June 24, 2019

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The European Broadcasting Union has been pretty adamant about putting off rumours of a mass withdrawal from the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and therefore succumbed to releasing the list of participating nations quite early due to the international media coverage which might have had a negative impact on the competition especially noting that Malmö is making several adjustments in order to accommodate a different type of show than what many have seen in recent years. The financial situation around the continent has not been a help and three of the four withdrawals; Bosnia & Herzegovina, Portugal and Slovakia have singled out this decision as the factor behind their pulling out with Turkey on the other hand believing that the recent amendments of the regulations at the event have somewhat put them in a disadvantaged position hence their disappointing results.

The Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest at the European Broadcasting Union, Jon Ola Sand is quite upbeat about the number of participating countries believing that despite the economic situation, public broadcasters are very much committed to the traditional element that the contest has created over time. In fact, since the semi-final system was introduced back in 2004, there have always been between 36 and 43 participating nations and the 39 that will take part in 2013 are similar to the amount that took part in 2010 when the competition was also held in a Scandinavian nation with Oslo, the capital city of Norway playing the role of host. Losing three countries to economic reasons was quite disappointing but nevertheless, Sand is quite 'surprised' by the decision of Turkey noting that they 'never formally objected' the rules as regulations which were brought in back in 2009, a year in which Turkey finished in fourth place.

  • Albania (RTSH)
  • Austria (ORF)
  • Armenia (AMPTV)
  • Belarus (Ictimai TV)
  • Belarus (BTRC)
  • Belgium (RTBF)
  • Bulgaria (BNT)
  • Croatia (HRT)
  • Cyprus (CyBC)
  • Denmark (DR)
  • Estonia (ERR)
  • Finland (YLE)
  • France (France 3)
  • Georgia (GPB)
  • Germany (NDR)
  • Greece (ERT)
  • Hungary (MTV)
  • Iceland (RÚV)
  • Ireland (RTÉ)
  • Israel (IBA)
  • Italy (RAI)
  • Latvia (LTV)
  • Lithuania (LRT)
  • FYR Macedonia (MKRTV)
  • Malta (PBS)
  • Moldova (TRM)
  • Montenegro (RTCG)
  • The Netherlands (TROS)
  • Norway (NRK)
  • Romania (TVR)
  • Russia (C1R)
  • San Marino (SMTV)
  • Serbia (RTS)
  • Slovenia (RTV SLO)
  • Spain (TVE)
  • Sweden (SVT)
  • Switzerland (SRG SSR)
  • Ukraine (NTU)
  • United Kingdom (BBC)

As you can see, the leading European broadcasters including the Big Five featuring; the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain and Italy return for yet another competition noting that their results are improving especially with regards to three in particular. Some countries have already revealed their entries noting that national finals have already taken place in Belarus, Switzerland, Belgium and Lithuania whilst artists have been chosen for The Netherlands, Spain and Montenegro. Despite less countries than last year, the song quality thus far looks to be quite intriguing and this could be a strong edition for the Eurovision Song Contest with Sweden surely organising it to the best ability and letting it known that whoever did not want to participate would have missed out on a great opportunity. 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=Pfo-8z86x80

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 14:15

Albania: Malta Represented in Panel of Judges

Albania has become known to support tradition and therefore, the return of the Festivali I Kenges is surely one of the main elements which has been known to keep the music industry in the nation together. Earlier this year, thanks to Rona Nishliu and her track Suus, Albania reached the final of the Eurovision Song Contest and also finished in an impressive fourth place. They are hoping to improve their record as they move into the 2013 edition of the continental showcase and are thus introducing a foreign element in terms of both special guests and jury. It was revealed that during the semi-final, the special guests will be Compact Disco who represented Hungary earlier this year whilst in the second semi-final, the special guests will be none other than Hari Mata Hari who took to the stage on behalf of Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2006, finishing in third place. In the final, 2011 Eurovision Song Contest winners; Ell & Nikki will also be present.

The Festivali I Kenges is being organised for the 51st Year and RTSH is making sure that everything takes place in the best possible way. There are a number of favourites including former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Kejsi Tola and Anjeza Shanini as well as Flaka Krelani amongst others. The international jury members in this years' pre-selection process include the Italian Head of Delegation; Nicola Caligore who was also a judge during the 2012 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, the Head of Delegation of Hungary; Szilva Puspok and last but not least, the Chairman of the Public Broadcasting Services from our very own Malta being Joseph Mizzi who brings about wealth of experience having accompanied our delegation from 2011 onwards seeing to qualification of Kurt Calleja and his entry This Is The Night earlier this year. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as well as our live coverage of the Festivali I Kenges Final which takes place on Saturday Night.

Source: RTSH

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeBL2UHhyEc

Saturday, 01 December 2012 19:01

JESC 2012: Ukraine Crowned Winners

Good Evening! Welcome to the 2012 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest which is being hosted in Amsterdam, the capital city of The Netherlands. This is actually the second time that the nation is hosting the event having even taken up the responsibility back in 2007 when the group Cute had represented Malta with the track Music. The competition has changed quite a while since then though noting that from seventeen participants, the European Broadcasting Union has managed to lure a total of twelve (12) ultimately keeping the dream for several young artists alive. The quality of the songs is quite good from what the editorial team has heard based on the studio versions but the dynamic will surely change this evening during the live performances of each of the respective nations.

The Public Broadcasting Services, the only member in the European Broadcasting Union had the rights to compete in the event but ultimately withdrew following our participation in 2010 in order to ensure that there was more financial support towards the senior edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Nevertheless, our coverage continues and we have with us this evening, the last individual who flew the flag for Malta, that being Nicole Azzopardi whose song Knock Knock .. Boom Boom! remains a significant part of the local heritage. This evenings' show which you could follow on the official website, is being hosted by Ewout Genemans and Kim-Lian van der Meij within the Heineken Music Hall and it seems that the host broadcaster; AVRO will be putting on a spectacular showcase. 

LIVE

Intriguing opening for this years' Junior Eurovision Song Contest as the European Broadcasting Union is giving the people what it means to prepare for the big day whilst keeping to showing the people in the hall and their enthusiasm. This does indeed seem like the most organised  showcase for young children in recent years. In the meantime, just a couple of minutes left before we actually commence. Compliments to the host broadcaster on astonishing graphics and a brilliant theme song for this years' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The opening act has just begun and it seems to feature several teenagers playing the drums. Once more, spectacular lighting as the children break out into an electronic dance creating a visual spectacle and well, as expected, the winning entry of the last Eurovision Song Contest, Euphoria is being played.

http://www.junioreurovision.tv/page/videos?id=69863

Each nation is introduced by virtue of a Good Evening in their respective language. Suddenly, someone is performing Euphoria and it seems to be none other than Rachel, last years' runner-up of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Despite the fact that she did not win, The Netherlands ended up winning the bid to host. The hosts come onto the stage from beneath and receive a huge reaction from the present audience in the hall which is ecstatic. Kim-Liam is wearing a sparkling block of ice, or so it seems whilst Ewout is wearing a black shirt and a silver jacket complimenting her perfectly. The tele-voting process is being explained and it is noted that Kids Rights will benefit of each call and therefore, people will support a great cause this evening. We are also going to post the preview videos as received by the European Broadcasting Union earlier this year.

