Dannii Minogue sheds troubled waters on X Factor
Pop star Dannii Minogue chokes up during her critique of X Factor favourite, Dami Im's rendition of Bridge Over Troubled WaterPT0M48S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2un9z 620 349 September 30, 2013
Family week on The X Factor had a double meaning this week as it not only determined the theme for tonight’s song choices, but saw judge Dannii Minogue reduced to tears and leave before the end of the recording.
“I have had the roughest time, you have been an absolute angel,” Minogue said to her sole remaining contestant Dami Im who had sung the final number Bridge Over Troubled Water with emotion, and Minogue shed tears as she dedicated Im’s song to her parents and grandfather, following the death of her grandmother a fortnight ago.
I have had the roughest time, you have been an absolute angel.
The distress brought the judges together as well, with the bickering forgotten and exchanged for hugs and compassion.
A tearful Minogue left early from the live broadcast of The X Factor
Following Minogue's early exit, prior to Luke Jacobz's sign-off, the host extended “our thoughts” to the Minogue clan.
Minogue hinted soon after the show via Twitter at her emotional state during the live performance.
Taylor had a strong night on The X Factor
First though seven songs, now playing in full length as enough contestants have been eliminated to let the show get padded out with fatter tunes.
THIRD D3GREE – Smooth Criminal, Michael Jackson
All three of the Degree-ers loved Michael Jackson as kids so that’s what they get.
What we get is scaffolding on stage, dancers who appear to have just arrived from the Rocky Horror auditions and the trio. Kelebek starts out singing which runs counter to the advice they’ve received before to play to their strengths.
Jordan pipes up for a while to sort of speak along with the song before Jacinta gives us the first smooth criminal chorus and she’s the only one really singing tonight.
Their harmonies aren’t harmonious, Kelebek and Jordan are having voice issues it seems, and Jordan takes a moment to dance but this is sloppy. In the final blast of vocals it sounds like they’re more shouting than singing.
The room seems to like it, with lots of cheers, but it’s no Jacko.
Rating: 5/10 – All over the shop.
Dannii says they have “it” which she doesn’t define, but “it” isn’t pitch as she points out they are still struggling on that front. Foo says it was a hot mess, that Jacinta should have been singing the lead, Kelebek’s second rap was good. “It needed more work” he sums up and Ronan agrees. “Messy, really messy,” he says before identifying the singing, the staging and the dancing as the problem. Nat points to the crowd’s response as evidence it worked and says yes, they needed more time.
Jacinta is crying tears of joy at the crowd’s response and admits it is hard to rehearse a song when one of your trio has no voice.
Jai Waetford – That Should Be Me, Justin Bieber
Ronan acknowledges that this is a contentious song choice, but he wants Jai to be as successful as Bieber.
“Good one professor genius!” declares Foo, and we’re off.
Jai stands alone in an empty stage with a lot of lights around the floor. He sings to the camera as it spins around and around him, before turning his attention to the judges.
It’s a bit of a bland ballad from Bieber and the shower of sparks that descend with the key change don’t really change that. It’s hard not to feel that if Ronan was going to play the Bieber card he should have gone for one of his big numbers.
Jai finishes strong and he has stayed on pitch throughout. The crowd like it, the judges love it as they all stand at the end.
Rating: 6/10 – Good effort but a bit of a nothing song
Nat says it was a great song choice, a great outfit and she feels this is Jai’s best performance to date. Dannii wants Jai to be careful not to just be a Bieber clone. “I can’t believe it, I thought that was going to be the worst song choice” says Foo, but he feels Jai “outshone the Bieb-ster on his own song.”
JTR – MMMBop, Hanson
Nat is worried that the similarities between Hanson and JTR (three brothers, hair issues) will dominate the conversation so she determines to “dirty up” Hanson.
Dirtying up appears to consist of giving a guitar to John (the blonde, eldest brother).
Youngest brother JTR – Robin, the big haired JTR - is struggling a bit with his voice tonight but middle JTR Tom, who has looked the least confident all competition, is doing really well. The song belongs to blonde-John though as he bops, sorry MMMBops along in the middle.
This sounds a lot like the original, but that’s probably going to be a guilty pleasure for many tonight.
Rating: 6/10 – MMMok
Dannii loves that they admit to loving Hanson. She admits she loved that song too. “We’ll see” sums up Dannii who is enjoying that fence thank you very much. Foo also liked Hanson and feels they could have spiced it up a little more. Ronan didn’t want to like this, but really did. “This is exactly who you guys are,” he says. They don’t appear to take offence at that. Nat liked it too. Shocking.
