‘The X Factor’ UK review: Tamera Foster forgets lyrics; Nicholas McDonald, Sam Bailey shine

The latest news -Saturday night’s “X Factor” UK performance show brought a ton to the table: Great songs from the pantheon of British music, surprises, and major letdowns. We had a favorite stumble for really the first time all season, and someone else forget their lyrics for the second time this season (while strangely being told that they still gave one of the best performances of the entire season).

But are we set up to have a shocking elimination on Sunday night? Maybe, but we’re still weighing that the artist going home will probably be either a young woman or a man, based on past voting patterns, headlines, and the quality of the actual performances that we had tonight.

7. Tamera Foster, “Diamonds Are Forever” – Awful all around. She forgot her lyrics, and that is not the first time that that she’s done that in this competition. This is also not the first time that she’s done that this season … and why are the judges praising her for keeping going? Seriously? This is just a personal pet peeve, since you only have one song to memorize a week, and the way she handled it was extremely distracting.

6. Sam Callahan, “Faith” – We love how the critiques about Sam mostly include the word “brave,” and encouraging him to be a “fighter.” This is all code for “you’re just not that good.” But we think Gary Barlow has it right in that unlike Tamera at times, we really feel like he is trying to give the best performance possible and get his lyrics right. He’s just not that talented naturally, and no amount of work can change that.

5. Rough Copy, “Viva La Vida” – This is hard for us to say, since this is one of our favorite acts of the season performing one of our absolutely favorite songs. But, this was a mess. There was a huge mistake when it came to someone singing the wrong line during the first chorus, and they were off at times in some of the harmonies later on the show. It felt almost like they had a different song in mind originally, but had to change at the last minute to something that they were maybe a little less comfortable with. The reason that we don’t give them the same level of criticism as Tamera is because this is the first time we’ve heard them make a mistake, and they handled a little better.

4. Luke Friend, “Your Song” – Why is everyone doing the Ellie Goulding cover of the song rather than Elton John’s original? Both versions are lovely, but we still prefer the original to the remake-of-sorts. Who was the blonde girl in the video? A little strange. The problem with Luke doing a song like this is that he’s not really the best singer in the competition, and it showed off what he is both good and bad at … but it did get better as it went along (save for a dodgy last note). We also at least felt that Luke believed what he was singing, and that helped.

3. Hannah “Banana” Barrett, “Satisfaction” – Since we heard this nickname so many times, we may as well place it here, as well. This was a great little performance her, mostly because for her, it was fun. She had some humor, and while we couldn’t understand about half of the lyrics that she sang, we almost didn’t care in this context. We feel like Hannah has probably learned more about herself in this competition than almost anyone else.

2. Sam Bailey, “Something” – First of all, congratulations to Gary Barlow for taking all of those annoying people who claim that San isn’t going to sell records because she is an older woman. Didn’t these same people hear of Susan Boyle, and what that woman managed to accomplish? The truth here about Sam is that she is something else, and something completely incredible at what she does. Not only does she have a killer voice, but she understands how to perform and entertain. We don’t understand how you can even make a case for her not winning at this point.

1. Nicholas McDonald, “Someone Like You” – Not only Nicholas’ best performance on the best, but in the top 3 of the season overall. Outstanding. While he should have changed “girl” to “guy” rather than “boy” in the first verse of the song, the pitch was absolutely perfect. There was so much emotion in here that we felt it. Typically, we get annoyed hearing this song done because Adele = overkill, but he brought something completely different to the show in terms of energy. We’d download this, and then listen to it a million times over. The last time we felt this way was when James Arthur did “The Power of Love.” Episode Grade: B.

Who is your favorite tonight? Share below in the comment box and the poll, and click here if you want to see where we ranked the contestants leading up to this.

Photo: ITV


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