Photo: TVM

Malta has supersized its Eurovision selection for 2023. The island nation is introducing quarter-finals to Malta Eurovision Song Contest, with the first one taking place on 13 January.

Out of the 40 competing acts, 13 shared their songs during quarter-final 1, which was hosted by Ryan Borg and Josmar.

There weren’t any results. Official voting won’t open until 3 February, after all three quarter-finals are done. All the qualifiers will then be revealed at the same time ahead of the semi-final on 9 February.

But that doesn’t stop us from asking who your favourites of the night were. Head down to our poll below to let us know who stood out to you in quarter-final 1 of MESC 2023.

MESC 2023 quarter-final 1 running order

  • Haley – “Tik Tok”
  • Stefan Galea – “Heartbreaker”
  • The Clintess – “Lura Qatt”
  • Fabrizio Faniello – “Try to Be Better”
  • Eliana Gomez Blanco – “Guess What”
  • Christian Arding – “Eku Ċar”
  • Jason Scerri – “Anything Can Happen”
  • Maria Debono – “X’allegrija”
  • Geo Debono – “The Mirror”
  • Mikhail – “Leħen Fiċ-Ċpar”
  • AIDAN – “Reġina”
  • Nathan – “Creeping Walls”
  • Klinsmann – “Piranha”
 
 
 
 
 
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Poll: Who had the best song in quarter-final 1 of Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2023?

You can vote for as many acts as you’d like. However, you’ll only be able to vote once, so choose wisely before submitting.

Who did you vote for? Which acts from quarter-final 1 do you think will make it to the semi-final? Share all your thoughts in the comments below.

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Roger La
Roger La
9 days ago

Now that I listened to the full three minutes of Checkmate I can say that Malta will be crazy if they do not send this song. It’s the singer. It’s the voice. It’s her charisma. It’s her stage presence, but most important it’s a frickin’ amazing, powerful song! She’s miles ahead of any competition. The best song by far, and I want it on repeat day and night, night and day. Finally, a song that truly deserves victory if she had to win

Jake
Jake
13 days ago

I would say let’s wait for Maxine, Ryan and Brooke. They seem to have a good song, and their voice is actually good, especially Ryan!

Ryan Davide
Ryan Davide
14 days ago

How can you have three quarter finals?

Ilya
Ilya
15 days ago

Stefan of heartbreaker was not in this heat

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago

I see these quarter finals more as “previews” for the final, which I assume will have better staging and bigger budget.

Jamie
Jamie
16 days ago

This NF format is embarrassing. Why? Just why?

Roro31
Roro31
16 days ago

I think its not Aidan but its Brooke!!

Tibor
Tibor
16 days ago

I can’t find clips of the live performances anywhere, the Maltese broadcaster apparently doesn’t want me to see them and when I scroll through these comments, I get an inkling of why that would be. So I’m just going to comply.

Colin
Colin
16 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

There’s 8 of them on You Tube, on a channel called Eurovision National Finals.

Tibor
Tibor
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Thank you. And darn …

Tibor
Tibor
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin

It’s a little like the karaoke show with mostly unappealing songs we got from Belarus in the past. Some of them can sing fine, but because of the songs I don’t really want to listen.

Colin
Colin
16 days ago

Anything can happen… except that song winning MESC. I mean, it’s impressive having less votes than the song which hasn’t even been performed, and is included by mistake. I enjoy in the ironic values of Jason’s entry, but yeah, objectively it’s really not good. 😉

Jack
Jack
16 days ago

This national final is such a waste of time and money, all this nonsense to send the one who is more famous and buy a song from Sweden… the only one benefited is the public broadcaster with all these tacky ads

Colin
Colin
16 days ago
Reply to  Jack

No matter how good or bad song they pick, I urge them to send that song. Last year and the 2016 selection were charades.

Go_A Stan
Go_A Stan
16 days ago

I like aidan, appreciate that he keeps the Maltese and makes it cool. but he for sure doesn’t belong on a stage alone, I cannot fairly evaluate him without dancers.

Andy
Andy
16 days ago

Why does this national final even exist ? It’s just waste of money and embarassing for the country
Go back to X-Factor and internal song selection

Polegend Godnova
16 days ago

i’m already expecting aidan to win based on his name and then changing his song to one in english at this point

MALTESER
MALTESER
16 days ago

It’s already in English ?

