February 21, 2020

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Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan will be hosting this evenings' showcase of the Eurovision Song Contest where eighteen (18) countries will be competing for one of the ten slots which are up for grabs. Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a number of predictions put forth by the bookmakers, by fans of the event and even by well known musicians, songwriters and people in the music industry. The fact of the matter is that we at escflashmalta.com brought together, four well known individuals including none other than songwriters Jan Van Dijck and Knut-Oyind Hagen from The Netherlands and Norway respectively as well as the upcoming songwriting/production team of Max Persson and Salar Gorgees. They spoke about the songs and rated them whilst the people were still rating them up to one o'clock in the afternoon. We allocated a fifty per cent (50%) billing to each and came up with quite an interesting prediction for this evening.

Whilst the votes of the four individuals, three entities were of course based on musical fortes, this might not have been the same with the people but that is what the Eurovision Song Contest is all about at the end of the day. There were some 1200 votes from all over the continent and they are the ones which had to face the consequences in the overall result with one of their selections missing out in the final tally. The qualifiers in no particular order for this evening according to the expert reviewers and the voters in the poll are as follows:

  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Latvia
  • Romania
  • Switzerland

Amongst the surprises, are surely Russia and Albania who have really impressed during the rehearsals but then again, the reviewers did vote based on the preview videos and not the actual rehearsals and the performances will definitely be impressing a number of people. Another interesting assessment is that Moldova who almost have a perfect record only failing to qualify once did not garner a qualification from the mixture of votes but nevertheless, look as sure fire contenders in this semi-final. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news. 

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81cE3DV_OYE

The 2012 Eurovision Song Contest has been quite an interesting ride thus far but the waters will definitely not calm down now as almost all of the participants in the first semi-final will be taking to the stage for their second rehearsal and this time round, things will be less technical and more of a run through sort noting that there have been thirty (30) minutes of allocated time for each participant today. Our nation and our representative who is taking his time off to go through the sites in Azerbaijan is enjoying his time there and will get another free day as rehearsals for him continue tomorrow late in the afternoon, nevertheless, there is a lot of interesting today with some of the acts that will be taking to the stage leaving a very positive mark following their first showing earlier this week. Some of the acts which people will surely be looking forward to are; IcelandAlbania, Romania, Belgium, Finland and Cyprus whilst Greece will be hoping that everything has improved following a shaky start to their preparations.

Good Morning and welcome to our fifth day of live coverage direct from Baku, Azerbaijan thanks to our premier four members of our team including Juergen BoernigLilian BrunellŠira Carolyn Bezalel who have been in charge of pictures and interviews in the past couple of days as well as attending press conferences as well as Garrett Mulhall, our mastermind really who has been leading the team in Baku to the best possible reporting possible noting his long and detailed rehearsal reports as well as his Irish exclusives whilst also giving Malta a role of support by also making himself available to the press conference which has also been recorded and posted in two parts here and here thanks to Juergen and the rest of his extremely reliable team. We are gearing up for the longest day of coverage this year noting that thirteen (13) countries will be rehearsing today but we are ready to bring you all of the latest and more!

Schedule of Rehearsals

08:30 - Montenegro

09:00 - Iceland

09:30 - Greece

10:00 - Latvia

10:30 - Albania

12:00 - Romania

12:30 - Switzerland

13:00 - Belgium

13:30 - Finland

14:20 - Israel

14:50 - San Marino

15:20 - Cyprus

15:50 - Denmark

 LIVE

We believe that people in the press centre has become used to the routine of late starts but it does get on one's nerves especially due to the fact that there should be a tight schedule implemented as from today. Nevertheless, the first vocal rehearsal is expected shortly and then we can commence with rehearsals from thirteen countries.

