January 18, 2020

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Good Morning! The editorial team of escflashmalta.com in collaboration with Radio International and escXtra.com will be bringing you all of the latest news directly as it happens from Malmö, Sweden. As a matter of fact, we are not opting out of bringing you comments from the rehearsals as they unfold but nevertheless, we might be slightly delayed for the simple reason that rehearsal videos from fan sites are not permitted this year during the first week because of technicalities. It seems that the first rehearsals are going to be the ones to tweak the final performances and that fan videos will only be permitted as from the second week onwards. Nevertheless, the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest will still be filming some impressions for each country that rehearses so do not fret. 

Things kick off with the first semi-final, and it seems that the Tuesday show is set to be quite the fire cracker considering that there are quite a number of favourites competing including Emmelie de Forest for Denmark, Zlata Ognevich for Ukraine, Anouk for the Netherlands and Dina Garipova for Russia. It is quite astonishing to denote that these four (4) will also be following each other when it comes to the running order with the producers thinking that their flow of music genres benefits each other. We have reason to believe that this might kill off the chances of one (1) of the four (4) tracks although this is yet to be seen through the rehearsals. It is important to note that due to the fact that Malta will be competing in the first half of the second semi-final, the first technical rehearsal will not be taking place before Wednesday afternoon. Once more, we ask you to be patient whilst staying tuned to escflashmalta.com during the whole forthnight.


Natalia Kelly, one of the youngest singers to compete in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is the first to make use of the staging which looks extremely beautiful on the screens. Whilst the vocals sound strong, her presence on stage is not coming across as brilliant and this is something that was noticeable even during the national final. There is a lot of technical work which is needed especially in the camera shots but hence why these are just the first rehearsals. She needs to ease up on the stage and feel more comfortable. At the moment, people are somewhat stating that this track itself is a marginal qualifier but remember, that it is competing in the tougher semi-final and therefore, chances are much more limited.



A toss-up is clearly indicated with the second rehearsal noting that Birgit is a solid performer having already proven her skills across the years through another two participations in the national final including a runner-up finish and also winning the Estonian version of Idol. In recent days, the track has been released to the public in various languages and once could note that the country ballad has so much more to offer that it's missing out in Estonian. Clad in black and white attire, she takes to the stage which is lit in dark colours which change according to the different parts of the music. This sounds brilliant and could very much surprise. Unfortunately, one cannot help but be left slightly cold with the actual song but nevertheless, she is definitely doing her best to lift it up. 



The first uptempo entry to compete in this years' Eurovision Song Contest comes from Slovenia and Hannah, who currently lives in the United States is joined by backing dancers and vocalists, the latter of which are hidden off stage. It seems that the issue with this is the vocals early this morning because visually, this is coming across brilliantly on the screens. Wearing large heels, she is literally strutting around the stage but everything is forgotten as she tries to hit the upper register of the song and fails miserably on each respective run. This is currently looking as a non-qualifier but nevertheless is getting applause in the current press centre.



Croatia have decided to take on a very traditional take on their participation in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and one has to start off by saying that the guys from Klapa s Mora sound incredibly good vocally. The whole performance might be seen as slightly static especially coming after Slovenia but nevertheless, this is providing an extremely nice contrast. There is applause in the press centre for this one as is expected. The clothes are also extremely traditional with long black coats and high boats. This is going to be another issue of whether the fact that a slow song coming after an uptempo track will prove vital because otherwise, Croatia might not be making it through. This would be extremely disappointing especially considering that this performance was just impressive.



The flute sound at the beginning of the song is just beautiful and it does give one the instant goosebumpbs that both Fairytale (Norway 2009) and Euphoria (Sweden 2012) gave but nevertheless, this early draw is not doing her any favours. It seems that Emmelie is wearing a 1920s inspired dress for her debut appearance today and the vocals are relatively strong. It is important to note that the female backing vocals are very much being given credit in the performance. They are somewhat throwing everything into it including confetti, and pyrotechnics but nevertheless, charisma is surely key for Emmelie as she strusts on the catwalk. This is coming across really well on the screens although some shots definitely need to be edited out according to our sources. Huge applause from the press centre.



One of the eastern countries which practically everyone has to pay careful attention to due to the fact that the results that they tend to obtain are quite strong. Last years' first runner-up have a much better song in my opinion although it could be said to resemble a typical original X Factor winning single. The vocals by Dina Garipova are enchanting and this was the first goosepimples moment just based on the vocal performance. Dina is clad in a salmon pink dress which is making her look beyond her years unfortunately but it is unknown whether this will actually be the dress. In the meantime, the shots are very much on point and won't need a lot of changing. This will definitely challenge the top three. 



Once more, another favourite and the third in succession within the running order but it seems that the beginning of this performance is going to be the laughing stock of the whole entire audience in Europe. A giant is apparently carrying Zlata onto the stage and this is creating a couple of technical difficulties. They are quickly settled and we've got the first run over and done with. The vocals are impressive especially where the gospel is concerned. On the other hand, one has to denote that this song is clearly going nowhere and based on the duo that come before it, might be in trouble to be honest. Ukraine should qualify based on their typical results in the Eurovision Song Contest but this entry performed by another nation would really struggle.


The Netherlands

There has been a lot of hype surrounding this years' entry for The Netherlands due to the fact that Anouk will be taking to the stage with the hope of making the final for the first time since 2004. Powerhouse vocals, Anouk clearly puts in a lot of effort within this performance and the choir which is doing the backing vocals sounds incredible. It seems that she is going for a chic look this afternoon with everything in black and a padlock necklace. The staging is relatively dark apart from the chorus which lightens up with birds in the backdrop. Whoa! Second time round and this sounds even better. The Netherlands deserve to qualify this year. One of these past four entries will most likely fall at the first hurdle but as things stand, it could very much be Ukraine!


Ukraine has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest ten times. Infact, their first entry goes back to 2003 with a 14th place finish for Oleksandr Ponomaryov. The country won in 2004 when famous singer Ruslana turned wild with her strong entry Wild Dances. Ukraine finished in joint 19th place in the 2005 contest, for which Kiev, was the host. Ukraine has a remarkable record in the contest. It has never been eliminated in the semifinals, and has therefore never missed a final. And they will probably make the finals this year too with the soundtrack song Gravity sang by the beautiful Zlata Ognevich.

The singer is busy preparing her final touches for the stage performance of the Avatarish song. Four backing vocals are expected to be on stage to sing along with her but the sixth member of the performance is yet to be unveil. One of the backing vocals is Cleveland Watkiss, a Jazz icon. He was the winner of the London Jazz Awards for Best Vocalist in 2010 and was voted Wire/Guardian Jazz Awards top vocalist for three uninterrupted years. The 3 minute stage show is directed by Maxim Litvinov a prominent Ukrainian director, who designs shows for the Ukrainian version of X-Factor and Ukraine’s Got Talent. The director wants to surprise the European spectators with a  show which Europe has never seen at the Eurovision stage before. Zlata Ognevich will sing her song Gravity in the First Semi Final on 14th May 2013. The atmospheric song was written by Mikhail Nekrasov, who was responsible for arranging Ruslana’s winning entry in 2004.

Lyrics to Gravity were written by Karen Kavaleryan, author of Ani Lorak’s Shady Lady and Dima Bilan’s Never Let You Go. The singer that Gravity says matches with the theme art of this year’s Eurovision. The intercultural sound of music in Gravity reflects the big idea of cultural variety behind Eurovision. In the meantime, the delegation has also decided to make the song available for people to download as a ringtone. 'People who support Ukraine in Eurovision want to listen to Gravity when they receive phone calls. They also want to let other fans know who they will vote for in the contest', explains Mikhail Nekrasov, Zlata’s producer. Currently, the Ukrainian entry is doing very well in the bettings. Gravity is in the 3rd place out of 39 countries. We wish Zlata a successful performance on the first semi final. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Press Release


Robin Stjernberg and Despina Olympiou will both be hoping to achieve success at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and it is intriguing to note that their selection was quite different with the lady from Cyprus chosen internally as opposed to the man from Sweden who had to go through several phases within the annual Melodifestivalen. Both artists have had the chance to speak to the editorial board of escflashmalta.com with interviews being conducted by Marc Calleja Bayliss and Antoine Farrugia. As a matter of fact, our third interview in the build up towards the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden is with Zlata Ognevich who will be representing Ukraine with Gravity composed by Mikhail Nekrasov to the lyrics of Karen Kavaleryan.

