- Don't Stop Believing
- Eurovision Song Contest
- Idol Series
- Must Be The Music
- The Voice Series
- X Factor Series
- MDS Sound of 2012
- Theme Weeks
I'm currently looking for some new writers in order to expand the blog given that I can't post the amount of things I'd like to. So if you are interested in writing about anything related to music (news, TV shows, album reviews, introducing artists) just drop me an email to email@example.com and we can discuss some of your ideas.
14 October, 2014 8:23 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
Last week, the final 12 were revealed as each judge picked their final 3 and tonight all twelve will perform for your votes for the first time. However, as well as the twelve already chosen, there are four more acts competing as each judge has been asked to choose a wildcard. More on that later. With sixteen acts competing and two leaving by the end of the first weekend, who will fall foul of number ones?
Recap, videos and wildcard reveal after the jump...
In a twist to the previous series, the wildcards will not be chosen by the mentors of their respective categories with each judge picking another mentor's wildcard act.
Louis is given the task of choosing the Girls wildcard for Cheryl and takes no hesitation in popping around to Newcastle to surprise fishmonger Lola Saunders by revealing that she's through to the live shows.
Cheryl chooses the wildcard for the Overs category, picking Stevi Richie. Really? She could have picked Helen Fulthorpe who had serious talent or even someone like Janet Grogan who was eliminated at bootcamp but chose a joke act when we already have Blonde Electra?
The wildcard for the Boys category is picked by Simon. It's not exactly difficult to know who he will pick saying as two of them were basically invisible in the edit until they had to be shown, the wildcard is of course Jack Walton.
Mel B, finally is put in charge of the Groups wildcard and bizarrely decides to bring back a bootcamp act, fairly forgettable boyband Overload are through. What this will mean for the manufactured boyband remains to be seen, perhaps we could have another Union J/District 3 moment where they basically alternate bottom two appearances before facing each other?
'Ghost' by Ella Henderson - 7/10 - Opening the show is a big deal never mind opening the first show of the series. Paul has been struggling to show his personality in his performances so far so with an upbeat song this week, the pressure is on for him to deliver a good performance. Vocally, he sounds pretty good on this although I don't think it's the best he has sounded, performance wise it's alright, he doesn't really move on stage and the song doesn't really have a massive moment until towards the end when the music is scaled down and his vocals are allowed to soar. It'll be enough to get him through to next week but I don't think he has discovered how to inject his personality into the song yet.
'Stay With Me' by Sam Smith - 6/10 - Lola mentions how she felt when Cheryl initially sent her home in the Judge's Houses stage before Louis brought her back as a wildcard. She says she was devastated but it has made her all the more determined to give the competition everything. To be harsh, I don't think this performance makes Cheryl's decision to let her go unjustified. Vocally, she's good but quite shouty, particularly towards the end of the song but moreso, I feel absolutely no connection from her when she sings. I don't think she emotes well and I suspect this is why Cheryl sent her home initially, again like Paul she's certainly going to be safe tonight but I think she needs to work on her connection.
'I Kissed A Girl' by Katy Perry - 3/10 - Overload Generation, previously known as Overload were also brought back as a wildcard after Mel B decided to give them a second chance, having being originally eliminated in the six chair challenge at bootcamp. This has got to be the weirdest wildcard decision yet, the group are absolutely abysmal. Vocally, it's shaky from the very beginning, their harmonies are actually alright but the individual vocals are horrific, they also look like a cheap version of One Direction. The middle one is identical to Zayn pretty much and they even have their own Harry Styles lookalike. They seem to be trying to copy some of 1D's stage mannerisms but it just comes off like an amateur school talent show performance. The whole thing's a bit of a mess, also the blond one second from the left is really annoying. Simon tells them one boyband in the market are like the Ferraris whereas they're more like Volkswagen Beetles. Spot on.
