17 November 2017

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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Thursday, 27 November 2014 14:40

San Marino: Michele and Anita Off to Eurovision

San Marino RTV, the public service broadcaster of San Marino organised a press conference earlier today, in order to reveal the representatives of the micro-state in the 2015 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Having not yet turned 16, Michele Perniola & Anita Simoncini are going to be given the opportunity to reprise their role as representatives for the tiny nation, but rather at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, where they achieved disappointing placings, at the adult event, which will hopefully prove to be a more fruitful experience.

Born in 1998 and 1999, it is fair to state, that they will most likely be the youngest duo in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. San Marino have taken part on four occasions, in 2008 with the group Miodio and the track "Complice" which languished at the bottom of the scoreboard in the semi-final, and in 2012, 2013, and 2014 with Valentina Monetta, whose latest effort "Maybe" got through to the final, finishing in 24th place with 14 points. More information about the song choice will be made in due course. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014 17:50

JESC 2014: First Run of Rehearsals Complete

escflashmalta.com has always been present to bring you the latest updates from the local music industry and with the Junior Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malta, it should not come as a surprise that this event will be wholly covered as well. Members of the editorial team have been viewing the first rehearsals, and have recapitulated their thoughts. LIVE blogging will kick-off as from tomorrow through Facebook and Twitter.

The Netherlands kicked off proceedings yesterday and things surely started on a positive note as Julia gave a strong vocal rendition of her up-tempo number. The visuals on stage are spectacular and the predominant colours are orange and red. This will be closing the show on Saturday and it is surely one to watch out for.

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Sweden have stayed true to their craft with the choice of song, noting that there is a mixture of dance, and pop, something which Thomas G:son is very much known for. Julia is joined on stage by four female dancers, whose choreography is very well adapted to the tune. The vocals are good, and the overall outcome is positive but the song is not too memorable to place highly.

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The song from Bulgaria has been considering as one of the favourites heading into the event. Sadly, we did not get to hear the singer sing live as she is currently unwell and we wish her a speedy recovery. The visuals of this one are once again strong and the predominant colours are purple and blue. The main attraction is definitely the huge castle projected on the screens.

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Russia sends Alisa, the young girl in the white dress with a big ballad! Last year’s winning formula for Malta. It is a very strong song and its orchestration is fantastic. The visuals are simple and let the singer be the focus of this song. The vocals are good but nothing extraordinary. Russia still remains as one of the favourites for this Junior Eurovision but they need to up their game to stand a chance.

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Vincenzo Cantiello took the stage all alone for Italy and it is quite remarkable that he is the only guy in the competition. He sings his big emotional ballad right from the heart and impresses everyone present with his big voice. He went all out in the first rehearsal but held back on all the other takes. It seems that blues and red will be used for this number. He is surely one to watch out for as he has got the total package. 

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Ukraine’s Sympho-Nick singers are the first ones to make full use of the stage as they also use the catwalks. The intro and the end of the song remind me of ‘Gravity’ yet the three girls do a very good job vocally. The visually are impressive and suit the song perfectly. Not sure on how this will do but few if any think it stands a chance of doing well.

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The smiling girl from Armenia is surely having fun on stage. She truly feels at home and it shows in every run. The backdrop is extremely busy and might distract a bit but it still manages to transmit the positive energy of the song. She is accompanied on stage by five dancers and towards the latter part of the song she joins in the routine despite this she does a good job on the vocals. This might surprise on the night!

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Sophia from Cyprus seemed to have been eagerly waiting to get on this stage for a long time as she nails every take she does. The visuals are surely one of the very best and although she is all alone on stage she makes full use of it. She is surely having fun and making the most of this experience – the only drawback this song has is that she is early in the draw and people expect to see dancers other than that she has everything going for her. 

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And the second day of rehearsals kicks off. It’s a happy day for Georgia as Lizi had a good rehearsal this morning. The graphics scream Junior Eurovision but blend well with the thought behind the song. Lizi is accompanied on stage by four dancers. She gives a good vocal performance yet the song seems to lack something and it is a tad too repetitive.

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Montenegro are embracing the fact that from this year the Junior Eurovision is aiming more towards adolescents as their two female teenagers take the stage. Their vocals are on but the girls look uncomfortable on stage – they seem to be over rehearsed and the simple routine they have makes them look awkward. Hopefully things get better for them.

