After a great show from the Marsa Shipbuilding, Amber gained the most points tonight and therefore she was granted the honour of representing Malta with her song Warrior at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Vienna next May.
The final of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest for the selection of the Maltese representative in Vienna was held this evening at the giant stage of the Marsa Shipbuilding which hosted the 12th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest last week.
Only fourteen acts made it to the grand final and so were their performances.
1. Glen Vella – Breakaway
Glen Vella was trying to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest for a second time and his entry is so upbeat and catchy that it is irresistible to dance and sing along to the electronic beat. He really showed of his vocal skills ranging from high to low. He wore a silvered jacket with a white t-shirt and black trousers. The staging was very effective with four energetic backing dancers (two men and two women) dressed in black and white. Glen was also full of energy taking part of the dance routine during the chorus. Towards the end of the song the dancers went to the catwalks and Glen was joined by a man spinning inside a huge hoop. The stage lighting was dark but there were lots of white lights blinking to the beat of the music.
2. Karen Debattista – 12, Baker Street
This is a mid-tempo song with a wonderful harmony and it tells a lovely romantic story. Karen has a unique voice (a bit shaky at times) which can be both deep and sweet and that really pulls the song forward. She was standing at the centre of the stage wearing a simple beige dress in front of a backdrop that showed the image of a street at sunrise, going from dark to bright as the song progressed. She was flanked by a band of four male musicians who were joined by a clarinet player that appeared at the catwalk halfway through the song. The staging fit the song really well and overall the performance was filled with small details that surely kept the viewers’ interest. Regarding lighting, it was dominated by yellow and blue colours.
3. Dominic – Once In A While
This one was different from the rest of entries of the competition. It is a soft rock song with a pop arrangement and a truly distinctive melody. Dominic gave a dynamic and soulful performance and his gravelly voice timbre fits this genre. He was joined by five people on stage: two guitar players, a drummer, a piano player and a backing singer. Despite the staging had probably been more appropriate for a band than for a solo artist, it really suited the song and Dominic interacted with the other band members and the camera very well. All of them were dressed in black and Dominic wore a black jacket and maroon trousers. His handheld mic stand was cut in half and completely covered with badges. The staging was brilliant and full of energy enhanced with bright lights and colourful graphics on the screens.
4. Trilogy – Chasing A Dream
After representing Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004, pop tenor Ludwig Galea returns as one of the members of this vocal group alongside Eleanor Spiteri and Roger Tirazona. Their entry is a slow tempo song which starts as an epic ballad and it flows effortlessly to pop-opera with varied and interesting arrangements and strong harmonies. The performance started with Eleanor singing at the centre-stage and continued with the solo parts of the male members of the trio who were standing on the catwalks. Eleanor wore a beautiful knee length gray dress with jewelry sequins and a tulle skirt and Ludwig and Roger were dressed in black. They showed their great individual skills in the solo parts each of them sung and when combined their voices during the chorus the harmony was very appealing. They had a blue cloud backdrop and a ground based shower of sparks during the last chorus. All in all, a beautiful song that one may imagine on the Eurovision stage.
5. Chris Grech – Closed Doors
This powerful rock ballad starts off with a piano intro and then the guitar come in making a really nice atmosphere. Chris started his performance standing on the right catwalk and reached the main stage halfway through the song. He wore a black tuxedo with a white shirt and a light brown scarf. He was joined by three musicians (a guitar player, a drummer and a piano player). The stage lighting was pretty dark at first with some dark blue spot lights and it got brighter towards the end of the song with huge gray clouds in the backdrop. The song has a strong chorus but it lacks a hook so it might be a little bit less memorable than other contenders this evening but there were so much power and true emotion in the whole performance from the beginning to the end. This kind of song really suit Chris’ gravelly vocals but we could hear him forcing his voice up to the limit in the chorus.
6. Ekklesia Sisters – Love And Let Go
This is the act everybody talks about. The six nuns looked adorable, but their entry is a bit dated. Their performance started with one of the nuns singing at the centre of the stage which was lit in blue. The rest of them joined her for the chorus and the LED screens were filled with images of children. The verses of the song are relatively simple and they sing fine but none of them has a strong voice. Sometimes the group seemed to sort of disappear beneath the soloist and many of the notes in the harmonic parts were out of tune. They wore their traditional white habits and veils. They tried to make a creative visual presentation with some synchronized movements. Some of the group looked quite at ease with the choreography while other looked a bit awkward and that probably distracted the audience from enjoying the music. Overall, it was just ok but the biggest cheer and applause of the evening was for them.
7. Jessika – Fandango
Fandango is a simple song however it does not lack quality. The beat is undeniably catchy and appealing and it really gets you hooked. The performance began with a harpist on a platform while Jessika walked from the back of the stage alongside two female backing dancers. Two male dancers joined them during the first chorus. She wore a shiny golden top and a short black skirt and her backing dancers were also dressed in black and gold. Jessika took part of the dance routine especially during the choruses and at the end of the song when she performed an original tango choreography with the two male dancers. The stage lighting was dark blue and looked stunning. Jessika has a great voice and that along with the modern vibe and the Latin flavour will definitely allow this entry to get the viewers’ attention but it is not strong enough to secure a win this evening.
8. Deborah C – It’s Ok
You can’t help but feel happy listening to the positive-vibe lyrics of this song. It is nothing new, but a very enjoyable guitar melody with a country flair and the chorus is very simple but catchy and easy to remember. Deborah started sat on a stool dressed in a vintage style wearing a green and yellow stunning full length dress. The backdrop was a blue sky with some colourful flowers falling on a beautiful green field. She had two backing vocalists on her right and two guitarists on her left (all of them women). She walked to the front of the stage during the first chorus. There were some interaction between Deborah and her band during the last chorus and the performance ended up with all of them singing together at the centre-stage. Deborah looked very confident and delivered the song with great vocal prowess.
