October 23, 2019

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Answer With Your Eyes, composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant, with vocals provided by Amber was the second runner-up, behind Claudia Faniello's Pure, composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg and Kurt Calleja's This is the Night which he co-wrote with Johan Jämtberg and Mikael Gunnerås. Her top three position might have solidified her the opinion of critics though, having later on that month been selected to replace Ylenia Vella as backing vocalist.

In a recent interview with local magazine Gwida, the young female vocalist revealed that she was worried about her reputation in the music industry, one which was budding at the time, having thought about being the villain and taking up a role which did not initially belong to her. At the time, she asked the delegation whether her withdrawal would have seen Ylenia back in the position of backing vocalist. The reply was a categorical 'no' and that the first runner-up of the audition stage would have been given the opportunity instead. Therefore, she took on the challenge of representing Malta as a backing vocalist. Later on that year, Amber was also a guest singer during the Concert of Joseph Calleja, performing a duet entitled A Thousand Years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU50aTbtON4

Earlier this year, another blunder saw Amber becoming the talk of the competition, noting that an accredited member of the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest, incorrectly published a piece which stated that In Control composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan would be representing Malta at the event. The information was incorrect, especially for the simple reason that the voting process had not even commenced but nevertheless, as the artists gathered on the stage, where the greenroom was situated, there was a lot of fuss. Clarification was required and this is something that Anton Attard, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Broadcasting Services dealt with immediately, the following day. Amber has since been working hard on more new material and has just been selected as one of the semi-finalists in next years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Stayt tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Gwida

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTstdRSgRZ0

Published in Local Music News

In the next couple of weeks, more interviews will be appearing during the week as the editorial team at escflashmalta.com has been in touch with the committee of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza securing a talk with all of the twenty-finalists in the established category. Nevertheless, as those plans commence, the original summer series of interviews continues today with none other than Amber, a three time finalist at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, a backing vocalist for Malta at the Pan-European competition as well as a guest performer with a number of artists, she is one of the fastest rising stars in the local music scene.

At just eighteen years of age, you reached the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest for the very first time with the track Catch 22 composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Godwin Sant. Whilst the final result was somewhat dull in comparison to the whole experience, you managed to pick up a signifant tele-vote, faring higher than a number of established performers including; Wayne Micallef, Claudia Faniello and Ally amongst others.  Ultimately, what did it mean to you to succeed in making it through to the final, and when there, how did it feel to be appreciated by the public?

It was a surprise to find myself competing with 2 songs during the malta eurovision considering the fact that this was my first appearance as a eurovsion participant. Making it through to the final was a big achievement for me as I was a new comer to the eurovision at that time. I felt honoured that people had believed in me and in my song.

You have already participated in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on three occasions, achieving your best result to date in 2012 when the track Answers With Your Eyes composed by Ray Agius and penned by Godwin Sant finished in third place with only points achieved by the mixture of local and foreign juries. You were not far off in 2013 as the song In Control composed by Paul Giodimaina with lyrics by Fleur Balzan finished in fourth place. The genres of both entries were remarkably different from each other yet you performed them with relative ease. Which one of the two do you cite as your favourite and why?

I believe that I cannot compare these 2 entries as they were perferomed in different times during my life and apart from the different genres they also have a different message. Answer with your eyes is all about passion, love and betrayal whilst in control is all about being dominant and independent.As a performer I always study each and every song intensly and try to deliver the message behind the song. Therefore I do not believe that I have any preferences. However I enjoyed performing both songs to the full.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTstdRSgRZ0

On more than one occasion, you have been the subject of severe criticism, kicking off with the appointment of backing vocalist to This Is The Night performed by Kurt Calleja at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 to the release of an article published the official website of the Pan-European competition saying that you were supposedly the winner of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track In Control. It is important to denote that you handles both events in the best possible manner, giving the public a response which was honest and clear but nevertheless, from your own personal perspective, have such issues made you a stronger individual?

