February 21, 2020

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Wednesday, 03 December 2014 17:22

Greece: Federica Amongst Eurostar Award Nominees

It has become custom for the international fansite oikotimes.com to organise the "Eurostar Award" in recognition for the hard work or special talent of a given individual, in line with events organised by the European Broadcasting Union or any of the member states. Malta is represented by no less than three acts; Federica Falzon (JESC 2014), Ekklesia Sisters (MESC 2015) and Nathalie Bonnici (JESC 2014 Transport Coordinator). Cast your vote by clicking here.

With 10 nominees on the list, one has to denote that it features no less than 3 previous winners of the Eurovision Song Contest; Conchita Wurst (2014), Alexander Rybak (2009), Ruslana Lyzhychko (2004) as well as former participants; Sanna Nielsen (Sweden 2014), Alex Panayi (Cyprus 1995, 2000) and András Kállay-Saunders (Hungary 2014). We urge our readers at escflashmalta.com to support the Maltese nominees, especially with Federica Falzon, Malta's star participant in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014, currently in second place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: oikotimes.com


As rumours start to circulate as to who will or who won’t be participating in Melodifestivalen 2015. We can have a look at some of the items that have been confirmed. Firstly, Sanna Nielsen solidifies herself as a MF veteran after being confirmed as co-host with Robin Paulsson. After winning the competition on her seventh attempt by only two points last year with her song “Undo”. She secured third place in Copenhagen in May after becoming one if the early favourites. 

The natural progression would be for her to become host. I am pretty sure she will do a great job and I like how SVT keep refreshing the presenters. Chris Björkman has also confirmed that there will be a format change for the 2015 competition. This year there will be 12 songs in the final rather than the usual 10 and four songs will progress from the second chance round instead of two. The number of entries has been reduced to 28 instead of 32 and each semi will have seven acts instead of eight. The bottom three songs from each final will automatically be eliminated.


Rumours are rife with who will also participate. Måns Zelmerlöw is allegedly making his third entry into the competition. I would say maybe third time lucky for handsome Swede. If Eric Saade can manage third place as he did in 2011 it is likely that Måns would do will if he represented Sweden in Vienna. Linda Bengtzing has been rumoured for a UK entry so we may not see her in MF this year. However, as her songs are always in Swedish I think she may well choose to enter MF again.


Helena Paparizou has allegedy been offered a new song for Melodifestivalen. I was a big fan of "Survivor". I would love to have seen in it in Copenhagen and it was an early favourite of mine in last year’s competition. I will be very happy if she decides to try again next year. Starlet Elin Överfjord is also allegedy eyeing up an entry for 2015. Her dance/uptempo songs could be a big hit in Eurovision. Yohio, JEM and Linnus Svenning also have not ruled out a return. This could make an interesting show. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates.

Source: Expressen, Aftonbladet

On the 16th August, the RIX FM Festival in Sweden will return for a 14th consecutive year, and as always, the line-up has been carefully thought of, with a mixture of Scandi-Pop royalty, and artists who have had their fair share of target practice with the Eurovision Song Contest in the past.

This year, with the re-emergence of Helena Paparizou, winner of the 2005 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, it comes as no surprise that she has been included in the line-up and there she will be joining none other than Sanna Nielsen, second runner at the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Other notable guests are Robin Stjernberg, representative of Sweden back in 2013, as well as Amanda Fondell, the former Idol winner who competed against Robin both in the talent competition and Melodifestivalen and last but not least Adelen, who was responsible for one of the biggest hits in Norway back in 2013 with Bombo, a song which finished in second place at the Melodi Grand Prix. For more such news, stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter.

Source: RIX FM Festival


Aram Mp3, Sanna Nielsen and Dilara Kazimova have easily come out of the first day of rehearsals as favourites to win the Eurovision Song Contest with impressive backdrops and remarkable vocal performances. Not Alone, Undo and Start at Fire on behalf of Armenia, Sweden and Azerbaijan are three different ballads, all of which have a special something that will surely get the crowd and the jury going for them but nevertheless, only one has to win.

