The award for Most Improved goes to Malta, who for many years failed to make an impact on the results table of Junior Eurovision, but found their groove after a two year break in 2011 and 2012. Since their return in 2013, the nation has won the contest twice in three years, and received a 4th and 6th place which is an incredible achievement considering their beginnings at the contest. This year, for the first time in quite a while, Malta will be sending a male performer, Gianluca Cilia and the song he will be singing is called Dawra Tond. Can Gianluca continue the run of good results, or even bring Malta their third Junior Eurovision win?
This is hands down one of the catchiest songs of this Junior Eurovision season, and I often find myself bopping along to the infectious beat. Many fans have commented on the similarities between this song and Armenia’s 2014 entry, People of the Sun, and with a few listens behind me, I can see where those similarities come from as the beats are quite similar, but luckily we loved People of the Sun! There are clear elements of this song that I really love, and some that I don’t. One thing I’m thrilled about is actually hearing some of the Maltese language, even if it is only a small proportion of the song. I also love the energy that this song brings, and mixed with Gianluca’s charming presence, I think it’s a sure hit come Junior Eurovision time.
The elements of the song that I’m not totally convinced on include the fact that to some degree I don’t think the melody always suits the backing music, and beyond that, I don’t know if Gianluca’s strong point is an energetic pop song such as this. He’s got such a lovely voice, and I think perhaps it might have been better utilised in a strong ballad. I’m also not a huge fan of that ‘boing’-like sound in the backing music as it feels like such a strange addition to a song that by no means needed a boing.
Despite my few negatives, overall I think this is yet another strong entry from Malta. The nation has found their Junior Eurovision groove, and this song is just more proof of that. Regardless of how this is performed on stage, I think Gianluca’s charm will conquer and be the real winner of the performance. I hope they don’t over choreograph the performance, but otherwise I think this song lends itself for a bubbly stage performance that I’m looking forward to seeing.