August 25, 2019

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *
Reload Captcha

It's a wrap! Vienna, the capital city of Austria, known as the epitome of culture has had the opportunity to play host to the Eurovision Song Contest, and setting the record for boasting equal opportunities throughout the whole show. At the end of the spectacle, "Heroes", sung by Mans Zelmerlow, on behalf of Sweden was crowned winner, with "A Million Voices", sung by Polina Gagarina on behalf of Russia finishing in second place and "Grande Amore", interpreted to perfection by Il Volo for Italy landed third place.

In Malta, it was the usual chant of "let's boycott the event", following the non-qualification of Amber whose entry "Warrior" was penned by Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca to the music of Elton Zarb. Not all was lost, as the semi-final results proved to tell a different story with Malta finishing in 5th place with the professional jury, and 14th place with the public at home.

Once more, the overall result was 11th place, a feat which Malta had the misfortune to also face back in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest when Glen Vella sang "One Life", composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan. In this competition, it is important to be innovative not only in the creation of the song, but also in the visual aspect of the presentation, and that is something that each singer, songwriter, manager and publicist should look to prior to entering next year's edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

On another note, I would like to personally thank the editorial team of escflashmalta.com including our affiliates Radio International and ESCnews for their continued support, as well as the special guest bloggers; Lyndsay, Marilena Gauci, Christabelle, Claudia Faniello, Brooke, Marie Claire Attard Bason, Danica Muscat, Tinatin Japaridze and Karen DeBattista. Until next year, in Sweden, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sGOwFVUU0I

SVT, public broadcaster in Sweden, responsible for the participation of the country at the Eurovision Song Conest has just unveiled the running order for next years’ edition of the Melodifestivalen which Christer Bjorkman, the Executive Producer has denoted as dramatic. Prior to the revelation of the official list of artists, songwriters and entries just a couple of weeks ago, there had been several rumours about the line-up.

In the meantime, as the running order of the show has now been officially made pubic, several readers of international fan-sites are seemingly trying to determine the final outcome of the entries considering that it has become somewhat of a custom for the most successful entries to be placed either as the first act or the last act within the semi-final stage. As a matter of fact, even the betting odds shifted ever so slightly earlier this morning.

Semi Final 1 -  Malmö (1st February)

To the End - YOHIO (Andreas Johnson, Johan Lyander, Peter Kvint, YOHIO)

Aleo - Mahan Moin (Mahan Moin, Anderz Wrethov)

Bröder - Linus Svenning (Fredrik Kempe)

Casanova - Elisa Lindström (Ingela Forsman, Bobby Ljunggren, Jimmy Jansson)

Bedroom - Alvaro Estrella (Erixson, Bordon, Francis, Östergren)

Songbird - Ellen Benediktson (Vaughn, Johan Fransson, Larsson, Tobias Lundgren)

Bygdens son - Sylvester Schlegel (Sylvester Schlegel)

Survivor - Helena Paparizou (Ljunggren, Wikström, Karl-Ola Kjellholm, Vaughn)

 

Semi Final 2 - Linköping (8th February)

Love Trigger - JEM (Thomas G:son, Peter Boström, Santos)

Hallelujah - The Refreshments* (Joakim Arnell)

Glow - Manda (Joy Deb, Linnéa Deb, Melanie Wehbe, Charlie Mason)

Efter solsken - Panetoz (Hirvi, Mats Lie Skåre, Baheru, Njol Badjie, Badjie)

I Am Somebody - Pink Pistols (Törnqvist, Geli, Per Ivar Hed, Päivärinta, Bäckström)

Undo - Sanna Nielsen (Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Pirouzpanah)

Set Yourself Free - Little Great Things (Grönvall, Wernqvist, Felix Grönvall, Dahlström)

När änglarna går hem - Martin Stenmarck (Öhrn, Bard, Stenmarck, Peter Boström)

 

Semi Final 3 - Göteborg (15th February)

Echo - Outtrigger (Joy Deb, Linnéa Deb, Malmberg Hård Af Segerstad)

Red - EKO (Linnéa Deb, Joy Deb, Anna Lidman, Lundberg, Ottosson)

Yes We Can - Oscar Zia (Kempe, David Kreuger, Hamed “K-One” Pirouzpanah)

Burning Alive - Shirley Clamp (Ljunggren, Ubeda, Sharon Vaughn, Henrik Wikström)

All We Are - State of Drama (Werner, Sanken Sandqvist, Emil Gullhamn, Hallifax)

En enkel sång - CajsaStina Åkerström (CajsaStina Åkerström)

Busy Doin’ Nothin’ - Ace Wilder (Ace Wilder, Joy Deb, Linnéa Deb)

Around the World - dr. alban & Jessica Folcker (dr. alban, Jakke Erixson, Kjellholm)

 

Semi Final 4 - Örnsköldsvik (22nd February)

Blame It On The Disco - Alcazar (Kempe, Kreuger, Hamed “K-One” Pirouzpanah)

Fight Me If You Dare - I.D.A (Albin Nicklasson, Nicklas Laine, Louise Frick Sveen)

Hollow - Janet Leon (Karl-Ola Kjellholm, Jimmy Jansson, Louise Winter)

Raise Your Hands - Ammotrack (Kujansuu, Thomas Johansson, Kindbom, Mikael de Bruin)

Hela natten - Josef Johansson (Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, Josef Johansson, Peo Thyrén)

Ta mig - Linda Bengtzing (Nicke Borg, Jojo Borg Larsson)

En himmelsk sång - Ellinore Holmer (Holmer, Rosenberg, Schmalenbach, Sanner, Wikström, Aly)

Natural - Anton Ewald (John Lundvik)

Melodifestivalen, the selection process in Sweden is one of the most anticipated throughout the season, from several fans all across Europe for the simple reason that there is a certain aura surrounding the whole showcase from the hosts, to the staging and eventually the songs. According to Christer Bjorkman, the line-up includes six potential winners of the selection, with three of them having the potential to win the actual Eurovision Song Contest. At this years’ edition, Sweden were represented by Robin Stjernberg and his entry You. Despite garnering support from the juries, it did not pick up on public support and languished in a mid-table position. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: SVT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEVlK0dQ0Gc

SVT, the national broadcaster in Sweden, and responsible for the nations' participation at the Eurovision Song Contest organised a press conference yesterday afternoon in order to announce the names of the entries, songwriters and artists competing in the final two semi-finals of next years' edition of the Melodifestivalen. The format, albeit unchanged, will include four (4) semi-finals, a second chance round and the final, all of which will be spread out over six (6) weeks. At the end of this period, new careers will commence whilst renowned stars will find solace in hit singles. The only other competition to produce similar results is Sanremo, as competing entries are known to make the official singles chart for several weeks after the showcase.

