November 23, 2019

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Good Afternoon! Sixteen (16) countries which competed in the first semi-final last night learned their fate last night and unfortunately, six (6) of them had to be eliminated. Italy, Sweden, Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom had their second technical rehearsals earlier this morning and all went to plan, followed by a series of press conferences where each act apart from Sweden drew their allocation slot in the running order. The host nation had drawn number #16 in the weeks leading up to the competition and the producers will be creating the draw around them in order not to have genres clashing. This is the first of two dress rehearsals which are taking place during the course of the afternoon and into the late evening noting that seventeen (17) countries will be performing in front of a full hall. The international juries found in each country will be voting during the evening rehearsal. We would like to wish Malta the very best of luck!

escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest. As a matter of fact, stay tuned on our YouTube Page for all of the latest. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. Coverage of the second semi-final tomorrow eveing will be led by Antoine Farrugia, Senior Editor for escflashmalta alongside special guests; Davinia Pace who was the second runner-up at this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Christabelle, a four time consecutive winner of the Best Solo Artist at the Bay Music Awards. We are committed to bringing you all of the latest news as the day unfolds so make sure to continue visiting escflashmalta.com as Gianluca takes to the stage with Tomorrow.

Opening

The opening act of the second semi-final seems to be an awkward kind of choreography including people on bicycles and so forth. The music being played in the background is really wonderful to listen to nevertheless and suddenly, the Te Deum comes on and it seems that the audience is full this afternoon noting that all of the shows including such dress rehearsals were sold out. Petra Mede is currently on stage, and it seems that there are a number of technical difficulties with camera shots and lighting early on. Once more the script is somewhat concise and thus we move onto the performances.

Latvia

Wild! That is the first word that comes to mind as soon as PeR walk onto the stage with that high levels of energy. They are still wearing the silver jumpsuits that they have been dressed in during most of the rehearsals in the lead up to the show. The vocals for this one are just perfect because the track in itself involves a lot of shouting and jumping around. Mid-way through the song, they just walk on the cat-walk in random slow motion and then, one of them jumps in the audience. Latvia, the song that the public will like and that the jury will abhor. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxM3UhoYM3s

San Marino

Valentina Monetta takes to the stage for the second consecutive year and she is holding a shining crystal ball between her arms whilst wearing a large black cloak. Mid-way through the song, the tempo of the beautiful ballad changes in a Barbara Streisand manner and suddenly, it is a dance song with Valentina clad in a stunning red gown. She is joined on stage by two dancers and the choreography is kept simple. San Marino are yet to get through to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest but I am not sure that this will be getting through either. We'll see. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC3nQ2nPRwM

FYR Macedonia

Lozano, the male performer of this entry is going for a slightly younger look this afternoon having removed his glasses for the performance. Esma, the female who is accompanying him is wearing a huge red dress and suddenly, the public are on their feet in the hall. This is definitely the result of what happened last night, where none of the Ex-Yugoslav countries made it through to the final. I am not sure of the song in general because whilst it is quite good, I am not sure about the performance. This is translating well on screen but Esma is clearl ruining it. The accreditated media are clapping along and I could see this reaction tomorrow for reasons mentioned before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSjKexb0bJk

Azerbaijan

Farid Mammadov is said to be the most good looking guy of the competition and the staging for this one is relatively dark. He walks onto the stage and is extremely nervous noting that his vocals are suffering slightly. He is joined on stage by a dancer in a glass box. There is also a female dancer wearing a red gown who is dancing on the catwalk. The song itself, a modern ballad is sound brilliant in the beginning of the second semi-final especially in terms of quality. This is coming across beautifully and Azerbaijan will have no trouble of getting through to the final. He needs to keep his nerves down for the final. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqr8AosdTrQ

Finland

Krista Siegfrids is one of the craziest people to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. It is rather unfortunate that she did not have any vocals in the past couple of days but she has been affecting the public in general with her #DingDong routine. The vocals themselves are quite good although do sound a bit strained at times. The novelty factor of the song will definitely be felt for the first time viewers but nevertheless, people who have seen this on countless occasions will start seeing it as boring. Finland have thrown everything the kitchen sink in this performance. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS5kRcAURm0

Malta

Gianluca kicks off his rehearsal in brilliant vocals and it seems that his nerves are nowhere to be seen at the moment, which is definitely a good sign. He is wearing a white shirt, black waistcoat and dark orange chinos. The backdrop is still the lyric video created by Duane Laus. He is also joined on stage by two female backing vocalists; Louise Ann and Samaria Bezzina as well as Christopher Tate, Gabriel Cassar and Kenny D'Ugo. This was a really good rehearsal for Malta and the response in both the hall and the press centre is really positive. Gianluca will definitely up his game for this evenings' jury rehearsal if possible considering that he was great!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSrYk3ujYTA

Bulgaria

This is the second time that Elitsa & Stoyan are performing on the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest having already done the honours back in 2007. I do not believe that this is a better song than that one. The backdrop is a bit dark to be honest but nevertheless, the idea is to keep this traditional. The vocals are good but nevertheless, they are not getting across on screen it seems. Bulgaria is energetic and fun but I do not think that it adds to the positive quality of the competition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y75rKvOJkNI

Iceland

This is the most appealing entry in the mindset of Gianluca and indeed, this is a typical Scandinavian ballad which definitely has a strong climax towards the end of the performance. Eythor is wearing a black outfit and decided against the white blazer that he wore for the initial rehearsals. The vocals are just stunning and the pure emotion of the track is felt throughout. The upper registers gets an applause mid-way through the song and the male backing vocalists come through mid-way through the song to help him out vocally. The shots look brilliant and Iceland have managed to get everything in the manner that they wanted to. 

