Over the past few weeks, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — have been rating all of the songs participating in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2016 to determine our favourite entry. It got severe up in here, y’all. Bitches were sweating. But from it, a favourite emerged.

Our jury for this edition consisted of 18 jurors who hail from Australia, Austria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. We are truly international, hunty! Each juror assesses each song independently, and awards each song a score from 0 to 10. Before calculating the Wiwi Jury verdict, we drop the highest and lowest scores to reduce potential bias and outliers.

Below you can watch a video that presents our results in reverse order. You can scroll down to see the final rankings along with the average score and some of our comments. Click on the song title to read our review and watch our video reactions.

WIWI JURY: OUR TOP 20 FOR MALTA

1. CHRISTABELLE – “KINGDOM”

The best: (Antranig, 10/10) “”Kingdom” is by far the best entry in the Maltese field. Christabelle does everything she did right with “Rush” last year and takes it to a new level. It’s incredibly catchy and the lyrics are spectacular. She can do no wrong in my eyes — it’s the type of song you put on repeat for hours on end. You can consider me a loyal subject of Christabelle’s “Kingdom”!”

The worst: (Deban, 8/10) “Christabelle’s sass, energy and vocals SLAY! This power-packed pop anthem delivers, and sustains merit from the very first note. It’s upbeat, memorable and crafted with masterful touch. Regardless of its ranking at the MESC finals, I want the maxi-CD.”

SCORE: 8.31/10

2. IRA LOSCO – “CHAMELEON (INVINCIBLE)”

The best: (Denise, 9/10) “When I heard that Ira was participating this year, I went totally crazy. “7th Wonder” is still in my top three best Eurovision songs of all time. I had high hopes and I’m so glad that my hopes came true. I really like the song. The snippet made me think that it would be a different song — dark and mysterious. Instead it’s quite pop and catchy. My score might be influenced by the fact that it’s Ira Losco, but I know I would still love this song if someone else sang this.”

The worst: (Josh, 7/10) “Ira Losco. Maltese Eurovision legend. I had such high hopes for “Chameleon (Invincible)” during the snippet when the finalists were announced. Unfortunately the song as a whole failed to meet expectations. The song builds delightfully at the beginning but loses momentum halfway through and just keeps a continuous rhythm until the end. I was just hoping for more.”

SCORE: 8.13/10

3. BROOKE – “GOLDEN”

The best: (Josh, 8.5/10) “Another power ballad of female self-worth. Normally I’d be sulking about the whole “been there, done that” thing but there’s something really endearing about Brooke’s song. Brooke’s voice is quite a bit more raspy which adds to the power of the song. The chorus does remind me a little of “Flashlight” by Jessie J but I can get past the similarities because the song is, in my opinion, quite golden.”

The worst: (Deban, 6/10) “Lyrically, “Golden” is a standout. However, in order to appeal to all of Europe, it needs to punch beyond its lyrics. Yes, Brooke can sing, but she shouts too. Also, when I think of songs with similar titles, I prefer MikaJill Scott and Beverley Knight.

SCORE: 7.63/10

4. MAXINE PACE – “YOUNG LOVE”

The best: (Renske, 8.5/10) “The reason why I love this song is that’s so different from all entries in MESC this year and the average Eurovision entry in general. I love the Caro Emerald vs. Meghan Trainor vibes in the song. It gives me a lot of good energy, it’s so careless and happy! I hope Maxine can surprise us all with her performance and even win.”

The worst: (Josh, 5/10) “Dear Future Husband, I can see that those Lips Are Movin’, but I know that you’re All About That Bass. Seriously, 0 points for originality. Maxine has a lovely voice and it suits that style of 1950s-esque pop but I’m not a fan of Meghan Trainor’s music, nor am I a fan of “Young Love”.”

SCORE: 7.22/10

5. CORAZON – “FALLING GLASS”

The best: (William, 8/10) “Corazon’s voice is pure seduction: baby, I’ll do whatever you want so long as you want it! She pulls a bit of a blinder with “Falling Glass”. A strong if somewhat predictable opening minute gives way to a proper floor stomper. This is Valentina Monetta 2013, but with much better timing! It’s a hybrid entry that should appeal to fans of cheesy balladry and EDM in equal measure. That glass may be broken but Corazon is not — her best MESC entry to date!”

The worst: (Robyn, 4/10) “Corazon sounds like a classically trained singer, with a sweet, precise voice. However, “Falling Glass” seems written for someone with a bigger voice and more attitude. As a result, the floor-filling instrumentation ends up swamping Corazon’s delicate voice, and the lyrics about “falling glass” sound more like a health and safety warning.”

