Today is the day I’ve been looking forward to since December 2017 – the start of live shows on The X Factor UK! Today, 16 acts will take the stage and perform for the public vote for the first time! The format is back to the 2016 format – separate performance and results shows, sing off and not a prize fight, etc. – which I think is great news. The show starts at 3:25 PM EST, so join me then as I liveblog all of the action!
It’s Time To Face The Music! Dermot dances into the studio. Your Saturday Night Starts Right Here! Dermot introduces the judges – Simon, Louis, Ayda and Robbie.
The theme is This Is Me. It’s a chance for the finalists to show who they want to be as artists.
Misunderstood: They sing a song called Chewing Gum. It’s yet another catchy song. It’s not my favorite performance they’ve done so far. But I still love them. Robbie and Ayda stand for the duo. Simon says the chorus needed more of a melodic hook and the vocals were a bit off. Louis says it was brave to do an original, but says the background vocals were a bit too loud – I agree. Robbie mentions they are the favorites to win, and says this showed why.
Anthony Russell: He’s going to sing Issues, the song he auditioned with last year. He’s got a great tone to his voice and I think this was a really strong performance. Robbie comments on his story and his staring down the camera. Ayda gives kudos for his strength and passion. Simon says he’s brilliant, but says he shouldn’t have moved around the stage with the song. Louis disagree, noticed he lost the timing but got it right back.
Danny Tetley: He’s going to sing Hero by Mariah Carey. The voiceover track says the wrong name (Anthony Russell again) and Danny is thrown off. He starts over again. Once he does, he nails it. This was his best performance so far. All four judges stand for him. Simon thinks he’s great, he thinks he’ll be the punters favorite. Louis says that the fact that he picked himself up and delivered that vocal was impressive. Ayda obviously loved him. Robbie says he’s like Mariah with a beard. Danny says he hopes that’s sweat dripping down his leg.
Molly Scott: She sings Fake Love by BTS again – she sang it at judges houses two weeks ago. She gets lasers and dancers on the stage. She’s good, but honestly Danny did better than her, even after getting thrown off. Simon wants the other judges to get up. And only Robbie does. Robbie calls her a proper popstar, says she’s learning very quickly. Ayda says she needs to believe in herself more. Louis wasn’t sold on the umbrellas, but says overall, well done. Simon says she was better than he thought she’d be, admits he wasn’t really here. Simon thinks it was the best performance so far tonight.
Janice Robinson: She’s the oldest one in the competition. She’s singing Clarity by Zedd. She gets lasers but no dancers. She’s in a giant circle for some reason. Her vocals aren’t as good as usual, she sounds really strained. Simon doesn’t say anything, lets the crowd cheer. Louis loved the creative, as did Robbie. Robbie says, here’s to you Mrs. Robinson. Ayda loves her, says she’s everything that’s great about this competition, says it was the best performance of the evening. Janice cries, says she has a lot more to give.
Brendan Murray: He talks about his boyband past. He sings Break Free by Ariana Grande. I’m starting to think he might be our winner this year. I love the arrangement, the vocals are great and unique – he’s definitely got a recording voice. Nobody stands for him. Robbie says there’s a lot more to come from him, clearly wasn’t blown away by it. Ayda says he smashed it, well played. Simon thought the first minute was boring, didn’t love the song, says he won’t remember it in an hour. Louis completely disagrees of course.
Bella Penfold: She thinks she’s only here because of her personality. She sings Beneath Your Beautiful. I have to say the vocals on this are by far her best so far in the competition. I’m still not a fan, but at least she finally justified her place on the show. Robbie says he’s not going to stand up every time one of his acts is on. Robbie says she’s here for her voice, lyrics, spirit. Ayda loves her identity, loves what she brings to the competition. Louis says it was a brilliant song choice, thought it was a composed performance, loved her lyrics. Simon pulls out the “people like you are why we make this show” line.
Armstrong Martins: He’s singing Story Of My Life by 1D. Louis thinks he’ll have a moment with it. He raps at the start of the performance. It doesn’t gel at all for me. The transition between the rapping and the singing was extremely sloppy. The vocals at the end are manic, and that’s the generous way of putting it. For some reason, all four judges stand for that. I swear to god, I thought that was horrible. Simon says he did amazing, him and Bella are his favorites so far. Ayda says it was amazing, wasn’t convinced after rehearsal. Robbie says he didn’t like the first verse, says it was a moment and a half. Louis says he came alive, he took this moment.
