Firelight: we’ll stand out to have a chance at Eurovision
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Firelight: we’ll stand out to have a chance at Eurovision

Hoping to be Coming Home as champions

Richard Micallef with Junior Eurovision winner Gaia Cauchi.Richard Micallef with Junior Eurovision winner Gaia Cauchi.

Gone is Gianluca Bezzina’s Tomorrow. Yesterday, we all woke up humming a new ditty.

It is called Coming Home and is somewhat folksy, a bit pop with a touch of country.

Coming Home is the Malta Eurovision song, by Firelight, which clinched the much-coveted trophy on Saturday night at the MFCC in Ta’ Qali.

The five-piece band will be heading to Copenhagen, Denmark, in May to try their luck at the Eurovision semi-finals.

Lead singer Richard Micallef, still visibly dazed from the exciting night, said they still could not believe the turn of events.

“We were not expecting it. The level of songs was very high this year,” Mr Micallef, of Rabat, said.

The song outdid the 13 other finalists and won the maximum 12 points from four of the five - mostly foreign – judges, totting up a total of 63 votes.

The 32-year-old explained how Gianluca Bezzina’s winning song last year had taught him a lesson.

“If you stand out, you stand a chance in Eurovision. Gianluca taught me a lesson to try to produce a song to stand out.”

There was also the ‘strange instrument factor’ – very typical of Eurovision songs.

“If I got a euro every time I’m asked what the instrument is, I’d be a rich man,” the full-time musician quips.

It is an Appalachian mountain dulcimer used a lot in country and folk and its strange shape is a definite eye-catcher and might lure European audiences into voting for the song eventually.

Social media yesterday was rife with people dissing or lauding participating songs. Several commented that Coming Home had echoes of Mumford & Sons’s I Will Wait.

“Yes for sure, we were inspired [by Mumford & Sons]. It is a style which I really like and I wanted to go down that road. But we were also inspired by Gary Barlow, James Blunt and others,” Mr Micallef said.

The band is made up of three fellow musicians: Tony Polidano, who plays the bass, Matthew Ellul, on guitar, and Leslie Decesare, on drums.

There is also Mr Micallef’s sister, Michelle, on piano and vocals.

If I got a euro every time I’m asked what my instrument is, I’d be a rich man

“It’s been great working together,” she said. Their other brother, Wayne William, also took part in the festival with a separate song.

“He deserved a better result,” said his sister, “but he’s very happy for us.”

She noted that he was also a “big part” of Coming Home, having mixed and mastered the track.

The band members are all geared up for three months of hard work.

“Now we’re going to talk to [PBS chief executive] Anton [Attard] and he will get us in order,” quipped Mr Micallef.

The song festival was the talk of the town yesterday as many debated whether the song Pin the Middle, by DeBee, which placed second with 46 points, would have been more of an original choice.

Former Junior Eurovision contestant Daniel Testa came third with his song One Last Ride, reminiscent of last year’s Eurovision Song Contest Danish winner, Only Teardrops.

The winning song was determined by the votes of six judges. Televoters were the equivalent of a seventh judge. The favourite song with those watching it from home was Jessika’s Hypnotica.

The stage setting and the backdrop were visually and technically engaging.

However, viewers were distracted by other goings on: the showy costumes, the cleavage, the legs, the toned bodies of the dancers, presenter Moira Delia’s blips and the dancing routines – one even included a cage.

The star of the night, however, was national treasure Ira Losco who was entertaining/presenting in tandem with Malta’s favourite singing doctor Gianluca Bezzina.

But more than her singing, it was her outfits that seem to have had an impact.

“For sure, I’m getting my girlfriend one of them Ira’s fish net dresses for Valentine’s day,” said one Eurovision TV viewer.

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