‘The X Factor’ UK live review: Fleur East, Stereo Kicks, Ben Haenow, and Stevi Ritchie go big band

Andrea -Tonight, the contestants on “The X Factor” UK had the opportunity to do something that is incredibly special: Perform with a massive 31-piece band. There are not many other places in the world of music where you can do something like this, and with that in mind, it really has to be embraced and enjoyed here!

While this theme does typically mean fewer of the fast-paced performances, we feel like there is still going to be quite a bit to like here. Want to know more? Then take a look below. We’ll be updating this throughout the show.

Andrea Faustini, “Summertime” – This really was an opening to the show, and possible proof that Simon is a little out of his mind. He may be a little correct about the face-pulling, but the vocals here were simply outstanding. Perhaps a little gamesmanship on Simon’s part?

Lauren Platt, “Smile” – This really was a test of Lauren’s vocal ability. There were some notes near the end that were strained, but her voice carried over the band pretty well throughout, and we were very pleasantly reminded as to why she is near the top of our list of favorites.

Jay James, “New York, New York” – What was the point of that “Empire State of Mind” intro? Also, what was it about that woman dancing around in the champagne glass? Those two things were minor distractions about what was an otherwise good performance. We liked it more than the judges did from a stage presence perspective, even though it did feel at times like Jay was trying to just do Frank Sinatra.

Stereo Kicks, “Mack the Knife” – This was a good, but also pretty safe performance. It’s easier to nail a vocal when you are, at least for the most part, steering clear of most harmonies and just getting a member of the band every few seconds to sing individually.

Ben Haenow, “Cry Me a River” – Wasn’t this powerful? We agree with all who say that it was not anywhere near the best performance that he’s given on the show, but we still do have to respect his commitment, and the overall strength of what is a pretty sensational voice.

Only the Young, “I Wanna Be Like You” – This was a mess. The vocals were bad, and while we love the amount of fun they had, this is just not their week. We do admire them for knowing who they are, but in the end, this only can amount to so much.

Stevi Ritchie, “Mambo Number 5 / She Bangs” – Okay, this was terrible. We may love Stevi and his antics, but this may have been asking a little too much of us to buy him trying to be a Latin pop god. On the plus, he ate fire! With all this being said … we wouldn’t remind people of the fact that you once sang in front of a Confederate flag.

Fleur East, “Bang Bang” – Surprisingly flat for the end of the show. This song just did not benefit from the arrangement, and surprisingly, the best part of this entire performance was the rap. It is impressive that Fleur can do almost anything on the show given the timing of it.

Who was your favorite from the show tonight? Share in the comments right now, and head over here to see where we ranked everyone beforehand! You can also sign up, in the event you want some further TV updates on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo via ITV.)

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