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The X Factor Group Think: Week One

The Spinoff knights meet at television roundtable to reveal their hopes, dreams and insights from the first week of The X Factor NZ. //

Joseph Harper on TrendPrince
Holy shit Trend Prince dot com is a real thing. There are no jokes anymore. Just real things that are kind of fucking terrifying. Trend Prince doing a rap is the sound of us descending one circle deeper into hell. Trend Prince saying “What we’re trying to do is show bullies what they’re doing. And see if this can change them. To make them more mature.” and the audience of honest, unpaid humans, sincerely applauding is the roaring scream of death in the abyss and the only response comes from William Moon: “Thanks for the anti-bullying message. I really really appreciate it.”

“Hell is empty. And all the devils are here.” – William Shakespeare.

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Eat Sleep Rave Repeat.

Renee Church on Dominic’s Casual Style
X Factor NZ is not for the fashionable faint of heart, with styles ranging from Natalia Kills; drawing inspiration from actresses in a B grade film from the ’20s, to Willy Moon’s Vegas-y ‘I­actually­knew­Elvis­personally” look. What my heart is really searching for is a fully kitted out Dominic Bowden.

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Having said that, a Casual Friday, or should I say, Casual Sunday version of Dommy B is probably my favourite thing. We all know he can suit up like nobody’s business, but we should all take a moment out of our busy lifestyles to appreciate a Dressed­Down-Bowden. With his fashion sense as relaxed as his presence, I couldn’t think of anyone more poised and calm to be with me through the audition process.

So cheers, Dominic. Your tan pants will never go unnoticed.

Duncan Greive on the tyranny of ‘Bands’ and ‘Overs’

X Factor is back and even though the first couple of eps were mostly terrible (not good terrible, just terrible), the third showed us what magnificently unhinged television it is when the narcissists and raging library dwellers are about.

Still, I can’t quite quell a lil voice in the back of my mind. I mutters about how the early live shows and eliminations are going to play out with so much damn luggage.

Fare Thee Well aside, the bands have been comically terrible for reasons which should have been obvious from the get go. Namely that X Factor is either a last chance saloon for bands which have exhausted all other options, or so young and witless that they don’t realise their appearance on the show is the end, not the beginning, of their rock’n’roll dreams. Not for good reasons – real life fans of ‘bands’ are some of the most incoherent ‘music lovers’ around – but that’s the way the world is.

Bad as the bands have been though, the Overs have stunk worse. Sarah Spicer is the only semi-plausible candidate to get yes-ed so far, and she picked the wrong song (‘Stay With Me’ is fine in a vacuum, but not plausible for her) and sang it with exactly as much feeling as she likely has for it. Is there another Over through? I can’t recall one.

Last season the entire Over cupboard was bare by week six of the live shows. You could smell the desperation from Anna Wilson as she leaped in and out of different personas. Maaka Fiso had a nice voice but no clue how to deploy it. Taye Williams was a muscly man in a hat.

This season’s gonna be fully 50% composed of categories that have a near nil chance of taking this thing home, de-tensing the early rounds and generally making the chasm between now and when real contenders start getting executed yawn awfully wide.

Robyn Gallagher on the Distant Future

Forget who’s going through to bootcamp. What’s worth obsessing over is the lucky 12 who’ll be making it to live shows. The good ones – the Jackies and Bennys of ’15 – are already standing out (looking at Mr Monga, Ms Spicer). But more importantly, who will be the disposable acts, the ones set up to get eliminated in the first few weeks, later turning up as a pub quiz question that no one gets right? If the show’s producers are being truly diabolical, they’ll put ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ warbler Joe through. And if the powers that be were prepared to be even more awesome, Brendon Thomas and the Vibes will be there too.

Actually, knowing how special the New Zealand music market is, BT and the Vibez would end up in the grand final, their debut album would outsell Jackie Thomas, and Benny Tipene would be their support act on their national tour bringing sunshine, good vibes and the real-out-of-it-as drummer to Aotearoa. By the way, for a bit of spoiler-ish fun, check out the Facebook pages of the successful auditionees. Contractually they can’t yet say if they made it to the final 12, but if there’s an angry rant about how reality TV is shallow and superficial, it’s pretty obvious how things turned out.

