List of The X Factor finalists (Australia season 7)

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The seventh season of The X Factor Australia premiered on the Seven Network on 13 September 2015 and ended on 24 November 2015.[1][2] The judging panel consisted of Guy Sebastian, Dannii Minogue, James Blunt and Chris Isaak. Minogue mentored the Under 25 Girls, Isaak mentored the Under 25 Boys, Blunt mentored the Overs 25s, and Sebastian mentored the Groups.[3] Cyrus Villanueva was declared the winner, with Isaak emerging as the winning mentor for the first time.[2]

Under 25 Boys[edit]

Big T[edit]

Big T (born Tangaroa Te Tai) was a 22-year-old contestant from Perth.[4] Big T was born and raised in New Zealand, and moved to Perth in 2012 for work.[5] Before entering The X Factor, he was a railway worker flying in and out to the Karratha mines.[6] Big T auditioned for The X Factor singing "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" by Stevie Wonder.[6][7] He then progressed to the bootcamp round, where he sang Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" in front of the judges and a live audience.[8][9] Big T then made it to the super home visits round in London, where he performed "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye in front of his mentor Chris Isaak and guest mentors Simon Cowell and Rita Ora.[10] Isaak later selected Big T as one of his top three for the live shows. Big T was in the bottom two in week seven with Mahalia Simpson, but was saved after the judges' vote went to deadlock[11] Big T was in the bottom two for the second time in week eight with Louise Adams, but was eliminated after the judges' vote went to deadlock.[12]

Cyrus Villanueva[edit]

Cyrus Villanueva was a 19-year-old contestant from Wollongong, New South Wales. Villanueva is of Filipino descent and comes from a musical family; both his father and brother are professional entertainers.[5][13] Prior to entering The X Factor, Villanueva was studying graphic design at university and performing gigs in bars, cafes and at weddings during his spare time. Aside from singing, he also plays the guitar and piano. Villanueva cites Nat King Cole, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Ray Charles as his musical influences.[5] He auditioned for The X Factor singing "Earned It" by The Weeknd and received a standing ovation from the judges.[14] He then progressed to the bootcamp round, where he performed a piano version of Robyn's "Dancing on My Own".[14] Villanueva then made it to the super home visits round in London and performed "Is This Love" by Bob Marley in front of his mentor Chris Isaak and guest mentors Simon Cowell and Rita Ora.[14] Isaak later selected Villanueva as one of his top three for the live shows. Following the eliminations of Jimmy Davis in week three and Big T in week eight, Villanueva became the last remaining act in Isaak's category. He made it to the grand final and won the competition. Villanueva subsequently received a recording contract with Sony Music Australia.[2]

Under 25 Girls[edit]

Michaela Baranov[edit]

Michaela Baranov was a 24-year-old contestant from Pennant Hills, New South Wales.[4][15] Baranov was born deaf in her right ear and has gone through 20 operations since birth.[16] Prior to entering The X Factor, Baranov was touring overseas for three years in the United States, France, Greece and Dubai, where she secured a three-month contract at the Waldorf Astoria doing three 40-minute sets, six nights a week.[5] She later came back to Australia to be with her father Paul.[4] Baranov auditioned for The X Factor singing "My Love" by Sia Furler and received a standing ovation from the judges.[15] She dedicated her performance to her father, who died from cancer six days before her audition.[5] Baranov then progressed to the bootcamp round, where she performed an emotional ballad version of Cher's "Believe" in front of the judges and a live audience.[17] She then made it to the super home visits round in London and performed "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)" by Rihanna in front of her mentor Dannii Minogue and guest mentors Simon Cowell and Olly Murs.[18] Minogue later selected Baranov as one of her top three for the live shows. Baranov was in the bottom two in week five with Mahalia Simpson and was eliminated after receiving three votes from judges Guy Sebastian, Chris Isaak and James Blunt.[19]

Georgia Denton[edit]

Georgia Denton was a 15-year-old contestant from Melbourne. Denton is originally from the United Kingdom. She moved with her family to Australia in 2008. Denton cites Beyoncé and Etta James as her musical influences. She auditioned for The X Factor singing "Beautiful Disaster" by Kelly Clarkson.[5] Denton then progressed to the bootcamp round, where she performed Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" in front of the judges and a live audience.[20] She then made it to the super home visits round in London and performed "Clarity" by Zedd in front of her mentor Dannii Minogue and guest mentors Simon Cowell and Olly Murs.[18] Minogue later selected Denton as one of her top three for the live shows. Denton was in the bottom two in week one with Dan Hamill, but was saved after Minogue, Isaak and Sebastian voted to eliminate Hamill.[21] Denton was in the bottom two with Mahalia Simpson and was immediately eliminated.[22]

