News | Sunday, 17 May 2009
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Disappointing end to Chiara’s run

Chiara yesterday floundered in her third Eurovision outing, despite an excellent performance brimming with style and confidence. Clearly not a favourite with the European voters, Malta ended in a disappointing 20th place out of 25. Winners Norway collected top tier points from the very start.
Tension was high on Saturday as the 25 contestants were set to give their best performance. Malta’s entry Chiara was reported to be “in a relaxed and confident mood” before hitting the stage for the third and final dress rehearsal yesterday afternoon.
This was the third time Chiara was performing at the Eurovision. “I think I do better every time. When I prepare to go on stage I have to believe I can do it,” she told The Times on Saturday.
According to the Big Poll 2009, which rightly guessed 19 of the 20 semi-finalists and was conducted by, Norway’s Alexander Rybak was being tipped for victory. The 23-year-old, who wrote his song Fairytale, was the bookmakers’ favourite.
With more than 150,000 predictions cast, Malta did not feature among its top 10, which include Turkey, Greece, Azerbaijan, Iceland, Bosnia Herzegovina, the UK, Ukraine, France, and Estonia.
Most countries chose to send their best with the UK roping in acclaimed composer Andrew Lloyd Webber to compose the song, to Germany featuring international burlesque star Dita Von Teese, and Greece sending hot star Sakis Rouvas.
Andrew Lloyd Webber also played the piano for entry Jade Ewen during her performance, but he downplayed the UK’s chances of winning, even though bookmakers and song contest pundits were confident the country’s last place in 2008 will not be repeated. The UK were be among five countries who pre-qualified for the final and whose acts have not yet been seen.
For the first time, voting in the final was split between televoting and panels of musical experts, which was thought may reduce the incidence of predictable and neighbourly votes. The panels, which made their decisions based on Friday’s dress rehearsal, were expected to look for song quality and musical performance over dance routines and props.

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