September 21, 2019

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *
Reload Captcha

It has definitely been an eventful couple of hours with the first semi-final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest proving to be quite surprising in terms of results, seeing to the qualification of nations such as Montenegro and San Marino for the very first time. escflashmalta.com would like to thank Emil Calleja Bayliss, Davinia, Rikki Lee and Brooke for their service this evening and in getting more than 14,000 views to the Facebook Page.

Sergej Cetkovic, a star in the balkans got through based on the power of the song Moj Svijet especially when realising that there were no geographical aids to be seen apart from Albania. On the other hand, Valentina Monetta, the singer/songwriter from San Marino gave a stunning performance after two dire entries this evening which greatly supporting her cause to get through to the final with the song Maybe (Forse).

The other qualifiers from this evening's show were none other than; Russia, Iceland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Hungary, Sweden, Armenia and The Netherlands. It seems that the latter nation could have been the surprise package of the evening and is now considered to be a dark horse with Calm After the Storm climbing up to number #7 in the betting odds and also charting highly on iTunes in no less than ten countries.

Following the show, a press conference took place where the qualified nations had the opportunity to draw in which half of the final they will be performing in come Saturday. Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Armenia, Ukraine, Sweden and Iceland will join Germany in the first half of the showcase whilst Hungary, Russia, San Marino and The Netherlands will join Denmark, United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain in the latter part of the evening. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Dt-crS5N-Y

It has been an entertaining fortnight with certain entries falling well below expectations with others coming to terms with new found fame following first rehearsals on the stage found at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Tonight! The beginning of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with sixteen countries set to compete against one another in hope of garnering one of the ten available slots, and in doing so joining the big five; Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom as well as host country; Denmark.

Whilst Malta will not be in contention this evening, the Public Broadcasting Services will still be broadcasting the event through Television Malta with commentary set to be provided by Carlo Borg Bonaci, head judge at this year's edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. In the meantime, we have asked our panel of professional reviewers to come up with the names of the countries they believe will get through to the final this evening and this is the cumulative list which they have come up with;

  1. Armenia
  2. Estonia
  3. Sweden
  4. Russia
  5. Azerbaijan
  6. Ukraine
  7. San Marino
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Montenegro
  10. Hungary

We urge you to tune into escflashmalta.com through Facebook and Twitter this evening with Emil Calleja Bayliss, Brooke, Rikki Lee and Davinia micro-blogging on the acts competing in the first semi-final. Once more, we remind you that the comments passed forth by our special guests do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the escflashmalta.com editorial team. Remember, the first semi-final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest kicks off at 21:00 CET on Television Malta.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ik_PxQHDtw

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:14

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Montenegro

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Martin Isherwood, Deo Grech, Stano Simor and Matt Mercieca from the United Kingdom, Malta and the Czech Republic have been entrusted with the first semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 6th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and thus moving onto number #16, we catch up with Montenegro (RTCG) who will be represented by Sergej Cetkovic and the song Moj Svijet co-written with Emina Sandal.

His talent was noticed so he became one of the best students in piano classes, in the primary and as well in the secondary music school "Vasa Pavic". During the day, at school, he played Bach, Mozart, Schubert, and at night, at home, he played Peter Gabriel, Beatles, Joe Cocker. Sergej was definitely “infected” with pop-rock sound, therefore three years later in 1989 his official musical career started with the band "Burning Heart" in which he played keyboard and sang back vocals. Five years later, in 1994, he sang in a full capacity in the band "Amphitheatre", where he began as a keyboardist and back vocal and he later became the lead vocal. Four years later, in 1998, Sergej begins his solo career by appearing at the summer pop festival "Sunny Skale" in Herceg Novi, where he sang the song You Were A Rose. 

Early in the new millennium, driven by his musical feeling, Sergej announced a new sound in our pop music. His first album Kristina was published by "Goroton" in 2000. New musical tendencies, which were felt in the sound of his compositions, were accepted even prior to the official appearance of his CD. That summer at the prestigious Budva festival called "Song of the Mediterranean”, Sergej sang the song Hours, Days, Years and was well received by the audience and the critics. In addition to the above mentioned song, the following songs I Will Stop The Time, Wake Me Up, City were included on the first album made by the author himself who set a "new sound" so the songs topped all the charts and became the most popular songs of the year. 

