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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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDGdeW6lLD0

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdXXnX5BvGY

Published in Editorials

Danmarks Radio, host broadcaster of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just revealed the running order for the international competition taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Represented by Firelight and the song Coming Home, written by Richard Edwards Micallef, Malta will be opening the second semi-final on the 8th May 2014.

Prior to the announcement of the draw for the running order, Malta had never been given the opportunity to open the semi-final of such an illustrious show. At first glance, one might be shocked but personally I had a strong feeling that this could happen given the diversity of the genres that make up the first half of the second semi-final. Seventh in qualification with the bookies, Coming Home is facing a fate bestowed to the likes of Nije Ljubav Stvar, This is My Life, Run Away and Love In Rewind, all of which have successfully qualified to the final of the continental competition. 

01) Malta: Coming Home - Firelight

02) Israel: Same Heart - Mei Finegold

03) Norway: Silent Storm - Carl Espen

04) Georgia: Three Minutes to Earth - The Shin & Mariko

05) Poland: My Slowanie - Donatan & Cleo

06) Austria: Rise Like a Phoenix - Conchita Wurst

07) Lithuania: Attention - Vilija Mataciunaite

08) Finland: Something Better - Softengine

09) Ireland: Heartbeat - Can-Linn ft. Kasey Smith

10) Belarus: Cheesecake - Teo

11) FYR Macedonia: To The Sky - Tijana

12) Switzerland: Hunter of Stars - Sebalter

13) Greece: Rise Up - Freaky Fortune ft. RiskyKidd

14) Slovenia: Round and Round - Tinkara Kovac

15) Romania: Miracle - Paula & Ovi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QJFYvoYZ-s

It is quite interesting to denote that those entries which opened the second semi-final have proven to be much more successful than those opening the first semi-final. In the meantime, the situation in the first semi-final is even moreso intriguing especially with the first half of the show induated with ballads, despite that they try and preserve themselves as individualistic. Favourite to win the Eurovision Song Contest with odds shortening by the second, Armenia is set to open the first semi-final in a bizarre twist.

01) Armenia: You're Not Alone - Aram MP3

02) Latvia: Cake to Bake - Aarzemnieki

03) Estonia: Amazing - Tanja

04) Sweden: Undo - Sanna Nielsen

05) Iceland: No Prejudice - Pollaponk

06) Albania: One Night's Anger - Hersi

07) Russia: Shine - Tolmachevy Sisters

08) Azerbaijan: Start a Fire - Dilara Kazimova

09) Ukraine: Tick-Tock - Mariya Yaremchuk

10) Belgium: Mother - Axel Hirsoux

11) Moldova: Wild Soul - Cristina Scarlat

12) San Marino: Maybe (Forse) - Valentina Monetta

13) Portugal: Quero Ser Tua - Suzy

14) The Netherlands: Calm After the Storm - The Common Linnets

15) Montenegro: Moj Svijet - Sergej Cetkovic

16) Hungary: Running - Andras Kallay-Saunders

One has to remember that ten countries per semi-final will get through to the final show set for the 10th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark meaning that nine nations will be left out in the cold having not been selected amongst the best that the continent has to offer. In the final, the qualifiers will join entries from Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom and host country Denmark who have already been given an extremely late draw following a random draw. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ggv4LApQcY

Now that the National Final season is over, we can officially say that it’s time for the chosen artists to promote and try their hardest to showcase their entry and make their country proud. During the National Final season many fans had different opinions about the song that should of been chosen. Fan favorites sometimes triumphs the Juries perspective of which entry should be in Copenhagen and vice versa. With this said everyone has their own opinion, likes and dislikes but we are going to review three scandinavian gems which shone during their national finals but ultimately placed as the first runner up of the competition.

Norway: Linnea Dale - High Hopes

The last time norway won the Eurovision was back in 2009. In 2013 they made a huge stamp in the contest by placing in the top 5 but now Norway is buzzing being one of the big contenders to get the contest to Oslo. Silent Storm sung by Carl Espen won the nation’s trust but it was a huge challenge since Linnea Dale was another favourite to win MGP 2014. Carl’s entry is a great one but I prefer if Linnea was chosen. What can we say about her entry …. well! It’s so modern that  it would have shone in Copenhagen. One might say High Hopes resembles I feed You My Love because it is considered to be the same genre. 

