The X Factor – Disco Week 2013

Daniel Wren

Best Performance: Abi Alton/Sam Bailey/Tamera Foster

Worst Performance: Sam Callahan

Key Changes: 3

Judge Highlights:

Nicole: “It was so creamy and dreamy… Like velvet, like melted butter was all over the velvet.”

“I’m going to go to the disco with you, and rock all night. But not in THAT way, because you’re like… twelve.”

Gary: “The problem for you is… Everyone else is so much better than you.”

So week four centered around the world of Disco, and we saw some of the best performances of the series so far. The contestants really grabbed this by the disco balls and gave out some seriously good performances. With Chic opening the show along with Dermot dancing, this really was one of my favourite live shows ever.

First up was newly shampooed Luke Friend, singing ‘Play That Funky Music’ by Wild Cherry. This week was the first week I really saw Luke as a contender. His voice, while not pitch perfect, sounds really authentic. His song choices are getting increasingly better, and there’s just something charming about his little face and his dragged-through-a-hedge-or-two-backwards haircut. Sharon deemed him the ‘dark horse’ which follows in the footsteps of such X Factor successes as Leon Jackson. Well done Luke Friend.

After a quick cursory mention of how he’d just performed for ‘the troops’ (*sigh*), Gary introduced Kingsland Road. They brought out their usual cheesy dance moves with their usual quite-good harmonies, and for once chose a decent lead singer (the one that looks like Leo DiCaprio.) I don’t really know why they ended up in the bottom two, other than people probably deciding they’re too much of a One Direction tribute act. But they’re young and quite fit, so can probably get famous from that anyway.

Tamera sang ‘Wishing On A Star’ and MAN WAS IT GOOD. Like HOLY SHIT IT WAS GOOD. IT WAS REALLY, REALLY GOOD. She didn’t resort to a big belter of a song (again…), but opted for a slow, classy disco tune and she pinned it against the wall and NAILED IT (…Without being too explicit.) It was definitely one of the best performances of the night (nay, the series), and how she ended up in the bottom two, I have no idea. She’s just one of those contestants like Laura White a few years ago – they’re so good, people don’t bother voting. She had a twang of Paloma Faith about her, which was nice too. Ten points to you, Tamera Foster.

Sam Callahan decided to wind Gary up (á la Rylan) by singing ‘Relight My Fire’, a song which Gary had famously covered with Take That. It was abysmal. Louis is finally admitting that Sam is the joke act. No serious contestant would sing one of the judge’s songs, and it was pitchy and awful and he was dressed like a boxer for some reason and yet DIDN’T remove his shirt. But he got through. Bizarre.

Rough Copy had their usual ‘swag’ on and sang ‘September’ by Earth, Wind & Fire. Despite being a bit flat this week, they gave a great visual performance, and made things a little bit more fun after the huge bashing Sam got (sadly not from me.) It’s been a good few years since we’ve had something decent like Rough Copy (JLS being the most recent) , so it wouldn’t surprise me if they made the final, if they perfected their vocals. Snaps to them. They got through.

Welcome the return of Abi Alton, everyone. After a few weeks of truly mundane performances, Abi sat at her piano with a seriously amazing arrangement of ‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor. It was the first  X Factor performance I’ve ever bought from iTunes. The staging was spacey, and the mass of reverb on the microphone and piano was just wonderful. It was a beautiful, intelligent reworking of the vocal line. She totally channelled Katie Melua and Gabrielle Aplin in this performance, in the best of ways. She’s back in my good books, and I cheered when she got through.

Nicholas gave his worst performance so far with ‘Rock With You’. It wasn’t bad, of course. And my unjustifiable crush on Nicholas makes me bias towards him slightly… But his vocals suffered a little bit with his attempt at dancing. The key change didn’t help things either. It all seemed a bit crass. Nicholas’s biggest weakness is that he can’t handle uptempo songs, and I think this will probably be his downfall in the next few weeks.

Something tells me I’m missing something with Hannah Barrett. I was her biggest fan at first, because she has such an amazing, rich tone to her voice. In the last two weeks, however, Hannah’s been singing like she’s giving birth to a really big sea urchin. It’s just a big crescendo of shouting the whole way through, and it’s not musically very attractive. The judges loved it though, as did the audience, and I’ve got to commend her for her passion, and her *insane* range. She avoided the bottom two this week, and was apparently really happy about that…

Last up was Sam Bailey singing one of the best disco songs ever written – ‘No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)’. Sharon hit the nail on the head with this song choice. It completely showed off Sam’s pipes, she looked *phenomenal*, and there was an insane amount of power in this performance. The vocals were flawless, it was classy, and I can’t negatively criticise it at all. If I thought there was a chance of an Over-25 ever winning the competition again, I’d say Sam had the best shot at it. It was bloody amazing.

After the rightful removal of the ‘Flash Vote’ and the return of the potential deadlock, Kingsland Road and Tamera ended up in the bottom two. Granted, most of the performances were pretty good this week, but there really is no hope if Sam Callahan makes it through over Tamera Foster. Kingsland Road whacked out ‘I Won’t Let You Go’ by James Morrison (which was a bit average) and Tamera picked the most overdone song this series – ‘I Have Nothing’ by Whitney Houston. They were both understandably shaky in the sing-off, but Tamera made it through, and rightfully so. Kingsland Road are a bit of a copy of One Direction anyway, and Tamera’s vocals were pretty perfect on Saturday night. My only advice to Kingsland Road is to get topless in future performances. They’ll at least have me going to their concerts that way.

The X Factor is back on Saturday with Big Band week.

About Daniel Wren

Vada Magazine staff writer. Interested in travel, news, politics and dating.