Were it not for the absolute waste of talent and potential, I wouldn’t care less whether Aidan was disqualified or not, but Malta’s obsession with Eurovision is bordering on unhealthy.
Logically, one would pull out of an investment if it is not yielding any returns in the long run. But in Malta, logic is a scarce resource. So, obviously, we’ve had to make the Eurovision festival even bigger of an event with six shows in total. Something, something waste of money, something, something.
Lest we forget, back in 2020 and 2021, X-Factor Malta had the audacity to offer the winning singer, not a contract with some respectable record label, but an entry in the ESC. As if Eurovision is the be-all and end-all of career-launching platforms. Even the young winner of this year’s The Voice Kids had a much better idea of what to do with her prize money!
If anything, ESC is a surefire shortcut to singing at weddings. This is not bad per se. It is, after all, a source of income. It is also an outlet for anyone who considers singing their passion. But it shouldn’t be the only one.
Surely, local artists have enough self-respect to aspire above Eurovision or weddings. I’d rather Aidan follow the footsteps of Harry Styles than Alexander Rybak.
Then there’s the usual barrage of ESC commentary on social media. Flash news: it’s not funny anymore. It’s as pathetic as the whining after yet another disappointing result last year. We have only got ourselves to blame, however, for giving this absolute waste of funding too much importance.
Yet, here I am writing an opinion article about it myself, in the hopes we’ll draw the curtains on this shitshow once and for all. At least I’m done letting myself be taken for a ride.
We deserve, at the very minimum, a different, more efficient, more solid investment model to build not just a singer-songwriter career, but the arts in general. Overpriced, cosmetic fixer-uppers do not make for smart, long-term investments.
We should have woken up and smelled the coffee ages ago. That coffee has long run cold, and developed mould on its surface. A mould growing out of a toxic environment of resentment within the Maltese artistic community.
We keep seeing resources squandered on faff, while the majority of us pay out of pocket to organise gigs, tour around Europe, and shoot music videos. We pay for our careers instead of getting paid. I would not be mistaken to extend this resentment to the sports community in Malta, as well. Their grievances are much similar to ours.
Yesterday’s opinion article was not far off the mark when it equated PBS with mediocrity. This whole island seemingly thrives on it. Which is why, in conclusion, I address the participants of the ESC finals, and the rest of the artistic community too:
Have you got enough self-respect to stop being hostage to a monopoly of mediocrity? Or are you happy to squander your passion for singing the same goddamn playlists at weddings?
If you’re not happy, then time to say enough. Stop allowing your careers to be taken hostage by bullshit contests. If you’re gutsy enough, withdraw your participation altogether. You know you deserve better. We all do.
Franco Rizzo is an indie filmmaker and freelancer who’s back in Malta after a 3-year stint in Seoul, South Korea. He is more of a cat person, but puppies always get a pass. He is currently involved in Malta’s only film podcast “The Ad Lib Podcast”.
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What do you make of Franco’s arguments? Do you think Maltese artists deserve better?