Wivian Renée Kristiansen

Wivian Renée Kristiansen

Vinnerne av årets ESC Radio Awards ble offentliggjort forrige uke, og det er ikke å ta for hardt i å si at et par av resultatene var overraskende. Prisen deles ut i fire kategorien; Beste sang, beste kvinnelige og mannlige artist og beste gruppe.

Storbritannia vant hele to av prisene i år; Bonnie Tyler vant i klassen Beste kvinnelige artist, og "Believe in Me" ble Beste sang. De andre pallplassene blant kvinnene gikk til Zlata Ognevic fra Ukraina (2) og Nederlands Anouk (3). Vår egen Margaret Berger endte akkurat utenfor pallen, på fjerdeplass.

I kampen om Beste Sang kom Norges "I Feed You My Love" på en solid andreplass, like foran Italias "L'essenziale" og Ukrainas "Gravity".

Prisen for Beste mannlige artist gikk til Italias superstjerne, Marco Mengoni. Han vant med 18,3% av stemmene, foran islandske Eyþór Ingi og Azerbajdsjans Farid Mammadov.

I kategorien Årets gruppe konkurrerer alle som er to eller flere hovedartister på scenen. Årets vinner ble Koza Mostra & Agathonas Iakovidis fra Hellas. De vant med klar margin foran Who See (Montenegro) og Takasa (Sveits).

De fullstendige resultatene kan ses her ->.

torsdag, 20 desember 2012 18:07

Første semifinale i Albania i kveld

Albanske Festivali i Këngës  har tidligere markert starten på den nye Eurovision Song Contest-sesongen, da de har vært første land ut til å velge sitt bidrag til konkurransen. I år er de imidlertid kun nok et i rekker av land som velger "neste års bidrag" før det engang er "neste år". 

Når den albanske representanten er klas på lørdag kveld vil allerede fire andre land ha valgt sine representener; Hviterussland, Sveits, Belgia og Litauen. 

Albania velger også i år sitt bidrag gjennom tradisjonsrike Festivali i Këngës. Totalt 65 bidrag kom inn til RTSH innen fristen for innsendelse gikk ut. Av disse er 16 låter valgt ut til to semifinaler, som altså finner sted i kveld og i morgen kveld. 

Kveldens semifinalister er; 
1) Selami Kolonja – Ku je? 
2) Rosela Gjylbegu – Dëshirë 
3) Kejsi Tola – S'jemi më atje 
4) Vesa Luma – S'jam perfekt 
5) Elis Nova – Ajo 
6) Kozma Dushi – Ëndërr mbete ti
7) Bon bon Band – Humbur
8) Dr.Flori & Fabi – Jam ti 
9) Merland Kademi – Këtu fillon parajsa 
10) Rezarta Smaja – Ti? 
11) Ardian Bujupi – I çmendur për ty 
12) Xheni & Enxhi Kumrija – Arti i një fundi 
13) Arjela Krasniqi – Më thuaj pse? 

Blant navnene på listen over kveldens semifinalister biter vi oss spesielt merke i Kejsi Tola, som representerte Albania i Eurovision Song Contest 2009 i Moskva. Da skaffet hun landet en 17.plass med "Carry me in your dreams", etter å ha kommet på 7.plass i semifinalen. 

 

Har du lyst til å følge kveldens semifinale live kan du gjøre det på denne linken

Kilder; ltsh, escxtra, escnorge

lørdag, 10 mai 2014 14:06

Wiv's top 10!

The last "expert" in my series of expert evaluations for the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 is...me. For the first time I really want to share my favorites with you all. Perhaps because there are so many good songs this year?

Where last year I had problems finding ten songs I liked, I think this year my top 10 should really have room for 15...


 

I have two songs in first place, both ballads, but very different from each other. The first one, and the one I would pick if I HAD TO separate them, is Armenia. This song just speaks to the very core of me. The grief, anger and desperation that builds throughout the entire song, to explode when the dubstep kicksin, and the calm, hopeful ending... This is so beautiful it hurts. I really wish this will be our winner tonight, and I think it would also send a message to songwriters, that they are allowed to write modern songs for Eurovision. Besides; I really wantto go to Yerevan next May... 

My second first place is Montenegro. I've always been a sucker for Balkan ballads, and this one is up there with the best of them. The raw feelings in the lyrics, the way the video tells the story of the song, the longing and the hope...it doesn't get much better than this. There is even an English version that actually works. And Sergej's voice soothes my soul, and he's a rock solid singer. I still haven't heard him off key. Ever. Not even a single note. 

