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Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

Radio International has built a name for itself throughout the years by bringing about exclusive video and audio interviews with some of the most notable names to have either participated in the Eurovision Song Contest or even in national selections preceding the continental event. As a matter of fact, in this weeks' episode, Hersi Matmuja from Albania, Aram Mp3 from Armenia, Pollaponk from Iceland and the Tolmachevy Sisters from Russia will all be having a word with the team of Radio International, assessing their experiences at the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj0oOV-2fRQ

As the curtain on the 2014 season of the Eurovision Song Contest is brought down, David Mann will continue to look at cover versions from the event whilst the latest news from escXtra and escflashmalta.com will be read out. In the meantime, former representatives of the Eurovision Song Contest are always looking for ways to please their fans and thus new music is being recorded and published throughout the year. Radio International will be playing the most recent singles as sent in by several record labels. We urge you to tune into Radio International this evening at 20:00 CET in order to request your favourite entry from the Eurovision Song Contest and listen to the special features.

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCNN1JAgWqk

In recent years, several public broadcasters have foregone promotional tours in an effort to present the most credible act possible on the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest and it seems that 2014 is no different with most countries opting to work on their presence rather than going abroad. Whilst Firelight have just returned from The Netherlands and will be jetting off to the United Kingdom in the next couple of hours, Malta has been visited by Hersi Matmuja who will be representing Albania come the international spectacle this May. There she will be performing the song One Night’s Anger composed by Gentian Lako to the lyrics of Jorgo Papingji.

During her short visit to Malta, Hersi had the opportunity to meet up with both Firelight, who will be representing the nation at this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Coming Home and Gianluca, the male vocalist who brought the country back into the top ten for the first time since 2005, and is currently scaling the top of the local charts with his latest single Light Me Up. She also gave interviews to a variety of television programmes throughout the day including none other than TVAM hosted by Norma Saliba & Pablo Micallef and Euromix hosted by Frederick Zammit on Radju Malta 2. Hersi will be performing her entry One Night’s Anger during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: PBS / TVM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4ABpIspdic

Saturday, 22 December 2012 19:05

Albania: Festivali I Kenges 51 - LIVE

The Festivali I Kenges is a showcase of Albanian talent in the vein of Sanremo and was first organised in 1962, just a couple of years following the beginning of the Eurovision Song Contest and has since played an extremely important role by virtue of discovering some of the leading talents in the country. Since their debut participation in the continental competition, they have used the Festivali I Kenges in order to garner more exposure and acclaim from the foreign media and this has since worked noting that their entries have a positive record, managing to make it through to the final on six out of nine occasions. This evening will mark the final of the 51st edition of the Albanian showcase and will be finding their next entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden.

Enkel Demi and Floriana Garo will be hosting the final of this years' edition of the Festivali I Kenges which will be shown on seven international broadcasts from within the Balkan area including Kosovo, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia as well as Albania. In the meantime, fans of the competition from outside the region have the opportunity to tune in this year by virtue of a webcast offered by the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest. The show is set to commence at around 20:30 CET and will comprise of seventeen acts in total following the disqualification of one entry earlier this evening due to apparent plagiarism. The running order for the evenings seems to have not been established thus far but do not fret because our coverage will keep you in sync. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us through our official Twitter account (@escflashmalta) where we will also be reporting.

The Show (Part 1)

The opening credits are finally being shown on screen following a long session of adverts. The theme song used for the Festivali I Kenges is really pleasant to listen to and it is the first piece of music in what seems to be a long evening ahead. We will be keeping you company so do not worry, you won't have to face the music alone. Floriana Garo is the first host on stage and she is wearing what seems to be an almost replica of what Amber won in the preselection video for Answer With Your Eyes last year and then, she introduces her co-host, Enkel Demi who is wearing a smart black suit. The hosts are currently introducing the orchestra, noting that this is the only competition used for the Eurovision Song Contest alongside Sanremo which still has live music. The jury is being revealed at the moment, remember that Malta is being represented by Public Broadcasting Services Chairman; Joseph Mizzi and now that they have been introduced, we can begin.

01. Adrian Bujupi – I çmendur për ty

The orchestra gets drumming away quite quickly as the stage turns into shades of green for the first performance which features a favourite, Adrian Bujupi. The song ranges fro mid to uptempo and one could easily get the vibe that this is a much stronger performance from the semi-final noting that he has kept his casual choice of attire going out in a casual shirt, leather jacket and beige trousers. The backing vocalists add a really nice touch to the performance and I must say that I found this as a very pleasant beginning.

02. Valon Shehu – Nuk do të ndal

The stage is relatively large and it seems like it has the idea of Sanremo behind it and as soon as this second performer opens his mouth, I am instantly reminded of Mark Tonna who has been in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on a number of occasions. The track is a middle of the road, pop/rock entry which is well aided by a number of string instruments. Valon is performing this impeccably and the fact that it slows down in the verses makes it a much more effective musical piece. Mid way through the performance, he excels in vocals with a guitar solo taking place in the background. This is a stunning entry and I wouldn't be surprised if it does well this evening, maybe even win.

