24 July 2017

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.

01. Belgium

02. Czech Republic

03. The Netherlands

04. Azerbaijan

05. Hungary

06. Italy

07. Israel

08. Bulgaria

09. Sweden

10. Germany

11. France

12. Poland

13. Australia

14. Cyprus

15. Serbia

16. Lithuania

17. Croatia

18. Russia

19. Spain

20. Latvia

21. Ukraine

22. Malta

23. Georgia

24. Austria

25. United Kingdom

26. Armenia

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.

Source: eurovision.tv

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Thursday, 14 April 2016 01:48

Malta: Revealing the On Stage Team for #WoW

At the moment Ira Losco is extensively touring Europe attending one preview party to another in a bid to promote "Walk on Water", the original song which she co-wrote with Tim Larsson, Lisa Desmond, Molly Pettersson-Hammar and Tobias Lundgren, which she will present on behalf of Malta during the 1st semi-final on the 10th May 2016.

Although surprise is a key-element in the presentation, certain details about the on-stage team have already been made public with Skorpion, a renowned male dancer who has accompanied Kylie Minogue, Taylor Swift and Madonna chosen to choreograph and Anna Azzopardi and Pamela Bezzina picked as backing vocalists.

This will not be the first time that either of the two ladies have gone to the Eurovision Song Contest as a backing vocalist, noting that Anna had previously accompanied Lynn Chircop during "To Dream Again" back in 2003, and Pamela had been on stage with Thea Garrett and "My Dream" in 2010 as well as Glen Vella and "One Life" in 2011.

It is well worth pointing out that Pamela was also the vocal coach for Firelight in 2014, and Amber in 2015. She will be taking on the dual role at this years' international music competition. 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 which is taking place in Stockholm, Sweden.

Source: Ira Losco (Official Facebook Page)

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It's a wrap! Vienna, the capital city of Austria, known as the epitome of culture has had the opportunity to play host to the Eurovision Song Contest, and setting the record for boasting equal opportunities throughout the whole show. At the end of the spectacle, "Heroes", sung by Mans Zelmerlow, on behalf of Sweden was crowned winner, with "A Million Voices", sung by Polina Gagarina on behalf of Russia finishing in second place and "Grande Amore", interpreted to perfection by Il Volo for Italy landed third place.

In Malta, it was the usual chant of "let's boycott the event", following the non-qualification of Amber whose entry "Warrior" was penned by Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca to the music of Elton Zarb. Not all was lost, as the semi-final results proved to tell a different story with Malta finishing in 5th place with the professional jury, and 14th place with the public at home.

Once more, the overall result was 11th place, a feat which Malta had the misfortune to also face back in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest when Glen Vella sang "One Life", composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan. In this competition, it is important to be innovative not only in the creation of the song, but also in the visual aspect of the presentation, and that is something that each singer, songwriter, manager and publicist should look to prior to entering next year's edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

On another note, I would like to personally thank the editorial team of escflashmalta.com including our affiliates Radio International and ESCnews for their continued support, as well as the special guest bloggers; Lyndsay, Marilena Gauci, Christabelle, Claudia Faniello, Brooke, Marie Claire Attard Bason, Danica Muscat, Tinatin Japaridze and Karen DeBattista. Until next year, in Sweden, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter.

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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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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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In 2013, male singer/songwriter Kevin Borg, made a much anticipated return to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with "Needing You" co-written with Danne Attlerud, Thomas Thornholm, Michael Clauss and Simon Gribbe. In a surprise first runner-up finish, the singer/songwriter stated that while he will not be making a return as a singer, he would dabble into songwriting. He kept to that promise, and submit "Breakaway", a track co-written with Simon Gribbe, for former Eurovision Song Contest representative, Glen Vella.

The result was extremely respectable, finishing in third place, behind "Warrior" sung by Amber and "Rush" performed by Christabelle. Spending Christmas in Sweden, Kevin is busy working on new songs with Starlab Publishing, and reaping the rewards of earlier work in the year. You might remember that "Sweat" by Japanese sensations TVXQ/Tohoshinki peaked at number #1, but now their latest studio album has become the best selling studio effort of 2014. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Kevin Borg (Official Facebook Page)

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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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As rumours start to circulate as to who will or who won’t be participating in Melodifestivalen 2015. We can have a look at some of the items that have been confirmed. Firstly, Sanna Nielsen solidifies herself as a MF veteran after being confirmed as co-host with Robin Paulsson. After winning the competition on her seventh attempt by only two points last year with her song “Undo”. She secured third place in Copenhagen in May after becoming one if the early favourites. 

The natural progression would be for her to become host. I am pretty sure she will do a great job and I like how SVT keep refreshing the presenters. Chris Björkman has also confirmed that there will be a format change for the 2015 competition. This year there will be 12 songs in the final rather than the usual 10 and four songs will progress from the second chance round instead of two. The number of entries has been reduced to 28 instead of 32 and each semi will have seven acts instead of eight. The bottom three songs from each final will automatically be eliminated.

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Rumours are rife with who will also participate. Måns Zelmerlöw is allegedly making his third entry into the competition. I would say maybe third time lucky for handsome Swede. If Eric Saade can manage third place as he did in 2011 it is likely that Måns would do will if he represented Sweden in Vienna. Linda Bengtzing has been rumoured for a UK entry so we may not see her in MF this year. However, as her songs are always in Swedish I think she may well choose to enter MF again.

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Helena Paparizou has allegedy been offered a new song for Melodifestivalen. I was a big fan of "Survivor". I would love to have seen in it in Copenhagen and it was an early favourite of mine in last year’s competition. I will be very happy if she decides to try again next year. Starlet Elin Överfjord is also allegedy eyeing up an entry for 2015. Her dance/uptempo songs could be a big hit in Eurovision. Yohio, JEM and Linnus Svenning also have not ruled out a return. This could make an interesting show. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates.

Source: Expressen, Aftonbladet

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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