August 22, 2019

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Good Evening! SVT, the host broadcaster of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest hosted all of the delegations present to an official welcome party last night where artists had the opportunity to meet their fans whilst wearing formal attire and strutting on the red carpet. 50% of the result will be decided thanks to a panel of international judges found in each respective country competing in this years' competition. This evenings' rehearsal is listed to commence at 21:00 CET and set to run for two hours until around 23:00 CET. For the first semi-final, there will also be three of the direct qualifiers casting their votes including Sweden, Italy and the United Kingdom respectively. escflashmalta.com in collaboration with Eurovision Ireland, escXtra and Radio International are bringing you all of the latest from the rehearsals.

escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest. As a matter of fact, stay tuned on our YouTube Page for all of the latest. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. Coverage of the first semi-final tomorrow eveing will be led by Emil Calleja Bayliss, Head of Communications for escflashmalta.com, Claudia Faniello who is a two time first runner-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest as well as Simon Casey, former runner-up in the You're a Star competition in Ireland who has sold hundreds and thousands of records during his time with Universal Music Ireland. The clips present in this article are the ones from the second technical rehearsals last week.

Opening

The show has just started. Euphoria, winning entry of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is currently being performed by a huge choir of kids who are definitely giving the track an edge. Loreen, one of most popular artists to win the competition in recent years is now on stage and she is helping out the kids with her vocals. This is coming across beautifully on screen and it seems that the audience is singing along with the children and the lady herself. The first test of this performance took place during the final of the Melodifestivalen and they just decided to amplify it for the Eurovision Song Contest. Petra Mede, the hostess for this years' competition is wearing a stunning purple gown as seen in the photograph above. It is important to note that the designer is none other than the notable Jean Paul Gautier.

Austria

The opening entry of the first semi-final is an extremely catchy track noting that the title, being Shine is repeated several times throughout the performance. Natalia is still wearing a white top and sparkly silvery trousers and is joined on stage by both female and male backing vocalists who come together in the form of a circle mid-way through and stay at it until the end. Natalia is definitely enjoying herself on stage and this sounds really strong. There are no pyrothechnics for this performance which is disappointed but this is not getting through to the final unfortunately because it is coming on way too early. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUQ55xhVx-Q

Estonia

Birgit got the opportunity to represent Estonia with the wrong song in my opinion noting that she had an amazing track a couple of years back. Nevertheless, the performance kicks off in black and white for the people watching on television. When the colour does indeed come on, it is shown that Birgit is actually wearing a long white dress in order to accomodate her growing belly due to the pregnancy. This is vocally strong once more, something that has never been an issue. This was a stunning rehearsal and the press are really enjoying this. I will go ahead and say that this will indeed qualify to the final based on a dark horse status. 

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

Slovenia

Hannah Mancini just canont sing and dance at the very same time, this has been a proven point throughout all of the rehearsals all week. As a matter of fact, when she did sing well back in Slovenia, she definitely was not dancing. The song itself is really strong but nevertheless, the vocals are just horrid this evening and this is definitely killing all of it's chances with the juries this evening. The public might go for it but it is definitely out of the running. Slovenia will not be qualifying to the final, and this is somewhat definite. It is quite disappointing as they did deserve qualification last year. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOd8ELe0vVU

Croatia

This is not the typical balkan entry but is kept extremely traditional. The group is clad in traditional costumes used by Knights in Croatia and this might be looking a tad too static although the focus is definitely on the vocals which have been superb in every rehearsal. This is definitely trumping Slovenia's chances even more but nevertheless, this is going to be one of the most critical parts of the draw and despite this coming across beautifully, I am not sure the public will be going for it and therefore, am going to call this a non-qualifier but I would extremely love it if it managed to get through. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekj3DiaSF0E

Denmark

Lise Cable, one of the most notable songwriters in Denmark is behind this entry, the favourite of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. This is coming relatively early in the running order but nevertheless, it is coming across well especially after the calm performance of Croatia. Emmelie is wearing a white dress, similar to the one used in the Melodi Grand Prix and which could be seen on the album cover. There are drummers and backing vocalists and it seems that this song in itself is a mixture of Fairytale and Euphoria. This is really strong vocally and thus sailing into the final but still not sure about this winning!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1d6fdP8qAE

Russia

This is the typical ballad given to the artist who ends up winning a talent show such as the X Factor. Dina Garipova, winner of The Voice in Russia is currently on stage in a pink/salmon dress and there seems to be a lot of support in the hall. On the stage, there are a number of balls, or somewhat huge lightbulbs. Four backing singers on stage, two of them male and two of them female and suddenly, the males have ballas which they throw into the audience. I am guessing that this is done for some sort of interaction. The idea of the balls is silly but this is definitely the typical Eurovision ballad by number and thus, will be qualifying with relative ease. 

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

Ukraine

Zlata Ognevich is currently being carried by an extremely large man who has been termed as the giant and what the artists tries to create is a fairytale. There is a lot of dry ice on stage and as soon as we get the first key change in the beginning, the lighting is transformed. She is joined on stage by four backing vocalists as well. Zlata is wearing the tight white dress that she has used for the earlier technical rehearsals. The vocals are beyond amazing and I daresay, that she is far stronger than Dina this evening. Zlata is impeccable but the idea of the giant is clearly putting people off. I think that this will be picking votes like Russia, and this will definitely head through to the final. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1OqIGpy7lw

The Netherlands

Anouk is represent a country which has not qualified to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in eight years and is definitely sounding really strong throughout the whole performance. She is joined on stage by three backing vocalists, two of which are females and another one being male. The whole set up is relatively dark but the idea was definitely well received. They wanted to create an intimate concept. In the backdrop there are also Birds flying upwards and this looks really great. Whoa! Anouk has brought her A-Game this evening and the curse of four qualifers in a row but well be broken tomorrow evening. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyTifbkd9OA