Tom
Tom
16 days ago

This is really bad. Maybe only Nathan was worth listenting to. Aidan’s song is super cheap.

Roger La
Roger La
16 days ago

my hopes for Aidan just plummeted to the ground! I hate to admit it but it was very average and his vocals were plain bad. Give me Ritmu any day, but not this amateur stuff. If he wins, I hope he changes this song to a much better one

Dimos
Dimos
16 days ago

Where is the option “nobody”?

Zanoni
Zanoni
16 days ago

“Guess What” is not exactly good, but kinda fun at least.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
16 days ago

Sorry for the off-topic, but who would you like to represent Belgium this year? My favorite act is Chérine 🙂

Zanoni
Zanoni
16 days ago
Reply to  Benito Camelo

I like both Cherine and Gala. No strong preference either way.

Zanoni
Zanoni
16 days ago
Reply to  Zanoni

Right now I’m floored by how good the studio version of “Armageddon” is— it’s “Where Is My Mind” meets “”Hide and Seek”!— and frustrated that Ameerah didn’t pick it

esc_fl
esc_fl
16 days ago
Reply to  Benito Camelo

Hoping for Chérine, now that Oceanside is out ;(

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
16 days ago
Reply to  esc_fl

Yeah, I was hoping for Oceanside to be an alternate in case Cherine didn’t win, but we’ll see tomorrow. We’ve got to be prepared for anything.

West
West
16 days ago
Reply to  Benito Camelo

I can’t believe that Oceanside is out – all the other acts picked the song I preferred, but this one.

Thallo
Thallo
16 days ago

I had high expectations for Aidan but they weren’t met, at all.

I truly think this is Brooke’s year, her song is pop perfection. Although it’s a little basic, her vocals and stage presence sells it.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
16 days ago
Reply to  Thallo

Her Foolsong won’t be performed until next week so we’ll see if the full song is actually the best

Yuvan
Yuvan
16 days ago

These quarter-finals, where no one gets eliminated, were added to ensure more revenue from advertisements. PBS is just trying to get more money for a better song this year.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
16 days ago
Reply to  Yuvan

This is probably a tall order, but which eight artists would you like to see move onto the semifinal?

Yuvan
Yuvan
16 days ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

It’s a a bit hard to say since so many of these songs seem to be on a same level where I don’t feel like they sound bad or great, but they’re all on a same level of meh. Also as the voting starts after all the songs have been performed, will anybody remember more than the ones performed last?

MikiTheCamel
MikiTheCamel
16 days ago

Clintess’ vocals were lackluster at best and “Lura Qatt” is not a gem, but I find her and the whole act really touching !

Xxx
Xxx
16 days ago

Pia Maria walked so Aidan could run. Whew.

ImpressiveInstants
ImpressiveInstants
16 days ago

the format is a mess.

Microfibertowel
Microfibertowel
16 days ago

I’m not watching live, maybe we already have the results, but I hope the Maltese people aren’t drunk enough to vote for Jason Scerri.

Microfibertowel
Microfibertowel
16 days ago

the notes at the end were nice though

Zanoni
Zanoni
16 days ago

This is my guy, in a purely ironic way.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
16 days ago

Aidan delivered (though I felt like he could’ve done something more too), and Eliana and Nathan surprised positively! 😀
Anyways, I’ll vote for an unexpected option for the sake of being edgy XD

potaxio
potaxio
16 days ago
Reply to  Benito Camelo

Ohhhh the edge! 😮

Escfan
16 days ago

Nathan, Eliana and Aiden were probably my favourites tonight, although Aiden’s felt like it was missing something in particular so it is my 3rd atm but I’m looking forward to seeing all the stagings which i’m sure will elevate them.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago

I’m going to shake things up and vote for a totally unexpected choice in the poll…

Colin
Colin
16 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Christian Arding?

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin

OMG, how did you know?!!

Colin
Colin
16 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Your comment from earlier was a clue. 🙂 Easily in my top 5 tonight too.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
16 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Clearly the best performance of QF1. I also have it ranked first so far.

Lolek
Lolek
16 days ago

Just tuned into Aidan’s song. It was fire, but rather short. I wonder if they will release these songs on spotify soon.

just an esc fan
just an esc fan
16 days ago

to everyone who managed to get through the whole NF: you have all my respect.

