Friday, 31 October 2014

Scary Stuff for X Factor: The Song List and who goes home *Saturday*

So, with the act getting lowest public vote leaving on Saturday (according to Cheryl after only a few minutes voting!) it will be all the more important that the contestants put on a good show. here are the proposed tracks they'll be performing.

Andrea Faustini – Relight My Fire (Lulu & Take That)

He is still running as firm favourite so I guess whatever he does will not see him foot the table. The only scary bit about the song is the word Fire but watching him perform will be enough to get me well behind the sofa.

Jack Walton – Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis)

He's vulnerable. It's another track that has nothing to do with scary other than having the word Bleeding in the title but it could be a bleedin' mistake as the Leona Lewis classic is not an easy one to redo.

Paul Akister – Bat Out Of Hell (Meatloaf)

I would have had Paul as a possible leaver this week but this is such a classically lovable track that I believe he can do justice to that he ought to be just about safe on Saturday at least. He may need to brush off a sing-off tune for Sunday, though.

Lauren Platt – Dark Horse (Katy Perry)

I am impressed by this young girl's choices so far which have been modern and in the vein that I can see her doing for real, rather than going for the granny vote with old classics. Many of the voters, though, may not have heard this and it will require a pretty good performance to get it across first time for them. Having said that, Lauren is the one I am currently predicting to win so I reckon she'll be just fine.

Lola Saunders – Crazy (Gnarls Barkley)

Cheryl's other girl is only here by virtue of Louis' rescuing her with a wild card. She has shown some wobbliness in the Live Shows so far and, whilst having had a superb job done by the make-over people and gaining some confidence, she isn't in the Top 6. That doesn't mean she's going home, though, as you need to be 9th, 10th or 11th and this god choice of track should save her. I can imagine her doing a very good job with this and it may be one of the show highlights for her.

Only The Young – The Monster Mash (Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & The Crypt Kickers)

Here's a video of what they have done already!

Last week they will have realised that they're simply not getting across to the voting public, nearly going home. It was a poor song choice, though, that wasn't going to win them many new fans in telephone voting land (although app voting land is a more forgiving place for them, luckily). This week they have a cool, fun, song and, by the seems of things, are well practised in performing it too. That all bodes well. They are the act I would like to see win but I don't yet feel confident enough to say they will. I hope they keep out of the bottom three.

Stereo Kicks – Everybody (Backstreet Boys)

Happy to see these guys go home. Eight is simply too many for me. They all seem likeable and talented people and I hadn't realised till last week just how young a couple of them are. That might explain some pretty nervous stuff that most of their tracks start with. I have no idea how they'll fare with this.

Ben Haenow – Highway to Hell (AC/DC)

This is a risky choice by one of the second favourites. His has lots of support so he should be OK like Andrea but I am not expecting anything particularly memorable.

Fleur East – Thriller (Michael Jackson)

Talking of risk - this is the most risky of all tonight. She's a brave lass and last week seemed to impress with the current #1 All About The Bass which isn't as easy as it may have looked. It is, of course, the track for the night in many viewers' eyes (although I prefer the Crypt Kickers) and she will either be up there with all the smiles and success or looking a bit dejected as her name is left till near the end. I say 'near' the end as I think she'll survive Saturday. Not sure about Sunday yet.

Jay James – Mad World (Tears For Fears)

Nice choice and, for pure scary sounds, this is the best choice by far. I think this will be a stand-out of the night and see him safely through.

Stevi Ritchie – Music of The Night (from Phantom of The Opera)

If you've been counting you'll have reckoned that there is a possible 9th and 10th already and this would, for me, be No. 11 and bye bye Stevi. It ought to be so but it may be that we have to wait until Sunday as he has quite a lot of appeal and my guess is that he isn't coming at the bottom of the voting. He does, in fact, have bags of experience on stage and this is probably a track that he has performed to an audience many times before. Not in the West End production but very possibly in a lesser venue. So he'll know what he's doing. As I said, he ought to be the one to go.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Week 3 Saturday Night At The Movies

Cheryl lost two acts last week. Stephanie certainly deserved to go as she really has had tuning issues but I did think she'd be saved for a little longer for all sorts of reasons, not necessarily related to talent. But with the lowest public vote that was it for her and then we had quite a surprise with the 8 boy band with the annoying name Stereo Kicks seemed not to have impressed as many voters as others and Chloe taking 12th equal position.

