September 18, 2019

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In 2014, Slovenia was one of the uncertain countries to partake in the Eurovision Song Contest, having suffered from a bout of limited finances in recent months. Nevertheless it was revealed by the European Broadcasting Union, on the final day of submissions that Slovenia will participate and they announced details of a national selection, one entitled EMA 2014, which comprised of a number of invited artists who had to work on specific songs for the Eurovision Song Contest. In the line-up was none other than 2005 representative Omar Naber whose entry Stop had just failed to get through the semi-final stage of the competition, despite a stunning performance.

RTVSLO, the public broadcaster responsible for the nations' participation in the Eurovision Song Contest took to their radio broadcaster in order to reveal the songs taking part in the national final, set to take place this Saturday and covered also LIVE on escflashmalta.com by Philippa Zammit. You may listen to the songs on the Official YouTube Channel being provided by the broadcaster. During the national final, the best two (2) songs will go onto the super-final where the winner and thus 2014 Slovenian representative will be selected. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: RTVSLO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2_zGcuEuwU

Friday, 07 February 2014 14:50

Slovenia: RTVSlo Reveals EMA 2014 Line-Up

RTVSlo, the Slovenian public broadcaster was the last to confirm participation in this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest but is definitely not wasting time in their selection process as the list of artists who will be competing in the national final; EMA 2014 has already been made public following an elimination process which involved forty-two (42) potential entries and twenty-nine (29) potential artists according to the public broadcaster.

Slovenia, a nation in the Balkan region is yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest with the most successful result being a seventh (7th) place finish on two (2) occasions; in 2001 with Nusa Derenda and her entry Energy and in 1995 with Darja Svajger and her song Prisluhni Mi. As a matter of fact, the latter artist was of three (3) professional judges during the eliminatory phase which also featured Misa Molk, the Head of EMA 2014 and Andrea F, a radio music editor, producer and musician, respectively.

  • Bilbi
  • Muff
  • Nermin Puškar & Samuel Lucas
  • Nude
  • Omar Naber
  • Rudi Bučar in Elevators
  • Tinkara Kovač

Many had been expecting the return of Nusa Derenda and Maja Keuc, two of the most beloved artists amongst fans of the Eurovision Song Contest but this is definitely not the case. Nevertheless, Omar Naber is the most recognisable name, having already been to the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2005 with the song Stop, failing to get through to the final, finishing in twelfth (12th) place. EMA 2014 is set to take place on Saturday 8th March at 20:00 CET with hosting duties given to Ula Furlan and with the public set to select their representative. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: RTVSlo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lYbxZvklJ8

Friday, 17 January 2014 19:20

Slovenia: RTVSLO Confirm 2014 Participation

Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark will be hosting thirty-six (37) countries in this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest following the announcement that Slovenia will indeed be present at the event following an extension as granted by the European Broadcasting Union. With a positive result, the private sponsors will surely see a reason why this country should partake in the international event, hence, everyone is hoping for the best considering that Hannah and her entry Straight Into Love finished at the bottom end of the scoreboard in the semi-final at last years' competition.

Whilst the results have not always been favourable, Slovenia has sent some fantastic songs to the Eurovision Song Contest including; Prisluhni Mi performed by Darja Svajger in 1995, Energy sung by Nusa Derenda in 2001 and most recently No One performed by Maja Keuc. They have yet to trouble the scoreboard for a possible victory but have a good pulse on the event and may succeed especially at the expense of the missing nations from the Former Yugoslavian Republic. RTVSLO, the broadcaster is yet to make an announcement about the way forward although an national selection is looking highly plausible. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com all the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2_zGcuEuwU

In 2011, April was the runner-up to Maja Keuc at the Slovenian national selection with the track Ladadidej and it seems that the broadcaster, RTVSLO has been in touch with a possible offer according to the artists’ official page on social networking website, Facebook. This is quite intriguing, especially when one need not forget that whilst Slovenia is currently on the provisional list of participants, it is yet unknown whether they will be making the trip to Copenhagen, Denmark due to the expenses of the broadcaster.

