February 18, 2020

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Rui Andrade, one of the most well respected male vocalists in Portugal, having finished as the second runner-up at the Festival da Cancao in 2011, 2012 and 2014 has recently recorded a cover version of the song 'Angel', which Chiara had sung on behalf of Malta in the 2005 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It was 9 years ago today, that 'Angel' had finished as the first runner-up following a stellar performance by Chiara on the Kiev stage. 

In the past couple of weeks, Rui had the opportunity to join the Russian Delegation at the international song competition, having been asked to be a backing vocalist during the performance of 'Shine' by the Tolmachevy Twins. The song which eased through the first semi-final managed to finish in seventh place, despite the public outcry against the Eastern country. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Rui Andrade (Official Facebook Page)



Rui Andrade, a male vocalist who has finished as the second runner-up in the Festival da Cancao on no less than three occasions including earlier this year is set to fly to Copenhagen, Denmark as part of a team of backing vocalists. In yet another escflashmalta.com exclusive, we have learnt that the singer/songwriter from Portugal will be accompanying the Tolmachevy Sisters during their performance of the song Shine composed by Philipp Kirkorov & Dimitris Kontopolous with lyrics by Ralph Charlie, John Ballard & Gerard James Borg.

Participation in the Portuguese national selection was handled by none other than Olivier Vanhoutte, a longtime friend and escflashmalta.com editor who has declined to give a comment with regards to the story. Nevertheless, other outlets have confirmed this story which will add to the international intrigue surrounding the Russian entry at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The question which many will ask is whether this will turn up to be a wise marketing move or appear to be a desperate attempt at trying to secure votes. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about the 2014 edition of the continental competition.

Source: escflashmalta.com


Friday, 04 April 2014 10:50

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Russia

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 #7, we catch up with Russia (RTR) who will be represented by Tolmachevy Sisters an the song Shine composed by Kontopoulos and Kirkorov with lyrics by Ballard, Charlie and Borg.

The twin sisters Anastasia and Maria Tolmachevy are from Kursk, a small town 500 km away from Moscow, where they are living now. They are 17 years old now and are graduating from the middle school this year. Anastasia and Maria are singing since they were little girls. Their mother is a music teacher who led and supported her daughters in their music career. Anastasia and Maria sang in various music studios. They participated in many junior song contests. But their breakthrough was in 2006 when the sisters took part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bucharest and won the competition reaching 154 points with their performance Vesennij Jazz (The Spring Jazz).

In 2007, Russia 1 Channel broadcast the documentary film about their success in the 2006 Junior Eurovision Song Contest The Phenomenal Twin Sisters. In the same year, Anastasia and Maria stared in the New Year`s Eve television musical Kingdom Of Crooked Mirrors where they sang together with Alla Pugacheva, the Russian participant of the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest. The sisters also released their album Polovinki (The Halves). Later they took part in various concerts, for example at the Red Square, in different music television shows like Saturday Night at the Russia-1 Channel.

The Tolmachevy Sisters were special guests in the 2007 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam and in the 2010 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Minsk. Anastasia and Maria took part in the opening act of the First Semi-Final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. They have been given the challenge of a lifetime, that to possibly become winners of the senior edition of the continental competition after triumphing in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest as much as seven years back. It will not be an easy feat though, without bringing up certain elements which do not constitute as grounds of reason in music.


Russia is well and truly one of the most successful countries to partake in the Eurovision Song Contest, having finished as the first runner-up in 2000 at the hands of Alsou and the track Solo before managing a string of top ten finishes, finally culminating in their first ever victory back in 2009. The song Believe performed by popstar Dima Bilan had been noted from the onset, especially because he had done well on one previous occasion. Since then, Russia has still flirted with the top ten but also obtained one of their worst ever results in 2011 when Alexey Sparrow and his song Get You could only garner 77 points to finish in sixteenth place.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 51%

Martin Isherwood: Strong melodies in the chorus. Nice sentiment in the lyrics. Good voices. Strong hooks. 60s feels with timpani and strings, quite like The Pierces: 'Glorious'.

