It’s Movies Week on X Factor, and the main talking point in our comments section is the possibility of a romantic drama this Sunday night involving lovebirds Ryan and Emily. Boy meets Girl, Boy and Girl get put through to the live shows, producers engineer it so that Boy and Girl are in the singoff against one other, and only one can survive. Are we set for a Titanic-style climax this weekend?
Emily looked like she was settled into a first-class berth after her week 4 triumph with ‘Creep’, whilst boyfriend Ryan has been travelling in steerage, receiving critique that has put him in the danger zone more often than not. But Emily’s safe passage hit an iceberg last week. Descriptions of her intimate, slow performances went from “special” to “Debbie Downer”. For the first time this series, a singoff between them appears realistic. Will producers be able to resist?
Imagine the tearful embrace just before the singoff: “Emily, promise me you will survive… that you will never give up… no matter what happens… no matter how hopeless… promise me now.” “I promise. I will never let go, Ryan. I’ll never let go.”
Emily’s choice of Roxette’s ‘Must Have Been Love’ promises to keep her in the lane that turned three judges against her last week. It’s only been used once on the UK show, by girlband Bad Lashes before their week 1 elimination. It has been covered in the US version too, notably by Drew Ryniewicz, who has a similar style. Lyrically and musically, it’s not promising for Emily.
Ryan continues to plough his slightly rockier furrow with ‘Jailhouse Rock’. It was last seen on the show as part of an Only The Young mashup with ‘Twist and Shout’, which the Coatbridge lad himself covered in week 5. It still feels like Ryan is on borrowed time, and my thoughts at this stage are that should producers get a singoff between the lovebirds, he will have served his purpose on the show.
If producers are aiming for a Remily bottom two, that means another week of steering Saara clear of danger. She is singing ‘My Heart Will Go On’ from Titanic, another one out of the Sam Bailey playbook. The staging pictures we’ve seen look remarkably similar to that 2013 performance, except for the upside down violinists. Taking on an iconic song can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how it’s handled, as we saw when Saara’s ‘Let It Go’ was messed around with in week 1.
Honey G continues to be the main headline grabber as the cause of mock controversy in the press. Her mashup this week, and clues about this week’s staging promise more of the same, which means a massive production, followed by a four-judge standing ovation. It looks suitably high concept, though the last time we saw London tube trains on the X Factor stage, they were part of deramping Luke Friend on the final Saturday. Still, I don’t think producers wish to bring the “can she win?” articles to a halt if they can help it. That means doing everything for her again.
5 After Midnight have had the kitchen sink thrown at them for the last two weeks. As with ‘Say You’ll Be There’, tonight’s song choice of ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ raises eyebrows as not necessarily suitable. It’s been covered in recent years by Che Chesterman and Paul Akister, who offered something very different to the dancing trio. Perhaps we’ll see the boys put their own spin on it to judges’ praise, just as they did with the Spice Girls classic. We’ve seen more behind-the-scenes unhappiness stories appear in the press this week, though these also appeared before that week 5 rehabilitation. In that case, it proved better than not being talked about at all.
That leaves us with Matt Terry singing ‘The Writing’s On The Wall’. This is another choice that could go either way, as our commenters have acknowledged. Bond themes have a bad record on the show, often being used as an excuse to send an act up in flames. However, it does promise to suit Matt’s voice, and once again helps associate him with the hugely successful Sam Smith, who recently offered the contestant his advice. After two weeks of keeping their options open, it’ll interesting to see if this is the week they get fully behind the alpha boy, who hasn’t yet had a pimp slot.
It promises to be a pivotal week for many of the contestants. Do keep your thoughts coming below.
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