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Saturday, 02 February 2013 10:25

MESC 2013: Entry to be Selected This Evening

The Public Broadcasting Services is a member of the European Broadcasting Union and thus entitled to participate in the annual Eurovision Song Contest, something which has become somewhat of a tradition in the country which will be picking the twenty-sixth entry this evening from what has been described as the strongest field in years. Last night, in the semi-final, eight entries had to be eliminated due to the stipulation of the regulations and as published in an earlier analysis, there were quite a couple of surprises. This morning, all of the sixteen (16) qualifiers take to the stage to perform their entries in the final running order prior to the actual show.

According to our latest information, directly from the hall thanks to Emil Calleja Bayliss it seems that this evening, the hosts being Elaine Saliba and Gordon Bonello will be interviewing each respective artist prior to the performance followed by an advert until the track starts. The producers have also worked on the running order for the show having drawn the opening and closing tracks in a post semi-final press conference last night. The rehearsal started a little bit later than planned but nevertheless, it seems that despite the fact that the artists were awake not too long ago, they are well paced for this evenings' showcase and are ready to give their best with the hope of becoming the twenty-sixth representatives of the nation, and thus following in the footsteps of Kurt Calleja whose This Is The Night managed to qualify in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Running Order

01. Superstar - Scar (Konrad Pule)

02. Starting from the End - Dorothy Bezzina (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

03. My Stranger Love - Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

04. Ultraviolet - Jessika (Thomas G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerars James Borg)

05. Us Against the World - Gianni (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

06. Betrayed - Davinia (Elton Zarb / Muxu)

07. Needing You - Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

08. Fall Like Rome - Richard Edwards (Magnus Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

09. Perfect Day - Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

10. Love-O-Holic - Deborah C (Johan Bejerholm / Gerard James Borg)

11. When It's Time - Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / Claudia Faniello)

12. Tomorrow - Gianluca (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

13. Never Walk Away - Chris Grech (Grech / P Borg / M Borg / D Cassar Torreggiani)

14. Wonderful Today - Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

15. In Control - Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

16. Too Little Too Late - Domenique (Marc Paelinck / Matthias Strasser)

Friday, 01 February 2013 18:30

Malta Eurovision 2013: The Semi-Final - LIVE

Xarabank is the programme which normally airs on a Friday evening but nevertheless, since the introduction of the semi-final system during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, changes have been made to the overall broadcasting schedule. As a matter of fact, this is that evening and many that are anticipating a superb show shouldn't be disappointed because production values are through the roof. The Public Broadcasting Services has invested a lot of time into this venture and indeed, the results are showing at an international level, considering the almost qualification of Glen Vella with the song One Life in 2011 and the qualification of Kurt Calleja with his entry This Is The Night in 2012. Successful transitions have been made and the aim of the evening is to downsize and make sure that the public and the jury listen to the suitable sixteen (16) entries.

The evening will be hosted by Elaine Saliba and Gordon Bonello whilst Rodney Gauci will be taking on the role of backstage host whilst also doing the commentary with Norman Vella on TVM 2, for those who might not be that inclined within the forum of the competition itself. The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest will not be broadcasting the showcase this evening although showing the final tomorrow night. However, the foreign viewers should not fret because a live stream is being offered on the official website of the Public Broadcasting Services. Twenty-four (24) entries will be competing and eight (8) will have to be eliminated, despite the stunning talent that graces this years' competition. The judges coming from Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Croatia, Ukraine, Italy and Malta will have a tough decision to make whilst the public vote will count as one of the judges'.

1, 2, 3... Go! 

 

A collage of clips of last year’s winner, Kurt Calleja and his This is the night lead us to tonight’s show... And you get to think: really? Did we really do that?

And he’s now on stage; it looks impressive, indeed. The stage, not Kurt's performance, mind you. 

 

Elaine Saliba and Gordon Bonello appear on stage... and there seems to be an ugly problem with the sound. We can hardly understand what they are saying. Yay, brilliant start! 

And there is goes... we had to have a jibe at last year’s glove!

Everybody is sporting a Vileda glove. Not really funny, is it? Let’s not stretch it, please. It becomes lame. 

The judges are now introduced, with Maria Muscat and Carlo Borg Bonaci being the Maltese ones on the panel. 
 Off we go... not without a fair share of ads, of course.  

