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Don't snub Eurovision, Ira Losco tells local musicians

Video: Matthew Mirabelli

Ira Losco has said Maltese artists cannot afford to be snobbish about the Eurovision Song Contest, stressing the increasing quality and relevance of the competition to the music industry.

“That is what makes the competition much harder than it was back in the day,” she said, speaking after a brief congratulatory meeting with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

“The industry is cut-throat, as every artist knows. It’s great to go and busk and try your luck in another country but this is an experience that should also be one to aspire to, for artists in any country.”

Losco finished 11th in the Grand Final on Saturday, tied with the Netherlands. The creditable result was nevertheless a disappointing one for Maltese fans who had maintained high hopes that Losco could match, or even better, her second place finish in 2002.

The singer, however, insisted that changes in the competition had made repeating the feat today a much taller order.

“The final has a lot more countries than back in the day, with many different genres, and it’s just a very difficult competition to be in,” she said.

“All in all, I think we did great. Fourth from the jury says a lot, but the televoting is what it is. We are a very small island, compared to the big boys who placed top, it’s a very valid result. I believe we are very relevant.”

Asked whether Malta could ever win the competition, Losco highlighted the importance of the jury vote to the island’s chances.

“If the jury vote were to be eliminated, I truly believe we will never get a chance to win,” she said. “The televote helps the big countries as their artists are already known in a number of other countries.”

As for the possibility of a third Eurovision appearance for Malta’s favourite pop singer at some point in the future, Losco was non-committal.

“I think a lot of people would feel I should give other people a chance, and I’d probably agree. But it’s such a fantastic experience for any artist, it’s tempting to say I’d do it again. It’s every performer’s dream to be on such a stage and to be guided by such true professionals.”

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