Eurovision will be held in Vienna in May but voters are choosing the island’s representative six months’ ahead so we can have even more time to learn the words. So for the second time this year, Kristina Chetcuti puts on her ‘expert’ hat to predict which of tonight’s 20 hopeful singers will fly the Malta flag high.
Chris Grech – Closed Doors
Malta’s very own Phil Collins, with a mop of scraggly hair.
The song has echoes of Creed’s My Sacrifice, which means that it is of absolutely no value to Eurovision camp viewers.
Deborah C - It's OK
She has a cute smile and puppy-dog eyes. Full. Stop.
This is the one song I could not bear to listen to all the way to the very end.
Dominic Cini - Once In A While
“I won’t beg you please… I’m infected.”
I’m sorry? Come again?
“I won’t beg you please… I’m infected.”
Right. In his website plug he says this is a modern song “sending a message to the young and old that in life no one should give up his dreams”.
And never get infected, eh?
Karen Debattista - 12, Baker Street
From the singer of Jien ma Naħdimx, the Għanja tal-Poplu winner, comes a song reminiscent of Disney’s Frozen, rhymes and all: “I remember the day / We met to play / With nothing to say / Still, we found our way!”
But rather than icy mountains, Karen meets her love at the corner, on 12, Baker Street – which is Sherlock Holmes’s fictitious house in London.
Why? Boo! She gives us no clue.
Trilogy - Chasing A Dream
The trio is made up of Eleanor Spiteri, Roger Tirazona and Ludwig Galea.
Roger and Eleanor and diction don’t go hand in hand: Traaying Harrrd.
I love Ludwig and his sleek, blow-dried, Japanese straightened mane, and the way his vein in the neck pops when he reaches high notes and the way he throws himself, back, then to one side, then to another, then back again, when he’s reaching all the other notes.
Amber - Warrior
Amber, Amber. Such a beautiful voice, never the right song.
Maybe next year?
Daniel Testa - Something In The Way
This is Gianluca Mark Two.
Not a winning song, although it was written by Charlie Mason, who has written songs for Miley Cyrus, Sarah Connor and was the co-writer for Rise Like A Phoenix, sung by Austrian artist Conchita Wurst, winner of the last Eurovision Song Contest.
But Daniel: no beard, no heels, no trophy.
Christabelle Borg - Song
Christabelle was three years old when she started performing on stage with her first original song Jien Inħobb Il-Ħelu.
She’s gone a long way now, in this Ruslana-meets-Euphoria ditty. But why is she wearing a trenchcoat?
Did she borrow it off Karen, she of 12, Baker Street?
Lawrence Grey - The One That You Love
“I’m never gonna be the one that you love. Is there a way that I can win your heart?”
I love the way our Lawrence never gives up and now he’s even spelling it all out to the audience, in a quite catchy, croony song.
The question is, though, Will the audience get the message?
Corazon - Secretly
There’s hints of Celine Dion in Corazon’s latest piece.
However, she’s gone slightly OTT with her diction. In her chorus she belts out ‘secretly’ as ‘Sea Cra Lee’.
Perhaps she should join Iona in her next tour to China.
Lovely smile as always, Corazon.
Raquel Galdes - Stop Hauting Me
Just like she did in February, she takes her cue from the Cranberries singer and leaves half her syllables out when singing.
This time round it’s much better, though, and the style of the song is very much Lorde.
Also, finally a girl who moves away from those dratted Maltese blow-dries: applause.
L-Aħwa – Beautiful To Me
Gianluca the Sequel. The one in which he brings on stage with him his six siblings: Dorothy, Samaria, Paul, Joseph, Vincienne and Francesca.
There’s only three words for this ensemble: Sound of Music.
I like this happy family, but the song sadly lacks the oomph that his ditty Tomorrow had in 2013.
Jessika - Fandango
Google tells us that Fandango is a lively couples’ dance from Iberia, traditionally accompanied by guitars and castanets or hand-clapping.
So I’m very excited – I can’t wait for 100 castanet-laden dancers to take over the stage and prance around Jessica.
At one point she looks at the camera and croons: “We’re standing in the eye of the hurricane.”
I’m afraid it’s best if she is blown away.
Ekklesia Sisters - Love And Let Go
Ladies and gentlemen: the winners.
The lyrics are touching, but the song is hopeless. But we will all vote for it anyway because they are sweet, giggly nuns, they are singing from the heart and because it’s the pakkett that matters.
Seeing their simple one-step-to-one-side-and-back choreography just warms the cockles of my heart.
They must win and then we’ll just give them a new song.
Franklin Calleja - Still here
In his online brief we are told that “ever since he could babble his way through a sentence, Franklin Calleja felt that something great awaited him”.
Franklin, your “something grand” is: forget Eurovision, head to Florida.
You have the perfect voice for Disney movie soundtracks.
Glen Vella - Breakaway
This is very much Glen style: typical George Michael and a very radio-friendly song.
The lyrics are all about “bad girls and bad boys”, which might appeal to the crowds who loved ‘Come on boys, come on girls’ during the last general election.
I just keep getting distracted by those perfectly shaped eyebrows.
How much time does he spend grooming in front of the mirror?
Lyndsay Pace - Home
I think when songwriters are stuck for lyrics, they just wave their hands and then nod sagely and say: “Yup, we’ll throw in an E O E O.”
Yes, it’s one of those songs, where the refrain goes E O E O. Hold hands and cry.
Danica Muscat - Close Your Eyes
Close your eyes... and go to sleep. Or nip to the bathroom while she’s performing. This is a song you forget the instant it starts.
It has vague hints of Chiara’s Angel without the crescendo and without Chiara’s powerful voice – which means it’s as bland as it can get.
Iona Dalli - It Could Have Been Me
I first watched Iona on Xarabank when she danced and twirled on stage as she sang the Maltese song Viva Malta in Chinese.
That performance left me, um, speechless. This time round she’s showing off her American – the song is all about amazin’ smoochin’.
It’s The Corrs meet Kelly Clarkson. Chinchin! (that’s Chinese for ‘sweet song’).
Domenique Azzopardi - Take Me As I Am
That Gilda dress, dark black locks and post-office red nails make her look rather scary when she sings Take Me As I Am.
There won’t be many takers, I’m afraid.
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