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Gerard James Borg, one of Malta's most successful songwriters, responsible for penning the lyrics for no less than 6 competing entries in the Eurovision Song Contest has recently been involved in a project, a new single entitled "Revolving Doors" featuring Hallgrimur Oskarsson as the composer, and Johanna Gudrun (Yohanna) as the lead vocalist.

Yohanna, the runner-up in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest with "Is It True?" and recipient of the maximum 12 points from the Maltese Tele-Vote and Professional Jury, has kept a rather low profile since trying to return to the international competition back in 2013, noting that she gave birth in October 2015. 

Her comeback single "Revolving Doors", is a beautiful ballad, with hints of country, which soars into true vocal depth. On the other hand, Gerard has focused his creative talent on novels, and thus far it seems that he has been truly successful, noting the release of two best-sellers; "Sliema Wives" and "Madliena Married Men".

You can listen to the song, whilst also following the lyrics through the video below, as we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Yohanna (Official Facebook Page)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_2uMhVL5o8

Friday, 25 January 2013 19:50

Iceland: First Three Finalists Selected

RUV, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest has been taking the competition very seriously in recent years and this has shown in consistent qualifications. Following the success achieved by Yohanna and her entry Is It True? The country has never looked back and with an increasing amount of submissions received this time round, the panel of internal judges as picked by the broadcaster is finding it more difficult to select which tracks should make it to the live stage. This evenings’ first semi-final will showcase the leap of song quality witnessed in the past couple of years despite the use of the Icelandic language. It is expected that the winning entry will then be translated into English for better international recognition.

Guðrún Dís Emilsdóttir and Þórhallur Gunnarsson will be the hosts for the pre-selection process which has been coined as Söngvakeppnin 2013. The chosen performers are somewhat well known in the Icelandic music industry, with two particular artists having already been to the Eurovision Song Contest, these being Birgitta and Yohanna who did their country proud back in 2003 and 2009 respectively. The genres of the songs that are set to be presented could be denoted to be slightly slow but nevertheless, they evolve well and it should be an entertaining showcase. A live stream of the first semi-final this evening is set to air through the official website at around 21:00 CET. It is important to note that three entries will be making it through to the final this evening and tomorrow night with the possibility of adding a wildcard to be decided by the jury and the broadcaster in due course.

Þú - Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir

Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir (Yohanna) Iceland: First semi finalists (Photo: RÚV)

Johanna is in a gold halter shirt and is accompanied by the composer who is playing a guitar and four backing vocals, all in black. The song like all the others tonight is in Icelandic. A good pop song but has nothing special about it. Such a pity that she has returned to the competition with a weak song considering she had one of the best ballads the Eurovision has recently seen. Don't know what the competition hold tonight but it's surely not strong enough to leave any impact tonight to make the finals. 

Ekki líta undan - Magni Ásgeirsson

Magni Ásgeirsson Iceland: First semi finalists (Photo: RÚV)

A good solid rock songs follows next. The singer takes the stage all alone and carries the song brilliantly. He has a great tone to his voice and makes full use of this. He sells it well and the song reaches a nice climax which is enhanced with the lights on stage. Surely a stronger entry than the previous one and if they have to go for the song this should do really well tonight. Nothing else to say except that this might be a little bit too much for Eurovision and might not stand out at all but the quality is surely great. 

Lífið snýst - Svavar Kristinsson & Hreindís Hólm

Svavar Knútur Kristinsson and Hreindís Ylva Garðarsdóttir Hólm Iceland: First semi finalists (Photo: RÚV)

It's a sweet song that will go down well with the audience as it has the feel good factor. The main singers are accompanied by another four member on stage and they are all playing instruments along to the rhythm. The vocals are good but the duo need to work more on this especially in the parts they sing together. Good overall but once again difficult to stand out I reckon. It's a song we've seen at the Eurovision and some of them didn't do that well even though they were sung in English, so I doubt of its chances in Icelandic. 

Sá sem lætur hjartað ráða för - Edda Viðarsdóttir

Edda Viðarsdóttir  Iceland: First semi finalists (Photo: RÚV)

The singer takes the stage with three backing singers, a guitarist and person who seems to be acting whatever the singers is singing. An interesting idea which has been used before and doesn't really have much significance in this run of the mill song. The backing add an interesting touch but that is it. Her dress is probably the best thing about the song and it's not really great either. She gives a good performance but there's nothing special that stands out and screams boring. 

Ég á Líf - Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson

Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson Iceland: First semi finalists (Photo: RÚV)

Finally a sweet decent ballad that is melodic and sweet. The Rockish look of the singer adds an interesting touch to the performance. I don't know what he is singing about but he's warm and oozes charisma throughout. The song is great in its simplicity and this should sail through the finals tonight as it is clearly the best entry we have heard thus far. It reaches an interesting climax with a folk sound to it. I can see this in Eurovision and even though it is in Icelandic, this works as a bonus. 

Meðal Andanna - Birgitta Haukdal

Birgitta Haukdal Iceland: First semi finalists (Photo: RÚV)

Birgitta is back. I do not think that this is a better song to what she has presented back in 2003 but the entry is a strong one. Her vocals are good but sound slightly strained at certain points in the song. The camera shots and the lights work wonders to elevate this song even more. She is wearing a long white dress and accompanied by four backing vocalists in black. A typical Scandinavian ballad which surely will go down well both the public and the jurors. This is a potential winner I reckon and surely deserve to make the finals tonight alongside the previous entry.

The Show (Part 2)

The first semi-final participants have performed and three will make it through to the next phase of the competition which will be staged on the same day at the final of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. As a matter of fact, we are covering the semi-finals for this reason, to make sure that all of the acts will be analysed in the same manner. A recap has just been shown on screen, twice in order for the public at home to select their respective favourites. There seems to be a discussion on the programme about something related to music. Nevertheless, the announcement is expected sometime soon. A former Icelandic entry is performed by an upcoming group.

Qualifier 1: Meðal Andanna - Birgitta Haukdal

Qualifier 2: Lífið snýst - Svavar Kristinsson & Hreindís Hólm

Qualifier 3: Ég á Líf - Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson