Next November 25th, Minsk Arena will host the sixteenth Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It will be the second time that the event takes place in the venue in Belarus’s capital. With Ukraine’s last minute confirmation, a record-breaking 20 countries will participate. Therefore, it is the perfect time to look back at the journeys of all of this year’s participating countries in the contest. Today, let’s take a look at the journey of Junior Eurovision’s smallest but nevertheless successful country: Malta!
- Country: Malta
- Broadcaster: PBS
- Debut appearance: 2003
- Number of appearances: 13
- Highest finish: 1st (2013, 2015)
- Lowest finish: 18th and last (2005)
Back to the very beginning…
Malta made its Junior Eurovision debut in the very first contest in 2003. The first to fly the country’s flag at the contest was then-13-years-old Sarah Harrison with her entry “Like a star“. She ended up in 7th place with 56 points.
Malta’s journey so far
Despite a rather good start, Malta struggled to achieve good results in the first few years of participation. In fact, between 2003 and 2010 Malta only manage to finish in the top 10 three times, with Daniel Testa’s fourth place in 2008 being their most successful result. The Maltese broadcaster then decided the country needed a break from the contest and Malta didn’t participate in 2011 and 2012. However, if in their first phase of participation results were underwhelming, after their return they haven’t missed out on a top 10. In fact, after their break in 2013 Malta even managed to score their first victory with Gaia Cauchi and her song “The Start”. She defeated all competition earning 130 points. It also didn’t take them long to replicate victory as in 2015 Destiny Chuckunyere gave Malta’s the second victory with her song “Not my soul”. In 2017, Gianluca Cilia placed 9th with his song “Dawra Tond!”. He placed 13th with the jury but 2nd with the online voting. Besides, Malta also successfully hosted the contest in Valletta in 2014 and 2016.
Looking ahead to 2018
Malta will hold a national final to select their entrant for Minsk. The final will take place on September 8 at 16:45 CET. 16 singers will compete for the ticket to Junior Eurovision. For the first time since 2010, the national final features original songs rather than covers. You can read more about the participants here.
My favourite Maltese entry!
Considering that Malta has been rather successful lately, I had heard a few of their songs before. Besides, their 2010 entrant Nicole Azzopardi participated in a children song competition in Italy I avidly followed so I knew her already. If you have been following this feature you are probably wondering whether I liked the songs Malta sent or not? Well good news, I actually do! Take away a couple of entries (that last place in 2005 was kinda deserved, let’s be honest) and I like all of them! Picking a winner was a little tough as Gianluca’s “Dawra Tond!” is a song that is close to my heart and his charisma is infectious. But I must give my personal vote to the incredible Destiny Chuckunyere and her song “Not my soul”. Let’s watch her amazing show once again:
I know that in my past favourites I often critiqued the performance. Honestly, this time I can’t fault anything! The staging is cool, refreshing and appealing. The song is upbeat, dynamic and fun and just my cup of tea. Her energy is incredible and what about her vocals? I can’t really find the right words to express how great they are. Obviously 2015’s worthy winner and I wholeheartedly hope that she will represent Malta in the adult Eurovision in the near future. I will most definitely cheer for her!
Our countries’ journeys so far:
My favourite was 2015, but what is your favourite Maltese entry at Junior Eurovision? What kind of song are you hoping they will send to Minsk?
Don’t forget to come back next Tuesday for another journey down another country’s Junior Eurovision memory lane!
Let us know in the comments below or on social media @ESCXTRA.