If there’s one thing that tonight’s X-Factor live show made clear it’s that the judges are the stars of this year’s series. From Nicole Scherzinger’s opening mash-up to her constant bickering with Simon Cowell through to the poll on which of the quartet was the biggest diva, the attention was on the four people at the desk rather than the ten acts on stage. I do feel at this point the producers don’t particularly care about the acts, which is a shame as there is some genuinely talented people on this year’s show. To demonstrate that I’m back after a week off to give my run down of the X-Factor final ten’s performance as I rank them from best to worst.
1. Gifty Louise – Lay Me Down
Playing fast and loose with the ‘divas and legends’ theme, Gifty’s decision to sing this Sam Smith number without any bells and whistles paid off. This was one of the most emotional performances that The X-Factor has provided in recent years and shows a side to Gifty that she previously hasn’t displayed. This to me was the only real stand out moment in a show which featured solid to average performances and one incredibly bonkers moment.
2. Matt Terry – I’ll Be There
There’s no denying that Matt is a professional and polished performer which showed tonight through his rendition of the Jackson 5 hit. That being said he lacks another ‘p’ in my opinion that being personality and so far I’ve found him a little bland. However I have a feeling that he has plenty of public support and will easily sail through to the final.
3. Saara Aalto – It’s Oh So Quiet
For me Saara was the one contestant who really understood the theme of diva week and her outlandish performance was what I imagine Louis Walsh’s dreams are like. She combined her powerful vocal with a wacky performance that sure to be remembered and for once she might not have to be in the sing-off.
4. Relley C – Natural Woman
I’ve been a big fan of Relley’s first two performances but here she played it safe by performing the Aretha Franklin number. Although I wasn’t blown away I still find Relley a compelling presence and one of the most natural singers in the competition.
5. Emily Middlemas – How Will I Know
It’s fair to say that Emily has gone down in my estimations since the live shows began and for the last two weeks she’s become the ‘John Lewis Christmas advert girl’. That fact became so blatant this week that Louis Walsh even mentioned that her version of the Sam Smith cover of the Whitney Houston original would make a good backing for the yearly festive tradition. I have to agree with Nicole that Emily’s performance just don’t seem to go anywhere and I think she needs to have her guitar back to really show the audience what she can do.
6. Four of Diamonds – Lady Marmalade/Bang Bang
It really was a middle of the road week for both of Louis Walsh’s group with the show’s token girl group still struggling to find their feet after being placed in the contest late in the day. I felt that their performance would’ve been better if they’d have just stuck to Bang Bang as the Lady Marmalade part of the song was the weaker section. I also agree with Simon that there was no need for the nautical theme however I did like the animated playing cards that were in the background during the performance. On the upside I felt at least two of the four girls showed that they had great vocals and they showed that classic Louis Walsh trait of potential. Oh and while we’re on Louis, asking him if it’s okay to do a mash-up is like asking Sharon Osbourne if she’d like another glass of wine.
7. 5 After Midnight – Valerie
I personally wasn’t a fan of the ‘oh we’re having problems’ storyline that the trio were given this week as their rehearsal disputes felt incredibly manufactured. Furthermore I didn’t think they were as bad as Simon made out as they still got the crowd going and there dance moves were on point. However I have to agree with Nicole that the song was all wrong for them and that at times it did feel like they were doing a Carlton dance. However I would look for the boys to improve substantially next week which will add to their already tiresome narrative.
8. Sam Lavery – Earth Song
I still don’t quite understand why Simon picked Sam to be in his final three as she’s not really shown why she deserves to be there. She also really hasn’t got the chops to deal with the power of Earth Song which was demonstrated by the bum notes she was hitting throughout. Just like her turn in week one, Sam eventually resorted to shouting the words rather than singing them however on the plus side at least this was fairly memorable.
9. Ryan Lawrie – Rolling in the Deep
The same can’t be said for Ryan’s version of Adele’s hit which, as Louis rightly pointed out, felt like it was being belted out by a busker asking for loose change from passers-by. From all the pre-performance videos it appears the only reason Ryan is in the contest is because he’s going out with Emily and apparently it’s a love story that we all should care about. Unfortunately if Ryan is going to keep turning in performances like this then love’s young dream may well be over before November ends.
10. Honey G – Ice Ice Baby
After three weeks I think the Honey G experiment has failed as this was the ‘rapper’s’ least convincing performance to date. It doesn’t help that this was almost a move for move replica of the performance Jedward gave on the show almost seven years ago with Brian Friedman hoping none of us would remember. But I think at this point Honey G has stuck in the public’s consciousness and even if she went home tonight she’d still be eligible to appear on Celebrity Big Brother come January. In fact I think the nation’s reaction to Honey G can perfectly be summed up by the look on John Legend’s face after he was forced to hear her performance ahead of tonight’s show.
So that’t this week’s list. Do you agree or disagree? Leave your comments below and let me know.