Despite the actual offer being relatively unknown, April is asking her fanbase whether she should take up the offer if it is indeed a reality and the response has been quite positive. It is to be noted that the 2011 edition of the Slovenian national final was quite challenging, with the likes of former Eurovision Song Contest representative, Omar Naber, putting his name forward. RTVSLO, the broadcaster responsible for the nations’ participation will make an announcement with regards to participation on the 7th January 2014 but until then, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Official Facebook Page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1SuK73TlVQ

Mid-August, and the team of Radio International led by Juergen Boernig continues to help one deal with the absence of new material as summer somewhat brings down the Eurovision Song Contest preperations. We would like to invite you to the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience. Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

Moje 3, a trio made up of Mirna Radulović, Nevena Božović, and Sara Jovanović were specifically brought together following The Voice of Serbia in an attempt to create the ultimate girlband with the Eurovision Song Contest being their debut. Their entry entitled Ljubav Je Svuda co-written by Saša Milošević Mare and Marina Tucaković failed to get through the first semi-final, finishing in eleventh place with forty-six (46) points, just six points behind Estonia who had come in tenth place. This evening, Radio International will be chatting to the girls for the final time noting that they have officially disbanded and will be pursuing other projects as solo artists. They made it clear that the project was just set for the Eurovision Song Contest and quite frankly, it did not prove successful. Other interviews to be aired during this weeks' episode; Who See (Montenegro 2013), Nodi & Sopho (Georgia 2013), Per (Latvia 2013) and Hannah Mancini (Slovenia 2013).

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

There will also be a number of new releases played throughout the three hours, including tracks by Alex Sparrow (Russia 2011), Johnny Logan (Ireland 1980, 1987), Maya Sar (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2012), Agnetha Faltskorg (Sweden 1974), Nina Badric (Croatia 2012), Kevin Borg (Malta NF 2013) and Pastora Soler (Spain 2012). All of the news is also covered during the weekly broadcast noting resources from escflashmalta.com and escXtra where Luke Fisher, the Editor makes a weekly round-up. David Mann will be discussing songs from the Eurovision Song Contest which have been covered across time. Make sure to tune into this evenings episode of Radio International on the links offered above as we help you get through your post Eurovision depression. escflashmalta.com is always proud to promote the work of Radio International hence the weekly promotion of the leading interviews which is the way that each article will be placed upon within the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0UgPpV_PPQ

Slovenia, one of the countries facing constant disappointment at the Eurovision Song Contest are set to be pondering on a possible withdrawal in the upcoming year despite predominantly high viewing figures for the broadcaster, RTVSLO. Earlier this year, Hannah Mancini could only muster eight points to finish in sixteenth place with her entry Straight Into Love which she co-wrote with Gregor Zemljič, Erik Margan and Matija Rodić. In an exclusive interview given to Ilkar's Blogspot, Hannah reccommended the return of Maja Keuc, the female artist who represented Slovenia at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest.

Maja Keuc is one of the two female artists alongside Alenka Gotar who helped the balkan nation move into the final since the introduction of the semi-final system was unveiled back in 2004. Her entry entitled No One composed by Matjaž Vlašič and penned by Urša Vlašič managed thirteenth place, the fourth best result for the country and the best since 2001 when Nusa Derenda had represented Slovenia with the song Energy which also happens to be co-written by the same team of songwriters with the inclusion of Lucienne Lončina. Maja is one of the nations' best artists with her debut album Indigo spawning a large number of successful singles including Zmorem, Get the Party Stared and the interestingly titled You're a Tree and I'm a Balloon. Despite maybe being cautious in her reply, Keuc said 'never say never' prompting rumours that she could be seeking the ticket to represent Slovenia in Denmark. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news. 

Source: Ilkar's Blogspot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNP3nfvoqps

Since the introduction of the jury and tele-voting system, it seems that the anticipation for the split vote is relatively high by viewers of the Eurovision Song Contest, which this year amassed around one hundred and seventy million according to an earlier press release issued by the official website of the international event. In the past four years, the European Broadcasting Union had released the total points of each entry as given by both the jury and the tele-voting but due to the implementation of a brand new system, they have decided to publish the average placing of each nation through both jury and tele-voting.

The results of the first semi-final were quite predictable to be honest noting that Only Teardrops by Emmelie de Forest for Denmark was the varage with both the juries and public at large with Russia's entry What If finishing second in both as well. The juries and the public agreed on seven of the ten qualifiers in general witht he jury opting to select Austria rather than Lithuania and the public preferring Montenero and Croatia over Moldova and Estonia respectively. Montenegro have somewhat managed to gather favour with the public whilst Austria still hold the cards in their hands when it comes to the juries stating tele-voting was rigged a couple of years back. 

