Highlights of the show tonight:
- Nicole Sherzinger looking like a beautiful Hawaiian Goddess with her hair flowers and lovely yellow frock.
- Rough Copy introducing a whole new audience to the excellent Sweet Brown meme "Ain't Nobody Got Time Fo Dat!" (if you didn't get the reference, see the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh7UgAprdpM)
- The John Lewis Christmas advert taking up an entire ad break, and leaving me bawling like a baby. I'm serious, I'll have to leave the room whenever it comes on from now on.
Here's tonight's verdict from yours truly:
Abi Alton -
Hmmm. A performance of extremes I think. When she sings, she sounds nervous and shaky, and don't tell me that's just her style. When she hits choruses and big notes she sounds ok. At one point I closed my eyes and almost felt like I was watching an advert for Lidl. But Big Band week is not a week for standing rooted to the spot, Abi. Do you think this was because she had ditched her glasses and was nervous about getting off the podium? Props to her for seeming a lot happier this week though.
Sam Bailey -
New York New York conjures memories of drunken New Years Eve parties with lines of relatives doing the can can in a line, but by the halfway point of this performance I felt like I was watching an international megastar headline at Las Vegas. Wowsers, Sam! She can somehow turn cheese into a sheer "Bloody hell, that's some pair of pipes on her!" moment. Amazing.
Quite the little crooner this week with his slicked back hair (hashtag glistening, according to Nicole). No doubt some people will be bored by this because it was laidback, but that certainly hasn't done Michael Buble any harm (according to Gary, he's a "lazy singer"). Incidentally, why do they keep calling Little Nicky "a Baby Buble"? Until now, he's not sung anything remotely Buble-like and I have no idea where this comparison has come from. But if this is how they intend to market Nicky after the X Factor, I certainly have no complaints because I think it suits him really well. Shades of Leon Jackson, but let's not go there.
Oh dear. You know how I feel about Luke. But this performance made me uncomfortable and I couldn't put my finger on why. Then Gary summed it up in a perfect little nutshell: "The key to big band is to always sing behind the beat. You sang ahead of the beat". He seemed constantly needing to slow himself down - he's got too much energy for this style of singing. I really worry for Luke this week. I don't think the Friendie army is strong enough to withstand a bad week, which is really unfair because this isn't his style at all. Everybody will have a style nemesis on X Factor and big band is evidently Luke's.
Hannah - Ugh, I hated this. I really wanted to like Hannah because I love soul singers and I'm a big fan of the likes of Gladys Knight. But Hannah is let down by sloppy diction, bum low notes and oversinging. This was one big bellowfest and it hurt my ears. Although I have to admit I was still reeling from the shock of Luke getting bad comments at the time, and half my attention was on Twitter.
Rough Copy -
Hit The Road Jack was the song choice I was most looking forward to this week! The twirling canes! The finger popping! Hell yeah! But I will say this again: Rough Copy's vocals are weak and breathy, and they struggled to sing over the 30 piece orchestra. The one in the skirt is out of tune. I was pleasantly surprised by the chap on the right though, I don't think he's had his own solo part before, but he deserves it, they should use him more.
I admit I wanted to hate this because she's so unlikeable, but it was actually ok. I would still like to see more (read that as SOME) eye contact during her performances. She also loses points for saying on Twitter the song is by Michael Buble - it's not, Tamera! It's by Julie London, grrr! But hey, I'm clutching at straws for something bad to say now. Forgive me, I'm still upset about Luke.
Sam Callahan - Looks like the judges have cottoned on to the fact that negative comments = pity votes, so they reigned in their criticisms through gritted teeth this week. Gary was hilarious, he might as well have said "Well, at least you tried". Sam performed it well but that voice....no, baby, no! Did you see his nifty mic flip at one point? Risky, risky Sam, what if you had dropped it? That's the kind of thing I would have done. He can have half a point for the mic flip and half a point for the stage skids. I don't know what the points are out of, I only just made them up.
Sooo. A tough week to call this week. I was thinking of planning a trip to the bookies last week because I was feeling super confident in my predictions, but this week I'm really unsure. Luke could be in trouble. Sam C. could be in trouble because the judges have adopted the tactic of being nice to him (this is how they got rid of Rylan and Jedward when they became too popular for it to be funny any more). Then Louis will have to choose between two of his boys, and he might cry! Who will he save??