Sunday, 25 October 2015

Nick and Rita settle on the Top Girls and Boys

Nick reveals his choice of three Boys. It was dragged out so much, including two ad breaks.

Mason | Che | Seann

They certainly ramped up the pressure on that one, although my guess is that Seann was his natural first choice and most of that was all about entertainment. All three are good and will contribute to some good Live Shows. i don't see any going quickly.

In contrast, watching Simon with his three Overs reminded me of how silly Louis used to look with his Oldies, most of whom tended to go pretty quickly but some not as quickly as we might have liked.

Rita took the Girls to Los Angeles, the best gig of them all.  This is a good group this year but there are two who stand out for me: Louisa and Keira.

Havva is first up. She is a cheerful little thing, quite modern but she sounded as if she was struggling with the high notes in this audition. Her broken tone is fairly attractive but she just seems a bit amateur and in need of some training which could mean she'd struggle. Looks like she may not make it.

Monica Michael I don't like. Her hair style and big earrings are so annoying which, I know, have nothing to do with how she sings but it just puts me off. I feel she is here because of last year. She sings her own song about her brother which is quite a risk and may not have helped her chances, no matter how good it may be. It wasn't, to be honest. She isn't a songwriter. She sings well and has an interesting tone but I am not sure she'd be that popular. The story about her brother is sad but I wouldn't want her through just on that basis.

Chloe Paige is nicer all round. her slow version of Erasure's A Little Respect was great. Some crazy notes and the whole thing was virtually a capella and so impressive. I loved that and she did well but I am not sure Rita and Meghan Trainer will pick her. Pity, but I think she's not wanted.

Kiera has been consistently marvellous as the auditions and matched Whitney very well before. This was not so good this time but I am pretty sure she has Rita's vote anyway. It's odd how Chloe got put down and Kiera got put up.

Louisa is probably the prettiest contestant and has been the bookies' favourite for a while. She also does Respect but very different - the Aretha version is the one that comes through strongly. Quite a remarkable performance and easily beating the others into several cocked hats. Nice job. She's in. No question.

Lauren could get a place. It's her or Monica. I'd give it to her anyway. A good voice and nice personality and someone who I think could be relied on to perform well on Live Shows. That was a far better performance than Monica's and second best of the Girls by quite a margin.

So I'd pick Louisa, Chloe and Kiera but I think Rita will pick Louisa, Lauren and Monica.

If she drags it out as long as Nick did for the boys then it'll be a while.

She chooses:

Louisa | Lauren | Kiera

Well chosen! I did fear that Monica would have been put through because of the back story but I like the three Rita has gone for and they'll put on an excellent show, lasting well.

So that's it. We have the Top 12 for Live Shows.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Groups and Overs decided. Six out of Twelve for the Live Shows.

Olly and Caroline in Dermott's spot on the stage as we start a live show in which recordings of the acts at Judges' houses will be played and then tomorrow the six in each category will be narrowed down to three.

During the introductions you get the feeling that some people have already written themselves off but I doubt that anyone knows really.

They are all much better presented than they were at auditions so have benefitted from the make-over team's efforts.

First are the groups with their new names.

4th Impact are the first to perform in Rome. It's a slow number in complete contrast to their previous antics. It does show how together they can be and they blend pretty well. they took a chance with that but I reckon it paid off as that was very professionally done.

Alien Uncovered have a dramatic look, everyone different. They do a sexy number and move and harmonise really well. they have certainly upped their game and that was impressive, matching 4th Impact.

Melody Stone seem nice enough ladies and sing well but I don't see then getting through after seeing the other two female groups they are competing with. All good stuff but, as Jess Glynne said at the time, it isn't clear where they'd fit in. Good, but not stand-out and even f they got through they wouldn't do a great deal from there.

Bekln Mile are five lads who blend well. Very good singers but this performance wasn't that great. In fact it was something I wanted to turn down and not bother listening to. I don't know why but it just didn't work for me and, despite a decent end, I think they could be at risk.

