Malta Eurovision 2011: Final Rehearsal & The Draw

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Good Morning for those who are already awake after last nights’ Malta Eurovision Song Contest semi-final which turned out to be quite the success apparently. We are all ready to bring you the coverage of the final rehearsal before this evenings’ show as we also learn the finalized running order of the event. The way it was shown on the local screens at home might have not been amazing whilst in the hall, everything was quite perfect.

The sixteen qualifiers for this evenings’ final were mostly the favourites of the public of course but there were also a couple of surprises which made people gasp. We are yet to note certain details about the show that will be starting at around 20:30 with our International Relations Officer from Ireland, Garrett Mulhall taking the reigns from Joena Steyaert in Belgium who did a very good job last night with the live report.

The Show (Part 1):

In a very interesting concept this evening, the presenters Keith Demicoli and Valerie Vella are introducing the acts on stage asking them a question with regards to their entry. This will be done within the section being used by the presenters on the left part of stage before the artist goes off to prepare for the performance. Quite a number of issues to get the whole project running most properly.

Running Order:

01. Eleanor Cassar – Hypnotised (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

One of the leading acts within the local music industry has already opened the final of the national selection back in 2008 and I must say that this is sounding very powerful. She received a great applause last night in the hall and if she can manage to keep everything as good as it is now, then I am almost entirely sure that she will be received well once more and finish on a high. She is yet again joined on stage by Leontine, Pamela, Dorothy Bezzina and Christine Camilleri from left to right. The stage is bathed in beautiful blue with hints of purple once more. This looks impressive on camera once and what a very a strong opening.

02. Amber – Catch 22 (Ray Agius / Godwin Sant)

Starting on the Ronisch piano as she did yesterday, she interacts extremely well with the cameras. Joined on stage by three dancers performing a strong choreography done by Christina Schranz and also two backings vocals who are doing another superb job on the harmonies. The music sounds very good and I must say that I prefer this mix to the original one we heard earlier on. The lighting is blue whilst the designs on the back show different rays of light. Another strong showcase by Amber, who is surely a star in the making.

03. Jessica Muscat – Down Down Down (Philip Vella / Jessica Muscat)

Well some more technical issues with how the interviews will be done this evening but Jessica is now on stage joined by her three backing vocals as well as her two dancers. The stage is most bathed in red for most of the performance whilst the LED’s behind the performance are showing a nice disco ball which works out quite well with this song. A very good vocal performance from the main artist and also the backing whilst the energy is just bouncing out of all of the acts this morning. Quite a nice and interesting act of course and the choreography is quite challenging.

04. Ally – Numb (Ally)

The first rock song of the evening comes from one of the most entertaining people in the Maltese Islands, being a presenter and a dancer apart from a singer, Ally, excels in stage presence and she does put her stamp on all the songs that she performs. She is joined on stage by the girl band; Stolen Creep and also Lyndsay Pace. The melancholic look actually works quite well on the screens but what one should note is the fact that Ally is reaching the high notes quite well this morning and she did do it as strong as last night. One has to see how the Maltese will react to this entry though, yet for me, I think that it is extremely charming and full of character.

05. Baklava – Moon Dance (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

The fifth song of the evening comes from the most successful team in the last decade. The group Baklava is featuring a new line-up within the final this year and yesterday they surprised all with the performance that they gave. In a stage bathed in blue and a touch of red at certain bits, the cellos, violins and also the bongos work quite well on the cameras. Stephanie and Joseph are both interacting very well with the cameras. I dare say that this morning, the vocals sound much stronger actually with the end note being incredibly beautiful, as if in a dream.

06. Fabrizio Faniello – No Surrender (Johan Stentorp / Johan Bejerholm)

The two time former Maltese representative is back on the stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest trying to represent the nation for the third time as Chiara has already did in the past. The song is something that could be called as typical schlager but that is not a bad things, on the contrary because it might be the best piece of music for some people and this is due to the fact that it is extremely catchy. The vocals are very strong this morning and that first note is sounding better already. He is joined on stage by two backing singers, Deborah C and Floren Sultana as well as a guitarist and this is looking strong on the cameras.

07. Kurt Calleja – Over and Over (Johan J’Amtberg / Kurt Calleja)

The singer is through to the final for the very first time as a solo performer and he is performing along with some of his closest buddies who are playing drums, guitar, bass or doing backing vocals. One must note that all looks very strong on camera and I am sure that this will be one of the songs which will go down well with the Jury. The screens and the lighting is working quite well with the overall aspect of the performance and I must say that Kurt is doing a great job this morning.

