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Malmö Messages: yesterday’s pressconference

photo: EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett Yesterday, after winning the tickets to the final, the 10 winners headed to the winners’ pressconference. We of Eurovision Universe were present at this press conference. Cyprus Silia Kapsis said it was a huge opportunity to be here. She was super proud and super happy. About her country of birth, Australia, she said she was proud as well that the Australians showed their culture. It was her goal to make her country proud and after this, to grow as a pop artist. Serbia Teya Dora said it was crazy; the rehearsals, the performance; it was all super exciting and she was happy. She wants to make her country proud and give the best she can, with the best placement. She loves it that so many people watched her performance. And about Konstrakta, who was in the introduction film, she loved her amazing energy. Lithuania Silvester Belt thanks the audience. To all the bullies from the past he has a message: “I know you are struggling. And to the little boy I was: I love you so much”. The biggest challenge this week was sleeping. About singing in the Lithuanian language he said: “only Lithuanians wanted me to sing in English. Everybody else said I should sing in Lithuanian.” Ireland Bambie Thug said they are completely dissociated after this succes, but also that they are super proud. They have a small team and they are en independent artist, yet they reached this. And also, they are the first non binary artist in the contest. Bambie revealed that they met the rules of the EBU: texts like Ceasefire and Free Palestine were not allowed, so Crown The Witch was the only text left. On the question what made them special, Bambie answered “What makes me special is that I’m a queer”. Ukraine Alyona Alyona explained that she and Jerry Heil raised fund to rebuild Ukrainian schools. She called for donation. Half of the money is there, but you can donate via United24. “Children are our future”, Alyona Alyona stated. Jerry also stated that it was great to be in Malmö now. It was a super possibility to say thank you for your help. And yes, they felt pressure, because they felt Ukraine expected something from them. Croatia The performance was way better than the rehearsals. Before going on stage, Baby Lasagna tried to empty his mind, but before him Poland performed; that song got stuck in his mind. About his first place in the odds he said that odds are just numbers, it’s not over ’til it’s done. He felt comfortable in Malmö as Eurovision is, in his opinion, the next level of professional, with all the sound- and camerawork. The energy to him was fine. Slovenia Raiven said she was grateful. She was unsure about the result and doubting all the time. That meant going to the final was a huge surprise for her. When it comes to making music and visuals she went with her instinct. “The staging is really me, and I am very satisfied with it”, she said. About the fact that she was called Eurovision’s opera diva, she said that it is great to hear that people checked her background. Finland It was our own Kal (!!) who had the opportunity to ask windows95man a question. Due to the lyrics of the song “No rules”, Kal was interested to know which of the many rules of Eurovision had to go in his opinion. “More nakedness! For everybody!”, windows95man replied without any hesitation. Windows95man also told that he got help in preparing for the show. Before the show the men do some physical exercises. Portugal Iolanda from Portugal thinks that music can be whatever you like. She wrote the song in her grandmothers house. Her message is that you can do a lot with not so much money. She designed the act with the stage director and the choreographer. She also added that she believes music connects. Luxembourg “I nearly had a heart attack”, Tali explained, “It was brutal, but the camera was approaching and I thought…. maybe”. In Tali’s opinion Eurovision is a beautiful contet that unites. She was thrilled and was hoping to inspire other countries to return to Eurovision. “Music is my life, my therapy, my everything”, Tali stated.

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Malmö Messages: Tonight's participants

