Sunday, 27 October 2013

X Factor UK: Third act sent home

Listening to the cheers as Dermot calls out the acts and numbers, there was really little to choose between any of them. The sing-a-long number this week was Bruno's Locked Out Of Heaven and they did a reasonable job, significantly better than previous years' efforts.

Listening to the replays, Abi wasn't quite as bad as I'd remembered and Kingsland Road were rather poorer. The fact that they did come bottom last week must mean something so they could still be vulnerable but I would expect Miss Dynamix to be the first group out. They could be tonight as I can't see them surviving against whoever they're placed to sing off against. Only Sam might be the one to lose. Abi, the other contender, would, I believe, get an extra chance or, if left with a split vote, would win by default.

The Wanted put on a professional show. They've had lots of marketing and support recently and are a good example of how an average British band can still do pretty well.

Lady Gaga comes next. A much anticipated return. She starts in blonde with Venus and then goes natural brunette for another track from her new album about her body. Neither had that special appeal of her earlier numbers but they may grow on us perhaps. She looked good and was as provocative as ever but the marketing men will need to work hard to keep her at the top.

Finally it's time to hear who is to battle with Miss Dynamix. Hannah. Well, that's fine with me - I would say she should go but I hadn't expected that this week as all the judges seemed to give her such rave reviews. Someone was even talking about her being a favourite but that I do find hard to believe. That's much more interesting than I'd thought. It's down to Sharon and Louis. I can see them being split which would send Miss Dynamix home. One thing that I don't see coming is Sharon voting to keep Miss Dynamix so I reckon their days are numbered unless they really pull something out of the bag and Hannah goes wrong.

We'll see. Hannah does a reasonable job of Read All About It, emotionally finishing that number. Miss Dynamix start a strange track I can't identify. Heaven's Got A Place For You. Nervous start but they do actually get going and sounded quite good and better than Hannah. Did they do enough?

Sharon's vote determines it. Miss Dynamix go. Not so sure Hannah is as good as everyone says.


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Live Shows Week 3 Movie Week

It's time [pause] to face [pause] the movies. Hmmm. Not sure how well that worked despite Peter Dickson's best efforts! Dermot seems particularly animated tonight. Maybe they've all been told to do something to compete better with BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

Rough Copy start. Gary seems to go a bit over the top in his support for these three. Like his attempt to balance the publicity as they haven't done so well in some newspapers. Ha ha! They're doing the Brian Adams big one Everything I Do I For You. Good choice as this is a pure vocal group and they are three of the best singers in this competition. This'll go down really well and get them back next week no trouble. Like a trump card, but maybe Gary has played it a bit too soon in the game?

My only thought is whether we need another croony tune band. They did have an edge but that has been well rubbed away. Gary tells us that the group actually chose the track so all credit to them for that move.

Sam Callahan is getting plenty of modelling work so when he gets kicked out he'll still have plenty of work.
The U2 number All I Want Is You is quite good. A great song that isn't played that much. His delivery is much improved on last week and you get the feeling he has worked very hard. I had expected him to be at risk this week.

Hannah tries Skyfall. There's a ot of fire and stuff on the stage but this shows just how good Adele is. Hannah's was a brave effort but not as good as she has been before. I don't know how she is going down with the public. I tend to feel that the judges are all trying to boost her with the comments they make. Hannah still doesn't look very happy but she may well survive.

Nicholas does In The Arms Of An Angel very well. A little without feeling but note perfect. He ought to be safe as grannies will love him and some girls too maybe. He does remind me of little Joe McElderry still. Bringing his godfather into the programme may not have been such a good idea though.

Poor Abi Alton. This may be her last week after an extraordinarily wobbly and painful Moon River. So sad to listen to. You just felt so sorry for her and wonder what on earth the judges will say to avoid being too upsetting. Everyone said she was good but I am really not so sure. She is clearly disappointed. I can only guess that she was very very nervous.

Nice to see Miss Dynamix back. They do need to perform and justify their place in the Top 11. Dreams is OK but nothing special. I think it's enough to keep them in but they'll be the first group out sooner or later. Lots of nonsense from one of them, like an early audition appeal. Bit late for that now. It's all down to performing well. Simple.

