Malta has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 28 times since its debut in 1971. After a 16 year gap from 1975 to 1991, Malta returned to the Contest. Malta has been dubbed the most successful country not to have won the Contest. Despite never winning, they have finished second twice (Ira Losco in 2002 and Chiara in 2005), they twice finished third and have finished in the top 10 in 12 out of 15 contests from 1991-2005. More recently Malta have failed to qualify for the final on five out of nine occasions including their most recent attempt in 2015 with Amber’s ‘Warrior’. What will they have in store in 2016?
Fresh off the back of winning Junior Eurovision last month with Destiny Chukunyere’s ‘Not My Soul’, Malta are hoping to emulate this success and that their winning streak can continue with the main Eurovision Song Contest in May 2016.
Maltese broadcaster Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) began their search in September 2015 when they declared their intentions to participate in Eurovision 2016. They announced that 20 acts would compete in the selection process which would see a semi final on 22nd January and the grand final on 23rd January.
Of the 20 acts, the field is quite female heavy with 13 female participants and 7 male artist competing to be Malta’s Eurovision entry for 2016. 2016 sees the return of Ira Losco will compete with two songs: ‘Chameleon (Invincible)’ and ‘That’s Why I Love You’. After a quick glance at the song titles you would be forgiven for thinking that they all come from the same concept album with the recurring themes of fire, flame, sun and heat.
In the Semi Final on 22nd January, six songs were eliminated:
Domenique Azzopardi- Empty Hearted, Danica Muscat- Frontline, Ira Losco- That’s Why I Love You, Dario Mifsud Bonnici- I Love You, Stefan Galea- Light Up My Life and Sarah Crystal- Right Here With You.
The remaining 14 acts competed in the Final on 23rd January:
Jasmine Abela- Alive
Deborah C- All Around The World
Ira Losco- Chameleon (Invincible)
Corazon- Falling Glass
Dominic- Fire Burn
Raquel Galdes- Flashing Lights
Christabelle Borg- Kingdom
Kimberley Cortis- Lighthous
Franklin Calleja- Little Love
Jessika- The Flame
Daniel Testa- Under The Sun
Maxine Pace- Young Love
Laurence Gray- You’re Beautiful
In the end Malta crowned Ira Losco as their winner with ‘Chameleon (Invincible)’.