One of Europe’s and Eurovision’s smallest countries, this Mediterranean island state is one of Eurovision’s most enthusiastic participants. Since their return from a 16 year break in 1991, Malta haven’t missed a contest. While they have never won (yet) but have come desperately close on a number of occasions.
Malta’s pedigree at Eurovision is pretty good – they finished in the top 10 every year from 1991 to 1998, have come as runners up twice, and in 3rd place twice. Their best years were from their return in 1991 to 2005. Times have been harder since then, with a patchy grand final qualification record, but plenty to choose from for my top 5.
5. Gianluca Bezzina “Tomorrow” (2013, 8th place, 120 points)
Sweet guy, sweet song and a surprise success, scoring Malta’s first top 1o placing for several years. I saw Gianluca at the London Eurovision Preview Party that year and he was both so shy and so sweet, but delivered an engaging performance. I was really pleased to see this do as well as it did.
4. Debbie Scerri “Let Me Fly” (1997, 9th place, 66 points)
A slightly unusual choice maybe, but I like this one as it brings some distinctly Maltese sounds and instruments to the contest, and is a bit different and quirkier than the ever present female solo ballads of Eurovision.
3. Chiara “Angel” (2005, 2nd place, 192 points)
Three times Eurovision entrant Chiara achieved her best placing in 2005 after coming in 3rd place in 1998 (though in terms of points that 3rd place was closer to the winner than this) but of her three songs this is the best I think . As Malta’s most successful Eurovision artist, Chiara deserves a place in the top 5.
2. Kurt Calleja “This Is the Night” (2012, 21st place, 41 points)
An unashamedly guilty pleasure here! Probably higher placed than I really should put it, but it is my favourite of the various upbeat Maltese songs by solo male singers. He’s an energetic performer, something I can confirm from first hand experience at a London Eurovision Preview Party where he was a special guest performer and also very enthusiastically cheered on and supported the Maltese entry that year during her performances.
1. Ira Losco “7th Wonder” (2002, 2nd place, 164 points)
Ira was the first Maltese entry to finish as runner up (followed by Chiara three years later) and in fact, this deserved to finish higher than the actual winner that year (in my view). Ira came back to Eurovision last year (while 6 months pregnant!) and finished a very creditable 12th in Stockholm.
Did I choose the right Maltese entries – and did I get them in the right order? Comment below!