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Friday, February 03, 2006

Go or Go Ahead

I've just finished watching a frantic (if that's the right word) edition of Xarabank featuring excerpts from each of the songs taking part in tomorrow's Malta Song for Europe contest. I heard the same clips on earlier, and at the risk of being labeled biased I'd say that I enjoyed much better than the TV show.
Malta Song for Europe
My overall impression is that the festival has finally gone to the dogs. Then again, I always thought that the whole event was a dog's dinner party. Still, I would be very unfair to the talented singers and song-writers if I dismissed everything and everyone.

There are a number of excellent pop singers. My favourite 5 acts in this year's contest are (in no particular order):

- Pamela
- Christian Arding
- Trilogy
- Eleonor Cassar
- Olivia Lewis

Yes, Olivia remains among my top picks as a singer in this contest, but this year's song is far from the best she's had in the last 3 years.

There are also a number of musically interesting songs. My top 4 in this category are (in no particular order):

Reachin' Out - Pamela (Paul Giordimaina/Fleur Balzan)
This Heart Of Mine - Trilogy (Paul Abela/Joe Julian Farrugia)
Tell Me - Eleonor Cassar (Paul Giordimaina/Fleur Balzan)
Waves - Nadine Axisa (Vinne Vella Jr./Ray Tabone)

If I could be bothered to vote, my top 3 would be:

1: Reachin' Out - Pamela (Paul Giordimaina/Fleur Balzan)
2: Spare A Moment - Olivia Lewis (Ray Agius/Godwin Sant)
3: I Promise You - Manuel (Miriam Christine/Miriam Christine)

Yes, I know we can vote nine times in 10 mins, but I think that's just a fairly transparent scheme by some well-meaning commercial company to make lots of money on the gullible who think that televoting is the best thing since democracy was conceived in Athenian society. How deliciously ironic that the Eurovision Song Contest this year will take place in Greece.

Some lingering thoughts that will surely leave me once I take a walk on the brisk North Sea bay here in Scarborough:

I'm disappointed that Augusto Cardinali and Giovann Attard think that J.Anvil can win by simply reprising last year's song in a sequel called You Too.

I was very excited about the idea that Miriam Christine wrote a song for Manuel. I'm not sure people will vote for the song, but I'm very pleased to see Miriam Christine descend on the festival again after her relative success ten years ago.

What to do in tomorrow's podcast. I'll probably just pick four songs worth hearing more than twice.

Curmudgeon? Me? Sure...if you must.
What do you think?

Blogger Arcibald said...

Please - Toni. Whoever wants to listen to 3-minute contest songs can watch TV tonight. Give us some good music instead! There's plenty to choose from. :) 

11:46 AM, February 04, 2006
Blogger Toni Sant said...

I appreciate your comment. I really do. However, I'm not sure that I'm willing to dismiss all 18 songs that easily. I also think that a handful of really good singers/composers don't get enough exposure.

Listen to my podcast later and you may be pleasantly surprised. All I ask is that you try to hear the songs I'm selecting with unprejudiced ears; by which I mean, as if they were not in the Song for Europe contest. 

12:16 PM, February 04, 2006
Blogger nurse pica said...

heh 2nite im gonna be watching the eurovision thingy as a means of a good laugh. 

3:25 PM, February 04, 2006
Blogger Arcibald said...

I saw good parts of that Xarabank programme and I wasnt *exactly* impressed, as you can read in the latest post in my blog. 

5:07 PM, February 04, 2006
Blogger peppa said...

Very disappointing result! there was some good music and style... and a nothing-original-pop song wins! 

9:38 AM, February 05, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

try hearing i do then hear stronger and you will have the answer. JD 

12:48 PM, February 06, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a singer myself ..but, i did not place a song in this years Malta song for Europe.. I would like to make a kind of complaint.... I dont think it was fair that Fabrizio Faniello's song " I DO " was chosen again.. It put's the new singers off and leaves them thinking ..well should we bother ???? and the song was very repetitive and there were definately better songs than that!!!! This years televoting was disaterous and I think the only reason Fabrizio was chosen again was after the success he had in some European countries... which to me is still unfair.. I hope you agree with me.. My favourite singers this year were : Pamela (Reachin Out) Ali & liz and the least favourite were the song U2 by J Anvil and I promise by Manuel .. Did not like the song at all... If it was sang by someone else maybe I would have considered voting for it.. but then again knowing Manuel myself... i would not even think of voting for him.. On the other hand I was happy that Olivia Lewid did not win this years Malta Song as I am really fed up with her and she does not give up.. She is not that liked here as she is a very rude person and I think can not give a good performance as she does not have that pretty face... I hope this will be allowed to be viewed.. after all my comments are genuine. 