Sam Bailey is not going to be the third Over in a row to go. She's singing the Go On song from Titanic, not as well as Celine Dion but a good effort. A bit slow and boring but a nice change to hear all the notes in the right places. Pretty sure that'll go down well with voters.

Kingsland Road do Pretty Woman. That's a nice safe one too, like Sam preceding them. This a good band, very together and how they failed to get backing last week I do not know. Excellent stuff. A bit commercial but I can live with that from them. I am not sure they'll win but they do deserve to be around for a while.

Luke Friend is one of the few truly individual performers (Abi could be but hasn't been). He's singing Kiss From A Rose which is something I don't recall anyone doing on a reality show. It suits his voice well and he looks good with the guitar and that went down pretty well. He should be OK.

Tamera Foster is my favourite this year. She puts a lot into her performances and once again was spot on. The song wasn't great. A Beyonce number. I can't recall the title. It sort of passed by. Neither one thing or the other but she is great to look at and listen to.

So, who's going? Not Tamera for a start!

I'd say Abi, Sam and Miss Dynamix are those at risk this week. The voters choose a group again. This time it's Miss Dynamix. That'll be sad for them and they may have a bit of a struggle. Much depends whoever they're up against and if that's Abi, they may be going home.





Sunday, 20 October 2013

X Factor Live Shows Week 2 Pt2. The One Where Tamera Gets A Compliment.

The Sunday night programme starts with a pretty dire sing-a-long of the big Avicii number and then more time gets wasted as the judges and acts are run through once more. Dermot does his best to move things along but we're really waiting for Katie Perry to sing Roar which she does extremely well and if she was miming it was unnoticeable. I'd say she wasn't - which is quite unusual for this show.

Robin Thicke did his Blurred Lines too so we're talking about some pretty hot numbers, even if his was a bit old now and with slightly adjusted lyrics to keep the grannies happy.

Kingsland Road had come a very surprising bottom in the Flash Vote yesterday. Tonight Shelley joined them in the sing-off. There was a nervous moment for Sam Callahan who hadn't excelled himself either but it was Shelley who had received the least votes since.

In the sing-off Kingsland Road did Pink's Try. That was an amazingly good performance - as if they had been rehearsing all night and all day too. Not a note out of place and the main singers were on top form. Whatever Shelley was going to do was simply never likely to be enough. Even she congratulated them as she went on to sing something that I can't now recall.



The judges duly voted her off. They really did not have any choice, unlike the Baloney days that I feared might me upon us.

The Xtra Factor is getting better and better and Sunday night was particularly memorable for Matt Johnson's compliment about Tamera's bottom, only then to be told that she was just 16... Lucky this is UK and not USA. He was dead right though.

So all's well that ends well and Sam B remains to fight the Overs' Corner.


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.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Love and Heartbreak Song Choices for X Factor Saturday Night

Saturday night's song list (order unknown) for this week's theme: Love and Heartbreak.

Abi Alton – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head

She wasn't as commercially appealing as I'd expected with her Jon Bon Jovi number last week. It may not have executed as well as she could. Some thought it was amazing, others put it at the opposite end of the scale but there were several worse for voters to dish so no major concerns there. This is the huge Kylie Minogue number with lots of la la las in it. It would seem to suit her perfectly. Get it right and this will be a stand out performance.

Hannah Barrett – Beautiful

Boring, if it's the Mariah, Christina whoever cover which I expect it will be. I am not a big fan of Hannah and would like to think this could see her exit but Shelley has to go first.

Kingsland Road – Marry You

Bruno Mars is very much 'today' and this group of pleasant fairly-youngsters will be appealing big time with this to their fan base.

Luke Friend – Let Her Go

The Passenger one. That should suit him, and his fan base.

Miss Dynamix – Dreams

Fleetwood Mac are popular again and this is a track  could have imagined almost everyone else doing except this group. However, it will be a great chance for these three girls to demonstrate that they can sing really well which didn't happen last week.