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Josie from Croatia took the stage with Game Over and she is accompanied on stage by two dancers. The song is repetitive and some might find it boring. The visuals are quite particular and naturally feature graphics from games with different codes. This is another number which few people see it doing well. Sadly, it is very difficult at this stage to make significant changes. 

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Up next was San Marino and their girl band ‘The Peppermints’. This is surely another number which one would consider weak. The girls did a good job on the vocals yet nothing impressive. Their staging looked a bit all over the place and they definitely need to work on that area. The visuals are good and the graphics look good but that is where it stops.

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Serbia’s Emilija starts on stage sitting on the piano and then moves on to centre stage. She delivers her song to perfection and surely makes it one of the best entries rehearsing today. Her vocals were spot on and the graphics although plain they really blend in well with the entry. Nothing much to criticize here, one can say simplicity at its best. 

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Ula, the sweetheart from Slovenia is up next and this is another strong rehearsal. Some of the media in the press centre expressed a liking to this song. There is nothing outstanding about it but it is a song performed well and everything is coming together on stage. The visuals are dark and one expects the girl to wear something light in order to let her be the focal point.

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Federica for Malta was on next and she proved why she is one of the hot favourites to do the double for Malta. She tried her song four times in total and she delivered vocally every single time – it was truly impressive. The journalists in the hall were as impressed and it seems like they all gathered here for Malta’s rehearsal which is definitely a good omen.

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Belarus is up next and this is a surprise today. Visually it looks really strong and the same thing can be said for the choreography. The song is catchy and surely has a lot of potential to do extremely well. The singer is confident and looks great on screen. The visuals are impressive and this is another song that has the whole package. A very pleasant ending for the first round of rehearsals!

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#Together is a slogan which greatly encompasses the feeling felt throughout the venue, whether among the technical staff, members of the press or the delegations. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

#Together, the slogan and concurrent theme for this year's edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Malta is definitely being exercised to the maximum, if last night's successful event is to be taken into account. As the delegations made their way to the Summer Residence of the President of Malta in Verdala, the production team assembled to create a harmonised running order, following the initial draw ceremony which saw Federica from Malta pick number #15, Julia from The Netherlands pick number #16 and Nadezhda from Belarus pick number #1.

A quick glance at the full running order, it seems that the production team wanted to re-assure that a bell curve of genres is very much applicable to the audience watching in the arena and at home. A mixture of ballads, mid-tempo and up-tempo songs were slotted in according to the section of the draw in which the artists drew. Amidst screams of joy, and laughter, the delegations were all pleased with their place in the running order and looking forward to the week ahead, knowing that Malta will provide an excellent host country for the international music event.

01. Belarus

02. Bulgaria

03. San Marino

04. Croatia

05. Cyprus

06. Georgia

07. Sweden

08. Ukraine

09. Slovenia

10. Montenegro

11. Italy

12. Armenia

13. Russia

14. Serbia

15. Malta

16. The Netherlands

In support of Federica Falzon and her entry "Diamonds", written by Elton Zarb, Matthew Mercieca and Gillian Attard, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Periodally, members of the editorial team will be present at the Marsa Shipbuilding to bring you everything as it occurs.

Source: escflashmalta.com, junioreurovision.tv

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On the 15th November, Malta will be hosting the 12th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest within the Marsa Shipbuilding, under the watchful eye of the Public Broadcasting Services and the European Broadcasting Union.

Vladislav Yakovlev, executive supervisor on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union, who is currently in Malta for the upcoming Heads of Delegation Meeting, set for Tuesday, has recently gone on record stating that the competition “it’s looking like we’re going to have 16 countries taking part this year, which is a great number and I’m very happy to welcome many country both into and back into the Junior Eurovision family”.

Whilst Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Malta, Netherlands, Russia, San Marino, Sweden and Ukraine will all be returning back to the competition following their participation in 2013, It is worth noting that there are several countries who are returning after an absence of one year or more such as; Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Serbia. There is a third group of countries who will be making their debut and thus participating for the very first time and these are; Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia

7 out of the 16 participating countries have already made their entry public, whilst another 5 have revealed the names of their entries, which will in turn be made public in the next couple of days. You will find all the information listed down below.