01. Fall Like Rome – Richard Edwards (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

When Richard utters a couple of words you can’t but say “Yay, yay! He can pronounce them words properly!” He looks rather stylish and laid-back, with the unnecessary frills (which are usually predominant in this show). His captivating voice keeps you hooked all through. Yet, the song leaves a lot to be desired. It doesn’t quite do it, really. Too many metaphors and nuances there, so you can hardly follow.  He did give a nice performance, however, much more was expected of him. 

02. Tides of Illusion – Ylenia (Jason Cassar / Mario Farrugia)

Is it my impression or is she a bit off? Something isn’t working there. Also, the choreography seems a bit messed up: the dancers are sloppy and seemingly out of synch. On the whole, it was a rather boring show. The song is forgotten as soon as it finishes - unlike her dress; that we will surely remember. It hits you in the eye. 

03. Perfect Day – Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

Janica has a nice voice, almost soothing. Yet, this isn’t really evident in the performance she is giving today. I don’t like the dress much, I think she could have done more with the attire; it looks way too sombre.
 

04. Never Walk Away – Chris Grech (M Borg / P Borg / D Cassar Torreggianni / C Grech)

So there was a lot of hype surrounding this song. Let's see. All right, he’s a very good voice. I’ll grant that. They are having very serious problems: it is not even synced. We are getting a very crappy version of the song. From the bits and pieces we could get at home, it is very evident that the song is one of the best ones thus far. Yet, it does lack a certain climax I believe - though that could easily be fixed. Indeed a good one here!


05. Overrated – Marilena (Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

Marilena comes on stage and your eyes start bleeding. Your eyes urge you to chop them off. What can I say? This is the typical song you have to have at such competitions. You will just get it out of your system once it’s over. The show is crap - the dancers/backing are more of a distraction - they surely don’t help the act. Yes, Marilena, totally Overrated. (Again, it was not even synced.)


06. No One’s Home – Petra (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

So do we have a vintage blues chic here? Well, if we do, she’s vocally stable and the voice is indeed remarkable. I would dare say that, vocally speaking, she’s been the best one so far. The whole act is, to be honest.  Petra has good stage presence (well, apart from her channelling Katy Perry a bit too much) and makes you follow her all through. A strong contestant - it would be a pity not to see her through. 


07. Starting from the End – Dorothy Bezzina (Kaxe / Gerard J Borg)

Dorothy’s impeccable mastery of vocals is impressive. The backing really makes the voice reverberate and blends really well. The acoustics are not doing her voice any justice; it sounds too tinny. Yet, the song is a strong one and, needless to say, makes you listen to it attentively. The whole act was a good one... even though her cheesy hand/arm moves could have been spared. Dorothy should definitely make it.


08. Too Little Too Late – Domenique (M Paelnick / M Strasser)

Domenique looks like a wrapped present in that dress and she’s looking twice her age. Jewellery, hair-do and makeup have totally overpowered her. She’s a really pretty girl, but the whole thing totally ruined that. The voice is nice one, but the song is weak. 


09. Ultraviolet – Jessika (T G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

At first I somehow liked the looks. But then, the whole thing looked as if they’re two different things stuck together (OK, they are ultraviolet, but still...). I must say I don’t particularly fancy the song. Jessica strives to give a great performance, however it does come across as if she is straining her voice. All in all, she tries too hard and it shows. She'd have a better chance if she were to tone it all down and opt for softer and more mellow vocals. 


10. Let Your Heart Talk – Franklin (Ray Agius / Alfred C Sant)

If there’s something you can’t criticise about Franklin is that he is always impeccably dressed, wherever you see him. Yet, he didn’t really convince me here. He has a marvellous voice which hooks you and make you listen to each work attentively. He is having some tiny problems with the base notes; they need to be supported a little better. And perhaps a little more work on the breathing.. but then you say: “who cares?” That ending was superb!


11. When It’s Time – Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / C Faniello)

Where’s Carina when you need her? Claudia’s dress was fabulous last year... this year it just won’t do. That outfit looks, well, out of place. She should totally have gone for more of an Annouk sort of look. Which is an absolute pity! She is also wearing too much makeup. The song is beautiful, with gorgeous music. Claudia is actually one the very few singers who seem to improve with each passing years... This song is great for her kind of voice. She seems to have found her genre and range!


12. My Stranger Love – Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Corazon looks like the innocent girl you would want to do well. Then you think that she writes her own songs and you say that’s a good bonus. She sits there, and she sort of reminds you of Alicia Keys: sleek, pony tail, long dress, chunky earrings. And then she stands up, and you see that dress. No, it really wasn’t the best option; yet one could say it’s something a bit different. The song would need some more syncopation. I think it would go well with a bit of a blues feel to shake off that classical Eurovision-sort-of-ballad and make it a tad more original. 


