24 September 2017
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 19:31

JESC 2016: First Rehearsals on the MCC Stage

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest rehearsals kicked off yesterday at the Mediterranean Conference Centre with all countries being allocated forty minutes each and divided over two days. Escflashmalta.com was on site to bring you a recap of the first run of rehearsals. 

Italy kicks off the rehearsals with a simple performance yet one must note it is extremely effective and works well with the song. The singer delivers a strong vocal performance this early in the morning and there’s nothing much that is hindering this from doing well. 

Ireland is about next and the focus here is once again on the singer’s interpretation of her number. She does a good job at it. They are keeping things simple here yet again, with the use of smoke. I feel this might not appeal to the kids voting unfortunately, although they’re doing nothing wrong.  

Cyprus follows Ireland and the singer is oozing confidence on stage. He follows an extremely busy routine yet he his vocals are nearly spot on. Visually it is looking good and the dancers give the song the boost it needs. I guess this will go down well with kids. 

The Netherlands delivers an energetic performance, vocally the singers are quite strong yet in certain parts of the song it is looking a bit too busy on screen, possibly cause of their outfits and the backdrop which seem to clash a bit. I guess with a bit more work this could do well.

Israel is the first country to rehearse after the break and the duo does a great job at it. The focus is on the voices and ensuring they connect well with the audience at home. Great camera work and everything looks very polished for Israel. They look sweet and surely enjoying this experience. 

FYR Macedonia is up next and delivers strongly during her runs, she is has on stage three dancers and they all seem to be having a good time on stage, perhaps some shots need adjusting but overall it is a great effort for this number and it will probably appeal lots to teenagers.

Malta is next on stage and Christina is slowly adjusting to the stage, she is accompanied on stage by five dancers and the backdrop is rather colourful. Christina does a great job on the vocals for the first day of rehearsals. One would expect the whole act to be polished by Sunday.   

Poland is last to rehearse today and the singer sings her heart out, simple visuals yet effective for this kind of song.  Not sure on how this will grab the kids jury, but she is surely doing everything the way it should be done. 

Russia kick start the rehearsals for today, they have a strong message and the four girls do a good job in delivering their entry. Some of the moves they are doing looked too rehearsed and slightly unnatural but things that surely can be fixed by Sunday. 

Ukraine are next on stage and the whole act is rather impressive, the dancer gives the song the extra boost it needs and the singer delivers an emotional performance of this lovely ballad, apart from a couple of shots everything looks great and I guess it will be a contender on Sunday. 

Albania is third on stage and the girl stands there and delivers her entry strongly. The visuals really compliment the whole performance and the girl’s vocals are rather impressive. I guess this might not appeal to the kids’ jury but it is impressive anyways. She surely has the cute factor in her favour.

Belarus take on the stage with a extremely slick performance – the song is a catchy one and they deliver one of the best performances we have seen so far. The singer is extremely confident and seems to be having a great time on stage. There’s some camera work that needs to be adjusted but will surely be done by Sunday.

Bulgaria is up next and there seems to be a certain buzz around this one, the singers sings her heart out, she clearly looks like she is enjoying her performance and everything blends really well. I would surely say this has a great chance of winning the contest this year. 

Armenia, the girls can surely sing and they give a good performance. They are surely not holding back and all of them seem to be having a great time on stage. This number has a retro feel to it and the graphics boost this element. Good to note, that only one of the singers is currently on voice rest to ensure that she is hundred percent by Sunday.

Georgia takes the stage next and the girl has some of the most controlled vocals this year, the song is nothing extraordinary but has a good buildup after the grand opening. It is good to point out that this song will be closing off the show so that might give a slight advantage. 

Serbia is up next with one of the most infectious numbers at this year’s Junior Eurovision, the girl has some strong pipes and she really performs her number well. She starts off on a hover board and she gets off it toward the latter part of the song. Stands a good chance of doing well I guess as the kids will be singing along to this number after the first minute. 

Australia picked up yet another strong song to represent them at a Eurovision event. The singer delivers the song really well and her charm comes across on camera. She takes the stage alone but it does not hinder the performance at all, one would expect that this scores well.

