X Factor 2014 Week 5 Song Choice Discussion Thread

Given that the previous post had a lengthy comments thread already, we thought we’d start a new one now that the Michael Jackson / Queen song choices have been revealed. Do keep the discussion going below. Tomorrow’s songs are as follows:
Ben Haenow – Man In The Mirror
Paul Akister – Don’t Stop Me Now
Stevi Ritchie – Bohemian Rhapsody
Andrea Faustini – Somebody To Love
Lauren Platt – I’ll Be There
Stereo Kicks – You Are Not Alone
Only The Young – Blame It On The Boogie
Fleur East – Will You Be There
Jay James – The Show Must Go On

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58 comments to X Factor 2014 Week 5 Song Choice Discussion Thread

  • Ben, Andrea and Lauren all appear to have pretty safe choices that should play to their strengths.

    TPTB certainly seem to be playing up Only The Young as the fun, party act with that song choice, so if OTY do a good job I can see plenty of comments around them finding their niche, working out who they are as an act, and so on.

    I think Stevi doing Bohemian Rhapsody could be fun – it is the absurd act doing a pretty absurd song. I also think his theatre background and range should ensure he does a reasonable job.

    Paul has got a really tough song, it is not easy to pull off. However, if this is TPTB’s attempt to get rid of him it could backfire, as Paul seems to be one of the few acts who could potentially make this work. So, they will probably give me a terrible dance routine, or unsympathetic staging, to make sure.

    Stereo Kicks singing You Are Not Alone sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Again, it isn’t the easiest song, and considering they’ve struggled to harmonise at all I can imagine this falling flat, in every sense of the word.

    Fleur and Jay are the real question marks for me. I could see both songs falling flat if the arrangement and general presentation isn’t right.

  • Heisenberg

    We can definitely expect the choir singers for Fleur this week, which is never a bad thing, and the vocal will be something like this – I’m calling it – Jay in the sing-off:

  • Fudd

    So it’s Paul who is being thrown under the Don’t Stop Me Now bus, then. Not a complete surprise, admittedly.

    Stevie and Bohemian Rhapsody? I can’t compute that one as of yet.

    Only the Young and Blame It on the Boogie seem to go well together but You Are Not Alone for Stereo Kicks? It doesn’t have an aiding a bounce feel about it.

    Andrea on paper has a good number but Lauren is getting stuck with slower songs now. Man in the Mirror should be enough for Ben but The Show Must Go On is a big song for Jay to get his voice around.

    Will You Be There has potential choral support but I’m not sure if it really suits Fleur’s voice. It could be a ‘moment’ after a number of uptempo performances.

    The target seems well and truly painted on Paul’s back but beyond that I’m not sure. I would personally say Fleur is being set up for a moment while Andrea, Ben and Only the Young have numbers which will suit their approach though people might be getting tired of Lauren’s repetitiveness. Jay’s on a knife edge and will depend on staging more than the others I’ve mentioned.

    It’s as though they’ve given up on Stereo Kicks; there are so many ‘anthems’ they could have been handed to make the most of their number and they’ve all been ignored. And I’m not sure whether Stevie is being set up as a joke act or being pushed into the bottom two to then be saved as a shock result with his choice.

  • Face

    To me, it looks like SK, Stevi, Paul and Jay are most likely to be in trouble…

    I expect Paul’s VT to remind us about the negative Simon comments etc… last week… and & expect they will do everything they can to de-ramp in staging, lighting etc…

    Jay will either do the original version of TSMGO… and sound all nasal… or do an EDM/drum and bass version and annoy Queen purists… either option may see him in the B2…

    SK… maybe TPTB have given up on them… or trying to redeem with full on choirs etc… hard to tell now…

    Stevi… giving him such an iconic song… that many feel so passionately about may be a ploy to get him in the B2… to then save against a ‘legitimate’ singer like Paul…

    Andrea, Lauren, OTY & Ben all look like they’ve got songs that play to their strengths…

    Fleur could have a moment… or it could be rather bland and dull… she will need the full on choir to make it work… but unlike Melanie Amaro (as per Heisenberg’s link above)… Fleur doesn’t have a big voice… so it could fail miserably… and end up sounding like Lola doing most of her performances… though I suspect they are setting her up to succeed and have a ‘break out performance’…

  • lolhart

    Jennifer Hudson did a soulful gospel tinged version of Will You Be There which is quite well known in the States (probably where Simon got the idea from). If Fleur gets a similar arrangement and can pull it off, it could be very helpful in demonstrating that she’s a singer (in the X-Factor sense) as well as an entertainer. Based on the song choices I would say that TPTB have made their choice that they want Ben and not Jay in the final. Simon has said more than once that Man in the Mirror is his favourite Michael Jackson song and there’s more potential for something to go wrong with The Show Must Go On.

