X Factor Australia 7: 20 Best Performances (Wrap-Up)

It short (not really) and fast run but I must say this season of X Factor Australia is a joy to cover and watch. The talent as a whole is pretty solid and the performances were averaging from good to amazing. Plus we welcome two new judges who are bickering back and forth together with the other two judges. One handsome Luke Jacobsz who got a smooch from James Blunt and all in all a really good season of this franchise.

As I usually do on the reality singing shows when a season ends, here is a wrap-up post of the 20 Best Performances that I personally thought stole the show for this season. This is quite subjective. I hust realized how Cyrus Villanueva and the duo of Jess & Matt donimated this season no?

Here you go.

20. HEART OF GLASS
Jess & Matt
Top 12

– There is a husky quality in Jess’ voice that I like. At first I thought it was too breathy but as the performance went on it actually complimented Matt’s vocals. In the end, the two delivered a solid acoustic take on Heart of glass!

19. TOCA’S MIRACLE
Natalie Conway
Top 6

– I have never been a fan of Natalie but I did lover her take on Toca’s Miracle. It was breathtaking, solid and the vocals were top notch! Not to mention, Natalie is flying… literally!

18. BOYFRIEND
Cyrus Villanueva
Top 12

– The gritty, acoustic take on this Justin Bieber ditty is just the tip of an iceberg from Cyrus as he showed his musicality without coming across as show off and also giving us vocal talent with those falsettos, dynamics and liberties he took that just made this performance compelling and memorable.

17. DANCING IN THE DARK
Jess & Matt
Top 7

– Jess & Matt’s take on Dancing in the dark is in my taste a delicious, simple sweet revenge! The duo who were put on the bottom 2 multiple times just showed that they are viable artist post X Factor and that they have great vocals to back up their talent! Such a solid cover in my opinion.

16. CAN’T FEEL MY FACE
The Fisher Boys
Top 12

– The choreography may be so cheesy at some point but there is no denying that The Fisher Boys delivered the strongest performance of Week 1. Their vocals were solid. The remarkable stage presence is impeccable and the group was just outstanding in totality.

15. I WAS MADE FOR LOVING YOU
Jess & Matt
Top 4

I was made for loving you is a song I never imagined Jess & Matt would sing but they surprised me and it ended up to be oen of the strongest performances of the night. Jess sounded lovely and Matt was simply solid too. The couple also looked beautiful as they took a watercooler performance.

14. PHOTOGRAPH
In Stereo
Top 10

– In Stereo had so much potential coming in to the live shows but they started shaky in the early weeks as I feel like Guy hasn’t figured out the strength of his boys. Good thing he took them back on what worked on them. These three young guys were not the biggest voices of the season but the simple, acoustic take on this current Ed Sheeran hit made a difference. Their vocals were solid. The harmonies were beautiful and the individual verses were lovely.

13. WHOLE LOTTA LOVE
Big T
Top 8

– Big T to me looked like a guy who is just so into himself and the way he presents himself on self rubs me the wrong way as I feel like he is arrogant but I know that is not true but that is what I feel when it comes to his stage presence but that also is the reason why I love his performance of Whole lotta love as it matches the way Big T presented himself. His vocals were over the top beautiful and it was just a solid performance from the big guy.

12. HOLD BACK THE RIVER
Cyrus Villanueva
Top 10

– I live the whole production if this performance as it showed us a more fun side of Cyrus. Seriously, I wanna play with that “river” like stage design they did for him. But more than that, Cyrus sounded beautiful and he just made the performance looked easy and simple. His vocals were spot on. He is oozing with so much confidence. 

11. DREAM ON
Louise Adams
Top 8

Dream on is difficult to pull off. But it worked perfectly witg Louise raspy voice! It sounded right with enough play on her dynamics and her phrasing sounded lovely!

10. STAY
Jess & Matt
Top 6

– The production is just commendable! X Factor really do pull off fantastic stage designs/production value. But more than that, the individual verses of this performance is just outstanding. And when they hit the chorus, the blend of their voices sounded beautiful.

