The remaining hopefuls hit “The X Factor UK” stage this week in hopes of securing a place in next weekend’s Semi-Finals round. The action unfolded in an intense “Crazy in Love”-themed battle which aired here in the U.S. on Nov. 19 and 20 on AXS TV. In the end, four acts were eliminated, and six acts will move on to the season 14 Semi-Finals.
Groups vs. Boys Ends with a Sad Farewell
First off, can we get a resounding “Poor Sam Black!” He seems like such a happy, nice guy. That said, none of his song choices have done him vocal justice and all of his routines have been vastly over-produced. This week, he was swallowed up by all the dancers. His “Oops” song title seemed to foreshadow his demise. We’re sorry to see him go. But, the voters made the right call.
On the other hand, Simon Cowell’s two leading groups both gave great performances. The Cutkelvins performed an original song for the first time and slayed it. The track, “Saved Me From Myself,” was right in the trio’s lane and Shereen had a few dazzling vocal moments.
Likewise, Rak-Su didn’t disappoint with their fun original song “Mona Lisa.” These boys just have “The X Factor.” They perform like seasoned pros and it feels like we’re watching a Rak-Su live show instead of a singing competition and that speaks volumes about their artistry and star potential.
Unfortunately, the very sweet, boy-next-door brotherly duo Sean and Conor Price didn’t fare so well with their energetic rendition of “Issues.” We feel like they’ve never hit their “All Along the Watchtower” Room Audition stride in the Live Shows. They needed to belt some classic rock. We’re also bummed to see these guys go. However, we’re hoping their exposure will ultimately help them forge out a music career.
Finally, Lloyd Macey can sing anything and we'll never forget how he made Sharon Osbourne cry with his George Michael cover. However, his Shania Twain “From This Moment On” song choice really didn't fit him. He’s definitely not a country artist. So, the song felt a little awkward on him.
In the end, Sean and Conor Price and Sam Black received the lowest votes and were sent home. This means The Cutkelvins, Rak-Su and Lloyd Macey are all moving on to the next round. Rak-Su won the most votes for the night and that doesn’t surprise us.
Girls vs. Overs, Starring Grace Davies and Kevin Davy White
Grace Davies and Kevin Davy White arguably owned Night 2. Grace was back in her element with her compelling original song “Hesitate.” The audience and judges loved it and we’re not surprised she won the night. Rai-Elle Williams arguably brought the most spunk and fire to “The X Factor UK” stage this season. She oozes playful confidence and picks great songs. Mrs. O compared her to Lauryn Hill after her infectious “Mr. Big Stuff” performance. With a double elimination, Rai-Elle just couldn’t get the vote behind her. We hope Stormzy takes Rai-Elle under his wing because she has massive potential.
Likewise, Holly Tandy did a pretty good job on her “Love Me Harder” cover. She packs a lot of power but lacks performance polish. With more work, Holly could have star potential as well. But this time she lost the vote, so she’s going home.
Finally, Matt Linnen did well with his Alicia Keys cover. Scherzy loved it and the audience agreed. He’s going through to the next round. Kevin Davy White also rocked his rendition of Whitney Houston’s indelible “Bodyguard” theme song, “I Will Always Love You.” The French native singer stamped his own style on it but the judges’ comments were split. Simon and Sharon felt like it wasn’t his best performance, while Nicole defended it, saying “It doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles and shazams; that was pure. “You took one of the biggest songs ever and made it your own. It was a masterpiece up there.”
Overall, Holly and Rai-Elle were voted off. Grace won the night but lost the prize fight against Rak-Su. Will they face off against each other in the season 14 Finals?
“The X Factor UK” airs in the U.S. on Sundays and Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on AXS TV.