Malta places fourth as Italy wins spectacular Junior Eurovision Song Contest

Malta placed fourth as Italy won a spectacular Junior Eurovision Song Contest held for the first time in Malta tonight.

Maltese singer Federica galvanised the home crowd with her unique soprano voice and won points from all participating countries except Croatia. She got the maximum 12 points from Italy, with the Italian public probably remembering her victory in Italian TV's Ti lascio una canzone.

Italy's Vincenzo, the only boy to be a main singer in the show, won deservedly with Un Primo Grande Amore (See video below). He was presented with the winning trophy by Gaia Cauchi, who won the show for Malta last year. 

The winning song got 159 votes. Bulgaria was second with 147, Armenia 146 and Malta 116.

Croatia were last with a song called Game Over.

The show, a TV production beamed to millions of people, started with spectacular views of Malta before closing in on the singers as they all came on stage to the singing of the theme song Together.

The spectacular footage of the best of Malta and Gozo continued before each song, as Malta eyed the tourism dividend of having hosted the show.

The Malta show was the biggest Junior Eurovision contest ever, with 16 countries taking part. It was held in the converted sheds of the former Malta Shipbuilding, which were packed with an enthusiastic crowd.

Moira Delia presented, in English.

Nearly all the singers sang in their native language, with Malta being the exception in English.

High standards were evident, with the signers' performance belying their age.

Federica was also given huge applause when she waved the Maltese flag during the introduction. Her performance was very well received and there was cheering throughout.

Near the end of the show all the participants together sang the theme song #Together.

Gaia also entertained the crowd, singing a version of her winning song The Start and other numbers.

Half of the votes were submitted by televoting and half by national juries in each of the participating countries. The jury votes were submitted yesterday after the full rehearsal. 

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil and Bishop Charles Scicluna congratulated Federica.

Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia, who is also responsible for broadcasting, also thanked PBS, who produced the show in association with the European Broadcasting Union. Anton Attard, CEO of PBS, was executive producer.

Last year's winner, Gaia, with the new winner, Vincenzo. Picture - Matthew Mirabelli.Last year's winner, Gaia, with the new winner, Vincenzo. Picture - Matthew Mirabelli.

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