September 17, 2019

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It has been over a month since the contest and the months that follow immediately after the contest are usually what one can refer to as “the quiet season”. Conchita has been well received all across the continent and has even made it to the Graham Norton How on BBC. A Eurovision first, I have yet to recall an instance where a Eurovision winner has been invited on a well established BBC production. The contest in Copenhagen was considered a success and I must admit it was very well hosted. The staging and production was first rate and will certainly be difficult for Austria to follow.

Anyhow, I wanted to have a look at what organisation has been going on over the past five weeks or so. No host city has yet been confirmed, but this is likely to happy towards the end of the year. From the looks of things there is certainly no shortage of interest in hosting the 60th anniversary of Eurovision. Nineteen countries have thus far confirmed their participation, including Cyprus after a one year absence. Slovakia, Monaco and Andorra being the only confirmed non-participants, but his is as expected. 

The rumours mill has yet to get started but nevertheless, it seems that Valentina Monetta will not be making a fourth consecutive appearance for the micro-state of San Marino with rumours circling that SMTV is in close contact with a male vocalist. It is also hoped that Turkey will make a return to the contest following a two-year absence. In Malta, there are several rumours going about that the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is set to be scrapped in favour of an internal selection with Ira Losco and Gianluca looking forward to getting the nod. This piece of news is yet to be confirmed.

All in all the 2015 contest is in the very early stages. The dates have been proposed as 12th 14th and 16th May 2015. The 2014 winner Conchita Wurst has also confirmed that she is interested in hosting the competition and given her excellent command of English this would appear to be an excellent choice. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2d4dCYLNUQ

Published in Editorials

escflashmalta.com was the first media outlet to promote the exhibition of Dario Bezzina and Kayley Cuschieri in Istanbul, Turkey as they were set to represent Malta in the Shining Star Festival taking place between the 5th and the 11th June. They have just returned from the competition achieving extremely positive results. It is worth noting first and foremost that both participated in different categories which pertained to age groups. The participation of both artists could have not been possible without the support of the World Association of Festival and Artists whose Chairman is none other than former Malta Eurovision Song Contest Chairman, Norman Hamilton.

During the competition in Istanbul, Turkey though the association was represented by secretary Robert Cefai who was also the Head of Delegation for Malta as well as Vice-President of the Jury. Kayley Cuschieri finished in the first runner-up position in her category which included artists between ten (10) and fourteen (14) years whilst Dario Bezzina finished in first place within his category which included artists between nineteen (19) and twenty-five (25). Whilst Dario performed Valentine Lost and Era Stupendo from the Eurovision Song Contest, Hayley chose classics in the form of Proud Mary and Think of Me. escflashmalta.com would like to congratulate both the artists for their successful participation and also encourage our readers to stay tuned for all of the latest news.

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d9k_MOyzVc

Published in Local Music News

Istanbul, Turkey will be hosting the Shining Star Festival starting as from next week featuring artists from all over the continent including Malta. As a matter of fact, the World Association of Artists and Festivals selected a male and a female from a different demographic to represent the nation in two categories. The chosen ones were none other than Dario Bezzina and Kayley Cuschieri. Both have experience in competitions, whether local and foreign and with a number of accolades to their name it made the selection slightly easier.

In the space of a couple of years, Dario Bezzina has made leaps in his career, reaching the final of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza on numerous occasions both a soloist and in duet with his sister, Grecia whilst also making the finals of L-Għanja tal-Poplu both as a songwriter and lead performer. In recent years, he was approached to do backing vocals during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest for Amber and Franklin Calleja. Dario Bezzina will be performing two covers in Turkey, both tracks from the Eurovision Song Contest, those being Valentine Lost (Iceland 2007) and Era Stupendo (Switzerland 2008) whilst Kayley Cushcieri will be performing notable songs including Proud Mary and Think of Me. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available. 

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGl7vtUnZf8

Published in Local Music News

The European Broadcasting Union is working round the clock in order to ensure that their predictions with regards to the amount of participating countries is still around the target that they had set earlier this year, which is that involving around thirty eight nations which just happens to be the current number of countries confirmed to take part in the event following the earlier withdrawals put forward by Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and followed by the decisions taken up today which will also see Turkey and Bosnia & Herzegovina not taking part in the esteemed competition due to completely different reasons. Both countries have been known to succeed at the Eurovision Song Contest with the latter in particular having a perfect qualification record since the semi-final system was introduced noting that the former only failed to quality on just one occasion since the same system came into effect.

Both announcements were somewhat unexpected especially that of Bosnia & Herzegovina who are definitely coming off what seems to be one of their most disappointing results with Korake Ti Znam performed by Maya Sar, achieving just fifty five points and eighteenth place after managing to finish in sixth place within the semi-final. BHRT noted that due to financial difficulties they would have to give the competition a miss and therefore, would be taking a year off with the strong possibility that they would be returning in the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest should the financial situation stabilize. Despite never winning the competition, they have been close on two occasions, the first time with Hari Mata Hari and his entry Lejla which was written by Zeljko Joksimovic in 2006 and the second would be a sixth place achieved by Dino Merlin in 2010 with the song Love In Rewind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81hIbZNoFU8

In the meantime, the second withdrawal of the day came about from Turkey who have been pretty much inconsistent in their line of thought as of late noting that their choice has been somewhat based on the fact that they do not believe the voting system to be fair with the reintroduction of the juries as well as the power that the big five have, which enables them to compete directly in the final. It seems that their somewhat lackluster result achieved in 2011 with the song Live It Up performed by Yuksek Sadakat is being blamed on this whilst noting that they failed to drum up the support they could for the seventh placed entry Love Me Back by Can Bonomo. Turkey did not do well with the jury, finishing in twenty second place whilst managing a fourth place in tele-voting. Therefore, they would like some issues to be addressed. Without both nations, there will surely be less diaspora voting though and this is a plus. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: BHRT, TRT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qa7_y21oOY

Sunday, 11 November 2012 13:16

Turkey: Artist Announcement is Imminent

Sertab Erener is known to the community of the Eurovision Song Contest as being the winner of the 2003 edition held in Riga, Latvia noting that her track Everyway That I Can managed to beat competition from the likes of Belgium and Russia, the latter whom were represented by the duo known as t.A.t.U whose fame at the time drew no boundaries and spearheaded most polls and betting odds. The reaction to her victory was huge and she managed to create a music career with hits spreading across the continent including into Switzerland, Russia, Belgium, Sweden and Greece. Nevertheless, success has followed the country since then with the only negative result coming in 2011 thanks to the group Yuksek Sadakat whose track Live It Up did not manage to make it through to the final stages of the competition. Earlier this year, the country returned back into the top ten with Can Bonomo and his song Love Me Back. It seems that another internal selection is on its way from the Turkish broadcaster; TRT.

Can Bonomo was the one who restored pride back for the nation in the competition but nevertheless, the broadcaster has decided to take up a different approach this time round by virtue of calling back successful former participants and people from the music industry who know a thing or two of how to create a hit in continental Europe and beyond if need be noting the representation of Sertab Erener and the lead singer of the MTV European Award Winners; maNga amongst others. Earlier this week, we spoke about the strong possibility that the representative in Malmo will be none other than Aynur Aydin but it seems that she is facing a strong contender in the vein of Işın Karaca who is a veteran of the Turkish music scene known for performing a number of Turkish ballads and also a current host of a television programme which is broadcast on TRT Muzik making her another front runner. The announcement is quite imminent and pundits say that it could come as close to this coming Friday therefore, one has to keep their eyes pealed open in order to see who will be following Anouk who was announced as the Dutch representative last month. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: escnation message board

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASWnq1O9H1A

Tuesday, 06 November 2012 01:55

Turkey: Aynur Aydin Emerges as Favourite

Turkey is not even close to being one of the more recent countries in the Eurovision Song Contest with a history which dates back to 1975 thus making their upcoming entry the thirty-fifth albeit, not in succession. It has to be noted that since the introduction of the semi-final format, qualification has always been close by with just one failure in six occasions, that coming back in 2011 when the group Yuksek Sadakat took to the stage with their entry Live It Up which was quite similar to the nations' previous effort the year before when they had managed to finish in the first runner-up position. There has been a lot of talk on whether the nation should continue to take part due to a number of elements but 2013 is a certainty at this stage and therefore, with the help of people in the Turkey music industry, a number of suggestions have been passed on forward as the involvement in the competition gains a pace.

