22 September 2017
Olivier Vanhoutte

Olivier Vanhoutte

In 2012, Litesound represented Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest with the track ''We Are the Heroes'' failing to quality to the final, finishing in 16th place with a total of 35 points. Still, they have managed to build an extremely respectable fanbase back home, one which has helped support their career. As a matter of fact, their most recent track "Brothers" has been chosen as the official anthem of the World Hockey Championship currently being hosted in Minsk, Belarus.

A catchy chorus, perfect for a packed stadium or arena encourages fans of hockey, fans of Litesound, and everyone else in between to clap their hands, stomp their feet, and sing along. This is the type of emotion that this new anthemic track brings out in people. When Litesound created the track, they wanted to create something symbolic which would exemplify unity and teamwork. Against all odds, from the stage of Eurovision to hockey arenas, they continue to represent a side of Belarus the world rarely sees, and doing so with style and finesse. 

Brothers” will be performed during the World Hockey Championship in May and throughout the month-long games. You can listen to Litesound’s “Brothers” here! The final will take place tomorrow. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Press Release

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Saturday, 08 February 2014 19:45

MESC '14: The Grand Final - LIVE

Good Evening! Welcome to the LIVE REPORT of the final of this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest being staged in Ta’ Qali, an artisan town where the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre is found, a couple of miles away from any form of civilization. Our colleagues in Malta have reported that the rehearsals have been going extremely well and that the Public Broadcasting Services is ready to host a show of the highest quality this evening with our three (3) illustrious hosts and a parade of local and foreign guests.

Ira Losco and Gianluca Bezzina; representatives of Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2002 and 2013 respectively along with Moira Delia, spokesperson on behalf of the Mediterranean country in the 2006 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest have been selected to coordinate the show, one which will include fourteen (14) acts as selected by the professional members of the local and foreign jury as well as the public vote during the semi-final yesterday evening. It was a relative shock to see two (2) former representatives; Miriam Christine and Fabrizio Faniello fall at the first hurdle especially following their stunning performances.

We are live now!

How could tonight’s final not start with Maltese latest pride, the great Gaia Gauci who won the recent Junior Eurovision that was held in Kyiv, Ukraine. The little princess is joined by a choir of La Voix Academy and the performance is really amazing! We are definately set for an exciting and great evening! The presenters the great Ira Losco and Gianlucca Bezzina are on stage now and making an introduction and explaning about the show. Moira the third presenter is in the audience and looks also stunning. Moira is congratulating Gaia. The members of the jury are also introduced. They are Reuben Zammitt head of the jury, Olga Salamahka head of delegation for Belarus, Nicola Caligore head of delegation for Italy, Ekaterina Orlova from RTR (Russia) and Peter Cossai, Head of Sport Section of PBS. And now we are off for the show!

Lovetricity - Christabelle (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

 Christabelle is opening tonight’s final with this uptemo song from Magnus Kaxe and lyrics from Gerard James Borg. Again Christabelle gives a solid performance so it’s a good opener of tonight’s final. Welldone to Christabelle and the team! If this is a contender for the victory i’m not so sure though but Christabelle did very good!

Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William (Wayne Micallef)

Having Wayne on stage is always a certainty of a strong performance. Just like last night Wayne is very confident with his track Some kind of wonderful. A great artist which would surely make Malta proud on Eurovision stage! The question though is this is the track that will lead him to Copenhagen. Could be but that will definately depend on the other performances tonight. And honesty obliges me to say he had better songs in the past. But Prosit Wayne!

Brand New Day - Davinia (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

Davinia was to me one of the surprise qualifiers to the finals. The song is obviously still as cheerful as last night and the singer seems to enjoy her time on stage. Unfortunately i cannot change my opinion that the song is not really going anywhere so i wouldnt go for it as the song for Copenhagen, sorry. But welldone overall for the performance!

City Lady - Ryan Paul Abela (Paul Abela / Ryan Paul / Joe Julian Farrugia)

Ryan Paul Abela is next on stage with a very cheerfull song. I like the enthousiasm of this very sympathic artist which gives again a lot of credits and gave him likely also the ticket to the final thanks to the audience watching at home. I don’t see this either in Denmark but my compliments go to the artist and his team.

Love Will Take Me Home - Franklin (Glen / Beatrice Eriksson / M Frenell / Michael J Down)

 It’s time for Franklin Calleja! He touched me a lot with his last nights performance. And again he gives an extremely performance. What a lot of respect i have for this  still  very young singer The stage act is simple but very effective and you see a singer who gives his all! The guy has such a great career ahead and i wouldnt be surprised if he would be winning the ticket to Eurovision tonight. Hear the applause during the performance, the people love this guy! Franklin is definately one of the topfavourites. Prosit Franklin and the team, i would be proud for my maltese friend to see you in Denmark!

