Malta: Live-blog of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest Final

We’re here! Tonight is the grand final of Malta Eurovision Song Contest where we will discover which artist will represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm this May. In the semifinal last night we watched as 20 acts became 14 and tonight the winner will be decided.

Live from Valetta, our 14 finalists will perform their Eurovision songs and the winner will be decided by a combination of public voting and jury voting. Five juries will score each entry with traditional Eurovision points 1-8, and 10, and finally 12 for their favourite performance. The sixth jury will come from the televoting audience; thus making the public vote count for 1/6th of the overall result.

The show kicks off live at 2045CET so be sure to check back then when our liveblog gets up and running. You can also get involved on Twitter using the hashtag #MESC and you can watch the show live here.

2336: We have a winner! Ira Losco has won the competition with Brooke in second place and Franklin in third place. Thank you so much for sticking with the liveblog at ESCDaily and be sure to check back for more of our liveblogs as ESC season progresses! Goodnight!

2326: Time for the results: Here are the top points of each Jury:

Televote: 8- Christabelle 10- Brooke 12- Ira Losco
Jury Member 1: 8- Christabelle 10- Ira Losco 12- Brooke
Jury Member 2: 8- Franklin 10- Ira Losco 12- Brooke
Jury Member 3: 8- Jasmine 10- Franklin 12- Ira Losco
Jury Member 4: 8- Franklin 10- Maxine 12- Ira Losco
Jury Member 5: 8- Christabelle 10- Brooke 12- Ira Losco

2308: The next artist to perform a medley during this interval is Amber, who represented Malta at Eurovision 2015 in Vienna with the song “Warrior”

2256: Well that’s some short lived voting if ever I saw it, only 10 minutes and the lines are closed. After which we’re treated to Junior Eurovision winner Destiny returning to the stage to perform a cover of British girlband Stooche’s “Black Heart”, Etta James’ “At Last”, and Aretha Franklin’s “Think”. You just know she’s going to pop up in this competition in a couple of years time.

2244: That’s it! All songs have been performed! Voting lines are now open. Our hosts treats us to a recap of all of the performances before we go to yet another ad break. Gotta love those Maltese ad breaks…

2235: The final song of the night is “Lighthouse” by Kim. The only artist to play an instrument, she’s playing guitar to accompany herself singing this heartfelt ballad. The performance is shot in black and white as she stands alone on stage in a floor length dress surrounded by lamps. This is a very cute song and she’s an endearing performer. Lighters in the air for the final song of the night.

2230: Penultimate song of the evening is “Chameleon(Invincible)” by Ira Losco. This is without a doubt the favourite to win tonight, Ira has previously represented Malta all the way back in 2002 in Tallinn, achieving a very respectable second place. She has this. The performance is stellar and every single person in the audience is on their feet. This song is powerful and inspirational, a perfectly orchestrated pop song. It’s the ideal Eurovision song and she’s really giving it a good go. Wearing a white hood over a white top and jeans, she is alone on stage and interacts with the crowd throughout to really bring this performance to life. This could be a really good song for Malta.

2220: Song number 12 is “Young Love” by Maxine. A bright and cheery effort, this song is extremely catchy. She is dressed in a bright blue short dress and accompanied by three backing singers in yellow dresses. The song is a sunshiny homage to young love in all it’s forms. Toe-tappingly infectious, she’s very likable and has bags of personality and soul. To summarize: it’s easy-listening and could make a refreshing change from many of the other sassy female divas we’ve seen tonight so far.

2217: Lawrence Gray is next with “You’re Beautiful”. This song is a theatrical ballad which wouldn’t be out of place in a musical. He is dressed in a tuxedo and accompanied by a string quartet. The song is very dramatic and quite over the top: even for Eurovision. It features heavily on strings and piano. The vocal performance is quite strong though and he does deliver a good performance.

2210: After yet another set of adverts, we’re on to song 10 which is “Alive” by Jasmine. Personally, this is my favourite. It sounds like a B Side JLo track from the 90’s. There’s fierce 90’s pop/R&B vibes coming from this and her vocals are flawless. She’s dressed in a silver shiny two-piece and accompanied by two male dancers in black. The song is empowering and about how she is a fighter. It’s very catchy and it really builds.

2200: Another veteran, Jessika, is next to perform with her song “The Flame”. Jessika is very popular among fans, particularly after her stellar 2014 effort “Hypnotica”. In a contrast to her usual uptempo entries, “The Flame” is a ballad. She is standing alone on stage, dressed in a beautiful floor length white dress. There’s a lot of production behind this ballad; it’s very well put together. Her vocal performance is flawless, as expected. It’s a very standard pop ballad however that may not be enough for her to stand out as a potential winner tonight.

