Malta's Olivia Lewis touched down in Helsinki yesterday, and after a night's rest she took to the Hartwall stage today with her entourage for Vertigo.
Olivia's appearance is a dramatic affair, starting out with white and molten ultraviolet arcs of light spinning on an electric blue background behind the action on stage. As with FYR Macedonia, the Maltese delegation appear to be experimenting with different colour schemes, as this eventually changed to golds and – as if wanting to keep up with the competiting entries – more red. The delegation seem to have decided on the latter, complimenting the stage props.
Olivia sings before a huge golden gong in oriental style, as large fans – somewhat smaller than Portugal's – are waved aournd the stage. Two shirtless male dancers interact with Olivia through the song, one on the violin, and one in charge of the gong. Three female dancers complete the set, performing a fan routine behind the principal three.
As if inspired by previous contestant Norway's skirt ripping antics, Olivia's topless male backing dancers tear off the white clothes wrapped around their waists halfway through the song, but rather than discard them completely they become white banners which are whisked around the air behind the singer.
Olivia appeared on stage in an orange top and black leggings, and the fringe has gone; instead, her hair was swept back strikingly from her face. The vocal was good, starting modestly in the first couple of run throughs and building to full power in the final sets. There is a big finish when all the artists come together, and the audience reaction was a warm one. Her final runs were extremely strong and controlled vocally, and the presentation is a powerful one overall, full of the drama and passion that characterised the video.
Press conferenceQuestion: Why does the stage show is different from the preview clip?
Olivia Lewis: Less dramatic aspect at the performanceQuestion to Gerald James Borg : How did the story of writing Vertigo come out?
Gerald James Borg : Influenced from Hitchcock's movieQuestion: Can you sing a song that is not Maltese or English?
Olivia Lewis: YesI don´t mind ifI have a good teacher Question: What will your dress be like?
Olivia Lewis: It will be on the same lines as the one in promo tour but different colorsQuestion: Which is the most precious gift that God gave to you?
Olivia Lewis: My voice and my eagerness to share it with people
Question: Can you presentthe backing vocalists to us?
Presentation: Jaana from Finland, Johanna and Lisa – Swedish
The Maltese delegation thanked Thomas G:Son for his contribution to the production of the song.