October 24, 2019

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The Eurovision In Concert held a couple of weeks back within The Netherlands is known to be the premier dress rehearsal for the competing countires at the Eurovision Song Contest and the team of Radio International had the pleasure of speaking to all of the artists present, amongst them Gianluca who will represent Malta with the song Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek. We would like to invite you to the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience. Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

Denmark is the outright favourite in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with Emmelie de Forest and her entry Only Teardrops co-written by Lise Cable, Julia Fabrin Jakobsen and Thomas Stengaard. As a matter of fact, there is always a favourite which does well, along with another who will fall flat when it comes to the live performance. This is yet to be seen. In the meantime, Emmelie who is an extremely nice individual speaks to team of Radio International about competing in such a major showcase, her ancestral background and what she makes of the current situation in the polls, bookmakers and fan clubs. Moving onto another entry competing in the first semi-final, there is Zlata Ognevich who will be representing Ukraine with the song Gravity and according to the bookmakers, this currently ranks second behind Denmark. Zlata who has slight difficulty to speak in English is nevertheless a great performer and she speaks to Radio International and escflashmalta.com about her upcoming surprises, without revealing too much.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k59E7T0H-Us

Apart from focusing on the first semi-final, it is always important to note that there is a second show and one which also includes a number of great songs including some fan favourites in the form of Greece whose entry Alcohol is Free performed by Koza Mostra featuring Agathonas has been setting the dancefloors alight. The team who have a great spirit speak about the song, the meaning behind it and what their expectations in Sweden during the Eurovision Song Contest are, especially considering that Greece has a reputation to uphold. One final interview from this semi-final is with PeR from Latvia whose entry bears the name Here We Go. It will be the opening act of the show but has not been receiving a lot of promotion as of late whilst somewhat destined to be another disappointment for the Baltic nation. The duo are great fun though and this adds to the spectacle of the Eurovision Song Contest. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3k2MOJOkKg

The final nation in the spotlight for this evenings' programme will be Amandine Bourgeois who will be representing France with L'Enfer et Moi. She has received great comments since her performance at the Eurovision in Concert and could surprise. There will also be a number of new releases played throughout the three hours, including Żarbun by Chiara which has already racked up more then 80,000 views in less than a week. In the meantime, there will also be a number of cover versions as recorded throughout the year, a feature which will be returning at the hands of David Mann. All of the latest news is also covered during the weekly broadcast noting resources from escflashmalta.com and escXtra where Luke Fisher, the Editor makes a weekly round-up. A spotlight on the Eurovision Song Contest will be switched on metaphorically of course by Dermot Manning as he chooses a topic for the week. Follow the show through the official website and also send your requests through the contact link which is found on the aforementioned website.

Source: Team of Radio International

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQJaab8j4fU

Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom, Sharon Vaughn from the United States and Stano Simor from the Czech Republic represent diverse music scenes in their respective nations with their contributions duly noted across the year. Their aim in joining this feature is to see what lies beneath each track of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The first semi-final along with the three finalist countries voting there have long been concluded as we find ourselves within the middle section of the second semi-final. Attention turns to Israel whose broadcaster, IBA has been drawn in slot number #10 with the producers thinking this position best. The song entitled Rak Bishvilo is co-written by Hen Harari and Gal Sarig whilst the vocalist is none other than Moran Mazor.

"I was born and grew up in Holon a suburb next to Tel Aviv. 40 years ago my parents migrated to Israel from Georgia, my family and myself love the Georgian culture and language. I am the eldest daughter to my parents Nana and Rafi and then came to the world my two little brothers, Eliad and Ohad. At the age of four I started learning classical piano and continued until the age of 18. I always loved to sing but only as a hobby. At the age of 12, I was accepted to the town music trend, and the director discovered the singing talent in me. Since then I took part in all activities of the trend, as pianist and as a singer. At the age of 17 I was accepted to the military band of the Air Force even though I really wanted to study Pharmacology as a reservist. 

