Chart Feed – 07.11.11

One Direction has the highest selling new single in Australia this week with ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ debuting at #15. I feel like X Factor has become my minor in this great school of pop music commentary, in which I have already acquired adequate majors in Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Girls Aloud and Sugababes disciplines. Every corner I turn, I seem to be asked or be offering unsolicited spiels on X Factor contestants circa 2010/2011.

One Direction was formed on last year’s ultra defining UK X Factor series and it’s truly a testament to their global appeal to have their first single lapped up like that. ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ still holds the record for fastest selling single in the UK this year, pulling opening week sales of over 153,000 copies in September.

Jessica Mauboy and Stan Walker‘s ‘Galaxy’ debuts at #28 in Australia this week, serving what I’d consider to be a pretty satisfactory chart position given that most of their core fans would’ve already purchased the track when Jess relaunched Get ‘Em Girls. There are basically two reasons why ‘Galaxy’ will never be as big as its preceding single ‘Inescapable’: one – ‘Inescapable’ is a better song and has radio-readiness coated all over, two – ‘Inescapable’ wasn’t available prior to its first media impact so almost everyone had to buy it. ‘Galaxy’ is also the most added new song to Aussie radios this week.

Watch Jess and Stan outwail each other in the first televised performance of ‘Galaxy’:


 
Ricki-Lee‘s A-grade single ‘Raining Diamonds’ is hanging by the arse hairs of the ARIA Top 100 right now. I am clutching my pearls in shock, struggling to comprehend how her team had failed to schedule in proper promo to fanfare this comeback. ‘Raining Diamonds’ dives from #55 to #96 in its third week and fingers crossed her X Factor appearance tomorrow night will help turn fortunes around.

Havana Brown‘s ‘Get It’ makes a big leap back into the ARIA Top 50 as predicted. Her fierce X Factor Australia performance sent the club-ready single to #39 and resurrected her breakthrough ‘We Run The Night’, which re-entered this week at #66. Similarly, Stan Walker‘s appearance helped his flailing single ‘Light It Up’ finally debut at #45.

Katy Perry‘s ‘The One That Got Away’ drops to #40 on our Australian ARIA charts and sinks to #61 in the UK – the obvious lack of radio support right now is what’s kinda killing the sixth Teenage Dream single. Meanwhile over in the States, ‘The One That Got Away’ manages to move up to #34 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Check out the trailer for the forthcoming ‘The One That Got Away’ video, which will premiere in full on 11 November. Look who’s trying to recapture the essence of RiRi‘s ‘We Found Love’:


 
The Wanted‘s ‘Lightning’ shoots to #79 in Australia in its second week, proving that there’s still a chance for these lads to sustain a second smash Down Under. The Wanted‘s new album Battleground arrives on UK store fronts today, setting us up for what’ll surely be an epic chart battle between these guys and Cher Lloyd. Over in the States, The Wanted sees their smash ‘Glad You Came’ bullet to #33 on the US Billboard Dance/Club charts after playing a gig in New York.

Lana Del Rey‘s ‘Video Games’ rises to #81 in Australia in its third week, still gaining momentum from viral recommendations. The bewitching single also makes its way back up the UK charts this week to #12 probably thanks to a placement on CW’s drama Ringer, which started airing in the UK over a month ago?

Listen to ‘Video Games (Club Clique for The Bad Girls Remix)’:


 
Wynter Gordon‘s ‘Buy My Love’ drops out of the ARIA Top 100 this week. I don’t wanna strike panic in the hearts of Wynter Warriors in the UK but there’s more bad news as both ‘Buy My Love’ and album With The Music I Die have been crossed off the November release schedule. Over on the US Billboard Dance/Club charts, ‘Buy My Love’ shoots to #26 in its second week. There’s promise of new material around the corner so perhaps ‘Buy My Love’ will be the last gem lifted from With The Music I Die.

Florence + The Machine‘s Ceremonials debuts straight on top in Australia and the UK, making this the second consecutive week where we’ve matched Mother England in #1 debut albums. The indie pop diva’s sophomore album managed to sell 38,000 copies in the UK in just two days and wound up with opening week sales of over 90,000 copies. In Australia, Flo‘s current single ‘Shake It Out’ bullets to #36 on our ARIA charts, making this her fourth Top 40 smash here.