One Last Ride - Daniel Testa (Stephen Rudden / Lawrence Peter Bridge)

And we are going to the next favourite. Daniel Testa already represented Malta at Eurovision in the Junior edition with a great placing. His performance is definately stronger then yesterday so i dont rule him out as one of the main contenders for the winning ticket. Will he make? Let’s see later on but the public seem to love this one too!.

Before we go on to the next song Ira and Gianlucca are threating us on a great intermezzo. What a clever and good show of PBS to have those two great artists as presenters!

Let The Sunshine In - Sophie (Sophie DeBattista / Adam Pakard / Alex Dew)

Funny enough the next artist also represented malta at Junior Eurovision. Sophie is giving a solid performance but like i said yesterday i’m not sure if this song would be the best choice for Eurovision. However all credits and congratulations for the performance and how can you not like such a nice and cheerfull girl!

Oblivion - Chris Grech (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

Chris is on stage and proving again he’s a very powerfull singer. The guy definately knows how to sing and has a certain charisma that i can imagine women are attracted too. In terms for Eurovision in Denmark i believe the song might just miss that thing to win for the top places later on. But well done Chris!

Until We Meet Again - Deborah C (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

Deborah C is back in the finals for the third year in a row and it shows that this singer is developping in a very good way. Hard work and singing is clearly paying off! Deborah looks again great on stage. This very happy feeling song is making me smile with Deborah's enthousiasm! Well done Deborah and crossing fingers for the best possible result!

Hypnotica - Jessika (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

Another hot favourite, especially amongst the European Eurofans is Jessica The  performance of Hypnotica is again very good with a very interesting choreography. This was surely the work of Gerard James Borg who is always very creative on this, so all my deep compliments on Ger! Should Hypnotica make it to Denmark it will surely be a fan favourite, but we have to think also on the older public and professional juries. Will they taste it as much as the fans? That is to be seen. But well done Jessica!

Take Me - Pamela (Boris Cezek)

And now we go to the angelic voice of Pamela Bezzina! Like yesterday im attached to the screen from the first till last minute and enjoying every second of her performance. What a voice and what great stage appearance, very simply but effective! I can see this just doing copy past to Copenhagen! I am so sure this will fight till the end to get that ticket. Will Pamela finally make it as leadsinger on Eurovision stage? I would be happy for her and Malta would head for a top position in Copenhagen surely! Prosit Pamela!

Coming Home - Firelight (Richard Micallef)

The next act is Firelight with Coming Home. Probably many maltese people will not like me but somehow i didnt expect the song to make it, so prosit on that already. The performance is solid and welldone but still i dont see this as the winning entry that will represent Malta at the Eurovision Songcontest.

Because I Have You - Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Amber is again joined by composer and 1991 representative Paul Giordimaina who also composed the song and who i respect a lot as one of maltese best composers. Amber seems to be less stressed then last night and i must say she looks great performing this melodic tune. However i fear for Amber that she will  have to wait to win the ticket to Eurovision.

Pin The Middle - De Bee (Peter Paul Galea / Debbie Stivala)

De Bee is one of the much rumoured for the victory. I’m so sorry but i dont get this at all. Don’t misunderstand me the performance is solid and the singer is doing a very good job but i still dont feel any chemistry. It still might win though, let the public and jury decide i would say.

So we had all the songs now! The televoting has been opened and we have a recap of all the songs before we go to a long list of interval acts.

Part 2 of the show

Ira Losco is starting the intervalacts and she proves that she is still an amazing artist and looking fabulous! When are you returning to Eurovision Ira?

And we are off for another recap!

Gianluccas is performing now with a new song along with his family, so it’s like the Bezzina group. Before some images were shown from last years festival. And they are off for more, this is sounding really nice! Of course Gianlucca's winning song from last year cannot be forgotten! The audience is cheering a lot! This is why i love the maltese public so much, they cherish their esc artists so much!

Moira is now in the greenroom with all the finalists! Everyone seem to have a great time but surely nerves are very tensed! And off we go again with another performance of Ira again. She followed by a crazy act from Gorg u Pawlu who got fame with their 'Hot and famous' last year, well at least in malta. It looks very funny, but as this is a great show this is a strange act not really fitting in. But it's funny though!

Next one on stage is one of Maltese most popular bands Wintermoods. Great vocals and strong songs i must say, respect!

