Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—rubbed sun screen all over each other’s bodies and went island-hopping in Malta, Gozo and Comino. After we were sufficiently sun-kissed, we gathered on the beach to review Firelight’s Eurovision 2014 song “Coming Home”. Did their folksy number about loss and separation tug our heart strings? Or were we just ready to go home by the end of it? Read on to find out…

Vebooboo: This dude doesn’t light my fire, but his voice sure as hell gets me moist. There’s such a delicious quality about it. And let’s just say it makes me want to come home to him. So for the first two minutes I’m literally in my own la-la world dreaming about this man’s voice…then all of a sudden some crazy lady starts screaming out of the middle of nowhere. Woman, this is my dream, get the h*ll out of it and leave me alone with the lead singer. You need to go.  Need. To. Go. But seriously, what an utter shame. An amazing song which just falls flat in the last minute due to overcrowding of uncoordinated voices.

Score: 6/10

Bogdan: I like the song and I was happy when Firelight won the national final. Firelight reminds me of Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men, which I love. BUT the live performance at the national final was terribly disappointing. Voices all over the place, static show… If they don’t improve it, despite being in the second (a.k.a. easier) semi-final, they will be “coming home” earlier than planned. Not to mention that they’ll be performing first on the night. Yeah, they’re pretty much doomed unless they step it up big time. Maybe your selfie will help?

Score: 6/10

Deban: One would think that wining the Eurovision Song Contest paves the way for a Country Music Award nomination. Firelight is partly responsible for the current resurgence in the American flavoured genre at ESC. Sounding more Montana than Malta, Firelight crank up a country number that’s memorable in a radio jingle kinda way. Although jolly and inoffensive, it’s also rather bland and formulaic.

Score: 4/10

Angus: Malta are normally among my faves. If everyone else fails I can count on Valletta to deliver something great. Not this year though. Firelight grate on my tolerance. It’s so relentlessly folky and actually a little bit painful to listen to after a while. Emulating Gary Barlow does not a good song make. Why anyone thinks this will make the final is beyond me…

Score: 2/10

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Patrick: I have the feeling I’m the only one who likes the song. At the Malta Eurovision Song Contest “Coming Home” was flat, with a bland stage performance and some seriously dodgy vocals. I was really upset when they won. But then I heard the final version of the song and I fell in love. And when Firelight released the music video I felt like they were literally touching my soul. It’s really difficult to capture World War I in a music video, but I think Malta has done so with aplomb and the result is one of the best clips of the year. To be honest, it’s not a winner and not a song made for the Top 10, but it’s still a solid song with a great message. Ix-xorti t-tajba Malta!!!

Score: 8/10

Padraig: If I was Mumford & Sons I’d be on the phone to my defamation lawyers. The incessant comparisons between the Grammy winners and Firelight is completely ridiculous and borderline offensive. You wouldn’t compare Daria Kinzer to Britney Spears simply because she’s a blonde pop singer, so why insist in drawing similarities between 2 completely different folk groups. The song itself is a bit of a trainwreck, particularly the live version, which is essentially a clatter of voices and instruments straining to outdo each other. The studio cut is significantly better, but it still lacks any real refinement. This looks destined to languish in the semis.

Score. 3.5/10

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Billy: It’s a nice entry but it could have been A LOT better. When it comes to title, lyrics and rhythm, we’ve seen “Coming Home” many times in the contest already. This particular entry deals with the hard issue of war, and it does so deftly in the TVM video clip. However, a touching ballad would have fit this subject much better than this folksy ditty. A group of happy people…each playing a different musical instrument. This reminds me of somethingWill they all sit on a bench together too?

Score: 2.5/10

Katie:Using a theme of war for anything is difficult thing to pull off, and Firelight have failed miserably in doing so. They claim to be trying to “remember those who never came home”. Good intentions, horrible execution. In the video the “World War One trench” is a plastic, cheap movie version. And I cannot get over the “bomb” that’s closer to the explosion that goes off at pantomimes whenever Tinkerbell waves her wand. Not good Firelight, not good at all. And was World War One really the best theme for a song called “Coming Home“? WHOEVER MADE THIS VIDEO NEEDS TO STUDY HISTORY! Am I over-reacting? No, surely I can’t be. It’s just such a stupid, not sensitive thing to do and if this is the theme they use for their Eurovision performance I will be quite annoyed.

Score: 4/10

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Sami: It’s a happy song and the music video is great, but I can’t help being upset that Daniel or Jessica didn’t win in Malta. I like Richard’s vocals, but I think the song is a forgettable copy of a thousand other country songs. I think it has a chance to reach the final, but I hope it doesn’t do well. I don’t expect it to.

Score: 2/10

Wiwi: The good people of Firelight have been working hard since the Maltese national selection. They’ve taken a song that I didn’t particularly like and have turned it into something layered and emotional. I love how Michelle’s voice blends with Richard’s, and the overlay of voices in the bridge gives the song amazing texture and drive. Of all the bluegrass and folk numbers at ESC this year, this is probably my favourite. I just wish they didn’t have to perform first in their semi.

Score: 6/10

All 19 members of our jury rate each song. However, we only have room to share 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining nine scores.