I believe that I can learn from each and every experience whether it is a good or a bad experience.  The general public has a right for the truth.  However it might not always be easy when giving an explanation as unfortunately there will still be a minority to prefer to interpret the situation in their own way. Luckily such situations have thought me that “what doesn't kill you makes you stronger”. As a performer I have learnt that these are difficult and challenging situations that I have to come across during my career, from which I always learn and look ahead.

In 2012, following your participation as a backing vocalist during the Eurovision Song Contest, you returned to another astonishing opportunity, and that was to perform with Joseph Calleja, an internationally renowned opera singer whose affiliation to the international showcase was introducing the country during the postcard preceding Glen Vella’s performance of One Life back in 2011. During the summer concert which also featured Ronan Keating and Lucio Dalla, you had the opportunity to sing the song A Thousand Years originally by Christina Perri. Why was that specific track selected and would you have done anything differently or do you believe the setup was just right?

Perfroimng with Joseph Calleja was simply perfect and I would definately leave the same set up if I had to to it all over again. It was a dream come true and I still cannot believe that I was given the opportunity to perform with such a prominant and humble artist. We had chosen the song a thousand years together after we had short listed our options. We had finalised our decision to this song as it had quite a powerful message behind it and it suited both our voices.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GhhlQ5QtE0

In 2010, you entered the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza for the very first time, making it through to the second phase with no less than two songs, out of which one was selected to get through to the final, that entitled Trid Taprezza composed by Ray Agius and penned by Alfred C Sant. This was your second major local festival having also participated in the Malta Hit Song Contest earlier that year with the track Take It Easy written by the same team of songwriters, finishing in fourth place. Nevertheless you managed to improve this time round coming out as a winner after a tight competition, finishing just ahead of Gloriana Arpa Belli. What does the year 2010 stand for in your mind and what is your perception on local competitions?

2010 was a total turning point in my career.  Both festivals have not only given me a boost but they have also given my name a recognition and also gave me a clear picture of what i wanted to establish in my career. Our islands inhibt people with talent. I believe that professional local competition will show case various talents and  not only provide the artists with exposure but also with experience.

escflashmalta.com had the pleasure of being the first to publish the video to the track So Good written and performed by Matt Mercieca (Muxu) but nevertheless, you feature heavily in various parts, predominantly within the chorus. The track, a mixture of pop and r’n’b is somewhat well suited to your vocals as attributed by general comments of readers of our portal as well as comments on viral website, YouTube. What could you tell us about the collaboration and would you consider working together once more, maybe even for the Eurovision Song Contest, following his success with Davinia and her track Betrayed earlier this year?

Working with Muxu is always a fun and remarkable experience. He is a very talented artist with fresh and unique ideas.When working with Muxu I can give my own interpretation to the song and he even considers my own ideas. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwXCk0cjyio

During last years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, your third place result was attributed thanks to the support of juries, as the public failed to award you any points unfortunately. We have recently spoken in favour of the professional jury panel for selecting Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals by Gianluca to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest, having obtained the nations’ best result since 2005. Do you believe that the public are still entitled to have a say in the final result or do you think that the jury should make the decision?

Although during my last year's participation I did not receive any public votes I still fully agree that the general public together with the jury deserve a say in the final result. After all the winner will be representing the country and its citizens. 

Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com

I would like to thank the readers for their constant support throughout my career.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WGv0lBPkto

Published in Interviews
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 10:15

Radio International: Another Week, More Surprises

The Team of Radio International is back following yet another enchanting visit to Germany due to the fact that ARD were hosting the national selection, the first one we have attended since the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. We would like to invite you to the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience. Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & cable 88.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when Eurovision fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

Last years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest produced a star in the form of Amber, who then went onto join Kurt Calleja abroad as a backing vocalist. She returned this time round with quite a lot of hype surrounding her participants and with the snazzy jazzy In Control composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan. It might not have been meant to be but with the support of the public and the jury, she managed to finish in fourth place and therefore, kept within the placing she received the previous year, roundabout. Within this interview, Amber spoke about her recent experiences within the world of the Eurovision Song Contest and what lies ahead as her career in music continues to progress in a natural manner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GhhlQ5QtE0

In the meantime, the interviews continue with the fifth place finisher at the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest in the form of Chris Grech whose entry Never Walk Away co-written with Peter Borg, Matthew James Borg and David Cassar Torreggianni. The public were seemingly all out in favour of Chris Grech and as a matter of fact put the performer in third place on the evening with the jury taking him down to fifth place, this being their verdict. The singer was also the leader of the escflashmalta.com Public Choice Award in the lead up to the competition and expected to be announced as the winner this Saturday through Sas-Sitta. Chris speaks to Radio International about his background in music and how he came to take part in this competition. What experience could he draw and how will eventually move forward.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nheEDnXsrhQ

Moving away from Malta, members of the Team of Radio International were present during the German national final and had the opportunity to speak with Cascada's lead singer, Natalie Horler who will be represent the Western country in the Eurovision Song Contest following the victory with the track Glorious which has been received a lot of negative press in recent days of reports of plagiarism. The renowned group has been around for quite a couple of years and have had success all over the world including the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. The fourth and final interview of the evening will be LIVE during the programme and it will be with Zoe Alexis who is hoping to represent Ireland with the track Fire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y77A9-hQAp0

Radio International is always keen to present songs during the show apart from the weekly features and therefore, collaborating the two ideas together will see the emergence of Eurovision UnverCover whereas tracks performed at the Eurovision Song Contest will be covered by other singers. The actual tracks will be played first followed by the cover and this will make things interesting. Apart from this feature, there will be new material played on the show by a number of former representatives. All of the latest news is also covered during the weekly broadcast noting resources from escflashmalta.com and escXtra where Luke Fisher, the Editor makes a weekly round-up. A round up of the national finals thus far is set to be conducted by Alasdair Rendall. Follow the show through the official website and also send your requests through the contact link which is found on the aforementioned website.

Source: Team of Radio International

Saturday, 02 February 2013 17:30

Malta Eurovision 2013: The Final - LIVE

For the past twenty-five years, Malta has selected entries which have achieved various results, including close first runner-ups in 2002 and 2005 respectively, but nevertheless, in a minority when it comes to the non-winners' circle alongside nations such as Iceland, Cyprus, Albania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Portugal, Moldova and Belarus amongst others. This time round, our nation will be sending the twenty-sixth representative from a field of sixteen (16) entries which were shortlisted from an earlier list of twenty-four (24) as performed during the semi-final last night. The chosen act will hopefully follow in the footsteps of Kurt Calleja who qualified for the final with his track This Is The Night last year. The Malta Eurovision Song Contest has become something of a tradition in the past couple of years and despite the technical issues yesterday, one will be hoping for a much smoother transmission this evening!

This years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is being broadcast through TVM, TVM 2 with special commentary by Norman Vella and Rodney Gauci, Radju Malta with commentary by Frederick Zammit and also through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest. The hosts for the evening will be Elaine Saliba and Gordon Bonello whose roles will surely be larger this evening considering that they will be interviewing each of the sixteen (16) acts that made it through to the final. Rodney Gauci will also be doing a number of backstage interviews during the show in order to give the audience, a behind the scenes element. A number of special guests will be taking to the stage this evening including; Gorġ u Pawlu with the song Hot & Famous, the Swiss representatives; Heilsarmee who will be singing their entry You and Me, Kurt Calleja who is set to do a medley of original and cover songs and last but not least, the cast of D.R.E.A.M.S who will be opening the show with a medley of original songs in Maltese.

All right, the show is ON! The cast of DREAMS have taken to the stage... but those watching the commented version have been taken to the side to listen Norman and Rodney, blabbing. If “Majestuz, kbir” are the sort of comments we’ll be having, then I rather doubt many will be watching it on TVM2. OK, Norman, you’ve already cracked this joke. No need to keep telling us about Anton making you comment in exchange of a 2 free tickets. Will this commented version really be a side-watch of these two blabbing away? We’re missing out on the whole show. Please! 


It seems to have hit them, finally. We’re now watching the DREAMS cast giving what I can call a splendid performance. It’s cool to have this sort of Medley in a fun manner. Thumbs up to DREAMS - great opening! 

I can’t, for the life of me, follow this commented version. I wouldn’t mind skipping half the show if these two were really good at it. But they are wooden. The comments are, well, non-existent and they really look tacky with people just popping by to say something. Off to TVM, as it’s the show I’m interested in, anyway.  