After Wintermoods we have the Swiss entry Sebalter on stage presenting their song for Eurovision. After that performance which doesnt give much of attention we are off to the winner of last years Eurovision Emelie de Forest who is presenting her new song Rainmaker, the theme of the 2014 Eurovision! She is joined by all contestants and it really sounds great! this is a new hit for Emelie i'm pretty sure!

And off for another commercial break. Will we know the results soon? Let's cross fingers for it!

We are off to the voting!!

The televoting gives 12 to Jessika and 10 to Daniel Testa

the first judge gives 12 to firelight

the russian judges gives 12 to Deborah C!

the italian head of delegation gives 12 to firelight

very different voting!!

the belarussian judge gives 12 to firelight

the head of jury gives also 12 to firelight

So Firelight is the song for Malta. As i told i admit i was totally wrong here but stand my opinion. All the best of luck to malta though!

Friday, 07 February 2014 20:00

MESC ’14: The Semi-Final - LIVE Report

Good Evening! Welcome to the LIVE report of the semi-final of this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest being staged in Ta’ Qali, an artisan town where the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre is found, a couple of miles away from any form of civilization. Our colleagues in Malta have reported that the rehearsals have been going extremely well and that the Public Broadcasting Services is ready to host a show of the highest quality this evening with our three (3) illustrious hosts and a parade of local and foreign guests.

Ira Losco and Gianluca Bezzina; representatives of Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2002 and 2013 respectively along with Moira Delia, spokesperson on behalf of the Mediterranean country in the 2006 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest have been selected to coordinate the show, one which will include twenty (20) acts, out of which fourteen (14) will be getting through to the final tomorrow night. It will be a tussle with the local and foreign media finding it difficult to eliminate six (6) songs this evening, stating that the best course of action would have been to see them contend for the right to represent the country in a couple of months’ time.

The show is starting with some great reviews from the past entries that Malta competed with. This is an extremely nice idea from the Public Broadcasting Services. Then, we listen to Tomorrow performed by Gianluca and Ira Losco before Emmelie de Forest is introduced to the stage and performs Only Teardrops. Amazing production by the Public Broadcaster thus far.

Because I Have You - Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Amber, wearing a dark black dress takes to the stage. She is joined by composer and 1991 representative Paul Giordimaina. It seems that she is very tense but carries this melodic tune well. It's lacking something but should get through tonight.

Oblivion - Chris Grech (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg) 

Chris is on stage and he’s giving a very strong performance. It shows Malta has a lot of strong performers. If this is the song to represent in Denmark I dont know but he is doing a very good job!

Addictive - Romina Mamo (Ylva / Linda Persson) 

Romina is back to the festival and she’s doing quiet good I must admit. It’s so nice to see maltese artists are working hard to get on a higher level, Romina is definately one of them. Very good performance, well done Romina!

Hypnotica - Jessika (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

Jessica is next and she’s set to be one of the favourites. Well I must say i’m gladly surprised. The performance was pretty good and vocally Jessica did very good! It might not be the most original song but definately it could do well in the Euroclub. But will it be enough for Eurovision? Jessica's dancer seem to get already a lot of attention from the European audience anyway. Let’s wait and see.

We are on a commercial break now

Now and Forever - Andreana (Vinny Vella / Karl Spiteri)

Adreana is on next with a very intimate song. She has a specific vocal which is appealing probably to many people but i’m not sure if it would be good enough for Eurovision. Although all respect for the artist! 

One Last Ride - Daniel Testa (Stephen Rudden / Lawrence Peter Bridge) 

Daniel Testa is next on! He made Malta already proud at the Junior Eurovision and is trying to get to the Senior stage. Daniel is definately all his best but I must be honest it might be a little too soon for him to get to Eurovision. Good effort and vocals though and i’m sure the audience will decide wisely!

Invisible - Raquel Galdes (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

A newcomer to the festival. Raquel starts the performance, sitting down alongside a good looking young lad. She is wearing a minty gold type of dress. She is really enjoying her time on stage. The boy sitting down is there doing now, probably because he should be invisible. Nothing extraordinary about this. Mediocre and won't get through.

Just No Place Like Home - Fabrizio Faniello (Johan Bejerholm)

Fabrizio is on now! He represented Malta already twice at Eurovisioin and is aiming for a third time. His performance tonight is very strong and professional. One thing PBS could be sure if Fabrizio would make it there will be a very strong is standing behind him to back the team!

Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William (Wayne Micallef)

Wayne is next on! There is no doubt he is one of Maltese’s best vocals on the Island. Again his performance is very solid and strong and this is a song that will most likely fly to the Final. However i’m not sure if this is a winning track to defend the maltese colours in Malta. But a very strong performance though!

