The granddaughter of a man who was shot and killed outside his family home has opened up about the terrible moment during her X Factor Malta audition.
15-year-old Ilenia Camilleri from Santa Venera appeared on last night’s episode of X Factor Malta, and when she was about to perform her first song, was asked whether she’d like to dedicate it to someone.
“This song is very special to me, and I dedicate it to my grandfather,” Ilenia said. “I sang it at his funeral as well, and whenever I sing it, I feel that he is with me.”
It turns out Ilenia’s grandfather had been brutally killed a few years back, in a shooting that occurred right outside her family home and brought pain to the Camilleri family.
“Three years ago, they shot my nannu in front of our home,” she recounted. “I remember running down not knowing what happened and we thought he was just hurt…. but then we found out he had died on the spot. I remember the ambulances coming, taking him out, everyone crying, my mother broken-hearted… it was a big tragedy for my entire family.”
Ilenia said she had been left hurt and confused after her grandfather’s murder.
“It was difficult because I was so young and I couldn’t accept what had happened, and I couldn’t understand how someone could be so cruel to take someone like that from your family,” she said.
However, she said she had forgiven whoever hurt her and her grandfather.
Ilenia then tore into two songs, with the second song garnering a good response from the X Factor Malta judges. Howard Keith said that she had reminded him of a young Michael Jackson when he was part of the Jackson 5, before the judges agreed that Ilenia should try out being in a group.