The first edition of the X Factor Malta live shows threw up a major surprise tonight as Eurovision veteran Franklin Calleja got knocked out of the show.
With ten places up for grabs in the second round, televoters chose Michela Pace, Luke Chappell, Nicole Frendo, 4th Line, Petra, Ben Purplle, Kelsey Bellante, Owen Leullen and Norbert Bondin as their favourite nine.
The young sister group Kayati was automatically eliminated after receiving the least amount of votes, leaving Franklin and girl group Xtreme to face off against each other in a sing-off for the last remaining spot.
As expected, judge Alex Alden, the mentor of the groups, voted for Xtreme, while judge Ray Mercieca plumped for his man Franklin. However, the fact that a group had already been eliminated on the night swayed judges Ira Losco and Howard Keith Debono into voting for Xtreme.
“My journey in X Factor Malta has ended, but this is not the end,” Franklin said in a Facebook post. “Thank you all for supporting and voting!”
There has been an outpouring of indignation on social media, with viewers questioning the judges’ logic behind sending Franklin home.