February 21, 2020

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The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest has just revealed the running order of the final of the prestigious event following an executive meeting between members of the Host Broadcaster and the European Broadcasting Union. Following a number of disappointing years in which the same genres were placed alongside each other, the organising body thought best to decide the running order. It wasn't a completely free reign though as each country had to draw their own half of the draw in an allocation ceremony which for the 'Big Five' was held during the first press conference following their technical rehearsal. 

It is important to note that Sweden had drawn their position beforehand in order not to create any bias. This therefore gave the organisers some limitation over the second half of the draw especially after drawing number #16 in the final. Malta, who qualified from the second semi-final last night thanks to a marvelous performance by Gianluca and the rest of his team, including; Louise Ann, Samaria, Kenny D'Ugo, Christopher Tate and Gabriel Cassar, has been drawn in position number #9 following an allocation to the first half of the draw. The allocation took place during the press conference held after the semi-final stage of the competition which saw to the qualification of Iceland, Finland, Norway, Armenia, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Greece, Georgia and Romania.

  1. France
  2. Lithuania
  3. Moldova
  4. Finland
  5. Spain
  6. Belgium
  7. Estonia
  8. Belarus
  9. Malta
  10. Russia
  11. Germany
  12. Armenia
  13. The Netherlands
  14. Romania
  15. United Kingdom
  16. Sweden
  17. Hungary
  18. Denmark
  19. Iceland
  20. Azerbaijan
  21. Greece
  22. Ukraine
  23. Italy
  24. Norway
  25. Georgia
  26. Ireland

In the press conference following the semi-final, Gianluca who was accompanied by Anton Attard, Head of Delegation for Malta insisted that the position in the running order was secondary to him and the rest of the team noting that the performance is always more important. During the second semi-final, Malta had to perform in slot number #6 following an advert break and despite many saying that this could be detrimental, it did not prove to be the case. The editorial team of escflashmalta.com would like to extend congratulations to Gianluca and the rest of the delegation from Malta, a nation which has managed to qualify for two years in succession thanks to ample hard work and dedication from everyone involved.

Source: Eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJEzRok_5UU

Good Evening! Welcome to the live coverage of the first semi-final of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest being held in Malmö, Sweden. Members of the European Broadcasting Union had to confirm their participation in the international showcase by December and as a matter of fact, during this period some nations had selected both their artist and entry for the event. Seventeen (17) countries will be performing this evening with seven (7) of them being eliminated at the first hurdle noting that the other ten (10) will be going through to the final stage on Saturday night where they will compete with another ten (10) qualifiers from the second semi-final and the countries which have already qualified due to their respective financial status.

In recent years, social media has become an important tool to get a message across and escflashmalta.com has been proud to keep you updated through both Facebook and Twitter whilst bringing you exclusive content through Flickr and YouTube respectively. This evening, the special coverage that is annually planned is set to be conducted by our Senior Editor, Antoine Farrugia as well as guests; Davinia Pace, second runner-up at the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Christabelle, awarded the Best Solo Artist at the Bay Music Awards for four years running. All of the three are extremely professional in their line of work and their interests in music have been duly recorded over time. Malta is competing in the semi-final this evening we would like to wish the very best of luck to the delegation on stage and also to the one behind the scenes. Follow the semi-final as of 21:00 CET on Television Malta.

The Show (Part 1)

And here it goes! The second semi-final commencing now! What a great introduction! We have the Urban Orchestra dancing to the the official song of Eurovision! It shows the past and what may come in the future. The song has now changed and another musical song is being played by this awesome orchestra. The dancing is magnificent being a bit lyrical and like a box! Also, we can notice the flexibility of the dancers. They went away from a slide and they are running up and down the slide once again leaving splashes of colours behind them on the same slide with every move.

This is totally a different opening and it is coming out as beautiful! The orchestra is still playing the same song just with a more up-tempo beat, now turning to  more hip-hop. They made up a laptop on the same slide and the music is being seen! That was a perfect opening in my honest opinion. Here is Petra Mede once again wearing a different dress. With a black dress with the underneath full gold, she added the gloves. She's being a bit more funny by just comparing herself to many female role models! Petra is talking about the voting system! She's translating into French also since it is another mondial language and a language that is mostly used in Eurovision after English!