That brings to an end the first run of rehearsals for each and every country, each delegation will be looking at what they can improve and better, so tomorrow each and every element will be finalized before heading into the run-throughs of the rehearsal. 

We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Christina Magrin and her participation in this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest, in Valletta.

Source: escflashmalta.com, junioreurovision.tv

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016 23:17

JESC 2016: The Final Running Order Made Public

During the opening ceremony which took place last night, the allocation draw of the Junior Eurovision which will be taking place on Sunday, 20th November was decided. During the show, they actually chose at random the country singing in first place and the country singing in last – Ireland drew first, whilst Georgia drew last. 

The other countries then were either drawn in either the first half of the show or in the second part of the show. Malta was drawn up in the first half of the draw. The final running order is determined by the producers of the show. The running order of the 2016 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is as follows: 

01. Ireland: Zena Donnelly - Brice Ar Bhrice

02. Armenia: Anahit & Mary - Tarber

03. Albania: Klesta Qehaja - Besoj

04. Russia: The Water of Life Project - Water of Life

05. Malta: Christina Magrin - Parachute

06. Bulgaria: Lidia Ganeva - Magical Day

07. FYR Macedonia: Martija Stanokjkovic - Love Will Lead Our Way (Ljubovta ne Vodi)

08. Poland: Olivia Wieczorek - Nie Zapomnij

09. Belarus: Alexander Minyonok - Musyka Moih Pobed (Music is my Only Way)

10. Ukraine: Sofia Rol - Planet Craves for Love

11. Italy: Fiamma Boccia - Cara Mamma - Dear Mum

12. Serbia: Dunja Jelicic - U La La La 

13. Israel: Shir & Tim - Follow My Heart

14. Australia: Alexa Curtis - We Are

15. The Netherlands: Kisses - Kisses & Dancin'

16. Cyprus: George Michaelides - Dance Floor

17. Georgia: Mariam Mamadashvili - Mzeo

Throughout the week, escflashmalta.com will be on hand at the Mediterranean Conference Centre proving you with recaps of the events that take place during the day, while giving extra attention to Christina Magrin, who is representing Malta at this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Stay tuned to this portal even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: junioreurovision.tv

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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.

01. Slovenia

02. France

03. Israel

04. Estonia

05. United Kingdom

06. Armenia

07. Lithuania

08. Serbia

09. Norway

10. Sweden

11. Cyprus

12. Australia

13. Belgium

14. Austria

15. Greece

16. Montenegro

17. Germany

18. Poland

19. Latvia

20. Romania

21. Spain

22. Hungary

23. Georgia

24. Azerbaijan

25. Russia

26. Albania

27. Italy

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.

Source: eurovision.tv

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In Malta, excitement was somewhat contained for the latter months of 2014, with both the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, and the Malta Eurovision Song Contest taking place in the space of a fortnight. Nevertheless, as this year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place over three (3) evenings next week, we have called upon Deo Grech to assess the entries which will be presented in this year's competition.

He has not only given his opinion, but also compiled together the points of his panel of guests, some of which have already been to the Eurovision Song Contest in the past. Deo Grech is the host of "The Celebrity Night" on F Living.

Moldova: Eduard Romanyuta - "I Want Your Love"

It’s a pity that the very first song we’re going to listen to at this year’s Eurovision is this track from Moldova. It could have done really well if it participated at the contest ... 15 years ago! This song is reminiscent of the early Britney Spears’ Pop tunes.  I am really sorry for Moldova but I can’t see this reaching the finals.  

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, Moldova should not make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 18pts (15th)

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Armenia: Genealogy - "Face The Shadow"

6 countries – 5 continents – 1 song. This is an amazing concept indeed.  The music sounds really deep and heavy after the light-pop tune from Moldova.   Their voices sound excellent together. The problem I see with this entry is that there is a fine line between Dramatic-Pop-Opera singing and Screaming and Screeching till your ears bleed, especially towards the end of the song.  Visually this will look great if they go for a Retro look. However, they must avoid being labelled as Old-Fashioned though!  I guess this will make it to the finals.

