Claudia Faniello wins the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with “Breathlessly”

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Snatch the crown honey! Sixteen acts slayed on stage tonight in Valetta, proving that everyone’s favourite Eurovision island knows how to bring out the fire when it counts. But one act’s flame burned brighter than everyone else’s: Claudia Faniello won the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with her song “Breathlessly” and will represent Malta in Kyiv in May. And the other 15 acts? They got burned

Claudia’s win was a surprise for fans who had picked Brooke Borg to take the trophy with “Unstoppable”. But it’s the live performance that counts most and Claudia’s classic-style ballad “Breathlessly” won over Maltese viewers.

After trying to win the competition almost continuously since 2006, Claudia definitely had sentiment on her side. She’s never gotten bitter — she’s just gotten better — and that showed tonight.

Given that the result was determined 100% by the televote, public sentiment for this familiar face could have proven crucial in her winning. Then again, her voice is so strong she could have won over plenty of international jurors, too.

Claudia likely benefitted from closing the show. In a draw held in Valletta earlier this year, the opening act and the final act were drawn at random, while producers filled in the remaining spots to their heart’s content. After all these years of trying, it seems luck was finally on Claudia’s side.

Second place went to Janice Mangion with her Maltese language song “Kewkba”, and third place went to Kevin Borg with his self-written ballad “Follow”.

Speaking to wiwibloggs after her win, Claudia was still smiling from ear to ear and was understandably emotional.

“I’m so happy to be holding this trophy right now,” she said. “Thank you all for your support and for believing in me throughout the years, but especially today with my song ‘Breathlessly.’ I send you lots of love and kisses from Malta. Thank you. See you in Kyiv!”

MALTA EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2017 RUNNING ORDER

    1. Klinsmann Coleiro – “Laserlight”
    2. Raquela Dalli Gonzi – “Ray of Light”
    3. Deborah C & Josef – “Tonight”
    4. Kevin Borg – “Follow”
    5. Jade Vella – “Seconds Away”
    6. Crosswalk – “So Simple”
    7. Franklin Calleja – “Follow Me”
    8. Rhiannon – “Fearless”
    9. Miriana Conte – “Don’t Look Down”
    10. Shauna Vassallo – “Crazy Games”
    11. Janice Mangion – “Kewkba”
    12. Cherton Caruana – “Fighting to Survive”
    13. Maxine Pace – “Bombshell”
    14. Richard Edwards – “You”
    15. Brooke Borg – “Unstoppable”
    16. Claudia Faniello – “Breathlessly”

CLAUDIA FANIELLO – BREATHLESSLY INTERVIEW

CLAUDI FANIELLO – WIWIJAM 2016 PERFORMANCE

The interval acts included Malta’s JESC 2016 star Christina Magrin and the returning queen Ira Losco.

The Eurovision 2016 star performed a medley of her “Chameleon” and “Walk On Water”, then rocked out with her new single “We are the Soliders”.

Claudia has big shoes to fill after Ira took the island back to the grand final in Stockholm last year. She placed third in the semi-final, and 12th in the grand final, giving the island its best result since 2013 when Gianluca made the top 10.

Malta is drawn in the second semi-final this year on 11 May and will need to win one of ten qualifying spots to make the grand final on May 13.

What do you think of Malta’s Eurovision pick? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know by commenting here and on our app!

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