X Factor Australia 2012 – Live Shows Week Four

I am like that flop godfather who forgets your child’s birthday then tries to make up for it a month later with expensive gifts and all the Pillow Pets he can carry out the store.

X FACTOR AUSTRALIA 2012 LIVE SHOW WEEK 4

I know for the past two years, it’s been my thing to blog about the X Factor, and so many of y’all enjoy reading it – but this year, I’ve kinda been overwhelmed with work and life. It’s not to say I haven’t been watching and observing our contestants from a far, though.

So in touch I am with the show, that I can effortlessly catch up with you guys in week four of the live shows, and act like I never left the judging panel.

Now that we’re a month into the live show shenanigans, I think it’s pretty safe to say that this is X Factor Australia‘s most impressive year yet. Never have we had so many acts that sound so damn ready before.

This week the Top 9 acts take on a legends theme, canvassing everything from Madonna to Michael Jackson, Whitney to The Beatles and The Police.

Even though it could’ve been a really cheesy and predictable stretch for song choices, I’m really pleased that the show producers and judges chose some less-frequently-referenced hits.

Soul sister Angel Tupai gave Michael Jackson‘s ‘Dirty Diana’ more grunts than the Williams sisters in a grand slam, flaw-free pop princess Samantha Jade gave moments with Whitney‘s ‘Run to You’, and Fourtunate surprised us with an obscure Phil Collins single that didn’t even chart in Australia.

Check out my thoughts on this week’s best and worst:

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Chart Feed – 24.09.12

We’ve seen the charts light up like it was Christmas this month, thanks to the heavy flow of new albums taking over the shelves.

CHART FEED

For only the second time in history, the entire top six spots on the US Billboard 200 are filled with debut entries. Here in Australia, we have eight new albums scaling our ARIA Top 20, while over in the UK, they have six.

Y’all can obviously expect for it to get even more competitive in the coming months as all the strong sellers come out to play for your seasonal spendings.

This has been a good week for Pink, The Killers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kanye West and – definitely more than ever – PSY, the K-pop icon responsible for ‘Gangnam Style’.

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Chart Feed – 17.09.12

No need to front like you haven’t been doing the ‘Gangnam Style’ routine down the supermarket aisle.

chart feed

This has been a good week for K-pop icon PSY, Amelia Lily, Taylor Swift and Pet Shop Boys.

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Chart Feed – 10.09.12

More flash in the pan sellers falling off the charts just as quickly as they came. You really come to appreciate what Adele‘s 21 achieved last year in anchoring the music industry, don’t you?

CHARTFEED

This week the sun shines on K-pop star PSY and his incredible viral single ‘Gangnam Style’. Guy SebastianMatchbox Twenty, Flo Rida, Ne-Yo and TobyMac also come through with the goods.

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Quick Feed: Mariah shoots comeback video, Tulisa’s ‘Live It Up’ remixes and Ronan Keating’s return

For those who just don’t have the luxury of time to sit around waiting for Limmy to write faster – myself included – here is a shotgun solution.

Let’s do this thing called Quick Feed, where you get a quick compilation of new music updates delivered through your driver seat window every other day in a brown take away bag with an unfathomable amount of serviettes, and you tell me whether it works or not.

Collect your first edition at the next drive-thru window. The receipt is in the bag.

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X Factor Australia: Live Shows Week Nine

Australia, the last page is almost at our finger tips and discussions at the metaphorical water cooler have become increasingly divisive. Basically, the winner of X Factor Australia will be declared in a matter of days and I don’t think anyone can comfortably call it. Put it this way. You have your preferred winning man but after such an unpredictable year of public voting, you can’t be too sure of yourself.

This week’s final live show decider was left completely to the public’s vote and there it was again – that familiar sense of disappointment with another eviction. I remember feeling the same ennui wash over me this time last year when girl band du jour Mahogany got the boot as jazz boy Andrew Lawson sashayed into the grand finals.

Monday’s mega episode saw 1.4 million viewers tune in to experience some serious flaunting of Channel 7 coins with Andrew, Johnny, Reece and Three Wishez all taking turns warbling two songs in elaborate stage set-ups.

The “pleasure and pain” theme was kept loose enough for each performer to really mine their respective artistic angles. There’s no excuse to hold back at the home run. Every performer came correct with a no-restrictions take on their personal idols: Andrew went for John Farnham, Three Wishez charged up with the Black Eyed Peas, Reece tackled Guns N’ Roses, and Johnny got him some Ne-Yo.

The big-budgeted stage spectacle helped intensify the overall excitement for the grand finals, yes, but as with every graduation – there comes ponderings of future success. Has the series done enough to the get us adequately hyped for each contestant’s next step into the music industry?

Check out my one last examination of the final three acts – Andrew, Johnny and Reece – before the grand final decider on Tuesday, 22 November:

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X Factor Australia: Live Shows Week Eight

Do you like the below amazing compilation of serious game faces, y’guys? I am now accepting congratulatory pats on the back. It’s been two whole months of hit and miss live shows in Australia and I think we’ve seen enough to know whose careers we’ll be following from here on out.

This was not the final five I picked back in September but I am glad the ones I had initially overlooked got to stay and prove themselves a little. Don’t get it twisted, I’m no Andrew Wishart and Declan Sykes apologiser. But the least I can do is give snaps where snaps are due for the times they’ve unexpectedly come through with the goods.

None of the final five that remain have enjoyed a flawless track record. We’ve got the predominantly consistent performers – Reece Mastin and Papa Andrew Wishart – and then the dubious ones like Johnny Ruffo and Declan Sykes who have both given us some of the best and worst performances in the series.

I think what people don’t get about the X Factor is that, although it’s a singing competition, it is still just a bloody TV show. Y’all need to remember that it’s just family entertainment and these contestants are like reality TV characters. The beauty with reality TV characters is that often the ones that succeed don’t necessarily have to be the most beautiful, talented or creative. They just have to be addictive and/or endearing. Now take a step back and review the current final five and tell me what you see.

Johnny Ruffo plays the classic underdog – as a young labourer who’s never had any singing or dance lessons, he’s actually not doing too shit a job entertaining millions on live TV. Over the weeks, we’ve seen the pungent cockiness of his first audition wear off to reveal an incredibly resilient young man who keeps fighting back week after week to elevate himself. Now, that’s a good story.

Most suburban, middle-aged viewers can relate to Andrew Wishart. Apart from being an undeniably powerhouse vocalist, the man’s also witty, likeable and just all around endearing to watch. I don’t see papa as a “hit singles” artist chasing paper with the rest of them, but that’s not to say that he can’t sustain a future in the music industry. Andrew – being a talent show darling – could potentially develop a hard core stan base like Guy Sebastian and Altiyan Childs. That in itself should be enough to keep him gigging for a few years to bring home bacon.

Reece Mastin is another kick arse vocalist in the top five but unlike Andrew, the kid is dead pan as a TV personality. He’s got no heartwarming life story and no real spark to his character other than the spirit you see come alive when he’s on stage. The Reece factor is simple: youth, cracking vocals, and them cute dimples.

Three Wishez would actually fare better outside the X Factor. I feel like Ronan’s starting to fuck with their vibe and muddle them with daggy song choices. You hear them constantly name checking “Three Wishez” in their live performances but the question is, after two months of fronting does anyone actually know who Three Wishez are as artists? I can’t wait for them to be free to construct their own material with fitting vocal parts, rather than flap about week after week covering songs that weren’t made for their unique mixed group rap/sung flavour.

Here is the real tea on the best and worst moments of this week’s X Factor Australia:

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