24 January 2018
ESCflashmalta Team

ESCflashmalta Team

In 2014, escflashmalta.com worked closely with ONE Radio 92.7 to produce the awards in relation with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, preceded by the expert opinion feature which led to the presentation of one (1) of the awards. Following a series of editorial team discussions, we are now proud to announce that the feature will return for the international competition with eight (8) individuals from the music industry on hand to listen, review and rank the competing entries.

Semi-Final One (1) set to take place on the 6th May will feature a total of sixteen (16) entries whilst it will also featuring voting from Spain, France and hot country Denmark. Due to the fact that Malta is competing in the other semi-final, we thought it best to include two (2) locals as reviewers for the first show, acquiring the talented Deo Grech and Matthew Mercieca. Nevertheless, they will be accompanied by expert stalwarts Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom and Stano Simor from Slovakia.

Deo Grech, committee member of the International Festival of Maltese Song, and renowned local lyricist responsible for 'Wellidni' (Għanja tal-Poplu 2004 Winner), and Fomm il-Vjolin (International Festival of Maltese Song 2001 Winner).

Matthew Mercieca, co-responsible for the lyrics behind The Start, winning entry of the 2013 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest as well as Betrayed, second runner-up during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2013.

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Martin Isherwood, known to be the person responsible for the music sector at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts patroned by none other than Paul McCartney, as well as writing Cry Baby, the 2003 entry at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Stano Simor, a well known music producer, songwriter and artist manager from Slovakia who has worked with several artists including none other than former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Hadise (Turkey 2009) and Tereza Kerndlová (Czech Republic 2008).

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Semi-Final Two (2) set to take place on the 8th May will feature a total of fifteen (15) entries and will also feature voting from United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. With Malta in contention in this particular evening, we thought it would be better to have one (1) local reviewer who does not come from the world of the Eurovision Song Contest, including theatrical performer Joseph Zammit who in turn will be accompanied by three (3) well known songwriters; John Scott from the United States, Greig Watts from the United Kingdom and Sharon Vaughn from Sweden.

Joseph Zammit, represents the possibility of working full time in the arts, having had the opportunity to perform as a vocalist, and as an actor in a series of shows throughout the years, most recently being the December panto at the Manoel Theatre.

John Scott, a seasoned songwriter whose talent has given him the opportunity to work with Little Mix, former winners of the UK X Factor and Nicole Scherzinger, former lead vocalist of American girlband, the Pussycat Dolls.

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Greig Watts, an accomplished songwriter/producer who has worked with The Overtones, Kate Ryan and Natalia, apart from also co-writing the song What the Time In Tokyo? which in turn hoped to represent Belgium in this years' Eurovision Song Contest.

Sharon Vaughn, an accomplished songwriter who has worked with a number of well known vocalists including none other than Jedward, Delta Goodrem, Agnes, Helena Paparizou, Joe McElderry, Kimberly Walsh, The Wanted, Charlotte Perelli, September and Jennifer Rush amongst others.

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The feature an expert opinion will officially kick off this coming Wednesday with an indepth biography of each competing artist as provided by the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest, together with the individual comments and the cumulative mark, as well as the official preview video as submitted to the European Broadcasting Union a couple of days back. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: escflashmalta.com

Over the last six weeks the Swedish public have been gripped by the television spectacular that is Melodifestivalen. The show began on the 1st of February when the first eight acts took to the stage in Heat 1, two of the acts (Ellen & Yohio) gained a place directly to the final, with Helena Paparizou and Linus Svenning were granted places in the Andra Chansen (second chance round). Heat 2 saw Panetoz and Sanna Nielsen pass to the Final with J.E.M. and Martin Stenmarck making Andra Chansen. Heat 3 is where Oscar Zia and Ace Wilder were sent to the final with State of Drama and Outtrigger given a second chance in Andra Chansen. The final week of the heats saw Anton Ewald and Alcazar gaining the most votes and passing directly to the final, and finally Ellinore Holmer and Ammotrack to Andra Chansen.

The 5th week of Melodifestivalen is when the eight acts performed in Andra Chansen hoping to fill the final 2 places in the final. The two acts that made it to the final were the 3/4 position from Heat 1, Helena Paparizou and Linus Svenning, therefore completing the line-up for tonight's final. Tonight the 10 finalists took to the stage in hope to gain enough points to win Melodifestivalen 2014 and therefore have the honour of representing Sweden in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest 2014, to be held in Copenhagen in May. The first set of results to be announced tonight came from the International juries, from Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom. 

Ace Wilder was in the lead at the end of the Jury votes with her song Busy Doin' Nothin' closely followed by Sanna Nielsen and her song Undo, Both of these were the bookies favourites prior to the final tonight. The televotes shortly followed, giving Undo the highest marks, followed by Ace Wilder's song. The overall results, after combining the two sets of votes showed that Sanna Nielsen had won the 2014 Melodifestivalen, followed 2 points behind her was Ace Wilder. Sanna Nielsen will represent her nation in Copenhagen in May, with her entry Undo.

