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!

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MARGARET CILIA
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MARGARET CILIA

I JUST HEARD THE SONG ( TONIGHT ) AND I LIKE IT. I THINK IT IS A LOVING AND HAPPY SONG.

RA
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RA

Got to base everything on listening to the songs for the very first time, as first impressions last and I guess these are my top 5: 1. Kewkba – Janice Mangion 2. You – Richard Edwards 3. Ray of Light – Raquela 4. Follow Me – Franklin 5. Bombshell – Maxine Pace I do not think the Maltese would ever dare to send a song fully in their language but this song is pure class, deserves to the extremely well… hopefully their national pride kicks in just in time to get everyone behind her. Janice has one great voice and… Read more »

mary
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mary

i think brooke is a big disappointment..screaming and shouting..golden was better! ok she is beautiful but peing pretty is not enough no? the definite best choice should be follow by kevin borg, experienced too, his voice is awesome..and i think it is a ballods turn! the second preference is richard edwards and jade vella seconds away is also good.

(J)ESC Fanatic
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(J)ESC Fanatic

Malta never disappoints. Such a small country, full of talent! Brooke or Franklin to win! Both are amazing.

Music My Life
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Music My Life

Finally I finished listening to all the 16 entries from Malta and I’m literally impressed ! All 16 songs are beautiful in their own way especially the song in the Maltese native language and I’m also happy to see many new faces out there…not always the same (old) beautiful faces. My favorite is absolutely Brooke followed by Janice Mangion and Miriana Conte <3 <3 The duet from Deborah C and Josef is also sweet. Goodluck Beautiful Malta !

Marc
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Marc

Weak songs. Nothing outstanding here.
Malta trying to sound international but it’s not working
Brook’s song is trash. Sooo generic and forgetabble. It wouldn’t even qualify

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Hearing them all, I think the best 3 would be, Unstoppable by Brooke, So Simple by Crosswalk and Follow by Kevin Borg. As a native who understands the ‘kewkba’ lyrics, I must say it is disappointing because the tone of music feels more sad. Also, kewkba is a bright shining star, and i’m done hearing about all these songs who are a laserlight, a ray of light, a shining star to follow and guide you home. This song is just like those, except in Maltese.

Darren
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Darren

Brooke is unstoppable ! love it

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

I’ve just listened to all 16, and I’m sad to say that a bunch of contenders who have been there 2, 3 or even 4 times, will have to wait another year, because… 1. Janice Mangion: Vocals, music, thunder and Maltese. I need a translator bad! The quality of this song is better than all the songs they’ve sent to ESC since 2010 COMBINED! Suffer no delusions. She’s going to Kyiv. Full stop. When was the last time they sent a song in Maltese to ESC, and of THIS quality? [Word to her producers: If she wins MESC, don’t even… Read more »

D
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D

So many people hating on a really above average nf. I’m not even one of the Malta fanwankers, but I can admit this is a very good nf. My favorite (like last year) is Maxine, and this song sounds very Little Mix-ish to me. Brooke is the likely winner imo and can def get top ten at ESC. Also I really like Kevin Borg and Klinsmann Coleiro.

Gina
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Gina

It’s obvious that they don’t want to send Jessika . I don’t think that her !3! songs were worse than all of them…. But remember it’s only televoting they knew that Jessika could win after 2014…. I don’t know what they have with her … First Brequette now Jessika, oh national selections are awful this year….

P.S. I want them to flop so hard but malta never fails as they pay the juries. Ira didn’t deserve to be 4th at all. Her song was generic and her performance nothing!

blondboybc
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blondboybc

Many of them are forgettable, boring ballads, but three really stand out for me: the very emotional, powerful Maltese language “Kewkba”; the unique, enticing voice of “Follow”; and the upbeat, approachable sound of “Unstoppable”. All of these would be a winner. Wouldn’t it be cool to see Malta send a non-English song to Kiev! Bring it on! 😀

EurovisionCZ
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EurovisionCZ

My favorites are Crazy games and Fearless… I like Brooke also but I’m not sure about the chorus.

irish esc
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irish esc

the best songs imho opionion come from brooke and kevin borg
good luck malta in choosing your act for the eurovision

mocosuburbian
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mocosuburbian

quite like brooke, maxine pace, and shauna vassallo
none of them are super bad per se
ray of light is literally walmart background music though

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

I just listened to them all, and I’m quite impressed! I wasn’t expecting much from Malta, but honestly I like different things about all 16 songs!
I have absolutely NO IDEA who is going to win this; that’s not a cop out, it’s an honest opinion.

N.B. “So simple” sounds a lot like a hit by ‘Alison Kraus & Union Station’ – but because that was one of my favourite bands I really like it. I don’t think it’s plaigiarism, rather it is just a heavy ‘influence.’

Lex
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Lex

Some are good but all of them with no exception lack something. Wouldn’t be able to say what exactly but none really fully convinced me

Davve
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Davve

After listening too a few I have to say that Kevin Borgs song is the best!

