X Factor UK Live Blog/Review – Gary Barlow and co head up Live Shows Week 2
Love and Heartbreak Theme
I have really warmed to Jahmene, I love his little nervous giggle and his admission this week about being a virgin and wearing a purity ring also made me think ‘good for him.’ He just seems so down to earth and true to himself, it’s really nice to see. He sang ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ mixed in with a little of ‘Ain’t No Mountain’ – the performance was very well rehearsed and confident but I would have liked a little more of a story told through his performance. I wish they would stop telling him about emotions though when it comes to love etc, I am sure there are other experiences he can draw on to help him perform.
Popledge Points – 7/10
As I warm to Jahmene I find myself going off Christopher, there is something about his personality I don’t like, it is hard to put my finger on but it’s almost a bit of arrogance there. This week he has put into a bar setting for his song ‘How Do I Get You Alone?’ he looked more shaky this week and there were a couple of moments where he went off key for several lines of the song. Yes he has a loud voice but he has to regain control of it too. I didn’t really like it..
As soon as the song ended he went into tears, Nicole said ‘I’m very impressed’, Louis ‘you gave it everything, perhaps too much, little cruise ship.’ Tulisa – ‘I doesn’t sound current to me’ Gary retorts – ‘you are perfect just the way you are.’
Union J get One Direction in their VT – therefore they will probably go through! They totally underwhelmed my last week but at least they also admit they weren’t happy with the performance. I really liked their song choice this week of Leona Lewis’s ‘Bleeding Love’ – their voices and harmonies sounded a lot better and every-time one of them sang they got screams from the audience. The transition into ‘Broken Strings’ and the little ‘walk round the judges’ moment also came off really well as did their autumn themed outfits. Well done boys you’ve saved yourselves! Little George as well – I could squeeze him so hard!
Tulisa – ‘you have a lot of potential much better’. Gary ‘what a transformation, so much better’ and Nicole ‘you got everything right tonight, you could sell out the O2. Mentor Louis ‘work hard and you could be the next big boy-band in the UK.’
Ella’s VT is all about her ‘love story’ with George from Union J – she doesn’t need that kind of story here, she has that voice to get her through.
She sings ‘Loving You’ – it wasn’t as good as last weeks ‘Rule the World’ I didn’t like the growling moments and some of the really high notes cracked a wee bit. Having said that people will love and vote for this girl, 16 is so young to look and perform like that. She could easily be a new Adele on the UK music scene. I liked the staging as well..it did look like the Take That ‘Shine’ set!
Gary – ‘those F sharps were amazing, another great week.’ Nicole – ‘you are timeless and classic.’ Louis ‘you look too much like Adele’ what!! Tulisa was full of praise for her young singer.
In James’s VT we see him and Nicole down the pub together drinking pints and eating pork scratchings! I have really liked Nicole so far on the X Factor, she seems to have a sense of humour about herself. We also see James taking a call from Mary J Blige as this week he is performing one of her songs.
At times James reminds me of Professor Green through his performances, he is singing ‘No More Drama’ you do feel that he is putting 100% of himself and his emotions into his performance. I do worry a little that they are ‘X Factoring’ him up a bit too much at times but I’m guessing that Nicole thinks this route will garner him some votes. It lost a bit of drive towards the end of the song and he looked a little sulky at the end but overall I liked it!
Tulisa ‘I can feel the pain in your voice, I believe every word you are saying.’ Gary ‘by God you can really sing and you have a lot of technique’…Louis ‘you need a record contract’ and Nicole ‘you are on a whole other level, you have made Mary proud.’
Lucy’s grandma died this week so her VT is around that event in her life. At the end she says she wants to make people smile through her performance.
Her performance this week is Kanye’s ‘Gold Digger’ – quite a good choice for her style of performing, she can do the rap bit and also keep her guitar in front of her.
I was 50/50 on this performance, bits of it I liked but I couldn’t quite get into it. It was something and nothing and the dancers for me were really OTT!
Gary ‘I really enjoyed your performance,’ Nicole ‘you swagged it out and made it your own.’ Louis ‘you’re a great versatile performer.’ Mentor Tulisa ‘you did make people smile, I admire you.’
