Yassou!

Remember ”Yassou Maria” in Helsinki 2007? Many, many ”yassou!” at the Euroclub on 9 May during the Greece-Cyprus party which started after midnight.

Competent writer that I am I forgot to bring my camera, but I managed to corral a happy Finnish fan (the beer is free at the Euroclub by the way..) to promise me his photos from the party, so let’s see if we will have some visuals soon

More contestants from 2009 performed at the Greece-Cyprus party, among others Iceland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Estonia, Moldova, and..FINLAND! Yup, Waldo’s People took the stage to big applause from the audience, so let’s hope that televoters across Europe on 12 May will applaud just as loud and translate that into televotes for Finland! Maybe I was tired & my eyesight got weaker, but I could have sworn that Marko Reijonen did a little dance on stage..

And finally the contrasting performances of the unstoppable Sakis Rouvas and the elf-like Christina Metaxa crowned the Greece-Cyprus Party.

More parties coming up, and there is actually another party-centre at the Eurocafe located on the other side of the Kremlin. I suppose I should go there just to see what else I can gossip about here..what a hard life it is in Moscow..

What Crisis?

Anti-Crisis Girl Svetlana Loboda (Ukraine) threw a party at the Euroclub on the evening of 9 May!

The Euroclub is in the Manezh Exhibition Centre just outside the Kremlin walls. It’s a great set-up with the main floor having bars and a stage, and balconies and upper-floors for more space to chill & party.

Performing at the Ukraine Party, among others, were Ireland, Belgium, Malta and Cyprus. Verka Serduchka & gang (Ukraine 2007) made an appearance by satellite broadcast, then Ani Lorak (Ukraine 2008) entered centre-stage with Shady Lady, followed by Ruslana (Ukraine 2004).

And of course, finally the Anti-Crisis Girl herself, fighting any crisis with the help of shapely back-up singers in fur hats and three topless male dancers.

This should be a fun ESC year!

New Kid on the Block (and around it..)

The huge block of the Olimpiskiy Sport Complex was visible already from the Prospekt Mira metro station, with photos of Miss Russia/Miss World Ksenia Sukhinova smilingly beckoning the world to the Eurovision Song Contest 2009.

After a walk of some 450 metres I arrived at the stadium, and then the fun began! At the first entrance the militsia (police) guy at the checkpoint politely explained (in Russian) and by pointing of fingers that the Press Centre was at the next entrance. So I politely complied and joyfully trundled off in that direction, and at the second entrance the militsia guy at the checkpoint politely explained (in Russian) and by pointing of fingers that the Press Centre was at the next entrance.

Again I politely complied but now not-so-joyfully trundled off again, and actually went up hill (a construction ramp) and down vale (another ramp) until at the third entrance the militsia guy politely explained (in Russian) and by pointing of fingers that I was finally there, but I had to climb up some stairs and then walk some more until I arrive at the entrance. And finally, the New Kid arrived at the Block!

It was a easy process to collect the accreditation, after which helpful & charming Russian volunteers basically would sheperd vistors to the Info Desk and lockers for info & other materials.

The OGAE Desk has been set up, and as usual the Predictions Scoreboard was active. In the excitement of the moment I volunteered (rightly or wrongly..) to man the Desk on Wednesday morning..

What a magical thing an accreditation is- it actually cut the travel time back to the Prospekt Mira metro by 60% because now I could take shortcuts across the stadium grounds. But I expect that on 12 May (Semifinal 1) all entrances will be open to those attending, so no more merry-go-round at the Olimpiskiy Sport Complex!

Fighters over Moscow

9 May was Victory Day (Pobeda) in Russia. I woke up to the fact when my building rumbled on account of jetfighters flying overhead on their way to Red Square.

The city was very festive with concerts on the square Lubyanka Ploshchad and the main street Tverskaya Ulitsa being closed to traffic. There were of course the customary parades with crowds of flag-waving, proud local citizens.

