By now I’m sure a lot of you are sick of me constantly being down on this series of The X-Factor, however most people seem to be in agreement that in general, 2012 has been a terrible year for the singing competition. Tonight something happened to change that around – maybe it’s because we’ve got almost half the acts we started with, or maybe it’s because most of the performances were fairly watchable, but after the show finished, I realised that it had been quite enjoyable.
I have to say I didn’t think that initially as it was business as usual as Nicole showed too much cleavage and talked about erections while Gary got angry at Dermot for directing hate towards Christopher. Talking of cabaret Chris, he was up first in this ‘Best of British’ night, and he selected a song from who he described as the best British artist ever; that being Elton John. In Christopher’s VT, we saw he and Gary try to hit certain notes as he felt that Christopher’s cruise ship background had allowed him to pick up some bad habits, and as we saw Barlow getting increasingly happier with Chris’ rehearsals, I thought we’d see a new side to Christopher. I was wrong.
However, we got the same camp nonsense that we always do as Christopher’s staging during his singing is getting as bad as Rylan’s as this week, he was flanked by human tenpin bowls as he crooned his way through ‘I’m Still Standing’…
Even though I got that the dancers were obviously enacting the bowling metaphor, let’s just hope none of them ended up in the gutter after the show, to me the whole thing came across as the campest advert for the 118 188 service that I’ve ever seen. Nicole kicked off her comments by referring to Christopher as sweet pea, a term she used for several of the acts tonight, before she told him that she liked his confidence but referred to him as the king of karaoke, adding that she doesn’t think he’ll break boundaries with his music. Louis seconded Nicole’s comments, telling Chris that he was like listening to Heart Radio on a loop, if you ask me he’s more like Magic FM, while Tulisa once again lambasted Gary for not making Christopher relevant. As Gary jumped to Chris’ defence I can’t help but think the days are numbered for this Liverpudlian club singer though to be fair I still think he’ll have an album out in time for Mother’s Day.
Next up was Jahmene, an act that I’ve never warmed to, and before the Jahmaniacs jump down my throat, I will explain my reasons for the feelings I have towards him. Firstly, I’m not doubting that he’s a brilliant singer or that he’s a completely great guy, albeit one with a lot of anxiety and nerves, however I don’t feel that’s enough on a programme like The X-Factor. Technically Jahmene’s is probably the best voice in the competition, but I personally don’t feel he connects with his songs, instead he just hits all those high notes and hopes that will be enough for people to be wowed by him which they seem to be. Take this week’s soul cover of Robbie’s Angels, a performance in which Jahmene excelled vocally but I didn’t once think he was singing about anyone in particular, and as there was no emotional connection between the song and himself, I in turn didn’t really connect with him. Obviously the judges disagreed as Louis hit all the clichés including telling him he made the song his own, he’s what the competition is all about and that it was a brilliant song choice. Tulisa and Gary both praised Jahmene’s vocals and his simplicity while Nicole whipped out her second sweet pea of the night before telling Jahmene that he moved and stirred her.
Third up were District 3 who have been critically panned for weeks now so decided to go back to their roots by once again becoming a vocal harmony group. Like every good vocal harmony group, they performed their entire routine while sitting on stools, with one member behind the piano, as they made their way through a very Americanised version of Eric Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’. It seemed as if the trio listened to the judges’ comments from the past few weeks as there was really nothing of note in this performance other than above average vocals. Tulisa complimented Louis on making an amazing decision to get these boys back to basics and having them singing harmonie,s which is what they do best. An emotional Nicole told them that they bought tears to her eyes, adding that she loved the arrangement with only Gary being contrary, questioning whether District 3 were the next big boy band. I do feel it would be ironic if District 3 were in the bottom two after delivering what was arguably their best performance, however I do still think it’s a possibility come tomorrow night.
