Monday, November 9, 2015

X Factor UK 12: Top 11

The theme this week was "Reinvention". Not sure if it means mash-ups - since we got a lot of them - or do something with a song and just flip it, but for the most part, I've heard a lot of the arrangements somewhere else. It's not technically reinvention as they already exists, but I digress. A couple of people redeemed themselves after an underwhelming performances last week and some were downright laughable. One thing I'm certain about this season, we'll never be short on theatrics. Ha.

On with the show!

11. Anton Stephans
All About That Bass / Bang Bang
While I don't necessarily consider Anton Stephans a joke contestant - he can actually sing - this type of production gave me those godawful flashbacks of Wagner's performances during his season. I just couldn't take this seriously. 3

10. Max Stone
Somewhere Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World
Why does he always look like he's in constant pain whenever he's on stage performing? I don't know. His vocals were mostly fine - I thought his voice soared towards the end - but other than the mash-up and his incredibly hysterical facial expressions, there's nothing particularly interesting about this performance. Nada. 5

09. 4th Impact
Sound of the Underground / The Clapping Song
Eh. Performance-wise, this was slightly better than last week - the choreography was a lot tighter and I liked the staging more - but the vocals were all over the place. The harmonies were inconsistent, their pitch was problematic, and the random runs and ad-libs sounded unpleasant.  Plus, the backtrack was way too loud that it almost drowned them out completely during the chorus. Such a shame. 6

08. Mason Noise
Mason may not be the best singer in the competition, but there's something undeniably current about him. I thought his performance of Teardrops, though a tad cheesy, had the swagger and the right amount of attitude and confidence. I would've liked a better arrangement with far more interesting build-up, but I digress. 6.5

07. Reggie 'N' Bollie
What Makes You Beautiful / Cheerleader
Say what you want about this duo, but there's something incredibly entertaining about them. No, I don't think they outsang most of the remaining finalists - even with a pretty genius mash-up of One Direction and OMI - but the infectious energy was all they needed to pull off this performance. That said, there's nothing else to get from the performance other than fun. I'm afraid the novelty will run out soon. 6.5

06. Lauren Murray
Hold Back The River
They tried to create a moment for Lauren, but failed. Don't get me wrong. I thought it was a solid effort, but her lower register and her choppy phrasing during the first verse somehow pulled me away from the performance. If not for the backing choir and her soaring vocals during that moment, I would've ranked this lower. 7

05. Monica Michaels
Crazy In Love
Vocally, Monica delivered, but her movements were far too distracting that I almost felt like I was being punk'd. She looked uncomfortable throughout the performance and just like Lauren, that pulled me from a potential showstopper. Why didn't Rita tell her to just stand there and sing? Lost opportunity. 7

04. Kiera Weathers
Return of the Mack
Whoa. Where did this come from? This was a HUGE IMPROVEMENT from last week. Sure, her vocals weren't perfect - she hit a couple of wobbly notes here and there - but I did not expect the sass and that breakdown was fantastic. Now I understand what Rita saw in her - she's a potentially "moldable" popstar. 7.5

03. Seann Miley Moore
California Dreamin'
For some strange reason, Seann and his affinity for theatrics worked yet again with this performance. I mean, I would've liked a lot more stripped down version of the song for him, but there was something deliciously compelling about it. I thought the arrangement had great dynamics, his vocals were on point, and the staging added dimension to the number. 8.5

02. Ché Chesterman
You Can't Hurry Love
I feared that Ché will ruin this again with one gratuitous run after the other, but he kept things simple and that made this one stellar vocal performance. The brilliant arrangement gave his voice an opportunity to navigate the melody with ease. Totally effortless. 8.5

01. Louisa Johnson
Billie Jean
Who knew? I'm very well aware that Louisa can blow everyone away with her vocals - she's probably one of the best singers this season - and her soulful voice was arguably her best asset, but to deliver a performance and nail the vocals and choreography all at the same time was just pure awesome. Easily the best performance of the night. 9

Max Stone
Kiera Weathers
Anton Stephans


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