In the sing-off there was no doubt that Chloe had to go. I really had expected better from her but her performances were not great. The boys were quite a bit better but i still don't see them going very far,

Tonight it's Saturday Night At The Movies which really means they can sing anything other than a very recent track as it's probably not too difficult to choose a track you like and then look it up on the movie database!

Jake's on first. Nice choice of She's Like The Wind from Dirty Dancing. It sounds like his sort of song but something was missing and when he tried to do the falsetto it was completely off key. With some nude Cosmopolitan magazine features going on in the background I don't know what the public will make of him. There are lots of cool and good-looking boys around in this competition so he needs to perform better than them if he's going to survive. Not a good start. I would imagine that he'll be in trouble unless there are more disasters coming from the other eleven tonight.

I couldn't make sense of Louis' introduction to Only The Young. It seems they're doing something called Boom Clap. OK. Never heard that before. As before they put on a professional performance and, although I didn't like that much at all, they are still my favourite for this competition. Not the act that I would bet to win but my own favourite so far. That was a performance that sounded as if they had learned it yesterday. Apparently, that's about right but that shows what they can do. These are good guys. Louis had to look up the film it had come from.

In complete contrast we have the Skyfall track from Jay James. he stole the show last week with an extraordinary version of 500 Miles and so what will happen to this one? I was not particularly fond of Adele's track and Jay stays pretty straight with this one so you can't help but make some comparisons. But they're good comparisons. I hate the rhyme of skyfall with crumble anyway so this was never going to get me voting but well done for a cool job on that one.

Andrea is the favourite by quite a way with the bookies. No idea what he's singing and I am beginning to get a bit tired of the yelling and wobbly stuff, however passionate it sounds, it doesn't work for me. He is a good singer but I feel this isn't the right competition for him. Having said that, the audience went mad and were as noisy as I have ever heard them. Seems like he'll be here next week.

Lola is one of just two young girls left and she was lucky to get a wild card too. Add Fleur and there are just three females and the two in Only The Young.

She sings When You Believe and you get the feeling that she really does believe. That was pretty powerful and not at all bad. She looks good after the make-over team had been at work. I don't see her winning but she ought to survive a few more weeks.

The third of Mel's boys on tonight is Paul. Try A Little Tenderness is a good song for him with his ability to hit all the notes and he has the right sort of voice too. But it isn't the right song to have dancing girls all around! He was also smiling in a song that isn't really about smiling and throughout all the action he was rather static. A very good voice and soul but not a performance I'd want to watch again. Excellent vocally, though.

Cheryl's last girl and someone who I think can win this thing is Lauren. Demi Lovato's Let It Go is pretty well known and even Demi called her and chatted which is nice. She comes across as confident and that is remarkable as she is so young. Actually, this is quite a tough song to sing and she struggles a bit on her own. Once the backing singers join in she recovers well but that wasn't as good as she has been. Andrea will be even further ahead in the polls now. She'll be safe, though, despite a bit of a dip this week.

For all that, Lauren puts Mel B very cleverly in her place when responding to some criticism! When Mel says she could have taken some risks and done something different with the Demi song, Lauren said that she'd taken risks in previous weeks and wanted to show she could do some songs as they were. 'There's a reason why they're like that,' she said. So true. Well said. That'll get repeated back stage for sure.

With five acts still to go it's the last of Mel's boys. Eye Of The Tiger is a great track but what will he make of it? Weak start. It isn't really the sort of track that lends itself to just a vocal with guitar. Later it gets the heavier backing, dancers, lights and goodness knows what. In fact his guitar looks a bit odd and I think he'd have been better going for one or the other styles not try to combine them. He was spot-on vocally and that is a good thing that ought to keep him in.

Simon has two left and introduces Fleur. Some nonsense from Mel about a backing track helping Fleur was annoying last week. Bearing in mind how poor Mel was in the Spice Girls that was not the right thing to say! So expect some obvious talent tonight. Fleur performs the sexy Lady Marmalade with the Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir? line that I guess they won't be translating for the kiddies. Not a bad job of that, at all. As good as the Pointer Sisters. She is good and I'd expect to see her around for another week or two. So far I feel she is doing what she has some experience in doing. That's not a problem - it has meant that she appears professional and confident which is what we expect at this stage of the competition.

Third one from Simon is Stevi. Oh boy. This is the joke act but you can't help but laugh at him. This time he wrecks Footloose. To be fair, that was quite entertaining! The Daisy Duke girls helped. It may keep him in. I do actually believe he will survive another week or two. I know and he knows he won't win so it's more bearable than Baloney (who thought he could) was.

