Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

The X Factor (New Zealand series 1)

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The X Factor (New Zealand series 1)

Broadcast from
21 April – 22 July 2013

Daniel BedingfieldMelanie BlattRuby FrostStan Walker

Finals venue
Auckland Film Studios, Henderson, Auckland

The first series of the New Zealand television reality music competition The X Factor premiered on TV3 on 21 April 2013 and ended on 22 July 2013. The show was open to singers aged 14 and over. The contestants were split into the show's four traditional categories: Boys, Girls, Over-25s and Groups.


The winner was 22-year-old Greymouth singer Jackie Thomas, and her winner's single, "It's Worth It", was released the day of the final. As the winner, Thomas received a Sony Music Entertainment New Zealand recording contract and a new car. Runners-up Whenua Patuwai and Benny Tipene each released a single via Sony. Fourth-place-getters Moorhouse were also signed to Sony Music New Zealand, with plans for an album release by Christmas 2013.

The series was hosted by Dominic Bowden. Recording artists Daniel Bedingfield, Melanie Blatt, Ruby Frost and Stan Walker were the show's four judges. Auckland student Georgie Wright was selected from over 100 applicants to present the show's behind-the-scenes video blog Samsung Insider.

The initial pre-audition tour of 27 towns and cities was held in January and early February 2013, with the judges auditions round filmed in late February and early March, and the bootcamp filmed in mid-March in Auckland. The series screened on Sunday and Monday evenings.


The X Factor was created by Simon Cowell in the United Kingdom and the New Zealand version is based on the original UK series. TV3 initially purchased the rights to produce a local version of The X Factor in 2010. In September 2012, TV3 finally confirmed that the show would begin production in early 2013. Broadcast funding agency NZ On Air confirmed they would contribute $1.6 million as a minority investor, for the production of 30 episodes of 60 minutes duration each.

The series was co-produced by MediaWorks and FremantleMedia Australia. The show's key sponsors were Ford New Zealand as broadcast sponsor, Samsung Electronics as technology partner with McDonald's and Coca-Cola as programme partners.

Judges and host

In November 2012, Australian Idol winner and recording artist, Stan Walker, was announced as the first judge. In December 2012, Daniel Bedingfield was announced as the second judge. The following month, Ruby Frost and former All Saints member, Melanie Blatt, were confirmed as the final two judges.

In October 2012 Dominic Bowden was confirmed as the host.


The first appeal for applicants was made on 11 November 2012, with the announcement of the application process and the pre-audition tour details. Pre-auditions in front of the show's producers began on 5 January 2013 and continued through 27 towns and cities across New Zealand. More than 6,000 contestants auditioned, and were either rejected outright with a "no" response or considered for the next round with a "maybe" response.

Judges' auditions

The auditionees chosen by the producers were invited back to the last set of auditions that took place in front of the judges and a live studio audience. These auditions were filmed at Skycity Theatre in Auckland from 26 February to 3 March and broadcast from 21 to 29 April. The 120 successful contestants then progressed to the bootcamp round.

  • Auditions 1 (21 April 2013)
    Special appearance: Ronan Keating
    Featured successful auditionees: Finlay Robertson, Nick Van de Vlierd, Aotea Beazley, The Steamrollers, Benny Tipene, Maaka Fiso, Meryl Cassie, Madeline Bradley, William Tokelau and Te Ao Te Huia.
  • Auditions 2 (22 April 2013)
    Special appearance: Topp Twins
    Featured successful auditionees: Franko Heke, Ashley Tonga, L.O.V.E, The Talent, Voltech, Gap5, Fletcher Mills, Cameron Luxton, Jessie Matthews, Tia Hunt, Cameron Rota, Sam Yeoward and Renee Maurice.
  • Auditions 3 (28 April 2013)
    Featured successful auditionees: Taiaroa Neho, Alex Familton, Anabac, Liam Kennedy-Clark, Eden Roberts, Tjay Faaosofia, Vasa Faaosofia, Cassie Henderson, Tom Batchelor, Oriana Faaumu and Bryan Townley.
  • Auditions 4 (29 April 2013)
    Featured successful auditionees: 3rd Watch, Shaan Singh, Taye Williams, Anna Wilson, Brianna Phillips, Jordan Edwards, Fadzai Paradza, Sorelle, Finley Brentwood, Preeti Narayan, Puhi Tau, Phebe Martin-Holgate, Sharaine Barrett, Hannah Cosgrove, Jasmyn Kereama, Khona Va’aga-Gray, Esther Crispin, Whenua Patuwai, Tania Pari, Moorhouse and Jackie Thomas.
  • Fast Ford Boot Camp

    The Edge radio station and series sponsor Ford held a second-chance competition called Fast Ford Boot Camp. Chosen from video auditions, five acts attended the week-long Fast Ford Boot Camp in Auckland before auditioning in front of three X Factor judges live on The Edge's breakfast show on 15 March. From there, singers Geordie Meade, Meghan Fraser and Grace Ikenasio were chosen by the judges to continue to the X Factor bootcamp round.