2003 was the year in which Ukraine joined the family of the Eurovision Song Contest with this year marking the eleventh participation. The nation has been quite successful having managed to finish in the top ten on six occasions including a win back in 2004 thanks to Wild Dances performed by Ruslana and two runner-up finishes in 2007 with Verka Serduchka and her flamboyant entry Dancing Lasha Tumbai and the following year in 2008 with Shady Lady sung by Ani Lorak. Do you feel like you have a successful record to protect as you take on the role of representative and how do you perceive such history?

It’s an honor for me to have been selected to represent Ukraine. And yes, it’s a big responsibility. I feel confident though. I very much believe in my song which was written by Mikhail Nekrasov. Mikhail was the co-author of Ruslana’s song. Karen Kavaleryan wrote the lyrics for Gravity. He was also the author of Ani Lorak’s Shady lady lyrics. 4 powerful backing vocals will add value to my live performance. One of the backing vocalists has been acknowledged as one of the world’s best male jazz voices. So I am placing high hopes on my entry.


Gravity, the track that you will be performing during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest is composed by Mikhael Nekrasov and penned by Karen Kaveleryan who have worked on a number of successful songs in the past including Never Let You Go by Dima Bilan and Shady Lady by Ani Lorak. What kind of advice and support have they given you as you prepare to take on millions of viewers across the continent?

Mikhail is not only the author of my song, he is also my producer and author of all my songs. Mikhail has always been a great support and I fully trust him and his music. Every day we rehearse together trying to make the song absolutely perfect.

Between 2010 and 2011, you were given the ‘Person of the Year’ accolade in Ukraine and then in the middle of the latter you, the Embassy for Argentina also bestowed on you the title of ‘Best Voice of Ukraine’. You have had a number of successes in this manner apart from several more within the music field by virtue of competing in local and foreign competitions. How do such prestigious moments in your career help you plan for this upcoming adventure as well as the future?

Experience in competitions gives a good practice of taking control over emotions. My main rivals are not other contenders for the win, but my own worries and emotions. Confidence is what an artist gains when performs on a big stage. Then comes pleasure. My main goal is to get pleasure from my performance.


According to several sources, your father is a military doctor whilst your mother is a teacher of literature and language inRussia and nevertheless, their daughter is a vocal performer which is definitely different from their occupations. Your passion for music is believed to have emerged when you moved to Ukraine, a nation which has become not only the place where you live but also your home. Do you still perceive your move to Ukraine was positive and do you have the support of your family in music?

Yes, my move to Ukraine predicted my future life. Crimean peninsula where I grew up taught me to reconcile with nature. I learnt to imitate the sounds of animals, practiced swimming and diving. All of these activities helped me a lot in my vocal career. In Ukraine I met with Mikhail Nekrasov, my producer and my coach. Although I am mixed-blood, Ukraine is my motherland.

Following the allocation draw held by the European Broadcasting Union last year, it became public knowledge that Ukraine would be competing in the first semi-final and just a couple of days ago it was revealed that you would be performing in slot number #7 during the show. You will be preceding Russia who will be represented by Dina Garipova and her entryWhat If as well as Anouk from The Netherlands with the song Birds. These are two ballads with you have a mid-tempo track. Do you think that the outcome of the semi-final will be decided on the draw and what is your opinion on the tracks mentioned?

I think Gravity really stands out from other entries. Its musical performance is different and new to the Eurovision Song Contest. At the same time, I am sure the production team of the show is very professional and their choice of the running order was not occasional. The main goal is to make the show interesting for TV viewers.


