The third judges’ auditions episode of the X Factor Malta screened last night. It delivered the usual blend of familiar faces and fresh talent, and it shows that the judges won’t be struggling to pick the 12 acts who will eventually make it to live shows. But amid all the stellar auditions, tonight’s show featured a segment that left some viewers with a bitter taste in their mouth.

The show producers surprised viewers by including an auditioning act who praised so-called “gay conversion therapy”.

Matthew Grech came to audition, but before he sang, he talked about how he’d undergone”gay conversion therapy” and that he felt that sexual love should only exist between a man and a woman. “Gay conversion therapy” is a scientifically unproven and highly criticised practice that has been formally condemned by the European Union.

The practice is also banned in Malta, which made the X Factor Malta‘s decision to screen Matthew’s speech surprising to viewers. The clip attracted many critical comments on social media, especially from people in Malta’s LGBT community. The controversial clip has since been removed from the official X Factor Malta YouTube channel.

What’s left is the second part of Matthew’s audition. He was asked to re-audition as a group with two of his friends. The hastily formed trio sang “Where is the Love?” Look, we have to be honest here. It was terrible. The trio was pitchy, their harmonies were all over the place and they had surprisingly no chemistry as performers. But somehow the judges very generously saw potential and put them through to Bootcamp.

That segment was a little bleak, but fortunately Franklin Calleja was there to show us how it’s done. Back in July, the MESC veteran revealed to his Facebook fans that he had auditioned for the X Factor. Franklin was a regular competitor in Malta’s national final from 2013 to 2017 and showed up in San Marino’s 1IN360 this year. His best result was at MESC 2016, where “Little Love” placed third, while Ira Losco won. Would it be weird for Franklin auditioning in front of the woman who snatched his Eurovision dream?

There was no drama. Franklin — described as a “call centre agent” — blew the judges away with his perfect performance of A Great Big World’s emotional ballad “Say Something”. The fragile boy of MESC had grown into a strong young man. And as judge Ray Mercieca remarked, “Don’t need to say anything — his voice said it all”. Franklin got four yeses and will head to Bootcamp.

Another stand-out audition came from Rachel Tedesco Triccas. She talked to the judges about having overcome bullying and discovering her “grrrrrr!”. Rachel wowed the panel with a seductive performance of the classic “I Just Want to Make Love to You”.

Her vocals were on point and she especially impressed Ira Losco. The judges gave Rachel four yeses and she’s off to Bootcamp.

The episode also had successful auditions from Maria ZammitNicole FrendoAaliyah MalliaDylan DebonoKim Cortis, Glen Paul Pace and well as two groups, Kayati and Clelis.

As the show continues, competition for the upcoming Bootcamp round is just getting tougher. Earlier this week, the dates for the X Factor Malta‘s four weekly live shows were confirmed. They will take place in January, with the grand final on Saturday, January 26.

And the grand final won’t just give us the winner of the first series of the X Factor Malta — we will also know who will represent Malta at Eurovision 2019.

What do you think? Who would you like to see audition for the X Factor Malta? Share your thoughts below!

Read more X Factor Malta news

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Robyn GallagherCharli Cheer UpJonasPolegend GodgarinaMeckie Recent comment authors
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Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

Another Calleja for Eurovision after Kurt(2012)??

Jonas
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Jonas

Poor, deluded Matthew. He is gay and is gonna stay that way. He would be much better cutting off whatever homophobic influences made him think this therapy was a good idea. Sad!

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Mess at the untalented brainwashed homophobe going through… these judges see potential in anyone lmao. Franklin, on the other hand, was on fleek as always!

Meckie
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Meckie

call centre agent? They should have written well-known MESC participant instead.

Joe
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Joe

Ew. But good job, Franklin Calleja!

123
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123

what’s so controverisal? he wasn’t forced into anything and it was his own decision…

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

He’s trying to convince us that you can change your sexuality through an abusive camp, hello?

Regina Phalange
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Regina Phalange

Love Franklin <3
As for the gay conversion therapy guy, I obviously don't agree with him and I don't see how this is even relevant tbh

Gobio
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Gobio

Franklin wins, I am calling it now.

King
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King

Franklin should win, his voice is incredible

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

That’s what you call grasping at straws. Classic reality tv.

Esc1234
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Esc1234

The fact they aired the gay conversion guy is just so the show can be little more exciting…. Because it can’t be when all the mesc rejections audition

Rose
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Rose

I totally agree. That’s why I dislike reality TV.