After a full year at the military service I went for auditions for the first season of the program "Eyal Golan is calling you" a reality TV show that discovers talents, where I won first place. Then I started working on my first album along with Eyal Golan, and I accompanied him on a special tour across Israel with my original songs. Recently I was chosen to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö and now my first album is coming out which I am very proud of. The last few months were very successful and exciting for me! For me to take part in this amazing Eurovision Song Contest is a dream come true. I am proud to represent Israel and I am sure I will bring honor to my country, family and friends." Moran had to get through the confines of a national selection in order to represent Israel in the upcoming edition of the international showcase.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F8SV_R3fWE

As a matter of fact, following last years' disappointment with the internal selection of the group Izabo and the track Time, with a specialised committee picking them over the more popular Maya Buskila. Their performance in the semi-final was quite good but nevertheless, the song was not perceived as a qualifier and with thirty-three points stayed in the semi-final. Thus IBA, decided to change the system completely, one which they said will evolve across the next couple of years. The Melodifestivalen like showcase involved three semi-finals and a second chance round along with some controversy following the withdrawal of Kathleen Reiter who was not only the favourite to win but was also perceived as the most popular name in the selection. 

Following her withdrawal just prior to the final, it was Moran was took favour with the judges for her stunning vocal range which has been exhibited time and time again. Israel are hoping to add a fourth victory to their roster noting that the last one was back in 1998 when Dana International came on stage to present her song Diva outwitting the United Kingdom and Malta into second and third place respectively. It was a significant victory because it was also the first year in which tele-voting took precedence. Their other two victories, both consecutive of each other were in 1978 and 1979 with the songs A-Ba-Ni-Bi performed by Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta and Hallelujah sung by Gali Atari & Milk and Honey.The country will be hoping to return to the final for the first time in three years with the last performer to reach the final being Harel Skaat whose entry Milim also swooped the Marcel Bezencon Awards.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 63%

Martin Isherwood: Only for him? Hard to know what the songs is about without a translation. Sung very well with a very nice strong but sensitive voice. Good moody ballad. Reminds me ever so slightly of 'woman in love' Barbara Streisand. Good strong song and performance but unlikely to do very well.

Sharon Vaughn: Although the artist has an exceptional voice ... this is a case of less would be more. The emotion got lost in the vocal gymnastics.

Stano Simor: Israel is sending a trump kind of entry in this years' international spectacle with Moran who seems to be attracting a male audience with her choice of attire. 'Rak Bishvilo' is a neutral song that should not be criticised. It is not a hit but definitely, with such strong vocals, should qualify and I will keep my fingers crossed for it.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYuSe5h-rrg

Published in Editorials

Earlier this year, Marco Mengoni swooped to Sanremo victory with his song L'Essenziale co-written alongside Francesco De Benedittis and Roberto Casalino. During the final night of the aforementioned national showcase, he was also selected as the next representative for Italy before confirming just a couple of weeks later that he is set to perform the same track and in his native Italian rather than creating a bi-lingual version. His profile in Italy is currently at it's peak and the release of his album #PRONTOACORRERE signifies this heading straight to number #1 in it's first week whilst L'Essenziale had been number #1 for more than eight consecutive weeks.

Sony Music Italy which represents Marco Mengoni is going ahead with the promotion of his sophomore studio album and thus releasing the second single entitled Pronto a Correre. The single co-written by Mark Owen from the globally renowned group, Take That is an uptempo song and clearly shows the vocals skills attributed to Mengoni. In recent weeks, Marco Mengoni has been doing several press in his native Italy where he has been promoting his participation in the Eurovision Song Contest somewhat trying to garner a strong audience for RAI DUE who will be showing the international showcase. The official video accompanying the song was released officially yesterday and could see Mengoni singing within a studio and running alongside people whilst clad in a traditional suit. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Sony Music Italy

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

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 16:12

Estonia: Stage Outfit for Team Revealed

Birgit Õigemeel with the song Et Uus Saaks Alguse co-written between Mihkel Mattisen and Silva Soro was selected to represent Estonia in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest following a public and jury vote which just managed to get her into the super-final. With 51.1% of the tele-vote, she was announced as the winner over Grete Paia and her entry Päästke noored hinged co-written with renowned songwriter Sven Lõhmus. Unfortunately, betting odds have not been so favourable with the nation currently found in twenty-second place despite achieving a sixth place finish with the song Kuula performed by Ott Lepland at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

In bright and colourful spring fashion, Birgit has been doing a lot of national promotion prior to jetting off for the Eurovision Song Contest but nevertheless, due to her blooming pregnancy, her stylists have decided to go with a chic look on stage as witnessed in the photograph above. As a matter of fact, designer Antonio Baltman has worked worked on a visually stunning black and white short dress matched with black shoes whilst her three male backing vocalists will be in dashing grey suits and white shirts to complement. Et Uus Saaks Alguse will be performed in slot number #2 within the first semi-final whilst Birgit is currently at number #29 in the Estonian iTunes Singles Chart. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available. 