Carried by the good feeling that his musical formula is verified by the enormous number of fans of the new pop sound, two years later, in 2002 Sergej released his second studio album Be Like Water, published by "Goroton". With his performances in 2003 at the Mediterranean Festival in Budva where he sang I Exist As Well, which is still the ultimate hit, and a year later at the festival "Eurovision – Euro song Monte Negro" where he sang I Can Not Forgive You he confirmed the position of his musical direction. Next year, in 2005, he released his third studio album When You Need It published by the record company "City records". This album break all records, both in circulation and the audience: songs Look Into The Darkness, Damn You, The Ring On The Table for two years were in the top of the charts in all the countries of former Yugoslavia. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQNMF-R5Idg

With his fourth album, Half Of My World published in 2007 by “City Records”, Sergej Cetkovic definitely placed his music disc into the history of pop music in the Balkans. The fifth CD 2 Minutes published by “City Records” and “Aquarius Records” was released in the year when this well known musician celebrates a decade of work on Balkan music scene. After ten years of professional career singer and composer Sergej Cetkovic can boast the success of the artist and the businessman, the qualifications for top pop star. This fact supports figures, which are related to album sales (CD), visitors at concerts or any other parameter that is taken into account when the music industry is concerned. Montenegro are yet to find success in the international event with an 11th placing in the semi-final achieved in 2009 still their best result.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 73%

Martin Isherwood: Good voice Feels like it should be Ireland's entry   Great sounding song and production with flavours of ''You raise me up'. 

Deo Grech: Here goes my bias again. I have to declare that this entry hits all the right keys to earn my respect!  Ethno-ballads are amongst my all time favourites. So this follows close on the heels of 'Lane moje' (Serbia 2004), 'Lejla' (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2006), and 'Nije Ljubav Star' (Serbia 2012), amongst others.   It's downside might be that it is far too predictable. However, with an elegant presentation on stage this will surely soar high towards the finals.

Stano Simor: A ballad, which in modern design doesn’t forget to decorate a national tradition.There is emotive text, which supports the melody and great voice of Sergej Cetkovic. I believe that "Moj Svijet" will have a place in the final.

Matt Mercieca: Sounds like a nice song production is really nice, I wish I knew what he was saying but either way its a beautiful song.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xym7CQFFTOU

Published in Editorials

Danmarks Radio, host broadcaster of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just revealed the running order for the international competition taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Represented by Firelight and the song Coming Home, written by Richard Edwards Micallef, Malta will be opening the second semi-final on the 8th May 2014.

Prior to the announcement of the draw for the running order, Malta had never been given the opportunity to open the semi-final of such an illustrious show. At first glance, one might be shocked but personally I had a strong feeling that this could happen given the diversity of the genres that make up the first half of the second semi-final. Seventh in qualification with the bookies, Coming Home is facing a fate bestowed to the likes of Nije Ljubav Stvar, This is My Life, Run Away and Love In Rewind, all of which have successfully qualified to the final of the continental competition. 

01) Malta: Coming Home - Firelight

02) Israel: Same Heart - Mei Finegold

03) Norway: Silent Storm - Carl Espen

04) Georgia: Three Minutes to Earth - The Shin & Mariko

05) Poland: My Slowanie - Donatan & Cleo

06) Austria: Rise Like a Phoenix - Conchita Wurst

07) Lithuania: Attention - Vilija Mataciunaite

08) Finland: Something Better - Softengine

09) Ireland: Heartbeat - Can-Linn ft. Kasey Smith

10) Belarus: Cheesecake - Teo

11) FYR Macedonia: To The Sky - Tijana

12) Switzerland: Hunter of Stars - Sebalter

13) Greece: Rise Up - Freaky Fortune ft. RiskyKidd

14) Slovenia: Round and Round - Tinkara Kovac

15) Romania: Miracle - Paula & Ovi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QJFYvoYZ-s

It is quite interesting to denote that those entries which opened the second semi-final have proven to be much more successful than those opening the first semi-final. In the meantime, the situation in the first semi-final is even moreso intriguing especially with the first half of the show induated with ballads, despite that they try and preserve themselves as individualistic. Favourite to win the Eurovision Song Contest with odds shortening by the second, Armenia is set to open the first semi-final in a bizarre twist.

