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Lee Harley

Lee Harley

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 17:02

Malta: Talented Youngsters Perform Weekly on La5

Normally, Sundays are sought to sit down and relax with family, and with “Tra Sogno e Realta” airing on La5, entertainment is also being provided, courtesy of young and upcoming talent, from Italy and Malta. As a matter of fact, the episodes which have aired thus far have seen no less than three (3) students of La Voix Music Academy reach the next stage of the competition.

These are none other than; Kassidy Calleja and Krista Sujak, relative newcomers to the music scene, as well as Veronica Rotin, whose name and reputation precede her, having previously taken part in “Io Canto” on Italia Uno, “Next Star” on Antena 1 and most recently the Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in 2nd place. 

On behalf of escflashmalta.com, we would like to wish all these youngsters the very best of luck in the next round, as well as their future whilst hoping that you tune into La5 every Sunday at 1:30 pm. We urge you to stay tuned to this portal even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about anything in relation to the local music scene, and success in foreign territories.

Source: La Voix Music Academy


7th March, save the dates! The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will be naming their representative artist and entry for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria. Someone will be following in the footsteps of Molly Smitten-Downes whose entry “Children of the Universe” only managed mid-table.

In a blog post through the official website, Special Event co-ordinator Guy Freeman, Stated that “some of the submitted songs were easily good enough to be commercial tracks straight away and others had clear potential, so it wasn’t hard to draw up an initial shortlist of interesting contenders  ...  ultimately, one song stood out as having both instant impact and real memory staying power. Everyone is now working hard to get it ready for the evening of Saturday 7th March.” 

Rumour has it that the British entrant will be none other than a former contestant of “The Voice” alumni and with the chosen time slot, this could prove to be correct. Nevertheless, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: BBC


After an eventful weekend, we are getting slowly but surely closer to seeing who will be representing the Nordics in Vienna, Austria, during the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. As ever, Melodifestivalen kicked off with a bang. Hosted by 2014 winner Sanna Nielsen whom made a surprisingly decent hostess. Eric Saade qualified for the final as expected and Jessica Andersson also qualified directly to the final whilst the unique Dolly Style and Behrang Miri featuring Victor Crone will participate in the Andra Chansen round in Helsingbrorg on 7th March.

Fredrik Kempe already has one song in the final upholding his seemingly annual tradition. An all-round successful evening but nothing scandalous or controversial. Jessica performed well and Eric, despite the negativity managed to stir the crowd. We now have a pleasant ballad and upbeat, up-tempo song already in contention.

With Eric an early favourite to win we need to see if other big names manager to challenge him for the chance to represent Sweden. Denmark has confirmed it’s participant and the the unexpected winner Anti Social Media and the song “The Way You Are”. After being the clear favourite with the juries Anti Social Media had a clear lead and coming second in the viewer’s votes the win (albeit marginal) secured their place in Vienna.


This meant that they had early favourites such as "Suitcase" and "Mi Amore" into second and seventh respectively. The reaction to the Danish entry has been somewhat negative and the entry has quickly become one of the least favourite contenders in Vienna thus far. Three entries also progressed to the final from the Icelandic making the line-up for next Saturday’s final complete. With all entries in the native Icelandic it could prove to be an interesting finale.  

The first step has been taken for the Nordic entries this year I would love to have them all in the final again, I am sceptical given my disappointment with the Danish entry. I am hoping it is a grower but time will tell. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the Eurovision Song Contest 2015.

Source: eurovision.tv


It is fair to say that the search has commenced, with the Nordic countries looking for the best possible entries to represent them in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, set to take place in Vienna, capital city of Austria. In a three-part series, escflashmalta.com will be looking at the various selections, kicking off with Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) in Finland, and Melodi Grand Prix (MGP) in Norway.

