The Maltasong Comittee received 189 songs for the the 2004 edition of Malta Song for Europe, the Maltese selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. Next week, the first selection of 36 songs will be made. 16 songs will end up in the final.
Foreign composers were allowed to submit songs for the Maltese national final, the performer(s) shouls be Maltese. Backing vocals or dancers don't need to be Maltese.
Unlike in previous years, every performer is only allowed to bring one song in the final. It happened quite often that one performer had more than one song in the national final. With this decision, the Maltasong Comittee wants to stimulate the quality, because the rule forces performers to select their best song.
The 36 selected songs will be performed live for a jury, behind closed doors. From the 36 selected songs, 16 will continue to the final. Although it's known that the final will take place in February, an exact date is unknown yet.
Update: The 36 entries reaching the behind-closed-door semi-final round of Malta Song For Europe 2004 will be announced this Sunday, 23rd November at 19:00 CET at the Vivaldi Hotel, St. Julian's, Malta (thanks to Deo Grech, OGAE Malta)