“The X Factor Australia” gave a few bullied young singers chance to prove their worth. The fourth episode of the Seven Network reality competition show continued the audition stage on Sunday.
18-year-old Nathaniel O’Brien, who was called names for being different while growing up, was the first to take the stage, singing Australian crooner Rick Price’s hit “Heaven Knows.” He started with a high note, clearly impressing the judges early on. His rendition of the ballad brought the “entire room under a spell.”
As Natalie Bassingthwaighte described his voice, it was “angelic.”
It was a standing ovation from the four judges, which meant the genial teen was going to boot camp.
Also going to boot camp is girl group Paris Inc, whose four girls have been together for just a month after meeting at a music camp. Apparently, one month is more than enough for them to pass the audition. After singing “Can We Dance,” the girls, aged 17 to 19, all wowed the judges.
Redfoo not only loved their voices, he also liked how hip the girls looked, saying they’re like having a pyjama party.
Ellis Hall made it to boot camp last season, together with his group Straight Up. Unfortunately, the four-person group was sent home by Natalie.
Now, the 16-year-old student was just happy to return to the show, even as a solo performer. He told the judges he picked up a guitar and started practicing a lot since they were rejected from the show. The move proved to be a smart one as he sailed through the audition with Ed Sheeran’s “A Team.”
The most memorable aspirant of the night was perhaps Alice Bottomley, a 23-year-old vivacious brunette who used to be bullied at school for being overweight.
Upon hearing Alice’s story, Redfoo shared that he, too, was bullied at school.
“They called me Annie,” the 38-year-old American singer admitted, which made Alice laugh.
After a few half-hearted admonitions from Redfoo, Alice abruptly stopped, causing the audience to laugh at her comedic flair.
Comedy isn’t just Alice’s forte; she’s also brilliant in singing, which she proved by performing a few lines from Jennifer Hudson’s “One Night Only.”
“You’re naughty, cool, sexy and fun,” Dannii Minogue told her, adding, “and your singing is damn good.”
“What is it about people picking on people? I don’t understand it,” Natalie chimed in. “Success is the greatest revenge, baby.”
Physics teacher Felix Hunter from Holland was the oldest “X Factor” aspirant so far at 48 years old, or at least the oldest from those who have been shown on air.
“Physics was something because I wanted to understand everything on this planet,” he explained the disparity of his profession and his passion. “Music is something that I just can’t stop myself from doing.”
The professor proved he isn’t as uptight as one would expect from someone who teaches physics. He chose to sing the controversial “Blurred Lines” because “it’s nasty.”
Although it was a laughing treat for both Dannii and Natalie, Redfoo was clearly aghast.
“It was more than nasty,” the LMFAO singer said. “It was creepy!”
“It was a little pitchy,” Felix supplied, to which Ronan Keating countered, “Pitchy? There was no pitch at all!”
It was obvious that he wouldn’t get through, but Felix was still all smiles, saying, “I had a feeling this song would go either way, and I think it’s going the other way.”
Another teacher took the stage in the person of Stephanie Totino, a math and science instructor from an all-boys school. She has had a brief moment of fame last year when she sang impromptu at Beyonce’s concert in Melbourne.
Beyonce was scanning the audience at Rod Laver Arena when she spotted Stephanie and handed her the mic. Stephanie delivered and continued a verse from “Halo,” impressing Beyonce in the process.
Watch Stephanie’s Beyonce moment:
Being a Beyonce super fan, it’s no surprise that Stephanie chose her idol’s hit “If I Were a Boy” as her audition song. As previewed on her viral video, the math and science teacher can really sing. Four yeses allowed the pretty professor to advance to boot camp.
Rachael Thompson from Melbourne is a “typical 14-year-old,” according to her mum. But what sets this One Direction-loving teen apart from her peers is talent, and that was evident when she performed her rendition of Gabrielle Aplin’s “Please Don’t Say You Love Me.”
Ronan loved Rachael’s haunting performance so much that he not only cheered atop their desk, he also rushed to her to give her a hug.
“It was so beautiful, so mesmerising, so perfect,” the Boyzone star couldn’t stop praising the young singer, later adding, “This is the most important yes I’ve ever given in this audition.”
“That was the biggest applause we ever had in the audition,” Dannii said, telling Rachael that she has a “very good” chance of winning the “X Factor.”
Finally, a quirky Jal Joshua appeared, confidently telling the viewers that “Australia needs Jal Joshua.”
With an almost cartoonish speaking voice, 17-year-old Jal surprised the judges and the viewers alike with his full, mature singing voice. His rendition of Journey’s “Open Arms” was so well received that the audience gave him a standing ovation in the middle of his performance.
“What did just happen?” an astonished Dannii asked when the audience suddenly cheered.
“They were standing after the first chorus,” she told Jal, referring to the audience. “That never happened during auditions.”
“The X Factor Australia” season six returns on Monday for another audition round.
Watch the full show (credit to YouTube/PromoPremiers):