X Factor Australia: Audition Episodes Five and Six

In the words of one legendary Minogue, “this is it”. We are done with them auditions. Honestly, if this phase were to drag on any longer I’mma shove someone’s face in a wall. Much like what Mel B tried to do with Ronan in that craftily edited footage of them playing backstage.

It has come to a point in the audition stage where I find myself growing weary of the familiar sentiments and becoming increasingly frustrated with the scarce displays of actual superstar talent. It took six audition episodes and countless montages for X Factor Australia to give me only five or so memorable acts that I can feasibly say is “live show worthy”.

The Richter-ripping shakedown during boot camp is going to be very satisfying for me. Y’all know there have been some iffy performers getting standing ovations and glowing reviews around here but it’s time to get real. I don’t believe this show is about making dreams happen at all. It’s foremost about making engaging family TV that’s spearheaded by music entertainment. So from this point on, I’m gonna pay less attention to life stories and focus more on who’s bringing it.

Before we hit the boot camp and judges house phases, let me remind you of our bet. I called the categories to be anointed as such: Mel B – groups, Ronan Keating – boys, Natalie Bassingthwaighte – girls, Guy Sebastian – over 25s. Please weigh in and may the best category guesser win! 

Let’s take a look at some highlights of the final auditions episodes:

1) The group factor.

Is it just me or did y’all feel like the groups just whooshed over our heads or crawled out under the coffee table this year? The judges keep telling us that the talent’s coming off strong in that category but now that we’ve wrapped the audition reels, how many groups can you honestly remember?

It’s a struggle, innit? It didn’t feel that way last year – what with Mahogany, Luke & Joel and even Kharizma being earmarked from the get-go. Here’s what I think is going on.

We’re actually getting less screen time for the groups in this year’s audition episodes. Think of all the epic stories and memorable characters that have crossed your screens in the last six nights – aren’t most of them solo acts? I reckon it all came down to the show producers’ prioritising characters that are most likely to impact and endear in the shortest amount of time. Simple fact: the more members in the group, the harder it is for the audience to focus and feel like they’ve connected with the package. Especially in the same amount of time that would’ve been utilised to profile only one performer.

That’s also probably why the only real representation of groups in the audition stage have been duos – think: Straight Up, Majestic and the annoying UpFront. The rest of them seem to appear in quick flick-through montages.

2) Johnny Ruffo: overcompensating, much?

This could technically work in real world, y’guys. The man has the looks and moves that are weighing on the charismatic to proper popstar level. The obvious let down here is Johnny’s wafer thin vocals and his inability to skillfully master dancing and singing.

I reckon with the right song choice and some vocal training, the 23-year old concreter can go the distance. Does he look like a major douche with that hair? Yes. But is the industry also full of douchey types with that kinda hair, look and swag? Yes again. We’re not winning this argument against Johnny.

Check out this lady-killing moves here:

 

It’ll be interesting to see how he fares against the more vocally superior hood rat Josh Brookes in boot camp. Well, if all else fails, Johnny can now set up his own YouTube channel where he can show off more of his dancing and perhaps occasionally drop a vlog in nothing but his underwear.

3) Luke Jacobz’s booty pop is making me wet.

Get your cute little butt over here. This is almost everything I’ve been waiting for from the X Factor host slash utterly dateable cutie. If you ask me, I’d rather have Luke’s adorable booty jiggle any day over the slick moves of a wannabe Jason Derulo. I feel like I overlook a multitude of sins because I have a girly crush on Luke Jacobz.

Bitch, I ain’t even clocking the K-Mart wear he’s rocking half the time. Seriously, y’guys. We need to stage an intervention because he’s on camera just as much as the other male judges, even if he is waiting back stage. The man deserves to be styled properly and consistently.

4) Tara-Lynn Sharrock: Australia’s Next Top Karaoke Kween.

What the fuck just happened? I believe some white woman with an interest in astronomy just came on stage and did Whitney Houston‘s ‘I Will Always Love You’ better than any other cover performance I’ve ever seen. Just when I thought chubby Asian kids were the only people on earth capable to nail Whitney power ballads, Ms Tara-Lynn shows up and shuts it down.

Watch her enthralling vocal performance here. Listen to that control, y’guys. It’s impressive:

 

I have to throw shade at the show producers for trying to sex up an identity for the beige sista. They absolutely went to town on her interest in astronomy, playing the X-Files theme and everything. [Editor’s note: missed opportunity to cue the classic Spice Girl b-side ‘Outer Space Girls’]. Put it this way, it’s cooler to announce “sci-fi chick nails a Whitney Houston cover” than to say, “cat owner and freelance designer Tara-Lynn Sharrock nails a Whitney Houston cover”.

5) Guy Sebastian does not approve.

