January 23, 2020

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ESCflashmalta Team

ESCflashmalta Team

It has come to the final week before the final announcement of the twenty finalists of this year’s Malta Eurovision. A number of artists are aspiring to make the return to Malta’s top show whilst others are hopeful that they manage to reach the showcase for the very first time. The excitement is running high amongst all the participants and as we had in to the final week, the artists behind the seventy songs that got through are meeting the Xarabank crew in preparation for next Friday’s show.

Today, a number of newcomers were asked to attend the PBS Creativity Hub for an audition behind closed doors. The singers called in for the auditions are singers who are either completely new to the music scene or else relatively new to the local scene. This was surely done to ensure that the twenty finalists chosen are vocally capable of delivering a live performance. The ones who were not called in should not think that their chances are slim though, because they all stand the same chance of getting through as the rest.

escflashmalta.com was in contact with Anton Attard, the Chief Executive Officer, and the mind behind the last three editions of the Malta Eurovision and the person who aided Malta’s return to the top ten after seven years thanks to Gianluca’s ‘Tomorrow’. In a statement with the website he stated: “We have called for these new artists, to ensure that the final list is made of competent artists who are able to deliver live.” Twenty songs are expected to make it through to the first show on Friday, with fourteen qualifying to the finals on Saturday.

In the meantime it is important to remind you that the final twenty will be announced on a special edition of Xarabank, on the 29th of November. Like last year, it is expected that the singers will get the opportunity to showcase the first few seconds of their song; the audience will get a taste of what to expect before hearing the song in full. From then on the preparations will go in full swing for this year’s edition of the Malta Eurovision which will take place on the 7th and 8th of February. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Anton Attard (PBS CEO), escflashmalta.com


Tuesday, 19 November 2013 10:45

MESC '14: PBS Make Entries in Phase Two Known

Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals by Gianluca was the most successful entry to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest since Chiara's Angel back in 2005, eight (8) years ago. The journey to find the successor commenced a couple of weeks back with the Public Broadcasting Services receiving a total of two hundred and ten (210) submissions, a record since the broadcasting house took over the selection process, and the most in as many years.

Anton Attard, Chief Executive Officer at the Public Broadcasting Services and also Head of Delegation commented on the vast amount of submissions from overseas territories, something which in turn denotes competition for local songwriters with the aim of boosting their creativity to the highest levels and write some fantastic tracks. In the meantime, escflashmalta.com has learnt of several artists who have put their name forward including two former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Fabrizio Faniello and Miriam Christine. On the other hand, the major surprise certainly comes in the form of Claudia Faniello, the two time former runner-up who is also absent from the list following an exclusive piece posted on escflashmalta.com earlier this year.