13. Needing You – Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

They say Kevin is going to sing and most of the audience goes clapping and shouting - positive sign he needn’t worry much? Well, they surely weren’t clapping for that hairstyle. There is harmony on stage; the backing and Kevin are doing a great job. Yet, the song is not as strong. It’s very pop-band-goes-mushy-in-a-Christmas-special. And what’s with the dancer that joins him on stage? Isn’t she more irrelevant than Franco Debono? (to keep the comedians’ joke going, you know...) Nothing special, really. 


14. Superstar – Scar (Konrad Pule)

I always like Scar, really. I think they break the routine kind of thing. They always come up with a good song and structure; the presentation is simple - as should be. The leading singer is very laid-back, as the song demands. It’s a rhythmic song you need to have. Less is truly more in this case. 


15. Loverdose – Melanie Zammit (N Lundin, M Lundin, Gerard J Borg)

As much as stage presence is important, it is ultimately a song contest. I wouldn’t want to sound too harsh, but Melanie came off as one who hardly has any vocal ability. A pretty face, cool attire, fancy dancing and psychedelic projections in the background just won't cut it. No. The song left much to be desired, which is a pity as was expecting a great performance by melanie. 


16. Fantasy – Danica Muscat (Paul Abela / Joe J Farrugia)

That hair made her look much older than she actually is; but the rest seems to work really well together. Th performance was a good one. She has a good voice and masters it well; though it needs refining. The whole act was positive... BUT, why did you have to ruin it with that “tenkkjuwww” at the end, Danica? 


17. Wonderful Today – Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

What’s happened to Petra? The leather skinny trousers don’t do her justice, do they? Also, the duet didn’t work out the way they must have thought it would work. Her voice is literally too domineering: she also comes off as hey-I’m-super-confident-ok?. When they sing together, their voices clash - she sounds flat and he becomes sharp. I surely preferred their individual songs. A poor act. 


18. Love-O-Holic – Deborah C (Bejerholm / Gerard J Borg)

She shrills and belts from the throat, her diction is pitiable and her moves leave much to be desired. The song was so boring and repetitive that I found myself wondering about how they would cope if her extensions were to catch fire.


19. Us Against the World – Gianni (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

Gianni is cool and it’s a pleasure to have on stage, yet he has a weak vocal range. in fact he suffers with some notes. On the whole, the song various on the fun-decent song to sing along. It’s not boring, though it does get rather repetitive. Other than that, the stage presence is good and the whole act made sense together. Not a strong one, though. 


20. Keep Believing – Raquela (Raquela)

Quite a pleasantly different style for Raquela. However, it does get boring at some point, and then, all of a sudden it finishes and it leaves you expecting more to come. The song definitely needs more working. Also, the dress, too reminiscent of a disco ball gone wrong on her, isn’t working all that much here. 


21. Tomorrow – Gianluca Bezzina (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

Gianluca's smile is infectious, as is his song. It's a cheeky sing along song without that typical Eurovision stamp to it. The stage setup is simple, as is his outfit which match the easy breezy mood of the song brilliantly. Having said that, I can't help but feel that the beginning, as well as the bass line and harmony resemble train's 'Hey Soul Sister' a tad too much. 

22. In Control – Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Amber is coming across as too nasal. Her singing is good, but that high note sort of hurt the ear. It was a rather good act on the whole, pleasant to follow. I found nothing special in it that will make me think of the song afterwards. Also, the attire wasn’t really the best they could go for. Her dress did not really and truly suit her, and the the backing vocalists’s dresses being didn’t fully complement the idea there. 


23. The Remedy – Klinsmann (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

Kinsman seems to be another artist who strives to improve every year; it shows that he's growing and maturing. Then again, as always, he's a little too 'Busted', yet the song is decent. The tune is Catchy yet nothing to write home about. "Woow woow" seems to be his motto, he always finds a way to sneak it into his songs, year after year. All in all, though, a decent performance. 

24. Betrayed – Davinia (E Zarb / Muxu)

I have this ambivalent feeling about Davinia. I think the dress could have been better, as this one had a bit of a tacky feel to it. She has a surprisingly appealing and sultry voice. I admit I liked the whole act. It was good all through I believe. She should make it through as I think it is a strong one. 


 

The Show (Part 2)

 

Now that we are done listening to the songs, the hosts have opened the tele-voting. People have 15 minutes to vote for their favourite act. And what do the televiewers get during this time? You get ads on end... and it seems this interval is turning into a rather prolonged one. Though I’m not that keen on it, I believe it would have been much better to have some sort of filler. 

