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06 December, 2014 4:51 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
Last week saw the final double elimination of the series as Only The Young and Stevi Ritchie said goodbye. With just two weeks until the final, it's jukebox week where the acts are singing one song as chosen by the public and one song as chosen by a celebrity special guest. So who will be singing their swan song tonight?
Recap and videos after the JUMP...
Round 1 - Celebrity Choice
'Come Together' by The Beatles (as chosen by One Direction) - 9/10 - One Direction picked this song for Ben as it seems like an obvious choice for him apparently. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not, it does seem a fairly obvious choice for him but I'm not a big fan of the original song as it's always sung by someone on the show, usually a male artist around Ben's age, and I find the track a bit pub rockerish. That said, Ben is actually smashing it, he seems the most comfortable on stage that he has in quite a while. A very strong start for Ben, he really delivered not just the vocals but the performance there.
'Clarity' by Zedd feat. Foxes (as chosen by Little Mix) - 6.5/10 - Former winners Little Mix have picked this modern dance classic for Lauren, an interesting choice for her as she isn't necessarily the most comfortable performer when it comes to upbeat songs. Lauren reminisces about when she found out that her parents were getting back together last Christmas after being seperated for a few years. Oddly, despite the reports about her being poorly during the week, Lauren's illness isn't mentioned in the VT. However, you can tell that she isn't at her best when the song starts, vocally it's sort of pitchy, her throat seems to be straining quite a bit and she looks a tiny bit lost on stage. It's disappointing because Lauren has great potential but this isn't a strong start for her. Giving her a demanding song which requires steady vocals and performance skills wouldn't have been as big an issue were it not for her illness but you can tell she's not been able to commit 100% to it this week. Let's hope her second performance is better.
'Just The Way You Are' by Bruno Mars (as chosen by Tulisa) - 5.5/10 - After having a breakthrough with their performance last week, this week is a massive step back for them once again. It's good that they at least start without eight of them standing in a line but the vocals are the weakest they have been for quite a while, their harmonies are off point and although disguising a weaker singer in the group by having him sing along with James who obviously drowned him out was a clever move, they then gave two weak singers a solo section which was totally out of tune. As soon as the chorus came in, they sort of got swallowed up. I see where Tulisa was coming from choosing this song for them but they simply didn't have the vocals for it. James is just carrying these guys.
'A Fool In Love' by Tina Turner (as chosen by Emeli Sandé) - 9.5/10 - Really surprising but great song choice for Fleur courtesy of Emeli Sandé. It's a nice song because I can definitely see glimpses of Tina Turner in Fleur's raspy, soulful tone and she definitely gives this performance some of her usual spark. Vocally, Fleur isn't the best singer by a long shot but there's something so special about her, the whole feel of her performances somehow makes them so much more enjoyable than most of the other acts. I really like this track for her and although it's not the most well known Tina Turner song, I think that works to her advantage because it allows her to put her own spin on it. Great performance.
'Chandelier' by Sia (as chosen by Sam Smith) - 7/10 - Andrea and this song should be a match made in heaven but for some reason, although he hits all the high notes, the falsetto and the vibrato, it's all beginning to feel a bit reminiscent of Jahmene Douglas for me. Vocally, you can't deny his talent but there are a number of points where this song doesn't strike right with me. First of all, I don't think Andrea has a good sense of melody, he kind of loses track of the melody of the song by doing too many vocal tricks and overloading it with vibrato. As well as sort of turning the song into vocal acrobatics, I didn't feel any raw emotion from the performance. It's stylistically very good but his performances are lacking substance, that's where I feel he could potentially run into trouble, it doesn't feel like he puts any genuine emotion into his performances.
Round 2 - Public Choice
'Don't You Worry Child' by Swedish House Mafia - 8/10 - This thankfully sounds a lot better than the first song, Lauren feels much more comfortable singing this track than she did singing the first one and as a result, it just feels like an overall stronger performance. Whilst I wouldn't go as far as saying that it's her best performance, not by a long shot, I genuinely feel like she's deserving of a place in the semi-final as she has a good voice and she has been mostly quite consistent in the competition.