Montenegro

Ouch! The vocals in the beginning of the song were absolutely awful and that will cost them a couple of points. The hip/hop artists known as Who See are clad in astronauts and they come out of dry ice which seems to have garnered colouring. Nina Zizic definitely has improved her performance from the original notes and seems to be in good form at the moment. Montenegro have never qualified to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest and I thought that this could very much make it following the earlier rehearsal. I am less sure because not sure the juries will be going for this. This is not a qualifer in my books. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYdY0QEWrFc

Lithuania

This is not a typical single from an album of any musical artist noting that it somewhat falls in the category known as an album filler. Lithuania have somewhat never been expected to qualify in recent years despite the stunning performances on both counts but nevertheless, this is not really coming across well especially due to the fact that it is competing in the difficult semi-final. Andrius Pojavis just made two mistakes during the performance, both related to shots and that is definitely going to cost them some points. The vocals of both the lead and the backing are good but this song is just too average. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgU6DUhiS0c

Belarus

Alyona Lanskaya is still coming out of a glittery disco ball and she seems to wearing whatever was inside the ball considering she is clad in yet a glittery outfit. The choreography is definitely interesting and this type of performance will surely get the attention of the public. SVT, the broadcaster is seemingly having slight difficulties with the camera shots this evening considering that the shots this time round are also being a bit off course. The pyrotechnics though look stunning on screen and that will most likely help this uptempo number across the finish line. The vocals are good but they were much better during the afternoon rehearsal. This will be qualifying and taking Belarus through to the final for the third time. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxukN3qHffo

Moldova

The hairstyle for Aliona Moon is still weird but nevertheless, it is really attributed to the whole idea of the song being based on something out of this world. Aliona is clad in a huge white dress which changes colour according to the background. The vocals are good but I just cannot help feel that they could still be better. I am waiting to hear the high note and indeed, it comes and she does nail it this evening. The performance itself is based on the dress but nevertheless, there is a choreography going on as well and it is quite interesting. Moldova, you will be in the final and you will most likely be challenging the top five positions on the night of the final. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwX7vt7T9vA

Ireland

Ryan Dolan has definitely improved in the past couple of days noting that he has gone on from a marginal qualifier in my books to a definitely qualifier. This entry is an uptempo songs which follows a ballad as already been noted in the song before. Ryan Dolan is a newcomer to the Irish music scene and is seen on stage wearing a black outfit whilst keeping it casual. His dancers have been receiving a lot of publicity as they are good looking in the eyes of many whilst the female vocalists are a weak factor in the song as they cannot seem to get it together. Nevertheless, this is looking and sounding good for Ireland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4j9lph9xL0

Cyprus

Despina Olympiou is clad in a nude dress embroidered in black lace and the camera work for this one is just impeccable. Her interaction with the camera is coming across brilliantly and she is all alone on stage. The vocals are really strong and there is no fault in this performance. This badly needs to pick up votes from the jury this evening and I have picked it as a qualifier because it is far too beautiful. Wind machine towards the end of the song. The higher register is just brilliant and I have goosebumps. I must say that the vocal gymnastics towards the end could have been slightly better. It should qualify!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3P4iacfL1w

Belgium

Tedious! Roberto Bellarosa just cannot get a grip on this performance as his vocals are dropping notes all over the place at the moment. The backdrop with the title of the lyric is looking really good on the monitors. The juries will not be giving this song high points this evening because it is just going wrong and mid-way through the song, it seems that Roberto realises as he is picking up slightly. Ohh! he just removed his earpiece and that is definitely not a good sign. It seems that he has been encountering technical problems. Belgium looked better earlier but this is awful tonight and will not be getting thorugh to the final, definitely!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDXdNWG1WSI

Serbia

Prior to the performance, it seems that the general consensus is that this is a definite qualifier. Moje 3 are clad in outfits that resemble delicious desserts. The song is relatively original and something that has not been at the Eurovision Song Contest, at least in recent years. Serbia have been playing about with their representation. The vocals are really good this evening and somewhat better than they were in the afternoon but I am still not sure with the silly choreography. There are three backing vocalists, all female and they help support the girls. Nothing to add to this one except that it is indeed qualifying. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62IAI_KLJ8U

The Show (Part 2)

Petra Mede is back on stage and she is introducing the tele-voting porition of the competition before announcing to the public that out of the sixteen (16) entries performed, a total of ten (10) will be getting through to the final.  A recap of the songs is currently on screen as the public makes the decision. I believe that the definite non-qualifers will be Slovenia, Croatia and Lithuania whilst those being close but not making it will be Austria, Montenegro and Belgium. I think that the definite qualifers are Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Moldova and Denmark with those getting through after them are Ireland, The Netherlands, Cyprus, Belarus and Estonia

Seems like Belgium have requested a second performance due to technical issues and the European Broadcasting Union have accepted the request. This could make or break with the juries and could steal a spot from someone else, most likely Cyprus from my list! The interval act is first before the performance as music composed by Kleerup is being performed. Clips of the songs competing in the final are currently being shown following a script by Lynda Woodruf, a comical person played by Sarah Dawn Finer.

Good Afternoon! SVT, the host broadcaster of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest hosted all of the delegations present to an official welcome party last night where artists had the opportunity to meet their fans whilst wearing formal attire and strutting on the red carpet. This is an extremely important day considering that there will be two dress rehearsals taking place, the first one one commencing at 17:00 CET and set to run until at least 19:00 CET, bearing in mind that everything goes as supposedly. This will be important for the artists and their respective delegations in preparation for the evening dress rehearsal commencing at 21:00 CET which will be voted upon by the juries in the sixteen participating nations as well as Sweden, the United Kingdom and Italy. escflashmalta.com in collaboration with Eurovision Ireland, escXtra and Radio International are bringing you all of the latest from the rehearsals.

escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest. As a matter of fact, stay tuned on our YouTube Page for all of the latest. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. Coverage of the first semi-final tomorrow eveing will be led by Emil Calleja Bayliss, Head of Communications for escflashmalta.com, Claudia Faniello who is a two time first runner-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest as well as Simon Casey, former runner-up in the You're a Star competition in Ireland who has sold hundreds and thousands of records during his time with Universal Music Ireland. The clips present in this article are the ones from the second technical rehearsals last week.

