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Saturday, 20 October 2012 00:55

Latvia: New Selection Process Unveiled

The millennium signified a host of brand new changes in the world of the Eurovision Song Contest noting that Stockholm boasted an incredible showcase of talent with the most imperious form of production available to mankind at that moment in time. During that year, Latvia decided to enter the fray therefore giving way for debut of yet another Baltic country joining the likes of Lithuania and Estonia respectively. Two years into their appearances, they finished as the winners thanks to Marie N and her entry I Wanna which beat 7th Wonder performed by Ira Losco on behalf of Malta into second place. Nevertheless, that would be their pinnacle thus far, only maintaining a top ten result, one other time thanks to Walters and Kazha with the track The War Is Not Over and failing to qualify for the past four years including earlier this year when Anmary performed her Beautiful Song in Baku, Azerbaijan. LTV announced the selection process for 2013, which will be involving a number of changes with the hope of regaining entry into the finals for the first time since 2008. 

The producer of the upcoming selection, Zita Kamisnka, has spoken very positively about the Latvian music industry and the record they boast in a number of international competitions 'Latvia has an incredible experience in singing festivals and events, and, to my mind, it is about time to transfer this feeling of togetherness and enthusiasm to popular music events as well. That is the main reason to change the format.' The brand new selection format will incorporate; two semi-final shows, each comprising of twelve songs each in which six songs from each will ultimately qualify to the final. The semi-final dates have been set for the 8th and 9th February whilst the final has been scheduled for the 16th February, always 2013 in the city of Ventspils, which has been a proud sponsor of the Eirodziesma event for quite some time. The changes in the selection format are set to emulate the idea brought forth by the Eesti Laul competition in Estonia and it is important to note that for the first time in quite a long time, foreign songwriters could submit entries as long as they are performed by artists who are either Latvian or reside in the country. The winner will ultimately be chosen through a 50% split in Jury and Tele-Voting. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com as we follow the road to who will succeed Anmary in Malmo, Sweden.

Source: LTV, Eurovision.tv


Sweden is currently in the process of preparing Europe for a grand spectacle according to various reports in the local media who have acknowledged that the specific team appointed to look after the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest are currently brainstorming and taking up decisions but nevertheless, the preparations for Melodifestivalen are also underway with the songs having been listened to by the respective juries and the names of the semi-finals to be revealed quite soon. In the meantime though, a second entrant by the name of Elin Petersson has been officially confirmed as making it through to the live stages of the competition having won the official online competition with the song Island which she wrote herself, something which Christer Bjorkman is apparently extremely proud of.

The top five results of the jury seemed to be quite unanimous because it seems that they had a strong positive feeling towards the vocals of Elin Petersson. In fact, Christer Bjorkman who is this years' producer of the Eurovision Song Contest knew that she would be the one. The idea behing having a public competition is to ensure that there is someone who is not backed up from a label with the ability to not only garner the exposure but to have a major experience in an event which is watched by thousands of people. The names of the rest of the semi-finals will be announced soon and it seems that there will be quite a couple of big surprises according to most of the Swedish tabloids with the possibility of two former winners of the Eurovision Song Contest fighting it out to represent Sweden on home soil following the Loreen victory with Euphoria. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Sweden in the coming days and weeks.

Source: SVT

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 23:36

Iceland: Record Number of Submissions Received

RÚV, the Icelandic broadcaster responsible for the participation of the nation in the Eurovision Song Contest has decided to keep the selection format as it has been in the past couple of years, bearing the title Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins and featuring a total of three semi-finals and then a final stage in which qualifiers from each evening would compete against each other. Since 2004, the year in which the semi-finals where introduced, the country has made it through to the final six out of nine times, and five of them come in a consecutive manner starting with Euroband and their entry This Is My Life in 2008 to this years' Never Forget performed by Greta Salome & Jonsi. It seems that there is renewed interest to go to the annual music event, maybe just for the fact that it will be closer to home than it has been in a very long time with Sweden hosting the event in the city of Malmo, which is very much on the outskirts of Denmark.