During the national selection which was organised way back in December, you were wearing a long white dress with your backing vocalists donning black all behind you. The use of props was not prohibited by the broadcaster but nevertheless you sought to make use of your vocal range and let nothing else distract you. What will you be changing for the live performance during the Eurovision Song Contest and what message do you wish to convey?

I didn’t want to reveal all the details at the National Final. At the same time, my performance in Malmo will be a big surprise. I can guarantee a grandiose show created by the top class director Maxim Litvinov. The main goal is to plunge into the atmosphere of a fairytale and to create a special world on stage.

Throughout the years, you have attended several music institutions and therefore have amassed a lot of knowledge on vocals techniques and so forth, clearly shown within each respective performance. In the Eurovision Song Contest, many people believe that whilst the focus of the juries will be on the voice, one agrees that the song along with the whole package has to be perfect. You are working hard and have engaged the public to help you out with the staging but nevertheless, the decisions will ultimately be yours. Whatever the result at the event is, what should one expect out of Zlata in the next couple of months?

I do have big plans for the after-Eurovision times. But still have to keep the intrigue. But watch out for updates in social networks. Friend me on Facebook and read my tweets!

Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?

I am very excited to get to know you all in person. Please, do not hesitate to come say hi, take pictures together and enjoy the show!


Published in Interviews
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 03:45

Ukraine: Reviewing the track 'Gravity'

A professional panel of experts from the local and the foreign music industry have been summoned to listen to all of the competing entries in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The tracks are supported by biographies, other music from the respective performers involved along with a background on the participating country. The formal introduction of each entry continues. 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, Ukraine will be performing in slot number seven (7) from the sixteen (16) entries which will be competing during the first semi-final. NTU, the broadcaster resposible for the participation of Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Gravity composed by Mikhail Nekrasov, penned by Karen Kavaleryan with vocals provided by Zlata Ognevich.

The elements of water and rock attracted Zlata from an her early age. She likes to swim and dive while storms rage at the sea. Being a kid, she frequently ran away from home, spending hours in the rocky cliffs in order to sing, keenly listening to the mountains echoing her voice. Zlata liked the extreme from the childhood: diving into water, she vanished there for a long time; developing the ability to hold her breath that, however, became very useful for her: now she can sing in one breath 5-6 high notes of maximum length. After finishing two schools, comprehensive and music ones, at the age of 18, Zlata went to Kyiv, where her professional singing career started. Here, at the R.M. Glier Kyiv State Higher Music College, she refined her pop vocal skills. Then she continued her studying in the Kyiv Institute of Music, but that time at the department of jazz. In the race for success, Zlata gained an invaluable experience in The State Song and Dance Ensemble of the Armed Forces of Ukraine where she is still a solist.

To be a singer in Ukraine is not a unique profession. Without exaggeration you can say that almost everyone sings there. To become famous and show your talent is a very difficult task. But in Zlata’s occasion, the "blood code" worked: parental Serbian and maternal Italian roots. This "cocktail" showed the best merits of the singer: the Balkan unrestraint and sense of freedom, the Italian affectivity and beauty, the Ukrainian heartiness and tunefulness. And the severe northern land reflected in Zlata as an indomitable will and pursuit of goals. Zlata has already five videos in her creative baggage. The numerous wins that she has received in a remarkably short period, say a lot about the incredible talent of the young singer. Zlata has a special message for all her fans: “Love more, laugh more, open your heart and have no fears!” About her personal relationship to Eurovision Song Contest, the Ukrainian representative says: “For me the contest associates with an enormous job, not only of the artist, but also of hundreds of people off screen.


About the specialty of her entry Gravity, Zlata says: “The most special is the song itself. We’d like to bring the idea that life is fragile and there’re a lot of things making us feel the weight of responsibilities. But one should always find strength in oneself to open the wings and soar, overcoming the difficulties. We’d like not to disclose the performance, it is under a painstaking work process now, but the efforts of the team are being made to make it interesting." Zlata gets her inspiration in travelling, in human spirit, in interesting acquaintances. She adores nature. At her leisure she cycles, jogs in her favorite park with a small lake, sit with her friends on the highest bridge and lights sky lanterns. This track was not selected internally but had to get through a national selection, one of the first organised in preparation for this years' edition of the international spectacle but nevertheless, according to pundits they did get it right.

