Rating The Acts! X Factor Week Two

Hello and welcome dear readers. This is Silvio R writing about the most disappointing night of X Factor live finals since I can remember. So, to shake things up, I am still going to rate the acts, but not based on singing ability, rather on their ability to keep me awake and maybe give me some kind of emotion, like laughter, sadness, or any sort of excitement. Remember, vocal performance will add points, but the focus will be on the performance.

Last night’s theme was “Love & Heartbreak”. Oh my. When I heard about it I though of getting a box of tissues, but on second thought I didn’t. We don’t have Rebecca and Matt this year! We have Johnny and Misha, so the box really is unnecessary. Without further ado, let’s get to the chart!

In First Place, with a unanimous decision, by all my personalities, stands the one and only Johnny Robinson!! I know what you’re thinking. I have gone mad. Hear me out. When he said that there was going to be a Japanese theme to his performance, I knew he’d come out dressed as a geisha. When I heard the song choice, I actually was annoyed, because I don’t like joke acts, but when I actually saw him, I couldn’t stop laughing if my life depended on it. For a moment I composed myself and took a drink out of my Pepsi can but then he says VOGUE! and all comes flying over the laptop. I listen to judges critiquing him, and I take another sip, because I am actually breathless from all the laughing. Then he says to Gary Barlow, father of three, “You can rub my lamp every time you want to, Gary!” You can probably guess where all my Pepsi went. I am telling you, for the moment, I am writing with a very sticky laptop. But anyways, whoever can surprise me and actually make me laugh that much, deserves first place in the entertainment chart!

The Second Place goes to girlband Rhythmix. I was actually excited to listen to them, something which was rare last night, and they delivered a nice vocal overall. I think the individual vocalists are a little bit cocky, because someone convinced them they are, and I quote “Fresh, new, young”. No, we’ve never had fresh, new and young on this show. Simon didn’t say the exact same thing to Belle Amie or New Direction last year. Whoever is boosting their ego must stop, because the girls have really nice potential, and all this propaganda is putting me off them. Not to lose perspective, the song choice was brilliant, and the performance was definitely worth another listen.

The Third Place is awarded to Janet Devlin. This was a tough week for young Janet, and she is forbidden by the show to attend her granddad’s funeral. Emotions were floating freely, and she delivered a heartfelt performance which she dedicated to her loved one. I do believe she needs to work on her legato-staccato, because she kind of separates some notes to much, creating empty space, but the performance was remarkable. Very effective song choice, Kelly. I kind of get now why she’s the bookie’s favorite to win.

The Fourth Place goes to Sami Brookes, who sings one of the biggest songs ever, I Will Always Love You. I commend the girl for delivering a straight vocal. When singing this song, people try to emulate Whitney, but that is impossible. Not to be defeated by the song, Sami stripped it of all the melisma and let just her powerful vocals shine through. I don’t quite get why this wasn’t the performance of the night, because a small something was missing, but Sami, bravo! Like Tulisa brilliantly said, “Not many people can get away with singing that song”. Not may can. But she did do the sing justice.

Next, on Fifth Place we have Britain’s most hated woman. It’s Kitty Brucknell. I don’t get all the hate, especially when she sings and forgets her boob out. I’d be all for this girl. I’d lend her a helping hand. And last night she delivered a weird performance which was very fitting of her character. The song did sound a little show-tune-y, and there are parts of her range that sound overly nasal, but Kitty gave a commendable performance which should keep at bay all the “H8RS”. The girl can sing with the best of them. It’s sad though, that Louis Walsh is mastermind behind the best category of the night.

The other places are interchangeable, because they were highly forgettable performances. Since it’s fashionable to add factor to every adjective to be in harmony with the X factor, I’m calling it the boring factor. Or the sleepy factor. Or the useless factor. Or the you-won’t sell-a-record-in-your-life factor. You decide.

