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The fourth series of The X Factor Australia was broadcast on the Seven Network. It premiered on 20 August 2012 and ended on 20 November 2012. The show consisted of several stages: auditions, super bootcamp, home visits and live shows. During the home visits stage, twelve finalists were selected and split into four categories. Each category was mentored by one of the show's four judges. Mel B mentored the Under 25 Boys, Natalie Bassingthwaighte had the Under 25 Girls, Guy Sebastian was given the Over 25s and Ronan Keating mentored the Groups. Samantha Jade was declared the winner, with Sebastian emerging as the winning mentor for the second year in a row.
Josh Brookes was a 20 year-old contestant from Perth, Western Australia, who auditioned for The X Factor singing Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven". Brookes began singing at age of ten as a way of coping with his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. During high school, he attended Mindarie Senior College. Brookes originally auditioned for the third series of The X Factor in 2011, but was eliminated during the bootcamp round to Johnny Ruffo. He stated that his "failure" to make it past bootcamp inspired him to audition again. Brookes cites Usher and Drake as his musical influences.
On 20 September 2012, the Seven Network issued a statement saying that Brookes had been disqualified from The X Factor because he had "behaved in an inappropriate manner" on social media. A Twitcam video that was later uploaded to YouTube displayed Brookes and fellow contestant Adil Memon asking teenage girls for "sneaky banana pics", a phrase used by teenagers that means naked images. The Seven Network stated, "After a careful review of the incident, FremantleMedia Australia, producers of the program, together with Channel Seven, made a joint decision to remove him from the competition". During the second live performance show on 25 September 2012, his mentor Mel B announced that Carmelo Munzone, who was eliminated during the home visits round, was Brookes' replacement in the live shows.
Adil Memon was an 18 year-old contestant who auditioned for The X Factor singing John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change". Memon comes from a musical family; his mother is an Irish violinist, his father is of Pakistani descent and plays the drums, and his sister is also a singer. At age of ten, Memon learnt to play the violin, saxophone and guitar. In 2008, he and his family moved from England to Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. During high school, Memon attended Ipswich Grammar School. In 2010, Memon and his sister, Maimuna, appeared on Australia's Got Talent. Before entering The X Factor, he worked at an ice cream shop and was a pool lifeguard. He was also a student at the University of Queensland and studied Exercise and Nutrition. During the super bootcamp round, Memon suffered a nervous breakdown and lost his voice before he was called to perform in front of the judges. He cites John Mayer, Emeli Sandé and Bon Iver as his musical influences. Memon landed in the bottom two in week one with Samantha Jade after receiving the fewest public votes. He was eventually eliminated from the competition after Keating, Sebastian and Bassingthwaighte chose to save Jade.
Memon released his debut single "Love I Can Afford" independently on 14 February 2013. His second single "Official" was released on 16 August 2013, through independent label Social Family Records. "Official" was written by Newton Faulkner.
Carmelo Munzone was a 23 year-old contestant from New South Wales, who sang Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning" at his audition. He cites Maroon 5, OneRepublic, The Script, Jessie J and Michael Bublé as his musical influences. After Munzone was eliminated during the home visits round, he started auditioning for music university courses. However, on 21 September 2012, Munzone received a phone call saying that he would be Brookes' replacement in the live shows and had only two days to prepare for his first live performance.
Jason Owen was an 18 year-old contestant from Dubbo, New South Wales, who sang John Denver's "Annie's Song" at his audition. Owen grew up in the small town of Albert, New South Wales, which had a population of twelve people. At the age of ten, he joined the school choir but never had proper singing lessons. Before applying for The X Factor, Owen performed in local pubs and clubs and at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. He also worked in his family's fuel business. Owen cites Dr. Hook, Smokie, John Denver, Celine Dion, Elton John and Cat Stevens as his musical influences. He became the runner-up to Samantha Jade and subsequently received a recording contract with Sony Music Australia.
Owen released his debut single "Make It Last", which would have been his winner's single if he had won The X Factor, on 23 November 2012. The single peaked at number 47 on the ARIA Singles Chart. Owen's debut studio album Life is a Highway was released on 26 April 2013, and debuted at number five on the ARIA Albums Chart.
Bella Ferraro was an 18 year-old contestant from Sydney, New South Wales, who sang Birdy's version of "Skinny Love" at her audition. Ferraro began singing as a child. At the age of five, she became a member of the Australian Girls Choir, who have performed at the annual Carols in the Domain and during Oprah Winfrey's Australian tour. Before applying for The X Factor, Ferraro left school in Year 12 to pursue a music career. She was inspired to audition for the show after seeing the success of One Direction who were on the UK version. Ferraro cites Bon Iver, Lykke Li, Crystal Castles, Foals and Two Door Cinema Club as her musical influences. During the super bootcamp round, Ferraro forgot the lyrics to the two songs she performed, which were Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over". After she was eliminated from the competition, Ferraro received a recording contract with Sony Music Australia.
