With a mixed history at the contest, it was time for Malta to shake up their national selection system, and this year saw a complete overhaul. From dated national final to a vibrant X Factor selection, Malta seemed to be taking a new approach to their Eurovision bid. Through X Factor Malta, it was decided that Michela Pace would be representing Malta at the contest, with the song Chameleon revealed later. Is Malta in for their best result yet?
Song + Vocals
From the first listen of Chameleon, I knew that Malta was coming for revenge. With two non-qualifications in a row over the last two years, there really needed to be a change in the song-writing process, as it was clear to see that the songs weren’t quite as contemporary as they needed to be, not to mention some over the top staging (Christabelle, we’re looking at you). Chameleon is the exact song that Malta needs to shake things up.
There was a bit of backlash regarding the fact that the song writing team behind this song isn’t Maltese, which is traditionally the case, and actually the song was written by a team of Eurovision royalty, including Joachim Persson and Borislav Milanov. They usually produce great songs, and this is no exception. This is perhaps the freshest and most youthful song that Malta has ever sent to the contest, and certainly the most contemporary.
Going with an upbeat song will certainly play to Malta’s advantage, especially in a ballad heavy semi-final, and despite Michela being an outstanding ballad singer, choosing this style of song works better in the context of the competition this year, but yet doesn’t compromise on her vocal talent. The melodies in this song are extremely catchy, and what is great about this song is that you don’t quite know where it will lead you as the song progresses. There is enough change in the song in its structure that it keeps the listener engaged. Despite there being various elements that make up this song, each different part is insanely catchy, and as a whole it all makes sense.
What brings this song alive, however, is Michela’s unique vocals. As previously mentioned, Michela has that tone of voice that mixes really well with ballad style songs, and we saw that through the X Factor Malta, however this style of song also works well with her voice. It’s fresh, and a bit edgy, and her voice gives it that extra bit of spice to what could have been a flat song if someone else was singing it.
Act + Performance
It’s great to see a fresh face represent Malta, and I think her whole vibe will appeal to younger audiences. That said, I think the whole package is good enough to appeal to both televoters and the jury, and with a good staging, this could do very well at the contest.
The music video for this entry was probably one of the best among all the competitors this year, and I sincerely hope they can recreate at least some of that in their stage performance. There is just so much colour and interest, and I think that could really translate well on stage through to the viewers at home. I’m usually not a ‘lyrics on the backing screens’ fan, but it works so well in the music video that I wouldn’t be mad to see it again on stage. I’m hopeful that this will work well on stage.
This is perhaps my favourite modern Maltese entry to date, and I really hope that my feelings are also mirrored in the results. I see this confidently qualifying to the final, and being between Croatia and Lithuania will prove to be beneficial for Malta. The song is high in the odds, and I would hope that using that as a guide, we could see Malta in the Top 10 which would be a complete turnaround from last year.