9. Amber – Warrior
Warrior is a powerful and a beautiful electronica ballad that featured an impassioned and strong vocal performance by Amber. During the verses she hold back the emotion letting the lyrics speak for themselves, but on the chorus her voice sounded almost choked forcing it to be a little too dramatic. The tension that remained in her voice through the end of the song provided a different reading to the meaning of the lyrics. About the staging, she kept it simple and that was a very wise choice. She was alone at the centre stage dressed all in black with a leather floor length outfit. The stage itself was very dark with white rays flashing in the background.
10. L-Ahwa – Beautiful To Me
Everything sounded so good on this song, from the percussion to the melodic guitar, and of course the harmony of their voices was perfect. It is an adorable song with a great hook and strong lyrics and they delivered a heartfelt and sincere performance. The song has a charming and optimistic melody with Gianluca taking the lead vocals with his sensitive and gentle voice. The siblings are very skilled and professional and it is obvious they have a great chemistry among them since they have been singing together for many years. They had a very colourful staging with bright costumes and even brighter images in the screens which were full of fields and sunny blue skies. They made good use of all the space available on the large stage walking down the catwalks during the final chorus.
11. Franklin – Still Here
This big ballad has been composed by Norway’s 2009 Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak. The piano melody, the touching lyrics and the superb singing all combine to make a great performance. Franklin’s voice was amazing and he hit all the high notes perfectly. He stood at the centre of the stage during the whole performance dressed in a black suit and white shirt. He had three backing singers dressed in black to his left. The staging was very simple but pretty magical with red lights that faded to black. He was definitely one of the best tonight.
12. Christabelle – Rush
This dance song is so upbeat and catchy that makes you want to dance instantaneously. Christabelle is a passionate live performer and, more importantly, the song allowed her to showcase her voice very effectively. She wore a leather black short dress with a wide blue belt and knee-high boots. She was joined by four female dancers dressed in black. They had a very well synchronized choreography that Christabelle followed with ease during the chorus. She remained at the centre of the main stage during the whole performance while the dancers headed down the catwalks for the second verse. There were colourful sound bars bouncing up and down on the LED screens and a pyro waterfall at the back of the stage during the final chorus.
13. Lawrence Grey – The One That You Love
Lawrence is a gifted singer and has an unmatched charisma. Few can sing with the timbre that he did. He wore a black suit with an open-necked white shirt and a handkerchief in the breast pocket of his jacket. Lawrence was sat at the piano alone at the centre stage in front of a blue starry backdrop during the whole performance. Halfway through the song we discovered there was a female cellist on the left catwalk. The staging was pretty static but nevertheless one could not help getting caught by this dramatic piano ballad. He could hit high notes with ease and there was real meaning and emotion behind his mellow voice.
14. Daniel Testa – Something In The Way
This is another song that has the potential to do really well at the Eurovision stage and Daniel certainly look and sounds like a star in the making. His entry is an up-tempo song whose chorus does get a bit repetitive and even annoying at times but it quickly gets stuck in your head. Daniel wore a dark grey suit with a white shirt and a black bow. He was very enthusiastic and his vocals had a beautiful tone which draws you in. He was surrounded by a band of musicians (a guitar player, a drummer, two saxophonists and a trumpet player) who wore white shirts and black trousers. The funny choreography of the musicians during the last chorus was probably the most memorable part of the performance. The stage setting was dark with twinkling white lights during the verses and moving colourful spotlights during the chorus.
The three-hour show started at 20:45 CET and it was hosted by Lyona Xuereb and Daniel Chircop.
Special guest Conchita Wurst opened the show with her Eurovision winning entry Rise Like A Phoenix. She sang it standing on top of a platform dressed all in black. The backdrop looked like the one she had in Copenhagen with flames in the shape of wings.
Before each performance we saw a video of the artists introducing themselves and talking about their songs.
The televoting was opened for fifteen minutes right after the last song was performed.
Maltese broadcaster is proud of the show they held last week and during the interval act we enjoyed some of the amazing dance performances we already saw at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. We also watched a video about the preparations of last Saturday’s big show which was held in this very same place as the show tonight.
Last year’s Maltese Eurovision representatives Firelight also took part of the interval act singing their entry Coming Home and some of the songs included on their debut album such as Talk Dirty or the album’s title track Backdrop Of Life.
Later, Conchita Wurst was back on stage to perform her amazing latest single called Heroes.
The winner was chosen by the votes from five judges along with televoting which was acting as the sixth judge.
The judges for the final were: Ola Melzig (Sweden), Francesco Biasia (Italy), Gohar Gasparyan (Armenia), Owen Galea (Malta) and Adriana Zarb Adami (Malta).
The favourite of the audience was Amber who got twelve points from the televoting followed by Ekklesia Sisters with ten points and Franklin with eight points.
Each of the jury members gave their points and all of them awarded full marks to Amber.
Therefore, after scoring all the votes the winner was Amber with the song Warrior with 72 points.
Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest:
The island nation of Malta first participated at the Eurovision Song
Contest in 1971 and has yet to win the contest. They have had their ups
and downs having achieved some great results finishing as runners up in
2002 and 2005 and in third place in 1992 and 1998 but, in recent years,
Malta finished last in 2006 and failed to qualify for the final in 2007,
2008, 2010 and 2011. The band Firelight made it to the final in 2014
with their folk song Coming Home finishing in twenty-third place.