 

The filler seems to have been sorted - we have a recap of the 24 songs.  

 

And now that the 15 minutes are over, the tele-voting has been closed ...to be followed, of course, with another long list of ads. 

 

After a longish chit-chat with the contestants, when everybody was expecting the finalists to be announced, Chris and Moira take to the stage. And hey, why do we even need to have tomorrow’s final? Moira sounds brilliant tonight - let’s all vote her in, shall we? 

 

After two great performances by Chris and Moira, Alex Alden performs a cover of Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony. I personally think this wasn’t a very wise choice; you don’t have an unplugged performance as one of the fillers in a national contest.  

 

Qualifiers

 

Betrayed – Davinia (E Zarb / Muxu)

 

Love-O-Holic – Deborah C (Bejerholm / Gerard J Borg)

 

Never Walk Away – Chris Grech (M Borg / P Borg / D Cassar Torreggianni / C Grech)

 

Us Against the World – Gianni (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

 

Perfect Day – Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

 

Ultraviolet – Jessika (T G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

 

Too Little Too Late – Domenique (M Paelnick / M Strasser)

 

Starting from the End – Dorothy Bezzina (Kaxe / Gerard J Borg)

 

Wonderful Today – Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

 

Tomorrow – Gianluca Bezzina (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

 

Fall Like Rome – Richard Edwards (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

 

Needing You – Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

 

Superstar – Scar (Konrad Pule)

 

My Stranger Love – Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

 

When It’s Time – Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / C Faniello)

 

In Control – Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

 

 

For televiewers, what proved to be the highlight of the show was the dismal sound quality throughout the first half of the show. Yet, all in all, I admit this evening showed a true improvement on previous years, probably due to the fact that artists who are not synonymous with the show participated for the first time, which improved the quality of the songs offered drastically. This also offered a bigger diversity in terms of song styles and genres, since lyricists and songwriters who used to write most of the songs in previous years seem to have lost their monopoly...

 

On the other hand, I must say the presenters did a better job this year. Yet, this is not because they were wittier or anything of the sort: they were just lucky that the elections are  round the corner. In fact, just to make sure that they combine two of the Maltese population's obsessions, they went all out with snide election remarks/jokes. It seemed funny at first, but then it all went floppy when they started stretching it. In a post-show press conference, it was revealed that the opening act in the final will be Superstar by Scar whilst the closing act will be Domenique with Too Little Too Late. The rest of the running order will be decided by the producers in the next couple of hours.

 

Source: TVM, escflashmalta.com

Friday, 01 February 2013 16:40

MESC 2013: Public Poll Predicts Qualifiers

The final preparations for this evenings' Malta Eurovision Song Contest are surely taking place at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre with a final run through of the show taking place this morning, ironing out the issues that might have arose during the dress rehearsal but everything is ready for the twenty-four entries to be performed on the largest stage that the country could offer. For all the details pertaining to the organisation of the evening, please refer to the earlier article posted. Nevertheless, the showcase will definitely be one to enjoy throughout. This online portal, escflashmalta.com has been asking people to select their favourite entry in this years' competition and following the submission of 6454 individual votes, which is 1838 more than the past year where Kaya had finished in the top spot ahead of Claudia Faniello. 

Predictions are not easy to make but nevertheless, we are going to give it a go and predict which sixteen will ultimately make it through to the final round of the selection tomorrow night, as chosen by the Public Poll. It is important to denote that this is not the perception of any of the members of the editorial team but of the general public with votes this year coming in from Malta, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Cyprus, Australia and the United Kingdom amongst others. There were a lot of surprises in my opinion and some of those which were set to make it through just by virtue of their vocal skills might have not due to the fact that their entries are not thought to be strong enough. Nevertheless, in alphabetical order, this is the list of qualifiers;

Betrayed - Davinia (Elton Zarb / Muxu)

In Control - Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Keep Believing - Raquela (Raquela)

Let Your Heart Talk - Franklin (Ray Agius / Fleur Balzan)

Love-O-Holic - Deborah C (Johan Bejerholm / Gerard J Borg)

Loverdose - Melanie Zammit (Maria & Niclas Lundin / Gerard J Borg)

Needing You - Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

Never Walk Away - Chris Grech (Grech / P Borg / M J Borg / D C Torreggiani)

Overrated - Marilena Gauci (Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

Perfect Day - Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

Starting from the End - Dorothy Bezzina (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard J Borg)

