Mika and his sister Yasmine have done several design projects together and their latest collaboration with Pilot is one of my favorites for sure. I write a lot so I can have these colorful pens on my desk and actually use them all the time and I love it. As always the pretty limited edition package is as important as the product itself and just seeing these today cheered my day up immediately, happy writing indeed. Separately sold pens are available in many countries but limited edition boxes can be harder to find, I bought mine online from Netherlands. A couple of making of/behind the scene clips here and here.

After auditions and final auditions in December it was now time for the Voice France battles and they were done during two Saturday sessions on the 13th of January and our full day was both interesting and entertaining so I decided to immediately write a description of it not to forget the details during the break which will continue until the live shows (starting in April).

Two sessions during one day means long hours. For a person like me traveling from far away (in this case from Helsinki) only to see these recordings this kind of a schedule is ideal and means good value for money as I can arrive on Friday night, spend the whole Saturday at the studio and be back in Finland and with my family already on Sunday.

However, it’s quite hard for the coaches to do two sessions in row and I could see Mika felt really uncomfortable in the end of the latter session. He had explained to the audience his eyes were hurting and that he saw things a bit blurry and spending hours and hours under bright studio lights probably made him feel much worse and his head hurt and I felt so sorry for him, I could so well remember my own horrible headache during the December recordings. Of course, with the full studio and big expensive team the production has no possibility to do any big changes and they just have to finish the work and all four coaches stayed relatively sharp even they had such a long day.

The afternoon session started late because of rehearsals and we were let in the building but still waited in the so called waiting area almost two more hours. Luckily it was early and I didn’t feel tired at all and waiting was just fine for me and eventually we had our places in the studio. The coaches did their song together as usual and this time it was David Bowie’s Heroes. They all had new outfits for the battle round and Mika was wearing dark trousers, a white shirt, a navy casual jacket and really cool red and gold shoes. Florent was totally in grey, Pascal had a metallic shiny outfit and eye glasses that reminded me of old-fashioned driving glasses and Zazie had a long black shirt and boots. No skirt or proper pants I think, but it wasn’t as weird as it sounds because she can really wear anything and look gorgeous.

The system was different than in previous years and included four rounds of battles (so afterwards every coach had their final teams of four)  but this time every battle duo did a song together instead of doing their own separate songs and it made the performances look like real battles and was very interesting to watch and showed how much of an effect the song choice can have and how it can make two totally different singers either closer to each other or make the difference between them even bigger (depending on what’s the wanted result). The audience was quite loud, partly because on Saturdays they always have more kids than during week night recordings but also because both of the sessions were entertaining so the audience was not bored at all.

Two times two rounds of battles. Every coach had chosen two singers for every round and Zazie’s team started the first round singing Sweet Dreams. I’m going to avoid mentioning contestants and songs by names to protect excitement but I mention Sweet Dreams because it’s one of the songs Mika used to cover years ago so naturally my mind started to wander through different versions he’s done, versions I’ve seen live and versions I wish I had seen and all that took most of my attention but I still got the impression the performance was good and one of the biggest favorites in Zazies’s team was in the first duo and went to finals as I expected. After that it was turn for Team Pascal and again, probably his biggest favorite and I imagined the battle would be clear but the song was chosen to make the difference look smaller (at least that’s how it looked to me, they could have made the favorite to look even more special) and it was really interesting that way, even though the winner was clear of course.

After these two favorites it was time for Mika and his team and obviously neither contestant in his battle duo was a favorite in advance and even though the song was really interesting – I really liked the choice – it didn’t start well and I already felt bad for Mika (because his team had to battle right after those big favorites from Zazie and Pascal) when suddenly something changed. The duo consisted of a girl and a guy and it looked like the guy suddenly realized this is his change to go to the final phase and got a weird amount of confidence and did an extremely good performance. A weird performance I think, somehow peculiar but the style fitted to the song and I really liked it and thought it was a very nice start for Mika’s team and much more memorable than the next performance by Team Florent from which I can remember only the dress the girl was wearing.

I was pleased Mika’s team got such a positive start and the same continued for the second round of the first session. It was time for his battle duo and I saw him staring the stage smiling and wondered what was happening when the most interesting contestant from his team appeared on stage. I’ve rarely seen anything as beautiful as this girl. She looks like a real princess in her exotic outfits and on Saturday I just stared at her and could very well understand Mika’s smile and his expression, she’s fascinating and it almost feels she’s taking the whole place under her spell, everyone was staring at her. Her voice is not that much my taste to be honest but I love her personal style, she’s very soulful and aiming to tell a story and to create different atmospheres and not only to sing, will be very interesting to see her during the finals. During this round we saw entertaining songs from the other teams as well. Team Florent did a Johnny Hallyday song (I think it was his song, please don’t blame me if I’m wrong) and I loved the energy and seeing the audience joining.

After the first session we had a small break and most people in the studio left and just fans stayed waiting for the second session. The staff gave people water and sandwiches (I had brought some bread with me) and we had a possibility to use a toilet. The second session started, also a couple of hours late. We had already seen the biggest favorite from Mika’s team and in the evening his duos were not as good level as in the afternoon. Both times I felt it didn’t make any difference who won the battle but during the last duo I really liked the performance, it was genuinely lovely (even I couldn’t understand the French lyrics, Melyssa translated me the idea though) and it was  a bit funny and very interesting and will look good on television as well.

Zazie had good quality battles also in the last session and the first performance from her team turned out to be an extremely emotional episode. A mature (I like to to use that word because it means more than just saying older) and a very young contestant did a song together and it ended up being strong and emotional, not only to the audience but also to the coaches and I can’t describe it more without giving spoilers but I imagine the production loved getting this kind of teary material. I felt weirdly sad after the performance.

Pascal had one of his biggest favorites in the evening session and I’m still not sure what to think about this contestant, something in him disturbs me. His every move is totally crazy but also very calculated. Not saying it can’t be his natural style but at least the contestant knows how well the craziness goes for people and how it makes his performances stand out and it’s all so arrogant. The contestant is good though. He’s really good and will definitely do well and might even be the winner. I don’t have much to say about Florent’s team in the evening session. The last battle for his team was genuinely awful. I felt a tiny bit bad for him but not too much, Florent is experienced and will without a doubt handle everything with style as always.

Then it was all over and Mika came to say good night to the audience and spoke mostly French but in the end said also something in English, that he will go and will be doing something, I hope that meant music. Would be so lovely to think he’s making music again. Thanks again everyone I met and talked with and everyone who helped me in so many ways. I felt Saturday was genuinely a very interesting recording day, maybe because of the new battle system but also because I liked many songs chosen and found them entertaining. I love these short trips. I’m starting to understand I’ve actually learning a lot during my regular visits to France. About the country and the culture and the people. I was watching a random French film the other day and so many things and details I didn’t think or even know existed a few years ago felt now so familiar. Love it. xxx

The view in the pics above is one of my favorites in the world and I try to climb to the hill Montmartre every time I have a possibility during my Paris trips. I love the color combination and different shades of white, cream, grey and pale green and I love how the light and clouds look always different depending on the time of the day. The place was not too crowded early in the mornings so it was lovely to walk there. I stayed in Paris five nights and had two whole days off between the Voice recordings on Saturday and Tuesday and used the time walking around, doing my Christmas shopping and visiting cafes.

All practical things went well I think. The recording sessions were quite interesting considering that this part of the recordings is generally less interesting than blind auditions or live shows. It was good to see people and it was good to see Mika and it made me happy to have a possibility to wish him merry Christmas. A small thing but always brings the holiday mood. He was very considerate and sweet to people both nights I saw him, paid attention to the audience and waved people good night and after the Saturday’s session tweeted both in French and Italian to thank his main fan groups. He came to have a little chat when saw us and after the last session made a small thank you speech in French.

The recordings were fun but I miss seeing Mika doing something that makes him genuinely excited. The Voice isn’t the kind of project where he can use his creativity or do anything new or really interesting and it’s the same for all four coaches, they all seem to have a very business like attitude. This season Mika’s team is not as strong as Pascal’s or especially Zazie’s. During the December recordings the contestants did the second audition in groups of three and the coaches had to pick the best one for the next round. A couple of times Pascal and Zazie had such good trios it was almost difficult to say which talent deserves to stay, with Mika’s trios I was once or twice relieved he could choose only one meaning he could let the other two go.

He needs to work with the team he has and he’s really good at it and no one knows for sure who will make the biggest progress. I like his style, he’s always kind but still extremely honest and I generally like that and that must be useful for his talents as well. All teams included I can now remember maybe four contestants quite well and think they will all go far but I don’t want to give any spoilers before live shows (at that point everyone already knows the teams).

This is my last blog post for this year so wishing Merry Christmas to everyone. Have a peaceful holiday time with your families and friends xxx

Back home after a long “The Voice” weekend in Paris. I saw four auditions on Friday, Saturday (x2) and Monday and it felt good to be back in France. Not as magical as watching Casa Mika but I enjoy seeing these recordings live and I generally enjoy being in France. I’m grateful to my French friends for making me feel accepted every time I visit the country. It’s not something I can take for granted, the local fans make a strong, tight group and I don’t even speak their language. Yet they make me feel welcome and are always kind and help in every way. I feel I can be there weirdly quiet and it’s just fine. It’s nice to enjoy these events without feeling any pressure or stress.

I can’t understand French or know French music so it’s a huge help to have someone who translates and gives background information during the recordings and Melyssa deserves all the chocolate in the world for doing the job again and again and for doing it so well. Her English is excellent (much much better than mine) and she can translate easily but what’s even more important is the information she can give me outside the translations. She has a good knowledge so she can very quickly decide what’s important for me to know to understand the situation. She tells things like the theme of the song and if it’s iconic or not, how the original version was and who performed and maybe even wrote it. She tells how people are connected and what happened in the past and all kind of facts and general references only locals can know that help me to follow the show and make it possible to put everything in context.

Recordings started with the usual warming up and then we could see Nikos who always chats with the audience for a while. After that it was time for the coaches to do a song together. They performed it in the beginning of three different recordings (actually twice every time making it total six times) and I really enjoyed watching it and liked this French song very much. The song was written for Florent Pagny by Pascal Obispo who is the latest addition in the coach team and I thought it fitted the coaches very well and it was of course lovely to hear Mika singing a little bit both on Friday and Saturday (always makes me feel the trip is worth while).

The new coach is very different compared to Matt Pokora I must say. Not sure how to put it in English but in Finland we would say he’s someone who wasn’t born yesterday and knows a trick or two. I can’t much describe his coaching yet (the local girls tell he hasn’t said anything really original) but he seems a very strong character and likes to entertain the audience. A half of the time his entertaining is funny and a half of the time it’s a bit gross. He takes a handkerchief and blows his nose in it and then very theatrically uses the same piece of fabric to clean his eyeglasses or puts candy in his nose and things like that. Things some men find irresistibly humorous, things gentlemen shouldn’t be doing if you ask me (I’m a mother of three boys and there’s no tolerance for things like that in my house). I’m mostly worried about him showing an example to Mika who will start to imitate him but so far that hasn’t happened. Very proud of Mika for being mature enough not to join the game.

Pascal and Mika are next to each other so they had quite a lot interaction and a half of the time Pascal was joking and a half of the time kind of showing who’s the man in the house. Maybe just a role the production has given to him, I can’t know, and I noticed he kept lower profile on Monday so maybe they noticed the idea wasn’t that good after all. Or, maybe the coaches are just learning to know each other and testing what’s the best approach in communicating with each other. I really don’t know how much the coaches are instructed and how much they have freedom with finding their roles and the position in the group.

This time Mika is the one who doesn’t belong to the group the same way the other three coaches do. He’s not the same age group compared to the others and the other three know each other really well and have a long history together. Mika already knows Florent and Zazie from previous years and seems to even be quite close with Florent but that can’t be compared to decades of common history. Just watching the coaches sitting in their chairs makes me think Mika is different. Three of the coaches are wearing shirts open down to their waist, two times with leather pants and one time with a short black skirt. Then there’s Mika wearing a stylish and simple, darker green suit combined to a sweater with a pink glittery detail and white shirt under that. Oh I love green. And I love it when men wear proper shirts under their sweaters, looks so cozy and safe. Zazie can of course wear anything she likes, she looks always gorgeous.

Mika looks even more elegant and handsome sitting in his chair than previous years and we all look at him with very approving eyes. Not sure he can see that. What he can definitely see is people eating during breaks. He must think his fans have two alternative pleasures in their life and that’s either listening to his music or eating. That’s not far from the truth to be honest but there’s also another logical explanation why people like to have food with them in the studio. The recordings are done very late hours and sitting in that warm closed space for hours makes us not only hungry but also sleepy and having something to raise our blood sugar level makes it easier to stay awake. Mika might actually understand that and on Monday he kindly – as a special gesture to the French fans – handed the girls a bag of snacks (he even came in the middle of the audience just to deliver it himself, how sweet is that). I found some gluten-free food in the bag and I ate it and for once I wasn’t hungry after the session.