03. Merland Kademi – Këtu fillon parajsa

I am actually very surprised at the amount of men in the Albanian selection considering that women seem to dominate the music scene internationally. Emotion seems to be the main element that could make this song successful and the performer is really bringing it to the stage. The vocal performance nevertheless is strained easily and the fact that he is singing with his eyes closed and making very weird expressions is not helping. The orchestra on the other hand is really performing the music beautifully because the rock ballad does build up well even though the verses feel much stronger than the chorus. This is not bad but definitely not a winner.

04. Kelly – Ylli im polar

This is relatively unexpected as I was expecting a woman to come out and perform this song but instead, a smartly dressed man who by the way is showing off a tattoo on his arm is performing this with a certain tinge to his vocal. Once more, as has been commented upon, this is a middle of the road type of pop/rock song which seems to go down with the crowd in Albania. This is the typical song which many expect in Sanremo. Translated into English, I believe that this could really sound brilliantly but I do not think that it will come out as the winner because whilst liked, the crowd will not go for this down of song for an international competition.

05. Rezarta Smaja – Ti?

The first female performer of the evening is seemingly quite advanced in terms of age but nevertheless, it shows that the veterans have strong vocals and maybe not a good fashion sense considering that she is wearing what seems to be a short dress which she deemed as unacceptable and thus added a veil to cover her legs. This is a pop/rock song and it being performed in the best possible way, the only element which I cannot fault. The orchestra is accompanying this in a remarkable manner and I cannot imagine this one finishing near the bottom because I believe that it could win. The key change is remarkably performed and I do not know what else to say, this is just brilliant!

BREAK

06. Kejsi Tola – S’jemi më atje

The 2009 Albanian representative at the Eurovision Song Contest is one of the favourites and she is back clad in a the lace black dress she used in the semi-final. The song is a simple rock ballad with a lot of emphasis on the vocal performance. When the songwriters wrote this, we are almost sure that it was with the performer in mind. As a matter of fact, the music is based on guitars and drums but nevertheless, there is a modern sound which gives it that extra edge. Kejsi is on fire this evening and her vocal is far stronger than it was in the semi-final and a shoe in to represent her country for the second time, being the only one who would manage the feat. That was an impeccable performance. Somehow, this entry also reminds me of the winning entry of Sanremo 2012, Non è L' Inferno but even stronger.

07. Lynx – Si ty askush

Well, Kejsi seems to have been blessed with her draw especially with such a boring performance following her in the form of a duo known as Lynx. This is not the first time that I have seen this group nevertheless, I do not remember being so boring if I am being honest. Once more, pop/rock seems to be the most popular genre of music in Albania because it seems to be dominant from the entries that managed to make it through to the final. The best part of this song is the key change with the guitar solo being fantastic but the song in general is absolutely dull and boring, in a final which has been quite surprisingly good thus far.

BREAK

08. Hersi Matmuja – Kush ta dha këtë emër?

I cannot help but laugh at the dress which seems to have been homemade in a traditional type of manner and nevertheless, the song itself is nowhere near being old fashioned as expected. The male vocal in the beginning and also at several stages is annoying and sounds really weird. Her vocal performance is good but I do not believe that this is the best type of track for her. The staging is changing colour from blue to red before becoming eventually purple. The presentation is good but this is such a disappointing entry considering the strong performances and tracks that have come before.

09. Rosela Gjylbegu – Dëshirë

I really like the piano in the beginning of a song and it seems that Anna Tatangelo has become Albanian because the resemblance is striking. Rosela is wearing a silver dress, very reminiscent of that worn by Jessica Muscat in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year. This is a simple ballad which unfortunately relies on some lower notes which seem to be pretty much in-existent  I was expected this one to evolve slowly but it kept a really slow tempo which did not really bode well for the strength of the vocal performance. The female backing vocalists had a really tough job to keep the harmonies going. It is a well enough performance and entry but just not for an international competition. 

10. Flaka Krelani – Tek ti në shpirt

Another one of the favourites prior to the revelation of the songs is Flaka. She is wearing a black dress with silver should pads. This very much seems to be a piano ballad but I cannot help but notice that the vocal performance is just not up to scratch from the very beginning and that Flaka was not comfortably but following the first minute, she picked it up nicely and with the help of just one backing vocal, this sounds really nice. The smoke is really a nice effect to the performance. Flaka is a popular rock singer in Albania and many see this entry as a total surprise. The vocals in the bridge are astonishing and I am clapping as soon as I finish this sentence. This could also be the entry for Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest.

