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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Love Shine a Light

Malta's name is once again to be heard as a contender in the Eurovision Song Contest finals. Many believe that if Chiara couldn't do this for Malta no one else could. This has put immense pressure on the singer, even though she has participated in this pan-European contest twice before. I can understand what she meant last night after the semifinal when she said that she was more concerned about making it through to the final than she is about her performance at the final.

This is not hubris. Chiara is the first to admit that she is stubborn and hard-headed when it comes to reaching for the number 1 spot at the Eurovision Song Contest. Since she is not a singer by profession this is understandable. Over the years Chiara has fashioned as a Eurovision performer and this suits her very well. She seems quite happy to think that this contest is the pinnacle of her carrier in the music industry. There's nothing wrong with that, especially for a singer who comes from a country that has produced fewer international stars that most people have fingers on one hand.

By all counts, winning the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest is no easy feat for the Maltese singer and her Belgian-made song. Chiara has a beautiful singing voice but she will need to beat at least 4 others singers with beautiful voices and/or songs: Jade Ewen (UK), Yohanna (Iceland), Malena Ernman (Sweden), and of course Patricia Kaas (France). Flor-de-lis (Portugal) is not to be discredited at this point of the game either.

Any assessment of Chiara's chances for bringing the Eurovision Song Contest to Malta in 2010 should also take into consideration that Regina (Bosnia & Herzegovina) is clearly the Eastern favourite this year, while Alexander Rybak (Norway) remains the bookies pick to win. Today the bookies have Malta in 10th position on average at the final, and many are including Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Ukraine within the final top 10.

As I write this I'm watching the dress rehearsal for the 2nd semifinal. If this year is a year for ballads and/or great voices I don't think the 2009 ESC winner is among this batch. Most of the songs could have been last year's runners-up in their respective countries but the Ukrainians really know how to stage a spectacular extravaganza. Anyway, I'll reassess this situation, if absolutely necessary, on Friday. If I'm lucky I'll manage to take in the town and its glorious culture a little bit more than I've had time for till now.

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Blogger ds said...

The year of the ballad?

Then shoot me now. If the UK's entry is anything to go by I may even sidestep this year entirely. Yes, she has a nice voice but I really hate the sub-Whitney/Mariah/Leona-why-sing-one-note-when-eight-will-do histrionics that most of this X-factor reject stuff does now. Why do so many ballads seem to think that it's de rigeur now.

Or perhaps I'm just a grumpy old fart and ESC 2009 is better off without me. 

4:50 PM, May 13, 2009
Anonymous J. Gatt said...

22nd place! What a disgrace, Toni! Chiara promised so much but delievered nothing. The whole nation puts its hopes in her and she let us down - badly. I can`t believe we wanted to be represented by such a woman. One need only look at her to realise that she is not going to be the most attractive prospect. Hopefully this experience will convince her against ever going near a microphone again. It sounds hard but I am very, very disappointed.

By the way, has our negative approach on immigration been a consideration in the way we were ignored so blatantly by the rest of Europe? 

7:53 PM, May 17, 2009

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