Gordon and Elaine seem set to give a better show tonight. No, I have to take that one back... it’s too rehearsed. Elaine replies to the jokes before they are even completely spoken. It’s also looking a tad too wooden. And what do you do when you’re stuck? Well, you ask Carlo Borg Bonaci to save you, of course. Actually, this gets me thinking. Why couldn’t he have been the host? He’s great personality, really. Just a couple of lines and the ice has now been totally broken.  

Running Order

01. Superstar - Scar (Konrad Pule)

Scar gave a good show; the whole performance is convincing, with very strong stage presence. The leading singer is enjoyable and there’s utmost harmony in the group. In Calvin Klein laid-back looks, this cool pop-rock act is a twist you simply need to have in such a final. There’s nothing too fancy - and that’s surely a plus. Having said that, upon listening to the song more than once, you realise there’s very little to it. The structure and the idea work well, but you get the feeling there is something missing. I like it, yet it would have to undergo some serious arrangements in order to be deemed strong. As it is, it’s too much of a hey-it’s-good-but-nothing-major.  

02. Starting from the End - Dorothy Bezzina (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

One cannot overlook the great chorus of this song, it accompany’s Dorothy beautifully: it simply puts the song on an altogether higher level. Today’s performance, if possible, seems even stronger! You simply have got to love how Dorothy seems to play with the vocals with such ease; something to be truly appreciated in such contests. You can really feel the energy coming your way with the melody. Yet, though it was to be expected that the song would go through to the final, I think it will be hard for Dorothy to be Malta’s envoy: this is surely not the singer’s fault, but merely the song’s. It seems to me it lacks that little something which makes you say “that’s it!”  

03. My Stranger Love - Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

 

You can tell Corazon is doing her best to deliver. She has a good command of the voice; she knows how to work with it. It literally sounds like something coming out Disney! And yet, could anyone tell me what the song is really saying? I cannot quite put my finger on it: yes, there are many flowery words and all, but you can’t impress with that, can you? Also, the dress just didn’t work here. In fact, it looks so much better while she sits at the piano (rather Alicia Keys kind of thing if you ask me). Unfortunately, though I don’t mind it all that much, the history of the Eurovision works against this act: hardly do you see such songs doing well. All in all, I quite doubt she’ll be a high-flyer tonight. 

04. Ultraviolet - Jessika (Thomas G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerars James Borg)

Jessica simply loves the Eurovision - this is the first thing you notice once she takes to the stage (that and her hair look, very edgy, actually!) The singer oozes energy from all her pores. I like the singer more than I like her song, which doesn’t really tickle my fancy. Unfortunately, I don’t think this particular song does her justice; it comes across as if she’s straining her voice, though at some instances it strangely becomes really appealing and convincing. Possibly that’s the swedish element by G:Son...which could ultimately do well in Sweden this year. The song needs to be re-touched and enhanced in many aspects. As it is, I believe the song won’t place among the top ones. I must concede, though, that today’s performance was so exceedingly better than yesterday’s! 

05. Us Against the World - Gianni (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

 

Gianni’s vocal range is limited, so you can easily notice he struggles with certain notes. However, this doesn’t really make you dislike the song. Actually, the very chilled feel that comes off that stage when Gianni and his band are at it is somehow pleasing. I think it evokes a something-Indie-like feel, which is rather nice on the ear. The only thing is that when you listen to the song per se you would imagine someone younger singing it. Though it’s generally good, I think it wouldn’t perform well in Sweden.  

06. Betrayed - Davinia (Elton Zarb / Muxu)

 

If you wouldn’t be looking at the TV, then you would just have to do it once Davinia starts singing. She has a peculiarly sultry voice, which really breaks the routine. I think that in reality, more than to the song itself, people listen to the daunting voice. I'm in a bit of a predicament, I think that on the whole I’m rather happy with the diversity this song has to offer. It’s very cool and in, and you can’t dispute that. The song will have to be enhanced and given a stronger feel to it. It really wouldn’t displease me if this act flies to the top.  

