That fast! It’s been just three months of a rollercoaster ride and the fruition of X Factor UK season 12 happened a week ago. I was able to have the opportunity to rewatch every single live performances once again and see if my initial week to week reviews will match my traditional wrap-up post choices at the end of the season.
In a nutshell, season 12 is mainly a story of Louisa Johnson’s road to the crown. She was pimped and deservingly been the chosen 1. Reggie ‘N’ Bollie was the surprise act of actually getting much love from the viewers despite them being pegged as a joke act early on. 4th Impact, Lauren Murray and Che Chesterman were early favorites who all went far enough though obviously not enough to beat Louisa. And Simon Cowell’s less enthused since he didn’t get the Girls Category. Lol. I mean, did you see his acts?
Now here is a subjective list of which live show performances I thought define season 12.
– Obviously, Louisa is sick and her vocals weren’t as flawless as it was before but even at her worst night, she still emerged as the best of the night and still delivering a powerful and gorgeously textured vocal performance. It seems like her being sick tonight worked on her favor.
19. WHAT IS LOVE
– Remember how her fantastic cover of the same song on the 6 Chair Challenge? Well she did a repeat of it and sure it wasn’t as good as that but it was still a solid effort from Monica! And knowing the last minute (literally) changes on the song choice, this was still a wonderful performance from her.
18. MEN IN BLACK
– Let’s be real, Mason isn’t in the league of Louisa, Che, Lauren nor 4th Impact in terms of vocal ability but he has all the makings of a pop star. His slick cover of Will Smith’s Men In Black is infectious with the right amount of confidence, slickness and charisma. Oh, and the rap verses were solid!
17. RETURN OF THE MACK
– Who knew? Kiera to me is a wrong move from Rita but with no expectations on her belt, she surprised me big time with this pop quality performance of Return of the mack. Her vocals weren’t perfect but her confidence didn’t falter at all and that breakdown was just impressive and entertaining.
16. FANCY/RICH GIRL
– As the X Factor UK continually doing these mash-ups this season, one of their more successful product is this performance of 4th Impact during Top 5. It was well choreograph. The production looked cute. And the vocals of the girls were slick and solid. Their harmonies are tight and the rap verses were pretty impressive.
15. BOOM! MASH-UP
Reggie ‘N’ Bollie
– That time when I had some slight doubt on Louisa’s chances of winning because of this. The finale performance of Reggie ‘N’ Bollie of this Boom! Mash-up is not just entertaining but fun and charismatic. They may not be the best singers – and never will be – this season but they have managed to consistently do what they do best: entertain.
14. WE BELONG TOGETHER
– It was a straight-up cover of that Mariah Carey but one thing that Lauren was able to do: Her liberties towards the end provided a new style to the song that deviates it from being karaoke. Plus, she really sounded real good.
– Coming in to the live shows, I am pretty sure Mason is dead meat as he just showed attitude that didn’t really sit well with the viewers during the 6 Chair Challenge. But the redemption with the right and too obvious song choise made me think twice with Mason’s chances. He sounded pretty on the verses and there is just a certain charisma in his arrogance and confidence on stage that is appealing and compelling.
12. GOD ONLY KNOWS
– While I thought this didn’t really represent the “This is me..” theme and it was just an opportunity for the producers to let her have a “moment” on the show, I can’t really fault her vocals as she sounded excellent and up right beautiful.
11. THE VISION OF LOVE
Sing-Off Results Night (Top 5)
– The moment she opened her mouth and beautifully navigated the song which is one of the hardest songs of Mariah to cover, I knew 4th Impact had no chance in this sing-off. And even if they send it to deadlock, I thought Lauren easily won it and she just gave her best vocal performance of the season.
10. EVERYBODY’S FREE
– The grit to her voice is the texture needed for the song to be identifiable on her part but the amount of restraint she displayed is what impresses me more as it wasn’t shown so much by Louisa whose big voice is just top notch. Plus, she was well connected on the song which is pretty remarkable.
9. AIN’T NO OTHER MAN
– Sure it is another up tempo and I am one of those who wished they’d shake things up. But will I complain if for a consecutive week they’ve performed something amazing like this? The girls just showed that they are ready-made pop group and their vocals were just top notch. The harmonies were tight and the individual verses were full of sass and playfullness.
8. MAKE IT RAIN
– She may look like a boombastic showgirl but I didn’t care as she nailed this Ed Sheeran track with so much gusto and vocal power. Monica sounded solid good and her phrasing was her best to date.
7. BILLIE JEAN
– Billie Jean on paper shouldn’t work on Louisa since she was package more as a belting diva but her stage presence backed up with her ability to move yet maintain a superb vocal power and styling is something Lauren Platt wasn’t able to do last season. Louisa is the fruition of a potential big pop star that the X Factor franchise is waiting to mold especially their money maker One Direction will be on a hiatus.
6. DO IT LIKE A DUDE
– Do it like a dude may be not the biggest and most popular Jessie J and I didn’t really think that this help Alien Uncovered gain more votes, but for a first episode of the live shows they showed the best case of what they will be doing post X Factor UK. The choreography is fantastic. The vocals were decent but it was a compelling, solid performance from a polarizing girl group.
5. ONE LAST TIME
– Simple, elegant and beautiful! The lovely vocals won me over and the stripped down take on this Ariana Grande single is eargasmic. Lauren’s wonderful voice + the piano? Fantastic!
4. IT’S A MAN’S, MAN’S, MAN’S WORLD
– During the top 4 showdown, I literally said that I think I heard better versions of this. But once she reprised it again, she did a top notch cover and exceeded my expectations. Her over the top vocals were delicious. Her grit and confidence is compelling. The whole performance is just powerful and stellar. I was blown away.
3. YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE
– Initially, I was thinking this will be another dated cover but when they changed up the arrangement and made it work on Che’s strength? I am floored. His voice is simply impressive. The gorgeous cover is stellar. The liberties he took were compelling and this just gave us a glimpse that Che can exist in the current music scene.
2. WORK IT OUT
– Fantastic! This just worked all together. The vocals weren’t too much. Tha ad libs and runs were properly placed. The choreography is gorgeous. The harmonies were tight. And the hairography is fan-freakin-tastic!
1. LET IT GO
– Glorious! The first half is divine. The middle is amazing. The end part? Stunning! The treatment on the song was brought to another level where Louisa showned her best vocals to date and elevated it to a more powerful and diva-like cover. Great job!