In just over 24 hours, the Grand Final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest will be taking place with 26 participants; 10 from the 1st semi-final, 10 from the 2nd semi-final, the 'Big 5' and the 'host country' all vying for the trophy, and the chance to host the international spectacle next year.
Following the aftermath of the Thursday show, the production team of the competition led by SVT sat down with the EBU and created a running order based on the halves that they drew at the post show press conference.
As a matter of fact, the proposed draw was unanimously approved by the EBU Executive Supervisor, Jon Ola Sand and the Chairman of the Reference Group, Dr. Frank-Dieter. This year's final will be taking place at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden and will be hosted by Mans Zelmerlow and Petra Mede, who have led the two semi-finals successfully.
02. Czech Republic
03. The Netherlands
25. United Kingdom
On behalf of the escflashmalta.com, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for following the minute-by-minute commentary on Facebook and Twitter, led by Claudia Faniello and Karen DeBattista during the 1st semi-final, and by Janice Debattista and Brooke Borg during the 2nd semi-final. In the final, it will be conducted by Julie Pomorski and Franklin Calleja.
We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about Malta's participation in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, led by singer/songwriter Ira Losco who will be performing "Walk on Water", co-written alongside Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren, Molly Pettersson Hammar and Lisa Desmond in slot #22.
Have you had a look at your calendar? It is already February, and that could only mean that the national finals season is well and truly underway, with the choices for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest being made as the weeks go by! This year, 43 participating broadcasters will be fielding entries in what has been coined the biggest entertainment spectacle in the world.
We had the opportunity to speak to some of the acts who are hoping to win their nations' ticket, and the 2nd to grace us with an interview is Justs Sirmais, who will be singing the song "Heartbeat", written by Aminata, during the Latvian National Selection.
Hello Justs, how does it feel to be part of the Latvian national selection “Supernova 2016” with your song “Heartbeat”?
Well I could say, that I am feeling very thrilled about all that is happening because I haven’t experienced before such a big attention for my music from so many people. Every day I am getting amazing feedback from different people and it really makes me happy that I can make people smile and be positive through my music.
Who had the idea that you could participate in the Latvian national selection and who decided “Heartbeat”?
This idea was turning in my mind long time ago, but person that made this idea turn in action was song author Aminata Savodogo. She was the one who called me and said, come in, you have to do this! It is very good opportunity! And I am so thankful for that.
What is the message of "Heartbeat"?
The main motive in the song is about lost love and pain that it gives. It is like prayer to forget all the bad that happened and start everything from the beginning. Even maybe this prayer could not be heard and just resound in the silence, you can’t move on without saying it out loud.
Can you tell us something about the beginning of your career?
I am 20 years old singer/song writer from Latvia. I started my musical career on age 6. I’ve been singing at Riga Dome Choir School. In that place I’ve learned music theory, piano, performing arts, jazz theory, improvisation and ensemble (combo), which significantly affected the further life path.
Than I’ve been singing and playing on the streets of Riga when I was 16. Shortly after that I found my first band called “TaxFree”. There we all were in my age, starting something new. First songs, first concerts, first fails and first victories associate with that time. Few years later one popular band in Latvia called GACHO noticed me and I started to do shows with them too. I got known with Bigger stages, management, fan base etc.
Biggest shows we had was on main stage of Latvian festivals like SUMMERSOUND, HOLI and our own concert in PALLADIUM concert venue. But in this project I wasn’t in the main role, so I continue to work with my vocal and looking around for opportunities. And now I am presenting my first single at Supernova 2016 for Eurovision 2016 National selection.
Your song is composed by Aminata, who represented Latvia last year at the Eurovision Song Contest very successful with her song “Love Injected”. Can you tell us something more about this collaboration?
Working with Aminata has been very easy and fun for me although she is very demanding and hard working, she is also funny and sweet, and that is kind of close to my character so it is nothing but wonderful to work with her.
What are you expecting in the national selection “Supernova 2016”, are you excited?
I am expecting a fair fight for audience heartbeats and chance to represent my country in ESC 2016. And of course I am excited when such a good price is on the table :D
How do you prepare yourself for the show?
I am doing my best to build a contact with people and hell of a rehearsals to fill up their hopes. Also my crew and I are constantly shooting material for social networks (photo shots, videos). We are very friendly with press and I am happy to receive a big amount of requests for an interview. Every single day I have something new to tell and to show to my audience.
