August 24, 2019

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On Sunday, the Public Broadcasting Services was busy recording the preview videos for the entries competing in next years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with a promotional campaign set to kick-off as soon as they are published onto the world wide web. Nevertheless, most of the artists competing in the local showcase have already been taking to several forms of social media in order to keep the general public updated with opinions, personal insights and past experiences amongst other things. escflashmalta.com has quickly rounded up relevant social media accounts for everyone to follow in the weeks leading up to the competition and beyond.

The preview videos for each of the songs are expected over the next couple of days, with next week being the latest date, and therefore, it is pivotal to make sure that everyone is gearing up to promote their entry in the best possible way throughout the Christmas period. escflashmalta.com in collaboration with the Public Broadcasting Services will be then publishing a list of programmes where the artists will be appearing on throughout the next couple of weeks. Just a swift reminder that as a portal, we will be indeed carrying out a set of critical outlooks on each of the entries with our panel of professional personnel including; Sharon Vaughn, Lina Eriksson, Greig Watts, John Scott and Martin Isherwood.

Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William (Facebook / Twitter)

City Lady - Ryan Paul Abela (Facebook / Twitter)

Brand New Day - Davinia (Facebook / Twitter)

Let The Sunshine In - Sophie (Facebook / Twitter)

Hypnotica - Jessika (Facebook / Twitter)

Invisible - Raquel Galdes (Facebook Twitter)

One Last Ride - Daniel Testa (Facebook / Twitter)

Pin The Middle - Debbie Stivala (Facebook Twitter)

Oblivion - Chris Grech (Facebook Twitter)

Until We Meet Again - Deborah C (Facebook / Twitter)

Because I Have You - Amber (Facebook Twitter)

Lovetricity - Christabelle (Facebook Twitter)

Coming Home - Firelight (Facebook / Twitter)

Safe - Miriam Christine (Facebook / Twitter)

Addictive - Romina Mamo (Facebook Twitter)

Now and Forever - Andreana (Facebook / Twitter)

Love Will Take Me Home - Franklin (Facebook Twitter)

Ten - Corazon (Facebook Twitter)

Take Me - Pamela (Facebook / Twitter)

Just No Place Like Home - Fabrizio Faniello (Facebook Twitter)

At this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Gianluca was selected to represent Malta with the track Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat, finishing in eighth place. It will be quite an intriguing element to see who will follow the success achieved by the singing doctor, especially after also managing to succeed at this years' Junior Eurovision Song Contest where Gaia Cauchi was the victor. The 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest will take place on the 7th and 8th February at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaQ1od0LAiU

It has only been two (2) weeks since the revelation of the twenty (20) entries that have made it through to the semi-final stage of next years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, with the Public Broadcasting Services planning a promotional schedule for each of the artists over the next couple of weeks. First things first though as tomorrow marks the beginning of a new journey with the recording of the official video clips, which will be shared through social media and will also play a pivotal part in the escflashmalta.com awards presented by ONE Radio 92.7.

It is important to point out that apart from the official preview videos, all of the artists were called into the Public Broadcasting Services yesterday in order to record what was coined as a postcard, that will support the preview video during the promotional campaign. Next years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest set for the 7th and 8th February 2014 will be taking place at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’ Qali and will most likely be part of the Malta Music Weekend, also incorporating the Malta Music Awards. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaQ1od0LAiU

In recent days, the Public Broadcasting Services published the names of the entries competing in next years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, an effort which will see someone step into the shoes of Gianluca whose entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat finished in eighth place. The event, slated to take place on the 7th and 8th February at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre will see to the participation of twenty (20) acts, all vying for the unique prize of representing the country at the biggest musical event in Europe.

At first glance, two names stand out, and of course, those are of two former representatives of Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest; Miriam Christine and Fabrizio Faniello. On second look, I would have to note more artists who have returned to the competition, including the likes of Andreana, Romina Mamo, Wayne William, Sophie DeBattista; a former Junior Eurovision Song Contest representative and Pamela; backing vocalist for Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2010 and 2011 respectively. It's always positive to see artists who have been missing for a period of time, because it means that they rekindled their flame after a couple of years off.

The newcomers to the festival are also ones which are very much intriguing to denote with Christabelle Borg never declaring herself interested in representing Malta abroad. The four time Best Solo Artist Award winner at the BMAs has thrown her hat into the ring as she heads one of the twenty (20) available bids. Despite being a renowned figure, Daniel Testa's Junior Eurovision Song Contest days are well behind him and his days at a DJ at 89.7 Bay are helping define a personal genre, one which he will be taking to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Joining him there is Ryan Paul Abela, son of Maestro Paul Abela who has written some of Malta's most iconic entries for the international showcase.

Two final newcomers worth a mention are Debbie Stivala and Raquel Galdes, the latter having been a finalist in this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and the former being a collaborator with notable band, Tribali. On the other hand, the other artists in the field were all present during this years' edition, including none other than; Amber, Davinia, Jessika, Franklin Calleja, Chris Grech, Corazon and Deborah C. It is worth noting that Richard Edwards has joined forces with sister Michelle Mifsud in a band known as Fire Light. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com as the latest news about the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014 is unraveled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaQ1od0LAiU

Franklin Calleja, Claudia Faniello, Jessika and Davinia were all part of the set-up at this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the latter actually being the second runner-up. They will all be coming together on stage once more during Echoes, a live street concert in aid of Puttinu Cares on Friday 16th August from 21:00 CET onwards. It is important to denote that the list above is only part of the line-up with other special performances including Kristina Casolani who performed during this years' Isle of MTV and Cryptic Street, winners of the Best New Act at the Bay Music Awards 2012.

On Malta's Top Ten with Nathan D, both Claudia and Davinia have made the cut with their most recent releases; When It's Time co-written with Errol and You Are My Home composed by Elton Zarb with lyrics by Matt Mercieca. The evening is set to be hosted by Cherise Attard, recent winner of L-Għanja tal-Poplu with the song Hawn Siġġu Nieqes composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul as well as Joseph Barber who is one of the most influential figures in Safi when it comes to organisation. The editorial board of escflashmalta.com urges everyone to attend and be generous. Stay tuned for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B46BHZzqSJ4

Published in Local Music News

Jessika, one of the younger vocalists in the local music scene with ample experience achieved within the festival circuit, having been a contender at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on four occasions, reaching the final round on two of such occasions. In recent months, she has taken up a lead role on the television series Il-Klikka which has sparked her popularity even further and saw her place at an even better position at this years' showcase. escflashmalta.com has been in touch with the vocalist turned actress about her current career endeavours in both music and film.

Jessika, one of the fast rising stars in the local music industry especially following your latest participation within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest where you presented the track Ultraviolet composed by Philip Vella and Thomas G:Son with lyrics provided by Gerard James Borg. This was the very first time that the trio has collaborated together on an original song and you were fronting their product, one which was very much appreciated by the public. What was your initial reaction when listening to the demo version of the song and do you have a clue to how the collaboration between such talented songwriters came about? 

