Friday, 30 November 2012

Week 5: The Top 6 revealed!

Alicia Keys showing everyone how to perform and looking wonderful. Funny but for a moment that could have been Cece, Watch the video. There is a strong resemblance and even Alicia misses a note or two in a live and unrecorded spot.


Vino v Diamond next.

I suppose it is possible that Diamond makes a complete mess of her song but she's been pretty lacking in nerves so far, always looking good and mostly getting the notes right. Vino is a good solid singer and I'm sure he'll be spot on and I'm also sure he'll give the better show in this sing-off. Unfortunately for him, unless the Teamsters make a few calls pretty damn quick (well, unless they did last night - I'm writing this one day late here in the UK, remember, trying hard to avoid any entertainment news sites or twitter for the last 24 hours and the next 20 minutes!) - it will be Diamond that survives.

I also think Britney probably has a clause in her contract that says she cannot possibly lose three acts in a row!

Oh dear, Diamond is terrible. Notes all over the place and not at all good. How on earth will Simon and Demi justify keeping her after that? No idea what the song was either. Some sort of pleading one. Britney messing up there.

Vino does his classic Trouble. He does this superbly. You can imagine that he knows this track like the back of his hand and that was a first class job.

LA, of course, votes for Vino.
Britney, of course, votes for Diamond.
Demi. The first who really has to choose. She chooses Diamond.
All down to Simon. He could make it go to deadlock but doesn't and chooses Diamond.

That's it. Vino has gone. Oh boy. Lucky Diamond.

Especially when they re-reun those two performances!

Finally, the Top 10:

Try and ignore the silly nonsense about changes.

1 Carly Rose
2 Tate
3 Emblem3
4 Fifth Harmony
5 Cece
6 Diamond

That seems about right.

Week 5 Results: Shock and awe? The sing-off pair...

Nice to see Josh Kracjik again. That will ahve given Vino some hope - and maybe some ideas for next week. Josh hasn't made it here across The Pond and I'm not so sure he ever will but he's a great act and I'm glad he hasn't let the makeover team near him.

OK. her are the safe ones:

Fifth Harmony! They're pleased. Good.
Cece!! Wow. I'm pleased but that is a big shock because who now makes the bottom 2??
Emblem3. Predictable and good.
Carly Rose. Of course. Thank goodness.

Last through is Tate.

So, it's Diamond v Vino. Oh boy, that's interesting.

LA will choose Vino but I have a feeling he'll be the only one as neither Britney nor Demi seem to like him. He is the one I'd say should go He's had a great run but was going to hit a barrier - whether it was Carly Rose, a group or everyone's Country nemesis, Tate - soon enough.

Week 5 Results - Lowest vote: the first to go is not who you might have expected..

I needed to watch the performances again. I'd been pretty critical of Diamond and very complimentary of Paige but now feel that maybe the voters will have liked Diamond enough to beat Paige, who sand superbly but that track was a bit less than it could have been second time around.

Vino was definitely the least impressive but I can't imagine his support dropping from that solid third position he's maintained to date.

No way are Carly Rose or Tate going home. Fifth Harmony were excellent but have they got the voting support? They've been behind Emblem3 all the way through so far.

So, whilst I'm afraid that Cece will be in the bottom 3, it could be Paige and Fifth Harmony that join her. Then it all comes down to who actually gets the least votes. I do think that Cece will go whatever the case as she'd lose to both in a sing-off too. Her only hope would be if she were up against Diamond, I suppose, with Paige coming bottom.

Having said that, Fifth Harmony definitely should not go home. I would vote for them against Cece, I'm afraid. So I guess her time has come. The big question is who else goes? One act, presumably, will have to go each week henceforth anyway and it may not be long before we have to start seriously wonder about Vino's chances, and Tate's.

The cruel cut is now. The act with the lowest number of votes is...

....Paige Thomas.

Glad I did the quick replay first. My guess is that her black lipstick and strange, unattractive make-over this week compared to the excellent work from earlier weeks won't have helped.

This is going to be much more interesting, and possibly shocking than I'd expected. Did I get a glimpse of Cece back in brunette? Too busy typing this to see.

Week 5 Review

There's eight really quite strong contestants now. Another double elimination?! Good grief! It's difficult to pick out who is going to get those all important next six places now, although I suppose the votes to date do give us an idea but I still feel anything can change.

Vino and Tate just don't look like pop stars to me, however well they sing, but they have amassed enough votes so far to maintain a top 3 position. I guess Cece has the most work to do and she must be feeling very vulnerable. It's not easy, looking at the others, to pick two acts that she'll have to see go in order to stay.

The Top 10 board gets displayed. Those fonts! Oh, so sad. Tonight we are also promised the and Britney premiere. That ought to be good, based on what the man's been doing lately. It's like he's found a second wind.

So here they go:


I Want To Dance With Somebody
Great track. One of my favourites normally. Super start but, although there was some nice work on the way, this was not inspirational at all in the middle. She ended well, though, and if she'd had another five minutes she'd have won everyone over. That's not necessarily a bad sign and I can imagine her entertaining a crowd. Her votes this week? I'm unsure. Just too much keft me wishing I could dig out the original and play that again.


You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
Wow. The big one. Good choice LA. At short notice too. Odd movements and style I find a bit off-putting and not exactly watchable. He didn't really take the song anywhere. Reggae?? What on earth was that all about? The backing was excellent and provided a great atmosphere and he also ended well. He's a good singer but not one of his best visuals.
Not sure about his No.3 position this week either,


Never Going To Give You Up
Good start. One of the best starts for a while and well done for that. This is an odd choice from a massive range of No 1s. I wondered whether she lost the words at one point but... this was an excellent performance, her voice was in the right range and she sounded very good indeed. There were some great breaks in there too and a nice original production. Perhaps she needed to get going a bit more but certainly her best performance so far, showing genuine talent there.

I get the distinct feeling that Demi isn't up to the mentor job and certainly not the song choice and promotion side. She's a pleasant enough judge but sometimes seems out of her depth and, whilst Paige got it right this time, it may not ahve been that much due to Demi.

That should ensure she stays. More pressure on Cece there then.

Fifth Harmony

I like these girls. All very emotional stuff with sad news about Ally's grandad. Quite a relief to see them get going with Stronger. Brilliant. I'm trying to figure out whether it was Camilla taking the lead this time. or was it Lauren again? I really should know, I know, but I just couldn't tell. Whatever, she was great and no faults at all as had been evident in all their previous performances. They're good and I can see them doing really well.

The judges weren't as generous as I think they could have been. As Simon said, I can see them in the charts. I really hope they stay. they ought to, not being anywhere near bottom two out of the four acts so far.

Carly Rose

An Adele song. Rolling In The Deep. I have been saying how smart Britney has been so far. Not this time, The lines were pretty meaningless during the first half, almost as if she was anxious to get all the words and notes right. It improved as she continued and this amazing girl finished in fine style, thank goodness, but I'm not so sure she'll be doing Adele too often in the competition.

She is truly talented but that's not her most memorable effort. No way can that be criticism in comparison to what I write about the others. I guess we're just expecting to be totally blown over every week now. I can't imagine this competition without her in it and hope her voters do actually vote and not assume she'll be there forever.