Belarus

Marc: Egor is wearing a white outfit and he is joined on stage by four dancers, a male and three females and it is to be noted that the first note is extremely off key but nevertheless the music is quite interesting featuring elements of pop, dance, and jazz at times. The visuals for this track are featuring water and bubbles but you manage to keep an eye on the staging for the simple reason that the choreography is really catchy. Not a bad start, but definitely not the best entry to come from Belarus!

Nicole: I must say that it was indeed a very spectacular show and i really enjoyed watching and listening to the track even though I believe there were things which needed to be improved.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec36Hf45Ujk

Sweden

Marc: The first ballad of this evening is on and Lova looks absolutely stunning this evening, seemingly representing what is left of Scandinavia in this competition. She is wearing a pink, silver outfit and is joined on stage by two female backing vocalists. The female performer has a very beautiful vocal and they are managing to capture all the essence of the track through the camera shots. The song unfortunately is slightly boring if I am being honest and does not really go anywhere. It needed that oomph and unfortunately, it just never came about.

Nicole: Lova Sonnebro has a very beautiful voice actually and this is a track with a lovely beginning. The vocals continue in a mellow manner making this somewhat stand out from the first.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4XaRZYRrEs
 
Azerbaijan

Marc: The very first entry from Azerbaijan and everything has somewhat been painted in red and white and very reminiscent of our performance from Junior Swing. The boy and girl that were internally selected are really astonishing together and have great chemistry. I cannot understand most of the lyrics they are performing but nevertheless, I just want to stand up and dance along. The choreography is tight and works well. The vocals are spot on and this is definitely the best track to be presented thus far and I do think that it would be amongst the top three at the end of the evening. 
 
Nicole: original, powerful and up-beat, of course my favourite kind of music! the backing vocals are strong and the choreography is amazing, really suits the song!
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siJVWdPlEiY
 
Belgium
 
Marc: The second western country of the evening and it seems that he has plenty of support in the arena from Belgium's neighbouring country. Fabian is wearing a red outfit, very fashionable actually and its joined on stage by three dancers carrying out magic tricks and a drummer. The vocal performance is good but nothing home to write about. Mid-way through the performance, everyone is seemingly playing an instrument except for Fabian. The shots this year are stunning and they are capturing the essence of each performance, making the outcome intriguing. Following the bridge, Fabian makes use of the short catwalk and the spirit of the Junior Eurovision is alive. A good performance.
 
Nicole: Really enjoyed their appearance the colour red really caught my eye very stylish, and also the entertainment they did, very original! the vocals were not bad I think the key was low for his voice but never mind the show was great !
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnTy6XgZcOA
 
Russia
 
Marc: Lerika has already been to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest having represented Moldova but nevertheless, she is back with a far better song this time round. She starts on the catwalk and presents a stunning effect. She is joined on stage by an all female crew of dancers and the backdrop is depicting a huge speaker. I am seriously impressed with the choreography and the improvement that this song has gone through since the selection. Russia are the favourites this evening and I think that they will be fighting with Azerbaijan for a position within the top three.
 
Nicole: This song is great, she has a really strong voice, very capable of both singing and dancing! She really seems to be enjoying herself up there! for me it was breathtaking!
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUNNZr5omUg
 
Israel
 
Marc: The sixth entry of the evening, and we are already half way through. Israel are debuting this evening and they have chosen the type of song which I absolutely adore. Hebrew is a beautiful language and they feature five female artists along with one male artist. The choreography is just perfect and towards the end, the boy does come forward and they are using re verb to create more of an operatic voice. This does indeed work well and it is coming across extremely well on camera. The audience in the hall is really enjoying this and I believe that despite being a top three contender, they will not win because I think it was slightly stronger in rehearsal.
 
Nicole: Oh my! They are very cute! It was a surprise for me the music changed from ballad to dance. the vocals are good.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilekzL1eOk8
 
Albania
 
Marc: Well, another country which is appearing at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The female artist is clad in a black ballet sort of dress which is extremely in fashion at the moment. This track begins in a jazz format and does evolve in a dance manner. The vocals are good but they are not spectacular nevertheless, this song has undergone a lot of changes it seems since winning the national selection because it has become very international. The use of the guitar mid-way through is really good and I must say, that I am growing to like it. The performance is kept simple with the singer going round the stage and making full use of it.
 
Nicole: Pretty young lady, she was able to handle everything by herself, although alone on stage, she gave a good show, and her voice was great too !
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALqCQAS6Ri8
 
Armenia
 
Marc: This has to be one of the worst songs to ever grace the stage of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and what seems to be quite weird is that they seem to be a younger version of the Belarussian representatives at this years' Eurovision Song Contest. The way that the language is performed is actually sounding off-key but I cannot be too sure that they are or aren't if I am being honest. The staging is well planned but they are trying to look and sound older than they should be. This is definitely not my cup of tea but what I did like was the guitar solo.
 
Nicole: Very good-looking! love their style of music. I love it, really exquisite and their voices suites the song. I liked it.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wSeLaXCwWs
 
Ukraine

Marc: Throughout the week, there has been a lot of talk with regards to this little girls' vocals from my friends and colleagues who were covering the event in depth and it seems that they were quite right because at her age, she does indeed reach some inexplainable amount of notes. The staging is impressive with clouds behind her adding to the drama of the chosen outfit. She is alone on stage and leaves me speechless. The camera work, slowing down at key moments in the key chance is stunning. I am impressed, that was amazing! I just could not find anything else to write because this was perfect.
 
Nicole: Although she's young her voice is amazing! she knows the techniques. don't know why but I liked the background animation! she was gorgeous
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLQlk-S-CWo
 
Georgia
 
Marc: Georgia have been relatively successful at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and once more, they have decided to select a silly entry which makes much more sense musically than most of their tracks. The vocal performance is really strong and the boy does add to the performance with that little bit of beat boxing every now and then. Their weird choice of attire comes across as very cool. The addition of English lyrics in this years' entries is sounding very good because one could understand what the song does mean. The performance is really good and this should finish in the higher places tonight and surprise!
 
Nicole: As always they are the best in the originality! Bewitching music, really superb scenery, splendid work with the voices and also with their clothes really trendy!
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dWFV25ANbk
 
Moldova

Marc: Another track which I have really grown to like by virtue of the performances given this week and in fact, Denis is on stage clad in white and is joined by male and female backing dancers. What makes this song stand out amongst the others is that it has a catch chorus which one would easily start humming along instantly. The vocals are strong although, I think the excitement got to him a bit at certain points in the performance. Nevertheless, this was a stunning rendition.

Nicole: Really well organised team, the flags at the end were nice, very neat clothing and good voice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axDL2Q8nk0s

The Netherlands

Marc: It is always difficult to perform in front of your home crowd but nevertheless, it does seem relatively obvious that she is performing on her own soil because the camera work and the staging is just fantastic. Femke is wearing clothes appropriate for her age and is joined by four female dancers. Her vocal needs to be toned down a bit at times and it seems to be that nerves are getting to get at times. The song itself is refreshing and sounds like a true gem in the rough. The Netherlands were close to victory last year and it seems that they could actually be amongst the contenders this evening. She did lose her breathe towards the end and it did become a little bit of a screaming match but I still believe that the song itself deserve merit.

