Episode 1 of X Factor Australia has aired and is now up on the official site! https://au.tv.yahoo.com/x-factor/episodes/32789503/the-x-factor-mon-3-oct-season-7-episode-1/ is the URL. It is region locked to Australia, but thanks to the Chrome Extension Hola, you can watch it anywhere. Many of you may have used this extension to watch X Factor UK a day early via ITV’s website, but it’s even easier for X Factor Australia. No zip code or account is required.
The first 18 minutes are the same as the preview, so I’ll paste my recap for that below.
The episode begins with introductions for 3 judges, American Idol 8 singer, Adam Lambert, rapper, Iggy Azalea and Australian Idol season 1 winner, Guy Sebastian. Under 22s, overs, and groups are the three main categories. There is a fourth category of wildcards (rejects from the other three categories) which is an interesting twist, and Mel B is rumored to be their judge.
Natalie Ong from Melbourne is the first act up. Her grandma came from Singapore to support her. She sings “The Voice Within” by Xtina. And my god, she can sing. Right away, you can tell she has a great voice. Guy says she’s amazing, the family must be high fiving and jumping around. Iggy says she thinks Natalie could win, and that people will watch this again after she makes it big. Adam says she nailed 99.99%, but that she needs to make something her own next time. Which is a good point, it was very similar to the original version. They bring her grandmother out for the vote. Obviously, it’s three yeses.
Next up is Davey Woder. He’s 34 from Logan Village. He brought his fiancé, he has 3 kids at home. He works in a repair shop for cars. He plays an original song called “Come Home”. Guy wants him to sing a cover but he says he doesn’t know any. He has an interesting tone to his voice. A little bit of a growl that I like, but his voice is also kind of tender-an interesting combination. And the song is good. Davey starts to cry after he finishes the song. Guy calls him authentic, says he won’t need a lot of tweaking. He wants seconds and thirds. Iggy loved the storytelling in the song. Adam believed it, says it was gritty, raw, real. Three yeses. He does a little bit of a dance before heading off stage.
After the two auditions we’ve seen in the preview, we get a montage of people who’ve paid for vocal lessons but clearly cannot sing. The good news is, unlike on X Factor UK, they are getting sent home instead of being put through to live shows…#ughHoneyG #ughBradtavio
Next up is the first group of the year, and they’ve taken dance lessons. FD3 is the name of the group. They stress how they dance, not just sing. Adam says they have pop-star names individually, and that the look is good. Adam asks if they are nervous, they say yes, he says good, I laugh. They are good but Iggy doesn’t look like she’s loving it. I personally think the dancing is distracting. Adam loved it. Iggy agrees with me, says the dancing was very 90s. She wants them to sing a second song with the guitar. After a commercial break, they perform “Little Things” by One Direction. They sound good on this song, albeit a little boring. Adam likes the versatility. Guy says one of them was extremely pitchy and threw off the harmonies. Three yeses regardless.
Montage of other successful acts. They’re all fodder and I didn’t get any of their names.
Next up are Brentwood Duo, a brother sister duo from Melbourne. They are Youtube cover artists, who got recognition from Ryan Reynolds, and were able to put their cover of a song on the soundtrack for his movie. They joke that they are both gingers, and the outfits were accidentally coordinated. They sing Powerful by Major Lazer and Ellie Goulding. They are obviously great. The harmonies are stellar, I love his voice in particular, very high pitched but great. They could go really far. And sure enough, they get a three judge standing ovation-first one of the season. Adam says their voices are like bells, elastic and dance around each other. Iggy says they could win. Guy says the uniqueness comes from his voice, wasn’t expecting it to be the higher of the two. Three yeses.
Ruby Mills is 24, and she’s a fishmonger. According to her, the downside of the job is smelling like fish. She’s been singing since she was a kid, she won a local talent competition. She sings “Can’t Rely on You” and she has a surprisingly deep voice. Very good, nice tone, and she’s working the stage. The judges are enjoying it. Iggy says she loves her sassiness, loves how unexpected her vocal was. Adam was expecting sweet, and loved the fire in her vocal. Guy says she’s beautiful and a great singer. Three yeses.
After a commercial break, Memphis James is up. He is a bricklayer. He is doing pushups backstage. He loves his dog. I’ve seen the previews so I know where this is going. He takes off his shirt and Adam and Iggy are very happy. They hope he can sing. Sadly he cannot. He attempts Bon Jovi’s “It’s my life”. He’s extremely off key, and the judges stop him pretty quickly. Guy says it wasn’t that bad, but not that good either. Iggy says yes, Guy says no, Adam correctly says no. Iggy and Adam get to kiss him – LOL.
Amalia Foy is 14 from Melbourne. She’s auditioning because she loves the show and she’s finally old enough to try. She loves the three judges, listens to their music, and interestingly she does karate. Her parents and best friend are there. She plays “Let Her Go” by Passenger on the piano. She is amazing, and I can only describe her voice as operatic, sort of has a haunting quality to it. Iggy is tearing up. Three judge standing ovation. Adam says they just witnessed the birth of a superstar, calls her unbelievably gifted. Iggy says she doesn’t want to say anything other than that it was magic. Guy says he’s still tingling, brings up her age – “I was still picking my nose at 14” – ha. Three yeses.
My thoughts: What an absolutely amazing first episode. Only one highlighted act that doesn’t make it. Three or four legitimate contenders to win the whole thing, all of whom are better than virtually everyone left on X Factor UK this season. I really wish this season wasn’t going to be so rushed. 4 live shows isn’t enough for me, I want at least 7 or 8 with this kind of talent. This should be a fun ride.
Let me know what you think of the episode in the comment section below, I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts!