The X-Factor Australia Live Blog: Live Show 01

Finally we have reached the fun part of The X-Factor, the Live Shows! The conceit for tonight’s show is pretty self-explanatory: the Final 12 contenders will each sing one song in front of a live audience and us at home. For the first live show, the judges Guy, Ronan, Nat and Mel B have been given the huge responsibility of choosing the songs for all their respective contestants. This means we get to cast our awesome non-expert armchair judgements about both the performers AND the judges. Tremendous. So grab a fistful of cheese, bunker down with a loved one (i.e. me), and let’s get into Live Show #1…

7:33pm: Game time. Natalie explains that she has the dream team so the other judges better watch out. She DOES have a pretty good troupe with her trio of girls under 25: Shiane, Bella and Angel. But she DOESN’T have a flimsy One Direction copy – Ronan has that market covered with his three groups of dudes.

7:36pm: Happy host Luke Jacobz bounds out into the audience and introduces the judging panel. Nat is wearing an embellished sheer gold turtleneck mini while Mel B goes for a bodycon silver number. Will their outfit colour choices be an omen of how their contestants will perform? We’ll soon find out. Guy is wearing a leopard print blouse with matching pocket handkerchief. Ha.

7:40pm: First to perform tonight will be one of Ronan’s groups called What About Tonight, the One Direction wannabes who are all virgins*.

*Yet to be confirmed, but they’re all virgins.

7:41pm: They start singing a chart hit “Glad You Came” by The Wanted and the crowd goes wild. The kids in the audience wave illuminating pool noodles and scream as the five boys romp about the stage. I’ve got to hand it to these guys, they definitely have their schtick down. Lots of meaningful eyebrow raising at the camera and choreographed pointing, which are moves I’ve seen professional boy bands (LOL?!) throw out before.

7:45pm: The judges are into it. Mel B credits Ronan with a great song choice. Guy says “it wouldn’t even matter if you did sing out of tune because I could barely hear you over the screams.” Ronan is so proud and smug. The boys are already taking about their fans the ‘what about tonighters’ (groan) and saying media savvy things like “we couldn’t do it without them” etc. I am making an early prediction that these guys will be successful. Whether they have any genuine talent or win The X-Factor is irrelevant.

7:52pm: Next to perform will be Mel‘s contestant Josh. He lives with his family, including his “little bro” who he teaches how to apply excessive amounts of hair product. He’s singing a song by Jason Derulo called “Don’t Wanna Go Home” and just flubbed a high note massively.

7:54pm: He seems to have a lot of energy and, beside that bad high note, sounds in tune. His outfit is a problem. He seems to be wearing exactly what the English boy band 5ive wore in the “If Ya Gettin’ Down” video from the year 1999.

7:56pm: Ronan and Nat loved Josh’s performance, and Guy said it was great to see Josh in his “element”. Now it’s Mel B’s turn to be smug. NEXT.

8:02pm: Now we cut backstage with Johnny Ruffo who was a contestant on the show last year. He cocks up the live cross briefly. Let us never mention Johnny Ruffo ever again. Except one last time: fire him.

8:04pm: One of Nat‘s girls Angel will perform next. She’s a singing teacher whose biggest fear is the hair, makeup and styling. As long as they don’t make her look like Josh she should be sweet.

8:06pm: Eep. Spoke too soon, for her outfit is absolute madness. I hate it when stylists dress girls with dark skin like tribal warrior princesses. #Racist. But her voice, thank god, is fantastic. She sings “Happy” by Leona Lewis while standing on a podium surrounded by shooting flame balls and giant timpanis. All the judges love her and tell Nat how jealous they are that Angel is on her team. Nat would look smug if her face wasn’t frozen in a startled botox mask.

8:16pm: The first performer from Guy‘s over 25 contestants is up next. It’s Justin who is singing “Father And Son” by Cat Stevens. This is quite relevant to Justin’s interests, since he has some kind of vague past involving his kids that he no longer lives with.

8:19pm: Justin has built the song up really nicely and his voice sounds good, except he’s overdoing the performance to the extent it’s kind of hammy. But Mel says it was “lovely just lovely”. Ronan was worried when he heard Guy had picked that song for Justin (because he did a horrendous sounding and terribly lame version himself), but says he has never heard it sung with so much heart. Nat agrees. Guy says Justin deserves to be here.

8:26pm: Ronan’s next team to perform is Fourtunate, the brother and brother-from-another-mother family quartet who are singing “Payphone” by Maroon 5. God I hate this song.

8:29pm: In the rehearsals they sound like arse. Ronan is nervous. Let’s see if they can get it together.

8:29pm: YIKES. That opening was AWFUL. Someone seriously fucked the harmony. As the performance goes on they’ve improved (the only way was up), but the whole thing sounds super sub standard. Bad bad harmonies, jarring failed attempts at high notes, bad nervous energy… The judges give them surprisingly kind feedback, which is stupid of them. Mel B disappoints me greatly by going the easiest on them, saying “ah lurf ye ahl”. Grow some cajones, you soft idiots. That was seriously terrible. And I won’t even go into fluoro multiple-print polyester streetwear.