I immediately fell in love and I think that’s quite important as it’s perceived by the audience when I’m performing it. Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg were always friends with Thomas G:Son but never had the chance to collaborate on something. This year they had the chance to do it and I was the lucky chosen one to perform the song Ultraviolet and I will always cherish the opportunity given as it was one of the greatest experiences so far.   

In 2008, Jessika formerly known as Jessica Muscat made it through to the Malta Song for Europe for the very first time and the blonde haired, green wearing lady took to the stage in a supposedly angry manner as she performed the track Tangled composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg. On that occasion, it was not meant to be and you did not get through to the final but so did a hefty amount of established artists including former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Mary Spiteri amongst others. Looking back, how did you view the experience and what would you have done differently?

It was my very first experience in a contest of that calibre and I performed in an energetic manner rather than an angry one, if I can correct you. I was still in my first year at University and looking back I find I did a good job in performing and doing exams at the same time. Thus getting an A and many more good grades and conjunctionally giving a good performance. That year, the set up of the contest was a bit different because only 8 of the 16 made it to the final round. Still an experience to remember and I believe that I learned a lot and grew a lot as an artist from my first experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NnbUjCdhl8

At this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Malta was represented by Gianluca with the track Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek. Following both the performance of the semi-final and the final, Malta returned to the top ten for the very first time in eight years. The general public had not sought to send Gianluca to represent the nation at the international spectacle, opting to send Kevin Borg and his entry Needing You co-written with Thomas Thörnholm, Michael Clauss, Dan Attlerud and Simon Gribbe. What is your opinion on jury and public voting and do you agree with the current system?

I actually like the current system as it gives chance of expression from both the jury and the public voting. I always believe that a song and it’s singer should be judged by a team of experienced people in the music industry as they should know what is in, at the moment and other technicalities, on the other hand, I also believe that the public should have a say because at the end of the day it’s the same public who is buying and listening to the song and artist itself. 

During this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, you were accompanied by a number of people on the main stage including Sean Vella on piano, as well as three female backing vocalists; Tezara Camilleri, Annabelle Debono and Yazmin Halledie. All the three have tremendous amount of experience in the industry especially Annabelle who accompanied Morena at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008, your debut year. Many people think that the choices of the backroom team might be somewhat random but clearly, everything is selected accordingly. How was the onstage team selected and do you see them take to the stage on their own?

I always choose my team really carefully and I do it together with my author and composer, this year I was very lucky and happy with my on stage team. It’s not only that I appreciate their vocal abilities but also their personality. There was never a dull moment this year and I believe it showed that we were enjoying our performances every time we were on stage. And yes I do see them all take to the stage on their own as I believe in them, their voices and personalities... why would I have chosen them huh?!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7rdC1YwieI

Apart from singing, the general public have now got used to seeing you on the television screens as you act out a leading role in the television series Il-Klikka created by V Squared Productions. We had the opportunity to introduce the series through escflashmalta.com in the beginning of the autumn/winter schedule and describe ourselves as true and avid followers. Your character is an aspiring performer who becomes part of a girl band, one which is set to take the nation by storm, hopefully also succeed abroad. Truthfully, how much do you relate to the actual storyline and on another note, would you actually be interested to become part of a girl band or would you rather be a solo performer?

I’m really enjoying the experience with Il-Klikka as I’m meeting many beautiful and talented people and it’s always great to have the publics’ support as it takes a lot of hard work and time from all the actors and the production team to have a television series to the liking of the audience. I sometimes see resemblance in my character and that of Audrey (played in the series) as I’m always aspiring to hit it big time as a singer. However in some other areas I find that I’m much more spontaneous and talkative rather than the silent and timid Audrey whom I believe I was a bit alike before I became a Spanish teacher... being a teacher makes you talk a lot to explain for the benefit of the students’ themselves. Since I began my singing career at the tender age of 6 years old, I always sang solo only on occasions I sang duets which I enjoyed as well. In life I’ve learned to never say never because no one knows what the future might hold. 

In just a year, you became a lead actress in a television series, a notable performer in the eyes of the public and the brand new recipient of a stage name, something that the local music industry seems to be adopting at a rather astonishing pace. Amongst the most notable stage names in Malta at the moment, there are surely the ones of Kaya (Priscilla Psaila) and Minik (Dominic Cini). You went from Jessica to Jessika and this is something that has also been very much respected by the public. How did you manage to have such a smooth transition in promoting yourself and do you think it was the right time to carry out this process?

I actually think that the new stage name isn’t that different from the real one and that is why I believe the transition was a good one. I also believe it happened at the right time, as together with my producer Paul Powell we were releasing the new single Golden ways not only in Malta but internationally and Muscat sometimes isn’t easily pronounced abroad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yBFjrQFd-0

Davinia, second runner-up at this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Betrayed composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Matt Mercieca has already confirmed through the programme, TVPM that she will be submitting an entry into next years’ edition of the competition and therefore, you can imagine where this question is leading. With the support of the public, having garnered their fourth preference, are you interested in returning to next years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and if so, will you be working with the same mixture of local and foreign songwriters who helped you achieve your best result thus far?

I believe the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is one of the greatest platforms and in these last three years it always improved in all areas and I always liked the experiences I’ve had so far, therefore I might consider to take part again, however I have to make sure I’m competing with a good song as it’s my dream to represent Malta in the Eurovision Contest. I’m always up to working with authors and composers with a good product and I also collaborate therefore I’m hoping to have a good song to return again.

Would you like to say to the readers of escflashmalta.com?

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers that continuously show their support to the Maltese talent. It’s incredible that in this tiny island we’re blessed with so many talents. I believe that through your continuous support, artists like me can reach their dreams as it’s always awesome to have people appreciate what you’re doing.