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Sanna has attempted to represent Sweden on 6 previous occasions, debuting in the competition in 2001, when she ended 3rd. 2003 she returned to the contest and ended 5th. 2005 Sanna once again returned to the Swedish selection finishing 8th. 2007 saw a 7th placing. In 2008 Sanna tried her luck again, and came the closest she had ever came before when she ended second to Charlotte Perrelli. Sanna took two (2) years off before she returned in 2011 and ended 4th. In 2014 Nielsen returned once again, although this was her year! Sanna (albeit narrowly) won the right to represent her nation in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Sanna Nielsen will perform the 54th Swedish entry Undo in the first semi final on the 6th of May, in hope of passing to the final on the 10th of May, and wishing to bring the 6th Swedish victory in the Eurovision Song Contest! Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: Romeo Lewis, SVT

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escflashmalta.com has always represented the best interests of the local music industry, by bringing the public the latest news from songwriters, producers, musicians and artists who have a local heritage whilst also supporting the nations' participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. It has become customary for the portal to organise features in relation to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and therefore, for the third consecutive year, the escflashmalta.com awards were given, in partnership with ONE Radio 92.7 FM.

Clint on ONE, a flagship programme hosted on Saturday morning by Clint Bajada, the individual who has made the local music scene the centre of his radio strategy, played host to the awards this morning with Marc Calleja Bayliss, Editor-In-Chief of escflashmalta.com appearing on behalf of the portal to hand out the awards and also answer any related questions. The three (3) coveted awards were all given their prime attention, noting that the professional members of the music industry were assigned the preview videos of the songs, making their selection as if being judges of the actual competition, the public who had the right to select only one (1) song per IP Address, and last but not least, members of the media who had to select the best five (5) and the worst two (2) in rank order.

Basically, it is now time to reveal the full results of all three (3) awards, with the Public Award and Media Award having been presented to Trevor Fenech, representative of Daniel Testa whose One Last Ride written by Stephen Rudden and Lawrence Peter Bridge actually finished in third place during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, and the Critics Award going to Davinia and her entry Brand New Day written by Matt Mercieca to the music of Elton Zarb, who in turn was present to accept the award. This was the first time ever in the history of the escflashmalta.com awards that one (1) artist managed to take home two (2) awards, meaning that there was more of consensus especially when keeping in mind that it was also a track which finished in the top three (3) come the end of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

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Media Award; we are proud to have been in contact with almost forty (40) different individuals, each representing a media outlet and each will be noted below. Their aim was simple, to select the most notable five (5) entries and the worst two (2) in rank order. The final tally which you will note below comprises of votes from; Luke Borg (esctoday.com), Eric Nocito (ESC Reporter), Helen C Wood (Radio International), Garrett Mulhall (Eurovision Ireland), Aija Medinika (LTV), Frank Zammit (Stargate Studios), Theofilos Toronidis (ESC Daily), Knut-Oyvind Hagen (NRK), Clint Bajada (ONE Radio 92.7), Ramona Depares (Times of Malta), Samantha Ross (ESC Insight), Tobias Larsson (YLE), Michael Bugeja (Times of Malta), Nathan D (89.7 Bay), Joseph Zammit (escflashmalta.com), Media Team (Insite), Ian Fowell (eurovisionary), Toni Sant (MMI), Patrick Strouk (escflashmalta.com), Alasdair Rendall (escflashmalta.com), Keith Mills (AKOE), David Debono (RTK Radio), Wayne Aquilina (ONE Radio 92.7), Joe Tanti (ONE Radio 92.7), Edward Montebello (eurovisionary), Ian Scerri (escflashmalta.com), Gabriel Ellul (Media.Link Communications), Darragh Reck (RTE), Ruth Frendo (Gwida), Valentina Rossi (V Squared), Belen Garcia (escplus), Liam Clark (escXtra), Deo Grech (ONE Radio 92.7), Alexandru Busa (escflashmalta.com), Emma Backfish (escXtra), Jon Lukas (Channel Radio) and Juergen Boernig (Radio International).

One Last Ride - Daniel Testa : 1460 points

Hypnotica - Jessika : 1040 points

Brand New Day - Davinia : 920 points

Coming Home - Firelight : 840 points

City Lady - Ryan Paul Abela : 680 points

Take Me - Pamela : 640 points

Safe - Miriam Christine : 520 points

Pin the Middle - DeBee : 460 points

Just No Place Like Home - Fabrizio Faniello : 380 points

Love Will Take Me Home - Franklin : 380 points

Because I Have You - Amber : 320 points

Let the Sunshine In - Sophie DeBattista : 320 points

Oblivion - Chris Grech : 260 points

Until We Meet Again - Deborah C : 260 points

Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William : 260 points

Addictive - Romina Mamo : 200 points

Lovetricity - Christabelle : 160 points

Ten - Corazon : 20 points

Invisible - Raquel Galdes : -20 points

Now and Forever - Andreana : -220 points

Public Award; due to problems with the server capacity and the award, we had been given the ultimatum to close the poll early, but nevertheless, it was important to note that despite this, almost three thousand (3000) individual votes were submitted. It was a different story to last year when Kevin Borg and Chris Grech had been harshly campaigning against one another through social media, with the latter coming out as the victor. The full results as noted below depict a totally different story with a relatively outright winner and an even more representative top three (3).

