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25 November, 2013 12:07 AM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
Sam Callahan was finally eliminated last week after weeks of remaining in the competition despite very underwhelming vocal performances. With Luke Friend landing in the bottom two, just three of the remaining six are yet to face the sing-off. This week the show is celebrating its' tenth anniversary with the acts performing songs by former X Factor contestants as well as the most memorable performances. So expect Leona, Alexandra and of course Wagner (I live in hope)!
Recap and videos after the JUMP...
'The Climb' by Miley Cyrus/Joe McElderry (Series 6) - 6.5/10 - Wow, this is a very dull song choice, another ballad, really? Nicholas turns seventeen this weekend meaning that hopefully, the judges will stop referring to him as being 'just saxteen', I hope. He was mentored by Series 6 winner Joe McElderry as he's singing his winner's single, a cover of Miley Cyrus' 'The Climb'. It's a nice song choice but it's hardly going to win any prizes for being an outstanding or memorable song choice now is it? It's a nice song but it's done to death on these talent shows and sadly Nicholas delivers it just as anyone else is. There's no denying that the kid has talent but Louis is doing him no favours with these dull songs. Furthermore, the vocals are the weakest they have been in a while to be honest, he goes shouty towards the end and seems to lose timing with the song. It's not a disaster by any means but it's not note perfect like we're used to. A safe song choice but a very pedestrian performance, I don't think Nicholas has anything to worry about but I think he would go the same way as Leon Jackson if he were to win unless Louis can show a different side to him soon.
'Hallelujah' by Leonard Cohen/Alexandra Burke (Series 5) - 7.5/10 - Hannah is a great vocalist, there is no denying that but she has some bad habits. Her anunciation can be quite poor because of her rich soul tone, meaning that sometimes she mumbles and then ends up shouting on the higher notes. However, she was delighted to be mentored by Series 5 winner Alexandra Burke this week as, like Nicholas she is taking on her guest mentor's song, this time Alex's winner's song which I believe until James Arthur came along was the most successful X Factor single of all time. Hannah does a good job of it, this is the best she has sung in a few weeks, vocally it's pretty good although she does begin to shout towards the end. However, emotionally this is easily the most she has connected to a song so far. I really believed that she was singing the song from her heart and she had conviction in what she was singing. The shoutiness detracted slightly but it was a good performance overall, though I sadly doubt she will survive as she won't have the bounce back from the sing-off that probably helped her last week.
'What Makes You Beautiful' by One Direction (Series 7) - 9.5/10 - Luke was so disappointed to be in the sing-off last week. He had put so much effort into his song so to be singing for survival was really gutting, however he says that he just poured everything into his sing-off song, which is probably why it was so strong and passionate. This week he is doing a song by One Direction, the most successful act to come from X Factor. Predictably, the boys were too busy to mentor him so they brought in Series 2 winner Shayne Ward instead who was the first (and only) Louis Walsh mentored act to win the series, co-incidentally the last time that Louis mentored the Under 25's, way back in 2005. Shayne tells Luke to make sure and put his own spin on the song but to deliver it with passion and not to worry about the sing-off now as that has happened and all he has to concentrate on now is singing his heart out. He does a great job of the song, the arrangement is blatently taken from the 1975's cover of the song but hey, they do this every year so we won't pass comment on that. What I will pass comment on is the fact that this performance is brilliant, unique, fresh, different and vibrant. Luke's tone is wonderful and this is by far the best performance of the night so far. Luke HAS to make the final, he's easily the most original artist left.
'Don't Let Go' by En Vogue/Little Mix (Series 8) - 5.5/10 - Rough Copy are finally going back to their urban roots with an R & B song, taking on an En Vogue classic that Little Mix rocked in Series 8. It was the defining moment of the series for Little Mix who topped the votes when they sang it so the guys hope they can do the same. Gary arranges for them to meet the Series 8 winners who share their tips with them, telling them to ensure their harmonies are tight. It's a shame Little Mix didn't just do the performance for them because this isn't a pitch on the girlband's cover of the song. The harmonies are really off, the backing track sounds like it's too loud at times which is perhaps why they sound so totally off, especially when they try to harmonize. The solo parts aren't a lot better to be perfectly honest, there are parts of the song where they sound good then other parts where they really don't. Rough Copy could be in danger after that, the judges seemed to love it but when have you known Louis Walsh to criticize a boyband?