Jack Riddell on Willy Moon’s Smile

It was the big rumour burning up Twitter hours before Wednesday’s season 2 episode 3 of #XFactorNZ even aired. And within the first 5 minutes – after Mediaworks had finished plugging Mediaworks and Mediaworks subsidiaries up the wazoo – it actually happened. Willy Moon broke, and a grin spread across his weird, potato-ish face.

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The strange phenomenon occurred after good-looking Eastern European and Indian duo called ‘Trend-Printz” (or something along those lines, who cares) stepped up to the stage and declared to the big Willster that they “would ‘kill’ for your wife”. HAHAHAHA! ZING! Do you get it? I get it. But the boys were quickly brought back to reality, when Willenium Moon stared at them dead in their eyes and busted out a big “Prove it” in his half-English, half-Petone accent.

The good looking, bi-cultural duo then moved on to declare their love for Stan and successfully rim the entire judging panel. Natalia followed with something hashtag worthy and once again Willy smiled (someone’s been reading the director’s notes). He encouraged the boys to stop engaging in analingus with the judges and get on with singing. The duo proceeded to rap and beatbox like a lot of young and hopeful New Zealanders do – averagely.

The gorgeous duo were then unceremoniously shot down by Willy Moon and his cronies, adding to the other rotting corpses that are this years failed auditionees. But who really cares? Willy Moon smiled y’all! 2015! WELCOME TO THE FUTURE! He continued to smile here and there throughout the show, shutting the internet up once and for all, so expect a slightly more upbeat smily Moon-dawg in coming weeks.

Alex Casey on Backstage Realness

Whilst I am enjoying watching my favourite TV show during a sumptuous eat-in McDonalds meal with my asian friend, my polynesian friend and my friend with the leather jacket, I have found myself craving any sort of ‘real’ moment that isn’t just a dowdy checkout operator, a Dad in a hat or some crazed library fiends flown all the way here on a collective cloud of “good value”.

Hannah Cosgrove had one of those triumphant moments last night, despite having ¾ of the judges’ metaphorical tongues in her metaphorical butthole (to borrow a phrase from wordsmith and obvious buttguy W. Moon). As soon as she started singing ‘You Are Always On My Mind’, Moon smiled (emitting a sound akin to peeling two pieces of bacon apart, I imagine), Kills sat up like a Meerkat and Stan’s freshly balmed lips hung slightly open in approval. Always the buzzkill, Melanie Blatt woke up from under her eyelashes to bash this blondie down a notch. “It’s a bit repetitive.”

Cosgrove brushed it off, waiting to vent to her Mum backstage in the greatest backstage ownage yet:

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Talk about country strong.

Josh Davis on Collaborative Kinship

Finding a creative collaborator can be a frightening and difficult proposition. Happening upon someone with whom you can bare your soul and your deepest vulnerabilities is a precious and rare thing indeed.

Which is why I was so very excited to hear that “Soul Sisters,” our final act of the evening, had only met three weeks prior to their audition. My interest was further piqued when Benedict Judgerbot asked how their partnership developed so quickly.

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…so the next logical step was to become a singing duo and enter a reality talent competition. Of course. Nothing can possibly go wrong now. Except it did. It went terribly, irrevocably wrong. They sucked, and when this was pointed out they turned on each other. Soul Sister on the right tried to throw left Soul Sister under the bus. And then they Soul Sisters were no more. The grand experiment was suddenly over.

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Angella Dravid on Willy Moon’s Double Life

How many of us felt a disturbing familiarity with Willy Moon’s face? I was getting noodles and dumplings from the Chinese Takeaway in Mt Roskill maybe a month ago when I felt a momentary shudder down my spine. Willy’s eyes on the poster outside an adjacent building were following me. Judging me. I ordered the low-calorie steamed dumplings. His eyes and expression seemed to say “Angella. Do you have the egg-fried-rice factor?” Admittedly, I don’t. I’m too mainstream.

While I tried avoiding the poster with my hot food, a stubborn part of me decided to stop and look at the poster. That was when I discovered a startling fact. Willy Moon is the stage name for Justin Jedlica. Jedlica is known for being the man with an obsession/addiction to plastic surgery in the attempt to be a real Ken Doll. I didn’t believe it until I saw Moon’s side profile this evening. Before you cite the mental health act, bear with me.

This picture explains everything. And if it doesn’t, try rebooting your device and loading this up again.

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