Nicole: Very catchy and inspiring song. the voice is good, i liked the clocks on the floor but if the backing vocals were a bit louder i think it would have sounded stronger

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

The Show (Part 2)
 
The hosts are back on stage and they open the tele-voting portion which will amount to 50% of the final vote this evening with the other 50% being given to the juries whose decision was made during the evening dress rehearsal yesterday. Sietse Bakker, the supervisor for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest says that the result is quite exciting and until we get to the close of the tele-voting, we are getting some interval act performances, the first coming from all of the participants of the evening as they perform the song We Could Be Heroes for Kids Rights, the charity which will benefit this evenings' tele-voting.
 
A second recap of the performances of the evening is being shown as the tele-voting portion of the competition is coming to an end. In celebration of the tenth anniversary, performances from the previous winners are being shown on stage. Former winner; Ralf with the song Click Clack is the second interval act of the evening and it seems that the young performer of three years ago is quickly becoming a teen noticeable growing quite a lot. Following the first result of the International Kids Jury, Kim-Lian is back on stage to perform the theme song of this years' Junior Eurovision Song Contest entitled Break The Ice. Well a feature of all the finalists going round The Netherlands follows.
 
Results
 
International Kids Jury: 12 points go to Georgia
Belarus: 12 points go to Ukraine
Sweden: 12 points go to Ukraine
Azerbaijan: 12 points go to Albania
Belgium: 12 points go to Ukraine
Russia: 12 points go to Ukraine
Israel: 12 points go to Ukraine
Albania: 12 points go to Sweden
Armenia: 12 points go to Ukraine
Ukraine: 12 points go to Armenia
Moldova: 12 points go to Ukraine
The Netherlands: 12 points go to Ukraine
Georgia: 12 points go to Armenia

Winner
 
Ukraine - 123 points
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jvC2F_AjtI
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 16:05

JESC 2012: The Final Night on Saturday

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest was a flagship production of the European Broadcasting Union back in 2003 with the hope of creating a competition similar to the adult showcase produced each year for the younger generation and it seemed like things had succeeded before broadcasters started noting that the costs were slightly too high with the rating going down year on year. The buzz around the junior event was not the same and this is surely noted by the amount of journalists that tend to cover the event. Nevertheless, the team of Radio International based in The Netherlands will be covering this years' event taking place in the Heineken Music Hall within Amsterdam, the capital of the aforementioned nation. In fact, the focus of the programme tomorrow will be the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and the twelve participating nations. Unfortunately for the second year running, Malta has decided not to take part in the event with the funds previous used to compete, being put into the participation within the senior edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The official website of Radio International will as always be transmitting the show between 20:00 and 23:00 CET tomorrow evening unless you live in The Netherlands where you could listen in on 106.4 FM or Digital Cable 41. The competing nations in this years' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest which will be staged on Saturday are Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Georgia, Israel, Moldova, The Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine respectively. These have been presented in alphabetical order. Members of the Team of Radio International will be present at the event and conduct interviews with the young artists which you can hear during the shows around the day of the competition itself. Listeners during the show could also request their respective favourite entries from the past editions of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest during this weeks' edition of Radio International. Nevertheless, there is going to be a number of features tomorrow evening including the spotlight on Sweden due to the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest and of course, the weekly quiz with the chance to win some fantastic prizes. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news with regards to the Eurovision Song Contest and the local music scene as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Team of Radio International

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBgam0d9A5g

Thursday, 01 November 2012 17:32

Albania: Twenty-Six Artists Shortlisted for FIK

One of the more recent countries in the Eurovision Song Contest is surely Albania having debuted in the competition back in 2004 with a sublime performance to the song The Image of You by Anjeza Shanini which up to a couple of months ago was the best performance to date by virtue of finishing in seventh place having qualified in fourth place respectively. Rona Nishliu and her dark figure to the stage in Baku, Azerbaijan to perform the haunting Suus which attracted votes from all over the continent before finally finishing in fifth place having qualified from the semi-final in a runner-up position. It seems that the interest in the Festivali I Kenges was relatively high this year due to the fact that they managed to achieve a sterling result last year and have been doing quite well as of late managing to qualify in four of the past five years. The Albanian broadcaster; RTSH revealed the twenty artists shortlisted for the upcoming edition.

Competing in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden was a must for a nation which achieved their best result ever and from the list of artists that have submitted interest this time round, one could easily realize that there is a strong selection process ahead. The semi-finals will be staged on the 20th and the 21st December with the final taking place a day later on the 22nd December. The list as one could also note has two former representatives in the vein of Kejsi Tola who went for Albania in 2009 with Carry Me In Your Dreams and also Anjeza Shanini who did the honours in 2004. Another intriguing name is that of Kosovo born artist; Ardian Bujupi who was the runner-up in the German Idol competition back in 2011. You can view the full list of competing artists below and we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

  1. Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko
  2. Adrian Bujupi
  3. Ani Çuedari
  4. Anjeza Shahini 
  5. Arjan Dredhasi
  6. Arjela Krasniqi
  7. Bojken Lako
  8. Bon Bon Band
  9. Dr. Flori & Fabi
  10. Elis Nova
  11. Entela Zhula
  12. Flaka Krelani
  13. Grupi ‘Na’
  14. Hersi Matmuja
  15. Kejsi Tola
  16. Kelly
  17. Kozma Dushi
  18. Lynx
  19. Marsela Çibukaj
  20. Merland Kademi
  21. Rezarta Smaja
  22. Rosela Gjylbegu
  23. Selami Kolonja
  24. Valon Shehu
  25. Vesa Luma
  26. Xheni & Enxhi Kumrija

Source: RTSH, AP

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeBL2UHhyEc

In the past couple of years, there has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Junior Eurovision Song Contest due to the fact that several countries were seeing it as a showcase in which expenditure was too demanding for the respective broadcasters hence why the number of participants has been going down year after year but nevertheless, the European Broadcasting Union appointed Sietse Bakker to help helm a supposed overhaul to the event with the possibly of getting some of the previous nations in the fray whilst managing to convince new ones to join the competition and submit interest to the event whose viewing figures have not been astonishing positive but neither have they been terribly negative, lying somewhere in between. This years' competition which is taking place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands features three brand new countries actually meaning that negotiations for the future of the competition are well working.

All of the three countries are also participants in the senior Eurovision Song Contest in fact, these being none other than Albania who just achieved their best result in the continental event, Azerbaijan who has just hosted the competition and three time winner Israel who always have a flair for promoting talent. There has also been a lot of talk with regards to the quality of the entries in the event, many stating that despite the additional resources pulled in to acquire three new countries, the quality has gone down a notch but nevertheless, do not fret because all of you will surely have a favourite in the bunch. During the official Heads of Delegation meeting held this morning were the draw for the running order took place, all of the songs were presented although Azerbaijan will need to be doing some editing to ensure that 75% of the lyrics are actually in Azeri and the rest could remain in English. This is the final running order and clicking on them will open the official preview videos as submitted to the European Broadcasting Union.

