Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Top 10 perform British tracks. But it's a rather odd night...

The British Invasion. I like that. The Top 10 will be performing tracks that our folk have been successful with - over there, I presume. Another double elimination! Gosh, they're knocking them out quickly now - I just hope that the mistakes of last week don't get repeated.

Jeff Gutt just stares at Kelly when she tells him that he's doing Bohemian Rhapsody. I seem to remember Adam Lambert doing this well (and he is now joining the other Queen members on various tours!) Adam was that good. Jeff gets the notes right and sounds fairly mean but it is more or less the same all the way through. Not bad but more of an attempt at a copy than what I see as a star performance. An odd argument develops when Simon is quite complimentary but asks him why he thinks he hasn't had any success to date. I tend to agree with Demi and Kelly who stepped in but it was still an embarrassing moment. Basically, Simon would be sowing some seeds of doubt in people's minds and even his 'compliment' was merely saying that was his 'best performance to date' which, I guess, could mean anything! What I don't get is why he should worry as I can see Jeff getting much further anyway. Or does Simon know more about the voting profile than we do?

Tim Olstadt is up next. Demi is quite right in what she said last year about this chap not having the X factor. But he does Country and Country gets big votes. Tonight he sings Elton John's Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word. He sings very well and you can tell he sort of identifies with the words - a bit. He gets up and, amusingly, the piano continues to play. Obviously not that one but it is kinda odd! He looks quite out of place standing up - the dark grey denim is horrid. It might not be denim but it looks like denim. He sings better, though, and will have pleased some of his fans out there. Demi and Paulina keep talking about him being sexy which is weird. This show is getting very strange in places.

Khaya Cohen was is trouble last week which is an indication of what the voters think of her. She's in a similar bag to Jennel Garcia from last year. Jennel was brilliant but just didn't grab the voters. Khaya should stay for longer than the two guys she is following but much depends on how she does tonight.

Oh dear, the start is rubbish. She is all over the place an exposed with no backing other than a piano and solitary drum. She does get into it, though, and tries hard to impress but there are too many different flavours coming through. She does plaintive, she does rasping, she does Duffy but in her efforts there are just too many parts that sound like wailing for my taste. She may well have trouble this week after that dreadful performance. Not enjoyable.

Josh Levi has become one of my favourites, with marvellous performances so far, way ahead of the other two boys and, for that matter, most of the others. This week he's doing Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This, an interesting choice as the Eurythmics number may not have been that well known over there. He puts a nice modern touch - Bruno Mars in places - on the whole thing with some cool dancing too. Very professional and, OK, maybe the song was a bit less than inspiring but that doesn't really matter for him. Nice job. He has to get through.

Alex & Sierra are singing Best Song Ever which is pretty current and that ought to be popular. They're a strange couple in this industry in this time but I can see them lasting a bit longer yet. This was nice. Just nice. They sing well together but there was no excitement which you get from the 1D track. I know it was supposed to be slower and there was the pretty pretty bridge by the river scene but I am not sure it was that good. Yes, Simon's right in that that could have been released a single, whereas none of the others so far would have worked, but it is an odd audience that would buy it and I am not at all sure they're the people voting.

Rion Paige is the first act to start confidently and in tune. (Well maybe Josh did). Another Elton John song, Your Song. She is terribly young but it sort of works as she was singing this for her little brother and so managed to get real emotion across. That was an amazing performance apart from the heavy breathing just before the end. That was odd but the rest - fabulous. Great reviews from everyone. That really should be enough to take her through easily. I imagine she has to be a finalist.

Carlito Olivero is singing Satisfaction. Ha! We had Hannah Barrett doing that in the UK last week. It's a track that really needs her strength and, much as I prefer Carlito to Hannah, she did the better job. He sang well but with quite stiff movement - and I had this guy down as a good performer before. He didn't put any expression in the song and I felt that it was a bit slow too. He looks good and that was by no means bad and I don't think he deserves to go home this week but, again, I am not at all sure how the voters will like it. Good set. Imaginative and modern.

Lillie McCloud is doing a Kate Bush number. This Woman's Work is not a song she knew and, to be honest, until she starts singing, I couldn't remember it myself. Kelly has thrust her in to this one. A good singer, though, and she makes a super effort. Unfortunately, something was missing and I think it was, indeed, Lillie simply not connecting with the song. That could well translate in votes not coming through. I don't know but, much as Kelly was clearly enjoying what I guess is one of her personal favourites, that may well prove to have been the wrong, much too serious and introspective choice.

Ellona Santiago performs Burn and it is clear that she's no Elli Goulding. I don't know why Demi gave her such a difficult song to sing. It's nigh on impossible! Ellona does try and as it progresses she gets close to a decent performance and I am impressed with her dancing and ability to hold notes while being tossed around. Not a particularly enjoyable performance, though. She is appealing to the male voters with long legs and is one of the few girls old enough to write that about. She may be very lucky that Tim was boring, Khaya off key and Lillie unknown this week/

Restless Road wind up the first part of this week's shows with Coldplay's Fix You. They're three popular guys already and this is a big, big and very familiar song. Listening to them was better than watching them. They're not exactly dancers! Simon attempted to present each of them more equally but I would have left the deep voice seven foot tall guy in the background. They were OK and I am sure that they'll be flying through with no problem but they're not yet the big future stars that Simon thinks they are. They could be, But some work to do.

Tim, Khaya, Lillie and Ellona are the contenders to go in part two.