SCORE: 6.78/10

6. JASMINE ABELA – “ALIVE”

The best: (Josh, 8/10) “Everyone is harping on about how similar this is to “Warrior” from 2015 but I fail to make the connection. Jasmine has a phenomenal voice for such a young lady. Jasmine can hold a note without out sounding like a cat getting steam-rolled (sorry Amber) and the chorus is far more catchy than “BREAK. THROUGH. THE SILENCE.” I’m not counting this out of the race just yet.”

The worst: (Luis, 2/10) “Malta had a warrior last year and it didn’t impress Europe, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to send a song in a similar style saying that Jasmine is “a fighter and a survivor” because she might not survive the semifinals, like our dear Amber. “Alive” is a drama overdose that doesn’t really go anywhere: it gets repetitive and Jasmine’s voice doesn’t shine in any point of this baroque composition which would fit as a B-side for Malta’s entry in Helsinki, “Vertigo”. In case your brain has erased that, Malta got a 25th place thanks to a super kitsch and twiddly act.”

SCORE: 6.59/10

7. IRA LOSCO – “THAT’S WHY I LOVE YOU”

The best: (George, 8.5/10) “This song is really nice. I think it’s a power ballad that could do very well in Eurovision. The interesting music in combination with her beautiful voice makes a quite powerful song that stands a high chance of winning MESC. After all, that’s why we love her.”

The worst: (William, 5/10) “This goes on a bit. It felt like six minutes of Faith Hill (yes, the one from the 1990s). That said, the melody works well with Ira’s fabulous vocals and with the right staging this could create major atmosphere. I prefer her entry “Chameleon”, but this will no doubt appeal to the Maltese — who have a history of loving schmaltz and sugary ballads.”

SCORE: 6.56/10

8. DEBORAH C – “ALL AROUND THE WORLD”

The best: (William, 8/10) “From walks in Paris to margaritas in Mexico, Deborah C gets around. And I’m glad she has: her electro-Latino dance number is full of light and life (and at least one gold digger). The chorus is so catchy and oozes hope and promise and reminds me of late nights with sticky endings in Ibizia. I just love it! The perfect antidote to all the MESC men and women crooning about lost love.”

The worst: (Deban, 3.5/10) “Cringeworthy! This is material that won’t find the light of day in any major music market; well, not in 2016! It sounds tired and somewhat dated (not vintage). Even the name Deborah C is very pseudo Spice Girls. Yes, it was cool 22 years ago, not now!”

SCORE: 6.41/10

9. JESSIKA – “THE FLAME”

The best: (Anthony, 8.5/10) “The Sanna Nielsen of Malta returns with a laid-back pop ballad to show she’s no one-trick pony. As a fan of Jessika, I appreciate her sheer determination having covered a various range of genres. “The Flame” packs a powerful chorus that’ll stretch those vocals on the higher notes alongside the sweet, whispery verses in between. Another entry burning brightly from the flame-haired singer.”

The worst: (Robyn, 5/10) “Jessika has a versatile voice, ranging from a breathy Ellie Goulding style to a big shouty diva. But she should have been paired with a better song. “The Flame” feels like it runs out of ideas and has to resort to repeating the insubstantial chorus over and over. There are some interesting things happening with the verses, but the song as a whole gets tired fast.”

SCORE: 6.23/10

10. RAQUEL GALDES – “FLASHING LIGHTS”

The best: (Deban, 6.5/10) ““Flashing Lights” may be a moderate effort, but Raquel OWNS it! I love the sass and range she throws down. She is Malta’s response to Ellie Goulding, and I’m responding very well to her.”

The worst: (Denise, 4/10) “I’m sorry, I just can’t stand Raquel’s voice. Is it bad? No, not at all, it’s just a specific sound that you either love or hate. The song isn’t that bad, but I don’t like the wohoa-wohoa parts in it.”

SCORE: 5.78/10

11. STEFAN GALEA – “LIGHT UP MY LIFE”

The best: (Deban, 7.5/10) “While “Light Up My Life” doesn’t exactly set me ablaze, it starts a fire. I like its upbeat offering, and the formulaic scandi-pop production elements. It’s pacey, catchy and keeps me moving. Stefan sounds like an accomplished former boy-band lead that has now gone solo with a bang!”

The worst: (Robyn, 5/10) ” “Light Up My Life” is a good song but it’s not a great song. While all the components of the song are decent quality, the finished product just ain’t got no soul. It’s nothing that hasn’t been done before and there are plenty of other songs at MESC that stand out more.”

SCORE: 5.63/10

12. DOMENIQUE – “EMPTY HEARTED”

The best: (Patrick, 8/10) “Domenique is back with a way better song this year. I’ve always liked her voice and she is a sweet person with a nice stage presence. Though last year Domenique didn’t do that well and also had problems with her vocals, she is back and better than ever. “Empty Hearted” is modern, has a great beat and very good lyrics. If she nails all the vocals on stage, she will surely go to the final. You go, gurl!”