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

Greece

The word wild should have been a theme in this semi-final as the Greeks have also set the same standard seen by both Latvia and FYR Macedonia before. Koza Mostra are wearing kilts for this performance and are transmitting a lot of energy on stage. The music in itself is quite traditional and they are mixing this typical element with a SKA genre. The vocals are good and the people in the hall along with those in the press centre are enjoying this performance alot. It seems that Greece will be safe through to the final, if they can managed to keep up such energy levels until tomorrow night. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaB4Cbu0ZOI

Israel

Moran Mazor, clad in a black dress which has been bedazzled with a number of jewels in both appropariate and inappropriate places. This is a huge ballad, typical of Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest noting the success with entries in the noughties including Shiri Maimon in 2005. Moran is a competent performer and much better than Harel Skaat. She is aided by a pianist and two backing vocalists but nevertheless, her vocals definitely not require any help considering that she is stunning. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q0yPAkdKBs

Armenia

When one looks back at the national final, he could easily relate to how strong this performance has become despite the fact that the song in itself is nothing special. A mixture of pop/rock is the genre that very much represents this genre but I am not sure that the public would somewhat connect with this performance. The icon, Tony Iommi is a fantastic performer and he is the one who co-wrote the track. The camera shots are not coming across too well and technically speaking, a lot of work is required for this evening, the one in which the jury will be voting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVRc_3LpJtc

Hungary

ByeAlex is somewhat having difficulty showing his personality on screen and this is not a good sign considering that the public enjoy a smile every now and then. When this won the national selection, it was compared to the Maltese entry but nevertheless, the idea of the personality is not transpiring. The shots for this one are kept rather simple but look nice especially with the cartoon in the backdrop and the lighting being somewhat green. The vocals are good, nothing too outstanding. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTP54TP6udU

Norway

I must say that this is the first time that I feel totally indifferent to the Norwegian entry despite somewhat loving it when being chosen. Coming after Hungary, this seems to be lacking something but definitely not star quality. Margaret Berger is one of the most beautiful females in this years' competition and clad in that long white dress, she looks gorgeous! She is joined on stage by female backing vocalists who are doing the echos in the chorus. The shots are kept similar to the ones of the Melodi Grand Prix and this is looking good on screen. Norway will definitely not have any issues getting through to the final, as they will most likely be competing for a top five position. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUNw3txQpvQ

Albania

The most annoying entry to compete in the second semi-final but nevertheless, will be picking up a lot of votes by the end of the semi-final for their strategic positioning in the map and through the core rock vote. It has to be said, that on first listen, it was far more horrid that it has become and this is most likely because the public have become used to it. The pyrotechnics are definitely required for this performance considering the genre. I am indifferent to this one as well and if they get the Balkan Vote, they might qualify!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKbpQ1_8EhE

Georgia

Two of the most competent performers in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest take to the stage and one cannot really understand what is going on with the technical crew. The vocal performance on the other hand is really strong as expected. People are somewhat getting the vibes of Runnign Scared from Azerbaijan in 2011 when listening to this song and it is the case of somewhat copying their performance with the fire curtain and everything. Georgia will be sailing into the final and one has to agree that this is a much better song than the one that they had last year. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u12ixuehK4A

Switzerland

Static! In recent hours, there have been developments over the outfits that they are wearing because it seems that they are costumes used by other Salvation Army bands. The problematic shots seem to continue throughout unfortunately. The vocals of the group are good but the song cannot go wrong in terms of notes and there is no real difficulty involved. The people in the hall seemed to enjoy the performance. They are all wearing white on stage and that is something to signify purity most likely. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ob3LxjnIx0

Romania

This has to be the most awkward performance in the second semi-final in terms of both staging and just song quality. The general idea for those who are yet to hear this is that it features a mixture of pop and opera and used in the voice of soprano. Cezar is wearing a huge black cloak with an open torso to show to his female fans and he is also joined on stage by a number of dancers. The choreography is good and impressive but the whole idea of the song is not getting through to me. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M9Iix4eHDY

The Show (Part 2)

Well, all of the performances of the second semi-final have now taken place and Petra Mede is back on stage to open the tele-voting portion of the competition. A recap of all of the entries is shown on screen at the moment in order for the public to make up their minds. Remember that this is just a rehearsal for tomorrow night and that the audience in the hall is just made up of accredited media and children. Once more, there is a clip of the Eurovision Song Contest history with Petra Mede superimposed in performances. This will definitely prove to be intriguing for the viewers tomorrow night. The interval acts for this semi-final are none other than Darin and Agnes. They will both be performing a number of tracks each including the hit track Release Me by the latter. Another performance of the Big Five along with Sweden in recap form prior to the announcement of qualifiers. The fake qualifiers for the first semi-final are; Azerbaijan, Iceland, San Marino, FYR Macedonia, Latvia, Albania, Armenia, Hungary, Malta, Bulgaria.

