Snatch the crown honey! Sixteen acts slayed on stage tonight in Valetta, proving that everyone’s favourite Eurovision island knows how to bring out the fire when it counts. But one act’s flame burned brighter than everyone else’s: Claudia Faniello won the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with her song “Breathlessly” and will represent Malta in Kyiv in May. And the other 15 acts? They got burned

Claudia’s win was a surprise for fans who had picked Brooke Borg to take the trophy with “Unstoppable”. But it’s the live performance that counts most and Claudia’s classic-style ballad “Breathlessly” won over Maltese viewers.

After trying to win the competition almost continuously since 2006, Claudia definitely had sentiment on her side. She’s never gotten bitter — she’s just gotten better — and that showed tonight.

Given that the result was determined 100% by the televote, public sentiment for this familiar face could have proven crucial in her winning. Then again, her voice is so strong she could have won over plenty of international jurors, too.

Claudia likely benefitted from closing the show. In a draw held in Valletta earlier this year, the opening act and the final act were drawn at random, while producers filled in the remaining spots to their heart’s content. After all these years of trying, it seems luck was finally on Claudia’s side.

Second place went to Janice Mangion with her Maltese language song “Kewkba”, and third place went to Kevin Borg with his self-written ballad “Follow”.

Speaking to wiwibloggs after her win, Claudia was still smiling from ear to ear and was understandably emotional.

“I’m so happy to be holding this trophy right now,” she said. “Thank you all for your support and for believing in me throughout the years, but especially today with my song ‘Breathlessly.’ I send you lots of love and kisses from Malta. Thank you. See you in Kyiv!”

MALTA EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2017 RUNNING ORDER

    1. Klinsmann Coleiro – “Laserlight”
    2. Raquela Dalli Gonzi – “Ray of Light”
    3. Deborah C & Josef – “Tonight”
    4. Kevin Borg – “Follow”
    5. Jade Vella – “Seconds Away”
    6. Crosswalk – “So Simple”
    7. Franklin Calleja – “Follow Me”
    8. Rhiannon – “Fearless”
    9. Miriana Conte – “Don’t Look Down”
    10. Shauna Vassallo – “Crazy Games”
    11. Janice Mangion – “Kewkba”
    12. Cherton Caruana – “Fighting to Survive”
    13. Maxine Pace – “Bombshell”
    14. Richard Edwards – “You”
    15. Brooke Borg – “Unstoppable”
    16. Claudia Faniello – “Breathlessly”

CLAUDIA FANIELLO – BREATHLESSLY INTERVIEW

CLAUDI FANIELLO – WIWIJAM 2016 PERFORMANCE

The interval acts included Malta’s JESC 2016 star Christina Magrin and the returning queen Ira Losco.

The Eurovision 2016 star performed a medley of her “Chameleon” and “Walk On Water”, then rocked out with her new single “We are the Soliders”.

Claudia has big shoes to fill after Ira took the island back to the grand final in Stockholm last year. She placed third in the semi-final, and 12th in the grand final, giving the island its best result since 2013 when Gianluca made the top 10.

Malta is drawn in the second semi-final this year on 11 May and will need to win one of ten qualifying spots to make the grand final on May 13.

What do you think of Malta’s Eurovision pick? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know by commenting here and on our app!

READ ALL OUR MALTA EUROVISION NEWS

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CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Robyn: See my reason for Brooke’s defeat with “Unstoppable” in my performance grades below.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Daniel: That was a VERY long time ago, when they just entered the contest. I think today’s audience would have been ready to accept a Maltese-language song. Who knows? Maybe next year Janice might just deliver it.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@kris: If the voting were 50% jury and 50% televote, I would have supported it. Unfortunately, the way Malta delivered the results in recent years was completely lopsided in favor of the jury. In 2014, Jessika’s “Hypnotica” won the televote, but the jury (83.33% of the score) buried her and she ended up 8th. But here, we have a problem, because even if they had done a 50/50 split scoring system, I think even the jury would have had a had time deciding between Janice and Claudia. Now, if one of them picked Franklin for 2nd, that might have steered… Read more »

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Better late than never. I’m glad I stayed as far away from anything that revealed the Maltese outcome, because I had to stagger out my viewing with EST, HUN, SWE and MLT. Here is how I ranked them; and I will list them in the order in which they sang: 9.125 (12) Klinsmann Coleiro: “Laserlight” (10th) A typical stage setup and performance, nothing really special. 9.313 (8) Raquela Dalli Gonzi: “Ray Of Light” (8th) I called this one right. I thought it was a very good presentation; but I didn’t think it would be good enough against the likes of… Read more »

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

First of all, another woman singing a ballad!

Janice, my favourite, was stunning! That was a performance!
I didn’t expect Claudia to win, but it’s a good song. It’s not a great song, it probably won’t sand out, among all these ballads we have so far, but she can sing! And if the song has the appropriate stage performance in Kiev, it will be great!

And don’t be so critical to any ballad! Just saying!

