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In 2014, Malta will be represented at the Eurovision Song Contest by two artists, one which will be the winner of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and the other being Gaia Cauchi, winner of this years' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest with the track The Start, co-written alongside Elton Zarb, Matt Mercieca and Gillian Attard. In a bid to revamp the competition, the European Broadcasting Union has made a number of alterations with one of them being that the winners of the Senior and Junior editions of the international showcase performing at each others' event. Emmelie de Forest, winner on behalf of Denmark with the song Only Teardrops earlier this year was a special guest last night.

It is somewhat surreal to see a local artist being invited by the European Broadcasting Union and the host broadcaster, DR to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest whilst it is more unbelievable that Malta has succeeded in winning the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. I had personally gone on record stating that we would win the event but the feeling of winning it is sinking in ever so slightly. Once more, as editor-in-chief of escflashmalta.com, I would like to congratulate the Maltese delegation on a well earned victory and also our special team of reviewers, including none other than Trevor Fenech, Daniel Testa and Sophie DeBattista. A notable mention goes out to our Head of Communications, Emil Calleja Bayliss for leading the report. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: DR, Eurovision.tv


Saturday, 30 November 2013 23:00

JESC '14: PBS and EBU Discuss Hosting Duties

escflashmalta.com has been in close contact to sources within the European Broadcasting Union who have told us that unofficially, everything is ready for Malta to host the 2014 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest but that the legal paperwork is still to be finalised with an official announcement expected in the next couple of weeks. The Public Broadcasting Services had already shown interest in hosting the event prior to the eventuality of the competition and with individuals such as Anton Attard as Chief Executive Officer and Tonio Portughese as Chairman, one could be sure of an exceptional show.

Malta's success at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest was unexpected especially due to the fact that the previous best result was a fourth place finish with the track Junior Swing performed by 89.7 Bay DJ, Daniel Testa who is also a semi-finalist at the 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Gaia Cauchi and the song she helped co-write, The Start were the winners of this years' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contested hosted by Zlata and Timur in the city of Kiev, Ukraine. The eastern country was the winner last year, and the European Broadcasting Union offered Malta the opportunity to host next year. Specifics needs to be discussed but it seems that the Public Broadcasting Services will definitely take on the role of host and show Europe, that we are indeed ready to host a major event.

For all those who wish to welcome Gaia Cauchi back home tomorrow evening, make sure to visit the Malta International Airport at around 22:00 CET. She will be accompanied by the rest of the delegation; Anton Attard, Anna Dalli, Tonio Portughese, Daniel d'Anastasi, Matt Mercieca, Elton Zarb and Gillian Attard. escflashmalta.com will try to speak to Gaia Cauchi in the next couple of weeks, following her astonishing success. We wish all of the team and the delegation, the very best of luck and welcome the decision taken by the Public Broadcasting Services to host this prestigious event. All of the team will be ready to cover the event in the best possible way.

Source: escflashmalta.com, oikotimes (image)


Saturday, 30 November 2013 17:23

Junior Eurovision 2013: The Final - LIVE

Good Evening! Welcome to the eleventh edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, taking place in Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine which also played host to this event back in 2009, when The Netherlands swept to victory with Ralf and his entry Click Clack. It has been an intriguing week and one has to denote that there will definitely be a series of expectations from a global perspective as eyes will be on the European Broadcasting Union to make sure that the show runs as smoothly as possible and thus lead to an expansion of the event in the years to come. The Public Broadcasting Services confirmed Malta's return to the event less than two months ago with Gaia Cauchi selected as the representative and The Start co-written alongside Matt Mercieca, Elton Zarb and Gillian Attard chosen as the entry.