Deo Grech: This is so ironic, indeed. Last year they presented a prophetic entry with the lyrics which went like this: ''what if we came together as one....what if we chose to bury our guns....why don't we always reach out to those who need us the most''.  Well it's high time they act what they preach. Full stop!

Stano Simor: This year Russia dissembled selection of songs and artist. Lackluster song in the style of outdated pop, which is not written for the voices Tolmachevy Sister .They  don 't have the space to show  their vocal potential in this song.

Matt Mercieca: Song is super average , but at parts I feel like I’m about to love it, but then something keeps me back, Im so lost, this is a little confusing, I love it one second, I think its rubbish the next! 

Source: eurovision.tv


Published in Editorials

The Tolmachevy Sisters, winners of the 2006 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, were internally chosen by the public broadcaster, RTR as the representatives on behalf of Russia at this years' international competition. They will be performing a song entitled Shine composed by Dimitris Kontipoulos and Philipp Kirkorov with lyrics by John Ballard, Ralph Charlie and Gerard James Borg. The official presentation of the song took place earlier today through vesti.ru and their YouTube page, but nevertheless, it does indeed sound like a demo.

Shine is a mid-tempo number, one which seems to have been rushed into submission due to the Heads of Delegation Meeting which took place earlier this week in Copenhagen, Denmark. Whilst not dated, the song is very much influenced by music of the past, predominantly a merge between the seventies, and the eighties. We expect this song to be re-arranged in time for the Eurovision Song Contest, with a final version to be presented in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: RTR


RTR, one of the two public broadcasters in Russia, responsible for selecting an entry for the Eurovision Song Contest every other year has decided to scrap the national selection process in favour of an internal selection following recent developments in the nation found at the far east of the continent. The Tolmachevy Twins, winners of the 2006 Junior Eurovision Song Contest were chosen to carry the flag, hoping that success will be around the corner once more.

The Tolmachevy Twins will be performing the song Shine composed by Philip Kirkorov and Dimitris Kontopoulous with lyrics by John Ballard, Ralph Charlie and Gerard James Borg. This experienced team has already had ample success at the Eurovision Song Contest, but none have managed to get as far as victory noting that the lyricists have already been former runner-ups at the event with tracks such as Hold Me (Azerbaijan 2013) and 7th Wonder (Malta). Shine is set to be revealed by the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest in the next couple of hours. The editorial team of escflashmalta.com would like to wish the very best of luck to local lyricist Gerard James Borg with chances of Maltese representation in the final on the increase.

Source: eurovision.tv


In 1966, it was Udo Jürgens on behalf of Austria who reached the top spot with the track Merci Chérie but unfortunately success has not been on the cards since then and the nation eventually stopped participating following their disappointing result in 2007 as Eric Papilaya could only muster up four (4) points with his song Get a Life - Get Alive ultimately penultimate position within the semi-final. ORF, the broadcaster saw that the regulations set forth by the European Broadcasting Union were fit for a return and thus, they have been competing every year since 2011.

Earlier this year, Natalia Kelly took to the stage with the song Shine in Sweden but despite support from the jury, the public did not believe it was a qualifier and thus failed to get through to the Saturday show. Nevertheless, the ratings have as always proved to be a success story and therefore, it is no surprise that despite the several budget cuts planned for the year 2014, ORF will continue to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. It is being said that instead of a national selection, an internal choice will be made based on career achievements and so forth. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: ORF


ORF, the public broadcaster responsible for the participation of Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest organised a small scale national selection with just five acts garnering a ticket despite the relatively large interest. Since their return to the international competition, the two results could not have been further apart from each other as the success of Nadine Beiler with The Secret is Love was quickly undone by the Trackshittaz and their entry Woki mit deim Popo. This year, they will be represented by the young, talented and extremely charismatic, Natália Kelly and the track Shine.

