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Tinatin, Chris Neil & Oskar Pall at ESCI couldn’t be more excited and thrilled with the results following the Eurovision extravaganza earlier last month… While most of us expected the ESC madness to be over following the grand finale on May 16, shortly thereafter, I realized that the craziness had only just begun as the phone started ringing like never before with 2 min intervals the moment my plane touched down in New York City!

First things first – the European chart report as of this week:

“Is It True?” single (EMI)

Norway: 1
Sweden: 2
Belgium: 23
Denmark: 16
Switzerland: 9
Finland: 6
U.K.: 49

ESC 2009 COMPILATION (Capitol)

U.K.: 14
Sweden: 1
Switzerland: 3
Norway: 6
Denmark: 21
Austria: 13
Spain: 13
Germany: 3

And the sales + chart positions are building up by the week, and so are my responsibilities…! Plus more covers of “Is It True?” in various languages by top artists in Germany, Russia… even South Africa and more! TBC asap!

New and exciting co-write opportunities with some of the best songwriters and production outfits across Europe and the U.S. that I could have only dreamed of last month are now becoming my collaborators in the studio. How do I feel? Too insane to be proud of it and I wouldn’t dare relax at this point either… But the anticipation of the next big chart-topper is so intense!

Tinatin at EuroClub in Moscow There are some incredibly exciting projects (music, books, bands, etc. – you name it! But I’ll say no more…) and collaborations in the pipeline, but I keep reminding myself that there are only 24 hours at my disposal per day. How can I make the most of it? Sleep, oh how I miss that minor form of escape on daily basis.

And just in case you haven’t heard this week’s Russkiy in the Mix, be sure to tune on June 2nd @ noon NY time (or straight afterwards – in the archives on the website) at http://www.breakthruradio.com to hear some of my favorite tunes that I picked up while I was in Moscow last month. Make sure you check out “Moscow Never Sleeps” – undoubtedly my favorite track of the month and a constant reminder of how much fun we had whilst there in-between the crazy meetings, shoots and rehearsals.

Missing it already!
Tinatin at TV studio
Time to say goodnight yet again… But in the meantime, one little secret – a sequel of my debut novel (which is being edited as we speak by my agents and editors in London and NY!) that I’m currently developing… So many exciting stories and adventures that I had forgotten about… Ohhh, the beauty of writing a novel based on a true story! Daren’t say any more – hush my mouth! 🙂

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banner1Desperately trying to juggle a million things at once with more surprises on the way… but in the meantime, here’s the latest from Eurovision 2009 and our Icelandic entry — if it’s true, it’s bound to appear right here for your eyes only!

First things first – the new weekly poll from ESC Today:

Please note: These charts are in no way supposed to predict the outcome of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, they are just supposed to show which songs have the most fans among the readers.

Charts for 2nd March 2009

The results are based on the votes cast until 20:00 CET.

Pl. Country Song Score Last week Change Poll

1 Spain La noche es para mí 121.9 NEW here
2 Norway Fairytale 121.4 118.9 (1st) down here
3 Turkey Düm tek tek 89.1 94.6 (3rd) = here
4 Iceland Is it true? 86.2 86.5 (5th) up here
5 Finland Lose control 81.6 90.8 (4th) down here
6 Switzerland The highest heights 72.3 85.5 (6th) = here
7 United Kingdom It’s my time 72.2 96.2 (2nd) down here
8 Bosnia & Herzegovina Bistra voda 62.0 NEW here
9 Portugal Todas as ruas do amor 52.7 NEW here
10 Denmark Believe again 50.9 53.5 (7th) down here
11 France Et s’il fallait le faire 40.8 41.0 (8th) down here
12 Montenegro Just get out of my life 32.5 31.4 (12th) = here
13 Greece This is our night 31.3 35.4 (10th) down here
14 Hungary Dance with me 28.3 35.2 (11th) down here
15 Albania Në merr në ëndërr 26.5 29.5 (13th) down here
16 Poland I don’t wanna leave 24.3 4.8 (18th) up here
17 Slovenia Love symphony 24.1 38.6 (9th) down here
18 Andorra La teva decisió 22.2 21.1 (15th) down here
19 Malta What if we 22.1 22.4 (14th) down here
20 Germany Miss kiss kiss bang 20.4 13.6 (17th) down here
21 Moldova Hora din Moldova 14.3 15.9 (16th) down here
22 Lithuania Love 8.6 1.5 (19th) down here
23 Ireland Et cetera -3.1 -3.4 (20th) down here
24 Croatia Lijepa Tena -4.7 NEW here
25 Romania The Balkan girls -6.3 -11.4 (21st) down here
26 Georgia We don’t wanna put in -18.6 -42.4 (23rd) down here
27 Netherlands Shine -19.1 -14.5 (22nd) down here
28 Bulgaria Illusion -79.5 -88.9 (24th) down here
29 Cyprus Firefly -94.2 -101.1 (25th) down here
30 FYR Macedonia Nešto što kje ostane -107.8 -105.0 (26th) down here
31 Armenia No par -140.1 -132.9 (27th) down here
32 Latvia Probka -154.5 NEW here
33 Belarus Eyes that never lie -169.0 -179.9 (28th) down here