According to the OGAE fans, Armenia might not make it to the finals.  Whilst the bookmakers feel that it might scrape through.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 33pts (8th)

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Belgium: Loic Nottet - "Rhythm Inside"

Okay! This is so 2015, so different from the first two entries and from the ones coming up after it.  Talented Loic takes care of all details but will he be able to face the Eurovision pressure?  This can do really well but can also crash flat on its back if vocals won’t be spot-on.   With some luck Belgium can make it to the finals.

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, Belgium will make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 30pts (11th)

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The Netherlands: Trijntje Oosterhuis - "Walk Along"

Anouk, Ilse De Lange and now Trijntje.  Fantastic trio indeed from the Netherlands. However, I expected more quality from this year’s entry. Somehow the Dutch went for a more popish and ear-friendly entry this year.   I am afraid ‘’Walk Along’’ won’t beat last year’s result from the Netherlands.  I am afraid that this will sound too repetitive and too safe after the Belgian entry and will stop at the semis round.

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, the Netherlands might scrape through the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 27pts (13th)

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Finland: PKN – "Aina Mun Pitaa"

I ain’t a fan of this kind of punk-rock music at all.  It’s too repetitive, too harsh on my ears. Lyrics are too silly for my tastes as well. They will surely attract the sympathy-televotes but will that be enough to eventually crown them the winners of Eurovision 2015? I don’t want to think about that! Sorry.

According to the OGAE fans, Finland might not make it to the finals.  Whilst the bookmakers feel that it might end top-3 in the semi-final.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 12pts (16th)

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Greece: Maria Elena Kyrikaou - "One Last Breath"

Big ballads have a special place in the Eurovision Song Contest. Each year we are entertained with a Celine Dion-ish ballad singer and Greece carries that honour proudly this year.  Maria Elena surely knows how to belt those notes out.  Passion, charisma, beauty and technique together with a powerful key-change make this a safe qualifier.

According to the OGAE fans, this might make it to the finals.  Whilst the bookmakers feel that Greece may not.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 41pts (2nd)

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Estonia: Elina & Stig - "Goodbye to Yesterday"

Country-pop meets Eurovision standards once again. This recipee did wonders for Netherlands last year and I am pretty sure that it will be replicated this year.  Circles close to the Estonian team claim that their only issue this year is to calm down Stig’s anxiety.  I hope though that his live vocal performance will be as solid as in the studio recording.   Sure qualifier and a candidate for a top-5 position in the finals!

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookamers, Estonia will easily make it to the finals and end up as the winner of the first semi.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 36pts (5th)

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FYR Macedonia: Daniel Kajmakoski - "Autumn Leaves"

Awesome entry from Macedonia. I have a very positive feeling about this entry. It builds up nicely with hues of Balkan undertones. I get the impression that Macedonia are heading for one of their best results ever at the Eurovision Song Contest. With a stylish and polished staging this will be a sure qualifier. With a weak staging this will fail to make it through.  

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, Macedonia might make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 32pts (10th)

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Serbia: Bojana Stamenov - "Beauty Never Lies"

She can surely belt out those high notes! My only concern here is that those notes might sound screechy. It reminds me of ‘Je ne sais quoi’ for more than one reason, of course!  The song is a typical Eurovision upbeat track.  We’ve heard a million versions of this track over the past years which make it quite a tried and tested formula. With some luck it will make it through.

According to the OGAE fans, Serbia might make it to the finals.  Whilst the bookmakers feel that it may not.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 30pts (12th)

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Hungary: Boggie - "Wars For Nothing"

A calm tune always goes well after a loud one, however this is too calm for my tastes. Coffee-break anyone? The idea behind the song is very positive but the song conveys a sad feeling. It lacks the oomph and the star-quality which a winning entry requires to stand out from the pack.  Sorry Hungary, I can’t see you in the finals, this year.

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, Hungary will not make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 20pts (14th)

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Belarus: Uzari & Maimuna - "Time"

Some months ago, I discovered the violinist-singer Lyndsay Sterling and her brilliant performances on YouTube. It seems I wasn't the one who did so! This entry will surely go well in the arena. I can already see the flags flying high to the powerful beats of this uptempo tune. Uzari’s diction needs some polishing, especially in the introduction of the song. It’s also a good dance-floor filler and I am pretty sure that this will be one of the hottest tunes played at the Euroclub in Vienna.  All in all, it’s a great tune and I hope they will make it to the finals.

