Hello Malta! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has travelled to the archipelago of Malta. While looking for a good deal on a Mediterranean cruise, we took time out to discuss Malta’s act for Eurovision 2017 — Claudia Faniello with “Breathlessly”. Did the song leave us breathless? Read on to find out!

Claudia Faniello with “Breathlessly”

About Claudia Faniello

Claudia Faniello, 29, took part in the Maltese selection for the first time in 2006, the same year her brother Fabrizio was selected to represent the country. It took Claudia 11 attempts before she finally won the national selection, though in 2008 and 2012 she finished in a very close second place. Claudia finally won this year, with the Maltese public selecting her as their winner in a 100% televote final. Seconds after she won she could barely speak. “It was like a little movie inside my head of all the years participating and even remembering the time when I said ‘I’m going to stop going in because I need a break,'” she told us in April. “All of those experiences came into one on the night. It was an overwhelming experience.”

“Breathlessly” reviews

Deban: There’s a timeless quality to “Breathlessly”. A ballad that straddles many decades whilst committing to the merits of mellow rock. Claudia Faniello’s voice draws me in, and her lyrical expression remains hauntingly captivating.

Score: 7/10

Chris: A lovely woman, singing a lovely song, and she’s singing it in a lovely way. Great. Now what else? Malta inexplicably managed to send one of the worst songs from a sub-par selection, perhaps solely based on the idea that at least it’ll stop Claudia from trying again any time soon. There’s no such sympathy or story at Eurovision, however, which should rightfully see this dated ballad sent back home, perhaps via Hamilton Travel. There are far more superior songs like this with equally talented singers in the field.

Score: 4/10

Antranig: I forget the melody of “Breathlessly” before it even finishes playing. The positives for Malta are a talented vocalist and one of the more interesting songs lyrically. But when you can’t remember the tune, it might just be best to save those lyrics for a poem instead. Claudia deserves a better composition than what we have here. Are strong vocals enough to get Malta through? I wouldn’t rule it out.

Score: 1.5/10

William: Don’t deny: Claudia Faniello can sing! She feels every note and pours herself into every verse. And while I love her, the song leaves me wanting. From the heavy cymbals to the sappy melody to the feeling of Trisha Yearwood in slow motion, it comes from another era. Sadly it doesn’t leave me breathless, just frustrated that Claudia doesn’t have a song worthy of her talent. However, having re-watched it with the music video, it really grew in my estimation. The trick here is to deliver arresting visuals so the song becomes an afterthought. It’s the only way to the final.

Score: 3.5/10

Forrest: Claudia Faniello has a voice fitting of a power ballad, but unfortunately “Breathlessly” comes up powerless.  The song continuously teases a great crescendo, but fails to deliver. Even Claudia’s vocals, stunning as they are, seem underused and constrained by the simplicity of the track. This feels like it belongs to another era; perhaps eleven years ago when Claudia first started competing for a Maltese ticket to Eurovision. In a year particularly heavy on ballads, it seems likely Malta will be overshadowed by more impressive and contemporary options.

Score: 3/10

Jason: “Breathlessly” is like a sweet summer bloom wilting in the heat. Tired and old, it struggles along desperately for three minutes. Claudia delivers emotion but at times it seems forced. The lacklustre composition really holds her back, and it is quite a shame. Unfortunately for Malta, there are many stronger ballads in the contest this year.

Score: 4/10

Padraig: I’m always left in a state of indifference after listening to the charmlessly bland “Breathlessly”. The song has dramatic aspirations but never delivers. All good dramas have a start, a middle and an end. However, we’re offered three minutes of sameness. There’s no dynamism. Claudia sings with all the passion she can muster, but there’s only so much one woman can do with such poor material. She may as well be reading off a take-away menu.

Score: 3.5/10

Robyn: Claudia Faniello, yes, but with this song? “Breathlessly” is so tired and so old. It’s only going to work if its place in the running order strikes the right chord in the “divorced auntie” demographic. But a good Eurovision song shouldn’t have to rely on running order voodoo. It should work on its own and “Breathlessly” doesn’t.

Score: 4/10

In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Anastas: 2.5/10

Andy: 4/10

Angus: 3/10

Anthony: 4.5/10

Antony: 4/10

Bernardo: 6/10

Bogdan: 2.5/10

Dayana: 2.5/10

Edd: 6.5/10

Erdi: 3/10

George: 5/10

Jacob: 6/10

Jordi: 6.5/10

Josh: 4.5/10

Jovana: 5/10

Kristin: 4/10

Luis: 4.5/10

Marek: 5/10

Matt: 3.5/10

Mikhail: 2.5/10

Natalie: 5/10

Patrick: 5.5/10

Renske: 6/10

Rezo: 6/10

Sami: 2.5/10

Sinan: 6/10

Stanislav: 6/10

Steinunn: 3/10

Tobias: 2/10

Zakaria: 4/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1.5 and a high of 7.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 4.25/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See our current Eurovision 2017 reviews and rankings

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Digital Style
Guest
Digital Style

This song is really difficult to listen to – not because Claudia is a bad singer, or because the song is boring, but because of how awkwardly the song is structured. The lyrics also don’t really make a lot of sense and the song doesn’t match Claudia’s powerful voice that really should be elsewhere.

