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Olivier Vanhoutte

Olivier Vanhoutte

Tonight during a special edition of the popular television show entitled ‘Vrienden Van de Veire’ shown through VRT which is the Flemish broadcaster responsible for the participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, there was a special guest in the form of Iris, the seventeen year old who was chosen to represent Belgium in Baku, Azerbaijan. She had to perform two tracks, one entitled 'Safety Net' and 'Would You?' but it seems that the public made their choice in the form of the latter written by a local songwriter with just 53% of the vote as opposed to 47% for the other track written by a team of foreign songwriters.

Laura Van den Bruel goes by the name of Iris when performing and is just seventeen year old, the youngest artist chosen by such a broadcaster to represent the nation of Belgium. She is signed to Sonic Angel which is also the record label for Tom Dice who represented Belgium in 2010 with the song 'Me and My Guitar'. He has reached sixth place back in 2010 and they hope to emulate such success this year as Iris takes to the stage with the beautiful ballad entitled 'Would You?' Belgium will be competing in the first semi-final therefore not alongside Malta who will be keeping in the second semi-final. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news.


Thursday, 22 March 2012 21:31

San Marino: SMTV Presents New Lyrics

The 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan has been filled with a number of issues but one of the unexpected ones came from San Marino who presented a track which could have never been accepted by the European Broadcasting Union due to the fact that there was a subliminal and promotion message towards the popular social networking giant; Facebook. Therefore, following the announcement that the song could not take part in the event, new lyrics or a brand new track were sought and it seems that not only did the broadcaster keep with the respective deadline but they announced it the day before it was expected.

In fact, it was earlier this evening that SMRT, the national broadcaster of San Marino presented a brand new version of the song for this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. One could easily note that the changes or rather alterations are all lyrical with the title now stating 'The Social Network Song (Oh Oh-Uh-Oh Oh). The presentation took place in a special programme which was designed to be a meet and greet with the press as well because a number of individuals were contacted through the social network; Skype to vent their views on the song. The deadline to submit their new proposal was tomorrow at noon but then again, their decision is final and it seems that everything is right this time round. San Marino will compete in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in the eleventh position. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news about the 2012 edition of the music showcase.

Source: SMTV

Monday, 13 February 2012 23:15

Belarus: Will Litesound Finally Win?

Throughout the European continent, the national selections for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest are in full swing with not less than eight (8) songs official revealed. Belarus is also in the fray of a selection this time round and they will be hosting an amazing television show this evening on Valentine's Day to choose their respective entry for the musical extravaganza. A great show is being promised and having been present for the preparations, I can definitely vouch for this matter.

BTRC are is the broadcaster which pays the fee to the European Broadcasting Union and their channels being 'Belarus 1' and 'Belarus 24', the latter of which is broadcast in twelve countries for some 200 million viewers) will join 'RadiusFM' to cover the show live. The main attraction for the European viewers will definitely be through which in turn is the official portal of the event promoting the competition. In order for the media to have the best possible coverage at the event, a press centre for Belarussian and International journalists has been set up at the Sports Palace and ESCflashmalta is being represented by Olivier Vanhoutte, from Belgium. The interest in the media has been quite interesting and it is quite interesting that the press are being given the full support to report on the showcase with many outlets being available to give their verdict on the Minsk show, live from the auditorium.

The main element of the showcase is still the competition and therefore, each of the participating acts have been given an original sign up sheet which enables him to show all of the prospective sides of the talent he beckons. The idea is to get the best possible outcome from the performance with regards to costumes, accessories, make up, screens and also any other additional special effects. Is it quite interesting actually because this element of an open minded showcase was not the case in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. A round of applause for the Belarussian broadcaster for having the best possible resources to produce an enticing show.

Five performers will compete for the victory: Alyona Lanskaya with “All my life”, Gunesh with “Tell me why”, Viktoria Aleshko with the song “Dream”, the band “Litesound” and their entry “We are the heroes” and Uzari with “The Winner”. The decision on who will represent Belarus in Eurovision will be decided through a combined jury and televoting vote. After the dress rehearsal and press conference it is pretty clear that the fight for the win will be between Alyona Lanskaya and the group Litesound. Litesound have already tried their luck a couple of times but this years' could be just their year to get the honour of travelling to Eurovision.