The worst: (William, 1.5/10) “Domenique’s heart isn’t the only thing that’s empty here. The song lacks substance — musically and lyrically — and there is nothing solid that I can cling to — a build up, a memorable hook, a catchy chorus. It’s built on clichés and so-so vocals.”

SCORE: 5.41/10

13. KIM – “LIGHTHOUSE”

The best: (Patrick, 7.5/10) “Now first of all Kim is a sweet girl with a very humble and cute voice. She has the perfect voice for a ballad and the story behind the song is sweet, I mean don’t we all want a lighthouse that guides us home? I definitely do! Of course Malta’s National Selection needs a cheesy ballad but this isn’t just cheesy, it’s also sweet and lovely. She won’t win the trophy but with some dazzling staging she could definitely make the final.”

The worst: (William, 3/10) “Kim sings that “this could be a big mistake” and she’s right. Her uninspiring and bland “Lighthouse” could lull a drunken sailor into a coma — even in the middle of a storm. Her voice is sweet, but not exceptional, and the melody is more lullaby than Eurovision.”

SCORE: 5.25/10

14. SARAH CRYSTAL – “RIGHT HERE WITH YOU”

The best: (Zakaria, 7/10) “I heard the song over and over and I’m still debating on whether I liked it or not, but at least I didn’t hate it. The song feels very flat and a little old-fashioned. However, I love that lounge feeling the song is recreating and Sarah’s soft voice fits very well.”

The worst: (William, 2/10) “I hate this lounge feel and I hate when electronic dance music doesn’t make me dance. It’s like sugar-free ice cream or caffeine-free Coke — promises a lot, but fails to deliver that buzz. The song just stopped playing and I literally cannot hum any of it. Bad sign.”

SCORE: 5.13/10

15. DARIO – “I LOVE YOU”

The best: (Deban, 8/10) “This is one of the most clever entries in this year’s MESC selection. Upbeat, catchy pop with enough suitable interludes in the structure allowing room for ambitious staging, piano, key changes and a featured vocal. Dario’s vocal is powerful without being over-powering, and the refrain of “I Love You” is catchy and universal.”

The worst: (Zakaria, 3/10) “Meh! It breaks my heart to see a good vocalist such as Dario singing such an insipid and ordinary song. The song doesn’t evolve at all and stays in the same boring monotonous tone for the whole three minutes. Even Dario sounds bored singing it…  Next please!”

SCORE: 5/10

16. DOMINIC – “FIRE BURN”

The best: (William, 9/10) “Generic, disposable and cheesy — it’s just perfect. In a field of sugary sweet and sleep-inducing ballads, this stands out for bringing the fun and dropping a major beat. There’s shape, there’s direction and there’s a sincere desire to make us move. Dominic, don’t put out the fire — throw on some more gasoline!”

The worst: (Josh, 3/10) “Can we please get past this dated dance music stuff? This sounds too similar to Kurt Calleja from 2012 for my liking. Funnily enough, this style of music was very popular in 2012 and now it just makes me cringe. The lyrics are cheesy. The song is overproduced. I wish the fire would burn all traces of this song.”

SCORE: 4.88/10

17. DANICA MUSCAT – “FRONTLINE”

The best: (Cristian, 6.5/10) “This song instantly puts me in a good mood. The verses are really nice, but sadly the chorus is pretty weak. I would listen to this song during a trip in my car, but I wouldn’t choose it for the Eurovision stage. It’s too forgettable.”

The worst: (William, 3/10) “I’m not sure what Danica heard on the grapevine, but I’m sure “She’s better than this song” was among the whispers. Although her sexy, sultry vocals shine through, the song goes nowhere and fails to strike the emotional note it so earnestly seeks. With this Danica is on the frontline — of bland, forgettable music.”

SCORE: 4.53/10

18. DANIEL TESTA – “UNDER THE SUN”

The best: (Rezo, 8/10) “I really like this song.”Under the Sun” is a catchy and upbeat song that is easy to listen to. Daniel has entered the Malta ESC contest several times, and I think this year he could take out the title.”

The worst: (Robyn, 2/10) “This is a good song, but Daniel is completely the wrong singer. “Under the Sun” needs a big diva – male or female – who can really belt it out. (Imagine how mighty it would be with someone like Amber on vocals.) As it is, Daniel’s version sounds like a songwriter’s rough demo recording.”

SCORE: 4.47/10

19. FRANKLIN CALLEJA – “LITTLE LOVE”

The best: (Robyn, 4/10) “Franklin’s delicate pixie boy singing style is something of an acquired taste, so this song won’t be for everyone. “Little Love” sounds like it’s building to an epic climax, like “A Million Voices”, but it never gets there. The song feels like it has run out of energy, a forgotten purpose.”

