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Best Performance: Hannah Barrett
Worst Performance: Tamera Foster
Key Changes: 3
Sharon: “It’s HAPPENING with the bootays.”
Nicole: “You know it’s good, and it touches you, when there’s snot.”
Gary: [to Tamera] “It’s excruciating watching a car crash happen… It was really difficult to watch.”
So ‘X Factor week’ (what I like to call ‘X Factor²’) had the potential to be the BEST THEME EVER, but I’d actually give an F. It had the F-Factor. I imagined Sam Bailey singing Jedward’s ‘Lipstick’. Luke Friend wailing along to Diana Vickers’s ‘Once’. But no. It was a shite pop vending machine full of dodgy X Factor winners’ singles.
Nicholas McDonald kicked off the show by singing Miley Cyrus’s ‘The Climb’, popularly (sort of) covered by Joe McElderry in 2009. Joe himself returned to the show to give Nicholas some advice on ‘how to make people go like woah’. Now that’s advice everyone needs. Nicholas, as always, was pretty note perfect. He’s entirely reliable to give a tuneful performance. His voice is completely vanilla, though. The boy’s lucky he’s gorgeous (TO ME.) Nicholas, however, sailed through. The public love a good key change.
I was really disappointed to see Hannah Barrett in the bottom two this week. She’s calmed down a lot from the early weeks when every performance was a big shout, and the last couple of weeks have been pretty wonderful. This week she sang Alexandra Burke’s version of ‘Hallelujah’ and (dare I say) did it better than Alexandra. Hannah’s tone, when she does it right, is better than Alexandra’s in my eyes. The integrity was entirely there, earning Hannah my ‘Best Performance’ award of this week.
Adele’s favourite Luke Friend was up next, fighting for his place after his sing-off last week. I credit Luke highly this week for being the only contestant to actually sing an original X Factor act song. Luke did a fair job on the old ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ by One Direction. It was a nice rendition of a quite terrible song, which is always a good thing. Also, he wore a velvet jacket. Real rock stars wear velvet, so he made a good move. Luke, now branded the ‘dark horse’ sailed through to next week.
Rough Copy were plain awful this week. I won’t sugar coat it. I was worried in the first place when Little Mix tried to touch ‘Don’t Let Go (Love)’ by En Vogue. It’s an incredible song. Little Mix were lucky enough to do a great job with it, but Rough Copy have never been this bad, and I’m happy they were in the bottom two. Harmonies shouldn’t get worse as weeks go on, and performances like this shouldn’t be happening so close to the final. Rough Copy really were rough. Sharon, or perhaps her Madame Tussaud’s counterpart (with all that surgery, who can tell?) said “I find that song awfully whiny. But you’ve got it’s HAPPENING with the bootays!”. Wonderful.
Part-time mute Tamera sang ‘Impossible’ by Shontelle, dreadfully covered by James Arthur as his winner’s single last year. Everybody wants Tamera to have ‘The Moment’, where she performs so well that she steals the show, and I completely agree. Tamera has a fantastic voice (and she’s only sixteen), but she forgets her fucking words. It drives me WILD. It’s not like the lyrics to ‘Impossible’ are, well… Impossible. She was bloody lucky to get through this week, and I’m beginning to think she won’t make it through the next couple of weeks. Tamera said “I put everything I had into this performance. Except her memory, one presumes.
Sam Bailey. Do I have to write a paragraph? CAN’T WE JUST ACKNOWLEDGE THE SHEER BRILLIANCE? She sang Leona Lewis’s ‘Bleeding Love’, which I tend to find nobody but Leona can sing, but she nailed it. As usual. She looked fantastic, the staging was great, and she has FALSETTO. REALLY GOOD FALSETTO. She’s forty (ok, not quite) and fabulous. I still hope this lady wins. Fuck the bloody preconceptions about over-25s and just LET THE OLDER PEOPLE WIN FOR ONCE. She’s gracious and lovely and she tweeted me once, which obviously makes her the best contestant.
Sunday arrived, and the two casualties this week were Hannah Barrett and Rough Copy. I prayed Rough Copy would go home. And I’m an atheist. When Hannah does it well, she does it really well. Like so well that I’d buy her album. Rough Copy are either hit or miss – and even when it’s a hit, it’s a little bit bland. Hannah sang Etta James’s ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ which was beautiful and earthy, while Rough Copy moaned along to Oasis’s ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’. The tragedy happened, and Hannah Barrett was sent home after three votes out from the judges. Rough Copy should sleep with one eye open now. I’m not a happy bunny.
Tune in to The X Factor on Saturday for Musical Heroes/Jukebox Week.