October 20, 2019

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"Young at Heart", an emotional roller-coaster of words, all leading to an extraordinary climax is the right balance of pop and balladry, a comfortable zone for singer/songwriter Kevin Borg, and his co-writer Simon Gribbe. The solo single release, a first in three years for the male vocalist re-ignites a passion, a yearning for a sound which the public at home have grown to love.

Since finishing as the first runner-up at the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the self-penned "Needing You", Kevin Borg embarked on a songwriting journey, notching up successes in both the Asian and European markets, apart from also being responsible for the 2015 Malta Eurovision Song Contest second runner-up "Breakaway", sung by Glen Vella.

In support of the release of "Young at Heart", a music video has been produced by Brand Expo Design, or rather more specifically Samuel Agius Livori and Derston Aquilina. It has already made the iTunes Charts in Malta, Sweden and Finland, making it another success for the male singer/songwriter. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Kevin Borg (Official Facebook Page)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVgq7-pyqN8

Published in Local Music News

In 2013, male singer/songwriter Kevin Borg, made a much anticipated return to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with "Needing You" co-written with Danne Attlerud, Thomas Thornholm, Michael Clauss and Simon Gribbe. In a surprise first runner-up finish, the singer/songwriter stated that while he will not be making a return as a singer, he would dabble into songwriting. He kept to that promise, and submit "Breakaway", a track co-written with Simon Gribbe, for former Eurovision Song Contest representative, Glen Vella.

The result was extremely respectable, finishing in third place, behind "Warrior" sung by Amber and "Rush" performed by Christabelle. Spending Christmas in Sweden, Kevin is busy working on new songs with Starlab Publishing, and reaping the rewards of earlier work in the year. You might remember that "Sweat" by Japanese sensations TVXQ/Tohoshinki peaked at number #1, but now their latest studio album has become the best selling studio effort of 2014. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Kevin Borg (Official Facebook Page)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgCp0T50CWw

In 2013, Kevin Borg emerged as the clear favourite to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest with "Needing You" co-written with Danne Attlerud, Thomas Thornholm, Michael Clauss and Simon Gribbe. Eventually, he was beaten into second place by the infectious Gianluca, whose song "Tomorrow" won over European hearts by achieving Malta's best result in eight years. Since then, Kevin has kept a low profile in Malta, focusing on his songwriting, with rewards being reaped every time once of his tracks is out for sale.

Two of his latest songs; "Sweat" and "Turn It Up" reaching number #1 in Japan and the Swedish iTunes Hip-Hop Chart. "Sweat" recorded by the biggest boyband in Japan at the moment, TVXQ/Tohoshinki made it's debut at number #2 earlier this week, but quickly rose to number #1. Kevin Borg co-wrote the song with Hanif Sabzevari, Nicklas Eklund. Kevin Borg is highly respected in the local music industry not only for winning Idol in Sweden years ago but for remaning current, and staying in the music industry. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Kevin Borg (Official Facebook Page)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgCp0T50CWw

Kevin Borg, first runner-up at the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Needing You which he co-wrote alongside Danne Attlerud, Simon Gribbe, Thomas Thornholm and Michael Clauss is currently in the studio working on a couple of tracks for other artists as well as new material for himself. Despite not winning the local selection process, missing out to Gianluca and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek, Kevin has been pretty busy in both Malta and Sweden, headlining a series of events.

Mönsterås, a city in Sweden recently welcomed an outdoor concert, something that is quite common in the Scandinavian nation during the months of summer. Kevin Borg was one of the headlining acts and he got the opportunity to perform to around 3,000 people who sang with him throughout all of the performances. Following the aftermath of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Kevin had stated that the possibility for him to return to Malta and possible represent the nation at the international competition was somewhat slim as his aim was to present the best of both nations, considering that the Eurovision Song Contest was taking place in Sweden. Kevin Borg keeps in touch with his fans through Social Networking website, Facebook and there he just posted a status saying 'working on a great new song, even if it takes its course of time, I think it will be worth it.' Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Bernard Polidano (Image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzGiJxMd3UI

