Michael Jackson vs Queen: who sang best on The X Factor tonight?
Just when you think The X Factor can’t get any more outrageous, they throw in references to bad acid trips and a stage invader tries to devour Stereo Kicks’ tasty brains. Tonight’s song-list pitted Michael Jackson against Queen in a legendary battle to make the Super Megaforce rangers jealous. So who sang best tonight? Here’s what we thought.
Paul Akister: ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’
Just throwing a drum ‘n’ bass beat into a Queen song doesn’t make it original when everything else around it is a by the numbers interpretation of a classic like ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’. Paul’s voice sounded consistently good throughout, but he didn’t listen to Adam Lambert’s good advice about channelling the kind of energy that Freddie Mercury unleashed every time he took to the stage. And although I get that Paul is not Freddie, there wasn’t enough to differentiate this from every other version floating around out there. In Paul’s defence, however, this is not the kind of music he would be releasing and performing. B-
Jay James: ‘The Show Must Go On’
It’s incredible that Jay managed to strip all the drama out of a song as loaded with darkness as ‘The Show Must Go On’. But that’s exactly what he did despite a sort-of-moody opening in front of a mirror. It was fine, vocally, it was just lacking emotion and depth. It’s worth pointing out that he is, apparently, quite sick; I’m not sure that’s an excuse for such a lifeless performance. D+
Ben Haenow: ‘Man in the Mirror’
I’m not sure why Mel had such a strong reaction to poor Ben’s Michael Jackson cover, though I suspect it has something to do with him potentially taking votes away from her boys. He did give a strong performance, despite some moments where nerves affected him, and his voice sounded strong for the most part. He also deserves a lot of credit for singing a cappella in a ballsy intro. A
Lauren Platt: ‘I’ll Be There’
Lauren was sick, so those few bum notes on the Jackson 5 song can be forgiven. The thing that makes Lauren stand out, much like Only the Young, is that her performances always seem fresh. (Even when she’s ripping off Foxes.) It wasn’t the most interesting cover she’s done, but it did allow her to show more of her vocal range than we’ve heard and there’s something very distinctive about her voice. B
Only the Young: ‘Blame it on the Boogie’
I want Only the Young to succeed on this show and it’s such a shame to hear them trip up on a song like this. They definitely performed it well and the harmonies were strong on the chorus, but it did start to come unstuck when Betsy Blue-English began to take the solos because the key wasn’t right for her voice. I hope they stay in, particularly over the likes of Stereo Kicks or Jay, so let’s hope their fan-base cares enough to vote. They need to stop giving Betsy solo lines, though, and keep her strictly on harmonies until she can figure out how to stay in key. C-
Stevi Ritchie: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
“The bad thing is that I felt like I’d taken a bad acid trip and I couldn’t get off it.” – Mel B
It was a huge cheat for them to disguise Stevi’s weak voice under altered harmonies in the beginning. It was fun performance in the sense that it genuinely felt like a lurid, strange dream. He does seem to be a really nice guy, so he deserves props for coming out and performing like that when he knows he’s going to be savaged for it. I judge myself for saying this… I sort of want him to stick around for next week for shits and giggles. D+
Stereo Kicks: ‘You Are Not Alone’
If you thought X Factor had already surgically removed all of the emotion from this song in the past, Stereo Kicks’ version will stun you. These lads do deserve a lot of credit for ignoring the stage invader and carrying on as best they could. (Or maybe it was all staged for publicity and we’ve all been had.) Surprisingly enough, Accrington lad Reece Bibby was the one to shine tonight with his brief and fleeting line. He showed a lot of power, emotion and control with those few seconds and managed to outclass James without going over the top. C (And only because of Reece’s solo.)
Fleur East: ‘Will You Be There?’
There’s no denying that nerves got the better of Fleur in places tonight. But when you watch her performance back, she did manage to hold it together pretty well considering. Some of it fell flat, but there was a lot of good in her version of an underrated Michael Jackson song. With the right material behind her, she could be an exciting popstar down the road. A-
Andrea Faustini: ‘Somebody to Love’
Judging by his performance tonight, Andrea took inspiration from Adam Lambert and Freddie Mercury to deliver the night’s biggest showstopper. With those gospel voices behind him, ‘Somebody to Love’ gave Andrea the chance to redeem himself after last week’s Fright Night horror show performance, which saw him transform into a demonic Mr Tumnus. He proved tonight that he just needs good songs like this to give him a smooth ride to the final. A+
Tonight’s best performers: Fleur, Andrea and Ben. ( Two of these three performers sang one of Michael’s songs!!!!)
Source: clickmusic.com & MJWN
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