01) Armenia: You're Not Alone - Aram MP3

02) Latvia: Cake to Bake - Aarzemnieki

03) Estonia: Amazing - Tanja

04) Sweden: Undo - Sanna Nielsen

05) Iceland: No Prejudice - Pollaponk

06) Albania: One Night's Anger - Hersi

07) Russia: Shine - Tolmachevy Sisters

08) Azerbaijan: Start a Fire - Dilara Kazimova

09) Ukraine: Tick-Tock - Mariya Yaremchuk

10) Belgium: Mother - Axel Hirsoux

11) Moldova: Wild Soul - Cristina Scarlat

12) San Marino: Maybe (Forse) - Valentina Monetta

13) Portugal: Quero Ser Tua - Suzy

14) The Netherlands: Calm After the Storm - The Common Linnets

15) Montenegro: Moj Svijet - Sergej Cetkovic

16) Hungary: Running - Andras Kallay-Saunders

One has to remember that ten countries per semi-final will get through to the final show set for the 10th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark meaning that nine nations will be left out in the cold having not been selected amongst the best that the continent has to offer. In the final, the qualifiers will join entries from Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom and host country Denmark who have already been given an extremely late draw following a random draw. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ggv4LApQcY

Montenegro, one of the countries which is yet to qualify to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest have finally decided to use the formula that the Balkan countries have somewhat become accustomed to use in recent years, that incorporating a renowned artist. Sergej Cetkovic is one of the most famous names in the music industry, having successfully released five albums from the millennium onwards and also awarded Male Pop Singer of the Year back in 2010. RTCG, the broadcaster responsible for Montenegro's participation at the international event organised a press conference, confirming the rumours that had been spreading in recent months.

Montenegro has been unlucky in the singing competition, with none of it's five (5) entries getting beyond the semi-final stage of the competition. Their best result was an eleventh place finish back in 2009 when Andrea Demirović and her entry Just Get Out of My Life amassed forty-four (44) points. At this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Igranka performed by Who See garnered forty-one (41) points to finish in twelfth place. Official details with regards to the song will be given in due course. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Source: RTCG

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

Rade Vojvodic, who just happens to be the Chief Executive Officer at RTCG, the public broadcaster responsible for the participation of Montenegro at the Eurovision Song Contest stated in an exclusive interview with the newspaper, Vijesti that they will be taking part in Copenhagen, Denmark. Sergey Cetkovic is set to be revealed as the next representative but nevertheless, negotiations are still ongoing as the nation selects its sixth entrant.

The popular male vocalist was voted pop singer of the year in Serbia back in 2010 and has had a string of successful releases including; Pogledi u Tami which you could listen to just below. Vojvodic also commented about the new rules and regulations put forward by the European Broadcasting Union in recent days which makes things clearer. Nevertheless, there are still doubts with regards to the tele-voting due to the fact that all the votes are counted in one place, believing that more companies should be involved in the process. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Vijesti

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjRM3d9Dlug

Mid-August, and the team of Radio International led by Juergen Boernig continues to help one deal with the absence of new material as summer somewhat brings down the Eurovision Song Contest preperations. We would like to invite you to the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience. Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

Moje 3, a trio made up of Mirna Radulović, Nevena Božović, and Sara Jovanović were specifically brought together following The Voice of Serbia in an attempt to create the ultimate girlband with the Eurovision Song Contest being their debut. Their entry entitled Ljubav Je Svuda co-written by Saša Milošević Mare and Marina Tucaković failed to get through the first semi-final, finishing in eleventh place with forty-six (46) points, just six points behind Estonia who had come in tenth place. This evening, Radio International will be chatting to the girls for the final time noting that they have officially disbanded and will be pursuing other projects as solo artists. They made it clear that the project was just set for the Eurovision Song Contest and quite frankly, it did not prove successful. Other interviews to be aired during this weeks' episode; Who See (Montenegro 2013), Nodi & Sopho (Georgia 2013), Per (Latvia 2013) and Hannah Mancini (Slovenia 2013).

