Last week saw Jack Walton and Lola Saunders leave us after an automatic elimination on Saturday night and a tense deadlock situation against Stereo Kicks respectively. This leaves Cheryl with just one act and means that almost half of the remaining acts are from Simon's category. Tonight the acts are singing songs by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson and one of the biggest bands of all time, Queen. They won't want to be 'bad' as they all know that 'another one bites the dust' on Sunday night. (Disclaimer: No puns were hurt in the making of this recap, just severely overused).

Recap and videos after the JUMP...

Paul Akister

'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen - 7/10 - Paul is a strange one, last week was in my opinion his best performance to date by a country mile but for some reason, the feedback was weird. Simon sort of tore him apart for daring to complain about his song choice and it all felt like a desperate mission to get him out by the producers. However, he managed to come through it and this week he's taking on a massive Queen song. Yeah, this song, combined with having the death slot for the second time in just five weeks indicates that they're keen to get rid of Paul. Unfortunately, although vocally he smashes it as always, the performance really lets him down. Last week he seemed to have started to learn how to work the stage but this week, I'm not feeling it. I just felt like it could have been anyone up there doing that, he didn't insert any personality or individuality into it and I sort of lost interest halfway through.

Jay James

'The Show Must Go On' by Queen - 5/10 - Jay has had a sore throat this week and is nervous about performing this song as his voice still isn't great. He starts off backstage singing into a mirror on a dressing table, before walking onto the stage during the song. This song really needs to be nailed or else it ends up lacking substance. Unfortunately, Jay doesn't nail it, his throat problems show and there's just no passion in the performance, he can't hit any of the big notes and instead sings them in falsetto which just doesn't work. The song needed a bit more oomph or power, his problems with his voice shone through very clearly when it came into the chorus in particular and I'm afraid it was a rather poor performance, I actually enjoyed it more than last week's as he at least stayed true to the original song but I will be shocked if Jay escapes the bottom this week.

Lauren Platt

'I'll Be There' by The Jackson Five - 7.5/10 - Just like Jay, Lauren has had throat problems this week, suffering from tonsillitis. Given the fact that she hasn't been well, giving her this song is a risk on Cheryl's part but for the most part, it pays off. She definitely captures the emotion of the song, in fact I would go as far as to say that this is the most she has connected with the song in the live shows so far. Vocally, it is good considering her vocal issues although her voice cracks a bit when she does some of the high notes and you can definitely tell that she's not up to the usual standard we expect of her this week. That said, I much preferred it to her performance last week and I think Lauren will be fine tonight, I do think she needs to have an outstanding moment however. 

Only The Young

'Blame It On The Boogie' by The Jackson Five - 7.5/10 - After 'smashing it' last week, Only The Young are on a high this week and want to keep up the momentum with this song. It's a pretty good choice for these guys as they are without a doubt up there as one of the best performers this series, yes it probably is similar in style to some of their other performances but I don't mind too much when they are delivering the songs with conviction. Vocally, the girls are a bit off again although it's not really off and it picks up significantly when the guys join in, I think they sort of save the performance a bit. Not Only The Young's best performance but I did quite enjoy it.

Ben Haenow

'Man In The Mirror' by Michael Jackson - 7.5/10 - Ben is taking a risk this week singing acapella for the first minute or so of the song. I have to say, in fairness to him he does a pretty good job with it, it's a little under vocally once or twice but overall, it's a pretty good vocal performance. The one thing still holding Ben back a little for me is that he seems a little dead behind the eyes. By that, I mean he's still not fully connecting with the emotion of the song. It sort of picks up a little bit when the music kicks in but I'm not feeling a connection between him and the audience. It's the one thing holding him back at the minute for me but he's still easily in the top five for me right now. The biggest issue I have with this song choice however is that Simon didn't take the opportunity to give him Ben!

Stevi Ritchie

'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen - 3/10 - Stevi had his moment last week after he proved that he can sing with an above average performance of a song from 'Phantom Of The Opera'. Obviously he let the mask slip but this week he's back in his role as novelty act with an absolutely atrocious cover of a Queen classic. Seriously, this song doesn't sound right when it's sung by good contestants as it shouldn't be reduced to a two minute performance so how is it supposed to suit someone who is a terrible singer? This is a really poor performance as usual, of course he'll be safe though, the producers aren't done with him yet...unfortunately because he's bad (pun very much intended).

