Editorial: If At First You Don’t Succeed…Part 2
Picking up where we left off (way too long ago…pardon the delay!), here’s another look at a handful of National Final stalwarts who really deserve their big break at Eurovision.
From Malta, the land that brought us Chiara, Glen Vella, and Kurt Calleja, brothers Wayne Micallef and Richard Edwards have each submitted a handful of strong entries to the National Final. First appearing in a trio with their sister Michelle as “The Mics” in 2003 and 2005, the siblings came in 14th with “Take Me Back Again“, and came in a disappointing 21st place with their disco-fied entry “It’s Up To You”. It was Wayne who first struck out on his own, with his 2009 submission “Where You Belong“. He improved upon his 7th-place finish that year with his 2010 follow-up, “Save a Life“, and came in 8th place in 2011 with the more upbeat “Everybody Sing“. His 2012 entry, “Time“, with its Wisconsin-filmed video, brought him a 12th-place finish, and he is showing no signs of stopping.
Not to be outdone, Wayne’s brother Richard (who uses his middle name for the sake of performance) submitted his first National Selection entry in 2010, but failed to reach the Final with “Change“. Undeterred, he returned with a vengeance in 2011, nabbing a silver medal for “Finally“, followed by a 5th-place finish with 2012’s “Look at Me Now” (see below). It seems like it would be only a matter of time before one of these two talented brothers makes it to the big show, but knowing Malta’s penchant for sending either upbeat pop numbers or big ballads to Eurovision, will guitar- or piano-driven singer/songwriter entries get lost in the mix? Let’s see what 2013 brings…
Over in Portugal, the 2011 and 2012 bronze medal at the Festival Da Canção went to Rui Andrade, for “Em Nome do Amor (In the Name of Love)” and “Amor a Preto e Branco (Love in Black and White)”, respectively. Since then, the double-threat (he’s also a popular soap-opera actor) has kept his hand in the Eurovision pot, even performing at OGAE Portugal’s annual party in Setúbal. With his powerful voice and rugged good looks (and yes, that is, in fact, a dimple in his chin), Rui has melted more than a few hearts with his performances in recent years; will the third time be the charm for this Lusitanian? And if so, could he possibly bring Portugal their first Eurovision Top Five position? Check out Rui’s 2011 attempt below:
One of the countries with the roughest track records in Eurovision (and often unjustifiably so) is Slovakia, having failed to place any higher than 18th in a Final, or 13th in a Semi. Since their return to Eurovision in Moscow, they’ve tried their hands at a number of different genres, from operatic duets to ethnically-influenced dance to pop ballads to metal, with no major success. Why not go back to basics and send a happy, crowd-pleasing pop-rock number? Much like the aforementioned Rui Andrade, Slovak singer Tomáš Bezdeda has participated in two National Finals, with 2009’s “Každý z nás (Each of Us)” and 2010’s “Na strechách domov (The Roofs of Houses)”, coming in third place with both entries. Tomáš originally gained notoriety through his participation on the first season of “Slovensko hľadá SuperStar” (Slovakia’s version of the “Idol” series) where he came in third, and he quickly followed that up with a turn on “Let’s Dance“, where he came in…third. Hmm. I’m noticing a pattern here. So, why not give Tomáš the ticket this time around? It might not guarantee a bronze for STV, but it can’t hurt, can it?
So, did any of these four talented lads hit your switch? Leave a comment, a suggestion, or a greeting! Now that we’re a stone’s throw away from Eurovision season starting up again (songs released after early September may be eligible for the competition, depending on the country), the ESC Insider will be heating up once more, so stay tuned!