Get ready for a night of music and perennial advertisements. Maltese broadcaster PBS has announced that Malta Eurovision Song Contest (MESC) will return as the country’s national selection format for Eurovision 2022.
The show returns after four years, having last been used in 2018.
Malta to use MESC for Eurovision 2022
In an announcement on Friday, Malta’s Public Broadcasting Services revealed it would be bringing back Malta Eurovision Song Contest for 2022.
The winner of this national final will go on to represent Malta at Eurovision 2022, which will be held in Turin, Italy.
Maltese television network TVM has also revealed that MESC 2022 will consist of semi-finals and a grand final. A total of 22 songs will take part in the semi-finals, with 16 then making it through to the grand final.
Acts must be of Maltese nationality or hold Maltese citizenship, however songwriters can be of any nationality.
One act we won’t see in the MESC 2022 is Malta’s 2021 Eurovision star, Destiny Chukunyere. The rules specifically state that “The performer who represented Malta in 2021 may not participate as a performer in the Contest.”
Applications for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2022 have also been opened. The submission period closes on 15 December.
Malta’s national final history
Malta first staged MESC in 2012 and consistently used it as their national selection for Eurovision through to 2018. Of the seven entries to come from the contest, four managed to qualify to the Eurovision grand final. However, only Gianluca Bezzina managed to score a top-ten placing, in 2013.
The country subsequently mixed things up in 2019 and 2020, instead deciding to select their artist for Eurovision through the newly created X Factor Malta. The song was subsequently chosen internally. This method produced two fan favourites who made it to the grand final of Eurovision: Michela Pace and Destiny. Destiny gave the country its best result in 16 years, coming seventh with “Je me casse” this year.
In June, the Chairman of the Valletta Cultural Agency, Jason Micallef, broke the news that Malta would not use the third edition of X Factor Malta as their selection method for Eurovision 2022.
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”.
The use of X Factor Malta as an artist selection process, with the winner’s song then being chosen internally, was criticised by some in Malta for taking away opportunities for homegrown composers and songwriters.
The return of Malta Eurovision Song Contest will bring back mixed memories for fans. Usually, it 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 remember 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 ten attempts in Malta’s national finals.
Are you happy to see the return of MESC for 2022? Who do you hope to see competing in the selection? Let us know in the comments below!