This years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will definitely be regarded as a catalyst for change noting several alterations to the system were implemented, amongst them being the withdrawal of the running order as well as to increasing the weighing of the jury. In an exclusive announcement on escflashmalta.com yesterday, it was revealed that Gordon Bonello and Rodney Gauci will be the ones doing the commentary on both nights of the semi-final taking place this Tuesday and Thursday as well as on the Final on Saturday evening respectively. Viewership on Television Malta is already high and therefore, having a comical duo will definitely help increase this in a respectful manner. In the meantime, in an article posted by our colleagues at escXtra, it has just been announced that Emma Hickey will be the individual reading out the Maltese Points on the night of the final.
Emma Hickey is the same girl who appeared in the official preview video of the song Tomorrow, which will represent Malta in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. Hickey is a model but she is also studying interior-design. It seems that the positive Irish comments are somewhat rubbing off well considering that Emma Hickey has a genealogy which goes to Ireland. Some of the other spokespersons include; Lena Meyer Landrut, who won the Eurovision back in 2010 with her song 'Satellite' for Germany and presented Germany in 2011 with 'Taken By A Stranger', for Germany. Also Tooji, last year's Norwegian representative, will be reading the points from Norway. Emma Hickey, the Maltese spokesperson for this year, is a model and we are all waiting anxiously about what she is going to say and how we voted. Keep up with escflashmalta.com for further news!
The nerves of the very first rehearsal conducted earlier this week were clearly nowhere to be seen as Gianluca alongside his team made up of Samaria Bezzina, Louise Ann Bugeja Tate, Christopher Tate, Gabriel Cassar and Kenny D'Ugo took to the stage for the second technical rehearsal. Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat has gone down well at the Eurovision Song Contest, achieving positive comments throughout and with competent rehearsals, the foreign media has only words of praise. The second semi-final despite weaker is known to have a series of good songs including the section in which Malta will be performing but hopefully, the charm and fresh quality of the song along with a sublime performance will take it through to the final.
It is said that the Delegation were absolutely delighted with the shots used for the performance and the effect that the lyric video is having in terms of colour scheme is quite emphatic noting that the shots will ultimately provide such a sense of security. In rehearsal videos posted by fan-sites the true colours are not being emitted properly as one could see either in the photo above of even in the official video of the rehearsal posted below. Tomorrow, is definitely one of the best entries that Malta has ever sent to the Eurovision Song Contest and therefore, it just has to be in the Saturday show because charisma and talent infused together go a long way. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available
Good Morning! SVT, host broadcaster of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is adapting to the media that have now taken over the press centre following a couple of days within what seemed to be a cinema like setup. It is expected that the last delegations will be making their way into the town of Malmö in Sweden as they prepare for their first technical rehearsals on Sunday afternoon. All of the countries competing in the semi-finals had the opportunity to perform at least once with the entries competing in the first semi-final having a complete run-through yesterday. There were a number of countries which seriously rose in our respective estimates including Ireland and Cyprus who are most likely set to qualify, one thanks to the public and the other thanks to the jury. escflashmalta.com in collaboration with Eurovision Ireland, escXtra and Radio International are bringing you all of the latest from the rehearsals.
escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest. As a matter of fact, stay tuned on our YouTube Page for all of the latest. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. Today, will mark the second rehearsals of the countries competing in the second semi-final amongst them being Malta whose entry Tomorrow will be performed by Gianluca. Rehearsals officially commence at 12:00 CET and will be ending at around 21:20 CET with a number of interludes in between for lunch and dinners amongst others. The second semi-final taking place on Thursday will be covered on escflashmalta.com by Antoine Farrugia, Senior Editor, alongside Davinia Pace, second runner-up of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 and Christabelle, four time Solo Bay Music Award winner.
The second semi-final will truly kick off with some madness with PeR from Latvia taking to the stage in their shiny glittery outfits. Funnily enough, they do look like Jedward from a distance and that might be one of the few positives that come with this song. The stage is bathed in purple but there are a number of different colours when it comes to the spotlights including yellow, green, purple and blue. The song is lively and is given an edge with the whole stage team which involved another two performers. Mid-way through the song they all take to the catwalk where they perform a slowed down routine, an effect which will surely come across brilliantsly. The vocals are as good as can be expected and this is just that, a bit of fun!Latvia will not qualify!
Italian, one of the most beautiful languages in the world definitely gives the song a much required boost. Valentina kicks off the song holding what seems to be a ball of light. She is wearing a red dress which she covers with a black cape. She is joined on stage by a couple of dancers whose choreography is well coordinated with their choice of attire. The staging is a mixture of blue and red, alternating round pertaining to the current vibe of the music. Valentina is improvising in today's rehearsal but one cannot help but feel that the key change is not coming across as everyone would like. The 'enough is enough' element then is being performed completely different. San Marino is literally playing marginal this year. They could qualify but the early draw is definitely not helping.