1. Addictive - Romina Mamo (Linda Persson / Ylva Persson)

2. Again - Nadia (Roger Tirazona / Nadia Vella)

3. All My Love - Fiona Cauchi (Renato Briffa / Keith Zammit)

4. Almost Heaven - Ruth Portelli (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

5. Analyse This - Dorothy Bezzina (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

6. Back To ... - Anique (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

7. Bad Girl - Michela Mallia (Samuel Bugia Garrido / Rita Pace)

8. Because I Have You - Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

9. Bite The Bullet - Fire Light (Richard Micallef)

10. Brand New Day - Davinia (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

11. Call It Love - Jamie Tonna (Marco Debono / Doris Chetcuti)

12. Candy - Jessica Micallef (Carlo Gerada / Matt Mercieca)

13. City Lady - Ryan Paul Abela (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

14. Closer to You - Miriam Christine (Clifford Borg / Miriam Christine)

15. Coming Home - Fire Light (Richard Micallef)

16. Could Have Been Me - Ioana Dalli (Philip Vella)

17. Dazzling - Francesca Borg (Marco Debono / Doris Chetcuti)

18. Don't Bring Me Down - Jan Cortez (Carlo Gerada / Matt Mercieca)

19. Drop Dead Beautiful - Ylenia Vella (Jason Paul Cassar / Mario Farrugia)

20. Favourite Waste of Time - Floren (Michael Talkzog / Gerard James Borg)

21. For All Those Times - Gloriana Arpa Belli (Renato Briffa / Doris Chetcuti)

22. Grow Up - Natalie Gauci (Natalie Gauci / Peter Busuttil)

23. Here I Am - Anna Azzopardi (Heathcliffe Balzan / Deo Grech)

24. High - Nadine Bartolo (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)

25. How Can I Miss You? - Kylie Coleiro (Matthias Strasser)

26. Hypnotica - Jessika (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

27. I Hope You Know - Kristabel Mercieca (Richard Micallef)

28. I Will Not Surrender - Minik (Michael J Down / Jonas Gladnikoff / Poglajen / Minik)

29. In Too Deep - Cherise Attard (Linda Persson / Ylva Persson / Natasha Turner)

30. In Your Kiss - Jessika (Philip Vella / Jessica Muscat)

31. Invisible - Raquel Galdes (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

32. Just No Place Like Home - Fabrizio Faniello (Johan Bejerholm)

33. Kiss Your Tears Away - Annabelle Debono (Philip Vella)

34. Let The Sunshine In - Sophie DeBattista (Sophie DeBattista / Adam Pakard / Alex Dew)

35. Living Again - Jelena (Philip Vella)

36. Look Wonderful Tonight - Anique (Aronne Chetcuti Caruana)

37. Lovetricity - Christabelle (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

38. Love Will Take Me Home - Franklin (Glen / Beatrice Eriksson / M Frenell / Michael J Down)

39. Made for You - Franklin Calleja (Elton Zarb / Franklin Calleja / Miriam Christine)

40. Magic Moonlight - Annalise Psaila (Chan Vella / Alexia Schembri)

41. Magic Symphony - Eleanor Cassar (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

42. Mi-Mi-Mind - Neville Refalo (Erik Mjorneh / Jonas Thander / Jonny Sanchez / Neville)

43. Now and Forever - Andreana (Vinny Vella / Karl Spiteri)

44. Oblivion - Chris Grech (Philip Vella / Chris Grech / Gerard James Borg)

45. Once in a While - Minik (Elton Zarb / Rita Pace)

46. One Last Ride - Daniel Testa (Stephen Rudden / Lawrence Peter Bridge)

47. Pin The Middle - Debbie Stivala (Peter Paul Galea / Debbie Stivala)

48. Reach the Light - Ben (Benjamin Darmanin / Jonathan Spiteri)

49. Reaching for the Sky - Kaya (Sven Lundholm / Erik Rydmark / Aidan O'Connor)

50. Remember - Dorothy Bezzina (Erik Anjou)

51. Safe - Miriam Christine (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

52. SamaniSahe - Anique (Mark Paelinck / Herman Bartje)

53. Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William (Wayne Micallef)

54. Shattered Dreams - Analise Psaila (Chan Vella / Alexia Schembri)

55. Smile - Rikki Lee Scicluna (Mark Attard / Rikki Lee Scicluna)

56. Stronger - Romina Mamo (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)

57. Sweet Surrender - Anique (Magdalena Maj / Magnus Kaxe)

58. Tabula Rasa - Julie Promotski (Augusto Cardinali / Julie Pomorski)

59. Take Me - Pamela (Boris Cezek)

60. Take Me As I Am - Simaria Galea (Jangklev / Schneider / Biglert / O'Connor)

61. Ten - Corazon - Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

62. The One - Francesca Borg (O'Connor / Biglert / Schneider / Gronwall)

63. The Question - Nadine Bartolo (Jangklev / Schneider / Biglert / O'Connor)

64. The Thief - Dario Mifsud Bonnici (Tommy Berre / Christian Ingerbrigsten)

65. Under the Sun - Kevin Paul Calleja (Kevin Paul / Peter Borg / Judy Greaves)

66. Until We Meet Again - Deborah C (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

67. What When Where - Joseph Refalo (Miriam Christine / Gerard James Borg)

68. You - Dayle Camilleri (Minik / Alison Ellul)

69. Your Game - Francesa Borg (Michael Down / Poglajen / Gladnikoff / Francesca Borg)

70. Zest - Simaria Galea (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)

The Public Broadcasting Services will be revealing the twenty (20) entries to make it through to the semi-final of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest through the programme Xarabank airing on the 29th November 2013 on Television Malta. The announcement is expected to last the whole programme, adding to the annual anticipation and excitement. It is yet unknown whether the venue will be the Malta Fairs or Conventions Centre or the Mediterranean Conference Centre but the dates have now been confirmed as the 7th and 8th February 2014 respectively. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services


In 2003, Malta was one of the sixteen countries which competed in the inaugural edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and started on a positive note with Sarah Harrison and her entry Like a Star garnering fifty-six points to finish in seventh place. The Public Broadcasting Services confirmed participation for the following seven years with the latest entry being Knock Knock! ... Boom! Boom! performed by Nicole Azzopardi which achieved a mid-table finish. Unfortunately, that was in 2010 and Malta decided to call it a day after that with finances put forward to the actual Eurovision Song Contest participation. 

Multiple Sources close to escflashmalta.com have confirmed that there have been a number of conversations and discussions with regards to a possible return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for the simple reason that the younger generation of artists are lacking major opportunities to present themselves to a European audience. The Junior Eurovision Song Contest is not the competition it used to be with support fluctuating due to the economic crisis but nevertheless eight countries including; Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine are still participating.

The European Broadcasting Union is currently negotiating with a number of countries, hopefully to reach a minimum threshold. Malta's return into the competition would surely create a number of opportunities for the young stars. The same exponents who brought forward such rumours also shed light on the possibility that the nation could be interested in hosting the event in the next couple of years in order to showcase that the Public Broadcasting Services is ready to host a major event on our shores. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com in the coming days, weeks and months as this story continues to evolve. 

Source: escflashmalta.com


Songs in Maltese are well received by the public and some of the all time classics in Maltese are commonly requested on the local airwaves. As time went by though the opportunities of releasing new material in Maltese faded slowly. Things took a turn for the worse, when back in 2002 the last edition of the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija took place. This festival was popular with artists across the border and year after year, every one used to be looking forward for another year of celebration of talent and Maltese music. Although in a competitive spirit, a lot of composers, authors and singers saw this as an opportunity to share their music, share their thoughts and their talents.

The festival used to attract the most popular singers on the island, even those who had represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest. The festival was seen prestigious and taking part in such competition was every artists dream – one can dare say it was seen almost as prestigious as the Song for Europe back then. The Maltese language is beautiful in itself and when sung the sound produced it surely magical, the composers and lyricists put in a lot of work in making sure that the melody, the words, the voice as well as the arrangement come together to create the perfect sound. One can say that everyone used to put in that extra effort to make the finals of the prestigious event.

Nowadays, the two main competitions in Maltese are L-Għanja Tal-Poplu and the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. The former is seen as a festival amongst friends with the singers accompnied live by musicians and although this is a great intiative some artists feel discouraged to participate in such an event whilst the composers and authors are also limited in submitting only three songs which once again limits the amount of submissions. The festival though has seen an increase in popularity but not as much as one would hope for. Whilst the latter, is organized under the helm of a political party and songs with a political message in hindsight seem to do well in it – this again discourages some participants.


