JScouser kicks us off this week with some plinth connoisseurship on Nicholas: “the plinth was bigger than ones we normally see, it made him look higher up (further away from audience) and smaller”. Nick does look more than usually Wee here.
Here’s an interesting effect that can’t be illustrated with a screengrab. Watch the YouTube of Nicholas from 2.02 to 2.08 – the lines on the backdrop behind him move outwards from the centre, creating the visual illusion that he’s going backwards:
After that there’s a long (8 second) panning shot of the choir obscuring Nicholas. (They’re dressed funereally, too – shades of week 2’s zombies?) Our attention is focused back on Nicholas just as he sings the line “sometimes I’m gonna have to lose”.
Here’s Heisenberg’s entertaining-as-always graphic take on “Where’s Nicky?“, showing how the staging obscured and belittled the birthday boy.
Gold dress, backdrop of a purple-tinted cloudy night with some stars. Here’s Hannah singing Hallalujah:
No, wait, that’s Alexadra Burke singing it as her winner’s song in the 2008 final. Here’s Hannah:
Props to commenters EM and Stephen Muckle for pointing out the similarities, which don’t end there. Alexandra got some beautiful swirly halo-effect lighting towards the end:
This isn’t coincidence, surely? It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that whoever made these styling and staging decisions was trying to help Hannah by associating her with the winning performance of five years ago, even if the vast majority of viewers would remember it, if at all, only in the murky depths of their subconscious:
Luke gets a galaxy of stars. Watch this from 1.53 to 1.59, remembering the visual effect of Nicholas. Here, the stars are receding behind Luke, creating the impression that he’s going forwards:
Nicholas is going backwards, Luke is going forwards. Is this coincidence? You tell me.
Rough Copy got a laser display:
You could read this staging two ways. On the one hand, the overall effect was vibrancy and fun. On the other, as Heisenberg puts it in the comments, “When your slot runs for 2 min 40 secs, why not waste 7 seconds of airtime focusing on the dancers? Very deliberate bad staging, multi-layered distractions and very few close-ups in comparison to the other acts.”
All the cutaways to the judges showed them smiling and enjoying themselves. This seemed to be an example of staging that wasn’t intended to motivate votes, but also wasn’t intended to do any long term damage.
Tamera. Oh, Tamera. We were supposed to worship you:
It was supposed to have been a golden, sparky performance:
Celestial golden beams were supposed to have suggested that the heavens were shining upon the X Factor stage:
Podiums after sporting events. Who is it that stands on the raised bit in the middle? Not exactly subtle:
Sam also got some nice fluttering angel wings towards the end:
Finally, in their singoff, Rough Copy got the same gold lighting Tamera got in her week 4 singoff. This seems to be the lighting used for “not only are we saving this act, we want to create positive emotions around them that will carry them a lot further in the competition”: