Malta Emma Muscat I Am What I Am Eurovision 2022 second rehearsal
Photo: EBU / NATHAN REINDS

Malta’s most recent national selection featured 22 songs, resulting in the selection of Emma Muscat’s “Out of Sight” being chosen as the winner. But, as you’ll recall, the song was subsequently dropped following negative reviews and fan reaction. 

Now, perhaps in a bid to give the public even more of a choice, Malta has announced that it’s expanding the Malta Eurovision Song Contest to a whopping 40 songs, which will be presented across four quarter-finals.

Malta Eurovision Song Contest: 40 songs across 4 quarter-finals

A professional jury will evaluate all submissions, narrowing the field to 40 songs. The jury will listen to full playback recordings of the songs without the artist present.

The 40 selected songs will then be randomly allocated to four quarter-finals, with 10 songs in each. 

The rules state that quarter-finalists will be recorded for television and that “the interpretation should be without any choreography and props.”

The top 24 songs will pass to the semi-final. We’re assuming that the 24 songs represent six chosen per semi-final, though the rules don’t actually say that. 

The qualifying songs will be announced “after the last quarter-final.”

Semi-final acts will once again be subject to a jury vote and a public vote, and the top 16 will make the final

You can read the complete rules here.

Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2023 dates

13 January 2023 – Quarter-final 1

20 January 2023 – Quarter-final 2

27 January 2023 – Quarter-final 3

3 February 2023 – Quarter-final 4

9 February 2023 – Semi-Final

11 February 2023 – Grand Final

Eligibility Criteria

1.1. All artists must be of Maltese nationality or have dual citizenship, one of which is Maltese. In the case of a group comprising two or more artists, the lead artist must be of Maltese Nationality or hold dual citizenship one of which is Maltese. All artists participating in lead role must be of Maltese Nationality or hold dual citizenship, one of which Maltese.

1.2. The previous year’s winning artist(s) and/or the last edition’s ESC Maltese representative/s may not participate as a performer in the Contest.

1.3. All artists must be aged at least sixteen (16) by the 1st May, 2023.

1.4. Authors and composers may be of any Nationality.

1.5. A copy of the identity card of all participants needs to be submitted with the application.

1.6. Late submissions, incomplete submissions or submissions with missing forms, data or information will be considered void and will neither be processed nor accepted

Monetary prizes

i Winner €10,000

ii Runner-up €4,000

iii 2nd Runner-up €2,000

iv Remaining Finalists €300 each

v Remaining Semi Finalists €300 each

vi Remaining Quarter-Finalists €300 each

 

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Regina Phalange
Regina Phalange
13 days ago

Malta’s NF is cruel to viewers!! Full of ads and then the juries basically decide who goes to ESC.. if the song doesn’t change! Maltese people deserve more respect than that.

Im so fab
Im so fab
21 days ago

I’m sorry, but this is the most useless NF. Small coumtries like Malta don’t have enough people/ material to pick from. They should hire an experienced team to work dedicatedly and create a good entry.

Malta shoud go with internal selection.

Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago
Reply to  Im so fab

Results aren’t everything. At least it will give forty singers or bands the chance to learn, get better, and some sort of goal to aim for. That’s not nothing.

Jofty
Jofty
19 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

True, but probably the usual 40 “personnel” we all know, some of whom will appear multiple times, e.g. solo, duet and maybe “boyband” (again). I really recommend you attend the show!

Polegend Godnova
21 days ago
Reply to  Im so fab

iceland is smaller and yet their selection works wonderfully

Maya G
Maya G
17 days ago

You’re right, I believe it’s more about how rich and diverse the local music scene is, not the size of the country/population. Iceland has a rich and diverse music scene and RÚV usually makes good use of it. I don’t know anything about the musical scene in Malta but it seems that it’s either very dull, or it isn’t but PBS doesn’t use it enough. All of their competing songs are either Melodifestivalen wannabes or Melodifestivalen rejects.If Malta doesn’t have the industry to sustain a national selection then they should come to terms with it and find a better method… Read more »

Moonstar
Moonstar
19 days ago
Reply to  Im so fab

The Maltese NF is open to foreign authors/ composers. Please read the full article.

Jofty
Jofty
19 days ago
Reply to  Moonstar

Yeah and look where that’s got them

Ethan1994
21 days ago

Hopefully they’ll use the actual winning song at Eurovision, and the whole thing won’t feel pointless afterwards.

paul
paul
21 days ago

Mlata needs to concentrate on quality of the songs not quantity,this is overkill and in no way will guarantee a good result

Una
Una
21 days ago

“We’re assuming that the 24 songs represent six chosen per semi-final, though the rules don’t actually say that.”

Maybe six songs chosen per *quarter-final* since four quarter-finals, one semifinal and one final are mentioned.

The rules not making clear how many songs from the quarter-finals go to the semi is ridiculous.