11. Vesa Luma – S’jam perfekt

This has to be the weirdest outfit of the evening along with the most peculiar start to the song. She is wearing what seems to be a tablecloth in the form of a nineteenth century dress attached to black lace. The performer, a woman of course is singing a rock song and orchestrating the most ridiculous choreography of the evening. The cameras just cannot keep her still and just head into a long shot at one point because it is just difficult to track her down. This is just plain awkward, and it looks like the singer is trying to seduce people, maybe the jury? It is definitely not working.

BREAK

12. Anjeza Shahini – Love

Anjeza Shanini is an icon and her participation is quite intriguing because she honestly looks much better than she did back in 2004 when she represented her country in their first participation. This is one of the songs that sounds absolutely international and it already has the English song-title in the form of Love. Having heard the performance last night, I must say that this has greatly improved already and it shows that she would like to do well. The drummer is really enjoying his performance and he does add a lot to that strong chorus. This is a strong entry although I am not entirely of the arrangement at times. Still, should this win, it will be arranged. It is reminding me of a song yet I just cannot wrap my finger around it.

13. Adrian Lulgjuraj &  Bledar Sejko – Identitet

Another rock song and it seems to have been brought forth by people within the Osborne family especially with the lead guitarist strangely looking like his body double. One of the weaker songs in this national final but it has to be noted that there this song is quite special because of the several traditional elements that it seems to have included. The vocal performance is as good as one does expect from a rock entry but it seems that the traditional element brings about a slight pop feel. I just do not get this song and I just cannot see this winning.

14. Bojken Lako – Lot… Jetë? Dashuri

It seems that the fourteenth performer is paying homage to a popular being and his vocal is instantly giving him off as a rock performer. The stage is quickly bathed in blue and black with smoke coming out from below him. There is no connection with the camera as Bojken decides to rather put his focus in an emotional performance. The addition of a male backing vocalist for this song doesn't work because it sounds like someone has just died unfortunately. Nevertheless, this is not bad at all although will never catch anyone's attention at the Eurovision Song Contest because it is just too bland and would instantly be forgettable. 

15. Selami Kolonja – Ku je?

One of the older participants in this years' competition and as expected, an emotional ballad with a stage bathed in blue and red lights, a slight touch of white. The piano being used is also white and I must say, I absolutely love the music. Surprisingly enough, this doesn't sound new, and even funnier, the singers' looks are very reminiscent of Tor Endresen who had represented Norway with San Francisco. I must say that the vocal performance is impeccable though but nevertheless, this is another entry that would really be lost at the Eurovision Song Contest because it does not have that extra dash of oomph which a song requires.
 
16. Dr Flori & Fabi – Jam ti!

The penultimate song of the evening is actually a hip hop type of entry, and this is surely weird coming from Albania which is known for the typical pop/rock genre. This is actually refreshing for what has come at the end of the evening. The vocals are spot on and it seems that the addition of some slight pop also works very well. Montenegro are already sending a hip/hop, rapping duo though and thus it would not be the best solution to have two facing each other. The attire chosen might be a little too smart for this performance but not bad indeed.
 
17. Xheni & Enxhi Kumrija – Arti i një fundi

The final song of the evening is upon us and for the Maltese following this evening, I am sure that the music is being compared to that by the group Winter Moods. The female duo also bring about a different type of sound than what has been heard in the final this evening. The verse is really mellow and easy going but the chorus is strong and has a rock touch. Still, the vocals work well together and the song is coming across as really good on stage. I am not sure about a possible participation in the Eurovision Song Contest but I do not discount them from the running, a possible top five finish especially after a run of dull entries.
 
The Show (Part 2)
 
The performances have just come to an end and the jury are seemingly discussing with one of the greenroom hosts to see what the buzz on the social media outlet, Twitter currently is with regards to the presented entries. A recap of the entries is currently being shown on screen for fans and the audience because this even is completely based on jury votes. A commercial break lies come up next and these tend to be quite long in Albania. History is playing a role this evening noting that former clips of the competition from the sixties is brought on the screen, most probably the very first edition. The interval is still ongoing and a result is not expected in quite some time. We get a medley of performances from the eleventh edition of the Festivali I Kenges now. The hosts are back on stage following that intriguing rendition of tracks. The 2011 winners of the Eurovision Song Contest; Ell and Nikki are now on stage performing what seems to be a brand new track entitled Priceless before performing Running Scared, the track that won them the competition.
 
As expected, hear comes Rona Nishliu with the song Suus which finished in fifth place at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. A performance of the song but this time, in English! The hosts return on stage as Rona gets a massive applause and we get a message from the supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand. A tenor has just come out on stage for a performance as well. Might as well throw in the kitchen sink within this evenings' selection process because it seems that everyone in the country is performing. The judges are finally revealing their votes and therefore, the winner should be revealed in due course.
 
Judge 1: 12 points - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet
Judge 2: 12 points - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet
Judge 3: 12 points - Flaka Krelani – Tek ti në shpirt
Judge 4: 12 points - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet
Judge 5: 12 points - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet
Judge 6: 12 points - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet
Judge 7: 12 points - Flaka Krelani – Tek ti në shpirt