January 20, 2020

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Norway and their disappointment at the Eurovision Song Contest continued last year when Tooji could only manage last place in the final stage of the competition and therefore, NRK is looking to re-invent the Melodi Grand Prix with various genres and it has to be noted that the second semi-final which took place last night in the city of Floro was stronger in quality than the first semi-final with a number of tracks which could do relatively well at the international stage which not be too far away, in the neighbouring country of Sweden. 

Three entries did eventually manage to make it through to the final and will be joining the acts that made it through last week which somewhat baffled the international community due to the fact that some of the best presented entries failed to make it through unfortunately proving difficult for a successful result in Malmö, Sweden. Surprises have become a thing for these events and last night, it seems to have been existent in one particular case but nevertheless, a pleasant trio of entries to make it through to the final. The three qualifiers which made it through last night are well detailed below. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news.

3rd place: I'm With You - Annsofi

One of the most (if not the most) discussed songs was undoubtably the song of Annsofi who performed extremely well I'm with you which was the big return of Alexander Rybak to the eurovision scene. The song has a lot of celtic and irish influences and touched the hearts of the people. Annsofi and Alexander Rybak met each other some years ago during a christmas show and stayed since then in contact. After reaching in 3rd place in the norwegian X-Factor things developped more and more for the now 18-year old singer with this participation. The singer got last night 3rd place but somehow we feel she will definately compete for the first place on 9th February in Oslo Spektrum in Norway. This is a definate qualifier for the final in Malmö if this wins, I even see it in the top5.


2nd place: UlvetuvaFjellfolk 

The second place went to the band Fjellfolk also with a song with celtic influences. A total different song then Annsofi and very intimate and sung in Norwegian. Not bad at all but this would be a much bigger struggle for Norway to qualify for the final in Malmö.


1st place: I Feed You My Love - Margaret Berger

The first place went to Margaret Berger who was already a favourite in this semfinal with Annsofi. I feed you my love is a very electronic and modern popsong and performed very well by Margaret. This might do well on some radiostations but i dont think this is the right song for Norway to represent the country in Eurovision as the style will push many people away from voting. Should this wins in Norway i see it struggling to reach the final.


Thursday, 24 January 2013 01:00

Norway: Second Semi-Final MGP Acts Revealed

NRK, the Norwegian broadcaster responsible for the participation in the Eurovision Song Contest has decided to reveal the acts of each respective semi-final in a special show which takes place on Wednesday evening on NRK1 and following last weeks’ revelation of those which competed in the first semi-final, it seems that there was more interest surrounding last nights’ announcement. This is due to the fact that the press had run a story saying that Alexander Rybak, the winner of the 2010 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was set to return as a songwriter.  The rumours turned out to be true as the singer/songwriter indeed has his credits on one of the competing entries in the second semi-final.

Many people have been hoping to see Alexander Rybak back at the Eurovision Song Contest and this could be his chance saying a couple of months back that he would most likely try to return but as a songwriter rather than a performer. On the other hand, the second semi-final of the Melodi Grand Prix is going to prove much more interesting especially considering that there is also Bjorn Johan Muri involved as a songwriter. The individual had gained fame in the Norwegian music industry for his entry in the same competition entitled Yes Man. Artists who are involved are mostly new but have had past experiences in the scene through reality shows such as the X Factor amongst others.

The second semi-final of the 2013 edition of the Melodi Grand Prix will be taking place this weekend in the town of Florø, which has played host to some of the semi-finals in the past. Three entries out of the above will be joining the qualifiers from the first semi-final a couple of days back and therefore, will be their new competition. The first comments with regards to the tracks in this semi-final are quite positive especially following what was a disappointing first Saturday night. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com as we continue to keep an eye on the proceedings of the national finals all across Europe and covering as much as possible in the manner of live shows. 