Source: Official Facebook Page, Emil Calleja Bayliss (Image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wikHRTwRdA

Published in Interviews

National selections all over the continent are coming to an end especially when considering that the month of March started just a couple of days ago. This years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be needing a lot of improvements in order to be elevated in quality but several broadcasters know that in order to do well, their tracks need to be slightly altered and the final versions presented to the European Broadcasting Union will surely denote this element. 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 www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & cable 88.1Mhz 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 premier focus of this past week has surely been the Beosong competition held in Serbia especially for the simple reason that the Former Yugoslavian country is coming off a stupendous third place finish last year with Zeljko Joksimovic and his entry Nije Ljubav Stvar. It is uncharacteristic for a song outside the ethnic ballad genre to triumph but this was certainly not the case this time round due to the fact that at the end of the evening, with around a different of five thousand votes, the group Moje 3 finished as the winners with the song Ljubav Je Svuda ahead of the first runner-up being Dusan Svilar with the track Spas. In the final show, there were another three entries competing, all having been brought down from the fifteen presented in the semi-final stage of the competition. As a matter of fact, in third place was Saška Janković with the song Duga u tvojim očima, in fourth place Halo performed by Marija Mihajlović and in fifth place were the group Sky's with the song Magija. We had the opportunity to speak to all five of the performers and their interviews will be aired this week.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D4LZRhsmt8

Extensive coverage of the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest continues with yet another exclusive interview set to be aired this week. The focus this time round will be on none other than Jessika who participated within the selection with the track Ultraviolet co-written by Philip Vella, Thomas G:Son and Gerard James Borg. Jessika's profile in the past couple of months has definitely risen considerably for the simple reason that she is one of the main actresses in a local television series entitled Il-Klikka. This was the best showing for Jessika in the competition having managed to finish in eighth place at the end of the evening whilst also managing fourth place with the public just behind Kevin Borg, Gianluca, and Chris Grech. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wikHRTwRdA

Radio International is always keen to present songs during the show apart from the weekly features and therefore, collaborating the two ideas together will see the emergence of Eurovision UnverCover whereas tracks performed at the Eurovision Song Contest will be covered by other singers. The actual tracks will be played first followed by the cover and this will make things interesting. Apart from this feature, there will be new material played on the show by a number of former representatives including Patricia Kaas. All of the latest news is also covered during the weekly broadcast noting resources from escflashmalta.com and escXtra where Luke Fisher, the Editor makes a weekly round-up. A round up of the national finals thus far is set to be conducted by Alasdair Rendall. Follow the show through the official website and also send your requests through the contact link which is found on the aforementioned website.

Source: Team of Radio International

The 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest took place just a couple of weeks back with Gianluca Bezzina and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek announced as the winner at the end of the evening. Congratulations are always in order as we wish him all the very best in Sweden as he competes in the first part of the second semi-final. Nevertheless, prior to the final, escflashmalta.com initiated the public, media outlets and a set of music industry professionals to conduct their choices. The editorial board has always been a proud supporter of the local music scene and thus has always sought to include features from which artists would generally benefit. For yet another year, escflashmalta.com is giving out three awards; Public Award, Critics Award and the Media Award in collaboration with Sas-Sitta produced by Spiteri Lucas Entertainment and Bristow Potteries who sponsored the trophies.

One of the key elements behind the success of any country within the Eurovision Song Contest is democracy and the people have a right to have their decision heard loud and clear, in a manner where it is not deafened. The votes on the night of the final of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest counted as one member of the jury and that was indeed a right decision because music industry professionals are required to select the best track. Our public poll received a total of 6454 votes, which is around two thousand more than the previous year and it has to be noted that whilst the top two were extremely close to each other, it seems like the others were somewhat far behind and fighting it out for a number of positions within the top ten and in some instances in the top five. It is important to denote that every individual had a vote per IP Address and therefore, we tried to limit the amount of double votes in this manner. It is important to always keep the public's opinion whilst voting because at the end of the day the song would be representing the country abroad but nevertheless, public perception about the artist is normally swayed according to the popularity figures, and this was something somewhat not attributed to our poll. The full results of the public may be seen in full below.

  1. Never Walk Away - Chris Grech (1512)
  2. Needing You - Kevin Borg (1296)
  3. Overrated - Marilena Gauci (522)
  4. When It's Time - Claudia Faniello (498)
  5. Loverdose - Melanie Zammit (472)
  6. Tomorrow - Gianluca Bezzina (404)
  7. Ultraviolet - Jessika (396)
  8. In Control - Amber (207)
  9. Perfect Day - Janice DeBattista (167)
  10. Tides of Illusion - Ylenia (158)
  11. Starting from the End - Dorothy Bezzina (145)
  12. Betrayed - Davinia Pace (141)
  13. Keep Believing - Raquela (110)
  14. Let Your Heart Talk - Franklin (82)
  15. Us Against the World - Gianni (78)
  16. Love-O-Holic - Deborah C (66)
  17. Fall Like Rome - Richard Edwards (57)
  18. Fantasy - Danica Muscat (46)
  19. My Stranger Love - Corazon (35)
  20. Too Little Too Late - Domenique (23)
  21. Wonderful Today - Richard & Petra (15)
  22. The Remedy - Klinsmann (11)
  23. Superstar - Scar (10)
  24. No One's Home - Petra (3)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nheEDnXsrhQ
 
The professional members of the jury have always been pivotal behind the results not only during the Malta Eurovisoin Song Contest but also throughout the whole of Europe when national selections are concerned becuase people within the industry are somewhat ones which know the type of music which works abroad. They do not vote with an agenda as some people might denote as they would only come forth with the interests of the songs and the country which summoned them. escflashmalta.com has had the pleasure to work with a number of individuals in recent years and this time round, we were proud to have come up with panel of professionals such as; Martin Isherwood, a leading figure at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Roberto Meloni, a two time Eurovision Song Contest representative; Stano Simor, a notable producer from Slovakia who works with Universal Music; Lina Eriksson, signed to EMI Music Publishing and has written tracks for artists out of Idols and Popstars and last but not least; Sharon Vaughn, a premier songwriter who has worked with Joe McElderry, Agnes, The Wanted, Alcazar, Brian Kennedy, Jedward and Kimberley Walsh amongst others. In one particular instance, we also required the services of Knut-Oyvind Hagen, a talented songwriter who also works at NRK, the Norwegian broadcaster. The full results of the critics may be seen in full below.
  1. Needing You - Kevin Borg (35)
  2. Loverdose - Melanie Zammit (25)
  3. Tomorrow - Gianluca Bezzina (22)
  4. Starting from the End - Dorothy Bezzina (22)
  5. Ultraviolet - Jessika (21)
  6. Love-O-Holic - Deborah C (20)
  7. Fall Like Rome - Richard Edwards (18)
  8. The Remedy - Klinsmann (18)
  9. Never Walk Away - Chris Grech (16)
  10. Betrayed - Davinia Pace (13)
  11. When It's Time - Claudia Faniello (13)
  12. Let Your Heart Talk - Franklin (10)
  13. Tides of Illusion - Ylenia (9)
  14. Superstar - Scar (8)
  15. Too Little Too Late - Domenique (8)
  16. Fantasy - Danica Muscat (7)
  17. Wonderful Today - Richard & Petra (7)
  18. In Control - Amber (5)
  19. No One's Home - Petra (5)
  20. Perfect Day - Janice DeBattista (4)
  21. Overrated - Marilena Gauci (2)
  22. My Stranger Love - Corazon (1)
  23. Us Against the World - Gianni (1)
  24. Keep Believing - Raquela (0)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzGiJxMd3UI

