This New Season Of The X Factor Australia Is Quite Good Actually

It’s called The ShareSpace now, and it’s on the internet

For the first time since 2010, Sony Music Australia doesn’t have a season of The X Factor to contribute to financially, and then to reap the rewards of heading into Christmas. They’ve got a whole bunch of time which would normally be spent on developing artists through the telly, too. So it would appear they’ve gone out and done their own thing.

And it’s actually quite good.

It’s called The ShareSpace, which isn’t an amazing name, but stay with me. The premise is familiar: send eight people into a house —that’s seven contestants, because one of the acts is a duo — and have them live together, do some songs for the viewers, and the most popular act at the end of the season wins a trip to LA, New York, and Sweden to work with some of the world’s best songwriters and producers, and a record deal with Sony Music.

There’s a couple key differences.

Recognising YouTube’s role in uncovering talent, everyone competing on the show is already a star on YouTube. This is a very good thing. Rather than just getting randos off the street who are just having a sing and giving it a go, everyone on The ShareSpace already has some awareness of music production, content creation, and engaging an audience.

Each week, they do solo performances in the studio, which end up on YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify. All of the views, downloads, streams, and social media interactions count towards “The Algorithm”, which essentially weights their number of interactions against their fanbase going in to the show, so that someone with 10,000 fans has a fair chance against someone with 100,000 fans. Whoever has the most interaction after 30 days is a winner.

Here’s why it’s genius.

The daily episodes — much like a daily episode of Big Brother — feature the artists just messing around in the house, getting up to mischief, and having what looks like the most fun ever. Comments on those videos also count towards the Algorithm. So the more entertaining someone is, the more interactions they’ll get. It means we won’t have someone with a technically perfect voice who is dull as dishwater coast to an easy victory. No flying under the radar on this show.

The ShareSpace is a brilliant format. It’s perfect for online, the tone is just right, and the combination of music and personality — what ultimately makes a star — is something that has been sorely missing from TV reality shows of late. Rather than focusing on sad life stories, instead we get young people, passionate about music, being creative, showing us what makes them who they are, and having the absolute time of their life.

We’ll be doing weekly recaps and reviews of The ShareSpace performances. 
The first one is right here.

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