Last Friday 3rd of November, the second semifinal of Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2024 (MESC2024) took place in Valetta, where 9 more acts showcased their songs to the public, and some interesting songs were revealed that had some potential to do a great job in the big stage of Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Malmo next May.
As explained in previous posts from us, MESC2024 started earlier than other editions, having its 4 semifinals aired every Friday from last night 27th of October, until the 4th semifinal taking place on 17th of November. In each show, 9 song will be taking the stage to showcase their voices and songs with no props just focusing on the voice. On Friday 24th of November, on a final show, we will get to know the combined results form both juries and televote and the names of the 12 finalists will be finally revealed.
The first 9 acts (with their respective song and songwriters) that took the stage last Friday on the second semifinal were:
- Marie Claire – “Fading” – John-Emil Johansson, Marie Claire, Matheus Augusto da Silva and Toby Farrugia
- Franklin Calleja – “Puppet” – Franklin Calleja, Matheus Augusto da Silva and Michael Joe Cini
- Desirei Grech – “Watch Me”
- Sopranique – “Empire” – Gerard James Borg, Mark Masri and Patrick Hamilton
- Janvil – “Man” – Edward Abela and Ian Vella
- Haley Azzopardi – “Tell Me That It’s Over” – Haley Azzopardi, Leire Gotxi Angel, Matthew James Borg and Sebastian Pritchard-James
- Denise Mercieca – “Mara” – Denise Merciecam Georgia Meek and Matteo Depares
- Mark Portelli – “Just Be” – Kimberley Cortis
- Maria Christina – “Moving On” – Emil Calleja Bayliss, Janne Hyöty, Linda Persson and Ylva Persson
First one of the night taking the stage was Marie Claire with her song “Fading”. “Fading” is a beautiful ballad which Marie Claire clearly feels very it very close to her heart. Even if the song has nothing new to provide to the competition itself, the way Marie Claire delivers it, makes it very special for the listener. Her vocals weren’t perfect throughout the whole song, probably due to the emotions and nerves, but this didn’t affect the way the song touches people’s hearts, and this makes “Fading” a potential contender for MESC2024 finals.
Second act of the second semifinal was Franklin Calleja with “Puppet”. He is bringing a very different song compared to the rest of his 8 competitors in this semifinal. A total out of the box song which accompanied by his good stage presence elevates the song. His vocals weren’t on point, and we have seen these kind of songs not doing incredibly well at ESC. For this reason, his qualification for the finals is not secured, but we can expect public getting behind this entry.
Next showing her song at the XOW stage was Desirei Grech with her song “Watch Me”. Desirei had weak vocals overall and she did not look very confident on the stage, although the song has very catchy melodies but basic and simple lyrics at times.
Fourth MESC2024 entry was “Empire” sung by the girl group Sopranique, a 3 girl band that defended this melodic and beautifully sang ethereal ballad. It is clear that the three of them have a lyrical singing education and they prove to have amazing vocals and harmonies. “Empire” is a very interesting and different entry, that remembers of entries such as “La Voix” by Malena Ermann in ESC2009 from Sweden, or “It’s my life” by Cezar in ESC2013 for Romania, so it could be an interesting choice for Malta for Eurovision, but a better staging and more memorable performance is needed to have chances at the finals of MESC2024 .
The fifth act of the night was a MESC2023 alumni Janvil with his song “Man”. “Man” is a fun and epic song that we could be hearing at any of the James Bond films. Janvil’s husky voices and his good stage presence makes the song a very interesting a memorable one, although this songs not always do really well at ESC. But what’s for sure is that Janvil’s charisma and experience on the stage will be enough for him to be a fight for the pass to MESC2024 finals.
Another MESC2023 alumni trying her luck at MESC2024 was Haley Azzopardi, the sixth act of the night who surprised the audience with her interpretation of “Tell Me That It’s Over”, a beautiful and intense ballad where Haley feels every single word of it when singing it. Her amazing voice combined with the heartbreaking and emotional melodies of the song really channels emotions and gives goosebumps to the listeners. Her good vocals and convincing good stage presence makes of “Tell Me That It’s Over” a great contender at MESC2024 finals and will be on the top of the MESC2024 if wisely delivered both visually and vocally at the finals in January. Additionally and interestingly, the team behind the song, Leire Gotxi Angel and Sebastian Pritchard-James, were also the composers of the two favourite songs of MESC2024 semifinal 1: Eliana’s “There’s only flowers” and Sarah Bonnici’s “Loop”, so everything looks like it will be a battle within themselves for the MESC2024 trophy, proving their talent and effortless way of writing songs that stand out and improved already Malta Eurovision Song Contest level.