Finland has had it’s most successful decade since they first entered the contest in 1961. Their win with Lordi in 2006 has certainly marked a positive turning point for the country. This might not equal the success of their Scandinavian neighbours, the combined score of Finland, a total of 544 points in all the finals, and only failing to make it through to that stage on two occasions, is nothing to be sniffed at for the many years when Finland battled Norway at the latter end of the table.

Semi-Final 1 (February 07)

Hans on the bass – "Loveshine"

Vilikasper Kanth – "Äänen kantamattomiin"

Norlan El Misionario – "No voy a llorar por ti"

Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät – "Aina mun pitää"

Pihka Ja Myrsky – "Sydän ei nuku"

Satin Circus – "Crossroads"


Semi-Final 2 (February 14)

Jouni Aslak – "Lions and lambs"

Eeverest – "Love it all away"

Otto Ivar – "Truth or dare"

Opera Skaala – "Heart of light"

Shava – "Ostarilla"

Siru – "Mustelmat"


Semi-Final 3 (February 21)

Aikuinen – "Kyynelten Iahti"

Ida Bois – "Kumbaya"

Järjestyshäiriö – "Särkyneiden sydänten kulmilla"

Angelo De Nile – "All for victory"

Heidi Pakarinen – "Bon voyage"

Solju – "Hold your colours"

Whilst I might not be in a position to comment on the artists in contention, it is fair to say that the songs in itself represent diversity in terms of genre, and likability, giving Finland a plethora of entries to choose from. On the other hand, the other contender for 'nul points' during the year has definitely been Norway, having achieved the feat in 1963, 1978, 1981, and 1997.

Smashing all previous Eurovision records in 2009 and winning by comfortable margins in both 1985 and 1995 you can safely say that when Norway is on form it certainly wins with style. Therefore, Norway’s combined finals score for the past ten years is 1054 second only to Sweden. Yesterday, in a Press Conference organised by NRK, the 11 finalists were made public, much to public anticipation.

Final (14th March)

Alexandra Joner - "Cinderella"

Contrazt - "Heaven"

Erlend Bratland - "Thunderstruck

Ira Konstantinidis - "We Don't Worry"

Jenny Langlo - "Next to You"

Karin Parik - "Human Beings"

Marie Klåpbakken - "Ta Meg Tilbake"

Mørland & Deborah Scarlett - "A Monster Like Me"

Raylee - "Louder"

Staysman & Lazz - "En Godt Stekt Pizza"

Tor & Bettan - "All Over the World"

In the second part of the Nordic series, escflashmalta.com will be having a look at Iceland and Denmark, as the songs are set to premiere rather earlier than usual in one instance, whilst the list of finalists will be made public in the other quite soon. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: NRK, YLE, escflashmalta.com


Monday, 10 November 2014 19:59

MESC 2015: Male and Female Hosts Made Public

With the Junior Eurovision Song Contest literally days away, the Public Broadcasting Services has gone on record stating that Daniel Chircop and Lyona Xuereb Gatt will be hosting the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which will see to the selection of the act that will represent the nation in Vienna, Austria next May.

Daniel is a prominent local television host and comedian whereas Lyona is a competing newcomer. Both will be pushed into the forefront of Maltese television when they host one of the country’s most popular annual television shows. The selection is to be held over two days with the semi-final being held on Friday 21st November and the final on Saturday the 22th November.  

Six acts will be eliminated on the first show with fourteen acts competing in the final on Saturday. As with previous years a combined jury and public vote will determine the act representing Malta in Vienna. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: PBS / TVM


As rumours start to circulate as to who will or who won’t be participating in Melodifestivalen 2015. We can have a look at some of the items that have been confirmed. Firstly, Sanna Nielsen solidifies herself as a MF veteran after being confirmed as co-host with Robin Paulsson. After winning the competition on her seventh attempt by only two points last year with her song “Undo”. She secured third place in Copenhagen in May after becoming one if the early favourites. 

