Their song is called “Coming Home”, but country-folk-pop band Firelight are about to leave the island. That’s because earlier this evening the group narrowly won the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014.

The five-piece band features a man who plucks an Appalachian mountain dulcimer, and a woman handy with the harmonica.

Formed last June, the group has written that it hopes “to produce a fresh sound to the music scene both locally and internationally.” Their number is definitely fresh for the Mediterranean. But it’s less novel in places like the Louisana Bayou, Applachia, and large parts of honky tonk land in the United States.

The group’s selection is part of a growing trend at Eurovision this year. Ilse DeLange and Wayon, the Dutch representatives, have said they will sing a country-bluegrass number. And Switzerland’s Sebalter won his national selection with a hand-clappy folk tune inspired by a roadtrip through the United States.

Um, seriously: should we stage Eurovision 2015 in Biloxi, Mississippi?

De Bee came second with “Pin in the Middle”. Daniel Testa came third with his song “One Last Ride”.

Fans of Jessika and her song “Hypnotica” will no doubt be upset. She won the televote. But unfortunately that only accounts for 1/7 of the total score, with the other 6/7 determined by a “professional” jury. We put that in quotes because it featured a few folks who, far from working in the music industry, are just heads of delegation at foreign broadcasters!

In our readers’ poll, conducted ahead of the semi-finals, Firelight only came sixth—losing to Jessika, among others.

In honor of the televoting winner, let’s give her a reprise.

http://youtu.be/56T9CYxbvlg

What do you make of tonight’s result? Is Malta going to make it out of its semi-final?

Willy Lee Adams contributed this report from London. Follow him on Twitter @willyleeadams. You can also keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following wiwibloggs.com on Twitter and Facebook.

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Rhys
Guest
Rhys

Worst song Malta have ever chosen. can’t see it getting out of the semis. A real shame after last years great entry.

Raymond Catania
Guest
Raymond Catania

What’s on earth is going on here!!!! What is the trend of todays Music?? Strumming guitars, violins, harmonica, cello, ukuele! So the jugdes were right and that’s a good choice, besides a good voice and great harmony sound! Firelight are loaded with great completed musicians, Knows what todays music is! Knows how to read music!! Forget Ballads, Dance on floor, and those firework sound!! If we want to challenge we have to where the wind blows!!See Swiss song! based on violins and strumming!! People vote most probably not for the song but for image and popularity!! We want quality !!… Read more »

Charles M
Guest
Charles M

This is a fantastic song and I am sure that with a little of polishing will be among the top songs in this year’s finals. Great vocals except for the first few notes where the clarity was not that great. Am really happy that the preferred song by the public did not win this festival as it was not my choice for a winner.

Lucas
Guest
Lucas

I saw this guy that sings last year competing alone with a song style totaly different from country… That’s what makes me upset, because they’re not original… At least They were, It would be more fair… I think that De Bee should have won…

mike
Guest
mike

In my opinion it a good song for the Eurovision and they should include
Instuments like Violen or a Mandoline giutar because these kind of things
Will surely help in the Eurovision.Well done also for the organisers.Fantastic show.

Arianna
Guest

There’s even cry out that Gary Barlow’s “Let Me Go” sounds similar to Coming Home. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENrj5u_lrWw

Arianna
Guest

I’m not entirely a fan, but I don’t dislike it either & I’m sure I’ll end up liking the final version. I don’t swing country, but at this is more on the folk side, I’m kind of liking it! Really far off choice..not what we’re used to and this could be a good thing!

Anna
Guest
Anna

Malta will never be in the scene wich such as this song

Charles
Guest
Charles

I cannot understand the musical tastes of the average Maltese!! The televoting exposed it all!! If a song does not have the crap of head Banging, or monotonous and tasteless music ,, they’re not happy!! One last Ride was TERRIBLE and Hypnotica was not far behind!! Malta will never be in the scene with such songs, hard enough as it is ..all we need is to present this kind of music and we will just linger down the bottom.

Ken
Guest
Ken

Malta can’t have internal selection in future cause Maltese broadcast have no professional even to take out songs. See for the jury choose this winning song to the competition! This say all! Shame Malta!

