Malta’s National Broadcaster, PBS have taken us all by surprise, by announcing that for the first time ever, the National Final for the selection of Malta’s Entry in 2015 will be held on November 21st and 22nd 2014.
Traditionally the Maltese selection has been held in January or February, but clearly hosting the Junior Eurovision Song Contest the same month won’t be too much of a juggling act for PBS.
The leadership of PBS together with composer, author and singer of the winning song have the opportunity to not only change some parts but the whole song can be changed. This means that while the team of composer, author and singer remain the same, the song representing Malta in May 2015 might not be the one that wins the contest. This is done for Malta to have the best product possible for Eurovision next year.
Malta is also keen on finding a voice to carry the country too, and for that reason entrants will have to provide a cover version of song beside their entry so the jury can assess their vocal strengths (this should hopefully pick the Chiaras from the Glen Vallas…).
Applications will be accepted on the 28th and 29th August at the PBS Creativity Hub, while a copy of the regulations can be obtained by sending an e-mail on [email protected]
The Malta Eurovision Song Contest, this November, will take place a week after the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, at the same venue.
Here’s what Team Wiwi think of the changes:
Wiwi: Malta may be under the impression that an early start is advantageous, and judging from last year it was. San Marino announced Valentina Monetta almost immediately after Eurovision 2013, and Austria revealed Conchita Wurst would fly the Austrian flag in October. Val went on to finally make the final, and Conchita went on the conquer the world. Malta clearly thinks an early start is a head start, which it is from a PR point of view. But neither Valentina nor Conchita revealed their songs until the season was in full swing. My worry is that knowing the song in November will make us yawn in May.
Angus: While it’s nice to get out of the off season so early it’s a risky move putting it all out there in November. Valentina and Conchita did announce themselves early but the songs came a lot later. That being said Ukraine’s ‘Tick Tock’ won it’s selection in December and finished 6th. It gives Malta ample time to tinker and modify before we arrive in Austria and twelve points for bravery in putting themselves out there so early!
Zach: Holding their national selection so early could turn out to be a double edged sword, which end of the good-bad spectrum the result lands on depends on a few things. The pros of this move are obviously more time for publicity, people learn of the song earlier than others and may remember it more, and it gives time to pull a song transformation a la Ukraine.
However being so early leaves a lot of time to forget, especially if it’s not a very strong entry and the other countries have really good songs.
However, I think we may be in for a surprise. PBS hasn’t announced specific details about the shows, so we may be in for a format change that makes the earlier date seem better.
Sopon: It can be advantageous, sure. Although most of us are used to Albania kicking off the selection season, it might bring a small amount of PR to Malta since they are taking over that role this year. It also gives them time to hear feedback and make changes. Just like Mariya Yaremchuk and her team, who had tested out two versions of “Tick Tock” before finally finding the right one, they can use the six months to fine-tune the song into another top 10 hit.
I also find that there is a small reverse bell curve in songs released earlier. As February and March bring new songs, we get sick of the songs from before. But then, we get sick of the newer songs in April and go back to the older ones. Look at the eleven acts that didn’t qualify this year. Other than Albania, they were selected after mid-February. Ukraine, Iceland, Belarus, Switzerland, and Finland were all selected before mid-February, and they all brought their country some of it’s best results of the century.
If Malta pulls a Hersi, it would have all been for nothing. But Malta knows better, and I’m confident this switch will pay off.
Robyn: This will give Malta plenty of time to fine tune the song production, but most importantly it means the successful artist can do a Conchita and hit the promo circuit and really get themselves out there. This seems like a sign that Malta is very serious about winning next year!
What do YOU think about all of this? Leave your comments below!
Source: Public Broadcasting Services Ltd./EBU