The elimination of two foreign singers from X Factor Malta shocked viewers on Sunday, with several claiming they were kicked out of the competition after a televoting audience favoured Maltese semi-finalists. 

Rose Marielle Mamaclay, a Filipino singer who has dominated the show for weeks, was eliminated on Sunday’s semi-final, together with Sean Kamati, who is from Namibia.

It comes after weeks of comments posted on social media urging viewers to 'penalise' the singers to ensure that a Maltese national wins the fourth season of the show.

Rose Marielle Mamaclay and Sean Kamati were eliminated on Sunday. Photo: FacebookRose Marielle Mamaclay and Sean Kamati were eliminated on Sunday. Photo: Facebook

X Factor judge and producer Howard Keith Debono himself said he was "uncomfortable" with Sunday's result. 

"Unfortunately, there’s an alarming number of people who always complain about foreigners living or working in Malta, threatening our jobs and yet we equally complain that the Maltese don’t want to do certain jobs such as health carers in old people’s homes, housekeeping, cab driving, construction work, etc.

"We’re okay with [non-Maltese doing] these jobs as their minimal salaries are squeezed to the last cent, but when it comes to a top job, a top place, or a €50,000 prize, we just can’t swallow it," he posted on social media on Monday.

Sunday's outcome was "an obvious case of eliminating two top potential winners cause God forbid it was won by a non-Maltese national", Debono charged.

"This is called hypocrisy and nothing to be proud of, but rather ashamed of. I'm not mincing my words, this was a case of a clear-cut above the rest, a league of their own."

Kamati took to the stage for two consecutive Sundays while recovering from bronchitis. 

Debono noted "there’s no fast recovery for singers with bronchitis so for those isolated idiots who had the audacity to question your talent based on a 50% performance, simply exposes their limited brain power".

In an earlier post, Debono expressed his surprise at the elimination: "I had faith. I was wrong to have faith that a non-Maltese could win."

For some it was immediately obvious why she was eliminated. Screengrab: FacebookFor some it was immediately obvious why she was eliminated. Screengrab: Facebook

Musician and former Malta Eurovision winner Ludwig Galea backed Debono: "We don’t see eye to eye most of the time but on this one he’s right and on point.

"What The Fluff is happening Malta," he asked on Facebook.

Oliver Scicluna, a former MP and breakdancer also had his say: "for some reason, in a singing competition in which [Mamaclay] should have been among the finalists, if not the winner, she was suddenly eliminated before the final... I don't understand."

TV producer and actress Dulcima Aquilina added her voice to the public outcry on Monday, saying Mamaclay and Sean were eliminated "just because they are not Maltese and did not get enough votes".

Some wondering why they could not vote for Mamaclay. Photo: FacebookSome wondering why they could not vote for Mamaclay. Photo: Facebook

She said the eliminations should have included the judges' say, as in previous years.

"Mamaclay, you are the X Factor winner (maybe not the Maltese one) but your talent goes beyond," she added.

Social worker and activist Omar Rababah suggested Mamaclay should consult with a lawyer to request an audit of the voting system.

"I am seeing screenshots of votes intended for her not being delivered and it is very offputting to see the best artist getting the least votes... I really hope there is no foul play," he added.


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