Although she actually does nothing on stage except some hand movements, the song overpowers that fact and captures you in the moment. Dark sounds, vocally near perfect and simple staging …. elements that would do very well with the European audience. I am sure that this will be one of the summer hits over the Scandinavian region. On the night she dressed nothing to flashy. Linnea just showed off her vocal ability and her presence was enough to be one of the four super-finalists of the night. At the end Carl won the golden ticket but it wasn’t a landslide like last year’s winning national song. We still have yet to see Carl’s entry on the big stage and anything could actually happen but I would have predicted a close win or a top 3 with Linnea.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvdaI_wE0ds

Sweden: Ace Wilder - Busy Doin’ Nothin

Well what can I say about Ace. She stormed into Melodifestivalen like there was no tomorrow and made a huge impact. During the month of November/December, when the names were announced for the 2014 edition of Melodifestivalen, the odds on Ace were pretty much horrible. This was understandable since the entry wasn’t out for the public and nobody exactly knew much about Ace since she is kinda new to the solo music scene. Once the snippets were published, odds were still not favourable, but once she hit that stage everything changed. Calm and relaxed she performed her entry like she didn’t even care if she qualified or not but made the audience warm and crazy for her. 

After making it through the final directly, she straight away because a hot favourite to take the crown and fly off to Copenhagen. But she had a very tough opponent, Sanna Nielsen, seven time participant and was another hot favourite to win. During the final Ace won her toughest challenge, getting the juries on her side. Yes, the juries chose a funky and modern song but ultimately Sanna won the nation’s heart and triumphed over Ace with a very close margin of 12 points. Don’t get me wrong, Sanna’s entry is just pure brilliance and in-fact she is one of the big contenders to win in Denmark but I also believe that if Ace was chosen she too will have a top 3 result on her hands.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhi5lKqz1Wo

Denmark: Michael Rune feat. Natascha Bessez - Wanna Be Loved

Denmark is the host city of this year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and obviously expectations are high especially when watching the quality of their National Final this year. Unlike other years, their national final was quite weak and you could have handpicked the entries which would of done great to represent their country on ground soil this year. The Danish have chosen Basim with his entry Cliche Love Song to be their ambassador after fan favorite Wanna Be Loved lost in the final hurdle. The entry from Michael Rune feat. Natascha Bessez was a bit similar to Europe’s smash hit Mr. Saxobeat but their live performance had that Umph that would have done great on the Copenhagen Stage especially in the Euroclub. 

True that she dressed a bit similar to Cascada but Natascha oozed brilliance and the segments with the saxaphone were pure genius in this upbeat anthem one might say. Vocally it was strong, their presence was absolutely brilliant and although we still have no idea how this year’s contest will shape and due to the mediocre quality, I would say that this entry would have made it in the top 10 to say the least. At least one can head over to iTunes, purchase this tune and listen to it over and over during the summer months.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcOYN7kcxmY

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY-IdHKm9kU

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpE-UdD7_E8

In 2005, Helena Paparizou won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song My Number One on behalf of Greece, having already represented the nation in 2001 as part of the group Antique with the track Die For You. As another international competition beckons, Helena is hoping to represent Sweden this time round and complete a hat trick of participations. In support of her music career, her fans all over the world have created a forum where they could share their opinions and post comments in relation to the singer/songwriter.

Paparizou Forum can be access through www.paparizouforum.com and features news, discussions and projects in English with dedicated sections in Swedish and Spanish in order to meet the large fan base of Helena Paparizou. The extensive media archive is a great place for any fan or collector. There is also a wide range of other topics of discussion that are non-Helena related on the forum so there truly is something for everyone. Paparizou Forum is a place where you can make great friends from all around the world. The forum, initially created in 2006 has just undergone a massive revamp.

Helena Paparizou is currently busy preparing to make her debut in Melodifestivalen, where she is set to compete with Survivor co-written by Bobby Ljunggren, Henrik Wikstrom, Karl-Ola Jkellholm and Sharon Vaughn on the 1st February 2014. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about this years' selection in Sweden whilst we also urge you to follow the official facebook page of Helena Paparizou for more details about her current career, based in Sweden and managed by the Lionheart Music Group.

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnL9ifQkzUs 

SVT, public broadcaster in Sweden, responsible for the participation of the country at the Eurovision Song Conest has just unveiled the running order for next years’ edition of the Melodifestivalen which Christer Bjorkman, the Executive Producer has denoted as dramatic. Prior to the revelation of the official list of artists, songwriters and entries just a couple of weeks ago, there had been several rumours about the line-up.

In the meantime, as the running order of the show has now been officially made pubic, several readers of international fan-sites are seemingly trying to determine the final outcome of the entries considering that it has become somewhat of a custom for the most successful entries to be placed either as the first act or the last act within the semi-final stage. As a matter of fact, even the betting odds shifted ever so slightly earlier this morning.