Robyn Gallagher
Guest
Robyn Gallagher

I’ve been thinking. In MESC it’s that artist wins, not necessarily the song. And in a small country where everyone knows someone who knows someone in MESC, there’s a lot more personal investment. So of course people are going to vote for that lovely Claudia who deserves to go to Eurovision after all these years, regardless of what she’s singing. Sweden is very good at separating songs and artists. That is, people don’t vote for the artist, they vote for the song. So even if an artist is really well loved, like Sanna Nielsen, she doesn’t get to win until… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

Incredible performance. That song is nothing without Claudia, and she makes it a real work of art.

Mario C
Guest

This is bland and old fashioned. Nothing special from Malta!
Mario’s Eurovision 2017
https://eurovision2017blog.wordpress.com/

Alex
Guest
Alex

This is so boring and bad. Goes nowhere! Forgettable unfortunately 🙁

I love Malta but i can’t pretend i like it or this is good compared to other ballads.

No final.

Babychops
Guest
Babychops

Best song so far, 12 points from your United Kingdom friends . Much love from London.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

Shout-out to Janice, she slayed!

Hebbuzz
Guest
Hebbuzz

This victory smells.

What an oldfashioned and boring song.
0% Originality, hardly any talent needed to sing this….

Maltese and good musical taste is an issue.

The only somewhat Eurovision-worthy songs in my opinion were ‘You ‘ and ‘Kewkba’….

Other 14 songs were pure tacky rubbish. Good enough for Junior maybe, not for the real thing.

Hello
Guest
Hello

Well it was 3rd in my top of MESC and i like it very much so I am happy with the fact that it won! And the performance made it look and sound even greater than the studio , just like what happenned with the UK. However I prefered Brooke and Janice, at least Janice came 2nd as it was in my top but Brooke was robbed! At least I hope it had a good placing. Btw Claudia looks a lot like Ira Losco!

DaimBarrr
Guest
DaimBarrr

I don’t want the Kiev performance to lose the magic from last night so the Staging team need to make sure pop up adverts for cheese and onion, tacky watches and tablets are plastered over the screen when she performs. #Cheeseyboobs

peter
Guest
peter

Claudia won because she is popular and she lost many time in their national finail Only not good because Claudia won win not good song , she had in past many better song. Similar happened in Yugoslavia, when Baby Doll won 1991m with not good song, she had better song in Jugoviziaj 1983,1987,1988

peter
Guest
peter

Polegend Godgarina

In Serbia with 7 milions people, Bojana winner in 2015 got 10547 sms, Danica on second place got 8039 sms, and Aleksa on 3 rd place 4363. Most televote sms vote got Milan in 2010 58,428 and Emina on second place 49706 sms.

peter
Guest
peter

I think that Malta wili again chance the song like last year, and they wili wait like last year last moment to present new song , like Bulgaria also did when they present song after period to publihs song.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

@Polegend: Those are 4,996 televoting POINTS, not actual vote numbers. How many votes that actually equates to I don’t know.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

@ Polegend Godgarina

It is because people who say that will vote, will not vote in the end. People don’t vote for politicians in the government (and that is for free), can you imagine them voting for songs? And that cost money, so it is worse.
People will not do what they say will do.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

It has emerged that Claudia Faniello won with 4,996 televotes. How come the televoting figures are so low on an island of 450,000, 92% of which watched the show? Was it because of the one-televote-per-device rule or?

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

@ Moon Light : ”Claudia is big star in her small island Malta for many years now, so she had many loyal big fans on her side…when Brooke just didn’t instead” You are right! I’m open minded, people travel, blah, blah, blah, but still, if you live abroad people will think that you try to use them or that you think you make them a favor representing them. Like patriotic Iveta (by the way, what about the flag scandal?), that actually lives in Germany. It is offensive, you can’t have the best of both worlds, you can’t be patriotic warrior,… Read more »

Hy
Guest
Hy

She’s lucky that she’s in the second-semi. This song is sooooooooo boring. “Walk on Water” is a million times better than this.

Skrim
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Skrim

We need more pace. What a boredom!

Josh
Guest
Josh

@Moon Light. Why didn’t you think Brooke would win? What reasons? Share the goss ?

ESCFan
Guest
ESCFan

I wanted Janice to win and I will admit I am disappointed as a Maltese. But guys stop saying it’s a ballad year all these things it really does not make sense. Most of the songs are not ballads.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

What a surprise! Good song and singer but I think there were some better entries. For example, Brooke and Franklin were absolutely amazing!

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

When is the deadline for songs? March 12 ?
I don’t know, but one thing is sure, in the same moment stagings are ready too, because the hosts from Kiev want to know very early what to prepare for the countries stagings.
So, don’t believe the artists who say that they don’t know about staging, because they do.
What singers can decide in the last moment is the outfit, because it has nothing to do with the preparations made by the host.

Esc Shane
Guest
Chicken Kyiv?
Guest
Chicken Kyiv?

2 dull female ballads out of 3. Sadly Hungary doesn’t provide anything of value either.

@charles nothing wrong with ballads, Georgia is fantastic, A million voices in 2015 and Australia last year are some of the best but a good contest needs a good mix.

Also what is your problem with rihanna, catch food poisoning in a barbadian hotel or something? 😛

Josh
Guest
Josh

Hey guys. Does anyone know the final standings overall apart from just 1st,2nd and 3rd? Cheers!

