Today’s national final throwback takes us to the island nation of Malta, who at Eurovision have had a mixed history at Eurovision, especially recently. We’re going back to 2016, a national final that has probably been their most controversial in recent years. Usually the unwritten rule applies where the song that wins is the song that is taken to Eurovision, but in 2016 that was not the case.
As we know, Ira Losco ended up winning the national selection and realistically this wasn’t a surprise. She had come close to a Eurovision win before, so in a sense the votes were going into the hopes of repeating or bettering that success. The song Ira won the national selection with was not the song that represented Malta at Eurovision (thankfully) and in the end Ira achieved 12th place for Malta.
BUT if Ira was forced to perform the song she won the national final with, 12th place would have been a distant dream. If this was to be the case, I would quite confidently say that they made a mistake but of course with hindsight we know that Malta looked elsewhere for a song for Ira.
Arguably the better choice would have been Brooke with her song Golden. I think in the context of the Maltese national final more generally, few songs if any would have been strong enough to qualify to the final due to the severe lack of innovation but with a revamp, Golden would have the potential to reach the Eurovision final. I’d argue that it wouldn’t have done as well as Walk on Water, but if it was a comparison of Chameleon and Golden, the latter comes out on top for me.
The big positives of this song include Brooke’s strong vocals. We’ve seen consistently good vocals from her over the last few years, as Golden was the beginning of her three year long quest to reach Eurovision. She is a confident performer, and with the right song could have done well at Eurovision. The song itself isn’t a bad one. I think it has a catchy melody albeit generic and with a revamp of the actual backing track it would have been Golden (sorry, that was too tempting!)
I think it’s a shame that this song was lost to the national final, and I think it’s a shame that for the next two years after that we’ve seen Brooke participate in the national final and she’s still yet to be selected. I don’t think her latest two songs have been as strong, at least in my opinion, but with the right song I would hope that Malta wouldn’t pass on the opportunity.
Golden is up there with some of my favourite national final songs of the 2016 season, and with all that has been said, I’m going to give the song an 8/10.
Artist: Brooke Borg