February 19, 2020

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Tonight! Malta will be taking part in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest following a series of technical and dress rehearsals, the last of which commencing later on this afternoon. The excitement for all of the seventeen participating countries is definitely high and considering the surprises that came about when announcing the qualifiers of the first semi-final, everyone is seemingly on edge to see which songs get through to the final stage. With the countries drawn from all across the continent, it will be hard to predict the full set of qualifiers because there might be someone who sneaks in unknowingly. A non-scientific analysis is seen below to hopefully predict the qualifers of the evening pertaining to two different factions. Remember that escflashmalta.com will be having a live report conducted by Antoine Farrugia and guest writers; Davinia and Christabelle

In recent weeks, escflashmalta.com has collaborated with a number of professional personnel from all across the world with vast knowledge about the music industry. The seventeen entries which will be competing in the second semi-final this evening were thoroughly analysed and graded both on an individual basis and also within the context of a competition. The latter scoring system was taken and added to the result of the public poll to create ten qualifers based on the system used at the Eurovision Song Contest which gives 50% weighing to the public and another 50% weighing to a professional jury. We are glad to reveal the results of the qualifiers according to this result in alphabetical order. The system was explained in order to answer any queries with regards to why countries may be missing from the poll on the right hand side of the screen which has now been closed.

There was a general consensus between the public and the professional panel of experts on eight tracks in total whilst noting that both factions predicted a song each which the other did not, leaving a song out in the process which had received the same type of result. In the meantime, out of the six (6) non-qualifiers predicted, both sides agreed on a total of four (4) entries and awarded them no points. escflashmalta.com would like to denote that this is not the opinion of the website with each of the professional panel as well as the public casting their personal votes. In the second semi-final the panel consisted of Stano Simor, Sharon Vaughn and Martin Isherwood. Stay tuned to our portal in the coming hours for more of the latest news. Remember that Malta will be competing in the second semi-final. All shows will be shown on TVM with commentary by Rodney Gauci and Gordon Bonello.

Source: escflashmalta.com, eurovision.tv


Good Evening! 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 second dress rehearsal which somewhat bears more significance that the one this morning for the simple reason that the Jury in all of the participating countries of the second semi-final will be casting their vote along with those in Spain, France and Germany. 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.

The Show (Part 1)

The mixture of past and present is well represented in the opening act of the second semi-final now that everything has been explained in greater detail. Another choreography which includes bicycles, it looks quite cool and weird at the very same time but indeed, this is the Eurovision Song Contest and everyone expects anything to happen. In the meantime, Petra Mede is now back on stage for this second show and indeed, she is introducing the competition for the evening. Seventeen performances from different countries across the whole of Europe including east, north, south and west!


PeR from Latvia are currently on stage and this has to be one of the most intriguing acts to ever open a semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. The two leading gentlemen are wearing silver jumpsuits and are joined on stage by an array of performers limited to the number set forth by the organisers. The vocals are straight forward this evening and this is mostly due to the fact that there are no high notes in the song. The middle part of the song is a slow motion dance across the catwalk which looks fabulous. At the end, there is a jump into the audience. This looks fab and I believe that this is now qualifying!


San Marino

Valentina Monetta is back on the stage of the international showcase for the second straight year and she kicks off holding an enlarged ball which glows in the dark. She is currently wearing a dark cape and the whole idea of an Italian ballad is transpiring well on stage. She is joined on stage by two female backing vocalists who carry out a simple choreography. The whole set up is very similar to the one from the preview video. Mid-way through the song, it turns into an uptempo number and this is all enough is enough at the moment. Valentina is enjoying her performance but I am still not sure about that getting through so I will say, NO!


FYR Macedonia

The first duet of the evening and Lozano is seemingly finding it quite difficult to hold onto the notes in the beginning of the song. Esma follows and this performance is easily ruined unfortunately despite the track in itself being well written. The backdrop for this one is relatively dark but then transforms into a colourful entry when Esma starts performing her parts. The whole stage act is coming across as a bit awkward and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia is looking to go out in the semi-final stage and therefore completely a whitewash of the Balkan countries which is very unfortunate.



