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.