9. EARNED IT
Cyrus Villanueva
Top 3

– On a finale night where he needed to reprise his audition, it was smart for him and his mentor Chris to actually do a different take than his fantastic audition. Yes I would love to listen on the acoustic take once again but this pop cover is as good as that. And more so, we saw a popstar rise and deliver a confident, full of slick movements and a quality of performance that looked more like he is a guest rather than a contestant proved that Cyrus will and can exist in the current music industry.

8. RUMOR HAS IT
Cyrus Villanueva
Top 7

– Sure, Cyrus didn’t do anything spectacular with this Adele hit but to actually perform a pitch perfect, astonishing phrasing and incredible vocal work on a song that is full of dynamics and I guess hard to pull off? He did a bang up job and I love it! It was vocally spectacular and that bridge where the band allowed us to just listen on the gorgeousness of Cyrus’ vocals? Great stuff!

7. YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT
Jess & Matt
Top 5

– The arrangement at first left me a bit confused but once I got the beauty of it, I thought it was genius and fantastic! And I love how Jess & Matt’s voices blended in the tune. It was a lovely take with some semi-edge things happening on the totality of the performance.

6. HELLO
Mahalia Simpson
Top 11

– This is the Mahalia everybody rooted for during the auditions. The quiet, simple and yet emotion full performance allows Mahalia’s vocals to be front and center. And she delivered a phenomenal take on this Lionel Richie hit. 

5. KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR
Cyrus Villanueva
Top 6

– Cyrus is a pro. At this point of the competition, there is no stopping this guy as he showed yet again how he is a reliable vocalist who will deliver time after time. His take om Knockin’ on heaven’s door is simply outstanding. His vocal control is perfect. His tone was lovely. His gorgeous phrasing is superb. What more can I say?

4. PEOPLE HELP THE PEOPLE
Louise Adams
Top 11

– Louise showed impeccable vocals with sublime dynamics and controlled phrasing. Her vocals sounded lovely with so much ease and passion. And hearing Louise delivered a quiet and full of restraint performance is a breath of fresh air.

3. DO YOU REMEMBER
Jess & Matt
Top 10

– Jess & Matt in the early rounds were clearly not taken seriously by the public with their numerous appearance on the bottom 2 and I don’t really understand why. This duo as the competition goes on just keeps getting better. One of their highlights is Do you remember where they started showing great vocal dynamics, impeccable chemistry and spot on harmonies. I must admit, I ain’t familiar with the song but Jess & Matt made me look for and download it.

2. JEALOUS
Cyrus Villanueva
Top 3

– During this night, hands down it came to my mind that this is the best performance of the season. But who cares, it was still the winner who delivered the top and runner-up performance of the season. His vocals were not perfect but the emotion he put in it captured how beautiful the song is and how it should be done. Lovely winning monent Cyrus!

1. WICKED GAME
Cyrus Villanueva
Top 11

– After watching the whole season once again, I go back and forth.. back and forth and in the end Cyrus’ performance of Wicked Game hands down won me over. This is the time where Cyrus became clearly the front runner of the competition. The way he navigated the song was just pure magic. His vocals were spot on. He caressed every single verse with so much ease and the sublime vocals is like butter melting, smooth and delicious. Well done.

X Factor Australia 7: Finale

X Factor Australia 7 Live shows

I can’t believe it is already the finale episode of this season of X Factor Australia. And we are down to three with all new judges are represented each.

I must say, this is a solid top 3 of the series and probably, a solid three that I’ve seen in any singing competition of Australia.

Also, I enjoyed tonight’s episode as all three acts did a marvelous job representing themselves.

Now let’s rank them.

AUDITION SONG

3. JESS & MATT
Georgia
[GROUPS]

– I was excited to relive this since it was one of my favorite auditions this season but there is something lacking on this reprise thg is undeniable. The harmonies were not as tight as before. The vocals were shaky and a bit flat. 6

2. LOUISE ADAMS
Feeling Good
[OVERS]

– The staging looked stunning and somehow it affected the wholeness of the performance in a good way. Louise delivered a solid vocal albeit that last part but this is in her alley and she did a wonderful job. 7

1. CYRUS VILLANUEVA
Earned It
[BOYS]

– Cyrus just showed how ready he is in the current music scene. The choreography looked slick, Cyrus had some charisma and confidence that oozing naturally. His vocals were solid. 8

