February 21, 2018

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Emil Calleja Bayliss

Emil Calleja Bayliss

Wednesday, 26 January 2011 16:18

Malta: Less Than 3 Weeks Away...

The festival is looming closer and whilst every singer is working on the final preparations to present the best package possible for the big night; PBS still has a number of announcements to make on things which surely have to be finalised and revealed within the next few days, as the festival is almost upon us. As some might be aware of, the local festival is sold out and today the public had to collect their treasured tickets from the television house in Pieta. This year fans managed to avoid queuing, with the email system implemented by PBS but the wait was longer for everyone as PBS had to go through each email and clarify things before sending the final verification along with other information in regards to the collection of these tickets. All well than ends well for the lucky ones who managed to send their emails on time.

A number of fans were left disappointed that this year they will have to give the event a miss and watch it from home because they were a bit late in sending the email so they were either put on the waiting list or else didn’t receive a reply. One can still attend though. How? Well quite simple, during the Euro Club Malta that will be held at the Tattingers on the 4th of February, PBS will be handing out some tickets for the lucky few.  This event is organised by PBS in collaboration with ESCflashmalta, Esctoday and OGAE Malta. If unfortunately you don’t manage to win one of the lucky tickets and you decide to watch it from home, take the opportunity to organise a party with your friends. This gives you an excuse to watch the show together in the comfort of your home – something a number of Maltese do on the actual Eurovision Night.

Most things seem to be planned out well and along with the television appearances and publicity on different online media; the lead up to the festival is surely going to be a massive hit. With the 24 finalists established, the venue confirmed and presenters known, it is clear that even the contest is shaping up well but local fans are still waiting for two important announcements. One of them should take place tonight during the eight o’clock news bulletin where the announcement of the running order shall take place after an initial order was published. Another announcement which is yet to take place is the announcement of the guests of this year’s festival and since the festival is divided on two nights one would expect different guests on Friday and Saturday.

Thus far, no names have been put forward but the inclusion of Thea Garrett is highly probable, since it is almost a tradition and rightly so, that the winner of the previous contest guest stars the following year. One would agree that this contest is a celebration of Maltese music, so apart from Thea Garrett; it would be nice to see some traditional Maltese songs being performed by popular singer that have represented Malta before or are not in the competition. Some might argues that this does not attract a foreign audience but we can easily do that if the same singers will cover Eurovision hits. Another idea is to bring over someone from the Eurovision scene who might have received the ‘12 Points’ from Malta. That will certainly be a hit for both the local and foreign fans as they will be hearing their favourite tunes sung by artists they admire.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011 19:21

Breaking News: The Running Order Announced

As we announced earlier, the running order for this year's selection was announced on this evening's news on TVM. During the meeting held for the singers earlier when the 24 finalists were announced, the draw slowly started to take form as the song that will open and close Friday's show were drawn up whilst each of the other 22 entries were put into groups. This was done in order to avoid songs of the same genre to be sung after each other. Apart from that, PBS wanted to make sure that none of the backing singers will have to sing two songs right after each. The draw of the final night where 16 entries will compete for right to represent Malta at this year's Eurovision Song Contest will be drawn at a press conference after Friday night's Semi-Final.