Aram Mp3 will be taking to the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest completely alone with the sole emphasis of the camera work on the backdrop which is seemingly space in the beginning of the song and then transforms into a series of designs. At the same time there is one spotlight, all focused on him and his vocal. He is currently first with the betting odds and I could very much see the appeal that this is going to have on the actual night of the semi-final, and of course, the final.


Sanna Nielsen has also decided to go solo on the stage with the delegation opting to make use of backing vocalists who will not be making an appearance yet whose vocals are heavenly. They add a lot to the different parts of the song with their harmony as Sanna stands in the middle of the stage and lets the technical crew film her best side basically. This is very similar to Armenia in presentation but yet more simplistic and one which has elevated in my personal rank. I see this one coming in the top three when it comes to the jury even though the public might hold back ever so slightly.


Dilara Kazimova will not be alone on stage but then again, this is Azerbaijan and we were definitely not expecting them to turn out without a proper presentation. Rather than a glass box which Farid Mammadov had during his first runner-up appearance last year, we have a dancing acrobat in mid-air but he does not distract from the song itself, which is sounding absolutely beautiful and haunting. Seems it has been a positive day for rehearsals. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv


Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:44

Sweden: Warner Music Releases Preview Video

Melodifestivalen, the annual extravaganza organised in Sweden over a period of six weeks in search for the next entry to represent the Scandinavian nation at the Eurovision Song Contest is known to come to an end towards the end of March, a week prior to the Heads of Delegation Meeting, which as you may recall is also the deadline of submissions by participating broadcasters.

Nevertheless, keeping in line with annual tradition, Sweden have just presented an official music video which is being promoted through Social Networks; Facebook & Twitter as well as viral website, YouTube. Undo co-written by Kempe, Kreuger and Pirouzpanah with vocals provided by Sanna Nielsen is current second favourite to win the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest according to the Betting Odds. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: Warner Music Sweden


Monday, 31 March 2014 18:45

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Sweden

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Martin Isherwood, Deo Grech, Stano Simor and Matt Mercieca from the United Kingdom, Malta and the Czech Republic have been entrusted with the first semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 6th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and thus moving onto number #4, we catch up with Sweden (SVT) who will be represented by Sanna Nielsen and the song Undo co-written by Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger and Hamed "K-One” Pirouzpanah.

Sanna Nielsen, 29, broke through as an artist at the early age of 11 and is today one of Sweden's most famous pop artists. With multiple hits, Sanna has dominated both Swedish radio and Swedish charts throughout the years. One of Sanna's biggest dreams - to represent Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest - has now been fulfilled! Sanna's main source of inspiration has always been Celine Dion so when her songwriter David Kreuger presented the track Undo for her, she couldn’t resist the offer and decided to make her seventh attempt to reach the Eurovision Song Contest through the Swedish national selection. Sanna has managed to reach the finals all seven times she participated in the Swedish national selection and was only a few points from winning in 2008. 

Despite finishing runner up, the song Empty Room was a massive success and Sanna held the first place on the Swedish charts 24 weeks in a row. Sanna's career as a singer and performer began back in 1992 when she starred in her first talent show. It was followed by several more which in turn led to TV appearances and the #1 hit Till en fågel. She is still the youngest artist ever to hold a #1 position on the charts. Today, Sanna is one of Sweden's most popular and respected artists in Sweden. Thanks to her amazing voice and mesmerising personality, she is since long a given artist on the big stages. But Sanna also thrives during her stripped-down concerts on smaller stages as this is where she can really convey a unique feeling and personality to each individual track.

She has released nine albums and just released the EP Undo EP which went straight to number one on the overall Swedish iTunes chart. Fredrik Kempe is one of the most successful composers in Melodifestivalen. Undo is his fourth winning song and, thus, Swedish entry at the Eurovision Song Contest, after Charlotte Perrelli's Hero, Eric Saade's Popular and Malena Ernman's La Voix. He also won the Norwegian selection with the song My Heart Is Yours. He has also had a successful career as a performer. David Kreuger has written songs for Westlife, Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, and now Sanna Nielsen. Hamed "K-One" Pirouzpanah has also written Blame it on the disco with Alcazar and Yes We Can” by Oscar Zia from this year's Melodifestivalen final together with Fredrik and David.