One of the many opinion blogs about the upcoming semifinals and the grand finale in Moscow, here’s an excerpt from 12Points.tv:

Edwin’s 12points IV

Edwin, our 12points blogger, is very busy these days, watching all national finals, semi finals and other eurovision related tv shows, as they are programmed, allmost dayly, the last few weeks. Today we learn what he thinks about the latest selected songs. You can of course listen to all the songs on 12points too, as they are listed under this blog.

writen by Edwin Peeters [26.02.2009]

13 more songs and again I give my opinion. Some ballads, some controversial songs, some songs with traditional influences, some rock songs and this year’s winner (I’m quite sure!) are chosen.

Armenia – Jan Jan – Inga & Anush
It reminds me in some way of Ofra Haza songs. It is a pop tune with traditional influences. The two sisters have a good energy together. The song is original and doesn’t get boring. This could take Armenia into the final once more and might be the next succes in Armenian Eurovision history. Or is it too traditional for the audience?

Iceland – Is It True? – Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir A beautiful blonde on stage in a white dress. She will get lots of votes because of her looks. A good ballad. It misses out on not having a bridge, but she will make it to the final in Moscow.

Lithuania – Pasiklydes Zmogus – Sasha Son
Another ballad, but not in a traditional Eurovision way. It is more of a pop song. This song is very original, just like the singer. A good perfomer who carries the song. I’m not quite sure about the electric guitar solo (hope it will be ditched before Eurovision), but, hey, it can’t be perfect. Don’t know if the average Eurovison watching European will vote for this song. If they like quality they will. But I think Sasha will barely make it to the final. I’m keeping my finger crossed that he will.

Poland – I Don’t Wanna Leave – Lidia Kopania
And again, a ballad. The beginning of the song sounds mysterious, but the chorus doesn’t. The singer is gonna get some votes with her looks, but I would like to see her in a classy dress in stead of the short one she wore at the national final… or she should borrow Edyta Górniak’s (ESC 1994) dress, also short, but more stylish. She is gonna make it to the final in Moscow. After that is difficult to predict wich ballad will do best.

Moldova – Hora Din Moldova – Nelly Ciobanu
Another song with a Balkan influence, like the Romanian song. Although this contribution from Moldova (the Romanian neighbours) sounds more traditional and authentic than the more poppy Romanian one. I also have to think about gipsy music. To me it sounds good, but gipsy music generally doesn’t do well at Eurovision. This will struggle to get into the final, I fear, although it makes me feel really happy: hey hey!

Georgia – We Don’t Wanna Put In – Stefane & 3G
Oh no, a disco tune, with a rap in the middle. This is one of the controversial songs. Not because of the music, but because of the lyrics. ‘We Don’t Wanna Put In’… get it?: PUTIN! The difficult relationship with the Russians makes this title sound like a political statement. And that is forbidden at Eurovision. So they probably have to change the lyrics or Georgia will have to send their number two from the national final. I don’t know about this. It could go either way.

Greece – This Is Our Night – Sakis Rouvas
He’s back, how great is that! The three songs that were selected for (or by) him to compete in the national final were not as strong as ‘Shake Shake Shake’, but at least the best (last) song was chosen. It doesn’t sound typically Greek, but it definitely suits Sakis’ oevre. Great dancetune! Of course his energy and appearance will make the song go straight into the final and top 10.

