Dermot’s bulge was overshadowing the contestants before things had even got started.
It was 80s night!
A promising sign that they’re going to take the themes seriously this year. Normally at this point it’s usually just ‘musical heroes’ or some crap.
12. Sam Callahan’s “Summer Of 69” was the worst, but his looks securely saw him through.
Not to get all Gary about things, but Sam cannot sing. But at least Louis got to wheel out his favourite trope, describing him as “a young Bryan Adams.”
11. Shelley Smith survived the sing-off with her big personality.
Her rendition of Heart’s classic power ballad “Alone” was probably the song choice of the night. With added wind machine! There’s not a hope in hell she’ll sustain a pop career, and found herself straight to the sing-off in the Flashvote. But she’s better TV than Lorna, so made it through.
10. Luke Friend’s hair dominated the conversation more than his “Every Breath You Take” cover.
“Every Mum In The Country” apparently wants to cut his hair. We just wish he would get off the pot or piss in it: either decide it’s dreads, or brush it.
9. Nicholas McDonald made a decent enough start with “True” by Spandau Ballet.
And not, as the show’s YouTube account claims, “True” by Duran Duran. Powered by Louis, Nicholas probably had a chance actually.
8. Miss Dynamix struggled to make much impact with their version of “Jump” by The Pointer Sisters.
What happens when you mash Ms Dynamite with Little Mix? Probably not this. But this was alright, and it’s no longer a given that the girl groups are going to go out early.
7. Lorna Simpson was possibly overshadowed by her dancers and this could have been what did for her.
Her version of Whitney’s “So Emotional” may have been a bit all over the place, but there was no real justice in her losing the sing-off to Shelley. Poor Lorna became the first to be eliminated, through no real fault of her own. But with no real hate candidate of comedy act this year, it had to be somebody.
Let’s have another look at one of those dancers, shall we?
6. Hannah Barrett is probably never going back to Greggs after her “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”
“The word with you is potential,” said Louis, which is probably on the money. She was wobbly with pitch and confidence, but is probably the most likeable person in the competition. And there is nothing wrong with working at Greggs anyway.
5. Kingsland Road are this year’s fanciable boyband.
There’s a lot of work to do after their debut performance, of Wham’s “I’m Your Man”. But there’s still a lot of work to do with their forebears One Direction and that seems to be going perfectly well. Tumblr is currently hard at work trying to work out which is the gay one.
But there really was no good reason for them all to cover “Get Lucky” together.
So please, let us never speak of this again.
4. Abi Alton did a stunning rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Living On A Prayer”.
But we have a sneaking suspicion that she could turn out to be this year’s Aidan Grimshaw. And, science fact: if she wasn’t hunched over a piano her vocal would be much more powerful Tori Amos got over this problem by sitting at the piano with her legs spread out, in order to open up her lungs.
3. Sam Bailey floored everyone with her version of “The Power Of Love” but will probably still go out in week six.
And controversially, she incorrectly sang the Celine Dion version, “I’m your lady” rather than the classic Jennifer Rush, “I am your lady.”
2. Rough Copy are the strongest group in the competition.
Their take on Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” raised a rare power in the room, and in a neat A&R spin, continued a tradition of urban fixation with the music of Phil Collins, as per the 2001 covers collection “Urban Renewal”. A lot of overstated consonants though. Maybe didn’t need to send them to so many elocution lessons?
1. But Tamera Foster is already the clear winner.
When she sang Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody”, that much was obvious. She had sass and poise in ridiculous quantities, and unusually for X Factor, sang the song rather than warbled it. A star, instantly, who reminded you of the reason you still watch this show. And clearly knows her music: even she looked surprised at how abruptly the song ended.
This was the mood of the nation.
They could just crown her winner now and save everyone a lot of bother. Even so, we’re all back in aren’t we?