Drama, emotion and raw talent took centre stage during the final moments of last night’s episode of X Factor Malta, as beloved competitor Mark Anthony Bartolo sang for one of the (already taken) six chairs which would take him to the next phase of the competition.
What followed was a ridiculously good rendition of Sam Smith’s 2015 James Bond ballad Writing’s On The Wall. Within seconds, Mark Anthony’s signature high notes had people all over the islands glued to their chairs, with everyone in the Six Chair Challenge concert hall visibly shook.
At one point, the camera cuts to the X Factor Malta boys who had just won a chair, showing a mix of impressed expressions and nervous smiles.
By the end of the stunning rendition, Mark Anthony had the entire place at a standing ovation… including his own competitors
All of the judges were also just as impressed by the young man’s vocal chops, with Howard Keith beaming in his seat, looking like he could barely believe what he was listening to.
Of course, seconds later, the six boys were back down on the chairs, nervously waiting for the inevitable – one of them was heading home very soon.
As one might’ve expected, the four judges had very positive things to tell Mark Anthony… but one piece of constructive criticism ended up slightly backfiring
“You have an incredible voice, there’s no doubt about that,” Alex Alden started. “When you give those high notes, you go for it, you really go for it, but you keep going for it, but i want you to do is to come back down to earth sometimes and show us what’s around you…”
It didn’t take long for Mark Anthony to chime in with a not-so-subtle clap-back.
“I appreciate your comments, I really do appreciate them a lot, but here’s the thing.” (We’re guessing this is the moment many people collectively held their breath and took the popcorn out). “I like to show the world who I really am, and I’m very proud of who I am, and you don’t find people like me. I really respect you, I really love you. I love everyone, but it’s how I am.”
The end result? The audience erupted in yet another round of applause, urging the young man’s applause even further.
With a performance like that, it was clear that Mark Anthony had to be given a seat… but that meant someone needed to be sent home
What followed was a dramatic couple of minutes to end last night’s episode of X Factor Malta; a sing-off between Miguel Bonello and Claudio Zammit.
And while they both poured their heart out in two emotional acapellas, it was eventually Miguel’s turn to be sent home.
Following Miguel’s emotional farewell, Mark Anthony joined Claudio and the four other boys as one of the finalists for the next phase of X Factor Malta; the Judges’ Houses.