Yesterday, Malta’s Michela took to the stage in Tel Aviv for her first rehearsal of “Chameleon” in Tel Aviv. Those observing the press centre live stream extra closely may have heard a familiar voice. As it turns out, Michela’s backing vocalists is actually former Destiny Chukunyere, who won the Junior Eurovision in 2015. Since Michela only has one backing singer, it is no suprise that Destiny was chosen, due to her powerful vocals.
Those watching our live stream during day four of rehearsals will remember ESCInsight’s Lisa Jayne-Lewis say that she could hear Destiny’s vocals in the final chorus. By the final run-through, she had us all convinced! Upon further investigation, we discovered that this was indeed the case. Destiny had been spotted at the artists’ welcome event yesterday evening. Further, Destiny appears in a backstage image of Malta’s rehearsal on Eurovision.tv.
The talented 16-year-old, then aged 13, won the Maltese national final held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta. She therefore won the ticket to represent Malta at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Sofia, Bulgaria. She won the contest with a record-breaking 185 points with “Not My Soul”, which she co-wrote. After the contest, she auditioned for series 11 of Britain’s Got Talent singing Aretha Franklin’s “Think”, where she was given four yeses. She ended up making it all the way to the semi-final stage. Now 16, she is now old enough to compete at the adult contest, could we see her represent Malta again in the future? For now, she is supporting Michela in her pursuit of Eurovision glory.
Who is Michela?
The 18-year-old rose to fame in Malta after wowing the public with her powerful vocals in the X Factor Malta. Back in January, she won the competition, and by extension, the ticket to represent Malta in Tel Aviv. In addition to Eurovision participation, she also signed a record deal with Sony Music Italy. Although praised for her emotive and explosive performances of ballads throughout the competition, she surprised fans by dropping one of the most popular up-tempo dance songs of the season.
She will be competing to bring Malta back to the Grand Final for the first time since 2016, performing in 11th place in the second semi-final on 16th May.
Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest
Malta first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971 with Joe Grech and his song, “Marija I-Malitja”, which finished in last place with 52 points. They also finished last on their second attempt in the contest in 1972. After a third appearance in 1975, Malta withdrew from the contest until 1991, when they returned and finished in sixth place with 106 points.
Since their return in 1991, Malta has finished in the top three on four occasions – Mary Spiteri with “Little Child” in 1992 and Chiara with “The One That I Love” in 1998 which both finished in third place, and also Ira Losco with “7th Wonder” in 2002 and Chiara with “Angel” in 2005, which both finished in second place. Malta has not yet won the contest, however.
In 2018, Malta failed to qualify for the second time in a row with Christabelle’s “Taboo”, which finished 13th in the second semi-final with 101 points. Christabelle also became the last participant to be selected for Eurovision via the Malta Eurovision Song Contest national final format. They have since confirmed that The X Factor Malta will return for a second season this year.
What do you think of Michela’s performance so far? Would you like to see Destiny represent Malta at the adult contest in the future? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! We’ll also be posting plenty of content on our YouTube channel in the run up to Tel Aviv!