Opening

Euphoria, winning entry of last years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is seemingly being transported across the continent in the opening sketch which is being shown by the broadcaster. Suddenly, we're in the inside of the arena, and there are a number of children on stage who are set to perform the song with Loreen set to follow in a couple of minutes. This is a brilliant verson of the song and was seen during the Melodifestivalen Final. It was well received and indeed, the people across Europe will enjoy it. Petra Mede is on stage following the performance and indeed, it seems that she has decided to go without any make-up on apart from the fact that she wearing what seems to be an extremely weird costume.

Austria

Natalia Kelly is clad in a white top and silvery trousers. She is clearly a stunning vocalist and the fact that she has been put on first is actually quite important because it seems that the public is warming up to it. There is a mixed reaction for this one from both the fans and the media because she has been performing it well. She is joined on stage by a number of backing vocalists who are also having a strong performance. At the moment, I just cannot see Austria getting through to the final unfortunately being unsuccessful for the second year running. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqfMf8smnCw

Estonia

Stunning! It starts off in a very monochrome sort of effect with the idea that this is back into the sixties especially due to the fact that it is in black and white. She is clad in a white outfit is attributed to her pregnancy extremely well. The vocals are just amazing this afternoon and I just cannot help think that this will surprise many by virtue of qualifying. The male backing vocalists are enjoying themselves and are performing brilliantly. The song is a bit bland but she definitely pushes it up the rankings system. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5OCKxCkRgs

Slovenia

Hannah Mancini was selected internally for this years' competition and it seems that the choice is somewhat received in a mixed manner. This is an extremely difficult song and she definitely cannot sing and dance at the same time. I have no clue how the juries will be ranking this tonight but nevertheless, this has to be one of the better performances from Hannah. Straight Into Love has an amazing choreography and this is coming across brilliantly on screens. Visually appealing but vocally disappointing especially towards the end of the performance and the bridge where she completely goes off key and shouts her way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib0oixkrPNI

Croatia

Klapa s Mora are the next act on stage and they are wearing traditional costumes which they have already stated to be outfits worn by Knights in Croatia. Another internal choice from the Balkan nation and this is definitely standing out after Slovenia. The vocals are strong and they cannot be overlooked by the juries this evening but I am not sure that the public will enjoy this as much especially after listening to Slovenia's last part of the song which was completely off key. Croatia are the dark horse and remain a marginal qualifier, especially if they managed to collect points from all across the balkan region if predicted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXA6hFXe82I

Denmark

Emmelie de Forest is still the outright favourite to triumph in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and as a matter of fact, she is clearly enjoying the status. Clad in a white flowing dress, she has decided to thump down the wind machine effect in order to have hair going everywhere during the performance. The vocals are really strong this afternoon and this is definitely making it through to the Saturday final and could very much finish in the top three but I am still not convinced that this will be the winner for some reason. It could be that I never really got into the full element of liking the song all that much.

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

Russia

Dina Garipova, winner of The Voice of Russia was clearly a smart choice especially considering the amount of votes that she received in the talent show. She has astonishing vocal capabilities which somewhat resemble the ones that Chiara, three time Eurovision Song Contest representative for Malta has. Dina is still wearing the pink/salmon lace embroidered outfit. Male and female backing vocalists all round to create a choir effect. This is really looking good on screens although, one has to denote that the meaning behind the use of the balls on stage is pretty much mis-understood. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8QthPkcJaI

Ukraine

A major prop from this performance is definitely the giant who is walking onto the stage with Zlata Ognevich in his arms. The female artist is joined on stage by two female and two male backing vocalists and this is actually looking pretty slick on cameras. This was definitely a wise decision in terms of attire, as she is wearing the white tight dress seen during the first technical rehearsal. I must say tthat this is sounding the best that it has been thus far. The higher vocal register sounds incredible and Ukraine is really giving me shivers this afternoon. Well Done! This could be the winner tomorrow night unless the giant completely ruins the performance in the eyes of the public.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNkwa5cYnkI

The Netherlands

Anouk, a true star from the music industry is taking to the stage for The Netherlands. She is wearing extremely casual clothing with a dark top and jeans which adds to the idea of an intimate performance. Anouk is a strong vocalist although this is not the best of performances in my opinion but it is definitely getting better. She is joined on stage by three backing vocalists, two of which are female and another one which is male. The bridge is absolutely wonderful and the majesticism of the music is wonderful. This is sailing through to the finals based on the votes of the juries and a decent tele-voting tomorrow night. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNczfF3YI7k

Montenegro

This has to be the first up-tempo song in an extremely long time. The running order has been adapted well to help Montenegro stand out and most likely see them through to the final for the very first time. The whole performance is definitely bordering on crazy but nevertheless, it does look visually amazing on screen. The fact of the matter remains that should there have been more up-tempo numbers in the competition. Nina Zizic is the best thing about the song in my opinion as she has attributed strong vocals to the songs. The rappers are wearing astronaut outfits and have a tendency to emerge out of the smoke. This is sounding really good!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFXfebu7RqY

Lithuania

Andrius Pojavis is in relatively casual clothing for this performance. This is one of the songs which will definitely not qualify for the final and is just making up for the numbers in the competition. Despite saying that, my foot is thumping along with it because it is slightly catchy but the draw is not helping and the fact that it is competing in the strong semi-final, isn't either. There are four backing vocalists who are somewhat choreographed. The vocals are really shaky this afternoon and it seems that he completely lost it. This is definitely bordering on the possibility of reaching last place unfortunately. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTra9YtkyTQ

