Last year, the X Factor Malta gave us Michela, who took Malta to the Eurovision grand final with “Chameleon”. This year the series is back for another go… but show producers still haven’t said if there’ll be a Eurovision connection.
But either way, we’re excited there’s a new series, which kicked off tonight with the first lot of judges auditions. As a fresh batch of hopefuls faced the judges, fans wondered if the island nation had enough talent left for a second series of the international reality show franchise. Spoiler alert: iva! (That’s “yes” in Maltese, something often heard in this bilingual show.)
The series one judges panel was back for another year. 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.
This episode, there were no familiar faces from the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, but there was a returning act from series one of X Factor Malta. Lisa Marie Tabone may be familiar to viewers as part of the popera duo Clelis, who made it as far as the Chair Challenge. Lisa was back solo and impressed the judges with her audition. She’s off to the Bootcamp.
Another act who made an impact was Justine Shorfid. Fans may remember her from the Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016, where she was one of the competing finalists. Rocking braids and a crop top, Justine showed off her soulful and folk-tinged vocals on Kodaline’s “All I Want”. The judges were so impressed they gave Justine a standing ovation and gave her four yeses to Bootcamp. We get the feeling we’ll be seeing — and hearing — a lot more of Justine in the future.
Also appearing was “guy with a guitar No.61” aka Giovanni. He performed an original song called “Better the Devil You Know” and impressed the judges both with his charisma and his ability to improvise lyrics. While he wasn’t the best vocalist of the episode, he proved himself to be a top showman and easily won a place in the Bootcamp.
The first series of X Factor Malta didn’t always have the strongest selection of groups but Two Blocks Away showed they’ve got what it takes. The duo performed a captivating mash-up of “Wicked Game” and “Somebody That I Used to Know” which earned them a place in the Bootcamp.
They’ll be joined at Bootcamp in a few weeks by episode one’s other successful acts, Cora Elizabeth Lewis, Edward Abdilla, Ela Cachia, Eric Baldacchino, Jessica Micallef, Jurgen Volkov, Kersten Graham, Luke Baldacchino, Luke Vassallo, Maria Ellul, Maya Sesay, Michelle and Sheriden Balzan.
The X Factor Malta auditions continue next Sunday.
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 to take to Rotterdam? Tell us your thoughts below!