Whilst the event is being broadcast in each of the twelve (12) participating countries, renewed interest is being shown in Greece and Kazakstan who will also be airing the show. In Malta, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on TVM 2 due to the earlier time slot with commentary set to be provided by comedian, Daniel Chircop as well as Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014 participant, Corazon Mizzi. For a more detailed review on each of the competing entries, we urge you to follow the rolling blog on escflashmalta.com as two former Junior Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Daniel Testa (2008) and Sophie DeBattista (2006), both of which will compete in the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest as well as Trevor Fenech, manager of the former and Emil Calleja Bayliss, Head of Communications and lyricist to one of the entries at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014.

Running Order

Sweden: Det är dit vi ska - Elias

Emil: The stage looks great and the first number is a good opener but the excitement seems to be a bit too much for him to handle. He sounds a bit off and his voice seems to be cracking – might be the age in this matter. I can see this song on the radio though but I don’t expect it to do really well tonight.

Sophie: This guy has got talent! He has a lovely voice however you can hear a little bit of nerves in there too. A great young performer. The song is very catchy and staging is simple but perfect!

Trevor: The singer is good however the song does is not fit in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, in my opinion.

Daniel: The singer has a very good voice, but the song would be better in Eurovision rather than in the Junior.



Azerbaijan: Me and My Guitar - Rustam Karimov

Emil: This kid is so cute, it is impossible not to like him. The song itself is fun and has a good junior feel to it. The boy seems a bit out of breath in some parts of the songs, it might be the choreography or the excitement. I think this might do well tonight – the key here is being cute.

Sophie: What a cutie!!! This kid rocks, so much confidence. Great stage performance - I love all the dancing, he has great stamina! I enjoyed the english bits, but the song didn't really need it.



Armenia: Choco Factory - Monika

Emil: The staging is perfect for this number, the props they use make sense with the number and the costumes are fun although they might be seen as a bit overdone. The vocals are generally good, the only thing I can criticize is that the song itself is a bit repetitive and reminds me of other entries.

Sophie: Monica has a great song - easy to sing along to. Love the props used on stage, they're perfect for Junior Eurovision. This will be very memorable and I now want that violin and some chocolate!!

Trevor: I liked the way they presented the song, especially during the violin part. I think it will do well. 

Daniel: A good teen song I like the overall performance and song theme.



San Marino: O-o-O Sole Intorno a Me - Michele Perniola

Emil: This is their debut and they clearly want to start off with a great result. There is much to much criticize in this song. The song itself is catchy, the choreography is sleek and the camera work is brilliant. He seems to be enjoying himself and his vocal interpretation is solid. Only disadvantage is that he might look a bit too old for Junior Eurovision but should do well tonight.

Sophie: Michele has got an amazing voice, he can probably go higher than I can! :) Another great song. Would prefer if he wasn't dressed up like Michael Jackson though, it doesn't really go with the song and I prefer it when people are just themselves! He's done a great job and is super talented!

Trevor: Performing in Italian language, I expected more. Average song.

Daniel: A great feel good song! I think it will do very well. 



FYR Macedonia: Ohrid i Muzika - Barbara Papovic

Emil: The choreography is good and the song isn’t bad either but after the previous song this lacks something. The stage presence of the singer is something to be admired though as she performs with so much confidence. Her vocals leave much to be desired and seem to get worse as the song progresses.

Sophie: Although this song is good and has great potential, I don't think that it will stand out enough - especially with the high standard that has been achieved so far tonight! Also I think her nerves got the better of her voice during the song, although it didn't effect her on stage performance - which was awesome!

Trevor: Not my piece of cake.. Next please.

Daniel: Not my type of song, don't think it will do so well.



Ukraine: We Are One - Sofia Tarasova

Emil: Can’t really fault anything here. It is surely the best song so far. The girl has great vocals, the shots and the graphics are perfect whilst the song itself is a strong dance track. Considering what we’ve seen so far this can challenge at the top tonight. The home support surely helps.

Sophie: Sofia has got so much charisma! Could watch her all day. What a vocal!! Wish this song was all in English so I could really understand the message of the song better - but that takes nothing away from the talented little star that Sofia is! Could hear this song in the charts and on the radio right now!!

Trevor: A good song, great performance, I like.

