November 20, 2019

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Some people find it tough to wake up early in the morning but when one has other things to do such as study during the same time of the Eurovision Song Contest, time is merely just a number. Good Morning everyone and welcome to day one of our LIVE coverage from this years' music extravaganza which is taking place all the way on the far east of the continent in Baku, Azerbaijan following the victory of Ell & Nikki with their track Running Scared which came out on top leaving Italy and Sweden in the first and second runner-up positions. We are preparing very good coverage for you this year noting that is being represented by a good sized team this year introducing newcomers Šira Carolyn Bezalel and Patrick Strouk to the fray alongside with Juergen Boernig, Lilian Brunell and of course, our Head of Operations; Garrett Mulhall who as you all know ran the coverage most notably by himself on location last year. I am also proud to be working with our partners including Keith Mills and his team from All Kinds of Everything and also Luke Fisher and his Team from escXtra.

Everyone has a job to do during his stay in Baku, and we are well equipped to co-ordinate the best possible footage from the press conferences and also exclusive interviews with artists as they come off the stage. The rehearsal coverage will be as prompt as possible as soon as videos are put up when they are not being reported on location and even faster when people on location are covering them. Today marks the beginning of a journey, one which will take the fans and the organizers through a number of rehearsals, press conferences and so forth therefore, stay tuned to for all the best possible coverage we can manage. Just a reminder that Malta is competing in the second semi-final but nevertheless, there is still a lot of interesting during the first with favourites inluding Iceland, Greece and Romania taking to the stage during the day along with outsiders Belgium and Finland and possible dark horse Albania therefore, it will definitely not be a boring day. Kurt Calleja will take to the stage for the very first time on Tuesday afternoon, Azeri time.

Schedule of Rehearsals

  • 08:00 - Montenegro 
  • 08:45 - Iceland
  • 09:30 - Greece
  • 10:15 - Latvia
  • 11:55 - Albania
  • 12:40 - Romania
  • 13:25 - Switzerland
  • 14:25 - Belgium
  • 15:10 - Finland


An interesting note is that the commencement of the rehearsals has been delayed indefinitely due to some technical issues. In fact there were only some minor issues with the stage which needed to be adhered to and it seems that they have been well worked upon and in fact, the first rehearsal is now set to begin an hour and a half later than originally planned.


Basically at this stage, we can note that due to the fact that Rambo could not have brought along a live donkey onto the stage, they are making use of a wooden figure of the animal in order for one to relate to the official preview video. Rambo Amadeus is of course dressed in casual clothing but the staging does look quite interesting with a dark setting and vibrant lighting throughout the song. He is joined on stage by a guitarist and also a drummer whilst there is also a good backing by three breakdancers who seem out of place apart from not carrying out the full choreography. A truly disturbing start for the semi-final and this years' Eurovision Song Contest.

Video Courtesy of


The very first rehearsal of Iceland has also just finished and one could easily see that the staging for this one is as Eurovisoin as could be. For the first time this year, I am already amazed at the backdrop actually which is cery reminscent of the official preview video. It looks like the duo are wearing the same outfits from the national final to see that it looks well on stage. They are joined on stage by four backing vocals and this is looking awesome visually. The vocals are spot on quite quickly and this is as always a favourite to qualify and highly likely to make it to the top ten in the finals. Impressive indeed because it looks like they are ready to conquer this years' competition with such an initial performance. They will most likely work with the camera shots now.

Video Courtesy of


Well Eleftheria has some work to do in regards her vocals but that is what rehearsals are for. What was interesting to see was that the backing singer was carrying more of the main vocals than you would expect. At times it was pitchy but in her defense she sang with gusto that would be fitting of the "Land Of Fire" where we are now. The Baku stage is amazing and BIG and a lot of countries are going to find it difficult to fill the stage and make their presence felt. Eleftheria and her dancers tend to stay in the centre of the stage and for us in the audience makes you feel somewhat cheated as you really want a rousing performance/routine to match the potential of the song The stage backdrop is glittering with varying blue and pink shapes and swirls. What Greece have failed to do is when the climax of the song takes place they don't replicate that with the visual effects thus not giving the song it's full potential.  This song has great potential if the vocals are rehearsed more and if the wide camera angles are removed from the shots as they make the song feel lost. The song though is instant in it's appeal and you can't help but sing along with the song. As I always say a good song sung not so good - will be forgiven more easily. This song will easily qualify for the final. Not a winner but a good bet for a Top 10 position.

Video Courtesy of


Latvia is one of those songs which one would either love or hate but somewhat somewhere in between comes my opinion. The staging for this one is quite generic as the design is very retro. The lyrics are still abysmally dull unfortunately and bear no real meaning. In fact, the colour scheme is a mixture of blue, yellow and red. Anmary is joined on stage by four backing vocalists of a female nature who carry out the most ridiculous choreography ever. It seems that they were just brought about from the street as it is such a clueless set of moves. The vocals are not bad but also need a bit of work. Whilst this is being worked about for the cameras, more than half of the stage is empty and it is not a small stage area which needs to be filled and this could also be looked into. Nevertheless, this was good a rehearsal as expected at this point in time and there will be room for improvement in the days to come.

