‘The X Factor Australia’ Home Visits Recap: Jennifer Lopez in New York, Jessica Mauboy in Sydney [VIDEOS]
By Anne Lu | August 4, 2014 7:17 AM EST
“The X Factor Australia” home visits started on Sunday night, with Ronan Keating, Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Redfoo’s groups flying to the U.S. Only Dannii Minogue’s team stayed in Australia for the mentoring session.
Jennifer Lopez will soon publish her memoir.
On Wednesday, the Top 24 contestants have been decided after the all the categories, including Natalie’s Under 25 Boys, have performed on the third day of boot camp.
Dannii’s Groups include Paris Inc, Boy Band, Girl Group, Trill, Brothers 3 and MajikHoney.
Ronan’s Under 25 Girls include Marlisa Punzalan, Sydnee Carter, Alice Bottomley, Shanell Dargan, Caitlyn Shadbolt and Chloe Papandrea.
For Natalie’s Under 25 Boys, there are Dean Ray, James Johnston, Adrien Nookadu, Jaymie Deboucherville, Tee and Jesse Teinaki.
And Redfoo’s Over 25s are comprised of Ryan Imlach, Amali Ward, Stephani Totino, Jason Heerah, Reigan Derry and Rochelle Pitt.
On Sunday, the chosen few were flown to various cities for the home visits. Natalie and Ronan took their teams to New York City to meet with Jennifer Lopez and John Legend respectively. Foo also flew his team to the U.S., Las Vegas in particular, to meet with Nicole Scherzinger, while Dannii stayed in the country to meet with Jessica Mauboy and James Blunt in Sydney.
17-year-old Adrien Nookadu was the first to sing in front of Natalie and Jennifer. He sang “More than Words,” giving it a few twists from the original, probably taking Natalie’s advice that he was just too safe.
Jennifer noted that there were a few notes off, though she also said that he has an “obviously pretty voice” and great look, so that should account for something.
During preparation sessions, Alice sang Roxette’s “Listen to Your Heart,” and quickly looked up to Ronan for approval, which the Boyzone star told her never to do.
Amali was still trying to impress Foo, taking a chance with Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” Though she followed his advice last week and incorporated more emotions in her performance, Foo still found her preparation session “emotionless.”
“I said no to you the first time, and this is reminding me it’s because of your lack of emotion,” the LMFAO singer told her.
The unoriginally named Boy Band – Ellis Hall, Joel Watson and Harry Targett – which was just formed on the first day of boot camp, performed in front of Dannii and Jessica, singing The Romantics’ “What I Like About You.”
Dannii was “very impressed,” but Jessica felt it was a “little bit messy.”
Farm boys Brothers 3 performed “Eternal Flames” by Bangles, and made Jessica clap for them. However, she wasn’t quite as impressed. She told them that they need to make the song, which they admitted they choose because they thought they could harmonise it, “their story.”
Caitlyn took a chance with Demi Lovato’s “Sky Scraper,” and it didn’t pay well when she sang it in front of Ronan.
“She’s too mediocre,” Ronan said of the young singer, referring to her “too safe” choices.
Unlike Caitlyn, Chloe took the “risky” road, and performed Christina Aguilera’s “What a Girl Wants,” which was not a usual choice for her. It was “pitchy,” Ronan said, although he said he appreciated that he took a risk with the song.
Dean also chose a song different from rocker style.
“That’s a shock?” an incredulous Nat blurted out when Dean told her he was singing Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”
Her concern was Dean’s eyes, which she said was too intense and might become a problem for voting viewers. Perhaps echoing some viewers’ thoughts, Dean said there was nothing he could do about his eyes, save for swapping them for someone else’s.
Girl Group – Nada-Leigh Nasser, Chaska Halliday, Tahnie Christini and Serenity – delivered a familiar song to Dannii and Jessica during their mentoring session. Singing Jessica’s “What a Man,” the girls appeared to have impressed Jessica.
“It’s the best performance we’ve seen today,” Dannii generously told them.
James, sampled Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” in front of Natalie during preparation, received harsh criticism from his mentor.
Nat said it felt “done,” and called it a “go-to karaoke session.” She gave him another chance, which he took by singing “Something I Need” by One Republic. And it was “so much better.”
Jason sang Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” in front of Foo, who told him there were just “a few things” about his performance that he should work on before enumerating a list of flaws.
Factory worker Jaymie chose a vintage song that Nat has had never heard before. Vocally, it wasn’t the best, but Nat told her it was a great song.
Jesse chose to sing Vance Joy’s “Riptide” in front of J.Lo and Nat, who both loved it.
“I thought it was solid,” Jennifer said, but at the same time expressing her concern that people might think that they have heard his style before.
Sister act MajikHoney were restless upon learning that they would face their idol Jessica. They sang Jackson Five’s “Blame it on the Boogie.”
Jessica told the sisters that she was proud of them, but they still need some work on their performance.
Schoolgirl Marlisa chose The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” to sing in front of Ronan. While her previous performances were said to be full of emotions, she didn’t quite nail this one with that. Ronan noted that some parts were lacking in emotions, but he gave in that it’s because she’s too young at 14.
Returning contestant Tee made it to home visits last season, but was promptly eliminated at the same stage. Now he’s got his second chance, he’s got his eye on the prize. He sang Oasis’ “Back in Anger” in front of Jennifer and Natalie.
J.Lo observed he’s got “soul,” though he started the song shaky.
Paris Inc didn’t impress Dannii and Jessica when they performed “Fly” by Nicki Minaj and Rihanna, though they were given another chance. They took on “Your Love is My Drug” by Ke$ha, which yielded a much better reaction from the judges.
Reigan impressed Foo when she sang a powerful rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven.” It gained positive response, with Foo telling her that her nerves would be the only thing that would get in the way of her performance the next day.
41-year-old nurse Rochelle chose another soulful classic, “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin, and it was a hit with Foo during preparation.
Ryan, the jilted groom, practiced with “Wicked Games” by Chris Isaak. Although it was “emotional,” it’s gonna get old, according to Foo, who told him that he would have to dabble into pop sometimes.
Shanell sang “Not Ready to Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks in front of Ronan during practice. It’s lacking in “attitude,” Ronan said.
Beyonce super fan Stephanie, who became a YouTube hit when an incident in Beyonce’s concert became viral, sang Heart’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
“There’s something missing,” Foo told her after saying he enjoyed the song. He was apparently talking about letting out more energy and emotion in her song.
Sydnee, who kept forgetting her lyrics during boot camp, had to double her efforts to impress Ronan, who told her her audition was a “car crash.”
She sang “We Found Love” by Rihanna, but her nerves were still visible during practice.
Trill admitted that their biggest competition was the sisters MajikHoney. They sang Jessie J’s “Price Tag,” which garnered a “just be yourself” advice from Jessica.
Home visits will continue on Tuesday.
Watch the show on the “The X Factor Australia” Web site.
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