Malmö Messages: party animals, tradition and strong women

Croatia: For a long time, Croatia was the number one with “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” according to the bookmakers. Now he’s in second place. The story is known: the song tells about young people leaving Croatia to find their fortune elsewhere. This is depicted by someone walking with a suitcase. The whole group wears traditional clothing. Baby Lasagna has not been praised for his singing talent so far, but that doesn’t seem to harm him. Split or Zagreb next year? Iceland: The friendly Hera Björk, who kindly spoke to us a few days ago, is back. With flair and enthusiasm, and without us having to worry about her vocals, she stands on stage. However, we do have a concern: the song. It doesn’t seem to make much of an impact yet. While Hera easily made it to the final in 2010, the odds currently give her a 29th place. The final seems far away. Slovenia: Many bodies around the Slovenian Raiven as she sings her Veronika. The dancers, all in bodysuits and with a lot of nudity, portray the story of this strong woman with her. Vocally, everything is well. But whether the beautiful but sad story of Veronika will be understood? We hope so! With a 19th place, the bookmakers are positive for now. Finland: What Käärijä can do, Windows95man must have thought he could do too. We have our doubts about thát, but what he and his companion Henri Piispanen definitely succeed in is throwing a party. With the blurred Windows95 logo, the underwear, and the way too short 1970s jeans, the entry stands out. “No rules,” sings the man who follows the rules perfectly. Moldova: We don’t understand it. Why wasn’t Natalia Barbu, who sings her “In the Middle,” allowed to bring all her look-alikes from the national final? Now she has added everything: butterflies, blossoms, wings, a violin… but she stands there alone. In 2007, she had to pay for her trip if she didn’t make it to the final. She did make it, but hopefully, she doesn’t have such a deal with the Moldovan broadcaster again. The bookmakers have her at 36th place.

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Malmö Messages: returning artists, strong women and underwear

Iceland is represented this year, 14 years after her participation in 2010, by Hera Björk. This time, she sings “Scared of Heights”. She starts on a sort of black platform. She has swapped her reddish-brown dress for a golden one with fringes. She is alone on stage without dancers. We see lots of lasers in the background. It seems like Hera is mainly focusing on singing. Given her past experiences, that will undoubtedly be good. And Hera is impressed, as she told us: “It was fantastic! It’s much bigger and more professional than in 2010”. Photo: EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett After the Irish witch comes a song about a witch from Slovenia. That is to say: Veronika really existed and was accused of witchcraft. Raiven sings about her being a powerful woman. She wears a silver bodysuit. Those who know the music video will recognize a lot. She starts off sitting and adds a lot of drama to the whole performance. She is surrounded by five dancers; and no, they are not naked, but wearing a skin-colored bodysuit. photo: EBU/Corinne Cumming Windows95man and Henri Piispanen show more or less the same act for Finland with “No Rules” as they did during UMK. Henri in denim and Windows95man in his underwear and then in a still not very revealing denim. The difference is that the Windows 95 logo is now blurred. It’s still advertising, and that’s just not allowed. Although he sings about the absence of rules, he still has to follow the rules. “I was nervous at first, but the more we performed the better it went. I burned my sock from the fireworks, so it was even quite dangerous. But it’s nice to be in Malmö and rehearse with all the professional technical stuff”. Photo: EBU/Corinne Cumming Also returning: Natalia Barbu. We have to go all the way back to 2007 for her last participation. Now she sings “In the Middle” for Moldova. Interestingly, she hasn’t brought the ladies who were around her during the national final. According to sources, that would be a matter of money. So Natalia is alone on the stage now. We see butterflies and blossoms at the LED screens. During the part with the violin, wings are shown on the LED screen, making it seem like Natalia is an angel. photo: EBU/Corinne Cumming in collaboration with Eurovision Artists

