X Factor Australia 4 – Sizing up the Final 12

For those who don’t know who the judges are on X Factor Australia they are former Spice Girl Mel B aka Scary Spice, former Boyzone member Ronan Keating, the first Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian, and former Rogue Traders singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte.  They even did this cute medley at the beginning of season 3 which I recommend you all check out, but enough about the judges, because unlike certain shows X Factor Australia is not about the judges but about the contestants like it should be.

Mel B is mentoring the Under 25 boys this season along with guest mentor Usher chose Adil Memon, Jason Owen, and Josh Brookes for her final 3.  Honestly Adil Memon blew me away at his audition, not with a power house voice, but with a subtle push that the revisionist historian inside of me will credit Phillip Phillips with after the fact.  Adil is a looker, and when given a challenge like the opening line in  “You Give Me Something” he rose to the occasion.  Adil shined no greater than during his top 48 performance of “The Boys of Summer” he is definitely a contender for the title if Mel B plays it right, but and this is a big but, following last season I believed that Mel B was truthfully the cause of the early downfall of all three of her contestants last season, Mel B hopefully has learned some lessons, and will make the right all important song decisions.


Jasen Owen is what I like to call Andrew Wishart factor on this show, a good bloke, who is a good singer, but with absolutely zero star potential, but Andrew also inexplicably made the final 2 last season despite a string of snooze inducing performances.  Jason Owen is a good person and he is a good singer, and yes he could be in final 3, but post X Factor career, I’m thinking that’s a no, sorry.


Josh Brookes rounds out Mel B’s top 3 boys, and I think this was easily her most controversial decision.  She could’ve gone with consistent Carmelo or one of the two edgy Matt’s but instead she chose previous reject Josh.  At this moment I don’t believe Josh can win, he is attacking the song too much, yeah he wants it, and I want him to do well, but I am afraid that under the guidance of Mel B that faux white boy gospel hand won’t even find its way out of his routine come grand finale night.  To sum up Mel B’s chances: Adil winning contender, Jason final 3 contender with no chance for a post X Factor career, Josh early exit or maybe he will be the surprise of the season.


Ronan is mentoring the groups with X factor super group One Direction (maybe if I tag One Direction in this post, I’ll get like a million more hits, ya reckon?) and has decided to take Fourtunate, As-Yet-To-Be-Named-Boyband, and What About Tonight.  This is Ronan’s second year in a row mentoring the groups and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  I think Ronan took Three Wishez to new heights to actually have a group legit at a shot for the title last season, and I think that his other two groups last season Young Men Society and Audio Vixen just got caught up in operation SAVE JOHNNY RUFFO AT ALL COSTS that swept across many a teen girl in Australia last year.  Fourtunate made it all the way to the last day of boot camp last year, and returned this year stronger than ever.  Their take on the Beyonce’s “End of Time” showed me that not only could they move together, but that when faced with criticism instead of shutting down, they took it in and better themselves, which is the most important lesson in not only the entertainment industry, but anything in life.  Fourtunate if they played their cards right could be a new JLS.


As-Yet-To-Be-Named-Manufactured-Boyband took on the Rihanna and Calvin Harris’s smash, “We Found Love” for their debut performance.  I hold nothing against manufactured bands, I was especially a fan of The Risk and Little Mix last season, but unlike the manufactured girl group Black Ivory that they made this season, I truly believe this group has the making to be as successful as The Wanted.


Then we have One Direction Aussie Remix AKA What About Tonight, had it been my choice I would have chosen Good Question over What About Tonight, but seeing as it is what it is, I understand Ronan’s choice.  One Direction was very convincing when they told Ronan that What About Tonight reminded them of themselves when they first started.  Ronan knows how to play the game and girls don’t usually do well on X Factor Australia, so probably choosing three boy bands was a very pragmatic decision.  So I wish Ronan luck with his new groups faux-JLS, psuedo-The Wanted, and the Wannabe Direction, they are all talented and I am excited to see what he can do to them.  Unfortunately, I feel like Fourtunate will be the first to fall, despite being the most cohesive of the groups, and that is a bit of a shame.


