Group ThinkMay 12, 2015

X Factor NZ: Group Think, Week 13 – Finding True X Factor Bliss and Rearranging Shelton’s Jellybeans


After a week of Mother’s Day tunes, number one hits and Bachelor cameos, our think tank meets again to discuss week 13 on X Factor NZ.

Robyn Gallagher on The Vibesmums

I can’t help feel ripped off that Steve Broad was eliminated the week before the Mother’s Day show. If he’d been around this week, he’d have been in absolute peak form – just not on stage. No, as Mum-master General, Steve would have been tasked with having the behind-the-scenes chat with the mothers of Brendon Thomas and the Vibes. Nyssa was fine quizzing the mums, but Steve would have excelled.

The Vibesmums were actual the stars of the episode. Three cool and hilarious ladies, not afraid to dish the dirt on their sons. Any idea that BT and the V had emerged fully formed from a psychedelic groove egg was soon destroyed by the mums sharing embarrassing childhood tales of their sons.

I want the mums to have their own series – The Real Vibesmums of New Zealand. Following on from their X Factor dinner served on a giant Union Jack (not a tablecloth – an actual flag),  I would happily watch a weekly show involving the mums eating dinner on tables laid with different flags of the world. And at the end of every show, Steve Broad would serenade the mums with emotional ballad versions of electropop bangers. TV3 – there’s your Campbell Live replacement.


Eli Mathewson on Alternate Mother’s Day Tracks

Why the old Mother’s Day tunes? They would’ve been much better to take a current song and flip it onto its mumsy side.

Here’s three amazing options straight from the top of my dome:

“Mum’s got bills!
She gotta pay,
So she’s gon’ work, work, work, every day”

Literally any of the contestants could’ve done this, the stage set up would be them laying back on a couch whilst their mum (guest performer and DWTS contestant Pam Corkery) busies about around them.

“I got one less problem without Mum”

This would be Nyssa getting up to some mischief (staying up late and having whatever she wants for dinner) without the watchful eye of a mum there.


“I really really really really really really like mum
She’s a cool mum
And she’s my mum
And I like my cool mum”

Obvs a great choice for BT and The vavaVees, directed to their very cool irl mums.

Renee Church on Live Show Scoops

This week I had the pleasure, nay, the privilege to attend an X Factor live show on Sunday night. Boy howdy, I sure lived the dream! From live TV, to the commercials I really witnessed some gems. Namely, a girl in front of me who was so moved by Stevie Tonks performing to his Ma, she said “I’m gonna have a kid and make them go on X Factor so they can dedicate a song to me.”

I feel like Dom really excelled on Sunday night. Being on peak “Dad-humour” form, he managed to stall for time while there was literally a fire at TV3, he also carried around a pool noodle for most of the night. I got a candid image, which after this write up, has no real value:


Also, I managed to catch a word with Mikey from The Vibes, he pointed out that he liked my Beatles badge, so I’m proud to announce that BT&V stay true to their craft even when the cameras stop rolling.

Tom Townley on Justice for Beau

An aspect of the bad show that has always bugged me is the lack of adherence to the whole concept that it has been created for. That of finding an act that is in Stan’s words “the whole package bro, you’re ready to be an artist.” Yet how often do the judges quibble over a dropped note, or slightly off harmony for the groups, ignoring the greater performance?

This really hit home in the past month as I was fortunate to attend two of the Sunday shows where, surprisingly, Beau was easily the strongest performer in both. There is a huge disconnect between how his performance comes across live compared to what is broadcast on TV, especially his dancing. His moves during ‘Goody Goody’ live were snappy and lithe yet filmed came across rather indistinct and flat. It seems as though the crew aren’t quite as good at recording a Madonna mic as they are at an ad-lib playground clean up of paper darts.

In person the vocal on ‘My Love’, a difficult song that only an audacious karaoke singer would attempt, was as good as Nyssa Collins’ first song (does the crowd’s chanting of her name remind anyone else of this GoT scene? It sure feels as though she inspires this level of devotion at this stage). While the Aardijah progeny was moving in synch with six dancers and remembering which part of a moving stage to be on at any one time to avoid coming a cropper in front of the nation, Nyssa spun in a circle then forgot which side of her face she was holding the microphone up to and no one noticed or cared. Maybe Shelton was too busy arranging his jellybeans to notice


Alex Casey on Stevie’s Missing Fingers

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 6.45.04 pm

I wish you all the best in your one man remake of The Prestige Mr Tonks.

Hayden Donnell on Retrospective Popstars Realness

Being on X Factor is terrible preparation for life in the NZ music industry. None of the X Factor contestants will ever see a moving blue light again, or hear a sound like a droid shutting down its power core after they perform. They won’t be able to pay Eli Mathewson to warm up their crowd. They probably won’t have a crowd. Just one man – a sad Peter Urlich sipping on a gin fizz and remembering 1999, when he was in charge of Popstars, the original music TV show.

Popstars featured five people called TrueBliss growing to hate each other while trying to achieve their dream of being successful enough to get brie cheese on their rider. It was much better preparation for life in New Zealand music than X Factor.

Here is TrueBliss, performing in a warehouse to nobody.


Here they are being blasted by Mike Hosking.


And here they are, sad that it didn’t work out.


A fully realised NZ music career.


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