It’s the Mediterranean island that loves Eurovision but so far has never won. Now Malta‘s national broadcaster PBS has confirmed it will participate in Eurovision 2018. But broadcaster CEO John Bundy has also confirmed that the Malta Eurovision Song Contest (MESC) national final will again use 100% televote to select its winner.
The news comes in the wake of Malta’s poor result in Kyiv. Claudia Faniello’s “Breathlessly” — which was selected at the national final by 100% televote — placed 16th in its semi-final, with only 55 points. The placing is Malta’s worst result since the two semi-final system was introduced in 2008.
Despite picking up at least some points from juries, the song was not a hit with the general public. Malta scored nil points with the televote, a disappointing result for the country that loves Eurovision so much.
Speaking to the Times of Malta, PBS CEO John Bundy shared the feeling. “We are very disappointed with the result because compared to some of the countries that made it through, we had a song that was just as good. But we’ve been going through this for the past 45 years.”
Bundy added, “Last year expectations were high, we spent a lot of money, and we still didn’t win. Ultimately, it’s a competition. If you look at the comments from journalists and even the festival directors, many thought it was a pity we didn’t go through.”
Claudia Faniello won the Malta Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year, beating out favourites Janice Mangion, Kevin Bord and Brooke Borg with her sentimental ballad “Breathlessly”. Going into the contest, fans had tipped Janice Mangion’s Maltese ballad “Kewkba” as the likely winner, but it lost out to “Breathlessly” by only 452 votes.
No changes planned
There’s also no question of the MESC-winning song being swapped for another one, as happened in 2016 when Ira Losco’s “Chameleon” was changed to “Walk on Water”.
Bundy remains adamant that the 100% televote will remain and is confident that the Maltese people can pick the right act. “The people pick a government every five years; I think they can be trusted to pick a song,” he said. “Why should we let the public pick a song and then ditch it because we think it’s not going well?”
But as fans have pointed out, Malta is a small country and many felt that Claudia Faniello — who had competed in Malta’s national selection nine times prior — had earned the right to go to Eurovision, regardless of the quality of her song. An international jury could help balance this.
What do you think? Should Malta decided its national final winner by 100% televote? Or should they reinstate the jury? Share your thoughts below!