Nervous! This is somewhat the word that sums up this performance especially this evening but it does not seem to be affecting the vocals at this point in time. Farid is wearing an ill-fitting grey suit but nevertheless, the staging is perfect and will definitely elevate them not only into the final but most likely another top five result. As a matter of fact, there is a glass box with a man dancing within it and another dancer on the catwalk with a red dress and a long train. Vocally this is awesome and it definitely stands out as the first contender of the evening. This is my second pick of the night from my end. It might need some slight adjustments but nevertheless, it is an easy choice.  



Team #dingdong has somewhat infiltrated the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest for this performance and Krista Siegfrids is as expected clad in a wedding gown complete with the tiara and the veil. On stage, there are bridesmaids who are also dancers and backing vocalists. This is all extremely Las Vegas Wedding to be honest. This is a tele-voting favourite although the shock ending might hurt slightly in more conservative countries. The jury voting this evening might be more cautious to vote for this one. Vocally this is sounding much better than in the afternoon but it does sound like Krista was sick earlier in the week. At the end, there is also confetti. Slick camerawork and this will get through by the skin of it's teeth. 



Gianluca takes to the stage and he is definitely putting up a brave face for this performance as he looks rather relaxed, once more an extremely good sign. He is wearing a white shirt, black waistcoat and dark orange trousers and everyone on stage including the band and the backing vocalists are casually dressed as well. Vocally, this is the best performance that Gianluca has given throughout the week and it seems that the crowd is very much enjoying the performance. The camera work this evening is really good and he seems to be interacting extremely well with the audience. He walks onto the catwalk at the end of the performance where he meets up with the crowd and goes back to the main stage where he meets up with the rest of the band. 



Elitsa & Stoyan have taken to the stage and despite having previous experience at the Eurovision Song Contest where they had managed to finish in fifth place. Samo Championi is nothing but noise and the whole stage performance looks incredibly messy on screen. These have been described by many as an extremely long set of three minutes. It is rather unfortunate because they are quite talented. Bulgaria will not make it through to the final based on such a performance and the jury will not give it any points. The reason behind choosing this act was simple and that is qualification into the final but this isn't working at all!



Eythor Ingi is on the main stage and is wearing a completely black outfit which is definitely more suited to this performance rather than the white jacket which was seen earlier. This is a typical scandinavian ballad which imposes a typical outcry for stunning vocals. This is definitely well performed and should stand outy this evening. It receives an extremely loud applause in the hall as expected from a neighbouring country. This will be getting through to the final most likely because it is a ballad which elevates rather than go down or stay in the same manner. One note, remember Kuula, and vote for this tomorrow night!



Koza Mostra, a relatively popular band in both Cyprus and Greece have a lot of charisma on stage and despite this track being in Greek, it is coming across extremely well on screen. The fact that the lads are good looking definitely helps in terms of tele-voting tomorrow night. Those who will be going for a more modern track will most likely cast this vote for this one in terms of jury this evening. SKA is still very popular and the addition of Agathonas for the extremely traditional element. Greece will also be getting through to the final and might surprise many by creeping into the top ten.



It seems that there are a large number of Israeli in the venue this evening considering the large applause that it received at the starts of the performance. Everyone is bringing their A-Game to the show this evening and it is quite important because the jury will definitely award that quality. Moran Mazor is still in the black dress which has been slightly altered and bedazzled. She is joined on stage by two backing vocalists. The vocals are just incredible and this is definitely going to be the moment where people get goosebumps. Whoa! Impressive stuff indeed from Israel. This will sail through to the final!



The Dorians were selected to represent the Eastern country ahead of Sirusho and people were somewhat disappointed at this decision especially when the songs for the national final were unveiled. It has to be noted that his was indeed the best track from the show. The vocals are really good this evening as opposed to a mediocre performance this afternoon but nevertheless, that is not enough for this one to get through to the final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest. I believe that for the second time in a row, Armenia will be missing out!