    The bootcamp round was filmed at Vector Arena in Auckland from 16 to 21 March and broadcast on 5 and 6 May. Contestants were given two performance challenges. On the first day, the 120 contestants were split into the four category groups - Boys, Girls, Over-25s and Groups. Acts in each category were given one song to sing: "Come On Home" (Boys), "Firework" (Girls), "Iris" (Over-25s) and "Man in the Mirror" (Groups). Contestants were aided by vocal coach Turanga Merito and choreographer Emma McLachlan. After the performances, the judges sent home half the acts. On the second day, the remaining 60 acts were put into ensembles and chose a song which they had to learn and perform for the judges. From the bootcamp, 24 successful acts (six in each category) progressed to the judges' retreats round. Rejected soloists Sam Yeoward and Cameron Rota from the Boys category and former 3rd Watch member Peniamina Sofai were brought back by judges and asked to form a group. This group was named The Young Project (TYP).

    The elimination of popular contestant Jackie Thomas, who had performed poorly at bootcamp, stirred debate amongst viewers. A Facebook group was formed urging the show to bring her back, while Birdy's 2011 recording of Jackie's audition song "Skinny Love" entered the New Zealand charts, peaking at number 2. At judges' retreats, Daniel Bedingfield made the decision to bring back Jackie to join the six girls at his retreat.

    The 25 successful acts were:

  • Boys: Tom Batchelor, Liam Kennedy-Clark, Fletcher Mills, Taiaroa Neho, Whenua Patuwai, Benny Tipene
  • Girls: Aotea Beazley, Madeline Bradley, Oriana Faaumu, Cassie Henderson, Eden Roberts, Finlay Robertson, Jackie Thomas
  • Over-25s: Maaka Fiso, Grace Ikenasio, Jessie Matthews, Bryan Townley, Taye Williams, Anna Wilson
  • Groups: Anabac, Gap5, L.O.V.E, Moorhouse, Voltech, The Young Project (TYP)
  • Judges' retreats

    The judges retreats episodes were filmed over the month of April in locations in New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Australia. The judges received news of their categories from the show's producer via telephone, seen during the second bootcamp episode on 6 May. Daniel Bedingfield also brought previously eliminated contestant Jackie Thomas back to the Girls category. Bedingfield mentored the Girls in Rarotonga, assisted by his sister Natasha Bedingfield; Blatt joined the Groups at Mahurangi with S Club 7 member Rachel Stevens; Frost took the Boys to Sydney, assisted by former Australian X Factor judge Guy Sebastian; and Walker had the Over-25s in Queenstown with New Zealand singer Hollie Smith. Each act performed one song for their mentor and assistant. The judges then selected their top three contestants, which make up the final 12 and progressed to the live shows.

    At the end of judges' retreats, it was announced that each judge could bring one further act back as a wildcard. The public then voted for which of the four wildcards would become the 13th finalist. This left one judge with an extra act. Fletcher Mills was revealed as the winner on 14 May. The show's producers had originally intended for the wildcard to be announced on the first live show on 19 May, but after judge Melanie Blatt mistakenly tweeted the news on 14 May, the official announcement was made early.


         – Wildcard winner



         – Winner     – Runner-up     – Third place

    Live shows

    The live shows began on 19 May and were filmed at Auckland Film Studios in Henderson, Auckland. The shows were simulcast on national radio network More FM.

    Results summary

    Colour key
         – Contestant announced as safe (no particular order)     – Contestant in the bottom two and had to perform in the final showdown     – Contestant received the fewest public votes and was immediately eliminated (no final showdown)

    Week 1 (19/20 May)

  • Theme: Number-one singles
  • Musical guests: Willy Moon ("Yeah Yeah") and Ruby Frost ("Volition")
  • Judges' vote to eliminate
  • Bedingfield: L.O.V.E - backed his own act, Eden Roberts
  • Blatt: Eden Roberts - backed her own act, L.O.V.E
  • Frost: Eden Roberts - felt L.O.V.E were more entertaining
  • Walker: Eden Roberts - felt that Eden had received all the exposure she needed from the show
  • Week 2 (26/27 May)

  • Theme: New Zealand music
  • Musical guests: Annabel Fay ("Warrior") and Smashproof ("Paint Fade")
  • Judges' vote to eliminate
  • Blatt: Taye Williams - backed her own act, L.O.V.E
  • Walker: L.O.V.E - backed his own act, Taye Williams
  • Bedingfield: Taye Williams - did not give a reason
  • Frost: L.O.V.E - felt she could see Taye as a recording artist
  • With the acts in the bottom two receiving two votes each, the result was deadlocked and reverted to the earlier public vote. Taye Williams was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.

