17 December 2017

The running order of this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest has been determined this evening, during the event’s official opening ceremony – held at the regal Georgian national library in Tbilisi. In addition to seeing this year’s participants on the red carpet, viewers and guests of the opening ceremony were treated to performances by Georgian national ballet, Sukhishvili – alongside previous entrants of Georgia at Junior Eurovision.

The countries performing in the first and last position were chosen by random draw, along with the running position of the host country. The draw was also carried out by the hosts of the opening ceremony, which included last year’s winner Mariam Mamadashvili. The remainder of the running order was chosen by the contest producers to ensure an entertaining show. This was announced by the European Broadcasting Union later in the evening.  

01. Cyprus

02. Poland

03. The Netherlands

04. Armenia

05. Belarus

06. Portugal

07. Ireland

08. F.Y.R. Macedonia

09. Georgia

10. Albania

11. Ukraine

12. Malta

13. Russia

14. Serbia

15. Australia

16. Italy

As you may have noticed, our very own Gianluca Cilia, and his entry ‘Dawra Tond’, penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss with music by Dominic Cini will be performed towards the latter part of the show. Over the next few days, each country be rehearsing on the stage at the Olympic Palace in Tbilisi. The live show will be airing at 16:00 CET, and Maltese viewers will be able to follow all the latest on Television Malta (TVM). In the meantime, for all the updates throughout the week, we urge you to follow escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: junioreurovision.tv, tvm.com.mt

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016 19:31

JESC 2016: First Rehearsals on the MCC Stage

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest rehearsals kicked off yesterday at the Mediterranean Conference Centre with all countries being allocated forty minutes each and divided over two days. Escflashmalta.com was on site to bring you a recap of the first run of rehearsals. 

Italy kicks off the rehearsals with a simple performance yet one must note it is extremely effective and works well with the song. The singer delivers a strong vocal performance this early in the morning and there’s nothing much that is hindering this from doing well. 

Ireland is about next and the focus here is once again on the singer’s interpretation of her number. She does a good job at it. They are keeping things simple here yet again, with the use of smoke. I feel this might not appeal to the kids voting unfortunately, although they’re doing nothing wrong.  

Cyprus follows Ireland and the singer is oozing confidence on stage. He follows an extremely busy routine yet he his vocals are nearly spot on. Visually it is looking good and the dancers give the song the boost it needs. I guess this will go down well with kids. 

The Netherlands delivers an energetic performance, vocally the singers are quite strong yet in certain parts of the song it is looking a bit too busy on screen, possibly cause of their outfits and the backdrop which seem to clash a bit. I guess with a bit more work this could do well.

Israel is the first country to rehearse after the break and the duo does a great job at it. The focus is on the voices and ensuring they connect well with the audience at home. Great camera work and everything looks very polished for Israel. They look sweet and surely enjoying this experience. 

FYR Macedonia is up next and delivers strongly during her runs, she is has on stage three dancers and they all seem to be having a good time on stage, perhaps some shots need adjusting but overall it is a great effort for this number and it will probably appeal lots to teenagers.

Malta is next on stage and Christina is slowly adjusting to the stage, she is accompanied on stage by five dancers and the backdrop is rather colourful. Christina does a great job on the vocals for the first day of rehearsals. One would expect the whole act to be polished by Sunday.   

Poland is last to rehearse today and the singer sings her heart out, simple visuals yet effective for this kind of song.  Not sure on how this will grab the kids jury, but she is surely doing everything the way it should be done. 

Russia kick start the rehearsals for today, they have a strong message and the four girls do a good job in delivering their entry. Some of the moves they are doing looked too rehearsed and slightly unnatural but things that surely can be fixed by Sunday. 

Ukraine are next on stage and the whole act is rather impressive, the dancer gives the song the extra boost it needs and the singer delivers an emotional performance of this lovely ballad, apart from a couple of shots everything looks great and I guess it will be a contender on Sunday. 