Colin
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Colin

First off, let’s knock off one off the list – Deborah C sounded dreadful live last year, so I put my money on this song sucking in live too.

Maxine’s song is quite catchy and judging by her live performance of last year, we are in for one great show!

Kevin’s song also sounds really good. I haven’t listened to Brooke or Richard yet, but I have good expectations.

mocosuburbian
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mocosuburbian

another year
another hammed up franklin calleja ballad

Paul D.
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Paul D.

I also liked Kevin Borg – “Follow”

Paul D.
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Paul D.

Brooke Borg – “Unstoppable” is one of the best out of this bunch. I’m also impressed with the only maltese song in the contest, Janice Mangion – “Kewkba”

Vanessa
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Vanessa

@JB let’s hope you’re right because Kevin definitely deserves to win!

Aleksi
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Aleksi

I don’t like most of them. Breathlessly, Follow me and Kewkba are my favorites right now.

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

I have nothing better to do, so I’m listening to all the songs in full! 1. Unstoppable (Brooke Borg) – anthemic, but it definitely lacks something. Forgettable melody. 2. Fighting to Survive (Cherton Caruana) – sounds like a track Demi Lovato would put on the deluxe edition of her albums. In other words: bland filler. 3. Breathlessly (Claudia Faniello) – quite predictable ballad. Not memorable at all, overall uneventful. 4. So Simple (Crosswalk) – it kinda follows the pattern of Gianluca Bezzina’s Tomorrow. Very chill, harmless song… but we’ve already heard this a thousand times. 5. Tonight (Deborah C &… Read more »

JB
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JB

Im predicting a win for Kevin Borg 🙂 GO KEVIN!

aMr
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aMr

I <3 Fearless!! 🙂

Laburnum
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Laburnum

And Kewkba is amazing too

Laburnum
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Laburnum

Fangirling over Brooke unstoppably right now

Vanessa
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Vanessa

Kevin Borg!!!

Robyn Gallagher
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Robyn Gallagher

I get the feeling that a lot of these songs are mainly written to show off the vocal range of the singer. So if you look beyond all the power notes and trademark Maltese R&B wailing, sometimes the song lurking beneath isn’t all that great.

But having said that, there are a few serious contenders in this batch!

Colin
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Colin

No Jessika – no fair 🙁 I was looking forward to at least one of her songs… Are these 16 any good?

Josh McAllister
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Josh McAllister

Brooke Borgs song OMG ITS AMAZING!!!!
I really hope this goes to Eurovision!!!
SHE SLAYSSSS!!

F*CM IVETA
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F*CM IVETA

Love Brooke song !

DJ Tiggeh
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DJ Tiggeh

The bigger question is, will there be the umpteen million ad-breaks like in the past?

Calum Macleod
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Calum Macleod

@Jonathan UK

Absolutely agree! I really expected more from Brooke. I prefer Golden much much more. Kevin and Raquela’s songs are nice but they’re not great. I really don’t think that any of these songs could get to the final in Kyiv.

Also, does anyone else think that the instrumental of Don’t Look Down is almost practically the same as Cool Me Down’s?

pasi
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pasi

My Top 2 is Brooke and Claudia, but Brookes Song is extremly good! <3

Jonathan UK
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Jonathan UK

Kevin Borg, Claudia Faniello or Brooke to win. Kevin is the only one who stands a competitive chance of reaching the final from this bunch of mediocre songs.
In comparison to last year’s Maltese selection, this is disappointing to say the least and, as an avid fan of most Maltese entries, it pains me to say so.

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

The song in Maltese is there, yas!

WOW
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WOW

Haven’t heard any of them but a big well done to Janice with her song in Maltese!! Power to the language

EscLover
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EscLover

To all the people that are saying they are dated or horrible really just have a hate on Malta . this year they are SICK . there are like 8 songs which will go to the finals in esc flying colors . some newbies surprised me so much ! good job .

Marco
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Marco

Can’t wait for a reaction video from Wiwi :3

NN
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NN

I don t belive that all of 3 songs from Jessika is bad. I remember when Jessica won televote , with new rules for 2017 she wili be strong conteder for win .

beccaboo1212
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Malta shluld send someone high-school aged this time. (In other words, I’m seriously hoping that Malta sends Maxine Pace!!!) 🙂

ESCFan
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ESCFan

To say that all of those are dated.. LOL I smell a hater 😛

Tomas Patrick Davitt
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Tomas Patrick Davitt

Oh god these songs are all brutal. I couldnt make it through 30 seconds for most of them. Awful awful lyrics and super dated soudning songs.

The only 2 that I made it past 1 minute were – Bombshell & Laserlight

Alex
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Alex

Such a small country and always has songs with massive potential. That’s how you do it Belarus!

Mark
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Mark

Malta is another country that has never sent any songs I could get behind.

Pastora Soler haha!
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Pastora Soler haha!

Where is jessica??!

Marco
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Marco

1.Brooke
2.Richard Edwards
3.Maxine Pace
4.Cherton Caruana
5.Jade Vella