Reggie & Bollie have always struck me as a professional act and their hits in Africa stand them in good stead, with a good catalogue to choose from. they do a great version of Twist And Shout, more or less perfect Maybe just a little 1990s though. Great fun. I'd be happy to see them through and I reckon they deserve a place in preference to Melody Stone and Bekln Mile. The only thing might be the fact that they've had previous success and contracts.

New Kings Order harmonise beautifully and, even with one guy down without much of a voice, they made a super job of a great song choice. Nice job. So difficult to choose between them and Reggie & Bollie but they reaily are in the Top 4. Jess isn't sure and Cheryl and Jess refer to them as borderline cheesy! I would guess that Cheryl will choose 4th Impact, Alien Uncovered and New Kings Order. She might be persuaded to take Reggie & Ollie (which I'd prefer).

I thought they'd decide tomorrow but it looks like Cheryl gets to choose now. Each group says their own thing. I could do without that bit as she will have already made her mind up. Alien get lots of cheers, so do Bekln Mile. 4th Impact don't get do many, strangely enough. Reggie & Bollie get a few cheers but not so many. Difficult to tell really from that.

So, she chooses:

4th Impact | Alien Uncovered | Reggie & Bollie

Great. That would have been my choice too. All three will provide good entertainment.

Next it's Simon's turn. He really hasn't got much to choose from. Jennifer is by far and away the best singer / performer but the camera doesn't like her much. She will be a certainty, though, unless she does something very odd this evening. Anton is so tv friendly in contrast - and he can also sing - and I feel he'll get a spot. After that it really is anyone's guess. Ebru is probably my choice from the auditions. Kerri-Anne is attractive and may be his choice if she performs particularly well. Bupsi is a bit wild and, whilst experienced on stage, she's a bit past it for this competition, or, should be. Max Stone has a good voice and may still surprise us. So there are spaces left for everyone.

Jennifer performs a 1D song in front of Louis Tomlinson from 1D. It was a strange choice and I am not sure it worked that well. She sounded a bit strained at times and, whilst looking quite a bit better, the cropped hair and chunky skirt don't do much for me. I still think she'll get through.

Ebru chooses a difficult song that takes a while to get going but once she's in the song she's good. She's pretty passionate and seemed to be putting everything into that performance to try and impress Simon and, ultimately, us.

Bupsi has definitely got the confidence to match the Live Shows and I reckon Simon likes her as an individual. Bupsi enjoys her act and knows what she's doing. A bit cabaret perhaps?

Max Stone puts on a good show with his guitar, gravelly voice and his version of Gangsters' Paradise. He certainly went for it but he still looks a bit dead. It's the eyes. I still can't see him doing a great deal in the Live Shows and Simon wonders whether he has the charisma to keep the public entertained and last more than the first week. Of the four we've seen then I really can't rate him in the Top 3 as an X Factor performer and I do feel that more entertaining people. and possibly more likely to score hit records, are still to come which would almost certainly push him out even if we did 'give him a chair' now.

Kerrie-Anne looks very good and she can sing. She sprts very high heels and seems very comfortable doing an otherwise uninspiring version of The Best Of My Love. Simon thinks she's old-fashioned and he has a point. She really should get a spot but I am not sure.

Someone who really must is Anton. he does the Carpenters' track so well. He'd fit well on the shows.

I have a feeling Simon will pick Jennifer, Bupsi and Anton. I would like to see Kerrie Anne in there and Ebru getting a chance, dropping Jennifer and Bupsi so his choice and mine are rather different. Only Max is out on both our lists. Maybe.

Jennifer is one of those people who wear very, very large earrings. Max gets a big cheer. Could that make all the difference after all!? A tough choice indeed.

So, Simon chooses:

Bupsi | Anton | Max!