Albania is third on stage and the girl stands there and delivers her entry strongly. The visuals really compliment the whole performance and the girl’s vocals are rather impressive. I guess this might not appeal to the kids’ jury but it is impressive anyways. She surely has the cute factor in her favour.

Belarus take on the stage with a extremely slick performance – the song is a catchy one and they deliver one of the best performances we have seen so far. The singer is extremely confident and seems to be having a great time on stage. There’s some camera work that needs to be adjusted but will surely be done by Sunday.

Bulgaria is up next and there seems to be a certain buzz around this one, the singers sings her heart out, she clearly looks like she is enjoying her performance and everything blends really well. I would surely say this has a great chance of winning the contest this year. 

Armenia, the girls can surely sing and they give a good performance. They are surely not holding back and all of them seem to be having a great time on stage. This number has a retro feel to it and the graphics boost this element. Good to note, that only one of the singers is currently on voice rest to ensure that she is hundred percent by Sunday.

Georgia takes the stage next and the girl has some of the most controlled vocals this year, the song is nothing extraordinary but has a good buildup after the grand opening. It is good to point out that this song will be closing off the show so that might give a slight advantage. 

Serbia is up next with one of the most infectious numbers at this year’s Junior Eurovision, the girl has some strong pipes and she really performs her number well. She starts off on a hover board and she gets off it toward the latter part of the song. Stands a good chance of doing well I guess as the kids will be singing along to this number after the first minute. 

Australia picked up yet another strong song to represent them at a Eurovision event. The singer delivers the song really well and her charm comes across on camera. She takes the stage alone but it does not hinder the performance at all, one would expect that this scores well.

That brings to an end the first run of rehearsals for each and every country, each delegation will be looking at what they can improve and better, so tomorrow each and every element will be finalized before heading into the run-throughs of the rehearsal. 

We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Christina Magrin and her participation in this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest, in Valletta.

Source: escflashmalta.com, junioreurovision.tv

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016 23:17

JESC 2016: The Final Running Order Made Public

During the opening ceremony which took place last night, the allocation draw of the Junior Eurovision which will be taking place on Sunday, 20th November was decided. During the show, they actually chose at random the country singing in first place and the country singing in last – Ireland drew first, whilst Georgia drew last. 

The other countries then were either drawn in either the first half of the show or in the second part of the show. Malta was drawn up in the first half of the draw. The final running order is determined by the producers of the show. The running order of the 2016 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is as follows: 

01. Ireland: Zena Donnelly - Brice Ar Bhrice

02. Armenia: Anahit & Mary - Tarber

03. Albania: Klesta Qehaja - Besoj

04. Russia: The Water of Life Project - Water of Life

05. Malta: Christina Magrin - Parachute

06. Bulgaria: Lidia Ganeva - Magical Day

07. FYR Macedonia: Martija Stanokjkovic - Love Will Lead Our Way (Ljubovta ne Vodi)

08. Poland: Olivia Wieczorek - Nie Zapomnij

09. Belarus: Alexander Minyonok - Musyka Moih Pobed (Music is my Only Way)

10. Ukraine: Sofia Rol - Planet Craves for Love

11. Italy: Fiamma Boccia - Cara Mamma - Dear Mum

12. Serbia: Dunja Jelicic - U La La La 

13. Israel: Shir & Tim - Follow My Heart

14. Australia: Alexa Curtis - We Are

15. The Netherlands: Kisses - Kisses & Dancin'

16. Cyprus: George Michaelides - Dance Floor

17. Georgia: Mariam Mamadashvili - Mzeo

Throughout the week, escflashmalta.com will be on hand at the Mediterranean Conference Centre proving you with recaps of the events that take place during the day, while giving extra attention to Christina Magrin, who is representing Malta at this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Stay tuned to this portal even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: junioreurovision.tv

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In just over 24 hours, the Grand Final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest will be taking place with 26 participants; 10 from the 1st semi-final, 10 from the 2nd semi-final, the 'Big 5' and the 'host country' all vying for the trophy, and the chance to host the international spectacle next year.

