It was a show with some drama, heralded by the news filtering over Twitter that elimination favourites Miss Dynamix were to miss the programme and given a bye to next week because pregnant SeSe had been rushed to hospital.
This opens up all sorts of questions. Will they actually risk putting SeSe on stage next week? If not, will the others sing as a two-piece? If not, does that mean we have a two-act final? Or, heaven forbid, does this all mean another twist in the offing?
As for the performances, we started with a deramping of Sam Bailey. tpfkar said: “Does anyone think Sam Bailey’s vote last week scared them? I see brakes being clumsily applied.” I tend to agree. There was red-and-black staging, hour-glass and cog imagery, some criticism from Nicole and a harsh moniker: ScrewBo. All that was missing was Christopher Maloney’s devil eyes.
Next up came Kingsland Road, who were given the Sam Bailey / Wee Nic big-hitter sandwich we were watching out for. Nonetheless, despite fun One Direction-style staging that played to their demographic, they needed a bigger backing track of the kind they had last week. Their vocals were very thin for ‘Marry Me’.
The theme is already well established for Wee Nic: mothers love him. This is overshadowing a series of solid performances from the teenager, as indicated by tonight’s judges’ comments which focused on the staging of dead women walking before “the one” appeared.
I wasn’t expecting the performance we got from Abi Alton. They took her out of her comfort zone for her rendition of ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’. Whilst it was an awkward-looking performance, it wasn’t a full-on attack either – there was a nice VT of her bonding with Nicole, for example. Judges reiterated that she should go back to what she did best, as they did for Janet Devlin in Week 4 of 2011.
Shelley Smith was on much earlier than anticipated, and although she was given a fun production, she’s no Wagner or Rylan. The market made her 5/4 elimination favourite after the performances, but she managed to avoid bottom place in the Flash Vote this time.
The message of Sam Callahan’s night was to inform viewers that he had learnt to sing in just one week. Admittedly, he was considerably better vocally this time around, though that’s not saying much. Still, with helpful staging including a golden backdrop and a Westlife-style stand from a stool, producers were doing everything to please the demographic.
The issue with Tamera remains: will people buy the soft image they are presenting in her VTs (this week: she loves her grandma and has gone to church all her life), or what they read in the tabloid press? They are certainly giving her winner’s staging whilst judges comments still have her marked down as Plan A. She was vocally stronger for ‘Beneath You’re Beautiful’ this week.
I thought the song choice and staging were generally helpful – warm, chilled out and positive – for Luke Friend …. until the panel mocked the boat. PG also pointed out that he was caught in a Tamera / Rough Copy sandwich, though in his favour it was a late slot in the running order.
Rough Copy weren’t as vocally impressive this week, and the song choice was as cheesy as feared. However, the VT could not have been more helpful, and producers are continuing to push them as hard as possible – the pimp slot last week followed by the penultimate slot this week.
Hannah was duly put in the pimp slot for her much-anticipated rendition of ‘Beautiful’. She got a great VT and staging which should see her safe this week. I did feel that she’s at her best in a lower register which meant that whilst the song was perfect thematically, it wasn’t ideal for her vocally.
Looking forward to tomorrow, who do you think will be in the sing-off with Kingsland Road? And who would they be saved or sunk against? Let us know your thoughts on the evening’s events below.