Montenegro

From the onset of things, it looks as if nothing much has changed from the very first rehearsal when Montengro comes onoto the stage. Rambo is covering his head with what seems to be a sort of a scarf or rather a shall and walks dauntingly across the stage passing the cardboard donky. Today he seems to have included the outfit he will be wearing during the semi-final which just happens to include a white shirt and a smart black blazer. Despite the fact that he is not getting anything right in terms of the song, his wardrobe is spic and span. He is joined on stage by three breakdancers who also have a poster which they open up mid-way through the performance. The poster says 'Euro Neuro Monetary Break Dance'. The vocals are also good as expected. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXYrI7EiMKg

Video Courtesy of escXtra


Iceland

I never like to be a stick in the mud about reporting from rehearsals but it seems that Iceland might be facing some daunting trouble for the very time and this is due to the fact that despite the immaculate performance that they gave earlier in the week during their first rehearsal. The addition of some props was included today such a smoke machine which is supposedly being used by Greta although this was to be expected because the Icelandic broadcasting is playing the Eurovision game in this performance. Nevertheless, the problem which we would like to mention is the fact that Jonsi was very much off key during the run through and therefore, did not really sound well. It seems though that the problem might be with the monitors and it is being adhered to at the moment actually. The backdrop featuring lakes, mountains and a smoky setting still looks incredible and this should still qualify even after this rehearsal but it might go down a bit in expectations today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVlSge7vs4I

Video Courtesy of escXtra


Greece 

My My, it seems that the Greek delegation knew that things were very much on the rocks last time round because this has to be the most improved rehearsal thus far noting that the backing dancers are in sync and doing a routine which is very much typical for the Hellenic nation. In the meantime, apart from the smashing routine which is coming across very well on stage, Eleftheria has improved her vocal performance and she seems to be enjoying herself out there as opposed to Sunday when she just could not manage to composer her emotions. Things have also changed in terms of backdrop which now features a blue background with a golden seashell. We have been told that she is also adjusting to the new camera shots and is actually getting a hang of the interaction with the audience at home. It seems that Greece are back in the game, and looking for yet another top ten result.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9AQQf3XGFI

Video Courtesy of escXtra

 

Latvia

The second rehearsal for Latvia and it seems that Anmary has also decided to bring out the outfit that she will be wearing on the night of the semi-final, in beautiful sea blue. The staging in terms of colour is somewhat cordinated for her outfit noting that it commences in blue before in a flurry of petals changes in a multicolour format and then just plain orange but wait, some circles are also seemingly appearing and disappearing. Once more, Anmary is joined by her four female dancers whose choreography despite still very silly is slick. The vocals are stronger than the first semi-final but there is nothing extraordinary that would make this a qualifier in less than a weeks' time. It has been noted that there is no element of fun in this song apart from the slightly satirical lyrics. It is coming across very well on screen but there is no real connection. The people present in the hall did not mind it though and they clapped along.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIOunPGfNT8

Video Courtesy of escXtra

 

Albania

I must start off by saying that I am always looking forward to another sublime performance of Rona Nishliu noting that she is magnificient to listen to. The concept of the staging in terms of Eurovision is somewhat highlighted in this entry actually with just a dark background, slight red and a spotlight on the artist. There is nobody else on stage barring Rona and this is what makes the track even more special in my opinion. As the song develops, the lighting is somewhat changed to black, white and red. It is yet unknown about what the artist will be wearing but we believe it will be a dress. Her hair styling though seemed perfect today. Her vocals were beautiful, astonishing and just perfect and she is managing to hold the song together with them. This is a qualifier in my books and deservedly so.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20x_4evdGlM

Video Courtesy of escXtra

 

Romania

The backdrop for this song is one of the most impressive in this years' competition noticing that there are a number of graphical changes including hearts, drums and also a number of sun. The Romanian group are clad in white attire when it comes to the band whilst also noting that Elena is wearing an orange skirt and a black shirt. The vocals are very strong as they were in the very first rehearsal and this might be the surprise of this years' Eurovision Song Contest. The betting odds have put this back up in sixth place despite being extremely just before the rehearsals commenced. Now it has become a definite qualifier for being well performed and catchy. The ending is one of the most interesting in terms of song structure and they are also enjoying themselves out there.