Nicholas McDonald – She’s The One

Is Nicholas trying to make an early bid for Robbie William's quite influential support? The little guy can sing but this isn't likely to catch anyone's attention and I can't see it being anything more than average. That will be more than enough to get him through though.

Rough Copy – I Want It That Way

Ha ha! That'll be totally different from anything else on the night. They'll keep themselves safe by capturing this sector of the votes pretty well I'm sure. Some will smile, some will grimace at their performance no doubt but most will simple nod them through for another week.

Sam Bailey – Make You Feel My Love

She, or whoever is advising her, are certainly picking good songs for her. This should go down a storm amongst the ballad-lovers. I think she has picked up a good following too and the remarkable makeovers will help her stay for a while yet. As an artist selling albums to youngsters she's not the winner but these days I am beginning to wonder just what audience the programme appeals to anyway.

Sam Callahan – I Won’t Give Up

Not so sure what he'll make of the Jason Mraz number. It's not easy to get through to people with this one so he may struggle a bit. Yes, he does have a massive fan base and yes, they are the sort that vote but I am still not convinced he'll reach the final as many predict.

Shelley Smith – Single Ladies

OK. Let's belt that out and have some fun. This is the Louis Walsh spot except she's not on Louis' team. She has to go but may knock this out so effectively that in a sing off she gets the judges' support again.

Tamera Foster – Beneath Your Beautiful

It will be exactly a year since this was No.1 and this girl is capable of turning it into a major moment to keep her firmly on track to win this competition or, at least, make Top 3.

Spoliers courtesy of Tellymix


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Live Shows Week 1 Pt 2: First elimination

The sing-a-long was Get Lucky and it was going all right until the Overs joined in - noticeably not as in touch with the lyrics as the younger ones! Skightly embarrassing in places as

Ellie Goulding performed Burn and must have had the production team panicking a little until they realised she was wearing a skin-colour body stocking. A good start, though. she likes Kingsland Road which won't do their chances any harm.

Cher performed her great song next and was looking good bearing in mind she was in the charts back in 1965. What you're looking for is a good song and she gets it across well although I am pretty sure she was well-assisted by a backing track and may not have had to work that hard.

The camera seems to be keeping on Dermot's upper half, presumably steering clear of trouser issues, it being a Sunday and all that.

Lorna is the next least popular and will sing against Shelley. That should mean Shelley goes home which is OK as she didn't stand a chance anyway. You wonder whether Sharon shouldn't have included Joe after all.

Shelley does a good job with One Night Only and certainly is not giving up without a fight. That might even keep her in after all. Lorna actually almost matched that, though, and I would expect the judges to keep her. It'll be close, I expect. I can't see three voting to keep Shelley. Sharon decides not to vote so it is literally down to the three judges.  Well, two did support Shelley so she does, indeed, live to see another week.




Saturday, 12 October 2013

Live Show: Week 1. The One About Dermot's Trousers

Nice to see Dermot back in charge. Something funny happened with his trousers - I will have to check that but I was trying to set up the X Factor app, thinking that we were going to be told that we would be able to use that genuinely to make a difference. I needn't have bothered. It's still phones as before and one will be chosen as vulnerable at the end of the show.

Hannah Barrett


I have to say that the second makeover has worked marvels and all credit for singing the opening Live Show and doing so in tune. That was about it really. Boring otherwise and highly unmemorable.

Nicholas McDonald


True. Good song for this guy. This is the sound of my soul. Pity he'd never heard of them and he can't really get across the emotion. An odd high note in the middle that wasn't so good. He did a reasonable job but, again, nothing we'll remember.

Miss Dynamix


Dodgy start. They would have been better just doing the fast stuff. That first minute was awful but, in all fairness, they did recover, unless that was someone turning up the backing track. They'll certainly need to be better than that to survive for longer. There is a chance they might even be vulnerable, being at the bottom of the Twitter follower list earlier today.

Sam Bailey


Very good, much as we'd expected. She is a good singer and deserves all the acolades as that was on par with the Jennifer Rush version. Excellent make-over. One of the best so far. Obviously Sam will be around for some time yet. I do just question how she fits in the market for most music buyers as her appeal at the moment looks like recycling oldies. Nothing wrong with that but is that really X factor? I don't know.