Stereo Kicks sing Let It Be. So a Beatles song ought to keep them safe this week. It gives plenty of opportunities for each of the guys to get themselves across. I always find their performances to be similar to mini Live Aid efforts - you, the sort of track that stars perform one line at a time. Oh, it turns into Hey Jude and they do the long chorus. Except it isn't a long chorus just a couple of lines. It was pretty reasonable to be fair. They'll be out of the bottom two ths week.

Ben Haenow gets to close the show. he didn't do well last week but survived OK. So he has something to prove this week as Jay has taken a bit of a lead and he needs to try and consign Jake and Jack to the also-rans too. Jake and Jack have definitely underperformed this time so he has every chance. With a great choice of Aerosmith's I Don't Want To Miss A Thing he closes the show in really strong style. Another potential winner and I much prefer his strength of song to Andrea's and if they were in a final I would see Ben winning in a straight battle. Could be interesting later as Andrea is set fair for the final.

So farewell Jake I think, or maybe Jack. Only The Young might be vulnerable but I do hope they survive. It'll be one of those three though. The oddball Stevi will stay.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Week 2

Last week poor old Louis lost two groups: Overload Generation (who Mel B brought back and actually completely skipped Judges' Houses!) and Blonde Electra who I had been calling Blonde Electric. Not that that made any difference. The two girls performance was not the worst but they did get the lowest votes so didn't even make the sing-off.

The bottom three had included Stephanie Nala who really had been off and deserved to be there. I kinda reckoned that they'd find a way to keep her and, sure enough, the group was sent home leaving Stephanie looking very relieved and Louis two down in one week.

Another two go this week. It's I Love The 80s week which few of them actually ever experienced but never mind - the tracks are pretty simple.

Jack kicks off with Straight Up from an old colleague of Simon's on the American idol judging panel, Paula Abdul. He makes a predictable but good job of this. he's a good performer and comes across with a lot of confidence and a bit of style. Obviously it all depends on what the others come up with but thatw as a good start and I'd expect him to stay with that standard. Something was missing but it'll still take some good work from others to put him in the bottom three.

Stephanie looks fabulous and is interesting - she just need to get the notes right, or sing in the right key and she'll win lots of support back. Call Me she does pretty well - and gets the notes right and adds a strange and slightluy hypnotic dance move to the performance. Not brilliant but not bad either. She's a likeable girl and could be a little pop star. I just don't see her being let go by the producers just yet. So she may be in the bottom three but will survive.

Cheryl's dress is weird. Probably expensive but with some pointless parts.

Mel brings on Andrea next. he is by a long long way the favourite to be this year's winner. The bookies could well be right although it is very early and he may get boring. He has a massive Whitney Houston song to sing and, of course, he'll do a fabulous job of the notes and stuff. The words? Well. One Moment In Time has been overdone on this programme over the years. I was not impressed with his mangling of some of the lyrics and watching him was not that pleasant and this week I felt the notes weren't that great either. I see a chink in his armour and maybe that will allow someone else to pip him to the winning post in several weeks' time. for now, I guess he'll be pretty safe, regardless.

Two potential competitors for the prize are coming next: Lauren and Ben. Lauren seems to be the best of the girls while Stephanie struggles to find a comfort zone and Chloe excludes quite a chunk of people for all the wrong reasons but that's life. Ben is the best of the Oldies and doesn't actually seem very old at all either. he should be in his element in the 80s.

What A Feeling was Irene Cara's. Now it's Lauren Platt's. That was excellent. Far far and away the best so far and that will take a lot of beating. Very very good and all that was missing was the dancing which I was so much waiting for her to do but it stayed slow. That's all I would change but well done Cheryl for choosing that.

Ben isn't on top form - some sort of throat problem. His track is John Lennon's Jealous Guy and I would have expected that to be fabulous but it was just average. It seemed as though he was holding back and hoping to drift through to next week. He should do but that wasn't so good this week. OK. Just OK. What you do when you're not in good shape I suppose.

Another of Simon's Over 25s that I like and I would hope to see do well is Fleur. She shows more flesh than all of the others put together but that's not unattractive and she has the ability to put on a professional-looking performance and it stays pretty classy despite the clothing or lack of it. It's A Shame was pretty boring. The rapping in the middle sort of helped a bit and reminded me of a later version but it wasn't that interesting and just seemed to go on. She got great reviews but I wonder whether the public get her. She doesn't deserve it but I wonder if she might not drop into a public bottom three? Hope not.