Source: NRK


The first semi-final of the Melodi Grand Prix took place last night and despite the overwhelming standard of production quality, the songs were not met with great enthusiasm by the foreign community and it seems that the ones that were indeed endorsed, did not manage to qualify to the next stage of the competition, the final which will be taking place in Oslo, host city of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. NRK, the Norwegian broadcaster called upon Vivi Stenberg to take over the selection process following the resignation of Per Sundes and it is to be believed that the best is yet to come with rumours pointing to a possible entry written by the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest winner, Alexander Rybak.

Seven entries were performed this evening, including two which were co-written by Ben Adams from the popular British/Norwegian boy-band, A1 whom had finished in the runner-up slot to Didrik Solli-Tangen back in the 2010 Melodi Grand Prix. This evening, it seems that the songwriter was all out of luck and none of the two entries managed to qualify to the final. In the meantime though, it seems that the genres being represented in the final thus far are a mixture of symphonic rock, rockabilly and generic pop. The main idea is to try and mix it up as much as possible and the audience seemingly saw the other songs as too alike to give them the opportunity to advance.

(3rd) Paid My Way – Vidar Busk

(2nd) The Underground – Datarock

(1st) Alone – Gromth and Emil Solli-Tangen

Norway are hoping to turn their fortunes in the Eurovision Song Contest around noting that they had managed to finish in fifth place at the 2008 edition with the song Hold On, Be Strong sung by Maria Haukaas Storeng before heading onto a clear victory in 2009 with Fairytale performed by Alexander Rybak. Nevertheless, the results since then have been wary from lower ranked positions in the final to a non-qualification. Just a mind refresher, last year they were represented with the track Stay performed by Tooji. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the revelation of the acts and their entries in semi-final two on Wednesday evening as well as any other news.

Source: NRK


Thursday, 17 January 2013 17:40

Norway: First Semi-Final Participants Revealed

One of the most anticipated selection procedures in the past couple of years has surely been the Melodi Grand Prix due to the fact that there was extra effort being put in by the broadcaster, NRK following the victory at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Fairytale performed by Alexander Rybak. The results have not been stupendous since then and they even failed to make the final cut in 2011 with Stella Mwangi and Haba Haba whilst only managing a last place finish with Stay performed by Tooji. Following the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, Per Sundnes resigned from his role as supervisor of the showcase with broadcaster, NRK appointing Vivi Stenberg who injects some new blood as per the first couple of performers seem to encompass. 

The first semi-final is set to take place in the town of Steinkjer and in an innovative format, the announcement of the tracks is being made just days prior the actual semi-final takes place in order to get the media involved and more interested whilst everyone does indeed get the same exposure. NRK seemingly organised the programme in the best possible way but unfortunately most of the names were somewhat known before hand and thus did not really play out in the manner that they wanted to. It seems that the artists despite not completely unknown are somewhat quite intriguing to the competition and bring about different genres which many will enjoy. You may listen to the participating entries hereThere is a simple demeanor about them because they have all been released in full through iTunes following the announcement. In the meantime, the entries are as follows;

  1. Vidar Busk - Paid My Way (Tim Scott McConnell & Vidar Busk)
  2. Carina Dahl - Sleepwalking (Carina Dahl & Ben Adams)
  3. Tom Hugo - Det er du (Tom Hugo)
  4. Gromth feat. Emil Solli-Tangen - Alone (Emil Solli-Tangen, Sven Atle Kopperud & Gromth)
  5. Julie Bergan - Give A Little Something Back (Ben Adams, Sara Skjoldnes & Julie Bergan)
  6. Mimi Blix - Catch Me (Mimi Blix, Dr. Shiver, Luca Monticelli & Mauro Cottini)
  7. Datarock - Underground (Fredrik Saroea & Pål Myran-Håland)
Norway is known in the community of the Eurovision Song Contest as being the country which has finished last on most appearances noting that they managed to finish at the bottom last year and back in 2004 with the song High performed by Knut-Anders Sorum. It is intriguing to denote that the songwriters behind Kevin Borg's entry Needing You had written the latter entry which did not manage to garner more than three points unfortunately. Three acts will qualify from the first semi-final whilst the non-qualifiers of all three semi-finals will compete for a wildcard spot. escflashmalta.com will be bringing you all the results of the shows whilst committing to live reports of the final stage of respective selection processes.
Source: NRK