Nu Vibe grabs the Sixth Place, according to me. They jumped the shark. I don’t think they’ll be eliminated this week. The vocals were much better, the lead singer was actually a very good, boys-category worthy singer, and the choice of song was flawless. I do feel they have to bond a lot more, because harmonies are not hard to work out while not being in the same wave length, but I wasn’t disappointed this week. Maybe because expectations were low.

The Risk is awarded 7th Place, because even though the guys can sing, that was not a good performance. I think it was a lazy song choice, a lazy delivery and I hated the stools. I rate this group among the potential winners, so this week’s performance was just unforgivable.

Marcus takes the 8th Place. I don’t get why Marcus isn’t working yet. The vocal performance was nice, but overall the performance was forgettable. I think he’s not emotionally connecting to his materials, and who can, when given stupid songs? I don’t think Marcus can win the whole thing, but I do believe he’s better than this. I blame it on the horribly bad mentoring of Gary Barlow.

Misha B highly disappoints with the 9th Place. Oh, Lord. Last week, she had the undisputed best performance, but this week, she flushed it all down the toilet. The boring and lazy song choice, with the mediocre delivery, makes me think the young artist wastes a lot more time thinking about styling, than actual singing. Her ego is being boosted senselessly, because, Misha B hasn’t won just yet. Humbleness is something everyone appreciates. And since we’re in this note, I sensed a lot of dramatic vocals this week. There are times, dear Misha, when you shouldn’t push emotion out. You should let it come by itself. By now, I am a bit doubtful if she can handle a ballad. Maybe I’m wrong about her drama. Let’s wait for next week and see.

Sophie Habibis sings her way to the Tenth Place. Sophie, I don’t know you. You are right about that. I can see a very nice tone in your voice, somewhat reminding of Katy Perry’s, and a good control. What I believe is that Kelly isn’t paying much attention to your needs as a performer. Last week she did a stripped version of Teenage Dream. This week, she does the Calling, with a stripped version of yet another song. It won’t work that way. You need to wow audiences, and you’re coming across as the other girl in Kelly’s team. If you do make it this week, be sure to choose something more uptempo. Or, leave the more out. Something Up-tempo.

The last two spots are given to Craig and Frankie, in that order. I don’t know where to begin with these two. Craig is a brilliant vocalist, but he can’t outgrow his face gimmicks. Craig was given a horrible song, a HORRIBLE song. That song should be put to sleep and then thrown at sharks. It was Beyonce’s Best Thing I Never Had. I blame Gary Barlow 100% for this week’s fiasco. And Frankie is beyond hope, so I’m not even gonna comment on him. It didn’t help that his song was changed in the last minute, but I don’t think much of a difference would be perceived.

 

On who’s going to the bottom two tomorrow, I am note sure. I can’t foresee accurately these kinds of things. I would think Sophie, Frankie and Nu Vibe, but I’m not putting any bets on it.

 

Final thoughts: Gary wins the medal for Worst Mentor Of The Week, and Tulisa wins Best Improvement. For once in my life I am grateful for Louis Walsh, and To Kelly I say don’t be lazy. And a big shout out goes to the choreographers and stage artists, because they are doing an amazing job.

 

EDIT: The two acts to land in the Bottom Two were Nu Vibe and Frankie Cocozza. The judges voted to save Frankie, so the lads were sent home. The only good thing that comes out of this is an advice to me. Stick to analizing vocals. Leave the predictions to psychics.

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2 Comments

  1. Dara Hickey

    Excellent! I agree and disagrew with some, but that’s the beauty of it, right? We’re all here to debate. 🙂 Here’s my view:

    I felt like weeping a little when Frankie started singing Coldplay. Awful, awful rendition. The boy has a voice that could be drowned out by one of those disconcerting murmurs of agreement that you’d hear if you were sat in the Cabinet Office with David Cameron talking about something vaguely important. Wobbly as fuck, and with and desperately awkward stage presence, I just don’t get the fascination with him.

