The Scoop🇲🇹 Malta

🇲🇹 X Factor Malta contestant at centre of SMS spam allegations, “zero-tolerance policy” adopted

Maltese broadcaster TVM uses the hashtag #EverybodysWatching to promote their primetime X Factor Malta show and its certainly an accurate title. Over 145,000 viewers tuned in for the second live show, almost a third of the entire population of the island. It’s serious business! However, it seems that the family of one contestant has taken things a bit too seriously…

Fans angered by contestant’s “cheating”

Following the second live show on Sunday night, many Maltese fans with no relation to contestant Karl Schembri posted alleged screenshots of received SMS messages that asked them to vote for “their son” Karl. Fans were angered by the messages, claiming the SMS “spamming” to be “cheating”.

As summarised by, the text message received by numerous Maltese fans was phrased as follows:

“I really appreciate if tonight you vote for my son Karl Schembri, finalist of X Factor Malta. Will send SMS number when televoting is open. Thank you very much”

Fans reacted badly to this SMS “marketing” with including some fan opinions:

“She better tell us where she gathered the number for our mobiles from. I don’t know you from Adam and we received two messages to vote for Karl.”

“Where is data protection?”

X Factor Malta official statement

In response to the allegations, X Factor Malta has pledged to reveal all the voting statistics for each live show at the conclusion of the competition. Additionally, the organisers released an official statement today:

“X Factor Malta would like to clarify some points in relation to issues that cropped up after last Sunday’s live show. We have received a number of complaints regarding spam SMS’ encouraging people to vote for certain contestants.

X Factor Malta would like to make it very clear that spamming is clearly forbidden both by X Factor rules and by local data protection laws, and encourages members of the public who receive such messages to report these occurrences to the relevant authorities.

Moreover, X Factor has advised its participants that a zero-tolerance policy will be adopted in cases of proven and clear breaches of X Factor rules.”

Last weekend, early favourite Jasmine Abela found herself eliminated from the competition alongside Dav Jr. Jasmine’s fellow girls Justine Shorfid and Destiny Chukunyere find themselves at the top of the YouTube views chart and will be hoping their momentum continues for the rest of the competition.

Ryan Cobb

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!

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