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Best Performance: Hannah Barrett
Worst Performance: Miley Cyrus (She can’t stop – but I wish she would.)
Key Changes: 1
Sharon: [to the audience] “And that dirty man, go home!”
Gary: “You’re not a technical singer.”
Nicole: “Your voice reminds me of your hair. It’s organic, it’s real, it’s grown through this competition, but it has just enough grit and dirt that I like.”
The X Factor decided to fellate itself a bit this week by celebrating its own sheer Britishness. The theme was ‘The Great British Songbook’, and this may have been the first year in which all the songs were actually originally performed by British performers. Well done everyone.
Dermot introduced Nicole, for whom Hannah performed first, as being as ‘British as baseball, cowboys and apple pie’ (despite apple pie actually being a British/European dessert…) Hannah performed ‘Satisfaction’ by The Rolling Stones, and boy did she satisfy me. Hannah is back. She’s actually singing again, rather than screaming á la a woman in labour. It was tuneful, powerful, soulful and she got the audience involved (which is a little bit panto, but who doesn’t love a bit of panto?) Well done Hannah.
Luke Friend, this week, did the unspeakable and covered ‘Your Song’ by Elton John. Or rather, covered the shitty Ellie Goulding version. There were a few problems with this performance. Firstly, there were a few deadly flat moments. He did nail the big notes, but in week six, there really should be no off-notes at all, and hopefully, this is why Luke Friend ended up in the bottom two. Gary said “you didn’t do Elton’s version. You did your version.” I don’t think I need to repeat that it was Ellie Goulding’s version. Shame, Barlow. Shame.
Dermot then introduced the ‘Queen of Rock’ Sharon Osbourne. Remember all that great rock music Sharon did? No, me neither. ANYWAY. Next up was best contestant Sam Bailey, singing ‘Something’ by The Beatles. I don’t think I need to say it was great. But I will. IT WAS GREAT. Like REALLY, REALLY GREAT. There were dramatic string players, and she was wearing some sort of classy Ann Summers nightie, and it was just incredibly powerful. Props to Sam Bailey. Gary Barlow said his first intelligent speech (possibly ever):
“All people want to talk to me about is X Factor, and people love you out there. People keep saying to me “will this girl sell records?” because of course you’ll sell records. Just because you’re a woman over thirty doesn’t mean you’re not going to sell records. Celine Dion’s out there. Cher was on the show the other week. The reason you’re going to sell records is because you are brilliant.”
And spot on he was, too.
Rough Copy were up next, singing ‘Viva La Vida’ by Coldplay. A great song, but not what I would call ‘Best of British’. The vocals were good, but the seemed to omit a fair amount of harmonies this week, which is odd, because that’s their only appeal to me so far. I may as well go and listen to JLS. Nicole agreed, who said she found it ‘a bit vanilla’ and she doesn’t want them to lose their ‘Souli Roots’. Great reference.
Sam Callahan sang ‘Faith’ by George Michael. It was a little ironic hearing him sing ‘I know not everybody has got a body like you’ when he looks like this topless and his arse looks like this. He proved he had some worth other than his aesthetic when he started playing the guitar (even though he fucked up while playing it). His vocals, however… They’re just not good. There’s no other way to say it. Poor thing. That’s what ended him up in the bottom two, finally, this week. Probably for the best.
Tamera took on The Cube this week, and during so, sang ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by Shirley Bassey. It was a nice R&B-ish remix, which made things a little more interesting… Until she completely forgot her words, replacing them with “…errrr…” Super. Good vocals, but the girl needs to work harder.
I fucking loved Nicholas this week, as if I don’t usually. He changed the vocal line in the final chorus the way I always wished Adele had done since I heard ‘Someone Like You’ for the first time. It was powerful, note-perfect, ‘range-errific’ and he’s JUST SO DAMN CUTE. I’d never buy his record, but I do hope he’s in the final.
So Sunday arrived and brought with it the worst performance of the weekend, from Miley Cyrus. ‘Wrecking Ball’ is a fantastic song – I just wish she could bloody sing it. It was literally at Sam Callahan level. Appalling. Anyway, Sam Callahan and Luke ‘Friiiiiieeeeend’ found themselves in the bottom two, and sang ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls and ‘Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ by U2, respectively. It didn’t take a genius to work out who was going home. Luke’s performance was great, and Sam’s was awful. ‘Iris’ was such a cringeworthy song choice, too. Thank god he’s gone though. It’s actually a singing competition now!
Tune in to The X Factor on Saturday for ‘The Best of The X Factor’ week.
(AMAZING THEME. AMAZING. Someone had better cover ‘Lipstick’ by Jedward.)