About the talents this year. I didn’t see anyone who would have immediately felt truly special but we saw several somehow interesting contestants and I believe that’s enough to make the season interesting enough. The coaches have all their own, particular style and year by year it’s easier to guess who’s going to push the button. It’s becoming easier to guess which coach the talents are choosing as well because the contestants are not used to be on television and can’t control their body language so just by paying attention to their reactions it’s possible to guess their choices as well (whether I agree with them or not, I don’t always think they choose the best for them).

Talents who make unique animal like sounds make me always worried because Mika seems to find them fascinating and often pushes the button for them. I can see how his eyes start to sparkle when the talent makes weird sounds and his hand gets ready to touch the red button. I assume his enthusiasm is based on the fact that some in my ears unpleasant sounds are extremely difficult to make and that way show a lot of talent and controlling the voice. I never expect much from those contestants though. If someone is not willing use their talent to do pleasant sounds in the beginning why would they be willing to do that later? This kind of contestants give some color to the competition of course. This year we didn’t see many really original contestants and especially on Monday similar looking guys with guitars walked on stage again and again (and again). It was very hard to see any difference but for final episodes they will of course cut and mix everything and it will look much more variable on television.

The organization around the recordings at the Voice is always nice to the audience and fans in it and I experienced it this time as well. I wasn’t feeling well on Saturday (I had a headache and no amount of painkillers seemed to help) and somehow one of the security guys in the studio noticed it and took me to get some fresh air and brought me water and coffee and insisted me meeting a doctor (I couldn’t keep my balance so I understand why he wanted to make sure I was okay even I said it’s just a headache) and the doctor gave me some more medicine which eventually helped and I could enjoy the evening. I could still feel the pain but it wasn’t overwhelming and I could focus on what happened on stage. They could have asked me to leave but instead they did all that and I could stay for the second part of the day and didn’t miss it. Super nice thing to do, very much appreciated it.

The recordings will continue in December. Thank you everyone for this weekend! In the pic below I’m with my translator Melyssa xxx

The second Casa Mika season is still continuing on television but the recordings are all done and for us who liked to be in the studio and watch everything live it’s practically over. Luckily there are still two episodes to watch via streaming. I’m afraid the ratings for the show haven’t been nearly as good as last year but that’s definitely not because of the quality of the show but for other reasons like the timing and also the fact the big audience in Italy simply don’t know to value high quality as much as we all had hoped. I’ve really enjoyed this season and I collected some of my favorite details below. The past four weeks have been a project for me as well and it had a personal meaning to be there for the last recording and I really appreciated that I was able to do it and I saw some performances that will always stay in my memories.

During the last recording we saw the party confetti version of It’s My House I had hoped for all these weeks. I love confetti. It makes a mess and I feel childish to admit it but I love it. Different theme versions of It’s My House have been one of my favorite parts of the season and I find it surprising. It’s not a song I love the same way I love his best songs and it’s not the kind of song where Mika can go deep inside of the song like he can do with his most stunning songs. It’s rather like one of those songs where he needs to built something around the song to make it work (the same way like Celebrate or Talk About You) but – or maybe for that reason – it fits perfectly for television and it could fit on his concert setlist as well. I loved the show elements for the aquaworld we saw last Sunday (probably aired during the third episode) and I loved the confetti party version from Wednesday. Every detail – the stage and even his suit – was matching with the colorful theme and the idea was cool and will surely look fantastic on television.

It’s not easy to make high energy songs work on television the same way as controlled, slower songs do without impressive show elements. Hearing stunning versions of songs like Any Other World, No Place In Heaven or Happy Ending or beautiful covers either in English or Italian where Mika is fully focused on the song is the biggest reason that makes me travel to Italy time after time instead of only watching the show on television. Mika is at his best when he’s doing strong songs sitting at his piano or otherwise purely focusing on his singing. Not only because his voice sounds better that way but also because he’s reached the point where his performing side is strong and describing enough to make those songs extremely stunning.

It’s good development, it means he’s maturing as an artist. Also, a television recording means different circumstances for high energy songs compared to a concert. In the studio there’s no (the same kind of) adrenalin or energy included. During a real concert both Mika and his band can listen to the audience and respond to the current energy, they can also make small changes and let the energetic songs evolve night after night and all that can’t happen during a controlled and considered one time only performance they do for a television show.

About the audience. Most of the time studio audiences don’t know what to do. People stand up and clap in a wrong rhythm when they should either sit and focus on a very special performance or dance and party. It would have been a good idea to have a person who guides the audience and clearly tells when to sit, when to stand and how to clap like many other big productions have (like it is at the Voice, can’t remember the guy’s name but everyone who’s been at the recordings knows who I mean). It might have been worth it especially nights when most people came to see their first recording like it looked on Wednesday.

One of my favorite details during this season was the fiction part, it was well done in every way including outfits, style and designs and there seemed to be a good story to follow all the way. I loved some collaboration ideas as well. I’m not an opera person, I don’t know much about it and in the beginning I thought it would make me bored but I loved watching especially the last one we saw. I loved some guests, some others not so much. Rita Pavone and Massimo Ranieri made me smile and enjoy the show because they are the kind of old stars Mika can have fun with on stage, he doesn’t need to take care of them, they take care of themselves. The level of guests varies and I understand it very well. Recordings are done in such a short time period and it must be difficult to fit everyone’s schedules together and must be a challenge to find interesting enough guests for every episode.

This year the production had chosen several a bit provocative details to show to the audience. We could see Mika taking off his clothes, we could see him in the bath tube with Fedez and we could see him giving a beautiful lady a long, long kiss. Some fans might think it was all done just to attract more viewers but it didn’t look to me Mika thought it that way. It looked to me he wanted to show he has no limits on stage. That he can do whatever it needs to be done for the show and I think he was quite brave doing it all, he’s sometimes very shy. Also, it was all genuinely quite funny. There were many funny details between music and more serious topics.

I would naturally like to see Mika in the main role all the time. On Wednesday he did several solo performances and I absolutely loved it and in the end of the session we all had the feeling he let his music talk and tell the message. He said good bye to the house and did the last song and I had tears in my eyes, partly because good byes are always sad but partly also because the performance was so incredibly beautiful. It’s not that I want Mika to be stuck in Italy doing Casa Mika for the rest of his life, there are many other options for him. He can take the concept to other countries or he can bring it on stage or he can just take some ideas and use them at gigs. I want him to make music one way or another, where ever it happens. There’s so much potential to use in numerous different ways.