Denmark - 167 (1 / 1)

Russia - 156 (2 / 2)

Ukraine - 140 (4 / 3)

Moldova - 95 (3 / 11)

Belgium - 75 (7 / 7)

The Netherlands - 75 (6 / 9)

Belarus - 64 (9 / 8)

Ireland - 54 (10 / 6)

Lithuania - 53 (11 / 5)

Estonia - 52 (8 / 13)

Serbia - 46 (15 / 12)

Montenegro - 41 (14 / 4)

Croatia - 38 (13 / 10)

Austria - 27 (5 / 15

Cyprus - 11 (12 / 14)

Slovenia - 8 (16 / 16)

In the second semi-final, things were rather enticing and this was very much what several opinionists had stated when it came to discussing the quality of the tracks competing. As a matter of fact, the jury and the tele-voting agreed on six songs in total, including jury winners Malta whose entry Tomorrow performed by Gianluca managed seventh place with the public.This was a coup for the Mediterranean nation who had never secured any type of first place result in the past. The jury opted to send through to the final acts such as Israel and San Marino rather than Romania and Hungary whilst the public at large preferred Bulgaria and Switzerland to Armenia and Georgia. For the second straight participation, it seems that Armenia is continously losing the public appeal which had originated in their initial participations. 

Azerbaijan - 139 (2 / 3)

Greece - 121 (3 / 2)

Norway - 120 (4 / 4)

Malta - 118 (1 / 7)

Romania - 83 (13 / 1)

Iceland - 72 (8 / 8)

Armenia - 69 (7 / 11)

Hungary - 66 (11 / 9)

Finland - 64 (6 / 10)

Georgia - 63 (5 / 13)

San Marino - 47 (10 / 12)

Bulgaria - 45 (17 / 6)

Switzerland - 41 (16 / 5)

Israel - 40 (9 / 14)

Albania - 31 (12 / 15)

FYR Macedonia - 28 (14 / 16)

Latvia - 13 (15 / 13)

In the final, things somewhat remained pretty much the same noting that the countries which had performed well in their respective semi-finals managed to enter in the top ten with the inclusion of Italy who performed brilliantly in both the jury and the public vote. This was not the case with their entry last year noting that Nina Zilli had managed to get her top ten score thanks to mostly jury support as the public put her in a lower mid-table position. Marco Mengoni and his entry L'Essenziale managed eighth and tenth respectively to finish in seventh place just ahead of Malta whose entry this time round finished in ninth place both the jury and public vote. On average, Spain has managed to finish last in both the jury and the public vote but unfortunately the disappointing result was given to Ireland with Ryan Dolan managing a decent mid-table with the public as opposed to a bottom three with juries. 

Denmark - 281 (1 / 1)

Azerbaijan - 234 (2 / 3)

Ukraine - 214 (6 / 2)

Norway - 191 (4 / 6)

Russia - 174 (10 / 5)

Greece - 152 (14 / 4)

Italy - 126 (8 / 10)

Malta - 120 (9 / 9)

The Netherlands - 114 (7 / 11)

Hungary - 84 (21 / 8)

Belgium - 71 (11 / 17)

Moldova - 71 (5 / 19)

Romania - 65 (24 / 7)

Sweden - 62 (3 / 18)

Georgia - 50 (13 / 23)

Belarus - 48 (22 / 13)

Iceland - 47 (17 / 12)

Armenia - 41 (19 / 15)

United Kingdom - 23 (15 / 22)

Estonia - 19 (16 / 24)

Germany - 18 (20 / 16)

Lithuania - 17 (25 /21)

France - 14 (12 / 25)

Finland - 13 (18 / 20)

Spain - 8 (26 / 26)

Ireland - 5 (23 / 14)

escflashmalta.com has also noted two predominant differences between the jury and the public vote in the final noting that Sweden managed to gather a strong representation thanks to the professional panels in the participating countries managing a third place whilst Romania climbed up the board thanks to the general public. Unfortunately both entries were drowned down by the other half of the score as Sweden could only manage eighteenth in tele-voting whilst Romania was third from last in the jury. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest but in the meantime, keep following for news about the local music scene.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3f9v8ebuD4

Saturday, 18 May 2013 12:04

Eurovision 2013: Voting Order Announced

In years gone by, the running order of the voting process was scheduled in the same manner in which the performances took place but nevertheless, the system was altered a couple of years back when the juries gained their voting priveledges back, and which now undoubtely decide half of the respective result. The European Broadcasting Union would like to make the best possible showcase for the millions of viewers watching all over the world including; China and Australia and therefore, where possible, changes in the leaderboard will be implemented just to create an exciting feeling for all to enjoy.

