September 17, 2019

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Sweden has always been noted to be a country with a strong music industry and their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest has always been almost always been treated with success missing the final only on one occasion, being back in 2010 when Anna Bergendahl and her entry This Is My Life failed by virtue of finishing in eleventh place. In preparation to the actual competition, they call upon leading names in the music and entertainment industry with the aim of listening and commenting on the entries that would have been put forward by all of the countries including their very own. The results of the first semi-final were released last week with Cyprus leading the board and that meant that the second semi-final entries were not far away. In fact, Malta is competing in the very first part of the evening and hence the verdict was passed.

Unfortunately the panel which is led by singers Lena Philipsson and Mans Zelmerow as well as commentators Gina Dirawi, Thomas Lundin and Lisette believe that Malta does not have the right entry to make it to the finals having received just nine (9) points out of a possible total of twenty-five (25) meaning that it did not even garner half of the required points and languished just slightly above the bottom of the board. The Swedish previews have been noted to have quite the impact of the public. The focus of the evening was definitely Sweden and their entry Euphoria who received the maximum amount of points but nevertheless, the songs which were given a second place were Serbia and Ukraine who will be represented by Zeljko Joksimovic and Gaitana with the songs Nije Ljubav Stvar and Be My Guest. Keep a close eye on in the coming days for more news about the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: SVT

Over the past couple of months, it has been well noted that the relations between Malta and Azerbaijan have been very strong due to the fact that the Public Broadcasting Services and Ictimai Television have worked closely together in order to ensure a successful partnership for this year and for many years to come. The fourth country to be performing on Thursday, the night of the second semi-final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest is none other than Malta, a country of mixed fortunes in the showcase especially as of late noting that the tide of the former century seems to have turned. This time round, the small nation in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is being represented by Kurt Calleja and his entry bearing the name This Is The Night written by Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås & Kurt Calleja.

Kurt took his first singing audition when he was very young merely to join the school choir because he wanted to be with his friends. Years later he was chosen to sing in the children's choir during the last visit to Malta of his Holiness Pope John Paul II. It was only in 2005 that Kurt took singing very seriously. In 2008 Kurt moved to the UK for a year to work as an air steward. During this period in England, Kurt spent most of his free time studying the piano and performing in a number of small venues such as restaurants, bars and clubs.

Back in Malta he started off as a backing vocalist on a television variety show and later as a solo singer on another family show on the national television station. Kurt has taken part in several television programmes. The year 2010 got Kurt to perform in a duet in the national final of the Malta Song For Europe. Actually, 2010 was quite a successful year for Kurt as he took part and won the international festival called Orfeo In Italia, a festival that is held in Venice.

Kurt Calleja has also been part of a number of local events including the Farsons Beer Festival amongst others. Nevertheless, one particular occasion which is truly noteworthy is the time when Kurt performed as a supporting act for world famous Zucchero. The song This Is The Night is written by Kurt Calleja and composed by Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås. Kurt together with the composers is working on his first album which will be out shortly.

The Critics Voice Their Opinion

Magnus Kaxe

  • At last – an up-tempo song! Kurt has a charming charisma and smile, good vocals and performs a simple, efficient and danceable song with a modern pop dance touch. My fear is that the song might be a little too simple, especially the first part of the chorus (“This is the night” etc.) Though the “oh-oh-oh” ending of the chorus has a great hook. I would have loved to hear more of Kurt’s higher vocal range, which would’ve brought even more energy into the song. But – I believe Malta will reach the finals! Let's go with a total of seven (7) points for this one.

Marion Welter

  • I must say that this track sounds like a mashup between the Spanish; Enrique Iglesias and the American; Usher, a dancefloor song performed by a lovely guy. This is a worthy effort from the nation, nine (9) points are truly deserved!

Tobias Larsson

  • A really bleak and washed-out song, saved a bit by charismatic Kurt behind the microphone. He radiates warmth and likeability, and I sincerely wish he will find something more meaningful to perform at a later stage of his career. I am slightly less optimistic than my colleagues above in giving him five (5) points for this performance.