Armenia: Betty – People of the Sun

Belarus: Nadezhda Misyakova – Sokol

Bulgaria: Krisia, Hasan & Ibrahim – Planetata na Detsata

Cyprus: Sophia Patsalides – I Pio Omorfi Mera

Georgia: Lizi Pop – TBA

Italy: Vincenzo Cantiello – Tu Primo Grande Amore

Malta: Federica Falzon – Diamonds

Montenegro: Masa Vujadinovic & Lejla Vulic – Budi Dijete na Jedan Dan

Netherlands: Julia – Around

Russia: Alisa Kozhikina – Dreamer

San Marino: The Peppermints – Breaking My Heart

Slovenia: Ula Lozar – TBA

Sweden: Julia Kedhammar – Du Ar Inte Ensam

Ukraine: Sympho-Nick – Pryyde Vesna

Serbia and Croatia, 2 of the last countries to reveal their return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest are yet to make a formal announcement with regards to their artist or entry choices, whilst Georgia and Slovenia have yet to reveal the name of their entry. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook & Twitter for all the latest news from the world of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Junior Eurovision (Official Website), escflashmalta.com

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It has been over a month since the contest and the months that follow immediately after the contest are usually what one can refer to as “the quiet season”. Conchita has been well received all across the continent and has even made it to the Graham Norton How on BBC. A Eurovision first, I have yet to recall an instance where a Eurovision winner has been invited on a well established BBC production. The contest in Copenhagen was considered a success and I must admit it was very well hosted. The staging and production was first rate and will certainly be difficult for Austria to follow.

Anyhow, I wanted to have a look at what organisation has been going on over the past five weeks or so. No host city has yet been confirmed, but this is likely to happy towards the end of the year. From the looks of things there is certainly no shortage of interest in hosting the 60th anniversary of Eurovision. Nineteen countries have thus far confirmed their participation, including Cyprus after a one year absence. Slovakia, Monaco and Andorra being the only confirmed non-participants, but his is as expected. 

The rumours mill has yet to get started but nevertheless, it seems that Valentina Monetta will not be making a fourth consecutive appearance for the micro-state of San Marino with rumours circling that SMTV is in close contact with a male vocalist. It is also hoped that Turkey will make a return to the contest following a two-year absence. In Malta, there are several rumours going about that the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is set to be scrapped in favour of an internal selection with Ira Losco and Gianluca looking forward to getting the nod. This piece of news is yet to be confirmed.

All in all the 2015 contest is in the very early stages. The dates have been proposed as 12th 14th and 16th May 2015. The 2014 winner Conchita Wurst has also confirmed that she is interested in hosting the competition and given her excellent command of English this would appear to be an excellent choice. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

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Published in Opinions

Cologne in Germany is currently hosting the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Young Musicians with debut performances from Malta and Moldova. 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, a three time representative in the form of Valentina Monetta will be on the show, following her successful entry into the final with the song 'Maybe (Forse)'. Also, Elaiza who represented Germany with 'Is It Right?' and Freaky Fortune & Risky Kidd who took part on behalf of Greece with 'Rise Up'. Three interviews with vocalists won't be the only reason why should listen to the show as the team of Radio International also had the opportunity to speak to veteran songwriter; Ralph Siegel. 

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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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After an eventful contest on Saturday, we decided to look at the bottom end or right-hand side of the scoreboard. A quick analysis if you like. Firstly, San Marino’s first appearance in a Eurovision final was not a great success but marked a massive achievement for the tiny microstate. Whilst the song was not highly regarded, one cannot detract from the gargantuan efforts the Sammarinese delegating put in to their entry. I would say they should be very proud and although they did not win or come close. For San Marino, it is most definitely the taking part that counts.

Montenegro also had their first appearance in a final and their final position could have been a lot worse. I for one enjoyed the song. Although they have yet to manage a top ten placing, this is most certainly a step in the right direction.

France scored just two points. Twin Twin came across as very genuine and it was evident that they enjoyed their performance. However, I believe this is the first time that France have come last. I have to admit though the tune and the lyrics were stuck in my head for while after watching them. As a part of the big five, France can’t do any worse next year.

Azerbaijan have their lowest placing to date 22nd. Azerbaijan are one of the most successful countries and currently have a 100% qualification rate from the semi-finals. They do send decent songs so no doubt they will be aiming to do a lot better next year.

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I also notice that four of the big five are in the lower half of the scoreboard. The UK only managing 17th place. I am not sure what happened there, the same with Italy, but I guess even with all the hype – you win some, you lose some. 

