#MALTA :TONIGHT: First Quarter Final of MESC 2023#Live blog from 21.00 CET 20.00 GMT

Good evening Europe, Good Morning Australia ! Yes it’s that time of year again, where we at Eurovision Ireland get the 2023 National selections into full swing with our live blogs. Tonight, our Live blog comes from Malta, who are starting the marathon search to find their entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest , which will take place in Liverpool,UK in May . There has already been an Eliminatory Phase , where songs submitted were reduced to 40 ( yes , 40!) songs which have been split into 3 Quarter Finals .Tonight, 13 acts will compete for 8 places in the Semi Final, with the Grand Final taking place on 11th February, which seems to be a favoured date by many countries for their National selections this year, judging by the long list on the calendar for that day ! Tonight’s host are Ryan and Josmar .

The 13 acts competing tonight are:

  • Aidan – “Reġina” 
  • Christian Arding – “Eku Ċar” 
  • Clintess – “Lura Qatt”
  • Eliana Gomez Blanco – “Guess What”
  • Fabrizio Faniello – “Try To Be Better”
  • Geo Debono – “The Mirror”
  • Haley – “Tik Tok”
  • Jason Scerri – “Anything Can Happen”
  • Klinsmann – “Piranah”
  • Maria Debono – “X’allegrija”
  • Mikhail – “Leħen Fiċ-Ċpar”
  • Nathan – “Creeping Walls”
  • Stefan – “What Do You Want?”

Join me , Sarah for our live blog where I will bring you my comments and thoughts on the acts as they perform and the show overall . You know the drill by now, just REFRESH THE PAGE to get up to date comments as the show progresses. You can follow the events live from Malta HERE

Please do feel free to leave any comments in our comments box as we go along, it’s always interesting to see how differently we all think about what we see 🙂

I love your enthusiasm but it’s a bit early yet ! #joinus at 2100 CET 2000 GMT for all the action live from Malta .

And….welcome back, shortly we’ll be hopefully getting the live link from Maltese TV to enable us to watch the show tonight . Just to refresh, there will be 13 songs performed tonight with 8 going through to the Semi final stage of the competition . This will be decided by combined Jury and televotes. Hang on in there folks, this could be a long night !

Just to let you know too that I don’t speak a word of Maltese, so will be relying on what I see on screen tonight to follow the proceedings 🙂

Just joined the live link and waiting for the show . We have the Maltese version of the lottery advertised at the moment . Seems to be an awful lot of adverts from Maltese TV !This could be a very long night !

At last…we finally get to the start of the show, with a look back at past Maltese national final winners .They are all there, Destiny, Ira Losco and Emma Muscat from last year .

Our hosts appear now, Josmar and Ryan, you will grow to love them. They are explaining the proceedings for tonight . We meet Hayley and Stefan two of the contenders tonight .

They are not wasting any time ….onto the first song already !

Hayley -Tik Tok

We get a bit of a post card of the singer before the performance . Hayley is in short black hotpants The staging at this point is just a backdrop of MESC’ s Eurovision logo in a studio . It’s a mid temp song, pleasant enough and the vocals are sound enough but for me it comes across as just a bit too safe. She does engage reasonably well with the camera but needs work if this is to progress any further.

Stefan “What do you want”

we get to see Stefan and then see him sat next to Hayley on a settee talking with the hosts. It’s all a very casual occasion , not quite the oomph and excitement of the big shows that other countries put on for their national finals .We then get another Eurovision like post card introducing him. He’s dressed in all black, it’s an uptempo pop song with elements of rock . Again, while the vocals are sound the staging is exactly the same as Hayley’s, in a studio and the whole show feels very X Factor like rather than the big national finals we see in other countries . Again nothing wrong vocally but he needs to engage more with the camera and it feels more like a radio than eurovision song .To be honest I don’t think we will get a real feel for the songs until we see the proper stagings for each act.

We have just seen a flash back to 1974 and Abba’s win in Brighton . The hosts are mentioning the fact that Ukraine won last year but UK are hosting this year. And we have another commercial break already !

And we’re back and being introduced to Fabrizio Faniello ( no stranger to Eurovision!) and Clintess who again are sat together on a settee speaking with the hosts . Clintess is a fan of 7th Wonder by Ira Losco .

Clintess -Lura Qatt

Oh, we have a change of outfit colour as Clintess is dressed in a long white dress. The song feels a bit flat and not really going anywhere .Lots of arm waving but Clintess needs to engage much more with the camera. Vocal sound a little shaky in parts .Not great I’m afraid.

