Weeks of blood, sweat, tears and a whole lot of incessantly pinging Sunday night WhatsApp threads have finally given us the 12 finalists of this year’s X Factor Malta, and it’s sure as hell shaping up to be another eventful start to the year.
We’ve had breakout stars. We’ve had instant classics. We’ve had satirical kings and queens. And we’ve also had a controversial decision or three. But now, we finally have the 12 hopefuls who will be taking on the live shows come January.
And as we wait until the first of those shows on the 12th of January, here’s a look back at the auditions that introduced these new-beloved singers onto our screens.
The Boys, mentored by Ray
1. Dav. Jr
One of the contestants who came into the whole thing already knowing who they are as an artist, Dav. Jr has been breaking hearts ever since he first appeared on our screens back in October.
2. Kyle Cutajar
This year, each and every contestant returning from 2018 was told they needed to seriously up their game. That’s where Kyle – who’s clearly been working hard this whole year – comes in, wowing the judges from day one and taking one of Ray’s final three spots.
3. Karl Schembri
The world has Vitas, but we have Karl Schembri. The young footballer-turned-singer has been surprising audiences with his super high notes, and it looks like his operatic edge is not giving away any time soon.
The Girls, mentored by Ira Losco
4. Jasmine Abela
Definitely one of this year’s favourites, Jasmine had performed an amazing rendition of Daniel Caesar’s Best Part. The rest has been a fairytale-like history.
5. Justine Shorfid
Attitude, sass and a whole lot of confidence has managed to make a whole lot of people fall in love with Justine’s magnetic personality, and she’s definitely going to be using the most of that massive stage come January.
6. Destiny Chukunyere
One of the few names the whole country knew before X Factor Malta kicked off earlier this year, Destiny has been steadily blazing her way through the rounds, and she’ll no doubt be coming into her own in no time for the live final rounds.
The Overs, mentored by Alex Alden
7. Edward Abdilla
With his trusty ukulele, joyful nature and heartbreaking backstory, Edward Abdilla breezed through the Audition phase, also making it past the Bootcamp, Six-Chair Challenge and Judges’ Houses stages to finally be one of the last three Overs left.
8. Paul Anthony Cuschieri
Il-perit! Architect Paul Anthony has been one of the surprises of this year’s X Factor Malta, with his original song in the Six Chair Challenge wowing judges and audiences alike. But it was his rendition of John Legend – and then John Mayer – that got Howard Keith having a good feeling about the hopeful.
Here’s hoping the guy puts on a suit and gives us his best Michael Bublé for the finals.
9. Celine Agius
Another breakout star of this year’s X Factor Malta, Celine won everyone over with her story of never giving up and chasing your dreams. A couple of months later, she’s still gracing the nation’s screens, and getting ready to take on her biggest challenge yet; the Live Finals.
The Groups, mentored by Howard Keith
10. Yazmin & James
Grouped together after their auditions and initially a trio, Yazmin & James (or is it James & Yazmin? No, looks like it definitely isn’t) had two solid auditions.
A returning contestant who had made it to the Six Chair Challenge last year, James this year got coupled with the 24-year-old blonde who is helping me steal everyone’s hearts.
In the words of X Factor Malta’s official page, “it’s amazing how five people with unique voices can blend so well together”.
Five very young and very talented girls who all have their own unique characteristics, the group features 15-year-old “raw diamond” Ema Vella (a firm favourite for many) and Maya Sesay, who Howard Keith moved from another group in order to form Five Are In The House.
You know how Lorde had taken over the pop world around the world with a unique take on a winning formula that just kept getting weirder, better and stronger? Well, that’s exactly what Julia Balzan and Samira Cauchi have managed to do; first individually, and now as two sisters-from-another-mister.
X Factor Malta’s final shows kick off on the 12th January, and things are set to heat up very quickly.
Every week after that, more and more contestants will be eliminated, until the Grand Final on the 8th of February.