Last night, Malta’s Eurovision artist selection show ‘X Factor Malta‘ continued as we headed to Judge’s Houses where six of the twelve finalists were revealed.
First up was Ira Losco who had the to choose her three finalists from the six remaining girls; Destiny Chukunyere, Gail Attard, Jasmine Abela, Justine Shorfid, Karin Duff and Marija Bellia. She won’t be making the decision by herself though, as X Factor UK winner and pop sensation Louisa Johnson is there to help.
The first girl to perform for Ira Losco is Gail Attard, one of our personal favourites! Last year she made it to the Six Chair Challenge but got swapped out before the end of the show. This year she came back for justice and managed to keep her song! Singing Eminem & Rihanna’s “Love The Way You Lie”, she showed off both her subtle tone but it also gave her a chance to belt the chorus … and it was a stunning performance!
Next up, another comeback kid- Karin Duff! This time is her second year in a row at Judges Houses … but can she get through to the live shows this time? Singing Adele’s ‘Don’t You Remember‘, Karin started off fantastically but when the chorus kicked in she started to struggle a little bit. Singing Adele is always a big ask, but we definitely agree with Ira Losco who said that she has grown a LOT in the past year – both vocally & in confidence.
Marija Bellia was the third to perform, who has constantly impressed us in every round of the competition so far. Whether it be rapping to Nicki Minaj or putting her own spin on Lady Gaga, she has been amazing! She has brought her keyboard to Judge’s Houses as she takes on ‘All I Ask‘ by Adele. She could’ve done with tying her hair up as the wind almost gave us a Loreen moment … but she’s giving the vocals her all and once again she’s pitch perfect. Poor Ira – having to make this decision!
Fans of Junior Eurovision may be familiar with the next contestant … singing James Brown’s ‘It’s A Mans World‘, is 2015 Junior Eurovision winner Destiny Chukunyere. As we’ve come to expect from her, she belts the song perfectly! She has such a soulful voice and these old soul classics fit her perfectly. Ira says that she needs to keep out of her comfort zone … but if she’s giving performances like that then we’re happy for her to stay in it!
Eurovision fans may also be familiar with the fifth girl to perform, Jasmine Abela. Jasmine competed in MESC 2018 with ‘Supernovas’. She chooses to sing ‘Price Tag‘ by Jessie J to win a place in the live finals. Jasmine is another girl who has a beautiful tone, with a great soulful, R&B-friendly quirk to it. The performance is current and we vocally perfect. Destiny may be the favourite to win at the moment, but Jasmine is definitely the dark horse!
Lastly, Justine Shorfid who has given some standout performances throughout the competition. She sings the 50 Shades of Grey version of Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love‘ and whilst the wind is out in full force trying to throw her off, she gives a sultry yet emotional performance. There are times where she oversings just a little bit … but she has loads of star quality!
After a nail-biting final judgement, Ira and Louisa decide that the three girls advancing to the live shows are Destiny Chukunyere, Jasmine Abela and Justine Shorfid.
Without wasting any time, it’s over to the Boys with judge Ray Mercieca & special guest Amelia Lily.
First to perform is Giovanni. There’s no denying that he has a huge level of artistry. His rendition of ‘7th Wonder‘ at Six Chair Challenge was unexpectedly brilliant! With his keyboard, he performs an original song. This is probably the best vocals he’s shown us so far … but guest judge Amelia Lily didn’t seem too taken by the performance.
Up second, also with the keyboard, is Jurgen Volkov. He’s singing Maroon 5’s ‘She Will Be Loved’ and he has to be one of the strongest in the category – his voice has rocky elements to it which worked fantastically with the song. It was a charismatic yet convincing performance which showed off his range and sheer vocal ability.
Another of the category frontrunners is up next, Dav Jr. Dav’s artistry has really shone through from the very start and even though he comes across as quite shy, his voice speaks volumes. He’s the next to pick an original song and it’s a very emotional performances. The judges seem absolutely blown away … a brilliant performance!
Matt Blxck is up next – and he’s another performer who knows exactly who he is as an artist. In the past he’s given us some very entertaining performances, but this time he’s going a little tamer with Dominic Fike’s ‘3 Nights‘. Unfortunately, following the performance Ray did not seem very happy at all, saying that he felt every performance was the same.
Kyle Cutajar is the penultimate performer of the night, singing ‘Lay Me Down‘ by Sam Smith. Last year he made it to Judges Houses as part of a group … but was unfortunately sent home. Back for revenge, this stripped back performance gave him a chance to really show his voice off and it just kept getting better and better. Kyle has shown so much growth in the past year, and it’s hard to believe he’s only eighteen!
Finally, Karl Schembri who has shocked everybody with his operatic voice – and range which extends far in to the female operatic scales!! He performs famous duet ‘Con te partirò‘ as a solo song … and the result is wild. With that voice, he’s Eurovision ready! Amelia Lily is in tears and I can imagine a lot of viewers were too. Brilliant end to the show.
Which means … all that is left is the results! Ray Mercieca chooses Dav Jr., Karl Schembri and Kyle Cutajar to go through to the live shows.
With that … we have the first six finalists! Join us again next week when we’ll find out which three Overs and three Groups will be joining them … and then get ready for the live shows in January!