This has to be one of the simplest performances in this semi-final and following Armenia, one has to say that ByeAlex comes across as extremely talented. The song in itself has a lot of poise and the only issue that has been hindering it is surely the performer who has lacked the emotion or the personality but nevertheless, he might be seen as doing that on purpose. The team on stage enjoyed the performance. I can honestly see the juries going for this one but I am not too keen on the tele-voters although this was similar to the case last year. I am going to go on a limb and select Hungary as a qualifier. 



Margaret Berger is one of the most popular acts in Norway and taking on the honour of representing the country is quite interesting especially because this is marking her return to the industry. The track, one of the most modern in the competition is very catchy and will surely garner the attention of both the publc and the jury voting this evening. Margaret is wearing a long white dress which is tight around the waist. This is looking extremely beautiful on screen and I cannot see Norway finishing lower than the top five at this stage. This is a definite qualifier by my standards.



It seems that the kitchen sink has also been thrown into the Albanian performance considering that at the beginning of the song there is dry ice, pyrotechnics and fire coming out of the guitar. As has been mentioned on numerous occasions, this is a rock song and will definitely be getting that vote at the end of the evening. I am not sure that they will be picking up a lot of votes from the juries this evening though and that will definitely be a positive. The lads are wearing what seem to be dark outfits which are very much assimilated to the genre in itself. This is just dire in my opinion, my apologies but not my cup of tea at all.



Sophie & Nodi is very much looking like Ell & Nikki meets Chanee and N'Evergreen with a fusion between Running Scared and In a Moment Like This. They are clad in extremely formal outfits which is very much important for the general idea of this song. The vocals are perfect and the only really disappointing aspect is that they are trying to copy the performance of the aforementioned two songs to be honest. Having a pyrotechnic curtain is definitely copied. Nevertheless, Georgia made the right choice in going internal and this one is heading into the final with relative ease with a mid-table result. 



I might not agree with the choice of this entry for Switzerland. The logo on their shirts has apparently been removed in this performance following instructions by the European Broadcasting Union. This is still pretty much static and therefore does not give the cameramen a lot of hassle whilst making the viewers at home think that they're somewhat incapable of not moving. I just cannot see Switzerland getting through with such a performance. This is beyond disappointing and Switzerland will miss out tomorrow night and most likely finish towards the bottom. 



Crazy! Dracula is seemingly on stage and well representing the culture of Romania because Cezar is wearing a large black cape and seems to be giving the public the feeling of Olivia Lewis or Aliona Moon. He is also joined on stage by three dancers whose choreography is unnecessary. The vocals itself are really strong and Cezar is definitely trying to garner the attention of the juries considering that he is literally playing about with his vocal chords. He is a great artist but this song is just going nowhere unfortunately. 


The Show (Part 2)

Petra Mede is back on stage following the seventeen performances and opens the tele-voting portion of the competition. A recap is currently being shown on screen for the people to make their selections. Malta has decided to select the last part of the song as the recap part in which all of the performers on the stage come together on the famous park bench. Am sure that tomorrow at this time, there will be many people on edge. Darin and Agnes are the interval acts for the second semi-final. A recap of the direct qualifiers is currently being shown on screen! Switzerland, Georgia, Greece, Malta, San Marino, Norway, Romania, Israel, Hungary, Finland are the 'FAKE' qualifiers.

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.


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.


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. 


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. 


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.



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. 



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. 



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!



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.



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. 



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. 



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. 



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.



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. 



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. 



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!



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. 



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. 



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. 


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.

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.


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.



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.



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!



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.



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.



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!



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. 



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!



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. 


Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom, Sharon Vaughn from the United States and Stano Simor from the Czech Republic represent diverse music scenes in their respective nations with their contributions duly noted across the year. Their aim in joining this feature is to see what lies beneath each track of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The first semi-final along with the three finalist countries voting there have long been concluded as we find ourselves within the middle section of the second semi-final. Attention turns to Romania whose broadcaster, TVR has been drawn in slot number #17 with the producers thinking this position best. The song entitled It's My Life is written by Cristian Faur with vocals provided by Cezar.

He participated in many master classes with prestigious names of the music world, such as: Viorica Cortez, Jordi Savall, Sara Mingardo, Bobby McFerrin, Magda Olivero. Cezar is often invited to sing in the most important festivals and on well-known stages in the country as well as in Europe. He performed next to famous conductors like Fabio Biondi, Alan Curtis, Corrado Rovaris, Emanuelle Villaume, Ottavio Dantone, Diego Fasolis, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Werner Ehrhardt, George Petrou, Sergio Ciomei, Sergio Azzolini, Nicolae Moldoveanu, Vlad Conta and Ketil Haugsand. His repertoire is very large, starting with vocal-symphonic music and up to a great variety of opera roles that he plays on the biggest stages in the world. Born in 1980 la Ploieşti, Romania, in a family of musicians. 

Cezar Ouatu started studying piano when he was six and graduated the piano and choir classes at Carmen Sylva Art High school, in his native town. In 1998 he started studying canto and baroque music and soon became well-known, due to his voice, natural legerity and less common vocal limits. In 2001 he was accepted in the Giuseppe Verdi Music Academy in Milan, and in 2004 he graduated with maximum grades on the final exam at one of the most prestigious music academies in Europe. His first pop-opera single Cinema Paradiso was released on Christmas Eve, in 2012. For 2013, Cezar has already planned two international duets, with Andrea Bocelli and Angela Gherorghiu, as well as a single written especially for him by the legend of electronic music, Vangelis. Presently, Cezar works at his first pop-opera album The Voice, dedicated to love.


It’s My Life is the second Eurovision entry for Cristian Faur, the Romanian composer and writer. His first one proved to be a successful choice, as he was the first Romanian composer whose song entered the top three in the Eurovision final – that was in 2005, when Luminiţa Anghel & Sistem’s Let Me Try was highly appreciated by the public and jury. Romania opted for a relatively large national selection in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest featuring a total of thirty-two entries, twelve of which managed to make it through to the final. There was a former representative who took to the stage, that being Luminitha Anghel who was the favourite of the international public and managed a runner-up entry finish in the tele-voting.

Romania is one of the most successful countries to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest having maintained qualification in every semi-final they have encountered, even when it looked slightly more difficult. In recent years, the results have improved and mid-table results have become relatively the issue at hand with Zaleilah by Mandinga managing a twelfth place finish. The most successful finish for Romania up to this point in time has been a second runner-up finish, the first time happening in Kiev, Ukraine when Luminita Anghel & Sistem performed the song Let Me Try and the second one being rather recent as Paula Seling & Ovi sang the song Playing With Fire. They will be hoping for more success with their fifteenth entry in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 53%

Martin Isherwood: Wow! He sounds like a mezzo soprano at times which is quite an achievement. There's a hint of the 'Good the bad and the ugly' as it opens and given that it combines Musical Theatre, Opera and Dance music, this foreboding is somewhat justified. One of the strangest songs in the competition but could do very well for that reason.

Sharon Vaughn: This is a resounding no, on so many levels!

Stano Simor: Cezar is definitely a professional opera singer who is trying to fit into the typical conventions of a song competition oriented towards pop. The first preview clip saw to the combination of four (4) dancers doing a modern choreography, to the genre of dubstep. This represents two parallel worlds and might stand out based on that perception.

Source: eurovision.tv


Published in Editorials

Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals provided by Gianluca will be representing Malta at upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Prior to leaving for the Scandinavian country of Sweden which will be hosting the international spectacle, the Public Broadcasting Services has sent the performer on a promotional tour which has already taken him to Armenia, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary with a final visit to the United Kingdom planned over the course of the weekend. Every place which he has been invited has always led to a positive response thanks to a glowing smile and an always enthusiastic crowd which sings the song along with him.  

