The rules of Malta Song for Europe 2008, the Maltese selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, have been announced by the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts. The national final will be held on 23rd February with eight songs competing. Before, a semi final with 18 songs will have been held on 21st February.
The rules state that every singer has to be of Maltese nationality (or have a dual citizenship) andmay submit one or two songs. The composers and authors of the songs may be either of Maltese nationality or from countries where Maltese composers and authorswould also be allowedto participate. Songs can be submitted on 12th and 13th November between 9:00 and 16:00 local time. Every composer and author can submit as many songs as he or she wants and each song can also be submitted twice with two different singers.
The selection of the Maltese entry for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in four phases:
- From all submitted songs, up to 35 entries are chosen for the second phase. If one song has been submitted with two different singers, only one version can reach the second phase.
- In the second pahse, 16 songs will be chosen to reach the semi final.
- These sixteen songs will be joined by another two chosen during the Opportunity 2 competitionand performed in the semi final, the first televised phase. In 2008, no televoting will be held in the semi final; instead the eight best songs will be chosen by a jury of seven experts.
- In the national final, the remaining eight songs will compete and televoting (80%) and a jury (20%) will choose the winner.
You can read the complete rules, including information on how to submit a song, here (external link).
Despite a second place in 2005, Malta was not succesful the last two years: Fabrizio Faniello finished last in Athens in the final with I do; Olivia Lewis finished 25th in the semi final in 2007 with Vertigo, thus not reaching the final. Therefore, the winner of Malta Song for Europe will have to enter the semi final in Belgrade.