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.