Sweden are organising their national selection following a triumphant organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest and they might have already set their sights on success pertaining to the second list of artists revealed by Christer Bjorkman during a Press Conference. Whilst there are no names who have been to the Eurovision Song Contest in this list, there are a couple of fan favourites who have made the final cut including; Alcazar who managed to reach stardom status all over the continent with their song Crying at the Discotheque as well as Not a Sinner Nor a Saint which could have been a Swedish entry due to being in a former edition of Melodifestivalen. Other outstanding names are those of Shirley Clamp and Linda Bengtzing who are clearly set to be a treat to the fans in whatever genre they might represent.

Semi-Final 3 (Gothenburg)

All We Are - State of Drama (Werner / Sandqvist / Gullhamn / Hallifax)

Around the World - dr alban & Jessica Folcker (dr alban / Erizson / Kjellholm)

Burning Alive - Shirley Clamp (Ljunggren / Ubeda / Vaughn / Wikstrom)

Busy Doin' Nothin' - Ace Wilder (Wilder / Joy Deb / Linnea Deb)

Echo - Outtrigger (Joy Deb / Linnea Deb / Malmberg Hard af Segerstad)

En Enkel Sång - CajsaStina Åkerström (CajsaStina Åkerström)

Red - EKO (Linnea Deb / Joy Deb / Anna Lidman / Lundberg / Ottosson)

Yes We Can - Oscar Zia (Kempe / Kreuger / Pirouzpanah)

 

Semi-Final 4 (Örnsköldsvik)

Blame It On the Disco - Alcazar (Kempe / Kreuger / Pirouzpanah)

En Himmelsk Sång - Ellinore Holmer (Rosenberg / Sanner / Schmalenbach / Wikstrom / Aly)

Fight Me if You Dare - I.D.A (Albin Nicklasson / Laine / Frick Sveen)

Hela Natten - Josef Johansson (Bostrom / G:Son / Johansson / Thyren)

Hollow - Janet Leon (Kjellholm / Jansson / Winter)

Natural - Anton Ewald (John Ludvik)

Raise Your Hands - Ammotrack (Jari Kujansuu / Johnasson / Kindbom / de Bruin)

Ta Mig - Linda Bengtzing (Nicke Borg / Jojo Borg Larsson)

escflashmalta.com has noted that there are several interesting options, based on the reputation of such artists and songwriters who have been given the opportunity to participate in next years' edition of the Melodifestivalen. Also, we would like to congratulate regular escflashmalta.com contributor, Sharon Vaughn who has worked with the likes of Agnes, The Wanted and Delta Goodrem who will be competing with three (3) songs, including with one of the early fan-favourites. Sharon Vaughn will be joining the Critical Eye feature for the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: SVT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwMevwVt7g4

SVT, the national broadcaster in Sweden, and responsible for the nations' participation at the Eurovision Song Contest organised a press conference earlier today in order to announce the names of the entries, songwriters and artists competing in the first two semi-finals of next years' edition of the Melodifestivalen. The format, albeit unchanged, will include four (4) semi-finals, a second chance round and the final, all of which will be spread out over six (6) weeks. At the end of this period, new careers will commence whilst renowned stars will find solace in hit singles. The only other competition to produce similar results is Sanremo, as competing entries are known to make the official singles chart for several weeks after the showcase.

Sweden are organising their national selection following a triumphant organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest and they might have already set their sights on success pertaining to the first list of artists revealed by Christer Bjorkman during a Press Conference. Two former Eurovision Song Contest representatives have been included in the line-up and they are none other than; Helena Paparizou, winner of the event back in 2005 on behalf of Greece and Martin Stenmarck who was responsible for starting the nations' bout of bad results back in 2005. It is also worth pointing out that there are some former participants who have made the cut. Some surprises are also set to be announced on Thursday as the remaining sixteen (16) entries are revealed in another Press Conference.

Semi-Final 1 (Malmo)

Aleo - Mahan Moin (Mahan Moin / Andrez Wrethov)

Bedroom - Alvaro Estrella (Erixson / Bordon / Francis / Östergren)

Bröder - Linus Svennin (Fredrik Kempe)

Bygdens Son - Sylvester Schlegel (Sylvester Schlegel)

Casanova - Elisa Lindström (Forsman / Ljunggren / Jansson)

Songbird - Ellen Benediktson (Vaughn / Fransson / Larsson / Lundgren)

Survivor - Helena Paparizou (Ljunggren / Wikstrom / Kjellholm / Vaughn)

To The End - Yohio (Johnsson / Lyander / Kvint / Yohio)


Semi-Final 2 (Linkoping)

Efter Solsken - Panetoz (Hirvi / Lie Skåre / Baheru / Badjie)

Glow - Manda (Joy Deb / Linnéa Deb / Melanie Wehbe / Charlie Mason)

I Am Somebody - Pink Pistols (Tonqvist / Geli / Hed / Päivärinta / Bäckström)

Love Trigger - JEM (G:Son / Boström / Santos)

När änglarna går hem - Martin Stenmarck (Öhrn / Bard / Stenmarck / Boström)

Hallelujah - The Refreshments (Joakim Arnell)

Undo - Sanna Nielsen (Kempe / Kreuger / Pirouzpanah)

escflashmalta.com has noted that there are several interesting options, based on the reputation of such artists and songwriters who have been given the opportunity to participate in next years' edition of the Melodifestivalen. Also, we would like to congratulate regular escflashmalta.com contributor, Sharon Vaughn who has worked with the likes of Agnes, The Wanted and Delta Goodrem who will be competing with two (2) songs, including with one of the early fan-favourites. Sharon Vaughn will be joining the Critical Eye feature for the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: SVT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBUJ0u7ZVaE

My Number One, performed by Helena Paparizou on behalf of Greece at the 2005 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was the outright winner, pushing Angel sung to perfection by Chiara for Malta into second place. The Greek/Swedish vocalist is hoping for a return to the elite competition by virtue of accepting a wildcard to perform at the 2014 edition of the Melodifestivalen with a song written by Bobby Ljunggren, Henrik Wikström and escflashmalta.com contributor Sharon Vaughn. The song, which is described as a catchy pop anthem will also be featuring on Paparizou's upcoming studio album which will be exclusively released from the Scandinavian market.

SVT, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest is currently lining up some astonishing acts for the competition including; Linda Bengtzing, Sanna Nielsen, Dr Alban and Yohio. The news was hinted by the tabloid Aftonbladet but our friends and colleagues from OIKOTIMES were in a position to confirm this news item. Former winners of the Eurovision Song Contest have had mixed fortunes upon their return to the competition as seen with Dana Internation with her entry Ding Dong which failed to reach the final in 2011. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Sweden's participation in the illustious event.

Source: Aftonbladet, Oikotimes.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2T6H2-9MZ0

Melodifestivalen, a national competition which sees to the selection of Sweden's entry at the Eurovision Song Contest has already closed it's submission deadline with songwriters putting forward a total of 2628 entries. The staggering amount of submissions include 561 tracks which have been submitted to a public selection process known as allmänhetens tävling where one (1) entry will get through to the semi-finals and 2067 who will be fighting it out for the fifteen (15) available slots. SVT, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest has just hosted this years' edition of the international event in a successful manner and are now looking forward to continue achieving positive results.

The rest of the field which encompasses round about sixteen (16) entries will be specially invited by SVT in an aim to make the competition more of a spectacle. Nevertheless, they have already given a wildcard to the group Eko who won a regional competition earlier this year. Christer Björkman, producer of Melodifestivalen has gone on record stating that they 'hoped for less songs' but 'at the same time it's nice to see the interest'. The amount which is seemingly huge is 'manageable' and a panel of expert judges will be called upon during the next month in order to sift through the songs. At this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Sweden were represented by Robin Stjernberg and his entry You which did well with the jury but terrible with the tele-voting hence finishing in a mid-table position of fourteenth (14th) with a total of sixty-two (62) points. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more of the latest news.

Source: SVT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEVlK0dQ0Gc

Good Evening! Welcome to the live coverage of the first semi-final of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest being held in Malmö, Sweden. Members of the European Broadcasting Union had to confirm their participation in the international showcase by December and as a matter of fact, during this period some nations had selected both their artist and entry for the event. Seventeen (17) countries will be performing this evening with seven (7) of them being eliminated at the first hurdle noting that the other ten (10) will be going through to the final stage on Saturday night where they will compete with another ten (10) qualifiers from the second semi-final and the countries which have already qualified due to their respective financial status.

In recent years, social media has become an important tool to get a message across and escflashmalta.com has been proud to keep you updated through both Facebook and Twitter whilst bringing you exclusive content through Flickr and YouTube respectively. This evening, the special coverage that is annually planned is set to be conducted by our Senior Editor, Antoine Farrugia as well as guests; Davinia Pace, second runner-up at the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Christabelle, awarded the Best Solo Artist at the Bay Music Awards for four years running. All of the three are extremely professional in their line of work and their interests in music have been duly recorded over time. Malta is competing in the semi-final this evening we would like to wish the very best of luck to the delegation on stage and also to the one behind the scenes. Follow the semi-final as of 21:00 CET on Television Malta.

The Show (Part 1)

And here it goes! The second semi-final commencing now! What a great introduction! We have the Urban Orchestra dancing to the the official song of Eurovision! It shows the past and what may come in the future. The song has now changed and another musical song is being played by this awesome orchestra. The dancing is magnificent being a bit lyrical and like a box! Also, we can notice the flexibility of the dancers. They went away from a slide and they are running up and down the slide once again leaving splashes of colours behind them on the same slide with every move.

This is totally a different opening and it is coming out as beautiful! The orchestra is still playing the same song just with a more up-tempo beat, now turning to  more hip-hop. They made up a laptop on the same slide and the music is being seen! That was a perfect opening in my honest opinion. Here is Petra Mede once again wearing a different dress. With a black dress with the underneath full gold, she added the gloves. She's being a bit more funny by just comparing herself to many female role models! Petra is talking about the voting system! She's translating into French also since it is another mondial language and a language that is mostly used in Eurovision after English!

Latvia

As Latvia take to the stage they look interesting and I love the costumes! but the song is very average a feel good song but nothing special about it. Not convinced about the rapping..although, must say that they do have charisma. (Davinia Pace)

PeR from Latvia is the first one up! Please explain the Rhythm is what it means! This is a nice 20 second clip. Here We Go! Shiny dressed guys are now on stage! They are surely enjoying it to the full! Vocals have obviously improved since the national final in Latvia. It seems to me that they're told to enjoy it now. Although, it is turning out better than I thought! Crowd is responding a lot as I can hear! At least they don't have a trampoline, they're jumping way too much for me. The slow-motion part is so so cool! Secondary stage is full with all the participants form Latvia. Stage dive is done today also! I think this may qualify by tele-voting. (Antoine Farrugia)

The beginning of the song sounds like a queen song. Not a big fan of the outfits and how they are moving like Jedward! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4lwr-zMSnM

San Marino

Loving the dramatic outfits but why sing in Italian? Very good vocals but there isnt a chill factor at all. Oh no this tune is just horrible, way too cheesy really. Started off great but the song just collapsed for me now(Davinia Pace)

Valentina Monetta is up next for San Marino! After last year, the facebook song, it is a different song, a superb ballad to come! A crowd's favourite from the first beat. Perfect vocals since from the begginning. A great improvement from San Marino since I can remember. She's improvising some things right now, is she crazy? She left the ball on stage now and went to perform. She's clad in a red dress with a black cape all over it which now she takes off as the song gets more up-tempoed! Perfect vocal from Valentina! Perfect look and staging! Last note was a bit off for me though! (Antoine Farrugia)

Her voice is gorgeous like a proper Italian! Not a bad song and love when it changes the beat(Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi8mZ2ejLcE

FYR Macedonia

I'm liking his vocals and his outfit very classy. Oh my God she is hilarious but how can you take this seriously? (Davinia Pace)

 with 'Pred Da Se Razdeni' from Lozano and Esma, the gypsy and the pop artist. Lozano's vocals are really good from every rehearsal and even today, they're really really good. He is not wearing his glasses which I find it awkward to look it since I always saw him with glasses. Here comes the ruiner of the song, sorry. She's clad in a really really really big shiny red dress while Lozano is wearing a black modern suit and a white shirt. He's improvising too although his always on key. The Esma part is so good musically, I personally don't like it at all. Too much things going on! Maybe, Macedonia nexy tear decides to send Lozano alone! Not a qualifier, for sure. (Antoine Farrugia)

He has an amazing voice but I wish I could undertand what they re saying! In my opinion she is horrendous though and I would have liked it more if he was the only one singing. (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LwGGo5ZfF8

Azerbaijan

Whoa! Farid has definitely been complimented by good looks. Im loving him and his song, the creativity of this performance is very clever, he really did think outside the box literally!  This guy has great stage presence ! and his definatley trying to send a message here. Very classy performance and this will do well! (Davinia Pace)

Farid Mammadov with 'Hold Me' is up next for Azerbaijan. It was a great introduction from the Land Of Fire.  Is it only me or the microphone is too loud? The man in the box is surely a perfect chereography. Vocals are spot on without missing any notes whatsoever. I would have liked to see the chereography a bit more since it is absolutely original. The girl is getting on stage with her usual red dress. The song now reaches a point near to perfection. Farid does not seem as scared as he was in the rehearsals at least, he's confident on stage! Noticing, it is Azerbaijan and a brilliant performance, I say it would fit perfect in the top 10! (Antoine Farrugia)

Wow what a beautiful performance! And I love the song!! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5egVzkZGTg