Tides of Illusion - Ylenia (Jason Cassar / Mario Farrugia)

Tomorrow - Gianluca Bezzina (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

Ultraviolet - Jessika (Philip Vella / G:Son / Gerard J Borg)

Us Against the World - Gianni (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

When It's Time - Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / Claudia Faniello)

escflashmalta.com would like to wish all of the participants competing in this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest, the very best of luck, hoping that the best sixteen performances ultimately qualify to the final round of the selection process tomorrow night. There are always a couple of surprises in the eyes of the public but the jury would like to make sure that that special ingredient is selected on behalf of the country. The road to select the twenty-sixth representative and Kurt Calleja's successor commences this evening. Remember, that Keith Borg-Micallef will be doing a LIVE report of the show this evening, which in turn will air on TVM, TVM 2 and Radju Malta. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhBsCop3Ys

Published in Editorials

The Public Broadcasting Services will be hosting the semi-final of this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest later tonight where twenty-four (24) entries will be competing to reach the final stage of the showcase, which is set to take place tomorrow night. Ultimately, sixteen (16) entries from this evening will survive with eight (8) being eliminated following a consensus between the public and the present jury which hails from Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Croatia, Ukraine, Italy and Malta. The Dress Rehearsal which took place last night was without any real glitches and it is important to denote that Elaine Saliba and Gordon Bonello are truly an inspiring pair with a relaxed script which is coming out as witty, and casual. Slight issues were amended and people could be ready to enjoy a spectacular show either on TVM, TVM 2 or Radju Malta whereas in the latter two, commentary will be provided in Malta to the local viewers.

The glitz and glamour of the competition is definitely extremely present this time round and there have been several additions to the dynamics of the stage in order to make it look extremely well placed on the tele-vision screens. In the meantime, the full guest list has been revealed to include local performers for this evening including last years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest winner, Kurt Calleja whose This Is The Night managed to make it through to the final albeit reaching a lower table position at the end of the evening. He will be joined by up and coming vocalist, Alex Alden as well as the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest representatives, Chris & Moira who will be doing a number of tracks from their repertoire. There have been no changes to the running order and as a matter of fact, all of the rehearsals that took place between yesterday and this morning, was seen in the manner that the public will see it.

01. Fall Like Rome – Richard Edwards (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

02. Tides of Illusion – Ylenia (Jason Cassar / Mario Farrugia)

03. Perfect Day – Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

04. Never Walk Away – Chris Grech (M Borg / P Borg / D Cassar Torreggianni / C Grech)

05. Overrated – Marilena (Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

06. No One’s Home – Petra (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

07. Starting from the End – Dorothy Bezzina (Kaxe / Gerard J Borg)

08. Too Little Too Late – Domenique (M Paelnick / M Strasser)

09. Ultraviolet – Jessika (T G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

10. Let Your Heart Talk – Franklin (Ray Agius / Alfred C Sant)

11. When It’s Time – Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / C Faniello)

12. My Stranger Love – Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

13. Needing You – Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

14. Superstar – Scar (Konrad Pule)

15. Loverdose – Melanie Zammit (N Lundin, M Lundin, Gerard J Borg)

16. Fantasy – Danica Muscat (Paul Abela / Joe J Farrugia)

17. Wonderful Today – Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

18. Love-O-Holic – Deborah C (Bejerholm / Gerard J Borg)

19. Us Against the World – Gianni (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

20. Keep Believing – Raquela (Raquela)

21. Tomorrow – Gianluca Bezzina (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

22. In Control – Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

23. The Remedy – Klinsmann (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

24. Betrayed – Davinia (E Zarb / Muxu)

In a press release published by the Public Broadcasting Services this morning, it was revealed that commentary on the show through TVM 2 will be conducted by Norman Vella of the show TV Hemm as well as Rodney Gauci who will be hosting the backstage special whilst the duties on Radju Malta have been given to former Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza Chairman and Advisory Team Member, Frederick Zammit. In the meantime, escflashmalta.com will also be running a LIVE commentary with Keith Borg-Micallef, who is a music critic in his own right, so we indeed hope that you tune for his cheeky and realistic comments about the performances. The show in itself should be a spectacle for everyone to enjoy so if you live abroad and would like to watch, you can also do so through the official website of Television Malta.