I Feed You My Love, co-written by Karin Park, Robin Lynch, Niklas Olovson with vocals provided by Margaret Berger will be representing Norway in this years' Eurovision Song Contest following an overwhelming victory at the annual Melodi Grand Prix back in February. Despite finding success on the second season of Idol in Norway, where she finished as the runner-up, Margaret has had to work hard to assure her place in the industry and following two albums, the last one being seven years ago, she feels comfortable to return to doing what she loves best. Her entry for the Eurovision Song Contest has been perceived in a positive manner having been instilled as one of the favourites by the general public whilst also charting at number #4 in Norway, making it her highest charting single to date.

The first technical rehearsals have proven problematic for some countries although to be fair, the issues have literally been attributed to the technical side and Margaret as a professional took her time and improved with every run. She felt at ease on the stage and gave consistent performances. On the way to the arena, the broadcaster responsible for Norway decided to record a special message for you, the readers of escflashmalta.com as Margaret Berger hopes to make it through to the final stage on Saturday, alongside Gianluca whose entry Tomorrow for Malta is competing in the same semi-final. The special message has been uploaded to our YouTube Channel and could be seen below as we remind you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from the rehearsals which unfold throughout the day.

Source: NRK, Roxy Recordings 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOh-3QQcukc

Good Morning! All of the delegations competing in the semi-finals have arrived at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest on the fourth day of rehearsals because the shows' first technical runs will officially come to a close today as the press centre will officially open as from tomorrow. Following a somewhat error free two days, yesterday posed a couple of problems in terms of sound quality where Malta and Bulgaria were involved although all of the issues were fixed as the runs went along. SVT, the host broadcaster is very well organised and thus are keeping their reputation in tact. Some of the camera shots requested by delegations will be executed during the second rehearsal which will be completely open to the scrutiny of the media. escflashmalta.com in collaboration with Eurovision Ireland, escXtra and Radio International are bringing you all of the latest from the rehearsals.

escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest and some of those uploaded include Ryan Dolan from Ireland and Dina Garipova who will be represent Russia. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. Today will mark the conclusion of the second semi-final and therefore, we continue see through the competition that Gianluca will be facing during the Thursday showcase. We would like to remind you that the second semi-final on escflashmalta.com will be commented upon by Antoine Farrugia, Senior Editor as well as Davinia, second runner-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and four time Solo Bay Music Award winner, Christabelle.

Greece

One of the few uptempo numbers in this years' competition in a genre that is rarely submitted into the Eurovision Song Contest, that being Ska. The backdrop itself is made to look modern during the performance with the colour scheme used being a mixture of dark and light colours, for example black with yellow. Koza Mostra along with Agathon Iakovidis are dressed very casually for the first technical rehearsal so it is rather unknown whether this will be their attire for the night of the semi-final. The group have their instruments with them and this is all still funny and very much enjoyable. It is a rather good start to the day and one definitely cannot lament about the actual vocals, which are solid throughout each run.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh0Jofe3cPE

Israel

Translating this from the stage of the national final to the Eurovision Song Contest has been rather effortless considering that ballads should benefit from the lighting. Moran, who has been seen as the artist with the least fashion sense on the choice of the attire at Kdam is seemingly set to use the same dress for the international showcase. There is no gimmick in this particular track with Moran standing in the middle of the stage and belting out her beautiful ballad. She is joined on stage with two backing vocalists and this is all sounding extremely well on television. The addition of a pianist suits the songs as well and one cannot fault any decisions taken in the performance because this should qualify with relative ease.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slkxIzLeU88

Armenia

Their return was much more anticipated when people where discussing the possibility of a return from Sirusho but it was then revealed that The Dorians would be honouring the country. The song itself is not bad and is written within a specific genre, that being a rock type of ballad with the emphasis on the former considering that it was indeed written by Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. The vocals in this one are strong and one would definitely not mind listening to it after the beauty of Israel but nevertheless, it does come across as slightly dull and boring. We know it's relatively early but then again, the energy seems to be missing in every run, hence why this is branded as dull. Nevertheless, this is Armenia competing in a weaker semi-final, so it will qualify!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZRvk3xPlFk

Hungary

A song which I personally like to listen to especially if I would like to relax a bit. ByeAlex will not be alone on stage, as he will be joined by two backing singers, one of which will also be playing the guitar. Following Armenia, this also seems rather dull in terms of performance or maybe it seems that the artists forgot to bring their 'A-Game' to the rehearsals. The idea of just standing there on this stage does not really work especially if you're presenting a mid-tempo kind of track. Some people have choreographies with their ballads, so certain things have be to be thought of well. The backdrop is the music video, the one with the cartoon and that is a nice element to the song. I am not sure on what this will achieve but it might be on the border to qualify.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuBTSGzfO1o

