What’s happening to the X Factor Australia ? Not only did everybody get the memo to up their game but a few of them even went on to successfully own their first live show performance. But y’know what? I must’ve been watching something different altogether because two of the strongest performers this week wound up with the least amount of public votes.
This week, our final eight took on #1 hits from a variety of genres and eras – covering smashes by Stereophonics, Beyoncé and The Rolling Stones et al. However, the real challenge here wasn’t to see which one of these hopefuls would hit the ground running and entertain us. The whole point of doing a #1 hits show is to sniff out the potential artists from the garden variety karaoke hustlers, right? You want to see somebody putting their stamp on an overplayed and well-familiar hit, and breathe some new life into it. Basically now would be the time to demonstrate some artistic flair – if you’ve got one.
At this stage of the competition, you should already be showing the public what kind of records we can expect from you. If you’re a country singer, start actually serving some kind of country realness and stop fooling around with dusty RSL rock. This was basically what Guy Sebastian had to say to Mitchell Callaway, the shy tatted-up teddy who has – as Nat Bass said – been merely “playing the game” every week with whatever MOR/adult contemporary track assigned.
The man auditioned with a country song and it was evident what kind of music he prefers to be making, but apart from the first week where he did a country re-write of Rihanna‘s ‘Only Girl In The World’, Mitchell hasn’t stayed true to his artistic inclinations. The guy is not making the best of his time on the X Factor. I don’t think he realises that there folks who spend years gigging in obscurity just so more people can recognise who they are as artists, and he’s got the opportunity to do it in weeks.
Watch Mitchell getting by this week with ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’:
This week all the key performers I’ve given a nod to deserve props because for the two-or-so minutes they were on stage, they managed to help me realise who they are as future recording artists and not just put up with whatever that’ll get them through week by week in a talent competition.
Check out the #1 hits highlights, controversial judging and shock Power Bottom Two acts:
1) Andrew Wishart: welcome to the circle.
Papa Andrew has never actually been featured on Feed Limmy as a ‘highlight act’ before. Yes, even after last week‘s commendable cover of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, I still felt like he was too safe to be considered noteworthy. But this week, something clicked and out came this modern realisation of Andrew Wishart. There’s definite stage presence now and flauntings of a really commercially viable sound for Andrew.
Watch the nut salesman crack out Stereophonics‘ ‘Dakota’ complete with some low-key pyrotechnics display:
2) YMS: if you liked it then you should’ve put a vote on it.
Come on, y’all. These guys put in such good value family entertainment. They’re consistently serving good energy with their various song-and-dance displays and technicolour get-ups, and this week – for the first time ages – they’re launching into a brilliant mash up. Seeing how good this looked and gelled really made me wonder why RoRo didn’t cut these boys more medleys, creative samples and mash ups.
Yes, alarm bells should be going off every time someone attempts to cover Beyoncé‘s ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’ but let me tell you, it was all saved at the eleventh hour thanks to a prompt segue to Sean Paul‘s ‘Get Busy’.
Check out the damage:
3) Sometimes I just can’t deal with Nat Bass.
Yeah, that’s what she said. But at this point, I’d like to throw the same comment back to Natalie Bassingthwaighte.
The insufferable squeals, the pointless verdicts and inability to actually judge has really snowballed to a point where I have to put my hands up and call a bitch out. There were some moments where she absolutely missed the point this week – none costlier than the one that affected the elimination outcome but I’ll get to that later.
I remember eye rolling hard when Nat Bass lashed out at Johnny Ruffo for covering two Justin Timberlake songs saying, “If you can’t be as good as J.T. or better, you shouldn’t try…” Bitch, who the fuck can be as good as any of them world class pop entertainers like Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson and Beyoncé? They’re one of a kind and they’ve put in years of training to get to that point. What do you think this is? It irritated me to think that the yard stick she’s using to measure a performance was based on how well it compares to the original. Talk about a set-up for failure!
Watch Johnny Ruffo‘s rather capable cover of Justin Timberlake‘s ‘What Goes Around/Cry Me A River’ and how he looked like he was gonna breakdown in tears after the judges’ heavy-handed comments. What do y’all think of the performance and verdict?
4) Declan Sykes: this is your gold star sticker moment.
The closest this fair-haired Melbourne teen has come to owning a live show performance was probably the first week. Ever since, he has either come extremely close to sounding on-point or completely alienating the viewers with hardcore song choices. This week, we found a sensible and steady ground for Declan in a wistful cover of Alphaville‘s ‘Forever Young’.
I’ve basically been waiting forever for him to come out with a glowing, stripped back ballad that flaunts his beautiful vocal tones and I am so pleased to see him deliver. Watch Declan tone down the cray-cray for a spot-on cover of ‘Forever Young’:
This week’s Power Bottom Two: Young Men’s Society and Declan Sykes.
This is some bullshit. I don’t get what kind of entertainment Australians really value any more if a well capable all-singing and dancing group like Young Men’s Society wind up in the bottom two for the second time. They step off looking so very marketable, thanks to Ronan worked tirelessly to craft this fitting, fun-loving image for them. And you know when push comes to shove these guys can really sing.
Declan, on the other hand, surprisingly found himself in the bottom for the first time after turning out what I would consider to be his best performance yet. Perhaps his core fan base had interpreted that performance as him selling out or felt that it was so universally lauded that they need not vote as hard. It’s funny how they come out in drives when he’s having an off week and fail to reward him accordingly when he’s done well. I am actually worried that this lack of support might encourage Guy to bring back “Nightmare Gothic Performer Declan”. I mean, is that what y’all really want?
This is where I really needed the judging panel to step in and have the final say on shit because – as demonstrated week after week – Australia clearly has no concept on what is great for the X Factor. However, we found ourselves thrown into deadlock again this week, which means the public votes would decide who ultimately gets the boot.
This time the decision to “deadlock” was issued by Nat Bass because she felt like – hold your guffaws and pearl clutchings – the public knows better and should decide! What a stark contrast to last week’s deadlock outcome where Mel B actually did her job as a judge and placed a deliberate vote rather than simply rendering it to the public because it was too hard. Somebody has to make the hard decisions and it should be the panel who has spent more time with the contestants than anyone else. Isn’t that what separates the X Factor from your Idol franchise? Isn’t that your job as an X Factor judge?
Ultimately, Nat’s lazy judging bail-out led to Young Men’s Society‘s elimination because the trio wound up with the lowest amount of public votes. If y’all had said to me at the start of the live shows phase that this series’ Top 5 would not feature both alpha groups – Audio Vixen and Young Men’s Society – I would’ve laughed. Well clearly this has gone beyond a joke as another consistent entertainer leaves the competition.
Watch Young Men’s Society‘s killer rendition of ‘Let’s Get Married’ in their final sing-for-survival: