By HAZEL REID.

Week 8 saw the Top Five take on NZ on Air week. Celebrating 25 years of supporting Kiwi music, the contestants tackled their favourite NZ songs, including hits from Aaradhna, Che Fu and Hollie Smith.

Nyssa Collins kicked off the show with Aaradhna’s Wake Up. In the pre-performance montage, Collins’ mentor Stan Walker said that she needed to make the song her own, rather than copying the original.

Nyssa looked great in a patterned jumpsuit surrounded by young dancers in a party scene. Judge Melanie Blatt said: “I loved it. That was great. I love your energy. I’ve championed you from the start and I will continue to do so.”

Many members of the New Zealand public (including myself) were gobsmacked Steve Broad was still in the competition after last week’s fiasco. This week he took on Tiki Taane’s Always on My Mind. Walker said: “It’s a bit unfortunate that you didn’t perform your best with your other performances. Tonight, that was awesome. In saying that, the song choice… I want to get excited when I see the top five.”
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Brendan Thomas and the Vibes took on a very different song this week, Bathe in the River by Hollie Smith. The songstress popped into their recording session earlier in the week to provide encouragement, saying “I want to do a version like that.” I don’t think there is a genre BT&V can’t do; the three 19 year olds can be incredibly loud and rock out, or tone it down and do a ballad.

Blatt commented: “First of all, massive props for Mikey on the flute. Your vocals were spot on tonight. You know I love you guys.”

Stevie Tonks spent a very nerve-wracking 20 minutes in the bottom two last week and I really think he shouldn’t be there again this week, if his performance of Oh My by Gin Wigmore is anything to go by. Judge Shelton Woolright said: “Stevie, when we get to this part of the competition, we need to start looking past the voices and the performance.The judges have got to start putting on an industry hat. I’ve been going through the checklist and you tick all the boxes.”

Beau Monga, the beatboxer-turned-singer was back this week, with something right up his alley – Che Fu’s classic tune Fade Away. Judge Blatt commented: “Beau, I hated last week, you might remember that. This week I’ve fallen in love with you all over again – I think it was spot on. The thing about this show is you have your good weeks and your bad weeks, you learn from your mistakes. This performance you gave tonight is where you’re supposed to be.”

With only two weeks of the show left, it’s getting tough on the New Zealand public to vote. This week we see the top four in the semi-final and next week the final takes place on Monday 18th March. Mark your calendars, people!

The results show rolled around and the small group of five contestants became the Top 4.

This week’s special guests were pop songstress Tori Kelly, performing her new hit Nobody Love, while here on a fleeting promotional trip, and – ahead of their Auckland concert at Vector Arena tonight – Irish band The Script performed their new tune Paint the Town Green, with NZ fans as flag bearers!

This week’s bottom two were Steve Broad and Stevie Tonks. Steve performed I Lived while Stevie belted out I Can’t Make You Love Me. Steve Broad was eliminated, leaving Brendan Thomas and the Vibes, Beau, Nyssa and Stevie to battle it out for a spot in the finals.

Who do you think should have been eliminated? Who’s your pick for the winner? Get involved in the conversation in the comments below and online using the hashtags #XFactorNZ #TearawayMagazine.

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