Xumm, pumm! Last year, Malta fell in love with Joe Mangion, known as il-Kapxi by some but “that fireworks guy” by many. But when the jovial former police officer was confirmed as the first Malta’s Got Talent Finalist last night, he was met with quite a lot of confusion and downright rage instead.
The first round of Semi Finals last night brought with it the elimination of seven acts, so complaints about who actually made the cut and who was left behind after the televoting dust had settled was always to be expected. But from 10 acts and three newly-announced Finalists, it was Kapxi who attracted the largest amount of hate, with many saying the entertaining beatboxer shouldn’t have made it this far at the expense of other talented individuals.
“Unbelievable,” one angry audience member vented out on Facebook moments after the show aired. “It’s not fair for those who have worked hard and are actually talented. Just goes to show how Malta needs more education when it comes to the Arts.”
“A man imitating the sounds festa fireworks make with his mouth is more talented than a musician playing a full on two-minute guitar solo which by the way, was an extremely complex piece,” a much more direct comment read. “Come on Malta, what a joke.”
Meanwhile, popular Facebook forums were lit up with the same controversy… and many seemed to be on the same frustrated page.
“SERIOUSLY fireworks dude??” one person said. “WTF!”
“An insult to all the other acts,” another replied. “Ridiculous.”
“I’m sorry, but to vote for a person who makes noises with his mouth and eliminate a guitarist like Chris or dancers like Southville, you have to really not know anything about talent,” one user raged. “It’s called Malta’s Got Talent, not Malta’s Sweetest Person!”
Other entertained neutrals, however, were just confused it took so many people this long to realise this has been happening for quite some time now.
“After 20 years, are you all just realising now that talent and what is right are not necessarily what’s popular?” one person asked.
“Popular opinion isn’t always right,” another continued, finishing it off with a poignant albeit slightly-dramatic, “Democracy is a failure.”
But beyond the rage and the specific paramenters of this particular contest, people like popular entertainer and content creator James Ryder took this as an opportunity to point at the bigger, more worrying picture here.
“If you want to know why aspiring Maltese artists feel the need to leave the country to find opportunities, please watch last night’s episode of Malta’s Got Talent,” Ryder said in a Facebook status posted earlier this morning which has already been liked by over 150 people and shared a couple of times.
Many people in the comments section echoed his sentiment.
So if so many people are so livid about last night, how did Kapxi actually make it to the Finals? Well, in proper 2020 fashion, the answer might lie in memes.
It’s already been a full year since Mangion first crash-landed into many islanders’ radars with a crudely-shot video of himself beatboxing Mosta’s fireworks and instantly winning over thousands. But over 365 days later, one of 2019’s favourite memes doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Since Kapxi’s first video back in September 2019, for example, Malta has seen the rise of popular meme pages like Pastizziposting. That one group alone amassed over 30,000 members within months, was Zucced to smithereens mere weeks ago, and has already restarted and grown to be the 16,500-strong Pastizziposting It-Tieni.
And sure, many people must’ve voted for Mangion because they genuinely feel his heartwarming nature and entertaining demeanour deserves to be rewarded, but it’s in meme groups like these where, ironically or not, he has found himself being the an online cult hero of supporters who would love to see a meme take home the grand prize of €25,000.
Because if that isn’t the epitome of shitposting, I don’t know what is.