X Factor: Stan Walker all alone
Did the judges make the right decision? Who should have gone home?
TV & Radio
He's not quite the last man Stan(ding), but he is now all alone in the middle of the road.
Stan Walker's last X Factor mentoree, Anna Wilson, got the boot last night leaving the Over 25s category pensioned off.
How did we get there? I have been moaning a lot that the result shows are oh-so-drawn-out. But you know the saying: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference?
Serenity it is tonight (very wise). And maybe a glass of wine (not that wise).
Dominic Bowden, dressed like he's off to a funeral after the show, promises a mentor smack-down (which reminds me of my initial idea of a WWF-style judge battle to seal the deal).
Which turns out to be another promise waiting to be broken.
After a quick-ish recap of Sunday's show featuring big balls, hairy feet and awkward banter about bushes, we're served the first star performance.
It's a band called Sons of Zion who deliver New Zealand BBQ reggae with the potential to rock every uni party across the country.
Now it is getting serious and Bowden welcomes back the judges and their acts. While Ruby Frost (praise the Lord, she has un-crepped her hair) has still got three of her acts and Melanie Blatt and Daniel Bedingfield two apiece, Stan Walker is standing there with just Anna Wilson.
Bowden is off on his usual spiel, dragging out the announcement of the bottom two as long as he possibly can (time to feel the serenity - pass the wine.)
Still in the running are (and I spare you the pauses): Moorhouse, Jackie Thomas, Cassie Henderson, Whenua Patuwai, Tom Bachelor, and Benny Tipene.
Which leaves an all-girl bottom party: Blatt's Gap 5 and Walker's last (wo-)man standing Anna Wilson.
But before we're getting anywhere, surfer girl Jamie McDell performs her seasonal inapproriate song Life is Sunshine (less cynical writers would say she brings a bit of summer to our cold and damp living-rooms).
She's a real cutie but what's with having a guitar leisurely hanging around your back while just singing and having a background band playing for you?
Ah, three minutes in, she finally seems to remember what this wooden thing dangling at her back is for, and strums along for a while.
And then it's already time for the sing-off. Time flies when you're so serene.
Gap 5, who on Sunday weren't exactly out of tune but not at their best, deliver a feisty rendition of a No Diggity and Thriftshop mashup (done before by Ed Sheeran and Passenger). Not sure if it works for me.
Wilson comes out singing John Lennon's Imagine, wearing her rocker babe catsuit outfit from the night before. Weird. A bit like showing up at work in those super-high-heels and the short dress from last night... I wish they would allow the contestants to change their outfits more than once a week.
She's got a good voice and of course she's in tune as always, but she tends to vanish in the songs she's given instead of putting her own spin on them.
She would be a great performer for musical theatre being versatile and always in tune, but she hasn't managed to cave out her own niche as a pop star.
Time for a decision.
Now, suddenly after dragging things along like there's no tomorrow, Bowden is rushing the judges like he needs to pee.
If he had presented the whole show a tad faster he could give them a bit more time for their musings. Which are more interesting than his overly long pauses. Marginally.
I sum it up quickly: Mel loves Wilson but votes for Gap 5, Walker tells Gap 5 "youse are awesome" but votes for Wilson.
Frost likes Wilson's voice but is still looking for her identity and votes for Gap 5 and Bedingfield thinks New Zealand needs a girl group and sends Wilson home.
Now Walker is all alone in this world.
But maybe that's not the worst thing that could have happened. Instead of mentoring some "talents" he can focus on his career, being the only judge who actually does have one. Maybe that's why they gave him the pensioners in the first place...
Do you think sending Wilson home was the right decision?