“The X Factor UK” aired the intense season 15 semi-finals round in the U.S. on Nov. 25 on AXS TV. Six hopefuls performed in the nail-biting installment, which would end in a brutal double-elimination round. Robbie Williams notably returned from his work break to cheer on his last act, Acacia and Aaliyah.
Meanwhile, Simon Cowell supported his final Girls contender Scarlett Lee. Danny Tetley represented the Overs for Ayda Williams and Louis Tomlinson brought all three of his Boys team into the round with Dalton Harris, Anthony Russell and Brendan Murray performing for public votes and hopefully, a place in the finals.
Another highlight: The legendary Benny Andersson delivered a master class to all the remaining contenders. They each get to do an ABBA cover – so they performed two songs each in the semifinals – and everyone nailed their ABBA songs.
Brendan Murray Brings It with “Run”
Irish crooner Brendan Murray has really come into his own in the past couple of weeks. And, his solid streak continued with his amazing performance of Snow Patrol’s anthem “Run.” It’s a big, tough song to sing and it fit his unique tone like a glove. It was a great opener and Simon praised his performance, noting it could be a hit record for him. It may be a little too late for him, though. Still, he will forever be remembered as the contestant who made Nile Rodgers cry – maybe this will bode well for Brendan’s musical future.
ABBA cover: Brendan sang “I Have a Dream” and he did a fantastic job. Overall, a great night for Brendan!
Danny Tetley Delivers “This Is My Life”
Danny Tetley is so likable. He seems like such a genuine guy. He had a series standout moment last week with Frank Sinatra’s signature hit, “My Way.” This week, he tackled another big song with “This Is My Life” by Shirley Bassey. He hit some rough spots compared to last week. But, did a nice job overall. Robbie couldn’t resist ribbing Simon by noting it was nice to see the clip of him “four faces ago” when he first met Danny. Ha!
ABBA cover: Danny sang “Thank You For the Music” and like all the acts, the song fit him well. He gets a double thumbs up for his delivery.
Dalton Harris Stuns Again with “Feeling Good”
Right now, it seems like Dalton is favored to win “The X Factor UK” season 15 title. And, he proved he deserves it with his stunning “Feeling Good” performance – which he impressively kicked off a cappella. He received a four-judge standing ovation and Louis couldn’t have looked happier or prouder of his performance. Simon dropped a big compliment by comparing his performance to Michael Bublé’s cover of the song. Dalton definitely seems like a shoo-in for being safe tonight.
ABBA cover: Dalton sang “SOS” and like everything else, he nailed it.
Acacia and Aaliyah Rebound with Magical Mashup
Teen duo Acacia and Aaliyah are so poised and polite for being 14 and 15 years old. They’ve struggled lately, landing in the bottom two a lot. However, they dug into their platform sneakers and delivered a truly wonderful “Blinded by Your Grace/I Win” mashup. Everyone loved it. All four judges stood in applause. Their smiles and positive attitude are infectious and we’re still hoping for a bright future for this pair.
ABBA cover – The girls prompted a huge grin from Benny Andersson with their fresh, rap spin on “Money Money Money” during the pre-performance tape. It was the perfect song choice and they smashed their live performance.
Anthony Russell Belts “Livin’ on a Prayer”
Like Danny Tetley, Anthony Russell is a really likable guy. His comeback story is inspiring and the bond between him and Louis is wonderful to witness. This week, he sang “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. The song fit him thematically. But, he was a little frenzied in his delivery. None of the judges stood for Anthony except Louis. Ayda loved his determination but didn’t like the song choice and we have to agree.
ABBA cover: Anthony sang “Name of the Game” and did a great job.
Scarlett Lee Closes with Killer “This Is Me”
Scarlett Lee also has a moving comeback story and she’s seized every moment under the season 15 spotlight and shined. She sang the inspirational “This Is Me” anthem from “The Greatest Showman.” She smashed it and deserved all the wild applause and compliments she received. Of the remaining hopefuls, Scarlett and Dalton are clearly vocal standouts and should arguably be in the finals.
ABBA cover: Scarlett sang “The Winner Takes It All.” It’s another perfect song choice – a big song that showcased her mad vocal power and range. Bravo!
Two Acts Out, Four Move On
The intensity of the night came to a peak with the double elimination round. Brendan Murray and Danny Tetley were eliminated. Dalton Harris, Scarlett Lee, Acacia and Aaliyah, and Anthony Russell will move on to fight for three spots in the finals.
“The X Factor UK” airs in the U.S. on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on AXS TV.