Emil Calleja Bayliss
It seems that the current economic climate has left its impact on Croatia as for the very first time in recent years they have opted for an internal selection. Last year the host broadcaster HRT opted for a similar selection that gave Germany their first win in almost thirty years but this did not prove to be successful for the country so this year they opted for a complete internal selection. The singer Nina Badric was announced earlier on and tonight the official song presentation took place. Nina is a successful artists which boasts seven albums in her repertoire, with the last one being titled 'Nebo'. The same as the track that has been presented to represent Croatia in Baku come May.
The word 'Nebo' translates in English into sky and in fact this also inspired the background screen behind the singer. The song can be described as an emotional ballad where Nina can show her powerful vocals. The song can be described as a typical Balkan ballad. One can say that these type of songs normally score well at the Eurovision Song Contest and looking at the current tracks chosen; 'Nebo' stands a better chance to stand out amongst all the up-tempo tracks in this years' contest. Nina will be competing directly against Malta's entry in the second semi-final which is scheduled to take place on the 24th of May.
The most successful nation at the Eurovision Song Contest will remain Ireland for quite a number of years to come due to the fact that the only country close to their record of seven victories is the United Kingdom whose result in recent years have not been marquee so to speak. Ireland's last victory came on Norwegian soil when Eimear Quinn performed the haunting Irish Celtic song 'The Voice' charming the Jury on her way to a magnificent win. Until the millennium, the country continued to perform well finishing as the runner-up and twice in the top ten but then it started going downhill with the nation even failing to make it to the event in 2002 having been relegated following the result of 'Without Your Love' by Gary O'Shaughnessy. Still, there were positive top ten results in 2006 thanks to Brian Kennedy and his 'Every Song is a Cry for Love' and also 2011 thanks to Jedward with the entry 'Lipstick'. Now it is the time to make sure that the right choice is made!
Tráthnóna Baile Átha Cliath! Welcome to our live coverage of the Late Late Show Eurosong which will be featuring five performances this evening in a format that was used for the very first time last year. The Irish broadcaster has selected five mentors from the entertainment industry to pick their respective acts and songs with the best hope of representing Ireland in the best possible way and the line-up is quite impressive when it comes to song quality. For yet another year, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the fact that Jedward were called up for a reprise performance with a brand new track, hoping to do the event for a second consecutive year stating that would like to do what Lena did in 2010 and 2011. Nevertheless, the show is about to commence and therefore you can follow our report as well as the show itself through RTÉ.
The show kicks off and they start introducing the panel who will comment on the songs tonight. The first one is Marty Whelan, whose some sort of veteran in business having been the Irish commentator for the past fourteen years. Oh well, the Irish are really proud of their past results and they should be having won the contest more than any other participating nation - Jedward's result last year was the best result they got in recent years. Will this year's winner go even further? Joining Marty on the panel is none other than Niamh Kavanagh who represented Ireland twice; she won it back in 1993 and reached the finals 2010. The last person on the panel is a self confessed Eurovision fan who is obsessed with the show, she was on the panel last year too and she seems to be an Irish Eurovision darling. We get another compilation of singers who became a success after the Eurovision - it seems that Ireland are trying to remind the viewers that once in a while people managed to launch their careers through this showcase.
01. Celtic Whisper with Maria McCool - Mistaken (Edele Barrett)
The first song is very Irish. The focus is on the female singer who is wearing a black dress. She is accompanied by two female backing vocalists, a percussionist and two fire jugglers. She is singing in a ring of fire and this increases the drama in the song. The voice is spot on, but although the song is beautiful I can't see it leaving an impact on the Eurovision audience. It sounds too Irish and perhaps the staging was too dark for my liking - although the general Celtic feel was nice.
02. Donna McCaul - Mercy (M Eriksson / Peter Mansson / L Eriksson / Bill Hughes)
Donna's back. She's done Eurovision with her brother back in 2005 and last year she backed our very own Janvil in the local selection. The song is current and surely can be a hit but I feel something is missing but I cannot grasp what it is. Donna surely enjoyed performing the entry and looked confident in selling her song to the crowd. It's a radio hit but I doubt if it can be a Eurovision hit! The performance needs more energy and life as it looked a bit too static. Well, one thing's for sure, Donna is seen as the best hope to pull the upset over Jedward tonight but after this I guess it's going to be tough.
03. Andrew Mann - Here I am (Greg French)
Some Irish rock is next to the stage. The singer is accompanied on stage by his band. The song is good and in comparison to the other two it sounds really authentic. The team along with his mentor focused on some real music and the singer's strong voice. Will it shine at the Eurovision!? Well I doubt it, but it surely a song worth listening to. Something that you would enjoy on a relaxing night out. Well Ireland tried some cheesy rock before with 'Et Cetera' but they didn't do so well - I guess if this goes to Eurovision it will surely capture the judges attention.
04. Úna Gilbey & David Shannon - Language of love (Eanan Patterson / J Benson)
Seasoned professionals according to their mentor singing the cheesiest song in the history of Irish selections. It sounds like an anthem gone somewhat wrong with the cheesiest lyrics - the person who wrote these lyrics must live in a Utopia. The vocals are strong and compliment each other well and the band is nice but surely this was NOT the right song for these two. I love their voices but it's so Eurovision that will surely FAIL miserably if chosen. It's old fashioned and if Ireland sends this I'm pretty sure they are going to be ridiculed. Having said that it is surely one heck of a guilty pleasure as the tune is stuck in my head and can't really get out.
05. Jedward - Waterline (Nick Jarl / Sharon Vaughn)
Well Jedward has the strongest song in the competition but it is nowhere as strong as last year's song. Was it sung well!? Not really and they need loads of work. The backing singers did a great job and at one point I really wished Jedward's microphones were switched off so I could hear them. Having said that, they have a great fan base, a great song, loads and loads of energy to give and you cannot not love the crazy Irish twins. They should have no problems in winning tonight I think but they have to work in giving a much stronger performance as the song itself has great potential - some help in the choreography would help.
The Show (Part 2)
Has Ireland found the next Eurovision winner from this bunch? I don't think so, but if Jedward get chosen I guess their popularity would be enough to get them through to the finals and achieve a decent result come Saturday night. If want to head for some quality Andrew Mann is the one to go for. Whilst if they want something which has a Eurovision feel to it but not that obvious Donna can be a great representative if the song is reworked well and given the right presentation.
The televoting lines are open and 'The Late Late Night Show' continues with an interview with Mr Martin Sheen who seems to have taken a liking to Donna McCaul's song Mercy as he publicly declared he loved its Christian theme. He seems to have been taking the mickey out of the situation but continued repeating the title when the presenter asked him to say that he is in love with all the songs. It seems that these faux-pas happen in each and every country.
The Eurovision part is back on and the three critics pass on their verdict and it seems JEDWARD are the favourite with them followed by Donna McCaul and Andrew Mann. A short recap of SOME of the songs participating in this year's Eurovision Song Contest is shown and even though it was possibly the shortest song in the bunch - Malta's This is the Night was featured. The host introduces Bucks Fizz who are no strangers to Eurovision having won the contest back in 1981. Guess what, it seems they have been doing their Eurovision choreography in their sleep as they still remember the exact dance moves 21 years later.
The voting is about to start... oh this is so exciting. Let's see whether we have a miracle and JEDWARD are somehow defeated.
Mercy - 44
Here I Am - 44
Waterline - 54
Mercy - 40
Here I Am - 50
Waterline - 60
WHAT A SURPRISE! A RESULT NO ONE ACTUALLY EXPECTED - Oh well I hope you're getting the fact that I am being sarcastic here but with this win for JEDWARD it will reconfirm what the betting odds are stating so far, Ireland are the still the favourites for this year's EUROVISION SONG CONTEST. Will anyone beat them to it in the betting odds!? Still a long way to go. I believe there are a number of countries that can take this away from them. P.S. It is better to let the Irish delegation that the coordinated hand movement their backing singers are doing is totally ripped off from 'This is the Night.'
JEDWARD WILL BE FLYING THE FLAG IN BAKU WITH WATERLINE!
The preparations for this year's Malta Eurovision are now in full swing, in fact the singers were called for the first technical rehearsal earlier this week which focused on their positions and the camera shots for the final night. Surely this can easily be considered as a step in the right direction because during the final week of rehearsals the PBS would start finalizing the camera shots. All this puts less stress on both the performers and also the organizers who can easily focus on other elements to ensure in having the best possible outcome. This year’s festival will return to the MFCC in Ta’ Qali and will take place on the 3rd and 4th of February with eight songs being eliminated on Friday night. The final sixteen songs will fight it out for the right to be Malta’s 2012 participant which also happens to be our country's 25th ever participation in the Eurovision Song Contest.