Not only is Ella ‘only 16’ but now she is the ‘only girl in the competition’ which led to her randomly getting support from members of the Kardashian coven at a launch party for something or other. Ella decided to sing Tinie Tempah’s ‘Written in the Star’s but do it Adele-style by reducing it to a basic ballad, which she performed sitting on yet another stool, but unlike the trio before her she did actually stand up halfway through. To me the whole arrangement of the song sounded like something I’d hear on a John Lewis advert as on the whole they tend to have a female vocalist perform an acoustic cover of a well-known hit. Ella garnered Nicole’s third sweet pea of the night as she told her that she respected her girl power but did give her some vocal advice while Louis whipped out yet another classic line by telling her that she is what the show is all about.
Though secretly I know Louis thinks the show is all about Rylan, who this week met another hero in Geri Halliwell who, as we saw, he’s been massive fan of since he was a child. Every time Rylan sings, the staging gets more audacious, and this week we saw him perform an actual stunt as footage was aired of him jumping from a plane before landing into the studio in a harness. I’m convinced that Rylan is going for the record of most songs performed in two minutes as this week, we saw a record four Spice Girls numbers worked into the routine. They were – Say You’ll be There, Who Do You Think You Are, Wannabe and Spice Up Your Life. The stage was also busy with girls frolicking in glasses while four other men in suits became the Spice Boys and flanked Rylan in his Union Jack suit, which essentially made him the Geri of this situation. The Spice Boys then ripped off their shirts to reveal what can only be described as a chest vajazzle as Rylan finished his quartet of songs, the crowd came alive, but it may have been a reaction to Nicole Scherzinger mounting the judging table. Louis got into a bit of pot-kettle moment when he described Rylan as being as ‘camp as Christmas,’ while Tulisa explained that this is why she saved the Essex boy last week. Only Gary was negative, once again claiming that Rylan provided plenty of entertainment but vocally it was diabolical, and though I enjoyed the performance I personally feel it’s time for Rylan to trot off back to Essex.
Union J’s opening VT was surprisingly solemn as George talked about his soldier brother and how tonight, they were dedicating their rendition of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ to him. The performance had an odd start as all four stood behind screens before standing on their own individual platforms while George wore a very smart camouflaged jacket and once again came out strumming his guitar. Though one boy band always performs slightly better than their counterpart, this week I think they were on an even keel, although I think Union J just edged it once again, and ultimately I think they are more marketable than District 3. Tulisa told Louis he was on a roll before adding that the boys had found their market, while Nicole said that they did the song justice and gave a special message to the troops. Once again Gary Barlow dished out the negatives as he told them they had some pitching issues while blending, however he did concede that they sung really well.
Ending off the night was the incredibly popular James Arthur, who decided to cover an Adele song, I suppose someone had to, looking to his roots for his performance of ‘Hometown Glory’. We got the second straight acoustic guitar of the night as James strummed through another accomplished performance while backed by a video screen which seemed to depict a city during rush hour. Halfway through the performance, a dubstep beat kicked in which meant James could display his so-called ‘urban edge’ while it also made the song sound a little different than if say Ella had done it straight. The whole dubstep version got Tulisa incredibly excited as she herself uses it during her solo sets, and she added that she hoped the nation embraced a credible act like him while Louis echoed these sentiments by urging the public to pick up the phone. For the last judgment of the night, we went over to Nicole who told him that he swagged and freaked Adele’s song before describing him as the future of music however his awesome turn did not warrant a fourth sweet pea for some reason.
I thought The X-Factor could’ve ended a lot quicker than it did tonight, but apparently we had to fit in a performance from One Direction, who were at least a bit more animated than they were last time they appeared on the programme, though I really didn’t care for their new song. I guess that their cameo on this show was an attempt to perk up the declining ratings, however I think it’ll take more than the occasional One Direction performance to turn the show around. Having said that, I enjoyed tonight’s show on the whole as there were more good than bad performances and even Rylan’s exhibition was so utterly bonkers that I was entertained. I do feel though that Mr Clark may be in danger, and I think he’ll probably be up against either one of the boy bands or, fingers crossed, Chris Maloney in tonight’s sing-off. However I do fear that this episode was a one-off and next week we will have the same lacklustre performances and repetitive nonsense that we’ve seen throughout the course of what is still the dullest series of The X-Factor yet.
Who were your favourite acts tonight? Who should be in the sing-off? Leave Your Comments Below. And you can check out our X Factor Week 6 chart, here.