Watch the classy video for ‘Shake It Out’ here:


 
Darren HayesSecret Codes and Battleship sustains its second week in our Aussie Top 20 with a placement at #15. I’m sure the three-date Aussie tour he served last week helped inspire some more buzz around the record. The Secret Tour was very much a one man show of wonders, mixing unexpected moments with a healthy dose of nostalgia propelled by Savage Garden hits. Dazza’s current single ‘Bloodstained Heart’ drops from #80 to #88 on our ARIA charts.

Washington‘s Insomnia EP plummets from #24 to #51 in its second week. Speaking of tragic Aussie pop drops, Sneaky Sound System‘s From Here to Anywhere sinks from #48 to #80 – will it still be here in our Top 100 next week?

Ronan Keating is once again capitalising on his X Factor gig. Last week’s performance not only sent his recent covers album When Ronan Met Burt back into our ARIA Top 100 (#70) but also rekindled interest in his greatest hits compilation: 10 Years of Hits (#62). Just imagine what Hot would sell if Mel B had so much popped a squat to a medley of ‘Tell Me’/’Feels So Good’/’I Want You Back’.

Cher Lloyd‘s ‘With Ur Love’ is the biggest selling new single in the UK this week, debuting at #4. At the time the midweeks were published, ‘With Ur Love’ was on course to become Cher‘s second chart topper with just a 1,000 copies ahead of its nearest competitor. By the second half of the week, the likes of Professor Green, Rihanna and Labrinth had overtaken her on the sales board.

The 18-year old feisty femmecee’s debut album – Sticks & Stones – drops today and being a typically “front heavy” artist, her best promo strategy is to actually sit back and let her hard core fans drive the first week sales, then go to work in the second week to sustain the record’s chart debut. Sticks & Stones is currently going for a discounted price of £6.99 at HMV – that has got to help.

Watch Cher Lloyd perform an acoustic rendition of her current smash ‘With Ur Love’:


 
Nicole Scherzinger‘s new recording ‘Try With Me’ debuts at #18 in the UK this week, making this the ex-Pussycat’s fifth solo Top 20 smash in the region. Her trashy last single ‘Wet’ deserves a mention for peaking at #21 but with that being the only Killer Love single Nicole didn’t promote in the UK, you can kinda see why it didn’t fare as well as it could’ve.

Matt Cardle‘s lead single ‘Run For Your Life’ is completely over, it seems. The track sinks from #52 to #96 this week, completely validating his label’s response to issue another single before Christmas. I don’t think the man’s gonna be getting a lot of support from his label after the peak buying periods. They might as well milk it now while Christmas is around the corner and the X Factor‘s still on air.

Watch the video for Matt‘s second single ‘Starlight’, which comes out on 5 December in the UK:


 
Melanie C‘s brand new single EP ‘Weak’ is actually #1 on the Greek iTunes album chart right now – believe it or not. The Old Spice just launched her second international Sea single yesterday but fans in Germany, Switzerland and Austria will be treated to ‘Let There Be Love’ instead on 2 December.

Rihanna‘s ‘We Found Love’ dethrones Adele to top the US Billboard Hot 100, making this the Barbadian bombshell’s 11th #1 smash. As I said last week, the only thing really standing between ‘We Found Love’ and ‘Someone Like You’ was radio airplay, which RiRi picked up a significant amount of in the last week. The stronger airplay coupled with second week as the nation’s most downloaded song led ‘We Found Love’ to an overall #1 victory.

‘We Found Love’ racked up 243,000 sales in its second week on top of the digital charts, pushing the accumulated sales to date to over 1 million. This is Rihanna‘s 20th song to cross the million-download sales mark. Rihallah also co-signs on the biggest new entry on the digital charts – ‘Princess of China’ with Coldplay, which debuted at #8 with 105,000 downloads. ‘We Found Love’ is also the biggest gainer on the US Billboard Dance/Club play charts, now cracking the whip at a new peak of #5.

Coldplay‘s Mylo Xyloto breaks into the US Billboard 200 at #1 with opening week sales of 447,000 copies. How unsurprising and barely newsworthy. Nevertheless, there are a couple of cool accomplishments for this album that deserve nods. This is the third biggest first week sales in the US this year – only outdone by Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way (1.1 million copies) and Lil Wayne‘s Tha Carter IV (964,000 copies). Mylo Xyloto also clocked the biggest weekly sales for a rock album since U2‘s No Line On The Horizon debuted in 2009.