Video Courtesy of


Following the break, the next performance comes from Albania who are being represented by Rona Nishliu. The setting of the stage is just beautiful actually with the performer in the middle od the screen as lights shine one by one on her. She is clad in black attire today and her hair is in a beehive fashion. She stands there in the middle of the stage with black and black being predominant in terms of colours. As expected, her vocals are spot on and she managed to shine throughout all of her run throughs. During the refrain, the lighting changes putting the singer in the best possible spotlight and during the bridge, there is a lot of emphasis on white lighting. The backdrop in itself seems to feature window panes which also drastically change colour. This rehearsal was perfect, there are no changes needed!

Video Courtesy of


Most of the backdrops will most likely be changed but nevertheless, the next one is quite cool noting that Romania have decided to go for elements very much connected with their song which include drums, women and hearts. The group is clad in so many different colours, it all looks a little bit too happy but nevertheless, there is a huge positive element going round. The main singer is of course Elena Ionescu and she looks extremely beautiful in a red revealing outfit. What is even more enchanting though is the choreography of the group which is simple and does not require any more work honestly. The group is working well together and it shows that they have been rehearsing this quite a lot prior to their departure. The vocals in the beginning are slightly shaky but they are quickly adjusted and Romania is one of the songs which will surely stand out especially coming after Albania which is still a borderline qualifier.

Video Courtesy of


Ohh, loving the blue staging for Switzerland and it seems that they have already decided to test run similar clothing to their performance at the Eurovision Song Contest in just a weak. The blue is quickly changed to green in the chorus although what is different and still work is the raging spotlights which come on evertime the line unbreakable is sung. Nevertheless, in the second part of the song, the lighting is red. The problem with the diction has somewhat improved in the past couple of months and the vocals are definitely faultless at the moment but despite this, I believe that this song does lack that special something which would make it qualify. Last year, Switzerland were quite lucky to pass on virtue of just one point surpassing Malta putting it in eleventh position.

Video Courtesy of escXtra


The youngest performer in this years' Eurovision Song Contest takes to the stage for the very first time for her runthrough and she is wearing white clothes in this casual rehearsal. The focus on this song has to be the voice and prior to this performance, there have been issues on whether she can actually deliver but what she has done is that she has tranformed her innacuracies with a sort of twinge which is reminiscent in country music. She is not along on stage as she is joined by three female backing vocals. The performance is simple but the performance area is bathed in purple and pink which works very well with this type of song. I must say that this song did not do much for me but I am really loving the interpretation here and she may just be the dark horse.

Video Courtesy of


Finland bring about the final rehearsal of the day and the stage is bathed in sparkling blue lights. It is important to note that Pernilla is really smiling as she performs her song and without a doubt is enjoying every second of this experience being the second most youngest performer in this years' competition. The lighting is impressive and works extremely well with such a ballad. The singer is joined on stage by a cello player and the cameras are working the angles perfectly to make sure that both make a number of appearances. The skirt that Pernilla is wearing might be similar to the one she will be using in the semi-final actually because a wind machine has been switched on with the main reason honestly being to see how the article of clothing would sway. The vocals are perfect and the few people in the hall seem to be quite happy with the overall performance.

Video Courtesy of escXtra

The Eurovision Song Contest is being staged in Baku, Azerbaijan for the very first time since the inception of the renowned music event but nevertheless, the concept remains somewhat the same or does it in reality noting that in recent years, countries  have made sure to organize the competition in the best possible way and it seems that this Eastern nation is doing just that by virtue of being a brand new venue from scratch before moving onto start the construction of the stage which is set to be a lot different than the one which the people have become used to in recent years. The last time that a stage took artists' and fans' breathe away was the one in Moscow as the large screens managed to create an atmosphere which had never been held beforehand. 

The venue was completed in recent days just as the hosts for the competition where revealed actually with Eldar, Leyla and Nargiz given the respective roles. The stage needs to be complete just in time for the premier rehearsals on the 13th May 2012 but then again, many have noted that there is a new concept on the way, one which the people will not have been expecting actually. This idea has been promised but is yet to stuface despite the impressive infrastructure. Stay tuned to for all of the latest prior to the Eurovision Song Contest 2012. Remember, Kurt Calleja and his song This Is The Night are competing in the second semi-final in position number #4 just after The Netherlands.


In recent days, the saga of the backing vocalist has continued because following the axing of the young Ylenia Vella, it was announced by the Public Broadcasting Services last night that the more experienced Amber will be taking up her place behind Kurt Calleja during his performance of This Is The Night in the second semi-final of the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest where Malta has been drawn in fourth position. According to our sources, the role that the second runner-up of the Maltese national final will be enjoying is larger than that of Ylenia because of a different sound to her voice therefore, surprises seem to be in store for the final presentation of the Maltese entry in Baku. Nevertheless, there has been talk that Ylenia Vella will be asked to be the Maltese spokesperson and read out the points during the final.


The Public Broadcasting Services did not handle the issue in the best possible way without even commenting to the media with regards to the disappearance of the young artist with the bright future. In fact, whilst conducting an exclusive interview with Kurt Calleja on behalf of escflashmalta, the artist manager that is Peter Carbonaro on behalf of the broadcaster removed a particular segment of a question which referred to Ylenia Vella stating 'I removed the part of Ylenia'. It seems that they have yet to state a proper reason to the public why did they did this and we did try to get it but nevertheless, our attempts failed. Ylenia herself spoke out saying that they wanted a better singer according to the Chief Executive Officer and Head of Delegation, Anton Attard. In the meantime, one way in which they would make it up to her is by letting her read out the points during the final which will still get her quite the attention although not the same way in the long run. Stay tune for more news on as we follow the final preparations for Baku, Azerbaijan.