Some really good performances again this week, Cher, Matt and TreyC leading the way to the finals. Paije and Rebecca showed they deserved their places on the show and will survive. Assuming we've done some deal to give illegal Brazilian immigrants visas and free mobiles and Wagner doesn't go (which he surely should do by any reasonable criteria) then it's Belle Amie, Aiden and Katie who'll be wishing they'd chosen a better track or slept better the night before.
Pretty good performance, although the cartoon T shirt beneath knee-length rose-crimson jacket did tend to take your mind off the singing. For all that he did a good job and really ought to be safe this week. I can just see him releasing a 78 of 50s deep blues numbers at Christmas.
Once I'd got the thought of John & Paije doing White Christmas together, and I've no idea where that came from, sorry, his performance of Zoom was good. A tricky track at the best of times but it can't have done him any harm at all to get most of the notes right and to inject a lot of his own personality to the show for the first time.
Another faultless performance - 'a class act' as Louis said on the show. It was all a bit old-style, though, and I'm not convinced she's the star that the judges are predicting. She's good, no doubt about it, but I just don't see her selling big volumes. So far I feel as if I'm watching a programme from the 70s: it would have been excellent then. For all that, she deserves to stay and maintained the high standard set by the other two, not quite matching the impression Paije delivered.
Stunning performance of Shout. Strong vocal and she managed the huge staging of the number really well. She seemed to be more like one of the guest acts on the show rather than a mere contestant. That'll take some beating amongst the younger X Factor voters so she'll be back next week too.
The whole idea of Matt singing Brittney's Hit Me Baby One More Time may sound bizarre and it could have gone horribly wrong but it didn't. In fact, it was the best version I've heard of the track. He made it his own and it worked wonderfully. Boy, this is turning into a tough show for someone to lose. Definitely a star in the making. He didn't match the total confidence of Cher this week but is still heading firmly for the final and a new life in the music business.
1 Direction 8
This was OK but nothing like as good as the single acts before them. At one point I thought the good lead vocalist was going to carry them through the whole number and, judging by Zane's late and only just in tune nervous efforts, he might have been well-advised to do so. When they all started blasting the mics together then it was good solid stuff but pretty much instantly forgettable too. People say they've got massive support out there. They'll need them this week.
Performing Led Zepellin's Whole Lotta Love really well, TreyC certainly made her mark. Not a track that many would even attempt but she hit it and was excellent. My only criticism was that she appeared pretty stationary throughout and really should have been moving around a lot more but I guess you can hardly blame her with all those weird notes to manage.
Ten out of ten for a faultless rendition but no star quality for me. Yes, she's a great singer. No, she's not my idea of an X Factor contestant. Lots of albums sales at Christmas, though. She'll be fine, however long she lasts.
Diamonds Are Forever never struck me as the sort of song he should attempt. I'm still inclined to think that after watching him deliver his intense style version. He's talented but he's still vulnerable and seems still to have to fit in to this competition. If he gets through and can build up his confidence then he could survive a while yet but any more odd choices of track and he'll not be there for long.
Belle Amie 6
In trouble again, I think, the lovely girls, individually competent, just don't come across that well together and suffered the same sort of wobbles that 1 Direction Zane had earlier. They sang Stand By Me (the more recent one, not the Sam Cooke one unfortunately) and it sort of came and went without leaving any real impression other than that one of the girls is considerably better than the other three. I think they're on their way out, maybe not this week, but soon enough unless some of those I'd considered also-rans fail next time out and they get their act together.
I'm almost beginning to feel sorry for the guy. He's out of place, out of time and the sooner he's out of here the better. Unfortunately for the other acts, he's getting some perverse following and those people can afford more calls to premium rate numbers than the rest. Either that or we've done some deal with the Brazilian immigrants on coffee prices or visas
Oh dear. What on earth is she doing singing I'm The King Of The Swingers? A big risk which will either endear her to people or just add to the mass that seem to dislike her for some reason. She is talented but will she get a chance to show us how good she can be again? Much depends on how badly people rate the others. Being last might just save her. Hope so as she's got a bundle of super talent to share. We just didn't see it tonight.