Mylo Xyloto may be the third Coldplay album to debut straight at #1 in the US but it’s actually their lowest selling #1 yet. Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends opened with 721,000 copies back in 2008 and its predecessor X&Y did 737,000 in 2005.

Watch the video for Coldplay‘s ‘Paradise’:


 
Kelly Clarkson‘s Stronger is the second biggest new entry on the US album charts, debuting at #2 with 163,000 opening sales. It’s not quite on par with the success of her last album – All I Ever Wanted – but hey, by the time that album arrived it was already well supported by a top-selling single (‘My Life Would Suck Without You’). Stronger, on the other hand, is only seeing fortunes turn around for its lead single ‘Mr Know It All’ now.

‘Mr Know It All’ managed a 60% sales increase in the last week with 106,000 download sales. It finally cracks a new peak of #10 – making this Clarko’s ninth single in the US Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10. Elsewhere, the wig-snatching future single ‘What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)’ debuts at #64 – based solely on interest surrounding the new record. Stronger – the album – drops to #7 and #14 in its second week in Australia and the UK respectively.

Michael Bublé‘s first full-length Christmas album – imaginatively titled Christmas – hits #3 in the US, selling 141,000 copies to be the biggest seasonal record for now. I expect for the crown to be well snatched by Justin Bieber‘s Under The Mistletoe, which will debut sometime later this week. Elsewhere, She & Him‘s A Very She & Him Christmas debuts at #12 on the US Billboard 200.

Kaskade‘s Fire & Ice debuts at #17 on the US Billboard Hot 200, making it the biggest dance/electronic album in the country. The American DJ/producer is known for turning out #1 club play remixes of Lady Gaga‘s ‘Bad Romance’, Justin Timberlake‘s ‘LoveStoned’ and Nelly Furtado‘s ‘All Good Things (Come To An End)’.

Jessica Sutta, the only ex-Pussycat Doll that matters right now, grabs her first ever solo #1 smash this week with ‘Show Me’ topping the US Dance/Club play charts. Following close behind is Sutta’s rival and former team leader, Nicole Scherzinger, with ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ edging to #2.

Watch Chairman Sutta‘s ‘Show Me (Alex Gaudino and Jason Rooney Remix)’ video:


 
Gloria Estefan‘s ‘Wepa’ is sadly migrating south of the charts. Despite the red-faced commercial flop of Little Miss Havana, The Estefun‘s comeback appears to have successfully reconnected her with old fans and gays. ‘Wepa’ drops to #28 on the US Billboard Dance/Club play charts after making #1 last month. Speaking of memaws moving prosthetic hips on the floor, Taylor Dayne‘s ‘Floor on Fire’ plummets from #7 to #20 on the dance charts this week.

Leann Rimes scores the biggest new entry on the US Billboard Dance/Club play this week with ‘Give’ charting at #43. Remixes of the country song is obviously proving to be a smash with party people. Never would I have expected for a country/inspirational Leann Rimes song to snatch wigs like this.

Watch Le Rimes‘ touching ‘Give’ music video. Have some Kleenex close by.


 
Jennifer Lopez‘s ‘Papi’ debuts at #38 on the US Billboard Pop Songs charts but disappears from the overall Billboard Hot 100. The addictive Latin-flavoured dance smash is also painfully denied radio airplay with most American stations still preferring to bump ‘On The Floor’. It’s pretty much the same sitch everywhere else in the world.

Kelly Rowland‘s ‘Lay It On Me’ is struggling to match the flash success of ‘Motivation’. The arguably more radio friendly single is not garnering enough airplay and is rapidly falling down the US R&B/Hip Hop songs chart. ‘Lay It On Me’ tumbles to #68, behind ‘Motivation’ (#22) and her sister Bey’s singles ‘Party’, ‘Countdown’ and ‘Love on Top’.

Beyoncé‘s ‘Party’ is outselling ‘Countdown’ in the States. ‘Party’ moves up to #57 on the US Billboard Hot 100 while ‘Countdown’ sinks to #83. The media’s not embracing ‘Countdown’ for some reason, even though it’s long been a fan fave ever since 4 came out. Peeking over in the UK, ‘Countdown’ rises to #35 and ‘Love On Top’ is still etched for a 12 December drop date.