Somebody Like You
So what else can this big Country man do? We know he's got the support as even a pretty unimpressive performance last week got him second place. This song could work. He's talking of playing his guitar and 'having fun'. Hmm. I don't identify Tate with fun.

OK. Still big country. The best bit bit was the banjo playing by some other guy. A decent enough performance that his fans should love. So that's him safe then for another week.

Now you just know Emblem3 are going to do well so that means Cece needs to beat Diamond and Vino. Just figured that out. Pretty obvious really that she'll have one tough job. Whacking Vino doesn't sound even remotely possible so is there another possible target? Paige? She hasn't done so well in the votes so perhaps a Paige-Cece sing off is still on the cards? I hope not, as Paige would win that this time, I feel. So, unless Emblem3 make a complete cock-up it will take something quite extraordinarily good from the lovely Cece if she is to survive this week.


Here we go. There is a space for someone different. Good start, Voulez Vous Couchez Avec Moi? Mais oui! Stupid dress and set Too many other girls and not enough focus on her. She did a damn good job. LA may well have been right to say that she's going down (but not in that sense) fighting. Simon must have hurt with his Pack A Suitcase remark too.

We have to wait for Emblem3 while we get a glimpse of Scream And Shout from and Britney. That was odd and it seemed to just finish before it was supposed to. Lots of video clips of Britney and she was singing in a far lower register than seemed right. did his usual bit but I hope there's a lot more to that track than they showed us. All very odd. In fact I wonder if ITV2's transmission was cut short as it may not be available over herea nd we get a shot of the idiot Khloe chatting to Simon and LA walking back to his desk.


Yes! I'm A Believer! Good choice Simon. It did show how good The Monkees were in places but they brought in some of their own style and brightened up an otherwise bit meaningless and less than exciting performance. I think their fans will love that, though. And vote for it. It could have been fabulous but I don't think it really worked as well as it should.

LA was impressed and more or less offered them a deal. In reply they gave what was almost a 'winners' thank you speech'. Demi didn't like it. Britney wasn't sure either. Interesting. My guess is their fans will be voting big time.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Week 4: Cher Lloyd and Carly Rose performances

Here's Cher Lloyd's impressive performance from Week 4 Results show.

And the remarkable Carly Rose Sonenclar with Over The Rainbow. Maybe she should reprise this in the Final.

The UK programme needs this level of talent or there'll be no more exports. UnionJ are our last hope in that respect but they'll need to oust Emblem3 who are looking increasingly good and well-managed by Simon Cowell.

Week 4: Results

So which two get thrown out?

A recap reminds us how much Diamond is like Jessica, Tate and American idol's runner-up last year, Emblem3 seem solid, Arin was unnoticeable, Cece was a bit better than she seemed on the night, Fifth Dimension were a little more boring than last night, Beatrice's notes were a bit more off-key than last night, Vino was solid, Paige looked very strange and Carly was magnificent.

Nice to see Beatrice getting the Fix you last line in the intro and introducing the school kids as well. I don't normally like these stupid sing-a-long as they always seem a bit embarrassing and there's always someone who looks and sounds out of place but I have to go along with that one and loved to see some of the profits going to a good cause like that.

I suppose Cher Lloyd would have been one of their cheaper guests too. Strange that she's been the second most successful X Factor export across the Pond this year. She was actually 5th in the 2010 show!

First we get to know the first to go, the heavy emotion one. They have no chance. It's Arin. That makes sense, as he hasn't made a connection and been near bottom each week. He'll be fine. No big worries there.

Cher seemed really current and whoever put her song together and her make-over has done an excellent job. We remember the crooked smile and quirky nature but, most of all, how she out-performed in a duo round. There was also a second singer on stage - no idea who - that was very good and an ideal match. That as quite a production and should sell well in the teen market over there as well as here too if she ever gets the promotion. You watch that and then wonder just how Vino and Tate fit into this scene. I guess they don't. And with less division of their votes, they'll be around for a week or two yet.

So, now the difficult part. This could be interesting. It ought to be Paige v Cece with another of Demi's young adults going. Beatrice must be vulnerable too. It's Cece v Beatrice. That's fair enough too. Much as I love Cece, I might prefer to see Beatrice through. But let's see how they perform.

Cece put a really fine effort in with Because Of You which makes you wonder why she can't do that in the normal shows. So frustrating. I want to see her relaxed and enjoying performances, not fighting for survival all the time.

Beatrice looked just as tense if not more so. She sang White Flag so well despite the tears. Britney, again, doing brilliantly. There's something about this young girl. If she does go then I want her back again next year. The pressure, though, did get to her. Perhaps Cece will survive.

Demi and Britney support their own acts of course. It's down to LA and Simon. LA keeps Cece. Simon keeps Cece but with a warning. Beatrice breaks down and this is all very sad. One of the best new voices but she simply needs that bit more strength for such an emotional roller coaster of a show. To be honest, Cece must see this as her last chance too.

Last we get the rankings of this week's votes.

1 Carly Rose
2 Tate
3 Vino
4 Emblem 3
5 Diamond
6 Paige
7 Fifth Harmony
8 Cece

I really do hope Demi takes advice from Britney and Simon about song choices between now and next week. One more anthemic track with a low start that doesn't suit Cece and everyone knows by someone better and she's gone.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Week 4 Pt 1

Strange fuzzy tributes to start the programme. Better any day than a sing-a-long, however. Ah, it's something called 'Thanksgiving' across the Pond this week. Do they get two turkeys then? One now and another at Christmas?

Tate appears without a hat and looks quite different. Vino looks rough and tough, especially with a beard and moustache growing rapidly at a rate that doesn't seem to have applied to the rop half. Cece looking cool and pretty again. Paige also seems to have sacked the extreme make-over guys and was actually cute, not the hard girl image we've seen so far. One thing that struck me was that I couldn't tell which was Carly Rose and which was Beatrice! That's crazy. I can easily spot them, surely, but those shots fooled me.

We're going to get some dragged out soft and gooey bits as each act spends longer dedicating their performances to mum, dad or whoever than actually on the stage.

All good solid sruff again from the current vote leader, I'm Already There is a modern classic Country sound and he performed it pretty well. He did wobble a bit at the end which i guess we can put down to emotion but he seemed just a bit average this week, That's maybe being a bit harsh but the standards have been exceptional so far and he'll need to keep up there.

He will be there next week, though, for sure. Memories of Scotty's run on American Idol haunt me - and Tate seems to have zero competition and where he hasn't got the teen vote he may even more than make up for it with the older Country folk who haven't anyone else to vote for.

Nice fellow. Not exactly 'X Factor' though.


She's looking much older than 13 and performs really well some choir-backed anthem. You Gave Me Strength or something like that. Lots of good efforts at notes and style. Quite a few missed but she gets a lot of appreciation from the judges. Diamond certainly made a good effort and is a delight to watch, very safe on stage. I still say that she needs a couple of years to refine and mature a bit and then she could be truly unstoppable.

She has struggled to win votes to date and is, indeed, only here now because Simon brought her back. That ought to win over some more supporters but I actually thought she was better last week so that might make her vulnerable. Difficult call. Let's see how the others do.


