You learn a lot about people when you watch The X Factor NZ with them.
I always knew my flatmate was impatient. Instead of waiting for the three minutes it takes to melt cheese on bread under the grill, he’ll stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds. (“It’s the same thing, but quicker.”)
He also doesn’t handle suspense well, I have discovered. Watching the elimination show with him last night bordered on painful. He took a particular issue with Dominic Bowden’s long pauses between announcing which acts were safe and which were going through to sudden death.
“Is this really necessary?” he barked from the couch. “Why don’t they just stick a list up?”
Torn between his frustration at the delay and his desire to see who got booted off, he forgot he was dunking his chocolate bar into his tea. Disaster.
My flat – which consists of aforementioned manchild, his long-suffering girlfriend and our Norwegian student who is our resident Simon Cowell – is really getting into the reality TV show, as is the rest of the country. But we have to admit; we were all surprised that Eden was sent home last night.
I was at the live taping of the first show on Sunday night. It wasn’t the smoothest start – it took forever to get into the studio, they had run out of water and it was incredibly hot. But all was forgotten when the top 13 took to the stage.
I won’t give an entire rundown of each performance, but the ones that stuck out – in a good and bad way – had to be Anna Wilson (surprised? Us too.), Maaka Fiso (blew the entire audience away) and Fletcher Mills (what happened??).
From the live performances, it’s clear that it’s anyone’s show to win – and if you stuff up on the night, the judges aren’t going to be forgiving.
But, the tweens and teens of New Zealand predictably stepped up to save Fletcher, leaving the slightly obscure Eden and loveable but pitchy L.O.V.E to battle one more time for their place in the competition.
Before we found out who was leaving, though, we got to see a recap of The X Factor VIP party that was held at Auckland’s SkyCity Grand last Tuesday – something both myself and Weekly editor Louise Wright had forgotten about. Thank God I wore black and not the fluro orange dress I had been considering.
But next time I’m at any event that is being filmed for national television, I must remember: When you’re applauding, clap like the Queen, not like you’re in Wayne’s World.
Despite my less-than-stellar TV3 debut (I’m now having a crisis of confidence about my hair. I think I need a fringe – all I could see was forehead. The office disagrees) it was lovely to see how excited the contestants were to be mingling with celebrities and sports stars.
But all too soon, it was back to the studio in Henderson where a terrified Eden and L.O.V.E were waiting on stage to hear their fate. They both sang a final song, and it was up to judges Daniel, Ruby, Stan and Mel to pick who would continue on in The X Factor.
Predictably, Daniel and Mel chose their own acts, so it was up to Ruby and Stan. If there was a tie, the decision would be made by whoever got the lowest number of public votes.
Ruby sat on the fence for a long time, finally deciding to send Eden home as she didn’t think she wanted to be in the competition anymore – of course, Eden was the one who was vocal about her distaste of Katy Perry’s lyrics. Stan agreed, and L.O.V.E were given another chance.
Daniel made his displeasure known. Fault the man all you like for his mad behaviour and equally mad pants, but Daniel’s incredibly loyal and protective of his acts and in his words, he doesn’t care about the show – he cares about his contestants.
Of course, his remaining lot, Jackie and Cassie, are hot competition favourites, so odds are he’s not going to have to send anyone else home anytime soon.
But I like the unpredictability of the show. Anything can happen and next week, with the theme being Kiwi music, I’m sure the contestants will once again surprise us.
About Kelly Bertrand
“I started at the Weekly after a two-week internship in 2011, which was part of my journalism studies. Basically, I hung around and annoyed people long enough to land a job as a staff writer, and I’ve been here ever since. I’m lucky enough to get to write stories ranging from the Kardashians through to the Queen, but my real passion is telling the stories of New Zealand’s sporting stars. Sometimes I can’t quite believe it’s my job to hang out with All Blacks and Silver Ferns! I absolutely love working at the Weekly, and feel really privileged to be part of this 83-year-old Kiwi institution. I’m also fond of Instagram, coffee and animals dressed as humans!”more of this author