Sweden, known to be one of the most successful countries to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest with no less than five victories, the latest one being in 2012 at the hands of Loreen and her entry Euphoria which became a global hit. Fifty-Three entries have been send on behalf of the Scandinavian country with just one failing to get through to the final, that being in 2010 when Anna Bergendahl and her song This Is My Life finished in eleventh place. Since then, Melodifestivalen has been relatively revamped in an effort to ensure better results, as seen with a third place and then a victory. The market in Scandinavia is always seemingly positive for the songs that win in Sweden and therefore, Sanna Nielsen will be hoping for more of the same in the weeks to come.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 79%

Martin Isherwood: Builds nicely and grows on you.  Undo my pain' ok Lyric, but not quite 'unbreak my heart' Her voice is good but it feels as if she's struggling in places, when she tries the Cranberries' vocal flipping. Unusual melisma on 'undo' at the start of the chorus. Feels a bit Celine at the opening.

Deo Grech: Here comes 7th time lucky, Sanna! I foresee a huge support for Sanna in the B&W venue. She is one of the strongest contenders in this year's battle of the ballads. Her voice is crystal clear and has a pleasant effect on the ears. This entry's only downside is the grammatic error ''Undo my sad''....whereas it should have been ''Undo my sadness''....poetic licence, maybe! Looking forward to how this will be staged in the B&W hall. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the staging will be faithful to the Melodifestivalen's performance.

Stano Simor: Fairytale structure of the melody that will always work. In Sweden they know it. Gimmick with tearful chorus is very strong. Sanne fits more singing with a full voice.

Matt Mercieca: As a songwriter I really appreciate the lyrics at the beginning but then she suddenly says  Undo my sad? Ehhhh? and it starts to build up really good, but it kind of gets boring which is a little sad cause i was really loving it, but the way it starts is brilliant. Oooh she also kind of sounds like Celine Dion. P.S Key change was SERIOUSLY not needed. 

Source: eurovision.tv


Published in Editorials

Over the last six weeks the Swedish public have been gripped by the television spectacular that is Melodifestivalen. The show began on the 1st of February when the first eight acts took to the stage in Heat 1, two of the acts (Ellen & Yohio) gained a place directly to the final, with Helena Paparizou and Linus Svenning were granted places in the Andra Chansen (second chance round). Heat 2 saw Panetoz and Sanna Nielsen pass to the Final with J.E.M. and Martin Stenmarck making Andra Chansen. Heat 3 is where Oscar Zia and Ace Wilder were sent to the final with State of Drama and Outtrigger given a second chance in Andra Chansen. The final week of the heats saw Anton Ewald and Alcazar gaining the most votes and passing directly to the final, and finally Ellinore Holmer and Ammotrack to Andra Chansen.

The 5th week of Melodifestivalen is when the eight acts performed in Andra Chansen hoping to fill the final 2 places in the final. The two acts that made it to the final were the 3/4 position from Heat 1, Helena Paparizou and Linus Svenning, therefore completing the line-up for tonight's final. Tonight the 10 finalists took to the stage in hope to gain enough points to win Melodifestivalen 2014 and therefore have the honour of representing Sweden in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest 2014, to be held in Copenhagen in May. The first set of results to be announced tonight came from the International juries, from Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom. 

Ace Wilder was in the lead at the end of the Jury votes with her song Busy Doin' Nothin' closely followed by Sanna Nielsen and her song Undo, Both of these were the bookies favourites prior to the final tonight. The televotes shortly followed, giving Undo the highest marks, followed by Ace Wilder's song. The overall results, after combining the two sets of votes showed that Sanna Nielsen had won the 2014 Melodifestivalen, followed 2 points behind her was Ace Wilder. Sanna Nielsen will represent her nation in Copenhagen in May, with her entry Undo.


