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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, 12 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.
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 12. At age 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. For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, he sang Bryan Adams' "Heaven" and received a mixed response from the judges. Sebastian said "There was no heart in that [...] It just wasn't you". Owen was the runner-up of the season.
He subsequently signed a recording contract with Sony Music Australia and released "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.
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 10 as a way of coping with his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. During high school, he attended Mindarie Senior College. Brookes revealed that his family have struggled in the past and that his mother suffered depression. He originally auditioned for the third season of The X Factor in 2011, but was eliminated during the "bootcamp" stage 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. For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, he sang Jason Derülo's "Don't Wanna Go Home" and received praise from all four judges. Keating said "You did that in style, that was brilliant", while Bassingthwaighte added that Brookes was in his "element".
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 displays Brookes and 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, Mel B announced that Carmelo Munzone, who was eliminated during the "home visits" stage, was Brookes' replacement in the show.
Carmelo Munzone was a 23 year-old contestant from New South Wales, who sang Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning" at his audition. After being eliminated during the "home visits" stage, Munzone started auditioning for music university courses. He cites Maroon 5, OneRepublic, The Script, Jessie J and Michael Bublé as his musical influences. On 21 September 2012, Munzone received a phone call saying that he would be Brookes replacement in the show and had two days to prepare for his first live performance. For the second live performance show (the first for Munzone) on 25 September 2012, Munzone sang Jamie Cullum's version of "Everlasting Love" and received a welcome from all four judges.
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 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 appeared on Australia's Got Talent. Before entering The X Factor, he worked at an ice cream shop and was a pool lifeguard. During the "super bootcamp" stage, Memon suffered a nervous breakdown and lost his voice before he was called to perform in front of the judges. Memon is currently in his first year at the University of Queensland, studying Exercise and Nutrition. He cites John Mayer, Emeli Sandé and Bon Iver as his musical influences. For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, Memon sang Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" and received a mixed response from the judges. Keating said the performance was great and Bassingthwaighte loved his voice but wanted to see him connect to the lyrics. Memon landed in the final showdown the next day 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" on 14 February 2013, independently. His second single "Official" was released on 16 August 2013, through independent label Social Family Records. "Official" was written by Newton Faulkner.
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 age 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. During the "super bootcamp" stage, Ferraro forgot the lyrics to the two songs she performed, which included Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over". She cites Bon Iver, Lykke Li, Crystal Castles, Foals and Two Door Cinema Club as her musical influences. For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, Ferraro sang Matt Corby's "Brother" and received a mixed response from the judges. Mel B said it was not the right song choice, while Ronan Keating disagreed saying that he loved the song choice and described her performance as "beautiful". Ferraro received a recording contract with Sony Music Australia, after she left the competition.
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 at six months. She has had more than 20 operations as a child to fix her feet. Hawke taught herself to play the piano and took singing lessons. She 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 cites Adele and Aretha Franklin as her musical influences. She is the youngest contestant to ever appear on The X Factor (Australia). For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, Hawke sang Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" and received a mixed response from the judges. Guy Sebastian described her as "a little Sapphire" and felt that her performance was different, Mel B said she did not like the song choice and the production, while Natalie Bassingthwaighte added that she "looked a bit lost" at times.
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 age seven but could not afford proper lessons. She attended Campbelltown High School of the Performing Arts. 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. Before applying for The X Factor, Tupai was a music teacher and a corporate singer. She cites Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott as her musical influences. For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, Tupai sang Leona Lewis' "Happy" and received praise from all four judges. Sebastian called her "incredible", while Mel B said she looked like a "goddess". In week two, Tupai sang "Young Hearts Run Free". In week three, she sang "Next to Me" and landed in the bottom two with Justin Standley. She was saved by the judges votes. In week four, she sang "Dirty Diana". In week five, she sang "I Want to Know What Love Is" and landed in the bottom two again with Samantha Jade. The votes went to deadlock but Tupai lost in the public and 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, California, 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 United States, Jade moved back to Perth and began working at father's warehouse in Guildford, Western Australia. She later relocated to Sydney, New South Wales, where she is now a makeup artist while still gigging. Jade cites Beyoncé, Robyn and Mariah Carey as her musical influences. For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, she sang Katy Perry's "Wide Awake" and received praise from all four judges. Keating said "I'm going to get in trouble for saying this but that was better than Katy Perry", while Sebastian added that "Every singer in the country just literally went 'Oh my gosh'". Jade was announced the winner of the season on 20 November 2012. She 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. For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, Standley sang Cat Stevens' "Father and Son" and received praise from all four judges. Keating said he has never heard the song sung with so much heart.
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 auditioned for Australian Idol at age 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. For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, Willemse sang Beyoncé's "Love on Top" and received praise from all four judges. Mel B called the performance "incredible" and said that his voice is "bloody marvellous", while Keating added that he has a lot of soul.
The Collective are a five-member boy band consisting of Jayden Sierra, 18 (from Camden, New South Wales), Julian De Vizio, 17 (from Adelaide, South Australia), Will Singe, 19 (from Sydney, New South Wales), Trent Bell, 21 (from Brisbane, Queensland), and Zach Russell, 22 (from Rockhampton, Queensland). They all applied 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" stage 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. For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, they sang Jessie J's "Domino" and received praise from all four judges. Keating said it was "the best performance I've ever seen on X Factor anywhere in the world", Bassingthwaighte described the performance as "phenomenal", and Sebastian called it "unbelievable". The Collective placed third in the competition. They subsequently signed with Sony Music Australia and released "Surrender", which would have been their winner's single if they had won The X Factor, on 23 November 2012.
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. For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, they sang The Wanted's "Glad You Came" and received praise from all four judges. Mel B said it was the right song choice and Bassingthwaighte said she loved their performance. For the second live performance show on 25 September 2012, What About Tonight sang the Jonas Brothers' version of "Year 3000". The following day, they landed in the final showdown with Nathaniel Willemse. Keating and Mel B voted to send Willemse home, while Bassingthwaighte and Sebastian voted to send home What About Tonight. Due to both acts receiving two votes each, the result was taken to deadlock and reverted to the earlier public vote. 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.
Fourtunate are a four-member boy band from Sydney, New South Wales, made up of brothers Jaye Fuimaono (age 17), Jakiel Fuimaono (age 18), Izaia Fuimaono (age 20), and best friend Joseph Kalepo (age 20). They auditioned for The X Factor singing Maroon 5's "This Love". Fourtunate originally auditioned for the third season in 2011, but were eliminated during the "bootcamp" stage 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. For the first live performance show on 17 September 2012, they sang Maroon 5's "Payphone" and received a mixed response from the judges. Bassingthwaighte noted that their vocals were not perfect at the beginning of their performance, Sebastian agreed and said it was not the right song choice, while Mel B said they were great and that they brought something different to the competition.