Sam Callahan


He has a BIG task with this song. So many people, myself included, have this in their Top 10 singles of all time so he cannot risk screwing it up. He made a good effort. I was waiting for it to explode more than it did but well done, Sam. This is a good start to the UK shows.

Kingsland Road


I'm Your Man is a strange choice that will either work or it won't. They looked all right before and I don't see much difference after makeover. That was great. Good job, lads! I would like to have had a stronger lead vocal driving it forward but that still worked and got the crowd well on their side and there sure was plenty of energy and, well, that's them through OK.

Shelley Smith


That was considerably better than I had expected but still just big singing and this is not someone I feel comfortable watching on a big screen too close. She hit the notes well and certainly came out with a true 80s sound. This is one of the best sets of first rounders I can remember, with this being one that I had thought would be pretty dire.

Abi Alton


This could go wrong but I am hoping and hoping that it won't. Her voice is clear and she sure does put her own spin on this one but not qute as effectively as I'd thought. Too many missed notes through nervousness. Not very good, Abi. She was favourite but that may have knocked her chances a bit. However, she'll get through and I think she will have more success later.

Lorna Simpson


Not the best of starts here either. But she does recover quickly and does the belting out business well enough, Another excellent makeover has transformed this lady quite effectively. It's not my kind of performance and I don't see her selling records but for those who do like it then she was fine. Like both of Sharon's other acts, I see no place for them in the mainstream market as none appear to bring anything that hasn't been done before. Still, it's early days and such a change to have so many that can sing.

Tamera Foster


This girl looks fabulous. That's a good start. Starts, like so many, a bit wobbly but then she was away and those amazing legs strode confidently and in time across the stage. This was very much in what I see as the X Factor zone. Great, one of the most impressive so far. Good judge reviews too. Nice job.

Luke Friend


So pleased that this guy got through and well done to Louis for taking a chance. He has a good voice and this is one of the few that are spot-on from the start. This track can be terribly boring but Luke brings out the best of what the track is all about and brings it as much to life as it can be. Definitely deserves his place. That was probably the best of the night. I also disagree with Sharon that his voice isn't so good. His was far less wobbly and nervous than many. Nice confident performance. The guy's enjoying himself and that means a lot.

Rough Copy


The group close the show, performance-wise. They have a great opportunity to appeal to lots of voters with this track. It's not that great a track in itself but there's quite a bit they can do with it. Soft start and each has a go but it is when they are all together that the good harmonies and natural blend works best. Nice set, with a touch of Westlife and Take That boy band going on. All good. Not sure they quite topped the bill tonight but they must have come a close 2nd or 3rd. This has been a good night. I am usually highly critical of the UK programme in its early stages but I have to say that that was the best start I can recall.

Simon, you have competition this time.

Voting starts and there is what they call a Flash Vote where I believe one act is put at risk straightaway.

I can't call tonight. Miss Dynamix and Shelley may be at risk. I am also not sure how Sam Callahan will do and Hannah's been a bit unpopular. So, one of those four is as close as I can go. If pushed I'd say Shelley goes. Miss Dynamix also close.

Dermot gives us the results for the first sing-off. I got that right. Shelley is the one with the lowest in the first vote. Voting continues, with existing numbers still counting but no-one can vote for Shelley. Tomorrow we find out who is also vulnerable. Whoever it is, though, I feel it will be Shelley going.




Tonight's 80s Night Song Choices

Here are the song choices for this week. Something to do with 80s Night. They are not in performance order.

Abi Alton – Livin’ On A Prayer

Presumably one of her delightful slow versions with just a guitar backing. That should work well and, looking at the others, could stand out.

Sam Bailey – Power of Love

There are some 'oh not again!' tracks in this lot and this is one of them. You can hear it already and know exactly how she'll present it. She'll survive anyway.

Hannah Barrett – What’s Love Got To Do With It

I think Hannah's on 'voice rest' so maybe she gets a free pass which would be one very lucky break for her as I don't think she's going to be very popular and this would just be some belted out angry shout. probably in tune but not something you want to watch while you're having dinner.