Stereo Kicks are eight guys who may each be good singers but they're completely lost individually. I don't see them doing as well as the bookies say. The Boys Of Summer is a classic and the public will like that. It was damn good and worked really well for all of them. Good choice, Louis. They looked as if they were enjoying themselves too and that always counts for a lot. Cheryl doesn't sense hysteria and has a fair point about that, no matter how good they are. They should stay.

So choices are getting difficult. At present I can't call it in terms of who's going. We may be in for two shocks and it's only Week 2.

Lola has Imagine, the second John Lennon song of the evening. A very good make-over has her looking excellent but the singing hasn't improved, with annoying gestures and phrasing and sometimes she seemed to be shouting a little and the whole thing just lacked the class to match her clothes and make-up. Pity but she was not on Cheryl's Top 3 choice list and could be vulnerable tonight. First one I've thought that about, assuming that Steph gets 'saved'.

Mel B has returned to her annoying style of talking and can be tedious to listen to. A lot of what she says is fair comment but the accent gets on my nerves. She introduces Jake who sings A Total Eclipse Of The Heart. Nice choice and he does a pretty good job of it too. Not easy but it shows him in a good light. That was a lot better than Ben, with whom many will compare him and so represents his main competition for votes. Nice job. I was prepared to say he'd be at risk but now I've changed my mind and say he's safe.

Chloe is one who is excellent but I don't know where she fits in to this competition and I do worry about how she will go down with the public. Fame isn't something I would have dreamt of her doing but let's see. Stunning set and big links to Marilyn Monroe visually. This was a slow boil version of the song with a dark feel to it. I liked it but I am not sure how many others will. There are times when her voice isn't quite right and she does miss notes. That may put her in the danger zone.

Paul is the last of the 'boys' (although I swear he looks over 25!). He is the least 'screen friendly' but is as talented as most. He needs to come out with something a bit special to keep surviving. The makeover people have actually done a huge amount for him and he was looking very smart and with a very cool performance of If You Don't Know Me By Now he really does well. He'll be safe. It got a bit boring and didn't take off as a performance but that was pretty good none the less. One of the best of the night.

Chloe, Lola, Ben are, in my view only, the ones oscillating around that bottom three at present. There are three acts to come: Only The Young (who I really want to do well and not change that list) Jay James (who ought to stay) and Stevi (who really needs to go home, whatever he does tonight).

80s Night is worryingly Stevi Ritchie-like. This is worse than Stars On 45. He does a Rick Astley. Badly. I can only grimace at that performance. Please send him home folks. I fear that the public see him as a comedy act and are voting for him.

Only The Young get Come On Eileen from Louis. I'm not sure that was a great idea. They make a damn good go at it and deserve huge respect for taking this on. It was cheerful and bright and they're very talented and together. I so hope they stay in. My favourite act but that was not my favourite performance. I so much wish they don't suffer at Louis' hands.

Jay finishes the programme with a surprising version of 500 Miles. Remarkable. The Proclaimers in English. This will either work or it won't! Wow. that worked all right. Yes, it really did. Well done and all credit to the team putting that on stage. he is definitely safe and that could be a further problem for the other guys.

I really have no idea who'll go this week. It ought to be Steph or Stevi but it won't be either. I worry about the three I've mentioned already. All will be revealed soon enough.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Week 1

Dermot O'Leary gets the show on the road, just making himself heard above Peter Dickson's upper case introductions. There's an in joke between Cheryl and Simon as he almost mispronounces Cheryl's double-barrell surname.

We hear about the wild cards and who they picked at the start. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Cheryl picks idiot-dad-dancing Stevi who is not going to survive as long as old Baloney cos he simply cannot sing but it's still a major drag. The others are, as I had blogged before, Overload, Jack Walton and Lola. Good choices there.

Free votes using an 'app'. I wonder if it's just Apple? Must check. No, Android too, thank goodness. For the first time in 10 years I'll actually vote!

Two to go tomorrow night. Starting the show is Paul. That's quite a task but he is someone who seems reliable and he has a good track too. Interesting that it was written by the person who should have won last year! The excellent Ella Henderson, showing that coming 4th or 5th isn't such a bad deal!

