The sun, stars and emotional wind-ups were out in full force this week as X Factor Australia head abroad for the ‘judges house’ stage for the competition.
Nat and her girls flew out to Sir Richard Branson‘s private Caribbean island, Kyle had his boys audition for Kelly Rowland at a New York apartment, Ronan introduced his over-25s to his Boyzone pals in Ireland, while Guy took his crew from L.A. (featuring Snoop Dogg) to New York (featuring Usher).
Most of our boot camp finalists had their game faces on and despite a few shock eliminations – most of our judges ended up putting through the bankable performers in their categories.
Here’s Feed Limmy, playing guest judge on his bean bag at home with the platter of Savoys, giving his verdict on the contestants making their way to next week’s live shows:
Guy’s final three
Mahogany – I’m shaking and crying with joy. These ladies look and sound ready. They’re practically a pen stroke away from beginning their pop careers. Let’s make it happen, folks.
Kharizma – If I were Guy I’d be putting calls to Mark Ronson and Cee-Lo because these sisters need to jump on a fresh contemporary funk track now.
Luke and Joel – Modular Records, these fellas look like your type. The image, I’m getting a feel for but their sound still remains to be demystified.
Nat’s final three
Sally Chatfield – I’m polishing the winner’s crown for you.
Hayley Teal – *rips off velvet rope* Please proceed to the finals. Viewers are already drawing vocal comparisons to Ricki-Lee and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Except, I’d be marketing her across Europe and the UK at the earliest opportunity.
India-Rose – All that’s missing from this popstar package is the show-stopping stage presence.
Kyle’s final three
Andrew Lawson – match the right song with the right swagger and you’re onto a winner. The key is to not predictably jazz every performance but to gently push boundaries while respecting what works for you.
Chris Doe – Melbourne’s own gravelly voiced boy wonder would shine on stripped back acoustic tracks but something tells me a huge Triple M-type rock ballad is imminent with this kid.
Mitchell Smith – This sweet 16-year old may be the only heartthrob left in the competition. It’d be interesting to see how far his quiet charm will carry him because I’d respond better to that than the put-on showman bravado the judges seem to want from him.
Ronan’s final three
Altiyan – Ronan, this’ll cost you.
Amanda Grafanakis – I’m starting to warm to this fluoro warbling squirrel. I fear that one of these days she’s going to stand and deliver a performance with sincerity and – with the absence of rainbow colours and punk-chic tulles – I might actually take her seriously.
James McNally – You know RoRo is shuffling through his collection of big ballads now for James to sink his teeth into. There’s nothing like being the dark horse of the competition. Especially, one with a penchant for theatrical diva hands.
Bitch please moment:
“You’ve carried me on your shoulder. It wasn’t a plane that got me here. It was you.” – Altiyan, please. You mightn’t return to a life of forklift driving after all. Hallmark‘s clearing a desk for you now as we speak.
Cue the lights, smoke and mirrors – next week Australia’s X Factor live show extravaganza begins! How will our final 12 brush up in the weekly performances – who’s going to surprise us and who will underwhelm us? Plus, how will our set stack up against the million dollar UK version? I shudder to think but it can’t be more basic than last year’s Australian Idol stage.