It seems that despite the obvious choices which are seemingly becoming boring in terms of rumours, namely those involving the likes of TarkanAtiye and Murat Boz, there is one name which is receiving ample publicity and that is none other than Aynur Aydin. The young performer has been working on her debut album in the Scandinavian country of Sweden which will play host to the annual music event. The individuals that she has been working with including Tony Nilsson and singer/songwriter Darin have worked with some of the best people in the music industry including Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Anna Vissi and Jennifer Lopez. Public perception is always the key to success in the choice of a representative or an entry and it seems that TRT are taking that into consideration as they posted a status on their official social network page on Facebook asking 'Which Artist/Group should represent Turkey at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden?'.  The answers are diverse but certain names do tend to stick out more from the rest. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: TRT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ioj9JHVLCV0

Sunday, 12 August 2012 11:51

Turkey: Withdrawal on the Cards for TRT

Since 1995, one of the countries to have always competed in the Eurovision Song Contest has been none other than Turkey and it is also to be noted that since their victory back in 2003 brought about by Sertab Erener and her track Everyway That I Can, they have managed to finish in the top ten on six occasions, including earlier this year when they were represented by the charming Can Bonomo and his entry Love Me Back which ranked precisely in seventh place thanks to ample tele-voting. Nevertheless, it seems that they are not too content with recent results with the General Director of the Broadcaster, İbrahim Şahin going onto state that the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest is already decided months before the event takes place urging the European Broadcasting Union to discuss the current voting system which features 50% Jury and 50% Tele-Voting.

The same individual concerned spoke freely about the issue, going onto add that they had been thinking of withdrawing from this yeards' edition but considering that it was being hosted by neighbouring country Azerbaijan, they felt like they should take part with this ultimately being the best choice. In the meantime, it was also revealed that one of the nations' biggest exports, that being Tarkan continually declines the offer to represent Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest due tot he fact that he would like to be assured of victory, somewhat contradicting the element that they are fighting, which is corruption. This debacle might have just begun due to the fact that in 2011, the country failed to qualify to the finals of the event with the song Live It Up performed by Yüksek Sadakat even though, the majority of the people did not support the internal decision of the broadcaster which brought their respective tactics into question. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news concerning the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmo, Sweden.

Source: Haberturk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1viLmPCeAM

In the past couple of years there had been somewhat of a surge of winning countries from the western world but Azerbaijan decided to change that trend when they finished as the winners with the track Running Scared performed by Ell & Nikki but then again, it was not to last long noting that the results of the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest decided to crown Sweden with their entry Euphoria performed by Loreen meaning that for the third time in four years, a country from the western side of the continent will be hosting the annual event to the positive outcome of many who believe that things are somewhat more easily accessible when dealing with people who find it quite easier to speak in English with somewhat of a freehand but nevertheless, we will be taking a closer look at the results as announced by the respective spokespersons in each country.

This evening saw the Russian Grannies finish in second place despite the fact that in the past three years, the country has not managed a top ten despite many people noting that Russia is a country with a lot of neighbours and has always done well. The same goes for the second runner-up as Serbia's Zeljko Joksimovic along with his song Nije Ljubav Stvar managed to overcome recent history such as the non-qualification on 2009 and then the mid-table results of 2010 and 2011 noting that the ex-Yugoslavian block was not enough to garner them the required support which have been speaking about. One of the most interesting and unexpected results surely came from Albania whose Rona Nishliu and her powerful vocal rendition of Suus saw her finish in fifth place, the best ever result from the country following their seventh place as achieved by Anjeza Shanini during their debut way back in 2004 with the track The Image of You. The country had even failed to qualify last year despite sending forth one of their most popular performers. Other countries which managed to finish in the top ten for the first time in two years were none other than Turkey who were represented by Can Bonomo and his song Love Me Back and also Estonia with their entry Kuula performed by Ott Lepland. Both countries had done badly in 2011 with the latter finishing in last place and the former not even qualifying to the final for the very first time in a long time. One other country which had done badly in the past seven years but also returned to the top ten was Spain whose Pastora Soler finished in tenth place with the song Quedatè Conmingo (Stay With Me)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfo-8z86x80

Then there are those countries whose fortunes seemed to have vanished into thin air or either fell by the wayside despite being seen as possible winners supposedly. Amongst these were none other than Italy who seem to have placed the highest out of those songs which were tipped as the front runners this evening. Nina Zilli was representing the country with the song L'Amore è Femmina (Out of Love) and despite a masterful performance, she only managed ninth place despite being my personal favourite and also fourth with the bookmakers. Nevertheless, the biggest fail of the evening was the fifth place with the bookmakers being none other than the United Kingdom as Engelbert Humperdinck and his song Love Will Set You Free could only garner twelve points to finish in twenty-fifth position spared only by Norway whose Tooji could not manage to get the votes with only charm and looks for his performance of Stay. Another huge disappointment surely comes for Greece whose entrant Eleftheria Eleftheriou could only conjure seventeenth place for her rendition of Aphrodisiac meaning that the Hellas nation found their way out of the top ten for the first time since 2003 when Mando had performed the track Never Let You Go which had also finished in seventeenth position.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0kGpDEvtbQ

In the meantime, other countries entered the final for the very first time in years including none other than Malta whose Kurt Calleja and his band along with their track This Is The Night failed to enthrall Europe during the final with a performance that was not as ecstatic as it was during the semi-final which I rate as one of the best performances of our country since we started participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. There was a missing element in the performance and that showed quite a lot unfortunately because Kurt himself was not smiling and decided to change the notes near the end. Nevertheless, it was a proud moment to see Malta competing in the final and even better the result achieved by Chiara with What If We back in 2009 by a mere place and also ten points actually. Azerbaijan really fell in love with the Maltese entry this year noting their eight points. The FYR Macedonia also returned to the final for the very first since 2007 and it was quite a positive experience because their biggest star, Kaliopi reached twelfth place with Crno I Belo making it their most successful entry in the Eurovision Song Contest thus far tied with the result achieved by Elena Risteska for the beautiful entry Ninanajna way back in 2006.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUnEZp-qHxs

In the meantime, despite the very positive outcome of Sweden by virtue of now becoming the third tied country to win the most editions of the Eurovision Song Contest joining the United Kingdom and Luxembourg, the Scandinavian countries suffered one of the worst results in years unfortunately noting that Norway have continued to add to their tally of last place finishes as Tooji and his song Stay only managed to get seven points in total therefore making this their eleventh time to finish in last place. Denmark did not fare too much better actually noting that they had been in last place for quite some time but then somewhat managed to pick up twenty one points in order to finish in a relatively better twenty-third position having finished in fourth and fifth place in the past two years. We believe that Soluna Samay Should've Known Better than compete with such a song. Despite the hype, Iceland did not manage to do so well either failing to win enough points to improve on last years' result finishing in twentieth position with Never Forget performed by Greta Salome & Jonsi. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZaxIY1VAbM

Published in Editorials

The lead up to the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has surely been one of the most significant ones in recent years especially due to the fact that there is a lot of national interest with Malta competing in the finals for the very first time since 2009 when Chiara had taken to the stage for the third time leading her to achieve her lowest showing in the competition. Nevertheless, this evening might be about change because there has been a lot of talk in recent hours that Malta might actually be the country to look out for during the voting with betting odds shortening and improving putting up into a better mid-table position at this stage. At the end of the day, passing the first hurdle has already been a tough cookie to crack and tonight, we are sure that Kurt Calleja and the rest of his band will definitely give the best performances of their entry This Is The Night.