Ukraine is one of the most successful countries to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest noting that they first entered in 2003 and managed to garner their first and thus far only victory within the following year as Ruslana and Wild Dances rose to the occasion. Nevertheless, this is an Eastern country which has never failed to get through to the final even when at times people thought that their record might have been in jeapordy. It is quite interesting to see that both countries which have a sterling record in semi-finals have been put back to back in terms of performances with Russia performed straight before. In 2011, Mika Newton and her song Angel was the surprise of many when she finished in fourth place but the disappointment of last year with Be My Guest was clearly felt at least from Gaitana who had received positive response throughout. The jury managed to lift it up to fifteenth position, the second worst result for Ukraine.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 53%

Magnus Kaxe: If Eurovision would be all about having the most key modulations in a song this one would win, easily. Great chorus and good production. But I'm afraid the corny structure and arrangement is too complicated for the average listener. One's losing interest after a while. However - it will make it through to the final.

Lina Eriksson: Zlata's an amazing singer but I got dissapointed when the verse was over and the chorus started. And why that ending?

Matt Mercieca (Muxu): The way the song starts is good, but then it suddenly changes and I'm not so in love with it anymore, this also reminds me of a movie soundtrack, like a children's movie. but every time i think I'm about to start liking it, it changes, and i have to get used to something else. it changes way to much, and doesn't let you just enjoy the song

Source: eurovision.tv


Published in Editorials

SVT, host broadcaster of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in conjunction with the European Broadcasting Union and the Reference Group have revealed their verdict with regards to the running order as decided by the producers of the showcase. This will be the very first time that the draw has not been done in a random manner but nevertheless, the countries were drawn into their respective semi-finals and also the first and second part of the running order based on the results of the allocation draw which took place earlier this year. The only draw that had to be done in a random order was that for the host country of Sweden so that the producers could not inflict it in any wrongdoing, and as a matter of fact, was drawn in sixteenth (16th) position within the final.

Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals provided by Gianluca on behalf of Malta was drawn to perform in slot number #6 noting that the country had been drawn in the first half of the second semi-final for the second  consecutive year with This Is The Night performed by Kurt Calleja having to start at slot number #4 last year. Yesterday, in an interview with our colleagues from Eurovision Ireland, it was revealed that Gianluca will be flying to Malmö, Sweden alongside the team that accompanied him on stage in Malta as well as his sister, Dorothy Bezzina who will be accompanying as a vocal coach. Marry Me by Krista Siegfrids will be performing prior to Malta on behalf of Finland whilst following us will be Samo Shampioni performed by Elitsa & Stoyan for Bulgaria. The full running order can also be seen below.

First Semi-Final (14th May)

  1. Austria
  2. Estonia
  3. Slovenia
  4. Croatia
  5. Denmark
  6. Russia
  7. Ukraine
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Montenegro
  10. Lithuania
  11. Belarus
  12. Moldova
  13. Ireland
  14. Cyprus
  15. Belgium
  16. Serbia

Second Semi-Final (16th May)

  1. Latvia
  2. San Marino
  3. F.Y.R. Macedonia
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Finland
  6. Malta
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Iceland
  9. Greece
  10. Israel
  11. Armenia
  12. Hungary
  13. Norway
  14. Albania
  15. Georgia
  16. Switzerland
  17. Romania
A brief look at the running orders for both the semi-finals, it seems that the European Broadcasting Union has indeed tried to seperate the genres of the competing entries as much as possible but nevertheless, it was quite difficult to do so within the first half of the first semi-final noting that there are several ballads. On the other hand, the second semi-final looks much more balanced. The slot which Kurt Calleja occupied last year in the second semi-final has been allocated to none other than Azerbaijan, hosts of last years' competition. It is also worth pointing out that Austria and Serbia will open and close the first semi-final with Latvia and Romania doing the same within the second semi-final. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available. 
Source: Eurovision.tv


One of the first entries to be selected fir the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is the one coming from Ukraine. The eastern country is one of the most successful in the competition having always managed to qualify for the final stages but nevertheless, did not do as well as expected last year with their entry Be My Guest performed by Gaitana. This time round, the public and a professional jury have once more selected a female by the name of Zlata Ognevich who does not need a lot of introduction in the surrounding area where she has got strong credentials. She will be performing the song Gravity.