Sam Callahan – Summer of ‘69

A great choice but a huge risk as this is almost one of the Defining Pop Songs of all time. He ought to be able to pull this off with the right arrangement and he's too popular to go anyway.

Tamera Foster – Ain’t Nobody

Tough song to get across effectively and in a way that'll get people voting. She should be OK and perhaps will put her own slant on this and do better than the old belters out there.

Luke Friend – Every Breath You Take

Nice choice should give him the chance to do both styles - appealing and a bit gentle and the heavy stuff thrown in too. Talented guy. I don't think he'll be around for many weeks but unless he cocks this up big time he'll be safe to fight again next week.

Kingsland Road – I’m Your Man

Well this will either go down a storm or leave them flailing around with Shelley in the Bottom Two. I have no idea which.

Nicholas McDonald – True

One odd-looking kid doing Spandau Ballet. That's a brave move and at least it's not 'Gold'! I can see him performing really well, all the notes in the right place and sounding pretty good but not exactly causing a stir. he should get through, though, for another week.

Miss Dynamix – Jump

The groups are great this year and these three should rock the house with this number. Lively and not too tricky to get right, they could have a good time, smile and look attractive and not quite as frightening as some of their publicity shots show. Quite looking forward to that one.

Rough Copy – In The Air Tonight

Phil Collins gets an 80s recognition with this track which has a tendency to go on and on and on. Luckily, they'll have just two minutes max so that's all right then. I can actually see them doing a superb job with this, tweaking it around a bit and possibly improving on the dreary Collins number. If the newspapers haven't affected the people who would be their voters in normal circumstances they'll be ones to watch.

Lorna Simpson – So Emotional

Nice lady with a big voice and quite a good stage presence, the best of Sharon's odd bunch in my view. This is a difficult number to excel with. She might. She should survive anyway and, possibly, could be the second best performance if she gets everything right. Second worse if she gets everything wrong.

Shelley Smith – Alone

Oh dear. Oh dear. You can just see her now, doing all the clich√© moves, if you can have clich√©  moves, the crouching, the hip sway, the large thighs thudding up and down, the huge oval of a mouth doing the 'lone' bit as several syllables. Most words will have an extra 'wa' on the end. She may be a nice lady but I'd rather she were back in the van. This year's Maloney but marginally better. God, I hope that doesn't mean she'll be 3rd.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

X Factor UK Photoshoot Review

So now we can see the Live Show performers in their, er, glamour shots. As always, some seem to come off rather better in these than others.

Abi just about survives the flash of the camera but I much prefer her original, unposed, shots. -

I thought this was Hannah at first glance. No, Lorna had some nice-looking images before. This is awful. The hair, the pretend African style design and brown ---

Hannah. -

What is it with these faux patterns this year? Cheerful but the blue hair band is naff. -

Well OTT on hair products and shiny make-up. Stupid smiles don't help any of some otherwise quite attractive girls. --

Nicholas might just as well keep on walking past. No worse though. =

The only one where a real difference has been made. Generally for the best but I can't see her getting any extra votes but well done. First success of sorts ++

Another success although this Sam has modelled before so should be easy to work with +

Shelley should make the most of all this before she goes in Week 1. +

Tamera is one of the few acts to look cool this year and vaguely like a potential pop star ++

Rough Copy benefit iensely from the make-up and dress team's efforts +++

Kingsland could, I'm afraid be virtually any boy band. This looks 80s. Maybe not necessarily a bad thing, I suppose.  Wasn't there a shot without the cheesy smile centre? ++-+-

Sunday, 6 October 2013

X Factor UK Live Show Acts







Judges' Houses Pt 2: The Groups and Girls and tears

Gary has the six groups in New York.

Kingsland
Competent, youngish. Gary says they remind him of his group when they'd first started. As that was 23 years ago I would have taken that as less than a major compliment. I can see them being popular on Live Shows but not getting very far.

Brick City
Very tight and nice colour co-ordination. They're together and in tune but I just don't see them selling or actually getting votes.