After the recording the atmosphere was actually very happy. Italian fans had planned a wonderful after party and invited us all to be a part of it. It was raining but they still set a beautiful table with a white table cloth and real candles and fairy lights and beautiful glasses and serving dishes and it was all really Italian. Italian people love dressing up and making things fancy and beautiful. They had wines and pizza and even potato crisps (practically the only thing I can eat in situations like that and believe me I was hungry after not eating the whole day) and when Mika was ready with his own after recording duties the security invited us inside the Casa Mika gates and the table and everything else was brought with us and Mika came to see it and he saw the amazing house themed cakes and the fancy champagne bought him as a gift and I think he could understand the effort the girls had made because he showed a very sweet reaction. He opened one of the bottles and poured some sparkling wine to everyone and patiently cut and served the cake and was generally as kind and thoughtful as only he can be and it left a good, happy feeling to everyone. A very sweet thing from him to do.

Another Italian adventure behind, thanks everyone xxx

I haven’t posted any blogs after the past three recordings so I’m collecting a few thoughts here. I was at the studio a week ago on Sunday night after the mfc party and I really enjoyed watching the filming together with my friends but didn’t have any special thoughts to share afterwards and blogged only about the party (photo galleries here). I returned to Milan on Wednesday even I didn’t have a ticket (I still wanted to travel to keep my flights for this week, they were connected) and wasn’t lucky with overbooking. I stayed outside the studio the night because that’s the whole idea with overbooking, you might get in at any time during the recording in case there are free seats. However, no luck for me with that on Wednesday.

It was sad, to be honest, to listen to “my house is your house” outside in the cold knowing it’s just a song and that obviously that time his house wasn’t my house at all. It came to my mind maybe I shouldn’t be doing all this. Maybe I shouldn’t take risks all the time because it’s not possible to be lucky all the time (for any of us). I couldn’t wait to be back home and get some hugs from my family and also have a little rest. After a day off I went back to Milan, this time with a ticket and last night saw a beautiful, beautiful recording!

Suddenly occasional few hours outside like a few days earlier didn’t feel that bad anymore. It wasn’t the first time things don’t work out and it wasn’t the last time they don’t work out, sometimes it simply is like that. What’s important, most times everything works out like it did last night. Everything was beautiful. The whole session was absolutely beautiful from beginning to the end. As beautiful as it can be.

A few random thoughts about these recordings below.

It’s amazing to watch how confident Mika is compared to the first season. I’m sure he’s a bit stressed, the work is hectic and something unexpected is happening all the time but we can’t really much see his stress at all, he looks just very confident and relaxed and chats with the audience during breaks. He’s very focused and it’s easy to see how important it is for him to do things well, he looks determined and ambitious and that’s always attractive to watch, isn’t it. I find all that really charismatic in anyone and as you all know Mika can be charismatic just standing there. It’s impressive to watch him on stage and I’m sure the whole audience feels the same.

We haven’t seen any particularly interesting international guest this year – not as interesting as last year – but on the other hand there are some interesting collaborations and I’ve very much enjoyed seeing them. Also, I think the topics are more serious this year and that’s good development and something I had hoped for this season in advance. I’ve been surprised by the response Gregory is getting on twitter, people are really touched by this character and sharing their own experiences about depression, anxiety or other kind of darker emotions. In Finland people are naturally melancholic and for us sadness is a normal part of life and it’s natural to talk about it but I think Italians are not that direct or used to it and for them it can be easier to talk via Gregory. Maybe, not sure if that’s the explanation, in any case the idea works really well and I’m happy to watch the warm response the character is receiving. Unfortunately my Italian is not good enough to understand any monologues and I need to wait translations to properly understand everything.

Last night we saw performances with Fedez and I think that was a good thing as we had earlier already seen several older guests and this balanced the age structure (Fedez already posted about his visit so it’s not a surprise to anyone and not something to avoid mentioning). After Fedez some stunning solo performances from Mika. I felt extremely lucky to be in the studio last night and I know I will feel lucky to watch the performances again on television and also to have the clips to watch later. Everything was perfect, the voice, music, outfits, show elements. Now looking forward to the show on television on Tuesday and the last recording session on Wednesday. The season will be over before we properly realize it started xxx

Back home from the third Casa Mika recording. I’m keeping my update short and try not to give any details in advance. We saw one international special guest – something different than I had expected – and would be difficult to describe the session without revealing too much. Also, we didn’t see any solo performance from Mika so I didn’t feel as excited and emotional as I did during the previous sessions even of course I enjoyed watching him with guests and appreciated the opportunity to follow the production work as much as I always do.

This time Mika was mostly in his role of the host of the evening and interviewed and entertained. He is good at that all and it was a pleasure to watch him but naturally, it didn’t give me the excitement and extreme happiness I usually get from his own music performances. He did some songs with his guests and with them he’s very much focused on them, making sure they get their share of the spotlight, trying not to draw too much attention to himself. All what we can expect from a good and generous host.

One of the songs he did on Sunday together with an Italian well-known guest was a particularly great performance and it seemed to me both the guest and the host had equally fun. The audience was very lucky and the performance had to be repeated (I think they made a mistake with their choreography) and even Mika seemed to enjoy doing everything all over again. My favorite kind of Casa Mika performance even this popular Italian song wasn’t familiar to me in advance.

In case someone thinks it looks too easy for people like me to be there and see everything I want to remind this is actually not that easy at all. Milan is far away from Helsinki and being there twice a week means spending two nights at recordings and four days and nights traveling between Helsinki and Milan leaving only two days to spend at home with my family. I can do all that only because my family is being endlessly patient with me and I try not to take it for granted. My husband takes care of everything at home while I travel and he does it because he knows how important this all is to me and how happy it makes me.

It does make me happy. It’s wonderful to see Mika on stage again and to hear him sing both alone and with guests. There’s a new tone in his voice compared to some old recordings I’ve been listening to at home during the gig break and I love hearing it. I don’t think things can stay exactly the same all the time and thinking of time passing by makes me aware of how precious everything is. When this moment is gone it will never come back. We need to enjoy everything as much as possible.

For many fans things happening purely in Italy seem like minor events on Mika’s career but a show of his own in general, especially a show of his own this big is a huge possibility and would be an amazing opportunity for any artist. It means also huge pressure. There’s a massive production and people who write and people who design and people who take care of every technical detail but it’s Mika’s name written on the wall with giant letters full of flowers and it’s him on stage in different glittery suits practically the whole two hours. It’s even his responsibility to make everyone else look good and whatever the result it will reflect back on him and the channel investing in him.

Italian television audience is not like us fans, it’s demanding in a different way. Luckily the studio is full of people who already love him and everyone’s attention is on him during the whole recording session and I’m happy it’s like that. I want him to feel the instant response from the audience so he can remember how it feels and how important his music is to people in case he has forgotten it.

The cutest thing actually happened after the third recording when I heard Mika talking about the special guest he had that night using words a child would use and being very serious in his excitement. I think he just used words he had in mind. In the middle of those crazy busy schedules and hard work and after being such a professional television host the whole evening he genuinely talked like an excited kid. I thought it was adorable. He’s very special that way. I often think there’s a part in him that’s not totally grown up, sometimes he makes me think of my 6 year old nephew. I’m happy to know the television world has not yet ruined him and hope it never will.