Austria are the opening entry in the first semi-final and therefore had the opportunity to be the first to test out the stage on the first day of rehearsals, doing their utmost with the thirty (30) minutes they were allocated. There has been a lot of positive acclaim following the first rehearsal and this is still a track which many see as a marginal qualifier and will very much be tested with the performance on the night. The team present in Sweden had the opportunity to interview the artist during the Meet & Greet sessions which have become a part of the daily calender for delegations until the second rehearsals officially commence as from Friday when press conferences are also introduced. Kelly speaks about her participation, the feeling behind her song and many other things in this video interview. We would like you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more such features from the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: escflashmalta.com


Published in Interviews
Thursday, 04 April 2013 01:00

Austria: Reviewing the track 'Shine'

All of the preview videos for the competing entries in this years' Eurovision Song Contest were formally presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation last month and therefore, formal introduction of each entry will start taking place on our portal. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Austria will be opening up the feature from the first semi-final where sixteen countries will compete. ORF, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Shine co-written by Andreas Grass, Nikola Paryla, Alexander Kahr and Natália Kelly, who also offers vocals.

Despite her young age of only 18 years, Natália Kelly, can already look back at more than ten years of professional experience as a singer and pianist. Shine might be Natália Kelly‘s debut single, but it would nonetheless be hard to describe her as a newcomer: The 18-year-old from Lower Austria, who has US American and Brazilian roots, has been adding to her stage experience for the past ten years, thanks to a wide range of performances, and by participating in numerous music competitions. Quite a few juries have been impressed by Natália Kelly’s abilities as both pianist and singer. This early success is not solely due to her unique voice: her artless and self-confident flair have also given Natália Kelly’s music an individuality that juggles playfully with contrasting elements from pop and R'n'B.

Produced by Austrian hit factory songwriter Alexander Kahr, Shine will be Natália Kelly’s musical business card, bringing together her national experiences with international elements, and thus reaching out to her promising future. She will be releasing her debut album right in time for the Eurovision Song Contest. Talking about her participation in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, Natália says: 'It is an honour and a great pleasure to be able to represent Austria. An international competition like the Eurovision Song Contest is an amazing opportunity for an artist to gather important musical experience and to develop further on a personal level.' As a matter of fact, it is worth noting that Natalia Kelly was selected to represent Austria following a national final procedure which saw another four act compete. Shine was selected by a mixture of public and international jury voting.


As mentioned before, Natália Kelly had to go through a national selection in order to achieve the role of representing her own country in the Eurovision Song Contest and heading into the competition, she was not perceived as the public favourite. ORF, the broadcaster responsible for the organisation of this selection had in mind the result of the year before when selecting the possible entries and indeed setup a professional commission who went to look for performers and suitable songwriters. Indeed, the line-up was mixed and the show was organised in a very high standard. Ultimately, following a mixture of public and jury vote, Natália Kelly was decided as the winner with a twenty point advantage in the final tally. Her closest competition was Feels Like Home by Yela.

1957 is the year in which Austria first started to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest and despite finishing in last place on three occasions prior to achieving their best ever finish, that being in 1966 with the song Merci Cherie sung by Udo Jürgens. As a matter of fact, Udo had already represented his country on two other previous occasions and his results just got better each time. Nevertheless, Austria would never finish within the top three ever again and since the millennium, their best result was achieved back in 2003 with the track Weil der Mensch Zählt performed by Alf Poier. Following a break between 2008 and 2011, the nation returned with Nadine Beiler and her entry The Secret is Love making it to the final, finishing in eighteenth place before facing another disappointing result last year. 

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 50%

Magnus Kaxe: Random song and production that need a strong vocal performance to come through. Natalia Kelly's voice is unfortunately a little bit weak (I can even hear some false notes here and there). Instead of shining, Austria, stays in the shadows tonight.  