Sounds like a Taylor Swift number. Probably isn't. Tell Me What You Want To Hear or I'm Going To Give All My Secrets Away. Excellent and really quite professional performance. A bit commercial and gooey - something you can imagine 1D doing - but that will definitely gather in some more girls' votes should there be any left. A good solid job by a group I am sure we'll be hearing more about.


Long wait for this guy as we here in Brtitain get some silly ads for a store with models holding snowballs and throwing them either side of the camera which just doesn't work at all. Then Peter Andre telling us about yet another flaming series about his life and kids and girls and tans, As if that wasn't enough we get the dedication to his brother and more on the Normani front just to keep the girl fans interested. Chat about man love. Oh boy, get on with it, please.

The song's Enrique's Hero. One very cool song. Good choice. The only problem is he's not Enrique who is also still pretty young and desirable to his voters. This is virtually a copy with a bit of open mouth croak on the I but nothing like as good as the main man.  Nice job. Notes all there. Better than he's done so far. He'd fly through the UK contest with this but he needs far more, something special. The judges are fair and maybe even a bit harsh. You have to feel a bit sorry for him but, to be fair, he can't out sing several others in his on category, never mind others.


This girl needs another exceptional performance tonight as, despite her remarkable success last week, I reckon even she was a bit surprised. She is coming across on the screen so much better. Love the girl. Just hope and pray it works.

The Wind Beneath My Wings - the other one - but, oh dear Cece, this was very sad. She breaks down at the end in real-looking emotion. I am not so sure that she wasn't upset because she really did not get the notes at the start and even messed up midway too. Her strength was when she let go and she hit the high notes well. She could be brilliant but that was a deciedly poor version of that track, which is pretty tedious and very much overdone these days anyway.

If, as the judges assumed, and could well be the case as it is a very sad story, Cece simply was overwhelmed with emotion for her sister and having her family in the audience at last then perhaps the same public that put her in 5th place last week will save her again.

I have to wonder, though. As things stand, she'd be a dead cert to go tomorrow. I hate to say that but I can't imagine any of the others messing up enough to avoid her going. Especially as two go again this week. Coming 8th is her best hope but even that's a tough call.

Fifth Harmony

God gets the thanks from the girls. Camilla is missed out but seems to agree so it can't be a religious thing. I may have missed her tribute but don't think so as she is the strongest element and I tend to look out for her. Oh well. I'll check the recording again.

Lauren starts once again. And has trouble with those low notes again. Dinah second in I'll Stand By You. Solid. Normani 3rd. A bit thin. Ally 4th, Cool and engaging and you almost expect her to start dancinga round but this isn't that sort of track so she holds herself back.  Choir 5th. Dinah again. No Camilla spot? Strange. Quite a bit was wobbly from Lauren but that was a good version of quite a tedious track. They're talented and attractive. I would still put Ally and Camilla out front on the next number, or have Dinah do gospel big time with all four in the background. It's still just a little average and that song is a drag.

Will they get through? I think they've got a good teen vote going for them and may also have some older admirers now as they're so personable. I'd say yes, just.


This girl really does have to hit the vote market today. Chasing Cars is Britney's choice. She is so good at selecting tracks. If Beatrice does that well then it would stand out on this otherwise tedious track night.

Beautiful start and so natural. She's great. It went slightly wrong as she spotted her sisters in the audience and nearly broke but, unlike Cece, she got through with style. That wasn't quite a stand out but it would be very sad if she doesn't get the votes. I would keep her, definitely. She's up against the split support with Carly, though, and even a bit of Diamond, maybe. Perhaps she may need to sing off tomorrow, Hate to say that but unless there's a poor performance coming up that could be the way it goes. She won't be bottom, though.


Better with the white T shirt and he's ahd a shave of sorts. God Bless The USA  and let's support the soldiers and be proud to be American. All good patriotic, well, the ultimate patriotic number really. That was one smart choice for an emotional night. Both Britney and Demi seem to have changed their mind about him this week. No-one can argue with that trump card of a song, especially as he also did perform it well, which we shouldn't forget, after all!

Nice job, Vino. You're well and truly safe. Tell the union boys they can take it easy on the phone bosses for a week.


That's interesting. Another near break down but this time Paige showed that she could power herself out of trouble and use the emotion to move the song as opposed to the other way round. It wasn't good and she didn't look that good this week either. This was a Britney song but I didn't recognise it, not that that matters. The judges were pretty down on the song choice and not as 'understanding' as they had been with Cece.

Paige is very likely to be in the bottom 3 tomorrow. Last week she was excellent but still only just scraped through so that doesn't bode well for her. She wouldn't be my choice to leave but she may well have to fight again. She may also just have rescued Cece, although a Paige v Cece night again is a distinct possibility.

Carly Rose

Oh boy. Somewhere Over The Rainbow! Britney is amazing. This will put her at No. 1. Even before I hear it. Despite the Vino anthem. Despite everything. Perfect.

Now I have watched her performance. Marvellous. Absolutely marvellous. What else can I say?

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Farewell Jennel

It just shows the high standard of this year's acts that the American voting public put this talented and beautiful girl in the bottom three this week.

Week 3: Results

Straight into the Results Show with no sing-a-long acts prancing around which I always thought must be difficult when one or two of them must have their minds more occupied with whether they'll survive or have to sing again later than whether they're making the right moves.

There's a shot of Tate comforting a very worried-looking Cece. She started off with so much confidence but seems to have had all that knocked out of her recently which is such a shame. She's convinced that she's going, especially as there's two to leave tonight and, judging by previous voting trends and the actual performances, she'll need something remarkable to happen to survive.

We also get a clip of Jennel talking with Demi and looking really pleased with her performance, saying that she felt that she'd finally got the hang of things.

Mario tells us that the first act will be announced right away. Well, after an ad break.

It's Lyric145. I guess they were going to struggle to reach any audience that puts Tate at No.1 so their time would have been up in the earlier weeks anyway. They take it pretty well and my feeling is that they were all delighted just to get this far and should have made enough of an impression somewhere to warrant a modest contract too so it won't have been in vein.

Taylor Swift appears next and performs her State of Grace track. With a red mic to plug the new album. She really has got her image and style right with some well-written tracks that will appeal across a wide range of the market and she doesn't just stand there with a huge guitar either but moves around and is very impressive.

I always find performances like that a salutary reminder as to what we should be looking for in the contestants. You can almost immediately say that you could imagine A and B just coming on as they are and doing that. C and D might too, but need some polish or guidance. The others - no chance  however hard they're promoted. You can put your own favourites in A to D, no doubt.

The dreadful Khloe is getting worse and worse, stumbling with the autocue and even Mario gave her a frustrated sideways glance at more than one point, wondering whether he needed to rescue her. I am amazed that someone as fussy as Simon Cowell has let this useless woman stay as host. I am sure she could be quietly dropped with some hugely important something needing her attention so that no-one need know why she's gone. Her announcements are squawked and robotic, just read out with no meaning. Absolutely awful - get rid of this annoying person, please, someone.

