I don’t even know where to begin with this years season of X Factor Australia. It no longer seems like a search for “the next big thing”, it now just seems like a rushed attempt of ratings. Like are these sob stories really necessary at their first audition? The answer is no. You either can sing and have stage presence or you don’t. This years Top 12 are an interesting bunch of hopefuls with only a few really standing out but again there’s nothing original in this group it’s all about “the next….” Or “Australia’s answer of……”. Checking out these hopefuls I’ve decided to give you my honest thoughts of who I think are the weakest links and who you most likely will see in the grand finale.
She is one of the series youngest contestants and this showed in her performances of “Hold My Hand” and “Listen To Your Heart”. Her onstage presence is lacking and she needs to be out gigging to really find that before attempting to do it on a large scale like this. Remember last years winner Marlisa? If you don’t that’s okay, ever since winning she’s disappeared and hasn’t released anything since her strangely nominated Aria Award single and has only re-appeared to perform at your local Westfield. Is this the future Georgia Denton wants?
The Fisher Boys
I can see why X Factor thought these guys would be a good idea with their smooth harmonies and “sex appeal” but they choked on the live performances with an unimaginative performance of “Can’t Feel My Face” and they didn’t really do any favours for themselves with the following rendition of “Beggin”. They were deservingly sent home in week 2.
First of all, who let him audition with this stage name? Surely no one thought that it was a credible or marketable name? His performances have been forgettable and again being so “new” to performing his on stage presence is……. a mess. He may have the Tradie factor, but he doesn’t have the X Factor.
Being a singing teacher you would think this guy would go far right? He could really sing, he was a tad cocky but I was interested to see how far he would go in the live shows but apparently it was only meant to be a very short stint. He butchered Maroon 5’s classic “This Love” and was rightfully eliminated in the first week. Maybe someone should teach him how to not over sing because that would be a very good start.
This fuzzy red head is a bit misplaced in the top 12. He is one of those organic artists that don’t fit into the cliche market that X Factor caters to. He probably won’t make it to the top 3 but he should disappear for a while, work on original material and re-brand himself like Lisa Mitchell and Matt Corby successfully have.
When you watch these shows you can always pick out a few who have just been included to make up the numbers and this girl is sadly one of them. She has a nice tone in her vocals but she’s totally forgettable and being the cliche pop vocalist she is over shone by Georgia and Natalie who have a bit more strength.
This is the first artist who really impressed me with her raw vocal ability and unique edge. Classic X Factor are trying to brand her as their version of a mix between Florence + The Machine and Courtney Barnett with a similar image, vocal strength and rock/folk influenced sound. She is one of the strongest contenders in this competition and included in my “keep tabs” list. Her performance of “Somebody To Love” played to her strengths while “People Help The People” showed a nice vulnerability.
Jess & Matt
From their first audition you couldn’t help but instantly like this absolutely adorable couple. Their beautiful harmonies and unique chemistry will have you captivated. Their cover of “Heart Of Glass” was surprisingly amazing and saw them staying true to themselves and not falling into the X Factor branding trap. Their cover of “Ignition” wasn’t as well received but I have a feeling we will be seeing these guys in the top 3. They are something different in the Australian pop music scene and have that magic spark that could see them be marketable overseas. It also helps that they are real musicians.
Don’t you love it when one of the most interesting contestants is actually from New Zealand? This intriguing vocalist showcased her Amy Winehouse-esqe vocals and her sultry diva ways with a captivating performance of “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby” on week one while her week 2 performance of “Hello” slightly lost the spark. The producers need to allow Mahalia to creatively find herself on the stage because her vocals are so intriguing and she’s another possibility for top 3. They are trying to make her a big pop artist with too much imagery and choreography but the key for her success is going to be simplicity.
X Factor have decided to try yet again to make boy bands a thing. However it would be good if they could actually harmonize. In Stereo are too young and their cringe-worthy performances of “My Life Would Suck Without You” and ‘King” showed that with their lack of singing in key and being able to harmonize. No they aren’t the next answer to One Direction, they aren’t even the next answer to The Wanted. But look, X Factor are going to keep them as long as they can because they are getting ratings with teenage girls watching them as they are “cute” (oh how generic). N E X T.
He’s probably getting the most talk from this season and rightfully so. Cyrus is a talented young man who smashed an acoustic rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” before outstanding everyone with an incredible cover of “Wicked Game” in front of Chris Isaak himself. He’s your typical cookie cutter acoustic male singer but his way of storytelling is compelling and commendable. He will no doubt be in the top 3.
I really feel sorry for Natalie because she is an incredible vocalist and will most likely get to the top 3 but they aren’t marketing her any differently to how they marketed Dami Im, Samantha Jade, Reigan or Marlisa. She will just end up fading into the background of this over populated female pop territory we have in Australia and end up on the Westfield circuit. They need to play more on the fact that she’s also a songwriter and show a more natural side of her and not play her up to be so generic.