We love leds, visuals, air fans, ballads and divas
Guest
We love leds, visuals, air fans, ballads and divas

OMG! Another ballad! It’s going to be a booooring year. Only France Spain and Italy are offering something different so far.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I’m personally really happy Brooke didn’t make it – I never got the hype and I honestly found it a little grating. I’m also happy that Claudia has finally won the ticket to Eurovision, but this is one of her weaker offerings and that disappoints me.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

That was so random… poor Brooke! And thanks Malta for clearing up a place for Belarus in the final 🙂

Erin
Guest
Erin

Nobody is arguing there are any ‘performance issues’ with the composition…perhaps a lack of impetus and a lingering sense of anguish, but when you read the lyrics, you may come to the conclusion that our heroine is actually the worst kind of stalker: she needs superhuman qualities to suppress her inner storm and re-educate herself to do whatever it takes to be in her man’s good books. It’s like a self-inflicted ‘Fatal Attraction’, only she’s the bunny… In a perverse sort of a way, Claudia is gonna do a Michal Szpak this year. I can feel it in her bones.… Read more »

Nathan
Guest
Nathan

I think it is sad that Brooke did not win, the song was strong and had a potential to win the overall contest. To be honest, I cannot see the winner of MESC going to the Grand Final this year. Oh well….

Etienne Micallef
Guest
Etienne Micallef

A very emotional song. I was watching the final yesterday and Claudia convinced me to vote for her lovely ballad. Good choice. Happy with our traditional old school ballad.

Tobias Gemini
Guest
Tobias Gemini

@Charles THANK YOU.

carla
Guest
carla

I’m loving this song! Malta made a great choice choosing a class act over some cheesy songs. This has all it takes to shine in Kiev in a solid way
Franklin was also good, but song not a good match

Ricard Montpellier
Guest
Ricard Montpellier

My top so far!!!

MALTA
ITALY
FRANCE

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I hate it when people say that (almost) every ballad is boring, but this song is BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!!!!! I HATE IT!!! WHY NOT BROOKE!!! THIS IS AWFULL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LAST PLAE FOR MALTA IN THE SEMI!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Cheesy anf flat, I doubt that it will qualify for the final….

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

@ Charles : ”Blackbird? Please do sing to me again because I’m almost asleep and I’m not in the mood to go to the zoo!”

Charles, you are so funny, is this your purpose? Get over the gorilla!
SONG is not only music, is also lyrics and visuals too.
There are people on this planet who think that music should be only music, without words. Do you want that?
We are lucky that somebody thought to add lyrics/words, and also something to please the eyes. Is still art, like painting, just because is for the eyes does not mean is cheap.

Robyn Gallagher
Guest
Robyn Gallagher

I think this is what happened with Brooke. “Unstoppable” is primarily a piece of music designed to show off Brooke’s vocal range and secondarily a song. Because her vocals weren’t quite up to scratch, it fell back onto song quality. And as a song “Unstoppable” isn’t especially strong. Whereas “Follow”, “Kewkba” and “Breathlessly” all hold up as much better songs, so the audience connected better with those.

Tony
Guest
Tony

Boring song a sure non qualifier

Charles
Guest
Charles

Eurovision fans and ballads … a feud as old as time … Dana International tried to kill the genre from existing in Eurovision but … naaahh… did not quite work … thanks Chiara and Yohanna for that … it’s like watching American republicans trying to be politically correct about the LGBT and black communities but failing at hiding their own “phobia” for all these two … here the ballads are a boring factor for an expectation that Eurovision should be the replacement for a gay night club where music bumps those beats endlessly … you would no longer know where… Read more »

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

throwback to 199whatever
our first definite non-qual too woohoo

Charles
Guest
Charles

A strong female voice … but a flat boring soulless ballad … Blackbird? Please do sing to me again because I’m almost asleep and I’m not in the mood to go to the zoo!

Beardphrodite
Guest
Beardphrodite

Wow, another ballad, I’m so surprised, I can’t even explain how I feel. Everyone’s going to sleep almost during the whole Eurovision “show”, what a great remedy if you can’t do it, right? That’s so incredible, it’s going to be boring as hell. How original it will be, lots of fun watching who fall asleep first. I’m not sure, but if this tendency continues, I’ll probably be dreaming after the second ballad in the FIRST SEMIFINAL.
Keep ruining the show, sorry, I mean, make Eurovision sleepy again.

Nickc
Guest
Nickc

I have nothing against ballads, but this is terrible. Albania, UK and Georgia make this one look like a high school production. Pretty sure it will not qualify.

am.casablancas
Guest
am.casablancas

someone said “can you stop critizicing” and I say No, we must because this entry lacks so much I can’t even fit my disaproval among these lines. I’m sure that if this song goes to ESC as it is today it will not qualify. Having said that People goes nuts for MESC when in fact the ALWAYS year after year, they bring the same recycled pop ballad with some dance in it and it’s fairly cheap since the lyrics are complete cliche and not good at all. So it came to my interest this NS when I saw Maxine because… Read more »