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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 second semi-final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with fifteen 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. 

In Malta, the focus will definitely be on the group Firelight whose entry Coming Home written by Richard Edwards Micallef will be first to take to the stage this evening. This will be the first time that the Mediterranean Island, and winner of the 2013 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will open the show. On behalf of the Public Broadcasting Services, Carlo Borg Bonaci will serve as commentator this evening, reprising the role he had during the first semi-final. In the final, Daniel Chircop will be taking over as commentator. 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. Malta
  2. Israel
  3. Norway
  4. Austria
  5. Finland
  6. Ireland
  7. Belarus
  8. Switzerland
  9. Greece
  10. Slovenia

We urge you to tune into escflashmalta.com through Facebook and Twitter this evening with Antoine Farrugia, Christabelle, Simon Casey and Karen DeBattista micro-blogging on the acts competing in the second 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 second semi-final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest kicks off at 21:00 CET on Television Malta.

Source: escflashmalta.com, eurovision.tv

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

Friday, 25 April 2014 15:03

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Poland

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. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #5, we catch up with Poland (TVP) who will be represented by Donatan & Cleo with the song My Słowianie - We Are Slavic which they wrote themselves.

Donatan is famous in Poland as a music producer. He created music for more than 50 albums. Many of them received gold and platinum status. In 2012, Donatan launched his authorial album "Equinox" (Równonoc). This album is a compilation of the traditional Slavic sounds with some rap elements. "Equinox" reached, already at pre-sale, the gold status and after few months got granted the diamond sale status. Donatan received many prestigious music awards.

In 2013 Donatan began to work with Cleo. Their single debut We Are Slavs (My Słowianie), produced by Donatan, became a smash hit. Their video clip has become popular on youtube where it has been viewed more than 40 million times. Last year, the single My Słowianie also reached top ten in charts. This song has been chosen as the Polish entry in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.

“The Slavic blond girl with the Polish charm and a black voice," they say about Cleo. Cleo is a singer, songwriter, a chorus gospel girl and a painter. She is a woman with many faces, a chameleon discovered by Donatan. This will mark the return of Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest following two years of being absent having last been represented by Magdalena Tul and the song Jestem which did not get through the semi-final stage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIHJyO0hmNU

Poland started to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1994, when on that occasion, the lovely Edyta Gorniak took to the stage with To Nie Ja! finishing in second place, which like Hungary's fourth place achieved during the same year remains the most successful result. In recent years, with the introduction of the semi-final system, the country has not really set the scoreboard alight and has as a result decided to take a break as already noted above. Sending their most popular song in the country is definitely a gamble especially since Europe might find it offensive.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 39%

Greig Watts: Um!, Being western I simply shouldn’t understand this, but it’s the Eurovision contest and there’s been uprising of Slavic nations recently who could well vote for this. Its not my favourite music to listen to, but it feels like a modern attempt to bring Slavic music into the 21st century and its done quite well. I was trying to judge the songs, but video is also a bit distracting and I like the use of the accordion, and clapping!!, So not my own favourite song, but im bumping into the final just because the impact is higher than a couple of the other simple songs!

Joseph Zammit: Okay, good. For a second there I realized that I liked most of the songs I heard so far, which made me worry because it is very unlike me. Thank the heavens that this song came along. What a piling heap of garbage. Where to begin? Let's start with the music. It is lazy, as generic as they come, repetitive, boring and annoying. It only has a simple continuous clap rhythm and some random chords thrown here and there. 

The song is trying to convince the listener that the singer is proud to be a Slavic girl, because slavic girls are the best in the world, and she conveys that message …. by saying that they are great at churning butter, using their bodies to get what they want and staying in the house The lyrics are bigoted and demeaning and yet she sings them in a patriotic fashion. Either this girl is an idiot or she is pulling off a great patriotic stunt for votes. Now I am no radical feminist, but even I find this a bit offensive.  All in all this song was a waste of time to listen. Then there was the video and, well TITS!!! TITS GALORE!! so because of that.

Sharon Vaughn: I found very little positive to say about this one.

John Scott: The chorus is quite catchy even though the lyrics are a bit awkward in phrasing. The verse lyrics are difficult to understand. The musical bridge is quite nice.

