Marc Calleja Bayliss
Last year, Sweden went to the Eurovision Song Contest with somewhat of a favourite tag as Eric Saade took to the stage with his song 'Popular' written by Fredrik Kempe finishing in an astounding third position, something that was not expected following rehearsals which were being just a tad problematic because of stage props. This years' edition of the annual Melodifestivalen is being touted as one of the best showcases that has ever been organized just for the fact that the country did extremely well the year before and might be looking at the possibility of hosting sometime soon. This morning, the Swedish broadcaster, SVT, announced the acts that will compete in the first and second semi-finals.
Before making the announcement of the names, we have swifted through the list and found some of the best names in the Swedish music industry including former Eurovision Song Contest representatives and former Melodifestivalen competitors. The first semi-final will be staged in the city of Växjö on the 4th February and the second semi-final will take place in the town of Göteborg on the 11th February. The next announcement of artists will be made next week when the acts of the third and fourth semi-final will be made public as well.
- Loreen - Euphoria (Thomas G:son, Peter Boström)
- The Moniker - I want to be Chris Isaak (The Moniker)
- Thorsten Flinck & Revolutionsorkestern - Jag reser mig igen (Thomas G:son, Ted Ström)
- Dead by April - Mystery (Pontus Hjelm)
- Abalone Dots - På väg (Rebecka Hjukström, Sophia Hogman, Louise Holmer, Viktor Källgren)
- Marie Serneholt - Salt & pepper (Lina Eriksson, Mårten Eriksson, Figge Boström)
- Sean Banan - Sean den förste banan (Sean Banan, Joakim Larsson, Hans Blomberg, Mårten Andersson)
- Afro-Dite - The boy can dance (Figge Boström, Catrine Loqvist, Johan Lindman)
- Andreas Lundstedt - Aldrig aldrig (Niclas Lundin, Maria Marcus, Randy Goodrum)
- Top Cats - Baby doll (Mårten Eriksson, Lina Eriksson, Susie Päivärinta)
- Mimi Oh - Det går för långsamt (Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Niclas Lundin)
- Thomas Di Leva - Ge aldrig upp (Thomas Di Leva)
- Sonja Aldén - I din himmel (Sonja Aldén, Bobby Ljunggren, Peter Boström)
- David Lindgren - Shout it out (Tony Nilsson, Fernando Fuentes)
- Ulrik Munther - Soldiers (Ulrik Munther, Johan Åberg, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, David Jackson)
- Timoteij - Stormande hav (Kristian Lagerström, Johan Fjellström, Stina Engelbrecht, Jens Engelbrecht)
When it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest, each country remembers the year in which it actually sent in their very first entry and when it comes to Hungary, it has to be the year 1994 when the song 'Kinek mondjam el vétkeimet?' performed by Friderika Bayer finished in an astonishing fourth place. Unfortunately the nation did not live up to its expectations in the years to come with a number of disappointing results prior to the their official withdrawal in 1999 before making their return in 2005 when they were favourites to win only to make it to the finals and reach their second best result, that of eleventh with the song 'Forogj, világ!' performed by the group NOX. Then again, this was thought as another disappointment but then things changed in 2007 after a year absence as one of the most famous singers in the country; Magdi Rúzsa finished in ninth place with the song 'Unsubstantial Blues'. The nation are set to compete in the year 2012.
The singer by the name of Gabi Tóth announced her intentions with one of the leading newspapers in the country and she is well known for participation in the second season of the programme 'Megasztár' where she finished in third place being the best placed female singer in the competition. This was a huge achievement because in 2005 she went onto receive the award for being the best female singer in the country. At this point in time, she has recorded two albums, with a number of songs making it to the top of the charts and obtaining nationwide fame.
In the past three years, she was announced as the best artist in Hungary as well as obtaining the best video clip this year. In the meantime, her relation to the national final in the country was also existent in 2008 but her song that year was not shortlisted into the top fifteen (15) and therefore missed out on a place and noting that fact that the last two entries were selected internally, she might be in with a shot now that she has declared her intentions. In the meantime, you could listen to her latest hit song 'Jöjj még' just below.
Source: Origo, escXtra
Musical reality shows such as the X Factor for example have proven successful in recent years and one of the acts to have come out from the British edition are surely none other than the Irish group Jedward who took to the stage and represent the nation in the 2011 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Lipstick' which won the respective national final held on the Late Late Show hosted by the broadcaster, RTE. Many people though that the selection was pointless due to the extreme popularity but in the end due to some controversy, the voting percentages were rightfully amended in favour of the jury leaving the final result to only a different of two points like what happened in Malta. They are back with another single, the third off their recent number #1 album 'Victory'.
The duo who have been nicknamed as the Grimes due to their surname have just released their third song entitled 'Wow Oh Wow' which is in their typical format, a fun, uplifting song which will surely get people going. Up till now, they have garnered success all over the nation and following their performance at the Eurovision Song Contest, they have managed to crack most of the mainstream European Charts including those of Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and more. The release of this song will most probably be in Ireland and the United Kingdom but they are not that appreciated in the latter as the album only hit position number #34. They are hoping to take the role of representing the nation once more next year as they are mentored by former winner fo the Eurovision Song Contest; Linda Martin.
