MALTA – X Factor Malta is the current first season of the Maltese version of the British television music competition The X Factor, created by Simon Cowell. The season premiered on 7 October 2018 and is broadcast on Television Malta. The show will be used as the platform for the selection of Malta’s entrant at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, and the winner will also secure a record contract with Sony Music Italy.
The auditionees chosen by the producers were invited back to the last set of auditions that took place in front of the judges. These auditions were filmed at Fort St Angelo from 1 to 8 August and broadcast from 7 October, as well as short daily extra auditions on the X Factor Malta YouTube channel and on the Facebook page of Vodafone Malta. The 120 successful contestants then progressed to the bootcamp round.
The bootcamp round was filmed at the Hilton Malta Conference Centre from 9 to 12 September and broadcast on 11 and 18 November. Contestants were given three performance challenges. On the first day, the 120 contestants were split into the four category groups – Boys, Girls, Overs and Groups. Acts in each category were given one song to sing a cappella: “A Million Reasons” (Girls), “See You Again” (Boys), “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” (Overs) “My Girl” (Groups). After the performances, the judges sent home 30 acts.
For the second challenge, the remaining acts each selected a song from the Wall of Songs, which they had to perform with three others who had selected the same song. Contestants were either put through to the next stage, or went to the Waiting Room, where they later had the possibility of being called on to be part of a newly formed group.
In the final challenge, the remaining acts – including newly formed groups – performed a song of their own choice. The jury then selected 12 participants from each category to go through to the Six Chair Challenge.
Six Chair Challenge
The Six Chair Challenge was filmed at the MFCC – Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre in Attard on 11 and 12 October 2018.
The 24 successful acts were:
Boys: Mark Anthony Bartolo, Norbert Bondin, Aidan Cassar, Luke Chappell, Owen Leuellen, Claudio Zammit
Girls: Kelsey Bellante, Karin Duff, Nicole Frendo, Danica Muscat, Michela Pace, Jade Vella
Overs: Anna Azzopardi,
Franklin Calleja, Anna Faniello, Petra, Ben Purplle, Vanessa Lee Sultana
Groups: 4th Line, Horizon,
Kayati, Prism, Systm12, Xtreme
MALTA – Superstar Ben Camille, actor, presenter and reality TV personality, welcomed baby Elle into the world earlier today. “I can’t believe it… I’m a daddy,” he said on social media. Camille said that both the mother, his wife Kristina (Xtina) Camilleri, and their newborn baby were happy and healthy.
In just over an hour, Ben Camille’s photo featuring his wife and the tiny new addition, already amassed close to 2,000 likes. Baby Elle is already a sensation.
Camille and Camilleri have been together for over 13 years. Now, just 19 months after their wedding baby Elle is born. In his post, Camille called his wife a ‘superstar’ and thanked the staff at Mater Dei hospital for their ‘incredible’ work.
“I had heard so many brilliant things about the midwives at Mater Dei hospital but actually living it first hand was a different experience. These people are living legends, they are honestly the nicest, sweetest, most accommodating and caring people you will meet. The passion they have towards their work in inspirational,” he said.
MALTA – The first auditions episode of Malta’s X Factor aired tonight on TVM and we all of course watched it. We spotted four performances which sounded promising for a potential spot in the live shows and why not… in Eurovision 2019.
Opening up about his struggles with a speech impairment, Norbert manages to deliver a next to perfect performance of Helium by Sia. This artist is off to Bootcamp and we can’t wait to see him perform there!
Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the heart never sounded sweeter. Student Michela Pace from Malta’s sister island of Gozo makes sure she goes through to Bootcamp with a beautiful performance of the song.
“I think the only baby you will be delivering is an album quite soon!” These were the words by judge Ira Losco as Karin Duff makes sure to to through the next phase of X Factor Malta
Anna Azzopardi, a kindergarten teacher from Malta gives her all during her X Factor Malta audition performance in front of the four judges. Without any doubt, a 5 star performance that made sure she is through to the next phase!
PRESS RELEASE – For this year’s Malta Pride 2018 March & Concert we will be joined by Claudia Faniello & Fabrizio Faniello as they will surprise us with a duet medley! Now that’s how we like our Tuesday morning news! #MaltaPride18: Pride in the Heart of the Mediterranean. See all the events taking place on www.maltapride.org
View this post on Instagram
Malta 🇲🇹 For this year's Malta Pride 2018 March & Concert we will be joined by Claudia Faniello & Fabrizio Faniello as they will surprise us with a duet medley! Now that's how we like our Tuesday morning news! @oikotimes @claudiafaniello @faniellofabrizio #eurovision #oikotimes #MaltaPride18: Pride in the Heart of the Mediterranean See all the events taking place on www.maltapride.org
A post shared by OIKOTIMES EUROVISION (@oikotimes) on
MALTA – Marking this year as her 15 years of Music, Ira Losco hosted a unique concert celebrating Women In Music. Joined on stage by her amazing live band and several special guests the concert included her well known hits, new songs from the recently released double album ‘No Sinner No Saint’ as well as some Iconic songs celebrating well known female artists who have shaped the music landscape thought out the past years. Special Guests included one of the finalists from THE VOICE and many other surprises.
