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  • Craig Land

Malta: Aussievision's MESC 2022 rankings

Malta punches above its weight at Eurovision, and this year, the long-running national format Malta ESC (MESC) is returning to select an entry for the island nation.

12 members of the Aussievision team have listened to the 22 songs participating in MESC 2022, and ranked their top 10 songs, providing Eurovision-style points from 12 to 1.

Will popular returnee Aidan reach the top of the team’s poll? Or will it be Jessica Grech who learns to fly a plane, so she can come to Australia and thank us for her prime position?

Read on to find out!

10. Matt BLXCK - 'Come Around' (28 points)

  • Highst: 10 points from Kyriakos, 8 points from Liv

  • Lowest: 0 points from Emma, Fleur, Guy, Dale, Hugo and Laura

“This song should not exist, but it does and shockingly I am hooked! This song just oozes with personality which some other acts in this Maltese selection lack. It's the 2022 version of Rebecca Black's 'Friday' it will be divisive, everyone will talking about it, only very few will be fans of it.” ~ Kyriakos

“A lot of the Maltese entries this year blend painfully into each other - Matt BLXCK has something reasonably different here and he does an alright job with it. 'Come Around' is fun, cheeky and has a pulse. Certainly helps to stand out in such a large national final.” ~ Liv

=8. Nicole Hammett – 'A Lover’s Heart' (30 points)

  • Highest: 12 points from Guy

  • Lowest: 0 points from Emma, Kyriakos, Fleur, Hayley, Dale, Steven and Liv

“There's a lot going on in this track, and it may feel a little disjointed to some people, but I really enjoy it. The part in the middle where she first sings in Maltese is beautiful, and when the beat kicks in, it builds into an absolute banger. I can't wait to see this live.” ~ Guy

“'A Lover's Heart' starts off with dramatic strings and drum machines, and only gets more and more extra as the song progresses. The Maltese language lyrics and opera are cool inclusions. That being said, one person's "extra" is another person's "kitchen sink": sometimes it gives off the air of trying to do too much and having too many elements for the sake of having them. This can make the song sound a bit messy to the casual listener but it was still an enjoyable 3-minute listen for me.” ~ Laura

=8. Francesca – 'Rise' (30 points)

  • Highest: 10 points from Hayley, 8 points from Kyriakos

  • Lowest: 0 points from Emma, Fleur, Craig, Guy, Mike, Laura and Steven

“Francesca has a beautiful voice and is no stranger to the Eurovision stage as I read she represented her country as a junior in 2009. The song is an uplifting ballad that really builds and offers some potentially amazing moments for her vocals if she can pull this off. On stage I see a beautiful long dress with explosions of pyro for those big moments.” ~ Hayley

“What a beautiful ballad, the whole song builds to the huge vocals by Francesca in the last third of the song. I expect an impressive live performance!!” ~ Kyriakos

7. Janice Mangion – 'Army' (32 points)

  • Highest: 12 points from Mike, 8 points from Emma, 7 points from Fleur

  • Lowest: 0 points from Craig, Hayley, Steven, Hugo, Laura, Liv and Guy

“For me this is a atmospheric ballad that delivers the right amount of drama to get noticed. Janice has great voice and I have no doubt she will be able to perform this live. I like the addition of some Maltese lyrics in the song, and they don't feel like an after-thought. It's not the most original piece of music out there, but I think it's the standout song from this selection.” ~ Mike

“Janice sounds like the Maltese version of Celine Dion. I really liked the progression of the song and how it was sung in both English and Maltese. This is aimed at juries more than televoters but it's a quality entry that deserves to do well.” ~ Emma

“Janice's voice was the best thing in this. The song itself is okay although I'm not sure where the lyrics are going exactly. There was enough going on to keep my interest. But hey, that's Eurovision.” ~ Fleur

6. Enya Magri – 'Shame' (37 points)

  • Highest: 12 points from Emma, 8 points from Hugo.

  • Lowest: 0 points from Fleur, Craig, Mike, Liv and Steven.

