It’s X Factor time again. I will write in real time and update as the show goes along. I think Katie is in serious danger tonight, even if she does well. However, I don’t find her boring. I hope Mary or Wagner get booted out as I’m now thoroughly bored of them – unless they pull off a major surprise tonight.
It’s ‘Elton John night’ – well, Tiny Dancer, Your Song, and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road etc are great songs. He also has many terrible songs. Which will predominate?
Opening the show tonight is Paije. He’s singing 'Crocodile Rock' in a strange American accent. They’ve decided Paije is ‘fun’ so he’s dressed in a pink jacket and is surrounded by women with big-hair wigs. That isn’t enough to distract from the fact that it was a very ordinary performance. ‘Karaoke’ says Louie. Cheryl displays her encyclopaedic knowledge of modern music by admitting she’s never heard the song before. The judges argue. Simon says his chances of winning are zero. True. I’d give it 5. Daughter says 9. OK!
Now Aiden is about to treat us to one of his starey-eyed, funereal dirges. Well, actually he’s singing 'Rocket Man' and it’s almost up-tempo. His voice quavers all over the place but that’s his style. Louie says he knows Elton would love it. How does he know? Simon likes his ‘swagger’. Swagger? No idea what he’s on about. The performance was OK but nothing special. I’ll say 6, daughter says 8.
Mary says she was tired last week and didn’t have her mind on things. She is so nice and unassuming it seems churlish to criticise her. But here we go. Dodgy start. Like a stage-musical singer warbling rock music, and so it continues. Oh, this is bad – harsh notes, off-tune at times, oh dear... The cheering audience must have cloth ears. ‘Parts of that were shaky,’ Dani says. You don’t say, Dani? ‘Pub singerish, but because you have a heart, it worked,’ says Simon. No it didn’t. Although I agree she has a heart and seems like a good person. Louie says it was in tune. No, it wasn’t! I’ll give her 4. Daughter says 5.
It’s Katie! Come on Katie! It’s an automatic 10 from Daughter – let that encourage you. It's ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’- makes sense at an emotional level, but can she sing it? Sounds like someone down the local pub, I’m afraid. The elaborate dancing can’t disguise the fact. Entirely the wrong choice of song – whose idea was it? Cheryl’s choice, apparently. Katie is smiling and looks like she’s enjoying herself. Can’t say I enjoyed it much. Louie says it was a rotten song. Cheryl goes mad at him. Simon says Louie should be removed from the building. He loved it. He admires the way she bounces back week by week after being in the bottom two and receiving bad tabloid headings. Very true, actually. But I could only give that 6. Daughter says...10!
Matt next. Matt is a very good singer, but can you imagine sitting through an entire album by him without falling asleep? He is singing 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road', and he is singing very well. It’s a song that requires great vocal range, which Matt has in spadeloads. And he has a fine tone too. I can’t knock that, much as I’d like to... Easily the best performance of the night so far. Rebecca still to come, mind you. I’ll say 8. Daughter says 8, although she was barely listening to him - see what I mean about falling asleep?.
Cher Lloyd is about to sing. I saw a Cher-interview and she said that Cheryl having to choose between two of her acts last week was like a mother having to give away one of her babies, which would be “weird”, she claimed. Crikey... Anyway, she’s singing ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word,’ a laid-back version with beats. She is wearing strange leggings – quite liked them. Quite liked the singing too. I’ll give her 9. Daughter says 6.
Wagner. I hope he tries to sing this week. He can sing. He just doesn’t bother anymore and relies on the big stage choreography. Louie says the performance will be ‘very Wagner’. That doesn’t augur well. He starts with ‘I’m still standing’ – not one of my fave Elton songs. It’s a truly awful vocal performance. He segues into ‘Circle of Life’ from the Lion King – just bizarre, but not in a good way. Louie says it was fun. It wasn’t really. I’ll give him 3. Daughter says 1!!!! Ha ha ha!
Here comes One Direction. They ‘jumped on the song’ when they heard it was Elton week. I wonder which song. One of the good ones, I hope – not some crummy late-period nonsense... Here we go... They are singing in American – it must be Elton’s influence. Weird. They sang quite well. The audience are screaming their heads off. It was a tedious song though. An album full of stuff like that would be a total snore-a-thon. But they did perform it as well as they could have done. I’ll say 7. Daughter says 8.
Only Rebecca to go – save the best for last. At least, she has been the best every week so far. Will her bubble burst tonight? Rebecca doesn’t have that sense of entitlement to stardom that some of the other contestants seem to think they have. I like that. Wow, it’s 'Candle in the Wind'. Brave! It’s a super-charged emotional performance. I don’t even want to type during this... Goosebumps down the spine... Stunning. No stage dancers, no gimmicks, just fabulous. I’ll give her 10 for the second week in a row. Daughter says 9.
Well, on the performances tonight, Wagner should go. Mary was also poor, as was Paije. But I think Katie, sadly, is doomed. On the plus side, Rebecca is still way way ahead. The only threats are One Direction and Matt.