In 2013, TV still provided some of the biggest conversation topics. Some shows dominated the ratings; others crashed. We farewelled beloved characters and shows that we’d grown to love over the years. We tweeted and Instagrammed and took full advantage of the new multi-screen options on offer. And we got our very own version of The Bachelor. Step inside for the top 10 TV moments of the year, and check out the rest of our Best of 2013 content as well.
Taylor Henderson may have come second to Dami Im on this year’s series of The X Factor, but you only need to look at his recent achievements to know that it hasn’t been detrimental to his music career at all. Since finishing the show, he has released his winner’s single “Borrow My Heart,” which topped the ARIA charts, gone on tour with the top five, and recorded his self-titled debut album, which drops today and features full-length versions of his most memorable performances from the series. We got on the phone with Taylor on Wednesday in the middle of The X Factor Live tour to get the scoop on the most interesting fan experiences he’s had (hint: he said “raunchy messages”), his admiration for Ed Sheeran, and how he plans to spend his Christmas and Summer break.
POPSUGAR Australia: How is The X Factor tour going?
Taylor Henderson: It’s going good so far! So we’ve done our third show and doing our fourth tomorrow. It’s going quick, but man, the crowd especially, and everyone who’s been coming . . . The people can come and watch, but there’s nothing better than when we can interact with them. That’s the great thing about the tour: we’re performing our hearts out, and we want people to get to know us. On The X Factor, we got very nervous, and after you finished a song you had to sit there, and you either get praised or grilled. So it’s good to finish a song and just have people cheering you on.
PS: How do you like the touring experience?
TH: I know some of the songs might be similar, but at the end of the day every show is always different — there’s something that changes, or we might chuck something in, or bring in a surprise singer; Omar [Dean] was there last night. We’re doing what we love, and I’ve been really enjoying it. I’m really excited.
More from Taylor when you keep reading.
More than 2 million people tuned in to The X Factor last night to watch 25-year-old Dami Im take out the title over fellow grand finalists Taylor Henderson (runner-up) and Jai Waetford. From her very first audition, Brisbane-based Dami captivated the judges and audience, but a few stumbles — such as forgetting lyrics during a crucial performance — meant she wasn’t originally selected for the judges’ Home Visits stage. When one contestant in the over-24s category pulled out, Dannii Minogue gave Dami one more shot, and since then she has soared. As soon as the live shows kicked in, Dami became an early favourite as the standing ovations from the judges just kept coming; she scored five in a row for the first five weeks.
As the winner of The X Factor 2013, Dami has scored a recording contract with Sony Music, and her single, “Alive,” is available on iTunes now. We spoke to Dami this morning to discuss how her faith got her through the pressure, how she felt about her dramatic makeover, and why everyone loves her husband, Noah.
POPSUGAR Australia: Congratulations Dami! How did you celebrate?
Dami Im: Thank you! All the top 12 contestants and the judges and X Factor crew went to the rep party, and we were dancing and drinking — I left at about 2 a.m. to get some sleep. And then I had to come out for more interviews this morning.
PS: Why do you think viewers connected with you?
DI: I feel I was really different to everyone else on the show, in the way that I’d never been the coolest kid, or the prettiest kid, in school; I’ve been daggy sometimes, just like a loser. In that way, I think a lot of people can relate to me more, and they want to see something different on TV. I’m just grateful they connected with me, and liked me for who I am, and didn’t expect me to be someone else I’m not.
More from Dami when you keep reading.
She did it! Dami Im won The X Factor last night after an incredible season. In just a few months, the 25-year-old from Logan, Queensland, has completely transformed from the shy girl at auditions who belted out Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” or the singing piano player who forgot her lyrics while performing in front of hundreds of people at the end of Super Boot Camp. (She’s also a K-Pop star.) Let’s not forget that the judges didn’t even take her through to Home Visits, and that she only made it because one of the over-24s pulled out. Now, under Dannii Minogue’s direction, Dami has a quirky new look (some of her stage outfits were reminiscent of something Lady Gaga would have worn back in the day) and attitude that means she’s able to put her stamp on any song she’s been given.
Dami made history as the only contestant to receive five standing ovations from the judges in a row, and six in total. On Sunday night’s grand final show, she went out with a bang when she sang “And I Am Telling You” and was awarded with the biggest standing ovation the judges could give — they all stood up on the table for her! (Even Natalie Bassingthwaighte in her five-inch heels.) Throughout the series, the other judges couldn’t deny Dami’s talent, and several times they said they would be happy for Dami to take out the competition.
