‘Incandescent’ result for folk-pop act at Malta Eurovision Song Contest

Firelight win with ‘Coming Home’, but previous winners Gianluca Bezzina and Ira Losco still emerge as audience favourites in this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest

Firelight lead singer Richard Edward Micallef
Firelight lead singer Richard Edward Micallef

Folk-pop act Firelight won the Malta Eurovision Song Contest last night with the song 'Coming Home', placing them in the running for the 59th Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place at Copenhagen, Denmark

The group will now have to compete in a semi-final in Denmark next May, and Malta will be competing against 14 other countries.  

Firelight are led by singer Richard Edward Micallef, a regular participant in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The band was formed in June 2013, and is currently in the process of recording its debut studio album.

Firelight proved to be something of a surprise winner, as the audience votes did not even place them in top three. The results from the televoting system carry the weight of just one jury member, and so with 4 of the 5 remaining jurors giving 'Coming Home' the maximum score of 12 points, the band soon shot into the lead.

Other audience favourites included Debee with 'Pin the Middle' which secured 8 points from televoting; Daniel Testa's 'One Last Ride' which got 10 points and Jessika's 'Hypnotica' which raked in the most point from the audience vote (12).

While there were no performers to match last year's winner Gianluca Bezzina triple whammy of singer-doctor-all-round-nice-guy, there was a colourful selection of performers to be enjoyed in last night's Malta Eurovision Song Contest final.

Shorn of 'Eurovision regulars' like Fabrizio Faniello - who failed to make the cut following Friday's semi-final - and Chiara, there was plenty of space left for young and up-and-coming performers to assert themselves on the local stage in the audience-favourite celebration of pop music and kitsch.

Reassuring aesthetic staples - like plenty of leg, and a general spread of flesh on show - were very much present and accounted for; and the variety of actual musical genres of show was actually quite eclectic.

Ranging from dancey numbers such as Christabelle's unapologetically absurd 'Lovatricity' - complete with iron cage and gyrating dancers - and Jessika's 'Hypnotica'; there were also quieter pieces such as Pamela's 'Take Me', Debee's 'Pin the Middle', with the rest of the slots being filled by classic Eurovision power ballads.

Over and above the competing songs themselves, however, appearances by previous Eurovision winners Gianluca Bezzina and Ira Losco proved to be a success among the audience, with social media attesting to the beloved singers' as yet undimmed power to charm the Maltese crowd.

One of the highlights of the night was Bezzina and Losco's duet performance of traditional Maltese songs like Xemx Wisq Sabiha and L-Ahhar Bidwi f'Wied Il-Ghasel, while the singers were also given plenty of space to perform their own material. Bezzina's unassuming demeanour - most famously captured by his trademark perma-smile - continued to carry him through, and heartstrings were tugged at most violently when the Bezzina family took the stage for a collaborative performance.

Meanwhile, Losco performed lively renditions of some of her more recent material, with verging-on-titillating - and frequent - costume changes ensuring that the audience's attention was riveted throughout.

The show also included a performance by last year's Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest, the Danish singer who won the 2013 competition with 'Only Teardrops'.

Firelight will be competing in the 59th Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is set to take place on 10 May.