July 18, 2019

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Greece, one of the most successful countries to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest, garnered prominence for managing to finish in the top ten (10) on nine (9) consecutive years between 2004 and 2011 respectively, that record being broken by none other than Eleftheria Eleftheriou and her song Aphrodisiac which only managed sixty-four (64) points to finish in seventeenth place, replicating the results achieved by Greece in 2002 and 2003. Nevertheless, just months later, dignity was restored at the hands of Koza Mostra and Agathonas Iakovidis who finished in sixth place with a total of a hundred fifty-two (152) points, making it the best result for the nation since the second runner-up finish in 2008.

Kalispera! It is going to be quite an interesting tussle to see which act will follow suit and replicate or rather better the success achieved in 2013. Greece have faced a turbulent year with the economic crisis and the problems with the broadcaster, so much so, that the selection process is being outsourced to MAD TV, a commercial broadcaster who has significant popularity in the world of music. The four (4) acts will be competing for the affections of both the general public and a professional panel of judges, the latter ultimately comprising of: Dimitris Kontopoulos, Elpida, Themis Georgantas, Areti Kalesaki and Reggina Kouri. You may follow all the proceedings through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest as well as the escflashmalta.com LIVE report.

The Show (Part 1)

Despina Vandi and Giorgos Kapoutzidis are currently on the main stage, performing a medley of hits from the Eurovision Song Contest, including the fabolous Autostop by Anna Vissi amongst others.  It is worth pointing out that the hosts this evening look absolutely wonderful with our male counterpart in a grey/black suit, and Despina wearing a see through white dress. Greece is celebrating its 40th anniversary since its first participation in 1974 and hence lot of formers participants are there to perform their entries with other singers.

And we start with Kalomira and Vegas with Secret Combination ... Time for a break! We are back in the hall, four (4) songs will battle out to win the golden ticket to Copenhagen. New version of Mathema Solfege from 1977 by Bessy and Melisses! Quick recap of the Greek participations from 1974 to 1995. Now, Anixi (1991) by Diva Sofia Vossou and popular singer Demy in a dance arrangement. This is one of the best greek songs in my opinion. Now review of the Greek songs from 1996 to last year! Keti Garbi and Vegas will now sing 1993 entry Hellada hora to fotos in a very weird slower rap ethnic version.

Keti switched her blue dress to a green one but is still looking gorgeous 21 years after. After a quick look to the famous performers backstage, our hosts now introduce Socrates (1979) sung by Elpida together with georgian rooted singer Tamta! Very powerful voices and stunning arrangements! Time for another advert break and we still have not heard the bidding songs!

Petalouda Stin Athina - Crystallia (Music by Nikos Antypas. Lyrics by Aris Davarakis)

Back in the hall with Despina and Giorgos for the songs. We start with Crystallia and her ethnic ballad Petalouda stin Athina! Four violin players surround Crystallia in a white dress with a cloudy backdrop. Amazing voice, this is much better live than in studio version but it sounds very Greek and might not appeal to European audience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_akdyJt5Ds

Rise Up - Freaky Fortune featuring Riskykidd (Music & Lyrics: Freaky Fortune and Riskykidd)

Second song is Freaky fortune feat Risky kidd with Rise Up. This is a modern dance song with some rap elements. This song is leading the polls and we can understand why because it is an excellent tune with trompet elements and perfectly performed by this young crew! Though it sounds a bit repetitive at the end, it is defintely the one to watch out. Strong audience reactions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgxOGTm6Lns

Kanenas De Me Stamata - Kostas Martakis (Music and lyrics: Ilias Kozas)

Next up is Greek Apollo Kostas Martakis for his second attempt in greek selection after 2008. Kanenad den me stameta is a balkan ethno rock song written by last year's entrant Koza and we can hear some similarities with Alcohol is free though Kostas Song is more rockish. This is very competantly performed by Kostas and also delivers much better live than in studio version. Strong reaction also from audience. I guess this might be the winner tonight!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzef2udhgak

Dancing Night - Mark Angelo feat Josephine (Music and lyrics by Angelo, Wendel, Lane, Makris and Karlsson)

Time already for last song. Dancing night performed by Mark Angelo and soloist Josephine. This is a generic dance song that would get unoticed in a Melodifestival semi final and the vocals are far from good. Josephine is out of tune since the beginning of the song and spoil completely the track. This is obviously heading for last spot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riFGdnvMYh0

The Show (Part 2)

That's it we ve heard the 4 hopeful acts and this could be an open battle between Crystalia, Freaky fortune and Kostas. No clear winner can be spoted after the performances. Previous contestants are now interviewed backstage before we get the first recap. 20 minutes voting window. Winner will be decided by televoting and a professional jury 50/50. Koza Mostra and Agatona are now on stage to perform Alcohol is free their successful entry from 2013. After a recap in reverse order we now see the already selected songs!