The worst: (Cristian, 1/10) “A sickly annoying song. I can’t stand Franklin’s style and voice — I find him so cheesy and outdated. This entry occupies the last place in my personal ranking, it irritates so much.”

SCORE: 3.44/10

20. LAWRENCE GRAY – “YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL”

The best: (Deban, 5/10) “A stifled falsetto trying to belt a power vibrato may work for pantomime, but it doesn’t take flight here. For a start, many of the lyrics sound muffled. Also, Lawrence Gray’s bleach blonde hair and plucked eyebrows do not offer a compelling argument for the narrative he’s singing about. Who’s beautiful? His mirrored image or the chick he’ll never lay?”

The worst: (Robyn, 2/10) ““You’re Beautiful” has such a tired, old-fashioned sound. Lawrence has an affected way of singing, which makes the lyrics difficult to understand at times. Perhaps that’s a good thing — the actual lyrics have lines that sound like direct quotes from a psychologist’s report: “Even as a child, you showed those special traits”.”

SCORE: 2.97/10

FOR MORE MALTA EUROVISION NEWS, CLICK HERE

15 Comments
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vellina
vellina
4 years ago

Go IRA ! I have been a big fan ever since we won back in 2002 ! Such a great artist !!

Jeanette
Jeanette
4 years ago

Maxine Pace is the winner for me <3

Diane
Diane
4 years ago

IRA LOSCO <3

Marko
Marko
4 years ago

Luis! I want to comment your comment on Jasmine Abela’s song! So, maybe it is like an Warrior! You really don’t have taste, WARRIOR IS MALTA’S BEST EUROVISION SONG!! Jasmine Abela my favourite! Amber is for me queen! We didn’t participate (Croatia) but i watched Amber cause her song was beautiful and powerful like song Alive. Greetings from Zagreb,Croatia.

#Secretly
#Secretly
4 years ago

i hope they will choose Corazon. She has tried so many times and finally she has a really good song. it’s a hit.

No Name
No Name
4 years ago

I find the refrain of “Kingdom” horrible. Bad production and cheap lyrics and annoying kinda melody, a very predictable one. Too sad when the first verse is quite okay. Really hope it doesn’t win..

@EugeneESCUK
4 years ago

I hope you are wrong here as it would be a disaster for Malta. This very dated (Irish) style has been tried, tested and failed before…………….. truly awful. Let’s hope they don’t have the drums, flutes and naff dancers in the presentation.

Sadly it is a contender, but 6 jury members have 85.71 % of the vote, I really hope they know what they are doing?

SpirK
SpirK
4 years ago

1. Chameleon
2. Falling Glass
3. That’s Why I Love You
4. Kingdom
…………………..
5. Flashing Lights
6. Young Love
7. All Around The World
8. Empty Hearted
9. Lighthouse
10. The Flame
……………………….
11. Fire Burn
12. Frontline
13. Light Up My Life
14. Golden
………………………..
15. Little Love
16. I Love You
17. Under The Sun
18. Right Here With You
19. You’re Beautiful
20. Alive
I think Ira will win with Christabelle being a close second, followed by Maxine, Corazon, Brooke and Kim .
.

Colin
Colin
4 years ago

I think Jessika has the best song this year.

Tom
Tom
4 years ago

I realy like this selection! They can send al lot of songs from the selection to make it trough te final!

Hugh
Hugh
4 years ago

Either I have bad taste, or the wiwi jury has bad taste, and my taste is impeccable so… 😉

Christabelle is definitely not the worst, but she’s not in my top 5. I’m pretty disappointed with the calibre of entry for Malta in general, I think the only song I would actually be OK with seeing at Eurovision is Corazon’s.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

I had quite a different take on these; and I must say, I may have been influenced by last year’s outcome and how I graded last year’s contenders.

9.40 Dario
9.40 Ira Losco (“Chameleon”)
9.38 Franklin
9.32 Ira Losco (“That’s Why I Love You”)
9.28 Christabelle

9.28 Dominic
9.22 Danica Muscat
9.20 Deborah C.
9.18 Jessika
9.18 Sarah Crystal

9.16 Daniel Testa
9.16 Domenique
9.12 Jasmine Abela
9.10 Brooke
——————–
9.06 Corazón

9.04 Raquel
9.02 Maxine Pace
9.00 Stefan Galea
8.86 Kim
8.76 Lawrence Gray

Methinks there will be a couple of surprises and maybe a shocker.

blondboybc
blondboybc
4 years ago

While I agree Christabelle’s song is very good, I have a feeling Ira Losco will be making another trip to the ESC in May with “Chameleon”.

DenizNL
DenizNL
4 years ago

Too many good songs to choose actually.

Ben Rafter
Ben Rafter
4 years ago

Chameleon and golden are the best! But I get why you like kingdom, something unique about it.