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🇫🇮 Road to Malmö: Finland

We can not wait for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. Therefore, we have a closer look at one of the contestants every day. Today: Finland. Windows95man Teemu Keisteri, born in 1985 in Espoo, Finland, has emerged as a prominent figure in the visual arts scene, celebrated for his creation of the Ukkeli character in 2008. This iconic figure, a testament to Keisteri’s whimsical and culturally insightful style, adorns apparel, postcards, and tableware, capturing the essence of Finnish life with humor and personality. Known also as the Windows 95 man during his DJ performances, Keisteri’s diverse talents span across visual and video arts. Educated in photography at the Lahti Institute of Design, he discovered his passion lay with visual arts, leading him to establish Kalleria in Helsinki’s vibrant Kallio area, further solidifying his status as a dynamic artist and DJ. Henri Piispanen Henri Piispanen, born in 1994, is a multifaceted Finnish talent, acclaimed as a voice actor, singer, and presenter. Noteworthy for voicing characters in “PAW Patrol,” “Lego Ninjago,” and more, Piispanen’s diverse skills shine through his roles and as the lead vocalist and bassist for Pasa. His collaboration with Teemu Keisteri as Windows95man won the 2024 UMK, highlighting his dynamic presence in Finnish entertainment. Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) In the past, the national final for Finland was called Euroviisut. Since 2012, we have Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK). The last few years, it’s a contest with 7 contestants. The winner is chosen by jury and televote. This year, Sara Siipola was the hot favourite to win the contest. She won the jury vote with a landslide. However, televote overruled them; windows95man gained 32,35% of the televote. Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest The first ever Finnish contestant for the Eurovision Song Contest was Laila Kinunen, back in 1961. A long road with bad scores and even 3 zeros followed; in 2006 the monsters of Lordi broke the spell and brought the Eurovision Song Contest to Helsinki with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. Käärijä almost did it again last year. With his “Cha cha cha” he won the televote and became 2nd overall. The Bookmakers Finland is currently no. 14 in the betting odds to win the contest. Looks like it is likely that Finland will reach the final; it is also likely that a score like last year is a bridge too far for the country of the thousand lakes. And this is the song:  

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©EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett About Quick Facts NameTeemu Keisteri Born22 August 1985 Nationality🇫🇮 Finnish National SelectionUuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2024 In Eurovision2024 Malmö SongNo rules! (2024) Biography Teemu Keisteri, born in 1985 in Espoo, is a distinguished Finnish visual artist based in Helsinki. His fame largely stems from the creation of the Ukkeli character in the summer of 2008, a figure prominently featured on apparel, postcards, and tableware. Additionally, he is recognized for his persona as the Windows 95 man during his performances as a DJ. Keisteri explores cultural trends and the nuances of Finnish lifestyle with a distinct sense of humor, frequently incorporating his own persona into his work. His academic background includes studying photography at the Lahti Institute of Design, where he came to the realization that his true calling was in visual arts rather than photography. Beyond his work in visual arts, Keisteri has made a name for himself as a video artist and DJ. He operates Kalleria, his own gallery, located in the Kallio area of Helsinki. In a notable achievement, Keisteri and Henri Piispanen, performing together. Keisteri under the alias Windows95man. They clinched the title at the 2024 Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) with their track “No Rules”. Henri Piispanen, born in 1994, is a prominent Finnish voice actor, singer, and presenter. His notable contributions include voicing characters such as Vainu in PAW Patrol, Lloyd in Lego Ninjago, Samu in Samu ja Salla, and Lauri in The Happy Robinson Family movie. Additionally, Piispanen is the lead vocalist and bass player for the band named Pasa. In 2012, he was featured as one of the seven hosts on the television series Summeri. The song, “No rules”, managed to reach the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest. In the final itself, Teemu and Henri reached a 19th place. Entries No rules! Country🇸🇲 Country Yearyear Language🇬🇧 English LyricsHenri PiispanenJussi RoineTeemu Keisteri MusicHenri PiispanenJussi RoineTeemu Keisteri BackingsHenri Piispanen DancersJesse WijnansMatti Maxim Results Semi Points: 59Position: 7Running order: 10 Results Finals Points: 38Position: 19Running order: 17

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🇫🇮 Window95man wins UMK 2024

Windows95man will be Käärijä’s follow up with “No Rules”! The duo will represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest. They lost the jury votes, however with a big peak in points they won the televote with 313 points in total.  They will perform in the second semi final in Malmö. 

