Maltese broadcaster TVM has announced that the country is set to go down a different route for choosing its Eurovision representative from 2019 onwards, with the Mediterranean island expected to become the latest Eurovision country to catch on to the X Factor craze and use the show to select their Eurovision representative.
You can read the full TVM article here... https://www.tvm.com.mt/en/news/x-factor-malta-from-october/
The X Factor is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest, with the highly popular and hugely successful brand owned by Simon Cowell's production company Syco Entertainment, having sent a number of singers to Eurovision in past years - including Marco Mengoni (Italy 2013), Isiah Firebrace (Australia 2017), Francesca Michielin (Italy 2016), and even the United Kingdom's own Andy Abraham in 2008, just to name a few.
Re-live Christabelle's performance in Lisbon below:
Bringing in The X Factor to choose their Eurovision singer would represent a seismic shift in Malta - a country where the national final, Malta Eurovision Song Contest, is enshrined in the hearts of so many Eurovision fans - Maltese and otherwise. MESC is famous for its longevity - lasting some 4 hours every year, its non-stop advertising during the show and even on-screen advertising during the songs, as well as often seeing the same faces take to the stage every year.
TVM have remained quiet around the reasoning for Malta's forthcoming switch to The X Factor, but two of the more likely reasons are the constant changes to the MESC format and Malta's recent results on the Eurovision stage - it would be hard to deny the two being inextricably linked.
MESC 2017 saw the format of the show changed from 83% (6/7ths) jury vote and 17% (1/7th) tele vote to 100% televote - the latter with the condition that only one televote per person could be made. In that same year, TVM also scrapped Malta's 20-song semi-final and 16-song final format in favour of a straight 16-song final.
Malta's Eurovision qualification record makes for glum reading also, with the country having qualified for the Grand Final once since 2015 - when Ira Losco took Malta to 3rd place in the semi final and 12th in the final with 'Walk on Water' in Stockholm 2016.
Let us know in the comments down below and on our Facebook, Twitter and Instragram pages what you make of Malta's decision to adopt The X Factor to choose their Eurovision singer!