20 August 2017
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 19:31

JESC 2016: First Rehearsals on the MCC Stage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: escflashmalta.com, junioreurovision.tv

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016 23:17

JESC 2016: The Final Running Order Made Public

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

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

01. Ireland: Zena Donnelly - Brice Ar Bhrice

02. Armenia: Anahit & Mary - Tarber

03. Albania: Klesta Qehaja - Besoj

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

05. Malta: Christina Magrin - Parachute

06. Bulgaria: Lidia Ganeva - Magical Day

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

08. Poland: Olivia Wieczorek - Nie Zapomnij

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

10. Ukraine: Sofia Rol - Planet Craves for Love

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

12. Serbia: Dunja Jelicic - U La La La 

13. Israel: Shir & Tim - Follow My Heart

14. Australia: Alexa Curtis - We Are

15. The Netherlands: Kisses - Kisses & Dancin'

16. Cyprus: George Michaelides - Dance Floor

17. Georgia: Mariam Mamadashvili - Mzeo

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

Source: junioreurovision.tv

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

Radio International has built a name for itself throughout the years by bringing about exclusive video and audio interviews with some of the most notable names to have either participated in the Eurovision Song Contest or even in national selections preceding the continental event. In this week's episode, the team will be chatting to Donatan & Cleo who oversaw Poland first qualification since 2008, and best result since 2003; Teo who managed the fourth qualification for Belarus since the introduction of the semi-final system; Softengine who on behalf of Finland achieved the best result for the country since their 2006 victory and last but not least; Gaia Cauchi, winner of the 2013 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

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

Source: Press Release

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

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

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

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

Source: eurovision.tv

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It has been an entertaining fortnight with certain entries falling well below expectations with others coming to terms with new found fame following first rehearsals on the stage found at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Tonight! The second semi-final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with fifteen countries set to compete against one another in hope of garnering one of the ten available slots, and in doing so joining the big five; Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom as well as host country; Denmark. 

In Malta, the focus will definitely be on the group Firelight whose entry Coming Home written by Richard Edwards Micallef will be first to take to the stage this evening. This will be the first time that the Mediterranean Island, and winner of the 2013 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will open the show. On behalf of the Public Broadcasting Services, Carlo Borg Bonaci will serve as commentator this evening, reprising the role he had during the first semi-final. In the final, Daniel Chircop will be taking over as commentator. In the meantime, we have asked our panel of professional reviewers to come up with the names of the countries they believe will get through to the final this evening and this is the cumulative list which they have come up with;

  1. Malta
  2. Israel
  3. Norway
  4. Austria
  5. Finland
  6. Ireland
  7. Belarus
  8. Switzerland
  9. Greece
  10. Slovenia

We urge you to tune into escflashmalta.com through Facebook and Twitter this evening with Antoine Farrugia, Christabelle, Simon Casey and Karen DeBattista micro-blogging on the acts competing in the second semi-final. Once more, we remind you that the comments passed forth by our special guests do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the escflashmalta.com editorial team. Remember, the second semi-final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest kicks off at 21:00 CET on Television Malta.

Source: escflashmalta.com, eurovision.tv

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Friday, 25 April 2014 17:03

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Poland

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #5, we catch up with Poland (TVP) who will be represented by Donatan & Cleo with the song My Słowianie - We Are Slavic which they wrote themselves.

Donatan is famous in Poland as a music producer. He created music for more than 50 albums. Many of them received gold and platinum status. In 2012, Donatan launched his authorial album "Equinox" (Równonoc). This album is a compilation of the traditional Slavic sounds with some rap elements. "Equinox" reached, already at pre-sale, the gold status and after few months got granted the diamond sale status. Donatan received many prestigious music awards.

In 2013 Donatan began to work with Cleo. Their single debut We Are Slavs (My Słowianie), produced by Donatan, became a smash hit. Their video clip has become popular on youtube where it has been viewed more than 40 million times. Last year, the single My Słowianie also reached top ten in charts. This song has been chosen as the Polish entry in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.

“The Slavic blond girl with the Polish charm and a black voice," they say about Cleo. Cleo is a singer, songwriter, a chorus gospel girl and a painter. She is a woman with many faces, a chameleon discovered by Donatan. This will mark the return of Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest following two years of being absent having last been represented by Magdalena Tul and the song Jestem which did not get through the semi-final stage.