Sanna has attempted to represent Sweden on 6 previous occasions, debuting in the competition in 2001, when she ended 3rd. 2003 she returned to the contest and ended 5th. 2005 Sanna once again returned to the Swedish selection finishing 8th. 2007 saw a 7th placing. In 2008 Sanna tried her luck again, and came the closest she had ever came before when she ended second to Charlotte Perrelli. Sanna took two (2) years off before she returned in 2011 and ended 4th. In 2014 Nielsen returned once again, although this was her year! Sanna (albeit narrowly) won the right to represent her nation in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Sanna Nielsen will perform the 54th Swedish entry Undo in the first semi final on the 6th of May, in hope of passing to the final on the 10th of May, and wishing to bring the 6th Swedish victory in the Eurovision Song Contest! Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: Romeo Lewis, SVT


Sanna Nielsen, runner-up at Melodifestivalen back in 2008 with the track Empty Room co-written by Bobby Ljunggren and Aleena Gibson, is considered to be the artist to beat at next years’ Swedish extravaganza, according to national bookmakers who are already taking money prior to the presentation of the actual songs. For the very first time ever, Sanna is not working with Bobby Ljunggren and has turned to Fredrik Kempe, Hamed "K-One" Pirouzpanah and David Kreuger. The latter individual was responsible for Westlife’s hit track If I Let You Go.

Whilst bookmakers have a habit of pointing out the obvious, it is important to denote that the next three (3) artists in line to represent Sweden, according to the general public are YOHIO, runner-up at the 2013 edition of the Melodifestivalen; Anton Ewald, another finalist at this years' Melodifestivalen and Helena Paparizou, representative of Greece and winner of the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. At this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Robin Stjerberg represented Sweden with the song You co-written by Linnea Deb, Joy Deb and Joakim Harestad Haukaas. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Oddschecker


SVT, the national broadcaster in Sweden, and responsible for the nations' participation at the Eurovision Song Contest organised a press conference earlier today in order to announce the names of the entries, songwriters and artists competing in the first two semi-finals of next years' edition of the Melodifestivalen. The format, albeit unchanged, will include four (4) semi-finals, a second chance round and the final, all of which will be spread out over six (6) weeks. At the end of this period, new careers will commence whilst renowned stars will find solace in hit singles. The only other competition to produce similar results is Sanremo, as competing entries are known to make the official singles chart for several weeks after the showcase.

Sweden are organising their national selection following a triumphant organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest and they might have already set their sights on success pertaining to the first list of artists revealed by Christer Bjorkman during a Press Conference. Two former Eurovision Song Contest representatives have been included in the line-up and they are none other than; Helena Paparizou, winner of the event back in 2005 on behalf of Greece and Martin Stenmarck who was responsible for starting the nations' bout of bad results back in 2005. It is also worth pointing out that there are some former participants who have made the cut. Some surprises are also set to be announced on Thursday as the remaining sixteen (16) entries are revealed in another Press Conference.

Semi-Final 1 (Malmo)

Aleo - Mahan Moin (Mahan Moin / Andrez Wrethov)

Bedroom - Alvaro Estrella (Erixson / Bordon / Francis / Östergren)

Bröder - Linus Svennin (Fredrik Kempe)

Bygdens Son - Sylvester Schlegel (Sylvester Schlegel)

Casanova - Elisa Lindström (Forsman / Ljunggren / Jansson)

Songbird - Ellen Benediktson (Vaughn / Fransson / Larsson / Lundgren)

Survivor - Helena Paparizou (Ljunggren / Wikstrom / Kjellholm / Vaughn)

To The End - Yohio (Johnsson / Lyander / Kvint / Yohio)

Semi-Final 2 (Linkoping)

Efter Solsken - Panetoz (Hirvi / Lie Skåre / Baheru / Badjie)

Glow - Manda (Joy Deb / Linnéa Deb / Melanie Wehbe / Charlie Mason)

I Am Somebody - Pink Pistols (Tonqvist / Geli / Hed / Päivärinta / Bäckström)

Love Trigger - JEM (G:Son / Boström / Santos)

När änglarna går hem - Martin Stenmarck (Öhrn / Bard / Stenmarck / Boström)

Hallelujah - The Refreshments (Joakim Arnell)

Undo - Sanna Nielsen (Kempe / Kreuger / Pirouzpanah)

escflashmalta.com has noted that there are several interesting options, based on the reputation of such artists and songwriters who have been given the opportunity to participate in next years' edition of the Melodifestivalen. Also, we would like to congratulate regular escflashmalta.com contributor, Sharon Vaughn who has worked with the likes of Agnes, The Wanted and Delta Goodrem who will be competing with two (2) songs, including with one of the early fan-favourites. Sharon Vaughn will be joining the Critical Eye feature for the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: SVT