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.

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