The amount of submissions received by the broadcaster is that of 240 in total with the submission deadline being at midnight on the 8th October 2012. There were a number of hopefuls queuing up quite late to make sure that their entries are put into the selection process which will now be analyzed internally by a panel of judges. It seems that the interest in each selection is higher this year noting that that even neighbouring country Denmark had a submission increase with Finland staying within the same numbers as they were last year. Quality is key and that is why, Sweden were not worried when they missed quite a good number from the previous year noting that a total of 2549 entries were submitted. It will be quite intriguing whether former representatives at the Eurovision Song Contest will be participating this year and whether each songwriter would have more than a song in the fold. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com in the coming weeks for more news about the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: RÚV


In the past couple of years, there has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Junior Eurovision Song Contest due to the fact that several countries were seeing it as a showcase in which expenditure was too demanding for the respective broadcasters hence why the number of participants has been going down year after year but nevertheless, the European Broadcasting Union appointed Sietse Bakker to help helm a supposed overhaul to the event with the possibly of getting some of the previous nations in the fray whilst managing to convince new ones to join the competition and submit interest to the event whose viewing figures have not been astonishing positive but neither have they been terribly negative, lying somewhere in between. This years' competition which is taking place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands features three brand new countries actually meaning that negotiations for the future of the competition are well working.

All of the three countries are also participants in the senior Eurovision Song Contest in fact, these being none other than Albania who just achieved their best result in the continental event, Azerbaijan who has just hosted the competition and three time winner Israel who always have a flair for promoting talent. There has also been a lot of talk with regards to the quality of the entries in the event, many stating that despite the additional resources pulled in to acquire three new countries, the quality has gone down a notch but nevertheless, do not fret because all of you will surely have a favourite in the bunch. During the official Heads of Delegation meeting held this morning were the draw for the running order took place, all of the songs were presented although Azerbaijan will need to be doing some editing to ensure that 75% of the lyrics are actually in Azeri and the rest could remain in English. This is the final running order and clicking on them will open the official preview videos as submitted to the European Broadcasting Union.

01. Belarus

02. Sweden

03. Azerbaijan

04. Belgium

05. Russia

06. Israel

07. Albania

08. Armenia

09. Ukraine

10. Georgia

11. Moldova

12. The Netherlands

Amongst the innovations that have been submitted and accepted it seems that there will be a thirteenth voter during the evening, made up of children, each representing a competing nation meaning that twelve children in total whose votes will be counted together to form a typical vote as submitted by each of the other countries. In the meantime, the split vote featuring 50% Jury and 50% Tele-Voting will also be in play as is the case for the senior Eurovision Song Contest. Last years' edition of the competition was won by Georgia with the track Candy Music which was performed by the group Candy whilst in second place was Rachel for The Netherlands who performed Teenager. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest updates from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 which despite the fact that Malta will not be competing, we will still be covering with the help of two guest commentators which will be revealed in due time on our Facebook Page

Source: Junior Eurovision Official Website

Spectacular does not even begin to describe the hype created with the annual Melodifestivalen noting that in recent years, the profile has risen due to the positive results that the Scandinavian country has enjoyed including a victory earlier this year thanks to Loreen and her entry Euphoria and also a second runner-up in the previous years thanks to Eric Saade and his track Popular. Whilst it seems that the interest has decreased in terms of submissions received, the quality might have reason sharply according to the popular Swedish tabloid; Aftonbladet which has gone on record stating that one of the entries submitted in the competition is co-written by none other than Carly Rae Jepsen who is currently topping charts all over the world with her single Call Me Maybe and also her debut studio album; Kiss

The experience of a songwriter is somewhat different but Carly Rae herself has gone on record stating that she loves to write tracks for herself and others and the fruit of this is surely started to show. The singer in question is Hilda Stenhalm, a young sixteen year old who has just had her big break on television, voicing the female roles for Disney Cartoons whilst also appearing a number of original shows in the vein that Eric Saade had done in the past. Nevertheless, her talent has been noticed by one of the most notable record labels in Sweden; Roxy Recordings which boasts the likes of former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Malena Ernman, Eric Saade and Melodifestivalen finalists; Agnes and Sarah Dawn Finer. It is yet unclear whether the song made it through to the final stages of Melodifestivalen but Christer Bjorkman would not miss such an opportunity to have such a star on one of the tracks in the competition which he has developed over the years. Stay tuned for all the latest news on escflashmalta.com in the coming days and weeks.

Source: Aftonbladet


Saturday, 13 October 2012 15:02

Ukraine: Regulations for Selection Published

Ukraine is known to be one of the most successful participating countries in the Eurovision Song Contest and this is surely due to the fact that they have always managed to get out of the semi-final and thus straight to the final where their results have been quite positive as well with half their appearances seeing them into the top ten. Nevertheless, it seems that Baku in Azerbaijan did not bring them too much luck because Gaitana and her track Be My Guest failed to get the people to rally behind her finishing in a disappointing fifteenth place in the final, and only managing that and qualification thanks to the jury with the public putting her in the bottom three in the semi-final. NTU, the Ukrainian broadcaster has just released the rules and regulations for 2013.