01. Belarus

02. Sweden

03. Azerbaijan

04. Belgium

05. Russia

06. Israel

07. Albania

08. Armenia

09. Ukraine

10. Georgia

11. Moldova

12. The Netherlands

Amongst the innovations that have been submitted and accepted it seems that there will be a thirteenth voter during the evening, made up of children, each representing a competing nation meaning that twelve children in total whose votes will be counted together to form a typical vote as submitted by each of the other countries. In the meantime, the split vote featuring 50% Jury and 50% Tele-Voting will also be in play as is the case for the senior Eurovision Song Contest. Last years' edition of the competition was won by Georgia with the track Candy Music which was performed by the group Candy whilst in second place was Rachel for The Netherlands who performed Teenager. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest updates from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 which despite the fact that Malta will not be competing, we will still be covering with the help of two guest commentators which will be revealed in due time on our Facebook Page

Source: Junior Eurovision Official Website

Friday, 20 July 2012 14:30

Albania: RTSH Open Submission Period

Next years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be staged in Malmo, Sweden and several countries have already confirmed their participation within the esteemed music event including Albania whose broadcaster, RTSH is coming off their best result in the competition thus far thanks to a fifth place finish by Rona Nishliu and her track Suus. In an recent interview, the Albanian Head of Delegation went on record stating that next year as has been the case, no foreign songwriters will be eligible to submit with all of the songs received in the next couple of weeks, reviewed separately on the 17th October.

The Festivali I Kenges has been the selection method for Albania since their debut in 2004 when Anjeza Shanini had done the honours with The Image of You. It is normally the second national final of the year following the one held in Switzerland. People have also become accustomed to the song having a number of changes implemented due to the fact that it would not satisfy the requirement of the European Broadcasting Union. The next edition will be held in the Pallati I Kongreseve in Tirana and following Rona will definitely be a difficult task indeed. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news in the weeks to come. 
 
Source: RTSH

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeBL2UHhyEc

Rona Nishliu, the Albanian representative in the Eurovision Song Contest last week in Baku, has won the majority of the votes (829) and was announced as the winner of the Barbara Dex Award, followed by Ireland’s duo, Jedward and Bulgaria’s Sofi Marinova. 

If someone has never heard of this award, here’s the gist of it; the annual price for the worst dressed artist in the contest. This award was in fact named after the 1993 Belgian representative, Barbara Dex. This year’s award, saw a record-breaking number of votes. A total of 2,851 valid votes were cast. According to The House of Eurovision, organisers of the award, Rona Nishliu emerged as a clear favourite to lift the trophy from the beginning of the voting. Her blue and black dress and donut-shaped hairdo was the first choice for 829 voters. Well, she kind of was willing to win this award with that ‘scary’ and ‘ambiguous’ so called costume!

The Irish duo are once again runner ups for this award for the second consecutive time. Yes, infact, last year, they were also placed in second place. This year, they gained 551, whilst the rest, 232. Were gained by the Bulgarian representative, Sofi Marinova. Below you can see the top ten of this year’s edition of the Barbara Dex Award:

01. Albania – Rona Nishliu (829)

02. Ireland – Jedward (551)

03. Bulgaria – Sofi Marinova (232)

04. The Netherlands – Joan Franka (163)

05. Ukraine – Gaitana (145)

06. Denmark – Soluna Samay (82)

07. Turkey – Can Bonomo (76)

08. Sweden – Loreen (66)

09. Bosnia & Herzegovina – Maya Sar (62)

10. San Marino – Valentina Monetta (62)

Source: Eurovision House

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

In the past couple of years there had been somewhat of a surge of winning countries from the western world but Azerbaijan decided to change that trend when they finished as the winners with the track Running Scared performed by Ell & Nikki but then again, it was not to last long noting that the results of the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest decided to crown Sweden with their entry Euphoria performed by Loreen meaning that for the third time in four years, a country from the western side of the continent will be hosting the annual event to the positive outcome of many who believe that things are somewhat more easily accessible when dealing with people who find it quite easier to speak in English with somewhat of a freehand but nevertheless, we will be taking a closer look at the results as announced by the respective spokespersons in each country.

This evening saw the Russian Grannies finish in second place despite the fact that in the past three years, the country has not managed a top ten despite many people noting that Russia is a country with a lot of neighbours and has always done well. The same goes for the second runner-up as Serbia's Zeljko Joksimovic along with his song Nije Ljubav Stvar managed to overcome recent history such as the non-qualification on 2009 and then the mid-table results of 2010 and 2011 noting that the ex-Yugoslavian block was not enough to garner them the required support which have been speaking about. One of the most interesting and unexpected results surely came from Albania whose Rona Nishliu and her powerful vocal rendition of Suus saw her finish in fifth place, the best ever result from the country following their seventh place as achieved by Anjeza Shanini during their debut way back in 2004 with the track The Image of You. The country had even failed to qualify last year despite sending forth one of their most popular performers. Other countries which managed to finish in the top ten for the first time in two years were none other than Turkey who were represented by Can Bonomo and his song Love Me Back and also Estonia with their entry Kuula performed by Ott Lepland. Both countries had done badly in 2011 with the latter finishing in last place and the former not even qualifying to the final for the very first time in a long time. One other country which had done badly in the past seven years but also returned to the top ten was Spain whose Pastora Soler finished in tenth place with the song Quedatè Conmingo (Stay With Me)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfo-8z86x80

Then there are those countries whose fortunes seemed to have vanished into thin air or either fell by the wayside despite being seen as possible winners supposedly. Amongst these were none other than Italy who seem to have placed the highest out of those songs which were tipped as the front runners this evening. Nina Zilli was representing the country with the song L'Amore è Femmina (Out of Love) and despite a masterful performance, she only managed ninth place despite being my personal favourite and also fourth with the bookmakers. Nevertheless, the biggest fail of the evening was the fifth place with the bookmakers being none other than the United Kingdom as Engelbert Humperdinck and his song Love Will Set You Free could only garner twelve points to finish in twenty-fifth position spared only by Norway whose Tooji could not manage to get the votes with only charm and looks for his performance of Stay. Another huge disappointment surely comes for Greece whose entrant Eleftheria Eleftheriou could only conjure seventeenth place for her rendition of Aphrodisiac meaning that the Hellas nation found their way out of the top ten for the first time since 2003 when Mando had performed the track Never Let You Go which had also finished in seventeenth position.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0kGpDEvtbQ

In the meantime, other countries entered the final for the very first time in years including none other than Malta whose Kurt Calleja and his band along with their track This Is The Night failed to enthrall Europe during the final with a performance that was not as ecstatic as it was during the semi-final which I rate as one of the best performances of our country since we started participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. There was a missing element in the performance and that showed quite a lot unfortunately because Kurt himself was not smiling and decided to change the notes near the end. Nevertheless, it was a proud moment to see Malta competing in the final and even better the result achieved by Chiara with What If We back in 2009 by a mere place and also ten points actually. Azerbaijan really fell in love with the Maltese entry this year noting their eight points. The FYR Macedonia also returned to the final for the very first since 2007 and it was quite a positive experience because their biggest star, Kaliopi reached twelfth place with Crno I Belo making it their most successful entry in the Eurovision Song Contest thus far tied with the result achieved by Elena Risteska for the beautiful entry Ninanajna way back in 2006.

