Claudia Faniello not expected to qualify to Eurovision final tonight

Bookies predict Claudia Faniello to finish a poor 16th out of 18 countries in tonight's Eurovision semi-final 

Claudia Faniello will represent Malta tonight with her song 'Breathlessly'
Claudia Faniello will represent Malta tonight with her song 'Breathlessly'

Claudia Faniello will take to the stage tonight in Kiev to represent Malta in the second Eurovision semi-final, a moment she has been relishing for several years.

However, bookies are pessimistic on her chances to qualify to Saturday’s grand final and are indeed predicting her to finish a poor 16th out of 18 countries.

Faniello’s chances will not be helped by the fact that she will be one of the first singers to take to the stage and that her song will be followed by that of Romania, one of the favourites to win the entire contest.

The bookies had successfully predicted nine out of ten qualifiers in Tuesday night’s first semi-final.

Claudia Faniello will represent Malta with the ballad ‘Breathlessly’ after winning the Malta song contest this year at the ninth time of asking. She is expected to wear a white evening dress designed by Gaetano on the night.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Faniello said that very few changes were carried out to her song and the performance during the dress rehearsals.

“I am very pleased with the production and professionalism, and it feels great to finally achieve the dream of being here on this international stage” Faniello said.

Journalists during the press conference praised Claudia’s vocal capabilities whilst remarking that this was the main asset that lifted her performance.

PBS chief executive John Bundy, who is leading the Maltese contingent to Kiev, reminded the press that Claudia Faniello’s song was fully selected by the general public, in contrast to previous editions.

Upbeat despite Faniello’s poor poll rankings, Bundy said that Malta would not just offer a “Eurovision village” but a “Eurovision Island” if it had to win the contest.

He said that Malta had  hosted a top level Junior Eurovision Song Contest twice in 2013 and 2015 and described the island as “an incredible hub for talent”.

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