Norway

It just so happens that I have just received the promotional disc accompanying the entry from Norway in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. Our colleagues in Malmo have come forward that after two run throughs, Margaret Berger is having some issues with her in-ear monitor, similar to the problems that Malta faced yesterday. Funnily enough, this always seems to happen following the break. Margaret is clad in the same dress she was wearing at the Melodi Grand Prix, with some minor adjustments but nevertheless, why change a winning package. The vocals are troubling, even in the second run through where the technical issue has been sorted out. The only differences that one could note from the national final is that there are three backing vocals on stage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9ftmKkSsfs

Albania

Rock! The first word that comes to mind when this entry comes up on my iPod and even though this genre can be melodic, I cannot find anything positive with regards to the track. It was one of the worst entries during the national final in my opinion especially in comparison to around five entries which could have represented them. Nevertheless, this will be picking up the specific vote of people who might not be in tune with the Eurovision Song Contest but love this kind of music. Across the screens, this is a bit messy but nothing that cannot be fixed whilst the vocals fit in accordingly with the music. Coming after a pretty disappointing rehearsal from Norway is helping them out a bit. Still can't see this qualifying!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83-63jzXG2w

Georgia

In this weak semi-final, the average song would definitely sound better and not too many songs can actually sound worse after Albania. The beauty of Georgia lies within the vocals of Sophie & Nodi, noting that the spark between them seems real and very much alive. In each run-through, despite having some fine tuning issues, the vocals have been beyond perfect. The female artist is clad in a long white and light blue dress, along with a couple of sparly bits on the shoulders whilst the male is wearing a typical suit. There are three backing vocalists, all female and one of them having joined Olivia Lewis back in 2007. The backdrop as expected features a waterfall.  This is definitely qualifying and could, with the right draw make an Azerbaijan 2011 impact. 

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

Switzerland

For some bizarre reason, this is currently doing well in terms of polling numbers despite not really setting the betting odds on fire. The staging is pretty much kept the same as it was during the national final but since the loss of the uniforms and their actual name, the whole performance has started to fall flat. One of the most positive elements about this is definitely the vocals but they also seemed to tire out after just a run or two. Switzerland will most likely not be in the final for the second consecutive year and probably hitting the latter part of the table towards the end. Rather disappointing as the chorus of the song is quite catchy yet it is just not coming across, at all!

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

Romania

Cezar seems to have taken the path of the devil in terms of this performance but nevertheless, he is also sporting a cruxifix, so that could be something to consider both as 'art and gutsy' at the same time. He is clad in a black, long coat, slightly metallic-looking and showcasing his phsique after receving various compliments from the fans of the Eurovision Song Contest. Whilst not being lifted in the air throughout the performance, there is something that sees him lift up but it seems that he is indeed just moving forward. The effect on camera is stunning. The vocals are as expected, good but don't know whether Europe will go for this. It seems to be a marginal qualifier, possibly taking a spot from someone who fails. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9Yd_XtPQVg

escflashmalta.com is proud to enlist six of the most professional people in the music industry to analyse and assess the entries competing in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. For the second semi-final, three of these with experience in several genres have been putting their respective thoughts forward with the sole aim to see what lies behind each track. The first semi-final along with the three finalist countries voting there have long been concluded as we find ourselves within the last entries for the second semi-final. Attention turns to Norway whose broadcaster, NRK has been drawn in slot number #13 with the producers thinking this position best. The song entitled I Feed You My Love is co-written by Karin Park, Robin Lynch, Niklas Olovson with vocals provided by Margaret Berger.

It's not difficult to understand why. Margaret embodies all the essential ingredients for a worldwide super star, one with the real possibility of a colourful career in front of her, the kind of potential longevity rare in the current popular music climate. With classic beauty, songs, the elusive “x-factor”, and an indescribable aura in the mix, this artist is being likened to a captivating blend of her Nordic female counterparts like Björk and The Knife with the delicious, all-important essential of strong, timeless electro-pop songs in her back pocket to substantiate comparisons with these iconic idols. Of course, this Trondheim born “overnight sensation” has been a work in progress ever since she was five years old, as an artist and songwriter in her own right. 

Behind this schooled musician and artist is a paradox: a person so unique and yet so relatable. Now at 27 years of age, her time in the music business to date is already interesting, successful and not without its heart-breaking setbacks. In 2004, at the young age of 18, she was voted runners-up in Norway Idol, released her debut album Chameleon and was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy as best newcomer. In 2005, Berger won the Norwegian Grammy award for the engaging and somewhat controversial video of her single Lifetime Guarantee and in 2006, her critically acclaimed, much loved Pretty Scary Silver Fairy album, did not reach the commercial heights she had hoped for. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hErXfNM8Zoo

But Berger was onto something bigger and unbeknown to herself, was creating a popular “brand”, from which she is now enjoying the fruits of - through fashion projects, DJ-ing and being a unmistakable presence and name in the Norwegian underground electro scene. Margaret can even admit herself that she's always played life in a "quirky way" and has always made a statement not by meaning to, but by simply being who she is. So perhaps who she really is, is a perfect marriage of contrasts, and by no accident, describes her music in the same fashion: edgy but beautiful, tough and playful, experimental but grounded, layered and authentic. One of the main ingredients to have seen Norway succeed across the years, has been the national selection process known as the Melodi Grand Prix. 