Her vocals have been flawless and she’s captivated audiences with that certain factor the show is all about. Let’s look back at all of Dami’s performances in the series, from her audition with “Hero” to her very own single, “Alive.”
Dami Im has been announced as the winner of The X Factor 2013! The 25-year-old from Brisbane, who started out as a shy and awkward piano teacher at the initial audition, has grown into a star with international appeal under the guidance of her mentor, Dannii Minogue. Dami beat Taylor Henderson and Jai Waetford, who were both mentored by Ronan Keating, to score a recording contract with Sony Music Australia.
It was an eventful grand final that kicked off with the top 12 acts returning to sing a very theatrical version of Ke$ha's "Blow." Music superstar Katy Perry took to the stage to belt out her hit single "Roar" — Dami also sang this one week on the live shows — and then the top three performed with Fall Out Boy. The show welcomed back Guy Sebastian, a former judge, to hear him sing his latest song "Like a Drum," before Katy returned to the stage for a world exclusive performance of her new single "Unconditionally."
More on The X Factor grand final when you keep reading.
This year’s top three on The X Factor is a clear reflection of who the most popular contestants are: Dami Im, Jai Waetford and Taylor Henderson. Of the three, the only one who’s landed in the bottom two is Taylor, when he had to sing against Third D3GREE last week, but aside from that he’s cruised through the elimination shows like his fellow grand finalists.
They’ve all had great performances and have built up very strong fanbases. Dami has been a revelation and this series’ strongest vocalist, earning standing ovations from all four judges week after week. Jai has been a firm fan favourite since The X Factor started promoting the talented 14-year-old’s audition months ago. And down-to-earth country boy Taylor has improved from shy guy who couldn’t perform without his guitar to a cool, confident crooner.
The top three performed one last time for the public vote on Sunday night — they had to revisit their audition song, debut their winner’s single, and perform one last song picked for them by their mentors (Dannii Minogue for Dami, Ronan Keating for Jai and Taylor). At the end of the show, Dami received the mother of all standing ovations for her rendition of Jennifer Hudson’s “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” when all four judges stood on the table to cheer for her. Redfoo called it, “The best thing I have ever seen in my life.” Jai cruised through the night and Taylor showed how far he’s come, but stumbled with some lyrics during his performance of “The Blower’s Daughter.”
With all this in mind, who do you think will win?
The X Factor Grand Final Decider airs tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Channel Seven.
It’s been an interesting ride for Third D3GREE on The X Factor. Members Jacinta, Jordan and Kelebek auditioned for the show as soloists but only advanced through the competition when they were formed as a group by judges Ronan Keating, Dannii Minogue and Redfoo — the first mixed group in the show’s history. After getting past the initial hurdles, the trio went on to deliver some of the most energetic and engaging performances on the live shows that perfectly showcased Jacinta and Jordan’s vocals, and Kelebek’s rapping skills. Their run on The X Factor came to an end last night when they were eliminated by the public vote, which sent Taylor Henderson into this weekend’s grand final. We spoke to Jacinta this morning to discuss why it’s so hard for groups to win The X Factor, how she bonded with Jordan and Kelebek, and why she wasn’t initially keen to settle on the name Third D3GREE.
POPSUGAR Australia: Do the sing for your life performances get easier the more you do them?
Jacinta: They did. The first time we were up against JTR, and that was really hard because they were our closest friends in the competition. And we were really close with Jiordan. And Taylor! Every bottom two we’ve been up against a close friend. It does get easier because you know how to go into it, you know the mindset to go in with. And you don’t get as beaten down as you do the first time.
PS: How did you come up with the name Third D3GREE, and how easy or hard was it to settle on a group name?
Jacinta: It was so hard to settle on a group name, because we were thinking really far into the future. We were thinking, ‘This name needs to stick, it needs to be really good.’ We were thinking about everything — how can we write it cool on Twitter? Trying to think of every possible thing. We knew we wanted two words — One Direction, Little Mix, a lot of bands with two words do really well. Kelebek came up with Third D3GREE, and at first me and Jordan were like, ‘Oh, I don’t know. The first thing I think of is third degree burns. Nope.’ [Laughs] But then she did this hype-up rap thing, where she was like, “Pump up the volume, pump up the volume, Third D3GREE.” That’s why I’m not the rapper in the group, by the way [laughs]. But she did something really cool! And then we thought it sounded really good, so we settled on Third D3GREE.