  • Jon

    I note hills has a match off mkt up. I have had some of Ben v Paul @ 4/11. Looked a no brainer before the song choices, but that has made my mind up.

  • Curtis

    Looks like they’ve doubled down on the overs, and the rest are going to be feeding off scraps. They could’ve given Andrea a less suitable song, so maybe they’re accepting him as a finalist now?

  • Blake

    So I’d imagine it’ll be a Fleur or Lauren pimp slot. Still not sure which one will get it, probably Fleur if they want her to have her moment. I hope she can pull it off.

  • Martin

    Somebody mentioned that a likely scenario this week may be Stevi being bottom two and saved over Paul for a bit of controversy. I can see that happening this week – Bohemian Rapsody would be perfect for the pimp slot for Stevi but he had that last week – would they give it him again? I think he could be in trouble. It will be a hilarious performance but not sure whether it will work.

    Not sure about Jay struggling. if they mess with it too much he could be in danger but his performances up to live shows show that he can do a straight up ballad – I think that’s what we might end up with, which will give him the opportunity to do well (again).

    Fleur could go either way – although there is a stream of other performances that show this song can go down well from other versions of the show.

    A little worried for Lauren – although she’s back on the “disney” pre-teen sort of song which is very comfortable for her. I’d echo that Paul is toast.

  • EM

    Mama, just killed a man,
    Put a gun against his head,
    Pulled my trigger now he’s dead.

    Dark words for the novelty joke act, it’ll be like Dick n Dom starring in The Killing.

    Fleur will get the halo light and gospel choir treatment for her song, Ben should be strong on his.

    Only The Young may struggle. Blame It on the Boogie has tough verses and they’ve been ropey on solo parts before.

    Stereo Kicks could go either way. It seems a very personal song for a group of eight to sing. However I can it being Let It Be the second, solos in the spotlights and rousing harmonic chorues (with large backing tracks).

    Paul and Jay seem least suited to their big camp rock tunes but arrangements can change things.

  • Andy

    Great lyrics for Paul to say up yours Simon in response to last weeks criticism.

    Tonight I’m gonna have myself a real good time
    I feel alive and the world I’ll turn it inside out – yeah
    And floating around in ecstasy
    So don’t stop me now don’t stop me
    ‘Cause I’m having a good time having a good time.

    Question is
    1, Does Paul have the ability to look like he is having a good time ?
    2, Does Paul look like a sex machine ready to reload
    Like an atom bomb about to Oh oh oh oh oh explode ?

    I think he will be safe.

  • Stu

    The general consensus on here is that Fleur will probably have a choir on stage with her. But have choirs been known to help the audience vote for an act?

    Marcus had a choir in his week 7 performance of ‘Higher and Higher’ – it was unanimously praised by the judges but he just escaped the bottom two that week – despite having the pimp slot and polling much higher in previous weeks. I can’t think of any other choir performances to compare.

    • EM

      I don’t think we’ll ever have a stat on how helpful gospel choirs are with voting as there are too many variables at play.

      I view it that gospel choirs suggest purity and positiveness in a way that 8 cheerleaders with legs open don’t or a blood drawing vampire. The singer tends to be the centre of attention when gospel is on the go.

      They also tend to be background artists rather than distracting dancers and they give an uplifting sound quality to the performance.

      Would a gospel choir turn Stevi into a series winner no? But are they helpful? I believe yes

  • Jack

    Copied and Pasted my thoughts from the other thread:

    Thoughts:

