‘The X Factor UK’ review: Talking Marianna Zappi, Freddy Parker, Tom & Laura

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We know we’re late on this review of Sunday’s “X Factor,” but better late than never! In this case, maybe it allows us a chance to get a little more perspective on some of the hopefuls.

In general, the best thing that we can probably say about this show is that for one reason or another, this season the show is finding some wacky characters who are at least reasonably good singers. Personally, we’ll take some 7-out-of-10 talent who is a little bit nuts over a boring 9-out-of-10 talent. Most of these people are the ones we’ll be remembering down the road.

Ryan Wilkins – Out of some of the bigger personalities, Ryan is probably the weakest. You can get a sense that there is a little singing talent there, but his “We Found Love” often was too big and too shrill. He’s going through, but he needs to find someone to help calm his voice. He’ll be so much better with more control.

Tom and Laura – It’s this year’s edition of “the group act Simon Cowell tries to split up.” To an extent, we get it. Tom is one of the better singers this season. Laura’s not bad, but she’s obviously the weak link of the two. We wouldn’t be shocked if the rubber meets the road at some point and they have to either split up or go home. For now, we’ll at least say that we enjoyed this audition.

Freddy Parker – If Freddy makes the live shows, you can go ahead and give him at least final 8 upside. He’s a young guy who works with animals, and this is all code for “young female voters will love him.” We gotta say, we were also impressed by his musical abilities, given that there are not many people who come out with an instrument beyond their voice.

Chanal Benjilali – Easily the contestant this week with the hardest last name to pronounce. She’s got a very nice voice, and we see her being one of the few people who could have an almost immediate future in pop music after this.

Matt Terry – Yes, we definitely get the Louis Tomlinson / Olly Murs comparisons, and Matt’s a very good singer. He just needs to take that dial and PUSH IT BACK a little since he comes off really strong in this to the point where he goes off-key a little bit. Yet, we’ll prefer super-confident singers over the demure contestant with stage fright who doesn’t do anything.

Irina Dedyuk – The first of two out-there contestants near the end of the episode. Irina is from Russia originally, and was compared almost to a Bond villain with the way she commanded the stage and her attitude. She has a mysterious quality about her, and we think that’s great. We also think she’s probably a better singer (Cher comes to mind) than her “Simply the Best” audition showed.

Sada Vidoo – The weirdest person of the episode and a self-proclaimed “living doll.” We could see this shtick getting old at some point, but given that she does have some singing talent (she’s not the best in the world, but at least she hit most of the notes), we’re curious to see what she does from here.

Marianna Zappi – The final contestant and the most emotional story of the night. Marianna is working to overcome a history of abuse and hard times to make it big as a singer, and she has a HUGE talent. One of the best singers of the season so far. She could use a little more pizzazz while she sings, but she’s the sort of person whose confidence will grow as we progress.

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