According to the OGAE fans, Belarus might not make it to the finals. Whilst the Bookmakers feel that it will eventually be one of the finalists.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 33pts (7th)

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Russia: Polina Gagarina - "A Million Voices"

This entry has ‘Star Quality’ written all over it. Polina ticks all the boxes of a potential international star - she’s got the looks, the voice and the diction. The song builds up strongly in a typical power ballad fashion. The backing choir adds to the anthemic atmosphere. This is a strong contender for the final prize. Polina’s only drawback is that she is representing a country which has antagonized the typical Eurovision fan with various decisions...including political ones. The sense of hostility from the Eurovision fans towards the Russian entry singers was witnessed both at last year’s Eurovision as well as at this year’s 60th Anniversary Show hosted by the BBC. To add insult to injury, fan-favourite-Ukraine opted out of this year’s Eurovision as a result of the political dispute with Russia.

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, the Russian entry will make it to the finals and end up as the first runner up of this semifinal round. 

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 42pts (1st)

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Denmark: Anti Social Media - "The Way You Are"

Yeah! We need such a happy tune at the Eurovision Song Contest by a fresh boy-band. Beatles meet A friend in London. This will surely go well at the Eurovision as it reaches out the audience and televiewers alike with its positive energy. With some luck this will also make it to the finals.

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, Denmark might not make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 34pts (6th)

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Albania: Elhaida Dani - "I’m Alive"

Elhaida has a great command over her vocal abilities. Thankfully, the Albanian delegation gave its consent for the replacement of the original entry by the present one. This song has grown over me over the past weeks and is now standing in my overall top 10. This explains why I am so positive about it. I think that together with Estonia and Russia, Albania will be the one to watch out for from the first semifinal.

According to the OGAE fans andthe Bookmakers, Albania will make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 38pts (4th)

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Romania: Voltaj - "All Over Again"

I am taken in by the #AllOverAgain campaign. It has placed a spotlight on a reality which most of us were unaware of.  The message is stronger than the song itself. I am pretty sure that this will gain support from the middle-aged televiewers who will be touched by the campaign that this song represents at this year’s Eurovision. Well done Voltaj. Kudos!

According to the OGAE fans, this might make it to the finals.  Whilst the Bookmakers feel that it may not.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 33pts (9th)

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Georgia: Nina Sublatti - "Warrior"

The Georgian warrior sounds stronger than ever before.  Nina is powerful indeed and this helps her stand her ground as a warrior!  She needs to improve her diction drastically, though. The strong drum beats which accompany the song through the whole 3 minutes bring back  memories of Eurovision 2004 when the Ukrainian Ruslana took the stage by storm with her ‘Wild Dances’. I guess Nina Sublatti and her team will do their best to present something as powerful as Ruslana did eleven years ago. 

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, the Georgian Warrior might make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 40pts (3rd)

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Published in Opinions

The European Broadcasting Union made an official announcement this morning that 39 countries have submit paperwork to participate in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria. Despite the withdrawal of Ukraine, this is relatively exciting news, as the event will feature two more countries than last year, following the return of Serbia, Cyprus and the Czech Republic. Malta is one of the few countries to have selected both the singer, and the entry, with Amber set to perform "Warrior" written by Elton Zarb and Matthew Mercieca in one of the two semi-finals.

The participating countries are as follow; Albania, Armenia, Austria (Host), Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (Big 5), FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Germany (Big 5), Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy (Big 5), Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain (Big 5), Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (Big 5).

The European Broadcasting Union has also divided the semi-finals with respective number of participants, due to the fact that the number of participating countries is odd. As a result, 16 countries will partake in the 1st semi-final on the 19th May, as opposed to 17 countries which will partake in the 2nd semi-final on the 21st May. The allocation draw will take place on the 26th January, and will be streamed live through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: eurovision.tv

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Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

Radio International has built a name for itself throughout the years by bringing about exclusive video and audio interviews with some of the most notable names to have either participated in the Eurovision Song Contest or even in national selections preceding the continental event. As a matter of fact, in this weeks' episode, Hersi Matmuja from Albania, Aram Mp3 from Armenia, Pollaponk from Iceland and the Tolmachevy Sisters from Russia will all be having a word with the team of Radio International, assessing their experiences at the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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As the curtain on the 2014 season of the Eurovision Song Contest is brought down, David Mann will continue to look at cover versions from the event whilst the latest news from escXtra and escflashmalta.com will be read out. In the meantime, former representatives of the Eurovision Song Contest are always looking for ways to please their fans and thus new music is being recorded and published throughout the year. Radio International will be playing the most recent singles as sent in by several record labels. We urge you to tune into Radio International this evening at 20:00 CET in order to request your favourite entry from the Eurovision Song Contest and listen to the special features.