In the meantime the running order of this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest was exclusively revealed on the late night programme ’Mixage’ aired on PBS, Wednesday night. It seems that finally PBS finalized the final running order where they had to ensure in having a varied running order as much as possible whilst also keeping in mind the performers themselves since some of them will be performing with more than one entry – so it was not an easy task to strike the right balance. The draw was predefined earlier with Danica Muscat being drawn first whilst Amber was drawn to sing last in Friday’s semi-final; the other songs were all allocated in different pots. Below you can find the finalized list of how this year’s singers will perform on Friday night.
1. Seven Days – Danica Muscat
2. You Are My Life - Janvil
3. Walk On Water - Isabelle
4. Take Me Far – Francesca Borg
5. No Way Back - Klinsmann
6. Look At Me Now – Richard Edwards
7. Whoop It Up – Annalise Ellul
8. This is the Night – Kurt Calleja
9. DNA – Romina Mamo
10. Can’t Get Away – Nadine Bartolo
11. In Your Eyes – Lawrence Gray
12. First Time - Kaya
13. Pure – Claudia Faniello
14. Dance Romance – Jessica Muscat
15. Time – Wayne Micallef
16. Autobiography – Dorothy Bezzina
17. Petals On A Rose - Gianni
18. I Will Fight For You (Papa’s Song) – Fabrizio Faniello
19. While Her Eyes Still Glow – Janice Mangion
20. I Want To Run Away – Eleanor Cassar
21. Mystifying Eyes - Corazon
22. You Make Me Go Uh Uh – Deborah C ft. Leila James
23. Still Waiting – Anna Azzopardi
24. Answer With Your Eyes - Amber
The Scandinavian region is known to organize their national selections over a number of shows mostly including semi-finals for the people to choose accordingly but the system is very much different in Denmark where there will only be one show in order to select the singer and song that will ultimately represent the nation in Baku, Azerbaijan come May. The Dansk Melodi Grand Prix represents some of the best music that the country has to offer and the success of recent years when it comes to the European competition has prompted the broadcaster, DR, to take it up a notch this year and organize a show with great guests and superb music.
Nine acts will be performing their songs tonight and the winner will be chosen through a combination of tele-voting and International Jury Voting comprising of people from the last four winning nations of the Eurovision Song Contest. The show will be hosted by Emil Thurop and Louise Wolff and will be aired through DR1 on television and also through a live webcast available on the official website of the broadcaster as soon as it commences roughly in just a couple of minutes time at 20:00 CET. We would like you to follow our report and enjoy the show.
01. Jesper Nohrstedt - Take our hearts (Morten Hampenberg, Engelina, Mads B. B. Krog)
A good solid pop song that is delivered well by the singer. The presentation is kept simple yet still effective with this kind of song. I can see it doing well in Scandinavia but I seriously think it won't get a satisfactory result if this ends up going to Baku. Very radio friendly though and the different sounds in it give it an interesting edge and make it sound contemporary. He is easy on the eye and will surely attract some votes for his looks.
02. Aya - Best thing I got (John Gordon, Julie Frost)
Another solid pop song here but her image for me screams Katy Perry and although that might not be a bad thing at the end of the day you need some originality. The song is written by the winning team of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest but I believe this entry is not as strong. It has some sounds that give it a retro feel. Still I don't believe is strong enough to make it to Baku.
03. Kenneth Potempa - Reach the sky (Peter Bjørnskov, Lene Dissing, Sune Haansbæk)
Another pop song with a catchy chorus that is well performed by the male singer. It seems that last year's song left quite an impact on the singers as this is the second song that is somewhat close to the song Denmark sent to Eurovision last year. From the three songs we've heard so far I believe this is surely the most Eurovision friendly although I feel that it has something missing. Perhaps if a band joins him on stage it would help the general presentation of the song.
04. Ditte Marie - Overflow (Mike Eriksson, Johnny Sanchez, Hanif Sabzevari)
Surely a contender tonight. A very strong dance/pop song with a catchy chorus that easily find yourself singing to it. Will surely be a massive hit in the Euro Club and I see it doing well on the Eurovision Stage both with the general public and also with the judges as it hits the right notes to be successful. Some dancers would aid the presentation but things can only get better from this stage as the overall quality is quite impressive. It is one of the songs that can be successful outside the Eurovision sphere because it appeals to an international audience.
05. Phillip Halloun & Emilia - Baby love me (Philip Halloun, Emilia)
A simple sweet piano ballad. The singers perform on two huge piano and they answer each others through the song's verse. The presentation is kept simple yet it works perfectly with this kind of song. The lyrics are intriguing and I love the way they work in the song. The music compliments them well and overall it looks strong. I fear it won't stand a chance tonight though as the Norwegians will go for something more contemporary and the only way to score relatively well at the Eurovision is to be pitted in between two noisy songs.
