Debut – 1971
Current Broadcaster – PBS
National Final – Malta Song For Europe
Best Result – 2nd (2002, 2005)
Highest Score – 192 points (2005)
Worst Result – 25th in Semi-final (2007 – 15 points)
Malta are the most successful country to have never won the Eurovision Song Contest, having come second twice. It has participated between 1971-72, 1975 and every year since 1991.
With the exception of their first two entries in the 1970’s being in the Maltese language, Malta have always sent their entries in English due to it being one of the official languages of the island nation.
Malta made their Eurovision debut in 1971 with the song “Marija l-Maltija” performed by Joe Grech. However, their first outing suffered a humiliating result by finishing last. This bad result was repeated the following year, this time with Helen and Joseph performing the song “L-imħabba”.
Malta gave the Contest one more shot in 1975, and made an improvement with an English language entry by finishing 12th, however for undisclosed reasons they would not return to the Contest for another 16 years.
Malta finally returned to the Eurovision stage in 1991 after the Netherlands pulled out, leaving a spot open for them to participate, and managed to score their first top 10 result in the process. The following year in 1992, the tiny island nation broke the top 3 when Mary Spiteri’s “Little Child” finished 3rd behind Ireland and the UK, completing an English language hat-trick in the scoreboard.
For the rest of the decade they continued their run of consecutive top 10 results, ending in 1998 when the ballad “The One That I Love” (performed by Chiara) ended 3rd after a close-run battle for the top with Israel and the UK.
2002 saw Malta get their best result when Ira Losco finished 2nd with the song “7th Wonder”, only losing out by 12 points. The following year in 2003 however, they came crashing down with their then worst result by coming 25th (second-last), meaning they were forced into the Semi-finals for the 2004 Contest. Despite that, they just about qualified and did enough in the Final to secure an automatic place in the 2005 Grand Final.
In 2005, Chiara represented Malta for the 2nd time with the song “Angel”, and did one better than her first Eurovision attempt by finishing 2nd. Despite missing out once again, this result made sure that Malta would appear in the Final for the 2006 Contest. Unfortunately for them, the following year they sank hard and propped up the scoreboard with only 1 point. Now relegated to the Semi-finals, 2007 saw Malta fail to qualify for the first time, and missed out again in 2008.
Malta managed to qualify for the Final with Chiara’s 3rd Eurovision attempt “What If We”, but her luck in the Final ran out and only managed to finish 22nd. Malta wouldn’t qualify from the Semi-finals again until 2012 after two successive years of narrowly missing out on qualification. The following year in 2013, Malta reached the top 10 for the first time in nearly a decade, when Gianluca’s “Tomorrow” finished 8th.