X Factor relies on 13-year-old girls

VICKI ANDERSON
Last updated 08:50 22/07/2013
X Factor
TV3

LAST ACTS STANDING: Benny Tipene, Jackie Thomas and Whenua Patuwai.

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It's the final live show for The X Factor finalists Whenua Patuwai, Benny Tipene and Jackie Thomas who have apparently been on a mammoth journey to get to this point, presumably they did so in Ford Kugas while tossing back Big Macs and voting furiously on Samsung devices.

OPINION: Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt ramble on a bit about ''who deserves it the most'' before we're collectively whisked off to Greymouth with Thomas to watch Daniel Bedingfield eat whitebait patties.

Greymouth is behind Thomas as she belts her heart out on top of pianos strewn with fairy lights surrounded by a cast of billowing dancers.

Thomas is a talented singer but it's all a bit bland.

Bedingfield sagely advises her she'll be dealing with the ''big, bad, world of the music business'' soon.

Christchurch is behind Patuwai who visits his rugby league club before heading to the mall to sing to screaming crowds.

He's alone on stage, the studio rent-a-crowd waving lit cellphones.

He improves as the song goes on but it's all a bit overly constructed.

Walker launches into one of his familiar ''I'm so proud of you bro'' monologues. Ruby Frost beams with pride and claims we've all seen Patuwai's heart. Blatt roars on about Whenua doing it for the people.

On stage, tendrils of hair escape Tipene's man bun and he accessorises his back with a guitar.

He starts off well but it all becomes a bit turgid.

Walker thinks he's a ''nek minute superstar'', Blatt thinks he has international potential, and Frost thinks he made the song believable.

After the break host Dominic Bowden is wearing Bedingfield's pants and claims ''they feel good'' and I want to drown myself in a vat of his hair product.

Patuwai teams up with Hollie Smith for Bathe In the River.

Smith tweeted a week ago that she'd just watched The X Factor properly for the first time and wrote - ''How is this a competition? Benny for the win''. Oops.

Thomas teams up with Adeaze for Getting Stronger. It's all rather lovely until Adeaze start elbowing each other in the face.

Tipene appears with Dave Baxter for a duet of Love Love Love, and there are way too many beards and flatcaps on stage.

Things get interesting when mid-performance a cardboard orca tries to fling itself out of the cardboard ocean away from the cardboard vocals.

Let's just say there's something wrong with the vocal mic mix on a lot of performances.

Other things that happened: TV3 blew the remainder of its fireworks budget, the crowd screamed, lights flashed and Bowden extolled New Zealand to ''vote, vote, vote''.

What he should have said is: ''Look, they're all nice, they can sing, but really, let's face it, this competition rides on how much credit the nation's 13-year-old girls have and no matter who 'wins' you'll see these contestants at Christmas in the Park.''

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