06. Suriya - Forever I be young (Suriyatim Hoffmann, Thomas Hoffmann, Jakob Winge)
Surely a contrast to what we witnessed before. R&B with a mix of techno. I don't think this mix works well as it sounds all over the place. I feel that the singer is trying to hard to impress and although she gives a good interpretation overall I don't think this entry is strong enough. It's a bit too risky for Eurovision and there's a great risk that this will flop massively if it ends up winning tonight. Oh well, the Danes always know what they are doing so the chances of this winning are slim.
07. Karen Viuff - Universe (Lise Cabble, Boe Larsen, Simon Borch)
A soft pop song that is interpreted by a singer in a strange outfit. The lyrics are a bit of a cliche and the music doesn't help to make it sound remotely better either. Sometimes she sounds like she is whining her way through the song. As an artist she looks like she lacks experience and needs to work on her stage presence more to be able to deliver more convincingly. Not a contender tonight for sure as there are stronger songs and artists in the competition tonight.
08. Soluna Samay - Should have known better (Remee, Chief 1, Isam B)
I must admit I like this one, I really like this one. It has a good feel to it. The singer's cute and delivers to perfection. The song's catchy and the pop/country feel works in this environment. Nice to have a song different to the rest but still appeals to the audience. It reminds me of Sweden 2010 but it is much stronger. Not sure whether it will score well at the Eurovision Song Contest but I reckon it is worth the risk as everything about the song works. Nothing really to criticise.
09. Christian Brøns and Patrik Isaksson - Venter (Christian Brøns, Patrik Isaksson, Rune Braager)
A strong pop rock song. The similarities in the refrain to With or Without by U2 is something you cannot miss though. It seems this is the favourite tonight but I can't see why. The singers look a bit old to be on the Eurovision stage and although the song is the only song in Danish I seriously don't think it will go down well with the Eurovision fans. The Danes have two or three better songs in the selection in comparison to this. Something is missing in this one.
The Show (Part 2)
After a short recap and an interview with the judges we have the MGP All-Stars performing on stage a remix of different songs. The kids and teenagers look comfortable performing and all of them seem to be enjoying this incredible opportunity. The male presenter now tries to add a bit of humour to the show by attempting to play the flute - something which he deliberately fails at. Time for the results... the top three will make it to the super final.
Finalist One: Take Our Hearts
Finalist Two: Venter
Finalist Three: Should Have Known Better
The three finalists are set to perform their songs yet again and one must note that most probably they won't change anything and all of them will keep the same performance to what we have seen earlier. This is their last chance to attract the votes and confirm that they have the right package to represent the country abroad. The international juries coming from the last four countries that won the Eurovision Song Contest will now join the Danish ones to decide on who should represent Denmark. Alexander Rybak is part of the interval act and he performs a remix of the most popular songs that managed to triumph at the Eurovision Song Contest, he gives all the song a special touch thanks to his violin.
International Jury Votes:
46: Take Our Hearts
42: Should Have Known Better
Danish Jury Votes:
12: Should Have Known Better
10: Take Our Hearts
Should Have Known Better wins the televoting and therefore wins the right to represent Denmark in Baku.
As the festival looms closer more invites are being issued and more guests are being confirmed for this year's local contest. As we exclusively revealed earlier the guests for the final night will be last year’s Eurovision winners Ell & Nikki who managed to win the contest for Azerbaijan with the song ‘Running Scared’. Apart from last year’s winners, as expected Malta’s 2011 representative Glen Vella will also be performing on both nights. It seems that the organizing committee this year is trying to pull a number of big guests especially after last year the Maltese final attracted the popular boy band Blue who represented UK in last year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
A news which has just been released on another Eurovision website states that apart from last year’s Malta Eurovision winner and the actual Eurovision winners, the Maltese broadcaster invited Switzerland’s participants Sinplus whose song ‘’ will not be competing directly against Malta’s song as they will perform in the first semi-final. Last year Malta failed to qualify to the final as Switzerland managed to beat us to tenth position with just a point ahead of Glen’s 'One Life' which scored well with the judges in sixth place but failed miserably in the tele-vote, achieving the eighteenth position out of nineteen songs; overall finish in 11th place.
Source: ESCflashmalta, Oikotimes
The long awaited show for all the fans, media and the general public finally arrived. It was a night viewed by thousands on the island and also by foreigners whose patience was tested more than once with the weak live stream on DI-VE and the long show itself. It was a night that included a couple of surprises as some songs which were seen as favourites beforehand didn't make it to the final that will be held tonight.
