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Line-up check 2019: Malta

by | Apr 24, 2019

Line-up check 2019: Malta

by | Apr 24, 2019 | 2019 reviews, Eurovision

Malta: Michela – Chameleon

Martin: You can always tell when Malta want to do well. Adverts for “Chameleon” have been popping up in everyone’s timelines and YouTube queues for some time now, and it seems clear that those involved are determined to whip up the kind of fan buzz that last surrounded the island nation in 2016 (when, in a little twist of irony, Ira Losco opted to ditch a song called… “Chameleon”).

Trouble is, we all know the hype around “Walk On Water” was artificial. The show producers may have played along, giving Ira the pimp slot in the semi-final and the “golden envelope” at the end of that show – but when it came to the grand final, the European viewers proved to be far less compliant than their jury counterparts or the fan-site enablers of the 2016 season, sending Malta on their way with a pitiful 16 televoting points.

So there are two questions surrounding the 2019 version of “Chameleon”: Just how far can marketing and friendly juries get you in this competition – and how much genuine love will Michela get from the televoters on top of that?

In theory, the answer to the latter question could be “quite a lot”. Malta 2019 is a reasonably on-trend slice of girl pop with attitude, the kind of thing that has the potential to be staged very effectively indeed. It’s hooky, too, although the “karma chameleon” (ahem) section verges on parody and will need to be handled carefully.

In any case, the answer to the former question is that, under the current voting system, a big enough jury score will get you to the final no matter what. (Just ask Anja Nissen or Isaiah Firebrace.) Since Malta are clearly here to play this year, we can therefore expect them to be still playing on Saturday night. Once they get there, though, it remains to be seen whether this “Chameleon” stands out from the crowd or simply blends into the background.

Prediction: Personal:


Shi: Malta is actually in my top ten this year, something which has otherwise only happened back in 1996 and 1997. It’s also one of precious few entries this year we’re yet to see performed in any way, so I have no clue what to make of its chances.

Felix: Malta often leave me uninterested, but this year I actually enjoy what they are sending. It paled a bit compared to my first listen, but it’s still colourful and fun. It’s not quite in my personal top ten, but it should make the real one if staging and performance play along.

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