Kristin Kristjans
Editor

I like 🙂 (and I´m part of WiWi)

Charles
Guest
Charles

@Alex: My answer: NO! I don’t think it is healthy or unhealthy … it’s just one big puzzle piece in this whole Eurovision charade that probably I don’t mind having the balls to speak about. Now … if everyone of us relates to it … let the cap fit your head and stand by it. Rather that than pretending that there has been a radical change in attitude towards the musical approach in Eurovision from the majority of ESC fans. The fact that everybody here is so upset that dance tunes like Jessica’s or Daniel’s lost to some awesomely mature… Read more »

Malta Fan
Guest
Malta Fan

The fuss is the lack of transparency. Don’t tell the public ” you have a vote ” if you’re going to do your best to make sure the public vote doesn’t actually matter. Internal selection is fine. Just don’t stage MESC then

Fonz
Guest
Fonz

PBS have every right to select the winner. In fact the head of delegation, after Gaia s victory said on a public show that from next year an internal selection will be held for ESC. Many countries use internal selections. Why does it have to be such a big fuss in Malta?

D
Guest
D

I think I remember someone commenting on a post about Malta that Firelight was preselected to win. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but it is a little weird.

Mex
Guest
Mex

U.S.A., is that you?

Nevertheless, interesting choice. Pretty much FAR FAR FAR away from what one eurofan expects. 🙂

Well done. Hahahahah…

Malta Fan
Guest
Malta Fan

As a Maltese I am disgraced by this selection. I voted for Jessika. Jessika won the televote. But the voice of all the televoters is only 1/7 of the score? Why does the whole nation voting only = one juror vote? Why? Because PBS chooses the winner in advance and the jury is told how to vote. SHAME ON YOU MALTA!

JulianaESC
Guest
JulianaESC

I don’t mind the song but personally I prefered Daniel. But on eurovisiontimes someone stated that the Maltese broadcaster internally chose Firelight and Gianluca last year. I don’t want to believe it but because of Firelight’s win these allegations should be taken seriously. Maybe it’s time for the Maltese to be more democratic to the televoting.

Carola G:Son
Guest
Carola G:Son

Hahahahaha. Coming Home is Going Home. Sorry Malta. Should have gone with Pamela or Jessika or Davina or Chris Grech. My country’s song (Albania!) is best so far!

Nadine
Guest
Nadine

Agree with you @Raisa. This song steals Iceland 2011. Also, it is a sad effort at Mumford & Sons. If I was Maltese I would be ANGRY. Malta chose JESSIKA. But a jury chooses THIS? I think someone paid someone some money. CORRUPTION. Just like with Azerbaijan and Malta last year….

Rebecca Val
Guest
Rebecca Val

Easily the worst song selected so far. It’s worse than TEO Cheesecake. The good news is that Poland, Greece and other countries in the second semi-final have one less song to worry about. BYE BYE MALTA!!!

Darius
Guest
Darius

This is perhaps the WORST entry from Malta since Thea Garrett in 2010. This song is bad attempt at country music. It upsets me. I always cheer for Malta…but not in 2013. And in response to “Annette” this is not about being a negative person. It’s about being honest.

Krs
Guest
Krs

De Bee came second place not Daniel Testa!!!!

Bogdan Honciuc
Editor

I like the song and I prefer this choice rather than “Hypnotica”, because I like diversity. I don’t know how well Malta will do in Eurovision this year, I’m just glad that its jury was bold enough to send something else other than a generic dance song or a bland ballad. We’ll have enough of those coming from other countries…

And yes, I am part of Team Wiwi. 🙂

Raisa Georgsdottir
Guest
Raisa Georgsdottir

While watching the song, I cannot help but think it is very similar to Iceland’s Coming Home that was sung a few years ago and not only because of the title. Last year I was certain that Malta would make it to the finals. This year….. not so much. I cannot believe i’m saying this, because i usually disagree with the public for voting for popularity instead of the song but in this case, Malta is an exception. I’m sorry I have to say this but come on, it’s time we send something original instead of different versions of previous… Read more »

Krs
Guest
Krs

People always complain because Malta always sends cheesy songs like Vertigo, Vodka, I Do which gave us horrible results. Now we send a proper song and people want another cheesy Vella-Borg song. LOL. GOOO FIRELIGHT!!!!!!