Entry Background

Performer: Kurt Calleja

Composers: Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås & Kurt Calleja

Authors: Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås & Kurt Calleja

Song: This Is The Night 

Language: English

Broadcaster: PBS

History of the Nation

Malta have had quite the interesting record in the Eurovision Song Contest and this year will be celebrating twenty-five years in the event like Iceland actually who have a similar history to the small Mediterranean nation. Over the course of time, the nation that is yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest has finished third on two occasions, the first being in 1992 as Mary Spiteri and her track Little Child finished in third place and then in 1998 when Chiara and her debut entry The One That I love. Apart from this, Malta has laso finished second on two ocassions, the first one being in 2002 when the local pop/rock chic Ira Losco performed the song 7th Wonder to amaze the audience in Tallinn and then in 2005 when a breathtaking performance of Angel by Chiara made the audience weep. since the introduction of the semi-finals, Malta has only made the final twice, in 2004 with On Again...Off Again by Julie & Ludwig and in 2009 with Chiara and her third entry What If We. In the past two years, Malta has missed out but only just with seven points in 2010 and just one point in 2011.

Source: for the Biographical Information and all respective media

Published in Editorials

Proud-to-be-Malta’s representative in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Kurt Calleja, has lately been touring around Europe promoting his song. On the 25th April was infact his very last day of this tour which took him around most part of Eastern Europe. His last stop was Amsterdam, in Netherlands, where he took part in the event called “Eurovision in Concert” last Sunday, 21st April, where not less than 24 countries promoted their entry. Before returning to Malta on the 26th April, Kurt made a stop in Milan where he will be appearing on a show aired on RAI Due.

During his promotional tour, Kurt met with other Eurovision contenders including Sabina Babayeva who will be representing the host country Azerbaijan, Can Bonomo representing Turkey, Sofi Marinova of Bulgaria, Ivi Adamou of Cyprus, Soluna Samay of Denmark, Donny Montell of Lithuania and Anggun who will be representing France. Kurt Calleja made various appearances in TV shows and performances in nightclubs and also in some National Selections, including Lithuania’s National Selection. Kurt described this promotional tour as “a great adventure” and he surely made a good name for our country, thanks also to his bubbly and super out-going character.

Now, the emphasis of Kurt’s work will surely be on those important 3 minutes on the stage on the 24th May, that is, the second semifinal. Maybe odds will treat us bad once again, but everyone is more than sure that Kurt and his team will do not only their very best, but their utmost to assure a great performance on that night … and hopefully ‘that would be the night’. In an interview done by, Kurt said that the performance will be as simple as possible, nearing very much the performance which led him to the victory last February.

Source: Facebook, escflashmalta

Saturday, 14 April 2012 01:05

Malta: The Biggest Dance of 2012 Arrives

It has been noted on more than one occasion that the Maltese Islands take their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest very seriously and this seems to be the case this year with Kurt Calleja who will be taking to Baku in Azerbaijan with the track This Is The Night, co-written between Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås and the performer himself. One of the main aspects which seems to befit the track is an enjoyable routine which is being carried out by a number of people and was also the subject of our April Fools Joke here on but nevertheless, the day has come as several individuals are expected to flock to Valletta for the biggest dance of 2012.

Later on today at around 10:30 CET, the main square in front of Parliament will become a sight of colours and amusement with a number of people carrying out the dance that has been choreographed by Warren Bonello, part of the staging committee for this years' delegation. All of the team that will be representing Malta is expected to be in attendance alongside members of the Public Broadcasting Services who are shouldering the event through Where's Everybody and their flagship programme Xarabank hosted weekly on Friday nights by Peppi Azzopardi. We would like everyone to go and support the Maltese representative and have an enjoyable time. You can view the children of St.Paul's Bay Primary School training for the day in the video clip below. Stay tuned to for more information.

Source: Xarabank

In the past couple of days, the Maltese representative at the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has been quite busy noting that he has continued his promotional tour, even adding a couple of unplanned stops such as the one in Turkey. Earlier this year, Kurt Calleja along with his band were selected to be the ones to fly the flag on behalf of the country with the song This Is The Night by virtue of garnering the support of the public by quite a large margin, somewhat double the votes of the runner-up. 