So the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija was seen as the only netural festival which attracted attention across all borders  and the fact that it was shown on TVM and had the backing of the government ensured the neutrality of such a competition. The festival used to bring a number of opportunities itself and helped in regards to networking within the music field both on a local level and also on an international level. Apart from that the festival itself served as a launching pad for a number of artists and since it was always seen in high regard, this was the perfect platform to launch your career. It was simple, if you’re made the finals here, you can compete with the very best within the Maltese industry.

Rumours have been going round for quite sometime that the festival is going to make a  return and a number of composers, authors and singers have pressured different entities for the festival to return. In fact, close sources to escflashmalta.com revealed to us that  last year two different entities were looking into reviving the festival but sadly both fell through. It has come to a point, that if this prestigious festival is going to make a return is has to be now or never, with a new government in the country, one would expect that its return is more possible then before but thus far nothing have been mentioned. Maybe late this year or early next year, we manage to see the revival of such festival, if not, sadly I can bid adieu to a festival which gave birth to some of the most beautiful songs in Maltese in recent years. 


Thursday, 14 February 2013 19:17

Italy: Third Night of Sanremo 2013 - LIVE

RAI, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest has gained worldwide recognition for hosting the annual Sanremo competition in the Ariston Theatre and this year will be no different. On Tuesday, the 63rd edition officially commenced and all of the artists competing in the 'Campioni' category, now know which song they will be performing on Friday and Saturday, where they will be taking to the stage with their setlist of original songs. Journalists and critics alike have been very respectful of the first two evenings and the song quality has been commented to be far stronger than last year. The show could be watched through RAI 1 on Satellite, although one could find it on Reception Television. Follow the show online through the official website of the competition.

The representative for the Eurovision Song Contest will be selected through the Sanremo competition but it is relatively unlikely that the chosen entry will be the same one performed during these nights which will lead up to Saturday evening. Since their return, Italy have done extremely well at the international showcase, reaching ninth place with Nina Zilli and her entry L'Amore e Femmina (Out of Love) last year as opposed to their first runner-up finish in 2011 with the track Madness of Love (Follia D'Amore) performed by Raphael Gualazzi who took to the stage last night as he is one of the artists in the category 'Campioni'. This years' Sanremo competition is being hosted by Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzetto, the former being none other than the producer for this years' proceedings. 

The Show

This evenings' edition of Sanremo is opening up with video footage from the past, presumably a drama series, one of the ever lasting telenovelas that have been known to dominate television throughout the years. The audience is pretty quiet as they await for this evenings' opening act will include but nevertheless it seems that because this is Saint Valentine's Day, they could be a bit romantic and suddenly a well dressed couple walk on stage and wait, seeing the outfits up close, this is not really helping because Luciana is seemingly wearing a plastic skirt as opposed to Fabio is wearing the same suit as he has worn in the past two days. In a romantic gesture, he has given her some flowers but they are too big for her to carry and she drops them. They are having a lovely conversation early on.

Running Order 

Simona Molinari e Peter Cincotti

Following their qualification from the first evening, a big band sound which sounds really good as an opening number this evening. The orchestra is really giving a good vibe to kick off things. Simona's vocals are really impressive but nevertheless, Peter is surely to be congratulated on the effort he is putting into his performance. In Malta, we have an artist who genre is quite similar, Janvil. This looks much more polished today and that is definitely a much more positive attitude to give now that they have managed to qualify with this entry.


Marco Mengoni

Marco Mengoni takes to the stage and performs a strong powerful ballad as portrayed in the opening night of Sanremo. The emotion of the song is definitely being portrayed through the strong vocals which seem to be much stronger than the first evening to be honest. He is clad in a maroon suit as opposed to the blue which he wore the first time round. He seems to be quite stylish as is expected from a male artist who is predominantly Italian.


Elio e le Storie Tese

Elio and the rest of his buddies make up his band and they managed to get through with this mad song last night to be honest. At the beginning, the vocals were not so strong unfortunately but nevertheless, did eventually pick up towards the middle of the song. The song in itself is quite catchy and has a ring to it. It is quite intriguing that the gorup has a signature caricature look and are all dressed in vintage suits. The main singer also surprised the audience when he seemingly showed that he had four hands, albeit fake.


Malika Ayane

Malika takes to the stage and she is still in the running to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest in a couple of weeks time. She has an extremely distinct look, elegant and classy attire as has been the case even during the initial performance. The song unfortunately is not my cup of team and is relatively monotonous, doesn't really show her vocal abilities. Her emotions are definitely running hight though because she is doing her best to show that this is a good song but fails. It lacks a special climax and makes it quite boring.


Marta Sui Tubi

The song a modern rock one performed by a band, very lively engageing song , vocals quite strong, becomes more mellow towards the middle before reaching the climax. Outfits are extremely casual considering how popular this event has become during the course of history but nevertheless, as expected once more, extremely stylish. I have to say that this has improved for todays' performance and that is good to note especially because I believe that this is a candidate for last place really.



Once more, another female and one has to denote that she indeed has an extremely sultry and romantic look but nevertheless, a mediocre voice whom I never understood how the public selected her as the winner of the X Factor competition. The song does indeed lack the substance for it to stand out and towards the end, the goes off pitch because it was the winning factor require for this particular competition. I am quite surprised how this artist is seemingly one of the favourites to win this years' competition because she lacks quite a lot in terms of a final package.


Max Gazze

Max Gazze is known to the local audience having performed with the renowned Ira Losco in recent months as she planned her comeback into the local music scene. This song is actually quite intriguing because it seems to have a lot of elements of the material that Malika Ayane and Arisa both brought to the music scene. The stage is extremely colourful and this is really important for the overall outcome on television. It seems that Max is enjoying himself out there and this year, everyone seems much more relaxed knowing that they will not be eliminated.