In the past couple of days there have been a lot of headlines about artists who are set to represent their nations in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest which is set to take place in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan but one of the nations who has been tight lipped about the decision is Turkey. The broadcaster responsible for the participation, TRT, dealt with their first non-qualification earlier this year as the group 'Yuksek Sadakat' failed to move the people with their performance of the pop/rock track 'Live It Up'. A high profile entrant is expected for the winners of the 2003 edition of the competition and the revelation is expected in December and this is shown by the amount of promo with the broadcasting is currently giving to the annual showcase
In recent days, it has been announced that the most important man in the scene when it comes to commentary, meaning Bülend Özveren will be hosting a special programme which will be featuring a number of historic clips set to air on the 4th December at 17:30 local time but in the meantime, additional rumours have sparked that an artist announcement will be taking place though this is quite unlikely at this point in time because this show is broadcasted on TRT Muzik and not the official TRT 1 which is normally used for major announcements. The rumours about who will be making the country proud next year continue though the favourites seem to be none other than Atiye Deniz and Hande Yener.
Last Saturday marked the second phase of the 2012 edition of Malta Eurovision Song Contest where everything went swiftly according to our sources with only some minor issues when it came to the sound which was for the second year in a row managed by foreigners with the aim to show that professionalism is key. The level of the submitted songs was already quite high and the entries that were short-listed were the very best in years and it seems that the juries' decision has been unanimous when it comes to the songs that have made it into the final twenty-four as they take to the stage on the 27th January 2012, so much so that the announcement of the finalists will be taking place later on this week, this Friday to be exact.
We are now in a position to confirm that our sources have been correct because all of the second phase participants have been contacted by the Public Broadcasting Services stating that the Finalists for the 2012 Malta Eurovision Song Contest will be announced during this weeks' edition of the programme 'Xarabank' hosted by Peppi Azzopardi. The team of Where's Everybody have been beneficial to the national selection in recent years and this might be the best way to announce them noting very good viewing figures. Each of the artists have been urged to take part in the programme next Friday.
The way that the announcement will take place is yet to be announced although a promotional short should be expected to air during the coming hours. Once the contact is made, the team at Where's Everybody will make sure to contact the respective artists for more details. This is the second piece of news in as many days after almost having full confirmation that the hosts of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2012 will be none other than Ronald Briffa and Elaine Saliba who were seen being photographed together last Saturday in preparation for the event. In an interesting update, we have also learnt that a clip from the songs will be aired during the programme. Keep following ESCflashmalta for all the latest news!
The announcements of the artists who are set to compete in the 2012 edition of the Melodi Grand Prix have become somewhat tedious to a number of fans especially due to the fact that there is no standard date for when they will be released but then again, it seems like the host broadcaster of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest being NRK, has decided to publish some three names weekly in order to keep the interest going. The names revealed thus far have not been typical of the selection process and this is the idea of fresh faces with a new build up of careers therefore being aimed at so that the music scene in Norway continues to develop and evolve accordingly. The latest name to join the field is none other than Lisa Stokke.
The artist that has been announced just a couple of hours ago is actually well known in her native country for being an exemplary musical export having also starred in the British television series; Jonathan Creek in the past couple of years. In recent times, she was also part of the English musicals; 'Mamma Mia!' and 'Guys and Dolls' prompting her to more success. She has also released an album back in 2006 under the name 'A Piece of Lisa' but is hoping to reach more success in the coming months with her participation in the Melodi Grand Prix with the song 'With Love'. Keep following ESCflashmalta for more information about Norway and all of the countries taking part in the 2012 edition of the Melodi Grand Prix.
Earlier claims this year noted down that the Czech Republic would be returning to the Eurovision Song Contest for the very first time since 2009 when their representatives Gipsy.cz failed to make any impact on the rest of Europe, failing to garner any points and thus not making the final. This was the third disappointing result in a row and thus the broadcaster decided that participating in the event was not bearing any really positive acclaim.
The Czech Republic have now confirmed that the claims were false because they won't be returning to compete in the city of Baku, Azerbaijan due to a number of issues including budgetary ones because of the worldwide economic crisis. The best result achieved at the Eurovision Song Contest by the nation was that by Tereza Kerndlová whose song 'Have Some Fun' finished in eighteenth place in the semi-final obtaining nine points in total. The general director of the broadcaster went on record stating that the country won't be participation in the next edition of the biggest musical in Europe opting to focus on another area of entertainment including showing none other than the popular British Broadcasting Corporation series; 'Downton Abbey'.