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🇫🇮 Finland in search for Käärijä’s successor

All eyes are on Finland this year. After the success of Käärijä, everybody’s anxious to hear what the Nordic country will bring. Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK), the Finnish national final, contains 7 songs. None of the artists ever took part in the national final. The show starts at 20:00 CET and you can watch it here. These are the songs: nr. Title Artist   1 Kuori mua Sini Sabotage 2 Dancing with demons Cyan Kicks 3 Glow Jesse Markin 4 Vox populi Mikael Gabriel & Nublu 5 Paskana Sara Siipola 6 Mania Sexmane 7 No rules Windows95man

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🇫🇮 Blast from the past: Finland 1989

We know a lot about Eurovision and we want to share this knowledge with you! Therefore we’d like to bring you a blast from the past. Today: Anneli Saaristo, who represented Finland in 1989. Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest Finland’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest has been marked by a variety of performances and results since the country’s debut in the competition in 1961. Over the years, Finland has experienced both highs and lows. Finland’s initial years in Eurovision were tough. For many years, the nation struggled to make a significant impact on the scoreboard. They even scored ‘nul points’ (zero points) in 1963, 1965, and 1982. Their best score was a 6th place for Marion Rung and her “Tom Tom Tom” in 1973.Finland’s most iconic moment in the contest came in 2006 when the hard rock band Lordi won with the song “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. Not only did this victory mark Finland’s first and, so far, only win in the contest, but it was also historic because Lordi was a hard rock band with a monster image – quite a departure from the usual Eurovision acts.This year, Finland reached the top again, winning the televote and reaching a second place overall. Again, the song “Cha-cha-cha” and Käärijä’s performance faced a unique sound and performance. Photo: Corinne Cumming/EBU Euroviisut, the national final In those days, the national selection was called Euroviisut. Ten songs competed in the contest that was held on February 4th in the Kulttuuritalo in Helsinki. Note that Anneli Saaristo sang two songs in the competition! Two songs are not in Finnish but in Swedish. The entire show can be watched here. Oi Äiti Maa, sung by Anneli Saaristo, 74 pts, 3rd Kan Det Vara Kärlek?, Mervi Hiltunen, 72 pts, 4th Hiljaisuutta, Kirka, 62 pts, 5th Rauhaton Sydän, Meiju Suvas, 24 pts, 10th Huominen Eurooppa, Tanjalotta Räikkä, 39 pts, 8th La Dolce Vita, Anneli Saaristo, 110 pts, 1st Minä Olen Muistanut, Kim Lönholm, 52 pts, 7th Rakkauden Laulut, Sonja Lumme, 62 pts, 5th Vad Finns Kvar, Cris Owen, 103 pts, 2nd Kahden Juhla, Marjorie, 31 pts, 9th Anneli Saaristo In the early 1970s, Saaristo participated in pop song contests. Throughout the decade, she worked as the soloist for a dance orchestra and mainly recorded cover versions of pop songs. In the spring of 1978, Saaristo competed in the Finnish Eurovision qualifiers Euroviisut with the song “Sinun Kanssasi, Sinua Ilman,” which became her first hit. Her next recording was “Aamulla Rakkaani Näin,” which Lea Laven had performed in the same qualifiers. Saaristo’s first album, “Aina Aika Rakkauden,” was released in 1980. Published by a small record company, the album was a commercial disappointment. In 1982, Saaristo participated in the Autumn Tune competition with the song “Tyhjät Sanat” and in the 1984 Euroviisut with “Sä Liian Paljon Vaadit,” finishing third. Both songs were hits, and her subsequent albums sold better than the first. In the fall of 1988, Saaristo received a press award in the Autumn Tune for her song “Taivaspaikka.” In 1989, she performed in the Eurovision qualifiers with the songs “Oi Äiti Maa” and “La Dolce Vita,” the latter winning. At the Eurovision Song Contest in Lausanne, “La Dolce Vita” placed seventh. The “La Dolce Vita” album achieved gold status. Some of Saaristo’s most renowned songs include “Viimeinen Känni,” “Evakon Laulu,” “Päättyneet Juhlat,” “Appelsiinipuita Aavikkoon,” and “Kypsän Naisen Blues.” In the project “Miten Enkeleitä Vietellään,” she interpreted Bertolt Brecht’s erotic poems alongside Monna Kamu and Liisa Tavi. In the 2000s, Saaristo participated in Rakkauden Kiertokulku concerts with Eija Kantola and Marjorie. Saaristo has also acted, for instance, in Turku City Theater. In 2005, she appeared in Timo Koivusalo’s movie Kaksipäisen Kotkan Varjossa. That same year, she was nominated for the Iskelmä-Finlandia award. In 2011, Saaristo was granted an artist pension. In recent years, she has performed with pop singer Fredi on the “Fredi’s Guest” concert tour. Controversy When Anneli Saaristo took part in Euroviisut and won it, this was of course mentioned in the fan magazines. A Finnish reporter in one of the magazines wrote about Anneli: “She looked like a nightmare already in 1978 when she for the firs time sang in our national heats but the 11 years since then have done their job well: there is no word to describe her looks!”. The writer of the article apologized one magazine later; he explained the article was not a proper translation of a letter in Finnish, and was mixed up with another article, that should have been published. La Dolce Vita “La Dolce Vita” is perhaps one of the most iconic songs associated with Anneli Saaristo, especially on the international stage. It was Finland’s official entry to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1989. The title, which translates to “The Sweet Life” in Italian, captures the essence of living life to the fullest and enjoying its pleasures. The song’s participation in Eurovision marked a significant moment for Finland. Competing in Lausanne, Switzerland, “La Dolce Vita” achieved a commendable 7th place finish. This placement was a notable achievement for Finland at that time. The tune itself is melodious and catchy, combining traditional pop elements with a distinct Finnish touch. Anneli’s powerful voice and emotive rendition made the performance memorable, helping the song stand out amidst other competitors. While “La Dolce Vita” may not have secured the top spot at Eurovision, it cemented its position as one of Anneli Saaristo’s most celebrated tracks. Following the contest, the song enjoyed considerable airplay and popularity in Finland and even gained recognition in various parts of Europe. The song’s success also contributed to Anneli’s continued prominence in Finnish music, further showcasing her versatility and talent.

