Malta will be represented this year by Aidan singing his song Ritmu. It’s a cracking slice of pop flavoured with Latin rhythms and reggaeton, continuing the popular cowboy motif we’ve already seen from Estonia. I love that Aidan’s decided to sing it in Maltese too, it adds a nice edge, as does the queer representation in the stage performance.
Well, if Emma Muscat can chop and change her song at will I don’t see why I can’t just choose which song I want to review as well. Oh, alright then…
Keen followers of national finals will know that that neither Ritmu, nor this, the actual Maltese Eurovision entry, won the competition. Emma Muscat herself did though, and the rules permit the winning artist to swap to a different song entirely. It may be allowed, but I’m calling bullshit. It feels like a kick in the teeth to all the viewers who have invested both their own money to televote and their own time to sit through 728 hours (approx.) of adverts for Hamilton Travel. Honestly, TV Malta – treat your audience with more respect.
So, Emma’s new song is, well, a bit bland. It’s that familiar take of empowerment once again but feels like it’s been written to order. It feels like it’s trying to inspirational but yet not really saying anything at all. The video shoehorns in plenty of diverse faces but feels forced, as if someone at the production company has gone down a list and ticked off a different demographic characteristic to meet a quota.
Empowerment, diversity, and inclusion matter, and take some thought and planning to get right, but when it hits the mark, it should look effortless; and this doesn’t. It’s a worthy statement to fill your three minutes of supreme global attention with but getting it wrong fails everybody you’re trying to represent.
Perhaps it would feel more genuine had it been backed by the Maltese public as representative of them. That it’s a replacement song for the public’s choice only adds to the disquiet I feel watching it. But therein lies the rub.
My marks: 2 points