UK X Factor 2012 – Live Shows Week Two

This week’s loosely themed ‘Love and Heartbreak’ theme gave way to probably more mash ups per capita than any other week the X Factor‘s ever had, I reckon.

X FACTOR 2012 LIVE SHOWS WEEK 2

Most of the combinations failed to add any real depth or point to the overall performance but felt like they were done for a novelty factor.

Put it this way, the best performances this week were all delivered standing on just one song. With the exception of Rylan Clark‘s ambitious cramming of ‘Groove is in the Heart’/’Gangnam Style’/’Pump up The Jam’, of course. That was a premium quality mash up. I hope Rylan mops that for his own performance at G-A-Y.

Elsewhere, cheesy song selections were beyond a joke this week.

District3 was tasked with All 4 One‘s ‘I Swear’,  which came complete with a sappy display that would revolt even the most die-hard of Shayne Ward fans. I mean, bitch. There were cascading rose petals and a rotating pedestal for fuck’s sake.

Wild card entrant Chris Maloney warbles his way through Heart‘s ‘Alone’, as you do. And two Amy Winehouse songs creep into the setlist, courtesy of Jahmene Douglas and Jade Ellis.

I’m actually surprised that nobody walked on with Adele.

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UK X Factor 2012 – Live Shows Week One

I said I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I did it – after telling everybody that I wasn’t with it.

UK X FACTOR 2012 LIVE SHOWS WEEK 1

I am gonna be blogging this year’s UK and Australian X Factor series after all, y’guys. Yes, it’s fine. You can let the confetti rain now.

Her name is Nicole.

This year, we tune into a tighter and, perhaps, less flamboyant judging panel with Gary Barlow and Tulisa returning for their second season, while Nicole Scherzinger takes Kelendria Trene Rowland‘s place, and Louis Walsh remains a tired and irrelevant wind bag.

I salute Kelendria for the over-the-top sassiness she brought to the show last year, which complemented the graceful and sage advice she had to give.

She was entertaining as hell to watch as I felt like she was my voice on the show.

NICOLE SCHERZINGER UK X FACTOR 2012

However, the stunning Nicole Scherzinger has proven more than worthy of the job – especially after repeated guest judging stints on the UK series (y’all have her to thank for forming One Direction) and of course, her brief but effective judging role in the debut US X Factor series last year.

They are not fucking around with this series.

I know it sounds corny because they say it every year, but I do think this year’s UK X Factor brings something we haven’t experienced before.

Having said that, I would happily cull it down to just seven acts right away after this week’s show. I just don’t have time for some performers.

There are some thoroughly impressive vocalists and bright ready-made artists in this year’s crop that might just change the focus of the show. You can already tell from this first live show that the shift has gone from the X Factor being just a brazen guilty pleasure program to something more legit – well, with the exception of Essex queen Rylan. But more on that later.

Gary Barlow has restored dignity to the ‘overs’ category, as you would expect. Nicole Scherzinger and Tulisa both display very varied performance styles in their boys and girls categories respectively, which is always fantastic to see.

And finally, Louis Walsh is not fucking around no more with gimmicky novelty acts. He’s got three seriously marketable young groups hitting the stage.

It’s musical heroes theme this week. Check out the best and worst of this year’s first live show performances:

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X Factor UK: 2011 Winner and Best Moments

Little Mix has made UK X Factor history as the first group to ever snatch the crown. Better yet, they are arguably the most exciting pop act to win the competition since Alexandra Burke three years ago.

The four-piece girl band – cheekily dubbed “Pick N Mix” by Twitter pal Greg – was formed on the show after each girl failed to qualify as solo acts in the under 25 females category.

Rookie X Factor judge Tulisa saw potential in Jesy Nelson (age 20), Leigh-Ann Pinnock (age 19), Perrie Edwards (age 18) and Jade Thirlwall (age 18), and decided to pitch them as a feisty new generation girl band that’s part early-Girls Aloud and part Parade in flavour and styling.