After a recap in reverse order we now see the already selected songs. Giorgios is now back on stage with a sexy Tshirt and introduce his fellow hostess Despina Vandi for one of her songs. We are now graced with a eurovision medley by a young duo singing acoustic versions. Televoting lines are closed we will soon know who will get the honor of waving the Greek flag in Denmark and bring another high placing to the country.

Firelight is now greeting Greece and singing Coming Home .... A quick glance backstage where the temperature is rising up awaiting the results! And I think it's time for the results! And I think it's time for the results! Just before Helena Paparizou gives her opinion about previous Greek participation! And here come the previous greek entrants on stage. Everything is on this iPad! Winner is Rise Up. Well Greece opted for the most modern and international choice. Well done Greece!

Result

Rise Up - Freaky Fortune featuring Riskykidd (Music & Lyrics: Freaky Fortune and Riskykidd)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgxOGTm6Lns

Tráthnóna maith! Ireland will be making their selection for this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest during the course of the evening with five (5) acts competing for the right to represent the most successful country in the continental competition. The emerald isle won the event on seven (7) occasions, the most recent being back in 1996 with Eimear Quinn and her song The Voice. Nevertheless, since the millennium, the nation has strugged to get into the top ten (10) despite reaching the final round of the competition every year since 2009. RTÉ, the Irish public broadcaster will be airing the selection process through a webcast being transmitted on the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Irish public broadcaster made the announcement of the five (5) mentors back in October as they kicked off a journey to find a suitable artist with the best possible song. Ultimately, the search did end up with a couple of interesting names, some of which are known through talent shows, others who have already been a part of the process and even newcomers. The music industry in Ireland is thriving and has been known to produce some fine acts throughout the years including none other than; U2, Westlife, Enya and Keith Hanley. In the meantime, only one (1) of the five (5) competing entries has broken through the charts thus far, with Eoghan Quigg being a new entry at #99 based on iTunes sales.

The Show (Part 1)

An ABBA tribute act is in the audience performing Waterloo, winning entry of the 1964 Eurovision Song Contest. Our host of the evening; Ryan Turbidy is literally getting the audience ready for the evening. This year, it seems that Ireland is making more effort than usual with RTÉ commentator Marty Whelan responsible for the backstage interviews. A trip down memory lane as we will be getting to meet Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan and Johnny Logan.

A non-Irish poll was organised throughout the week to seek the most recognisable entries from the Eurovision Song Contest and ranking in number five is; Nicole with A Little Peace. A panel of professional experts are present to comment on the songs including none other than; Louis Walsh, Linda Walsh,  Owen McDermott and a Eurovision Fan who is present on countless occasions when it comes to the Late Late Show Eurosong. A short interview with each of our panel members, and this is turning out to be an interesting chat show to be honest.

Song 01: Don't Hold On - Patricia Roe

A female singer/songwriter, and former runner-up of Eurosong in 1992 and 1993. Patricia is standing on a platform wearing a beautiful black/silver lace dress whilst accompanied by two backing vocalists; a gorgeous lady and a dashing young man, a drummer and a pianist. This is your typical run off the mill ballad which would not stand out in the Eurovision Song Contest. Patricia is truly an oustanding vocalist and you could feel the emotion pushing through the boundaries. The sound is really good this year and it seems that RTE is putting in the effort. 

I cannot fault this performance, that is for sure and I have a very good feeling that this will be in the middle of the scoreboard and will finish in third place. Whoa! Those high notes are seriously brilliant but this is too too dated. Nevertheless, what a very good effort from Malta's backing vocalist back in the 1994 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXhahmlX88M

Song 02: The Movie Song - Eoghan Quigg

Second runner-up of the X Factor a couple of years back, Eoghan Quigg is back on stage wearing a bow-tie and sitting down on a stool playing the guitar. He is joined on stage by two male backing vocalists who are doing brilliant harmonies as well as two female violinists and a cello player. Eoghan is definitely enjoying his time in the spotlight and the performance is coming across brilliant, as if developed for the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest.

I am going to say this, the use of the lyric video is a fabolous idea, especially having also been used to full effect by Malta in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. Eoghan is performing this brilliantly and it is going to be difficult for someone to take this away from him. Ireland have a strong entry with The Movie Song and they would be wrong to turn it away. Wonderful performance and that is something that Ireland does best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AENe3l7C5Vk

Song 03: Heartbeat - Can-Linn ft Kasey Smith

.. in a beautiful green grown, Kasey Smith is off-key for the first part of the performance, whilst joined by two male dancers, two female backing vocalists and a female violinist. I can honestly see this on a stage at the Eurovision Song Contest but nevertheless, would lack in picking up votes, especially for the simple reason that Kasey is too stiff. This should have a vocalist who is dancing around the stage and not completely standing still doing absolutely nothing.

