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Special  Feature       
Song for Europe Festival 2003            
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Past winners

This year's Song for Europe festival will select the sixteenth song that will represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest that will be held in the Latvian capital, Riga in May.

Joe CutajarMalta participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 1971 when Joe Grech sang "Marija il-Maltija".

In 1972 Helen and Joe sang "L-imhabba." This was the last song to be sung in Maltese in the Eurovision Song Contest. All subsequent Maltese entries were in English.

Renowned singer, Renato was the first Maltese act to sing in English in 1975. His song was "Singing this song."

Malta returned to the Eurovision Song Contest 16 years after Renato's performance. In 1991 Georgina and Paul Giordimaina did well when they sang "Could it be".

Mary SpiteriThe first impressive result was obtained by Mary Spiteri and her impeccable performance of "Little Child". The song, which placed third, is still a favourite with Maltese radio listeners.

In 1993 William Mangion placed in eighth place with the song "This Time". "More than love" sung by Moira and Chris placed fifth in 1994.

Three relative disappointments followed. Mike Spiteri's "Keep me in mind" placed only in tenth place in 1995. "In a woman's heart" sung by Miriam Christine Borg came tenth again in 1996 while Debbie Scerri's "Let me fly" came eight a year later.

ChiaraOne of Malta's closest brushes with victory came in 1998 when Chiara sang "The One That I Love". Chiara was in first place right until the last voting round. Macedonia, however failed to give a single vote to Malta and the song ended in third place.

The following year, Malta was represented by its very own Spice Girls. The female trio Times Three made up of Diane Stafrace, Francesca Tabone u Philippa Farrugia Randon sang "Believe in Peace". The song performed dismally at the Eurovision Song Contest placing only fifteenth.

Acclaimed singer Claudette Pace got her turn at singing in the Eurovision in 2000. Her "Desire" placed eighth.

Ira LoscoFabrizio Faniello won the Song for Europe Festival in 2001. His catchy song was picked as favourite almost unanimously by both the jury and television viewers. Fabrizio Faniello then performed his "Another Summer Night" at the Eurovision Song Contest in Denmark in May. The song was a favourite with the Danish audience before the night of the Contest. It managed, however only to obtain a placing in tenth position.

The closest Malta ever came to winning the Eurovision Song Contest was in 2002 in the Estonian Capital Tallinn when Ira Losco placed second with Seventh Wonder. The success was probably the fruit of Ira's excellent looks, he way with people, a catchy tune and the extensive touring that took her all around Europe in the months preceding the festival.

She will sing in the final night of this year's Song for Europe Festival.

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