The third night of Live Shows for “The X Factor UK” aired in the U.S. on Nov. 5 on AXS TV. The Boys and the Groups took to the stage in a brand-new, never-before tried theme, Viva Latino (aka Latin night). We get why they did this, with Camilla Cabello currently rocking the top of the UK Singles Chart with “Havana.” Latin music is hot, right? However, it seemed like a real genre stretch for a lot of the contenders, while others, like Rak-Su, totally thrived.
Simon Cowell is Back and Spot On
It’s nice to see Simon Cowell is back and recovered from his fall and we’re with him. Does Dermot O’Leary really have to crack that many jokes about the incident? We love us some fun-loving, empathetic Dermot. But, we’re over Simon’s fall. Let’s move on!
As show boss and a legendary music mogul, Simon usually knows what he’s talking about when he doles out observations and advice. Case-in-point was opening act Jack and Joel. They did a great, quirky job with “Havana.” But, we don’t really know what kind of a record they would aim to make. We’d like to see them focus their act a little better, should they stay in the competition for a while.
Leon Mallet was up next with his spin on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” It was totally fun! That said, Leon’s vocals weren’t the best and a weird premonition filled us like it did last week for the ill-fated American Boys contender Spencer Sutherland. Poor Leon! He has a lot of potential but this genre really doesn’t suit him!
Sean and Conor Price Still Have Our Hearts
Of all this season’s contenders, Irish brothers Sean and Conor Price still have our hearts. We want them to do well. We want them to get a record deal. These boys are sweet and talented. They remind us of an Ed Sheeran duet act. Latin week definitely didn’t do them any favors, either. But, they did what they could with Sia’s “Cheap Thrills.” We’re so glad they made it through! Once again, these guys have Potential with a capital “P.” Yes, Louis, the “Price” is still right. Everyone loved them. What’s not to love?
Lloyd Macey covered Enrique Iglesias, “Hero” (We were hoping someone would do it!). Lloyd is the best male vocalist in the competition and besides Kevin Davy White. He's also Louis Walsh's strongest act. That said, Lloyd took the “power” places in the vocal a little too far. The bleeding, I would die for you sentiment was lacking in his delivery. His performance felt more like vocal acrobatics than conveying the hopeless romantic heart at the center of this song. Enrique would clearly “cry” if he saw her “crying.” We’re not so sure about Lloyd. This could eventually hurt his chance for a win.
No Contest Between The Cutkelvins and Rak-Su
These two groups are arguably the most commercially relevant acts this season. The Cutkelvins' Little Mix cover was good. However, we don’t think Shereen’s brothers should be so far away from her, raised in those Lego-style boxes. It feels more like a Shereen solo show and not a group act.
We absolutely knew Rak-Su was going to nail their performance. They wrote an original Latin song in one weeks’ time and sold it like it was a radio Top 10 hit. These guys are incredible from their harmonies to their smooth dance moves and the audience loves them. Their song and presentation was perfect. They deserved to be the night’s winners and we’re thinking they just might follow Little Mix to another “X Factor” group win. Rak-su is better, overall, than The Cutkelvins. But, we still like the sibling trio and hope they stick around a while.
Can Sam Black Bring Retro Back?
Last week, Boys Wild Card act, Sam Black’s performance was over-produced. This week hit the border of that again. But, we really liked his Ritchie Valens/Beatles mashup. He did an excellent job. It was fun and he sang it well. We’re afraid Simon may be right though. Is Sam’s retro vibe enough for the current music scene? Can Sam Black bring retro back? We’re not sure. But, either way, he did a great job this week.
Hello Tokio, Goodbye Leon
Reigning Britain’s Got Talent champion Tokio Myers delivered a mesmerizing performance of his new single. It was visually stunning and sonically breathtaking. We get why he won and he seems destined for a successful career.
Rak-Su won the night with the most votes and Leon was eliminated. Neither of these results were surprising. Rak-Su earned the only four-judge standing ovation of the night and Leon’s song just didn’t fit him well. At this point, it seems like Rak-Su is the act to beat – although they are running a tight race with Girls contender Grace Davies. She’s also a wicked songwriter. Grace and Rak-Su could easily be the last two acts facing off in the Finals.
“The X Factor UK” airs in the U.S. on Sundays and Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on AXS TV.