They chose the wrong song for Malaki

They chose the wrong song for Malaki


norman lebrecht

June 05, 2023

The moment Malaki Bayoh, front-runner in Britain’s Got Talent, began to sing Lucio Dallo’s ballad ‘Caruso’ it became apparent that he would not win one of the night’s prizes.

‘Caruso’ is a tribute to the world’s most famous tenor made popular by the second most famous Luciano Pavarotti.

It needs a voice with heft, experience and flexible technique. Malaki, aged 14, has a lovely treble.

The rep was all wrong. He lost.

But he’ll learn from it and come back stronger. Expect classical producers to come buzzing around him for a Christmas album.


  • william osborne says:

    Yes, a poor choice of repertoire, but though unintended, the child makes an important statement about essentializing concepts of race and classical music. I hope his voice will be properly developed and protected so that he can continue singing professionally as an adult if he wants.

    • Maria says:

      Essentializing concepts???? Goodness me!

      • william osborne says:

        Definition of essentialism: the view that categories of people, such as women and men, or heterosexuals and gay people, or members of ethnic groups, have intrinsically different and characteristic natures or dispositions.

        Essentialist concepts are common in classical music on both the left and right.

  • AD says:

    It may be that Pavarotti made ‘Caruso’ popular (outside Italy, perhaps) but nothing comes close to the original version sung by the great Lucio Dalla, Caruso’s songwriter.

    You can listen to it here (from around 30″ onwards).

  • treblesallround says:

    if he’s 14, they’d better hurry up!

  • Save the MET says:

    I’ve watched this young men get touted by the hoi polloi in the British tabs and on Instagram. If he does not get a teacher who well understands his voice, there will be nothing left. He’s already flat in parts and strained and not by this one piece. A smart teacher will get him off these shows and public concerts for awhile and get him back to vocal health and repertoire which his voice can deal with without stress. Too many child prodigies burn out due to parental encouragement and bad teachers, but young singers due to the fragility of their instrument and vocal changes through puberty go the fastest when pushed.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Thank you for that reminder of the PHENOMENAL voice of Pavarotti. The song is schlock but the voice is staggering.

  • Maria says:

    What a stupid choice for any child.

  • Sarah says:

    Not sure I even like this song even sung by Pavarotti let alone by British boy still a child. Poor choice.