Guy is in the serious business of talent scouting up in here. He hasn’t got time for your court jester entertainment and he certainly hasn’t the minute for Nat Bassingwaighte‘s chair dancing.

6) Mama Marina should just ‘Listen’.

There’s something very likable about 31-year old Marina Davis and her story of forgoing her music career to have four children is bound to touch hearts of women across the nation. Y’all know what it’s like to sacrifice your dreams and live wondering ‘what if’ – so before we even go further, I’mma throw a round of applause for Mama Marina just for getting up there and not giving up.

Watch her rise to the challenge with the Dreamgirls epic ‘Listen’:

 

The standing ovations and the unanimous praise from the judging panel would’ve meant the world to Marina but I honestly felt that if Guy were there, we would’ve heard some realness along the lines of what I’m about to serve right here.

Mama Marina definitely has the natural vocal chops required to progress to the next round. We’ve seen lesser beings slip through so there’s no excuse why she should be turned away. However, it was obvious that she’s gonna have to work harder to make this comeback a success story. She was shaky and out of breath through most of it, and her growls in the chorus weren’t as well executed as they could’ve been. Let me just say that picking a titan ballad like ‘Listen’ was a mistake. However nice the lyrical sentiment might be, she really didn’t need that immediate comparison to our Lord Saviour Beysus. Can she keep up and turn it out in boot camp? Or will mama wane in the midst of fiercer fitter competition?

We shall soon find out. I’m ready to watch them wannabes drop like dominoes.

Advertisements

17 Comments

  1. Guy is crazy.Jade Naidos was 1 of the best contestants that I have seen.Her style was different from anyone elses.It was nice 2 c that 4 a change.U need more singers like her

    • Oh my god, Jade. Of course. How could I not have mentioned her in this post.

      Look, for me that audition was divisive for the same reasons as it was impressive. It don’t think the execution of the song was necessarily on point but I like her spin on it. We could all do with a bit more unique vocalists like her! Can’t wait to see what else she has to offer.

  2. There are no words for the absolutely crap being put through. I don’t even enjoy watching the show, but I can’t make myself stop! I’m yet to see one act who I’ve actually been impressed by >.<

    And, I agree with your predictions about the categories tooooo.

    • I think the sexy rough trade Mitchell from episode one is promising, as is the “hood rat” Josh Brookes and duo Straight Up. The kid who sang the Rooster song ‘Come Get Some’ is also on my list.

      • OMG Josh Brookes shoule be there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Then don’t watch it!!!!! It’s pretty simple don’t you think pttff!!.

  3. A reminder about my predictions on your Episode 4 post David.

    “My guess for who has who is

    Mel B – Under 25 Girls
    Ronan – Groups
    Natalie – Over 25′s
    Guy – Under 25 Boys.”

    Do I get a prize. Lol. Guess not, just the satisfaction of getting four out of four.

    • You, girl, are a star. Unless you’ve got insider information or something, in that case it’s not fair! :p

  4. No. No cheating. Those choices seemed logical to me. I have a rather analytical mind. It usually gives me a high percentage in guessing things. It can be annoying sometimes. I usually work out the answer in mystery films and books way before the ending.

  5. Did Guy know Tara already? He seemed to laugh when asking her name like he already knew her. He also looked down at the paper when he asked why she was there. Then when judging he was looking at the others as in to say I told you so!

    • Good observation! I wonder. Maybe there was just a joke passed between the judges before she came on and we missed the tail end of it?

      • Not too sure could be maybe…. I do think he looked a bit suspicious though espec when he never made eye contact when asking her the second question. It was like he had to look away because he laughed while asking the first question. Also when Tara starts to sing she seems to look up directly towards Guy. I personally think they knew each other already. His body language through out makes me believe so. Everyone else is blown away by Tara and he seems to play it cool. Guy is also last to say yes and appears to be asking everyone else then casually says yes like it was to be expected. Tara seemed awfully confident too. But not to say she shouldn’t! I loved her performance and so she should be confident she has a great voice. :)

      • I really hope she makes it to the live shows. If young Medina’s too shaky to make the cut, we’ll always have another female vocal powerhouse in Tara. We seriously need that! Speaking of the girls category, I am in love with Jacqui Newland. She looks great, performs like a pro and just looks like the kinda contestant you can see transform every week.

  6. Guy keep that Johnny guy OVER Josh Brookes. Oh dear… at least Josh CAN SING!!! Josh and Emmanuel could of won guy the comp because they already had the X FACTOR!! Guy last hope is Declan “go Declan!” You can win it’s just too bad your mentor GUY is crazy because beside declan Guy can’t see real talent. and picks people who think they can sing but just ends of looking like a try hard with all that stupid dancing!! Keep it to the clubs Johnny better yet your bedroom. Josh should be there instead because he can sing and does have the moves!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s