— –
ORIGINAL SONG

3. LOUISE ADAMS
History
[OVERS]

– It’s a bit lounge-y but then she picked up eventully and this turned out to be a gorgeous original song. 7

2. JESS & MATT
Nothing Matters
[GROUPS]

– It was a bit underwhelming first half but the second half is fantastic! Their voices were stronger and the song is quite radio friendly. 7

1. CYRUS VILLANUEVA
Stone
[BOYS]

– Amidst parts where he mumbles words, I think he forgot some lyrics – but Cyrus didn’t showed any signs of nervousness. He carried on, performed like he is a guest star and commanded the stage remarkably! 7.5

— –
JUDGES CHOICE

3. LOUISE ADAMS
Someone Like You
[OVERS]

– Ooops. What happened? 3

2. JESS & MATT
Lay Me Down
[GROUPS]

– I thought this would be solid and beautiful like that of their performance of Stay. But there is something unappealing on the first half that it is a good thing that the second half is gorgeous and sounded solid. 7

1. CYRUS VILLANUEVA
Jealous
[BOYS]

– Best. Performance. Of. The. Season. 9

X Factor Australia 7: Killer Tracks & Curveballs (Top 4)

X Factor Australia 7 Live shows

This is a bit late, I’m sorry for that. But this was ultimately, I think, the right top 4 of the series. Perhaps, this is the strongest set of Top 4 that the show had. Not to take away from the other contestants, but I think out of this four, each and every one of them at least had 2 or more shining moments during the course of the live shows.

Now let us see how they really did on the two themes of the week.

KILLER TRACKS

4. BIG T
Marvin Gaye
[BOYS]

– In any side, I just don’t think that Charlie Puth’s Marvin Gaye really suited Big T’s voice His vocals cracked in parts and there was a certain unsureness from his delivery that is evident. More so, it felt like a karaoke performance that is good for a 70 score. 4

3. LOUISE ADAMS
Ain’t No Sunshine
[OVERS]

– The arrangement left me baffled as I feel like the wholeness of it didn’t showcase the emotional aspect of the song. Louise did all that she could with the song but it felt disconnected ultimately. 5

2. JESS & MATT
Need You Now
[GROUPS]

– The vocals were weaker than their usual but there are parts that worked and sounded pretty. Matt in particular showed strength in his vocals during his verses with the harmonies sounding quite lovely. 6.5

1. CYRUS VILLANUEVA
Don’t
[BOYS]

– Solid! Despite the risk of doing those bizarre run of quicke verses, Cyrus delivered them with so much ease and clarity! His voice didn’t fakter at all and he showed that he is a ready made pop star! Great job. 8

— –
CURVEBALLS

4. BIG T
A Whiter Shade of Pale
[BOYS]

– The vocals were nice. The restraint from Big T is something I have missed from him in recent weeks. It was a good performance to leave an impression from Big T, even for a last time? 7

3. LOUISE ADAMS
Blame It On Me
[OVERS]

– Who knew? As a curveball, this is something you wouldn’t really think Louise could pull but she did. Her vocals were gorgeous. It was simple, lovely and on point. 7.5

2. CYRUS VILLANUEVA
In The Air Tonight
[BOYS]

– There’s nothing much Cyrus could do with the verses that sounded quite repetitive but Cyrus delivered a lovely, wonderful cover that showed another solid performance from him. He realky is the most consistent vocalist left on the show. 8

1. JESS & MATT
I Was Made For Loving You
[GROUPS]

– I never expected Jess & Matt in any day to do a song like this but they made it worked. The individual verses were gorgeous. The harmonies were lovely! The stage presence of the duo is just remarkable. Good job! 8

X Factor Australia 7: Mentor’s Choice (Top 5)

X Factor Australia 7 Live shows

It’s X Factor Australia’s quarter finals already and I think Australia got it right for this season’s Top 5. But why did I felt underwhelmed after watching this episode? Usually there is like 2-3 standout and blownaway performances from this group of 5 but tonight? It was most decent to good. So yeah. And I think it is time for Chris Isaak to lose another act tomorrow night and hopefully it is NOT Cyrus! Ha.

Now let us rank the Top 5’s performances.

