Today September 21 is ‘Jum l-Indipendenza’, Malta’s Independence Day. On this day in 1964 Malta gained their independence from the United Kingdom. In doing so they joined the Commonwealth of Nations. A decade later they declared themselves a republic.
Malta have been part of the Eurovision Song Contest since 1971. After 1976 they took a break for 16 years returning in 1991, and have never looked back since. Over the last 48 years they have managed two runner up and two third placed entries making them the only non-winning country to achieve this. Well known for their power ballads and more recently their europop bangers they have definitely had a taste of many music genres over the years in the Contest.
Let’s look at our top five most iconic entries from Malta:
5. Christabelle - Taboo (Semi final 13th place - 2018)
This spectacular performance didn’t make it to the Grand final in 2018. With four oversized double sided digital screens in the centre of the stage along with graphic overlays and extensive use of laser lighting and flames, Christabelle tried her hardest to break the taboo. It has to be one of Malta’s favourite euro bangers.
4. Morena - Vodka (Semi final 14th place - 2008)
Vodka anyone?… Morena is shouting us some!
This fast paced pop song sung in English with shoutings of ‘Na Zdarovye!’ the Russian equivalent to ‘Cheers!’ is actually about a Russian spy who is chasing Morena as she deciphers the secret code which is… you guessed it Vodka! I can’t help but compare this to Verka Serduchka’s “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” from the previous year which was the runner up. We need more of these fun songs in Eurovision. Its definitely a different entry for Malta and I would have to say a stand out.
3. Gianluca - Tomorrow (8th place - 2013)
Malta brings out the ukulele for this entry where they took the soft rock acoustic pop approach. Gianluca’s smile along with the other musicians on stage are just enjoying themselves having the time of their lives. You can hear the audience join in on the “Ooh, oh, oh… Ooh oh oh”. It made for a refreshing performance which is their last top 10 placed entry in 13 years and is Malta’s most successfully commercial Eurovision entry in the Contest. “Tomorrow” charted in five countries across Europe.
2. Ira Losco - 7th Wonder (2nd place - 2002)
This very catchy entry really has an early 2000’s ‘Britney Spears-esque’ feel to it. Ira does what Malta does best belting out a pop ballad. She also blows glitter into the audience, very cute. In this song Ira is waiting for a man to put her under his spell while she wonders “Is he magical? Logical? Natural, I wonder, He’s got the makings of my 7th wonder.” Ira may have missed out on the top spot by just 12 points due to Latvia’s “I Wanna” by Marie N, but she achieved Malta’s best result at the time.
1. Chiara - Angel (2nd place - 2005)
Chiara represented Malta in Eurovision for her first time in 1998 with the song “The One That I Love” where she managed a third place spot.
In 2005 she returned to try and claim that trophy once and for all. Along with her powerful voice and oh and that wink after she belts out that chorus Chiara 'slayed' with her song "Angel". But Helena Paparizou’s “My Number One” from Greece was too good that year. Chiara missed out by 38 points. In just three years Chiara managed to match Ira’s runner-up position sharing the best result for Malta in their Eurovision history.
Malta’s Eurovision Queen would return for a third time in 2009 with the song “What If We” finishing up at 22nd place in the final.
It was so difficult to chose just five iconic entries for Malta. Honourable mentions have to go to Claudette Pace’s passionate entry “Desire” from the year 2000, Fabrizio Faniello’s energetic entry “I Do” from 2006 and Ira Losco’s euro banger “Walk on Water” from 2016. Check them out!
And there we have it, our most iconic Maltese Eurovision entries.
We hope you enjoyed our countdown.
Who would you put in your top five from Malta?