Are you a Eurovision fan?
I am watching it every single year, so I guess you can call me a fan :D
Which are your favorite Eurovision songs and what is your favorite from Latvian entries?
I think it’s hard to say, because I am always watching these shows as a doctor looks at patients. He don’t have favorite one as I don’t have favorite song :D
What is your first Eurovision memory?
When I was very young I remember all family watching this show and that was the year when Latvia won. And everyone was jumping around our flat and cheering. It was very positive and happy moment. I hope that one day and hopefully very soon I could bring this joy and happiness back to them.
What are your plans for 2016 beside the Latvian national selection, are you working on a album?
Ahhhhhh so many huge plans!!! New songs, New videos, EP album and many concerts, lots of recording etc.
If people outside Latvia never heared about you before – what should they know about you?
They should know that everything is possible! My heartbeat is beating the same as everyone’s. I have performed in the shows to 10,000 audience and next week working my ass up selling computers in a store so I could buy new microphone. I have been playing hours on the streets while my fingers became blue hopefully that someone will notice me. I am as simple as you. Every day getting up and working to make my dream come true! We can make everything as good as we want. We should fight together!
Why should the Latvian audience vote for your song to represent Latvia at Eurovision 2016?
I am not that kind of person who tells others what they should do or not. I can only say that I will do my best and I am working nights and days to fill up your hopes Latvia in this important competition.
Do you have a message for our readers and your fans?
Just sit back and enjoy the show that we are preparing so hard to show you. :D
Thank you so much for answer those questions. Good luck to you and your song in the Latvian national selection and maybe we see us in Stockholm! We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.
Source: LTV / Justs Sirmais
In Vienna, the capital city of Austria, dress rehearsals for the final night of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 are currently taking place, as twenty (20) participating countries were selected from the semi-finals through a mixture of public and jury voting in order to join the seven (7) pre-determined finalists, who secured their place as part of the guidelines of the event, as set forth by the European Broadcasting Union.
As participants drew their part of the running order in the post semi-final press conferences, the excitement grew with regards to how the final line-up will look like, and in the wee hours of morning, the European Broadcasting Union made public the running order in which each of the finalists will be presenting their respective entry.
05. United Kingdom
Unfortunately, Malta is not part of this line-up, despite the fact that Amber gave a stunning interpretation of her entry "Warrior", her original entry penned by Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca to the composition of Elton Zarb. Nevertheless, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter as our LIVE blogging continues, with Antoine Farrugia, Marc Calleja Bayliss, Brooke Borg and Davinia Pace during the final night of the worlds' most prestigious event in Malta.
It has been an entertaining fortnight with certain entries falling well below expectations with others coming to terms with new found fame following first rehearsals on the stage found at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Tonight! The beginning of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with sixteen countries set to compete against one another in hope of garnering one of the ten available slots, and in doing so joining the big five; Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom as well as host country; Denmark.
Whilst Malta will not be in contention this evening, the Public Broadcasting Services will still be broadcasting the event through Television Malta with commentary set to be provided by Carlo Borg Bonaci, head judge at this year's edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. In the meantime, we have asked our panel of professional reviewers to come up with the names of the countries they believe will get through to the final this evening and this is the cumulative list which they have come up with;
- San Marino
- The Netherlands
We urge you to tune into escflashmalta.com through Facebook and Twitter this evening with Emil Calleja Bayliss, Brooke, Rikki Lee and Davinia micro-blogging on the acts competing in the first semi-final. Once more, we remind you that the comments passed forth by our special guests do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the escflashmalta.com editorial team. Remember, the first semi-final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest kicks off at 21:00 CET on Television Malta.
Malta will be making use of the mountain dulcimer during this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the instrument set to be played by Richard Edwards, lead vocalist and also songwriter of the track “Coming Home”. During the promotional stop in The Netherlands for the Eurovision In Concert, travelling on the buses to and from the venue and other places, it seems that Aarzemnieki and Firelight became really good friends whilst getting to a particular destination.