More from Jacinta when you keep reading.
With her sunny personality, strong voice and cute-as-a-button looks, Jiordan Tolli has all the ingredients for being a star. The 19-year-old from Melbourne made it to the top five of The X Factor, but was eliminated from the show last night when the judges’ decision went to deadlock; mixed group Third D3GREE were saved by Australia’s vote. The past few weeks of landing in the bottom two were starting to take a toll on Jiordan, who told us this morning that she felt it was her time to go. On the positive side, singing more showdowns meant she had more opportunities to show the country the type of artist she wants to be, compared to the songs she performed on Sunday nights. Keep reading for more from Jiordan on her working relationship with Redfoo, her favourite look of the series and what she plans to do once she gets back to Melbourne.
Tell me about those final moments between Ronan sending the decision to deadlock, to Luke making the announcement.
It’s so damn long! This week it was 38 seconds, apparently, which is ridiculous! I think. I knew I was going this week. I had a feeling. So I was just remaining positive, thinking about my goodbye speech [laughs].
Did your relationship with Redfoo change once you were the only under-24 girl left?
I think me and Foo’s relationship got a lot stronger, because instead of three girls he only had one, so the time he had was invested in just me. Of course we got to spend a lot more time together and talk more, not saying that he didn’t absolutely adore the other two girls. But yes our relationship definitely got a lot stronger.
More from Jiordan when you keep reading.
With such solid, strong performances from the top six on The X Factor on Sunday night, the judges knew a great act would be leaving the following day. Ronan Keating lost his first charge when 20-year-old Omar Dean was eliminated after Dannii Minogue sent the decision to a deadlock, which saw Jiordan Tolli proceed through to the top five. Despite his tough guy image, Omar has been described as one of the nicest guys in the competition, something his mentor Ronan acknowledged during the show’s closing moments last night. We spoke to Omar this morning about how his family kept him going, what surprised him about being on the show, and he also gave us his thoughts on the final five.
Did you get much sleep last night?
Nope — I probably got an hour. I was spending the time with the rest of the contestants last night. I think it will take a while to hit me.
Top six is a massive achievement.
Oh, definitely. That was my goal for live shows, so I’m really happy about that.
How were you feeling during your first sing for your life? How did it feel different to the Sunday night shows?
It’s such a weird feeling because it kind of feels like you’re already going home, so you’re just singing one last time for the people. It’s not really about the vocal performance, it’s about the emotion and how you connect with people for the last time. I really wanted to go out there and connect. I was so in my zone, and in my head while I was singing there were just flashes of the whole experience, and that’s what made it kind of emotional. When you’re singing it’s like you’re summing up every step of the experience, like it’s the final performance.
More from Omar Dean when you keep reading.
As last year’s X Factor winner Samantha Jade proved, landing in the bottom two a few times doesn’t hurt your chances of taking out the title. Unfortunately it didn’t happen the same way for Swedish brother trio JTR (John, Tom and Robin), who were eliminated last night when they sang against fellow group Third D3GREE. Of the remaining contestants, JTR had been in the bottom two the most times, but when we chatted to middle brother Tom this morning, he didn’t see it as a bad thing at all. Keep reading for what he said about how they tried to connect with the audience after the judges’ feedback, the best and worst things about doing The X Factor with brothers, and what he missed most from the ‘real world.’
What's it like having to talk about yourself so much?
It’s a lot of fun! It’s a new world for us. We’re just enjoying the ride and trying to see everything as a positive, and fun with it.
How did you rate your chances against Third D3GREE after seeing their sing for your life performance?
We’ve seen their performance before, and we know they’re amazing, and that it’s something new. That’s a really good thing for them, and it’s a big part of them making it, I think, with the mixed group.
You guys received lots of feedback on how you needed to connect more with the audience, which seems easier said than done — what did you take away from comments like that?
It’s easy to listen but it’s hard to take it in and actually do it. You have to pretend that you’re someone you’re not onstage, to get the confidence. It’s an act, really, that’s how I see it. You’re acting onstage.
More from Tom when you keep reading.