Blue starry sky to kick things off within the third rehearsal and Lozano is vocalising relatively early in this performance but one can note that he cannot do any wrong because he sounds stunning. He is joined on stage by Esma and two female backing vocals. Esma is wearing what looks to be a huge red flamenco type of dress and it seems that her vocals are much better today but nevertheless, still not in line with the music in my opinion. For the parts where she is not performing, she seems to be swaying along with the music. The colour of the outfit does not fit in with the backdrop and therefore, stands out terribly. The colour scheme is altered for the mid-tempo parts and to help coordinate with the colour of the attire. I am not sure about this one in totality and disappointingly so, shifting this one to the non-qualifers. Next year, FYR Macedonia should send Lozano alone!
Firstly, it all looks a tad darker on stage today but nevertheless the black/blue backdrop is very much resembling a possible chandelier. Farid clad in an ill-fitting suit is standing on top of a box, and his actions are perfectly mirrored within the box thanks to a dancer who not only seems flexible but definitely not claustrophobic. Whoa! The choreography is much more stunning today and this is mostly because the videos for the rehearsals are being released. Mid-way through the performance, a dancer who was on the catwalk makes her way on stage whilst somewhat taking up most of the stage with her train. In the box, there are petals going round as both dancers mirror each other. This is visually and vocally impressive. Azerbaijan is still a possible winner.
Las Vegas! That is the backdrop being used for this performance and it does give one a clearer picture of what to expect from this performance. Krista Siegfrids has a stunning visual presentation planned for the audience noting that the colours are also extremely eventful. She is jined on stage by two backing vocalists, all female and thus dressed as bridemaids and also another three dancers who despite being female are more clad in grooms' attire. The vocal performance is good but something is not totally fine it seems today and thus she is a tad off but I am sure that this will not effect its chances. At the end of the performance, Krista takes it up a notch and kisses one of her backing vocalists and this will surely turn a few heads around. Nevertheless, it makes for the quirky presentation. Finland will qualify to the final.
Gianluca, clad in brown pants, a white shirt and a black waistcoat takes to the stage alongside the rest of his team including Louise Ann and Samaria who are wearing opposite type of outfits. The rest of the team is spread out well on the stage. There are no issues with nerves in the rehearsal today and Gianluca is definitely oozing charm and charisma. The backdrop used for the performance is the lyric video which was developed by Duane Laus. Mid-way through the performance, he takes to the catwalk where he plans to interact with the audience. The camera shots are stunning and as he returns to the main stage, everyone is clad together on a park bench. The vocals are on point and on key. This is coming across as really good and without bias, Malta will definitely qualify.
Following the charm of Malta comes Bulgaria who are somewhat donned in dark staging for this performance with those predominant being red, black and blue. Elitsa & Stoyan are joined on stage by three female baking vocalists who are clearly static throughout most of the performance. Stoyan is literally performing for the arena because his shots are absolutely terrible this afternoon. Elitsa on the other hand is definitely doing the opposite but truthfully, this is off-key of definitely disappointing. Bulgaria selected this duo with the hope of making the final but with how things stand, it seems extremely likely that this nation will stay out of the Saturday show. It would be quite positive though because there would be no noise pollution.
Eythor stars his performance in the middle of the stage and he is directly interacting with the camera from the onset creating a great visual experience for those watching on the screens. He has decided against the white jacket in favour of the black one which was also used in the promotional shoot. This is definitely a better choice. The backdrop is dark but similar to the video featuring the sea, the night sky and also a lighthouse. Eythor beings about a pristine vocal performance and this has to be a difficult section within the second semi-final draw. During the bridge of the performance, four male vocalists are lifted into the stage and they help create more of an atmosphere. Harmonising and improvising the end is surely important for the message to get across well. Goosebumps all over, and this might cause a couple of people to shed a tear or two.
The backdrop is kept extremely simple for this performance and I think the reason behind that is surely not to completely distract the viewer from the proceedings on stage which are seeing to an extremely energetic performance by Koza Mostra. Agathonas is in the middle of the stage and is standing still whilst the rest of the group apart from the drummer are literally going mad on stage. They are all clad in kilts, and almost knee high socks and this indeed does prove to be a feast for the eyes especially for the lads and ladies up in front, considering that the boys are really good looking. The vocals are good, not perfect but definitely competent for such an energetic performance. This is coming across extremely well on the screens and whilst Greece was definitely never in trouble of qualification, this is definitely going to mark their return into the final top ten.
The local press from Israel seemed to have been watching this performance from inside the arena considering the loud cheers heard at the beginning of the run throughs. Moran Mazor is wearing the dress which everyone seems to love to hate to be honest but it has been altered slightly from the national final. Nothing will ever take away from the vocal persistence that Moran puts in within every run that has given Israel back their dignity following a disappointing two years. This is the type of genre that they do best and should stick to it. It is important to note that this country tends to pick up votes from all across Europe when it has the right song and therefore, this will qualify. The high notes were perfect today and the simple backdrop is helping it stand out more. It could not be any different than Greece before it. Well, Well, Well Done!
