‘The X Factor’ UK review: James Arthur, Jahmene Douglas rule top 3 performances

James Arthur“The X Factor” UK final is here! By the end of Saturday’s episode, one of the three artists below will be sent packing, and we will have the full results of that a little bit later in the day (as soon as they are announced).

What we want to focus on here are the actual performances that were done by James Arthur, Jahmene Douglas, and Christopher Maloney, in addition to their respective mentors. This is not really a show where criticism is handed down frequently, so we’ll be the honorary fifth judge here to determine who should end up winning the whole competition. (A hint: the person’s first name is James, and their last name is Arthur.)

Round One – Individual performances

Jahmene Douglas – What a way to start the show! Jahmene came out with a tough of energy, and this was one of his better performances of the whole season. Earlier this season, our concern was that Jahmene was not going to have the personality in order to be a star after the show; but he has grown so much, we’re starting to think he really has the chance to be a genuine star.

Christopher Maloney – Did anyone else think that Jahemene’s hometown was happier to have him around? All of Christopher’s former workmates were just standing around. As for this performance, Mr. Cheese decided to start things off with a performance that was the equivalent of driving head first into a vat of that radioactive  stuff they put on nachos at baseball games. When “Flashdance” came out, this song was awesome. We’re just surprised that Christopher wants to date himself for a song from a film that he debuted when he was just a tiny child.

James Arthur – “Feelin’ Good” was probably the last song in the world we expected James to perform. It’s a jazzy standard, and he is about as current of an artist can be. The one problem with this is that James sounded angry while performing a song about feeling good, which really is just indicative of his performance style. With that being said, the man really should still win the competition.

Round Two – Duets

Jahmene (with Nicole) – There was almost something rather special about the fact that Nicole’s mic didn’t work; it forced the two to improvise, and hearing them each singing out of the same mic was rather cute. We have to give some appreciation here to Nicole, who somehow has transformed in our eyes from a pariah on the American show last year to one of our favorite judges on TV. This once again proves that Simon Cowell’s ego single-handedly destroys panelists and keeps them from being themselves.

Christopher (with Gary) – Sorry, Gary; we like you, but this performance with Christopher was just dull. The vocals were nice during it, but where was the spark. It may have hurt that it came after the great moment with Jahmene and Nicole. We have to admit here, though, that we are not Christopher’s audience. Fans of Gary Barlow, along with Christopher’s older voters, probably loved this.

James (with Nicole) – We were a bit nervous that James really didn’t embrace his urban roots with the song choices this week, but then this performance started to move in that direction at the end. The good news is that he and Nicole’s voices meshed together well, and the bad news is that there really isn’t any bad news. It’s all up to Britain now.

Who was your favorite from this performance show? Be sure to vote in the poll below, and we’ll have the results soon. You can also check out where we ranked the final three over here.

Update: You can now also read the results

Photo: ITV

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