Malta’s fortunes at Eurovision have waxed and waned in the past decade. They have been batting .500 in terms of qualification for the Grand Prix Final, but struck out the last two years. So they changed their stance and choked up on their bat and we have no idea why we’re going for a baseball metaphor here, but instead of holding a national final, they gave the ticket to Tel Aviv to the winner of the newly launched X Factor Malta.
Now they look poised to hit it out of the park. Here is Michela Pace with “Chameleon.”
While Malta is going with a previously undiscovered talent as their singer, they hired some heavy hitters to write her song. Joacim Bo Persson, Johan Alkenäs and Borislav Milanov are increasingly influential Eurovision songwriters who teamed up last year to co-write “Nobody but You” with Cesár Sampson (which we remind you won the jury vote). For “Chameleon,” they are joined by Paula Winger, who has written for Miranda Cosgrove and composed the theme song for the Disney Channel show Liv and Maddie.
Gosh almighty, do we love “Chameleon.” It is battling with “Soldi” at the top of our personal chart. There’s the jaunty little horn intro that leads into a funky, sultry R&B verse. The pre-chorus splashes us with a dash of “Fuego” mixed up with a taste of the pop bangers that Borislav and his Symphonix team have brought to Eurovision the past few years . Then the chorus ties it all together with a bouncy, coiling beat.
Michela has a rich, smoky voice and the recorded track hints at her ability to belt and run. She takes this song and makes it her own with a confidence that belies her professional experience.
Our only concern is that lack of experience. Winning X Factor Malta is an achievement, but we’ve seen other talent show winners struggle on the gigantic Eurovision stage. Maybe we’re worrying for no reason, but we want “Chameleon” in the top 10 so bad that we are thinking of the worst case scenario. Come on, Malta, you got this!