 

Good Evening Europe! Welcome to this years' Eurovision Song Contest brought to you from Baku, Azerbaijan. It has been quite an exhilarating competition this year noting that we have taken you throughout the two weeks with the best possible coverage noting that our team has always been on the alert to make sure that you are updated with the latest interviews, predictions and other tidbits. This evening is going to be special because escflashmalta.com will be leading you throughout the competition with four commentators, the first one being none other than former Junior Eurovision Song Contest representative Sophie who last year made her debut in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Swedish songwriter Magnus Kaxe who has written tracks for the likes of Celine Dion and Clay Aiken amongst others, Local recording artist and Bay Radio charting sensation Christabelle who has also tried to represent Malta in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in the past and of course, Marc Calleja Bayliss, our very own Chief Editor.

The Show (Part 1)

Many people are somewhat gasping at how good the opening of this years' Eurovision Song Contest it and it does feature a lot of traditional elements with drums, flutes and everything traditional and it is the strongest that this could actually be. Once more, we listen to the reigning winning entry of the Eurovision Song Contest as Ell & Nikki take to the stage with the song Running Scared. The female hosts are clad in white dresses and are on their own due to the fact that Ell had just been performed. In the meantime, a video clip of the arena being built is also being shown on screens. 

LIVE

United Kingdom

Sophie: A very simple song and performance! The style is a bit old fashioned for me, but I'm sure people will warm to it! It's a lovely little ballad, but will everyone remember it after 25 more songs, probably not.

Magnus Kaxe: Nice track and Engelbert sings really great! The chorus is amazing! Though the ending wasn't that good. But all in all, a good performance.

Christabelle: Not my fav song but my predictions are that he will do well because he has a huge fan base .. Love the melody of the song though.

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Engelbert Humperdinck is the first act of the evening and he is clad in black attire as he has been throughout all of the rehearsals this week. Despite his old age, he seems to be holding well onto his vocals singing clearly and distinctively/. He is joined on stage by a guitarist and also a couple who are dancing a mixture of waltz and ballet. I must say that I am impressed with his rendition this evening and the people are definitely enjoying this because they are really getting into the performance. Unfortunately I still cannot see this in the top ten because he murdered the song during the Jury Rehearsal and will definitely not hit the top ten but that was a good opener.

Hungary

Sophie: This song sounds like something I've heard before, It's not very original.. Could tonight be Hungary's night, I'm not too sure! Also the diction isn't very clear, would have liked to understand the words more, but at least it's in English!

Magnus Kaxe: Electro vibes - in my taste. :) Unfortunately the singers voice is a little bit weak. Power production, love the bass and kick drum. Good punch! One of my favourites.

Christabelle: Loved this song in the semifinal Aswell!!! Great interpretation but it's not a Eurovision song in my opinion but it's one great track still.

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Well there has been a change in costume from the semi-final with an orange and black leather jacket. This is the most modern track in the competition and would definitely be played on the radio wherever actually. The vocals today are unfortunately very much over the place and it seems that the dreaded number #2 position has hit once more. This was one of those songs that has been stated to have been saved by the jury but I must say that they might have not made the right choice. A very poor performance of what was in my opinion a very good song.

Albania

Sophie: Not too sure about the snake-like hair round her neck! This song is a bit too much for me, it starts off so lovely and peaceful and then goes down hill in the chorus as it's a bit too shouty for my liking! But most people think shouting is good singing, so this will probably do well, it's pretty memorable!

Magnus Kaxe: Cool singer. She reminds a littke bit of Björk. The song is beautiful and has advanced buildup. Demanding to sing. The melody range must at least over 2 and half octaves. The longer higher notes were unfortunately not that nice to hear...saldy enough.

Christabelle: What a great voice! I wish that I could understand what she s saying hehe but I guess I have to just look at her and her snake around her neck.

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Rona has to be one of the most decadent performers in this years' Eurovision Song Contest as she brings to the stage powerhouse vocals as she has always done within each and every performance. The early draw though is definitely not helping and I just cannot imagine this finishing in the top three even though she will most likely finish in the left hand side of the scoreboard. The stage is bathed in black, white and red for most of the performance and she has been saving up her voice as much as possible throughout the day to make sure that she gives a stellar performance. Well done Albania, you should be proud of that performance.

Lithuania

Sophie: A good vocal performance from Donny however he isn't as strong as he was in the semi-finals, he's actually going off pitch on a couple of notes! Very musical theatre in the beginning then changes to a more funky beat! Liked the song on the whole, however his nerves got the better of him.

Magnus Kaxe: This is just silly. Don't understand this ridiculous "song" at all. Love is blind and I wish I was deaf. At least for these three loooooooong boring minutes. Hope it gets zero points tonight.

Christabelle: What's up with the blind fold hehehe I know it's meant to be love is blind but hehe.. The song is quite good and he has a great voice ... The only thing I don't like about him are his dance moves hahha

Marc Calleja Bayliss: This had to be one of the surprise qualifiers during the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest and wearing a black suit with a white shirt and a black glittery blindfold, he takes to the stage and performs what seems to be a ballad earlier on but then mid-way through the performance he changed the tempo completely and turns this into a dance song. His beautiful eyes might be distracting for some but tonight I am definitely listening to his voice crack unfortunately which is quite disappointing. I do not think that this will do well this evening.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Sophie: Such a beautifully sung ballad by Maya, her voice is so pure and has a lovely tone to it! The setting on stage is also really outstanding! The only thing I don't like is that she stops playing the piano at the end however the piano in the track keeps going... But a good performance on the whole.

Magnus Kaxe: I love these kinds of songs. Not a typical Eurovision song. The arrangement and production is huge. She sings beautifully. Unfortunately I don't think the song will get that many votes tonight. I keep my fingers crossed that i will though! It deserves to be in the top ten. Easily.

Christabelle: Again I wish she was singing in English!!! She has such a beautiful voice :) loveee the dress!!! And her hair too! :) this is a great ballad! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Honestly enough, when this song was previewed for the very first time, I believe that it would be a contender for this years' competition but then again, things changed and this song somewhat became slightly boring at times and this is due to the fact that one cannot understand the lyrics. The stage is completely black in the beginning but changes to red and blue to show what seems to be a sunset like atmosphere. The vocal performance is stunning as always and the wind machine effect in the end is just beautiful. Could this surprise this evening or will it be forgotten? We will see!

Russia

Sophie: I absolutely adore these women, I'm not sure if the beginning is supposed to sound off tune, but makes the rest of the song seem even better! Such a feel good song and performance, I can't get over how cute they are! This will probably do really well.

Magnus Kaxe: In opposite to many I don't find this amusing at all. Suddenly there's a cirus on stage. It has nothing to do with talent or professionalism at all. The old women are cute. That's all.

Christabelle: So simple!! Love russia this year.. Their voices aren't as strong as the others but it is a really catchy song!!! I won't be surprised if this song will be the winner the nannas are too cute!! Party people, come on and dance!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: There we go, the first real contender for the evening is Russia as their lovely grannies take to the stage. The vocal performance does not really need to be flawless but I believe that they are doing the best that they can. The performance is just lovely and the colour scheme featuring blue, red, yellow and green looks so great on stage. The people in the hall have gone crazy and everyone is up on their seats and dancing away with the ladies. Mid-way through the song they just start mumbling in Russian and then, here come the freshly baked goods. This is just amazing and will be one of the songs to beat.