Source: eurovision.tv

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

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

Donatan & Cleo, known for their hit song Słowianie (Slavic Girls) which has amassed well over thirty (30) million hits on viral website, YouTube have officially been selected by the Polish broadcaster, TVP as the next representatives, with the nation preparing to return to the continental event following a two (2) year absence. The announcement took place earlier this evening on the popular talk show Świat Się Kręci (The World Goes Around) where amongst the guests was none other than Michał Wiśniewski, representative of Poland in the 2003 and 2006 editions of the Eurovision Song Contest.

TVP, the public broadcaster in Poland, responsible for the participation in the Eurovision Song Contest received an overwhelming amount of requests to select Donatan & Cleo and the first meetings took place last week, where it was seemingly decided that the group would given the event a go. At this point in time, it is not known which version of the song they will performing but according to close sources to both the broadcaster and the renowned duo, a bi-lingual version is thought to be best in order to appease both the local and the international viewers. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about Poland and other countries competing in the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: TVP

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

Edyta Górniak, the Polish representative at the 1994 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song To Nie Ja! has kept a relatively high profile in the eastern country since her participation, going onto release nine (9) studio albums, the last of which was My back in 2012. In recent weeks, she gave up her role as a judge on the Voice of Poland a popular production on TVP, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Poland. This has prompted rumours that Edyta might be the first choice of the broadcaster as they return to the Eurovision Song Contest.

TVP, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest is returning to the international competition following a two year break, noting that the last entry back in 2011 was Jestem sung by Magdalena Tul. Poland has never been successful at the event, only managing qualification on one (1) occasion, that being in 2008 thanks to Isis Gee and her entry For Life. Nevertheless, Edyta Górniak managed a first runner-up position back in Dublin, Ireland and the broadcaster thinks it best to succeed once more. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: Edyta Górniak, Szymon Stellmaszyk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL5rmmpiHp8

After a two year absence, TVP, the Polish public broadcaster has confirmed their return to the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2014. They have confirmed that a submission to be present in Copenhagen was made and details for a national final shall be announced sometime in January. Poland made their debut in 1994, when Edyta Górniak represented this country with the song To nie ja!. She managed to make Poland's debut a successful one by achieving 2nd place on the final night.

After that year Poland achieved a string of disappointing results except 2003 when Ice Troje feat. Real McCoy achieved 7th place. When the European Broadcasting Union made a number of amendments to the format of the Eurovision Song Contest, adding the semi-final stage to the competition, the results became even more disappointing with qualification assured only once, in 2008, with For Life performed by American/Polish singer Isis Gee. Poland's last entry at the Eurovision Song Contest was Jestem sung by Magdalena Tul back in 2011 but unfortunately, it did not garner a lot of support and finished in last place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: TVP

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV995ECcojA

In the past couple of hours, the European Broadcasting Union has been receiving initial decisions with regards to participation at the Eurovision Song Contest noting the confirmation of countries such as Armenia and Azerbaijan along with the withdrawal of Serbia and Bulgaria. It seems that the city of Copenhagen in Denmark will be hosting one of the smallest editions of the international showcase in as many years with around thirty-seven (37) to thirty-eight (38) countries looking to be the most likely number.

At this stage, the European Broadcasting Union knows that discussions will need to kick start with a number of broadcasters in the hope of garnering their support for the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It seems that some options could be found for nations such as Cyprus for example.On the other hand, it seems that Poland will be returning to the showcase for the first time in three years, noting that their last entry only garnered eighteen (18) points, finishing in a disappointing nineteenth place in the semi-final. Next years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is being organised in Denmark following the victory of Emmelie de Forest and her entry Only Teardrops. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Sources: BNT, RTS, Ictimai, C1, TVP

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6u4uznE0GxI

Thursday, 22 November 2012 15:20

Poland: TVP Confirms Malmö Absence

The Eurovision Song Contest has been quite a daunting challenge for a couple of countries since the introduction of the semi-final system especially when one takes into account that success had been viable beforehand. As a matter of the fact, Poland a debutante in 1994 managed to do well only on their first try with Edyta Górniak obtaining a first runner-up finish with the song To Nie Ja. After that, the broadcaster had to wait quite some time for another top ten result, with Ich Troje managing a seventh place with Keine Grenzen-Żadnych Granic. Since the introduction of this current format, Poland has qualified from the semi-final once, that being in 2008 with Isis Gee and her song For Life but unfortunately have suffered in the three years following that noting that their last representative; Magdalena Tul finished in last place with her song Jestem. TVP have decided to withdraw once more from the Swedish edition taking place next year.

