Sunday, 11 December 2011

X-Factor Analysis And Predictions

Tenth Week: The Final

Well the day is finally here.  After ten weeks of auditions, rehearsals, mishaps and controversies, we are down to the last three contestants competing to win a one-million pound recording deal, the title of X-Factor winner and, ultimately, a Christmas number one.

With Misha B finally getting the boot last week, one of either Amelia Lilly, Marcus Collins or Little Mix will be crowned X-Factor winner come Sunday evening.  Live from Wembley arena, the final also saw performances from previous X-Factor contestants Leona Lewis, One Direction and JLS and, also, X-Factor whore Michael Buble (who seems to perform every single year even though I do not know how any of his songs go).

Quite who will actually win is a difficult one to decide.  Momentum seems to be with Amelia who, after coming into the competition at a late stage, has impressed with her recent performances and has begged the question as to why she was not in the competition from the start.  Marcus, on the other hand, has consistently performed every week and, were the competition to be based on who is the most versatile contestant, should be winning this hands down.  Lastly, Little Mix have been the surprises of the show and, once the programme is all over, will surely be the most successful recording artists as there is clearly a gap in the market that they can fill.

Which all makes analysing this year's final and making predictions ever more harder.  But The Urbanite will still try!

1. Marcus

Somehow, over the past few weeks, Marcus has gone from frontrunner into a bit of an underdog. This could possibly be due to the fact that Gary has committed the young scouser to sing songs that are better suited to a 50yr old ball-room singer rather than songs that truly reflect his talents.  In any scenario, it is hard to see where Marcus would fit in the music scene at the moment as his style does seem outdated - making his bid to win the X-Factor seem all the more fruitless.

His first song is Outkast's 'Hey Ya', which is a major risk for a final performance.  It goes without saying that Marcus struggles with the song, in effect putting in his worst effort to date.  It is so bad that he resorts to 'wooping' after every line in a way that you can only do when you are singing karaoke, badly.  It really does not work and leaves Marcus looking dangerously irrelevant in the final.  He must be delighted that he has a second song, as this was awful.  4/10

2. Little Mix

If the recording contract could be given to the act that has worked the hardest this year then Little Mix would be easy winners.  Battling against adversity, the girls have put in good performance after good performance, working with their to becoming the bookies favourite without pissing anyone off.  The whole "sisterhood" marketing ploy that seems to accompany every Little Mix performance and VT is beginning to get a bit played out, but as long as it continues to work it will be used and the girls will go on to sell loads and loads of records.

Which all means that, if they put in another good showing today then Little Mix will most probably win the show.  They begin the Saturday night singing You Got the Love, which perfectly shows off their vocal talents.  Make no mistake about it, all four girls can sing really, really well and this performance just shows how far they have come.  On form like this, the girls are going to take some beating.  9/10

3. Amelia Lilly

Talk of an X-Factor fix were ripe this week as Amelia's winning single was mistakenly released in an HMV store before the winner of the show was even announced.  Which means that if she does win the show, conspiracy theories will be abound that the show is one big fix.  For some reason it would feel slightly unfair if Amelia did win X-Factor, since she has only been in it for half the time, but if she did there would not be many out there that would argue that she is not good enough to win.

Unsurprisingly, all those comparisons to Christina Aguilera were clearly heard by the X-Factor producers, who have given Amelia 'Aint No Other' for her first song.  Again, unsurprisingly, the song works well, allowing the 17yr old Teesider to scream into the microphone as loud as she can whilst looking as angry as possible.  Still, it sounds good and is the 2nd best performance of the night so far.  7/10

4. Marcus pt II

For their second performances, the contestants are made to sing a song with their mentors, which all initially seems slightly in the favour of Amelia (singing with Kelly) and slightly unfair on Little Mix (forced to sing with Tulisa).

First up, however, we have Marcus singing with Gary, who pretends to be playing the piano throughout the performance (note to Gary, you need to learn how to mime piano performances better).  Once again, Marcus bores the hell out of us with a soppy, boring and tedious Billy Joel number.  It's hard to stay awake through this, and any hope that Marcus had of winning over new fans today goes straight out of the window.  He is going to need the support of all of Liverpool behind him this weekend, as he has failed to impress.  6/10

5. Little Mix pt II

When crediting Little Mix, one also has to give credit to Tulisa who clearly believed in the girls from the start of the show and has worked hard with them to make them into the band they are today.  Singing a mash-up of Alicia Keys' 'If I Ain't Got You' and 'Empire State of Mind' the girls showed quite why they are so popular and are in the final - they can sing, they are contemporary and, whilst The Urbanite is clearly no expert in the field, it seems like a lot of young girls up and down the country can relate to Little Mix.  The song also showcases Tulisa's vocal range which is, surprisingly, good (apologies for what I wrote before!).  This could well be the performance of the final (apart from the awful beatboxing in between) and should send the girls in Sunday's vote-off easily 9/10

6. Amelia Lilly pt II

I guess this last performance shows quite how lucky Amelia is.  Facing a lifetime of obscurity and singing in small pubs in Middlesborough after her eviction on week one, Amelia is now singing to thousands of people in Wembley Arena alongside Kelly Rowland.  And don't think that this would faze her, as she sounds on par with the American diva as they sing a rendition of River Deep, Mountain High (another excuse to get Amelia to scream down the mic).  It is good though, but maybe not enough to save Amelia from eviction.  7/10

So there we have it.  In all honesty, this may have been one of the weakest X-Factor finals we have had in a while - partly because the great British public chose to evict all the best singers and keep all the boring acts in it until the end.  As said before, all 3 acts could win it - though one's chance will end on Saturday as they will be voted out......

...And that act is Amelia Lilly.  Leaving Little Mix and Marcus to fight it out until the end.  The margin between these two is tight, though in our opinion Little Mix edge it slightly as they are more edgy, more contemporary and, quite frankly, will sell more records than Marcus.

And for this reason, The Urbanite's tip for X-Factor winner 2011 is.....Little Mix!

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