'Thinking Out Loud' - 6.5/10 - See this is the song I was expecting Ben to nail whereas I wasn't looking forward to the first track but it has ended up being the exact opposite of my expectations. I loved the first song but this just doesn't seem to work for Ben. The problem is, his biggest asset, his raspy tone is also his biggest drawback when it comes to tracks like this which require a bit of subtlety. As Mel B says, it lacks light and shade and whilst he's beginning to let us into the performance a bit more, I still wasn't satisfied. It just didn't feel like the song fitted his voice well.
'Run' by Snow Patrol - 7.5/10 - Stereo Kicks are reprising their bootcamp six chair challenge performance for their second song after it was chosen by the public. Although it's disappointing to see them singing the same song again, it worked for Fleur and Lauren so why can't it work for the boys? Well it's a lot better than the first performance but I don't think they successfully recaptured the magic of the original performance if I'm being honest. James' vocals were great and Reece sounded really good but some of the other guys who had solo parts didn't sound strong and the harmonies started off a little flat but improved as the song went on. It was definitely a stronger performance than the first one but I can see them and Lauren being bottom two.
'If I Ain't Got You' by Alicia Keys - 7/10 - This isn't my favourite performance of Fleur's if I'm being honest. She's had much better performances previously, I think giving her a ballad is an essential but I would have preferred to hear her singing the Pink track than this. It's a bit tame for Fleur in my opinion and is one of those songs that I don't think works as well if the singer isn't a belter. In fairness, I actually quite liked the falsetto parts and aside from a bit of straining when she was singing the high parts at the end, vocally it was pretty good. I don't think this week has been her best week but Fleur is so incredibly consistent that even this is still an overall good performance. I think if she's doing a ballad or a slow song, something like Macklemore's 'Same Love' or TLC's 'Waterfalls' or 'Unpretty' would be perfect for her. I expect she'll be here next week.
'Hero' by Mariah Carey - 8/10 - Andrea seems to have went down the same route as Ben, the performance I expected to enjoy more was a bit of a let down whereas this, as oversung as it is was actually quite enjoyable! He starts off singing in Italian which is interesting and at least offers something different (although I'm pretty sure Ruth did the same thing except in Spanish obviously years ago). Anyway, vocally very good and I actually feel a bit of emotion tonight, that said, I still found it a bit background music-esque, there wasn't really enough to properly grab my attention. He did, however, at least sing it fairly straight forwardly rather than chucking in tonnes of vibrato and vocal tricks and hoping for the best. A fairly solid performance.
1. Fleur East
2. Ben Haenow
3. Andrea Faustini
4. Lauren Platt
5. Stereo Kicks
Lauren Platt sings first, she's taking on 'I Know Where I've Been' which she sang in the room auditions. This is without a doubt, not just her greatest vocal in the live shows but easily one of the best, if not the best sing-off performance of the series. Let's face it, the standard hasn't been that high sing-off wise but Lauren engages with the song, conveys emotion and sings her heart out. Fantastic performance, if she isn't saved after that it'll be a joke.
And as if to further the case for Lauren to be saved, Stereo Kicks absolutely bomb in the sing-off, their cover of 'I Won't Give Up' by Jason Mraz makes it sound like they've done just that. It's as forgettable and run of the mill as it is largely out of tune. The harmonies are flat, some of the solos are really poor and it's just such a disappointing sing-off performance. They haven't delivered in the sing-off so far and once again they haven't. Disappointing.
Louis, unsurprisingly saves his boyband and sends Lauren Platt home. Bizarrely, after moaning that it was a sing-off a few weeks ago when Paul went then saving Stevi the week after, Mel B once again proves her double standards by sending Lauren Platt home. Cheryl rages about Mel B's decision before sending Stereo Kicks home. Despite his pimping of Stereo Kicks previously, Simon has to go by the sing-off performances and says that Lauren was much better, therefore sending Stereo Kicks home. So it's deadlock time.
Eliminated (via deadlock):
Absolutely the right decision, Stereo Kicks were most definitely the weakest act left and although Lauren didn't have a great night on Saturday night, she blew the boys out of the water in the sing-off.