Then I have a group of three songs that keep changing positions, but they never go below 5th place.

Today Austria secures the third place on my list. Conchita Wurst is a wonderful singer and performer, especially when singing big ballads, "Rise Like a Phoenix" is a great, somewhat old-fashioned ballad that fits her perfectly, and the performance complements the song wonderfully. I think we just might end up in Vienna next year. THe only questions; will the people voting tonight be able to "see beyond the beard"? Fingers crossed!   

My fourth place today is the UK. Molly is a very good singer and performer, their use of the backing vocalists borders on genious, and I find it very possible that we will end up somewhere on the British Isles next May. And of course we all love the title and lyrics, as they can very easily be changed into "Children of the Euroverse". 

In fifth place I have The Netherlands. Ilse and Waylon's voicec mix together soooo well, the harmonies are great. I really like this sort of laid-back country style music, and combined with their amazing use of the possibilities the stage offers, and of steadycams to create a smaller, more intimate stage, I believe we will see a top 5 result for The Netherlands. Perhaps even a win. 

In sixth place I have Malta. A very contemporary kind of song, in the same genre as Mumford and Sons. I had an epiphany a couple ofweeks ago, while studying for my Icelandic Grammar exam. This vision of Malta winning the contest just lodged itself firmly in my brain. Whether or not it will win, it deserves a great result, and this group of very good musicians I'm sure will deliver better than ever in tonight's final. This song just makes me happy. 

Italy was my nuber three coming into this Eurovision, but I have to admit Emmas performance, her very variable vocals and not to mantion her outfit, all contributed to her slide down to seventh place. I still lie this song a lot, but mainly in the studio version...where she's in tune the entire time, and I can picture her in a proper rock chick outfit.

Azerbaijan consistently sends good songs to Eurovision, at least they have done so for the past three years. I'm not quite as in love with this years's entry as I was last year, but this is more than enough to secure a spot in my top 10. This is a really classy ballad, and Dilara's almost fragile voice and way of singing is just perfect for the song. This lands her in 8th place on my list. 

Hungary lands itself in ninth place today. I love the verses of this song, and the story it tells is one you can't help beeing touched by. The frantic drumming in the chorus drives me mad, though. I see why they're there, as it builds up under the "running", the desperation, but I still can't quite handle canned drums... There is no doubt this song will finish top 10, though, and even with the drumming it's also in my top 10.  

Tenth place, and the only song from my list which is not in the Grand Final tonight is Israel. I like Mei's voice a lot, and her fierceness on stage, and also in the video, is stunning. "The strut", when she and her dancers walk towards us; the moment is magnificent. Unfortunately didn't enough people have it high enough on their list to actually vote for it, and as a result there are rumours of Israel withdrawing from the contest: I pray they are wrong! 

The songs that just missed out for me were; Norway, Slovenia, Greece, Germany and, my guilty pleasure this year; Belarus. 

I wish everyone a wonderful Eurovision Song Contest tonight, and may the bestsong (Armenia!!) win! 

mandag, 05 mai 2014 14:36

Keith's top 10!

As I always do around this time of year, I have dived into my reservoir of Eurovision people (former participants, commentators, songwriters, journalists, you name it!) and asked them to pick their top 10 from this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

My next expert is the one and only Mr Keith Mills. You probably know him best as the man behind "All Kinds Of Everything", but to me he's guy who took me under his wings on my first night in Euroclub in Oslo and introduced me to everyone who's anyone in the Euroverse.

 


After taking a year out in 2013, I'm looking forward to returning to the live shows in Copenhagen, and while I won't be bringing back "All Kinds Of Everything" until later in the year, I will be doing a couple of guest blogs for other websites.

Compiling a Top 10 is very difficult this year, because there are thirteen songs that I really like, but none that I love as much as Italy's entry in Malmo. It's difficult to rank them, but here's how I voted in the Irish OGAE vote, so it's as good a list as any.

PORTUGAL; QUERO SER TUA - SUZY

In a contest dominated by ballads and English language songs, this is a fantastic reminder of why I've loved Eurovision for over 40 years. This is fun, has a lot of national flavour and it's catchy from the first time you hear it. The bookmakers have this as the outsider to qualify from the first semi, but I think Suzy and her team could cause a surprise if the staging is improved a little from Festival da Cancao.