Another potential contender for the Eurovision Song Contest is Annalisa and one to start by pointing out that this dress sense is surely mis-represented and mis-understood because I cannot udnerstood how a sheer white top is well aligned with a pink skirt. On the first night, it seemed that Annalisa was not really up to performing but that has all seemingly changed this evening because in a stage lit up by stars in the backdrop, she is giving it her all and the orchestra sounds absolutely wonderful. Another hit in the making from the renowned performer and such a strong addition to Sanremo.


Maria Nazionale

Maria Nazionale is back on the Sanremo stage and having given the best performance of the competition this year, I will not expect anything less. She is wearing a completely different dress and this one is somewhat well thought of, because there is a melanchonic feel about the whole performance.The song is absolutely beautiful and the vocals are very similar to those provided by Pastora Soler during last years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Maria is showing that she should indeed finish high on the scoreboard on Saturday evening although, I believe she had a much stronger performance on the first night rather than this evening. Sensual, and just beautiful in its own right. Well Done!


Simone Cristicchi

Simone Cristicchi is clad in a much more suitable suit for the evening and this seems to be an extremely emotional song because he literally pours his heart into the performance. He manages to grasp the people in the best possible way and it has to be noted that everything has worked out in the manner that he wanted. It was rather unbelievable that I barely liked the guy a couple of days ago only to love this performance. This is a much better entry than the one presented back in 2007 in my opinion and that won, so who knows!



Another one of my favourites in this years' edition of the Sanremo competition is Moda who were of course the runners-up just two years ago when they performed Arrivera with Emma Marrone who went onto win the competition last year. The lead vocalist is in smart casual attire, and he is really enjoying his time on the stage of the Ariston Theatre. The camera shots are ideal this evening and it seems that they are more sure of the song this time round. The vocals are spot on this evening, much stronger than the first time round and the music has that winning potential. I think this is competition between three including Moda, Maria Nazionale and Daniele Silvestri.


Daniele Silvestri

Daniele Silvestri has just been mentioned in my previous post and that is to be noted that the running order this evening has been quite consistent with the favourites somewhat placed right after each other.I believe that this one will be walking out of this years' competition with at least one award because it has a distinctive message offered to those who unfortunately cannot hear and have to rely on sign language. The music of this track is almost inexistant but Daniele Silvestri is indeed playing the piano. There is a violin being played by the orchestra but otherwise, relatively silent. One could easily hear a pin fall with such silence, beautiful! The public applaud towards the end, and there you are, a public favourite!



Almamegretta have somewhat been increasing their fanbase in recent years but one would have to point out that they are clearly not the typical type of the Sanremo competition and present a pop/rock genre which is infused with Italian tones. Diversity is the key to success and as a matter of fact, it is good to see that such an element is kept and given important at the respective event. I do not really like the song though and thus, I cannot see it do well.


Raphael Gualazzi

One final performance for the 'Campioni' category this evening and it comes from Raphael Gualazzi who successful represented the nation at the Eurovision Song Contest just two years ago with the track Madness of Love (Follia D'Amore), finishing in second place. This song is somewhat similar but one could say that the genre has somewhat been characterised by him. Sitting down on the piano, he seems to have still not leanred to perform in front of cameras. This is a piano ballad, very typical for Italy but his vocals give it distinction from the rest. He does not seem to be enjoying the performance if just based from facial expressions but this is beautiful just by being different.


Giovani Category

Andrea Nadinocchi

The very first performance of the evening from the 'Giovani' Category is actually a track which is very typical off the urban charts in Italy a the moment. It seems that Andrea has the same problem that Raphael Gualazzi has because he doesn't seem to want to open his eyes throughout the performance. The lighting is somewhat helping the performance and with a couple of notes thrown into the chorus, in a form of 't-t-t-t', people start singing along. The music is not that catchy and I cannot say that I like this one.

Antonio Maggio

Typically Italian looking bloke takes to the stage this time round and this is a much catchier entry than the predecessor and Antonio is clearly taking the performance in because he looks stunning, a great choice of attire going for a red suit, very modern and loving the bow-tie. In the meantime, the song might get annoying for some people towards the end but nevertheless, I quite like this one and I would not mind hearing it once more tomorrow evening if I am being honest. This was well performed vocally and should do reasonably well this evening.

Paolo Simoni

It seems that the audience in Sanremo has somewhat slept because at the end of the performance, they just forgot to clap and that is not understandable because this song was just beautiful! The vocals were just right for the track but if something was wrong, it was the weird image which the performer decided to take up for some reason. That was a typically Italian sounding ballad and still much better than the first song although I believe that the second song is the one which is safely assured a spot in the final thus far.

Ilaria Porceddu

Being the only female in this evenings' competition will surely be positive for this artist but nevertheless, I just cannot understand why she wore that black & white dress, because this just looks silly at the moment. The song is a mid-tempo ballad which evolves steadily with the aid of vocals. In the background, it seems that rather than strings, there is slight brass. The vocals are really good actually and she might actually be one of the nations' future stars. In a Malika inspired ending, she speaks to the audience and I like this. This along with song two should make it through!

Qualified: Antonio Maggio

Qualified: Ilaria Porceddu

The second  evening of the Sanremo competition comes to an end as Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzetto announce the first qualifiers of the 'Giovani' category prior to a commercial break and yet another sing-a-long between the hosts. Tune into escflashmalta.com for another LIVE Report from Sanremo 2013 as Marc Calleja Bayliss has a look at the show tomorrow night whilst reviewing the performances. Thanks for tuning in this evening and a hearty congratulations goes to RAI for putting up a magnificient show.

