Family Heroes. That is an “unique” theme. It is very convenient that Jai’s family hero is Justin Bieber. Very convenient. You know X Factor Australia, it could’ve just been a free week theme. You don’t need to pretend or put up a pretense. A lot of people did great especially the set designers this week.
Dami Im is an amazing performer. The judges are not shy to shovel the praises on her, which she readily deserves. On “Bridge Over Troubled Water” she was classy, refined, and restrained. She is already a contemporary chart topper if you look at the iTunes chart. She is probably going to win this whole thing and she deserves it. That first cover album is going to be awesome, but I fear that that is all she will ever be is a fantastic cover artist. I think it is bad that six weeks into the show the only thing I know about Dami is that she is a awesome, consistent singer. I am very, very curious to hear her winners single. She has a lot of tools in her vocal toolbox, I hope whoever is writing the songs knows how to use them to the best they can be. My biggest concern is if originals don’t go well, will people still care about her third or fourth cover album. Sorry if you disagree, I am just pointing out my concern.
Taylor Henderson is really comfortable in this type of heart-wrenching guitar almost ballad. He certainly knows how to use a growl. Taylor’s style can easily translate to modern hits like Avicii’s country-tinged “Wake Me Up” (which is actually a fantastic cover idea for him on this show). Much like with Dami, I get a sense of professionalism out of these two performers that is above all the others. In some ways they both could be visiting guest performers. I wish if for anything Taylor took a bit more risk with his song choices. If he wants to beat Dami, he needs to do something a bit outside the box and show us. Maybe turn a song that isn’t necessarily a guitar song into a guitar song like some obscenely awesome cover of “We Can’t Stop” O.K. maybe that is too much of a risk but imagine it. A little slower, a little more guitar, a little more Taylor. Just maybe.
If Taylor is chasing Dami for the title, than Omar Dean is chasing Taylor for the top boy spot. This Latin-infused hit was awesome for Omar. Makes me second guess Ronan’s decision to go with Usher at the beginning of the competition and not Enrique or Ricky Martin. (That and his “Numb” really wasn’t that good.) I loved how sultry the vocal was and he had a few very well placed falsetto moments that brought this performance to a slightly higher level. I’ve always felt that Taylor and Dami are virtually locks for the final 3, but that third spot is in high contention. Omar, Jai, THIRD D3GREE and Jiordan have all been battling for it week-to-week. This week if I had to decide based solely on tonight Omar would win that spot. But a lot can happen in these next four eliminations. So we will see.
Finally a Justin Bieber song for Jai Waetford. I appreciate that he didn’t go for the most obvious hits and his core fanbase I am sure is going crazy for “That Should Be Me.” (Perhaps he is talking to Taylor or Dami when they win) The fireworks were a bit much, but it is Jai he is always a bit much. He wants it so bad, this competition made him see how much he wants it, etc etc. Not to say it isn’t true, he can be occasionally a bit over the top. The song itself isn’t that adventurous in terms of melody or range, but Jai delivers it all flawlessly. As much as I wanted him to do a Bieber hit I thought it would have a bit more edge than this. Jai has a very good chance of making the final 3 over Omar out of sheer volume of fans, but at this moment I don’t think his body of work supports it. He ultimately needs to differentiate himself from his contemporaries.
I am glad to see Kitty Brucknell’s wheel is still making its’ rounds. Jiordan Tolli and No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” should’ve been an amazing winning combination. Something fell flat, the girl who can connect with anything didn’t seem fully committed to this song. I didn’t feel the pain in her voice and I wish the arrangement wasn’t so No-Doubt-by-the-numbers. This is closer Redfoo compared to “Dancing With Myself,” but still this wasn’t 1oo%. Perhaps the circus theme didn’t help her any, but I don’t think it was the reason for the detraction either. Everything seemed so pedestrian and you cannot be doing that at this stage of the competition. Not if you want to win. What made “Thriller” so good was her unique take, why leave something that works for you so well. If this had been done acoustically, I feel as if her ranking and this narrative would be completely different right now.
On paper, I was thinking 2Cellos “Smooth Criminal” and I was so freaking excited for THIRD D3GREE, but instead we get this. Their least exciting performance of the season. Kelebek, Jacinta, Jordan, what happened to all your X Factor? The staging out staged you, your clothes out staged you. They didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, but they didn’t do anything fantastic either. Everything was so uninspired. Even their harmonies were on point. The song didn’t even have an pizzazz until around a minute in, when Jacinta screams out “You’ve been hit by, you’ve been struck by.” If they want to make the final 3, this is not the way to do it. They really are headed for their first bottom 2 appearance and that depresses me when I wanted them to win.
In this four way race for third place, JTR is on the outside looking in, simply just there. A buffer for everyone who isn’t them this week. There was nothing wrong with “mmmBop” they did it fine, they looked fine, but ultimately their body of work this season is subpar to everyone else and they needed a moment. Capital M – Moment, if they wanted to change their trajectory even for a little bit, and this wasn’t it. It was a bit safe. And safe can be good, but not when you are the obvious ones to go. This is the time to take a huge risk, because you have absolutely nothing to lose. You were going to go this week, do something to challenge it, and this performance didn’t challenge that. The only reason I am happy that this didn’t work is that it means THIRD D3GREE gets at least one more week to redeem themselves. If by some miracle they survive. I hope they take a chance next week.
- Dami Im
- Taylor Henderson
- Omar Dean
- Jai Waetford
- Jiordan Tolli
- THIRD D3GREE
Bottom two this week is easy, it will be two of JTR, THIRD D3GREE, and Jiordan Tolli. With hopefully JTR leaving, leaving the four way race intact to battle in next week’s round.
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