November 18, 2019

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Earlier this month, San Marino confirmed that in next years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, they will be represented by Valentina Monetta for the third consecutive time in hope of the micro-state reaching the final for the very first time considering that they finished in eleventh place with their entry Crisalide (Vola) earlier this year. We would like to invite you to the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience. Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via 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.

The focus of this weeks' programme in an aim to continuously remind you that the Eurovision Song Contest will be re-starting with the national final season in a couple of months will be a series of interviews recorded during the experience endured in Malmo, Sweden. As a matter of fact, kicking off this round will be none other than Belgium whose entry Love Kills co-written by Jukka Immonen and Iain Farquharson finished in twelfth place with seventy-five (75) points. It is worth noting that this was the second best result for the nation since the introduction of the semi-finals. In 2010, Tom Dice and his entry Me and My Guitar won the semi-final porition of the competition before reaching an extremely positive sixth place. Roberto shot down his critics in reaching such a high placing noting that his stature and reputation in Belgium has risen as expected. In this interview he speaks about his experience and what the future holds.

Despina Olympiou, is one of the most beautiful female artists to have graced the stage of this years' Eurovision Song Contest albeit did not garner favour with either the jury or the public during the night of the semi-final finishing in fifteenth place with just eleven (11) points following her stunning rendition of the track An Me Thimase for Cyprus. CyBC, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Cyprus had internally selected Despina in an effort to cut back on the costs that a national selection entails. Sponsorship was key but unfortunately it was not meant to be. Despina took up the opportunity to continue advancing in her career and this was definitely another experience which she will treasure for many years to come. It is yet unknown whether Cyprus will return to the Eurovision Song Contest next year but definitely hopes that Malta won't be the only Island in the Mediterranean competing in Denmark.

Since 2004, one of the nations to return to the Eurovision Song Contest on every occasion has been Albania, reaching their best result last year as Rona Nishliu took to the stage to perform the track Suus finishing in a remarkable fifth place. Unfortunately, this years' result could not have been any different with Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko garnering just thirty-one (31) points to finish in fifthteenth place, the second worst result for Albania since they entered the Pan-European competition. The song Identitet which Bledar wrote did not appeal to the masses unfortunately, falling under just one genre, that of rock, hence why it suffered. The old school feel also appealed to voting from the region but nowhere else. Albania are seemingly also returning to the competition next year despite the result achieved this time round. Short interviews recorded on the red carpet with the artists from Iceland and Russia will also be aired during the programme.

There will also be a number of new releases played throughout the three hours, including tracks by Tina Karol, who represented Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006; Fabrizio Faniello, two time representative of Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest (2001 & 2006); Krista Siegfrids, representative of Finland at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest; Jessy Matador, French representative at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest; Maya Sar, the last representative for Bosnia & Herzegovina thus far and last but not least; Kevin Borg who came in second place at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. All of the latest news is also covered during the weekly broadcast noting resources from and escXtra where Luke Fisher, the Editor makes a weekly round-up. David Mann will be discussing cover versions from the Eurovision Song Contest. Make sure to tune into this evenings episode of Radio International on the links offered above as we help you get through your post Eurovision depression. 

Source: Team of Radio International

It has been almost two weeks since Only Teardrops performed by Emmelie de Forest for Denmark won the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 held in Malmo, Sweden. The spectacle which took place over a fortnight of rehearsals, press conferences, parties as well as meet and greet sessions was absolutely stunning and the public in Malta and The Netherlands surely smiled all the way through as both their entries finished in the top ten come Saturday night. We would like to invite you to the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience. Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via 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.

One of the countries which was seen as a possible outsider for the victory at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was Russia, a nation which has reached the top ten on several occasions and had been coming in on a first runner-up finish last year achieved thanks to the Babushki and their entry Party for Everybody. This time round, the nation did not fair as well though, finishing in a still respectable fifth place with their ballad, What If performed impeccably by Dina Garipova. The tenth place of Russia in the final was due to missing a couple of notes towards the end of the performance but the public definitely noted her vast improvement on Saturday night. The team of Radio International had the opportunity to speak to the performer about her career in Russia as well as the reasoning behind representing her nation in such a prestigious event where the results have been pretty much impressive in recent years.