At the moment this show is as close to Mika making music as we can get and I’m looking forward to seeing many memorable performances before the season is over. I will be back in Milan on Saturday. There’s an MFC party on Sunday morning and I’m planning to take a lot of pics and will post them after the event. Can’t wait to meet everyone xxx

In the pic above is only a cardboard version of Mika but I thought it was funny they brought it outside next to the Casa Mika car so the audience could take selfies with it before going in. It’s not allowed to take any photos inside the studio so no pics of the setting to share but I wanted to write a small update in any case, otherwise seems impossible to keep my notes in time order.

I know my emotional response to the first recording (part 1 here) seemed silly but actually many people told me afterwards they felt exactly the same way and that it was lovely to tears to hear Mika’s voice and to watch him preparing his performances and to see only him on stage after such a long break in gigs lately. On Sunday during the first filming there were no tight schedules with guests and the atmosphere was warm and cosy, Mika was very casual with the audience and chatted and shared his slightly nervous feelings with people which added the emotional vibe.

On Wednesday the production went through the whole first episode and filmed all performances with guests. Mika was chatting as casually as he did on Sunday but he had to also stay extremely sharp because the schedule was long and full of different components: music performances, interviews, monologues, small fiction parts and other details like clips filmed in advance and showed on the screen. The whole session was really interesting to watch and follow on many levels, not just Mika’s part and the guests but everything what was happening in the studio. The production group is big and I could recognize many faces from the last season.

I was seated a barrier located directly in front of my face and the lady from production responsible of the audience kindly offered us a couple of places with no barriers and further away (she saw them after everyone had arrived) but as soon as I stood up my view was stunning so I preferred to stay at my barrier seat and had really a brilliant view during the parts where the audience could stand or dance and saw actually very well between the barriers everything else as well and I told the lady after the session how perfect it all was. The production for a show this big is like a huge machine and I feel we fans are extremely lucky to have our opportunities to watch everything this closely and I hope people working for the audience know how grateful we are.

I’m trying not to give any spoilers about the upcoming episodes but as Rai has already announced some of the guests it doesn’t matter I mention them here too. Most songs would be better performed by Mika alone (my honest opinion), I’ve never been keen to hear duets for that particular reason. However, of course the whole idea of the show is Mika opening his house and welcoming people into his world so letting his guest to take their time and space is quite essential to the concept no matter how much we all would prefer listening only to him.

And I do love watching him with people and I admire his sensitivity and ability to face people as persons and everyone as they are and have always thought what a complex person he must be on the other hand giving such a private impression and on the other hand being so patient and generous with his attention to people around him. He’s got a lot of practice in that and he’s very professional but I still find it astonishing to watch every single time.

The most interesting guests are always those who impress Mika as much as they impress the audience and I love watching his gestures and how much he seems to respect people’s experience and long careers they’ve built. On Wednesday my favorite guest was singer Rita Pavone who had an incredible energy and who totally rocked the whole studio. She and Mika did a performance together and people in the audience had a blast dancing and partying.

Because the show is Italian I’m naturally not always familiar in advance with the guests and think they’ve been selected partly because of timing like always with different television shows – there are always singers and actors willing to promote their latest projects – and whether I like these guests or not usually depends on their performance that night. International guests are artists suitably visiting Italy or people Mika somehow personally knows and this time we saw Dita von Teese who’s performance I didn’t know to look forward to in advance but which I eventually found very impressive.

Her figure looks absolutely stunning, I must say. I was wondering how it even can be that stunning but as she told herself, she was born a blond-haired Midwest girl and has probably worked hard both for the character/role and the figure. I would have loved to hear her talking longer to learn to know how she is as a person but at least we heard a small interview between her burlesque performances. I’ve always thought burlesque means a certain style and certain type of show elements but I guess the main point is still to take clothes off. Anyway, I found her performances exciting and her as a guest very interesting. Also, her part in the show was entertaining many ways and I’m sure people will love it.

I really love the small time traveling idea located between guests as it seems to give rhythm to the show and connects the studio space and beforehand recorded clips together and it works well and I can follow it (and also the taxi parts familiar from the last year) quite well despite of my weak language skills. However, Luciana Littizzetto who joins Mika several times during the episodes speaks incredibly fast and understanding her with my practically non-existing Italian is impossible and from my point of view those parts feel long but the Italian audience seems to think she’s very funny.

The highlight for the season start is the performance for It’s My House, an obvious choice for the first episode. It’s My House was filmed again on Wednesday and the performance was full of energy and show elements and seeing it now twice is not enough for me and would love to see it again and again and hope Mika will do it at least one more time maybe in the end of the season with lots and lots of confetti. Also, I loved the old-fashioned Italian song we heard both on Sunday and Wednesday, his voice sounds extreme pleasant in a song that style and I could have listened to it for hours.

One of the performances Mika did on Sunday was so stunning they didn’t film it again on Wednesday at all but we saw the recording on the screen and it was as breathtaking as I could remember it being. The second recording ended around 2 am. Even all the performances gave me a lot of energy I was still very sleepy in the end of the session and could only imagine how exhausted Mika must have felt after focusing so hard for so many hours without any breaks but I hope the joy and pride of having his own show we could see on his face and even in his moves and gestures made him forget the tiredness.

I met some new and many familiar faces on Wednesday and had a lovely time, thanks everyone xxx

Watching Mika winning the Rose d’Or Awards Entertainment category and getting his award in Berlin last night was touching and made me so incredibly happy for him. It’s good to see him getting official recognition, so genuinely and well deserved. I asked the ceremony organizers if I could take a few pics for my blog and they were super nice and told sure, it’s okay, and I took my camera with me. I’m not much of the photographer so I stayed a bit side not to disturb anyone. Mika saw me at the red carpet though, looked surprised and smiled directly in front of me telling “one for you!” and I quickly used the opportunity to take a pic. The ceremony was nicely organized and we had a possibility to congratulate him after the official part. A report to follow as soon as back home. X

I spent a long weekend in France and had a lovely time. I’ve visited Paris many, many times but I’m learning to know it properly and seriously falling in love with the city only now. I had a couple of extra days so I walked around, visited a museum, bought some books and checked a few gluten-free restaurants and cafes to visit them again with my family next time we are in Paris. I had looked forward to this final television show. I generally enjoy live television, there’s a particular excitement in it and I enjoy watching people working around the production. Of course there was the usual bittersweet feeling related to my trip as this was my last one once again and now there’s nothing to look forward to in the near future. The pics below are taken at the radio station where Mika did an interview for Saturday and fans used an opportunity to give him some gifts (thanks to Eriko, listen to the interview here).

