X Factor Malta

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X Factor Malta
GenreReality competition
Created bySimon Cowell
Directed byJeremy Dalli
Mark Vassallo
Presented byBen Camille
JudgesHoward Keith Debono
Ray Mercieca
Alexandra Alden
Ira Losco
Country of originMalta
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Anton Attard
Charles Dalli
Producer(s)Gordon Bonello
Olwyn Jo Saliba
Peter Carbonaro
Annalise Azzopardi
Eileen Spiteri
Nicky Aquilina
Editor(s)Neville Grech
Chantal Fenech
Ruben Cassar
Sam Dalli
Gary Bugeja
Original networkTVM
Original releaseOctober 7, 2018 (2018-10-07)
External links

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.[1] 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.[2]

Series summary[edit]

To date, one series has been broadcast, as summarised below.

     Contestant in "Boys" category
     Contestant in "Girls" category
     Contestant in "Overs" category
     Contestant in "Groups" category

Season Start Finish Winner Runner-up Third place Winning mentor Main host Main judges
1 7 October 2018 26 January 2019 Ben Camille Howard Keith Debono
Ray Mercieca
Alexandra Alden
Ira Losco

Judges' categories and their finalists[edit]

In each series, each judge is allocated a category to mentor and chooses three acts to progress to the live finals. This table shows, for each series, which category each judge was allocated and which acts he or she put through to the live finals.


     – Winning judge/category. Winners are in bold, eliminated contestants in small font.
Season Howard Keith Debono Ray Mercieca Alexandra Alden Ira Losco
1 Girls
Kelsey Bellante
Nicole Frendo
Michela Pace
Ben Purplle
Franklin Calleja
4th Line
Norbert Bondin
Luke Chappell
Owen Leuellen

Presenter and judges[edit]

On 2 July 2018, it was announced that Ben Camille was selected to host the show.[3]

The full judges' panel was revealed on the 31 July 2018, and will be composed of music producer Howard Keith Debono, The Rifffs' frontman Ray Mercieca, Maltese singer and songwriter Alexandra Alden, and singer Ira Losco. The senior producers are Gordon Bonello and Olwyn Jo.[4][5]

Selection process[edit]


The first appeal for applicants was made on 26 June 2018, with the launch of the online submission form. Auditioning artists were also able to send a video audition via the Whatsapp messaging platform.[6] In addition, a number of pop-up booths were set up around Malta in early July to encourage people to enter.[7]

Producers auditions were held from 13 to 15 July at Fort St Elmo. There the show's producers assessed the auditioning acts and determined who would progress to the judges auditions.[8]

Judges' auditions[edit]

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.[9]

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[edit]

The Six Chair Challenge was filmed at the MFCC - Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre in Attard on 11 and 12 October 2018.[10]

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

Judges' Houses[edit]

The Judges' Houses episodes were broadcast on 23 and 30 December 2018.

Summary of Judges' Houses
Judge Category Assistant Contestants eliminated
Losco Boys Joseph Calleja Mark Anthony Bartolo, Aidan Cassar, Claudio Zammit
Debono Girls Mike Hedges Karin Duff, Danica Muscat, Jade Vella
Mercieca Overs Matthew James Borg Anna Azzopardi, Anna Faniello, Vanessa Lee Sultana
Alden Groups Carlo Borg Bonaci Horizon, Prism, Systm12



     – Eliminated
Category (mentor) Acts
Boys (Losco) Norbert Bondin Luke Chappell Owen Leuellen
Girls (Debono) Kelsey Bellante Nicole Frendo Michela Pace
Over 25s (Mercieca) Franklin Calleja Petra Ben Purplle
Groups (Alden) 4th Line Kayati Xtreme

Live shows[edit]

The live shows will begin on Sunday, 6 January 2019. They will be filmed at the Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre (MFCC) in Attard, Malta.[11]

Results summary[edit]

Colour key
     – Contestant in the bottom two/three and had to perform in the Sing-Off
     – Contestant was in the bottom three but received the fewest votes and was immediately eliminated
     – Contestant received the fewest public votes and was immediately eliminated (no final showdown)
Contestant Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Owen Leuellen Safe Safe
Ben Purplle Safe 8th
Petra Safe Safe
Kelsey Bellante Safe Safe
Luke Chappell Safe Safe
Michela Pace Safe Safe
Nicole Frendo Safe Safe
Norbert Bondin Safe Safe
4th Line Safe 9th Eliminated
(week 2)
Xtreme Bottom three 10th Eliminated
(week 2)
Franklin Calleja Bottom three Eliminated
(week 1)
Kayati 12th Eliminated
(week 1)
Sing-Off Franklin Calleja,
4th Line,
Ben Purplle
Alden's vote to eliminate Franklin Calleja Ben Purplle
Debono's vote to eliminate Franklin Calleja Ben Purplle
Losco's vote to eliminate Franklin Calleja 4th Line
Mercieca's vote to eliminate Xtreme 4th Line
Eliminated Kayati
Public vote
Franklin Calleja
3 of 4 votes
Public vote
4th Line
2 of 4 votes