The natural progression would be for her to become host. I am pretty sure she will do a great job and I like how SVT keep refreshing the presenters. Chris Björkman has also confirmed that there will be a format change for the 2015 competition. This year there will be 12 songs in the final rather than the usual 10 and four songs will progress from the second chance round instead of two. The number of entries has been reduced to 28 instead of 32 and each semi will have seven acts instead of eight. The bottom three songs from each final will automatically be eliminated.


Rumours are rife with who will also participate. Måns Zelmerlöw is allegedly making his third entry into the competition. I would say maybe third time lucky for handsome Swede. If Eric Saade can manage third place as he did in 2011 it is likely that Måns would do will if he represented Sweden in Vienna. Linda Bengtzing has been rumoured for a UK entry so we may not see her in MF this year. However, as her songs are always in Swedish I think she may well choose to enter MF again.


Helena Paparizou has allegedy been offered a new song for Melodifestivalen. I was a big fan of "Survivor". I would love to have seen in it in Copenhagen and it was an early favourite of mine in last year’s competition. I will be very happy if she decides to try again next year. Starlet Elin Överfjord is also allegedy eyeing up an entry for 2015. Her dance/uptempo songs could be a big hit in Eurovision. Yohio, JEM and Linnus Svenning also have not ruled out a return. This could make an interesting show. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates.

Source: Expressen, Aftonbladet

Tuesday, 07 October 2014 18:18

United Kingdom: BBC Launches Open Selection

In 2014, Molly represented the United Kingdom with 'Children of the Universe', a mid-tempo ballad with a rousing chorus which got everyone going. Nevertheless, the result was quite disappointing as the singer/songwriter slumped to yet another mid-table result, slightly better than the ones achieved by Bonnie Tyler in 2013, and Engelbert Humperdinck in 2012.

In a surprise twist, the British Broadcasting Corporation issued a call for songs, hoping that upcoming singers and songwriters come up with a inspirational package, which will pick up votes from all the four corners of Europe. Despite all of this, the national broadcaster is also talking to a number of record labels, and platforms such as the BBC Introducing in order to come up with a strong shortlist.

Following the establishment of the shortlist, the British Broadcasting Corporation will appoint a professional panel of experts to select the next entry to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news. BBC, the British national broadcaster, has revealed that they are accepting song submissions for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: BBC


CyBC, the public broadcaster responsible for the participation of Cyprus in events organised by the European Broadcasting Union is expected to confirm the selection method for the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, in which the island is making it's return.

A collaboration between CyBC and MAD TV Cyprus will be initiated, in a bit to bolster the standing in terms of song and production quality. Whilst the two broadcasters will be working hand-in-hand, a similar tandem to the one used by Greece, record labels will not be involved according to insiders. Very little has been revealed as of yet but we understand that the competition is open to international songwriters but at least one of them must be Cypriot. 

The aim is simple, Cyprus would love to win the Eurovision Song Contest or at least come close to achieving the success achieved back in 2004 with "Stronger Every Minute" performed by the one and only Lisa Andreas. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter as a successor to Despina Olympiou will be selected through a high profile public selection.

Source: Oikotimes


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.


Sony Music, Warner Music and da Works have announced that they may potentially boycott the Norwegian national final after a new ruling from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in collaboration with record label Universal Music have announced that all competing songs in the Eurovision Song Contest are to be released as a part of the official album as well as single tracks available for download.

All profits from the Eurovision Song Contest songs will then bypass other labels and go directly to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Universal Music. Understandably, this has irked many in the music industry as Eurovision Song Contest songs are a guaranteed revenue generator. However, it has been cited that representatives from record companies have been forced to sign into this agreement. This has certainly been the case for Carl Espen whom would not have been able to represent Norway if the agreement had not been signed. 

Leif O. Ribe from Sony Music told Norwegian newspaper VG that it also creates difficulties for record companies to promote their artist in other countries. Executive Producer for the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Jan Ola Sand, has said that all countries were made aware of this but Norway is not the only country to react negatively. Regardless, this may have future implications for entrants to the Eurovision Song Contest. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: VG

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