Source: Ilkar.blogspot.com, ERR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJhW_wKh4cw

Sharon Vaughn from the United States, Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom and Stano Simor from the Czech Republic represent diverse music scenes in their respective nations with their contributions duly noted across the year. Their aim in joining this feature is to see what lies beneath each track of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The first semi-final along with the three finalist countries voting there have long been concluded as we edge towards the mid-way of the second semi-final. Attention turns to Greece whose broadcaster, ERT has been drawn in slot number #9 with the producers thinking this position best. The song entitled Alcohol is Free is co-written by Stathis Pachidis and Ilias Kozas whilst the vocalists will be none other than the group, Koza Mostra featuring. Agathon Iakovidis.

Ilias Kozas, as the lead singer of the band Cabaret Balkan, one of the best Greek Balkan Bands, in their most creative period. Kozas had a restless mind with many significant collaborations, and he sought a more personal way of expressing himself. He realised his goal by forming the band Koza Mostra, which became one of the most famous Balkan, ska bands in Greece. Christos Kalaitzopoulos, Born on February 22nd, in Ptolemaida, Northern Greece. He started studying accordion with Aleksandar Tchuev. He has twice won the first prize in the Greek Accordionists competition and once the second prize at Star Ways, Kragujevac. Co-founder of the group “Los Mujeros” he participated at a very young age in several gigs such as Schoolwave 07, 08, 09.

Vassilis Nalbantis was born in Kozani. He had the opportunity to play and record as a full member or guest artist, with bands and orchestras from almost every music gender: A funk-reggae band called Orchestra Sonora, the Balkan-swing band Melios Balkana Mama, pop-RnB band Elements, surf band Meanwhile in Mexico, reggae band Global Vibe, electronica-dub trip-hop band Auditors Domination, and the Balkan-ska-punk band Koza Mostra. Alex Archontis was born in Thessaloniki, on May 23rd, 1984. In 2005, he joined Cayetano’s live band and performed all over Greece. Succeeding the tour with Cayetano, he joined the band Emigre as a session musician and he participated in the recordings of three albums. Finally, in September 2011 he met with Ilias Kozas and joined the newly formed band Koza Mostra. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3G2nOlydtQ

Stelios Siomos was born in Thessaloniki, on December 16th, 1980. He discovered his passion for music at a very young age and he formed his first band James Down playing soul, funk music and participating in local gigs. Further down the road he joined Koza Mostra where he performs as a musician. Agathon Iakovidis is devoted to rebetiko music, loyally serving it since 1973, refusing to sing any other –even more popular- styles. He is a keen collector of vinyl records of rare rebetiko recordings. In 1977, Iakovidis created the Rebetiko band of Thessaloniki and he released two records. In 1981 he moved to Athens, where he worked with famous musicians such as: Kostas Papadopoulos, George Koros, Vassilis Soukas, Lazaros Koulaxidis, Nikos Filippidis, Nikos Chatzopoulos and many others. He has toured all around Greece, Europe and USA.

Greece organised a national selection in conjuction with MAD Television for this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest due to financial constraints. The idea was to bring about record labels to contribute artists and this was the case in the four entry selection process. In the meantime, the nation is one of the most success in the international competition especially since 2001 when the group Antique took to the stage with the song Die for You finishing in third place. A couple of years later, in 2005, Helena Paparizou who was the lead singer of the aforementioned group took the crown with the song My Number One just ahead of Chiara who is currently making headlines in Malta for her track Żarbun. Following eight consecutive years in the top ten, the country did not sustain such a positive outcome in 2012 with Aphrodisiac by Eleftheria Eleftheriou finishing in seventeenth place with just sixty-four points. 

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 67%

Martin Isherwood: The title will probably go down well! Only managed to get the chorus lyrics - I presume the rest is about booze. Good mix of ideas. Truly 'Madness' Booze, bouzoukis, kilts and ska - great combination.

