Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dance Radio Top 25

Last week's #1 - "Thinking of Someone Else" - on WDA1 dance radio, the track is now at the no. 2 spot in the top 25 chart as of this week!

TOP 25 Chart:

chart date 22 FEB 2009

1 GRECO ROMAN Love Will Save The Day (Bass Up Radio Mix)
2 TINATIN Thinking Of Someone Else (Riff and Rays Mix)
3 DONNA SUMMER Fame(The Game) (Dave Aude Club Mix)
4 HILARY DUFF Reach Out (Chico Radio Edit)
5 MADONNA Miles Away (Johnny Vicious Club Mix)
6 PEYTON Joy Comes In The Morning (Original Mix)
7 DUKE Save Me (Wideboys Miami Club Mix)
8 NO HALO Put Your Hans On (Extended Mix)
9 P!NK Sober (Bimbo Jones Club Mix)
10 JENNIFER HUDSON If This Isn't Love (Stonebridge Radio Edit)
11 FUNKERMAN Remember (Extended Mix)
12 ANASTACIA Absolutely Positively (Moto Blanco Mix)
13 ALPHABEAT What Is Happening (Simmons & Christopher Mix)
14 CHRIS "THE GREEK" PANAGHI Time Will Never(Fade Me Away)
15 ALESHA DIXON The Boy Does Nothing (Bimbo Jones Mix)
16 NICKI RICHARDS Bring The Love (Warren Rigg Club Edit)
17 BOOGIE PIMPS Fascinated (Trilogy Project Club Mix)
18 PEYTON All That Matters (Original Mix)
19 PEPPER MASHAY Does Your Mamma Know (Original Mix)
20 SOULCATCHERS Falling For You (Extended Mix)
21 BRANDY Long Distance (Jody den Broeder Club Mix)
22 ALESHA DIXON Breathe Slow (Cahill Club Mix)
23 CAHILL Into My Life (Extended Mix)
24 MICHAEL WOODS/I. DAY Natural High (Out Of Office Mix)
25 DJ NEO f/ SORAYA VIVIAN Groove With You (Soulgangsters Club Mix)


Build-up to Eurovision 2009

And 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

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.

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.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Is It True?" - PRAVDA?

A special feature article on "Is It True", Iceland's Eurovision entry 2009 was published in today's issue of the Ukrainian edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda... Does anyone remember the "Pravda" anecdotes during the communist times? :-) It's still one of the leading post-USSR newspapers today, it really is!

Ironically, "pravda" translated from Russian means "true"... if you also add a question mark to "pravda?" it can be interpreted as "is it true?"

And so it's true... Have a look for yourselves!

Eurovision Gamble Begins!

Still very early days to speculate about the results of the semifinals in Moscow on May 12 & 14 followed by the actual grand finale two days later, however, an interesting non-Icelandic review written by Spain's Rodrigo Romero has been circulating through the internet over the last few days...........

"Iceland has secured a place in the final"

Posted by Rodrigo Romero

In the first super Saturday, when no less than five songs were chosen to fly to Moscow, it was no surprise to see Iceland pick Is it true to represent them in May. Everything works perfectly with this entry, the lyrics are simple, but really beautiful, Johanna is simply lovely, the tune is quite catchy, and one that is easy to keep humming after listening to it once, the voice is sweet but at the same time powerful, the live performance was flawless... it all ads up to the conclusion that there was no better choice to have made, and that Iceland is, I think, beginning to stand out as a real contender to win the whole thing.

One thing is sure: they have secured a spot in the final. There is no way they can be left out; on the one hand, they have televote to rely on; on the other hand, if Johanna doesn't pull it off with televote (and then European public can seriously be locked in a mental health home), she has the jury vote to back her up. Having had the luck to be drawn to a semifinal which still has to produce an impressive song (and a marvelous ballad, which is better than this), it's difficult to see this one blown away; the only real excellent songs so far there are Andorra's and Montenegro's; Finland's, Malta's and Turkey's are ok; Romania's is nothing special, and Armenia's and Belarus' are terrible.

And then, let's not forget that the final will see a 50-50 split between televote and jury vote, and this song is the exact kind that the latter wouldn't doubt to support. So, still expecting for 20 songs to be either presented or chosen, I'd be brave enough to say that it's not too crazy to think about a Reykjavik 2010.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Iceland: Song Selected But Who Wrote It?

Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir won the Icelandic selection with "Is It True".

At 18 Jóhanna is a relative newcomer to the Icelandic music scene but in true Icelandic tradition she has recorded some songs for children's cds as a young teen.

Listen to the song and all other Icelandic contenders at the RÚV Söngvakeppni page

You can also listen to the original demo version by Tinatin at reverbnation and read all about it at Tinatin's MySpace blog.

There is a little discrepancy though, RÚV only mentions Óskar Páll Sveinsson as the writer of the song, but Tinatin wrote it with Chris Neil and aforementioned Oskar Paul. Sort it out guys.

Tónlist has the album with all selections songs (digital), Eurovision CD out soon on Sena.

Special thanks to Jan @ the Moscow Collection !!

