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.