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X Factor Australia 8: Top 12

Can I just say one thing? X Factor Australia 8 > X Factor UK 13.

Not going to lie, there were still a couple of mediocre performances tonight, but for a first live show, there were no complete trainwrecks and some outstanding performances. Something I was unable to find on the other show across the globe.

Two things that I didn't like though was Mel B's choices for her category - maybe the other one was due to the fact that Mel B mentored her when she was part of The Voice Kids in 2014? - and the format of losing one person from each category. After watching the show, Adam can't lose any of his acts because they all delivered some pretty stellar performances. It makes me sad.

On with the show!

12. Maddi Milewski
Addicted To You
Other than the fact that I'm not particularly fond of her - she does not come off very likeable to me - I thought her overall performance was weak. Sure, her tone sounded lovely especially with the song choice and her apparent sickness added some nice texture to her voice, but at the same time, she just wasn't hitting the notes right. She almost sounded a bit under pitch for a big chunk of the song with a lot of sharp and flat notes. Should I give her a pass for being sick? Maybe, but with a show as cutthroat as X Factor, there's just no time. 5

11. Vlado
Maybe he's the token cute boy this season? Quite frankly, I didn't expect him to be picked as a wildcard just because there were a lot of terrific vocalists that were eliminated and Vlado's version of Closer was a clear proof of his limited vocal abilities. Again, it wasn't godawful, but the tone was jarring, the constant need to shove his hair to the side was distracting, and the whole thing just came off a little amateurish. I did like that he had a couple of nice liberties with the melody, but other than that, it was decent at best. 6

10. Time and Place
You know what? This was actually a lot better than I expected. No, it wasn't stellar by any means and they still looked "uncoordinated", but I thought the song was a good choice for them. The vocals on the verses were decent, the harmonies could've been a lot tighter but not a complete mess, and the staging was actually good. I thought Sheldon taking the more melodic parts of the song was a terrible idea as his pitch was inconsistent for the most part and his timing was off. He may have the biggest range, but I question his rhythm and musicality. Plus, he looked out of place for some weird reason. 6

09. Timmy Knowles
Keep My Hands To Myself
Good on them for picking an unpredictable song choice for Timmy and that's probably the most interesting thing about this performance. Don't get me wrong, his vocals were mostly on point and he looked like he connected well with the song, however, I didn't think it was compelling enough to make a lasting impression. It was just there and I'm afraid the performance was forgettable enough that he'd be lost in the mix. 7

08. Beatz
I've been a fan since 2014 and while this wasn't as strong as their previous performances, I thought they managed to deliver a solid one. The harmonies were mostly spot on, the solos weren't perfect but good enough, and the energy was amazing. The staging felt a little chaotic though and it somehow created a bit of a disconnect from the performance to the audience. Hopefully, this performance was strong and memorable enough to last them another week because I don't think Mel B has a strong category with Maddi and Vlado. 7.5

07. Brentwood
Say It
While I did get Iggy's idea of pushing Brentwood out of their comfort zones, this performance came off a little forced. It didn't seem organic to them and that's my problem. Having said that, they sounded incredible. The harmonies were tight, the arrangement served their voices really well, and this actually proved that they can be versatile. Should they try this production again? Maybe not, but at least they weren't too predictable. 7.5

06. Davey Woder
With A Little Help From My Friends
Davey's version of the song wasn't spectacular enough to have me board his bandwagon, but it managed to have me take a second look and consider him as a worthy contestant. Not going to lie, I was ready to write him off, but his soulful vocals along with some impassioned delivery sealed the deal for me. It was a strong showing for him and I honestly didn't expect that. 7.5

05. AYA
Secret Love Song
AYA, formerly known as Montage, formerly known as Chai. Haha. The good? I thought the song choice was brilliant as it was a good showcase of their powerhouse vocals, the beginning verses were gorgeous, the harmonies were crazy good, and they looked like a legitimate girl group. The bad? They went to a shouty mess territory towards the end that somehow ruined the overall impact of their performance. If they only nailed the last part and not went overboard with the vocals, this could've easily been the performance of the week. 8

04. Natalie Ong
When Love Takes Over
Just like AYA, Natalie started out really strong with her vocal sweet spot sitting comfortably well with they key of the song. The power of her voice was unbelievable, her phrasing was great, and while not entirely there yet, I appreciated that she went for something more current and upbeat. Sadly, that last note was terribly off pitch and I'm surprised none of the coaches called her out on that. Good thing, her best vocal moments outweighed that last note. 8

03. Isaiah Firebrace
Lay It All On Me
.. and just like that, I'm instantly a fan! I was dreading for another overdone song from Isaiah, but Lay It All On Me for him was a refreshing choice. His tone was gorgeous and how he made that work for this song was all the more impressive. I thought his vocals were spot on, he looked comfortable on stage with a good amount of intensity, and he didn't forget his lyrics! Hooray! But seriously, this was pretty spectacular. That tone.. 9

02. Chynna Taylor
Open Arms
I hated the song choice - Really? Open Arms? - but Chynna had this incredible ability to turn something so trite enjoyable. I don't know what it was, but at the end of my performance, I was just in awe. Her vocal range seemed to go endless, the quality of her voice was crystal clear, her delivery was believable, and did I say something about her range? She made it look so effortless. 9.5

01. Amalia
This was so good! Is she the most versatile? No, but at this point, I'm not yet bored with her style. I admit, I was a little worried that Amalia's inability to branch outside of what she's doing now will eventually be a liability, but her version of the song was absolutely fantastic that I genuinely doesn't care. The haunting quality of her voice was front and center, her phrasing was sensational, the way she caressed those words were sublime, and it was just an overall gorgeous performance. She's not the most exciting performer, but one can't deny that she's someone very special. Oh, and Mel B was downright mean! What the heck! 9.5

Unders: Natalie Ong
Overs: Timmy Knowles
Groups: Time and Place
Underdogs: Maddi Milewski

Unders: Isaiah Firebrace
Overs: Timmy Knowles
Groups: Time and Place
Underdogs: Maddi Milewski
X Factor Australia 8: Top 12 Reviewed by DAM on 3:42 AM Rating: 5

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