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23 November, 2014 2:29 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
Last week saw another 'shock exit' after Paul Akister was eliminated via deadlock having found himself in the sing-off against Jay James. With the public still reeling from his departure, who will be able to lead the pack as they take on big band songs?
Recap and videos after the JUMP...
'Summertime' by Ella Fitzgerald - 8/10 - Andrea is taking on a big band classic, this is a song previously performed by X Factor star Leona Lewis on the show. It was one of her best performances so he's hoping to live up to her standards. In fairness, vocally I really enjoy this performance, he sings it brilliantly and every note he hits, every run he does and every vocal trick is executed with perfection. If I had to criticize him slightly, I do get where Simon is coming from with the dull comments, it's not the most exciting song in the world and performance wise, he definitely has a long way to go but vocally, a magnificent performance once again.
'Smile' by Nat King Cole - 7.5/10 - Lauren has sort of stalled the last few weeks, giving solid but not brilliant performances and I'm afraid this is a similar story. Vocally, she sounds the best she has probably to date but I have to agree with Simon once again, it's such a dull choice. That's not really Lauren's fault in fairness but I think if she had delivered the song with a bit more conviction and a bit more expression, I would have been able to connect with the performance better. Lauren needs an outstanding performance soon or she could find herself in the bottom two in the next few weeks. I think she'll be fine this week.
'Empire State of Mind/New York New York' by Alicia Keys/Frank Sinatra - 3/10 - Jay is feeling lucky to still be here after being saved in deadlock against Paul last week. This is the weirdest mash-up ever, he starts it with a strange big band cover of the Alicia Keys track then switches into the Sinatra hit with a bizarre countdown to New Year's. The whole thing is like some sort of weird cabaret performance, he just sounds like he's trying to sound exactly like Frank Sinatra and vocally, it's pretty dodgy, the girl dancing in the giant cocktail glass is also a strange touch. To be fair to Jay, he actually showed some form of showmanship today but overall, it was just another really lackluster performance.
'Mack The Knife' by Bobby Darin - 7/10 - I think I hate this song as much as Simon loves it, it's such a cringeworthy and overused song. The individual vocals have been well polished up and most of them actually sound pretty good with just a handful being slightly pitchy. However, let's place the emphasis on the word individual because we don't actually hear a single harmony until the very end when they finally harmonize. As a group, you need to come across like a group so basically performing like eight soloists for three quarters of the song is a bit of a weird decision. Charlie is actually quickly becoming a standout singer within the group. I like these guys, they have shown that they can sing but not harmonizing until the end was a bad decision and I agree with Mel B, we still don't know them individually at all.
'Cry Me A River' by Julie London - 6/10 - Ben isn't made for big band week but in fairness to him, it is quite nice to hear him singing the track with his raspy tone. That said, the one thing that lets him down big time is once again, performance. It's almost like he's dead behind the eyes, Ben doesn't connect with the song at all, there's no enthusiasm, no showmanship and no presence. I just found it really forgettable and lackluster, vocally he has a nice voice but you have to take into account that this song is supposed to be a love song and Ben delivered zero emotion. Definitely his weakest performance I'm afraid.
Only The Young
'I Wanna Be Like You' from The Jungle Book - 8/10 - Great song choice for these guys, everyone knows and loves this Jungle Book song and I really love the whole vibe of the performance. There's no denying that these four know how to work a crowd and I think their dancing and stage presence tonight is outstanding. What holds them back slightly for me is the fact that the lead vocalist tonight sounds very shouty, particularly towards the end. However, the harmonies bar the last one which was way off, are actually really good and as I said, these four have such natural stage presence and chemistry with one another. Great performance.
'She Bangs/Mambo Number Five' by Ricky Martin/Lou Bega - 2/10 - Stevi is horrendous, this is a mess and he's getting no better. The joke got old after the first week, giving him songs Wagner previously sang doesn't help things and as much as he's a nice guy, it's about time he left, Paul and Lola were both much better singers than Stevi and it's when genuinely talent goes that you know the joke act has to bite the dust.
'Bang Bang' by Jessie J feat. Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj - 8.5/10 - Fleur is reprising her Judge's Houses song with a twist, a big band twist. Let's be honest, the standard tonight has been mediocre to say the least so this is like a different dimension to the rest of the show. I wouldn't even call it Fleur's best performance, vocally she strains a little at times but for her to not just perform to the standard she does but to take a risk by turning a modern song into a big band track shows why she's one of the frontrunners in the competition. I get a little bit of an Alexandra vibe from her voice at times although she doesn't have the same range as Alex, I just loved the swing flavour she gave the song and surprisingly, the rap was my favourite part of the song, her timing was impeccable. Fleur's the act I feel is most likely going to succeed in the charts regardless of where she finishes but for saving the night from being a total disaster, she deserves to be safe tonight.
1. Fleur East
2. Andrea Faustini
3. Only The Young
4. Lauren Platt
5. Stereo Kicks
6. Ben Haenow
7. Jay James
8. Stevi Ritchie
The awkward moment when Fleur and Lauren harmonize better than the two girls in Only The Young or Stereo Kicks, whoops.
As expected, Simon's two acts are here after poor performances last night. Jay sings first, taking on Keane's 'Somewhere Only We Know', really lackluster performance, in fairness he actually sings with some passion but vocally this is really woeful, he's off for pretty much the entire performance. I don't think he showed his best hand with the song.
Stevi Ritchie isn't going to make Andrea scared with his rendition of 'Somebody To Love' by Queen, it's pretty awful really although he actually sounds better than he did last night. All the same, he's such a poor singer and I really don't think it would be fair to send him through even if Jay was equally terrible.
Simon sends Stevi home, Louis does the same backing Jay and sending Stevi home. Mel B surprisingly backs the novelty act saying that Jay James has went downhill in the last few weeks and Cheryl sides with her, sending Jay James home and sending it to deadlock!