This could have been an entry merited with making use of the backdrop but nevertheless, have opted for a completely different setup. The backdrop is extremely plain but what is fetching about this performance is that Gor Suyjan, lead singer of The Dorians actually looks extremely modern. This is one of the songs which has drastically improved since being selected for the Eurovision Song Contest earlier on this year but nevertheless, still not sure on where and how it will place on the night of the semi-final. The vocals are really good and he is doing some slight vocal acrobatics prior to the bridge. This sounds good but then he has a couple of odd notes towards the end. Marginal qualifer at the moment. Armenia had their perfect qualification record soiled two years back so there is no reason to believe that they might not fail once more.
Polished! I will not stop my review there because it is integral to see what each country is presenting to this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The official preview video is being used as a backdrop for this performance and it looks absolutely lovely but I have no idea why they're using all this green, unless it is to resemble one of the colours on the Hungarian flag. ByeAlex looks far more relaxed on stage for the performance this time round but this is still all too static at the moment which does the song no justice considering that it is indeed beautiful. In recent hours, ByeAlex was also featured on EuroNews and that is definitely a positive. He is joined on stage by a female backing vocalist and a male guitarist. As I said, the act looks better today but something is still missing. This could be the right answer following Armenia but I still think that it will be hard to get through this year.
Margaret Berger was one of the contenders of the Eurovision Song Contest following her selection at the Melodi Grand Prix and is looking to continue building on momentum. During the first rehearsal there were a couple of issues which seem to have been ironed out for this evening. Margaret is flawless in terms of vocals and the addition of a reverb at certain parts of the song give it an echo, one which will dwindle in the mind. The backdrop is a mixture of blue and white but comes across as a chrome type of element. Stunning work and with the camera shots looking more well placed, this is definitely back in the running. I think everyone is hoping that Norway would host again after Sweden are becoming one of the worst hosts in recent years. Margaret is also joined on stage by three female backing vocalists who help her out in the parts where she sounds weakest. Stunning work and welcome back, Norway!
One of the first entries to be selected for the competition. I am still quite bitter for them not choosing their first runner-up entry performed by Anjeza Shanini. The performance has not changed at all from the first rehearsal and technically speaking there is nothing wrong which would shoot this down or up the scoreboard. This is going to win the authentic rock vote because it does not play with the sentiment of another genre just like Armenia is trying to do at this position. The vocals are good, maybe slightly shouty at times but then again, it does comply well. The staging is kept simple with the band and red and black colours, as always resembling the flag of Albania. I am not too sure but I think this will be missing out on the final because some of the countries, seven in total have to miss out.
The set-up of the stage is very dark with blue being the predominant colour. Sopho is wearing a beautiful pale blue, white dress which is sparkling on the camera shots whilst Nodi is wearing a black suit. At the far right of the stage, there are three female backing vocalists including one which had accompanied Olivia Lewis at the Eurovision Song Contest. It seems that the typical effects can be rather costly and as a matter of fact not being used in all the runs but people can expect a great performance from a visual perspective. The vocals of the singers are just stunning together and everthing looks great on stage. Most people were thinking that this a very much oldfashioned ballad but it has translated well and seemingly staged like Running Scared, it could definitely surprise a couple of critics.
Silly! That is the first word that comes to mind when seeing this performance apart from the fact that the whole group is coming across as extremely static. It seems that they are even closer than they were during the first rehearsal. The vocals are strong and cannot be faulted but it seems that this song drags on for more than three minutes. That was not at all enjoyable and I seriously cannot see Switzerland making it through to the final despite having managed to reach the final two years ago and narrowly missing out last year. The wrong choice was made in the December national final and the country is currently paying the price of such a result. The first runner-up entry would have made a much more suitable candidate but due to the gimmick of the Salvation Army, they had the upper-hand back then.
The final performance from the second semi-final is the one featuring Cezar and his pop/opera tune which surprised many when announced as the winner of the national final. So basically, as one could see in the video below, Cezar is wearing a dracula-like coat and is joined on stage by three dancers who are seemingly very flexible. The stage it bathed in dark lights with the crystals shining in ed and the backdrop in a mixture of black and blue. The vocals are crystal clear and they are on tune as they meant to be. Cezar is extremely talented but the fusion of elements is not really working in my opinion. The dancers go under the covers on the stage and reveal Cezar in his full glory. This is just a tad too much to be honest and I do not know whether it is too distacting for the jury and the public to note.
It has been a great start to what looks like an amazing week full of live music – the Beland Music Festival kicked off in spectacular fashion last night with the participation of local heartthrob Kevin Borg who serenaded the crowd with his magical voice and charisma. The Beland Music Festival this year moved from the Market Square to Bulebel and one can say that the move was a success, the festival got bigger and if today’s concert was anything to go by one can easily say it got even better.
