“The X Factor Australia” series six has kicked off with a strong opening on Sunday. The Channel 7 singing competition showcased big talents from hopefuls, including from one returning singer who failed to win the show last season.
The show started with 14-year-old Marlisa Punzalan, who wowed the judges the audience with her haunting rendition of the Beatles’ “Yesterday.”
The judges – Redfoo, Ronan Keating, Dannii Minogue and Natalie Bassingthwaighte – were all impressed, even giving the shy young lady a standing ovation. However, it was Redfoo who voiced out what some viewers had been thinking during Marlisa’s performance: what’s up with her colourful, alphabet-themed pants?
Her aunt gave it to her, and she thought it was funky, she answered, and the LMFAO singer agreed.
With the judges all clearly amazed by Marlisa, she obviously passed the first round.
Next came Dean, 22, who sported a black leather jacket to go along with his guitar. The Melbourne resident had made Redfoo jam on his “Bette Davis Eyes” performance atop the table. Ronan even compared him to the late Michael Hutchence.
Trio BEATZ, composed of two sisters and their friend, took on Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.” The girls arguably have vocals to win the series, but it was their thumping choreography that allowed them to advance to the next round.
Formerly part of the duo Scarlett Belle, 25-year-old Regan took the stage solo, performing Adele’s “Someone Like You.” Like Dean before her, she also had a guitar to accompany her performance. But while Dean looked like a rebel in his all-black outfit, Regan appeared the opposite with her soothing vocals.
Unsurprisingly, she got a yes from all four judges.
Jesse from Tasmania wasn’t a newbie as well. He has performed before a large crowd before as Bon Jovi’s support act on tour. Singing the King of Leon’s hit “Sex on Fire,” Jesse impressed all judges save for Ronan, who thought he wasn’t that great.
With Redfoo and Nat were so into him, and Ronan thought he shouldn’t advance to the next round, it was all up to Dannii to either give him the chance or give him the boot. Fortunately for Jesse, Dannii wanted to please the crowd so she gave her a yes.
Next is Shanell, who made the audience cry. Citing her grandmother as her inspiration and source of light, she took on Beyonce’s “Ave Maria,” rendering the whole studio silent for a few moments before cheering for her. It’s a unanimous yes from all judges for Shanell.
Wearing short shorts and plunging neckline, Tee from last season was back, thrilling the judges with his powerful voice as he performed Queen’s “Somebody to Love.”
Viewers of season five may remember Tee, who successfully passed the on-stage audition, but was eliminated during the home visits round.
And judging by how Ronan and the gang reacted to his performance, it was a no-brainer choice to give Tee a second chance in the show. Ronan and Dannii gave him a standing ovation on their desk, while Nat and Redfoo appeared to be equally thrilled. Even host Luke Jacobz got up a box at the backstage to cheer for him.
Another sob story came in the form of Ryan. The aspirant from Melbourne revealed that his fiancée left him before their wedding a few months ago because she decided that they weren’t meant to be.
He then sang an original song written by his dad for his wedding, which made the audience cheer and cry for him at the same time. The judges all gave him a yes, though to be fair, it’s perhaps not because of his failed love life, but because he was simply remarkable.
The second episode will be aired on Monday.
Watch the full first episode (credit to PromoPremiers):