X Factor UK: Live Shows Week Seven

One more month until the UK X Factor crowns a winner and I’m already hyperventilating at the thought of not seeing Kelly Rowland every week. What is life without Kelendriaism updates?

This week the true star of X Factor served a real range of moments not experienced since the audition phase. Kelendria‘s effortless display of caricature American sass, lady-like grace and vulnerability is further proof of why she’s one of the most important new TV personalities of 2011.

The movie soundtracks theme this week saw the remaining cast of youths deliver pure class performances that checked off everything from 90s R&B to twee pop, Glee-ful gospel and even a smouldering James Bond number.

I know it’s only been seven rounds in but I feel like we’ve already spent a lifetime with these children. So many of the prime players like Misha B, Little Mix, Janet Devlin and Marcus Collins have experienced artistic reinventions for better and for worst but regardless of where they started in week one – you know they’re only as good as their last gig.

Tulisa‘s last remaining group Little Mix stole the show with a ferocious and rather grown up cover of En VogueGary‘s two boys Craig Colton and Marcus Collins can’t be faulted as they continue to dutifully pull the same tricks week in and out.

Craig‘s stiff-collared performances got its final run and for that, I let out a great sigh of relief. If there’s one thing this unpredictable series can now guarantee me is that it won’t crown another textbook variety, emotive balladeer.

I am completely thrilled to see girls running this motha. After the parched representation on our local series, I’m so ready to find me some proper upcoming pop vixens. Kelendria‘s angels – Misha B, Janet Devlin and the recently reinstated Amelia Lily – have all brought game this week. But one chick in particular had me reaching for the Kleenex with an emotional moment not experienced since Jade Richards auditioned with ‘Someone Like You’.

Check out highlights from this week’s movie theme extravaganza, some choice Kelendriaisms and the Power Bottom Two situation:

1) Janet Devlin: Kiss me? Yes, you girl.

Bitch, you got me smiling now from ear to ear. I am just so happy for Ms Janet this week. ‘Kiss Me’ was the perfect soundtrack song for her voice and style. It’s young, it’s whimsical and best of all, this gave her the opportunity to smile, flutter them fingers and just lighten up a little.

Vocally, it was utterly enchanting to hear this familiar American pop smash re-voiced in a waify Celtic accent. I’ve always said that this girl just effortlessly is the voice for soundtracks, this week it made even more bloody sense.

Watch Janet Devlin turn out ‘Kiss Me’ – stick around for your weekly dose of good Kelendriaisms after the performance:


 
2) Little Mix: grown ass women.

Little Mix continues to obliterate careers without even realising. This week’s mega-vocal cover of En Vogue‘s ‘Don’t Let Go’ actually looks and feels like something you’d expect from their third album. It’s intense, it’s grown woman-ly – so basically, a complete advancement from their fluorescent, energetic brand of bubblegum pop.

‘Don’t Let Go’ is actually the second top-notch 90s reinvention we’ve seen on this series. The other being Misha B’s second week warble of Charles & Eddie‘s ‘Would I Lie To You’. It’s just a new generation of covers, innit?

If you pay attention to their harmonies and chemistry as a group, Little Mix really do have what it takes to become the next big girl band. And it’s even more pleasing to see that they’ve earned the support of The Saturdays, the only girl band to be running the British pop market right now.

Watch Little Mix serve a series defining cover of ‘Don’t Let Go’ – I really need this on my iPod right away:


 
3) Misha and Kelendria’s moment.

Basically, I walked into this clip not knowing that there’d be an emotional bear trap hidden under all that. If anyone had told me that Kelendria was gonna show up in front of the camera without her face beat, channeling some Felicity Huffman rawness, and crying – I would’ve taken a deep breath and made sure no one else was in the room with me.

Misha‘s birth mother, whom she had never met, has suddenly written to the press saying she wants to meet her daughter. This obviously shook the teen star, who’s already had enough with two consecutive weeks in the bottom two.

The emotional crux for me was actually not seeing Misha bare her vulnerable side on camera, but rather how her mentor Kelly related her own experience of reconciling with her estranged father. We’ve all heard of the judges being very close to the acts they mentor, but this is a whole new depth. I was pretty much damn near weeping.

Watch Misha‘s moment before she comes out looking like some seasoned Grammy-winner wringing hearts at a VH1 Divas special:


 
4) She don’t know about ‘Think’.

Oh good one Tulisa. The N-Dubz singer frankly admitting that she don’t know an Aretha Franklin classic on live TV is possibly the biggest shock since most of y’all found out that up until last month, I didn’t know 80% of Kylie‘s pre-2000 material. [Editor’s note: Limoncé now regularly drops references to ‘What Kind of Fool’, ‘Finer Feelings’ and ‘One Boy Girl’ in any KM related conversation.]

I mean, gurl, there’s only three or four Aretha songs that get covered the hell outta and that’s ‘Respect’, ‘Natural Woman’, ‘Chain of Fools’ and ‘Think’.

The reintroduction of Amelia Lily has actually given this show a little more excitement. The girl is a promising young star in the making who can just about do any kind of music. I pointed out last week that Amelia might be sorely disadvantaged because she’s had the least amount of public exposure, but I’m now thinking that this could be good for her because everyone always pays the new kid more attention.

Watch Amelia cover Aretha Franklin‘s little-known classic ‘Think’:


 
This week’s Power Bottom Two: Craig Colton and Amelia Lily.

Resident boo boo bear Craig Colton has never tumbled to the Bottom Two before, yet this week – after what seemed like a ‘business as usual’ performance – he wound up with the least amount of votes.

What happened? Did the public suddenly wake up, wipe the drool off their face and realise that this kid was steadily becoming more boring? Gary Barlow has done a commendable job fashioning Craig into a younger version of himself but unfortunately, this performance style is about as unexpected as the mail man delivering mail.

We’ve seen it all before. Generations of serial vanilla balladeers like Craig Colton have come and gone, and while there’s probably a place for it at Tesco’s come Mother’s Day, it’s far too daggy to be representative of the 2011 series.

Misha B‘s tear-jerking moment did the job right and the girl was thankfully saved from her third consecutive Bottom Two experience. However, the same audience connection was missing with her recently reinstated stablemate Amelia Lily.

Last episode, the teen pop princess was very much ‘flavour of the week’. This week, the “obscure” Aretha song choice coupled with her comparatively low profile got the better of her.

Kelendria, I wanna see you work. You are basically at square one all over again with this child. We don’t have time to get to know her as well as everyone else so, quit playing games and start pitching a proper artistic angle for Amelia.

Right now, all we’ve seen her do is capably cover Michael Jackson, Queen and Aretha. Who is she as an artist and how you gon’ convince us that she’s got something special to lay on the table? Next week, the top five will step it up with two songs so that’ll hopefully give Amelia enough rope.

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