Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Top 8 do something with big bands

While X Factor USA has Simon Cowell and acts doing this year's No.1s, indeed one doing Lorde's Royals, the UK recent No.1, we have Big Band week. Hmmm.

We do have Dermot O'Leary, though. Nicole Scherzinger appears in an extremely yellow dress. 'No more backing tracks' says Sharon. Not so sure that'll improve anything. Some rather needed that.

Abi gets to start off the show. Quite how she'll cope on this very unusual night no-one knows. That's Life doesn't sound like her scene but we learn that her dad's in a big band and she is familiar with the genre after all. The make-over team have done really well, she certainly looks great. She sings well and with confidence - a lot better than I'd expected. A nice job. She did seem a little 'stuck' on her podium and some of the movements were a bit forced and not that natural. I'm not so sure she was that comfortable but still she made a good effort. Much depends on how the voters see her. She's not that popular so I reckon she'll still be vulnerable this week.

Sam Bailey is the current bookies' favourite, not that they're been right much in the past. she seems to have been visited by Michael Bolton. Not quite sure why, and will the others get called upon by their heroes? I don't know. But anyway, back to her performance. Well, she can sure sing! I can't see anyone beating that in terms of good old style bashing the notes out. For those who like that sort of thing, she was excellent. That's not what people are going to buy in 2014, more 1974 if not before. However, that's what will get her through easily to next week and let's hope that she gets to bring something more today to the show. She has the ability and the make-over team have stripped years away from her so she has every chance of appealing across the board - just needs the right material and not merely to sing like someone else does.

Nicholas will sing well. We know that. But will it all hang together? I'm not quite sure what Louis had in mind in terms of 'Big Band' with the Dream A Little Dream track. I suppose there was a band in the background but this was more a clever Louis move to get the youngster through safely. He seems to be the most popular boy at the bookies and also on some on-line polls. This was a simple, sing-a-long performance. Really nothing spectacular or anything that anyone other than grannies and his mum would buy. Big band week was always going to be this way so I shall not draw any more conclusions. The guy will get through, end of story.

Luke is a very likeable character. He just gets up and does what he feels like. This is a good song for him but not an easy one at all. He struggles. Despite a lot of effort to bring it back you just feel that he is singing one track and the band are playing another. This was not so good. He could be in a spot of bother after that.

Hannah has another voice problem apparently. I can't see that stopping her belting it out on the night, though. She has a great song to perform. Dressed in a dark suit she looks pretty good and sings well. After a while I get a bit tired of her tone but no-one can deny that she has power and talent. I find her style revolting, though. Those low notes and what she does with her mouth are not something that I can listen or watch easily. However, she was confident and did a good job of the number. That ought to see her through, depending on how her popularity holds up amongst voters.

Rough Copy
They enjoyed this. It was a very cool performance and a great track choice for them. Great! Best of the night so far. Really good job and so unlike what we'd expect from these guys on a CD in 2014. Now that is how to put on a show - even if the theme is not of your choosing. Nicole and Louis both say they should make the final.

This is a wonderful performance by the girl who should win this whole competition. Not an easy track at all, especially with the live band but she makes it seem simple. Looking fabulous with near perfect make-up and dress and hair. A really good act. I have to make her best of the night. Now, will the voters vote for her or will the reports of her attitude in the background cause trouble again. There were rumours again of Simon Cowell getting involved and insisting that every effort was made to put her across as well as possible. Well, they certainly have done that, whatever and whoever's behind it all. Amazing. She has to get through.

Sam Callahan
Sam is closing the show which is quite a responsibility for the fellow who has probably suffered more than anyone from bad comments and reviews so far. Not a week has gone by without someone criticising him. It seems that he loves the Big Band genre so that's a good start. He certainly seems at home with the band and girls on the stage. All very old style stuff, pleasing enough on the eye and actually quite decent on the ear too. The notes were right and he came across well. OK, so the voice wasn't as strong as it could be but I don't think that mattered. He showed himself as a great performer, and someone who could be relied upon to do a good job out there on the stage. The judges made a very special effort not to say anything negative this time. Dermot tried to push Gary but Gary hung on in there and just did the 'A for effort' thing like the others had done. 

It would be a shame if Sam Callahan were to go in the very week that he performed his best but I feel it has to be either him or Abi. Again, Nicholas could be the shock entry in the Bottom Two with a pretty tiresome performance two weeks running. He'd be safe, though, and whoever he's up against would go.

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