Monday, 14 December 2015

X Factor Voting Figures

X Factor 2015 voting figures and percentages

Week 1

Louisa Johnson - 15.9%
4th Impact - 11.2%
Anton Stephans -10.7%
Monica Michael - 9.1%
Ché Chesterman - 8.7%
Lauren Murray - 8.4%
Reggie 'N' Bollie - 7.4%
Seann Miley Moore -7.3%
Mason Noise - 6.1%
Max Stone - 5.8%
Alien Uncovered - 4.8%
Kiera Weathers - 3.4%
Bupsi - 1.2%

Week 2

Louisa Johnson - 15.3%
Reggie 'N' Bollie - 13.0%
Ché Chesterman - 12.5%
Lauren Murray - 11.2%
4th Impact - 9.0%
Max Stone - 8.5%
Anton Stephans - 7.5%
Monica Michael - 6.3%
Mason Noise - 6.1%
Seann Miley Moore - 5.5%
Kiera Weathers - 5.1%

Week 3

Louisa Johnson - 16.4%
Lauren Murray -14.1%
Ché Chesterman - 14.0%
4th Impact - 13.2%
Reggie 'N' Bollie - 13.0%
Mason Noise - 9.8%
Anton Stephans - 8.0%
Monica Michael - 6.1%
Max Stone - 5.4%

Week 4

Reggie 'N' Bollie - 21.6%
Louisa Johnson - 21.5%
Lauren Murray - 14.8%
4th Impact - 13.8%
Ché Chesterman - 12.8%
Anton Stephans - 12.3%
Mason Noise - 3.2% (left after Saturday freeze)

Week 5

Ché Chesterman - 22.2%
Reggie 'N' Bollie - 22.1%
Louisa Johnson - 21.1%
Lauren Murray - 18.4%
4th Impact - 16.2%

Semi Final

Louisa Johnson - 31.5%
Reggie 'n' Bollie - 27.0%
Ché Chesterman - 20.9%
Lauren Murray - 20.6%

Final Part 1

Louisa Johnson - 44.5%
Reggie 'n' Bollie - 35.2%
Che Chesterman - 20.3%


Louisa Johnson - 53.9%
Reggie 'n' Bollie - 38.9%
Che Chesterman - 7.2% (left after Saturday freeze)

Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Final

The end of another series. Despite all the criticism, these shows do discover talent. Someone a little bit special each year who will last a bit longer than the one hit Christmas single is brought to our attention. It has often been someone other than the winner but this year I have a feeling that either act in the Final could be around for a while. Louisa, certainly, could produce some great stuff if she gets given the best writers. Reggie & Bollie have a quite different audience and I may cringe when I hear them over the speakers at some teen party in a few years' time but I am pretty sure they will get a contract to do piles of the fun stuff they're making their own.

Louisa is very good and is the one I would prefer to wear the X Factor crown, if only to demonstrate to the critics how good a winner can be.

Down Town is the slightly embarrassing sing-a-long for all the Live Show contestants this year. Seann put on a good show. Lauren made herself heard but most of the others, including Reggie & Bollie, didn't exactly shine.

Coldplay can be guaranteed to provide a good performance and their quite hypnotic single Adventure came across well. I'm not quite sure why they needed four gorillas dancing on a hot stage as well but this is X Factor after all. Caroline might need to practice her interview technique as her chat with Coldplay's Chris Martin was pathetic to watch. She and Olly have been pretty good, not as cool as Dermot O'Leary but they had a certain sparkle that helped you forgive them the occasional cock-up.

First of the finalists to perform tonight is Reggie & Bollie with their highly popular You're Beautiful mixed up with Move It. I say 'mixed up' but actually they sort of stop one song and start another. The crowd is incredibly noisy and Simon has great trouble being heard. He reckons that they could win, based on the amazing reaction that they produce. That was the longest applause that anyone has had. People really do like these guys. I am beginning to wish I had put a bet on them.

Louisa next. Her song is It's A Man's World. She does this so well. The judges manage to speak above the crowd a little more quickly but not a great deal more quickly. They are extremely complimentary too. Simon declares that she really is the best they have had on the show. That is saying something. Louisa is handling all the compliments and the whole thing remarkably well for a 17-year-old.

So what new song will each act be bringing? There is such a difference between them that it is actually quite difficult to compare them sensibly.

First, though, are One Direction. Their SYCO contract must insist that they perform at least x times in each series! A new song from them. It could be called How Many Nights but if it isn't then you'll figure out what it should be. The four lads sound just as good as the five used to. Zahn always seemed to be slightly behind everyone - you should check out what I wrote when they were contestants in 2010!

After a slightly odd set of video thanks from people hoping they'd be back soon from their year 'break' starting any time soon, possibly tonight by the seems of it, they get a second song from the album. History was not the most inspiring track but it grew after a while and certainly pleased the audience. Yes, I am pretty sure that that was their 'last' performance.

The winner's single time. Surely they can't both have the same song. No. that would be silly. I am guessing they'll get something suitable. Reggie & Bollie first again with Forever Young which seems an odd choice. It starts nicely - almost gospel-like and reminded me of Paul Simon's Graceland. then a choir joins in and they start bouncing a bit more. They are dreadfully out of tune, unfortunately, but maybe the choir and backing will hide that more as the track progresses. It's no big thing but pleasant enough. I just hope that the actual single - should they win - is better tuned. Great act but I don't think now that they should win. Coming second is fine for them. That's probably a whole lot better than they might have imagined so #2 would be perfectly cool. Kids on the stage and tears from Cheryl may still get them those extra votes, of course.

No break, straight on to Louisa. This is the big one. She does also have Forever Young. That ought to be very much to her advantage and she starts gently and, notably, in tune. She'll need a big build up, though, and needs to do something a bit special with this. At last some soaring and she gets the choir too. Only the one crouch at first but then we get several in succession which really do add to the way she manages to put emotion across. Not at all bad. Again, I can imagine the single will be a touch better but she is so good live anyway. She 'owned' tonight, according to Simon and turned a good song into a great song. She gets a small person on stage too - her little sister - which balances the other act nicely.

Everyone is terribly complimentary and I think we can take it that, all the hype aside, as a pretty good indication that she'll be releasing some good music before long. SYCO will sign her whatever happens.

Adele has been away for a while on X Factor and I think she will have cost a fortune but worth it. Funny, watching her I could easily imagine Louisa doing as well. If she can write songs as well, or get someone to help, she will be up there with the best too. It would have been nice to hear something other than Adele's Hello. I know it's her big hit at the moment but we have all heard it several times a day and, as good as it is, there would have been a nice opportunity to give us something a little different. She also seems to laugh at the end and, when talking to Olly says that she felt like giggling all the way through. That isn't really what you expect to hear from someone who is supposed to be so good at interpreting lyrics, particularly ones she has written herself and which are pretty deep and not in the least funny. By all means joke later but not, dear, while your singing, OK. She supported Lauren. I can see why. Sometimes Adele can be a bit tiresome.

Louisa wins! Great result. After all these weeks of being so composed she is genuinely in tears. And who will forget Reggie & Bollie? They'll be fine.

One thing I noticed is how professionally she managed the almost impossible task of singing her Final song again. just a few seconds in and she was back in control and performing even better than first time. that was impressive in many ways. Rita is on stage with her and she actually does look as if she can hardly believe how well Louisa is doing. Eventually, of course, all the other Live Show acts arrive and run on to surround her but even then she doesn't give up and manages to make the last note. Quite how I have no idea. Nice girl. Looking forward to seeing more of her in years to come.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Two acts join Adele, One Direction and Coldplay in the Final

The three finalists come in from the aisles through the audience. Some dancers follow them, carrying letters - just in case we've forgotten their names. Ché gets three, Reggie & Bollie get three (RNB) but Louisa gets six. There's a sign to start with. Luckily, they stay in the right order and nothing embarrassing gets spelled to the several thousand present and few million watching.

Ché seems a bit breathless and whoever dressed him ought to be fired. Louisa is very fired already and, once she hits the stage, she is putting on the sort of show I would have expected her to reserve for the last song. Impressive. Reggie & Bollie do what Reggie & Bollie do and all's well with the world. A nice final tomorrow would be Louisa and Reggie & Bollie. Ché has a good voice but I just don't see him as a big name at concerts and on future TV shows. The other two could well be there, as will be lots of acts from old X Factor series over this weekend.

