Love the Eurovision? Or love to hate it? This is an idiot’s guide to tonight’s show where 24 songs will compete to be shortlisted for the final. This is not the opinion of experts but of two fun-loving and overweight armchair critics – Christian Peregin and Waylon Johnston – with an unhealthy fondness of cheesy pop culture.

Amber – Catch 22

Chris - Amber’s bluesy voice and bubbly personality make a great start to the competition. The lyrics sound awkward at times but the song picks up and although not a winner, it’s a good debut.

Waylon – It starts way too slow and not sure the jazzy blues match the sudden outburst of the Amy Winehouse impersonation.

Kurt Calleja – Over And Over

Chris - A sweet radio-friendly song, with strong and warm vocals. But not inventive or memorable.

Waylon - Again too slow, slightly 1990s’ acoustic ballad and boring! I lost interest half way through and really does not stand out.

Cherise Grixti – Heart Of Glass

Chris - Quite a lazy and dull offering from the successful song writing duo of Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg. Cherise has a good voice but shaky intonation and her blank expression makes her look like she actually does have a heart of glass.

Waylon- Lyrics are nothing new... Winter in July? Heart of glass? We have heard it all before. Another ballad...

Wayne Micallef – Everybody Sing

Chris - An energetic pop-rock tune reminiscent of the 1990s, which could work well on radio but probably won’t capture the imagination of the public.

Waylon - Not much potential. I can’t always understand what he is saying, too repetitive, but catchy.

Claudia Faniello – Movie In My Mind

Chris - This is a very powerful rock song by the Vella-Borg duo, which shows a new side to Claudia Faniello. Her seductive eyes shine with confidence throughout and it might be a strong contender.

Waylon - That’s more like it. I love the way she comes up with something different every year. Pity her brother can’t take a page out of her book. Hope she translates her sexiness into something eye-catching and entertaining. Finally, a contestant with diction!

Klinsmann and Ben – This Love

Chris - This is a charming offering from Klinsmann and his new addition, Ben. The hook is sweet, the song stands out and it’s bound to be popular with the ladies. But is it a song that could win the Eurovision? I doubt it.

Waylon - He sounds the same every year. The teenie-bopper rock is really not the sort of thing Eurovision viewers want to see, although the blonde locks might make a few hearts flutter on the night. Oh, and is that a cockney accent coming through?

Eleanor Cassar – Hypnotised

Chris - This is the kind of dramatic song we have come to expect from the theatrical diva Eleanor. But while always a guilty pleasure, her songs always sound outdated.

Waylon - It is boring and verging on the 1990s’ gospel/ballad type of song. Please Eleanor don’t frighten us away with your, well, let’s say interesting choice of outfit on the night.

Domenique – I’ll Follow The Sunshine

Chris - Very cute song and singer but the whole thing reminds me too much of last year’s winner. But it’s another great debut from this diminutive darling and we’ll definitely see a lot more of her in the future.

Waylon - Sounds like a song on an early morning children’s programme or a margarine advert. This is not junior Eurovision and how old is she, anyway?

Rosman Pace – You’ll Never Know

Chris - Ah, the fun finally begins. I don’t know what it is about Rosman but his face seems to shift between that of murderous werewolf and an aroused teddy bear with much more ease than it takes to enjoy his song.

Waylon - Sounds like a remix of a 1990s’ Boy band song. There is an anti-climax about 45 seconds into the song, which leaves me cold. Guess I will never ever know.

Raquela – If I Could Do It All Again

Chris - Composed by one of Chiara’s former songwriters, Raquela’s tune is one of those getting most online attention. Her voice is impeccable and the song is very contemporary. It’s another ballad but a very sophisticated one which grows on you. But will people remember it?

Waylon - Although a ballad, it stands out. Enchanting voice and keeps me there listening. It has plenty of power and a beautiful ending.

Sophie – Love Ro Love You

Chris - With almost 40 mentions of the word love, this song is too sugary sweet for my liking but it is well-produced and Sophie has a lot of potential. The problem is that she tries so hard she becomes irritating to watch. Perhaps next time she should tone it down and go for a more mature song.

Waylon - The beginning sounds like the finale of a cruise ship show. The sexy blond image jars with the sugary sweet song. Now that she is all grown up, she needs to move on.

Petra – Unintentional

Chris - Adding a touch of reggae and soul to the competition, Petra has a voice like honey but, as usual, her song has no Eurovision potential. It’s just pleasant to listen to.

Waylon - It has an interesting reggae element but still too slow for the big night. It’s teetering on the boring but she could boost the act by using her curves to their full potential.

