2012 was a big year for ‘The X Factor Australia’, they found some huge talent in what would become known as the series biggest year. Samantha Jade was crowned the winner with fan favourites Jason Owen, The Collective and Bella Ferraro as runners up. In January 2013 selected contestants from that season embarked on a nationwide tour playing mostly sold out venues. The tour kicked off on the Gold Coast where the show had two nights at the Jupiter’s Casino. The crowd at these shows were a lot calmer than other cities but the squeals were still deafening when the boys from The Collective took the stage. The show was divided into two sections. In Part one the whole cast came out to perform the group number “One The Floor” by Jennifer Lopez . Then each act came out to perform a solo number each to introduce them to the crowd. The Collective started with ‘Domino’, Bella Ferraro performed her goosebumping cover of ‘Skinny Love’, Nathaniel Willemse wowed with ‘Love On Top’, Jason Owen performed some forgettable song, Shiane Hawke awkwardly performed ‘True Colours’, and Samantha Jade finished off the solos with ‘Scream’ with a entourage of shirtless male dancers.
Then the solo sets begun. Bella Ferraro was first as she graced the stage to perform her debut single ‘Set Me On Fire’, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ and her incredible version of ‘Sweet Disposition’. The first night of the tour Bella had actually lost her voice and this became apparent during her performance of ‘Skinny Love’ where her voice just went during one of the notes. She came back and fought it throughout the rest of her set and solos. The second night she didn’t perform the high notes in ‘Skinny Love’ to try and preserve her voice for the rest of the tour. By the Sydney show her voice had bounced back and she was on her game, killing all her solos and blowing away the crowd.
Next up was Nathaniel Willemse and its safe to say he was a surprise favourite on the tour. Going into these shows I wasn’t too sure how the crowd would react to him and every night I went I was surprised with how crazy the crowd went. He performed ‘Canned Heart’ ‘Let Me Love You’ and his cover of ‘The Scientist’ which had everyone with their jaws on the floor. Nathaniel is a true talent, he knows how to work the crowd, put on a performance you want to see over and over again and has the voice to match.
Shiane Hawke was the youngest contestant the X Factor has had, she is also one of the most unique sounding contestants they’ve had. She’s a bit awkward on stage with her stage presence and sometimes looks like she has no clue what she’s doing but she’s adorable and wins you over straight away. She performed ‘Heard It Through The Grapevine’, ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Crazy’. Each night during her set the crowd would go a bit quieter but once she performed ‘Beautiful’ she won them all over. It’s no denying she has one of the strongest voices on that tour, it’s just a shame how young she is and I hope when she’s a bit older she comes back into the industry and has a second attempt.
After Shiane’s set, she was joined on the stage with the rest of the cast to perform ‘Call Me Maybe’ which was a much better rendition than the messy one that was performed on the series. Everyone had their standout moments in that performance either vocally or in the quirky choreography which had everyone talking during the intermission. The intermission was probably the most frustrating thing about this concert because the show had finally built momentum and then you were told to wait for twenty minutes and the crowd got anxious and bored. When the show resumed the cast come back on to perform ‘Good Time’ and then a ballad version of ‘Part Of Me’ which allowed the audience to vocally see why every contestant deserved to be a part of the show.
Jason Owen kicked off the second half of the solos and surprisingly he was alright. He is a bit awkward with his stage presence and awkwardly stares at members of the audience which creeped me out being on the barrier for each show I attended. I found myself trying to awkwardly look at my phone or camera every time he tried to make eye contact with me. He performed ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’, ‘Lonely Boy’, ‘Dancing In The Dark’ and his debut single ‘Make It Last’. Jason brought a girl from the audience on stage every night of the tour to serenade and I’m a bit confused why he did. It was pretty awkward every night. Sometimes the girls got really into it and danced with them and some night the girls looked like they didn’t want to be up there. His voice is incredible, and he had a lot of the audience with tears rolling down their cheeks when he performed ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’ so he won over quite a few new fans.
Next up was The Collective and this boy band that were formed during the series had no idea what they were in for. Every night of the tour they would hit the stage to deafening screams, had teddy bears and bras propelled at them and had girls crying and falling to their feet when their favourite glanced at them. Jayden, Julian, Trent, Will and Zach showcased their vocal strengths during this set and showed their unique personalities with their choreography. They performed ‘Right Stuff’, ‘Beauty And A Beat’, ‘Apologise’ and their debut single ‘Surrender’. The Collective just know how to perform and every single performance sound and looks incredible. Each member knows how to work a crowd and make each performance feel slightly different and unique. I believe this group will go far in this industry once they release their new single later on in the year, prepare for big things.
Last on the line up was the 2012 X Factor winner Samantha Jade. She opened her set with ‘UFO’ and continued with ‘Heartless’, ‘Where Have You Been’, ‘Breakeven’ and her number one debut single ‘What You’ve Done To Me’. Samantha proved to everyone why she won the series with her powerhouse voice, stunning stage presence and a kick ass show. 2013 is going to be a big year for her, she has a lot of expectations to live up to and everyone will be watching to see if she crumbles under pressure but after seeing her live I have no doubt that she will succeed. I would have liked to have seen Samantha get a full length set as she did win the series and deserved to have given the audience a full concert.
All the cast then reunited on stage to close the show with “I Can Only Imagine’ and ‘Turn Up The Love’. The show was all round a great concert experience, it allowed all the acts to individually show who they are why they were on the show. It was a very fun and upbeat show that had all attendees walking away positive and happy. It’s safe to say the main drawcard for this show was The Collective as 80 percent of that crowd were holding up “Marry Me Trent” or “Call Me Maybe Jayden” signs and squealing throughout their set. It was a bit disappointing to watch the crowd not get that into Samantha Jade set but as soon as the beat started for What You’ve Done To Me the whole venue just started screaming every lyric which was fun to see.
Purchase these songs on ITunes now:
Samantha Jade – ‘What You’ve Done To Me’
The Collective – ‘Surrender’
Bella Ferraro – ‘Set Me On Fire’
Jason Owen – ‘Make It Last’
And keep an eye out for The Collective and Samantha Jade’s brand new singles out very soon!