First in 2012, it was due to a number of issues principally the lack of funding due to the Olympics and the Euro competition but they have just made their minds up about non-participation in 2013 as well. The Chief Executive Officer at Polsat Television; Marcin Perzyna states that the Eurovision Song Contest has been focusing more on the show in recent years rather than the music and that there is the 'phenomenon' f voting for your neighbouring countries. Nevertheless, he also added that the competition is the best route in order to promote Polish artists but they haven't had any success in quite some time. Therefore, a withdrawal from Malmö has now also been confirmed with no real reason given to the European Broadcasting Union except that there was a lack of agreement on the issue. This is the second year in a row where they do not intend to compete and considering that they took part for sixteen years in a row, they will most likely return in the near future. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Wirtualne Media

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ya7mZMK-5M

Friday, 28 September 2012 14:24

Malta: Nadine Axisa Heading off to Poland

Nadine Axisa has recently gone on record stating that the festival scene is not featuring her typical genre of music anymore and that she prefers following her gut instinct by virtue of focusing on what she believes she does best and that is surely Jazz. In fact, the last solo entry from the veteran performer at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest back in 2006 entitled Waves composed by Vinny Vella Junior and penned by Ray Tabone was more inclined towards a jazz and blues kind of genre fitting the sweet vocals that Nadine has come to feature quite perfectly. We have just received word that Nadine Axisa has just been invited to perform in a selected number of venues in the eastern country of Poland making her the second artist in a space of a couple of days to head on a mini promotional tour.

In fact, she will be performing in three cities; Kraków, Kępno and Wrocław next week as from the 3rd to the 6th October. It is quite intriguing that Jazz Music is actually quite popular in Poland and receiving such an invite was surely a huge honour for Nadine. She will not be going alone at this respective venture though because she will be joined by Christian Borg on the keyboards. Apart from being an accomplished soloist, the performer is also part of the popular Gospel Group Animae led by former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Glen Vella as well as multiple time national final participant; Pamela. We would like you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com in the next couple of days, weeks and months as we continue to feature the ventures of local musicians in the foreign spectrum as well as following all the latest news interrelated to the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Malmo, Sweden.

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmQRnM6xdzU

Published in Local Music News

One of the countries that missed out on competing in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is Poland citing a number of financial concerns especially after being co-organizers of this years' European Championship in football. The nation did not believe in putting music above sports due to the fact the results have not really been that positive for them in recent years. Their debut way back in 1994 could not have been any better with To Nie Ja sung by Edyta Gorniak finishing in the runner-up position after impressing the juries on the night. It is yet unknown on whether they will be coming back to the competition but early indications seem to follow such hypothesis and one artist has definitely made himself available for the role of representative should the people want him to return.

Marcin Mroziński created a lot of flair in Malta due to the fact that he and Thea Garrett, our representative at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest became very close indeed and then would ultimately go onto release a single together composed by Jason Cassar and penned by Sunny Aquilina entitled In Our Love. In recent months, the Polish performer has been working on new material, very different than what people are used to and therefore, he would love to share his latest ventures with the European audience. In fact, his exact words are as follows; 'I am ready to do it. My song would be completely different than Legenda. More pop oriented, maybe up-tempo. With a catchy and simple melody. A great, big show with fireworks and good energy.'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWqm901F4LU

Marcin spoke about the way he would see the process in his country developing saying that they should follow the German system used this year and in 2010 which saw to top two ten results actually, one of them being a victory thanks to Lena-Meyer Landrut and her song Satellite. The fact of the matter remains that choosing the artist and then selecting the song for him through a mixture of public and jury vote would definitely work better. The Polish broadcaster, TVP has been very resonante to change and therefore, it might be too late to consider such a system like Unser Star fur Baku but maybe in the future, his ideas might be taken up nevertheless. Honestly, we would definitely not mind seeing Marcin back with a stronger entry this time round. Legenda finished in thirteenth place within the semi-final just one spot below Malta and our track My Dream. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more such news in the coming days.

Source: Eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTThFPoEZA0

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