City Lady - Ryan Paul Abela (Paul Abela / Ryan Paul / Joe Julian Farrugia)

Ryan Paul Abela is the next one on stage with a very cheery song to hit the stage. The very sympathic singer seems to enjoy himself a lot which gives a lot of credits. However i’m not so sure if this would be enough to stand out at Eurovision. All sympathy for the singer but i’d say come back next year!

Lovetricity - Christabelle (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

Christabelle is the next on on stage with an uptempo track with lyrics from Gerard James Borg who is always in for very good lyrics and good ideas on a stage act. This is not different this time, so welldone! About the chances for Christabelle to get to the finals i must be honest i’m in a balance. Something says yes but another part is saying not. We will find out later on.

Take Me - Pamela (Boris Cezek)

Now Pamela on Stage! Definately this singer is one of the best vocals on the Island and also tonight she takes me by breath from the very first second. This is honestly one of the only songs till now that i can see directly on Eurovision Stage in Copenhagen! What a presence, what a voice and personality! Congratulations Pamela!

Let The Sunshine In - Sophie (Sophie DeBattista / Adam Pakard / Alex Dew)

Sophie is next on! The girl who proudly represented Malta in the past at the Junior Eurovision is back again at the Malta Eurovision. Since her last attempt Sophie has grown a lot and a very mature style so all the credits for this talented singer! However i must be honest that i’m not so sure if this would be the best choice Malta could make as a representation at Eurovision. My advice would be prosit Sophie but please come back again next year!

Love Will Take Me Home - Franklin (Glen / Beatrice Eriksson / M Frenell / Michael J Down)

Franklin Calleja is next on! What a development this amazing artist has made the last years! After winning the show ‘Don’t stop me now’ on Nettv he got last year already to the National Selection for Eurovision and got to the semifinal with a very nice track. But wow this time it seems this might be Franklin’s year. A great track a great performance! You can see the anxiousness on Franklin’s face and the enthousiasm to make his country proud. That is what i like in an artist, i really like this performance. Something extra in the finals ; some extra guidance, and the road to Copenhagen might be wide open in my opinion.Prosit Franklin you are the first one to give me tears tonight!

Safe - Miriam Christine (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

What is going on really! PBS is saving the top songs together. Miriam Christine i really hate you tonight for making me cry with this amazing performance! This is a truly stunning performance which i will be watching for a lot of times after no matter what the result will be! Very well done! 

Until We Meet Again - Deborah C (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

Deborah, that was a good performance. This song is interesting and should make it through this evening based on the current crop of songs, especially with only a couple left. She looks great, and I quite like the idea of the band players to be honest although, I would have preferred a choreography with this one.

Coming Home - Firelight (Richard Micallef)

The next act is Firelight with Coming Home. How much I appreciate the artists on stage after the previous acts especially Franklin and Miriam, this is to my opinion a no go for the finals and definately for the Eurovision. To be clear very talented artists but i don’t feeling any connection with this. I’m so sorry guys.

Pin The Middle - De Bee (Peter Paul Galea / Debbie Stivala) 

De Bee is said to be rumoured to be one of the favourites for the victory. Probably a lot of people will hate me but I have no connection at all with the song. The performance is solid and the singer is really not bad, but for me there is no chemistry at all. I risk to be shot when I come to Malta if I am proven wrong but I dont have any connection with it. Sorry guys in advance!

Brand New Day - Davinia (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

Davinia is next on stage with a cheerful song but I’m so sorry i’m turning not too positive again. Davinia looks really great on the stage but the song is really not going anywhere so this would definately not a good choice to represent Malta at Eurovision. Please Davinia return next year with a great track and then i see potenitial for you!

Ten - Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

The last track is coming from Corazon with a track from Paul and Fleur, the composers of One Life the 2011 Entry from Glen Vella. This is really a nice easy listening song and i mean this! But for Eurovision no chances at all. I’m so sorry Corazon, i really like your voice but for Eurovision this is just not good enough.

The Show (Part 2)

So that's for now. We are off for another commercial break and some guest performances. After the break there is a recap for all the songs. Gianluca, representative of Malta in 2013 is back on stage performing ‘Feeling Good’ and is then joined by Ira Losco, who is looking fabolous in red. After some more interval acts; including Red Electrick, The Crowns, Mariya Yaremchuk, Ira Losco and Gianluca, we are off for the announcements of the finalists. Here they are!

