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Sakis on the Eurovision finals!

15 May 2009 / 14:05:39  GRReporter
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The second night of the Eurovision semifinals in Moscow has ended. A famous Russian quartet opened the show with a cover song of the Italian “Volare” in a version accustomed for balalaika. Dancers dressed as Russian dolls and Kazaks made their appearance on the stage, and the first rows turned blue with Greek flags.

Prior to the announcement of the official opening by the hosts Andrej Malahov and Natalia Vodianova, the song “Believe”, which brought Eurovision in Moscow, was performed in an instrumental version for balalaikas. A curious fact is that although the competition took place in a huge stadium with capacity for 36 000 people, the audience only consisted of 20 000, since the stage itself took up a lot of space.  

The semifinals started with the Republic of Croatia and Igor Cukrov’s “Lijepa Tena”. Cukrov’s beautiful voice won him the award for a debut at the Split festival.

Ireland was represented by Sinead Mulvey and the band “Black Daisy” with the song “Et cetera”. The rock band, consisting of four eager to play girls, participated in the “Eurostar” reality.

Latvia’s appearance, accompanied by an argument about the language of the performance, took place despite their hesitations with regard to the economical crisis. Their song, Intars Busulis’s “Probka”, made a dynamic presentation, despite the slightly nervous stage presence of their performer.

The Serbian contestant, Marko Kon, formed his first band when he was 19. He plays the clarinet, the flute and the saxophone, and together with Alexander Kovach makes history in Serbian music. Their signatures stand at the bottom of at least 800 song lyrics. Marko Kon and Milaan presented the song “Shoes” (Cipela) in a Balkan punk style. However, their performance did not get the deserved appreciation and it didn’t make it for the finals.

The polish performer, Lidia Kopania, had been compared to Barbara Streisand because of her 8 octaves voice. She sang the ballade “I don’t wanna leave”. “…but it’s just my fate…” says the song, and Lidia’s fate was to leave without accumulating the voices needed to get her to the finals.

Alexander Rybak was four when he moved with his parents from Belarus to Norway. The rock ballade “Fairytale” is dedicated to his ex-girlfriend, who’s now married to another guy. Rybak was raised with music- his mother was a piano player and before being chosen to represent Norway in Eurovision, he participated in the “Music Idol” reality where he made it to the final four.

Christina Metaxas, the Cyprus contestant, is one of the two youngest participants. She is only 16 but already a poetry and children stories writer. The lyrics of the song she participated with, “Firefly,” were written by her brother, also a singer, who took part in this year’s “X-factor”- the Greek music reality. Unfortunately, the melting ballade will not move forward in the competition on Saturday.

After twelve years of silence, Slovakia is finally appearing in Eurovision. Kamil Mikulcik and Nela Pociskova presented the song “Let it move”. He graduated with economics, she’s 19 and playing in musicales and both are partners in a Slovakian TV series.

Niels Brinck presented Denmark with “Believe again”. His mother plays the saxophone, and he is only 17 when he writes his first song. His Eurovision piece has already become golden and platinum because of the huge number of internet downloads. “Besides our Sakis, this one is the best” said the Greek hosts- the Mangira sisters.

The four from the Quartissimo quartet are violin players from Slovenia. At first, they created the song “Love symphony” to be played by an orchestra, but a special remake and the addition of a singer- Martina Majerle- shaped the song in Eurovision format. A killer-combo!

Hungary was represented by Zoli Adok and “Dance with me”. Adok himself is a dancer and had written a dissertation on “how to avoid feeling pain on sage”. The performance looked a lot like aerobics demonstration and, as if with a time machine, we were brought back in the 80’s disco era- the time of the casual jumps and Sisi Catch hairstyles.  

For a second year in a row Azerbaijan took part in the competition, with the duet Aysel and Arash and “Forever”. Only sixteen, Aysel is already famous in her country. She lived in the US for quite a long period of time and when she returns to Azerbaijan, she joins the School of foreign languages, occupying herself with music, as well. Arash was born in Tehran and then, together with his parents, moved to Sweden where his career started.

The thirteenth appearance was that of the Greek star Sakis Rouvas with the hit “This is our night”. For Sakis this is a second Eurovision performance- he also participated in the 2004 Eurovision in Istanbul. Since then he has been trying out a lot of roles- of a singer, an actor, a host, and the more responsible of all- the one of a father. Sakis became a father of a baby-girl five months ago.

The Lithuanian Dmitry Shavrov began singing when he was twelve. Since then he has been a musician and, for the past few years, a professional one. He spent eight years in London studying music and after returning to his home country, he was chosen to perform “Love” at this year’s Eurovision.

The Moldovan candidate Nelly Ciobanu is much loved in her country. She has the gift of singing in 11 languages – from Russian to Korean. She has made four albums and has cooperated with many established and famous artists. She describes herself as a romantic and an optimist, which was shown in her happy mood when she presented her song “Hora di Moldova.”

Albania is among the most punctual countries in Eurovision. The country chose its representative back in December. The sixteen-year old Kejsi Tola, who won in the Music Idol competition, sang “carry me on your dreams”. The young singer says that she cannot decide between pop and classical music.

Estonia was represented by a female band with violin and cello players of ages between 16 and 20. The quartet is called “Urban symphony” and its song “Radajad” was one of the most remarkable in the competition. It is of interest that this year’s show hosted 13 violin performances.

Last for the night performed “The Toppers”, the Netherlands, whose band was created as a joke, in order to take part in a festival. However, they became very famous and have sold by now over 1.5 millions of CDs. They represented their country with the song “Shine”.

After the competition part was over the hosts announced that five countries go straight on the finals- France, Russia, Germany, Great Britain and Spain. The audience was also informed on the new way of showing the results- electronically. After fifteen minutes of voting, the results were announced and the Saturday finalists are: Azerbaijan, the Republic of Croatia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Albania, Moldavia, Denmark, Estonia, Norway and Greece.

In order for the audience to stay unbiased, the numbers of the voices each country got were not revealed. The Greek pop-stage star Sakis Rouvas also made it to the Eurovision finals, which will take place on Saturday. After the voting procedure was over the hosts announced the finalists, leaving the name of the Greek performer for the end, thus keeping his fans in a nervous anticipation. The important thing is that the night was a success, and now Sakis will continue with the competition with fresh energy on Saturday, when you can also vote!


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