X-Factor Malta has its final field

Malta uses the talent show format X-Factor to select their artist for the Eurovision Song Contest. In this article we keep you posted on the results in the Maltese X-Factor.

On New Years Eve, Malta announced the twelve remaining candidates for the X-Factor live shows. The winner of the contest will go to Tel Aviv.

Remaining twelve acts in Malta:
Male: Norbert Bondin , Luke Chappell en Owen Leuellen
Female: Kelsey Bellante, Nicole Frendo en Michela Pace
Older than 25: Franklin Calleja, Petra en Ben Purplle
Groups: 4th Line, Kayati en Xtreme

The proces before the liveshows

There have been many weeks of auditions in front of the judges. The judging panel consist of Howard Keith Debono, Ira Losco, Alexandra Alden and Ray Mercieca. The audition has seen many former Malta Eurovision participants shine, and some of them not so much. there have also been some surprises along the way in the auditions and the bootcamp rounds.

The bootcamp episodes have exceeded all expectations. the acts through are as follows (these sections are uneven but they will be made even in participant numbers in preparation for the live shows in January, with a final on the 26th):

  • Boys (Ira losco): Owen Leuellen, Isaac Mercieca, Aidan Cassar, Aleandro Pace Tahir, Luke Chappell, Miguel Bonello, Claudo Zammit, James Mifsud, Norbert Bondin and Matthew Anthony Caruana and Mark Anthony Bartolo.
  • Girls (Howard Keith Debono): Michela Galea, Nicole Frendo, Karin Duff, Shauna Vassallo, Kelsey Bellante, Victoria Sciberras, Jade Vella, Nicole Brincat, Kaylie Magri, Kelly Moncado, Danica Muscat, Michaela Pace, Gail Attard and Raise Maria Micallef.
  • Groups (Alexandra Alden): 4th Line (Anthea Bezzina, Nicole Falzon, Milena Bianco, Miriana Conte), Kayati, Clelis, Extreme (Nicole Azzopardi, Elishia Semaan, Martha Micallef Attard, Lindsay Pace), Systm 12 (Kyle Cutajar, Dario Mifsud Bonnici, Josef Tabone), Horizon, Loreali, Radiate, Prism and Sudden Crown.
  • Overs (Ray Mercieca): Janice Mangion, Frenklin Calleja, Anna Azzopardi, Kim Cortis, Janice Debattista, Vanessa Sultana, Laura Bruno, Chris Grech, Rachel Tedesco Triccas, Anna Faniello, Ben Purplle and Petra.

Now the Six-Chair challenge has finally concluded, and from each category only six acts made it to the judges houses which starts on 23rd December. The acts that made it through were:

  • Boys: Mark Anthony Bartolo, Norbert Bondin, Aidan Cassar, Luke Chappell, Owen Leuellen and Claudio Zammit
  • Girls (Howard Keith Debono): Kelsey Bellante, Karin Duff, Nicole Frendo, Danica Muscat, Michaela Pace and Jade Vella
  • Groups (Alexandra Alden): 4th Line, Horizon, Kayati, Prism, Systm12 and Xtreme
  • Overs (Ray Mercieca): Anna Azzopardi, Franklin Calleja, Anna Faniello, Ben Purplle, Vanessa Sultana and Petra

With the Judges houses complete, the 3 acts from each category going into the lives shows starting on the first Sunday in January are as follows:

  • Boys: Norbert Bondin, Luke Chappell and Owen Leuellen
  • Girls: Kelsey Bellante, Nicole Frendo and Michaela Pace
  • Overs: Franklin Calleja, Petra and Ben Purplle
  • Groups: 4th Line, Kayati and Xtreme

As recently as the 2018 Maltese national selection, Aiden, Danica Muscat and Miriana Conte competed to try and represent Malta. Aiden came 4th behind Brooke, Richard &Joe and the eventual winner, Christabelle. 2017 was Miriana Conte’s first attempt at trying to represent Malta at Eurovision. In this edition she came last with 156 televotes, compared to first place winner, Claudia Faniello who won with 4996 televotes. Shauna Vassallo, Jade Vella and Franklin Calleja also competed in 2017, with the highest place going to Franklin who was eventually placed in 5th. Danica also tried to compete in 2013, but did not progress from the semi finals., but she did make it to the final in 2012 with the song 7 days. Lyndsay tried to compete in 2015 with the song Home, but it did not qualify for the grand final. The winner of the 2018 MESC contest, Claudia Faniello has a family member competing in the Maltese X-Factor, it is her mother, Anna Faniello.

Bootcamp has already been filmed, and the judges houses is currently being filmed. The Girls group has an over spill, and is unbalanced compared to the rest of the categories. This means the judges will have to either make more cuts to this category, with the final decision being made by which ever judge gets that group, or they have the power to make super groups, just like the UK version has done in the past. That is how the UK version ended up with Little Mix.

This article will be updated as the season progresses, with the grand final taking place at the MFCC in Ta’Qali, the same venue that has hosted the previous 2 editions of the Malta Eurovision song contest, which makes sense, as that is the biggest entertainment venue in Malta.