Barber’s Cut, a new upcoming band led by Kelly Busuttil opened proceedings and got the crowd going; showing that they indeed have potential. The audience seemed to have enjoyed the relatively unknown band, who mixed it up playing some of the most popular hits. They were followed by the talented Glen Vella and Pamela, who entertained the crowd with a number of popular cover versions. As the time went on, the crowd got bigger and bigger, everyone awaiting the arrival of Kevin Borg and when he finally took the stage Kevin received a hero’s welcome in Bulebel.
He kicked off proceedings with his Swedish Idol Winner’s single With Every Bit of Me and continued with a mix of cover versions and songs from his own repertoire. He closed the first part of the concert with his Malta Eurovisision entry, Needing You, where he was accompanied by former Eurovision representative Glen Vella, Pamela, Josef Tabone and Janice Mangion. The second part of the show was as strong and the crowd cherished every moment with cheering, waving and singing at the top of their lungs to Kevin’s hits. Kevin was clearly moved and described the event as being even better than his Swedish Idol final as he had never expected so many people to attend the event in aid of Puttinu Cares.
Kevin encouraged the people to attend and donate to this genuine cause. Tonight’s music festival will feature Malta’s top female artist – Ira Losco is set to take the stage for her first Summer gig and her first gig after the launch of her album The Fire which proved to be a major success. She is expected to sing some of her latest songs along with a few numbers from her previous records, she will be supported by The New Victorians an up and coming band and also Planet Seed fronted by Klinsmann. For more details on what to expect during the Beland Music Festival you can visit the programme here or their official Facebook Page.
It is important to note that on Thursday, the organizers behind the Beland Music Festival saw it fit to organize a big screen in order to support Malta’s bid in the Eurovision Song Contest – so we encourage you to join with your family and friends, grab your Maltese flags and on Thursday go and watch the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Bulebel as part of the Beland Music Festival. The atmosphere is expected to be electrifying as there is nothing more special than cheering for the Maltese representative together and creating a mini Eurovision atmosphere here in Malta.
Apart from enjoying the live music for a great cause, at the Beland Music Festival you can chill and relax, there’s a children’s area and a number of stalls where people can just sit there as the concert is ongoing. There is something for all the family and for all the music lovers it is something you surely can’t miss as apart from donating towards Puttinu Cares you would be also supporting the local talent who invest so much time and effort to deliver a great product. So make sure to visit the Beland Music Festival and donate something for a great cause. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Television Malta, the main channel of the Public Broadcasting Services will be airing all of the shows which incorporate the Eurovision Song Contest but nevertheless, have yet to reveal the individuals who will be providing the commentary for all of the show. The editorial team of escflashmalta.com has always worked alongside the team that represents Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest, bringing you all of the latest news in an exclusive capacity where possible. Anton Attard, Head of Delegation for Malta has just been in contact with the editorial team to confirm that the commentators for this years' edition of all of the shows will be none other than comic duo, Gordon Bonello and Rodney Gauci. Remember that Television Malta is showing both semi-finals and the final as are most of the broadcasters competing in this years' competition.
Gordon Bonello and Rodney Gauci are truly an inseperable duo when it comes to television noting that one does not appear without the other. They came to fame in a local television series known as Deċeduti but then gained more recognition taking on the roles of Ġorġ and Pawlu in a local television talkshow. To the european audience, they are known for being involved in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with Gordon Bonello being the main host alongside Elaine Saliba and with Rodney Gauci being the man who was interviewing the artists backstage. The commentary will surely be light and enjoyable to those watching the Eurovision Song Contest on Television Malta. The individual who will read out the points yet to be revealed but rumours has it that it will indeed be another male. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as we follow Gianluca and his entry Tomorrow in this years' showcase.
Source: Television Malta
Good Morning! It seems that the host broadcaster is somewhat adapating the schedule to the artists considering that rehearsals will not be commencing prior to noon. All of the delegations are expected to arrive between today and tomorrow as the countries competing in the big five will be taking to the stage for their first rehearsal on Sunday. In the meantime, the press centre has also officially opened today and therefore, accredited individuals will definitely feel more at ease with familiar surroundings. The first two days of rehearsals saw everything move in a swift manner but there where a couple of technical issues during the second two days of rehearsals and as full run throughs start taking place, it is expected that odds and ends will be corrected even by the respective delegations. escflashmalta.com in collaboration with Eurovision Ireland, escXtra and Radio International are bringing you all of the latest from the rehearsals.
escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest and some of those uploaded include Gianluca from Malta and Farid Mammadova who will be representing Azerbaijan. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. Today, as already noted above will see to the beginning of a run-through for each semi-final. It is expected that rehearsals will be ending at around 21:00 CET with a number of interludes in between for lunch and dinner amongst others. The first semi-final is up today and that is the show taking place this Tuesday which will be covered on escflashmalta.com by Emil Calleja Bayliss, Head of Commications as well as Claudia Faniello, runner-up of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 and 2012 and Simon Casey, runner-up of the Irish final back in 2003 and successful recording artist in Ireland.
