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The live shows began last week when the Top 13 took the stage to tackle #1 hits. Unfortunately, one of them was a flop, as indie darling Eden Roberts was sent packing when facing hip hop duo L.O.V.E. With only a few stand outs, the first night was a big disappointment. This week we are celebrating NZ music month, which was first celebrated on May 2002. Will the remaining acts overcome their jitters tonight?

Recap and videos after the jump ...

Taye Williams

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"Settle Down" - 6/10 - "He's bigger, better, stronger than before" Stan announces. "Taye, he is kind of mediocre stuff, he sings really good but he's never gonna be a star" we see Daniel saying backstage. The critique got to him. "This week for Taye is a challenge, stepping out of his comfort zone and doing something that he'll never do" Stan says. He'll be dancer, "I like to party dance, I'm not Michael Jackson" Taye says. I was one of the few who enjoyed his performance last week, I'm a bit unsure about this song choice. He sang it really well, it surprised me he wasn't pitchy, but his tone sounded a bit dull. The production was nice, that's until he started drunk dancing, or at least it looked like that, he looked quite ridiculous up there. "This is much more what I expected from you. I wanted to hear a little bit more connection. I'm much happier this week " (Daniel) - VIDEO


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"How Bizarre"/"Push It" - 4,5/10 - Stan unfairly saved them when he decided Eden had already received enough exposure with the show last week. "Being in the B2, it makes us want it that much more" they say. Mel thinks they are the life and soul of the show, they just need to get NZ on the same page that they are.  She thinks this is the  week it's gonna happen for them. Mel keeps trying to turn the girls into singers who can rap. They are not that. They are rappers and nothing more. Their singing is a disaster, it's pitchy, out of tune and uninteresting. Their rapping, however, is really cool. I didn't like this at all. Mel should be trying to shape them into a Lyric 145 type of group, they may get further than by going this route. "You know how to work the crowd and it's such a delight to watch. Vocally it's still not excellent but you are captivating to watch, I enjoyed it" (Ruby) - VIDEO

Tom Batchelor

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"Slice of Heaven" - 5,5/10 - "He doesn't like my music and I don't really like his music but I still respect him so I hope he respects me as well" Tom says about Daniel's refusal to comment on his past performance. Ruby thinks Daniel doesn't get what Tom is all about. She's told Tom not to listen to him at all. Tom seems fun but to me, it looks like he's trying to be weird on purpose. His extravagant personality worked perfectly with this song, the stumbling around the stage made him look a bit drunk but not enough to make him look like a joke. The song did though. It's a pretty monotonous tune and while his tone kept me interested even though he kept repeating the same line, I'm not sure it was good enough. He's got a great voice, if only Ruby picked better songs for him. "You actually bring joy to my heart. My mom was here last week and all I can hear is 'woo, woo', she loves you. I love the way you moved, it was kind of awkward and funny but that's cool. Your voice is incredible, you've got a powerhouse voice and to everybody that's watching this, he's not drunk and he's not on drugs, that's just him" (Stan) - VIDEO

Jackie Thomas

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"Maybe Tomorrow" - 8,5/10 - Apparently people are calling Daniel the male Lady Gaga. I actually see the similarities there. Haha. "I read that on a tweet last week, the next tweet said that you were the female Ryan Seacrest" he tells to Daniel. She's relieved that the first show is over. Jackie is really enjoying the vocal workshops. She did many years of ballet as a kid, so she's looking forward to move around the stage. She's hoping to show NZ a more fun side of herself tonight. Major improvement! The Lana Del Rey song was really a horrid pick for her and I'm glad Daniel gave her this gorgeous Goldenhorse song, though I suspect it was her pick. It definitely showed she has a lovely warm tone, very similar to Bella Ferraro's, she's actually a wonderful singer, her high notes were amazing. The performance actually reminded me to Bella's "Big Yellow Taxi", with that same adorable dancing. "First of all you look gorgeous. Also, I like this change in music. I'm impressed with you more and more each week. To be honest, I could definitely see you singing that song or any song in any stage of the world. I really do think you've got something special. Just keep doing what you are doing and whatever happens, things will happen for you" (Mel) - VIDEO

Whenua Patuwai

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"Bathe In the River" - 7,5/10 - Ruby thinks something was missing from his previous performance. He thinks he didn't show enough emotion and wasn't soulful enough. He'll be going back to his roots tonight. Ruby claims she's got one of the best voices in this competition. Ruby was right about two things, Whenua does have the best voice in the competition and his past performance lacked something. His voice is incredibly soulful but for some reason that was missing from his Adele cover. Thankfully, his soul is back with this adeptly selected song. It had no big moments but he sang it so beautifully that I don't feel it really matters. "That was a perfect choice of song for you. Is your voice tired today? It feels like it's a little tired, that's not a diss of your voice. You do have a great voice. I wanted to feel the river and you can do it. Open yourself up way more, pull it in, there's a lot more from you, I still haven't seen it yet" (Daniel)  - VIDEO