And what did I do? Being the dumb foreigner with a silly phobia of crowds I went instead to the Eurovision Press Centre..yes, where I had to grapple with crowds of flag-waving, proud Eurovision fans..

Moscow Blog – New News!

One day has passed since my arrival in Moscow. I missed the ”Fun Train” from Helsinki because I was the boring guy who took the flight instead

So what has happened? The immigration & customs clearance at Sheremetyevo-2 airport went fast, the airport taxi was efficient (maybe because this is a 3-day weekend in Russia so the highways were quite empty) and the apartment I’m staying in was fine (but soon I discovered that the electricity was out and the agent was not available that night..).

Anyway, yesterday saw great warm sunny weather for the Victory Day parade all the way through to the back-to-back Ukraine and Greece/Cyprus party at the Euroclub in the evening.

So let’s see what the next week will hold, shall we? More news in the next hour!

Moskova-blogi: Terveiset aurinkoisesta Moskovasta!

Kirjoittaja: Katja Nissinen

Tänä aamuna Moskovan Komsomolskajan asemalle saapui suuri joukko suomalaisia viisufaneja joukossa minä ja matkaseurueeni. Vuoden pitkä odotus on taas palkittu ja olen valmiina nauttimaan toivon mukaan upeasta euroviisutunnelmasta. Reilun tunnin metroseikkailun jälkeen saavuin pressikeskukseen ja sain akkreditoinnin ja nyt olen valmiina raportoimaan teille tunnelmia täältä Moskovasta.

Euroviisumatkamme alkoi eilen puoli seitsemän aikaan Pasilasta, josta hyppäsimme kyytiin Tolstoi-junaan. Vaunumme ovella meitä oli vastassa junaemäntämme, joka tarkasti lippumme ja johdatteli meidat hytteihimme. Matka Moskovaan sujui hyvin ja nopeasti maahansaapumiskortteja täyttäen, useaan otteeseen passeja vilautellen ja euroviisuystävien kanssa jutustellen. Junan henkilökunta ei juuri muuta kieltä kuin venäjää puhunut, joten oli mukavaa, että seurassamme oli myos venäjänkielentaitoisia viisufaneja. Junan hytit ja makuupaikat olivat ihan hyvät, vaikka sängyt olivatkin melko kapeita. Itse en oikein osaa nukkua kerrossängyn yläsängyssä, joten oma yöni meni enemmin ja vähemmin valvoen ja kiskojen kolinaa kuunnellen.

Moskova näyttää oikein mukavalta ja ihanan aurinkoinen sää on hellinyt ensimmäistä päiväämme täällä euroviisujen täyttämässä kaupungissa. Puolen päivan aikaan matkaseurueeni kavi kirjautumassa hostelliimme, joka sijaitsee aivan Moskovan keskustassa Arbatilla, joka on Moskovan tunnetuin kävelykatu. Hostellimme ei ole ehkä kaikkein tasokkain, mutta paikka vaikuttaa silti sympaattiselta ja hostellin henkilokunta on oikein ystävällinen  ja vieraanvarainen.

Nyt olen taas pressikeskuksessa, jossa oli äskettain Patricia Kaasin lehdistötilaisuus. Lehistötilaisuudessa oli paikalla paljon toimittajia ja faneja ja Patricia Kaas näyttää todella olevan lehdistön ja fanien lemmikki.  Dima Bilan oli myös lehdistötilaisuudessa  mukana kannustamassa Patriciaa. En ole juurikaan ehtinyt seurata harjoituksia tänään joten harjoituksista saatte kuulla enemmin sitten huomenna.

Tänä iltana Euroklubilla on luvassa Kreikan ja Kyproksen bileet. Välimerellista ja loistavaa menoa on siis toivottavasti tarjolla. Suomen Waldo’s people esiintyy myos noissa bileissa.

Ensimmäinen päivöäeuroviisuhuumassa on alkanut hyvin ja on aivan loistavuutta nähdä täällä kaikkia ihania euroviisuystaviä niin Suomesta kuin muualtakin Euroopasta.