The Eurovision Song Contest will be moving into the city of Malmo found in Sweden and it has to be noted that NTU wishes to show that the country can be extremely transparent in their selection procedures and that is why, it has been revealed that everyone has to follow the rules set forth by the European Broadcasting Union including the age, which has to be sixteen by the day of the first semi-final, that the song has to be three minutes long and not released before the 1st September 2012. Interestingly enough, it seems that foreign songwriters will be able to submit tracks into the selection but the performers most likely will need to be Ukrainian still. All of the songs will need to be sent in by the 22nd December 2012 to NTU where twenty of them will be selected by an internal jury. The date for the national final has been set for the 16th February 2013 and the result will be decided through a jury and public vote respectively. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: NTU


Saturday, 06 October 2012 13:14

Sweden: Loreen Releases New Material

Loreen, the winner of the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is preparing the release of two new singles to the music industry, one entitled Crying Out Your Name written in a collaboration between Niklas Jarl, Ana Diaz and Moh Denebi, the first out of which is known for co-writing the Irish entry Waterline at this years' edition of the prestigious music event held in Baku, Azerbaijan; with the second one bearing the title My Heart if Refusing Me which was of course her Melodifestivalen entry in 2011 failing to make it through to the final stages of the Melodifestivalen despite being a huge fan favourite.

On Monday, 8th October, both singles will be released respectively to radio and also digital outlets in the Scandinavian countries for the latter and then in other European countries for the former. The album which has been given the name Heal will surely be one to watch out for in the coming weeks with Loreen working with some of the most prolific songwriters in Scandinavia to make sure that her sound remains authentic. The release date is planned for the 24th October through Warner Music Sweden. Following the huge success of Euphoria throughout the summer, there are a number of huge things expected for the shy and somewhat reserved Swedish performer. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Kurt Calleja alongside his band and also backing vocalist Amber did what many before him could not manage to achieve and that is make it to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest with his track This Is The Night which he co-wrote alongside Johan Jämtberg and Mikael Gunnerås, both hailing from Sweden which ended up being the winning nation of the event. It will not be an easy feat to follow for any artist who will be doing the honour for the country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea actually but then again, it will definitely not hurt to try because following the achievement of qualification, other artists might be hoping to do something better and that is acquire a better placing in the final round of the competition and it seems that the names or people preparing their respective material are now coming forward as the deadline draws to a close at the end of the month. The latest name for confirm to the escflashmalta.com editorial board that she will indeed submit a track in the hope of honouring her country is Marilena Gauci.

Marilena has quite the background in the local music industry having started out in an ample amount of junior competitions before finally representing the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 with The Young Talent Team and the track Power of a Song. The result might have not have been the one that everyone could have hoped for but the performance was strong and dynamic nevertheless. Marilena was one of the lead vocalists in the group alongside Charlotte DeBattista, the elder sister of local music star; Sophie. In the years to come, the blond haired performer; Marilena would continue to carve out a name for herself appearing in the Teenage Version of the Għanja tal-Poplu in 2007 with the track B'Fommu Sieket which she would go onto win before ultimately making her major international mark by virtue of winning in Alexandria, Egypt amongst a host of performers from all over the world.


In Malta though on the other hand, she made it into the finals of the Malta Hit Song Contest 2008 on ONE Television with the song One Goal. Following a slight break from music, she returned to huge success in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest of 2011 with the track He's A Demon featuring Michael, earning a positive response from the critics all round and leading the way to two consecutive final performances at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, first with Dil-Qalb Kbira and then Bl-Ikbar Serjeta finishing in fourth and second place respectively. Trying to enter the Malta Eurovision Song Contest for the second time will surely be a feat which she would like to achieve and whilst not confirming to escflashmalta.com the number of entries she will be submitting, we are pleased to know that she will be indeed giving it a shot once more because more she does indeed have the grace and the looks of a genuine pop star. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more exclusive news in the weeks to come.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Emil Calleja Bayliss (Image)


Published in Local Music News
Thursday, 04 October 2012 03:38

Switzerland: Notable Names Enter the Frame

Switzerland have become renowned for becoming the first nation to choose their respective track and performer for the annual Eurovision Song Contest since developing a national final in December back in 2011 which saw to the qualification of Anna Rossinelli with the song In Love for a While at the expense of Malta in the semi-final as well as a similar placing in 2012 when the group Sinplus performed the track Unbreakable finishing in eleventh place. In the past two years, there has been a lot of interest within the online platform where tracks from all over the world could be uploaded for public viewing ultimately leading to some being selected to make it through to the final stage of the competition held in Kreuzlingen, within the Bodensee Arena. This time round, it seems to be more of a case of quality rather than quantity though with the number picking up ever so slightly following an extension of the deadline. A total of seventy-five tracks are currently online with some more expected by tomorrow.