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

In the meantime, despite the very positive outcome of Sweden by virtue of now becoming the third tied country to win the most editions of the Eurovision Song Contest joining the United Kingdom and Luxembourg, the Scandinavian countries suffered one of the worst results in years unfortunately noting that Norway have continued to add to their tally of last place finishes as Tooji and his song Stay only managed to get seven points in total therefore making this their eleventh time to finish in last place. Denmark did not fare too much better actually noting that they had been in last place for quite some time but then somewhat managed to pick up twenty one points in order to finish in a relatively better twenty-third position having finished in fourth and fifth place in the past two years. We believe that Soluna Samay Should've Known Better than compete with such a song. Despite the hype, Iceland did not manage to do so well either failing to win enough points to improve on last years' result finishing in twentieth position with Never Forget performed by Greta Salome & Jonsi. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZaxIY1VAbM

Published in Editorials

The lead up to the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has surely been one of the most significant ones in recent years especially due to the fact that there is a lot of national interest with Malta competing in the finals for the very first time since 2009 when Chiara had taken to the stage for the third time leading her to achieve her lowest showing in the competition. Nevertheless, this evening might be about change because there has been a lot of talk in recent hours that Malta might actually be the country to look out for during the voting with betting odds shortening and improving putting up into a better mid-table position at this stage. At the end of the day, passing the first hurdle has already been a tough cookie to crack and tonight, we are sure that Kurt Calleja and the rest of his band will definitely give the best performances of their entry This Is The Night.

 

Good Evening Europe! Welcome to this years' Eurovision Song Contest brought to you from Baku, Azerbaijan. It has been quite an exhilarating competition this year noting that we have taken you throughout the two weeks with the best possible coverage noting that our team has always been on the alert to make sure that you are updated with the latest interviews, predictions and other tidbits. This evening is going to be special because escflashmalta.com will be leading you throughout the competition with four commentators, the first one being none other than former Junior Eurovision Song Contest representative Sophie who last year made her debut in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Swedish songwriter Magnus Kaxe who has written tracks for the likes of Celine Dion and Clay Aiken amongst others, Local recording artist and Bay Radio charting sensation Christabelle who has also tried to represent Malta in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in the past and of course, Marc Calleja Bayliss, our very own Chief Editor.

The Show (Part 1)

Many people are somewhat gasping at how good the opening of this years' Eurovision Song Contest it and it does feature a lot of traditional elements with drums, flutes and everything traditional and it is the strongest that this could actually be. Once more, we listen to the reigning winning entry of the Eurovision Song Contest as Ell & Nikki take to the stage with the song Running Scared. The female hosts are clad in white dresses and are on their own due to the fact that Ell had just been performed. In the meantime, a video clip of the arena being built is also being shown on screens. 

LIVE

United Kingdom

Sophie: A very simple song and performance! The style is a bit old fashioned for me, but I'm sure people will warm to it! It's a lovely little ballad, but will everyone remember it after 25 more songs, probably not.

Magnus Kaxe: Nice track and Engelbert sings really great! The chorus is amazing! Though the ending wasn't that good. But all in all, a good performance.

Christabelle: Not my fav song but my predictions are that he will do well because he has a huge fan base .. Love the melody of the song though.

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Engelbert Humperdinck is the first act of the evening and he is clad in black attire as he has been throughout all of the rehearsals this week. Despite his old age, he seems to be holding well onto his vocals singing clearly and distinctively/. He is joined on stage by a guitarist and also a couple who are dancing a mixture of waltz and ballet. I must say that I am impressed with his rendition this evening and the people are definitely enjoying this because they are really getting into the performance. Unfortunately I still cannot see this in the top ten because he murdered the song during the Jury Rehearsal and will definitely not hit the top ten but that was a good opener.

Hungary

Sophie: This song sounds like something I've heard before, It's not very original.. Could tonight be Hungary's night, I'm not too sure! Also the diction isn't very clear, would have liked to understand the words more, but at least it's in English!

Magnus Kaxe: Electro vibes - in my taste. :) Unfortunately the singers voice is a little bit weak. Power production, love the bass and kick drum. Good punch! One of my favourites.

Christabelle: Loved this song in the semifinal Aswell!!! Great interpretation but it's not a Eurovision song in my opinion but it's one great track still.

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Well there has been a change in costume from the semi-final with an orange and black leather jacket. This is the most modern track in the competition and would definitely be played on the radio wherever actually. The vocals today are unfortunately very much over the place and it seems that the dreaded number #2 position has hit once more. This was one of those songs that has been stated to have been saved by the jury but I must say that they might have not made the right choice. A very poor performance of what was in my opinion a very good song.

Albania

Sophie: Not too sure about the snake-like hair round her neck! This song is a bit too much for me, it starts off so lovely and peaceful and then goes down hill in the chorus as it's a bit too shouty for my liking! But most people think shouting is good singing, so this will probably do well, it's pretty memorable!

Magnus Kaxe: Cool singer. She reminds a littke bit of Björk. The song is beautiful and has advanced buildup. Demanding to sing. The melody range must at least over 2 and half octaves. The longer higher notes were unfortunately not that nice to hear...saldy enough.

Christabelle: What a great voice! I wish that I could understand what she s saying hehe but I guess I have to just look at her and her snake around her neck.

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Rona has to be one of the most decadent performers in this years' Eurovision Song Contest as she brings to the stage powerhouse vocals as she has always done within each and every performance. The early draw though is definitely not helping and I just cannot imagine this finishing in the top three even though she will most likely finish in the left hand side of the scoreboard. The stage is bathed in black, white and red for most of the performance and she has been saving up her voice as much as possible throughout the day to make sure that she gives a stellar performance. Well done Albania, you should be proud of that performance.

Lithuania

Sophie: A good vocal performance from Donny however he isn't as strong as he was in the semi-finals, he's actually going off pitch on a couple of notes! Very musical theatre in the beginning then changes to a more funky beat! Liked the song on the whole, however his nerves got the better of him.

Magnus Kaxe: This is just silly. Don't understand this ridiculous "song" at all. Love is blind and I wish I was deaf. At least for these three loooooooong boring minutes. Hope it gets zero points tonight.

Christabelle: What's up with the blind fold hehehe I know it's meant to be love is blind but hehe.. The song is quite good and he has a great voice ... The only thing I don't like about him are his dance moves hahha

Marc Calleja Bayliss: This had to be one of the surprise qualifiers during the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest and wearing a black suit with a white shirt and a black glittery blindfold, he takes to the stage and performs what seems to be a ballad earlier on but then mid-way through the performance he changed the tempo completely and turns this into a dance song. His beautiful eyes might be distracting for some but tonight I am definitely listening to his voice crack unfortunately which is quite disappointing. I do not think that this will do well this evening.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Sophie: Such a beautifully sung ballad by Maya, her voice is so pure and has a lovely tone to it! The setting on stage is also really outstanding! The only thing I don't like is that she stops playing the piano at the end however the piano in the track keeps going... But a good performance on the whole.

Magnus Kaxe: I love these kinds of songs. Not a typical Eurovision song. The arrangement and production is huge. She sings beautifully. Unfortunately I don't think the song will get that many votes tonight. I keep my fingers crossed that i will though! It deserves to be in the top ten. Easily.

Christabelle: Again I wish she was singing in English!!! She has such a beautiful voice :) loveee the dress!!! And her hair too! :) this is a great ballad! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Honestly enough, when this song was previewed for the very first time, I believe that it would be a contender for this years' competition but then again, things changed and this song somewhat became slightly boring at times and this is due to the fact that one cannot understand the lyrics. The stage is completely black in the beginning but changes to red and blue to show what seems to be a sunset like atmosphere. The vocal performance is stunning as always and the wind machine effect in the end is just beautiful. Could this surprise this evening or will it be forgotten? We will see!

Russia

Sophie: I absolutely adore these women, I'm not sure if the beginning is supposed to sound off tune, but makes the rest of the song seem even better! Such a feel good song and performance, I can't get over how cute they are! This will probably do really well.

Magnus Kaxe: In opposite to many I don't find this amusing at all. Suddenly there's a cirus on stage. It has nothing to do with talent or professionalism at all. The old women are cute. That's all.

Christabelle: So simple!! Love russia this year.. Their voices aren't as strong as the others but it is a really catchy song!!! I won't be surprised if this song will be the winner the nannas are too cute!! Party people, come on and dance!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: There we go, the first real contender for the evening is Russia as their lovely grannies take to the stage. The vocal performance does not really need to be flawless but I believe that they are doing the best that they can. The performance is just lovely and the colour scheme featuring blue, red, yellow and green looks so great on stage. The people in the hall have gone crazy and everyone is up on their seats and dancing away with the ladies. Mid-way through the song they just start mumbling in Russian and then, here come the freshly baked goods. This is just amazing and will be one of the songs to beat.

Iceland

Sophie: This is quite a strong song, however I feel that something is missing! Greta & Jonsi's harmonies are perfectly pitched, and I love the violin break, but the song doesn't really go anywhere, it just has a couple of nice moments, but that's it!

Magnus Kaxe: A touch of scandinavian and irish folk tune. Song sounds to be good song, especially the chours. But i'm not convinced by the singers and their perfomance. Boring. Easy to forget.

Christabelle: Loved their voices in the first semi final. Loving the fact that she uses the violin :)

Marc Calleja Bayliss: This is one of the most successful songs in Malta apparently being bought through the digital iTunes store and here they are this evening clad in black attire in a musical like atmosphere. It seems that Jonsi has managed to bring out the very best vocal this evening noting that the beginning was pitch perfect and then when Greta joins, it is just beautiful. I mean this melodramatic ballad has always been tipped to do well and I believe that Iceland will be making their return back into the top ten this year having last been there with Yohanna in 2009. Well done!

Cyprus

Sophie: Love the staging of this! The dancers are outstanding.. The vocal performance is really strong considering the amount of energy Ivi is putting into the dance movements! Such a typical infectious Eurovision song, very memorable, and energectic! I'll be surprised if this doesn't place high tonight.

Magnus Kaxe: Yeah! This is going to be the big summer hit this year! The beach bars in Malta and Ibiza will play thison repeat. Simple, effecient and a tempting sing-along chorus. On my personal top three list tonight!

Christabelle:  Cyprus was my favorite song from the first semi final . I think it's very similar to Greece though! Another Helena paparizou in my opinion but this is one of my favorites for sure!!! Such a catchy song too!!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: The beginning of the song is much better than it was during the semi-final and it seems that Ivi has patched up a lot of elements which were not working then to make them work this evening. The backdrop does feature a lot of architecture and the colour scheme is mostly blue, white and grey. The choreography for this one is just superb and one of the elements that she is mostly using is her sex appeal but mid-way through the performance she seems to have lost her voice but hey, she just starts to ramble something to get the people going. This is a good performance though and Cyprus might be getting their best result in ages because she also got a very huge applause. 

France

Sophie: Anggun's voice is a bit shakey, it's probably due to nerves, however she pulled it off nicely! Very original having gymnastics in the rountine, loved the costume too (maybe she should have covered her pants a bit more) hehe..

Magnus Kaxe: Whistle! Good song. Like the chord progression. Nice synth sounds with a 80's touch. Unfortunately too anonymous to make a lasting impression tonight. It's a tough competition!

Christabelle: Anngun has a very distinctive voice! She s 40 years old omg!!! I can't believe it what a great body! Love the whole concept of the song! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: The performance of France was always going to be extremely eye catching especially due to the fact that she is joined on stage by a pair of backing vocalists and also three gymnasts who carry out what seems to be a very elaborate choreography, maybe promoting the Olympics. Anggun in the meantime is wearing a silver, golden dress with a train and she is carried on the stage at times. Her vocals are flat almost through the performance and why has to remember that she is a star in her native Indonesia and adopted France. This will not do well this evening.

Italy

Sophie: Love the style of this song, you wouldn't expect this sort of song for the Italian entry.. But I think it will do well, just think she could have done with a couple of male dancers around her like on her music video and it would have made me love it even more.

Magnus Kaxe: Has Amy Winehouse risen from the dead? No, but her musical heritage has come alive again. Is it as as good as Amy? No... Good, but a really strange harmonic modulation from the verse into the chorus. But I believe is going to well tonight. In its own genre it stands out. People will notice. And remember when the recap of all the tracks comes. I believe it's going to be in the top five.

Christabelle: What a fantastic song!!! Italians never disappoint!!! Great jazz tune!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Well Nina Zilli is definitely rocking the stage this evening with a beautiful silver dress and that Ammy Winehouse type of hairstyle. The mixture of English and Italian does work well and she is definitely toying with the track at times in order to show just how strong she is vocally. She is joined on stage by three backing vocalists who just carry out their part exceptionally well. This is just an incredible performance and I do still believe that Italy can pull off the victory this evening. She interacts with the crowd well, what a performance!

Estonia

Sophie: Wish I could understand the words to this song, I would imagine it to be a love song! The vocal delivery is really good and strong. Very simple staging, but a song as strong as this doesn't need anything fancy going on.. Hope it is memorable enough for people to vote for after they've heard all the songs!

Magnus Kaxe: So what's the name is song? Yes I heard it. Approx a million times. Kula kula kula kula. Nicely written tune. But so so so so slooooooooow.... No. Doesn't work for me.

Christabelle: Great voice!!! but all I can understand is Kuula :) and he's easy on the eye too!! Such a simple performance just showcasing his wonderful voice.. I wonder what kula means in his language 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Time and time again, I have said that this is the performance that I voted for within our semi-final and I have maintained my stance that it is a beautiful entry, a charming ballad which is performed extremely well by a performer who is well known in his native country. He is still clad in the same outfit he had during the semi-final and of course, the complimentary vocals of the backing is just stunning. He is definitely enjoying this performance on stage and will most likely see a lot of votes from the jury coming forward this evening. I am not sure this will appeal to the tele-voters though.  

Norway

Sophie: Such a great, catchy song! Makes me want to get up and dance along, the whole thing is staged perfectly! He's a very good mover and keeps his vocal at a good level while bouncing around the stage. Hope this one does well!

Magnus Kaxe: Wow is Eric Saade back for Sweden this year again?! No, it's a Norwegian copycat. Tooji. Trying to be modern with a Ben Benessi synth sound. And some arabic rymth sounds. But this was modern...five years ago. The chorus is simple and Simplicity is good if it's done in a good way. But this is not good. But the dancing is tempting and the track will probably get a lot votes tonight. But not from me.

