Can Moon and Kills find the X Factor?

THE X FACTOR: Pink logo.I’ve had a bit of time to digest after last night’s announcement that Will Moon and his recently acquired spouse Natalia Kills have been named as the final two judges along side Melanie Blatt and Stan Walker on The X Factor NZ judging panel and come to the conclusion that the producers don’t seem to realise the importance of having at least one person on their panel who has some A&R or talent scouting experience.

While Mel Blatt has the experience of topping the charts and touring the world and Stan Walker brings his experience of being inside the TV talent show machine, both Moon and Kills are fairly wet behind the ears and haven’t proven yet that they have any longevity in the recording industry.

The X Factor NZ still suffers from having anyone who can seriously identify true talent or more importantly, has the skills necessary to nurture and develop it.

In 2012 we saw plenty of fanboy and fangirl decisions by the likes of Bedingfield and Frost, and ultimately we were left with a top 12 that was rather devoid of any X-factor at all. Can Moon and Kills spot talent? Can they develop it? Are they going to be able to drag the typically timid Kiwi’s who audition for these shows out of their shells and convince them to perform as if they are the next big thing? Can they instil that level of self-belief in their acts that is required to make it?

The one redeeming factor for me in the decision to appoint Moon is that he’s taken his road to stardom away from our shores. I am desperately hoping that his international perspective can be extrapolated and this season introduces some real talent to the mix.

Over the years, shows like Masterchef have produced a number of personalities who have gone on to have successful public careers outside of their time on Television. I’m still waiting to see Mediaworks, or TVNZ for that matter, do this successfully with a singer/performer. Is 2015 the year that they’ll finally pull it off?

History isn’t on their side but based on the level of investment that Mediaworks are putting into next year, one can only hope.

I’m certainly not writing the series off as the franchise offers enormous opportunity. Whether or not it succeeds comes down to casting and how the series is produced.

I’ve previously offered to provide consultancy for this season and that offer still stands. If Mediaworks want some good advice, I’m still happy to provide it.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • andrew

    Willy Moon is the most stuck up looking prick I have ever seen. never watched the first series and want be watching the second.

    • K

      Stronger than I would of put it but having listened to him on Radio Live , he did seem pretty reserved. his wife seems the opposite..very bubbly

    • BoomShookerPowWow

      Meh; seems like a quirky creative type to me. Variety will keep the show interesting.

  • whatever

    “I’ve previously offered to provide consultancy for this season and that offer still stands. If Mediaworks want some good advice, I’m still happy to provide it.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Hmmm… Shall they listen to Freemantle, Syco, and Sony…. Or a tv blogger.

    • Regan Cunliffe

      You laugh out of complete ignorance. I have the CV to back up my offer.

      • Shannon Ryan

        You’re ignorant to think that they would hire you based on a blog post. There is such a thing as professionalism, you know.

        • Regan Cunliffe

          Wouldn’t it be ignorant to think that was what the purpose of this post?

  • Jeseta

    I think the point to make here is that the producers don’t care if they actually develop any talent from the show in the long run. They pick the judges based on the most famous faces/names they can get because they want to draw in viewers. It’s only about the ratings, after the show they really don’t care.

    • Regan Cunliffe

      For the sake of longevity though, they need to. At least with X Factor, Benny Tipene is still “working” and visible. Name an Idol contestant that did that?

      • Jeseta

        Idol has been going in the states for 13-14 years now. Only 2 or 3 winners I can think of have really had lasting success after the show but that hasn’t seemed to affect the show as a 14 year run is not to be sniffed at. Do they really need to have successful winners for the show itself to be successful?

        • Regan Cunliffe

          Which 2-3 are they? Kelly Clarkson? Fantasia? Clay Aiken? Carrie Underwood? Daughtry? Adam Lambert? Jennifer Hudson? Katherine McPhee? or someone else?

          • Jeseta

            Obviously people have different definitions of long-term success and that’s fine, I would consider Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks to be the only winners who have succeeded in establishing a successful music career. Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson were not winners but have had moderate success of their own, although Jennifer’s really came after her role in ‘Dreamgirls’ not directly from the show itself. Considering how many people have been finalists in the many seasons of the show, I think that is a pretty poor success rate.

          • Roger Dodger

            Jordin Sparks hasn’t released any albums in years. X Factor NZ is lucky that Benny Tipene has had success (yes, arguably more than any NZ Idol competitor). Plus Whenua put out his covers album and Moorhouse continue to put out singles, and have an album coming out. That is a lot more from one season than in the past with NZ Idol. Plus the winner Jackie obviously, but she went the route of Ben Lummis etc.

            Interestingly, Benny Tipene got nominated for a NZ Music Award (Best Male artist from memory) not just in highest album or singles sales, which is usually the only award these competition show singers get nominated for, or win. That in itself is quite the achievement.

          • Jeseta

            Hey I agree with you, I think we did alright from the first season! I guess my point is that having someone with industry experience on the judging panel doesn’t really make a difference – to ratings or to the post-show successes (good or bad).

  • abcd

    I think you’ll find, Regan, that both Willy and Natalia have producer backgrounds and have worked with other big artists in the industry. I think next time you attempt to blog about your so called ‘knowledge’ make sure you get all the details correct.

    • Regan Cunliffe

      Your point is related to what exactly?