Recent advancements in the local music scene has seen a boom in terms of the release of new material but then again, back in the olden days, things were quite different and looking back at how things developed, one would remember that a number of individuals did not have the means that exist today and thus, had to find a way to achieve success through other methods. One of such artists who best represents the local music scene of the past is none other than Mary Spiteri who had set her sights on representing Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest during our inaugural participation. Throughout the years, the renowned performer who has been said to have the makings of a diva on more than one occasion has continued to amass popularity, one which is thoroughly deserved.
Mary Spiteri had been performing somewhat all her life and her talent was picked up quite early by raving music critics who believed that she could make it because she showed interest and had the right qualities to do so and whilst the focus here will be on her participations in the Malta Song for Europe competition in search of a Eurovision Song Contest participation, she has also put her name forth in a variety of projects including musical Ġensna amongst others. Her very first participation in the local competition to go abroad and thus represent Malta came back in 1971 with the track Min Int (Who Are You?) which most probably finished in the top three but then again, she did not put her name forward the following year, only to return back in 1975 when Malta was preparing to take part for the third time and for the first time in English language. Her entry which bore the name Live For Tomorrow finished in second place behind Renato, missing out by just seven points.
Ultimately, following a stint when Malta did not take part in the Eurovision Song Contest, only to return back in 1991, Mary Spiteri decided to continue putting her name forth and she did in 1992 with the song Little Child composed by Georgina Abela and penned by Ray Mahoney, winning the competition quite resoundingly leaving Moira Stafrace and Mike Spiteri in second and third place respectively. The song was well received abroad by foreign judges because Mary Spiteri finished in third place behind Ireland who were represented by Linda Martin and the United Kingdom whose participant was West-End star, Michael Ball. The renowned diva does speak of her positive experience in a number of local interviews and has tried to return to the event on three occasions, the first time coming in 1995 with the song Just One Love failing to finish in the top three despite singing her heart out.
Putting the disappointment of 1995 behind her, she found the strength to return to the competition just two years later with a beautiful ballad which was entitled Lovers Play With Words and this time round, she did hit the right notes because she returned back into the top three, in third place just behind Debbie Scerri and Catherine Vigar who had songs which were very much current during those times especially when it comes to the participation in the Eurovision Song Contest with Ireland finding victory with a sound which was quite similar. Mary Spiteri went onto speak that her time in the international showcase had passed and thus continued to perform in Malta and even abroad at times when invited as a guest but ultimately her swansong would come in the 2008 Malta Song for Europe when she qualified with two tracks, one entitled If You Believe and the other being My Last Encore.
Mary went on record stating that she was sick the day leading up into the festival and said she would still be doing her best in order to make sure that her last performances at the Malta Song for Europe would be well appreciated by the audience which seemed to wholeheartedly support her. The end result during the evening though was in the hands of the judges when it came to qualification and Mary was omitted from the final list despite stunning performances. That would be the last time that she has performed in the esteemed event although she was also invited as a guest in the 2010 edition of the Malta Eurosong performing her Eurovision entry, Little Child as well as the Lara Fabian hit song, Adagio. We honestly hope to hear something from Mary Spiteri in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about local artists.
Source: National Finals Website