PBS, the Maltese public broadcaster have announced the final 16 who are to compete in the Maltese National Final in February. Among the 16 finalists, some of the big names include Firelight-singer Richard Edwards, Brooke Borg and Fabrizio Faniello’s sister Claudia.
Due to the change in the Maltese National Final format, the juries are selecting 16 finalists only. The new PBS CEO, John Bundy, who took up his position in August, decided to take the juries out of the live televised stage. The decision will ultimately be down to the Maltese public. The date for the final is Saturday 18th February. The event will be live on TVM and on Eurovision.tv. However anyone watching it, not in Malta, will not be able to vote, due to geo-blocks on international dialing codes. Here is the first shortlist of 60 names.
The 11 jury members met with representatives of PBS at St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity on Valletta on Monday 12th December to make the decision. The 16 acts going through to the televised final are as follows:
- Bombshell – Maxine Pace
- Breathlessly – Claudia Faniello
- Crazy Games – Shauna Vassallo
- Don’t Look Down – Miriana Conte
- Fearless – Rhiannon Micallef
- Fighting to Survive – Cherton Caruana
- Follow – Kevin Borg
- Follow Me – Franklin Calleja
- Kewkba – Janice Mangion
- Laserlight – Klinsmann Coleiro
- Ray of Light – Raquela Dalli Gonzi
- Seconds Away – Jade Vella
- So Simple – Crosswalk
- Tonight – Joseph C & Josef Tabone
- Unstoppable – Brooke Borg
- You – Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards was the lead singer of Firelight, who represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen. Brooke came runner up to Ira Losco in 2016. This year she will be singing “Unstoppable”. Kevin Borg won Swedish Idol in 2008, and entered the Maltese Eurovision preselection in 2013. Now he will try again with “Follow”. Claudia Faniello is the sister of the famous Maltese singer Fabrizio Faniello. Fabrizio represented Malta at Eurovision in 2001 and 2006. His sister Claudia will now be singing “Breathlessly”.
However, some of the names who did not make the cut include Jessika, Lyndsay Pace and Sebastian Calleja. Meanwhile, between now and February 18th, the artists may change the songs if they need too, due to the same rules that Ira Losco challenged in 2016, which resulted in her taking Walk on Water to Stockholm instead of Chameleon, the song she won with. Ira will be a part of the final show, performing some of her well known songs, and some songs from her new album, which is due for release in 2017.