That was quite a surprise but it makes some sense. Kerrie Anne and Ebru could well have been lost when viewed against the girls in Rita's team whereas the two he has chosen do stand out and will entertain. I can actually imagine Anton going a long way. Jennifer could have held her own as a singer but I doubt that she would have proved very popular and, to be honest, her performance wasn't as good as the previous ones had been. Max is someone who, with some assistance from the makeover team, could stand his ground against Nick's Boys, for a few weeks, at least.

In a very long programme tonight, probably spread over three days when they show it in the States, we now get to see who Nick chooses too.

You kinda feel sorry for the Boys as they get taken to a chilly house of average size in England somewhere.

Seann Miley Moore is first up and sings This Woman's Work, a Kate Bush song. He is amazing in how he can perform and sing across a huge range and remain in tune. He is a definite in my book and a potential winner. He is quite different and that was a truly excellent audition. I can't see him not making it through.

Simon Lynch is not an autimatic shoe-in for the Live Shows. A good singer but maybe a bit last decade. A likeable guy and someone who could be relied upon but, unless the others screw up, I feel this is as far as he'll get this year.

Mason Noise is back. I would change his name. He has performed well at previous auditions although we didn't get much at the last stage. Nick recognises his talent and he is modern, too, which is a good thing in this category. I can see him getting through. His performance was almost flawless, extremely good and definite competition for Seann in some ways. Mark Ronson will like him too which will influence Nick and ensure he gets through.

That leaves just one place.

Ben Clark is unlikely to get it, despite having a cool voice and plenty of mood and emotion. A nice chap, but unlucky this year to be up against such other talent.

Che Chesterton has a super range and, like Ben, would be a natural Live Show entrant in a normal year. I Don't Know Much is a nice song and he does well, although he doesn't seem to try as hard as he has before. This was a bit boring as I had expected it to soar far more than it did. He put more in towards the end but I am not totally sure it was as great as we'd expected.

Josh Daniels does Taylor Swift! Interesting. I like this fellow and I feel he'd get a lot of public support too. he can sing well, maybe not as extreme as the others but he has a pop mould almost ready-made and can do the falsetto as well as most if he has to. I'd give him the third place but I feel he won't get it.

Nick's turn to choose. I'd expect Seann, Mason and Che to be his three. He may choose Ben in place of Che. I'd take a chance on Josh.

His choice gets made tomorrow.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

All change! Yes all the groups have new names!

For reasons probably to do with avoiding getting sued by some other groups or being liable to pay previous managers a share of any future proceeds, every group has got a new name in this year's X Factor competition.

So here they are, mostly for the better:

4th Impact

Alien Uncovered


Melody Stone

New Kings Order

Reggie n Bollie

Monday, 19 October 2015

Top 24 update

Somehow I missed the return of the talented but very annoying Mason Noise to Nick's Boys category to replace Tom Bleasby. He was originally someone I'd have backed for the Live Shows but his petulant antics a couple of weeks ago did not endear him to many people at all. However, Nick's struggling with his lot and no-one is really going to match the sheer showmanship and talent of Seann so the other names are, for the time being, largely academic.

Simon Cowell is also hinting that he has made a couple of 'big mistakes' in his choice of Top 6 Overs. For many viewers, all six could be big mistakes as no-one really came across as a potential finalist and he is right to feel stuffed by the voters and somehow not to have had the foresight to tweak the voting as to who got which category in the first place.

So there may be further changes. It is, after all, quite a prize to spend a week or so being very nicely looked after by Simon and his team at a suitably luxurious and warm location and you really do want to have people around you that appear to deserve it and will be good company as well.

The full list of the Top 24 at the time of writing can be seen at the link above, where you can also cast your votes for one or more in each category.