    Week 3 (2/3 June)

  • Theme: Best of British
  • Musical guests: Stan Walker ("Bulletproof") and Joseph & Maia ("Nothing I Can Do")
  • Judges' vote to eliminate
  • Blatt: refused to send home either of her acts
  • Walker: L.O.V.E - felt they had a lot of fight in them and would do well after the show
  • Bedingfield: L.O.V.E - felt whatever happened would be good for them
  • Frost: was not required to vote since there was already a majority
  • Week 4 (9/10 June)

  • Theme: Soul classics
  • Musical guests: Titanium ("Tattoo") and Aaradhna ("You Don't Love Me Anymore")
  • Two acts were eliminated from the fourth results show.
  • Judges' vote to eliminate
  • Walker: Gap5 - backed his own act, Maaka Fiso
  • Blatt: Maaka Fiso - backed her own act, Gap5
  • Bedingfield: Maaka Fiso - felt Gap5 would sell records
  • Frost: Maaka Fiso - felt Gap5 were better suited to the competition
  • Week 5 (16/17 June)

  • Theme: Top 40
  • Musical guests: Sons of Zion ("Superman") and Jamie McDell ("Life in Sunshine")
  • Judges' vote to eliminate
  • Blatt: Anna Wilson - backed her own act, Gap5
  • Walker: Gap5 - backed his own act, Anna Wilson
  • Frost: Anna Wilson - felt Anna didn't have a clear identity
  • Bedingfield: Anna Wilson - felt Gap5 had more potential as popstars
  • Week 6 (23/24 June)

  • Theme: Songs from movies
  • Musical guests: Dane Rumble ("Not Alone") and Reece Mastin ("Rock Star")
  • Judges' vote to eliminate
  • Frost: refused to send home either of her acts
  • Blatt: Benny Tipene - felt his heart wasn't in it
  • Bedingfield: Tom Batchelor - gave no reason
  • Walker: Tom Batchelor - gave no reason
  • Week 7 (30 June/1 July)

  • Theme: Made in America
  • Musical guests: Aotearoa Reggae All Stars ("Sensitive to a Smile") and Manic Street Preachers ("If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next")
  • Judges' vote to eliminate
  • Blatt: Cassie Henderson - backed her own act, Gap5
  • Bedingfield: Gap5 - backed his own act, Cassie Henderson
  • Frost: Gap5 - felt their recent performances had been unprofessional
  • Walker: Gap5 - felt Cassie still had a lot of potential
  • Week 8 (7/8 July)

  • Theme: Coke Choice (songs from act's year of birth, as chosen by public online vote)
  • Musical guests: Daniel Bedingfield ("Every Little Thing") and Timomatic ("Parachute")
  • Coke Choice

    Songs performed during week eight were chosen by public vote from a shortlist of three songs from the contestant's birth year. Voting was done via The X Factor Facebook page, running from 17 to 29 June.


         – Chosen song
    Judges' vote to eliminate
  • Bedingfield: Whenua Patuwai - backed his own act, Cassie Henderson
  • Frost: Cassie Henderson - backed her own act, Whenua Patuwai
  • Walker: Cassie Henderson - gave no reason
  • Blatt: Whenua Patuwai - felt the business would be too harmful for Whenua
  • With the acts in the bottom two receiving two votes each, the result was deadlocked and reverted to the earlier public vote. Cassie Henderson was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.

    Week 9: Semi-final (14/15 July)

  • Themes: Love and heartbreak; the best of rock
  • Musical guests: Stan Walker ("Inventing Myself") and Ginny Blackmore ("Bones")
  • Notes
  • For the first time this series, each act performed two songs.
  • The semi-final did not feature a final showdown and instead the act with the fewest public votes, Moorhouse, was automatically eliminated. After their elimination, Moorhouse performed "Mirrors".
  • Week 10: Final (21/22 July)

    21 July
  • Themes: Judges' choice; duets
  • Notes
  • In the duets section, acts duetted with a New Zealand artist, singing a previous hit for that artist.
  • 22 July
  • Musical guests: The top 13 finalists ("Get Lucky") and Guy Sebastian ("Get Along").
  • Notes
  • For the first time this series there was no theme.
  • Ratings

    The grand final decider episode on Monday 22 July had a cume (cumulative audience) of 1,326,000 viewers in the 5+ demographic and an average audience of 598,100. During the series, 3,285,500 viewers watched the show at some stage.

    N.Z. Nielsen ratings

    Colour key:
         – Highest rating during the season     – Lowest rating during the season


    The X Factor (New Zealand series 1) Wikipedia

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