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
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.
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.
02. Czech Republic
03. The Netherlands
25. United Kingdom
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.
In Vienna, the capital city of Austria, dress rehearsals for the final night of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 are currently taking place, as twenty (20) participating countries were selected from the semi-finals through a mixture of public and jury voting in order to join the seven (7) pre-determined finalists, who secured their place as part of the guidelines of the event, as set forth by the European Broadcasting Union.
As participants drew their part of the running order in the post semi-final press conferences, the excitement grew with regards to how the final line-up will look like, and in the wee hours of morning, the European Broadcasting Union made public the running order in which each of the finalists will be presenting their respective entry.
05. United Kingdom
Unfortunately, Malta is not part of this line-up, despite the fact that Amber gave a stunning interpretation of her entry "Warrior", her original entry penned by Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca to the composition of Elton Zarb. Nevertheless, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter as our LIVE blogging continues, with Antoine Farrugia, Marc Calleja Bayliss, Brooke Borg and Davinia Pace during the final night of the worlds' most prestigious event in Malta.
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.
It has been an entertaining fortnight with certain entries falling well below expectations with others coming to terms with new found fame following first rehearsals on the stage found at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Tonight! The second semi-final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with fifteen countries set to compete against one another in hope of garnering one of the ten available slots, and in doing so joining the big five; Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom as well as host country; Denmark.
In Malta, the focus will definitely be on the group Firelight whose entry Coming Home written by Richard Edwards Micallef will be first to take to the stage this evening. This will be the first time that the Mediterranean Island, and winner of the 2013 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will open the show. On behalf of the Public Broadcasting Services, Carlo Borg Bonaci will serve as commentator this evening, reprising the role he had during the first semi-final. In the final, Daniel Chircop will be taking over as commentator. In the meantime, we have asked our panel of professional reviewers to come up with the names of the countries they believe will get through to the final this evening and this is the cumulative list which they have come up with;
We urge you to tune into escflashmalta.com through Facebook and Twitter this evening with Antoine Farrugia, Christabelle, Simon Casey and Karen DeBattista micro-blogging on the acts competing in the second semi-final. Once more, we remind you that the comments passed forth by our special guests do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the escflashmalta.com editorial team. Remember, the second semi-final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest kicks off at 21:00 CET on Television Malta.
It is fair to say that Firelight are having a blast as they prepare to represent Malta during the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Coming Home written by Richard Edwards Micallef. From photo opportunities, to interviews and features with both local and foreign media, it is hard not to take it all in and they are certainly enjoying every minute.
Following their rehearsal on Tuesday, Firelight bumped into two artists; Carl Espen, who will be representing Norway with Silent Storm during the second semi-final; and Mei Finegold who will be partaking on behalf of Israel with Same Heart. The Norwegian crooner, one of the favourites to triumph in this year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest had only words of praise towards Coming Home defining it as 'a track which will eventually get loads of airplay on the Norwegian radio stations as it reflects the music currently hitting the charts in Scandinavia'.
He was also keen to learn about the instrument that Richard plays during the performance; the Mountain Dulcimer having never seen one like it before. Richard quickly exchanged favours in singing an a-capella version of Silent Storm, something he also did during the meet and greet session which took place on Tuesday. Journalists in attendance for the meet and greet stated 'you shouldn't do that .. it's a competition' to which he replied to a rather rapturous applause 'we're here to have fun and enjoy ourselves with good music. This song is good music so there is no harm in singing it!'
Mei Finegold is a backstage neighbour to Firelight, with Israel performing in slot number #2 just after Malta and this has provided the build-up to a more solid relationship. Both of them got to get to know each other during the course of their promotional tours with both being in attendance in The Netherlands and Russia a couple of weeks back. Michelle Mifsud, one of the vocalists of Firelight, confirmed that they are happy that the two teams got to know each other at a personal level.
'She is a mum like myself. We share the same passions for music and for our families. We both know what is it like for a woman to bring up your children while pursuing your dream as an artist’. On her part, Mei did not hesitate to declare that she has been whistling Coming Home quite a couple of times, something that has become synonomous to her daily backstage routine. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.
It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #2, we catch up with Israel (IBA) who will be represented by Mei Feingold and the song Same Heart written by Rami Talmid.
At the age of just 8 months old, Mei Finegold was whistling melodies in her crib. Her family says she was born to sing. It was only a matter of time before she became one of the most unique singers on the Israeli musical scene. Now her career has taken another step, as Mei will be representing Israel at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen with the song Same Heart. What few people knew was that one of Mei's biggest dreams was to do musical theatre. In 2010, her dream came true: Mei was offered a part in a huge musical production at the Cameri Theatre.
She played a young woman who had lost her husband, struggling to start a new romantic relationship with her husband's best friend. Mei was praised by the critics and audiences for her performance and won the respected "Best New Actress 2010" award for her role. During that time, Mei released her debut album Soda Pop, which she wrote herself. Ever since, Mei has been working with human rights organisations, volunteering and empowering the fight against violence. Mei's story encouraged hundreds of men and women to share their own personal experiences and start a healing process. In 2011, Mei "started working" on what she refers to as "the most meaningful project of her life".