Qualifiers

One Last Ride - Daniel Testa (Stephen Rudden / Lawrence Peter Bridge)

Take Me - Pamela (Boris Cezek)

Because I Have You - Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Hypnotica - Jessika (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

Let The Sunshine In - Sophie (Sophie DeBattista / Adam Pakard / Alex Dew)

Love Will Take Me Home - Franklin (Glen / Beatrice Eriksson / M Frenell / Michael J Down)

Oblivion - Chris Grech (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

Lovetricity - Christabelle (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William (Wayne Micallef)

City Lady - Ryan Paul Abela (Paul Abela / Ryan Paul / Joe Julian Farrugia)

Until We Meet Again - Deborah C (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

Brand New Day - Davinia (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

Coming Home - Firelight (Richard Micallef)

Pin The Middle - De Bee (Peter Paul Galea / Debbie Stivala)

Some big surprises here which will definately lead to discussion and with reason. But all the best of luck to the finalists! Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more about the 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Franklin Calleja, one of the youngest and most promising male vocalists in Malta is striving to achieve success and in doing so, working extremely hard. Nine years ago, he discovered his talent in the art of music and therefore, followed intuition and starting honing his skills. The singer achieved prominence through the talent show Don't Stop Me Now hosted by Eileen Montesin, former Eurovision Song Contest commentator for Malta. He impressed the panel of judges and the audience with quite a couple of songs, especially Hallelujah.

Musically, he is inspired by the likes of Whitney Houston, Leona Lewis and Mariah Carey and in his free time enjoys fashion photography and modelling. The fact that he goes beyond borders is exceptional and has helped him be the best version of himself possible whilst still being unique. Another way in which Franklin has expressed his talent is through the art of acting, noting a role within the television series Deja Vu which aired on NET Television. The title track used in every episode was the runner-up entry at the 2005 Malta Song for Europe. 

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After winning the talent show Don't Stop Me Now, Franklin entered the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Let Your Heart Talk composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant where despite not making it through to the finals, was recognised by the general public and the local/foreign press present at the event. The experience also confirmed his talent with Angie Laus of Ħadd Għalik, another television programme which airs on Television Malta inviting him to become a resident artist. 

With Copenhagen selected as the host city of the Eurovision Song Contest, many denote that 2014 is not too far away, with most artists preparing their entries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Franklin is yet to announce his intentions however with a cover version of Quedate Conmingo, originally by Pastora Soler just published below, it is easy to denote that there is a certain affinity with the competition. With such vocals, it comes as no surprise that several songwriters are looking to work with the upcoming male vocalist for the upcoming edition. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news. 

Source: Franklin Calleja (Facebook)

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Ruslana, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004 with the track Wild Dances which she co-wrote alongside Aleksandr Ksenofontov, Jamie Maher, Michael Fayne and Sherena Dugani is currently preparing for the release of her next international album, that entitled My Boo which is being published through EMI Music. Ruslana, a successful singer/songwriter has seen her music top the charts in Ukraine on four occasions, the most recent being in 2012 with the release of the studio album Ey-fory-ya which also contained an anthem used during the EUFA EURO 2012. In the past two days, she graced the stage of the World Outgames and the Antwerp Pride in Belgium where thousands of people were gobsmacked by her astonishing performance.

This is Euphoria, the lead single off her new album is co-written with Stefan Orn, who was also one of the songwriters behinf the track Running Scared, winning entry of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Azerbaijan. It is important to denote that the Ukrainian version of the song was released before Euphoria by Loreen came about and therefore, there is was theft of intellectual property involved. You may purchase the brand new single from the local iTunes store here and you may also watch the official video found on viral website, YouTube through this link. In the meantime, escflashmalta.com collaborator, Olivier Vanhoutte sent us a video message specifically designated towards our audience where Ruslana speaks of her love towards Malta, Chiara, the three time Eurovision Song Contest representative and also a possible visit.

Source: escflashmalta.com

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Ruslana, one of the most popular female performers in Ukraine recently organised an event which was broadcast on television and the internet. Bearing the name Ogo Show, the vocalist wanted to promote her most recent album entitled My Boo (Together) published and distributed by EMI Music. The show, which encompassed the tour supporting the release included twenty-four (24) concerts in total, all comprising of mass games held in the largest cities in Ukraine. Nevertheless, the actual Ogo Show had already been organised in the United States of America, Turkey and Russia as part of Ruslana's international activities.

Several people were involved with records showing around 130,000 participants and 12,000 volunteers which by any standard is relatively large. Ruslana, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 with the track Wild Dances on behalf of Ukraine is currently preparing to visit Antwerp in Belgium for this years' edition of the Worldoutgames and the Antwerp Pride. She will not be the only performer there noting that former Eurovision Song Contest participants; Chiara, Glen Vella and Hera Bjork were also included in the line-up. Wild Dances was a major hit in Belgium amassing number one (1) for ten (10) consecutive weeks back in 2004 whilst staying five (5) months in the official singles chart. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Press Release

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One of the most successful countries in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest is definitely Serbia having won on their debut in 2007 with the track Molitva performed by Marija Šerifović but this was followed, by another two top ten achievements, the most recent coming last year at the hands of Željko Joksimović with the song Nije Ljubav Stvar finishing in third place. This year, RTS has decided on hosting an open national final, the first in almost four years which will see fifteen (15) entries competing for the right to represent the Balkan nation at the esteemed competition taking place in Malmö, Sweden.