Latvia

As Latvia take to the stage they look interesting and I love the costumes! but the song is very average a feel good song but nothing special about it. Not convinced about the rapping..although, must say that they do have charisma. (Davinia Pace)

PeR from Latvia is the first one up! Please explain the Rhythm is what it means! This is a nice 20 second clip. Here We Go! Shiny dressed guys are now on stage! They are surely enjoying it to the full! Vocals have obviously improved since the national final in Latvia. It seems to me that they're told to enjoy it now. Although, it is turning out better than I thought! Crowd is responding a lot as I can hear! At least they don't have a trampoline, they're jumping way too much for me. The slow-motion part is so so cool! Secondary stage is full with all the participants form Latvia. Stage dive is done today also! I think this may qualify by tele-voting. (Antoine Farrugia)

The beginning of the song sounds like a queen song. Not a big fan of the outfits and how they are moving like Jedward! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4lwr-zMSnM

San Marino

Loving the dramatic outfits but why sing in Italian? Very good vocals but there isnt a chill factor at all. Oh no this tune is just horrible, way too cheesy really. Started off great but the song just collapsed for me now(Davinia Pace)

Valentina Monetta is up next for San Marino! After last year, the facebook song, it is a different song, a superb ballad to come! A crowd's favourite from the first beat. Perfect vocals since from the begginning. A great improvement from San Marino since I can remember. She's improvising some things right now, is she crazy? She left the ball on stage now and went to perform. She's clad in a red dress with a black cape all over it which now she takes off as the song gets more up-tempoed! Perfect vocal from Valentina! Perfect look and staging! Last note was a bit off for me though! (Antoine Farrugia)

Her voice is gorgeous like a proper Italian! Not a bad song and love when it changes the beat(Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi8mZ2ejLcE

FYR Macedonia

I'm liking his vocals and his outfit very classy. Oh my God she is hilarious but how can you take this seriously? (Davinia Pace)

 with 'Pred Da Se Razdeni' from Lozano and Esma, the gypsy and the pop artist. Lozano's vocals are really good from every rehearsal and even today, they're really really good. He is not wearing his glasses which I find it awkward to look it since I always saw him with glasses. Here comes the ruiner of the song, sorry. She's clad in a really really really big shiny red dress while Lozano is wearing a black modern suit and a white shirt. He's improvising too although his always on key. The Esma part is so good musically, I personally don't like it at all. Too much things going on! Maybe, Macedonia nexy tear decides to send Lozano alone! Not a qualifier, for sure. (Antoine Farrugia)

He has an amazing voice but I wish I could undertand what they re saying! In my opinion she is horrendous though and I would have liked it more if he was the only one singing. (Christabelle)

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

Azerbaijan

Whoa! Farid has definitely been complimented by good looks. Im loving him and his song, the creativity of this performance is very clever, he really did think outside the box literally!  This guy has great stage presence ! and his definatley trying to send a message here. Very classy performance and this will do well! (Davinia Pace)

Farid Mammadov with 'Hold Me' is up next for Azerbaijan. It was a great introduction from the Land Of Fire.  Is it only me or the microphone is too loud? The man in the box is surely a perfect chereography. Vocals are spot on without missing any notes whatsoever. I would have liked to see the chereography a bit more since it is absolutely original. The girl is getting on stage with her usual red dress. The song now reaches a point near to perfection. Farid does not seem as scared as he was in the rehearsals at least, he's confident on stage! Noticing, it is Azerbaijan and a brilliant performance, I say it would fit perfect in the top 10! (Antoine Farrugia)

Wow what a beautiful performance! And I love the song!! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5egVzkZGTg

Finland

This is vey quirky! and she is a very pretty girl the song has a fun factor and a girly feel thats for sure and she is great on stage , loving the backing vocals outfits and gestures. She is great entertainment but as a song not my type and i reckon it wont get very far in the competition. Did she just kiss a girl!? Thats awesome big risk. (Davinia Pace)

Krista Siegfrids is next with her Ding Dong Team singing Marry Me. She's a beauty queen. Vocally, she's a bit off as from the begginning. She has a perfect camera work clad in her marriage dress! The staging is good but the screens are really too much for me. The chorus is so so catchy and I quite wanna get up and freak out with this song! This song sounds a lot like from a Barbie commercial or something like that but really enjoyable! The fire shots were perfect! I love how she performed it and took many risks on stage including the best one to come. Wearing that dress is already a risk but that kiss was more riskable! Hope the audience likes it! She may qualify I think! (Antoine Farrugia)

What was she thinking wearing that dress??? The song is very catchy but she s not an amazing singer and obviously she s trying her best to give her best performance! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdU02F9lT2g

Malta

MALTA!!! gianluca is looking great very smiley as always and such confidence you go Malta! Gianlucas vocals sound perfect and his performance is going great !! his really using the stage space and interacting with the audience and the camera ! best of luck gianluca. (Davinia Pace)

