As preparations for Junior Eurovision 2015 in Bulgaria heat up, participating countries are slowly revealing how they will choose their entry. Last year saw a significant shift toward internal selections: only five of the sixteen countries staged a national final (Armenia, Belarus, the Netherlands, Sweden and Ukraine). But Malta‘s TVM is helping turn the tide. The broadcaster has announced it will return to a national selection format for this year’s event — the first selection since 2010.
Malta hosted a national selection for Junior Eurovision each year from 2003 to 2010. After withdrawing in 2011 and abstaining from 2012’s contest, Malta’s broadcaster opted for internal selections for the 2013 and 2014 contestants. They hand-picked Gaia Cauchi and Federica Falzon, both students of Gillian Attard at La Voix Academy. Although Cauchi won and Falzon placed fourth, PBS will not handpick from La Voix for a third consecutive time. That’s not to say that Miss Attard doesn’t have some talented young starlets who may enter the selection. Gillian knows how to spot and nurture talent, and we’re hoping she has some more surprises in store for us.
Is this a good move on their part? History suggests no. Malta’s results prior to 2013 were mediocre at best. Daniel Testa (a repeat competitor in Malta Eurovision Song Contest) placed fourth in 2008, but otherwise, the island country typically placed outside the top 10. Of course, that was before songwriter Matt Muxu Mercieca entered the game — and he is goooooood.
With the quality of songs improving over the past two years to levels similar to the adult contest, it will be interesting to see what talent Malta brings to Sofia this year.