Sharon Vaughn: Fun and well performed but too frantic for the listener to receive the full impact

Stano Simor: Up-tempo "SKA" song. This type of song normally works because the people act funny. Title of the song is well thought out as well.  Singing melody is more near the Russian songs rather than Greece though. It seems to me that this could very well be the intention of the group and the nation, to try and lure Eastern Europe. Don’ t think it can jump to the top positions.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3k2MOJOkKg

Published in Editorials

Only Love Survives, co-written by Wez Devine and Ryan Dolan, the latter of which will also be providing the vocals will be representing Ireland in the first semi-final of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It seems that whatever the outcome of the competition, the track is destined to be a hit in the host country, Sweden noting that the track has already peaked at number #33 prior to the commencement of the rehearsals. Ireland have a stunning record in the annual music event noting that they have managed to finish at the top on a record seven occasions, the last of which was back in 1996 when Eimear Quinn had performed The Voice

Ryan Dolan and his entry Only Love Survives were selected to compete in the Irish Eurosong competition by mentor, Stuart O'Connor who is known to many inside the entertainment circles as a celebrity choreographer. He has already garnered experience at the Eurovision Song Contest having helped set the tone of the performance that Jedward gave last year as they performed the track Waterline which included an energetic routine accompanied by a waterfall. iTunes, the digital platform for music, movies and books amongst other things has been very much involved in the sales of the entries competing in this years' showcase whilst preview shows have given the required push in a number of countries. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available. 

Source: esctracker.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5OHGoSmI_s

In this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, France will be represented by Amandine Bourgeois, who in turn will be performing the track L'Enfer Et Moi composed by David Salkin to the lyrics of Boris Bergman. Despite the fact that the song and the artist fit extremely well together, it was the broadcaster that brought them together in an internal selection which features several music professionals. It seems that there were a number of possible choices but ultimately decided on this combination, which has also meant a return to the spotlight for Amandine Bourgeois who just signed a new record deal with Warner Music France. During most of the day, the French performer was attending the OGAE France meeting where the fans of the competition voted their top ten entries in this years' edition.

Earlier this evening, the editorial team of escflashmalta.com was proud to bring you the votes of OGAE Malta whose maximum points went to Denmark, followed by San Marino and it seems that the fans in France have a similar wavelength when looking at the points as seen below. Once more, it seems that Malta managed a mid-table position as it has missed out on yet another top ten position. Emmelie de Forest will be representing Drnmark with the song Only Teardrops whilst Valentina Monetta will do the honours on behalf of San Marino as she performs the track Crisalide (Vola). It is important to denote that these points reflect a portion of the actual votes which will be encountered in May owing to both the general public and the professional jury.

  • 1 point: Ireland
  • 2 points: Russia
  • 3 points: Finland
  • 4 points: Sweden
  • 5 points: Ukraine
  • 6 points: Germany
  • 7 points: Norway
  • 8 points: Switzerland
  • 10 points: San Marino
  • 12 points: Denmark

France will be competing in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest for the fifty-sixth time noting that they have emerged victorious on five occasions, the last of which being back in 1977 when Marie Myriam swooped up the win with her entry L'Oiseau et L'Enfant. In recent years, internal selections have taken precedence and in the 2011 edition of the international spectacle, France was the favourite with the track Sognu which could only muster up eighty two (82) points to finish in fifteenth place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about France in this years' spectacle.

Source: OGAE France, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQJaab8j4fU

Betting Odds and Polls have become increasingly popular across the years but nevertheless have always had a somewhat bittersweet element when they end up being somewhat off from the final mark. Nevertheless, another poll which is highly publicised is that of the General Organisation of Eurovision Fans, also known as the OGAE. In Malta, the branch is led by Adrian Refalo and Deo Grech, the latter being a successful lyricist as well as former member of the committee which took care of the nations' representation. Today, escflashmalta.com is proud to exclusively reveal the points of the OGAE Malta.

Malta represented by Gianluca and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat have fared respectably thus far, always garnering a placing just outside of the top ten, being the only reason why points have not been racked up. In the meantime, the poll as conducted by the members has somewhat been accurate noting that they have managed to predict three winners from the past six years, these being none other than Euphoria performed by Loreen for Sweden in 2012, Fairytale sung by Alexander Rybak for Norway in 2009 and Moltiva performed by Marija Serifovic for Serbia in 2007 respectively. The full points are seen below. 

  • 1 point: Austria
  • 2 points: Azerbaijan
  • 3 points: Ireland
  • 4 points: FYR Macedonia
  • 5 points: Serbia
  • 6 points: Ukraine
  • 7 points: Germany
  • 8 points: Norway
  • 10 points: San Marino
  • 12 points: Denmark
We would like to remind the public that the representative of Denmark is Emmelie De Forest with the song Only Teardrops. Denmark, San Marino and Germany have somewhat been performing well across the board and are seemingly fan favourites even with non-members of the General Organisation of Eurovision Fans. We would like to thank Adrian Refalo and Deo Grech on behalf of OGAE Malta for providing us with the points for this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more of the latest news as soon as it becomes available. 
 