Is it an unintended slip or an opportunity to choose “better songs” from each quarter considering they say the 40 selectied songs will be allocated randomly?

John
John
21 days ago

I hope one of these songs is good enough to make it to the ESC.

Whisker
Whisker
21 days ago
Reply to  John

All songs in all NFs should be festival worthy, no ifs and buts. 2022 was shady, shady, shady.

Iv****
Iv****
21 days ago

40 songs x 3 minutes = 120 minutes of music and at least 600 minutes of commercials. My condolences to the viewers beforehand.

Cocooo
Cocooo
21 days ago

I don’t know why but ‘Electric Indigo’ started playing in my head while reading this

Vivian
Vivian
21 days ago
Reply to  Cocooo

That song was honestly a bop

Jofty
Jofty
19 days ago
Reply to  Vivian

Actually would love to have seen it in Milan, it was fun

Jack
Jack
21 days ago

This is gonna be such a disaster that i almost feel sorry for the people who have to watch this and report on it to the media. Its a way for tvm to make profit, the winning song wont even go to eurovision lol

Fatima
Fatima
21 days ago

“the interpretation should be without any choreography and props.”
I’d like to see the EBU try a back-to-basics approach like that for the contest, one year.

Whisker
Whisker
21 days ago

4/40/400 songs, what matters the most is that it’s a fair competition with songs that are at similar levels. Or it isn’t a real competition at all. Selecting bad or average songs is actually mocking the artist and the songwriter, and that’s disgraceful.

Polegend Godnova
21 days ago

why is anyone surprised by tvm dragging it as long as they can when this year’s mesc brought them tons in ad revenue? they’re doing their own interests lol

Una
Una
21 days ago

… it will have taken six shows or so and PR galore and at the end the public might have the huuuuge surprise that the favourite had won.

How about the winner likely being be a former Eurovision act, also “a big jury and media favourite”, with a known UK connection. Song will be Swedish or British or both. The whole thing will probably be British-Swedish except for the singer and the flag.

Karl
Karl
21 days ago

They never learn lol

Yankee
Yankee
22 days ago

Quality not quantity

pink bucket hat
pink bucket hat
22 days ago

But why have 39 filler songs? When they did MESC before 2019 there were songs that didn’t make it through to the final that were then used in the next year

James
James
22 days ago

But will the winning song be the one they’ll sent to Eurovision?

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
22 days ago

Terrible idea tbh. Malta have struggled to have a quality national final every year and have consistently had some of the worst songs of the national final seasons each time. It is simply too small a country to be expected to produce 20+ good songs every year.
I’m not expecting a car crash like the San Marino experience last year, but we might be getting a lesser version of that.

Polegend Godnova
21 days ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

they had a 56-song nf in 2009 and they survived lol

mipr
mipr
22 days ago

Wow, they’re really out of their minds xD

James
James
22 days ago

Just to warn you Malta… bigger doesn’t always mean better. Sometimes you need to have quality over quantity.

If you provide a well produced show with *quality* songs I won’t be disappointed, but if I have to sift through 37 songs of nothing to find 3 good ones, I’m gonna be of the opinion that you took a step backward :/

In the end of course it’s really the finished product that really counts though. But please for the love of god don’t make the televote worth like 14% again who thought that that was a good idea

Azuro
Azuro
22 days ago

Malta always put so much effort in and for such a tiny country too, to come 2nd twice. I really do want to see them win it someday. Winning on British soil, with the UK connection, would be very fitting.

Tomi
Tomi
22 days ago
Reply to  Azuro

Maybe they’ll choose a great entry this year.

Fatima
Fatima
21 days ago
Reply to  Azuro

They nearly did it here in 1998. I can see that happening.

Esc addict
Esc addict
22 days ago

Malta is a country passionate about Esc and Jesc, they really take these contests seriously and it’s enjoyable to see, they deserve respect and support and I will never understand this fury against Malta, what do you blame them for? Personally I wish them good luck for the new season, and I hope a good result for Malta.

Nadja
Nadja
22 days ago

A lot of half-ass made songs battling out to win, while main purpose of this is to gain money to buy a song reject that no one else needed.

I won’t be using my time for this next year, there are propper national selections and finals that actually do what they’ve supposed to do.

Meckie
Meckie
22 days ago

They’ll most probably send the most famous singer from rich family in their NF again.

Eurotoxic
Eurotoxic
22 days ago

Quality instead of quantity Malta…!

Alex
Alex
22 days ago

I can’t wait to see the 3 hours of commercials, obviously bias voting, and 38 filler songs

Vivian
Vivian
22 days ago

Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and Malta opting to use a national selection proves they learned nothing about last year’s failure. Even if the winning song won’t be tossed out for a new one, I can already tell Malta will not be getting any love from the televoting next year.

Jofty
Jofty
22 days ago
Reply to  Vivian

That is hardly a wild prediction?!