Last month it was reported that three time Eurovision Song Contest representative Constantinos Christoforou submitted a track in the hope of representing the small nation in the middle of the European continent which has managed to win the event just twice, the last coming at the hands of Celine Dion in 1988 with the track Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi. Nevertheless, there seems to be renowned interest from an upcoming star in the form of Jesse Ritch who despite being based in Germany is actually Swiss. The young performer most recently came to fame following his appearance on the German version of Idol known as Deutschland Sucht Den Superstar where he finished in third place, almost beating out the eventual winner in the semi-final, missing out by less than 1% according to the official figures released following the final. He has decided that the Eurovision Song Contest could be a massive platform for him and thus submitted his debut single Forever & a Day which you can listen to here.


Despite being a focus in the selection process due to the fact that he is just coming off a hit reality television series with declining viewing figures, it is to be noted that there is another act which deserves importance due to the fact that they have already tried their hand at going to the Eurovision Song Contest to represent another country other than their respective home nation. The group known as Man Meadow hail from Sweden but have entered the Polish selection on two occasions, the first time being in 2008 with the track Viva La Musica finishing in third place and the second time being in 2009 with the song Love is Gonna Get You finishing in sixth place missing out to the big voices brought forward by Isis Gee and Lidia Kopania respectively. They have also entered the online platform with a brand new song by the name How Does It Feel which you can judge for yourselves here. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from Malta and abroad as the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest proceedings officially kick off.

Source: SF


In these past couple of weeks, people have been treated to prerecorded shows of Radio International but then again, everyone is indeed entitled to a vacation especially when it comes to the summer season. Nevertheless, the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience continues this evening with the show returning on 106.4FM and Digital Cable 41 in The Netherlands whilst also being available as an audio or a video feed to an international audience through their official website. It is to be noted that the show will commence at 20:00 CET and will run until 23:00 CET respectively. One main highlight for this evening will surely be the inclusion of an interview with the 1997 winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Katrina Leskanich whom the team of Radio International recently met in Setubal, a city within Portugal. 

Love Shine a Light was a resounding winner of the Eurovision Song Contest when the event took place in Dublin, Ireland and the track remained one of the highest scoring in terms of points until more countries joined the competition in the following years. It had managed to garner a total of 227 points receiving the maximum points from no less than ten countries and creating a 70 point gap between it and the first runner-up. The programme in the meantime will be continuing with all of the latest news brought forward by our colleagues, escXtra with Luke Fisher called live on the show to discuss all of the latest news interrelated to the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which will be taking place in Malmo, Sweden following the victory of Loreen with the track Euphoria, a major hit in several European countries.


Sweden have had quite the history in the Eurovision Song Contest, having only failed to make it through to the final only once, that coming in 2010 when Anna Bergendahl had performed the track This Is My Life finishing in eleventh place. The Scandinavian country won the competition five times kicking off with ABBA's Waterloo in 1974, followed by The Herreys ten years later in 1984 with Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley. Then with Carola in 1991 when she won with Fangad Av En Stormvind before more success continued in 1999 as Charlotte took the honours with Take Me To Your Heaven and of course most recently in 2012 noting the Loreen victory with Euphoria. Apart from these successes, Sweden has managed to finish in the top ten on a large number of occasions becoming one of the most notable nations when it comes to the event.


One other thing which the people will surely enjoy is an interview with Samuel Bugia Garrido, a songwriter who was in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2012 with the track Still Waiting by Anna Azzopardi. He is organising this years' edition of the Home Composed Song Contest and will be speaking about the competition. Should you wish to submit your entries or have any queries, direct your emails This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline has been set for the 10th October 2012. Therefore, we would like to invite all of the escflashmalta.com readers to tune into the programme, submit their music requests, take part in the quiz and ultimately listen to the respective interviews which the team have carefully prepared in their comeback. Stay tuned for more of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Team of Radio International