Time to find out who's safe. Complete relief, shock and delight all together on Cece's face as she escapes the bottom two! We're left with Fifth Harmony, Jennel and Paige. None of those should be standing there. I remind myself that this is in no particular order so, for all I know, one of the acts came top of the poll. I would ahve guessed that Paige had to be safe out of the three but it's Fifth Harmony. My God, that means it's Jennel v Paige in a sing-off. Extraordinary. Before they even start it will be Jennel that goes. That is so wrong - and I've been a really big fan of hers - but I have to say that for Paige to go home at this point would be even more wrong.

More awful hosting blunders. Khloe is squawking again at the two acts - both who are probably stunned and upset - telling them to go and get ready to perform in a style more like an ancient schoolmistress than a 21st century host of a show with 60 million viewers (or whatever it is these days). Then she asks Demi to introduce her act. Demi doesn't know who's going first. Step in the increasingly competent Mario who rescues both women from camera expression disaster by announcing that Jennel will be performing.

Poor Jennel struggles to get through The Reason Is You. This was one heartfelt performance and really emotional - she really does only just seem to make it, unless that was one good acting performance. For all that, though, this was no stand-out song.

Paige is immediately so much better, making a genuinely expressive and different version of Paradise her own, interesting and modern. This was more an execution that a sing-off.

Paige was the clear winner there and both LA and Britney quickly support her. Simon won't say. He wants to know who Demi will choose. I guess he doesn't want to be the judge who makes the final decision as he can see the unpopularity building - almost whichever act goes but particularly if Paige had the lowest public vote and he made it necessary to go to that stage. Demi is at a loss too and wants Simon to announce first. Demi finally decides and it's Jennel she saves. I'm pretty sure that Simon is aware that Paige may have had the lowest public vote (or was delaying beforehand to find out) and he wants to keep her in the competition. He could have possibly saved Jennel but doesn't. That took a while and all credit to Mario for handling the debate well, making the very valid point that two acts' emotions and, to a certain extent, future careers are on the line here.

That was a sad outcome. Jennel was good. It should have been Arin or Beatrice, based on performances this week. But. of course, it isn't, is it?!

Now, the interesting part of the show when we get to see who polled highest. And here they are:

(1)   1 Tate
(2)   2 Carly Rose
(3)   3 Vino
(7)   4 Emblem3
(12) 5 Cece
(5)   6 Fifth Harmony
(4)   7 Diamond
(10) 8 Beatrice
(11) 9 Arin
10 or 11 Jennel (8) and Paige (6)

We're told that a mere fraction of a percent separates Tate and Carly Rose and just 3% separating them from Vino.

It's all about who picks up the votes and how they divide as the acts fall, though. Tate has 100% of the Country vote well and truly bagged but Carly Rose would pick up the Beatrice vote, for instance, and Cece may well benefit from the Jennel vote if she can hold herself together next week and finally show us what she can do. Fifth Harmony would pick up some of the Diamond, Beatrice and Cece vote if they went first too which could bode well for them. So Tate's reign isn't that secure, perhaps, after all.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Week 3 Review Pt1

Two acts will go this week with the act that receives the lowest public vote being second to leave and judges choosing who will be third from the next two lowest in the poll.

It's Diva Week, although sometimes I wonder whether there's much point in assigning a theme as most acts do what they feel will keep them in, or what their mentors think will do so.


Proud Mary you may recall from either Creedence Clearwater Revival or Tina Turner. It's a track that regularly appears of these shows and is never as good as either of those and this time too is disappointing. A slightly too gentle start but she does get going eventually but this is not that great. All the notes were there this time, Jennel being a fairly reliable and good performer but I always get the feeling that she's holding back and could do much better.


He gets lots of applause and is a really popular guy. From This Moment must be one of those droming on Country songs. It does go on a bit. He has a strong, good voice but actually we hear more of one of the backing singers and the band is way too intrusive. It's a competent performance again but very uninspiring. He does seem popular, though and Simon, sensing a market out there, says he's happy to write the cheque for $5 million now. I think he means he'll put him on his list of SYCO acts whatever happens in this competition, rather than indicating that his groups stand no chance.


Halo. Good choice by Britney. Her voice is also drowned out by the backing and it's difficult to tell what contribution she's making but, from what I can hear, she does very well. She looks confident and, this week, hits the right notes and has bags of personality - an endearing quality that may keep her up there in the very safe zone again.


It's unusual for two acts from the same category to follow each other but that's what's been decided here. Beatrice must be worried that she was at almost exactly the opposite end of the poll to Carly Rose last week and is clearly anxious. Time After Time is another excellent choice by Britney. Beatrice was once my 'dark horse' contestant as I love her voice and she had that extra something that I thought would keep her in this competition. However, she did little with this song until just one phrase near the end. She did get the notes right and looked good on the stage but I wonder if that will be enough to keep this charming girl in the competition.


Virtually no rehearsal time for these three but that may not matter for these natural performers. They're talented - well, Lyric certainly is - and We Will Rock You suited them even if it didn't suit the week's theme. Once again, there is massive support from the male backing group that has me fumbling around with my audio controls. There has to be something seriously amiss with the broadcast mix. Not sure how the voters will take that performance and the judges are definitely unimpressed. Simon may have been but was cut off mid-sentence with the tedious 'Be right back' from the compère and the screen cuts to ads. Terrible.


Teen number three from Britney's category. Three out of the last four. Odd. Crazy For You seems like a track he knows and his relationship with Normani from Fifth Harmony could have helped this 17 year old make a decent attempt at getting some meaning across. He had a great start but this was boring, a word that three of the judges used in their summaries too. He could have done so much more with that and it didn't work. He's a good looking boy and that may save him again this week but he could be the first teen to go.


Now she should do well on Diva Week. Last Dance. Nice choice by Demi and Paige puts on a great performance with no bad notes and plenty of good moves. She looks good, not as OTT as previously and is starting to settle in and show some real talent. She was at her best tonight and the best act so far by a long way.

Fifth Harmony

Hero. Another overdone track. Lauren is still leading which I feel is a mistake as she is not as strong as she needs to be. Just as last week the real effect comes when Camila starts. She is the really good singer and performer. The group do work really well together, nice to watch and listen to although someone needs to tell Dinah Jane to hold back a bit as we really don't want a passion power line in every track please. I'm not absolutely sure this track represented the best they can do but not at all bad and I would hope they'll be around next week.

Carly Rose

My Heart Will Go On is, of course, the classic Titanic track by Celine Dion. I don't recall anyone attempting this as it is not at easy with some very tricky notes. Wow. This was brilliant. She controlled everything and produced one marvellous performance - and at 13! This is a quality performer indeed.


 Let's Stay Together. Vino sings Tina? Well, despite my initial doubts his was the best start of everyone and it was indeed, a great track for him to interpret. Plenty of shots with him touching hands with adoring girls in what looked just a little too 'arranged' for my taste but that will do him no harm in broadening his appeal. He has a strange doubled up prowl as he moves around the stage and, in black leather from neck to toe again, he's not the most watchable character. However, that's one good voice and he is a contestant to be reckoned with who'll be around no problem for a while yet. Britney and Demi really don't seem to like him, though, and you do have to wonder why.


