Last Sunday on the 13th of December, there was the final episode of Malta’s Got Talent and the results have caused some mixed emotions.
The winning act, Jomike and Lydon Agius are a father-son duo who create original Makjetti in the genre of għana (a traditional Maltese style of singing). Throughout the competition, they were praised for keeping this dying Maltese culture alive, as well as there being comments about the adorable five-year old who remembered all those lyrics albeit his young age.
Although many were pleased with the winner, stating that Maltese talent is finally being recognised, many others especially those in the arts sector have stated otherwise. This is due to the fact that in many’s opinions, the act that placed second, that is, Concept of Movement deserved the win far better and many thought that the €25,000 could have been put to better use.
A number of people have also asked: “where is the talent?”, referring to Jomike and Lydon, and this I disagree with immensely because of how degrading it is. Writing a Makjetta is very much of a talent, if it wasn’t then what about the music we listen to on a daily basis? Does it not take talent to write and produce?
That being said, with the reputation Malta’s Got Talent has for the way they treat artists, I personally was not surprised. The winning act is cute, but was it exceptional or captivating? Well, not really.
This becomes a problem when an act that in my opinion includes more time, effort and coordination loses to cuteness, entertainment and frankly, averageness. Other than that, it has become common that just because an act is in Maltese or an ode to Maltese culture and music, it takes precedence over other acts that are seen as international.
It is fantastic to promote artists who are including the Maltese language when it is so close to dying, but we have to recognise that they were not really impressive. Then again, when the judges throughout the show have applauded mediocrity, we cannot expect the general public (who mostly do not have a background in the entertainment industry) to do any better.
Should the winner represent artistic value or what is considered mainstream “talent”? Does artistic value have space in today’s world of entertainment? These are difficult questions to answer yet we must consider them when it comes to what is, in today’s world, actual talent.