Welcome friends to the first of many look backs at the X-Factor live shows as yours truly ranks the weekly performances from very good to horrendous. My inaugural chart looks at last night’s number ones themed night which saw elephants, dancing girls and plenty of choirs accompany the sixteen acts to the stage.
1. Lauren Platt – Happy
Although I’m not sure that the mash-up of Pharell Williams’ hit and Massive Attack’s Angel completely worked, Lauren’s vocal was solid throughout. Whilst she wasn’t considered one of the favourites going in to the first live show, I feel that her turn here definitely singled her out as a contender.
2. Paul Akister – Ghost
It’s fair to say I did get sick of hearing Ella Henderson’s hit by the end of the night thanks to those horrid Talk Talk ads but Akister’s performance of the song was enthralling and certainly started the night off on a high.
3. Jack Walton – Only Girl in the World
One of the acts that I don’t really remember from previous rounds, Mel B’s wildcard pick Jack surprised me with this entertaining take on the Rihanna hit.
4. Andrea Faustini – Earth Song
He may be the bookies’ favourite but I’ve never been as high on the Italian dog-lover as everybody else. However even I have to admit that his version of Michael Jackson’s epic hit provided some of the only highlights of last night’s show.
5. Lola Saunders – Stay with Me
I’ve always had a soft spot for Lola and so I was glad that she was brought back to the contest as Cheryl’s wildcard. That being said, whilst her vocal was strong throughout, I felt she was ill-served by a skirt that looked like it was made from a pair of curtains.
6. Stereo Kicks – Roar
I was definitely sceptical when eight boys who’d failed as soloists were put together as a group primarily as I felt it would be a logistical nightmare. But the newly named Stereo Kicks showed plenty of energy and provided solid harmonies on this interpretation of the Katy Perry hit.
7. Fleur East – All About That Bass
Even though I don’t think the current number one was the right song for Fleur she attacked with her trademark energy. By the end of the song I feel that she’d definitely got the audience on her side and convinced me that she was the strongest member of Simon’s team.
8. Ben Haenow – Bridge Over Troubled Water
One of three growly male vocalists, I was definitely on Mel B’s side when she was critical of Ben’s performance. Although he’s a fine singer, I found Ben’s performance a little dull and my mind wandered during the majority of his time on stage.
9. Only the Young – Jailhouse Rock/Twist and Shout
Only the Young were my favourite group going into the live shows but I felt this mash-up of old hits didn’t suit their contemporary style. In fact, at times during their stint I felt I was at a holiday park rather than watching a Saturday night entertainment show.
10. Chloe Jasmine – Toxic
The divisive Chloe Jasmine’s jazzy version of the Britney hit may not have been as unique as the judges thought it was but it was still memorable nonetheless. The main problem I have with Chloe is that I just don’t believe in her character and therefore I think it will be hard to connect with her going forward.
11. Jack Quickenden – She’s the One
The second of the growly men, Jake’s turn on stage was totally forgettable and he was ill-served by a song that didn’t play to his strengths.
12. Stephanie Nala – Everything I Own
Now that Lola is back in the competition I felt that Stephanie became somewhat of an afterthought and this was proven during her underwhelming take on the Boy George hit. Plus, since watching Friday’s Gogglebox, I find it hard not to compare Steph’s voice to that of a toddler.
13. Blonde Electra – Kids in America
As we know Blonde Electra are the fun in the competition which in turn is what Louis represents and that was clear during their colourful performance of Kim Wilde’s hit that was number one in Finland. Though the vocals weren’t particularly tight, Blonde Electra are the kind of act that you look forward to seeing every week.
14. Jay James – Everything is Changing
If I hadn’t have written down each performance in preparation for this list I would’ve completely forgotten what growly Jay had sung by the end of the night. The fact that the most memorable thing about Jay was Louis comparing him to a young Kevin Costner speaks volumes about the former marine’s charisma.
15. Overload Generation – I Kissed a Girl
I do feel it was a mistake picking a second boyband as Louis’ wildcard especially after comparing Overload Generation’s performance to that of Stereo Kicks. The boys were off key during most of the song and didn’t really grab the crowd in the same way they had done during their previous auditions.
16. Stevi Ritchie – Livin’ La Vida Loca
It’s clear that loveable Stevi was brought back as a wildcard simply to be the competition’s joke act. But, unlike previous comedy turns such as Wagner and Jedward, Stevi realises that he’s terrible and therefore his version of Ricky Martin’s hit just seemed like a poor attempt to recreate some of the show’s previous car crash performances.
Do you agree with my list or do you feel I’ve got it wrong? Leave me a comment below to tell me who should have been at the top or contact me on Twitter @mattstvbites