The X FACTOR Blog – Week Five!

By on 10 November, 2013

Judges on X Factor Week 5 - Big Band.

I knew it was too good to last, me getting one of my predictions right. Last week I predicted Sam Callahan to go, but he wasn’t even in the bottom two! Instead it was Tamera and Kingsland Road. Quite rightly, the five lads went and I can’t say I missed them, indeed I think they would have struggled this week.

Funny, when I was watching ‘X Factorlast week, I commented to my viewing companion that they should bring back Big Band week because it was always so good; and quite honestly ‘properly written’ songs from yester-year usually sort the men from the boys and exposes weaknesses, and lo and behold, this week was Big Band Week! I’d like to think it’s because it’s Remembrance Weekend and it’s a nod to those who served us in the 1940s and the music of that era; but I think it’s more to do with the fact that Robbie Williams has a swing album out, and he’s guesting on the show tonight (10th November, 2013).

Tonight started with Abi Alton – sans glasses – singing That’s Life – a song usually reserved for drunken middle-aged men reflecting on their life experience. I have to say, her voice sounded stronger than usual, but there was no conviction in it. But that is no fault of hers. No-one aged 19 – male or female – should sing this song. Period (as our American cousins would say). Louis thought the song swamped her (don’t agree) but Sharon said she holds back too much (agree). For anyone who watches ‘Strictly Come Dancing‘, Abi is the Sophie Ellis Bextor of the competition. *

SAM BAILEY performing on X Factor Week 5 - Big Band.
Sam Bailey got a visit from Michael Bolton, who seems to have developed a strange obsession with her. But Sam likes him, so his presence was welcomed. And at least he has ditched that horrid mullet. Sam sang New York, New York and she is starting to look like a professional singer, as her confidence grows week by week. Without a doubt she is the best ‘over’ in the history of the ‘X Factor‘ and for me is now in the front-runner to lift the trophy (if there was one).

Next to sing was Nicholas McDonald doing Dream a Little Dream of Me. Which I thought was written by Mama’s and Papas, but is actually from 1931, so that’s okay. This genre suited Nicholas, with his slicked down hair and smart suit, he reminded me of Johnny Ray (ask your nan). His wholesomeness makes him seem as though he’s from a different era, and this is the first performance of his that I really enjoyed.

NICHOLAS MCDONALD performing on X Factor Week 5 - Big Band.
Luke Friend sang Moondance (was Van Morrison around in the Big Band era then?). Oh dear, this really wasn’t his strongest performance. This sort of music didn’t suit Luke’s raspy, rocky voice and he spent most of his time either racing ahead of, or trying to catch up with the music. I don’t think this will be too much of a dent for him because he has proven himself on other weeks, so it’s one to chalk up to experience. What worried me was that in his critique, Gary Barlow said everything I thought. Scary when you find yourself morphing into Gary Barlow.

Much as I love Hannah Barrett, I wasn’t overwhelmed with her performance this week. She sang This is a Man’s World, and whilst her vocals were amazing, I felt the song itself was beyond her somewhat. This song has a raunchy tone to it, and Hannah was trying her best to appear sexy, but she can’t carry it off. A seventeen year old can’t exude the world-weary sex appeal of a woman who’s been around the block a bit and knows that women rule the world. It was like she was acting a part and was her first performance to date, where I felt she wasn’t being ‘real’.

HANNAH BARRETT performing on X Factor Week 5 - Big Band.
Regular readers of this blog know what’s coming when it comes to my critique of Rough Copy. It’s Big Band week. They’re singing Hit the Road Jack, a classic song and what happens? Someone puts them in skirts and leather MC Hammer Harem pants. Why? The styling and the song didn’t go together. When I looked away they sounded great, but the moment I looked at them I was put off by their silly clothes. A quick glance on Twitter showed me that other people feel the same way, which makes me feel a bit better. On another note, their performance was good, but at times it did feel as though I was watching an excerpt from ‘Five Guys Named Moe‘.

To quote Mugatu in ‘Zoolander‘, I felt as though I was taking crazy pills when Tamera Foster finished singing Cry Me River and the judges went into raptures about how fantastic she sounded. To me she sounded, at times, as though she was struggling with notes; was ahead of the music at times and to me she is too modern and urban for this genre. I do wonder if she has peaked, but she doesn’t deserve to be in the bottom two tomorrow night.

SAM CALLAHAN performing on X Factor Week 5 - Big Band.
Sam Callahan sang Ain’t That a Kick In the Head? As normal, his voice was weak; sometimes it sounds as though they’ve got his microphone on low. But this was his best performance and he was better than Luke. Gary was very rude in giving him no critique. Does he not remember how they treated Christopher Maloney last year? He didn’t like it when his act was on the receiving end did he? I don’t even think Sam will be bottom two this week and I think we’ll be in for another shock. Hate to say it, but I fear for Hannah.

So that was it. The flash vote appears to have been scrapped permanently, so it’s all to see tonight (10th November, 2013).

Same time next week!

Predicted to leave: Abi Alton

* If you don’t watch Strictly, sorry to confuse you.


About Karen Mason

Karen Mason is a London-based writer. She has published fifteen historical fiction novels and is currently working on her sixteenth. She is also an avid movie goer, with a particular preference for gritty British cinema and a weakness for Jason Statham films! Her music tastes stretch from Muse to the Cinematic Orchestra and she loves discovering new acts.

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