Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest
Malta
Participating broadcasterPublic Broadcasting Services (PBS)
Participation summary
Appearances35 (26 finals)
First appearance1971
Highest placement2nd: 2002, 2005
Participation history
    • 1978
    • 1979
    • 1980
    • 1981
    • 1982
    • 1983
    • 1984
    • 1985
    • 1986
    • 1987
    • 1988
    • 1989
    • 1990
    • 1991
Related articles
X Factor Malta
External links
PBS official page
Malta's page at Eurovision.tv Edit this at Wikidata
For the most recent participation see
Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest 2024

Malta has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 35 times since its debut in 1971. The contest is broadcast in Malta on the PBS channel, TVM. Malta has yet to win the contest, but is the only non-winning country to have achieved four top three results.

Malta finished last on its first two attempts in 1971 and 1972, and had a 16-year absence from the contest between 1975 and 1991, when it returned. Malta has participated every year since. Malta's return proved more successful, reaching the top 10 in 12 out of 15 contests from 1991 to 2005, including third-place results for Mary Spiteri (1992) and Chiara (1998) and second-place results for Ira Losco (2002) and Chiara (2005). Since finishing last for the third time in 2006, Malta has struggled to make an impact, having achieved only two top 10 results in recent years: first being Gianluca Bezzina's eighth-place in 2013, and Destiny Chukunyere's seventh-place finish in 2021.

History[edit]

Malta first participated at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971, although its history with the contest dates farther back. The Maltese Broadcasting Authority (MBA) gained associate EBU membership on 1 January 1964 and the MBA wrote a letter to the EBU enquiring about if Malta could participate as an associate member but received no response.[1] However, Malta still broadcast the 1964 contest.[2] The MBA once again wrote to the EBU in 1965 asking if Malta could participate. This time the EBU responded but did not allow the MBA to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest as an associate member.[3] On 1 January 1970, the MBA became an active member of the EBU and participation in the Eurovision Song Contest was possible for the first time.[4] The MBA once again wrote to the EBU enquiring about Malta's participation, but were informed that "Since arrangements for the contest were already in an advanced stage" they could not participate.[5]

Malta successfully participated at the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 1971. The format for Malta's national finals in the 70s consisted of the Malta Song Festival, which had been held annually in the country since 1960, acting as a semi-final with the highest placing songs going to the Song For Europe contest, where the winner would be chosen by a combination of jury and public votes. Malta's first entry to the Eurovision Song Contest was Joe Grech with the song "Marija l-Maltija". It scored 52 points and finished last out of 18 countries. Malta participated again in 1972 with Helen & Joseph with the song "L-imħabba". It scored 48 points and Malta came last for the second year in a row. Malta had originally planned to participate in 1973 but due to complications behind their national final where the MBA deemed the participating songs to be "below the European standard", Malta withdrew as they feared getting last for a third year in a row. Malta never applied for the 1974 contest as they feared getting another low result.[6] Malta returned in 1975 and participated with Renato with the song "Singing This Song". They scored 32 points and came 12th out of 19 countries. This was considered a success for Malta and enthusiasm for the contest in the Maltese music industry increased drastically.[7] On September 11, 1975, MBA announced their intention to participate in the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest and opened song submissions for their national final which closed on October 15.[8] However on November 4th, the MBA announced their withdrawal from the Eurovision Song Contest, citing that the participation fee had been drastically increased and Malta could not afford to participate.[9] In a statement released on November 20, the MBA said that it felt it was "Under no obligation to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest year after year" and Malta did not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest again until 1991.[10]

Malta's return to the contest in 1991, after a 16-year absence, proved to be more successful, with eight consecutive top 10 placings (1991–1998) and finishing in the top 10 in 12 out of 15 contests from 1991 to 2005. These results included third-place finishes in 1992 for Mary Spiteri and in 1998 for Chiara and second-place finishes in 2002 for Ira Losco and in 2005 for Chiara, who in 2009 became the first performer to represent Malta at three contests, finishing 22nd.[11][12] Malta's two second-places and two third-places make it the most successful country not to win the contest.