Following Haley, was Denise Mercieca in seventh place with her banger “Mara” which in Maltese means “Woman.”. “Mara” is the song that stands out the most out of the 9 songs of the night. An electrifying, catchy, club ready banger which instantly connects with the audience and takes you to Malta for its sounds. Denise is a very confident and amazing performer, who defended the song perfectly, and with the right staging, choreo and lighting, could be doing a very memorable act at the MESC2024 finals, to which she will pass without any problem in our opinion.
Closer to the end of the night in eight position, Mark Portelli performed his song “Just be”. Mark delivered an average and vocally weak performance, and his shaky vocals combined with the bland and monotonous nature of the song makes of “Just be” a forgettable song with no chances of making it to the finals when compared with the other 8 songs of the semifinal.
And finally, we arrived to the end of the semifinal with Maria Christina with “Moving On”. Although the song itself is not providing any new to the contest, the catchy melodies and vibe of the song elevates the song, and with the right staging could be surprising at MESC2024 finals if lucky enough of making the cut, which is not certain taking into account that other songs in the first and this semifinal stand out more than “Moving on”. However, Maria Christina has an interesting and personal voice which could help out when it comes to jury voting.
All in all, we can conclude that this semifinal had two song that were miles away from the rest of the competitors of the semifinal, these two being “Tell me that it’s over” and “Mara”, showing that first semifinal was a great start of MESC2024 and that some songs of the MESC2024 second semifinal continued this trend, although overall, second semifinal was weaker than the first semifinal.
From this heat, and taking into account the potential of the songs, our qualifiers for the finals are:
- Haley Azzopardi – “Tell Me That It’s Over”
- Denise Mercieca – “Mara”
- Marie Claire – “Fading”
We expect that third and fourth MESC2024 semifinals include as good or even better songs than first and second semifinals, as very interesting and famous names from Maltese music industry such as Matt BLXCK, Ryan Hilli, Stefan, Greta Tude and Moira are taking place on the upcoming weeks. Also more songs from already successful songwriters from previous MESC editions such Matthew James Borg, Micimago and Muxu, and songs by songwriters that have written fan favourite songs from semifinal 1 and 2 from MESC2024, Leire Gotxi Angel and Sebastian Pritchard-James, are expected in the upcoming semifinals, that will be performed by Miguel Bonello, Kyle George, Thea Aquilina and Michela Galea.
Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2024 mechanism
The first national final of the 2024 season the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2024 (MESC) began last Friday, October 27, with semi-finals running until November 24 when the finalists will be revealed. The Maltese television will be disclosing the list of artists participating in each semi-final of the Maltese competition every Wednesday, and will be broadcast through the Maltese television program XOW every Friday. In this show, the 9 participants of each semifinal will perform their songs live, without any props or scenography whatsoever, and very interesting names have surged on this first group of names.
Once all the artists in each semifinal have performed their songs, a professional jury and the public will vote for the proposals they want to see continuing further in the national final. What is not know yet is if juries and public will have the same weight when it comes to the final result. Public vote will be open in every semifinal for 30 minutes, and audience will be able to cast their vote via SMS for their favourite acts, so make sure you vote for your favourite once all the songs have been performed on the night. The results won’t be disclosed until November 24th, when all the semi-finalists have taken the stage to sing their songs. Only then, the 12 acts receiving the most points from both the public and jury, will fight for gold in the grand final taking place in a to-be-decided date in late January 2024.
After this, pre-recorded live-on-tape performances of the 12 finalists will filmed in December 2023 at the PBS studios that will be aired at the grand finale. The 12 finalists will have 60 minutes and three takes to achieve the top-notch performance and select their best take for the final in January.
For this grand finale live-on-tape performances, the acts will be able to add any props, choreography and staging they would like to their performance. And as a novelty, PBS is also providing with 5000€ to each of the 12 finalist destined to recording the official video clip of the song by their own means, which will be as well broadcast in the grand finale in January.
The final result of who will be representing Malta in Malmo will be decided at that grand finale, and is not revealed yet how the final result will be calculated, but a mix of national and international professional juries and public Maltese televote will presumably be used to determine the act that will be flying the Maltese flag next May 2024 in the Swedish city of Malmo.