It’s worth mentioning, that “EuroFest” organisers’ team has achieved significant results at Eurovision Song Contest and all related events. National finals “EuroFest-2007” and “EuroFest-2008” were found to be the best of all the finals, organised in the countries, participating in ESC. In 2008 BTRC was awarded with a prize for the best music video for the song «Hasta la vista» performed by Ruslan Alehno at ESC 2008. Also, the European Broadcasting Union expressed a high opinion of Belarusian performances at ESC 2007 and ESC  2009, naming them the most successful and ambitious. For the first time in the framework of the “EuroFest” competition, Belarus got through to the final of Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Work your magic” performed by Dmitry Koldun finishing in fifth place in the final of the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest.

Since the project “EuroFest” started, young artists, as well as popular Belarusian performers took place in it: Irina Dorofeeva, Iskui Abalyan, Gunesh, Georgy Koldun, Anna Sharkunova, Herman, Venera, Aleksandra Gaiduk, band “Topless”, Vera Karetnikova and many others. About 118 applications from Belarusian performers to participate in this year “EuroFest”. Belarussian television also received 56 applications from songwriters from all over the world: Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Malta, Belgium, Greece, Britain, Portugal, Spain, Israel, Croatia, Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands.

Apart from the performers who will be competing to represent Belarus, the broadcaster has called upon a number of guests to entertain the crowds as the result is announced. The last three winners of the Eurovision Song Contest being Ell & Nikki, Lena and Alexander Rybak whilst Ruslana, the winner of the 2004 edition. The very first winner of the notable music competition; Lys Assia who competed in Switzerland this year will also be presented. Hitting the stage along with the others will be the Greek superstar Sakis Rouvas and the m ost successful Belarussian singer at the event; Dmitry Koldun. It seems that some artists are being announced just now as we can officially announce that Philip Kirkorov will be making an appearance as Dana International is set to give a special video message.

The importance of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is also playing a role as the Swiss representatives Sinplus will be presenting their song for Baku as they did during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Stay tuned for the latest about the nation of Belarus on with a live report set to take place between four and six in the afternoon based on the stream obtained by which is the official website of the event.

Source: BTRC, ESCflashmalta

Tuesday, 14 February 2012 14:31

Belarus: Eurofest 2012 - LIVE

Good Afternoon Europeans! Welcome to the live coverage of the Belarussian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest known as Eurofest which is being organized for the very first time since 2009 when it was won by none other than Petr Elfimove with the song 'Eyes That Never Lie' which failed to make it out of the semi-final finishing in thirteenth place with a total of 25 points. Since then though, the broadcaster has resorted to a new system which proved to both successful and unsuccessful seeing the country through to their second final since their debut. Nevertheless, the broadcaster being BTRC have reverted back to the Eurofest process in hope of selecting an entry which will do the nation proud.

The venue which is hosting the event this afternoon is the Palace of Sport and it is normally used for the Ice Hockey Games in the country. It hosts quite a nice amount of people and in fact, some 3500 are expected to attend the show which will ultimately feature performances from the five (5) finalists as well as the special guests who will be present this evening, amongst which they will be a lot of familiar faces to those following the live report through the official webcast proved by the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest. We would like you to sit back, relax and enjoy the show from Minsk, Belarus as another entry is chosen for the musical event taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan this coming May.

The Show (Part 1)

Welcome to Minsk and Eurofest 2012! The show has just started with an interesting act, very atmospheric. After this we are welcomed by the hosts of tonight: Leila Ismailova and Denis Kurian, who were also the hosts of the 2010 Junior Eurovision Songcontest. They are welcome the audience and tv-viewers in both Belarus as well as the international viewers who can watch the show live through

It's first time for some folkloric dance, but i'm sure we are all waiting for the finalists to perform. It's time for the first song finally.

Running Order

Alyona Lanskaya - All My Life (Leonid Shirin, Yuriy Vaschuk)

Alyona is wearing a very nice dress and is sitting on a moonframe to start. The camerawork is very good and the singer has a very powerful voice. Also the acrobatic moves from the dancer are quite amazing. A very good start for the competition and one of the two hot favourites tonight.

Gunesh - Tell me Why (Isa Melokov, Zahra Bedelbeyli)

Gunesh is the only singer that changed her song for the final. She's originally from Azerbaijan and has many fans in the hall. She has a a poprocksong which is not bad but somehow it doesn't do it for me.

Viktoriya Aleshko - Dream (Evgeny Oleinik, Yulia Bykova, Svetlana Geraskova)

Next one in line is Viktoria Aleshko with a very uneurovision song. This could either work very well at the Eurovision or fail big time. The singer has the looks and reminds me of Jelena Tomasevic at the national final in Serbia back in 2008. The choreography is quite interesting and ends with the lifting of the three backing singers. Really curious how the jury and public will react on this song.