SVT, the host broadcaster in conjuction with the European Broadcasting Union held a press conference earlier this morning to welcome all of the media to this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. There were a number of questions addressed to the organisers of this years' event including with regards to the use of the press centre as from today and the possibility of any returning countries as from next year. In the meantime, Jan Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the European Broadcasting Union revealed that next years' edition of the international spectacle is set to take place on the 13th, 15th and 17th May pertaining to decisions taken up by the winning country.
Hannnah is clad in leather attire, and joined on stage by three male dancers and two female backing vocalists with a darkened backdrop resembling the one used in the preview video. The graphics as a matter of fact are kept extremely simple in order to keep the focus on the choreography and the singing, which frankly speaking should be distracted from. Mid-way through the performance, Hannah takes to the catwalk from where she performs the bridge of the song to a series of spotlights which light up the arena. Visually, this looks absolutely stunning but vocally, it is definitely in complete contrast.
Whilst Slovenia is visually stunning, this entry is vocally stunning and one cannot help but enjoy listening to Birgit perform because there is something in her capabilities, an element that makes you want to listen to her even more. She is joined on stage by four male backing voclaists and the backdrop is mainly black with green diagrams, having additional gold ones for the chorus. The spotlights in the bridge do wonders and this is surely coming across really on the screens. This was a competent second rehearsal from Estonia but nevertheless, still remains a marginal qualifier due to coming on so early.
Natalia Kelly is wearing a white top, silver like jeans and beautiful shoes to match the outfit accordingly. She is joined on stage by five backing vocalists who carry out a simple yet effective choreography. For most of the performance, the main stage is used but nevertheless, Natalia decides to strut a bit and with a wind machine in action, this does indeed look fantastic. The vocals whilst not flawless sound much better today and like Estonia which in the running order will actually come after it, this is still very marginal. The reason being that once more, this is an opening song and therefore, might be forgotten by the end unless it makes a real impact on the public. I have a sneaky feeling that the jury will love it though.
One of the more traditional entries to compete in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is Croatia who have decided to send the genre known as Klapa. The most effective element in this song is surely the vocals which are perfect. The setting is extremely beautiful noting that int he background, there are stars and what seem to be resembling the Northern Lights. The clothing used is also traditional with the group saying that it is normally worn by Croatian knights. Technically speaking, the music is quite catchy, as in the beat and therefore, I believe that this one is throwing off three entries before hand. I am thinking that this one has just turned into a qualifer in favour of the others that preceded it. Well Done, Croatia!
Ohh! Someone has been to the hairdresser it seems because the hair looks absolutely lovely this morning. Emmelie is clad in a white dress, the one used for her album cover and which has been specifically designed for the Eurovision Song Contest. There is a wind maching effect relatively early and this is proving problematic for her dress because it's going up a tad too much and causing the singer to worry. The staging for this one is not simple but kept the same as it was in the national final. Three backing vocals, two females and a male and two frummers, both male. The vocals are strong for most of the song but are sounding pretty strained towards the end. Still making the top three nevertheless!
Pristine Vocals! That's the first thing in mind when one watches Dina Garipova perform. The Russian singer is wearing what seems to be a pink/salmon type of gown which has a beautiful design but slightly off colour. The staging is kept well lit noting that in the backdrop there is a mixture of pink, and blue with white being somewhat predominant in the chorus. Mid-way through the song, Dina is joined on stage by four backing vocalists who have a simple choreography which is somewhat similar to the one used by Belarus back in 2010. It has also been reported that audience members will all be given a bracelet on arrival to the arean of Tuesday which will light up during the key change towards the end. This is looking beautiful and I would not discount Russia on winning this year!
Bizarre! These one word expressions tend to describe a whole performance especially when at the beginning of the song, there's a giant clad in Roger Pontare's clothing scheme from the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest who is manhandling Zlata onto the stage. The stage is lit in completely dark blue and there is dry ice across the whole stage. Zlata is wearing what seems to be a dress made up of three colours, blue, purple and red, a candidate for the Barbara Dex Award. In the beginning, backing vocalists are airlifted onto the stage with a dumb-waiter like system. The vocals are solid as they have always been and whilst this one will sail into the finals, the whole performance is just ridiculous.
Anouk commences her performances on what has been donned the satellite stage and there is a certain aura surrounding he performer noting that her facial expression is somewhat flirtacious at the beginning. The backdrop is just stunning featuring a dark sky which lights up quickly when the chorus kicks in. On the main stage, there are three backing vocalists whose harmonies are strictly on cue and definitely on key in every run. This atmopsheric ballad is definitely coming across well on screen and The Netherlands should be proud of having this as their entry whatever the result. Anouk keeps to her position throughout the song which might be seen static but goes on well with the song. She is clearly enjoying the rehearsals and why not when the simplicity of this is completely trouncing the mess coming from Ukraine. Beautiful!