Belarus

Alyona Lanskaya is nowhere to be seen but nevertheless, as soon as a disco ball is pushed onto the stage, she comes out of it and is set to give the audience the show of a lifetime especially following Lithuania which has not been receiving outstanding comments. The delegation has really put in a lot of effort for the performance and as a matter of fact, the choreography is coming across brilliantly from a visual perspective. Alyona is enjoying the performance and it seems that she will most likely be taking Belarus through to the final for the third year. At the end of the performance, there are pyros. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsYUy3JTIlg

Moldova

Aliona Moon was the favourite to represent Moldova during the national final especially having been a backing vocalist for Pasha Parfeny at last years' Eurovision Song Contest. The female artist is wearing a huge dress which changes colour according to the backdrop. This is actually one of the most intriguing performances on stage because she is coming across as extremely professional and living up to the artistry of the song itself. The vocals are relatively strong although one could easily note that she is holding back for the performance this evening which we remind you will be in front on the juries. Moldova will also be getting through though. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64uDp0oVLUE

Ireland

The stage is relatively dark in this performance noting that the backdrop being used is made up of symbols which correspond to Gaelic traditions. Ryan also keeps to the element of the song, one which is casual and fun at the very same time. The female vocalists are somewhat finding it difficult to stay in line with the track and it seems that this is an annual problem for Ireland. The vocal performance from Ryan is actually good considering that it has been having mixed reaction in recent days. I still believe that the uptempo track will get through to the final and continue the recent success of Ireland. 

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

Cyprus

Despina Olympiou is kicking off this performance in acapella form and sounds on form during the first dress rehearsal. She is wearing a long nude dress with black lace embodied around it. This is coming across as absolutely beautiful both in terms of vocals and presentation but one can also note that Despina is keeping back a tad slightly for tonight. Many people have discounted Cyprus across the past couple of months but nevertheless, I am almost sure that this will be picking up enough jury votes to get through to the final. The tele-voting could be detrimental but it should be mid-table on that count. Beautiful!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQt4KrlCESY

Belgium

Roberto Bellarosa was winner of The Voice of Belgium and I just cannot understand how that actually took place considering that the vocals are extremely disappointing especially when it comes to performing in English. Love Kills is a pop-infused entry which is getting applause today and that is because this has to be the best rehearsal thus far. I think this is very much a marginal qualifier and could make it through pertaining to how excited Roberto is on the night of the semi-final, tomorrow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvWB4qkDnFc

Serbia

Moje 3 will be the final act on stage tomorrow night and one cannot help but sing along to this track for the simple reason that it is extremely fun and catchy. The three ladies, all equally beautiful are enjoying this performance and the vocals have definitely continue to improve this afternoon. Serbia have an almost perfect record and this is definitely making it through to the final where they will most likely be managing a mid-table performance. This is definitely a strong end to the semi-final though and the audience in the hall is definitely loving it. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8LTA8_fWv8

The Show (Part 2)

The performances have officially come to an end, and Petra Mede is on stage to introduce the tele-voting portion of the competition which will amounting to 50% of the final result. The recap is kept in a standard format and it seems that the graphics are quite intriguing. Petra Mede is back on stage and she is hosting in English and French apart from throwing in a couple of Swedish phrases. It seems that the tele-voting time is going to close early for this afternoon and that means that the mock qualifers will be revealed releatively quickly. Before that though, there seem to be a couple of features supporting the Eurovision Song Contest. In the interval act, there is a sketch with Petra Mede included in all historic features as well as music which is performed through the medium of dance.

Good Morning! It seems that the host broadcaster is somewhat adapating the schedule to the artists considering that rehearsals will not be commencing prior to noon. All of the delegations are expected to arrive between today and tomorrow as the countries competing in the big five will be taking to the stage for their first rehearsal on Sunday. In the meantime, the press centre has also officially opened today and therefore, accredited individuals will definitely feel more at ease with familiar surroundings. The first two days of rehearsals saw everything move in a swift manner but there where a couple of technical issues during the second two days of rehearsals and as full run throughs start taking place, it is expected that odds and ends will be corrected even by the respective delegations. escflashmalta.com in collaboration with Eurovision Ireland, escXtra and Radio International are bringing you all of the latest from the rehearsals.

escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest and some of those uploaded include Gianluca from Malta and Farid Mammadova who will be representing Azerbaijan. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. Today, as already noted above will see to the beginning of a run-through for each semi-final. It is expected that rehearsals will be ending at around 21:00 CET with a number of interludes in between for lunch and dinner amongst others. The first semi-final is up today and that is the show taking place this Tuesday which will be covered on escflashmalta.com by Emil Calleja Bayliss, Head of Commications as well as Claudia Faniello, runner-up of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 and 2012 and Simon Casey, runner-up of the Irish final back in 2003 and successful recording artist in Ireland.

Press Conference

SVT, the host broadcaster in conjuction with the European Broadcasting Union held a press conference earlier this morning to welcome all of the media to this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. There were a number of questions addressed to the organisers of this years' event including with regards to the use of the press centre as from today and the possibility of any returning countries as from next year. In the meantime, Jan Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the European Broadcasting Union revealed that next years' edition of the international spectacle is set to take place on the 13th, 15th and 17th May pertaining to decisions taken up by the winning country.

