A total of 182 songs were originally submitted to the Maltese selction. These were narrowed down to 56 Semi Finalists. These songs were showcased weekly, seven songs at a time over eight weeks from November 2008 through to the beginning of January 2009. During the show which presented the final seven songs in January, the announcement was made as to which 20 songs from the 56 had made the final, and at the same time the following running order of presentation was drawn.
01. Ha Hi Hu - The Elements
02. Kamikaze Lover - Baklava
03. Choose Your Number - J.Anvil
04. Where You Belong - Wayne Micallef
05. Tonight at the Opera - Classic Rebels
06. Promises - Vittorio & Dorothy
07. What If We - Chiara
08. One Million Ways - Rosman Pace
09. Before You Walk Away - Q
10. Let It Shine - Kylie Coleiro
11. Where Was I - Jamie Tonna
12. Life Is An Opera - Christine Barbara
13. Someday - Eleanor Cassar
14. Crossroads - Raquela
15. Mama - Miriam Christine
16. Avalon - Georgina & Ruth
17. Typical Me - Alison Ellul
18. The Song in Your Heart - Trilogy
19. Blue Sonata - Claudia Faniello
20. Butterfly Sky - Klinsmann
Tonight's show will be held at the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre in Ta Qali and is to be presented by Pablo Micallef and Valerie Vella.After the initial 20 performances an international jury will shortlist their favourite three songs to proceed to a Super Final. It is then the televoting public who will choose the winner from the three superfinalists.
Amongst the entrants this year are some artists who have already enjoyed a taste of representing Malta in Europe's favourite TV show. Chiara finished in 3rd place in the 1998 contest in Birmingham, and 2nd place in the 2005 contest in Kyiv. Miriam Christine finished in 10th place in the 1996 contest in Oslo and Georgina Abela (singing tonight with Ruth) finished in 6th place in the 1991 contest in Rome duetting with Paul Giordimaina.
Confirmed guests who will attend tonight's show are last years Maltese entrant Morena, 2009 United Kingdom representative Jade Ewen, who will perform her entry My Time and Turkish representative Hadise who will sing her Moscow bound entry Dum Tek Tek.
Last year Morena finished in 14th place in the Second Semi Final of the Belgrade contest and therefore did not qualify for the final. Malta will participate in the First Semi Final of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow on Tuesday May 12th.