Valletta, the capital city of Malta will be the backdrop for the voting this evening with the spokesperson being none other than Emma Hickey, otherwise known as Jeremy's love interest in the music video for Tomorrow, which is the entry representing the country in the international music showcase. The song which is co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek with vocals provided by Gianluca got through to the final round following an initial qualification phase held on Thursday. Malta was announced as the ninth country following what seemed to a nerve wracking situation. This evening, during the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, Malta will be performing in position number #9.

  1. San Marino (John Kennedy O'Connor)
  2. Sweden (Yohio)
  3. Albania (Andri Xhahu)
  4. Netherlands (Cornald Maas)
  5. Austria (Kati Bellowitsch)
  6. United Kingdom (Scott Mills)
  7. Israel (Ofer Nachshon)
  8. Serbia (Maja Nikolic)
  9. Ukraine (Matias)
  10. Hungary (Éva Novodomszky)
  11. Romania (Sonia Argint)
  12. Moldova (Olivia Furtuna)
  13. Azerbaijan (Tamilla Shirinova)
  14. Norway (Tooji)
  15. Armenia (Andre)
  16. Italy (Federica Gentile)
  17. Finland (Kristiina Wheeler)
  18. Spain (Inés Paz)
  19. Belarus (Darya Domracheva)
  20. Latvia (Anmary)
  21. Bulgaria (Joana Dragneva)
  22. Belgium (Barbara Louys)
  23. Russia (Alsou)
  24. Malta (Emma Hickey)
  25. Estonia (Rolf Roosalu)
  26. Germany (Lena)
  27. Iceland (Maria Sigrun Hilmarsdottir)
  28. France (Marine Vignes)
  29. Greece (Andriana Magania)
  30. Ireland (Nicky Byrne)
  31. Denmark (Sofie Lassen-Kalhke)
  32. Montenegro (Ivana Sebek)
  33. Slovenia (Andrea F)
  34. Georgia (Liza Tsiklauri)
  35. F.Y.R. Macedonia (Dimitar Atanasovski)
  36. Cyprus (Loukas Hamatsos)
  37. Croatia (Uršula Tolj)
  38. Switzerland (Mélanie Freymond)
  39. Lithuania (Ignas Krupavicius)

All of the participating countries in this years' Eurovision Song Contest will be casting their votes, half of them as decided by a panel of professional experts and the other half by the million of people watching in their homes. As one could denote from the list above, there are a number of well known individuals who will be reading out the points of their country, amongst them being; Tooji (Norway), Anmary (Latvia), Lena (Germany), Alsou (Russia) and of course, the most famous one being Nicky Bryne of the former group, Westlife for Ireland. Speculation is running high that Italy did extremely well with the juries last night as opposed to Denmark who might have not scored one of the top results. This is yet to be seen. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more of the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WmJXIR9xtw

Good Evening! Welcome to the live coverage of the first semi-final of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest being held in Malmö, Sweden. Members of the European Broadcasting Union had to confirm their participation in the international showcase by December and as a matter of fact, during this period some nations had selected both their artist and entry for the event. Sixteen (16) countries will be performing this evening with six (6) of them being eliminated at the first hurdle noting that the other ten (10) will be going through to the final stage on Saturday night where they will compete with another ten (10) qualifiers from the second semi-final and the countries which have already qualified due to their respective financial status.

In recent years, social media has become an important tool to get a message across and escflashmalta.com has been proud to keep you updated through both Facebook and Twitter whilst bringing you exclusive content through Flickr and YouTube respectively. This evening, the special coverage that is annually planned is set to be conducted by our Head of Press, Emil Calleja Bayliss as well as guests; Claudia Faniello, a two time first runner-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Simon Casey, a former first runner-up in the Irish selection as well as a successful recording artist with Universal Music Ireland. All of the three are extremely professional in their line of work and their interests in music have been duly recorded over time.

