The X Factor live shows Week Six – as it happened

Oh god, oh god, she's going to win, isn't she?




Pretty dull episode all told. By my stupid and incorrect reckoning, Sam Lavery’s in trouble. The winner, as ever, is music. See ya next week!



Whisper it, but I actually quite enjoyed that version of Staying Alive, clever to use the rhymes as percussion. It’s a matter of quantity over quality.




Sharon calls Emily Middlemas a ‘Debbie Downer’ for her version of Wishing on a Star. Did you know boring disco is the number one killer of domestic cats?

To Emily’s credit, she agrees with the judges (except Simon) saying she wanted to do something more upbeat.


Lots of great suggestions for the X Factor Jukebox on our Twitter feed.


Right, Nicole, enough of this. At least get the bloody prefix right: Matt is not a “Scha-star”, he’s a “Schtar”


Matt Terry with Best of My Love Now, a smart choice in my book, lots of scope to put his stamp on it.



5 After Midnight with a Boogie Wonderland/September mash-up, exactly what their audience of tweens, twinks and tweeters demand. They’re mad for Earth, Wind & Fire. If anything, their harmonies have improved since last week’s impressive showing. Some genuine pop power developing here.





Sam Lavery slows I Will Survive into dreary Bond theme STOP Judges unimpressed STOP




Tough song choice here: Enough is Enough is not only lesser known in Britain, but originally a duet between Barbra Streisand and Donna Summers. Aalto’s killing it though. I really want to hear her attack some techno at some point in the competition.


No, you didn’t mishear that, Sharon introduced Saara as “from London.” She’s encouraging the Finnish singer to adopt a British home town, pick up an accent, assimilate, eat chips, go to football, make an effort, you know?


Sister Sledge to start, promoting their new song – WAMOW: ‘Women are the Music of the World’.

I like songs that are nothing but an acronym then an explanation of that acronym.


God I miss the mid 90s, when shadow cabinet ministers caught doing this would have been forced to resign by the press.

Anyway, wrong show, wrong channel. We ITV-angelists have our own horrors in front of us.


Right, let’s do this. I’m pouring myself a gin and Neurofen, you pray to whatever god you pray to.



Finally, it will be interesting to see if there’s a tribute to the late Leonard Cohen tonight. His song Hallelujah has been very, very generous to the show.


Wow, The X Factor has more commercial backers than Hillary.


And the rest of this week’s Backstage Nonsense:

  • The way people vote might be changing.
  • One of Five After Midnight is sick.


Oh, there’s another Honey G story this week, but I’m not going to cover it because we’re the Radio Times and, mercifully, we get to take the high road sometimes. It’s why your granny still buys us every week.

Incidentally, dirt digging is the dark side of the X Factor’s tabloid story factory. That and some of the worst writing this side of fan-fiction.


I’ve talked about how Honey G is the X Factor’s Donald Trump before, but does that mean her victory is inevitable?

Is she a joke or a powerful symbol of the anti-establishment wave that’s sweeping the world? And would her winning forever damage the essential democratic basis of this singing contest?


Right, onto serious business.

2016 has been one long Stoppard play. With Trump, Brexit and the Chicago Cubs, it feels like the underdog simply can’t lose, that the laws of the universe have fundamentally broken.

“A weaker man might be moved to re-examine his faith, if in nothing else at least in the law of probability.” 

By the logic of this topsy-turvy year, a Honey G win is almost a sure thing. And hey, look at the press release that landed in my inbox!

“Honey G is like the Donald Trump of the reality TV world,” said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly. “After her first audition, she was 150/1 to win and when the live shows started, she was still as big as 100/1. Now, however, she is 11/2 and the third favourite.” 


Three notes on tonight’s set list:

1. Disco is a genre that relies on long, long grooves, not two minute snippets. What’s next week, opera and throat singing?

2. Against all odds, Saara Aalto has not been stuck with Abba. She’s out of her Scandi-rut and is running free.

3. Ryan Lawrie is singing Play That Funky Music (White Boy). As a fellow Scottish white boy, I can confirm that we are very very pale, but funky? Not so much. 


First things first: Four of Diamonds were eliminated on Sunday, so at least I’ll stop accidentally calling them Four After Midnight. 

For the remaining contestants, it’s Disco Week. Here’s what they’re singing. 


Saara Aalto: No More Tears (Enough is Enough) – Barbra Streisand/Donna Summers


Honey G: Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees



Emily Middlemas: Wishing on a Star – Rose Royce


Sam Lavery: I Will Survive Gloria Gaynor


Ryan Lawrie: Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry

Matt Terry: Best of My Love – The Emotions


5 After Midnight: Boogie Wonderland – Earth, Wind & Fire



Hi, yeah, sure, fine, let’s do this.


You know the drill by now. I’m Jonathan Holmes (@hippopotaman), a former X Factor virgin who, six weeks into this blog, is starting to feel like the opposite of a virgin. You’re an X Factor viewer and together, we’re going to watch this light entertainment show and try not to think about the last week.