‘The X Factor’ UK review: Matt Terry, Honey G, and Saara Aalto take on boybands, girlbands

Matt Terry -

Are you ready to see some more performers rock out on the “X Factor” stage… or at least try to? We’re definitely excited for what the potential is going into this weekend’s show, especially since we have seen several favorites step up their game over the past several weeks. Yet, at the same time we’re not seeing anyone other than potentially Matt Terry delivering on their potential on a weekly basis.

So with this live review, we’re going to breaking down every performance as we see them over the course of the night. Be sure to refresh for some further updates throughout! We’ll also rank the singers in terms of worst to first at the end of the show.

8. Honey G, “Jump” – We will probably say that this was the best Honey G performance, but that may also be damning somewhat with faint praise. We cannot praise many other great performers when they’re slightly below par, and then go completely nuts over someone who did better than average when the average is pretty low. Honey G’s entertaining for what she is, but we have a hard time imagining her being remotely relevant a year from now.

(For the record, Honey G didn’t say the n-word during the performance. Read more on that here.)

7. Ryan Lawrie, “Twist and Shout” – Sharon Osbourne is right that there is a little bit of a divide between Ryan’s facial expressions and the performances he’s actually giving. This “Twist and Shout” over actually was pretty good if you were just listening to it, and you could hear a lot of the energy in his voice. You just couldn’t see it in the way he carried himself. Unfortunately, this could mean another bottom three performance from us.

6. Matt Terry, “I’m Your Man” – Singing Wham! can be best described as risky and then some. This is a group that can easily can come across as either cheesy or corny in the modern day, but the main reason why he wanted to do this was to remind people that he can do a wide array of performances. He did about everything he could given the song choice, but this still felt slightly dated. He’s so talented, though, that we cannot envision a situation where even he falls guilty to being in the death-slot a.k.a. kicking off the show.

5. Saara Aalto, “Sound of the Underground” – Vocally, this was once again really great. If you look back over the past three weeks, we’re pretty sure that she’s sung better than anyone else on the show. Now that we’ve said all of that (deep breath), we don’t really love this song. We’re fine with crazy costumes and hair, but there has to be some sort of point to it. We’re not sure what the messaging behind the fountain on her head was here.

4. Sam Lavery, “I’ll Stand By You” – Love the song. It’s timeless in a way, and you don’t have to worry nearly as much about it ever sounding cheesy. This is all about vocal performance. This was lovely, but Sam needed to project a little bit more since there were times that the backing track and the band started to drown her out a little bit. (There needs to be someone back there in the crew telling these people to tone things down a little bit.)

3. Four of Diamonds, “Hold On” – That last “Hold On” felt a little bit tacked-on, no? Other than that, we’d say that this was one of the group’s stronger performances and actually the best of the first five acts to perform on the night. The thing is that we actually did start to really feel for them in their pre-show package talking about the social-media abuse they’ve received. While we understand that they signed up for the show and therefore are subjecting themselves to hate, that doesn’t mean they deserve people treating them terribly.

2. 5 After Midnight, “Say You’ll Be There” – For a closing song on the night, this was kind of a low-key song choice. Yet, at the same time we’ll give the group kudos for what was at least a very fun number to listen to, and one where they did hit the entirety of the necessary notes. We’re not sure that there was anything in here that was especially exciting or noteworthy, but it was vocally sound and their stage presence on-point. In general, this just wasn’t a night with a lot of breakouts.

1. Emily Middlemas, “What Makes You Beautiful” – Who would think that this is the same song that Reggie ‘N Bollie turned into an uptempo party number on the show last year? What made this work for us were the subtle changes to the phrasing and the emotional resonance of the song. If she’d just came out and done another slowed-down version of this, we wouldn’t have been about it. The reason we gravitated so much to this in the end was a result of all the small alterations.

Want more news on “The X Factor”? You can see everything from contestant rankings to so much more over at the link here(Photo: ITV.)


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