Very confident and mostly accurate - bit off when he went for a note in the middle that just wasn't there - and a cool start which he should be proud of. He can now relax for a couple of hours and watch the show.

Talking of Ella, we have a similar talent in Lola who is on next. She's looking good but Brian has put her in a very strange and unattractive dress which makes her bottom half look massive. Maybe it is. Nice, well-paced performance, with no risks and none of the OTT stuff she did in some auditions and which left her unselected. Simon agrees with the dress. Good job for the first girl and she ought to be around too.

Overload Generation and I Kissed A Girl. OK, I can see why Louis chose that. They're good, together and you get the feeling they're used to each other and they do, of course, have a One Direction look and feel about them! They should get plenty of teenage free votes and deservedly so too. No reason for them to go either. Big audience response. The judges are a bit tough on them.

Simon's first act is Jay James. He wasn't that great at Judges' Houses and I nearly had him out of the top 3 although he would have made any top 4. A very good performance this time. A little weak and tinny at the top end of his range and most of the song stayed there. However it was a good production. I didn't recognise the song at all. It was a No. 1 apparently so I should have done. He didn't look so good in the shadows but at the end he looks nice in the limelight. Good song choice, even if I didn't know it. Likeable guy. Ought to do OK. Grannies will love him but not as much as Andreas when he comes along.

Stephanie is possibly the prettiest of the 16 and has had experience in the finals of BGT. However, she's off key and it's not until the backing track comes in that she's sounding good. That's a shame because she's got bags of appeal but, if she even survives, she has a huge amount of work to do to stay in this competition based on that. Very average. She is in danger this week.

Jack is back. He was OK at Judges' Houses. Not exceptional but he had potential. With guitar at a microphone he is refreshing and the track Only Girl In The World suits his style. Nicely presented. Good job. He will survive for a while and is quite interesting too. Possibly the best so far.

Next up is Chloe. She is one of the odd ones. Amazingly talented but I have yet to be convinced she fits X Factor. I like the girl and hope she does, at least, having got this far, proceed a long way as she will be entertaining and reliable without being boring as I think some of them will be. Not my choice of track for her at all and I would worry whether the voting audience will want to press their buttons for her. I don't think she'll have much support.

Louis tells us the Boy Band is to be called Stereokicks. Oh. OK. That doesn't work. Roar has too many places where they could come apart. I honestly think eight guys is just too many. First guy up is nervous and wobbles a lot. Together there is something solid but it's all a bit dull. The audience like the lads, though. So I suppose they'll be here next week.

Stevi Ritchie next. God help us. Sinitta was dead right and I even think Simon feels he has been tricked by Cheryl with this act. Having said that, his eye for fun TV will have caught the possibilities of this likeable fool. So bad. Mel B has to ask and she does. Is this a joke? It will be. Reminds me of one of Simon's previous winners, Steve Brookstein but worse.

Lauren brings us back to reality and gives us a very unusual version of Happy. It almost misses the point of the song but she is spot-on with notes and looks good. There is something missing but it's more a production issue than anything else. The crowd like her. Smart, as Simon says. She'll be here next week and for a while yet. Second best so far.

Blond Electra have been bottom of the bookies lists so they've got a lot of minds to change. They have a chance to do that and, who knows, maybe Louis can find the ideal track fro them to do just that. I am hoping they'll have fun and hit the right notes too. Good start. Kids In America is a good choice. Well done Louis. They look old, though. Well, one does and that's not right as they're so young and rebellious-sounding. I like them, despite the German-sounding vocals. Mel B was right as she said how they did turn it into a performance. As good as Louis' last famous act - JEdward!!

The way Dermot pronounces their name - sounds like One Direction!!

Ben Haenow is singing Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water. That's tough. He was one of the best at Judges' Houses so I'm hopeful tonight that he'll excel. Someone has to. Yup. Nice job. He has the voice and the confidence sorted, if the pace was just a bit slow. For Week 1, that's safe and sensible. Good reception and the four judges will be right with him. Finalist, I suspect.

Jake Quickenden and Fleur East next.

Jake is good. Nice performance and, whilst safe, that was all he needed to do to proceed. He is a popular act and Simon reckons he'll be around for a few weeks. He could get to a final on present comparisons. That would be interesting. Ben would win if the choices were right.

Fleur I had high hopes for. She was actually very accurate and did a good job but it sort of fell flat. All About The Base is the current #1 and a huge risk. The judges gave her great reviews, though, with the audience liking her too. Nice job. She's done better and could be a bit more adventurous in my opinion but she'll be well pleased with that.