2155: Eighth on stage is Dominic with “Fire Burn”. This is pure unadulterated pop music. There’s a very catchy chorus which is very easy to sing along to. Dominic is dressed in a black blazer and is accompanied by four male backing vocalists and dancers who chant the chorus to the song. There’s some very good use of camera interaction in this performance.

2150: After another ad break, it’s time for song number 7; “Falling Glass” by Corazon. This is another song that fits very well within the “Eurovision” genre and would not sound out of place at the contest. In a low cut, full length, white dress, she starts this performance at a piano, however she’s not playing the piano…nobody is? There’s also a contemporary dancer who comes to life after the first chorus. The song starts as a little piano ditty that develops into an uptempo eurodance number. It’s a very catchy song.

2141: Here she is: it’s Christabelle with “Kingdom”. This looks to be one of the contenders for the title and my god is she fighting for it. Last year’s runner up, she’s returned stronger, sassier, and ready to slay the competition. This song is a powerful dance track that has “Eurovision” written all over it. In front of four backing dancers and a backdrop of thunder, lightning and flashing lights, she’s really selling this to both the camera and the audience in the hall. The vocals are strong, the song is very strong, she truly has it all, could this win?

2137: Raquel is next on stage, with “Flashing Lights”. Well known for her whimsical previous entries, this is no different. She has a very unique voice and a distinct sound; it’s almost like she’s putting on a British accent. Unfortunately for this mid tempo pop song, the staging is a little off. In a floor length black dress, Raquel actually looks quite old. She’s accompanied by a band and two dancers who start on the ground and burst into a contemporary dance half way through, it almost doesn’t work.

2132: After an ad break and a short address from our host; we’re back! Song number 4 is “Golden” by Brooke. Twitter has been alight with praise for this candidate for many weeks now with some thinking she could even win the competition tonight. This sounds very 2016. Her song is an electronic sounding uplifting ballad about diversity. She is standing alone on stage, moving the full length of the stage in front of a backdrop featuring different faces of various backgrounds. Wearing a black dress with a golden neckpiece, she confidently delivers this performance and interacts very well with the camera throughout. The performance is met with riotous applause in the studio.

2121: Song number 3 is “Under The Sun” by Daniel Testa. Daniel is a veteran in this competition and his sound has certainly matured over the years. “Under the Sun” is a mid-tempo pop track, the lyrics are uplifting and inspiring and it’s a really feel good song; similar to his previous work, just a little more grown up. He is wearing all black and accompanied by two male and two female dancers who are dressed in street-style clothing.

2116: No time is wasted moving on to our second finalists: Franklin with the song “Little Love”. I’ve always found him quite strange, he looks like he’s made of wax. He’s standing solo on stage in a blue blazer and denim jeans. The song is a very powerful ballad and his vocals are absolutely on point. It really builds as the song progresses into a powerful crescendo: it’s a stellar vocal and a solid song, despite what any lack in stage presence may indicate.

2112: It’s time for the first artist Deborah C to perform “All Around The World”. She is wearing a sparky black dress to perform this sassy, dance-influenced opening song. Accompanied by three backing vocalists, a DJ, and a saxophonist, she delivers a solid performance of this mid tempo dance track. The song has very strong 90’s hacienda vibes and is a solid dance track. She makes full use of the stage, walking the full length and interacting with her backing singers and instrumentalists. A solid opening song; catchy, but maybe not powerful enough to do any major damage in the voting.

2110: Our host then addresses the Maltese public audience and welcomes us all to the show, he also makes note to welcome guests from all nationalities and viewers who are watching the contest online by speaking in English. We’re then given a brief run down of the voting information and an introduction to the jury and how the voting will go tonight before introducing our first act.

2100: We’re finally off! 15 minutes later than planned, after an extended ad break featuring all of the Maltese sponsors who have made this event possible. The show is opening with a tribute to Malta’s success in Junior Eurovision featuring clips of 2013 winner Gaia, as well as a performance by 2015 winner Destiny with “Not My Soul.”

As is traditional in Malta we have many returning artists, including last year’s runner up Christabelle and 2002 Eurovision runner up Ira Losco. The full running order for tonight’s show looks a bit like this:

1- Deborah C – “All Around The World”
2- Franklin – “Little Love”
3- Daniel Testa – “Under The Sun”
4- Brooke – “Golden”
5- Raquel – “Flashing Lights”
6- Christabelle – “Kingdom”
7- Corazon – “Falling Glass”
8- Dominic – “Fire Burn”
9- Jessika – “The Flame”
10- Jasmine – “Alive”
11- Lawrence Gray – “You’re Beautiful”
12- Maxine – “Young Love”
13-  Ira Losco – “Chameleon(invincible)”
14 – Kim – “Lighthouse”

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