I felt bad after seeing the results of the last week’s show because Mika had voted Audrey over Vincent (who still went to the final after the audience votes) and in my eyes his decision looked almost like an insult towards Vincent. Vincent hadn’t made much progress during the live shows but I had assumed that was partly because of the format which put him on the same level with the other contestants and instead of letting him be different asked him to be ordinary and like everyone else and he seemed to be only average at that. I thought since the beginning there’s something special in Vincent, not in his technical skills but in the way he performs, there was something passionate and even and a bit mad in it and I thought that Mika (if someone) could bring out whatever was special in him.

It didn’t seem to happen though. I wanted to think it will happen if we can just be patient. After seeing the results I thought even Mika had lost his patience and given up with Vincent and for that reason voted Audrey. That was an irrational conclusion of course. Maybe as a professional he understood why things didn’t work out and also, even if from my point of view only Mika’s opinion matters and all those audience votes meant nothing this contestant hardly thought the same and being among the final four talents was an achievement itself. I could see both Mika and Vincent were well prepared for their night this week and Vincent did really, really well and finally made some progress (at least in my honest opinion) and can be pleased with his part in the competition and how it ended.

We saw many actually quite interesting performances during the night. Nicola was clearly the weakest contestant during the final. None of his songs impressed me in any way. He might have tried a bit too much and had also bad luck and the least interesting special guest as his duet partner. Lucie was better than earlier and I liked her songs. She looked absolutely stunning during her New York performance and did well with it. I’m warming up to Florent’s music. I’ve liked him as a person since the beginning but never much paid much attention to his singing even I know he has a great voice. Lucie had Shakira as her another special guest and no one noticed anyone else than her on stage so Lucie was totally in the shadow of her but it was quite an opportunity for a young girl to be on stage with a star like Shakira and probably well worth sacrificing this one song especially taking in account Lucie wasn’t a favorite in the competition at all.

Lisandro was the big audience favorite and (I admit I’m biased in this as I’m a mother and in my world teenage boys can do small wonders every day) I kind of hoped and assumed Lisandro would win even I supported Vincent as my personal favorite. I watched Lisandro this week and he looked amazingly ready for his new role and was incredibly smooth with people shaking hands, giving hugs, smiling, posing in pictures, chatting and doing even small dances on the street in front of crowds (a pic of him below).

Lisandro’s first song was not his style and generally not suitable for him but as soon as he started his performance with Soprano every single person in the studio knew there goes the winner. There was no other possibility and at some point I turned my head and saw Mika’s face and imagined him thinking ”oh fuck there goes the winner” even of course it couldn’t be a surprise to him. I thought Lisandro is a better singer than his coach but Matt is a fantastic dancer and their talent/coach performance was for that reason quite impressive as well. Lisandro deserved to win the competition without a  doubt. He is still a kid and yet someone ready to be a pop singer and probably has a better possibility to make it than talent show winners in general.

Vincent did super well with his solo performance Take On Me from A-ha and I hope Mika feels proud of him. He performed well also with his guest partner but the French song was not familiar to me and I practically missed it because the guitarist took over both the stage and my attention. Yesterday – Vincent’s duet with Mika – was absolutely beautiful. They sounded lovely and balanced together and I thought Mika was very thoughtful and sensitive with his talent and well remembered he was was there not alone but had someone to take care of and also that Vincent’s singing didn’t disturb my pleasure of listening to Mika at all and that’s a big compliment and more than I can say about most people I’ve heard singing together with him.

I had so looked forward to finally hearing Mika’s singing and even it was only one song and together with his talent it was still breath-taking and put my life in order like it always does. I sometimes have moments when I question this weird dedication but he needs to sing one song only, just one, and everything makes sense again and every hour of traveling feels well worth while. The whole world becomes like a different place than it was before. Everything looks suddenly brighter, colors are much stronger and there’s a fresh, beautiful smell and I feel harmonious and happy and confident that everything is like it should be. In seconds. It’s like magic.

I wish he could make music all the time. He enjoys his busy cosmopolitan life and wants to try everything new and different and challenge himself and probably thinks business wise as well and I understand that all well and think he is extremely good at several areas, much better than most people can ever be. I still think he is at his best when he sings. And if he wants to stand out as much as he has potential and to be something truly special he should include singing and making music in whatever he is doing. Like do Casa Mika built around his music. The art of song covering great song writers. Musicals. Symphony. Singing is his super power. It’s like a part of his soul. I want to be understanding and supportive and I enjoy watching whatever he does (and will do it in the future) but for selfish reasons I cry just thinking of my life without his music.

I had hoped that something I see or hear at the Voice would make me excited and look forward to the future but it didn’t happen. I was lucky to see Mika quickly a couple of times but there was no possibility to actually talk with him. He was sweet and polite and greeted me in English (paying kindly attention that way)  and then quickly continued discussion in French so I wasn’t in the conversation or wasn’t even expected to ask anything (only fair remembering we were in France) and didn’t get any excited vibes. I know he has mentioned a new album but to be honest I haven’t got an impression he can dedicate enough time for it in the near future and expect more television or other projects whatever they are. The second season for Casa Mika is confirmed though and I live in hope I can follow it like I did last year and I leave my blog here to wait for either that or something else that might come up.

I really enjoyed this The Voice season and especially the final night. We saw Shakira as an international guest and she came on stage giving a few handshakes to people on her way and I was surprised she assumed people are prepared for that and was grateful I wasn’t standing where I was last time (because I wouldn’t have been prepared) and was told that she is hugely, hugely popular and actually a big star. She was charismatic indeed. She started her performance showing some incredible – and I mean absolutely unbelievable – moves and you know, after watching her a while I kind of hoped she would come to me and shake my hand as well but she didn’t, just high-fived people on my right and left. Impressive lady.

The evening was entertaining and after midnight the show ended and we took a pic and said – reluctantly of course – good bye to Mika and to each other and left everyone our own ways. I left with Isa and Ani and we stopped at a restaurant to have drinks and crashed a random birthday party and were invited in to have wine and cake and to watch burning lanterns sent on the sky and it was a weird but funny ending for a wonderful day. We saw a crowd on our way out from the area and recognized Vincent in the middle of it and I took a pic with him but not sure how it turned out and will see it later. The girls gave me a lift to my hotel in their car (I was worried to walk alone) and I heard later they were robbed on their way to their own hotel and felt shocked about it. Luckily they are okay (just small bruises) but everyone please remember for the next season that the area around the studios is not safe at all.