Finland

This is vey quirky! and she is a very pretty girl the song has a fun factor and a girly feel thats for sure and she is great on stage , loving the backing vocals outfits and gestures. She is great entertainment but as a song not my type and i reckon it wont get very far in the competition. Did she just kiss a girl!? Thats awesome big risk. (Davinia Pace)

Krista Siegfrids is next with her Ding Dong Team singing Marry Me. She's a beauty queen. Vocally, she's a bit off as from the begginning. She has a perfect camera work clad in her marriage dress! The staging is good but the screens are really too much for me. The chorus is so so catchy and I quite wanna get up and freak out with this song! This song sounds a lot like from a Barbie commercial or something like that but really enjoyable! The fire shots were perfect! I love how she performed it and took many risks on stage including the best one to come. Wearing that dress is already a risk but that kiss was more riskable! Hope the audience likes it! She may qualify I think! (Antoine Farrugia)

What was she thinking wearing that dress??? The song is very catchy but she s not an amazing singer and obviously she s trying her best to give her best performance! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdU02F9lT2g

Malta

MALTA!!! gianluca is looking great very smiley as always and such confidence you go Malta! Gianlucas vocals sound perfect and his performance is going great !! his really using the stage space and interacting with the audience and the camera ! best of luck gianluca. (Davinia Pace)

And after commercials, Malta is up next! Cross fingers for Gianluca and his band! Dr.Ginaluca has a pretty awesome 20 second pre show! He is clad in his usual dark orange chinos and a black waistcoat and white shirt. The audience is clapping a lot! He is really enjoying it with that big smile on his face! He is acting the song by just his facial expressions! He's so so relaxed! Vocally he's really good! the stage looks amazing and the backdrop screens are perfect too! When he sings the Oh Oh Oh part the audience joins in! The band is so so happy on the stage they're really enjoying it! gianluca is off on the catwalk where he is connecting with the audience more! He runs back to the stage to join the band on the bench Huge appaluse from the audience! He may bring us a really good result! He should qualify (Antoine Farrugia)

I cant stop smiling he s so cute!!!! Such a fantastic performace when I hear him and look at him he just makes you smile as his smile is contagious! !!! Super gianluca!!!! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WmJXIR9xtw

Bulgaria

He was amazing! I like a woman playing the drums but the minute she opened her mouth I cringed, this song is awful. (Davinia Pace)

Bulgaria is up next with the drums and nasty vocals form Elitsa. They're enjoying it a lot! Her vocals are already off from the beginning! She doesn't have any breath to sing this fast I think! I like the drums a lot from this one though I think that it is one of the few really bad songs this year. This folk music won't do it for Europeans. Maybe it's just me or her voice is really not nice and today she's worse than rehearsals without even having breath to sing. Glow sticks on drums! These three minutes are never ending! She's not singing? The mask is really ugly sorry Bulgaria! I don't think they'll qualify. (Antoine Farrugia)

Sometimes I wonder if im still watching the Eurovision... the song is not too bad but nothing compared to Malta (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bExp3aNOFsE

Iceland

ICELAND, great vocals a very emotional song but I wish he was singing it in English its a tad depressing I must say. (Davinia Pace)

Eythor Ingi is next for Iceland with Eg A Lif. Eythor starts giving his back to the audience. What a beautiful language I must say. His hair is still really long but his vocals are superb tonight as all the other nights but I think the musci is too low. This is a ballad to enjoy after many up tempo songs! This draw is helping Iceland I think! The stage is too blank until the backing vocals reach the stage! The song is getting stronger but it is still the same all throughout. I hink his vocals stands out in this performance alongside with his hair! From jury, he will pass but from televoting not so sure! (Antoine Farrugia)

Again I wish I could understand what he s saying but he has a good voice ... such a simple performance. (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtunhyMW1hM

Greece

Okay this is just weird I don't get the skirts the high socks , the old guy is kind of cool. As a song this is rubbish not even catchy theres no hope really. (Davinia Pace)

Alcohol Is Free and Koza Mostra and Agathon Iakovidis is up next for Greece. The audience is enjoying it from the beginning they're all clapping. I'm enjoying it here! I like this song awkwardly enough since almost nobody likes it! His voice is too good I think! They're wearing skirts too!! They take up to the catwalk except for Koza whose singing on a stand! This song is so so good but I think that the elderly on stage is a copy from Russia las year which I don't see it as a good take! The instruments glowing is surely amazing too! This is really good, like really really good! They will qualify, for sure! (Antoine Farrugia)

Lively song for sure! Very entertaining but not so sure about the outfits they re wearing! The song is called alcahol free its true they look rather drunk on having fun on stage. (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3k2MOJOkKg

Israel

Israel: I like the tune of the song but she is looking like the mother of fertility what is that dress? and those glasses? I am loving her voice she is giving a very convincing performance. She needs to move around abit even if its just a few steps! (Davinia Pace)

Rak Bishvilo and Moran Mazor for Israel. Ra Bishvilo translates to 'Only For Him' and she is one of the best singers in the competition. A great feedback from the audience since the piano started playing. Moran has a really nice voice and the dress, I don't bother much looking at as many are saying that she ain't dressed nice. This song is just perfect for Mazor, her voice stands out from the others. This is a really nice language to listen to and in songs, it's just really nice! The jewelery may be a bit too much I think. The perect note was spot on too! I think she is making a really good impression for Israel, they should be proud of Moran! Moran will qualify for sure! Best vocals in every competition! (Antoine Farrugia)

The dress does not flatter her figure at all!!!! Though I love her ring and her earrings and her voice is amazing but I again I wish I could understand the lyrics to this song! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYuSe5h-rrg

Armenia

He has a great voice, this song is nice the style is quite current , I am not sure about that scarf, the band are cool but I'm finding it rather boring. (Davinia Pace)

Armenia and Dorians are next with Lonely Planet written by Tony Iommi form Black Sabbath. I quite like this song but unfortunately, they're not getting any good comments. Gor has a really strong voice. This song is coming out not as I thought on stage which is making me feel a bit sad cause I really believed this will qualify. Too many jeans fabric on stage. He was off at points but his riffs are pretty amazing. Fire in the instrumental part, it's a no for me! He is screaming all the way thorugh today. I'm sad for him, he was so much better in the rehearsals. The song is really nice but they won't qualify in my opinion. (Antoine Farrugia)

Really good voice!!! Proper rock star and I love the song! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSs03Sp-4ME

Hungary

I am asleep already. This has nothing to it, it feels like a very lazy song. (Davinia Pace)

This is the worst song in the history of Euroivision with Kedvesem by ByeAlex and Hungary. His glasses are nice but the outfit it's like for going shopping around for me not a Eurovision-stage outfit for sure! I can't listen to this song in any way but it is getting positive feedback but I still believe they won't qualify. Is he copying Roban Lob from Germany with the hat? I hope this won't qualify, it is so so so boring. It just makes me want to run away and not listen at all. This is a big no for me. (Antoine Farrugia)

uch an ordinary guy ... I cant understand why prefer singing in their language and not in english ... though im not a big fan of the song!! (Christabelle)