The Show (Part 1)

Good Evening! Welcome to Sweden and to the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. This year, the arena is relatively small in comparison to other years but nevertheless, looks jampacked noting that it was sold out in less than half an hour. An extremely large choir is currently on stage as they perform Euphoria, the winning entry of last year before being joined by Loreen herself. This is a first to see the winner of the year before performing in the first semi-final but nevertheless, she will also be performing a brand new song in the final. Petra Mede, the only hostess for this evening takes to the stage in what seems to be a silver like colour although the material is very much like tin foil. 

Austria

Emil: She looks so scared. Her eyes look it and her voice is a tad shaky but she slowly picks up. The backing have a cool yet strange choereography. The staging is interesting and the small arena looks great on screen. The viduals are impressive. The song is a modern R&B number which should go down well but perhaps it is a bit too early for the viewers to remember. A good one.

Claudia: I think that this is a little bit average especially to kick off this evening yet the performance was good enough.

Simon: Our first semi-final is under way. Didn't really enjoy this performance and it didn't go anywhere, which is a shame as she a really good voice. Natália's Irish roots may not be enough for her to qualify tonight.

Estonia

Emil: A black and white start and surely an interesting trick for the viewers to remember. Kudos on the Estonias but the Maltese had done it first in the Junior Eurovision. The sweet simple ballad is performer strongly. She starts from the catwalk and walks back to the main stage. A flowing dress to hide her pregnancy  It is a typical Scandinavian ballad. The climax is a strong one, but I can't see the viewers voting for this one - the jurors would have to save this one. Interesting number.

Claudia: For the second time in a row, we have another average song and this does not really look to be the best of starts for this years' Eurovision Song Contest.

Simon: Nice ballad singer and she looks great but I'm looking for something special from a ballad these days and I just didn’t enjoy the song. I was waiting for big finish but a in fact it was a little boring for me. 

Slovenia

Emil: An electro dance number which would help making it a summer hit. Would it be a eurovision hit? I doubt it. She might get a number of votes for her looks or her dancers though. The song is average and nothing that we haven't heard before. The vocals could be much better and sounded shrieky in a number of parts. I'd guess it is game over for Slovenia already. She needs a miracle to get through.

Claudia: This clearly remind me of an extremely famous club song and whilst it is a good track in itself, the vocals are clearly weak this evening. Unfortunately these type of songs are dominating the charts despite not being my cup of tea. 

SimonA good dance track. Hannah put in a great performance and a really catchy chorus. I enjoyed this performance and it has an outside chance of qualification. She sounds like Madonna.

Croatia

EmilThis sounds like music to my ears after Slovenia. Pure class with six great voices. This is what Eurovision should be about - countries presenting something traditional and strong. The only criticism I might have is that it is a bit static or sound a tad repetitive but the voices are impeccable with great harmonies. If viewers forget this, I can't see the jurors doing the same. Let's hope they manage to save it if that is the case.

Claudia: I must say that this is definitely not my cup of tea and the only thing that I can point out from this performance are their awesome boots. I am sorry Croatia!

Simon:  This is a little different, the Croats answer to Il Divo. Nice performance and good harmonies. I like it but I don't know how it'll translate European wide considering that it might be respected by minorities.

Denmark

EmilThe ULITIMATE Eurovision favourite - the odds are shortening like mad. A military tattoo feel and this song has WINNER written all over it. Can't see any other song beating this. The performance is interesting and the she sells it well even though she might not be giving her strongest vocal performance. The cheers she's getting in the audience suggest that this is hers to loose - although she's quite close to home so that helps loads. Winner of 2013!? I think so.

Claudia: First things first, it seems that this definitely a crowd favourite this evening and apart from that fact, they have also borrowed my outfits without asking, haha. This is a feel good with great lyrics. This is the second year in a row that they have a great song!

Simon: Good performance by Emmelie, I really like this song. Catchy as hell. I think it's a little reminiscent of last year’s winning song and the strongest performance so far tonight. Think this song has a real chance in the finals.

Russia

Emil: Her clear vocals are beautiful and she carries the song with such grace yet the excitement get the best of her in the beginning. The harmonies with the backing sound great though and the way the whole arena lights up during the key refrain is impressive. Another great stomper. Can't see it beating Denmark but Russia will possible fight to be in the top three this year. 