And after commercials, Malta is up next! Cross fingers for Gianluca and his band! Dr.Ginaluca has a pretty awesome 20 second pre show! He is clad in his usual dark orange chinos and a black waistcoat and white shirt. The audience is clapping a lot! He is really enjoying it with that big smile on his face! He is acting the song by just his facial expressions! He's so so relaxed! Vocally he's really good! the stage looks amazing and the backdrop screens are perfect too! When he sings the Oh Oh Oh part the audience joins in! The band is so so happy on the stage they're really enjoying it! gianluca is off on the catwalk where he is connecting with the audience more! He runs back to the stage to join the band on the bench Huge appaluse from the audience! He may bring us a really good result! He should qualify (Antoine Farrugia)

I cant stop smiling he s so cute!!!! Such a fantastic performace when I hear him and look at him he just makes you smile as his smile is contagious! !!! Super gianluca!!!! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WmJXIR9xtw

Bulgaria

He was amazing! I like a woman playing the drums but the minute she opened her mouth I cringed, this song is awful. (Davinia Pace)

Bulgaria is up next with the drums and nasty vocals form Elitsa. They're enjoying it a lot! Her vocals are already off from the beginning! She doesn't have any breath to sing this fast I think! I like the drums a lot from this one though I think that it is one of the few really bad songs this year. This folk music won't do it for Europeans. Maybe it's just me or her voice is really not nice and today she's worse than rehearsals without even having breath to sing. Glow sticks on drums! These three minutes are never ending! She's not singing? The mask is really ugly sorry Bulgaria! I don't think they'll qualify. (Antoine Farrugia)

Sometimes I wonder if im still watching the Eurovision... the song is not too bad but nothing compared to Malta (Christabelle)

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

Iceland

ICELAND, great vocals a very emotional song but I wish he was singing it in English its a tad depressing I must say. (Davinia Pace)

Eythor Ingi is next for Iceland with Eg A Lif. Eythor starts giving his back to the audience. What a beautiful language I must say. His hair is still really long but his vocals are superb tonight as all the other nights but I think the musci is too low. This is a ballad to enjoy after many up tempo songs! This draw is helping Iceland I think! The stage is too blank until the backing vocals reach the stage! The song is getting stronger but it is still the same all throughout. I hink his vocals stands out in this performance alongside with his hair! From jury, he will pass but from televoting not so sure! (Antoine Farrugia)

Again I wish I could understand what he s saying but he has a good voice ... such a simple performance. (Christabelle)

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

Greece

Okay this is just weird I don't get the skirts the high socks , the old guy is kind of cool. As a song this is rubbish not even catchy theres no hope really. (Davinia Pace)

Alcohol Is Free and Koza Mostra and Agathon Iakovidis is up next for Greece. The audience is enjoying it from the beginning they're all clapping. I'm enjoying it here! I like this song awkwardly enough since almost nobody likes it! His voice is too good I think! They're wearing skirts too!! They take up to the catwalk except for Koza whose singing on a stand! This song is so so good but I think that the elderly on stage is a copy from Russia las year which I don't see it as a good take! The instruments glowing is surely amazing too! This is really good, like really really good! They will qualify, for sure! (Antoine Farrugia)

Lively song for sure! Very entertaining but not so sure about the outfits they re wearing! The song is called alcahol free its true they look rather drunk on having fun on stage. (Christabelle)

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

Israel

Israel: I like the tune of the song but she is looking like the mother of fertility what is that dress? and those glasses? I am loving her voice she is giving a very convincing performance. She needs to move around abit even if its just a few steps! (Davinia Pace)

Rak Bishvilo and Moran Mazor for Israel. Ra Bishvilo translates to 'Only For Him' and she is one of the best singers in the competition. A great feedback from the audience since the piano started playing. Moran has a really nice voice and the dress, I don't bother much looking at as many are saying that she ain't dressed nice. This song is just perfect for Mazor, her voice stands out from the others. This is a really nice language to listen to and in songs, it's just really nice! The jewelery may be a bit too much I think. The perect note was spot on too! I think she is making a really good impression for Israel, they should be proud of Moran! Moran will qualify for sure! Best vocals in every competition! (Antoine Farrugia)

The dress does not flatter her figure at all!!!! Though I love her ring and her earrings and her voice is amazing but I again I wish I could understand the lyrics to this song! (Christabelle)

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

Armenia

He has a great voice, this song is nice the style is quite current , I am not sure about that scarf, the band are cool but I'm finding it rather boring. (Davinia Pace)