“Shame' is the best overall package in MESC this year for me. I love Enya's voice - she reminds me a bit of Halsey. She has a great tone that allows her to sing softly and then bam the chorus is strong and emotive. This is on the verge of radio friendly with an indie vibe and her vocals are spot on. There's lots of potential for big moments in the staging here too.” ~ Emma

“Great tone of voice, and the chorus has some power to it. Like the instrumentation and production as well.” ~ Hugo

5. Denise – 'Boy' (41 points)

  • Highest: 12 points from Craig, 10 points from Fleur, 8 points from Guy

  • Lowest: 0 points from Emma, Kyriakos, Dale, Mike, Liv and Steven

“This song isn't reinventing the wheel, but I think it's the hookiest song in this selection, and the EDM elements give it enough of a beat to make it danceable. It could perhaps use a revamp to give it a bit more kick if it gets the nod to go to Eurovision, but the fundamentals here are strong enough to be going on with for now. A lot of whether it succeeds at MESC will rest largely on Denise's live performance chops - I hope she knocks it out of the park!” ~ Craig

“This grabbed my attention at the start but it plateaued out. Still, it's one of the best songs in this NF selection. With a revamp we could have a fantastic Eurodance banger. The bones are there. Would definitely love to see more EDM elements mixed in.” ~ Fleur

4. Baklava ft. Nicole – 'Electric Indigo' (54 points)

  • Highest: 12 points from Kyriakos, 10 points from Mike, 7 points from Hayley and Dale

  • Lowest: 0 points from Guy, Hugo and Steven, 1 point from Craig

“WOW WOW WOW, Violins - check, banging beat - check, not bad vocals - check. I think Malta have a winning song to go to Eurovision. Instantly impactful. It sounds like a Steps demo song.” ~ Kyriakos

“A violin opening going into a 90's dance beat? You have my attention!! There is a familiar Euro/Electro dance feel to the whole thing, which may suggest it's not the most original entry. I do feel like the verses promise something that the chorus doesn't live up to, but overall I don't mind this fluffy piece of pop goodness” ~ Mike

3. Emma Muscat – 'Out of Sight' (66 points)

  • Highest: 12 points from Fleur and Hugo, 10 points from Laura, 8 points from Hayley

  • Lowest: 0 points from Mike and Steven, 1 point from Guy

“This was the standout for me. The most Eurovision ready song of the bunch. Production is good overall. Her voice was good. Not much wrong here when compared to the rest of the competition.” ~ Fleur

“Simply the most catchy song for me. I love that chorus, Emma has a great voice. Takes a while to get to the chorus, but from there the funky beat takes over. Doesn’t set the world on fire, but this is my fave out of the options. Very solid pop song.” ~ Hugo

“'Out of Sight' has modern pop production and plenty of moments for Emma to showcase her vocal talents, I really like it. It stands head and shoulders above many of the other songs in this lineup in terms of polish and quality.” ~ Laura

“Great song, but it does take a little too long to build, I think if it upped the ante 30 seconds earlier it may be a little more interesting. She has great vocals and if she can pull this off live, she will do really well” ~ Hayley

2. Aidan – 'Ritmu' (70 points)

  • Highest: 12 points from Steven, 10 points from Craig and Liv, 8 points from Laura

  • Lowest: 0 points from Hayley, 4 points from Emma, Kyriakos, Fleur and Guy

“Ritmu' certainly lives up to its title: it has a good beat and builds well throughout. It reminded me a little of Luca Hänni’s 'She Got Me' and I can imagine it could feature some great choreography. I also enjoyed hearing the Maltese - non-English lyrics can hide a multitude of sins!” ~ Steven

“I find this a very difficult song to pin down. The production is giving me Latin elements, but the lyrics are in Maltese and Aidan is dressed (for some reason) like a cowboy. Nonetheless, the juxtapositions in this one are quite appealing, and Aidan is a charismatic performer. Probably the most interesting song in this selection.” ~ Craig

“Certainly appreciating a Maltese language song - has some nice Mediterranean vibes and certainly isn't the worst choice here. Not sure how I feel about hearing the word "Ritmu" ("Rhythm") over and over again for a chorus - let alone what a juror might be thinking.” – Liv

“Ritmu' is a top quality Maltese pop bop in the same vein as 'She Got Me' (Switzerland 2019). I really like that the lyrics are in Maltese, it really gives it that unique touch that it needs to shine. It definitely stands out in this selection.” ~ Laura

