New York City
22 May 2005
Dear Chiara -
Congratulations on your impressive placing at the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest
! I was not in the mood for the song contest this year - mostly because I'm still a little depressed by Choppy's passing
- but your outstanding performance has moved me to write you this second open letter
via my blog.
The fact that you have managed to acquire the highest number of points ever given to Malta
at the Eurovision Song Contest should not go unmentioned. Although it has become less likely for anyone to know the outcome of the event before the end of the show, I believed all along that you would do better than you did back in 1998. Your second place is not only an improvement on your outstanding third place in Birmingham but also better than Ira Losco's spectacular second place in Estonia
. Sadly, second place, as the saying goes is close, but no cigar. Malta being what it is you'll still get a hero's welcome on your return home, even though you're scheduled to get back in the middle of the night.
I have great admiration for the Italians, who have refused to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest after they hosted it at Cinecitta' in 1991. I remember a brief conversation I had with Peppino di Capri backstage that year, where he confessed (partly off the record) that he was selected to be that year's representative for his country because they didn't want to win it again after Toto Cutugnio's mega-success with Insieme (Unite Europe)
the previous year. I wonder whether Malta would do the same after it won the Eurovision at least once. Enzo Guzman would be a great stand-in for Peppino di Capri's role, but somehow I doubt we'd take the honorable way out.
Incidentally, I wonder how Olivia would have done if she had won the Malta Song for Europe
last winter. Stylistically, her song was closer to this year's winner from Greece than your own. Would a different song style have garnered the 38 extra points Malta needed this year to make it to the much-coveted first place? That's a question I doubt anyone can answer, of course. So don't mind me bringing up Olivia again after all you've been through in the last few months and whatever's in store for you in the coming weeks.
I honestly don't give much credence to the whole geopolitical voting argument
. Do you? Something tells me you're above all that and that you're more concerned about your father's health than in making sense out of the whole who-voted-for-whom-and-why debate. May he make a full recovery as soon as possible so you can really focus on what's truly important in your life.
As for myself, I can truthfully say that I lost interest in the Eurovision Song Contest many years ago
. Perhaps that's partly because I was so closely involved in the team that took Malta back into the contest after an absence of 16 years in 1991. Most likely, however, it's also because when I see who the winners of the contest usually turn out to be I see that, as is the case this year, it certainly is not the act/song that could be remembered the most out of that year's crop. Oh well, such is life! And that's exactly my point. Why put so much time and effort into something that's so shallow and forgetful? Maybe it's because there's always hope that someone like you could bring the gold to Malta some time. Relatively mediocre acts from countries less resourceful than Malta have done it, so why can't we, right?
Anyway, may you find the happiness you so truly deserve in your life...at least until the next time you decide to seek it in something as perplexing at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Yours sincerely, Toni Sant