Why Dominic Bowden could never judge

17:00, Jun 20 2013
Dominic Bowden
RELUCTANT TO JUDGE: X Factor host Dominic Bowden

Dominic Bowden, host of The X Factor NZ, knows exactly what it takes to make the show a success.

"If we haven't got the talent, people will switch off," he says.

At the moment, thousands are tuning in, before turning to social media sites to vent their outrage as another fan favourite is voted off.

The elimination process has led to tears and jeers and Bowden is just glad he is not the one making the tough calls.

"With live TV, a lot of it is who you are and what feels more comfortable for you," Bowden says.

"I could never judge. The idea of judging someone when they are doing their best... it is a very tough environment for me to get comfortable in.

"But I can totally be the person who understands how hard these people have worked, understands the pressure of live (TV), understands how hard it is to go out there and deliver."

Bowden sees the live shows as somewhere performers either sink or swim.

"When it is live, people either go in two directions," he says. "They become so much better and feed off that live audience or they crumble.

"I love live TV. It is what got me signed in America (where he was part of X Factor).

"Even though in New Zealand it is a smaller market, at the end of the day there are still six cameras, there are still a thousand people in the audience and there are all those  pressures that exist whether you are in America or New Zealand."

Bowden is happy with how the show has been received so far, saying the twice-weekly programme has "an incredible watchability".

He puts that down to the performers "and then on top of that you have four ego-driven judges that want to win and want to come out victorious. When you put all that together it makes for a fun night in."

But he points out that X Factor success is not a ticket to instant riches and glory.

"I think when people come into it they think it is going to be one thing and it turns out to be something very different. It is not all glamorous," he says.

"The fame only comes if you put in the hard work and garner an audience - a fan base.

"You cannot just get on a show like this and expect that you are going to sell records, tickets and merchandise. You have to prove what makes you different from the thousands of other singers out there.

"In New Zealand we haven't got a very developed pop music industry and I think a show like X Factor will fast-track some people.

"But they have to be prepared to put in the work and have to realise it is not going to happen for them unless they are completely driven.

"A lot of the time, someone will do an amazing first audition and then they go to boot camp and you realise that the person really only has one flavour and we have seen that. To be a musician of any success you have to be well-rounded."

Bowden says that going live is the difference between watching the All Blacks practise on a Tuesday and the team playing a test on Saturday.

"They better bring their A-game or it is not going to happen."