September 17, 2019

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Tonight! Malta will be taking part in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest following a series of technical and dress rehearsals, the last of which commencing later on this afternoon. The excitement for all of the seventeen participating countries is definitely high and considering the surprises that came about when announcing the qualifiers of the first semi-final, everyone is seemingly on edge to see which songs get through to the final stage. With the countries drawn from all across the continent, it will be hard to predict the full set of qualifiers because there might be someone who sneaks in unknowingly. A non-scientific analysis is seen below to hopefully predict the qualifers of the evening pertaining to two different factions. Remember that escflashmalta.com will be having a live report conducted by Antoine Farrugia and guest writers; Davinia and Christabelle

In recent weeks, escflashmalta.com has collaborated with a number of professional personnel from all across the world with vast knowledge about the music industry. The seventeen entries which will be competing in the second semi-final this evening were thoroughly analysed and graded both on an individual basis and also within the context of a competition. The latter scoring system was taken and added to the result of the public poll to create ten qualifers based on the system used at the Eurovision Song Contest which gives 50% weighing to the public and another 50% weighing to a professional jury. We are glad to reveal the results of the qualifiers according to this result in alphabetical order. The system was explained in order to answer any queries with regards to why countries may be missing from the poll on the right hand side of the screen which has now been closed.

There was a general consensus between the public and the professional panel of experts on eight tracks in total whilst noting that both factions predicted a song each which the other did not, leaving a song out in the process which had received the same type of result. In the meantime, out of the six (6) non-qualifiers predicted, both sides agreed on a total of four (4) entries and awarded them no points. escflashmalta.com would like to denote that this is not the opinion of the website with each of the professional panel as well as the public casting their personal votes. In the second semi-final the panel consisted of Stano Simor, Sharon Vaughn and Martin Isherwood. Stay tuned to our portal in the coming hours for more of the latest news. Remember that Malta will be competing in the second semi-final. All shows will be shown on TVM with commentary by Rodney Gauci and Gordon Bonello.

Source: escflashmalta.com, eurovision.tv

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

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

escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest. As a matter of fact, stay tuned on our YouTube Page for all of the latest. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. Coverage of the second semi-final tomorrow eveing will be led by Antoine Farrugia, Senior Editor for escflashmalta alongside special guests; Davinia Pace who was the second runner-up at this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Christabelle, a four time consecutive winner of the Best Solo Artist at the Bay Music Awards. We are committed to bringing you all of the latest news as the day unfolds so make sure to continue visiting escflashmalta.com as Gianluca takes to the stage with Tomorrow.

The Show (Part 1)

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

Latvia

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

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

San Marino

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

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

FYR Macedonia

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

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

Azerbaijan

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

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

Finland

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

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

Malta

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

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

Bulgaria

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

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

Iceland

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

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

Greece

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

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

Israel

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

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

Armenia

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

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

Hungary

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

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

Norway

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

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

Albania

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

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

Georgia

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

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

Switzerland

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

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

Romania

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

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

The Show (Part 2)

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

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

escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest. As a matter of fact, stay tuned on our YouTube Page for all of the latest. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. Coverage of the second semi-final tomorrow eveing will be led by Antoine Farrugia, Senior Editor for escflashmalta alongside special guests; Davinia Pace who was the second runner-up at this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Christabelle, a four time consecutive winner of the Best Solo Artist at the Bay Music Awards. We are committed to bringing you all of the latest news as the day unfolds so make sure to continue visiting escflashmalta.com as Gianluca takes to the stage with Tomorrow.