Being a media outlet, escflashmalta.com has always felt the need to make sure that all of the respective entries competing in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest are heard beyond the four corners of the globe from a competition perspective. Each of the twenty-four (24) songs competing in recent years can manage to stand up on their own and be counted as individual tracks with possible success. Calling upon ten members of the foreign press alongside ten members of the local press, it was a deep priviledge to see what type of songs the individuals, the organisation and the nationality would realibly go for in the true sense of the word. I would like to thank all of the media outlets and their representatives who took part and they were; Nathan D (89.7 Bay), Vikesh Godhwani (Insiter), Dorian Cassar (89.7 Bay), David Debono (100.2 XFM), Clint Bajada (92.7 FM), Aaron Benjamin (92.7 FM), Eric Montfort (Radio 101), Toni Sant (MMI), Ian Scerri (escflashmalta.com), Michael Bugeja (Times of Malta), Ian Fowell (Eurovisionary), Liam Whelan (ESCDaily), Theofilos Toronidis (ESCDaily), Garrett Mulhall (Eurovision Ireland), Jaime Solloso (Oikotimes), Alexandru Busa (esctoday.com), Emma Backfish (escXtra), Darragh Reck (RTÉ), Juergen Boernig (Radio International) and Luke Fisher (escXtra). The full results of the media may be seen in full below.
  1. The Remedy - Klinsmann (680)
  2. Never Walk Away - Chris Grech (580)
  3. Starting from the End - Dorothy Bezzina (500)
  4. Tomorrow - Gianluca Bezzina (480)
  5. Love-O-Holic - Deborah C (480)
  6. Superstar - Scar (380)
  7. Fall Like Rome - Richard Edwards (340)
  8. Betrayed - Davinia Pace (260)
  9. Ultraviolet - Jessika (260)
  10. Needing You - Kevin Borg (260)
  11. Loverdose - Melanie Zammit (240)
  12. In Control - Amber (180)
  13. Fantasy - Danica Muscat (160)
  14. Too Little Too Late - Domenique (160)
  15. My Stranger Love - Corazon (100)
  16. Keep Believing - Raquela (80)
  17. When It's Time - Claudia Faniello (20)
  18. Tides of Illusion - Ylenia (0)
  19. Let Your Heart Talk - Franklin (0)
  20. Perfect Day - Janice DeBattista (0)
  21. Wonderful Today - Richard & Petra (-20)
  22. Us Against the World - Gianni (-40)
  23. No One's Home - Petra (-80)
  24. Overrated - Marilena Gauci (-240)
escflashmalta.com would like to congratulate all of the winners and also the artists of each of the twenty-three entries in this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest. In the meantime, thanks to Bristow Potteries and Sas-Sitta on NET Television for their continued support towards our portal and we hope for further collaborations in the coming years and months. It has been a pleasure working with esteemed professionals for yet another year and we'll soon be announcing our features for the Eurovision Song Contest which will include professional reviews of each of the countries' representation as well as LIVE reports of the shows with special guest commentators. Once more, escflashmalta.com would like to wish the very best of luck to Gianluca with his endeavours in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy35AgTBiVE
Published in Local Music News
Saturday, 02 February 2013 17:30

Malta Eurovision 2013: The Final - LIVE

For the past twenty-five years, Malta has selected entries which have achieved various results, including close first runner-ups in 2002 and 2005 respectively, but nevertheless, in a minority when it comes to the non-winners' circle alongside nations such as Iceland, Cyprus, Albania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Portugal, Moldova and Belarus amongst others. This time round, our nation will be sending the twenty-sixth representative from a field of sixteen (16) entries which were shortlisted from an earlier list of twenty-four (24) as performed during the semi-final last night. The chosen act will hopefully follow in the footsteps of Kurt Calleja who qualified for the final with his track This Is The Night last year. The Malta Eurovision Song Contest has become something of a tradition in the past couple of years and despite the technical issues yesterday, one will be hoping for a much smoother transmission this evening!

This years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is being broadcast through TVM, TVM 2 with special commentary by Norman Vella and Rodney Gauci, Radju Malta with commentary by Frederick Zammit and also through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest. The hosts for the evening will be Elaine Saliba and Gordon Bonello whose roles will surely be larger this evening considering that they will be interviewing each of the sixteen (16) acts that made it through to the final. Rodney Gauci will also be doing a number of backstage interviews during the show in order to give the audience, a behind the scenes element. A number of special guests will be taking to the stage this evening including; Gorġ u Pawlu with the song Hot & Famous, the Swiss representatives; Heilsarmee who will be singing their entry You and Me, Kurt Calleja who is set to do a medley of original and cover songs and last but not least, the cast of D.R.E.A.M.S who will be opening the show with a medley of original songs in Maltese.

All right, the show is ON! The cast of DREAMS have taken to the stage... but those watching the commented version have been taken to the side to listen Norman and Rodney, blabbing. If “Majestuz, kbir” are the sort of comments we’ll be having, then I rather doubt many will be watching it on TVM2. OK, Norman, you’ve already cracked this joke. No need to keep telling us about Anton making you comment in exchange of a 2 free tickets. Will this commented version really be a side-watch of these two blabbing away? We’re missing out on the whole show. Please! 


It seems to have hit them, finally. We’re now watching the DREAMS cast giving what I can call a splendid performance. It’s cool to have this sort of Medley in a fun manner. Thumbs up to DREAMS - great opening! 

I can’t, for the life of me, follow this commented version. I wouldn’t mind skipping half the show if these two were really good at it. But they are wooden. The comments are, well, non-existent and they really look tacky with people just popping by to say something. Off to TVM, as it’s the show I’m interested in, anyway.  

Gordon and Elaine seem set to give a better show tonight. No, I have to take that one back... it’s too rehearsed. Elaine replies to the jokes before they are even completely spoken. It’s also looking a tad too wooden. And what do you do when you’re stuck? Well, you ask Carlo Borg Bonaci to save you, of course. Actually, this gets me thinking. Why couldn’t he have been the host? He’s great personality, really. Just a couple of lines and the ice has now been totally broken.  

Running Order

01. Superstar - Scar (Konrad Pule)

Scar gave a good show; the whole performance is convincing, with very strong stage presence. The leading singer is enjoyable and there’s utmost harmony in the group. In Calvin Klein laid-back looks, this cool pop-rock act is a twist you simply need to have in such a final. There’s nothing too fancy - and that’s surely a plus. Having said that, upon listening to the song more than once, you realise there’s very little to it. The structure and the idea work well, but you get the feeling there is something missing. I like it, yet it would have to undergo some serious arrangements in order to be deemed strong. As it is, it’s too much of a hey-it’s-good-but-nothing-major.  