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

There will also be a number of new releases played throughout the three hours, including tracks by Alex Sparrow (Russia 2011), Johnny Logan (Ireland 1980, 1987), Maya Sar (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2012), Agnetha Faltskorg (Sweden 1974), Nina Badric (Croatia 2012), Kevin Borg (Malta NF 2013) and Pastora Soler (Spain 2012). All of the news is also covered during the weekly broadcast noting resources from escflashmalta.com and escXtra where Luke Fisher, the Editor makes a weekly round-up. David Mann will be discussing songs from the Eurovision Song Contest which have been covered across time. Make sure to tune into this evenings episode of Radio International on the links offered above as we help you get through your post Eurovision depression. escflashmalta.com is always proud to promote the work of Radio International hence the weekly promotion of the leading interviews which is the way that each article will be placed upon within the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0UgPpV_PPQ

Since the introduction of the jury and tele-voting system, it seems that the anticipation for the split vote is relatively high by viewers of the Eurovision Song Contest, which this year amassed around one hundred and seventy million according to an earlier press release issued by the official website of the international event. In the past four years, the European Broadcasting Union had released the total points of each entry as given by both the jury and the tele-voting but due to the implementation of a brand new system, they have decided to publish the average placing of each nation through both jury and tele-voting.

The results of the first semi-final were quite predictable to be honest noting that Only Teardrops by Emmelie de Forest for Denmark was the varage with both the juries and public at large with Russia's entry What If finishing second in both as well. The juries and the public agreed on seven of the ten qualifiers in general witht he jury opting to select Austria rather than Lithuania and the public preferring Montenero and Croatia over Moldova and Estonia respectively. Montenegro have somewhat managed to gather favour with the public whilst Austria still hold the cards in their hands when it comes to the juries stating tele-voting was rigged a couple of years back. 

Denmark - 167 (1 / 1)

Russia - 156 (2 / 2)

Ukraine - 140 (4 / 3)

Moldova - 95 (3 / 11)

Belgium - 75 (7 / 7)

The Netherlands - 75 (6 / 9)

Belarus - 64 (9 / 8)

Ireland - 54 (10 / 6)

Lithuania - 53 (11 / 5)

Estonia - 52 (8 / 13)

Serbia - 46 (15 / 12)

Montenegro - 41 (14 / 4)

Croatia - 38 (13 / 10)

Austria - 27 (5 / 15

Cyprus - 11 (12 / 14)

Slovenia - 8 (16 / 16)

In the second semi-final, things were rather enticing and this was very much what several opinionists had stated when it came to discussing the quality of the tracks competing. As a matter of fact, the jury and the tele-voting agreed on six songs in total, including jury winners Malta whose entry Tomorrow performed by Gianluca managed seventh place with the public.This was a coup for the Mediterranean nation who had never secured any type of first place result in the past. The jury opted to send through to the final acts such as Israel and San Marino rather than Romania and Hungary whilst the public at large preferred Bulgaria and Switzerland to Armenia and Georgia. For the second straight participation, it seems that Armenia is continously losing the public appeal which had originated in their initial participations. 

Azerbaijan - 139 (2 / 3)

Greece - 121 (3 / 2)

Norway - 120 (4 / 4)

Malta - 118 (1 / 7)

Romania - 83 (13 / 1)

Iceland - 72 (8 / 8)

Armenia - 69 (7 / 11)

Hungary - 66 (11 / 9)

Finland - 64 (6 / 10)

Georgia - 63 (5 / 13)

San Marino - 47 (10 / 12)

Bulgaria - 45 (17 / 6)

Switzerland - 41 (16 / 5)

Israel - 40 (9 / 14)

Albania - 31 (12 / 15)

FYR Macedonia - 28 (14 / 16)

Latvia - 13 (15 / 13)

In the final, things somewhat remained pretty much the same noting that the countries which had performed well in their respective semi-finals managed to enter in the top ten with the inclusion of Italy who performed brilliantly in both the jury and the public vote. This was not the case with their entry last year noting that Nina Zilli had managed to get her top ten score thanks to mostly jury support as the public put her in a lower mid-table position. Marco Mengoni and his entry L'Essenziale managed eighth and tenth respectively to finish in seventh place just ahead of Malta whose entry this time round finished in ninth place both the jury and public vote. On average, Spain has managed to finish last in both the jury and the public vote but unfortunately the disappointing result was given to Ireland with Ryan Dolan managing a decent mid-table with the public as opposed to a bottom three with juries. 

