Malta will not be performing at the Eurovision song contest on Saturday after The Busker's song failed to make it through Tuesday's first semi-final.

The Busker performed their song Dance (Our Own Party) in Liverpool with 14 other participants, which included favourites Sweden and Finland.  

A passionate performance from the three-man band was not enough to overturn the odds. Bookmakers had given Malta a 33% chance of qualifying through Eurovision’s first hurdle. 

In a change to the system, the semi-final qualifiers are being determined entirely through a public vote, with viewers given the chance to vote up to 20 times. 

A combination of jury and public voting will determine the final outcome on Saturday.

The Busker performed in the second spot, in what has become known as the “death slot”. Since 2013, only four acts that performed in the number two spot during a semi-final qualified for the competition's final. 

Despite a strong performance that drew praise from viewers on social media platforms, The Busker did not make the cut and were one of five acts sent home. 

This means Malta has failed to make it to the Eurovision final for the second year running, after Emma Muscat's song I Am What I Am also crashed out in the semi-finals last year.  

Sweden, firm favourites to take the contest home, unsurprisingly qualified through the competition’s first-semi final.  

The other countries to qualify for the final were Croatia, Moldova, Switzerland, Finland, Czechia, Israel, Portugal, Sweden, Serbia and Norway. 

They will be joined in the finals on Saturday by 10 others that will qualify from the second semi-final on Thursday and the “big five”- Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom - as well as last year's winner Ukraine.

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