Smoke! Who See come out of the smoke dressed in astronaut outfits and this is clearly going to look relatively mad following the performance of The Netherlands. Funnily enough, this is not even looking half as mad as Ukraine. Nina is somewhat in the background but her vocals are solid and definitely add to the hip/hop vibe of this entry. The backdrop is a mixture of green and yellow, somewhat modern and very appealing visually. Montenegro are always in a bit of a tussle but nevertheless, they somewhat surprise people each time and might succeed in qualification this year which would definitely alter their perception of the competition, slightly!
The first technical rehearsal for Lithuania was remarkably disappointing because it came across as too static especially considering that this is a competition which judges on several aspects. The stage is bathed in purple lights and Andrius is wearing a black leather jacket, black pants and a white shirt. The vocals are good but nothing extraordinary. I believe he has even altered the key in a couple of verses to make sure that all of the notes are reached. His eyes and hand movements are very innapropriate and he seems very uncomfortable. On stage, he has a number of backing vocalists, all of which are singing well but do not have a major role. Lithuania will be missing the final for the first time in three years following yet another disappointing rehearsal.
The noughties were known for these type of songs in the Eurovision Song Contest but it is remotely intriguing that they have never went out of fashion and tend to do relatively well. Alyona Lanskaya is definitely throwing everything including the kitchen sink into this performance considering that she comes out of a disco ball in the beginning and is then showered by an extraordinarily exhausting dance routine.She is as a matter of fact joined on stage by dancers and backing vocalists. The lighting is red, and yellow with some blue thrown in for contrast. The vocals are strong nevertheless, and this is definitely seemingly like a qualifier at the moment.
A star studded night is definitely the idea of the backdrop with stars and white bright lights being predominant in the performance. She is joined on stage by three dancers and a pianist although it is important to note that Pasha Parfeny is not making an appearance today. The dancers whilst not required for this entry are not distracting because the focus is definitely on the dress, one similar to Sabina Babayeva at last years' Eurovision Song Contest. It changes colour according to the feeling of the track. The vocals from Aliona was not good, or excellent but they are perfect! Many people have discussed the idea to turn to Romanian rather than stick in English and this does indeed add to the authenticity of the competition. Ohh Ohh, mid-way through the song she rises up and seems several feet high. Stunning!
Ryan Dolan is on stage for Ireland this is definitely his best day thus far since he has been chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest noting that the vocals are on point and the whole act is coming together quite nicely. The backdrop is featuring a number of symbols, all related to Irish tradition and could also be seen as tattoos on the dancers and drummers respective. The whole stage act looks really polished today and the backing vocals are well tuned to the rest of the song. Truth be told, I never thought that Ireland would qualify for this years' final but my perception has just changed drastically following this rehearsal. Well Done to all of the team for a sterling performance.
A couple of years back, Malta had a couple of songs in the national selection which started acapella and they both were laid back and pretty much endearing. Cyprus is even more authentic for the simple reason that it is performed in Greek. Despina Olympiou is clad in a nude dress which is embroidered beautifully with lace. It suits her figure well and the look is just stunning. The backdrop is kept very simple with light blue throughout. It seems that she is harmonising slightly this evening and that is definitely positive because she adds more charm to the song. The vocals are just stunning today and the higher register is reached withou any issues. Perfect! With a late draw and the jury going for it, Cyprus are heading into the final!
It is quite difficult to understand certain phrases when Roberto is definitely not a native speaker. Back to the stage though, it seems that the artist is overcoming his nerves. Clad in a dark suit, he is joined on stage by two female dancers and three backing vocals. All of them are somewhat enjoying this performance with the choreography being just enjoyable to watch. Like Malta, Belgium is making use of their song lyrics in the background and this is definitely a positive as they are blared out to the people. The bridge is coming across better and it seems that Roberto is feeling more confident. This is a very competent rehearsal from Belgium. I am still unsure whether this will be screaming out to reach the public and the jury but he is definitely doing his best.
Pop! The definition of this lies in the typical trash songs that come from girl-groups and Serbia have definitely gone for this type of number. The ladies are almost flirting with each other on stage in their weird colourful outfits. The staging is a mixture of pink and purple but definitely works with the whole setup. There atr three female backing vocalists on stage which are kept to the right hand side, when facing the audience. The choroegraphy of the girls is quite silly but nevertheless, this is is the closing number and people will enjoy finishing off with a thump. The vocals are much better today than they were during the first rehearsal. They are enjoying themselves on stage and therefore, that is the most important. Serbia are qualifying into the final with relative ease, possibly a top five finish in the semi-final.
I Feed You My Love, co-written by Karin Park, Robin Lynch, Niklas Olovson with vocals provided by Margaret Berger will be representing Norway in this years' Eurovision Song Contest following an overwhelming victory at the annual Melodi Grand Prix back in February. Despite finding success on the second season of Idol in Norway, where she finished as the runner-up, Margaret has had to work hard to assure her place in the industry and following two albums, the last one being seven years ago, she feels comfortable to return to doing what she loves best. Her entry for the Eurovision Song Contest has been perceived in a positive manner having been instilled as one of the favourites by the general public whilst also charting at number #4 in Norway, making it her highest charting single to date.
