I've keep relatively quiet about the 2008 Malta Song for Europe so far. I've given a couple of comments through the MaltaMedia News Service, but not much else on my blog. So before the fans start rolling I thought I'd empty my pockets of all the loose change that's gathered there since last May's Helsinki debacle.
I must confess that if it weren't for my academic interest in the performance of Maltese cultural identities I'd have seriously lost interest in the Malta Song for Europe this year. There's absolutely nothing new or exciting about it. I'd even dare say that there are are couple of abysmal elements among the 17 semifinalist, but I suppose I'm still fuming from the disgusting snub Jo Zette (i.e. Ray Calleja) was given in the previous selection round.
Pamela sings what is undoubtedly the most beautiful song on the 2008 semifinal list. Whispers is one of Paul Giordimaina's best compositions. Pamela has a great voice and she has sung Paul's songs to perfection in recent years. Unfortunately, the SMS-happy audience that votes for each year's Malta Eurovision entry will only pick her as the sacrificial lamb once all other obvious contenders have been exhausted. Never forget what happened to Olivia Lewis.
If Malta wants to get a chance at qualifying for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest final, the Malta Song for Europe winner must be Mary Spiteri. It doesn't really matter which of her two songs gets through to this Saturday's final. Mary is the one performer who can get the sort of buzz going on the international Eurovision circuits needed to cut through the jungle of mixed messages and garner enough points for Malta to get through to this year's Eurovision final. Anything less and any solid chances in Serbia this May will be thrown to the wind.
And just because simple minds like simple things, here's my personal pick for the 8 songs that should make it to Saturday's final, in order of appearance on the semifinal. The actual selection will undoubtedly be marginally or greatly different.
As you can see, Mary Spiteri's pulling power is so strong that it's next to impossible not to include both of her songs on Saturday's final 8 list.
Continuing a little tradition I started two years ago, my Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast this Saturday will feature my personal selections from the Malta Song for Europe without much thought for the actual contest.
Quick note added on Friday morning:
I'm disgusted by the whole thing. Whispers didn't make it to the final. Unbelievable! Mary Spiteri is not in the final. Understandable...but still a great shame. If I warm up to the idea of watching the final on Saturday, I guess I'll be horribly disappointed if any song other than Give Me A Chance (it's so not the best Giordimaina/Balzan song) is the winner. Still, the winner will probably be Klinsmann with his homage to Busted's Air Hostess or Morena with a moronic song. Anything else and you can get ready for another national disappointment in May.