One Last Ride - Daniel Testa : 581 votes

Because I Have You - Amber : 479 votes

Addictive - Romina Mamo : 258 votes

Hypnotica - Jessika : 240 votes

Love Will Take Me Home - Franklin : 188 votes

Now and Forever - Andreana : 181 votes

Take Me - Pamela : 142 votes

Just No Place Like Home - Fabrizio Faniello : 122 votes

Invisible - Raquel Galdes : 110 votes

Safe - Miriam Christine : 108 votes

Brand New Day - Davinia : 106 votes

Ten - Corazon : 77 votes

Coming Home - Firelight : 52 votes

Pin the Middle - DeBee : 44 votes

City Lady - Ryan Paul Abela : 30 votes

Lovetricity - Christabelle : 28 votes

Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William : 26 votes

Until We Meet Again - Deborah C : 24 votes

Oblivion - Chris Grech: 22 votes

Let the Sunshine In - Sophie DeBattista : 16 votes

Critic Award; the voting of five (5) professional individuals from the international music industry. John Scott, Sharon Vaughn, Martin Isherwood, Stano Simor and Greig Watts have been commissioned to review the competing entries, mark them out of ten (10) and published as a percentage online and finally to vote in Eurovision format and send in their personal scores. The chosen individuals all have multitudes of experience in the industry with John Scott working with the likes of Nicole Scherzinger and Little Mix; Stano Simor co-writing for some of the most familiar faces in Slovakia and the Czech Republic whilst also being the manager of Mista, a former Slovakian selection runner-up; Martin Isherwood being one of the Headmasters at the Liverpool Istitute for Performing Arts; Sharon Vaughn co-writing for Delta Goodrem, Agnes, The Wanted and Jedward and Greig Watts who in turn is an accomplished songwriter/producer and has worked with The Overtones, Natalia and Kate Ryan amongst others.

Brand New Day - Davinia : 38 points

Take Me - Pamela : 31 points

One Last Ride - Daniel Testa : 27 points

Pin the Middle - DeBee : 25 points

Love Will Take Me Home - Franklin : 24 points

Coming Home - Firelight : 22 points

Just No Place Like Home - Fabrizio Faniello : 22 points

Safe - Miriam Christine : 14 points

Until We Meet Again - Deborah C : 14 points

Hypnotica - Jessika : 14 points

Addictive - Romina Mamo : 12 points

Now and Forever - Andreana : 10 points

Invisible - Raquel Galdes : 9 points

Lovetricity - Christabelle : 9 points

Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William : 9 points

Because I Have You - Amber : 3 points

Let the Sunshine In - Sophie DeBattista : 2 points

City Lady - Ryan Paul Abela : 2 points

Oblivion - Chris Grech : 0 points

Ten - Corazon : 0 points

At this stage, we would like to thank all of the people involved in making the escflashmalta.com awards presented by ONE Radio 92.7 a success, including none other than Mediterranean Ceramics who designed three (3) beautiful trophies, each owing to the identity and brand that this portal has built in the past five (5) years since it's inception. Collaborating with Clint Bajada and ONE Radio 92.7 was also a pleasure and we hope that this fruitful collaboration continues in the years to come. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news and more exclusive features as the days, months and years go by.

Source: escflashmalta.com, ONE Radio 92.7, Emil Calleja Bayliss (Image)

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Saturday, 22 February 2014 22:49

ESC 2014: Kállay-Saunders Triumphs in Hungary

After an evening of music and voting the results are in and the winner of the Hungarian National Selection, A Dal, has been announced. Kallay Saunders with his song Running came out victorious  and will be the twelfth representative of Hungary in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Running was a fan favourite as well as a jury favourite. The song won the Jury vote in the second heat, as well as gaining top marks of 40 in the jury vote in the second Semi Final. When it came to the final 'Running' once again topped the jury vote, putting it in the Super Final, where the top 4 songs decided by the jury were put to the public vote. The song won the SMS vote and therefore won the Hungarian ticket to Copenhagen. Hungary will perform in the second half of the first semi final on the 6th of May, and hope to pass to the final to be held on the 10th of May. 

Hungary have decided to send the song which was a hot fan favourite to win the A Dal, could this become a favourite to win the whole contest? The song is very likable and modern and could easily be played on radio stations across Europe. Will Kallay Saunders bring the Eurovision trophy to Hungary for the first time? We will find out on the 10th of May. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: Magyar TV

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In music, a year is very much a reflection of historical evidence and when it comes to 2013, Malta will very much remember the remarkable success that it achieved on both a local and an international field. As the public prepares to drink champagne and sing the tune of Auld Lang Syne along with Happy New Year, originally released by Abba, we aim to have a look at the most memorable moments of the year in this editorial. As a matter of fact, we have been through the major news items for both the general Eurovision Song Contest as well as the local music scene and one could easily denote the progress that has been made on both a national and a foreign level of vocal talent and songs in general.

January; a relatively quiet month in the local music scene with the Public Broadcasting Services busy prepping for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which was set to take place during the first weekend of February. Nevertheless, escflashmalta.com for the third year running managed to exclusively reveal the names of the hosts of the selection; Gordon Bonello, Rodney Gauci and Elaine Saliba. In the local music market, Corazon and Lynday both unveiled new singles; Save Your Smile and Daphne but the focus was definitely on the foreign music market with no less than three countries revealing the names of the artists who would represent them at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest including; France (Amandine Bourgeois), Armenia (Gor Suyjan) and Denmark (Emmelie de Forest).