Only The Young and the current favourite, Andreas from Italy coming up.

Jaihouse Rock. Great start. These guys are good. Switching to The Beatles Twist And Shout and that went all the way through so you do have to wonder why the started with Jailhouse Rock. I loved that and it went down a storm with the audience and it was like - at last, someone who is really good and enjoys being here. It lifted the show. Mel B was harsh. probably because they were far better than anything she'd done. They like old style stuff and that's great to hear as they put a different spin on things. Best so far. Just

Andreas Faustini. I think people will love this fellow. He's not an X Factor winner for me and, even though his accent is hardly noticeable in this track and his English is generally far better than many foreign acts we've had on these shows in the past, he sounds a bit laboured and it's just a little predictable. What a good voice he has, though. He is still a bit lost in the production but there are signs that he is going to do very well. Like Chloe, I feel he shouldn't be in this competition but there you go. The crowd really do go mad and we can't hear Cheryl's review at all.

So two to go. 

X Factor 2014 song list and Taylor Swift doing Shake It Off – Week 1

Not long to go before the first Live Show and here's some news about what to expect. Look away now if you don't want any spoilers!

First, if you think it's just twelve acts then you've got another four to choose from. Although not yet officially confirmed, it is expected that Lola has been rescued for the Girls by Louis, Jack Walton for the Boys by Simon, Overload as the extra Group for Louis and, surely not, Cheryl brings back Stevi Dad Dancer for Simon. Oh dear. I had hoped there wouldn't be any Baloneys in this year's shows but I have a horrible feeling this likeable idiot will be around for a while if the rumours are true. Oh how I wish they're not. There were good alternatives in Lizzy and Helen.

As well as a possible 16 contestant performances and what's likely to be the usual dreadful sing-a-long with all of them the highlight could be Taylor Swift doing Skae It Off, possibly for the first time on UK TV. That'll be nice. Pharrell is also hoping for another commercial success with his latest catchy number. He looked like a kid in his spot at the start of God Only Knows for Children In Need. maybe he'll look older tonight.

The songs look good choices apart from Chloe's, as Britney's tracks are never as easy as people seem to think and seldom come across well. Earth Song will need to be cut down considerably! Some interestingly up-to-date stuff in the list too and all credit to Fleur for taking on the current #1. She could excel with that and establish herself very early on whereas I have a feeling that Lauren could fall flat with her #1 Happy cover. Favourites to go with the bookies are Blonde Electra which won't surprise anyone as Louis does a Louis by including them in the first place.

These are not in performance order! Acknowledgements to TellyMix who seems to have secret cameras and microphones installed in the X Factor studios and offices. No-one seems to know what the wild card acts will perform.

Andrea Faustini

Earth Song by Michael Jackson

Jake Quickenden

She’s The One by Robbie Williams

Paul Akister

Ghost by Ella Henderson

Chloe Jasmine

Toxic by Britney Spears

Lauren Platt

Happy by Pharrell Williams

Stephanie Nala

Everything I Own by Bread

Blonde Electra

Kids In America by Kim Wilde


Roar by Katy Perry

Only The Young

Jailhouse Rock by Elivs Presley
Twist n Shout by The Beatles

Ben Haenow

Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel

Fleur East

All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor

Jay James

Changing by Paloma Faith

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Twelve acts for the Live Shows

Judges' Houses Pt 4

As I'd expected, and I'm sure you had too, Ben's in Simon's Top 3. That makes good sense. Next we hear which of Stevi, Fleur and Lizzi make it. I'd say Fleur was a certainty like Ben but Stevi surely should not be there in the Live Shows. Thank goodness. He didn't. Lizzi missed out too and, yes, Fleur made it through. I thought Lizzi might have been included but perhaps she lacks that something special. Jay could have that, despite a poor effort at this last stage. Helen is good but I am not sure she'd come over so well on the live shows. Both could do well but each has disappointed. I feel one may still get in as the wild card so this isn't that big a deal. Jay is the choice he makes. 'He's a good guy', says Simon.

Last to be selected are the Girls, with Cheryl and Tiny Tempah deciding which to put through.

Lauren Platt is first to perform. Just 16 but that was a professional and accurate job that she did on the beach with just a piano playing for her. Really good. The others need to go some to beat that. Far better than every one of the Over 25s.

Kerriannne doesn't quite look the part but has done well so far. Here she is a bit tinny and less impressive than Lauren by a long way. I'd say she didn't do enough.

