List of The X Factor finalists (New Zealand series 2)
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The second season of The X Factor began on TV3 on 15 February 2015. The live shows started on 15 March. The 12 chosen finalists are Brendan Thomas and the Vibes, Lili Bayliss, Steve Broad, Nyssa Collins, Fare Thee Well, Joe Irvine, Nofo Lameko, Beau Monga, Finlay Robertson, Sarah Spicer, Stuss and Stevie Tonks. Natalia Kills initially mentored the Boys (Monga, Lameko and Tonks) before being replaced by Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker is mentoring the Girls (Bayliss, Collins and Robertson), Melanie Blatt is mentoring the Over 25s (Broad, Irvine, Spicer), and Willy Moon initially mentored the groups (Brendan Thomas and the Vibes, Fare Three Well and Stuss) before being replaced by Shelton Woolright. Before the start of the live shows, one previously eliminated act from each category was chosen as a wildcard, with the winner of a public vote joining the finalists line-up, with Mae Valley from the Groups being voted in by the public as the 13th finalist. The series was won by 21-year-old busker, Beau Monga.
The Boys category is mentored by Bassingthwaighte. Contestants in this category are males aged 14 to 24. The category was formerly mentored by Natalia Kills who left the series after the first live show. The six candidates at judges' retreats were: Micah Heath, Archie Hill, Nofo Lameko, Beau Monga, Reiki Ruawai and Stevie Tonks. Kills chose:
Nofo Lameko is a 24-year-old from Porirua in Wellington. He performed the John Legend song "Used to Love U" at his audition. In week two, Lameko was the second contestant to be eliminated after losing the judges vote against Fare Thee Well.
Beau Monga is a 21-year-old busker from South Auckland. He is the son of Betty-Anne and Ryan Monga of the group Ardijah. At his audition, Monga performed a version of "Hit the Road Jack" using a loop pedal. In the finale, Monga was revealed as the winner after having received the most public votes over Nyssa Collins.
Stevie Tonks is a 23-year-old from Christchurch, originally from Southland. He was previously a performing arts student at the Southern Institute of Technology. Tonk performed the U2 song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" at his audition. His week one cover of "Young and Beautiful" reached No.5 in the New Zealand artists' singles chart, and his week four cover of "Crazy" also reached No. 5 in the same chart. In week nine, Tonks was eliminated after losing the judges vote against Brendon Thomas and the Vibes. He placed fourth overall.
The Girls category is mentored by Stan Walker. Contestants in this category are females aged 14 to 24. The six candidates at judges' retreats were: Jazzy Axton, Lili Bayliss, Nyssa Collins, Georgina Banfield, Sally Faherty and Finlay Robertson. Walker chose:
Lili Bayliss is a 20-year-old student from Wellington. She has a credit in the Peter Jackson film The Lovely Bones where she played "Mr Harvey's victim". In 2013 she appeared in the music video for "Down" by Welsh singer Gareth Barker. Bayliss performed The Black Keys' song "Lonely Boy" at her audition. Her week one cover of "Rude" reached No. 18 in the New Zealand artists' singles chart, while her week four mashup of "Tainted Love"/"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" reached number 14 in the same chart. In week seven, Bayliss was eliminated after losing the judges vote against Stevie Tonks. She placed 6th.
Nyssa Collins is a 23-year-old theme-park worker and student from Mangere, Auckland. At her Audition she sang "Saving All My Love For You". Her week three performance of "How Will I Know" reached No. 19 in the New Zealand singles chart. In the finale, Beau Monga was revealed as the winner. This saw Collins place second overall.
Finlay Robertson is a 20-year-old office worker from Wellington. She previously auditioned on the first series and reached the Judges' Retreats but did not advance to the live shows after being eliminated by mentor Daniel Bedingfield. She sang "Only Love Can Hurt Like This" for her audition and received mixed responses from the judges, but progressed through to the next round after all four judges voted her through. She sang "Big White Room" by Jessie J at Judges' Retreats and advanced to the live shows. She was automatically eliminated in Week 5 after her performance of "Shake It Off" in the season's only double elimination. As she had received the lowest number of public votes she was eliminated from the competition and came in 9th place. This caused outrage on social media and hashtags such as #bringbackfinlay emerged. She now works at New Zealand radio station The Edge.
