The X Factor

2013-07-28_0222Facing stiff competition this year, The X Factor wastes no time in getting to its brightest discoveries.

This season kicks off with a brief word from creator Simon Cowell, then bang, we’re straight into the first act, a 14 year old singer.

Not a word from host Luke Jacobz, no introduction of new judges, not even an explanation for the absence of Natalie Basingthwaighte. Nope, it’s left to Jai Waetford and his guitar to win us over. Thankfully he fills the brief with his sweet tones, and soon we have our first standing ovation for the season.

Just as Jack Vidgen proved a powerhouse for Australia’s Got Talent, it already feels like Seven is anointing its next star -especially when we hear about Jai’s life living with a single parent. Be warned, there’s a truckload of tear-jerker backstories this year.

Joining the panel this year is Dannii Minogue who, despite her messy first outfit, is a strong addition to the line-up. Then there is Redfoo, a gaudy, frenetic American whose credentials will likely be lost on many viewers. Aside from acknowledging his LMFAO hits, the first episode doesn’t do much to sell his credibility and his contribution as judge seems to be more about being a wildcard than offering constructive criticism. I’m not even sure if there is glass in those super-spectacles.

But the show is all about finding talent, and there’s no shortage of potential vocalists here.

Most of the acts are in their teens, the eldest I can recall being a 30 year old Texan-born singer. The kids have the edge in the first episode, either as solo acts or trios. One Korean-born singer dares to sing Mariah Carey’s Hero and blows everybody away. It’s the nearest the first episode comes to a Susan Boyle “didn’t expect that voice from you” act.

Only a handful of car-crash singers appear, including a few Psy Gangnam Style-wannabes and a very energetic young Enrique Iglesias fan.

The auditions have been filmed around a heavily-pregnant Natalie Bassingthwaighte, which barely rates a mention, and some panels include 3 instead of 4 judges. It’s a bit unclear if the acts still need 3 “yes” votes to qualify for Boot Camp.

Host Luke Jacobz is relegated to hovering in the wings with excited family members.

Annoyingly, the back stories come at us from all quarters: there’s the foster kid, the father of an autistic boy, the girl whose father died 8 years ago -it’s as if anybody who is adjusted and happy is incapable of also holding a tune.

But talent shows are a tried and true genre and The X Factor delivers in the entertainment stakes if hopeful young performers are your thing.

The X Factor airs 7:30pm Monday – Wednesday on Seven.


  1. I already went to one of the auditions, and Redfoo was introduced as LMFAO. Redfoo is associated with the band LMFAO which produce songs with sexualized lyrics in them.

  2. Slightly off topic but along the lines of the sob-story back stories – Why do all these (mainly) women feel the need to go on (cooking mainly) reality tv shows to make their children proud of them??

    There are at least 2 on Masterchef who keep turning on the waterworks because of this! I don’t think my kids would give a stuff or be proud of me for going on a reality tv show – in fact, it’s quite a lot of pressure being placed on the kids to be proud of their parents!

    Vent over!

  3. how good was x factor last night the talent is incredible .love redfoo and danni . they both are fantastic additions to the show .the boy band jrt and that 14 year old are amazing talents. redfoo just adds that craziness and spontenaity to the show he is heaps better than mel b . great show great talent.heaps better than the voice

  4. Watched Xfactor tonight. It was ok but hope it gets better. Twitter had Big Brother trending world wide all night and no sign of Xfactor so I expect BB to win the ratings.

  5. Maev....Sydney

    I did not intend to watch this…but got caught up in the hype of local boy…(that school turns out a lot of good performers in all genres of performing arts)…I am even warming a little to Mr. Foo

  6. If I remember correctly the show opened the same way last year!
    Straight into Bella Fararo’s audition!
    And she ended up being quite the disappointment when it came to the live shows!
    Samantha Jade was a superstar find last year!
    The Collective have flopped!
    Hopefully we find another star

  7. I dont mind a back story- if its only being told once. There is no need to repeat it after each commercial break, as we’ve seen it promoted through to the premiere, will see it in the “whats coming up on tonights episode”, the ‘after the break…” and when we return from the break, alas, the same story told again… a drinking game could be made from this

  8. Now I don’t know much but I do know Redfoo and his partner in crime (nephew I think) are R&B royalty. Biggest song until Gangnam style came along and a string of hits.
    But – why is he on the panel of an Aussie talent show? The man has millions in royalties and doesn’t need the money. The only thing that comes to mind is that he is after a show reel to crack US tv.
    It’s not as if he is a B Grade has been like the rest of the judges from OS. This man is a gold-plated superstar, a massive international celebrity. And big on the tennis scene too.

  9. not happy to hear about the sob stories, they might have got away with it in the past, but after The Voice was so heavily criticised for it this year, people are really sick of it.

    i just hope it hasn’t lost its charm as being the more fun/entertaining of the talent shows. hopefully there are some quality train-wrecks.

  10. It’s disappointing that talent shows are no longer for amateurs. I miss the early days of AGT when the average Joe could walk in off the street and use the competition to grow and develop their act. Today its more about the “emotional” backstories and professionals launching a career off of these shows.

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