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February; The month of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was upon us, and following a somewhat technically disappointing semi-final, the Public Broadcasting Services upped the ante for the final night, which saw to the success of Gianluca Bezzina and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. It managed to beat the favourite, Needing You sung by Kevin Borg and co-written with Danne Attlerud, Michael Clauss, Simon Gribbe and Thomas Thornholm. Following the evening, escflashmalta.com held their annual awards, seeing to the success of Klinsmann, Chris Grech and the aforementioned Kevin Borg, with NET Television being the place where they were given. In the meantime, both Cyprus and Slovenia made use of internal selections in revealing Despina Olympiou and Hannah Mancini as their representatives.

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March; In a relatively surprise announcement, L-Għanja tal-Poplu announced that they had received almost forty (40) submissions for the local competition, amongst them from the likes of Romina Mamo and Rita Pace. Keeping in line with the local music scene, Ira Losco followed up the release of her single What I’d Give with a brand new album entitled The Fire which has been denoted by critics as the most notable release in the local music industry. During the same period, on an internal level, stars Marco Mengoni and Cascada were chosen to represent Italy and Germany respectively, or rather confirmed their entries in entirety at this point. Gianluca’s promotional campaign as he represents Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest had officially commenced with the first ever lyric video.

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April; At this month dawned, most of the country had made their respective selection for the international competition and thus focus quickly turned on on the outlook of the local music scene as Karen DeBattista managed to beat Marie Claire Attard Bason to become the first finalist of the 2013 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, through the Passport 2 Indifest challenge on Sas-Sitta. It was later on revealed that she would be performing the song Riflessi composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss. In the meantime, L-Għanja tal-Poplu took place with Cherise Attard finishing in first place with the track Hawn Siġġu Nieqes composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul. At this point, Ira Losco continued her radio and digital success, aided by her first concert in quite some time. 

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The month of May, and thus the Eurovision Song Contest had quickly arrived and several readers of escflashmalta.com had their eyes on Gianluca Bezzina whose Tomorrow was a proven hit and indeed succeeded in not only reaching the final, but finishing in eighth place, the nations’ best result in seven (7)  years. The big winner was Emmelie de Forest from Denmark whose song Only Teardrops enchanted both the jury and the public at home. escflashmalta.com kept their annual coverage with guest commentators including Simon Casey, Davinia, Claudia Faniello, Brooke, Lauren White, Magnus Kaxe and Christabelle. Thousands of people viewed the respective reports and with the aid of the team of Radio International and Eurovision Ireland, the competition was analysed and covered in the most profound and detailed way possible. 

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Summer could not kick off on a more positive note with the release of On The Dancefloor by Jan Cortez, setting the tone of the season and earning airplay on 89.7 Bay. As always, the preparations for the Joseph Calleja concert were being held at this point in time, as the line-up was revealed to include Rebecca Ferguson, Zucchero and Gianluca Bezzina, fresh off his success. In the meantime, on a positive note, it was announced by the Culture Department that local artists will get the chance to perform at the Isle of MTV with Kristina Casolani and Gianluca Bezzina both booking their spots at the event. No clarification was given over the choice especially with the top tier of artists; Jon Lukas, Davinia, The Crowns releasing brand new material.

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As the temperatures were getting warmer, NET Television decided to publish the list of the names who had got through the final of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and also shot music videos, in an attempt to continue the fine tradition, which started with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Maltese, as a national language had definitely it’s most intriguing month due to the fact that apart from the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, it was revealed that the International Festival of Maltese Song was set for a comeback, and no sooner than in November. Some of the most prominent names in the industry put their first foot forward and the line-up was miles better than that presented at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the likes of Miriam Christine, Janvil, Fiona Cauchi, Roger Tirazona and Olivia Lewis who was making her comeback as well.

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August, known to be the last official month of summer saw to the release of Fed Up by Maxine Pace, who would later on be given a prominent role in the Maltese delegation during the surprise return of the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Joseph Calleja gives his annual concert with only a handful of performances garnering a standing ovation, one of them being of the song Xemx which he performed in a duet with Gianluca Bezzina. Glen Vella, representative of Malta in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest released a statement where he acknowledged that Finally by Richard Edwards should have represented the country, and most likely achieved a much better result. By the end of the month, the International Festival of Maltese Song had a logo and Red Electrick had a brand new single, The Runaway which would top the local music charts for several weeks.

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Double the amount of entries received for L-Għanja tal-Poplu were received by the International Festival of Maltese Song, and whilst this number was encouraging, there was still a sheer amount of disappointment with many sceptic over the quality of the competition. Joseph Calleja was recognised as the world renowned tenor he has become by receiving a nomination at the Class Brit Awards. The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza took place with Fabrizio Faniello sweeping the top prize with the track Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace. The surprise of many came when during the evening news bulletin, on the 25th September 2013, Malta had internally selected Gaia Cauchi to do the honours and represent the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

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The 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest might be months away, but the preparations from artists, songwriters and producers had commenced and a flurry made use of escflashmalta.com to reveal their intentions including; Tiziana Calleja, Gloriana Arpa Belli, Eleanor Cassar, Richard Edwards, Klinsmann, Melanie Zammit, Kaya, Janvil, Claudia Faniello, Danica Muscat, Fabrizio Faniello, Neville Refalo and Josef Tabone amongst others. Olivia Lewis gave an interview to a Radju Kottoner, stating she was planning to release a debut album in Maltese in the very near future, one which include all her hits along with brand new and original songs. The Public Broadcasting Services accepted entries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with several submissions, eventually totalling to a record breaking  210, the largest amount since the national broadcaster took over the selection process in totality.

