Malta Sends Faniello “Breathlessly” to Kyiv

Will her song take your breath away?

Claudia Faniello will represent Malta at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. (Screenshot: YouTube) Claudia Faniello will represent Malta at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. (Screenshot: YouTube)

Malta’s last decade at Eurovision has been mostly a bad one, half the time failing to qualify into the final, and only once landing in the top ten. In Stockholm last year, former Eurovision runner-up Ira Losco got the country back on track, landing in 12th place with “Walk on Water.” Hoping to harness that popularity for another successful year, Malta changed the rules for their selection process from a vote/jury combination to a 100% popular vote-based decision. Beating out fifteen other contestants, Claudia Faniello will take the stage for Malta in Kyiv.

Faniello has a great voice, and needs do nothing more than stand in a beautiful gown and sing her way into our hearts. The song is written, arranged, and staged well, and I am having a hard time finding fault with it. Perhaps that is part of the problem, though? I wonder if this entry is too slow and, more importantly, too forgettable to make a statement at Eurovision. “Breathlessly” reminds me a bit of the 2013 Israeli “Rak Bishvilo,” a song I still listen to regularly, but which placed 14th in its semifinal, missing the finals by quite a lot. I still think Israel just got lost in the shuffle of that semifinal (which was not particularly strong), and I worry this song might fall into the same trap.

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