More confident but still no star and missing notes left, right and centre. This was a lively and determined performance after a wet one last week but Louis' "What a brilliant opening" and the praise heaped on him by all the others were way, way over the top. And he seemed to have a black pudding stuck on his head. I listened to this again and, second time around, I realised just how bad this was - totally out of tune at the start and just awful. "Turn it off!!" called my 13-year-old.
♪ 4 ☼ 6
A harp. Rock week? Yes - it woks for the Guns n Roses number. Her red hair seems to have exploded. This was a controlled but very professional performance, not exactly rock but it worked for me and will easily get her through. Every note was where it should be and I was pleased to see the clip before showing how she dealt with odd-looking journos asking stupid questions. This girl has gone up in my estimation but still may not inspire enough to win but should be a clear finalist in what, so far, looks mostly very poor opposition.
♪ 10 ☼ 8½
Cher's Turn Back Time sung well enough, I suppose, apart from some tinny and stretched top notes which I was surprsied she failed to deliver. Gary said it was boring and he's dead right. She's OK, but no star and, if it weren't for Louis and Goldie leaving, she'd not be on our screens at all. We could have heard that on a pile of old MFP albums or those where people covered hits that sold for 99p in Woolworths. She'll probably get through because there's a bundle of old people who'll vote for her out of some sympathy and maybe some Welsh people have phones too. Not prime time ITV stuff at all.
♪7 ☼ 4
These girls are very together and proving popular. This was an odd combination of a rap number I'd never heard of and "Push It" which I do. Both kinda worked but not spectacularly. I'm not sure where they'll get votes from with that mix but they should get enough this week. Dermot did a great job as Tulisa, Gary and Kelly got boring about what does or doesn't constitutes a song for 'rock' week. I mean, they've had a week, rehearsals and plenty of time to see what others are doing and discuss it. we don't need to get involved. Maybe they thought some argument would make good telly. Wrong. As for this group, well, a bit out of tune and my 9-year-old (who did know the track) said it was rubbish. I'm prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt and wish them through for the next week and, hopefully, improve enough to continue. At least they have some potential.
♪ 7½ ☼ 8
Sophie does Livin' On A Prayer in tight black leather and, finally, someone has sorted out the way she looks. We know she can hit the right notes at the right time and this was a great version of the track. I would have preferred to see her let go in a big way from the middle on instead of sort of holding herself back and almost disappearing amongst the candles but here we saw someone who deserves to be there and who could be interesting to watch develop. With the right songs, the right clothes and style, we could be in for a surprise as I have a feeling she can handle a whole range of stuff which might trouble others.
♪ 9 ☼ 8
Talk of rock week - Crying Your Heart Out??? Eh?? The old lip curl is still off-putting but he has a great voice and most of the notes are there. I still don't see him in the hit parade except for the album you buy for mum at Christmas. He'd be most comfortable in gigs where someone slightly off-beat with a good voice but little star quality can be best appreciated. Comparison with Oasis says it all. No idea what else to say about this chap. Sorry.
♪ 9½ ☼ 5
Live and Let Live is one really difficult song to sing and I'm amazed that she attempted it, not only attempted it but actually delivered really well. Compare her voice and control and accuracy to Sami and there's just no argument about who should stay in. The public still don't seem to like her much but I feel she's slowly winning back some of her detractors. Quite why she messes around with her eyes so much I do not know
♪ 10 ☼ 5½
Here's the bad boy. Seems like the only one in the whole pack this year. This was a decent performance and he looked like he was enjoying himself and was at home on the stage with the scantily-clad girls. Gary thought he did "pretty well" and that's about right. X Factor UK need Frankie. They don't need Sami. He's front runner with Betfair to go at the time of writing by quite a way. They got NuVibe right last week but £16000's worth of bets so far may have got it wrong this week. I hope so.
♪ 7½ ♪ 9
Well, we know that we're not going to lose a third group this week. This was a slow version of Crazy, well-staged but not really that great. they just managed to hold their harmonies together, all credit for that, and there's no doubt that they've got bags of talent and support out there. This was just one of those X Factor performances that we'll just forget.
♪ 7 ☼9
Starts with a clip of Janet and Johnnie on a sofa. Johnnie clutches a mug of tea. You wonder if she's doing her bit for the community by visiting the sick or elderly. Hey, Johnnie made my household crease up with laughter and the judges too at one point. Listen to that crowd too. Bearing in mind that they're the people who'll be inclined to vote too, he must be way ahead in the poll this week! I fear he'll be around for a long time yet but, please, not a winner. He's got the JEdward / Wagner tag this year and I guess X Factor needs one. What? oh, the song. Who cares. he'll be around next week and maybe then he'll do something worth commenting on in that respect.
♪ 6 ☼ 10
There's always one performance of Purple Rain. Misha is a natural performer and is so confident on stage. In fact, you wonder why someone hasn't already snapped her up. However well she sings, she didn't get that song across anywhere near as well as I expected. It's normally a track that you find yourself riveted to but I was bored half-way through. Nothing really happened. Obviously, she'll be around for a while yet and the whole image thing was better than it has been, although she does seem rather less than friendly and you do wonder whether she actually ever speaks to any of the others or just goes home and comes in when she has to. When she does go home she should take a look at the X Factor USA Judges' Homes performance by (I think) Stacy.
As Dermot says at the end, someone has to go. The bookies say Frankie. I say Sami. Marcus is also vulnerable.
♪ 10 ☼ 7