Yes readers. It’s time. To face. The liveblog.
This is Shout’s live stream of consciousness coverage of Beatles week on The X Factor. We’re watching for when Simon tries to compare One Direction to Beatlemania, and busting to know what Katie Waissel’s going to sing this week in an effort to keep herself in. Let’s get started:
Matt Cardle – Come Together
Oh Matt! You’ve forgotten your shirt! Cardle struts onto the stage in just a white vest. And performing one of the grooviest Beatles tracks proves that Matt’s intended to be the ‘rock’ singer. He’s got a full compliment of dancers on this one, but I spend the entire performance reeling at the shirtless faux pas. This is the guy who’s supposedly dating the show’s stylist? Don’t do him any favours, Grace Woodward.
Vocally, it’s alright. I’m a fan of the Aerosmith version of this song, so I’m used to a bit more power behind the vocal and Matt doesn’t quite meet Steven Tyler standards. And also – note to Matt – you really need to straighten up, fella. Postural problems and all that.
My score: 5/10
Cher Lloyd – Imagine
Next up is Cher Lloyd. Louis will be banging the rule book about this one, because it’s a John Lennon solo song. The problem with Cher singing is that you find yourself wishing she’d rap. Anything for relief from that warbly voice.
When it comes to the judging, Louis calls it a lazy performance. And it was. Cher’s vocals are consistently horrible. Her vocal technique is awful and that constant trilling screams ‘amateur’ at me. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t rate her voice.
My score: 3/10
One Direction – All You Need Is Love
Simon’s Westlifed the One Direction boys this week with matching suits. Except for Harry Styles, who’s clearly emerging as the fan favourite and must be styled to stand out. Fair enough. It might not be their finest performance ever, but the energy is right. Although it’s a little cheesy how they’ve staged their own Beatlemania moment with a load of girl fans in the background.
Dannii Minogue has a little gripe about Zayn not knowing when to come in on the backing vocals, but there’s not much the judges can do to kill the buzz in the studio. Even if they were inclined to try.
My score: 6/10
Rebecca Ferguson – Yesterday
Rebecca’s trying to do something different with the melody on this one, but it’s not quite working for her. She starts off with some resultant tuning issues. I can see why they thought this song would have worked, but Rebecca managed to suck the passion out of this song. It’s the first time Rebecca’s made a misstep on the series so far, though the judges glossed over that to a large degree.
My score: 4/10
Mary Byrne – Something
Har de har! Mary can’t possibly sing a Shirley Bassey song on Beatles night, can she? Oh, that’s right, she covered a Beatles song once, didn’t she? So let’s have Mary sing that one!
And to be fair, Mary does a damned fine job of singing this one. Can’t fault the performance at all. The only criticism I can level is that Louis has made her into a Shirley Bassey Tribute Act. There’s nothing unique here, and that may cost Mary, despite the improved performance this week.
My score: 6/10
Paije Richardson – Let It Be
Normally I take a wee nap when Paije comes on stage, but tonight he raised his game enormously. Yes, there was the obligatory X Factor gospel choir to accompany him, but Paije’s powerhouse vocal lifted him out of his series-long slump and may have put him back in our sights as a contender.
The judges were 10x more complimentary about Paije this week than for his performance last week where Simon told him he had no chance of winning. Do you think he’s turned things around with this performance?
My score: 6/10
Wagner – Get Back/Hey Jude
Joke act of the competition, Wagner is sent out on stage with a wonderful Sgt Pepper’s style jacket. It’s every bit as tuneless as we’ve become accustomed to, and sadly the fact that it’s a medley just prolongs the agony.
Far more entertaining than his performance is Cheryl Cole who has a go at him for slagging her off in the press. He very cleverly rebuffs this by saying “Don’t believe the press.” Which, if you remember, is exactly what Cheryl herself said to Piers Morgan when he interviewed her. So, Cheryl, why choose to believe the press now and tear a strip out of Wagner live on stage?
Sadly, Wagner ruins the whole thing by kissing her ass from the stage, calling her beautiful, a princess and the most famous woman in Britain.
Also worth noting is that the judges are now worried about Wagner staying in the competition right up to the finals. And so they’ve started to pour scorn on him now. We predicted it would happen, but it feels duplicitous because Wagner has created such buzz and news for this show. Boo!
My score: 1/10
Katie Waissel – Help
Katie stupidly witters on about the press coverage that she’s been getting. If I were her I’d play that down and just get on with singing the damn song.
And on stage, Katie comes out with a dramatic short brunette haircut. Her version of Help is muted and ballady but it’s not too bad. And this week, she’s note perfect and displays a powerful vocal. This version of the song definitely plays to her strengths.
My score: 5/10
With regard to Matt Cardle’s postural problems, a reader responds: I wanted to remind you (and others, actually) who’ve notice Matt’s lack of posture that he *has* had a kidney removed and most likely had to undergo chemo and radiation therapy; goodness knows what that did to his spine. This happened to him as a child when his bone structure wasn’t matured; to me it’s a wonder of science that he’s alive and able to stand up at all.