The first six singers have been selected to go through to the X Factor Live Shows, in the new year.
Last night saw the Judges House’s for the Girls and Overs categories, as the judges had to cut six acts each down to just three for the live shows of X Factor Malta. In the Girls category, Howard Keith was joined British sound producer Mike Hedges to help select his final three, the singers they selected were:
- Michela Pace
- Nicole Frendo
- Kelsey Bellante
This meant that Karin Duff, Danice Muscat and Jade Vella were dropped. In the Overs category Ray Mercieca was joined by singer songwriter Matthew James Borg. They selected;
- Ben Purplle
- Franklin Calleja
Eliminated from the show were Anna Azzopardi, Anna Faniello and Vanessa Sultana. The next show will see the final six acts in the Boys and Groups category selected.
The X Factor Malta replaces the existing Malta selection format, Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The Malta Eurovision Song Contest also previously known as the Malta Song Festival had been used to select Malta’s Eurovision entry since their debut in 1971. The selection had undergone a number of revamps in recent years including the introduction of televoting and cutting out the semi-final stages.
Christabelle represented Malta in Lisbon in 2018 with the song “Taboo”. She finished 13th in the second semi-final, having finished 5th with the juries on 93 points, but last with the public with 8 points.
Malta debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971 and was represented by Joe Grech and the song “Marija L-Maltija”, which finished last. Malta competed again in 1972 and 1975 but then withdrew until their return in 1991. During the 1990s Malta only once finished outside of the top 10, and in 1998 they came within just 7 points of victory. It was Chiara who brought the country their 3rd place finish in 1998, and who went on to finish in 2nd at the 2005 contest in Kyiv. The only other artist to finish 2nd for Malta is Ira Losco, who was 12 points away from victory in 2002. They are the longest participating country never to have won the Eurovision Song Contest.