Tuesday 17 July 2018

Song politics?

This country drives me round the bend when it injects politics where it doesn’t belong.

From what I’m reading some are saying that Kevin Borg was not chosen by the jury “because he used to sing for One TV”…oh come on, let’s grow up please. How puerile.

Well, at this rate, whoever would have been chosen was going to displease someone right? The songs I like never really make it (with the exception of Chiara’s songs) but I’m not going to twist myself into a pretzel to try and see conspiracy theories where there aren’t any.

Gianluca’s song wasn’t one of my favourites (and yes, it does sound overly familiar), but the guy does have broad appeal, particular among the female voting base of “a certain age”. All over the Internet I was reading comments by women who thought he was simply adorable.  Many were using that dry Maltese expression “inrabbih jien kieku” (I would take him home and raise him) which pretty much sums it all up.  The fact that he’s a young doctor from a small village might have something to do with it (McQrendi?).

I cannot remember this kind of reaction for a male singer in Malta – ever.

Sure the popular vote went to Kevin Borg, but the difference between the two singers was a mere ten points, with the deciding factor being the jury’s vote.  And that’s another thing, for weeks I’ve been hearing cynical remarks that “it’s already decided that Kevin will win.” So the result kind of flies in the face of that assumption too doesn’t it?  And if Kevin had won, we would have heard similar conspiracy theories from another section of the population. We really need to just step back a minute and get a grip.

In any case, I doubt that it really matters in the grand scheme of things who goes to represent Malta in a song contest, especially as I thought we were trying to get the point when someone’s politics should not be the defining factor of whether they get chosen for whatever ‘job’ in their field..

To make matters even worse, whoever runs the official Eurovision page blooped badly last night when at 11.10pm while votes were still coming in, they announced that Amber had won. That was all we needed to set us suspicious by nature Maltese off into another flurry of accusations.  From the public apology which was issued, the website confirmed that this was simply a “technical mistake” – articles are prepared ahead of time on various possible winners so that they can be uploaded quickly, and Amber’s article was inadvertently posted.  This unfortunate incident was not only very unfair on Amber but on her composers who said that backstage they were being accused of manipulating the votes.

What a mess.

Production – Nil points

While the results of this song contest were unpredictable, the atrocious “jokes” we had to endure for two nights were unfortunately all too predictable.

Tablets, the pink glove, the fact that Elaine was asked to present the festival two years in a row, telling the audience to clap on cue – every punch line was so heavy-handed and clumsy you could see it coming 20 miles away.  Whoever chose the presenters needs to be slapped for making us endure their mind-numbing prattle.

Gordon, who is at his best when creating outrageous comic characters, is not a presenter. He tried to be funny but simply ended up irritating everyone and there was absolutely no chemistry between him and Elaine. They floundered and tried to brave their way through the scripted jokes they were given (there’s another one who should be shot) and it was simply painful to watch. By the first 10 minutes last night when it was clear that they would be attempting some “witty banter” with each contestant, the audience at home was contemplating the best way to slit their wrists.

Meanwhile over on TVM2, yet another brilliant idea was underway, “Let’s put Rodney and Norman Vella together to do some tongue-in-cheek commentary, you know, like satire!”

I saw exactly two seconds, when they were interviewing some hapless priest about what he looks at when he sees the singers and whether he admires their beauty (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), and I couldn’t zap away fast enough. Seriously PBS?

In this case, yes, I do question why certain presenters who all work with the same TV production house dominated this year’s festival. There is already a perception that Where’s Everybody rules the roost, so if they were simply trying to reinforce this perception, hey, they did a great job.

The production of the show itself was riddled with sound problems especially in the semi-final when the vision and lip sync didn’t match, and it looked like we were watching a badly dubbed foreign film.  When that was finally fixed, there was a constant hiss throughout, but I think I have an explanation for that one. It was probably the TV set’s way of telling us what it thought of the show.

The finals last night had improved sound, but the show took a nosedive with those singers from the TV series Dreams (our own very, very pale version of Glee). In one song they were dressed like bumblebees, for the next song all dressed in white they looked like a sequence in a musical where everyone’s died and gone to heaven.

Think Beauty School Dropout from Grease, and you’ll get the picture.









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