“The X Factor UK” aired the intense Semi-Finals round here in the U.S. on Nov. 26 and Nov. 27 on AXS TV. After weeks of grueling competition, three acts remain in a final fight for the title. Girls contender Grace Davies, Overs contender Kevin Davy White, and Groups contender Rak-Su will head home to garner local support before facing off next week in “The X Factor UK” season 14 finale. Is there a clear frontrunner among these three acts?
Grace Davies Delivers Double Standout Moments
Grace Davies is, without question, a talented singer-songwriter. She wowed the judges with an original song during her very first audition. And, she has continued to deliver shining performance after shining performance, most of them being original songs.
This week, she had two incredible series standout moments. First, with her amazing rendition of David Bowie’s iconic track, “Life on Mars.” She sat at the piano on a raised platform with rolling smoke beneath it. She looked Bowie-esque with her striped pantsuit, pink hair, and metallic glitter tears under her eyes. Her delivery was solemn and haunting. If she did nothing else this week, this performance already sealed her star status.
Simon Cowell summed it up nicely saying, “You took it where other people don’t take it. That’s about being artist. That’s about being brave. That’s about being cool. It was so intimate. It was so stunning, I didn’t want it to end.”
She raised the bar even higher with her rock-infused original song, “Wolves.” She exuded a different tone and vibe than we’ve previously seen. Simon nailed it again when he said, “That was like me listening to somebody who comes on the show as a returning artist with a hit record.”
Could Grace Davies win “The X Factor UK” title? Absolutely. Either way, she arguably continues to present herself as one of the most well-rounded, “total package” artists the show has ever seen. Singing great covers is one thing. Getting on stage and delivering the next brand-new, self-penned hit single is another. Grace deserves a record deal and win or lose, we hope someone acts accordingly.
Kevin Davy White Rocks His Way into The Finals
French native aspiring artist Kevin Davy White is defying the odds by securing his place in next week’s Finals on a UK-based reality talent competition. But, his talent speaks for itself. As he gracefully put it, “No matter where you come from, love and music have no border.”
He’s right. But, he’s garnering public favor because he deserves it. His two-song set this week was scorching hot. He slayed one of the biggest rock songs in The Beatles’ legendary catalog with his rendition of “Come Together.” The audience and judges went wild.
He also wowed the biggest male pop star on the planet right now. Guest artist Ed Sheeran performed his latest single "Perfect" and watched Kevin’s night two performance of Jimi Hendrix’s smash hit, “Voodoo Child." He told “X Factor UK” host Dermot O’Leary, “I was really, really impressed. He was really good.”
Kevin Davy White is a seasoned, super-talented singer who connects with music on a deep, emotional level. It bubbles up from within him. He was born to sing and perform. The only thing standing between him and the title, is that the UK public might favor tipping the vote toward a UK native contender. Last year, Finnish singer Saara Aalto came in second behind British native champion Matt Terry. Seeing a foreigner take the title seems like a longshot. Either way, Kevin deserves a record deal as well.
Rak-Su Racked Up Some Big Screams
Little Mix is the first and only group to have ever won “The X Factor UK” title (in 2011). Prior to that, One Direction finished in third place in 2010 and went on to become the biggest boy band in the world. Rak-Su has the potential to give Simon Cowell and “The X Factor” another group victory. Like Grace Davies, they have delivered mostly original material – that has resonated in a big way with the audience and public voters.
This week, they performed “Flowers” by Sweet Female Attitude and reprised their original audition song, “I’m Feelin’ You.” The audience was definitely “feelin’” these boys too, because they screamed so loud and for such an extended time when they were done, that we could barely hear the judges’ shining comments.
Everything about Rak-Su feels good. Their harmonies are spot on. They’re fun, charismatic, and are great at engaging the crowd. They’ve been friends for a long time. And, they have written hit-worthy songs on very short notice. Plus, most of the time it seems like we’ve watched a Rak-Su concert, instead of a competition performance.
Could Rak-Su win “The X Factor UK” title? Yes. Basing it on scream factor alone, it feels like they have already won. But, anything could happen. Public votes can deliver big surprises. We predict a Grace and Rak-Su Top 2 finish. We’re just not sure which one will walk away with the crown.
“The X Factor UK” season 14 finale airs in the U.S. on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on AXS TV. U.S. viewers can tweet during the broadcast using #UKintheUSA.