The broadcaster received a total of one hundred, seventy one (171) submissions and had to narrow them down directly to the performance stage, with a semi-final taking place prior to the final selection round in order to make sure that both the jury and the public will select their entry out of a number of tracks which deserve their respective result. The semi-final has been scheduled for the 2nd March whilst the final will be taking place on the 3rd March. In the final round of the selection, there will be just five (5) acts competing to represent Serbia. Below you could see which entries made it through with their respective songwriters. The performers of the tracks will be revealed within the next couple of days.

  • Moja Svetlosti - Igor Terzija (Filipovic / Savic)
  • Što Prolazim - Dusan Zrnic (Bojic Mrden)
  • Za Tebe Živim - Kristina Savic (Borisavljevic / Savic)
  • Savršen Kraj - Aleksandra Dabic (Maric - Carli)
  • Usne Kadifa - Vanja Gnjapic i 'Kal (Ristic / Milanovic Marika)
  • Tren - Zarko Stepanov (Ivan Ilic)
  • Svetla Pale Se Za Nas - Kesnija Kocetova (Kocetov / Kocetova / Malbasic)
  • Blagoslov - Maja Nikolic (Paelinck / Nikolic)
  • Spas - Dusan Svilar (Durasevic - Mahoni / Savic)
  • Ruža Od Baruta - Ruza od Baruta (Milosavljevic)
  • Anđeo S Neba - Maja Odzaklijevska (Burovac / Buljan / Kon)
  • Halo! - Marija Mihailovic (Cuturilo / Jankovic / Tanaskovic)
  • Ljubav Je Svuda - Radulovic, Bozovic, Jovanovic (Milosevic / Tucakovic)
  • Magija - Sky'z (Sky Wikluh)
  • Duga U Tvojim Očima - Aleksandra Jankovic (Petrovic)
All of the names of the songwriters could easily be seen as Balkan but nevertheless, one particular songwriter from outside of the region yet to have made the cut is none other than Marc Paelinck who is known in Malta for writing the track What If We for Chiara back in 2009 as well as If I Could Do It All Again sung by Raquela in 2011 respectively. Apart from the Maltese entries in 2009, Marc Paelinck made a name for himself back home having managed to write two entries, one in 2002 entitled Sister performed by Sergio and the Ladies and the other one being in 2004 entitled 1 Life sung by Xandee. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
 
Source: RTS
 
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Norway and their disappointment at the Eurovision Song Contest continued last year when Tooji could only manage last place in the final stage of the competition and therefore, NRK is looking to re-invent the Melodi Grand Prix with various genres and it has to be noted that the second semi-final which took place last night in the city of Floro was stronger in quality than the first semi-final with a number of tracks which could do relatively well at the international stage which not be too far away, in the neighbouring country of Sweden. 

Three entries did eventually manage to make it through to the final and will be joining the acts that made it through last week which somewhat baffled the international community due to the fact that some of the best presented entries failed to make it through unfortunately proving difficult for a successful result in Malmö, Sweden. Surprises have become a thing for these events and last night, it seems to have been existent in one particular case but nevertheless, a pleasant trio of entries to make it through to the final. The three qualifiers which made it through last night are well detailed below. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news.

3rd place: I'm With You - Annsofi

One of the most (if not the most) discussed songs was undoubtably the song of Annsofi who performed extremely well I'm with you which was the big return of Alexander Rybak to the eurovision scene. The song has a lot of celtic and irish influences and touched the hearts of the people. Annsofi and Alexander Rybak met each other some years ago during a christmas show and stayed since then in contact. After reaching in 3rd place in the norwegian X-Factor things developped more and more for the now 18-year old singer with this participation. The singer got last night 3rd place but somehow we feel she will definately compete for the first place on 9th February in Oslo Spektrum in Norway. This is a definate qualifier for the final in Malmö if this wins, I even see it in the top5.

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2nd place: UlvetuvaFjellfolk 

The second place went to the band Fjellfolk also with a song with celtic influences. A total different song then Annsofi and very intimate and sung in Norwegian. Not bad at all but this would be a much bigger struggle for Norway to qualify for the final in Malmö.

