Said with the same love of an owner who calls their pet’s ugly features adorable, it’s time we reluctantly accept that the X Factor is dated. There’s no harm in doing things for the nostalgia – everyone in Paceville over the age of 25 knows all about desperately trying to recapture what was fun a decade ago – but there are better options out there (for both geriatric party-goers and trash TV watchers).
The show itself is good enough, so much so that many watch it religiously (even if it’s just to catch up on a cheeky aftershow the following day). But even if it hurts us to speak ill of any show that allows Ben Camille’s jawline into our home once a week, we are 15 years late to the singing competition party.
Like the cats who rip open bags of garbage left out early by selfish homeowners, this island is ready for premium trash.
Season one of the X Factor Malta was as much about singing as the government’s environmental policy is about saving the planet. Viewers were mostly in it for the drama, and if watching three episodes of Love Island has taught me anything, it’s that the show thrives on drama.
And hello, we’re an archipelago – the contestants don’t even have to travel that far. Homesick islanders can just wave to their mummy whenever they need.
Airing after 10pm – because there might be a man and a lady who kiss (thus offending our polite national sensibilities) – the show would be a great way to keep up with all the new slang we’ve lost all understanding of, while giving us 20 new individuals to hate-watch on a daily basis – Lord knows Malta’s ever-growing list of influencers could use the hate-break.
We’d obviously have to ask the franchise owners for a few concessions to make it work locally.
Instead of a room where contestants go for gossipy confessions, the villa would require a legitimate confessional (priest included). We’d also need a small wedding chapel just outside the front doors, so if things start getting hot and heavy, Dun Gorg is ready to marry the young couple so they can shake the sheets and woohoo like they’re Sims in front of the whole nation.
In a franchise-first, Malta’s desperation to seem progressive would also present the first ever gay contestants on the show. The coupling would be a bit tricky, but the drama a gay man could bring to the show has infinite potential.
Malta is obsessed with singers, so to satisfy that itch, one of the many challenges presented could see contestants shouting-while-thinking-they’re-belting in front of a guest judge. But we also love bitching about the bad decisions people make, and picking the wrong person to love is a lot more dramatic than picking the wrong Freddie Mercury number.
Think of it this way: the show would work in the same way Liquoriche did back in its glory days, only this time viewers won’t have the stress of thinking “Ommi ma, allahares kont jien minflok”
Now, in practical terms, if you’re looking for a host who isn’t Ben Camille (just so we can have him on the island, shirtless at all times) I’m sure we can find a sassy, queer host with an affinity for hats and freckles to take a month off to do the job.
But no matter how the show plays out, please note I’ve already trademarked the show’s title… and we’re going with Cumino.