Saturday, 7 December 2013

Top 6 Perform. Difficult Choices For Voters This Week.

It's down to 6 acts now and I am hoping that it's just one that gets sent home and not two as we've had in the last two weeks. Each will have two songs to perform. I have always said that I would like to see all acts get more chance to show what they can or can't do - often one unsuitable or misjudged choice can send someone home.

Just as I wrote that Mario tells us that there will be two going tomorrow so that's it. Down to 4 and that's as good as a final really.

Restless Road get to start the show. Odd mix. One says how people in his town gave his dad cheques to help cover the cost of attending the shows. Then there's another whose parents could probably buy the airline! This is Diva week I suppose so goodness only knows what they'll do. They select a good sing-a-long track Red from Taylor Swift's recent album. Great song and although that wasn't particularly exciting it worked well. The Scotty voice chap always goes down well and got a bit more than usual this rime.

Rion Paige has a Carrie Underwood number which ought to be excellent. It was quite a shock to see her in the Bottom Two last week. This Is Not Where It Ends could have been the title. The make-over team had been hard at work and achieved a quite impressive portrait shot on TV. She is still so young and I struggle to understand how she can get the lyrics across. If she didn't get across last week after really good performances then, unless the voting profile changes, I can't see how she'll survive. My own feeling is that she's more commercial than Jeff and a better singer than Ellona but it would be Ellona who had the concerts and publicity machine grinding away more successfully. So, not necessarily for the right reasons, she could go this week.

Jeff Gutt gets a Mariah Carey song. Sounds a bit odd but it's actually a Nilsson song, folks! And that means it was written bu someone quite like this chap and he has every chance of pulling that off. He is pretty damn impressive, I must say. Very good, every note spot on and powerful too. Quite a remarkable job he's done and just at the time to complicate anyone's predictions! Another performance like that and he could upset things and avoid the Bottom Two again. But if he's not there, who is?

Ellona Santiago has a Lady Gaga number. That's either very good or very bad news. She excelled last week. Well, if I was going to choose a Lady Gaga track then Applause is not it. She looked and sounded great, with a fabulously impressive set and some nice microphone stand action too. Extremely well made up and I have to agree with Simon who wasn't crazy about the original version but liked hers! She really does look the star and I believe that she would be a dream for the professionals to work with. The only worrying factor is whether the voters will appreciate Lady Gaga.

Alex & Sierra sailed through last week and rumour has it that they are getting some impressive voting figures. I think they hit the Glee market which can't be bad. Simon has them doing a Destiny's Child track. Of course, that'll be interesting as Kelly will know the words. Say My Name is odd. But it kinda works, I think. Sierra was superb and is rapidly becoming the one to watch. Tight black leather pants helped. Paulina makes me laugh by saying that they have love and would be the first pair since... Sonny & Cher. Eh?

Carlito Olivero talks again about where he's come from. He's on the Ricki Martin train again. I didn't recognise this. Let's Get Loud must be the title. It's pretty forgettable, to be honest. This was also the second performance where I felt that there was a backing track - just in case. The other had been for Jeff. I just felt that the track and his initial few words were out of sync. He escaped the Bottom Two last week but I do feel that he could be there this week. He hasn't struck me as a likely winner since the start. Nice guy but this could be his time to go.

Right, second chances here we come. These will be just with microphones, their vocals, no backing.

Restless Road sing Wake Me Up the huge AVICII No.1 here in the UK. It had been slowed down quite a bit and taken on a Country feel too. The latter will get the big Texas voters on side but the pace might not attract any new ones. Some quite emotional support for them from Demi and Paulina. I don't know what to predict for them.

Rion Paige sings a track I don't know at all. We Are Glass I think. Quite a special song and she knows it well and gets across the message well too. Note perfect and appealing but so far I still see her going tonight.

Jeff Gutt would have been my expected one to go tonight, almost regardless of how well he sings. His first track was so good, though, and here is his chance to get to the top 4. The brother in uniform may help him quite a bit. Daniel is a nice song. It isn't a fantastic song, though, and sounded a bit tinny here. It's one of those neither here nor there numbers that could go on an album but I would not have chosen that at this stage of the competition. Mario unintentionally but ominously asks Jeff for any last words!

Ellona Santiago sings If I Were A Boy and starts totally a capella and not a great deal more comes in later. Almost the opposite of the first performance, she is in jeans and a simple top and very appealing. That was not easy but she pulled it off very well. She has developed hugely in this competition and I am beginning to see her as winner. Compared to all the others she is quite a star, indeed. I just wonder whether she is in a market of many. We never really saw much more of Melanie Amaro. Would she also get lost amongst so many established women?

Alex & Sierra have a lot of candles on the set. Sierra plays the piano and Alex has a guitar. This is a gentle number. The makeover team need medals all round for how they present Sierra tonight. Amazing. And they perform this track beautifully. Say Something I'm Giving Up On You or something like that. It didn't necessarily go anywhere but they were spot-on and is something that I wouldn't mind seeing again, it was that good. They're developing into an act quite different to what I'd thought they'd be. Nice. Simon has it as his favourite performance of the whole series!

Carlito Olivero closes the show. He has done well to make #6 and may even make #5. His track is an Anglo-Spanish Stand By Me. This is a super track but a little tinny again in Carlito's hands. The mix of language and upbeat treatment are interesting and help him along. It certainly is not bad, just not that good. A bit sing-a-long and, sad to say, probably his exit song.




We get a bit of X Factor UK v X Factor USA with Little Mix and Emblem 3 performing tonight.

First a recap and I do fear for Carlito as the first to go. Second I feel is between Rion and Restless Road. I simply don't see Alex & Sierra going anywhere, nor Ellona after two brilliant tracks and Jeff may have made it with some stunning vocals. The Country vote, however, cannot be ignored and that might bring a switch between Restless Road and Jeff.

Mario does the announcement. It's Ellona in 6th place!! Another shock. Wow. No-one expected that.

Now I am confused.

Emblem 3 were a great act last year and did well. Here they bring the sun and the beach and some surf boards to the X Factor stage and they're a cool group who look like they're enjoying themselves. They are a nice sign of the sort of success that can come from the show. Not as huge as 1D, but doing well.

Now. The acts safe: Restless Road. Thanks to the Country folk out there! Alex & Sierra. Only one more gets through automatically and that is Jeff.

So Carlito and Rion are the Bottom Two again. It does seem that Rion is now reaching the end of her public support but I would expect her to do much better than Carlito.

Little Mix are on stage. They do a fun number and fill the gap while the Bottom Two are getting sorted. Little Mix are currently with Fifth Harmony and Demi Lovato in a show and starting to break into the States which is quite something. Interestingly, Fifth Harmony have yet to do so here.

Rion is faultless in her 'save me' song. A simple Country number The House That Built Me or something. If I were Carlito, I would give up now.

He is far more 21st Century than Rion and makes full use of the stage and his fans out there with even a run around the audience. He couldn't have done much better than that and all credit to him. Maybe the huge gap between the two acts will help him? Rion wants to share God again.

OK. It's up to Kelly and Simon. It may go to a public vote if Simon plays it right and that might just save Carlito. Kelly must be a Rion supporter? No. That's a surprise. Simon I would think likes both and probably would naturally save Rion but no, he sends her home too. Perhaps he can see that public support has been falling off.

So, another surprise, Rion is out.