Slovenia

Hannnah is clad in leather attire, and joined on stage by three male dancers and two female backing vocalists with a darkened backdrop resembling the one used in the preview video. The graphics as a matter of fact are kept extremely simple in order to keep the focus on the choreography and the singing, which frankly speaking should be distracted from. Mid-way through the performance, Hannah takes to the catwalk from where she performs the bridge of the song to a series of spotlights which light up the arena. Visually, this looks absolutely stunning but vocally, it is definitely in complete contrast. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib0oixkrPNI

Estonia

Whilst Slovenia is visually stunning, this entry is vocally stunning and one cannot help but enjoy listening to Birgit perform because there is something in her capabilities, an element that makes you want to listen to her even more. She is joined on stage by four male backing voclaists and the backdrop is mainly black with green diagrams, having additional gold ones for the chorus. The spotlights in the bridge do wonders and this is surely coming across really on the screens. This was a competent second rehearsal from Estonia but nevertheless, still remains a marginal qualifier due to coming on so early. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5OCKxCkRgs

Austria

Natalia Kelly is wearing a white top, silver like jeans and beautiful shoes to match the outfit accordingly. She is joined on stage by five backing vocalists who carry out a simple yet effective choreography. For most of the performance, the main stage is used but nevertheless, Natalia decides to strut a bit and with a wind machine in action, this does indeed look fantastic. The vocals whilst not flawless sound much better today and like Estonia which in the running order will actually come after it, this is still very marginal. The reason being that once more, this is an opening song and therefore, might be forgotten by the end unless it makes a real impact on the public. I have a sneaky feeling that the jury will love it though. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqfMf8smnCw

Croatia

One of the more traditional entries to compete in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is Croatia who have decided to send the genre known as Klapa. The most effective element in this song is surely the vocals which are perfect. The setting is extremely beautiful noting that int he background, there are stars and what seem to be resembling the Northern Lights. The clothing used is also traditional with the group saying that it is normally worn by Croatian knights. Technically speaking, the music is quite catchy, as in the beat and therefore, I believe that this one is throwing off three entries before hand. I am thinking that this one has just turned into a qualifer in favour of the others that preceded it. Well Done, Croatia!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXA6hFXe82I

Denmark

Ohh! Someone has been to the hairdresser it seems because the hair looks absolutely lovely this morning. Emmelie is clad in a white dress, the one used for her album cover and which has been specifically designed for the Eurovision Song Contest. There is a wind maching effect relatively early and this is proving problematic for her dress because it's going up a tad too much and causing the singer to worry. The staging for this one is not simple but kept the same as it was in the national final. Three backing vocals, two females and a male and two frummers, both male. The vocals are strong for most of the song but are sounding pretty strained towards the end. Still making the top three nevertheless!

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

Russia

Pristine Vocals! That's the first thing in mind when one watches Dina Garipova perform. The Russian singer is wearing what seems to be a pink/salmon type of gown which has a beautiful design but slightly off colour. The staging is kept well lit noting that in the backdrop there is a mixture of pink, and blue with white being somewhat predominant in the chorus. Mid-way through the song, Dina is joined on stage by four backing vocalists who have a simple choreography which is somewhat similar to the one used by Belarus back in 2010. It has also been reported that audience members will all be given a bracelet on arrival to the arean of Tuesday which will light up during the key change towards the end. This is looking beautiful and I would not discount Russia on winning this year!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8QthPkcJaI

Ukraine

Bizarre! These one word expressions tend to describe a whole performance especially when at the beginning of the song, there's a giant clad in Roger Pontare's clothing scheme from the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest who is manhandling Zlata onto the stage. The stage is lit in completely dark blue and there is dry ice across the whole stage. Zlata is wearing what seems to be a dress made up of three colours, blue, purple and red, a candidate for the Barbara Dex Award. In the beginning, backing vocalists are airlifted onto the stage with a dumb-waiter like system. The vocals are solid as they have always been and whilst this one will sail into the finals, the whole performance is just ridiculous. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNkwa5cYnkI

The Netherlands

Anouk commences her performances on what has been donned the satellite stage and there is a certain aura surrounding he performer noting that her facial expression is somewhat flirtacious at the beginning. The backdrop is just stunning featuring a dark sky which lights up quickly when the chorus kicks in. On the main stage, there are three backing vocalists whose harmonies are strictly on cue and definitely on key in every run. This atmopsheric ballad is definitely coming across well on screen and The Netherlands should be proud of having this as their entry whatever the result. Anouk keeps to her position throughout the song which might be seen static but goes on well with the song. She is clearly enjoying the rehearsals and why not when the simplicity of this is completely trouncing the mess coming from Ukraine. Beautiful!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNczfF3YI7k

Montenegro

Smoke! Who See come out of the smoke dressed in astronaut outfits and this is clearly going to look relatively mad following the performance of The Netherlands. Funnily enough, this is not even looking half as mad as Ukraine. Nina is somewhat in the background but her vocals are solid and definitely add to the hip/hop vibe of this entry. The backdrop is a mixture of green and yellow, somewhat modern and very appealing visually. Montenegro are always in a bit of a tussle but nevertheless, they somewhat surprise people each time and might succeed in qualification this year which would definitely alter their perception of the competition, slightly!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFXfebu7RqY

Lithuania

The first technical rehearsal for Lithuania was remarkably disappointing because it came across as too static especially considering that this is a competition which judges on several aspects. The stage is bathed in purple lights and Andrius is wearing a black leather jacket, black pants and a white shirt. The vocals are good but nothing extraordinary. I believe he has even altered the key in a couple of verses to make sure that all of the notes are reached. His eyes and hand movements are very innapropriate and he seems very uncomfortable. On stage, he has a number of backing vocalists, all of which are singing well but do not have a major role. Lithuania will be missing the final for the first time in three years following yet another disappointing rehearsal. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTra9YtkyTQ

Belarus

The noughties were known for these type of songs in the Eurovision Song Contest but it is remotely intriguing that they have never went out of fashion and tend to do relatively well. Alyona Lanskaya is definitely throwing everything including the kitchen sink into this performance considering that she comes out of a disco ball in the beginning and is then showered by an extraordinarily exhausting dance routine.She is as a matter of fact joined on stage by dancers and backing vocalists. The lighting is red, and yellow with some blue thrown in for contrast. The vocals are strong nevertheless, and this is definitely seemingly like a qualifier at the moment. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsYUy3JTIlg