In the months leading up to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Kevin Borg was the outright favourite to the win the local competition and thus represent the country in the international spectacle which was set to take place in Malmo, Sweden. Needing You co-written with Thomas Thornholm, Danne Attlerud, Michael Clauss and Simon Gribbe was a beautiful ballad but the international judges were right to select Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek with vocals provided by Gianluca because the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 was somewhat presided by an endless amount of ballads. The result truly spoke for itself, as both performances of the semi-final and the final were met with a top ten finish, the first for Malta since 2005 when Chiara had performed the track Angel.

Following the final of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, there were calls of impropriety over the significance of the professional jury. One has to keep in mind that the jury is also present during the Eurovision Song Contest and they did select Malta as their favourite entry in the semi-final. Thus, it is another reason why the juries should be given more importance. The Maltese public has unfortunately made the wrong selection on more than one count, including in 2006 when they selected I Do sung by Fabrizio Faniello, in 2007 when they selected Vertigo performed by Olivia Lewis, in 2008 when they selected Vodka sung by Morena and in 2011 when they selected Glen Vella with his song One Life. The public has to be commended for the choices made in 2009 with regards to What If We sung by Chiara and 2012 when Kurt Calleja won with This is The Night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzGiJxMd3UI

In all of the aforementioned years, the first choices of the jury had noticeable more chance of achieving success abroad including Echoes of Gaia performed by Natasha & Charlene in 2006, Sunrise sung by Claudia Faniello in 2008 and Finally sung by Richard Edwards in 2011. Tele-voting in Malta has been known to favour people based on their reputable name whilst the jury, especially the foreign ones have the faculty of voting for the best package. I support the current system of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest that gives the jury the chance to select the entry. Anton Attard, Head of the Maltese Delegation has already confirmed our participation at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest and will be hoping to implement some changes in the selection format. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news. 

Source: escflashmalta.com, eurovision.tv (image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtM4sfopBnU

Published in Editorials

Earlier this year, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest saw the return of Kevin Borg, one of the leading figures in the local music industry. The song entitled Needing You co-written with Thomas Thornholm, Simon Gribbe, Dan Attlerud, and Michael Clauss finished in the first runner-up position despite achieving maximum points from tele-vote. The jury believed that it was not the was not the most competent of the entries competing and their judgement was spot on considering that the eventual winning song entitled Tomorrow managed an eighth place finish at the Eurovision Song Contest, the best result for Malta since 2005.

 

The months of summer are known to be relatively tedious in Malta and therefore it comes to no surprise that the local population, joined by tourists have a party close to the beach or else go clubbing and it is for that reason that Kevin Borg has decided to release a special version of his song Needing You. This version, a club mix could also be purchased on iTunes, the digital media store where it has managed to climb to number #1 in Malta as well as in the top #100 in Sweden. The editorial team at escflashmalta.com recommends the purchase of this version for the simple reason that it has a good feel about it and deserves airplay throughout the whole summer. Stay tuned for more of the latest news.

Source: iTunes, Emil Calleja Bayliss (Image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ2LaogHSmM

Published in Local Music News
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 06:15

Malta: Kevin Borg Back for Major Concert

Kevin Borg, first runner-up at this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Needing You which he co-wrote with Michael Clauss, Simon Gribbe, Thomas Thornholm and Danne Attlerud will be returning to his home country in order to give a major concert. This event set for the 10th May 2013 will be taking place in the locality of Żejtun and will be kicking off this years' edition of The Beland Music Festival in aid of Puttinu Cares. In recent years, this prestigious week long of activities has been receiving a lot of exposure and attention from both locals and foreigners. Entertainment is offered for the whole week free of charge with a number of volunteers going round and collecting donations for a just cause.

