Celebrity fans back Benny

Last updated 05:00 21/07/2013
Benny Tipene
RIGHT CHORD: Benny Tipene, from Palmerston North, is in the finals of The X Factor NZ.

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X Factor hopeful Benny Tipene is the pick of celebrity fans to win the talent show tomorrow tonight.

The 22-year-old singer-songwriter from Palmerston North is battling rivals Jackie Thomas and Whenua Patuwai.

But Tipene has won the hearts of high-profile fans of the show, thanks to performances such as singing his own original song Boxes.

"I'm excited about people who write their own songs, does that give you a clue," Jools Topp said.

She was joined in "team Benny" by broadcast personalities Guy Williams, Ben Boyce, Duncan Garner, Marcus Lush and Carolyn Robinson.

"Jackie and Whenua are both great singers but they are both severely lacking in the swagger/personalities department," Williams said.

Tipene had what it took to win a strong female teen fanbase and become a success, he said.

Singer and songwriter Julia Grace and country singer Suzanne Prentice are also behind Tipene.

Despite a couple of setbacks he has been the most consistent and most likely to achieve an international career, they said.

"Jackie's got a beautiful voice and could go far but she took criticism hard," Prentice said.

"I'm really impressed with the whole competition, it's a great thing for the New Zealand music industry."

But ultimately, success after the show won't depend on victory or not, Topp said. "Everyone's got a chance to utilise that TV exposure. New Zealand loves a good talent contest, that's how Split Enz started - just Google New Faces."

Maori Television personality Julian Wilcox backs Patuwai.


Love it or loathe it - each week thousands tuned in to catch the polarising antics of the contestants, judges and presenter on X Factor.

Here are some of the moments we'll miss, and those we'll be glad to see the last of tonight:

Stan's bro-glish: 22-year-old Stan Walker's "yous" and "bros" made us laugh - and cringe.

Skinny Love: Jackie Thomas' spellbinding audition sparked a mini renaissance for the Bon Ivor-penned song by Birdy.

Mean Mel: The former All Saints member didn't mince her words when judging. She could be hard, but it was just what was needed.

Boxes: Benny Tipene stepped out of the box with an original performance from his EP, a first among these contestants. And it was good.

Oh My Gosh: Boy band Moorhouse often harmonised well but combined with complementing white outfits and some smooth dance moves, this Usher number sure was a highlight.

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Overly long pauses: Presenter Dominic Bowden proved he could keep us captivated and frustrated at the same time, while ironically telling the judges to hurry up.

Cheesy ads: Was it necessary to show each contestant's painstaking explanation of what they love about the grand prize Ford Kuga? We think not.

Recaps: As if the elongated pauses were not enough, we didn't need a replay of things we'd seen just moments ago.

Daniel Bedingfield: His plaid shirts and kilts were quirky, but his soppy tears during performances and spats with fellow judges proved to be more annoying.

L.O.V.E hate: So they forgot the lyrics to Savage's Swing in the middle of their performance, but the online abuse Toni Turner and Stacy Awheto reportedly received after being kept on the show at the expense of fellow contestant Taye Williams was uncalled for.

"I liked the way he just kept coming back, last week he pulled it out of the bag. I like the R'n'B and blues."

- Sunday Star Times

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