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1st place: I Feed You My Love - Margaret Berger

The first place went to Margaret Berger who was already a favourite in this semfinal with Annsofi. I feed you my love is a very electronic and modern popsong and performed very well by Margaret. This might do well on some radiostations but i dont think this is the right song for Norway to represent the country in Eurovision as the style will push many people away from voting. Should this wins in Norway i see it struggling to reach the final.

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An exclusive piece of information released by our colleagues at oikotimes.com shows that the Greek national final will be taking place on Monday 18th February and will be including a stunning line-up of international guests with spectacular surprises all throughout the evening. This will be the first time the selection is being organized in collaboration between two broadcasters; ERT and MAD TV who represent two of the most popular channels in the country. It is important to denote that Eleftheria Eleftheriou was the last representative of the nation and was the first not to achieve a top ten result in almost ten years, finishing behind their neighbouring country of Cyprus for the first time in an extremely long time.

The internationally renowned portal has revealed that the selection is set to be a huge event and this is all thanks to the collaboration between the two broadcasters with MAD TV producing the show. There will be a number of international performers who will collaborate with renowned Greek artists and the pairings have been decided in the form of; Helena Paparizou with Melisses, Dima Bilan with Demy, Alexander Rybak with Kostas Martakis, Ruslana with Eleni Foureira and last but not least, Marija Serifovic with the group Vegas. The first representative to make his way to the selection will be the Greek selection will be the Cypriot representative. More guest stars will be revealed shortly. In a press conference set to take place on the 4th February, more details about the show including the hosts and the venue will be revealed. The general artistic director for the show will be Fokas Evaggelinos, who has taken care of several entries for the Eurovision Song Contest in the past. This is sure to be a huge spectacle with a large viewership. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news from Greece.
 
Source: oikotimes

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Sunday, 23 December 2012 10:00

Ukraine: National Final - LIVE

Ukraine is poised for a victory at the Eurovision Song Contest for a second time in the near future noting that they are dedicated to achieving success and have managed to qualify to the final on each occasion whilst also managing to acquire consecutive top ten results, their last one coming back in 2011 with Angel performed by Mika Newton. Earlier this year, many were surprised to see Be My Guest performed by Gaitana languishing in a mid-table position, only achieved due to the support of the jury because the track was a fan favourite and the performer herself was well received by the international community. Another year has passed though and today, a successor for Gaitana will be chosen through a mixture of public and jury votes.

NTU, the public broadcaster in Ukraine has had a busy couple of days noting that preparations have been taking place all week with the jury releasing to the submitted entries and ultimately selecting the twenty which they believe have enough potential to garner some airplay on television and as a matter of fact rehearsals took place throughout the day yesterday with some entries slightly touched upon prior to a final mix which we would be recorded should one of the tracks eventually is announced as a winner. There are a number of favourites in this selection process to be honest but nevertheless, we do not want to point them out prior to the start of the show which is imminent and just under an hour away. We would like you to follow our live report by virtue of the webcast offered by the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest as well as well as giving us your thoughts through Twitter.

01. Oksana Pekun and Maxim Novitskiy – Zeleniy dubochok

The first singer is not the best one to start, a bit too dramatic ballad so no song for the Eurovision Song Contest in my opinion.

02. Mariya Yaremchuk –Imagine

The second track is already better but still not too well for the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest. Mariya is screaming at points way too much. 

03. Marietta – Wonder

Another ballad but it really doesn't suit Marietta well, her voice is quiet boring to hear. A great vocal could have lifted this much higher!

04. Dmitry Yaremchuk – Mamo

 Its clear the production team is still very sleepy as the next singer is restarting three times. However the vocals are least a nice surprise. However not for eurovision though. And look at the audience they need to wake up too still.

05. Inesh – Delayu shag

Inesh is doing a dance song, she has a very low voice at parts. One hand one would think this might be not a bad track, but it seems that the production is still very poor. But one cannot expect more as the deadline for entering for the song was only some days ago. A missed chance unfortunately.

06. Zlata Ognevich – Gravity

The next track is one of the favourites to win, Zlata Ognevich. She tried before for Ukraine and was Alexander Rybak's favourite to represent the country but it was Mika Newton with Angel who won eventually. A not bad song and definitely the best of what we heard till now. Great vocals too, but still work to do on the act should it make it. Potential winner though!

07. Emotion – Saviour

The next group is Emotion with Saviour. The lead-singer would surely be followed closely by the euro-fans in case this song would represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest  But now to the song itself: the singer has unfortunately not the vocals to stand out on a Eurovision stage especially in the lower notes. Somehow in the chorus he makes me think at one point to Sinplus from Switzerland  with one big difference, the Swiss brothers are vocally much better. So one advice to the lead singer of this song: start a model career and quit singing.