Simon gets in something about the group rescuing kittens which, of course, UK viewers will know little about but which I guess hit the news over there. Alisha Keys No One /Everything's Going To Be All Right is their number and this talented and professional group do well with it. They're well-rehearsed and give good performances that are modern and you can see them selling records and at concerts. Nice job. But so was last week and they only managed a middle placing with the voting public. This week will gives us a big hint as to what their chances are. I had them as potential winners.


She needs an amazingly good performance to stay another week, especially with two acts going this time. It's tough with so many doing so well this week, though. She is adorable to watch and her hair's so much better. Not so sure about the dress but she makes a good effort at All By Myself. In places she shwoed what she is capable of but mostly this was a phrase on repeat and still some desperation spoiling the overall impact. The production was OTT but that may have been my audio. At the top end she is totally reliable and inspiring and you know she cares so much - exuding passion and meaning to lyrics as well as anyone - but there were too many bits that were out of her natural range where she needed to let the track flow and not force it. It was a poor song choice, again. She could be in trouble yet again which is such a shame. I feel Demi has written her off and is putting all her efforts in to Paige and I'm not sure Jennel hasn't been left alone either. Such a pity.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Week 2 Results

In a massive 5 hours of TV this week, UK viewers have actually caught up with America. Well done, ITV2! Another performance from One Direction too, to get the Results Show under way.

This is when we get some idea of just who is popular out there in voting land and someone gets sent home, presumably not to be brought back again next week à la Diamond White.

In fact we get something new - and very welcome - the announcement of how the votes stacked up from bottom to top! Not the actual numbers, but a 12 to 1 countdown and this adds something extra to the show and, no doubt, will influence how acts are presented, the material they choose and it will fascinating if this is repeated in future weeks to see the changes. That assumes, of course, that they will be changes. Should every week from here to the final have the same two or three at the top then that's not going to help the confidence of the acts from 4 down if, whatever they do, nothing seems to change.

So here's how America voted:

1 Tate 
2 Carly Rose
3 Vino
4 Diamond
5 Fifth Harmony
6 Emblem3
7 Jennel
8 Paige
9 Lyric145
10 Beatrice
11 Arin
12 Cece
13 Jason

Some surprises there! Tate beating Carly Rose, after his competent but less than enthralling performance of an average track, says one hell of a lot about who is watching and voting, doesn't it? Remember - Scotty won America Idol two years ago and Phillip Phillips last year, whilst not a Country act, was not exactly modern pop and beat Jessica Sanchez. Two big balladeers reached X Factor USA's final last year, Josh paving the way for Vino for follow. Tate is certainly an appealing character and sings well, totally reliable as a performer, and has the big Country vote to himself but I still hadn't expected him to top the bill at this stage. Wow.

Vino must be as pleased as Punch with his 3rd position. Again, that wasn't the most stunning of performances either. Competent but not something I'd expected huge votes for. He must be delighted and clearly has the East Coast well organised.

Diamond at 4 is also a big surprise. Her performance was not at all good this time so I can only imagine we're getting the effect of a build up of support for some earlier pretty smart ones, including the previous week when she definitely outshone Arin. Whilst there was no way she'd be sent home just after being brought back, I'd expected her to be way down the list and certainly last of the Teens.

Fifth Harmony getting more votes than Emblem3?? Good grief. That was possibly the biggest surprise of all. Yes, the girls did put on a great show but I really had expected the girl vote to go for Emblem3 in a big way and I had them down as up there with Carly Rose for the top spot. (As did the bookies, incidentally!)

After all the effort expended on Paige by Demi, it seems that she doesn't have a breakthrough of support out there but then, for all we know, there may only be a few votes separating her and Jennel one level above her and one of my early predictions to win.

Lyric145 are great fun to watch and could do well in the industry but I am not at all sure this is their type of show to do particularly well in so their placing seems about right. However well they do the votes simply aren't likely to be there - unless they get a lot further and things start polarising in their favour.

At the bottom, Beatrice, Arin, Cece and Jason seems OK as none really did very well last night. So it's Cece and Jason to sing off and Cece must have thanked her lucky stars that it was Jason she was up against. anyone else and she would have been first to go.

Her version of You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me was emotional but a little desperate to watch. It's not a performance even her fans will be downloading in a hurry. She does show passion, though, and there are moments of brilliance when you can see someone with real talent standing there. I wonder if she might do better by trying a little less hard. I preferred the pretty brunette with a cool attitude and leopard spots. She should now go either all the way - Gagaesque, perhaps, - which I believe she could pull off well, or just sing well some popular tracks and look fabulous.

Jason's response with Total Eclipse Of The Heart started well but he lost the key and it became actually painful to listen to at one point when he failed to hit notes. Oh dear. He really has to go. Good TV, a nice guy but he has no chance of winning.

I had expected a straight 3-1 vote but Simon voted for him to stay which must have really knocked Cece's confidence. She looked quite shocked. That brought it to deadlock and so it was the act with the lowest votes that goes home. We hadn't, at this point, seen the list of voting preferences so it could have been either that were on their way out the door. Cece survived to sing another day.

Quote of the week has to be from Tate, on discovering he'd topped the polls: Obviously these people don't get out a lot! Ha ha!!

I find the comperes really annoying, though, and as amateur-looking as Steve last year. If anything, Khloe Kardashian is worse. The guy may improve and certainly has more natural ability and some idea of timing and some personaility. The girl, though, is just a large cardboard nightmare. How on earth could Simon have agreed to her? Something wrong there.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Week 2: Now It's A Top 13 As Simon Does It Again

One of the nice things about being Simon Cowell is that if you change your mind about one of the acts being sent home you can bring them back again as a Wild Card. Last year he popped around to Melanie Amaro's place and brought her back, which was just as well for the show as she finished up winning it. Not that she's done a great deal since and we're still waiting to see just what the $5 million has done for her. A few bob spent on better writers might have been a better idea. This year it's little Diamond White that he feels bad about and she's back to steal some votes from Arin and Beatrice.


One minute he's got girls in strangely patterned suits around him and the next he's got lads in leather as if we're watching two different performances. Better than last week and he's moving around a lot in those pants which will no doubt get him a few more votes. American Boy was OK but nothing spectacular. If it wasn't for the fact that he's the only young guy in the show mopping up the teen girl vote I'd say he hasn't long to go.   Emblem3 have, of course, already cleaned up most of them anyway.


So she comes down from on high and the wind machine blasts he dress nicely. That requires someone to come along and unbelt the harness so there was a convenient chap around who fiddled around and freed her from the device and kissed her neck while he was at it. She is looking good and, although the performance of Take My Breath Away wasn't that great she's making an effort to stay. The song seemed to go nowhere and she may have been more concerned with the staging than any emotion. I particularly got annoyed at the way she ran through 'take my breath' when the words really should have been delivered more slowly. It didn't work for me and the flying stuff seemed a bit irrelevant at the end of the day. The notes were in the right places, though, and that was a lot better than last week too.


