Last night the X Factor Malta made its debut. But it’s not just another version of the internationally popular talent show franchise. The X Factor Malta will also be used to select Malta’s representative for Eurovision 2019.
And as the first auditioning acts appeared before the judges’ panel, viewers wondered if the small nation would have any fresh talent not already seen competing on the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The answer: iva! (That’s ‘yes’ in Maltese – something heard often on this bilingual show.)
But before we get onto the new talent, first let’s look at a few familiar faces. The series starts with the Judges Auditions, where hopeful singers faced the panel of four judges. Sitting behind the desk is music manager Howard Keith Debono, rock legend Ray Mercieca, singer-songwriter Alexandra Alden and Malta’s Eurovision queen, Ira Losco.
Among the auditioning acts, the four judges saw a couple of singers who have previously competed in the Maltese Eurovision Song Contest.
Danica Muscat has competed in the Maltese national selection five times and had her best result in 2012 when she placed ninth with “7 Days”. Earlier this year she competed in MESC 2018 with “One Step at a Time”, which sadly placed last with only three points.
But could she have better luck at the X Factor? Danica impressed the judges with a jazzy rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life”. The panel was mostly impressed with Danica, though judge Alexandra said it was “nothing I haven’t heard before” and gave a ‘no’. But three yeses is all it takes to get through to Bootcamp, and that’s where Danica is heading.
Aidan auditioned with his own song, an R&B slow jam called “Mine”. Look, we’re going to be honest — it wasn’t the best. But while his vocals were all over the place, the judges recognised Aidan’s potential and gave him four yeses. He’s another act we’ll see at Bootcamp in coming weeks.
But what about the fresh talent? There was plenty!
Michela Pace is a 17-year-old who had a very ambitious audition song. She tackled Bonnie Tyler’s epic “Total Eclipse of the Heart”.
The song demands a big voice and Michela delivered. She impressed the entire panel and Ira Losco was especially moved by the young singer’s vocal prowess. The panel was quick to praise Michela and gave her four yeses — she’s off to Bootcamp!
Another stand-out auditioning act was Norbert Bondin. Norbert has a stammer which gets worse when he’s anxious. But while the stammer affected his speech, it didn’t affect his vocals. Norbert performed Sia’s “Helium” and wowed the judges with his smooth, clear, rich vocals. He earned four yeses and is off to Bootcamp.
The X Factor Malta auditions continue next Sunday. On weekdays, TVM will also screen a nightly five-minute show called X Factor Daily.
What do you think? Who should make it to the X Factor Malta live shows? Would any of these singers be a good pick for Malta at Tel Aviv? Tell us your thoughts below!