The tension accumulated over the past week in Latvia, prior to Saturday's Eurovision Song Contest 2003, erupted between Lynn Chircop and Maltasong chairman Charlo` Bonnici on their return flight to Malta on Sunday 25th May.
The maltese journalists, present on the return flight to Malta, witnessed that at one point during the flight, singer Lynn rose from her seat, approaced Mr Bonnici and shouted at him. Among other things, she accused him of having ruined her image with the Maltese public. Lynn's family also showed their disapproval, claiming that she was not given the same attention as last year's entrant, Ira Losco.
The Maltese singer also said she felt Malta's entry was boycotted this year, since at last year's Eurovision many countries had been promised support which they never got!
Later on, the composer of Maltese entry, Alfred Zammit, challenged Paul Zammit Cutajar of Bridge Productions, who was responsible for the fine-tuning of the song, for a confrontation outside the airport building. And the two nearly came to blows soon after they left the arrivals lounge.
The excistence of a communication crisis, particularly between Mr. Bonnici and Lynn's relatives, was evident during the week the Maltese delegation spent in Riga in the run-up to the Eurovision Song Contest's grand finale. Complaints that Lynn's parents were putting undue pressure on her, or of disinterest shown by certain Maltason members towards Lynn since she won the Song for Europe Festival, were the order of the day.
Lynn said she feels hurt at how Maltasong's chairman has always shown a lack of interest in her and in this year's Maltese Eurovision entry. “In Riga, I felt I could not trust anyone, apart from my family. I needed moral support from the chairman and I never got it. I had to do it all by myself” claimed Lynn, “This is not a matter of sour grapes. I am happy with my performance. This situation has been going on for months.
Mr Bonnici, who had announced a few weeks ago that he would relinquish his post as Maltasong chairman, commented:”We must understand that is normal for someone who is under the effect of certain emotions, and in such circumstances, to act in this way. In the last three months our patience, resilience and diplomacy have been tested to their limits.”
Lynn was also upset at the fact that Maltasong had this year taken the decision not to produce a videoclip, so as to direct the Lm5,000 (circa 11,800 Euros) saved into lobbying in the participating countries.
“I feel the video is very important for the image of the song. I would have preferred to have the official video produced instead of travelling abroad. We could have sent the video as promotion material instead of me travelling“, said Lynn. “How could I do any better if I wasn't backed by the right marketing? Whereas other countries spent millions on their entries, Maltasong took the decision not to produce a video clip at least for me!“