Sunday, 23 October 2016

[Review] "Divas" Week Comes To X-Factor

X-Factor left my life many moons ago. However, when a little birdie told me Simon Cowell's latest crop were tackling our mainstay- Divas- this week, I figured I'd skip the night out and watch. And what I endured, you should too, because it was a waste of time.

Talk about mediocrity being touted as world class talent. Maybe this has always been the case, but these 2016 contestants sound weak compared to the series I've watched.


[Ryan] Adele - Rolling in The Deep
Don't anybody ever tell me again that Adele doesn't have something special about her voice. If what she does is easy, how is it that this rendition was so limp, emotionless and unseasoned. I figure his tone (and the "storyline" that his girlfriend is also in the competition) is what has got him this far, but surely it can't carry him any further. He is clearly lacking everywhere else. AVERAGE JOE.

[Gifty] Sam Smith - Lay Me Down
Sam Smith?! The shade! Singing about her mother, who passed away, this was going to be emotional. Very controlled and measured delivery, despite this. When she gets to the belt, the voice takes on that nasally Jennifer Hudson timbre- no bad thing. The vocal was good and all, but it didn't blow me away. Could be the fault of the song, which didn't feel like it went anywhere.

[5 After Midnight] Amy Winehouse - Valerie
This trio are being touted as the next JLS (if you don't know who they are, lucky you!). Their voices are not as blended as I would have expected. Solos sound better, though I don't like the tone of the silver-jacketed dude. Once again, an example of a cover highlighting the genius of the originals vocal.

[Sam Lavery] Michael Jackson - Earth Song
Turns out this is also "Legends" week...anyway, what's with the placement of her voice, sounds a tad theatric. The little vocal breaks/yodals get annoying fast, and her belts are ugly to me. In fact the whole voice has an ugly quality to my ears. Nope.

[Emily Middlemas] Whitney Houston -  I Wanna Dance with Somebody
With a soft voice like this you best be rearranging a Whitney song. Saying that, this was a beautiful arrangement that made me appreciate the lyric in a totally different way. I would definitely buy the studio version. The live version not so much. The vocals weren't confident enough, with shakes and tuning issues.

[Relley] Aretha Franklin -  Natural Woman
Is she putting that voice on, sounds like a depressed larynx. Maybe it's to hit the lower notes. Her breaking off of the melodic lines early is also slightly annoying. However, she does sound solid. And then comes the belting and it all goes to poop. Off key and uncomfortable sounding.

[Matt Terry] Mariah Carey Ft. Trey Lorenz - I'll be There
High key to start with, which he dropped to contrast Trey's part. Clever way to show his comfortable range. Not a fan of the falsetto, it's too biting, nor am I of the heady (off) belt he closes with. However his normal chesty belt sounds edgy and listenable. Needs to either reign in some of highest notes or work on controlling his instrument better. Flavours of Adam Lambert at his extremes.

[4 of Diamonds] La Belle/Jessie J - Lady Marmalade/Bang Bang
They sound good together, but separately they have no oomph. They're acting like this is a dress rehearsal, with these half-hearted vocals. The harmony on the bridge of Lady Marmalade was awful. Actually the more this goes on the more they sound bad, individually. Let's see how the Jessie J Bang Bang melisma goes... Yep, both songs were too big for these ladies. Shame.

[Honey G] Vanilla - Ice Ice, Ice Baby

[Saara Aalto] Bjork - Oh So Quiet
Show closer! This song may be a joke to some, but it's nothing to laugh at, vocally. Saara showed some real skill as a vocalist. She might not be to your (or my) taste, but pay attention to the placement changes, the jumping around octaves and the way she masterfully switches between timbres. The comedic staging was unfair,  it definitely detracted from the technical skill displayed.

Overall Verdict: I shall not be watching next week. Nuff Said.


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