After the rigours of the Bootcamp, the remaining contestants in the X Factor Malta now must face the gruelling Chair Challenge. This week, the Girls category was first to face the chairs of fate. There were 14 acts in this category, but only six seats. Who got a position? Read on to find out!
First up was Karin Duff, who told the judges she was determined to give it her best show. Karen performed a stripped-down version of the Elvis Presley classic ballad “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. The judges all had praise for her, and Girls category judge Howard Keith Debono sent her to the first seat.
Next came Gail Attard, who tackled Florence + The Machine’s “You’ve Got the Love”. Her performance had a more critical reaction from the judges, but Howard still gave her a seat. But nothing is ever guaranteed in the Chair Challenge.
Eurovision fans may remember Jade Vella from MESC 2017, where she placed 14th with “Seconds Away”. She auditioned with Chaka Khan’s soul classic “Ain’t Nobody” and earned a seat. And from the way she was looking, ain’t nobody better try and take that seat from her!
Kelly Moncado was a fan favourite after her first audition, but since then her performances have been mixed. For Six Chair she performed James Arthur’s “Impossible” and she was a little pitchy. The judges were critical, but judge Howard was willing to take a chance.
With five butts on seats, the chairs were filling up and it was inevitable that someone wouldn’t get one. The first no went to Kaylie Magri who sang Bruno Mars’ “When I was Your Man”. It wasn’t up to the standard of the others and judge Howard declared Kaylie to be chairless.
Next up, Shauna Vassallo who tackled Bishop Briggs’ “River”. The judges were largely positive and Howard gave her a seat. But you might be able to sense a pattern based on which videos we’re embedding and which ones we’re linking…
Michaela Galea was next, looking super elegant in a white halter-neck jumpsuit. She performed Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man”, and showed that the show has no shortage of powerful young soul divas. She got a seat.
Nicole Frendo delivered a soulful performance of Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down”. She had a good connection with the audience and solid praise from the judges, with Alexandra saying “I’m sorry that I ever doubted you”. Judge Howard gave her a seat, but with all six chairs full, it meant someone else had to give up their seat. The unlucky singer was Kelly Moncado, who left the competition.
Raisa Marie Micallef had given one of the most popular auditions, but would her musical-style vocals be a good match for the X Factor? Raisa delivered a decent version of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s “When You Believe”, but the judges felt she wasn’t quite right, so no seat.
Next came Michaela Pace, who had also been a popular auditionee. She performed Kesha’s emotional ballad “Praying” and nailed it, establishing herself as one of the strongest performers in the Girls category. Naturally, the judges were impressed and Michaela got a seat. But it was at the expensive of Shauna Vassallo, who had to give up her place.
Victoria Sciberras performed Céline Dion’s “Ashes” and seemed to be channeling the vocal style of the Eurovision winner. The judges felt she wasn’t developed enough and Howard chose to not give her a seat.
Next up, Nicole Brincat put a lot into her performance of Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine”. Sadly the judges felt she hadn’t put enough effort into her vocals, and Nicole didn’t get a seat.
Kelsey Bellante burst onto the stage with a a mash-up of Cardi B’s “I Like It” and Camila Cabello’s “Havana”. She proved herself a skilled singer and rapper and prompted judge Ray to declare “red hot attitude!” Kelsey earned a seat, swapping with Gail Attard.
Finally it was time for five-time MESC act Danica Muscat. She performed the talent show staple, “Fallin” by Alicia Keys. It was good, but the judges couldn’t decide who should give up a seat. The solved their indecision by holding an a cappella sing-off between Danica and Michaela Galea. Danica had the edge, giving her the final seat.
And with that, the six chairs were filled. This means that in coming weeks we will see Danica Muscat, Jade Vella, Karin Duff, Kelsey Bellante, Michela Pace and Nicole Frendo battling it out at the Judges Houses round, hoping for one of the few places in the live shows. And one of them could end up being the artist Malta sends to Eurovision 2019.
Next Sunday Ira Losco’s Boys category will be the next group to fight for those six chairs.
What do you think? Who do you think should make it to the live shows? Should any of the dismissed singers be brought back? Leave your comments below!