The show itself was good and production wise everything looked very professional, something which should be expected when one is organizing such an event. It was stated more than once in the lead up to the competition that this year the focus is that this is a television show and therefore certain things had to be taken into consideration. Viewers who watched the show from home thought that visually it looked really strong but for another year the sound on television left much be desired. This is something one can also notice from videos people have already uploaded on YouTube. It seems that year after year it is almost next to impossible to create the same atmosphere one finds in the hall itself.
One of the few negatives of the whole show was that the audience in comparison to previous years was a bit muted and did not really seem to be enjoying themselves that much, although announcements before the actual show started did not help matters either as the audience were told not to stand up, blow horns and neither to wave flags or banners. So most people sat there and occasionally clapped or shouted to their favourite artists; something which is far from what people who go to the actual Eurovision Song Contest usually experience.
The presenters of the show did a good job although Elaine did most of the work with Ron standing there adding some side humour from time to time. Elaine’s attire caused a bit of a stir, especially those pink gloves but one expects her to be in a better outfit for the finals tonight. The postcards of the show were simple yet worked in the environment; they aren’t the best postcards we’ve seen in recent years but nice. It would be interesting to see whether tonight the show will feature the same postcards or whether the organizers have something new in store for us all.
Coming to surely the most important part of the show yesterday; the songs themselves. All the artists did a brilliant job on presenting a professional performance yesterday and all of them looked slick with a polished performance. Vocally most of the artists yet again did a job well done and even the outfits for this year’s contest were kept simple and there were only a few misses but still worked in the environment and did not look entirely out of place. The actual surprises started at the very end when the results started to be announced.
With a strong line up and twenty-four polished performances, it was inevitable that the eight artists who were not going to make the cut are going to be left disappointed and so would their fans. The shocks of the night were surely the elimination of fan favourites Eleanor Cassar and Annalise Ellul. The latter was seen as one of the favourites with the Eurovision fans but its Greek influenced sounds which made it so popular was probably its undoing as a number of people compared the entry to different songs hailing from Greece, Turkey and Ukraine.
Eleanor Cassar’s power vocals always got her through to the finals with the exception of 2007 and one would have assumed this would not be such a biggie for her to make the cut but somehow she was left astounded when the last envelope revealed another entry. Eleanor gave a powerful performance but her entry reminded people too much of last year’s winner and although the performance was powerful and slick, one could not help but notice that she is trying a bit too much. Eleanor’s forte are surely ballads and hopefully we’ll see her back in the competition with a strong ballad that will leave the audience spellbound.
A big surprise was that most of the up-tempo songs got eliminated last night; Jessica Muscat’s ‘Dance Romance’’ and Romina Mamo’s ‘DNA’ surely lit up the atmosphere and created a nice mix to the contest and although none of them were seen as front runners they provided a nice break from all the ballads in the competition. Apart from that both songs had a powerful choreography that fitted perfectly with both songs and performances. So did Nadine Bartolo’s ‘Can’t Get Away’ but something was missing and possibly the song needed more movement in it.
With all the ballads in the mix it was much of surprise that some of them will get the chop after the first night. Whether this was a deserved thing or not is another matter. Isabelle’s ‘Walk On Water’ had a gospel feel to it but its early draw did not help her. Whilst Janice’s ‘While Her Eyes Still Glow’ had a slow start but had a beautiful climax, the interpretation was impeccable but it seems that the judges felt it won’t do well at the Eurovision – someone remarked that it would be a brilliant concert show but won’t leave an impact in a competition. Anna’s ‘Still Waiting’ had an R&B feel to it and she performed it to perfection but I guess there were 16 other songs that the judges felt were stronger.
At the end the show itself proved to be a bit too long for a number of viewers and although the interval acts flawless, the show in general seemed to be a bit stretched out with a number of viewers taking the social media and foreign fan websites by storm expressing their frustration. For those in the hall, the show did not feel to be that long but with eight less songs tonight this should be resolved and by late tonight we would know the 25th participant for Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest. Break a leg to all the performers and teams behind the songs this year. May the best one win.
The long awaited final arrived and everything was set for the final of Malta’s most watched event. Those who loathe it and those who love it can’t help but watch the Malta Eurovision – in fact if you have a look at the streets when the actual contest is held, they are significantly emptier. Why!? People can’t help but watch. Everyone with his own favourite and ready to shout, scream and get angry at whoever criticizes his or her choice. Yes, the Maltese are a bit hot headed but come May everyone would have somewhat warmed up to the winner and those who haven’t most probably wouldn’t even bother to watch the Eurovision Song Contest.
