Malta: PBS reveals 16 finalists for Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2017

They’re the little island that loves Eurovision but is yet to win. Now Malta’s broadcaster PBS has announced the names of the 16 acts who will be competing in the national final Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2017 — and there are more than a few familiar faces in the line-up.

From 156 entries, a shortlist of 60 songs was made. On Monday night, an 11-person expert panel assessed the songs and came up with the list of 16 finalists. In the interest of transparency, singers and composers were also invited to be present during the assessment, which could have been a little awkward.

Tonight the 16 finalists were revealed as part of the evening news bulletin. They’ll go on to compete at the MESC 2017 grand final on 18 February 2017.

Most of the MESC 2017 acts have previously appeared on the show in recent years. This includes stalwarts Deborah C and Franklin. Also on the list is Swedish Idol winner and MESC 2013 runner-up Kevin Borg, as well as Ritchie Edwards, frontman for 2014 MESC winners Firelight.

But it’s bad luck for Jessika. Despite being a regular MESC finalist since 2013, neither of her three songs made the final this time.

Finalists in Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Power to the people

MESC has undergone a few changes for 2017. The budget-conscious broadcaster has removed the semi-final from the show, and there will only be a single grand final. This has been confirmed for 18 February 2017 — the same date as Hungary’s A Dal final and four countries semi-finals

Another big change for 2017 is the confirmation that MESC will use 100% televote to determine its winner.

Previously, the winner of MESC was largely decided by the jury vote. In recent years, the televote only accounted for one-sixth (16.66%) of the overall vote, with the five jury members making up the remaining five-sixths (83.33%) of the vote.

In recent years the televote winner has a agreed with the jury’s pick. However, in 2014 the televote winner was Jessika’s dance-pop tune “Hypnotica”, while in 2013 the audience favoured Kevin Borg’s emotional ballad “Needing You”.

What do you think of the MESC 2017 finalists? Can any of these acts bring Malta its very first Eurovision win? Let us know what you think below!