After a three-year break, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest returns. Starting with Thursday’s semi-final, 22 acts will compete to represent Malta on the Eurovision stage in Turin. But who should follow in Destiny’s fabulous footsteps?
The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has assembled and listened to all 22 contenders. We’ve ranked our top songs in Eurovision fashion and combined our scores to determine our absolute favourites. What entry emerged on top? Read on to find out!
Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2022: The Wiwi Jury’s Top 22 Ranking
20= Jessika – “Kaleidoscope” (0 points)
20= Jessica Grech – “Aphrodisiac” (0 points)
20= Malcolm Pisani – “We Came for Love” (0 points)
19. Sarah Bonnici – “Heaven” (0 points)
18. Janice Mangion – “Army” (1 point)
17. Norbert – “How Special You Are” (6 points)
16. Mark Anthony Bartolo – “Serenity” (7 points)
15. Raquel – “Over You” (8 points)
14. Giada – “Revelación” (9 points)
13. Derrick – “II” (9 points)
12. Enya Magri – “Shame” (10 points)
11. Denise – “Boy” (12 points)
10. Miriana Conte – “Look What You’ve Done Now” (14 points)
Robyn: Miriana Conte is a familiar face in MESC and she’s returned with the sassy “Look What You’ve Done Now”. The key concept owes a little to Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” — a woman who is done being nice in the face of someone else’s bad behaviour. But Miriana brings plenty of her own attitude and style, with the song’s minimalist arrangement gives her a chance to shine. The song also boasts some next-level rhyming that should be noted by anyone thinking of boringly rhyming fire with desire: “Look what you’ve done / Now you lit up the fire / You want your stuff back / Well, I burned your attire“.
9. Francesca – “Rise” (15 points)
Patrick: No song has fooled me this year like this one. It is the sort of song that you start listening to and it is very slow and takes a while so you disregard it and call it boring. But “Rise” is not boring and takes you on a journey that is actually quite nice. Musically it is well produced and lyrically it is also well written. Now I have to admit that the song takes a while to go anywhere and it would need more power musically to make it stronger. A live performance could possibly bring it where it should be. I personally do not think that it will stand a chance of winning, however it could be a hit with the judges and possibly surprise a few people.
8. Nicole Azzopardi – “Into the Fire” (15 points)
🥉 – Oliver
Natalie: There are so many bland pop songs in this selection that I find myself craving for something a little bit different. Same beats, same vocals, same rhymes (illusion/confusion, safe/game, above/love yep). What sets this one apart is that is packs a punch. The dance beats are little fiercer, the bass line is a bit thicker, the vocals are stronger, and the lyrics are dark enough to stand out. We’ve seen this type of song a million times on the Eurovision stage, so it’s hard to think this could be a contender for victory, but we also know that with enough of a performance, it could be a dark horse.
7. Rachel Lowell – “White Doves” (16 points)
🥈 – Lauren
Lauren: Let’s be real here, this song doesn’t bring something unheard-of to the table. It’s nice, it’s soothing, and it follows a 3/4 time pattern that gives it a triumphant feel that I vibe with. It wouldn’t survive a Eurovision semi-final, but I’d love to see it survive a Maltese national final.
6. Baklava ft. Nicole – “Electric Indigo” (17 points)
🥈 – Natalie
Natalie: I love a song that mixes a juicy dance beat with some hot strings, and this one does it in the cheekiest way possible. From start to finish, this song doesn’t take itself seriously at all, which encourages the listener to let loose and enjoy it for what it is! It gets a bit repetitive towards the end, but it’s so ridiculous and irreverent that it’s hard to care. It’s probably the freshest sounding song in the Maltese selection, and one of the few that might let them stand out in Turin.
5. Richard Edwards – “Hey Little” (22 points)
🥉 – Robyn
Robyn: Richard Edwards is a very likeable singer and he has an equally likeable song with “Hey Little”. The sound might be slightly dated — the same sort of Avicii-inspired pop as “Heroes” — but Richard puts a lot of himself into the song. It’s a reassuring, fatherly message, that a little boy and little girl have the potential to grow up and be mighty. (And Maybe that also works as a metaphor for Malta!) Richard already has Eurovision experience through his 2014 appearance with Firelight and he’d be a great act for Malta to send back to the Eurovision stage.
4. Nicole Hammett – “A Lover’s Heart” (29 points)
🥇 – Lauren, Natalie
Lauren: My first impression of the Maltese national selection was that the overall level is very low, and that if I had to choose one, Nicole Hammett’s “A Lover’s Heart” would be the lesser evil. But After a couple more listens to the track, I’m a full-fledged fan. The lyrics still don’t make much sense, but I am in love with her vocal range and ability. In a sea of high-quality Eurovision entries where first impression matters most, I fear this probably won’t stand out, but it does remain Malta’s lesser evil.
3. MATT BLXCK – “Come Around” (30 points)
🥇 – Oliver
🥈 – Robyn
🥉 – Patrick
Oliver: Hyper-masculine hip-hop is everywhere, but queer promiscuity is a rare sight in mainstream music charts. Matt Blxck’s entry is a luxurious blend of the two. Such boldness deserves to be rewarded. “Come Around” sees the X Factor alumnus play to their strengths: dynamic, powerful rap verses and catchy, earworm choruses, all filled to the brim with the singer’s captivating personality. The Maltese contenders’ preview videos give little to go off in terms of presentation, which will ultimately be the make or break moment for this track. But one thing is certain:
M A T T B L X C K is a name not to be forgotten.
2. Emma Muscat – “Out of Sight” (33 points)
🥈 – Patrick
🥉 – Lauren
Patrick: When Italy won last year, I thought to myself, “Damn, Emma Muscat must be quaking right now.” What I did not think is that she would actually compete. Having Emma there is quite exciting as she has proven to be a successful musician in both Italy and Malta. “Out of Sight” is one of the frontrunners in Malta and for a good reason. The song is a modern twist on your usual pop ballad and ticks all the boxes for a successful entry. Not only will Emma be able to bring on a good show, but she also has the chance to show off her voice in a song different from her usual repertoire. Considering her fame in Malta, she surely could win the national selection in a heartbeat. For Eurovision itself, she better bring a fantastic staging with her, as my only fear is her being lost in a sea of songs.
1. Aidan – “Ritmu” (37 points)
🥇 – Patrick, Robyn
🥈 – Oliver
Oliver: At its core, “Ritmu” is cliché Mediterranean dance-pop. From a musical standpoint, this formula is stale; there is little innovation or mesmerising composition at work, and despite its title the track has little rhythmic variation. But frankly, that doesn’t matter. Aidan’s bid for Malta is fun, feisty and feel-good – just what this kind of music needs to be. Additionally, the native-language lyrics also give this track a competitive edge, standing out from the abundance of English entries. The Maltese language is decades overdue its return to the Eurovision stage, and Aidan has the chance to spark its renaissance.
Do you agree with our rankings? Who’s your favourite? And who do you think will win? Let us know below.