Colin
Colin
16 days ago

Nathan probaly had the best song today. Such a nice chorus melody. It maybe needs something extra on stage, but I am vibing with this. Probably my winner tonight! Him or maybe Eliana. Aidan should also make it through. Probably Mikhail and Christian next.

As for Piranha… I am sure that Klinsmann is a good artist, but I was just waiting for this to be over, and not even in a fun-bad way. Just… no.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin

The song has a darkness about it that I like. Nathan came across a bit inexperienced though, especially on those loud notes. I like him alot though. 🙂

Colin
Colin
16 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Nathan looks around 17-18, though, so he might indeed be a total newcomer. If so, he did very well. Sure, there were more powerful vocals tonight, but I’m taking this song as my 1st from today’s batch.
I have high expectations from Maxine Pace, Ryan Hili, and Bradley Debono from those in other QFs, if the songs deliver what snippets promised.

Roger La
Roger La
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin

I usually agree with you Colin, but the songs you mentioned above seem just okay, but full versions might possibly be dull. Nathan was okay, but no winner. I somehow like Klinsman because the chorus was kind of cool. not a winner either, but good

Colin
Colin
16 days ago
Reply to  Roger La

I appreciate your comment Roger. I find Nathan the best one so far, but I think he’d have to work a lot for the whole package to be amazing. So far, it’s okay indeed. Three songs I mentioned are the ones I can see being good, but sure, they can turn out less interesting than expected. That’s the thing with snippets, it’s not the whole thing. Especially in cases like Maxine and Ryan when this obviously isn’t even the chorus.

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin

I listened to Guess What. The lyrics kinda reminded me of “I want to go to Hollywood”, a song I love from Grand Hotel, but the actual music does not belong in a musical.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago

Klinsmann nailed that performance, bravo!
I also love how his English accent (when singing) sounds like he’s from southern England. It’s not a great song though, sorry.

esc_fl
esc_fl
16 days ago

Looking forward to seeing Aidan’s performance in the final if and when he qualifies. Not sure how I feel about the English lyrics and the ending seems a bit abrupt, but nothing that a revamp (or in Malta’s case, an entirely new song) can’t fix.

esc_fl
esc_fl
16 days ago
Reply to  esc_fl

There’s 30 seconds he can add to the song, I noticed.

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago

Klinsmann seems to really hate this person he is singing about. Maybe he should consider a restraining order of some sort.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

We songwriters can write songs about our exes, just ask Taylor Swift. It’s preferable to some other behaviours. (Cough.)

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

This is character assassination.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Not if he didn’t name anyone. 😉

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Bruh, we’re not talking about Shakira lmao

John
John
16 days ago

Is Klingmann singing about his ex? Just — wow.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
16 days ago
Reply to  John

Songwriters can write songs about our exes, just ask Taylor Swift or Shakira

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
16 days ago
Reply to  Benito Camelo

*their, godd*mn autocorrect

Escfan
16 days ago

Im sure that the static background isn’t helping the performances but I agree with the others, Aidan’s performance felt like something was missing, it really needs like choreography. Vocals were fine but I think we need to wait to see the staging plans because it should elevate a lot of the performances.

Kalla
Kalla
16 days ago

Nathan did well, not the most original song, so maybe something Malta might try send again to play it safe?

Colin
Colin
16 days ago

Aidan is certainly among the better ones today. I am touched that he dedicated a song to his mother, and there are some nice lyrics here. I am also a fan of the rhythm before the drop. I am on the fence with the drop, though… But sure, trilingual dance song would be a novelty for Aidan, and he certainly is dedicated.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago

Nathan – Nice to feel the darkness in the song, and he’s great on camera. He has raw talent, but those loud vocal notes at the end were not great. Better than most tonight though.

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago

Aidan. I liked it. Performed well. Smoothing of the hair maybe even worth a swoon. I couldn’t follow the story of the lyrics at all, but I don’t speak Maltese. Something about getting a tattoo of a drum at two years old, and waiting for love.

