Let’s face it, everyone loves a winner. But for all the winners of our illustrious contest, around half of the countries taking part in Eurovision have never taken home the trophy. This is despite the fact that after 60 contests with 50 nations taking part, it was theoretically possible for everyone to have won at least once by now.
In this series of articles, I’ll be looking at some of the contest’s longest serving competitors that have yet to take home the gold. As well as pin-pointing where their strengths lie, I’ll also talk about what may be stopping them from winning Europe’s most popular music competition. We’ve done Croatia, Iceland and Cyprus. Now we wish Tajba filgħaxija Valletta and take a look at Malta’s Eurovision record!
Best Result – 2nd (2002 and 2005)
Top 10 Finishes – 13 in 28 entries
Top 5 Finishes – 5 in 28 entries
This Writer’s Winner – “Angel” (2005)
With two 2nd and two 3rd place finishes to their name, Malta ranks as the most successful of all the countries that have yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest. Furthermore, just under half of ALL Maltese Eurovision songs have placed in the Top 10! That by itself is incredible! With such an impressive back catalogue, it’s clear that Malta produces a sound Europe loves. So why hasn’t Eurovision come to Valletta already?
Malta’s earlier Eurovision entries were sang in Maltese and failed to make any real impact on the scoreboard – in fact, their first 2 entries both came last. After taking a 16 year break from the contest, Malta returned and within a decade had amassed 9 places in the Top 10, 4 of which were in the Top 5. How did they manage such a spectacular comeback? As much as I hate to admit it, (regular readers will have noticed I prefer a more multilingual Eurovision!) I think singing in English helped Malta reach a larger audience. Despite this, the introduction of the semi-finals and the free language rule has made Malta’s task in recent years all the more difficult.
Malta has established itself as the Sweden of Junior Eurovision (if such a title exists!) by winning the contest twice in 3 years. Maybe these victories in Junior Eurovision are just a warm up for a long-awaited Eurovision Song Contest victory for Malta? I am confident it will come, and soon. Malta has proved it’s a Eurovision force to be reckoned with over the years, it just needs a song with a real WOW factor to push it into first place…
They say 13 is unlucky for some, and it definitely was for Ira Losco and “7th Wonder” – 13 points more and Malta would have taken home the Eurovision trophy from Tallinn in 2002! This year she’s back and she clearly means business. Fans and bookies agree that “Walk On Water” is one of the favourites to win in Stockholm. Maybe we’ll be partying in Valletta for Eurovision next year! I did say something with a WOW factor would be needed for Malta to win 😉
My personal favourite entry for Malta comes from the very first year I watched Eurovision – Chiara’s “Angel” is simply sublime. Beautifully sung and staged, it’s just perfect for a Eurovision ballad. What else can I say? A thoroughly well deserved 2nd place, and I would have been happy to see it win!
What do you think? Will Ira qualify in Stockholm? Will it be long before Malta joins the ranks Eurovision Song Contest winners? What is your favourite Maltese Eurovision entry?
Let us know what you think!
Author: James Scanlan
Source: Eurovision Ireland