Norway, one of the most successful countries if one takes into account the number of participations within the final noting a total of forty-nine (49) out of a possible fifty-one (51). The disappointments have been relatively recent, the first one coming in 2007 at the hands of Guri Schanke and her entry Ven a Bailar Conmingo co-written by Thomas G:son which crashed with just forty-eight (48) points and eighteenth (18th) position. The second time round was even more recent as Stella Mwangi and her song Haba Haba, a fan favourite had to endure just thirty (30) points to finish in seventeenth (17th) place. Norway have recorded three (3) victories, the last of which coming in 2009 as Fairytale swooped to victory winning both the jury and the tele-voting in a handy manner. 

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 87%

Martin Isherwood: Interesting title. Unusual but effective lyrics. Great voice. Great tune. Fantastic production - what a drum sound! Got a feel of 'Diamonds are forever' or 'Tomorrow never dies' about the tune. Very strong overall although the chorus could punch harder.

Sharon Vaughn: Modern and intense. A lovely artist and a stunning performance.

Stano Simor: Norway traditionally comes with a powerful presentation. Cool, fashion and minimalistic but effective show . I do not think Norway this year has brought a typicall homegrown type of Eurovision entry but nevertheless, this is extremely professional in terms of production and thus would help elevate the competition in general.

Source: eurovision.tv

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

Published in Editorials

SVT, host broadcaster of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in conjunction with the European Broadcasting Union and the Reference Group have revealed their verdict with regards to the running order as decided by the producers of the showcase. This will be the very first time that the draw has not been done in a random manner but nevertheless, the countries were drawn into their respective semi-finals and also the first and second part of the running order based on the results of the allocation draw which took place earlier this year. The only draw that had to be done in a random order was that for the host country of Sweden so that the producers could not inflict it in any wrongdoing, and as a matter of fact, was drawn in sixteenth (16th) position within the final.

Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals provided by Gianluca on behalf of Malta was drawn to perform in slot number #6 noting that the country had been drawn in the first half of the second semi-final for the second  consecutive year with This Is The Night performed by Kurt Calleja having to start at slot number #4 last year. Yesterday, in an interview with our colleagues from Eurovision Ireland, it was revealed that Gianluca will be flying to Malmö, Sweden alongside the team that accompanied him on stage in Malta as well as his sister, Dorothy Bezzina who will be accompanying as a vocal coach. Marry Me by Krista Siegfrids will be performing prior to Malta on behalf of Finland whilst following us will be Samo Shampioni performed by Elitsa & Stoyan for Bulgaria. The full running order can also be seen below.

First Semi-Final (14th May)

  1. Austria
  2. Estonia
  3. Slovenia
  4. Croatia
  5. Denmark
  6. Russia
  7. Ukraine
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Montenegro
  10. Lithuania
  11. Belarus
  12. Moldova
  13. Ireland
  14. Cyprus
  15. Belgium
  16. Serbia

Second Semi-Final (16th May)

  1. Latvia
  2. San Marino
  3. F.Y.R. Macedonia
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Finland
  6. Malta
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Iceland
  9. Greece
  10. Israel
  11. Armenia
  12. Hungary
  13. Norway
  14. Albania
  15. Georgia
  16. Switzerland
  17. Romania
A brief look at the running orders for both the semi-finals, it seems that the European Broadcasting Union has indeed tried to seperate the genres of the competing entries as much as possible but nevertheless, it was quite difficult to do so within the first half of the first semi-final noting that there are several ballads. On the other hand, the second semi-final looks much more balanced. The slot which Kurt Calleja occupied last year in the second semi-final has been allocated to none other than Azerbaijan, hosts of last years' competition. It is also worth pointing out that Austria and Serbia will open and close the first semi-final with Latvia and Romania doing the same within the second semi-final. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available. 
 
Source: Eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAzmvBcUPuc
Saturday, 09 February 2013 22:00

Norway: Huge Victory for Margaret Berger

The Melodi Grand Prix has always been a spectacle which one should follow and indeed, it did not disappoint considering that the production was just amazing and once more, congratulations are surely in order to NRK, the broadcaster for a job well done. In the weeks leading up to the final which took place over the course of the evening, Margaret Berger with the track I Feed You My Love was the favourite of the public and the critics and indeed, with large figures during the regional voting, she was confirmed as the next Norwegian representative, becoming the first electronic entry for the Scandinavian nation.

Ten entries were competing for the right to represent Norway at the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and some people were surprised at the four super-finalists which included Annsofi, Sirkus Eliassen, Adelen and of course, Margaret Berger. The regional voting was consistent for the latter and as a matter of fact, it seems that the only section of Norway who did not want her to win was that in the North which was put her in third place but due to the fact that the voting patterns there are the smallest, there was no real affect. NRK, should be happy with the choice and considering that Margaret Berger is an experienced performer, there should be no trouble in delivering a strong performance at the Eurovision Song Contest. Norway will be competing in the second part of the second semi-final alongside Malta who will be represented by Tomorrow performed by Gianluca Bezzina. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: NRK, Eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyHMEUXf-9U

Saturday, 09 February 2013 18:31

Norway: Melodi Grand Prix 2013 Final - LIVE

Scandinavia will be having quite a busy evening due to the fact that whilst Sweden will be selecting more acts to headline the Final in a couple of weeks time, Finland and Norway will be hosting their last round of the process with the Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu and the Melodi Grand Prix taking place on YLE 1 and NRK 1 respectively. It has been a greulling three weeks for the artists competing in Norway and unfortunately, those who competed in last weeks' semi-final did not have the time to rest as did the acts that qualified within the first semi-final but according to rehearsals, everyone is geared up to give the show of their lives and a stream is being offered through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest for the international views to watch.

