Saturday, November 27, 2010

X Factor 2010: Cher Lloyd is back on top after bottom two disaster with show-stopping performances for rock week

By Chris Johnson

-Hopeful makes an all-singing, rapping and dancing comeback
-Host Dermot O'Leary confirms double eviction this weekend

-Defiant Katie Waissel battles on despite more lurid revelations about prostitute grandmother this week

-Wagner puts in 'best performance yet'... but scantily-clad backing dancers make return for second song of the night

She's back: Cher was on top with an all-singing, rapping and dancing performance of Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend before closing the show with the Aerosmith 1977 classic Walk This Way on X Factor last night

She was left in tatters after coming in the bottom two last week.

But last night X Factor contestant Cher Lloyd was back with a vengeance as she wowed with two show-stopping performances for rock week.

The 17-year-old hopeful put her stamp on Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend track, before closing the show with the Aerosmith 1977 classic Walk This Way.

Stealing the show: After he pared down performance last week, Cher was back on form with backing dancers, her funky outfits and a huge entourage of backing dancers

Speaking after her second performance, Simon told her: 'You have come back and had a fantastic night. I absolutely loved you Cher, well done.'

Her mentor Cheryl was also full of good things to say. 'We have never had anyone like you on the X Factor before,' she gushed, adding: 'But you are my cup of tea with two sugars in it.

'I believe in you, I believe in you as an artist and that you have a credible future, I really do.'

On top: The 17-year-old contestant even danced atop a car bonnet during her confident onstage turn after coming in the bottom two last week

One to watch out for: Simon Cowell was full of praise for the contestant saying she had come back with a vengeance following last week's disaster

Cole then pleaded with the viewing public to vote for Cher in the competition with contestants facing a double eviction tomorrow night, which host Dermot O'Leary confirmed at the end of the show.

The seven remaining acts all performed two songs last night with even controversial Wagner being praised by the judges for his best week yet.

Mary received the least enthusiasm from the panel, while Katie Waissel put on a brave face following more lurid allegations this week about her prostitute grandmother.

Wagner opened the show with the Radiohead track Creep.

Crowd pleaser: The judges praise Cher after the hopeful closed the show with her entertaining performance

Rock chick: Katie performed the Kings Of Leon hit Sex On Fire, which Simon praised her for following a week of lurid headlines about her prostitute grandmother

Emotional: Her second song was REM's Everybody Hurts, but Simon was not a fan of the arrangement saying the song was 'chopped up' and needed to be longer as he blamed her mentor Cheryl

His pared down performance - featuring no backing dancers - was met with a mixture of cheers and boos from the baying audience - and the judges.

Dannii congratulated him on his best effort so far, saying: 'I have to say that that is the best that you've sung in the whole competition and I think it's because you connected with the lyrics.'

But her comment angered mentor Louis Walsh, who appeared to think she was implying Wager was a creep.

Long and short of it: Judge Cheryl Cole donned an asymmetrical number while Dannii Minogue wore a flowing red dress teamed with beige heels

Here they come: The judges walk on stage at the start of the show, from left Dannii, Louis Walsh, Cheryl and Simon Cowell

Cheryl added: 'I completely agree with Dannii that that was actually your best performance at singing.'

Simon gave him a half compliment, telling the 54-year-old former PE teacher: 'For you, that was very good.'

But when Louis told the contestant that Thom Yorke - the lead singer of Radiohead - would have 'absolutely loved' Wagner's version of the song, his comments were shot down by the jeering panel.

But for his second performance, the scantily clad girls were back as he did a comical performance of Addicted To Love by Robert Palmer.

Living the dream: Matt Cardle was surrounded by a bevy of scantily clad backing dancers for his rendition of I Love Rock and Roll

'Incredible': For his next song Matt played the guitar as she played Nights In White Satin by The Moody Blues

Dannii was less impressed this time, although Simon said the plus side of the performance were the dancers.

Cheryl told him: 'I get the feeling that this is the week you enjoyed yourself the most. It seems like you enjoyed it Wagner.'

One Direction, Cowell's only remaining act, were second up, with a rendition of Bryan Adams's hit Summer Of '69 for their first performance.

Louis was a big fan and told them: 'I think you're the next big boy band.'

Soulful: Favourite Rebecca Ferguson took on U2's Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, but despite describing it as 'beautiful' Simon told her he could still feel her nerves

Dannii agreed, saying they had 'stepped things up,' while Cheryl told them: 'There's electricity in the room. You keep on growing and growing and getting better and better.'

Simon revealed that band member Harry Styles had picked the song, saying he had been in New York for the week to pick up a 'very important award' at the International Emmys.

Louis berated Cowell for leaving his act, to which he was promptly told to 'shut up'.

For their second performance the group sang the Joe Cocker hit You Are So Beautiful.

Cut above: But Rebecca was given a huge thumbs up from the judges as she returned with The Rolling Stones hit (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

The powerful ballad went down well with the audience and the judges, although Louis said it was not really in keeping with the rock theme of the week.

However Simon retorted: 'Joe Cocker was a rock singer so go and do your homework Louis.'

Dannii described it as 'stunning' while Cheryl added: 'I think you've got a really bright future ahead of you.'