Source: Press Release

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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;

  1. Armenia
  2. Estonia
  3. Sweden
  4. Russia
  5. Azerbaijan
  6. Ukraine
  7. San Marino
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Montenegro
  10. Hungary

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.

Source: eurovision.tv

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In recent years, several public broadcasters have foregone promotional tours in an effort to present the most credible act possible on the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest and it seems that 2014 is no different with most countries opting to work on their presence rather than going abroad. Whilst Firelight have just returned from The Netherlands and will be jetting off to the United Kingdom in the next couple of hours, Malta has been visited by Hersi Matmuja who will be representing Albania come the international spectacle this May. There she will be performing the song One Night’s Anger composed by Gentian Lako to the lyrics of Jorgo Papingji.

During her short visit to Malta, Hersi had the opportunity to meet up with both Firelight, who will be representing the nation at this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Coming Home and Gianluca, the male vocalist who brought the country back into the top ten for the first time since 2005, and is currently scaling the top of the local charts with his latest single Light Me Up. She also gave interviews to a variety of television programmes throughout the day including none other than TVAM hosted by Norma Saliba & Pablo Micallef and Euromix hosted by Frederick Zammit on Radju Malta 2. Hersi will be performing her entry One Night’s Anger during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: PBS / TVM

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Wednesday, 02 April 2014 22:24

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Albania

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 #6, we catch up with Albania (RTSH) who will be represented by Hersi and the song One Night's Anger composed by Lako and penned by Papingji.

Hersi Matmuja was born on February 1st, 1990. She has pursued a dual career path, which led her to be successful in both modern and classical music. Despite being still very young, Hersi has already five times participated in the annual Festivali i Këngës, which doubles as the Albanian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. This year her song One Night's Anger, originally titled Zemërimi i një nate, did the trick, taking her to the Eurovision stage in Copenhagen! Hersi started her music lessons at the age of eight, taking part in various music events for children. She took music lessons from Professor Luan Bakiu. In 1999 and 2000 Hersi participated in the festival “Çelësi i Artë”, followed by the Festival “Ylberi” in Macedonia in 2001, where she won the first prize. In 2002 Hersi participated in the Children Festival of Shkodra with the song Zogu dhe djali, and she won the prize “Violeta Filaj” in the competition “Ëndërra për muzikën”.

Her first major TV success came in 2005, when she took part in the talent show “Ethet e së premtes”, reaching the top 10 finalists. One year later she took part in the Albanian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, Festivali i Këngës, youth category, and won the first prize in this category and thus qualified to the final. Hersi kept up her ambition to represent her home country in the Eurovision Song Contet: In 2010 and 2011 she participated again in Festivali i Këngës, and in 2012 she ranked 3rd with the song Kush ta dha këtë emër. On her fifth attempt, she finally won Festivali i Këngës and will thus represent Albania in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. She has collaborated with various composers and lyric’s writers in Albania. Her most notable successes to date were the launching of the video clip to the song Kthehu, and her her collaboration with the singer songwriter Gjergj Leka. She has also participated in two of the most prestigious festivals on the Southern Balkans, Top Fest and Kënga Magjike.