Anna Wilson

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"Deciphering Me" - 8,5/10 - She felt awesome to be called first. "My first liveshow was amazing. I had the time of my life" she says. Mel felt she could be a dark horse, something Anna also hopes. "The thing with Anna, everyone thought 'you are putting her through because she's pretty', have you heard her sing?" Stan says. This is an angelic pick. It worked so great with Anna's voice, it was easy to look past her outfit. Her tone was sublime and while "Landslide" was vocal perfection, this is also a splendid work. I actually prefer this one, it showed a more vulnerable and charming side to her voice and a distinctive indie sound. I could see her having a similar career to Brooke. "I think you've got everything. The whole package and I know well under all this cute, beautiful, sweet lovely charming voice, there's a bit of naughtiness going on in there as well. Whoever that does that music that you do, you are better than them" (Mel) - VIDEO


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"Why Does Love Do This To Me" - 6/10 - From left to right: Rory, Jason, Marley and Brock - Mel takes the fault for last week's performance since she made them question themselves. They want to go back to their sort of indie style. Brock thinks this is a crucial performance for them. They've got to show that they still got that spark. Another weak performance, better than the previous one but still only decent. They aren't progressing, they are regressing. Their first audition was so cool, they had a distinctive style and real swag. Mel is now turning them into a 1D clone and it's hurting them. I'm not sure they still got that spark. If they survive this week, as I know they will, they need to deliver a showstopper. "This is were your energy needs to be, the styling and stuff. I think there are better songs in the planet for you to choose than the last two songs. I want to see more of those amazing harmonies" (Daniel) - VIDEO

 Fletcher Mills

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"Sway" - 6,5/10 - Since he was the wild card, he doesn't want to be the one to kick someone else off their dreams. Ruby suggest he doesn't play the song as a cover but that he uses it to tell his story. "I just want you to silence all the haters this week" she says. A vast improvement over the mess "Paradise" was. This is more like the Fletcher we saw during the auditions. His pitch was all over the place but he's got such a compelling tone that I could see the audience overlooking that. This was the ideal song for him, it's a well known song but at the same time, distinctive enough to make Fletcher's voice sound unique. "I've to say that it's a big improvement from last week. Still very pitchy, in some bits, the end was amazing. To be honest, I don't think you'll be going home. You've got a big fan base but use it as encouragement to get even better" (Stan) "It was slightly better than last week but not enough. You've got this sort of tortured soul kind of thing going on but the only thing that is getting tortured are my ears. You are a sweet guy but I haven't seen that magic that you had in your first audition. It just brought all the show down. I'm over you now babe" (Mel) - VIDEO

Māka Fiso

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"Don't Forget Your Roots" - 7/10 - "Māka was the surprise of the night and maybe even the best performance" Mel says. Stan says Māka's voice is beyond any of their voices. Māka tells us his actually not as unfit people think he is, he actually does a lot of sport. We see him singing while training. This isn't the showstopper his past cover was. It's a good vocal delivery but there's nothing interesting about it. It lacked soul and power, it sounded as if he was barely making an effort. Up until the very last ad libs, this was extremely dull. He can do better than this. "Nice work. You are one of the strongest vocalists in this competition and you are so at home on this stage. I was worried that it was gonna be a little too laid back but then when you broke through those ad libs you brought it" (Ruby) - VIDEO

 Benny Tipene

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"Not Given Lightly" - 9/10 - Ruby thinks Benny passed the level of his first audition with his "Crazy" cover. He's chosen the song. He says he'll be singing this love song to his mom, who is a breast cancer survivor. Some people may complain that he's predictable, since this is exactly the same type of performance he did last week, but in my eyes, it's exactly the opposite. He knows what he wants to do as an artist and thus he's doing it. Yeah, he could have more edge but he's way better than other acts who keep changing their style every week, like Moorhouse. Benny's voice is gorgeous, his tone is magical, and the way he interprets each song is captivating and intriguing. I can see him having a big career. "I was not so keen on your song choice tonight. I felt you lost a little bit of your personality. Saying that, I didn't get the daises, I didn't get the song, I get you Benny. I think you are ready to go and be an international star" (Mel) - VIDEO