07. Needing You - Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

 

Kevin is a strong singer. His winning the Swedish Pop Idol sort of proves that. It is exactly because you’d have high expectations that you would be looking forward to a really strong song. This is a hooking ballad, but I would say it has a bit of an old feel to it. The whole show was a good one; the voice, the lyrics, the melody. I can’t quite understand the purpose of having that model/dancer coming out at the last bit of the show, though... that’s surely an unnecessary element. I tried making myself like the song more, especially because I believe tonight's was much stronger and it stands a very good chance of making it to Sweden (at least if all that clapping and people standing is anything to go by), but I just cannot fall in love with it. Oh well.  

08. Fall Like Rome - Richard Edwards (Magnus Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

I really believe Richard has a beautiful voice; and his immaculate diction just renders his singing even more hooking. The looks are good - laid-back, yet stylish. That’s exactly what this sort of song asks for. I have my reservations when it comes to the song per se. I was expecting Richard to present us with something better and altogether stronger. The lyrics are too loaded, and I feel sort of confused in trying to grasp what it’s saying. The melody is very good and his falsetto skills are rather good (though yesterday they seemed more evident). Today's performance was dirtier than yesterday, also. But Richard is one of those who could have the so-called ‘package’ - but that will demand some thorough work on the arrangements.  

09. Perfect Day - Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

Janice has a pleasing voice, but I can’t really get through to the song. I don’t like what she’s done with the attire and all... it almost looks dull. I think that such a young singer could play more with it. As for the song, it just doesn’t do it for me. I’m bored all through. Most of the others are head and shoulders above this one. I think it would get lost in the crowd were to be Malta’s envoy. It’s something you listen to just one - if at all. 

10. Love-O-Holic - Deborah C (Johan Bejerholm / Gerard James Borg)

This is the typical cliché you would be happy to have missed, then it pops up on TV and it knocks you down. There’s really nothing much I have to say about this one. I’m just surprised to find it in the final. I think that the semis were already too much of a present. When the song starts you think it’s so bad that it just has to get better. Alas, it really doesn’t. I concede that Deborah looks very natural on stage, but that’s not enough. Having said that, I believe this song is one of those you can either love or hate. I belong to the latter group. 

11. When It's Time - Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / Claudia Faniello)

 

Claudia is one of the few singers who gets better as an artist with each passing year. I don’t like the outfit much; I can’t seem to place it. I like the song and the music. Her rock-like voice blends in very well. The chorus is also a catchy factor in this one. All in all, it’s a song you want to listen to, and today’s performance was more powerful! However, I believe it needed some more work in reality. She should do well, yet it’s not this year’s winning song. It lacks that final convincing element. 

12. Tomorrow - Gianluca Bezzina (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

Gianluca’s personality is as infectious as is his song: I honestly believe it has all the prerequisites. And I'm even more convinced after today's performance! The song has good lyrics and melody, and the vocal range of the singer perfectly accompanies the whole act. In reality, there is nothing really ground-breaking with the song, but with everything seemingly falling into place, you just get to like it and, well, you have to sing along. Some have said it’s not very Eurovision-friendly, but I wholly disagree with that. I think it could stand out in the crowd were it to make it. Come on, Gianluca, win! (And take Dorothy with you, for the backing! Yes!) 

13. Never Walk Away - Chris Grech (Grech / P Borg / M Borg / D Cassar Torreggiani)

I understand the hype surrounding this song/singer. He has great vocal skills in reality. The husky voice gives a nice feel to the song. The laid-back look is also welcome. If I have to come clean, however, I would say that the song lacks a proper climax. I listened to it all because what he does with the voice is really good. I think that with a good arrangement, this pop-rock one could easily become a radio hit. It definitely stands a good chance tonight, and it’s indeed one of my faves.  

14. Wonderful Today - Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

I like Richard. I like Petra. But I don’t like them together here. I think Petra’s solo should’ve made it instead of this one. It was definitely stronger. The voices don’t seem to blend well together. Petra seemed overpowering to me. I am not too keen on the chorus, either. I was never too fond of duets, as it takes a special something for it to work as expected. Sadly, I didn’t see that tonight. 

