June 17, 2019

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Good Evening! Sixteen (16) countries which competed in the first semi-final last night learned their fate last night and unfortunately, six (6) of them had to be eliminated. Italy, Sweden, Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom had their second technical rehearsals earlier this morning and all went to plan, followed by a series of press conferences where each act apart from Sweden drew their allocation slot in the running order. The host nation had drawn number #16 in the weeks leading up to the competition and the producers will be creating the draw around them in order not to have genres clashing. This is the second dress rehearsal which somewhat bears more significance that the one this morning for the simple reason that the Jury in all of the participating countries of the second semi-final will be casting their vote along with those in Spain, France and Germany. We would like to wish Malta the very best of luck!

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. Coverage of the second semi-final tomorrow eveing will be led by Antoine Farrugia, Senior Editor for escflashmalta alongside special guests; Davinia Pace who was the second runner-up at this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Christabelle, a four time consecutive winner of the Best Solo Artist at the Bay Music Awards. We are committed to bringing you all of the latest news as the day unfolds so make sure to continue visiting escflashmalta.com as Gianluca takes to the stage with Tomorrow.

The Show (Part 1)

The mixture of past and present is well represented in the opening act of the second semi-final now that everything has been explained in greater detail. Another choreography which includes bicycles, it looks quite cool and weird at the very same time but indeed, this is the Eurovision Song Contest and everyone expects anything to happen. In the meantime, Petra Mede is now back on stage for this second show and indeed, she is introducing the competition for the evening. Seventeen performances from different countries across the whole of Europe including east, north, south and west!

Latvia

PeR from Latvia are currently on stage and this has to be one of the most intriguing acts to ever open a semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. The two leading gentlemen are wearing silver jumpsuits and are joined on stage by an array of performers limited to the number set forth by the organisers. The vocals are straight forward this evening and this is mostly due to the fact that there are no high notes in the song. The middle part of the song is a slow motion dance across the catwalk which looks fabulous. At the end, there is a jump into the audience. This looks fab and I believe that this is now qualifying!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpMaebZtnwM

San Marino

Valentina Monetta is back on the stage of the international showcase for the second straight year and she kicks off holding an enlarged ball which glows in the dark. She is currently wearing a dark cape and the whole idea of an Italian ballad is transpiring well on stage. She is joined on stage by two female backing vocalists who carry out a simple choreography. The whole set up is very similar to the one from the preview video. Mid-way through the song, it turns into an uptempo number and this is all enough is enough at the moment. Valentina is enjoying her performance but I am still not sure about that getting through so I will say, NO!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSnj13Byf_k

FYR Macedonia

The first duet of the evening and Lozano is seemingly finding it quite difficult to hold onto the notes in the beginning of the song. Esma follows and this performance is easily ruined unfortunately despite the track in itself being well written. The backdrop for this one is relatively dark but then transforms into a colourful entry when Esma starts performing her parts. The whole stage act is coming across as a bit awkward and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia is looking to go out in the semi-final stage and therefore completely a whitewash of the Balkan countries which is very unfortunate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5heCrN65AM

Azerbaijan

Nervous! This is somewhat the word that sums up this performance especially this evening but it does not seem to be affecting the vocals at this point in time. Farid is wearing an ill-fitting grey suit but nevertheless, the staging is perfect and will definitely elevate them not only into the final but most likely another top five result. As a matter of fact, there is a glass box with a man dancing within it and another dancer on the catwalk with a red dress and a long train. Vocally this is awesome and it definitely stands out as the first contender of the evening. This is my second pick of the night from my end. It might need some slight adjustments but nevertheless, it is an easy choice.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcCM5lidzxc

Finland

Team #dingdong has somewhat infiltrated the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest for this performance and Krista Siegfrids is as expected clad in a wedding gown complete with the tiara and the veil. On stage, there are bridesmaids who are also dancers and backing vocalists. This is all extremely Las Vegas Wedding to be honest. This is a tele-voting favourite although the shock ending might hurt slightly in more conservative countries. The jury voting this evening might be more cautious to vote for this one. Vocally this is sounding much better than in the afternoon but it does sound like Krista was sick earlier in the week. At the end, there is also confetti. Slick camerawork and this will get through by the skin of it's teeth. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55YQ0YkeyNw

Malta

Gianluca takes to the stage and he is definitely putting up a brave face for this performance as he looks rather relaxed, once more an extremely good sign. He is wearing a white shirt, black waistcoat and dark orange trousers and everyone on stage including the band and the backing vocalists are casually dressed as well. Vocally, this is the best performance that Gianluca has given throughout the week and it seems that the crowd is very much enjoying the performance. The camera work this evening is really good and he seems to be interacting extremely well with the audience. He walks onto the catwalk at the end of the performance where he meets up with the crowd and goes back to the main stage where he meets up with the rest of the band. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIQlInCH7ts

Bulgaria

Elitsa & Stoyan have taken to the stage and despite having previous experience at the Eurovision Song Contest where they had managed to finish in fifth place. Samo Championi is nothing but noise and the whole stage performance looks incredibly messy on screen. These have been described by many as an extremely long set of three minutes. It is rather unfortunate because they are quite talented. Bulgaria will not make it through to the final based on such a performance and the jury will not give it any points. The reason behind choosing this act was simple and that is qualification into the final but this isn't working at all!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGtr9XXrAjI

Iceland

Eythor Ingi is on the main stage and is wearing a completely black outfit which is definitely more suited to this performance rather than the white jacket which was seen earlier. This is a typical scandinavian ballad which imposes a typical outcry for stunning vocals. This is definitely well performed and should stand outy this evening. It receives an extremely loud applause in the hall as expected from a neighbouring country. This will be getting through to the final most likely because it is a ballad which elevates rather than go down or stay in the same manner. One note, remember Kuula, and vote for this tomorrow night!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD4syyNmoFo