Daniel: A good dance song, great voice, my favourite till now.



Belarus: Poy so Mnoy - Ilya Volkov

Emil: The boy is a star in the making, he surely can dance, he seems to be enjoying every second on stage and making the best out of this experience. The song is itself is catchy and I think this should do well tonight. He reminds me of Sakis Rouvas – his stage presence and his confidence is surely a great asset.

Sophie: Another strong song! Ilya is such a great funky performer, so much confidence for such a young man :) The dancers are tight, which is lovely to see and I like the way Ilya fits in so well with the whole package! Impressive!

Trevor: The kiddo is full of confidence .. one of my favourites!

Daniel: A good catchy song, one of the best so far. Will do pretty well.



Moldova: Cum Să Fim - Rafael Bobeica

Emil: Not a fan of the song itself but the boy has got a great set of pipes. Thea Garrett’s bird found itself in the Junior Eurovision. This might do well thanks to the jury because his voice is surely remarkable.

Sophie: A very interesting and clever staging of this song! What a voice - there are so many young superstars performing tonight. Rafael, his song and his performance will definitely stand out when it comes to the voting later, it is very memorable package.

Trevor: Not a JESC song, the singer had a great performance but the song was very poor.

Daniel: The singer is good but the song is not my type. Vocal performance was very good.



Georgia: Give Me Your Smile - The Smile Shop

Emil: Okay, this is weird. I’m doing this with Daniel Testa and Sophie DeBattista, and I had a déjà vu at the beginning of the song – the black and white retro feel was similar to Daniel’s and the first few beats reminded me of extra cute at one point. The song itself is good and the harmonies are really strong. They really make you smile.

Sophie: Wow these kids did so well to keep up all the harmonies whilst moving around so much. They're all very strong performers. Love the name of the group - 'The Smile Shop'! The song reminds of something out of hairspray, was nice to have a change of style.

Trevor:  An average song, the black and white effect in the begging was a good idea, but was already used in the past!

Daniel: A feel good swing song, I like it a lot, sing along song! Performance went very well.



The Netherlands: Double Me - Mylene and Roseanne

Emil: ‘Double Trouble’ becomes ‘Double Me’ and it seems we’re all seeing double. I love the intro and the refrain is catchy, fun and memorable. It’s a strong entry although in the verses there seems to be something missing vocally. Great effort from the Dutch, will they challenge for victory? They might.

Sophie: Mylene & Rosanne are adorable! Great staging idea - lots of energy! My favourite part of the song is the 'Double Me, Double You' bit, it was such a catchy phrase! And I really love the fact that the song reflects their relationship (twins).

Trevor: A very JESC song, top 3 in my opinion, perfect combination! Vocals could be a bit better.

Daniel: Quite a good song in my opinion, the performance was good , should do pretty well.



Malta: The Start - Gaia Cauchi

Emil: Erm… GOOSEFLESH all over. I think she blew everyone away with her power vocals. She filled the stage with her incredible vocals – she is Malta’s next big star for sure. All she needs to do is learn to control her voice more and pay more attention to her diction. Loved the dress and the simplicity in the performance – removing the bow was a huge improvement. Should do well tonight.

Sophie: Wow! What a little star! Such an awesome voice - wish I could sing like that. This song is really strong - Gaia gave me shivers down my spine in the last chorus! Absolutely beautiful - this girl is going places!

Trevor: Well done Gaia, hit the notes perfectly a big improvement diction wise. Once again well done. Forza Malta! Hope she wins!

Daniel: A fantastic vocal performance from Gaia well done, one of the best so far.



Russia: Mechtay - Dayana Kirillova

Emil: This is Malta’s main contender I guess. The perfect junior song with a great vocal interpretation, catchy song and great stage performance. The back drop is effective too. The performance is fun and should go down well with kids and the jury too.

