X Factor week 5

I think we’re at the stage of the competition where there are two ways for an act to progress. One is to have lots of fans who love them for who they are (so that has to be clearly defined), and will keep loving them as long as they keep doing what they do. Matt, Cher, One Direction, Aiden, Wagner and Mary all have this going on. Treyc and Paije definitely don’t. Katie might be starting to.

The better way is to be unexpectedly brilliant and cross over to new people. Only people who do this several times eventually win, but it’s hard – one bad week brings doom. Rebecca has been building like this, and has to keep going.

So how did they do? Here is what we thought at home…

Cher - pretty good, if a bit predictable. Simon knows she was better last week, and so does Cher. Nothing wrong, it just plodded when it should have wowed – it needed more dramatic execution, more light and shade, not more gimmicks but some vulnerabilty. But she’s got the fans, didn’t let them down and is safe.

Mary - oh dear. She’s not at her finest – this week it’s Tesco Value Mary, reduced to clear. Very pitchy and losing the emotional connection in the song, though endearingly blubby in the chat at the end. She’ll need a lot of dedicated fans to stay in. Can’t tell how many she has – they’re not on iTunes, that’s for sure.

Katie - great song choice, but voice all over the place, and what’s that weird black and white horror video of her teary self in the background? Looks like she’s been reading about herself in the papers. A miseryfest. “You’re not a whinger” said Simon – but it sounded like that in the performance. Plus, it’s a departure from the things that might have been building the fan base. DANGER!!!

Aiden - is there something wrong with our telly or ears? Everyone is out of tune tonight. The judges love the intensity and flames, and I’m sure the fans will agree. I’m not one of them, but at least he’s solidifying his identity, so he’s safe.

Paije - I’m not sure he’s coming in with many fans, so he’s got to reach out with great performances. This ain’t one of them. “Hey I’m a Believe-Ya?” It’s cheesy mash. “You’re like a little Lenny Henry,” says Louis, comparing Paije to a funny guy who’s not famous for his singing. Best performance? Nooooo… I really want him to stay in, but he’s not safe.

Rebecca - that’s more like it! That was “a moment”. Simon’s already planning the world tour, quite rightly.

Wagner - I’m already wound up before he starts with all this argument about how to say his name, with Louis who made such a fuss about getting Storm’s name right. But now he’s singing, all that is forgotten. I just want it to stop. I doubt his fans are ready to give up on him, though. Let’s see how many there are.

Matt - back on top. A beautiful song, with a unique voice which takes you everywhere you could hope for and then bursts into new and amazing places. Best performance from any X Factor show I can remember. Ooh, tears and an emotional mystery story too – can’t beat that.

Treyc - we’re worried by the intro where she’s refusing to be pigeon holed – random shuffle doesn’t win fans. Having said that, she’s doing a great (and staggeringly popular) song very well. I can’t see how she can have problems this week – but she needs to build consistently on these good weeks. Simon is right about the passion thing – it’s not enough just to sing well, she’s got to know where she can take a big leap of faith and do something really extraordinary, and she hasn’t done that yet. Weirdly, Wagner does that every week. Aaagh, no, please don’t let Treyc go before Wagner. I don’t think she will this week.

One Direction - loving the build up, excitedly guessing the song choice, praying it won’t be a boyband classic… phew! “Kids in America” is inspired – sounds like old school Simon A&R goodness. But as fresh and energetic as it was, it could have been more musically interesting. Our discussion about that at home is stopped by having to shout “shut up Louis” repeatedly. Well done lads, you are through.

Top performers – Matt and Rebecca
Good and safe – Cher, One Direction, hopefully Treyc (ouch, crap clip in the summary though)
Saved by the fans? – Aiden, probably Wagner (also a dreadful summary clip), possibly Mary
Really not safe – Katie, Paije

Not sure I’ll have time to crunch the numbers tomorrow, so I’m going to guess Katie and Paije for bottom two, though I wouldn’t at all mind if Wagner or Mary made an appearance.

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