Greece

Koza Mostra, a relatively popular band in both Cyprus and Greece have a lot of charisma on stage and despite this track being in Greek, it is coming across extremely well on screen. The fact that the lads are good looking definitely helps in terms of tele-voting tomorrow night. Those who will be going for a more modern track will most likely cast this vote for this one in terms of jury this evening. SKA is still very popular and the addition of Agathonas for the extremely traditional element. Greece will also be getting through to the final and might surprise many by creeping into the top ten.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28kHPyysLCI

Israel

It seems that there are a large number of Israeli in the venue this evening considering the large applause that it received at the starts of the performance. Everyone is bringing their A-Game to the show this evening and it is quite important because the jury will definitely award that quality. Moran Mazor is still in the black dress which has been slightly altered and bedazzled. She is joined on stage by two backing vocalists. The vocals are just incredible and this is definitely going to be the moment where people get goosebumps. Whoa! Impressive stuff indeed from Israel. This will sail through to the final!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MB3flioI-s

Armenia

The Dorians were selected to represent the Eastern country ahead of Sirusho and people were somewhat disappointed at this decision especially when the songs for the national final were unveiled. It has to be noted that his was indeed the best track from the show. The vocals are really good this evening as opposed to a mediocre performance this afternoon but nevertheless, that is not enough for this one to get through to the final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest. I believe that for the second time in a row, Armenia will be missing out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxhGjuEEnUI

Hungary

This has to be one of the simplest performances in this semi-final and following Armenia, one has to say that ByeAlex comes across as extremely talented. The song in itself has a lot of poise and the only issue that has been hindering it is surely the performer who has lacked the emotion or the personality but nevertheless, he might be seen as doing that on purpose. The team on stage enjoyed the performance. I can honestly see the juries going for this one but I am not too keen on the tele-voters although this was similar to the case last year. I am going to go on a limb and select Hungary as a qualifier. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m3XPhddPR8

Norway

Margaret Berger is one of the most popular acts in Norway and taking on the honour of representing the country is quite interesting especially because this is marking her return to the industry. The track, one of the most modern in the competition is very catchy and will surely garner the attention of both the publc and the jury voting this evening. Margaret is wearing a long white dress which is tight around the waist. This is looking extremely beautiful on screen and I cannot see Norway finishing lower than the top five at this stage. This is a definite qualifier by my standards.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3piNbE2GGf8

Albania

It seems that the kitchen sink has also been thrown into the Albanian performance considering that at the beginning of the song there is dry ice, pyrotechnics and fire coming out of the guitar. As has been mentioned on numerous occasions, this is a rock song and will definitely be getting that vote at the end of the evening. I am not sure that they will be picking up a lot of votes from the juries this evening though and that will definitely be a positive. The lads are wearing what seem to be dark outfits which are very much assimilated to the genre in itself. This is just dire in my opinion, my apologies but not my cup of tea at all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpVQIFBujA0

Georgia

Sophie & Nodi is very much looking like Ell & Nikki meets Chanee and N'Evergreen with a fusion between Running Scared and In a Moment Like This. They are clad in extremely formal outfits which is very much important for the general idea of this song. The vocals are perfect and the only really disappointing aspect is that they are trying to copy the performance of the aforementioned two songs to be honest. Having a pyrotechnic curtain is definitely copied. Nevertheless, Georgia made the right choice in going internal and this one is heading into the final with relative ease with a mid-table result. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7tYIjN6WpI

Switzerland

I might not agree with the choice of this entry for Switzerland. The logo on their shirts has apparently been removed in this performance following instructions by the European Broadcasting Union. This is still pretty much static and therefore does not give the cameramen a lot of hassle whilst making the viewers at home think that they're somewhat incapable of not moving. I just cannot see Switzerland getting through with such a performance. This is beyond disappointing and Switzerland will miss out tomorrow night and most likely finish towards the bottom. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04CZ1fWGoqA

Romania

Crazy! Dracula is seemingly on stage and well representing the culture of Romania because Cezar is wearing a large black cape and seems to be giving the public the feeling of Olivia Lewis or Aliona Moon. He is also joined on stage by three dancers whose choreography is unnecessary. The vocals itself are really strong and Cezar is definitely trying to garner the attention of the juries considering that he is literally playing about with his vocal chords. He is a great artist but this song is just going nowhere unfortunately. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-2l4-sngMQ

The Show (Part 2)

Petra Mede is back on stage following the seventeen performances and opens the tele-voting portion of the competition. A recap is currently being shown on screen for the people to make their selections. Malta has decided to select the last part of the song as the recap part in which all of the performers on the stage come together on the famous park bench. Am sure that tomorrow at this time, there will be many people on edge. Darin and Agnes are the interval acts for the second semi-final. A recap of the direct qualifiers is currently being shown on screen! Switzerland, Georgia, Greece, Malta, San Marino, Norway, Romania, Israel, Hungary, Finland are the 'FAKE' qualifiers.

Good Afternoon! Sixteen (16) countries which competed in the first semi-final last night learned their fate last night and unfortunately, six (6) of them had to be eliminated. Italy, Sweden, Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom had their second technical rehearsals earlier this morning and all went to plan, followed by a series of press conferences where each act apart from Sweden drew their allocation slot in the running order. The host nation had drawn number #16 in the weeks leading up to the competition and the producers will be creating the draw around them in order not to have genres clashing. This is the first of two dress rehearsals which are taking place during the course of the afternoon and into the late evening noting that seventeen (17) countries will be performing in front of a full hall. The international juries found in each country will be voting during the evening rehearsal. We would like to wish Malta the very best of luck!