With When A Man Loves A Woman LA has given Vino a nice, solid and soulful number to work with which his supporters should love. He put a huge amount of heart into that and that's this guy's strength. With a shout out to the East Coast at the end (and wandering off while Simon chats with Demi about Susan Boyle to touch hands in the front row left) he is showing some individuality and has a certain something that could carry him through for a while yet. He still isn't dressed right and LA needs to get settled on a style but his singing was pretty much spot on. It going to be urban versus country at some point and he'll need the mob to persuade workers to vote to beat Tate in that if he's going to make the finals.


Great mix of My Girl, California Girl and something that sounded to me like the start of a Grease track but must have been a One Direction thing. Simon clearly has worked some magic with this group and is right behind them and making all the right decisions. That worked well, good voices, bags of energy and they're a very likeable bunch that will pull in masses of votes from exactly the audience this show is aimed at. (Whether that's actually who's watching and voting remains to be seen, of course!) Other things, being equal, Emblem3 must be in the final and we'll be watching them doing strong, confident performances all the way through.


I didn't recognise this track - Iris?. Not sure it really worked for her. She has a great, very marketable voice that stands out but it didn't suit this track at all and just sounded like someone young singing and didn't have that special timbre effect that she achieved last week. She put some distance in between her and Carly Rose, who must be her main rival, and that may be useful. This song just started and stopped and, although I thought we was going to take it somewhere interesting at one point it didn't ever get there. Nice personality  though, and even if she falls at a hurdle soon, she deserves to be supported and brought back again as she will succeed one day.


I Love Rock And Roll is the direction Demi is sending Jennel but I'm not so sure that's a good idea. She looked quite old - good, but old. This girl is more talented than she could show from that performance. I had her down as a potential winner at the start but now I'm having doubts. She has some superb abilities to perform and use a huge range, as well as getting all the notes right but this was a badly arranged song. Not her fault, and I hope she survives to bring something better to the show next week.


Dead Or Alive did absolutely nothing for me. This was a tedious performance. Well sung, reasonably presented, I suppose, and the guy has all the confidence in the world and is so natural on stage, but that still left me cold. He is lucky to be the one Country guy on this show as that should guarantee him a good many more weeks. 37? I thought he was a lot older. My guess is that he'll cruise through this week and let us hope he gets a better song next time.


You really do not know to expect from these guys. Lyric does lead the way but this week the two guys get in on the act in a good way too. Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious must have been one of the most unlikely tracks for this group to do in the world and it seems that it was the girl's choice too. Brave. Very brave. Odd. Very odd. But it worked and I reckon they'll get a lot of respect for that bit of entertainment and they made themselves less threatening and more appealing to the audience than what I imagine their natural hard-nosed stuff might do. Whether they're admitting it or not, Simon's commercial influence has had some big effect. They'll be popular and should be easily through to next week.


So the little girl's back and she sure has a better reason to be in this competition that some. I Have Nothing was one big song for her and, despite a lot of effort and great notes in places, and bags of personality  this was way too big for her. The high notes didn't work and there was no feeling in this. She is talented but needs to move away from the old fashioned big ballads. There are at least five other girls who could have blown her off the stage with that number. In fact, it's a pity that Cece didn't choose it instead of what she does try which, strangely, I can imagine Diamond doing far better!


The trademark spots are back and she's looking good as ever. This is a strange arrangement of The Eye Of The Tiger though and I'm really not at all sure Demi knows what's she's doing with this girl. I almost wonder whether the 'leopard' spots gave her the link to 'tigers' and hence the song. She may well have done better with What's New Pussy Cat? as this was not brilliant. At one point I honestly thought she'd lost the track but it was just pathetically put together for her. In places, you could tell this is a potentially really good star - the way she picked out lines at the end and hit some great and strong notes too - but there were also several
bad notes and wobbles that spoilt it. I'm very disappointed and so much hope that someone helps her choose some decent track next time - and that, indeed, enough people actually vote to keep her in there. Luckily it's voting across the baord and she's not up against just Paige and Jennel - if she had have been then that would have been farewell.

Carly Rose

There are few performances these days that you want to watch again but this is one of them. Remarkable. From the very start, the dlight of every single note being where it belongs and I actually felt she meant the words too. Again, remarkable, as that ahs been where she's not got through before. Very, very impressive indeed and streets, streets ahead of anyone else so far on this show tonight. By miles.

And I didn't even know the song. It Will Rain.


OMG. Well, that's how Jason starts most of his tweets... This is a tedious song. I Believe I Can Fly is not one of my favourites as it has been done by so many people and, mostly, very badly arranged. This was another bad arrangement, I'm afraid. Jason has a great voice and could be a super entertainer with that great personaility. It may appeal to the grannies and he's ten times, no a thousand times, more watchable than Old Balonet who is still surviving on X Factor UK.

I can't imagine how LA Reid thinks this is going to do him any good but that may say more about LA Reid as it does about Jason. Pity. I like the guy but he deosn't stand a chance in this competition - especially after that incredible Carly Rose performance.

Fifth harmony

So now we have the, hopefully, final name. This is a good group and the harmonies worked well on A Thousand Years but it was one stunning, albeit too short, performance by one girl whose naem I haven't figured out yet, that made it special. It wasn't the one near the end who was good but a bit OTT either but one earlier, after the slightly weak start girl. OK it was the one second from the right, whoever she is! They're up against a couple of damn good groups though and I really don't know how they'll fare. they might get more votes ultimately (not this week) than Lyric145 but beating Emblem3 will be very difficult as things stand. Then they've got to steal votes off other acts too in order to stay around long. I hope they do but I'm not sure. If only to give that one girl a chance, and the delightful little one at the end too, I want to see them back.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Live Shows Week 1: And Then There Were Twelve

There are some big surprises here so UK viewers may want to wait until ITV2 catches up with what the judges decided across the Pond tonight. I have included most of the videos of the performances but not all are available. This must have been one tough night for both the judges and the contestants, the judges having first to decide which two acts they wanted to sing again and then to choose - again - which one to include in the Top 12 and which to send home.

No public votes to help them choose at either stage. No consensus required between them. Straight choices, two and then one. If you look carefully at the judges' expressions, especially Britney's, then you'll get an idea of what they'll decide but I'll leave the announcement of which four made it until the end of this post so if you don't want to know yet you can find out for yourself later.

First, Demi asks Cece and Willie to perform again.

I had to listen to this a couple of times before I really got it - so much screaming in the background and an intense backing track - but when I did I was so glad that, once past an unconvincing start, she found her emotions and interpreted this unusual track brilliantly, ending superbly with talent bursting out all the way through. She looked reserved, frightened and vulnerable but will have won many hearts over tonight.

Willie's performance has been removed for some reason. I shall try and find another copy. From the wonderfully informative MJSbigblog I read that he was pitchy and seemed now to be in way over his head. Simon said that he wished he were his mentor and might have presented him better. Willie was someone I had down as a certainty for the Top 12 as he has such a great character and is different and I reckon he'd get a huge wave of fans building up votes for his super personality and sheer likeability and votes for his Country style. Paige, despite a very weak vocal last night, avoided what I had expected - yet another confrontation with Cece.