Guy Sebastian has the over 25’s with guest mentor Alicia Keys.  His top 3 is Samantha Jade, Justin Standley, and Nathaniel Williamse.  Samantha Jade and X Factor Australia has kept it no secret that Samantha has previously had a recording contract, which I am glad they are being open about it, because this stuff has a tendency to hurt people when it eventually comes out.  Samantha is polished, strong, beautiful and competent.  Clearly she’s done it all and can do it well, but the concern that I echo from Guy is that will the public find her endearing knowing fully well this is probably her third break into the industry, but I suppose this didn’t work against Javier Colon (well that is until after the show).  Can Samantha win? No, but Over 25s is a difficult category and unlike the other judges, I think Guy made the best decisions he could have all around.


Justin Standley is going to end competing against Jason Owens for that aww-shucks-I-am-so-proud-to-be-here-so-you-really-should-vote-for-me-demographic.  Unfortunately, that makes me believe that Justin could be a finale contender, despite having no chance in hell at winning and even less of a chance of a post X Factor career (even less than Jason honestly).  I know why Guy chose him, but Justin cannot win, he is a nice guy, who can can sing good, but I wouldn’t mind if he ended up getting 12th place to be honest, but at the same time I can easily see Justin outlasting Samantha, which disappoints me.  I mean Against All Odds, really?  Because you believe you can relate to it with your struggles, really?  I try to keep personal stories out of it when judging contestants, so I give you Justin no wiggle room, prove me wrong, but you probably won’t.


Nathaniel Williamse was a final 24 contestant in season 4 of Australian Idol, which I am surprised X Factor never mentioned, it isn’t like Australian Idol is still around to compete with them and it isn’t like Guy Sebastian isn’t from that show, but they seemed to not care or not want us to care, either way no mention.  Nathaniel could really take it all the way.  Guy, overall, chose amazing songs for his three contestants, Reece, Johnny and Declan, so much so that of the final 5 last season, three of the contestants were the three that Guy chose.  If Mel B is a mismanager of talent, Guy is a manager.  Guy’s best shot at winning: Nathaniel, best shot of a person in the final 3: Justin, most likely to leave without anyone remembering she was on this season: Samantha.


Natalie Bassingthwaighte was joined by Ke$ha for her mentoring of the under 25 girls and chose Angel Tupai, Bella Ferraro, and Shiane Hawke.  Angel Tupai was honestly a given, no one in this entire contest has given more consistent performances.  Angel comes on stage and delivers every. single. time.  And her take on Kelly Clarkson’s “Mr. Know it All” was no exception, Kelly is a big voice to fill (as most of her contestants on Duets can attest to) but Angel takes the song and makes it her own.  In terms of winning potential Angel certainly deserves to be the final 3 on talent alone, and her story is sad enough, maybe a break out performance during dance week could truly solidify her as the frontrunner she deserves to be.


Lisa Mitchell, Janet Devlin, and Bella Ferraro.  Bella has a unique voice, and an interesting presence, but these type of contestants don’t win these type of shows.  Bella, unlike other contestants, can easily have a post X Factor career, but I don’t see her going very far in this show.  The constant changing of themes is not going to make Bella excel, it is going to frustrate her, she wants to do the type of music she wants to do, and I don’t see how rock week is going to fit into that.  I could be wrong, but I just cannot see her winning this thing.  She has a fire burning in her heart, but not for the title, just a career in music, and luckily for her she is attractive enough that it probably will happen, as she will dominate the Aussie indie music scene for the next three years.


Shiane Hawke is only 14, and unlike Vendulka Wichta, I can really see age becoming a factor here.  I think honestly the only reason Shiane was chosen over Bella, Morgan, or Vendulka is strictly because Ke$ha insisted that Natalie takes Shiane to the final 12.  Shiane is a very nice girl, and could be an absolutely massive star, but I think she needs to be mentored into a career and songwriting, not into a reality show.  Right star, wrong outlet.


Predicting the final 12: (aka let’s see how wrong Ed is going to be this season)

  1. Angel Tupai
  2. Manufactured Boy Band
  3. Jason Owen
  4. Nathaniel Williamse
  5. What About Tonight
  6. Bella Ferraro
  7. Adil Memon
  8. Shiane Hawke
  9. Fourtunate
  10. Justin Standley
  11. Josh Brookes
  12. Samantha Jade

I would like to once again thanks MJ for letting me join her blog team and I can’t wait to hear from you guys in the comment section!