Monday, 3 December 2018

The Final: The Winner.

Well, Baby Shark was not what I would have predicted to start tonight's show! Simon seemed to suggest that he couldn't mention the performers. That was weird. Are they a SYCO thing? Getting a lot of plays and rumoured to be in the running for the Christmas No. 1 but surely it's way too early.

Whatever, someone has to follow that and it's


I Predict A Riot with the Kaiser Chiefs.
Now that was really good! Probably due to Ricky Wilson doing a great vocal and the band being great too but Anthony held his own. Pretty amazing and he had genuinely the sheer enjoyment factor.

Ellie Goulding does her guest spot next. A safe act and nothing like Cheryl! She backs Dalton.


One More Sleep with Leona Lewis
Another excellent choice. It's the modern classic Christmas song. Nice but i prefer Leona on her own doing this. I guess Leona must be speaking to Simon Cowell nowadays. Good crowd reaction. Scarlett didn't do herself any harm at all with that.

Nile Rogers gets the next guest spot and I'm delighted to see him also featuring Misunderstood and Acacia & aliyah in his set. Nice touch and they're two good groups I suspect he will ensure we'll see more of.


The Power Of Love with James Arthur
The Frankie Goes To Hollywood one not the other one. Beautifully sung. Dalton was sufficiently different to James so that James didn't take it over. An interesting duet but i wonder whether the public will have preferred Ricky Wilson or Leona Lewis tonight?

It really ought to be Dalton who wins this thing. But who knows?

Take That come on as the last guest act and do Shine and some more with Robbie Williams joining them.

The results:

3rd place: Anthony
2nd Scarlett

1st Dalton.

All good.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

The Final: Pt 1

The evening starts off with a sing-a-long. We've managed to avoid these so far. With Robbie Williams leading the way, though, especially with Let Me Entertain You, it was not at all bad. Gio was in his element and probably performed better than anyone else.

As stated last week, Simon Cowell has 'changed the rules' so that all three stay in until the second instalment rather than one being kicked out tonight as, possibly, originally planned.


Let It Be
Good local lad stuff. OK, suits him well but nothing exceptional. You do tend to think that he's coming 3rd.


A quality number. I don't know what it is but could be A Song For You. I deal for his range and style and he produces a pretty powerful performance emotionally. It seems to have bits of Elton John's Your Song but maybe I am mistaken.

He gets the usual amazing crowd reaction and the judges are doing their best not to say that he really has to win the whole thing.


Your Song
Now that's odd. Scarlett actually does do this song. Quite a coincidence. A nice version and she also seems to have great audience support. Robbie Williams actually asks her to do a Hyde Park concert with him! That was totally unrehearsed and off the cuff as we can see from the later exchange with Simon. A nice touch. Simon refers to Fleur East indirectly by saying that he doesn't want to see Scarlett on I'm A Celebrity drinking worm juice in a couple of years' time!

Anne-Marie and James Arthur do their single from the Greatest Show On Earth collection. James looks a bit uncomfortable as a straight act.


He performs with Tom Walker with Leave A Light On. 
It's another very good choice as it suits him well. Tom may have stolen quite a bit of the lime light, however, and Anthony was just a bit of accompaniment. For all that there is a lot of love for this guy.


He is with Emile Sande with Beneath You're Beautiful.
I am not sure this was a great song for him and the duet. They are well-matched, though, although she seems to hold him back quite a bit. It's nice stuff but could have been even more impressive perhaps. I don't see that bringing home a great deal more votes but my guess is that he ought to have enough already.

We get George Ezra next and Shotgun.


Closing the show with Robbie Williams and Angels ! Her start is a bit uncertain but you can see she is absolutely delighted and so naturally playful that it's like she doesn't really care what happens now. This is all quite endearing. Obviously the duet with Robbie is a great break and she now has a gig with him too but this says to me that she's happy to come second. Interestingly, Simon's smart move with this pairing and her relaxed performance could even switch things!

This will appeal to a lot of voters.

It still seems to be Dalton's to win.

More soon

Monday, 26 November 2018

Semi Final Pt 2: The Top 4 become 3

Dermot is in a hurry tonight. I guess the producers have had their budgets cut and so there's less time or, more likely, the Christmas adverts are now so long that there isn't a great deal of time left for the show.


Opening the show with the Emile Sande song about a Clown. Not as good as he has been still pretty impressive. He seems to be cruising a little now but I am sure he will pull out the stops next week. Recently, this guy, who must be the winner, seems to be relying on some vocal antics rather than emotional interpretation which he was so good at in the early days. Now he's almost a bit ordinary.

Robbie Williams said he thought he was a bit boring too.