Moldova

A star studded night is definitely the idea of the backdrop with stars and white bright lights being predominant in the performance. She is joined on stage by three dancers and a pianist although it is important to note that Pasha Parfeny is not making an appearance today. The dancers whilst not required for this entry are not distracting because the focus is definitely on the dress, one similar to Sabina Babayeva at last years' Eurovision Song Contest. It changes colour according to the feeling of the track. The vocals from Aliona was not good, or excellent but they are perfect! Many people have discussed the idea to turn to Romanian rather than stick in English and this does indeed add to the authenticity of the competition. Ohh Ohh, mid-way through the song she rises up and seems several feet high. Stunning!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cG-D8X2_xg

Ireland

Ryan Dolan is on stage for Ireland this is definitely his best day thus far since he has been chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest noting that the vocals are on point and the whole act is coming together quite nicely. The backdrop is featuring a number of symbols, all related to Irish tradition and could also be seen as tattoos on the dancers and drummers respective. The whole stage act looks really polished today and the backing vocals are well tuned to the rest of the song. Truth be told, I never thought that Ireland would qualify for this years' final but my perception has just changed drastically following this rehearsal. Well Done to all of the team for a sterling performance. 

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

Cyprus

A couple of years back, Malta had a couple of songs in the national selection which started acapella and they both were laid back and pretty much endearing. Cyprus is even more authentic for the simple reason that it is performed in Greek. Despina Olympiou is clad in a nude dress which is embroidered beautifully with lace. It suits her figure well and the look is just stunning. The backdrop is kept very simple with light blue throughout. It seems that she is harmonising slightly this evening and that is definitely positive because she adds more charm to the song. The vocals are just stunning today and the higher register is reached withou any issues. Perfect! With a late draw and the jury going for it, Cyprus are heading into the final!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQt4KrlCESY

Belgium

It is quite difficult to understand certain phrases when Roberto is definitely not a native speaker. Back to the stage though, it seems that the artist is overcoming his nerves. Clad in a dark suit, he is joined on stage by two female dancers and three backing vocals. All of them are somewhat enjoying this performance with the choreography being just enjoyable to watch. Like Malta, Belgium is making use of their song lyrics in the background and this is definitely a positive as they are blared out to the people. The bridge is coming across better and it seems that Roberto is feeling more confident. This is a very competent rehearsal from Belgium. I am still unsure whether this will be screaming out to reach the public and the jury but he is definitely doing his best. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvWB4qkDnFc

Serbia

Pop! The definition of this lies in the typical trash songs that come from girl-groups and Serbia have definitely gone for this type of number. The ladies are almost flirting with each other on stage in their weird colourful outfits. The staging is a mixture of pink and purple but definitely works with the whole setup. There atr three female backing vocalists on stage which are kept to the right hand side, when facing the audience. The choroegraphy of the girls is quite silly but nevertheless, this is is the closing number and people will enjoy finishing off with a thump. The vocals are much better today than they were during the first rehearsal. They are enjoying themselves on stage and therefore, that is the most important. Serbia are qualifying into the final with relative ease, possibly a top five finish in the semi-final. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8LTA8_fWv8

Rehearsals for this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest commenced on Monday and will be going through early next week including during the days where the semi-finals are planned.  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. Due to the fact that we are currently in Malmo, there won't be the typical music requests or interviews that we normally air.

In supporting the Eurovision Song Contest, Radio International will be airing a two week special entitled Eurovision 2013 Meets Eurovision 2013 which is basically as review of last years' entries in comparison to this years' entries. It will be the final way to familiarise yourselves with the songs that will be taking to the stage in less than a weeks time really. As rehearsals are currently ongoing, we would like you to follow all of the latest interviews through the official Youtube Channel of escflashmalta.com as well as following the coverage of all of the rehearsals as they unfold on stage. In this years' edition of the international spectacle, there are a total of thirty-nine (39) countries fighting for the right to host next years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Two semi-finals will see to the qualification of ten (10) songs each with those selected then performing alongside the Big Five and the host country within the final. We encourage you to stay logged on with escflashmalta.com as more news is uncovered.

Source: Press Release

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

Official rehearsals for this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest officially commenced yesterday but nevertheless, the very first confirmation of a nation for next year is coming from The Netherlands. There had been rumours that the nation might be taking a step back for the simple reason that the contract with currently broadcaster, TROS just came to an end with the internal selection of Anouk and the song Birds co-written with Tore Johansson and Martin Gjerstad.

Two of the main broadcasters in The Netherlands are joining forces under a new name, that of AvroTros in an effort to have fewer but bigger broadcasters. This idea was put forward by the Dutch government. Thus the current broadcasters for the Eurovision Song Contest and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be taking on the role of entering in the esteemed competition as from next year. This is definitely a bold move which is already going down well due to the fact that there is a lot of input for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest by Avro and thus they will surely do the same as they partake in the senior edition. 

There are several rumours over the selection format for The Netherlands for the upcoming year despite the fact that it has only been one day into the rehearsals thus far. The return of a Nationaal Songestival is very likely with a number of semi-finals and a final to pick the entry and the artist. The same set-up was set to be used this year but due to the public outcry to send Anouk to represent the nation, it was scrapped at the last minute. Birds, one of the favourites to qualify for the final and to reach a top ten position in this years' Eurovision Song Contest was rehearsed on the first day to huge applause from the press centre.  Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest as it unravels. 

