Once again the Live Shows were filled with the usual mix of blockbuster vocals, outrageous judges’ comments, screaming fans and, of course, Rylan Clark, on Saturday night.
In a noticeably sedate entrance, Dermot O’Leary got the show off to a start. He began by explaining the reason why Lucy Spraggan was no longer a part of the competition.
Opening the performances was X Factor’s most talked about contestant. Dressed in an outlandish bright red suit with feathered shoulders, Rylan Clark burst on stage flanked by a posse of dancers in feathered leopard print leotards for the upbeat mash up of Madonna and ABBA’s * Hung Up* and Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
And it was Gary Barlow’s criticisms that seemed to be the highlight of the comments. He said: “Rylan the vocals at the top they weren’t too bad this week, not too bad. After then it was just chaos, drama, I really enjoyed everything but you really.”
On next were ladies’ favourite Union J. The boys narrowly made it through to tonight’s Number Ones themed week after being saved by three of the four judges in last Sunday’s sing off which saw Jade Ellis leave the competition.
But they appeared unshaken as they played the starring role in their own Love Story with the judges tonight as they impressed with their take on a Taylor Swift classic.
You can download Union J’s performance from tonight
Another favourite of the ladies had the unenviable task of following one of the most popular acts in the competition.
Londoner Kye Sones sought to capitalise on his strong performances last week by strutting around stage, blasting out his version of You Get What You Give
He was duly praised by the judges, in particular Nicole Scherzinger saying: “You had so much charisma, so much energy. I think you did a good job, I think you did a really good job.”
She was joined by Kye’s mentor Gary Barlow who gushed: “What you’ve added to your act is that you’re a performer as well. You’re showing people you're a versatile performer. Well done.”
Kye’s performance from tonight can be downloaded
James Arthur performed next. His rendition of No Doubt's Don't Speak followed a meeting this week with the band themselves. The judges were far from lost for words as they showered praise on him.
After a blistering performance, which saw 24-year-old James leap from lyrics to rap and back again, judge Louis Walsh praised his daring strategy.
He said: ““I love the way you take a chance. Every single week you take a gamble. You take a really well known song but you give it a whole new James Arthur interpretation. That’s a real talent, a real skilled thing to do. I think you deserve a record deal.”
Listen for yourself, James’ cover is available on iTunes
Then came the bookies’ favourite to take this year’s X Factor title. Ella Henderson gave a stunning rendition of Katy Perry’s hit Firework.
The Grimsby-based 16-year-old kept the production of her performance to a minimum, simply being accompanied by a piano and letting her spine-tingling vocals shine out without any distractions from backing dancers or elaborate backdrops.
It was enough to draw a tear from Nicole’s eye as she fought back the emotion. She said: “For that moment I forgot I was on X Factor, I thought I was in a movie, a saw fireworks everywhere, I saw them in your eyes.”
See what you thought of Ella’s performance as it is available to download
The second and final group, District3 took to the stage next. Although from the judges comments, they perhaps wished that they had stayed at home.
Their performance of Dynamite originally by Taio Cruz was deemed a less than explosive performance. The group’s vocals were heavily scrutinised by the judging panel with Tulisa saying: “Guys, oh guys. I love you guys, this is going to pain me to say this but Louis you’ve got it wrong this week, I’m sorry.”
She was joined by Gary who was also disappointed with the boys’ vocals, He said: “I have to think back to when we first saw you guys, you were a good vocal harmony group…guys I don’t know who you are anymore, I’m lost.”
Was District3’s performance that bad? Download and listen
Penultimately, another of this year’s X Factor favourites took his chance in the spotlight. Jahmene Douglas was given a huge challenge this week, covering a song by one of the biggest megastars in the world.
Undaunted by the task, Jahmene delivered an impressive vocal performance of the Beyoncé classic Listen, further cementing his position as a frontrunner to win the competition.
The judges were, of course, universal in their praise with Louis Walsh declaring: “That is how it’s done. That is the vocal performance of the night by a mile. You are a world class recording artist. You’re not going back to that supermarket.”
Last, but by no means least, was Christopher Maloney. The Liverpudlian showed he had no intention of changing tactics, performing Eric Carmen’s 1975 hit All By Myself
The reviews were mixed but Christopher remained defiant and strong as he choked back tears, almost overcome with the emotion.
As usual, the X Factor has provided a high dose of the spectacular, the cringe worthy and the sheer raw talent that makes it so popular. With the buzzing of Number Ones still in their ears, the contestants now have an anxious wait to find out who will progress to week six.
Once again it’s a tough call to decide who will go home on Sunday night’s results show. The eXciting action kicks off at 8pm on STV and ITV.
All the X Factor performances are now available to download from iTunes
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