Semi Final 1 -  Malmö (1st February)

To the End - YOHIO (Andreas Johnson, Johan Lyander, Peter Kvint, YOHIO)

Aleo - Mahan Moin (Mahan Moin, Anderz Wrethov)

Bröder - Linus Svenning (Fredrik Kempe)

Casanova - Elisa Lindström (Ingela Forsman, Bobby Ljunggren, Jimmy Jansson)

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

Songbird - Ellen Benediktson (Vaughn, Johan Fransson, Larsson, Tobias Lundgren)

Bygdens son - Sylvester Schlegel (Sylvester Schlegel)

Survivor - Helena Paparizou (Ljunggren, Wikström, Karl-Ola Kjellholm, Vaughn)

 

Semi Final 2 - Linköping (8th February)

Love Trigger - JEM (Thomas G:son, Peter Boström, Santos)

Hallelujah - The Refreshments* (Joakim Arnell)

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

Efter solsken - Panetoz (Hirvi, Mats Lie Skåre, Baheru, Njol Badjie, Badjie)

I Am Somebody - Pink Pistols (Törnqvist, Geli, Per Ivar Hed, Päivärinta, Bäckström)

Undo - Sanna Nielsen (Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Pirouzpanah)

Set Yourself Free - Little Great Things (Grönvall, Wernqvist, Felix Grönvall, Dahlström)

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

 

Semi Final 3 - Göteborg (15th February)

Echo - Outtrigger (Joy Deb, Linnéa Deb, Malmberg Hård Af Segerstad)

Red - EKO (Linnéa Deb, Joy Deb, Anna Lidman, Lundberg, Ottosson)

Yes We Can - Oscar Zia (Kempe, David Kreuger, Hamed “K-One” Pirouzpanah)

Burning Alive - Shirley Clamp (Ljunggren, Ubeda, Sharon Vaughn, Henrik Wikström)

All We Are - State of Drama (Werner, Sanken Sandqvist, Emil Gullhamn, Hallifax)

En enkel sång - CajsaStina Åkerström (CajsaStina Åkerström)

Busy Doin’ Nothin’ - Ace Wilder (Ace Wilder, Joy Deb, Linnéa Deb)

Around the World - dr. alban & Jessica Folcker (dr. alban, Jakke Erixson, Kjellholm)

 

Semi Final 4 - Örnsköldsvik (22nd February)

Blame It On The Disco - Alcazar (Kempe, Kreuger, Hamed “K-One” Pirouzpanah)

Fight Me If You Dare - I.D.A (Albin Nicklasson, Nicklas Laine, Louise Frick Sveen)

Hollow - Janet Leon (Karl-Ola Kjellholm, Jimmy Jansson, Louise Winter)

Raise Your Hands - Ammotrack (Kujansuu, Thomas Johansson, Kindbom, Mikael de Bruin)

Hela natten - Josef Johansson (Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, Josef Johansson, Peo Thyrén)

Ta mig - Linda Bengtzing (Nicke Borg, Jojo Borg Larsson)

En himmelsk sång - Ellinore Holmer (Holmer, Rosenberg, Schmalenbach, Sanner, Wikström, Aly)

Natural - Anton Ewald (John Lundvik)

Melodifestivalen, the selection process in Sweden is one of the most anticipated throughout the season, from several fans all across Europe for the simple reason that there is a certain aura surrounding the whole showcase from the hosts, to the staging and eventually the songs. According to Christer Bjorkman, the line-up includes six potential winners of the selection, with three of them having the potential to win the actual Eurovision Song Contest. At this years’ edition, Sweden were represented by Robin Stjernberg and his entry You. Despite garnering support from the juries, it did not pick up on public support and languished in a mid-table position. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: SVT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEVlK0dQ0Gc

SVT, the national broadcaster in Sweden, and responsible for the nations' participation at the Eurovision Song Contest organised a press conference yesterday afternoon in order to announce the names of the entries, songwriters and artists competing in the final 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 second list of artists revealed by Christer Bjorkman during a Press Conference. Whilst there are no names who have been to the Eurovision Song Contest in this list, there are a couple of fan favourites who have made the final cut including; Alcazar who managed to reach stardom status all over the continent with their song Crying at the Discotheque as well as Not a Sinner Nor a Saint which could have been a Swedish entry due to being in a former edition of Melodifestivalen. Other outstanding names are those of Shirley Clamp and Linda Bengtzing who are clearly set to be a treat to the fans in whatever genre they might represent.