Ché is first to perform. We see him on the bus and visiting Essex. Now there he may have an advantage, Essex people being good supporters generally, happy to plug away with the tablets and phones and, as a young chap there will be a decent girlie vote for him. He seems to have got rid of a silly three quarter length shirt which he had on when he first appeared. That'll help. Valerie is a good track for him, cheerful and bright and comparatively stress free to perform so that has to have given him a good start. Neither Simon nor I understood the hamburgers on the stage. He makes the point that he looked nervous and does start off the least favoured to win. Having said that, how often have the bookies been proven wrong!!

I haven't placed a bet this year, mainly because the odds on Louisa have been so short since day one. I should have put something on Reggie & Bollie getting this far if I could have found a bookie offering odds for that.

Reggie & Bollie spend time in Newcastle and they have got a pretty widespread support across the nation. Cheryl is also a popular mentor and she'll gather a few extra votes for them. I can see them winning, just because they exude so much fun and they really do entertain every time. they may not have a few schools to bank votess from but I still see them doing well.

I suppose one day they might run out of tracks they can mash together effectively but they should manage to last a couple more. They have a bit of a random thing going this time. No idea what the track(s) are called - it's all a bit mad and the dancers seem to have absolutely nothing to do with anything but they're all having fun so who cares? You have to hand it to these guys - so professional and the crowd really do love them. Compared to the reception for Ché this is impressive.

Simon says it was a weird mash up - like a strawberry and liver mix! That reaction could be a sign that they could win. Rita says they were a bit 'cruise ship' and I can see that too. It was one of those performances that you may well see again and again but after a few years not necessarily remember who did it.

A lot hangs on what Louisa does to start with. she needs to get people voting and not just assuming that, as the shortest odds-ever favourite, she is just going to win whatever happens. She will need those votes and with Reggie & Bollie pulling theirs in big time she is not at all guaranteed to beat them, or Ché for that matter. We can all remember Ella not even making the Top 5 and One Direction lost out to Matt Cardle and Rebecca Ferguson.

Now it is Louisa's turn. I had forgotten that she is also from Essex so will amost certainly pinch a large number of Ché's votes from that part of the world. I Believe I Can Fly is a pretty tedious number. Not the best of starts, in my view, but Louisa throws so much at it, treating it like a final song again, that you have to sit up and take notice. Sometimes I wish she would be a bit gentler and maybe rise more gradually towards the loud bits but she gets very good reviews. The audience didn't quite match the R & B set but it certainly made an impression. She has an ability to put a huge amount of emotion into everything she does. That is quite special and, controlled, she could become quite a successful British #1 act.

Talking of #1 acts, Leona Lewis is next, with last year's winner Ben Haenow. Ben hasn't had the best of years with little activity since winning. His duet with Leona is a bit laboured. She finishes that and then decides that the audience deserve something better and starts her classic Run. Fabulous and Ben helps out quite nicely. That really did show the impact of a quality song, though. Simon will be pleased as he'll still get some money from that, even though Leona left SYCO and hasn't been particularly quiet about that either.

That was an introduction to the round in which they each sing with someone a bit special. So who will Ché get to sing with? Nice song The First Cut Is The Deepest. Hmm. Could it be Rod Stewart? Yup, The 70 year-old is still going strong. The problem with someone like Rod is that comparison's can go wrong for you and, whilst Ché has a great tone, Rod really steals the stage from him, even when he is not exactly giving it his all. And there lies quite an important difference - Rod doesn't need to give it his all. He can pick up a decent cheque for just a bit of crooning. Ché needed to do a bit more, I feel. Nice though it was, it may not have made lots of people open up the apps and vote.

Reggie & Bollie still have the middle slot. So who will they get? I thought they had someone called Tina - at least that's what was on the hat - but it's Craig David who eventually appears. the first half was great and had everyone grooving but the Craig David bit sort of put them in the shade and it was also a complete shift of gear and tempo. Ah - the Tina guy was called Fuse and he flew in from Ghana so must be someone they knew as well. All good stuff but I am not so sure that the Craig bit worked as well as the other guy.

Louisa gets the good last slot again. I'm Not Living Without You is a good song. She is singing with her mentor, Rita. Apart from Rita's much flashier dress, there isn't much to choose between them. They clearly get on really well and that comes across well. A bit shouty for my taste but I do like this girl and she really does deserve to get through to the final and get some more of what she enjoys so much. She is a natural on stage and Rita says that there have only ever been two people who have made that impression on stage and that is Leona and Louisa.

She might have included Little Mix and One Direction but maybe she was just thinking of solo acts. In fact, Little Mix are on next with Fleur East, last year's runner up but possibly the more successful from that series. They start with Fleur doing Black Magic then Little Mix do Sax. All good fun and quite a lot of flesh on show. Cool. And hot.

After a bit of a cock-up on the VT front, they eventually get the reprise tapes in order and there's a quick look at the three acts again. My guess is that, based on audience feedback, Ché will get the 3rd place this year.

Rod does his Stay With Me Tonight hit and adds a quick plug for Ché in his chat with Caroline. Luckily there's a break between then and when the results are announced so they can move him off stage just in case it isn't Reggie & Bollie that get sent home.

In the final is Louisa! Now for the other one through. It's Reggie & Bollie. Well done to them. So that's it for Ché. Good result. Should be a fun final.

You have to go back to 2008 for the last girl winner, Alexandria Burke and 2011 for Amelia Lily as the last girl finalist when Little Mix were the last group in a Final. They also won, of course. It could be close tomorrow.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Three boys and one girl in the Final.

Olly will have made Reggie & Bollie worry with his comment that later tonight there will be more judges than comtestants. He may not have intended to refer to the number of people but it could have been an inadvertent comment after seeing the results, or the votes so far.

Louisa must surely be through but which of the others join her I would find difficult to predict.

The sing-a-long had me fooled for a minute. I hadn't been listening to the Olly and Caroline introduction and just remembered that Sia would be performing tonight. Famous for not showing her face in videos I've seen so far, I was wondering whether we would see what she looked like and then I looked up and saw this attractve straight-haired blonde girl singing and looking and sounding very professional. I actually though that must be Sia until it dawned on me that the track was Happy and it was Louisa there, later joined by the others.

Che did a good few lines and got the most in the song. In fact I was thinking he should have done that as one of his Saturday numbers as it suited his voice very well. Lauren made quite a strong impression with by far the strongest voice with an interesting edge to it compared to the less effective Louisa on this occasion. The Reggie & Bollie participation was more or less as you'd expect and the usual fun. So they all are very much in the running still based on that and who knows what the votes will reveal. To date, unlike many other years, there has not been an obvious granny vote, possibly helped by the introduction of free votes via the app which I would expect to favour the younger viewers.

Sia maintained her cover with a strange wig and hairpiece. Quite a stunning set with a digital box beneath her containing a female dancer in flesh coloured body stocking. I think the title will be Alive or something like that. I had expected her to simply head into the background but she stuck around when the stage lights went back on and chatted with Olly, still aloft the high shelf. Very strong production, reminiscent of Lady Gaga.

Before her, Jason Darulo had put on a good show too. The series does attract some good international names and I have no doubt that there will be some impressive acts appearing next week in the Final too.

OK. That's it. One act will fall at this last hurdle. After this it doesn't matter a great deal. Even coming 4th can be good. Reggie & Bollie are through with Louisa. Excellent. So Che sings off against Lauren for the third spot. That'll be Cheryl and Simon effectively deciding. I'd expect Simon to choose Che and Cheryl to do so too but they may leave it to the votes, as has been the case almost throughout the series.

Lauren starts in tears but they soon disappear and she does a great version of the extremely well-chosen Fight Song. Brilliant choice, well-performed and that might even see her through. Very effective indeed. It was as if she had saved that up all this time especially for this important battle.

Che will have to come out with something very special to beat that. With Bridge Over Troubled Water he stands a chance. I didn't feel he did enough with that, though. He certainly didn't seem to fight as hard. He may have won the public vote. Cheryl chooses to save Che. Simon saves Lauren to let the votes decide.

Lauren loses. Che makes it through. You have to wonder how much the newspapers might have influenced that.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Top 4 Perform

Some papers have been trying to put Lauren down and it seems she had a modest contract some time ago and got a few plays of a single on Radio 1 Xtra. Like we going to be worried about that. Reggie & Bollie have had huge success in Africa and 4th Impact certainly were well-known in the Philipines and probably had some deals going on somewhere.

Tell Me Honestly is the first track from Reggie & Bollie, introduced by a far more attractive Cheryl than she was last week. It reminded me so much of something which will dawn on me sometime this evening. Ah, got it: Only You. Seemed the same song. This was a much gentler groove from the pair, almost quiet in comparison to what they normally do. Everyone says that we should be ready for their second song and I'm sure that Cheryl, who has managed them really well so far, will come up with something excellent to keep them in to the Final.

Lauren switches at the last moment to the Jess Glynne Take me Home number which is in the charts at the moment and so very current but that can also be a risk as Jess is such a good singer and everyone knows her version. Lauren struggles with the lower register stuff like so many singers do but tries to make up for that by putting lots into the rest of the song. She can certainly belt out tracks and gets most of the notes right. So far, though, I have never really rated her as a contender to win. That was probably going to get more votes than Reggie & Bollie. Simon remarks that she was a bit panicky and screechy. Spot on, it was like she was trying a bit too hard.

Neither will have people rushing to YouTube to play them again.

Third on stage is Che Chesterton. 'Certainly nothing wrong with the voice', says Lionel Ritchie who is the mentor for everyone this week. He sort of implied that Che's look and demeanour weren't competition winning. He does Would I Lie To You. It's accurate but they might just as well have played Charles & Eddie's original. Very 1980s, or even 1970s. A decent enough job but really not inspiring. Cruise ship. He gets good reviews, though, with the panel putting him firmly on top so far.

Last semi finalist is the very pretty Louisa. First the competition - the prize being Simon Cowell's F Type Jaguar which I would really like. The £50000 would come in handy too. I seldom enter these competitions but I have to admit to falling for that one. OK, back to the music. She is singing The Power Of Love which has been overdone by an awful lot of people already. Ah, it's the Frankie Goes To Hollywood version! That's good. And it is good. A bit screechy at the end as she tries almost too hard to impress. It worked well and the set was smart too, not taking attention away from her. It was still a bit 'old' and missed a bit of the emotion that the original had. However, I would say she definitely comes first out of those four performances and may have stolen votes from Lauren in the process.

Second round. Che Chesterton does Love Is A Losing Game, the Amy Winehouse song that should be popular, although I would identify it more with Lauren. It is also a bit 'old' again. This guy can be trusted to hit the right notes and to put some sort of emotion into it. he just looks like a contestant to me, not a future star. For example, I can't see him taking the stage in the States and doing much across The Pond. He'll sell a few albums but they may well just be recycled stuff done reasonably well for the grannies. It was good - and nice and simple, to his credit, in an evening of trying too hard generally. Nice. It ought to see him through but Simon saw it as ordinary and a bit karaoke. I don't get all the emotion that Nick and Cheryl seemed to be exhibiting. Maybe they'll be sad to see him go.

Louisa next, with It's A Man's World but which she says she'll be bringing Girl Power to. Not sure that's a good idea but all will be revealed shortly. It's a big song and very appealing. A great set again. Well done Rita and advisors. Now that was a great performance. She really did seem to be thoroughly comfortable up there, totally taking over the stage and produced possibly the best performance of the series this year. All the judges give her great reviews and hope that voters don't forget to vote, thinking that she'll be safe. Sure, she so much should be in the Final.

Whilst Louisa put Che very much in the shade, she now has to let the other two acts interfere with our memories and, possibly, although it would be hard, to steal the limelight and a few wavering votes. I can see Reggie & Bollie doing well. Che's future will, I think, depend almost entirely on how Lauren does.

Lauren gets the first shot. Running is a much more modern song for her - a Beyonce / Naughty Boy number that is well-written and also suits her pretty well. I detected some bum notes, though, and it was so much less, audibly as well as visually than Louisa's that she is clearly struggling now. It is going to be her or Che taking the third spot in the Final next week and I honestly don't know if she'll get it. She ought to, as she is slightly more up-to-date and likely to improve enough to represent us well in the lower regions of the charts, but she is not a winner.

Last, winding up the show in what I hope will be some style is Reggie & Bollie. For all Louisa's expertise and style, I still see these guys with a good chance of winning this year. With a mash-up of The Chiili Peppers' I've Got A Feeling and I Like To Move It the pair put on a good show all right. Not bad at all. Not quite as smart as I had expected. Louisa still walks away with the crown for this week but the crowd love these guys. They did sound a bit like and friends and that's not a bad thing. All the panel say that they need to be in the Final. So I wonder which of the other three acts they would drop?!

I think it will be farewell Che.