Following their victory at the 2009 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, the country has not managed to perform well at the competition noting the disappointments achieved by Didrik Solli-Tangen, Stella Mwangi and Tooji but all of that could change according to pundits this evening who have a couple of entries listed down with potentially strong results to be achieved in Sweden. Ten acts will be taking to the stage this evening as has become protocol in the Melodi Grand Prix with the top four acts passing through to the super-final in which, the public and the regional juries will decide on which act to send to the Eurovision Song Contest. It will surely be a thrilling evening and it will all begin at 19:55 CET with a long interval in between, where you could tune into Finland to see the proceedings close there.

The Show (Part 1)

The opening act has just started and the hosts of the evening, Jenny & Erik are clad in formal attire, both in somewhat business attire. The finalists of the evening are currently being introduced to the public and it seems that based on the initial screams, that Margaret Berger is the favourite followed by Adelen and Annsofi. The venue is huge and one could definitely sense a vibe of excitement coming through the transmission. They welcome the public and it seems that they are extremely excited to see which entry will be representing them in the neighbouring country of Sweden. Quick presentation because, off we go!

Running Order

Vidar Busk - Paid My Way

The first song, one of the entries that qualified from the first semi-final and clearly reminscent of Patrick Ouchene who represented Belgium at the 2006 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The swing feel is definitely becoming more prominent at national selections and whilst Vidar manages to present the track well, it will definitely not garner traction in Europe which believes that this style is very much passe. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing opening to what should be a very interesting evening. The staging is incredible with a band, two female backing vocalists and three female saxophone players. The audience screams and song one is complete.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amn_W_3FBg8

Fjellfolk - Ulvetuva

Folk has been defined in several nations for this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and this is one of the few entries in the genre. Performing in Norwegian is definitely the edge that this track presents and finishing in second place within the second semi-final was quite the feat. The lead performer, a female is joined by a male guitarist and a male violinist and whilst being bathed in blue lights, smoke is hovering around them. The vocals are spot on but this might be too quiet and would only benefit from a late draw between reasonably noisy tracks at the international showcase. Despite the charm, one would fear it being lost in the event. Well done for the effort!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KEX1RSfVcs

Adelén - Bombo

The second favourite of this evenings' edition of the Melodi Grand Prix takes to the stage in a short brown dress somewhat reminiscent of something from The Journey of the Centre of the World. She is joined on stage by multiple dancers, male and female and this is an extremely energetic dance routine so kudos for managing to keep this performance in line with the standard to be expected. The vocals from Adelen leave much to be desired but have considerably improved since the semi-final stage and one of the reasons is hiding the long note in the bridge with a dance track like musical note. Nevertheless, considering that applause, this will do well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b51p9lg0Hpc

Gromth feat. Emil Solli-Tangen - Alone

Hit or Miss could be the best words to describe the fourth entry being presented this evening because there is an audience for Symphonic Rock but am not sure that the Eurovision Song Contest will be greatly appreciative. The music of this track is extremely well written and could be noted for it's relevance to the industry in Scandinavia. The vocal performance by Emil is just stunning and one would wonder why he didn't submit an entry himself considering that he is a much better performer than his brother, Didrik who represented Norway in 2010. The visuals for this entry are the best of the evening and the use of the stage excels in several areas. This will be one of the tracks in the super-final, mark my words!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG-m1h8_lG0

Gaute Ormåsen - Awake

This is the second time that Gaute is taking part in the Melodi Grand Prix and he has decided to go from Norwegian to English in his second effort. Clad in a blue jacket, black shirt and blue trousers, he is definitely giving it his all but this is very much a Danish type of entry, middle of the road which whilst be appreciated at the Eurovision Song Contest, will most likely achieve a mid-table result, which would still be the best result for Norway since their victory back in 2009. The vocals were impressive and the act with the dancers and the frames was very much similar to that presented by Fabrizio Faniello during the Malta Song for Europe in 2006.

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

Lucky Lips - Sweet And Heavy

The wildcard for this evenings' show is a pop/country track, a genre which has become increasingly popular in Norway within the past couple of years. The pink-haired female artist is wearing a cream dress which is green at the tip, making it an intriguing selection. She is joined on stage by a band and this is all an extremely calm affair. The vocals are just mesmerizing and what is this, mid-way through the performance, the lead performer is going around the stage, dancing as if in a fair. This is definitely unsuitable for the Eurovision Song Contest, even just for hygenic reasons. Joking aside, this is just too sweet and will most likely be forgotten at the international event.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdJQKDqQf8o