Thursday, 24 January 2013 18:56

Finland: Arion and Krista Head to the Final

YLE, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest has somewhat taken part for a relatively long time without achieving success but all this changed in 2006 when the group Lordi emerged as the victors with the track Hard Rock Halleluljah. Since then, qualification has almost been assured every year but it seems that luck is not on their side when taking up the past three editions in which the nation has failed to qualify on two occasions including last year when they were represented by Pernilla Karlsson and her track När Jag Blundar. This year, the selection process has been praised by several critics and the song quality in the first heat last week was definitely well received seeing to the qualification of We Could Be True by Mikael and Colliding Into You by Diandra.

This evening, another six entries will be presented, out of which two will qualify directly into the final stage of the competition. The venue chosen is The Circus Nighclub in Helsinki and the result will be decided like last week in a combination of tele-voting and jury voting. The panel of judges on the other hand is made up of Toni Wirtanen, Redrama, Aija Puurtinen and Tomi Saarinen. The male and female duo who are taking care of the preselection process are none other than  Ile Uusivuori and Anne Lainto. The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest will be offering a webcasr of the show as it did last week and this could be accessed through this link. In the meantime, you could denote which entries will be performed this evening through the running order published below. It should be an intriguing set of entries once more.

Atlético Kumpula - Paperilyhty

Atletico Kumpula  presents the song paper lantern. We see six men on stage. They give us a quite traditional song. It reminded me of naplitan style of music. At the begininng the singer just talks to the audience. As a stage presence they give us a traditional view of a band. Actually; there is nothing new in this song; and personally i think that is not a good choice for eurovision. However; it is a sweet song.


Krista Siegfrids – Marry Me 

Krista presents the song marry me. The singer wears a wedding dress. Three men are wearing as grooms and are dancing together with the singer doing quite a good choreography together with the wedding flowers. Quite an original and different song. It may do well at the Eurovision Song Contest, which is being held in the Swedish city of Malmo.


Lucy Was Driving – Dancing All Around The Universe


The band lucy was driving gives us a rock song. The colour used on stage is black. As a set on stage there is a typical band performance. The song reminds me of coldplay style of music. It is a song that is easily forgotten. A good performance.

Arion – Lost

arion gives us a rock song. Omce this song starts, it reminds me of the song fight of natalia barbu for Moldova back in time. Although I noticed this similarity; it is a good rock song. An amazing performance with a very good stage presence. A good contender. 


Elina Orkoneva – He’s Not My Man 

Elena is wearing a cream glittery dress. She is accompanied with 2 backing vocals that are clapping with the song. There is a drummer and  2 guitarists. As a chaerography the singer and the backing vocalists do the same moves in certain parts of the song. A confident performance and a very different song. A great applaus from the audience.


Great Wide North – Flags

Great Wide North is another band. This song reminds me a bit of the olsen brothers that won the eurovision in Stockolm for Denmark back in 2000. Three guitarist together with the lead singer and a drummer at the back. It is a pleasent song.


The Show (Part 2)

Well, the hosts are back on stage and explaining that tele-voting, accountable to 50% of the final result this evening is open and thus a recap is shown reminding the people of the performances witnessed this evening. The level was quite good and Finland might be in for a really good result. Hope that you are also following us on Twitter (@escflashmalta) as our Editor-In-Chief comments on the songs there as well. Interviews with the artists backstage are currently ongoing and one has to look this informal feeling to a selection, making it warmer in terms of production. The jury votes have been announced and Arion was somewhat the clear winner but nevertheless, in second place comes Great Wide North leaving Krista in third place. This should be interesting! WHOA! Surprising result as Krista is the first through to the final with her entry Marry Me followed by none other than Arion with the track Lost. The remaining performers competing for the final slots will take part in a second chance show coined as a semi-final next week.

Thursday, 17 January 2013 18:15

Finland: First Two Finalists Chosen

YLE, the host broadcaster of the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2007 is eager to succeed at the internationally renowned competition following the victory of neighbouring country, Sweden and it seems that this years' preselection process is offering quite an intriguing amount of possible representatives who would definitely do the country proud and would most likely achieve a positive result with the right staging. This evening will mark the official beginning of the live shows noting that six (6) artists will be performing their respective entries live to the public, this time within the new versions that they have presented following consultation with the jury over their demos. Two entries will be going directly to the final whilst another three songs will get the opportunity to qualify to the same show within another show which is set to take place in a couple of weeks time. Marcella Busuttil will be on hand to cover each show on Thursday evenings' as we unravel the participation of Finland in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

The jury who have also served as consultants are renowned experts in the music industry and include Toni Wirtanen, Redrama, Aija Puurinen and Tomi Saarinen. The hosts for the whole selection process will be Ile Uusivuori and Anne Lainto. The Finnish broadcaster is offering a live webcast through their official website which you could access here, whilst the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest is also offering a steam of the show through this link. Two of the main contenders, regarded as the best hope for Finland in this years' Eurovision Song Contest will be competing in this heat and therefore, it is going to be remotely difficult to get through this evening considering their strength in terms of entries and fan bases. The show is set to being at 20:00 CET but there will be a behind the scenes sort of format added to the show which thus makes it commence at around 19:40 CET. Marcella Busuttil from the editorial board of escflashmalta.com will be covering the show LIVE.


 01. Iina Salin - Last night

Lina Salin wears a gold dress that matches well with her blonde hair. she is accompanied with three (3) men; completing a band. As a performance is quite strong and I see this on the Eurovision stage.