Source: Česká Televize (CT)
The musical career of a local artist is not easy to gain prominence but then again there a number of showcases which can propel an individual to nationwide recognition. One of such events is surely the Malta Eurovision Song Contest within with the singer Kurt Calleja made his debut back in the year 2010 when alongside established veteran Priscilla Psaila, he made it into the finals with the song 'Waterfall' but earlier this year, he also reached the competition as a soloist with the song 'Over and Over' reaching the second runner-up position. He is working hard in order to prove the success of male artists here in the country and has just finished recording the video for this years' entry composed by Johan J'Amtberg and penned by Kurt himself.
The song has continuously gained recognition on both local and international airwaves and with the support of Undo Productions, the team behind the track have just finished recording its video. The story-line of the video under the direction of Daniel Abdilla who has just won the 'People's Choice' award in a short movie festival in the United States of America features a love interest in the form of singer/actress Christine Haber. In the beginning, one can easily note a short roleplay in which Kurt will be admitting certain feelings and then just a couple of seconds, the song commences. The music video also includes a band who are recording the song alongside the main singer showing a brand new side of Kurt Calleja, one which the people would never notice.
Speaking about the feelings behind the video, this is what Kurt had to say 'I was always scared to show my sensitive side to my fans, friends and viewers, but I feel that it is time that the people know the real Kurt. I am a hopeless romantic and I love the sappy romantic things that you see on the movies you know? Like when a couple slow dances in the rain or talk about growing old and crazy in love together…' This is something that was portrayed in the music video in which the singer would like to thank all of his team of sponsors starting with Mangano who provided all the clothes for all the scenes for: myself, Christine and the band; 2 22 lounge in Valletta. He would also like to thank Attard Bros. who provided us with a lavish apartment in Ghadira Malta to shoot some more scenes, Shasha for our make-up and Hairlab Hairdressing in Zebbug for our hairdos; and finally Anjelica Ellul of Comfort Zone Malta.
Kurt and his team of delinquents will soon be releasing the very first teaser of the music video called 'The Making of - Over and Over the music video' which will look at some of the most interesting behind the scene footage in the making of the promotional video. In the meantime, Kurt would like to ask for a favor saying 'Once the video is online, please share it on your facebook walls because we need as many views as possible to push the Maltese name in productions abroad. As always, I thank you for the time, and your support means the world to us – God bless and lot’s of love'.
Source: Facebook, Kurt Calleja
The sheer professionalism of the Public Broadcasting Services in organizing this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest continues to shine even amongst the acts that presented their entries in this showcase prompting success to the upper echelons of the local music industry. One of the most traditional yet contemporary artists to come out from the musical competition was none other than Richard Edwards who made his solo debut with the song '' which he co-wrote alongside Jan Van Dijck. Since then, he has been on the local television screens for quite sometime making his appearance on the reality musical television programme 'Don't Stop Me Now' during the summer, singing a duet with upcoming local artists whilst he also released a single during the course of the summer months entitled '' making the airplay on major radio stations in the country. He is due to release his next single next Saturday.
This brand new single bearing the name 'My Mistake' will see Richard Edwards looking much more contemporary and in a way, this song will return closer to his country roots in the vein of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest entry of the past year. Richard continues to solidify his position in the music industry as he plans to release his debut album in the coming months. In this video, he has decided to once more work with the director Karl Alin, the same individual behind his very first two videos for the songs '' an ''. The shoot as you can see in the behind the scenes footage below features some of the best scenes in the country and it will surely be enjoyable to both watch and listen. The full versio of this new track will be released during the Saturday edition of the show 'Clint on ONE' whilst later on in the evening, Richard will be present at the GO Malta Music Awards where he is nominated for the Best Male Artist Award. One should also note that Richard is hoping to become a finalist in the 2012 Malta Eurovision Song Contest as they are announced later on this evening.
Source: Facebook, Richard Edwards
Many people have been increasingly excited about the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest due to the fact that the showcase which was presented by the Public Broadcasting Services earlier this year featured some of the best songs ever heard in the county on a platform which could have easily been touted as the most professional incorporating a mixture of local and foreign talent in terms of technicalities. The announcement of the finalists for the 2012 edition of the local music competition was expected in the beginning of December but the broadcaster seems to have made the calculations of the jury points before they had actually planned and therefore will not keep the results secret revealing them in this evenings' programme of the popular 'Xarabank' hosted by Peppi Azzopardi.
The initial promotional spot for the programme was actually published yesterday and therefore the interest amongst the people has really been gaining ground in the past couple of hours. The names of the sixty-two (62) entries were already published prior to the second phase along with the list of performers and therefore many people have passed their respective comments without actually listening to the tracks with former Eurovision Song Contest representatives such as Ludwig Galea (2004) and Fabrizio Faniello (2001, 2006) in the field along with a number of artists who have been in the selection in previous years. Apart from the announcement of the twenty-four finalists which many people will surely be on the look out for, the Public Broadcasting Services will also be airing one minute of each respective track so that the people can analyze the styles of the songs. Therefore tomorrow tune in to the official website of Television Malta (TVM) after the news at 20:00 CET for another programme of Xarabank.
Source: Television Malta (TVM), ONE Television (Image)