Iceland

Sophie: This is quite a strong song, however I feel that something is missing! Greta & Jonsi's harmonies are perfectly pitched, and I love the violin break, but the song doesn't really go anywhere, it just has a couple of nice moments, but that's it!

Magnus Kaxe: A touch of scandinavian and irish folk tune. Song sounds to be good song, especially the chours. But i'm not convinced by the singers and their perfomance. Boring. Easy to forget.

Christabelle: Loved their voices in the first semi final. Loving the fact that she uses the violin :)

Marc Calleja Bayliss: This is one of the most successful songs in Malta apparently being bought through the digital iTunes store and here they are this evening clad in black attire in a musical like atmosphere. It seems that Jonsi has managed to bring out the very best vocal this evening noting that the beginning was pitch perfect and then when Greta joins, it is just beautiful. I mean this melodramatic ballad has always been tipped to do well and I believe that Iceland will be making their return back into the top ten this year having last been there with Yohanna in 2009. Well done!

Cyprus

Sophie: Love the staging of this! The dancers are outstanding.. The vocal performance is really strong considering the amount of energy Ivi is putting into the dance movements! Such a typical infectious Eurovision song, very memorable, and energectic! I'll be surprised if this doesn't place high tonight.

Magnus Kaxe: Yeah! This is going to be the big summer hit this year! The beach bars in Malta and Ibiza will play thison repeat. Simple, effecient and a tempting sing-along chorus. On my personal top three list tonight!

Christabelle:  Cyprus was my favorite song from the first semi final . I think it's very similar to Greece though! Another Helena paparizou in my opinion but this is one of my favorites for sure!!! Such a catchy song too!!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: The beginning of the song is much better than it was during the semi-final and it seems that Ivi has patched up a lot of elements which were not working then to make them work this evening. The backdrop does feature a lot of architecture and the colour scheme is mostly blue, white and grey. The choreography for this one is just superb and one of the elements that she is mostly using is her sex appeal but mid-way through the performance she seems to have lost her voice but hey, she just starts to ramble something to get the people going. This is a good performance though and Cyprus might be getting their best result in ages because she also got a very huge applause. 

France

Sophie: Anggun's voice is a bit shakey, it's probably due to nerves, however she pulled it off nicely! Very original having gymnastics in the rountine, loved the costume too (maybe she should have covered her pants a bit more) hehe..

Magnus Kaxe: Whistle! Good song. Like the chord progression. Nice synth sounds with a 80's touch. Unfortunately too anonymous to make a lasting impression tonight. It's a tough competition!

Christabelle: Anngun has a very distinctive voice! She s 40 years old omg!!! I can't believe it what a great body! Love the whole concept of the song! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: The performance of France was always going to be extremely eye catching especially due to the fact that she is joined on stage by a pair of backing vocalists and also three gymnasts who carry out what seems to be a very elaborate choreography, maybe promoting the Olympics. Anggun in the meantime is wearing a silver, golden dress with a train and she is carried on the stage at times. Her vocals are flat almost through the performance and why has to remember that she is a star in her native Indonesia and adopted France. This will not do well this evening.

Italy

Sophie: Love the style of this song, you wouldn't expect this sort of song for the Italian entry.. But I think it will do well, just think she could have done with a couple of male dancers around her like on her music video and it would have made me love it even more.

Magnus Kaxe: Has Amy Winehouse risen from the dead? No, but her musical heritage has come alive again. Is it as as good as Amy? No... Good, but a really strange harmonic modulation from the verse into the chorus. But I believe is going to well tonight. In its own genre it stands out. People will notice. And remember when the recap of all the tracks comes. I believe it's going to be in the top five.

Christabelle: What a fantastic song!!! Italians never disappoint!!! Great jazz tune!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Well Nina Zilli is definitely rocking the stage this evening with a beautiful silver dress and that Ammy Winehouse type of hairstyle. The mixture of English and Italian does work well and she is definitely toying with the track at times in order to show just how strong she is vocally. She is joined on stage by three backing vocalists who just carry out their part exceptionally well. This is just an incredible performance and I do still believe that Italy can pull off the victory this evening. She interacts with the crowd well, what a performance!

Estonia

Sophie: Wish I could understand the words to this song, I would imagine it to be a love song! The vocal delivery is really good and strong. Very simple staging, but a song as strong as this doesn't need anything fancy going on.. Hope it is memorable enough for people to vote for after they've heard all the songs!

Magnus Kaxe: So what's the name is song? Yes I heard it. Approx a million times. Kula kula kula kula. Nicely written tune. But so so so so slooooooooow.... No. Doesn't work for me.

Christabelle: Great voice!!! but all I can understand is Kuula :) and he's easy on the eye too!! Such a simple performance just showcasing his wonderful voice.. I wonder what kula means in his language 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Time and time again, I have said that this is the performance that I voted for within our semi-final and I have maintained my stance that it is a beautiful entry, a charming ballad which is performed extremely well by a performer who is well known in his native country. He is still clad in the same outfit he had during the semi-final and of course, the complimentary vocals of the backing is just stunning. He is definitely enjoying this performance on stage and will most likely see a lot of votes from the jury coming forward this evening. I am not sure this will appeal to the tele-voters though.  

Norway

Sophie: Such a great, catchy song! Makes me want to get up and dance along, the whole thing is staged perfectly! He's a very good mover and keeps his vocal at a good level while bouncing around the stage. Hope this one does well!

Magnus Kaxe: Wow is Eric Saade back for Sweden this year again?! No, it's a Norwegian copycat. Tooji. Trying to be modern with a Ben Benessi synth sound. And some arabic rymth sounds. But this was modern...five years ago. The chorus is simple and Simplicity is good if it's done in a good way. But this is not good. But the dancing is tempting and the track will probably get a lot votes tonight. But not from me.

Christabelle: Stay Norway !!! How cool !!! He doesn't have an amazing voice but wow what a performance and what confidence on stage! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: So you think you can sing? I am not so sure because Tooji is definitely not performing well this evening starting off on a very bad note and does not really recover. The colour scheme is a mixture of orange, red and yellow and this does look very well on the cameras. He is joined on stage by four dancers, two of which are male and two of which are female. The choreography is extremely tight and does look very good on the screens but many people are comparing the song to the one of Sweden last year. The difference is that he could actually perform well! Quite the disappointing performance on the whole. 

Azerbaijan

Sophie: Wow! What a strong ballad, Sabina has such a great voice.. Her diction isn't perfect, but that's understandable as English is probably not her first language! I think this would have been better without backing vocals, frankly she didn't really need them! Staging was beautiful!

Magnus Kaxe: Love the the piano arpeggio in the background. Predictable song that definately won't give Azerbajan a victory this year. But maybe that's the purpose - not too win. It's a very expensive happening to arrange for the winner country.

Christabelle: Sabina is one beautiful girl! She has a beautiful voice!!! And wow look at her dress !! She really deserves to be there she has the whole package! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Azerbaijan are hosting this years' edition and they will surely be receiving a lot of support this evening because Sabina Babayeva who is clad in a beautiful outfit which changes colour according to the backdrop is joined by a well known Azeri performer and also three backing vocalists. She is performing a very melodramatic ballad which will surely go down well across the board with a number of countries. This is just a beautiful performance and I am almost convinced that this will make the top give this evening. Huge applause in the hall and it seems that everyone is enjoying this entry. A huge well done to Azerbaijan for this evenings' showcase and for this performance. 