08. Glen Vella – One Life (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Last years’ runner-up takes to the stage this morning oozing charm and charisma. He is joined on stage by Sandro Zammit and Simon Law who dance to quite an energetic routine as well as three backing vocals being Isabelle Zammit, Pamela and Angela Spiteri who are wearing Gaga like masks as they were wearing last night. The vocals from Glen are once more very strong and as I have said on many occasions this week, there is absolutely nothing to fault on this one. The shots are very strong indeed and the red lighting looks very impressive adding it to one of the many possible winners.

09. Marilena ft. Michael – He’s A Demon (Anthony Grech / Michael Henry)

According to our polls and reviews, this was certainly the least expected entry to make it through to the finals but I must say that it certainly hit the right spots last night with the performance from the backing singers, dancers, and the two main artists working quite well. In fact, the act looks great on the cameras and the use of the stage is actually by far something impressive. The vocals are once again very good this morning yet I am sure that this evening, things will be even stronger for the whole team.

10. JAnvil – Topsy-Turvy (A Zahra / N Mooney / J Gladnikoff / N Turner / D Grech)

A strong draw for a potential threat to the victory. The singer who has apparently asked for a name change to JAnvil from his original J.Anvil status takes to the stage. He is joined on stage by three backing dancers and also two backing vocals in the form of Leontine and Donn McCaul. The act looks very strong on cameras actually with the design of the performance based on that silver briefcase with the heart of Malta within it. The singer is definitely holding back for this evening and I hope he comes out and amazes everyone this evening.

11.Claudia Faniello – Movie In My Mind (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

A leading artist within the local music industry. With the backing of a recent album release, Claudia Faniello continues to explore her new sound within this song. In a stage bathed in black and hints of white and red, the song is performed to utter perfection this morning. Everyone was a little bit excited to see her getting through last night whilst all of her team including the guitarist, bassist, and backing vocal were anxiously awaiting the announcement. A very good job this morning and I am sure that this evening she will be rocking the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta.

12. Richard Edwards – Finally (Jan Van Dijck / Richard Micallef)

I cannot help but sing to this entry each time I hear it. Richard sings his heart out every time and his renditions are faultless and plainly said to be quite faultless. He is joined on stage by a band including drums, guitar, bass as well as the piano which is played by his sister, Michelle. The stage is bathed in red, blue and white for this one and the screens showing the lovely flowing water work very well. He is clearly one of our better singers in the Maltese Islands and fits in well this year for the biggest event in local music scene.

13. Raquela – If I Could Do It All Again (Marc Paelinck / Mathias Strasser)

In a stunning purple/velvet gown this morning, Raquela starts the song in a perfect note and manages to stay within that range throughout the song. She is joined on stage by four backing vocals who are doing a stunning job with the harmonies this morning. This is the best performance that she has given all week and I have been quite critical of her performances throughout the week. I must say that she tends to get a little bit excited during the live performance. One would hope she entertains us well this evening.

14. Kelly Schembri – Love Me Like Your Money (Gerard James Borg / Sven Lundholm / Erik Rydmark)

Speaking to the singer last night, she is actually a very beautiful and nice girl so one should always keep that in mind. In the meantime, the vocals by Kelly are quite good at times whilst not so good at another part of the song. The backing vocals who are also doing an elaborate choreography work very well indeed but I guess that this was the second surprise of the evening last night.

15. Wayne Micallef – Everybody Sing (Wayne Micallef)

Well, nearing near the end of the competition once more as the rehearsal draws to a close for the participating entries. Wayne is back on stage joined by two extra vocals including sister Michelle and also a drummer, guitarist and a bass player who is actually Wayne’s other brother. The setting is actually very nice for this one with the globe shown on the screens depicting the actual lyrics whilst the lighting is blue and green. The vocals are very strong this morning with a lot of energy and being given such a draw, this could also work very well tonight.

16. Klinsmann and Ben – This Love (Klinsmann / Jonathan Spiteri)

What a fantastic song to end this years’ competition. The lovely acoustic ballad has been given the best possible draw in the evening in this years’ Malta Eurovision Song Contest and I must say that this morning, the performance is much stronger than that they gave last night. Well I mean, we know have a nice idea of what is competing this evening and therefore it now up to you to see who you would like to represent the country in this years’ Eurovision Song Contest. Remember that you have 33% weighting in the final vote.

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