Acacia & Alysiah

I now want to see this pair in the final. Too Big For Your Boots mixed with Shut Down. They do seem to be using the same song several times. I guess being in the bottom two for several weeks has used up a lot of their minimal repertoire and, of course, we have heard nearly twice as much from them as anyone else! This was a bit boring too and really did not have any logic in the link which was more of an emergency stop and hill start. All a bit weird and nothing like as good as they have been before. Not as well-synced either. But I'd still prefer them to Anthony or Scarlett in the final. Simon Cowell says they've claimed the right to be there now. Nice.


He sings the Oasis number Don't Look Back In Anger. And that's not a bad idea at all, probably the best song he could have chosen and certainly his best performance so far in this competition. Indeed, it could even save him tonight from what I'd thought would be a certain 4th place elimination. We all like the guy but he really ought to go as Scarlett is more likely to contribute usefully to the charts and British pop scene.

Simon wants to change the rules and put all four through to a 'final'. For a moment I thought we were about to see it happen as he suggested to the panel that they talk about it. Shan would have been very hurt.


Something I don't recognise, maybe called I Don't Know My Own Strength and sounds like a Pink number. She even has a Streisand touch in this number and that's quite a compliment. She has become very competent and has an excellent voice with all her bad habits gone. She gets a standing ovation and so I suspect that she will be through.

Tonight I fear it will be Acacia & Alysiah who fall at the final hurdle on the track to the final. Their only hope will be if they scored very heavily and Anthony scored very poorly last night as, whilst he is likely to pile on a lot more with the Oasis number, I feel that few will be bothered to vote again for the pair.

Yes, it is A & A who go. They did the Blinded By The Light and something else mash. Scarlett does This Is Me which was good too. I can't believe that Anthony got more votes than Scarlett. The decision is down to Ayda and Louis. I had expected them to leave it to the public vote but they both save Scarlett.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

The Top 6 perform (Semi-Final)

They call this a Semi Final but with six still remaining I see it more as just another week except that we're told two will go tonight and another tomorrow! Jeez, someone seems to want to shut this down very rapidly again like last year. This is really not a good idea. As the weeks go by we have better contestants, more experienced and more likely to produce good performances. It seems crazy to cut so many so quickly but there you go.


The young lad from Ireland is first tonight with Run. One day he will really start well. Even though the song may be gentle he needs a stronger start. However, this was lovely once he got into it. Super job of the Snow Patrol classic which Simon got Leona Lewis a win with.


A Shirley Bassey number, This Is My Life. Odd that I don't recognise this. If it hasn't been a hit before then Danny could probably sell a lot of these to the oldies as he does it well. He seems very confident and should definitely get the maximum oldies vote with that excellent performance. I have to hand it to the guy and, whilst he really should go tonight, this performance might save him.


A great song choice with an a capella rendition of I'm Feeling Good or whatever the title of this classic is. He almost gets lost, disappearing in the strange set lighting and I am not sure I like all the vocal antics on a number like this one. I prefer less vocal 'movement' but he is still a very impressive act and transcends the others again. The crowd, as ever, are really noisy and supportive.

I am beginning to wonder just how genuine the humble attitude is now. Is he acting a bit? He must by now realise that he will either win or come second and will have a great contract and lots of support from lots of influential people. He's made it via this show, no doubt about that. Unless he has totally ignored all the chatter he must surely realise that he is as good as everyone keeps telling him he is, myself included.

I would be amazed if he doesn't win as things stand but then I was just as amazed that Shan was sent home so who knows?

Acacia and Alysiah

Blinded By Your Grace mixed with something else, possibly I Win
Well that was an odd mash-up for sure but it was very good other than just stopping too soon. I am always impressed by their remarkably good co-ordination and ability to seem so cool and together no matter how complex the performance seems. They do also seem to really enjoy all this and it is effortless. This is another crowd pleaser. A very smart couple with bags of energy and very good on stage. It will be a touch decision tonight. Normally I'd expect them to go. From past votes it must still be likely but I am not sure they'll deserve to this time.


Livin' On A Prayer
I don't think he has ever had a start or finish slot. I feel he has to be vulnerable this week even before he starts. It seems to me that Danny has taken the lead in the squawking competition. Yes, this was a weak performance, not bad but really very unexceptional and just a bit boring too. Just a copy of the Jon Bon Jovi number. He'll go.


This Is Me
there's a choir in the audience. A good performance again and a very good song for her. Not something I like much buy it suits her and is the big ballad we have only had competition from Danny for so far. She has a nice voice now - so much improved and more so than the others. I can see her being popular but if two have to go then she has to be vulnerable.

Before the vote closes we get the Abba round!! With Benny and Bjorg too which is pretty special, although we don't see them together, oddly. Maybe they don't get on.