Live show details[edit]

Week 1 (6 Jan)[edit]

  • Theme: This is Me
Contestants' performances on the first live show
Act Order Song Result
4th Line 1 "Survivor" Safe
Luke Chappell 2 "Overthinking" (original song) Safe
Nicole Frendo 3 "Too Good at Goodbyes" Safe
Franklin Calleja 4 "Jealous" Bottom three
Xtreme 5 "Side to Side"/"Woman Like Me" Bottom three
Michela Pace 6 "Lost on You" Safe
Norbert Bondin 7 "Say Something" Safe
Kayati 8 "Nobody's Perfect" Eliminated
Ben Purplle 9 "Dancing On My Own" Safe
Owen Leuellen 10 "Can't Hold Us" Safe
Petra 11 "What's Up?" Safe
Kelsey Bellante 12 "Chained to the Rhythm" Safe
Final showdown details
Act Order Song Result
Franklin Calleja 1 "Clown" Eliminated
Xtreme 2 "Take Me Home" Safe
Judges' vote to eliminate
  • Mercieca: Xtreme
  • Alden: Franklin Calleja
  • Losco: Franklin Calleja
  • Debono: Franklin Calleja

Week 2 (13 Jan)[edit]

  • Theme: Throwbacks
Contestants' performances on the second live show
Act Order Song Result
Xtreme 1 "They Don't Care About Us" Eliminated
Kelsey Bellante 2 "Could You Be Loved" Safe
Owen Leuellen 3 "Boom! Shake the Room" Safe
Ben Purplle 4 "Yesterday" Bottom three
4th Line 5 "It's Raining Men" Bottom three
Petra 6 "I Just Want to Make Love to You" Safe
Luke Chappell 7 "Hey There Delilah" Safe
Nicole Frendo 8 "Purple Rain" Safe
Norbert Bondin 9 "Wild Boys" Safe
Michela Pace 10 "The Power of Love" Safe
Final showdown details
Act Order Song Result
Ben Purplle 1 "Iris" Safe
4th Line 2 "Queen of the Night" Eliminated
Judges' vote to eliminate
  • Mercieca: 4th Line
  • Alden: Ben Purplle
  • Losco: 4th Line
  • Debono: Ben Purplle

With the acts in the sing-off receiving two votes each, the result went to deadlock and reverted to the earlier public vote. 4th Line was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.

Aired Shows[edit]

Episode Air date
Auditions 1 7 October 2018
Auditions 2 14 October 2018
Auditions 3 21 October 2018
Auditions 4 28 October 2018
Auditions 5 4 November 2018
Bootcamp 1 11 November 2018
Bootcamp 2 18 November 2018
Six Chair Challenge 1 (Girls) 25 November 2018
Six Chair Challenge 2 (Boys) 2 December 2018
Six Chair Challenge 3 (Overs) 9 December 2018
Six Chair Challenge 4 (Groups) 16 December 2018
Judges Houses 1 (Girls and Overs) 23 December 2018
Judges Houses 2 (Boys and Groups) 30 December 2018
Live Show 1 6 January 2019
Live Show 2 13 January 2019
Live Show 3 20 January 2019
Live Show 4 26 January 2019


  1. ^ "X FACTOR PREMIERE: Here's Who Got Four Yeses And Who Was Sent Packing". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  2. ^ "X-Factor Malta to determine Eurovision entry; news welcomed, but questions raised". www.independent.com.mt. The Malta Independent. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Ben Camille to host The X Factor Malta". TVM News. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  4. ^ Confirmed X factor judge lovinmalta.com Retrieved 9 October 2019
  5. ^ "X Factor Malta". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  6. ^ "The X Factor Malta applications are now open – the winner to get a record contract with Sony". TVM. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Malta: X Factor Auditions Begin as Nationwide Search Gets Underway". Euroviox. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Hundreds Of Singers Cross Their Fingers As X Factor Malta Auditions Kick Off". Lovin Malta. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  9. ^ "ESC 2019 – Malta: Stasera al via la 2ª fase di The X Factor Malta – Aggiornato". Leuropazzia. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  10. ^ "The X Factor Malta Chair Challenge". Guide Me Malta. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  11. ^ "X FACTOR MALTA LIVE SHOW". Shows Happening. Retrieved 31 December 2018.

External links[edit]