5. BIG T
All Of Me
[BOYS]

– Big mess. Such a shame, I thought this will be the time where Big T will explore his softer, more controlled part of his delivery but then again he goes big, lacks emotional connection and the vocals were just all over the place. 3

4. MAHALIA SIMPSON
I Try
[GIRLS]

– On paper, this is a perfect match for Mahalia but something just didn’t connect with her in here. She looked more comfortable and confident though but it wasn’t the same Mahalia that I loved in the early rounds. Sigh. 6.5

3. CYRUS VILLANUEVA
Love Me Like You Do
[BOYS]

– It was a bit underwhelming performance from Cyrus. Sure his vocals were still spot on and his phrasing is more gorgeous than ever but the usual guy who took risk with his arrangements and explores his vocal dynamics is giving us a bland, straight on and underwhelmed delivery. 7

2. LOUISE ADAMS
I Put A Spell On You
[OVERS]

– Louise delivered a dynamic, current sounding and solid vocal performance of “I put a spell on you”. I may have apprehensions with the song choice at first as I felt it was tired and over done in singing competition but Louise made the most out of it. 7.5

1. JESS & MATT
You’re The One That I Want
[GROUPS]

– Gorgeous! Their harmonies are more solid. The individual verses were lovely. The arrangement is a bit polarizing but it has some charismatic effect. Great job! 7.5

X Factor Australia 7: Judges Challenge (Top 6)

X Factor Australia 7 Live shows

It’s the Judges Challenge theme this week on the X Factor Australia and I am excited for Mahalia since Dannii will not choose the song for her. Lol! But too bad to the one she will choose song for.

Anyway, this is I think a strong top 6 of X Factor Australia to date as I thought each of them had managed to give at least one outstanding performance prior to this week. And I am not the biggest fan of Natalie nor Big T nor Louise. So good job Australia!

So here I ranked the performances tonight.

6. BIG T
Locked Out Of Heaven
[BOYS]

– He missed his cue, he forgot some lyrics, he started screaming the song towards the end, he hit those sharp and flat notes, he is clearly not wanting this song choice and he looks mad. I may not be the biggest fan of Big T but I was actually expecting him to pull this off since I really believe that he is a reliable performer. He did it during his Jailhouse Rock performance. 4

5. LOUISE ADAMS
You Don’t Own Me
[OVERS]

– It sounded dated and didn’t seem really that connected to Louise. The vocals were uneven and the whole thing just came out flat and bland. 5

4. MAHALIA SIMPSON
Chasing Pavements
[GIRLS]

– Mahalia didn’t do anything different from let’s say Adele’s version or some reality singing competition covers but her tone alone allows to hover beautifully on you and it rightfully melts like a butter! It was just simply that good. 7.5

3. NATALIE CONWAY
Toca’s Miracle
[OVERS]

– This is the moment where I now finally see and connect with Natalie. She had so much command on that stage. The production worked perfectly well and oh my gosh, those vocals were superb! This is to me, her strongest work to date. 7.5

2. JESS & MATT
Stay
[GROUPS]

– The production was genius and their vocals were spot on. Jess sounded insanely spot on and Matt just complimented her. He also looked so good, I can’t help but adore that handsomeness! Haha. But all in all this was pretty terrific and the staging was just smart. 8

1. CYRUS VILLANUEVA
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
[BOYS]

– I have heard this covered like a lot from other shows but there is something innately captivating on what Cyrus has done with the song. It was beautiful, gorgeous and wraps you up compeletly. His vocals were pure and solid and it was just yet another strong showing from him. He really also had that undeniable stage presence that he captures the audience and lures them to just focus on him. Great job! 8

X Factor Australia 7: Trailblazers (Top 7)

X Factor Australia 7 Live shows

I don’t know about the theme but it seems like this was another term for “sing whatever you like” theme!

The remaining 7 is taking on some “trailblazers” songs and while the some song choices were baffling, the night turned out to be a pretty decent one. No trainwrecks but no super standout performance too.

I think it is the right top 7 and some of them are due to a trip for the bottom group.

Anyway here’s how I rank the Top 7 tonight.

