The X Factor movies week: who sang best?
Andrea, Fleur and Only the Young rocked it at the late-night, double-feature picture showRead more on The X Factor UK Listen to The X Factor UK on Spotify
It's Saturday night at the movies and 12 contestants sang their own interpretations of classic movie songs. Or most of them did. The rest did songs that just happened to be on a film soundtrack at one point. So who sang best in tonight's movie madness evening? Here are our thoughts on exactly that...
Jake Quickenden: 'She's Like the Wind'
Oh, Patrick. It's been five years and we all still miss you, so listening to Jake's nasal version of a classic Dirty Dancing song brought up all sorts of pain that's hard to articulate without swearing. It was flat and out of tune in so many places, it's impossible to defend such a painful performance. He says he'll improve next week if he's still here, but he's also said that every week since the beginning, so it may just be lip service. D-
Only the Young: 'Boom Clap'
Okay, so it didn't get off to the best of starts, but Only the Young pulled it back together once they hit their chorus. It would be so much better for this band if they didn't have Louis Walsh as a mentor. The man doesn't seem to know what he's doing from one minute to the next and they have real potential to be a good pop band. (But only if they escape his cursed and bony grip.) B+
Jay James: 'Skyfall'
Jay James' falsetto just doesn't work. It feels like they're trying to shape him into a British Adam Levine without the charisma and it never feels quite right. But in Jay's defence, this was his best performance on X Factor to date because you felt some power behind his voice instead of it wheezing along. C+
Andrea Faustini: 'Listen'
While he struggled with a bland Whitney song last weekend, tonight saw Andrea return to form with a pretty fierce Beyoncé ballad. And when he started off with the rumbling depths of his voice, it showcased a different and much more sensual side to his performance. If there's one criticism, it's that we really need to hear him do something up-tempo soon to show a bit of diversity in his performance. No one knows why Simon was thinking about eating Andrea's doughnut either, so we'll gloss over that moment of weirdness. A
Lola Saunders: 'When You Believe'
Everyone calls Lola the dark horse of the competition – hey, it wouldn't be X Factor without that cliché – but this was not her night and that key change didn't help. She sounded hoarse for most of her performance and struggled to keep her nerves in check. It says a lot when you're left thinking, 'Huh... Leon Jackson's version wasn't that bad after all.' C
Paul Akister: 'Try a Little Tenderness'
Paul's got so much soul when he sings that you can't really fault his vocal performance, but he's sometimes quite stiff when it comes to moving around the stage. So when Brian's choreography and stage direction kicked in, it gave Paul some momentum to move around the stage a bit more than usual. B+
Lauren Platt: 'Let It Go'
Singing the Demi Lovato version is a little bit of a cheat because it gleefully cuts out 90% of the vocally challenging parts in favour of a Mickey Mouse Club arrangement that isn't quite as powerful or emotive. In Lauren's defence, though, she does have a lot in common with Demi's style and vocal range, so this version was better suited to her voice. But it lacked power where it counted. The backing vocals did disguise some tuning issues, too. B+
Jack Walton: 'Eye of the Tiger'
When the live shows began, it seemed like Jack was going to flourish even with some of these terrible theme weeks. But with last week's Paula Abdul performance and this weird version of Survivor's biggest song, it seems like they might be his undoing. He's proven that he could be a good artist in the charts if he were allowed to do his own thing, so he should be given more flexibility to do what he thinks is best. It was also pretty shitty for Mel B to point the finger of blame squarely at Jack instead of supporting her contestant. C
Fleur East: 'Lady Marmalade'
Since she rocked it at Simon's fancy LA mansion this summer, Fleur has consistently been one of the most exciting contestant in the top 16. 'Lady Marmalade' gave Fleur another chance to deliver a strong all-round performance with a lot of different elements. It was a bit of a strange song choice because this is a song built around several strong women and it lessened its impact, but she teased that she may be a viable pop star away from ITV. A-
Stevi Ritchie: 'Footloose'
I'm sure he's a nice guy. He seems like a nice guy, but hearing him perform 'Footloose' in a weird Irish accent and then hearing Simon call him a sex machine... It was all too much. It's camp, it's entertaining in an excruciating sort of way. I can't say anything beyond that because it's too hideous. He does deserve props for his performance in a weird way: I've never heard this song sung like a deadly threat before. F
Stereo Kicks: 'Let It Be / Hey, Jude'
Stereo Kicks sounded better this week than they ever have since they were thrown together. They gave the song, and each other, room to breathe in a way they haven't done before and came together in a way that made sense. Their harmonies and individual lines were stronger, though they still paired up some of the weaker ones to mask some of the vocal shortcomings. I still don't believe that eight people in a band will be sustainable, but they do deserve credit for telling Louis Walsh to go fuck himself. (They didn't say it in those words, but their expressions told us everything.) B+
Ben Haenow: 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing'
The opening and closing slots on a singing competition are a nightmare for the contestants. You run the risk of either being forgotten or losing the audience if you don't bring something special to your performance, and poor Ben definitely lost the audience. This is a song that has been done to death on Idol, X Factor, The Voice and all the rest of these shows so many times. It didn't give him the chance to do anything but sound like a poor man's Steven Tyler. Simon said it was a bit sound-alike, which you are going to get if you have a show with poor theme weeks. C+