Ireland – Et Cetera – Sinead Mulvey & Black Daisy
Good pop song. It sounds a little bit northern American. Could have been a song from Avril Lavigne. Very commercial and it could do well in Eurovision, even if it doesn’t sound very Irish (I’m used to ballads or traditional songs from Ireland), she will make it to the final in Moscow. At least her name is Irish!

Bulgaria – Ilussion – Krasimir Avramov
Another controversial song. This time it’s about the voting (he got many more votes than number two in the national final and some people didn’t trust it) and the performance (he didn’t do well at the national final). Hearing the studio version of the song it is one of my favourites, but live… well, let’s say he needs to get some singing lessons or a group of superb backing vocals. But still there is the deal with is high notes. I find it weird to watch and listen to a man singing such high notes and then switch to a more manly sound. If the act and performance is alright and his voice is put into the background (just a little bit), then this could be top 10 in the final. But with a poor presentation and a weak performance it will end up at the bottom of its semi final.

Norway – Fairytale – Alexander Rybak
Like I wrote before (Edwin’s 12 points III)… Wow, that guy is hot and sweet! He knows how to play the camera, he is energetic, he can sing, he plays the violin (for real), he wrote this song himself and did I mention his looks? Watch out Moscow, here is the winner of Eurovision 2009! And how great would it be that a guy of Russian descent (or almost… Belarussian actually) would win in Moscow with this song that combines eastern and western European music, dance and looks. I don’t know what to say anymore. Oh yes: the dancers are supporting Alexander wonderfully, as well as the backing vocals! This act is so complete and blew me away and according to the standing ovation of the audience at the national final, there is no competition.

Macedonia – Nesto sto ke ostane – Next Time
A rock song, wich doesn’t impress me at all. I guess this will be the second year in a row that Macedonia doesn’t make it to the final. Popular as they may be in Macedonia, they look like a young version of Bon Jovi, with eighties looks. I don’t like it, I’m very sorry. I miss the Macedonian soul or sound in this song. Not to the final… please!

Switzerland – The Highest Heights – Lovebugs
The best Swiss entry since (Estonian) Vanilla Ninja’s ‘Cool Vibes’ in 2005. When I hear this song I think I’m listening to the radio. It could be a big hit. It’s not a typical Eurovision song, but it is oh so good! Very good! This deserves to be in the top 10 in the final

Hungary – Dance With Me – Ádok Zoli
Interesting entry from Hungary. A handsome guy sings and dances to a pop tune. Light and bright are words that come to mind when I hear this song. A little bit of disco (but better than the Georgians) without a big message. It’s just a feel good song. It could do very well, even into the final’s top 10. And that for a song that was Hungarian’s third choice! There was a controversy concerning the first choice. That song had been performed years ago in a Swedish reality show. Second choice, a Hungarian actress, decided not to perticipate because of her busy schedule (well, why did she enter her entry in the first place?). So I’m glad that this song (the best of the three) was finally chosen to represent Hungary! I’m sure he’s gonna melt some people with his eyes.

And finally we’ve discovered a proper “lyrics, credits + additional info” page.

For those of you interested in the little bits and pieces, check out the Icelandic homepage

And one more thing… how could we possibly spend a week without yet another confusion in one of the Eurovision Forums….?

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pink_iphoneAnd here are the most recent news about Eurovision, the Icelandic entry in particular, and more! 🙂

As some of you already know, every Monday the Eurovision website compiles and publishes the weekly polls based on the reactions and current favorites (and vice versa) of the potential televoters and ESC fans.

Here are the results for this week……

Charts for 23rd February 2009

The results are based on the votes cast until 20:00 CET.

