Baby, it’s not a maybe — Malta will not use the third edition of X Factor Malta as their selection method for Eurovision 2022.
The Chairman of the Valletta Cultural Agency, Jason Micallef, broke the news on his social media accounts on Monday. Mr. Micallef has been linked with Malta’s broadcaster TVM for many years, and he praised the broadcaster’s decision. Writing on Facebook, he said:
“It is a wise decision by the new management of PBS that, with immediate effect, the representation of Malta in the next edition of Eurovision will be through a specially staged festival, and not [be automatically given to] the winner of X Factor Malta. I am convinced that this news will be received with great satisfaction by all Maltese singers, authors and composers”.
While nothing has been officially confirmed, Mr. Micallef is suggesting that the Malta Eurovision Song Contest or a similar selection show will be used. Eurofans will fondly recall MESC — the show that introduced us all to local jewellers and Mediterranean Bank through endless adverts that broke up the many emotional ballads.
Maltese national broadcaster PBS told the Maltese news blog Lovin Malta that Micallef’s tweet had not come from PBS. They also had no further comment to make on the situation.
Some days ago, it was confirmed that X Factor Malta will return for a third series. But there was no word on Eurovision — and Mr. Micallef’s posts would suggest why.
The talent show will nevertheless go ahead without its previous Eurovision connection. Earlier today, the application period opened. Producers of X Factor also revealed that the winner will receive 50,000 euros.
Malta at Eurovision 2022: A new contest?
Malta has traditionally used a music competition to choose their Eurovision entrant. The iconic Malta Eurovision Song Contest was a very long night filled with dramatic ballads, lots of mid-tempo tunes and a bit of Maltese-flavoured pop. The show was well known amongst fans for its zillion sponsors, and the lengthy advert breaks. Anyone remembers Hamilton Travel?
Many will also recall how lots of artists kept coming back. Claudia Faniello, for instance, only made it to Eurovision in 2017 after 10 attempts.
The contest was ditched in 2019 and 2020 for the X Factor, which produced two fan favourites who made it to the grand final of Eurovision: Michela Pace and Destiny. Destiny gave the country one of its best results, coming seventh with “Je me casse” this year.
Previously, the selection was called Malta Eurovision from 2011 to 2018. Except for 2016, when Ira Losco changed “Chameleon” for “Walk On Water“, the winning song always proceeded to the contest. However, Malta wasn’t so lucky in that era, and only Gianluca Bezzina managed to score a top 10 placing, in 2013.
From their debut in 1971 until 2010, the contest was called Malta Song for Europe, and it gave them four top 5 finishers: Mary Spiteri in 1992, Chiara in 1998 and 2005, and Ira Losco in 2002. Those last two remain the country’s best result at Eurovision.
Is Malta making a wise move changing their national selection? Do you think a new contest can produce a winner for Malta? Who do you want to see again taking part? Let us know in the comment section below!