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. Coverage of the second semi-final tomorrow eveing will be led by Antoine Farrugia, Senior Editor for escflashmalta alongside special guests; Davinia Pace who was the second runner-up at this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Christabelle, a four time consecutive winner of the Best Solo Artist at the Bay Music Awards. We are committed to bringing you all of the latest news as the day unfolds so make sure to continue visiting escflashmalta.com as Gianluca takes to the stage with Tomorrow.

Opening

The opening act of the second semi-final seems to be an awkward kind of choreography including people on bicycles and so forth. The music being played in the background is really wonderful to listen to nevertheless and suddenly, the Te Deum comes on and it seems that the audience is full this afternoon noting that all of the shows including such dress rehearsals were sold out. Petra Mede is currently on stage, and it seems that there are a number of technical difficulties with camera shots and lighting early on. Once more the script is somewhat concise and thus we move onto the performances.

Latvia

Wild! That is the first word that comes to mind as soon as PeR walk onto the stage with that high levels of energy. They are still wearing the silver jumpsuits that they have been dressed in during most of the rehearsals in the lead up to the show. The vocals for this one are just perfect because the track in itself involves a lot of shouting and jumping around. Mid-way through the song, they just walk on the cat-walk in random slow motion and then, one of them jumps in the audience. Latvia, the song that the public will like and that the jury will abhor. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxM3UhoYM3s

San Marino

Valentina Monetta takes to the stage for the second consecutive year and she is holding a shining crystal ball between her arms whilst wearing a large black cloak. Mid-way through the song, the tempo of the beautiful ballad changes in a Barbara Streisand manner and suddenly, it is a dance song with Valentina clad in a stunning red gown. She is joined on stage by two dancers and the choreography is kept simple. San Marino are yet to get through to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest but I am not sure that this will be getting through either. We'll see. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC3nQ2nPRwM

FYR Macedonia

Lozano, the male performer of this entry is going for a slightly younger look this afternoon having removed his glasses for the performance. Esma, the female who is accompanying him is wearing a huge red dress and suddenly, the public are on their feet in the hall. This is definitely the result of what happened last night, where none of the Ex-Yugoslav countries made it through to the final. I am not sure of the song in general because whilst it is quite good, I am not sure about the performance. This is translating well on screen but Esma is clearl ruining it. The accreditated media are clapping along and I could see this reaction tomorrow for reasons mentioned before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSjKexb0bJk

Azerbaijan

Farid Mammadov is said to be the most good looking guy of the competition and the staging for this one is relatively dark. He walks onto the stage and is extremely nervous noting that his vocals are suffering slightly. He is joined on stage by a dancer in a glass box. There is also a female dancer wearing a red gown who is dancing on the catwalk. The song itself, a modern ballad is sound brilliant in the beginning of the second semi-final especially in terms of quality. This is coming across beautifully and Azerbaijan will have no trouble of getting through to the final. He needs to keep his nerves down for the final. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqr8AosdTrQ

Finland

Krista Siegfrids is one of the craziest people to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. It is rather unfortunate that she did not have any vocals in the past couple of days but she has been affecting the public in general with her #DingDong routine. The vocals themselves are quite good although do sound a bit strained at times. The novelty factor of the song will definitely be felt for the first time viewers but nevertheless, people who have seen this on countless occasions will start seeing it as boring. Finland have thrown everything the kitchen sink in this performance. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS5kRcAURm0

Malta

Gianluca kicks off his rehearsal in brilliant vocals and it seems that his nerves are nowhere to be seen at the moment, which is definitely a good sign. He is wearing a white shirt, black waistcoat and dark orange chinos. The backdrop is still the lyric video created by Duane Laus. He is also joined on stage by two female backing vocalists; Louise Ann and Samaria Bezzina as well as Christopher Tate, Gabriel Cassar and Kenny D'Ugo. This was a really good rehearsal for Malta and the response in both the hall and the press centre is really positive. Gianluca will definitely up his game for this evenings' jury rehearsal if possible considering that he was great!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSrYk3ujYTA

Bulgaria

This is the second time that Elitsa & Stoyan are performing on the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest having already done the honours back in 2007. I do not believe that this is a better song than that one. The backdrop is a bit dark to be honest but nevertheless, the idea is to keep this traditional. The vocals are good but nevertheless, they are not getting across on screen it seems. Bulgaria is energetic and fun but I do not think that it adds to the positive quality of the competition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y75rKvOJkNI

Iceland

This is the most appealing entry in the mindset of Gianluca and indeed, this is a typical Scandinavian ballad which definitely has a strong climax towards the end of the performance. Eythor is wearing a black outfit and decided against the white blazer that he wore for the initial rehearsals. The vocals are just stunning and the pure emotion of the track is felt throughout. The upper registers gets an applause mid-way through the song and the male backing vocalists come through mid-way through the song to help him out vocally. The shots look brilliant and Iceland have managed to get everything in the manner that they wanted to. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMeTKHzHs6g

Greece

The word wild should have been a theme in this semi-final as the Greeks have also set the same standard seen by both Latvia and FYR Macedonia before. Koza Mostra are wearing kilts for this performance and are transmitting a lot of energy on stage. The music in itself is quite traditional and they are mixing this typical element with a SKA genre. The vocals are good and the people in the hall along with those in the press centre are enjoying this performance alot. It seems that Greece will be safe through to the final, if they can managed to keep up such energy levels until tomorrow night. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaB4Cbu0ZOI

Israel

Moran Mazor, clad in a black dress which has been bedazzled with a number of jewels in both appropariate and inappropriate places. This is a huge ballad, typical of Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest noting the success with entries in the noughties including Shiri Maimon in 2005. Moran is a competent performer and much better than Harel Skaat. She is aided by a pianist and two backing vocalists but nevertheless, her vocals definitely not require any help considering that she is stunning. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q0yPAkdKBs