Lina Eriksson: Natalia is sweet but I'm missing some edge to this chorus. It's a bit boring to be frank. The risk is people will forget about this song cause it doesn't really shine and leaves one yearning for more.

Matt Mercieca (Muxu): I like the tone of her voice, and the vibe throughout the whole song is very current, I wish the chorus had that extra kick, I think the sudden key change at the end isn't needed , a couple of big ad-libs over normal chorus would have been cooler. I like the song personally, but don't think it will make a huge impact on the festival.

Source: eurovision.tv


Published in Editorials
Friday, 15 February 2013 22:07

Austria: Natalia hopes to 'Shine' in Sweden

Natalia Kelly, the youngest candidate in Austria’s National Selection has won the competition and she will know represent her country in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest scheduled on the 14th May. She’s a singer who knows how to communicate with the cameras with her natural style and her confident way of performing. Even though she’s only 18, she already has ten years of stage.

acquaintance. She is strong-minded, motivated, and enthusiastic to be part of the Eurovision machine. She’ll give her best to be a worthy and booming Austrian representative. Natalia Kelly has appeared on Austria’s ‘The Voice’ and a voice she certainly has. The song itself Shine reminds us of Delta Goodrem the Australian singer-songwriter, pianist and television actress. The word ‘shine’ is repeated quite often in the pleasant song but it works, just like the word ‘Euphoria’ did last year.

The Austrian show incorporated 5 entries from 5 singers covering a vast array of different musical genres including soft rock, electro pop and folksy soul. All in all, it was a well-balanced national selection from Austria and ORF may have reduced the quantity of songs by half but have undoubtedly ‘upped’ the quality in the process.

The national final was presented by Andi Knoll and Miriam Weichselbraun. Austria has appeared frequently at the Eurovision Song Contest. The country has won once, in 1966, with the song "Merci Chérie". In recent years, Austria's entries have tended towards the humorous, in contrast with the dance-pop achieving success. 2003 saw comedian Alf Poier perform "Weil Der Mensch Zählt", a song about farm animals. 2005 saw a performance by folk band Global Kryner singing the Latin-inspired "Y así". Best wishes to Natalia Kelly anf let’s hope her song ‘Shines’ bright in May.

Source: ORF


Monday, 14 January 2013 14:30

Austria: Five Potential Entries Unveiled

One of the western countries to have never really grasped the concept of success despite a lone victory at the Eurovision Song Contest is surely Austria but the effort that the broadcaster is putting into the selection process for the upcoming edition of the international showcase is outstanding noting the professional team of dedicated personnel called forth to select the performers and their respective entries. As a matter of fact, following a call for entries as well as an apparent internal process, five acts were select to compete in an open national final which will be taking place on the 15th February, just a day following the highly anticipated German final.

Yela, Natalia Kelly, The Bandaloop, Elija and Falco Luneau officially presented their entries in a press conference held earlier today in the Saturn Tower within Vienna and it seems that there is widespread positive acclaim with regards to the entries. The selection process which will take place the ORF Television-Centre in Vienna will be hosted by Mirjam Weichselbraun and Andi Knoll and it is to be noted that apart from performing their respective entries, they also have to sing a hit from the past editions of the Eurovision Song Contest. ORF also announced that the tickets for the show will be priced at just €10 for a standing entry and €20 for a seat in the audience. The dress rehearsal will also be open to the public at a price of €10. Listen to the tracks through Eurovision Austria and stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Austria in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

  • Falco Luneau - “Rise above the Night” / “What’s Another Year” (Johnny Logan, 1980)
  • Natália Kelly - “Shine” / “Ne partez pas sans moi” (Céline Dion, 1988)
  • The Bandaloop - “Back to Fantasy” / “Waterloo” (ABBA, 1974)
  • Elija - “Give Me a Sign” / “Euphoria” (Loreen, 2012)
  • Yela - “Feel Like Home” / “Love Shine a Light” (Katrina & The Waves, 1997)
Source: Eurovision Austria, ORF