This week’s “X Factor” seemed like a long time coming. After last week’s departure of FYD and Nicolo Festa, yet more controversy surrounded Katie Waissel as the public once again became angry that she was saved by the judges. Then came stories about her personal life and tantrums, followed by news about Cher Lloyd’s bad attitude, not to mention tales of Wagner asking Mary out on a date. It begs the question – is this a talent show or a soap opera? But I digress. Tonight’s “X Factor” was another two and a half hour extravaganza of strangeness and egos – with the occasional dash of brilliance. The theme this week was musical heroes – so the contestants had to pick songs by their musical icons. Let’s take a look at what happened!
First up was Storm Lee. In his pre-performance video he said he had a dream Simon Cowell said he was the best male singer in the world, and he felt sure that his dream would come true. Apparently Storm Lee’s hero is Bruce Springsteen and he performed “Born To Run”, beginning on a motorbike, then standing amongst leather clad dancers. His vocal sounded quite rough and more than a bit shaky in places but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Simon Cowell did not make Storm’s dream come true tonight. He said the vocal was okay but he and Cheryl Cole both agreed that if he wants to be judged on his vocals then he needs to cut out the crazy performance and just sing the song.
Treyc Cohen – who had amazing comments last week – stepped up to sing “Purple Rain” by Prince. She looked quite beautiful in a simple dress, her hair sleek and shiny hanging over one shoulder. If anyone could pull off a song of this difficulty, Treyc was always going to be the one. She hit some amazing notes and made it look effortless. The judges sung her praises highly, and Simon picked her out as the dark horse of the competition.
For Dannii Minogue’s group, Paije Richardson came next. He sang “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. His was the first hideous outfit of the night (I don’t count Storm in this!), a white jacket with black polka dots, a t-shirt and jeans. As usual, his vocal was strong but it just didn’t work for me. Louis Walsh disagreed, saying that he preferred this week’s performance to last week’s. Simon Cowell described Paije as being like sunshine, but criticised the backing dancers he had. For some reason, even though I love Paije, I always forget about him until they do the song recaps at the end. Not a good sign.
One Direction faced some difficulties this week when little Harry came over ill during the sound check for the show. However, he sprang back to life on stage for the band’s version of “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson. Liam Payne took lead vocals which may not be the best choice – however, overall they rocked this song in a way that was completely surprising to me. Louis Walsh began his criticism by taking another cheap shot at Simon’s choice of song. Blah blah blah, we’ve heard it all before. Cheryl Cole came over all mumsy and said how adorable the band looked and Simon Cowell called them the most exciting boy band in country at the moment. Biased much? I doubt JLS are quivering in their shoes just yet, but I agree that One Direction definitely have potential.
One of Britian’s most talked about people was next on stage. Cher Lloyd. She sang a version of “It’s A Hard Knock Life” by Jay-Z with an array of backing dancers. She wore another weird outfit of bright colours and what looked like lace trousers. Much to my dismay and utter disgust, I thought it was quite good. She sang well, rapped well and danced well. In spite of it being good though – I felt it was still the worst of the show. Dannii Minogue didn’t love the performance, but Simon Cowell was highly impressed. Cher is a little bit too chivvy for my liking.
John Adeleye has also made the press this week, for fighting in the “X Factor” house with Wagner, but the drama stayed off the stage for his performance of “Song For You” by Michael Buble. It was an epic performance, filled with soul and emotion. I was mesmerised throughout. The judges were feeling it too, with fantastic feedback from all of them.
Super camp band Diva Fever took on Boney M’s “Gotta Go Home”. They wore white suits while surrounded by many people in odd beach wear. It was quite hideous except for the fact that they are so infectious you can’t help but love them! The judges said little about their singing skills but were very enthusiastic about the entertainment factor.
Switching back to talent, we moved on to Rebecca Ferguson. She sang Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. You can always tell the good singers because they are dressed in simple clothes. Perhaps they went a bit too basic with Rebecca this week though. She looked a bit like a librarian in a plain, high collared dress. Thankfully, her vocal was more than good enough to make up for the boring outfit. Louis Walsh was very excited by her performance, praising her growth in confidence and her style.
Aiden Grimshaw’s version of “Mad World” scared me last week. This week he took on “Jealous Guy” by John Lennon. There were no gimmicks this week. He stood and sang the song. He struggled with some of the higher notes but his voice is undeniably brilliant. He is still quite intense with his performance though and it’s almost uncomfortable to watch. At the end of the performance Aiden branded his vocal a bit rubbish and was obviously disappointed with himself. I am a big Aiden fan though, so I hope people get behind him!
Crazy Wagner – Dudley’s most famous Brazilian – came next. He sang “Help Yourself” by Tom Jones. He’s not a recording artist by any means, but the UK are caught up in Wagner fever and he has such bizarre stage presence, it’s obvious why people are so into him! His voice isn’t awful, he can carry a tune and he’s fun. I couldn’t let this performance go without a comment about the boob grabbing dancers in the background. Very strange. Simon Cowell mainly avoided commenting on his performance to ask if Wagner is “getting it on with Mary”! Wagner called Mary a beautiful soul and a great friend, which Simon took as a “yes”!!
Katie Waissel has also been in the papers all week again. Pushing the gossip aside, she took to the stage and sang “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James. After pushing for a more simple look, she got her way and ditched the theatrics for a simple performance. She did a fantastic job this week as she was in her comfort zone, you know, after having already released a jazz album. Okay, I couldn’t resist a little dig, but she actually was brilliant this week. She may just be a desperate wannabe, but she does have something about her that is compelling. Simon Cowell was particularly impressed, saying he is interested in her and always looks forward to hearing her.
The final group to perform were Belle Amie. There was some bickering through the week about who was singing which part of their song and although they said it was resolved, the VT showed what looked like lurking tension! They got it together on stage though, singing “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks. They had a bit of a dance routine too and it worked well. They looked and sounded far better than they did last week. Dannii Minogue said she didn’t get their styling but all the other judges were happy with it. Personally, I thought it looked like one of them had left their skirt backstage.
Tesco Mary was the last of the over 28’s. She sang “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” by Dusty Springfield with her usual grace and brilliance. She was note and pitch perfect and a complete joy to watch. Once again, the audience reaction kept going on and on so the judges couldn’t speak. Simon Cowell made a rare backtrack when he admitted that he didn’t think he would like Mary in the live shows but that now she’s there – he loves her.
Last but definitely not least was bookies favourite, Matt Cardle. He took on some freakishly high notes singing “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. He is vocally stunning – and not bad to look at either. I have nothing to say other than that he is perfect and I love him! Louis Walsh called him a show stealer, Simon Cowell called his version of the song genius and Dannii Minogue called him a-mazing!
Overall, it seemed that all of the contestants raised their game this week. It certainly felt less shambolic than last week’s efforts. Thinking about who could be next out this week, it’s hard to call it. If we were to take the X Factor seriously as a singing competition, Wagner would be the first to go. But that is rarely how things work. Katie may still be in danger and public opinion of Cher is also quite low. The girls may still be in danger, but Katie far outshone Cher tonight.
All of the songs performed tonight will be available for download on iTunes in the morning! If you had a favourite tonight, make sure you get their track – and don’t forget to vote!