By HAZEL REID.

This week your Top 6 on The X Factor NZ took on songs from their musical heroes, including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Amy Winehouse. Who would shine and who would crumble so close to the finish line?

Mr Stevie Tonks kicked off the show with Michael Jackson’s classic Billie Jean. I’m going to say it now, it wasn’t my favourite performance of his, but it is a huge track, so I give him props for taking it on. He definitely didn’t need the dancers. Judge Melanie Blatt said: “That was my least favourite of your performances. Vocally you were fine. I know it’s an entertainment show, but the dancing felt too musical theatre.”

Lili Bayliss, fresh and fired-up from being in the bottom two for the third time, took on Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, complete with a massive set of jail cages. Was this supposed to be a symbolisation of Winehouse’s troubled past? It was definitely an interesting choice. Judge Shelton Woolright commented: “You’re like the cat with nine lives. I’ve been quite hard on you with your vocal in the past. In the pop industry, your vocal doesn’t have to be 100 per cent, but really you’re the package and you’ve still got a lot to offer.”

Beau Monga – yes, finally! Beau, you can sing, you can dance and you can make amazing beats on your loop pedal – you are the package. The set and dancers pulled this performance of Goody Goody by Frankie Lymon together. Judge Stan Walker said: “Beau, I’ve got a bit of a confession, I never ever put you as being a winner. You might take this show and win it. It’s a little bit annoying, tonight you did everything right – your mic control, your engagement with us and the crowd. Proud of you brother.”

Brendon Thomas and The Vibes put their unique spin on Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground this week. The horns at the beginning drowned out The Vibes a little bit, but apart from that, another great performance. Judge Natalie Bassingthwaighte commented: “My jaw is hurting from smiling so much. Seriously, I was taken to some other world – the arrangement was sick, I want to go to the concert now. Can we just keep playing?!”

Nyssa – yes, girl! She is such a powerhouse. Her mentor, Walker, calls her his “diva queen” and this week she took on Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind. How cool was that set? Her name literally in big lights – very New York! Blatt said: “Nyssa, I was expecting when I heard [that you were doing] this song that it would be boring, so I was expecting to be fed up with it, but I loved it. Everything we said last week, you took it on board – everything was spot on.”

Rounding up the night was Steve Broad, with Usher’s Climax. I’m sorry, Steve, but this late into the competition, there isn’t room to have an average performance. Bassingthwaighte said: “Steve, that is one tough song to take on. The vocal performance was alright at times.” Walker added: “That is a hard song, you’ve got to really pull it off. You didn’t pull it off tonight. It was really shaky.”

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The dreaded results show took over Monday night. Gin Wigmore performed her new single New Rush on a fleeting visit back home, as the songstress is now LA-based. Kiwi musos Avalanche City also took the stage with their new single Inside Out. The X Factor (USA) judge and popstar Demi Lovato also stopped by the studio before her show on Sunday night to spend some time with the contestants and share her wisdom.

Shockingly, after last night’s performance, Steve Broad wasn’t in the bottom two, leaving amazing talents Stevie Tonks and Lili Bayliss to fight for survival. What are you even up to New Zealand?! Lili sung Blue Jeans while Stevie belted out Grenade and in the end, with three votes against her, Lili was eliminated.

What song will your favourite contestant take on next week? There are only five contestants left! Who do you think should have been sent home? Get involved in the conversation in the comments below and online using the hashtags #xfactornz #tearawaymagazine

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