Two time Eurovision participant Ira Losco has been revealed as the fourth and final member of the X Factor Malta judges line up.
Ira Losco is one of four judges for the first series of the X Factor Malta. The singer finished second at the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest in Tallinn, Estonia performing the song “7th Wonder”, she was just 12 points away from victory. She returned to the competition in 2016 with the song “Walk on Water”, she qualified for the final and went on to finish 12th with a total of 153 points. Malta had been on track for a strong result in the contest but scored just 16 points with the public televote.
The first judge to be announced for the panel was Howard Keith Debono, a music industry professional who is, amongst other things, the manager of two-time Maltese Eurovision representative Ira Losco. Ray Mercieca was announced on Sunday and is one of the best known artists in Malta and a pioneer of local music. He is known for his work with the bands The Characters and The Riffs.
While Alexandra Alden was revealed yesterday PBS. She is a Maltese artist who currently resides in The Netherlands where she recently graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree. Alden has had two number one songs with her first album and has just released her second one on an international label.
Maltese broadcaster PBS will use the X Factor Malta to select their participant for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019, replacing the existing format, Malta Eurovision Song Contest.
The Malta Eurovision Song Contest also previously known as the Malta Song Festival had been used to select Malta’s Eurovision entry since their debut in 1971. The selection had undergone a number of revamps in recent years including the introduction of televoting and cutting out the semi-final stages.
Christabelle represented Malta in Lisbon in 2018 with the song “Taboo”. She finished 13th in the second semi-final, having finished 5th with the juries on 93 points, but last with the public with 8 points.
Source: X Factor Malta
Malta debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971 and was represented by Joe Grech and the song “Marija L-Maltija”, which finished last. Malta competed again in 1972 and 1975 but then withdrew until their return in 1991. During the 1990s Malta only once finished outside of the top 10, and in 1998 they came within just 7 points of victory. It was Chiara who brought the country their 3rd place finish in 1998, and who went on to finish in 2nd at the 2005 contest in Kyiv. The only other artist to finish 2nd for Malta is Ira Losco, who was 12 points away from victory in 2002. They are the longest participating country never to have won the Eurovision Song Contest.