With a bumper crop of good talent this year, judges Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne are seeing even their top acts lobbed into the weekly sing-off, if not sent home.
There may well be a lovely live orchestra in the studio this week, but as the show reaches the halfway point, the gloves are bound to come off.
Here’s what the judges may say to this week’s acts…
Abi Alton – That’s Life
After last week’s original version of I Will Survive, with piano firmly in place, I predict Abi will pull this one of out the bag and will get a “This is why we put you through. You’re back doing what you do best’ from Gary Barlow.
Hannah Barrett – This is a man’s world
Oof. What a song choice. You may want to turn the volume down for this one as you just know Hannah’s going to belt it out. Louis Walsh will no doubt tell her she’s a young someone or other and Sharon may very well tell her to soften up her performance a little.
Luke Friend – Moondance
Gary Barlow is going to love this. Nicole Scherzinger won’t be able to stay in her seat. In fact, this will probably be the week Luke is told he’s the “dark horse” of the competition. Louis will tell everyone to pick up the phone and vote (probably thumping his hand on the desk for good measure).
Nicholas McDonald – Dream A Little Dream
Baby Buble and a live band? Louis Walsh may even cry. I think Nicholas will totally nail this song and may even be told he could re-release this track and have a hit with it for Christmas. Nicole is bound to tell him she “hearts” him or that he’s Sha-cute or something.
Rough Copy – Hit The Road Jack
It will be interesting to see Rough Copy with a live band but this song and their dancing? A match made in heaven surely. Gary can’t lose another act so he’ll say this is the best thing since sliced bread. Sharon will say it was “FAAAABulous” and Louis might criticise something just to annoy Gary. Maybe he’ll thrown in an “I just didn’t like the song Gary”.
Sam Bailey – New York, New York
Could this be the week Sam gets some criticism? Scherzginer’s been known to throw some in occasionally. Perhaps Frank Sinatra is just a bit too big? Probably not. Louis will no doubt tell her she reminds him of a young Frank.
Sam Callahan – Ain’t That A Kick In The Head
Oh dear. Judging by the comments young Sam has had from the judges, Gary could pull out some sort of “that felt like a kick in the head” line. Although that’s perhaps a bit too stern. Maybe Big Band Week will be Sam’s week and they’ll all have to eat a slice of humble pie.
Tamera Foster – Cry Me A River
Tamera may have been in the bottom two last week, but her sing-off performance was faultless and even Simon Cowell tweeted to say he couldn’t quite figure out why she’d ended up there. I bargain someone will tell Tamera there’s “no way” she’ll end up there this week.
The X Factor continues this Saturday and Sunday at 8pm on ITV