Denmark - 281 (1 / 1)

Azerbaijan - 234 (2 / 3)

Ukraine - 214 (6 / 2)

Norway - 191 (4 / 6)

Russia - 174 (10 / 5)

Greece - 152 (14 / 4)

Italy - 126 (8 / 10)

Malta - 120 (9 / 9)

The Netherlands - 114 (7 / 11)

Hungary - 84 (21 / 8)

Belgium - 71 (11 / 17)

Moldova - 71 (5 / 19)

Romania - 65 (24 / 7)

Sweden - 62 (3 / 18)

Georgia - 50 (13 / 23)

Belarus - 48 (22 / 13)

Iceland - 47 (17 / 12)

Armenia - 41 (19 / 15)

United Kingdom - 23 (15 / 22)

Estonia - 19 (16 / 24)

Germany - 18 (20 / 16)

Lithuania - 17 (25 /21)

France - 14 (12 / 25)

Finland - 13 (18 / 20)

Spain - 8 (26 / 26)

Ireland - 5 (23 / 14)

escflashmalta.com has also noted two predominant differences between the jury and the public vote in the final noting that Sweden managed to gather a strong representation thanks to the professional panels in the participating countries managing a third place whilst Romania climbed up the board thanks to the general public. Unfortunately both entries were drowned down by the other half of the score as Sweden could only manage eighteenth in tele-voting whilst Romania was third from last in the jury. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest but in the meantime, keep following for news about the local music scene.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3f9v8ebuD4

Saturday, 18 May 2013 12:04

Eurovision 2013: Voting Order Announced

In years gone by, the running order of the voting process was scheduled in the same manner in which the performances took place but nevertheless, the system was altered a couple of years back when the juries gained their voting priveledges back, and which now undoubtely decide half of the respective result. The European Broadcasting Union would like to make the best possible showcase for the millions of viewers watching all over the world including; China and Australia and therefore, where possible, changes in the leaderboard will be implemented just to create an exciting feeling for all to enjoy.

Valletta, the capital city of Malta will be the backdrop for the voting this evening with the spokesperson being none other than Emma Hickey, otherwise known as Jeremy's love interest in the music video for Tomorrow, which is the entry representing the country in the international music showcase. The song which is co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek with vocals provided by Gianluca got through to the final round following an initial qualification phase held on Thursday. Malta was announced as the ninth country following what seemed to a nerve wracking situation. This evening, during the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, Malta will be performing in position number #9.

  1. San Marino (John Kennedy O'Connor)
  2. Sweden (Yohio)
  3. Albania (Andri Xhahu)
  4. Netherlands (Cornald Maas)
  5. Austria (Kati Bellowitsch)
  6. United Kingdom (Scott Mills)
  7. Israel (Ofer Nachshon)
  8. Serbia (Maja Nikolic)
  9. Ukraine (Matias)
  10. Hungary (Éva Novodomszky)
  11. Romania (Sonia Argint)
  12. Moldova (Olivia Furtuna)
  13. Azerbaijan (Tamilla Shirinova)
  14. Norway (Tooji)
  15. Armenia (Andre)
  16. Italy (Federica Gentile)
  17. Finland (Kristiina Wheeler)
  18. Spain (Inés Paz)
  19. Belarus (Darya Domracheva)
  20. Latvia (Anmary)
  21. Bulgaria (Joana Dragneva)
  22. Belgium (Barbara Louys)
  23. Russia (Alsou)
  24. Malta (Emma Hickey)
  25. Estonia (Rolf Roosalu)
  26. Germany (Lena)
  27. Iceland (Maria Sigrun Hilmarsdottir)
  28. France (Marine Vignes)
  29. Greece (Andriana Magania)
  30. Ireland (Nicky Byrne)
  31. Denmark (Sofie Lassen-Kalhke)
  32. Montenegro (Ivana Sebek)
  33. Slovenia (Andrea F)
  34. Georgia (Liza Tsiklauri)
  35. F.Y.R. Macedonia (Dimitar Atanasovski)
  36. Cyprus (Loukas Hamatsos)
  37. Croatia (Uršula Tolj)
  38. Switzerland (Mélanie Freymond)
  39. Lithuania (Ignas Krupavicius)

All of the participating countries in this years' Eurovision Song Contest will be casting their votes, half of them as decided by a panel of professional experts and the other half by the million of people watching in their homes. As one could denote from the list above, there are a number of well known individuals who will be reading out the points of their country, amongst them being; Tooji (Norway), Anmary (Latvia), Lena (Germany), Alsou (Russia) and of course, the most famous one being Nicky Bryne of the former group, Westlife for Ireland. Speculation is running high that Italy did extremely well with the juries last night as opposed to Denmark who might have not scored one of the top results. This is yet to be seen. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more of the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv

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

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. Sixteen (16) countries will be performing this evening with six (6) 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 Head of Press, Emil Calleja Bayliss as well as guests; Claudia Faniello, a two time first runner-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Simon Casey, a former first runner-up in the Irish selection as well as a successful recording artist with Universal Music Ireland. All of the three are extremely professional in their line of work and their interests in music have been duly recorded over time.