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

Norway

I love her dress and her hair great effort in appearance , Im loving this song so powerful. I am in love with her and this song , she is a natural, i like this style not cheesy at all and something different to what we have seen so far This will make it through for sure ! (Davinia Pace)

Margaret Berger is up next with I Feed You My Love for Norway. She is getting many many positive comments to winning and top 5. The beginning of this song is certainly amazing and which gets your attenion right away. She's excited, I can hear it in her voice! She's getting more into the performance now! hat dress makes her look like a mermaid for me and the fishtail doesn't help at all. No, not the dance please! It makes her look not an all-rounder for sure. The song is good but it is turning out boring and always the same. Oh it changes to the bridge at least! The last chorus is just great now and it gets back your attention. This will qualify, I believe! (Antoine Farrugia)

She s gorgeous!! And I love the song but I wish she wore a more playful dress! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjm-kCOMaPY

Albania

Awesome guitar move !! but this song is getting worse as it goes on! (Davinia Pace)

The rock duo is here! Many many smoke on stage, and stabbing on drums which is not pleasant to listen to. The first man's voice is like that all the time don't worry, he doesn't have a sore throat I believe but the second one is fighting to sing on the other hand. So so dull on stage with many many black and little splashes of gold. The guitar is having fire sparkles on his guitar solo which are the interesting part of this act, nothing more! Fireworks? Way too much Albania. Please, don't qualify! (Antoine Farrugia)

This has nothing to do with Lordi if they re comparing it to it !! Lets put it this way not my favourite!!! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pf-ZCI-UuA

Georgia

I hate their outfits so dated.. the diction is terrible nice voices but its so so cheesy and I can't imagine this doing well in the competition! (Davinia Pace)

Nodi  Sopho and Waterfall next for Georgia! I like this act a lot, hope it turns out good! Smoke on stage already but now, it makes sense, you feel like you're in another world! The voices are so so strong and they blend together so much for me! Was she off pitch in the first Waterfall? It always sounds off to me. They finally got closer together and are showing a bit of chemistry while their vocals keeps on shining all through out. Smoke and now fire together, it's way too much. somebody is off, I believe it's the woman finding the song a bit too high! Still, I think they will qualify, not sure! (Antoine Farrugia)

I hate their outfits so dated.. the diction is terrible nice voices but its so so cheesy and I cant imagine this doing well in the competition! (Christabelle)

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

Switzerland

Very catchy tune , the bassist is so cute. This performance is very sweet not my type of song at all but it has something nice about it must be the smiley faces and the bassist  but again NOTHING SPECIAL! (Davinia Pace)

Switzerland of Takasa! The chocolate introduction before is a yum! You And Me, let's go! The intro of the song is superb, it gets your attention right away! The 95 year old man is cute on stage but you're copying Russia last year guys. the male vocals were low and the female's are high and she is squeking the notes. They're so stiff, just a simple line al next to each other. The musci video's song was different! It was full for sure, here it's the demo I think! The song is good but the performance, the look, the vocals and staging is awful. Switzerland, I think I will say bye for you this year, although you're not the worst tonight! (Antoine Farrugia)

I remember this song when they came to Malta ... wasn't a fan then am not a fan now!  (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBGpqq2LFSQ

Romania

What is this? oh dear dear vocals are so pitchy! This is confusing and just not right who let this man on stage? (Davinia Pace)

Cezar and his life for Romania. The pop-opera singer of tonight. Dracula on stage! What happened to his voice? Are the dancers wearing anything? Worst song from Romania in the history of Eurovision. No Cezar, if you wanted to do Eurovision, you didn't succeed sorry! Even the song is not nice at all, it's got something huge missing, I can hear it! Fire for reaching a high note is like 1990s now! Oh, so the neighbour countries all got higher Romania and Moldova. Romania, you won't qualify for the first time. (Antoine Farrugia)

Quite a eurovision song but not my favourite his damcers are amazing and his upper range too but it doesnt go with the song at all... and he looka like dracula with that collar! (Christabelle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pNEEb6dzi8

The Show (Part 2)

We just saw Petra Mede explaining where the dressing room is located and now we're seeing a recap of all the songs competing. In the meantime, our reviewers this evening have also provided their own qualifiers and these could be seen just below. 

Davinia Pace: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Finland, FYR Macedonia, Israel, Malta, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland

Antoine Farrugia: Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, Malta, Norway, San Marino

Christabelle: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Malta, Norway, San Marino.

Petra on the segway in the green room! She meets up with Cezar and she promotes the DVD and CD. Mede is sitting next to your Moran who are talking about when she saw the first Eurovision ever. And Moran says she's celebrating her birthday today! Another comeback from the past like last Tuesday! This is funny more than last semi-final! One of my favourite songs ever from Armenia 'Jan Jan' was played! And Petra just gave us the history of Eurovision in a few minutes! Another recap is now playing! 4 minutes left for voting! Make your desicion right voters, let's not be dissatisfied after a great show! Petra is back on stage encouraging us to vote for the final time! Lines closed now! Europe Stop Voting Now! Darin is now on stage giving an awesome performance as the interval act! Following his is none other than Agnes! And here is the recap of the pre-qualified countries! I strongly believe that the best songs this year come from Big 5 along with Sweden. The qualifiers are as follows;

Hungary

Azerbaijan

Georgia

Romania

Armenia

Iceland

Finland

Malta

Norway

Greece

Good Evening! Welcome to the live coverage of the first semi-final of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest being held in Malmö, Sweden. Members of the European Broadcasting Union had to confirm their participation in the international showcase by December and as a matter of fact, during this period some nations had selected both their artist and entry for the event. Sixteen (16) countries will be performing this evening with six (6) of them being eliminated at the first hurdle noting that the other ten (10) will be going through to the final stage on Saturday night where they will compete with another ten (10) qualifiers from the second semi-final and the countries which have already qualified due to their respective financial status.

In recent years, social media has become an important tool to get a message across and escflashmalta.com has been proud to keep you updated through both Facebook and Twitter whilst bringing you exclusive content through Flickr and YouTube respectively. This evening, the special coverage that is annually planned is set to be conducted by our Head of Press, Emil Calleja Bayliss as well as guests; Claudia Faniello, a two time first runner-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Simon Casey, a former first runner-up in the Irish selection as well as a successful recording artist with Universal Music Ireland. All of the three are extremely professional in their line of work and their interests in music have been duly recorded over time.

The Show (Part 1)

Good Evening! Welcome to Sweden and to the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. This year, the arena is relatively small in comparison to other years but nevertheless, looks jampacked noting that it was sold out in less than half an hour. An extremely large choir is currently on stage as they perform Euphoria, the winning entry of last year before being joined by Loreen herself. This is a first to see the winner of the year before performing in the first semi-final but nevertheless, she will also be performing a brand new song in the final. Petra Mede, the only hostess for this evening takes to the stage in what seems to be a silver like colour although the material is very much like tin foil. 

