X Factor 2013 Roundup: Week 1
E2E feature writer Aaron Nelson rounds up the X Factor’s first week of live shows.
There have been two lots of auditions, a boot camp with a musical chairs theme, a whole lot of contemplative stares into the horizon in a bunch of far away countries (where exactly is Antigua anyway?) and tears. So. Many. Tears. It can mean only one thing: THE X FACTOR IS BACK (and it also means Christmas is around the corner! Yay!)
After weeks of whittling down the talented (and the talentless) masses of eager hopefuls, the judges, consisting of Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh and returning Sharon “Mrs O” Osbourne (who hasn’t been let out of Simon Cowell’s cupboard since her depart from the show in 2004), have their finalists and burst onto our screens last Saturday in a blaze of dry ice and sequins galore!
It’s the tenth series, and the Live Shows have obviously had a little visit to Mrs O’s doctor, cos they’ve have a major facelift! This year, contestants sing their little hearts out, only to be subject to a Flash Vote at the end of the Saturday night show, where the public can vote for 10 minutes – the act with the fewest votes will face the sing off on Sunday with the unlucky contestant who gets the lowest votes from the usual voting system.
So, it’s 80’s week.
The finalists belted out hits from the likes of Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner and The Ones Who Sang the You-Are-GOLD!-Song (also sometimes known as Spandau Ballet). Croydon’s Hannah Barrett whipped out a cracker of an opening performance with her rendition of Tina Turner’s ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It?’ and Essex lad Sam Bailey was criticised by judges as not being the “strongest voice” in the competition. Luke “The Hair” Friend sang a pretty good take on The Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’, and the popular Rough Copy closed the show with Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’.
The night was topped off when the Flash Vote revealed that Sharon’s Over 25 Shelley Smith had proved the least popular with viewers, and was there secured a place in Sunday’s sing off.
Sunday night came with a bang when 67-year-old power house Cher wowed the crowd with her latest single ‘I Hope You Find It’, dressed, shall we say, a little bravely for a lady of a certain age. The courageous dressing continued with Ellie Goulding who, whilst popping out her amazing single ‘Burn’, didn’t leave a lot to the imagination with a dress that was missing its sides. The night reached its tense climax (thanks to Dermot’s extended pauses and broody lighting) when another of Sharon’s ladies, Lorna Simpson, was revealed to have the least votes from the public votes.
The sing off was a clash of the brassy tones as Lorna belted out Faith Hill’s ‘They You’ll Be’, followed by Shelley Smith’s rendition of ‘One Night Only’. Sharon kicked off the judges’ voting by declaring “Dermot, I abstain!” (which, to you and me, means “bugger off, I ain’t voting”). Barlow voted to get rid of Shelley, but was overruled by Walsh and Scherzinger who voted to eliminate Lorna.
Next week, the contestants battle it out over a Love and Heartbreak theme, and Robin Thicke and Katy Perry perform!