Opening

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

Latvia

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

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

San Marino

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

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

FYR Macedonia

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

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

Azerbaijan

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

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

Finland

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

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

Malta

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

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

Bulgaria

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

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

Iceland

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

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

Greece

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

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

Israel

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

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

Armenia

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

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

Hungary

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

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

Norway

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

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

Albania

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

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

Georgia

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

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

Switzerland

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

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

Romania

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

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

The Show (Part 2)

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

Good Morning! It has already been two days since the official start of the fortnight that will see through this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The entries competing in the first semi-final had their first technical rehearsals spread out over two days and it seems that the organisation led by the Swedish broadcaster, SVT is very much well planned. There have not been too many issues with regards to camera-work and several delegations are happy with the current presentations. Others will be getting their wishes granted during the second rehearsal which will be completely open to the scrutiny of the media. escflashmalta.com in collaboration with Eurovision Ireland, escXtra and Radio International are bringing you all of the latest from the rehearsals.

escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest and some of those uploaded include Anouk from The Netherlands and Natalia Kelly from Austria. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. This is definitely going to be an intriguing day for all of the fans of Malta on this portal considering that Gianluca will be taking to his debut rehearsal on the magnificient stage in Malmo. The first eight countries competing in the second semi-final on Thursday will be rehearsing today.

Remember that we are currently preparing a set of live reports during the nights of the shows with the second semi-final being headlined by Davinia, second runner-up of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Christabelle, Solo Award Winner at the Bay Music Awards for four years running. The European Broadcasting Union along with the Swedish broadcaster, SVT have just revealed that the green room host of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be none other than Eric Saade. The young performer represented Sweden back in 2011, achieving a second runner-up finish with the song Popular. He has been extremely successful in the music industry with his albums in Sweden never charting lower than number #2 and with his last two specifically also being certified Platinum just days within their release.

Latvia

Starting the morning with an actual silver lining because PeR from Latvia are dazzling in sparkling attire as they represent Latvia. In recent years this nation has not been successful and one is not really hoping that fortunes will change with this respective entry. There is nothing wrong with the presentation noting that the performance is based mainly on the centre stage where the duo have a tendency to jump up and down in a frantic Jedward way before going onto sing the final chorus from the satellite stage. This is the opening entry for the second semi-final and it should be seen as fun but nevertheless, I do not really understand the concept behind it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u7x9t_tn24

San Marino

Recreating the music video is not always the best option but nevertheless, San Marino are a fan favourite this year and therefore, everything will be viewed as viable. Valentina is on stage in her black dress and starts off by keeping a large lit ball close to her, almost like a mother holds her child. The staging is dark prior to the key change where the black dress or rather more of a cloak is removed to reveal ... a red dress, yes exactly like the music video. This is coming across really strong vocally and whilst San Marino have a disappointing non-qualification record, they are hoping to turn that round this year. It is certainly possible and this is leaning towards becoming a certain qualifier. 

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

FYR Macedonia

Firstly, seems like the delegation is yet unsure of whether to perform in English or native tongue pertaining to the use of the former in the first rehearsal. If I Could Change the World is the official title that is being used it seems so that should be clarified. Lozano sounds spot on in terms of vocals from the onset but when Esma comes on, it sounds strained and despite the additional help of a female backing vocal, it is not sounding any better. It seems that this is very much dead in terms of qualification chances unless they can iron things out for the second rehearsal especially when it comes to the messy stage presentation that penetrates the screens. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ99M2nW6KE

Azerbaijan

Fresh off from hosting the Eurovision Song Contest last year, Azerbaijan are definitely doing their best to return to the winners' circle. Farid, a tourist in Malta not too long ago is clad in grey including shirt, trousers and waistcoat. It seems that the staging is definitely going to help this stand out ahead of Finland who are planning a superb show. Farid starts his song on a box, in which there is a male dancer who is copying his every move. This is deemed clever and impressive. There is also a female in a long red gown on stage to add to the art of it all. Farid himself is very strong vocally and this is coming across better than anticipated. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KOA-9lA2gE

Finland

Krista has somewhat been a revelation in the lead-up to the Eurovision Song Contest noting that she went on from not being a favourite of the international fans to one of those to look out for in a matter of weeks through her bubbly personality. She is clad in a wedding dress as revealed in several interviews including the one on escflashmalta.com and is joined by two backing vocalists and three dancers, the latter are dressed up as bridesmaids. For the second entry in a row, everything is being thrown into the performance including a wind machine which causes some problems for Krista. Vocally, this was near flawless. I predict this qualifying as the entry before it and the one after it, those being Azerbaijan and Malta!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcBnMp9xZ8