Alex
Guest
Alex

@Niki: It’s not about being disallowed to sound like Mumford and Sons, it’s about how similar the song is in particular to “I Will Wait.” Go listen. The main chords are the same, and the key is the same, and the guitar strumming is similar. You could literally sing I Will Wait over the instrumental to this song for the first part and it would sound essentially the same. That said, I’m still a fan of the song due to the vocal parts being dissimilar enough, but the dissenters have a legitimate point!

Nadine
Guest
Nadine

Why you guys didn’t like this song? “Coming Home” is 100x much great than the “Hypnotica”. Eurovision is not a night club, it is a song contest. “Coming Home” is such a different song, not like that chew-it-for-3-minutes.

And for Mario, who needs your “Top 14” anyway? We don’t need it :p

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Am I the only person that actually really likes the song? I honestly couldn’t care less about the voting system; why don’t people just forget about how the song was selected and concentrate on the song? It’s something different and just what we need at the contest. People would be complaining if it was an up-tempo dance song saying things like “just another trashy eurocrap song” or “once again, a Loreen copy” or something ridiculous like that. Why can’t people just judge songs on their own musical merits than compare it to previous Eurovision songs? There’s always complaints that the… Read more »

joey
Guest
joey

@Alex, Tomorrow being a ripoff of HEY SOUL SISTER is not my point at all…..puh-lease!!! My point is that a lot of people should not be surprised!!!! Since that voting process is used like last year, they should accept what the jury decides!!!! Or else, they should change the voting process to begin with!!!

Dhani
Guest

wiwibloggs donsen’t like this song because they don’t understand mature and non-dance music. if there is another genre in eurovision than dull euphoria-copies all the time, they will go mad.
those who have good taste in music knows that this is a great song!

Fonz
Guest
Fonz

And by the way….if you werent so dedicated on writing a eulogy to jesika….you would have noticed that it was actually Debee who placed second and Daniel testa 3rd.

Fonz
Guest
Fonz

What is wrong with you wiwibloggs.com? This post was supposed to explain firelight s victory and instead you put in the 9th placed video??? Were is the sense of compassion for the winners? MANY maltese people liked firelight and 4th place from 14 in televoting shows this. I know this is a competion but some people should quit being jealous. This also happened lastyear. Last year there was booing in the audience when Gianluca won. Now he s a hero. Deja Vu…..

Anette
Guest

wiwibloggs.com, you tweet that you feel sorry for Malta and that you “haven’t seen such a negative reaction to a #eurovision selection in a long time”. Well, that could be because you attract a lot of negative people to your site. Personally, I have only heard good things about the selection and I think the right song won. 🙂

Francesca
Guest
Francesca

Jessika Muscat must have been the winner, that’s what us, Maltese people voted for, although the most original song (in my opinion; De Bee-pin the middle). Well, still I wish all the best for Richard and after all everyone should give the group all of our support and luck. After all- we are a Maltese. Best of luck <3

Niki
Guest
Niki

But seriously people?? This song is great, it something different for Malta, something which is currently fresh. Sure the Maltese public wanted Hypnotika to win…why? Because she put on a provocative dress? Firelight deserved to win. And yes maybe it sounds similar to other songs but don’t all songs coming from the same genre sound similar?? I mean seriously, just because Mumford and Sons exist it doesn’t mean no one else is allowed to produce music in the same genre as they do. So grow up, and THANK GOD that the jury was there to choose a song that could… Read more »

Nick P.
Guest

I’ll admit it, this is very close to being a Mumford & Sons song. The same could be said for Finland’s song being a rejected Coldplay track. The reason I’m thrilled to have songs like “Coming Home” and “Something Better” in Eurovision is that it opens the doors for bigger or better artists who are in country, alt-rock, or whatever to make the leap to Eurovision in the future. In the end, some admittedly ripped-off songs are so worth it in the end because Eurovision will become more musically diverse. If Jessika (whom I really liked) or Franklin won, it… Read more »

Mario Melvan
Editor

What’s your best country-like song in the Eurovision song contest should be our next poll.