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X Factor Australia: Live Shows Week Seven

Only three more shows until X Factor Australia has a winner. Can you pick one from the pack already?

This week our final six got the command to dance and while there were mostly moves in the right direction, one or two managed to really upset the rhythm. [Editor’s note: you gotta be proud of yourself if you can spot the three songs Limoncé has referenced in that sentence.]

It’s rather startling that at this stage of the game, Guy Sebastian still hasn’t lost one of this contestants and as a collective, they now make up half of the competition. At this rate, I won’t be surprised if he ends up with two acts in the final three. A feat only two X Factor judges have ever achieved – see: Dannii Minogue circa 2007 on the UK series and Jan Fredrik Carlsen of the 2009 Norwegian franchise.

When our Aussie series reached its final six this time last year, we already had our handful of polished contestants. All the performers had found their place by then and were capable of turning out vocally consistent results. I’m not sure if I can say the same about this year’s final six. This show actually feels like a big budget end-of-year concert thrown by a local singing school. There are some A+ vocalists getting unearthed but there are also some developing singers mingled in the line up. Is this really what the X Factor is all about?

At what point should our mentors stop pushing some contestants into risky song choices when they’re not vocally equipped to do it, and start actually tailoring songs to enhance whatever talent is already there?

Find out the hits and misses of this week’s live show, and which Power Bottom Two act just had their last dance:

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X Factor Australia: Live Shows Week Six

I’m sorry, y’all. There is no X Factor Australia recap this week because I struggled to stay awake through the hour-long beigefest of predictable performances. I’mma go snuggle up to Mama Brown.

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X Factor Australia: Live Shows Week Five

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:

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X Factor Australia: Live Shows Week Four

One month into the live shows and this series is already starting to flatline. What the X Factor Australia desperately needs is a shake up because right now, the only thing raising my blood pressure is the shock eliminations and the fact that actually entertaining performers are winding up in the bottom two.

At this point everything that was promising in the first live show has basically turned to dust. The stage spectacle, innovative song choices and styling are fading to a glimmer as all the consistent performers become painfully predictable and safe. The thrill is gone, y’all. When you no longer get wet with excitement to see your faves come out and do their thing, putting up with the other filler acts becomes almost unbearable.

Basically, nine acts hit the stage this week to recapture hits of the nineties and only one managed to slay. Major kudos to Christina Parie, who was the only contestant that bothered to show us something new. After three weeks of seeing her bounce around the stage – just being Miley – the girl turned up this week in a black dress and sat herself behind a piano to deliver her first ballad.

Elsewhere, Guy Sebastian was trying something new in the sonic department, genre-mating and taking admirable risks with song arrangements. However, I think he kinda missed the point with all this musical innovation because, let’s be real, this is a television show. Try as hard as you might to paint your artists with a new sound, but if it doesn’t come complete with a new look and performance art – your vision is only half realised.

Ronan Keating arguably has the most exciting category but at a point in the competition where nobody has any business slacking off, he appears to be taking the easy road with his groups. The visual presentation and song arrangements for Young Men’s Society and Audio Vixen no longer excite like they used to. His mixed pop/R&B group – Three Wishez – continue to change their game, making the most of their unique position [read: actually having three individual performers].

Nat Bassingthwaighte had her boys – Mitchell Callaway and Andrew Wishart – tugging at heartstrings with major power ballads ‘Everybody Hurts’ and ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ respectively. It is understandably safe and overly emosh, but she knows who both acts appeal to and what their demographic expects. I don’t feel compelled for Nat to make any drastic changes because any outlandish staging and experimental song choices would just appear too forced for these two. There really is only so much you can do with her mature-aged warblers.

Check out the hits and misses in this week’s nineties-themed show, and of course, the shock Power Bottom Two:

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X Factor Australia: Live Shows Week Three

You did it again, X Factor Australia. What started off as a mildly amusing live show line up ended in a stinking pile of controversy after a judge called out a contestant for “rude behaviour”, basically polarising any discussion to be had about the performance. It’s only the second time this has happened.