The visit was quite short yet somewhat beneficial noting that Kurt managed to get into a number of schedules there by being interviewed for the programme 'Music Magazine, broadcast on the music channel of TRT and also another programme, this time live hosted by the well known and the beautiful Şevval Sam who in recent days also welcomed the Greek representative, Eleftheria Eleftheriou. Both the Maltese and the Turkish representatives were present during the show and in fact, performed some tracks together apart from singing the songs that will ultimately see them competing within the Eurovision Song Contest including This Is The Night and Love Me Back. Kurt Calleja is back in Malta today as he prepares to take part in the countries' biggest flash mob taking place in Valletta on Saturday, 14th April 2012 at 10:30 CET. Both countries will be competing in the second semi-final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest. Stay tuned to for more information as soon as it becomes available.

Source: TVM

The Maltese Delegation for the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which is set to take part in Baku, Azerbaijan is definitely flying under the media radar as much as possible this year noting that Kurt Calleja is currently in the country of Georgia where he seems to be promoting his track This Is The Night which will be performed in the fourth position within the second semi-final of the esteemed music competition. Nevertheless, this secrecy has been somewhat a theme to how the promotion has been taking place but nevertheless, if the results are achieved, then the Maltese people as a whole will be happy as there were with Chiara back in 2009 performing What If We in the finals.

In the past couple of months, Kurt Calleja has been visiting nations which had yet ever to be touched upon by Maltese representatives actually and these included Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and also Lithuania. It seems that the strategy of the Public broadcasting Services is to try and attract as much votes as possible from the Eastern side of the continent. Georgia of course are competing in the second semi-final with Anri Jokhadze and his song I'm a Joker. The song has not been highly regarded but nevertheless, since a brand new version appeared, it has got some positive reviews from the fans and the critics. Kurt Calleja will have more trips still to come noting that he is set to attend the Eurovision In Concert set to take place in The Netherlands and our esteemed sources tell us that he will also make an appearance at the London Preview Party. Stay tuned to as we keep you posted on the latest happenings.

Source: Facebook

Promise is the first word that springs to mind when noting the announcement a couple of months back that the Public Broadcasting Services was set to take over the full extent of the participation in the Eurovision Song Contest especially with a competent person such as Anton Attard at the helm noting the success that many people can vouch for when it comes to his role within N'N'G Promotions, a private company which puts up concerts in the Maltese Islands. Despite appointing a number of personnel by his side, it seems that they have all withered away behind the public eye but then again, it seems that it is all being blown out in public now especially with the loss of Norman Hamilton who has decided to quit his Position as a Consultant from the supposed team due to the 'lack of respect' as mentioned on The Times of Malta and as featured on ONE Television.

Norman Hamilton had worked extremely well last year with Anton Attard and that is why he took up the position once more, always noting without any remunaration for his work. It is to be remembered that Norman was one of the most successful Heads of Delegation to represent Malta taking us to tenth position in 1996 with Miriam Christine, ninth position in 1997 with Debbie Scerri and a third place in 1998 with Chiara. This time round though it seems that Mr.Attard has somewhat been keeping the matters to himself, closing down any other opinions, something that Mr.Hamilton was been called upon to give. The issues that have been pointed out in recent weeks include the removal of Ylenia Vella from the team, replaced by Amber who has been commented as having nothing to do with the winning song. He also commented on the disappointment that ONE Television could not feature anything on the Eurovision Song Contest. On a much more personal note, Norman Hamilton also passed forth his idea of Juries but the names were not included for any phase with Mr.Attard including individuals whom he had decided himself.

In the long run, the saga of the juries continues noting disgruntlement how newscasters had actually become prolific professionals in music to decide on the winner. In another blow, this year, Norman Hamilton will not be giving any coverage on ONE Television and may not even watch the semi-finals as he will be away and might not have any media access. Another reason for this decision is the way that Malta did not protest over the shooting of stray dogs in Baku, Azerbaijan. This disappointing resignation comes to be known as the major one in recent months but Anton Attard has long decided to change the strategy by opting to not allow local media to attend this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest rehearsals. Nevertheless, despite all of this, the numbers of our coverage were on par with those of the Public Broadcasting Services in some areas and even better in other areas, which is very much a win for us in this situation. 