02. Last Panda - Saturday night forever

Now it' time for a rock song. last panda uses a blue background on stage. the lead singer is playing the guitar, and reminds me of Roman Lob of Germany 2012. He is wearing a red cap. They give quite a good performance and a good response from the audience.


03. Mikael Saari - We should be through

Mikael Saari sings a ballad  The stage colour is blue. He is wearing a brownish suite. He is accompanied with a pianist and 3 violinists. This song is very well produced and the piano has the most important role in this song. An amazing performance that leaves you speechless. An amazing song.


04. Ilari Hämäläinen -  Sytytä mut vaan

Ilari gives us another rock song. The first one in Finnish. The stage is red. Three of the members of the band have long hair. quite a heavy rock song. I am not sure if this will do well at the Eurovision Song Contest.


05. Rautakoura - Ilmalaivalla

Pekka Pysalo gives us an old style of song but still nice. four men are set at the front of the stage; one plays the guitar; a smaller guitar; a drum and viola. The sound of this song is quite interesting and this song is another amazing one.


06. Diandra - Colliding into you

Diandra is wearing a black suite with gold sleeves. she is accompanied with 2 dancers. The background of the stage is blue. She reminded me of Rihanna; in the way she presented the song. As a performance she had strong vocals. A good song.


The Show (Part 2)

The entries have all been presented this evening and therefore, it is time to await the results. The hosts are seeming bringing the first part of this show to an end as they introduce a recap of the respective entries. All of the artists are currently being interviewed in the greenroom as they await to know their faith. Following the votes of the juries which left Mikael and Diandra in the first two positions, we have a special guest in the form of Ansi Kela. The tele-voting results should be rather interesting. It has just been announced that We Should Be Through by Mikael Saari is through to the final alongside Colliding Into You performed by Diandra. In the meantime, Ilari Hämäläinen head out of the competition completely.

Celebrating successful representatives of the country has become an extremely important role in Malta and this was the cast last night when several individuals from the world of sport were recognised for their talent and success abroad. With the aid of Norman Hamilton, the Malta Olympic Committee organised an event last night in which music and sports were intertwined together for the pleasure of the present audience. In fact, it is worth noting that the star studded line-up included; Claudia Faniello who most notably finished in the runner-up position at this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Kurt Calleja who represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest, Joseph Chetcuti who is part of the group Baklava who have been in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on three occasions, Deborah C who most notably won this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and Janvil who of course was the second runner-up of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest back in 2005. Nevertheless, the final performer of the evening was none other than the Greek/Cypriot Eleftheria Eleftheriou.

Eleftheria Eleftheriou represented Greece in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place in Baku, Azerbaijan. She managed to reach the finals with the song Aphrodisiac where she achieved a mid-table placing. At this point in time, the renowned performer has worked her way up in the music industry in Greece, first starting out from her homeland of Cyprus where she also tried to represent the nation at the prestigious European event before then moving to the neighbouring country of Greece where she took part in the X Factor competition eventually signing a record deal with Sony Music Greece. Following some creative agreements, Eleftheria signed a brand new record deal with Universal Music Greece who ultimate proposed her to represented the Hellenic nation in the Eurovision Song Contest and as she states in our exclusive interview just below, she felt that it was the right time for her to do it. escflashmalta.com had the opportunity to chat with Eleftheria Eleftheriou following her performance at the Malta Olympic Committee Sports Awards and would like to thank Norman Hamilton and Olivier Vanhoutte for making this possible.

Source: escflashmalta.com


Saturday, 01 December 2012 19:01

JESC 2012: Ukraine Crowned Winners

Good Evening! Welcome to the 2012 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest which is being hosted in Amsterdam, the capital city of The Netherlands. This is actually the second time that the nation is hosting the event having even taken up the responsibility back in 2007 when the group Cute had represented Malta with the track Music. The competition has changed quite a while since then though noting that from seventeen participants, the European Broadcasting Union has managed to lure a total of twelve (12) ultimately keeping the dream for several young artists alive. The quality of the songs is quite good from what the editorial team has heard based on the studio versions but the dynamic will surely change this evening during the live performances of each of the respective nations.

The Public Broadcasting Services, the only member in the European Broadcasting Union had the rights to compete in the event but ultimately withdrew following our participation in 2010 in order to ensure that there was more financial support towards the senior edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Nevertheless, our coverage continues and we have with us this evening, the last individual who flew the flag for Malta, that being Nicole Azzopardi whose song Knock Knock .. Boom Boom! remains a significant part of the local heritage. This evenings' show which you could follow on the official website, is being hosted by Ewout Genemans and Kim-Lian van der Meij within the Heineken Music Hall and it seems that the host broadcaster; AVRO will be putting on a spectacular showcase. 


Intriguing opening for this years' Junior Eurovision Song Contest as the European Broadcasting Union is giving the people what it means to prepare for the big day whilst keeping to showing the people in the hall and their enthusiasm. This does indeed seem like the most organised  showcase for young children in recent years. In the meantime, just a couple of minutes left before we actually commence. Compliments to the host broadcaster on astonishing graphics and a brilliant theme song for this years' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The opening act has just begun and it seems to feature several teenagers playing the drums. Once more, spectacular lighting as the children break out into an electronic dance creating a visual spectacle and well, as expected, the winning entry of the last Eurovision Song Contest, Euphoria is being played.


Each nation is introduced by virtue of a Good Evening in their respective language. Suddenly, someone is performing Euphoria and it seems to be none other than Rachel, last years' runner-up of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Despite the fact that she did not win, The Netherlands ended up winning the bid to host. The hosts come onto the stage from beneath and receive a huge reaction from the present audience in the hall which is ecstatic. Kim-Liam is wearing a sparkling block of ice, or so it seems whilst Ewout is wearing a black shirt and a silver jacket complimenting her perfectly. The tele-voting process is being explained and it is noted that Kids Rights will benefit of each call and therefore, people will support a great cause this evening. We are also going to post the preview videos as received by the European Broadcasting Union earlier this year.


