“The X Factor UK” aired the third round of live shows this week in the U.S. Nov. 4 on AXS TV. Season 15 judges Simon Cowell, Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams and Ayda Williams mentored their remaining acts on the show’s annual Halloween-themed Fright Night installment.
Simon was notably wrapped up as a sunglasses-wearing mummy while Robbie was dressed as Simon – open-neck white shirt, jeans, sunglasses and slicked-back black hair. It was hilarious!
All the remaining acts performed songs with some sort of “scary” element in the title. From soul duo Misunderstood and “Thriller” to Shan Ako and “The Sound of Silence” and Dalton Harris and “Creep,” several acts really raised the bar for this week’s musical Frightfest. Hands down, top honors should go to Scarlet Lee for her goosebump-inducing delivery of “I Put a Spell on You” which was arguably the best performance of the night -- and maybe the entire season.
Which Acts Missed the Mark?
Unfortunately, Molly Scott kicked off the show with an anemic delivery of “Toxic” by Britney Spears. Her vocals were pitchy and she just didn’t bring the kind of physical energy Britney brings to her performance of the song.
Likewise, United Vibe just didn’t pull it together in their performance of “Bleeding Love.” The harmonies were off and the boys seemed sort of nervous. We’re with Simon. We would’ve liked a name change. But, Robbie insisted they are keeping the name. They still don’t seem like a cohesive unit. Given time and work, however, they might be able to make things work.
Anthony Russell’s energy is infectious. However, his vocals were all over the place in his cover of “Demons” by Imagine Dragons. Anyone who followed Detroit native singer Jeff Gutt on his “X Factor USA” season three journey knows just how far Jeff hit his rendition of the track out of the park. He finished in second place in the competition and went on to become the new lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots. Some of his “X Factor” performances will go down in franchise history including his renditions of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Creep” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Anthony is passionate and we can’t help but root for him, especially given the way Louis took him under his wing. His nerves definitely got the best of him this week.
Overs contender Danny Tetley also seemed to balk a little vocally during his performance of “Who Wants to Live Forever,” by Freddie Mercury. That’s such a tough song to tackle. Danny has great vocal chops. Still, the song seemed too big for him this week.
Finally, Acacia and Aaliyah did an energetic performance of “Jump.” However, it seemed somewhat redundant and not as good as their “Bang Bang” audition. That said, these girls have a ton of charisma and potential and we’re rooting for them to get another shot next week.
Which Acts Shined?
Several acts did an outstanding job including Shan Ako with her “Sound of Silence” delivery. She has so much poise and natural stage presence. She deserves a record contract win or lose. Dalton Harris is also a cut above his fellow contenders vocally. He slayed his performance of “Creep.” Misunderstood took on the biggest Halloween song of all time, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” They smashed it. The song was completely in their lane. But, diehard “X Factor” fans probably would have to admit Fleur East’s version in season 11 was even better than Misunderstood’s. Her dancing was incredible and the guys arguably didn’t do as much dancing as they could have.
Bella Penfold continues to blossom as a potential artist and her rendition of “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes was beautiful. Simon called it a “moment” and we love the emotion she poured into it and the message she tried to send youth.
Scarlett Lee Stole the Show
Comeback contender Scarlett Lee easily stole the show with her stunning delivery of “I Put a Spell on You.” She earned a four-judge standing ovation for her performance. Her range was amazing and her vocal power was incredible. She really raised the bar with her performance and is arguably one to watch moving forward, along with Shan Ako and Dalton Harris, as far as we see it.
“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.