Source: OGAE Malta

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k59E7T0H-Us

escflashmalta.com is proud to have engaged such professional individuals to analyse and assess the entries competing in this years' Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmö, Sweden noting that they had not had a whiff of what is seemingly in contention this time round. The first semi-final along with the three finalist countries voting there have long been concluded as we edge towards the mid-way of the second semi-final. Attention turns to Iceland whose broadcaster, RUV has been drawn in slot number #8 with the producers thinking this position best. The song entitled Ég Á Líf performed by Eythor Ingi is co-written between Örlygur Smári & Pétur Örn Gudmundsson.

Music was clearly a major part of Eyþór Ingi’s childhood; he used to sing Elvis Presley songs while still in kindergarten and he also loved acting. In 2004, at the age of fifteen, he won a part in the Icelandic version of the musical Oliver!, which turned out to be one of the most successful theatrical works ever staged in Akureyri, the capital of northern Iceland. This was only the beginning of his theatrical career as he was offered a part in Óvitar in 2007 as well as taking the leading role in a college staging of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

Eyþór Ingi won the College Song Contest in the spring of 2007 and was selected to compete as a contestant in TV talent show ‘Bandið hans Bubba‘. After winning the show in early 2008 he soon began working as a professional singer, musician and sound technician. Eyþór Ingi founded the progressive rock group Eldberg and in 2010 joined the renowned Icelandic band Todmobile, contributing to their seventh album, which was also entitled ‘7’. In 2011 Eyþór Ingi was nominated as best singer in the Gríman Theatrical Awards for his role as Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The following year he played hippie leader Berger in the musical Hair.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl2__l6WrnE

He also featured in the cast of Les Misérables as law student Marius Pontmercy, when the musical was staged in Þjóðleikhúsið, the National Theatre of Iceland, in 2011-2012. Eyþór Ingi was inspired to start singing by the music of Jeff Buckley and is also a big fan of David Bowie, Thom Yorke, Ian Gillan and Freddie Mercury. He has been a member of a Deep Purple tribute band and performed in the Freddie Mercury Tribute Show in Harpa Concert Hall in 2011-2012. The Icelandic national selection is one which people are seemingly becoming accustomed to every year and considering the recent tracks that have been submitted, it comes to no surprise. There were two former representatives competing this year, with only Birgitta from 2003 making it to the final.

Like Malta, Iceland will be taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the twenty-sixth time and their fortunes have also been quite similar with two first runner-up finishes, the first one coming in 1999 with Selma and her entry All Out of Luck and the second time round in 2009 with Yohanna and her song Is It True? Since the introduction of the semi-final system, the nation has been successful in getting through to the final on five occasions from a possible eight, as they were direct qualifiers in 2004. After three years of disappointments, Iceland got through to the final in 2008 with This Is My Life performed by Euroband and have always been there ever since but got their worst result since doing last year as Never Forget by Great & Jonsi mustered only forty-six (46) points in the final to finish in twentieth place. 

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 77%

Martin Isherwood: Translates as 'I have a life' - I wish. Good voice Good strong tune. Oooh, interesting dry vocal at the end. Nice Irish type piano ballad and a little in the style of Hallelujah in places. This type of song sometimes goes all the way but it’s very predicatable.

Sharon Vaughn: Very moving and compelling melody and performance, understated and sincere!

Stano Simor: "My Life" (Ég á Líf) is a beautiful emotional song. Eyþór Ingi has a pleasant voice color that when combined with a weeping melody transposed dramatic end, creates a perfect hit ballad. I believe that the audience will appreciate this enough to vote it into the final.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtunhyMW1hM

Published in Editorials

Like any other industry, music is known to have a lot of experienced figures who lurk in the shadows either as songwriters, producers or musicians and as a matter of fact, escflashmalta.com has been in touch with three in particular to help assess the entries competing in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. Hailing from the United Kingdom, United States and the Czech Republic, they bring a lot of knowledge to the table. In the second semi-final, seventeen (17) countries will be in contention and in slot number seven (7), the producers have decided to put none other than Bulgaria represented by the broadcaster known as BNT. The nation will be participating in the esteemed international competition for the ninth time and hoping to reach their second final. Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankulov were selected internally by a selective committee appointed by the respective broadcaster with the song Samo Shampioni co-written by Elitsa Todorova and Christian Talev chosen through a public and jury vote.