Litesound - We Are The Heroes (Vladimir Karyakin, Dmitry Karyakin)

Now off to the big favourites of the night, people are screaming big time in the hall. The band won the semifinal with an atonishing 37% of the televoting (and keeping in mind there were more songs then). From the beginning of the song is very clear this is by far the most commercial song. Dimitry the leadsinger seems very confident on stage and also the guys on stage, including an Italian basist. They are enjoying themselves a lot on stage. This is the kind of song that you cannot get out of your head. Even Alexander Rybak declared he is singing it constantly when taking a shower. Let's see if they can win finally after trying before. Before heading to the last song the presenters are adressing themselves to the public, there is a lot of atmosphere.

Uzari - The Winner (Yuriy Navrotskiy)

The last song is starting very interesting choreography and is the best of all 5 songs i believe. However the song seems too difficult for eurovision. He seems to have quite some success though in the arena, so this one is very difficult to predict how he will do.

The Show (Part 2)


My prediction after hearing all 5 songs would be as follows:

- winner: Litesound

- Runner-up: Alyona

- Third place: Uzari

Televoting has started now. All five finalists are coming on stage to sing a common song dedicated to Eurofest and is very danceble! After this performance the presenters are presenting with proud the very first winner of Eurovison, Lys Assia who is performing her winning song Refrain once again. She's getting big applause from the audience after which there is a recap of all 5 songs.

The next guest is no less that Dimitry Koldun, the 2007 Belarussian entry with Work your magic. Until today he is the one who gave his country the best result ever at the Eurovision. Koldun stated he's very interested to do Eurovision again and I believe this could be a very good thing for the country! He gets huge applause in the hall as the audience shows that they still adore the singer who is currently working on a new album in Moscow where he is living with his wife.

The next performance comes from Serbia with 2007 winner Marija Serivovic performing her great song Molitva. Also she gets a big applause and the atmosphere is great. Next up is the 2012 Swiss entry sung by Sinplus. Their song 'Unbreakable' is surely a grower. The guys have fun on stage and I believe this could be a qualifier for the finals in May even though it's not my style of music but I believe what they are doing on stage. Much feedback from the public too.

The presenters come back to the main stage and Leila is wearing a great blue dress. They tune over to Israel where Dana International is giving a video message to the finalists and goodluck to everyone! After this, Diva has to be performed of course, which is done by a local male singer. We thought it might have been Philip Kirkorov who recorded also a version of the song, but he's expected later on in the show.

Next one on stage is the fabulous Ruslana who is performing again Wild Dances. She's still very popular amongst the audience and fans. Many are waiting for new material, let's hope international material will be released soon. In Belgium she still holds the biggest success for an esc-winner in the last 25 years. The people get wild and ask for more and that's what Ruslana does with another song!

After the overwelming performance of Ruslana it's going crescendo with Greek Adonis Sakis Rouvas who is performing his 2009 Eurovision entry 'This is our night' as wel as an English remake of one of his big hits 'Keep on moving'. The public gets wild in Belarus for Sakis, thats sure!

The next in line is 2009 ESC-winner Alexander Rybak who is performing a compilation of the russian version of his song Europe's skies as well as Fairytale of course. The public is welcoming him very warmly! Finally we have the last years winners Ell and Nikki who are performing their winning song Running scared.

But the biggest star for the Belarussians is without any doubt Philip Kirkorov who is welcome with big applause. He's singing a ballad and gets big response from the audience. They are going crazy for Philip, it's very clear he's a true megastar in Belarus. The singer is addressing the audience in an emotional way and gets large applause for it. The announcement of the results is closer so the tension is rising and Philip is crossing fingers and hopes Belarus will get back to the final of the Eurovision. He is giving an extra performance to the public with another song which drives the audience crazy.

The presenter says the name of the man who will announce the results now. All participants get a prize from the president for the fact they recorded a song for the show. But now it's time for the announcement....

And the winner is Alyona! One of the favourites, although Litesound might have been a better choice. But nevertheless all the best of luck!

Second place is for Litesound, number three Gunesh, place 4 Viktoria and last place for Uzari.

Saturday, 18 February 2012 16:56

Latvia: Eurovizija 2012 - LIVE

Welcome all to the live report of Eirodziesma 2012 live from Ventspils. Hosts of tonight are Jolanta Strikaite, Kristine Virsnite and Valters Fridenbergs. The last one represented Latvia in the 2005 Eurovision along with his buddy Kazha and the song ‘The war is not over’ ending in 5th place. As it’s the 10th participation of Latvia in Eurovision there will be a special performance of Marie N who won the competition with 'I Wanna' in 2002 beating off Ira Losco’s 7th wonder. Other guests will be Sinplus from Switzerland, Musiqq who were last years Latvian entry, Olga Rajecka and the cello trio DaGamba. Also from Azerbaijan there will be a special surprise during the show.