    Lauren – Leona and Alexandra both sung I’ll Be There, so I think this’ll be Lauren’s pimp slot week. Definitely going to help her.
    Andrea – Very good song choice for him; could easily see him pulling it off. Should easily be safe, potentially a bit of a comeback week?
    Paul – Ouch. Not really his style and horribly overplayed. If Simon did say it was one of his least favourite songs, it doesn’t look promising. Looks like he’s being targeted.
    Stereo Kicks – It’s just the same old from them. It doesn’t have the interesting vibe of Let It Be/Hey Jude, its just karaoke. Maybe producers are giving up?
    OTY – Urgh, not a great song choice as its cheesy as hell, but that made them safe in Weeks 1 and 2. Don’t see them avoiding the comedown, unless Paul and an Over are targeted.
    Ben – Safe choice in general, can see him pulling it off. Should be safe.
    Fleur – Very interesting song choice! I remember Melanie Amaro singing this at Judge’s Houses in the US and it was fantastic. Not sure Fleur is quite as good vocally though and it is kinda less well known than most of the others. If she performs it well, it could be really, really good.
    Jay – zzzzzzzzzzz, really boring song choice and I think if any of the Overs are getting targeted, its him. Can’t see him doing anything with it.
    Stevi – They definitely want him to stay another week. I expect another late slot and more comments done to keep him in.

    Overall, think that two of Paul, Jay, OTY and Stereo Kicks will be in the B2. An all Group B2 wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Great choices for Ben, Aandrea, OTY. Actually looking forward to all those performances.

    JJ’s going to emote again. :-s

    It could go either way with SK. Nice verses for the better voices to sing and simple harmonies for the choruses, maybe drop in a bit of a capella. It should be a shoo-in for a great performance but I just don’t think they’re good enough to make much of it.

    Paul can sing Don’t Stop Me Now but I doubt he can perform it. Poisoned chalice indeed and imo will create the perfect opportunity for “doesn’t connect”, “doesn’t know how to have fun” criticism. If they wanted him to win do well they’d have given him Rock With You.

    I’m not expecting great things from Lauren, but it will be a solid performance. The song should be easily within her compass and it’s a slow pace with a tender lyric that can easily be delivered with her standing still and looking holy.

    Stevi’s in it for the laughs and should be safe again this week.

    Don’t recognise Fleur’s song from the title. I’ll listen to it on YouTube later.

    If OTY do it right this could be a great song for them.

    Sunshine. Mooonlight oooooohhhhhh. Good Tarms. Booogie.

    Nice harmonies, great verses, moments for dancing (if that’s in their armoury). I@m looking forward to it.

    Andrea’s going to sing the hell out of somebody to love. Can’t wait.

    Ben will give Man in the Mirror a gravelly, introspective twist which will suit the song and create a get a lot of positive audience reaction.

    Done right this can be a big moment for Ben.

    I worry for JJ. I expect him to run the full gamut emotion, all the way from A to B. He’ll quiver and gurgle, his nostrils will flare, he’ll close his eyes and gesticulate and stand on one leg like a flamingo. It’ll be awesome.

  • Face

    Jessica Hamby… I very much enjoy your uber descriptive descriptions of Jay’s performance style.. keep them coming!

    • Jessica Hamby

      I’m actually starting to like him but I think the difference between him and Ben is that JJ shows his feelings while Ben shares his feelings.

      J’s performances can seem more like artifice, as if he wants to be admired while Ben seems like he’s part of a communal experience. That makes Ben a much more satisfying performer for a crowd. You go to a gig to be a part of something.

  • Stu

    I wonder who will get the Week 5 pimp slot and whether it will show any significance. Alexandra Burke, Joe McElderry, One Direction and Little Mix all had the honour of closing the fifth live show so while it looks like a blessing, the past two years have seen Chris Maloney and Sam Callahan end the show.

    There is also the long-running “Week 5 shock exit” but I don’t think that’s had much of a role recently despite the days of Maria Lawson, Laura White and Lucie Jones.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I think it’s dangerous to be seduced by the power of the pimp slot when voting opens at the start of the show. A strong early performance may well hoover up a lot of votes making voters much more circumspect and thrifty with votes as the show progresses. A poor or mefiocre effort or a nuking in the latter half is proba ly a thing to watch out for.

      • Tabitha

        I agree, the combination of five free votes and voting opening at the start of the show definitely changes things. I do think people will be much more likely to chuck a couple of free votes at good performances while keeping the majority for their favourite, and that could benefit early acts at the expense of those on later.

  • Natasha

    Let’s see what they dress poor Andrea up in this week, bless

  • Martin

    I hope Jay gets a shout out for being nasal again. If any song will do it for him it will be this one. I’ve just listened to the Fleur song and I have to say I’ve never heard it before in my life. Admittedly I’m not the worlds biggest MJ fan, but surely there were better songs from both artists for her? It’s very dull. I’m keeping my eyes on both of them.

    1D are on this week, with a pre-recorded performance? I wonder if anybody will be blessed with the 1D vt this week.