Mahalia Simpson[edit]

Mahalia Simpson was a 22-year-old contestant from New Zealand. In early 2015, she moved from Christchurch to Brisbane, where she worked as a barista. She is half-Samoan and half-New Zealander, and is the youngest of eight siblings.[5] Aside from singing, Simpson also plays the guitar.[23] In 2010 Simpson was the runner-up on the Find A Star talent competition held on New Zealand magazine show Good Morning.[24] Simpson cites India Arie and Lauryn Hill as her musical inspirations.[5] She auditioned for The X Factor singing "Like a Star" by Corinne Bailey Rae.[23] She then progressed to the bootcamp round, where she performed Lana Del Rey's "Young and Beautiful" in front of the judges and a live audience.[25] Simpson then made it to the super home visits round in London and performed "Drunk in Love" by Beyoncé in front of her mentor Dannii Minogue and guest mentors Simon Cowell and Olly Murs.[10] Minogue later selected Simpson as one of her top three for the live shows.

Simpson was in the bottom two in week three with Georgia Denton, but was saved after Denton was immediately eliminated and Minogue.[22] Simpson was in the bottom two in week five with Michaela Baranov, but was saved again after Sebastian, Isaak and Blunt voted to eliminate Baranov.[19] After the eliminations of Denton in week three and Baranov in week five, Simpson became Minogue's last remaining act in her category. Simpson landed in the bottom two for the third time in week six with Natalie Conway, but was saved by the public vote after the judges' vote went to deadlock[26] In week seven, Simpson was in the bottom two for the fourth time with Big T, but this time was eliminated after the judges' vote went to deadlock.[11] Minogue became the first judge to lose all her acts.

Over 25s[edit]

Louise Adams[edit]

Louise Adams was a 31-year-old contestant from Mount Gambier, South Australia.[4] Adams started singing in 2010.[4] Before pursuing music, she worked as a lawyer. Aside from singing, she also plays the guitar and writes her own songs. Prior to entering The X Factor, Adams had performed successful shows in Australia, South America, the UK and US. She was also the lead singer of the band Louise and the Tornados. Adams is married and has a one-year-old daughter.[5] She auditioned for The X Factor singing Nina Simone's version of "Feeling Good".[5] Adams then progressed to the bootcamp round, where she performed "Sugar Man" by Sixto Rodriguez.[27] Adams then made it to the super home visits round in London and performed Dolly Parton's "Jolene" in front of her mentor James Blunt and guest mentors Simon Cowell and Rita Ora.[10] Blunt later selected her as one of his top three for the live shows. After the eliminations of Dan Hamill in week one and Natalie Conway in week six, Adams became Blunt's last remaining act in his category. Adams was in the bottom two with Big T in week eight, but was saved after the judges' vote went to deadlock[12] She made it to the grand final and became the runner-up to Cyrus Villanueva.[2]

Natalie Conway[edit]

Natalie Conway was a 33-year-old contestant from Sydney. Conway revealed that she fell into music by accident; she had been studying teaching at university when she scored a role in a musical. Conway then branched into jazz music under the guidance of vocal coach/jazz singer Joy Yates from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.[5] She is a full-time musician and has performed gigs both locally and internationally.[4][5] She has worked with several bands and performed live with DJs. Conway auditioned for The X Factor singing "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)" by Rozalla.[5] She then progressed to the bootcamp round, where she performed Basement Jaxx's "Good Luck" in front of the judges and a live audience.[28] Conway then made it to the super home visits round in London and performed Robin S.' "Show Me Love" in front of her mentor James Blunt and guest mentors Simon Cowell and Rita Ora.[29] Blunt later selected her as one of his top three for the live shows. Conway was in the bottom two in week six with Mahalia Simpson and was eliminated after the judges' vote went to deadlock.[26]

Dan Hamill[edit]

