Over the past week, Maltese broadcaster TVM has slowly been revealing the names of the four music experts who will be sitting on the judges’ panel on the X Factor Malta. And finally the panel is complete. Maltese Eurovision star Ira Losco has been confirmed as the fourth and final judge for the new series.
Ira Losco has been Malta’s top-selling female artist for the past 15 years and her inclusion as an X Factor judge has seemed an obvious choice right from the start.
Ira has represented Malta twice at Eurovision. She first completed in 2002 with “7th Wonder”. The sweet pop song gave Malta a second-place finish. Ira then returned in 2016 with “Walk on Water”, which placed 12th in Stockholm.
With the announcement of Ira, the X Factor judging lineup is now complete.
The first judge confirmed for the panel was veteran music manager Howard Keith Debono. Debono is best known as a music manager, and Ira Losco is perhaps the biggest act on his books. The pair may have history, but with the two of them mentoring opposing teams on the X Factor, they won’t be on the same side for long.
The next position at the judges’ table has gone to 1980s rocker Ray Mercieca. He’s best known for being the frontman of internationally successful rock band The Characters, and more recently with the ska band The Rifffs. Ray is also an experienced songwriter and has plenty of industry experience that X Factor producers are hoping will make him a valuable asset to the judging panel.
The third judge is upcoming singer-songwriter Alexandra Alden. The young Maltese musician is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and tutor and is currently based in the Netherlands. She may be young, but she released her first EP at the age of 16 and has enjoyed two number-one singles in Malta.
The judges’ panel has been confirmed ahead of the next stage of the show — the judges’ auditions. The budding contestants will have to impress the four judges enough to make it to the next stage, traditionally the Boot Camp phase.
Ira may find herself judging the auditions of singers who have performed alongside her in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. MESC regular Franklin Calleja recently revealed that he has qualified for the judges’ auditions phase.
But given the close-knit nature of Malta, it’s hard to imagine a show line-up where even a few of the contestants aren’t known to at least some the judges.
Filming for the show will continue over the next two months and X Factor Malta will start airing in October. The winner of the series will also win the right to represent Malta at Eurovision 2019, though details of this process have not been confirmed.
What do you think? Is this a good selection for the judges’ panel? Who would be the best judge to mentor Malta’s Eurovision artist? Share your thoughts below!