'Changing' by Sigma feat. Paloma Faith - 5.5/10 - Jay feels thankful to be here after giving a disastrous performance at Judge's Houses but getting a second chance from Simon. This song choice is so weird for him and the decision to slow it down to a depressing, gloomy dirge then suddenly speed it back up is bizarre. This performance doesn't work at all, his vocals are very nasally at the beginning then he has a few pitch issues as it speeds up. Then it slows back down again and it's back to the nasally vocals. The change in tempo makes it messy and he basically screams the last 30 seconds or so of the song. I loved Jay's first audition but he still hasn't recaptured that magic, for me, he really needs to sort out his bad habits (namely his habit of singing through his nose and his oversinging particularly towards the end of songs), he has shown that he can be a good vocalist but this performance wasn't enjoyable for me.
'Everything I Own' by Bread - 6/10 - Steph is another very nervous contestant, despite her fame on BGT, she has found it quite tough in the competition so far and again, she's feeling skeptical about this live performance. A very obscure song choice this one, I actually love the way she delivers the song and think her voice sounds quite sweet on it but it's fairly obvious that this is an attempt by the producers to get rid of her. Everything from the messy stage set-up to the backing singers drowning her out at times to make her voice sound weaker than it is screams 'hatchet job'. I actually love her tone and the reggae flavour she brings to her performances but this song was clearly given to her with the hope that she wouldn't get many votes. The comments are mixed, Simon didn't like it whereas Mel thought she did a great job, and Louis (pointless) pitches in calling her vocals 'awful'. No Louis, that's how most would describe your boyband, Steph was quite good. Her nerves definitely kicked in a little and vocally, it was shaky but I'll be gutted if Steph goes out tonight as I don't think she's getting the chance to shine.
'Only Girl In The World' by Rihanna - 7.5/10 - Jack, the wildcard for the Boys was initially rejected by Mel B after a sort of shaky Judge's Houses performance but Simon decided to bring him back as the fourth act in the Boys category. You literally couldn't get any more generic WGWG a choice for his first performance but in fairness to Jack, I can't really fault his vocals at all. I like the ambiance he creates with the song even though I'm a little bit bored of slow guitar covers of upbeat pop songs, it's definitely not the best he has delivered in the competition but it's a solid first performance and I can see Jack doing pretty well in this competition. He's likeable, he has a decent voice and he has a direction which nobody else is really competiting with him for. Would love to see him doing something by Bastille in the future as I think it would be a good fit for his voice.
'Toxic' by Britney Spears - 8/10 - Chloe is so obviously the hate figure for this series, it's not even funny. I like Chloe's tone a lot, I did find her a little one note in Judge's Houses but this is really good actually, it's good to hear her singing a modern song with a blues/jazz flavour. Vocally, she's in a league of her own so far tonight, she's the only one who I think has managed to balance vocals and performance and deliver both in equal measure. The stage set up is a little bit Marilyn Monroe wannabe but she certainly has talent and I would be sad to see her go in the first few weeks when there are much weaker acts who don't have as distinctive a voice as Chloe does.
'Roar' by Katy Perry - 5.5/10 - Stereo Kicks strike me as the Plan A in their category, they've had gleaming edits so far and Simon obviously sees dollar signs. Which is odd as I don't know how well an eight piece boyband will sell, it's different for sure but I reckon the reason we don't have so many large bands is because it just doesn't really work. This performance is kind of dull, don't get me wrong, they're head and shoulders above Overload Generation but I kind of feel like this could have came from any group. James Graham is by far the best thing about the band, he really should have been made solo as I personally think he's better than one of the lads in the Boys category. There's unfortunately quite a lot of weak links in the group and this is really clear during the harmonies, which are unfortunately, not as strong as they were previously. Stage wise, it also looks quite messy with eight of them on stage. There's definitely potential with this band but I'm not really getting much identity with them and I honestly think eight is too many in a band.
