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The X Factor Blog: Week 7

Watching The X Factor NZ on TV is one thing – being in the live audience is another.

I took my The X Factor andStan Walker-obsessed friend to the “soul week” live performances on Sunday night. I knew what I was in for – a lot of screaming and nudges in the ribs when Stan walked through the over-dramatic doors, and some very enthusiastic cheering and clapping when her favourite contestants performed.

I wasn’t surprised, but what she and I weren’t expecting was the frostiness (pun intended) between the judges.

What viewers at home don’t see is how the tensions between the esteemed panel, especially with Mel and Daniel, spills over into ad breaks – and let me tell you, neither one refused to back down on Sunday.

Daniel caused the biggest stir of the night with his comments about Gap5 needing to hit the gym, and his apparent mishandling of 14-year-old Cassie Henderson.

He told the girl group they needed to “get to the gym” in order to strengthen their vocals. I think what he meant to say is they need to improve their cardiovascular fitness – the more oxygen you take in, the bigger and more powerful your notes will become.

Unfortunately, Mr Bedingfield wasn’t clear and his comments were taken to mean he thought the girls needed to lose weight. Mel was not impressed. She also wasn’t impressed with his decisions regarding Cassie, telling the teen Daniel “doesn’t know how to deal with a 14-year-old girl”. It was like watching Mum and Dad fight, with poor Cassie standing in the middle and holding back tears.

It looks like sometimes the competition is getting a bit too much for the youngster. However, she emerged defiant on Monday night, confidently telling the camera that next week, every decision is going to be hers and hers alone – without Daniel’s input. Go girl.

There seems to be an air of drama around the show that they can’t quite escape from. I’m sure the producers love it, but it seems to be frustrating the judges, who just want to judge. Of course, they’re the ones causing it, but all of them respond to critique from the others very passionately and aggressively.

It has to be hard for Ruby being stuck in the middle of it all. Over the last few weeks, she’s grown a lot more backbone and is more than capable of dishing it out herself, but being right between Mel and Daniel can’t be easy. You’d think the pink hair would be a calming influence, but no.

The double elimination also proved to serve up some surprises, as it always promised to do. Fletcher Mills – dear, sweet, gorgeous smile Fletcher – finally said goodbye to The X Factor stage. Sad, yes. Predictable? Totally. But the real surprise was Maaka Fiso. A constant high-level performer, I don’t know if anyone thought he was in danger.

I’m not sure if New Zealanders understand the concept of voting.

Vote for who’s good, not who’s popular. Some would argue we’ve had this problem for a long time – looking at our colourful and sometimes embarrassing political landscape – but I no longer trust the public of this country to make important decisions. This, I think, is what is frustrating the judges the most.

I understand the psyche of our country can be sometimes too laid back for it’s own good. We’re the country that got tens of thousands of people to tick Jedi as their official religion on the census, and who votes for political parties fronted by comedians and pirates. But you’d think the people with real talent on The X Factor NZ would be ok.

Moral of the story – vote.

More The X Factor:

Stan Walker: A man on a mission

His story is the ultimate triumph over adversity, of hope over despair, and forgiveness over bitterness.

Day in the life: Ruby Frost

Between mentoring her contestants X Factor NZ, writing her sophomore album and touching up her pink, candy-coloured locks, there’s not a lot of time left in Ruby Frost’s day.

The X Factor Blog: Week 6

A Selection of Results from the Really Scientific NZWW Office Poll:

Eden Roberts leaves The X Factor NZ

She was praised for her alternative voice on the show, but eliminated contestant Eden Roberts (18) only started singing two years ago.

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