Source: Nu.nl, eurovision.tv (image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evv2SXOOWWk

In the western music industry, it seems that one of the artists that will not require an introduction is Anouk from The Netherlands whose past success definitely precedes her especially in the pop/rock genre which is truly a safe haven. She will be representing her home country in a bid to take them back into the final for the very first since 2004, which was also the first year in which the semi-final system was introduced. Their entry entitled Without You performed by Re-Union had failed miserably within the final achieving one of the lower end results. Birds, the track that Anouk will be presenting to Europe on the night of the first semi-final is co-written with Martin Gjerstad and Tore Johansson is a melanchonic ballad which is being perceived as finishing in the top ten. 

Anouk is somewhat making a return to the music industry with her new album Sad Singalong Songs set for official release during the week of the Eurovision Song Contest under the Goldilox imprint. Birds, the first official single off the album is the most successful resounding track since 2009 when her track Woman managed to climb to number #3 in the Dutch Charts as opposed to #33 in the Belgian Charts. Her Eurovision entry has already hit number #2 in her home country as opposed to number #24 in Belgium. When one takes into account current sales through iTunes, Birds finds itself at number #24 in The Netherlands and number #75 in Sweden, therefore making it one of the most successful entries in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. Looking at the Betting Odds at the moment, it seems that the song is seen as a contender for top five with the current list seeming putting Denmark in first place, followed by Ukraine and Norway as the first and second runners-up and Russia and The Netherlands following closely behind. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: esctracker.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evv2SXOOWWk

Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals provided by Gianluca will be representing Malta at upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Prior to leaving for the Scandinavian country of Sweden which will be hosting the international spectacle, the Public Broadcasting Services has sent the performer on a promotional tour which has already taken him to Armenia, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary with a final visit to the United Kingdom planned over the course of the weekend. Every place which he has been invited has always led to a positive response thanks to a glowing smile and an always enthusiastic crowd which sings the song along with him.  

Rehearsals in the forthnight leading up to the international spectacle are always essential to try and get the mood of the public, the journalists who will be covering the show, including those who will be collaborating with escflashmalta.com to bring you exclusive features, interviews and press conferences. Tomorrow was the first choice of the jury and the second choice of the public and it seems that this was indeed, the best possible choice for success abroad considering that the betting odds are the most favourable they have been in an extremely long time placing Malta in seventeenth (17th) place from a total of thirty-nine (39) countries competing. In the respective semi-final, Malta is touted to finish in an astonishing sixth (6th) place which is resoundingly a strong position. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Gianluca and his participation on behalf of Malta.

Source: escflashmalta.com, esckaz.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuKFY4wBFKI

The first un-official rehearsal for the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest took place in the past couple of days as artists from all over the continent got together during the annual Eurovision In Concert held in The Netherlands. Final promotional tours are being held now as the date draws closer and as countries compete for what seems to be an extremely open edition of the international spectacle. 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.

The interviews in relation to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest have all been published and now with the Eurovision In Concert in tow, a series of new interviews with artists who were present will definitely be taking centre stage in the next couple of episodes. The team has planned a total of six for today, kicking things off with Ryan Dolan who will be representing Ireland in the first semi-final with his entry Only Love Survives. We had the opportunity to discuss several issues including his national final victory as well as his upcoming recording of the music video featuring a number of fans. It is quite intriguing that it is the only interview we chose for the first semi-final for this week but nevertheless, the others come from the second semi-final including Sopho & Nodi who will represent Georgia with their song Waterfall co-written by Thomas G:Son.They speak about their internal selection as well as their collaboration with the winning composer of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

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

Keeping in line with the second semi-final, one of the vocal powerhouses seems to very much belong to Moran Mazor who will be flying the flag for Israel as she performs Rak Bishvilo in Sweden. There has been a lot of media coverage surrounding this artist as of late regarding her choice of attire at the international spectacle with the broadcaster refusing to let renowned designer Galliano work on her dress. Marco Mengoni was one of the drawcards during the Eurovision In Concert and when he was relaxed, he definitely showed wearing tracksuits and baggy pants but nevertheless, always the gentleman, he dresses up for the occasions. We spoke to him about his victory during the Sanremo competition with L'Essenziale as well as his personal expectations of the international spectacle. Italy is one of the favourites in this years' competition and therefore, Marco whose album, #PRONTOACORRERE is currently number #1 in Italy will definitely be one of the artists to look out for during the forthnight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2C-ePvHfAs

Gerard Joling, who represented The Netherlands back in 1988 Eurovision Song Contest achieving ninth place with his entry Shangri-La was also around during the festivities and the team of Radio International wanted to get his opinion on this years' competition along with his thoughts on the Dutch entry which is being performed by the popular, Anouk. The final interview for this week comes with none other than Gianluca, who will be representing Malta in the second semi-final with the song Tomorrow, co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek. All of the latest 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. A spotlight on the Eurovision Song Contest will be switched on metaphorically of course by Chris Poppe as he chooses a topic for the week. Follow the show through the official website and also send your requests through the contact link which is found on the aforementioned website.

Source: Radio International

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

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 02:30

The Netherlands: Reviewing the track 'Birds'

escflashmalta.com has enlisted the aid of six professional music critics including producers, songwriters and even performers to pass their judgement on the songs which will be competing in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, The Netherlands will be performing in slot number eight (8) from the sixteen (16) entries which will be competing during the first semi-final. TROS, the broadcaster resposible for the participation of The Netherlands  in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Birds co-written between Tore Johansson, Martin Gjerstad and Anouk who will also be responsible for providing the vocals.

In 1997, Anouk Teeuwe stormed the Dutch musical world with her single Nobody’s Wife, an explosive rock anthem about independence that stayed high on the Dutch charts for weeks. Holland massively fell for Anouk's powerful, clear voice, and the expression with which she poured out her heart and soul. A rock star was born. The singer from The Hague, then 22 years old, was already well-known in Dutch musical circles. Two years before her big break, she was a student at the Rotterdam School of Music when she came into contact with Golden Earring singer Barry Hay, with whom she sang a few songs live at a festival in The Hague. He was so impressed with her singing that he offered to write material for her, which resulted in a first single: Mood Indigo. A little under a year later Nobody’s Wife was released and everyone in the Netherlands knew who Anouk was.