Good grief:

8:41pm: Next to sing is Mel B‘s Jason who has been training for Mel by running on a treadmill while singing to his country town dwelling parents great amusement. He’s singing “Heaven” by Bryan Adams.

8:42pm: I like Jason, so I’m sorry to say that he’s singing the entire song a touch flat. He’s been doused in makeup and has obviously lost some weight. THIS JUST IN: Nat asks him how much weight he’s lost (the nerve!) and he says he’s dropped 10 kilos. Top effort. He’s a delight, but sadly that performance was not. It was out of tune and forced. Guy pipes up and he agrees with me. (No surprises there – we’re wearing the same shirt. Snicker.) Guy thinks the vocals were bad and the performance had no heart. He gets loudly booed by the audience. Jason is clearly an audience favourite because he’s a bona fide sweetheart.

8:52pm: Guy‘s mate Sammy is up next singing Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake”. The prop team have pulled out all the stops for this. Sammy appears to be standing on extremely high pair of walking stilts with a gigantic princess skirt reaching the floor that illuminates. She looks like Lava Lamp Barbie. It looked ridiculous. But she did sound great. Her voice is really clear and sweet and incredibly controlled. Guy describes her as “a singer’s singer” because of what she can do with her voice. Ronan thought she was “better than Katy Perry”. Please.

9:00pm: Next is Adil from Mel‘s team. He is singing “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman with his guitar. It’s pretty c-grade… but there’s Mel B in the audience beaming with joy. Her taste is questionable.

9:03pm: After the song both Nat and Ronan mention the fact that Adil is a bit of a whinger and it’s a turn off. Guy wants him to get in touch with his “muso” side instead of trying to be a shirtless beefcake. He also says the song version was too fast – more like “Speeding Car”!? HA HA HA. Sigh. – and I agree with that comment. Adil didn’t get in right and was somewhere in the middle tonight.

9:12pm: The Collective is Ronan‘s collage of dudes thrown together into a boy band. They’ve had to bond quickly, which apparently includes recognising each other’s “disctinct smells”.

9:14pm: They are singing “Domino” by Jessie J while standing on lit up red boxes. Madness. The harmonies are tight and the whole thing is entertaining in the way it should be. When they finish, the audience screams and most of the judges give them a standing ovation (Mel B can’t be bothered LOL). Nat says it was like watching a special guest star perform on the show, not a contestant. Guy thought it was amazing and does some kind of groovy urban handshake with the dude who did the rap part. Luke Jacobz informs everyone that ‘The Collective’ is trending worldwide. Better go join the trend – BRB!


9:24pm: Nat‘s nervous indie word-forgetter Bella is next. She’s singing “Brother” by Matt Corby. The set looks like something out of Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland. Jesus what’s the budget per song on this show?

9:26pm: Bella looks very cute with a bunch of roses in her hair and a concerning burnt orange whisp. She started out really nicely, but the end of her performance was way too high and she was forced to do this uncomfortable falsetto. Mel B loves Bella but didn’t like the song choice which is Nat’s fault. “Well, each to their own” mutters Nat passive-aggressively. Guy liked it, except for the wack falsetto at the end. Ronan was keen on the whole thing too. Nat says she was great and pointedly makes the comment that in Australia the song has been in the charts for months – obvs taking a dig at Mel B. Sorry Nat babe, Mel B was probably too busy being in the Olympics Closing Ceremony and going on bisexual sex holidays to know who Matt Corby is.

9:38pm: Guy has chosen “Love On Top” by Beyonce for his next contestant Nathaniel to sing. This is kind of awkward because Diana from The Voice Australia did an epic version of it earlier in the year. But he did an alright job and had a bunch of dancing hotties. Mel B says she “almost turned” watching the babes dance. Ha – Bisexual holidays it is! She thought it was great. Ronan says Nathaniel is “brilliant” but the key was a little too high and he struggled on a few top notes. Nat says his voice takes her on a “smooth chocolatey slippery slide” which seems a little racist. Kidding. Don’t want to get sued!

9:50pm: Next is Nat‘s 14-year-old contestant Shiane. She’s singing “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. Seems an odd choice.

9:51pm: This is such a weird chopped up version of the song… it doesn’t seem like the best way to show of Shiane’s voice. Guy tells Shiane to believe that she’s a star. Mel B says that Shiane is great at what she does and needs to hone in on what kind of singer she is going to be. Again, Mel burns Nat on the song choice. Ronan and Nat have a lot of positive feedback for Shiane. She’s so super cute. It wasn’t her best but people obviously love her, so she should get voted through.

9:58pm: It’s been two and a half hours. That’s a wrap for tonight. Hit the comment section with your comments, criticisms and picks for the favourites. Good night all.