In a interesting reply made by Anton Attard, it was stated that the word Consultant did not mean Dictate and well this kind of response was to be expected from a seasoned man in the entertainment and business industry. He has also gone on record to state 'Unfortunately partisan politics has clouded Mr Hamilton's judgment in a number of ways'. We would like to wish Norman Hamilton, the very best of luck with the rest of his career as a host on ONE Television of the popular show 'Bla Agenda'. Honestly, we hope in the future that people like Norman are given better treatment as they work for the best interests of the country. Kurt Calleja will ultimately represent Malta with the song This Is The Night in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Source: Times of Malta, ONE Television

Published in Local Music News
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 02:07

Malta: Kurt Calleja Tops Local iTunes Chart

It has now been two months since the Malta Eurovision Song Contest came to an end with the winner being none other than Kurt Calleja with the song This Is The Night the performer who had paved the way for victory since the previous year when he had finished third with the extremely catchy song entitled Over and Over also a co-write between the artist and Johan Jämtberg. The overwhelming success of the performer continues to surprise the general public who grabbed their phones and voted in their masses during the final night of the local national final. A couple of days ago, it was revealed that the record label, BFM Digital is distributing the track as a general release. The renowned company has worked with the likes of Brian Lopez, Paulini, James Morisson and Da Professor amongst others. In recent years, CAP Sounds had been the company which took up the track apart from Chiara who worked with a distributor of EMI Music due to the her international songwriting collaboration. 

The song has only been available for a couple of days and quickly climbed up to number #3 initially before succumbing to a number of brand new tracks which had just become available through the popular digital sales company. It is quite impressive that following the downfall, the sales picked up once more and in just two days and a couple of hours, the song sky rocketed to number #1 therefore recording yet another successful attempt by a Maltese artist on the chart. The time span in which he kept the position was a couple of hours, but anytime spent at the top is a great achievement. You can help him climb once more by buying the song here. iTunes in Malta has not been open for a long time but it seems that the local crowd enjoys making purchases noting the recent charting success of Fabrizio Faniello, Wintermoods, Claudia Faniello and Airport Impressions amongst others. 

Source: iTunes

The Team of Radio International would like to invite you to the weekly Ultimative Eurovision Experience. Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio and on Digital Cable 41 in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International Television Channel from the studio and linking up the European Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air.

The Sounds of Azerbaijan: The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) previously known as the London Azerbaijan Society. Its objective is to promote Azerbaijani culture, business and public affairs to international audiences, and create to a sense of community for expatriate Azerbaijanis. TEAS supports Radio International during the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 and with the weekly edition of the show it will bring you the finest artists of Azerbaijan a bit closer. 

Live Interview with Eleftheria Eleftheriou (Greece 2012): Eleftheria translated means Freedom and is the name of the Greek representative to the Eurovision Song Contest 2012. She will be performing a powerful pop song with wonderful Greek elements called "Aphrodisiac" which will start at Number 3 in Semi Final 1 on Tuesday, 22 May 2012. Watch our for this live interview coming live from the heart of Athens.

Eurovision Song Contest Spotlight - "Mysterious Eurovision Performers" with Chris Poppe: Great to see Chris returning for the Mysterious Eurovision Winners' Quiz where Chris gives some verbal clues and two musical clues. Audience joining us live this Wednesday have a chance to win something in this when you are the first to let us know who Chris has wrapped up in his clues. Enjoy this thrilling quiz. :)

Live Interview with Tooji (Norway 2012): Norway will be represented by young energetic Tooji who will perform the song "Stay" in Semi Final 2 on the 24 May 2012. Starting position is Number 16. Looking forward to having Tooji on the show this week.

Eurovision Song Contest News with Luke Fisher:  Check out the latest developments connected to the Eurovision Song Contest. Whether it is music releases of Eurovision performers, appearances, special concerts, gossip, news, etc Luke will have all the updates for us during the weekly edition of Radio International. 

Live Interview with Kurt Calleja (Malta 2012): Just in this afternoon is also that Malta's Ambassador to the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 - Kurt Calleja will be joining us for the Eurovision Interview Marathon during this week's edition of Radio International. "This is the night" was co-produced in Sweden and was selected by the Maltese public together with the international jury at the beginning of February 2012 and will be starting in Semi Final 2 at Number 4 on 24 May 2012.

Eurovision News Website:  Luke Fisher is also the  Editor - in - Chief of the Eurovision News website called Check our more and EXTRA news on the Eurovision Song Contest by visiting the website here.  