Dan Hamill was a 30-year-old contestant originally from Perth, but now based in Melbourne. Hamill studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts; he completed a Diploma of Contemporary Voice in 2003 and a Bachelor in Music Theatre in 2006. In 2004, Hamill was a top ten finalist on Popstars Live. Aside from music, he is also an actor and theatre performer. Hamill has appeared in films as well as TV shows with guest roles in City Homicide, Neighbours and The Doctor Blake Mysteries. He has also appeared in stage musicals Oklahoma! and West Side Story. Prior to entering The X Factor, he performed gigs with his group the Dan Hamill Band. Hamill auditioned for the show singing a swing-pop version of Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel".[5] He then progressed to the bootcamp round, where he performed "Take Me to Church" by Hozier in front of the judges and a live audience.[30] He then made it to the super home visits round in London and performed Donny Hathaway's version of "A Song for You" in front of his mentor James Blunt and guest mentors Simon Cowell and Rita Ora.[18] Blunt later selected Hamill as one of his top three for the live shows. Hamill was in the bottom two in week one with Georgia Denton and was eliminated after receiving three votes from judges Dannii Minogue, Chris Isaak and Guy Sebastian.[21]

Groups[edit]

The Fisher Boys[edit]

The Fisher Boys were a four-member boy band consisting of brothers Tyler (aged 23), Joshua (aged 19), Brandford (aged 18), and Conrad (aged 17). The Fisher Boys are from Perth and were raised by their New Zealand-born parents, who are both professional musicians. Aside from singing, the group are also dancers and can play instruments. They all started singing and learned how to play instruments at an early age. Prior to entering The X Factor, Tyler and Brandford worked as tradies, while Joshua worked as an educator's assistant.[5] The Fisher Boys auditioned for The X Factor singing "Jealous" by Nick Jonas.[31] The group then progressed to the bootcamp round, where they performed Maroon 5's "Sugar" in front of the judges and a live audience.[30] The Fisher Boys then made it to the super home visits round in London and performed "Nobody Love" by Tori Kelly in front of their mentor Guy Sebastian and guest mentors Simon Cowell and Olly Murs.[32] Sebastian later selected them as one of his top three for the live shows. The Fisher Boys were in the bottom two in week two with Jess & Matt and were eliminated after receiving three votes from judges Dannii Minogue, James Blunt and Chris Isaak.[33]

In Stereo[edit]

In Stereo were a three-member boy band from Sydney,[34] consisting of Jakob Delgado (aged 14),[5] Ethan Karpathy (aged 14)[5] and Chris Lanzon (aged 15).[35] All three members first met as solo performers and after becoming good friends, they decided to form a group in 2014.[5] Aside from singing, Lanzon also plays the guitar.[34] Both Lanzon and Karpathy were contestants on the first season of The Voice Kids Australia in 2014.[34] In Stereo auditioned for The X Factor singing "Style" by Taylor Swift.[5] The group then progressed to the bootcamp round, where they performed One Direction's "Steal My Girl" in front of the judges and a live audience.[30] In Stereo then made it to the super home visits round in London and performed "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon in front of their mentor Guy Sebastian and guest mentors Simon Cowell and Olly Murs.[10] Sebastian later selected them as one of his top three for the live shows. In Stereo were in the bottom two in week four with Jess & Matt, but were eliminated after receiving three votes from Blunt, Minogue and Issak.[36]

Post X Factor, In Stereo signed a record deal with Warner Music Australia.

Jess & Matt[edit]

Jess & Matt were a duo consisting of Jess Dunbar and her boyfriend Matt Price (both aged 24).[37] Jess is from Chipping Norton, New South Wales, while Matt is from Pymble, New South Wales.[37] The duo met each other while both studying at JMC Academy in Surry Hills, New South Wales. They started out as solo artists but became a duo in 2014.[38] Aside from singing, Jess & Matt also play guitars.[37] Prior to entering The X Factor, they played pub gigs around Sydney together.[38] Jess & Matt auditioned for the show singing an acoustic version of Vance Joy's "Georgia".[5] Jess & Matt then progressed the bootcamp round, where they performed "Say Something" by A Great Big World in front of the judges and a live audience.[30] The duo then made it to the super home visits round in London and performed James Bay's "Let It Go" in front of their mentor Guy Sebastian and guest mentors Simon Cowell and Olly Murs.[18] Sebastian later selected Jess & Matt as one of his top three for the live shows. Jess & Matt were in the bottom two in week two with The Fisher Boys, but were saved after Blunt, Minogue and Isaak voted to eliminate The Fisher Boys.[33] They were in the bottom two again in week four with In Stereo, but were saved again after Blunt, Minogue and Issak voted to eliminate In Stereo.[36] After the eliminations of The Fisher Boys in week two and In Stereo in week four, Jess & Matt became Sebastian's last remaining act in his category. They made it to the grand final and finished in third place, behind runner-up Louise Adams and winner Cyrus Villanueva.[2] Jess & Matt released their new single "Bones" on 11 August 2016

References[edit]

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