We Get Real Deep About The X Factor With Mahalia Simpson
Mahalia Simpson was eliminated from The X Factor on Tuesday, Nov. 11. We spoke to the talented singer the week before — here's the interview!
The X Factor is an interesting show because it's super mainstream but tends to unearth talent you wouldn't expect to see on a program like it. It's got big, flashy productions that seemingly work better for pop music and performances that need the theatrics, and if you think about it, some of the most successful past winners fall in the pop genre, such as Samantha Jade and Dami Im.
But then you get contestants like Mahalia Simpson. The 21-year-old barista from Brisbane originally won the judges over with her cool, calm, soul-filled audition of Corinne Bailey Rae's "Like a Star" — it's the kind of performance that requires nothing more than an amazing voice and a guitar, and quietly gives you goosebumps — and has been thrown into the X Factor Stadium to compete against more pop-based singers like Cyrus Villanueva and Michaela Baranov, who has since been eliminated.
It's easy for quiet achievers to get a little lost on shows like this, as they navigate multiple costume changes, themed genre weeks that take them way out of their comfort zones, and feedback from judges who have to critique performances they haven't had much say in. But at the same time, talent shows give these stars-to-be a chance to find themselves and their identities as artists. And The X Factor has always been clear in its goal to create real stars.
Mahalia survived her third time in the bottom two earlier this week, when she sang for her life against Natalie Conway. While the judges — Chris Isaak, Dannii Minogue, James Blunt and Guy Sebastian — have been decisive for most of the season when it comes to choosing who should go home, Tuesday night's episode was the first time they sent the decision to deadlock. Off the back of it, we chatted to Mahalia about how she's found the whole X Factor process, from finding herself as an artist to having philosophical chats with other contestants.