08. Gvozdivchanka – Naleteli gusenyata

Next one, Gvozdivchanka! Wow the Russian grannies have sent their nieces to Ukraine!  Only accompanied by an accordion they do a likely very authentic song which would be great surely at a folk-festival or something similar but for the Eurovision Song Contest ? No sorry, we had the grannies last year, this would fail surely big time.

09. RealIvanna – You Gave Me Everything

The next singer is RealIvanna on stage already, Ukrainian tv want to be home for lunch at this speed! The song and singer is again nothing special unfortunately. One would start to wonder why NTU bothered to make a final with so many singers but a very low level overall until now. Sorry Ukraine but I just cannot get most of the songs.

10. Tatyana Shirko – Feeling Like A Sir

The next act on stage is Tatyana Shirko with 'Feeling like a sir'. Only the title is already warning me to pay extra attention. This girl has a very very fragile voice but the notes seems to be too high for her that makes it somehow annoying. A good effort though and one of the better, or let's say one of the less bad tracks.

11. Trinity – Belym po belomu

Now Trinity on stage with Belym po belomu. They should be careful with the name as the groups name belong to a popular Belgian group who was very popular in the seventies mostly. But this said, three beautiful women who don't sing that bad, that's a nice surprise. One of the better song but not a winning track in my opinion.

12. Ana Stesia –Dare To Change

Ana Stesia is the next one on stage. The perfect song to listen on a late night in a lounge bar after too many drinks, but quiet boring in my opinion. This would definitely ruin Ukraine's chances to get to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.

13. Alina Grosu – Let Go

And now the other top favourite of today, Alina Grasu. Alina comes from the city of Cernauti in western Ukraine, which used to be a part of Romania. Her name is also 100% Romanian, so definitely high points from Romania and Moldova would be guaranteed. About the song now: this is in my opinion the song that might be winning this years final. Very good singer, good song and a good performance! The only one that could take victory is Zlata. But with a good finalisation on the production this could be doing good things on stage in Malmö!

14. Dasha Medovaya – Don’t Want To Be Alone

Dasha Medova is the next one on stage after Alina's performance. Another ballad which is maybe full of good intentions, but Dasha's vocals are not up to standard for a national final, and definitely not for a Eurovision stage. Sorry Dasha, but this is not going to make it for sure.

15. Lena Korneeva – You’ll Be The Winner Forever

Olena Korneva is the next one to come on stage of the Ukrainian National Final, we are getting to the end of the songs. On the first look of the singer i was afraid really this would be something awful  Call me crazy or having a bad taste, but I kinda like this! Ok the vocals are not really how they should be but i believe her what she is doing on stage. It won't win but it's nice to see it on the finals in Ukraine.

16. Angeliya – Love Is Life

Angeliya with love is life is next on stage. A dance song which unfortunately doesn't suit the singer at all. I don't believe at all what is happening on stage and the voice is not fit for the song too unfortunately. No no good points for Angeliya unfortunately from my part.

17. Eduard Romanyuta – Get Real With My Heart

Eduard Romanyuta is next on stage with 'Get real with my heart'. A not too bad good lucking guy who tries to sing a Bilan like song, but he fails unfortunately. The vocals are again not good enough to stand out and fight for a good placing in the Ukrainian National Final. So a definite no for Malmö.

18. Matvey Vermiyenko – Otkryvay menya 

Matvey Vermiyenko with Otkryvay menya is the next track on stage. Ooohhhhhhhh an alien has arrived from outer space! For sure the singer has decided for this strange outfit in order to take the attention away from his vocals who are really bad. No way this can win the ticket for Sweden.

19. DiOfilmy – Medlyak

DiOfilmy with Medlyak is the second last song of today's final. An uptempo song by two male singers who cannot hold really well notes. The song itself might have some good intentions, but it sounds very very cheap. So please next one!

20. Dima Skalozubov – Davno

The last track of today is Dima Skalozubov with Davno. A strange song and act where at first his hands are tight. Not my cup of tea at all.

The Show (Part 2)

We will be awaiting the results from the Jury but the sms-voting is definitely putting Zlata in pole position for victory thus far. Nevertheless, we will announce the full result in accordance with NTU, the broadcaster. Recap of the songs performed throughout the morning and early afternoon is currently being shown on screen. Local artists are lining-up the stage at the moment whilst Zlata is confirmed as the runaway winner of the public with more than 8000 votes this afternoon leaving Eduard Romanyuta in second place with just over a 1000 votes. Zlata has just been confirmed the winner of both the public and the jury vote.

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