The Judges Auditions stage is over and now Malta‘s Eurovision hopefuls must face the rigours of the X Factor Malta‘s Bootcamp round. The stage kicked off this weekend and the judges were expecting the acts to have lifted their game from the audition performance — no second chances this time!
While other editions of the X Factor have done away with the Bootcamp, X Factor Malta is still using it. And it works. It’s a way to get to know the auditioning acts and see how they handle the pressure of having to sing an unfamiliar song with a group of strangers.
For the first part, contestants were separated into categories and given one of four songs to perform. Girls had Lady Gaga’s “A Million Reasons”, Boys had Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth’s “See You Again”, Overs had Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me”, while Groups could show off their harmonies with the Temptation’s classic “My Girl”.
As judge Alexandra Alden told the 120 assembled hopefuls, the judges needed to reduce them down to just 48. And they were ruthless with their eliminations. Acts who may have been cut a little slack at the Judges Auditions stage were promptly (but politely) shown the door if they messed up.
Former Malta Eurovision Song Contest stars featured, and the Overs category was particularly full of ex-MESC singers who continued to prove their worth. Aidan Cassar, Janice Mangion, Miriana Conte, Petra and Dario Mifsud Bonnici were among those who made it to the next stage. Anna Faniello — mother of Maltese Eurovision stars Claudia Faniello and Fabrizio Faniello — also made it to the next stage, as did the singing magician Aleandro Pace Tahir.
Next came the Wall of Songs, where the remaining acts had to grab a song selection and find the three other acts with the same song. Franklin Calleja — whose first Bootcamp performance was not shown — was seen grabbing Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”.
This singing challenge showed how acts could work with others and if they could hold their own in a group performance. The judges seemed to have a good sense of what was work, but there was once controversial decision.
Recent MESC singer Lyndsay Pace and upcoming singer Isaac Mercieca were both eliminated after their group performance. This sparked a flurry of comments on social media, from fans bewildered why two of the auditioning acts would be eliminated so early.
But there is hope. Acts eliminated from the second challenge aren’t sent home immediately. Instead they go into the Holding Room. If the judges reach the end of the second challenge performances and they’re short of numbers, they will look to the Holding Room and give some acts a second chance.
X Factor Malta continues next Sunday, with more Bootcamp performances, saves and eliminations.
What do you think? Which performances have you been impressed with? Who would you like to see represent Malta at Eurovision 2019? Sound off below!