The two semi-finals leading up to the competition were held just a couple of weeks ago and the interest might not be that high because the quality of the entries in the selection has somewhat been dismal at times yet the presented songs this evening is quite remarkable at others times. There has been a lot of talks on whether Latvia might be able to get out of the Eurovision Song Contest semi-final and there are chances with the right track. The show can be followed through the official website of the event as well as the one of the broadcaster.

The start of the show

The cello trio DaGamba is opening the show with their version of Abba’s hitsong Gimme Gimme Gimme. Its sounding really and a first view on the stage looks nice. After their performance the audience and tv-viewers are welcomed by the three hosts of tonight. There is small recap of all the songs from 2002, Marie N’s song till lasts years entry. Strange that Brainstorms great entry from 2000 was excluded however. All finalists are being presented on stage followed by a first commercial break. Hopefully there won't be too many of them.

Back after the break the presenters announce the televoting numbers for the public to support their favourite song. And the voting is officially open now! We are ready for the first song!

Running Order

01) Ruta Duduma - My world (Ruta Duduma)

The first is not bad with a singer accompanied by a guitar and backed-up by three backing singers. This is an easy listening song, not bad but i believe it might be a little bit too ordinary to stand out in Baku. However a sweet girl with a nice, this worked in the past so we will see.

02) Samanta Tina & Davids Kalandija - I want you back (Martins Grunte, Oskars Maizitis)

The second show of the evening starts very slowely with candlelights on the piano. Samanta has a very good voice and also Davids seems to hold very good his notes, but the song is getting nowhere really, so this wouldnt stand any change. Pity because they are very good singers! After their performance the jurymembers are being presented as well as the current stand of voting. This is a very good and clever thing actually to show all openly. This is surely something that many other countries, including Malta, could learn from.

03) PeR - Disco superfly (Ralfs Eilands, Edmunds Rasmanis)

Per seem to be the hot favourites to win tonight, being already in the charts and currently leading the televoting. However we know from the past that this is not always a guarantee for winning. This is a very funny song with two guys who seem to have great fun. I dont know really how the European public would react on this, either it might end up very high or at the bottom of the ranking. Anyhow its surely the best song and performance of the evening till now.

04) Trianas Parks - Stars are my family (Aivars Rakovskis, Agnese Rakovska)

The next in line is the band Trianas Parks with a midtempo song called Stars are my family. I'm very sorry to say but the female leadsinger has a very annoying voice and if this would be chosen, which i cannot believ, this would be a big shame on Latvia.

05) Paula Dukure - Celebration (Edijs Dukurs, Miks Dukurs)

Song 5 comes from Paula Dukure who is singing like seated in a big cake which is looking really funny but nice! She's staying all the time in the cake while two dancers are like dancing around the cake. The song is like a poprock song and even it's not really my style i like watching this! Next to song 3 this might be the second song who might go to the superfinal later on tonight.

06) Andris Abelite - We can change the world (Andris Abelite)

A compliment for the next song, Andris is singing his song in Latvian and accompanies himself with a trumpet. The song itself is quiet classic and could have been an ok song in the 70's or 80's but not in 2012. Sorry Andris!

07) Anmary - Beautiful song (Ivars Makstenieks, Rolandins)

The next in line is Anmary with again an easy listening song which goes about the 80's. Well they are surely dressed up in 80's clothes, the lyrics are quiet cheesy and i'm very sorry to say to my latvian friends that the overall level this year is pretty low. Where is Lauris Reiniks or other main stars? After the song, Valters is having an interview with Sinplus, the Swiss entry in this years Eurovision. Later on they will be presenting their song to the Latvian public.

08) Elizabete Zagorska - You are the star (Atis Auzans, Karlis Streips)

Oh my goodness! What do we have here. A singer in a red long dress dancing like she had way too many Riga Balsems (a local popular drink), she's out of tune all the time. Dancers are having a similar choreography as Let me try, the 2005 Romanian entry from Luminita Anghel. This is the worst song for sure of tonight. Get her off stage please! And off we go for the second commercial break. After the break a current situation on the televoting is show and song 3, my personal favourite is leading, following by number 7.