This is the last and cruellest final hurdle: it is such a cool thing to make the Live Shows, even if you do get kicked off first. This year's batch is not exceptional overall but generally we seem to have avoided choosing completely silly contestants who can't sing but might just attract pensioner viewers. The money is on Louisa, 4th Power (or whatever they eventually get called) and Seann with Jennifer a distant fourth. I am hoping Ebru might come good in the Overs category and we may even get surprised by Bupsi, although that name is terrible and Nicole would be a lot better. I wouldn't make any bets, though, until any remaining 'mistakes' have been fixed and, indeed, three actually make the Live Shows in each category.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Simon picks the six Overs and we now have the Top 24

The second instalment of Cheryl's choice of 6 Groups. There are two gospel-like groups, Silvertone, the girls and the boys, Bekln. Silvertone wailed a lot and were pretty boring at the start and, although there was one outstanding wail from one of them it didn't strike me as any better than the others already on the chairs. Nick, weirdly, called it the performance of that category. Eh?? Obviously things sound different when you're there and Cheryl swaps them for Mon Ami.

The boys were good in the past but I don't feel they were much different to those already selected. They were decidedly wobbly in places and I just don't see them surviving long whatever the choice. Only three groups get to perform in the Live Shows and I simply don't see Bekln being one of them. Oh dear. They get a seat too and someone good will be leaving. Rumour Has It are Cheryl's choice.

Last category is the Overs, with Simon choosing who to take through.

Holly is first and was saved by Rita at Boot Camp. I am not so sure Rita should have as she was not at all good. No chance. She doesn't really stand a chance in this competition and nothing Rita will say will make any difference. Nice girl but she gets turned out pretty flatly.

Another who ought to be sent home is Max, who Simon says looks half-dead. Almost regardless of how well he sings - and he does have a great soul voice that is unusual and in tune - he still won't win and won't do much for the show at Live Show stage. He simply hasn't got that very necessary 'X' factor. Not a popular decision as the audience cry out for him to get a seat. I doubt it'll be for long.

Vicki-Ann Nash is another good singer but she's not going to get far. Nice enough and well performed but just a bit ordinary. Simon gives her a chair but, again, she'll be swapped out soon enough.

Another non-performer but with a good voice is Joseph McCaul who is like something from the 1970s in his style on stage. No way will he go very far. Not even a good song this time. Simon takes the easy option again. Another who will go soon enough.

Stephanie McCourt is the first half-decent performer and she can certainly deliver a song. She could be a bit more watchable on the Live Shows and is a much better singer than the others already sitting there. Strangely, the judges don't like her. The audience didn't help her at all. Weird.

Kerrie-Anne is, at last, both great to watch and someone to remember. She'll get through and deserves some success. the first 'genuine' seat so far.

Anton will get a chair. He knows how to perform and he can sing. The public will like him too so I see him making it through to the Live Shows. Simon pretends not to be sure but that is largely just building up the excitement and it is a bit obvious, especially when you see who else is on the chairs. He's through.

Tonatha was good and could be Leona Lewis's older cousin. She is much more comfortable on the stage than most of the others. There is some similarity between her and Kerrie-Anne who might be the obvious swap candidate but Simon has to get rid of Vicki-Ann or Stephanie. She sort of takes herself out of a seat, though, and just manages to get one. I don't know whether Simon will get on with her. Stephanie goes, as expected.

Zen Blythe is the hippy guy and Simon comments that he hates this guy when he sees him coming on. I quite like him but I don't know how far he'd get. A nice performance and certainly I'd put him on a chair in place of Joseph or Max. He has some personality but I don't see him doing the sing-a-long numbers very well! He gets through is Vicki-Ann, another one I get right. The audience call out to bring her back as they're not that fond of some of the others. OK. News update. Vicki-Ann comes back. Joseph goes.

Hannah-Marie was one of my favourites at audition stage. We haven't seen much of her since. She looks great and takes on Let It Go. The low register start is always a problem for singers and she tries hard but is clearly better off in the mid and higher range. Not bad and she really does impress. Nick wonders whether she's an X Factor girl or a Broadway artist. She is definitely better than several already with seats and Simon gives her a seat. It could be Max's time to go.