02. Starting from the End - Dorothy Bezzina (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

One cannot overlook the great chorus of this song, it accompany’s Dorothy beautifully: it simply puts the song on an altogether higher level. Today’s performance, if possible, seems even stronger! You simply have got to love how Dorothy seems to play with the vocals with such ease; something to be truly appreciated in such contests. You can really feel the energy coming your way with the melody. Yet, though it was to be expected that the song would go through to the final, I think it will be hard for Dorothy to be Malta’s envoy: this is surely not the singer’s fault, but merely the song’s. It seems to me it lacks that little something which makes you say “that’s it!”  

03. My Stranger Love - Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

 

You can tell Corazon is doing her best to deliver. She has a good command of the voice; she knows how to work with it. It literally sounds like something coming out Disney! And yet, could anyone tell me what the song is really saying? I cannot quite put my finger on it: yes, there are many flowery words and all, but you can’t impress with that, can you? Also, the dress just didn’t work here. In fact, it looks so much better while she sits at the piano (rather Alicia Keys kind of thing if you ask me). Unfortunately, though I don’t mind it all that much, the history of the Eurovision works against this act: hardly do you see such songs doing well. All in all, I quite doubt she’ll be a high-flyer tonight. 

04. Ultraviolet - Jessika (Thomas G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerars James Borg)

Jessica simply loves the Eurovision - this is the first thing you notice once she takes to the stage (that and her hair look, very edgy, actually!) The singer oozes energy from all her pores. I like the singer more than I like her song, which doesn’t really tickle my fancy. Unfortunately, I don’t think this particular song does her justice; it comes across as if she’s straining her voice, though at some instances it strangely becomes really appealing and convincing. Possibly that’s the swedish element by G:Son...which could ultimately do well in Sweden this year. The song needs to be re-touched and enhanced in many aspects. As it is, I believe the song won’t place among the top ones. I must concede, though, that today’s performance was so exceedingly better than yesterday’s! 

05. Us Against the World - Gianni (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

 

Gianni’s vocal range is limited, so you can easily notice he struggles with certain notes. However, this doesn’t really make you dislike the song. Actually, the very chilled feel that comes off that stage when Gianni and his band are at it is somehow pleasing. I think it evokes a something-Indie-like feel, which is rather nice on the ear. The only thing is that when you listen to the song per se you would imagine someone younger singing it. Though it’s generally good, I think it wouldn’t perform well in Sweden.  

06. Betrayed - Davinia (Elton Zarb / Muxu)

 

If you wouldn’t be looking at the TV, then you would just have to do it once Davinia starts singing. She has a peculiarly sultry voice, which really breaks the routine. I think that in reality, more than to the song itself, people listen to the daunting voice. I'm in a bit of a predicament, I think that on the whole I’m rather happy with the diversity this song has to offer. It’s very cool and in, and you can’t dispute that. The song will have to be enhanced and given a stronger feel to it. It really wouldn’t displease me if this act flies to the top.  

07. Needing You - Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

 

Kevin is a strong singer. His winning the Swedish Pop Idol sort of proves that. It is exactly because you’d have high expectations that you would be looking forward to a really strong song. This is a hooking ballad, but I would say it has a bit of an old feel to it. The whole show was a good one; the voice, the lyrics, the melody. I can’t quite understand the purpose of having that model/dancer coming out at the last bit of the show, though... that’s surely an unnecessary element. I tried making myself like the song more, especially because I believe tonight's was much stronger and it stands a very good chance of making it to Sweden (at least if all that clapping and people standing is anything to go by), but I just cannot fall in love with it. Oh well.  

08. Fall Like Rome - Richard Edwards (Magnus Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

I really believe Richard has a beautiful voice; and his immaculate diction just renders his singing even more hooking. The looks are good - laid-back, yet stylish. That’s exactly what this sort of song asks for. I have my reservations when it comes to the song per se. I was expecting Richard to present us with something better and altogether stronger. The lyrics are too loaded, and I feel sort of confused in trying to grasp what it’s saying. The melody is very good and his falsetto skills are rather good (though yesterday they seemed more evident). Today's performance was dirtier than yesterday, also. But Richard is one of those who could have the so-called ‘package’ - but that will demand some thorough work on the arrangements.  

09. Perfect Day - Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

Janice has a pleasing voice, but I can’t really get through to the song. I don’t like what she’s done with the attire and all... it almost looks dull. I think that such a young singer could play more with it. As for the song, it just doesn’t do it for me. I’m bored all through. Most of the others are head and shoulders above this one. I think it would get lost in the crowd were to be Malta’s envoy. It’s something you listen to just one - if at all. 

10. Love-O-Holic - Deborah C (Johan Bejerholm / Gerard James Borg)

This is the typical cliché you would be happy to have missed, then it pops up on TV and it knocks you down. There’s really nothing much I have to say about this one. I’m just surprised to find it in the final. I think that the semis were already too much of a present. When the song starts you think it’s so bad that it just has to get better. Alas, it really doesn’t. I concede that Deborah looks very natural on stage, but that’s not enough. Having said that, I believe this song is one of those you can either love or hate. I belong to the latter group. 

11. When It's Time - Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / Claudia Faniello)

 

Claudia is one of the few singers who gets better as an artist with each passing year. I don’t like the outfit much; I can’t seem to place it. I like the song and the music. Her rock-like voice blends in very well. The chorus is also a catchy factor in this one. All in all, it’s a song you want to listen to, and today’s performance was more powerful! However, I believe it needed some more work in reality. She should do well, yet it’s not this year’s winning song. It lacks that final convincing element. 

12. Tomorrow - Gianluca Bezzina (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

Gianluca’s personality is as infectious as is his song: I honestly believe it has all the prerequisites. And I'm even more convinced after today's performance! The song has good lyrics and melody, and the vocal range of the singer perfectly accompanies the whole act. In reality, there is nothing really ground-breaking with the song, but with everything seemingly falling into place, you just get to like it and, well, you have to sing along. Some have said it’s not very Eurovision-friendly, but I wholly disagree with that. I think it could stand out in the crowd were it to make it. Come on, Gianluca, win! (And take Dorothy with you, for the backing! Yes!) 

13. Never Walk Away - Chris Grech (Grech / P Borg / M Borg / D Cassar Torreggiani)

I understand the hype surrounding this song/singer. He has great vocal skills in reality. The husky voice gives a nice feel to the song. The laid-back look is also welcome. If I have to come clean, however, I would say that the song lacks a proper climax. I listened to it all because what he does with the voice is really good. I think that with a good arrangement, this pop-rock one could easily become a radio hit. It definitely stands a good chance tonight, and it’s indeed one of my faves.  

14. Wonderful Today - Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

I like Richard. I like Petra. But I don’t like them together here. I think Petra’s solo should’ve made it instead of this one. It was definitely stronger. The voices don’t seem to blend well together. Petra seemed overpowering to me. I am not too keen on the chorus, either. I was never too fond of duets, as it takes a special something for it to work as expected. Sadly, I didn’t see that tonight. 