09) Mad Show Boys - Music thief (Garijs Polskis)

Well this is a very surprising song. The band is totally dressed up and the lead singer has a painted face. This is a fun nonsense song, not very high level but it shows they are having fun on stage and i wouldnt be surprised at all if this makes it to the superfinal! They are getting also a big response from the audience!

10) Roberts Petersons - She's a queen (Austris Rietums, Liga Markova)

The last song of tonight is a quiet nice poprock song. There is a good melodyline actually, vocally they might not stand out but it's one of the better songs of tonight. The places for the superfinals will be though to be filled in, thats sure! There is currently a recap of all songs. And the current televoting give song 9 in the lead, followed by songs 3 and 7.

We have now a guest performance of Olga Rajecka, a local singer, which is singing a strange song. She might be popular in Latvia, but this strange tune is not my thing at all! And again there is a recap of all the songs. I think people dont want to hear back most of the songs, let's hope that the best songs go through to the superfinal!

They show now parts of the entries of Malta, Hungary, Cyprus, Iceland, followed by again a recap of the finalists. We are off for a break but will be back around 8pm for the second part of the show. Stay tuned!

The Show (Part 2)

We are back earlier then expected and the presenters announce that televoting has ended. All participants are on stage so soon we should know the superfinalists! However we are off again as this announcement is meant during the break of another program.

Finally we are off for part two of Eirodziesma. The show is opened by last years Latvian entry Musiqq who are performing a new track Dance with somebody. The guys are only accompanied by a guitarplayer so they have to improvise and they do it very good actually! We would already start to forget about the finalists. Well done Musiqq!

All finalists are called on stage for the announcement of the superfinalists, so tension is very high now! Anmary Mad Show Boys and Per (twice) get seperate prizes but all are waiting for the big announcement of the superfinalists! They are finally being announced..... after another commercial break!

The judges are giving one by one followed by the televoting results. This give the following result and three superfinalists:

02) Samanta Tina & Davids Kalandija - I want you back (Martins Grunte, Oskars Maizitis)

07) Anmary - Beautiful song (Ivars Makstenieks, Rolandins)

09) Mad Show Boys - Music thief (Garijs Polskis)

A very surprising choice as Per was considered as a sure finalist. The three superfinalists wont perform again but televoting is starting from zero, so it will be very interesting how the televoting will be now. I'd put my money on Mad Show Boys.

But before that we welcome Sinplus from Switserland who present their song Unbreakable. They are becoming this year the leaders of most visited countries as before they were already in Malta, Belarus and Ukraine and the Netherlands and surely other countries to follow. Always a pleasure to see them perform. At first i was not sure about the song but it's really a growing song and the guys show sympathy so you simply have to love Gabriel and Ivan!

Before the final announcement we have a special performance of Marie N, the winner of the 2002 Eurovision. She is singing a magnificent song 'Un vie d'amour' in impeccable french, which is not too much surprising as she is living already many years in France. Very intimate but impressive song!

Edgar Kots from LTV is coming now on stage to announce the result. And the winner is Anmary with 'Beautiful song'! Second place is Samanta Tina & Davids Kalandija while Mad Show Boys are in third place!

Goodluck to Anmary and Latvia!

One of the countries that have been participating for quite some time is The Netherlands, a nation that has managed to garner victory twice in the history of the event but the last time this took place was back in 1975 thanks to the group Teach-In with the track 'Ding-A-Dong'. In recent years, there has been a number of disappointments leading to the loss of the backing of the broadcaster; NOS in favour of the more current broadcaster; TROS. This change was implemented back in 2009 and despite the attraction of star names to represent the Dutch country at the musical extravaganza, the results are yet to improve.

Goedenavond Amsterdam! The Dutch broadcaster though has re-invented their selection process and called upon successful producer John Del Mol to take care of the proceedings. This did take place and thus, he hosted a song submission process which attracted more than four hundred (400) entries in total. In the end though, it was revealed that six would make the final cut and they will be presented for the very first time this evening when the selection is hosted. The acts have been put in respective duels with the jury and televoting both accounting for 50% of the final vote. There will also be an advisory international panel featuring people from all of the participating nations in the Eurovision Song Contest. The duels can be seen below.

We have started and there seem to be a very good atmosphere in the studio. Presenter Jan Smit is welcoming the audience and the people at home. He's explaining about the three duels and tells also more about the voting procedure as mentionned aboved. The professional jury is composed of Carlo Boszhard, Ali B, DJ Afrojack, Stacey Rookhuizen and Jeroen Nieuwenhuize. It's time now for the first duel!