Datarock - The Underground

The Melodi Grand Prix has just suddenly gone disco and one cannot help but notice that the crowd has suddenly gone mad and this could prove to be the surprise of the evening according to that reaction. The performers of the group are all wearing what seem to be red tracksuits, acting quite comfortably on the stage. The lighting is a mixture of red, and white, somewhat similar to the ones used by Glen Vella during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2011. The band are joined by three female dancers wearing black catsuits and whilst the vocals are spot on, this is definitely not an international hit. Nevertheless, I am in my seat, writing this and bopping my head along to the music. Good Effort!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8tpX0lUe0c

Annsofi - I'm With You

Annsofi is next up, and we had the pleasure to speak to the young performer earlier earlier this week with the interview published this morning. She is the only performer to take to the stage without any backing vocalists or props and this helps in creating a simplistic charm. Wearing the white dress she donned in the semi-final, she is greeted on stage with a huge applause and the surprise of the evening could be here. The vocals are crystal clear and this type of ballad would definitely succeed at the Eurovision Song Contest. She is working the cameras extremely well and the audience is interacting in a positive manner. This could very well be the Norwegian entry in this years' edition of the international showcase.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t4rYXvps5I

Margaret Berger - Feed You My Love

Margaret Berger is the one to beat this evening and one could honestly get the feeling of a winning entry from the first couple of notes and this is mostly due to the staging which helps the performance garner more of a strong feeling. The female artist is clad in a tight long white dress which accentuates her figure perfectly. She is joined on stage by a drummer and one cannot help to note that despite this being a radio track, it works brilliantly on stage and her interaction with the cameras makes is special. She does not have any vocal problems, and she seems to be enjoying every second of the performance. I believe that it will remain to be the one to beat. I had some doubts but these have just erased. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyHMEUXf-9U

Sirkus Eliassen - I Love You Te Quiero

The last entry of the evening seems to be a joke entry to be honest considering that the male performers are joined on stage by four backing vocalists, dancers who are wearing rabbit costumes. The lighting for this show has been really incredible and red and green seem to make this performance extremely bearable. The chorus is extremely catch and now I am singing along, something always seems to happen in such tracks. This is definitely fun but in my opinion, too out there to receive a positive result. The reception in the hall seems to be mixed and there seems to be cheers and jeers. I do not think that it will be a song in the super-final.

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

The Show (Part 2)

The Norwegian broadcaster should be commended on a stunning evening, noting that the organisation  has been somewhat perfect and the inclusion of former representatives such as Guri Schanke in the audience was surely thrilling to some individuals. If this were to follow the proper guidelines, the best entries this evening were tracks eight and nine. The hosts are back on stage and announce that the tele-voting is open, hence the recap begins and the public need to make their initial choice. The international guest of the evening takes to the stage of the Melodi Grand Prix, Loreen who won the Eurovision Song Contest last year with the track Euphoria is performing one of her album tracks entitled My Heart Is Refusing Me with which she tried to represent Sweden with back in 2012. First part of the show is over and when we return, we'll know which four entries will be competing to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Show (Part 3)

A dance sequence introduces the hosts back on stage and now, it seems like our male compere has gone for more formal wear whilst Jenny, our female is wearing a weird flowery dress which clearly doesn't complement her figure. A reminder of the acts which competed in this evenings' final. The hosts take to the runway to make the revelations of the four super-finalists.

01. Adelén - Bombo

Pop is clearly one of the main definitions behind the Eurovision Song Contest, and this is definitely something that Bombo curtails to. I have no idea whether the public have been hearing the same vocals which I have been because Adelen is truly horrendous and this is actually worse, second time round this evening. The song is very reminiscent of the entry sent in 2007 in Norway which had failed to qualify to the final. Unfortunately, I do not believe this to be the best possible entry for the country.

02. Annsofi - I'm With You

Deserving on the second spot in the super-final is Annsofi who seemed so surprised at being announced to making it through to the next phase and Alexander Rybak was relieved to see her through considering that gasp. She takes to the stage and following Adelen, this is a breath of fresh air, surely! Simple, and effective, the broadcaster has to be commended on the camera work.  The vocals are stunning, and she is performing this much better than during the first run and that will surely count towards votes from the jury and the public.

03. Sirkus Eliassen - I Love You Te Quiero

This has got to be a weird super-finalist but nevertheless, it is the joke entry which many people somewhat enjoy to listen to and can't help singing and dancing along to. Clad in matching tracksuits albeit having red and blue colours, they are joined by four dancers, who are dressed as rabbits and the whole set-up looks mad, as if out of Alice In Wonderland. The graphics are colourful and the whole act looks absolutely ridiculous. There were better songs, surely! A case, that some tracks just seep in through the cracks!

04. Margaret Berger - I Feed You My Love

The last entry to move into the super-final is I Feed You My Love, somewhat expected and hence the suspence for very much exaggerated. The performance of this track is just stunning and has been worked to perfection by the creative team of the Melodi Grand Prix and the team behind the entry. The vocals are just amazing especially when one has to take into consideration that this is a radio song rather than a live performance. One of these four will be representing Norway and I believe that two of them have the possibility of reaching the final and achieving a good result.

The Tele-Voting is open for five minutes and the entertainment until the results come forth is being given by Tooji, who represented Norway in last years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in last place, having just managed to qualify ahead of Bulgaria.