 

FRANCE; MOUSTACHE - TWIN TWIN

I like this for the same reason that I like Portugal, as it's fun, catchy and in this case very French. It makes a great contrast to the very serious French entries of recent years and I like that it was chosen by the French public. Musically, it reminds me a little of Belgian singer Stromae and with a good performance France should be back in the Top 10 this year.

AZERBAIJAN; START A FIRE - DILARA KAZIMOVA

I've never been a huge fan of Azerbaijan's entries and this is the first time they are in my Top 10. In a field full of rather cold and calculated ballads, this stands out due to the clever use of the balaban which also gives it some lovely ethnic sounds. The lyrics are a bit fussy but using the title as a single line chorus is very clever. I expect Azerbaijan to be in the Top 5 once again.

MACEDONIA; TO THE SKY - TIJANA

This is another song that I think is being under-estimated. Again it's very instant, has a great hook for the chorus and having seen Tijana perform in Amsterdam, there's no question that she can sing it. This is a very strong contemporary pop song. The second semi is wide open and almost any ten songs could qualify but with the right staging and performance, I expect to see Macedonia back in the final.

ARMENIA; NOT ALONE - ARAM MP3

The deserving favourite to win although I think the contest is far more open that the betting odds suggest. This is the only entry that gave me the "wow factor" on first hearing and the song structure and production are really fantastic. With so many ballads, it's going to be hard for any one of them to stand out and I think Aram MP3 can look a little frightening in some shots, but this should give Armenia its best ever Eurovision result.

POLAND; MY SLOWIANIE - DONATAN & CLEO

Like Portugal, Poland are coming back to the contest with a strong entry with tons of ethnic flavour. I prefer the Polish version of the song and she's a fantastic singer. As it has already been such a huge hit, I'm hoping Poland can dip into their huge diaspora but the draw hasn't been kind. I have no idea how this will do with juries but I'd love to see Poland back in the Top 10 for the first time in years.

NORWAY; SILENT STORM - CARL ESPEN

A complete contrast to Poland and probably as a song, the best contemporary entry in this year's contest. I love Carl's warm voice and there are shades of British singer/songwriter John Grant in the whole ambiance of the performance. My big worry that as a very personal song, there may not be enough engagement with the voters to win, but it should be another Top 10 result for Norway.

MONTENEGRO; MOJ SVIJET - SERGEJ CETKOVIC 

I've always been a sucker for a big traditional ethnic Balkan ballad and this ticks all the boxes for me. There's beautiful a beautiful melody and production and Sergej comes across as a real professional who knows how to sell a song. I suspect the Balkan diaspora will vote for this as they have few other entries to choose from and juries will love it. Not only do I think Montenegro will qualify for the first time, I could see them in the Top 10 in the final.

ITALY; LA MIA CITTA - EMMA MARRONE

After having my favourite entry for the last two years, Italy slips down my list this year. I was very excited when I heard that Emma Marrone would be going to Eurovision as she's one for my favourite Italian artists, but the song is a little too "full on" for Eurovision. Nevertheless, it's one of the few authentic rock songs in his year's contest and Italy should continue their Top 10 record.

DENMARK; CLICHE LOVE SONG - BASIM

There are several entries that could have made my Top 10 but this is the last one that I chose. The comparisons with Bruno Mars are obvious and the big stage in Copenhagen and the late draw will also help. Again it's instantly catchy and they look like they are having fun, a rare commodity this year. If I was to pick a winner before seeing any rehearsals, this would be it.

The ones that just missed my Top 10 are Greece, Malta and Moldova.

 

torsdag, 17 april 2014 10:49

Michael´s top 10!

As I always do around this time of year, I have dived into my reservoir of Eurovision people (former participants, commentators, songwriters, journalists, you name it!) and asked them to pick their top 10 from this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

My third expert this year is Michael James Down, renowned songwriter, who returns for the second consecutive year. Check out his 2013 top 10. Michael had songs in three national pre-selections this year, in Finland, Hungary and Malta.  

THE NETHERLANDS; CALM BEFORE THE STORM - THE COMMON LINNETS
My favourite - I absolutely LOVE the vibe of this song. Perfect melodies over a subtle bluegrass production - yes please! I think this will either be top 5 or bottom 5. eek!


SWEDEN; UNDO - SANNA NIELSEN

Contender to win in my opinion. Great song, great singer, great staging...


