It’s the X Factor UK 2017 final countdown! Three acts remain: Rak-Su, Grace Davies, and Kevin Davy White. They will be performing this weekend at a new venue – ExCel London – in an effort to win a record deal and the title of X Factor winner. Before I rank them, a few thoughts on last week.
Matt Linnen was the obvious choice for elimination Saturday-everyone else was just better than him, or at least they got better feedback than him. And Lloyd Macey and The Cutkelvins were obvious choices for elimination on Sunday. Lloyd was a good singer but not good enough to overcome the fact that he’s not that marketable. The Cutkelvins are marketable-at least image wise-but they were so consistently out of tune that people were going to have to notice eventually. It took a few weeks longer than I would have liked, but they are gone now.
I thought it would be fun to look back at my original thoughts on each of our finalists this week. We only have three acts left, and while I am (unfortunately) pretty confident about my pick for first, second and third are basically interchangeable. It’s all down to song choice. With that said-here we go!
Predicted Finishing Order
- Rak-Su – When I wrote my thoughts on the top 24 spoilers back in July, I wrote this: “rapping+beatboxing+one singer that annoyed me=not my thing.” My thoughts haven’t changed too much but I’ll try to be fair. Their vocals do annoy me, but their rapping is pretty good. They can’t dance but they can write really catchy songs. They are not my thing, but they are definitely marketable. Regardless of my opinions, Rak-Su are getting pimped like crazy, which makes sense from Simon’s perspective. He needs a new boyband to do well in One Direction’s place. He’d ideally like a boyband to win X Factor UK, as only one group has ever won before (Little Mix). It could be argued that he’s been trying to get one to win with increasing urgency for a few years now (Stereo Kicks, 5AM, Rak-Su). Rak-Su have charted on iTunes basically every single week. It pains me to write this, because I really do like the other two finalists a LOT more. But Simon will get his wish. Rak-Su are going to win this season of X Factor UK.
- Grace Davies – My initial thoughts on Grace from July were: “Janet Devlin/Abi Alton-esque but better”. Fun fact: I found out after writing this that Grace was Janet Devlin’s roommate. But that’s besides the point. Grace has lasted longer this season than either of the quirky singers did in season 8 and season 10 respectively. The video I saw of Grace back then was her cover of “Life on Mars,” which she reprised this week. It was her best cover of the season by a mile. What I didn’t know back in July was that Grace’s strength is her songwriting. She is the only other act this season besides Rak-Su who has performed more original songs than covers. I think that her Sunday night performance of “Wolves” was her catchiest song yet by a mile. She promised to reprise “Roots” (her audition song) next week, and I would hope that it would be her winners single. If Grace pulls out some amazing songs next weekend she has a slim chance at winning. But the producers really want Rak-Su to win, and I think they will pull out all of the stops to make that happen. I hope Grace gets a record deal anyway-she’s earned it with her creativity and songwriting skills.
- Kevin Davy White – I wish I had initial thoughts on Kevin written down, but I don’t. Nobody spoiled his name from the six chair challenge taping. But I digress. I ranked Kevin 5th in my first power list this season, and I actually ranked wildcard Talia Dean over him in the category rankings. I really didn’t think he (or any of the overs) had a shot at making it to the final. But Kevin hasn’t had a single bad performance over the past 5 weeks. I didn’t like him that much at first, but he’s been the biggest surprise for me this season. I’ve listened to his recordings more than I have Grace’s. I wrote in the Sunday live blog that his guitar playing and musical style are extremely well suited to an arena audience. Kevin might eek out second place and I wouldn’t complain about that. But my gut tells me he’s headed for third place. Kevin earned his spot in the final, and I really hope he can make a living playing music for the rest of his life.
My Ideal Finishing Order
- Grace Davies
- Kevin Davy White