In this series, we look at songs from different countries, and songs from the national finals to discuss what would have happened if another song had actually won. We can all think of a time where a song coming 2nd or 3rd, or even last would have done better than the actual winner, and here is your chance to discuss with us.
Today we’re looking at the Maltese National Final from 2016, where we’re going to take a look at a few of the national finalists, alongside the eventual winner to discuss which option would have achieved the best Eurovision result! After our recaps, you can vote on whether the NF counterparts would have received a higher result at Eurovision, and feel free to comment down below with why.
Ira Losco: The Actual Winner (At Eurovision, 12th Place with 153 points)
We’ll start with the winner of Malta Eurovision Song Contest, who was won by fan favourite, and Maltese National favourite Ira Losco. This wasn’t her first time at Eurovision, as she competed back in 2002 with the song 7th Wonder, where she finished second. In the national final, she had two songs in the top 20, Chameleon and That’s Why I Love You. The latter was eliminated in the semi-final, and Chameleon battled on in the final, and as expected, Ira Losco took out the title and would represent Malta at Eurovision 2016. It was later revealed that Chameleon wasn’t necessarily the song that would end up on the Eurovision stage, and it never did. A new song was released, called Walk on Water.
But what would have happened if…
Brooke: 2nd Place
Brooke took MESC by storm with her inspirational and uplifting pop tune called Golden. She sailed through the semi-final, and then in the final Brooke received 48 points from the jury, only to be beaten by Ira in that category. In the televote, Brooke came second again only to Ira, with a total of 10 points. This placed her 2nd overall with a total of 58 points, only 10 points behind the winner.
Franklin: 3rd Place
Coming a close third was Franklin, who we have seen at MESC before, but hasn’t yet hit the Eurovision stage as the soloist. His song Little Love was popular with the juries, where he placed 3rd, and then in addition he received 6 points from the public vote, meaning he overall took 3rd place with 44 points.
Christabelle: 4th Place
The 3rd runner up to Ira was another act we have had the pleasure of watching in more than just this year’s edition of the Maltese national final. Christabelle performed the song Kingdom, which ranked higher in the public vote than Franklin, with a total of 8 points, however ranked one place lower in the jury vote with 30 points. Overall, this left her in 4th place.
With Ira Losco placing in a respectable 12th place in the final, could any of these songs beat this position? Brooke had a really well polished song, which was already Eurovision ready. It could have been made even more fabulous with a revamp, but ultimately this song was probably one of the most Eurovision ready songs of the national final, even more so than Chameleon was. What would have been the challenge at Eurovision is creating differentiation, as it certainly isn’t a ground breaking pop song. Alternatively, there’s always place for a simple pop song sung well in the top 10, so I think it had potential to run against Ira Losco’s final placing.
As for Franklin, could he have taken his power ballad to the Eurovision number 1 spot? With ballads in Eurovision, I feel that it really needs to stand out. It needs to hit the big notes, and have a memorable performance and I’m not sure Franklin achieved either of those things in the national final. This is not to say the song was bad, because its 2nd place in the semi-final demonstrates that it clearly isn’t, however in the greater scheme of Eurovision, I don’t think this will have reached the same heights as Ira’s pop number did. It’s not really a chart friendly song, whereas Walk on Water fit in a lot better with the musical styles of today.
Christabelle is so close to being Eurovision ready. She has a really great stage presence and great energy, but I don’t think her winning song has appeared yet. Kingdom, like a number of the other Maltese songs from the national finals over the years feels quite formulated or contrived. It has so many elements of a really great song but all together I don’t feel it works all that well. I think if she persists in the national finals, eventually she will make it to Eurovision because she does have the talent, I just don’t think this song would have trumped Ira at Eurovision.
What’s more interesting about this specific case is that the song that won the national final wasn’t the song that ended up at Eurovision – so – would Chameleon reach 12th place or higher in the Eurovision final? I really don’t think so. I couldn’t quite catch on to the hype of the song, and it felt similar to Kingdom where it just wasn’t 100% there. It probably would have still qualified on the Ira Losco popularity vote but I think changing the song to a more modern, chart friendly and polished song was a really good move from Malta.
Now it’s time for you to tell us if you think any of the Maltese National Finalists of 2016 could have reached the same heights! Vote down below to tell us if you think Ira was a deserving winner, or whether another act could have reached a higher place if it were at Eurovision!