Bedingfield's decison draws ire

BYE BYE TAYE: Te Puke's Taye Williams has been voted off The X Factor.
BYE BYE TAYE: Te Puke's Taye Williams has been voted off The X Factor.

The X Factor is a popularity contest where the judges are free to make unpopular decisions.

It's a competition where a cute smile and gorgeous dimples go a long way and being the "hated judge" only raises a jury member's profile. And if we believe social media, judge Daniel Bedingfield certainly wasn't a popular man last night.

But before the outgoing act was revealed, the audience was treated to some homegrown talent.

Host Dominic Bowden, with the enthusiasm and dress sense of an insurance salesman, first introduced special guest Annabell Fay.

To some rocky riffs, clad in the tiniest of silver dresses (more a shortish shirt, really) she stomped on the stage like a sailor with a song that even in the noughties would have sounded a bit dated.

It might have been called Warrior but sounded a bit like Worrier and I don't really understand her stage show: She woke up a gaggle of sleepy party-goers who subsequently joined her on stage, uncontrollably shaking their limbs, while a marching band drummed along in the background.

"My goodness, what a production," said Bowden. Indeed!

The second star performance was from Smashproof, who had one smash hit with Brother about four years ago.

Now the boys from the mean streets of south Auckland, including Young Sid who's not young no more, are all grown up and rapping about family and stuff.

They have hired Drew Neemia (who you might remember from this) to do the singing and the background singers left me wondering if their lyrics were really ''I don't like a pancake". Probably not.

All up not a bad performance but it doesn't help when you're all mean and Accountant-Bowden towers over you while you're addressing the crowd.

But back to what we came for: The Termination.

Clearly there were some gasps when Fletcher Mills - who seriously screwed up his last two live show performances - was called first as having gotten through to the next round (Yes, yes. Mr Bowden, we know they are IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER), while rap duo L.O.V.E. and Te Puke's very own Taye Williams were left standing as the bottom two.

It's in the nature of these shows that viewers vote for those they want to stay, rather than those they want to see go, so that not necessarily the worst performers end up in the bottom two (especially if they have cute dimples!).

But the big whammy came when Bedingfield gave his vote for the rapping duo from Hamilton, who forgot their lyrics in the final sing-off, and not the manically waving Williams who sang Cee Lo Green's Forget You with the determination of the damned.

Before this shock moment, judge Melanie Blatt told Williams that she liked his performance but that her heart was obviously with her girls.

Walker was clearly upset, but told L.O.V.E. "I am gutted that youse are here." and "I have never seen an act like youse" but obviously he would stick with his boy. "Because he's the man!".

And then all eyes were on Ratty (Bedingfield) who said he was disappointed with both of them. And although he liked William's energy and wished L.O.V.E. would rap with a New Zealand accent, he voted against Stan's man.

And then there was only little Rosebud (Ruby Frost) who, of course loved L.O.V.E. but thought they weren't all that professional, so gave her vote to Williams.

Which meant a tie. A deadlock. Where to from here?

Master Bowden knew it all. When the judges' votes were in tied, the decision reverted to the public vote and the act with the lesser yays was sent home.

And that, astonishingly to many, was Williams.

Walker, flabbergasted, torpedoed up from his seat and shook his head in disbelief.

Williams looked disappointed, but Walker was close to tears and only able to mumble: "People have to vote! Because he's the man! New Zealand got it wrong."

Was he right?