Pl. Country Song Score Last week Change Poll

1 Norway Fairytale 118.9 NEW here
2 United Kingdom It’s my time 96.2 109.4 (1st) down here
3 Turkey Düm tek tek 94.6 96.2 (3rd) = here
4 Finland Lose control 90.8 107.3 (2nd) down here
5 Iceland Is it true? 86.5 82.5 (4th) down here
6 Switzerland The highest heights 85.5 NEW here
7 Denmark Believe again 53.5 80.1 (5th) down here
8 France Et s’il fallait le faire 41.0 68.8 (6th) down here
9 Slovenia Love symphony 38.6 38.6 (11th) up here
10 Greece This is our night 35.4 NEW here
11 Hungary Tánclépés 35.2 NEW here
12 Montenegro Just get out of my life 31.4 64.7 (7th) down here
13 Albania Në merr në ëndërr 29.5 32.4 (12th) down here
14 Malta What if we 22.4 46.8 (8th) down here
15 Andorra La teva decisió 21.1 39.8 (10th) down here
16 Moldova Hora din Moldova 15.9 25.6 (14th) down here
17 Germany Miss kiss kiss bang 13.6 40.4 (9th) down here
18 Poland I don’t wanna leave 4.8 31.1 (13th) down here
19 Lithuania Love 1.5 2.2 (15th) down here
20 Ireland Et cetera -3.4 NEW here
21 Romania The Balkan girls -11.4 0.3 (16th) down here
22 Netherlands Shine -14.5 -5.4 (17th) down here
23 Georgia We don’t wanna put in -42.4 NEW here
24 Bulgaria Illusion -88.9 NEW here
25 Cyprus Firefly -101.1 -79.2 (18th) down here
26 FYR Macedonia Nešto što ke os -105.0 NEW here
27 Armenia Nor par -132.9 -121.8 (19th) down here
28 Belarus Eyes that never lie -179.9 -173.4 (20th) down here

Great fun to follow these, although of course it’s still very early days. But will keep you posted on the poll results in the coming weeks!

As for more details and additional info/material about the Icelandic National Winner, “Is It True”, here’s a brand new source with the actual lyrics, photos, original demo and bios…

The NRS interview about the Icelandic entry was also published in “Narodniye Novosti” (National News – Russia) and you can also view the online version of the article released by the editor-in-chief in the editorial column right here.

And finally, here’s the icing on the cake – this is really interesting and great fun… Have a look!

“The build-up to the 54th Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow”

Posted on 2009.02.26 at 16:10
By: Akoe07
Current Location: Edinburgh
http://akoe07.livejournal.com/133530.html

At this point there has been 28 of the 43 entries made public or selected.
So it seems appropriate to run through them and give my thoughts on each.

I will start with those entries known in Semi Final 1.
Of the 19 entries 13 are known which means that of these at least 4 will be in the Final.

BELARUS Petr Elfimov – “Eyes That Never Lie”
Very much a rock ballad and I actually quite like this song. My only concern is
Petr himself. His look is dubious to say the least but am sure that will be
spruced up for Moscow. Also his vocals tend to run away a bit toward the
end of the song and perhaps need to be harnessed in a little to make for a
more polished performance.
Possible Qualifier.

ARMENIA Inga and Anush Arshakyans – “Jan Jan”
Well this is very ethnic sounding, which I normally approve of, but this is not
a good example of ethnic sounds working in a song. The sisters vocals are
not good and very shouty in places. I would expect to see a total revamp of
this by May but as it stands this version is quite awful. The best bits are when
they are not singing.
This version Non Qualifier, but a revamped one combined with diaspora votes.
Possible Qualifier.

FYR MACEDONIA Next Time – “Nesto Sto Ke Ostane”
Well this is a rock song but for me it does not have any instant hook to
remember it by. Its a pleasant enough song to listen to but I cannot get
any more enthusiastic about it.
Non Qualifier

BULGARIA Krassimir Avromov -“My Illusion”
Well I love the studio version of this and the promo video. But when you
listen to this live I feel he loses control of his vocals by trying too hard
and consequently it turns into a bit of a disaster. Could improve big style
if they can sort this out better for Moscow.
Non Qualifier

GEORGIA Stephane & 3G -“I Don’t Want To Put In”
Huge political controversy already with this song regarding the lyrics.
Meant to be a huge dig towards Russia, the hosts, and to Putin the
President in particular .I think there is no doubt these lyrics will change
to something less political. This song is based heavily in the 70’s Disco era.
Its fun and visually could be great but I cannot see it continuing Georgia’s
good run in this competition.
Non Qualifier.

