Tonight’s Halloween-themed X Factor was definitely a mixed bag. Lucy Spraggan was nowhere to be seen due to illness (she’ll be back next week, folks). Ella Henderson and Jade Ellis both took a few knocks through questionable song choices. And Jahmene Douglas and James Arthur ruled the night with stunning performances that played to both their strengths.
That’s right, it’s time for the Unreality TV X Factor chart, where we rate the performances into the ones we loved and the ones we loathed! And here, with a maniacal booming laugh, are our Halloween Night Top 9! Muahahahah*cough, cough, cough*
- Jahmene Douglas – Killing Me Softly: A “born recording star”, according to Louis Walsh. No contest. We’ve always said that Jahmene is the best technical singer on this show. But he managed to bring atmosphere and emotion to this old Roberta Flack song and sang it perfectly. Oh, and he’s been endorsed by Samuel L Jackson. Are we looking at our winner?
- James Arthur – Sweet Dreams: Wearing what looked like a black straightjacket and flanked by dark monks, James brought a dark and twisted take on Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams. The vocals were gravelly and rocky while at the same time reaching a massive climax which hopefully gave Kye Sones some indication of how it should be done. James is really starting to win me over. One of the most bankable X Factor stars this year.
- Union J – Sweet Dreams: One thing that’s bugging me about Union J is that they’re playing everything way too close to the One Direction formula. In fact, George is pretty much morphing into a clone of Harry Styles. But, as one pundit on Twitter pointed out, Union J are actually better *gasp* than One Direction were when they were in The X Factor. Great vocals, very together, but like Gary Barlow, I’d like to see them take some more risks.
- Kye Sones – Let Me Entertain You: Picking a Robbie Williams song was, depending on your point of view, a very brave or a very stupid move. For my money, strip away the ridiculous (tired) production and Kye’s delivery was definitely lacking something. It simply didn’t have the punch of a Robbie performance, which makes me feel Kye should stick to the ballads rather than attacking a rock track.
- Ella Henderson – Bring Me To Life: An incredible, gutsy, leftfield song choice. Rock, but powerful, operatic rock. Vocally, this might not have been Ella’s best performance. As Nicole Scherzinger said, the chorus was anticlimactic.
- Jade Ellis – Freak Like Me: A Sugababes song? Played with a simple drum backing a la We Will Rock You? And a PVC costume? There is literally nothing bad we can say about this. I know what Gary Barlow was saying when he worried that the vocals were weaker than usual. I heard those rough spots, but I also thought the simple arrangement allowed us to properly hear Jade’s wonderful voice.
- Rylan Clark – Horny/Poison: Okay, Rylan is becoming the king of the grand performances on X Factor. Whether you love him or loathe him (I’m undecided), he’s got the brass balls to throw himself into those massive routines and mix things up by memorising difficult mashups of two or more tracks. He might be more Jedward than Wagner in that we can see him transcending the show and becoming his own weird kind of celebrity.
- Christopher Maloney – Died In Your Arms: Ooh, dull song choice, but actually a very strong vocal from Christopher. At Unreality HQ, we were falling asleep at the song, but loving Christopher’s vocals. So conflicted! Definitely a good week for Christopher, but we wish he’d spoken out and said whether he wants to sing more modern songs when Dermot asked him. No point in trying to be too nice about it.
- District 3 – Beautiful Monster: What a mess. We know they’re beloved of teenage girls everywhere, but they could be mutes and the same teenage girls wouldn’t notice. Pretty boys on TV? Who cares if they can sing or not? Gary and Nicole were right – too many mashups and gimmicks are hurting District 3. Not that it matters as long as the teenyboppers are furiously texting their support for them.
In other news (no, not Fag Ash Breath news), we wanted to talk about what we’re calling “The Mashup Problem”. Gary and Nicole both complained about being tired of mashups this year. We asked our Twitter followers (all 11,000 of you!) what you thought about mashups, and received a flood of retweets and replies of agreement. Should The X Factor tone down its use of mashups, or are you a fan of them? Reply here:
Retweet if you're tired of mashups on #xfactor too!
— UnrealityTV (@unrealitytv) October 27, 2012
Finally! Do you agree or disagree with our chart this week? As always, leave your comment and let us know what your Top 9 are?