Grab your tan-kinis and get ready to ride a musical wave: The Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2017 takes place this Saturday, 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 Janice Mangion with her song “Kewkba” (Star). Will the only Maltese language song in the competition rise above the rest? Read on to find out…
Janice Mangion – “Kewkba”
William: Power ballads aren’t just about shouting — and Janice Mangion offers a masterclass on the matter. Despite her undeniable strength and her enormous voice, she still lets us hear her quiver. She manages to show vulnerability and fragility amid all the big notes, making this touching ballad all the more touching. It’s the only song that’s given me goosebumps during the current Eurovision cycle. It’s magic and it would be a worthy winner in Malta.
Deban: “Kewbka” unfolds with magical moments one after the next. Janice’s voice is the perfect vehicle for this. It packs in a wide range of emotions, and serves it musical theatre style. Furthermore, I salute her bravery for singing in Maltese. It is a beautiful language, and her flawless vocals leave me wanting more.
Josh: A pleasantly surprising entry from Janice this year. Malta has a beautiful language and yet they have elected to sing in English for a long time, and I would love it if Janice broke that tradition and got to sing “Kewkba” in Kyiv. There’s so much dramatic tension in this entry that I get goosebumps on every listen. And the revamp to add extra elements into the last chorus really rounds out a solid song. Outstanding.
Jordi: Janice’s “Kewkba” is all about emotion and she manages to take me to another dimension. This is magical. I’m hypnotized by her impressive vocals and I can feel how truly powerful her song is, even if I don’t understand the meaning. She does wonders — despite the fact the song feels quite dated. It’s memorable and has enough power to stand out among the other ballads. Strong contender.
Robyn: It’s so good to find a Maltese language song in MESC! “Kewkba” is an old-fashioned ballad, but the modern sound of its production helps bring it into the 21st century. The song takes a while to get going, though, and at Eurovision, that’s a risky move. But when it does get going, Janice has the perfect opportunity to show off the depths of her strong and emotive voice, without the need for shouty diva notes.
Chris: Oh look, it’s another soaring ballad that would probably fit in better on a film soundtrack than at Eurovision. Perhaps that’s overly harsh, though. Janice’s vocals are crazy and the decision to sing in Maltese elevates this amongst many mish-mash songs in this selection. But outside of the language choice, does this really stand up against a Eurovision field? I don’t think it would.
Our jury for the 2017 Malta Eurovision Song Contest contains 14 jurors, but we only have room for six reviews. The remaining eight 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 4.5 and a high of 10.
Which one song stands out the the selection? That’s right…It’s Kewkba. Janice’s vocals perfectly compliments the Maltese language. If only this song gave goosebumps to William during the current Eurovision cycle, it must be special….and it is.
D’oh!!I love the Simpsons too 🙂
Did anyone else notice how the beginning of the song has the same tune as the pre-chorus of ‘Water of life’ Russia JESC 2016…..and then again a similar segment 5 secs later and then again repeated 1 min into the song? 😮
@Robin: D’OHHHH!! I thought (J)ESC was talking about the ESC itself! My bad and my apologies. I completely forgot about the MESC going entirely on televotes, which is quite appropriate considering how Jessika got screwed by an 83.33% jury tally in 2014.
I didn’t quite love a song in this NF, I was usually in the middle.
But this song is just amazing from the first listening (at least to me).
Yes, if sent, it would be another woman singing a ballad this year, but the singer has a really beautiful voice and I like the song is in Maltese.
Definitely my favourite for Malta!!
@(J)ESC Fanatic: I didn’t see anything about the jury being eliminated this year, especially after the EBU went the other way with the JESC and went entirely with juries.
As for Janice, I expect her performance to be a tear-jerker, especially with the song being done entirely in Maltese. She is my #1 for the MESC, with Franklin and Claudia rounding out my top 3.
I like most of our songs this year, but I will be voting for this one. Some may write it’s another ballad. For me it’s a timeless ballad sung in my mother tounge. Also, I would like everyone who votes in Malta to look beyond the name of the singer. Janice has an amazing voice and her rendering of Angel proved it again! I am looking forward to see her reaction when she is announced as our winner. Thank you for the great review. 😀
Yes! Her ranking is well-deserved. This, along with Brooke Borg, are the true standouts for me. But, I’m really cheering for Janice to take it to Kyiv. Fantastic voice, stunning song, Maltese language realness. It’s a 9.5/10 for me! Let’s hope the Maltese tele-voters feel the same way! Go, Janice!! 😀
This is actually the first song that I like in Malta.
@Willie…..Oh…..but its available for download in my country.Also mistakenly I spammed Sami’s 5 star-rating……sorry!! I’ts going to be legen(I’ll wait for it)dary
“But outside of the language choice, does this really stand up against a Eurovision field? I don’t think it would.”
The fact that it’s Maltese should help make it stand out in a sea of mostly Anglophonic songs. How often do we even get to hear someone sing anything other English nowadays? (The Balkans, France, and Italy basically unless I’ve missed someone out)
Hopefully Eurofans won’t hate on this just because it’s another ballad sung by a woman entering the contest.
Is wiwiblogs making an article about how Francesco Gabbani is storming at Itunes in so many countris (Poland, Switzerland, Greece, Belgium, Sweden, Spain and on and on)
You always do this with Sweden 🙂
Guys did you check out the wiwibloggs app?
This has all the boxes to do well at Eurovision!
Maltese sounds so beautiful on it! Please Malta you have a golden chance here to do well! Do not miss it! 🙂
Janice’s vocals are pure gold!
@ (J)ESC Fanatic – oh then I guess we can kinda predict who’s going to Kiev. But I’ll be crossing my fingers for Janice!
I can’t decide if I should vote for this or Maxine Pace’s “Bombshell”.
I would love to see Janice to win in Malta! My favorite is Maxine, but this is definitely a beautiful song that would make Malta stand out a lot. Good to see it scoring high.
Although I also like Brooke’s song, I think of Malta doesn’t send Kewkba to Kiev it will be such a missed opportunity… plus we still need power ballads at eurovision right? 🙂
Nice to hear Maltese! This is certainly a solid entry and a potential winner.
There’s no jury this year.
Love this! So unique and the language adds to the mystery and haunting nature of the song, even though there are already a few ballads I’d love for her to win
A great voice, the Maltese language we haven’t heard in over 40 years at the contest, and a song that is memorable enough – Janice is by far my winner for Malta. I hope the juries and the people recognize the value of this song. The risks shall pay off!