  • Jury 1: I Feed You My Love - Margaret Berger
  • Jury 2: I Feed You My Love - Margaret Berger
  • Jury 3: I Feed You My Love - Margaret Berger
  • Jury 4: I Feed You My Love - Margaret Berger
  • Jury 5: I Love You Te Quiero - Sirkus Eliassen
  • Jury 6: I Feed You My Love - Margaret Berger
  • Jury 7: I Feed You My Love - Margaret Berger
  • Jury 8: I Feed You My Love - Margaret Berger

Winner: I Feed You My Love - Margaret Berger

Saturday, 09 February 2013 05:25

Norway: MGP 2013 Comes to a Close Tonight

Tonight! Scandinavia will be rocking the world of the Eurovision Song Contest considering that another two selections from the region will be taking place leaving Sweden as the sole participating nation from the area which will leave their selection to a later date considering that their second semi-final will be taking place this evening. Norway, will be hoping to turn their recent run of unsuccessful results around by virtue of appointing a new Melodi Grand Prix coordinator and thus, Head of Delegation in the form of Vivi Stenberg who has brought in fresh new talent towards the showcase.

The tracks that have competed in the Melodi Grand Prix through the years have achieved notable success in the charts and thus have sold hundreds and thousands of copies, especially the songs which have made it through to the final selection process which is taking place at the Oslo Spektrum Arena this evening. Last year, Norway was represented by Tooji and his track Stay but it failed to pick up the points and thus, the efforts this year were significantly higher and there are a couple of gems competing for the right to represent the Scandinavian nation, winner of the 2009 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The singer who achieved such success is back as a songwriter to I'm With You performed by Annsofi who escflashmalta.com interviewed earlier today.

  1. Vidar Busk - Paid My Way
  2. Fjellfolk - Ulvetuva
  3. Adelén - Bombo
  4. Gromth feat. Emil Solli-Tangen - Alone
  5. Gaute Ormåsen - Awake
  6. Lucky Lips - Sweet And Heavy
  7. Datarock - The Underground
  8. Annsofi - I'm With You
  9. Margaret Berger - Feed You My Love
  10. Sirkus Eliassen - I Love You Te Quiero

This evenings' Melodi Grand Prix which will also be shown through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest will be receiving a LIVE report on escflashmalta.com with Marc Calleja Bayliss taking on the role having followed all of the evolvments in the semi-final stage of the competition. Special guests for the evening have also been confirmed by NRK to be in the form of Tooji who did the honour of representing Norway in Baku, Azerbaijan at least managing to qualify, something that Haba Haba and Stella Mwangi couldn't in the previous year and the 2012 winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Loreen. Like Finland, Norway will be competing in the first semi-final alongside Malta but nevertheless, they will be doing so within the second part of the show. Stay tuned for more news.

Source: NRK, Eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZaxIY1VAbM

NRK, the broadcaster responsible for the Norwegian participation at the annual Eurovision Song Contest has managed to triumph at the competition three times, the most recent being in 2009 at the hands of Alexander Rybak with the track Fairytale but nevertheless, their outstanding last place finishes have always taken centre stage with their latest one coming last year as Stay performed by Tooji didn't rack up the votes. There is a mixed reception with regards to this years' Melodi Grand Prix but nevertheless, it seems that they could make a very intriguing choice this weekend.

The Melodi Grand Prix established quite a couple of years back is kept into existence through it's formula because it has somewhat succeeded. Three entries from each semi-final managed to qualify to the final stage of the competition but nevertheless, NRK have just decided to announce a tenth act to join the line-up as a wildcard and they will be Lucky Lips with the track Sweet and Heavy. Therefore, ten entries will now be competing to represent Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest, but ultimately, there will be four entries competing for the jury and public votes and this is known as a super-final. Eurovision.tv will be transmitting the show LIVE and escflashmalta.com will be covering the show with a LIVE Report taking place.

  1. Vidar Busk - Paid My Way
  2. Fjellfolk - Ulvetuva
  3. Adelén - Bombo
  4. Gromth feat. Emil Solli-Tangen - Alone
  5. Gaute Ormåsen - Awake
  6. Lucky Lips - Sweet And Heavy
  7. Datarock - The Underground
  8. Annsofi - I'm With You
  9. Margaret Berger - Feed You My Love
  10. Sirkus Eliassen - I Love You Te Quiero

Source: NRK

Thursday, 31 January 2013 12:55

Norway: Final MGP Semi-Final Acts Revealed

NRK, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest is currently preparing to host the third semi-final in their national selection process known as the Melodi Grand Prix and it will be the last attempt with original songs for the upcoming competition taking place in Malmo, Sweden. There has been mixed reviews about the quality of the tracks presented by upcoming artists in most cases but the second semi-final has changed the perception and one artist by the name of Margaret Berger seems to have taken the tag of favourite, following her ascent to number #1 on iTunes.

Larvik, will be the town hosting the third semi-final of the Melodi Grand Prix and as has been the case in the past two weeks, Wednesday evenings are a means of presenting the participating entries of the respective showcase. Once more, the several acts are a mixture of newcomers and recently successul stars but their genres are extremely different. Initial comments denote that this semi-final is quite strong, rather in the vein of the second and that some are already assured their places in the final. Those competing in the third semi-final of the competition could be noted below. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from Norway.

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