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It's Faniello United for Claudia & Fabrizio in Malta

Claudia Faniello has been close on a number of occasions, but as of yet hasn't managed to win the national selection. Fabrizio has already won the Maltese national selection twice, in 2001 and in 2006 where he represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen and Athens respectively.

Fabrizio is competing tonight with the uptempo feel good number No Surrender, whilst Claudia is raising the roof of the hall with the powerful rock anthem Movie In My Mind. Both are considered to have a much better than average chance of victory in just a few hours time.

Faniello's find their perfect songs for 2011

Both Claudia and Fabrizio are very happy with their respective 2011 entries, this is evidenced in the sheer enthusiasm they convey when discussing them.

Claudia adds "2011 is my sixth attempt at the Eurovision Song Contest, I have tried many different styles, as I started very young at age 17, so I still wanted to explore and find out what style of music really suits my voice and inspired me. Rock has always been my passion since I was young, although it's never been the most successful style to send to Eurovision. I felt that this year was the right time to risk it, and do what I really love, let the audience know exactly who I am."

Fabrizio is also feeling very positive saying "I am very happy with the song this year, It's different to what I have done before, very mature sounding, a better style and the lyrics are made for me. The song No Surrender talks about how everybody makes mistakes and it's all part of life experience, and that we learn from them and they put us back on track."

Asian successes for Claudia & Fabrizio

In an unusual twist of events, both Fabrizio & Claudia have enjoyed some success in Asia in recent times.

Fabrizio is extremely well known in Indonesia, and people recognise him on the streets quite often. He explains "We released my 2006 album in Indonesia with the biggest record label there and it has been a huge success, I was there last December where I won an Ambassador of Music award in their annual ceremony. I will be going out there again in April time to promote the new album that is planned, and that will involve maybe recording in the Indonesian language. It will be a hectic year ahead with the album and promo tours. No Surrender is definitely my motto for the year!"

Claudia also discovered that her entry for the 2010 Maltese national final, Samsara has become somewhat of a smash hit in Bali. "I was sent a Youtube clip" Claudia adds "It was from inside a Balinese nightclub where the artist was singing and dancing to Samsara, I was really surprised because these projects have been made for Europe and Eurovision, so to see it enjoyed on other continents was very flattering."

Loyal support whatever the result

Irrespective of whatever happens later tonight, there is a united front from both Fabrizio and Claudia pledging that they will have each others full support going forward.

Fabrizio admits to being nervous last night when his sister was the sixteenth envelope of sixteen opened in the semi final, adding "When my song was announced, I went straight over to Claudia and was there to support her, it was a very nervous time. What will be will be tonight, i am very happy with where I am right now and we will both support each other whatever the result."

Claudia admits that her older brother has always been somewhat of an idol for her whilst growing up, and has always wanted to sing just like him. When asked about whether they would support each other as backing vocalists if either of them were to win tonight, Claudia remarked "There is no real competitive rivalry between us, no real competition. We didn't discuss if either of us wins, whether the other will join on stage, but we would be there to support each other for sure, I was there in 2001 and 2006 screaming like crazy at the Eurovision Song Contest when Fabrizio represented Malta."

Busy year ahead

It's full steam ahead for the siblings in 2011, no matter what happens tonight. Claudia has released her first album Convincingly Better in Malta and plans to tour around different countries and show people the new her, and see what happens from there.

Fabrizio is working on his fourth regular album, where No Surrender will be the title track, and with the planned work in Indonesia and promotion of the new album in Europe, he will have his hands full. would like to thank Claudia & Fabrizio for the interview and also their respective managers Trevor Fenech and Manfred Holz for making it possible.

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