In the video, which we are attaching at the bottom of this article, it shows lead vocalists of both groups interacting with each other with Richard Edwards showing Jöran Steinhauer how to play this mountain dulcimer before bursting out in a performance of "You Are My Sunshine" whilst joined by Michelle Mifsud, who is featured towards the latter part of the performance during “Coming Home”. Malta and Latvia were well received during last nights’ Eurovision In Concert, with both entries actually having a relatively mid-tempo to uptempo kind of genre. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about the Maltese representatives.
It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Martin Isherwood, Deo Grech, Stano Simor and Matt Mercieca from the United Kingdom, Malta and the Czech Republic have been entrusted with the first semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 6th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and thus moving onto number #2, we catch up with Latvia (LTV) who will be represented by Aarzemnieki and the song Cake to Bake written by Guntis Veilands.
The Aarzemnieki (or Foreigners) phenomenon began as an unexpected shock for one German’s special interest and creative approach to the Euro introduction in Latvia. In the summer of 2013, Joran Steinhauer, whilst in his home in Bohume, Germany wrote a farewell song to the Lat currency, aptly naming the song Paldies Latiņam! (Thank You, Lat) Later, the video became a Youtube sensation with more than 100,000 views in one week. The popularity and enthusiasm surrounding the song was so large that Joran decided to pack his bags and make his way to Latvia with one thing in mind; “let’s see what happens next!” Joran’s connection with Latvia, however, began well before the birth of this smash song, when he took part in an exchange programme in the city of Talsi in 2005. Later he volunteered at a children’s centre and in the German church of Riga.
Remembering his first impressions, Joran recalls that it’s because of the group Brainstorm, who were third in the 2000 Eurovision final, that he was drawn to Latvia. After hearing their song he bought their CDs and it was at that moment that he became a true Eurovision and Brainstorm fan. This isn’t the first time Joran has stepped on the Eurovision stage, having performed in the national Latvian selection in 2008 with his former group Axlina performing the song More Than 27. The story behind the Aarzemnieki group’s name is quite precise due to Joran’s status in Latvia. The word’s complicated pronunciation reflects each foreigner’s struggle to integrate into the local society. In the fall of 2013, the group grew from a solo act with three new members- violinist and vocalist Katrina Dimanta, drummer Raitis Vilumovs and Guntis Veilands, pianist, and the author of the song Cake To Bake.
Latvia first entered the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2000 when the group Brainstorm surprised critics and fans alike when finishing in third place with the song My Star, a catchy pop number with the right slot in the running order. It seems that flirting with the top positions was set to bring the competition home considering that in 2002, Marie N and her entry I Wanna did the impossible of being close to last with the bookies before triumphing in a hard close-knit battle with Malta whose 7th Wonder by Ira Losco remains the closest the Mediterranean Nation have ever been to victory. In recent years, the country has failed to get out of the semi-final, finished dead-last on more than one occasion, including in 2003 with the group PeR and their song Here We Go.
Professional Critics Voice their Opinion
Martin Isherwood: Sort of catchy chorus, but not in a good way. This guy is apparently responsible for melting the polar ice caps and a whole host of other global events, however today he's going to bake a cake. Barking mad! Finger picking, folky, starts off a bit Ralph McTell 'streets of London' but shifts to a more frantic acoustic The Kinks 'follower of fashion' feel, both of which are a surprise in Eurovision. Quite a lot of fuss over a cake!
Deo Grech: Okay, here is an entry which is ruined by the title. It will be so funny to hear what will the commentators have to say about this entry. And if that is not enough this entry will be kissed by the curse of being performed second in the show....and to make things worse right after the potential winner of 2014. Sorry Latvia....I am afraid you'll have to miss the finals, this year round.
Stano Simor: Latvia "Beatles" is back? Pesnicka has a good groove. Chorus was used a hundred times in various forms. Maybe it Aarzemnieki bet, in which case it is right on target.
Matt Mercieca: I would love it as a song! if the lyrics were saying something that was not baking a cake! ( i kind of like it) , its funny , its catchy, ok I’m losing it, I think its a little sweet, it should be in a kids movie! it does put a smile on my face, but being a little bit more serious it is kind of ridiculous ( I spoke to a unicorn the other night), but I can’t hate it and have to admit I’m quite excited to watch this live. I’ve got a cake to bake dududududu.
Danmarks Radio, host broadcaster of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just revealed the running order for the international competition taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Represented by Firelight and the song Coming Home, written by Richard Edwards Micallef, Malta will be opening the second semi-final on the 8th May 2014.
