Colin Hogg on television
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Colin Hogg: X Factor - Mixing the awful with the awesome

Tony Wildermouth hoped to take big strides in The X Factor NZ contest. Photo / Supplied
Tony Wildermouth hoped to take big strides in The X Factor NZ contest. Photo / Supplied

Ruby Frost got mean, Daniel Bedingfield cried, Melanie Blatt made a contestant's mad mother storm onstage to shout at her, and Stan Walker, well he just stuck with being Stan the sweet bro.

As The X Factor NZ rolled out episode No3 last night (TV3, 7 o'clock), the game got a touch tougher, because, I don't know about you, but I want a little more from this show now than just more of the same.

And those judges were certainly making an effort last night as the epic - 28 flaming episodes - singing contest moved on through its audition phase.

It continues to mix the awful with the "awesome" - a word that might have come up a bit. But that's what it's all about and a good part of the show's watchability is tied to the awfulness of some of the acts.

Tony, the 47-year-old in the big blue jacket doing Footloose with fast feet and flat voice, made Stan think of The Exorcist and pink-haired Ruby "a little frightened".

Tony, unworried, said, "I know I'm number one. They wouldn't know what entertainment is."

At times last night, I wondered if those emotional judges actually did know what entertainment was - or at least what a winner might look like.

They let a few unexceptional ones through - a 14-year-old channelling Taylor Swift, the 15-year-old with the Eagles song and a labourer from Leeston doing The Beatles.

Ruby fell for his kaftan. Mel trumpeted, "This show needs someone like you."

But there was a wonderful outbreak of rapper hatred, one being told by Daniel, "I had to stop you because you're crap."

And there was talent - most genuine and special last night in the person of Eden, a winningly-awkward 18-year-old from Auckland with her own song.

Daniel cried again. Melanie said, "Frickin' amazing", and she, that time, might have been right.

- NZ Herald

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