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November, the month in which there were three major events; kicking off with the International Festival of Maltese Song which was not only the return of Olivia Lewis, but also her success with the song Hawn Mill-Ġdid composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia. In second place was Mark Tonna and his track Poeta Bla Kliem composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss and in third place, Dario and Grecia Bezzina with the song Solitaire composed by Dario Bezzina to the lyrics of Rita Pace. Malta’s return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest proved successful, as The Start co-written by Matt Mercieca, Elton Zarb, Gillian Attard and Gaia Cauchi emerged as the clear favourite in the week leading up to the competition, and then finishing as the remarkable winner.

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Just a day before the final though, the public broadcaster revealed the names of the acts through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014, a list which comprised of several newcomers such as Raquel Galdes, De Bee and Daniel Testa whilst also noting former Eurovision representatives in the form of Fabrizio Faniello and Miriam Christine. It was always going to be a year to remember, but nevertheless, several broadcasters were at this stage revealing their intentions for the upcoming edition of the international competition, seeing to the return of Portugal and Poland, whilst Valentina Monetta, The Common Linnets, Tijana Dapcevic and Conchita Wurst were internally selected to represent San Marino, The Netherlands, FYR Macedonia and Austria respectively. As the year came to an end, Ukraine and Albania made their respective choices and the Public Broadcasting Services unveiled the music videos accompanying the entries in next years’ selection process.

Source: escflashmalta.com

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Wednesday, 25 December 2013 12:15

ESCflashmalta: Merry Christmas from All of Us

In just a week, escflashmalta.com will be publishing a review of the year, one which was extremely successful within the eyes of musical luminaries and fans of Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest but today, we celebrate Christmas, one of the most special holidays in the world. We thank you for always choosing this portal, as your main news portal with regards to news about the local music scene.

We have been around for almost four years, and in that time, we have noted down several artists who have unveiled tunes in relation to the holiday, including none other than Malcolm Pisani, Kevin Borg, Josmar, Eleanor Cassar, Morena, GeorginaDebbie Scerri, Bartolo Sisters, Miriam Christine, Andrew Zammit, Paul Giordimaina, Enzo Gusman, Carmen Gusman, Chiara, Ludwig, Corazon, Deborah C and many others.  It is always important to stay current and original with such showtunes. Of course, most of the material denoted above was released in a compilation disc in aid of id-Dar tal-Providenza with musical arrangements by Andrew Zammit and original lyrics by Fr George Ocar Buttigieg.The editorial team at escflashmalta.com would like to wish you ALL a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Source: escflashmalta.com

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Saturday, 30 November 2013 18:23

Junior Eurovision 2013: The Final - LIVE

Good Evening! Welcome to the eleventh edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, taking place in Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine which also played host to this event back in 2009, when The Netherlands swept to victory with Ralf and his entry Click Clack. It has been an intriguing week and one has to denote that there will definitely be a series of expectations from a global perspective as eyes will be on the European Broadcasting Union to make sure that the show runs as smoothly as possible and thus lead to an expansion of the event in the years to come. The Public Broadcasting Services confirmed Malta's return to the event less than two months ago with Gaia Cauchi selected as the representative and The Start co-written alongside Matt Mercieca, Elton Zarb and Gillian Attard chosen as the entry.

Whilst the event is being broadcast in each of the twelve (12) participating countries, renewed interest is being shown in Greece and Kazakstan who will also be airing the show. In Malta, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on TVM 2 due to the earlier time slot with commentary set to be provided by comedian, Daniel Chircop as well as Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014 participant, Corazon Mizzi. For a more detailed review on each of the competing entries, we urge you to follow the rolling blog on escflashmalta.com as two former Junior Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Daniel Testa (2008) and Sophie DeBattista (2006), both of which will compete in the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest as well as Trevor Fenech, manager of the former and Emil Calleja Bayliss, Head of Communications and lyricist to one of the entries at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014.

Running Order

Sweden: Det är dit vi ska - Elias

Emil: The stage looks great and the first number is a good opener but the excitement seems to be a bit too much for him to handle. He sounds a bit off and his voice seems to be cracking – might be the age in this matter. I can see this song on the radio though but I don’t expect it to do really well tonight.

Sophie: This guy has got talent! He has a lovely voice however you can hear a little bit of nerves in there too. A great young performer. The song is very catchy and staging is simple but perfect!

Trevor: The singer is good however the song does is not fit in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, in my opinion.

Daniel: The singer has a very good voice, but the song would be better in Eurovision rather than in the Junior.

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Azerbaijan: Me and My Guitar - Rustam Karimov

Emil: This kid is so cute, it is impossible not to like him. The song itself is fun and has a good junior feel to it. The boy seems a bit out of breath in some parts of the songs, it might be the choreography or the excitement. I think this might do well tonight – the key here is being cute.

Sophie: What a cutie!!! This kid rocks, so much confidence. Great stage performance - I love all the dancing, he has great stamina! I enjoyed the english bits, but the song didn't really need it.

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Armenia: Choco Factory - Monika

Emil: The staging is perfect for this number, the props they use make sense with the number and the costumes are fun although they might be seen as a bit overdone. The vocals are generally good, the only thing I can criticize is that the song itself is a bit repetitive and reminds me of other entries.

