X-Factor howlin’

I have been sitting here tonight in tears.

I don’t cry generally.  Not about ‘real stuff’, not with pain (well it has to be pretty bad) and rarely for myself … but I am afflicted with a gene which sees me howl like a baby at the most inane things.  Like horse races where a rank outsider comes home to pip them at the post.  Or in a kids’ cartoon movie, where the hero comes through.  Or in blinking reality shows, where some dude who seems like he can barely string two words together suddenly comes to life on stage…

Someone like this guy


Altiyan Childs.

If you haven’t seen the Australian X-Factor show this season, you may not know of whom I speak.  This bloke is a 30-something year old who unashamedly lives with his parents, who hit the wall in many sections of his life, and had given up his musical dreams five years ago.  As he says in his own words (in his blog):

I had to shake off 10-15 years of constant rejection.” (Read the rest of his profile – it’s quite a story).

This guy forgot the lyrics of his songs almost EVERY time he sang in the early episodes of the show.  How the heck he got through those first few rounds, I’ll never really know.

But he did – and a gent called Ronan Keating had a lot to do with that…

Ronan (an X-Factor  judge and mentor and a superstar in his own right) BELIEVES in Altiyan – it’s a belief that has endured through lots of false starts and seemingly strange behaviour (he retreated to a cave on night and no-one could find him for rehearsal).  Ronan’s single-minded belief has lifted his protege so far above what he THOUGHT he could do.  It infected Altiyan.  And then it seems to have infected everyone else.  Certainly me.  The guy inhabits a song.

Don’t get me wrong – I adore Sally Chatfield with my entire heart.  The girl has a VOICE and she is so sweet in her punk way, I could literally bundle her up and take her home.  She melts me.

And 18-year-old Andrew sings like James Taylor – I will be among the first to line up for his album when it comes out.  I could listen to his voice all day long…

But the sheer unabashed passion, rock appeal (I am a closet rock chick from WAAAAYYY back) and – you know I am going to say it – the X-Factor (in my humble opinion) is owned by the man above.  It made me feel so weirdly proud that this week – the final – he just seemed to relax and OWN the applause at the end of the song.  He always seemed on the verge of breaking down til now.  In utter disbelief.

He even sang with the great INXS tonight – a match made in heaven, maybe?  (There are rumours flying around but those shoes of the late MH are awfully intimidating to fill – and I reckon this guy needs some gentle encouragement along the way…)

altiyan with inxs

Tomorrow night is the Grand Finale with the naming of the winner.  I’ll be interested to see who wins, but honestly all three finalists appeal to very different corners of the market… I would be amazed if they don’t all go on to great careers.  And whether Altiyan ends up as lead singer of a legendary rock band, or leads his own band on stage, I just know the world will find a special place for this man who had (not so long ago) given up.

It’s just a great story.



How about you?

  • Have you watched the show?
  • Who do you love? (Or as my American friends would say: Who’re you rooting for?)
  • Who would you prefer to watch perform live?
  • Whose music would you choose to play at home?

Totally interested in your answers…



NB All photos from the official X-Factor Australia site.

11 Responses to “X-Factor howlin’”

  1. Wow. It’s like our American Idol. I love this! This guy has come far. And he’s got the best dad in the world, doesn’t he? I’d be crying, too.
    Kate´s last blog post ..Saturday afternoon vignette

  2. Quite amazing wasn’t it?! Yep, I’m an Altiyan fan too and think that possibly he is the most mentally ready to be the winner. He has so much gratitude and such a great outlook and he absolutely owns each and every song. Totally agree with you though, I think each and every one will go far in their own right they are so talented in their own special way. Curly question if I may?? hmmmm…wonder if anyone else thinks that MAYBE Andrew could have grown more as a person and an artist with a different mentor?? Good luck to them all they all deserve success and no doubt each will make it happen anyway despit who is announced the Winner.

  3. I think anything could happen – people are sitting on their mobiles texting dozens of times so it’s hardly a proper poll. I hope we hear from all of them after its over!!!
    PS (agreeing quietly with the Andrew comment/query)

  4. See, I cried at the QCL putting your calendar in. I have watched the X Factor – at your place – once, and cried.

    Must be genetic. I toughed it out with the Scots last night, however, and will be no doubt watching something far wierder with William Shatner tonight.
    jeanie´s last blog post ..The long-winded saga of cars- me and McD

  5. HE WON, HE WON, HE WON!!!!!!
    Bush Babe´s last blog post ..X-Factor howlin’

  6. And did you cry?

    debby´s last blog post ..Where I Wasnt

  7. Okay. Talk about your howling.

    I just watched that video of Living on a prayer. I thought the young girl said, “Altiyan playing 80′s rock? That could be pure genius or a cock rush.” Me: ‘Oh heavens. They sure do talk plainly on Australian TV don’t they.’ Then I realized that she had said ‘car crash’.
    debby´s last blog post ..Where I Wasnt

  8. LOL, at Debby’s comment above! I can’t watch the videos now because dh and the kids are watching TV via the internet downstairs and slowing everything down too much. I’ll come back tomorrow morning before work to check them all out, though. You had me at INXS;o) I’m a big fan from way back, and Michael Hutchence was one of my very few rock star crushes (along with Jon Bon Jovi).
    Jenni in KS´s last blog post ..Around the World in 80s Music

  9. Okay, I have finally watched all the videos except the last one. (It says “Not available in your location.”) The other two were good, but I definitely liked Altiyan the best. I thought Sally sounded pretty off, but then they explained that she had been sick, so that makes sense. The other guy had a nice voice, but he lacked stage presence. I was surprised at the end of Altiyan’s “Living on a Prayer” performance when they said he’d had tonsillitis. I hadn’t noticed where he was off at all. He did change it up just a bit, but I think each singer has to make the song their own a bit, so I forgave him for that;o) Although I’ve never watched the show, I liked this Altiyan guy quite a lot and that judge even better. It was so neat to see how he was rooting for Altiyan and encouraging him, and, in the end, so proud of him. What a great guy to have on your side! I also loved the video with Altiyan’s father. Everyone should have people like that behind them.
    Jenni in KS´s last blog post ..Around the World in 80s Music

  10. !

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