01. Amber - Catch 22 (Ray Agius / Godwin Sant)

02. Kurt Calleja - Over & Over (Johan J'amtberg / Kurt Calleja)

03. Cherise Grixti - Heart of Glass (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

04. Wayne Micallef - Everybody Sing (Wayne Micallef)

05. Claudia Faniello - Movie In My Mind (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

06. Klinsmann & Ben - This Love (Jonathan Spiteri / Klinsmann Coleiro)

07. Eleanor Cassar - Hypnotized (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

08. Domenique - I'll Follow the Sunshine (Ralph Siegel / Dr. Meinunger)

09. Rosman Pace - You'll Never Know (Jordan Milnes / Stephen D Cook)

10. Raquela - If I Could Do It All Again (Marc Paelinck / Matthias Strasser)

11. Sophie - Love to Love You (Elton Zarb / Sophie D)

12. Petra - Unintentional (Elton Zarb / Rita Pace)

13. Baklava - Moon Dance (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

14. Jamie Tonna - Lost Without You (Marco Debono / Aidan O'Connor)

15. Amber - Touch Wood (Ray Agius / Alfred C Sant)

16. Anna Azzopardi - Unfaithful (Renato Briffa / Keith Zammit)

17. Marilena ft. Michael Henry - He's A Demon (Michael Henry / Anthony Gauci)

18. Glen Vella - One Life (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

19. J.Anvil - Topsy-Turvy (Jonas Gladnikoff / Niall Mooney / Andrew Zahra / Deo Grech / Natasha Turner)

20. Jessica Muscat - Down Down Down (Philip Vella / Jessica Muscat)

21. Kelly Schembri - Love Me Like Your Money (Sven Lundholm / Erik Rydmark / Gerard James Borg)

22. Fabrizio Faniello - No Surrender (Johan Stentorp / Johan Bederholm)

23. Ally - Numb (Ally)

24. Richard Edwards - Finally (Jan Van Dijck / Richard Edwards)

In the meantime, during the news it was announced that the new sponsor for this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest will be none other than the newly opened Mediterranean Bank which is quite fitting knowing where the venue will be held. The other major sponsor according to the promotion being given on the broadcaster is Schwarzkopf which in turn is also the main sponsor for this years' Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Dusseldorf, Germany. For more information about the upcoming event please visit this link by clicking here.

Source: PBS

Martins Freimans passed away this morning at a hospital in Riga, Latvia after complications of the seasonal influenza infection.  He died at the tender age of thirty-three (33). Martins is better known as a member of the group F.L.Y. who represented Latvia on home ground at the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest. He was joined on stage by Lauris Reiniks and Yana Kay; the song they performed was ‘Hello From Mars’ and many had criticised the entry back than that is more like an advert rather than a competition song, in fact it did not impress the European audience as they finished in 24th place.

Two years later Martins returned to the competition as a songwriter this time round and his entry ‘The War Is Not Over’ performed by Walters & Kazha, a favourite of many people, impressed on both the semi-final night and also on the final night, as after it qualification finished 5th in the final in Kyiv, Ukraine. This year Martins, like the previous two years was also trying his luck as a songwriter in fact his song which carries the name ‘Hop’ was selected for the semi-finals and it will be performed by Blitze. On behalf of all the members of the Editorial Board, we would like to send our deepest condolences to his family and friends. May God be present in such a time of need.

Source: Esctoday.com & Kultura.delfi.liv

It seems that everyone is catching the Eurovision fever and with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest looming closer, a number of television programmes are giving the event maximum exposure possible. Now full preparations are underway and latest developments are slowly being announced as the time goes on – in a surprising twist, one of the main local dramas aired on the Public Service Station - TVM, will be having a Eurovision special.

The ever-so popular comedy ‘Deceduti’, which took the local TV airwaves by storm, will be having the next episode dedicated to Eurovision. ‘Deceduti’ airs every Thursday night after the evening news and considering the popularity of both ‘Deceduti’ and the Malta Eurovision Song Contest – the episode should attract a record number of viewers.

One of the guest stars for tonight's episode will be Thea Garrett, last year’s Maltese Eurovision representative who finished 12th in the first semi-final with the song ‘My Dream’. Thea won over the hearts of the Maltese public along with the jury last year, as both of them awarded her the top placing giving her a runaway victory over her competitors.

The episode will air today, Thursday the 3rd of February just a day before the Euro Club Malta Party at the Tattingers. It seems that the national broadcaster this week will be dominated with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, as the singers will continue appearing on different programmes as Deceduti, Xarabank and Hadd Ghalik will all feature a Eurovision special - today, tomorrow and Sunday respectively whilst the singers will also be appearing on Bla Agenda next Saturday.

Source: Take 2 Entertainment

The first pre-party event which carries the name ‘EUROCLUB MALTA’ is less than a week away and as we have announced earlier along with the performance of the twenty-four semi-finalists, a number of guests will be joining the party to entertain all the fans present at such an event. The main guests of the show will be none other than the Maltese representatives at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Olivia Lewis, Morena and Thea Garrett will be entertaining the crowds with their energetic numbers – both Olivia Lewis and Thea Garrett will be interpreting the dance remix of their entries which were well received by both the local and foreign fans.

 

 

The event will take place next Friday the 4th of February at the Tattingers Night Club in Rabat; doors open at 22.30 and those interested in attending such an event can collect their FREE invite from the Public Broadcasting Services’ main quarters in G’Mangia from next Tuesday, 1st of February. The event is organised by PBS in collaboration with ESCflashmalta.com, ESCtoday.com & OGAE Malta.This party will give the fans a chance to meet this year’s participants whilst also dance to their favourite Eurovision music including this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest entries which the singers will perform for their fans. So take this great opportunity and join us on the 4th of February and party the night away with some of the finest Eurovision music.

Source: PBS, ESCflashmalta.com, ESCtoday.com & OGAE Malta

 

Friday, 04 February 2011 13:36

TONIGHT - EUROCLUB MALTA PARTY

As we have announced earlier through our website, the first ever EUROCLUB Malta Party is being organised at the Tattingers in Rabat today, Friday 4th of February. All local fans will have the opportunity to see all the 24 acts in this year’s selection perform their entry whilst dancing to their favourite Eurovision tracks.

Doors open at 22.30 and the party will continue till the early hours of Saturday morning. Those present will also have the opportunity to win tickets for the actual Malta Eurovision Song Contest which will be taking place the following weekend, apart from other surprises awaiting all those present!

The special guests on the night will be Olivia Lewis, Morena and Thea Garrett – Malta’s Eurovision representatives at the 2007, 2008 and 2010 Eurovision Song Contest respectively. Olivia Lewis and Thea Garrett will be performing the remix of their entry whilst Morena will perform her energetic number ‘Vodka’.

Those interested in attending such an event have the opportunity to collect the last few FREE INVITES from from the Public Broadcasting Services in G’Mangia.The event is organised by ESCflashmalta.com, ESCtoday.com & OGAE Malta under the auspice of PBS. So take this great opportunity, join us later today and party the night away with some of the finest Eurovision music.

Source: PBS, ESCflashmalta.com, ESCtoday.com & OGAE Malta

 


Saturday, 05 February 2011 09:17

The Expert Opinion Comes To An End

The Malta Eurovision 2011 week is almost here, just two days away and just before the rehearsals start Escflashmalta.com finished the ‘expert’ reviews and the introduction of each entry. All 24 entries have been introduced and analysed by team of ‘experts’ which included two journalists, a local DJ, a Eurovision winner and also a songwriter. The general feedback in regards to the ‘expert’ panel was quite positive and a number of fans who regularly follow our website were tuning everyday to get to know the singers competing this year more and also see what these ‘experts’ have to say in regards to this year’s entries.

The results of the ‘expert’ panel will be released the day after the festival where we’ll compare the results of the final night along with the results of our ‘expert’ panel. This year we decided not to release the results before to give everyone the same amount of promotion. It is of utmost importance to know that these ‘experts’ had nothing to do with PBS and were chosen by our editorial team.  Some reviews caused a bit of controversy but one has to keep in mind, that whoever wins the right to represent Malta will be facing all kind of criticism from all the corners of the world and each act has to learn to take onboard what thinks it is necessary and disregard any other criticism which the team doesn’t deem it fit.

On behalf of Escflashmalta.com I would like to wish all the best to all the 24 acts in this year’s selection – may the best one entry win and represent Malta successfully in Dusseldorf.  A special thanks in regards to these reviews goes to our Chief Editor Marc Calleja Bayliss and Peter Carbonaro from PBS, who co-ordinated the singer’s comments found alongside each introduction and ‘expert’ review. So for those who haven’t read all the reviews or missed some of them here is the chance to visit each one and see what our ‘experts’ from different musical background had to say on this year’s entries.

Here they are:

01. Amber - Catch 22 (Ray Agius / Godwin Sant)

02. Kurt Calleja - Over & Over (Johan J'amtberg / Kurt Calleja)

03. Cherise Grixti - Heart of Glass (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

04. Wayne Micallef - Everybody Sing (Wayne Micallef)

05. Claudia Faniello - Movie In My Mind (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

06. Klinsmann & Ben - This Love (Jonathan Spiteri / Klinsmann Coleiro)

07. Eleanor Cassar - Hypnotized (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

08. Domenique - I'll Follow the Sunshine (Ralph Siegel / Dr. Meinunger)

09. Rosman Pace - You'll Never Know (Jordan Milnes / Stephen D Cook)

10. Raquela - If I Could Do It All Again (Marc Paelinck / Matthias Strasser)

11. Sophie - Love to Love You (Elton Zarb / Sophie D)

12. Petra - Unintentional (Elton Zarb / Rita Pace)

13. Baklava - Moon Dance (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

14. Jamie Tonna - Lost Without You (Marco Debono / Aidan O'Connor)

15. Amber - Touch Wood (Ray Agius / Alfred C Sant)

16. Anna Azzopardi - Unfaithful (Renato Briffa / Keith Zammit)

17. Marilena ft. Michael Henry - He's A Demon (Michael Henry / Anthony Gauci)

18. Glen Vella - One Life (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

19. J.Anvil - Topsy-Turvy (Jonas Gladnikoff / Niall Mooney / Andrew Zahra / Deo Grech / Natasha Turner)

20. Jessica Muscat - Down Down Down (Philip Vella / Jessica Muscat)

21. Kelly Schembri - Love Me Like Your Money (Sven Lundholm / Erik Rydmark / Gerard James Borg)

22. Fabrizio Faniello - No Surrender (Johan Stentorp / Johan Bederholm)

23. Ally - Numb (Ally)

24. Richard Edwards - Finally (Jan Van Dijck / Richard Edwards)

 

Saturday, 18 December 2010 13:07

A Decade: Malta Song For Europe 2002

Several locals whether fans of the Eurovision Song Contest or not normally still follow the national selection that takes place in Malta as it is given a prime-time slot on Saturday evening sometime in February and sometimes January when the temperatures fall to single digits. It has been an interesting ride throughout the last decade actually with a new one set to commence next year. As we take a look back within these past ten years, let's go back to 2002.


The Chairman of the Maltasong Board was still Charlo Bonnici had managed to lead Malta back into the confines of the top ten thanks to Claudette Pace and her song "Desire" which reached eight place in Stockholm, Sweden and Fabrizio Faniello and his song “Another Summer Night” which finished ninth in Copenhagen, Denmark. The upcoming contest was set to remain in the confines of Nordic Europe as Estonia won the previous year, so a grand show was again to be expected.

For yet another year, the Malta Song for Europe took place within the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta and was staged on two different nights, 15th and 16th February 2002. The hosts of the evening were the popular Valerie Vella and Peppi Azzopardi. The result was mainly in the hands of the Jury who had a total of 5/8 of the result with tele-voting having 3/8 of the final share – a better percentage rate for the viewers at home than the previous year. The entertainment during the interval was presented by the winner of the previous Malta Song for Europe, Fabrizio Faniello.

The Full Results:
Third Place – Ira Losco – One Step Away (Ray Aguis / Philip Vella)
Second Place – Karen Polidano – When Comes My Lover (John David Zammit / Ray Mahoney)
First Place – Ira Losco – 7th Wonder (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

It was Ira Losco’s third participation in the local festival and from the start she was always considered one of the favourites to take this year’s crown after her runner up finish the previous year, where she was competed in the finals with a record of four songs. During this year, Ira Losco also achieved something that had never happened before, the two entries which she was competing with made the top three.

Despite Karen Polidano’s runner up finish, she was never close to pose any threat to the winning song, and neither did Ira Losco’s second runner up finish song. Although one must note that even though the festival had a number of good entries, the top three places were surely merited and that is why the standout song other than the winner will go out to Karen Polidano’s ‘When Comes My Lover’ – a song which took everyone by surprise but surely deserved its runner up finish behind Ira Losco’s ‘7th Wonder’.

Source: Wikipedia, ESCflashmalta, PBS, National Finals Website


As the two days of second phase came to an end, tonight on TVM's News more details in regards to this year's festival were released.  It was announced that the actual number of entries that made it through to the second phase of the festival was 74. This means that they brought down the actual number of entries submitted in this year's festival, that of 141 by just more than half.

The dates of the festival will be on Friday 11th of February and Saturday 12th of February, where on the first night the 24 songs will perform. The entries will be shortlisted to 16 and these final 16 will then compete for the chance to represent Malta at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf, Germany. 58 singers performed the 74 shortlisted entries in the second phase, 23 entries will have to make it through to the semi-finals whilst the 24th participant will be none other than Cherise Grixti, the winner of the wildcard competition organized on TVM from within the programme 'L-iSfida'.