Sophie: Monica has a great song - easy to sing along to. Love the props used on stage, they're perfect for Junior Eurovision. This will be very memorable and I now want that violin and some chocolate!!

Trevor: I liked the way they presented the song, especially during the violin part. I think it will do well. 

Daniel: A good teen song I like the overall performance and song theme.

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San Marino: O-o-O Sole Intorno a Me - Michele Perniola

Emil: This is their debut and they clearly want to start off with a great result. There is much to much criticize in this song. The song itself is catchy, the choreography is sleek and the camera work is brilliant. He seems to be enjoying himself and his vocal interpretation is solid. Only disadvantage is that he might look a bit too old for Junior Eurovision but should do well tonight.

Sophie: Michele has got an amazing voice, he can probably go higher than I can! :) Another great song. Would prefer if he wasn't dressed up like Michael Jackson though, it doesn't really go with the song and I prefer it when people are just themselves! He's done a great job and is super talented!

Trevor: Performing in Italian language, I expected more. Average song.

Daniel: A great feel good song! I think it will do very well. 

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FYR Macedonia: Ohrid i Muzika - Barbara Papovic

Emil: The choreography is good and the song isn’t bad either but after the previous song this lacks something. The stage presence of the singer is something to be admired though as she performs with so much confidence. Her vocals leave much to be desired and seem to get worse as the song progresses.

Sophie: Although this song is good and has great potential, I don't think that it will stand out enough - especially with the high standard that has been achieved so far tonight! Also I think her nerves got the better of her voice during the song, although it didn't effect her on stage performance - which was awesome!

Trevor: Not my piece of cake.. Next please.

Daniel: Not my type of song, don't think it will do so well.

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Ukraine: We Are One - Sofia Tarasova

Emil: Can’t really fault anything here. It is surely the best song so far. The girl has great vocals, the shots and the graphics are perfect whilst the song itself is a strong dance track. Considering what we’ve seen so far this can challenge at the top tonight. The home support surely helps.

Sophie: Sofia has got so much charisma! Could watch her all day. What a vocal!! Wish this song was all in English so I could really understand the message of the song better - but that takes nothing away from the talented little star that Sofia is! Could hear this song in the charts and on the radio right now!!

Trevor: A good song, great performance, I like.

Daniel: A good dance song, great voice, my favourite till now.

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Belarus: Poy so Mnoy - Ilya Volkov

Emil: The boy is a star in the making, he surely can dance, he seems to be enjoying every second on stage and making the best out of this experience. The song is itself is catchy and I think this should do well tonight. He reminds me of Sakis Rouvas – his stage presence and his confidence is surely a great asset.

Sophie: Another strong song! Ilya is such a great funky performer, so much confidence for such a young man :) The dancers are tight, which is lovely to see and I like the way Ilya fits in so well with the whole package! Impressive!

Trevor: The kiddo is full of confidence .. one of my favourites!

Daniel: A good catchy song, one of the best so far. Will do pretty well.

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Moldova: Cum Să Fim - Rafael Bobeica

Emil: Not a fan of the song itself but the boy has got a great set of pipes. Thea Garrett’s bird found itself in the Junior Eurovision. This might do well thanks to the jury because his voice is surely remarkable.

Sophie: A very interesting and clever staging of this song! What a voice - there are so many young superstars performing tonight. Rafael, his song and his performance will definitely stand out when it comes to the voting later, it is very memorable package.

Trevor: Not a JESC song, the singer had a great performance but the song was very poor.

Daniel: The singer is good but the song is not my type. Vocal performance was very good.

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Georgia: Give Me Your Smile - The Smile Shop

Emil: Okay, this is weird. I’m doing this with Daniel Testa and Sophie DeBattista, and I had a déjà vu at the beginning of the song – the black and white retro feel was similar to Daniel’s and the first few beats reminded me of extra cute at one point. The song itself is good and the harmonies are really strong. They really make you smile.

Sophie: Wow these kids did so well to keep up all the harmonies whilst moving around so much. They're all very strong performers. Love the name of the group - 'The Smile Shop'! The song reminds of something out of hairspray, was nice to have a change of style.

Trevor:  An average song, the black and white effect in the begging was a good idea, but was already used in the past!

Daniel: A feel good swing song, I like it a lot, sing along song! Performance went very well.

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The Netherlands: Double Me - Mylene and Roseanne

Emil: ‘Double Trouble’ becomes ‘Double Me’ and it seems we’re all seeing double. I love the intro and the refrain is catchy, fun and memorable. It’s a strong entry although in the verses there seems to be something missing vocally. Great effort from the Dutch, will they challenge for victory? They might.

Sophie: Mylene & Rosanne are adorable! Great staging idea - lots of energy! My favourite part of the song is the 'Double Me, Double You' bit, it was such a catchy phrase! And I really love the fact that the song reflects their relationship (twins).

Trevor: A very JESC song, top 3 in my opinion, perfect combination! Vocals could be a bit better.

Daniel: Quite a good song in my opinion, the performance was good , should do pretty well.

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Malta: The Start - Gaia Cauchi

Emil: Erm… GOOSEFLESH all over. I think she blew everyone away with her power vocals. She filled the stage with her incredible vocals – she is Malta’s next big star for sure. All she needs to do is learn to control her voice more and pay more attention to her diction. Loved the dress and the simplicity in the performance – removing the bow was a huge improvement. Should do well tonight.

