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ListsMarch 24, 2015

The X Factor Group Think: Week Six


The Spinoff knights meet at the television roundtable to discuss week six on X Factor NZ, and our new additions to the judging panel.

Eli Mathewson on the Tough Calls

The toughest criticism so far came for a completely unexpected victim…

“You disgust me. You make me sick. You ruin everything I love about the world. I want you to leave my sight, and never come back”

– Shelton Woolright, on sleeves


Renee Church on Willy Moon’s Farewell to Mae Valley

Dearest Mae Valley; 

It is I, your former judge/ father, William Moon. I know we didn’t leave on the best of terms, but I am writing to you from a balcony of a London nightclub, where I’m smoking a $400 cigarette, so I knew you’d understand. 

I’m writing, partly to apologise, but mostly to warn you that Stan might start claiming that Mae Valley was his idea. It’s all lies, don’t listen to him, he’s yet another person trying to steal my career. 

Anyway, sorry and stuff? One day we’ll be reunited and I’ll be your mentor once again – I know Johnny Cash’s ghost personally, so you’ll be massive. 


Willy Moon. 

P.S: Natalia took a Polaroid of me crying and holding my laptop with you two performing on TV3 Ondemand and I’ve put it in the envelope xox

Talia Smith on Yell-Singing

This week we learned that in order to win the competition all you need to do is scream/yell the lyrics to any song and everyone is impressed. From Hatbeard to Finlay’s nodules to Joe’s almost creepy ‘Take Me to Church’ rendition – start a little soft, even perhaps a bit off key, and then really belt it out 10 seconds in and the crowd are on their feet.

Perhaps I’m coming off a little bitter after this pretty abysmal week. At least now I know when heading to Charlie’s on K’rd after a few beers to yell a Taylor Swift song into the mic – perhaps I’m actually doing something right.

Also attached my tweet on TV. Look guys I made it!


Click here to listen to After the Factor, our excellent X Factor NZ podcast hosted by Joseph Moore and Nic Sampson.

Jack Riddell on Songs That’ll Make X Factor Bearable

Now that the drama(s) have left the X Factor NZ, it’s instantly snapped back into the predictable boring mode. Here are some songs that’ll make it mildly enjoyable and interesting to watch (for those of us that actually like music).

Disclaimer: None of these songs will ever get votes from the frothing masses of the X Factor demographic, but I would vote the shit* outta any contestant that did any of these numbers.

*’05 TXT Bomb styles

Joe Irvine

Rick James Ft Billy Dee Williams – Tell Me (What You Want)

Beck – Debra

Sarah Spicer 

4 Non Blondes – What’s Up

Alanis Morissette – Hand in My Pocket

Beau Monga

Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home

Prince – I Would Die For You (Prince doesn’t like the internet)

Brendan Thomas and the Vibes 

The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog

Sleep – Dopesmoker

Stevie Tonks

David Bowie – Heroes

LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends

Nyssa Collins 

James Brown – Super Bad

Kelis & Andre 3000 – Millionaire

Fare Thee Well 

Cat Power – He War

Sister Sledge – We Are Family

Steve Broad

Haddaway – What Is Love?

Peter Andre – Mysterious Girl

Finlay Robertson

St Vincent – Cheerleader

Little Dragon – Klapp Klapp

Lili Bayliss 

Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights

Warpaint – Elephants

Mae Valley

The Chills – Pink Frost

Everybody Needs Somebody To Love – The Blues Brothers

Alex Casey on Mel’s Fun New Years

Mel managed to slip in the other night that she went to Disney World for New Years which, although was probably just her trying to maintain a youthful zest, was also the most exciting thing anyone has said on the show since last week. I did some research to find some more scintillating snippets from her cool as holiday.

Here is Mel on a Harry Potter ride, it’s not quite Disney World but at least we are in the right Orlando ballpark.

I wasn’t frightened I swear ! #harrypotter

A photo posted by melanie blatt (@melanieblatt) on

Here is Mel getting a photo with her favourite Disney characters:

disney mel

Here is Mel at the Water Park:

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 10.28.49 am

Here is Mel winning a glasses award (unrelated, but still akin to “the happiest place on Earth”):


Duncan Greive Looks Into the Future

Right now these oiks dominate our thoughts – in five years’ time we’ll have gone four and a half years without thinking of them. I’m going to imagine where the last 11 will be come 2020.

Stevie Tonks: beloved member of the “proper New Zealand musicians’ club”, friends with Six60 and Kora. Tonks has done three stints in Fly My Pretties and had a #3 hit guest vocalising on an extremely uplifting Shapeshifter single.