The second interview during the programme this evening will be with none other than Gianluca, the artist who represented Malta with the entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. It is well worth noting that for the very first time ever, Malta managed to scoop a top prize and that was the jury voting during the second semi-final. It is stunning how the island in the Mediterranean managed to beat the likes of Azerbaijan and Norway. Talent is definitely within the genes of the artist, a full time doctor by profession. The lead singer of the band Funk Initiative is definitely heading towards a successful future especially after making the official charts in The Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom and Germany. In recent days, the local media has been publishing that Gianluca would love to return and represent Malta once more sometime in the future and we would definitely oblige to his reasoning especially if he manages to create the same smile he did this time round.

The third main interview which will be aired during the programme will be featuring Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson who represented Iceland in this years' edition of the song competition. His entry Eg a Lif was the favourite of Gianluca, something which was made public throughout the entire promotional tour. It was relatively surprising during the revelation of the split voting that this track actually did better with the public rather with the tele-voting with the professional experts opting for other ballads such as the ones of Azerbaijan and Georgia. Since the introduction of the two semi-final system back in 2008, Iceland have managed to qualify to the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest on each respective occasion, managing a first runner-up finish in 2009 with their entry Is It True? performed by Yohanna. Iceland is one of the countries that will surely return to the competition next time round, especially when the viewing figures were beyond the 95% share in terms of audience.

The final nation in the spotlight for this evenings' programme will be on Heidi & Anne who were the female backing vocalists for Denmark, and thus the winner of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. There will also be a number of new releases played throughout the three hours, including tracks by Kati Wolf who represented Hungary two years ago as well as Loreen who was the winner of the esteemed event for Sweden last year and managed to become one of the most successful performers in her native country. Her single Euphoria was a massive success across the world, hitting the charts also in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. In the meantime, there will also be a number of cover versions as recorded throughout the year, a feature which will be returning at the hands of David Mann. All of the latest news is also covered during the weekly broadcast noting resources from and escXtra where Luke Fisher, the Editor makes a weekly round-up.

Source: Press Release, Daniel D'Anastasi (Photo)

Iceland, a Scandinavian country which is yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest have been relatively successful since the two semi-final format was initiated back in 2008, noting that qualification has been assured each time. In 2009, their success peaked with a first runner-up finish as Yohanna sang her heart out to the ballad Is It True? which had achieved the maximum twelve points from Malta amongst other nations. RÚV, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Iceland is extremely satisfied with the results especially from a spectators' view noting that most of the population tune in to watch the annual showcase. 

Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson, the artist who represented Iceland in this years' spectacle had won the national selection as Söngvakeppnin beating a number of favourites including former representatives; Yohanna and Birgitta. Ég á Líf, composed by Örlygur Smári to the lyrics Pétur Örn Guðmundsson was the first entry presented in Iceland since 1997. The semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest were watched by 92.9% and 98.4% respectively with the latter figure depicting the first evening in which the track was presented. Due to the qualification into the final, audience figures soared once more and peaked at 98.9% making it one of the largest in the continent. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news.

Source: RÚV, escXtra, (image)

Preceding the annual Eurovision Song Contest, Gianluca was asked on a regular basis if he had heard any of the competing entries in the competition and he had always signalled his favourite to be the track from Iceland entitled Ég Á Líf, co-written by  Örlygur Smári & Pétur Örn Gudmundsson. The track which will be performed in slot number #8 meaning just over three minutes after Malta is a beautiful ballad which has been coming across beautifully on the screens. There is a strong visual lighting presentation but an even stronger vocal interpretation by Eythor Ingi who is proudly showcasing his skills in musical theatre.

Since arriving in Malmö, Sweden for this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, the two had yet to meet but when they did it seems that things got an extremely friendly reception considering that the two artists who had a small chat exchanged promotional discs and called the support of both nations. Iceland and Malta should have a strong relationship because of the fact that we have both sent the same amount of entries to the Eurovision Song Contest without ever finishing in the top position yet managing two first runner-up slots. Eythor Ingi has another intriguing link to Malta, noting that he is signed to Hands-Up Music, which is the same record label behind Chiara's recent releases, including the debatable Żarbun, a number #2 charting sensation on iTunes. Stay tuned to for more news.


