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Best Performance: Tamera Foster (yes, again)
Worst Performance: Shelley Smith
Key Changes: 2
Louis: [to Sam Bailey] “I have a new nickname for you – Screwbo”.
Sharon: “Where’s Nicholas’s mother? Where is she? That’s a disgrace to ITV, really. Paedeophile.” (sic)
Nicole: “I felt the edge. I felt some balls creeping up. A little bit of that. A little bit of hair on them balls.”
Week two was ‘Love and Heartache’ week. First up was the only slightly credible Over-25 Sam Bailey, singing the Adele version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’. Compared to her powerhouse performance last week, this was really disappointing, considering how potentially powerful this song can be. Sam stood completely still, hit most of the right notes, and barely changed the song. Very disappointing. I stand by my previous statement that Sharon chose all the wrong Over-25s for her top three. They’re all middle-aged women (so Sharon presumably picked them out of empathy) who have talent, but no hook. No USP.
Second up were One Direction tribute act Kingsland Road singing Bruno Mars’s sickly hit ‘Marry You’. Now, Kingsland Road were the victims of the Flash Vote this week, which I thought entirely unjustified. The harmonies were pretty good, and the only major fuck-up was the beefy lead singer going wildly flat over them. I may be biased (as I plan to sleep with four of them), but their performance was definitely not one of the worst this week.
First boy up was Ralph Wiggum channeller Nicholas McDonald, who sang ‘She’s The One’. I worry immensely about Nicholas winning the competition. His vocals are very good, but he’s too much like Joe McElderry – cute, but unappealing in the music industry. Best comment of the week came here from Sharon about a female dancer preying on Nicholas during his performance – “Who on Earth was that piece of whatever stood next to you? That’s a paedeophile!” (sic.)
Next was my first big disappointment of the week, Abi Alton. Props to the girl – she tried something that wasn’t sitting behind a piano or standing behind a guitar. But it didn’t pay off. It would be harsh to say Abi can’t sing. But I’m harsh. Unless she’s playing an instrument, she can’t fucking sing. She did a below-average version of ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, with a frivolous pink PVC themed set. During the ‘won’t you staaaaay’ bits, she went wildly out of tune and her voice wobbled. It was not very good. But she got through to next week. *Smacks forehead*. Louis said “I can’t get it out of my head – for the wrong reasons”. What a burn.
The performances here went out of the frying pan into the fire. Shelley Smith was given ‘Single Ladies’ to belt out, to redeem herself from the bottom two last week. The whole thing was abysmal, from Shelley’s outfit, to the drunk-twerking-Aunt-at-a-wedding choreography. Imagine a drunk Fern Britton on mushrooms. This was it. The vocals were actually not terrible, but everything else was. Sharon should know by now that the way to save a contestant who was previously in the bottom two is to give them an amazing ballad. Nicole commented in her native Sh-English“It was sha-weird”. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Miss Dynamix didn’t perform because the preggo one got a bit ill or something. There was a nice little dramatic VT beforehand though, and that was better than both Abi and Shelley’s performances. Moving on.
Orgasm instigator Sam Callahan sang Jason Mraz’s ‘I Won’t Give Up’ (which is a bit frustrating, because that’s exactly what I wish he’d do.) While I physically enjoy Sam to a point of no polite description, his vocals are just awful. They’re incredibly nasal, and when he puts the power into his voice during the climax of the song, he gets a really unattractive catch in his voice. It was better than his performance in week one, but unless he takes his shirt off soon, Sam’s going to be a goner.
Tamera Foster is, without a doubt, the most vocally talented contestant. She’s sixteen, pretty much pitch-perfect, and incredibly versatile. I wouldn’t be surprised if she won the competition. She did a pretty good version of a pretty boring song (‘Beneath Your Beautiful’ by Labrinth and Emeli Sandé.) Has anyone else noticed how she looks quite like to Rebecca Ferguson, though? I’d say they were identical, but Tamera isn’t the queen of all that is beige.
Next up was sanitation foe Luke Friend. He sang a bit of a dodgy, pitchy, shouty version of ‘Let Her Go’ by Passenger. The most interesting thing about it was the topless man standing onstage in a boat which seemed to have no relevance whatsoever, despite Louis claiming that it’s because Luke was “sailing through to next week” (which he did.)
Croydonites Rough Copy were up next with the Backstreet Boys’s ‘I Want It That Way’. It was mostly good, with only a couple of particularly pitchy bits. I was quite distracted by one of the members wearing Roman centurion-chic skirt. One can only assume that Louis insisted he wear it for easy access.
Finally came Hannah Barrett, the first contestant to divert from the theme by singing ‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera (which is about self-empowerment more than love or heartbreak, really, isn’t it?) It’s an amazing song which Hannah, sadly, didn’t do justice too. It wasn’t ‘Beautiful’. It was ‘average’. She started out well. Hannah has a great lower range, with a really rich tone that I rather enjoy. However, she began to really aggressively shout the lines, and I just ended up crying at the screen saying “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME??” Naturally, she shouted herself out of my vote. But still got through.
So it was hot young boyband Kingsland versus waning middle-aged woman Shelley Smith in the sing-off. It doesn’t take a genius to work out who the judges (more likely the producers) sent through. They sang ‘Try’ by Pink and ‘Stop’ by Sam Brown, respectively. There was a bit of backlash against Kingsland Road, but they really did have the better vocals (both in the live show and the sing-off), and they do have more potential and appeal, so rightfully, Shelley went home. Here’s to next week.
Tune in on Saturday at 8pm for ‘Songs from the Movies’ week on The X Factor.