Prior to the announcement of the draw for the running order, Malta had never been given the opportunity to open the semi-final of such an illustrious show. At first glance, one might be shocked but personally I had a strong feeling that this could happen given the diversity of the genres that make up the first half of the second semi-final. Seventh in qualification with the bookies, Coming Home is facing a fate bestowed to the likes of Nije Ljubav Stvar, This is My Life, Run Away and Love In Rewind, all of which have successfully qualified to the final of the continental competition.
It is quite interesting to denote that those entries which opened the second semi-final have proven to be much more successful than those opening the first semi-final. In the meantime, the situation in the first semi-final is even moreso intriguing especially with the first half of the show induated with ballads, despite that they try and preserve themselves as individualistic. Favourite to win the Eurovision Song Contest with odds shortening by the second, Armenia is set to open the first semi-final in a bizarre twist.
One has to remember that ten countries per semi-final will get through to the final show set for the 10th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark meaning that nine nations will be left out in the cold having not been selected amongst the best that the continent has to offer. In the final, the qualifiers will join entries from Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom and host country Denmark who have already been given an extremely late draw following a random draw. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
In Ventspils, the city which sponsors the Latvian participation in the continental competition, Aarzemnieki have been selected to represent Latvia in the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Cake to Bake. It continues a longstanding tradition which has seen the nation to the east of Europe select entries which have a rather funny connotation, such as Beautiful Song by Anmary, What For? by Aisha and also Wolves of the Sea performed by the group Pirates of the Sea. The song was in contention alongside another eleven (11) entries, but it was the choice of both the public and the jury when it came to the super-final, contested by three (3) entries.
Patrick Strouk on behalf of escflashmalta.com conducted the LIVE report for the evening and saw the chosen entry as one of the dark horses of the evening but many had been surprised that the group Aarzemnieki managed to covercome Dons, whose entry was already a major hit both on radio and in the national charts. Cake to Bake which will see to Latvia's fifteenth (15th) participation is written by Guntis Veilands. Latvia will compete in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, set to take place on the 6th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.
Labvakar! I am Patrick in Sarcelles, France and will be welcoming the twelve (12) finalists hoping to represent Latvia in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Ventspils has been supporting the participation of the country in recent times, henceforth why the city has been known to host the final in the past two to three years. Dziesma will be an intriguing affair, following two (2) semi-final rounds, and you may follow all of the action through the LIVE stream being offered by the Official Website of the Eurovision Song Contest as from 20:25 CET.
The selection is unchaged from previous years, meaning that the twelve (12) songs in contention this evening will be hoping to garner support from both the general public and the professional jury due to their 50% stake in both the first and the second round of voting. In the latter though, only the top three (3) will be fighting it out in what has been termed as a super final. There are several special guests this evening including none other than PeR (Latvia 2013), Fomins and Kleins (Latvia 2004), Lauris Reiniks (Latvia 2000), Norma Rutulis and Estonian group; Tenfold Rabbit.
The Show (Part 1)
Very strange act to start off with! A sort of energy exchange. A choir with drums and synths but anyways, we are now welcomed in Ventspils by our four hosts for this evening, seemingly looking more and more like the actual Eurovision Song Contest. Now the 12 acts are introduced with a very short extract.
Revelation - Ralfs Eilands, Valters Pūce & Nelli Bubujanca
First act is last year's entrant Ralf Eilands, lead singer from Per with a very different song, one entitled Revelation. Ralf is on stage with a cello player and a female drum player. Nice song but a bit shouty in my opinion ... And at the end, the cello gets broken.
Lights On - Markus Riva
Next song is lights up by Markus Riva. Unfortunately, this is a SONG competition and good looks can only get you so far in my opinion. His voice is not perfect at all and the only thing I seem to like are the lights in this song. Very weak, and the standard does not seem to be improving.
Moment And Tomorrow - Katrīna Bindere
Mid-tempo song very well performed by Katrine and four (4) female chorists. She also brought a wind machine on the chorus. Not very instant but indeed, extremely professional.
Pēdējā Vēstule - Dons
Now comes the big favorite of the evening, Dons with a song in Latvian, one entitled Pedeja Vestule which is already a big hit in Latvia and thus ready to rake in the public vote. Dons is backed by four (4) female singers. Sounds like a quicker version of Kuula. Flawless vocals and an even more emotional performance. Simple and efficient.
