The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most important events in the musical calender and this is due to the fact that it is widely watched all over the European continent and also the world. Malta and it’s surrounding Islands happen to be one of the participating countries in this event and is along with Ic eland, the most successful nation never to win the event. The Public Broadcasting Services have been working on several formats throughout the years yet the final outcome has been going from bad to worse unfortunately.
The most common national selection method used surely has to be the one night gala which features a number of finalists battling it out for the coveted top prize yet in recent years, the Public Broadcasting Services has opted to make use of semi-finals and heats which in my opinion complicated the whole process. Two years ago, a total of fifty six entries made it through the televised phase of the selection before twenty made it to the final show. That was not all though because a panel of experts chose three finalists which battled it out during the 100% Tele-Voting session.During this year, the Public Broadcasting Services made it clear that foreign composers/authors could take part in the national selection and indeed they did with the winning entry being written by a team of Belgians.
A year later, very little alterations were made with the entries through to the televised phase amounting to just thirty six before twenty were selected to battle it out in a final comprising of 50% Jury and 50% Tele-Voting. What made 2010 so interesting though is that foreign songwriters were banned from entering the selection and this sparked controvery with former Chairperson Grace Borg taking the broadcaster to court. In the end the Public Broadcasting Services won the case and at the end of the selection process, the young Thea Garrett, a virtual unknown to the music industry won the competition yet she failed to make an impact on the European public and finished in twelfth position.
So what happens next, what route should the Public Broadcasting Services take? This is quite an interesting question to pose actually yet in my opinion foreign songwriters should be allowed to enter the selection as long as they work and collaborate with the Maltese songwriters. In the meantime, this long selection process is clearly not working and despite the fact that the fans are getting to know of the songs before hand, the quality is lacking tremendously. International fans and critics alike have been quite fond of our artists yet have commented that the songs lack power and originality so what could be done about this ? Our songwriters have to expand their horizons and look into deeper depths to come up with songs that might influence foreign charts.
The Public Broadcasting Services does not wish to axe the typical national final as it brings about quite a nice income especially from advertising and ticket sales yet my idea of choosing the package should include the internal selection of the singer with songwriters submitting their work for the respective artist and therefore catering for them completely. Anyways, rumour has it that we will soon know what the broadcaster is working on and I am sure that a huge number of changes are set in store for the Malta Eurosong 2011 because at the end of the day “Success doesn’t come to you? You Go to It.”