Elitsa Todorova was born on 1977 in Varna. She studied music, specialising in authentic folklore singing and in percussions. She attracts the attention of both the audience and the critics with her specific voice - strong, deep-toned, clear and hardy, the tone-quality being one of a beautiful and rich ornamentation. She worked at the State Dance and Music Ensemble in Varna, in the choir The Mystery of the Bulgarian voices, and the Cosmic Voices of Bulgaria choir where she performed authentic Bulgarian folk songs, and compositions in Yiddish and Sanskrit. In 2003 Elitsa Todorova began working with Bulgaria's most popular and renowned drummer and percussionist Stoyan Yankulov. The unique Elitsa Todorova-Stoyan Yankulov Duo turned into a phenomenon in no time. Elitsa Todorova develops a percussions-playing style of her own, combining quick ostinate rhythms on the tarambuka with synhronised tarambuka with synchronised playing and singing. The result is a mosaic of unique vocal movements and impeccable musical improvisations.

She plays traditional percussion instruments in a most non-traditional way. The singer easily mixes traditional folklore with jazz, drum and base, ethno-motifs, classics and spontaneous improvisation. The result is fascinating. In her repertoire Elitsa Todorova plays instruments like the tarambuka, drums, maracas, clavess, old silver coins, shepperd's chimes, horses' bells, a magical thunder-wand, guirro, chimes, but of all musical instruments the best, in her opinion, is human voice. Through combining authentic Bulgarian folk songs with the energy of percussions Elitsa Todorova presents in a most touching way the core, the potency and the emotional power of Bulgarian culture. Stoyan Yankulov was born on September 10th in Sofia. At the age of eight he started taking piano lessons. At the same time he showed interest for percussion instruments. Since a young age he was the base of musical bands as a drummer, and he eventually graduated majoring in percussion instruments. Yankulov plays with rock and jazz bands, with folklore ensembles and with jazz-rock and fusion bands.

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

Stoyan Yankulov has already won many highly-ranked prizes. He records jazz, pop and ethnic music. This has significantly influenced his unique playing style. He manages to produce orchestral sound on percussion instruments. Sometimes the listener has the impression that there is more than one percussionist playing. "The acquisition of other techniques - from bass, piano or other instruments is useful in this process. For me to play means to communicate", Stoyan describes his very own style. Yankulov breaks and stretches the traditional way of playing drums, tupan, percussion by applying new techniques and non-standard musical ideas. Combining authentic folklore with new ways of expression with percussion instruments Stoyan Yankulov reveals the unlimited variety and emotional intensity of the unique Bulgarian culture. Elitsa & Stoyan have already performed together on the Eurovision Song Contest stage together in 2007, gaining the fifth place in the Final with Voda - the best placing for Bulgaria to date.

Bulgaria does not have too much of a history to look back to within the Eurovision Song Contest noting that this will be their ninth participation in total, having entered the international competition for the very first time back in 2005. Their debut entry entitled Lorraine finished in nineteenth place with just forty-nine (49) points but despite their results improving in later years, they have only managed to qualify just once, and that was in 2007 with the same duo that will be doing the honours this year. Water performed by Elitsa & Stoyan reached fifth place with one hundred, fifty seven (157) points. In recent years, BNT which is the public broadcaster in Bulgaria has been working hard to ensure success and this has been seen in terms of results with Na Inat (2011) and Love Unlimited (2012) finishing in twelfth and eleventh place respectively. The latter was actually joint tenth but after a close review of how the points were distributed, it was Norway's Stay performed by Tooji which got the spot in the final round. 

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 73%

Martin Isherwood: Melodically strong chorus Didn't get the lyrics! Good voice Interesting chromatic melody with strong eastern influences. This track is doing its own thing really with pipes and live drums against a dance track but I doubt it will have sufficient appeal to do very well. A bit crackers really!

Sharon Vaughn: Astounding. Can't wait to see this live.

Stano Simor: I must start off by saying that this track impressed me in the beginning but slowly started to fade after just one minute and this is due to the fact that there were too many genres infused together. The bridge, involving a timpani solo is just too cheap and sounds very cliché continuing to bore me. The duo look to enjoy their performance and this will surely work well on the cameras of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bExp3aNOFsE

Published in Editorials