Claudia: This is definitely a Eurovision Song Contest entry because the key-change is extremely typical. It is also very much like an X Factor winners' single. Nevertheless, Dina is an extremely strong performer.

Simon: Vocally a great performance from Dina and one of my favourites. Certain to qualify. Really strong message here as well. There is a slight feel factor of Katrina and the Waves 'Love Shine a Light' (which is good). No need to bring back the grannies this year!!

Ukraine

Emil: Ruining a good song with a giant!? Well Jack and the beanstalk has been a great inspiration. Another great number which picks up as soon as she starts singing although her vocals sounded a bit low at first. She oozes charisma and she connest well with the camera. Will this gospel number appeal to the viewers at home? Considering it is Ukraine, and the song is a strong one it should do well. Ukraine can expect another top ten result. Three strong numbers after each other. Will someone suffer?

Claudia: Whoa! The giant is clearly an impressive touch and he is somewhat part of the choreography. The visuals are just stunning and the vocals on stage are coming across really well on the sound system. This is well performed! Not a winner though!

SimonThere's a real Disney feel to this song, certainly one of the strongest performances tonight and really should qualify for Saturday night.

The Netherlands

EmilThe famous Anouk is next. She looks beautiful on screen but she avoids eye contact with the camera and stays with her eyes closed during most of the performance. Clearly not the way to connect with your audience. It is the slowest song in the competition and although it has a classic feel to it and Anouk gives a strong interpretation it will be up to the jurors to save this one tonight I feel. It is a bit boring I fear.

Claudia: Anouk, a vocal genius and once more, another strong performance for this evenings' competition. The song in itself is nothing too extraordinary but nevertheless, the versatility is the key behind it's success.

Simon: Don’t like being too critical but I just didn't get this song, it certainly was very different and she has a very decent voice but can't see her qualify for the final. (She's for the birds)

Montenegro

EmilSpacemen make their way to the Eurovision stage too and they are joined by an alien. Not my cup of tea and can't see whether this song will have any appeal whatsoever. It is different to the one that came before it and that is the only reason I see her picking up some votes. I guess it is a bit too modern and the Eurovision stage is not the place to showcase this kind of music. Noise pollution? Quite close.

Claudia: Whilst I respect several genres of music, this is too electronic for my taste. The costumes for the performance definitely remind me of the ones used during one of Fab's latest videos.

Simon:  A very forgettable performance apart from its raunchiness, this song is going nowhere.

Lithuania

Emil: Lithaunia present a good modern pop song with an electronic feel to it. I feels a bit too generic but it is a good entry performed by a very likable guy which will pick up a few votes for his charm. The song might be a little mid table but with some neighbourly help, some luck and a good performance it might actually make it.

Claudia: A Pet Shop Boys attempt. Actually enjoyed this tune but I think the vocal was quiet poor tonight.

Simon: The crowd is really warm this evening and that is very positive for the performers. The track itself seems to have taken us back through time, back to the 80's in a genre similar to the one made popular by AHA, including the blurred visuals. 

Belarus

Emil: Belarus go with a cheesy cha cha number which would have been fit in the Eurovision Song Contest back in the 1990's. It is a bit too late. The performance is strong but the same cannot be the said for her vocals. They sound strained and weak in places. The outfits are cool though and her PR strategy was amongst the strongest. Will that help her pass? I doubt it.

Claudia: Typical entry from the Eurovision Song Contest, the outfit along with the staging has been done a million times before. Hmm, there is something about Alyona which reminds me of Charlotte Perelli although her figure is definitely more intriguing.

Simon: She reminds me of Shakira, and he tune is a little similar to the Turkish 2003 winner. Certainly has potential to qualify tonight, really think its a song that will grow on people. 

Moldova

EmilThe music is strong for this one and so is her voice but the fact that we can't understand what she's singing about is a distraction. The dress is spectacular though and the overall visuals are amongst the best in the competition. I wouldn't count this one out especially after that performance.

Claudia: The piano and the strings definitely catching my attention and the dress in itself is very similar to the one used by Olivia Lewis during the 2005 Malta Song for Europe. This song in itself does not really go anywhere and that is relatively disappointing. Good performance though! I would never see myself in such a dress!

Simon: A great vocal from Aliona, really good singer. Nice power ballad and the best we've heard from Moldova ever. I think she’ll qualify.