Armenia

When one looks back at the national final, he could easily relate to how strong this performance has become despite the fact that the song in itself is nothing special. A mixture of pop/rock is the genre that very much represents this genre but I am not sure that the public would somewhat connect with this performance. The icon, Tony Iommi is a fantastic performer and he is the one who co-wrote the track. The camera shots are not coming across too well and technically speaking, a lot of work is required for this evening, the one in which the jury will be voting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVRc_3LpJtc

Hungary

ByeAlex is somewhat having difficulty showing his personality on screen and this is not a good sign considering that the public enjoy a smile every now and then. When this won the national selection, it was compared to the Maltese entry but nevertheless, the idea of the personality is not transpiring. The shots for this one are kept rather simple but look nice especially with the cartoon in the backdrop and the lighting being somewhat green. The vocals are good, nothing too outstanding. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTP54TP6udU

Norway

I must say that this is the first time that I feel totally indifferent to the Norwegian entry despite somewhat loving it when being chosen. Coming after Hungary, this seems to be lacking something but definitely not star quality. Margaret Berger is one of the most beautiful females in this years' competition and clad in that long white dress, she looks gorgeous! She is joined on stage by female backing vocalists who are doing the echos in the chorus. The shots are kept similar to the ones of the Melodi Grand Prix and this is looking good on screen. Norway will definitely not have any issues getting through to the final, as they will most likely be competing for a top five position. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUNw3txQpvQ

Albania

The most annoying entry to compete in the second semi-final but nevertheless, will be picking up a lot of votes by the end of the semi-final for their strategic positioning in the map and through the core rock vote. It has to be said, that on first listen, it was far more horrid that it has become and this is most likely because the public have become used to it. The pyrotechnics are definitely required for this performance considering the genre. I am indifferent to this one as well and if they get the Balkan Vote, they might qualify!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKbpQ1_8EhE

Georgia

Two of the most competent performers in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest take to the stage and one cannot really understand what is going on with the technical crew. The vocal performance on the other hand is really strong as expected. People are somewhat getting the vibes of Runnign Scared from Azerbaijan in 2011 when listening to this song and it is the case of somewhat copying their performance with the fire curtain and everything. Georgia will be sailing into the final and one has to agree that this is a much better song than the one that they had last year. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u12ixuehK4A

Switzerland

Static! In recent hours, there have been developments over the outfits that they are wearing because it seems that they are costumes used by other Salvation Army bands. The problematic shots seem to continue throughout unfortunately. The vocals of the group are good but the song cannot go wrong in terms of notes and there is no real difficulty involved. The people in the hall seemed to enjoy the performance. They are all wearing white on stage and that is something to signify purity most likely. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ob3LxjnIx0

Romania

This has to be the most awkward performance in the second semi-final in terms of both staging and just song quality. The general idea for those who are yet to hear this is that it features a mixture of pop and opera and used in the voice of soprano. Cezar is wearing a huge black cloak with an open torso to show to his female fans and he is also joined on stage by a number of dancers. The choreography is good and impressive but the whole idea of the song is not getting through to me. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M9Iix4eHDY

The Show (Part 2)

Well, all of the performances of the second semi-final have now taken place and Petra Mede is back on stage to open the tele-voting portion of the competition. A recap of all of the entries is shown on screen at the moment in order for the public to make up their minds. Remember that this is just a rehearsal for tomorrow night and that the audience in the hall is just made up of accredited media and children. Once more, there is a clip of the Eurovision Song Contest history with Petra Mede superimposed in performances. This will definitely prove to be intriguing for the viewers tomorrow night. The interval acts for this semi-final are none other than Darin and Agnes. They will both be performing a number of tracks each including the hit track Release Me by the latter. Another performance of the Big Five along with Sweden in recap form prior to the announcement of qualifiers. The fake qualifiers for the first semi-final are; Azerbaijan, Iceland, San Marino, FYR Macedonia, Latvia, Albania, Armenia, Hungary, Malta, Bulgaria.

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.

Greece

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh0Jofe3cPE

Israel

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slkxIzLeU88

Armenia

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!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZRvk3xPlFk

Hungary

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuBTSGzfO1o

Norway

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9ftmKkSsfs

Albania

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!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83-63jzXG2w

Georgia

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. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KRsawMVOSQ

Switzerland

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!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTarTtcYR_c

Romania

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. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9Yd_XtPQVg

Stano Simor from the Czech Republic, Sharon Vaughn from the United States and Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom represent diverse music scenes in their respective nations with their contributions duly noted across the year. Their aim in joining this feature is to see what lies beneath each track of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The first semi-final along with the three finalist countries voting there have long been concluded as we find ourselves within the middle section of the second semi-final. Attention turns to Albania whose broadcaster, RTSH has been drawn in slot number #14 with the producers thinking this position best. The song entitled Identitet is co-written by Bledar Sejko and Eda Sejko with vocals attributed to Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko.

Adrian Lulgjuraj (32) was raised in an Albanian family in Ulcinj, Montenegro. He loved Rock & Roll music since he was 13 years old. When he got his degree in law, at the age of 26, he dedicated more time to his passion – singing. He describes himself: “I do like my job as a lawyer, but when I am on stage, I feel like a beast, a different person, a Hulk.” In 2011 he published his first track called Te mori nje det at Top Fest 8 in Albania.With his second single Evoloj he won the award as “The best male artist” in Top Fest 9. Adrian worked as an assistant coach in the TV show The Voice of Albania, in the 2012-13 season. During his career he has has given many concerts in Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo and FYR Macedonia. 

