There was a lot going on in the second Bootcamp episode of X Factor Malta. We saw the remaining performances of the second Bootcamp challenge, more acts were eliminated, groups were formed, the acts performed in one last Bootcamp challenge and the judges decided the 48 acts who will battle it out in next week’s Six Chair Challenge. We are exhausted just from writing that sentence. But let’s go deeper into the episode.
First lesson learned: do not go in a group challenge with Franklin Calleja. He might be known for having a delicate quality to his voice, but don’t forget that he can sang. 27-year-old Franklin is in the Overs and we suspect he will be the one to beat in that category, if not in the entire contest. Franklin passed both Bootcamp challenges and will battle it out for a seat at the Six Chair Challenge.
Along with Franklin, seven more of the acts who qualified in the Overs category are familiar faces from previous editions of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Anna Azzopardi, Chris Grech, Janice Debattista, Janice Mangion, Kim Cortis, Laura Bruno and Petra Zammit all made the selection. Petra in particular seems to be emerging as stand-out performer.
Anna Faniello — who is rapidly become better known than her children Claudia and Fabrizio — also made it to the Six Chair Challenge. In her final performance, she sang Il Volo’s “Grande Amore”, and with her bright coloured spectacles, she even reminded us a little of Piero Barone.
The stars of the Boys category also began to emerge from the auditioning acts. Aidan Cassar made it through to the Six Chair, but not before he was wisely advised to tone down his over-the-top vocal theatrics. Teen singer Luke Chappell also made it, as did magician Aleandro Pace Tahir, rapper Owen Leuellen and online favourite Isaac Mercieca.
Competition was toughest in the Girls category. There seems to be no shortage of talented young female singers in Malta and it felt like almost all of them were along at the Hilton Malta Conference Centre. A few familiar faces from MESC made it to the Six Chair Challenge: Danica Muscat, Jade Vella and Shauna Vassallo. Other stand-out performers included Karin Duff, Kelsey Bellante, and Michela Pace.
The Groups category served the most drama of the evening. Of the ten groups who will be going through to the Six Chair Challenge, only two entered the X Factor Malta as groups. The rest were put together by judges from the acts who didn’t make it as solo performers.
All up, there are four girl groups, two boy bands, three female duos and one male duo. The most interesting of the bunch seem to be the boy band Systm 12, girl group Extreme (are they aware there’s a successful American rock band with the same name?) and girl group 4th Line. It’s always impressive when a group of solo performers can become a cohesive group at short notice.
So, the lucky 48 who made it through Bootcamp will face the highly dramatic Six Chair Challenge next week. It’s the first time they will perform in front of a live audience and the format always encourages the audience to be loud about the acts they support. Only six from each category can get a seat that will take them to the next round — and drama is guaranteed.
The X Factor Malta continues next Sunday.
Y’all, because there is interest, here are all the acts who have made it to the Six Chair Challenge. This is based on our rough note-taking during the show. There are 47 acts and we were expecting 48, so we’re not sure if one is missing of if they cut it short.
Boys: Aidan Cassar, Aleandro Pace Tahir, Claudio Zammit, Isaac Mercieca, James Mifsud, Luke Chappell, Mark Anthony Bartolo, Matthew Anthony Caruana, Miguel Bonello, Norbert Bondin, Owen Leuellen
Girls: Danica Muscat, Gail Attard, Jade Vella, Karin Duff, Kaylie Magri, Kelly Moncado, Kelsey Bellante, Michela Galea, Michela Pace, Nicole Brincat, Nicole Frendo, Raisa Marie Micallef, Shauna Vassallo, Victoria Sciberras
Groups: 4th Line, Clelis, Extreme, Horizon, Kayati, Lorelai, Prism, Radiate, Sudden Crown, Systm 12
Overs: Anna Azzopardi, Anna Faniello, Ben Purplle, Chris Grech, Franklin Calleja, Janice Debattista, Janice Mangion, Kim Cortis, Laura Bruno, Petra Zammit, Rachel Tedesco Triccas, Vanessa Sultana
What do you think? Who do you think will make it through the Six Chair Challenge? Who should represent Malta at Eurovision 2019? Leave your comments below!