Following the aftermath of the Thursday show, the production team of the competition led by SVT sat down with the EBU and created a running order based on the halves that they drew at the post show press conference.

As a matter of fact, the proposed draw was unanimously approved by the EBU Executive Supervisor, Jon Ola Sand and the Chairman of the Reference Group, Dr. Frank-Dieter. This year's final will be taking place at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden and will be hosted by Mans Zelmerlow and Petra Mede, who have led the two semi-finals successfully.

01. Belgium

02. Czech Republic

03. The Netherlands

04. Azerbaijan

05. Hungary

06. Italy

07. Israel

08. Bulgaria

09. Sweden

10. Germany

11. France

12. Poland

13. Australia

14. Cyprus

15. Serbia

16. Lithuania

17. Croatia

18. Russia

19. Spain

20. Latvia

21. Ukraine

22. Malta

23. Georgia

24. Austria

25. United Kingdom

26. Armenia

On behalf of the escflashmalta.com, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for following the minute-by-minute commentary on Facebook and Twitter, led by Claudia Faniello and Karen DeBattista during the 1st semi-final, and by Janice Debattista and Brooke Borg during the 2nd semi-final. In the final, it will be conducted by Julie Pomorski and Franklin Calleja.

We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about Malta's participation in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, led by singer/songwriter Ira Losco who will be performing "Walk on Water", co-written alongside Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren, Molly Pettersson Hammar and Lisa Desmond  in slot #22.

Source: eurovision.tv

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Malta returns to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest after a 1 year absence with Ira Losco giving a spectacular performance of “Walk on Water”, an original song which she co-wrote alongside Molly Pettersson-Hammar, Tobias Lundgren, Tim Larsson and Lisa Desmond. Revealed as the 10th qualifier with seconds to go before the closing of the show, it was truly a nerve wrecking experience for the Maltese delegation, and the fans at home and in the arena.

In the Press Conference following the 1st semi-final, Ira drew her starting position half, and Malta will once more be singing towards the end of the 26 participant show, with ten of those being qualifiers revealed tonight including: Azerbaijan, Russia, The Netherlands, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, Armenia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, and of course Malta. There were some gasps in the audience when Iceland and Estonia failed to get through to the next phase.

During the course of the evening, escflashmalta.com through Facebook and Twitter ran a minute-by-minute #live commentary featuring Claudia Faniello and Karen DeBattista, whom we would like to publicly thank for their ongoing support. Make sure to join in on Thursday as the baton is handed to Janice DeBattista and Brooke. On behalf of the escflashmalta.com, we would like to congratulate Ira Losco and her behind-the-scenes team for their hard work and dedication. Stay tuned for all the latest news.

Source: escflashmalta.com, eurovision.tv

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In Malta, excitement was somewhat contained for the latter months of 2014, with both the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, and the Malta Eurovision Song Contest taking place in the space of a fortnight. Nevertheless, as this year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place over three (3) evenings next week, we have called upon Deo Grech to assess the entries which will be presented in this year's competition.

He has not only given his opinion, but also compiled together the points of his panel of guests, some of which have already been to the Eurovision Song Contest in the past. Deo Grech is the host of "The Celebrity Night" on F Living.

Moldova: Eduard Romanyuta - "I Want Your Love"

It’s a pity that the very first song we’re going to listen to at this year’s Eurovision is this track from Moldova. It could have done really well if it participated at the contest ... 15 years ago! This song is reminiscent of the early Britney Spears’ Pop tunes.  I am really sorry for Moldova but I can’t see this reaching the finals.  

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, Moldova should not make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 18pts (15th)

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Armenia: Genealogy - "Face The Shadow"

6 countries – 5 continents – 1 song. This is an amazing concept indeed.  The music sounds really deep and heavy after the light-pop tune from Moldova.   Their voices sound excellent together. The problem I see with this entry is that there is a fine line between Dramatic-Pop-Opera singing and Screaming and Screeching till your ears bleed, especially towards the end of the song.  Visually this will look great if they go for a Retro look. However, they must avoid being labelled as Old-Fashioned though!  I guess this will make it to the finals.

