Hullo and welcome to another edition of The X-Factor Australia Live Blog: Live Show 04. I’ll kick things off by saying this is the first time I will have watched more than thirty seconds of The X-Factor since it first became a thing, so tonight is going to be a really special night for this moi. Be gentle with me. This could be a really good thing: I’ve got a totally fresh perspective, no grudges to hold or wounds to pick at. Then again, I also have a tumbler full of scathing and tonic so it could go either way! Whatever happens, there will be blog… Commence!
7:35 – As per the usual formula, we kick off tonight’s episode with a reminder of what happened last week. Admittedly I don’t know what happened so you can read up on that here and here. Tonight’s theme is LEGENDS.
7:37 – The first act headed to the slaughter tonight is Fortunate. They’re singing ‘Easy Lover‘ by Phil Collins. The one with peroxide hair and a septum piercing says the extent of his Phil Collins knowledge is the Cadbury ad with the purple gorilla drumming, “but it’s not even Phil Collins, it’s a gorilla.” This guy! These guys have some nice, albeit beige, harmonies which stand in complete contrast to their largely drop-crotched monochrome outfits. They’re accompanied on stage by some Robert Palmer-esque babes on fake guitars in red one piece swimsuits with built in floaties. I can tell these guys are really fond of finger pointing choreography and, as Mel B points out, they have good ‘energy’ and were ‘on fire’.
7:42 – Guy, however, makes a good point. He’s saying that the Palmer Girls, the finger pointing chorey, and the beige harmonies are detracting from the actual performances. Nat’s having trouble getting a word in edgeways, which is great. Ronan is proud of them and that’s all that matters. Just kidding! You have to vote for these clowns or this is all for nothing! Next up, someone called Caramello (Carmello?) is singing Sting and I’ve got The Police on speed-dial.
7:49 – Mel B introduces Carmello, who looks like the lovechild of Frodo Baggins and Anthony Callea. He’ll be singing ‘Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic‘ by Sting & The Police. In a blue suit, with a purple shirt and white collar, Carmello looks and sounds like a Vegas singer who has seriously lost his way his way back to the Bellagio. His timing was, let’s face it, shit. Next! The judges agree with me, but praise him for what was supposedly his best performance yet. Sorry Mello, but you’ve been outshone by Mel B’s excessive use of dah-monz.
8:00 – Next up, Shiane Hawke from Team Bassingqueef is singing “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin. Nat seriously mucked up her intro and it was painful to watch – to give you an indication of how awkward that was, my jaw is pressed against my sternum. Shiane, who is pretty adorbz, doesn’t know who Janis Joplin is; but surely she knows who Karise Eden is, no? The stage has been transformed into a Lower East Side, exposed brick loft replete with kewl indie kids jammin on guitars. Super tacky. Shiane sounds okay, she’s got a ‘tone’ that suits the Joplin wail but the fish tail braid on her forehead is a serious error courtesy of the hair and makeup department. I can’t believe she’s 14. I feel like a creep for critiquing her braid.
8:03 – Guy thinks Shiane’s performance flatlined completely, and Mel agrees. Ronan rightly tells them to STFU because she’s 14 and doing a fantastic job. I didn’t hear what Nat had to say because I’m eating really loudly. Sorry!
8:11 – Next up is Guy’s Exercise In Nepotism, Samantha Jade and she’s singing “Run to You” by my gurl Whitney Houston (RIP). Samantha Jade’s floating head appears in the middle of the stage, shrouded by a cloud of dry ice emitted from a fog machine. Seriously – you cannot see this girl! Her floating torso emerges from the clouds as do THE PEARLY GOLDEN GATES OF HEAVEN! THEY’RE LITERALLY OPENING UP the gates as the song climaxes! This is too good/terrible! Are you getting this guys? It’s because Whitney is dead. That was a really subtle performance so hopefully none of us missed any of that.
8:16 – The judges seem pretty pleased with Samantha Jade’s extremely literal performance. Mel B wants to see more edge and Ronan thought the whole thing was a Disney affair. Guy and Nat couldn’t have been more pleased; Guy, of course, because he’s her mentor; and Nat, of course, because she has no taste. Excellent! To be fair, Ronan did say “Australia has found one of the greatest voices,” but doesn’t qualify it with a follow up statement (“greatest voices in the room”, “greatest voices of anyone currently holding a mic”, “greatest voices of someone called Samantha Jade” etc). Good call, Keating.
