X Factor UK 12: 20 Best Performances (Wrap-Up)

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.

20. JEALOUS
Louisa Johnson
Top 5

– 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
Monica Michael
Top 9

– 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
Mason Noise
Top 9

– 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
Kiera Weathers
Top 11

– 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
4th Impact
Top 5

– 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
Finale

– 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
Lauren Murray
Top 7

– 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.

13. SORRY
Mason Noise
Top 13

– 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
Louisa Johnson
Top 13

– 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
Lauren Murray
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
Louisa Johnson
Top 9

– 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
4th Impact
Top 7

– 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
Monica Michael
Top 13

– 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
Louisa Johnson
Top 11

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
Alien Uncovered
Top 13

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
Lauren Murray
Top 9

– 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
Louisa Johnson
Finale

– 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
Che Chesterman
Top 11

– 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
4th Impact
Top 9

– 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
Louisa Johnson
Top 7

– 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!

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X Factor UK 11: 20 Best Performances (Wrap-Up)

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In the past seasons of this franchise, I never enjoy watching it that much. I mean, there are great talents but I was never really that glued to them. Even during the stint of One Direction, where they were so horrible back then, I didn’t fully dedicated a time watching every single episode. But there is something about season 11 that draws me naturally and I must say, I stick to the show from the room auditions episode to the finale night.

Season 11 brought us amazing talents, big boyband, Stevi Ritchie, Chloe Jasmine, Mel B’s fiestiness, judges’ banters and surprisingly pretty good set of performances. The themes were tired but tested. The acts were from nervous breakouts to those who deliver week by week by week.

Now, with no further adieu, here are the 20 best performances of season 11. This is completely bias so I don’t expect you all to agree with my choices.

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20. Stereo Kicks
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Top 7

– The individual verses sounded fantastic and even during the chorus — though the backtrack drowned them a bit — sounded pretty nice. The inflections of Jake Sims and Tom Mann towards the end added color on the performance as well.

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19. Paul Akister
Try a little tenderness
Top 12

– Paul’s vocals were mostly on point here. The arrangement is interesting but I did enjoy every bit of his performance. Solid enough for him to sail to next week.

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18. Fleur East
Will you be there
Top 9

– Finally! Underproduced performance is what I needed from Fleur. Mostly because in the past, I find the production and choreography were doing all the job for her (I’m entertained, don’t get me wrong) but here she proved she can really sing. Her vocals were front and center and I must say, she sounded really nice.

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17. Only The Young
Monster Mash
Top 11

– Fun, energetic, the whole production is simply entertaining. Plus, their vocals especially the guys sounded pretty good.

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16. Jay James
Changing
Top 16

– I was expecting another ballad from Jay after his auditions, boot camp and judges’ house performance but he showed a different side of him. This was good to be honest. Not perfect but he created some nice dynamics in his performance that is in particular compelling.

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15. Stereo Kicks
You are not alone
Top 9

– The individual verses, yet again, sounded nice. Without that stage intruder, this is a pretty solid performance from this group who week by week in proving to be a viable and relevant boy group in the music scene.

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14. Paul Akister
If you don’t know me by now
Top 14

– Paul is a fantastic vocalist and this proves to be his niche. It was vocally strong and he managed to connect with the audience and the song quite well. Solid performance from Paul!

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13. Stereo Kicks
Everybody
Top 11

– Who would’ve thought? On paper this could potentially be a trainwreck (see: their performance of “Roar”) but somehow something clicked this week and the guys showed how much work they’ve put each and every week. The production looked nice. The choreography – cheesy – but solid. The vocals were on point, and I must agree with Simon here: James Graham’s vocals were right on the money!

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12. Ben Haenow
Man in the mirror
Top 9

– The rawness of the first verse is solid and grit-beautiful. Sure, he missed the tempo at first but that actually put color texture in this performance that turns out to be strong and compelling.

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11. Andrea Faustini
Earth song
Top 16

– Passionately beautiful. Strong Vocals. Solid performance!

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10. Stereo Kicks
Run
Top 5

– The dramatic production is chilling and beautiful. It adds effect on this performance that vocally sounds strong and the individual verses pretty much created dynamics to this that it needed. All in all, this group proves to be a solid one given the right coaching and song choice.

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9. Ben Haenow
Thinking out loud
Top 5

– I don’t know why Mel criticize this because I thought this was insanely strong. Sure it wasn’t as smooth as Ed Sheeran but Ben’s grit was dialled down here. His vocal choices were nice and this is an honest, genuine and raw performance from him that I personally adore.

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8. Lauren Platt
Happy
Top 16

– The first part was genius. Her vocals were front and center. Once the beat got to the uptempo level, though she lacks energy, was fully impeccable.

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7. Ben Haenow
Highway to hell
Top 11

– There’s a grit in this performance that is undeniable and beautiful. His delivery is out of the world strong and infectious. His stage presence is oozing with so much charisma and his vocals were spot on.

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6. Andrea Faustini
Chandelier
Top 5

– Andrea should sing more of these current pop songs because he sounds really good with them. Here, Andrea showed his fantastic vocal range but still delivering on those vocal dynamics that was needed in here.

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5. Jay James
I’m gonna be (500 miles)
Top 14

– The performance is polarizing (obviously, Cheryl felt odd) but I thought this is Jay’s best performance to date. It was smartly rearrange, his vocals were front and center and there is delicateness in his delivery that is beautiful and smooth.

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4. Stereo Kicks
Let it be/Hey Jude
Top 12

– This is the group’s breakout moment that they needed so that they can prove to the world that they could work. The individual verses sounded fantastic. The dynamics were pretty strong. The harmonies were tight and beautiful. And oh my God, James Graham!!!

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3. Lauren Platt
What a feeling
Top 14

– It was, in its simplest and genuine words, beautiful! The vocals were front and center. The delivery is divine. The production worked pretty well with how she perform this song. I thought it would be a snoozefest, knowing Lauren’s inability to work the stage, but she proved me wrong.

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2. Fleur East
Uptown Funk
Top 4

– This is the time when I appreciate all this production bonanza happening in a Fleur performance because everything just worked. Her choreography tied up with her solid vocals just work all together perfectly. Donnt believe me? Just watch. Ha!

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1. Ben Haenow
Jealous Guy
Top 14

– Solid. Beautiful. Fantastically done! It’s official, Ben is my act to rally behind for the win. Haha.