'Livin La Vida Loca' by Ricky Martin - 2/10 - Wow, I actually thought Overload being brought back was the dumbest wildcard decision but congratulations Cheryl, you get the gold medal! Of all the Overs they could have brought back (Helen Fulthorpe, Raign, Janet Grogan), they bring back the joke act when we already have Blonde Electra. Not to mention, Stevi's personality isn't zany enough to fill the novelty act slot, he's simply a nice enough guy with a poor voice. Giving him a song that I associate with Wagner doesn't help things as it makes him seem like a poor man's Wagner (and that's saying something). This is just atrocious, the vocals are poor, the dancing is cringeworthy and the whole thing just feels like watching your drunk uncle making a show of himself at a wedding. Sadly, he'll probably stay a few weeks because 'he's well entertaining'.
'Happy' by Pharrell Williams - 8.5/10 - Lauren is easily my favourite in her category, she has a great voice with a fantastic tone and I have a feeling she will be going far in the competition. This arrangement of the song is great, I think Foxes did it originally. She has a great voice and she really captivates me with the performance, usually I'm not a fan of the whole slowing down uptempo songs but I've heard the original Happy so much that it's refreshing to hear it slowed down. The fact that it's arranged with the backing of 'Teardrop' by Massive Attack is all the better, I love this performance, she's fantastic. Best so far.
'Kids In America' by Kim Wilde - 7/10 - Blonde Electra are this year's novelty act although for once, we have a novelty act who can actually sing pretty well. The girls have shown that they have decent vocals, it's just their eccentric personalities that make them a bit of a joke act. This is everything you would expect from the sisters, loads of bright staging, dancers and bizarre multi-coloured elephants in the background. The girls scream 'We love Brian' as he choreographs their performance. Vocally, this is quite pleasant, they definitely get everyone up and moving and put a smile on my face but it's obvious they will be in the bottom three as female novelty acts don't tend to be as accepted as their male counterparts. Furthermore, this song is pretty dire, they did their best with it but it's hard to love a performance when you dislike the original song a lot.
'Bridge Over Troubled Water' by Simon and Garfunkel - 6/10 - Strange song choice for a rocker, this song is such a soft and mellow song and shouldn't be sung by someone with a raspy voice. Lo and behold, the performance comes across as quite boring. Ben has a great voice and he's definitely likeable but this is far from a brilliant start to be honest. It was okay, it was better than a great deal of the performances tonight but I have heard him sing much better. The performance felt very boring and his voice was simply too raspy for the song, it didn't sound right on a song that is supposed to be sung softly. Unfortunately, I wasn't a massive fan of this performance, I agree with Mel B, it was kind of dull. That said, Ben will get through to next week with ease and I expect to see him here for a long time to come.
'She's The One' by Robbie Williams - 5/10 - This is such a boring song choice for Jake. It's sung nearly every year by a male contestant and it's almost always a dull as dishwater performance. His voice sounds very thin on this song, it's not particularly outstanding. The problem with Jake is that sticking him in a category with two outstanding singers (Andrea and Paul) only really serves to expose how average his voice is. Giving him dull tracks like these where the vocals are the focus is a mistake because he doesn't have a strong enough voice to do it justice. As Simon points out, his voice sounds very plain on the song and it needed a little more grit, or even just a little more connection with the emotion of the song. Cheryl highlights her concerns that Jake's voice isn't strong as his look, he does strike me as the type of act to attract teenage girl voters but with the likes of Audio Kicks competing for a similar fanbase, I'm not sure how long that will last.
'All About That Bass' by Meghan Trainor - 9/10 - Fleur says that she has had a different type of journey to most of the contestants as she didn't really have a moment until the very last minute, Judge's Houses. Simon was blown away by her at Judge's Houses and put her through to the live shows, mainly off the back of that performance. Ironically, she's performing the song that knocked Bang Bang, her Judge's Houses song, off the top spot. Fleur is an incredible performer, she's probably my favourite performer in the top 16, she has such brilliant stage presence and she's moving around on stage very comfortably. It does feel a bit strange hearing someone who is of an athletic build singing about curvy women but I've heard weirder song choices over the years. Fleur nails this, I actually prefer her performance of it to the original, she has this rasp to her voice which just seals the deal for me. Fleur is fantastic, I really hope she gets good song choices as she has an edge and a performance ability which sets her apart from most of the other acts.