Running Order

Duel 1: Tim Douwsma - Undercover lover

Tim Douwsma has the honour of opening the show. He comes from Friesland in the north of the Netherlands as has already very good looks that could appeal to the eurovision fans. His song is quiet happy song and he seems to enjoy it. The singer is accompanied by two male dancers and two female backing singers. Not a bad start of this National Final.

Duel 1: Pearl - We can overcome

Pearl is the opponent of Tim. She's bringing a sensitive ballad and brings it quiet well. She's all alone on stage at first but then accompanied by 4 backing vocals. The song is growing as it goes further and she shows very good her vocal capacities. At times she makes me think of Glennis Grace who represented the Netherlands in 2005.

The presenter is opening the televoting for this duel. And also the 100 foreigners in the hall have to decide on what they like most. A big majority is voting for Pearl which doesnt surprise me at all. The professional jury is also preparing their votes. The first judge gives 8 points to pearl and 2 to tim. The second judge gives 7 points to Pearl and 3 to Tim. The third judge gives 8 points to Pearl and 2 to Tim. The fourth judge gives 8 points to Pearl and 2 to Tim. The last judge gives also 8 to Pearl and 2 to Tim. It's also here an overwelming winning for Pearl. We'll know soon what the televoting decides. And after the televoting the decision is: 31.1% for Tim and Pearl 68.9%. Pearl to the superfinals!

Duel 2: Joan Franka - You and me

The second duel starts with the performance of Joan Franka. She's dressed like an indian woman and sings a song which is at first very simple but then turns in a midtempo happy feeling song. I cannot see it on Eurovision stage, but respect for having the guts to come with such a song!

Duel 2: Raffaëla - Chocolatte

Raffaëla is singing the uptempo song Chocolatte. The female dancers as well the singer are dressed, let's say it very nicely, very cheap. It also put the attention away from the song i believe. However i was hoping on more from this singer, the level is quiet poor. It will be interesting to see who will go through.

Again the foreigners give their advice and go for Raffaëla, which doesnt really surprise in the end, but this second duel was quiet poor in the end. The first jury gives 6 points to Joan and 4 to Raffaëla. The second judge gives the same votes as the first one. The third judge gives 4 to Joan and 6 to Raffaëla. The fourth judge gives 6 to Joan and 4 to Raffaëla. The last judge gives 4 to Joan and 6 to Raffaëla. A close race here! The televoting will make the final decision. After the televoting the decision is as follows: 53,7% for Joan and 46,3% for Raffaëla. Joan to the superfinal!

Duel 3: Kim de Boer - Children of the world

The last duel starts with Kim de Boer and Children of the world, a title which could have easily been from Ralph Siegel! The singer is accompanying herself on a piano and she's having 5 backing singers. This ballad is actually, although maybe cheesy very good, i like it and Kim has a really good voice! In the second part of the song the singer is leaving the piano and continues to give a very good performance. Curious to hear later on how the jury and public thinks on it.

Duel 3: Ivan Peroti - Take me as I am

The last song comes from Ivan Peroti who has already worked quiet a long time in music industry also as composer, but now he's on the main stage again himself. His song is quiet good built up and he has also 5 backing singers to support him. Good song, although my feeling says Kim might win this battle.

Again the foreigners give their and advice and they go for Ivan, so they didnt like too much the cheesy song from Kim. The first judge gives 3 pointss to Kim and 7 to Ivan. The second judge gives the same voting as the first judge. The third judge is following the first two judges. The fourth guide is giving 2 points to Kim and 8 to Ivan. The last judge is giving 6 points to Kim and 4 to Ivan. A quiet big advantage for Ivan, so lets see what the final result is after the televoting. The decision is as follow: 48.4% for Kim and 51,6% for Ivan. Ivan to the final but it's clear the public at home wanted Kim to qualify.

The three finalists Pearl, Joan and Ivan are called again on the stage and will all three perform against after which the jury and televoting will decide on who will represent the Netherlands at the Eurovision in Baku! The foreigners give their final advice and they seem to go for Ivan (40) before Pearl (36).

The first judge is giving his comments and points: he gives 10 to Ivan and 0 to the others. The second judge is giving 4 to Pearl and 3 to Ivan and Joan. The third judge is giving 5 to Ivan, 3 to Joan and 2 to Pearl. The fourth judge is giving 10 to Pearl and 0 to Joan and Ivan. The last judge is giving 5 to Joan, 3 to Pearl and 2 to Ivan. The final score is 20 to Ivan, 19 to Pearl and 11 to Joan. So for the jury it's Ivan to Baku. There is a last call for the televoters and then we know who wins the ticket! The phonelines are closed now so soon we know the result! The eliminated singers give their opinion. Tim is going for Pearl, Raffaela for Ivan and Kim agrees with Raffaela.