Second, LA puts Vino and Tate straight through. Tate had to be in the Top 12. The one act they can absolutely depend on. He probably won't even need to rehearse and will have a song catalogue he can just stand and deliver without any worry whatsoever. Vino I think is great but I had expected LA to choose him over David. They are quite different in style but that urban worker look that they both have on camera is a visual clash - like two intensely decorated sheets of wallpaper really shouldn't be used in the same room. I really would have thought LA would choose David to stay over Vino with Vino then having to battle against Jason. But no, it's David v Jason instead. Big surprise.

David's performance was excellent. So much talent and he looks and sounds so much more experienced than I imagine he must be, unless he's been doing this locally for some time. I guess he must have been as he seems naturally comfortable even on that amazing and vast set. He must also beat the others by a mile in terms of Twitter support. My stream has been filled with his tag all week. The judges, strangely, seemed unimpressed.

Jason was the one I had down to go tonight. He's a super character, totally credible and actually a good singer too but he really doesn't strike me as someone that LA Reid would be happy mentoring. This would be LA's chance to fix that. Well, it might have been but Jason pulled a brilliant performance - quite straight, no fancy bits or immense set or backing - and showed just how good a voice he has got.

Third, another very, very tough call indeed. Britney, as I'd predicted, keeps Carly Rose and Beatrice after amazingly good performances last night. Nothing else could have made sense. That left Diamond and Arin.

Possibly the best solo of the night, Diamond's version of the Elton John track was spot on from the first note. (Others please note! Get it right at the start, OK.) She looked right and sounded like she could walk in to a recording studio tomorrow and have an album ready by tea time. This girl is a future star without a doubt. I can just see her in three or four years' time, exams and boyfriends out of the way, home life sorted and with professional guidance and confidence and just that little bit of maturity and understanding of the world that's missing today. All the judges loved this. How could she possibly go?

Arin's video is also unavailable at present. Again, borrowing MJSblog review, he sang You Keep Me Hanging On more in Kim Wilde than Supreme's style apparently and with pitch problems but also some good bits that also impress all the judges a lot. It seems like he's one big hit with the audience too. Well, apart from Emblem3 and a couple of guys in Lyric145, he has zero competition! If he stays then that vote will count big time in his favour, even if he does struggle with some notes.

Lastly, Simon selects Emblem3 and Lyric145 as his two definites for the Top 12. So we're going to lose at least three girls as Sister C are up against what was once Lylas and tonight is 1432 and next week, if they survive, something else. That's a first in X Factor history - two name changes! You do get the feeling taht things have already been decided - I mean, who would have a competition prepared for a name change for a group that was going home? You know and I know that Sister C are in trouble. Lovely though they all are, they're lucky to be in the Live Shows and I don't think they'd be around long even if they do survive.

This track was performed really well, and this is an excellent group who you could trust to entertain a crowd almost anywhere. Just maybe not X Factor. They look good and each has a remarkably strong voice and style. It's difficult to criticise them at all.

Last of all it's The Five Girls Who Started As Solo Contestants And Simon Put Them In A Group. Now this was the best performance of the night. Sorry, Diamond. This was emotional and so well sung that even Demi had to remark how well they'd done her song! Each of the five is quite different but they have managed to blend in a way I would not have thought possible in such a short space of time. Cute to see two of them holding hands before the end of the track just before one really hits just the right notes and they all deserve huge praise for that. and whoever coached them over the intervening 24 hours.

OK. It's decision time. I haven't seen exactly how the judges' revealed their choices and imagine there would have been an awful lot of tears. as I said at the start, there are some surprises so I'll leave bags of space below before showing the results.

This is your Top 12

Jannel Garcia
Paige Thomas
CeCe Frey !

Vino Alan
Tate Stevens
Jason Brock !!

Beatrice Miller
Carly Rose
Arin Ray !

Lyric 145
1432 (Soon to be called something else) !

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Live Shows Week 1: Fame Academy, Simon?

This is it. The Live Shows. 16 acts performing on the most important night for their future careers in the music industry. This is the night when fans really start to build loyalty, when the amazingly good can feel it's all been worthwhile and, whatever the judges say, hope to entertain us for at least another few weeks, when those who really were fortunate to get through to this stage finally fall.

It's a great couple of shows but also a cruel couple of shows because tomorrow four of these acts will go home. That's going to be tough and it probably won't be the four that deserve to go home - just those who made the least connection with the judges but that is, at least, a lot fairer than attempting to win an elusive public vote at this stage

Let's see how they all did.

Paige opens the show, looking absolutely stunning - a really pretty face beneath an outrageous, to use the word used by both Britney and Simon, porcupine affair on her head. She moves well but her singing is nervous and never really gets going. Some wrong notes and this is not the best of starts for her. The judges seem very considerate in their remarks but I wonder just how much that was because they'd been told to start in positive style, negatives and arguments possibly turning off viewers too soon? It will be very interesting to see whether they have the same degree of leniency with others, notably Cece, in this extremely tough category. All four could, from what we've seen in the run up to the Live Shows, make the final so choosing one to go will be really difficult.

Arin is the old guy in his group at 17. He has had experience on the Live Shows, which has to be a major advantage, leading InTENsity last year. Another nervous start, not exactly flowing, and he looked as if he was checking whether he was in the right place sometimes and I'm sure he was more than a little distracted by the dancers and everything going on around him. His voice was not strong and this track could have been brilliant but it was just average. In fact, he was saved to a large extent by the backing track which effectively presented the whole song for him. He, too, is in a very tough category and, unless nerves get to the younger ones in a big way, may still be the weakest, despite his experience and age.

David is the first of the Overs. At last, someone who starts as if he wants this and knows what he needs to do. He seems to have already grown quite a following on Twitter and seems very naturally at home on the stage. Great voice and an excellent song choice to show his heart on his sleeve, which is what this guy is particularly good at. Shout out to mum and dad won't have done him any harm. He deserves to live another day. So far, the big guys, Tate and Vino, have been making the running so his fate may depend on how Jason comes across later.

Knowing the massive Country vote that seems to exist out there, Simon will have felt obliged to have one group to match their needs. He's also chosen these three sisters (yes, they are sisters) who look just like male Country voters would want them to look as they are all beautiful. The lead has an air of Carrie Underwood about her but they all fell short on excitement. After a dreadfully unexciting start they did get going but this was nothing more than a very average performance, making that three 'averages' out of four so far. Emblem3 have made the running so far in the Groups category - the others are all very much unknown quantities so it could be an interesting night to see how they fare.

I shall declare at the outset that, if readers haven't already gathered, that Jennel is my favourite in this competition. So I was disappointed with this unusual and uninspiring song. She did her best with it, looks fantastic and seemed happy on stage and the judges seemed particularly impressed. The audience reaction was the best by far too so I feel she is pretty much safe. I do hope we see more passion and more of the edge that she has emotionally next week as she has all the qualities to succeed.

First of the really young ones. Diamond smiles a lot and has been dressed and made up to look fun and bright, shining on the big stage surrounded by a chaos of other kids dancing. Like so many acts tonight, though, everything seemed to be running at half-speed. This needed to be much faster, more energetic and just more fun. Demi used the word 'reserved' very accurately. She certainly starts off, though, looking and sounding good (with just a few wobbles) and way better than Rachel, who held a similar spot, last year. I'd say she's tipped the judges vote over Arin but I'm not that sure she'll be safe.