In the last 15 contests, Malta has only reached the top 10 twice, with Gianluca Bezzina finishing eighth in 2013, and Destiny Chukunyere finishing seventh in 2021. Fabrizio Faniello, who had previously finished ninth in 2001, finished last in the 2006 final, and since then the country has failed to qualify from the semi-final round nine times, in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2022 and 2023.[13]

Together with France, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, Malta is one of the few countries that has not missed a contest since 1991. All of Malta's entries since 1991 have been sung in its other official language, English, which it was one of the few countries allowed to use in the contest between 1977 and 1999, being a former British colony which (as seen below) has had a close relationship with the UK within the contest. The only use of the Maltese language was three lines in the 2000 entry "Desire", performed by Claudette Pace. The Maltese broadcasters of the show are the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS). All shows are transmitted live on TVM and Radio Malta. Also, along with Croatia and Sweden it was the only country never to be relegated, under the previous rules of the contest, that was not a part of the "Big Four".

Selection process[edit]

Malta uses a televised national final to select its entry. From its debut in 1971 through 1976, Malta Song Festival, an existing song festival that had been created in 1960 was used to select the entrant, with the winner going to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest. Malta did not participate in the contest between 1977 and 1990. Since its return in 1991, national finals under various names were held to select the entry, including Malta Song for Europe (Maltese: il-Festival Kanzunetta għall-Ewropa), Malta Eurovision Song Contest, and Malta Eurosong. During this time period, the organization of the event was taken over by the Maltese broadcaster Public Broadcasting Services (PBS).

A typical Maltese national final would consist of: the rules for submissions by composers, authors, and singers being published in October, first elimination rounds in December, and semi-finalists announced in January. The semi-final would then be held in February, followed two days later by a final to choose Malta's representative at the contest. In 2009, a new format of the contest was introduced, the Malta Eurosong contest, with eight semi-finals held over November 2008 to January 2009, and a final of 20 songs competing in February.[14][15] In 2010 six semi-finals were held over December 2009 and January 2010, and a final was once again held in February 2010.[16] This format was discontinued for the 2019 and 2020 contests, with PBS instead using X Factor Malta to select the artist. The national final format returned for the 2022 contest.

Participation overview[edit]

Table key
1 First place
2 Second place
3 Third place
Last place
X Entry selected but did not compete
Upcoming event
Year Artist Song Language Final Points Semi Points
1971 Joe Grech "Marija l-Maltija" Maltese 18 ◁ 52 No semi-finals
1972 Helen and Joseph "L-imħabba" Maltese 18 ◁ 48
1975 Renato "Singing This Song" English 12 32
1991 Paul Giordimaina and Georgina "Could It Be" English 6 106
1992 Mary Spiteri "Little Child" English 3 123
1993 William Mangion "This Time" English 8 69 Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
1994 Moira Stafrace and Christopher Scicluna "More than Love" English 5 97 No semi-finals
1995 Mike Spiteri "Keep Me in Mind" English 10 76
1996 Miriam Christine "In a Woman's Heart" English 10 68 4 138
1997 Debbie Scerri "Let Me Fly" English 9 66 No semi-finals
1998 Chiara "The One That I Love" English 3 165
1999 Times Three "Believe 'n Peace" English 15 32
2000 Claudette Pace "Desire" English 8 73
2001 Fabrizio Faniello "Another Summer Night" English 9 48
2002 Ira Losco "7th Wonder" English 2 164
2003 Lynn Chircop "To Dream Again" English 25 4
2004 Julie and Ludwig "On Again... Off Again" English 12 50 8 74
2005 Chiara "Angel" English 2 192 Top 12 in 2004 final[a]
2006 Fabrizio Faniello "I Do" English 24 ◁ 1 Top 11 in 2005 final[a]
2007 Olivia Lewis "Vertigo" English Failed to qualify 25 15
2008 Morena "Vodka" English 14 38
2009 Chiara "What If We" English 22 31 6 86
2010 Thea Garrett "My Dream" English Failed to qualify 12 45
2011 Glen Vella "One Life" English 11 54
2012 Kurt Calleja "This Is the Night" English 21 41 7 70
2013 Gianluca "Tomorrow" English 8 120 4 118
2014 Firelight "Coming Home" English 23 32 9 63
2015 Amber "Warrior" English Failed to qualify 11 43
2016 Ira Losco "Walk on Water" English 12 153 3 209
2017 Claudia Faniello "Breathlessly" English Failed to qualify 16 55
2018 Christabelle "Taboo" English 13 101
2019 Michela "Chameleon" English 14 107 8 157
2020 Destiny "All of My Love" English Contest cancelled[b] X
2021 Destiny "Je me casse" English 7 255 1 325
2022 Emma Muscat "I Am What I Am" English Failed to qualify 16 47
2023 The Busker "Dance (Our Own Party)" English 15 ◁ 3
2024 Sarah Bonnici "Loop" English Upcoming
2025 Confirmed intention to participate [17]