The show itself was a good one and like Friday, it went along without any particular problems yet viewers still complained that the sound on TV wasn’t up to standard and for the upcoming years PBS have to ensure this won’t happen as visually the show was almost impeccable but considering this is a song contest the sound plays an important role. Another thing which might improve for next year is possibly the use of more effects, for the actual Eurovision they use some effects like smoke and wind machines which would have surely aided some of the performances but other than that kudos for a job well done.
The performances went well and the show favourites were seen as of yesterday. The strong reactions for Kurt, Gianni, Richard, Claudia and Fabrizio in the hall at the end of the show reflected in the tele-vote as they all got a top five placing in regards to the public vote. The jury was going to play an important role and although the actual votes were not as close as last year, the race for whoever will get the honour to be Malta’s 25th participant still proved to be close. In fact for the second straight year, the public vote and the jury vote was slightly different. Claudia Faniello, like Richard Edwards last year managed to triumph in regards to the jury vote attaining 64 points with Kurt Calleja following closely in second place with 60 votes.
It seems though that the margin Kurt Calleja won the tele-vote was astounding as he left the rest of the field well behind. Local journalist and head of jury Keith Demicoli before giving out his votes stated that Kurt managed to get more than half the votes from the 17,000 votes cast last night; which is surely a triumph in itself considering that Kurt Calleja came onto the scene two years ago when he participated with Kaya. Last year he achieved the third place thanks to the jury vote which gave him joint second with Glen for his entry Over & Over which had a completely different style to the one he presented this year. Surely though it was the stepping stone that helped him land the much coveted prize during yesterday’s show.
This will be the first time ever that two male singers represented the country at the Eurovision Song Contest back to back and Kurt will be waving the flag for the country’s 25th ever participation in such a contest. It is also one of the very few years that our country chose an up-tempo song for the second consecutive year to send to the contest. In the meantime come May one would expect a more polished performance and an improved version of ‘This is the Night’ to try to ensure that our entry would not go unnoticed. It possibly the freshest entry we’ve sent in years to the contest and if the Eurovision audience thinks along the same lines of the Maltese it should do well in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Amber was surely the highest achiever this year claiming the third place thanks to the jury vote but unfortunately failed to score with the public. She will surely be one to look out for next year but slowly she is gaining experience and will be riding high on this result. Claudia Faniello’s second place is surely very well-deserved and many thought this was her year and this was her seventh participation and the second time she ended as the first runner up. The other time was back in 2008 were she came second and third. It is still a question mark whether we’ll see Claudia again in this contest but if she attempts to try again she should come back with possibly something similar to this as her voice shines and the public seems to love her best when she sings these types of songs.
Everything comes to an end; another contest, another year and preparations start for Baku from now on. One only hopes that PBS will be more media friendly in their approach, something that even foreign press have remarked as at the end of the day, the media can only help the local singer especially if our resources and funds are limited in comparison to other countries. In the meantime, for those interested in watching some behind the scenes action, get to know what this years’ participants have to say and what the winning team will be up to from now on. So tonight make sure to tune in to ‘Dopo Festival’ that will air at around 20.45. In the meantime, on behalf of the Editorial team of Escflashmalta.com I would like to wish Kurt Calleja and his team the very best of luck on this upcoming experience.
As the Malta Eurovision takes prominence in the upcoming days and weeks, people might forget that once there was another music festival that used to hook the viewers to their television sets; a festival that used to garner interest and was considered as the top festival when it comes to songs in Maltese. Some might have realized already to what I am referring to but others might still be wondering what this was. This is none other than the 'Festival Internazzjonali Tal-Kanzunetta Maltija' which used to be the most popular festival in Maltese. The festival used to see the participation of a number of well known artists who have had their share of success but their love for Maltese songs is infinite. Artists who represented Malta successfully in the Eurovision Song Contest in the past used to take part in it, because they regarded the festival as a celebration of Maltese music and indeed it was.
There never was the extra added pressure of representing your country abroad in a festival where you have no control on the competition and the final result can actually make or break your career, so taking part in this festival was a way for the artists to stay in the limelight but at the same time move away from just the Eurovision Song Contest. Both festivals were regarded with respect in fact a number of composers, authors and singers have been asking for the return of this festival. Pressure has been exerted and although a number of organizations tried to come up with something similar, they never managed to emulate the success the festival had. Through word of mouth, in the past two years a number of influential people in the industry mentioned that the festival will finally make a return but things did not materialize even if some entities assumed that the money that was used for the Junior Eurovision will once again be used to produce this festival.