8:23 – Here’s Jason Owen, a choreographically challenged country boy who’s singing “Dancing in the Dark” by The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. They’ve rock ‘n rolled him up by giving him a denim jacket and a quiff and he’s sounding pretty okay. In a neat throwback that will fly straight over the heads of almost everyone watching, he’s pulled a girl up on the stage to dance with him, á la Monica Geller. I’m sure she’s a paid and willing accomplice in an exercise that from here on will be known as the worst moves ever executed in the history of The Dance.
8:26 – Ronan can’t help but love Jason for his adorably awkward performance, but Nat did not love Jason’s simultaneous click moves, which were pretty f**king terrible. I have to agree. “Weee loov et!” says Mel. I loov you, Mel! Guy just made a clumsy, gratuitous cross-promotional reference to “Beauty & The Geek” when describing Jason’s transformation. We all agree that he should never dance again. Next!
8:34 – So are these guys supposed to be like the poor man’s One Direction or something? Yes, it’s The Collective and they’re dressed in a uniform of hideous silver lamé suits and fingerless gloves. They’re hideous but I unfortunately ‘get’ the ‘look’ they’re going for. The Collective are singing “A Hard Day’s Night” (by The Beatles, duh) but instead of some Fab Four vibes, they look like the barely legal sex slaves of Karl Lagerfeld gyrating on mic stands out of sync and to some terrible swinging sixties moves. They look and sounded ridiculous, and both Nat and Guy agree. “There was nothing special about this arrangement. It just seemed really nerdy to me,” says Guy. Mel B “didn’t like that at all. These space suits made you look like space tampons.” A perfect moment is shared by all.
8:42 – Indie chick Bella Ferraro is up next, and she’s singing a Madonna x William Orbit classic, “Ray Of Light“, a song I will forever associate with exercise and this:
Like an overgrown Child Empress elevated on a central podium, surrounded by fog and some deranged sun goddess chiffon-clad dancers, Bella is singing a seriously underwhelming arrangement of what’s usually a pretty great song. And I’m only half-kidding. Another underwhelming performance. Guy thinks Bella needs to strip back to the “raw organic nature of her voice” and Mel thinks Bella should sing a Florence Welch song. Nat quickly palms off any constructive criticism from the woman who hates her most by saying a Florence song is something she already had in mind for Bella. Just quietly, underneath the judge’s table Nat is secretly Googling “Florence Wench.” Ronan is quite adamant/right that the look and sound of the whole performance was totally off and I have to agree. That was a pretty bad song choice.
9:00 – I’ve just been sitting through a black out but I managed to catch the end of Nathaniel’s performance of singing comp standard “The Scientist” by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Hubby’s Band (Coldplay). From what I saw, it was probably the best performance of the night. The judges agree. Mel B kicks things off by saying “I guess the budget and the theme this week is dry ice. Your voice makes me want to go home and do naughty things to my husband,” which nobody can top. Ronan tries by telling him that the standard on Australian X-Factor is much better than anything he saw last week on X Factor UK, and he’s largely responsible for that. I would hate to see what’s happening on X-Factor UK.
9:07 – Here’s Angel Tupai, who I believe was in the bottom two last week. Tonight she’s getting her “Dirty Diana” on. Michael Jackson fans on the Internet are crazy supportive/militant in their love of the late singer so I better not say anything. I can’t really say anything because my Internet is still down.
9:10 – Angel reminds me of Ursula, the villainous octopus from The Little Mermaid who is in my Top 3 Favourite Disney Villains (Cruella and Jafar are the other two FYI). She’s got the strongest (literally, it’s pretty vicious) voice in the competition and is one of the few people who have actually kept me glued to the screen tonight. Even though she forgot her words I hardly noticed. Guy notes that she “faked it till she maked it” (but in different words) and he felt a bit awkward watching her. Mel B prefaces her comments by saying she loves her voice but the performance was too angry. She also thinks it’s completely unacceptable that she forgot her words and her breathing (phrasing?) was off. Both Ronan and Nat loved the fight she put up.
9:15 – Das it. Recapping the performances tonight, Fortunate were okay, Carmello was awkward, Shiane was tame, Samantha was camp but LOL, Jason gets points for trying his quiff off, The Collective were god awful, Bella was seriously pitchy, Nathaniel won and Angel fell short. Hit the comments section with your thoughts, feelings and emotions! Dry ice, fade to black.