Bledar Sejko (42) was born in Tirana, Albania. He started to sing and play guitar when he was 12 years old. It was his father who noticed his interest in guitar and thus Bledar started taking lessons at an early age. He was always attracted to rock music but in his young years, following this style was not always possible in communist Albania. In 1987, he first took part in an international music festival, in Turkey, as a guitarist. His first performance on TV was in 1989, when he won the second prize with Qeshu Rini in the Festivali i Këngës, which still serves as the Albanian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest today. He went on to participate also in the 1992, 1993, 2005 and 2007 editions of the competition. 1990 was the most difficult year for the Albanian people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0VBLZGMdKo

Bledar participated in the change of system, he was part of student movement in December 1990 that brought the fall of communism in Albania. But mostly he contributed in the music scene. 1990 was the year that he created his hard rock band Megahertz. In 1997 Bledar left Albania for Italy where he lived for six years. Bledar played more with traditional Italian bands as a guitar player and singer during this period. In 2011, he supported Aurela Gaçe as a backing artist in the Eurovision Song Contest, playing the guitar. This year, he will finally take the lead as an artist, together with Adrian Lulgjuraj. The Festivali I Kenges, the national selection in Albania has a historic element to it noting that it is also still conducted with the orchestra. 

This years' first runner-up was none other but Anjeza Shanini, the first Albanian representative at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004. Albania have an intriguing history at the international showcase with this year making their first decade. In nine (9) participations, the country has only not been in the final on three occasions, which reflects to one third so to speak but nevertheless, have only reached the top ten on two occasions, the first time being in 2004 with a track entitled The Image of You which managed seventh place and the second time being last year when Rona Nishliu took to the stage and belted out Suus, finishing in fifth place. This year, many are seeing Albania as a definite non-qualifier noting that the track is something which is not perceived as current. 

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 50%

Martin Isherwood: Hard to know where or what the chorus is. Didn’t get the lyrics due to my appalling language skills Interesting vocal sound to start but good strong voice when it gets going Great production - nice drums and strings Kicks off like Pride U2 Good rock song - doubt it's a winner though.

Sharon Vaughn: Exciting musical skills and track... better than the song itself!

Stano Simor: Rock-folklor song which could reach out to the public within the Balkan region. Lead vocal has old- fashioned feeling. The guitar solo could definitely been done better to fit the song because it seems to have just been thrown in there. I am not sure this track will have a wide following. 

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pf-ZCI-UuA

Published in Editorials

SVT, host broadcaster of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in conjunction with the European Broadcasting Union and the Reference Group have revealed their verdict with regards to the running order as decided by the producers of the showcase. This will be the very first time that the draw has not been done in a random manner but nevertheless, the countries were drawn into their respective semi-finals and also the first and second part of the running order based on the results of the allocation draw which took place earlier this year. The only draw that had to be done in a random order was that for the host country of Sweden so that the producers could not inflict it in any wrongdoing, and as a matter of fact, was drawn in sixteenth (16th) position within the final.

Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals provided by Gianluca on behalf of Malta was drawn to perform in slot number #6 noting that the country had been drawn in the first half of the second semi-final for the second  consecutive year with This Is The Night performed by Kurt Calleja having to start at slot number #4 last year. Yesterday, in an interview with our colleagues from Eurovision Ireland, it was revealed that Gianluca will be flying to Malmö, Sweden alongside the team that accompanied him on stage in Malta as well as his sister, Dorothy Bezzina who will be accompanying as a vocal coach. Marry Me by Krista Siegfrids will be performing prior to Malta on behalf of Finland whilst following us will be Samo Shampioni performed by Elitsa & Stoyan for Bulgaria. The full running order can also be seen below.

First Semi-Final (14th May)

  1. Austria
  2. Estonia
  3. Slovenia
  4. Croatia
  5. Denmark
  6. Russia
  7. Ukraine
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Montenegro
  10. Lithuania
  11. Belarus
  12. Moldova
  13. Ireland
  14. Cyprus
  15. Belgium
  16. Serbia

Second Semi-Final (16th May)

  1. Latvia
  2. San Marino
  3. F.Y.R. Macedonia
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Finland
  6. Malta
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Iceland
  9. Greece
  10. Israel
  11. Armenia
  12. Hungary
  13. Norway
  14. Albania
  15. Georgia
  16. Switzerland
  17. Romania
A brief look at the running orders for both the semi-finals, it seems that the European Broadcasting Union has indeed tried to seperate the genres of the competing entries as much as possible but nevertheless, it was quite difficult to do so within the first half of the first semi-final noting that there are several ballads. On the other hand, the second semi-final looks much more balanced. The slot which Kurt Calleja occupied last year in the second semi-final has been allocated to none other than Azerbaijan, hosts of last years' competition. It is also worth pointing out that Austria and Serbia will open and close the first semi-final with Latvia and Romania doing the same within the second semi-final. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available. 
 
Source: Eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAzmvBcUPuc
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 11:34

Albania: Official Music Video Published

During the years, Albania has somewhat kept the tradition to be the first to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, but nevertheless, it seems that December is becoming a hub of selection processes for the simple reason that countries would have time to give the track a complete overhaul. Albania got their best result last year with Suus performed by Rona Nishliu finishing in fourth place following a stupendous placing by the professional jury and an above average placing by the public at large. This time round they selected a rock track entitled Identitet performed by Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko.

In less than a week, all of the final versions with their respective preview videos will be submitted to the European Broadcasting Union and therefore the uploading will commence through the official channel of the competition on viral website, YouTube. Identitet has been kept in Albanian as thought before hand but nevertheless, it has been professional produced and the final product is just slightly different with more catchy elements in the chorus for example. Albania will be competing in the second half of the second semi-final alongside Tomorrow presented by Gianluca on behalf of Malta. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Eurovision.tv, esctoday (image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pf-ZCI-UuA

There have been a number of questions which have been seemingly addressed in the past couple of hours with the withdrawal of Saska Hunt and her entry Dress Rehearsal being replaced by Overrated performed by Marilena Gauci. It is important to note that both entries are composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg and therefore, the songwriters had to be relieved to know that they were still not going to miss an entry in the competition. In the past couple of hours, it seems that the preparations for the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest have continued due to the fact that whilst in Albania, the Public Broadcasting Services Chairman, Joseph Mizzi invited the Albanian representatives at the upcoming international showcase to the local selection show. It is unknown whether they have accepted or not at this stage although it could be the first of a number of guests.  In the past, reciprocity of jury and guests between countries took place quite freely.