NTU, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of the nation in the Eurovision Song Contest has worked closely with the production team to make sure that the final version of the song is the very best possible and whilst working on that, an official music video to be used by the participating countries in their respective preview shows was also completed. Zlata Ognevich is set to compete within the first semi-final of this years' international competition taking place in Malmo, Sweden and will hope to improve on last years' showing, which was statistically, the second worst result for the country since participation began. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: NTU


Saturday, 23 February 2013 12:10

Ukraine: 'Gravity' Receives Massive Revamp

Zlata Ognevich, one of the most respected artists in Ukraine will be representing the nation in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Gravity which was selected through a multi-entry national selection. The successful history of the country in the showcase is somewhat a positive indication of how professional they are in the preparation of the entry and indeed, this is yet another song which has not received just a face-lift but has somewhat been transformed completely in particular instances. The final presentation of the song will be taking to the stage during the first part of the first semi-final on the 14th May 2013.

Due to the fact that Zlata is a renowned performer, she also brings about her personal producer who has helped her since the beginning of her career and indeed, Mykhailo Nekrasov decided to bring in a fan perspective to the overall outcome of the song through social networking website, Facebook. He asked several questions regarding the structure and whatever the outcome of these polls, will result in the final version of Gravity. In fact, it has been decided that the song will be getting a completely new introduction, a slightly revised tempo as well as a brand new chorus which will differ from the rest in terms of sound. In the meantime, many have sent in letters to propose ideas from the music video and Zlata stated 'We were incredibly pleased to get so many letters, comments and feedbacks. They showed one more time how talented and open for creativity Ukraine is. Such energy exceeded our expectations. People will get to hear the final version of Gravity in the beginning of March. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Marina Levchenko (Showbizer)


Wednesday, 26 December 2012 06:57

Ukraine: 'Gravity' Receiving Positive Response

Six entries have been selected for the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest although it is widely reported that Belarus will be looking at their possible options of changing the track due to the mixed response received thus far with regards to the song Rhythm of Love but nevertheless the performer will not be altered with Alyona Lanskaya heading to Sweden following last years' voting fixing debacle. The entry that has been receiving a lot of attention though in the past couple of days is none other than Gravity by Zlata Ognevich which was selected to represent the Eastern country of Ukraine, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004 with the song Wild Dances performed by Ruslana. The production of the song has not even been recorded in entirety and many is expected to be arranged but criticism has ranged from mixed to purely positive.

Zlata Ognevich is one of the most popular artists in Ukraine never to represent the nation at the Eurovision Song Contest and this was her third attempt and the second with a ballad noting that her original pop/dance entry known as The Kukushka was the favourite in 2011 but once more, there was an apparent voting scandal involved. This time round things were different because Zlata received the full backing of the public at large, obtaining more than eight thousand votes as well as the full support of the jury making her the undeniable winner with a maximum forty points. This is touted to be a possible top ten and even top five at the end of the scoreboard in May because despite being early to say at this point in time, the producer has worked with the likes of Ruslana and was also the songwriter/producer behind Show Me Your Love by Tina Karol who many will remember winning the national selection with an almost completely different entry known as Queen of Your Heart. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com as we follow the proceedings in the lead up to the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: NTU, ESCKaz


NTU, the broadcaster in Ukraine has just organised their annual national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest and in a tradition which is quickly being developed, the process took place in the morning, broad daylight for everyone to enjoy. The songs were not of the best quality that one would expect to see at the Eurovision Song Contest with only three to four being possibilities for the international event. At the end of the showcase though, it seems that sanity prevailed due to the fact that Zlata Ognevich with the song Gravity won the ticket and will thus be representing Ukraine in the international competition which will be taking place in Malmo, Sweden. It is important to point out that this is a pop song with several hints of gospel and thus the backing vocalists are well needed with an extremely important role.