Baklava – Moondance

Chris - Having finally realised he does not have mass appeal, violinist Joseph Chetcuti has finally left the singing to a fresh-faced lady who makes this kitsch tune almost enjoyable. The “ethnic” feel stands out in this competition but to me it just seems like a bad copy of so many Eastern European songs we hear each year at the Eurovision.

Waylon - Hilarious! Trust us, we get the message Joseph, we are all meant to be looking at you. I can’t understand the pseudo rap in the middle. It’s great entertainment. My belly is aching.

Jamie – Lost Without You

Chris - This song instantly reminds me of Train’s Drops of Jupiter and, although he’s got an interesting voice, Jamie suffers from the radio-syndrome: he sounds much better than he is to watch.

Waylon - I agree with Chris (the videos were seen and reviewed separately) sounds like a remake of Drops of Jupiter. Put me off right away. Next please.

Amber – Touch Wood

Chris - This is a fun and pleasant song. But the problem is that it’s Amber’s second one in the competition and both songs are just as likeable as each other. Will her vote be split?

Waylon - Sorry, but the Amy Winehouse influence is just too much. It has a nice chorus and enough feel-good factor to make me almost like it. Far better than the first one.

Anna Azzopardi – Unfaithful

Chris - Probably the weakest song in the competition. It’s outdated, boring and the only thing memorable about the performance is the woman’s orange curly hair.

Waylon - So early 1990s! Hair overpowers the song. Please change it before the voters are unfaithful to you. One word: outdated.

Marilena Gauci feat. Michael – He’s A Demon

Chris - A young blonde girl singing about being in love with a “demon” who turns out to be an unattractive imitation of Shaggy who’s twice her age and has creepily ogling eyes... What exactly were they thinking?

Waylon - It’s a bipolar song. She is singing about a demon yet the sugary sweet feel is saying something very different. Whatever it is, it just doesn’t blend.

Glen Vella – One Life

Chris - He’s one of those performers you either love or hate and I don’t love him. The song is bland and out of date but, at least, he seems to be having a lot of fun.

Waylon - Good dance beat but would sound better at a night club than the Eurovision stage. I think he’s trying to hard with gospel diva high notes.

J. Anvil – Topsy Turvy

Chris - There is so much wrong with this that it almost makes it perfect for Eurovision. It’s like a train wreck: I want to close my eyes but I can’t. The song itself is quite catchy and appealing. But it really is painful to watch a bloated grown man perform as if he’s a 24-year-old heartthrob. It stinks of midlife crisis.

Waylon - Same old, same old. He is trying too hard with the same thing every year. Too theatrical, however, this might just have what it takes to stand out. I could see the older crowd appreciating this.

Jessica Muscat – Down, Down, Down

Chris - Finally, a cool contemporary pop song bursting with character. Jessica is oozing sex appeal and she’s penned the lyrics herself. This could have won but it is likely to be overshadowed by the next song.

Waylon - She sounds like she is a mix between Katie Waissel and Cher Lloyd from X Factor in her voice. Nice but not very entertaining.

Kelly Schembri – Love Me Like Your Money

Chris - Easily the catchiest of the lot, the stunningly sexy Kelly Schembri seems to have the whole package. She’s getting the most attention online and is definitely a favourite to win. But she is quite stiff on stage and would need an inventive performance to clinch the top spot from the more refined performances of Raquela, Claudia and Jessica.

Waylon - I think she is relying too much on her figure. Not that I’m complaining but, again, we heard it all before.

Fabrizio Faniello – No Surrender

Chris - This song isn’t dreadful but it’s not good either and definitely not worth risking another disappointment. Fabrizio cannot really do any worse than the last time he performed at the Eurovision, so I guess he’s got nothing to lose. But if you have nothing to fight for, perhaps you should surrender.

Waylon - Credit for not giving up; his resilience is quite something. The song is OK. We have heard worse.

Ally – Numb

Chris - Not a very inspiring song at all, I’m afraid.

Waylon - Unimpressive, it has actually left me numb so if that is what she was trying to achieve then great.

Richard Edwards – Finally

Chris - He’s good-looking and has a very enjoyable singing voice but the song is another 1990s tune without any Eurovision novelty. Someone like Richard Edwards should not be wasting his time with this sort of competition. He should go to some mountain with a guitar, find himself and compile a decent album.

Waylon - Sounds like something Ronan Keating would sing but, once again, it’s got that ballad thing going on, which is getting too much.

Disclaimer: The reviews are based on the official videos on YouTube, so any surprises on the night, like hideous dresses or man-birds behind singers, will have to be yours to judge.

(The Times)


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