Rehearsals in the forthnight leading up to the international spectacle are always essential to try and get the mood of the public, the journalists who will be covering the show, including those who will be collaborating with escflashmalta.com to bring you exclusive features, interviews and press conferences. Tomorrow was the first choice of the jury and the second choice of the public and it seems that this was indeed, the best possible choice for success abroad considering that the betting odds are the most favourable they have been in an extremely long time placing Malta in seventeenth (17th) place from a total of thirty-nine (39) countries competing. In the respective semi-final, Malta is touted to finish in an astonishing sixth (6th) place which is resoundingly a strong position. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Gianluca and his participation on behalf of Malta.

Source: escflashmalta.com, esckaz.com


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

Sunday, 10 March 2013 02:05

Romania: Cezar Wins Ticket to Malmö

Romania has a habit of making the right choices when it comes to selecting their entries for the Eurovision Song Contest especially considering that they do have a perfect qualification record since the semi-final system was introduced back in 2004. It is quite intriguing to denote that the eastern country has never decided on any track internally and thus for yet another year, Selecția Națională was the method of selection. There were a total of thirty-two (32) entries which competed in the semi-finals but only twelve (12) got through to the final stage of the competition. Whether it was pop, rock, or a ballad, one could instantly realise that the diversity in genres was the key to why the outcome of the process was successful.

Surprises have always been part of the package in several national selections and indeed, this was the case once more this evening because the favourite of the public and the third favourite of the jury finished on top of the scoreboard due to the extremely different scores given on both ends. It's My Life written by Cristian Faur with vocals provided by Cezar was crowned as the winning entry at the end of the evening with just a one point advantage over Emilia performed by the group Electric Fence. In third place was none other than Luminita Anghel with the song Unique just two points behind the actual winner. Faur is known in the Romanian music industry for writing the song Let Me Try for the aforementioned Luminita which finished in third place at the Eurovision Song Contest. Romania will be competing alongside Malta in the second part of the second semi-final this time round. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: TVR


Saturday, 09 March 2013 18:55

Romania: Selecția Națională 2013 - LIVE

TVR, the broadcaster responsible for the Romanian participation within the Eurovision Song Contest have decided to host a national selection in order to find out who will be their next representative when the event moves to Malmo, Sweden. The quality of the tracks was somewhat average with many believing that some of the best songs unfortunately did not make it through to this round of the process. Nevertheless, there are two favourites this evening and they are Luminita Anghel who represented Romania in 2005 as well as Elena Castea. Romania will select their fifteenth entry this evening and their best showing came in 2005 with the track Let Me Try performed by the aforementioned Luminita Anghel and in 2010 with the song Playing With Fire sung by Paula & Ovi.

Good Evening! The road to the final has not been extraordinarily easy considering that there were a total of thirty-two (32) semi-finalists, with a total of twelve (12) acts qualifying and thus competing for the elite role in representing the country in such a prestigious event. Selecția Națională 2013 is going to be hosted by a foursome, including Paula & Ovi, who are two of the most renowned performers in the country. A webcast of the selection will be airing this evening through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest whilst further details about the competing entries could be found within the official website of the broadcaster. The chosen entry will ultimately be competing in the second half of the second semi-final alongside Malta whose entry bears the name Tomorrow and is performed by Gianluca. 

The Show (Part 1)

Well, the selection in Romania has just begun and following yet another performance by the hosts who are playing their roles as members of the legendary group, Abba, it seems that the jury is being introduced and quite a number of notable names within that group to be honest. The tele-voting will be playing a really important role this evening and therefore, the hosts are explaining how the system will eventually work out. One has to add that the intro was short and to the point, hence we begin!

Casa Presei - Un refren

The first performance of the evening is upon us and funnily enough, this was one of the songs which was doing well within the first semi-final tele-voting. It is calm, relaxing with a slight jazz feel added to the traditional pop/rock which has come to dominate the selections stage of the competition. I could understand why the public would actually identify with this considering that it does have a catch refrain. The vocals are definitely flawless but the fact that it is in Romanian does not help it at all. The staging is very much like the one seen in Iceland and that makes is sublime. Not a cracking opener though!