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Poland started to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1994, when on that occasion, the lovely Edyta Gorniak took to the stage with To Nie Ja! finishing in second place, which like Hungary's fourth place achieved during the same year remains the most successful result. In recent years, with the introduction of the semi-final system, the country has not really set the scoreboard alight and has as a result decided to take a break as already noted above. Sending their most popular song in the country is definitely a gamble especially since Europe might find it offensive.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 39%

Greig Watts: Um!, Being western I simply shouldn’t understand this, but it’s the Eurovision contest and there’s been uprising of Slavic nations recently who could well vote for this. Its not my favourite music to listen to, but it feels like a modern attempt to bring Slavic music into the 21st century and its done quite well. I was trying to judge the songs, but video is also a bit distracting and I like the use of the accordion, and clapping!!, So not my own favourite song, but im bumping into the final just because the impact is higher than a couple of the other simple songs!

Joseph Zammit: Okay, good. For a second there I realized that I liked most of the songs I heard so far, which made me worry because it is very unlike me. Thank the heavens that this song came along. What a piling heap of garbage. Where to begin? Let's start with the music. It is lazy, as generic as they come, repetitive, boring and annoying. It only has a simple continuous clap rhythm and some random chords thrown here and there. 

The song is trying to convince the listener that the singer is proud to be a Slavic girl, because slavic girls are the best in the world, and she conveys that message …. by saying that they are great at churning butter, using their bodies to get what they want and staying in the house The lyrics are bigoted and demeaning and yet she sings them in a patriotic fashion. Either this girl is an idiot or she is pulling off a great patriotic stunt for votes. Now I am no radical feminist, but even I find this a bit offensive.  All in all this song was a waste of time to listen. Then there was the video and, well TITS!!! TITS GALORE!! so because of that.

Sharon Vaughn: I found very little positive to say about this one.

John Scott: The chorus is quite catchy even though the lyrics are a bit awkward in phrasing. The verse lyrics are difficult to understand. The musical bridge is quite nice.

Source: eurovision.tv

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Published in Opinions

Danmarks Radio, host broadcaster of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just revealed the running order for the international competition taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Represented by Firelight and the song Coming Home, written by Richard Edwards Micallef, Malta will be opening the second semi-final on the 8th May 2014.

Prior to the announcement of the draw for the running order, Malta had never been given the opportunity to open the semi-final of such an illustrious show. At first glance, one might be shocked but personally I had a strong feeling that this could happen given the diversity of the genres that make up the first half of the second semi-final. Seventh in qualification with the bookies, Coming Home is facing a fate bestowed to the likes of Nije Ljubav Stvar, This is My Life, Run Away and Love In Rewind, all of which have successfully qualified to the final of the continental competition. 

01) Malta: Coming Home - Firelight

02) Israel: Same Heart - Mei Finegold

03) Norway: Silent Storm - Carl Espen

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

05) Poland: My Slowanie - Donatan & Cleo

06) Austria: Rise Like a Phoenix - Conchita Wurst

07) Lithuania: Attention - Vilija Mataciunaite

08) Finland: Something Better - Softengine

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

10) Belarus: Cheesecake - Teo

11) FYR Macedonia: To The Sky - Tijana

12) Switzerland: Hunter of Stars - Sebalter

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

14) Slovenia: Round and Round - Tinkara Kovac

15) Romania: Miracle - Paula & Ovi

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It is quite interesting to denote that those entries which opened the second semi-final have proven to be much more successful than those opening the first semi-final. In the meantime, the situation in the first semi-final is even moreso intriguing especially with the first half of the show induated with ballads, despite that they try and preserve themselves as individualistic. Favourite to win the Eurovision Song Contest with odds shortening by the second, Armenia is set to open the first semi-final in a bizarre twist.

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

02) Latvia: Cake to Bake - Aarzemnieki

03) Estonia: Amazing - Tanja

04) Sweden: Undo - Sanna Nielsen

05) Iceland: No Prejudice - Pollaponk

06) Albania: One Night's Anger - Hersi

07) Russia: Shine - Tolmachevy Sisters

08) Azerbaijan: Start a Fire - Dilara Kazimova

09) Ukraine: Tick-Tock - Mariya Yaremchuk

10) Belgium: Mother - Axel Hirsoux

11) Moldova: Wild Soul - Cristina Scarlat

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

13) Portugal: Quero Ser Tua - Suzy

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

15) Montenegro: Moj Svijet - Sergej Cetkovic

16) Hungary: Running - Andras Kallay-Saunders

One has to remember that ten countries per semi-final will get through to the final show set for the 10th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark meaning that nine nations will be left out in the cold having not been selected amongst the best that the continent has to offer. In the final, the qualifiers will join entries from Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom and host country Denmark who have already been given an extremely late draw following a random draw. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: eurovision.tv

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