Christabelle: Stay Norway !!! How cool !!! He doesn't have an amazing voice but wow what a performance and what confidence on stage! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: So you think you can sing? I am not so sure because Tooji is definitely not performing well this evening starting off on a very bad note and does not really recover. The colour scheme is a mixture of orange, red and yellow and this does look very well on the cameras. He is joined on stage by four dancers, two of which are male and two of which are female. The choreography is extremely tight and does look very good on the screens but many people are comparing the song to the one of Sweden last year. The difference is that he could actually perform well! Quite the disappointing performance on the whole. 

Azerbaijan

Sophie: Wow! What a strong ballad, Sabina has such a great voice.. Her diction isn't perfect, but that's understandable as English is probably not her first language! I think this would have been better without backing vocals, frankly she didn't really need them! Staging was beautiful!

Magnus Kaxe: Love the the piano arpeggio in the background. Predictable song that definately won't give Azerbajan a victory this year. But maybe that's the purpose - not too win. It's a very expensive happening to arrange for the winner country.

Christabelle: Sabina is one beautiful girl! She has a beautiful voice!!! And wow look at her dress !! She really deserves to be there she has the whole package! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Azerbaijan are hosting this years' edition and they will surely be receiving a lot of support this evening because Sabina Babayeva who is clad in a beautiful outfit which changes colour according to the backdrop is joined by a well known Azeri performer and also three backing vocalists. She is performing a very melodramatic ballad which will surely go down well across the board with a number of countries. This is just a beautiful performance and I am almost convinced that this will make the top give this evening. Huge applause in the hall and it seems that everyone is enjoying this entry. A huge well done to Azerbaijan for this evenings' showcase and for this performance. 

Romania

Sophie: I love this song! It's so catchy and fun! Love the 'band' in white, they make the song so lively! Mandinga's vocals are much better tonight, this song reminds me of Shakira's 'Waka Waka' song, in a good way! I really hope people love this song as much as I do, and vote for it..

Magnus Kaxe: Next summer hit makes an entrance. Love the beat. Accordion used in a clever way Chorus fits well with the production. This is going to one of the top tracks tonight.

Christabelle: Loving the fact that she included orange in her colour scheme! In the semi final she had some technical difficulties so she was playing with her microphone and ear set but she makes up for it with such a great Eurovision song!! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Huge applause from the crowd for Romania as Elena Ionescu takes to the stage clad in a short red dress with just minor black touches. She is joined on stage by the rest of the members of the group Mandinga and is clearly enjoying her performance but it seems that this has not been her week following trouble with her earpiece during the first semi-final and then also forgetting a line during the jury dress rehearsal. This evening despite trying to give her all, I believe that the vocals were very much off key throughout most of the performance and what is really making this song special is the backdrop and the shots. I still believe that they could scrape a top ten performance though. 

Denmark

Sophie: Love the style of this song, it's not very Eurovision, so I'm doubtful how well it will do! It's a very pleasant song, and quite catchy too.. I remembered it from the semi-finals, so that's a good thing.

Magnus Kaxe: The singer reminds a little bit of Alanis Morisette. Though the song isn't even close to be an Alanis track. Though it doesn't mean that this is bad. Effecient chorus. Though I would love to have heard more varity in the song composition and production. Becomes boring after a while.

Christabelle: She is so cool!!!! Love the sailor hat!!! And she is an inspiration to all her country ... I love her and her unique voice! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Soluna Samay is back on stage and this was also one of the acts which was very much successful with the Maltese followers noting that it managed to climb up to number #3 in the local iTunes charts. The track in itself is very middle of the road as has been quite successful for Denmark in recent years but I do not believe that this track will really be setting the scoreboard on fire as they have done in the past two years. It seems that Soluna Samay also started on a very bad note by being out of breathe and it has not improved actually.

Greece

Sophie: Another high enegry performance, don't really understand what message this song is trying to put across, and the singer is a bit over the top with her movements and facial expressions, but otherwise I quite like it! Another catchy one, should do well.

Magnus Kaxe: A typical song from Greece. Heard it thousand times before. In comperence to similar tracks from Romania and Cyprus this is falls out of my interest. And the singers don't manage to sing it...mostly out of tune.

Christabelle: She's making all the boys go crazy no wonder everyone is saying what a gorgeous figure she has! Greece always send fantastic songs to the final :) great tune! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: I must say that the traditional Greek element in the beginning is still just wonderful and clad in the same white, red, and black sparkling dress which does wonders for her body, she performs the song with some style. There had been talk that she could not really carry this song live but it seems that despite having much stronger vocals, she is still using her sex appeal to get some more extra votes. The choreography is very traditional and they have really thrown everything into this performance. Greece will have yet another top ten result at the end of the evening.

Sweden

Sophie: This is one of the favourites, you can tell by the reaction of the audience! I love the song, it's quite 'David Guetta' style. What's interesting is that you would expect a completely different performance to what Loreen is giving, but it totally works... It's very out of the ordinary, love it!

Magnus Kaxe: Now it's time for my native country Sweden! This is by far the best track has sent to Eurovision in years! This is suggestive, tempting and sensual at the same time. Ok, I'm Swedish but this is my favourite track this year. By far. I hope the rest of Europe sees the same what I'm seeing. And hearing.

Christabelle: I have no words for the Swedish song except Simply AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: The strobe lights in the beginning of the performance are still there and what a beautiful start by Loreen who performs this pop/dance number to the best possible this evening. The backdrop for this one is kept completely black actually with the lighting being a mixture of purple and blue. I must say that she has gone from strength to strength during the rehearsals but this evening is definitely her best performance to date. Vocally, she is just brilliant and I believe that this will be the song to beat this evening especially after such an an exceptional performance.

Turkey

Sophie: This is a very different song, do not know how well it will be recieved. Personally it's not really for me, but that's just my opinion! He looks like quite a fun guy, and his personality comes out through his performance, but that's as far as it goes!

Magnus Kaxe: Now we are sailing out on the seven seas. Silly stage show. I like the balkan beat and vibe of the track but the guy sings with terrible English pronunciation. And what a vibrato he has! Though the audience seems to be cheering a lot. Maybe they see and hear something I'm missing.

Christabelle: Not my fav but everyone loves it ! I love the pirate theme and the song is catchy but not my fav.. He's a fantastic performer though!!! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Huge applause from the people in hall as expected considering that Turkey and Azerbaijan are very close neighbours. Can Bonomo is wearing a leather jacket, a striped shirt and matching pants. He is joined on stage by a set of men who are clad very similar to him. The backdrop is one of the most intriguing featuring a cartoon based seascape. The vocals this evening are as good as they have been all week and the choreography is exceptionally strong but what makes this song special is the very endearing camera work which seems to have been personally tailored very closely. This will be one of the tracks to look out for this evening and will surprise. 

Spain

Sophie: Another strong ballad! Love the dress, not too sure on the harsh eye make up and pulled back hair, it's a bit too much for such a pure song! Would love to hear the English version, as I would be able to connect with it much more, but this song builds nicely to a great climax at the end. Should do very well!

Magnus Kaxe: So what has happened? This sounds amazing! So beautiful! Builds slowly and majestic in background. The spanish words sings great with the Celine Dion-ish melody.Together with Serbia and Bosnia this is the best ballads this year. Top five!

