MALTA – Empty seats, awkward silences and wardrobe malfunctions plagued the first night of Malta’s Eurovision Song Contest finals on Thursday, disappointing fans who had been waiting for the competition after an absence of several years.
Discontent with the evening show spread thick and fast over social media, as viewers shared photos of the largely-empty MFCC hall where the event was held and complained about the level of quality on display.
“What a feeling of disappointment,” wrote one viewer, encapsulating the general sense of dissatisfaction.
The winner of the national finals, which end on Saturday, will represent Malta at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin in May. In recent years, Malta’s representative has been the winner of X-Factor Malta.
Emma Muscat, who rose to fame in Italy after making it to the final of a reality TV show in 2018, appeared to be viewers’ favourite on the night.
But most social media chatter centred on things that went wrong during the evening: from a lack of chemistry between the show’s hosts to wardrobe malfunctions that embarrassed some contestants.
Some viewers argued that it would have been better had Ryan Hili – the winner of this year’s edition of X-Factor Malta – been sent to the Eurovision contest, as happened in recent years.
Others were upset with what they considered to be an exorbitant number of advertising slots, and many questioned the decision to not name jury members.
The biggest gripes focused on the largely empty MFCC hall that contestants performed to, with many blaming overly expensive ticket prices for the lack of interest.
Tickets to the semi-final show ranged between €30 and €50, while tickets for Saturday’s final cost between €40 and €75. Organisers were selling three-night passes for €80.
The three-night event continues on Friday with a show focusing on previous Eurovision performers. The six acts who qualify from Thursday’s semi-final will compete again on Saturday to determine the winner.