The Over-25s category is mentored by Melanie Blatt. Contestants in this category are either of gender and aged 25 and over. The six candidates at judges' retreats were: Talitha Blake, Steve Broad, Joseph Emanuel, Joe Irvine, Kayla Mahon and Sarah Spicer. Blatt chose:
Steve Broad is a 29-year-old schoolteacher from Invercargill. He had previously appeared on series two of NZ Idol in 2005, where he placed third. He also appeared on celebrity singing show Pop's Ultimate Star in 2007, where he placed eighth. He sang Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" at his audition. In week eight, Broad was eliminated after losing the judges vote against Stevie Tonks. He placed fifth overall.
Joe Irvine is a 25-year-old plant nursery worker from Invercargill. He performed the Queen song "Bohemian Rhapsody" at his audition. Irvine became the subject of international media coverage after judges Natalia Kills and WIlly Moon controversially criticised him in the week one live show, leading to their dismissal from the series. After landing in the bottom three with his performance of "Lego House" in week five, he sang "Wake Me Up" in the final showdown against Nyssa Collins, but lost in the voting 3-1 eliminating him from the competition. He came in 8th place.
Sarah Spicer is a singer-songwriter and mother from Waihi. She had previously spent six years living in San Francisco, working as a singer. She performed with her brother Matt in the bands' The Corleone's and The Automatic Blues Band. She also was the emcee for karaoke at the Silver Clouds restaurant/bar on Lombard Street (San Francisco) in The City. She performed Sam Smith's song "Stay With Me" at her audition. In week four, Spicer was the fourth contestant to be eliminated after losing the public deadlock vote against Brendon Thomas and the Vibes. Her elimination was deemed as a surprise by fellow judges. She placed 10th overall.
The Groups category is mentored by Shelton Woolright. Contestants in this category are groups with at least two singers and all members must be aged 14 or over. The category was formerly mentored by Willy Moon until he left the series after the first live show. The seven candidates at judges' retreats were: Brendon Thomas and the Vibes, Duel, Fare Three Well, Mae Valley, Modulation, Stuss and Urban Legacy. Mae Valley won the wildcard vote. Moon chose:
Brendon Thomas and the Vibes
Brendon Thomas and the Vibes is a three-piece psychedelic blues rock band from Auckland. They are made of up Brendon Thomas (guitar and vocals), Timothee Nolier (drums) and Michael Anderson (bass). Their week two cover of "Budapest" reached No.12 for two weeks in the New Zealand artists' singles chart. After the group's 2014 EP The Eclect was mentioned on the show, it entered the New Zealand artists album chart at No. 11. In the finale, Brendon Thomas and the Vibes were revealed as having received the lowest number of votes and were instantly eliminated. They placed third overall, which saw them make X Factor history as the first band to reach the finals.
Fare Thee Well
Fare Thee Well is an acoustic folk trio from Rotorua made up of siblings Jared Stevenson, Bethany Stevenson, Laura-Lee Stevenson. They auditioned with an acoustic performance of "Free Fallin'". Fare Thee Well were the third act to be eliminated when they lost the judges' vote after performing in the sing-off against Lili Bayliss.
Mae Valley is a country duo made up of Abby Cristodoulou and Hannah Cosgrove. Cosgrove had previously auditioned for series one, making it to the second round of bootcamp. The two performers had originally auditioned as individuals in the Girls category. They were both eliminated at bootcamp, but brought back as a duo to the judges' retreats round. They were unsuccessful at judges retreats, but were put forward to public vote as one of four potential wildcards and won the public vote and therefore they received the final place in the Top 13. Their week one cover of "If I Die Young" reached No.10 in the New Zealand artists' singles chart. In week six, Mae Valley were eliminated after losing the judges vote against Lili Bayliss. They placed 7th.
Stuss is a four-piece rock band from Auckland, consisting of Rangitoto College students - Pierre Beasley, Luke Lattimore, Josh Strand, Cody Wilcox. Stuss were the first act to be eliminated, after landing the bottom two with Lili Bayliss in week one and losing the public vote when the elimination went to deadlock.
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