15. In Control - Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Amber has great stage presence; she seems really comfortable up there. Unfortunately, I don’t think the attire has helped her much; nor did that of the backing vocalists’. It seems to me there was too much going on. She is usually the sort of singer you wouldn’t forget.  Well, after tonight, we’ll remember her for sounding a tad too sharp (not really in control) - better than yesterday, granted, but still not 100%. In any case, I don’t think this particular song breaks much ground. It has a good flow to it, yes, but that won’t work enough wonders.  

16. Too Little Too Late - Domenique (Marc Paelinck / Matthias Strasser)

I feel there’s hardly anything appealing about this act. The singer looks much older than she is. I can’t understand why they would make her go for such heavy makeup, jewellery and hair-do - she’s a pretty girl, and that’s evident. Overdoing was counterproductive.  The song just doesn’t convince me: it’s too much of a sombre ballad and she seems to find it difficult to change register. At times she was completely off. Again, there were much better songs that could’ve been here instead of this one. 
 

The Show (Part 2)

So the 16 acts are now over. Everything ran smoothly tonight, so the singers seem very pleased. In fact, after a recap to refreshen the audience’s memory, we are now being taken on a tour among the participants. And of course, we have a comfy, laid-back chit-chat with all of them. 
 

Time’s up! Tele-voting has now been closed. We’re taken back for some more small chat with the 16 contestants who, with each passing minute, look more and more anxious. In reality, this is the moment I dread the most. You get bombarded with loads of adverts, which ultimately just tire you out and make you contemplate whether you should just change channel or not. 

Seems like Petra and Richard’s wasn’t the only duet for the night. Gorg and Pawlu have now joined Elaine on stage and they seem to be prepared to perform their long-awaited Hot and Famous. All right, it’s just a rip-off of Gangnam Style and Slamdog Millionnaire. Mediocre, really. Some music playing, a lot of people dancing in the background and Rodney and Gordon disguised as Gorg and Pawlu. I may be very difficult to please, but whoever thought this would be fun was incredibly mistaken..so it’s really bad when Elaine asks for a “capcipa kbira”!  

OK, taking the stage now are the act representing Switzerland in this year’s Eurovision. I believe that if we make the right choice, we could actually do better than them.  Following is Kurt Calleja ...and he seems to have decided to go for a big performance. Well, albeit not impeccable (OK, you're right, it's a showcase of how-to-be-off), it has at least helped shake off the dullness that was about the engulf this second part of the night. 

Funnily enough, though we are still awaiting the results, it is being rumoured on another website that Amber is the winner. The website has since removed the page and it stated it was a technical error. Well, we'll soon discover that - the judges are now announcing their votes! 

Gianluca Bezzina is now leading the show, for the judges seem to have chosen him over Kevin Borg (who won the public vote). And it is with Carlo Borg Bonaci that we've had the confirmation - 


I cannot be any happier in announcing that GIANLUCA BEZZINA is the winner! Tomorrow will be representing Malta in Sweden! The audience doesn't seem all that happy, as the clapping has gone missing after Kevin Borg was confirmed first runner-up. 


Finally, 
One cannot not give credit to PBS when this is due. Tonight’s show ran smoothly - the sound, too, worked well. It’s good to see they have worked hard to make sure there wouldn’t be any snags today (unlike yesterday’s!) But that is where the praise starts and ends.  

 

What about the ‘jokes’? Don’t you think they were just as tacky? I saw no wit and no fun there. Of course, they couldn’t possibly harp on about politics: their bee in the bonnet must have been given some fresh air. (To which we all said “yaaayyy”, right?) Then we had: “liii tenk god ma libsitiex Carina” - Seriously, Gordon? Did you actually think that was a sharp one? No, throwing a jibe at Carina here and there just didn’t save the day. Nor did those crappy poems. Who comes up with these ‘brilliant’ ideas? 

 

I also think Elaine Saliba, despite being an adorable girl, just isn’t cut for this kind of thing. I still believe that Valerie Vella should host this show. She is polite, elegant and knows how to be pungent, without ever crossing the line. 

 

However, tonight we had an extra. We had the commented version on TVM2. I had to go back and forth to check what great work they were doing on the other side... and well, each time I was let down. You simply have to ask it: why, exactly, would they have a commented version without having decent commentators? Norman Vella may have been blessed with many things, but pungent remarks aren’t among that list.  

Saturday, 02 February 2013 10:25

MESC 2013: Entry to be Selected This Evening

The Public Broadcasting Services is a member of the European Broadcasting Union and thus entitled to participate in the annual Eurovision Song Contest, something which has become somewhat of a tradition in the country which will be picking the twenty-sixth entry this evening from what has been described as the strongest field in years. Last night, in the semi-final, eight entries had to be eliminated due to the stipulation of the regulations and as published in an earlier analysis, there were quite a couple of surprises. This morning, all of the sixteen (16) qualifiers take to the stage to perform their entries in the final running order prior to the actual show.

According to our latest information, directly from the hall thanks to Emil Calleja Bayliss it seems that this evening, the hosts being Elaine Saliba and Gordon Bonello will be interviewing each respective artist prior to the performance followed by an advert until the track starts. The producers have also worked on the running order for the show having drawn the opening and closing tracks in a post semi-final press conference last night. The rehearsal started a little bit later than planned but nevertheless, it seems that despite the fact that the artists were awake not too long ago, they are well paced for this evenings' showcase and are ready to give their best with the hope of becoming the twenty-sixth representatives of the nation, and thus following in the footsteps of Kurt Calleja whose This Is The Night managed to qualify in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Running Order

01. Superstar - Scar (Konrad Pule)

02. Starting from the End - Dorothy Bezzina (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

03. My Stranger Love - Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

04. Ultraviolet - Jessika (Thomas G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerars James Borg)

05. Us Against the World - Gianni (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

06. Betrayed - Davinia (Elton Zarb / Muxu)

07. Needing You - Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

08. Fall Like Rome - Richard Edwards (Magnus Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

09. Perfect Day - Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

10. Love-O-Holic - Deborah C (Johan Bejerholm / Gerard James Borg)

11. When It's Time - Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / Claudia Faniello)

12. Tomorrow - Gianluca (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

13. Never Walk Away - Chris Grech (Grech / P Borg / M Borg / D Cassar Torreggiani)

14. Wonderful Today - Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

15. In Control - Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

16. Too Little Too Late - Domenique (Marc Paelinck / Matthias Strasser)

Friday, 01 February 2013 18:30

Malta Eurovision 2013: The Semi-Final - LIVE

Xarabank is the programme which normally airs on a Friday evening but nevertheless, since the introduction of the semi-final system during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, changes have been made to the overall broadcasting schedule. As a matter of fact, this is that evening and many that are anticipating a superb show shouldn't be disappointed because production values are through the roof. The Public Broadcasting Services has invested a lot of time into this venture and indeed, the results are showing at an international level, considering the almost qualification of Glen Vella with the song One Life in 2011 and the qualification of Kurt Calleja with his entry This Is The Night in 2012. Successful transitions have been made and the aim of the evening is to downsize and make sure that the public and the jury listen to the suitable sixteen (16) entries.