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

Video Courtesy of escXtra

 

 Switzerland

This was the first entry to be chosen for this years' Eurovision Song Contest and was actually invited to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest as a guest but nevertheless, this entry is not really sounding that great and the main problem seems to be with the diction of the performer which is not all what is hoped for in terms of pronunciation noting the strim instead of the stream. It is quite interesting to see that the vocal performance on the other hand is quite impressive still and that the main problem lies with the respective diction. The group is joined on stage is joined by a band and the main performers are just jumping around the stage. The backdrop seems to be taken from The Matrix noting that the green is exactly a replica of it. This is a sure non-qualifier in my opinion.

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

Video Courtesy of escXtra

 

Belgium

The second youngest participant in this years' Eurovision Song Contest takes to the stage for her second rehearsal clad in a short white dress and high heels. She is joined on stage by three backing vocalists, all of which happen to be women. The backdrop for this one looks much better than the previous one noting that it includes trees and bubbles. The colour scheme features a mixture of blue and pink. The vocals for this one are very strong although the first rehearsal was even stronger as she was less excited. Nevertheless, there are nerves today and this might be problematic as that is why many people wrote her off in the first place. This is still a marginal qualifier but it all lies with Finland on whether they could come up with a better rehearsal than last week. 

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

Video Courtesy of escXtra

 

Finland

The second ballad in a row and one which is very similar to the one before it but nevertheless, the issue lies with whether the people would like to listen to a song in English about a relationship with a lover or whether they would like to listen to a song in Finnish dedicated to a mother. The new backdrop features fireworks during the last chorus of the performance and this looks very nice indeed. The vocal performance is powerful and sweet at the very same time and this works well on both the screens and in the hall. One of the issues with this might also be the dark staging but the power of the song is just too good. Whether this will qualify is yet unknown but people believe that one of this and Belgium will make it through to the finals. I am not too sure which one therefore, I would just say that this is marginal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwO87ETYjEw

Video Courtesy of Eurovision.tv

 

Israel

Israel return on stage for their second performance and the backdrop still looks as stunning as it did the first time round with a typical alarm clock going backwards. Actually on other side of the stage, there is also a pocket watch.The colour scehem is a mixture of orange and purple and this works well. All of the group is making use of the stage actually and this is visuall enchanting. The vocal performance is even better than the first time round and this is probably due to the fact that we are on later in the day. This is looking like a strong contender for the final and I believe that it will be making it through by virtue of reaching the top ten in the semi-final. The spotlights are being showcased at the best possible moments and that is why it has become an appeal to the audience visually. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-ll-w0trR0

Video Courtesy of escXtra

 

San Marino

San Marino are in their outfits today with Valentina in a silver top and blue jacket topping off blue trousers. She is joined on stage by another four individuals who are are doing a number of things including acting as backing dancers and vocalists. There is also a laptop on stage which Valentina uses as a prop to log into her social network. The backdrop is one of the most intriguing in this years' Eurovision Song Contest featuring lyrics of the track itself as well and also pictures of random people. The performance is strong once more but nevertheless, this is not really looking like a qualifer at the moment but hey, it is fun and pretty enjoyable and that is why, no one will really mind this performance especially mid way during the competition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njvjrjw2Ikk

Video Courtesy of escXtra

 

Cyprus

This is the second rehearsal for Cyprus as it is for all of the other performers but one of the main differences is that Ivi has lost some of her spark today and it seems that it is very different to the first rehearsal especially vocally noting the fact that she has lost some of the high notes that were making this better. The real problem does not lie though within her capabilities which had already been shot down initially but more due to the issue of whether she can manage a decent performance live. This type of song has been debatable on whether it could be given a clear decent showing but the fact remains that it is a great visual spectacle for all to enjoy especially with the strong lighting patterns and also a great backdrop which give this song a clear edge over some of the others. Another positive point is the outfits which are being used, which featuring a shimmering silver lining. I believe that this song will qualify.