Thanks everyone for this spring and the whole season. Special thanks to my dear French friends! I miss you all and hope to be back soon. It was such a pleasure to meet you again and to do things together. I add below a few pics I took this week. Take care xxx

Back home from Paris. I haven’t slept and have a really busy week ahead so just a very quick summary about the show this week. The weekend itself was sunny and also quite funny, I laughed a lot. The recording event was very crowded and I was totally lost both during and after it, a huge thank you to the French girls who patiently helped me to find my way in the chaos. 15 calls from the uber-driver while he tried to find me in the studio area. 15! I gave him five stars just for not leaving me there in the middle of the night.

The teams gathered together a moment before the show was supposed to start and Mika appeared on stage wearing his best stage outfit black trousers and a white shirt looking super, super, super stylish and making my heart almost stop. I’ve seen him doing some amazing concerts wearing that kind of an outfit but no concert this time, of course. He added a glittery jacket and sat in his chair between Florent and Zazie and the show started.

I had no idea what to expect this week. Matt’s team was the first one to perform. The young boy from his team is seriously good indeed. He is very confident and performs like an adult despite of his young age. He was voted safe by the audience again and after that Matt chose the girl as his second talent for the next week’s show. I wouldn’t have done that but I don’t much care about female voices any way.

Zazie’s team was next and the first guy from his team had the most interesting song in the group (With Or Without You) and he did it well and was therefor my favorite from Zazie’s team this week. Her two other talents had boring songs like most contestants this week. I wasn’t surprised the Italian guy was voted safe, he seems popular and is good even sounds quite similar every week. I hoped Zazie would choose the first guy as her second talent and she did.

Florent’s team was visually as stunning as last week but I didn’t like the songs chosen for them this week. The girl who did I Will Always Love You was saved by the audience and I totally agreed with the television audience. Not because I liked her version, even the song is massive and bold, but because I generally like her performing. She is a true show girl and a great dancer and I can well see her as a professional performing artist in the future.

Team Mika was the last one. Audrey started and she and Mika were extremely cute together having a sweet little dance moment in the end of the song. Audrey is sweet and I wish her well but I still hoped she would be out so Mika wouldn’t have to choose between the other two. She was saved by the audience though and Mika had to make the difficult choice.

Just like last time in a similar situation I hoped he would choose Vincent. Also just like last time I didn’t trust him to do so. He can be unpredictable and this week Imane was better than earlier and Vincent wasn’t having his best week even the song was a good one. He did choose Vincent – just like he did last time – and I was happy (and again, a bit ashamed that I had doubted his decision). Vincent is definitely my favorite, he has a very unique style.

This week was Florent’s turn to do his solo performance and I was happy for his fans who could see him performing. Sigh, we haven’t seen Mika’s performance yet, I selfishly hope it won’t happen next week when I’m not there (but don’t know the schedules at all). xxx

A small report after the first live show. The studio is officially outside of Paris but I was lucky to have a couple of extra days to walk around and enjoy the city so the weekend felt like a short holiday in Paris. Live shows are different compared to other studio recordings. There’s not as much possibility to observe Mika and the other coaches as during auditions but the atmosphere is very cool and it’s easy to feel the excitement coming from the live recording situation. Live shows are always quite entertaining because of added show elements and the level of contestants feels better than during the first recordings as the talents have gone through coaching and got advices and their songs are more carefully chosen and interesting than in the beginning.

Going in to the studio was crowded but I managed to take a place near the barrier which made my back hurt less during the long standing. I tried to avoid drinking anything during the day (there’s no possibility to go to toilet while recording) so I was happy the staff gave us water and this time we could even have our mobiles and take a few pics during breaks so everything was really quite comfortable and we could just enjoy the show.

Mika’s team started and all his talents did well but to be honest my focus was totally on Vincent who is my favorite and I loved watching how Mika lived through his performance note by note and word by word holding his breath a little bit and looking really happy after everything went so well. We could see on the screen how he showed a tiny part of the song to Vincent in the middle of his coaching and I could see it made everyone happy and would bet it made the television audience happy as well and I found it funny because all he did was a few seconds and it made us all so pleased.

I had assumed Audrey would be out this week because her voice is so unique it can be even too unique but the song this week was really suitable for her and the audience voted her safe along with Vincent so Mika had to choose between Imane and The Sugazz and he chose to keep Imane just like I expected. It’s a shame that The Sugazz is out, they were one of my favorites during the auditions, but I didn’t feel too bad for them. They are a group and have done this long before The Voice and will continue after The Voice and to be honest their song was the least interesting from the whole team this week and all I cared was that Vincent was safe anyway.

After Mika it was time for Florent Pagny and his team and how amazingly pretty his girls are and how beautifully they were all styled last night! I rarely pay this much positive attention to the styling at The Voice, it’s mostly quite awful. All the girls performed nicely and the girl in the metallic outfit was a wonderful dancer and one of the youngest girls looked so breathtakingly beautiful she could be the next Miss Universe as well. They were all such a joy to watch and surely also to listen like Florent’s contestants usually are. However, my taste is too far away from Florent’s style and I simply couldn’t keep my thoughts in the songs chosen so I didn’t listen to them carefully enough. Even Billy Jean which I would otherwise absolutely love was so unrecognizable I didn’t much enjoy it.

In the middle of the night it was a turn for Matt Pokora and his solo performance. He had a huge dance group, both fashionable looking guys and girls (in their underwear!) and I must say I hadn’t figured out if Matt is more a dancer or a singer but after his performance I would say a dancer? The audience seemed to really like him and his fans next to me knew all his choreographies and after seeing how much the audience liked him I could well believe he is as famous in France as my French friends have told he is. His style is very different from Florent’s but still equally far away from my taste and I can’t much remember his performance but I paid attention during the whole evening how genuinely supportive he seemed to be with his team and it was nice to watch.

The third coach was Zazie and she has an interesting team and I generally like her style and watching her. I can’t understand a word but always immediately get the vibe she doesn’t want anyone out and would love to everyone continue in the competition and it’s quite sweet. All her contestants are different compared to each other which makes her team the most colorful along with Mika’s team and I found the guy singing in Italian good and the audience seemed to like him.

Matt’s team was the last one to perform and I could still remember a couple of the boys from the auditions. A youngest looking member from his team is a kind of wonderkid singing and dancing and performing like a pro despite of his young age and it looked Matt was already celebrating him as a winner and you know, he can be right and the contestant will probably go far in the competition. Still fingers crossed for ”our team” and Vincent and hope he will do as well next week as he did this week.