Ninu tal- Milied
Guest
Ninu tal- Milied

As a fellow Maltese, I’m sad to say this. Now while i like her and obviously Love (note the capital L) Malta, this year the only song we should have chosen, without even any shadow of a doubt was Kewkba. Not only is it a great, great ballad, not only was it sung perfectly with very good staging (and yes I think Claudia had the best staging on the night), but is also in Maltese and it has one powerful message. Having said that I wish Claudia all the luck in the world, and hoping she won’t do a Faniello… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thank you everyone for your reviews. I find it fascinating how this song has divided opinion among so many. I wonder if it’s because of a certain “generational” sound? I grew up with songs like this, so I love them. But I can imagine thinking it was “boring” if I grew up with more up-tempo songs instead. Continue enjoying the music. 🙂

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

The comments here are quite moderate if compared to some live reactions. The sassiest I’ve heard is ‘Bruslussleey’ which killed me how accurate it was. I understand she sings it with her heart, but it doesn’t reach me while sung this way.

Pablo
Guest
Pablo

And here’s the worst song of the year. I believe Malta is stuck in some sort of a time loop where they think being in the top 20 in the 70s is the ultimate goal, back when there were 21 countries competing. This adds nothing new to the contest, in fact it adds nothing to the contest. Malta tried with Gianluca and Ira (even if the song had nigh nothing to do with Malta picking it, maybe for the best) in recent years, but they just don’t seem to get it yet. This song carries almost nothing beyond “it’s performed… Read more »

CharlieChan
Guest
CharlieChan

I Never liked Brooke, she would have placed like Amber in 2015. Claudia brings a good song, but she shouldn’t bring it to Eurovision. It just doesn’t fit. People usually need time to like these songs (like me), but with the other songs she’ll be competing with in May, I don’t think she’ll have any chances… The video elevates it a lot, but will the performance? I’m sorry, but I’m not sure it will…
8/10 (but I don´t have a lot of hopes)…

Lukewarm
Guest
Lukewarm

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The fact that the song isn’t all that annoying saves it from a bottom 5 placement. 3/10

04 UK | 13 DEN | *16 POL* | 19 LAT | 20 ICE
26 NLD | 33 MNE | 34 ISR | 36 GER | *37 MLT*

Undo My Sad
Guest
Undo My Sad

Honestly one of the worst entries from Malta. The Maltese only vote because they like a person or “deserve to win” and it is never about the song. I do not even know why Malta bothers to send an entry when every year the runner up or another song is far better but people end up not voting for the best song because they do not find an appeal to the singer.
They should withdraw
0/10

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

If I listen to every song in SF2, I think, with the right staging, this could make the final, excpet for Malta. I even think that with LITHUANIA. This song has no way of getting in the final, it is lost here. It is boring and flat, and around my last places, at least in SF2. A big downgrade from Malta since 2013.

1.5/10

12345
Guest
12345

@ MARC Yes Malta being the “biggest” country in Europe has a lot of funds and a lot of money to keep corrupting eurovision jury in Eurovision. Being the “biggest” country Malta can give million of euros to each jury to give Malta very high points Hahahahah I laughed my heart out while reading your comment…I’m so sorry but I cannot resist from commenting. Malta always sends songs that appeal more to the jury than to the viewers at home. The same is going to happen this year ~ Top 5 with jury and Malta and Claudia will qualify to… Read more »

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I like it , so I won’t give it lower than a 5 /10 just because it’sa ballad and a bit oldfashioned. I respect her as an artist and yeah 5/10 nothing more to say. Will it qualify ? Probably not, but there is around 15% chance that it would.

Leo M
Guest
Leo M

This is so boring. I really stuggle to sit through all three minutes of it. This has not a hope of reaching the final.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

It’s grown on me a bit, but it took me a loooong time. Still not good enough for qualification.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

So bad.
The dangers of going 100% televote in your national final. It did not have to be this way. This is the worst song in the semi-finals (but not the worst overall – you can work it out!) and should come last. Robyn hit it on the head, it just sounds tired.

MMs
Guest
MMs

@M_K: Most of my favourites are ballads as well. It’s OK 🙂 Everyone is entitled to his opinion, it’s a matter of tastes. Regarding Eurovision fans complaining about ballads I am of the opinion that they need to celebrite diversity not just preach it 🙂

M_K
Guest
M_K

@ MMs

I love ballads, most of my all-time favourites in Eurovision are ballads. This one just doesn’t do it for me, sorry. 🙂 I do have to agree though that some people complain about every single song that is a ballad and praise every single song that is upbeat.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

I think this is a sweet ballad and Claudia has a beautiful voice. Yes, it is old fashioned, yes, there were better entries in Malta’s selection. But I still like it and it is in my top 15. I think it’s a safe non-qualifier because many people dislike it and it won’t stand out among other ballads.