During this Alysiah & Acacia absolutely stand out for their performance of Money Money. It's all a bit naff at the end though but that may well do them some good as everyone else was decidedly average.

Anthony actually survives. Oh dear. Danny and, sadly, Brendan leave. I would not have predicted that.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Live Shows: The Top 8 perform

It's Big Band Night, apparently. Not that it made a great deal of difference to the tracks most acts performed.


Can't Take My Eyes Off You
You have to forgive the girl for singing 'off of' I suppose. I might not have done at the start as she was decidedly average and I began to want to look away when she did the attracting Simon thing in a dress that tended to emphasise rather than diminish some of her chunkier parts. But then she giggled and as the song progressed she genuinely seemed to relax and be quite a little star, her voice really soaring across the range, rescuing the whole thing. I actually liked this. She deserves to do well if this is the act that would be on stage for people to pay to see in future.


Say Something
Big Band?? No. But never mind. This track first featured in this type of show with Simon giving it to Alex & Sierra on X Factor USA before it had even been played here in the UK. Since then he has used it a lot and to good effect so it is not surprising that he suggested it to Louis T. Don't believe Tomlinson's rebuttal. Simon will have chosen this one. Brendan produced a nice version of it and he seems to have found a pretty big fan base within the audience, at least. When he gives us those special vocal things that he can do so well it is excellent but otherwise he needs to be careful as he was not at all impressive at the start or end, almost speaking the words when we wanted something stronger.

Nile is particularly complimentary about Brendan and I can see him getting signed whatever happens now. Brendan does refer to being a plumber six months ago but I do have to keep reminding people that this guy also did Eurovision Semis. He does know what he's doing.


Ah, the classic. I wasn't too sure whether Shan isn't pushing this track just a bit further than it was designed to go. What she did was first class - as always - and she really must get through to the final. Please. I so much want to see her there. Pure class.


Beyond The Sea
He moves around well and he is quite an infectious performer. Great character but this could be his last week. It's all OK bit not spectacular. He seems out of breath and it's a bit of an odd finish too. Such a likeable character but coming 7th or 8th is no bad thing.

Acacia & Aliyah

They do something they've put together themselves in the week. OK, so it's not Big band at all but you can't really expect them to do Mack the Knife (although maybe they could have tried now I think about it!)

This is pretty damn brilliant to my mind - quite a smart performance too. A good tract that worked, super performance and you have to admire these girls. They've been in the bottom three twice now so I might expect them to be there again, simply because of how the viewers are distributed age and style-wise. They should still make it through for another week, though.


I did recognise the track but i can't place a title or artist. I like what she tried to do and there was quite a lot of quality performance there but the panel's review was not good. I do wonder whether she will get voters' support in enough numbers for this unusual track and suspect she is likely to go.


He does a track I really do not know at all. Listen? Could the title. It's not that great. He's accurate maybe but this was not a winner's performance this week. In fact, I found him quite disengaged from the band. It seems that his vocal antics and sheer professionalism towards the end of the track may have saved him getting any criticism as the audience simply didn't want to stop applauding and shouting for him. He really does seem to have this sewn up if you judge by the crowd and the panel's remarks.


My Way
It's the ultimate karaoke. He did a good job but it would be OK to see him go now. I suspect he'll survive another week yet because of the poor performance of Bella and Anthony and the uncertainty of who votes for the two young girls. Another likeable old fellow but he's got to go soon. We will, I'm afraid to say, forget him after a few weeks.

Unbelievably, Shan goes home, losing on the public's voting figures to Acacia & Aliyah. Ayda was unable to decide and is probably responsible, as she could have saved her but left it to the voting figures. Simon was clearly very shocked, as, I suspect was everyone. I can only imagine that in the second public vote people just assumed that she would go through as she had been announced first at the earlier vote, giving the impression that she had the most, perhaps. So people switched to vote for others to help them off the bottom of the pile. To see her go out and the likes of Danny and Anthony go through is very frustrating. But it's nothing new in these competitions, I guess. Simon did announce that he was changing the rules. I thought for a moment that he would put both Shan and Bella into the next round but what he meant was that they would both be included in the X Factor Tour. It seems that they would not otherwise have been included so that is a welcome thing indeed. It gives them a salary and lots of exposure for best part of the next year.

Bella was the act with the least votes at the earlier stage and, as expected, had been the first to leave in 8th position.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Live Shows Week 4

We are now watching the Top Ten for 2018 perform - the acts who have now made it in the sense that they should be included in the X Factor Tour next year and where they'll have many more opportunities to build upon their TV screen success. Whilst it will be disappointing for any act to leave now when the final is not far away, I suspect that most acts now recognise and have figured out where they stand in the rankings.