The first technical rehearsals have proven problematic for some countries although to be fair, the issues have literally been attributed to the technical side and Margaret as a professional took her time and improved with every run. She felt at ease on the stage and gave consistent performances. On the way to the arena, the broadcaster responsible for Norway decided to record a special message for you, the readers of escflashmalta.com as Margaret Berger hopes to make it through to the final stage on Saturday, alongside Gianluca whose entry Tomorrow for Malta is competing in the same semi-final. The special message has been uploaded to our YouTube Channel and could be seen below as we remind you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from the rehearsals which unfold throughout the day.
Source: NRK, Roxy Recordings
During the voting of both the semi-final and the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, there is always an entertainment act which takes to the stage and try to ease the tension slightly whilst keeping the public bouyant. Television broadcasters have a tendency to show advertisements during this time unfortunately but nevertheless, the public should enjoy what this years' host broadcaster, SVT has prepared with a multi-tude of performers set to take to the stage for more singing performances.
During the first semi-final, which will see sixteen (16) countries compete for ten (10) slots being offered in the final, there will be none other than Loreen, winner of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest who will be performing a new version of her winning entry Euphoria co-written by Thomas G:son and Peter Bostrom. This brand new version will involve a childrens' choir who will also be doing sign language. It will be similar to her Melodifestival guest appearance earlier this year but even bigger. Loreen has become one of the most notable winners of the international spectacle with the single achieving platinum status in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Darin, a former participant in both the Swedish Idol and Melodifestivalen has been enlisted to be a guest performer during the second semi-final in which Malta will be competing. As a matter of fact, Darin has already hit the music market in Europe with two of his albums charting in Finland and Germany whilst managing five number #1 hit albums in Sweden. You're Out of My Life, his Melodifestivalen entry charted at number #3 in 2010. Joining him there will be Agnes whom people will definitely remember through her smash hit, Release Me co-written by escflashmalta.com contributor, Sharon Vaughn. Signed to Universal Music Sweden, her latest collection of original songs entitled Veritas, released in September peaked at number #3.
In the final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest, the special guest, somewhat expected really will be none other than Carola, the woman who has represented Sweden on three occasions, the first time in 1983 with Framling, finishing in third place, second time with Fangad av en Stormvind in 1991, finishing in the top position and last but not least with Invincible back in 2006, managing a fifth place finish. Carola is an icon in Sweden and it has been revealed to the media that she had known she would be the interval act during the final when she was the interval act at the Melodifestivalen Final. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Good Morning! All of the delegations competing in the semi-finals have arrived at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest on the fourth day of rehearsals because the shows' first technical runs will officially come to a close today as the press centre will officially open as from tomorrow. Following a somewhat error free two days, yesterday posed a couple of problems in terms of sound quality where Malta and Bulgaria were involved although all of the issues were fixed as the runs went along. SVT, the host broadcaster is very well organised and thus are keeping their reputation in tact. Some of the camera shots requested by delegations will be executed during the second rehearsal which will be completely open to the scrutiny of the media. escflashmalta.com in collaboration with Eurovision Ireland, escXtra and Radio International are bringing you all of the latest from the rehearsals.
escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest and some of those uploaded include Ryan Dolan from Ireland and Dina Garipova who will be represent Russia. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. Today will mark the conclusion of the second semi-final and therefore, we continue see through the competition that Gianluca will be facing during the Thursday showcase. We would like to remind you that the second semi-final on escflashmalta.com will be commented upon by Antoine Farrugia, Senior Editor as well as Davinia, second runner-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and four time Solo Bay Music Award winner, Christabelle.
One of the few uptempo numbers in this years' competition in a genre that is rarely submitted into the Eurovision Song Contest, that being Ska. The backdrop itself is made to look modern during the performance with the colour scheme used being a mixture of dark and light colours, for example black with yellow. Koza Mostra along with Agathon Iakovidis are dressed very casually for the first technical rehearsal so it is rather unknown whether this will be their attire for the night of the semi-final. The group have their instruments with them and this is all still funny and very much enjoyable. It is a rather good start to the day and one definitely cannot lament about the actual vocals, which are solid throughout each run.
Translating this from the stage of the national final to the Eurovision Song Contest has been rather effortless considering that ballads should benefit from the lighting. Moran, who has been seen as the artist with the least fashion sense on the choice of the attire at Kdam is seemingly set to use the same dress for the international showcase. There is no gimmick in this particular track with Moran standing in the middle of the stage and belting out her beautiful ballad. She is joined on stage with two backing vocalists and this is all sounding extremely well on television. The addition of a pianist suits the songs as well and one cannot fault any decisions taken in the performance because this should qualify with relative ease.