According to the OGAE fans, Armenia might not make it to the finals.  Whilst the bookmakers feel that it might scrape through.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 33pts (8th)

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Belgium: Loic Nottet - "Rhythm Inside"

Okay! This is so 2015, so different from the first two entries and from the ones coming up after it.  Talented Loic takes care of all details but will he be able to face the Eurovision pressure?  This can do really well but can also crash flat on its back if vocals won’t be spot-on.   With some luck Belgium can make it to the finals.

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, Belgium will make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 30pts (11th)

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The Netherlands: Trijntje Oosterhuis - "Walk Along"

Anouk, Ilse De Lange and now Trijntje.  Fantastic trio indeed from the Netherlands. However, I expected more quality from this year’s entry. Somehow the Dutch went for a more popish and ear-friendly entry this year.   I am afraid ‘’Walk Along’’ won’t beat last year’s result from the Netherlands.  I am afraid that this will sound too repetitive and too safe after the Belgian entry and will stop at the semis round.

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, the Netherlands might scrape through the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 27pts (13th)

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Finland: PKN – "Aina Mun Pitaa"

I ain’t a fan of this kind of punk-rock music at all.  It’s too repetitive, too harsh on my ears. Lyrics are too silly for my tastes as well. They will surely attract the sympathy-televotes but will that be enough to eventually crown them the winners of Eurovision 2015? I don’t want to think about that! Sorry.

According to the OGAE fans, Finland might not make it to the finals.  Whilst the bookmakers feel that it might end top-3 in the semi-final.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 12pts (16th)

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Greece: Maria Elena Kyrikaou - "One Last Breath"

Big ballads have a special place in the Eurovision Song Contest. Each year we are entertained with a Celine Dion-ish ballad singer and Greece carries that honour proudly this year.  Maria Elena surely knows how to belt those notes out.  Passion, charisma, beauty and technique together with a powerful key-change make this a safe qualifier.

According to the OGAE fans, this might make it to the finals.  Whilst the bookmakers feel that Greece may not.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 41pts (2nd)

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Estonia: Elina & Stig - "Goodbye to Yesterday"

Country-pop meets Eurovision standards once again. This recipee did wonders for Netherlands last year and I am pretty sure that it will be replicated this year.  Circles close to the Estonian team claim that their only issue this year is to calm down Stig’s anxiety.  I hope though that his live vocal performance will be as solid as in the studio recording.   Sure qualifier and a candidate for a top-5 position in the finals!

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookamers, Estonia will easily make it to the finals and end up as the winner of the first semi.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 36pts (5th)

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FYR Macedonia: Daniel Kajmakoski - "Autumn Leaves"

Awesome entry from Macedonia. I have a very positive feeling about this entry. It builds up nicely with hues of Balkan undertones. I get the impression that Macedonia are heading for one of their best results ever at the Eurovision Song Contest. With a stylish and polished staging this will be a sure qualifier. With a weak staging this will fail to make it through.  

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, Macedonia might make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 32pts (10th)

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Serbia: Bojana Stamenov - "Beauty Never Lies"

She can surely belt out those high notes! My only concern here is that those notes might sound screechy. It reminds me of ‘Je ne sais quoi’ for more than one reason, of course!  The song is a typical Eurovision upbeat track.  We’ve heard a million versions of this track over the past years which make it quite a tried and tested formula. With some luck it will make it through.

According to the OGAE fans, Serbia might make it to the finals.  Whilst the bookmakers feel that it may not.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 30pts (12th)

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Hungary: Boggie - "Wars For Nothing"

A calm tune always goes well after a loud one, however this is too calm for my tastes. Coffee-break anyone? The idea behind the song is very positive but the song conveys a sad feeling. It lacks the oomph and the star-quality which a winning entry requires to stand out from the pack.  Sorry Hungary, I can’t see you in the finals, this year.