It was Amanda Grafanakis-gate all over again last night when Mitchell Callaway copped a public rebuke by Guy Sebastian for his “behaviour” and ill-treatment of some crew members. The shy tatted-up country warbler was caught off guard when Guy exposed his backstage rudeness to the nation, a “seemingly sizeable issue” that even his mentor Natalie Bassingthwaighte struggled to hose down then and there. It seems like none of the judges – apart from Guy – knew what the hell actually happened.

“You’ve got to have the right attitude to this competition… not at times be rude to crew, you really have to pull that in and rein that in because you won’t last long in this competition or this industry if you do that,” Guy advised Mitchell in what should’ve been a verdict focused on his on-stage performance not off-camera antics. [Editor’s note: y’all can watch the drama go down later in the post].

The repercussions must’ve been too much to bear as Mitchell told Nat after last night’s “rock themed” episode that he won’t be returning to the show – something he has since taken back after she revealed his grim decision on air to Kyle & Jackie O this morning. The atmosphere was tense, y’all. It honestly felt like a trip to the principal’s office and I don’t think this is the right time and place to address “behavioural issues”.

When judges attack a contestant’s character on live television with cameras rolling, I struggle to see how it can be taken as “constructive criticism” rather than a blatant attempt to destroy the person’s public favour. The voting lines were just opened, the man had delivered the best performance he’s ever done in the competition and that was the last thing on everyone’s mind. As a performer himself, I thought Guy could appreciate how public attention on an artist’s off-stage antics can detract from the music.

However, on the flip side, I’ve read discussions supporting Guy’s decision to expose Mitchell and it’s not all wrong. The X Factor is a public-voted show and a contestant’s likability is equally as important as their vocal capabilities. Therefore, voters deserve to know who they’re really voting for – and they can then decide whether Mitchell’s off-camera “rudeness” really matters in the grand scheme of things. You can’t ever really separate someone’s persona from their on air performance in a show like this. You can’t take “feelings” and impressions about the performers out of the equation.

It would seem that Guy was sparing us the details for Mitchell’s greater good because if the real tea had gone out about the 25-year old concreter “picking on” young Declan Sykes, the backlash would’ve been immense and he wouldn’t have polled favourably at all. The Daily Telegraph reports that there was a verbal and physical clash between the tatted-up man and the fair-haired teen ten years his junior after Mitchell “pricked [him] with a pin”. This is school yard stuff, y’guys.

Now that we’ve addressed the headline-grabbing issue of the night, let’s check out the other catfights and spotlight moments of this week’s live show:

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X Factor Australia: Live Shows Week Two

This week’s “party anthems” theme virtually had us all evacuating the dance floor with snoozer after snoozer of forgettable performances. There’s really only five or six – at best – well bankable contestants in this year’s live shows and sadly, we’re gonna have to endure another month of fillers before the cull narrows it down to a hit line up.

I sounded the alarms last week when a “party anthems” theme was called. In some ways, I’ve had to mince my words like Mel B usually does when she’s proven wrong about a performance, but in other ways, no – my predictions of cheesy and uninspiring adaptations of pop up-tempos proved totally on point.

Where last week had clear revelations in Audio Vixen and Young Men’s Society, this week the two alpha groups struggled to slay as hard as the competition’s two young guns: Reece Mastin and Christina Parie. The spunky teen pair respectively owned their covers of Katy Perry‘s ‘I Kissed A Girl’ [Editor’s note: There’s a Limmy rant on the song choice further down – you don’t wanna fan the flames] and Cyndi Lauper‘s SingStar classic ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’.

Round two of the live shows tournament flaunted some nod-worthy improvements from Johnny Ruffo, who captured us with an appropriate rendition of Jay Sean‘s ‘Down’, while old salty nuts Andrew Wishart took a chance on a Queen classic that paid off handsomely.

Ronan Keating remains infallible with all three of his groups coming correct once again but down at the other end, Mel B appears to have dropped the ball with two of her girls – Jacqui Newland and Tyla Bertolli – stepping off with unpolished and flaccid vocal performances. The pair unsurprisingly wound up in our bottom two this week, which actually led to some rather scary results when Mel B chose to personally abort one of them from the competition.

Check out the hits and misses from this week’s party line, and a read on the dramatic Power Bottom Two situation:

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