Source: TVM, escflashmalta.com

Thursday, 31 January 2013 11:00

MESC 2013: The Day before the Semi-Final

Television Malta, the visual broadcasting method of the Public Broadcasting Services will be transmitting the semi-final of this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest tomorrow night starting at 20:30 CET simultaneously on TVM and TVM 2, with a special commentary being offered on the latter for those who are not typically fans of the competition. The preparations for the competition officially commenced on Tuesday and all of the acts have now taken to the stage three (3) times in total although, this morning and this evening, will mark the first time that they will be performing in their respective running order. The set-up at the venue is quite impressive and it is coming across extremely well on screen, pointing out the element that, this is indeed, a television spectacle.

The editorial board of escflashmalta.com has been on hand at the rehearsals for the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and can say that the way that the preparations were done this year, is quite well suited. This is due to the fact, that the first day was organised for the set up of the lighting and the visuals with the second day focusing rather on the sounds with regards to main and backing vocals. Run throughs on the other hand will be quite pivotal to see the gelling together of the show but nevertheless, people will surely be expecting a couple of surprises. Amongst the guests that performed in the past couple of days, there were Ġorġ u Pawlu with their track Hot and Famous composed by Philip Vella and penned by Cher Vella, Kurt Calleja who will be performing a medley of international and personal hits and the cast of D.R.E.A.M.S who have prepared a stunning showcase in Maltese for all of the local viewers to enjoy.

In the meantime, earlier this morning, the National Press Service of Belarus was informed by BTRC, the broadcaster responsible for the nations' participation in the Eurovision Song Contest that the Head of Delegation, Olga Salamakha will be one of the jury members in what is said to be an international panel of judges for this years' competition although, some local members are expected as has been the case in recent years. Speaking to the press, Olga stated 'This year the Maltese entry will be chosen by the international jury composed of representatives of the companies that make part of the European Broadcasting Union'. It is also being discussed that the countries will be aiding each other in the respective promotional tour. It has been said by ESCKaz that the jury involves a panel coming from Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Croatia, Italy and Ukraine. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: BTRC, National Press Service, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgaX5QuMGR8

Published in Local Music News
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 00:05

MESC 2013: Initial Rehearsals Commence Today

The final preparations are now going at a steady pace, the stage is set and today the singers will take the stage for their very first technical rehearsal. This is when the excitement starts and builds up throughout the week with the actual showcase taking shape as the days go by. The Public Broadcasting Services has released the stage design for this weekend’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest in which, twenty-four entries will be competing with the hope of representing the country in this years' Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Malmo, Sweden.

The stage design is once again designed by the talented Carlo Schembri who has been entrusted in carrying out this job for the past number of years. His precision, creativity and flare of imagination leaves us guessing till the very ending but the final result is always spectacular to say the least. The stage is particularly designed for a television spectacle which allows numerous possibilities in terms of different shots the viewers will be able to see during the show this weekend. The director of photography is surely not new to the scene having been Stage Graphics Co-Ordinator at the Isle of MTV – Johnny MC will work closely with Nick Malbon, the Lightning Director for the festival who has also worked with MTV as an architectural lightning programmer.

Having such an experienced team is surely the key for success; they will be aided by Front of House Engineer, Arturo Pellegrini who has collaborated on various projects with Mediaset. The monitor engineer for the festival is also world class like the former names; Filippo Zecchini’s portfolio includes the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Zucchero, Riccardo Cocciante and Pavarotti. The overall set and lightning are going to be some spectacular and PBS described this as a ‘first for Malta’. That is no easy task to live up and expectations are running high but with the first preview image of the design and the stage lit up things look more than promising. Getting the feel and slowly start getting accustomed to the stage, with the positioning and the shots is surely a challenging task which the singers will have to surpass.

The rehearsals are there to make sure that by Friday night everything will be top-notch with everyone ready to rock the arena and rise to the occasion; with a mix of new comers and experienced contestants, it is going to be interesting to see who ready to shine brighter than the others and snatch the golden ticket to Malmo. In the meantime, apart from guest performances from the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest representative, Kurt Calleja and the cast of the hit musical dream series; D.R.E.A.M.S, there will be a special performance of Hot and Famous by the comic duo Gorg & Pawlu as well as Heilsarmee who will be representing Switzerland with the track You and Me. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKbzOIab0yM

Published in Local Music News

With this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest just a couple of days away, the final days of promotion have commenced with the final leg of the schedule put forth for a number of artists. Nevertheless, appearances as a group are rare especially when taking into consideration that this is a competition in which someone will come out as the winner, leaving the others all in runner-up slots. Eight particular entries will fall at the first hurdle following a jury and public vote on Friday evening and that is what will prove interesting. When the time comes, it will indeed come but until then the Public Broadcasting Services continues preparations and this evening, all of the acts will be present on the programme Xarabank as the final pre-show takes place with lighthearted moments, medleys and more.