The Festivali I Kenges took place last night and just finished beyond the stroke of midnight. The song quality seems to have improved over time but nevertheless, the mixed reactions over the winning entry are somewhat very apparent. The public in Albania have made their opinion known though and they are very happy about the choice of entry with their second favourite also finishing in second place noting that the winners were Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejkowith with the track Identitet with the first runner-up being the song Love performed by the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest representative; Anjeza Shanini. Details about the Malta Eurovision Song Contest are being released in small doses at the moment noting that preparations are taking place at a timely pace. The hosts along with the guests have not been revealed but it is widely expected that the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest representative from Malta; Kurt Calleja will be present to perform his entry along with a number of other hits. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: RTSH, escflashmalta.com, Joseph Mizzi (PBS)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqZixWuf2ns

Published in Local Music News

The saying goes that time refers to money and one hopes that this is not the case in the staging of the competition in Albania noting that the Festivali I Kenges is held in an extremely lengthy showcase featuring the best of local talent in terms of competition and even special guests apart from the addition of a former representative, maybe two and someone from foreign waters. Nevertheless, the quality of the entries in this years' competition was much higher than it has been in recent years and with the right track chosen by the judges, both foreign and local, they might be heading for another positive result. Just after midnight, the winner was revealed to be none other than Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejkowith the track Identitet and the first reactions from the media have been rather mixed due to the fact that the track is pop/rock influenced.

The result in Albania is only decided through a panel of judges which this year comprised of Nicole Caligore, Joseph Mizzi, Szilva Puspok, Sokol Shupo, Justina Aliaj, Zef Coba and Petrit Ymeri. The jury seemingly unanimous gave this track a huge lead and it is to be noted that the runner-up was actually Anjeza Shanini with the song Love so she was the closest to becoming a two time representative of Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest. I am not entirely convinced of the song that will represent the country because I thought it was one of the typically blank pop/rock entries that have been at the competition time and time again. It actually feels more like a song coming from Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia rather than Albania who has given the continent some great tunes. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest as soon as it becomes available.

Source: RTSH, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqZixWuf2ns

Saturday, 22 December 2012 19:05

Albania: Festivali I Kenges 51 - LIVE

The Festivali I Kenges is a showcase of Albanian talent in the vein of Sanremo and was first organised in 1962, just a couple of years following the beginning of the Eurovision Song Contest and has since played an extremely important role by virtue of discovering some of the leading talents in the country. Since their debut participation in the continental competition, they have used the Festivali I Kenges in order to garner more exposure and acclaim from the foreign media and this has since worked noting that their entries have a positive record, managing to make it through to the final on six out of nine occasions. This evening will mark the final of the 51st edition of the Albanian showcase and will be finding their next entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden.

Enkel Demi and Floriana Garo will be hosting the final of this years' edition of the Festivali I Kenges which will be shown on seven international broadcasts from within the Balkan area including Kosovo, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia as well as Albania. In the meantime, fans of the competition from outside the region have the opportunity to tune in this year by virtue of a webcast offered by the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest. The show is set to commence at around 20:30 CET and will comprise of seventeen acts in total following the disqualification of one entry earlier this evening due to apparent plagiarism. The running order for the evenings seems to have not been established thus far but do not fret because our coverage will keep you in sync. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us through our official Twitter account (@escflashmalta) where we will also be reporting.

The Show (Part 1)

The opening credits are finally being shown on screen following a long session of adverts. The theme song used for the Festivali I Kenges is really pleasant to listen to and it is the first piece of music in what seems to be a long evening ahead. We will be keeping you company so do not worry, you won't have to face the music alone. Floriana Garo is the first host on stage and she is wearing what seems to be an almost replica of what Amber won in the preselection video for Answer With Your Eyes last year and then, she introduces her co-host, Enkel Demi who is wearing a smart black suit. The hosts are currently introducing the orchestra, noting that this is the only competition used for the Eurovision Song Contest alongside Sanremo which still has live music. The jury is being revealed at the moment, remember that Malta is being represented by Public Broadcasting Services Chairman; Joseph Mizzi and now that they have been introduced, we can begin.

01. Adrian Bujupi – I çmendur për ty

The orchestra gets drumming away quite quickly as the stage turns into shades of green for the first performance which features a favourite, Adrian Bujupi. The song ranges fro mid to uptempo and one could easily get the vibe that this is a much stronger performance from the semi-final noting that he has kept his casual choice of attire going out in a casual shirt, leather jacket and beige trousers. The backing vocalists add a really nice touch to the performance and I must say that I found this as a very pleasant beginning.

02. Valon Shehu – Nuk do të ndal

The stage is relatively large and it seems like it has the idea of Sanremo behind it and as soon as this second performer opens his mouth, I am instantly reminded of Mark Tonna who has been in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on a number of occasions. The track is a middle of the road, pop/rock entry which is well aided by a number of string instruments. Valon is performing this impeccably and the fact that it slows down in the verses makes it a much more effective musical piece. Mid way through the performance, he excels in vocals with a guitar solo taking place in the background. This is a stunning entry and I wouldn't be surprised if it does well this evening, maybe even win.

03. Merland Kademi – Këtu fillon parajsa

I am actually very surprised at the amount of men in the Albanian selection considering that women seem to dominate the music scene internationally. Emotion seems to be the main element that could make this song successful and the performer is really bringing it to the stage. The vocal performance nevertheless is strained easily and the fact that he is singing with his eyes closed and making very weird expressions is not helping. The orchestra on the other hand is really performing the music beautifully because the rock ballad does build up well even though the verses feel much stronger than the chorus. This is not bad but definitely not a winner.