From one extreme to another. Vino is the exact opposite to Diamond. He's big and rough, with an earthy voice, belting out rock tunes. Well, he ought to be belting out rock tunes. He eventually got it together but that was one very shaky start and I even wonder if he lost his way at one point. First criticism from the judges. Simon spot on with the comment that LA Reid cocked up on that song choice. The word cocked was suitably blanked, of course! That may have improved David's chances, though. I had Vino down as a potentially winner from watching him during previous rounds so this was quite a surprise. There are some very strange song choices so far all round.

This is the group that you expect America to be least likely to get out their phones and vote for. Most of these guys' fans are not natural X Factor voters. Whatever! This was one great and entertaining performance. They put on a show and with a lot of fabulous graphics and even a nod to Gangham Style they have stolen the show so far by a mile. Totally professional, that Lyric girl is already a star and whatever happens on this show she'll be snapped up by someone very soon, if Simon hasn't done so behind the scenes already. Excellent. You do have to feel sorry for the guy with less hair, though, who only actually gets noticed in the act nearer the end, totally eclipsed (and also in the hilarious promo shots!) by Lyric and the other one.

Of all the acts tonight, this is the one I've been looking forward to most. I love this girl and really want her to get over the 'unlikeability factor' that she's shown to date. This was a good performance, not great, but I think she has the potential to be great if she can get some votes on her side - indeed, if she can stay in the show too, of course. This was another cool visual performance and she put a lot into it that puts her apart from some who have just stood and sung. She has been virtually note perfect in everything she's done so far but made a few mistakes this time - but nothing disastrous, just wish she hadn't. The dancers and her tights had a grubby air about them that I didn't think worked that well and, if it were a voting night, I would be worried for her as it wasn't so visually appealing for many who might otherwise vote for her. As it is, she's in with a chance but it would be at Paige's expense, and are the judges ready for that decision? I don't know. Cece must be so pissed that she's up against so many good people in this category. Any other year and she'd be through easily.

Everyone likes Tate. He just walks on and starts singing. Great from the very start which no one else has managed as well so far. This is only Week 1 Part 1 and the guy looks like an experienced act at his own show or as a guest on this one. By far, far and away, the best performance tonight. Is that enough to win X Factor, though? Because he's so good, it might just be. He may just find competition from Willie, though, who could steal all the youngster's votes that Scotty had bagged from the start.

This part could be described as the Beatrice or Carly Rose Show. Beatrice starts as the underdog of the two but this was a superb vocal performance and there's some special quality in her voice that is truly remarkable. She certainly ought to have put Arin and Diamond in the sing-off after that. So young and so good. Possibly a dark horse - although I accept that is one long shot! I just get that feeling. We'll have to see what Carly Rose does, though, before going further down that line!

Good old Jason. He's someone you can almost rely on to be entertaining. A cheerful song but after a while the same note repeated again and again with a bit of a screech and not always as in tune as it should be got a bit tiresome. He is pretty likely to be the one to go. That wasn't very good. I did like Jason's cheek, though, in his unedited remark at the very end about one of the co-host's cheek! We'll miss that if he goes but with all those under 18s around asking their mothers what he meant I suppose it'll be just as well!

1432. Not Lylas anymore. Lylas never made sense and sounded like those blow-up things you use as spare beds. Hey, that started terribly but got better very quickly and some great harmonies and vocals from most of them made this one of the better performances tonight. Quite a lot of criticism from the judges but this was a modern pop act that was better than the Spice Girls used to be when they started. The audience loved them and I reckon they should manage to stay with SisterC getting the boot. There is some serious talent in there and if they can get a few more notes right - the middle girl letting them down this time - then they'll do well.

Willie looks great, the cameras love him. An entertaining performance but not brilliant. He seems still to be getting used to being on a stage but, with dancers like that around him, I'm pretty sure he won't mind getting some more practice! He sings well, has some cool low notes and that Country style is popular. He can't touch Tate on the vocals but, if he can find something to make him really stand out in a modern way, he'll be around for a while yet.

This is the favourite by a long way at the bookies. Carly Rose has perfect pitch - she just starts and it's right. As this song, which was a bit odd anyway, ranged around she seemed to be able just to pick notes and moments and it all worked. With such young acts - she's 13 or 14, I think, - I do have trouble with how they can put across emotions from the lyrics, though. She is absolutely fantastic and one of the best potential stars that I've seen in a long time. The key word there, though, is potential. Demi asked whether she was actually ready yet. She had a point. She needs to be believable and, especially in a uniform that even emphasised her age, she lacked something. I find it so difficult criticising a performance that is one of the few I'd gladly watch again - and all credit to Britney for that - and I really do want to see her progress as she is too good to lose now. I think the punters are wrong (although I can understand why she does lead the polls) and someone else will win but she deserves to get through to the final if only to show the others just what good singing is all about and to give them all a bar to get over. If she can add real entertainment and, somehow, emotion to future tracks then anything is possible. She will be star. One day.

The boys get to close the show. Urban background. Nice choice by Simon again. This group will definitely be around a while yet. No doubt about that and a big fan base - importantly comprising voting fans too - will be a great support for them as the weeks progress. This was a great song for them - they might not like the Boy Band tag but that's what they'll get and can learn to live with it. A super way to close the show. We don't get to hear what the judges said or, for that matter, the audiences' reaction but I don't think it'll matter. they'll be around for a while yet.

So, who's going tomorrow? Tough choices indeed in places.

Groups: SisterC v 1432. 1432 will be more likely to win judges' votes but any bum notes from them with something a bit special from SisterC might possibly change the outcome. I see Sister C going.

Overs: Vino v Jason Jason is quite a light sort of act and, whilst we need some entertainment, I'm not sure he'll make it through. However, one set of full body tattoos is enough for the Live Shows and if Vino falls down again with nerves or just poor performance then he may struggle. My prediction is that Jason goes.

Young adults: Cece v Paige This rivalry has been going on since the start, if you believe the cleverly edited productions so far. But this sing-off, if that is what happens, would end that once and for all and could not have been created by the production team. I really really want to see what Cece can do but feel, sadly, that it'll be Paige that gets saved. It should be Paige that goes but I simply don't know.

Teens: Arin v Diamond
It would be so disappointing for Arin to be sent home in Week 1 for a second time but that seems to me the inescapable conclusion with such tremendous talent amongst the other three. The judges may make a decision based on the need to keep a guy in that category but I don't see them sending Diamond home. There may be a shock in this category. I don't know exactly how it will work. I am assuming that one from each category must go, reducing the acts to three per judge for Week 2. I am also assuming that all four will decide which two are at risk and also choose who goes home. That's a lot of negotiation and, presumably, behind the scenes activity that is already happening. Every possible combination will have been looked at and each judge will have declared who they want to take through and who of the other judges' acts they prefer. In a way, therefore, it will have been decided by the time they walk on stage.

Unless there's an element I am not aware of then it will be an odd night. What for instance, would happen if the vote were 2-2? Will they ask the 16 to vote? That was the technique used in an early programme of this type I watched a decade ago. in BBC's Fame Academy each act voted for their choice to go out of a bottom two if my memory serves me well. I wonder whether Simon remembers that. It kinda worked.