The festival last took place in 2002 before it made way to Junior Festival. Some thought that the request for this festival did not fall on deaf ears but as the months passed by it seems that unfortunately it did because instead of having two festivals that were the main attraction for the Maltese public we ended with just one. Maltese music is part of our own heritage, something which we should be proud of, promote as much as possible both locally and also internationally; it is only up to us to appreciate our talents, our language and our music. Some radio stations are doing their share, other organizers are putting up concerts in which the attendance is astounding but the music industry cannot rely on songs that were released in the past as the end of such great things will therefore be inevitable.
New material is the way forward and although festivals such as ‘L-Ghanja Tal-Poplu’, the ‘Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza’ and other smaller festival in Maltese are keeping things alive none of them live up to the ‘Festival Internazzjonali Tal-Kanzunetta Maltija. It was a festival that helped new talent emerge and establish itself whilst competing against well known performers – you can say it was the perfect mix and its return is now long due.
A number of fans, composers, authors and singers have all been waiting for the announcement of the finalists for this year's edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The finalists were announced this evening during the popular TV show 'Xarabank' hosted by none other than Peppi Azzopardi. One hopes that this year's festival will have a bigger success in comparison to last year's festival. It seems that things took a turn in the right direction and last year's festival was one of the best local showcases on our island; one only hopes that this year's edition will emulate on that success. The announcement was expected in the upcoming days but earlier this week it was announced that everything is ready for the announcement of this year's finalists. In the meantime it has also been announced that the local contest has been moved forward by a week; instead of the previously announced dates of the 27th and the 28th of January, the contest will now take place on the 3rd and 4th of February due to certain special guests that are yet to announced.
The 24 Finalists are:
01. Answer With Your Eyes - Amber
(Ray Agius / Alfred C. Sant)
02. Still Waiting - Anna Azzopardi
(Samuel Bugia-Garrido / Thanassi Nakos)
03. Whoop It Up! - Annalise Ellul
(Elton Zarb / Deo Grech)
04. Pure - Claudia Faniello
(Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)
05. Mystifying Eyes - Corazon Mizzi
(Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)
06. Seven Days - Danica Muscat
07. You Make Me Go UH UH - Deborah C featuring Leila James
(Vervoort David / Ranier Patrick)
08. Autobiography - Dorothy Bezzina
(Magnus Caxe/ Gerard James Borg)
09. I Want to Run Away - Eleanor Cassar
(Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)
10. I Will Fight For You (Papa's Song) - Fabrizio Faniello
(J.Beoerham / N.Edberger / R.Uhlmann/ W.Fenech/F.Faniello)
11. Take Me Far - Francesca Borg
(Marco Debono / Doris Chetcuti)
12. Petals on a Rose - Gianni
(R.Abrahamsson / A.Aly / M.Numhauser / T.Fenech / A.Aly / M.Numhauser / R.Abrahamsson)
13. Walk on Water - Isabelle Zammit
(Paul Giordimania / Fleur Balzan)
14. While Her Eyes Still Glow - Janice Mangion
(Elton Zarb / Rita Pace)
15. You Are My Life - Janvil
16. Dance Romance - Jessica Muscat
(Philip Vella / Jessica Muscat)
17. First Time - Kaya
18. No Way Back - Klinsmann
(Paul Abela / Klinsmann / Jonathan C. Spiteri)
19. This is the Night - Kurt Calleja
(Johann J'amtberg / Kurt Calleja)
20. In Your Eyes - Lawrence Gray
(Philip Vella / Cher Vella)
21. Can't Get Away - Nadine Bartolo
22. Look At Me Now - Richard Edwards
(Richard Micallef / Jan Van Dijck)
23. D.N.A. - Romina Mamo
(Michael Tanczos / Gerard James Borg)
24. Time - Wayne Micallef
On behalf of the Escflashmalta Editorial Board, I would like to wish all the finalists the best of luck on their upcoming experience. This will surely be another highlight of their careers and the fact that there are different styles, different artists and different teams behind the songs will make this year's showcase one surely worth watching. The winner of this year's edition will carry the Maltese flag for Malta's 25th participation at the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Source: PBS, TVM, Xarabank
The finalists of this year's Malta Eurovision have finally been announced. It wasn't a stroll in the park for the finalists as they all had to await their fate on the popular programme Xarabank. The songs were announced in alphabetical order according to the singers' names and therefore each of them had to wait until they listen to their entry being played live on the programme – after that they were each asked a question and performed one minute of their entry.
