Tonight’s X Factor is an Elton John theme. Between myself and Lisa on Unreality TV, we feel like this is Simon Cowell’s ultimate revenge on Elton for criticising X Factor. What’s worse than taking Elton’s greatest hits and having them sung by some of the most mediocre singers in the country, with ridiculous staging, reeking of cheesiness?
As you’ll see from my running commentary below, the weakest acts were all shoved out on stage first, while the stronger performers arrived at the tail end – Matt, Rebecca and One Direction. Anyway, let’s dive in and watch Elton John songs being slaughtered left right and centre! It’s going to be extremely messy!
Paije Richardson: Not advertising Harry Potter AT ALL! After the revelations this week that Paije was an extra in a couple of Harry Potter movies, the producers spot a fantastic cross-promotional opportunity and have Daniel Radcliffe meet the contestants! Was a brown paper envelope passed between the Harry Potter and X Factor teams? Anyway, Paije sings Crocodile Rock in a pink jacket. It’s more ill-advised than government cuts! The performance is so cliched and strained that Louis Walsh tells him he’s a Luther Vandross who’s been turned into a karaoke singer. Score: 3/10
Aiden Grimshaw: Aiden gets lucky with an Elton John classic – Rocket Man. He certainly looks the part, with his enormous quiff, standing astride two pianos. To my ears, the vocal was ever so slightly flat, and the whole performance lacked any kind of energy. Simon cuts Louis down for criticising his version of the song, but goes on to say it wasn’t his strongest vocal. Score: 6/10
Mary Byrne: Singing Can You Feel The Love Tonight, Mary has a few vocal wobbles at the beginning. Actually, as Simon Cowell rightly says, “it was a little bit pub singer-ish.” There’s a bit of a disagreement between Dannii Minogue and Louis about tuning, but she definitely was off in places. Sorry, folks, but Mary’s lost her mojo and I don’t think it’s coming back. Score: 5/10
Katie Waissel: After a last-minute change from the fairly suitable The Bitch Is Back, Katie opts to sing Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting instead. She’s back in her standard Madonna-esque costume, which – let’s face it – looks good on her. The song doesn’t suit her voice at all, and this is the fourth performance tonight that’s been absolutely mediocre. Score: 3/10
Matt Cardle: Matt gets to sing Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Compared to the stream of awfulness that preceded him, Matt’s vocal is nothing short of stunning. I’m not his biggest fan, but I have to give him his dues on this song. To coin the usual judging cliche, he knocked it out of the park. Best performance of the night so far. Score: 8/10
Cher Lloyd: This is classic “emperor’s new clothes” – the judges constantly talk Cher up, but her voice is terrible, like a cassette that’s been chewed up, it seems to flicker in and out. She sings Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word, but its a complete disappointment as usual. Stop, rewind and listen again. The quality of this girl’s voice is terrible. Cher can’t carry an album of material, her voice simply isn’t strong enough. Score: 4/10
Wagner: Wagner does another off the wall stupid performance, but the shine is wearing off at this point. Dannii unleashes some of her bitchiest comments ever by complaining that he doesn’t sing, he talks the lyrics. And the classic, “if last week was the wedding, this week must’ve been the reception”. Woeful. Score: 1/10
One Direction: The nation’s most exciting boyband are next to take the stage. They sing Something About The Way You Look Tonight (Elton John song titles are really long, aren’t they?) , and Harry Styles takes the lead vocal. He. Is. Brilliant. I do like Harry, he’s seemingly the most excitable member of One Direction anyway, but one of the most identifiable and likeable. Anyway, the performance is polished, professional boyband quality. Score: 8/10
Rebecca Ferguson: Closing out the show, Rebecca takes perhaps the best Elton song of the bunch – Candle In The Wind. And boy does she sing it! A gorgeous vocal, showing exactly why Rebecca is one of the most highly rated singers in the competition this year. She takes some liberties with the melody in places, but the whole song comes off beautifully. Possibly the best performance of the night. Score: 9/10