15. In Control - Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Amber has great stage presence; she seems really comfortable up there. Unfortunately, I don’t think the attire has helped her much; nor did that of the backing vocalists’. It seems to me there was too much going on. She is usually the sort of singer you wouldn’t forget.  Well, after tonight, we’ll remember her for sounding a tad too sharp (not really in control) - better than yesterday, granted, but still not 100%. In any case, I don’t think this particular song breaks much ground. It has a good flow to it, yes, but that won’t work enough wonders.  

16. Too Little Too Late - Domenique (Marc Paelinck / Matthias Strasser)

I feel there’s hardly anything appealing about this act. The singer looks much older than she is. I can’t understand why they would make her go for such heavy makeup, jewellery and hair-do - she’s a pretty girl, and that’s evident. Overdoing was counterproductive.  The song just doesn’t convince me: it’s too much of a sombre ballad and she seems to find it difficult to change register. At times she was completely off. Again, there were much better songs that could’ve been here instead of this one. 
 

The Show (Part 2)

So the 16 acts are now over. Everything ran smoothly tonight, so the singers seem very pleased. In fact, after a recap to refreshen the audience’s memory, we are now being taken on a tour among the participants. And of course, we have a comfy, laid-back chit-chat with all of them. 
 

Time’s up! Tele-voting has now been closed. We’re taken back for some more small chat with the 16 contestants who, with each passing minute, look more and more anxious. In reality, this is the moment I dread the most. You get bombarded with loads of adverts, which ultimately just tire you out and make you contemplate whether you should just change channel or not. 

Seems like Petra and Richard’s wasn’t the only duet for the night. Gorg and Pawlu have now joined Elaine on stage and they seem to be prepared to perform their long-awaited Hot and Famous. All right, it’s just a rip-off of Gangnam Style and Slamdog Millionnaire. Mediocre, really. Some music playing, a lot of people dancing in the background and Rodney and Gordon disguised as Gorg and Pawlu. I may be very difficult to please, but whoever thought this would be fun was incredibly mistaken..so it’s really bad when Elaine asks for a “capcipa kbira”!  

OK, taking the stage now are the act representing Switzerland in this year’s Eurovision. I believe that if we make the right choice, we could actually do better than them.  Following is Kurt Calleja ...and he seems to have decided to go for a big performance. Well, albeit not impeccable (OK, you're right, it's a showcase of how-to-be-off), it has at least helped shake off the dullness that was about the engulf this second part of the night. 

Funnily enough, though we are still awaiting the results, it is being rumoured on another website that Amber is the winner. The website has since removed the page and it stated it was a technical error. Well, we'll soon discover that - the judges are now announcing their votes! 

Gianluca Bezzina is now leading the show, for the judges seem to have chosen him over Kevin Borg (who won the public vote). And it is with Carlo Borg Bonaci that we've had the confirmation - 


I cannot be any happier in announcing that GIANLUCA BEZZINA is the winner! Tomorrow will be representing Malta in Sweden! The audience doesn't seem all that happy, as the clapping has gone missing after Kevin Borg was confirmed first runner-up. 


Finally, 
One cannot not give credit to PBS when this is due. Tonight’s show ran smoothly - the sound, too, worked well. It’s good to see they have worked hard to make sure there wouldn’t be any snags today (unlike yesterday’s!) But that is where the praise starts and ends.  

 

What about the ‘jokes’? Don’t you think they were just as tacky? I saw no wit and no fun there. Of course, they couldn’t possibly harp on about politics: their bee in the bonnet must have been given some fresh air. (To which we all said “yaaayyy”, right?) Then we had: “liii tenk god ma libsitiex Carina” - Seriously, Gordon? Did you actually think that was a sharp one? No, throwing a jibe at Carina here and there just didn’t save the day. Nor did those crappy poems. Who comes up with these ‘brilliant’ ideas? 

 

I also think Elaine Saliba, despite being an adorable girl, just isn’t cut for this kind of thing. I still believe that Valerie Vella should host this show. She is polite, elegant and knows how to be pungent, without ever crossing the line. 