  • Martin

    Stereo kicks just got a nice slating on Gogglebox (I don’t think there was one positive comment among them) ending with them being called ‘8 bastards who can’t sing’.

    Also there’s a picture of them from the X factor twitter all looking a bit glum, sat on stools. Getting a good Westlifing from Louis.

    • Luke

      How many of the Gogglebox crowd are teenage girls? One, who was the only one who didn’t slate them (she seemed embarrassed that her family were slating them, because it seemed she quite liked them)

  • Jon

    Just saw that as well. Five different groups of people all slating them. Interesting…

    • Martin

      Does anybody know much about the mechanisms of Gogglebox? Obviously ITV have to give channel 4 the rights to the show but does ITV have any control over the comments that are shown?

      I know Sam B was the only one who was on last year – this year seems to have focused more on the sing offs.

  • I think Stereo Kicks have a fighting chance this week if it’s just a single elimination. They came second to last in the voting last week, so only need to bounce up one spot to escape the danger zone, which should be doable.

    OTY and Paul most in danger this week I feel. Jay has the Welsh vote sewn up and a sympathetic VT to coincide with Remembrance Sunday could well see him safe.

    Can Simon still have a completely intact group after this weekend? It looks likely enough, although Fleur may be the most likely to succumb to the shock week 5 curse, if song choice is a factor..

    • EM

      Technically they start in last place as the lowest pollers of the remaining acts. They need to bounce up two spots for safety.

      Jay’s VT will be telling, a forces mention this weekend has to be an invite to vote, if the military ain’t mentioned they’re not wanting to do him favours.

      • Caro

        Agree with you EM re the military mention for JJ. I did wonder if they had changed the theme from disco for this week because it wasn’t suitable enough for Remembrance weekend (Strictly have got a forces and factory/land girls number lined up) so was interested to see what song they would give JJ, but I can’t really see anything in the lyrics (or other song choices for that matter) that could be tied in, so the opportunity is in the VT.

        • Fudd

          Surely it would have made more sense to have Big Band lined up for this weekend as it’s more that era? Then again, they always like to do something slightly different when Strictly goes to Blackpool so it doesn’t look like same old, same old.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Is there any evidence of a welsh vote? I know they can be v patriotic but are they about JJ?

  • Donald

    Daily Star reporting “Simon Cowell to cause X factor sensation by splitting up the talent show’s eight piece boyband Stereo Kicks. He reckons the controversial move can create the next 1D”

    So now…

    • Jessica Hamby

      Meh.

      Stay together or split up? No one gives a sh!t.

      • Jessica Hamby

        From a betting pov it could suggest another b2 this weekend, but that’s hardly a surprise.

      • Fudd

        Exactly, no one gives a damn. In hindsight they should have got rid of Stereo Kicks, focused their attention on Only the Young who at least have an audience out there, and keep Chloe who offered something different to the show.

        I really don’t get what they’re playing at with Stereo Kicks. For a supposed alpha group they haven’t been given all of the assistance they have in their arsenal (such as allowing viewers to get to know the group in the VTs).

    • Jessica Hamby

      OT It’s funny how Cowell has this reputation as pop’s great impressario when with the exceptions of Leona Lewis and 1D all the acts found through x factor have only had limited success. JLS were big here but in the global marketplace did they do anything more than scratch the surface? And on the evidence of SK, 1D’s success was pretty much based on a punt – here’s four goodlooking lads wot can sing, let’s make a group and see what happens – rather than any judgment or informed decision-making. He marketed them but they might as well have been tubs of margerine.

      And I know I’ve said it before but I do think Harry’s liaison with the fragrant Ms Flack was a godsend. It kept them in the news for ages after the show because it became a “watercooler” conversation.

      Given the amount of money he has fo thtow at acts and the media reach and influence he has, his strike rate doesn’t seem all that to me.

  • Gamblebot

    Ben Haenow – Man In The Mirror
    >> MOR, delights the demo. Safe.

    Paul Akister – Don’t Stop Me Now
    >> He has trouble with upbeat. It will be highlighted this week. Could go home.

    Stevi Ritchie – Bohemian Rhapsody
    >> I see this as a penultimate performance (a la Johnny Robinson), with a full-on takedown next week.

    Andrea Faustini – Somebody To Love
    >> Strong solid song choice that won’t inspire new fans. He will be safe.

    Lauren Platt – I’ll Be There
    >> They will make her look like a young cherubic 17-year old. It will work.