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
22 days ago

Looks like Malta is still far from hitting rock bottom…

Qovapryi
Qovapryi
22 days ago

I welcome this change because more songs = more chance to showcase local talent and genre variety (see Estonia 2022), but if they go for this format I expect them to stick with the winning song instead of throwing it in the bin just ’cause.

Luke B
Luke B
22 days ago

Why couldn’t they just stick with their 2019-21 selection process? The quality was much better.

Nah
Nah
22 days ago

Bring back Ira Losco, Michela Pace & Destiny Chukunyere 🙁

Tomi
Tomi
22 days ago
Reply to  Nah

Destiny definitely needs to come back. But with a good song that suits her.

Robbie
Robbie
22 days ago

Good God, they couldn’t even cope with 22 and they never even kept the winning song! I (personally, just MY opinion!!!) don’t trust the Maltese broadcaster one bit and the Maltese public, as much as they’re very lovely people, are not,I’m afraid, very good at picking the song which would have the best chance in Eurovision. They should really concentrate on a small 8 song selection by Maltese composers/singers only and why not try for 1 year only, songs solely in the Maltese language – they’ve really got nothing to lose and non-English songs are doing extremely well in the… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
22 days ago

Thank you, but I find it hard to be interested when we don’t even know if the winner will represent Malta. Still, I hope some people enjoy it.

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
22 days ago

Their NF this year was abysmal and they didn’t even keep the winning song but now they want to expand this crap? Good luck I suppose.

Thallo
Thallo
22 days ago

The Maltese broadcaster is obviously making a profit from this, that’s the only reason this 6-show national final is happening.

voix
voix
22 days ago
Reply to  Thallo

the on-screen ads every other minute are literally cringe

Jofty
Jofty
22 days ago
Reply to  voix

You might develop a sudden craving for oven chips?

Polegend Godnova
21 days ago
Reply to  Jofty

that explains malta’s obesity rates…

Alo
Alo
22 days ago

This is going to be a disaster and I’m here for it

Lorenzo
Lorenzo
22 days ago

1. Quality> Quantity 2. Who thought that turning an already trainwreck national selection to an even bigger trainwreck was a good idea? If among 22 acts there wasn’t almost any good really good song, imagine 40 outdated, cheap and forgettable songs. 3. They should do an internal selection process, or a songwriting camp, or just send an act and a song which has at least a bit of authenticity. Just select someone who is capable of doing great, who is able to stand out because it’s not the typical Eurovision pop song that Malta sends almost every year. Just be… Read more »

Colin
Colin
22 days ago

This is a good news. Estonia did that last year and came-up with a great song, and a good placement. Malta will do it their way, of course. I expect the return of every Maltese singer who hasn’t won MESC yet under the sun, from Jessika and Aidan, to Janice Mangion and Deborah C. I also semi-expect one or two previous representatives who want another go. Who knows, maybe even a name like Ira Losco or Chiara. Sure, knowing MESC, most of these songs will be cheesy and fun to laugh at, which is also a good pastime, but I… Read more »

Rasmus Bording Irlind
Rasmus Bording Irlind
22 days ago

”Muscat’s “Out of Sight” being chosen as the winner. But, as you’ll recall, the song was subsequently dropped following negative reviews and fan reaction.” as generic as that entry was, it was still miles better than ”i am what i am”

voix
voix
22 days ago

40 songs, 4 quarter finals, 1 semi-final, 1final, to end up changing the winning song with a melfest reject. Are maltese people ok with that? Is anyone ever gonna complain about something that doesnt work? Why should someone watch this program?

Jofty
Jofty
22 days ago
Reply to  voix

I take out my crystal ball; winning artist – Aidan Cassar. Song may or may not be changed. I think they would have kept Ritmu, but who knows. See you all in February!

XOOOD
XOOOD
22 days ago
Reply to  Jofty

He’ll be robbed again and lose to a screaming diva

Jofty
Jofty
22 days ago
Reply to  XOOOD

I thought that was the requirement in Albania?

Polegend Godnova
21 days ago
Reply to  XOOOD

correction: we’ll be saved from him by a screaming diva!

sam
sam
22 days ago

i can barely sit through MESC as it is. hopefully the song & lyrics quality is drastically improved or this will end up being similar to selectia nationala but worse. quality over quantity

XOOOD
XOOOD
22 days ago
Reply to  sam

I doubt that, the malteese selection i notable for cringe worthy and over the top lyrics.

Polegend Godnova
21 days ago
Reply to  sam

no idea why we expect or even wish for good lyrics when we know they’ll mostly be terrible as last year’s. just take this show as it is: a source of comical entertainment! no one’s forcing you to watch it anyway.

sam
sam
21 days ago

i’ll always hope for artists to succeed and for countries to find their mojo in the contest. i’m not gonna laugh and make fun of the main chance maltese artists have to showcase their talent and represent their country, but i will encourage them to do better as we all should be

Polegend Godnova
21 days ago
Reply to  sam

well, it’s their choice if they want to be laughed at or not!