Chloe Jasmine is the slightly strange one. How she nearly didn't get to Judges' Houses I can only put down to production team ideas to boost excitement. She has fabulous talent. She performs with every inch of her body and, as I have said before, the stage and camera love her. X Factor? Yes she has it but for these shows? I can't make my mind up.

Here's Stephanie. For some reason I had her as a certainty. That was a sweet audition. Cute girl, very attractive and different to many others. This is a difficult category to get through in!

Emily is confident and what a good performance she puts in with Story Of My Life. Puts in lots of effort and Tiny says she's his favourite.

Lola is looking a lot better than she was at the Boot Camp stage. She was lucky to get through so needs to do very well to survive. She came across extremely well to me. A perfect song for her. All Of Me is not necessarily that easy. Possibly the most emotional of all of them. Chloe sort of acted. Lola was real.

So, choosing will be hell. I'd choose Stephanie, Lola and Lauren. Chloe I would give a contract to and send her to the stage shows in the West End and an album or two. She'll do well regardless. Emily ought to be there too and either she or Lauren will get the wild card that no-one has officially told us about yet. I hope the rumours about that are true. Well, as long as that doesn't bring Stevi in at any rate!

This will be a tearful ride for the next quarter of an hour.

Chloe and Emily are first to hear the news. It's no to Emily and Cheryl makes a big decision and takes Chloe through. That's cool. Kerrianne and Lauren next. It'll be one of these and It's Lauren. That's good too. The problem is having to choose between Stephanie and Lola. I would want to see both in so it'll be a big disappointment for one of them. Stephanie makes it. You have to feel sorry for Lola.

But, maybe all is not lost as Peter Dickson announces that our 'Wild Cards' will be revealed next week in the first Live Show. Clearly someone out there knows already. But it's being kept secret well.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Judges' Houses Pt 3 Simon and Sinitta nearly choose three Over 25s

Jay starts off as the stand-out from previous auditions. Fleur is someone we need reminding about and then there's Ben, Helen, Lizzie and, er, Stevi.

Stevi. Why is he here? Nonsense. I thought had worn off when he got past Bootcamp but to get into the last six made no sense whatsoever and I feel sorry for some guys that he left out. So let's see what he can do when he's seriously trying.

Jeez. I'm A Believer never sounded so bad. Awful and he does that awful dancing too. it would be criminal to put him through. OK, Louis could have him as one of those weird acts that get us all talking. Please, Simon, do not put him though. How did this happen? asks Sinitta, being the sensible one of the two for the first year. She is very much saying No to Stevi. I do hope she gets listened to or has Simon got some plan?

Lizzie Pattinson is pretty in an old-fashioned way. Now she needs a 'moment'. She's got a Country slant which no-one else has and I would say she should stand a chance but I can't see her winning this thing, just being a bit entertaining but not a lot. Neither seem to be voting for her. Oh dear. Maybe Stevi has one more vote than she does!

Helen is a nice young lady who has a very good voice and so far has performed fabulously. She does her version of I'd Rather Go Blind fairly well but not brilliantly. Maybe not that good in the camera lens yet but I would give her the 'best place so far' award. Neither Simon nor Sinitta were impressed.

That leaves everything to play for for the last three. I'd like to see Fleur make it as she has personality and is different. Jay will definitely get through. Ben? Looks like he could.

So here's Jay James. Everybody Hurts is a true classic and he makes a reasonable effort but not as good as he has been. Everyone is suffering this time. I felt he picked it up a bit as he went on and it was a lot better and, at least, something you wanted to work Disappointing, though, but maybe he did enough. I can see Simon getting everyone to do something else.

Fleur. She looks young. She's got experience and I am hoping that that helps her. so many others have suffered though nerves or not getting it right on the 'night'. Simon admits that he can't really remember her. No idea what she was singing. I think it was Bang Bang and, yes, she was cool and modern and can rap and also that was not an easy track but she remembered everything. Impressed, at last, even if it wasn't my sort of song. She's through.

Ben's a likeable chap. He was the van driver with the gravelly voice and he also has experience in pubs and clubs which will stand him in good stead. With A Little Help From My Friends is a great song for him and he is only a few bars in when it's obvious that he is #1 in this category. Maybe a bit old-fashioned and I don't know that everyone will want to buy his records but he is good, A definite Live Show act.

