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Malta choose their 16 finalists

12 February 2011 at 00:47 CET

A record number of 141 songs were submitted this year in Malta, from which 74 were shortlisted, and tonight the 24 songs which made it through to the semi final stage were presented.

The project team set up by Maltese broadcaster PBS for this years event, includes the two ex festival chairpersons Norman Hamilton and Charlo Bonnici. An artistic director has also been appointed to oversee the artists and the stage design and lighting of the show.

The event returns to the Mediterranean Conference Centre this year in Valletta. Both shows are presented by Valerie Vella and Keith Demicoli. Last years Maltese representative, Thea Garrett opened the semi final by giving a rendition of her entry My Dream.

The semi finalists

Tonight's running order was as follows (Qualifiers in bold) :-

Amber - Catch 22

Kurt Calleja - Over And Over

Cherise Grixti - Heart Of Glass

Wayne Micallef - Everybody Sing

Claudia Faniello - Movie In My Mind

Klinsmann & Ben - This Love

Eleanor Cassar - Hypnotised

Domenique - I’ll Follow The Sunshine

Rosman Pace - You’ll Never Know

Raquela - If I Could Do It All Again

Sophie - Love To Love You

Petra – Unintentional

Baklava - Moon Dance

Jamie Tonna - Lost Without You

Amber - Touch Wood

Anna Azzopardi - Unfaithful

Marilena Ft Michael - He’s A Demon

Glen Vella - One Life

J.Anvil - Topsy-Turvy

Jessica Muscat - Down Down Down

Kelly Schembri - Love Me Like Your Money

Fabrizio Faniello - No Surrender

Ally – Numb

Richard Edwards - Finally

The voting system for both tonights semi final and tomorrows final is a   combination of jury and televoting. The professional jury is presided   over by Italian singer and song writer Riccardo Cocciante. The juries   have a 67% say in the final outcome and the televoting public 33%. 16   songs will now progress to tomorrows final.

Thea & Marcin duet

After the performances, the interval act comprised of last year's Maltese representative Thea Garrett and last years Polish representative Marcin Mrozinski. Thea & Marcin also performed a duet of their new song In Our Love.

Blue-rovision fever hits Malta

There is great anticipation and a buzz in Malta right now as the United Kingdom representatives Blue will perform in the interval act and it is rumoured, however unconfirmed that viewers may get to hear a small clip of their 2011 entry I Can. Blue turned up in the arena tonight to take a look around and were greeted with great cheers from the crowd.

Watch out for news of the running order for tomorrow's final which will follow shortly.