12:20 AM, February 07, 2006
Blogger I know what i'm saying said...


3:05 PM, February 07, 2006
Blogger I know what i'm saying said...

I would like to tell anonymous that he/she has no rights to say weather fabrizio takes part in the eurovision or no. 

3:08 PM, February 07, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what about another newcommer,Morena. I think her voice stood out in a nothing-so-special song. 

11:08 PM, February 08, 2006
Anonymous Sweety 21 said...

nixtieq nghid li lil dan anonymous li vera injorant u ghandu ilsienu hazin,when you have an opinion or a comment you've better keep it for yourself, qedt nirreferi ghal kumment dwar olivia, li gej jghid li mhux attractive u fuq kollox jekk forsi jahseb hekk ghal eurovision nitilaw biex nikkompetu ghas song u mhux xi beauty pagent u dwar manwel nixtieq nghidlu li hi 1 mill aktar kanzunetti li ghogbitni u li kienet bis-sens u vuci mil-aqwa u attractive u kollox....u gej bil-singer yourself minjaf x'singer int la kellek il-gazz tohrog b'dawn il kliem, nixtieq nghidlek li meta xi darba tintazel ma l-1 ghaxra f'xi eurovision contest tkellem imbghadt,skuzani ta imma you're really an arrogant and stupid person 

6:04 PM, February 10, 2006
Blogger Girbi said...

Hi Tony,

I don't usually answer to comments or air my views in public, but seeing that you are a sensible person and a musician like me, I am sure that at least one person will understand me. First of all, I don't know why we Maltses do all this hype for a 'festival' that is no festival at all really. I mean a lot of countries don't take the Eurovision seriously, otherwise they wouldn't give any other country a chance to win. I mean imagine England sending one of it's top products to the Eurovision. Will there be any chance for Malta or Latvia to win??? We have to face reality and admit that this is a T.V. programme on a large scale and voting is purely a joke to 'create' a contest atmosphere. Besides, no proper 'artist' will ever stoop down to such levels as the Eurovision to show his wares. Back to Malta. First of all, why do we have to have a comittee for the Song for Europe that is fuelled by our taxes? In other states the song is chosen by the T.V. station that is affiliated to the E.B.U. so in our case, the song should be chosen by the P.B.S. and if they want to do a festival, the festival should be organised by the P.B.S. I mean it's funny, the government sells Mid Med Bank and Sea Malta because they are not feasable, but then pays for the Malta Song Board!!!! Back to the festival.
It's time to realise that in Malta, televoting does not work. This year's system was purely intended for a private network to make money.It was obvious, considering that they forked out more money than the usual Maltacom or Airmalta. I mean how fair can it be that the organising noard allows up to three votes per number? It was obvious that they were playing on the competitive nature of the viewers. People who like me were not interested in a particular person winning the song just cos he or she have good looks or else just because the singer's mum is the cousin of their aunt's husband, voted for the best song, but voted only once just for the record (if their SMS went through). Other people who were instructed to vote from days ahead gave all they had available to vote. I know of a singer who bought over a Lm1000 worth of sim cards to distribute to people to vote for him or her! When one looks at the results, it is obvious that televoting does not work. Geographically we have the drawback of size because in such a small island it is obvious that someone we know is connected to a song, so there will be the tendency to vote for friends and neighbours. It's not a case of the Maltese Song for Europe, but the Maltese Singer for Europe. The Malta Song Board should really consider the televoting issue. I know it's hard because the profits are tremendous. Regarding the quality of the songs, I tend to agree with Toni Sant's choice and put Pamels's Reachin'Out as top choice. The song has punch and the girl delivers the goods 100%. I'm sure she'll make it. She reminded me of Moira Stafrace's first impressions when she hit the MCC stage with 'Tghidlix'. I also liked Echoes of Gaia by Natasha and Charlene, though their performance was a bit lacklustre. The song had some influences from Linkin Park featuring Jay Z, but it was a catchy song with some rock undertones. I would love to hear that song interpreted by Evanescence or Nightwish. Andreana's song was OK too, although the girl needs some polish too. Olivia's song was good but definitely not a winner. Nadine Axisa's Waves was a very good and original song but it should have been in another festival as it was not a Eurovision song. I still don't know how You Too made it through the eliminatory stage. Sorry Augusto, but last year's third place was not meant to be an indication that this year would be first place using the same formula.