Mika looked young and very charming in his new boyish hair style. It was nice to see him smiling and was such a pleasure to meet so many fans, the French girls who welcomed me as they always do (which is incredibly kind as I mean always extra trouble for them) as well as many international fans. Thank you so much, everyone! I had almost forgotten how much I love hearing French on my left and Italian on my right and seeing people from many different countries grouped together. So Mika style and an important part of this all. X



I need something interesting to think about all the time. My mind demands feeding the same way my body does, actually it’s often even more demanding than my body is. I don’t know any other way to live, I need constantly something to focus on to keep the traffic in my head smooth. Music is one of my favorite forms of positive mental energy. After a Mika gig my head is overflowingly full of new thoughts and ideas, all I need to do is to put everything in order.

Between gigs I have to find other ways to keep my mind fed. I read stories and non-fiction, watch films, documents and video talks, listen to podcasts and search internet. The theme can be anything as long as I find it interesting and it makes me think even it’s not really useful for my real life at all. I love weird stories and reading about human mind, psychology, creativity, artists, writers, design, different cultures, traveling, animals and the earth, just to mention a few themes.

When I spend time with my collages I just go back to my childhood and enjoy watching different colors and shapes together. I cut and glue and let my mind wander around. I miss Mika and his music and this time wanted to play with little hearts. The first collage is about tolerance and the second one about having courage to follow our dreams. In the third collage the fox is having a party in the confetti rain. Mika makes my life a party. I love it and kind of expect that from him. From other artists I expect nothing, from him I expect a little party every now and then.

I have some ideas for my blog and wish I could use them and had real photos or news to offer. We just need to wait something to happen. While waiting, take care xxx

A short update about the second night for the Voice France third round. Thursday night was naturally more boring than Tuesday because Mika had already chosen his team and we saw Florent Pagny and Matt Pokora choosing theirs and their style is different and not as interesting as Mika’s (a bit biased saying that of course, lol!).

Mika was chilled and his part was only to shortly comment every performance and otherwise there was not much to focus on except wondering what he was doing with his little notebook. He kept sending notes to the other coaches, maybe for his own amusement. I paid too much attention to different sounds myself and it made me feel uncomfortable throughout the night. Many of the contestants have the kind of voice that makes me shudder and just like on Tuesday, some songs were poorly chosen which added the effect.

Again, it was quite easy to guess which contestant is staying in the competition and which two are out so it looked a bit silly that the three other coaches many times chose different favorites even the performances were not that good and it gave the impression the production wanted to make the level look better than it actually was (what makes sense from their point of view of course).

However, I have no idea how the system works for real and if the production guides the coaches in these situations or not. Also, if the coaches make their own decisions, whether they plan them beforehand or in that particular moment after seeing every performance. Of course the coaches are professionals and can better see the potential in young people (than an average person in the audience) and I assume they know some background information from behind the scenes the audience can’t know.

Being a good singer is not enough for talent shows unless the talent is something absolutely spectacular. The contestants need to be interesting and have personality and a good story behind them the audience to remember them well. After the recordings on Tuesday and Thursday I can hardly remember everyone from Mika’s team and only one or two from the other teams. I can remember two boys from Matt Pokora’s team on Thursday simply because young male contestants are stereotypical talent show material and have always their own target groups.

This year Mika has a very interesting contestant who can go far and if all goes well win and I would like to see his team winning this season. I wonder if he is doing another season after this. The Voice can’t give him much challenge at this point – how could it – and I’ve always thought this man lives for new challenges. The rumors tell they pay him well though and maybe it’s all becoming a nice routine with familiar people. We will see, I’m only speculating here.

Live shows for this season will be later this spring. I really enjoyed spending a few days in France and would love to do that even more. A huge thank you to the French girls and everyone else I met during the recordings for your company, help, chatting, translating and trying to teach me French (not much progress there I’m afraid). Hope to see you all soon xxx

I’m doing a couple of quick posts to describe my trip to The Voice France third round recordings in Paris. It felt important to travel and see Mika especially now when we possibly have only rare other events to look forward to this year (in case he is planning a small break to focus on his new music). It’s comforting to see him at recordings and with translations I can quite well follow what’s happening. My usual translator Melyssa couldn’t be in Paris for the third round (and I missed her!) but I was luckily sitting next to Ani who kept me updated during the night, a huge thank you to her for that.

The first night (Tuesday) was reserved for Zazie’s and Mika’s teams and the other coaches only gave their opinions after every performance, not pushing their words too much so both Zazie and Mika could focus on making their own decisions which was especially hard for Zazie. She doesn’t want to sent people out, it seems she would like to keep them all and fortunately on Tuesday the others were helping her a bit with this issue saving some of her contestants and that definitely made her happy.

The idea of the third round is to group the contestants in groups of three and hear them all performing one song chosen by themselves. The coach for the team decides which contestant continues to the live recordings and which two are out of the competition. Every coach can “steal” one contestant from other teams to their own teams (so the stolen contestant is not out but just changing his/her team). Many of the songs chosen were not best possible at all and some contestants could have done better if the songs had been more suitable. The level was not really high and it was easy to guess who will continue and who is sent out even the groups were well and logically done grouping similar types together.

I’ve had two favorites in Mika’s team and I hoped in advance that they both can make it to the live shows. My first favorite is a contestant who seems both very strong and very vulnerable and sensitive (as a person) at the same time. I liked him since the beginning and was happy he chose Mika because I know Mika can be sensitive and caring and give the contestant good and careful guidance. However, the performance for the third round was nervous and not as good as the auditioning and I was worried Mika might choose not to keep this contestant in his team. He did keep him though and I loved him for that and felt a bit ashamed I didn’t trust him in this decision. It was all emotional and a bit teary and will cause a lot of emotions in the television audience as well, I’m sure people will like the contestant.

My other favorite in Mika’s team has been a colorful group I like a lot because all three in the group seem very different as personalities but after performing together for a long time have grown together and give a good impression as a group. The group seems ready and experienced and something that could be successful if they just got visibility and some help to sharpen their style. They did well during the third round and continue to live shows and after seeing all these contestants again these two (the individual contestant and the group) in Mika’s team were the ones I can remember best even Zazie has some strong contestants as well.

The first of these two nights was entertaining to watch. I felt a bit tired after taking an early flight in the morning and of course I do wish I could understand Mika’s commenting. I regret and have lately much regretted not learning French. Thanks to my friends I can follow recordings quite well despite of the language and the issue hasn’t bothered me too much. Still, the truth is if I can’t understand him when he shares his thoughts I can learn to know him only through his music and it’s the most important but not the same as understanding everything.

I didn’t have a possibility to wish Mika happy new year in Florence and hoped to do that in Paris but naturally he had such a crowd around him that it wasn’t possible. However, he saw my face from distance behind the crowd and said a quick hello and happy new year which was nice and kind of made my wish to came true. Thursday night can be more boring for Mika fans because his team is already done but I will write a short update after that one too. X