Sophie: Wow! What a little star! Such an awesome voice - wish I could sing like that. This song is really strong - Gaia gave me shivers down my spine in the last chorus! Absolutely beautiful - this girl is going places!

Trevor: Well done Gaia, hit the notes perfectly a big improvement diction wise. Once again well done. Forza Malta! Hope she wins!

Daniel: A fantastic vocal performance from Gaia well done, one of the best so far.

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Russia: Mechtay - Dayana Kirillova

Emil: This is Malta’s main contender I guess. The perfect junior song with a great vocal interpretation, catchy song and great stage performance. The back drop is effective too. The performance is fun and should go down well with kids and the jury too.

Sophie: Dayana is a beautiful girl and great singer! Although I enjoyed it, the song was unfortunately not memorable enough - especially following such a strong performance from Malta! However the on stage performance was awesome, which made up for it! All the acts were great tonight. I know how scary it is to do what they just did, they should all be so proud of themselves!

Trevor: I love the singers' attitude and I must say that this performance was epic!

Daniel: Not my style of music, might do well since it's Russia.. Vocal performance was very good.

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Interval Act

Glen Vella, Fleur Balzan, Gordon Bonello, Rodney Gauci, Maria Muscat and Chloe Cortis were the jury members on behalf of Malta at this evenings' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. In the meantime, we've seen a host of special guests this evening, including the reigning winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Emmelie de Forest and also last years' winner of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Anastasia who had won with the song Nebo. At the last minute, Zlata seemed to have replaced Ruslana due to the recent political upheavals although no official announcement was made. Malta has just WON the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

It has come to the final week before the final announcement of the twenty finalists of this year’s Malta Eurovision. A number of artists are aspiring to make the return to Malta’s top show whilst others are hopeful that they manage to reach the showcase for the very first time. The excitement is running high amongst all the participants and as we had in to the final week, the artists behind the seventy songs that got through are meeting the Xarabank crew in preparation for next Friday’s show.

Today, a number of newcomers were asked to attend the PBS Creativity Hub for an audition behind closed doors. The singers called in for the auditions are singers who are either completely new to the music scene or else relatively new to the local scene. This was surely done to ensure that the twenty finalists chosen are vocally capable of delivering a live performance. The ones who were not called in should not think that their chances are slim though, because they all stand the same chance of getting through as the rest.

escflashmalta.com was in contact with Anton Attard, the Chief Executive Officer, and the mind behind the last three editions of the Malta Eurovision and the person who aided Malta’s return to the top ten after seven years thanks to Gianluca’s ‘Tomorrow’. In a statement with the website he stated: “We have called for these new artists, to ensure that the final list is made of competent artists who are able to deliver live.” Twenty songs are expected to make it through to the first show on Friday, with fourteen qualifying to the finals on Saturday.

In the meantime it is important to remind you that the final twenty will be announced on a special edition of Xarabank, on the 29th of November. Like last year, it is expected that the singers will get the opportunity to showcase the first few seconds of their song; the audience will get a taste of what to expect before hearing the song in full. From then on the preparations will go in full swing for this year’s edition of the Malta Eurovision which will take place on the 7th and 8th of February. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Anton Attard (PBS CEO), escflashmalta.com

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Tuesday, 19 November 2013 11:45

MESC '14: PBS Make Entries in Phase Two Known

Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals by Gianluca was the most successful entry to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest since Chiara's Angel back in 2005, eight (8) years ago. The journey to find the successor commenced a couple of weeks back with the Public Broadcasting Services receiving a total of two hundred and ten (210) submissions, a record since the broadcasting house took over the selection process, and the most in as many years.

Anton Attard, Chief Executive Officer at the Public Broadcasting Services and also Head of Delegation commented on the vast amount of submissions from overseas territories, something which in turn denotes competition for local songwriters with the aim of boosting their creativity to the highest levels and write some fantastic tracks. In the meantime, escflashmalta.com has learnt of several artists who have put their name forward including two former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Fabrizio Faniello and Miriam Christine. On the other hand, the major surprise certainly comes in the form of Claudia Faniello, the two time former runner-up who is also absent from the list following an exclusive piece posted on escflashmalta.com earlier this year.