Zlata is well known in Ukraine actually and has already tried to represent her country in the Eurovision Song Contest before, finishing as the first runner-up back in 2011 when Mika Newton had won the selection with her song Angel which finished in fourth place abroad. It is expected that the final arrangement of this entry will be quite different, based on what has been emitted out of the nation in recent years, especially in the just aforementioned occasions. Zlata won today with the major support of the public, receiving well over eight thousand votes but then also won the jury, receiving the maximum forty points possible. You could listen to the song just below and let us know your thoughts on the chosen track on our twitter page (@escflashmalta) but in the meantime, stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news.

Source: NTU


Sunday, 23 December 2012 09:00

Ukraine: National Final - LIVE

Ukraine is poised for a victory at the Eurovision Song Contest for a second time in the near future noting that they are dedicated to achieving success and have managed to qualify to the final on each occasion whilst also managing to acquire consecutive top ten results, their last one coming back in 2011 with Angel performed by Mika Newton. Earlier this year, many were surprised to see Be My Guest performed by Gaitana languishing in a mid-table position, only achieved due to the support of the jury because the track was a fan favourite and the performer herself was well received by the international community. Another year has passed though and today, a successor for Gaitana will be chosen through a mixture of public and jury votes.

NTU, the public broadcaster in Ukraine has had a busy couple of days noting that preparations have been taking place all week with the jury releasing to the submitted entries and ultimately selecting the twenty which they believe have enough potential to garner some airplay on television and as a matter of fact rehearsals took place throughout the day yesterday with some entries slightly touched upon prior to a final mix which we would be recorded should one of the tracks eventually is announced as a winner. There are a number of favourites in this selection process to be honest but nevertheless, we do not want to point them out prior to the start of the show which is imminent and just under an hour away. We would like you to follow our live report by virtue of the webcast offered by the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest as well as well as giving us your thoughts through Twitter.

01. Oksana Pekun and Maxim Novitskiy – Zeleniy dubochok

The first singer is not the best one to start, a bit too dramatic ballad so no song for the Eurovision Song Contest in my opinion.

02. Mariya Yaremchuk –Imagine

The second track is already better but still not too well for the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest. Mariya is screaming at points way too much. 

03. Marietta – Wonder

Another ballad but it really doesn't suit Marietta well, her voice is quiet boring to hear. A great vocal could have lifted this much higher!

04. Dmitry Yaremchuk – Mamo

 Its clear the production team is still very sleepy as the next singer is restarting three times. However the vocals are least a nice surprise. However not for eurovision though. And look at the audience they need to wake up too still.

05. Inesh – Delayu shag

Inesh is doing a dance song, she has a very low voice at parts. One hand one would think this might be not a bad track, but it seems that the production is still very poor. But one cannot expect more as the deadline for entering for the song was only some days ago. A missed chance unfortunately.

06. Zlata Ognevich – Gravity

The next track is one of the favourites to win, Zlata Ognevich. She tried before for Ukraine and was Alexander Rybak's favourite to represent the country but it was Mika Newton with Angel who won eventually. A not bad song and definitely the best of what we heard till now. Great vocals too, but still work to do on the act should it make it. Potential winner though!

07. Emotion – Saviour

The next group is Emotion with Saviour. The lead-singer would surely be followed closely by the euro-fans in case this song would represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest  But now to the song itself: the singer has unfortunately not the vocals to stand out on a Eurovision stage especially in the lower notes. Somehow in the chorus he makes me think at one point to Sinplus from Switzerland  with one big difference, the Swiss brothers are vocally much better. So one advice to the lead singer of this song: start a model career and quit singing.

08. Gvozdivchanka – Naleteli gusenyata

Next one, Gvozdivchanka! Wow the Russian grannies have sent their nieces to Ukraine!  Only accompanied by an accordion they do a likely very authentic song which would be great surely at a folk-festival or something similar but for the Eurovision Song Contest ? No sorry, we had the grannies last year, this would fail surely big time.