1. Nicole Azzopardi – 'Into the Fire' (97 points)

  • Highest: 12 points from Hayley, Laura and Liv, 10 points from Guy, Dale and Steven

  • Lowest: 0 points from Hugo, 3 points from Mike

“This song instantly got my attention. It has a big overall bold and punchy sound, and I can almost visualise the staging with pyro. I struggled to find songs I really liked in this selection but this one definitely stood out from the others. I can see this being a bit of a crowd pleaser in the stadium!” ~ Hayley

“This is the only song that has a genuine pulse at MESC this year. Not the most contemporary sound but TELL ME that this doesn't sound like an anthem you would hear poolside at a European hotel in 2010? Banger. Sickening. Amazing. Nicole has some big vocal moments - don't mess this up Malta. Pick her.” ~ Liv

“This is very early-2010s-sounding dance pop but I love it. It's an absolute classic bop which reminds me of the golden years of Eurovision (a.k.a. when I first started watching the contest: 2009-2012), it's very nostalgic and uplifting for me. It's impossible for me to not be in a good mood when listening to 'Into The Fire'! The chorus in particular is so catchy and it sounds like it could be a World Cup anthem. 10/10 would wave my flag to it, douze points!” ~ Laura

“Ok this is an absolute banger. Is it doing anything new? No. Is it fun? Yes! Enjoyed it immensely.” ~ Dale

“This song is a bop! Yes, it’s dated, but - in comparison to some other MESC entries - it unquestionably has a pulse. I’d dance to it!” ~ Steven


The Best of the Rest!

11. Raquel – 'Over You' (27 points)

“I like Raquel's modern vocal style, it suits this ballad. The song doesn't really hit any great heights, but it's a good solid song and with the right performance I think this could find another gear.” ~ 8 points from Mike

=12. Norbert – 'How Special You Are' (26 points)

“Lovely lovely ballad. Not reinventing the wheel by any stretch, but I like this. Somewhat nostalgic feel, to what I don’t know, but I get that feeling. Hopefully he can deliver a live performance.” ~ 10 points from Hugo

=12. Miriana Conte – 'Look What You’ve Done Now' (26 points)

“This sounds like something Ariana Grande would release. It's very now and radio friendly with a Spanish street feel. Am looking to see some great choreography for this.” ~ 10 points from Emma

14. Giada – 'Revelación' (24 points)

15. Mark Anthony Bartolo – 'Serenity' (23 points)

“It's a pretty simple guitar ballad but there is something really lovely in it's simplicity. I love Mark's vocal tone, the song has a lovely arrangement and reminds me of a ballad I would have heard in the 90s. To me this just stood out among the rest. Love it.” ~ 12 points from Dale

16. Sarah Bonnici – 'Heaven' (19 points)

“There is something very early 2000s Atomic Kitten / All Saints about this song and I love its pleasant groove for three minutes.” ~ 8 points from Dale

17. Jessika – 'Kaleidoscope' (17 points)

=18. Derrick – 'II' (13 points)

“This a decent, conventional but well structured “Scandi-pop” sounding song in Maltese - a plus point for me! - by a performer with good vocals. If Derrick performs as well live, this could be a contender.” ~ 8 points from Steven

=18. Malcolm Pisani – 'We Came For Love' (13 points)

20. Richard Edwards – 'Hey Little' (12 points)

21. Jessica Grech – 'Aphrodisiac' (9 points)

“My biggest guilty pleasure of the entire national final season so far, I'm kind of obsessed with this. It's got some of the silliest lyrics I've heard in a long while - "To get to you, I'd learn to fly a plane", indeed - and the production is giving me pure Eurovision 2003. Will it win? No. Do I nonetheless worship at the shrine of Jessica Grech? ABSOLUTELY.” ~ 8 points from Craig

22. Rachel Lowell – 'White Doves' (2 points)

All 22 songs will participate in the semi-final of Malta Eurovision Song Contest ('MESC') on 17 February 2022. The top 16 entries will then make it to a grand final on 19 February 2022, where the Maltese entrant for 2022 will be revealed.


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