    Misha B needs to, as Kelly would say, “put her shoes on and head home”. Or at least “take a seat”. She’s not the Winner of X Factor 2011 just yet. And probably never will be if she considers styling to be more important than a sound vocal performance. She sound like a raspy Donald Duck and I could barely hear what she was singing.

    Craig is gay. BeyoncĂ© and Barlow collectively outed him. Lovely voice, yada yada, dire song. Not even BeyoncĂ© could sing that song to justice – it’s just a badly written song.

    Marcus. I enjoyed Marcus. I don’t get what it was but his voice was spot on. A little colourless, but it held notes that few others could ever reach. The fact it was a Rihanna song gets him extra points too. Not by much but at least I rated him.

    As for Janet. I completely agree on the legato-staccato comment. I couldn’t have put it better myself. Often she does give the impression she’s got something uncomfortable wedged in her throat and suddenly stops holding notes. Needs to work on that.

    Rhythmix delivered another overhyped performance I felt. Far superior to last week, but as you say, things that spout from The X Factor weed are by default stale, overused and out-dated. Hardly new, fresh, and young. Besides, I don’t get why the groups are getting extra Behind-The-Scenes coverage? Presumably it’s so they can establish some form of character; so that we can “get to know them” a bit better?

    The Risk were okay. Nothing special, and the stools were unnecessary. Two of them looked like they were on edge through the entire performance.

    Nu Vibe were awful. I cannot condone Tulisa for choosing the song. I cannot condone the idiots who “revamped” it. I will not condone the group for murdering it.

    Sophie, poor thing. Well, she’s doomed to failure. No point arguing the point that you’ve not been spotted by the public as someone interesting yet. Misha and Kjanet have something noticeable about them. If the public “don’t know” you yet, it’s your fault, not their’s. She just doesn’t stand out as anything special.

    Sami was given a rubbish song too; I blame Louis. Mind you, she sung it nicely.

    Johnny Robinson. Gary’s comments were spot on. He can sing (or at least, can sing Etta James’ ‘At Last’). He came to the auditions, camp as a gingham picnic basket and sang that song very well. There was a certain yet intangible prestige about him simply standing there singing without any gimmicks; unfashionable and old as he was, with his squashed cap and looks uncannily similar to my grandmother, I liked him. But Gary’s right; he’s been turned into a circus act.

    Kitty is digging herself a bottomles spit of a grave. “How dare they boo me?”. she says. Talk about biting the hand that feeds. Good a singer as she is, it’s great to see that kind of careless personality; that feral bite – something that’s really missing from today’s popstars with all their overbearing niceties. But come on girl, this is not the place to chase fame if you want to act like that. X Factor is all for nice, MOR acts with a healthy side order of modesty. Viewers and judges can talk about how much they low a good show, but no-one likes an overt show-off like Kitty. I give her two weeks tops, unless the curse of Wagner/Katie returns.

    1. Silvio R

      I totally get what you are saying about Marcus. I too felt that his vocal performance was good, but still, there is something missing. I keep blaming the songs though, because I remember the Stevie Wonder, and he is capable of making a connection.

      I sensed that tiny detail about Craig too. Now I don’t think we’re wrong.

      But whatever everyone says, Johnny’s performance will always my favorite performance of the X Factor. To date. I can’t get over the fan and kimono, the VOGUE!, and the lamp. Oh my God, I will never see a Pepsi the same way.

      I will also disagree with you about Nu Vibe. I loved the song choice, mostly for Tulisa’s sake. You’ll never see Tulisa giving someone “My Heart Will Go On”, but giving out such an important classic, is a big plus. She’s gaining credibility by the instant (while Gary loses it), she’s not the tracksuit rapper everyone though she would be.

       

      On the others we’re pretty much on the same page. But seriously though, who do you think will leave tomorrow? I am hoping it’ll be Frankie, but I don’t see it happening so soon…

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