- 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.
27 November, 2014 11:33 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
Last week saw big band bring down Jay James, to the shock of about five people after he was eliminated via deadlock against novelty act Stevi Ritchie. As it was Jay's second bottom two appearance in a row, and as he was saved against the relatively popular Paul Akister the previous week, it's no surprise that he failed to get a bounce back. This week, the remaining seven acts are singing songs by Whitney Houston and Elton John but with the final double elimination looming, who will be still standing (ba dum tish) come the quarter-final next week?
Recap, videos and bad Whitney/Elton puns after the JUMP...
'How Will I Know' by Whitney Houston - 9/10 - Lauren Platt's performance will be even more special this week because she has someone very special joining her on stage. No, they're not moving the celebrity duets a few weeks earlier (plus I don't think that would be physically possible), her younger brother who is a dancer is going to be performing on stage with her. She starts the song off in the Sam Smith style of her arena audition where she performed this exact track but then the song switches into the uptempo style we associate with the original. It's a good move to change the tempo of the song halfway through as it allows her to let her vocals take centre stage in the first half then show that she's also capable of performing more energetic numbers. She moves on stage, I could say dances but let's face it, she strides around a little and moves back and forth, it's not exactly a paso doble (switch over to BBC1 if you want that). Her brother, the tiny dancer (again sorry) does a good job too. This is by far Lauren's most enjoyable performance in quite a number of weeks, good job.
'I Will Always Love You' by Whitney Houston - 7/10 - It'll be a miracle if this turns out to be anything other than an absolute disaster. This song choice is just so strange for Ben, he has a rocky voice so he would have been perfectly suited to an Elton song, giving him Whitney, especially this song is just asking for trouble. In fairness to Ben, this is less of a disaster than I was expecting, his vocals are pretty pitchy, probably the most inconsistent vocal performance he has given but when he hits his stride, his raspy tone actually sounds really cool on the song. Paired with his voice, the song does seem a little karaoke and dated but I much preferred it to last week's performance. I'm still not getting much of a connection between Ben and the lyrics but in fairness, I at least felt slightly more emotion being conveyed than in the last few weeks. I have a feeling Ben will probably win the series and then disappear into the abyss just like previous male winners which is a shame as he has a good voice but I'm not totally sure that he's different enough to make an impact on the charts. Simon tells him he thinks he'll be safe whilst the girls criticize the song choice, I'm not sure if this is a desperate attempt to get rid of Ben or Simon just hasn't listened to previous cases of acts who people thought would be safe landing in the bottom two. Overall, a lot better than I was expecting, I guess there can be miracles (I'll stop soon, I promise).
'I Have Nothing' by Whitney Houston - 6.5/10 - This should really be Andrea's week, powerhouse male singer who loves singing songs by divas, Whitney Houston songs being chosen this week, go figure. In truth, I was actually sort of disappointed by Andrea, vocally, he wasn't anywhere nearly as good as he has been in previous weeks. In fact, I found the song to have quite a few issues this week, namely the runs and the money notes which didn't have that 'wow' moment you usually get when a great singer does a Whitney song. Aside from that, I just felt no passion or conviction from Andrea during the performance, the great thing about Whitney songs is that they're full of emotion and passion and for me, it was just above average karaoke. The key change towards the end, in particular just left me feeling cold. I doubt anybody will have gotten so emotional listening to that performance because to be quite honest, there wasn't a lot of emotion there. Simon gives some very lukewarm praise before telling him he'll be safe. I think Andrea could be in trouble this week, it wasn't great enough to get everyone voting but it wasn't weak enough to get him sympathy votes.
Only The Young
'Something About The Way You Look Tonight' by Elton John - 8/10 - Only The Young on next just to remind us that this week is not just Whitney Houston week. They're singing their room audition song again, I don't mind repeating a performance again if it's from a pre-live stage and it comes relatively late in the competition. I love their stage set-up, the bumper cars look really quirky and really sets the performance up nicely, if I'm being totally honest, the start of the performance is sort of flat but they begin to hit their stride and their harmonies are sounding the best that they have in the live shows in my opinion. I love their dynamic as a group, individually they sound great, the boys are a little off in the final harmonies but I like the performance although the silly string at the end does cheapen the act a little and makes it look like they're just having a muckaround. If I had to criticize one thing about the group, I feel like they're being made too cheesy, I have no doubt that if they were given half a chance, they could pull off a serious song brilliantly but it's all cheesy grins and pop tracks. Simon tells them they're going to be safe tonight (you do realize they can't all be safe tonight Simon, yeah?). Yeah, I'm fully expecting them to be one of the casualties of the weekend which is a shame as I much prefer them to Stereo Kicks.