Sophie: Dayana is a beautiful girl and great singer! Although I enjoyed it, the song was unfortunately not memorable enough - especially following such a strong performance from Malta! However the on stage performance was awesome, which made up for it! All the acts were great tonight. I know how scary it is to do what they just did, they should all be so proud of themselves!

Trevor: I love the singers' attitude and I must say that this performance was epic!

Daniel: Not my style of music, might do well since it's Russia.. Vocal performance was very good.



Interval Act

Glen Vella, Fleur Balzan, Gordon Bonello, Rodney Gauci, Maria Muscat and Chloe Cortis were the jury members on behalf of Malta at this evenings' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. In the meantime, we've seen a host of special guests this evening, including the reigning winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Emmelie de Forest and also last years' winner of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Anastasia who had won with the song Nebo. At the last minute, Zlata seemed to have replaced Ruslana due to the recent political upheavals although no official announcement was made. Malta has just WON the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Thursday, 24 October 2013 16:05

JESC '13: Music Video for 'The Start' Released

Following two years of inactivity, Malta will be returning to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest with a song entitled The Start, co-written by Elton Zarb, Matt Mercieca and Gillian Attard with vocals provided by none other than Gaia Cauchi, who earlier this year was honoured with the International Achievement Award at the Malta Music Awards. The Public Broadcasting Services, who represents the nation in events in relation to the European Broadcasting Union has published the Official Music Video accompanying our entry earlier today.

The video is expected to be presented to the European Broadcasting Union within the next couple of days whilst the Public Broadcasting Services will definitely make the public aware of it's publication through Television Malta and Television Malta 2, the main flagship broadcasting channels. The best result that the nation achieved in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2008 when Daniel Testa, now a leading DJ on 89.7 Bay finished in fourth place with his entry Junior Swing only fifty-four (54) points behind the eventual winner. Gaia will be hoping to improve on that and initial comments are very positive on that front. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the 2013 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services


Wednesday, 25 September 2013 19:35

JESC 2013: Gaia Cauchi Chosen to Represent Malta

In a surprise announcement, the Public Broadcasting Services will be returning to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Kiev, Ukraine on the 30th November. Gaia Cauci, a student of La Voix Academy under the tutelage of Gillian Attard was chosen internally by the broadcasting house after being on the receiving end of the International Achievement Award at this years' edition of the Malta Music Awards.

Nicole Azzopardi, an upcoming figure within the local music industry was the last artist to represent Malta at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest with her entry Knock Knock!… Boom! Boom! finishing in thirteenth (13th) place with just thirty-five (35) points. The announcement was a complete surprise considering that Malta has never resorted to an internal selection beforehand despite having been suggested by several individuals over the years. At the moment, La Voix Academy is enjoying huge success in foreign waters with two female vocalists currently part of this years' edition of Io Canto on Canale 5.


Gaia Cauchi was the winner of the illustrious Sanremo Junior where she had the opportunity to perform at the Ariston Theatre which also hosts the senior edition of Sanremo. There, she was accompanied by Maestro Paul Abela, who was also the composer of three entries at the Eurovision Song Contest; Could It Be (1991), In A Woman's Heart (1996) and Another Summer Night (2001). It is worth denoting that apart from winning several international competitions, Gaia Cauchi was also part of the programme Ti Lascia Una Canzone on RAI, where she had the opportunity to perform with the likes of Italian superstar, Alessandra Amoroso.

Gillian Attard is ecstatic and overjoyed at the astonishing success of her students owing everything all to hard work and sheer determination. Malta is officially the ninth country to confirm participation in the 2013 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest alongside Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, ONE Productions (Video)


Saturday, 21 September 2013 12:12

Eurovision '14: EBU Amend Rules and Regulations

In a bid to increase transparency and reduce speculation over the integrity of the jury results, the European Broadcasting Union has amended the rules and regulations of the Eurovision Song Contest following consultation with broadcasters all over the continent. At the centre of controversy following the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was none other than Azerbaijan whose entry entitled Hold Me performed by Farid Mammadov finished as the first runner-up.