 

However, tonight we had an extra. We had the commented version on TVM2. I had to go back and forth to check what great work they were doing on the other side... and well, each time I was let down. You simply have to ask it: why, exactly, would they have a commented version without having decent commentators? Norman Vella may have been blessed with many things, but pungent remarks aren’t among that list.  

Wednesday, 09 January 2013 23:00

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'In Control'

The spectacle that has been coined as the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has undergone tremendous change in the past couple of years both in song and visual quality noting that there has been major effort put forward by songwriters, producers, and artists a like with the hope of presenting a show that is worthy for the local and international public to enjoy. This years' edition of the showcase is being highly promoted through various means which the Public Broadcasting Services can offer, both on television and radio. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that escflashmalta.com is giving all of the artists the maximum exposure possible by virtue of daily reviews about each of the participants and this is done in order to bring in an international perspective to each song noting that renowned songwriters, producers and musicians speak their mind about each of the possible representatives with the eventual winner given an award on the programme Sas-Sitta on NET Television on the 9th February. The fourth performer is Amber with the track In Control composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan.

Amber is definitely not a newcomer to the local music scene noting that her music portfolio has been on the increase following her first major break within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza competition where her entry Trid Tapprezza co-written between Ray Agius and Alfred C Sant emerged as the winner despite an extremely tough field of entries. Suddenly, from an almost complete newcomer at the time, she managed to make it through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 with two entries, the first one being Touch Wood co-written between Ray Agius and Alfred C Sant and the second one being Catch 22 co-written by Ray Agius and Godwin Sant. She was the only artist to have two entries and on the final night, the latter was the one which made it through and exposed the voters to someone relatively different with a swing type of entry having made the cut. Ultimately though, her big break came at the same event within the following year noting that her entry Answer With Your Eyes co-written between Ray Agius and Alfred C Sant finished in third place despite the lack of support from the public which failed to award her any points. Nevertheless, she was chosen to replace Ylenia Vella as Kurt Calleja's backing vocalist in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 and also performed with tenor Joseph Calleja during the summer.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTstdRSgRZ0
 
2013 could definitely be the year that Amber could surprise and music critics are already some intrigued by the fact that whilst keeping into her typical genre, she has decided to work with new songwriters noting that In Control is co-written between Paul Giordimaina and Fleur Balzan who have been to the Eurovision Song Contest with the track One Life performed by Glen Vella in 2011. It was quite a disappointment to see them go to the actual event and rank in eleventh place within the semi-final, missing out by just one point but after all, it was indeed a competition. Their most successful year in Malta was in 2009 as their entries Someday performed by Eleanor Cassar and Before You Walk Away by Q finished in second and third place respectively. This time round, this is a song which is quite different from their usual area of expertise yet still feels like it has their touch, due to the songwriting credit. The surprising element in the track is surely the finger snapping which will surely be the gimmick of the performance and will most likely be made to full use by the apparent backing vocalists which if not toned down could also be the highlight of the track according to many. There are a number of tricks which have to be added to this performance in order to make it stand out and the running order of the evening will play a pivotal role.
 
The Critics Speak Out
 
Rating: 60%
 
Sharon Vaughn: I am quite disappointed to say that this is quite a weak song and the performance generally lacks strength. It seems that the artist might be inexperienced in this type of track.
 
Martin Isherwood: Chorus not very strong. Voice ok but derivative. Production feels dated. Not really a Eurovision song. Hints of ‘let me be the only one’ by Eternal but nowhere near as strong. 
 
Stano Simor: Amber has very good attitude. It is clear to me why Kurt chose her as vocalist in Baku :-). The song has a good flow and arrangements are very well executed. The color of her voice is not specific,but she is one of the best singers in the competition. 
 
Roberto Meloni: She is that kind of singer that definitely stays in mind. Very musical, professional, attractive and into the song. The song itself is not that special..If I was a Maltese songwriter I’d definitely try to collaborate with her in the competition. 
 
Lina Eriksson: At first I really like the retro feeling in the verse of this song. But then the chorus isn’t at all what I expected and I feel they don’t really fit together. I’m left disappointed. Good verse – but not such a good chorus. 
 
Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSREGNZ0lJk
Published in Editorials