Malta

Despite some technical issues during the first run, the second run could not have been any different with Gianluca, his two female backing vocalists being Louise Ann and Samaria along with the rest of the band including Kenny D'Ugo, Gabriel Cassar and Christopher Tate having a resoundingly successful performance. The vocals during the second run-through were really strong and to give you an idea of the show on stage, it seems that Malta is making use of the lyric video for the background which will definitely aid to create a sing-a-long vibe with bright colours throughout. Gianluca is clad in casual attire as was he during the promotional tour incorporating chinos, a shirt and an open jacket. This was a good start but things should improve by the second rehearsal on Saturday. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKJt13kxzeU

Bulgaria

Deja Vu, that is the element which reignites my memory when watching this performance in full. Elitsa & Stoyan are wearing what seem to be traditional outfits with red being the most predominant colour. For the second rehearsal in a row, there are some problems with the inner ears that are given to the vocalists and this affects the vocals. Apart from the duet, there are three backing vocalists, and an additional dancer who plays the bagpipes on stage. First time round back in 2007, it was original and different hence the positive result but with the juries back in the Eurovision Song Contest, I can't see this entry getting out of the semi-final this time round. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwrSYlM_AC8

Iceland

Men! The first word that comes to mind with regards to this performance, considering that there are five men in total, the main vocalist and four backing singers as reported by escflashmalta.com during the past weekend. The staging is relatively dark, similar to the one used to the national final and the clothing is very much the same as well as he wears a white shirt, black waistcoat and white blazer. The vocals are strong and this is definitely this years' Estonia especially considering the improvisations that he is doing throughout the performance. The lighting is incredible and this is coming acoss really beautiful on the screens. It is Gianluca's favourite and we definitely have it in oue top three within this semi-final. 

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

escflashmalta.com has enlisted the help of six individuals from the music industry to help analyse and assess the entries competing in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Sweden following the victory of Euphoria as performed by Loreen. In the second semi-final, there will be seventeen (17) performances in total noting that there is one more competing country than in the first semi-final. Following San Marino and Latvia who will be perform first and second respectively, comes slot number three (3) featuring the FYR Macedonia. As a matter of fact, the state broadcaster, MKRTV will be represented by the song Pred Da Se Razdeni co-written by Darko Dimitrov, Lazar Cvetkovski, Simeon Atanasov and Magdalena Cvetkovska with vocals provided by none other than a duet in the form of Esma & Lozano.

Esma started her career when she was a schoolgirl. First she performed in all school events, and one day she was nominated by the Principal of the school to represent the school on one very popular radio show called “The microphone is yours”, organised by Radio Skopje. That was in 1957 and Esma took the first prize in the competition and she received a large sum of money, but in that time of happiness she was also upset because she didn’t tell her parents where she was going, and was ashamed to tell them, and was afraid that her mother would find the prize money. In the end, Esma told the truth to her family. In that competition she was seen by Stevo Teodosievski, very famous musician and composer, who worked in Radio Skopje. He was fascinated by her voice, and came to her house asking her parents to allow her to be his student and a member of Ensemble Teodosievski. Her career expanded rapidly and she became very famous all over the world. In 1960 she performed in Paris Olympia.

 In 1958 she recorded her first record, with the legendary song Zoshto Si Me Majko Rodila, and after that her greatest hit Chaje Shukarije. In 1976 in India, in a city of Chandigarh, on the First Gypsy World Festival, she was crowned as the Queen of Gypsy. That certificate was given by Indira Gandi. Esma has been awarded with many, many awards and certificates. Vlatko Lozanoski - Lozano is a Macedonian singer from Kičevo - F.Y.R. Macedonia. His first public appearance was as a participant in the talent show Mak Stars (September 2007 - May 2008). A month later when the show was over, he won the Grand Prix on the first Macedonian Radio Festival called Starry Night where he sang the song Take Me Back, that was his first official single. In October 2008, singing only his third official single At The Time If Time Could Stand Still, Lozano was awarded, by the jury, the Debut Prize at MakFest, the most prestigious music festival in F.Y.R. Macedonia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7C1r46GWjI 

