Photo credits to Pix by P

No, we’re not sending Boy George. No, we haven’t travelled back in time 14 years ago. This is Ira Losco in the here and now with her winning entry, Chameleon, all set to go for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

In 2002, we remember a young 20-year old brunette with a strong presence on stage and powerful vocals to go with it. The catchiness of 7th Wonder equalled her charisma, and her potential to be a pro was evident. The cleanliness and the charm of the performance put her in second place in a competition where you only really get points if your country’s got neighbours.

Fast forward to 2016. That 20-year old girl in the sparkly halter neck is now a full grown woman, and her potential has most definitely been fulfilled. That endearing young waif with the pop-princess entry has returned with an even bolder and more mature stage persona. The song has ‘anthem’ written all over it, and we’ll all be humming it by May.

Yes, we’re divided as to how we feel about her entering and winning again. Yes, questions have been raised and criticism has been hurled aplenty. Nonetheless, that’s the result, and this is what we’ve got for this year, and what we do know, more than anything, is that we’ll be sending someone who knows what they’re doing.

This is of course in no way undermining the other participants’ credentials. On the contrary, many have noted the exceptional level of this year’s entries and performances. If we’ve learnt anything from this year’s festival, it’s that Maltese artists are really upping their game and broadening their horizons, and for that we salute them.

So, congratulations to all entries, and congratulations and good luck to Ms Losco.