Romania

Sophie: I love this song! It's so catchy and fun! Love the 'band' in white, they make the song so lively! Mandinga's vocals are much better tonight, this song reminds me of Shakira's 'Waka Waka' song, in a good way! I really hope people love this song as much as I do, and vote for it..

Magnus Kaxe: Next summer hit makes an entrance. Love the beat. Accordion used in a clever way Chorus fits well with the production. This is going to one of the top tracks tonight.

Christabelle: Loving the fact that she included orange in her colour scheme! In the semi final she had some technical difficulties so she was playing with her microphone and ear set but she makes up for it with such a great Eurovision song!! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Huge applause from the crowd for Romania as Elena Ionescu takes to the stage clad in a short red dress with just minor black touches. She is joined on stage by the rest of the members of the group Mandinga and is clearly enjoying her performance but it seems that this has not been her week following trouble with her earpiece during the first semi-final and then also forgetting a line during the jury dress rehearsal. This evening despite trying to give her all, I believe that the vocals were very much off key throughout most of the performance and what is really making this song special is the backdrop and the shots. I still believe that they could scrape a top ten performance though. 

Denmark

Sophie: Love the style of this song, it's not very Eurovision, so I'm doubtful how well it will do! It's a very pleasant song, and quite catchy too.. I remembered it from the semi-finals, so that's a good thing.

Magnus Kaxe: The singer reminds a little bit of Alanis Morisette. Though the song isn't even close to be an Alanis track. Though it doesn't mean that this is bad. Effecient chorus. Though I would love to have heard more varity in the song composition and production. Becomes boring after a while.

Christabelle: She is so cool!!!! Love the sailor hat!!! And she is an inspiration to all her country ... I love her and her unique voice! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Soluna Samay is back on stage and this was also one of the acts which was very much successful with the Maltese followers noting that it managed to climb up to number #3 in the local iTunes charts. The track in itself is very middle of the road as has been quite successful for Denmark in recent years but I do not believe that this track will really be setting the scoreboard on fire as they have done in the past two years. It seems that Soluna Samay also started on a very bad note by being out of breathe and it has not improved actually.

Greece

Sophie: Another high enegry performance, don't really understand what message this song is trying to put across, and the singer is a bit over the top with her movements and facial expressions, but otherwise I quite like it! Another catchy one, should do well.

Magnus Kaxe: A typical song from Greece. Heard it thousand times before. In comperence to similar tracks from Romania and Cyprus this is falls out of my interest. And the singers don't manage to sing it...mostly out of tune.

Christabelle: She's making all the boys go crazy no wonder everyone is saying what a gorgeous figure she has! Greece always send fantastic songs to the final :) great tune! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: I must say that the traditional Greek element in the beginning is still just wonderful and clad in the same white, red, and black sparkling dress which does wonders for her body, she performs the song with some style. There had been talk that she could not really carry this song live but it seems that despite having much stronger vocals, she is still using her sex appeal to get some more extra votes. The choreography is very traditional and they have really thrown everything into this performance. Greece will have yet another top ten result at the end of the evening.

Sweden

Sophie: This is one of the favourites, you can tell by the reaction of the audience! I love the song, it's quite 'David Guetta' style. What's interesting is that you would expect a completely different performance to what Loreen is giving, but it totally works... It's very out of the ordinary, love it!

Magnus Kaxe: Now it's time for my native country Sweden! This is by far the best track has sent to Eurovision in years! This is suggestive, tempting and sensual at the same time. Ok, I'm Swedish but this is my favourite track this year. By far. I hope the rest of Europe sees the same what I'm seeing. And hearing.

Christabelle: I have no words for the Swedish song except Simply AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: The strobe lights in the beginning of the performance are still there and what a beautiful start by Loreen who performs this pop/dance number to the best possible this evening. The backdrop for this one is kept completely black actually with the lighting being a mixture of purple and blue. I must say that she has gone from strength to strength during the rehearsals but this evening is definitely her best performance to date. Vocally, she is just brilliant and I believe that this will be the song to beat this evening especially after such an an exceptional performance.

Turkey

Sophie: This is a very different song, do not know how well it will be recieved. Personally it's not really for me, but that's just my opinion! He looks like quite a fun guy, and his personality comes out through his performance, but that's as far as it goes!

Magnus Kaxe: Now we are sailing out on the seven seas. Silly stage show. I like the balkan beat and vibe of the track but the guy sings with terrible English pronunciation. And what a vibrato he has! Though the audience seems to be cheering a lot. Maybe they see and hear something I'm missing.

Christabelle: Not my fav but everyone loves it ! I love the pirate theme and the song is catchy but not my fav.. He's a fantastic performer though!!! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Huge applause from the people in hall as expected considering that Turkey and Azerbaijan are very close neighbours. Can Bonomo is wearing a leather jacket, a striped shirt and matching pants. He is joined on stage by a set of men who are clad very similar to him. The backdrop is one of the most intriguing featuring a cartoon based seascape. The vocals this evening are as good as they have been all week and the choreography is exceptionally strong but what makes this song special is the very endearing camera work which seems to have been personally tailored very closely. This will be one of the tracks to look out for this evening and will surprise. 

Spain

Sophie: Another strong ballad! Love the dress, not too sure on the harsh eye make up and pulled back hair, it's a bit too much for such a pure song! Would love to hear the English version, as I would be able to connect with it much more, but this song builds nicely to a great climax at the end. Should do very well!

Magnus Kaxe: So what has happened? This sounds amazing! So beautiful! Builds slowly and majestic in background. The spanish words sings great with the Celine Dion-ish melody.Together with Serbia and Bosnia this is the best ballads this year. Top five!

Christabelle:  What a goddess!!! Her voice is simply amazing and I love this song!! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Pastora Soler is clad in a white floor length gown and she is wearing her hair in an up style. She decides to front the stage on her own this evening or rather during the beginning of the song. This is a beautiful ballad which has been getting a lot of attention in the past couple of days. The staging of the song is kept rather simple with simple blue lighting in terms of spotlights on the performance. The vocals are just stunning and despite the reports that she has been asked not to win this years' competition,  it seems that she might actually do especially considering that she gave two great performances both this evening and also last night. She is joined by a choir of backing vocals towards the end of the performance this might just be the one to beat.

Germany

Sophie: Love this one! Roman delivers this song perfectly, it's got 'Cold Play' written all over it! Really suits his voice, one of my favourites..

Magnus Kaxe: Time for the country where I'm living for the moment. Germany! First of all - lose that hat! A Ronan Keating look-a-like. A typical british song that works well on radio. Unfortunately I've heard it a million times before and this version is not one of the best.

Christabelle: Germany!!! One of the top contenders this year! Stunning man stunning voice excellent song! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Roman Lob looks very much like a bad boy actually with that tattoo on his chest and he is as always clad in casual attire and also a hat which has become somewhat his signature. The vocals this evening are off key almost at the very start and this is quite a disappointing performance from someone who had been receiving a lot of attention in the lead up to tonight. The staging is also kept very simple throughout with just a band present on stage but then again the lights are just wonderful and he does interact well with the camera-work. He does manage to pick it up near the end though and it seems that it could actually do well tonight. I do have a clue.

Malta

 

Sophie: Great performance by Kurt and the Malta crew, lots of energy and really got the crowd going! Not sure if he should have changed his improvisation at the end, prefered it on the semi-finals.. So happy to finally have Malta back in the final! Great job guys!

Magnus Kaxe: You have a really good song this! Kurt makes a great job with his charisma, great vocals and funny, tempting dance. :) I keeping my fingers crossed! Should be in the  top ten.