The evening will be hosted by Elaine Saliba and Gordon Bonello whilst Rodney Gauci will be taking on the role of backstage host whilst also doing the commentary with Norman Vella on TVM 2, for those who might not be that inclined within the forum of the competition itself. The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest will not be broadcasting the showcase this evening although showing the final tomorrow night. However, the foreign viewers should not fret because a live stream is being offered on the official website of the Public Broadcasting Services. Twenty-four (24) entries will be competing and eight (8) will have to be eliminated, despite the stunning talent that graces this years' competition. The judges coming from Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Croatia, Ukraine, Italy and Malta will have a tough decision to make whilst the public vote will count as one of the judges'.

1, 2, 3... Go! 

 

A collage of clips of last year’s winner, Kurt Calleja and his This is the night lead us to tonight’s show... And you get to think: really? Did we really do that?

And he’s now on stage; it looks impressive, indeed. The stage, not Kurt's performance, mind you. 

 

Elaine Saliba and Gordon Bonello appear on stage... and there seems to be an ugly problem with the sound. We can hardly understand what they are saying. Yay, brilliant start! 

And there is goes... we had to have a jibe at last year’s glove!

Everybody is sporting a Vileda glove. Not really funny, is it? Let’s not stretch it, please. It becomes lame. 

The judges are now introduced, with Maria Muscat and Carlo Borg Bonaci being the Maltese ones on the panel. 
 Off we go... not without a fair share of ads, of course.  

01. Fall Like Rome – Richard Edwards (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

When Richard utters a couple of words you can’t but say “Yay, yay! He can pronounce them words properly!” He looks rather stylish and laid-back, with the unnecessary frills (which are usually predominant in this show). His captivating voice keeps you hooked all through. Yet, the song leaves a lot to be desired. It doesn’t quite do it, really. Too many metaphors and nuances there, so you can hardly follow.  He did give a nice performance, however, much more was expected of him. 

02. Tides of Illusion – Ylenia (Jason Cassar / Mario Farrugia)

Is it my impression or is she a bit off? Something isn’t working there. Also, the choreography seems a bit messed up: the dancers are sloppy and seemingly out of synch. On the whole, it was a rather boring show. The song is forgotten as soon as it finishes - unlike her dress; that we will surely remember. It hits you in the eye. 

03. Perfect Day – Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

Janica has a nice voice, almost soothing. Yet, this isn’t really evident in the performance she is giving today. I don’t like the dress much, I think she could have done more with the attire; it looks way too sombre.
 

04. Never Walk Away – Chris Grech (M Borg / P Borg / D Cassar Torreggianni / C Grech)

So there was a lot of hype surrounding this song. Let's see. All right, he’s a very good voice. I’ll grant that. They are having very serious problems: it is not even synced. We are getting a very crappy version of the song. From the bits and pieces we could get at home, it is very evident that the song is one of the best ones thus far. Yet, it does lack a certain climax I believe - though that could easily be fixed. Indeed a good one here!


05. Overrated – Marilena (Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

Marilena comes on stage and your eyes start bleeding. Your eyes urge you to chop them off. What can I say? This is the typical song you have to have at such competitions. You will just get it out of your system once it’s over. The show is crap - the dancers/backing are more of a distraction - they surely don’t help the act. Yes, Marilena, totally Overrated. (Again, it was not even synced.)


06. No One’s Home – Petra (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

So do we have a vintage blues chic here? Well, if we do, she’s vocally stable and the voice is indeed remarkable. I would dare say that, vocally speaking, she’s been the best one so far. The whole act is, to be honest.  Petra has good stage presence (well, apart from her channelling Katy Perry a bit too much) and makes you follow her all through. A strong contestant - it would be a pity not to see her through. 


07. Starting from the End – Dorothy Bezzina (Kaxe / Gerard J Borg)

Dorothy’s impeccable mastery of vocals is impressive. The backing really makes the voice reverberate and blends really well. The acoustics are not doing her voice any justice; it sounds too tinny. Yet, the song is a strong one and, needless to say, makes you listen to it attentively. The whole act was a good one... even though her cheesy hand/arm moves could have been spared. Dorothy should definitely make it.


08. Too Little Too Late – Domenique (M Paelnick / M Strasser)

Domenique looks like a wrapped present in that dress and she’s looking twice her age. Jewellery, hair-do and makeup have totally overpowered her. She’s a really pretty girl, but the whole thing totally ruined that. The voice is nice one, but the song is weak. 


09. Ultraviolet – Jessika (T G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

At first I somehow liked the looks. But then, the whole thing looked as if they’re two different things stuck together (OK, they are ultraviolet, but still...). I must say I don’t particularly fancy the song. Jessica strives to give a great performance, however it does come across as if she is straining her voice. All in all, she tries too hard and it shows. She'd have a better chance if she were to tone it all down and opt for softer and more mellow vocals. 


10. Let Your Heart Talk – Franklin (Ray Agius / Alfred C Sant)

If there’s something you can’t criticise about Franklin is that he is always impeccably dressed, wherever you see him. Yet, he didn’t really convince me here. He has a marvellous voice which hooks you and make you listen to each work attentively. He is having some tiny problems with the base notes; they need to be supported a little better. And perhaps a little more work on the breathing.. but then you say: “who cares?” That ending was superb!


11. When It’s Time – Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / C Faniello)

Where’s Carina when you need her? Claudia’s dress was fabulous last year... this year it just won’t do. That outfit looks, well, out of place. She should totally have gone for more of an Annouk sort of look. Which is an absolute pity! She is also wearing too much makeup. The song is beautiful, with gorgeous music. Claudia is actually one the very few singers who seem to improve with each passing years... This song is great for her kind of voice. She seems to have found her genre and range!


12. My Stranger Love – Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Corazon looks like the innocent girl you would want to do well. Then you think that she writes her own songs and you say that’s a good bonus. She sits there, and she sort of reminds you of Alicia Keys: sleek, pony tail, long dress, chunky earrings. And then she stands up, and you see that dress. No, it really wasn’t the best option; yet one could say it’s something a bit different. The song would need some more syncopation. I think it would go well with a bit of a blues feel to shake off that classical Eurovision-sort-of-ballad and make it a tad more original. 