After a short run under the moniker Rhythmix, the group redubbed themselves as Little Mix to avoid run-ins with an established UK charity that’s shares the same name. It’s probably for the best anyway, because “Little Mix” is a lot easier for text voters to spell than “Rhythmix”.

Watch Little Mix celebrate their win with an emotional warble of Damien Rice‘s ‘Cannonball’ – their incredibly redundant and beige winner’s single. Shit, if I had known that this was what Syco had up their sleeves, I would’ve petitioned for these girls to cover Kate DeRaugo‘s stunning ‘Maybe Tonight’.


 
For those who have followed my UK X Factor posts, y’all know I stan hard for these bitches. Little Mix has been on-point from the very first live shows, effortlessly capturing our attention with their infectious energy and solid harmonies.

They were also most consistent in sticking with their artistic angle and brand. Regardless of the shifting weekly themes, these ladies always deliver a pop performance that doesn’t betray their style.

Little Mix‘s consistency was rewarded with consistent voting love so, they’ve thankfully never found themselves pegged as a Power Bottom Two act. Mind you, no act that has ever been in the bottom two had gone on to win the UK X Factor.

Who run the show? Girls.

There’s been an overwhelming amount of girls “puttin’ it down” in this year’s series – probably thanks in no small part to the independent woman energy Kelly Rowland and Tulisa‘s injecting into the game.

Now that the series has wrapped, it’s been revealed that Janet Devlin won the first four live show episodes where the public was allowed to vote. The waify-voiced singer reigned the hardest when she covered Elvis‘ ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ (Love & Heartache week), Guns ‘N’ Roses‘ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ (Rock week), The Police‘s ‘Every Breath You Take’ (Halloween week) and Jackson 5‘s ‘I Want You Back’ (Club Classics week).

Amelia Lily‘s comeback performance in week six earned her the most votes and she did it again in week eight (Guilty Pleasures & Heroes week) with her dual cover of T’Pau‘s ‘China In Your Hand’ and Kelly Clarkson‘s ‘Since U Been Gone’.

Misha B, although incredibly notorious and well-talked about, never won the most votes in any given week. The best she ever managed was coming second in week seven (Movies week) when she had her epic sob story and cover of Whitney‘s ‘I Have Nothing’.

Little Mix might’ve won the competition but the only week where they came out with the most public votes was in week seven (Movies week) when they did En Vogue‘s ‘Don’t Let Go (Love)’, which will forever be known as their series defining moment.

Speaking of series defining moments, check out this year’s finalists (and one very special guest) performing a medley of 2011 dance/pop hits:


 
And of course, here are Feed Limmy‘s highlights of the 2011 UK X Factor series:

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X Factor UK: 2011 Semi Finals

I am aware that it’s the semi finals but can these bitches be trusted to choose their own songs? I don’t think so.

Look, the idea with this week’s double performance was to impose a Motown theme for the first set and with the last one, our final four would pick a song that they think will help them secure a place in the finals.

The Motown theme really complemented our final four to a tee and I have no complaints whatsoever with the performances in that category. It was energetic, joyful and for the most part – very Glee.

Correct me if I’m wrong but this is the first time in ages that we’ve seen the X Factor left with four young, energetic pop performers – am I right? There’s usually a vanilla balladeer up in these ranks but this series had shed its down-tempo divas Craig Colton and Janet Devlin in the last two weeks.

I am certain that the second “contestant’s choice” option was placed there as some kind of test of their artistic readiness and perhaps what kind of music Marcus Collins, Little Mix, Amelia Lily and Misha B see themselves making after the competition.

Results were less than satisfactory with Marcus Collins turning out basically the same Motown/funk-driven stompfest we’ve seen him do, not only earlier in the night, but for the past three or four weeks. The Liverpool hairdresser is a fave to take out the crown but after this week’s fizzer, I’m desperate to see him tweak the formula a little. Would it kill for Marcus to take a present day hit and give it a funk makeover rather than simply covering an old record as it was done decades ago?

