Saturday will also see Malta select their hopeful candidate for Belgrade. The tiny island has been a bit shakey lately, placing at the very bottom of the final in 2006 and close to the very bottom in last year's semi.
To be frank, I'd say a Maltese victory in Belgrade would be nothing less than a first class sensation. I am not poking fun at Malta here - it is impressive that a tiny nation with such a small population has done so well in the past, but you can't expect them to do well every year. And this year, I doubt they will.
Anyway, I did lend an ear to all eight finalists, and since I haven't seen any established running order, I review them in alphabetical order after song title:
1. CLAUDIA FANIELLO - Caravaggio 3/5
Claudia's brother represented Malta twice and spent a short time being a sufficiently successful pop pin-up on the German market. Now his little sister wants to better his performance, and she gives all lovers of True Eurosongs real value for money. The tempo, the arrangement, the silly lyrics about a historical person... This song had never been written if there had been no Eurovision. Pleasant enough, but songs like these did better in the past. Just like Caravaggio himself.
2. MORENA - Casanova 1/5
I must admit that I have grown tired of the songwriting team of Vella/Borg, and find their songs too calculated and antiseptic. It seems I am not alone, given the failure of "Vertigo" last year. This one would not fare better at all. Morena is a sweet girl and an energetic performer. But nobody would be able to save this anti-song with it's unsingable anti-chorus.
3. ELEANOR CASSAR - Give Me A Chance 2/5
Eleanor Cassar is a good singer and secures a solid vocal performance on this belter. But the song in itself is almost ridiculously dull. Songs like this took part in every UK and Irish national final back in the early 90's. We yawned already then and time did the genre no favours. Good night.
4. KLINSMANN - Go 2/5
Young Klinsmann is sweeter than candy and sings well enough, with a voice reminiscing of Herman's Hermits (google them, kids) and a song that desperately wants to be last year's Andorran entry. Only this song needs a walking aid to be able to move forward and before its three minutes in the sun are over, your mind has surely drifted elsewhere.
5. ROSMAN PACE - Love Is Just The Way 0/5
Had pathetic lyrics been considered a crime towards humanity, then Rosman would find himself on the way to The Hague rather than Belgrade. Drivel with extra cheese, just as bad as any "Millenium of Love" or "Why Angels Cry". Meant to make you feel warm and hopeful, but it just makes me fuming mad. Which in a way is good, since it takes my mind of the sopoforic melody. Scary stuff.
6. PETRA ZAMMIT - Street Car Of Desire 2/5
By far the most musically interesting song in the Maltese selection: bluesy and slightly seductive, it stands out by a mile. Petra is yet another good singer who delivers her number with conviction, but one good idea alone does not make a hit song. A good try, but not remarkable enough to make it big in Belgrade.
7. CLAUDIA FANIELLO - Sunrise 3/5
Claudia tries her luck with two songs in the final and "Sunrise" is clearly the more sophistacated of her ditties. Easy going, with a few pleasant ideas in the arrangement. Well sung. Most people will like this, but this is not the song that makes anyone reach for their phones to televote.
8. MORENA - Vodka 1/5
No. No no no no no. No. Enough is enough. This could have been funny, great, happy, clappy stuff that I would have somehow loved. But no. It is just too much and too fabricated. And too silly. And just not clever enough. Poor Morena, can't anyone just write her a decent song instead? This could have been a classic, now it is just headache set to music.
Claudia Faniello - Caravaggio
Because it is easy and catchy with a hook. Nothing that will get even remotely close to winning in Belgrade, but nothing that will disgrace the sunny little island either. But if the Devil forgot to shut his door properly, then it is Vodka for everyone at the after party.