They’re a country that has long had their eye on a Eurovision victory. Now Malta is looking at making a radical change in the way its national final winner is selected, with a suggestion that the 2017 competition will no longer use a jury vote.
John Bundy, the new CEO of Malta’s broadcaster PBS, has suggested that the 2017 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest national final will use 100% public vote to determine its winner — or at least make the jury vote equal to the televote.
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 both years, the jury favourites and overall winners — Firelight’s “Coming Home” and Gianluca’s “Tomorrow” — qualified for the grand final at Eurovision, with “Tomorrow” giving Malta its best placing in the past decade. It’s debatable whether the audience favourites would have given Malta similar Eurovision results, suggesting that there is still a need for a jury vote.
The news follows public criticism of Malta’s 2016 Eurovision spending, with reports that PBS spent excessively more than in previous years, determined to secure a win for Ira Losco. A recent media request for the broadcaster to reveal a full breakdown their 2016 Eurovision spending was denied, with the Maltese data commissioner stating the broadcaster had no obligation to release details of “commercial activities”.
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