7/10

MMs
Guest
MMs

Hearthwarming <3

The rating is so unfair. It clearly shows how some ESC fans clearly just like upbeat songs.

This is not boring this is beautiful! I really hope the juries will appreciate it.

Colin
Guest
Colin

This beautiful song got even lower score now than in the national finals. Lowest one so far. I guess ballads really aren’t your thing, Wiwibloggs. I think it’s lovely to hear an entry that relies on a power of a voice without necessarily making a lot of maneuvers and gimmicks. This song definitely IS old-fashioned. But so what? I am sure 40+ audience will give it a bigger televote than you can forsee. It is quite sad that the drivel from Montenegro scored so much higher just because it’s more ‘fun’. What about emotional value, does that count? 9 –… Read more »

azaad
Guest
azaad

I know people have praised the lyrics (although note that Malta is just one of four participating countries which has English as an official language, and so has a built in advantage with sending songs in that language) but “knowing there’s a vacancy within your heart” might just be the worst line of any Eurovision song this year. There’s nothing romantic or forlorn about something as bureaucratic as a vacancy.

Although my disdain for the song might be heightened by the fact that I wanted Janice to win so badly.

Evridiki
Guest
Evridiki

I can’t believe many people fail to hear the beauty of Claudia’s voice, these pretty original and emotional lyrics and simple but powerful instrumental…
I hope Malta somehow qualifies for the final (juries, work your magic once again).
The best Maltese in years and one of my all time favorites from Malta 10/10

Kris
Guest
Kris

Chances of qualification <1%

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

If Janice Mangion had won, given the reaction the Maltese audience gave her for “Kewkba”, she would have been among my top 3 for this contest, depending on the music video they made for her. Claudia was my #3 at the MESC (Franklin Calleja was my #2); but she sits at #18 on my ESC scorecard right now. She will ride the razor’s edge in qualifying from the 2nd semi.

M_K
Guest
M_K

Personal rating:

When this song was elected I could already imagine that the video would be Claudia walking through an empty house with the wind blowing through the curtains. It’s just another obvious textbook Vella/Borg collaboration that doesn’t touch me at all. Even between 1991 and 1998 when Malta always finished in the top 10 no matter what they had sent, this would have probably not been a favourite of mine.

2.5/10

Prediction:

No way.

What I expect: Bottom 5 in the semi final.

Eve
Guest
Eve

Most pleasent voice of all female singers, I enjoyed listening her live, wonderful woman, sings with emotions <3 Sadly, she will struggle to qualify with this song..

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

“Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are
dropped.”: Guess who gave the highest score? (Deban!!)

There’s no doubt Claudia has a beautiful voice and of course she can sing! However, as much as I try to like it, I struggle! It’s monotonous and the melody is forgettable. Only a good staging can make this entry better.

I’ll give it a 5! (mostly for the voice)

Marc
Guest
Marc

This is really boring, yet better than the mediocre “Walk on water” and overrated Ira Losco.

We’ll see if Malta keeps corrupting juries, and keeps exchanging jury points with rigged juries from Armenia and Montenegro.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Correction: It’s D-Flat Major! (Not D major, that was a typo). Haha!

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Note to songwriters: If you’re going to enter a simple “verse-chorus” piano ballad into Eurovision, this is how to do it. Ahh, the sound of D major. 🙂 Put simply, this is a beautiful song. It harks back to the days of long super-albums from the likes of Celine Dion or even Shania Twain, and at track 16 or 17 there would be an extremely slow gem stuck on the end, just like this. “Breathlessly” has that personal touch for me that you just can’t have in any other form of songwriting. It evokes so many memories just by itself.… Read more »

aurora
Guest
aurora

She needs a staging like that picture in her video : blue sky, columns, and her in a red dress.

(#Angel)
Guest
(#Angel)

I really like Malta’s song.
It’s pretty nice & such emotional ballad
that leaves me touched & captivated.
My grade: 7/10 – My rank: 14th/42

5) ISR 8,5 – 7) LAT 8 – 10) ICE 7,5
11) UK 7,5 – 14) *MAL* 7 – 16) DEN 7
20) NETH 6,5 – 27) MON 6 – 33) GER 5,5

Dew
Guest
Dew

boring as hell..

Park Electro
Guest
Park Electro

I’m in the minority that says she will qualify. This is a timeless ballad that should descend the generations. It’s hard to stage entries like this without gimmicky things (dry ice, sweeping lights) but I’m sure they’ll find a way to the final

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Y’all scalped the good sis, but with good arguments: it’s very forgettable. I also feel like it isn’t the right song for her vocals. There’s no way this is going to be in the final lbr – it joins Lithuania, San Marino and Ireland as the obvious non-qualifiers from SF2.

MMs
Guest
MMs

Underrated again…

esconly
Guest
esconly

That awkward moment when Deban gave the highest score

aurora
Guest
aurora

Better than overrated Ira Losco.