Maltese heartthrob sings home Swedish Idol prize
Published: 13 Dec 2008 11:08 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Dec 2008 11:08 GMT+01:00
Sweden's Idol 2008 talent show came to a screeching climax on Friday night and left Kevin Borg, a young crooner from Malta who has only lived in Sweden for a year, clutching the champagne.
Borg moved up to Arvidsjaur in the far north of Sweden only a year ago to be with his Swedish sweetheart. His short sojourn in Sweden was however enough for this young musical talent to polish up his Swedish, join the popular TV4 talent show and claim the applause of a packed Globe arena in Stockholm on Friday.
Borg beat off the challenge of fellow 'northerner' 17-year-old Alice Svensson from Hedesunda, near Gävle. Svensson accepted her defeat with grace, aware that she had lost to the hot favourite.
Borg won the deciding final against Svensson with his rendition of "With every bit of me", written by Andreas Carlsson of the jury together with Jörgen Elofsson.
Borg also chose to sing "Living on a prayer" by Jon Bon Jovi and "You're the voice" by John Farnham in the final, while Svensson sang "Heavens on fire" by Kiss and "So what" by Pink.
Maltese Kevin Borg, his Swedish sounding name being very common on the small Mediterranean island, wooed his audience over the weeks of the show and was widely tipped to claim the crown as the pair locked chords in the decider on Friday night.
Borg has shown the massive TV audience that his voice could master a range of genres from gospel, 'schlager', rock and, as if to demonstrate his new found Swedish roots, Abba. Each test was passed with flying colours and Borg added to his burgeoning teen fan base as the final neared.
Borg appeared taken aback when the reality of his success sank in but was eventually able to dry away the tears and offer a "thank you so much, everyone" to his adoring audience.
All that was left was for Borg to take the Idol 2008 stage for one last time and bring the 14,000 people house down with the winning ballad.
Kevin Borg has previously twice competed in the national final of the Eurovision contest for his home country Malta but was recognized as a complete unknown in his adopted country of Sweden. On Saturday morning all that had changed for the 22-year-old after Sweden cast its vote with a resounding "douze points" for the Maltese contestant.