Third to perform was Louis's act Mary Byrne, stretching her vocal chords with the U2 song All I Want Is You.

She was given warm rounds of praise by all the judges, with Cowell saying it was a good song choice for her.

For her second track she performed The Pretenders hit Brass in Pocket, which was not as well received, despite her effort at dancing.

Hitting the right note: Mary Byrne performed the U2 hit All I Want Is You and was given a warm round of praise from the panel

Dannii said it was 'heading towards karaoke' but Louis pleaded with viewers to vote her in to the semi-final because, 'I know how much this [competition] means to you'.

After her controversial staircase performance, Cher Lloyd returned with an all-singing, rapping and dancing rendition of Avril Lavigne's song Girlfriend, including a dance on the bonnet of a car.

Simon summed up the feelings of the panel, saying: 'Form the disaster of last week to undoubtedly your best performance so far. It didn't sound karaoke. You put your own stamp on it. By any standards you were right on the money.'

Chery agreed: 'You absolutely smashed it. We're back,' with Dannii enthusing: 'This was my favourite performance of yours. It was so complex and so on the beat. It made me think I want to go to your concerts.'

She later closed the show with Walk This Way.

Trying some smooth moves: But Mary's second performance, The Pretenders hit Brass in Pocket, was not as well received with Dannii saying it was 'heading towards karaoke'

Rebecca Ferguson did a soulful take on U2's Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

'Bono would love that version,'Louis told her. 'We are looking for a recording artist and you have the most distinctive voice in the competition.

Dannii was also impressed with her vocals, but said she would like to see more performance rather than her just standing there.

Simon added: 'I can still see the nerves. Especially with the semi-finals coming up next week. It was a little bit stiff at times.

'But having said that, you have the most beautiful, distinctive voice. It was absolutely beautiful.'

Going in the right direction: One Direction did a rendition of the Bryan Adams song Summer Of '69, which Cowell revealed was a song choice of Harry Styles, far right

For her second performance Rebecca did a version of The Rolling Stones hit (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.

Louis 'loved everything about it' while Dannii told her: 'You sang rock but you made it Aretha.'

Simon then told her: 'I don't know what's happened these last two weeks. From this flying start, things have gone a bit below standard, until this song.

'That was genuinely one of my favourite songs so far. It was incredible.'

Matt Cardle was surrounded by an army of sexy female backing dancers as he performed the Joan Jett & the Blackhearts hit I Love Rock and Roll.

Louis said he was the most 'consistnely good' performer in the contest,
predicting: 'I think you will definitely be here until next week.

High praise: The boys returned with the Joe Cocker hit You Are So Beautiful, which received a huge round of applause from the audience

Simon then told him: 'Midway through that song, with you amid that lot [the scantily clad girls] I thought to myself that is living the dream.

'It was terrific and it was very very very good.'

To chants of 'Matt' from the audience, mentor Dannii chirped up: 'That's what I love to here. That makes me think, it's Saturday night, lets go and grab some girls and guys and have a party.'

For his second attempt at wooing the viewing public, Matt returned with his take on the classic Nights In White Satin by The Moody Blues, whilst strumming the guitar himself.

Louis told him: 'That was heart-wrenching, note perfect,' before Cheryl added: 'I love it when you sit there, play the guitar. That for me was my favourite performance of yours ever.'

'I thought it was absolutely genius,' Simon said,' before mentor Dannii praised him for his 'romantic' take on the song.

Best performance yet: Wagner's first performance was pared down with no back dancers as he sang the Radiohead track Creep

Row: The judges largely agreed it was a good effort, but Louis took exception with Dannii when she said Wagner 'connected well' with the song, apparently thinking she was implying he was a creep

Katie Waissel was the ultimate rock chick for her first track of the night, a commanding performance of Sex On Fire by Kings Of Leon.

After that performance I can see you are a rock chick. That was a very believable performance and I love your new image.

However, was not as bowled over: 'You look great, but the performance was a bit frantic for me, like you were trying too hard with it. I don't know what it was.'

However Simon was full of support for Katie, who has had a tough week with a series of headlines about her maternal grandmother Sheila Vogel, who has been exposed as a prostitute and pornstar.

He told her he loved her performance, saying: 'Only you Katie after a week you've had could come out and sing Sex On Fire. Genius.'

The 24-year-old contestant was also buoyed by supportive chants of Katie from the studio audience.

The girls are back: Wagner was not alone when he returned to the stage with Addicted To Love by Robert Palmer

'Wow that's never happened before,' she said smiling, before thanking everyone for their support and keeping her in the contest.

Katie got all emotional for her second track, REM's Everybody Hurts, and almost appeared tearful during parts of the song.

Afterwards Katie seemed even more vulnerable and tearful as Louis told her: 'I know you are hurting inside,' in reference to her family troubles this week.

But Simon told her that he was not a fan of the arrangement of the song, for which he placed the blame squarely on Cheryl's shoulders.

'That song does not work within that time period. It was chopped up. It needed to be longer.

'It was just crazy and I'm frustrated because I am a massive, massive fan of you and I just hope people can look beyond what was a terrible mistake by Cheryl.'

Cheryl barely acknowledged Cowell's remarks, and went on to praise her act for her 'believable performance'.


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