Shiane Hawke was a 14 year-old contestant who auditioned for The X Factor singing Duffy's "Mercy". Hawke is an Indigenous Australian. She was born in Sydney, New South Wales and raised in Darwin, Northern Territory. Hawke was born with club feet and had them turned around when she was six months old. She had more than 20 operations as a child to fix her feet. Hawke taught herself to play the piano and took singing lessons. She cites Adele and Aretha Franklin as her musical influences. Hawke attended Dripstone Middle School in Tiwi, Northern Territory. Before entering The X Factor, she performed at several local talent shows in Darwin, where she received two touchdowns from former Australian Idol and X Factor judge Mark Holden. Hawke was the first youngest contestant to make it to the live shows of The X Factor Australia.
Angel Tupai was a 19 year-old contestant from Sydney, New South Wales, who sang Jessie J's "Big White Room" at her audition. Tupai started singing in church at the age of seven but could not afford proper lessons. She attended Campbelltown Performing Arts High School. Tupai received scholarships for her singing and performed at corporate and charity events. She would use the money she made from her gigs to help out her family. She cites Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott as her musical influences. Before applying for The X Factor, Tupai was a music teacher and a corporate singer. Tupai landed in the bottom two in week three with Justin Standley, but was saved by the judges' votes. She landed in the bottom two again in week five with Samantha Jade and after the judges decision went to deadlock, she was eliminated.
Samantha Jade was a 25 year-old contestant from Perth, Western Australia, who auditioned for The X Factor singing The Script's "Breakeven". In 2002, Jade's friend sent her demo to a record producer in Los Angeles, who then decided to send Jade and her family to Hollywood for a meeting. The following year, they moved to Los Angeles. In 2004, she signed with US record label Jive Records and began recording a few demo tracks. After three years with the label, Jade's debut album My Name is Samantha Jade was never released and she was dropped. After struggling to get a new record deal in the US, Jade moved back to Perth and began working at her father's warehouse in Guildford, Western Australia. She later relocated to Sydney, New South Wales, where she became a makeup artist while still gigging. Jade cites Beyoncé, Robyn and Mariah Carey as her musical influences. She was announced the winner on 20 November 2012, and received a recording contract with Sony Music Australia and a Nissan Dualis car.
Justin Standley was a 41 year-old contestant from Bundaberg, Queensland, who sang Elton John's "Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)" at his audition. Standley lost contact of his three children for 12 years when his relationship with his partner ended. He convinced himself that he did not deserve to see his children because he is gay. Standley found them after his audition was broadcast. Before auditioning for The X Factor, Standley was studying to become a teacher at university, worked as a prison choir teacher at the Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre, and performed in pubs and clubs and at the Tamworth Music Festival. He cites The Beatles, Roy Orbison, Slim Dusty, Sara Storer, John Denver, Kasey Chambers and Joni Mitchell as his musical influences.
Nathaniel Willemse was a 27 year-old contestant who auditioned for The X Factor singing John Mayer's "Gravity". Willemse was born in South Africa and moved to Melbourne, Australia when he was six years-old. He previously auditioned for Australian Idol at the age of 21 and made it to the top 24 round. Before applying for The X Factor, Willemse was a vocal coach and a wedding singer. He cites Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Justin Timberlake as his musical influences.
The Collective are a four-member (formerly five-member) boy band consisting of Trent Bell (from Brisbane, Queensland), Jayden Sierra (from Camden, New South Wales), Julian De Vizio (from Adelaide, South Australia) and Will Singe (from Sydney, New South Wales). They originally auditioned for The X Factor as solo contestants, but failed to make the top six of the Under 25 Boys category. They were formed by the judges during the super bootcamp round for the Groups category. The Collective cite John Mayer, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Michael Jackson and their fathers as their musical influences. The Collective placed third in the competition and subsequently received a recording contract with Sony Music Australia. On 26 January 2014, founding member Zach Russell announced on Twitter that he had left the group.
Fourtunate were a four-member boy band from Sydney, New South Wales, made up of brothers Jaye, Jakiel and Izaia Fuimaono, and best friend Joseph Kalepo. They auditioned for The X Factor singing Maroon 5's "This Love". Fourtunate previously auditioned for the third series in 2011, but were eliminated during the bootcamp round because they lacked experience. This led to them gigging at birthdays, pubs, weddings and festivals. Fourtunate cite Beyoncé, Usher and Jamie Foxx as their musical influences.
What About Tonight is a four-member (formerly five-member) boy band consisting of Tyrone Georgiadis (from Sydney, New South Wales), Luke Howell (from Sydney, New South Wales), Brock Jays (from Wangaratta, Victoria) and Wade Smith (from Byron Bay, New South Wales). They auditioned for The X Factor singing We the Kings' "Say You Like Me". What About Tonight met through YouTube in early 2012, and began rehearsing over Skype before coming together a week before their audition. They stated that One Direction inspired them to audition for the show. What About Tonight cite One Direction, The Wanted and Justin Bieber as their musical influences. They landed in the bottom two in week two of the live shows with Nathaniel Willemse and after the judges' decision went to deadlock, it was revealed that What About Tonight received the fewest votes and were eliminated.
After The X Factor, two original members Mitchel Cave and Christian Anthony left the group. This opened the door for a nation wide search for a new member and after watching Wade Smith's audition on The Voice Australia, he was tracked down and asked to join the group. What About Tonight's debut single "Time of Our Lives" was released on 26 July 2013, and peaked at number 25 on the ARIA Singles Chart.