The Show (Part 1)

Good Evening! Welcome to Sweden and to the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. This year, the arena is relatively small in comparison to other years but nevertheless, looks jampacked noting that it was sold out in less than half an hour. An extremely large choir is currently on stage as they perform Euphoria, the winning entry of last year before being joined by Loreen herself. This is a first to see the winner of the year before performing in the first semi-final but nevertheless, she will also be performing a brand new song in the final. Petra Mede, the only hostess for this evening takes to the stage in what seems to be a silver like colour although the material is very much like tin foil. 

Austria

Emil: She looks so scared. Her eyes look it and her voice is a tad shaky but she slowly picks up. The backing have a cool yet strange choereography. The staging is interesting and the small arena looks great on screen. The viduals are impressive. The song is a modern R&B number which should go down well but perhaps it is a bit too early for the viewers to remember. A good one.

Claudia: I think that this is a little bit average especially to kick off this evening yet the performance was good enough.

Simon: Our first semi-final is under way. Didn't really enjoy this performance and it didn't go anywhere, which is a shame as she a really good voice. Natália's Irish roots may not be enough for her to qualify tonight.

Estonia

Emil: A black and white start and surely an interesting trick for the viewers to remember. Kudos on the Estonias but the Maltese had done it first in the Junior Eurovision. The sweet simple ballad is performer strongly. She starts from the catwalk and walks back to the main stage. A flowing dress to hide her pregnancy  It is a typical Scandinavian ballad. The climax is a strong one, but I can't see the viewers voting for this one - the jurors would have to save this one. Interesting number.

Claudia: For the second time in a row, we have another average song and this does not really look to be the best of starts for this years' Eurovision Song Contest.

Simon: Nice ballad singer and she looks great but I'm looking for something special from a ballad these days and I just didn’t enjoy the song. I was waiting for big finish but a in fact it was a little boring for me. 

Slovenia

Emil: An electro dance number which would help making it a summer hit. Would it be a eurovision hit? I doubt it. She might get a number of votes for her looks or her dancers though. The song is average and nothing that we haven't heard before. The vocals could be much better and sounded shrieky in a number of parts. I'd guess it is game over for Slovenia already. She needs a miracle to get through.

Claudia: This clearly remind me of an extremely famous club song and whilst it is a good track in itself, the vocals are clearly weak this evening. Unfortunately these type of songs are dominating the charts despite not being my cup of tea. 

SimonA good dance track. Hannah put in a great performance and a really catchy chorus. I enjoyed this performance and it has an outside chance of qualification. She sounds like Madonna.

Croatia

EmilThis sounds like music to my ears after Slovenia. Pure class with six great voices. This is what Eurovision should be about - countries presenting something traditional and strong. The only criticism I might have is that it is a bit static or sound a tad repetitive but the voices are impeccable with great harmonies. If viewers forget this, I can't see the jurors doing the same. Let's hope they manage to save it if that is the case.

Claudia: I must say that this is definitely not my cup of tea and the only thing that I can point out from this performance are their awesome boots. I am sorry Croatia!

Simon:  This is a little different, the Croats answer to Il Divo. Nice performance and good harmonies. I like it but I don't know how it'll translate European wide considering that it might be respected by minorities.

Denmark

EmilThe ULITIMATE Eurovision favourite - the odds are shortening like mad. A military tattoo feel and this song has WINNER written all over it. Can't see any other song beating this. The performance is interesting and the she sells it well even though she might not be giving her strongest vocal performance. The cheers she's getting in the audience suggest that this is hers to loose - although she's quite close to home so that helps loads. Winner of 2013!? I think so.

Claudia: First things first, it seems that this definitely a crowd favourite this evening and apart from that fact, they have also borrowed my outfits without asking, haha. This is a feel good with great lyrics. This is the second year in a row that they have a great song!