SPAIN; DANCING IN THE RAIN - RUTH LORENZO

Great song. Well constructed. If Ruth can get the vocals spot on on the night I think Spain might finish on the left hand side of the scoreboard.


UNITED KINGDOM; CHILDREN OF THE UNIVERSE - MOLLY SMITTEN-DOWNES

When I first heard/saw this I wasn't sure... I didn't think the prechorus fitted in with the rest of the song and I thought the singer looked a bit too Denmark 2013. However, I think the chorus is very strong and the overall vibe seems to be modern enough to finish in a decent position. After a few listens I have the song in my top 5... but I'm still not sure if the song is as instantly appealing as some of the others in the contest. Let's see...


AZERBAIJAN; START A FIRE - DILARA KAZIMOVA 

Ok, so... taking the country out of the picture and just looking at the song, I think this is simply wondeful. The melodies, the vocals, the basic yet professionally elegant production - everything just hits the spot for me. I don't think it's going to win but I think Azerbaijan will continue their run of success.


IRELAND; HEARTBEAT - CAN-LINN feat KASEY SMITH

I love how this song uses elements from the traditional music of the country it's reresenting. The singer looks gorgeous and the whole package is very well put together. I think Ireland will be in the big final once again! Great song!


FRANCE; MOUSTACHE - TWIN TWIN

Modern, chart-friendly and something that could actually have a life outside Eurovision. I have a feeling that this is one of the contenders to win (but what do I know?!)


LATVIA; CAKE TO BAKE - AARZEMNIEKI

I think this is so catchy... quirky, fun and something totally unexpected from Latvia. Again, I don't know if it will qualify but it's in my top 10.


PORTUGAL; QUERO SER TUA - SUZY

TOTALLY EUROVISION! Do I think this will qualify? Usually I would say no, but in such a below par year I think it stands a chance! Summer is just around the corner!


UKRAINE; TICK-TOCK - MARIA YAREMCHUK

This song seems to split many but I think it's catchy and hooky enough to stick in the listener's mind... besides, in a year full of ballads I think this could actually finish in quite a respectable scoreboard position.

 

Other 2014 expert evaluations; 
Páll Óskar
Jógvan

One of Norway's leading national newspapers, VG, is in trouble after an editorial in today's paper edition, concerning Conchita Wurst's victory in Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday. It is the Norwegian Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud, Sunniva Ørstavik (pic), who has made a complaint to the Norwegian Press Complaints Comission. 

In the editorial we can read; "The bearded lady won Melodi Grand Prix. (*) Challengers next year will be the giant ape from Borneo and the singing camel." (*VG uses the name "Melodi Grand Prix, which is the Norwegian pre-selection, also when speaking of Eurovision Song Contest.)

In a press release Ørstavik says; "I find VG's pre-historical prejudices, where comparisons are being drawn between this weekend's Melodi Grand Prix vinner and apes and camels, upsetting. If this is meant humoristically, I find it tasteless." 

220px-Hanne Skartveit 0002VG's political editor, Hanne Skartveit, says the newspaper has received reactions to the editorial. 

"It was meant as a critical comment on the prejudices people have, by using former circus history, where people who were different were displayed in circuses. Our aim was to make fun of the prejudices." Skartveit said in a comment to the newspaper Dagbladet, earlier today. 

Skartveit continues; "We realize the editorial is being misunderstood, meaning we havent managed to make it clear enough. We are, and are supposedto be strong defenders of a diverse society, and our job is to fight against prejudice." She also admits that as the newspaper's political editor, anything printed on pages 2 and 3 is her responsibility. 

The Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud says that their reason for reporting VG to the Press Complaints Comission is that a large number of people have to face daily harrassment based on their gender expression. She finds that the editorial legitimates this kind of degrading behavior, almost to the extent of urging it.

There is a new article in the Norwegian Code of Practice which governs stereotyping and stigmatizing of people's uniqueness andidentity. This complaint might give us some answers to how the new article will be used. 

She is also pleased with the reactions against the editorial, as this shows us that people care about this issue and that they are willing to show engagement.

Ørstavik finds Conchita Wurst's victoy in Eurovision Song Contest important, also in a human rights perspective. 

conchita wiki

Source; dagbladet.no
Photos; wikipedia.org

 

Yesterday we finally got to hear the Eurovision version, and see the video, of the Icelandic entry for Baku, and the language is English. "Mundu eftir mér" has become "Never Forget", which means that Greta Salóme and Jónsi will, like all Icelandic participants after 1997, perform their entry in English on the Eurovision stage. 

grejowin

Greta Salóme and Jónsi, from the shooting of the video ©Gassi Ólafsson

Les denne artikkelen på norsk her.