7. MICHAELA BARANOV
Diamonds
[GIRLS]

– It’s so lifeless, she didn’t even reached half way and I fell asleep already. Look, Michaela is a really good vocalist but her stage presence, her performance level is just zero. 5

6. NATALIE CONWAY
I Have Nothing
[OVERS]

– The tired song choice didn’t do any wonders for Natalie. Not to mention, she struggled yo keep her pitch on key and her vocals were either sharp or flat. 5

5. MAHALIA SIMPSON
Tears Dry On Their Own
[GIRLS]

– Dannii seems to be lost on what to do with Mahalia. It is like Mahalia knows what kind of artist she is and what songs will work for her but Dannii keeps on giving her uptempo, weird song choices that makes Mahalia struggle to show what she is capable of. Her pitch were flawed. Her vocals were a mess. 5.5

4. BIG T
Jailhouse Rock
[BOYS]

– Big T made the most out of the song choice despite this performance coming off as a decent karaoke performance. 6

3. LOUISE ADAMS
Bad Romance
[OVERS]

– There is something off in this performance that I can’t really pinpoint but Louise continues to deliver consistent vocals. Her delivery weren’t as big or great like before but it was enough to keep her safe. 6.5

2. JESS & MATT
Dancing In The Dark
[GROUPS]

– Great arrangement! Simple, compelling and honest. The performance allowed Jess and Matt’s vocals to be front and center. Lovely! 7.5

1. CYRUS VILLANUEVA
Rumor Has It
[BOYS]

– For a song choice that has so many vocal dynamics, Cyrus was able to deliver a pitch perfect performance. His transitions were clean. The phrasing was beautiful. His stage presence is just off the roof! This was to be honest and really good delivery and an Adele song is really difficult to sing. 8

X Factor Australia 7: Rock Week (Top 8)

X Factor Australia 7 Live shows

With the eliminations of Georgia Denton (Girls) and Jimmy Davis (Boys) last week, all mentors/judges were in an even playing field boasting two artists for their respective categories.

It’s Rock Week for the Top 8 as they tackle rock songs or “rock” music from rock artists. Will Chris Isaak & his boys get the upperhnd since he is a rock icon?

Let’s see how the artists did tonight.

8. IN STEREO
Demons
[GROUPS]

– Look this wasn’t bad and the individual were pretty nice albeit some off pitch moments but there is a lack of connection from the boys that is evident in here and the harmonies were a little all over the place. 6

7. MAHALIA SIMPSON
Need You Tonight
[GIRLS]

– The thing that made her better than In Stereo this week is that she is actually singing better but like them she is very disconnected in her material. Although I love the sass and she also got a bit distracted with her movements on stage that the vocals got faltered in parts. 6

6. MICHAELA BARANOV
Wild Horses
[GIRLS]

– I love that they kept it simple and allow Michaela’s voice to be front and center. But she is a little cold. I mean, I never really felt her even though the singing was pretty good. 6.5

5. NATALIE CONWAY
Alone
[OVERS]

– Look, she sang the song quite well but it left me cold afterwards. It was actually a good vocal, at least for me. She had some melodic changes in parts which is good and her vocals were actually soaring beautifully. But I still can’t find myself to root for her at some point which is odd. Maybe itt was her lack of connection to her material that makes me second guess myself with Natalie. 7

4. JESS & MATT
Sweet Disposition
[GROUPS]

– The harmonies sounded gorgeous, the individual verses were nice. I wish a better song for them but I digress. This was still a good showing from the duo. 7

3. CYRUS VILLANUEVA
Ain’t Over Til It’s Over
[BOYS]

– This is not Cyrus strongest performance but it gave a certain kind of charm and mark. The falsettos were not clean like the usual but his transitions were better. The verses sounded nice too. I am quite impressed still. 7.5

2. BIG T
Whole Lotta Love
[BOYS]

– The first part, the band swallowed him but once he picked up he actually deliever a pretty solid version of the song. But I am still struggling with his stage presence as it comes across quite arrogant or maybe it was his personal “swag”. Nonetheless, this is probably his best performance on a live show to date. 7.5

1. LOUISE ADAMS
Dream On
[OVERS]

– This is right in Louise’s alley. She managed to keep it interesting from start to finish although some of her vocal choices were a bit lazy and her vocals were not as solid as her usual form, she – for me – gave the strongest performance of the night. That end note! 7.5