Simon: Good performance by Emmelie, I really like this song. Catchy as hell. I think it's a little reminiscent of last year’s winning song and the strongest performance so far tonight. Think this song has a real chance in the finals.

Russia

Emil: Her clear vocals are beautiful and she carries the song with such grace yet the excitement get the best of her in the beginning. The harmonies with the backing sound great though and the way the whole arena lights up during the key refrain is impressive. Another great stomper. Can't see it beating Denmark but Russia will possible fight to be in the top three this year. 

Claudia: This is definitely a Eurovision Song Contest entry because the key-change is extremely typical. It is also very much like an X Factor winners' single. Nevertheless, Dina is an extremely strong performer.

Simon: Vocally a great performance from Dina and one of my favourites. Certain to qualify. Really strong message here as well. There is a slight feel factor of Katrina and the Waves 'Love Shine a Light' (which is good). No need to bring back the grannies this year!!

Ukraine

Emil: Ruining a good song with a giant!? Well Jack and the beanstalk has been a great inspiration. Another great number which picks up as soon as she starts singing although her vocals sounded a bit low at first. She oozes charisma and she connest well with the camera. Will this gospel number appeal to the viewers at home? Considering it is Ukraine, and the song is a strong one it should do well. Ukraine can expect another top ten result. Three strong numbers after each other. Will someone suffer?

Claudia: Whoa! The giant is clearly an impressive touch and he is somewhat part of the choreography. The visuals are just stunning and the vocals on stage are coming across really well on the sound system. This is well performed! Not a winner though!

SimonThere's a real Disney feel to this song, certainly one of the strongest performances tonight and really should qualify for Saturday night.

The Netherlands

EmilThe famous Anouk is next. She looks beautiful on screen but she avoids eye contact with the camera and stays with her eyes closed during most of the performance. Clearly not the way to connect with your audience. It is the slowest song in the competition and although it has a classic feel to it and Anouk gives a strong interpretation it will be up to the jurors to save this one tonight I feel. It is a bit boring I fear.

Claudia: Anouk, a vocal genius and once more, another strong performance for this evenings' competition. The song in itself is nothing too extraordinary but nevertheless, the versatility is the key behind it's success.

Simon: Don’t like being too critical but I just didn't get this song, it certainly was very different and she has a very decent voice but can't see her qualify for the final. (She's for the birds)

Montenegro

EmilSpacemen make their way to the Eurovision stage too and they are joined by an alien. Not my cup of tea and can't see whether this song will have any appeal whatsoever. It is different to the one that came before it and that is the only reason I see her picking up some votes. I guess it is a bit too modern and the Eurovision stage is not the place to showcase this kind of music. Noise pollution? Quite close.

Claudia: Whilst I respect several genres of music, this is too electronic for my taste. The costumes for the performance definitely remind me of the ones used during one of Fab's latest videos.

Simon:  A very forgettable performance apart from its raunchiness, this song is going nowhere.

Lithuania

Emil: Lithaunia present a good modern pop song with an electronic feel to it. I feels a bit too generic but it is a good entry performed by a very likable guy which will pick up a few votes for his charm. The song might be a little mid table but with some neighbourly help, some luck and a good performance it might actually make it.

Claudia: A Pet Shop Boys attempt. Actually enjoyed this tune but I think the vocal was quiet poor tonight.

Simon: The crowd is really warm this evening and that is very positive for the performers. The track itself seems to have taken us back through time, back to the 80's in a genre similar to the one made popular by AHA, including the blurred visuals. 

Belarus

Emil: Belarus go with a cheesy cha cha number which would have been fit in the Eurovision Song Contest back in the 1990's. It is a bit too late. The performance is strong but the same cannot be the said for her vocals. They sound strained and weak in places. The outfits are cool though and her PR strategy was amongst the strongest. Will that help her pass? I doubt it.

Claudia: Typical entry from the Eurovision Song Contest, the outfit along with the staging has been done a million times before. Hmm, there is something about Alyona which reminds me of Charlotte Perelli although her figure is definitely more intriguing.

Simon: She reminds me of Shakira, and he tune is a little similar to the Turkish 2003 winner. Certainly has potential to qualify tonight, really think its a song that will grow on people. 