She gave birth to her baby daughter, Emily, and became a mother. During her pregnancy, Mei joined the electronic pop rock group, Limozina Express as their lead singer. The members of the band have been very well known and extremely respected musicians in Israel for decades. Together they perform on the largest stages across the country. An evening where Mei started on stage ended with her in the delivery room giving birth. In 2012, Mei was cast once again in a musical production at the Cameri theatre. This time it was Kazablan, a classic Israeli musical. Mei plays a character called Roza, a larger than life local bar owner which the critics and audiences fall in love with.
In May 2013 at the annual Israeli Theatre Awards, Mei was nominated for and won the prestigious award "Best Supporting Actress Of The Year" for her role as Roza. Israel has been successful at the Eurovision Song Contest on three occasions, the most recent being back in 1998 when Dana International managed to strut her way to an astonishing victory with the track Diva beating stiff competition from both Malta and the United Kingdom. In the past couple of years, the country has failed to get out of the semi-final despite sending some pretty strong songs, putting all their hopes on Mei Finegold and her entry Same Heart.
Professional Critics Voice their Opinion
Greig Watts: She has an interesting low voice, so im waiting for the chorus to have an impact as she goes high, and its just ok for me and then goes to the typical dance riff. Just ok for me to be honest, but interestingly I like the song more when she goes into the other language (Hebrew I presume) and nice key change at the end, still I think not a winner.
Joseph Zammit: What can I say, this lady has clearly had some issues with relationships in the past. A tough woman who is no longer going to be pushed around. This message is clearly shown with the rough heavy guitar riffs in the beginning. A good start I thought. Pity that it didn't keep on going like this all the way. Half way through it, the song brings in a synth and turns into a hard club piece and ruins it, turning it into a generic piece.
The fact that in the chorus, the lyrics 'We don't beat from the same heart' are hurried up to fit in with the music clearly shows that it was originally written in her mother tongue and then hastily changed to English for the sake of the competition, which is a pity, because when she does sing in Hebrew in a portion of the song, it does sound much better. This is a song which had potential to be a stand-alone, however it conceded to commercial beats. It will undoubtedly appeal to a wider demographic of Eurovision viewers, however, it makes it less special of a song in itself.
Sharon Vaughn: Skinning you out is a quite bizarre phrase to use in a pop song. And I am afraid the female warrior theme has been done and done better.
John Scott: She has a very interesting and unique voice. The song builds nicely and the chorus is instantly memorable. The hook stayed in my head long after I first listened to the song.
Danmarks Radio, host broadcaster of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just revealed the running order for the international competition taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Represented by Firelight and the song Coming Home, written by Richard Edwards Micallef, Malta will be opening the second semi-final on the 8th May 2014.
Prior to the announcement of the draw for the running order, Malta had never been given the opportunity to open the semi-final of such an illustrious show. At first glance, one might be shocked but personally I had a strong feeling that this could happen given the diversity of the genres that make up the first half of the second semi-final. Seventh in qualification with the bookies, Coming Home is facing a fate bestowed to the likes of Nije Ljubav Stvar, This is My Life, Run Away and Love In Rewind, all of which have successfully qualified to the final of the continental competition.
It is quite interesting to denote that those entries which opened the second semi-final have proven to be much more successful than those opening the first semi-final. In the meantime, the situation in the first semi-final is even moreso intriguing especially with the first half of the show induated with ballads, despite that they try and preserve themselves as individualistic. Favourite to win the Eurovision Song Contest with odds shortening by the second, Armenia is set to open the first semi-final in a bizarre twist.
One has to remember that ten countries per semi-final will get through to the final show set for the 10th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark meaning that nine nations will be left out in the cold having not been selected amongst the best that the continent has to offer. In the final, the qualifiers will join entries from Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom and host country Denmark who have already been given an extremely late draw following a random draw. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Erev Tov ! Israeli broadcaster IBA just hosted their selection for this year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in a TV studio. Present in the studio with the presenter Mei Finegold who was chosen internally by IBA. The singer participated in Israel's version of Pop Idol and she finished in a respectable 3rd place.
Israel’s selection commenced with 78 songs which were submitted to IBA and which were reduced to 10. A professional jury chose the final 2 to go alongside Mei’s own song. Israel participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö, Sweden. Moran Mazor represented Israel with the song Rak bishvilo, which failed to qualify from the second semi-final of the competition, placing 14th and scoring 40 points. This year, unlike 2013, only the general public chose the song which will represent Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest. Israeli will participate in the second Semi-Final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, being held at the B&W-Hallerne on Refshaleøen in Copenhagen on the 8th of May. The 3 songs competing tonight were:
Nish'eret iti (Staying with me)
Music: Loren de Paz & Chen Metzger Eder
Lyrics: Loren de Paz
Music & Lyrics: Rami Talmid
Music & Lyrics: Mei Finegold
The winner of the show was Same Heart with 55% of the televote. The song was the hot favourite from the very first start and it is quite good indeed. In the video clip, Mei delivers the song with passion and she transmits anger and a fine rock vibe. Someone has filled Mei’s soul with poison. The video of the song has a Beyonce effect in its choreography and the samurai warrior princess brandishing a sword reminds me of Anna Oxa in Senza Pieta’. The message of the song is clear: Don’t mess with me! The song is bilingual as it has an English part and a Hebrew one. Good luck to Israel. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more of the latest news.