The X - Factor Recap: American Anthems Not!
By Ian Cullen Nov 7, 2010, 21:49 GMT
11/05/2010 - Cheryl Cole - Cheryl Cole Arrives at Heathrow Airport in London on November 5, 2010 - Heathrow Airport - London, UK © Solarpix / PR Photos
This weekend, The X - Factor chose songs for their acts, which are supposedly American Anthems, but for some strange reason many of the song choices didn’t really fit into that category.
The show opened with Cher’s ‘Empire State Of Mind’, which you could say is a New York anthem, but since when has ‘Don’t Speak’ by No Doubt been an American Anthem?
In fact, out of all ten acts that sang, only three did songs that you’d consider to be American Anthems, and those acts were Wagner with ‘Viva Las Vegas’, Cher with ‘Empire State Of Mind’ and One Direction with the tackiest of all American Anthems, ‘Kids In America’, which made me want to gargle with alum.
Cher sang ‘Empire State Of Mind’ by Alicia Keys, and did a fairly good rendition though not as good as her version of 'Stay' by Shakespeare’s Sister in last week's show, according to Simon.
Admittedly I’m not a fan myself, but Cher has proved that she has some singing ability in the last two weeks of the show, and its helped her immensely by not singing a mishmash of rap and song like in prior weeks. In that she has probably connected a little more with a slightly older audience than just the teeny bopper market that the mishmash stuff was aimed at.
Mary Byrne was up second, and she was singing the Faith Hill song ‘There You’ll Be’ and was obviously immensely uncomfortable with the song. She still got a fairly good reaction from the audience, but it was blatantly obvious that Mary wasn’t at ease with the song, and I suspect the reason for it was that there were to many quiet parts to the song, which can be difficult for a singer of Mary’s type who likes to hit the higher notes and blast a song out the rafters.
Third up was the scorn of my ears, Katie, whose survived several times now because she was up against acts that were even worse than she is. Katie sang ‘Don’t Speak’ by ‘No Doubt’, and for me didn’t really have the sassiness or attitude to pull the song off. Added to which, her voice is to small and not strong enough to pull the song off.
Next up was Aiden Grimshaw, who I’ve found to be disappointing in the last few weeks, but Aiden nailed it last night with a fantastic performance of the Sinéad O’Connor/Prince hit ‘Nothin’ Compares’.
In past weeks Aiden has tended to try and put to much of his own spin on the songs he’d been given, and messed it up royally. This time he kept it simple and put in perhaps one of the best performances of the night.
On fifth was the likable Paije who did a mishmash of the classic Monkeys hit ‘I’m A Believer & Hey Ya’ by The OutKast’s. This performance though a lot of fun seemed more like something you’d find in a variety show than what you’d expect from a pop performer. Sadly it didn’t really work for me, though Paije sang well and obviously enjoyed himself and took the audience with him. I only hope that Dannii picks something a little better for him to do next week.
Sixth up to perform was the brilliant Rebecca Fergusan, who has impressed me in every single live show to date. Last night Rebecca sang a really emotional rendition of ‘Make You Feel My Love’ and absolutely nailed it. Words can’t really do this girl justice, and it will be a great injustice if she doesn’t get a recording contract and do a few concerts when she leaves X-Factor regardless of whether she wins or not.
Up seventh was the force of nature, the alien from another world, the one act in the competition that we should nominate to take over Prime Minister David Cameron’s job. The man who could teach diction to third world countries. Wagner. Man, I should write his introductions for X-Factor. I wonder how much that pays? Anyway, Wagner, who by all rights should be out of the competition by now based on his lack of singing talent, but continues to entertain just by being his self-deprecating and somewhat eccentric self.
Wagner sang or did something approximating singing with 'Viva Las Vegas'. As he said in the VT, “Elvis is back with a moustache and a funny foreign accent.” He was still a tad out of time with the music and out of tune, but he enjoyed himself.
Eighth to perform was Matt Cardle, who like Rebecca Fergusan has continued to impress me over the weeks. Last night Cardle did a brilliant rendition of ‘The First Time... Ever I Saw Your Face’, which according to the VT was a very personal song for him, and he sang it in such away that you totally believed it.
Much like Rebecca Fergusan this guy should really by all rights be signed up to a record deal regardless of winning the show. He was absolutely brilliant. The penultimate act was TreyC Cohen who did a rendition of the Aerosmith song ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’, which is one of my favorite songs.
So its fair to say I was a little concerned that she’d screwed the pooch with this one. Thankfully, TreyC knew what she was doing with the vocal and as ever put in a technically brilliant singing performance. TreyC is the sort of singer that can pretty much do any song, which comes from having natural talent plus vocal training. The downside of that with shows like X - Factor is that if you can sing a variety of things it means you can’t be labelled and slotted into a niche, and that’s proving to be a real problem for TreyC in the competition.
Especially where the judges are concerned. As Dannii Minogue explained, “I think TreyC can sing any song. Its just that I don’t know what style is uniquely hers.” Simon told her that she needs to approach the competition with much more attitude, and sing to win every week.
In the grand tradition of saving the best for last. X - Factor this week chose to reverse the tradition by saving the worst for last with Simon Cowell’s one and only remaining act, One Direction.
The clone troopers, who all look and more or less sound the same sang a cheesy and average rendition of the much over-hyped and very cliched ‘Kids In America.’
The trouble is with One Direction is they are like most Boy Bands; they all look and sound the same, and like Marmite you’ll either love or hate them. I’m in the latter camp.
Of course like every week we had to say goodbye to one of the acts, and the two acts that scored lowest with the public were TreyC and Katie. First up to sing for survival was Katie, who once again put out a marginally better performance than she did in the Saturday show, with the old soul song ‘It’s Late’.
I had to give myself an antidote to watching this and loaded ‘The Commitments’ into my DVD Player, “I mean what D feck. She’s bang out of order Terry. You know what I mean?”
Last up and also one of Cheryl Cole’s acts was TreyC Cohen, who by far is technically the better singer, and put in a far better performance for me with ‘Unbreak My Heart’.
Of course when it came to the judges, Simon revealed that he felt TreyC was the better singer whereas Katie was the more interesting performer, and chose to send TreyC home because as ever Simon will always pick tack over substance and real talent. Cheryl, chose not to nominate either of her acts and nominated to take things to deadlock if the other two judges didn’t come to a decisive choice.
Dannii chose Katie to send home, and Louis had the dilemma of having to choose between the girls because he liked both girls and decided to send TreyC home. Which means style once again won out over substance and real talent... When asked what went wrong. TreyC revealed in interview that she probably wasn’t connecting as well with the audience than the other acts were.
For me it was a sad weekend on X Factor. Sadder still that we still have tacky acts such as Katie and One Direction still in contention, and as for Wagner. It’s a miracle that he hasn’t been kicked off the show yet. Stay tuned for next weeks installment when the last 9 acts get the claws out and do battle.
Aiden Grimshaw Nothin Compares Video
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CCheryl Cole Biography -
Cheryl Cole Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesSimon Cowell Biography -
Simon Cowell Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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