Ég á Líf, co-written by Orlygur Smari and Petur Orn Gudmundsson with vocals provided by Eythor Ingi will be representing Iceland in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It comes as no surprise to learn that this is one of the dark horses in the competition noting that a similar type of entry in the form of Kuula on behalf of Estonia succeeded last year, achieving sixth place at the end of the evening. Hands Up Music, the independent record label responsible for the distribution of the entry along with the delegation have also decided on team that will be backing the main male vocalist as they embark on the trip to Malmö, Sweden.

In an official press booklet published by the same aforementioned record label which has been responsible for supporting the Icelandic entries for the past couple of years, it was noted down that there will be four male backing vocalists; Beggi Smart, Einar Johannson, Hannes Fridbjarnarson and Kristjan Gislason. The latter name of the four is definitely not new to the scene having also represent Iceland in the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest as part of the duo, Two Tricky whose entry Angel should have done way better than it actually did. Iceland will be competing alongside Malta in the second semi-final of the esteemed international competition with Ég á Líf being the favourite entry of Gianluca. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available. 

Source: Hands Up Music is proud to have engaged such professional individuals to analyse and assess the entries competing in this years' Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmö, Sweden noting that they had not had a whiff of what is seemingly in contention this time round. The first semi-final along with the three finalist countries voting there have long been concluded as we edge towards the mid-way of the second semi-final. Attention turns to Iceland whose broadcaster, RUV has been drawn in slot number #8 with the producers thinking this position best. The song entitled Ég Á Líf performed by Eythor Ingi is co-written between Örlygur Smári & Pétur Örn Gudmundsson.

Music was clearly a major part of Eyþór Ingi’s childhood; he used to sing Elvis Presley songs while still in kindergarten and he also loved acting. In 2004, at the age of fifteen, he won a part in the Icelandic version of the musical Oliver!, which turned out to be one of the most successful theatrical works ever staged in Akureyri, the capital of northern Iceland. This was only the beginning of his theatrical career as he was offered a part in Óvitar in 2007 as well as taking the leading role in a college staging of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

Eyþór Ingi won the College Song Contest in the spring of 2007 and was selected to compete as a contestant in TV talent show ‘Bandið hans Bubba‘. After winning the show in early 2008 he soon began working as a professional singer, musician and sound technician. Eyþór Ingi founded the progressive rock group Eldberg and in 2010 joined the renowned Icelandic band Todmobile, contributing to their seventh album, which was also entitled ‘7’. In 2011 Eyþór Ingi was nominated as best singer in the Gríman Theatrical Awards for his role as Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The following year he played hippie leader Berger in the musical Hair.

He also featured in the cast of Les Misérables as law student Marius Pontmercy, when the musical was staged in Þjóðleikhúsið, the National Theatre of Iceland, in 2011-2012. Eyþór Ingi was inspired to start singing by the music of Jeff Buckley and is also a big fan of David Bowie, Thom Yorke, Ian Gillan and Freddie Mercury. He has been a member of a Deep Purple tribute band and performed in the Freddie Mercury Tribute Show in Harpa Concert Hall in 2011-2012. The Icelandic national selection is one which people are seemingly becoming accustomed to every year and considering the recent tracks that have been submitted, it comes to no surprise. There were two former representatives competing this year, with only Birgitta from 2003 making it to the final.

Like Malta, Iceland will be taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the twenty-sixth time and their fortunes have also been quite similar with two first runner-up finishes, the first one coming in 1999 with Selma and her entry All Out of Luck and the second time round in 2009 with Yohanna and her song Is It True? Since the introduction of the semi-final system, the nation has been successful in getting through to the final on five occasions from a possible eight, as they were direct qualifiers in 2004. After three years of disappointments, Iceland got through to the final in 2008 with This Is My Life performed by Euroband and have always been there ever since but got their worst result since doing last year as Never Forget by Great & Jonsi mustered only forty-six (46) points in the final to finish in twentieth place. 

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 77%

Martin Isherwood: Translates as 'I have a life' - I wish. Good voice Good strong tune. Oooh, interesting dry vocal at the end. Nice Irish type piano ballad and a little in the style of Hallelujah in places. This type of song sometimes goes all the way but it’s very predicatable.

Sharon Vaughn: Very moving and compelling melody and performance, understated and sincere!

Stano Simor: "My Life" (Ég á Líf) is a beautiful emotional song. Eyþór Ingi has a pleasant voice color that when combined with a weeping melody transposed dramatic end, creates a perfect hit ballad. I believe that the audience will appreciate this enough to vote it into the final.


Published in Editorials