Semi-final night on X Factor and that worrying odour wasn't the ghost of Simon Cowell's aftershave – it was the reek of cold, jaw-clenched terror.
With the ultimate prize – the chance to be potentially as famous as Joe McElderry – within reach, the contestants are at the stage where they genuinely have everything to lose (aside from their dignity – they shed the last of that negotiating Big Band Night several weeks ago) .
Adding to the sense of teetering on a knife edge was the evening's theme: a Beyonce versus Elton John smackdown that had karaoke torture chamber scrawled all over it.
Luke Friend, the token alternative dude with token alternative hair, applied an eager ska-pop massage to Beyonce's Best Thing I Never Had. There was a terrifying live music moment as he strapped his guitar to his back and stomped down the catwalk and a terrifying live judge's moment when an incandescent Sharon Osbourne described him approvingly as my 'darling little hairball".
Later, dreadlocks tamed into an alarming pony-tail, Friend frowningly dispatched Elton's Something About The Way You Look Tonight. Because the song doesn't cast much of a shadow Friend – Louis Walsh cliche alert – "made it his own". Actually, he sort of made it Rod Stewart's which was presumably the intention.( Read more...Collapse )