Sat August 4, 2012 6:15am
IF you thought The Voice had discovered all the great Aussie vocal talent, then think again.
The first episode of The X Factor - to be screened later this month - features two acts that are the equal of The Voice winner Karise Eden.
Channel 7 desperately needs this series of The X Factor to restore its talent credentials after the mega ratings success of Nine's rival show.
That restoration could rest on unemployed teen Bella Ferraro, who has a voice that judge Natalie Bassingthwaighte compares to global superstar Adele.
Ferraro, 18, a high-school drop-out from Sydney, performs Skinny Love by Bon Iver.
Judge Ronan Keating says Ferraro's performance is the best first audition he's ever seen.
But the former lead singer of Boyzone, is just as impressed with Aussie teen boy band, What About Tonight, who performs Say You Like Me by We The Kings, creating an audience frenzy of One Direction proportions.
The boys, Luke, Christian, Brock, Mitchell and Tyrone, range in ages from 14 to 20 years old. They met via their personal YouTube channels, and are from all over the country: Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney.
"That's what it takes. They're the right age, they've got the right look and the right energy," Keating says.
Another outstanding talent is Darwin 14-year-old schoolgirl Shiane Hawke, who floors the judges with a rousing version of Mercy by Duffy.
The first episode of X Factor is so strong that another outstanding singer, the soulful Nathaniel Willemse, nearly doesn't make the cut.
The X Factor is the opening salvo in a talent show battle that includes Ten's upcoming I Will Survive and Everybody Dance Now.
The X Factor, Channel 7, returns on Monday, August 20, at 7.30pm.