'Impossible' by Shontelle/James Arthur (Series 9) - 5/10 - Tamera had a bit of a nightmare last week when she forget her lyrics during the performance and was convinced that she was headed home. However, the public took pity on her and voted for her, meaning that she avoided the sing-off. The judges have told her that she has star potential but that she is yet to have a moment and she is hoping that taking on last series' winner's song will give her that moment. It certainly gives her a moment but not quite the moment she had in mind. On paper this should be fantastic,. sadly the reality is a little different. First off, as Gary subsequently says, the song appears to be in too low a key meaning she doesn't utilize her full range. More frustratingly, she totally forgets her words again and it stuffs up her timing for the song meaning there are quite a few painful moments during the song. She does her best and vocally she isn't bad but it's so obvious that she is singing the song thinking 'What the hell have I done?'. Shockingly, I think she might be safe just because of how badly she messed up again, it's frustrating as she is, as the judges say a potential superstar but she won't be successful if she can't overcome nerves.
'Bleeding Love' by Leona Lewis (Series 3) - 9/10 - Sam is the clear frontrunner in the competition, she has been so good every week that it almost seems too obvious if she were to win. She has a good personality, humble and down to earth but still has enough personality to allow the public to connect to her and she represents the everyday woman, works but also has a family. She's singing a modern song this week, it's Leona Lewis, the most successful winner's breakout single 'Bleeding Love' which was her first release after her winner's single. She, like Leona can sing pretty much everything in her sleep but it's important that she doesn't just do the Leona Lewis version as Leona herself advises in her mentoring session with Sam. As a result, Sam decides to change the song a little bit and makes tweaks, some of which really work, the power notes followed by the soft ending are great, and other changes which I'm not so keen on, she inserts a key change which isn't totally necessary at all into the song. However, there's no denying her talent and this is another great performance.
1. Luke Friend
1. Luke Friend
2. Sam Bailey
3. Hannah Barrett
4. Nicholas McDonald
5. Rough Copy
6. Tamera Foster
3. Hannah Barrett
4. Nicholas McDonald
5. Rough Copy
6. Tamera Foster
Bottom Two Prediction:
As predicted, Tamera receives another reprieve from her fans who obviously were spurred to vote for her even more after she forgot her lyrics again. Hannah shouldn't be here but she's clearly not connecting with the public whilst Rough Copy are justifiably here as they weren't great last night.
Hannah Barrett - 'I'd Rather Go Blind' by Etta James - Hannah is really good, she has a great voice and finally I feel like she's learning about singing the song rather than shouting it as this is by far the best performance she has given in the competition. She really connects to the emotion of the song as she always does but for once, I feel like her vocals are spot on, she gets the anunciation right. If she heads home, which I expect she will, at least she went out on a high.
Rough Copy - 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out' by Oasis - The boys sang this way better at bootcamp when there was just two of them, that said, this is the best they have sounded vocally since Week 5. They actually harmonize pretty well although there are still some flat harmonies there. Their solo voices need a lot of work but they don't do a bad job. Hannah sang better but this is Rough Copy's first time in the sing-off, Hannah's third.
Dermot begins with Nicole who goes on for ages, says some rubbish then sends Rough Copy home. Gary praises the boys for their performance, is shocked that they're here and sends Hannah home. Sharon says that both acts were great in the sing-off but she sends Hannah home as it's her third time here. Louis also speaks rubbish, says something about neither act forgetting their words, in a clear attempt at shading Tamera, says he doesn't want to send anyone home but sends Hannah home anyway.