Surf, sand, sun — and some sizzling three-minute tunes! Yes, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2017, the island’s national selection for Eurovision, will take place on 18 February. 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 Franklin Calleja with his song “Follow Me”. Are we going to end up following Franklin all the way to Kyiv? Read on to find out…
Franklin Calleja – “Follow Me”
“Follow Me” reviews
Robyn: Franklin is a MESC regular and he obviously has a style he’s most comfortable with, but it’s always encouraging that he doesn’t return with variants on the same song every year. While “Follow Me” is sentimental and romantic (so Franklin!) it also sounds current and is surprisingly catchy. While I might not be the biggest fan of “Follow Me”, Franklin can deliver the drama and he does it well. #franklin2017
Chris: I find this one difficult as I’ve never really been a fan of Franklin’s vocal. I can, however, appreciate that he’s clearly talented and has his fans. For that reason surely he deserves better than this odd love song? I’m sure they do some nice cheese in Malta but this ain’t a type I want.
Jordi: I’m truly mesmerised by his impressive vocal range — it captivates from beginning to end. This is classic, in a good way, and I love the catchy and memorable melody so much. I love my ballads to be powerful and this song is bringing it! Some parts of the song do get slow, but I don’t mind following him to Eurovision 2017!
William: “When you open your arms, show me your heart, I’ll be the one by your side” — such overly sentimental lyrics are enough to make me vomit sugar and rainbows! The clichés continue with the sound, which seems to come straight from the 1980s. But despite all of that, Franklin’s on-point vocals and unique timbre make this strangely compelling. It says a lot about his vocal prowess that he can sell me a song I honestly can’t stand. Well done!
Deban: Two song titles with “Follow” in this year’s competition, but only one leads the way. Franklin excels at conveying emotion in ballads. His sophomore effort at the contest “Still Here” still remains one of my favourite national selection entries ever. Although “Follow Me” doesn’t usurp its place, it adds another radio hit to the emerging star’s growing catalogue of quality songs.
Forrest: “Follow Me” is an ethereal, Enya-esque ballad which seems more fitting for a movie soundtrack than a national final stage. Franklin continues to showcase his impressive vocals, which drip with emotion for the entire three minutes. My concern, however, is that this track may be pushing the boundaries of his range. The studio version has a fair bit of auto tune in places, potentially indicating problems when this is performed live.
Josh: When I first learned of Franklin entering MESC again this year, I said to myself, “Here we go, another screechy ballad.” At the first note I cringed, but luckily I was hungry because I had to eat my words. Franklin exudes power and confidence in “Follow” in a way that I’ve not heard from him before. He’s come close to winning MESC in the past and this year could be his year. I’m very impressed.
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 1 and a high of 8.5.