Book your flights, pack your swimwear and get ready to eat fried food in the sun! The Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2017 takes place on 18 February, with 16 acts hoping to win the ticket to Eurovision in Kyiv. But before then, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating all 16 competing entries. Today we move on to Rhiannon Micallef with her song “Fearless”. Is Rhiannon conquering her fears in her MESC debut? Read on to find out…
Rhiannon Micallef – “Fearless”
Deban: “Fearless” affirms the right message, and provides a platform for Rhiannon to show off her killer vocals. However, and in a nutshell, it comes off as dated and rather boring. The tables may have turned mid-song. Unfortunately, not for the better.
Josh: Rhiannon is aiming high with “Fearless” and she’s surprising me. Her RnB ballad gives me massive Emeli Sandé vibes and I really enjoy it. There’s a level of raspiness and rawness in her voice that is engaging and enticing to listen to. The constant beat, particularly in the chorus is memorable and catchy. Overall, an above-average entry for MESC.
George: The production is quite simplistic without making the song sound cheap. Rhiannon’s delivery is clearly Sia-influenced and flawless and the lyrics could have come from an Adele song. When all these are combined, though, something just sounds wrong to me. I like it but at the same time I don’t. Plus it seems like they just ran out of time and stopped the song without actually ending it.
Luis: Sia met Sara Bareilles, and the result is not really convincing. The beginning of the song is quite dramatic and then it gradually loses power until the end — a slow death if you will. The 90s sound isn’t really engaging. “Fearless” would have made a good winner’s single for Natasha Bedingfield if she’d ever entered X Factor. Rhiannon has a warm and sweet voice, and she’s not afraid of throwing some big notes. Props for that, but good songs are not constructed entirely on big notes.
William: Rhiannon isn’t standing on her own two feet — she’s turning it out in a pair of diamond-studded Louboutins schooling Malta on how to perform an R&B ballad! Thoroughly contemporary yet carrying an undeniable gospel influence, this has so much potential. Unfortunately the song feels somehow unfinished and seems to cry out for a bit more production. But no matter. She’s cut herself a path into the Eurovision family and I’m happy to welcome her back next year!
Robyn: There are two trends wrapped up in this song: a Sia-style “overcoming adversity” ballad, and the Dami Im “Sound of Silence” influence in the form of huge diva notes. But beneath all that, the song itself isn’t strong enough. Rhiannon is sure to give a good performance, though, and the song could have more life at the grand final.
Chris: I’m getting mid-tempo, Helena Paparizou “Survivor” vibes from this track. That comes to a screeching halt with that bridge, though. It’s cheap and lowers what is a classy vocal performance by Rhiannon, who is clearly the star. The lyrics of the song also fail to resonate, as they feel messy and stuffed in.
Our jury for the 2017 Malta Eurovision Song Contest contains 14 jurors, but we only have room for seven reviews. The remaining seven scores are listed below.
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 3.5 and a high of 7.