The Beginning, the debut album from Kevin Borg following his success in the talent show, Idol managed to climb to number #3 in the Swedish charts and that was the beginning of what has been a pretty positive career. Within the first studio album, there were a number of hit singles including With Every Bit of Me, Street Lights and The Last Words. In recent years, songwriting has become more concurrent for the performer and as matter of fact, has a publishing deal with Lionheart Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music in Sweden. He has been working with a number of artists including none other than Robin Stjernberg who will represent Sweden with the track You. Kevin has always kept Malta close to heart and despite finishing in second place at the end of January, has pledged to support Gianluca in the best possible way as he represents Malta in Sweden with his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9YRL_pHxvU

escflashmalta.com is proud to support The Beland Music Festival for a third year running and for this simple reason, our aim is to give you a detailed look at who will be performing and when. As a matter of fact, more articles will be released in the coming days. On the 10th May, Kevin Borg will also be supported by former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Glen Vella and one his backing vocalists, in the form of Pamela. In the meantime, Maestro Paul Abela has been enlisted to conduct the band as each performer takes to the stage to perform in a live manner. The hosts for the evening will be none other than Ronald Briffa and Pauline Agius, both of whom have hosted several competitions in recent years. Stay tuned for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available and do not forget to buy Needing You on iTunes to continue supporting Kevin Borg.

Source: The Beland Music Festival

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzGiJxMd3UI

Published in Local Music News

Needing You, co-written by Danne Attlerud, Thomas Thornholm, Simon Gribbe, Kevin Borg and Simon Clauss with vocals provided by Kevin Borg was the first runner-up at this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest hosted by Elaine Saliba and Gordon Bonello at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta' Qali. In the weeks leading up to the competition, the public had spoken positively about the entry especially considering the fact that Kevin who is relatively successful in Sweden returned to his home country to try and head to Malmo, to grave the stage of this years' international showcase. The single was officially released on iTunes early last week.

Many had expected Kevin Borg to perform well in this years' competition because he made it his aim to success on behalf of Malta and indeed, the public did award him with the maximum possible points, finishing ahead of Gianluca and his song Tomorrow before falling to second place following an extremely close jury vote which saw the upcoming artist heading to the Eurovision Song Contest where he will be competing in the first half of the second semi-final. The digital single of Needing You has performed relatively well on the local iTunes charts having managed to climb to number #1 for a couple of days before sliding back down to number #4 at the moment below the winning entry of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Listen to the mastered version just below as performed on Bingo Lotto on TV4 in Sweden. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Official Kevin Borg Facebook Page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MaOdkA1n54

Published in Local Music News
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 15:15

Radio International: More Interviews Tonight

The Team of Radio International is back and following the visit to the Mediterranean Island of Malta in the past couple of weeks, invites 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.

The main focus of the past week was surely the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, and the Team of Radio International had the opportunity to speak to the winner, Gianluca Bezzina who will be flying the flag for Malta in the second semi-final of the esteemed competition with the song Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek. Whilst attention is already being diverted off the selection, it is important to denote that we also had the opportunity to speak to Kevin Borg, who is thought to be one of the most pivotal figures in the local music industry and he came second with the song Needing You co-written with Simon Gribbe, Thomas Thornholm, Michael Clauss and Dan Attlerud. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO4jYCqkESc

The interviews continues thoug because, a newcomer by the name of Davinia Pace finished in third place during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest iwth her song Betrayed composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Matthew Mercieca (Muxu). She has taken in this experience as a brilliant kick start to bigger and better things and considering that she has released material such as Feel Good Song and Sail Away in recent months, one would surely expect more in the near future. The final interview that will be aired this evening is with Liene Candy who is hoping to represent Latvia in 2013 with the song Higher and Higher. She has already been a backing vocalist for the nation before, in 2008 with Wolves of the Sea but would like to come out as the lead vocalist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DH26TKwtzw

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 which will officially commence as of tomorrow, 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. The same applies with Dermot Manning who continues national finals and this week, he turns to Finland, Iceland and Norway. Follow the show through the official website and also send your requests through the contact link which is found on the aforementioned website.

Source: Emil Calleja Bayliss (image), Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LZ69peEGVs

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.  

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