X Factor Feed: Live Shows Week Two

Now that’s more like it!

X Factor Australia has finally wheeled out the wind machine, ace props and invested an all round bravo effort into making this week’s live show a proper show.

There’s a cool change wafting from behind the judging panel and we’re relishing in the love, genuine encouragements and playful jibes. Heck! I’m even growing fond of Kyle Sandilands. Somebody slap me now.

The theme was “musical heroes” but the song selections were thankfully light on the cheese. No Whitney, no Michael Jackson or John Farnham. Instead, there were tributes to contemporary artists ranging from Mumford & Sons to – insert indignant gasps – The Calling (!!) and Evanescence.

Here’s a rundown of who sizzled, who fizzled, and a look at our favourite eye-popping sets this week.

Who brought it:

Hey sista, go sista, soul sista, flow sista! Sister harmony group Mahogany sizzled with an arresting rendition of ‘Lady Marmalade’. We’re talking stripper heels, a Moulin Rouge-inspired set and melismatic warbles to make Xtina quiver in her Woohoo. Best of all, these ladies stand stronger than ever as a unit – not one seeming to outdo the other. Top class act.

India-Rose did a smoking cover of U2‘s ‘One’ amalgamating some soulful elements from the Mary J. Blige version. I can totally see her recording some Natasha Bedingfield demos and making a really marketable blend of Summer Bay pop with lite R&B.

Sally Chatfield probably did her infamous eye-roll at the thought of pandering to everyone’s preconceived notions of her but she still rocked Evanescence‘s ‘Bring Me To Life’ like you won’t believe. Natalie, don’t pigeon hole her into some emo rock chick schtick. We don’t need you to dumb it down for us – the public can gets that Sally is capable of so much more.

Hayley Teal got what chu need! After the judges panned her obscure song choice and Sasha Fierce-in-training performance last week, our gurl ditched the chest-thrusting dancers in favour of a simple and effective roar of ‘Respect’. The sassy Aretha cover was right on the money but you lean back and chin-stroke with a feeling that Hayles is only operating at 85% capacity. Kyle puts it down to her lack of star quality but I think miss thang’s just gettin’ warmed up.

Props to:

Kudos to the impressive sets complementing the acts in the following performances. A bigger entourage of back up dancers, more pyrotechnics and customised video screen projections – it’s like our judges have suddenly woken to this wealth of razzle dazzle. If we keep raising the bar, just imagine what the finals would look like. Kyle might actually have to remortgage his penthouse.

OMGZ. They finally wheeled out the wind machines! Amanda looks absolutely ethereal in this enchanting set that’s a tinsel and a tree away from looking like a Christmas TV special. Props to RoRo for bringing the breeze, smokes and fairy light trees – perhaps the latter was inspired by the photo on my ‘Connect’ page? It’s OK, Ro. You can thank me later.

Kharizma doing Beyonce‘s ‘Single Ladies’ with giant hula hoop-turned-giant diamond rings. My sistas, that’s priceless.

Mitchell Smith skateboarding out as a continuation of his video intro to ‘Baby’. Props to Kyle for knowing what teenage girls want and are already getting with Justin Bieber.

Luke & Joel scrubbed up something decent this week. The cover of Mumford & Son‘s ‘Little Lion Man’ was a sensible choice and it was tastefully complemented with this summer night outdoor gig theme.

Bitch please moments:

James McNally and his karaoke video ho. The love lorn looks, feigned walk away and best of all, DRAPING THE SCARF AROUND HIS NECK. This is too much.

“It wasn’t as bad as Delhi trying to host the games…” – Guy justifying Kharizma‘s breathy end of ‘Single Ladies’.

Watching Ronan fangurl all over Altiyan‘s performance of ‘Kiss’. Man, stop it. You’re making RoRo wet in the Tasman region. Viva la Altinan.

“Colonel Sanders and Charlie Chaplin…” – Kyle on Ronan and Guy. Snap!

KTHXBAI:

Our second week bottom two came down to Amanda Grafanakis and James McNally.

Wait a minute, these two can really sing. But it’s not about that now, is it? This week Australia has voted on likability and it sure didn’t take long for this competition to turn into a popularity contest. Truth is, despite their vocal prowess. James struggled to connect with the younger – sadly see also, voting – audience, while Amanda‘s unsavoury media attention probably detracted the public affection a little.

After a predicted deadlock – again – on the judges panel, the final decision sat in the lap of the public and we said KTHXBAI to our lowest polling act: James McNally.

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