Rough Copy
There's been an emotional halo around these guys since last year's visa problems and this year's seem to have only served to grow that rather than leave us all frustrated that someone somewhere didn't get their act together. For all that, they perform excellently and seem to have an endearing quality that you don't expect from a couple of street lads like these.

Xyra
They'd done well at Boot Camp and some of them were impressive but there was something missing in how they came across tonight.

Code 4
Nice performance with all the extras. These guys are so well-organised and they put on a really good show. They would be super-reliable.

Dynamix
The new girl group with a name change. Three very good singers who know how to weat short shorts and get men's attention. Brilliant voices and certainly they have talent but I am not so sure how they will come across on Live Shows.

Through to the Live Shows are Rough Copy, Kingsland and Dynamix. That's about right.

Nicole has the girls in stunning surroundings in Antigua

Temera
Very determined girl who is quite individual. A good performer and I can see her fitting in the Live Shows well. The make-up teams will have a field day and could make her really glamorous too.

Melanie
She is so desperately wanting to make it this time. Her performance wasn't that stunning this time. Good and there is something very likeable about this girl.

Abi
Just superb. It seems that everything this girl does is flawless yet seemingly totally made up just a few minutes before, if that. She's an absolute must for the Live Shows and totally 'today'. Winning would be good for the series.

Hannah
Looking a lot better than she did in her previous auditions but still not really what I want to have filling my screen every Saturday night. She sand brilliantly, though, pulling out every trick in the book and impressing Nicole and the guest judge, Mary Jo Blyth, a lot. Choosing Something's Gonna Change was a very good move.

Jade
Another contestant trying again, Jade has a great voice and control but just has no audience appeal. Ugly tattoos don't help either. She is very competent but I don't see her moving on this year either.

Relly
Pleasant girl who looks as if she should be in the Overs. The black and white hair is now just black and she sings well but she is not really in this competition with the other five being so much better.

The emotions run high and it is a very sad farewell to Melanie after all, which I hadn't expected. Through to entertain us are Temera, Abi and Hannah.

Now the competition really starts!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Judges' Houses produce some surprises

Overs

The Overs are with Sharon in Los Angeles

Bit weird this bunch. Sam very much the lead performer in this bunch. The Whitney number was OK, pretty good I suppose, but is it what the market wants today?

Lorna. Good but again, not stand-out really. Not a great deal better or worse than Sam but I don't think she has the voter appeal that Sam seems, strangely, to have developed already.

Shellie looks older than 34. She's big and sings like she's at a party, mangling the words in an ugly way.

Zoe at 28 thinks she won't get another chance. She's good, different and has a certain style.

Andrea looks good and sounds good too but why do I think Sharon won't pick her.

Joseph is pretty sure to be through. He was a bit better than the two big girls but, again, he seems no more than a Steve Brookstein contestant. Oh, he won.

So, which three?

I'd pick Sam, Andrea and Lorna but I think it'll be Joseph in there instead of Andrea and perhaps even Zoe instead of Lorna.

The Boys are in St Tropez with Louis

Ryan is so much bigger than everyone else!

Sinita??!!

Luke
Interesting voice. Notes right and emotionally impressive. A star? Don't know. Originality.

Sam
Looks good and sounds good too. One of the leaders of this year's potential winners and yet that's not as good as I'd expected. Sinita can see him in a boy band.

Paul
Very strong voice and a good  performance but is he Live Show material?

Giles is tiny in comparison. He can sing and has an intriguing voice and style

Ryan is the better of the two big voice guys. Image almost the opposite of Giles.

Nicholas
Good performance. Made it seem a lot easier than the others.

So I'd choose Sam, Nicholas and Ryan.

Overs
Sam | Lorna | Shelley??! God.

Boys

Sam | Luke!! | Nicholas

Neither has a winner, though. Some entertainment and decent singers. I'm surprised by Louis' choice of Luke but that could be cool. By dropping Paul and Ryan Louis is definitely going for votes and TV appeal. Obviously discounting another James Arthur style win.

Maybe they both know it'll be a group or girl that wins this year.