'I'm Every Woman' by Whitney Houston and Chaka Khan - 10/10 - I always forget that this song is sung by Whitney Houston as well as by Chaka Khan. It's actually quite a brave choice giving her a song by two iconic vocalists because Fleur, by her own admission, doesn't have the hugest vocal range. She, like Lauren is making her performance a family affair after Brian devises a 'female empowerment' style performance where Fleur will be joined by her mother, her sister, and some of her female cousins and friends. Fleur is delighted to be doing this song as it's the first song she ever sang with her vocal coach and she goes to visit said vocal coach where they reminisce about how Fleur has come. In fairness to Fleur, for someone who has been criticized for a lack of range, the opening segment where she sings fairly stripped back sounds great, I particularly love her falsetto vocals. This is a fantastic performance, I really wasn't expecting much from this song if I'm being honest but she takes it to another dimension with her performance. Her vocals sound the best they have in weeks and she just seems like such a natural on stage, I still get the Alexandra vibe from her when she sings in her lower range. Fleur has smashed it tonight, the best performance of the night by a country mile and she's the first so far tonight to properly engage the audience and put on a proper performance. Cheryl and Mel love the performance and Fleur is delighted to have been given the chance to perform alongside her family. On an off topic note, how scarily alike do Fleur and her sister not look? I have to ahem...salute Fleur for delivering the best performance of the night so far. Great job, I do genuinely think she stands a strong chance of winning now, she's like the Luke Friend of this series, I didn't expect her to get very far at all but she has exceeded my expectations vastly purely due to her consistency.
'I'm Still Standing' by Elton John - 1/10 - Stevi Ritchie singing I'm Still Standing? I'd never have guessed it! It's not like the novelty act or one of the lesser vocalists sings this song every year during Elton week or anything. Before the performance, Simon indicates that he had no hand in the production of this performance, it was all down to Stevi and Brian Friedman. Sounds a bit like he's trying to cut his ties before the inevitably dreadful occurs. My 1 point is literally because Stevi seems like a nice guy, there's absolutely nothing else positive I can think of. In fairness, it's unique, I doubt when he was writing this song Elton John ever imagined some bloke would perform this song dressed up as a pharaoh with Egyptian dancers fanning him and rubbing oil on his stomach. Then again, I doubt anybody sane would ever have devised something like that. The performance isn't just bizarre, it's very distracting, it creates a stage show out of the performance and almost seems like they're mocking Stevi. The vocals aren't as bad as some of the previous performances but they're still abysmal by any standard. He's a nice guy but I still stand by the drunk uncle at a wedding analogy. Hopefully this will be the last song, Stevi sings. Also, the dance segment with the jumping over fire and forwards roll would be impressive if this was Britain's Got Talent and Stevi was a dog but as you might have noticed, he's not.
'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me' by Elton John - 8.5/10 - The boys and Louis have been on a mission to get everyone to remember their names this week so in order to help people identify them, they have came up with nicknames for each other with Reece being Northern Kick and James being Diva Kick amongst others. They should have just called James Stereo Kick because he basically is the band. I must say, this is such an original and unique idea, giving the guys individual nicknames, I bet Mel B wishes her band had thought of that... This is a much better performance from the guys, unlike last week they actually feel like a band although I do hate the way they're performing in a line as it just automatically makes me think of a choir. Vocally, I think they have all improved although James is still the best singer as a mile and there's still a few who sound poor on their own. If they can just work on being able to deliver an upbeat performance without it seeming messy and awkward, they stand a good chance of doing quite well!
1. Fleur East
2. Lauren Platt
3. Stereo Kicks
4. Only The Young
5. Ben Haenow
6. Andrea Faustini
7. Stevi Ritchie
Eliminated (Saturday Night):
Only The Young
Only The Young
Eliminated (automatically on Saturday night):
Only The Young
I'm sad to see these guys going but I must admit I'm not shocked to see them leave, although I expected Stevi to be eliminated in the flash vote rather than theme. Sadly, as good as they were, I think they were portrayed as being too cheesy and corny and only appealed to a small demographic.
Andrea Faustini is up first with his rendition of the Sam Brown song 'Stop', he has an undeniably great voice and he sounds brilliant on this song. Him landing in the bottom two isn't much of a shock for me but it's obvious that they won't send him home at Stevi, I don't think even The X Factor would try to pull that sort of stint. Great vocals.
Stevi Ritchie is singing 'This Is The Moment, it's better than his previous performances, in a similar vein to his cover of Phantom of The Opera a few weeks ago but this isn't Andrew Lloyd Webber's search for a musical theatre star and he has been consistently one of the weakest vocalists in the competition so it's time he left. Nice guy but not anywhere near as talented as the remaining acts.
Mel B obviously sends Stevi Ritchie home and Simon obviously sends Andrea Faustini home. Cheryl says that she's basing it on the sing-off and the fact that she saved this act previously and sends Stevi Ritchie home. Louis echoes the comments of the girls and says that he always preferred Andrea from Day One so sends Stevi Ritchie.