Morgan Tait

Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's consumer affairs reporter.

Soloists will fight for X Factor honours as crowd favourite exits

Jackie Thomas, Benny Tipene (pictured) and Whenua Patuwai last night made the top spots on X-Factor NZ.
Jackie Thomas, Benny Tipene (pictured) and Whenua Patuwai last night made the top spots on X-Factor NZ.

The final three X Factor NZ artists have been revealed as Benny Tipene, Whenua Patuwai and Jackie Thomas.

Public votes won the trio's top spots on the talent-finding competition after boyband Moorhouse was sent home from last night's live show.

Votes were tallied from polls opened after Sunday night's show when artists each performed two live songs. Moorhouse failed to impress the viewing public with their renditions of Kings of Leon's Use Somebody and Bruno Mars' When I Was Your Man.

Members Brock Ashby, 19, Rory McKenna, 20, Jason Aileone, 19, and Marley Sola Wilcox-Nanai, 17, all hail from Christchurch and had been crowd favourites from their first audition.

Wilcox-Nanai told the audience it had been an "overwhelming" journey for the group. The group's mentor, judge Mel Blatt, told New Zealanders: "You're going to regret this."

The group's elimination came after judge Stan Walker labelled their Sunday night performances "the worst".

Other contestants also drew the judge's ire on Sunday, with Blatt labelling Thomas' rendition of Sarah McLachlan's Angel not "exciting" enough.

However, Thomas made Daniel Bedingfield cry with her cover of Oasis' Wonderwall, Tipene was lauded for his original piece, Boxes, and Ruby Frost said Patuwai's performance was a "game changer".

The final three

Jackie Thomas
* Greymouth-born, Auckland-based 22-year-old.
* She was voted out of the competition in the Bootcamp round, but brought back after a strong public reaction and a social media campaign.
* Mentor: Daniel Bedingfield.
* This week's votes based on her performances of Oasis' Wonderwall and Sarah McLachlan's Angel.

Whenua Patuwai
* R&B/Soul singer from Christchurch.
* Age: 17.
* Motto: "Music is my life, my life is music."
* Mentor: Ruby Frost.
* This week's votes were based on his performances of Erma Franklin's Piece of my Heart and Daniel Bedingfield's If You're Not the One.

Benny Tipene
* The 22-year-old singer/songwriter is a music retail assistant from Palmerston North.
* He describes his music style as "acoustic folk-pop".
* Mentor: Ruby Frost.
* This week's votes were based on his performances of Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine and his own song, Boxes.

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- NZ Herald

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