Another change to the format the festival will see this year is that  all the backing vocals have to be performed live; this will certainly add flavour to this year's festival and will surely make the songs sound more powerful. The announcement of the 24 semi-finalists is expected at the start of the New Year but by the way things are moving one would not be surprised if this takes place before, keeping in mind that the 24 semi-finalists will have to be well prepared, especially keeping in mind the fact that apart from the normal stage outfits and choreography they will have to rehearse with the live backing vocals.

The festival this year was open also to foreigners and it seems that a number of musicians from around the world tried their luck with local artists, these included: United Kingdon, Turkey, Germany, Italy, United States, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Ireland and Portugal. Although no confirmation has been given thus far, one would assume that for another year the festival will be held at the MFCC in Ta' Qali which has proved to be a popular venue since the festival moved there back in 2007, after the actual trial in 2003.

Source: PBS

Wednesday, 29 December 2010 15:45

A Decade: Malta Song For Europe 2008

The festive season is still upon us and as we approach the end of the year, these articles are also nearing their conclusion. Several local music fans, whether Eurovision fans or not still follow the local selection process which is give a prime-time slot on Saturday night. As we look back within these past ten years, this time round we will be going back to 2008 where not only Saturday night was given a prime time slot but also Thursday night, where for the second consecutive year the semi-finals were held.

The year 2007 didn’t end on a positive note for Malta and Olivia Lewis’ ‘Vertigo’ after she failed to make the finals and finished a disappointing 25th place out of 28 entries – Malta scored a meager 15 points. For another year, the Chairperson of the Maltasong Board was none other than Robert Abela who was trusted again with the responsibility to head Malta in Belgrade, Serbia. The festival was held for the third time at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’ Qali where it still remains up to the present day.

The semi-final with a total of 17 entries took place on Thursday the 24th of January whilst the final with 8 entries took place on the 26th of January. The show was hosted by veteran John Demanuele, soprano Ruth Sammut Casingena and two time Eurovision representative Chiara (as pictured above). This festival is certainly known as one of the best festivals in previous years – with a number of people remembering it for different reasons – one of them being that this festival saw the return of two former Maltese representatives at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The return of Mary Spiteri with two songs to the local selection, certainly made headlines throughout Europe and a number of people were hoping that her triumph will restore some dignity for Malta. Mary Spiteri had represented the country successfully back in 1992 where she finished 3rd. Also returning were the duo Chris & Moira, who came back to the competition with an up-tempo radio hit. They had represented Malta back in 1994 and finished 5th.

Full Results

3rd Place – Claudia Faniello – Sunrise (Ray Agius / Ray Agius)
2nd Place – Claudia Faniello – Caravaggio (Ray Agius / Godwin Sant)
1st Place – Morena – Vodka (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

The triumph of the little known Gozitan Morena was quite of a surprising result although as soon as the finalists were announced everyone knew that it was going to be a two horse race with Morena and Claudia fighting it out – both with two songs each. The result in the final was decided by 80% tele-voting and 20% Jury, after the finalists qualified through an expert jury. Morena had only made it to the finals of the Malta Song for Europe back in 2006 with Paul Giordimaina and in 2008 she took everyone by surprise after her number became an instant hit.

This festival was the showcase for four relative new artists in the form of Daniela Vella, Jessica Muscat, Jean Claude Vancell and Petra Zammit whose blues song ‘Street Car of Desire’ impressed the judges as it sailed through to the finals. One can also say that although it was Claudia Faniello’s third time in the festival – this was the festival that boosted her popularity. Another news which created a buzz was the failure of Mary Spiteri’s songs not making the final since a lot local and European people were rooting her for victory.

In a good year one would think it would be difficult to choose a song that stands above the rest but certainly the song that does so for 2008 is ‘Whispers’. The composition of Paul Giordimaina and Fleur Balzan, sung by Pamela’s impeccable vocals, amazed everyone. People in the hall said that the entry sent shivers down their spines whilst Toni Sant, a popular critic and lecturer said on his blog that this was; “undoubtedly the most beautiful song on the 2008 semifinal list. Whispers is one of Paul Giordimaina's best compositions” and even though the audience were almost sure that the judges will send this entry flying into the final, they simply overlooked it and with huge disappointment in the hall, this song was eliminated.

Source: Eurovision Malta, National Finals, Times of Malta, PBS