    Stereo Kicks – You Are Not Alone
    >> They may bounce, they may not. It doesn’t seem like a moment-making song.

    Only The Young – Blame It On The Boogie
    >> This song sank last year’s cheese act Kingsland Road. Just saying.

    Fleur East – Will You Be There
    >> Finally, something not upbeat. Could go either way, probably on the good side.

    Jay James – The Show Must Go On
    >> I don’t know how to make of this. Bottom 2?

  • Stu

    I wonder how the voting is going so far this year. Giving Andrea a suitable song this week either shows that he is running away with the vote and cannot be caught or he isn’t topping the vote recently? Stevi’s treatment tonight will suggest how well he did in the vote last week after the pimp slot performance.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I wouldn’t want to go on before or after Andrea tonight.

      Pimp slot? Are we stil calling it that with in-show voting and 5 free votes?

      WK went b2 after performing second last in an OTY / Stevi sandwich. Hardly the show’s biggest hitters. Sure a lot of people will save a vote or two for the end but even so…

      • EM

        Jessica I completely agree with your reasoning. Not sure that the last slot is so valuable as it used to be – although it does come with the perception that they’re are topping the bill, save the best till last etc.

        Stats show trap two is the kiss of depth this season, second on has always been in the bottom 2/3 this series bar week one (where third wasn’t good)

      • Stu

        I guess you have a point there actually although I still think it’s a beneficial slot. I’m sure many people don’t vote until they’ve seen all of the contestants despite the voting being open at the start.

    • Caro

      Yes – good song for Andrea and a pic he just tweeted with the hair stylist shows him looking well groomed and normal, thank goodness.

  • Fudd

    Photo of Paul rehearsing on stage:
    http://tellymix.co.uk/gallery/202185-pictures-x-factor-2014-rehearsals-with-judges-and-contestants.html?image=6

    No red or black-ing or colour vomit to speak of going by that.

  • Tabitha

    Terrible song choice for Paul, presumably chosen so Simon can point out that he’s singing ‘I’m having such a good time’ while looking miserable.

    If Fleur does get a loud choir it might remind people of Mel B’s ‘cheat’ comments, especially as I’m not sure how well she’ll do on a ballad.

    Andrea’s song is a brilliant choice and he should have a great week, Ben’s is good, Lauren’s will I suspect further bore people already bored by her (I adore her but I see a lot of people don’t) and I’m not sure it will help her pick up new support.

    Only the Young might escape the bottom two with a bounce and a fun song, though I suspect they’ll come across as dated and too tweenie. Stevi will murder Bohemian Rhapsody and be safe, and Jay will sing through his nose as always and be safe.

    I think Stereo Kicks will for sure be in the bottom two. I don’t know who I think will be there with them though; I suspect Only the Young, or Paul if the targeting of him is successful. If it is the two bands I really don’t know which one they’d save, I suppose SK with a massive revamp for next week.

    I expect to be completely wrong as usual :p

  • Martin

    There’s not much worth noting as far as I can see – I’m not as well equipped on twitter as many others are though.

    Paul’s staging (or lack of) might hint toward what tabitha mentioned regarding Simon’s comments. Having a good time on a darkened stage wearing all black? Looks more like he’s at a funeral. They wouldn’t slow ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ down, would they?!

  • Face

    the songs are now available to preview on UK iTunes… my initial thoughts…

    OTY – Blame it on the Boogie… fun, very Glee meets HSM…
    Stereo Kicks – You are not alone… very faithful to the original… so a bit dull & dated… very Westlife circa 2002…
    Lauren – I’ll be there… similar to Leona and Alex versions… capable, nice tone…
    Paul – Don’t stop me now… very frenetic drum beat in the backing track… drowning out the capable vocals… I smell B2…
    Andrea – Somebody to Love… very rousing and powerful… his accent seems really strong…
    Fleur – Will you be there… vocals very clear and distinctive… a choir started to come in… quite soulful…
    Ben – Man in the mirror… soulful and gravelly vocals… soundd like he was about to take it to church…
    Jay – The show must go on… vocals a bit nasal and thin on the big notes… typical Jay angst coming through… though I find it quite a dull song…
    Stevi – Bohemian Rhapsody… like a comedian doing a capable Freddie impersonation… mediocre karaoke… wonder what the visuals are like?

    I would say… depending on staging, VT, judges comments etc… Paul, Jay, Stevi and SK seem most likely to be in trouble…

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