Austria

Emil: She looks so scared. Her eyes look it and her voice is a tad shaky but she slowly picks up. The backing have a cool yet strange choereography. The staging is interesting and the small arena looks great on screen. The viduals are impressive. The song is a modern R&B number which should go down well but perhaps it is a bit too early for the viewers to remember. A good one.

Claudia: I think that this is a little bit average especially to kick off this evening yet the performance was good enough.

Simon: Our first semi-final is under way. Didn't really enjoy this performance and it didn't go anywhere, which is a shame as she a really good voice. Natália's Irish roots may not be enough for her to qualify tonight.

Estonia

Emil: A black and white start and surely an interesting trick for the viewers to remember. Kudos on the Estonias but the Maltese had done it first in the Junior Eurovision. The sweet simple ballad is performer strongly. She starts from the catwalk and walks back to the main stage. A flowing dress to hide her pregnancy  It is a typical Scandinavian ballad. The climax is a strong one, but I can't see the viewers voting for this one - the jurors would have to save this one. Interesting number.

Claudia: For the second time in a row, we have another average song and this does not really look to be the best of starts for this years' Eurovision Song Contest.

Simon: Nice ballad singer and she looks great but I'm looking for something special from a ballad these days and I just didn’t enjoy the song. I was waiting for big finish but a in fact it was a little boring for me. 

Slovenia

Emil: An electro dance number which would help making it a summer hit. Would it be a eurovision hit? I doubt it. She might get a number of votes for her looks or her dancers though. The song is average and nothing that we haven't heard before. The vocals could be much better and sounded shrieky in a number of parts. I'd guess it is game over for Slovenia already. She needs a miracle to get through.

Claudia: This clearly remind me of an extremely famous club song and whilst it is a good track in itself, the vocals are clearly weak this evening. Unfortunately these type of songs are dominating the charts despite not being my cup of tea. 

SimonA good dance track. Hannah put in a great performance and a really catchy chorus. I enjoyed this performance and it has an outside chance of qualification. She sounds like Madonna.

Croatia

EmilThis sounds like music to my ears after Slovenia. Pure class with six great voices. This is what Eurovision should be about - countries presenting something traditional and strong. The only criticism I might have is that it is a bit static or sound a tad repetitive but the voices are impeccable with great harmonies. If viewers forget this, I can't see the jurors doing the same. Let's hope they manage to save it if that is the case.

Claudia: I must say that this is definitely not my cup of tea and the only thing that I can point out from this performance are their awesome boots. I am sorry Croatia!

Simon:  This is a little different, the Croats answer to Il Divo. Nice performance and good harmonies. I like it but I don't know how it'll translate European wide considering that it might be respected by minorities.

Denmark

EmilThe ULITIMATE Eurovision favourite - the odds are shortening like mad. A military tattoo feel and this song has WINNER written all over it. Can't see any other song beating this. The performance is interesting and the she sells it well even though she might not be giving her strongest vocal performance. The cheers she's getting in the audience suggest that this is hers to loose - although she's quite close to home so that helps loads. Winner of 2013!? I think so.

Claudia: First things first, it seems that this definitely a crowd favourite this evening and apart from that fact, they have also borrowed my outfits without asking, haha. This is a feel good with great lyrics. This is the second year in a row that they have a great song!

Simon: Good performance by Emmelie, I really like this song. Catchy as hell. I think it's a little reminiscent of last year’s winning song and the strongest performance so far tonight. Think this song has a real chance in the finals.

Russia

Emil: Her clear vocals are beautiful and she carries the song with such grace yet the excitement get the best of her in the beginning. The harmonies with the backing sound great though and the way the whole arena lights up during the key refrain is impressive. Another great stomper. Can't see it beating Denmark but Russia will possible fight to be in the top three this year. 

Claudia: This is definitely a Eurovision Song Contest entry because the key-change is extremely typical. It is also very much like an X Factor winners' single. Nevertheless, Dina is an extremely strong performer.

Simon: Vocally a great performance from Dina and one of my favourites. Certain to qualify. Really strong message here as well. There is a slight feel factor of Katrina and the Waves 'Love Shine a Light' (which is good). No need to bring back the grannies this year!!

Ukraine

Emil: Ruining a good song with a giant!? Well Jack and the beanstalk has been a great inspiration. Another great number which picks up as soon as she starts singing although her vocals sounded a bit low at first. She oozes charisma and she connest well with the camera. Will this gospel number appeal to the viewers at home? Considering it is Ukraine, and the song is a strong one it should do well. Ukraine can expect another top ten result. Three strong numbers after each other. Will someone suffer?

Claudia: Whoa! The giant is clearly an impressive touch and he is somewhat part of the choreography. The visuals are just stunning and the vocals on stage are coming across really well on the sound system. This is well performed! Not a winner though!

SimonThere's a real Disney feel to this song, certainly one of the strongest performances tonight and really should qualify for Saturday night.

The Netherlands

EmilThe famous Anouk is next. She looks beautiful on screen but she avoids eye contact with the camera and stays with her eyes closed during most of the performance. Clearly not the way to connect with your audience. It is the slowest song in the competition and although it has a classic feel to it and Anouk gives a strong interpretation it will be up to the jurors to save this one tonight I feel. It is a bit boring I fear.

Claudia: Anouk, a vocal genius and once more, another strong performance for this evenings' competition. The song in itself is nothing too extraordinary but nevertheless, the versatility is the key behind it's success.

Simon: Don’t like being too critical but I just didn't get this song, it certainly was very different and she has a very decent voice but can't see her qualify for the final. (She's for the birds)

Montenegro

EmilSpacemen make their way to the Eurovision stage too and they are joined by an alien. Not my cup of tea and can't see whether this song will have any appeal whatsoever. It is different to the one that came before it and that is the only reason I see her picking up some votes. I guess it is a bit too modern and the Eurovision stage is not the place to showcase this kind of music. Noise pollution? Quite close.

Claudia: Whilst I respect several genres of music, this is too electronic for my taste. The costumes for the performance definitely remind me of the ones used during one of Fab's latest videos.

Simon:  A very forgettable performance apart from its raunchiness, this song is going nowhere.

Lithuania

Emil: Lithaunia present a good modern pop song with an electronic feel to it. I feels a bit too generic but it is a good entry performed by a very likable guy which will pick up a few votes for his charm. The song might be a little mid table but with some neighbourly help, some luck and a good performance it might actually make it.

Claudia: A Pet Shop Boys attempt. Actually enjoyed this tune but I think the vocal was quiet poor tonight.