Another front runner that tripped up a little this week was Little Mix, once again due to a flop song choice for their second performance. In this case, it wasn’t that we’ve heard it all before – it just wasn’t a very suitable or exciting choice.

Last week, the flawless four piece had a hit with Christina Aguilera‘s emotive ‘Beautiful’ and that has somehow given them this idea that they can now start assigning themselves big diva ballads. No, bitch. You are breaking from your brand. Beyoncé‘s ‘If I Were A Boy’ is bloody boring and it couldn’t be further from the fun, sassy and youthful Little Mix we’ve come to love.

Somehow Kelly Rowland‘s gurls – Misha B and Amelia Lily – came through with the right stuff this week, both not only nailing their respective Motown songs but also getting pretty close to perfection with their cover of pop/rock ballads by Pink and Avril Lavigne.

Take a look at the stand out performances of this year’s semi finals episode, why the judges are getting it twisted and, of course, the elimination we all saw coming:

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X Factor UK: Live Shows Week Eight

This is apparently the hour to come for them nanna votes. Now that Craig Colton has been dismissed and y’all are left with a Top 5 full of young guns pitching to today’s youthful pop market, who’s gonna entertain the middle-aged voters?

I’m just trying to find some way to justify the snoozefest song choices that were assigned this week because something don’t look right when you got Misha B doing ‘Killing Me Softly’ and Marcus Collins belting a piano-based Stevie Wonder ballad.

The final five acts served two performances this week – one being a “guilty pleasure” song choice and the other, a hit cover of their music “hero”. Everyone sensibly chose to showcase an uptempo and a ballad but only one act managed to hit the spot with both styles.

Tulisa‘s last remaining group – Little Mix – effortlessly owned the night with two youthful and relevant performances. It’s interesting to note that the only two acts left that have never been in the bottom two are Little Mix and Marcus Collins. I would not be surprised to see them both in the grand finals, alongside latest entry Amelia Lily.

Check out the highlights of this week’s live shows and why the Power Bottom Two was justified:

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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:

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X Factor UK: Live Shows Week Six

Change is about to go down as we see a new generation of show stoppers emerge from this year’s UK X Factor line up.

Basically, all our frontrunners like Misha B, Janet Devlin and Little Mix need to check themselves before they lose their place to other acts that are finally getting their game on. Gary‘s boys are steady upgrading their game and at this rate, I’m left gripping tighter to my seat every Sunday, hoping against hope that Craig Colton don’t win this damn thing.

During the week, songs of praise could be heard rising to the heaven-seated lap of Jehovah after news broke of Frankie Cocozza quitting the X Factor. While this had Kelendria stunned with her nostrils opened wide, most of us simply let out a sweet sigh of relief because I don’t think I could see another thoroughly capable performer sent home while the faux rocker leapfrogs through.

Frankie‘s loss is another’s gain as show producers quickly leapt to another headline-grabbing stunt. They decided that the public should vote one of the four acts that were sent home in the first week back into the competition. The polls turned out in overwhelming favour for Amelia Lily‘s return, giving her a 48% lead ahead of fellow axed contestants 2 Shoes, James Michael and Jonjo Kerr, who shall forever be referred to as the booger of this series.

Amelia essentially had 48 hours to get her shit together, learn the song, and slot her ass back into the competition. I’m not sure if I agree with the pink-haired teen’s return at the halfway mark. While I believe she can turn out a quality performance, the odds are very much stacked against her. She’s had less time than than everyone else to get used to the competition and develop her artistic angle. She’s also had half the amount of exposure. Although, I might argue that Amelia‘s one week jaunt was more memorable than however many stints Sophie Habibis has had all together.

Can this really work for Amelia Lily? Is this even about giving a fallen contestant a chance? Or is the X Factor starting to turn out more stunts than a desperate reality series?

Check out more thoughts on this week’s Queen vs Lady Gaga themed show, the standout performers, and why public got it wrong with the Power Bottom Two:

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