Marc: Egor is wearing a white outfit and he is joined on stage by four dancers, a male and three females and it is to be noted that the first note is extremely off key but nevertheless the music is quite interesting featuring elements of pop, dance, and jazz at times. The visuals for this track are featuring water and bubbles but you manage to keep an eye on the staging for the simple reason that the choreography is really catchy. Not a bad start, but definitely not the best entry to come from Belarus!

Nicole: I must say that it was indeed a very spectacular show and i really enjoyed watching and listening to the track even though I believe there were things which needed to be improved.



Marc: The first ballad of this evening is on and Lova looks absolutely stunning this evening, seemingly representing what is left of Scandinavia in this competition. She is wearing a pink, silver outfit and is joined on stage by two female backing vocalists. The female performer has a very beautiful vocal and they are managing to capture all the essence of the track through the camera shots. The song unfortunately is slightly boring if I am being honest and does not really go anywhere. It needed that oomph and unfortunately, it just never came about.

Nicole: Lova Sonnebro has a very beautiful voice actually and this is a track with a lovely beginning. The vocals continue in a mellow manner making this somewhat stand out from the first.


Marc: The very first entry from Azerbaijan and everything has somewhat been painted in red and white and very reminiscent of our performance from Junior Swing. The boy and girl that were internally selected are really astonishing together and have great chemistry. I cannot understand most of the lyrics they are performing but nevertheless, I just want to stand up and dance along. The choreography is tight and works well. The vocals are spot on and this is definitely the best track to be presented thus far and I do think that it would be amongst the top three at the end of the evening. 
Nicole: original, powerful and up-beat, of course my favourite kind of music! the backing vocals are strong and the choreography is amazing, really suits the song!
Marc: The second western country of the evening and it seems that he has plenty of support in the arena from Belgium's neighbouring country. Fabian is wearing a red outfit, very fashionable actually and its joined on stage by three dancers carrying out magic tricks and a drummer. The vocal performance is good but nothing home to write about. Mid-way through the performance, everyone is seemingly playing an instrument except for Fabian. The shots this year are stunning and they are capturing the essence of each performance, making the outcome intriguing. Following the bridge, Fabian makes use of the short catwalk and the spirit of the Junior Eurovision is alive. A good performance.
Nicole: Really enjoyed their appearance the colour red really caught my eye very stylish, and also the entertainment they did, very original! the vocals were not bad I think the key was low for his voice but never mind the show was great !
Marc: Lerika has already been to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest having represented Moldova but nevertheless, she is back with a far better song this time round. She starts on the catwalk and presents a stunning effect. She is joined on stage by an all female crew of dancers and the backdrop is depicting a huge speaker. I am seriously impressed with the choreography and the improvement that this song has gone through since the selection. Russia are the favourites this evening and I think that they will be fighting with Azerbaijan for a position within the top three.
Nicole: This song is great, she has a really strong voice, very capable of both singing and dancing! She really seems to be enjoying herself up there! for me it was breathtaking!
Marc: The sixth entry of the evening, and we are already half way through. Israel are debuting this evening and they have chosen the type of song which I absolutely adore. Hebrew is a beautiful language and they feature five female artists along with one male artist. The choreography is just perfect and towards the end, the boy does come forward and they are using re verb to create more of an operatic voice. This does indeed work well and it is coming across extremely well on camera. The audience in the hall is really enjoying this and I believe that despite being a top three contender, they will not win because I think it was slightly stronger in rehearsal.
Nicole: Oh my! They are very cute! It was a surprise for me the music changed from ballad to dance. the vocals are good.
Marc: Well, another country which is appearing at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The female artist is clad in a black ballet sort of dress which is extremely in fashion at the moment. This track begins in a jazz format and does evolve in a dance manner. The vocals are good but they are not spectacular nevertheless, this song has undergone a lot of changes it seems since winning the national selection because it has become very international. The use of the guitar mid-way through is really good and I must say, that I am growing to like it. The performance is kept simple with the singer going round the stage and making full use of it.
Nicole: Pretty young lady, she was able to handle everything by herself, although alone on stage, she gave a good show, and her voice was great too !
Marc: This has to be one of the worst songs to ever grace the stage of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and what seems to be quite weird is that they seem to be a younger version of the Belarussian representatives at this years' Eurovision Song Contest. The way that the language is performed is actually sounding off-key but I cannot be too sure that they are or aren't if I am being honest. The staging is well planned but they are trying to look and sound older than they should be. This is definitely not my cup of tea but what I did like was the guitar solo.
Nicole: Very good-looking! love their style of music. I love it, really exquisite and their voices suites the song. I liked it.

Marc: Throughout the week, there has been a lot of talk with regards to this little girls' vocals from my friends and colleagues who were covering the event in depth and it seems that they were quite right because at her age, she does indeed reach some inexplainable amount of notes. The staging is impressive with clouds behind her adding to the drama of the chosen outfit. She is alone on stage and leaves me speechless. The camera work, slowing down at key moments in the key chance is stunning. I am impressed, that was amazing! I just could not find anything else to write because this was perfect.
Nicole: Although she's young her voice is amazing! she knows the techniques. don't know why but I liked the background animation! she was gorgeous
Marc: Georgia have been relatively successful at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and once more, they have decided to select a silly entry which makes much more sense musically than most of their tracks. The vocal performance is really strong and the boy does add to the performance with that little bit of beat boxing every now and then. Their weird choice of attire comes across as very cool. The addition of English lyrics in this years' entries is sounding very good because one could understand what the song does mean. The performance is really good and this should finish in the higher places tonight and surprise!
Nicole: As always they are the best in the originality! Bewitching music, really superb scenery, splendid work with the voices and also with their clothes really trendy!

