THE X FACTOR Semi-Final Week

Mary Byrne’s X Factor road to the final came to an end after losing the sing-off to Cher Lloyd in the semi-final week.

Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole decided to put Cher through to the final which meant Mary had to leave the competition.

However the Irish singer can hold her head high and be very proud of what she has achieved on The X Factor.

Cher will be in the final alongside Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson and One Direction. The final itself is too close to call and any of the four acts can win this year’s series.

Here are my thoughts on the semi-final performances.

Mary Byrne: Never Can Say Goodbye and The Way You Were

Being in the bottom two is not where you want to be and Mary’s confidence could so easily have been shattered after Rock Week.

But no! Once again the Irish star sang her heart out and her first song ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ got positive feedback from the judges. She got her ‘mojo’ back according to Dannii and Cheryl added that it was great to see her come out of her comfort zone.

Simon did say that he would have liked to have seen something more contemporary. To be honest I thought there was nothing wrong with the song choice and that Mary put in another great performance.

Mary’s second song ‘The Way You Were’ again was a great choice of song from Louis. It was a beautiful performance and Mary will definitely not be going back to the Tesco checkout.

She was brilliant yet again in the sing off and there was nothing to choose between her and Cher. But in the end it was the 17 year old who was put through to the final.

Ireland’s found itself another singing sensation but this time in the form of Mary Byrne.

One Direction: Only Girl In The World and Chasing Cars

You can only run out superlatives to describe One Direction. They are without question the next big boy band in the making!

Yet again One Direction put in two stunning performances but in the lead up to the semi-final weekend, things had not been all plain sailing for the boys.

Simon had been unwell all week which did not exactly help. And band member Zain lost his Grandmother. I would like to send my condolences to him and his family.

One Direction’s first song ‘Only Girl In The World’ was a little dangerous for Cheryl’s liking. I would agree with Cheryl to some extent since the song was released not so long ago by Rihanna.

But it was a great performance from the boys and their second song (Chasing Cars) was not half bad either.

As Dannii described it, ‘it was a classy performance’ and Louis added that One Direction have got something special.

One Direction have definitely got a shot at winning The X Factor and could spring a surprise.

Matt Cardle: You’ve Got The Love and She’s Always A Woman

Being unwell for the whole week wasn’t ideal for Matt, but to be fair to him I thought he did a pretty good job on Saturday.

The Essex boy has consistently performed well week in week out and he thoroughly deserves to be in the final as Louis said.

His first song You’ve Got The Love was a brilliant choice of song and credit must go to Dannii. He certainly has got the love and his first performance was a knock-out.

Simon thought Matt’s second song was a safe option and it was one of his weaker performances.

You have to bear in mind that Dannii’s final act was not feeling well all week and to do what he did on Saturday was damn good.

It is obvious that Louis is one of Matt’s biggest fans and as he rightly said Matt does deserve to be in the final.

Cher Lloyd: Nothin On You and Love The Way You Lie

The Malvern star has done remarkably well since being in the bottom two in Beatles week.

The great thing about Cher is that whenever she is given any song, she will try and put a different stamp on it and in my view she is a versatile singer. She has shown this series that she can sing any song.

Cher has come such a long way in this competition and she comes across as a fearless character.

Dannii was not entirely sure about Cher’s first song and the Aussie judge said she would have liked to have seen the 17 year-old sing a ballad in her second song.

But then again Simon thought her second song worked a treat. He also added that Cher should stick to music that she believes in. And for once Louis agreed with Simon about Cher’s second song being a really clever song choice.

She may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I have to say I have been impressed with the way she has performed throughout the whole series. Cher has brought something new to The X Factor and whether she wins the competition or not, I’m sure she will sell records.

Cher did just about enough to seal her place in the final after winning the sing-off against Mary.

Rebecca Ferguson: Show Me Love and Amazing Grace

Rebecca Ferguson put in two more scintillating performances and the Liverpudlian singer is my bet to win this years series.

Being the first act to perform on the live shows was always going to be nerve-racking but Rebecca got the show underway in enthralling fashion.

Her first performance could not have gone any better and it was great to see Rebecca sing another up tempo song. Fantastic way to get the show started and Cheryl was right to feel a little smug!

Rebecca’s second performance was absolutely stunning from beginning to end and her vocals in both songs were on the money. As Dannii correctly said, Rebecca’s second song was pure class.

For me, the Liverpudlian is a world class act and the best singer in the competition. From the start of the live shows, Rebecca and Matt in my view have been in a different league to the rest of the other acts.

I cannot predict who will win The X Factor this year and it is too close to call. What I can guarantee is that all four acts will sing their hearts out and you will not want to miss it.

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