- A love letter to Manchester from the Corn Exchange - 10 February, 2021
- ‘If you don’t fight for something, nothing will change,’ says Pride 365 founder on Nicola Adams’ Strictly first - 8 September, 2020
- Rugby uniform gets more swipes right on Tinder - 2 September, 2020
Best Performance: Sam Bailey
Worst Performance: Sam Callahan
Key Changes: 2
Nicole: “I just… I want to go sailing with you, or something.”
“One word – MACHESTICAL”
Sharon: “People are going to put the kettle on when you start singing. You know, you’ve got to keep people awake.”
The X Factor went to Hollywood for Songs from the Movies week last Saturday. Gary Barlow walked out onstage with his fingers clasped around a lightsaber, leaving the gays of the nation to sigh and think “I wish his hands were around MY lightsaber…” First up were Rough Copy singing an R&B-ish ‘Everything I Do (I Do It For You)’ by Bryan Adams. Most of the performance was good, with just a couple of pitch issues during the harmonies. It’s nice to see a male group who work on harmonies well, *and* have sex appeal. They made it through safely to next week.
Tuneless cock stiffener Sam Callahan of Heat Magazine’s ‘Torso of the Week’ fame came next, with a truly dreadful version of ‘All I Want Is You’ by U2. All I want, quite frankly, is for Sam to strip naked. But we can’t all get what we want, can we?(Apart from Sam, because he got through to next week.) Something Sam does well is the build up to the climax in his performances. And while I believe Sam could truly help us all to climax well, he was very much out of tune, and wobbly, and he didn’t take any clothes off. Poor show, Sam. Poor show.
Greggs transcendent Hannah Barrett sang ‘Skyfoeee’ by Adele. The staging was quite good (there was a lot of fire), which was exciting even though Hannah herself wasn’t lit. The cover itself was sung almost exactly how Adele sings it on the record, which I suppose can’t be a bad thing vocally, but there’s not enough originality. She has a great tone, but she needs to A) start singing uptempo songs and B) prove she’s not just an imitator – her vocals need to get more adventurous. I reckon this was why Hannah was in the bottom two this week, and rightly so.
Nicholas McDonald gave a great vocal performance this week on ‘Angel’ by Sarah McLachlan. He won’t appeal to the public in the real music world, but his vocals are really good, especially for his age. My only criticism is that he’s only really sung ballads so far. And yes, I still fancy him, and I’m glad he got through to next week.
Waning contestant Abi Alton sang ‘Moon River’ from Breakfast At Tiffany’s. A great song sung pretty poorly. I couldn’t help but feel things would be better if she were tied in a sack with some heavy rocks and thrown into said river. I used to really enjoy Abi’s performances, because she was able to blend her piano/guitar playing really nicely with her voice, but when she’s singing along to a track, her voice is really exposed, and we can hear how much she can’t sing. It won’t be long before she’s in the bottom two. But she did get through to next week.
After being given the token free pass to the following week, Miss Dynamix supposedly came out ‘fighting’ (quoth them and Gary.) Sese’s vocals have either suffered wildly from pregnancy, or she got to the finals on a fluke. They were seriously weak in comparison to her bandmates. The harmonies overall were quite good, but I think they relied too much on the key change this week. ‘Dreams’ by Gabrielle is a great song – but not a fighting song. They should have been given a power ballad, and they might not have been left in the bottom two.
Despite singing one of my least favourite songs of all time (‘My Heart Will Go On’ by Celine Dion), Sam Bailey totally nailed it this week. She, without a doubt, had the strongest vocals. It was pretty much note perfect, really, and Nicole dubbed her ‘Great Britain’s Celine Dion’. Sharon insisted that Simon Cowell ‘sign her bum’. One thinks Sharon mistook Sam Bailey for Frankie Cocozza.
Justifiably fanciable boyband Kingsland Road sang ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’, and would have been crowned ‘Best Performance’ by me this week if it weren’t for one of their lead singers being pitchy. Their harmonies were really fucking good, and it’s hard to keep them going so well at such a fast tempo. They definitely redeemed themselves from the bottom two last week, and they rightfully made it through. Also, here’s a video of them all in a bath. You’re welcome.
Devon export Luke Friend shocked the nation this week when he washed his hair. Naturally, he managed to have it looking like he’d stuck both his hands into electric sockets by the live show. He sang Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’ which was actually a nice, edgier choice than last week. He did get pitchy at times – but it only added to the performance. It seemed more authentic, because he had his guitar in tow. It’s been the first week where I haven’t resented his performance. Well done, Luke Friend. Friiiiiieeeeeeend.
Last up was Tamera Foster who took on Beyoncé’s ‘Listen’. The song itself is seriously vocally challenging. It wasn’t the best version of this song I’ve heard on X Factor (how could anyone beat Alexandra Burke duetting with Beyoncé herself?), and I had a few issues with how much she tried to imitate Beyoncé, but it was still better than Jahmene Douglas’s abysmal attempt from last year. So Tamera got through, but she does need to find some sort of niche to keep going.
On the Sunday show, Miss Dynamix took on Hannah Barrett in the sing-off after losing the Flash Vote. Miss Dynamix risked it when they didn’t perform last week. Contestants who get a ‘by’ through to the following week haven’t had a history of doing well in the competition, ever since Diana Vickers started the trend in 2008. Miss Dynamix did a *very* bland version of ‘Don’t You Worry Child’, and Hannah Barrett did an alright job on a *very* bland song. After the bland-off, the judges favoured Hannah Barrett and sent Miss Dynamix home. The curse of the girlbands continues.
Tune in to The X Factor this Saturday for Disco Week.