13. Needing You – Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

They say Kevin is going to sing and most of the audience goes clapping and shouting - positive sign he needn’t worry much? Well, they surely weren’t clapping for that hairstyle. There is harmony on stage; the backing and Kevin are doing a great job. Yet, the song is not as strong. It’s very pop-band-goes-mushy-in-a-Christmas-special. And what’s with the dancer that joins him on stage? Isn’t she more irrelevant than Franco Debono? (to keep the comedians’ joke going, you know...) Nothing special, really. 


14. Superstar – Scar (Konrad Pule)

I always like Scar, really. I think they break the routine kind of thing. They always come up with a good song and structure; the presentation is simple - as should be. The leading singer is very laid-back, as the song demands. It’s a rhythmic song you need to have. Less is truly more in this case. 


15. Loverdose – Melanie Zammit (N Lundin, M Lundin, Gerard J Borg)

As much as stage presence is important, it is ultimately a song contest. I wouldn’t want to sound too harsh, but Melanie came off as one who hardly has any vocal ability. A pretty face, cool attire, fancy dancing and psychedelic projections in the background just won't cut it. No. The song left much to be desired, which is a pity as was expecting a great performance by melanie. 


16. Fantasy – Danica Muscat (Paul Abela / Joe J Farrugia)

That hair made her look much older than she actually is; but the rest seems to work really well together. Th performance was a good one. She has a good voice and masters it well; though it needs refining. The whole act was positive... BUT, why did you have to ruin it with that “tenkkjuwww” at the end, Danica? 


17. Wonderful Today – Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

What’s happened to Petra? The leather skinny trousers don’t do her justice, do they? Also, the duet didn’t work out the way they must have thought it would work. Her voice is literally too domineering: she also comes off as hey-I’m-super-confident-ok?. When they sing together, their voices clash - she sounds flat and he becomes sharp. I surely preferred their individual songs. A poor act. 


18. Love-O-Holic – Deborah C (Bejerholm / Gerard J Borg)

She shrills and belts from the throat, her diction is pitiable and her moves leave much to be desired. The song was so boring and repetitive that I found myself wondering about how they would cope if her extensions were to catch fire.


19. Us Against the World – Gianni (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

Gianni is cool and it’s a pleasure to have on stage, yet he has a weak vocal range. in fact he suffers with some notes. On the whole, the song various on the fun-decent song to sing along. It’s not boring, though it does get rather repetitive. Other than that, the stage presence is good and the whole act made sense together. Not a strong one, though. 


20. Keep Believing – Raquela (Raquela)

Quite a pleasantly different style for Raquela. However, it does get boring at some point, and then, all of a sudden it finishes and it leaves you expecting more to come. The song definitely needs more working. Also, the dress, too reminiscent of a disco ball gone wrong on her, isn’t working all that much here. 


21. Tomorrow – Gianluca Bezzina (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

Gianluca's smile is infectious, as is his song. It's a cheeky sing along song without that typical Eurovision stamp to it. The stage setup is simple, as is his outfit which match the easy breezy mood of the song brilliantly. Having said that, I can't help but feel that the beginning, as well as the bass line and harmony resemble train's 'Hey Soul Sister' a tad too much. 

22. In Control – Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Amber is coming across as too nasal. Her singing is good, but that high note sort of hurt the ear. It was a rather good act on the whole, pleasant to follow. I found nothing special in it that will make me think of the song afterwards. Also, the attire wasn’t really the best they could go for. Her dress did not really and truly suit her, and the the backing vocalists’s dresses being didn’t fully complement the idea there. 


23. The Remedy – Klinsmann (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

Kinsman seems to be another artist who strives to improve every year; it shows that he's growing and maturing. Then again, as always, he's a little too 'Busted', yet the song is decent. The tune is Catchy yet nothing to write home about. "Woow woow" seems to be his motto, he always finds a way to sneak it into his songs, year after year. All in all, though, a decent performance. 

24. Betrayed – Davinia (E Zarb / Muxu)

I have this ambivalent feeling about Davinia. I think the dress could have been better, as this one had a bit of a tacky feel to it. She has a surprisingly appealing and sultry voice. I admit I liked the whole act. It was good all through I believe. She should make it through as I think it is a strong one. 


 

The Show (Part 2)

 

Now that we are done listening to the songs, the hosts have opened the tele-voting. People have 15 minutes to vote for their favourite act. And what do the televiewers get during this time? You get ads on end... and it seems this interval is turning into a rather prolonged one. Though I’m not that keen on it, I believe it would have been much better to have some sort of filler. 

 

The filler seems to have been sorted - we have a recap of the 24 songs.  

 

And now that the 15 minutes are over, the tele-voting has been closed ...to be followed, of course, with another long list of ads. 

 

After a longish chit-chat with the contestants, when everybody was expecting the finalists to be announced, Chris and Moira take to the stage. And hey, why do we even need to have tomorrow’s final? Moira sounds brilliant tonight - let’s all vote her in, shall we? 

 

After two great performances by Chris and Moira, Alex Alden performs a cover of Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony. I personally think this wasn’t a very wise choice; you don’t have an unplugged performance as one of the fillers in a national contest.  

 

Qualifiers

 

Betrayed – Davinia (E Zarb / Muxu)

 

Love-O-Holic – Deborah C (Bejerholm / Gerard J Borg)

 

Never Walk Away – Chris Grech (M Borg / P Borg / D Cassar Torreggianni / C Grech)

 

Us Against the World – Gianni (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

 

Perfect Day – Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

 

Ultraviolet – Jessika (T G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

 

Too Little Too Late – Domenique (M Paelnick / M Strasser)

 

Starting from the End – Dorothy Bezzina (Kaxe / Gerard J Borg)

 

Wonderful Today – Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

 

Tomorrow – Gianluca Bezzina (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

 

Fall Like Rome – Richard Edwards (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

 

Needing You – Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

 

Superstar – Scar (Konrad Pule)

 

My Stranger Love – Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

 

When It’s Time – Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / C Faniello)

 

In Control – Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

 

 

For televiewers, what proved to be the highlight of the show was the dismal sound quality throughout the first half of the show. Yet, all in all, I admit this evening showed a true improvement on previous years, probably due to the fact that artists who are not synonymous with the show participated for the first time, which improved the quality of the songs offered drastically. This also offered a bigger diversity in terms of song styles and genres, since lyricists and songwriters who used to write most of the songs in previous years seem to have lost their monopoly...

 

On the other hand, I must say the presenters did a better job this year. Yet, this is not because they were wittier or anything of the sort: they were just lucky that the elections are  round the corner. In fact, just to make sure that they combine two of the Maltese population's obsessions, they went all out with snide election remarks/jokes. It seemed funny at first, but then it all went floppy when they started stretching it. In a post-show press conference, it was revealed that the opening act in the final will be Superstar by Scar whilst the closing act will be Domenique with Too Little Too Late. The rest of the running order will be decided by the producers in the next couple of hours.

 

Source: TVM, escflashmalta.com

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