Narcis Iustin Ianău - Seven

This is quite a tricky song to comment upon and it is quite simple to denote that it might not be out of place at the Eurovision Song Contest. The song is somewhat pop/opera with a rock fusion but the vocals are the ones which stand out the most because it seems that a female is on stage but no, it is actually a male and one who did well in the second semi-final voting. The song does not really go anywhere unfortunately and turns out to be quite scary with such vocals and the choreography which is terrifying. Definitely a no go!


FreeStay - Criminal Mind

So far, I am quite disappointed to say that this has been an extremely dull final and the third song is definitely not changing my expectations. A band in the vein of the local Scar have taken to the stage and whilst I quite like what the lead singer is wearing, I just cannot understand why he is pulling a lot of faces towards the camera because this is not coming across well on screen. The vocals are quite strong but once more, a pop/rock song which does not really evolve well and thus lies in the confines on mediocre. Come on Romania, pick it up!


Elena Cârstea Muttart - Spinning

One of the favourites for this evenings' selection is Elena and she is back on stage clad in a beautiful red gown which might not really be suited to her figure but nevertheless, the focus here is the beautiful melody and indeed, Cristian Faur should be proud of what a remarkable ballad he managed to compose. I must say that the vocals this evening are must better but nevertheless, I am not sure whether she would transpire this inspirational performance to the Eurovision Song Contest. Nevertheless, this is the first contender!


Luminița Anghel - Unique

Whoa! Luminita has really got her act together this evening clad in a beautiful black gown as she is joined by five male dancers. This is the most dramatic track of the selection and it is coming across beautifully on screen. The melody is beautiful and one could instantly realise that there has been an orchestra included. Luminita is a treasure for Romania having obtained the best result for the country back in 2005 and this ultimately blows Elena out of the running in my opinion. The vocals are flawless and ultimately, she is definitely the one to beat. Huge applause from the audience and this is bound to get the jury vote, some people are standing up. Whoa!


Ovidiu Anton - Run away with me

I have no clue what happened but it seems that the broadcaster created a running order which involved the worst songs in the beginning because suddenly, things are picking up. Iceland have a celtic sound of a violin but whilst this one seems to have a similar sound, it seems that this pop/rock genre with a hint of folk could go down well but I think that they should not risk the more professional entries that they have. The vocals are quite strong and the public very much seemed to enjoy that performance. 


Cristian Prăjescu - The Best Thing In Life Is To Love

The Eurovision Song Contest would never be complete without he traditional ballad and indeed, the Romanian selection has provded quite a couple but nevertheless, this is the one which is really in your face and a dashing performer clad in smart casual attire and a beautiful singing voice is joined by a pianist and a backing vocalist. The issue at stake here is that this is somewhat turning out to be quite a remarkable performance and this will sway voters who are known to be quite traiditonally Eurovision friendly. Well applauded and could surprise!


Electric Fence - Emilia

When submissions were being posted on viral website, YouTube, many had believed that this would be the one to beat but I believe that it is more of a darkhorse this evening considering that it has not really performed well with the public at large. The music is loud, cheerful and very much catchy whilst the vocals are kept to a bare minimum in terms of talent. I believe that the performance is quite fun to watch but I just cannot see Romania competing with this sort of track at the Eurovision Song Contest. Nevertheless, I am jumping about on my chair to this song. Brilliant!


Al Mike feat. Renee Santana - What Is Love

The performances in Romania are also coming to an end and following what has been an extended break from music, we're back. The leading female singer in this duet is not Romanian and sounds pretty American to be honest. The song is very much in the vein of Rihanna's We Found Love and the element of fire is also becoming pretty predominant in this years' national selection. The choreography is quite breathtaking but the singer is grounded and makes sure that her vocals are mostly on-key. This is a really good performance but not for the Eurovision Song Contest.