ROMANIA Elena Gheorghe -“The Balkan Girls”
Well we have an upbeat Girlie dance song which has become a trademark
formula type of entry for quite a few countries over the last few years.
Its certainly worked well for the likes of Turkey and Greece but not convinced
this one will do as well. To me its inoffensive but a bit repetitive and ultimately dull.
Possible Qualifier.

ANDORRA Susanne Georgi – “La Teva Decisió”
Well for me this is Andorra’s best entry so far. Its a very happy pleasant song.
Also has a catchy hook and could give Andorra their best result to date.
Of course they have never qualified for the Final before so whether achieving
this is possible? Depends on live performance.
Possible Qualifier

MALTA Chiara -“What If We”
Well we all know Chiara can sing and indeed is a very strong powerful
charismatic singer. This is her 3rd attempt now at Eurovision and I have
to say I feel this song to be the weakest of those three. However it is a
pleasant enough ballad and I feel Chiara can bring it up with her performance.
Definite Qualifier.

MONTENEGRO Andrea Demirovic -“Just Get Out Of My Life”
Well this one has a disco feel to it but in a better way than Georgia’s entry.
Andrea is a pretty girl who sings well enough. The song is also pleasant enough
with quite a catchy hook.
Possible Qualifier.

SWITZERLAND Lovebugs -“The Highest Heights”
I really quite like this song, quite a contemporary band sound. Has distinct
hints of a New Order sound to it though which is no bad thing.
Possible Qualifier.

ICELAND Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir -“Is It True”
Of all the ballads chosen so far this is the most obvious one that ticks
all the Eurovision boxes. Great singer and absolutely wonderful haunting
ballad adds up to a stunner of an entry from Iceland.
Definite Qualifier.

FINLAND Waldo’s People -“Lose Control”
After 3 years of rock entries Finland have plumped for a dance song by a
reformed group that found success back in the early noughties.
For me it was by far my favourite in the selection process and my only
concern whether the vocals would work live. In the Finnish Final they
worked really hard at getting the vocals across well and it works for me.
I love this song and expect it will have plenty fans, whether its good enough
to win though…..?
Definite Qualifier.

TURKEY Hadise -“Dum Tek Tek”
The title is the sound that the heart makes when in love. Pretty girl
with uptempo song is proving a good formula for Turkey.
This years entry is the same, upbeat song with an ethnic feel.
Its a good song though and I dont think it will have any problems
reaching the Final.
Definite qualifier.

So to summarize from these 13 entries the four definite qualifiers are
Turkey, Finland, Iceland and Malta.

So moving on to Semi Final 2.
From 19 entries we know already 12 and this means at least 3 will reach the Final.

CYPRUS Christina Metaxa -“Firefly”
Now this is a lovely ballad with a nice build through the song.
BUT, there is serious question marks towards the singers ability
to cut it live. If she can get her act together by May, then this
may do a lot better than current thoughts.
Non Qualifier.

NETHERLANDS Die Toppers -“Shine”
Now this is more than a bit cheesey but I like it(perhaps I am
cheesey too?). Good vocals and glitzy staging altogether very
camp really (not me!). May do better than expected.
Possible Qualifier.

IRELAND Sinead Mulvey and Black Daisy -“Et Cetera”
Normally this is the point where I have to tread carefully,
a UK blogger writing for Keith’s AKOE Irish website.
Just as often as Keith has harsh and critical words for our
UK entries over recent years, I also have little empathy
with many recent irish entries. Sometimes it has been known
for Keith and myself to agree as well.
But fear not I dont need to pretend to like the Irish entry
as this year I love it. Its by far the best contemporary
entry in years, a refreshing change, and to be honest it
was really the only real choice from what was a dull selection.
It has a great rock chic feel has a nice pace, good vocals and
a great look with a good chemistry between Sinead and
Black Daisy. This song will be easily remembered afterwards
which is good for when the voting starts.
Definite Qualifier.

LITHUANIA Sasha Son -“Love”
Now this is a really nice ballad, good singer vocally and a bit
of a looker as well, this may have some impact in the shake up.
Possible Qualifier.

