We go from one Mediterranean island to another, from Cyprus to Malta. While Cyprus is very much in people’s minds after their success last year, it’s worth remembering it is Malta who have the better record of high place finishes with two second places and two third places. They have come achingly close to winning and few countries have as much passion as Malta show for the contest – can they finally win the coveted prize with Michela and “Chameleon”?
Malta rejigged their method for selection this year, opting to use the X Factor Malta as the route for selecting the artist, and then internally choosing the song. Michela Pace won X Factor and the right to represent Malta – she’s an 18 year old from Malta’s smaller island, Gozo. She’s probably better known as singer of more ballad style pop so the song she’s been given to sing is a bit of a departure from that.
“Chameleon” is actually one of the most original of the dance pop songs. It’s got a mix of genres and influences – it both feels quite “London” but also has some Caribbean/Latin American sounds in there, and others besides. The pop drops on the chorus stand out as do the soaring build ups to the chorus.
Will it do well? I can’t really comment on how Michela delivers this live though as she’s not done any of the pre-parties. But her live vocals were enough to win the X Factor. Besides, the writing and production team behind this is impressive, including Borislav Milanov, who was one of the writers/producers behind Bulgaria’s run of successful songs (especially in 2016 and 2017) as well as Austria last year (so that’s a 2nd, 3rd and 4th place to his name). Another big name involved is Joacim Persson, a Swedish songwriter and producer who has written or remixed songs for a host of worldwide stars, as well as working with Bjorn from Abba.
Given that pedigree behind this, I think this could be a real dark horse to do well (provided all the elements come together and they get through the semi-final). The UK and Ireland, Malta’s biggest vote givers in previous contests, both vote in that semi-final. It would be great to see Malta to do well this year, and while the win might be beyond them, if they get everything right this could be a very strong contender for a top 10 or top 5 finish.
Official music video:
My preview video:
Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1971
Appearances (excluding this year): 31
Best result: 2nd in 2002 and 2005
Last year’s result: 13th in semi-final (did not qualify)