Ireland

Emil: Ireland haven't done well recently and they think that the best thing to do is go with an uptempo number with half naked men on stage. Will it work? I guess it will take them to the finals tonight. The song came to life on this stage and the drum beats sound and look great. Not your typical Irish sound but it's kind of good. Ryan gives a strong performance and surely merits the final.

Claudia: Well, I am not too sure of the graphics being used in this performance or the clothing for that matter but nevertheless, this is done well in it's respective genre.

Simon: Well done Ryan, this song has been growing in me the last few weeks and tonight he's given a great performance. A very different entry to what we're used to. I'm really hoping Europe vote or us tonight. Congrats Team Ireland.

Cyprus

Emil: This song is so beautiful, she performs it with such grace and her look reminds me of Celine Dion. Her vocals are strong and the traditional ballad leaves everyone haunted. One of my personal favourites for tonight and I think it should sail with ease to the finals. Touching. Well done Cyprus. Pity the Greeks aren't here to help you out tonight as you truly deserve all the help you can get.

Claudia: Whoa! What a choice of outfit! This looks amazing on screen. She does look a little bit like Celine Dion from far away. You need to have a really good song to succeed in a foreign language. I am not too sure.

Simon: Unfortunately this has been my least favourite performance tonight, just lacking pretty much everything. The weakest by far.

Belgium

Emil: He looks like a scared little boy on that stage. The backing are truly amazing but his voice is just weak. Pity as the beat of the song is quite good and if it was performed stronger it could easily make it but he literally kills it. One big car crash vocally. Sorry Belgium, next time think about sending a singer who can actually sing. Do not blame the lack of neighbours this year.

ClaudiaBelgium, I have to denote this as to having an extremely modern sound but the choreography is not too my liking unfortunately. It also has the feel of a radio song rather than a track that succeeds within the Eurovision Song Contest.

Simon: Good pop song and well performed. Roberto has a strong voice. Nice vibe to it and I'm thinking the Irish entry is a little similar (obviously we're tops)

Serbia

Emil: Barbies gone wrong. I guess they let a weird niece dress them up who has spent her life under lock and key by her insane parents. Whoever decided on the outfits should be SHOT! The song ain't bad but it ain't good either. They look stupid and the whole act looks ridiculous. Pity as the song would have had some potential if they had a decent performance. Thank God the vocals are in place cause it would have been miserable.

Claudia: I am quite disappointed with the songs in this years' first semi-final. This was yet another forgettable song but nevertheless, the vocals are well performed throughout the whole entry.

Simon: Good uptempo song to bring the the first semi final to a close. Has to be said its one of the stronger songs tonight. Three strong vocalists and there'll be plenty of young lads voting for them tonight. Serbia should qualify.

The Show (Part 2)

Petra Mede, the hostess for the evening hast just opened the tele-voting and a recap of the songs has just been shown on screen. A series of interval acts will be taking to the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest and first up is Petra Mede who takes us through memory lane and enters a number of performances. Well, the voting has just come to an end and now we have the proper interval act which is a choreographed set of movements to a magnificient backdrop known as Aurora or rather, the Northern Lights.

Emil:  Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine

Claudia: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine

Simon: Belarus, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia,  Slovenia, Ukraine

We just had Lynda Woodruff and she was epic in her sketch. A recap of the six direct finalists is currently being shown on screen. One has to note that they have an amazing set of songs especially compared to the quality of the songs performed this evening. Bonnie Tyler, Robin Stjernberg and Marco Mengoni are in the arena representing the countries directly in the final which are voting in this semi-final! The time for the qualifiers is here!

Moldova

Lithuania

Ireland

Estonia

Belarus

Denmark

Russia

Belgium

Ukraine

The Netherlands

Tonight! The time has arrived for the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest to take place and following two dress rehearsals last night and another one this afternoon, the excitement is definitely there and people are somewhat intrigued to be so close to the first evening. The first semi-final will consist of sixteen songs, with the countries ranging from all over the contintent. The main favourites for this evening have somewhat been drawn alongside each other and that may prove to be difficult. 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 Emil Calleja Bayliss and guest writers; Claudia Faniello and Simon Casey.

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 sixteen entries which will be competing in the first 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 first semi-final the panel consisted of Magnus Kaxe, Lina Eriksson and Matt Mercieca (Muxu). 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 (image) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6JLyVGlW4g

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