POLAND Lidia Kopania -“I Don’t Wanna Leave”
Almost a repeat in style from last year another American sounding
ballad from Poland. It’s pleasant enough really but not sure it will
repeat last year’s move to the Final.
Non Qualifier

MOLDOVA Nelly Ciobanu -“Hora Din Moldova”
Now this is very ethnic but in a good way. Fun and dancy it also
has great sound and vocals. This will get lots of Eastern votes
and some more besides.
Definite Qualifier.

ALBANIA Kejsi Tola -“Më Merr Në Endërr”
Now this song will have to change dramatically as its way too long
and its likely to be sung in English too, so its hard to judge it.
But I do love this version of the song , ethnic and also dramatic.
I am hoping the final version keeps the feel and is tasteful.
Possible Qualifier.

HUNGARY Ádokzoli -“Dance With Me”
This is so gay that its more gay than Eurovision itself.
Its very very catchy. Good looking lad who can sing and
dance. Will either bomb badly or win, nothing inbetween.
Also adds some rivalry to Sakis who is in the same Semi.
Definite Qualifier.

GREECE Sakis Rouvas -“This Is Our Night”
Very typical upbeat and Greek uptempo entry. Seen many similar
entries in recent years. I do love this song though and its miles better
than his previous entry “Shake It”. But I am still not convinced on Sakis
singing this well live combined with what is expected to be an
energetic choreography. If it all comes together then possible winner.
Definite Qualifier

SLOVENIA Quartissimo -“Love Symphony”
A while since we had an entry with few words and more instrumental.
Lots of strings in this one it sounds like a theme tune for an advert or
a TV show. Afraid this is not my cup of tea but have to admit its well
done for the genre.
Possible Qualifier.

DENMARK Niels Brinck -“Believe Again”
A really nice mid-tempo singalong kinda song. Manages to be very
Danish and very Ronan at the same time. This is very catchy and
will stick in many peoples minds.
Definite Qualifier.

NORWAY Alexander Ryback -“Fairytale”
This is pressing so many of the right buttons for Eurovision.
Very much a folksy feel combined with a great catchy hook.
Lovely singer too will appeal to all ages and sexes.
Will harvest votes from the East, West , Nordic, everywhere.
Huge potential winner.
Definite Qualifier.

So to summerize I have suggested 6 of the 12 are definite qualifiers.
Of course Serbia and Ukraine, two of the big hitters, have not revealed
their hands yet but would expect them to qualify too.
Of the 6 the 3 most obvious qualifiers are GREECE, NORWAY
AND MOLDOVA, but also have high hopes for Ireland, Denmark
and Hungary.

That just leaves us with the automatic finalists.
We still have to wait fro Russia and Spain but here are my
thoughts on the others.

GERMANY Alex Swings Oscar Sings -“Miss Kiss Kiss Bang”
One of the more unusual song titles this year and another swing style
song from Germany this year. To be honest first time I heard it I
did not like it at all. But watching the presentation at the awards
ceremony last week I was really impressed at the impact it had.
I think this could do really well for Germany this year.
Its actually quite catchy, instant and memorable.
Potential Top 10.

FRANCE Patricia Kaas -“Et S’il Fallait Le Faire”
Well for the first time in years France have come up with a
bloody brilliant song, very moody French Chanson.
Some find it boring but I think this will win over more people.
Deserves to do well.
Potential Top 10.

UNITED KINGDOM Jade -“My Time”
I often have a problem evaluating the UK entry mainly because we
hear it to death and its my country. In all honesty I have only really
liked 2 of our entries since we last won it.
Namely they were Imannii and Jessica Garlick.
I aslo find myself trying to defend our song against the usual yearly
onslaught that is Keith’s opinion on the UK entry.
This year is no different regarding Keith’s thoughts on this entry.
But for once I have some empathy with his thoughts on this one.
I do not detest this song to the same extent but I find myself
more than a little disappointed with the song. In some ways
I expected a cracker from the pens of ALW and Diane Warren.
But to me it sounds very much like an average ALW show ballad.
As far as the artist selection process, I was also disappointed with
the amateurish selection available. I really hoped for at least a couple
of known names coming in. But at the end of the day I still believe
Jade was the best choice of those available to us.
I think come May she will give this a fair chance of improving our
more recent bottom 5 finishes.
Potential 10-20th.

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