By HAZEL REID.

The X Factor NZ this week bought the ‘One Hit Wonder’ live shows, with the Top 10 contestants taking on hits from the past and present. You may remember these songs staying at #1 on the NZ music charts for so long that you ended up hating them – and then never hearing from the artists ever again… until now!

Sarah Spicer kicked off the night with a classic: 4 Non Blondes’ What’s Up. She got the crowd up and clapping along as she rocked out with her trusty guitar in hand. Judge Stan Walker said “it’s so hard to be a judge, as you’re pretty perfect. I’m speechless and usually I’ve got a lot to say.” Fellow judge Natalie Bassingthwaite, however, wanted Sarah to shake it up and offer something different to the original.

Nyssa Collins killed it again this week, proving what a powerhouse she is. She made Vanessa Carlton’s A Thousand Miles her own, prompting Natalie to say “I’m drawn to you from beginning to end.” Judge Shelton Woolright added “it’s hard to offer criticism to someone who is as good as you. You keep on getting stronger and stronger, and you look beautiful tonight.”

Could Brendan Thomas and the Vibes get any cooler?! ‘Yes’ is the answer, apparently. Rocking out to My Sharona by The Knack, they ended their electric and visually engaging performance by smashing it – literally – they took to their instruments! Can you say true rockstars?! Stan called it the “first bit of rock ‘n’ roll on The X Factor.”

Finlay is becoming one of my favourites; she always kills it vocally, and this week – her outfit, that headpiece! She looked like a goddess singing Gotye and Kimbra’s international hit Somebody That I Used to Know. I have always hated this song, but Finlay’s rendition actually made it listenable.

Joe, oh Joe. I love Joe, I do – since before the fiasco we shall not speak of – but this week, no no. Surely you should know trying to sing both a male and female part of a duet is not a good idea? Dirty Dancing’s infamous (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes was the wrong choice this week. Joe definitely didn’t knock his performance out of the park. Stan said “I’m going to be completely honest, that was terrible – from the vocal to the dancing.”

Mr Stevie Tonks, you definitely are Crazy and NZ loves you. Your performance of Gnarls Barkley’s song (the original of which I’m not a fan) made me love this version of the track, and you did it whilst making art with clay! Stan commented “You’ve set the new standard. You are the platform, and you are the benchmark. You’re incredible, you blew me away, you’re an artist, and you’re ready to sell records.”

Next up, Mae Valley, NZ’s girl country duo. The pocket rocket blonde singers took on Wheatus’ Teenage Dirtbag. Was anyone else super confused by the zombie dancers? They gave the performance a really weird vibe. Judge Melanie Blatt said “I loved that. I love you two. I like it so much because Shelton took my advice and did everything I said to do.”

Lili Bayliss, yes, you go girl – finally a fantastic song choice! With a mash-up of Tainted Love and Sweet Dreams she killed her performance. The outfit, the shoes, the hair – and she was vocally amazing. The judges agreed, with Natalie saying “I’ve had this musical crush on you since I’ve been here and it’s continuing – I love listening to your voice each and every week.”

In an unexpected turn of events, two of the shows best performers were put in the bottom two. It just shows, New Zealand, you really need to vote. Sarah Spicer took on huge track At Last while Brendan Thomas & The Vibes stuck to their roots with Power of Soul.

The judges were shocked that these two acts had been put in the bottom two and were torn as to who to send home. After reverting back to the public vote, it was Sarah Spicer who was sadly eliminated. I’m so excited Brendan Thomas & The Vibes stayed – otherwise X Factor would have lost their most electric and energetic performers, and that would have been a true musical tragedy.

As I said last week, I’d really love Beau to adventure outside his comfort zone; he can’t rely on just sound effects forever in a singing competition – and the judges agree. I actually thought I’d see him in the bottom two this week.

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