Malta is hoping that success will not be a Taboo in Lisbon.
On 3 February 16 songs (chosen by the national broadcaster from a field of 129 submissions) competed to represent Malta in May. The national selection was not without some controversy. One of the 16 songs (“Dai Laga”) needed to be reworked after it was found to include some instrumental music that was suspected of being in breech of the contest rules.
There was a very clear winner on the night with both the public and the jury. Christabelle Borg’s performance of “Taboo” was a standout with the jury, each of whom gave her with the maximum 12 points for a perfect jury score of 60 points. Voting was a little closer in the public vote. Whilst Taboo was awarded 73 points (putting it in first place for the public vote), Richard & Joe Micallef’s “Song for Dad” was a close second on 67 points (helping it to an overall second place despite a mixed result with the jury). Joe has graced the Eurovision stage once before as a member of Firelight.
This was not Christabelle’s first attempt to represent Malta at Eurovision. Those that are fans of the Maltese national selection would have seen her on stage in both 2015 (with “Rush”, which came second) and 2016 (with “Kingdom”, which came fourth). Her win in 2018 proves the third time really is a charm!
Christabelle wrote the lyrics for “Taboo” with another Maltese performer (Muxu), with the music written by someone that will be familiar to Eurovision fans – Thomas G:Son. This will be Thomas’ 14th Eurovision entry (he of course won with Loreen in 2012). Christabelle is quoted as saying that the song is about encouraging people to be open and discuss mental illness, and to encourage others to offer help (and not judgement) to those who need it.
Good luck to Christabelle in May!