“The X Factor UK” season 14 Six Chair Challenge finalists in the Overs category battled for a place in the Live Shows in exotic South Africa with their mentor Nicole Scherzinger and her celebrity advisor, Stormzy. The intense round aired in the U.S. on Oct. 22 on AXS TV. Picking only three of six talented contenders to move forward must be tough. However, after the drama surrounding airport bags handler Talia Dean in the Six Chair Challenge, we can’t help but wonder if Scherzy made a big mistake with her at Judges’ Houses.
Firstl, we should note the former Pussycat Dolls member didn’t make a wrong choice in putting Kevin Davy White, Matt Linnen, and Tracy Leanne Jefford through to the Live Shows. Everyone laid it on the line at Judges’ Houses, especially Kevin Davy White, who could arguably record, drop and sell a record right now. He’s so polished and professional. His original song, “Puzzle of Love,” was stunning. He emotionally connects with every note he sings and can draw in his listeners and this is so important.
Linnen put his own stamp on Rozalla’s “Everbody’s Free” and in short, nailed it. We can also hear him streaming out of someone’s playlist. Tracy Leanne pours passion into every performance. She has her own distinct sound and her hunger to succeed is obvious. Her performance this week was great.
The thing is, just as these three acts move forward, three more were sent home. We agree with Scherzy, Slavko is a fun performer, but he is quickly swallowed up by much better vocalists. We were sad to see Berget Lewis stumble over her lyrics in her “Clarity” performance. She’s arguably one of the best vocalists to come through the competition this season. That said, in times of difficult cuts, making such a glaring mistake arguably carries costly consequences. Still, we’re bummed to see Berget go.
Overall, we really couldn’t find anything wrong with Talia Dean’s bluesy take on “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” The Wembley audience demanded Nicole bring her back after she cut her at the Six Chair Challenge. Will we ever forget their relentless “Bring her back!” chant? Talia's story, having carried Nicole’s bags and being encouraged to try out for the show is somewhat of a fairy tale. Talia has a powerful voice and a tremendous amount of passion. Did Nicole make another mistake in letting her go for a second time? Either or Talia or Berget would make a perfect Wild Card act. It’s up to public vote to choose a Wild Card act in each category this season. So, we’ll just have to wait and see.
The acts will all be singing for the public vote in the upcoming “X Factor UK” Live Shows which will kick off next week and air here in the U.S. on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on AXS TV. U.S. viewers can tweet during the broadcast using #UKintheUSA.