In 2004 Hersi started studying lyric canto in the Artistic Lyceum “Jordan Misja” in Tirana. She studied for one year in the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana. She later took part in concerts in the Theater of Opera and Ballet of Tirana and reached the final in the national competition of classical music “Këngët e Tokës”. In 2008 Hersi reached the final in the national competition “Jorgji Truja”. One year later, she started studying at the National Academy of St Cecilia in Rome, ranking an amazing first in the admission competition. In 2010 she ranked first in the musical contest “Ars Kosova”. Hersi has taken part in many concerts like Carmina Burana by Carl Orff in 2010 or projects like “Let’s Britten” in honor of the composer Benjamin Britten that took place in some of historical buildings in Rome in 2013. In 2012 she took part as soloist in the concert in the Theater of Basilica of San Pancrazio in Rome. Last year Hersi took part in several concerts in the Greek Theater in Rome, in Sala Magna in College of Rome, and in the National Museum of Rome, among others.

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Albania made their debut in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004 with Anjeza Shanini and the song Image of You finishing in eighth place. The contemporary pop song is still a fan favourite and was until 2012 the most successful entry from the Eastern nation. This is a country which works extremely hard for qualification, something that it has not achieved so much in recent years, noting disappointing results in 2011 and 2013 at the hands of Aurela Gace and Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko. As a matter of fact, when compiling statistics, it seems that the nation has been successful six times out of ten thus far, which is not the most impressive figure around. A revamp of the song to English this time round is seemingly receiving mixed reactions but nevertheless, the performance will surely be polished during the first semi-final, giving Albania another fighting chance.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 35%

Martin Isherwood: Looking at the title I had to play this again to make sure I'd listened to the right song as it seems to bear no relationship to the song at all. Strong folky voice, with a Kate Bush flavour in places. Starts all picking and folky in 6/8 but piles through the changes stopping for no-one apart from an ill-advised and ill-fitting guitar solo after which it takes a bit of a dark rock turn.  Odd! All a bit stream of consciousness like. Unlikely to go anywhere.

Deo Grech: Here comes Hersi with the very first entry which was picked for this year's contest.   I must admit that I didn't like the original version, however, the new improved version is making it more acceptable. Still not in my top 10. Sorry Albania.

Stano Simor: Positive for Albania is already the fact, that even such a small country with a minimum of singers, every year sends out a representant. One Night's Anger unfortunately doesn’t have hit factor, seeking to art. The voice of the singer is not pleasant to listen and I can feel deficit of the authors background.

Matt Mercieca: She sounds like a squeaky Shakira! ..never a good thing! her diction is a little rubbish. as a song its sweet , can’t comment on lyrics as i have no clue what she’s saying. HER VOICE bugs me!

Source: eurovision.tv

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Published in Opinions

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. 

01) Malta: Coming Home - Firelight

02) Israel: Same Heart - Mei Finegold

03) Norway: Silent Storm - Carl Espen

04) Georgia: Three Minutes to Earth - The Shin & Mariko

05) Poland: My Slowanie - Donatan & Cleo

06) Austria: Rise Like a Phoenix - Conchita Wurst

07) Lithuania: Attention - Vilija Mataciunaite

08) Finland: Something Better - Softengine

09) Ireland: Heartbeat - Can-Linn ft. Kasey Smith

10) Belarus: Cheesecake - Teo

11) FYR Macedonia: To The Sky - Tijana

12) Switzerland: Hunter of Stars - Sebalter

13) Greece: Rise Up - Freaky Fortune ft. RiskyKidd

14) Slovenia: Round and Round - Tinkara Kovac

15) Romania: Miracle - Paula & Ovi

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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.

01) Armenia: You're Not Alone - Aram MP3

02) Latvia: Cake to Bake - Aarzemnieki

03) Estonia: Amazing - Tanja

04) Sweden: Undo - Sanna Nielsen

05) Iceland: No Prejudice - Pollaponk

06) Albania: One Night's Anger - Hersi

07) Russia: Shine - Tolmachevy Sisters

08) Azerbaijan: Start a Fire - Dilara Kazimova

09) Ukraine: Tick-Tock - Mariya Yaremchuk

10) Belgium: Mother - Axel Hirsoux

11) Moldova: Wild Soul - Cristina Scarlat

12) San Marino: Maybe (Forse) - Valentina Monetta

13) Portugal: Quero Ser Tua - Suzy

14) The Netherlands: Calm After the Storm - The Common Linnets

15) Montenegro: Moj Svijet - Sergej Cetkovic

16) Hungary: Running - Andras Kallay-Saunders

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.

Source: eurovision.tv

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