X - Factor recap: Live Show - Rock Week (UK)
By Ian Cullen Oct 24, 2011, 2:06 GMT
08/17/2011 - Louis Walsh, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and Gary Barlow - "The X Factor" Press Launch Photocall - O2 Arena - London, UK © Solarpix / PR Photos
This weekend’s X-Factor saw the contestants having to tackle rock songs, but in most cases these songs were stripped back to the most basic versions you could do - so they were more like acoustic rock ballads.
Not that I have an issue with that, but would have liked to have seen more of the contestants really rocking us out.
Louis did his usual over-staging of acts and going for tack over substance, and quite frankly is starting to annoy the crap out of Gary Barlow, which is rather entertaining in and of itself.
Whereas Tulisa seems to have gotten pop songs with rock guitar riffs banged onto them confused with what real rock is.
Without further ado, here are who I felt were the best and worst of the night in the respective categories.
Best: Although she isn’t likely to win the popularity contest that is X-Factor and despite her attitude to it. Which is universally disliked by members of the public as well as some other acts in the competition. I felt last night was Kitty’s when it comes to rocking it out. Funnily enough, Johnny put in the best performance for this group last night. Louis in an unusual move gave Johnny a song by The Darkness, which really shown off Johnny’s falsetto in a positive way.
And given that he’d never done a rock song before. Johnny pulled it off. We can only hope that Johnny gets a few more good song choices from Louis in the weeks to come, and it would be nice if Louis staged things a little less and just let his acts show us the goods without overdoing the packaging.
Also last night. Kitty did a pretty good version of Live and Let Die and also rocked it out.
Worst in this group for me was Johnny. For me the worst of the night was Sammi. It had absolutely nothing to do with her vocal and mostly to do with the song choice that Louis made for her. I mean having her sing ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ by Cher was a little obvious. If louis continues to choose such poor song choices for Sammi I can’t see her getting much further in the competition.
Best: The best of the boys last night was Marcus Collins, who opened the show and really rocked out with a Prince song. Craig Colton came in second for me last night in this category, but he wasn’t really challenged with his song, and it was a rock ballad to boot, which is playing naturally to Colton's strengths as a vocalist.
Worst: This category on any other year would be a natural fit for Frankie Cocozza, who is naturally gearing himself up as an indi rock act. But though he has the personality and is a bit of a live wire.
Plus none of Gary’s song choices have really pushed him. If you give Cocozza a song by say Queen, Meat Loaf or even Aerosmith or Bon Jovi. I doubt he’d have the vocal chops to back it up.
Last night he sang 'Get Your Rocks off', though it was more a case of him speaking the words to the rhythm than singing them.
Given that Tulisa is a bit confused about what a rock song is. This was a particularly hard category for me to figure out this week.
Because neither act really performed what I’d call a Rock song.
Best: Rythmix won through again this week with a mix of hip hop and pop done to a rock riff. Which though not what you’d class as a rock song. It was much closer to Rock than The Risk were.
Worst: The Risk. Sure, they sang well enough and the harmonies were just about right. But they were not really rocking it out.
The Girls: Last night the Girls were on form, which didn’t make things easy to pick the best and worse of this category.
The Best: This is someone that I’ve critiqued for being a little too RnB most week’s, but last night Misha B showed some versatility with a pretty rocked out version of the Prince song Purple Rain.
The Worst: Picking the worst was very difficult because I like both these acts. But worst for me in this group last night was Sophie, who did a stripped down version of ‘Living On A Prayer’ by Bon Jovi.
Janet did a version of ‘Sweet Child Of Mine’ by Guns & Roses, which was okay but much like Sophie and Living on A Prayer it didn’t really rock the doors off the stadium as it were.
The Best Overall:
When it comes to who I felt had the best performance overall last night. I have to pick Marcus Collins, because he put out a performance that I wasn’t expecting to see and truly surprised me.
The Worst Overall:
The worst for me last night was Frankie Cocozza. In a week where they have a category, which should really play to his strengths he put out what I felt was a very mediocre performance.
He didn’t really get anyone's rocks off as it were.
The Result: The two acts that had to fight for survival this week and were at the mercy of the judges were Kitty who deserved to make it through on her own and Sammi.
First up to sing for the final showdown was Sammi who sang ‘You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,’ which if am honest was as uninspiring a song choice as the song she did in the live show.
Second up was Kitty, who sang ‘Am On the Edge Of Glory,’ which while alright didn’t really stand out as much as her performances on the previous two live shows.
Gary was first to decide and he liked both acts, but chose after some time to send Sammi home. Kelly after also complimenting both women chose Sammi. Tulisa agreed with Gary about both acts being good chose to send kitty home. Which left the fate of both girls in the hands of Louis Walsh.
Louis chose not to cop out and take it to deadlock and chose Sammi to leave, but admitted that he went with his heart instead of his head when coming to the decision. Which means Kitty survives another week.
Personally If I could have had my way. I’d have had The Risk and Frankie Cocozza in the bottom two. But as said the show is not really so much about talent as it is popularity and the audience will always choose the most middle of the road acts to stay in the competition, which doesn’t always mean the best acts get to stay in.
That said it wasn't really that big of a surprise that Sammi was the one that got the short straw here. She has always come over as to dated and more along the lines of the type of singer you'd expect to see while on a cruise ship or on a package holiday. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Monsters & Critics' contributor Ian Cullen is the owner and lead writer for the popular science fiction and comic book news site www.scifipulse.net. Ian also hosts the SFP-NOW podcast, which comes out weekly and is available for download on iTunes and smart phones.
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