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, Hungary will not make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 20pts (14th)

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Belarus: Uzari & Maimuna - "Time"

Some months ago, I discovered the violinist-singer Lyndsay Sterling and her brilliant performances on YouTube. It seems I wasn't the one who did so! This entry will surely go well in the arena. I can already see the flags flying high to the powerful beats of this uptempo tune. Uzari’s diction needs some polishing, especially in the introduction of the song. It’s also a good dance-floor filler and I am pretty sure that this will be one of the hottest tunes played at the Euroclub in Vienna.  All in all, it’s a great tune and I hope they will make it to the finals.

According to the OGAE fans, Belarus might not make it to the finals. Whilst the Bookmakers feel that it will eventually be one of the finalists.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 33pts (7th)

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Russia: Polina Gagarina - "A Million Voices"

This entry has ‘Star Quality’ written all over it. Polina ticks all the boxes of a potential international star - she’s got the looks, the voice and the diction. The song builds up strongly in a typical power ballad fashion. The backing choir adds to the anthemic atmosphere. This is a strong contender for the final prize. Polina’s only drawback is that she is representing a country which has antagonized the typical Eurovision fan with various decisions...including political ones. The sense of hostility from the Eurovision fans towards the Russian entry singers was witnessed both at last year’s Eurovision as well as at this year’s 60th Anniversary Show hosted by the BBC. To add insult to injury, fan-favourite-Ukraine opted out of this year’s Eurovision as a result of the political dispute with Russia.

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, the Russian entry will make it to the finals and end up as the first runner up of this semifinal round. 

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 42pts (1st)

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Denmark: Anti Social Media - "The Way You Are"

Yeah! We need such a happy tune at the Eurovision Song Contest by a fresh boy-band. Beatles meet A friend in London. This will surely go well at the Eurovision as it reaches out the audience and televiewers alike with its positive energy. With some luck this will also make it to the finals.

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, Denmark might not make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 34pts (6th)

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Albania: Elhaida Dani - "I’m Alive"

Elhaida has a great command over her vocal abilities. Thankfully, the Albanian delegation gave its consent for the replacement of the original entry by the present one. This song has grown over me over the past weeks and is now standing in my overall top 10. This explains why I am so positive about it. I think that together with Estonia and Russia, Albania will be the one to watch out for from the first semifinal.

According to the OGAE fans andthe Bookmakers, Albania will make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 38pts (4th)

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Romania: Voltaj - "All Over Again"

I am taken in by the #AllOverAgain campaign. It has placed a spotlight on a reality which most of us were unaware of.  The message is stronger than the song itself. I am pretty sure that this will gain support from the middle-aged televiewers who will be touched by the campaign that this song represents at this year’s Eurovision. Well done Voltaj. Kudos!

According to the OGAE fans, this might make it to the finals.  Whilst the Bookmakers feel that it may not.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 33pts (9th)

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Georgia: Nina Sublatti - "Warrior"

The Georgian warrior sounds stronger than ever before.  Nina is powerful indeed and this helps her stand her ground as a warrior!  She needs to improve her diction drastically, though. The strong drum beats which accompany the song through the whole 3 minutes bring back  memories of Eurovision 2004 when the Ukrainian Ruslana took the stage by storm with her ‘Wild Dances’. I guess Nina Sublatti and her team will do their best to present something as powerful as Ruslana did eleven years ago. 

According to the OGAE fans and the Bookmakers, the Georgian Warrior might make it to the finals.

The Celebrity Night’s Eurovision Fever panel score: 40pts (3rd)

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Published in Opinions

The European Broadcasting Union made an official announcement this morning that 39 countries have submit paperwork to participate in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria. Despite the withdrawal of Ukraine, this is relatively exciting news, as the event will feature two more countries than last year, following the return of Serbia, Cyprus and the Czech Republic. Malta is one of the few countries to have selected both the singer, and the entry, with Amber set to perform "Warrior" written by Elton Zarb and Matthew Mercieca in one of the two semi-finals.

The participating countries are as follow; Albania, Armenia, Austria (Host), Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (Big 5), FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Germany (Big 5), Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy (Big 5), Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain (Big 5), Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (Big 5).