Tabloids in the United Kingdom and Lithuania stated how votes were supposedly bought by the Eastern nation in order to secure a high placing with The Mirror also noting that something was fishy between Malta and Azerbaijan with the former awarding it maximum twelve (12) points in each of the past four (4) years. Anton Attard, the Head of Delegation for Malta rubbished the claims stating that the jury only gave Azerbaijan one set of maximum points in the past four (4) years with the public owing to the final result. It comes as no surprise considering that the Azeri singers have been travelling to Malta consistently prior to their experience at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Each participating country has to appoint five (5) jury members to vote in the semi-final where it is competing or has been appointed to vote in along with the final. As of 2014, the names of the jury members will be made public on the 1st May, five (5) days before the first semi-final. It is imperative that the selected experts did not sit in on the jury in any of the past two editions of the Eurovision Song Contest. Each individual jury will have to rank all the songs in the semi final, and the Final. Right after the Final night, the rankings of each and every jury member will be made public on the official website, thus revealing the split results of juries and televoting for each of the participating countries. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv


Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark has been chosen as the host city of the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest following a sterling victory achieved by Emmelie de Forest and her entry Only Teardrops. In a press release published by the European Broadcasting Union through their official website, it has been revealed that the venue is none other than the B&W Hallerne within Refshaleøen and that the competition will be running under the slogan, Join Us!

The B&W Hallerne is not a typical venue due to the fact that it used to be a shipyard yet the host broadcaster, DR will be transforming it into a world class venue ready to host two semi-finals and a final in about eight months. Pernille Gaardbo, Executive Producer of the competition stated 'We are looking forward to welcoming Europe in Copenhagen, which is full of cultural diversity, has an excellent infrastructure and a variety of hotels. At the chosen venue we have the opportunity to realise our creative ambitions. The entire area around the B&W Hallerne will be transformed into Eurovision Island, where delegates, press and fans will come together'. DR, the host broadcaster for next years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest spoke about the diversified bids that they received including the ones in Horsens and Herning but nevertheless believe that the choice of Copenhagen will truly benefit all those who will be making the trip.

Hosting such an international event gives a city exposure and despite the millions spent within the organisation, the turn-over is much greater noting the more than a €100 million in advertisements and around €20 million for the local economy. More information about the ticket sales and the hotels will be made available later on this year but do not fret because a large number of hotel rooms have already been blocked for delegates, journalists and fans. The 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is set to take place on the 6th, 8th and 10th May 2014. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news. In the meantime, remember, that all songs published online as from yesterday onwards are eligible to participate in next years' music extravaganza. 

Sources: European Broadcasting Union, Eurovision.tv


In 2003, Malta was one of the sixteen countries which competed in the inaugural edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and started on a positive note with Sarah Harrison and her entry Like a Star garnering fifty-six points to finish in seventh place. The Public Broadcasting Services confirmed participation for the following seven years with the latest entry being Knock Knock! ... Boom! Boom! performed by Nicole Azzopardi which achieved a mid-table finish. Unfortunately, that was in 2010 and Malta decided to call it a day after that with finances put forward to the actual Eurovision Song Contest participation. 

Multiple Sources close to escflashmalta.com have confirmed that there have been a number of conversations and discussions with regards to a possible return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for the simple reason that the younger generation of artists are lacking major opportunities to present themselves to a European audience. The Junior Eurovision Song Contest is not the competition it used to be with support fluctuating due to the economic crisis but nevertheless eight countries including; Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine are still participating.

The European Broadcasting Union is currently negotiating with a number of countries, hopefully to reach a minimum threshold. Malta's return into the competition would surely create a number of opportunities for the young stars. The same exponents who brought forward such rumours also shed light on the possibility that the nation could be interested in hosting the event in the next couple of years in order to showcase that the Public Broadcasting Services is ready to host a major event on our shores. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com in the coming days, weeks and months as this story continues to evolve. 

Source: escflashmalta.com


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


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