Only The Young
'Jailhouse Rock/Twist 'N' Shout' by Elvis Presley/The Beatles - 8/10 - This isn't a brilliant song choice for these guys, it does strike me as asking for a cheesefest but I'm pleasantly surprised by how good the performance actually is. Louis needs to show their performance to the other groups to show how to do great harmonies. What I like about this group is that each of them can sing, my personal favourite is the blonde girl, I love the inflections in her voice and think her tone is great. They are one of the few acts who can work the stage and they're probably the most comfortable group on stage tonight. I hope these guys will be there for a long time to come as they're the most talented in their category by a country mile.
'The Earth Song' by Michael Jackson - 9.5/10 - Pug loving Italian Andrea is one of the favourites going into the lives due to his massive voice and likeable personality. This song sounds like it's going to be dreadful but, as someone who hasn't really rated Andrea so far, I must admit that this is incredible. His voice sounds incredible on this song, he starts it off really softly but his soulful tone makes it sound brilliant and as soon as he goes into those high notes, his upper register kicks in and just sounds fantastic. The fact that he doesn't descend into oversinging the song is a pleasant surprise, this is easily the best vocal performance of the night and Andrea is probably the best male vocalist the show has had in years, in fact he has the potential to be the strongest solo male the show has ever had if he keeps the standard up.
1. Andrea Faustini
2. Fleur East
3. Lauren Platt
4. Only The Young
5. Chloe Jasmine
6. Jack Walton
7. Paul Akister
8. Blonde Electra
9. Ben Haenow
10. Stephanie Nala
11. Lola Saunders
12. Jay James
13. Stereo Kicks
14. Jake Quickenden
15. Overload Generation
16. Stevi Ritchie
Bottom Three Prediction
Stephanie Nala (automatically)
Overload Generation (by judges)
I called this bottom three, I wasn't however expecting Blonde Electra to have received the fewest votes. I didn't think they would do well but I did think they would get more votes than Stephanie who seemed like the producer's main choice to go this week. It's a shame really as Blonde Electra could sing and were more fun than the other novelty act, Stevi but they were always going to go early.
Up first in the sing off are Overload Generation. They sing 'A Thousand Years' by Christina Perri and it's absolutely dreadful. This is even worse than their first performance, every single note they hit sounds like the wrong note and their harmonies fall apart. This is going to go down as one of the worst sing-off performances ever surely? Steph could literally shit on the stage now and she would deserve to be saved.
Stephanie Nala is up next, she takes on 'Have You Ever' by Brandy, it's not brilliant to be honest, I find the song a little sappy and although it starts off pretty well, her nerves kick in towards the end causing her to go off key. Vocally, it's shaky but I think she's really nervous, there's no denying that she has about 100x the potential that the boyband have and I'll be annoyed if they eliminate her over the group after 'that' sing-off.
Simon sends Overload Generation home telling them they were 'shockingly bad' and praising Stephanie for delivering a better sing-off performance, although let's face it that wouldn't have been hard. Cheryl obviously backs her own act and sends Overload Generation home. Mel B is next and she says she's backing the act she had the belief in to give a wildcard to, sending home Stephanie Nala. Did she actually listen to that sing-off? They were awful! Louis is last and unsurprisingly he backs his own act, but tells Stephanie Nala that she was amazing. So it's deadlock in the very first week!
Eliminated (via deadlock):
I'm pleasantly surprised to see the boyband receiving less votes than the far superior Steph. I guess aiming for the teen girl vote doesn't always work. Let's be honest, they're no real loss, both of the performances they gave in the live shows were awful.
This entry was posted on 8:23 PM, and is filed under Andrea Faustini, Ben Haenow, Blonde Electra, Chloe Jasmine, Fleur, Jack Walton, Jake Quick, Jay James, Lauren Platt, Lola, OTY, Overload, Paul Akister, Stephanie Nala, Stereo Kicks, Stevi, TV, X Factor UK, XF Series . Follow any responses to this post through RSS. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.