Two days later, on the final evening, Lozano won the MakFest Grand Prix, awarded by the audience. The Sun Doesn’t Shine On Me was his next single that became his greatest hit and it was officially declared the biggest Macedonian radio hit of the year, having won the first place at the Macedonian Radio Festival Mars in November 2008. In February 2009, he participated in F.Y.R. Macedonia's national selection for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest singing his fifth single Close To Me and was placed fourth. In July, he participated on the Slavyanski Bazar Festival in Vitebsk, Belarus and won the second prize. Next, Lozano performed I'm Your Angel along with Magdalena Cvetkoska on the Golden Wings Festival in Moldova, and they won the second prize. He was also awarded the Best Male Voice. His first album named Lozano was released in early 2010. In February 2010 he participated in the Macedonian national selection for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest singing I’m Flying Towards You. 

FYR Macedonia has been competing in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1998 and this will ultimately be their thirteenth participation. MKRTV, the broadcaster decided to select their entry internally for the second consecutive year following the success of Kaliopi whose entry Crno i Belo finished in thirteenth place with seventy-one points, making it the second best result for the nation. Following four (4) consecutive non-qualifications, it was pretty much required to keep the public interested and therefore, one will be keen to see whether the Macedonian, Romani track will manage to take the nation into the final for the second consecutive year. Since the introduction of the semi-final system back in 2004, the country had always managed to get through to the final stage of the competition by virtue of finishing in either tenth or ninth place and therefore, scraping through. The system of voting changed in 2008 just when the song Let Me Love You by Tamar, Vrcak and Adrian was performed to the general public. When both jury and tele-voting came in, that being 2011, the results weren't improving until last year.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 60%

Martin Isherwood: wish I taken languages at college. Good strong male voice - although gets a bit less predictable when the female vocal joins the track Good intro - sneaks in. Unusual feel change! Not sure what the middle section is for. Bit too much of a mix of ideas and feels for it to work well.

Sharon Vaughn: An awkward mix of genres. Too many to keep the song from being fractured. The attempt to make it modern detracted from the beauty of the song and the power of the male vocal.

Stano Simor: A typical balkan song with a number of classical interventions, somewhat well adjusted to the tastes of a European audience. The language is somewhat intriguing because it finds itself at a great advantage and is in contrast to other Eastern European languages, for the simple reason that it is easy on the ear. This is not for the first place in the semifinals, but if FYR Macedonia work on their promotion, it certainly has a chance to advance to the final.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LwGGo5ZfF8

Published in Editorials

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

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

First Semi-Final (14th May)

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

Second Semi-Final (16th May)

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAzmvBcUPuc
Saturday, 16 March 2013 14:18

FYR Macedonia: Brand New Song Presented

Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia has chosen their artists quite a while ago, these being Vlatko Lonzanoski & Esma Redžepova. FYR Macedonia had already presented an entry for this year which was called Imperija but MKRTV, the broadcaster responsible for the participation received negative comments about it, resulting that most of them were critical about the song choice. Due to this, MRKTV changed their minds and now presented a brand new song following their local version of Dancing With The Stars. The brand new track is entitled Pred da se Razdeni which translates into Just Before The Dawn.

"We found a way how to get the maximum from vocal capabilities of Esma and Lozano. This is a modern song with some elements of Roma music, that made Esma so popular and a well known artist. We combined two different styles and what we got in the end is a song that will represent our country in a very decent way. Esma's name, her style and quality in the performance of Roma music is very known worldwide. But Lozano is an amazing singer, too. All together, it will be a perfect way to represent FYR Macedonia in Malmö", the Head of Delegation, Ljupcho Mirkovski said.

Vlatko (Lonzano) is a famous pop-singer whereas Esma is a brilliant folk singer. The lyrics are written by Magdalena Cvetovska-Ena while the music of this song is written by no other than Lazar Cvetoski and Darko Dimitrov. The song is a great mixture of modern pop and romani music which is definitely not something we hear a lot but surely stands-out. Lonzano's voice in this song shows how strong it is and Esma shows how much of a performer she is in performing this song. This song is mainly to feature the voice abilities of both Esma & Lozano thus resulting into a powerful song.