Stereo Kicks

'You Are Not Alone' by Michael Jackson - 8/10 - Stereo Kicks were gutted to land in the bottom two for a second time last week but were saved in a deadlock situation after giving a frankly pathetic sing-off performance. They're stripping it all back this week and just letting their vocals and harmonies do the talking. In fairness to the guys, this is vocally the best they have sung by a country mile. That said, I do find it a little dull and generic, like as good as their harmonies are, it just has Louis Walsh written all over it, I mean they were sitting on stools for god's sake. James takes the lead on the vocals, and with good reason as he has a great voice. The guys are good singers and this was a very good vocal, I just feel it was a tad clichéd. I also have to mention the bizarre stage invasion half way through, which was apparently done by comedian Lee Nelson. Whilst it was funny to see Louis' figure standing up and telling off the invader, it felt so staged to me. The guys appeared to be glancing around before he ran on stage so it honestly wouldn't surprise me if the producers planned it to give the guys loads of extra praise along the lines of 'You managed to perform amazingly despite the distraction'. Or maybe I'm just overly suspicious.

Fleur East

'Will You Be There' by Michael Jackson - 9/10 - After being criticized slightly last week by Mel for her vocals not being up to scratch and having done upbeat performances with lots of dancing up until now, Fleur feels that it's time for her to show that she can just stand still and sing a song simply. I absolutely love this song, it brings me back to watching Free Willy as a child and it's a really clever choice for Fleur actually. She doesn't have a massive range and isn't a belter so picking a song that allows her to perform it comfortably with her mostly mid-range voice without it sounding like she's out of her depth is a genius move. I still believe that Fleur is the most 'ready' in this competition, she has shown with this that she's not just all about dancing, she can do a serious performance where the focus is on her vocals. For someone who isn't a massive belter, she holds her own in this performance and gives some impressive adlibs. I just think Fleur has it, she's the most consistent week in week out for me and I'll be annoyed if she doesn't make the top six at the very least.

Andrea Faustini

'Somebody To Love' by Queen - 10/10 - After being spray painted gold and basically swapping places with Stevi Ritchie as the joke act last week, it's back to serious business this week for Andrea. This song choice was a given for Andrea, he's the only one with the lungs required for a song as vocally demanding as this. Right, praise where it's due, I literally cannot fault this performance, his vocals are fantastic and although I'm not a big fan of vocal acrobatics, every run, every vocal trick he does is spot on. I have to give it to him, this was a bloody brilliant performance, I could definitely see him performing in the West End as the lead in 'We Will Rock You' or something similar. Vocally, he's the best singer by a clear mile, performance wise he has some real rivals but tonight he killed it.


1. Andrea Faustini
2. Fleur East
3. Stereo Kicks
4. Lauren Platt
5. Ben Haenow
6. Only The Young
7. Paul Akister
8. Jay James
9. Stevi Ritchie

Bottom Two Prediction

Bottom Two:

Paul Akister
Jay James


Jay James


Bottom Two

Jay James

Paul Akister

This was a really obvious bottom two tonight, the only other act I thought may be at risk were Only The Young but Paul being shoved on first combined with a poor song choice and Jay's throat issues and lackluster vocals made them prime targets for the sing-off.

Paul Akister sings first, he's singing 'Clown' by Emeli Sandé, in fairness to him this is the most passionate and emotional I have seen him since the start of the live shows. It's very much so an emotional performance and he pours his heart into the song. Vocally, it's a great performance, Paul is a really good singer, I don't think the VT's in the last few weeks have helped him as they've given off the impression that he's difficult to work with which I don't believe at all. If they let the singing do the talking, Paul deserves to be safe.

Jay James also does a pretty good sing off, in fairness to the guy, this is a lot better than last night's performance and probably vocally one of the better performances he has given. I'm still finding the nasally vocals very grating though and although he connects with the song emotionally, I just don't think he has the tone or the sincerity that Paul has.

Simon says that it was a great sing-off from both lads but backs his own act and sends Paul Akister home. Mel B describes it as a no-brainer before sending Jay James home. Cheryl again praises both acts for their sing-off performances but feels that Paul sang from his heart so she sends Jay James home. Unsurprisingly, Louis can't decide and after deliberating, he shouts that he wants to send it to deadlock. Dermot repeats that he must tell him the name of the act he wants to send home causing Louis to reluctantly send Paul Akister home. So it's deadlock time!

Eliminated (via deadlock):

Paul Akister

If looks could kill, Louis would be stone dead on the floor. As if sending him home at Judge's Houses last year wasn't bad enough, Louis has now inadvertently caused Paul to go home again. Paul is devastated and can't speak and Mel B is heartbroken. Unfortunately, although I predicted Jay to go home, thinking they wouldn't like Simon having four acts, Paul going home is no shock. Everything seemed to point to the producers wanting rid of him. It's a shame though as he seems a nice guy and he's talented, but aah well, happens every year.

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