Semi-Final 3 (Gothenburg)

All We Are - State of Drama (Werner / Sandqvist / Gullhamn / Hallifax)

Around the World - dr alban & Jessica Folcker (dr alban / Erizson / Kjellholm)

Burning Alive - Shirley Clamp (Ljunggren / Ubeda / Vaughn / Wikstrom)

Busy Doin' Nothin' - Ace Wilder (Wilder / Joy Deb / Linnea Deb)

Echo - Outtrigger (Joy Deb / Linnea Deb / Malmberg Hard af Segerstad)

En Enkel Sång - CajsaStina Åkerström (CajsaStina Åkerström)

Red - EKO (Linnea Deb / Joy Deb / Anna Lidman / Lundberg / Ottosson)

Yes We Can - Oscar Zia (Kempe / Kreuger / Pirouzpanah)

 

Semi-Final 4 (Örnsköldsvik)

Blame It On the Disco - Alcazar (Kempe / Kreuger / Pirouzpanah)

En Himmelsk Sång - Ellinore Holmer (Rosenberg / Sanner / Schmalenbach / Wikstrom / Aly)

Fight Me if You Dare - I.D.A (Albin Nicklasson / Laine / Frick Sveen)

Hela Natten - Josef Johansson (Bostrom / G:Son / Johansson / Thyren)

Hollow - Janet Leon (Kjellholm / Jansson / Winter)

Natural - Anton Ewald (John Ludvik)

Raise Your Hands - Ammotrack (Jari Kujansuu / Johnasson / Kindbom / de Bruin)

Ta Mig - Linda Bengtzing (Nicke Borg / Jojo Borg Larsson)

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 three (3) 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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwMevwVt7g4

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBUJ0u7ZVaE

Earlier this evening, all of the delegations participating in this years' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest were given a warm welcome during the Opening Party. Anastasiya Petryk, winner of last years' international showcase was a special guest during the event and following her performance, aided the hosts with the running order. Two countries were selected randomly as wildcards with the right to select their own place in the draw. The lucky countries were Georgia who selected to perform in slot number #9 and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia who decided on slot number #5, an uncanny choice.

Malta is returning to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest following a two year absence and Gaia Cauchi looked stunning during the ceremony in a beautiful red dress with a huge black bow on her head. It is important to denote that the young female vocalist is accompanied by songwriter and vocal coach, Gillian Attard as well as composer Elton Zarb and Head of Delegation, Anna Dalli. The Start, a magnificient ballad is one of the favourites to win and we hope that the late running order which Gaia randomly selected will reflect the performance on the night. It was a surprise to see the Mediterranean country return to the prestigious music event which is being organised in the city of Kiev. The government of Ukraine is working hard to ensure that the event is a major success and prove to the members of the European Broadcasting Union that the event is here to stay.

01. Sweden: Det är dit vi ska - Elias

02. Azerbaijan: Me and My Guitar - Rustam Karimov

03. Armenia: Choco Factory - Monika

04. San Marino: O-o-O Sole Intorno a Me - Michele Perniola

05. FYR Macedonia: Ohrid i Muzika - Barbara Papovic

06. Ukraine: We Are One - Sofia Tarasova

07. Belarus: Poy so Mnoy - Ilya Volkov

08. Moldova: Cum Să Fim - Rafael Bobeica

09. Georgia: Give Me Your Smile - The Smile Shop

10. The Netherlands: Double Me - Mylene and Roseanne

11. Malta: The Start - Gaia Cauchi

12. Russia: Mechtay - Dayana Kirillova

This years' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, is being staged in Kiev, Ukraine and will be aired in each of the twelve (12) participating countries. Malta will be broadcasting the competition on Television Malta 2 (TVM 2) as it kicks off at 19:00 CET. This is the first time that a major event is being shown on the secondary television station but it had to be the case due to the fact that the eight o'clock news bulletin, the main one could not be moved in any other way. The spokesperson on the night of the final will be none other than Maxine Pace, a two time former Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest finalists. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Junior Eurovision (official website)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7wjtE1VBQk

My Number One, performed by Helena Paparizou on behalf of Greece at the 2005 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was the outright winner, pushing Angel sung to perfection by Chiara for Malta into second place. The Greek/Swedish vocalist is hoping for a return to the elite competition by virtue of accepting a wildcard to perform at the 2014 edition of the Melodifestivalen with a song written by Bobby Ljunggren, Henrik Wikström and escflashmalta.com contributor Sharon Vaughn. The song, which is described as a catchy pop anthem will also be featuring on Paparizou's upcoming studio album which will be exclusively released from the Scandinavian market.

SVT, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest is currently lining up some astonishing acts for the competition including; Linda Bengtzing, Sanna Nielsen, Dr Alban and Yohio. The news was hinted by the tabloid Aftonbladet but our friends and colleagues from OIKOTIMES were in a position to confirm this news item. Former winners of the Eurovision Song Contest have had mixed fortunes upon their return to the competition as seen with Dana Internation with her entry Ding Dong which failed to reach the final in 2011. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Sweden's participation in the illustious event.

Source: Aftonbladet, Oikotimes.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2T6H2-9MZ0