‘The X Factor’ UK review: Saara Aalto, Emily Middlemas, Sam Lavery, and Fright Night

X Factor -You’re Saturday night criticism starts right here! That’s right, folks: We’re back with another review for this weekend’s new episode of “The X Factor,” and this time around, we’re talking about songs that go bump in the night. It’s Fright Night, and hopefully we’ll see plenty of singers embrace it — though upon first glance, some of the song choices are really a stretch.

We’ll be reviewing all of this ridiculousness live, so think of this article as your companion to the entire show stuffed complete with updates on the performances, including rankings at the end of the night in order from worst to best.

9. Honey G, “Men in Black” – The show’s production value goes a long way in making Honey look like less of a disaster, but the reality here is that she’s not doing anything that challenging. So long as she only has to keep the beat of a song, she can do okay. This is just not on the level talent-wise of anyone else, and Honey seems almost constantly out of breath when she performs.

8. Ryan Lawrie, “Everybody” – We’ll give Ryan more credit than Honey since we felt like he put a lot of effort into this, but it just didn’t work. His voice isn’t strong enough, and it felt for the longest time like he was doing an impression of the Backstreet Boys more so than anything else.

7. Sam Lavery, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – We don’t really know how this had anything to do with Halloween, but the vocals were for the most part strong. Our biggest issue was with the whole aesthetic, since it felt like Sam played several different characters over the course of the song. She also shouted a couple of times over singing as we neared the end of the performance. It was good, but we’ve seen better from her.

6. 5 After Midnight, “Thriller” – We wanted to like this more than we ultimately did, given that you are talking about arguably the most iconic Halloween-related pop song of all time. We wanted a tad more energy from them (ironic given that they were playing dead people), and their vocals were a little spotty at times. With that said, they still did treat the song with great respect, and we did appreciate the commitment to the dance.

5. Four of Diamonds, “Ghost” – While not perfect, this was the first time we’ve really seen the fire and the drive that we wanted to see from the ladies in terms of becoming an original group. They do still have some issues to work on in terms of harmonizing and we don’t think this song was right for them in terms of adaptation, but we especially enjoyed the final sixty seconds of it when they really stepped it up.

4. Gifty Louise, “In Love with a Monster” – Performing the Fifth Harmony song from “Hotel Transylvania 2,” Gifty had the least-known song choice of the night. Yet, she embraced the theme perhaps more so than anyone. She went all-out with the style, mixed up the song, and hit all of her notes. this was really fun! She kicked off the show, and that’s not always easy. Still, she made the most of this.

3. Matt Terry, “I Put a Spell on You” – Probably even stronger vocally than Gifty, and we give him extra credit for staying focused despite all of those weird people grabbing at him during the end of the performance. On the negative, we will say that we didn’t love every vocal decision that he did during this. Still, we’re thrilled he chose this song, given that there are few more suited for Fright Night than this.

2. Emily Middlemas – There wasn’t a whole lot of movement during this, but when you’re THIS in touch with what you’re doing onstage, we don’t mind. This was easily Emily’s best performance of the live shows, and is a perfect example of what we mean by “getting into character” for a performance. She never once smiled or made herself out to be anything other than this creepy, rejected doll-like character sitting on the floor and longingly hitting these notes.

Best of the Night – Saara Aalto, “Bad Romance” – We don’t know who thought it would be a good idea to restrain Saara at the start of the live shows, but they were DEAD WRONG. These past two weeks have turned her from someone we thought was borderline secondhand embarrassment to our favorite person on the entire show. She knows how to perform, how to play to the crowd, and genuinely can sing incredibly well. She did more than anyone in this performance, she missed nary a note!

Who was your favorite? You can vote now in the poll.

Did we get this painfully wrong as opposed to our pre-show rankings? You can find out by heading over to the link here and checking that article out! We’ll be back later this weekend to discuss more results, and set the stage for what could be a shocking program on Sunday. (Photo: ITV.)


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