 

Zach: 4/10

Francheska: 2.2/10

Mario: 4.5/10

Mike: 1/10

Anthony: 4/10

James L: 2/10

Maxim Montana: 10/10

Ramadan: 0/10

William: 6.7/10

The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 0 and a high of 10.

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.02/10

You can check out our latest Eurovision 2014 reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.

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Rogie
Guest
Rogie

MMMm
I only do the one listen because that it what the viewers get. Not normally a country style fan but actually found this quite catchy. Dont think they will get away with the “remebering those who didnt come home” on the show, but you never know.
Have a feeling may sneak into the final

MoMo
Guest
MoMo

I agree with Deban. This song grabs me but doesn’t at the same time. Pity

Leon
Guest
Leon

The band has a good feel to it though the lyrics are weak. The video used is potent but it will be a real challenge to show case this offering on stage. 4/10

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

I actually like this song and I hope that they’ll reach the finals. Jessica and Daniel were my favorites for Malta’s NF but I like the final version. The end gives me chills, actually. ^^ It’s in my top 15.

Nebi
Guest
Nebi

@ Ceyhun..reverse your statements and you will be correct. Azerbaijan sent the most boring song whilst the Malta song is very entertaining. btw, I’m inclined to look at reviews of last years songs by reviewer and match them against actual votes to see how predictive these reviews are.

Ceyhun
Guest
Ceyhun

Boring song .I do not know why Malta sends boring songs.Azerbaijan is the BEST !!WE WILL WIN!!!
DILARA <3
AZERBAIJAN<3

Joseph
Guest
Joseph

@Katie

It’s a paean to all who died with no name (and even those with) in the savage wars that tore apart our common 20th Century. The thought of home was the only thing that made life living at the time. And brave George Cross Island Malta experienced very heavy bombing itself. On another level it can be seen as the importance of home and the people who, hopefully are always waiting for us there like Hardy’s RETURN OF THE NATIVE. Thought provoking and brilliantly executed, MALTA.?

Armond
Guest
Armond

The lead singer’s voice makes me wanna throw myself out of the window. It’s just so annoying! Bring back Chiara (1/10)

Chesco
Guest
Chesco

There seems to be some sort of vogue about semi-country music this year. Pity that Malta doesn’t deliver a particularly well constructed example, as a song, it feels like an afterthought or even an after eight…not to everyone’s taste

H.K. Dick
Guest

At first I thought Malta had made a horrible mistake selecting Coming Home but I think it was about my 3rd listen that I really started to enjoy it. Whilst it wouldn’t make my top 10 of the year, it would comfortably fall into the mid range which will probably be enough to qualify, then fail in the final. It seems that every song has to be compared to something else. In 2014, is no surprise that hardly any song is totally original but that didn’t stop is from enjoying it as it is. It may lack originality but that… Read more »

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Malta had the best NF in terms of quality this year, and they go and choose the worst of their 20 songs… Nope, that’s not the way it should be.

0/10

Alex
Guest
Alex

The male lead singer has a really gorgeous, warm voice. I get the same feelings as Vebooboo there. That being said, Padraig, the comparisons to Mumford and Sons are not off at all. Very similar feel and chords (and the same key) to “I Will Wait” for most of the song. I’m not sure why this song gets such a negative reaction, though. It veers on the unoriginal side, yes, but it’s one of the best-sung entries in the contest. Yes, as several have said, there is a lot going on in the vocals near the end. But it’s not… Read more »

Z24
Guest
Z24

Oh boy, here it is one of those… Malta really can’t find something not even the least bit interesting? I even commend the effort they take to fill their NF with 3 minute fillers. Literally nothing from Malta these last years has even impressed me. It’s all on from “meh” to downhill. As for this one, it has a better use of the strings than last year, but is making eerily similar acts and songs a new trend? I hate comparisons with ESC songs, but still, it’s a red flag. If Malta is a country that goes through the finals,… Read more »

Zolan
Guest
Zolan

@Easpag.
As long as each juror is self-consistent it doesn’t matter. The power in splitting all songs into two groups is countered by the loss of control within each group.

The scores are not measurements with an exact meaning. Your 5 is not the same as my 5 etc. The combined result is the closest thing to a stable measurement that everyone can understand. And the eventual ranking ignores the absolute differences as well.

Thiefo
Guest
Thiefo

Haha I laughed at Vebooboo’s review.
Another entry that doesn’t cause anything in me, another of those “not bad, but not that great either” songs. I so wanted Daniel Testa or De Bee for Malta, even Davinia who was so annoyingly sweet (she was my guilty pleasure) would’ve been more interesting IMO. I like the performers, they seem so nice, and I think they’re talented, is the song what I don’t like.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

This is such a great song with a great message :’)

SJ
Guest
SJ

For me worst song from Malta from 1991.

Dan RO
Guest
Dan RO

Another terrible song… It’s not worth my time… Toilet break written all over it! When will you start reviewing the good songs, like Spain or Italy?

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

Doesn’t do anything for me. Generic, and the vocals are nothing special.

But Ramadan has to stop giving these ridiculously low scores out. It seems like he’s giving a 0 or a 1 nearly every second review, and it’s becoming a little annoying.