09. RealIvanna – You Gave Me Everything

The next singer is RealIvanna on stage already, Ukrainian tv want to be home for lunch at this speed! The song and singer is again nothing special unfortunately. One would start to wonder why NTU bothered to make a final with so many singers but a very low level overall until now. Sorry Ukraine but I just cannot get most of the songs.

10. Tatyana Shirko – Feeling Like A Sir

The next act on stage is Tatyana Shirko with 'Feeling like a sir'. Only the title is already warning me to pay extra attention. This girl has a very very fragile voice but the notes seems to be too high for her that makes it somehow annoying. A good effort though and one of the better, or let's say one of the less bad tracks.

11. Trinity – Belym po belomu

Now Trinity on stage with Belym po belomu. They should be careful with the name as the groups name belong to a popular Belgian group who was very popular in the seventies mostly. But this said, three beautiful women who don't sing that bad, that's a nice surprise. One of the better song but not a winning track in my opinion.

12. Ana Stesia –Dare To Change

Ana Stesia is the next one on stage. The perfect song to listen on a late night in a lounge bar after too many drinks, but quiet boring in my opinion. This would definitely ruin Ukraine's chances to get to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.

13. Alina Grosu – Let Go

And now the other top favourite of today, Alina Grasu. Alina comes from the city of Cernauti in western Ukraine, which used to be a part of Romania. Her name is also 100% Romanian, so definitely high points from Romania and Moldova would be guaranteed. About the song now: this is in my opinion the song that might be winning this years final. Very good singer, good song and a good performance! The only one that could take victory is Zlata. But with a good finalisation on the production this could be doing good things on stage in Malmö!

14. Dasha Medovaya – Don’t Want To Be Alone

Dasha Medova is the next one on stage after Alina's performance. Another ballad which is maybe full of good intentions, but Dasha's vocals are not up to standard for a national final, and definitely not for a Eurovision stage. Sorry Dasha, but this is not going to make it for sure.

15. Lena Korneeva – You’ll Be The Winner Forever

Olena Korneva is the next one to come on stage of the Ukrainian National Final, we are getting to the end of the songs. On the first look of the singer i was afraid really this would be something awful  Call me crazy or having a bad taste, but I kinda like this! Ok the vocals are not really how they should be but i believe her what she is doing on stage. It won't win but it's nice to see it on the finals in Ukraine.

16. Angeliya – Love Is Life

Angeliya with love is life is next on stage. A dance song which unfortunately doesn't suit the singer at all. I don't believe at all what is happening on stage and the voice is not fit for the song too unfortunately. No no good points for Angeliya unfortunately from my part.

17. Eduard Romanyuta – Get Real With My Heart

Eduard Romanyuta is next on stage with 'Get real with my heart'. A not too bad good lucking guy who tries to sing a Bilan like song, but he fails unfortunately. The vocals are again not good enough to stand out and fight for a good placing in the Ukrainian National Final. So a definite no for Malmö.

18. Matvey Vermiyenko – Otkryvay menya 

Matvey Vermiyenko with Otkryvay menya is the next track on stage. Ooohhhhhhhh an alien has arrived from outer space! For sure the singer has decided for this strange outfit in order to take the attention away from his vocals who are really bad. No way this can win the ticket for Sweden.

19. DiOfilmy – Medlyak

DiOfilmy with Medlyak is the second last song of today's final. An uptempo song by two male singers who cannot hold really well notes. The song itself might have some good intentions, but it sounds very very cheap. So please next one!

20. Dima Skalozubov – Davno

The last track of today is Dima Skalozubov with Davno. A strange song and act where at first his hands are tight. Not my cup of tea at all.

The Show (Part 2)

We will be awaiting the results from the Jury but the sms-voting is definitely putting Zlata in pole position for victory thus far. Nevertheless, we will announce the full result in accordance with NTU, the broadcaster. Recap of the songs performed throughout the morning and early afternoon is currently being shown on screen. Local artists are lining-up the stage at the moment whilst Zlata is confirmed as the runaway winner of the public with more than 8000 votes this afternoon leaving Eduard Romanyuta in second place with just over a 1000 votes. Zlata has just been confirmed the winner of both the public and the jury vote.


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