Kalla
Kalla
16 days ago

Hmmmm I’m a bit conflicted about what to say about Aidan, was very excited for it, I was nervous how they are doing this show would die down any performances to make a song. The song was better than any others I’ve heard so far, not sure I’m in love with it as much as Ritmu, will wait for the final to make a final decision, have a lot of hope for Aidan to make it to eurovision. Maybe another year when he’s got a more competitive song though.

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago
Reply to  Kalla

It just needs to be enough for him to win this, then they can change his song.

Kalla
Kalla
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

That is true, I keep forgetting that there are no rules in the Maltese selection. I would like to see him show up with another knockout bop like Ritmu though. Wouldn’t want him to have an Emma moment and replacing a mediocre song with another just for the sake of it.

Escfan
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

They didn’t patch that rule after last year?

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago
Reply to  Escfan

Maybe. I don’t know. Probably not, though.

Jofty
Jofty
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

No, the only new rule is if the replacement song from Sweden does not qualify they can ask for their money back

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago

Aidan has one of the better songs tonight, although there is a long instrumental that implies choreography we can’t see. Aidan’s performance was okay. It’s missing something; it will be better with the backing behind him.

Zach
Zach
16 days ago

what is the point of this if people can’t even vote for almost a month

Sood
Sood
16 days ago

What kind of BS Malta’s on, releasing the results after a month, sounds like a rigged selection.

Kalla
Kalla
16 days ago
Reply to  Sood

It’s very strange, when they could really and should skip this quarter final process anyway.

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
16 days ago

REALLY impressed by the capabilities of the singers this year. Maybe some of the songs are flat, but the singing isn’t. ALSO, if Regina by Aidan DOESN’T win, can we give Mikhail the crown? Le?en Fi?-?par is ANOTHER interesting Maltese song that could result in Malta qualifying for the Eurovision final!

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
16 days ago

One thing Malta is very reliable On is having great singers. It’s just a shame they don’t always get the best songs to sing.

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago

I’ve caved. Just in time for Aidan, it seems. Pure coincidence, of course.

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Aidan is the first I’ve seen, but I’ll give Mikhail a look if it comes with your recommendation.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago

Mikhail’s high voice is a stand-out surprise tonight. What a voice! Sadly, I feel his voice is a bit wasted on a song that plods along very slowly.

John
John
16 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

We all know they can just replace the song later. 🙂

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
16 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

It’s a descent song that COULD use a revamp, probably getting one a bit later for the final.

John
John
16 days ago

Best vocals so far by Mikhail. Bonus for Maltese.

Colin
Colin
16 days ago
Reply to  John

Sadly, the stupid lagging made me miss about one third of this song, but it felt promising.

Kalla
Kalla
16 days ago
Reply to  John

Yes he sold the song well, looked comfortable on the stage. The song seemed to stay in the same tempo all the way through, agreed though it would be nice if Malta sent a song in Maltese.

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
16 days ago
Reply to  Kalla

He DID have a part where he sustained a nice high note at the end. He convinced me! If Aidan is not sent, send THIS GUY!

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago

Geo DeBono, he did the best he could. The problem is the song; I hope I never hear that song again. My opinion is that the English lyricism of the song is excruciating, and the instrumentation in the backing track is clunky.

Kalla
Kalla
16 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Some of that vocals at the start were a bit cringe to.

Colin
Colin
16 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

The issue with that song is that the production cannot decide whether this is to be a ballad or a mid-tempo pop, and gets stuck in the middle. Also, the beginning feels a bit sampled, but I have no evidence to support that claim.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago

The article here says: “Don’t expect any results this evening. Voting won’t open until 3 February. All the qualifiers will then be revealed at the same time ahead of the semi-final on 9 February.”

Colin
Colin
16 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Does that mean that we’ll still get an equal number of qualifiers from each semi, or will they do like Albania used to, and put through the most voted songs, even if it means disproportionate in terms of who was in which semi?

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Is that because this is not live

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

?

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

The performances appear prerecorded as the cuts between acts on stage and sitting on the couch with the hosts would be impossible completely live. It is a live broadcast but it was pre-taped to some extent.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Possibly; best to ask TVM.

Colin
Colin
16 days ago

X’allegria is probably the ethno-bop many fans are craving for. If this was Romania or Moldova, it’d be such a generic choice, but for Malta, it could actually come off as fresh. Not bad.

Mr X
Mr X
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin

I very like it !