The European Broadcasting Union has been pretty adamant about putting off rumours of a mass withdrawal from the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and therefore succumbed to releasing the list of participating nations quite early due to the international media coverage which might have had a negative impact on the competition especially noting that Malmö is making several adjustments in order to accommodate a different type of show than what many have seen in recent years. The financial situation around the continent has not been a help and three of the four withdrawals; Bosnia & Herzegovina, Portugal and Slovakia have singled out this decision as the factor behind their pulling out with Turkey on the other hand believing that the recent amendments of the regulations at the event have somewhat put them in a disadvantaged position hence their disappointing results.

The Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest at the European Broadcasting Union, Jon Ola Sand is quite upbeat about the number of participating countries believing that despite the economic situation, public broadcasters are very much committed to the traditional element that the contest has created over time. In fact, since the semi-final system was introduced back in 2004, there have always been between 36 and 43 participating nations and the 39 that will take part in 2013 are similar to the amount that took part in 2010 when the competition was also held in a Scandinavian nation with Oslo, the capital city of Norway playing the role of host. Losing three countries to economic reasons was quite disappointing but nevertheless, Sand is quite 'surprised' by the decision of Turkey noting that they 'never formally objected' the rules as regulations which were brought in back in 2009, a year in which Turkey finished in fourth place.

  • Albania (RTSH)
  • Austria (ORF)
  • Armenia (AMPTV)
  • Belarus (Ictimai TV)
  • Belarus (BTRC)
  • Belgium (RTBF)
  • Bulgaria (BNT)
  • Croatia (HRT)
  • Cyprus (CyBC)
  • Denmark (DR)
  • Estonia (ERR)
  • Finland (YLE)
  • France (France 3)
  • Georgia (GPB)
  • Germany (NDR)
  • Greece (ERT)
  • Hungary (MTV)
  • Iceland (RÚV)
  • Ireland (RTÉ)
  • Israel (IBA)
  • Italy (RAI)
  • Latvia (LTV)
  • Lithuania (LRT)
  • FYR Macedonia (MKRTV)
  • Malta (PBS)
  • Moldova (TRM)
  • Montenegro (RTCG)
  • The Netherlands (TROS)
  • Norway (NRK)
  • Romania (TVR)
  • Russia (C1R)
  • San Marino (SMTV)
  • Serbia (RTS)
  • Slovenia (RTV SLO)
  • Spain (TVE)
  • Sweden (SVT)
  • Switzerland (SRG SSR)
  • Ukraine (NTU)
  • United Kingdom (BBC)

As you can see, the leading European broadcasters including the Big Five featuring; the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain and Italy return for yet another competition noting that their results are improving especially with regards to three in particular. Some countries have already revealed their entries noting that national finals have already taken place in Belarus, Switzerland, Belgium and Lithuania whilst artists have been chosen for The Netherlands, Spain and Montenegro. Despite less countries than last year, the song quality thus far looks to be quite intriguing and this could be a strong edition for the Eurovision Song Contest with Sweden surely organising it to the best ability and letting it known that whoever did not want to participate would have missed out on a great opportunity. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Eurovision.tv


Saturday, 08 December 2012 00:25

Norway: NRK Planning Melodi Grand Prix Suspense

NRK, the broadcaster responsible for the Norwegian participation in the Eurovision Song Contest has been known to organise one of the most popular selection procedures in the continent alongside other Scandinavian nations such as Sweden and Denmark. Following three successive disappointing results, there is a lot to prove now especially as a brand new musical director takes up the role following the resignation of Per Sundnes. Vivi Stenberg has been quietly working on the selection procedure and has reinvigorated the Melodi Grand Prix by obtaining some aid from a number of local music professionals in the form of; Kristin Winsents, Gisle Stokland and Christine Dancke. All three have become notable figures on the radio but also boast credentials in journalism and songwriting on an individual basis. Twenty one entries will be competing to represent Norway at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Sweden but the acts will not be revealed anytime soon with the suspense set to become a major factor behind every decision taken at NRK with regards to the Melodi Grand Prix.