Christabelle: This was another great performance from Kurt and his team! Well Done!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: There has been a lot of buzz for the Maltese entry in the past couple of hours actually and it seems that this is a dark horse to do well this evening with a thumping beat which clearly makes Germany forgettable. It seems that he has decided to change a number of aspects in the vocal performance including the falsetto which has vanished during the performance. One has to add that it was a good performance but I believe that he could have even done better but nevertheless, that was just amazing and it is great to have Malta back in the finals. 

FYR Macedonia

Sophie: This a rather random song, featuring lots of different styles! Although it is placed towards the end I don't think it's got that special something to urge people to vote for it. Not for me I'm afraid

Magnus Kaxe: Great song. But I have a really hard time to hear it beacause of the bad vocals. And the production is terrible. Can't believe this made it to the finals! Just as Lithuania this should  have zero points.

Christabelle: At first I thought she was hoarse but now I realized that she has such a unique voice!!! Such a cool tone in her voice!! And I love the song too.

Marc Calleja Bayliss: This was a remarkable performance from Kaliopi this evening because she used heart and emotion to make sure that FYR Macedonia would get hear and made sure to impress her country once more this evening. 

Ireland

Sophie: Aaaah Jedward! Didn't like these boys to begin with but they've grown on me, and I love them now! Such a fun song, another catchy one! Love the fountain, and the ending is awesome! Their energy and movements are amazing, loved their performance.. Well done boys!

Magnus Kaxe: Typicalwritten  song from Sweden that you could hear ten years ago. Predictable and  boring. Last years' song was much better!

Christabelle: They're great performance, their voices aren't so strong but love the song and the whole staging and concept!! I can't believe they wet their hair!

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Jedward have already represented Ireland last year where they managed to achieve to achieve a very strong position by managing eighth place. This year, they have decided to return with a fountain on stage and an even stronger song. It seems that they have decided to drop their entry by just a couple of keys but this is sounding very strong nevertheless. Mid-way through the performance, they enter the fountain and have some great shots on them from the cameras. I must say that this evening has not really been the evening for everyone but this will definitely be in the top ten as their fans will be calling like crazy.

Serbia

Sophie: This song begins so peaceful, the music sounds like a something out of Mulan! Such a strong male vocal, really confident.. I wouldn't usually like something like this but it was a great performance.

Magnus Kaxe: The longest intro tonight. 45 seconds! Beautiful song with echos from The Lord Of The Rings. I'm happy to hear the song sung in the Serbian language. The singer is doing a great job! Top five!

Christabelle: Serbia. Beautiful voice. Though, wish he were performing in English.

Marc Calleja Bayliss: The late draw is definitely helping Serbia secure a top placing this evening and this will be the song to rack up a lot of votes from the Balkan block actually. The initial instrumental is too beautiful and as soon as he opens his mouth, he just calms the individual down and makes one want to listen. The lighting during this song is just wonderful and it works so well with the performance. The vocals this evening are just wonderful and I honestly believe that we might be going to Serbia next year.

Ukraine

Sophie: This song is a bit puzzling for me, I love the music and melody to this song however the lyrics don't make much sense to me! They're a bit repetative! Sounds really similar to Kelly Rowland's 'When Love Takes Over', but I like the presentation over all.

Magnus Kaxe: Chord progression stolen from David Guetta's "When the love takes over". Sounds like a cheap copy of that track. The melody of the song is anonymous with no flow. And the singer mostly screams.

Christabelle: Great way to end the evening! Loving this performance! Makes me want to get up and dance ! What fantastic diaphragm control!! 

Marc Calleja Bayliss: One of the main reasons why Ukraine picked this song is due to the fact that it is also the one which is being used as the official song for the European Championships. The vocals are as always spot on and on key and it seems that she is giving a masterclass performance this evening. She is joined on stage by a number of dancers who also play the trumpets but the screens being used are the ones which draw a lot of attention because there is an army of people all of whom are doing to the song. I must say that I do love the performance but not sure where this will place.

Moldova

Sophie: I like this song, if I heard it on the radio I wouldn't change over to another station, however I don't think the stage performancedoes it any justice! The choreography is a bit weird and the singer looks a bit weird too, but I think it should be recieved well by the audience!

Magnus Kaxe: Like the brass arrangement of the song. Though the song a little to simple to stand out in the tough competition. He sings great! But why do they have to wear clothes that look like a circus?

Christabelle: Reminds me of Colin Farell ! Very entertaining performance. Unique choreography for sure! The dresses are fantastic .

Marc Calleja Bayliss: Colin Farrell seems to be representing Moldova this year and he does so in impressive fashion because this has to be one of the catchiest songs of the evening with a very upbeat message in the lyrics. The choreography is just amazing still and I just cannot imagine this doing badly especially having been awarded the late draw. The backdrop also works very well with the overall staging and I must say that this it the first time in years where Moldova would definitely garner my vote. 

The Show (Part 2) 

The hosts are back on stage is much more formal clothing than they were in the beginning. They open up the voting of course and the recap is currently being shown to the viewers across Europe. In order to vote from Malta, you would have to call 522020XX or send a text to 505157XX. We would like to wish Kurt Calleja the very best of luck with the result!

Result

1st - Sweden

2nd - Russia

3rd - Serbia

4th - Azerbaijan

5th - Albania

Without the loud screeching at the beginning of each show that we have witnessed this week by the hosts of the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, I would like to wish everyone a good evening with one of the most pivotal shows ready to begin in around half an hour. Following the two semi-finals, one held on Tuesday and the other last night, the full list of the finalists was revealed and despite some surprises, it should be one of the most intriguing finals in recent years and this is because, people are not sure who could actually win with a number of counties, all putting their best foot forward to take on the rest of the continent. This will be the very first final in quite some time to feature countries such as Malta and the FYR Macedonia who have been absent from the final evening for three and five years respectively. Each country had the same amount of rehearsal time and most of the production during the week was flawless with only some minor errors which will surely be tweaked in time for tomorrow evening.

There will be a total of twenty-six (26) acts competing to win this years' Eurovision Song Contest with twenty (20) having qualified through their respective semi-final, the highest contributing countries known as the Big Five (5) and of course the host country of the year which would have been the winner of the previous year. This afternoon, there was the first dress rehearsal of the final and it was also the first time that the songs were seen in this respective running order. It seems that Malta is really looking great in contrast to the songs that are found at each end of the competition, both before and after us. We would like to wish Kurt Calleja, Amber, Warren, Christian, Rebecca and Kevin the very best of luck with their performance this evening as they do their utmost in order to woo the judges and hopefully achieve a high placing for Malta this time round.

LIVE

The Show (Part 1)

The opening act of the final is actually quite noisy so to speak with a lot of people playing drums and doing what seems to be a very traditional type of folk dance. This looks nice actually but then again, we move onto the reprise of last years' winning entry being Running Scared by Ell & Nikki. They seem to be performing live and this is still a beautiful song so to speak. The hosts are trying not to shout this evening actually and this is because they must have heard of the comments in recent days. They are clad in beautiful attire and have somewhat improved. They are speaking in English, French, German and Azeri it seems.