Finlay Robertson: Nodules a distant memory, Finlay secures a seven night-a-week residency at Sky City’s low budget, high calorie eatery Sammy’s Place.

Sarah Spicer: Forced to close her Waihi B&B after it became a target for too many creepy single dads, Spicer successfully opens an Indian restaurant under the name Hot n Spicer – only to have the problem repeat itself.

Joe Irvine: Opens Invercargill’s first mega-church where he sings, preaches and weeps to 5000 devoted souls every Sunday. Successfully parlays that into the city’s mayoralty, unseating a bitter Tim Shadbolt who RTs all Joe’s early tweets with the black images in a last ditch effort to stave off defeat. It doesn’t work.

Mae Valley: Move to Nashville, star in Nashville Re-booted, a spinoff to the original show focussing on the city’s ultra-competitive cowboy boot-making scene. Become stars.

Beau Monga: Plays loop pedal noise at the Audio Foundation every couple of months and is the first X Factor contestant to be favourably reviewed in The Wire.

Lili Bayliss: Head of sales for TV3, supplanting that frightening woman in the red dress from their new season launch. People swiftly realise that behind that over-eager grin lies the true X Factor killer, murdering monthly targets with extreme prejudice.

Brendon Thomas and the Vibes: All three work at The Hemp Store in Henderson and have a helluva good time.

Steve Broad: Teacher in Invercargill. Enters The Voice: New Zealand, but doesn’t make it past auditions.

Nyssa Collins: Returns to Rainbow’s End a hero, and leads a re-cut of the Rainbow’s End song (which she, perhaps foolishly, sung in her failed effort to stave off elimination) to the top of the charts. Now sings it each day to delighted fun parkers.

Fare Thee Well: All live in a cult like the one from sparsely-viewed New Zealand drama The Cult, with Shelton Woolright as the charismatic leader. It doesn’t end thee well.

Click here for more incredible X Factor NZ coverage, including Duncan Greive’s weekly (and scarily accurate) power rankings.

Hayden Donnell on the Real Judges

X Factor NZ is a student flat the day after a kegger. Remnants of its wild bender, fueled by the demon drink of Willy Moon and Natalia Kill’s pure villainy, are strewn everywhere you look: The precious ratings bonanza. The allegations of poor mentoring. The hurt buried deep in Joe’s soul. But what was once so intoxicating is now nauseating. It wants to bleach everything in sight and pretend nothing ever happened. Enter Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Shelton Woolright.

The new judges are everything the old judges weren’t: safe, 100% sane and happy to be in New Zealand. They sit in the seats once occupied by two balls of living razor wire and spout feedback as impotent as Fare Thee Well’s rendition of ‘Style’. Well fine. It had to be done. But if The X Factor must go down this path, it should walk it till its end. You want doddery veterans doling out ineffectual sentences? Then you need to hire literal, actual professional judges.

Pontius Pilate

Background: Pilate took responsibility for judging the unruly population of Jerusalem in AD 26 and stayed in the chair a full decade. His most famous case was that of Jesus of Nazareth. The crowd booed: They wanted Jesus out. But Pilate saw Jesus’ talent. In the end, he washed his hands of the decision. The rest, as they say, is history.

Upside: On X Factor NZ, Pilate would do his best to force deadlock in eliminations, allowing the rabble to decide each contestant’s fate. That would make for high drama week in, week out.

Downside: Jesus ended up getting crucified. Is New Zealand ready for public crucifixions? Let’s ask Willy Moon and Natalia Kills.

Judge Philippa Cunningham

Background: Cunningham is the famously lenient District Court judge that discharged New Zealanders such as ‘well-known comedian‘ and ‘Maori King’s son’ without conviction.

Upside: If you’re going to get a ‘nice judge’, then why not make it a pro? Cunningham also has invaluable experience dealing with pitchfork-wielding mobs. Shelton recoils at the sound of booing like a vampire being coated in holy water. She wouldn’t be thrown off her game so easily.

Downside: Cunningham may want to keep her comparatively low-stress job deciding the fates of actual criminals. 

Judge Reinhold

Background: Judge Reinhold is famous for appearing in 80s films such as Beverly Hills Cop and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He has played a real judge on screen in Clerks: The Animated Series and Arrested Development. Judge is his name. But Judge is also his lifestyle.

Upside: With zingers like these, Judge would be able to blow up the X Factor stage with some much needed ‘truth bombs’.

Downside: There is no downside. Sack everyone else except Dom and hire this man. You don’t like the idea of a pro-gun, staunchly Republican, washed-up 80s star getting a job just because he’s called Judge? Well sir, your objection is overruled. All rise. This court is now in session.

Keep going!