X Factor Malta

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)Mainly English
No. of seasons2
Executive producer(s)Anton Attard
Charles Dalli
Mark Grech
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 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 was 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] The winner of the 2020 series will again go to represent Malta at Eurovision.

Season summary[edit]

To date, two seasons have been broadcast, as summarised below.

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

Season Start Finish Winner Runner-up Third place Winning mentor Main host Main judges
1 7 October 2018 26 January 2019 Michela Pace Owen Leuellen Nicole Frendo Howard Keith Debono Ben Camille Howard Keith Debono
Ray Mercieca
Alexandra Alden
Ira Losco
2 6 October 2019 8 February 2020

Judges' categories and their finalists[edit]

In each season, 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
Michela Pace
Nicole Frendo
Kelsey Bellante
Ben Purplle
Franklin Calleja
4th Line
Owen Leuellen
Luke Chappell
Norbert Bondin
2 Groups Boys Overs Girls

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/star Ira Losco. The senior producers are Gordon Bonello and Olwyn Jo Saliba.[4][5]

Season 1[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



     – Winner
     – Runner-up
     – Third Place
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 began on Sunday, 6 January 2019. They were filmed at the Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre (MFCC) in Attard, Malta.[11]

Results summary

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
Round One Round Two Round One Round Two Round Three
Michela Pace Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Winner
Owen Leuellen Safe Safe Safe 4th Safe Safe Runner-Up
Nicole Frendo Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe 3rd Eliminated
(week 4)
Petra Safe Safe Safe Safe 4th Eliminated
(week 4)
Luke Chappell Safe Safe Safe 5th Eliminated
(week 3)
Norbert Bondin Safe Safe Safe 6th Eliminated
(week 3)
Ben Purplle Safe 8th 7th Eliminated
(week 3)
Kelsey Bellante Safe Safe 8th Eliminated
(week 3)
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
No Sing Off or Judges Vote The two acts with the fewest votes will leave the competition. Owen Leuellen,
Luke Chappell
No Sing Off or Judges Vote, the public votes decide who wins.
Alden's vote to eliminate Franklin Calleja Ben Purplle Owen Leuellen
Debono's vote to eliminate Franklin Calleja Ben Purplle Owen Leuellen
Losco's vote to eliminate Franklin Calleja 4th Line Luke Chappell
Mercieca's vote to eliminate Xtreme 4th Line Luke Chappell
Eliminated Kayati
Public vote
Franklin Calleja
3 of 4 votes
Public vote
4th Line
2 of 4 votes
Kelsey Bellante
Public vote
Ben Purplle
Public vote
Norbert Bondin
Public vote
Luke Chappell
2 of 4 votes
Michela Pace
Owen Leuellen
Nicole Frendo

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.

Week 3: Semi-Final (20 Jan)[edit]

  • Theme: Movie Spectacular, Jukebox
Contestants' performances on the third live show
Act Order First Song Result Order Second Song Result
Owen Leuellen 1 "Gangsta's Paradise" Safe 13 "What Did You Expect" (original song) Bottom three
Ben Purplle 2 "Oh, Pretty Woman" Eliminated N/A (Already eliminated)
Nicole Frendo 3 "Skyfall" Safe 14 "Scared to be Lonely" Safe
Norbert Bondin 4 "Never Enough" Safe 11 "Empty Space" Eliminated
Michela Pace 5 "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" Safe 12 "Shallow" Safe
Luke Chappell 6 "Heathens" Safe 9 "What Do You Mean?" Bottom three
Kelsey Bellante 7 "Pray for Me" Eliminated N/A (Already eliminated)
Petra 8 "We Don't Need Another Hero" Safe 10 "Set Fire to the Rain" Safe
Final showdown details
Act Order Song Result
Owen Leuellen N/A Safe
Luke Chappell N/A Eliminated
Judges' vote to eliminate
  • Mercieca: Luke Chappell
  • Alden: Owen Leuellen
  • Debono: Owen Leuellen
  • Losco: Luke Chappell

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

In this semi-final, the eight qualified finalists performed at least once. The two acts with the fewest public votes after the first round left the competition, with Kelsey Bellante, gaining the fewest votes overall, and Ben Purplle gaining the second fewest votes. The top six performed again, with the top three acts automatically progressing to the final. The remaining three faced elimination. Of these three, Norbert Bondin received the fewest votes and was thus immediately eliminated. The remaining two, Owen Leuellen and Luke Chappell, faced the tiebreaker, which was to be decided by the judges. However, as the tie was not resolved by the end of the judges' vote, the deadlock - once again decided by the public vote - had to be used. As Owen Leuellen received more votes then Luke Chappell, the former progressed to the final.

Week 4: Final (26 Jan)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the fourth live show
Act Order First Song Order Second Song Order Third Song Order Fourth Song Result
Petra 1 "You Don't Own Me" 5 "Be My Guest" (with Ray Mercieca) N/A (Already eliminated) 4th Place
Nicole Frendo 2 "Russian Roulette" 7 "Just Give Me a Reason" (with Matthew James) 10 "Kemm hu Sabiħ" (New Cuorey) N/A (Already eliminated) 3rd Place
Owen Leuellen 3 "One Day" (Original Song) 6 "Hey Now" (with Ira Losco) 9 "Aħseb fit-tifel" (Shazam) 12 "Believe" (Original Song) Runner-up
Michela Pace 4 "Total Eclipse of the Heart" 8 "Perfect" (with Joseph Calleja) 11 "Inti Djamant" (The Tramps) 13 "Shallow" Winner

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

Season 2[edit]

The second season premiered on 6 October 2019.[12] As with the inaugural season, the format will continue to serve as the Maltese national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. The winner of the second season of X Factor Malta will represent the island nation at the 2020 contest in Rotterdam, Netherlands.[13]


  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.
  12. ^ Farren, Neil (6 September 2019). "Malta: X Factor Malta Season 2 to Begin on October 6". Eurovoix. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  13. ^ Farren, Neil (11 October 2019). "Malta: X Factor Malta Winner to Go to Eurovision 2020". Eurovoix. Retrieved 11 October 2019.

External links[edit]