Stay - Samanta Tina
Back for a third time, hoping that she will be lucky is none other than Samata Tina whose entry features a wind machine, due to the strong feeling of Euphoria, especially in terms of genre. The vocals are good, nothing too special but something is missing, cannot really comprehend what!
Here I Am Again - Niko
Up next! Niko who is basically a David Lindgren copy when it comes to this song. I cannot believe it but this is basically .. Shout It Out! The choreography is very similar to Daft Punk ... Bad vocals also ... Next please!
Going All The Way - MyRadiantU
The evening is going super-fast, considering that we are more than half way through as the seventh song is set to take to the stage. Four (4) guys are on stage for this very energetic song a bit remeniscent of Simple Minds. Strong chorus, good vocals and excellent arrangements ... I like it, would be a good choice fort Latvia
Saule Riet (Take Away) - Olga & Līgo
Olga is on stage with five (5) dancers wearing costumes. Vocals are amazing ... song is very catchy and the dance routine brings more movements on stage ... If chosen, I am entirely sure that it would be a big favorite in Copenhagen.
I Can Breathe - Aminata
This is a self penned entry ... She is on stage with three (3) dancers wearing masks and two (2) backing vocalists. Aminata is a wonderful performer but the song is not memorable enough to make an impact, either this evening OR at the Eurovision Song Contest where it could end up.
Aarzemnieki - Cake to Bake
The song is starting as a simple guitar ballad....and then it gets a bit uptempo but acoustic. Lyrics are ridiculous but that is something which might not bother Latvians having just remembered that they did choose 'Beautiful Song' two years ago.
If I Could (Get Away) - Eirošmits
They are wearing postiche beards. By the way they switched the song to Latvian ... Not a good attempt, I'm afraid but Latvians like this kind of weird joke entries! Nevertheless, we're just about ready with the initial line-up as it's time to introduce the last song You're the reason by Katrine Lukins.
You Are The Reason - Katrine Lukins
Katrine is backed up by two (2) vocalists and twin drummers. Oh my god, my ears are bleeding, she is completly off key ... It is beyond horrible! That's it, we have heard the 12 songs and the winner will be decided by 50/50 jury and televoting.
The Show (Part 2)
Who will get the task to bring Latvia back to the final for the first time since 2008? This will be decided in a moment! Now, first recap of the songs! First voting round is to decide the three (3) superfinalists! For me the choice should be between Dons, Olga ir Ligo or MyRadiantU but Katrina Bindere and Aarzmenieki are also dark horses.
Dons is leading the televoting in front of Katrina Bindere, Aazmenieki and Olga ir Ligo ... Dons is still in the lead with cake to bake to follow. Another recap of the songs. Lines are closed now. First interval act Marta Ritova. Second one is Estonian band Tenfold rabbit. Now all the acts are back on stage. Time for the first results hopefully. first it is time for various prizes.
We are getting there, and here are the super-finalists; Dons, Samanta Tina, Aarzemnieki.
Well, each of the super-finalists is now taking to the stage once more for a second performance although it seems that the public is going for Dons, with the funny Cake to Bake in second place leaving last years' runner-up Samanta Tina in third place. Our special guests for the evening are currently on stage, including acts who represented Latvia in 2000, 2004 and 2013, respectively.
... and Aarzemnieki win with the song Cake to Bake.
LTV, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest, is proud to reveal that they received seventy-three (73) entries for the upcoming national selection. From these submissions, all from Latvian songwriters, there are sixty (60) in English, eleven (11) in Latvian, one (1) in Russian and one (1) in French. In recent years, the country has failed to make an impact at the international showcase but will be hoping to improve their results over the next couple of months.
The semi-finals of the Latvian pre-selection known as Dziesma 2014 will be taking place on the 1st and 2nd February in Ventspils, a town which has been sponsoring the event in recent years. As one could denote, the shows are taking place the week before the Malta Eurovision Song Contest but then, the final is set forth for the 22nd February 2014. In the final, only three (3) songs will be selected to go through to the super-final phase of the competition. A professional panel of judges along with the general public will select the winner. All songs must be in Latvian. A special press conference with the presentation of all the songs is set for the 2nd December 2014. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.