Awards[edit]

Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Year Category Song Performer Final Points Host city Ref.
2005 Press Award "Angel" Chiara 2 192 Ukraine Kyiv

Winner by OGAE members[edit]

Year Song Performer Final result Points Host city Ref.
2021 "Je me casse" Destiny 7 255 Netherlands Rotterdam [19]

Barbara Dex Award[edit]

Year Performer Host city Ref.
1997 Debbie Scerri Republic of Ireland Dublin

Related involvement[edit]

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Year Channel Commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1964 MTV Victor Aquilina Did not participate [21]
1965 [22]
1968 MTS, National Network Unknown [23][24]
1969 MTS Victor Aquilina [25][26]
1970 [27][28]
1971 MTS, National Network No spokesperson [29][30]
1972 Norman Hamilton [31][32]
1973 Victor Aquilina Did not participate [33][34]
1974 National Network [35]
1975 TVM, Radio Malta Norman Hamilton Unknown [36][37]
19761990 No broadcast Did not participate
1991 TVM Unknown Dominic Micallef [38]
1992 TVM, Radio Malta 2 Anna Bonanno Anna Bonanno [39][40]
1993 TVM Unknown Kevin Drake [41]
1994 John Demanuele [42]
1995 Stephanie Farrugia [43]
1996 Charles Saliba Ruth Amaira [44]
1997 Unknown Anna Bonanno
1998 Stephanie Spiteri [45]
1999 Nirvana Azzopardi [46]
2000 Valerie Vella [47]
2001 TVM, Radio Malta Marbeck Spiteri [48][49]
2002 TVM John Bundy Yvette Portelli [50][51]
2003 Sharon Borg [52]
2004 Eileen Montesin Claire Agius [53][54]
2005 Unknown Valerie Vella [55][56]
2006 Moira Delia [57][58][59]
2007 Mireille Bonello [60][61]
2008 Moira Delia [62]
2009 Valerie Vella Pauline Agius [63]
2010 Chiara Siracusa [64]
2011 Eileen Montesin Kelly Schembri [65]
2012 Elaine Saliba and Ronald Briffa Keith Demicoli
2013 Gordon Bonello and Rodney Gauci Emma Hickey [66]
2014 Carlo Borg Bonaci Valentina Rossi [67]
2015 Corazon Mizzi Julie Zahra
2016 Arthur Caruana Ben Camille [68][69]
2017 No commentary Martha Fenech
2018 Lara Azzopardi [70][71]
2019 Ben Camille [72][73][74]
2021 Stephanie Spiteri [75]
2022 Aidan Cassar [76]
2023 Ryan Hili [77][78]

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b According to the then-Eurovision rules, the top ten non-Big Four countries from the previous year along with the Big Four automatically qualified for the Grand Final without having to compete in semi-finals. For example, if Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the 11th and 12th spots were advanced to next year's Grand Final along with all countries ranked in the top ten.
  2. ^ The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further reading[edit]

  • Cremona, George (2018). "The Eurovision Song Contest within Formal Educational Learning Contexts: A Critical Multimodal Interpretation of Possible Inter-Disciplinary Connections (Selected proceedings of the Conference 'Connections', University of Malta Junior College, 18–20 September 2017)" (PDF). Symposia Melitensia (14): 151–160. ISSN 1812-7509.

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External links[edit]