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 singers were taken well out of their comfort zones.
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.
The jury panel — music manager Howard Keith Debono, rock legend Ray Mercieca, singer-songwriter Alexandra Alden and Malta’s Eurovision queen Ira Losco — were ready to decide to who would go through to Bootcamp.
The episode kicked off with the formation of groups. A number of acts were matched up in nine groups of two, three or four and given the chance to accept being part of a group — only one singer said no.
Familiar faces in the groups category include MESC star Rhiannon Micallef and X Factor Malta series one acts James Mifsud, Miguel Bonello and Shannon McEvoy.
Next up, the full categories of Girls and Boys needed to be culled. The Girls took turns to perform Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse’s “Valarie”, while the Boys tackled Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man’s “Giant”. The Groups and Overs categories didn’t go through this stage, presumedly because the category numbers were at a good level already.
The next challenge was the Wall of Songs, where contestants had to grab a song and perform it with the two other acts who had the same tune.
Ok, so first let’s get to Destiny. She slayed. Destiny Chukunyere teamed up with Chantal Catania and Michelle Ellul to perform Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”. And while the song choice was somewhat predictable for Destiny, she and the two others brought the house down with their spirited soul diva performance. Unsurprisingly, they’re all through to the next stage.
One of the most thrilling auditions came from a trio of lads, Karl Schembri, Jurgen Volkov and Brad Cardona. They performed Il Volo’s Eurovision hit “Grande amore”. The twist came from Karl who is a countertenor — that is, a male singer who can reach higher notes, like Cezar Ouatu. The three will all be heading through to the next stage of Bootcamp.
We also enjoy the cover of Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” from Maria Bellia, Mark Morales and Matt Blxck. It’s a tricky song with rap and singing — and judge Ira Losco notes that Mark was clearly outside his comfort zone. But both Matt and Maria were up for the challenge, with Matt adding his own twist on the lyrics. The three of them will be heading to the next stage.
From this stage, acts were given either a yes, no or maybe. Yeses go onto the next Bootcamp round, noes go home and maybes go on hold possible called back to join the yeses if numbers are low.
Also appearing in this episode we also saw performances from former MESC acts Miriana Conte and Jasmine Abela, as well as series one returning acts Karin Duff, Jake Camilleri, Kyle Cutajar, Gail Attard and Danika Catuajar.
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 2020? Sound off below!