04. Kelly – Ylli im polar

This is relatively unexpected as I was expecting a woman to come out and perform this song but instead, a smartly dressed man who by the way is showing off a tattoo on his arm is performing this with a certain tinge to his vocal. Once more, as has been commented upon, this is a middle of the road type of pop/rock song which seems to go down with the crowd in Albania. This is the typical song which many expect in Sanremo. Translated into English, I believe that this could really sound brilliantly but I do not think that it will come out as the winner because whilst liked, the crowd will not go for this down of song for an international competition.

05. Rezarta Smaja – Ti?

The first female performer of the evening is seemingly quite advanced in terms of age but nevertheless, it shows that the veterans have strong vocals and maybe not a good fashion sense considering that she is wearing what seems to be a short dress which she deemed as unacceptable and thus added a veil to cover her legs. This is a pop/rock song and it being performed in the best possible way, the only element which I cannot fault. The orchestra is accompanying this in a remarkable manner and I cannot imagine this one finishing near the bottom because I believe that it could win. The key change is remarkably performed and I do not know what else to say, this is just brilliant!

BREAK

06. Kejsi Tola – S’jemi më atje

The 2009 Albanian representative at the Eurovision Song Contest is one of the favourites and she is back clad in a the lace black dress she used in the semi-final. The song is a simple rock ballad with a lot of emphasis on the vocal performance. When the songwriters wrote this, we are almost sure that it was with the performer in mind. As a matter of fact, the music is based on guitars and drums but nevertheless, there is a modern sound which gives it that extra edge. Kejsi is on fire this evening and her vocal is far stronger than it was in the semi-final and a shoe in to represent her country for the second time, being the only one who would manage the feat. That was an impeccable performance. Somehow, this entry also reminds me of the winning entry of Sanremo 2012, Non è L' Inferno but even stronger.

07. Lynx – Si ty askush

Well, Kejsi seems to have been blessed with her draw especially with such a boring performance following her in the form of a duo known as Lynx. This is not the first time that I have seen this group nevertheless, I do not remember being so boring if I am being honest. Once more, pop/rock seems to be the most popular genre of music in Albania because it seems to be dominant from the entries that managed to make it through to the final. The best part of this song is the key change with the guitar solo being fantastic but the song in general is absolutely dull and boring, in a final which has been quite surprisingly good thus far.

BREAK

08. Hersi Matmuja – Kush ta dha këtë emër?

I cannot help but laugh at the dress which seems to have been homemade in a traditional type of manner and nevertheless, the song itself is nowhere near being old fashioned as expected. The male vocal in the beginning and also at several stages is annoying and sounds really weird. Her vocal performance is good but I do not believe that this is the best type of track for her. The staging is changing colour from blue to red before becoming eventually purple. The presentation is good but this is such a disappointing entry considering the strong performances and tracks that have come before.

09. Rosela Gjylbegu – Dëshirë

I really like the piano in the beginning of a song and it seems that Anna Tatangelo has become Albanian because the resemblance is striking. Rosela is wearing a silver dress, very reminiscent of that worn by Jessica Muscat in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year. This is a simple ballad which unfortunately relies on some lower notes which seem to be pretty much in-existent  I was expected this one to evolve slowly but it kept a really slow tempo which did not really bode well for the strength of the vocal performance. The female backing vocalists had a really tough job to keep the harmonies going. It is a well enough performance and entry but just not for an international competition. 

10. Flaka Krelani – Tek ti në shpirt

Another one of the favourites prior to the revelation of the songs is Flaka. She is wearing a black dress with silver should pads. This very much seems to be a piano ballad but I cannot help but notice that the vocal performance is just not up to scratch from the very beginning and that Flaka was not comfortably but following the first minute, she picked it up nicely and with the help of just one backing vocal, this sounds really nice. The smoke is really a nice effect to the performance. Flaka is a popular rock singer in Albania and many see this entry as a total surprise. The vocals in the bridge are astonishing and I am clapping as soon as I finish this sentence. This could also be the entry for Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest.

11. Vesa Luma – S’jam perfekt

This has to be the weirdest outfit of the evening along with the most peculiar start to the song. She is wearing what seems to be a tablecloth in the form of a nineteenth century dress attached to black lace. The performer, a woman of course is singing a rock song and orchestrating the most ridiculous choreography of the evening. The cameras just cannot keep her still and just head into a long shot at one point because it is just difficult to track her down. This is just plain awkward, and it looks like the singer is trying to seduce people, maybe the jury? It is definitely not working.

BREAK

12. Anjeza Shahini – Love

Anjeza Shanini is an icon and her participation is quite intriguing because she honestly looks much better than she did back in 2004 when she represented her country in their first participation. This is one of the songs that sounds absolutely international and it already has the English song-title in the form of Love. Having heard the performance last night, I must say that this has greatly improved already and it shows that she would like to do well. The drummer is really enjoying his performance and he does add a lot to that strong chorus. This is a strong entry although I am not entirely of the arrangement at times. Still, should this win, it will be arranged. It is reminding me of a song yet I just cannot wrap my finger around it.

13. Adrian Lulgjuraj &  Bledar Sejko – Identitet

Another rock song and it seems to have been brought forth by people within the Osborne family especially with the lead guitarist strangely looking like his body double. One of the weaker songs in this national final but it has to be noted that there this song is quite special because of the several traditional elements that it seems to have included. The vocal performance is as good as one does expect from a rock entry but it seems that the traditional element brings about a slight pop feel. I just do not get this song and I just cannot see this winning.

14. Bojken Lako – Lot… Jetë? Dashuri

It seems that the fourteenth performer is paying homage to a popular being and his vocal is instantly giving him off as a rock performer. The stage is quickly bathed in blue and black with smoke coming out from below him. There is no connection with the camera as Bojken decides to rather put his focus in an emotional performance. The addition of a male backing vocalist for this song doesn't work because it sounds like someone has just died unfortunately. Nevertheless, this is not bad at all although will never catch anyone's attention at the Eurovision Song Contest because it is just too bland and would instantly be forgettable. 