Moskova-blogi: Porukkaa matkalla

Hei vaan hei kaikille ja tervetuloa Euroviisuklubin Moskova-blogin pariin.

Kävin äsken saattamassa Helsingin Rautatieasemalla porukan Euroviisuklubilaisia Moskovan junaan, jännitys lähdön hetkellä oli käsinkosketeltava. Itse lähden Moskovaan vasta ensi viikolla, siihen asti pitää jännittää täällä katselleen Youtubesta videoita harjoituksista ja lukemalla raportteja mm eurovision.tv-nettisivuilta sekä Viisukuppilasta.

Euroviisuklubin blogitoimittajat ovat tänä vuonna Katja ja Ross. Katja kirjoittelee tunnelmia suomeksi ja Ross englanniksi. Molemmat ovat aktiivisia Euroviisufaneja ja molemmat ovat tällä hetkellä matkalla Moskovaan. Ensimmäiset tunnelmat ovat luettavissa varmasti jo huomenna.

Palaillaan siis ja jännitetään kovasti ensi viikkoa.

Euroviisuklubi toivoo kovasti onnea Suomen edustajalle Waldo’s People’lle, finaalissa nähdään ja sen jälkeen torilla. 😀

 

terkuin, Maiken

Belgrade Blog: OGAE International

Yesterday at the Euro Cafe was the annual meeting of all the 39 OGAE clubs: 31 Clubs attended so it was quite a good turn-up. Of course we were represented by our own Maiken (with Jouni and myself there as her sidekicks).

For those who came to Belgrade through our Club, we had to apply for the OGAE Cards (jäsenkortti). With the cards we could get into the Euroclub and get discounts at the Eurocafe. For next year OGAE Card holders can also get a discount for the official ESC merchandise/products that you can see on www.eurovision.tv  We heard yesterday that the main purpose of the OGAE Cards is that, if for example next year the host country gives very few ESC tickets to the fan clubs, then OGAE Card holders will get priority. But Maiken will explain all of this later.

Oh, and the OGAE Cards are valid for two years (2008 & 2009), so for those of you who do not like your card photos, well, tough!

Belgrade Blog: Normal and Abnormal

Tonight is the BIG NIGHT!

Someone from the Big-4 countries had expressed a wish that a ”normal country would win this year”.

I suppose this means that the winners of the last few years were ”abnormal” countries. Let’s see who they are: Turkey (2003), Ukraine (2004), Greece (2005), Finland (2006), Serbia (2007).

And here I was thinking that the Eurovision experience was the ESC fiilis in the host city during Viisuviikko plus enjoying the local culture. How stupid of me.  But no matter what some Big-4 smart person says I would be so happy to return to ”abnormal” Finland on Monday..

Ha-ha..On the TV screens at the Press Centre right now there is a live feed from the Beogradska Arena- they are checking the lip-sync with the sound (so that the picture and sound coordinates). So funny!

Belgrade Blog: Semifinal 2 Qualifiers

In alphabetical order, Albania, Croatia, Denmark, Georgia, Iceland, Latvia, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine qualified to the Final.

Did the rigged voting system separating countries suspected of ”tactical voting” (the Scandinavians, the ex-Yugos, the ex-Soviets) have an effect on which countries qualified? Maybe, but popular opinion at the Press Centre agrees that the best songs went through to the Final; at the same time, some are wondering: which one was the jury choice?

At the Press Conference Vania Fernandez’s (Portugal) natural voice was heard, and it is amazing how such a gentle voice can render such a powerful performance. When Georgia’s Diana Gurtskaya was asked how she felt, she simply said ”I’m very happy, thank you.”. Sweden’s Charlotte Nilsson expressed happiness that all the Scandinavian countries qualified to the Final. When asked if the winner of ESC 2008 was in the conference room, Ukraine’s Ani Lorak said, ”Yes.”.

But who did Ani Lorak mean? Just two more days to go and we’ll find out. Now the ESC party has moved on to the Euroclub and the Euro Cafe, so more news later (maybe..).