Giovanni Spano: He’s in Bat Out Of Hell in London 8 performances a week but he wants to stop playing a character. He’s doing Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting. He’s slaying this vocal. All the judges except Louis stand for him. Simon says he’s the X Factor, missed having people like him. Louis says he was ready not to like it, but he really did. Robbie jokes he needs to find confidence, he wants to perform with him.
United Vibe: They sing Slow Hands by Niall. They want to show a cheeky side of themselves. I think they were good, but clearly not that amazing. Robbie stands up. Simon says it was good but they have a lot more to give. Louis felt it was too rehearsed, too much choreography. Ayda liked it. Robbie is hyping them like crazy, says they’re better than Take That was at this point and better than 1D was at this point – he almost gets booed by the audience. I don’t know about Take That, but they are clearly ahead of 1D, so I don’t get the booing.
Shan Ako: She sings Imagine. She starts off totally a cappella. She delivers a knockout vocal. I think she’s got a really good shot at winning this thing. All four judges stand for her. Robbie says he’s fallen in love with her a bit, says she’s the kindest person in this building. Ayda’s ok with Robbie falling in love with her because she’s in love with her too. Ayda wishes she could sing like that. Louis says starting a cappella was brave, says it was the best vocal performance of the night. Simon says she chose the song, interpreted it beautifully, thought it was unbelievably good.
Olatunji Yearwood: He’s singing Jiggle It, an original song. He misses his two girls. I really don’t like this style of music, and Ola isn’t that great. But he’s clearly not a joke act either. Robbie and Ayda stand for most of it. Robbie says the song didn’t exist 10 days ago, was just written and it’s a hit. He thinks he’s incredible. Louis says he a lovely man, and is vitally important to this competition. Simon says Ayda is fantastic, overs can be dull but all of them have done great. He loved the performance. Ayda jiggled everything she got and parts she doesn’t got either.
Scarlett Lee: She sings Natural Woman. She’s got the best voice in the competition as far as I’m concerned. Effortless vocal. That was outstanding. All four judges stand for her. Robbie says she smashed it. Ayda loves the makeover, says she’s an inspiration, vocal was off the chain. Louis thinks she’s super likable, was rooting for her before she started singing. Simon sort of said that she sounds like a pub singer at parts but he still loves her. Scarlett says this is a dream come true.
LMA Choir: LMA stands for Liverpool Music Academy. They sing Circle of Life. The lead vocals are are mostly great with the exception of some pitchy parts. But all four judges stand for them. The audience chants LMA. Simon likes the song choice and performance, says it was their best performance so far. Louis is not normally a massive fan of choirs but loves their energy. He didn’t love them being separated. Ayda says it was a risk for Robbie to put them through but the risk paid off, says it was bleeping incredible. Robbie talks to their camera and tells their hometowns to mobilize. Dermot then jokes that “they can’t mobilize, they’re all here.”
Acacia and Aaliyah: They are singing Finesse by Bruno Mars and Cardi B. They get the best production of the night so far in my view, but the vocals were mediocre. Nobody stands for them. Simon hated the song but wants them to stay in the competition, thought it was too American. Louis thought it wasn’t quite right, there was too much going on. Ayda loves them but thinks they lost something in that performance. Robbie totally disagrees, sees massive potential for them.
Dalton Harris: He’s singing Life on Mars. This could have either been awful or awesome. And I have to say, it’s pretty damn awesome. He hits some awesome falsetto notes and he holds out a glory note at the end too. All the judges are on their feet except Simon because Simon’s a buzzkill. Robbie says he feels like an established act coming on the show to promote his own album. Dalton is overwhelmed. Ayda loves the song and loved how he delivered it. Simon thinks people will remember it, says it was special – he really underplayed that. Louis says he fully delivered, thought it was the best vocal of the night, he made everyone proud.
Two acts going home tomorrow, which means we probably have a bloodbath at the end of the season again. The act with the lowest votes goes immediately, second and third from the bottom sing off.