The Greatest Show
All totally natural for this guy, making the remarkable stage show seem effortless. This was actually a very complex performance - all praise due to this this guy.


California Dreaming
Remarkably good yet again. Whilst I found some of his vocal antics a bit OTT for this particular song which I prefer to hear stripped back, he is now the clear winner of this year's series.


I'll Never Love Again
She did well. Lady Gaga's original is not going to be surpassed but Scarlett put in a good effort. She is here now on personality rather than outstanding ability but ought to be safe this week.


Everybody Hurts
An excellent choice and much needed to boost his confidence. I still found his interpretation a little too soft - I need to see a bit more force and he does start to provide this in the second part. This should turn things round for him and Nile makes the great compliment of saying that he would love to record him. I still have to remember that this guy has already been on the huge Eurovision stage, albeit in semis not the final. That must have seemed like a failure at the time but he has already had major support from the industry and so this ought to be pretty safe ground for him and I am surprised that he is not doing better.

Acacia & Aliyah
These two perform really well. they had hardly any rehearsal time but still come out with such a great show and fabulous production as if they had known each other for years not weeks. Great style.


A Million Dreams
Nice job. Well produced and sung but not spectacular. She was a bit more ordinary this week but nonetheless looked and sounded excellent on the big stage. She might be at risk this time.


Maniac from Flashdance
This sounds like it should be a great choice. It's neat but perhaps a bit restrained for how I would have seen this track. The dancers really need to go a bit crazy as that is the whole concept of the track and these two should be capable of interpreting that easily. Extremely competent, though, as always. Great guys.

My Heart Will Go On
Good choice as everyone will be able to sing along. It is almost more pleasant than Celine in paces who always annoyed me with the Goo on bit. all a bit karaoke still and I just don't see him on albums other than for the Christmas Grannies. It's all a bit average but it'll please the oldies.

Eye Of The Tiger
Patched together again with Danny. Anthony spends most of his time in amongst the audience. The song suits him swell. He shows inexperience, though, when bouncing around and loses control over the notes and timing a bit. Overall this was enjoyable karaoke and you tend to root for the guy without really knowing why.

Never Enough
Another song from the Greatest Show On Earth and another fabulous, beautiful, flawless performance from this young lady. This girl simply has to make it. She is superb. Maybe the song was not the best tonight but still she is brilliant and if she doesn't win she'll still win contracts as a Runner-Up this year.

In a major upset in this year's competition, voters put Misunderstood at the bottom of the pile and they're out first in 10th place.

Gio has to sing off against Acacia & Aliyah and the panel send him home to give the new girls another chance. They know Gio already has established a good West End career and this show can only have enhanced that for him.

It is still another week of big surprises. That is slightly worrying. Just when will Scarlett, Danny and Anthony go?

Live Shows Week 3


Competent. She's good but I don't think she has yet found her true style. She can do modern girl pop really well and has a super voice but isn't being presented well.


Creep. Fabulous. A classic track and always a moment. This guy is great and really looking like the winner already. A genuine artist.

United Vibe

Still not good. Maybe one of the mics didn't work. One guy seemed to be kissing his arm at the start and several times afterwards, This was very average and they're on their way out.


Sound Of Silence
Brilliant! Just brilliant. She has to be in the final versus Dalton. That's it as far as I am concerned.

Now there is a serious sound problem with the whole program but no-one seems aware on the set. You would have thought that, for a live programme, feedback would tell someone this is going badly wrong. I can only conclude that, in fact, this was not live at all!


Yet again this guy has trouble but, for a change, it is not his fault! He does a Freddie Mercury number. Pretty good  but nothing to get excited about.


He is also affected by the broadcast sound issue. He sings Where My Demons Hide which is also pretty good and he is more entertaining than Danny.

We hear these tracks without the sound issue in a playback on the second show and voting is not counted until then.


The sound is fixed now and they do Thriller! Very well done, another great performance from this talented pair. They're fixing themselves as a clear 3rd place act in the final.


I Put A Spell On You
An excellent singer this week and she does a good job of this classic track. I have to say, though, that I was wishing I could see Shan do that track as I feel she'd do it more justice rather than simply belt it out.

Acacia & Aliyah

So much older than 14/15. Very professional and an excellent performance again. I have no idea what they sang but, provided that there are enough youngsters voting, they'll do well again.


In My Blood
Not a track I recognise, it is a serious number and very well performed. It will be a tough decision for people tonight.


He does a very odd song and it doesn't work well for me at all. A pity. I suspect he might be in trouble. the sound quality was not good for him either.


Live And Let Die
Crazy but very classy - another OTT performance but you have to admire his courage and sheer talent.

United Vibe are the bottom of the vote and leave.
The panel save Acacia & Aliyah, sending Molly home in another surprising bottom three.