have an amazing record of between 1957-1970 during this 14 year period only once (1966) did they finish outside the Top 5 at Eurovision. A success run like this we may never see repeated today.

Marie Myriam is of portuguese origin, she was discovered performing at her father's restaurant 'L' Auberge de Marie' by the songwriter Jean-Paul cara. Marie was a genuine unknown talent even in homeland France before 7th May 1977 at Wembley UK. This Eurovision win took her career to brand new heights- followed several hit albums and songs such as 'Sentimentale'
(check out fab vid) a tune she sang at the Japanese Yamaha Music Festival in 1981.
Her most recent studio album was the wonderful 'Encore' CD from 2007 when Marie did a new almost jazzy version of her Eurovision winner. Marie has remained faithful to her family and two children during her singing career, and made several appearance at ESC presenting the french votings as well as being an active member of many French juries.
As well as singing at the 50th Anniversary concert in Copenhagen in 2005.
A few Eurovision artists really do 'shine' - as not just for being wonderful singers/artist but also down-to-earth people with a kind & modest personality for me -Marie Myriam is one of them.

Marie recently spoke for herself in a wonderful interview about her life, career and continued support to the Eurovision cause even in more modern times- As well as the full story of how Marie was held up returning to the stage at Wembley in 1977 to sing her wonderful encore -
with host Angela Ripon on the night. (final encore view here)

-with special thanks /and courtesy of 'Radio International'

'L'oiseau et l'enfant' that performance- that defined the French chanson

Sep 13, 2011

Just Perfect for Baku 2012 -Alexander Panayotov with his new English single

Introducing a Russian artist Alexander Panayotov- many of you may remember his serious bid for Eurovision 2010.

With his tune 'Maya Showtime' it failed to go to Oslo- Eurovision 2010- this was the year Russia went with the strange choice of Peter Nalitch Band & 'Maya showtime' finished in 6th place.

Alexander Panayotov was born in Leningrad in 1984- and grew up in Kiev in Ukraine. He was a child-star who wrote his own songs from an early age- however rose to great fame in the Russian TV talent contest "Popstars" in 2002- Alexander had a fair few entries in the Russian National Final to date- the best for me was back in 2005 'Balalaika' (sung with Alexey Chumakow) Another huge hit for Alexander was 'Cresent & The Cross' this came a very close 2nd place to Dima Bilan in Russia 2008 competion. With only 1 point behind Dima's 'Believe' this is the closest Alexander came to a Eurovision ticket.

This month a new song 'Til Tomorrow' from his first english album, called 'Cocoon',that is scheduled to be released next month. A new video has created a lot of pre-release interest & to be directed by Roman Kucherskaya, who has done The'Formula of Love' Russian video. It's great to see Alexander finally showing his talent for singing in english- and if you have a listen to this first offering you may agree here is a singer perfect for Eurovision 2012- I hope he kept the best for last with a song for next year's National selecion for Russia or even Ukraine.

Check out 'Til Tomorrow'

Watch this space for the video-

Sep 3, 2011

Melodifestivalen is open for business - for next year's extravaganza

There is never a doubt- that Sweden is back on the BIG Eurovision map - with Eric Saade's Top 3 placing in Dusseldorf 2011. How will this inject new confidence in Sweden's massive Melodifestivalen search for a perfect Eurovi' tune?
The format of this competion is more or less been the same since Melodifestivalen 2002. For the first 6 years after 2002 - this worked wonderfully for sweden (apart from Martin Sternmark in 2005) each time Sweden finished in the top 8 at least at Eurovision. Then after Carola sang her wind-power schlager-smash 'Invincible' finishing in 5th place- things went all a bit wrong with 4 year's of Sweden only managing 18th or 21st placing.
Finally in 2010- for the first time Sweden became a non-qualifier for the Eurovision 2010 final in Oslo. So is this the start of a new 5 -6 year success run for the swedes? we will stay tuned to find out.
In the Swedish press this week Mr Melodifestivalen - Christer bjorkman was quoted as saying
upon the Melo search of 2012-

'We will continue to have a mix of everything that is good in popular music.
You have to find what is new, the keep up with these genres. Then we hope to find the next great new artists,
those who become the next Eric Saade'

From 1 st September until 20th September -Svt have opened up for business of
taking any new songs for next year's Melodifestivalen- plus there will be just one web joker this year. The dates & locations for semi-finals & Globen Final are --

Semifinal 1: February 4th 2012, Växjö, VIDA Arena
Semifinal 2: February 11th 2012, Göteborg, Scandinavium
Semifinal 3: February 20th 2012, Leksand, Tegera Arena
Semifinal 4: February 25th 2012, Malmö, Malmö Arena
Second Chance: March 3rd 2012, Nyköping, Rosvalla Nyköping Eventcenter

Grand Final: March 10th 2012, Stockholm, Ericsson Globe