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Is Sweden in for the win?

Is Sweden in for the win? Your guess is as good as ours. Currently the bookmakers predict a 52% chance for Sweden to win the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. That would be their 7th victory. Currently Ireland holds the record, also with 7. But bookies are bookies, we have our own prediction. We agree with Sweden for the win, but here is our entire top-5: 1.Sweden – Loreen – Tattoo 2.Finland – Käärijä – Cha-cha-cha 3.France – La Zarra – Évidement 4.Israel – Noa Kirel – Unicorn 5.Austria – Teya and Salena – Who the hell is Edgar? But…. tonight, 01.00 CET, we know more!

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Käärijä Eurovision Finland

In the spotlight: Käärijä

The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will take place in Liverpool on Saturday 13th of May. One of the favorites for the win is Käärijä, who represents Finland. But who is Käärijä ? Let’s give him a spotlight! Käärijä (Jere Pöyhönen) is a Finnish singer, rapper and songwriter born in Helsinki on October 21, 1993.He grew up in the Ruskeasanta district of Vantaa, near the Finnish capital Helsinki. While growing up Käärijä was a hockey player. Later on, he discovered his passion for music, while learning to play the drums. Start musical career and stage name  His stage name comes from a joke with his friends about gambling (kääriminen), a recurring theme in his music. In 2014, Jere was rushed into hospital, when he was diagnosed with a sudden serious illness in the colon. His condition worsened fast to the point Jere’s life was threatened due to the illness. Emergency surgery followed, after which he started to recover.  However, the incident signalled a turning point in his artistic career, allowing him to focus solely on producing music. Pöyhönen self-released his music until 2017 when he signed a contract  with the record label Monsp Records. He subsequently released the double single “Koppi tules” / “Nou roblem”. The following year, he released an extended play, titled “Peliä”. His debut album Fantastista was released in 2020. This album was announced in a very special way:   At the beginning of 2023 he took part in Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, the Finnish preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest. The song he brought, is nothing more than a cozy song about a night out, and the drinks that are drunk, but catchy it absolutely is. Nevertheless, “Cha cha cha” convincingly won Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu.  Will he also win he Eurovision Song Contest 2023? We will know on Saturday.                                    

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