The European Broadcasting Union has also divided the semi-finals with respective number of participants, due to the fact that the number of participating countries is odd. As a result, 16 countries will partake in the 1st semi-final on the 19th May, as opposed to 17 countries which will partake in the 2nd semi-final on the 21st May. The allocation draw will take place on the 26th January, and will be streamed live through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest. 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: eurovision.tv

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014 17:22

Netherlands: Amber Bondin on Radio International

Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

Radio International has built a name for itself throughout the years by bringing about exclusive video and audio interviews with some of the most notable names to have either participated in the Eurovision Song Contest or even in national selections preceding the continental event. This week's episode will be somewhat centred on what happened during the past two weeks, with both the Junior Eurovision Song Contest winner; Vincenzo Cantiello and the Malta Eurovision Song Contest winner; Amber both given the limelight. 

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As the curtain on the 2015 season of the Eurovision Song Contest is beginning to ope, David Mann will continue to look at cover versions from the event whilst the latest news from escXtra and escflashmalta.com will be read out. In the meantime, former representatives of the Eurovision Song Contest are always looking for ways to please their fans and thus new music is being recorded and published throughout the year. Radio International will be playing the most recent singles as sent in by several record labels. We urge you to tune into Radio International this evening at 20:00 CET in order to request your favourite entry from the Eurovision Song Contest and listen to the special features.

Source: Press ReleaseDaniel M Photography

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014 17:50

JESC 2014: First Run of Rehearsals Complete

escflashmalta.com has always been present to bring you the latest updates from the local music industry and with the Junior Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malta, it should not come as a surprise that this event will be wholly covered as well. Members of the editorial team have been viewing the first rehearsals, and have recapitulated their thoughts. LIVE blogging will kick-off as from tomorrow through Facebook and Twitter.

The Netherlands kicked off proceedings yesterday and things surely started on a positive note as Julia gave a strong vocal rendition of her up-tempo number. The visuals on stage are spectacular and the predominant colours are orange and red. This will be closing the show on Saturday and it is surely one to watch out for.

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Sweden have stayed true to their craft with the choice of song, noting that there is a mixture of dance, and pop, something which Thomas G:son is very much known for. Julia is joined on stage by four female dancers, whose choreography is very well adapted to the tune. The vocals are good, and the overall outcome is positive but the song is not too memorable to place highly.

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The song from Bulgaria has been considering as one of the favourites heading into the event. Sadly, we did not get to hear the singer sing live as she is currently unwell and we wish her a speedy recovery. The visuals of this one are once again strong and the predominant colours are purple and blue. The main attraction is definitely the huge castle projected on the screens.

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Russia sends Alisa, the young girl in the white dress with a big ballad! Last year’s winning formula for Malta. It is a very strong song and its orchestration is fantastic. The visuals are simple and let the singer be the focus of this song. The vocals are good but nothing extraordinary. Russia still remains as one of the favourites for this Junior Eurovision but they need to up their game to stand a chance.

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Vincenzo Cantiello took the stage all alone for Italy and it is quite remarkable that he is the only guy in the competition. He sings his big emotional ballad right from the heart and impresses everyone present with his big voice. He went all out in the first rehearsal but held back on all the other takes. It seems that blues and red will be used for this number. He is surely one to watch out for as he has got the total package. 

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Ukraine’s Sympho-Nick singers are the first ones to make full use of the stage as they also use the catwalks. The intro and the end of the song remind me of ‘Gravity’ yet the three girls do a very good job vocally. The visually are impressive and suit the song perfectly. Not sure on how this will do but few if any think it stands a chance of doing well.

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The smiling girl from Armenia is surely having fun on stage. She truly feels at home and it shows in every run. The backdrop is extremely busy and might distract a bit but it still manages to transmit the positive energy of the song. She is accompanied on stage by five dancers and towards the latter part of the song she joins in the routine despite this she does a good job on the vocals. This might surprise on the night!