Simon: The crowd is really warm this evening and that is very positive for the performers. The track itself seems to have taken us back through time, back to the 80's in a genre similar to the one made popular by AHA, including the blurred visuals. 

Belarus

Emil: Belarus go with a cheesy cha cha number which would have been fit in the Eurovision Song Contest back in the 1990's. It is a bit too late. The performance is strong but the same cannot be the said for her vocals. They sound strained and weak in places. The outfits are cool though and her PR strategy was amongst the strongest. Will that help her pass? I doubt it.

Claudia: Typical entry from the Eurovision Song Contest, the outfit along with the staging has been done a million times before. Hmm, there is something about Alyona which reminds me of Charlotte Perelli although her figure is definitely more intriguing.

Simon: She reminds me of Shakira, and he tune is a little similar to the Turkish 2003 winner. Certainly has potential to qualify tonight, really think its a song that will grow on people. 

Moldova

EmilThe music is strong for this one and so is her voice but the fact that we can't understand what she's singing about is a distraction. The dress is spectacular though and the overall visuals are amongst the best in the competition. I wouldn't count this one out especially after that performance.

Claudia: The piano and the strings definitely catching my attention and the dress in itself is very similar to the one used by Olivia Lewis during the 2005 Malta Song for Europe. This song in itself does not really go anywhere and that is relatively disappointing. Good performance though! I would never see myself in such a dress!

Simon: A great vocal from Aliona, really good singer. Nice power ballad and the best we've heard from Moldova ever. I think she’ll qualify.

Ireland

Emil: Ireland haven't done well recently and they think that the best thing to do is go with an uptempo number with half naked men on stage. Will it work? I guess it will take them to the finals tonight. The song came to life on this stage and the drum beats sound and look great. Not your typical Irish sound but it's kind of good. Ryan gives a strong performance and surely merits the final.

Claudia: Well, I am not too sure of the graphics being used in this performance or the clothing for that matter but nevertheless, this is done well in it's respective genre.

Simon: Well done Ryan, this song has been growing in me the last few weeks and tonight he's given a great performance. A very different entry to what we're used to. I'm really hoping Europe vote or us tonight. Congrats Team Ireland.

Cyprus

Emil: This song is so beautiful, she performs it with such grace and her look reminds me of Celine Dion. Her vocals are strong and the traditional ballad leaves everyone haunted. One of my personal favourites for tonight and I think it should sail with ease to the finals. Touching. Well done Cyprus. Pity the Greeks aren't here to help you out tonight as you truly deserve all the help you can get.

Claudia: Whoa! What a choice of outfit! This looks amazing on screen. She does look a little bit like Celine Dion from far away. You need to have a really good song to succeed in a foreign language. I am not too sure.

Simon: Unfortunately this has been my least favourite performance tonight, just lacking pretty much everything. The weakest by far.

Belgium

Emil: He looks like a scared little boy on that stage. The backing are truly amazing but his voice is just weak. Pity as the beat of the song is quite good and if it was performed stronger it could easily make it but he literally kills it. One big car crash vocally. Sorry Belgium, next time think about sending a singer who can actually sing. Do not blame the lack of neighbours this year.

ClaudiaBelgium, I have to denote this as to having an extremely modern sound but the choreography is not too my liking unfortunately. It also has the feel of a radio song rather than a track that succeeds within the Eurovision Song Contest.

Simon: Good pop song and well performed. Roberto has a strong voice. Nice vibe to it and I'm thinking the Irish entry is a little similar (obviously we're tops)

Serbia

Emil: Barbies gone wrong. I guess they let a weird niece dress them up who has spent her life under lock and key by her insane parents. Whoever decided on the outfits should be SHOT! The song ain't bad but it ain't good either. They look stupid and the whole act looks ridiculous. Pity as the song would have had some potential if they had a decent performance. Thank God the vocals are in place cause it would have been miserable.

Claudia: I am quite disappointed with the songs in this years' first semi-final. This was yet another forgettable song but nevertheless, the vocals are well performed throughout the whole entry.

Simon: Good uptempo song to bring the the first semi final to a close. Has to be said its one of the stronger songs tonight. Three strong vocalists and there'll be plenty of young lads voting for them tonight. Serbia should qualify.

The Show (Part 2)

Petra Mede, the hostess for the evening hast just opened the tele-voting and a recap of the songs has just been shown on screen. A series of interval acts will be taking to the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest and first up is Petra Mede who takes us through memory lane and enters a number of performances. Well, the voting has just come to an end and now we have the proper interval act which is a choreographed set of movements to a magnificient backdrop known as Aurora or rather, the Northern Lights.

Emil:  Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine

Claudia: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine

Simon: Belarus, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia,  Slovenia, Ukraine

We just had Lynda Woodruff and she was epic in her sketch. A recap of the six direct finalists is currently being shown on screen. One has to note that they have an amazing set of songs especially compared to the quality of the songs performed this evening. Bonnie Tyler, Robin Stjernberg and Marco Mengoni are in the arena representing the countries directly in the final which are voting in this semi-final! The time for the qualifiers is here!

Moldova

Lithuania

Ireland

Estonia

Belarus

Denmark

Russia

Belgium

Ukraine

The Netherlands

During the voting of both the semi-final and the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, there is always an entertainment act which takes to the stage and try to ease the tension slightly whilst keeping the public bouyant. Television broadcasters have a tendency to show advertisements during this time unfortunately but nevertheless, the public should enjoy what this years' host broadcaster, SVT has prepared with a multi-tude of performers set to take to the stage for more singing performances. 

During the first semi-final, which will see sixteen (16) countries compete for ten (10) slots being offered in the final, there will be none other than Loreen, winner of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest who will be performing a new version of her winning entry Euphoria co-written by Thomas G:son and Peter Bostrom. This brand new version will involve a childrens' choir who will also be doing sign language. It will be similar to her Melodifestival guest appearance earlier this year but even bigger. Loreen has become one of the most notable winners of the international spectacle with the single achieving platinum status in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcnWysA9gxo

Darin, a former participant in both the Swedish Idol and Melodifestivalen has been enlisted to be a guest performer during the second semi-final in which Malta will be competing. As a matter of fact, Darin has already hit the music market in Europe with two of his albums charting in Finland and Germany whilst managing five number #1 hit albums in Sweden. You're Out of My Life, his Melodifestivalen entry charted at number #3 in 2010. Joining him there will be Agnes whom people will definitely remember through her smash hit, Release Me co-written by escflashmalta.com contributor, Sharon Vaughn. Signed to Universal Music Sweden, her latest collection of original songs entitled Veritas, released in September peaked at number #3. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0G7eDpMGe1k

In the final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest, the special guest, somewhat expected really will be none other than Carola, the woman who has represented Sweden on three occasions, the first time in 1983 with Framling, finishing in third place, second time with Fangad av en Stormvind in 1991, finishing in the top position and last but not least with Invincible back in 2006, managing a fifth place finish. Carola is an icon in Sweden and it has been revealed to the media that she had known she would be the interval act during the final when she was the interval act at the Melodifestivalen Final. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: SVT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylvj8pTngt8