Jennifer is someone I would expect to be sure of a seat and possibly to reach the Live Shows too as she is confident, sings well and has a personality people will like. She's not one of my favourites but she is good and deserves a place. I would imagine she'd get Tonatha's spot but it may be Kerrie-Anne. Of course, I'd forgotten that he brought Vicki-Ann back and so, understandably, she would be the logical one to go, finally, despite the crowd.

Neneth is a fabulous singer too. This time she didn't quite get the last note but I expect Simon will want to keep her as she could be popular on the Live Shows. I wouldn't choose her, though, as she suits shows better than X Factor. I thought she'd still get one from Simon but she doesn't. I'm surprised with Zen there and also Kerrie-Ann is still vulnerable.

Bupsy is fun to watch and she is a great performer and dancer. The backing track is rubbish but she roses well above that. I wasn't thinking she'd stand much chance and she does still seem a bit 'cruise ship' so I don't know what Simon will do. She's more fun than Zen. She may also get Tonatha's spot. I reckon Tonatha might be difficult. I was right.

Last one is Ebru. She is one of the best contestants, her main competition is probably Hannah-Marie, but she is more modern and so may steal a place from Zen or Kerrie-Ann. She starts very nervously and all the way through she is never quite on the right notes but still she has a passion and a great way to appeal to the audience. Sensibly she really should take Zen's place as he doesn't stand much chance. I fear she might take Hannah's though and I would be disappointed to see Kerrie-Ann go. Simon sends Zen home but Rita says he shouldn't go as he's his 'hearthrob'. Crazy as it seems, Simon calls back Max! Good grief. Zen has still gone anyway which is fair enough but a bit weird. Hannah goes instead. Sad to see her go but I guess that's about right.

She is a potential Live Show contender with Anton and Jennifer.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Cheryl starts picking the Groups for Judges' Houses Pt 3

Menn En Point are like a ready made Chart act and I think they have had some success already in Ghana so they come across very well and without doubt they get a chair. I would imagine it would take a lot to move them as I can see them in the live Shows. However, I have forgotten most of the groups.

Decibellas I don't remember from earlier auditions. One girl is very good, One screeches a bit. They don't get a seat, although Cheryl did note that one girl could make it on her own. So we may see her again.

Alien are next and they were good and quite crazy-looking. That was a super audition. Great. They could do very well. Modern and very Radio 1. Simon reckons they're one of the best groups and Cheryl clearly is very much taken with them. She has them marked down and expect them to be in the Live Shows, never mind just making Judges' Houses. That'll make it tough for the others too. Don't forget that the Filipino Groups will, surely, make it through. Unless there have been developments off stage in the meantime following revelations that they have already had some contracts and hits abroad.

Rumour Has It have been here before and have some experience over the past year. Individually they are good singers and they blend fairly well but are nothing exceptional. They made it to Judges' Houses last year but I am not so sure they will this time. They'll get a chair to start with but I reckon this category is very competitive and at a much higher standard than last time.

Here come 4th Power. They are ready-made. You can take them into a recording studio now, never mind the competition. Totally professional and the smartest of dancers, all of them. They're obviously in and the others must wonder how on Earth they can compete.

Mon Amie sound pretty good but does Cheryl really want a fourth girl group? She may start them off with a seat. She does. Not sure they'll stay long.

The First Kings are a great bunch and put on a good show. Well-rehearsed, but 'corny' as Simon calls them. Cheryl puts them on a chair so that's the seats full!

Next week we'll find out more about what happens with the Groups.

Which Boys Make Judges' Houses? Pt 2

Nick Grimshaw still looks a bit uncomfortable but is probably with the best category for him to manage. He has several who are pretty much dead certs to get to Live Shows and this shouldn't be too difficult.

Brodie Kelly is first up. He's nervous but sounds pretty sweet. He looks good and the notes were in the right place. Nick doesn't give him a seat, despite Simon saying he'd give him a seat.

Tom Davies is much more confident and even brings on a load of girls too. He sounds like a poor version of Wham! He doesn't get a seat.

Jordan Luke Gage is another with a good voice but his performance is very bland. There was nothing much to commend him really. That's three in a row that don't get a seat.

