Saturday, 19 October 2013

Live Shows Week 2 Love & Heartbreak

Dermot manages to introduce his trousers without actually using the words. Sharon tells him to present and, looking down, that seems to be exactly what he does! I am sure there is some behind the scenes thing going on that we're not yet party to!

Sam Bailey is first off. It was always going to be a solid performance of Make You Feel My Love. Well, it should have been but she was thinking about the song too much and there were a couple of awkward notes that I wouldn't have expected to hear from her. I guess nerves can get to even the most confident. So that was OK but not fantastic and, as I have said before, I don't see where she will sell records but she will be around for a while yet. Louis invents the name Screwball for her! Sharon isn't impressed with that but squawks away in defence of her act. Nicole isn't impressed with the song and wouldn't want to hear it again. So I am not completely alone in that view.

Kingsland Road are doing Marry You. The five guys are very together - good harmonies and they are in almost perfect time. A great, very well-rehearsed and presented, performance. If I were feeling cruel I would say that they were singing to a strong backing track and miming quite a lot of the time. However, that worked fine. Definitely worth keeping them on board. I wasn't sure about the song choice to begin with but as it developed that was excellent. You can tell they worked hard at that.

Nicholas McDonald doesn't really fit the frame of someone singing about love. Too young and lacking any real idea about it all. Robbie Williams' She's The One is a simple enough track to do well with a good voice and in that respect Nicholas is spot-on. A really really strong performance there. I liked the touch of the girl who walks on at the end. This guy could do well if he keeps up that standard. A sort of Joe MacElderry from Scotland. But then Joe hasn't exactly set the UK pop scene alight!

Abi Alton confirms how nervous she was last week and it really did have a significant impact. Nicole has put on a very smart set behind Abi for the La la la la la la la la song. A mass of pink umbrellas and floating curves of lights. I don't quite know why though. She was competent but that didn't suit her as well as I had expected it to and, with support from backing singers or track for part of the chorus, she sounded good. For me it was too over-produced and I would have liked to see her pare the whole thing back rather than have it all decorated and sparkly. She is still streets ahead of some in terms of relevance in the UK music market, though, and should be around for next week no trouble.

It was probably quite a good idea to get Shelley doing the Single Ladies thing so she could have some fun. Actually all the notes were there but she is not someone I can imagine people queueing for tickets for a concert, or selling much to anyone except people like her and that's not really today's pop music scene. This was a brash and pretty 90s style performance with a touch of 70s. Louis is right in that she could get jobs on stage in some shows but that's not what The X Factor is all about. Oh, it's her birthday so someone gives her a cup cake. Hmmm. Great TV.

With Cece unwell, Miss Dynamix get a free pass through to next week. Their song was Dreams and needed three performers. I had expected them to do well so hopefully no other act is adversely affected by the decision to put them through. Of the groups, I feel they will be the first to go, however and they may, however well they sang, have not been far off the Bottom Two this but, and this is the important bit, they wouldn't have been in the Bottom Two so would have survived anyway.

Sam Callahan has a lot of promotion going on. He needs to come across stronger and compete with Nicholas on quality. I Won't Give Up On You only worked when he let go and started feeling the song and actually singing instead of the dodgy start which only showed a weak voice. Contrasting so much was what he can do in the middle register. Odd weak bits in high notes, one bad one at the end. That wasn't very good. Will his fan club be sufficient to get him through? Gary Barlow was very accurate in his summary but generally the judges were more complimentary than I expected.

Tamera Foster is pretty, with a nice natural air about her. A very glamorous set and makeover. Unusual song for this competition. Emile Sande is almost perfect so this is tough. My goodness, so was this girl. There goes the one who ought to win this year. Brilliant. Streets ahead of the others we've seen so far tonight,

Luke Friend does a decent job of Passenger's Let Her Go. It isn't much more than a copy at the start but he brings it to life later on. This guy has a great voice and knocks Sam Callahan into a cocked hat vocally. he should be kept in. I just don't know how strong his fan club is. Another good summary by Gary.

Rough Copy were expected to blow us away with this but somehow it was just a bit gooey. Nothing actually went wrong but it was all pretty forgettable. They'll be safe but will need to be a bit less sugary next week.

Hannah Barrett ends the show so it must be a big number to do so. It was and Hannah sings with feeling. I dislike the low notes she does but have to admit that she does hit the notes which many wouldn't. A lot of effort by Nicole to help her feel more confident in the way she looks. The song lyrics were quite appropriate as she doesn't like the way she looks and I think suffers a lot in the background. She's a decent sort of girl and you feel for her but I think she will be singing for survival fairly soon. That song may just have saved her this week.

The 'Flash' vote takes under 8 minutes and it's interesting to see what the Saturday night crowd make of the acts as a sort of instant feedback. Shelley, Sam Callahan, Abi and Hannah could be vulnerable this week.

Unbelievably, the act with the fewest votes was Kingsland Road. 90s Grannies still rule.

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