Eurovision 2009: Malta
READ REVIEWS: Semi-Final One | Semi-Final Two | Grand Final
SONG REVIEW | REHEARSAL NOTES | PERFORMANCE NOTES
Chiara’s was one of the better performances in the semi-final but the song itself still didn’t leap out at me. I’ve not been terribly big on this from the beginning and I can’t see the final performance changing my mind particularly.
Lovely song although I’m beginning to feel a little bit uneasy about those octave leaps and the sometimes strained voice the lovely Chiara suffers from. I know she’s mic-ed up so in some senses it shouldn’t make much difference, but it feels pinched from time to time and makes me wriggle uncomfortably. She’s right to be concerned about the “fog” in her second rehearsal. Not because it goes all over the place but fundamentally because it ain’t necessary. It would be overkill to have it (and actually, it does make me think of the steam which ascends from excretement and I really don’t want to be thinking about that during your performance love). So Chiara, make sure you pull it from the dress rehearsal and then the semi, only don’t be too diva-rish about it when you do communicate your wishes to your producer. No Eurovision fan likes a diva. Some of us didn’t like Dana International you know.
Dear God. Doesn’t the stage look fantastic when you haven’t got the stroke inducing graphics flying around on the screens behind it. That’s what we want more of Malta. Simplicity. And even though I didn’t really rate the song and I know you lot really want to win maybe letting on to the other countries that a relatively blank canvas carries more weight with TV viewers would be shooting yourselves in the foot. It’s a nice working of the song too. Do be sure to lose the architecture projections. They’re not really working. Chiara has got trouble with the top notes however. Make sure she gets to bed early between now and the semi.
It’s semi-final night and you’re finding yourself flagging. It’s work tomorrow (or school) and enthusiasm is waning. Ahead of you stretches responsibility. There’s Malta’s song to hear and then after that, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The initial thrilling prospect of having almost a week of Eurovision related activity before the main event has worn of. Tiredness has set. Despair quickly follows.
This is a common experience. It’s the dead time in the running order. Those last two songs have to do much to remind the viewer why he or she is watching. We’re there to vote, after all, and before we can vote responsibly we need to have done our research.
Chiara, Malta’s singer this year, will perform “What if we?” She has an advantage over the final act from Bosnia & Herzegovina in that she has a following from that hardcore unit of fans referred to as “The Community”. Us Euro-fans love a fighter. We love someone who has remained true to the cause, who dusts herself down after defeat and comes back to fight another day. In our heart of hearts we’d applaud like mad things if two times previous Eurovision participant Chiara (1998 and 2005) got to snatch that Eurovision crown and take it back to Malta.
She’ll definitely go through to the final and will almost certainly hear a massive cheer when she sets foot on stage if she does. But does the song truly stir the heart like it promises to do in the opening verse? Does it stir the heart enough to scribble down the phone number and commit the vote with blind passion in the semi-final and then the final? I fear not.
So, come back another year Chiara. We’ll still cheer you.