Eurovision fever has well and truly gripped the Island of Malta once again. The Eurovision Song Contest is, annually, the most watched programme on Maltese television, and this year, the national selection has stepped up a gear with a new larger venue. The final has been moved from the Mediterranean Conference Centre with a capacity of 2,000 to the 10,000 capacity Malta Fairs and Convention Centre, with a grand modern stage and full press facilities. esctoday.com will be taking full advantage of the facilities as we in association with partner site escmalta.com bring you all the news from the Malta Song for Europe competition.
This year it seems that the level of organisation is very high, especially when compared to previous years. The staging is also impressive, with a fully functioning modern stage with an up-to-date digital set. It is, however, understandable that thelimited sizeof the MCC, a much smaller venue, did not permit such stages.
This year, there will be a semi final in Malta, from which six songs will qualify to the Go Mobile Malta Song for Europe 2007 final on Saturday night. The semi final winners will be decided by 50% televote and 50% special jury. The final winner on Saturday will be decided by 100% televoting.
Earlier today, the first half of the running order for Thursday's semi final took their turn to rehearse on stage: You can click on the name of the singer or song to watch the rehearsal video courtesy of partner website www.escmalta.com.
Kevin Borg – Whenever
Kevin Borg was accompanied on stage by the composer of the song Jason Cassar, who is on a black piano. The lighting during the song is in blue. Kevin gave a very good rendition of his song where his high vocal capabilities could be heard. It seems that no problems were faced by Kevin during the song. When speaking to Kevin, he confirmed that he is very happy with this year's sound and stage.
Tarcisio Barbara – Places To Go
Tarcisio Barbara was next on stage. Tarcisio is accompanied by a whole band, and all his backing is being done live. As background Tarcisio has different coloured boxes on screen. Once again there seem to be no sound or any other problems this year.
Claudia Faniello – L-Imhabba Ghamja
Claudia is accompanied by the Romanian DJ Cat Solo, together with two female dancers. Claudia starts the show by coming out from a door with a big Maltese knights cross. As for background on the screen this song has the colourful sound equalizer which at times also include a female dancer and fire. Vocally the song was sung very well by Claudia, however the choreography still needs some polishing up. At times DJ Cat solo also joins into the dance routine.
ROSMAN PACE – Rollercoaster Ride
Rosman opened the second set of rehearsals after the break. His energetic song went down very well with the people in the hall. The singer is accompanied by two female dancers, whilst the screens show a literal rollercoaster ride. The lights are used very well during the song, especially when in the chorus white light flashes on stage.
JULIA GRIMA – Ice Queen
Julia comes out very well on stage. She is accompanied by Mark Spiteri Lucas, the composer, on the piano. During the first takes, the performance also included a mirror on stage which seems to have been removed. The screen during this song shows chrome circles. Julie makes use of the whole stage during this song.
WILLIAM MANGION – Forever Mine
William Mangion was together with a whole band and two violinists, who are placed in between of the lights. It creates a great effect. From information we have, it seems that William Mangion is a bit sick however the rehearsal went on fine. The background colour on the screens is green for this song. The guitar is played by Aldo Spiteri who is the composer of the song.
OLIVIA LEWIS – Vertigo
Olivia's background colours are red and gold. Lighting used is red whilst gold features on the screens. Olivia is accompanied by Joseph Chetcuti on the violin who gives a nice show in the centre of the stage and also a male dancer who also plays the gong. The dancer in the middle of the song joins Olivia and Joseph at the centre of the stage and does a dance routine using also two hand fans. Olivia comes out from behind the gong at the beginning of the song.