Today (15th October 2021), the broadcaster responsible for the Maltese participation in the Eurovision Song Contest – TVM has opened the submission window for the return of their national final MESC. The winning entry will go to Turin in Italy and represent Malta.
Format of MESC revealed.
TVM has announced that a total of 22 songs will take part in the semifinal phase of the contest. These will be whittled down to 16 songs. These will advance to the final of MESC 2022.
Applications for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2022 opened today (15th October) and will close on 15 December 2021. Further information can be found here.
A change of direction after spending criticism
TVM for their 2019 and 2020/2021 entrants, Michela and Destiny were selected using the Maltese version of the international talent franchise The X Factor. As previously mentioned, the broadcaster decided to run their own independent show for their Turin 2022 entry.
This came after criticism of alleged spending by governmental departments in Malta to artificially inflate Malta’s place in the betting odds as part of a marketing strategy.
As reported by The Times of Malta in May, Minister Carmelo Abela ordered an audit of expenditure into the island’s Eurovision spending.
The alarm was raised the board of public broadcaster PBS, which falls within Abela’s ministerial remit. Allegedly, someone within PBS has already alluded to some of their budget being spent on funding foreign nationals to bet on Malta to win the 2021 contest. In addition, The Malta Tourism Authority has apparently spent around €350,000 on promoting “Je Me Casse”.
Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest
Malta first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971 with Joe Grech and his song, “Marija I-Malitja”, which finished in last place with 52 points. They also finished last on their second attempt in the contest in 1972. After a third appearance in 1975, Malta withdrew from the contest until 1991, when they returned and finished in sixth place with 106 points.
Since their return in 1991, Malta has finished in the top three on four occasions – Mary Spiteri with “Little Child” in 1992 and Chiara with “The One That I Love” in 1998 which both finished in third place, and also Ira Losco with “7th Wonder” in 2002 and Chiara with “Angel” in 2005, which both finished in second place. Malta has not yet won the contest, however.
Following the cancellation of the 2020 contest, Destiny was reselected with another internally-selected entry, “Je Me Casse”. She ended up getting Malta’s best result in Eurovision since 2005, placing 7th with 255 points.