It's time for the results of the televoting. We see the results and it's Joan with 37,1%!!! Second is Pearl with 33.6% and Ivan with 29.3%. A very surprising result especially Joan was way behind after the jury vote, so the dutch public voted massively for Joan! Goodluck the Netherlands!

Monday, 27 February 2012 23:00

Romania: TVR Receives 109 Submissions

TVR is the public television broadcaster in Romania and also a member of the European Broadcasting Union thus making it a possible participant in the Eurovision Song Contest, a musical event which they have been taking part consecutivelly since 2003 and also on another two occasions, in 1994 and 1998. The preparations for the national final to be held on Saturday 10th March in Bucharest have begun with submissions reaching the spectacular number of one hundred and nine (109) but only forty six (46) have submitted everything in order with all of the others having missing documents. The broadcaster is giving them the opportunity to send in the required material by today at 09:30 am local time as the judging phase will commence at 10:00 am. It seems that one half of the 2010 team that representated Romania, Ovi has also been called as part of the jury panel.

The list of the submitted entries can be accessed here and one could easily notice an interesting mixture of artists and songwriters starting off with none other than the local lyricist, Gerard James Borg who has worked on two entries, with one being accepted thus far entitled 'The Best a Man Can Get' written alongside Mats Tarnfors and Lucian Oros who will also be performing the song. Other names who have submitted entries include the songwriter of the 2005 Irish Eurovision entry 'Love' being Karl Broderick, and Marc Paelinck who has already been at the international showcase writing 'What If We' for Chiara on behalf of Malta in 2009 and also 'Sister' for Sergio and the Ladies on behalf of Belgium in 2002 and fan-favourite Xandee with One Life two years later.

The most popular name in terms of participants seems to come from the group Madinga who will be trying their luck with the song 'Zalielah'. The dance track which could be listened through the official video has been slightly reworked for the selection but then again when considered they were quite popular in the past, they can comeback quite stronger. Their former lead singer was the 2009 Romanian representative; Elena Gheorghe. We would like to wish all of the acts the very best of luck, with the hope of listening to some cracking entries. The finalists will be most likely announced by Thursday. We will be keeping our fingers crossed for Gerard James Borg and Marc Paelinck who have both had a hand in the Maltese entries at the Eurovision Song Contest in the past.

Source: TVR


Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:14

Bulgaria: National Final - LIVE

Tonight, the Bulgarian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest hosted by BNT will be held in order to determine thier representative to Baku, Azerbaijan. Twelve (12) acts will be vying to represent the country this evening, as selected through a semi-final stage held late in January. The end result will be decided through a 50% stake in Jury and Tele-Voting. All of the results thus far have been extremely transparent and therefore things will be quite interesting tonight as the comperes; Milenita, Alexander Sano and Drago Draganov take to the stage. The showcase will be kicking off at 19:30 CET and the fans can follow the show through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest along with our live report.

There will be a number of guest stars this evening including our very own representative Kurt Calleja who will be presenting the song 'This Is The Night' to the public in Bulgaria who will be competing in the second semi-final alongside Malta. Nevertheless, other acts who will be present are none other than Soluna Samay for Denmark, Ivi Adamou for Cyprus and Anggun for France whilst former representatives Elitsa and Stoyan are also thought to be making a guest appearance this evening. We would like to wish you a pleasant evening as you follow the show on ESCflashmalta.

Hello live from Sofia, we are on the show. The presenters are welcoming the audience and the voting is explained right now.

Running Order


Go Week - The Way You See The World

The first song of the night is a quiet poprock song. The singer is not too bad, but it's quiet common in my opinion, so i don't think this stand much of a chance of winning tonight.

Todor Gadzhalov - Still Love You

The secong song of tonight is a ballad sung by male singer Todor. The idea is not bad at all but somehow he doesn't seem to keep his notes very good. And it's the kind of song that you seem to forget quiet easily. The singer looks good but that's not enough unfortunately in this competition.

Steliyana Hristova - Putyat

At last a first song is really worth listening. This ballad sung in bulgarian is really nice and the singer is singing quiet confident backed-up by several backing singers. Not bad at all! Don't know if this is a winning tune, but it's surely going in the right direction. And we surely noticed all Mariana's Popova's appearance (Bulgaria 2006) during the song!