MALTATODAY.COM REPORTS / MALTA – The producers of X Factor Malta have been inundated by video submissions of singers – and aspiring singers – who believe they have what it takes to win the first ever edition of the popular television talent show. Producers were surprised at the feedback by the public, following news that the show would be aired on TVM from October and that actor and model Ben Camille had been chosen as host of the popular show. News of the winner of the show representing Malta at the Eurovision was met with delight by many but others expressed an equal dose of dismay, saying the TV show tends to focus solely on the artist. And many have argued that this will lead to many of the contestants on the show being the “same old faces” that the Maltese audience is used to.
The show is open to everyone, with the judging process expected to start in the coming weeks with what is referred to as production auditions. During these auditions, applicants sing live before a team selected by the producers, tasked with whittling down the number of contestants that would make it through to the judges’ auditions, that would be recorded and televised as part of the show. But composer Elton Zarb said that since original songs are not frequently showcased on X Factor – with many contestants choosing to cover popular songs – it would be very difficult for an up-and-coming singer or songwriter to showcase their individual style, unless they go down the risky path less travelled and choose to sing an original song when they appear before the judges. “I love the X Factor as a format but I feel it should serve as a means for discovering talent and not as a platform to fund established artists,” he said.
Singer Amber, who represented Malta at the Eurovision in 2015, welcomed news of the X Factor coming to Malta, believing it might be a perfect tool to attract young artists to the music industry. “Many artists aspire to become known by contesting in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest but the truth is that participating requires a considerable budget to produce and submit a song,” she said. “X Factor is now facilitating the way for anyone to take part in a large-scale competition.” Amber says she will focus on her own music, which she has been pursuing full-time since representing Malta in the Eurovision in 2015. As to whether established artists should be allowed to take part, Amber was quite adamant. “The music market in Malta is very tight and Maltese artists must compete, not only with each other, but with foreign singers and producers as well,” she said. “We don’t have a selection of opportunities available locally, so that is why an X Factor opportunity is a great deal for Malta.”
Kurt Calleja, who also represented Malta at the Eurovision in 2012, said that with the local market being already as limited as it is, an established artist had more to lose than a new face if they appeared on the show and did not deliver a good performance. “Truth be told, it only takes one below standard performance to change the whole result,” he said. “However, for singers with incredible voices who never had strong original songs, perhaps due to lack of contacts or songwriting not being their forte, this presents a massive opportunity to showcase their skills, make a name for themselves and eventually work with relevant-to-the-industry songwriters who can write a song that is tailor-made for the winner’s voice.”
Local rap artist Hooli said X Factor could tap into undiscovered talent but he sounded a serious note of caution on the judging process. “I think everyone has got the right to participate so the best singer is chosen,” he said. “If the producers intend to use televoting and local judges, I don’t think it will be fair for the newcomers since established artists already have their fans and would get their votes. I think it would be best if the producers secured foreign judges for the show.”
The judging panel for X Factor Malta has yet to be announced, although insiders say it will likely feature a popular singer, a successful composer and musician and possibly, a foreigner. The prize is usually a recording contract, in addition to the publicity that appearance in the later stages of the show itself generates, not only for the winner but also for other highly-ranked contestants. On 20 June, Public Broadcasting Services announced that the winner of X Factor Malta would go on to represent Malta at next year’s ESS in Israel as well as securing for themselves a record deal with Sony Music Italy. The idea of mixing the X Factor with the Eurovision seems not to have gone down well with many local artists.
Singer Kurt Calleja said the producers should have left the X Factor as a contest in its own right with prizes such as record deals, studio time and scholarships, while keeping the MESC in its original and traditional format. “But I respect PBS for taking such a courageous, risky, decision.”
Amber agreed. “I am a bit confused about mixing these two events; for me they are different platforms,” she said. “The ESC is a ‘song contest’ while X Factor goes beyond just singing, it is about finding someone with a twist, it is more of a reality show in search for talent.”
And singer Ludwig Galea, who has also represented Malta at Eurovision, was equally blunt. “I have nothing against X Factor per se but I’m against the fact it’s amalgamated with the ESC,” he told MaltaToday.
Hooli, Amber, and Galea told MaltaToday said they don’t intend participating. “I will be thinking about participating the minute our national football team qualifies for the World Cup,” Galea said.
Calleja was a tad more tactful. “Whilst wishing all the very best to all contestants, newbies and established, after careful consideration my team and I have decided to skip this edition of X Factor.”
And as one established singer after another bows out of participating in the X Factor, the prospect of having a TV show that showcases new talent looms larger and becomes more palatable.
MALTA – “The Maltese Ira Losco – two times contester at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2002 and 2016 – has been involved in international productions several times. This time she is singing with the Hungarian singer, Flora Tandi about a love triangle which misteriously ends in the videoclip.
Gabor Molnar, the songwriter shared the exact same stage of the Eurovision in Stockholm with Losco, as Gabor was part of the Hungarian contester, Freddie’s group.
The music video for the song “What if” was shot in Malta while the song itself has been released on Flora’s most recent album, “Flow” in 2017.”