What I love about this performance though is surely the addition of the riverdance but instead of working the angle of using topless dancers, the dancers are fully clothes. The backing vocalists are in tune and the harmonies work well. Kasey and her vocals improved as the track went along but I am not truly getting the vibe of the song. I have no clue what they see in this one and why it is the bookies' favourite.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo8P-5w5fA0

Song 04: Be Mine - Andrew Mann

A former participant on The Voice of Ireland, and also a runner-up of the Irish Eurosong a couple of years back, Andrew is clearly bringing in the rock element, somewhat required in any national final across the continent. His vocals are definitely on point and that is something which truly stands out in this song. Here I Am in 2012 was a much better entry but nevertheless, he is a brilliant performer. 

The staging of this song is completely appropriate but band type of songs never do well in the Eurovision Song Contest and Ireland should not do such a mistake. Well, this is the fourth song and presents an alternative type of entry. I mean, this is something which would not succeed in the international competition because it is more based on radio.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7DLAbTmP9c

Song 05: You Don't Remember Me - Laura O'Neill

Billy McGuinness was seriously acting in a spiteful manner prior to the performance but nevertheless, I do not believe that he had any valid points considering that the expert panel does not have any say in the final vote. It would have been worse should those have been the actual jury. Laura is wearing a short red dress, maybe not the most flattering for her figure but nevertheless, the staging is seemingly done in a manner to compliment a James Bond genre.

Think Adele doing Skyfall, but required a little bit of work to be honest. It is a very good song and could do very well in the Eurovision Song Contest. I believe that this is one (1) of the two (2) songs which could do Ireland proud. I believe that this is one of the acts which has a very good chance of succeeding in the international market and create a career out of this evening.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5jgSj8YH-M

The Show (Part 2)

Well, an extremely heated exchange between mentor of the fifth entry, Billy McGuinness and Louis Walsh and Linda Martin, for the simple reason that two of the acts were somewhat mentored by Louis Walsh. Nevertheless, Billy is livid and this is not looking good for Laura as it is reflecting bad for her. We have a recap of all of the songs performed this evening, a couple of adverts and now Johnny Logan who is back for a special guest performance.

He is performing Hold Me Now, winning entry of the 1987 Eurovision Song Contest .. and throws in a bit of Why Me? Johnny performing LIVE and sounding brilliant! Why cannot Ireland re-create their performances of the nineties? I still believe that Rock and Roll Kids could be a hit in the current format of the Eurovision Song Contest. Wonderful audience singing along to Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan's brilliant song. Standing ovation from the expert panel and the public loved it.

Voting

Galway: 12 points to Heartbeat

Cork: 12 points to You Don't Remember Me

Dublin: 12 points to Heartbeat

Limerick: 12 points to Heartbeat

Sligo: 12 points to The Movie Song

Public Vote: 60 points to Heartbeat

Winner: Heartbeat - Can-Linn ft Kasey Smith

Tonight, VRT will continue the search for an oustanding artist, one who will be credible enough to put Belgium on the map and represent the nation in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark. As was the case last week, sixteen (16) candidates will be featured on the show with special interpretations of former entries at the international event.  It is important to denote that VRT have gone for a different kind of selection following the disappointment with Iris and her entry Would You? back in 2012, languishing towards the bottom of the scoreboard.

This week, one is going to see several artist who have come from talent shows such as Pop Idol, or The Voice including none other than Maureen, Axeela, Yass and Andrei Lugovski. Aeali on the other hand features no less than Veronica, part of the duo Urban Trad who were near winners of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003. There, she will be joined by Soetkin who was also part of that group. Day One, is the secret band which Kate Ryan seems to be the lead vocalist. It is important to denote that the female artist represented Belgium back in 2006, with her entry Je T'Adore failing to get through to the final despite having been seen by many as a possible contender for victory.

Soulbrothers - Puppet on a string (Sandie Shaw, 1967)

Mr. Jones - Standing Still (Roman Lob, 2012)

Sil - Where are you (Imaani, 1998)

Aelia - Poupée de cire, poupée de son (France Gall, 1965)

Tisha Cyrus - Dum tek tek (Hadise, 2009)

Petra - All kinds of everything (Dana, 1970

Bandits - Geef het op (Clouseau, 1991)

Axeela - Believe (Dima Bilan, 2008)

Manuel Palomo - Eres tu (Mocedades, 1973)

Yass - L'oiseau et l'enfant (Marie Myriam, 177)

Maureen - Ding-a-dong (Teach-In, 1975)

Bastien - Fly on the wings of love (The Olsen Brothers, 2000)

Andrei Lugovski - In a moment like this (Chanee & N'evergreen, 2010)

Dina Rodrigues - Ne partez pas sans moi (Celine Dion, 1988)

Day One - Satellite (Lena, 2010)

Nevertheless, it seems that the most remarkable audition from this evenings' programme might come from none other than Petra. This vocalist already took part in the national selection on more than one occasion, finishing in second place behind Kate Ryan back in 2006, as La Sakhra. Her audition clip has already been revealed by VRT Radio broadcaster; MNM and thus could be seen below. In the meantime, Eurosong 2014 could be watched on een as from 20:30 CET but no webcast to foreigners is being provided at least, on an official capacity. All the castings will then be made available for all to watch on the official website. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.