Tinatin Iced!

Tinatin's self-penned song “Is It True” co-written with Iceland’s Oskar Paul Sveinsson (Bjork, Steps, S Club 7) and my hero Christopher Neil (Celine Dion, Sheena Easton, Mike & the Mechanics) has been chosen as the Icelandic entry for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Moscow May 12!

“Is It True” to be performed by Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir, was chosen from 217 Icelandic entries, which were pared down to 16 songs for a televised heat in January, leading to the national final.

Iceland will compete in the ultimate Eurovision contest against songs written by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Diane Warren and Patricia Kaas. All the details of Tina's journey to the top are on her blog. Tiinatin and Ayhan Sahin have worked together many times and I have reviewed her work in Billboard on several occasions. I couldn't be more thrilled.

- Chuck Taylor, Billboard Senior Correspondent

What's True and What Isn't?

Over the past week since the Eurovision finals in Iceland, we've witnessed quite a stir in the media about "who wrote the 2009 Icelandic entry?" ("Is It True")

The overall confusion started when the RUV channel that was broadcasting the national finals, initially included only the Icelandic co-writer's name (Oskar Pall Sveinsson) in the TV show credits. But in the follow-up broadcasts, the show's hosts repeatedly announced the three writers individually.

At first it all seemed too trivial, and quite frankly, nobody was too bothered since we were all too busy speculating about the outcome of the competition.

On February 14th, "Is It True" finally won in the national selection process (44%!) and we're officially taking the song to Moscow in mid-May!

What we weren't expecting, however, was the interest that the co-writer situation has sparked among Eurovision fans and the European media.

There was one particular article that caught my eye... have a look.

A few other press articles followed, including German, Russian and Belarusian media outlets.

A lot of these sources are accurate, with a couple of interesting suggestions ("Tinatin is an American singer with Georgian roots and an impressive track record as a songwriter in Iceland"....REALLY??? I didn't know that!!!)

One of the Eurovision Forums in Russian was a real joy to follow - so entertaining! Ranging from Icelandic-entry lovers to those who simply "don't get it", the members of the forum have also tracked down the original demo and they were enthusiastically comparing the two versions and trying to figure out if I wrote the song or just appeared on the demo as a session singer, or maybe at the last minute I had decided to perform the song myself at ESC 2009? VERY COMPLICATED!!!

But I assure you, it's all very simple: "Is It True" was written by Oskar Pall Sveinsson, Christopher Neil and yours truly; the song will be performed in Moscow (just like during the pre-selection in Reykjavik) by the wonderful Johanna; it will not be translated into Icelandic, as some have suggested and/or predicted - and finally, the semifinals (day 1) will be held at Moscow's Olympiyskiy Stadium on May 12th followed by the finals on May 16th, so do make sure you cast your votes during the semifinals accordingly :-)

And one more thing: this exclusive interview was featured in the weekend issue of Novoye Russkoye Slovo, the leading Russian newspaper in America, also published in Russia, Ukraine, Israel and the worldwide web!

P.S. Here are the preliminary charts on the Eurovision website -- the poll results will be updated every Monday based on the fans and potential televoters preferences, so feel free to vote for your favorite (or your least favorite) song by following the link

P.S.s. A little something to make you all... smile :-) a big fan of the song, apparently!

Monday, February 16, 2009

It’s True for Iceland!

Dear Friends,

I am thrilled to confirm that yes, indeed, it's true Iceland! My self-penned song, "Is It True" co-written with Iceland's very own Oskar Paul Sveinsson (Bjork, Steps, S Club 7, etc.) and Christopher Neil (Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Mike & the Mechanics) has now officially been picked as the Icelandic entry for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Moscow this coming May.

As some of you may already know, "Is It True", performed by the wonderfully gifted and beautiful Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir, will be up against some of the upcoming highlights of the contest, including songs written and/or performed by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Diane Warren, Patricia Kaas, to name but a few.

For those of you interested in the details of how this year's Icelandic entry came about (and yes, as you know I am Georgian-born, a Russian citizen after moving to Moscow at the age of 9 and currently living in New York, so why Iceland?) .....

Two hundred and seventeen songs were submitted to the Icelandic broadcaster in their open call for songs for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest pre-selection. Sixteen of those were selected to proceed to the next phase which will include four televised heats in January, leading to the national final.

In an announcement made earlier this morning, Icelandic television broadcaster RÚV made it clear that just over 69,000 votes were cast by the Icelandic public when they chose Jóhanna's performance of the song "Is It True" as the nations representative for 2009 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The results clearly show that when it came down to choosing an entry to fulfill Iceland's Eurovision hopes and dreams, there was really only one choice.

To watch the youtube of both the national semi-final and final performances of "Is It True", please follow these links:

Semi-final Performance:

Semi-final performance

National finals

Official Eurovision YouTube homepage

Thank you all for your continued support and look forward to seeing you either in Moscow or live from the Russian capital on national European TV and/or online webcast!

In the meantime, stay tuned and don't forget to vote for Iceland (of all countries!) on May 12th! :-)