1. Addictive - Romina Mamo (Linda Persson / Ylva Persson)

2. Again - Nadia (Roger Tirazona / Nadia Vella)

3. All My Love - Fiona Cauchi (Renato Briffa / Keith Zammit)

4. Almost Heaven - Ruth Portelli (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

5. Analyse This - Dorothy Bezzina (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

6. Back To ... - Anique (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

7. Bad Girl - Michela Mallia (Samuel Bugia Garrido / Rita Pace)

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

9. Bite The Bullet - Fire Light (Richard Micallef)

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

11. Call It Love - Jamie Tonna (Marco Debono / Doris Chetcuti)

12. Candy - Jessica Micallef (Carlo Gerada / Matt Mercieca)

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

14. Closer to You - Miriam Christine (Clifford Borg / Miriam Christine)

15. Coming Home - Fire Light (Richard Micallef)

16. Could Have Been Me - Ioana Dalli (Philip Vella)

17. Dazzling - Francesca Borg (Marco Debono / Doris Chetcuti)

18. Don't Bring Me Down - Jan Cortez (Carlo Gerada / Matt Mercieca)

19. Drop Dead Beautiful - Ylenia Vella (Jason Paul Cassar / Mario Farrugia)

20. Favourite Waste of Time - Floren (Michael Talkzog / Gerard James Borg)

21. For All Those Times - Gloriana Arpa Belli (Renato Briffa / Doris Chetcuti)

22. Grow Up - Natalie Gauci (Natalie Gauci / Peter Busuttil)

23. Here I Am - Anna Azzopardi (Heathcliffe Balzan / Deo Grech)

24. High - Nadine Bartolo (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)

25. How Can I Miss You? - Kylie Coleiro (Matthias Strasser)

26. Hypnotica - Jessika (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

27. I Hope You Know - Kristabel Mercieca (Richard Micallef)

28. I Will Not Surrender - Minik (Michael J Down / Jonas Gladnikoff / Poglajen / Minik)

29. In Too Deep - Cherise Attard (Linda Persson / Ylva Persson / Natasha Turner)

30. In Your Kiss - Jessika (Philip Vella / Jessica Muscat)

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

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

33. Kiss Your Tears Away - Annabelle Debono (Philip Vella)

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

35. Living Again - Jelena (Philip Vella)

36. Look Wonderful Tonight - Anique (Aronne Chetcuti Caruana)

37. Lovetricity - Christabelle (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

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

39. Made for You - Franklin Calleja (Elton Zarb / Franklin Calleja / Miriam Christine)

40. Magic Moonlight - Annalise Psaila (Chan Vella / Alexia Schembri)

41. Magic Symphony - Eleanor Cassar (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

42. Mi-Mi-Mind - Neville Refalo (Erik Mjorneh / Jonas Thander / Jonny Sanchez / Neville)

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

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

45. Once in a While - Minik (Elton Zarb / Rita Pace)

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

47. Pin The Middle - Debbie Stivala (Peter Paul Galea / Debbie Stivala)

48. Reach the Light - Ben (Benjamin Darmanin / Jonathan Spiteri)

49. Reaching for the Sky - Kaya (Sven Lundholm / Erik Rydmark / Aidan O'Connor)

50. Remember - Dorothy Bezzina (Erik Anjou)

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

52. SamaniSahe - Anique (Mark Paelinck / Herman Bartje)

53. Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William (Wayne Micallef)

54. Shattered Dreams - Analise Psaila (Chan Vella / Alexia Schembri)

55. Smile - Rikki Lee Scicluna (Mark Attard / Rikki Lee Scicluna)

56. Stronger - Romina Mamo (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)

57. Sweet Surrender - Anique (Magdalena Maj / Magnus Kaxe)

58. Tabula Rasa - Julie Promotski (Augusto Cardinali / Julie Pomorski)

59. Take Me - Pamela (Boris Cezek)

60. Take Me As I Am - Simaria Galea (Jangklev / Schneider / Biglert / O'Connor)

61. Ten - Corazon - Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

62. The One - Francesca Borg (O'Connor / Biglert / Schneider / Gronwall)

63. The Question - Nadine Bartolo (Jangklev / Schneider / Biglert / O'Connor)

64. The Thief - Dario Mifsud Bonnici (Tommy Berre / Christian Ingerbrigsten)

65. Under the Sun - Kevin Paul Calleja (Kevin Paul / Peter Borg / Judy Greaves)

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

67. What When Where - Joseph Refalo (Miriam Christine / Gerard James Borg)

68. You - Dayle Camilleri (Minik / Alison Ellul)

69. Your Game - Francesa Borg (Michael Down / Poglajen / Gladnikoff / Francesca Borg)

70. Zest - Simaria Galea (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)

The Public Broadcasting Services will be revealing the twenty (20) entries to make it through to the semi-final of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest through the programme Xarabank airing on the 29th November 2013 on Television Malta. The announcement is expected to last the whole programme, adding to the annual anticipation and excitement. It is yet unknown whether the venue will be the Malta Fairs or Conventions Centre or the Mediterranean Conference Centre but the dates have now been confirmed as the 7th and 8th February 2014 respectively. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services

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In 2003, Malta was one of the sixteen countries which competed in the inaugural edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and started on a positive note with Sarah Harrison and her entry Like a Star garnering fifty-six points to finish in seventh place. The Public Broadcasting Services confirmed participation for the following seven years with the latest entry being Knock Knock! ... Boom! Boom! performed by Nicole Azzopardi which achieved a mid-table finish. Unfortunately, that was in 2010 and Malta decided to call it a day after that with finances put forward to the actual Eurovision Song Contest participation. 

Multiple Sources close to escflashmalta.com have confirmed that there have been a number of conversations and discussions with regards to a possible return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for the simple reason that the younger generation of artists are lacking major opportunities to present themselves to a European audience. The Junior Eurovision Song Contest is not the competition it used to be with support fluctuating due to the economic crisis but nevertheless eight countries including; Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine are still participating.

The European Broadcasting Union is currently negotiating with a number of countries, hopefully to reach a minimum threshold. Malta's return into the competition would surely create a number of opportunities for the young stars. The same exponents who brought forward such rumours also shed light on the possibility that the nation could be interested in hosting the event in the next couple of years in order to showcase that the Public Broadcasting Services is ready to host a major event on our shores. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com in the coming days, weeks and months as this story continues to evolve. 

Source: escflashmalta.com

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