This song wasn’t even in my top14! I wonder what’s wrong with ‘maltese’ jury this year. Well,at least we know who will win for sure in 2019…Gaia!

Buttered-Coffee
Guest
Buttered-Coffee

I’m not into this entire folksy/country music theme Eurovision 2014 has going on right now, at least coming from someone that’s from the U.S., it’d be like I never left! I hope the next 30 countries have some sense and leave the country music back where it originated..

jessie
Guest

Omg malta what have you donee I supported you last year but not this year ugly song hypnotica true winner not firelight

Pastora Soler haha
Guest
Pastora Soler haha

The jury was drunk?? Terribe choice and I don’t understand why they ask for public vote if then they don’t care…

This was 4th!! by public vote… Definitely Malta din’t want them in Eurovision.

Say bye to the grand final… 🙁

Alex
Guest
Alex

Charles, don’t you think it’s kind of unhealthy to be wishing fans to be upset…? You should really be hoping that they grow to appreciate the songs that you think are deeper. And if the past few years show anything, with everybody going wild for Loreen, Pastora and Emmelie, it seems to be that they have grown in such a way already 🙂

Alex
Guest
Alex

I just listened to Pamela, the Wiwibloggs poll winner, and I think she also would’ve been a good choice. Daniel Testa would’ve been a great choice – his song isn’t as generic as some were insinuating, and really has nothing to do with Only Teardrops. He also has a great voice. However, I think Firelight did slightly better live. Firelight had two great voices, and they sounded great, despite some unintelligible, off-beat backup vocals that sounded like muttering. I dunno, either one would’ve worked, and Malta went with what’s probably the riskier entry. Jessika’s performance wasn’t bad but her vocals… Read more »

Samuel
Guest
Samuel

Horrible choice! And a so called “Professional” jury who fired off points in a very “odd” way. Heads of delegations deciding???? how odd!

Charles
Guest
Charles

@Dhani: I might kill myself in the morning LOL but I have to agree with Dhani. ESC fans (and I don’t know if Wiwi bloggers relate themselves to that or not, don’t really care anyway) but for the most part ESC fans always want Eurovision to be a televised representation of a Saturday night gay club where europop at its worst is showcased to the fullest: either dance pop songs that try too hard to follow the current trends of David Guetta or the ethnic sounds specially the ones that come from Greece (with a lot of yelling, too much… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

Actually, Wikipedia seems to indicate that the televote was 1/6 of the vote, not 1/7 as reported here – then again, Wikipedia may be wrong. Last year it was even more jury-biased, though: televote was 1/8 of the vote!

Oh and yes, Tomorrow did play off of Hey, Soul Sister a lot too. But it’s a much better song, and it placed Malta in the top 10 despite a lousy draw, so the point isn’t too relevant. We should be celebrating the fact that they’re not sending songs like “One Life” or “This Is The Night” anymore.

joey
Guest
joey

….and since the voting system was used last year, and you’re happy that TOMORROW won (which by the way, a cheap version of HEY SOUL SISTER), you should not be surprised about the outcome for this year!!!! don’t say that IT’S A SHAME FOR MALTA crap!!!! again, as i was saying, IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT!!!!

joey
Guest
joey

actually, it’s YOUR OWN FAULT, PEOPLE!!!! you keep comparing HYPNOTICA to EUPHORIA and now LOOK WHAT HAPPENED!!! You people are IDIOTS!!!! I am very speechless at these point, NOT WITH THE WINNING SONG but WITH YOU PEOPLE WHO COMMENTS!!!

Ken
Guest
Ken

It’s a shame for Malta

Ian Charlton
Guest
Ian Charlton

The voting system is the same or similar to last year. I questioned then why the public vote counted for so little in the end result – in fact – its not worth participating in the public vote to be honest. Kevin Borg won the public vote last year – but didnt receive the same support from the jury. The competition this year is again of the highest quality – and there are a number of songs that could have won. One of my favorites was De Bee – but to be honest I though any of 6 songs could… Read more »