Malta is a dominant nation in Eurovision’s sibling, Junior Eurovision, however in Eurovision, haven’t yet reached a winning position. Some of their entries have come close, however the small island nation are still waiting for their first Eurovision win. This year, Claudia Faniello (the sister of Fabrizio from Eurovision 2001 and 2006, just a fun fact) won the Maltese national final after many years of trying. The song she triumphed with is called Breathlessly, but will it take Europe (and Australia’s) breath away and finally score that long awaited win?
Short answer, this is not the year for Malta. This is also not the song for me. Upon first listen, I didn’t make it through the entire three minutes because I just wasn’t interested. Listening to the song again now to review, my feelings towards this song haven’t changed much at all. As much as Claudia’s voice is beautiful, I do feel it is a bit wasted on a song that doesn’t really fit the 2017 context. If this song was in Eurovision 10 or more years ago, I could have seen this doing well but now, there are just too many great pop songs, and incredible ballads, of which this is neither. There is nothing in the song that pulls me in or grabs my attention, and I honestly feel like it’s a bit of a chore to actually listen to. I have nothing against ballads at all, and there have been some incredible ballads chosen for Eurovision and some left behind in the national finals which I enjoy immensely, but there’s no vacancy in my heart for this one.
As mentioned above, her voice is definitely strong enough for Eurovision, I just wish there was an opportunity to send Claudia with a different song. I understand the Maltese decision to ensure that the song selected in the national final would not be changed for Eurovision after some backlash last year with Ira Losco, but ultimately allowing changes gives the potential for the nation to bring something even better to the table, as demonstrated by Ira last year. The national final songs this year weren’t the best in my opinion, and I often do like a handful of the Maltese songs, so upon hearing that the song selected would be the one going to Eurovision somewhat disappointed me, as I don’t think any of the songs on offer this year would have made a huge impact on the contest, just like I don’t think this song will.
Although I’m not a fan of this song, I do think that staging can really lift a song, so a magical performance for this song could do this wonders. The film clip of this song had a certain artistry to it, and I think if they can bring some of that drama and beauty somehow onto the Eurovision stage, it could be a surprise on the night. As part of semi-final 2, I don’t believe this will qualify, and honestly, don’t want to be proven wrong simply because there are some incredible songs in semi-final 2 which absolutely do deserve to be in the final.
Overall, I’m sure you all can tell that this isn’t going to get my highest score, or even anything close. Look away now if you’re a fan of this song, but for me it’s a 2/10. I just want so much more from Malta…. Maybe next year!