The broadcaster was proud to announce that they received around six hundred submissions for the 2013 edition of the Melodi Grand Prix with tracks coming forth from Greece, United States and Sweden and whilst the entries have been chosen, the revelations will be made in the days leading up to the respective semi-final. As a matter of fact, a brand new programme airing on NRK 1 the Wednesday each show will be the marking of revelation to the people and the media. Vivi Stenberg spoke to the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest saying that 'With this, all the artists will have an equal starting point, by being revealed on live tv. We hope that this will increase the curiosity and excitement surrounding the competition'. Norway won the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2009 thanks to Alexander Rybak and his track Fairytale but it has been a downhill spiral from then onwards with their most recent effort Stay performed by Tooji finishing in last place behind Engelbert Humperdinck of the United Kingdom. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from Norway as they compete in the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Sweden.

Source: NRK, Eurovision.tv


The Malta Eurosong in 2009 will always remain known due to the fact that it was the first year in which the Public Broadcasting Services took over the competition in terms of organisation and therefore, had to prove that they could ultimately manage. The song selection was quite good indeed and despite the fact that the winner at the end of the evening was Chiara and her entry What If We, it is worth noting that there were a host of other performers who laid their grounds for the beginning of their music career. One of such artists is surely Dario Mifsud Bonnici who was part of the group Classic Rebels whose entry Tonight At the Opera finished in fifth place. The twenty-five year old performer has been out and about in the continent working with some of the most established songwriters and producers around and has recently given us the track Believe In Love which is a fusion of genres.

One of the key individuals whom Dario Mifsud Bonnici is working with at the moment is a Norwegian producer whose entries in the Melodi Grand Prix last year finished in second and fifth place respectively. The concerned individual is actually a former member of the very well known boy band; A1 who returned back to music in recent years even finishing second in the Melodi Grand Prix back in 2010 with the track Don't Wanna Lose You Again. Dario was quickly sought after the producer had seen some of his work on viral website Youtube and went up to Oslo to record his debut single under a brand new management and label, the song being none other than his latest release Believe In Love. The overall outcome was positive, so much so that he was offered a one year contract with the record label. At the moment Dario Mifsud Bonnici is advancing past a number of stages in the Britain's Got Talent competition which airs on ITV in the United Kingdom and we also know that he submitted a track for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news whilst wishing Dario the very best of luck with his endeavours.

Source: Press Release


Published in Local Music News
Saturday, 27 October 2012 00:49

Norway: A1 Return with Brand New Single

The British-Norway pop group known as A1 first came to notoriety back in 1999 as they released their debut album entitled Here We Come featuring the talents of Paul Marazzi, Mark Read, Ben Adams and Christian Ingebrigsten which did reasonably well reaching number #20 in the United Kingdom and #4 in Norway. Their stardom peaked in 2001 when they were awarded with a BRIT Award for the British Breakthrough Act having released an album entitled The A List which peaked at number #14 in the United Kingdom and #4 in Norway. The release of their third album in 2002 bearing the title Make It Good was of the same success of their sophomore release but Paul decided to take a break and therefore, the band went on an indefinite hiatus. They ultimately decided to return in 2009, by virtue of accepting entry into the Melodi Grand Prix with the track Don't Wanna Lose You Again, a single which launched them well by virtue of peaking at number #4. The track was prior to the album release Waiting for Daylight which managed a number #5 in Norway where it was released.

