As X Factor Malta is heading towards the third live show, with eight acts left in the competition, drama has erupted surrounding the contest voting. Fans reported that before last Sunday’s show, they received text messages from the parents of one contestant, urging them to vote for their son. Show producers say this is against the rules.

Maltese news site Lovin Malta reports that a number of people received SMS text messages supposedly from the parents of X Factor contestant Karl Schembri, encouraging them to vote for their son. The message reportedly said: “I really appreciate if tonight you vote for my son Karl Schembri, finalist of X Factor Malta. Will send SMS number when televoting is open. Thank you very much”

The SMS campaign didn’t necessarily have the desired effect. Many recipients of the message reportedly had a negative reaction, wondering how the sender had got their number. One said, “She better tell us where she gathered the number for our mobiles from. I don’t know you from Adam and we received two messages to vote for Karl.”

The X Factor Malta reacts

The situation was bad enough to compel the X Factor producers to take action. In a Facebook post which addressed other voting issues from the week-two show, the producers demonstrated that they were taken things seriously. They wrote:

X Factor Malta has received a number of complaints regarding spam SMSes encouraging people to vote for certain contestants. X Factor Malta would like to make it very clear that spamming is clearly forbidden both by X Factor rules and by local data protection laws, and encourages members of the public who receive such messages to report these occurrences to the relevant authorities.

“Moreover, X Factor has advised its participants that a zero-tolerance policy will be adopted in case of proven and clear breaches of X Factor rules.”

It’s not out of the ordinary for friends and family of talent show contestants to show support for their loved ones, however, this normally takes the form of things like supportive t-shirts and signs, not spamming people via SMS.

The X Factor also reported that the second live show was watched by around 145,000 — impressive figures for an island nation with a population of just 493,000. But with a low population, it’s also easier to manipulate voting — and perhaps why the broadcaster has chosen to take a zero-tolerance position.

????X FACTOR MALTA ANNOUNCEMENT?????X Factor Malta is pleased to announce that official viewing data shows that last…

Posted by X Factor Malta on Thursday, January 23, 2020

 

It seems that X Factor Malta wants its winner to be decided fairly. After all, spamming Maltese viewers won’t have much effect when Malta’s act in Rotterdam has to face the European vote in May.

The week two show included the shock exit of Jasmine Abela. After giving one of the strongest performances the week before — and seen as a likely finalist — a lacklustre Madonna cover saw Jasmine instantly eliminated. The show producers assured viewers that despite some SMS votes not receiving a confirmation reply, their votes were still counted.

Karl Schembri — who had received mixed feedback for his popera style vocals — escaped the final three and was safe for another week. But despite him being one of the more divisive contestants, he does have supporters who — regardless of any SMS campaigning — will still support their idol.

The X Factor Malta continues this Sunday with the third live show where the contestants will tackle movie themes. Two more acts will be eliminated, with six lucky contestants heading to the semi-final.

Read more Malta Eurovision 2020 news here

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Esc1234
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Esc1234

A small country doesn’t need all this mess just for the singer. Just allocate your sources in having a good song and perfomance.

Someone
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Someone

They don’t specifically use the xfactor to choose the Eurovision entry, yes the singer does get to go to Eurovision but the show will still continue if they do not use it for Eurovision

Africavision
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Africavision

Such a tiny nation, yet they have an abundance of extraordinary singers… There really is something in the water in Malta.

Apple
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Apple

Malta? More like small-ta

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

as long as this doesn’t affect CELINE’s future rihsults i’ll be fine

Rasmus
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Rasmus

I will be very suprised if Celine wins.

maltese_falcon
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maltese_falcon

I’m Maltese so can actually vote in this thing. From the first time I heard Celine I found her voice repulsive and unnatural and she brings nothing to the table to actually make me look forward to her acts. I would be very ashamed if my country sent her to ESC. I’m also not very impressed with Destiny. She is great and she has a good voice but still there’s something missing. Last year you could actually feel Michela had a winner’s vibe going round her, and let’s just say this year I’m feeling it with nobody.

MaxHightower
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MaxHightower

why do you always use “rih” instead of “re”? Im really curious

Kris
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Kris

Same question 😉

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

rihanna

pancake
Guest
pancake

Do you think american black culture would respect you? Don’t be a … s l a v e !

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

*rihspect

pancake
Guest
pancake

A blonde Italian-Austrian is exactly what they care about, you are a lamb for slaughter for them. Only your money are good… otherwise… go away you privileged white male!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

*prihvileged

Jake
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Jake

The Maltese are wasting their money—it’s been decided that Destiny will win this whole thing. She’s already country wide famous. This show is a sham and a formality for the already decided winner

Guest
Guest
Guest

Don’t be so sure. It might happen but till now nothing is certain 🙂