The Greek performance was in my opinion a bit messy and all the camera movements were a bit off-putting. I have heard people say that the live performance was a bit week. However, I was too busy trying to focus at the screen properly. Greece is also a very successful country in terms of qualifying from the final and have entered some great songs in the past ten years. So, once again Greece will be aiming to better than 20th in 2015.

Poland and Iceland just missed out on places in the left-hand side of the scoreboard, but it was hard to take heed of what was going on, given all the hype around the top 3. 

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Slovenia did not fare so well, but this seems to have been a year where there has been a bit of an ex-Yugoslav states void. With Bosnia & Herzegovina withdrawing, Serbia and FYROM not qualifying. The song was pleasant; I actually quite liked it, I am not exactly sure what happened. I guess it was overlooked as it was placed in the bottom five by both the juries and the televote. 

As for Malta, after seeing their semi-final performance I was a little worried that they lack a certain “oomph” to the performance. However, I was pleasantly surprise on Saturday and I really enjoyed the song. Admittedly, it was one of my more preferred songs in the competition and I was pleased when it qualified. I was cringing though when Lise Rønne was offering them an English breakfast in the Green Room.  When I saw the jury/televote split results, I was gobsmacked!! So, the juries gave Malta a sixth place (119 points) whereas the televote languished them in 24th place (17 points).  I cannot seem to be able to recall where the jury and televote result had a discrepancy of more than 100 points. Regardless, Malta seemed to be pleased to be in the final and they sang well. A thoroughly deserved 10 points from the UK.

An eventful competition to say the least. A dramatic top 10 and plenty happening at the bottom end too. We will have to wait until May 2015 for the next round. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook & Twitter.

Source: eurovision.tv

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Published in Opinions

It is almost 2 o'clock in the morning and the energy levels are slowly dwindling but nevertheless, we had to stay up in order to note down the running order for the final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, as decided by the European Broadcasting Union. Following each of the semi-finals, a partial draw took place where the respective artist of the qualified country picked out a piece of paper stating whether they would perform in the first or the second half.

Performing first during the second semi-final was actually the right call by the European Broadcasting Union considering that it gave the show a feel good factor, one which definitely got the crowd in the arena and at home going. As the qualifiers were revealed, Malta was the sixth nation to be called out, calming down the bundle of nerves that had built up over the course of the evening. During the press conference, Richard drew the second half of the draw, which creating exciting prospects. We are now pleased to confirm that Malta will perform in slot number #22.

  1. Ukraine
  2. Belarus
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Iceland
  5. Norway
  6. Romania
  7. Armenia
  8. Montenegro
  9. Poland
  10. Greece
  11. Austria
  12. Germany
  13. Sweden
  14. France
  15. Russia
  16. Italy
  17. Slovenia
  18. Finland
  19. Spain
  20. Switzerland
  21. Hungary
  22. Malta
  23. Denmark
  24. The Netherlands
  25. San Marino
  26. United Kingdom

The editorial team of escflashmalta.com would like to thank our esteemed readers for following the comments of Karen DeBattista, Simon Casey and Christabelle throughout the course of the evening. We encourage you to visit our social media pages on Saturday when Daniel Testa, Matt Mercieca and Danica Muscat will be the guest writers. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv

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It has definitely been an eventful couple of hours with the first semi-final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest proving to be quite surprising in terms of results, seeing to the qualification of nations such as Montenegro and San Marino for the very first time. escflashmalta.com would like to thank Emil Calleja Bayliss, Davinia, Rikki Lee and Brooke for their service this evening and in getting more than 14,000 views to the Facebook Page.

Sergej Cetkovic, a star in the balkans got through based on the power of the song Moj Svijet especially when realising that there were no geographical aids to be seen apart from Albania. On the other hand, Valentina Monetta, the singer/songwriter from San Marino gave a stunning performance after two dire entries this evening which greatly supporting her cause to get through to the final with the song Maybe (Forse).

The other qualifiers from this evening's show were none other than; Russia, Iceland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Hungary, Sweden, Armenia and The Netherlands. It seems that the latter nation could have been the surprise package of the evening and is now considered to be a dark horse with Calm After the Storm climbing up to number #7 in the betting odds and also charting highly on iTunes in no less than ten countries.

Following the show, a press conference took place where the qualified nations had the opportunity to draw in which half of the final they will be performing in come Saturday. Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Armenia, Ukraine, Sweden and Iceland will join Germany in the first half of the showcase whilst Hungary, Russia, San Marino and The Netherlands will join Denmark, United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain in the latter part of the evening. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv

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