Armenia and Dorians are next with Lonely Planet written by Tony Iommi form Black Sabbath. I quite like this song but unfortunately, they're not getting any good comments. Gor has a really strong voice. This song is coming out not as I thought on stage which is making me feel a bit sad cause I really believed this will qualify. Too many jeans fabric on stage. He was off at points but his riffs are pretty amazing. Fire in the instrumental part, it's a no for me! He is screaming all the way thorugh today. I'm sad for him, he was so much better in the rehearsals. The song is really nice but they won't qualify in my opinion. (Antoine Farrugia)

Really good voice!!! Proper rock star and I love the song! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSs03Sp-4ME

Hungary

I am asleep already. This has nothing to it, it feels like a very lazy song. (Davinia Pace)

This is the worst song in the history of Euroivision with Kedvesem by ByeAlex and Hungary. His glasses are nice but the outfit it's like for going shopping around for me not a Eurovision-stage outfit for sure! I can't listen to this song in any way but it is getting positive feedback but I still believe they won't qualify. Is he copying Roban Lob from Germany with the hat? I hope this won't qualify, it is so so so boring. It just makes me want to run away and not listen at all. This is a big no for me. (Antoine Farrugia)

uch an ordinary guy ... I cant understand why prefer singing in their language and not in english ... though im not a big fan of the song!! (Christabelle)

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

Norway

I love her dress and her hair great effort in appearance , Im loving this song so powerful. I am in love with her and this song , she is a natural, i like this style not cheesy at all and something different to what we have seen so far This will make it through for sure ! (Davinia Pace)

Margaret Berger is up next with I Feed You My Love for Norway. She is getting many many positive comments to winning and top 5. The beginning of this song is certainly amazing and which gets your attenion right away. She's excited, I can hear it in her voice! She's getting more into the performance now! hat dress makes her look like a mermaid for me and the fishtail doesn't help at all. No, not the dance please! It makes her look not an all-rounder for sure. The song is good but it is turning out boring and always the same. Oh it changes to the bridge at least! The last chorus is just great now and it gets back your attention. This will qualify, I believe! (Antoine Farrugia)

She s gorgeous!! And I love the song but I wish she wore a more playful dress! (Christabelle)

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

Albania

Awesome guitar move !! but this song is getting worse as it goes on! (Davinia Pace)

The rock duo is here! Many many smoke on stage, and stabbing on drums which is not pleasant to listen to. The first man's voice is like that all the time don't worry, he doesn't have a sore throat I believe but the second one is fighting to sing on the other hand. So so dull on stage with many many black and little splashes of gold. The guitar is having fire sparkles on his guitar solo which are the interesting part of this act, nothing more! Fireworks? Way too much Albania. Please, don't qualify! (Antoine Farrugia)

This has nothing to do with Lordi if they re comparing it to it !! Lets put it this way not my favourite!!! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pf-ZCI-UuA

Georgia

I hate their outfits so dated.. the diction is terrible nice voices but its so so cheesy and I can't imagine this doing well in the competition! (Davinia Pace)

Nodi  Sopho and Waterfall next for Georgia! I like this act a lot, hope it turns out good! Smoke on stage already but now, it makes sense, you feel like you're in another world! The voices are so so strong and they blend together so much for me! Was she off pitch in the first Waterfall? It always sounds off to me. They finally got closer together and are showing a bit of chemistry while their vocals keeps on shining all through out. Smoke and now fire together, it's way too much. somebody is off, I believe it's the woman finding the song a bit too high! Still, I think they will qualify, not sure! (Antoine Farrugia)

I hate their outfits so dated.. the diction is terrible nice voices but its so so cheesy and I cant imagine this doing well in the competition! (Christabelle)

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

Switzerland

Very catchy tune , the bassist is so cute. This performance is very sweet not my type of song at all but it has something nice about it must be the smiley faces and the bassist  but again NOTHING SPECIAL! (Davinia Pace)

Switzerland of Takasa! The chocolate introduction before is a yum! You And Me, let's go! The intro of the song is superb, it gets your attention right away! The 95 year old man is cute on stage but you're copying Russia last year guys. the male vocals were low and the female's are high and she is squeking the notes. They're so stiff, just a simple line al next to each other. The musci video's song was different! It was full for sure, here it's the demo I think! The song is good but the performance, the look, the vocals and staging is awful. Switzerland, I think I will say bye for you this year, although you're not the worst tonight! (Antoine Farrugia)

I remember this song when they came to Malta ... wasn't a fan then am not a fan now!  (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBGpqq2LFSQ