So my votes are Ben, Fleur and I fear that Stevi will get in for the ratings-fun thing. Hoping that he doesn't, I give it to Lizzie and Jay will get the wild card.

As the programme ends we're left not knowing who makes it, with Helen getting medical attention.

Update tomorrow night!

Mel B and Emma choose the three Boys

Mel B has Emma Bunton to help her. I always liked Emma.

Jack Walton is first of the Boys and gets stopped by Mel mid performance. I get the feeling that she wanted him to do a lot better than that, even after getting a second chance. He looks good and I wonder that they might put him through despite his obvious nerves on the occasion we see.

Andreas is the obvious one to get through, with his slightly broken English and Italian lovability. I really didn't like his performance there but I don't think it matters. He'll be through, one way or another. Both Spice Girls seem really taken with him too. Maybe they'll like everyone.

Danny Dearden has the high voice and is a good singer but he struggled with the notes this time.

Jordan made a much better song choice and should have secured himself a place with that.

Jake lost out at Judges' House last time. He is 25 but presumably isn't an Over 25. He's good and a bit too much like the guy he followed. In many ways it was a bit monochrome and I feel sad for the bloke as he may need a wild card to get through. I think he will get there but not sure how.

Paul is maybe the least 'attractive' of them but I think he has the strongest voice. He does a pretty good version of Bridge Over Troubled Water which I presume we don't get to see all of. I was not sure, though, that he nailed it, to use the expression many do on this programme, or used to at any rate. I was not that impressed and a bit disappointed. He may make it through but I don't see a winner amongst any of Mel's team. Sorry guys but it almost doesn't matter who goes through in some ways.

Andreas, Jake and Jordan, I think.

No, Jordan doesn't make it. So Jake is a certainty and maybe Paul takes his place? Andreas does, as I think anyone would have guessed. Paul gets through. Looking at Jake v Jack again I am thinking of changing my mind and putting Jack in the Top 3 Boys. Difficult. I guess that one or the other will get the wild card, though.

No, Jack loses out and Jake gets his second chance like Paul.

So it's Jake, Paul and Andreas,

Friday, 3 October 2014

Judges' 'Houses' Pt 1 Louis and Tulisa choose three groups.

The Groups are off to Bermuda - a nice change from Ireland for Louis! It must make getting through worthwhile even for those who don't make the Live Shows and, provided they don't make a complete mess of things, this is an experience of a lifetime.

Louis is a bit over the top with his welcome. He has Tulisa who does look pretty as she comes out of the water and makes the boys, at least, feel interested.

Only The Young are a band who have been around a little while and, according to some rumours, were 'persuaded' by producers to come on the show. So they really would be expected to make the Live Shows. Their sea side performance wasn't bad but it didn't sound like a band that was about to sell loads of albums. they improved as the went on and, of course, Louis will have seen several songs and got to know what they can and can't do.

Blonde Electric are next and they're individual and different but not to my liking. I am not sure why they're there apart from TV quirkiness - a sort of female JEdward maybe. I fear they'll get in but they really have no right to be on the Live Shows in place of one or other of the others, unless all but two make a complete mess of things, that is, which I don't see happening.

The Brooks do Jar Of Hearts and have performed well so far but are they really what the charts need? Better when they were taking risks rather than just singing ballads. They did OK ad people would vote for them but I don't see them making it.

Girl Band only just made it in to the final six. I like them but they're performance of Say Something was average.

Concept seemed much more together. But it was another uninspiring number. They're good, decent chaps but I can't see them making it either.

Boy Band has 8 members. That's a lot and I'm not sure that was such a good idea. Still, here they are. they would have been dropped as individuals so they're trying. The firls tried a bit too hard and missed the togetherness. The Boy Band make a good effort with Mirrors but I just feel there are too many opposing forces going on there. Some cool singers but I don't know. I say they'll be through.

For me it's Boy Band, Only the Young and, dare I say it, Blonde Electric! (Hey, not my choice, OK - just what I can see Louis and the producers choosing!) Remember there's a fourth act that another judge puts through too.

Blonde Electric get the first spot. Dermot gets wet as they hug him after jumping in the pool. Next we get Concept, Girl Band and Only The Young. You know only one will get through. It is Only The Young. Two out of three so far. The Brooks or the big Boy Band? Whichever don't make it of these two this time will, I reckon, still make it with a wild card vote.

All very emotional stuff. Hey. I got 3/3. The big Boy Band are in. And you can go on-line to name them.