Marc: Another track which I have really grown to like by virtue of the performances given this week and in fact, Denis is on stage clad in white and is joined by male and female backing dancers. What makes this song stand out amongst the others is that it has a catch chorus which one would easily start humming along instantly. The vocals are strong although, I think the excitement got to him a bit at certain points in the performance. Nevertheless, this was a stunning rendition.

Nicole: Really well organised team, the flags at the end were nice, very neat clothing and good voice.


The Netherlands

Marc: It is always difficult to perform in front of your home crowd but nevertheless, it does seem relatively obvious that she is performing on her own soil because the camera work and the staging is just fantastic. Femke is wearing clothes appropriate for her age and is joined by four female dancers. Her vocal needs to be toned down a bit at times and it seems to be that nerves are getting to get at times. The song itself is refreshing and sounds like a true gem in the rough. The Netherlands were close to victory last year and it seems that they could actually be amongst the contenders this evening. She did lose her breathe towards the end and it did become a little bit of a screaming match but I still believe that the song itself deserve merit.

Nicole: Very catchy and inspiring song. the voice is good, i liked the clocks on the floor but if the backing vocals were a bit louder i think it would have sounded stronger


The Show (Part 2)
The hosts are back on stage and they open the tele-voting portion which will amount to 50% of the final vote this evening with the other 50% being given to the juries whose decision was made during the evening dress rehearsal yesterday. Sietse Bakker, the supervisor for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest says that the result is quite exciting and until we get to the close of the tele-voting, we are getting some interval act performances, the first coming from all of the participants of the evening as they perform the song We Could Be Heroes for Kids Rights, the charity which will benefit this evenings' tele-voting.
A second recap of the performances of the evening is being shown as the tele-voting portion of the competition is coming to an end. In celebration of the tenth anniversary, performances from the previous winners are being shown on stage. Former winner; Ralf with the song Click Clack is the second interval act of the evening and it seems that the young performer of three years ago is quickly becoming a teen noticeable growing quite a lot. Following the first result of the International Kids Jury, Kim-Lian is back on stage to perform the theme song of this years' Junior Eurovision Song Contest entitled Break The Ice. Well a feature of all the finalists going round The Netherlands follows.
International Kids Jury: 12 points go to Georgia
Belarus: 12 points go to Ukraine
Sweden: 12 points go to Ukraine
Azerbaijan: 12 points go to Albania
Belgium: 12 points go to Ukraine
Russia: 12 points go to Ukraine
Israel: 12 points go to Ukraine
Albania: 12 points go to Sweden
Armenia: 12 points go to Ukraine
Ukraine: 12 points go to Armenia
Moldova: 12 points go to Ukraine
The Netherlands: 12 points go to Ukraine
Georgia: 12 points go to Armenia

Ukraine - 123 points
Sunday, 05 August 2012 17:15

Malta: Grecia Bezzina Heading to Maiori

Representing your country in any event is something that each and every person should cherish and do it proudly. It happens on a number of occasions in different events and different showcases. In the music business one has become accustomed to different people representing one’s country abroad in various festivals. During the next weekend upcoming artist Grecia Bezzina will be carrying the Maltese flag in Italy where she will be taking part in the festival Canzoni Dal Mondo.

It is not the first time that a local artist is taking part in this contest as in previous years Malta was represented by Rosman Pace, Kaya formely known as Priscilla Psaila, Geordie and Corazon Mizzi; in actual fact Rosman Pace and Kaya managed to emerge victorious. The Grand Final night this year will take place on the 13th of August in Piazza Raffaele D’Amato in Maiori. She will be participating in this festival with a song penned specifically for this festival by Philip Vella. Grecia will be competing against ten other singers.

On this venture Grecia Bezzina will be accompanied by her brother Dario Bezzina and Noel D’Amato who happens to be one of the members of WAFA and the committee behind ‘L-Għanja Tal-Poplu’. Her participation came about thanks to her runner up finish in the aforementioned festival where she sang the song ‘Tal-Komma Twila’ penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss, to the composition of her brother Dario Bezzina. The song was well received by the people in the hall and also by the judges who after Grecia’s heartfelt interpretation the song got awarded 2nd Place.

This was Grecia Bezzina’s major triumph although one can say that for a nineteen year old she has managed a number of achievements as she made it through ‘L-Għanja Tal-Poplu Żagħżagħ’ three times, once alongside her brother and twice as a solo artist, she also made it to the semi-finals of the Malta Eurovision back in 2009 and twice in the finals Festival Kanzunetta Indipendenza in 2009 and 2012; all alongside her brother Dario Bezzina. In 2010, she made the finals of the Malta Hit Contest and earlier this year she was a backing vocalist for Annalise Ellul and Francesca Borg in the finals of the Malta Eurovision.

Back to ‘ L-Għanja Tal-Poplu’ one must note that the top three winners of the festivals were all given the right to represent Malta abroad in a musical showcase. This prize came about thanks to Robbie Cefai and all the board members of WAFA who have a number of contacts abroad. The sole aim of WAFA is to connect different countries, so different artists can share their music in different festivals and showcases. Events like these make artists more comfortable as it helps them gain more confidence and exposure. The editorial team of escflashmalta.com would like to wish Grecia Bezzina the very best of luck in Maiori and for her future career.

Source: Press Release