What a schlagerfiasko! Fortsätt läsa
Time for semi-final 1 in Germany, with no Eric Saade and a lot of crap. Fortsätt läsa
We had a fab evening at EuroClub last night. Fortsätt läsa
Final Eurovision round-up, with the Nordic nations bringing everything to a close. Fortsätt läsa
It’s a huge night for schlager, with contest finals taking place in Iceland, Norway and Finland, and the second week of Melodifestivalen in Sweden. There is nothing happening in Denmark.
There’s been plenty of comment about all the finals in the past few weeks on Schlagerfiasko, so we’re just going to briefly discuss each one and then reserve analysis for the morning after. Assuming there’s no drinking involved in tonight’s proceedings. I had plenty of refreshment yesterday at lunchtime. Which started at 1pm and ended at 8. I think. I can’t remember.
ANYWAY, there’s much anticipation in Oslo this evening about friend of Schlagerfiasko Stella Mwangi. Can she win? Her song has been at the top of Norway’s iTunes chart since it won in Skien, and would be fantastic on the stage at Düsseldorf. Other songs to to look out for is the marvellous friend of Schlagerfiasko, Hanne Sørvaag, who has a great chance of success this evening. Babel Fish will also provide competition, and Helena Bøksle is also in with an outsider opportunity… Hopefully, Åste of Åste & Rikke will be on good form – she had to miss a rehearsal this week because of illness, so Schlagerfiasko sends its best wishes.
Helene Bøksle – Vardlokk
Sie Gubba – Alt du vil ha
Babel Fish – Depend On Me
The Lucky Bullets – Fire Below
The BlackSheeps – Dance Tonight
Stella Mwangi – Haba Haba
Åste & Rikke – Not That Easy (Ah-åh-ah-åh)
Hanne Sørvaag – You’re Like A Melody
Across the sea in Iceland, another friend of Schlagerfiasko, Erna Hrönn, will be hoping for success. She faces stiff competition from past winner Jóhanna, while Jógvan Hansen and Matti Matts could also break through. Sjónni Brink’s song is also getting a lot of attention, and could finish at the top. This is definitely a wide-open competition, and I’m not sure that Jóhanna can be assured of victory as many fans outside Iceland assume.
Haraldur Reynisson – Ef ég hefði vængi
Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir – Ástin mín eina
Yohanna – Nótt
Matthías Matthíasson & Erla Björg Káradóttir – Eldgos
Jógvan Hansen – Ég lofa
Magni Ásgeirsson – Ég trúi á betra líf
Sigurjón’s friends – Aftur heim
Finland’s final selection comes down to ten songs from a very un-schlager selection. The bookie’s favourite is Paradise Oskar (friend of… etc etc), with his gentle ballad. I’m also hoping that (friend of…) Saara Aalto will attract attention as well.
Eveliina Määttä – Dancing In The Dark
Sami Hintsanen – Täältä maailmaan
Milana Misic – Sydämeni kaksi maata
Paradise Oskar – Da da dam
Cardiant – Rapture In Time
Johanna Iivanainen – Luojani mun
Father McKenzie – Good Enough
Marko Maunuksela – Synkän maan tango
Saara Aalto – Blessed With Love
Stala & So – Pamela
Paradise Oskar is not Paradise Oskar’s real name. This may not be a surprise to some of you. His real name is Axel Ehnström, and he likes to sing.
Axel is 19, but with a voice that sounds older, and he’s hoping for Euroviisut glory with Da Da Dam. It’s a ballad about the environment, which Schlagerfiasko was distinctly cynical about at first (because I’m miserable) – but then we pressed the play button on the song and loved it. A meandering song that showcases Axel’s guitar and vocal abilities, it’ll certainly have a few fans in Finland come Saturday.
He started playing and singing while he was at school, and he’s taken his musical studies onto the Pop & Jazz Konservatorio in Helsinki.
Hello Axel! Choose one -
Hello! Schlagerfiasko is a really nice blog you got. Thanks for showing interest in me!
That’s quite alright Axel. Thank you for talking to us. That’s all the thanks out of the way, and they do sure take up a lot of blog space! Now, if you could choose one word to describe your song, what would it be?
Who are your musical heroes?
At the moment, Jimmy Webb, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits.
Tell us one thing we would never know about you…
If I could afford it, I would retire and just eat for the rest of my life. I love food.
Saara Aalto talked about food for that one, too. It must be a Finnish thing. What are you most excited about for Saturday?
I’m excited about the fact that a lot of people are going to hear a song that I’ve written.
Finally, teach us a phrase in Finnish…
Minä yritin varoittaa sinua. It means ”I tried to warn you.”
He did. He really did.
Here’s the song:
Photo: Sari Gustafsson / Lehtikuva / Helsingin Sanomat
So, there we were, enjoying Euroviisut on Friday (actually, when it was being broadcast we were onto our second bottle of overpriced red wine in a bar, so this is from when we were enjoying the recap, which is working now), and it was all going quite well.
Anyhow, Soma Manuchar had been on, having nicked one of Cher’s Turn Back Time-era outfits, and it was very nice, all good fun.
Then that lovely young man Paradise Oskar appeared on his stool. And that was also very good. His voice is a lot deeper than you’d expect.
But then Jimi Constantine arrived. If you haven’t seen what happened next, watch this before continuing.
And there is our problem. We’ve already said that Party To Party is a fairly crap song, with clichéd lyrics and nothing that hasn’t been done much better elsewhere. But we didn’t expect a performance that would feature equal amounts of arrogance and incompetence – and that was before he took his top off for the 475th time that day (we’ve seen better, Jimi).
Jimi’s vocal was nothing special, not that he actually did much singing, preferring to scream at the audience. Taking a sign from a supporter, then pausing to read it? That’s the sort of antic you can get up to when you’re Robbie Williams (Jimi seems to have been watching a lot of Robbie’s performances), but when you’re trying to launch a career, it smacks of PROBLEM.
Throwing out wads of cash into the crowd was just offensive – a musical feat only exceeded in recent times by Travie McCoy’s Billionaire in how to shit all over an audience, frankly.
Finnish blogger Tobias Larsson described it perfectly in a tweet (@schlagerfiasko) to us, when he described his reaction to the performance as ‘myötähäpeä’: ”Feeling ashamed on behalf of somebody who hasn’t got the wit to be ashamed of himself.”
Suffice to say that the performance didn’t make the top three placings.
The remaining two performers both joined Paradise Oskar in the final: Milana Misic, who delivered a nice vocal in a disjointed song, and Father McKenzie, who were solid from the start and could do really well in the final. We’d want to see this in Eurovision – it’s quirky and fun, and above all, it was professional.