Perhaps they are losing out to Union J in the battle of the boy-bands 2012. Their VT shows them having hige reservations about their song choice ‘I Swear’ being dated. In the end they go with Louis’s song choice though.
It’s an alright song but I think their idea of doing a One Direction song was actually better, it would get them more votes I think. As with Union J their vocals seem much improved this week and they have tried to put a modern spin on the track by introducing a bit of a beat behind it. It did come off a little dated though and I think Union J won this round.
Tulisa ‘you have the strongest harmonies in the competition’, Gary ‘I totally disagree, the last note was off, song choice poor, Union J have taken it tonight.’ Nicole ‘I disagree with Gary, the harmonies were good but I wanted you to shake things up.’ She then went onto talk about rubbing baby oil into their bodies…err alright then!!
I think Jade needs to raise her game this week or she is in danger of being forgotten. Luckily she has a brilliant song to do this with, ‘Love is a Losing Game’. She starts off really strongly and looks beautiful in her long white dress. Very simple and under-stating but she holds my attention throughout, the vocals were 100% on point.
Gary ‘simple, stylish and sexy…I’m such a big fan of yours.’ Nicole comments ‘you are like a beautiful rare exotic flower’! Louis ‘incredible’ and Tulisa ‘you stand up against the strongest singers.’
Definitely the most surprising act from last weeks live shows, I think lots of people would have suddenly taken notice of them.
Tonight they are performing the Jackson 5 classic ’Want You Back’ – I really like their styling but the set has a little too much going on for me – too much light effects and colours swarming around. I thought the division of the song between the singing and rapping worked well but it didn’t have the impact of last week – the song didn’t sit as well with their style. When the girl (Charlie) started rapping it sounded a bit better but it made her go a little off key when she went back into the singing section..just a little bit frantic for my liking.
Tulisa ‘normally I find all that staging distracting but I didn’t with you two’, Gary ‘good energy but vocals a little weak, a little too ‘Glee’ for me.’ Nicole ‘I didn’t feel it this week, I don’t think you would put this on your album, I want more edge, it was too much running and chasing for me.’ Finally mentor Louis said ‘we’re going to work hard and bring some fun.’
Kye’s VT is about his relationship with Gary Barlow, the world agrees with him when he says ladies are jealous because he can just phone the Barlow for advice.
Kye is in his guy-liner again for his mash-up of Rihanna’s ‘Love the Way You Lie’ and ‘Stan’ by Eminem. He certainly looks the part and he got a good chunk of the budget spent on his pyrotechnics. I really enjoyed the vocals.
Nicole ‘that performance didn’t set me on fire, it didn’t grab me.’ Louis ‘I think there is something missing, you can do better.’ Tulisa also agreed saying ‘I don’t think we are seeing all of Kye.’
I think I agree with the three judges, it was a little like a Bakewell Tart without the cherry on top..ok but you don’t get the connection with Kye like you do with James Arthur and Jade Ellis.
We’ve just been having a wee discussion on twitter about Essex boy Rylan, I was saying I felt a little sorry for him as he is being played by the X Factor – they need an X Factor ‘joke’ act and this year it’s you Rylan.
I didn’t even type the whole time Rylan was on stage – that was just madness! Dancing pandas, about five different songs and a bizarre catwalk..it was all going on!
In the end he performed Back For Good, Gangnam Style and Groove Is In The Heart, BFG was a little joke at Gary’s expense before he launched into his ‘true’ songs. It was camp, OTT and utterly entertaining. The banter after his performance with Gary was also hilarious.
I said on twitter that people need to think of Rylan in terms of a TV show on a Saturday night, he will never win the whole thing but he brings in viewers which is what ITV want. He will be here for a while longer..
It’s that song you can’t escape at the moment from the ‘John Lewis’ advert it is ‘Never Tear Us Apart.’
I like Melanie’s outfit tonight apart from the daft flares at the bottom of her trousers which put a few extra years on her.
You cannot fault her amazing vocals but will the public vote her all the way to the end of the show? I’m not sure..
So that is it for tonight…the Gary/Louis drama rolls on but overall this week I would say that the talent has improved especially the boy-band groups.
Tomorrows show sees another contestant leaving plus Rebecca Ferguson and Taylor Swift performing, 8pm ITV.