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A Maltese Eurovision victory
A Maltese Eurovision victory
The Malta Eurovision Song Contest is making a come-back for the first time since 2018 and we could not be more excited if we tried! Prior to 2018, the process by which the person chosen to represent Malta at the Eurovision was done through MESC. During the hiatus, Malta’s representative was alternatively chosen by means of The X Factor Malta, the winner of which was offered the exciting opportunity to sing on the Eurovision stage.
This month, the MESC semi-final will be taking place on the 17th of February on Television Malta, followed by the final on Saturday 19th February.
Let’s get into the history of Malta’s association with the Eurovision Song Contest.
The Eurovision Song Contest was based on Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival and was initially designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology. The very first contest was held in May 1956, with the participation of seven nations. With live orchestras being the norm and simple sing-along songs being on every single radio station, the contest rapidly grew into a true European tradition.
In the beginning, participants sang in their country’s national language. However, as the Swredish entry in 1965, Absent Friend, was sung in English, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) set strict rules on the language in which entries could be performed. The rules dictated that only national languages were allowed to be used.
Song writers quickly caught on that they would only be successful if the judges were able to understand the lyrics and therefore, songs such as Boom-Bang-A-Band and La La La were performed on stage.
Malta, one of the smallest countries in the contest, joined the competition in 1971, with Joe Grech and his song called Marija l-Maltija, which finished in last place with just 52 points. At the time, Malta was permitted to sing in English, due only to the fact that English is considered to be an official language of Malta.
The country’s second attempt did not go much better, as we finished last in 1972, too. Following a third attempt in 1975, Malta withdrew from the contest until 1991, and has participated every year since. We went on to finish third behind the UK and Ireland in 1992 and again in 1998 With Chiara’s The One That I Love, despite nearly winning the whole competition in one of the closest voting sequences ever seen in the contest.
The streak went on as in 2002, Ira Losco finished second for the country with the song 7th Wonder, a record equalled by Chiara, when she returned in 2005 with Angel. The singer participated for a third time just four years later, taking Malta to the grand final once again.
While Malta has yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest, we are one of the most successful countries with regards to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, having won the competition twice, in 2013 with Gaia Cauci and again in 2015 with Destiny Chukanyere, who also represented Malta at the Eurovision last year, after winning The X Factor Malta. Malta has even hosted the junior edition twice, in 2014 and 2016.
With 33 participations in Eurovision history, could Malta be victorious this year?