The first of the knockout rounds, it’s live and it’s time to whittle the six down to three.
It’s Jennifer Hudson’s team up first, and being brutally honest, I’m really not impressed with the first two.
David sang A Little Respect which showed his range but the vocal dipped in and out here and there. What was good was excellent but overall it didn’t work for me.
Likewise Jack, who had clearly sounded much more assured in rehearsals but was wobbly throughout To Love Somebody. But Jennifer chose to save him so she must have faith that he can do better. I’m still to be convinced though, so I’m gutted that Tim didn’t make it through, as he impressed me far more. Owned the stage, showed versatility (guitar playing and falsetto) with Want to Want You, but it wasn’t enough.
Georgie put her own spin on Aretha’s I Say a LIttle Prayer, which of course worked for me but then I’m not a philistine. She was never getting through with jazz but it was a brave effort and jazz fans would’ve appreciated it since we’ve never even heard of half the songs the contestants sing in these shows.
The two standout performances were Mo and Jamie, who won the public votes to go through. Doing Beyonce’s Freedom credit with an assured, powerful performance with lots of attitude, the audience reaction to Mo said it all. “‘Mo’ is ‘more’”, said Will (back in the ‘hood) “an infinity of awesomeness”. That confident, arrogant stare into the camera and then, next to Emma, so modest and unassuming.
Jamie took on Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You and makes me tear up just in the rehearsal. He’s got the young girls all over him, and the mums all wanting to give him a hug and say “there there”. Luckily, he’s also got a great voice, bags of energy and a real presence. “You have the whole package” says Tom “And you’re Welsh”.
It’s Team Tom next and it’s a more impressive affair all round.
Nadine covered Secret Love Song and was too nervous for us to really appreciate her, although she finished strongly. I guess it’s what Tom has heard of her in rehearsals that swung his vote her way.
Craig, with a song called Hold on Tight which I didn’t know either, was fantastic. Owned the stage, animated, passionate – the strongest performance of the weekend so far and hugely pleased to see him go through on the public vote.
I like Victoria, specially how she’s so unfazed – nerves did kick in a little – but she delivered the song (Find Me, which I didn’t much like) pretty well. And I agree with Gavin, she does have great composure. I was hoping Tom would choose her but I guess she has time on her side.
Capital B were musical and subtle with One Day I’ll Fly Away but possibly a little too soothing (Will’s word). Both strong individually, they make a harmonious team but I didn’t think it’d grab votes.
Dannii is so strong but something was missing for me in her rendition of False Alarm. I think it was a tune, as it didn’t seem to go anywhere. It seems the voters agreed with me on this.
Into The Ark were the only ones to come close to, if not exceed, Craig’s performance, with Hold On, We’re Going Home (er, nope). The difference is so marked between the artists that gig regularly and those who’ve just decided to try and be pop stars. The guys contrast beautifully: this was a proper knockout performance, and the voters duly put them through.
The boys won the weekend – even in the battle of the coaches I preferred Tom. So the girls on Team Will and Team Gavin need to step it up next week.
Into the quarterfinals then, and these two teams stand thus:
Team JHud: Jack, Mo; Jamie
Team Tom: Into The Ark; Craig; Nadine
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