Moldova

EmilThe music is strong for this one and so is her voice but the fact that we can't understand what she's singing about is a distraction. The dress is spectacular though and the overall visuals are amongst the best in the competition. I wouldn't count this one out especially after that performance.

Claudia: The piano and the strings definitely catching my attention and the dress in itself is very similar to the one used by Olivia Lewis during the 2005 Malta Song for Europe. This song in itself does not really go anywhere and that is relatively disappointing. Good performance though! I would never see myself in such a dress!

Simon: A great vocal from Aliona, really good singer. Nice power ballad and the best we've heard from Moldova ever. I think she’ll qualify.

Ireland

Emil: Ireland haven't done well recently and they think that the best thing to do is go with an uptempo number with half naked men on stage. Will it work? I guess it will take them to the finals tonight. The song came to life on this stage and the drum beats sound and look great. Not your typical Irish sound but it's kind of good. Ryan gives a strong performance and surely merits the final.

Claudia: Well, I am not too sure of the graphics being used in this performance or the clothing for that matter but nevertheless, this is done well in it's respective genre.

Simon: Well done Ryan, this song has been growing in me the last few weeks and tonight he's given a great performance. A very different entry to what we're used to. I'm really hoping Europe vote or us tonight. Congrats Team Ireland.

Cyprus

Emil: This song is so beautiful, she performs it with such grace and her look reminds me of Celine Dion. Her vocals are strong and the traditional ballad leaves everyone haunted. One of my personal favourites for tonight and I think it should sail with ease to the finals. Touching. Well done Cyprus. Pity the Greeks aren't here to help you out tonight as you truly deserve all the help you can get.

Claudia: Whoa! What a choice of outfit! This looks amazing on screen. She does look a little bit like Celine Dion from far away. You need to have a really good song to succeed in a foreign language. I am not too sure.

Simon: Unfortunately this has been my least favourite performance tonight, just lacking pretty much everything. The weakest by far.

Belgium

Emil: He looks like a scared little boy on that stage. The backing are truly amazing but his voice is just weak. Pity as the beat of the song is quite good and if it was performed stronger it could easily make it but he literally kills it. One big car crash vocally. Sorry Belgium, next time think about sending a singer who can actually sing. Do not blame the lack of neighbours this year.

ClaudiaBelgium, I have to denote this as to having an extremely modern sound but the choreography is not too my liking unfortunately. It also has the feel of a radio song rather than a track that succeeds within the Eurovision Song Contest.

Simon: Good pop song and well performed. Roberto has a strong voice. Nice vibe to it and I'm thinking the Irish entry is a little similar (obviously we're tops)

Serbia

Emil: Barbies gone wrong. I guess they let a weird niece dress them up who has spent her life under lock and key by her insane parents. Whoever decided on the outfits should be SHOT! The song ain't bad but it ain't good either. They look stupid and the whole act looks ridiculous. Pity as the song would have had some potential if they had a decent performance. Thank God the vocals are in place cause it would have been miserable.

Claudia: I am quite disappointed with the songs in this years' first semi-final. This was yet another forgettable song but nevertheless, the vocals are well performed throughout the whole entry.

Simon: Good uptempo song to bring the the first semi final to a close. Has to be said its one of the stronger songs tonight. Three strong vocalists and there'll be plenty of young lads voting for them tonight. Serbia should qualify.

The Show (Part 2)

Petra Mede, the hostess for the evening hast just opened the tele-voting and a recap of the songs has just been shown on screen. A series of interval acts will be taking to the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest and first up is Petra Mede who takes us through memory lane and enters a number of performances. Well, the voting has just come to an end and now we have the proper interval act which is a choreographed set of movements to a magnificient backdrop known as Aurora or rather, the Northern Lights.

Emil:  Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine

Claudia: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine

Simon: Belarus, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia,  Slovenia, Ukraine

We just had Lynda Woodruff and she was epic in her sketch. A recap of the six direct finalists is currently being shown on screen. One has to note that they have an amazing set of songs especially compared to the quality of the songs performed this evening. Bonnie Tyler, Robin Stjernberg and Marco Mengoni are in the arena representing the countries directly in the final which are voting in this semi-final! The time for the qualifiers is here!

Moldova

Lithuania

Ireland

Estonia

Belarus

Denmark

Russia

Belgium

Ukraine

The Netherlands

Page 2 of 4