After a long tedious period of gestation a star is finally born, and last night we welcomed Beau into the world as X Factor NZ victor and proud new car owner.
Taking out smug Shore boys Brendon Thomas and the Vibes and sweet, lovely Nyssa, Beau’s inconsistencies paled in comparison to his much-celebrated "uniqueness" and I guess that means he’s as deserving as anyone. Debuting his own original song, ‘King and Queen’, he is now set to conquer the country, nay, the world. First stop, The Paul Henry Show! Isn’t victory sweet.
As we process this beautiful miracle, let us think not of messy afterbirth that is to come, but instead let's celebrate the long, painful labour that has led us here.
As such, here are the top 10 moments of X Factor NZ 2015.
10. The convicted killer
Controversy and chaos came early this season when it was revealed that successful auditionee Shae Brider was a convicted killer and had spent six years in prison for the manslaughter. The weirdest part of this was that the X Factor producers were well aware of the conviction and even tried to turn it into a compelling redemption narrative, and Brider’s audition was preceded by a talking head segment in which his role in the crime was treated as a wacky-yet-unfortunate coincidence. The judges also loved him, with Natalia Kills claiming he had lifted her lifelong hatred of reggae.
What a surprise then that the family of the deceased, unaware of his participation, were not super thrilled to have him pop up on reality television with the minutiae of the crime so hugely glossed over. The producers issued an apology and Brider was neither seen nor mentioned again, but it served as a menacing omen of things to come and briefly exposed the dark underbelly of the X Factor that is usually so carefully concealed.
9. Fare Thee Well beach ball incident
Eerie sibling trio Fare Thee Well performed Thirsty Merc’s ‘In the Summertime’ and it was terrible. Fortunately, the audience were given beach balls to pelt at them, delivering a much needed moment of catharsis in a season brimming with repressed emotion.
8. Stan’s crippling indecision
Remember when the bottom two were Brendon Thomas and the Vibes and Sarah Spicer and Mel voted for Sarah and Shelton and Natalie voted for BT and The V and then Stan was like “uuuuuuuuuum omg I don’t know” for like 10 minutes and then was still just like “this is dumb” and let it go to public vote? And of course, Sarah Spicer left. This was definitely the right thing to happen because Sarah Spicer was annoying, but it boggles my mind that we almost got rid of BT and the V so early on. What a life we could have lived.
7. Dominic Bowden’s nautical coordinates
A sartorial highlight of the season came courtesy of Dominic Bowden who, no doubt having caught wind of the human concept of ‘novelty’, celebrated the Songs of Summer theme with a nautical printed jacket and shorts to match. Arriving on stage astride a miniature beach buggy, so buoyant an entrance was not attempted again by Bowden for the rest of the season.
6. Mel’s men
Mel is a super hot MILF and all the men this season were in love with her. As I have discussed previously, what emerged was a love triangle between Mel, Stan and Steve Broad, around which Dom, Shelton and various others circled like sharks.
Mel’s connection with mentoree Steve was especially tangible, so much so that the producers got on board, and by the time he left it was a veritable sideshow. It was here, however, that they kind of lost me and what once seemed like an innocent, giddy, organic bond began to feel forced, artificial and cynical. Culminating in a faux marriage proposal, Steve’s publicity junket was then largely spent denying the romance rumours and certainly it appeared that perhaps Blatt and Broad had not in fact found love in a hopeless place as we all wished.
I can never say for sure whether their connection was pure or performative, but God help me if I ever find out that it was real and true and pure, only for it to have been ruined by those corporate swine producers.
5. The double elimination
The double elimination saw the belated removal of Joe Irvine, the apparently premature departure of Finlay, and it sent social media into an uproar. With the benefit of hindsight, I think we can all agree that this wasn’t as scandalous as it then seemed, however, it signalled a turning point in the competition and taught youth the country over about flawed electoral systems.
4. Stevie Tonks ‘Crazy’ performance
I am still so curious to know if this was Stevie’s idea. I really liked it, but even if you didn’t, there weren’t really any other notable performances this season.
2. Stan’s sheer shirts
Often worn coyly under a jacket and perhaps unnoticed by the untrained eye, Stan’s sheer shirts have nevertheless been a recurring presence throughout the season and a welcome reward for the eagle-eyed viewer. Subtly showing off his mysterious chest tattoo, Stan has versions of this filmy number in both black and white, which he has alternated more or less every week of the live shows with only a few exceptions.
Wisely knowing that less is more, Stan winked rather than nodded and with nary a nipple in sight. Consider this an important lesson in sophisticated titillation to men everywhere. On the sartorial flipside of this were Shelton’s frequent gaudy sleeveless shirts featuring low cut armpits, surely not appropriate for a 7pm timeslot. A little mystery goes a long way.
Judges Natalia Kills and Willy Moon were a fleeting-yet-defining part of the season, and their insane outburst in the first live show left an indelible mark on the X Factor NZ brand forever.
The dawning realisation that Kills was in fact genuinely enraged at contestant Joe Irvine for wearing a suit washed over the nation in what felt like slow motion, and our shock was reflected back to us in Joe’s trusting, confused, humiliated face.
Nothing brings people together like a common enemy and unapologetic supervillains Kills and Moon united the country in fury and outrage while Joe became a national hero overnight. The dastardly duo were swiftly excommunicated, yet the ramifications of the incident were felt ever since.
1. Mel playing with red pandas at Auckland Zoo
And so concludes another season. We laughed, we cried and it was all very bodily. The future now is uncertain: Birthed into a callous and uncaring world, only time will tell which, if any, of our X Factees can make it past the Jackie Thomas realm of obscurity and into the prized Benny Tipene sector of success.
For us too, dear viewer, we now face Sunday and Monday nights adrift. With Mel Blatt surely on a plane back to Ibitha as we speak, like Steve Broad we are alone with our thoughts once more, and in the wake of this crazy show they are deafening.
But think not of what might have been and instead consider Beau thundering endlessly down the southern motorway in his new car, traversing and transcending space and time, not a care in world. Fame may come and go but a brand new car can last like 20 years if you get it serviced regularly.