As for the presenters including Lou Bondi, I will leave them to fight it over themselves behind and in front of the TV screen. I'm sure we'll be hearing more. 

7:15 PM, February 13, 2006
Anonymous kienalja said...

To reply to the previous comment. Latvia won in 2002 beating our second place Ira Losco.

I've reached a time in my life when without wanting i 'm watching more TV having to sit in upbringing my three ypoung kids. So yes, I was absorbed in the Eurovision fever.

I hate people crtisizing the Eurovision and why we maltese have created all the hullaballoo around the festival.


Some say its the only the exposure for local talent . OK its not TOTP or the British Charts however maltese talent still feel its othe only opportunity of a international breakthough .

Moreover, there is the colonial nostalgic feeling of the Eurovision. We used to participate in the 70 s alongside Brotherhood of man , Ricchi + Poveri and believe it or not Abba.

Its the actual Eurovision which has lost its flare over the years and I feel it has done some catching up with the introduction of new ex Soviet States and their intergration into the EU.

I confess, I love all this controversy surrounding the TV. It appeals for the masses and although we tend to chide it , admit it WE DO FOLLOW IT . Admit it.

I love it , the whole controversy brings to mind the hot Sanremo Festivals back in the 70s and before my time in the 60s where C.Villa crossed swords with upcoming stars and also the establishment and which saw a composer like Tenco committting suicide within his dressing room on hearing taht his song did not make the finals.

Some comments on thsi year's festival .

Great Music


1. the LLoyd Weber Trilogy -loved it and would have put on a good show in Greece . Hated the guys' suits.

2. Lara 's song . catchy , would make a good club remix.

3. Eleanor
4. The Charlene Sisters' song . Hated the costumes though.
5. Kevin Borg - a good boyz song

So yes , give us more Eurovision controversy , with more Grace Borg daggers and Lou Bondi controversies , yes give it to us

Wishing Faniello the best to clinch this blessed 1st place once and for all. 

3:44 PM, February 16, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to reply to the person " I know what i'm saying" I never intended to hurt anyones feelings yours or anyones... I spoke out what I felt at the time!. Ok...and believe me I am Not Jelous !!!! When I said that Olivia did not have that pretty face what I meant is .... many countries don't just look for the interpretation of the song.. but, they look at the looks and the physique of that individual person.....nevertheless, I still think that Olivia's song was not a winning song and secondly definately NOT a Eurovision Song.... to be honest with you, when Olivia did not want to let the public hear her song in the early stages before the Malta Song for Europe .. I though ..well.. her song must be a good one.. but then a few days later she decided to let it out.. my friends and I were sitting in front of the TV eagerly to hear her song.. when we heard the song we expected something out of this world ... but the song was well..I rather not say.

Anyway manuel's Song "I promise you " was not all that.. I could not stand the way he was boasting to everyone that his song is a winner!!! He is too full of himself.. Manuel Pleazzzzzzzz !!!! who ever was watching Eurovision fever and Lejn il - Eurovision could have heard of him boasting and being big headed.

Fabrizio's song "I DO" well I never said it was a bad song, all i said that it was very repetitive and very commercial . I like the song myself. what I meant is that there were better songs of which I will mention again ... Pamela's "raechin Out" I think it was excellent and although she looked a little nervous still made a good show!! Well done Pamela !! Analise and Alisons song was another Good One and I wish to say WELL DONE !! espcially when one of their Mic's did not work and they kept on going... Very PROFESSIONAL !!!! Claudia Faniello "High Alert" was great and should have placed at the top and I loved the choreography!! that's what people want to see " A SHOW" I would like to address this message especially to " I know what I'm saying" as I honestly don't think you know what you are saying. If you must know I dont need to be jelous as I have already participated in the Eurovision Song Contest and was a winner! I have been abroad and I know what they are looking for.. so Pleazzzzz !!! I dont agree with televoting at all as they will only vote for the most liked and the most seen on tv and not for the best song. I hope my message now is clear to all. I hope no one is offended by my comments , but it's a free country and everyone is free to say what they think. 

12:20 AM, February 17, 2006

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