Peppi Azzopardi, the host will be on hand to host the programme produced by Where’s Everybody and will definitely keep everyone entertained whilst calling out the names of the participants, in a manner which could be termed as funny. There are twenty-four entries competing to represent the country in the Eurovision Song Contest and two in particular have somewhat been running away with our public poll for ages as you could denote on the right hand side. Chris Grech and Kevin Borg have distinctly different entries and their own legion of fans but the jury will decide. In the meantime, tonight after the eight o’clock news bulletin at 20:45 CET, it is imperative to switch on Television Malta which is also offered through a webcast and follow the proceedings live. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Television Malta

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

Published in Local Music News
Friday, 25 January 2013 04:40

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'Tomorrow'

Anton Attard, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Broadcasting Services and Head of Delegation for the country at the Eurovision Song Contest has rebranded the competition in a manner where professionalism is at the key of every decision and when one considers the vast improvements that the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has undergone in the past three years, the attribution would be somewhat extremely notable. The countries’ participation was somewhat in decline and since the rebranding exercise took place, there has been an almost qualification and a qualification including support of the home country in the past year. The artist and entry that will be selected by the international panel of judges along with the public at home need to make sure that the chosen track will indeed be the right one that could achieve prestige because it will be facing the obstacles of a larger semi-final. The 24 entries competing in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest have also received equal promotion including on escflashmalta.com where a panel of critics have been called upon to listen to the entries and let us know their thoughts. The eventual winner of the Critics Award will be given on Sas-Sitta to be aired on the 9th February. Featuring in the nineteenth entry is Gianluca Bezzina who will be performing the song Tomorrow composed by Boris Cezek and penned by Dean Muscat.

Whilst being a complete newcomer to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, the twenty-three year old Gianluca has been around within music for a couple of years, being the lead vocalist of the band known as Funk Initiative. The music project has somewhat been a success having been nominated at the Bay Music Awards and the Malta Music Awards for best newcomers back in 2011. Since coming onto the scene, they have released a number of singles with their most successful definitely being their debut entitled Paris but nevertheless have proved versatile in adapating to genres, making them different from the rest of the bands in the country. In the meantime, Gianluca himself has stood out by himself on a number of occasions including during the bi-annual concerts known as Voices where he has been selected to take part following auditions on three occasions; in 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively. This charity event was followed by another coined as Rockestra were delivering is immensely gratifying due to the large audience present annually. Academically, and somewhat hard to beleive, Gianluca is a doctor having just graduated a couple of months back but he takes both sectors of his life extremely seriously noting that a balance is achievable for those who truly want it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_21g91h4sQ

Seeing his name in the shortlist of entrants that made it through to the second phase was already a shock in itself because this is an artist whose submission was unexpected but one that makes the competition more interesting and indeed, Tomorrow brings about a genre which has never been tackled during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Providing competition is intriguing and the judges surely had a difficult role in selecting this crop of tracks although there is variety and that is always key to a successful output. Fans of the Eurovision Song Contest who follow the selections across Europe have been extremely positive this year and that is a good omen. The track in question here seems to be a merge between Jason Mraz and Train with a feel good sound that many would enjoy listening to. Role expectations are clearly undefined this year in the competition with the songwriting credit once more going to Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat, an innovative duo who are competing with three entries despite having never submitted any tracks. They are known to be quite radio friendly although have both worked with former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Thea Garrett for example whilst also writing for some of the leading names in the local music industry including Kristina Casolani and Raquela.

The Critics Speak Out 

Rating: 70%

Sharon Vaughn: The perfect match! Music, lyrics and the artist! Spectacular, and nothing which I can criticise in a negative manner. This is highly crafted. Well done!

Martin Isherwood: Nice idea for the title but a bit clever and hard to grasp. Clever lyrics. Nice Christmas jumper. Unusual vocal sound which whilst tuneful is not particularly nice to listen to - very sibilant. Nice tunes. Pretty tune , clever lyrics but not really a EV contender. In the style of The Housemartin's? 

Stano Simor: Gianluca looks very sympathetic. Song is positive. I'm sure you already have your fans. Unfortunately, the track does not have anything new, but will still stand out. The Caribbean sound is something specific, what I like about.

