The fifth and final live show (Episode 18) of X Factor Australia has aired and is now up on the official site! Here is the link. 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.
But if you want to just watch the performances, you don’t even need to use Hola. You can just watch the videos embedded below. Read on for my thoughts on the Grand Final performance show of X Factor AU featuring judges Adam Lambert, Iggy Azalea, Guy Sebastian, and Mel B.
We open with a look back at the season and the journeys of our top 4 finalists. The judges are introduced, and Jason Dundas goes over the two themes. First one is Showstoppers – songs that are designed to clinch the win. Second one is the famous X Factor Duet. And I have to say, after seeing the duet lineup, they did a pretty great job this season securing good partners for the top 4. The top 4 also get their hometown visits this week.
Amalia is up first and she’ll be performing Set Fire To The Rain by Adele as her showstopper. She gets to go home with Adam. It’s her first time in a limo. She goes back to her school, sees everyone cheering. She goes into her math class and Adam says Algebra was the only class he failed. Amalia is a black belt at Karate. She goes home and sees her family. She tears up when hugging her parents. Finally, she performs her homecoming gig at the local mall. The performance starts and it’s a great song choice for Amalia. It’s probably her best performance of the live shows. Perfect timing for her to nail a performance. Four judge standing ovation. Amalia starts to cry when Jason interviews her. Iggy is happy for her, loves that she makes her feel something after every performance. Guy gets excited when he sees her, loves young talent. Mel loves the mysterious aspect of her singing. Adam is obviously really proud of her, loved watching her grow, says it’s just the beginning for her.
Vlado is up next and he gets to ruin perform Say You Won’t Let Go as a duet with the amazing James Arthur, winner of X Factor UK season 9 and one of my favorites. This intro really made me like Vlado as a person a lot more actually, seeing him absolutely freak out over singing with James. The duet starts, and James is just so obviously better than Vlado. It’s not even funny. James gets to perform his new single later on in the show-awesome! I’ll include that video in this recap as well.
Davey Woder is up next and he’ll be performing 7 Years by Lucas Graham. He takes a helicopter ride home. We see Davey’s family and they missed him (obviously). Davey goes to the pub and Guy says he’ll never be able to have the same experience there again. They go to the tire shop where he worked. Davey does a homecoming concert and performs one of his own songs. He hopes the support will get him across the finish line. The performance starts, and I’m not a huge fan of this song. And Davey sounds ok, but it’s not great and surely not good enough for him to win. All four judges stand up (I assume they’ll be doing that all night). His kids aren’t there but some of his family did make it there. Mel thinks the song was perfect for him. Adam notes the authenticity and heart, doesn’t care about the technical stuff because he’s real. Iggy is proud of him, never expected to love him so much. Guy notes the suit, can’t believe he’s seeing him at the final, notes that Davey was a risk but that it paid off.
Isaiah Firebrace is up next for his duet. He will be performing Wake Me Up with Jessica Mauboy. Adam says Isaiah cried when he saw Jessica Mauboy a few weeks ago. She is a role model for him as they are both indigenous. The duet starts and Isaiah’s voice is still as stunning as always. He introduces Jessica, and I’ve never heard her before, and she’s awesome. They are both pretty emotional after the performance, Jessica much more than I expected. She was apparently on Australian Idol, and so she was invested in this performance. She wishes Isaiah the best.
James Arthur is going to perform Safe Inside from his new album Back From The Edge. He’s amazing. Watch this performance if you don’t believe me. I’m so happy he has pulled off the most incredible comeback in X Factor history. Most people who get dropped by Simon disappear, but not James. Say You Won’t Let Go did so well that Simon resigned him. He’s a true talent.
Amalia is up for her duet and she’s singing Boom Clap with Charlie XCX. She seems shocked that she’s performing with her when Adam tells her. This duet is the only one with a true production around it. Amalia’s voice is not suited for this song but she’s still doing a great job. Better than Charlie XCX actually in my view. Charlie is very nice to Amalia after, tells her that she’s amazing and that she’s a really nice person too.
Vlado is up for his showstopper now and it’s Closer by NeYo. He goes home with Mel B and sees his family. He gets into a limo full of cheerleaders, holds a trophy for the Sharks (which is a sports team). He gets to perform a concert where he sings Stitches by Shawn Mendes (duh). The performance starts and for Vlado, it’s pretty good. Not good enough to win, but better than usual for him. The end gets a little shouty for my taste. Adam loves watching him perform, loves the showmanship, says the vocals have grown so much. Iggy loves the energy. Guy says he has swag, notes that he’s a natural performer. Mel is happy that the other judges stood up for him finally, notes that sometimes he doesn’t listen but that he works hard and is a star.
Davey Woder is up now. His duet is with Robbie Williams and he’ll be performing Angels. Damn, Olly Murs did this duet with Robbie when he was on X Factor UK back in 2009. Guy seems really nervous about this performance-LOL. Davey wanted to sing with Guy actually-interesting. This is a perfect duet for Davey in reality, their voices go well together. Neither are strong singers but they are both entertainers. I’m not a Davey fan but I enjoyed this performance enough. Robbie is being his drunk uncle-like self. Robbie interjects in the middle of the performance that “you remembered the words!” Robbie has to point at Davey for him to start singing at one point. Robbie shakes Davey and screams his name at the end, just like he did for Olly. I’m cracking up. You need to watch this one-it’s hilarious.
Isaiah Firebrace gets the pimp slot. Adam introduces him by talking about how humble and grounded he is, says he’s meant to be here. He rambles “like Guy”. He’ll be performing Halo by Beyonce. They go home to Moama – the name means “place of the dead”, Adam calls that “rock and roll”. They go to get a smoothie that was named after him. It is clear that he got the biggest turnout of the four finalists. They go to his house and his whole family is there. They all sing happy birthday to him as he never had a birthday party before. The family gives Adam a cultural gift of some kind. It’s all very nice. Adam says that the entire town seems to have showed up for his concert. Then the performance starts and it’s a knockout. Simple, effortless vocals. If Isaiah doesn’t win, it’s a crime. He’s special. He loves the song and is tears up when Jason talks to him. Iggy is speechless, identifies with him, she starts to cry and Isaiah walks up and hugs her. Guy says he moves people, brings up last year and says he could win tomorrow. Mel says he gave them everything, she’s also kind of speechless. Adam says he sings the song differently every time, is always blown away by his surprises, loves how normal he is and loves his gift, thinks he’s a star for Australia and a star for the world as well.
My thoughts: There is only one correct choice for Australia to make. Isaiah should win and win big. Hopefully Amalia gets second as she had a great night. The other two can get third and fourth. Tomorrow will be such a long result show that I’m going to make a new post for it. Look out for the news of who wins, my review of the winner’s single which the top 2 will both perform, and my overall thoughts on this season (spoiler alert: I loved it).