Matt starts off this week. He is following a remarkably successful week, singing Secret Love, a Little Mix number. You have to admire how Simon earns money even from Nicole's acts. It's a difficult song - technically as well as because many people will know it and four girls can cover each other's mistakes which one guy can't!
He is superb, all the way through. Just one slip with a high note but I don't think that will have any effect at all on his chances. He will be very hard to beat. Knowing that Ed Sheeran has written the winner's song this year which is likely to suit Matt.
Nicole's lipstick is ridiculously dark and I don't find that at all attractive. Puts years on her. Strange.
Abba's The Winner Takes It All is one super song, one of my own favourites of all time. So she had better do it well! A beautiful, soaring voice is as impressive as ever but she does not look so good in whatever Sharon has dressed her. Her capacity to launch a note is amazing. Very, very good in many respects. I think the performance did lose the sensitivity of the original. Apart from that, she had what Simon said was a 'moment'. Louis says that could have been one of the best vocal performances ever on X Factor. Note that Nicole also, quite emotional, put her as the winner of X Factor 2016. Remember that she is Matt's mentor!
Certainly, deserving all the praise, Saara is very, very impressive and looking like the big unexpected surprise of the series this year.
A weird intro with her mother on a piano. Oh well. MC Hammer's Can't Touch This is a nice commercial number and not the heaviest of rap numbers around. In fact it sounds really old-fashioned now. She's confident and it rumbled along well enough but, really, after the first two, it sounds like it's her time to go. Or maybe the group will keep her in.
Some guys invaded the stage and, for reasons best known to themselves, tried to show that they can touch this, or that. All we saw was Simon quickly spring to action while Louis and the others kept the judge commentary going, after a fashion. the camera stayed on them but we could tell something wasn't right and Dermot was silent, presumably wrestling someone to the ground. There is usually some ugly bald head bouncers pretty close to Simon. No doubt we'll eventually discover who did what.
Anyway, a good commercial choice by Honey G.
5 After Midnight
I still call them 5AM. They have Uptown Funk which can't help but go down well. That might have suited Honey G actually, now I think about it. This worked wonders for Fleur East last year and it should help get this group into the semifinal. That was a neat performance, very together and it gave each of the three guys the chance to show what they can do. That was just the sort of stuff that the group should be doing. It was a bit of a copy but I can't see how they could do much else with that classic.
Sharon sees them in the final. Some fine acts would need to fail if she's right. It is possible but much depends on the public vote again as I suspect they'll be in 4th or 5th position.
Toxic is the Britney Spears number. Emily puts a very different slant on it. I don't think it worked, however well she sang. She is very confident but she neither looked nor sounded like a winner this time. At the moment, I have to say that she may finish up in the Bottom Two. There is another song to come, apparently, so that will be quite a relief. She could well be a star, and she would make a great job of an Ed Sheeran winner's song if she gets to the Final to try it. But she has to get there.
So far Matt and Saara share the Top 2 places. 5AM might just make 3, leaving Honey G v Emily in the sing-off. Much depends on the second songs, though. They'll also be the ones that the voters are more likely to remember and act upon, or not, as the case may be.
Sia's I'm Alive is a current classic and Sia does it amazingly well. Matt tries hard but can't match her on this one. Good effort but I might not have suggested he attempt that. Not bad at all but something wasn't right. He lost a few points there to Saara.
5 After Midnight
Now this a 2016 track and a half. Mashing up Sorry with goodness knows from Drake what else the backing track was excellent and the group do a super job vocally on top. That makes them definitely contenders for the Final and lifts them to 2nd place at the moment, overtaking Matt, just.
She says this will be 'hardcore'. Let's see. Push It is more 1980s. She does it well, for all that. Then, just as she was entertaining well, the pace and atmosphere changes completely to what I think she said was a Black Beatles number, whoever they are. Interesting but I can't see that appealing so much. She included the mannequin challenge currently all over the place too. She does seem clever, choosing the songs rather than Sharon. She has to stand a chance, although I still place her 4th.
She so much needs this one to go well. I do see this as a 'make or break' song. It could be that important as her opponents have done so damn well this week. She has been top in my charts for many weeks and seemed a natural to make the Final. Now, she is at risk of leaving. With Saara closing the show and you can guess how dramatic that could be, there is a danger of Emily getting lost between the opportunism of Honey G and the Show Stopping Saara's sheer brilliance, if not actually X factor type of brilliance.
Simon says she will take a big risk. The song is Rag & Bone Man's Human. I don't know it and I suspect many others won't. Wow, that was good. I did recognise it. Louis says that it is a recent release but hasn't yet made it. Maybe her version will do. That was excellent and she covered a whole range of emotions with it. When she sang more strongly she was excellent.
I hope it pays off for her. It was very genuine and, as we discovered, she sort of changed it as she went.
I feel that puts her on a par with Matt in 3rd place so far. She is unlikely to have overtaken 5AM in the public votes, though, so perhaps it will stay as her v Honey G to sing off.
Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend was extraordinary. A real West End performance. Cheesy and I really don't know what it was doing there. She was very good to do all the performance things that I cannot imagine anyone else succeeding with. It was a bit bizarre.
That might not mean she finishes at the Top and I don't know who does after that. For sheer talent I guess she has to stand out. Matt 2nd. 5AM 3rd and Emily 4th, Honey G 5th.
What that means is anyone's guess.
It is another chance for Honey G to be eased out of the series before it gets difficult.