Danny Sharples sounds really a bit strained and quite odd. Oh boy, I reckon they're bring on the bad ones all at the start. That was very poor. You wonder how these have actually got this far.

Tom Bleasby is so much unlike a pop star to look at but he has an angelic sort of voice. It is a slightly odd wail but I can imagine him doing well. He has a fabulous tone and is note perfect, most of the time. An odd fellow, though, and maybe put through more because Nick needs someone on the chairs than because he is going to win this thing. He is likeable too. He gets the first seat.

Jamie Aldridge I don't remember. The camera likes him. It is a mini audition but he does well in that couple of lines. He gets a seat and I reckon he stands a good chance of going further.

Papasidero is the guy with the weird voice and wings. Tonight he just has a bright yellow cape and does a version of Lady Marmalade. I can't see him doing terribly well other than as a novelty act. He gets a chair and has a great personality and he can sing but...

One of the best singers is Simon Lynch. He picks a difficult song and it starts not so well but he does get into his stride, sort of. Not a good choice at all and he changed from being someone I would have thought would easily make it into a doubtful entrant. He did, finally, make a good impression but it was only in the last few bars. Hopefully, that will be enough. Cheryl reckoned that he was the best audition so far. Simon doesn't do the other three any favours and says that if Nick doesn't get a seat he will eat himself as he was the best singer so far. Obviously, Simon didn't get to eat himself.

Nathaniel Landskroner is just 16 but comes across a lot older. He is a bit similar to Simon Lynch at first glance. He comes on with confidence. He doesn't sing too well, though. In fact he seems to be terrified and it doesn't go so well for him after all. A bit sad. I reckon Nick had quite liked him before and he gets tempted to keep him regardless. Chreyl says he couldn't even hold the microphine and Rita says he's crazy. I reckon he may lose that seat.

Sean Miley Moore is one of my 'dead certs'. Fabulous performance. Knocks the others for six. This is Adam Lambert on uppers! He gets a standing ovation from all four judges and the others on seats must wonder how they can compete with that.

Mason Noise is the second of my 'dead certs'. He is modern and, albeit a bit over-confident perhaps, he performs very well. He does a cool session and even brings on another guy to perform with. He is modern and right on in a rap style of sorts that I don't like but it was pretty clear that lots of people in the audience did like. He goes wrong, however, at the end when he invites everyone in the audience to film him. Surely that's too late as he has already performed? I don't get that, unless in actuality, each had more than we see. He says something about only getting 70 seconds when others got 10 minutes. Simon stops him and says he's within 5 seconds of being thrown off the show. I can't figure out quite what this guy is doing. Yes, it'll get him attention but he should have been a sure fire seat. Now Nick must wonder whether he is worth the risk. I am also not sure Mason will attract many extra X Factor viewers and it's not a competition he'll win. He argues with Simon and talks himself out of a place. That looked like he was trying to make a name for himself. Nick said he'd have had a chair. I reckon he just wanted a name on the TV screen.

Josh Daniel had another super audition and I am pretty sure he'll get a seat. I can also see him making the Live Show with Sean. Not sure who'll get the third slot. Seems a nice, genuine guy. Cheryl actually said that as I wrote it! Spooky! Yup, he gets a chair and will it be Simon or Nathaniel perhaps that goes? Or does Nick really see Tom working on TV? The guy may make albums but I am really not sure he'll suit the series.

It's Papasidero who goes home. Fair enough. He was an odd ball. he wouldn't have survived much further in the costume and showman stakes either with Sean on such great form.

Ben Clark comes on. He is the moodier, slow, broody sort of singer with a rasp and a real sense of emotion in his voice. A very good performance indeed. He deserves a chair, and could even be the third for the Live Shows now I think about it. Excellent. He'll get a seat. Not too difficult as there are two or three he an definitely be swapped for. Nick chooses Tom. The crowd want him back. They might be right. I still think he was wrong choosing young Nathaniel who is very similar to Jamie.
Tom gets brought back after all. Tom reminds me a bit of James Arthur. The audience did seem to have taken to him. Nathaniel it is. He could well come back and do very well next year.

