This year, PBS relaxed the rules for submission of entries. The main changes were that artists and composers were allowed to submit more than one entry, and also the selection process was open for foreign composers as well as Maltese nationals, however the winning artists of the previous three Malta Song Festivals who have represented their country in Europe's Favourite TV show were not allowed to submit entries. This has led to a slight increase in the number of entries received, 14 more than in 2010 to be precise.
Several stages to find the final 16
Following the submission process all songs submitted will be judged by a panel of experts appointed by the national broadcaster. The first judging phase will take place behind closed doors and the jury will listen to a CD recording of the songs. From this preliminary round, an unlimited number of songs will be chosen to progress through the first phase and then will be performed live behind closed doors in front of a jury in phase two.
A total of 23 songs will qualify to the first part of the final phase. Last year’s winner of the L-Isfida show will be invited to join the other artists to compete in a special televised show, should this artist choose not to participate, the 24th song from the second phase will progress instead. A mixture of a professional jury and public televote will select 16 songs who will progress to the final. The final is expected to take place in February at the Malta Fairs & Convention Centre. The actual date is yet to be confirmed.
Malta continues to be one of the most enthusiastic participating countries and has enjoyed some success in the Eurovision Song Contest over the years. Their debut came in 1971 and they participated in 1972 and 1975 before a long absence until they entered again in 1991. Since then they have been ever present and have come close to winning, achieving second place on two occasions, in 2002 with Ira Losco and 7th Wonder, and again in 2005 with Chiara's Angel.
Malta failed to qualify in Oslo in 2010, with Thea Garret's My Dream finishing in 12th place in the First Semi-Final.