15. Selami Kolonja – Ku je?

One of the older participants in this years' competition and as expected, an emotional ballad with a stage bathed in blue and red lights, a slight touch of white. The piano being used is also white and I must say, I absolutely love the music. Surprisingly enough, this doesn't sound new, and even funnier, the singers' looks are very reminiscent of Tor Endresen who had represented Norway with San Francisco. I must say that the vocal performance is impeccable though but nevertheless, this is another entry that would really be lost at the Eurovision Song Contest because it does not have that extra dash of oomph which a song requires.
 
16. Dr Flori & Fabi – Jam ti!

The penultimate song of the evening is actually a hip hop type of entry, and this is surely weird coming from Albania which is known for the typical pop/rock genre. This is actually refreshing for what has come at the end of the evening. The vocals are spot on and it seems that the addition of some slight pop also works very well. Montenegro are already sending a hip/hop, rapping duo though and thus it would not be the best solution to have two facing each other. The attire chosen might be a little too smart for this performance but not bad indeed.
 
17. Xheni & Enxhi Kumrija – Arti i një fundi

The final song of the evening is upon us and for the Maltese following this evening, I am sure that the music is being compared to that by the group Winter Moods. The female duo also bring about a different type of sound than what has been heard in the final this evening. The verse is really mellow and easy going but the chorus is strong and has a rock touch. Still, the vocals work well together and the song is coming across as really good on stage. I am not sure about a possible participation in the Eurovision Song Contest but I do not discount them from the running, a possible top five finish especially after a run of dull entries.
 
The Show (Part 2)
 
The performances have just come to an end and the jury are seemingly discussing with one of the greenroom hosts to see what the buzz on the social media outlet, Twitter currently is with regards to the presented entries. A recap of the entries is currently being shown on screen for fans and the audience because this even is completely based on jury votes. A commercial break lies come up next and these tend to be quite long in Albania. History is playing a role this evening noting that former clips of the competition from the sixties is brought on the screen, most probably the very first edition. The interval is still ongoing and a result is not expected in quite some time. We get a medley of performances from the eleventh edition of the Festivali I Kenges now. The hosts are back on stage following that intriguing rendition of tracks. The 2011 winners of the Eurovision Song Contest; Ell and Nikki are now on stage performing what seems to be a brand new track entitled Priceless before performing Running Scared, the track that won them the competition.
 
As expected, hear comes Rona Nishliu with the song Suus which finished in fifth place at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. A performance of the song but this time, in English! The hosts return on stage as Rona gets a massive applause and we get a message from the supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand. A tenor has just come out on stage for a performance as well. Might as well throw in the kitchen sink within this evenings' selection process because it seems that everyone in the country is performing. The judges are finally revealing their votes and therefore, the winner should be revealed in due course.
 
Judge 1: 12 points - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet
Judge 2: 12 points - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet
Judge 3: 12 points - Flaka Krelani – Tek ti në shpirt
Judge 4: 12 points - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet
Judge 5: 12 points - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet
Judge 6: 12 points - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet
Judge 7: 12 points - Flaka Krelani – Tek ti në shpirt
Saturday, 22 December 2012 01:30

Albania: Festivali I Kenges Finalists Known

Anjeza Shanini was the very first representative for Albania almost a decade ago and things have progressed quite swiftly for the nation at the Eurovision Song Contest noting that they have managed to make it through to the final of the competition a total of six times, making them reasonably successful. Their most recent entry bearing the name Suus by Rona Nishliu finished in fifth place bettering their debut result achieved with the track The Image of You. Following their success, there seems to be expecting by RTSH to manage yet another positive result and some of the tracks presented in this edition of the Festivali I Kenges are actually quite strong and thus, with the right arrangement, success could be in the bag once more. Following two evenings of semi-finals, the finalists have been selected.

A couple of days back, it was revealed by the Albanian broadcaster; RTSH that the final result will be decided through tele-voting and a panel of judges, out of which three will be foreign and another four will be local. Amongst the jury there is also none other than the Public Broadcasting Services Chairman; Joseph Mizzi who brings in a wealth of experience through journalism and having accompanied the Maltese delegation for the past two years whilst looking forward to another year. Amongst the performers in this years' edition of the Festivali I Kenges, there are acts such as Anjeza Shanini who was mentioned above and has already represented Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest as well as Kejsi Tola, a former representative from 2009 whose Carry Me In Your Dreams finished in seventeenth place. The final of this years' edition will be taking place this evening as from 20:30 CET and will be streamed live on ESCTV. The editorial board of escflashmalta.com will be covering the event LIVE so stay tuned.

  • Selami Kolonja - Ku Je?
  • Rosela Gjylbegu - Dëshirë
  • Kejsi Tola - S'jemi Më Atje
  • Vesa Luma - S'jam Perfekt
  • Dr.Flori & Fabi - Jam Ti!
  • Merland Kademi - Këtu Fillon Parajsa
  • Rezarta Smaja - Ti...
  • Ardian Bujupi - I Çmendur Pas Teje
  • Xhejn & Enxhi Kumrija - Arti I Një Fundi
  • Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko - Identiet
  • Hersi Matmuja - Kush Ta Dha Këtë Emër
  • LNYX - Si Ty Askush
  • Anjeza Shahini - Love
  • Kelly - Ylli Im Polar
  • Bojken Lako - Lotë? Jetë? Dashuri?
  • Valon Shehu - Nuk Do Të Ndal
  • Ani Çuedari - Më Ler Një Ëndërr
  • Flaka Krelani - Tek Ti Në Shpirt

Source: RTSH, Eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=671tCjePT3w

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