Their return was much more anticipated when people where discussing the possibility of a return from Sirusho but it was then revealed that The Dorians would be honouring the country. The song itself is not bad and is written within a specific genre, that being a rock type of ballad with the emphasis on the former considering that it was indeed written by Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. The vocals in this one are strong and one would definitely not mind listening to it after the beauty of Israel but nevertheless, it does come across as slightly dull and boring. We know it's relatively early but then again, the energy seems to be missing in every run, hence why this is branded as dull. Nevertheless, this is Armenia competing in a weaker semi-final, so it will qualify!
A song which I personally like to listen to especially if I would like to relax a bit. ByeAlex will not be alone on stage, as he will be joined by two backing singers, one of which will also be playing the guitar. Following Armenia, this also seems rather dull in terms of performance or maybe it seems that the artists forgot to bring their 'A-Game' to the rehearsals. The idea of just standing there on this stage does not really work especially if you're presenting a mid-tempo kind of track. Some people have choreographies with their ballads, so certain things have be to be thought of well. The backdrop is the music video, the one with the cartoon and that is a nice element to the song. I am not sure on what this will achieve but it might be on the border to qualify.
It just so happens that I have just received the promotional disc accompanying the entry from Norway in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. Our colleagues in Malmo have come forward that after two run throughs, Margaret Berger is having some issues with her in-ear monitor, similar to the problems that Malta faced yesterday. Funnily enough, this always seems to happen following the break. Margaret is clad in the same dress she was wearing at the Melodi Grand Prix, with some minor adjustments but nevertheless, why change a winning package. The vocals are troubling, even in the second run through where the technical issue has been sorted out. The only differences that one could note from the national final is that there are three backing vocals on stage.
Rock! The first word that comes to mind when this entry comes up on my iPod and even though this genre can be melodic, I cannot find anything positive with regards to the track. It was one of the worst entries during the national final in my opinion especially in comparison to around five entries which could have represented them. Nevertheless, this will be picking up the specific vote of people who might not be in tune with the Eurovision Song Contest but love this kind of music. Across the screens, this is a bit messy but nothing that cannot be fixed whilst the vocals fit in accordingly with the music. Coming after a pretty disappointing rehearsal from Norway is helping them out a bit. Still can't see this qualifying!
In this weak semi-final, the average song would definitely sound better and not too many songs can actually sound worse after Albania. The beauty of Georgia lies within the vocals of Sophie & Nodi, noting that the spark between them seems real and very much alive. In each run-through, despite having some fine tuning issues, the vocals have been beyond perfect. The female artist is clad in a long white and light blue dress, along with a couple of sparly bits on the shoulders whilst the male is wearing a typical suit. There are three backing vocalists, all female and one of them having joined Olivia Lewis back in 2007. The backdrop as expected features a waterfall. This is definitely qualifying and could, with the right draw make an Azerbaijan 2011 impact.
For some bizarre reason, this is currently doing well in terms of polling numbers despite not really setting the betting odds on fire. The staging is pretty much kept the same as it was during the national final but since the loss of the uniforms and their actual name, the whole performance has started to fall flat. One of the most positive elements about this is definitely the vocals but they also seemed to tire out after just a run or two. Switzerland will most likely not be in the final for the second consecutive year and probably hitting the latter part of the table towards the end. Rather disappointing as the chorus of the song is quite catchy yet it is just not coming across, at all!
Cezar seems to have taken the path of the devil in terms of this performance but nevertheless, he is also sporting a cruxifix, so that could be something to consider both as 'art and gutsy' at the same time. He is clad in a black, long coat, slightly metallic-looking and showcasing his phsique after receving various compliments from the fans of the Eurovision Song Contest. Whilst not being lifted in the air throughout the performance, there is something that sees him lift up but it seems that he is indeed just moving forward. The effect on camera is stunning. The vocals are as expected, good but don't know whether Europe will go for this. It seems to be a marginal qualifier, possibly taking a spot from someone who fails.
escflashmalta.com had the opportunity to have a short conversation with Daniel D'Anastasi, Head of Press for the Maltese Delegation at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest following the first technical rehearsal that took place. Despite some early issues which were encountered during the first run, they were quickly fixed as Gianluca and the rest of the team including Samaria, Louise Ann, Kenny, Gabriel and Christopher grew in confidence. There are a couple of things which need to be altered slightly including some camera shots but nevertheless, it was an extremely positive rehearsal.
In the meantime, as per the typical schedule setup by the European Broadcasting Union and the respective host broadcaster, this year being SVT, Gianluca and the rest of the delegation will tomorrow embark on a tour across Sweden and therefore, that is the plan for the itinerary. Friday is another 'off' day for the whole team noting that the schedule is currently being filled up with a series of events including a trip to a hospital where Gianluca, our representative will be meeting up with some young children who are braving the elements and surviving through sickness. This is an incredibly touching moment and means even more considering that Gianluca is a doctor and therefore has a tendency to meet with patients on a daily basis. Gianluca's second rehearsal will be taking place on Saturday afternoon and it will be open to the media so therefore, in collaboration with Radio International, Eurovision Ireland, and escXtra, escflashmalta.com will be bringing you all of the latest news.
Source: Daniel D'Anastasi (Head of Press), Television Malta