Good Morning! All of the delegations competing in the semi-finals have arrived at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest on the fourth day of rehearsals because the shows' first technical runs will officially come to a close today as the press centre will officially open as from tomorrow. Following a somewhat error free two days, yesterday posed a couple of problems in terms of sound quality where Malta and Bulgaria were involved although all of the issues were fixed as the runs went along. SVT, the host broadcaster is very well organised and thus are keeping their reputation in tact. Some of the camera shots requested by delegations will be executed during the second rehearsal which will be completely open to the scrutiny of the media. escflashmalta.com in collaboration with Eurovision Ireland, escXtra and Radio International are bringing you all of the latest from the rehearsals.

escflashmalta.com thanks to Juergen Boernig, the Head of Press is currently also processing a couple of video interviews with artists who will be representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest and some of those uploaded include Ryan Dolan from Ireland and Dina Garipova who will be represent Russia. In the meantime, you may also have a look at our photo gallery whilst staying up to date through both our pages on Facebook and Twitter. Today will mark the conclusion of the second semi-final and therefore, we continue see through the competition that Gianluca will be facing during the Thursday showcase. We would like to remind you that the second semi-final on escflashmalta.com will be commented upon by Antoine Farrugia, Senior Editor as well as Davinia, second runner-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and four time Solo Bay Music Award winner, Christabelle.

Greece

One of the few uptempo numbers in this years' competition in a genre that is rarely submitted into the Eurovision Song Contest, that being Ska. The backdrop itself is made to look modern during the performance with the colour scheme used being a mixture of dark and light colours, for example black with yellow. Koza Mostra along with Agathon Iakovidis are dressed very casually for the first technical rehearsal so it is rather unknown whether this will be their attire for the night of the semi-final. The group have their instruments with them and this is all still funny and very much enjoyable. It is a rather good start to the day and one definitely cannot lament about the actual vocals, which are solid throughout each run.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh0Jofe3cPE

Israel

Translating this from the stage of the national final to the Eurovision Song Contest has been rather effortless considering that ballads should benefit from the lighting. Moran, who has been seen as the artist with the least fashion sense on the choice of the attire at Kdam is seemingly set to use the same dress for the international showcase. There is no gimmick in this particular track with Moran standing in the middle of the stage and belting out her beautiful ballad. She is joined on stage with two backing vocalists and this is all sounding extremely well on television. The addition of a pianist suits the songs as well and one cannot fault any decisions taken in the performance because this should qualify with relative ease.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slkxIzLeU88

Armenia

Their return was much more anticipated when people where discussing the possibility of a return from Sirusho but it was then revealed that The Dorians would be honouring the country. The song itself is not bad and is written within a specific genre, that being a rock type of ballad with the emphasis on the former considering that it was indeed written by Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. The vocals in this one are strong and one would definitely not mind listening to it after the beauty of Israel but nevertheless, it does come across as slightly dull and boring. We know it's relatively early but then again, the energy seems to be missing in every run, hence why this is branded as dull. Nevertheless, this is Armenia competing in a weaker semi-final, so it will qualify!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZRvk3xPlFk

Hungary

A song which I personally like to listen to especially if I would like to relax a bit. ByeAlex will not be alone on stage, as he will be joined by two backing singers, one of which will also be playing the guitar. Following Armenia, this also seems rather dull in terms of performance or maybe it seems that the artists forgot to bring their 'A-Game' to the rehearsals. The idea of just standing there on this stage does not really work especially if you're presenting a mid-tempo kind of track. Some people have choreographies with their ballads, so certain things have be to be thought of well. The backdrop is the music video, the one with the cartoon and that is a nice element to the song. I am not sure on what this will achieve but it might be on the border to qualify.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuBTSGzfO1o

Norway

It just so happens that I have just received the promotional disc accompanying the entry from Norway in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. Our colleagues in Malmo have come forward that after two run throughs, Margaret Berger is having some issues with her in-ear monitor, similar to the problems that Malta faced yesterday. Funnily enough, this always seems to happen following the break. Margaret is clad in the same dress she was wearing at the Melodi Grand Prix, with some minor adjustments but nevertheless, why change a winning package. The vocals are troubling, even in the second run through where the technical issue has been sorted out. The only differences that one could note from the national final is that there are three backing vocals on stage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9ftmKkSsfs

Albania

Rock! The first word that comes to mind when this entry comes up on my iPod and even though this genre can be melodic, I cannot find anything positive with regards to the track. It was one of the worst entries during the national final in my opinion especially in comparison to around five entries which could have represented them. Nevertheless, this will be picking up the specific vote of people who might not be in tune with the Eurovision Song Contest but love this kind of music. Across the screens, this is a bit messy but nothing that cannot be fixed whilst the vocals fit in accordingly with the music. Coming after a pretty disappointing rehearsal from Norway is helping them out a bit. Still can't see this qualifying!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83-63jzXG2w

Georgia

In this weak semi-final, the average song would definitely sound better and not too many songs can actually sound worse after Albania. The beauty of Georgia lies within the vocals of Sophie & Nodi, noting that the spark between them seems real and very much alive. In each run-through, despite having some fine tuning issues, the vocals have been beyond perfect. The female artist is clad in a long white and light blue dress, along with a couple of sparly bits on the shoulders whilst the male is wearing a typical suit. There are three backing vocalists, all female and one of them having joined Olivia Lewis back in 2007. The backdrop as expected features a waterfall.  This is definitely qualifying and could, with the right draw make an Azerbaijan 2011 impact. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KRsawMVOSQ

Switzerland

For some bizarre reason, this is currently doing well in terms of polling numbers despite not really setting the betting odds on fire. The staging is pretty much kept the same as it was during the national final but since the loss of the uniforms and their actual name, the whole performance has started to fall flat. One of the most positive elements about this is definitely the vocals but they also seemed to tire out after just a run or two. Switzerland will most likely not be in the final for the second consecutive year and probably hitting the latter part of the table towards the end. Rather disappointing as the chorus of the song is quite catchy yet it is just not coming across, at all!

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

Romania

Cezar seems to have taken the path of the devil in terms of this performance but nevertheless, he is also sporting a cruxifix, so that could be something to consider both as 'art and gutsy' at the same time. He is clad in a black, long coat, slightly metallic-looking and showcasing his phsique after receving various compliments from the fans of the Eurovision Song Contest. Whilst not being lifted in the air throughout the performance, there is something that sees him lift up but it seems that he is indeed just moving forward. The effect on camera is stunning. The vocals are as expected, good but don't know whether Europe will go for this. It seems to be a marginal qualifier, possibly taking a spot from someone who fails. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9Yd_XtPQVg

Page 1 of 2