The trio as they became upon their return continue to make music and have just released a brand new single. The Melodi Grand Prix proved to be a successful competition for the group and had they managed to represent Norway on home soil, I think they would have managed a top ten position but they went for Didrik Solli Tangen and his entry My Heart Is Yours putting the British-Norwegian group in second place unfortunately. Their brand new single entitled Trust Me is actually the lead track off the fifth studio album entitled Rediscovered which has been influenced by Christopher Columbus which is the title for another track within the collection  This new album will be featuring twelve new tracks with the official website of the group stating 'For A1, this is the album that will bridge the gap between fans who've stayed true for all these years, to the people who are discovering them for the first time'. Their comeback thus far has been pretty positive especially in Scandinavia where it has been based so one has to hope that this brand new single and follow up album will succeed in the same vein. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news and music releases as soon as they become accessible.

Source: Digital Spy


Friday, 12 October 2012 00:25

Norway: Alexander Rybak Releases New Single

Initially, Alexander Rybak was somewhat of a nobody having taken part in the Melodi Grand Prix in 2009 for the very first time with the song Fairytale and emerging as the clear favourite very quickly after all of the songs had been previewed. He would of course go on to win with a huge margin before going to the Eurovision Song Contest held in Moscow, Russia where he would also ensure victory just ahead of Iceland who were represented with Is It True? performed by the stunning Yohanna. His victory was the beginning of a brand new era for the European competition noting that charting success was being guaranteed not only for the winner but for a number of performers who were now starting to be backed by the regional departments of major recording labels. Following the release of three successful albums; Alexander Rybak is planning yet another release sometime soon hence forth why he will be releasing a new single, most probably off this upcoming album which remains a mystery thus far.

Alexander Rybak has a habit of speaking the truth win his tracks by virtue of relating them to experiences endured in life and in fact, Leave Me Alone is about a particular female fan who seems to have been stalking him in various ways for quite some time. Nevertheless, he notes that this is something extraordinary especially when this particular girl even has the habit of getting the private mobile number of the performer which has been changed a number of times in recent months. The brand new track which will be released during the day is co-written by David Eriksen who is well known to fans of the Eurovision Song Contest for writing Butterflies for Tone Damli Aaberge which was the runner-up to Alexander Rybak in 2009 Melodi Grand Prix. Nevertheless, David has worked with the likes of A1, The Saturdays, Lindsay Lohan, Clay Aiken, and Monrose. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about the latest releases from former winners of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Official Alexander Rybak Website


The music industry has somewhat been all about contacts throughout the years and one of the platforms which has been used on countless occasions to provide collaborations between singers, songwriters and producers has been the Eurovision Song Contest. In recent weeks, Alexander Rybak and Paula Seling joined forces on a brand new track entitled I'll Show You which in turn is written by the 2009 winner of the prestigious event. Despite the fact that the promotion in several countries has commenced, it was somewhat even more important to make sure that people could buy the track through the internet hence why it is now available through leading online retailers iTunes and Amazon. The track has been signed up by CAP Sounds and thus distributed by Universal Music Germany.

The German company has been extremely faithful to Malta in the past couple of years noting that most of the tracks sent to the Eurovision Song Contest have been rerecorded there and then also mastered to make sure that the final quality is strong and well adjusted. Amongst the artists who have released music with CAP Sounds include; Romina Mamo who was a semi-finalist in this years' edition of the Maltese selection, Mista who finished as the runner-up in the Slovakian selection in 2010, Claudia Faniello who was a runner-up in this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest and two-time representative Fabrizio Faniello. The first means of international promotion will be done in the city of Antwerp in Belgium actually due to the fact that the duo will be performing in the closing ceremony of the Antwerpride. The performance will be taking place mid way through the afternoon in the main square in front of the magnificent looking city hall.
Source: Press Release

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