Romania

What is this? oh dear dear vocals are so pitchy! This is confusing and just not right who let this man on stage? (Davinia Pace)

Cezar and his life for Romania. The pop-opera singer of tonight. Dracula on stage! What happened to his voice? Are the dancers wearing anything? Worst song from Romania in the history of Eurovision. No Cezar, if you wanted to do Eurovision, you didn't succeed sorry! Even the song is not nice at all, it's got something huge missing, I can hear it! Fire for reaching a high note is like 1990s now! Oh, so the neighbour countries all got higher Romania and Moldova. Romania, you won't qualify for the first time. (Antoine Farrugia)

Quite a eurovision song but not my favourite his damcers are amazing and his upper range too but it doesnt go with the song at all... and he looka like dracula with that collar! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pNEEb6dzi8

The Show (Part 2)

We just saw Petra Mede explaining where the dressing room is located and now we're seeing a recap of all the songs competing. In the meantime, our reviewers this evening have also provided their own qualifiers and these could be seen just below. 

Davinia Pace: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Finland, FYR Macedonia, Israel, Malta, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland

Antoine Farrugia: Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, Malta, Norway, San Marino

Christabelle: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Malta, Norway, San Marino.

Petra on the segway in the green room! She meets up with Cezar and she promotes the DVD and CD. Mede is sitting next to your Moran who are talking about when she saw the first Eurovision ever. And Moran says she's celebrating her birthday today! Another comeback from the past like last Tuesday! This is funny more than last semi-final! One of my favourite songs ever from Armenia 'Jan Jan' was played! And Petra just gave us the history of Eurovision in a few minutes! Another recap is now playing! 4 minutes left for voting! Make your desicion right voters, let's not be dissatisfied after a great show! Petra is back on stage encouraging us to vote for the final time! Lines closed now! Europe Stop Voting Now! Darin is now on stage giving an awesome performance as the interval act! Following his is none other than Agnes! And here is the recap of the pre-qualified countries! I strongly believe that the best songs this year come from Big 5 along with Sweden. The qualifiers are as follows;

Hungary

Azerbaijan

Georgia

Romania

Armenia

Iceland

Finland

Malta

Norway

Greece

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.

Preceding the annual Eurovision Song Contest, Gianluca was asked on a regular basis if he had heard any of the competing entries in the competition and he had always signalled his favourite to be the track from Iceland entitled Ég Á Líf, co-written by  Örlygur Smári & Pétur Örn Gudmundsson. The track which will be performed in slot number #8 meaning just over three minutes after Malta is a beautiful ballad which has been coming across beautifully on the screens. There is a strong visual lighting presentation but an even stronger vocal interpretation by Eythor Ingi who is proudly showcasing his skills in musical theatre.

Since arriving in Malmö, Sweden for this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, the two had yet to meet but when they did it seems that things got an extremely friendly reception considering that the two artists who had a small chat exchanged promotional discs and called the support of both nations. Iceland and Malta should have a strong relationship because of the fact that we have both sent the same amount of entries to the Eurovision Song Contest without ever finishing in the top position yet managing two first runner-up slots. Eythor Ingi has another intriguing link to Malta, noting that he is signed to Hands-Up Music, which is the same record label behind Chiara's recent releases, including the debatable Żarbun, a number #2 charting sensation on iTunes. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news.

Source: escflashmalta.com, tvm.com.mt

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

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

Ég á Líf, co-written by Orlygur Smari and Petur Orn Gudmundsson with vocals provided by Eythor Ingi will be representing Iceland in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It comes as no surprise to learn that this is one of the dark horses in the competition noting that a similar type of entry in the form of Kuula on behalf of Estonia succeeded last year, achieving sixth place at the end of the evening. Hands Up Music, the independent record label responsible for the distribution of the entry along with the delegation have also decided on team that will be backing the main male vocalist as they embark on the trip to Malmö, Sweden.

In an official press booklet published by the same aforementioned record label which has been responsible for supporting the Icelandic entries for the past couple of years, it was noted down that there will be four male backing vocalists; Beggi Smart, Einar Johannson, Hannes Fridbjarnarson and Kristjan Gislason. The latter name of the four is definitely not new to the scene having also represent Iceland in the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest as part of the duo, Two Tricky whose entry Angel should have done way better than it actually did. Iceland will be competing alongside Malta in the second semi-final of the esteemed international competition with Ég á Líf being the favourite entry of Gianluca. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available. 

Source: Hands Up Music

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 77%

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

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

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

Source: eurovision.tv

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

Published in Editorials

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
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