X Factor confessions continues as Luke admits he too liked Hanson.
Omar Dean – Carless Whisper, George Michael
Omar is facing confidence issues this week as he felt last week went so badly.
A solitary trumpet starts us off and Omar stands in a white picture frame at the top of a staircase to nowhere. It’s all about the artistic staging.
There are two more staircases on stage and one provides us with a dancing couple who have forgotten to wear shirts tonight.
Once again the performance is a good reproduction of the original, there’s no Omar in this cover.
As he goes to a falsetto for the final notes it gets a bit pitchy.
Rating: 7/10 – Nice.
Nat first reviews Omar’s performance from last week – she was wrong, it was good – before saying he smashed it this week. Dannii said it was a great performance and that his falsetto was Omar in his happy place. Foo says the performance took him back to the '80s and was one of his favourites. He admits that it went a bit screwy towards the end but he pulled it off. Ronan has no words so he hugs Omar instead.
Omar thanks his grandmother who flew in from the US to watch tonight.
Taylor Henderson – Horses, Daryl Braithwaite
Taylor recalls last week’s standing ovation and it makes him happy.
It turns out Taylor was named after James Taylor but his father always sings Horses with Taylor backing him on guitar.
Tonight Taylor stands alone at the front of the stage with someone else backing him on guitar (and piano) and he looks very comfortable in the role of lead singer.
Taylor has genuine star quality tonight, he’s the first who has really owned the stage. He mixes up the singing, goes to a falsetto place, and generally owns it.
Only Ronan stands at the end though.
Rating: 8/10 – Easily the best of the night so far.
Nat can’t be heard over the screams from the crowd and says she wants to listen to Taylor’s beautiful voice forever. She also loves his confidence but questions the falsetto, which Taylor blames on his tight pants. Dannii says the girls aren’t complaining as a showman is emerging in Taylor. That is not a euphemism. She wants even more confidence. Foo says this is the first time Taylor has looked comfortable on stage and loved it.
Jiordan Tolli – Don’t Speak, No Doubt
It turns out Joelle was Jiordan’s best friend so last week was hard. And that her mum was not just a singer but a “singer singer.” Her mum also looks a bit like Olivia Newton John.
The staging is a circus theme with Jiordan strapped on a spinning wheel (the kind people throw knives at).
She’s giving a purer version of this than the No Doubt original. The backing track has a lot of symphonic strings. She’s a bit pitchy on the top notes but she’s definitely feeling the break up at the centre of the song’s meaning.
Rating: 8/10 – A really good variation on the original
Ronan and Foo stand at the end. “Every once in a while we have the contestant that performs a song and connects better than the original,” says Ronan “this is how this song should be performed.” He loved her tone, her look and the song. Nat felt the production was too big, she liked her performance but not the circus and the symphonic backing. Dannii loved that Jiordan let her inner actress shine through. Foo says it was mesmerizing and he stole the idea for Jiordan’s hair from Nat.
Dami Im – Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkel
Dami knows that she isn’t perfect and worries she will mess it up this week.
We learn that her mother was an opera singer, her father liked Simon, her mother liked Garfunkel.
Dannii presents the song to Dami and says “I’m sure it will make your pawents cwy(sic)” – let’s assume that was meant to be cute, not casually racist.
In a smoke filled stage, Dami, wearing a tutu that has raged out of control and attacked her shoulder, stands with a stand microphone and a backing choir.
It’s all very golden and Dami is getting her Celine Dion on tonight.
As expected Dami’s singing is perfect again and as she adds just a little gravel on the big notes towards the end it sounds outstanding. Then she holds one massive note at the end.
She gets Dannii and Ronan on their feet.
Rating: 8/10 – Tremendous but possibly not quite as good as her others
Foo can’t talk as someone in the crowd can be heard saying she’s beautiful which starts another cheer. “That was great, but I’m used to awesome from you,” says Foo who feels she had a bit more to give. Ronan wants to get Dami into the studio to make a record. “Thank god we found you,” he says before saying “if you win the X Factor this year, it’s okay with me.” Nat says Dami is a superstar but that she shouldn’t use the word superstar. She calls Foo Mr Crankypants this week. They then debate whether this is a big song or a small song. Dannii ends up in tears as she dedicates Dami’s song to her parents and grandfather as she’s had a really tough week. She says this was the first time Dami has just been herself and she’s proud. All the judges hug Dannii at the end.
Taylor, Jiordan and Dami should all be safe, any of the other four could struggle.
On merit it should probably be a bottom two of THIRD D3GREE and Jai Waetford, but Jai will be saved by his cute-factor, so it will probably be JTR or Omar joining the group.