Olly Marland is a good looking young chap and does a very nice version of Let's Marvyn Gaye and I can see him getting plenty of support. Is he better than Jamie, I wonder? On the basis that neither are likely to get through to the last three anyway I am not sure it matters a great deal. He does get a seat. It can't be Tom, or Sean or Josh or Ben so it has to be Jamie. Surely there can't be any more changes now, unless Che gets Olly's place.

Che Chesterton is good. I had forgotten how good and with It's a man's world he puts on an excellent show which means he has to get a seat and could even challenge Josh or Ben for the Live Show place. So surely Olly has to go - or, if he is feeling brave, try getting rid of Tom again. Nick says he has to have a chair and now he has to get rid of someone for sure. It has to be Olly. Or maybe Simon. I'd forgotten Simon was there. I'd still send Olly home but it is a little academic which Nick chooses provided he doesn't do anything stupid like pick Sean or Josh. He might feel that Ben doesn't look the part. He can get rid of Tom in the comparative peace and quiet of the Judge's House and so avoid the audience nightmare now. Olly goes. That's probably right.

So it's Sean, Josh, Ben, Che, Simon and Tom through to fight another day.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Choosing who goes to Judges' Houses Pt 1

This is always the most controversial part of the series - apart from some years when Wagner or Baloney didn't get voted off very quickly, I suppose - when for all but six contestants in each category the road ends. Now, for many that is fair enough and some have even done well to get this far but there can also be really talented entrants being sent home too early.

First, the choices of who judges whom are announced. Rita gets the Girls. Simon gets the Overs (again) and pretends not to be happy. Nick gets the Boys and Cheryl gets the Groups.

We start with Rita, choosing six girls.

Katie Coleman goes first and is probably one of the more experienced and so less likely to make a complete mess at the start. Unfortunately, she seems to be off-key throughout and all her efforts on an already tricky number haven't earned her that place. I would send her home but Rita could start off giving her a chair and then moving her on later. She does send her home and it's all a bit awkward.

Karen Mav next. She looks like a gospel singer and isn't someone I remember. She chooses a very nice song - I'd Rather Go Blind - and delivers in great style, without screaming and with great notes most of the time. I say most of the time as she did wobble a bit here and there and I wasn't at all keen on her interpretation. She gets a seat but I am not sure she'll get far unless the others fare dismally.

Chloe is one of two Chloes. This is Chloe Baker. She is quite a good performer and comes across better than either that went before. However, she is not easy on the ear. A bit raucous and, again, I wouldn't see her going far. She starts with a seat. How long for, I wonder.

Monica is back again. She'll get another chance, you can be pretty sure of that. Her rendition of What Is Love was passionate but I don't like her lower register very much. She got the notes right and is the best of the lot so far so deservedly gets the seat. I would imagine that she keeps it too. So far, I haven't seen an artist that I would look forward to watching in the Live Shows. So perhaps all six are still out there.

Sharon Rose is another fairly experienced performer. She looks good, dressed to perform and impress and she sings very well. At last, someone who I feel does deserve a place in the Live Shows or, at least, get to the Judges' Houses stage. A very good and faultless performance, easily putting the others well in the shade. Simon seems surprisingly unimpressed.

Chloe Paige number 2 is a lovely Essex market trader. She decides to sing without accompaniment and introduces herself well! Amazing Grace is her choice. She shows off a bit with many runs and wobbles but they're just about all in tune and she does come across quite well. You can see she has the passion that I think was missing in some of the girls already sitting down. So she should get a place on her merits. I'd say she was the second best so far but there still may be five better to turf her off. Rita seems to extend the drama a bit and actually lets a small smile appear when she was supposed to be seriously thinking about her!

