As excitement gathers across the Island of Malta ahead of the 2007 Song For Europe Festival, the first dress rehearsal for tomorrow night's semi final will be starting 20:00 CET. With posters of the 16 participants covering walls in shops, bars, restaurants and cafes from shore to shore, the whole ISland waits to see the songs performed tomorrow and to see which act will with the Maltese ticket to Helsinki.
After the dress rehearsal, esctoday.com in association with partner website www.escmalta.com will bring you a report about the performances and outfits worn by the singers, with photographs and interviews with the singers tonight, as we will be tomorrow with the six qualifiers that go forward to the final on Super Saturday.
2006 esctoday.com Song of the Year award winner, Mihai is in town to perform during the interval act for tomorrow's semi-final, esctoday.com will also be meeting up with him tomorrow and bringing you a message to the readers of the website after voting Tornero your favourite song of 2006.
THE FULL DRESS REHEARSAL UPDATE 22:30 CET
The full run through of the songs has now been completed and some performers are starting to emerge as clear favourites, here we will look at the qualities of the songs and why they can get to the final. The first to recognise is Olivia Lewis, three times the bridesmaid, never the bride? Well, in 2007 she could be, the performance is strong, the dress looks good, adding a Japanese theme to a song that already appeals to many backgrounds and styles, and Olivia seems to have a strong momentum. The obvious worry is that she could finish an unthinkable second for a fourth consecutive year.
If not Olivia, eyes are fast turning to the young Isabelle with the power ballad My love. The performance was floorless tonight and there are not many ballads to compete against it in a small country that has achieved it's best results with ballads. Chiara managed 3rd place at the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest and 2nd in 2005 with ballads, and Mary Spitari claimed 3rd place in 1992 with Little child. to win the Maltese ticket in a debut at the contest would be tough, but if anyone can, Isabelle can. If not herballad, then Keith Borg, the show opener, has a good chance too. Another confident and strong performance of a simple ballad could see him through to Helsinki with whenever if Olivia suffers virtigo on the scoreboard.
Pamela Bezzina is attracting attention with a very strong soul voice and a group of two men and two women that provide the perfect backing vocals to All about a life. Claudia Faniello has a strong chance too withL-imhabba ghamja. It's the only outright Euro-pop style song in the competition and that could win her extra votes in her bid to become the first person to represent a country the year after her brother. Trilogy are also attracting attention with arguably the best vocal performance and if Malta takes the line of saving the best for last, Trilogy could be the eventual winners.
Annabelle's Night wish has power and anger and the performance is also strong, resounding around the hall and impressing on screen with good use of dark colours. In contrast, Julia Grima performs Ice queen in white and the contrast is striking, both singers are solid performers and will be disappointed not to progress based on their efforts this week. As long as you know
If Malta goes for a young sound, Klinsmann will have a strong chance to do well. She gives me wings is in the style of Busted and McFly, both highly successful bands and the song is well performed by the young man. Rosman's Roller coster ride also has youth and an energetic performance flanked by two backing dancers could go down well with the public. Scar is another youthful rock band that can push for the final. Tarcisio Barbara is in contrast, but Malta has never shyed away from older performers and this is a good song with a very good vocal performance of Places to goform Tarcisio and the band. William Mangion, the 1993 winner of the Malta Song Contest returns with less hair and a strong vocal performance of forever mine. We've seen the Olsen Brothers win the contest and Hari Mata Hari and Brian Kennedy, and both performers can hope for a good result.
Daniela Delicata stands alone on stage in a simpleoutfit strummingthe simple tune Little islands in your heart on her guitar. It worked wonders for Nicole in 1982 when she won the Eurovision Song Contest and this song works well with it's performance.
The props working with songs get a mention too. Julie Pomorski begin's her ballad sitting sweetly on a swing. Once again, the stage and lighting work well to complement the performance. Last but not least is Mauro Kitcher, who can Unite enough televoters to reach the final with a woman with the biggest wings seen in a national final for years.