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"Royals"/"You're the Voice" - 6,5/10 - From left to right: Nica, Taiva, Alexandra, Hannah-Jane and Nicole - They are Gap4 during the first rehearsal as Nicole was sick under the weather, vomiting all night, had a fever. "We all play our part in the group but without her it fees really strange" Hannah says. Nicole shows up later, still thinking they can pull it off. This is better than their past performance but it's still not really there. It lacks energy and it's not interesting enough. They sound great, Nicole in particular, and their harmonies were pretty tight but I'm not fully invested in them, or in any of these groups, and it's all Mel's fault. She has no idea what she's doing, she's like NZ's own Mel B, an awesome judge but the worst mentor. The worst thing is that she thinks she's doing things right. The girls should pick their own song next week cause Mel is doing them no favours. "I'm personally hoping you guys get into the Top 3. I was stepping back for a minute into the Sony offices and thinking, I'm trying to watch from their perspective, and there are some things that you need to work on, some things that are fantastic, and I think what's really important is that you continue to listen to Mel cause she's doing a really good job with you guys" (Daniel) Seriously Daniel? - VIDEO

Cassie Henderson

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"Something in the Water" - 6,5/10 -  "The feedback I got was negative stuff from all three judges. That's the sort of stuff you've got to take it on board and use it as fuel for the next time" Cassie says. It was hard for her, we see her crying a bit backstage. She wants to show NZ what she's made of. Excellent pick for her, this is a fun youthful song and Cassie delivered it greatly. She's still got issues with her pitch, she was off tune for most of the performance but she's so adorable and charismatic while performing, that it's easy to forget she's just 14. Her voice can and will improve with the right vocal coaches. What Daniel needs to do is just make her sing. Just stand there and sing. Don't focus on anything else but the voice, I think that will help her show she's also a great singer. "I think a lot of good things came out of last week's show. One, your personality coming back into play, your style, what you are good at. Two, that I give very good advice. And three, what we all knew already is that you are a star and I absolutely love you" (Mel) - VIDEO

  1. Benny Tipene 
  2. Jackie Thomas
  3. Anna Wilson
  4. Whenua Patuwai 
  5. Māka Fiso
  6. Gap5
  7. Cassie Henderson
  8. Fletcher Mills
  9. Taye Williams
  10. Moorhouse
  11. Tom Batchelor
  12. L.O.V.E

Bottom 2: 

Taye Williams

Taye Williams - "Forget You" - He's bringing a more cheerful, fun side to his save me performance. There's loads of energy, too much. The frentic hand moves are back and while he sounds quite good, Daniel has been right all along, there's such a disconnection with the material he sings. He needs to find that song he's really passionate about, this isn't it. - VIDEO

L.O.V.E - "Swing" - The girls are clearly doing something wrong. Oh wait, I know what. Their issue is Mel, can they ditch their own mentor? This is a cool performance but I'm not really sold on them. They don't sound as interesting here, they didn't bring their all to this performance and while they still fought, their song choice could've been better. Maybe some Azealia Banks if they survive?- VIDEO

"Taye, I actually really liked your performance yesterday and that was great what you did just there but obviously, my heart belongs with my girls. The act I'm sending home is Taye." (Mel)
"I love you girls, you've brought something that's never been brought to the stage. I think in NZ, I've never seen an act like yours and I hope you take this opportunity and you take it further. I'm gonna stuck with my boy, the act that I'm sending home is L.O.V.E" (Stan)
"This is really hard because I was quite disappointed with both of your performances. Taye, that was an enormous amount of energy. That was literally fighting for your life in a really good way. That amount of energy, you should have been doing this every time. Ladies, what happened? If you stay in or not, I wanna hear you rapping in your original accents, in NZ accent at some point. Please care a lot much. The name of the contestant I've to send home is Tarawhati (?!!)" (Daniel) "That is Taye?" Darren asks. "Yes, it's Taye" Daniel answers.
"L.O.V.E, you know that I love the sense of fun that you bring to all your performances, you've such a commanding stage presence. I felt like what you just did there wasn't very professional and I'm just worried that you are not performing at a high enough level for this competition. But then Taye, I feel like you need to connect more with your audience. Taye, I can actually see you as a recording artist so I'm gonna be sending L.O.V.E home" (Ruby)

(via Deadlock)

Taye Williams

The judges are apparently shocked. Not sure why since, as Ruby just said, he never connected with the audience. "You are through, be happy" an angry Mel yells at her girls. The girls aren't connecting either and I was shocked they actually got more votes than Taye. Either way, their days are counted unless they drastically change their attitude.

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