01. United Kingdom

The very first performance of the evening is by Engelbert Humperdinck, a legend by his own standards and definitely growing old now being more than seventy five years of age. He is clad in black attire and is joined on stage by a guitarist and two dancers who perform a smooth waltz which is somewhat mixed with ballet. In the beginning, there was an extremely bum note unfortunately and this will definitely harm his chances with the jury. He does miss another one and this is sounding like one of the worst performances from the United Kingdom in quite some time. The higher notes in the meantime seem to be just right this evening and he may still amass a number of points. I am not sure that they will manage a top ten placing tomorrow night but the people in the hall do enjoy it. Prediction 12th - 18th

02. Hungary

The lead performer of the group is clad in the same black attire that he was wearing during the semi-final but it is quite an authentic look. Many people believe that this was the track that managed to scrape out the tenth position and qualify thanks to the Jury Vote because many people were surprised that it would actually make it but nevertheless, it remains to be one of the most contemporary tracks in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. The vocals are very good but I do not think that this song will stick to the minds of the viewers this time round because of the rough early draw and because of the fact that they are performing in the number #2 slot which has been doomed for a number of years as no winner has come out of it. Prediction: 22nd - 26th

03. Albania

Another semi-final one qualifier, one which has been suspect of garnering massive jury support. However, she may have qualified, she is definitely one of the best vocalists in this years' competition bringing out the best range that I have seen within a performer for quite some time. This is a candidate for the worst dressed award though with Rona wearing what seems to be a blue gown with a black circle around her neck. She impresses with her simple song and staging noting that the spotlights and the red colours are kept throughout. The audience in the arena is clapping mid-way through the performance and so are the people in the press centre. She never drops a note and that is why she is amazing. Could Albania actually better their best result of seventh place with this? It could be from the reaction this is getting. Well done Rona! Prediction: 6th-15th

04. Lithuania

This has to be one of the slowest beginnings to a final of the Eurovision Song Contest in years and here we have Donny Montell still clad in his smart black suit which is somewhat very reminiscent of something his friend Sasha Son would be wearing. He does have a blind fold in the beginning but then removes it mid-way through the song when the track becomes very much inspired by the recently deceased Donna Summer. The vocals for this one have always been strong and one cannot help feel surprised at how this managed to qualify to the final. It was a surprise but could suffer the same fate of Lithuania a couple of years back with the same aforementioned Sasha Son which is quite unfortunate. Prediction: 24th-26th

05. Bosnia & Herzegovina

Maya Sar was somewhat the second surprise of the evening last night even though Bosnia & Herzegovina boast one of the most successful records at the Eurovision Song Contest having a 100% qualification record which has been kept in tact. We believe that the main help last night for the main draw and coming after an uptempo song like the one from Norway but this time round despite crystal clear vocals, I just cannot see this song really troubling the scoreboard. The staging is just black for most of the time but then changes to dark blue and red at times to try and imagine a sunset. The piano and the violins are so beautiful but that dress is also a contender for the Barbara Dex Award with the black shoulder-pads. Perfect song but not for this competition. Prediction: 15th-20th

06. Russia

Russia have one of the catchiest entries in this years' Eurovision Song Contest and despite besides the fact that the track is quite silly actually. The performers for this one are none other than six grannies, who are quite cute in their own manner. The vocals for this one normally do not have to be astoundingly great but the people do enjoy a bit of a party and that is why, the press centre and the audience in the arena are just going crazy at the moment. This is the very first song which is uptempo and therefore, it was always going to obvious that it would be strong and in fact, they are seen to be favourties for victory tomorrow night. I would never imagine what Terry Wogan would have said to this though. This is a very good performance but I believe the juries will take it down and see it not winning in the long run. Prediction: 3rd-5th

07. Iceland

This evening, everyone is in their costume performing in front of a relatively full arena for a rehearsal and also the juries. Everyone is clad in the outfits that they were wearing in the semi-final meaning a black suit for Jonsi and a beautiful black shimmering gown for Greta. Every time he performs in front of an audience, it seems that Jonsi goes down a notch and he seems terrified performing this evening. Nevertheless, the backdrop featuring the mountains and the beautiful geography of Iceland is just beautiful. She normally carries his vocals most of the way through but I believe that she is complimenting him today and that they are managing to be on the same level. I believe that this could be a dark horse during the final because it is coming across so well. Prediction: 7th-10th

08. Cyprus

Another uptempo entry is needed this evening and this is one of the track which clearly has everything going for it including the song, the choreography and the visuals but then comes Ivi who has proven herself to be an incredible person but very much lacks the voice. She is definitely having her worst performance tonight and she just cannot seem to keep up with the tempo of the song at times. Oh My! This is atrocious from the sound of the press centre and it is quite funny how such an esteemed performer like her has managed to kill the song all on her own. They did their best to hide the vocals behind the choreography. I daresay that I could sing this song even better and interacting with the audience does not work at all. This might actually finish in the last five places if it does not improve until tomorrow unfortunately. Prediction: 16th-24th

09. France

Very good first note from Anggun considering that there have been a number of vocal issues with performances in recent days. She is clad in sexy attire including a cape which seems to flow with the wind actually. Just as she enters into the first minute though, it seems that she is very much shouting at times. She is joined on stage by a whole circus including three gymnasts who are shirtless in order for her to attract a couple of more votes and two female backing vocalists whom don't worry are fully clothed. She tries to take up this performance as light as possible and try to enjoy it but it is not coming as good as she would like it to show on the screens. The overall outcome is not bad but I think that all the high hopes that France had are not going anywhere. Prediction: 17th-26th

10. Italy

I have been telling people that Italy is my favourite and this remains to be the case as we head into this rehearsal this evening. She is wearing what seems to be a silver dress meaning that she has opted in using the dress in the picture which had seemed to be the first choice. The English/Italian version of the song is actually much better than the fully Italian as the diction does still work in this one. She is joined on stage by thee backing vocals who have a quirky simple hand motion type of choreography. This is coming across well on screen but something tells me that Nina is not doing enough in order to win this evening although the difference is that last year, no one expected Italy to finish as the runner-up. She connects with the people asking them to clap your hands and once more I believe that this could do it. This was a very good performance although I think she has had better before. Prediction: 1st-5th

11. Estonia

Ott Lepland is next on stage and this has to be the most beautiful ballad in the competition being performed by a good looking individual. The very first time he performed this song in the national final, I easily thought it blew everything else out of the water. He is still doing the vocal acrobatics during the performance but nevertheless, this is the very best I have heard them and he is definitely heading into second gear this evening as he performs to the juries all across the continent. This did get my vote from Malta last night and I just can imagine this doing well tomorrow. The camera shots are good but the interaction with the audience seems to be quite minimal but he does put in a lot of emotion. Prediction: 8th-15th

12. Norway

The first of two of the most energetic performance of the evening comes from Norway with Tooji from Iran performing for Norway. he is joined on stage by four dancers, a mixture of men and women and they are still clad in their tattered clothing. Last night, vocally this was not all that great but nevertheless, it seems that they managed to do enough and I believe that it is more a case of nerves rather than not being a good singer. Once more, this performance is looking great on screen as it did last night and they are making use of pyrotechnics to which the crowd in the audience just goes completely mad. This is just astonishing and Norway can also surprise but I just do not think they would trouble the top ten. Prediction: 11th-15th

13. Azerbaijan

This is the time for Azerbaijan to triumph at what they have managed to achieve musically because Sabina Babayeva in my opinion is miles better than both Ell & Nikki put together. They managed to find such a wonderful performer to sing a song which is also very beautiful featuring an element of a ballad along with traditional sounds. She is joined on stage by backing vocalists, females and also just one male but this staging is kept very simple with the lights show on the stage synchronised with the ones on her dress. This is an exceptional vocal delivery and the crowd inside the Baku Crystal Hall are just going mad with such a beautiful song. I believe that Azerbaijan are heading into the top ten and they could also manage a top five if lucky. Prediction: 3rd-8th