Roberto Meloni: There are elements of this track which are very similar to others I have heard but nevertheless, the singer has a very nice tone and the sweater is somewhat reminding me of the Melodi Grand Prix. I feel like I would listen to this song, driving to the beach, a beautiful Maltese one.

Lina Eriksson: Sweet Gianluca. This Jason Mraz kind of song makes me smile. I really like these lyrics. Melody, lyrics, production and artist fit great together. One of my favorites

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io9GNF5IJ2Y

Published in Editorials
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 12:57

MESC 2013: The Running Order is Revealed

The Public Broadcasting Services is currently busy putting together the showcase for the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which is set to take place on the 1st and the 2nd February at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’ Qali. The twenty-four entries competing in the semi-final had not yet been told their position within the running order although in an escflashmalta.com exclusive, it was revealed that whilst Fall Like Rome by Richard Edwards would be opening the show, Betrayed by Davinia would be closing the spectacle. The rest of the running order was decided by the producers of the show in order not have recurrent song genres after each other.

The results of the semi-final will be decided in the same manner of the final noting that there will be a panel of seven local and foreign judges followed by tele-voting which will have the weight of just one judge. The first evening will be pivotal denoting that eight songs have to be eliminated and considering the outcomes of the past two years, there might be a couple of surprises. Last year, many were shocked to see I Want to Runaway sung by Eleanor Cassar and Whoop it Up! performed by Annalise Ellul failing to make it through to the final stage but indeed, this is a competition and surprises can occur. The full running order was released by the Public Broadcasting Services this morning and will be as follows;

01. Fall Like Rome – Richard Edwards (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

02. Tides of Illusion – Ylenia (Jason Cassar / Mario Farrugia)

03. Perfect Day – Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

04. Never Walk Away – Chris Grech (M Borg / P Borg / D Cassar Torreggianni / C Grech)

05. Overrated – Marilena (Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

06. No One’s Home – Petra (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

07. Starting from the End – Dorothy Bezzina (Kaxe / Gerard J Borg)

08. Too Little Too Late – Domenique (M Paelnick / M Strasser)

09. Ultraviolet – Jessika (T G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

10. Let Your Heart Talk – Franklin (Ray Agius / Alfred C Sant)

11. When It’s Time – Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / C Faniello)

12. My Stranger Love – Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

13. Needing You – Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

14. Superstar – Scar (Konrad Pule)

15. Loverdose – Melanie Zammit (N Lundin, M Lundin, Gerard J Borg)

16. Fantasy – Danica Muscat (Paul Abela / Joe J Farrugia)

17. Wonderful Today – Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

18. Love-O-Holic – Deborah C (Bejerholm / Gerard J Borg)

19. Us Against the World – Gianni (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

20. Keep Believing – Raquela (Raquela)

21. Tomorrow – Gianluca Bezzina (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

22. In Control – Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

23. The Remedy – Klinsmann (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

24. Betrayed – Davinia (E Zarb / Muxu)

The dynamics of how the show will proceed are yet unknown when it comes to interval acts and so forth but the Public Broadcasting Services selected Elaine Saliba and Gordon Cauchi as the main hosts of this years’ competition with Rodney Gauci doing the backstage interviews. Kurt Calleja, last years’ representative is not expected to perform in the semi-final stage of the competition but is preparing a medley of some of the best songs in 2012 for the final night according to his Facebook Page. This years’ Malta Eurovision Song Contest might be an extremely close affair for the third year running with the people denoting two artists; Kevin Borg and Chris Grech as their front runners. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com in the coming days for more news about the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhBsCop3Ys

The participants of this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest have been promoting their entries on a number of television and radio programmes as per the schedule set up for them by the Public Broadcasting Services yet today will mark the very first time that they are coming together on a show. Ħadd Għalik has played a major role in promoting the artists of the competition in recent years through fun filled activities, perfect for the entertainment of families. Amongst the games, there are a number of questions which the artists have to answer about each other and that has always proven to be absolutely hilarious. The show will be aired between 12:10 and 15:30 CET on Television Malta which could be streamed through the official website.

This years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is proving to be one of the most competitive in recent years noting that there has been a higher standard of quality and the country stands a better chance to do well based on that. Earlier this week, there were doubts with regards to the draw that the country was given at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, but nevertheless, despite performing in the first part of the second semi-final, the editorial board is confident that with the best entry, the odds will be overcome. Our public poll with more than five thousand votes sees Never Walk Away by Chris Grech in first place followed by Needing You by Kevin Borg in second place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news with regards to this years’ edition of the local showcase.

Source: Television Malta

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq0QxauIyic

Published in Local Music News
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