Source: VRT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmZlLGmGuvw

Thursday, 10 October 2013 22:00

Belgium: Ruslana Joins Panel for Eurosong 2014

Ruslana, winner of the 2004 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Wild Dances has confirmed to the media, and the general public that she will be one of the judges during Eurosong 2014, the Belgian pre-selection which will see to the choice of both the artist and the entry alike. The format of the new selection process is set to resemble that of a casting show in the early stages before becoming a proper showcase where original songs, ready for the Eurovision Song Contest will be put forward in front of an international jury and tele-voting with a panel of guest judges in the studio passing their opinion.

Earlier this year, the Francophone broadcaster, RTBF internally selected Roberto Bellarosa who went onto perform the track Love Kills, taking Belgium straight into the final where he finished in a credible twelfth place, the second best result since the introduction of the two semi-final format. VRT, the broadcaster responsible for next years' entry last obtained a positive result in 2010 when Tom Dice and his entry Me and My Guitar finished in sixth place as their last try in 2012 ended in great disappointment with Iris and the track Would You? only managing a penultimate position in the semi-final. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Ruslana's Official Website

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10XR67NQcAc

één, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Belgium, every other year and representative of the Flanders sector of the country is set to unveil a pretty sophisticated preselection process which will see the nation pick their artist and song in a seperate manner, in the hope of achieving success. In 2012, it was Iris who carried the flag with her entry Would You? finishing in second to last position within the semi-final but there is a wonderful aura surrounding Eurosong 2014 after Roberto Bellarosa took the country to the final and finished in twelfth place with Love Kills.

Eurosong 2014 will comprise of seven weeks, starting off with two casting shows (2nd/9th February), moving onto the call back (16th February), the semi-finals (23rd February, 2nd March and 9th March) and the actual final (16th March). Basically, artists who would like to throw their hat into the ring will be first judged by a panel of four music experts, two of which have been revealed to be Piet Goddaer and Jef Martens before being given their possible entries for the Eurovision Song Contest, which can be submitted to the broadcaster by the 28th October on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The experts will then play an advisory role towards the end of the selection process with a European Jury along with the Belgian Public selecting their act for the Eurovision Song Contest as the artist would then have been paired up with his respective song. Despite being a tad complicated, VRT and één have planned it out brilliantly and it could very much be a system which works because finding the right song for the right artist should be the way forward in the music industry. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z_5s5gnrCM

Flanders, the region responsible for the participation of Belgium in the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Denmark have unveiled their selection procedure under the guidance of their broadcaster, VRT. Would You? co-written by Jean Bosco Safari and Walter Mannaerts with vocals by Iris was the last entry to represent the regioon but nevertheless failed to amass widespread appeal, obtaining just sixteen (16) points to finish in the penultimate position of seventeenth. In 2014, the selection procedure is set to change in order to try and select an up and coming individual whose aim is to represent the nation in the best possible way.

The national selection process entitled Eurosong is calling for artists who dream big to send a video clip of themselves performing any song from previous editions of the Eurovision Song Contest in a different genre. The concept which is quite intriguing will see to how imaginative the performers will be because they will have to perform in front of millions where they have to adapt to the pressure. Candidates could either be soloists or within a group in an effort to encourage a little bit of both. VRT, the broadcaster responsible for the Flanders region is looking to create a casting show in a similar vein to the German pre-selections of 2010 and 2012 which saw to the selection of Lena Meyer-Landrut and Roman Lob, both of which managed top ten results.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z_5s5gnrCM

Belgium, a country in the western side of the continent which has been rather unlucky at the international competition, managing to qualify only on two occasions, one of them being earlier this year as Roberta Bellarosa surprised everyone with his stunning rendition of the song Love Kills co-written by Ian Farquharson and Jukka Immonen. The song finished in a respectable twelfth place making it their third best result within the past years and also a hit in several countries including The Netherlands and Sweden. Apart from a call for artists, the Flemish broadcaster is inviting songwriters all across the world to submit their demo songs for the competition. All of the information could be found through the official website, here. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCl7OUFNSCA