A number of popular names dominate this year's list and apart for a few exceptions most of the singers are well known in Malta. Two time Maltese representative is back in it and for a second year running he'll try his luck to represent Malta for the third time – if he manages he will be the second artist to do so after Chiara. , Fabrizio's younger sister has established herself well in recent years especially after her first and second runner up finishes in 2008. This will be Claudia's seventh consecutive participation and this year she returns to what she does best – a power ballad. also returns to this contest for her seventh participation – this time round she goes for a song with an uptempo feel to it. Eleanor is best known for her runner up finish back in 2009.
Another artist returns for his eighth participation as well, and this is none other than - this time round he will perform a song that has a rock feel to it. is also back and although one normally associates him with Charleston; this year he decided to give it a go with some pop country for his fifth participation. An artist who will be taking part for the sixth time in a row is none other than Klinsmann; he stormed into the local scene in 2007 where he managed a second runner up. This year went for a soft rock contemporary ballad. is also back and this will also be his sixth participation – this time round he returns with a simple yet strong piano ballad.
returns to the competition for the fourth time and after his runner-up finish last year he comes in somewhat as a favourite but he faces stern competition. Richard will take the stage with a country rock ballad, a style that seems to be well received with the Maltese. Another singer that makes a return as a soloist is ; she returns with a different sound to what we normally expect from her and the contemporary number will probably go down well for her third participation ever. Kaya is also back to the competition, she made her debut in 2000 where she finished third and returned to the competition in 2010 in a duet. This time round she will take the stage alone with a modern ballad.
Kaya's duet was with last year's second runner up . He comes into this year's competition on a relative high and he will take the stage this year with an uptempo modern song. Like Kurt, this will be 's third participation ever at the Malta Eurovision. Jessica is also competing with one of the few contemporary numbers in this year's contest and she will surely bring in some needed energy to the contest. will be participating for the second time round; she made the finals back in 2007. She returns with a song written by last year's team and will surely make the best out of her return after having a taste of the Eurovision last year when she accompanied in Dusseldorf.
makes a comeback to the local scene and her long awaited return is with an Oriental inspired entry. She participated in the contest four times but this will be just the second time she will perform as a solo artist. Another long awaited return is that of who last made the finals in a trio back in 2005. This will be Romina's third ever participation and she will try to enchant the public with her alternative pop number which should go down well with the public. is also making a comeback to the festival and although he is a popular face amongst the Maltese, his last participation in the festival was back in 2000 since then he has kept himself busy with different activities including his pop rock band RUG. An artist who is making her second consecutive appearance in the local showcase is who will participate with a contemporary ballad that has an R&B feel to it.
also returns to the competition for the second consecutive year; last year she took the local scene by storm after making to the final with two songs. This year's Amber returns with a ballad that has a jazzy feel to it. is one of the newcomers to the contest but she's surely not a newcomer to the local scene having won 'L-Ghanja Tal-Poplu' on four occasions and placed second in the Malta Hit Song Contest. Her debut will be with a soft ballad that some might describe as typical Irish. is also a debutant in the contest but she's no newcomer either as she participated in a number of festivals and achieved a third place in the last edition of the Festival Kanzunetta Indipendenza. She makes her debut with a simple strong ballad focused on her power vocals. Another four debutantes in the contest are; Danica Muscat, Francesca Borg, Nadine Bartolo and Deborah C featuring Leila.
made the local headlines when she managed to be the first ever Maltese on the popular Italian programme 'Io Canto'. She makes her debut with a soft ballad. is another new comer to the festival yet she has already managed to take part in a number of contests and television shows whilst she experienced the festival last year as a backing vocalist for Jamie Tonna. Francesca is known for her soulful voice and will interpret a contemporary ballad. is a well known singer who made it to the finals of the Indipendenza twice where she managed to garner the public award. She will be joined on stage by Leila, a Belgian artist who will feature in this song. This is the only duet in the contest and they will present one of the few contemporary numbers. is probably the complete newcomer for many but she recently participated alongside her sisters in the Festival Kanzunetta Indipendenza, she is also happens to be the daughter of the late beloved .
Although the list features well known faces, there are a number of singers who will be making their debut at this year's contest. This provides a good mix between new emerging talents and well established ones. Although some might argue that it is always the same faces who make the final cut this year there are a number of emerging talents who proved to have what it takes to be part of Malta's most popular showcases.
Source: ESCDaily (Image), ESCtoday (Videos)