Live Interview with Izabo (Israel 2012): Also just confirmed to be on on the show this week is Israel's retro-enty performer Izabo who will be performing the song "Time" in Semi Final 1 at Number 10 on Tuesday, 22 May 2012.

Euro Friends Song Contest 2012 with Andy Simon: The next season of the Euro Friends Song Contest is under way in search for the ultimate Eurovision song as voted for by the many fans around the world.  Andy  Simon joins us every week to reveal the qualifiers for the next round.  The website of the Euro Friends Song Contest you will find here where you can easily vote for your favourite Eurovision song per country and also see The Euro-Friends TV Show as hosted by Andy Simon. You can also join the Facebook Group here. This week Andy looks at the next qualifiers from Heats 43 (Spain). 

There will be the usual bits and pieces such the Eurovision Quiz, your Eurovision Music Requests and messages, Eurovision Calendar Items and the Eurovision News as they happen. Your views and requests are welcome and quiz answers can be sent via the website's CONTACT link. As for the quiz answers, you have time until 2359 hours the Tuesday after Radio International was aired live. That gives the chance for the listeners who were not able to join us live on Wednesdays to participate in the quiz and the draw for the prize. Our friends who pick Radio International up via can also participate at the weekly quiz. 

Join us at our usual time live on Wednesday, 04 April 2012  from 2000 - 2400 hours CET via 106.8FM & Digital Cable Channel Number 41 in the Netherlands or via the station's LISTEN LIVE. Should you not be able to listen live or missed any show fear not as the shows are available as "Listen Again" in the Show Archive or you can subscribe to the PODCAST.

Source: Team of Radio International

Saturday, 31 March 2012 22:10

Malta: The 'Inverted W' Causes a Stir

The Kurt Calleja mania is taking over the country and ‘This is the Night’ can easily be heard on the local airwaves, in the discotheques in Paceville and occasionally you also hear it whilst driving past a Eurovision maniac whose sound would contend with some of the biggest sound systems on the island. One thing is for sure; Malta is still and will always be a Eurovision mad nation and although some do not admit it they still watch it and secretly love it even though they loath it when coming to speak about it in public. 

It seems that this years’ mania is taking a serious turn. Xarabank in collaboration with PBS has decided to organize a flash mob dance with this years’ entry and in order to get people prepared they released an online video on the dance steps one has to follow to get ready to join the ‘This is the Night’ craze. Looking at the video and the dance steps, it looks like fun and enjoyable and a lot of people commentated that they have included the routine in their daily exercise whilst preparing themselves to get fit for summer.

The department of health was also thinking of joining the fun to promote this activity in order to get people moving and doing some exercise; this will surely help considering that Malta is known for its obesity problem. Lately though the department started getting a number of calls from annoyed fans who were opposing the flash mob idea that Where’s Everybody alongside PBS and Kurt’s team came up with because people are getting injured trying out the dance. 

Disgruntled parents have commentated that although it looks fun and definitely harmless their children ended up hurting themselves. In fact after numerous phone calls which came from different factions of the society, the department of health decided to announce that the famous ‘INVERTED W’ which also became known as the ‘applejack’ is dangerous to attempt unless you are a fully trained dancer with plenty of experience behind you. It remains to be seen whether the flash mob dance scheduled on the 14th of April in Valletta will take place and whether or not the applejack will be removed from it.

Although embarrassing to admit a number of our readers came forward to let us know that they are recovering from sprained ankles after attempting this move. A physician who works at the emergency section at Mater Dei said that the week after Kurt won they had around ten cases of sprained ankles all varying in terms of injury extent. The physician said that they didn’t see a number of cases after that until recently when the video with the choreographer Warren Bonnello went online – from then on, the cases increased drastically. 

Although for the commoner who has not tried the move, it looks odd, very odd those who tried it seem to think otherwise. It remains to be seen whether Kurt Calleja and his team will use this in their final performance at the Eurovision considering that it attracted a lot of attention and can surely be a hit with the international audience. The Eurovision Song Contest is known for these antics and if all the team, including Amber who joined the team recently, can pull it off without injuring themselves they should really have a go at it – maybe it will be the extra oomph we need to make it through to the finals.


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