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

Video Courtesy of escXtra

 

Denmark

The final rehearsal of the day comes from Denmark and Soluna Samay and this comes into the competition as one of the favourites although it has not really done anything for me in the past couple of weeks losing all personal hopes of success. Nevertheless, there is not a bad point to disagree and I will be pleasantly looking forward for this in order to see the backdrop grapihcs which features a particular setting in different weather and seasonal conditions. The main artist along with the rest of the team is in clad in the clothing that they will be performing in on Tuesday. The vocal performance is strong once more but it does not really appeal to me. Another reason for this might also be the fact that it is looking too static on the cameras. This will qualify even though it is not to my liking but it will be the worst result for Denmark in quite some time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD4PMW2iltk

Video Courtesy of escXtra

Despite a late start to the day due to unforeseeable technical problems causing everyone to move their watches and schedules back by an hour and a half, there were no other major issues during the day with the rehearsals keeping their respective forty minutes which were allocated to them initially to rehearse on the stage in Baku, Azerbaijan where the Eurovision Song Contest is being held for the very first time following the victory of Ell & Nikki last year with the song Running Scared written by Swedish songwriters. Nine countries took to the stage today and there have already been talks of changes in some performances but one which was perfect in terms of setup, visual presentation and vocals was surely Iceland who are being represented by Greta Salome & Jonsi with the dramatic ballad Never Forget written by the female counterpart.

Following Montenegro, many songs will look strong but Iceland has always been one of those songs which people have been talking about. Despite the fact that it received a lot of positive acclaim when it was in Icelandic, leaving the people wanting more when in English, they managed to turn that around and received warm applause from the people in the arena and also those in the press centre. The song which is entitled Never Forget as mentioned above has been set in a dark blue setting with beautiful mountains in the backdrop. What also makes it impressive is the spotlights which shine around the stage and also the foggy mist effect that is being emitted. The staging is just superb and the addition of the backing vocalists is just an aid to the already powerful vocal range emitted. It is a stunning presentation and it should go down well with the rest of Europe. I do not want to give the song the kiss of death of course but I must say that this is now officially a contender having even rise to seventh place to win with the bookmakers whilst placed third in the semi-final just behind Russia and Denmark who will both be taking to the stage tomorrow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox9SoL5gqJo

Iceland have not yet managed to win the Eurovision Song Contest and actually host an extremely similar record to Malta noting that this will be their twenty-fifth participation in total with their best results thus far being runner-up finishes in 1999 thanks to Selma and her track All Out of Luck and also in 2009 when Yohanna took to the stage with the incredible Is It True. One was a ballad whilst the other was an uptempo pop song. It is important to note that following years of disappointment with the introduction of the semi-final system, Iceland managed to turn the tables around with the song This Is My Life sung by Regina Osk and Fridrik Omar, the latter of which just happens to be the head of press for this years' Icelandic delegation. Last year, they also managed to reach the final with Sjonni's Friends and the song Coming Home. This years' duo spark interest because apart from their incredible vocal capabilities they have strong people skills noting that their press conference was a huge success. Our team present in Baku, Azerbaijan also managed to get an exclusive interview which you can see below. Good Luck Iceland, keep the good performances coming along!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qivrPog1_zI

Following the revelation of the premier review, we move onto the second country competing for a spot in the final by competing in the first semi-final set to take place on the 22nd May 2012 within the city of Baku, Azerbaijan. There has been talk that this round in the competition is slightly easier to get through due to the mediocre number of songs but nevertheless, it seems that Iceland falls into a pile of entries which is receiving sublime criticism and praise from most fans and critics all over the continent. Since turning their results around, the nation has been very successful actually with consecutive qualifications and hoping to keep that record in tact are the lovely Greta Salóme & Jónsi who will be performing the track Never Forget which has been written by one of the singers; Greta Salóme.

Greta Salóme Stefánsdóttir was born in 1986. Music runs in the family as her mother Kristin Lilliendahl made some records in her teens, and her grandfather Karl Lilliendahl was a guitarist and renowned bandleader. Greta began her violin studies in 1991 when she was only four years old and has never looked back. At thirteen she entered Reykjavik College of Music. In the autumn of 2004 she was accepted into the Iceland Academy of Arts, where she continued her studies. She graduated with a bachelor‘s degree in 2008. Currently she‘s working on her master‘s degree at the Iceland Academy of Arts and is studying advanced vocal technique called Complete Vocal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeVy-9IlSU8

She is a professional musician and has a position as a violinist in the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. She regularly performs with classical and pop music ensembles, has made several radio and TV appearances and is a busy studio musician. In 2011,Greta Salóme had another song ready in her mind. This was Mundu Eftir Mér which she and Jónsi finished recording early last summer. When hearing the song a colleague urged Greta Salóme to try for the Söngvakeppni Sjonvarpsins, Icelandic selection process for the Eurovision Song Contest. She took his advice and actually ended up having two songs in the final.

Jónsi, or to quote his full name, Jón Jósep Snaebjörnsson was born in 1977 in Akureyri the biggest town in northern Iceland. He started singing at an early age and took part in a national college song contest before moving to Reykjavik in 1997. Two years later he joined the soul orientated pop group ‘Í Svörtum Fötum’ who dressed in black suits and white shirts and started his singing and songwriting career. The group had already abandoned the Blues Brothers image when they released their first self financed album in 2000. They made three successful albums and after a year long break released a "Best Of" album in 2009. The band is currently active touring Iceland. Jónsi starred as Danny with Iceland‘s 2003 Eurovision entrant Birgitta Haukdal as Sandy in the musical Grease in 2003 and other musicals followed during the next years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faulrIK3WDc

In 2004, Sveinn Runar Sigurdsson, the composer of Heaven asked Jónsi to perform the song in the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 in Istanbul. Jónsi made his first self titled and critically acclaimed solo album in 2005. Over the last few years he has had some TV experience acting in shows and films along with hosting the Icelandic version of Singing Bee and presenting the youth sports programme Skolahreysti. Jónsi is married with two children and lives with his family in Reykjavík.

The Critics Voice Their Opinion

 Jan Van Dijck

  • Nice dramatic song with some ethnic elements. Very well performed with strong emotion. Believe that this song will make it into the big final. I believe that seven (7) points will work for this entry.

Knut-Oyvind Hagen

  • Now we’re talking! Iceland is one of my favourite Eurovision-countries, and they certainly don’t let me down this year. Beautiful voices, enchanting melody and terrific arrangement, the string attacks add drama and emotions to the song. Personally I would love them to sing in their wonderful native language, but this is after Serbia the best ballad in this year’s contest, and for me the best song of the first semi. As you might have noticed, I am quite fond of this song, hence nine (9) points would suffice.

Pitchtunes

  • A beautiful rock song with a touch from Iceland. It has a dramatic sound with nicely added strings and piano. Vocals are good, especially the chorus. The song has good potential to reach a top 10 position. Despite the positives, we will give it a resounding six (6) points.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8RS0eulXDo

Entry Background

 Performers: Greta Salome & Jonsi

 Composer: Greta Salome

Author: Greta Salome

Song: Never Forget

Language: English

 Broadcaster: RUV

History of the Nation

Iceland has been competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as much as my native Malta and will this year be commemorating twenty-five years which is quite an interesting milestone for nations who are yet to record a victory. Also, like Malta, the Scandinavian country has finished in the runner-up position twice, the first time coming in 1999 thanks to the musical stylings of Selma and her track All Out of Luck finishing behind Sweden and second time round came in 2009 when Yohanna performed the beautiful ballad Is It True, finishing behind Norway. The country has turned their wrong fortune around and have been in the final each and every year since 2008 when Euroband had represented Iceland with the song This Is My Life. They will be hoping that the betting odds and the fans are correct and that they will look forward to a top ten in the final.

Source: Eurovision.tv for the Biographical Information and all respective media

Published in Editorials
Saturday, 14 January 2012 15:41

Exclusive: Iris Holm speaks to escflashmalta

Scandinavia as a region has been quite predominant at the Eurovision Song Contest noting that the countries within this particular area have been taking part for quite some time and have racked up a number of victories but then again, one country which is considered to be a part of this group is yet to notch that top result and have been under-rated for a number of years despite the outstanding quality of their entries. This nation in question is Iceland, which despite boasting a very small population of less than half a million people has huge musical potential. Their proceedings for the national selection are set to comments this weekend and we have just been in touch with Íris Hólm, one of the entrants who have spoken to us about her participation as well as her career thus far.


The Icelandic performer known as Íris Hólm has quite a mysterious character to go along with her music but the numerous accolades that have been racked up during the course of time are surely impressive having been part of the local version of ‘Idol’ and ‘X Factor’ before joining a group by the name of Bermuda as a lead singer. Many artists decide that music is their life calling at a very young age and considering that it has not been that long since you came out of your teens, one could note that this is true. What could you tell us about your background and the evolvement of your career?

I grew up with so much music around me. Both my parents have been in choirs and there are four generations of drummers in my mothers family. At a young age I started singing with my school choir and I played saxophone wih the school band for 6-7 years. I started singing with the school band pretty soon, and sang songs like “I will always love you” and “Colors of the wind”.  When I was 12 years old I competed in a karaoke singing competition, with the song “ Immortally” by Celine Dion, and got 1st place. After that, there was no turning back.

In recent months during the latest edition of the British version of the ‘X Factor’, there has been talk that most of the artists that come out of such shows are manufactured and therefore will not have the possibility of lasting long in the music industry. You are one of those artists who first found fame through the Icelandic version of the popular television reality show receiving public support week after week before being eliminated at the later stage of the competition finishing in fourth place. You were not as a soloist having been part of the group ‘GÍS’ but how did you view the experience in itself and what is your view on the fact that artists have it?

To me the whole experience was a Rollercoaster. Week after week there was a lot of fun, a lot of pressure and a lot of work. Having this weekly support and sing for such big audience every Friday night does without a doubt not give the right image of the music industry. But, however you use this experience is totally up to you. I was only 17 when I competed in X Factor so I was really young. I had some backing voaclist projects after that and I took some time to land with my feet on the ground. But I got to know so many wonderful people, I would never do things differently!

The Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins is one of the leading music competitions in Iceland and you have the distinction of being part of a list who has recorded more than one appearance at the noteworthy event having been as part of the shortlist, twice before. The first time was back in 2009 when as part and parcel of the female group Elektra and the song ‘Got No Love’, you made into third place and the second time coming in 2010 as a soloist with a classy traditional ballad entitled ‘The One’. Without a doubt, both experiences are different yet what is your take on them and how did you view the end result?

I participated in 2009 with a group of girls. So, that equals a A LOT of fun, a lot of stress and a lot of support. In 2010 I performed the song by myself, with no backing vocals and no band. And for the first time I got the opportunity to stand as a solo artist. Both experiences are dear to me, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. The end results were fair, since the public is voting for their favourite and I have to respect that. The only thing I can do is to do my best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zpv_sEX1yks

In Iceland, the system is very much different when it comes to the national selection and this is because the main focus is on the songwriters during the initial phases who submit material performed by what is known as a demo artist, one which could and is normally changed should the entry get the green light. The entry that you will be presenting is penned by Þórunn Erna Clausen and composed by Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson who is most known for his former entries 'Valentine Lost' and 'Heaven' in 2007 and 2004 respectively. Has this experience been beneficial to you as an artist and what could you tell us about the song itself?

To have such talented people on my team, as Þórunn and Sveinn are, is nothing but wonderful. They both know what they are doing and I feel completely comfortable working with them and I have nothing to worry about.