Rene Ranev - Alone

And again a ballad with Rene's 'Alone'. The song starts quiet nicely and turns then into a midtempo poprock song. This is quiet a pity as i feel he seems to lose it and screams way too much. Pity this is a lost chance for the singer.

Dess - Love Is Alive

The next song is starting very nice with an angelic voice and then turns into an uptempo song. This is a very interesting and the first song that i could be seeing as a potential song for Eurovision, although the vocals are quiet weak unfortunately. Should this wins then there is a lot of work to be done, but i dont' exclude it.

Svetozar Hristov - Keep Me Down

The next song started so promising really with Svetozar at the piano but it totally failed the moment he started singing. This is really of a very bad level with all respect to the singer. I don't understand how sth like this could have made it to the finals. Really one of the worst songs i heard till now!

Simona Sivanio - Eternal

The next song after a short break is kind of a relief. Finally a song worth for battling for the big trophee. It's a quiet traditional song but with good singing a good stage act with the greek pilars and backing singers on stage. Really up to now this has to be called my favourite, although i must say i think Bulgaria might struggle big time with this song to go to the finals too.

Ivaylo Kolev feat. Hipnotik - Searching For The Words

The next song is back to scratch with all respect. There is an attempt to go with a strong ballad but this could easily been the enty of the UK back in the 80's. Ivaylo sorry my friend but this is not going to be a good bulgarian entry. Better next time!

Sofi Marinova - Love Unlimited

Next song is an attempt to come up with an up-to-date song. But Sofi's song is failing big time, the music might be appealing a bit but the vocals are really annoying to listen too. Thats why i also give my advice to future dance projects in eurovision: please make sure your singer is strong enough to really take a dance-song live or you will look like fools.

Vyara Pantaleeva - Vyara

The song in line is again a more quiet song. Vyara looks very very good and looks like a star that could shine on Eurovision.....if only she had a good song. Vyara is really boring and the vocals are quiet annoying too in my opinion. I hope the readers of won't hate me for being so straight forward, but i feel it's my aim to report in an fair and direct way. No really from all the songs i heard till now all songs in Malta Eurovison 2012 final could easily beat these songs of tonight.

New 5 - Chance For A Better Life

What the hell is this? From the first secons i was paying extra attention as this looked very cool! Four girls and one guy (except from the keyboard player) and an uptempo song. But then they start singing and it's so so so bad. I think i will need a walk outside after this final as the final is so really bad. A definately NO to New 5.

Tsvetelin Atanasov-Elvisa feat. DZ - Love Goes Around

Save the best for last? Well that is my hope.... My god what is this!? It sounds more like a cheap cabaret song with an attempt to be up-to-date. With all respect to my bulgarian friends, it seems the country totally lost it! From all the songs i heard tonight i really cannot remember a single song that might go to the final. The one that might have the highest chances might be song number 7 but still a lot of work would need to be done then.

After the performance of all twelve songs we have a first look backstage with all the artists and some comments. And we are off for a commercial break, be back soon for part2 of the show!

The Show (Part 2)

We are back with a recap of all finalists. And we are off for the first guest performance, a bulgarian act which is already sounded better than all finalists. After this performance we have a recap again from all finalists again. After that we have another bulgarian act and i really wonder why neither this or previous act was not in the final, they would have kicked really some butts :). The next song is really good too and i keep on wondering why this kind of song didnt enter in the national selection, could have really gone very good! And we are off for a more traditional song from a local singer, not bad but bit too much traditional. Let us wait for the international guests, amongst our own Kurt Calleja! But first we have a performance of a junior eurovision entry, the last bulbarian entry. It seems also the voting is over now.

We are off for the international guests. Kurt Calleja is being presented with magnificent views over our Island and it gives a wonderful feeling that the clip is accompanied with the only maltese song that got Malta back to the finals, 'What if we' from Chiara, back in 2009. But finally we are off for Kurts performance in full playback with 'This is the night'. He is alone onstage which is a pity as it takes even more energy from the song. Next one on stage is the danish entry and one must say it give immediately a much warmer feeling on stage even she's alone on stage too. Next is a message from Gaitana from Ukraine who couldnt make it to Sofia, but a short clip of her song is shown. Now it's Ivi Adamou from Cyprus, she's shining as usual! And last but not least it's Angunn from France who presents her song for Eurovision. Surely someone to keep in mind!

We have also Elitsa and Stoyan on stage, the Bulgarian representatives from 2007 who gave Bulgaria 5th place. However now it's time for the results!

And the winner is .... Sophie Marinova with Love United! Congratulations and the best of luck to Bulgaria! They'll surely need it and let's hope a lot of work is done towards Baku!

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