Christabelle:  What a goddess!!! Her voice is simply amazing and I love this song!! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Pastora Soler is clad in a white floor length gown and she is wearing her hair in an up style. She decides to front the stage on her own this evening or rather during the beginning of the song. This is a beautiful ballad which has been getting a lot of attention in the past couple of days. The staging of the song is kept rather simple with simple blue lighting in terms of spotlights on the performance. The vocals are just stunning and despite the reports that she has been asked not to win this years' competition,  it seems that she might actually do especially considering that she gave two great performances both this evening and also last night. She is joined by a choir of backing vocals towards the end of the performance this might just be the one to beat.

Germany

Sophie: Love this one! Roman delivers this song perfectly, it's got 'Cold Play' written all over it! Really suits his voice, one of my favourites..

Magnus Kaxe: Time for the country where I'm living for the moment. Germany! First of all - lose that hat! A Ronan Keating look-a-like. A typical british song that works well on radio. Unfortunately I've heard it a million times before and this version is not one of the best.

Christabelle: Germany!!! One of the top contenders this year! Stunning man stunning voice excellent song! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Roman Lob looks very much like a bad boy actually with that tattoo on his chest and he is as always clad in casual attire and also a hat which has become somewhat his signature. The vocals this evening are off key almost at the very start and this is quite a disappointing performance from someone who had been receiving a lot of attention in the lead up to tonight. The staging is also kept very simple throughout with just a band present on stage but then again the lights are just wonderful and he does interact well with the camera-work. He does manage to pick it up near the end though and it seems that it could actually do well tonight. I do have a clue.

Malta

 

Sophie: Great performance by Kurt and the Malta crew, lots of energy and really got the crowd going! Not sure if he should have changed his improvisation at the end, prefered it on the semi-finals.. So happy to finally have Malta back in the final! Great job guys!

Magnus Kaxe: You have a really good song this! Kurt makes a great job with his charisma, great vocals and funny, tempting dance. :) I keeping my fingers crossed! Should be in the  top ten.

Christabelle: This was another great performance from Kurt and his team! Well Done!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: There has been a lot of buzz for the Maltese entry in the past couple of hours actually and it seems that this is a dark horse to do well this evening with a thumping beat which clearly makes Germany forgettable. It seems that he has decided to change a number of aspects in the vocal performance including the falsetto which has vanished during the performance. One has to add that it was a good performance but I believe that he could have even done better but nevertheless, that was just amazing and it is great to have Malta back in the finals. 

FYR Macedonia

Sophie: This a rather random song, featuring lots of different styles! Although it is placed towards the end I don't think it's got that special something to urge people to vote for it. Not for me I'm afraid

Magnus Kaxe: Great song. But I have a really hard time to hear it beacause of the bad vocals. And the production is terrible. Can't believe this made it to the finals! Just as Lithuania this should  have zero points.

Christabelle: At first I thought she was hoarse but now I realized that she has such a unique voice!!! Such a cool tone in her voice!! And I love the song too.

Marc Calleja Bayliss: This was a remarkable performance from Kaliopi this evening because she used heart and emotion to make sure that FYR Macedonia would get hear and made sure to impress her country once more this evening. 

Ireland

Sophie: Aaaah Jedward! Didn't like these boys to begin with but they've grown on me, and I love them now! Such a fun song, another catchy one! Love the fountain, and the ending is awesome! Their energy and movements are amazing, loved their performance.. Well done boys!

Magnus Kaxe: Typicalwritten  song from Sweden that you could hear ten years ago. Predictable and  boring. Last years' song was much better!

Christabelle: They're great performance, their voices aren't so strong but love the song and the whole staging and concept!! I can't believe they wet their hair!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Jedward have already represented Ireland last year where they managed to achieve to achieve a very strong position by managing eighth place. This year, they have decided to return with a fountain on stage and an even stronger song. It seems that they have decided to drop their entry by just a couple of keys but this is sounding very strong nevertheless. Mid-way through the performance, they enter the fountain and have some great shots on them from the cameras. I must say that this evening has not really been the evening for everyone but this will definitely be in the top ten as their fans will be calling like crazy.

Serbia

Sophie: This song begins so peaceful, the music sounds like a something out of Mulan! Such a strong male vocal, really confident.. I wouldn't usually like something like this but it was a great performance.

Magnus Kaxe: The longest intro tonight. 45 seconds! Beautiful song with echos from The Lord Of The Rings. I'm happy to hear the song sung in the Serbian language. The singer is doing a great job! Top five!

Christabelle: Serbia. Beautiful voice. Though, wish he were performing in English.

Marc Calleja Bayliss: The late draw is definitely helping Serbia secure a top placing this evening and this will be the song to rack up a lot of votes from the Balkan block actually. The initial instrumental is too beautiful and as soon as he opens his mouth, he just calms the individual down and makes one want to listen. The lighting during this song is just wonderful and it works so well with the performance. The vocals this evening are just wonderful and I honestly believe that we might be going to Serbia next year.

Ukraine

Sophie: This song is a bit puzzling for me, I love the music and melody to this song however the lyrics don't make much sense to me! They're a bit repetative! Sounds really similar to Kelly Rowland's 'When Love Takes Over', but I like the presentation over all.

Magnus Kaxe: Chord progression stolen from David Guetta's "When the love takes over". Sounds like a cheap copy of that track. The melody of the song is anonymous with no flow. And the singer mostly screams.

Christabelle: Great way to end the evening! Loving this performance! Makes me want to get up and dance ! What fantastic diaphragm control!! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: One of the main reasons why Ukraine picked this song is due to the fact that it is also the one which is being used as the official song for the European Championships. The vocals are as always spot on and on key and it seems that she is giving a masterclass performance this evening. She is joined on stage by a number of dancers who also play the trumpets but the screens being used are the ones which draw a lot of attention because there is an army of people all of whom are doing to the song. I must say that I do love the performance but not sure where this will place.

Moldova

Sophie: I like this song, if I heard it on the radio I wouldn't change over to another station, however I don't think the stage performancedoes it any justice! The choreography is a bit weird and the singer looks a bit weird too, but I think it should be recieved well by the audience!

Magnus Kaxe: Like the brass arrangement of the song. Though the song a little to simple to stand out in the tough competition. He sings great! But why do they have to wear clothes that look like a circus?

Christabelle: Reminds me of Colin Farell ! Very entertaining performance. Unique choreography for sure! The dresses are fantastic .

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Colin Farrell seems to be representing Moldova this year and he does so in impressive fashion because this has to be one of the catchiest songs of the evening with a very upbeat message in the lyrics. The choreography is just amazing still and I just cannot imagine this doing badly especially having been awarded the late draw. The backdrop also works very well with the overall staging and I must say that this it the first time in years where Moldova would definitely garner my vote. 

The Show (Part 2) 

The hosts are back on stage is much more formal clothing than they were in the beginning. They open up the voting of course and the recap is currently being shown to the viewers across Europe. In order to vote from Malta, you would have to call 522020XX or send a text to 505157XX. We would like to wish Kurt Calleja the very best of luck with the result!

Result

1st - Sweden

2nd - Russia

3rd - Serbia

4th - Azerbaijan

5th - Albania

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