Charli Beard is one of the youngest girls at 17. She takes a while to get going and when she's on a strong line she is great but seems almost to have forgotten where she is at times. A difficult one but I think she is better than most if that strength of vocal stays. She's much better than at least three of the others and may be worth keeping.

Louisa Johnson has possibly the best 'look' of all we've seen so far. Also just 17, she takes on a difficult song in order to try to outdo one or more of the others already seated. If you were looking for strength then she seems to best Charli. I would, however, keep her and remove Chloe Baker or Monica (but I don't see anyone having the nerve to remove Monica). Quite a performance. I put her in second place. She sends Chloe Baker home.

Karen ought to be the next to go home. Havva Rebke is fun to watch and would get through on personality and she also is the only one to sound vaguely modern. She does No Diggity and the show needs someone like her. The others are pretty similar - well, some of them are. She isn't brilliant but could be, if that makes any sense. I would definitely put her through above both Karen and Monica. I would struggle to decide between her and Chloe or Charli.

She gets a seat. So who will Rita send home? I still maintain Sharon and Louisa are the top 2. Charli is her choice, and I think that's fair. Tough, but she and Louisa were in competition. There's still at least one more to replace in my books. The audience say she should bring her back and I would have preferred to see someone else go but I am never going to get exactly the same six as Rita.

The next act is Kiera and she has been one that has impressed me most in the past. She has a slightly aggressive manner which might not endear her to the audience but just watch her perform the Whitney Huston classic I Will Always Love You! Beautiful and easily, easily, the stand-out of the night. Well done. There is absolutely no argument about her. She is in. Surely this has to be when Karen goes. Rita takes ages deciding and pretends she can't do this. She does decide on Karen. Well done, Rita. the crowd didn't like that much but it seems right to me.

The last to perform is Kelly Mai Webb. Luckily, I hope, she was not on key and actually that was quite a painful audition. She forgets her words too and that makes it easy for Rita and the six in their seats muct be feeling so relieved. She messed up.

Oh, another one! I must have miscounted. That complicates things. This is another big girl, a bit like Monica. Lucy Duffield is quite mature and you get the feeling that she will be good. She starts well and puts in a great performance of A Natural Woman although I'm not sure about the diction. She has the passion and I feel she will get a place with Chloe going. However, I might put her in in place of Monica as there really is no room for the two.

Rita starts by being unsure about her. This is going to be a long drawn-out affair by the seems of it. Rita gives her a seat after all. The audience sign for Sharon to go and Rita goes with that but I reckon that was very wrong. Someone will also wonder about factors other than singing ability with that choice.

Sophie Plummer. Another one! Good grief! I thought it was all over before the last one. Completely lost count and should have referred to my own lists beforehand! Sophie is yet another quite large-looking and sounding girl. She does a very good job of Adele's Turning Tables and will, I think, get the other Chloe's place. Again, it ought to be Monica's, in my view. Rita decides against disturbing the ranks any more.

Lauren Murray is yet another to come. Goodness knows how I miscounted so badly. Anyway, she is definitely the last, though! A nice personality, another chunky girl and another potential substitute for Monica or Chloe. The song she chooses is way too low to sing with any strength and sounds distinctly wobbly. She moves into a higher register and then in the middle where her voice is very good. A most odd song that does little for me but which might appeal to Rita. It ends pretty spectacularly, though, and that could well drive her in, despite the style and wobbles. Kiera stands to applaud her - a nice touch. So now Rita will have to swap someone. Simon notes that she wasn't as good as maybe people thought by the ending of her song but says he would certainly include her. So Rita will as well. Last to go? Lucy. Fair enough.

I am quite glad Chloe is still there. It has also just occurred to me that some acts are older than Rita! Thereagain, lots of acts were older than Demi Lovato on X Factor USA now I think about it!

So, to summarise: through to The Judges' Houses round are Monica, Chloe Paige, Louisa Johnson, Havva Rebke, Kiera and Lauren Murray. Three of these, though, will still not make the Live Shows.