Fabrizio Faniello -Try to be better

He’s no stranger to Eurovision , having competed in 2001 in Copenhagen and in Athens in 2006 , where came last .He’s back for another go at representing his country . He’s casually dressed in an all black suit with white shirt. Fabrizio does know how to perform and he is at least providing us with a little more action on stage than the previous acts by not standing in one place on the stage. Again I think we need to see how this will actually be staged and how a live audience will help before forming an opinion .

Another commercial break again

And we’re back again , just waiting for the next two acts .

Eliana Gomez Blanco -“Guess what “

This is probably the most modern song we have heard so far this evening . It’s one that you can at least tap your foot along to and Eliana does engage quite well with the camera . She’s in a short black dress and it looks like she’s just come from doing her washing up with those long washing up gloves ! Not bad, shows some promise.

Christian Arding -“Eku Car”

Black seems to be the favoured outfit colour tonight as again we have Christian in an all black suit . he’s singing in Maltese, which I have to say is quite refreshing to see. I always think it’s a good thing to keep a song in a native language sometimes. His vocals are good and he does put some emotion into the song. I would like to see more engagement with the camera though. You need to open your eyes a bit more Christian ! Not bad and deserves to be one of the 8 to go through .

Yet another advert break !!! I will never complain about ITV in the UK again !

We’re six songs through ….only another 7 to go !

Jason Scerri -“Anything can happen “

Sharp -eyed viewers will recognise the name Scerri as Jason’s sister is Debbie Scerri, who sang for Malta in ESC 1997 in Dublin .Jason is now trying to follow his sister’s footsteps and represent his country in Liverpool this year .Once again , black features as an outfit colour but Jason has at least off set that with a gold jacket . This isn’t bad. He does try to sell the song and he does look as if he is enjoying performing. His camera work is not bad at all . It will be interesting to see how he stages this . Hits a high note at the end. He will need bright staging and backing vocals to sell the song well .

Maria Debono “X’allegrija”

Maria wears a much more up with the times outfit which is a short black and white dress showing quite a lot of leg !It’s a mid tempo song , the type of which you probably hear on the radio . Again we need to see the staging for this . I am hoping that there will be a lot more movement on stage than we are seeing tonight in the studio. There is a little bit of an ethnic feel to the song in parts . Needs a live audience for her to engage with to improve the song. Camera work needs some work .

Another…….you guessed it! A commercial break !

Geo Debono -“The Mirror”

Geo’s best memory of Eurovision is Alexander Rybak and “Fairytale” from 2009. Geo looks like he’s dressed ready for a stroll in the park with a thick black jacket and white jumper . The song starts off slowly and you think it’s going to be a ballad but then builds up into a mid tempo tune. He does try to engage with the camera but again until we see a live stage performance rather than a studio performance it’s hard to tell how this will do. Fair effort .

Mikhail-“Lehen Fic-Cper”

Another song in Maltese. Mikhail is casually dressed in ….you guessed it! A spangly black suit with a bit of jewellery to add to the finishing touch . I have to say this guy does have a really good voice and he is expressing emotion as he sings .This will do well on a stage with a live audience .He engages well with the camera too . Should qualify for the semi final .

Sigh…..another advert break ! On the plus side, there’s only 3 more songs to go !

Aidan -“Regina”

Once again a black outfit . This is an up tempo song and despite the studio being a bit restrictive in how the performance can be done, I can see this on the big stage , with backing vocals,and dramatic staging . Will be interesting to see a full stage performance of this .

Nathan ” Creeping Walls”

Casually dressed, Nathan sings with emotion and his vocals at this stage are coming across well. I can see this transfer to the larger stage with some strong backing vocals . He hits the high notes well.Good performance .

Klinsmann -“Piranha”

And , we’re finally at the last song ! Klinsmann cites Måneskin and Zitti e buoni as one of his favourite Eurovision acts . You can hear a touch of the rock influence in his song , Piranha and his rasping vocals. He does sell the song well, he’s emotive in his singing and engages well with the camera. Transferred to the larger stage , this could be good.

And that’s it ……Now it’s down to the Maltese public and a jury to decide which 8 of the acts go through to the MESC Semi Final .Which we won’t know just yet ! We are leaving the blog at this point , but once we have the results through we will bring you news of that . Thank you for following our blog tonight and goodnight .

Author : Sarah Rudman

Source :PBS Malta

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