So, we’ve reached the final leg of the very first season of X Factor Malta, and what a ride it’s been. From a trumpeter, to stories of strength, to an actual conversation on gay conversion, we’ve already seen it all.
But now, as we gear up for the first Live Show this Sunday, we thought it would be a good idea to look at our 12 finalists (three in each category) and reminisce on what their first auditions were like.
The Girls, mentored by Howard Keith Debono
1. Nicole Frendo
The youngest from the girls, 16-year-old Nicole impressed the judges with her mature voice, despite a slightly nervous performance.
2. Kelsey Bellante
A 17-year-old who had previously auditioned for The X Factor Lithuania, Kelsey kicked off her audition saying she was afraid of Howard. She was asked to change her audition song, because the judges felt she was overthinking, but in the end was given four yeses.
3. Michela Pace
Another 17-year-old, Michela ended up going viral twice on the X Factor Global Facebook page and was one of the first auditionees to bring Ira to tears.
The Boys, mentored by Ira
1. Luke Chappell
The baby of the contest,15-year-old Luke blew the judges away with his original song. His audition turned Alex Alden into an emotional wreck and all the judges were thoroughly impressed with his artistic ability.
2. Norbert Bondin
Norbert, 25 years old, had previously taken part in both Britain’s Got Talent (where he had received a standing ovation) a British variety performance called ‘All Together Now’ and uses singing to overcome his speech impairment.
He’s already captured the hearts of thousands in the UK, but Norbert’s latest conquest included the hearts of all X Factor Malta four judges.
3. Owen Leuellen
A 20-year-old rapper who’s precise diction and powerful lyrics have made him a stand-out competitor in this year’s competition.
The Overs, mentored by Ray Mercieca
Petra made waves with her first audition when she shared her story of not being allowed to sing by an abusive partner in the past, and she’s been blowing audiences and judges alike ever since.
2. Franklin Calleja
No stranger to the performance scene in Malta, Franklin’s emotional and powerful rendition of Say Something earned him an easy four yeses from the judges… and those powerful high notes have only increased his standing ovations.
3. Ben Purplle
Formally known as Bernard Vella, Ben confidently walked into the audition room with his guitar in hand, and after being asked to change his song choice, convinced the judges to give him a chance. He went on to eliminate fellow raspy singer Chris Grech and later even made it past the Judges’ Houses despite a particularly hard Overs category.
The Groups, mentored by Alex Alden
An all-girl group formed during Bootcamp, featuring Lyndsay Pace, Martha Micallef Attard, Nicole Azzopardi and Elishia Semaan, who had placed fifth in the Australian X Factor as part of a band.
2. 4th Line
Another group that was formed during Bootcamp, made up of four powerful soul and R’n’B singers. These singers are Miriana Conte, Milena Bianco, Nicole Falzon and Anthea Bezzina.
This adorable sister-duo are the only group that actually auditioned as an already-formed group, and the judges have praised the young pair for consistently taking feedback on board and growing as artists.