The Malta Independent 22 February 2018, Thursday

TMID leader: Eurovision - Song for Europe blues

Tuesday, 6 February 2018, 11:08 Last update: about 16 days ago

The annual Eurovision contest is a fixed appointment for many Maltese, the Maltese selection which we had last Saturday and the continental Eurovision contest which is held in May.

Saturday’s event was a glitzy one which showed the high standards of technical expertise our engineers have reached. Indeed, the expertise shown on Saturday would not have disgraced the European final itself.

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This year, compared with last year’s, we did not have an entry in Maltese. Thus the hope that one day a song in Maltese is sung to a world-wide audience has to wait for another time. The irony is that the song in Maltese was not chosen by a voting system in which telephone and audience voters prevailed. This year, the voting system was changed.

The winning song was ‘Taboo’, sung by the singer Christabelle.

This paper will not into an analysis of the song itself nor lend itself to foretell what placing will the song obtain in the Lisbon finals. In the comment space on our website there was a discussion whether the words of the song are intelligible or not.

Nor will we speculate on the four lithe dancers writhing about in a glass box or what seemed like that. We await clarification on the meaning of the scene and as related to the song’s title itself.

At least this year we had a lesser dose of political interference. One remembers the dominating presence of ministers in past years and how they just had to present the trophy. This year, the trophy was presented by last year’s winner with the minimum fuss.

We must also speak of the singers’ voices which showed, with one or two exceptions, a very high quality of voice training.

People have grumbled about the ads persistently intruding on the songs and the singers. One understands that PBS needs the revenue and that night is one of the best revenue earners for the station. But one calls for moderation, at least during the songs themselves.

One now awaits May and what Christabelle will manage to do at that pan-continental event. Whatever our beliefs, or persuasions, our tendencies, let us all augur that Christabelle gets as many ‘douze points’ as possible. Eurovision succeeds where other activities falter – in getting us to come together as one country.

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