Tudor Turcu - Hello

Authentic! The first word that comes to mind when trying to decipher the element of this particular entry and Tudor is seemingly flaunting all of his talents considering that apart from performing the song, he is also painting a picture of a long lost love it seems. The rock song is somewhat being well represented with a hoarse vocal and the band behind him is backing him up in the best possible way. Stunning work to be honest and cannot believe that I quite like this because am not a typical fan of these type of tracks!


Andrei Leonte - Paralysed

The final entry of this evening is somewhat extremely jovial and sounds current. One has to denote that the international flavour surrounding it within it's songwriters is very much evident because it could have fit well with the typical tracks presented in either Norway, Denmark or Sweden. The vocals are not on point as I would have liked to be honest and it sounds like Andrei is very excited because he was straining at times. Kudos to the backing vocalists for astonishing backup though. This is a very energetic song but I do not see it winning despite having Eurovision potential.


The Show (Part 2)

The performances within Romania have just come to an end and indeed, a recap is shown in order to remind the viewers which entries are currently competing to represent the nation. The choice should be quite interesting especially because the tele-voting is showing that the first preference is going towards none other Cezar with the second preference being Luminita Anghel. Well, Alyona Lanksaya is looking more and more like Tina Karol as she performs her entry for Belarus and indeed, Solayoh is a catchy entry and should take Belarus into the final for the third time since they started to take part. Her vocals are incredible and this will come off brilliantly at the Eurovision Song Contest!


  • Cezar 9774
  • Casa Presei 8549
  • Luminita 7465
  • Electric Fence 3615
  • Tudor Turcu 3258
  • Narcis 1879
  • Elena Carstea 1754
  • Cristian 1672
  • Renee 1608
  • Andrei 1276
  • Freestay 1167
  • Ovidiu Anton 536
Well it would not be Romania if we would not have a recap of the song Playing With Fire by Paula & Ovi! Things are really exciting as we await the results of the jury who are preparing to announce their verdict relatively soon. The jury voting in Romania is extremely close but Luminita has taken the lead at the moment ahead of Electric Fence and Cezar. Cezar has just won the selection with It's My Life composed by Cristian Faur!
Friday, 15 February 2013 02:40

Romania: Kevin Borg Sets Sights on Sweden

TVR, the broadcaster responsible for the Romanian participation at the Eurovision Song Contest has never managed to overcome the odds and triumph at the continental event with two top three finishing coming at the hands of Luminiţa Anghel & Sistem with the track Let Me Try in 2005 and Paula Seling & Ovi with the song Playling With Fire in 2010. Despite the high expectations last year, they could only manage twelfth place, which was the sixth best result for the nation. They have altered the selection process ever so slightly for 2013. 

Kevin Borg, the first runner-up of the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Needing You co-written with Simon Gribbe, Thomas Thornholm, Dan Attlerud, and Michael Clauss has managed to enter the Romanian national selection as a songwriter and it is important to denote that only around six entries have foreign songwriters from the thirty two which have managed to qualify through to the semi-final stage of the competition. In a surprise announcement, the broadcaster named the thirty-two (32) entries that have managed to make it through to the semi-finals of the competition and the editorial board of escflashmalta.com was content to realise that Kevin Borg will be competing in the selection with a song which he co-wrote with his writing partner Simon Gribbe and Aidan O'Connor, the latter who had co-written Lost Without You by Jamie Tonna in 2011.

Apart from Kevin Borg who is making a surprise appearance as a songwriter, there are two former Eurovision Song Contest representatives who are seemingly trying their luck for the second time including Luminița Anghel who is presenting the track Unique written by the same songwriter behind the Spanish entry at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, performed by Lucia Perez and Natalia Barbu who represented Moldova back at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest who was afraid to submit the song in Moldova due to the new format which permits artists to perform the same song more than once. The official presentation of the songs will now be done on Monday, which was the original day in which the announcement of the semi-finalists was set to take place. Next week, both semi-finals will take place and will be duly covered by the editorial team of escflashmalta.com, so make sure to stay tuned.

Source: TVR


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