14. Romania

Honestly enough, it is just so good to hear this song being performed in the best possible way without any trouble. Elena Ionescu is a beautiful performer and she revel in her beauty by using the camera to her advantage. She is joined on stage by a five member band, all of which play different instruments. The vocal performance here is very strong and following that initial problem that Romania faced earlier on this week during the semi-final, it seems that she has overcome all of her nerves. She is definitely enjoying the time she has on stage but what is this, she lost her words and missed a line, and that just ruined it for Romania. I cannot think that the juries will like that in the long run. The pyrotechnics work well on the cameras but nevertheless, the chances are harmed and this will definitely not win after that blunder. Prediction: 5th-10th

15. Denmark

People in the press centre are very much bored of seeing her in this outfit even though it is a nice outfit to perform in. This is the middle of the road type of track, one which Denmark have used to their advantage on a countless amount of occasions in the Eurovision Song Contest. She is joined on stage by a number of people on stage which form her band of course. There is nothing wrong with this vocally but it is turning out to be quite dull and boring unfortunately. I believe that it is a hit outside of the world of this competition. I would also like to let you know that it did manage to climb up to number #3 in the Maltese iTunes making it the second most successful entry in our country. This is looking great on screen as well. Prediction: 13th-17th

16. Greece

Eleftheria Eleftheriou is also a very beautiful lady and she is wearing a beautiful short dress featuring three colours; orange, blue and white. She is also joined on stage by four dancers and a backing vocalist. The backdrop behind them is showing the sea and also seashells and it looks very strong visually. As I have noted this afternoon, this is one track which has had the kitchen sink through at it in order to look very Greek in terms of performance and staging. The vocals are fine this evening and they might actually be the best that I have heard thus far. I must say that Greece have come a very long way this year from looking like a complete no-hoper to a definite top ten finisher. Prediction: 7th-10th

17. Sweden

This is just one country which has managed to split the people into two groups, those who believe it can win and those who say that she will not win because it is over-rated but nevertheless, the performance is just immaculate and there is nothing to fault in this one. There is a huge applause in the arena and I do have my sneaky suspicions that this was the runaway winner during the semi-final last night and it will just increase on her lead tomorrow when all of the countries vote. The vocals are strong but I do believe she was better during the semi-final last night. She is joined on stage by three backing vocalists and a dancer. This is looking strong on screen but what really impresses me actually is the long song mid-way through the song with the black backdrop, snow falling and the lights shining upon her. This is definitely the one to beat but what, Loreen also forgets a line and could Sweden have also hurt their chances. Prediction: 1st-3rd

18. Turkey

Can Bonomo has to be one of the nicest people in this years' Eurovision Song Contest and he was also one who came to Malta during his promotional tour where he and Kurt became the very best of friends. He is still wearing his leather pants and leather jacket with flocks of sea gulls draped in the inside part. He is joined on stage by four men and this seems to be the only performance which is fully masculine. The backdrop changes a lot of weather patterns but his vocals do not change and remain good throughout the competition. The audience in the crowd definitely enjoy being included in the track so much so that they start shouting mid-way. I believe that this could do well and even scrape a top ten result but not sure. Prediction: 9th-15th

19. Spain

This is one of the simplest performances this year and that goes to say a lot actually because there have been quite a number of songs which have been performed by their own but what Pastora does is bring out her best vocals this evening for the juries. The people in the press centre and in the audience are clapping along to this one especially when she hits the high notes that very difficult to reach. There has been talk that Spain might not want to win in order not to host the next edition of the competition and it seems that this could easily happen if she continues to perform in that manner. She is joined on stage by five backing vocalists who help her within the chorus. This is just perfect, and everything is going for it. Prediction: 1st-6th

20. Germany

Roman Lob came to fame for having won the competition known as Unser Star fur Baku and since then he has become quite noteworthy with this song being a hit in his native Germany, one of the largest music markets in the world. The staging for this one is kept very simple indeed with a band joining the performance giving it more of a feel of a track from the likes of Coldplay. It is written by some of the most well known names in music and it does show actually. The vocal performance is good, he knows how to use his voice at times to tighten up the vowels or rather relax them. This is coming across quite lovely on screens and whilst this could make the top ten, it will not really trouble the top five in my opinion but it is quite an interesting year for the Big Five. Prediction: 6th-12th

21. Malta

Once more, that lovely thumping beat in the beginning is one which I love to hear as it signifies us being in the final once more. Kurt is quite smart this evening as he was last night and the vocals are very strong earlier on as he interacts with the audience very early. The band joining him on stage are also doing their utmost to show their connection on the cameras. This is really looking good as it did last but night but I just cannot believe that I am saying this but Kurt is doing an amazing job during the jury performance. It seems that the focus will be on the lead performer for tomorrow night but what is infatuating is the choreography which has got a lot of people dancing in the past couple of hours. He speaks in Azeri mid-way through the song and that just sends the crowd in a flurry. He is receiving one of the biggest applauses of the evening. Prediction: 5th-15th

22. FYR Macedonia

Honestly enough, I was very happy to see the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia making it through to the finals for the very first time since 2007 and why not especially with Kaliopi being the queen of pop music in her country. She performs what is quite an underwhelming song with perfect pitch vocals and this is definitely not one which will be troubling the left side of the scoreboard. She is joined on stage by a band and some backing vocalists and they do sound very good. The shots are also as they were yesterday and that is quite a good thing. This sounds strong and looks great but I just cannot see it impacting all of the continent into voting for it at this stage of the competition. Prediction: 15th-20th

23. Ireland

It has been decided that Jedward go for spikey hair for the final performance of the competition and this seems to be a general consensus towards the people who prefer them in this manner. The main vocals of the brothers sound somewhat low in this one but nevertheless, they seem to be very much in tune. They are joined on stage by four backing vocals, two on each side, a male and a female and there is also a fountain which is being used as the main prop of the competition. This sounds great and looks strong on screen. They have also included pyrotechnics and Ireland could be heading for their best result in years. They are still in the water at the end and thus the hair does get flat. Prediction: 3rd-10th

24. Serbia

Zeljko Joksimovic has to be one of the most experienced performers at the Eurovision Song Contest and he does show that because he oozes charm and charisma every time he performs. This track is quite inferior to Lane Moje but I believe he did want to create something different in the long term. He is definitely enjoying every second he says on the stage and he does do his best to impress the juries this evening. This is a beautiful song which is definitely going to do well tomorrow night garnering votes from all of the Balkans and also the Baltics apart from other countries who will enjoy the orchestra in the track. The late draw is definitely an additional help in my opinion. Prediction: 2nd-8th

25. Ukraine

Ukraine have always been one of the more successful countries at the Eurovision Song Contest by always making it to the finals of the competition and therefore, there had been a lot of high hopes when it comes to this track due to the fact that it is the official song of the European Championships. The vocals for this one are good but I still believe that Gaitana does shout sometimes when she performs. The choreography is lovely though and I am in love with the extra LED screens which show a whole group of people dancing to the song. This might surprise people as Ukraine did manage to do just that last year but I believe it will rank just outside of the top ten or just manage to creep in. Prediction: 9th-14th

26. Moldova

The final performance of the evening comes from Moldova who are definitely getting a vote from me tomorrow night because this is just amazing and you have to love the choreography which is funny and quirky at the same time. There is a lot of positive acclaim towards this song and you just cannot help but laugh at times. The vocals of Pasha are just amazing and he manages to carry it off in the best way he could. The outfits might not be the cup of tea of everyone but they are authentic. One think though, Moldova have a track which is very traditional featuring that saxophone which is quite lovely. This is also looking very strong on screen as well so we'll how things go about. Prediction: 5th-15th


The Stage (Part 2)

Following all of the performances, the hosts are back on stage and they introduce the recap of the performances and I have to say that there are a lot of high hopes for Malta actually with one particular blogger putting it in a top five position and I do believe that we can manage to hit the top ten. When listening to the songs in their order, I believe that it is a very strong final this time round.

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