Now, sixteen years later, Anouk is still one of the most popular performing artists in the Netherlands. No less than seven of the eleven albums she released are high on the Dutch album chart, and thirteen singles made the top ten. Over the years she has received many awards, including an impressive nine Edisons (the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy). In 2001 she won the Pop Award, a prestigious Dutch annual music award that is presented to a performing artist who has made an important contribution to Dutch pop music, and both in 2005 and in 2006 she won an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Dutch Act. Between 1997 and 2011 Anouk released seven studio albums, resulting in dozens of hits. Initially, the wilful singer from The Hague was mostly known for her explosive rock songs like Nobody’s Wife and R U Kiddin’ Me, but she has also made small and fragile songs like Lost and Michel, and in later albums she has experimented with soul, funk, and hip-hop. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RaHTDNude4

But there is always that voice, like a recurrent theme - that voice that stands like a rock. The voice that can flatter, spit fire, touch your heart or blow you away. That is sometimes raw, and at other times fragile. Anouk's often painfully outspoken lyrics strike a chord in her fans, who identify with her personal stories. Anouk is internationally successful as well. Nobody’s Wife was a great hit in Norway and Sweden, and the singer scored a number one hit in Denmark with Lost. In Albania the single One Word ended up at the top of the chart. Anouk's albums are released in Belgium, Scandinavia, Israel, Turkey and Italy, and she works with reputable international names like Glen Ballard (producer for Michael Jackson, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion), Reggie Perry (Jay Z, John Legend), and Ryan Lesie (Mary J Blige).

In the olden days, The Netherlands was one of the countries which always performed well within the international spectacle taking into account every aspect of their participation and seeing them achieve four victories in total. The last unfortunately was thirty-eight (38) years ago when the group Teach-In reached the top of the table with the track Ding-A-Dong. Since the introduction of the semi-final system back in 2004, things have not been successful for the nation noting that whilst they managed to qualify on that occasion with the track Without You performed by the group Re-Union, they have not managed to do so once more. For this simple reason, they have changed their broadcaster and ultimately also their method of selection. Anouk has been a target for several years and she is hoping to take The Netherlands back into the final as well as the top five if possible.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 67%

Magnus Kaxe: Unusual song for Eurovsion. Lovely melody and lyrics with an amazing harmony progression.  To make the song shine it needs a great artist performance. And who could do it better than Anouk? Nobody. This is going to fly high like birds in the contest. Maybe all the way to number one.

Lina Eriksson: To be honest this wasn't what I expected when I learned Anouk was representing The Netherlands. A beautiful melancholic song but I don't think it'll work in the Eurovision Song Contest and this is on what I am basing my opinion.

Matt Mercieca (Muxu): She is so cool, I would love to hang out with her, her speaking voice and singing voice are so different, it sound like a movie soundtrack. I love this, it has an old school vibe, I don't know how eurovision fanatics will respond to it, but I Love it, its so quirky, and so different, I am definitely a fan, and hope this does well, but man I love it, its so different, not commercial at all, it sounds like a soundtrack, I love it, what the hell I am going to give it a 10, it gives me a good old school vibe and makes me happy.

Source: eurovision.tv

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

Published in Editorials

Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals provided by Gianluca will be performing in sixth position within the second semi-final of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmö, Sweden. This was decided by the producers of the international spectacle who are working in accordance with the European Broadcasting Union in order to ensure a stunning evening filled with original music representative of each country. 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.

Malta are yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest managing to finish in second place on two occasions, the first time in 2002 with Ira Losco and her entry 7th Wonder composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg as well as in 2005 with Chiara and her self-penned song Angel. Nevertheless, that does not mean that they are not putting their best efforts to work noting that this time round, they are seemingly giving the opportunity to Gianluca and his song Tomorrow as mentioned above. During the selection process, we had the opportunity to interview most of the finalists along with some of those who failed to make it through to the final. One of the former acts though were surely the group Scar who are well known in the country with a string of radio successes especially off their latest album, Breaking Radio Silence which included their award nominated track, White Lie. The interview with singer/songwriter Konrad Pule encompasses the past, present and the future. They competed with a track entitled Superstar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW2eku_BrnI

Portugal will not be taking part in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the broadcaster responsible for the participation, RTP caught in financial struggles and issues of privatisation but nevertheless, we expect them to return in due course. The country has never managed to finish on top of the leaderboard of the international spectacle and their last two participations were non-qualification attempts unfortunately. Filipa Sousa and her entry Vida Minha did not have the appropriate draw to carry her through to the final because the song was truly magical. We had the opportunity to speak to the former representative about her participation as well as her respective career at the moment. Nevertheless, this will not be the only interview from Portugal and this is due to the fact that we also had the chance to speak to one of the contenders in the 2012 national selection, Gerson Santos with his track Redescrobrir Portugal. Unfortunately the track was not well received and did not do well in the final, only managing one (1) point but nevertheless, that does not take away from the talents of any individual.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk5i7Hfyy3o

There will also be an interview with Rene Romkes, organiser of the Eurovision In Concert. Radio International is always keen to present songs during the show apart from the weekly features and therefore, collaborating the two ideas together will see the emergence of Eurovision UnverCover whereas tracks performed at the Eurovision Song Contest will be covered by other singers. The actual tracks will be played first followed by the cover and this will make things interesting. Apart from this feature, there will be new material played on the show by a number of former representatives including Lara Fabian. All of the latest 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. A round up of the current betting odds of this years' Eurovision Song Contest will be conducted by Alasdair Rendall. Follow the show through the official website and also send your requests through the contact link which is found on the aforementioned website.

Source: Radio International

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