The last three winners of Eurovision only got to the contest, after losing in a previous national final first. This year, many artists with a similar track record will try to follow in their footsteps. In this episode we highlight Claudia Faniello from Malta.
Claudia’s career started in 2005, when she won a show aimed at launching new talent. Since then she never looked back. Her brother Fabrizio represented Malta twice at the Eurovision Song Contest and it has been a big dream of Claudia to follow in his footsteps. It took perseverance to actually achieve that dream.
A Song for Europe 2006
The year 2006 was the year when Claudia started her experience in the Malta Song For Europe Festival with the song “High Alert!” – a song composed by Ray Agius. At the same contest she won the award for best newcomer, even though she finished in 12th place in the year her brother won the final!
Malta Song for Europe 2007
The next year, Claudia Faniello took a chance with a Maltese song, called ‘L-Imħabba Għamja’. In the end, she got a bit unlucky. Out of the semi final, six songs advanced to the final, but Claudia finished in seventh place, narrowly missing out on a spot in the final.
Malta Song for Europe 2008
Another year, another attempt. Or actaully, two attempts! It was the best one thus far for Claudia. The song ‘Sunrise’ won the jury vote by far. However, the televote was not in favour of her song and in the end Claudia Faniello finished in third place.
Perhaps she was her own biggest oponent, because the song that ended up in second place was ‘Caravaggio’, which was also being sung by… Claudia Faniello. This song did well in the televote, but not as well as the song ‘Vodka’ by Morena Camilleri. 2008 will remain a year that Claudia Faniello will have a hard time thinking about.
GO Malta EuroSong 2009 Euro Showbox
Malta used a new format after not qualifying in 2008 and went for a casting show format. Claudia Faniello took part with a song by Ray Agius again. ‘Blue Sonata’ reached the fourth place and just missed out on a place in the superfinal. Close, but no sigar again.
The GO Malta Eurosong 2010
‘Samsara’ was the next song for Claudia, written by Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg. It was not a big hit, coming only in 8th place in the Maltese final, that was won by Thea Garrett.
Malta Eurosong 2011
Ouch…. zero points from the televote. That is why in 2011 Claudia Faniello got nowhere near the Eurovision stage with her song ‘Movie in my mind’.
Malta Eurosong Song Contest 2012
In 2012, Claudia got really close to Eurovision again. The song ‘Pure’ won the jury vote, but once again the Maltese televote was not in her favour. The fourth place in the televote gave Kurt Calleja the chance to win after all, leaving Claudia behind in tears again…
Malta Eurosong Song Contest 2013
‘When it’s time’ it’s time, but with this song in 2013, it was not yet the time for Claudia Faniello. She finished in 7th place in the Maltese final and stopped trying since then.
Claudia Faniello at Eurovision
Until this year! The comeback of Claudia Faniello in MESC was a big one. After the televote failed to help her so many times before, in a year with ONLY a televote to pick the entry, it seemed unlikely that Claudia Faniello would become the winner of the contest. However, she finally did it and will now go to Eurovision in Kiev with the song ‘Breathlessly’.
Knowing her long, long story, it is hard not to root for Claudia in Kiev. But if she will reach the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, remains to be seen.