The introduction of the semi-final system by the European Broadcasting Union might have not been received well in the beginning due to the poor results of some of the countries yet despite a poor start to the record, Iceland has recovered well and for the past four years have managed to make it out of the semi-final stage into the final. The genres have been extremely different from each other but with a second place achieved in 2009 thanks to Yohanna and 'Is It True?', it seems like the country found a niche. This is quite astounding of course but what do you think should be done to better the results in the final?

To me the beauty of Eurovision is that you NEVER know what will 100% work. What people vote for is based on the evening performance and that is what is so exciting. It doesn't matter what genre the song is, if people feel what you are feeling while you perform it and if they get lost in the song the genre can be of any kind.

In Iceland there has been an important notion of live backing vocals for a very long time and this is an extremely positive aspect especially when keeping in mind that during the Eurovision Song Contest, there are no pre-recorded voices. You managed to take up such a position when you joined Yohanna during her performance of the song ‘Nott’ last year hoping to go to Dusseldorf, Germany as part of her team yet despite the early tag as a favourite to the competition, certain circumstances proved otherwise. What was it like being part of the team behind a former runner-up to the European competition and secondly, what were your thoughts on the winning entry?

Yohanna is dear friend of mine and I have so much respect for her. She is a professional in everything she does, and to be able to work with her and sing with her was just an honour.  The winning entry was a friendly song, performed by friendly and warm group of close friends. I had a smile on my face everytime they performed 'Coming Home´ and just like I said, when you get lost in a song nothing else matters. ´Sjonni´s friends´ deserved to perform the song in Düsseldorf.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaBsSsbLM6w

Your music career will continue to take share in 2012 especially when considering that you will be kicking it off with a participation in the Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins. The next couple of days are surely going to be hectic but there is also the possibility that the next couple of months might be interesting should there be the eventuality of you being chosen as the next representative for the small country of Iceland. What does Íris Hólm have in store for the rest of the year in terms of music and have you thought about the possibility of winning the selection or would you like to move just one step at a time?

I can't change what happened yesterday, and I can't decide what happens tomorrow. It´s all about 'now' and I am just gonna do my best. Whatever happens is simply not in my hands. But I am forming a new band, old dream of mine. We have songs and material we have been composing and I look forward to getting it out there and let you hear and hopefully enjoy.

Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers at www.escflashmalta.com?

I would just like to thank everyone that have shown me support! I know Malta is filled with kind and wonderful people, and after my visit in 2009 I dream of having the opportunity to come back! I really look forward to perform on Saturday evening and may the best song win!

Source: RÚV (Image)

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

Published in Interviews

Like in the previous years, SVT is making four preview shows featuring all the 39 countries participating in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest which will be held on the 25th, 27th and 29th of May respectively.

These shows started on April 27th till May 18th. There are five experts reviewing the songs weekly. The show is hosted by Melodifestivalen producer Christer Björkman. Last April 27th and last night, these five experts voted for all of the 17 songs participating in the first Semi-final.

These are the results:

19 Points to Latvia
18 Points to Portugal
18 Points to Albania
16 Points to Iceland
16 Points to Moldova
16 Points to Malta
13 Points to Greece
13 Points to Slovakia
13 Points to Belgium
13 Points to Belarus
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12 Points to Russia
09 Points to Bosnia & Herzegovina
09 Points to Finland
09 Points to Poland
08 Points to Serbia
04 Points to Estonia
03 Points to FYR Macedonia

The five experts are none other than: Lena Philipsson (2004 Swedish Eurovision representative), Kayo Shekoni (singer, former member of Afro-dite, 2002 Swedish representatives), Rennie Mirro (musician), Thomas Lundin (Eurovision expert, TV host ) and Marie Serneholt (singer, former member of A-Teens). You can watch the latest show here.

Note that the reviews for the second semifinal will start as from May 11th and will take up till May 18th.

Source: SVT

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