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!

Read more X Factor Malta news

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[…] Standout auditionees included Lisa Marie Tabone, Justine Shorfid and Giovanni. Check out our full recap of episode one here. […]

Stella
Guest
Stella

I think the problem with choosing a eurovision act from X Factor is that X factor is only about the vocals really… so we end up with someone who can sing well but can’t write their own stuff or have little stage presence

Nikko
Guest
Nikko

I don’t think that the actual winner will immideatly go to Eurovision but maybe one of the finalists or one of the top 10.

They may have learned it from last X Factor Malta: they had a good song but Michela was not really suitable for this kind of song. She is more of a balladier and she has not so much sass and attitude which was necessary for Chameleon. But still she managed to do a good job! That’s why I think they will have first the song and then choose from the contestants which fits the best.

Lol
Guest

I disagree. That will distract from the achievement of whoever wins if it’s someone else going to win eurovision.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I’d do a Festival da Cancao and reframe the national final as a general national song contest with invited songwriters.

Jack
Guest
Jack

The problem last year was the fact that Michela had a great voice but she wasn’t a good performer. I think that Destiny will win this year’s competition and we know she sings and performs great

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Finally it’s happening again 😀 Very exciting and also good for me, cause I always watch X Factor UK, but this year there is “just” X Factor Celebrity (and as a German I don’t know any of their celebs, so there is less fun), so I was like “meh, no X Factor this year” and then “omg there is Malta with Queen Ira, yesss” 😀 And of course I can also watch The Voice Of Holland again, although 2013 and 2014 were the best years cause of Ilse DeLange as a coach <3

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

At this point I really doubt “X Factor” is gonna be announced as the way of selecting the Maltese representative for ESC 2020 – doing it in the middle of the season seems just unrealistic and stupid. My guess is that Malta is going internal this time and that we’re gonna get a MESC veteran to perform in Rotterdam.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I agree, if they would use it as a picking method they would already told it. I think Brooke Borg is going next year

victor
Guest

Brooke for rotterdam!