Source: MKRTV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m71hJUj76jM

Friday, 08 March 2013 17:07

FYR Macedonia: Entry Set to Be Changed

Crno I Belo presented by Kaliopi managed to qualify to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest last year noting that it brought an end to the unsuccessful attempts of the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. MRT, the broadcaster has decided to keep intact with the formula and go for yet another internal selection, eventually coming up with a duet involving Esma and Lozano but it seems that the main focus of their participation, the actual song entitled Imperija has not been met by positive criticism and therefore is set to be replaced according to several people with insider information.

The Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia are set to compete in the second semi-final with Tomorrow performed by Gianluca Bezzina on behalf of Malta. It is said that due to the reaction of the domestic public, a brand new entry is currently being written by Darko Dimitrov and Lazar Cvetkovski. The former does have experience within the Eurovision Song Contest having written the 2006 entry Ninanajna which achieved twelfth place, the best result for the nation at the event. MRT, the broadcaster is yet to confirm this news but the official video has been taken offline. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Utrinski Vesnik

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD3i2UfQGAk

Thursday, 28 February 2013 12:17

FYR Macedonia: 'Imperija' Officially Revealed

MRT, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia suffered through four years of non-qualification, twice due to a regulation set forth by the European Broadcasting Union that the tenth qualifier would be selected by the national juries. This rule was abolished in 2011, when the juries were given a 50% stake in deciding the final results. The results were overturned last year when Kaliopi performed the track Crno I Belo finishing in thirteenth place within the final stage, making it the second best result for the country. 

This year, another internal selection took place due to the success of the previous year with Esma & Lozano given the role of representatives. Imperija which translates into Empire is the song that they will be performing in the first part of the second semi-final alongside Tomorrow by Gianluca Bezzina on behalf of Malta and it features a mixture of pop, dance and folk music. It seems that traditional elements are becoming quite notable in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with several countries wanting their national heritage preserved and promoted in the best possible way. As a matter of fact, they will be aided by a short yet effective promotional tour.

The duet which might seem odd at first is coming across well through the music video and the harmonies match perfectly. During the song presentation that took place last night, Esma performed a number of her signature tunes whilst Lozano performed the 1987 winning entry of the Eurovision Song Contest, Hold Me Now. Prior to the performance of Imperija, they sang a traditional song entitled Blaguno Deyche. Also performing during the presentation was Kaliopi, who performed the song that got back the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia back into the finals for the first time since 2007. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: MRT, Eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofB4nvQvZPI

Thursday, 07 February 2013 16:24

Eurovision 2013: Three Revelations in Two Weeks

The 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be taking place in Malmö, Sweden which people will surely remember as last having been the host back in 1992, seeing to the victory of Linda Martin with the track Why Me? written by Johnny Logan for Ireland. At this point in time, entries have been selected and publicly presented by Albania, Ukraine, Malta, Iceland, Switzerland, Lithuania, and Belarus although, final versions will be expected in due course. On the other hand, earlier today, three broadcasters confirmed that they will be unveiling their entries for the showcase within the next couple of days with a presentation show each.

CyBC for Cyprus and RTVSLO for Slovenia have decided to unveil their entries on Valentine's Day, meaning that it would be on the same night that Germany will be selecting their entry through a three way voting procedure featuring a professional jury, a radio jury and a public vote. Cyprus will be represented by Despina Olympiou with a ballad performed in Greek co-written between Zenon Zintillis and Andreas Georgallis. The show starting at 15:00 CET is entitled Mazi and will be broadcast online. Slovenia will be represented by Hannah Mancini who hails from the United States but has been residing in the Balkan nation for the past six years. 

In FYR Macedonia, more details have been revealed at this point in time with the performers being Vlatko Lozanoski and Esma and the track bearing the name Opsesija (Obsession). The presentation show has been setup for the 27th February during a special show which will be airing on both MKRTV 1 and MKRTV Sat. FYR Macedonia will be the only nation out of the three competing alongside Malta in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, also within the same section of the second semi-final. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: CyBC, RTVSLO, MKRTV 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nJcmLMb5to

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