"Never Forget" has recieved mixed reviews, both at the presentation in Reykjavik and online. Comments range from "Amazing!" and "Fantastic!!" to "Oh no, uninspired English lyrics" and  "Much better in Icelandic." The majority of comments are positive, though, and most people are convinced "Never Forget" will qualify from their semi, and finish top ten in the final. 

 

If the reception of the English lyrics has been mixed, everybody seems to love the video. Words like amazing, fantastic, impressive, goosbumpy have been used, and even people who are not crazy about the song are moved by the video. In spite of not telling the same story as the original lyrics, the video complements both versions wonderfully. Instead of basing the video on the story of the two young lovers they have been inspired by the Icelandic folk tale about the elf girl and the human boy who, naturally, can't have each other. Or can they?

In today's draw of the running order in the semifinals it turned out Iceland will perform second in the first semifinal. Starting second isn't a dream position, but coming after the rather loud entry of Montenegro is definitely a good thing for a quality song like "Never Forget". 

Sources; ruv.is, eurovision.tv, escnorge.net
Photo; artist's own, by permission 

Første prøvedag her i "center of the Euroverse" er over, som dere har lest om i vår oppsummeringsartikkel. Jeg har vært på plass i Wien i to dager allerede, og er i gang med de sedvanlige enten/eller-intervjuene, som artistene wirker å sette stor pris på.

Det er imidlertid mye som skjer på en gang her, og MYE tid kastes bort med å stå utenfor intervjuboksene og vente på tur. Og i tillegg kan det se ut som om laptopen min er i ferd med å ta kvelden, for det tar eeeeeeeeeevigheter å laste opp intervjuene til Youtube. Hvilket er en av grunnene til at de ikke ligger ute enda. Men de kommer! 

Mens dere venter på mer "juicy" stoff kan dere jo kose dere med noen inntrykk fra denne fantastiske byen, og pressesenteret i Stadthalle. 

 

torsdag, 27 november 2014 15:06

Små endringer i Söngvakeppnin

To direktesendte semifinaler og en finale er det "nye" konseptet RÚV har landet på for Söngvakeppnin 2015. Semifinalene går av stabelen 31.januar og 7.februar, mens selve finalen avholdes 14.februar.

Totalt 258 bidrag ble sendt inn til RÚV innen fristen, som også i år ble forlenget med en uke. En komite, bestående av komponister, tekstforfattere, musikere og representanter fra RÚV, har nå lyttet gjennom de innsendte demoene, og har valgt 12 bidrag som er gjennom til semifinalestadiet.

Dette betyr at vi vil se to semifinaler bestående av seks sanger hver. Det er ikke opplyst om hvor mange bidrag som vil gå til finalen eller hvorvidt alle finalistene skal velges av seerne eller om det også i år vil være wild-cards.  Basert på tidligere år er det imidlertid trolig at tre bidrag fra hver semifinale vil gå direkte til finale, og at en jury vil dele ut wild-card til ytterligere et eller to bidrag.

Som mange andre kringkastere har islandingene vært litt fram og tilbake med format på utvelgelsene sine de senere årene, men det er stort sett små endringer fra år til år. I fjor hadde de to semifinaler som ble sendt i opptak, uten publikum til stede, og så en direktesendt finale. Mange islandinger var misfornöyd med å ikke kunne være tilstede under semifinalene, og i år går RÚV altså for direktesendte semifinaler også.

Både semifinalene og finalen avholdes i Háskólabíó, samme sted som fjorårets finale fant sted. Háskólabíó har en publikumskapasitet på ca 1000.

Nå er det bare å glede seg til at navn på låtskrivere og artister kommer...

Da er förste bidrag til Eurovision SOng Contest 2015 i Wien klart! Makedonia hadde sin tradisjonelle Skopje Fest i kveld, og vinneren ble Daniel Kajmakoski med sangen "Lisja Esenski". 

20 artister kjempet om retten til å representere Makedonia i Wien, blant dem fant vi to tidligere Eurovision-deltagere, nemlig Tamara Todevska og Vlatko Ilevski. Tamara endte på andreplass, kun to poeng bak vinneren. 

escNorge vil komme tilbake med mer informasjon om Daniel, Skopje Fest og "Lisja Esenski". 

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