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Sophia from Cyprus seemed to have been eagerly waiting to get on this stage for a long time as she nails every take she does. The visuals are surely one of the very best and although she is all alone on stage she makes full use of it. She is surely having fun and making the most of this experience – the only drawback this song has is that she is early in the draw and people expect to see dancers other than that she has everything going for her. 

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And the second day of rehearsals kicks off. It’s a happy day for Georgia as Lizi had a good rehearsal this morning. The graphics scream Junior Eurovision but blend well with the thought behind the song. Lizi is accompanied on stage by four dancers. She gives a good vocal performance yet the song seems to lack something and it is a tad too repetitive.

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Montenegro are embracing the fact that from this year the Junior Eurovision is aiming more towards adolescents as their two female teenagers take the stage. Their vocals are on but the girls look uncomfortable on stage – they seem to be over rehearsed and the simple routine they have makes them look awkward. Hopefully things get better for them.

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Josie from Croatia took the stage with Game Over and she is accompanied on stage by two dancers. The song is repetitive and some might find it boring. The visuals are quite particular and naturally feature graphics from games with different codes. This is another number which few people see it doing well. Sadly, it is very difficult at this stage to make significant changes. 

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Up next was San Marino and their girl band ‘The Peppermints’. This is surely another number which one would consider weak. The girls did a good job on the vocals yet nothing impressive. Their staging looked a bit all over the place and they definitely need to work on that area. The visuals are good and the graphics look good but that is where it stops.

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Serbia’s Emilija starts on stage sitting on the piano and then moves on to centre stage. She delivers her song to perfection and surely makes it one of the best entries rehearsing today. Her vocals were spot on and the graphics although plain they really blend in well with the entry. Nothing much to criticize here, one can say simplicity at its best. 

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Ula, the sweetheart from Slovenia is up next and this is another strong rehearsal. Some of the media in the press centre expressed a liking to this song. There is nothing outstanding about it but it is a song performed well and everything is coming together on stage. The visuals are dark and one expects the girl to wear something light in order to let her be the focal point.

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Federica for Malta was on next and she proved why she is one of the hot favourites to do the double for Malta. She tried her song four times in total and she delivered vocally every single time – it was truly impressive. The journalists in the hall were as impressed and it seems like they all gathered here for Malta’s rehearsal which is definitely a good omen.

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Belarus is up next and this is a surprise today. Visually it looks really strong and the same thing can be said for the choreography. The song is catchy and surely has a lot of potential to do extremely well. The singer is confident and looks great on screen. The visuals are impressive and this is another song that has the whole package. A very pleasant ending for the first round of rehearsals!

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#Together is a slogan which greatly encompasses the feeling felt throughout the venue, whether among the technical staff, members of the press or the delegations. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

#Together, the slogan and concurrent theme for this year's edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Malta is definitely being exercised to the maximum, if last night's successful event is to be taken into account. As the delegations made their way to the Summer Residence of the President of Malta in Verdala, the production team assembled to create a harmonised running order, following the initial draw ceremony which saw Federica from Malta pick number #15, Julia from The Netherlands pick number #16 and Nadezhda from Belarus pick number #1.

A quick glance at the full running order, it seems that the production team wanted to re-assure that a bell curve of genres is very much applicable to the audience watching in the arena and at home. A mixture of ballads, mid-tempo and up-tempo songs were slotted in according to the section of the draw in which the artists drew. Amidst screams of joy, and laughter, the delegations were all pleased with their place in the running order and looking forward to the week ahead, knowing that Malta will provide an excellent host country for the international music event.

01. Belarus

02. Bulgaria

03. San Marino

04. Croatia

05. Cyprus

06. Georgia

07. Sweden

08. Ukraine

09. Slovenia

10. Montenegro

11. Italy

12. Armenia

13. Russia

14. Serbia

15. Malta

16. The Netherlands

In support of Federica Falzon and her entry "Diamonds", written by Elton Zarb, Matthew Mercieca and Gillian Attard, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Periodally, members of the editorial team will be present at the Marsa Shipbuilding to bring you everything as it occurs.

Source: escflashmalta.com, junioreurovision.tv

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